The housing markets in England and Wales need structural reform

Government of the day would you please take note.

Structural/financial improvements are needed to be applied to all housing markets across England and Wales to avoid homelessness.

The responsibility to correct these ‘structural’ failures within our economy, which result in unacceptable hardship especially for those at the poorer end of the spectrum, should certainly not be placed solely at the door of the main opposition, or The Labour Party.

Considering that the problems have been largely the result of wrong Tory policy and Conservative thinking, it would seem to be more appropriate if the Conservatives should be the party to correct the anomalies.

Alternatively, of course, if the government should be undecided, unable or unwilling to put into effect the necessary adjustments to resolve the current housing crisis (and the resultant increased homelessness), The Labour Party would have a clear mandate to canvass for a majority on the basis that they would put into effect the correct remedies to cure the lengthening and deepening housing crisis if they should gain a majority at the next General Election.

This should be seen in the context that our national economy is otherwise one of the most successful economies on the planet.

It will be interesting to see which of the two main parties becomes the one to adopt and place into effect the necessary and urgently needed new policies and in doing so, win the support of the voting public once again.

Extra reading:
There was a great piece of journalism published by The Independent in August last year.
It explained that the crisis which we are currently seeing within the UK housing market is to do with polices put into place in the Thatcher era and later.
These anomalies cannot simply be wished away by trying to build thousands of privately owned and new social rented housing units.
The problem is a structural one not relating to the building of necessary houses but relating to the way the houses themselves are being both marketed and financed.

The title of the Independent article is:
Home ownership falls more in UK than any other EU country

The link to it is:
Aug 18 article in The Independent

For the complete solution to all of these issues, which could be achieved swiftly and economically, please go to:

The House Price Virtuoso Solution: Full details of our proposals for properly reforming all housing markets in England and Wales.

Peter Hendry, Author:– The House Price Virtuoso Solution previously The Hendry Solution

Rough sleeping, or badly maintained privately rented housing and just pay the unaffordable rents?

What a terrible choice!

There was a great piece of journalism published by The Independent in August 2018 about the dilemma faced by rough sleepers.

It explained that the crisis which we were seeing within the UK housing market the was largely to do with polices put into place in the Thatcher era and later.

These anomalies cannot simply be wished away by trying to build thousands of privately owned and new social rented housing units.
The problem is a structural one, not relating to the building of more houses but relating to the way houses themselves are being marketed and financed.

The title of the article is:
Home ownership falls more in UK than any other EU country

The link to it is:

Aug 18 article in The Independent

I’m explaining in my proposed solution it’s no use hurriedly trying to build many more social housing or private properties for rent so that these may be provided to those in desperate need. The time needed for that is simply not there even if the amount to be charged for such accommodation could be made truly affordable.

The apparently sane alternative, which is quick build privately rented accommodation, would also be too expensive for those in need, because of the shortage of houses across the whole marketplace irrespective of how many new properties were able to be constructed.

Providing housing is in a crisis because of the policies of past governments and that is why private landlords need to be encouraged to provide good quality accommodation at reasonable rents; not discouraged with more and increasingly onerous tenant-centric legislation!

Secondly, those eventually stepping up from privately rented accommodation to become property owners themselves, i.e. first-time buyers, ought to be able to purchase at properly affordable prices to them.

This simply isn’t happening at the present time. The reason is: All housing markets across England and Wales have all the prices skewed upwards because of the banking and finance interests in lending each individual the sort of money they (the lending institutions) want to have to provide.

It’s time this gross over lending issue was finally confronted. This would, of course, mean confronting the lending institutions themselves!!
The precise way to do this is set out clearly in:
The House Price Virtuoso Solution.

For the complete solution to all of these issues, which could be achieved swiftly and economically, please go to:

The House Price Virtuoso Solution: Full details of our proposals for properly reforming all housing markets in England and Wales.

Peter Hendry, Author:– The House Price Virtuoso Solution previously The Hendry Solution

To my local MP:- c.c. Rt Hon. James Brokenshire MP, Secretary of State for Housing Communities and Local Government

The Housing Crisis (2)

The objective of this posting is to try and put more roofs over the heads of those with lower incomes in the presently challenging rental housing market.

The rents landlords obtain should be decided dependent upon true market conditions not by the landlords themselves (or indeed by their agents). The fact that so many local tenants find these too high to afford, strongly suggests that the marketplace is not functioning correctly. The correct solution would be to enhance the method by which rents are arrived at, in the individual local marketplaces where they are generated.

The problems with rent levels, actually go back as far as the ‘right to buy’ regime in the 70’s and even before that. Councils and government cannot realistically pretend that the PRS (private rented sector) is now to blame when the markets in which they are operating, are themselves malfunctioning and have been for years.

The PRS has in point of fact performed a vital role in propping up the rental sector pending the supply of replacement municipal housing to assist those whom are in need and currently unable to provide for themselves. Meanwhile unfortunately, hardly any replacement social housing has been provisioned to replace what has been lost in sales to sitting tenants!

The same failings are also affecting price-setting of all houses currently being sold today and the finance industry is complicit in facilitating that. These, like local rents, are becoming progressively over exaggerated.

For more on this please see:
The House Price Virtuoso Solution: Full details of our proposals for properly reforming all housing markets in England and Wales

Here, we explain in more depth why these problems exist and precisely how they may all be resolved.

An example of the sluggish performance of central government is in reforming residential leasehold tenure in the housing markets.

More and more owners with leasehold interests are now finding these becoming depreciating assets owing to the doubling of ground rents by landlords. Because of this these leasehold interests are worth less and less!!

This is a further reason, highlighting the need for central government to take swift and direct action to resolve these crises within all the local housing markets across England and Wales.

I respectfully ask the government to institute such action quickly.

Peter Hendry, Author:– The House Price Virtuoso Solution previously The Hendry Solution

The 2018 Autumn Budget offers nothing much for the housing market

There was very little in the Autumn 18 budget to address the ongoing housing crisis across Britain.

Neither was there anything specific to deal with the increasing homelessness, with rough sleeping more than doubling since the numbers for 2010.

There was nothing much either for private renters, when the swiftly rising number of households in this sector cries out for change.
There wasn’t much to help those in home ownership either, other than a slight extension of the stamp duty cut for shared ownership properties.

At last year’s general election, the worsening housing crisis clearly became political for the Conservatives, as younger families and renters turned out to deprive the government of its assumed majority!

The backdrop is the dramatic growth in the private rented sector (PRS) over the last 20 years, meaning that renting privately is now the new norm and is no longer seen as a transitional form of tenure simply for students or mobile young professionals.

Instead, this sector is now housing more people for longer periods of their lives, including low-income groups, families with children and young people under 35. Unfortunately however, private renters are, in many cases, paying a higher proportion of their income on housing costs than either homeowners servicing mortgages or social renters. This is a particular concern for those on low and/or insecure incomes, as unpredictable earnings make it ever harder for them to meet their monthly housing costs.

On the plus side, one advantage to tenants renting in the private sector is that whenever they should need to re-locate, they can simply end their tenancies with a single months notice and move.

Another advantage for those renting from the public sector is that social housing provides a more secure anchor than what’s available for those renting privately.

Either way however, it’s abundantly clear that more affordable housing is urgently needed, whether to buy or to rent but the knee-jerk reaction of simply building more houses in every corner of the country that it appears feasible to, isn’t the right answer.

What is the right answer is to change the way all houses are priced, so that prices accord more closely to buyers’ actual ability to afford them in the specific locations in which each house-move needs to happen. The problem of the finance industry capitalising on house price rises won’t be solved by those with financial interests!

The The House Price Virtuoso Solution addresses this problem directly and comes up with a new, and innovative way to achieve this. It sits separately from but right alongside the need to start increasing the overall stock of housing, both for purchase and for rent, whether in the private or the public housing sectors. In essence it deals with the matter of having a continually rising population in a far more equitable way than is currently the case.

For a fully reasoned explanation of how this may be achieved, economically, please go to:

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

Peter Hendry, Consultant in Housing Valuation

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 interlinked chains is frequently going on behind the scenes which is not necessarily to the advantage of buyers further down the chain.

This is inefficient and unproductive and needs to change so that the various local housing markets across England and Wales can begin to function more like perfect marketplaces; as they truly should.

All this is 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 things are going against them and by then the only remedy remaining is for them is usually to find more cash to feed into the situation!

House prices are now returning to all time highs, but they are also increasing beyond average couples’ annual earning capacities for borrowing requirements. This is a big problem. It’s vital that a more holistic approach is offered to everyone embarking on a house move, especially if it’s a first-time purchase.

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 for sellers.

What stands in the way of this happening is that existing estate agents are naturally going 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 historically, essentially since the 1920s.

It would need the buying public to start seeing the anomalies they are having to contend with when using agents and to lobby government to make the necessary improvements to bring about fairer competitive pricing across all residential property markets. Only then could house prices more appropriately track buying power in the locality in which a particular property is located.
This situation 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 this should be achieved please go to:

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

Peter Hendry, Author:– The House Price Virtuoso Solution previously The Hendry Solution

House Prices Are Relatively Meaningless Numbers Today

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 House Price Virtuoso 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 House Price Virtuoso Solution: Full details of our proposals for properly reforming the UK housing market..

Peter Hendry, Author:– The House Price Virtuoso Solution previously The Hendry Solution

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

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, Author:– The House Price Virtuoso Solution previously The Hendry Solution

The top 8 reasons for house sales falling through

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, Author:– The House Price Virtuoso Solution previously The Hendry Solution

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

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. It’s my latest online blog-published explanation covering this and taking you on to the actual virtuoso solution which may be found at the following link.

The House Price Virtuoso Solution.
How to Improve all Housing Markets in England and Wales.

Peter Hendry, Author:– The House Price Virtuoso Solution previously The Hendry Solution

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

The Hendry Hypothesis and Solution

“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 now go to: ‘The House Price Virtuoso Solution’

The House Price Virtuoso Solution.

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