Q & A


Figures in the press give me the impression I’ve missed the buying boat. Have I?

The trouble with statistics is they can be interpreted in different ways. The only sure-fire stat is offered by the Land Registry, which values a range of properties and tells us that, while UK average house prices are still well down, London has seen big gains and, in very specific areas, spectacular ones. However, this is still not a 2007 market.

Some properties are selling well and others aren’t, so you can afford to look around safe in the knowledge that, while it’s probably not a good idea to wait indefinitely if you can afford it, you don’t need to panic.

The Office for National Statistics’ figures (the government’s preferred measurement) only measures what happens to have come on the market and sold in the last 12 months, so they can be skewed if, for example, many richer people were selling.

Property website Rightmove only measures asking prices, and the fact they’re reporting asking prices up by over 10 per cent in a month in central London shows agents have driven asking prices 10 per cent too high in my book.

As usual, there’ll be price reductions before Christmas, so wait to see what comes up then.