The outlook for the UK housing market has darkened again. The usually optimistic bunch of property market watchers polled by Reuters, who have tended to predict ever-rising property prices no matter what the season or financial climate, now say the market will move sideways for the next two years.
MacroScope is pleased to post the following from guest blogger Simon Ward. Simon is chief economist of Henderson Global Investors in London and previously worked for New Star Asset Management and Lombard Street Research. His own blog is Money Moves Markets.
There was more gloomy news for the housing market today as property website Rightmove announced that asking prices for houses in England and Wales were 9 percent lower than a year ago. New listings meanwhile were 57 percent lower than March 2008. The average asking price actually increased by 0.9 percent between February and March this year, but Rightmove warned that this was caused by new sellers being unrealistic about how much their homes are worth.
It’s every houseowner’s worst nightmare – and it’s official now: more than a million households could fall into negative equity if the housing slump continues, the Bank of England said today.
You know exactly what the population of Iceland is and can also pronounce the name of its prime minister.
Even the word ‘crisis’ seems to have lost its currency.
Countries pop up for sale on eBay for 99p and get few offers.
Posters on BBC messageboards stop discussing the undulating pitch of Robert Peston’s voice and listen to what he’s actually saying.
The speech bubble on Page 3 of the Sun is given over to discussing the credit crisis.
Financial market updates displace stories about Jade Goody on the tabloid front pages.
Bad news stories from government departments are rushed out day after day and not even the Opposition seems to notice.
Estate agents finally admit house prices have fallen but tell you now is a really great time to buy because the market is stabilising.
People marketing get-rich-quick property seminars don’t get taken seriously any more.
The Chancellor, writing in the Financial Times, says that “now, more than ever, we need new ideas”.
Your primary school-aged children know that credit crunch is not a type of biscuit and that IMF isn’t just a fictional organisation in Mission Impossible.
You go for a while without noticing one estate agent’s mini and then you see a whole bunch of them on the back of a car transporter.
A pensioner on the evening tube train from Canary Wharf gives up her seat to a banker because she reckons he might need it.
The Ivy rings to ask if you’d like a table tonight or any night.
There are no spare trolleys when you turn up at Aldi to do your weekly shop.
Do you have any better suggestions? All contributions welcome – please send in your selection.