For those of us who can name all the hosts of Family Fortunes (with extra points if you can also name their ‘celebrity’ spouses), we can all empathise with the moment Les, Leslie, Vernon et al turned and said, “Our Survey Says…” and the results of the said survey did make one wonder what bunch of inbred, intellectually challenged, ‘I’ve got six fingers.. on one hand’ hapless individuals they had surveyed. This week a litany of the written word from the property sections of every newspaper (whatever their politics), to Toytown Weekly, Bunty, Pony and Pooch to those cellophane-wrapped publications that one has to stand on one’s tip toes to reach, all screamed the news that, “house price rises more widespread than at any point for 11 years” [sic] (Mail Online 12 November 2013). To paraphrase Rumpole, Kavanagh or even Perry Mason, may I draw the jury’s attention to the actual evidence presented. The Land Registry, whose figures are based on actual completions, show that in Wales, house prices fell in September by 0.4%. For the year to September, house prices across Wales fell by 1.7% from September 2012; whereas in London the comparable figure was a rise of 9.3%.
Yet again, the survey results do not tell the full story. As always though, people are adopting the lemming mentality and are starting to believe the headlines. Only yesterday, I had to pour water on the bonfire of enthusiasm and optimism of a lady whose house I was asked to value. Her declaration that, “Well, house prices are soaring, aren’t they?” [sic] would have been music to the ears of every news editor who ponders whether their paper is read by the masses. (Forget whether what they are publishing is accurate or even an approximation of the truth).
Meanwhile in Cwmbran….. More people are looking, there is definitely more confidence and our sales have increased. A fellow estate agent blogging from his office in Belgravia may well be finishing his epistle before catching the flight (turning left as he gets on the plane) to Monaco, but for those of us working in the less salubrious areas – throughout the country- we are still on Stavros Airlines to Malaga.