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Housing market rollercoaster is ‘coming to an end’ – claim

The property market’s 18-month “white-knuckle ride” is coming to an end, Tom Bill claims.

Speaking on the Guild of Property Professionals’ The Home Stretch podcast, Bill, head of UK residential research for Knight Frank, said the market has been through a rollercoaster ride that should stop soon.

He said buyers and sellers have been faced with an “erratic flow” of economic data since last year’s mini Budget riled the markets.


Bill added: “The overall picture has been a bit of a rollercoaster ride and I think what is happening now is we are kind of pulling back into the station, the Bank of England left rates unchanged last month, they might act again, and so I think that most people are feeling shell-shocked.

“That volatility I think has probably exceeded our expectations and really kept a lid on sentiment and demand and so in terms of house prices, we think they will probably come off a little bit more than we thought in the beginning of this year, so probably more like 7% as opposed to 5% that we initially forecast in March.” 

Bill, whose career began in journalism in 2004, later moving on to become a property reporter at Bloomberg in 2010, comments that his experience of property in the media created a natural transition into research.

He said: “From a journalist perspective, what you are trying to do is create a particular story or a narrative, and certainly when you are working at somewhere like Bloomberg or Reuters, you are using data and numbers to back-up a particular story, so moving into research is a fairly well-travelled path now. In research you are building a narrative, I think a lot of what research does is storytelling and explaining ‘why’ and the context of what is going on using numbers and what is happening on a spreadsheet to do that. So, the two professions have those similarities.” 

Podcast host Iain McKenzie, chief executive of the Guild, asked Bill if his experience helped him with the noise from the media, adding: “Do you feel more balanced as a consequence?”  

Bill said: “Generally speaking, everyone has an opinion on the housing market, not just journalists. Stories about housing are very common, regular and very prevalent in the media and so there is a strong appetite to understand what is happening to house prices to gain insight into what is happening to the value of your own home. It is sometimes difficult to cut through what is going on and to look under the bonnet of what is going on in the housing market and I don’t blame the media for that.” 

> Listen to the full podcast


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