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Last Updated: Wednesday, 17 October 2007, 08:43 GMT 09:43 UK
The Truth about Property
Andrew Verity
Programme 1 - Thurs 18 Oct
Programme 2 - Thurs 25 Oct
Programme 3 - Thurs 1 Nov
2000 BST on BBC Two
A new BBC Two three-part series lifts the lid on the difficulties of buying a home.

As house prices have trebled over the last 10 years and analysts are debating whether this is the top of the market, what will happen to the value of people's homes?

Getting a foothold, and staying, on the property ladder has never been so difficult.

Whether it is buying, selling, renting or simply keeping up with the mortgage payments, Andrew Verity, BBC Radio 5 Live's Business and Finance expert, travels around the UK to explore the issues surrounding the property market.

Programme One

In the first of three programmes, Andrew discovers what the options are for people trying to get on - and stay on - the property ladder.

In this climate of uncertainty, where the volatility of the stock market makes it hard to predict which way the property market is headed, the outlook for first-time buyers is pretty grim.

This is demonstrated by the stories in the series. Dawn decides to spend her summer camping in a queue for the chance to buy a house, and Cathie, who at 36 still lives with her parents, opts to go online in a bid to find a stranger to buy with.

As record house prices and increasing interest rates are pushing people out of the property market, Andrew assesses the economic factors which determine how much people pay for their mortgages.

Andrew meets those who are feeling that they have totally overstretched themselves and, after borrowing seven times their salary, can they stay in the property market or is repossession around the corner?

An increasing number of private companies now offer mortgage rescue schemes, promising to relieve homeowners of their financial burdens.

Programme Two

In episode two of the series, Andrew Verity discovers that, while there are big winners, there are also big losers, and reveals some remarkable facts about the way the market works.
For Sale signs

Whether potential buyers feel they have hit the jackpot or high prices stand between them and their dream home, they still need to ask themselves if the property is a good investment.

In Nicholina's situation, her two sons are forced to share a bedroom with their grandmother because she has been priced out of moving up the ladder.

She bought a two-bedroom maisonette in London four years ago for 125,000. It is now worth 200,000, but it is not enough to buy a three-bedroom house. She has made money on paper, but not in reality.

Andrew looks at some success stories, too. George, who bought his council house in Hackney 14 years ago for 37,000 and, following a sale, has just made a profit of half a million pounds, leaving scope for more investment.

Programme three

Whilst more and more people believe they have missed out on the opportunity to get on the property ladder, Andrew Verity goes in search of alternative solutions to buying a house in the third and final part of the series.

Dominic is a paramedic and feels he cannot afford to buy in his area. Although his other job as a fireman increases his income to the point where it might be possible for him to buy, he must live within two miles of the fire station which limits his choices. When his housing association offers him the opportunity to buy their home, Dominic faces a very hard decision.

Andrew also meets Sarah who bought a piece of land with farm buildings on it. By deciding to live in the building Sarah breaks the planning laws and the local council have now threatened to throw her out.

The programme also looks at the better opportunities that renting offers in countries like Germany and whether the law should change in the UK.

The Truth about Property series starts on Thursday 18 October, 2000 BST on BBC Two

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