Liquid error: wrong number of arguments (2 for 1) So, is there a bubble in London and is it the media's fault? | Marsh & Parsons Sales and Lettings Estate Agents London

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So, is there a bubble in London and is it the media's fault?

Tue 29 Oct 2013

The big question is: is there a bubble, will it burst, and if so when?

This is actually not an issue for the majority of the UKs housing market. However in London, we have what looks

suspiciously like some estate agents talking the market down.

An article in the Financial Times quotes Ed Mead who last week challenged Rightmove over its house price

survey as saying: Buyers have the whip hand and until sellers expectations lower, the market, in central London

at least, will remain partially stalled. He says sellers are on average asking for about 10% more than buyers will


The article also quotes commentator Henry Pryor, saying: Sellers think that happy days are here again and are

pricing forward as a result. Buyers are more circumspect and those who benefit from the sanity check of a

mortgage valuation are going to find it frustrating. The problem with rapidly rising house prices is that valuation

models dont keep up with the pace of sellers expectations and deals unravel. Then theres Charles McDowell, a

London property consultant, who told the paper: Sellers expectations are being fuelled by headlines they read in

the media rather than specific data, which doesnt necessarily give an accurate picture. However, not all London

agents seem to be taking such a line. Yesterday, Peter Rollings, boss of Marsh & Parsons, said: "Property is

changing hands in record time and for close to, and sometimes above, the asking price. We currently have 18

buyers registering for each available property and there is no sign of this slowing down." Agents both inside and

outside London will have their own take on this, but it would certainly appear London agents will have an uphill

battle to persuade sellers that there is no bubble and to lower their prices, judging from another recent article.

The columnist, who lives in London, says that prices on his home turf are mad and that the bubble will burst

because they always do and its no different this time.

Simon Lambert also says that Rightmoves reporting of new asking prices in the capital going up 10% in a month

rings true with him. He says that where he lives (north London), people are not only asking high prices but getting


His local grapevine is, he says, a steady dripfeed of wildly optimistic estate agent valuations, which translates into

properties being put up for sale and near-asking prices being accepted. Things have gone bonkers even by the

usual standards of Londons over-inflated house prices and rents, says Lambert.

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