Coverage of News International over the last couple of weeks is seen by many as excessive and has obscured the much larger story, which is the continuing difficulties in the Euro zone. The levels of debt and problems it is causing are difficult to understand, but they do potentially have very serious consequences for the UK economy.

In accepting that within our circles of friends, we tend to want to socialise with those who are optimistic not pessimistic (they tend to be more fun) there is also an argument for saying that a penniless optimist is probably not much fun either. As estate agents, our job is to try and sell houses, not to provide economic advice, but nevertheless there is a correlation between the performance of the economy and the performance of the property market.

Our view, which we have held for some time, is that the debt crisis will perhaps take at least five years to show signs of improvement. Those who are holding out in the hope that the market will improve may be disappointed, and the best advice would be to get on with your life and work with what you have got. If you have an offer on your property which seems about right, then something crops up on survey and you are asked for a reduction, I should give it serious consideration, because there is no guarantee that the next offer will be as good.