Flat sold

As suspected, the buyers of my UK flat were stalling so they wouldn’t have to pay an extra month of mortgage payments. As soon as September rolled around they suddenly decided they wanted to exchange documents as soon as possible, with completion set for the 13th.

In related news, UK mortgage lenders have just announced that property prices just dropped for the first time in years:

Martin Ellis, chief economist at Halifax, said: “This looks like the start of a genuine downturn. It has been coming through in some surveys and lending numbers, and now it is showing up in our price data.

“We are not really surprised. It was only a matter of when it would come, rather than if.”

House prices have more than doubled in seven years, driven by falling interest rates and strong growth in incomes and employment.

Their rise of more than 20% in the past year means homes are overvalued by any long-term measure, especially when compared with average income growth.

And I bought the place right after a price crash, paying less than the first owner had paid. Excuse me while I cackle gleefully. Now, if Bush can just get the dollar to drop a little further against the pound… it’s back to £=$1.77, which is pretty good, but not as good as a few weeks ago.