RECESSION: Parallels from the last decade

PUBLISHED: 11:56 02 June 2008 | UPDATED: 11:41 29 April 2010

EVER since I worked in the economic services section of the Welsh Office in the mid-1980s, I have been a student of economic and social history. As such, I firmly believe that there are parallels between the past decade and the 10 years leading up to the

EVER since I worked in the economic services section of the Welsh Office in the mid-1980s, I have been a student of economic and social history.

As such, I firmly believe that there are parallels between the past decade and the 10 years leading up to the 1929 Wall Street Crash.

The big difference is that in 1929 it was shares which were the vehicle for financial self-destruction, whereas in 2008 it is residential property.

Estate agencies across the UK are closing branches at the rate of 150 a week, with 4,000 jobs going since the beginning of January.

It would therefore be a good idea for estate agents to dust off their CVs and start applying for jobs at Tesco, Asda, and Poundland.

I would give DIY stores a miss. In the USA, Home Depot, the equivalent of B & Q, has just closed 50 branches, with the loss of 5,000 jobs.

It is possible that we will see a repeat of the property slump of the early 1990s, where all estate agencies in some market towns closed down.

However, this time around, the more far-sighted estate agents are turning themselves into residential letting agencies, given the boom in private rented accommodation.

It will be interesting to see if this happens in Fenland over the next couple of years.

JOHN SMITHEE

Kingsley Avenue

Wisbech


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