How the Current Housing Market is Affecting Estate Agents?
There is nowhere to hide: the economic recession has left every industry and every person exposed in a way that few have ever experienced. It has meant a significant reduction in public funding, as well as a substantial decline in many industries, such as the housing market. The economic crisis engulfing Spain, Greece and Italy, among others, will have a wide spread effect, here in England and across Europe, but the question now is how this crisis will affect the English property market and the careers of people working in it.
While things may seem grim, there are some positives to discuss first. Historically, the early months of summer have been a decent time for the property market, and while numbers have certainly fallen there are signs that there may be a slight recovery, particularly over this period. New buyers who have registered with estate agents are up and house prices have also increased.
If you are lucky enough to have a good deposit of around 20-30% or up, then lenders and banks will look far more favourably on lending and offering mortgages to the lucky few with a superior credit history. The demand for property for purchase has remained low, this means that if you are selling in order to buy, the wait may be longer than you might like.
Now the bad news: the mortgage rate has remained low and is only presented to buyers who meet particular criteria and have a substantial deposit of around 10-15%. If this is not you then you may find it a challenge to secure the mortgage you need, a trend that seems likely to continue for at least another year. One clear consequence of the crisis in the Eurozone is that banks are being extremely cautious about who they lend money to and for what reason.
While London, East Anglia and the South-East have seen a rise in property prices, this has not been the case in the Northern parts of England where prices have remained regrettably stagnant, or have even dropped. This is also set to remain the case until possibly 2013, due to the weak property demand and the tightening of consumer credit. As these factors indicate, the Eurozone crisis may also result in a further widening of the property prices in the North and South of England. The average of a 2% increase in the South is not expected in the North.
Taking into consideration the good and the bad, predictions for what the future will hold are almost impossible to make. But it is clear that not only buyers and sellers are having a hard time, it has been a troubling time for estate agents too with many having to look for alternative careers, go back into education to re-train in other areas or take up a second job . With the rise in property prices in the South there may be some light at the end of the property tunnel for those estate agents working in the area. The same cannot be said for those in the North, with many estate agents closing all over the country, this is one of the areas worst hit.