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BARBICAN LIFE


Barbican Flat Watch W


Our regular review of the Barbican Sales and Lettings market. hile many of


the


trials and tribulations in the housing market may have passed the Barbican


micro-market by, at least en bloc, there will obviously have been effects from the recession which will have affected individuals within the complex. In general prices seem to have been holding up relatively well in the Barbican, and in London in general, boosted by overseas buying, but there does seem to be a downtrend developing across the rest of the country and one wonders how long this can go on before London prices are affected too. The lettings


market has been


subdued during the summer months, but seems to have come alive now we are coming into Autumn On the subject of how the housing


market has changed, in particular from the buyer’s viewpoint, Conor Murphy, Managing Director


of Capricorn


Financial, has this to say: When the first signs of the credit


crunch were seen in August 2007 nobody could possibly have foreseen the impact it would have, the scale of the problems it would have or the long term consequences it would unleash. One of the most profound and long


lasting changes appears to be to the very structure of the UK housing market as a whole, with changes apparent in areas as diverse as home ownership rates and repayment structures and even the general attitude to credit as a whole. For almost one hundred years home


ownership rates in the UK rose inexorably, from as low as 23% in 1918, up to a peak of just over 70% coming into the credit crunch itself. This trend stopped almost immediately when the wider credit markets tightened and the recession really began to bite in 2008 and rates have declined ever since. The overall rate is now sat at just under 68% and with deposit requirements for mortgages currently


set at a level


beyond the reach of most first time buyers and lenders targeting the buy-to- let sector this trend shows no sign of stopping. This is not necessarily a bad thing as some of the most affluent and


stable countries in the world (including Germany for example) still have far lower home ownership rates than we do here, but it certainly changes the commonly held viewpoint that an Englishman's home is his castle. Another - possibly more expected - been the changing


outcome has


attitudes to personal credit, both from the perspectives of the lenders and the individuals. From the point of view of the lenders this has manifested itself in


the requirements for ever higher deposits from homebuyers, along with tighter criteria requirements and an almost universal insistence on full capital repayment loan structures.


Individual


borrowers have responded in kind by showing a much greater reluctance to borrow beyond their means and a clear desire to repay debt as quickly as possible as evidenced by the record levels of mortgage and other household debt repaid over the past 12 months.


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