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andrew_uk

Proposed Febuary Press Release

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Hi All,

Below is the proposed Febuary Press Release. The views of everyone who replied to the previous topic (Febuary Press Release - Comments Invited) have been incorporated. It will be released within days but this is a chance for all members to air there views if they feel it could be improved.

What can you do in a falling market?

Ignore the spin, prices are falling.

While vested interests use the black art of "seasonal adjustment to produce" house price statistics which show a stable or even rising market there is one group that has clearly stated that house prices fell.

The land registry figures, from the only body that does not make money from rising prices, have shown that house prices fell between October and December last year by 2.7%, with London falling 3.7%.

These figures are based on completions. They represent sales agreed last summer when prices traditionally rise, not fall.

Looking towards more recent figures, Rightmove.co.uk - a company 29% owned by Countrywide, the UK's largest estate agent - has stated that prices have fallen in five out of the last six months.

Perhaps Countrywide needs to tighten its leash.

Our forum members still expect an average 30% reduction in prices over the next three years. But with a growing number of prominent experts forecasting this or even larger falls we may have underestimated the drop.

The only hope for a recovery in prices was an increase in sales but instead they are falling. Sales last quarter were down by 22% in the 100-150K range and down 40% for properties below 100K.

Buyers are increasingly worried about buying at the top of the market and with the massive range of available rented property seem to have taken a wait and see approach.

As the fall in prices gains momentum, will these people buy into a falling market?

The chance of a quick sale has now passed for many and we recommend that anyone who bought in the last two years should seriously consider reducing there debt levels and focus on reducing their mortgage.

The recent offer of a 130% mortgage - a mortgage that instantly puts the owner into negative equity - shows lenders are more interested in their profits than the welfare of their customers.

But don't take our word for it. Look around. Talk to colleagues and friends who are trying to sell, Look at the special offers on new developments and count the number of 'to let' and 'for sale' signs. Then ask: if everything is so rosy, why are estate agents shedding staff. Then think, what should you do in a falling market?

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Paragraph 1 ......tighten their leash...

Paragraph 4 ....reducing their mortgages...

....interested in their profits than the welfare of their customers.

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Hi Andrew,

Great draft.

After all the flak I've had for suggesting grammatical changes I hardly dare mention this, but may I suggest changes which will make this piece take on a bit more clout: Suggested changes are in bold, replacing the italicised words. I've also corrected punctuation and inserted/edited words that are needed or are superfluous. Hope this helps. Please compare with the original. EDIT: I've added edits since first editing!!

Kind Regards.

VacantPossession

What can you do in a falling market?

Ignore the spin, prices are falling. Whilst While vested interests publish house price statistics that which show a stable or even rising market, there is one group that has clearly stated that house prices fell. The Land Registry figures , (leave "figures" out, it does not make sense), the only body that does not make money from rising prices, have has reported that House prices fell between October and December last year by 2.7%, with London falling 3.7%.

These figures are based on completions, not offers, and represent sales that would have been agreed last summer, a time when prices traditionally rise, not fall. Looking towards more recent figures Rightmove.co.uk, a company 29% owned by Countrywide, the UK's largest estate agent, has stated that prices have fallen in 5 out of the last 6 months. Perhaps Countrywide needs to tighten there its leash.

Our forum members still expect an average of 30% reduction in prices over the next three years. But with a growing number of prominent experts forecasting this, or even larger falls, we might have underestimated the drop.

The only hope for a recovery in prices was would be an increase in sales but instead in fact they are falling. Sales last quarter were down by 22% in the 100-150K range and down 40% for properties below 100K. Buyers are increasingly worried about buying at the top of the market, and with the massive range of available rented property, seem to have taken a "wait-and-see" approach. As the fall in prices gains momentum, will these buyers want to get into risk being victims to a falling market?

The chance of a quick sale has now passing passed and we recommend that anyone who bought in the last two years to should seriously consider reducing there their debt levels and focusing focus on reducing there their mortgage. The recent offer of (a) 130% mortgages, a mortgage that which instantly put the owner potential buyers into negative equity, shows that lenders are more interested in there their profits then than the welfare of there their customers.

But don't take our word for it. Look around. Talk to colleagues and friends who are trying to sell. Look at the special offers on new developments and count the number of 'to let' and 'for sales' signs. Then wonder if everything is so rosy, why are estate agents shedding staff? Then think, what should you do in a falling market?

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"These figures are based on completions, They represent sales would've been agreed last summer when prices traditionally rise not fall."

Therefore next set of figures are bound to be worse as they represent sales agreed Oct-Dec last year.

I think there should be a BIG EMPHASIS on the the change in interest rate sentiment, futures market is now pricing in a rise in the next 2 months, but wait for CPI figure tomorrow and BoE inflation report on wednesday because it could get even worse (or better if your a bear).

Oh and a big drop in BTL lending, apparently its on the front page of tomorrows FT.

Other than that everything else in there is spot on.

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Hi Vacant,

Thanks a lot for your input. My grammar was never perfect. I've modified it with all proposed changes except the change of tense concerning the recovery in price in paragraph 4.

'I told you so' noted about CPI/inflation report and will be considered but trying to hone this press release, I'm trying to avoid making it too long.

Still waiting to see if contifeur has an opinion.... he blasted the previous press release but did have a lot of good points.

Cheers,

Andrew

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Can I fix the grammar and punctuation? I.e. the w@nky things. Breaking up the paragraphs makes it punchier.

What can you do in a falling market?

Ignore the spin, prices are falling. (new paragraph)

Whilst vested interests (Insert: use the black art of "seasonal adjustment to produce" publish (delete "publish") house price statistics that show a stable or even rising market there is one group that has clearly stated that house prices fell.(new paragraph)

The land registry figures, (from) the only body that does not make money from rising prices (comma) have reported (substitute "reported" with "shown" as figures can't report, only the people producing the figures can) that House (no need for capital H) prices fell between October and December last year by 2.7% (comma) with London falling 3.7%. (new paragraph)

These figures are based on completions (full stop). They represent sales would've been (remove "would've been" completely) agreed last summer when prices traditionally rise (comma) not fall.

(New paragraph)Looking towards more recent figures (comma) Rightmove.co.uk (dash) a company 29% owned by Countrywide (comma) the uk's (UK's) largest estate agent (dash) has stated that prices have fallen in 5 (five) out of the last 6 (six) months (full stop)

(new paragraph) (P)erhaps Countrywide needs to tighten their (we've treated it as a singular up to here, so "its" is better than "their") leash(?).

Our forum members still expect an average 30% reduction in prices over the next three years. But with a growing number of prominent experts forecasting this or even larger falls we might (may) have underestimated the drop.

The only hope for a recovery in prices was an increase in sales but instead they are falling. Sales last quarter were down by 22% in the 100-150K range and down 40% in the up-to-100K range.

(new paragraph) Buyers are increasely (spelling!!) worried about buying at the top of the market and with the massive range of available rented property seem to have taken a wait-and-see approach.

(new paragraph)As the fall in prices gains momentum (comma) will these buyers (change "these buyers" to "these people") want to get (change "get" to "buy") into a falling market?

The chance of a quick sale has now passing (change to "passed for many") and we recommend anyone who bought in the last two years to seriously consider reducing there (their) debt levels and focusing on reducing (their) mortgage.

(new paragraph) The recent offer of a 130% mortgage (dash) a mortgage that instantly puts the owner into negative equity (dash) shows that (no need for "that") lenders are more interested in their profits then (than) the welfare of their customers.

But don't take our word for it. Look around.(space)Talk to colleagues and friends who are trying to sell, look at the special offers on new developments and count the number of 'to let' and 'for sales' ("sale" not "sales") signs. Then wonder (change "wonder" to "ask:" if everything is so rosy (comma) why are estate agents shedding staff. Then think, what should you do in a falling market?

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Hi Vacant,

Still waiting to see if contifeur has an opinion.... he blasted the previous press release but did have a lot of good points.

I hope I didn't offend you, mate. I appreciate(d) your efforts and I certainly wasn't trying to have a go. I just thought that if the press release thing was going to be done, it was worth a bit of combined and considered effort.

This month's is fine.

I wonder, however, if we're not maybe trying too much by basically giving a summary of the market as we see it at any given point. It's hard to do, and always risks rambling on a bit.

I think we'd be better in future to pick a specific issue every month - the forums are full of ideas - and stick to a defined point.

Suggestions for the future?

Seasonal adjustment. Point out that while Nationwide et al claim prices are rising, they are actually falling. I don't think the man in the street knows this. And if it turns out, as some fear, that the VIs alter their planned adjustment rates in the coming months to try to massage the figures further, that's a scandal and should be highlighted.

Point of reference. Halifax just today pulled a new trick by releasing figures comparing 1994 prices to today's. This is a desperate attempt to distract attention from the falling month-on-month and imminent year-on-year falls. We should look out for other examples and show them for what they are.

Erm, something else that I can't think of just now!

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But don't take our word for it. Look around. Talk to colleagues and friends who are trying to sell, Look at the special offers on new developments and count the number of 'to let' and 'for sale' signs.

That's a good idea Andrew, how about quoting a couple of forum members recent postings as anecdotal evidence of this?

http://www.housepricecrash.co.uk/forum/ind...topic=5877&st=0

http://www.housepricecrash.co.uk/forum/ind...topic=5815&st=0

http://www.housepricecrash.co.uk/forum/ind...?showtopic=5862

Although on second thoughts, best stick to your own spin!

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Hi Confiteor,

You definately didn't offend me. I said that to try to entice you to contribute, I might be an amateur at this but I'm good at judging people. I've already sussed you out as having some professional background in journalism.

Thanks a massive amount for your post, I look at a before and after and see a big improvement through I do worry that perhaps the spacing out into paragraphs has gone a little overboard.

I know about picking an angle/focus point and pushing that but feedback from the forum was against this. I feel that any press release should follow the wishes of the majority of members (or at least those that respond) . I still see this as a building exercise, I was surprised that this website has been picked up by a few offical news web sites so perhaps over time (especially if a crash start to become obvious) we might get wider press coverage.

Cheers,

Andrew

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Hi KOTC,

Can't really add much more due to keeping it trim (e.g. your links) but I nearly did add a paragraph about the views of professional landlords.

I think that even if your against a crash you'll appreciate someone doing something, the old norman tebbit get on your bike thing.

Oh and yes of course we have our own spin but I see it more making a case than turning a lie into the truth.

Cheers,

Andrew

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Don't take it personally, if i was ever to write a release I'd be shot down in flames and whipped :ph34r:

What can you do in a falling market?

I like the title.. applies to both buyers and sellers.

My gut feeling is the title should openly reflect the first sentence or two or the article (in a general way without making assumtions about the reader), then answer the title in the last sentence after putting the reason forward.

Ignore the spin, prices are falling.

I'd drop this... one of the major issues (IMHO) in this article is the spin.. so don't dismiss it so quickly, be more rhetorical and less judgemental at the start.

Whilst vested interests publish house price statistics that show a stable or even rising market

"vested interests".. is a know phrase on hpc, for the general public, I suggest replacing with "companies with an interest in the market"

there is one group that has clearly stated that house prices fell. The land registry figures, the only body that does not make money from rising prices have reported that House prices fell between October and December last year by 2.7% with London falling 3.7%. These figures are based on completions, They represent sales would've been agreed last summer when prices traditionally rise not fall.

IMHO to wordy and not punchy in delivery.

Looking towards more recent figures Rightmove.co.uk a company 29% owned by Countrywide the uk's largest estate agent has stated that prices have fallen in 5 out of the last 6 months perhaps Countrywide needs to tighten their leash.

As much as we would like to bash EA's.. better to take the higher line and argue on facts rather than slanging matches.

Our forum members still expect an average 30% reduction in prices over the next three years. But with a growing number of prominent experts forecasting this or even larger falls we might have underestimated the drop.

References?

The only hope for a recovery in prices was an increase in sales but instead they are falling. Sales last quarter were down by 22% in the 100-150K range and down 40% in the upto 100K range. Buyers are increasely worried about buying at the top of the market and with the massive range of available rented property seem to have taken a wait and see approach. As the fall in prices gains momentum will these buyers want to get into a falling market?

IMHO volume of sales should be in the first paragragh. Again references.. for example "Sales last quarter were down by 22% in the 100-150K range".. who said that? Better to give a reference than "pick a quote from the air" (as far as the reader is concerned.

The chance of a quick sale has now passing

Grammar?

and we recommend anyone who bought in the last two years to seriously consider reducing there debt levels and focusing on reducing theremortgage.

Depends if its IO.. as I suspect many FTB's maybe. Perhaps better to mention debts in the "short term"... and the "long term" actually buying your house, as oppoed to renting from the bacnk.

The recent offer of a 130% mortgage, a mortgage that instantly puts the owner into negative equity shows that lenders are more interested in their profits then the welfare of their customers.

Lenders/banks et al.. have always been out to make money.. not just 130% mortagages.

But don't take our word for it. Look around.Talk to colleagues and friends who are trying to sell, Look at the special offers on new developments and count the number of 'to let' and 'for sales' signs.

And empty EA offices.. new instructions in the free papers... ie be aware of the market.. you don't need to track prices in an excel spredsheet.. you just need to notice whats happening.

Then wonder if everything is so rosy why are estate agents shedding staff. Then think, what should you do in a falling market?

Drop the EA stuff... joe public doesn't know EA's are shedding (yet)

Can the last line be something like..

Look around, is every thing so rosy.. no.. so what should you do in a falling market?

Andrew_Uk.. I'd say its better than I could do, and its easier to criticise than write. These comments are for the positive benefit.. I hope you understand.

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Hi KOTC,

Can't really add much more due to keeping it trim (e.g. your links) but I nearly did add a paragraph about the views of professional landlords.

I think that even if your against a crash you'll appreciate someone doing something, the old norman tebbit get on your bike thing.

Oh and yes of course we have our own spin but I see it more making a case than turning a lie into the truth.

Cheers,

          Andrew

You've done a good job Andrew it's quite a lot you've take on board, full credit to you for your time and patience, I'm just pulling your leg in my above post. However it does raise the pertinent question of what people would make of a press release that is only looking in the rear view mirror, and at direct odds at what is happening at street level. Anyway it's obviously up to you guys what you put out, just be careful you don't come across as the very thing you hate yourselves (VI/spin/propaganda machine)

Just for the record, as a professional landlord, I actually have no quarms against a crash, it would bring new opportunities to me, better yields and hence better income. However the very fact that the likes of myself would have a field day, makes me strongly believe that there can't be a crash! because as soon as yields in a given area come down, property would be 'mopped up' once more and we'd be back at square one.

KOTC.

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KOTC,

I don't think the great unwashed are that savey. When prices fall (after a couple of years of falling) and with investor horror stories nobody will talk about/want to buy property. And this is the exact time they should.

I remember a famous investor (can't remember which one) stating buy low, sell high but it's hard for most to do. the more things I see across a range of investments the more I see people doing exactly the opposite, human beings like bandwagons and following the herd.

Andrew

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Hi Andrew,

Well you now have a committee-written release! Who knows, between the three of us we might really hash it up.

But seriously, I think the most important thing with press releases, having done a few myself, is that it should be grammatically water tight. There is nothing worse than having your otherwise good copy slated because of trivial errors.

I would run it all through a spell and grammar checker several times, not just once, just to make absolutely sure. Apart from the Guardian typos, most newspapers are actually presented with immaculate grammar and punctuation, though web versions are not. But I know editors ALWAYS reject press releases with mistakes in them because they then assume that all the stuff within is going to be sloppily thought through, and therefore unworthy of publication.

VP

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What can you do in a falling housing market?

Ignore the spin, prices are falling.

While vested interests (mortgage lenders) use the black art of 'Seasonal Adjustment' to produce house price statistics which show a stable or even rising market the most important body has clearly stated that house prices fell.

The Land Registry figures, from the only body that does not make money from rising prices, have shown that national house prices fell between October and December last year by 2.7%, with London falling 3.7%.

These figures are based on actual sales prices which means that they represent transactions agreed last summer when prices traditionally rise, not fall.

Looking at more recent figures, Rightmove.co.uk - a company 29% owned by Countrywide Plc, the UK's largest estate agent - has stated that prices have fallen in five out of the last six months.

Incidentally, Countrywide  - which owns John D Wood and Bairstow Eves estate agents, and others - has recently made 6% of its workforce redundant.

The forum members of www.HousePriceCrash.co.uk expect an average 30% fall in prices over the next three years.  With a growing number of prominent academics and economists forecasting between this and even larger falls we may have underestimated the drop.

The only hope for a recovery in prices put forward by estate agents etc would have been an increase in transaction numbers but instead they are falling. Sales last quarter were down by 22% in the £100-£150K range and down 40% for properties below £100K.

Buyers - mainly investors - are increasingly worried about buying at the top of the market and with the massive number of available rented property they seem to have gone on buying strrike.

As the fall in prices gains momentum, will these people buy into a falling market?  We do not think this is likely.

The chance of a quick sale has now passed for many and we recommend that anyone who bought in the last two years should seriously consider reducing there debt levels and focus on reducing their mortgage.

The recent offer of a 130% mortgage - a mortgage that instantly puts the owner into negative equity - shows lenders are more interested in their profits than the welfare of their customers.

But don't take our word for it. Look around. Talk to colleagues and friends who are trying to sell, Look at the special offers on new developments and count the number of 'To Let' and 'For Sale' signs. Then ask yourself: if everything is so rosy, why are estate agents shedding staff. Then think, what should you do in a falling market?  If you are serious about selling keep your price 20% below the 'market'.

Here is my effort. :)

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Two apologies: (1) it's taken a while, and (2) the text has been revised quite a lot. Please let me have any final comments:

Mortgage Lenders are talking up the Market, but UK House Prices continue their Fall.

Independent property website housepricecrash.co.uk comments on the housing market.

Mortgage Lenders in the UK have recently published house price figures that claim a stable or even rising property market. However, these rises are not real, they are the result of applying smoke and mirrors such as 'Seasonal Adjustment'. Actual house prices are falling, as the most authoritative body for house price figures has clearly stated.

The Land Registry figures for the fourth quarter of 2004 show that national house prices fell between October and December 2004 by 2.7%, with London falling 3.7%. These figures are based on actual sales prices of all properties, not asking prices, which may be no more than wishful thinking, and include cash and auction purchases, unlike the mortgage lenders’ (Nationwide and Halifax) figures, which represent only one portion of the market.

Looking at more recent figures, Rightmove.co.uk - a company 29% owned by Countrywide Plc, the UK's largest estate agent - has stated that prices have fallen in five out of the last six months. The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), in a report published on the 1st of March 2004, reported that “South East house prices continued their steady decline in 2005.†A few days earlier, property website Hometrack, reported a drop of 0.2% in February, “the eighth consecutive month that house prices have gone down.â€

Reinhard Schu, press spokesman for independent property website housepricecrash.co.uk said: “The mortgage lenders and other vested interests whose business models depend on ever rising property prices are desperately trying to talk up the market; some do this with questionable figures. The reality is, prices are falling and are continuing to fall.â€

The forum members of www.HousePriceCrash.co.uk expect an average 30% fall in prices over the next three years. A growing number of prominent academics and economists forecast falls of this magnitude, if not even larger falls

The best sign that the market is on the verge of collapse is the sharp drop in number of transactions, a classic sign in any financial market for an imminent drop in prices. The number of properties sold in the fourth quarter of 2004 were down by 22% in the £100-£150K range and down 40% for properties below £100K. Estate agents are feeling the pinch from this slowdown: Countrywide - which owns John D Wood and Bairstow Eves estate agents, and others - have recently made 6% of its workforce redundant.

This dearth of transactions has been caused by first time buyers being priced out of the market and the disappearance of buy-to-let investors. According to a recent report by the Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA), today's geared landlord has seen his rental yield after mortgage costs collapse to minus 0.5%. In other words, many buy-to-let newcomers subsidise their tenants.

“Currently, many would-be sellers are putting their properties on the market at yesterday’s asking prices and are surprised to find no interest. With the buy-to-let hype being over and first time buyers priced out of the market, there are simply no buyers left. Once that realisation sets in, the bottom will fall out of the market,†Reinhard Schu commented.

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Looks good to me. Couple of queries:

The best sign that the market is on the verge of collapse is the sharp drop in number of transactions, a classic sign in any financial market for an imminent drop in prices. The number of properties sold in the fourth quarter of 2004 were down by 22% in the £100-£150K range and down 40% for properties below £100K.  Estate agents are feeling the pinch from this slowdown: Countrywide  - which owns John D Wood and Bairstow Eves estate agents, and others - have recently made 6% of its workforce redundant.

This dearth of transactions has been caused by first time buyers being priced out of the market and the disappearance of buy-to-let investors. 

Excellent point about the drop in transactions. Are the numbers you are quoting the land registry ones? It doesn't actually say whose they are. Also why have you only mentioned up to £150K? Are they not down for more expensive props too or is it that you are concentrating on FTB props?

Who is Reinhard Schu?

But in all very good.

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This dearth of transactions has been caused by first time buyers being priced out of the market and the disappearance of buy-to-let investors.  According to a recent report by the Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA), today's geared landlord has seen his rental yield after mortgage costs collapse to minus 0.5% after mortgage costs and voids. In other words, many buy-to-let newcomers subsidise their tenants. 

After mortgage costs mentioned twice in same sentence.

Once that realisation will set in,

Is will the correct word to use here?

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Looks good to me. Couple of queries:

Excellent point about the drop in transactions. Are the numbers you are quoting the land registry ones? It doesn't actually say whose they are.  Also why have you only mentioned up to £150K? Are they not down for more expensive props too or is it that you are concentrating on FTB props?

you need to ask andrew_uk. I took that part from his draft

The other points have been corrected.

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The figure are from the quarterly land registry report.

I've sent a personal message with my other comments about the revised article.

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