Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Aw diddums

BBC: Estate agents closing branches

About 150 estate agents' branches are now closing every week in the UK, according to research.
Business monitor Debtwire said the number of branches had fallen from 13,000 to 12,000 so far this year.
Jeremy Leaf, from RICS, told the BBC many were closing because people eager to move could not get a mortgage.
Bank of England figures show that the number of new mortgages approved in March was the lowest since records began.

Posted by little professor @ 12:37 PM (2320 views) Add Comment


1. the haunted said...

"Jeremy Leaf, from RICS, told the BBC many were closing because people eager to move could not get a mortgage."

So what you are saying is that there are millions of people wanting to buy a house in the current economic conditions but the mean old mortgage companies are not giving them the money. How mean.

Are you sure its nothing to do with people now realising that the prices are going to fall over the next few years and are waiting to see what happens next?

Tuesday, May 6, 2008 12:53PM Report Comment

2. paul said...

The much heralded "Spring Bounce" has arrived then - the sound of gap-toothed estate agents being bounced out of the door and on to their shiny suited backsides!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008 01:00PM Report Comment

3. confused76 said...

Ah hahahha hha hah haha ha

Thousand estate agents closed this year
Furthermore, an average of four agents employed by each, job losses could run into the thousands.

"The irony is that there is no shortage of people who want to move house, but without mortgages they just can't do so," explained Peter Bolton King, chairman the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA).
"Estate agents are having to close because there just isn't enough movement in the housing market and that is likely to have a much wider impact because a healthy housing market is essential for the health of the high street," he added.
"When no one is moving, the negative feeling that creates tends to make people tighten their purse-strings."

Tuesday, May 6, 2008 01:16PM Report Comment

4. shipbuilder said...

People are increasingly pointing out the element of schadenfreude on this site. Everyone would agree that it is in the interests of everyone in the UK to have a stable and sustainable housing market - a mix of owned and rented accomodation. This should be the collective aim of all involved in the process. All the groups involved in the housing market are professionals paid to do a job - estate agents, money lenders, developers, planners and so on. In a lot cases they are paid very well to do those jobs.
But the reality is that in the last ten years most of those groups have, in simple terms, FAILED to carry out that objective. Short-term greed overtook ANY sense of long-term sustainability. In many other industries, those professionals would have been fired for failure to carry out their job responsibly. (In my view, this also takes care of where the lion's share of responsibility lies - with the lender, not the customer. Anyone who claims otherwise, in my view, has not worked in a customer-facing industry. The customer is NEVER responsible for the sustainability of a particlular industry.)
When this 'firing' process is now taking place, why should we not point out that it is correct?

Tuesday, May 6, 2008 01:20PM Report Comment

5. doomwatch said...

Jeremy Leaf, from the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors said

"Many estate agents, contrary to popular belief, do actually add value to a transaction ..."

Yeah, we know, they've been adding a LOT of value to the asking price & making up ghost offers.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008 01:30PM Report Comment

6. paul said...

I think that's it precisely shipbuilder - customers are not responsible for the long-term sustainability of an industry.

The BBC (in fairness) points this out too - failed estate agents are not expected to garner any sympathy because they are mostly not very good at what they do, as the very talented Mr Bob Mortimer points out as Adrian The Useless Estate Agent.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008 01:34PM Report Comment

7. hpwatcher said...

I blame GB and BOE completely and utterly for this housing mess.

Especially GB, he just sat back for years and years enjoying seeing house prices rocket and did absolutely nothing to stop the market from overheating.

I'm very, very happy to see the natural cycle of things have their effect.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008 01:36PM Report Comment

8. confused76 said...


I call it being fed up with leaches, scavengers and speculators that have left a scar on UK society that it will take 20 years to fix

call it schadenfreude, i say I want to see all the BTLetters and estate agents broke to the bone

Tuesday, May 6, 2008 01:40PM Report Comment

9. amjidk said...

"About 150 estate agents' branches are now closing every week in the UK" GREAT NEWS, These people are scum, who have messed ordinary folk around for years..

Tuesday, May 6, 2008 01:55PM Report Comment

10. confused76 said...

... and I want to see the housing sector regulated by a less inept government, good only at squandering taxpayers' money on spin spin spin

Tuesday, May 6, 2008 02:01PM Report Comment

11. letthemfall said...

Maybe this will make room for a few more proper shops in the high st. As for EAs adding value, they take far more value from the transaction than they add. Still waiting for the first EA closure where I live. I don't think it will be long now.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008 02:01PM Report Comment

12. hpwatcher said...

... and I want to see the housing sector regulated by a less inept government, good only at squandering taxpayers' money on spin spin spin

and also an end to their daft ideas, in which they spend millions and millions on implementing and then scraping, because they were so daft in the first place!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008 02:06PM Report Comment

13. maddison said...

In Putney where I work there is the highest concentration of EA's in the country. 16 Estate agents less than a 100 yds from the BR station. No closures yet but they dont look very busy

Tuesday, May 6, 2008 02:09PM Report Comment

14. mark wadsworth said...

Confused 76, I appreciate a bit of Schadenfreude as much as the next bloke, but what about the real villains, i.e. estate agents, BTL-ers and sell-to-renters who saw the crash coming and banked their winnings? And to be fair I shall include myself in two of those categories.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008 02:24PM Report Comment

15. uncle tom said...

I'm glad I don't have an interest in the letting of High St property - void periods must be getting worrying now...

Tuesday, May 6, 2008 02:58PM Report Comment

16. Sneaker said...

I think it would help, a lot, if estate agents were licensed and regulated.

Professions where much less of punters' money is at stake are regulated e.g. share dealing.

The average punter does not buy 200 grand's-worth of shares, and yet stockbrokers are massively regulated by the SFA.

Whether the regulation is perfect or not is a different question. At least there's something there and it can always be improved.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008 03:07PM Report Comment

17. Paul said...

I don't think a comment like "Aw Diddums" is very appropriate. People are losing their jobs. Judge Not Lest You Shall Be Judged.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008 03:28PM Report Comment

18. growler said...

@sneaker: Estate agents are second hand house salespeople. You can't expect to regulate anyone in this environment just as second hand car salespeople cannot be regulated. As a buyer you will try to get the price down - as a seller you'll get the price up.

But what makes you up your asking price is someone else (not you or your income stream) giving you more money - for nothing. This create a self-fulfilling prohpecy. Since the lenders make money out of you having a larger loan, they are the ones that should be regulated. The criteria for takign out loans should be the same for a given same person - regardless of the year he happens to make the enquiry. In the UK, depending if it were 1988, 1994, 2000, 2007 or 2008 - the SAME person on the SAME salary would have received VASTLY different sums of money. That's crass, and thats the issue that needs sorting.

I can't blame an estate agent for capitalising on this - it's natural. It's the market system. Whe we need Governments for (and I do wonder what precisely we do need them for) is an environment of a CONSISTENT approach. Having such vastly different credit facilities and letting it happen whilst doign nothing is gross Government incompetence - and we now see the result.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008 04:49PM Report Comment

19. techieman said...

Mark - just because you dont condone a situation doesnt mean you cant take advantage of it. If that were the case we would probably never have bought in the first place!

Tuesday, May 6, 2008 06:04PM Report Comment

20. Fed Up said...

The estate agents are going to get little sympathy. If they want sales, and therefore to stay in business, they need to start talking prices DOWN, big time.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008 06:24PM Report Comment

21. justwatching said...

Jeremy Leaf, from RICS, told the BBC many were closing because people eager to move could not get a mortgage.

I would like to see figures for this. Mortgage REfusals from banks & BS, are they abnormally high? Does anyone know?

If not the VIs are spouting BS as usual.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008 06:29PM Report Comment

22. denzil said...

My car needs washing.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008 09:38PM Report Comment

23. doomwatch said...

There's always that easy switch into a recruitment agency for them. Oops. Telesales then; maybe if they are willing to commute to Mumbai.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008 10:28PM Report Comment

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