Tuesday, 22 January 2008

The real economic indicators

The Daily Telegraph reports that Foxtons estate agency is coming under attack for comments made by their staff to members of the public.

Apparently, a local resident complained about the Foxtons mini cars being left in all the parking bays. Foxtons staff apparently hit back with some choice comments made anonymously (they didn't understand IP addresses).

But what does this tell us? There are not enough parking bays, there are too many Foxtons minis, don't send abusive email from work? Well maybe, but the real truth of the matter is there are no listings and no appointments and probably less staff. Indeed, all the agents who have managed to hold on to their precious minis are sat in the office emailing the public using made up names. January is always quiet, but this year is compounded by the introduction of Home Information Packs (HIPS) and now a slowing economy.

This also tells us that the Balham area is particularly quiet and I suspect most Foxtons managers will be hastily instructing staff to get in their cars and drive around looking busy. Far better PR value knocking over cyclists and ‘rushing’ around!

So if you want to know how the housing market is going (and thus the economy) look out the window at the parking bays and if they are full of estate agent’s vehicles, times are tough.

Anyway, the estate agent bashing season is officially open. The lawyers will be next!

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