NatWest boss branded ‘out of touch’ after claiming it’s not ‘that difficult’ to get on property ladder

NatWest boss branded ‘out of touch’ after claiming it’s not ‘that difficult’ to get on property ladder

NatWest boss claims it is ‘not that difficult’ to get on property ladder

Today, BBC Radio 4

The chair of NatWest with a salary of more than £763,000 has claimed it’s not “that difficult” to get on the housing ladder, in remarks to BBC Today which have seen Sir Howard Davies slammed as being “out of touch”.

After presenter Amol Rajan asked Sir Howard on Friday when he thought it was going to be easier for people to get on the property ladder, the banking boss appeared to question whether it was actually hard at all.

He said: “Well, I don’t think it’s that difficult at the moment, but…”

Incredulous, Rajan interjected: “To buy a house in this country? Are we living in the same country or are you reporting from overseas?”

Sir Howard continued: “You have to save, and that’s the way it always used to be… What we saw in the financial crisis was the risk of having people being able to borrow 100 per cent to get onto the property ladder, and then suffering severe falls in the equity value of their houses, and having to leave and having a bad credit record et cetera.

“So there were dangers in very, very easy access to mortgage credit, so I totally recognise that there are people who are finding it very difficult to start the process, they will have to save more, but I that is, I think, inherent in the change in the financial system as a result of the mistakes that were made in the last global financial crisis.

“We have to accept we’re still living with that.”

Well, many Twitter/X users have taken to the platform to argue you’re “living on another planet”, Sir Howard:

Just last month, the typical house price was £287,100 - an increase of almost £5,000 (from £282,305) in December 2022.

Meanwhile, the latest release from the Office for National Statistics gives the median household disposable income for the 21/22 financial year as £32,300 – down by 0.6 per cent from the previous financial year.

Oh, and first-time buyers with a mortgage were the lowest in a decade in 2023, according to the Yorkshire Building Society.

Sir Howard has since responded to the backlash by saying he “did not intend to underplay the serious challenges” faced by homebuyers.

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