And we have lost our buyers....grrrhhhhh!

Got a call from our agents at 7pm tonight to say the people buying our house...who had already sent the deposit 8 days ago...cannot get a mortgage due to 'health issues'. Now I may be wrong...but wouldnt you sort out your mortgage offer before getting to the point of paying a deposit...and within 2 days of losing your deposit?

The system seems a little skewed that this can occur at all.....I would have thought there would have been some checks in place to make sure of this? in the UK when I wanted to view some houses I was required to fill in forms stating what my financial situation was, if we were in need of a mortgage etc. I believe we couldnt have got to the stage of paying a deposit if we needed a mortgage, without it being in place....

Cant believe after 2.5 years on the market its back to the drawing board....

I can see your point about your house being a wonderfull property, and the fact that you will have to let it go for a song. I feel for you, but it is not a "first time buyers" type of house at the price you have told me, and therefore anyone seriously wishing to buy such a property would have the money to do so.

Good luck !

David its not a case of using Spain and Greece as an example....the fact is that European countries are suffering in terms of housing sales...fact. We are with 5 Eymet..the most English town in there have been more buyers from the UK here than anywhere else. There are also large numbers of Germans and Dutch. One of the major estate agents here went bust last month, another agency are on their knees...we have been told that sales are down dramatically on 5 years ago.

We have 4 couples who have been friends for over 30 years living in Spain, all have properties that are holiday homes, one other friend lives there permanently. Two of the couples wanted to sell and were shocked to discover their homes were worth less than half of what they paid for them.

We have a property that has cost us in terms of original price plus improvement costs of over 500k UK pounds...we now have this on the market for just over £300k.

As far as Europe goes, what properties are now worth and what problems are self inflicted...its irrelevant to those of us who have spent money on property and will now lose money. For us its a case of accepting the losses and moving on....but France seems incapable of encouraging businesses to establish in France....the country is losing money hand over fist and no one has confidence in we are in no better a situation than Spain when it comes to selling.

Spain is a completely different ball game. There are new houses, flats , and villas without electricity, water mains, etc.

I go to Spain on a monthly basis for work, so I see a lot of ghost towns, and hear a lot of horror story's from expats who are , in there words, trapped !.

I really don't see how you can use Spain or Greece as an example, as a lot of there problems are "self inflicted ".

Prices have dropped more than 40% in Spain and Greece....and def. in Cyprus. I dont think there is a case of not being allowed to drop...the market dictates the drop. We bought a converted barn...although a very French has 2 baths, 5 beds, two enormous living rooms and a huge covered terrace, a new roof, a new septic tank....newely decorated....a pigeon house...just under 2 acres....well tended garden with fruit trees and wonderful tended flower borders...and still we are over 100k down...

Yes Province.

David, you mean "province" not Provence ?

I doubt prices would be allowed to drop 40%. True there has been a drop in prices, mainly in the "Provence" ie any where outside Paris, but in general terms if the property is in good order, within walking distance of shops , public transport, and other services it should sell.

Saying that, after visiting a lot of houses in the region which the Agency stated that they where "habitable", only to find that some had no bathroom, one even had a Chemical Loo behind a shower curtain in a bedroom !! The mind boggles !!

I wish you luck in finding new Buyers.

was out with friends today....he is an architect in Newcastle....its so patchy in the UK...Newbury...(sorry to be repetetive...South East that includes Reading) properties selling quicker than hot cakes....and prices up. Friend in Newcastle said its flatlining but not going down...some areas of the North was ever thus....South East not doing so bad all in all....and all areas around London...doing fine. Prices in France overall set to drop by up to another 40%...hence our desire to go asap!

Thank you Fabienne... Theo we looked at house swopping...we were asked to swap for a house in Sussex... loved the position on a cliff edge...(well 80 ft from the edge) but then discovered the whole village falling on to the beach. We nearly swapped with a house in Norfolk...but they sold at the 11th know...Ive got to the stage where if we dont sell...we dont sell....I am not willing to do gymnastics, it happens or it doesnt. Probably best to feel this sweat then...

Sometimes, in order to prevent buyers to use this as a mean to withdraw from a purchase just because they have changed their mind, estate agents include in the "compromis" a clause under which the buyers give the agent a power of attorney to look for a loan as well, indicating the maximum interest rate they want. Wish you good luck for your sale Carol..

Carol, you see, what Brain is describing lead me straight to the idea of house swooping. I mean not necessarily ownership as costs are only for notaries, banks and this sort of passive production, - or when change of ownership each is paying equally the costs. This could be even a good marketing idea ;-)...

My friend who is visiting in a couple of weeks is stumped by it all. He wanted to buy here but was told to wait because prices would go through the floor. Paradoxically, he is now witnessing SE England dropping rapidly - except London which is still going up, up, up - and the value of his place going down the pan. He wants to get out of the place because his OH died there on Christmas day, out of the blue brain thing, so this is is his first trip to look. On line he finds he can't afford something small even because he is almost a third down on the price of his Petts Wood house (which I consider more or less London). Strange stuff...

We are well under the price we paid nearly 4 years ago.... 100k plus....apart from wrapping it in a big red bow and handing it over gratis....we need to be able to afford to relocate in the UK.....the agent said another buyer wanted it, thought we had sold so bought elsewhere...very frustrating.

Hi Carol, it would be worth to explain this in an extra or general post, - but I'm just too lazy. Still this is why this decline is getting worse: Banks granted too quickly to high credit on the basis of the price to income ratio. Measured against the real productiveness and value the incomes in France are by far too high. The mathematicians of banks know this fact very good. This is why new mortgages are not easy to get.

Not only here in France, but everywhere in Europe, the root of the problem are not the banks but that property owners not only feel richer (despite the fact of being mortage-slaves), no worse, they continue borrow to consume against the value of their property (many are buying with another credit then a new car). That's why banks are now more and more reluctant to grant mortgages. To their own people. And then see how much property in France is owned by foreigners, not financed through French banks.

15 years ago French banks have had so much money through savings generated by the post war generation, so they where lending and lending. Then, as the first repayments begun to bounce the banks needed to water their criteria down to continue this scheme, only by creating even more failures. What banks are doing now is just to compensate expected losses, because they know very well although the value of a property forfeits, the value of debt of the mortgage does not. So they don't loose. All clear? I love the fact that this is even legal and must laugh because this is the best evidence for everybody to see that capitalism can't generate any capital anymore. Well people still cling onto the dream.

That's why right now, while France's government continues spending, instead reforming and equalizing its pension system to stop the imbalance of fonctionnaires for SNCF, Post, town-halls employees going with 55 into retirement while everybody else has to work till at least 63, - this is not only a downward spiral, it is simply not affordable for an uncompetitive economy. Just imagine you have a property in the 200 km reach of a nuclear power plant... Therefore, we have decided to sell our two other properties very quickly under the price we actually had expected, and looking back, today we would have already a loss.

Prices are set to dip here...frighteningly...depending on what papers you read. Ive read anything up to another trying not to think about it.

Carol, but now it is getting about the time. Once the "sunny" month are over,season etc, and the increasingly common reluctance of French banks, can move a sale into long distance. Recently some people in their mid-forties, the mortgage was denied by 3 banks because they are supposedly something too "old". Its my son's house which is also for months on the market and it is even a brand new house with quite a few useful installations such as solar, solar power storage cell, well, etc. Even the price of 180,000 at 160 sqm and 1000 sqm of land with unobstructed views over fields is probably not too high. I think prices will go down further from October on.

We didnt get the chance David...the Insurance company were to blame...the bank gave this couple the nod, but the insurance company started delving and decided madam's health wasnt up to par for the amount they wanted....the letter refusing the mortgage from the bank ensures they receive their deposit back. I feel for them too...they are bitterly disappointed....

I'm with Hilary 100%. Take the 10%.

Good tip, Brian, thanks. I shall use that should the day ever dawn when I have a buyer for my humble abode.