Sometimes it pays to look on the dark side. Although it befits no-one to be cynical, there is a growing suspicion among professional negligence lawyers that predictions of continued falls in the housing market may have more than a little to do with fears of negligence litigation.
Yes, when times get tough and disgruntled clients get litigious, the market does have a habit of coming over all doom and gloom.
It is a shame, really, that surveyors and valuers so often seem to be afflicted by a kind of reactive bi-polar disorder: one moment things are amazingly bright and sunny and the next there is a looming mass of dark and louring clouds, sometimes if only because the grandiose predictions of halcyon days have resulted in an over-compensatory caution.
These thoughts come after hearing that house prices will fall by an average of 3% next year – well, according to the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).
Whether this prediction is due to significant growth in investors and private buyers instructing professional negligence lawyers to claim compensation for negligent valuations, or a more sober, realistic climate, is hard to tell.
Furthermore, with the law regarding negligence claims against surveyors and valuers continuing to evolve, it is an interesting time for negligence lawyers.