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About fairygirl

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  1. Just what I was thinking. However, I can't vote more than once, so, assuming others can't either, perhaps it really is the true feeling out there? If so, then sentiment really seems to have turned on a dime, which, although many of us thought it would, is still very surprising when it actually does.
  2. I met him a couple of years ago, and, unusually for an EA, he seemed a really decent chap. He was also, even then, saying that prices needed to come down. I think he could see that if they carried on going up (as indeed they did), there would be trouble ahead (which there now is). fg
  3. Yes, I do find it amazing how completely dead the Cambridge/villages market is, with nothing selling, and many asking prices being significantly reduced. Those holding out for asking price seem to be sticking for months, by which time everyone assumes there is something wrong with the house & nobody will buy it unless they drastically reduce the price! Did you see the comments from John Pocock, of Pocock & Shaw (Cambridge EAs), which have been in the Sunday Times, Cambridge News and others in the last week. He said: "The market conditions are now as depressing as I can remember. The volume of instructions is well down and the few prospective buyers entering the market are being very over-cautious." If that's not a bearish indication that prices in Cambridge/villages are going south, then I don't know what is. Those who need to sell need to start getting realistic with their expectations. fairygirl
  4. Some anecdotes on the Cambridge & villages region which some people might find interesting: I've been amazed at how quickly the Cambridge & villages area has turned from being very buoyant to being totally dead in the water. Sentiment has turned on a dime, and stocks of unsold properties are higher than ever (and usually in November they are extremely low), many asking prices being slashed by £25-50k, some by up to £250k (granted this was for £1.5m props). Also, I happen to know that deals are being struck at some 10-15% off asking prices. Some EAs I have spoken to have freely admitted that the market is "dead", while others are still trying to convince me/themselves that things are OK, even though they aren't selling anything! I get the feeling that they are all desperately trying to get their vendors to reduce prices, yet many vendors are still being pretty stubborn, believing that their houses really are worth what the EA said they could get a few months back. (They never were worth that anyway, and certainly not now.) My expectation is that prices will continue to slide considerably over the winter months for those keen to sell, while much stock will remain unsold going into spring. Then, with the usual spring rush - added to which I would expect a flood of BTLs selling up (in part due to new CGT rules, in part due to trying to cash in) - I think 2008 will prove extremely negative indeed. For vendors now, I would think significantly reducing your asking price or accepting low offers (10% off plus) is the only way to prevent chasing the market down to lower prices next year. For those looking to buy, I would advise making very low offers and resist being pushed up, as otherwise you'll be looking at sharper losses in the years to come. fairygirl
  5. Very interesting - do you have a link please, or at least can give info on location, type of property, etc? Many thanks.
  6. Yes, I agree - the market in Cambridge and surrounding villages has now suddenly done an about-turn, just in the last few weeks. Much more supply, especially of larger houses, but greatly reduced demand, meaning houses are sticking around - even desirable houses in good areas - while the vendor's over-ambitious asking prices are gradually reduced over time. I expect this will continue and gather pace over the next few months, until even bullish Cantabrigians realise that houses CAN go down here! Then it will be freefall for a few years.
  7. I'm hardly naive. I've been in and out of the property market for years & have probably viewed more houses in that time than you've had hot dinners. However this is the first time this has happened to me, so I can't believe it is as common as you think. Open Houses, yes, joint viewings, yes (if advised), but not sharky EAs getting a load of viewers to turn up at the same time when they all think they are going to be having a private view. Anyway, as it happens the EA did call me this morning & apologised profusely, so he must have realised it isn't acceptable behaviour and/or was a bit of a mistake to piss off probably the only viewers who aren't in a chain and/or was a bit worried because he didn't have a wodge of offers from Sat's surprise mass viewing. He then offered me any time or day it suited me, private of course, so I had a quick look this pm. Quite like the house, although very overpriced for what it is, so will have a think whether we want to put a low offer in now, or wait to see if the asking price reduces a bit first. I've come across Open Houses too in the US and Oz, and I've heard of them happening in the UK, but this wasn't an Open House, just a sharky EA who arranged for a load of punters to piggyback our viewing without telling us. Well my expectations are obviously higher than yours, and TBH if I'm going to be shelling out half a mil (which in my book is a huge amount of money), I expect to be given a little time to look round the house on my own to make that decision - is 15 mins too much to ask? To be frank if people are happy to make an offer based on a quick mass viewing (& you don't always get the chance for a 2nd viewing when offers go in within 24 hours of 1st viewings), then that speaks volumes both for the state of the market (bubble) & those people's financial acumen (poor). Anyway, it wasn't me that specified Sat - I could have quite easily seen it another day, as in fact I did, as I went back & saw it this pm. It was the EA who offered me Sat, presumably as he knew he could amass a few other punters for that day too & try to make it seem as if this was a hot property that would go fast if we didn't all put in super high offers asap. Sadly his plan failed, as he apparently hasn't had any other offers & it's put me on notice to be wary of further sharp practices by his agency. Yes, that's my point - that I think the EA intentionally planned this with the explicit intention of trying to pressurise us into offering asking or above. Although I have been rattled by it to the extent of being pretty narked off by their tactics, I don't feel under any pressure to offer high, as I always try to base my decisions on what I feel I can afford, rather than get into a ridiculously competitive situation and then regret it later. Hence why I am quite ambivalent about buying in the current mkt. I'm interested to hear that it happened to you in central Cambridge last month - maybe it's the same agency!
  8. AN UPDATE: The EA called me this morning all very apologetic about what happened on Sat (see my OP), admitting that the viewing was supposed to be just for us & that the 3 other families shouldn't have been tagged on to our already arranged viewing without at least letting us know. They said that isn't the way they usually operate etc. They then offered me whatever time or day I wanted for a rearranged private viewing. (Presumably therefore they haven't been inundated with offers!) I have therefore decided to give them the benefit of doubt that perhaps it just was a junior in the office who cocked up (but am still going to be very wary of any further underhand tactics if I do proceed with them), so accepted their offer & have just come back from seeing the house, where the viewing EA was very apologetic as well. Turns out the house was worth a look, and I am potentially interested in it, although the price is outrageous given how much work is needed on it. So I need to consider whether it's worth putting a low offer in, or whether that would just insult them & annoy the EA. Decisions, decisions...
  9. Look, I really don't have any problem with Open Houses if I'm told that's what it is, but if you make an appointment for a private viewing, which is what I did, then you don't expect 3 other families to piggyback it without having been told in advance. That's bloody rude.
  10. The vomiting bit sounds fun! Hope you didn't buy the house only because you felt bad about it! I think I might have... Interested what you say about the bigots and HBs. We've only lived here a couple of years (we STMd here), but agree that there is a certain arrogance to some of the residents - although from experience it is generally the newcomers that are more materialistic and arrogant, rather than locals who generally seem fine. Luckily they're not too inbred this side of Cambridge either, although I have heard the Fens can be. Well, I know we can talk forever about whether it was "implied", "suggested" or actually "said", but the fact that the EA asked when I would like to view, I replied certain times, and then once he had spoken to the vendor we agreed a time which suited around my baby's nap, made me pretty clear that it was initially intended to be a private viewing. I presume the extra 3 families were added on, either to add a frisson of competitiveness or because the vendor couldn't be bothered to go out for more than 30 mins, but the EA couldn't be arsed or wasn't sober enough to remember to call me to let me know. Furthermore, I don't think it should be for me to ask if it's a "private viewing" - do you ask at the doctor's for a "private appointment"? - I think the onus is on the EA to let you know if it's not going to be just you viewing at that time. Well then perhaps the EA should have asked me not to bring the kids. He knew I was going to, after all that's why the appt was made for the time it was. Sadly we agree with you, although certain circs make us reluctantly decide to buy. Am very interested that you are bearish though, as your profile states you are a bull - are you just bearish about Cambridge, and, if so, what are you reasons please?
  11. Fine, well then perhaps your EAs would do the decent thing and tell people that's what you are doing, rather than ******* who told me, "of course you can view the house, when would you like to see it?", and then arranging the viewing around my baby's nap times, so that I could come with my husband and children (after all who in their right mind is going to put an offer in on a house without their spouse or children seeing it?) - BUT THEN arranging for 3 other families to tag along too, without having the decency to let me know! Maybe then you'd get more understanding punters. As for time wasters, I would imagine we're probably more seriously interested buyers than any of the other "potential buyers" we saw today, plus I would also imagine we are the only ones who aren't in a chain - certainly when I made the appointment to view the EA seemed very excited when I told him we were currently renting and ready to go with a mortgage. Although perhaps so excited that he thought he could bleed us for more money by staging a surprise mass viewing. As for selling houses, I've sold several times, every time giving individual viewings to potential purchasers - at least that way you as a vendor can also get to "interview" the prospective purchasers to see if they seem honest and likely to proceed. To my knowledge I've never had any time wasters - certainly the last place I sold every viewer put in an offer, so I presume that they were all serious. Are people that sad that they visit houses which they aren't likely to buy? Regarding Open Houses, I'm fully in favour of them IF punters are told they are happening. What I find annoying is to arrange a one-off viewing for you and your family to view a house, when you are serious buyers, prepared to pay the vendors nearly £500k if you like their house, and discover 3 other families have also been told to turn up at the same time, all with kids in tow. That is just bloody rude and pisses me off to the extent that I won't deal with cowboy EAs like that again - or buy that house, as no doubt the vendors were involved in the set-up too. You can take that as you wish, but if you are a vendor looking to sell a near £500k house in a village near Cambridge, and reckon that you can try to pressurise potential purchasers into paying far more than they would otherwise by cunningly getting them all to arrive at your house at the same time (when you haven't told them and could have quite easily had them all 30 mins apart), then you might do well to heed that small piece of advice.
  12. I totally disagree. I think rampant HPI helps no one, and would be delighted if house prices fell to a level which was affordable for the majority of people, and then only rose going forwards in line with wage inflation. I want the UK to be a place where everyone who wants to own their own home can do so by working hard (and living frugally for some time if required), not just those who have been given huge handouts, are over 45, or who are earning in the top 5% of income. That's no sort of place for my children, or their contemporaries, to grow up in.
  13. Thought fellow Cambridge bods might find my experience interesting. Not prepared to name & shame the EA, but it is one of the well known EAs in Cambridge. http://www.housepricecrash.co.uk/forum/ind...showtopic=46037 Today I experienced the latest nasty trick which I gather EAs are using - the underhand surprise mass viewing, designed to ramp up prices even further (as if vendors aren't getting enough already!) by creating so much pressure that potential buyers get sucked in and start offering ridiculous amounts above asking price to get the house. It was supposed to be a private viewing of a family house, in a village nr Cambridge, which I had arranged yesterday, agreeing a time which suited me and my family. We therefore structured the whole of today around it - as you have to do when babies/young children are involved. Today, we turn up at the alloted time, only to find when we got to the house that there was another family already there, with a second family turning up just as we did, both also booked in for the same slot as us. We therefore told the EA that we would wait in the car outside until they had all gone so we could view in peace, and so we did. Until, just 10 mins later, when a third family turned up to view too! At this, we decided enough was enough and that we would not be pawns in the EA's little game, and so told the EA we wouldn't be subjected to his underhand tactics, and then left (in a bit of strop, it has to be said!). I am still seething! There was never any mention whatsoever of a mass viewing - if I had been told, then I would either have asked for a private viewing or, if not available, gone to the mass viewing alone, sans husband & babes. But to spring that little surprise on us, to me smacks of very unprofessional EA tactics, which I can only imagine have been used to try to show that there is more interest than there really is (the house has already been on the market for over a week after all & from a quick glance inside appears to be very overpriced for what it is), and makes me very determined to avoid that particular EA from now on. What makes me laugh a little though is that we are in rented accommodation, all ready to rock & roll if the right house turns up, so, I would imagine, would be in a far better position that most other viewers who will almost certainly be in chains given the type of property it is. Perhaps, just perhaps, the EA has pissed the wrong people off! Anyway, it will be VERY interesting to see if the EA bother to call me on Monday to apologise and/or try to rearrange.
  14. Not willing to name & shame the EA quite yet - I will at least give them until Monday to see if they call to apologise. If they don't, then I'll consider it. Glad to see I'm not the only one who doesn't like being tricked. We've also come to the conclusion that perhaps it just wasn't the house for us - certainly not at that asking price, which I presume they are expecting to exceed given the mass viewing - and there will be a better house out there for us eventually! One, at least, where it's not too much trouble to be allowed a clear 15 mins on your own to decide whether it's worth parting with the best part of £500k for. I don't see anything wrong with "Open Houses", if that's what you are talking about, as everyone knows the score. What pisses me off about today, though, is that this wasn't an Open House - I agreed a time to view with the EA (a time of my choosing, I hasten to add) and it was very much implied that it would just be us viewing. Also, it being a family house, means you are pretty likely to be turning up with a spouse/partner and kids - as we all did. Bloody hell, viewing a house with your own babies/kids is hard enough I find, but viewing with 7 other kids, as well as their 6 parents, in addition, is not my idea of fun. Well, that's my point - the Estate Agent DID suggest it would be a private viewing. Furthermore, the tactics the EA used today show me exactly what sort of outfit they are, and make me extremely wary of dealing with them, as they might well use other nasty tactics later on down the line. I've been in and out of the property market for years and I know that, however much you like a house, it is always worth walking away if you don't trust the EAs, as you'll probably end up without it and out of pocket later on anyway. That's if they are genuine "potential buyers" of course, not the EA's mates. Well, I hate to say it, but they do in Cambridge! Not a city renowned for its dimwittedness, perhaps, but people here are certainly happy to splash the cash if they get a whiff that someone else is interested. Very competitive place - not unlike London (have lived, bought & sold there, so can compare), and the hysteria here is similar to what is currently going on in London at the moment. The only difference is that for the majority of people in Cambridge, their salaries are a mere fraction of London salaries, yet house prices are quite similar to many areas of London. The agent DID imply it was a private viewing, that's my point. Anyway, have you ever actually viewed a house with kids in tow? (And the EA knew we were bringing babies/kids as I said it would have to be after the baby's nap.) It's a very different scenario if you're advised it's an open house or a joint viewing - the latter of which I've done several times before & have had no problem with it, as I've been warned. It's also a very different scenario if you're looking at a one bed flat. This was a family house, however, which does require more time and thought to assess. Plus the surprise mass viewing can only have been done to wind potential buyers up into thinking "help, this isn't what I expected; there are lots of others interested after all; I'd better put in an offer well above the asking price if I like it" - even though some of those "potential buyers" could well be plants.
  15. Well I did try - saying rather loudly how unprofessional I thought the EA was by obviously trying to create a bidding war, and that I would not be "drawn into sealed bids for THIS", which I'm sure two of the couples would have heard. And that's correct - I WON'T be drawn into overpaying for that house, when it is quite clearly overpriced even in the current market. We were only going to see it as we noticed it hadn't sold immediately (good stuff here is going instantly at the moment if not totally overpriced), so thought there might be some room to manoeuvre money off the asking price. Having glanced briefly inside and seen the state of a couple of rooms, the asking price seems outrageous, so the thought of being bid up over it (which is par for the course here these days*) is more than hysterical. * a friend told me the other day of some house near her in Cambridge which has just gone for £150k OVER the asking price; I've no idea what sort of asking price it had, but regardless, that really does show you how stupid some people are & how far prices could fall once all the stupid people have all bought and/or gone bankrupt.
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