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About JamesLondon

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  1. Just came across one of the weirdest and most-comical Rightmove histories I've seen in a long time: here. (You need Property Bee installed to see the price history.) Went on sale in Dec 08 for 650k...then had its price raised to 675k...Sold in July...Unsold in July...dropped to 599k in August...sold in Dec. And now, in July, that sale has apparently fallen through too, and the price has been raised back to 675k. Tempting, no?
  2. To be honest (and please excuse the implication if I'm wrong) it sounds as though she might have some other factors indicating she represents a risk to the Bank. I've been in the mortgage hunt myself and haven't experienced the same. I found that the vetting process was very picky (much more picky than a few years back) but once through it people seemed pretty keen to throw money at me. My own bank (who didn't offer particularly competitive rates but were still coming in a country mile below what your friend has been quoted) offered 4.5 times joint salary a few weeks back and have phoned and sent a personal email to me since the budget...
  3. You're not joking. My personal favourite is this place: bought for £845k in Feb 2008 (ISTR the peak in Richmond borough was hit in Jan 08?), and now on for a total of....£1.195M!!!
  4. Hmmm...maybe. Although when you compare with changes to diet, reduction of stress or doing exercise I don't think paying money into the NHS via Whitehall is ever going to look like the most efficient or deterministic way of investing in your future health and longevity.
  5. Given that current house valuations are all over the place and EAs are a painful bunch who work on behalf of the seller, I've been wondering about using a property search agency. A quick google around throws up a few names like this: Stacks Property finder Crofton Has anyone had any experience with any outfit like these? Clearly it costs money, though of course hiring an experienced negotiator can sometimes pay itself back.
  6. +1 Like Mulder, I want to believe in a crash, and I think the chances are not bad. It doesn't stop me looking, because we want to move and if I find the house we would love to live in for 10 years then it's a goer. Flicking through the archives in this forum can provide a bit of counterpoint - lots of posts with very high levels of certainty of an imminent crash in virtually any month or year you care to choose. That's not to say it isn't different now...maybe.
  7. Well, anecdotally, I'm an FTB interacting with 10-20 EAs in London on a frequent basis and have never had the slightest suggestion of this. About one third of agents have asked if they can have their broker call me and been fairly pushy salespeople for their brokerage, but have always taken my flat 'No' with their customary grace and continued trying to sell me properties that don't fit the bill for money I can't afford as assiduously as ever. That said I feel this is an area that would benefit from legislation/regulation. Affiliation between brokers and EAs clearly contributed to a 'liar loan' boom and is a deeply pernicious aspect of the current housing economy.
  8. EAs complaining that property overvalued is like an england player complaining the world cup is full of boring football In the end I think it most likely comes down to the fact that EAs are pretty simple sorts, so they value houses the way they have always been valued, instead of thinking "hmm, growth in supply and nothing selling...does this mean the price needs to move?" It also struck me that the last 8 or 9 EAs I've been in contact with were so young they must have grown up during a period when prices only ever moved north. But give it a few months of trying and failing to sell much at an overinflated price and the hard fact that their business is based on deal flow will kick in.
  9. Actually in SW London I find the EA flexibility not too bad - it wasn't always thus but the times they are a changin'. What confounds me though is inflexibility on the part of sellers. For example, one property that I am/was interested in came on the market at the beginning of March. We were told we could only view it on Wednesday afternoons. Even then I had a bad feeling about it - I thought, these sound like people who would be a pain in the *ss to buy from. Against my better judgment (it's a pretty house) I set up a viewing for wed afternoon, arranging to leave work early to do so. The day before we were due to go, the EA contacted me saying the seller insisted I came an hour earlier. I asked the EA to explain to the seller that I was a surgeon and it was really practically extremely difficult for me to do this, but that I was genuinely interested in the house, was chain-free, and would they manage a little flexibility? No dice. I cancelled, and declined all offers to rearrange (which were all offers to rearrange for subsequent inconvenient windows on Wednesday afternoons - what the heck, is that when Mumsnet do their server maintenance or what?). Today, the house is still on the market. On the EA side, I am using the ease with which I can set up viewings as my private (and very flawed) index of market activity. I only call on Fridays to set Saturday appointments, and I have managed to get my choice of houses and times three weeks in a row.
  10. Another £10. Unbelievable value.
  11. Yep, agree with the observations in the first part of the above - it's close to what I've seen in SW London: marginal properties are either dropping or not selling, but the good places on good streets seem as strong as ever. But I wonder whether we might be about to see triggering events in the form of significant public sector jobs and cutbacks. It's not just about those jobs themselves. To me it's also about two other factors: the many private enterprises that leech off depend on the public sector; and the strong bias towards high income elasticity of demand services in the british economy. When cuts really start to bite, people are likely to curtail their 4 quid coffees and dog walkers. (Maybe it's time to buy NSRGY - Nescafé may be about to see a renaissance!) I think there's still a pretty big house of cards waiting to collapse there, and even with a low base rate and a degree of reluctance to foreclose, surely this reality will bite house prices as well. All that said, sometimes I wonder if I'm not just indulging in wish fulfilment
  12. My reaction exactly, but to be honest I think that rightmove page only gives half the story. The place sits slap-bang in the middle of what is basically a large new-build housing development. Now the houses and apartment blocks in the development are themselves far from ugly by new-build standards (this is the kind of thing, but it is the weirdest situation: like a small monastery plonked slap-bang in the center of a barratt estate, with an interior only Grace Jones or Montgomery Brewster could love. Surreal isn't the word. Surely this could only have made sense in a dream-like trance where people overpay for anything because prices always sail north? It is indeed hard to imagine what price they will have to drop to to find a buyer.
  13. I've been enjoying the progress of this one: http://www.rightmove.... £1.65M to £1.29M and counting...still a long way further south to go. You don't just need a lot of money to buy it, you also need a desire to live in a soulless piece of architectural w**k fantasy in a very so-so location. An estate agent covering the same area called me yesterday to see if I was still looking, because "we have a lot of new stock coming on now, and a very busy team processing valuations". The majority do seem to be coming on at near-peak prices, but surely that will change over time.
  14. I was genuinely a little shocked by your reply, which I have to say I think is completely uncalled-for. I had to read it through twice just because I couldn't believe it first time around. It sounded as though you were actually claiming to have at some past point in your life persuaded someone to stay in a room with you long enough to start a game of Monopoly! Then I read it again and realised that I was of course completely mistaken and you were just speaking hypothetically, and no-one would have to recalibrate their impression of you being a totally friendless cockrag after all. Panic over!!
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