Once upon a time in the post-war era an entire family could live and pay their mortgage on a husband's salary - which was just as well since the wife was expected to leave work the moment she married and the husband also expected and wished to support his wife to stay at home and iron his newspapers/children - it being a pride thing.
This state of affairs endured until the early 1970s when feminism came along.
A good concept in many respects as chaps had definitely had it all their own way for far too long, an unexpected side-effect of greater female earning power was a sudden lurch upwards in house prices.
With the countrys' women taking to the workplace in their droves, more and more families started to benefit from the additional income to enjoy their first wondrous luxuries such as their own family car on the driveway and straw donkeys on the mantelpiece from their first package foreign holidays to Benidorm.
However someone somewhere noticed all this going on and thought, hmm, we'll soon put a stop to this extra income lark!
Suddenly houses began to shoot up in price until within a decade it became necessary for not one, but two, full-time salaries coming into a household to cover most mortgages.
Since then things have gone from bad to worse and however much a woman may want to stay at home to raise children, unless her husband/partner is wealthy these days, she will often have no choice but to return to work full-time, often without even the luxury of being able to remain at home until her youngsters start school (and feminism was supposed to be about having a choice of choices, right?).
But house prices didn't stop there. Oh no! People started finding they were being priced out of property altogether, particularly in certain areas of the country. For a while ingenious 100% + mortgages, terrifying 'interest-only' mortgages and cheap loans papered over the cracks by offering first-time buyers the chance of an unsustainable-if-rates-ever-rose home ownership opportunity.
However at least it was an opportunity and many grabbed it, even going so far as to tell whoppers on income self-disclosure forms to secure ever more perilous piles of finance to afford their 'house of cards'
Increasing numbers are today facing repossession or having to radically-downsize in a sinking market now that rates have shot up and the fixed-rate mortgage bonanza is coming to an end. Meantime the banks responsible for the credit crunch through their short-term speculating/reckless lending to the feckless/feck'd continue to award their CEO's obscene annual bonuses, rather than the Order of the Boot for their gross failure, and penalise the poor householder through increasing interest rates on the one hand while that same poor householder is bailing those selfsame banks out through the Government raiding their taxes to prop up them up on the other, thereby hammering the poor householder twice over.
But w***er banks aside, if we are to return to the sensible days of a sustainable 3 and a half x salary calculation for a mortgage and most houses are still around £200k, I calculate I will need at least 2.5 similarly income-endowed husbands to afford a modest two up, two down in a reasonable area of Oxford - 3.5 if they want a bigger house with a room each! Hence I might just have to opt for blogmate Mrs G's unthinkable solution! As for children, I might just be able to afford to rent a couple at weekends tho' they'd have to get a Saturday job once they hit 5 years old.
To be reduced to polygamy though - what is our government thinking of? ;-)
On a more serious note, 70% of UK citizens not yet on the property ladder are now 'poopers' (priced out of property) - ie; earning too much to qualify for social housing, but not enough to acquire a mortgage. As a co-operatively minded individual who believes in citizens getting together to fight back against an overly-greedy system I have joined my local Community Land Trust, who seek to provide a community-led solution to genuinely affordable housing.