Battle lines drawn

The market is open and working – for a few months over the 2009/2009 winter, the market came close to collapse. When there is no trade, there are no prices and when you can’t price, you can’t trade.

But the few deals that were being put together were sufficiently efficient to process the correction that the housing market in the UK needed.

Now the battle lines are drawn. Everybody has got to accept (have accepted) that the market has plummeted by at least 30%. And if you want to trade, you have got to be realistic.

The boot may be on the buyers’ foot but it doesn’t have the sharp, steel toe cap that it did over the winter. We told many to buy. Those deals that we stitched together were superb – from a buyer’s point-of-view – 35-50% plus off peak price.

The questions, in my mind, now are:

a) when’s the next financial bomb going to go off?
b) how bad will it be?
c) what’s going to happen to the economy?

The trouble is the market is still very thin. And thin means very fragile, so it is necessary to plan for further financial system wobbles and a recession of some length. As a buyer, that means being ready to buy when there is a confidence knock, but remembering that you can drill into price at any time.

You have to ask yourself:

i) why do I want to move?
ii) what am I investing for?

There are very good reasons to do both, whatever might happen.

  • Property remains the soundest asset class on the planet.
  • If you are moving house from one to another, there are bargains to be bought and the differential in peak to current price is matched through the transaction.
  • Property is 35% cheaper than two years ago.
  • A home is more than just a speculative tool!

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