Like the mayor of Amity in the 1976 Oscar winning film Jaws, estate agent pin up and boss of Marsh & Parsons Peter Rollings is desperate to persuade us that the skies are blue, the beaches are clean and that a quick dip before lunch would be a great idea.
Sadly, the UK housing Market is about as safe to take part in at present as the warm waters off the fictional island and the chances of being rescued by Roy Schneider just about as thin!
On BBC news today Rollings has called the bottom of the Market and like the Nationwide earlier this morning, is suggesting that the market has turned. Is it a coincidence that both work for those who have a vested interest in seeing more ‘bathers’ and what redress will those who act on this encouragement have?
The CML reports that mortgage approvals were close to historic lows last month and transaction numbers from HMRC and the Land Register echo this. Down by over 50%. But most people don’t care if houses are selling or not – although agents do, but they DO mind if house prices are falling and they are sinking like a stone at present.
Until lending levels ease and the terms upon which loans are offered are relaxed there is little likelihood of this crisis passing. Like the sea, the housing market is still being savaged by the biggest downturn in living memory and as Chief Brody famously remarked, to deal with this one “we’re going to need to get ourselves a bigger boat!”.