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Ex house-hunter

First Time Buyer Waiting Room

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While there are more gems in the Citywire article (see front page) than you can shake a stick at, I will repeat a particular one that is something to marvel at:

"The property industry has been deliberately hiding the truth from homeowners about the state of the market to protect their own interests. The property crash has already begun."

I am somebody who almost bought my first house 18 months ago, only to watch it slip away after my maximum offer (the limits of what I could sanely afford) went up in smoke. No mistake about it - I was priced out of a very normal house in a non-sexy area. I am upset about it as I just wanted a place to live after 20 years of renting. Happily, the landscape is changing and we appear to be heading full tilt for a crash sooner (or later – but probably sooner). It’s worrying though that they are preparing ‘bailout’ procedures for any more banks that get close to the edge. Again the regular citizen will get it in the backside and pay for the mess.

Although I was priced out by monster prices, and dislike the culture of greed that got us here, people have been steered by powerful and cynical institutions. The latter are the ones to blame first, so the word ‘sheeple’ as used here in many posts by the older hands is degrading even if it sometimes describes those who are a bit non-thinking or even a bit ‘thick’(!) This is no defence of idiots, more like anger, that the more powerful have hoodwinked entire parts of the population... don't we need a dirty word to describe these people first? I admit that my tolerance is tested though when I remember that woman who earlier this year had a blog about her debt problems on the Front Page of the BBC website.

Back on prices – a typical road around my way has seen a basic house in the ugly Harrow/Ealing borders, shoot up from £150k to twice that in around 6-7 years. There is no way they can go higher as they are already in the realms of unaffordable to the very people that are living there today or those (like myself) who would live there. These prices would have to fall between 30-40% to bring them back to any sensible reality –this is just a guess but I’m confident it’s the case, as it brings these houses back to £190-210k. This is not an ‘aspiring’ or ‘desirable’ patch I am talking about. People that live here would say “it’s okay” at best but ‘not great’ is more accurate. I know its obvious, but want you can buy for your money today is bleak – rubbish houses for stupid, stupid prices. If I can go elsewhere I damn well will I’m afraid, even though I’m no snob. So here I am wishing it crashes tomorrow so I can buy something affordable.

I wonder how many thousands have a story like mine:

1) stretched myself to get mortgage approval to buy house (Feb.06)
2) offer turned down (Mar & Apr & May 06)
3) considered small 2-bed flat, and decided it ain't worth it (Sep.06)
4) admitted being priced out and gave up the ghost (Oct.06)
5) awaited in anticipation ever since

... and that's exactly what I'm doing as the powers that be try to invent new mechanisms to keep the monstrosity alive. I hope to see the banks get whipped and watch Mr & Mrs BTL-Portfolio run for the exits. I just hope 'the little guy' doesn't get killed in the stampede.

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