After the mass hysteria of last week with people running lemming-like to become estate agents/put their homes on the market to make a fortune to allow them to become buy-to-let zillionaires, this week has seen the resumption of normal service. Just after the Royal Chartered Institute of Surveyors (RICS), forewarned – quite rightly – of the dangers of super house price inflation – the Office for National Statistics produced a report of what actually is happening. The report stated that if you lived in London and certain areas of the South East, then life was indeed a bed of roses and you could name your price. Outside of the capital, the ONS reported, “house price growth remains stable, although house price in London are increasing faster than the UK average”. For those members of the population who don’t live in the economic hub of London and its environs, this was confirmation that they were not in the early stages of dementia; if your property is worth less than it was 5 years ago and your income has also fallen, how can one think that the feel-good factor is flourishing and all is well in the world? Allowing for the fact that it is his party’s annual conference this week and all possible political acumen is to be exploited, somebody should have a quiet word in the delicate ear of Mr Vince Cable; there is no housing bubble in the mass of the voting public. The pronounced spike in London carries no real political voting clout because most of the purchasers are non-UK residents and do not get issued with a ballot card for our General Election. Being invited onto an oligarch’s yacht does not construe a housing bubble.
The new Governor of The Bank of England, Mark Carney quelled the hysteria when telling MP’s, “there are many big pockets of the country where there has not been any meaningful recovery in the housing market”. Many families living outside London and the South-East would agree.