U.K. Shedding Brokers

Across the pond, as many as 15,000 real estate brokers could be out of work by the end of 2008, the Wall Street Journal reports this morning. That’s roughly 5 percent of the United Kingdom’s 300,000 brokers.

The cause? High seller expectations and buyer skittishness. Things aren’t as bad in the U.K. as in the U.S., but the psychology of home-hunting, like here, has changed.

Mr. Harrison, a 23-year-old first-time buyer in Liverpool, said he and his partner had viewed 27 properties and considered all but two to be overpriced. They made an offer on one. "It needed £10,000 [$20,000] of work, so we took off £10,000 and [the seller] wasn’t very happy. If we don’t find [a place to buy] by the end of July, we’ll rent for another six months," he said. "It’s well worth the wait to save astronomical amounts of money."