Tales of housing woe in the UK
The Guardian has a brilliant piece out today about how widespread the housing bubble’s downdraft has become. We’re not talking just the South east here but idyllic countryside villages like Ely just north of Cambridge. This should highlight how widespread price and transaction declines are in the UK. The piece is called, “Coming soon to Middle Britain: The Doldrums“
I have been concentrating on the credit losses as an economic trigger because lending institutions will have less to lend. However, this story shows the ill effects on consumer wealth and income as house prices decline, sometimes dramatically. Ultimately, that too will feed through to a softer UK economy. The articl also highlights how the loss of stamp duty income from fewer transactions will leave Gordon Brown’s budget in tatters. Labour are in trouble.
In Ely homes the reality of the squeeze on finances is hitting hard. Jacqueline and Ian Morecraft have been forced to put emigration plans on hold due to the credit crunch – and to slash their house price by £75,000. Despite dropping the guide price for their five-bedroom townhouse from £325,000 to £250,000, they have not received a single offer in eight months. They have moved estate agents six times in a desperate bid to find a buyer, but it was more than four months before they even got their first viewing.
Sales are also plummeting.
In Hereford, 170 miles west of Ely, a similar story is emerging. Ten days ago, Monks estate agency shut its branch in the centre and two other estate agencies, Haart, part of the Spicerhaart group, and Taylors, have also closed branches in the cathedral city in the past few months. There, house prices have been stagnating since the beginning of the year but, more significantly, the number of properties changing hands has plummeted from 420 a month in August last year to fewer than 130 now, according to the Land Registry.
See also: Other posts under the label ‘UK.’