HouseDog

Northampton

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http://www.northamptonchron.co.uk/news/Hou...tate.3546956.jp [Dec1 07 ]

House prices fall but estate agent predicts soft landing

A leading estate agent in Northampton says the housing market is heading for a soft landing with property price growth continuing to level off.

Simon Bond, managing director of O'Riordan Bond, dismissed fears of a property price crash, saying house prices would continue to grow, only at a slower rate.

Mr Bond made the comments after Nationwide Building Society reported house prices had fallen by the biggest amount in 12 years. According to the mortgage lender the average cost of a home in Britain dropped by 0.8 per cent in November.

At the same time figures from the Bank of England showed the number of mortgages approved for people buying a home fell to their lowest level for nearly three years during October.

Just 88,000 home loans were approved for people moving during the month, the most subdued figure since February 2005 and well down on the recent monthly average of 109,000.

Fionnuala Earley, Nationwide's chief economist, said: "November's data confirms that the housing market is indeed cooling. Poor affordability, weaker house price growth expectations and the effect of earlier increases in interest rates have all affected demand in the market."

This month's fall, according to the mortgage lender, has reduced annual house price inflation from 9.7 per cent to 6.9 per cent, a lot lower than the double-digit growth of previous years, but still above inflation.

According to Mr Bond, the slow down in house price growth does not herald a crash but much-needed stability.

He said: "In real terms over the course of a year it's not about house prices going down, butthe rate of increases slowing down a bit."

Mr Bond added: "Over the next six to 12 months house price growth will slow down to about inflation, which I think is going to be good in the long term.

"In the last few years house prices have just gone up and up and as a result fewer people have been able to get on the housing ladder. If house price growth slows down the market will be far more sustainable."

The price fall reported by Nationwide is just one of a handful of recent surveys showing a slow down in the housing market.

Earlier this month Hometrack, a research group, said house prices in England and Wales had fallen in November for the second month. And the Land Registry reported house price growth in England and Wales dropped in October to just 0.1 per cent.

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So there we have it - no crash in Northampton just a soft landing and much-needed stability! :blink:

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So that's going to be really reassuring to all the punters that've purchased new boxes in Grange Park and around Wellingborough, Rushden & Irthlingborough in the last few years - not

Stilll, could be worse, they could've purchased a 'stunning, exec apartment ...'

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So that's going to be really reassuring to all the punters that've purchased new boxes in Grange Park and around Wellingborough, Rushden & Irthlingborough in the last few years - not

Stilll, could be worse, they could've purchased a 'stunning, exec apartment ...'

.. 'stunning, exec apartment ...' .. in Northampton ? :P

But there is no need to worry .... Simon Bond knows whats going on .. [ http://www.northamptonchron.co.uk/news/Hou...ices.3483941.jp ]

Simon Bond from Northampton estate agent, O'Riordan Bond, said: "What we're seeing is that prices are not necessarily going down, properties are coming onto the market with an inflated asking price.

"The demand for properties is beginning to reduce, interest rates have risen and the credit crunch is affecting the number of people who are able to borrow. Lenders are more cautious and, of course, there's always a seasonal downturn at this time of year.

"We have seen a slowing down in the number of transactions by about 20 to 25 per cent, and that is country-wide, but now properties are being priced correctly. Across Northampton as a whole, there are 30 per cent less properties being bought and sold.

"We're down about 20 per cent but in the new year, more people want to buy houses. One great thing about Northampton is that it has got a fantastic location, the population is growing and people are relocating to Northampton. There wouldn't be the opportunity to build so many houses if the demand wasn't there."

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That's strange as one of his agents last week was telling me "times were tough" and "it's defintiely a buyers market"

And "However, Towcester estate agent, Jackie Oliver, said South Northamptonshire was resisting the downturn."

There areplenty of places in towcester on propertysnake that would indicate otherwise.

I guess they have to try and talk it up tho.

HouseDog, the articale "[ http://www.northamptonchron.co.uk/news/Hou...ices.3483941.jp ]" should be on the main page, thats BIG news !!!

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http://www.northamptonchron.co.uk/news/Pri...pton.3554473.jp

Prince Charles to visit Northampton tomorrow

The Prince of Wales will visit Northampton on Thursday, to check on the progress of a new housing development he helped design.

Prince Charles will visit the Upton housing scheme, close to Sixfields, before calling into Mereway Community College.

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Upton on Anglia TV and in the Chron tomorrow then!

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Aaaaaaahhhhhhhhhh at last, the penny drops, now I see why Upton is such a ridiculous looking over the top development, Prince Charles is involved.

Maybe people there are paying a premium for his great ideas....maybe they should ask him for their money back where they are stuck with 100K negative equity and/or find that resale is impossible.

Upton...400 K for a town house, not in a town but on a flood plane, no gardens, no parking, maybe it should be renamed..."Not-on"

Edited by TheCountOfNowhere

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I've seen what might be an even more ridiculous development in Northampton:

"Woolmonger Street, Northampton, Northamptonshire £180,000 2 bedroom flat "

http://www.rightmove.co.uk/viewdetails-186...=2&tr_t=buy

If these dont bomb i'll eat my house ( when I buy one).

I love the "situated in the historic heart of Northampton's town centre"...across from Morissons !!!

These places remind me very much of:

"Wellington Street, Northampton, NN1 £99,999 2 bedroom flat "

http://www.rightmove.co.uk/viewdetails-170...=1&tr_t=buy

And which are now being offered for 60K on ( lot 187 ):

http://www.countrywidepropertyauctions.co....ondon-Dec07.pdf

For 180, in Northampton, you could get one of these instead:

Lea Road, Abington, Northampton £180,000 4 bedroom terraced

http://www.rightmove.co.uk/viewdetails-181...=2&tr_t=buy

No way pedro !!!

Edited by TheCountOfNowhere

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If I'm right the Wellington street flats still have some that were never sold and that dump in Woolmonger street will be no different. You need a shower after going into that Morrisons and the "YMCA" place on the corner which is basically a homeless shelter does little to help the already massive crime problem in that area.

2 Hopes at £180,000 I think they added an extra zero by mistake.

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If I'm right the Wellington street flats still have some that were never sold and that dump in Woolmonger street will be no different. You need a shower after going into that Morrisons and the "YMCA" place on the corner which is basically a homeless shelter does little to help the already massive crime problem in that area.

2 Hopes at £180,000 I think they added an extra zero by mistake.

I heard that the council bought up the remainder of the Wellington street flats and put the lower echelons of society in there...i.e. all the sh*te. If they are stuggling to sell them at 60K now they must be really bad.

I agree, anyone touching the Woolmonger street flats, regardless of any HPC will loose an arm and a leg.

If you're from Northampton and are thinking of buying one, or know anyone that is DONT DO IT !!! Just look at the selling history and auction history of the wellington street flats.

That's my good deed for the day done :-)

If you ignore the advice then make sure you get a top floor flat so you can at least chuck yourself off it when you loose 120K next year.

Edited by TheCountOfNowhere

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http://www.guardian.co.uk/money/2007/dec/13/houseprices [ December 13 2007 ]

House prices across the UK fell at their fastest rate in more than two years last month as higher interest rates and tighter controls on mortgage lending prevented many buyers from getting on the property ladder, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) says today.

Its latest monthly report on the housing market says prices are expected to fall further. The attitude of surveyors appears gloomier than at any time since 1998. The figures for November compare the proportion of surveyors reporting a drop in prices with those who saw the market climb. The study shows 40.6% more surveyors reported a fall than a rise. In October, the gap was just 23.4%.

According to the RICS the fall in prices is being driven mainly by weakening demand after interest rates rose five times to reach a six-year high until last week, when the Bank of England cut them by a quarter-point. Sluggish earnings growth and the global credit crunch have also deterred many would-be buyers.

"It is clear that the housing market continues to feel the strain of depressed market conditions," said Jeremy Leaf, a spokesman for the RICS. "The recent credit crunch continues to hit confidence."

The Midlands bore the brunt of the falling prices, while London and the south-east were less affected. The latter two regions have been at the forefront of the housing boom, boosted by £14bn in City bonuses awarded this year.

The RICS survey follows figures from mortgage lenders Halifax and Nationwide which have also shown marked falls in prices, bringing annual house price inflation down significantly from the double-digit growth seen earlier this year.

Widespread evidence of increasing price falls has sparked concern about the possibility of the biggest collapse in the housing market since the 1990s.

With signs emerging that the economy is set to slow sharply, there are fears that people may be forced to sell for distressed reasons.

The RICS report is widely regarded as one of the best barometers of the housing market because it looks at more anecdotal evidence from estate agents, reflecting confidence in the sector, while other surveys are based on selling prices.

Quentin Jackson-Stops, from Jackson-Stops & Staff surveyors in Northampton, said November had been a very poor month. "Winter has come early to the property market," he said. "The number of viewings of properties fell substantially during the month and only properties that are very keenly priced or in the very best condition and location are generating interest."

Leaf said the strong underlying economy and healthy labour market would help prevent sustained price falls. Last week's interest rate cut and the expectation of more would also help lift sentiment

------------------------

:blink:

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Quentin Jackson-Stops, from Jackson-Stops & Staff surveyors in Northampton, said November had been a very poor month. "Winter has come early to the property market," he said. "The number of viewings of properties fell substantially during the month and only properties that are very keenly priced or in the very best condition and location are generating interest."

Leaf said the strong underlying economy and healthy labour market would help prevent sustained price falls. Last week's interest rate cut and the

Good find !!!

Correct me if im wrong buy dont Jackson-Stops & Staff deal mainly with propertys that are "the very best condition and location" ?

Hence they must only be selling stuff thats "very keenly priced".

I think Northampton really has seen an actual selling price drop. Hopefully in the new year EAs will stop being bullish and set asking prices in line with selling prices.

Edited by TheCountOfNowhere

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Good find !!!

Correct me if im wrong buy dont Jackson-Stops & Staff deal mainly with propertys that are "the very best condition and location" ?

Hence they must only be selling stuff thats "very keenly priced".

I think Northampton really has seen an actual selling price drop. Hopefully in the new year EAs will stop being bullish and set asking prices in line with selling prices.

Jackson-Stops have some very nice property for sale starting at circa £200K http://www.jackson-stops.co.uk/offices/northampton.html

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If I'm right the Wellington street flats still have some that were never sold and that dump in Woolmonger street will be no different. You need a shower after going into that Morrisons and the "YMCA" place on the corner which is basically a homeless shelter does little to help the already massive crime problem in that area.

2 Hopes at £180,000 I think they added an extra zero by mistake.

Yeah I wonder about the Woolmonger street development, I would say the area is actually worse than that around Morrisons/YMCA/Derngate - at least there you've got Becket's Park and over Far Cotton side there's the river. The Woolmonger street development looks out onto the loading bays at the back of Iceland/Homebargains/Peacocks and the back of some shops and the hotel on Gold Street. I've walked around it a couple of times and there's nothing remotely aspirational about the area.

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Yes - I can't see anyone buying in Woolmonger Street - its not exactly an area to live in .. :unsure:

It will be interesting to see what happens to these developments over the next few years.

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http://www.northamptonchron.co.uk/news/Tow...y-4K.3626980.jp [ 29th Dec 07 ]

Town houses up by £4K in a year by Wayne Bontoft

THE AVERAGE house in Northampton has risen in value by £11 a day over the past year, despite worries that the housing boom could be about to end.

Latest figures compiled by the Northampton-based building society Nationwide show the average price of a house in Northampton is now £187,927, an increase of £4,162 from a year ago.

The result puts Northampton in 20th position of the towns and cities surveyed by Nationwide, just one place behind Leeds and ahead of major places such as Glasgow, Bradford and Coventry.

Northampton estate agent Alex Houghton, who works at Whites in Wellingborough Road, said he believed the rise followed a healthy start to sales in 2007. He said: “We had a very good first nine months of the year, then things levelled off a little.

“I think a lot of people are waiting at the moment to see exactly how the housing market will pan out in the New Year so the number of people coming into the office making inquiries has dropped off a bit.

“But we are hopeful that things will turn round in the New Year.”

Across Northampton, the average cost of a house rose by two per cent.

The figure was higher than in areas such as Birmingham and Sheffield, where prices rose by just one per cent, but way behind towns at the top of the table such as Belfast, where the average went up by 32 per cent.

Nationwide’s chief economist, Fionnuala Earley, said: “House price growth recorded another strong year in 2007, but the national figures disguise movements in different parts of the country.

“Belfast for example saw the fastest rate of house price growth in 2007. Prices increased by 32 per cent to take the average house price to £306,698.

“This is equivalent to an increase of £201 per day and brings Belfast up to fifth place in the ranking of most expensive towns and cities in our sample, overtaking Edinburgh and Cambridge.

“But St Albans is still the most expensive town to buy a house in the UK. The average price is £347,563 – over £40,000 higher than in Belfast and just over £8,000 more than its closest rival, Oxford.”

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Well what did you expect? - still no mention of the 30 jobs gone at just one local estate agent?

I know the local press have this story as one reporter asked me about the story even mentioning the name of the estate agent concerned. :blink:

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Well the outlook for town centre flats seems less encouraging, i think this is the one listed above.

1 bed flat on Wellington Street - Northampton House.

First sold 2003 £73,950

Resold in 2005 £88,000 (+19%)

For sale at end of 2007 £60,000 (-31% from 2005!)

http://www.rightmove.co.uk/viewdetails-18174935.rsp?

http://www.houseprices.co.uk/e.php?q=213+w...%2C+northampton

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My little mole tells me that Upton is now suffering with the lower echelons being placed in the HA accom there and the local constabulary are "Quite concerned" about the sharp rise in crime there. It's no suprise really. It looks like it will be a complete slum in 10 years time . If it isn't flooded that is :blink:

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I heard that the council bought up the remainder of the Wellington street flats and put the lower echelons of society in there...i.e. all the sh*te. If they are stuggling to sell them at 60K now they must be really bad.

**snigger** - it's worse than that. aren't the service charges on those flats around £200 per month?

Well what did you expect? - still no mention of the 30 jobs gone at just one local estate agent?

I know the local press have this story as one reporter asked me about the story even mentioning the name of the estate agent concerned. :blink:

ohh you tease! come on, spill the beans, please! (PM me if you are shy) :P

was it the one whose name starts with an "O" ; or should i say "O'" as they must have a hell of a lot of staff now what with their head office and so forth.

i think it would be a terrible shame if they went down. not. :lol:

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http://business.timesonline.co.uk/tol/busi...icle3129239.ece [ January 4, 2008 ] Judith Heywood, Deputy Property Editor

Fears of big cutbacks for estate agents as LSL closes branches

One of the country’s largest estate agents yesterday announced the loss of hundreds of jobs, sparking fears that the property slowdown will force wholesale restructuring in the rest of the industry.

LSL Property Services, owner of the 290 Your Move offices, revealed that it had closed 12 branches and cut 315 full-time jobs across its surveying and estate agency businesses, after house sales fell in a weakening property market.

The cuts are the first large-scale redundancies in the sector, which employs 50,000, since the property slowdown began late last year.

Dean Fielding, LSL’s group finance director, said: “It is very difficult to see where the market is going to land. Our larger competitors are doing similar things. They have no choice.”

Agents blame a sharp drop in the level of transactions since September for the industry’s difficulties. They believe that if the slowdown continues many of the 8,750 estate agency firms in the UK may be unsustainable, irrespective of whether house prices fall significantly.

Hometrack, the data company, says that transaction volumes have been the first casualty of the recent housing market turbulence, which began in September as Northern Rock’s trouble became public but worsened into the final months of the year.

Hometrack expects the number of transactions to drop 17 per cent this year, down from 1.2 million. Many buy-to-let investors, who make up a tenth of the market, are thought to be holding on for changes that may come in during April, which should allow them to reduce their capital gains tax bills.

LSL said that its transaction volumes, which it had expected to drop by 20 per cent, fell by a third in the second half of 2007. The company, which is in line to make pretax profits of £33.5 million for 2007, says it expects conditions to be challenging well into this year.

That view was echoed by rivals. King Sturge, the property company, said that although widespread falls were not expected the industry faced its toughest year since 1991.

John Socha, the vice-chairman of the National Landlords Association, said that the market was slowing across the board and “the cannier estate agents are acting now”.

He said that, after almost a decade of growth in the sector, the industry was at its most vulnerable in the Midlands.

“It is the places where the cost of entry, such as renting an office, is the lowest that are in trouble – perhaps cities like Leicester, Milton Keynes,” he said.

“In Northampton, a city of 200,000, there are 60 estate agents’ offices, of which 15 branches are owned by one company. I don’t see how that can pay if there is any foot applied to the brake in the housing market.”

Stewart Lilly, president of the National Association of Estate Agents, said that larger agents were first to act when there was any slowdown, as their costs were higher.

He said: “It is disappointing that a lot of people have panicked. We are in for a difficult year, but we have had them before.”

Robert Bryant-Pearson, chief executive of Allied Surveyors, said: “We could see back in October that it was going to be a hard winter, but the mood had lifted with the interest rate cut before Christmas. Now it is the number of transactions rather than house prices that is the problem.”

He said agents that were more heavily focused on apartments and former local authority buildings looked vulnerable.

Shares in LSL closed 1p lower at 138p, valuing the company at £145 million. Its plight also took a toll on the upmarket estate agent Savills, which dropped 22¾p to close almost 8 per cent down at 270p.

LSL, once known as General Accident Property Services, was floated in November 2006, after a management buyout from Norwich Union in 2004. It owns the Chancellors Associates and Barnwoods surveying firms and 140 Reeds Rains estate agencies.

Apart from some South London offices, it is best represented in the North of England, which was the first region to suffer the slowdown. Mr Fielding of LSL said that the cuts were “geographically spread, but more southern based than northern”.

Harris Associates, an activist US investor, has built a big stake in the company, perhaps on the hope of a takeover bid.

Mr Fielding said LSL was currently working on the launch of a repossessions arm.

Meanwhile the Land Registry yesterday unveiled house data showing that prices were up 0.6 per cent in November to an average £186,009.

Seema Shah, a property economist with Capital Economics, said: “Given the lagging nature of the Land Registry house price index, it will take longer for it to show the housing market correction which is now evident in other house price indices.”

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O' look at that? :blink:

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“In Northampton, a city of 200,000, there are 60 estate agents’ offices, of which 15 branches are owned by one company. I don’t see how that can pay if there is any foot applied to the brake in the housing market.”

[Puts management consultant case study interview hat on]

8% of people move each year: 16,000 transactions plus 10% btl = ~18,000 pa

300 transactions per EA office.

Average house price = GBP 200,000

Average fee = 1% = GBP 2,000 less average fixed and variable (per sale) costs GBP 400

Average revenue per agency = GBP 480,000

Average number of staff per agency = 8 (from what I've exerienced)

Net revenue per capita = GBP 60,000

Looks OK to me... unless the 8% figure drops to 4%...

Edited add: Or unless I've made a mistake (or four).

Edited by aussieboy

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“In Northampton, a city of 200,000, there are 60 estate agents’ offices, of which 15 branches are owned by one company. I don’t see how that can pay if there is any foot applied to the brake in the housing market.”

[Puts management consultant case study interview hat on]

8% of people move each year: 16,000 transactions plus 10% btl = ~18,000 pa

300 transactions per EA office.

Average house price = GBP 200,000

Average fee = 1% = GBP 2,000 less average fixed and variable (per sale) costs GBP 400

Average revenue per agency = GBP 480,000

Average number of staff per agency = 8 (from what I've exerienced)

Net revenue per capita = GBP 60,000

Looks OK to me... unless the 8% figure drops to 4%...

Edited add: Or unless I've made a mistake (or four).

houseprices.co.uk is showing a total 6904 transactions for the past 12 months for the search term Northampton and 15480 for the search term Northamptonshire.

In any business with a large workforce ( for example: 15 branches and say a workforce of 150 staff) a sudden drop in sales of say 50% over a period of 4 or 5 months could cause some cash flow problems.

Edited by HouseDog

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houseprices.co.uk is showing a total 6904 transactions for the past 12 months for the search term Northampton and 15480 for the search term Northamptonshire.

In any business with a large workforce ( for example: 15 branches and say a workforce of 150 staff) a sudden drop in sales of say 50% over a period of 4 or 5 months could cause some cash flow problems.

Good point - and as for any service industry by far the biggest costs are staff costs which mean that cash flow issues quickly become headcount issues.

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http://www.northamptonchron.co.uk/news/Est...lead.3643305.jp [ 4th Jan 08 ]

Estate agency's job cuts lead to concern

Fears have been expressed over possible closures and job loses in sections of Northampton's estate agency industry.

They come on the back of one of the country’s largest estate agents, Your Move, shutting offices and axing 315 full-time jobs nationally. The cuts are the first large-scale redundancies in the sector, which employs 50,000 people, since the property slowdown began late last year.

The move has sparked speculation about the effect of the market changes on the rest of the industry.

In an article in The Times, John Socha, the vice-chairman of the National Landlords Association, said the market was slowing across the board and “the cannier estate agents are acting now”.

He argued that, after almost a decade of growth in the sector, the industry was at its most vulnerable in the Midlands.

He added: “It is the places where the cost of entry, such as renting an office, is the lowest that are in trouble; perhaps cities like Leicester, Milton Keynes.”

Mr Socha also referred to the situation in Northampton, which had 200,000 residents and more than 60 estate agents, and raised concern about the future of the industry.

But Simon Bond, joint managing director of Northampton-based O’Riordan Bond, said he was confident that current market conditions would see established estate agencies, such as his, standing out from the crowd and increasing market share. But he believed some of the smaller estate agencies in the town would find the year ahead very challenging.

“It is now a genuine market. House prices will remain steady, but the number of transactions will fall slightly. This is because banks are less likely to lend money to people who cannot afford it, and because there are less people who are buying houses to make a quick profit, rather than buying them as a home,” he said.

“This is a good thing, and a steadier market gives more opportunities for good old-fashioned estate agencies going out and actively selling houses. The days of some estate agents just putting a for sale board outside a house and it selling itself are gone.”

The change in the market meant there were more chances for people to get on the first rung of the housing ladder. “We’ve had a good start to the year, and in the first few days of 2008 we have had 174 inquiries, which compares favourably to last year,” he added.

Dean Fielding, finance director of LSL Property Services, which operates Your Move, the UK’s third-biggest chain of estate agents, said: “It is very difficult to see where the market is going to land. Our larger competitors are doing similar things.”

----------------

So no local agent decided to comment on local estate agent job losses ? :lol:

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If you want a laugh, have a look on rightmove for propertys in NN1 for under 100K...then count then number of places for sale in "wellington house"....could be some BTLs jumping ship, they will never sell until they go at auction for below 60K !!!!

That other stupid city centre development is advertising, forgot the name already, their 50% shared ownership flats are for sale alongside the wellington house adverts...would make me think twice, though 100% of an over priced hell hole for the same price of 50% share of an new build over priced hell hole would be much more attractive.

Also, a friend told me they say the shutting of an estate agent branch in St James' last week, he saw them carrying furniture out !!! Must have giving them something to do for the day. My heart bleeds.

Edited by TheCountOfNowhere

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