Wise Old Bird

Not that I want to blow our own trumpet (toot-toot!) but it seems the good people (person?) over at the Property Owl Blog have some kind words to say about how engaging our humble blog is:

“Findaproperty.com rightly identified this area recently and now produce a good and interesting blog, which is aimed more at the punter.”

Good, interesting and punter-friendly, that describes us very well. (We’ll let you off the fact that you forgot ‘devastatingly witty, supremely sexy, godlike genii’.)

Owl and Duck

Thank you Property Owl, you’re our new best friend.

October 15, 2008 at 12:19 PM 1 comment

Are We Over The Worst (Or Am I Losing It)?

Last week I asked whether it was time to start buying again. Among those who responded 65 per cent said no, the market has further to fall and 35 per cent said yes, we’re over the worst.

My own view is this: the market does have further to fall, but yes, we are over the worst (talk about having yer cake!) .

That might sound like lunacy, not least when you look at today’s report from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors. But with the benefit of hindsight we will, I suspect, view this RICS report as marker of the market’s low point.

FindaProperty’s editor considers the property space-time continuum (while riding a bike)

Why? The problem in recent months has been mortgage availability, and yesterday’s announcements should make it easier for home buyers to get their hands on the money they need to move.

Not as easy to get hold of as it has been in the past, for sure, but easier.

That will boost transaction levels and as a consequence I expect the supply/demand imbalance, which currently favours buyers, to start edging back in the direction of sellers.

Prices do still have further to fall, but the pace of the falls will ease (that’s already happening) as confidence gradually returns.

Come next spring – if (big if, I know) the mortgage companies deliver – we could be looking at a very different situation. I don’t expect prices to have recovered by then, but I do expect things to have stabilised.

So for buyers sitting on the sidelines, the coming months could present a real window of opportunity.

It is, as I noted last week, always better to buy close to the bottom than to end up on the wrong side of the revival.  We’re not quite there yet, but we’re definitely heading in the right direction.

[poll id="8"]

October 14, 2008 at 5:00 PM 5 comments

Keep Calm And Carry On

During WWII the Ministry of Information printed bright red signs with this ‘chin up’ message.

Now a Tunbridge Wells estate agent has dusted one off and placed it in his front window.

Full marks, we say, to the folks at  Alexandre Boyes for their wry sense of humour … and well done, too, for a clever piece of marketing in the midst of the downturn.

All we need now is for Girls Aloud to release a cover version of “We’ll Meet Again”…

Altogether now…

We’ll move again, don’t know where, don’t know when,

But I know we’ll move again, some sunny day.

Keep smiling through, just like you always do,

‘Til the billions drive the credit crunch away.

For more old WWII posters from the MoI, check out National Archives: The Art of War

October 10, 2008 at 5:34 PM 2 comments

My! How We’ve Grown

In honour of their 10th birthday Google are offering their earliest searchable database from 2001. (So what happened to the 1998-2000 databases eh? Did the cleaner throw them out?)

Anyway, I did a search for ‘FindaProperty.com’ just to see, curious like, and my! How we’ve grown!

Way back in the day, we had a mere 26,158 properties advertised by just 559 agents, but as of today, oh, only 614,938 properties for sale and rent from 9,094 estate agents.

Blimey!

Then:

FindaProperty.com in 2001

And now:

FindaProperty.com in 2008

The Google results count has changed somewhat as well.

  • In 2001 there was a grand total of 4230 results for a ‘FindaProperty.com’ search
  • Today there are a whopping 1,870,000 results – so a big up to our SEO team! Woop! Woop!

But before we adorn ourselves with laurel wreaths, here’s a sign of the times. Guess who, in 2001, had 953,000 results on Google but now has 41,600,000?*

Britney, Britney, Britney… what have we done to you?

(* with Safesearch on, workplace computers and all that)

October 10, 2008 at 4:08 PM 1 comment

Big Brother House Attacked By Zombies

Here at Winging It, we’re all big fans of Charlie Brooker, the highly amusing Guardian columnist.

We also love Big Brother.  Okay, okay, that’s actually just me; the others have more refined tastes, if you overlook their unshakeable devotion to Kevin McCloud.

So it was a happy day – for me, anyway – when I read that Charlie, master of pithy penmanship and brilliantly vivid flights of fancy – has written a TV series set in the Big Brother House.

The premise is something like this: the UK becomes overrun by zombies but, locked away from the outside world, the BB housemates are utterly ignorant.

Sorry, par for the course – the BB housemates are utterly ignorant of the situation.

So in a bizarre twist of fate, this turns the Big Brother House into a place where even sensible people are clamouring to enter.  Not for long, though, because an eviction night is looming…

Brooker describes the series thusly: “‘Dead Set’ isn’t an out-and-out comedy, but an unashamedly populist horror-thriller with blackly comic undertones.

“Think ’24′ with zombies. And housemates. And gore.”

‘Dead Set’ is due to start on E4 later this month, and features cameos from some former real-life contestants; is it bad to hope that they come to suitably gruesome fictional endings?

October 10, 2008 at 1:59 PM Leave a comment

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