20 August 2010 by Sarah Davies

How full is your glass

The recession, the economic downturn, repossessions, it’s all been doom and gloom for the UK property market for some time now but is there any sign of any improvement? If you read the news at the moment recent figures have shown that house prices have fallen again in August for the second month running with predictions for the rest of the year indicating a continued decline. Apparently 2011 isn’t meant to be much better with public spending cuts and continuing concerns around employment both affecting the housing recovery.

There is a surplus of property on the market at the moment with sellers outnumbering buyers, this has lead to sellers having to be more flexible in their asking prices as buyers have the upper hand. Ongoing restrictions on mortgage lending have also meant that many people are still finding it hard to get on or move up the property ladder. Surveys show that mortgage approvals made by Britain’s six biggest lenders in July were down to their lowest point since May 2009.

So what should you do, put up and stay put?

Ever the optimist, I think the glass half full approach should definitely be adopted when thinking about buying and selling today – it just depends on which angle you look at things. There is thinking which suggests that by the media constantly telling us how bad everything is actually has a negative effect on the market.

Putting things in perspective, there is generally a decline in house sales and prices in July and August every year as people tend to go on holiday rather than move. Also house prices are still higher at the moment than at this time last year. Falling prices are good news for the 6 out of 10 renters who say that they would like to buy but say they cannot afford to.

It is good news for those in London too as flat prices in central London actually showed an increase between the first and second quarter of 2010 in contrast to the rest of England and Wales which showed a slight fall.

Finally, The National Statistician has started a review into the ‘coherence and comparability’ of the house price indexes as all of the organisations who tell us about these fluctuations in price use different statistics giving us different results.

9 July 2010 by

Repent at leisure

While break clauses in leases are a subject that we have addressed previously, a recent case highlighted the importance of not only complying with any preconditions set out in a lease but also considering the lease as a whole and, in particular, the not so obvious issues.

6 August 2010 by Matthew Miller

Pre-packs: the lesser of two evils?

Pre-packs have been in the news a fair bit during the recent economic downturn. A pre-packaged sale in administration, or “pre-pack”, is a sale of all, or part, of the business/assets of an insolvent company negotiated immediately before the company goes into administration and completed as soon as the administrator is appointed. Usually the sale is not approved by the creditors of the insolvent company or the court.

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