Owning your own home might be a quintessentially British phenomenon – after all, in most of mainland Europe rental is de rigueur – but the double whammy of the cost of living crisis and high interest rates has shattered the plans of many wannabe first-time buyers.
But, help could just be at hand from Leeds Building Society which is launching a new campaign designed to capture the public imagination and the voice of a lost generation of those trying to get on the housing ladder.
Over the next five years, the Society estimates as many as 426,000 first-time buyers, equivalent to 233 people per day, will be priced out of the UK housing market, reinforcing the need for action to protect the future of homeownership for generations.
In collaboration with MSQ’s creative studio Brave Spark, Leeds Building Society has unveiled Losthaven, a fictitious city filling up fast with unseen first-time buyers.
Work includes outdoor activity introducing Losthaven with a live count, showcasing the growing population of the city. A stark reality that if nothing changes now, over the next five years this will grow to a city the size of Cardiff, Leicester or Coventry.
As part of the activation, the Society is also encouraging the lost generation of first-time buyers to share their personal experiences on ‘Greetings from Losthaven’ postcards which will be collected and shared directly with Government.
The activity is intended to amplify the combined voices of those in Losthaven, making first-time buyers feel seen and give them a platform to be heard.
To help ensure the lost generation can leave Losthaven, and find a real place to call home, the Society will continue to work together with policy makers and politicians to make sure homes are more affordable, accessible, and available.
“Losthaven” continues the Society’s campaign, which began in 2022, calling for significant policy changes in the UK housing market, including the building of more homes, increasing affordable routes to homeownership and supporting people to save for deposits.
Leeds Building Society head of brand Rebecca Dye said, “As a brand who believe every generation deserves a place to call home, Leeds Building Society is demonstrating its commitment to putting homeownership within the reach of more people. We are speaking up for the people of Losthaven, and standing by them with actions, not words.”
Brave Spark managing director Rebecca Vickery added: “Given the severity of the housing crisis and the need for urgent action, our creative ambition with the launch of ‘Losthaven’ is to empower first time buyers to share their voices and join a conversation about their future.”
So, what is the consensus around the Decision Marketing office?
Well, let’s be fair, the housing market is a mess, with millions of people forced to pay exorbitant rents to feather the nest of greedy landlords; money that could be going towards a home of their own. Of course, not everyone is a Peter Rachman but, in some areas, it is not much better than Victorian slums.
Quite how or why this situation is allowed to continue is nothing short of scandalous – and anything that Leeds Building Society can do to highlight the situation has to be welcomed.
If anything, it should go further but then no doubt it would be accused of being “too political”…
Decision Marketing Adometer: A ‘time for action’ 8 out of 10