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Property prices will Rocket, Then We All Die. Cheerful Stuff from LettingFocus.com

Ever heard of James Lovelock and Gaia theory?
James Lovelock is a chap you really should know about because his theories, if they come true, will impact all of us.
Lovelock is an independent scientist whose Gaia theory - that the Earth is a self-regulating super-organism - came out many years ago.
Stay with me this really has something to do with property, I promise.
His new book, “The Revenge of Gaia”, predicts that by 2020 extreme weather will be the norm and by 2040 much of Europe will be Saharan and parts of London will be underwater.
Increasingly and rather scarily, other scientists like those on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, tend to agree.
Sadly, according to Lovelock, global warming has now passed the point where it can be stopped and catastrophe is now inevitable. (Well, if the whole world went fully nuclear tomorrow we may just have a chance but that’s pretty unlikely with oil men being so close to the White House and Kremlin.)
Before that happens, he says, the UK will increasingly become a place for refugees from mainland Europe as life in the south of Europe, Africa and Central & South Asia beomes impossible.

On population predictions the UK’s own government statistics make similar predictions to Lovelock. At http://www.statistics.gov.uk/cci/nugget.asp?id=1352 you can read the predictions that government minister for immigration Phil Woolas was so cross had been published at all.
These say that the UK population is projected to increase by 4.4 million by 2016 an increase equivalent to an average annual rate of growth of 0.7 per cent.
If past trends continue, the population will continue to grow, reaching 71 million by 2031. This is due in part to natural increase (more births than deaths) and because it is assumed there will be more immigrants than emigrants.
So just before we all die – and I hope I’m joking here- we will certainly see a shortage of property and record prices for houses and possibly high rents, i.e. any form of shelter from the burning heat.
But once catastrophe beckons, (Lovelock predicts 80% of us will be dead by 2100), I guess you should substitute your assets out of property and switch into buying cans of tinned food, a secure bunker and some guns. Cheerful stuff!
For the sake of my darling 7 year old son, I dearly hope that Mr. Lovelock will one day turn out to be a very very deluded octogenarian with a book to promote who has finally got it wrong.
I’m an optimist so I’m sticking with that hope.
In the medium term given the increasing population and a dearth of house building I just can’t see house prices falling much more.

I know they are eternal optimists but the number of estate agents in the London area who seem genuinely rushed off their feet (at least outside the prime property markets) may really suggest we are getting near the bottom for house prices.
This is backed up by my own experience too. Every week I go to Rightmove and select 2 bed flats and houses in an certain area of central London (well 3 miles out if you must know) where there are loads of identical property.
These are my bellwether properties.
None have dropped their asking prices for 2 months now – further signs that we could be near the bottom.
Around the rest of England and Wales I’m hearing the same story.
I’ll be looking in mote depth at the state of the property market and the opportunity for investors, at my seminar on Wednesday. I’ll also have special guests along who are experts in mortgages, tax and buying below market value.
Come to Our Next Evening Property Event in London Evening of 18th March
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I’m David Lawrenson of LettingFocus.com - the property letting experts. Read Property Articles by David Lawrenson.
I’m the author of “Successful Property Letting” which for the last 3 years has been the UK’s top selling property book - buy Successful Property Letting - How to Make Money in Buy to Let.
The new edition is fully up to date with all the recent changes to tenancy deposit schemes, HMOs, licensing, capital gains taxes and it has new sections on sale and rent back.
I’m an expert property writer and property speaker - and I run the well known landlords blog that you are reading now.
Come to Our Next Evening Property Event in London Evening of 18th March
I contribute to newspapers and a host of property websites, write a number of columns in the press and I provide general property letting advice and consulting to anyone looking to buy property for themselves or to let out. I can help private individuals with any aspect of buying property or buy to let.
What’s unique about lettingfocus.com is that we are independent property investment advisors because unlike most people in the buy to let and property “advice” business we are not linked to a property company, developer, agent or bridging loan financier and do not receive commissions from these sources.
We simply give one to one unbiased advice and are often asked to evaluate other property investments.
In my corporate consulting role I also advise banks, building societies, housing associations and web portals with their buy to let and property products and services.
Find out about some great deals we have arranged at our Landlords Resources page.
Copyright: David Lawrenson 2009. This blog is updated roughly once a week.
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