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Before I get started on British RE news, I just want to remind you of the beauty of Google Docs. Why? Because I just wrote a long and, if I dare say so myself, rather witty blog post and then deleted the whole thing like a nincompoop just before hitting publish. So remember kids, if you want your work autosaved every few seconds and to be able to look through every single revision if something all goes tits up (as we would say here) then draft your posts in GoogleDocs and copy them over to WordPress or whatever when you’re ready to roll.

Anyhoo, let’s get back to real estate. What’s the dilly-o?

House Prices

The latest Globrix data shows that asking prices are still being reduced across the country. During the week commencing the 28th of November, 278 sellers in London reduced their asking prices by an average of £58,446. The highest percentage of sellers dropping their prices was to be found in the coastal town of Southend, where the average price drop was £11,075 during the week. Across the UK as a whole, 3293 properties were reduced by an average of £22,061 during the week. I’m all for the price drops, house prices have been seriously overinflated and the market is relying on sellers to face up to the fact prices aren’t what they were to get transactions going again. Buyers have been waiting for sellers to readjust their expectations, it’s certainly not summer 2007 anymore.

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Interest Rates

The Bank of England cut the base rate to 2% on Thursday, the last time rates were this low was…wait for it…1951. Some people were immediately excited that their mortgage would soon start paying them but worry soon kicked in that the lenders wouldn’t pass on the rate reduction. Luckily, most of the banks have promised to pass on the rate cut in full to their customers.

Rental Demand

According to one large London agency, rental demand may be on the up again. In the last week, it has been reported that registrations for new tenancies have increased by 20%. With job losses and a flood of rental properties to the market, it looked for a while as if the game was up in the rental sector but the good news for landlords and letting agents is that things seem to be improving.

Questionable Decision

Rightmove, the UK’s largest property search site, seems to have hit the headlines for the wrong reasons yet again this week. Recently, Rightmove has come under fire for increasing their membership fees when agents across the country are struggling to stay afloat and are shutting up shop. Agents who want to leave their contract with the property portal whilst times are tight have been told they’ll face a penalty if they ever want to rejoin. This has led to some angry customers and stories of a mass Rightmove exodus even reached the national press (although is yet to actually materialise). The latest in the PR saga seems to be the decision to spend £10million on an offline advertising campaign in the new year, needless to say agents are opining that this money would be better spent on cutting membership fees during these difficult times for the property market. If you want to see some irate British estate agents, read the comments here.

Brace Yourself America

I’m coming! That’s right, I’ll be heading over to NYC for Inman Connect in January. Superstar AG contributor, Jay Thompson, ran a competition on his blog for both a ticket to the conference (courtesy of Inman News) and $1500 worth of travel expenses (courtesy of HomeQuest). Without any death threats or malicious bribes I managed to get my lucky raffle ticket picked out of the hat, and I’m unspeakably excited! So if you’re coming to Connect then look out for me, I won’t be hard to miss!

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Written By

Poppy Dinsey works in Business Development at Globrix, the UK property search engine. She lives and works in London, which she loves except for the awful weather and lack of good pecan pie. She's got a pretty nifty degree in Eastern European Economics from UCL, which she readily admits she's never put to good use, although she did once dress up a Russian Bond Girl. You can find her on Twitter, 12Seconds, Seesmic and pretty much everywhere that's ever had a website.

5 Comments

5 Comments

  1. Jeff Bernheisel

    December 7, 2008 at 8:52 pm

    Hey Poppy,

    Congrats!

    For some reason I thought you were already coming to Connect NYC… But, sometimes I make stuff up. Random stuff. Anyway, I’ll see you there!

    -Jeff

  2. Missy Caulk

    December 8, 2008 at 7:46 am

    I heard that on Twitter. Way to go. It makes me want to reconsider going…but too many conferences this year.

    I heard your rates were down to 2% so is it helping spur the market?

  3. Poppy Dinsey

    December 8, 2008 at 7:50 am

    Hey Jeff, see you there 😀

    Missy, it will probably take a while to trickle through, some of the banks won’t be passing onn the cut until the New Year. It should help boost the economy though, and once people start spending more we should see more confidence in general. The mortgages don’t seem to be the problem so much now, it’s more about waiting for the sellers to be realistic with their asking prices…the good thing is that that is also starting to happen. Shame I won’t be seeing you in NY, maybe I’ll have to win a contest for a road trip around the whole country…any sponsors want to take it on?!

  4. Lee Stacey

    December 11, 2008 at 6:15 am

    Blogging tip… To avoid losing data!

    Try Posterous and make use of the autopost feature.

    All you need to do is post to posterous (using email) and the the content will be delivered to WordPress automatically. No need for cut/paste. In fact there is no need to open your web browser.

    The initial setup for Posterous is easy too. Just send an email to and the blog is set up for you with your email being the first post.

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