Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Why do estate agents hate looking out of the window in the morning?‏

Asks our columnist AyeRight. And the response is:

'Because they then have nothing to do in the afternoon!

I’m not sure if solicitors and property agents have window dressers, but if they do they must be fearing for their jobs as the whole property market has iced over with a deep and long lasting economic frost. Houses are not just not selling, values are dropping, and even if you could get a mortgage most financial advisors would not be pointing you to the property market for investment.As a nation we are guilty of having made property a commodity rather than valuing it for what it really is, a roof over our heads and a place to live. The only winner of high property prices is the banks who we pay interest to in order to purchase our home.In the US many lending institutions have suffered from ‘walk aways’, in effect people with home loans who handed their keys in unable to meet the repayments. Unlike their counterparts in the UK, walk aways face little if any financial penalties in many states, and are not pursued by the lender, leaving an increasing portfolio of properties that can only be sold at a huge a huge loss (If at all) exacerbating the current economic frost.Disregarding the frost for a moment (Economic market of dreams?) property prices are too high. One property agent gives the average cost of a mortgage against the property price. In Nairn the current cheapest flat available is £579.00 per month. If you are a single person on the minimum wage, aged over 22, £579.00 is going to be more than your monthly take home pay (37.5 hour week). Buy the property with a fellow minimum wage earner and you are going to have to live on less than a £140.00 a week post your mortgage payment, and interest rates are low at the moment.Shared ownership is an option for some, but like everything else you pay more money for just about everything if you are poor.The big property price rise in Nairn has been over the past ten years. Anyone who has bought in that time will not thank me for suggesting it would be preferable for the price of property to at least half, but if you want to sell your property we need folks stepping on the bottom rung of the property ladder, and even when they can get mortgages they need to be able to afford to buy.I hope the frost thaws soon.'

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I think estate agents have to take some of the blame as they set the prices (and benefit from higher commissions). I know we and the banks were gullible enough to pay the high prices but who told us how much our house was worth when we sold it?