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What Has Changed In The Skelmersdale Housing Market...? Part 1

It's 3 and a half years since I started this business, and already feel like we've been through more "types" of market in that time, than I have in my entire 30 year career!

  • There was the solid but reasonable market prior to Covid

  • Then there was Covid itself, where literally nothing happened.

  • Then there was the intervening period between the lockdowns, where the market was tentative

  • Then the second lockdown, where again, the market stalled somewhat

  • And then immediately following that second lockdown, the market boomed - which presented its own problems

  • And now there is the "perceived" slowdown, which isn't really a slowdown.

Understanding where we've been as a market, and taking a look at the wider economy, is the key to understanding where we appear to be going, however it's important not to take previous ebbs and flows in the market as a surefire indicator as to where we will be in the coming months.

I learned this the hard way in the 2008 crash. Previously, the sales market and the lettings market tended to be inversely proportional - that's to say that when the sales market was good, the lettings market wasn't, and vice versa.

So naturally, when the sales market crashed, I presumed the lettings market would improve, so I - like a lot of agents - prepared accordingly. Only that didn't happen. Literally everything stopped, as sellers, buyers and tenants alike simply decided to stay put.

Interest rates then crashed to try and stimulate spending, and encourage people to borrow money, mainly through mortgages, thus stimulating the housing market. Only that didn't work either, and the market remained depressed for many years, even though house prices came down due to a lack of activity in the market.

I quickly learned that the reason - aside from the banks tightening their lending criteria - was general economic nervousness. Lots of jobs were lost, and many of those still working were scared they might lose theirs.

Today's post-covid economy doesn't in any way mirror this, and despite interest rates currently being high, the talk of recession doesn't go away. In fact sections of the press and almost all of the TV news programmes have been talking up the chances of recession ever since - it's almost as if they want it to happen.

Watch out for Part 2...

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