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Big Houses & Oil

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Folks here and in the US have sought to gear themselves into the property market by buying bigger houses and building extensions. "Spacious" has been a byeword for desirability amongst property owners, developers and estate agents. Atriums and double height celings have captured th eimmaginations of those buying into their new found status. That may be about to change if a 24 anecdotal is anything to go by.

News24 interviewed a reasonably affluent looking 30-40 something woman describing how she is intending to cope with higher fuel bills. Amongst the measures were "sweaters and slippers" and, and here's the stunner : "we'll probably close off some rooms."

It has occured to me how little people use their homes nowadays in any case, with or without shutting rooms off. Both halves of a couple generally work and the kids are at some other activity or another until early evening. At the weekends houses that were hardly used lie abandoned as folks seek to fritter away any spare cash on breaks.

This has made me wonder why on earth people ever needed that new extension with its unused gym. Of course they never did. It was all about persuading themselves thatthey were benefitting from higher house prices. Ask somebody why they needed a library/study (when they read less than Victoria Beckham) and the instant answer is "investing money in the house."

If energy prices continue to escalate however these unused rooms will be seen for what they are: useless liabilities that are best never built and now need to be shut off.

Some may doubt the need or sincerity of intent of the woman in the anecdotal news 24 item. Actions however speak louder than words. She was already driving less and saving $55 a week. As she put it "the higher prices go, the more I save."

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  • 301 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?

      • down 5% +
      • down 2.5%
      • Even
      • up 2.5%
      • up 5%

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