A Conservative Councillor believes there is no solution to the affordability gap for university graduates wanting to settle in the town.
Reacting to the news that Bournemouth is the sixth least affordable place for graduates to live in the UK, David Smith said that it is part of a national problem relating to the shortage of housing and high rental prices.
“It’s a very difficult problem. My own son, who works locally on a fairly low wage, is stuck in high rental costs. It’s impossible to save for a deposit as it all goes on rent. So he’s basically stuck on renting all his life, because can’t move forward. I really don’t see a solution” Cllr Smith told Buzz.
He said that as far as students and graduates were concerned, the council were doing “absolutely nothing” to try and hold down rents, adding: “When you have high rental costs and low wages, it makes it difficult to be affordable.”
Research conducted by the Graduate recruitment specialists Pareto found that Bournemouth is the sixth least affordable place to live in the UK; as they looked at the average income, living costs and rental prices.
With two local universities, students and recent graduates reacted to the news. Some are feeling the need to relocate, as there are no plans to improve the areas affordability.
Bournemouth graduate Samantha Horton commented: “The fact that Bournemouth is one of the worst places for us is eye-opening, and if the council can’t do anything, then who will? The low wages are not reflected in the rents, and I can’t save anything. I will be moving to London soon, where I’ll get a higher wage and better job, but then it’s even more expensive. This is definitely a national issue.”
Samuel Chippeck will graduate from Bournemouth next year. He said: “I used to be eager about the idea of living in Bournemouth after graduation. All of that has changed due to increasing costs of rent and living. This status is ‘town’, not a capital city for crying out loud. What are council going to do now to students who can’t afford? Drive us into the sea?”
Marc Say, Bournemouth Graduate, reiterates Cllr Smith’s remarks, saying that it is difficult as he cannot get onto the property ladder, with the low wages and high rents. He told us that he finds this specifically “frustrating” as his younger brother who lives in another city already has a mortgage.
We found out what Bournemouth students think about their prospects after graduating.