Football blows the whistle on house hunting

I AM RELIABLY informed that house prices are softening. Quite what this means, however, is unclear judging by the endeavours of my local estate agents to ensure that all their properties are in the Lottery- winners-only price bracket.

But I am not the kind of person to let reality stand in the way of a good hypothesis and I therefore allow the World Cup refugees in the Snug Bar of the Fount of All Knowledge to witter on aimlessly about rising interest rates and spiralling inflation.

Indeed it is the World Cup that I blame for softening house prices. To be fair, it is not just the World Cup but the entire sporting social season that is upon us.

Last week it was Royal Ascot and the start of the Lord's Test. Soon it will be Henley and Wimbledon.

The upshot of all this is that no-one is around to show their homes, and even if they are, they simply fib then curl up to watch Botswana play Papua New Guinea in a crucial Group W match.

As a consequence potential buyers are losing interest in the market, or are indeed embroiled in some sporting activity of their own, which in turn depresses house prices.

Once the summer sporting calendar is complete we go straight into the holiday season, and I can predict with confidence that if there is to be any resumption of the housing boom it will not take place much before September.

This is in theory good news for home buyers like myself, although the problem of finding anywhere to view is something of a stumbling block.

I am not helped at the moment by an unfortunate incapacity that has left me virtually immobile. The cause of my unfortunate injury is somewhat embarrassing. But anyone familiar with the parents' sprint and the onset of old age can probably guess.

It is a painful disability, one made all the crueller by the lack of sympathy from estate agents calling to see if I am interested in viewing some wreck they are trying to pass off as "in need of loving refurbishment".

First, they are astonished that I actually answer the phone; they normally call when I am at work and can thus fulfil their obligations without the need to engage me in conversation.

Once over this surprise, they become quite angry at my polite refusal of their offer. After first guffawing loudly at the reason behind my incapacity, they then assume it is a feeble excuse to curl up and watch Botswana etc etc.

The lack of sympathy from esate agents I can understand, but if I wanted to feign illness in order to watch Botswana, I can assure you I would come up with something slightly less humiliating.

The good news is that my legs are expected to heal just in time for the September boom in house prices.

Discover more property articles at Homes and Property
Luis Suarez looks towards the crowd during the 2-1 victory over England
Life and Style
Cheesecake frozen yoghurt by Constance and Mathilde Lorenzi
food + drinkThink outside the cool box for this summer’s frozen treats
John Barrowman kisses his male “bride” at a mock Gretna Green during the Commonwealth Games opening ceremony
peopleBarrowman's opening ceremony message to Commonwealth countries where he would be sent to prison for being gay
Sir Bradley Wiggins removes his silver medal after the podium ceremony for the men’s 4,000m team pursuit in Glasgow yesterday
Commonwealth games Disappointment for Sir Bradley in team pursuit final as England are forced to settle for silver
Alistair Brownlee (right) celebrates with his gold medal after winning the men’s triathlon alongside brother Jonny (left), who got silver
England's Jodie Stimpson won the women’s triathlon in the morning
Property search
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

SQL Report Analyst (SSRS, CA, SQL 2012)

£30000 - £38500 Per Annum + 25 days holiday, pension, subsidised restaurant: C...

Application Support Analyst (SQL, Incident Management, SLAs)

£34000 - £37000 Per Annum + excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Lt...

Embedded Software / Firmware Engineer

£40000 - £45000 per annum + Pension, Holiday, Flexi-time: Progressive Recruitm...

Developer - WinForms, C#

£280 - £320 per day: Progressive Recruitment: C#, WinForms, Desktop Developmen...

Day In a Page

Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little
Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

Meet the US Army's shooting star

Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform