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Unread 22 Nov 2006, 16:31   #1
Marv
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The housing market

While reading this article on house prices I came across the following two lines;

Quote:
Mr Miles says the single biggest factor driving up house prices in the past decade has been the expectation of buyers that prices will keep on rising.
Quote:
[...]he says the expectation that prices will keep on rising by about 10% every year has accounted for between one-third and half of the excessive rise in prices seen in the past 10 years.
So according to this line of thinking, the reason for such huge inflation is house prices is that we all "think" that they will, then the powers that be put them up knowing we are all braced for it. Filling fat pockets because we are brainwashed into a line of thinking.

If this is the case, how do we combat this? He is quoted as saying that they will drop once we stop expecting them to rise. If this is so simple a solution, why do they keep going up?

As a student in my second year it's started to worry me that in 2-3 years I will be trying to get on the housing ladder, what’s the situation going to be like when I try?

Am I going to end up (say 3 years from now, so 2009) in a situation were the housing market is in such limbo it's to hard to fathom what’s going on or make stable judgement weather the house I buy is an investment or something which is going to potentially loose me money? Or are they just going to keep rising and even more out of my league so I am back with my parents unable to enter the housing market due to its continued growth and potential extortion?

I am hoping for the former.
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Unread 22 Nov 2006, 16:45   #2
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Re: The housing market

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marv
Or are they just going to keep rising and even more out of my league so I am back with my parents unable to enter the housing market due to its continued growth and potential extortion?

I am hoping for the former.
Unless something changes, I suspect the number of people renting will increase over time. If a lot of older people sell their homes (to pay for nursing care, etc) and don't leave them to their kids then you might find this process happening quicker than expected. So you won't do either (live with your parents or buy) - you'll rent.

But why do you want to buy a house 1-2 years after you've finished your degree anwyay? OK, I live in London but I finished my (undergraduate) degree five years ago and I'm not even vaguely thinking about buying a property (not that I could, admittedly). The majority of people who I went to school with are in roughly the same boat.

People have been saying that current / former price rises are unsustainable, but that doesn't mean they won't keep going up. While we have relativley high rates of immigration, a reasonably solid economy and a flexible credit market I don't see why prices would crush suddenly. Sure, prices do seem ridiculous from a first-time buyer perspective, but then there's plenty of people who have second houses, and 800,000 Britons have a house abroad, I read this morning.

Anyway, everyone seeing their house as "an investment" is probably how some of this nonsense got started in the first place. A house is somewhere to live primarily, not part of some investment fund.
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Unread 22 Nov 2006, 17:08   #3
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Re: The housing market

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marv
While reading this article on house prices I came across the following two lines;

So according to this line of thinking, the reason for such huge inflation is house prices is that we all "think" that they will, then the powers that be put them up knowing we are all braced for it. Filling fat pockets because we are brainwashed into a line of thinking.

If this is the case, how do we combat this? He is quoted as saying that they will drop once we stop expecting them to rise. If this is so simple a solution, why do they keep going up?

As a student in my second year it's started to worry me that in 2-3 years I will be trying to get on the housing ladder, what’s the situation going to be like when I try?

Am I going to end up (say 3 years from now, so 2009) in a situation were the housing market is in such limbo it's to hard to fathom what’s going on or make stable judgement weather the house I buy is an investment or something which is going to potentially loose me money? Or are they just going to keep rising and even more out of my league so I am back with my parents unable to enter the housing market due to its continued growth and potential extortion?

I am hoping for the former.
It’s like asking “which came first the chicken or the egg”. You can say that its simple expectation that prices will rise that cause prices to rise but the expectations are there for a reason and that’s house prices do continue to rise.

And anyway we are pretty much already in a position where the markets at a point now where getting on the first rung of the housing ladder are extremely hard. There was something on the news a couple of month’s back which stated that a 1st time buyer needs to find something like £30k deposit on their first homes and that it was now common for people to not buy their first home until they are in their 30’s

There’s a good chance that we will end up with a renting culture in the UK in the next 10 years as you are going to need to have money to be able to afford to buy but even in that kind of situation house prices are still going to rise. Owning your own house after all is something we pretty much all strive for so people will still be looking to buy and a renting society still needs people to buy houses to rent out so the demand will still remain and house prices will continue to rise.
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Unread 22 Nov 2006, 18:00   #4
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Re: The housing market

Hi all,

UK and Irish markets are very similar atm, bar one thing the irish market is starting the slow down. This is mainly for two reasons. The ECB has highered the interest rate on mortagegs 6 times this year with another estimated 3 times next year. This is making first time buyers wary of entering into mortgage agreements and as such the demand has gone down. A part of this is that house prices are over valued at about 30 -40 grand beacuse of ppl who trading up need that cash to cover the interest hikes on their repayments. This also is a prob for first time buyer who bought over valued houses as they now have a property which is in negative equity.

The upper end of the market eg property at 1.5mil + vlue has seen a major slow down in the last 6 mths, medium to low value house have are now starting to loose value/remain at market value.

Even wit the slow down and the projected loss in value may partner and I are unable to afford to buy a house in Dublin. The average cost of a 2/3 bed house is about 370k. For us to be able to afford this our combined income would need to be 85k+deposit of 25k or combined income of 95k. That would give us a mortage of 25 yrs. Eh no thank you.

I prefer renting in a really up market area for less than 35% than what my mortage monthly repayment would be for a house in knackerville.

We are waiting for negative equity to appear like in the 80's in the low value property sector. So we are saving a deposit atm.

tsm
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Unread 22 Nov 2006, 18:14   #5
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Re: The housing market

I never considered renting.

All you see on the news is lots of hype and publicity of rising purchasing prices. Renting totally went over my head.

TheShadowMan you make a really good points about renting costs. I did some looking about and realised I could rent somewere much nicer / bigger and in a better area for a fraction of the cost of a mortage for something smaller in a poor area.

I'm glad I don't have to look at this for a couple of years, but at the same time it does worries me that someone young like myself who has to eventually step into this fluctuating market one way or the other
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Unread 22 Nov 2006, 19:36   #6
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Re: The housing market

Negative equity in the 1980's was linked to the high interest rates charged at the time, coupled with a recessive economy. It's hardly sensible to compare that to todays situation.

The actual gist of the message was that house price rises would begin to fall to a rate at or around the rate of inflation. Houses will get dearer more slowly.

House prices are at the mercy of the estate agent, here's a quick example.

We sold our 3 bed house in Bristol in 1993. We had four estate agents visit to offer valuations.

1) "You need to tidy that up, finish this, redecorate that. Maybe £113,000.

2) "How much do you want to sell it for?" We said £130,00. "I can sell it for that" (No valuation offered).

3) "It costs a fortune to print details in colour and we only advertise in local papers". Value £125,000.

4) "Wow! I love your house! Your gardens great, the bathroom is fantastic. Anybody would love to buy this house. £150,000 easy."

There you are then. £37,000 difference between the highest and lowest valuation.

Guess which one we choose to market the property? (Before anyone quips about asking prices and selling prices, we sold for £145,000 two weeks later.)

Buying a house is a massive investment of money, time and effort but the overiding trend is rising house prices. If your prepared to risk waiting for a fall off in real terms your risking years of waiting.
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Unread 22 Nov 2006, 22:51   #7
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Re: The housing market

why should you own a house?
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Unread 23 Nov 2006, 16:34   #8
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Re: The housing market

The idea of not having to pay rent in 30 years time is appealing, but at the moment, there's no way I can afford anything in an area I'd want to live in. Living on my own doesn't really appeal either.
A friend (who's fairly into the whole property thing, owning (with mortgages) 5 houses and 3 flats) recently suggested that I consider buying a flat off-plan in a new development in an area that's going through quite a bit of rennovation (it's fairly central, but is a pretty rough area) to subsequently rent it out. It seems like a good idea, but quite risky and I don't really do risky when it comes to money (or anything else...) so I'll probably just 'think about it' for the next few years...
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Unread 23 Nov 2006, 16:53   #9
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Re: The housing market

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dante Hicks
But why do you want to buy a house 1-2 years after you've finished your degree anwyayd.
Because it makes more sense than pissing away 5K ever year on rent that you wont get any returns on. If you were renting for 10 years then thats around 80K that youre losing in real terms, which is a decent bit of money.

Last edited by Nodrog; 23 Nov 2006 at 17:07.
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Unread 23 Nov 2006, 17:25   #10
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Re: The housing market

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nodrog
Because it makes more sense than pissing away 5K ever year on rent that you wont get any returns on. If you were renting for 10 years then thats around 80K that youre losing in real terms, which is a decent bit of money.
But that assumes you're going to stay in the same place for the next 10 years doesn't it?

The fees involved in moving a mortgage from one place to another is quite a large amount...
And when you move house there are all the decorating etc costs too.

I'm guessing your £80k includes the increase in the house worth but what if the house value decreases? You also haven't taken into account the interest you've paid on your mortgage payments that you've effectively lost.

The amount of maintenance you have to put into a house you own is more than into a house you rent as well.

If you can afford a mortgage then great, if you can't then renting won't lose you too much.
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Unread 23 Nov 2006, 17:30   #11
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Re: The housing market

4 Months after finishing my degree I've got a morgage on a 2 bed flat in a shit part of Cardiff (moving down here to be with my gf was hardly a career move) but im on the ladder. Paid £72k for the place with 2k cashbask (i did say it was a shit area didnt I?) In the process of tarting it up at the moment, new kitchen and bathroom are already in and 2 rooms left to decorate, the flat upstairs has just sold for ~£90k. Cashback on the morgage gave us the money to sort it out (plus some redundancy money from work)

Not bad for living in a hole for 4 months and it will hopefully leave us with a substantial deposit for a nicer house. Developing nasty properties seems to be the way to go.
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Unread 23 Nov 2006, 18:37   #12
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Re: The housing market

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nodrog
Because it makes more sense than pissing away 5K ever year on rent that you wont get any returns on. If you were renting for 10 years then thats around 80K that youre losing in real terms, which is a decent bit of money.
I'm aware of what the advantages are of owner occupation are in the long term, I'm just more curious why he wants to do start it a year after he's finished his degree. As Ste implies, will he know what he wants to do / where he's going to live for the next decade so soon after finishing Uni? His profile says he's 20 - will he know the path the rest of his life is going to take at 22*?

If so (and he can afford it) then good luck to him of course.

* = This is making it a bit melodramatic, obviously you could buy a house and then change your mind a year or two later without any major problems, but the benefits of owning really only start to kick in after a few years, especially if you have maintenance problems in the first couple of years (a lot of owners do).
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Unread 29 Nov 2006, 13:19   #13
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Re: The housing market

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nodrog
Because it makes more sense than pissing away 5K ever year on rent that you wont get any returns on. If you were renting for 10 years then thats around 80K that youre losing in real terms, which is a decent bit of money.
Not entirely true.
You have to take inflation into effect and also discount all future spendings against some discount rate, say 5%, because every pound you have available for a year and then have to spend is worth more than a pound to be spend right away, so at times, renting can be the appropriate course of action.
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Unread 29 Nov 2006, 20:29   #14
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Re: The housing market

We just sold our two-bed flat near Heathrow for a profit of 61% after owning it for 6 and a half years.

That only works out to 8% a year.

I'VE BEEN RIPPED OFF!
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Unread 3 Dec 2006, 22:20   #15
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Re: The housing market

owning a house is great IF you can afford it, but there are so many factors that you have to be careful.

i would have to say that one of the factors affecting house prices round my neck of the woods (and i see no reason for it to be different anywhere else in the country) is estate agents. This is a group of people whom want to get the highest price for your house, as nearly all of the estate agents i know of get paid a percentage rather than a flat fee for selling your house. Thus is it in their best interents to inflate the market (i know of a couple around here who quite literally see what houses have been going for in the immediate area and just bung a few grand on top)
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Unread 3 Dec 2006, 22:30   #16
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Re: The housing market

Quote:
Originally Posted by roadrunner_0
owning a house is great IF you can afford it, but there are so many factors that you have to be careful.

i would have to say that one of the factors affecting house prices round my neck of the woods (and i see no reason for it to be different anywhere else in the country) is estate agents. This is a group of people whom want to get the highest price for your house, as nearly all of the estate agents i know of get paid a percentage rather than a flat fee for selling your house. Thus is it in their best interents to inflate the market (i know of a couple around here who quite literally see what houses have been going for in the immediate area and just bung a few grand on top)
have you never stopped to think that there are 62,000,000 people trying to live on a few small islands?

there are estate agents in france and yet (and yet) the house prices in france are no where near ours. there are estate agents in both London and newcastle. YET SOME HOW by some magical convenience house prices in the two cities are not the same.

You are fundamentally naive to even imagine that estate agents have anything to do with house prices
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Unread 3 Dec 2006, 22:39   #17
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Re: The housing market

dude, ONE of the factors, did i say THE MOST IMPORTANT factor? no. did i say THE ONLY FACTOR? no.


dont argue for the sake of arguing, when i said i know of a couple around here, what i meant was quite literally anecdotal evidence from talking to estate agents (or rather, people i know who work for/as estate agents) about how they believe that a flat fee system would be better for the housing market, as charging a percentage encourage both inflated prices and gazumping
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Unread 3 Dec 2006, 22:45   #18
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Re: The housing market

Quote:
Originally Posted by roadrunner_0
dude, ONE of the factors, did i say THE MOST IMPORTANT factor? no. did i say THE ONLY FACTOR? no.


dont argue for the sake of arguing, when i said i know of a couple around here, what i meant was quite literally anecdotal evidence from talking to estate agents (or rather, people i know who work for/as estate agents) about how they believe that a flat fee system would be better for the housing market, as charging a percentage encourage both inflated prices and gazumping
I can't see how it is even a factor.

People gazump because they really love the house/flat in question. Estate agents can try to inflate all they want but the market is not a monopoly and buyers try to offer less at any and all opportunities.
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Unread 3 Dec 2006, 22:54   #19
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Re: The housing market

people couldnt gazump without the implicit knowledge and complicity of estate agents
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Unread 3 Dec 2006, 23:05   #20
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Re: The housing market

Quote:
Originally Posted by roadrunner_0
people couldnt gazump without the implicit knowledge and complicity of estate agents
1) so you admit that they would still want to
2) do you really not think they'd find a way?
3) yes they could.
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Unread 3 Dec 2006, 23:11   #21
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Re: The housing market

yes but how does that have anything to do with my point? just because people can do something one way doesnt mean that they wouldn't do it the hugely more easy way of going through the estate agent.


you arent disproving what i said, merely taking it off on a tangent
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Unread 3 Dec 2006, 23:20   #22
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Re: The housing market

Quote:
Originally Posted by roadrunner_0
yes but how does that have anything to do with my point? just because people can do something one way doesnt mean that they wouldn't do it the hugely more easy way of going through the estate agent.


you arent disproving what i said, merely taking it off on a tangent
In fairness to you I am not fully sure what you are saying.

But, in fairness to me, if you are saying that estate agents are the reasons that house prices are incredibly high then i would like you to consider the following (i'm putting it in numbers because I like lists, as a friend i hope you'll forgive me)

1) houses are just like every other product you can buy except that they aren't built in factories and their numbers are fundamentally limited.
2) Britain is a small amount of land
3) People care an awful lot about where they live, they obsess about houses, they fall in love with them
4) Distance = Time. People have finite time and will not waste it travelling
5) 'estate agents' are several independant companies all trying to beat each other. they don't have a cartel or a 'smoke filled room'. they follow the market.
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Unread 3 Dec 2006, 23:30   #23
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Re: The housing market

i know what you are saying, but you are coming at my point from teh wrong angle, you point stand, and go a long way to showing why central london house prices are so absurd. What i was saying was, the main way of selling houses in this country is controlled by people who are paid (generally, not always) a percentage of what they make for you, and therefore the temptation is there for them (estate agents) to encourage the upward trend, and, for the more unscroupulous agents to use tactics such as telling people that there is already an offer in at the asking price to make the properties involved go for artificially high prices (as an example, albeit a specific and afaik not a specifically huge probelm in and of itself). Yes, estate agents want to get the best prices for the people involved, however, the people involved in the transaction happen to be themselves.
(im trying desperately hard to stay away from the 'all estate agents are evil robbing bastards stereotype here, as i know that that isnt true, however, i think it would be fair to say that a lot are motivated by the pursuit of money, rather than altruism)
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Unread 3 Dec 2006, 23:42   #24
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Re: The housing market

Quote:
Originally Posted by roadrunner_0
i know what you are saying, but you are coming at my point from teh wrong angle, you point stand, and go a long way to showing why central london house prices are so absurd. What i was saying was, the main way of selling houses in this country is controlled by people who are paid (generally, not always) a percentage of what they make for you, and therefore the temptation is there for them (estate agents) to encourage the upward trend, and, for the more unscroupulous agents to use tactics such as telling people that there is already an offer in at the asking price to make the properties involved go for artificially high prices (as an example, albeit a specific and afaik not a specifically huge probelm in and of itself). Yes, estate agents want to get the best prices for the people involved, however, the people involved in the transaction happen to be themselves.
You are describing capitalism. There is not a single product sold in this country by any other method.

What we do is ensure that there is never a monopoly.

So yes it is an estate agent's personal interest to push up prices if he can.

What we do in capitalism and why we decided this system worked best is pit all of these competing interests against each other. Housing is a relatively simple system. The cost of the product makes it the largest single purchase, or semi-purchase, that 99% of the market will make in their lifetime. The seller wants to sell but the buyer will have a finite amount of money.

Estate agents as salesmen really have very little room to manoevre. This is (by the way and just in case i haven't already bored you to death) why estate agents are the salesmen who are the most constrained salesmen we have.

Freshly squeezed orange juice salesmen can keep pushing up prices because they are limited to what people are used to paying, add a penny and 90% of your consumer base won't even notice.

Estate agents do not have this luxury. Their problem is the nature of their product.

If you do not believe that then the next time you meet an estate agent ask yourself "was he an estate agent in 1991". Because when you look at him you'll realise that he's too young. The reason being that the market crashed in a big way and those estate agents shot themselves.
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Unread 4 Dec 2006, 00:21   #25
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Re: The housing market

Isn't supply and demand a wonderful thing?
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Unread 4 Dec 2006, 00:23   #26
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Re: The housing market

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Originally Posted by Tomkat
Isn't supply and demand a wonderful thing?
not half as wonderful as posting a comment on a discussion forum.
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Unread 4 Dec 2006, 00:25   #27
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Re: The housing market

Well this thread was cheaper than the Daily Mail, at least.
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Unread 4 Dec 2006, 00:29   #28
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Re: The housing market

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Originally Posted by lokken
Well this thread was cheaper than the Daily Mail, at least.
that's how immigrants think
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Unread 4 Dec 2006, 00:45   #29
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Re: The housing market

Quote:
Originally Posted by roadrunner_0
Yes, estate agents want to get the best prices for the people involved
Not necessarily. Obviously higher prices for the seller mean higher commission for them, but that doesn't necessarily mean they are incentivised to always go for the highest price - three quickish sales of "low" value will probably earn them more money than two slower sales of "high" value (low / high in this sense relating to price paid compared to expectation not in absolute terms). This is discussed quite a bit by Steven Leavitt in Freakonomics with reference to some research done in this area.

But anyway, as nice as it would be to blame estate agents for high house prices the problem is obviously one of supply as has already been mentioned. Which is related to a whole range of issues (total supply of land obviously, but much more importantly the amount of building land, the planning process, consistent lack of investment in housing, history of rent control, restrictions placed on local authorities, blah, blah).

As I said earlier though, why the assumption that everyone should own? In the UK 68% (ish) people are owner occupiers - in Switzerland it's only about 30%. In a lot of continental Europe private renting is much more common than here, and if we had a little more professionalism in that sector it might become a lot more attractive choice.
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Unread 4 Dec 2006, 01:09   #30
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Re: The housing market

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Originally Posted by Yahwe
that's how immigrants think
and students...
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