Best possible ways to resolve the housing crisis in Britain

Let’s examine the best possible ways to resolve the current housing crisis in Britain, starting from the viewpoint of Baroness Thatcher, arguably the most successful Premier of the post war era.

How might Margaret Thatcher have dealt with the housing crisis unfolding across Britain?

I think that we can reasonably accurately guess the stance she might take by considering the main benchmarks which were directing her political compass in the Seventies.

Her campaigning for housing reform resulted in the Housing Act 1980 which gave security of tenure, and controversially, the right of social tenants to buy the homes which they lived in.

From this we can reasonably assume that she held the view that every family should be responsible for their own housing by having ownership of the houses in which they live.

As a result she would’ve been uncomfortable with the idea that those who couldn’t manage financially, should enjoy housing provided by those who can.

Assuming this, one can see that her ultimate goal appeared to be to create a home-owning democracy spreading to all quarters, whilst not unduly marginalising those who can’t get started with home ownership.

On this basis, it seems to me to be patently wrong for government and various local government organisations, including Housing Associations to carry on attempting to provide part ownership-part rented housing, as some form of essential, yet seriously flawed, stop-gap.

All this can do in effect, is to countenance a continuance of the previous lack of affordability in housing because by using such policies, prices must have to find the highest level within a subset of what are ‘totally unsatisfactory‘ ground-rules. This leads me to the thought:

What if a different method could be used?

Could housing be provided without part ownership schemes?

We currently have one important advantage today which was not available to buyers in the seventies. It relates to the level of interest rates.

In today’s housing market, borrowing money has never been cheaper and interests rates have never been lower, so now would be the perfect time to switch from organisations taking money for rent, to prospective occupiers of houses being lent the money for them to buy the house they live in outright.

Surely this would be the ultimate Thatcher goal and the reverse of the existing half-baked idea of first-time buyers having to pay an equivalent-sized mortgage repayment chunk of money every month to organisations that are only giving them part ownership at similar price levels!

The whole idea of part ownership and so-called ‘affordable’ homes should now be cast aside so that the final frontier of widespread home ownership could be brought in much more quickly.

Having witnessed the expansion of the private rented sector since the seventies, we now know with certainty that this sector has not and can never provide a similar degree of freedom security and support to that offered by outright home ownership and, it is also fair to say, neither can large scale council housing ever achieve this.

Shortly after the decision was made by Conservatives to promote the sale of council houses to their occupiers in the mid seventies it soon became clear this was a very popular winner all over post-war Britain.

Of course housing authorities would still need to retain some council housing but at nothing like at the scale it used to be, if widespread home ownership should become mainstream once again.

Now is the right time to expect the market economy to provide a high degree of home ownership to the majority.

Forget part ownership / part rental schemes, for they are exactly just that just – schemes. Everyone wanting houses to live in should go for full ownership at prices below or similar to the existing cost of renting.

This way, most families would be empowered to take control of their own housing requirements and enjoy a brighter future.

The only question now remaining is, how could all of this be achieved?

The way such dramatic progress in home ownership could become a reality today would be by changing the way all residential property is handled by house agents. We need a whole new system where everybody who wishes to, could go out and buy a place of their own at prices that are truly market compatible.

The present house price crisis is not because of a shortage in housing nationally. That is not why house prices have been escalating. There is a more fundamental reason. It is because of the imperfect way in which estate agents currently deal with house sales. This is the main cause of the current house price crisis. A better way of describing the present housing crisis would actually be to describe it as a house price crisis.

A sea-change is therefore needed in residential estate agency methods. This is the final conclusion.

Will politicians and their policy makers please take a good hard look at this aspect of the problem and engage in detailed discussions about the merits of bringing the changes I outline here to fruition, because now is the opportune moment for doing this.

It is now a matter for our elected government to resolve this.
It is they who should act to secure the future wealth and security of the house-owning general public.

To read about how this very special change could be put into effect, please follow the link below to a set of pages which fully explain this:

The House Price Solution

How to Improve all local housing markets across England and Wales

Posted by: Peter Hendry, Housing Valuation Consultant
Author of:– The House Price Solution (otherwise known as The Hendry Solution).

What do you think about this idea for drastically improving the operation of all housing markets potentially across the whole of Britain?

Constructive comments are very much welcomed.

The Housing Markets all over the UK are overheating

Here is the evidence put simply, also published in The I Newspaper on Friday 31st December 2021.

Record Annual Rise in House Prices

The average UK house price rose by nearly £24,000 during 2021, the biggest increase ever recorded in a single year in cash terms, according to the Nationwide Building Society. The typical price of a home reached a record high of £254,822 in December, marking a £29,902 increase over the past year.

Robert Gardner, Chief Economist at Nationwide said: “Prices are now 16% higher than before the pandemic struck in early 2020.” Nationwide said house prices were 10.4% higher annually in December 2021.

When you consider annual growth in total pay was at best 4.3%, nobody could seriously argue that the housing markets are not overheating price-wise.

See Gov link for stats:

At some point, this dilemma must be addressed and new policies introduced by government to correct it. The  brightly burning question is when?

We wish a Happy New Year to everyone, especially those interested in improving the housing markets across the UK.

Thoughts and views are welcomed as to how this could best be achieved.

A Challenge to Estate Agents to Improve The Housing Market in the UK


We all deserve a better housing market in which to find and purchase houses and flats for ourselves so I now challenge all estate agents and the landed professions to a full debate on the merits of my prescribed solution to the present and unacceptable house-price crisis, as well as to discuss the pressing need to correct the insufficient number of houses currently being purchased for owner occupation.

“There’s currently NO genuine competition between sellers who employ their own agents, as happens at present. I propose that instead, estate agents should be working for buyers in a similar way to travel agents and sales of tickets in the airline industry.” Travel agents help travellers to find the best value holidays for their chosen destinations.  This is what should also be happening with housing.

House prices themselves should find a level based on real competition. For this to happen, housing should be priced in a similar way to the methods used in the travel industry.

Fair competition should be introduced into our housing markets so as to achieve best throughput in the market, whilst maintaining price stability by using The House Price Solution.

The proposition:
Here is the essence of what I am saying by using this method.

It involves a complete and permanent change in the way estate agents deal with residential house sales.

As far as residential sales are concerned, to use this solution, only Registered House Agents (RHAs), would be licensed to deal with residential sales & purchases. The key difference is, this would involve a new type of agent which would always be acting for the purchaser rather than the vendor.

Existing Estate agents could continue to offer both sales and management services to all their existing clients except on residential or part residential property sales. In other words, sales of all types of property other than residential property may be dealt with in exactly the same way as before by existing estate agents.

Only Registered House Agents (RHAs), would be licensed to act in dealing with the sale and purchase of residential property. They would also be licensed to manage such property.

Those licensed to act in such matters would be expected to have passed a new qualification prior to obtaining a license to carry out this type of business.

You may ask in this case, would anyone else be allowed to act on behalf of those wishing to buy or sell residential property?

The answer is no. Market forces will be harnessed to act both for sellers as well as buyers by using different and competing Registered House Agents, tasked with the work of obtaining for their clients, the best combined buy and sell prices in the market whenever moving house.

Competition would be achieved because the selling process would normally be done using a separate and competing RHA in every case.

Whereas selling residential property may only be carried out by Registered House Agents (RHAs), existing professional buying agents may continue to operate as normal by negotiating terms of purchase on behalf of buyers as they do at present. The difference for them would be that they would be dealing with Registered House Agents when buying rather than with estate agents as at present.

This unique plan is designed to eliminate the exaggerated house prices which are being quoted and are seriously damaging our housing markets.

By stabilising prices in this way many more people would be able to transit between properties, as and when they may need to.

Your thoughts are welcomed on this new idea for smoothing rising house prices whilst helping to stabilise the capital values of privately owned residential property as part of this process.

The House Price Solution

How to Improve all local housing markets across England and Wales

Posted by: Peter Hendry, Housing Valuation Consultant
Author of:– The House Price Solution (otherwise known as The Hendry Solution).

What do you think about this idea for drastically improving the operation of all housing markets potentially across the whole of Britain?

Constructive comments are very much welcomed.

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The Politics of Housing

The Politics of Housing is necessarily societal. In other words you can’t divorce housing from politics.

When canvassing for the Brexit vote in 2019 and accepting becoming our Prime Minister in July 2019, Boris Johnson promised that his government would be a government inclusive for all in society, having won the popular vote on that basis.

Whatever political view an individual may wish to take, it would appear that there are three institutions that should be held as being at the very crest of present day society. These are The Judiciary, The NHS and The Town and Country Planning Acts.

Whenever setting out to make new policy for the benefit of Britain’s populace, these three established pillars of fairness should always be fully considered beforehand.

Tough love, directed towards some parts of society, may be necessary for further improvement but it would, by its own definition, have to be based on love and nurture, not prejudice.

However even so, the noblest of decisions, taken in the quest to improve the lot of the many may occasionally fail, especially where housing is concerned.

What follows is a set of proposals specifically designed to resolve our present housing distribution problems.

FIRSTLY: Before designing a new Town & Country Planning system for the whole of Britain, it would be a pretty good idea to get a clear picture of what would make each local community thrive, and then incorporate precisely that into the new model.

To date we have seen little evidence of such an approach and practically no justification for the arbitrary zoning designations which are being proposed in the Planning White Paper currently being debated in Parliament. This does therefore deserve much further consideration.

The clear and over-riding objective must surely be for ordinary working people to be able to find openings for good new jobs close to where they may live.

This must mean the forward plan must involve a proper debate with business leaders to start searching for and employing more-skilled people, including training them up and paying them substantially more whilst expecting more productivity/profitability from them in return.

The resultant gain to industry could be achieved from increasing the incentive amongst school leavers and university graduates alike to decide on a higher-skilled career for themselves, earlier, and then to train more intensively for that.

Those youngsters who do not choose to follow this path would be likely to have to accept whatever unskilled jobs there may be at low wages (and with little or no prospects), of course.

This is, in effect, increasing the requirement on job seekers to decide what they would like to do earlier and to embark on getting the best training and qualifications they need for their choices of career.

Other successful economies have already achieved such outcomes and because this has been done elsewhere it could certainly be done in Britain if the incentives were provided.

One organisation, KPMG (the accountancy conglomerate) is already in the news for helping in the battle for greater diversity among types of job especially within the poorer communities by offering apprenticeships. It wants nearly a third of their staff to be coming from working class backgrounds by 2030. Enabling diversity of perspective, fresh thinking, and wide-ranging insight should help all businesses to perform.

People from routine maintenance and service organisations may apply. Levels of pay and prospects in life really matter to employees but so does aspiration. Van drivers, butchers and factory workers should be among those applying for schemes such as these if they should wish to do so.

What is Levelling Up really about?
Added to this post 2 jan 2022:

Levelling up is about empowering local leaders and communities.
It’s about raising living standards and growing the private sector.
It’s about spreading opportunity and improving our public services.
It’s also about boosting local pride and improving our local environments.

Young people should be empowered to learn all the skills they need and be enabled to use their passions and their abilities to help them get good jobs in the future wherever they may choose to live.

All this is can now be achieved with the localised Towns Deals which are being made available by government as well as the Community Renewal Fund and other funds also to do with Levelling Up.

Link to: Department for Levelling up Housing and Communities

Equally important however is the house price crisis itself!

To find out all about everything to do with the extreme lack of adequate and available housing on the market and how to deal with the non-affordability of it, see below.

The House Price Solution

How to Improve all local housing markets across England and Wales

Posted by: Peter Hendry, Housing Valuation Consultant
Author of:– The House Price Solution (otherwise known as The Hendry Solution).

What do you think about this idea for drastically improving the operation of all housing markets potentially across the whole of Britain?

Constructive comments are very much welcomed.

Where are estate agents going wrong nowadays

Where are estate agents going wrong nowadays?

Well, first please fully understand that the vagaries of the housing market are complicated as most people will admit.

As a retired property professional I have watched how things have been going for several decades and a clear picture is at last emerging.

The estate agency sector, since the last war, has been increasingly failing to balance demand and supply in the housing market over the decades for reasons other than the imbalances in supply and demand!

The problem is that the estate agency sector itself is mistakenly working on the basis that the demand for housing is economically highly elastic whereas housing supply, they would frequently tell you, is highly IN-elastic. They say, that it is this mismatch which is causing price peaks and troughs in the housing market to occur. This argument is completely wrong for the reasons I will now set out.

Firstly, the supply of houses coming onto their books is not IN-elastic and neither is it dependent upon the total number of houses actually built.

Here are some other reasons why they are mistaken:
As just explained estate agents are actually only dealing with the number of houses currently on the market – or on their books, from a supply point of view. This is quite different from the total supply of all the houses currently built and in use in the whole country!

Once they ‘get this’, they can free themselves from such confusion and begin to help those wishing to instruct them when moving house. They ought to be able to do this for those hoping to buy their next house in any case.

Secondly, and on the fluctuating level of demand for houses from buyers, the agents generally assume this is highly elastic in nature but sadly this is again mistaken.

In fact, agents very much affect the level of demand from buyers directly, (by affecting the number of homes coming onto their books as mentioned above).

This is because buyer demand is greatly affected by the level of wealth of buyers wishing to buy houses at any one time.  Understanding this is very important for generating successful house completions, especially because buyer demand is not highly elastic at all.

Why is that? Because overstating the asking prices of houses going onto the market will put many buyers off, lessening demand. In addition, it also provides misleading information to sellers concerning apparently increasing prices, which can also put many sellers off; rather ironically.

I say this because if agents were to act for buyers instead of sellers, they would see the various opportunities available in the marketplace quadruple, bringing many more house hunters onto the marketplace and thus onto the agents’ books.

Once agents realise that they do in fact influence the number of houses coming onto the market (i.e. by influencing the total supply of houses becoming available for purchase), then business will increase for the agents because this depends on the way in which they interact very much with the buyers as well as with sellers.

This means they should realise that they can and should influence the number of houses sold from a buyer’s point of view, since that must depend on the levels of wealth currently being enjoyed by those in the market to buy themselves a house at any one time.

It should be stressed, acting as an agent in housing is completely different from agents who may be selling, for example, expensive cars and/or yachts, because house agents are dealing with capital assets, not depreciating assets or chattels. Capital assets require extra special skills, involving advising buyer-clients, rather than merely advising the seller, after having obtained a selling contract!

Please understand. No current asking prices indicate a house’s true market value. Neither should you think that whatever reduction you can negotiate will be the actual market value of the property. The asking price is just part of the marketing. Most sellers are optimistic, all selling agents are ambitious sales people and so most sales naturally complete for less than the initial asking price for that very reason.

Therefore and in conclusion for the reasons I have just provided, prudent agents should be acting for or serving buyers as their primary clients instead of sellers, in order to bring about the greatest number of sales in every specific market situation.

Prices should be dependent upon or determined by what different buyers might be willing to pay. Where estate agents almost invariably go wrong, is they confuse this with how much buyers can each individually be made to pay!

Doing the latter is incorrect and it is that which actually causes markets to begin a ripple, which then results in price peaks and troughs, inflating and then deflating again and again on a regular or cyclical basis, throughout the various housing markets, spread across the whole of the UK.

Please notice these peaks and troughs do not always coincide with periods of greater and lesser wealth.

This explanation supports my argument that agents should change their mode of operation to one of acting for buyers rather than for sellers. As well as that, it fully explains that the massively increasing price levels we see currently are not as a result of increasing net wealth but these are in fact more to do with buyer coercion. Such coercion must be taken right out of the agency-equation if prices are to stabilise at safe and supportable market price levels.

The House Price Solution

How to Improve all local housing markets across England and Wales

Posted by: Peter Hendry, Housing Valuation Consultant
Author of:– The House Price Solution (otherwise known as The Hendry Solution).

What do you think about this idea for drastically improving the operation of all housing markets potentially across the whole of Britain?

Constructive comments are very much welcomed.

This is not to say new houses should not be built to provide new accommodation, wherever this is strategically necessary within each local jurisdiction.

What do you think about this analysis of the present situation please?

Comments are moderated but constructive ones are always welcomed.