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Property market: Word on the street - RJA Properties: Lettings Agent Manchester
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20 May 2010

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Home information packs (Hips) will be consigned to history, the Government has announced.
17 Mar 2010

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Estate agents should be subject to the same levels of regulation as letting agents, it has been been stated.
22 Jan 2010

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Thousands of Britons with holiday and retirement homes in northern Cyprus face eviction after the Court of Appeal upheld a decision that a British couple must surrender disputed land.

Property market: Word on the street


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Where are the investors the estate agents in London keep talking about?

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By Anna Tyzack

If there are indeed foreign buyers flooding the London property market, they have failed to express any interest in my flat. Perhaps I’m being too impatient (it’s only been on the market for two weeks), but where are all the Italian, Russian and French investors the estate agents in central London keep talking about? It must be that they don’t like basements – or perhaps they are put off by the Ikea-style interior decoration (I own the flat with my brother and it is furnished with the contents of our university accommodation). Or maybe, they don’t really exist.

Our estate agent phoned in great excitement yesterday to announce that someone has arranged a viewing. They want to come to see the flat next week.

Next week? Why not tomorrow, I wanted to ask. Clearly they don’t see any risk of our place flying off the shelf.

It wouldn’t matter so much if we hadn’t found the perfect flat to buy.

I know we shouldn’t have started looking until our flat at least had an offer on it. But we decided to “see what’s around” and though this property is not in such a nice area, it is bigger and has a small garden and most importantly, the two bedrooms are roughly the same size (crucial to avoid sibling disputes). It would also be within our price range, supposing by some miracle we manage to sell at near the asking price.

Unfortunately it also seems to be exactly what other people are looking for. Dominic, the estate agent, phoned yesterday to say there have been two offers. He wouldn’t disclose how much for (“because I don’t have to”), only that they were within £50,000 of the asking price. The owner wants to close the deal in the next few days, he said, so what did we want to do?

Before I’d even had a chance to answer he said: “The problem is, Anna, that you are ‘unproceedable’ at the moment. Even if you were to offer £1 million the owner would be advised to accept another offer.”

Unfortunately he has a point, but then, to add insult to injury, he added: “Maybe you should speak to your parents?” Their advice was to stay well clear of Dominic and his Dutch auction.

If we make an offer, all we will do is push the price up.

Window shopping is best avoided until we have accepted an offer on our flat. And besides, who’s to say the deal will go through? With cash in hand, having sold our flat, we would be in a much better position to negotiate.

Estate agents keep telling me that it is a buyer’s market; and in particular the market is full of opportunities for second-time buyers.

I only half agree with this. Transactions are so stilted that it is a cash buyer’s market only. And although there are opportunities for young people wishing to upgrade, most of them, myself included, are reliant on a first-time buyer with a mortgage – a species verging on extinction in central London.

The Telegraph

 
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