2 years ago
I once heard Billy Connelly say that there’s no such thing as bad weather - only the wrong clothes. Well I reckon you could make a very similar argument for bad news too. News is only ‘good’ or ‘bad’ in the context of how you choose to react to it.
But it isn’t always easy.
Newspapers and other media actually have a lot to answer for. They love to marinate in a bit of ‘bad news’, and will bend over backwards to find the negative in anything positive. It’s the wrong attitude for progress and mental well-being, but I suspect it’s the right attitude for selling newspapers. I’m also sure there are all sorts of lessons about the human psyche there, but they’ll have to wait for another day, because right now I want to talk about something else.
Just last week, we had the newspapers predicting financial ruin because fuel prices and inflation are rising. And at the same time they were predicting financial disaster because property prices are falling again. My question is, how can a price increase and a price fall… both in things that most of us need to buy… both be viewed negatively? Surely they both have to be either one thing or the other – don’t they?
Look, I’m being a little disingenuous here. I know that fuel is a consumable and property, aside from being somewhere to live, is seen by many as an investment. But for the vast majority of us, and despite the bad news bias of the media, a fall in property prices is actually a good thing.
Let me try and explain…
It’s good for first time buyers for a start. That’s easy enough to understand isn’t it? They don’t own a property, so the cheaper it gets to buy, the better it is for them. It makes it easier for them to get on the property ladder, or to buy something better than they could otherwise afford. So it’s all good news there.
And it’s good news for people trading up to a
bigger or better property too.
Let’s say for instance you live in a property worth £100,000 and you want to trade up to a property worth £200,000. You need to find and fund an extra £100,000. But then let’s say that the market falls by 10%. Your current property is now only £90,000, but the one you want to buy has fallen to £180,000. Now you only need to find and fund an extra £90,000 to make exactly the same move.
And it’s great news for property investors too. I should know!
You see property investors are mainly in the market for the long haul. A fall in property prices may mean a short-term fall in the paper value of their assets, but they don’t care about that. What they do care about though, is that it’s an opportunity to pick up some cheap property before the market resumes its inevitable upward trend again – the one it’s been on since they started putting one brick on top of another one. A market perceived to be falling, becomes awash with people willing to bail out at a silly price, such is the power of the media’s, ‘we’re-all-doomed’ message.
A ‘bad news’ market is where property investment
fortunes are often founded.
In fact the only people a falling market is bad for, are the ones who need to get out of the market quickly, those wanting to trade down, and bone-idle spiv speculators who want to make a fast buck for very little no work. But the first time buyers, up-traders and serious investors massively outnumber these groups anyway.
So overall, falling property prices affect more people positively than negatively. Wouldn’t know it though, would you? So isn’t it time you stopped grumbling about the weather, and started wearing the right clothes instead?
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