Olly Newland’s Column, August 2010
The news from the front seems to be doom and gloom these days if we go by the articles and news that get pumped out by the media.
But it pays to remember this about the news media: Bad News Sells.
You hardly ever see headlines that say positive things, let alone good news. It seems that it has to be ‘shock and horror’ each time – and the more shock and the more horror the better.
Remember, all the media are jostling for attention and the headlines are designed to catch attention. Therefore — whatever the news is — many times the worst possible angle is portrayed in an attempt to make it penetrate the mind of the readers who are already swamped with messages from all sides.
So it is no different for news about the property market. There is no doubt that the market has slowed but it is not nearly as dead as the media would suggest.
There is always an argument between over-stating the downside and over-stating the upside and it sometimes takes fine judgement to decide which is the more accurate.
I have personally experience several very nasty slumps and very exciting booms both here and in Australia. (Both were costly) These experiences give me some authority to comment (you are entitled to disagree, of course).
I am also sure one day, the unpleasant experiences we have witnessed or endured will pass and we will look back and wonder why many of us were so extremely nervous without good cause.
Of course many people have been badly effected and one has to be sorry for them even if it was there own greed that put them there in the first place. Even worse are the innocent who were duped by dodgy practices or outright theft.
The fact is we live in a capitalist society and financial disasters are one of the hazards of the game.
One thing is for sure. I got my best bargains during downturns.