Believe me, I'm having much the same experience.
I have just sold our property for what I reckon to be 2007+10% price to a cash buyer downsizer who had already exchanged on their house and had 4 weeks to find something before completion. We pulled out all the stops, got the solicitors moving and we moved into a renter last week, pocketing a 90k profit after fees/stamp duty on the price I paid May 2009.
Now I know I am sounding smug, but I completely realise I have been very, very lucky.
For the previous 9 months I had been feeling an impending sense of doom and thinking that this house price madness, at least in my area (BH23) cannot be sustainable.
So, whilst on my ridiculously low mortgage rate of 0.69% above base (deal ending now), I decided to throw all my spare money on making the house perfect to sell.
Believe me, the house was immaculate by the time I had finished and I secured the asking price in October within a week of being on the market for £430k completing on the final day of my mortgage deal so no redemption fee etc.
Why am I telling you this?
Because I cannot find a house that lives up to this one in this area by any stretch of the imagination. I have been scanning Rightmove now for the last 3 months building up a list of possibles (mostly still inappropriate) from selection of utter dross. None of these "possibles" are selling and none of them want to come down on the price.
We have been visiting houses at least around 2007 prices, if not 20% more. And yet none of them are presented well and no effort has been put in by these people to sell.
What planet are these people on?
The estate agents are just as bad - "this will only cause a shortage as people will just pull their properties off the market" etc. etc.
I think some of them now are in denial, and getting increasingly desperate.
A friend of mine, (an estate agent locally) privately tells me that things are bleak, but is hampered by his competitors. He valued beautiful cottage in a lovely hamlet locally at 500k, a competitor valued it at 750k, no prizes for guessing which one the vendor went with. He has now started turning away punters for being unrealistic because it does him no favours at all to advertise something at something stupid. Trouble is, he is running out of property to advertise, but believes that sooner or later agents will be going under, especially the stupid ones, and hopefully once these guys are out of the way, things will be advertised appropriately, otherwise none of them will be making any money in the short term. He thinks many are in denial.
Another point is, I think there are probably a lot of people who were on base rate trackers who's deals started 2 years ago just before the base rate started reducing who have been paying next to nothing for their mortgage like myself up until now. Their deals must be ending shortly and their repayments will be doubling or tripling when they return to the SVR.
Anyway, it looks like I will be spending the next year or so in rented whilst hopefully some sanity starts to occur.