Co-Living是介于 学生宿舍和酒店之间共享式公寓,除了卧 室这一需要隐私的空间之外,包括起居室、厨房以 及浴室等功能空间均可共享。对于当 今的年轻人来说,夸张的 房价似乎让买房成为一个现阶段不现实的事情;在此背景下,年轻人 对于买房置业并没有强需求,更愿意享受更擅交际、更灵活的生活方式。所有人 都敞开双臂拥抱千禧世代住房新概念。

 

一辈子不买房,你愿意吗?

 

译者:王旻彦

校对:朱星汉

导读&笔记:朱小钊

策划:杨婧娴

 

Generation rent: how did we get here and where might we end up?

一辈子不买房,你愿意吗?

 

本文选自 The Guardian | 取经号原创翻译

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Owning her own home was never a dream for Lyndsey Yates. The freelance graphic designer and her partner Mark, a web designer, have always hankered after something more flexible, more exotic.

林赛·雅迪斯 从未想过要拥有自己的家。作为一个自由职业的平面设计师,她与身 为网页设计师的男友马克,一直以来渴望的都是一个更加灵活、更加具有异域风情的“家”。

freelance:doing particular pieces of work for different organizations, rather than working all the time for a single organization 从事自由职业(的);作为自由职业者(的)

hanker after:  to have a strong wish for something, especially if you cannot or should not have it 渴望,热切希望拥有(尤指无 法得到或不该拥有的东西)

 

“When we first got together we were convinced we would never buy a house because we wanted our freedom, to move around wherever we wanted to,” she says. They both had good careers. Freelancing gave them flexibility. Life in Spain or Switzerland looked like fun. “At one point we were learning Dutch because we were thinking of moving to Holland.”

她表示,“刚在一起的时候,我们都 很确定永远不会买房,因为我 们更青睐可以随性搬来搬去的自由。”他们两 人皆有满意的工作。身为自由职业者,他们可 以灵活地选择住所。无论生 活在西班牙还是瑞典,似乎都很有趣。“我们一 度在学习荷兰语,因为考 虑搬去荷兰定居。”

 

Life got in the way. First came the birth of their daughter three years ago, making the idea of a more permanent home appealing. Then their rented home, in Newburgh, near Wigan, was hit by flooding and their freedom became a burden.

然而美 好的设想被生活打破了。首先是 三年前女儿的出生,此时拥 有一个永久性的家成为了更好的选择。紧接着,他们在 维冈附近纽堡的租房遭遇了洪水,这时自 由反而成了一种负担。

get in the way:to prevent sb from doing sth; to prevent sth from happening

 

“We had to move out, but we couldn’t find anywhere to live,” Lyndsey says. “None of the landlords wanted to take a risk on two freelancers.” At the age of 32, Lyndsey and her family moved back in with her parents.

“我们不得不搬家,却又找 不到其他地方可住,”林赛说道,“没有房 东愿意把房子租给两个自由职业者,这样风险太大。”就这样,在三十二岁的年纪,林赛一 家只得搬去和她的父母同住。

 

Seven months later, after more than a dozen viewings, they found a nice house. Now, like the rest of generation rent, Lyndsey is wondering if her family will be able to buy a home.

经历了 无数次的浏览与搜寻,七个月 后他们终于找到了一处不错的住房。现在,正如其他租房一代,林赛开 始疑惑他们是否有能力买房。

 

Renting has become the new normal for millions of people in the UK. Rising house prices and a lack of new homes for first-time buyers takes home ownership out of reach of millennials, particularly in the south east of England, where house prices have far outstripped salaries. Add in the burden of debt from student loans – the average debt for a graduate is £32,220 in England – and it’s easy to see why many think twice about taking on a mortgage.

租房已 然成为了英国数百万居民的新常态。千禧一 代面临人生中第一次买房,而节节 攀升的房价与有限的新房源,使得房 子成为了对他们而言遥不可及的东西。尤其是英国东南部,房价太高,工资水平难以满足买房需求。再考虑 到学生贷款的沉重负担——英国毕 业生的平均贷款是三万两千两百二十英镑——人们对 于按揭买房犹豫不决的原因显而易见。

outstrip:to be or become greater in amount, degree or success than something or someone (在数量、程度或成就上)超过,胜过

 

“We believe that renting should be as valid a choice as ownership,” says Dan Wilson Craw, interim director of campaign group GenerationRent.org. “But it’s not a choice. People want to escape a sector that is preventing them from finding a long-term home.

“我们相信,除了买房之外,租房也 是一种合理的选择,”丹·威尔森·克劳说道,他是租 房一代网站活动小组的临时负责人。“事实上 租房非他们所愿。人们倾 向于逃离那些买房难的地区,不得已才选择了租房。”

 

“People know a rented house is only a temporary home. Renters are less likely to feel like decorating, less inclined to take part in the local community and they feel as though they don’t really have a home.”

“所有人 都知道租来的房子只是暂时的落脚点。房客们 装修房子或是参与社区活动的意愿更低,这也是 为什么他们会觉得仿佛并没有拥有一个真正的家。”

 

So why is home ownership seen as better than renting? The roots of our obsession with owning houses sprang from the political upheavals of the 1920s, when the Conservatives faced the electoral threat of the new Labour party, according to Brian Lund, a visiting fellow at Manchester Metropolitan University and author of Housing Politics in the United Kingdom.

既然如此,为什么 人们还是认为买房比租房更好呢?归根结底,对买房 的迷之追捧发源于上世纪二十年代政治格局的变动。曼彻斯 特都会大学访问学者,以及《英国房权政治》一书作者布莱恩·隆德解释道,彼时工党刚刚成立,保守党面临竞选压力。

 

“The argument was that the working class now had the vote, and the way to attract them was through creating a property-owning democracy,” Lund says. “They pushed the idea that you’re a full member of the community when you own property. Renting – particularly council renting – is the contrast. That has entrenched owner-occupation as an ideology.”

“焦点在 于工薪阶层现在拥有了选举权,而想要 吸引他们的投票,就需要 建设一个属于房产拥有者的民主制。”隆德说道,“保守党 促使人们产生这样的观念:只有拥 有了自己的房产才能真正成为社会的一员。租房——尤其是廉租房——则意味着你是局外人。就这样,拥有自己的房产成了根深蒂固的主流观念。”

entrench: to establish something, especially an idea or a problem, firmly so that it cannot be changed 使处于牢固地位,使根深柢固,牢固确立(尤指观念、问题)

 

There are also practical, financial benefits for homeowners. Mortgage repayments are often lower than rent, and once the mortgage is paid off, the owner has a valuable asset. But that is part of the problem, Wilson Craw says.

于房主而言,此举也 能带来实际的经济收益。按揭买 房付的钱常常比租房要低,而且一旦房贷还完,房主就 能拥有一整栋房产。但这也 带来了一定的问题,威尔森·克劳补充道。

 

“We’ve seen the development of housing as a commodity to invest in, as opposed to somewhere to live. You see people investing their savings in buy-to-let property, raising house prices and creating a perception that property is a safe bet.”

“我们不 再把房屋看作人们居住的家园,而是看 作可以投资获利的商品。于是,随处可 见人们把积蓄投入房地产,为了出租而买房,炒高了房价,还带来 一股投资房地产稳赚不赔的风气。”

perception: a belief or opinion, often held by many people and based on how things seem 见解,观念,看法

 

Building more houses is the obvious solution, but the average annual rate of housebuilding is 144,000 – not enough to cool rising prices in housing hotspots. And tenants of private landlords still need protection.

建造更 多房子似乎是一个简单明了的解决措施,但年均 房屋建设量只有144000,尚不足 以使火爆的房地产市场冷却下来,无法抑制飞涨的房价。另一方面,租住在 私人房产的房客权利也需得到保护。

 

Wilson Craw says better safeguards for tenants would make them feel more secure. “Tenants who complain about their landlords know they will just be hit with a retaliatory eviction. They need more power in the rental market, so that landlords take their responsibilities seriously.”

威尔森·克劳表示,更好的 保护措施可以让房客更有安全感。“房客深 知如果他们抱怨房东,最终的结果只能是被报复性地赶走。在租房市场上,他们需 要更多的话语权,如此这 般房东才会严肃对待自己应当承担的责任。”

retaliatory: describes an action that is harmful to someone who has done something to harm you 报复的;回击的

 

If the twentysomethings of generation rent believe home ownership is impossible, will they abandon the idea altogether? Are other millennials opting for Lyndsey Yates’s dream of a freewheeling lifestyle?

如果二 十多岁的租房一代们认为买房是不可能的,那他们 会彻底放弃这个想法吗?其他的 千禧一代们也在选择像林赛那样自由自在的生活方式吗?

freewheeling: not limited by rules or accepted ways of doing things 随心所欲的,无拘无束的

 

Laura Meier has. The 24-year-old recruitment consultant left Munich earlier this year to take up an 18-month contract in London. She didn’t know anyone in the UK, and was worried about finding a house and making friends. The answer for her was co-living: renting a room in a converted Victorian house with a state-of-the-art kitchen, a laundry and shared workspace. Everything is included – cleaning, electricity, water, council tax and wifi – for a single price.

劳拉·麦耶正是如此。今年早些时候,24岁的劳 拉放弃了慕尼黑招聘顾问的职位,为一份18个月的 工作合同来到伦敦。在英国,她一个人也不认识,担心自 己既找不到住的地方也交不到朋友。最终她选择共享公寓:在一座 翻修过的维多利亚式房子里租了一个房间,配套的 还有设施先进的厨房、洗衣间和公用工作间。所有费 用一次性打包收取——保洁、水电、房屋税、wifi都囊括在内。

 

“I like that you can choose if you want to socialise or not,” she said. “If I feel lonely I can just go to the living room. You can always find someone.”

“我很喜欢现在这样,可以自 由选择要不要社交,”她说,“如果感到孤独,直接去客厅就好,那里总有人可以聊聊。”

 

Instead of tenants, the people who live in the house are members of a startup called Roam, which offers properties in Miami, San Francisco, Tokyo and Bali. They can live in any of the properties any time they like.

然而,这间房 子的其他房客并不是租住在这里,而是初创公司Roam的会员。这家公司在迈阿密、旧金山、东京、巴厘岛都有房产,会员可 以随时搬进其中任何一栋房子居住,只要他们喜欢。

 

“You get people who stay for months, like me, and some who stay for a few weeks and move on,” Laura says. “Most of them work from home, so they are self-employed or they have a job that it doesn’t matter where they are, like a software engineer.”

“有些人 像我一样待几个月,也有些 人只待几周就走,”劳拉说道,“其中大 多数人在家工作,所以他 们要不是自由职业者,要不就 是其职业对工作地点没有要求,例如软件工程师。”

 

Bruno Haid, the founder of Roam, believes that it could be possible to break the link between owning property for investment and for living. He is planning a global property fund for his members to invest in.

Roam公司的创始人布鲁诺·哈德坚 信刚需型住房和投资性住房总有一天会分离开来。他计划 设立一个全球房产基金,供会员投资。

 

“The idea is that you invest every month in a portfolio, and the dividends from that pay your rent,” he said. “At the start the dividends might not be so much, so you’d need to top up your rent. But after some time, you build a bigger stake in the fund, and the dividends cover all of your rent. So you have both your investment and flexibility. A bit like having your cake and eating it too.”

“我们的 想法是会员每月投资一笔钱在个人账户里,投资产 生的利息则用来支付房租,”他说道,“初始阶 段利息可能不会太多,所以还 需要支付一定的房租。但是一段时间以后,账户里 有了更多的本金,那时的 利息便足以涵盖全部的租金。所以既投资了房产,又同时具有灵活性,有点类 似于鱼和熊掌兼得。”

 

That might sound out of reach for many, but co-living has been catching on in London with properties available to rent at market rates. The Collective has a 550-bed block of “microflats” in Old Oak, west London, and has been adding properties to its portfolio. Other developers are joining the so-called “build-to-rent” movement, with 80,855 homes either completed or planned.

对许多 人来说这也许听上去像天方夜谭,但随着 房地产市场上也有了更多以市场价格出租的房源,共享公寓正在伦敦流行起来,。在伦敦 西部老橡树区的科乐迪夫公寓群共有550个单人间“微公寓”,并且还 在不断购入新的房产。其他开 发商也在投入这场租房建设运动,有80855个公寓 已经建成或计划要建。

catch on: If something catches on, it becomes popular. 流行

 

Stuart Scott, a Brighton landlord who embraced the trend a few years ago, now has six properties within his Co-living Spaces business. “Actually it can be cheaper for some people. A one-bed flat in this area is about £1,000 per month plus bills, whereas a room in a co-living unit can cost from £550 to £800, with all bills included.”

斯图尔特·斯科特 是布莱顿的一位房东,几年前 就赶上了这股潮流,现在他 共享公寓的生意已然包括六处房产。“事实上 对某些人来说这样会更划算。房租加各类其他费用,在这一 片租一个单人间每月大约要1000磅。然而合 租公寓里的一个单间,算上其他费用,也只要550磅到800磅不等。”

 

Scott insists that his tenants are customers. “These are young professionals and they want somewhere they can be proud to live in. It’s about providing good customer service.”

斯科特强调,他的房客都是顾客。“这些年 轻人都是各行各业的精英。他们想 要的是一个能为之感到自豪的家。我理当 为他们提供良好的客户服务。”