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House Price Crash Forum

The Pfizer Effect


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We have been looking at buying a home in an area bordered by East Canterbury in the west and reaching almost to the channel. A village location would be nice we thought but the prices have remained stubbornly high because as any estate agent in that area will tell you it is because of the new high speed link to Paddington from Canterbury, the number of students who need accomodation for their university courses and of course it is in any case a well heeled part of UK.

That seemed to change on 3rd February after the announcement of the closure of the Pfizer plant at Sandwich . A house that we had been most interested in suddenly dropped 20.000 to below 250000 ( our budget) the same saved searches on RM are showing more houses and importantly reductions to houses already on the market. It is as though it has brought peoples minds to focus on the fact that

A) What is the point of an expensive high speed train if you lose your job in the next year or 2.

B) Where will the students come from next year as most flower arranging type degrees will cost real money

C) 2400 coming out of Pfizer , all of whom live in the surrounding area and have good well paid jobs with houses and mortgages spending money in the local economy. Therefore probably about 3000 homes affected in the local economy. That is without the banks gradually putting there repossessed property back on the market as Lloyds for one will soon be doing. It is all getting very interesting .

Edited by 169995
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  • 2 months later...

I keep a half eye on Canterbury every few months. Probably not a huge Pfizer effect but there seems to be slightly lower asking prices on normal (non new build silly prices) properties. I reckon in 18 months time the average house price will start to look more like an average house (150-175k).

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  • 2 months later...

Also the first significant wave of Pfizer redundancies will start to occur around mid may. The site will start to feel strange then.....

Well as many colleagues are now leaving or have left Pfizer and start to put their houses on the market I'm getting some anecdotals from some people in my department. First girl, mortgaged to the eyeballs, 30yr term - just outside Canterbury. Bought about 12 months ago irrespective of doom and gloom in the market - sold within 1 week at asking price - about 20k above what she paid (3 bed semi). So maybe the South East really is magical place. This led my other colleague who is now putting his house on the market to say the prices in Margate are now going up, so no worries. Long live HPI!

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