The reason for the laughter was a series of pictures underneath the title 'Nan and Pop are moving on' found on an estate agent's website....
something tells me that these people are really keen on selling their place
and whilst on the subject of property sales, a subject painfully close to my heart at the moment, a quick maths lesson for the prime minister and journalists...
- If a £100,000 property increases in value by 180% that property becomes worth £280,000
- To fall back in value to £100,000 that £280,000 property only has to lose 64% in value
That's the funny thing about percentages - the bigger the number you apply them to the bigger the result.
Most of the media coverage given to recent house price movements seems to be unaware of that little fact
...and it's also worth bearing in mind that a 2.5% fall in a month is equivalent to a 30% fall in a year
This may not come as a surprise to some but our Prime Minister is either innumerate, delusional or a deceitful sack of crap
Another interesting number quirk to bear in mind is that no-one in their right mind, unless they are in desperate need, is going to pay the current market price for a house or any other commodity if they think it is going to fall in value as soon as they've bought it. People are only going to be prepared to pay what they think the eventual bottom price is going to be, less a little bit more to be on the safe side. They are going to be aiming straight for the bottom price and not pissing around gradually paying a little less month on month
The upshot is that when commodity prices collapse, particularly prices driven up by insane levels of speculation, they collapse big and they collapse fast
...and any financial journo-whore who wrote over the last five years about the probability that houses prices would level off and 'plateau' should be given the boot - which would be pretty much all of them
...and as for the media whores parroting the new line which is now being spun, that house price falls are actually a good thing - as they make homes more affordable for first time buyers and reduce 'upgrade' costs for people already on the property ladder, they also need a damned good slapping
The consequence of a house price fall for anyone who has bought a home in the last five to ten years is that they owe a shit load of money to the banks which they'll be paying off for the next 20+ years for which they effectively received nothing in return
First time buyers are still going be locked out of the market by banks refusing them loans and preferring to punt all that public money the government has given them on the commodity and forex markets; effectively driving up the price of everything else except for houses. Potential first time buyers' jobs are also going to be at risk and their costs are also going to rise as a result of people who actually bought homes going to the wall and the impact that will have on the rest of us 'fortunate' enough not to go completely under
Well, not quite everyone