Tuesday, 29 January 2008

Joy as housing is more affordable

Now there's a headline you won't read in tomorrow's Daily Mail/Express.

Official figures - from the Land Registry - show that house prices in England and Wales fell by 0.4 per cent during December.

Good news then for all those first-time buyers, the teachers and other public servants who can't afford to live in the communities they serve.

Not that the news will be reported in quite that way as the media reflect the impact on those of us lucky enough to own/buy our own homes, who will be feeling poorer on paper.

The British psychology on house prices has always puzzled me. An otherwise bright colleague felt very pleased having made tens of thousands of pounds on his home in Cardiff in three years, seemingly oblivious to the higher cost of the home to which he had just traded up.

A sticky market may be bad news for some parts of the economy, and those home-buyers who have over-stretched themselves and face negative equity, but there are many others for whom
falling prices will mean access to affordable housing for the first time.

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