House prices are now rising "strongly" across most parts of the UK after official figures showed values leapt 9.1% year-on-year to a new average high of £253,000. The report said that the majority of the country is now seeing strong year-on-year growth in property prices. All regions across the UK saw prices rise, ranging from a 17.7% increase in London to a 2.4% rise in Scotland. Read more >>
The cartoon by Paul Thomas from the Daily Express shows a couple of homeless men drinking beer from cans in their makeshift cardboard box 'homes' under a bridge. They are surrounded by empty cans and rubbish bags. One man says to the other, "My biggest regret is not getting on the property ladder..." A policeman is keeping an eye on them.
The property ladder is a term widely used in the United Kingdom to describe the relative differences in constant terms from cheaper to more expensive housing. According to this metaphor, an individual or family's lifetime progress can be traveled equally from cheap houses for younger first-time buyers who are typically at the bottom of the property ladder, and expensive houses are at the top. 'Getting on to the property ladder' is the process of buying one's first house and holding a place on the volatile property market. • House prices are so high now it is hard for first-time buyers to get on the property ladder (= buy their first house).
Of course, the joy at soaring house prices referred to in the news placard is only felt by people who already own their own house or flat. Those who don't are more likely to be feeling despair. The joke is that the homeless man thinks things would have been different if he had only managed to get on the property ladder. Such is life in modern Britain.