Category Archives: Estate Agents

Sharing good / bad experiences when using estate agents
(be careful not to name/shame explicitly to avoid unwanted law suits)

House Prices Are Relatively Meaningless Numbers Today

Published / by Peter Hendry / Leave a Comment

House prices can’t measure your buying power because the moneylenders have already completely skewed that by offering a huge and ever increasing borrowing ability to most applicants (except perhaps those sleeping rough or unemployed)!

Secondly, house price levels don’t indicate your level of wealth because the taxman will take in taxes, most of any equity you’ve made when you do sell – unless of course you buy somewhere else. Similar price-levels will obviously apply so little is actually gained or indeed lost here, relatively speaking.

Thirdly, estate agents generally exaggerate all the house prices because they are taking a rake-off! As long as they can carry on ‘pulling the wool’ of a few people’s eyes, they’re making themselves a goodly amount of commission on each sale, as and when these eventually complete.

This whole process therefore needs a fundamental and wide-ranging reform.

The Hendry Solution is the best way to achieve this. It has been developed, over several decades, as a clear way to do it in the most efficient way possible. It does this after looking at the difficulties being experienced by those in both the buying and the selling situations across all housing marketplaces in England and Wales.

Coupled with the fundamental reforms recommended, those wishing to invest their futures in the housing markets also need much swifter methods for legally transacting sales and purchases. Pre-contract ‘information packages’ and high speed conveyancing processes, are among the several ideas seriously worth considering or re-considering.

For a full explanation of exactly how this may be accomplished, please follow the link to:

The Hendry Solution: Full details of our proposals for properly reforming the UK housing market..

Peter Hendry, Consultant in Housing Valuation

David Dimbleby’s Question Time, BBC 1, 3rd May 18, The broken housing market.

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As was emphatically stated in David Dimbleby’s Question Time on BBC 1 10:45pm on Thursday the 3rd May 18, the housing market in England and Wales is completely broken.
Martin Lewis, a panel member and founder of Moneysupermarket.com voiced similar conclusions during the show.

The only way new buyers can get onto even the first rung of the ladder is to save upwards of £50,000 when joint salaries are in the majority of cases well below such an amount.
This, coupled with the fact that with interest rates staying so low for so long, while buyers are working to build such a nest-egg, the value of their savings is diminishing all the time they are saving.
With inflation running at over double the interest which is capable of being earned, savers are having to battle against the interest tide just in order to stand still!

The clear message is, housing has now become too expensive to remain attractive to first timers. Total annual completed sales of houses have taken a dive as a result. This is a form of housing poverty as so many simply cannot afford to house themselves and their families, based on their current earning abilities.

What we are clearly seeing here is deja vu.

A similar pattern and situation presented itself after the end of the First World War and the Housing Act of 1936 was government’s response. It intervened to deal with the acute lack of sufficiently well equipped housing by usually clearance orders to have substandard housing demolished and new and better quality properties built on the land released.

Government action was the catalyst which dealt with the need at the time.

A fairly similar scenario in history occurred after the Second World War as once again, the government acted as a catalyst to deal once again with substandard housing using the Housing Act of 1957 to clear property which was deemed uninhabitable and uneconomic to upgrade to a habitable and acceptable standard.

In both cases, in concert with dealing with unsatisfactory standards, significant numbers of new housing, particularly municipal / council property was built at huge cost to the exchequer.

This was instrumental in holding house prices stable at the time.

The problem today is that since there have been no more wars involving our country, a very welcome situation of course, there has been little incentive for government to wish to involve itself a third time in dealing with the current housing crisis.

But; there is quite plainly little point in administering similar medicine a third time as it is also plainly evident that doing it has not permanently mended the nation’s housing market.

Instead what is needed (in addition to a program for constructing lots more housing within the private sector but crucially also in the public sector), is a logical and reasoned overhaul of the way in which each local housing market around the whole country actually functions.

Instead of allowing vendors simply to pitch asking prices at any amount they happen to consider feasible, more research is needed when determining the correct and finely-balanced level of price in the marketplace concerned. To achieve this would involve a root and branch reform of estate agency as we currently know it.

The way this could be done would be to re-orientate agency so that it primarily serves all the buyers instead of working solely for the sellers as happens at present. Smoothing out house prices using this method would have a dramatic and permanent stabilising effect everywhere – just what is now needed to stimulate new buyers to save and buy at prices within their financial reach.

For a full explanation of exactly how this may be accomplished, please follow the link to:

Improve The Housing Market in England and Wales.
How to Improve the Housing Markets in England and Wales before it is too late.

Peter Hendry, Consultant in Housing Valuation

The top 8 reasons for house sales falling through

Published / by Peter Hendry / Leave a Comment

Here are the top 8 reasons for a house sale falling through currently:
(The information was gathered from a small cluster of recent sales transactions.)

Notice the majority of the reasons for each house sale failures are buyer related decisions, therefore buyers are the group needing improved representation in the housing marketplace not sellers.

1. The seller decided not to sell their home after all: 26%
(incl. unable to find a house to buy)
2. The buyer’s own house sale fell through: 24%
3. The buyer found somewhere else they wanted instead: 12%
4. The buyer was gazumped: 11%
5. The buyer later decided they didn’t like the property enough: 9%
6. The buyer decided the process was taking too long and pulled out: 7%
7. The seller decided the process was taking too long and pulled out: 6%
8. The buyer and seller couldn’t resolve the final terms of the sale: 5%

The Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, Sajid Javid said and the new Housing Minister with effect from 30th April 18, James Brokenshaw MP is so far suggesting:
“Buying a home is one of the biggest and most important purchases someone will make in their life. But, for far too long buyers and sellers have been trapped in a stressful system full of delays and uncertainty.


We’re going to put the consumers back in the driving seat. We will require estate agents to hold a qualification so that people are no longer at risk from a minority of ‘rogue agents’ and can trust the process when buying or selling their home.”

My response is:
Simply requiring those carrying out estate agency work to be suitably professionally qualified won’t resolve the dilemma of the broken housing markets all around the country with prices stretching further and further beyond people’s reasonable ability to afford them.

The only way this could be achieved would be to improve the way each local market itself operates, by making all of them more efficient. If this needs further explanation I’d be happy to provide it.

The necessary way to do this is to remove the incentive for agents to hype up all the prices, by making them work for the buyer (or the renter) rather than for the seller as at present.

There needs to be a more fundamental and wide-ranging concept for dealing with this significant problem. Simply trying to get more houses built isn’t the whole answer either.

The only practical and thought through solution is being championed by a retired Chartered Surveyor, (myself) primarily. People working within the estates sector are simply too reluctant to propose or to accept the necessary changes.

The method by which this substantial improvement could be made is fully explained on my blog pages but does require some study. See:

Improve The Housing Market in England and Wales.
How to Improve the Housing Markets in England and Wales.

I would welcome reasoned discussion about this and I may be contacted via the blog site initially of course.

Peter Hendry, Consultant in Housing Valuation

Latest government funded research into the crisis within the housing markets across England and Wales

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Here’s news (published in February 2018) on the then recent government funded research into the crisis existing within the housing markets across England and Wales.

An awful lot remains to be done to assist those wanting (and needing) to start buying their first houses or flats and thus later to be able to move to better accommodation as and when, and wherever, they may need to.

The Economic and Social Research Council have funded the recent research through the Secondary Data Analysis Initiative (grant number ES/N011872/1) and the Centre for the Microeconomic Analysis of Public Policy at the IFS (grant number ES/M010147/1).

The online link to the IFS research is:
https://www.ifs.org.uk/uploads/publications/bns/BN224.pdf
The decline of homeownership among young adults.

The IFS are so right about the decline in home ownership. It’s a societal loss.
I have worked on producing a policy designed to resolve the current problems within all housing markets across England and Wales.

In my opinion there is only one certain way to resolve this dilemma. My latest blog-published explanation covering this and taking you on to the actual hypothesis and solution may be found at the following link.

The Hendry Hypothesis and solution.
How to Improve all Housing Markets in England and Wales.

Peter Hendry, Consultant in Housing Valuation

It’s an earnest attempt to be a useful contributor to the future prosperity of our nation.

The Hendry Hypothesis and Solution

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“The Way to achieve free, civilised and secure trading within the housing market of England and Wales.”

Building sufficient houses to have enough of an effect would take years therefore, by definition, other remedies will be needed.

This hypothesis/solution, as well as stepping up the rate of construction of new houses as a side effect, proposes to retune the housing market itself.

If this hypothesis were to be implemented the effect on house price re-calibration would be swift, fair and effective.

The result would be more houses being brought within the reach of those whom cannot currently afford to buy their own houses to occupy. The knock-on effect of this would be to stimulate the building of more houses to meet the extra demand arising from it.

For more information on how The Hendry Hypothesis proposes to retune the housing market itself please go to: ‘The Hendry Solution’

Improve The Housing Market in England and Wales.

How to best improve the Housing Market in England and Wales.

Stamp Duty Reduction

Published / by Peter Hendry / Leave a Comment

The announcement, in the recent budget, of a reduction in Stamp Duty for first time buyers of houses up to £300,000 (and other buyers of houses up to £500,000), from next April is widely expected to cause prices of houses to further increase though the government is playing this down as likely to be relatively insignificant!

I disagree and believe this proposal will have the very opposite effect to that which is currently needed. House price increases could easily swallow up a larger part of this tax break under the present estate agency contract arrangements because there are no arrangements helping buyers determine the appropriate price to pay on any given property.

I fear that The Office for Budget Responsibility’s estimate of how much prices are likely to go up by, following this tax break may turn out to be very wide of the mark. It is only an estimate.

Instead of short-term tax breaks like this, what is needed is a root and branch upgrade of the way in which house prices are currently negotiated by providing far better negotiating leverage to all buyers and by improving the success rate of all housing transactions.

To achieve this would require a change in the client-agent relationship from the present one, which is a contract between vendors and the appointed agent, to a buyer-centric relationship which would involve the buyer instructing the agent instead.

This would place the all-important and necessary price negotiating information in the hands of buyers for the very first time and equip them to pay the true current market price in the local market in which the property is situated.

Buyers don’t currently have access to the specific price comparison figures when they are dealing with vendor-appointed agents and because they refuse to declare what other offers they have received, buyers tend to have to pay above true market price.

While banks, other lending institutions and developers may all prefer this arrangement there is no logical reason why this ought to be the case even though it has continued unchallenged, certainly since the end of the war.
This method is outdated and in need of urgent improvement.

The Hendry Solution is designed to correct this anomaly and thus substantially improve the efficiency of the housing marketplace across England and Wales.

The policies I am advocating could be put into effect easily, swiftly and inexpensively.

For more information about exactly how this special new policy could be put in hand, please see ‘The Hendry Solution’:

Improve The Housing Market in England and Wales.
How to Improve the Housing Market in England and Wales.

Peter Hendry, Consultant in Housing Valuation

Captivating research into house price growth since the late 60’s

Published / by Peter Hendry / Leave a Comment

No political party in power in the last 50 years has managed to curb excessive house price gains!!

See:
Which political party is best for house prices?
JUNE 6, 2017 credit: MARC SHOFFMAN
.

I would define excessive house-price gains as prices that exceed inflation by over 2%. Most years have seen house prices outstrip this benchmark.

As everyone knows, increases in house prices running in excess of average affordability are currently in the headlines as these are of concern both for those hoping to buy as well as those hoping to move house these days. The effect is to reduce the volume of house sales, resulting in a stagnation of sales volumes across all areas of the UK.

Here’s how to overcome this problem:
Instead of estate agents working on how many houses they can list and gain instructions to sell or let, they should work on how many buyers and renters they can register.

This would be the change that the housing market has been needing for the past few decades.

Estate agents should then work with their new clients to find the best and most suitable properties currently available for them as their primary clients.

They could also then advise and negotiate appropriate prices or rents for them as clients, and present all such offers to the vendors (or the landlords).

This way, more buyers and tenants could be united with the houses that best suit their purposes. This, in turn, would help the housing market to function faster and better.

Turnover of properties going on the market would increase and prices should be more equitably regulated dependent upon the true demand from buyers and tenants..

In other words; instead of each agent trying to get the most, for as many houses as they can get instructions for, buyers should be gathered as their new clients to more correctly ascertain what are the best offers currently obtainable, for each house or dwelling.

Doing things this way would get the housing market to start operating more like an auction, where buyers truly compete with one another to win the use and occupation of each property being marketed.

In auctions, the buyer effectively pays the consideration as the auctioneer takes his commission from the price paid. (He does also take a listing fee from the seller, which is reasonable).

For more on this new idea and how it could change the housing market in England and Wales very much for the better, please see my blog at:

Improve The Housing Market in England and Wales.
How to Improve the Housing Market in England and Wales.

Your thoughts or comments are welcomed.
Regards,
Peter Hendry, Consultant in Housing Valuation

Shelter declares affordable new homes too expensive

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Nearly eight out of 10 families across England are unable to afford newly built homes in their local area, a report by housing charity Shelter says.

This story was published in early March 2017 in most of the news media and shortly before the forthcoming Budget Speech.

The links to the BBC and ITV articles are as follows:
(they open in a new tab)

affordable houses too expensive: BBC Shelter story.

affordable houses too expensive: ITV Shelter story.

It finds rising rising house prices hitting all parts of the country, not just London and the south-east.
Apparently, ministers agree the present system for building more affordable houses is broken and still aim to make such housing genuinely affordable.

There are allegations that prices for land, plus the cost of construction, have risen to allow maximum profits to be taken by builders and at the same time housing supply is not being accelerated to meet predicted housing demand.

Many new-build houses are costing over £200,000 and more than half of the families in each region simply cannot afford to pay this.
In addition, second-hand houses for sale are generally cheaper in price.

Shelter says there is a crisis in the housing sector.

The article argues for more local authority involvement enabling the building of properly affordable houses as well as the possibility of involvement by voluntary organisations that may be encouraged to work to build such homes for the public good rather than for increased private profits.

The charity would like to see a “new civic housebuilding” system introduced to facilitate the building of new, affordable high quality houses, with greater powers for local authorities over land acquisition in their respective areas.

Under Shelter’s proposed initiative, landowners could choose to sell at reasonable prices, or invest their land as equity and own shares in a development, instead taking long-term returns and a share of the profit.

A Department for Communities and Local Government spokesman was interviewed about this and apparently agreed with Shelter that the housing market in this country is broken but also confirmed, among other things, that the industry is committed to delivering further increases in supply with more of the types and sizes of houses that can better match supply to demand.

It will be interesting to see what is offered to help with this in the forthcoming Spring 2017 Budget.

As a final comment, my own proposal is for a new way for housing in England and Wales to be marketed which is based on changing from vendor-centric estate agencies to buyer-oriented ones. The details are fully set out in ‘The Hendry Solution’. The change would not cost a great deal to implement and would bring massive benefits to every local housing marketplace, by helping to satisfy demand at more favourable prices. It would be achieved by making the process of buying and selling itself considerably more efficient and less costly, whilst still encouraging builders to construct the houses which are of course urgently needed.

To read more about The Hendry Solution go to the following link:

Improve The Housing Market in England and Wales.
How to Improve the Housing Market in England and Wales.

Peter Hendry, Consultant in Housing Valuation

Fundamental changes still necessary to all housing markets in England and Wales

Published / by Peter Hendry / Leave a Comment

The BBC has very recently published an article about deemed improvements to the housing market in England and Wales and which should be incorporated in the White Paper coming before Parliament shortly.

In a survey carried out for the Local Government Association (LGA) concerning this, Martin Tett, LGA housing spokesman, is reported to have said that an opportunity to boost housing supply and improve affordability now presents itself to government.

He explained that the government must recognise that a substantial increase in house building by councils will be crucial to help ensure the availability of a mix of affordable homes both for rent and to buy for the people that will need them.

For the full article, please go to:
BBC article on improvements to the housing market

My proposal for the way housing (within England and Wales) should be marketed, is based on changing from vendor-centric estate agencies to buyer-oriented ones, as described in The Hendry Solution. This would not cost much to implement and would bring massive benefits to all local marketplaces.

To read more about ‘The Hendry Solution’ please go to the following link:

Improve The Housing Market.
How to Improve the UK Housing Market.

Peter Hendry, Consultant in Housing Valuation

The housing market is desperate for economic reform to bring everything back into line with local affordability.

Published / by Peter Hendry / Leave a Comment

It’s so obvious that the housing market is desperate for economic reform, to bring everything back into line with local affordability?

Please see:
The state of the UK housing market in five charts: The housing market is desperate for economic reform to bring everything back into line with local affordability.
An especially good article with graphs by Tom Ough – 2nd Sept 16.

My proposal for the way housing in England and Wales should be marketed, is based on changing from vendor-centric estate agencies to buyer-oriented ones as described in The Hendry Solution. This would not cost much to implement and would bring massive benefits to all local marketplaces.

To read more about The Hendry Solution go to the following link:

Improve The Housing Market.
How to Improve the UK Housing Market.

Peter Hendry, Consultant in Housing Valuation