‘What’s going to happen to house prices’, I was asked yesterday. I’m proven to be the wrong person to ask, as I’ve been doom-mongering on most people’s most precious financial concern for years now. Surely, I’ve written, with new villages springing up outside every village, supply will soon exceed demand? Surely higher interest rates will hit existing, new and particularly buy-to-let borrowers? But apparently, prices rise-on undaunted. So here’s my latest theory. Top-end properties and those that own, buy and sell them will be unaffected, as the rich always are. Those in the middle will stay put, and not want to sell for less than the bloke next door, so the market will freeze. But there will sadly be a glut of forced-sale repossessions and buy-to-lets which no-one will be able to afford unless they’re sold for bargain prices. So they will be. A tale of three cities.
As rehearsed many times, I’ve been a house price doom-monger for many a month. As with those who forever forecast a stock market crash, it was inevitable that I would eventually be right. Stopped clock syndrome and all that.