Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Plenty to Be Cheerful about; Residential Property Review Far from Tightening Their Belts, Some Estate Agents Are Expanding. Barrie Wardrobe Is Far from Gloomy

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Plenty to Be Cheerful about; Residential Property Review Far from Tightening Their Belts, Some Estate Agents Are Expanding. Barrie Wardrobe Is Far from Gloomy

Article excerpt

Byline: Barrie Wardrobe

I AM the first to admit that I've been around for a few years. But, having been in the property business for more than 20 years, I have the advantage of having seen just about everything the property market can throw at home owners and prospective buyers.

And I can tell you that we are not in a "great depression" as some newspapers and pundits would have us believe. We're not at a high, but we're far from in a low.

The problem is that over the past five or so years people have got used to "the good times" of properties selling well, rising prices and upbeat stories.

And now, when homes aren't selling as soon as the agent has printed the details, when selling a home is a challenge and when greed and gazumping are in the past, we are actually in "normal" times. And that's good news for the many young buyers wanting to take their first step up on to the property ladder, but who have had months, if not years, of despondency seeing prices rising annually, monthly and, in some cases, weekly - making it seen as if they'd never achieve their dream.

The world of property has always had its peaks and troughs, and it was clear some while ago that the peak was not sustainable.

But those of us who have served our time in this industry didn't panic.

Far from it, I actually set up my own business just a year ago, when things were definitely "on the turn". And our company's achievements and successes have far exceeded our expectations. So much so that we are now planning to open another branch and establish ourselves in a different area of Tyneside. We wouldn't be investing like this if we believed the gloomy predictions.

These reports take a general, global view. But the property market should be viewed locally.

Every region is different. And every area in that region is different. The market north of the Tyne is very different to the market south of the river.

Some factors have clearly affected the market recently. …

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