Toughest times for estate agents

ESTATE agents in Ipswich could today be on the brink of closure as they face another tough year for the property market.

Naomi Cassidy

ESTATE agents in Ipswich could today be on the brink of closure as they face another tough year for the property market.

An owner of one estate agents in the town has admitted that times were so bad that he could be forced to shut.

Colin Girling, a spokesman for the Suffolk branch of the National Association of Estate Agents, agreed that other estate agents could be closing in the coming few months if the property market does not improve.


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Mr Girling said: “A few estate agents could close if things do not improve.

“I cannot see anything improving in the next year. The government is not doing anything to kick-start the market. The house prices at the moment are about the same as they were in 2003.

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“When you look back historically you had to have proof that you were able to support a mortgage but now first-time buyers are not used to saving money for a deposit and the banks have been lending them as much as seven times their salary.”

The estate agent, who wished to remain anonymous, said: “This is definitely one of the toughest times in our history.

“I have had to put my own property up as security.

“The banks agreed to an overdraft but then would not extend that further. We are very committed to keep going but you need that support from the banks.

“If we survive until March and April, then hopefully things will start to improve then. If not, we will have the sell the business.”

Are you an estate agent concerned about the market? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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