By the pricks who trade in slums: something wicked this way comes

Two days ago I read that mortgage approvals had dropped in absolute terms by 12.5% in December 2006. Today it’s announced that home repossessions surged in 2006.

In between those two news items, I received a surprise letter from Allen & Harris (like a fool I’m on their mailing list) with a big bold sans-serif title at the top of it saying:

Surprise New Year interest rate rise won’t dampen buoyant start to 2007 housing market

I can’t tell from the content below—statistics as random as the two that have bookended it, tied up with comforting PR-speak that sounds like it’s been written by a machine—whether or not this is just wishful thinking. But it’s awfully funny timing. And who gets a genial, cheery letter from estate agents? It’s like having one of those horsey women from the Cotswolds knocking on your door and offering to sharpen your knives: your first worry is “which poor person is she going to use this on?”

Anyone else smell something in the air? I mean, apart from the stink of death emanating from Downing Street.

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2 Responses to By the pricks who trade in slums: something wicked this way comes

  1. HTFB says:

    It’s specious, meretricious propaganda, as you’d expect.

    Owning your home has its own value, but buy-to-let housing is so expensive in Oxon that it makes no sense to own it unless you expect it to get even more expensive: a landlord buying now couldn’t possibly cover his costs with the rent.

    What you smell in the air is a greasy bubble, and this puff from the estate agents—they drop through my door too, and I’m on nobody’s list—is directed to keeping it in the air a little longer.

    (If I knew just when it would burst, of course, I could be a rich man. Repossessions are at a trivial level even now, for example. I’ve been prophesying against house prices for five years now…)

  2. Socks says:

    I looked in the window of our local Allan and Harris on the way back from the Coop last night. They’ve got about 3 UK properties for sale. The rest of their window is taken up with holiday home abroad properties and what look like adverts for houses, but in small print have “we sold this in 2006 – looking for similar” written on them.

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