Mortgage repossession tsunami?
The headline writers have been having a field day today with hyperbole and fear to the fore. Some of mans’ most basic physical and psychological needs are tied up in property ownership and I am sad to say it appears that these needs are being played on to sell cheap headlines at the cost of a lot of people’s genuine fears and health.
There is no doubt that many people could lose their homes if they don’t take responsibility for their debts and take action to reduce them, if rates rise significantly, if banks stop being so tolerant and if the government, who bailed the banks out, don’t step in and do something. But that’s a lot of if’s.
First ‘IF’ first. In the twenty plus years I have been an estate agent, I have seen and continue to see people who are stupid with money, people who don’t understand money, people who are hit by unexpected events and people who are scared of money. These are the people who are most at risk if rates rise. The stupid people, the ones who continue to spend extravagantly or simply don’t take steps to reduce expenditure knowing they cannot afford to continue for long like that, will always be top of the list and I, for one, wont be losing too much sleep over them.
Those who, through no fault of their own have found themselves victims of circumstance or, those who don’t understand/ are frightened of money should take action now if your outgoings are exceeding your income. www.moneysavingexpert.co.uk, The Citizens Advice Bureau and other organisations provide excellent free advice to help you find the right solution for you. Don’t be ashamed to ask, there are thousands like you and you WLL feel better doing something positive about your worries. Do it now, don’t wait until its too late.
Next ‘IF’. The last time we saw a large increase in repossessions, was back in the late 80’s and early 90’s. Circumstances were massively different then as were the interest rates. I do not believe that we are anywhere close to the problems we faced in those dark days and, if we look behind the figures, neither, I suspect, do many others (save those who want you to read/ buy their headline). Yes, repossessions are up and may rise further. That is a sad inevitability of the current financial mess this Country is in. Will rates suddenly leap to over 10% or more? Really? I don’t think so. To talk of tsunamis is pure sensationalism.
Will the government step in to avoid a massive repossession crisis (should it actually materialise). No-one can answer that, not even the government. Gone of the days of dogma and seven-year plans; now, Governments seem to run on focus groups and headlines. It may be that the government has plans to keep the banks from pulling the plug, they may not; they may let us swing. What is pretty much given, is that the government in power, when and if this happens, will take a view on the day/s leading up to the problems and will weigh the balance of a return to the early 90’s housing market with the broad needs of its effect on the economy as a whole – and possibly, just possibly, how it will affect their re-election chances. Am I hopelessly naive? What do you think? Please add your comments and join in the debate below. Thanks
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About Chris Wood: Chris is an estate agent with over 25 years of property experience and is based in Penzance and Helston, West Cornwall. He has worked with all sizes and types of businesses from single office independents to the management team and board of RBS and Tesco. A former President Elect of the NAEA and board member of NFoPP until he resigned in 2009, Chris has always championed the highest professional standards for estate agents in the UK. No stranger to the media, he has appeared on various programs including BBC, News 24, ITV, independent and BBC radio and is a regular contributor to trade journals, local and national Newspapers. Chris is on LinkedIn Ecademy Facebook and Twitter Married to Amanda, he lives in Penzance with their children who are slowly flying the nest, his two dogs and his elderly Uncle. In his spare time; Chris likes to keep fit and is a long-standing member of the Territorial Army. He is currently mobilised for a tour of duty in Afghanistan with 1 Rifles as part of 3 Commando Brigade.
Please support the men and women in my unit, The 1st Battalion The Rifles, who become casualties in the line of service during their tour of Afghanistan by making a donation here www.swiftandbold.org