Phil’s Foreword

By at home

Dear readers,

The housing market is continually about surprises and changes. Areas see huge rises one year and then struggle the next – in part, the uncertainty is what keeps it fascinating.

For a man whose career consists of helping people move, I have to own up to the fact that it is not an experience I like – and I did it for probably the third time in my life last year.

This year – 2007 – has started with an interest rate rise and inflation on the up. That will have an interesting effect on the market, because interest rates and house prices can’t go up at the same time.

As it is, despite forecasts, 2006 saw some locations rise by massive amounts, but all the while the number of first-time buyers has dwindled. Those that are trying to get on the ladder are getting older and older. It’s a worry and a social problem that will need addressing, as will the matter of eco-living. What impact the carbon neutral house of the future will have remains to be seen – but it is an intriguing and encouraging idea.

So much has changed so fast, it’s difficult to know what is around the corner. Even traditional homes will have to keep up with the times. Everyone is changing fast to meet the demands. Builders are certainly more flexible than they used to be – but then, that is the effect of a highly competitive market. There are constant innovations.
The way the market in England and Wales works has long been considered flawed, but there have been moves to streamline the process and make it work better – which can’t be a bad thing.

Join me and Kirstie in this magazine as we look at some of the issues of today. We focus on trends and hot spots and offer practical advice and tips on how to make the best of the most expensive buy of your life. The only thing other than your home that you spend more money on is tax!

Now there’s a thought…

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