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To cringe at the British mentality on the property market?

(209 Posts)
GinDaddyRedux Thu 14-May-20 05:36:18

N.B full disclosure I am British, and a homeowner. before anyone questions!

I've read a number of articles online, and a number of posts on here, about the property market after easing of the COVID-19 lockdown. Some of them talking about a drop of 7%, some of 20%. Goodness only knows what's accurate here.

This wasn't the thing that grated on me though. It was the bitter, nasty comments on one newspaper that "young first time buyers are insulting if they offer 10% below asking. They're usually the sort who can't manage money anyway." Or "just because you ask for a discount doesn't mean you're going to get one! Greedy! I worked hard for my investment!!" etc. One even went as far to say "never, ever lower your price for anyone. People who ask are taking the piss."

AIBU to feel the whole mentality around housing is what is so wrong here?

The belief that house prices must, and should, inexorably rise no matter what the economic or social circumstances of the UK, just because millions of Brits have ties themselves up in that dream and want a slice of it?

Surely where we should be is a situation whereby if you need to move, you move. Obviously if you can ride out a crisis like this and have the space, great. But a house is a dwelling first, an investment second as far as I see it.

Therefore if first time buyers want to buy something this year, and make an offer that reflects their reality, why is it insulting or cheeky? Estate agents are legally obliged to put them forward. So. Why the "emotion" as if they are robbing someone's pension pot?

It's because I firmly believe too many people have tied up some of their hopes and self worth in housing. It's "insulting" and "cheeky" for someone to offer lower than asking price, yet we don't think twice about haggling the sticker price on a new car. Granted, a new vehicle isn't imbued with years of memories. Yet there are people who treat it like a personal insult.

AIBU to think some people need to accept they won't get the heady sale prices of 2016/2017, if you need to sell, you just sell. No one is being "cheeky" by asking to buy it at a price they consider reasonable.

OP’s posts: |
MrsTerryPratchett Thu 14-May-20 05:39:36

It's a shitty Ponzi scheme based on a necessity. No wonder people are bitter.

longtimecomin Thu 14-May-20 05:49:50

The fact is, houses will come up on the market because people have lost their jobs and subsequently their homes. Therefore some properties will be cheaper, others can hold out as long as they want, that's up to them if they can afford to. We've always been able to put in cheeky bids, not just because the market is turning.

Flipflopflapflip Thu 14-May-20 05:50:38

I’m at the low end of the housing market with a first time buyer type of house to sell. I would be more than happy to accept a lower offer providing the house I am buying similarly did the same. I hate all the emotive language around it though such as ‘cheeky offer’ etc. Just offer what you think it’s worth and I’ll say yes or drama required!

Reginabambina Thu 14-May-20 05:52:47

YANBU but it comes from a place of financial illiteracy. If someone is too ignorant to invest their money properly and instead puts it into property this way it’s not surprising that they’re going to get nasty and greedy about it. It must be quite scary to have no clue, scared people often get emotional in a bad way.

CocoCorona Thu 14-May-20 05:54:53

We might be in a position to buy in September. I’ll try my best to get a good deal, so I don’t really give a shit if someone gets offended.

As far as I’m concerned, if people are worried about their pension pot, they should’ve sold their house when prices were sky high, got a good deal and downsized.

When I buy a house, it’ll be a secure roof over our heads; not an investment.

RhymesWithOrange Thu 14-May-20 06:00:18

A significant drop in house prices will affect the most financially vulnerable home owners the most, those with high LTVs, putting them into negative equity.

It won't necessarily help FTBs as developers will wait until prices recover to build, reducing supply. Others will delay moving/down sizing further restricting supply.

House prices are affected by supply and the availability/cost of credit. The latter is uncertain. Mortgages will be cheap but if the economy tanks so will earnings.

rosie1959 Thu 14-May-20 06:03:22

People have always put in lower offers this is nothing new

Llig Thu 14-May-20 06:05:19

Full disclosure - I'm an estate agent. Booooo.

I live and work on the North-East. The prices here haven't hit the scaling heights of other areas of the country, so I base my experience on what I know.

You will always get people making offers, it's been so bred into us that 'estate agents add a bit on to take off'. You know what, sometimes that's true! But a house is only worth what someone will pay. Now what you may pay could be significantly higher or lower than what I would choose to pay. Not just out of 'wanting a bargain', but the house may not have as many boxes ticked for one person to the next.

No one will ever stop the ability to put lower offers in, as there are always agents out there who will over-inflate an asking price just to get you on the market.

Pleasebeafleabite Thu 14-May-20 06:08:58

I think a lot of invitation comes because ridiculously low offers just waste everybody’s time. I don’t want to go to all the effort of showing you my property if you’re not in a position to make a realistic offer.

Pleasebeafleabite Thu 14-May-20 06:09:16


FourPlasticRings Thu 14-May-20 06:09:35

Well, it sort of goes against the culture. We don't really barter here for most things- we pay the price on the ticket 99% of the time. Offering vastly below that may be perceived as cheeky by some, but bartering is expected in property buying and actually I don't think people in general mind. Beware of reading a few comments in a couple of newspapers and deciding you've identified the mentality of an entire nation.

Aclh13 Thu 14-May-20 06:12:34

My plan with life is to travel continously with my degree once I'm finished, eventually buy a small house for investment to rent out. To blog my travels ie cruises theme parks unusual trips whilst I travel ect. Maybe eventually own a motor home or a riverboat. No children or one at 35 o

GinDaddyRedux Thu 14-May-20 06:13:12


I didn't just read a few comments and draw entire inference. They were an illustration.

This is a mentality I've seen for decades now.

OP’s posts: |
croprotationinthe13thcentury Thu 14-May-20 06:13:16

If you don’t insult the seller, you have gone in too high!
Actually, I expect prices to tank everywhere apart from central London. There, prices will keep going up. Good quality real estate as well as gold are seen as a safe haven right now fue to the upcoming depression.

EdwinaMay Thu 14-May-20 06:19:33

We moved from an area with no price rise to the home counties in 1990 - despite house rises of 30-40-50% over the previous few years, sellers were bleating about a drop back of 10%.
People are just greedy.

But there is no interest in savings at the mo. Property might seem a good buy and keep the price up.

EdwinaMay Thu 14-May-20 06:19:59

interest on savings

GinDaddyRedux Thu 14-May-20 06:23:34


There is no interest on savings at the moment (and hasn't been much for years) precisely because of hears of low interest rates to prop up this property bubble and keep voters feeling wealthy. There are other mechanisms and investments to gain wealth, but you wouldn't know it in this country where we are preternaturally obsessed with housing as the sole form of "wealth creation".

OP’s posts: |
CockCarousel Thu 14-May-20 06:46:53

I haven't given it much thought tbh, but I'm lucky enough to be mortgage-free.

Are you planning on making some "cheeky" offers yourself GinDaddy? Never let a good crisis go to waste etcetera etcetera.

KeepWashingThoseHands Thu 14-May-20 07:04:10

Basic economics of supply/demand and market forces. Something is worth what someone is willing to pay for it which is hugely variable. Some homeowners don't need to drop the price and some buyers have sufficient funds. Then there's the opposite. In my area the industry is probably one of the least affected and there's a shortage of housing. I can't see prices dropping much. Near my parents - very different story.

IntolerableCruelty Thu 14-May-20 07:13:55

I've always considered our house is a home and nothing more. I've never made a single decision (apart from the original purchase) based on its value, always made decisions re decorations and alterations based on how we want to live, rather than any potential gains (or losses)

I do think home ownership is a sensible financial decision, if you can, because of the security of "tenure" and the fact that rents go up every year, whereas mortgage costs (usually) reduce, in real terms over time and will eventually go to nil, but the value of my home is irrelevant to me.

Magic2020 Thu 14-May-20 07:14:28

We'll be both buying and selling, but tbh I don't mind low offers. I'll just turn them down if they're too low. I certainly won't be cross with someone if they make them (unless they make them just before exchange, in which case I'll dump their ass!).

Magic2020 Thu 14-May-20 07:17:15

Without decent controls on rent and landlords, home ownership is the best way to go with a family. A lot of Europe prefers renting, but it's set up to be more secure there than it is in the UK.

dontdisturbmenow Thu 14-May-20 07:18:29

It really depends. I put my house on the market years ago. It was a very sought after house in a very good neighbourhood but it need some modernisation. As such, I agreed to put the asking price £20k below market value.

Got one offer at asking price. Next day, they asked for £10k less due to renovations. I said no, this had already been considered in the price. They agreed. Then they said they need to do a second survey after their first one. Thought that was odd but agreed. They came back a few days later, said survey had shown some things the other added and asked to lower asking price by £15k.

Asked for a copy, this didn't come until I threatened to put back on market. Said survey was actually a quote for the renovation work, at a cost lower than what I had marked it down in the first place. I said no.

They agreed, it proceeded, until just before exchange and they claimed the bank refused to loan due to survey and again tried to lower by £10k. Again, asked for survey, again had to threaten to pull out, turned out they it shared the potential rental value. Turned out they wanted to buy to rent to their son and Dil. Seeing the potential, it made me reconsider renting rather than selling. At this point I had enough of all the messing about and pulled out. Best decision ever made, first to stand up to that horrible person, and two because indeed, it has turned out to be a great investment.

So really it goes both ways, some people are really trying it on in a bullying way using people's desperate need to sale and pushing them to the limit to get an unreasonable cut.

Maybe these are the ones being referred to.

leasedaudi Thu 14-May-20 07:18:53

@A@aclh13 really?

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