So another year begins with great expectations and hopes of a bright new dawn and we haven’t even got through January and my hopes have been dashed on the rocks of dodgy journalism and the somewhat perfidious behaviour of my fellow estate agents. Firstly, I must hold my hands up to breaking my own resolutions; despite my best efforts, I am only managing 8 miles on my morning run as opposed to my planned 12…., I have shown weakness in occasionally replying to Kylie’s texts, despite telling her last year that her minx-like behaviour had to stop and she would have to direct her attentions elsewhere… and I have found myself being suitably irritated by a. people dispensing utter b&*”£$t and b. the recipients of the latter actually believing it. Last week I spoke with a vendor who had been quoted £3000 to sell a house valued at £100,000. Eh? Apparently, the mortgage arranger had been “very good to us” (the vendors of the said property) and they didn’t want “to upset him”. I am sure that they were receiving a ‘very good’ service that was undoubtedly accompanied by a ‘very good’ fee, with which I have no problem. My issue is that that is the basis of any contract, which has nothing to do with an individual’s emotional wellbeing, particularly when it is revealed that the arranger works for the £3000-quoting agent. Now who is getting a ‘very good’ deal? Another valuation revealed an agent who had initially quoted a fee of £4000, but on learning that they were losing the instruction to Cheshire & Co said that they would reduce the fee by £2000 if they could keep the property to sell. So why not quote that fee at the off? Well there goes another of my resolutions; stopping asking stupid questions. Come on Chesh, wake up.
Whilst my blood pressure continued to rise in direct proportion to the price of oil falling through the floor (on a separate note, a certain SMP of the Alex Salmond variety who you couldn’t shut up about the price of oil this time last year has been notable by his reticence recently), the odds of my visiting the doctor were shortened when I read an article by a “business reporter” by the name of Rosie Taylor. The lady in question should be had up by Trade Descriptions. Fortunately she is only given a small column to play with (stop sniggering), but she still gave it her best shot to induce hysteria with the headline “Right-to-buy rush pushes home loans to 7 year high” Daily Mail Friday 22 January 2016 Rosie, Rosie, was this a last minute job or did you not get the sub-editor to have a quick look? Ms Taylor’s article was actually about buy-to-let and not right to buy. I am sure that Gideon would be laughing all the way to next door if his right to buy policy had created a ‘rush’. Ms T further reported that last year loans worth £220 billion were “handed out” [sic]. That is disingenuous writing; “handed out” implies some form of gratis payment. A likely story when it comes to mortgages or in fact anything to do with purchasing a property. She gets further excited by £19.9 billion being dispensed in December alone. Well £220 billion divided by 12 is £18.3 billion, so why the excitement about December’s figure? Calm down Ms T. Looking at this more rationally, the money allocated in December would have been relating to mortgage applications submitted some 3 to 4 months prior, so the Chancellor’s policy had nothing to do with the so called “rush”, as it was money that was already in the mortgage pipeline. If Ms T knows of a mortgage lender who can facilitate an application in November resulting in a completion by mid-December, then please give them my number; Miss Minogue will have to wait.