The Cure For Malaise across All British Housing Markets

The cure for malaise across British housing markets is to use a combination of two cures, in a similar way to a doctor using two specific antibiotics to cure a pernicious illness or disease.

The expertise required to achieve such a thing involves first acquiring a deep and accurate knowledge of the causes and then following this, the ability to diagnose the correct treatment to cure the specific illness.

It is of course imperative to be able understand precisely how and why a specific malaise has occurred. Only then can the correct cure be identified and prescribed.

Peter Hendry says, “I can explain in simple terms why house prices are continuing to rise despite the increasing lack of affordability affecting ever more prospective buyers.”

In a nutshell, the housing market should find the values of houses in a quite specific way.

The true value (or the correct buy price), of any specific house being offered for sale in any (local) housing market should be arrived at by adding THREE separately-assessed components together:

1 The land value – which depends in part upon location.

2: The construction cost (including a profit element to the builder or developer).

3: A further amount of equity or profit, produced as a result of having combined the two.

These are the things that a sensible buyer should theoretically be considering, even if only subliminally.

All too often however, anxious buyers will base their offers on a combination of how much they could possibly afford and borrow, together with knowing the current asking price being quoted.

What makes this task particularly difficult to quantify is that house prices in today’s housing marketplaces are not derived in perfect market conditions at all. The reason for this is because in a perfect marketplace, the whole amount of homes on the market would be sold out and also, all demand for these would be fully and continually satisfied.

Instead, in the present day housing markets, there are large overruns where either there is too much property being offered at any one time or alternatively, there are too few properties being offered for purchase. Bothe extremes are most uncomfortable for all those trading houses in the regional marketplaces.

Unfortunately, current day estate agency does not assess house prices in the way described just now. Instead they peg asking prices at the level they might simply guess they could sell a house for but also they may well often include what their client (the seller) might hope to to achieve when selling!

Worse, they base their asking prices on what other asking prices are, including what other recent sales will have achieved albeit, for the reasons set out, these would have used skewed or imperfect marketing comparisons for the reasons just set out.

To justify what is being explained here, a year ago for example, a typical estate agent had 37 properties available and 379 buyers (according to statistics published by the NAEA). Today, after a spirited first half of the year after COVID has started to reduce, a typical estate agent apparently has just 23 live listings and over 400 applicants on their register, published from the same source.

If such knowledge was to be broadcast widely, it would skew prices-levels downwards whilst the market is flush with properties for sale, or alternatively, it would skew prices-levels upwards when there are not enough houses coming onto the market – as now.

In the former case, sadly there is inherent pressure within estate agency to want to hide the true facts of an excess of properties being listed for sale compared with buyers so as not to spook the market and keep things going as smoothly as possible, rather than face the reality of a downwards-changing market with prices dipping.

In the latter case however, with too few properties on their books and too many buyers wanting them, broadcasting the lack of supply actually helps agents to justify trying for rising prices even against general economic trends! This is more recently what’s been going on of course.

Selling agents may say that it is the desperation of buyers which is forcing the prices up but that does explain the suggestion that the housing markets are operating at low efficiency. They exhibit imperfections, resulting in a lack of stability and so these markets are in need of an introduction of completely new ways to buy and sell houses.

In my analysis and diagnosis, following understanding the true causes of these problems, two specific ways to deal with them have emerged.

A: Firstly a restriction on the right to occupy a proportion of houses in each locality such as permanent “Primary Residence” status should be placed on these. This would mean these would be for use only by local people, such as key workers for example.

Most people seem to agree that each locality absolutely needs housing to be affordable to those fulfilling the essential roles in their community. This should therefore be enshrined in each area’s local planning rules.

Secondly and very importantly:

B: The emphasis on all prices should be changed so that these are set by ‘buyer offers’ rather than seller price-rigging, which is of course not an open market practice if this is carefully scrutinised.

This is where The House Price Virtuoso Solution (formerly described as The Hendry Solution) could come in. It allows for both of the essential changes cited above.

It would do this by re-shaping house sales by better utilising “Primary Residence” restrictions on certain properties.


It would enable buyers to be free to participate by establishing the price levels themselves, still subject of course to “Primary Residence” restrictions, which would be separately and locally established using local planning rules.

To read more about how The House Price Virtuoso Solution (formerly The Hendry Solution) could improve the way in which houses are bought and sold across all local housing markets in the whole country, please click the following link.

The House Price Virtuoso Solution

How to Improve Housing Markets in England and Wales.

Posted by: Peter Hendry, Housing Valuation Consultant

Author:– The House Price Virtuoso Solution

Buyers need far better representation in the British housing markets

With estate agents acting primarily for sellers and land owners, buyers get poor advice or representation all too often.
Even though they are the ones raising (and usually borrowing) the money for each transaction, they are often the last ones to be told how things are progressing, especially where chains of other sales are involved. A lot of patching up of interlinking chains is frequently going on behind the scenes, which is not necessarily to the advantage of unsuspecting buyers further down the chain. Sale prices at the lower end may require to be re-evaluated.

This is inefficient and ought to be changed otherwise the different local housing markets across England and Wales cannot begin to function more like perfect marketplaces as they should do.

All this happens because estate agents are primarily motivated to try and obtain the best price they can for whatever asset it is they are selling, since they are contracted to act on behalf of the seller. The buyer is often the last person to be told when bids in competition with their own are are being negotiated by the selling agent and then the only remedy remaining for them is to have to find more cash to increase their offer!  It operates rather like a sort of clandestine bidding war usually conducted over a telephone.

House prices as a result, are now passing all time highs but also, they are increasing beyond average couples’ annual earning capabilities for maximum borrowing requirements. This is a big problem especially where earnings are falling. It’s vital that a more generally acceptable approach is available to everyone embarking on house moves, especially if they are first-time purchasers. Purchaser mobility ought to be what should be improved.

The only way this could be done would be to change the way residential property is sold by having agents acting for buyers instead of only acting for sellers.

It is clear that existing estate agents are understandably likely to be reluctant to consider such a change for as long as they can continue to control sales progress in the way they have done essentially since the 1920s.

It would require the buying public to start complaining about the anomalies they are having to contend with when using agents, as well as to prevail upon government to make the necessary improvements to bring about fairer but competitive pricing processes across all residential property markets. Only then could house prices track buyer purchasing power in the localities in which each particular property is located.
The correct solution to this problem does need further in-depth explanation in order for the concept to be fully understood.

For a fully reasoned explanation about this, explaining exactly how such improvements might be achieved please go to:

The House Price Virtuoso Solution (otherwise known as The Hendry Solution)

The House Price Virtuoso Solution

Full details of my proposals for properly reforming the UK housing market.

Posted by: Peter Hendry, Housing Valuation Consultant
Author:– The House Price Virtuoso Solution

A new and dynamic Buyer-orientated marketplace in housing

What this country requires for solving its housing crisis is, most of all, a new and dynamic Buyer-orientated marketplace, where buyers can straightforwardly find and secure the most suitable houses for themselves, whenever this is necessary.

The objective is to create local housing markets where prices can find their market levels depending upon the information supporting those prices. This should primarily come from within the housing location involved. This also requires the information to be genuine and accurate. If a true balance between buyer wealth and seller aspiration could be accomplished in this way, all local housing markets could start trading more smoothly and more effectively than has happened for as long ago as the end of the war, i.e. since 1945. The rationale for this is more extensively laid out on this web site under The House Price Virtuoso Solution.

That is the broad picture, I am only painting it in outline here. The proposed new service would transform the existing experience of those trying to move house, from that of experiencing the difficulties of a moribund housing market (the situation at present), into a certainty-orientated market, with plenty of buying opportunity and more choice.

It is reported (as recently as 30 March 2021) that many house sales are taking as long as four months to reach exchange of contracts. This is obviously highly unsatisfactory and displays just how imperfect the current housing market places are.

Bringing the opportunities I outline here forward, would transform home ownership and allow it to become more popular than ever before and be a way to enjoy added financial security as well as providing the houses for individuals and families to live in.

To provide an example of why this change is so vital I would single out one scheme that was certainly intended to bring more buyers into the housing marketplace: Help To Buy. Whilst the name of the scheme Help To Buy attempts to describe what is intended, before very long it was rather poignantly re-labelled by many users ‘Help To Sell’ because that is actually what it is doing. It is really functioning to help people to sell, at prices which are being set primarily by the big house builders and this is then followed by individual estate agents and their house-selling clients.

The question remains, why is Help To Buy there in the first place?

Instead, what should be being debated and implemented is a change in the way houses are marketed altogether. For full details please follow the link below and by all means comment on what you may think about this idea for change too.

The House Price Virtuoso Solution

How house price stability may be achieved.

It is a full explanation of how to correct the present economic imbalances within the housing market and it provides reasoned explanations.

Further considerations of note:
Various changes to the operation of the markets are certainly required and what these changes are, becomes self-evident when the effects of the present distortions can be better understood using the analysis presented here.

The most significant change involves the role of those within the estate agency sector and as a significant number of the players involved are qualified surveyors, I am drawing this to the attention of RICS. My web site provides a clear overview of the problems needing to be dealt with, together with their solutions.

Changes of this nature will always need to go hand-in-hand with the necessary courage to actually put them into effect and, if both of these attributes are combined, amazing results would follow.

At present new housing supply, even with a favourable wind behind it and with maximum impetus from the government, is only growing by a few thousand new houses per year.

Relying on this rate of growth in supply alone, can only bring a tiny net gain as a percentage of the overall number of houses in the built environment.
The effect on market prices of such a tiny net gain can therefore be minuscule only. Confirmation of this truism is plain for all to see – especially for valuers noting the continuing unabated increase in house prices, despite the construction of more housing units to try and slow this increase. The only sane conclusion is: – there must be another way forward.

In essence and by deduction, the only way forward, is to deal with the current oversupply of ‘borrowings’ which are directly causing house prices to become more and more UNaffordable for those unable to access the increasingly large amount of mortgage finance which is then required.
The effect of denying many new buyers from gaining affordable access to house ownership in this way must, ultimately, cause market stagnation – something that no government would knowingly wish to encourage. Unfortunately however, many of us are already seeing this is beginning to happen.

The reason is that without first time buyers buying at sustainable prices to them, the whole market for houses will eventually start becoming tentative, sluggish and may even stagnate – something which buyers are, worryingly, beginning to see with many transactions taking (as I say), up to four months to get to exchange of contracts. No-one seems to be able to say how many of these transactions fail completely in the process.

Link: 30 Mar 2021
Many transactions taking four months from offer to exchange.
The NAEA Propertymark is reported to say a record number of transactions are taking four months to move from offer to exchange.

It is clear that for years we have heard the finance industry telling us we should borrow more and/or that more finance is available to do this, especially for house purchases.
What they haven’t been so keen to explain, is that more borrowing results in higher house prices. This is the dilemma which is causing new houses to become UNaffordable and that, of course, will proportionately affect first-time buyers much more than everyone else.

To resolve this dilemma would involve convincing ‘the main financial institutions’, I call it The Big Muscle of the economy, to change tack at last and set a course for a proposed new trajectory of travel which I am placing before you here. The arguments in favour of doing so now far outweigh those in favour of maintaining the old and out-dated ways of marketing housing.

Please read as many of my supporting explanations as you would like on this web site. They give viewpoints from various different positions, culminating in thought-out and new proposals as set out in The House Price Virtuoso Solution (otherwise known as The Hendry Solution).

The House Price Virtuoso Solution

How to Improve the Housing Markets in England and Wales.

You can raise questions or make comments in the site itself if you wish. I aim to respond to all such questions and comments with suitable replies to the best of my ability. My aim in presenting these ideas now is to ignite serious interest in changing, for the better, housing markets in all locations, i.e. the individual ones which function locally all across England and Wales.

By providing a way for individual local housing markets to operate more efficiently, the improvements achieved would filter across and benefit the whole country and then all housing markets would start to function more dynamically and more as a single entity.

Posted by: Peter Hendry, Housing Valuation Consultant
Author:– The House Price Virtuoso Solution

Why are house prices still rising despite the downturn?

On the thorny subject of house prices, what we have right now are house prices still rising despite the economic downturn which is following the Covid 19 pandemic.

Why is this?
The reasons are actually straightforward but the current upward trajectory is not good news for those who need financial help to become home-owners in the future.

Research from Savills released in March 2021, estimates that the UK’s housing stock became worth £7.56 trillion – more than four times the value of the FTSE 100 index on the London Stock Exchange. These are seriously head-turning economic statistics!

What is particularly interesting, are the recent stats which explain that the value of mortgaged owner-occupied homes currently is only about £2.5 trillion, whereas there is £5.0 trillion worth of UK property which is owned completely mortgage-free. In other words this is twice as much as the value of today’s homes being purchased with a mortgage.

This would suggest that the main driver of the present government’s policy, is to continue to encourage capital growth in the housing sector. Such capital value increases obviously favour those who already have substantial property assets however, of course, the converse must therefore be true. These same policies can thus only hinder first-time buyers’ ability to become owners, as their purchasing ability is dependent upon and geared to earnings not capital values.

Polly Neate, the CEO of Shelter, is reported to be saying there is a “desperate shortage” of actually affordable homes for people on low incomes.

It’s simply no good putting up with what there is, or just continuing in exactly the same way as before.
We all have to change for the better. We should do this by treating first time buyers just the way we would like to be treated ourselves, even if we own houses outright. Houses are roofs over peoples’ heads rather than capital assets expected to appreciate in value before all else!

The House Price Virtuoso Solution has come up with the best possible new policy for the whole of the housing sector and for stabilising house prices within it.

In a nutshell the new policy is this:
Firstly, Neighbourhood Development Plans (or NDPs), which are readily available planning tools, should be adopted across the whole country and they ought to include similar purchasing restrictions to those which have more recently been enshrined in the St Ives, Cornwall Area NDP, the H2 policies.

These are to allow local earners a better chance to become local owners and to buy (rather than continue to rent) their principal residences.
As long as there are numbers of local earners who are not becoming mortgagor/owners, these people ought to be considered in preference to those simply having greater wealth and wishing to move to a new location of their choice.

The effect of this policy would be to help retain local communities functionally intact.
The alternative, which we have seen all too much of recently, is allowing whole areas to become ghost towns, owned by richer buyers from further afield. Allowing this destroys local communities of course.

One may easily understand that the present property-owning statistics demonstrate that a new policy is needed if we are to protect local individuality and preserve communities from societal desecration i.e. suffer the same fate that has befallen high streets up and down the country having become clones of one another lacking individuality over time. Specifically, I mean that we should save the character and cohesion of localities, from outside influences such as from those simply hoping to buy into a location just to gain an additional property investment for themselves.

BUT, something more than this is required if we are to stabilise the accelerating rise in house-prices and instead make way for a fairer and more inclusive house-price environment.
What is also required is a much better way to determine house prices themselves and it is this idea which I now put forward, naming it The House Price Virtuoso Solution.

In essence it is all about how to market houses in a way that can balance-out the different offers from competing buyers fairly and more equitably, resulting in a better marketplace for all those wishing to buy their next homes to live in.
It involves changing the way in which houses have traditionally been sold using vendor-led estate agency, to having new buyer-orientated agencies instead. Many of those who are employed in vendor-led estate agency practices currently could fairly easily get re-trained and become registered as buyer-advising agents.

These agents would handle incoming offers in a very different way by acting for and liaising with the different buyers. Sellers would be less able to influence the prices that are achieved because offers would be received directly from the buyers competing with one another, to the relevant buyers’ agents. These offers would be passed to the appropriate vendors by their own buying agents and this would allow house prices themselves to stabilise across the various different regions of the country. The mechanism by which this could happen would be by all offers becoming primarily dependent upon local buyers’ offer-price levels.

Only houses which are exempt from the H2 residence restrictions would be available for purchase by wealthier buyers from the rest of the country, these being outside the scope of these policies.

The above would help the success rate of individual housing transactions themselves, causing a general improvement in the number of house sales able to be made.

As explained, the goal of preserving local communities by providing sufficient and affordable homes up and down the country, whilst still allowing a smaller number of the wealthier buyers to integrate, could be achieved. Better price stability within all UK housing markets also would be the clear result.

For more information about my proposals for buyer-orientated agencies, please go to the specific page on this at the following link.

The House Price Virtuoso Solution (otherwise known as The Hendry Solution)

The House Price Virtuoso Solution

How to improve the Housing Markets in England and Wales.

Posted by: Peter Hendry, Housing Valuation Consultant
Author:– The House Price Virtuoso Solution


Resource links:

Shelter’s impact and activities:

There is flawed thinking going on right across the estate agency sector

Yes, there is ‘flawed thinking’ going on right across the estate agency sector.

It is to do with the price of houses!

Essentially, most estate agents believe that the more house prices rise, the more houses will eventually come onto the market.

The great flaw in this thinking is that it denies logic and flies in the face of economic theory too.
It has to be said that not many estate agents are experienced or qualified economists.
The majority of these individuals just want to sell houses.
They are not thinking of how this might best be achieved except on a per sale basis.

Instead, they have been (and still are), mistakenly postulating that if house prices should somehow keep rising and outperforming most other forms of capital investment, all will be well for those in the business of selling houses! This theory, as we have seen following the financial crash of 2008, has utterly failed to perform as anticipated, resulting in many estate agencies, both small and large loosing their livelihoods.

Nevertheless, and despite all of this, those estate agents still in the game, have doggedly carried on proclaiming that all was well, all was not lost. They tried their best to ensure that anyone wishing to buy had to ‘compete’ for those houses that they themselves were fortunate enough to be instructed to sell. It was more often than not a case of more buyers than usual having to make ’best and final’ offers during many sales negotiations, rather than estate agents simply allowing the market to decide what level the prices might be without further and tortuous negotiations, unhindered by an estate agents’ own view on prices in the marketplace at the time.
This accusation and I put it no less vehemently as making an accusation, suggests that estate agents in general have traditionally always aimed to talk the market up rather than look at the real tends in affordability.

The result of this travesty is what we now see. A yawning gulf between house prices as being those quoted across each region and what buyers in that very region could actually afford.

Once this damaging dilemma has played out, there is only one thing left which can happen – a widespread price adjustment in a downwards direction. The last thing on your average estate agent’s mind.

Of course, those left sitting at their dwindling desks would simply turn around and proclaim that it was the market that turned and that they were now simply doing what they have always done so well – talking the market UP on behalf of their collective clients – the sellers!

It’s a simple strategy designed to tout, not all that subliminally, for each and every sales instruction, no matter how few of these there may be at any one time. It usually works, it has seemed to work in the past.

However, what the market needs now is far more creative thinking. It needs this more than it has ever needed it in the past.

The nub and nugget of this is that the initiative must now be taken whereas before it could easily be skated over. We are at the road junction where those supposed to be dealing with these issues must at long last decide how best to deal with them.

My own dealings with the pricing issue have not been by working as an estate agent, though I have had my moments at providing that service on occasion. Instead, I have been working mostly at the valuation end of the property industry. This is a service which is there to advise property-owning clients how to resolve all the issues professionally and simultaneously, instead of dealing with individual issues like the price of one particular house, or trying to decide that on a singular basis.

What I have come up with through my property work is The House Price Virtuoso Solution.

For all those interested, the main tenets of this are set out at the following link and I unhesitatingly commend it to you to be read with an open mind; and an open heart if you should want to help everyone to resolve this seemingly intractable problem. The price problem (or how to find the true market price), has been a feature of housing markets in all regions of the UK for decades now and it really is time that the whole house-price issue was finally resolved for the sake of everyone’s sanity and even more importantly perhaps, for everyones pockets too.

Please go to the following link to read these new proposals:
The House Price Virtuoso Solution (otherwise known as The Hendry Solution)

The House Price Virtuoso Solution

How to Improve the Housing Markets in England and Wales.

Governments have come and gone without successfully dealing with this, so lets hope one day all this will change and we can all then move forward and enjoy new and better housing availability, appropriate property pricing and enjoy better standards of construction.

Posted by: Peter Hendry, Housing Valuation Consultant
Author:– The House Price Virtuoso Solution

Shelter declares affordable new homes too expensive

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 across the news media and shortly before the forthcoming Budget Speech. Little has changes since.

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.

These reports find 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 truly affordable houses is broken yet they still aim to make such housing genuinely affordable.

There is clear evidence that prices for land, as well as the cost of construction have been rising. This allows maximum profits to be taken by builders and land owners combined but housing supply is unable to be accelerated sufficiently to meet the apparent housing demand as a result of such baked in price increases. This is not good enough.

Many new-build houses are now costing over £250,000 and more than half of the families in each region simply cannot afford to pay this. At the same time, second-hand houses for sale are becoming increasingly cheaper in price. Shelter has been saying there is a crisis in the new housing sector for a considerable while.

A Department for Communities and Local Government spokesman was interviewed about this at the time that Shelter’s report was published and apparently they agreed with Shelter that the housing market in this country is broken and 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. We are still waiting.

The charity, on the other hand, would like to see a “new civic housebuilding” system introduced to facilitate the building of new, but affordable high quality houses, with greater powers given to local authorities over land acquisition in their respective areas. However, The House Price Virtuoso Solution, described below, is a rather different way to remedy the ongoing prices dilemma.
Its proposal is a way for all housing across England, Wales and hopefully Scotland if Holyrood should agree, to be marketed differently, by changing from vendor-centric estate agencies to buyer-oriented ones.

As a preface to reading the new proposals in detail, I should explain they are primarily designed to restore house price affordability and to overcome the present crisis of lack of affordability by improving the efficiency of the marketing methods currently in use. The proposals are above politics and should be applied irrespective of political considerations.

Should such a remedy not be applied soon this will not only disadvantage the political party that ignores these issues but it will also disadvantage the nation as it works to recover its economic stability following leaving the European Union after the 40 or so years of being a member.

In addition to this quite obviously, from recent analysis, centralised decision-making is simply not and cannot be sufficient to cope with the magnitude of both planning for increased residential development and the correct marketing of the residential property requiring to be bought and sold at significant pace in challenging market situations.

We owe it to this our country not to miss the opportunity to turn our housing economy into amongst the most efficient, most fair, and most competitive one anywhere in the western world.

The change would not cost a great deal to implement but would bring massive benefits to every local housing marketplace, by helping to satisfy demand at more favourable prices. It can be achieved by making the actual process of buying and selling considerably more efficient and less costly, whilst still encouraging builders to construct the houses which are undeniably still needed.

Achieving this would massively assist the journey of our economy back towards becoming a top trading economy, fit for purpose and fit to provide those who live and work here with the security of having quality housing at prices which are always genuinely affordable for them. This proposal is nothing short of being an essential requirement in our process of re-discovery.

The House Price Virtuoso Solution (otherwise known as The Hendry Solution)

The House Price Virtuoso Solution

How to Improve the Housing Market in England and Wales.

Posted by: Peter Hendry, Housing Valuation Consultant
Author:– The House Price Virtuoso Solution

Correct Policies For Resolving The Housing Crisis Have Not Yet Been Implemented

Correct policies for resolving the housing crisis have not yet been implemented. More work needs to be done in order to resolve this crisis.
There are two specific indicators both showing that the correct housing policy adjustments for economic recovery have still not been implemented.

The fact that the existing financial stimuli for kick-starting the British housing market have, if taken together, instantly resulted in higher house prices – the very opposite of the result which ought to be sought in the teeth of what is the toughest financial climate which the western world has faced since the dark days of Hitler.

If one were to take a judicious step back from simply welcoming increases in house prices whenever they manifest, the promotion of general affordability would be seen as being by far the better thing to promote for stimulating an improved circulation in housing transactions – not more price increases!

Price increases in relation to housing are an economic NEGATIVE when it comes to getting our economy going, because for every extra pound spent buying roofs over their heads, people will be unable to spend that on buying goods and services. This will impact negatively on our economic recovery and the effects of this lack are being felt equally instantaneously.

Richard Whitehouse of Cornwall Live interviewed The Rt Hon Robert Jenrick MP for Housing, Communities and Local Government Secretary, on Thursday September 3rd. He wrote in their online newspaper the following day:

A major concern has been the impact on the provision of affordable housing with the new proposals suggesting that developments of less than 50 homes will not have to provide any.

Cornwall Live asked Mr Jenrick about concerns in Cornwall around what precisely is classed as “affordable” with many people finding that homes marketed as such are still out of reach.
“We asked whether there was anything that the government could do to try to help address the issue.”
Mr Jenrick did not answer the question directly but said the government was trying to provide more affordable homes.
He said: “The thrust of our policy is to build more homes and by doing that, we will make more homes available for all types and tenures in all parts of the country but we are also doing specific initiatives to address the challenge.”

In response to this I’m saying the explanations given on this web site clearly explain why these proposed new policies won’t achieve the results which are hoped for. I give the following reasons to help explain my viewpoint:

The fact that house prices are now at an all time high, when the economy is at an all time low, clearly shows that the present financial policies of boosting the housing market are not only unnecessary but are indeed quite unwarranted?

We need price ‘reality’ within the housing markets across all regions, in order to stimulate house ownership, not more and ongoing pricing excess.
Our housing markets are being driven by abject profiteering rather than by need and so are badly skewed, economically speaking.

Price rises do not indicate more sales or housing completions – quite there reverse!
They suggest less and less people being able to complete purchases.

They allow developers to afford to build fewer houses and still make their projected sales figures.

They suggest desperation on the part of wealthier buyers to get onto the housing ladder. That is certainly not solving the housing crisis.

For more information about how to get the housing markets across all our regions working more efficiently and more economically, please see our leading article:

The House Price Virtuoso Solution (otherwise known as The Hendry Solution)

The House Price Virtuoso Solution

 Full details of our proposals for properly reforming all housing markets in England and Wales.

Posted by: Peter Hendry, Housing Valuation Consultant
Author of:– The House Price Virtuoso Solution

How much would you need to save a month to buy a house within 10 years?

Well in theory right now, if you were to make contributions of £200 a month into a stocks and shares Isa, (i.e. put aside earnings of £2,400 p.a.) and aimed for a realistic yearly return of 4pc after fees, you’d reach your goal of £40,000 in nine years.
If your partner did the same, this could be £80,000.

In addition, if house prices were to fall over the same period, you could suddenly find yourself well poised and ready to buy a comfortable place to start owner occupation in.
Unfortunately, there are quite a few ‘ifs’ in this scenario right now!

The main obstacle to achieving this is house prices themselves which, even at the lower end of the house-ownership spectrum, are out of reach for a large number of hopeful owner occupiers. This obstacle could however be removed using relatively straightforward improvements in the way that residential properties are marketed.

The present ‘government’ idea of trying to get prices to reduce is by building many more housing units.
Unfortunately, this idea is fundamentally flawed. The reason is that the effect of doing it would be marginal on price. Why?
Because unless upwards of 10% of the total number of currently built homes were to be constructed, little or no effect on house-prices themselves would be felt.

If you do the maths it becomes clear that it would be impossible to build enough, even over a full ten-year stretch. You would be talking about building in excess of ten times the number of new units currently being built each and every year for at least the next ten years!

By deduction, instead of attempting to do the impossible it would be better to look at the current methods of marketing all residential properties and change that. This is the one thing that is highly inefficient, old fashioned and in need of wholesale improvement. It is the key to achieving the desired result – greater owner-occupation.

This is the key. Reform the way privately owned residential properties or houses are bought and sold by making the process open, fair, and efficient.

Doing this would bring the prices of starter homes back within the reach of first-time buyers and they would no longer have to borrow the eye-watering amounts currently stopping the majority of those whom wish to become owner-occupiers.

To find out how this could be done, please go to:

The House Price Virtuoso Solution (otherwise known as The Hendry Solution)

Full details of our proposals for properly reforming all housing markets in England and Wales.

Posted by: Peter Hendry, Housing Valuation Consultant.
Author of:– The House Price Virtuoso Solution

Estate agents need to reform themselves or be reformed in order to help more people to move house successfully

This work is new economics called Market Design, which is a relatively recent area of economics.
It has the potential to utilise established economic theory to rescue the British housing market.

It involves asking the question: ‘What is our goal?’
Its goal is to develop a way to make housing markets throughout the UK more inclusive, so that new buyers can further increase home ownership everywhere, as opposed to large numbers of people continuing to rent whether by choice or otherwise.

The ‘designed’ change would be to make estate agency operations within the housing sector become oriented towards listening to every buyer’s requirement so that those owning property can more easily both buy and sell when moving between two properties, by getting both transactions to happen in a synchronised way.

Instead of agents primarily working to satisfy sellers, as happens now, they would take on a more balanced role, by listening to and acting directly for buyers primarily.

Estate agency, as a service provision, is not a fully functional service any more because if anyone is thinking of buying a property to live in, they currently need to go to many selling agents to try and establish what properties are currently available on the market in the location(s) they prefer and at what asking prices. Selling agents rarely know what real market prices are since it is only the buyers who decide these and traditional estate agents do not act for buyers.

Today’s buyers are understandably wary of estate agents for this reason in particular. Why? Because today’s estate agent doesn’t act in the best interests of buyers. Secondly, they charge high fees to sellers and then usually try to increase the price of houses to cover such fees!!

This makes it harder for buyers to find the best properties for themselves at reasonable prices. Current-day agents therefore actually slow down the turnover of house sales, rather than achieving the opposite.

From a marketing point of view, the new innovation outlined here would involve RHA’s (or Registered House Agents) hosting well publicised online property auctions, where all the buyers interested in each house on offer would bid against one another to secure a property for themselves.

Bidders would have to be legally ready as effectively, they would be exchanging contracts at the fall of the notional hammer, if using equivalent terminology from an auction perspective here.

Prices arrived at would be fair open market prices if arrived at using this method.

RHA’s could easily arrange each bidding session, either through their own offices or even through an existing auctioneer which they may invite to hold auction sales on their behalf.
The incentive for sellers would thus become to present the best maintained and best designed houses at each sale – the very opposite of what currently happens with traditional estate agents when they are instructed to sell a client’s house by auction.

If ‘those in high places’ i.e. The House of Commons should decide to release the existing brakes on house sales as I’ve referred to here, the housing economy would start to flourish rather quickly without the need for more give-away tax reductions in order to achieve it.

For more information about how this improvement could be achieved straightforwardly and without massive new investment, by licensing RHA’s (Registered House Agents), please go to:

The House Price Virtuoso Solution (otherwise known as The Hendry Solution)

The House Price Virtuoso Solution

Full details of our proposals for properly reforming all housing markets in England and Wales.

The Chancellor has recently stated following Covid19:-
“We’re entering the most severe recession this country has ever seen.”
He also says:-
“We will need ‘dynamic’ marketing for businesses”.

If house buyers were fully advised by agents acting on their behalf, then that would bring a new and ‘dynamic’ aspect to house-buying that has never before seen the light of day and which would be an unique innovation to bring to the housing marketplace.
This is what the housing market requires. It involves injecting new activity across all levels, including allowing buyers to determine the prices to be paid using their actual market bids.

Posted by: Peter Hendry, Housing Valuation Consultant.
Author of:– The House Price Virtuoso Solution

Will house prices ever stop rising faster than inflation?

I have worked as a Chartered Surveyor in the property sector from the 70s to the 90’s. During this time I have seen the relentless upwards direction of travel of house prices as related to true affordability, based on general earnings at first hand.

The golden dream of becoming a home owner by purchasing using mortgage borrowing repayable over the next 25 years, was something that was every young family’s ultimate ambition. This has morphed into a nightmare more recently. Why?

First of all, landowners have increasingly scooped-up increasing gains on the value of the land involved – by relying on the increased amounts to be borrowed by both first-time buyers and others further up the property chains.

Secondly, the banking and finance sectors have hijacked most of the profit remaining to be found and taken a big slice of it for themselves. In other words those institutions lending capital on mortgages have annexed a greater and greater share of the profits by doing what they think they are supposed to be doing – i.e. advancing increasingly large amounts of finance. More recently, they are now even prepared to increase the mortgage term length beyond the original 25 year repayment period, moving towards 30 years or more, which is highly questionable.

Simultaneously, interest rates, which have dropped to extremely low levels at the moment are enabling buyers to over extend themselves using loans they should not be being advised to take out.

The super-rich, on the other hand, are able to utilise the same unrestricted availability of mortgage finance to outbid the rest, using the collateral they already possess. The difference between the two positions is stark.

Shared ownership schemes (part rent part buy) have begun to appear which further decrease the actual dream of owning a whole building and the plot it is built on, in one’s lifetime.

House prices are being talked-up increasingly by estate agents whose primary interest above all else is to make the sale at the best price possible.

Employment is becoming more uncertain with flexible working hours making earnings unpredictable.

The actual cost of living is going up whilst basic wages are not keeping pace.

The housing market’s core buy-prices are further adjusting to match the described ‘loosening’ parameters. This has tended to happen in the past but the graph is exponential and it is set to continue in the relatively near future because house prices themselves are pegged in a practically unregulated market. In such a heady market, those who will have over extended themselves will, as a result, suddenly find they have a big financial problem.

The more wary amongst potential first-time buyers, are understandably holding back.
Apart from being wary, the main reason for this is that asking price levels of ‘so-called’ affordable housing today, are no longer truly affordable to them.

The only solution to this pernicious problem:- is to lower the buy-in prices of housing for all owner occupation.

How? That is the question?

The answer, as provided by those in the financial sector, is to offer to build more houses to increase the supply so that prices will finally and in theory reduce!

The main flaw in this argument is that it will take many years worth of building new housing (certainly if traditionally constructed), before sufficient numbers of them could push the prices down even a little. In the meantime, builders, landowners and mortgage lenders would hope to be able to carry on making their profits unhindered!
By the time the planned massive building boom will have begun to have had any effect, the players described will have made all the profits they were hoping to make for themselves.

The other and far more applicable answer would be to make certain necessary changes to the way houses are bought, sold and let. Doing this now, alongside building more housing units, would be the ultimate and best way to restore the housing economy into good health once again.

To find out how such a significant market improvement could be achieved, please go to:

The House Price Virtuoso Solution (otherwise known as The Hendry Solution)

The House Price Virtuoso Solution

Full details of our proposals for properly reforming all housing markets in England and Wales.

Posted by: Peter Hendry, Housing Valuation Consultant
Author:– The House Price Virtuoso Solution