Friday, 14 January 2011
the daunting dynamics of Staffordshire house prices
The data for these charts comes from acadametrics. The first datapoint is in 2000. Between that starting point and 2007, prices double. Thereafter, they fall back and begin to recover in 2010. Nevertheless, the final datapoint looks horribly inflated compared to the first datapoint. The chart screams out a single word - BUBBLE!
With each chart I am troubled by the same question. Why would an otherwise unremarkable region of England suddenly see the value of property double in seven years? I have my answers; excessive credit, bad lending practices, unscrupulous real estate agents, Krusty Allsopp, and property-ramping journalists. However, these answers seem so inadequate when confronted with the shocking price dynamics of a place like Staffordshire.
I have been to the West Midlands. The region is dominated by small terraced housing, built for factory workers in the late Victorian or early Edwardian periods. Most of them were built without inside bathrooms.
These houses are pokey, difficult to heat, and with tiny rooms. The walls are thin, the gardens are small, and the kitchens are impossible. People do amazing things with them to make them attractive places to live in, but lets be honest, these houses are horrible. And don't misunderstand me; the houses in London are just as bad. Why on earth would anyone pay £200,000 for one?
To this latter question I have no answer. I just don't get it. I will never understand it.