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You thought Brits loved tea? Wait till you hear about our homes! Today's podcast dives into the complexities of the UK housing market with our engaging approach to learning English. We promise it's not as scary as it sounds! Start your #englishlearning journey with us! No fancy jargon, just real English in real-world situations.
Summary: 🔹 Fun and engaging lessons that break down the UK housing market 🎯 🔹 Speak English fluently and confidently 🏆 🔹 Understand a unique aspect of British life, making your language learning journey more enriching 🍎
The UK housing market, is a big part of being British. It's more than just bricks and mortar - it's a mirror reflecting the dreams and desires of millions of people. It shapes the UK economy, affects personal finances, and guess what? It's on the cusp of some BIG changes. It's a storm brewing on the horizon, and it has the power to shake things up.
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⭐ Benjamin Franklin
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It’s not how much money you make, but how much money you keep, how hard it works for you, and how many generations you keep it for.
⭐ Robert Kiyosaki
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Hello there, future English speaker! Are you ready to dive into an adventure that takes you beyond the realm of mere language learning? Explore the vibrant world of the UK housing market and prepare for the looming changes that could shake things up. This journey isn't just about learning English—it's about living it.
Price is what you pay. Value is what you get.
⭐ Warren Buffett
Things you will learn in today's English vocabulary and phrases lesson:
- Learn to express financial worries: 'An increasingly expensive dream'
- Use of phrases for expressing concerns: 'There are concerns about...'
- Terminology for asset valuation: 'worth less than they paid for it.'
- Discussing future uncertainty: 'may rise some more.'
- English idioms in finance: 'pay back much more money than they borrowed.'
- Discussing potential disasters: 'property crash is potentially a disaster.'
- Expressing price increases: 'risen by over 20% in the last year.'
- Unique English terms: 'Negative equity.'
- Phrases to denote affordability: 'cannot afford to get such a big mortgage.'
- Comparing cultures using English: 'The British are in favour of...while many Europeans prefer...'
What makes learning English through the lens of the UK housing market unique? Here are the key points:
- Culture: The UK has a strong culture of home-ownership. Understanding this market lets you engage with British culture in a unique way.
- Economic Impact: The UK housing market significantly influences the economy. Studying it helps you learn English in a real-world, practical context.
- Dynamic Landscape: The market is subject to change due to politics, economic policies, and global events. This provides a fresh and engaging context for learning English.
Owning a home is a keystone of wealth – both financial affluence and emotional security.
⭐ Suze Orman
By delving into this real-world context, you won't just learn English, but you'll experience it. Here are the ways this approach benefits you:
- It's more than mere grammar and vocabulary; you engage with rich, practical language use that reflects real-life in the UK.
- You interact with English in meaningful, relevant ways—not just memorizing lists of words or rules.
- You boost your fluency in a way textbooks can't match, understanding how English is used in day-to-day life.
- You become capable of confidently handling a wide range of topics and situations, preparing you to blend into the English-speaking world.
Don't worry if you're apprehensive about navigating this landscape—we'll guide you step-by-step. Each lesson builds your understanding from the ground up, helping you overcome common fears:
- Fear of real-world English? Our engaging and accessible lessons help you grasp it quickly.
- Worried about fitting in? You'll gain a deep understanding of British culture, connecting with native speakers beyond just language.
- Overwhelmed by English? We focus on specific, manageable topics, turning fluency into a series of achievable steps.
- Afraid of getting bored? Our lessons are about real people, real stories—you'll forget you're learning!
- Concerned about fast-paced conversations? Engaging with these topics will naturally develop your listening skills.
Remember, every journey starts with a single step. Turn your English learning into an exciting adventure. "Master real-world English while exploring the UK's housing market!" Don't miss out—follow and subscribe to our podcast to take your English skills to new heights.
Uncover the mysteries of the UK housing market with #BritishHousing101. Improve your English, and be in the know!
Today we have a British English lesson that embarks on an exhilarating safari through the thickets of the UK housing market. Each phrase and idiom is a rare bird spotted, each piece of economic insight is a majestic creature revealed. Just as a safari guide helps you navigate the wilds, we prepare you for the landscape of personal finances. But unlike the unpredictability of the jungle, here, you’re equipped with the map, compass, and binoculars of linguistic knowledge, ready for the looming changes on the horizon. So hop in, let's start this journey together, discovering the intriguing creatures of English language in the wild, dense habitat of UK's housing market!
- What is this English learning lesson about? This lesson explores the intriguing world of the UK housing market and its significant impact on personal finances. It's designed to help you understand real-world contexts while improving your British English fluency.
- How will understanding the UK housing market help me in learning English? By using real-world examples like the UK housing market, you're exposed to practical English use cases. It makes language learning contextual and interesting, enhancing your comprehension and fluency.
- I'm new to English, will I be able to understand the content? Absolutely. This lesson is tailored to accommodate learners at different stages. Even as a beginner, you'll find the content accessible, and it will provide a useful context for vocabulary and grammar.
- How does this lesson prepare me for looming changes? By exploring an active topic like the UK housing market, you'll learn how to discuss changes and trends in English. This will equip you with the language tools to understand and discuss future shifts.
- Why is this lesson focused on British English? Learning British English exposes you to rich linguistic traditions and accents, diversifying your understanding of the language. However, the lesson is universally beneficial for English learners, regardless of the variant they're interested in.
- Bureaucracy: The complex structure and rules of a government or large organization.
- Depreciation: The process by which an asset loses value over time.
- Foreclosure: The legal process where a lender takes back property due to unpaid debts.
- Landlord: A person who rents out property to a tenant.
- Mortgage: A loan specifically used to buy a property or land.
- Equity: The value that a homeowner has in a property, above any owed mortgage.
- Tenant: A person who lives in and/or uses property rented from a landlord.
- Gentrification: The process of improving a district so it conforms to middle-class taste.
- Subsidy: Money given by a government or organization to lower the cost of a product/service.
- Refinance: Replacing an existing debt obligation with another under different terms.
A slice of British culture - our obsession with home ownership - for your English listening practice
Hi there. Did you know that in Britain, we really like owning our homes? It's true! We're a nation of homeowners, or at least, would-be homeowners. It's such a part of our culture that the housing market significantly influences our economy. But, can you guess what's about to happen in the UK housing market? That's right, there's a storm coming and it's about to shake things up. Intrigued? Today, we'll take a look at the world of personal finances, specifically focusing on the UK housing market. And it's not just about houses or money. It's about understanding that this is a part of British culture and lifestyle that's so embedded.
House buying, watching house prices - it's practically a national pastime. And what may happen economically in the UK - perhaps that’s happening in your country too. For those of you who are here to improve your English, we'll be discussing this topic using clear, easy-to-understand British English, with lots of useful vocabulary, relating to your personal finances. You'll be understanding and using these words in no time! This is an English lesson that’s useful ‘in the real world’! And there’s advice on buying a property right at the end!
Hello, I’m Hilary, and you’re listening to Adept English. We will help you to speak English fluently. All you have to do is listen. So start listening now and find out how it works.
Before we go on, remember - if you want to make the most out of this podcast, pause it when you need to, replay parts that you find difficult, and please get in touch to ask questions or share your thoughts. And don’t forget - if you want to learn English using the Adept English podcast, make sure you’ve done our free course, The Seven Rules of Adept English. This will show you how to use our podcasts to improve your English. Go to adeptenglish.com and sign up for the Seven Rules Course today. It’s free.
Now, let's dive into this subject. Owning a house is a dream for many in the UK. But unfortunately, it's becoming an increasingly expensive dream. First of all - some really useful vocabulary for you around house buying. We use the word ‘property’, PROPERTY in this context to mean any type of home - a house, an apartment, a flat, whatever it is. The average price of a ‘property’ in the UK - well as of March 2023 this is £285,000. That’s a lot of money! Bear in mind that’s an average which includes the cheapest type of property, as well as the large houses. The size of the house, the number of bedrooms, the look and the style of the house all determine its price, its value, as well as its condition - does it need work? And the location - where the house is - that’s a massive factor too in its price. Clearly a house in central London is going to be much more expensive than one in the north of Scotland. But even within a particular town, there are more expensive areas - because they’re nicer. And less expensive areas - because they’re not so nice.
So property is expensive in the UK and yet most of us still want to own property. Unless you’re very well-off, rich if you like, you’ll not have enough money in your bank account to buy a house. That’s where ‘borrowing’ comes in. The verb ‘to borrow’, BORROW means that you don’t have the money for something you want to buy - so someone, usually a bank, gives you the money as a ‘loan’, LOAN. Meaning ‘they give you the money to buy what you want - and you pay the bank or whomever back gradually, over a period of time’. The noun is ‘borrowing’. So you might buy a car and get a car loan, to finance the buying of your car. And the same with a house, though clearly we’re talking much bigger sums of money being borrowed over longer periods of time. And the type of loan you need here, usually taken out over many years - it’s called a ‘mortgage’, that’s MORTGAGE. And the opposite of ‘to borrow’ is ‘to lend’, LEND - that’s when you’re the one handing over the money. So we talk about banks as ‘mortgage lenders’, LENDERS. Possibly quite a lot of new vocabulary here - make sure you listen to this podcast a number of times to help it stick in your mind!
‘Mortgage’ is an interesting word - it means ‘death pledge’ and a ‘pledge’, PLEDGE is a promise. ‘Mortgage’ is from the French - who actually now use a different word altogether for their mortgages! Their word is ‘hypothèque.’ A ‘mortgage’ is a ‘death pledge’ because the agreement dies if the person borrowing fails to pay or they die. Your house, your property gets re-possessed if you like - by the bank, by the mortgage lender. Remember the Global Financial Crisis of 2008? And Fanny Mae and Freddy Mac in the US - do you remember those names? They were the big mortgage lenders, who’d lent money to too many people. When the mortgage lender takes back the house, the property, in the US they call it ‘foreclosure’, they ‘foreclose’ on properties, FORECLOSE. Here in the UK, we use the verb ‘to repossess’, REPOSSESS or the noun ‘repossession’. Again not what anyone wants to happen.
An AI image of a woman worrying over mortgage payments. Make the UK feel like home. Subscribe and become a local, not just a learner.
Anyway, there are concerns at the moment about the UK mortgage market and the UK property market. In 2022, house prices were at a peak, their highest point ever, with the average house in the UK costing £295,000. We’re now expecting what is known as ‘a crash’, CRASH - a sharp downturn in property prices and in the number of new mortgages being taken out.
There are a number of reasons for this. The verb ‘to afford’ something, AFFORD means - ‘to be able to pay for something, to have enough money for something’. And ‘affordability’ is the noun - meaning ‘how affordable something is’. So property prices have been high, while at the same time, the level of ‘affordability’ has come down in recent months. People cannot afford to get such a big mortgage, such big loans any more. Part of this is the ‘interest rate’. Again - you’ll have a different word in your language - but you’ll certainly have ‘interest’ - INTEREST. The mortgage lenders and banks don’t just give money out for houses because they’re kind! They make money out of it, so they charge ‘interest’ on their loans. The borrower usually pays back much more money than they borrowed, especially over the term of a mortgage - and this % is called ‘interest’ or ‘the interest rate’. Interest rates have been very, very low in the UK - and around the world for the last few years. So people have got used to interest rates of 0.5% or 1%. Now in the UK, interest rates have risen to about 6% and may rise some more. This means difficulties for many people in their personal finances, depending upon how much they’ve borrowed.
If the interest rate goes up, this massively increases the cost of repaying a mortgage. So people who bought a house and took out a mortgage a couple of years ago are facing much bigger payments to keep their house. For example, if you bought a house and took out a mortgage for the average UK house price in November 2022 - £295,000, then you’ll already be paying an extra £500 every month for your mortgage on this higher interest rate of 6%. And of course, there are people whose mortgages are much bigger than this. They may be paying an extra £1,000 per month for their mortgage.
This is very difficult for many people. People’s income, the money from their jobs remains the same - few people are getting a pay rise at the moment. And the problem isn’t just because of mortgage interest rates rising. The situation is also worse because of inflation, INFLATION. ‘Inflation’ means simply ‘prices rises’ - and inflation can harm a country’s economy. I’ve talked about inflation in previous podcasts - the last one was podcast 650, where I compared the cost of shopping in the UK with the cost in other European countries. In the UK, inflation is a big problem at the moment. Prices of pretty much everything, including food have risen by over 20% in the last year alone. People don’t have much money to spare. There’s little left over when they’ve paid their bills, they’ve paid for their essentials. So this combination - interest rate rise to 6% and the risk of further rise, plus 20% inflation may mean in the longer term, a ‘property crash’! That is UK house prices will come down sharply, because hardly anyone will be able to afford them at their high level!
A reduction in the cost of buying house may be great news, if you don’t own a house yet - especially if your pay, your income is good or increasing. A property crash for you may mean that you can finally afford to buy a house or buy a bigger house. Or it may mean that the house you like will cost less of your monthly income, if you buy it. But for many people who bought their house ‘at the top of the market’, as we say, when house prices were at their peak, their most expensive, a property crash is a disaster potentially. Home-owners can get into a situation where their house is worth less than they paid for it - and this can be really difficult. They don’t then have the option to sell their house and pay off the mortgage, unless they can pay the difference, the shortfall. They’d have to save up and put money in, in order to be free of their property. And that’s not possible if you don’t have much spare money each month. What a nightmare! And we call this in UK English ‘negative equity’ - that’s NEGATIVE and ‘equity’, EQUITY. This phrase means that you’ve borrowed money, invested that money in a house and it’s now worth less than you paid for it. Not a good situation, when we expect the value of our houses to increase and them to be an investment for us.
So none of this is the dream of anyone who sets off with the desire of home ownership. This is not how it’s supposed to go - but it feels as though conditions are set for this to happen. I’m not predicting 2008 all over again. I think mortgage lenders have taken fewer risks since then, but I think it could get difficult for home-owners and for the UK economy over the next few months. So my advice would be ‘Don’t buy a house in the UK right now. Wait - and you’ll perhaps get it for much less money!’.
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I wonder whether the situation is the same in other countries in Europe and the rest of the world. I think us British are particularly in favour of buying our own homes, while many Europeans at least, prefer to rent. I think rental terms are better in many countries in Europe than in the UK - and that’s part of that cultural difference too.
Anyway - once again, I’d be interested to hear your opinion on this. I hope this podcast has taught you some essential vocabulary for home-buying, personal finances. Don’t forget to listen to it a number of times to help any new words stick!
Enough for now. Have a lovely day. Speak to you again soon. Goodbye.
Thank you so much for listening. Please help me tell others about this podcast by reviewing or rating it. And, please share it on social media. You can find more listening lessons and a free English course at adeptenglish.com
- Housing market crash
- Risks of UK housing crash
- Negative equity
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