My aunt and uncle live in Woking, about 30 minutes out of London. We walked through the high street yesterday. What was most striking is that the real property offices were that they are almost side-by-side in the center of town. Each had window displays of available listings, some on high tech screens, others with printouts taped to the windows. We dpn’t really see that around Portland. The only place that comes to mind is the Moda Realty office right next door to Windermere in Portland Heights. I think there were five offices within six available office spaces. It looked like there were probably 10-20 agents in each office; there are 70 in our office and no one is just going to happen by to browse listings from the street. I think our office is the rule, not the exception around Portland.
Where does you dollar go in Woking? Not far. With the exchange rate at almost 2:1, sticker shock prevails. Here are some listings in Woking by Foxton, one of the larger firms on the street. The house pictured above is listed for GBP425,000. That’s US$950,000 give or take not much. It is three bedrooms and 1324 SQFT.
I’ve heard that there’s quite a sense of despair among the young people in the UK – most do not think they will ever be able to afford to buy at those kinds of prices. What kind of sense do you get talking to young people there? I really hope we don’t have this kind of future ahead of us here.
Can you comment on the types of loans that are used to buy over there? I’m told by a British coworker that they don’t have fixed-rate loans in the UK – they’re all ARMs and they adjust every month! Talk about not being able to plan your budget!
I suppose the good news for the younger generation in the UK is that prices have begun to fall there.