Wednesday, September 30, 2009

An end to the recession?

Perhaps it is my imagination but I seem to be seeing a few more British visitors around at the moment. Yes, I know it’s the time of year when people start popping over for ‘quick trips’ and long-weekends but even so, there seem to be quite a few around. Some of my regular contacts in various countries are also reporting the same thing and saying that at least some of these people seem to be checking-out property.

It’s very risky to comment on what may or may not happen with the recession, but it’s been about 15 months or so since the news started to peak on banking collapses and the like. People have been in their bunkers for well over a year and many economic indicators still look gloomy BUT there are perhaps a few odd glimmers of hope around.

Now I’m not saying that what expats in Spain, France or Australia think is necessarily a very meaningful economic indicator but there may be some signs of less gloom around. Contacts in France tell me that the property market there has been largely dead for the best part of 18 months or even more but suddenly a few tentative buyers have appeared ‘looking around’ though not at the moment actually buying much.

Vast areas of Spain continue to be a disaster for many expat property owners in financial terms but in one or two areas potential buyers are reported to be sniffing around again.

OK, it’s very tentative stuff but it seems to coincide with some slightly more neutral news reporting on economic indicators. A friend of mine still lays much of the blame for the current global economic position at the door of the media who, he believes, started desperately looking for a financial crisis in January 2007 and managed to talk one into existence by the end of that year. Perhaps he’s just a cynic but who knows?! Maybe if the news channels are now getting bored with reporting bad news and gloomy indicators, perhaps they’ll search for a few half-optimistic signs and start reporting those. That in turn could generate increasing confidence and so on etc etc.

We could all do with it.

Still, it’s good to see that for some folk the recession remains an abstract concept. One UK family I know that are considering buying in Portugal just happened to say that the decline in Sterling against the Euro over the past couple of years or so was not a serious factor in their plans to buy and move. It must be great to be in that sort of position!

As always though, I’m interested in members thoughts on things and in that context, the recession. Does anyone else out there see cause for hope yet?

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