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Tonight programme - angry!!

19 replies

Skate · 08/10/2004 20:38

Oooh, is anyone else getting really p*ed off with all the media 'hype' about the crashing housing market??? It's the bloody doom and gloom from this lot and their newspaper counterparts that are scaring the pants off people!!

I know interest rates have gone up but they are still, by historical standards, extremely low.

I'm trying to sell my house, have somewhere to go and am getting really quite annoyed with it all!!

At the same time, I just don't understand how interest rates have that much effect. For example, if someone could previousy afford 300k and can now only afford 280k, then surely this isn't a problem for the 300k seller, because the people that could prev afford 320k can now only afford 300k. Or am I being too simplistic (suspect I might be!).

The other thing I don't get is that round here there are tons of houses on the market - therefore if all these people are trying sell, then presumably they are also trying to buy!?!? So where are they all going - COS IT AIN'T TO MY HOUSE!!!

OP posts:

bonniej · 08/10/2004 20:45

I've just watched this too as my house is on the market. I've had three offers that have fallen through and have just changed agents. I was expecting a little rush of viewers as you get with a new agent but have had none. I don't see any house prices falling in my area and don't intend to drop mine. You are right Skate these programmes are doing nothing to help the situation. I feel like giving up, I am sick of having a for sale sign stuck outside for months


Skate · 08/10/2004 20:51

Hmm, I'm thinking we might take ours off the market around endish of Nov and put back on with new agent in Jan as chances of getting a buyer over Xmas are slim.

Don't know what good it would do but I hate feeling so helpless - I have to try everything!! There's nothing I can do to the house to make it any nicer really.

There are still 'sold' signs going up round here so it can't have crashed completely can it?!

OP posts:

Mosschops30 · 08/10/2004 20:53

Message withdrawn


bonniej · 08/10/2004 20:58

Skate, I know the feeling. We have thought of pulling out until after Xmas and have tried everything to make our house inviting. I have spent a fortune on hanging baskets, to no avail


Skate · 10/10/2004 13:45

BonnieJ - I had a bloody whole new bathroom fitted and so far to no avail!!!

OP posts:

SenoraPostrophe · 10/10/2004 14:17

Well I don't own a house (because I can't bloody afford one), and I have lots of opinions on this topic.

Skate - rising interest rates do cause a problem for people selling because it makes people less motivated to "climb the ladder". You get less for the extra money you'll be paying, IYSWIM - I might be persuaded that it's worth paying £x extra every month for a £300k house, but not a £280k one (theoretically. In reality I can afford neither). And rising interest rates are a particular problem for first time buyers, who may find themselves unable to afford anything. If people aren't buying "starter" homes, then people who own "starter" homes can't buy bigger houses, etc.

And no, just because there are lots of houses on the market does not mean there are lots of people looking to buy. And that's the problem, frankly. When the housing market rises, lots of people invest in houses. And now they're all selling because it looks like they might only get 80 grand they didn't earn, instead of 100 grand. The poor loves.

Government should have doen something about it a long time ago. To stabilise the housing market we need:

  • tax incentives for landlords to give long term rental contracts (rather than 6 month/1 year ones).

  • some serious tax disincentives to investment in property for investment's sake. Maybe double council tax on empty houses and higher capital gains. allowances should be made for property developers who do up uninhabitable houses (not those who just prettify the kitchen to get a higher price on the sale) and houses that are only temporarily empty.

    And probably some other things too. In essence: tax the arse off the speculators, the greedy, anti-social bastards.

    There's a similar situation in Spain. Apparently over 30% of new houses are empty because the builders can't seem to get the Euro signs out of their eyes - it'll end in tears.

    That's my rant for the day anyway.

Skate · 10/10/2004 14:47

When you say that people are selling because they are only going to get 80K instead of 100K presumably you are talking about people who just bought to make money only. I'm trying to sell because I want to move house!! I want to move to a different area and to a bigger house so it's nothing to do with 'making' or 'losing' money'. I think that most of the houses round here are family houses that people are moving out of - I don't think they are empty houses that someone bought just to make a packet.

Not sure how you can double council tax on empty houses to penalise those buying to invest either. Most of these people probably buy a house and either rent it out or live in it a while before selling on - I can't see many people just buying it, leaving it empty, then selling it. Even so, if someone can afford to do it then who is to stop them?

I see your point re interest rates though I personally would not be put off because they are still low in historical terms and unlikely to reach the percentages seen in the 80's. I see how first time buyers might suffer but the first time buyer market ISN'T suffering - at least not round here. These properties are still being snapped up. I guess this is where you are right - they may well have been investment properties so the people selling them are not buying at the next 'rung of the ladder'.

OP posts:

SenoraPostrophe · 10/10/2004 15:02

skate - yes - the "they" in that sentence refers to the people who have invested in houses (as opposed to people who bought them to live in).

As for "if they can afford it, who's to stop them? " - that's the whole point really. We shouldn't be stopping people from leaving houses empty, but we should be discouraging it. Lts of houses are left empty - either because they are second homes or because the rental market isn't good in an area. Can't find the stats now, but I remember thinking "blimey that's high" when I did see them. Empty houses decrease supply and artificially push prices up, which in turn makes a collapse in the housing market more likely.

Also you may surprised at the sort of houses that are bought as an investement. Plenty of people buy, rent for a couple of years and then sell - this should also be discouraged (apart from anything else because it's a nightmare for tennants). I have been forced to move house three times because the landlord either wanted to sell, or wanted to put the rent up by a ridiculous figure - and they can put the rent up by as much as they like after a short term contract has run out. It was one of the reasons we moed to Spain.

Finally the fact that interest rates are historically low is irrelevant to first time buyers because house prices are at a historical high - I haven't worked it out, but I imagine the % of your salary you'd have to pay for a small house you have to pay now is the same or higher than it was in the 80's - that's the bottom line.


SenoraPostrophe · 10/10/2004 15:04

Anyway, sorry, I got carried away with ranting.

I do have sympathy for you. It must be a complete pain not being able to move when you want to. At least as a tennant I can do that (it's just I also have to move when I don't want to sometimes.)


Caligula · 10/10/2004 15:06

Senorapostrophe, I think the single biggest thing the government could do to stabilise house prices, is to do what they said they were going to do before the 1997 election, and build more social housing. I don't know to what extent they ever kept that promise.

The existence of widely available social housing means that enough housing is available for everyone who wants it so that house prices are kept lower for all those who don't need social housing.


Caligula · 10/10/2004 15:08

Oh, and up until the 1960s, it was estimated that you needed about 25% of one person's income to pay for housing costs. You now need in some cases over 50% of two people's incomes.


SenoraPostrophe · 10/10/2004 15:12

Caligula - yes, but if "social housing" is for anyone who wants a house in an area but cannot afford the local rent/house prices, you are talking about millions of homes.

Like I say, we left Brighton because we couldn't afford the rent on a 2 bed flat even though dp was at the time earning shedloads and I have a half-decent job too.

You are right though - presumably as more social housing became available, prices and rents would stop rising so fast/come down. But I still think that the numbers of homes involved would be more than is practical.


Skate · 10/10/2004 15:23

SP - I think Brighton is an area that's notorious for house prices going up ridiculously isn't it?

Yes, I wish we'd sold earlier in the year and moved into rented so that we could move when we were ready - This is just unbelievably stressful having noone view. Particularly when there is nothing else I can do - we are in a very desirable area, the house is pretty much done inside... Houses are still selling here so maybe it's just a matter of time.

OP posts:

pixel · 10/10/2004 23:59

Councils complain they don't have enough social housing stock and can't afford to build any more but then sell houses at less than market price to the tenants. I've never worked out the logic.


nightowl · 11/10/2004 00:24

but they can afford to modernise council houses in the worst areas so the tenants will have "pride in their properties and look after them better" er no...they will just trash them like they usually do and people like me will have to make do with shitty unmodernised properties in the meantime. sorry completely off topic!!!! ranting all over mumsnet tonight


nightowl · 11/10/2004 00:26

oh and i didnt mean all people in bad areas trash their houses before i get jumped on you know the kind of people i mean.


Tortington · 11/10/2004 02:31

no nightowl. its a gerneralisation which isnt helpful. i know you dont mean to offend but i find it offensive. i live in a housing association house which hasnt been modernised for over 20 years at he very least. the housing corporation minimum standards are very very low. you will actually find that where modernisation has taken place its because housing associations can raise the funds that councils were never allowed to raise because of govt bearurocracy - in cases whre the transfer of stock has taken place - and its usually a condition of contract to modernise properties which literally have no heating and windows falling out in real cases i know.

i find all to often the lumping of "council" "chavs" "single mums" with a - not you...but you know who i mean attached doesnt make it right. its like saying "i dont like black people but your ok" "its the fault of the single mum society... but not you - i know your husband was a shit - so it doesnt apply"
i work with people off estates every day - i live with them everynight. on an estate of 300 properties IME the "bad apples" who spoil it for everyone are a long way in the minority, and are not contained to council or housing association property. on my street there is not one person i do not know who doesnt work. the stereotypes dont work. many poeple on the estates i deal with are policemen, nurses, teachers, caretakers, social workers, midwives other professionals who cant afford to buy.


nightowl · 11/10/2004 03:35

no, no, no, custardo. i am a single mum with two children of different fathers. i am currently on benefits (after being made redundant) and i live in a council house. which is why anyone who knows me in rl or on here will know i dont look down on anyone who lives like i do. in fact, im usually jumping right in to defend people so please dont think for one minute i was being offensive. i was referring to the kind of people who make council houses unhabitable for those of us who are unfortunate enough to be the next tenant and have to work ourselves into the ground to make a nice home for ourselves when the council will not help us. i have seen around this area, newly modernised homes completely ruined by tenants that just dont care and it makes me sad that those of us who would take genuine care of our houses dont always get that choice. (my house is unmodernised too and it has been a nightmare even getting simple repairs done) if i am generalising then i must be generalising myself too. i hope that clears it up a bit and apologies again to everyone for completely going off topic.


nightowl · 11/10/2004 03:46

looking at the start of my post, it could be misconstrued as being patronising. it wasnt meant to be...the abundance of "no" was in frustration at offending someone (which as far as i am aware i havent done before).

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