Things are not quite what they seem…

This week brought the annual pilgrimage to SW19 and the world’s greatest tennis tournament. Cue innumerable pictures of ‘celebrities’ (some genuine A-list, some who lurk between X-Z), Team Middleton doing what Team Middleton do (not much), Claire Balding being hyper-enthusiastic, Team Middeton again (again not doing very much) and the country claiming a level of knowledge of the sport that is singularly lacking the other 352 days of the year. All as expected. Except that on this occasion we as a nation had a player in both individual semi finals. How can this be? Because they aren’t both British. Before anyone gets all Wee Jimmie Krankie on me, I know he is Scottish, I know he is therefore British (shut the f$%& up about North Sea oil and another referendum Nicola) and I know that he is a truly gifted sportsman who was suffering with injury and struggled on in true British fashion before heroically succumbing, but Ms Konta? The Hungarian born and Australian raised Jo Konta? The natural order of things was restored though when having had a wholly unfair level of expectation placed upon her (no change there then), she got outgunned on every front by someone of a totally different class.

Misleading headlines and ‘expert’ opinion again provoked deeper investigation that showed that things are not all as they seem. The BBC led on a report released by the Principality Building Society that states that there is a house price slowdown in Wales. The Principality take into account all house sales-not just the house sales on which they hold a mortgage-and the report says that that in Newport annual house price growth was 5.1%. This is way above inflation and of course, wage rises, so on an average house price of £176,000, that’s £8756 of untaxed profit in one year. For homeowners this is better than working as their home is taking care of a lack of wages (or a significant increase) and rising inflation. The Daily Express goes potty for these figures-even more so than their unending quest of ‘Who Killed Diana?’

This is where there is a problem with these types of figures being released, because what relevance do they have for buyers looking today? Not a lot. I have yet to have a buyer offer lower than the asking price because of a report released by a bank or building society. Rising damp in the gable, enough artex to cover the Pyramids of just trying to be a clever git are all reasons for offering a much lower price, but not a recently published report from industry professionals. Assuming a very local agent stance, may I suggest that prices are holding up in Newport and the other NP postcodes because of one thing: supply or specifically, lack of. All over the area, listings are down and this reduces choice. Added to house price inflation being around 5% and what happens? Prices remain stable and even increase. Not quite what the Principality’s report would have one believe.