Letter: Mad logic of the house market

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The Independent Online
Mad logic of the house market

Sir: As one who is trying to move house I am fascinated by pronouncements from housing spin-doctors (commonly known as estate agents) on the impending house price boom("House prices cheer Tories", 27 December). It seems to be the received wisdom that many vendors are keeping their houses off the market until prices rise. This may be true, but the logic seems flawed.

If we assume that most people selling a house will be buying another one, and that the new house will cost more than the one they have sold, we can see the problem more clearly. If prices rise on a percentage basis (as say the spin-doctors), while people keep their house off the market the price of the house they want to buy will increase by a greater sum than the one they have to sell and they are going to be worse off.

Perhaps the logical solution is to sell your existing house and buy your new one as soon as possible, before the much-lauded boom. But no one has ever said the housing market is governed by logic.