Today was a pivotal moment in the demise of the housing bubble. Inside Track - the UK's biggest property investment company - has collapsed. As it disappears, it takes with it the obscenely stupid aspirations of a generation of amateur property speculators.
In a press release, the company said: "Due to the continuing sustained difficulties arising from the credit crunch Inside Track has been placed into administration." On the face of it, it seems an implausible excuse since Inside Track wasn't much of a player in the wholesale money market.
Nevertheless, there was a twisted and concealed truth in the Inside Track statement. The credit crunch was the inevitable consequence of 10 years of irresponsible lending. This easy money allowed companies like Inside Track to prosper. Once the easy credit dried up, Inside Track and its ridiculous seminars promising millions from property speculation made no sense any more. So like the Dodo before it, the company could not survive.
However, it was more than just the credit crunch that put the company into administration. It was also facing the growing threat of legal action from disgruntled customers. Many customers were beginning to lose series money on off-plan investments that the company promoted. The company was about to be buried under an avalanche of writs.
So, farewell then to those £2,500-plus weekend-long courses and to the new-build properties in Spain and Florida. The "inner circle" of real estate has now closed. Those property "discounts" are no more.
Well, actually that last statement is not true. Sellers are now offering massive discounts on overpriced property, but nobody wants to buy anymore. Ultimately that is what really brought Inside Track crashing down.