The stratospheric surge of local property prices continues. Recent activity by estate agents bears this out as near neighbours will know. "Sell your home for free," announced a hand-delivered letter from Atkinson Mcleod just before Christmas, announcing a limited period 0% sales fee. Now, the same company has written again, declaring with delight the opening of a new office in Mare Street. The most remarkable approach, though, has been from Stirling Ackroyd. I quote:
If you have received this letter your home has been identified to meet the criteria of two prospective purchasers urgently looking to buy in just three specific neighbouring roads. Both clients are looking for a substantial house and have budgets of approximately £1.3m. Demand for houses in your area is currently very strong, with many recent sales achieving over the asking price on the open market...With the City moving further east, we feel confident our "all around the city" presence can lead to a greater return on your home.
Such astounding valuations of houses in Clapton is no longer news but the focussed intensity with which they are being sought is nonetheless striking. Does it signify that price inflation is thought likely to continue for some time, or that every last bit of breath is being wheezed into the bubble before it bursts? Either way, I'm not selling - I like it here and so does my family. But if you're tempted, think what you could buy. Does a five-bedroom mansion near Sunderland appeal? You could even get a Lamborghini with the change.