Feb 252014
 

Estate agents in general basically compete with each other to try to see how many more houses they can sell and how much they can get. They think the more £s sold the more successful they prove themselves to be as estate agents but this is wrong thinking. It leads to rule bending and not long afterwards, rule breaking.

This thinking clearly indicates that apart from the need to build more homes, estate agents need to have better ground rules. At the moment too many tend to bend whatever sparse rules there currently are and they obviously don’t like this being pointed out!

Surely it’s time for ‘our government’ to act, in order to restore proper functionality to the housing market, instead of increasingly unsustainable prices in the run up to the next election - but I guess that would only be if they wish to be proactive and responsible?  I always thought that that’s what governments are supposed to be.

To do this all they’d need to do is introduce buyer-led contracts to replace estate agents’ selling contracts for ALL agents, before the next general election.

For full details of how our proposals could be put into effect, please go to an article on our blog entitled:

Earlier article on our blog site: Full details of our current proposals.

Posted by: Peter Hendry, Consultant in Housing Valuation at Property Match (UK)

Feb 192014
 

A prime example showing the way in which the market operates is badly distorted, is London.
Sharply rising prices are undermining government efforts to help more people on to the housing ladder in London.

In The Financial Times today it is reported and I quote: “Sharply rising prices are undermining government efforts to help more people on to the housing ladder. The average price of homes bought by first-time buyers rose 7.4 per cent – significantly faster than the 4.7 per cent increase experienced by other buyers, the ONS data showed.
Stephen Smith, director of Legal & General’s mortgage club, said the situation in London would “soon make the capital unaffordable for ordinary families”.”

Plus “The rest of the country was seeing price rises that were broadly comparable to the rate of inflation, Mr Smith pointed out. “As such, the wider picture in the UK shows a pretty orderly market with a modest rise and no housing bubble,” he said.”

But what is not fully reported is that volumes of completed sales are running at a mere trickle compared with pre-crash throughput; and even that wasn’t particularly high at the time.

Again this strongly suggests that things are far from right in house-marketing circles.

My take on this is that we are almost running at pre-crash house price levels again, suggesting that the house price crash only lasted a year or two. ONS graphs clearly confirm this is so. In effect we are back in a house-price bubble, even though there is no commensurate economic recovery - quite yet.

Until prices moderate themselves down to market affordability levels, sales throughput cannot possibly re-establish itself.

My proposal for accomplishing this without the need for direct intervention in the marketplace (the latter never being a very good idea), is to re-organise estate agents so that they have to deal with both sales and purchases on behalf of individual clients.
If they were to be responsible to do both, they would get real hands-on experience of current market prices and thus be better able to advice both buyers and sellers on the state of the housing market at any particular time (and location).

Unless this is done very soon, first time buyers will be shut out of large parts of the UK, the very thing the government does not want to happen.

If first timers are shut out, prices will eventually fall anyway but by that time immense damage will have been done to the Nations’ economy. That is too high a price to pay for letting the market simply sort itself out and most economists know that complex markets like the UK housing market don’t naturally tend to sort themselves out anyway. It’s well known that such markets need clever external management in order to become and remain efficient.

Doing nothing about this, simply isn’t an option.

For full details of how our proposals could be put into effect, please go to an article on our blog entitled:

Earlier article on our blog site: Full details of our current proposals.

Posted by: Peter Hendry, Consultant in Housing Valuation at Property Match (UK)

There’s a need to improve the way houses are marketed in the UK

 Estate Agents, House Price Valuation  No Responses »
Feb 072014
 

There’s a need to improve the way houses are marketed in the UK.
Doing this will afford people buying (and selling) more price stability.

The shortage of supply of new homes, that is not keeping pace with increasing demand has been an ongoing historic problem. It urgently needs addressing nevertheless, sensitivity over where new houses are built and what is allowed to be built should remain the remit and the responsibility of the planners.

However, even more fundamentally than spawning a dash to build more, is the need to improve the way houses are marketed in the UK.

Instead of selling agents having free rein to try and extract the maximum amount of cash from each individual buyer, each time they put their heads above the parapet merely by expressing an interest in a particular property - a better arrangement is needed.

We need ‘objectivity of price’, so that local markets can find their current house values more fairly. The advantage to be gained would be more sellers being prepared to move and more buyers being prepared to try buying. The result would be a vibrant housing market replacing the existing one. One where buyers are treated less like rabbits to be chased and shot as quarry for agents to skin for all they are worth, and more as people with families; and needs in their own right. We have specific examples of this happening, involving estate agents, for anyone interested.

Without such respect for buyers and their own individual situations, the market for houses will remain unbalanced. That’s why we propose a wholesale revamp of the way in which houses are sold and, go as far as to say that doing this is even more urgent than the need to build more houses to live in.

Building more houses takes quite a time, improving the way the housing market works could be done in a year. Not doing this, would be failing to do the job properly on behalf of the house-owning majority in this country.

The details of exactly what to do to improve the way houses are bought and sold in Britain are already fully available at:

Earlier article on our blog site: Full details of our proposals.

The question is, when is our Coalition Government going to respond to this plea? Hopefully, that will be before the next General Election and doing so would be a fantastic vote winning tactic?

Posted by: Property Match (UK): The modern way to market houses