Why online estate agents aren’t worth it

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Imagine you’re buying a house, you see an ideal place on a leading property portal and then make an appointment to view with the estate agent.

If you’re dealing with one of the 10,500 or so members of the National Association of Estate Agents then the chances are you’ll speak to a real person in a real office who’s knows the vendor and has a personal stake in getting the property seen by as many people as possible. If you don’t, well, you’ll take your chances… Continue reading

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UK Budget: poor finance, good politics

It was hard, driving on the Swiss motorway to work, to avoid shouting at the radio during the morning-after coverage on the BBC of the UK Budget.

So Chancellor George Osborne is going to pump prime the economy by stimulating the housing market. Is it really the government’s job to fund billions of pounds’ worth of mortgages, helping tens of thousands get into an already inflated and under supplied housing market?   Continue reading

Housing data and the illusion of recovery

That great barometer of UK consumer confidence, house prices, seems to be moving up. A glance at some of the British tabloids today shows that the combination of a very slight rise in house prices and a fourth consecutive monthly rise  in the number of people managing to buy their own home is front page news.

Why so?

Housing data has long been seen as a bellwether for economic confidence. Continue reading