The House Price Solution is devised to resolve the current housing crisis completely

When an estate agent sells a house currently, their client is not the person who is moving in!
This is what needs to be changed in the near future, if we are to correct the flaws within all housing markets across the UK.

What is needed instead is the situation, whenever a buyer moves into a newly acquired house it is HE or SHE who is paying the estate agent – the agent who found it for them – in gratitude for what that agent had done for them.
Only then will they be happy with the service they obtained and of course, the property which they will have just purchased.

This treatise explains precisely how such an outcome could be swiftly and economically achieved. It comes to the conclusion that the Estate Agents Act 1979 is no longer fit for purpose. It should therefore be repealed and a new Act drafted to bring in trained & specialist agency services for carrying out sales and lettings of most residential property assets, across the whole country, taking instruction from the buyers not sellers as happens currently.

Sweeping reforms on this are now sought from those in government if we are to achieve balancing supply with demand for housing in the required locations and at reasonably affordable prices.

This is the complete answer to the ongoing housing supply crisis. It deals with severe buyers’ problems which directly result from the present methods of marketing residential property, including the need to calm excessively rising house prices.

The essence of using The House Price Solution involves a complete and permanent change in the way estate agents deal with residential house sales.

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

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

The switch would be only Registered House Agents (RHAs), would be licensed to act in dealing with the sale and purchase of residential property. Only these agents would be licensed to manage such property.

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

You may ask in this case, would anyone else be allowed to act on behalf of those wishing to buy or sell residential property? The answer is NO.

Market forces would have to be harnessed to act both for sellers as well as buyers by using different and competing Registered House Agents, tasked with the work of obtaining for their clients, the best combined buy and sell prices in the market whenever moving house.

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

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

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

By stabilising prices in this way many more people would be able to transit between properties, as and when they may need to. This would solve one of the most prevalent problems in the present-day housing markets, causing the blockages we currently see and slowing the housing markets in the process.

A second reason for the present scale of house price inflation is this:

House price rises are currently being driven by lax bank lending restrictions following the relaxation under the bank and building society lending regulations of the mid 80’s. Later all markets suffered from the effects of QE following the financial crash of 2008. These two factors, when combined, are a main cause of all housing markets in the uk to overheat price-wise.

Just as importantly, the way in which properties are ‘traded’ on the market should be the subject of urgent improvement and reform by adding a new regulatory framework to agency.

Originally published: 5 December, 2013.
(Last updated by PH: 5 June, 2022).

True market prices can only be determined by supply and demand in a perfect marketplace. The present UK housing market as a whole is very far from perfect. The House Price Solution is the best way to finally resolve this failure.

As part of the required process of change, substantial amendment to The Building Societies Act 1986 as subsequently amended, is required because demonstrably, it is causing housing marketplaces across the country to overheat price-wise. The 1986 act is also therefore no longer fit for purpose as it stands today and so needs substantial revision.

A main aspect of the financial deregulation as enacted by The Building Societies Act of 1986 was intended to widen access to homeownership by providing increased access to finance for house purchase. However, by doing this, more risk was introduced into the marketplace. The risk/choice balance was tilted more towards risk, arguably to try and correct the inefficiencies within the supply-side which was slow at housing construction. Unfortunately, the 1986 Act caused the benefits of deregulation to result in swiftly rising house and land prices – the very thing that should have been guarded against.

The new financial regulations set out within the 1986 Act also altered the relationship between the housing sector and the rest of the economy by making household equity more liquid, or more easily turned into cash by allowing increased borrowing. The pricing out of the dream of owner occupation for many people from less well of families which resulted is now plain for all to see.

It is this that the following proposal for improving the housing marketplace is aimed at rectifying.

As explained above, the economic importance attached to increasing total housing wealth was behind the drafting of much of the 1986 policy but so was the rush to increase homeownership. Sadly, these two aims run in direct conflict with each other and so, looking back, or in hindsight, this issue is what should now be fully addressed.

If you agree with this, having read what is outlined on these pages, please take the plea for change to your own MP to try and build support for bringing about wholesale change to make the housing market fully efficient going forward.

Here is the answer:

The House Price Solution – otherwise known as The Hendry Solution

In brief it is essentially about locating and entering into a contract with a highly motivated agent to ‘find’ your next house, negotiate the best terms AND sell your present house too! This is a simple but profoundly important proposal, though nobody else has tabled it to date.

By doing this, a much closer degree of relational parity between what you pay and what you get for your existing house could be maintained and, gazumping should be practically eliminated.

We must change the way we decide house prices from that of depending on how much each buyer might be able to borrow, to how much they each prefer to afford.
It would be a simple change but with profound consequences.

A fact: The definition of affordable homes is currently decided on ‘the supposed open market’ but sadly, the prices arrived at are not at all affordable to those who require housing in very many specific localities around Britain.

Instead, prices, especially at the entry level, ought to be based on what people on low incomes can afford locally.
Unquestionably, in each local area we must have housing that is genuinely affordable to those living and working in that area.

It is simply not feasible to try and remedy this problem and correct this lack of affordability by constructing huge numbers of new houses in a short timescale. In any case, the price problem itself is a market economics problem not a simple supply problem. The shortage of housing supply is, in fact, secondary to the market economics issue described here. Aside from this there aren’t the skilled craftsmen currently available to build upwards of the 300,000 good quality new private and social houses suggested to be needed each year for the next 10 years!

Also, the idea that ‘the market’ might correct for the shortage of housing by facilitating the building of more houses as and when prices rose, is not what has actually happened. The market has patently not done so and has failed to achieve that.

Improved market economics are now required. They are needed to improve the efficiency of the housing market itself.
This could be done quickly and without large government expenditure which is the preferable solution. As explained, we should re-organise how house prices themselves are arrived at. This would lower them in areas where local affordability would require this.

It can only be done by changing the way agents work when selling and letting houses that are currently on the market. It should involve referencing these properties to affordable prices in each local housing market. Now is the time to recalibrate local housing markets in this way and put in hand an economic solution which is of paramount importance and is described below.

As explained just now, new construction should only be a secondary remedy, to help to ensure that house prices never again spiral up to the unaffordable levels that we have currently been seeing everywhere in England, Wales and even in Scotland and Northern Ireland. The primary fix for this is to improve the way houses are bought & sold as well as rented & let.

Each individual local housing market requires this and the best way to accomplish it is to legislate for a complete new breed of estate agent (instead of attempting to build thousands of new houses in a vain attempt to satisfy a supposed national demand).

The fundamental problem with present day selling agents (or estate agents) is, that not only do they maximise house prices by leveraging buyers’ offers ever upwards; they also maximise mortgage loans by dealing in the procurement of ever increasing mortgage borrowing.  This further boosts house prices!

The House Price Solution deals with both these problems by facing them head on. It does not however interfere with the operation of the market economy itself and it completely avoids the use arbitrary and inefficient price and/or rent controls.

For the purposes of this paper let’s call these new agents, Registered House Agent(s) or RHAs”.

The following are full details of the proposals which comprise the House Price Solution.

The main job of these new agents would be not only to sell or indeed let owner’s houses but more importantly to find and secure the houses which their contracted client(s) are seeking for both themselves and their families – whether these clients are wishing to buy or to rent.

How could this be achieved?
RHA or Registered House Agent’s Moving Contracts (or MC agreements) should replace the traditional vendors’ selling contracts. These would effectively be buyers’ agency contracts.

Similarly, ‘Letting Contracts’ (or LC agreements) would be the instructing instruments for agents advising tenants wishing to move from one rental property to another.
All this would be a relatively simple but a game-changing improvement to the way in which residential property transactions occur at present.

The proposal is that we should now do away with old estate agents’ sole selling contracts altogether and bring in Registered House Agents’ ‘MC agreements’, where each RHA or Registered House Agent engaged would be contracted to work to facilitate a vendor’s complete move from one property to another. The aim of this would be to bring greater satisfaction to all those in the throes of moving house and to get the whole UK housing market operating far more smoothly – in all possible economic conditions and, it should be said, without the need for government-backed mortgage guarantees for those requiring to get onto the first rung of the housing ladder either.

MC agreements of RHAs would always include a mandatory clause stating that as part of offering their services, they undertake not to negotiate any mortgage deals on behalf of any prospective buyers at any time or in any way whatsoever.

As a professional valuer (although now retired), I am claiming that this new method would help to stabilise house-prices broadly, across all regions, instead of tending to make them rise a lot in some areas but not anything like as much in others. That alone would be a very significant market improvement.

In addition, the new version of Registered House Agents (RHAs), would be fully empowered by becoming more responsible for ‘the progress’ of sales and lettings of properties across the whole UK and would gain more control of the volume (or throughput) of house sales and lettings completions.

By contrast the earlier government’s plan (and this government’s one too), to increase the availability of mortgage finance, including to people becoming first house owners was and still clearly is not the right approach. As has been seen subsequently, that resulted in higher prices; the very thing that buyers simply do not need or want, either then or now.
‘Help To Buy’ government mortgage guarantee schemes have more recently been taken up in substantial numbers. This is resulting in upwards pressure on house and land prices as more money in the form of long-term loans must have this affect on asking prices by definition.

In some locations, the excessive price levels which we have recently seen, have been generated, in part, by significant corporate purchases of larger residential properties as investments, some financed by business loans. These loans were mainly advanced to private landlords for buying and renting out multiple units and not for owner-occupation. This has been another one of the catalysts for the general increase in house prices as well as dragging up rent levels.

The issue just described is in addition to (and separate from) the unregulated way in which current day estate agents negotiate and agree terms of sales with unsuspecting house buyers. These people are generally unaware of the scope of other offers (if indeed there actually are any) claimed to be being made on the object-property around that time.

A certain amount of regulation in the marketplace would go a long way to helping resolve these serious drawbacks.
With appropriate regulation, Registered House Agents could improve themselves in competition with other agents by becoming more efficient and more factual.
They could, for example, correlate from the current data they would have available from all the applicants, the maximum sustainable rents or buy price levels currently feasible and deduce using their training and expertise, exactly what the mean – mode price should be on any specific property to be acquired.

Having selected the best applicant for the property in question, they could then advance the most suitable offer to be made on behalf of each buyer and be in a position to stop inventing higher offers to help secure the deal their firm aspires to winning!

If the seller (or landlord) agrees, the offer would then be formally accepted and the whole transaction process (exactly as described here) would commence.
As explained there would be no question of agents ‘tweaking’ buyers’ (or tenants’) offers upwards any more as to do this would contravene their business ethics as well as putting them in jeopardy of their licensed (or newly regulated) business registrations.

Here are the three main benefits of using this new marketing solution.
Included below are the most significant advantages which the various different local housing markets around the country could derive benefit from. They could be used to increase sales and lettings throughput right across the whole of the country.

  1. First-time buyers (or renters) of both new and second hand houses, would not have to budget for agency fees when making their house purchases because these buyers/renters would not need to engage a buying agent or sign a Moving Contract (or MC agreement) with any agent. The arrangements would not therefore penalise first-time buyers financially. These applicants should simply approach the agent marketing the property in question. (The agent involved would already have a fee arrangement with the person moving from that property to their next one.)
  2. Registered House Agents would benefit since it would become more difficult for owners or landlords wishing to transact their own sales, purchases or lettings without using them. Indeed with this system, it would even be possible for government to declare that such a practice would be banned if they should decide there is a need to do so. The extra sales/lettings throughput generated by making all of the local housing markets around the country more efficient would further enhance RHAs’ profitability.
  3. It would also be possible to identify, specifically, all those transactions that involve house purchasers who are moving a long distance, when in the process of buying the house in question. Additional taxation could thus be applied to second home purchasers if it was deemed appropriate. For example the government could start to levy a tax on all second home buyers. This would tend to help reduce prices in those areas where second home buyers have been pricing local residents out, thus helping first time buyers as well as raising taxes for the government.


Below is a brief description of the new ‘RHA’ or Registered House Agent’s strategy including using the House Price Solution:

We need something considerably more effective than the current Neighbourhood Plan’s H1 The affordable homes provisions and H2 The full-time Principal Residence restrictions, to help bring local house prices down further towards levels affordable to the local workforce and especially to assist local key workers. I reason that prices of full freehold registered titles of ‘affordable homes’ are still well beyond the reach of most key workers within their sectors.

The need for The House Price Solution (otherwise known as The Hendry Solution), is because price levels in basic housing stock everywhere are currently driven by and depend upon how much any individual buyer can afford, including the most that buyers might be able to borrow at the time!

To correct that as far as local buyers are concerned the new buyer-agents advocated here would be called Registered House Agents (RHAs) and they could operate from either retail-based premises or online, or both and would replace present-day estate agents.

Facet 1 of explanation:
All agents (RHAs) would work by operating on behalf of buyers rather than being paid by sellers as happens at present. Their fee income would be solely from finding buyers the next houses they seek.

In other words all RHAs would have to forgo signing to act as a selling agent completely. This would include not acting to sell a house that the client they’ve just found their next house for, is still needing to sell. This is probably the most fundamental change being advocated here.

Facet 2 of explanation:
Nevertheless, there would be no restrictions on buying agents advertising or displaying for sale, houses on behalf of non-clients in order to introduce more enquiries by the buying public or from other buying agents. This would be a free of charge (FOC) or non-fee producing activity only.

All free of charge (FOC) advertising would have to wait for another RHA (with a signed Moving Contract arrangement with the buyer) to bring a buyer forward and by doing so the introducing agent would earn their sole fee payable on completion.

However, and this is critical, each agent or RHA could introduce any of their other signed-up buyers to purchase those properties – and thereby earn a second fee from a different successful purchaser in that way. A valuable second income stream would result.

If the house was one that the RHA had been advertising free of charge (FOC) for an earlier client, then the introducing RHA would be negotiating the BUY price on that house, acting for the new buyer – not the seller. Whilst different RHAs may often be working simultaneously on various chains of purchases, they would always be working solely for their respective buying clients of course.
In other words because the buying agent would be working for different clients in each case, (albeit on a chain of purchases) there would be no conflict of interest.

To emphasise the main change, all agents would always be negotiating for buyers rather than sellers.

Facet 3 of explanation:
Another aspect of this is that all agents would be looking carefully over all properties being marketed, in search of its good qualities, both structurally and from locational point of view. They would always be representing their buyer-clients’ best interests in the process.

Prices paid would therefore better reflect the condition of each property currently on the market as well as better reflecting the prices which buyers might be prepared to pay.

Facet 4 of explanation:
The new Registered House Agents (RHAs) would need to modify their existing agency skills and abilities, to be able to best represent buyers and negotiate (generally to lower the purchase prices) on behalf of their clients instead of trying to maximise them. This would clearly involve new training schemes for any existing estate agency staff to include both the different emphasis and the extra skills required.

Facet 5 of explanation:
An important point is the actual prices being obtained would be decided primarily by different buyers’ offers, with buyers operating in competition with one another for any one individual property, using the services of multiple buyer agents (the RHAs), simultaneously having to consider the various written offers involved and get their clients instructions on which ones to accept in writing.

Facet 6 of explanation:
Borrowing levels by individual buyers ought to be a significant factor and excessive borrowing requirements should naturally weigh against some higher offers being considered. That is another reason why there should be new government initiated restrictions on such lending, including rules for lending institutions wishing to make loans specifically for housing occupancy purposes. This would help to create a more level playing field for all buyers. That ought to particularly help local buyers, because the prices they could afford would tend to become the benchmark price levels for each separate locality. This is a very important aspect of the implementation of the House Price Solution and should not become a secondary or separate matter at all.

Facet 7 of explanation:
Fixed-fee terms of commission must be mandatory for all licensed or RHA agencies and must be a requirement of all agency contracts made to facilitate a buyer moving from one location to another i.e. complete Moving Contracts or MC agreement would be required – please see the main explanation below for further details.

In other words, no percentage fee commissions should be allowed, as otherwise these would provide an incentive for agents to try and edge prices up which is the practice requiring to be curtailed. Also reverse percentage fees must similarly be disallowed.

Facet 8 of explanation:
The anticipated effect of this new house marketing solution would be to increase house sales turnover across the nation, reduce the amount of abortive work experienced by present-day selling agents and in so doing, increase the actual fee income potential for all licensed agents acting for buyers. This method would breathe new life into what are currently, moribund housing markets in most localities around the country.

*******
AND The $64,000 Question is:
HOW can this solution bring house prices down in your area?

As explained above this can only work if existing estate agents, acting for sellers, are exchanged for agents acting exclusively for buyers instead. These agents would have to be legally registered or licensed to operate under a process of national registration. To distinguish these new agents from agents that no longer have a mandate to deal with housing they should be named for example, “Registered House Agents”. All house agents registered would be required to carry out business in accordance with the rules laid down by the new registration authority.

The first difference would be that each house being sold (owned by different sellers of course) would also have several different Registered House Agents (RHAs) sending in offers for the present owner’s consideration.

Buyer’s agents or (RHAs) appointed by local buyers are likely to have received offers at broadly similar levels to each other.
Buyer’s agents or (RHAs) working with clients wishing to come from further afield may have higher or even much higher offers in respect of the subject property.
The existing owner, in each case, would have the choice whether to sell to a local buyer or to refuse to and instead sell to an incoming buyer.

If they should choose to sell to local buyers they will know that the price-level is based on local affordability not incomer’s affordability whereas with the present-day estate agent system – they, the existing owner, cannot be certain of this when making their decision to sell because the lower offers are soon discounted, especially by the commission-earning estate agent.

Despite this if they are moving to an area having similar price levels they need not necessarily take a higher (incomer’s) offer.

Significantly with Registered House Agents, the buying agent whose offer is to be accepted will not know what the other offers were – only the seller will know that so, once again, they will be protected from coercion by agents wanting to escalate the prices just in order to win the fee.

In addition, where there are Neighbourhood Plans with restrictions on the sale of certain houses in favour of local residents, local planning departments could take enforcement action against anyone conducting a sale to an incoming purchaser if there is any breach of the requirements.

Finally, if there are occupancy restrictions applicable to specific groups or classes of house in any one location, all Registered House Agents would be expected to know and understand this and therefore would not take on instructions from outsiders to negotiate to buy such properties in the first place! This could thus become a self-policing issue.

I hope this illustrates the advantages of moving from a selling agent system to a Registered House Agent one as being the main development of the solution I am proposing.

For a 2nd (or further) explanation of this unique proposal please click on the following link.

The House Price Solution 2nd (or further) explanation

If there remain outstanding questions relating to my proposals I’d be glad to discuss these.

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

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

A CHALLENGE TO ESTATE AGENTS TO IMPROVE THE HOUSING MARKET IN THE UK

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The House Price Solution

How to Improve all local housing markets across England and Wales

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

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

Constructive comments are very much welcomed.

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The Cure For The Malady Across All British Housing Markets

The cure for the malady across all 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 bacterial infection.

The expertise required to achieve that would involve first acquiring an accurate knowledge of the causes of such infections and following this, the ability to diagnose the correct medicinal cure for the specific infection involved.

It is of course imperative to be able to understand precisely how and why a specific illness or malaise will have occurred. Only then can the correct medicinal cure be 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 house being offered for sale 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 these 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 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 and the demand for them would also be fully satisfied at all times.

Instead, the present day housing markets have large overruns where, either there is too much property being offered at any one time or alternatively, there are too few properties being offered to purchasers.

Both extremes are most unsatisfactory for prospective purchasers of houses in the regional marketplaces and especially in tourist and second-home prevalent communities.

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 achieve when determining an asking price!

Worse, they base their asking prices on what other asking prices are, including what the other recent sales will have achieved, albeit these would have used skewed marketing comparisons themselves 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 applicants on their register (according to statistics published by the NAEA). Today, after a spirited first half of the year and after COVID has started to reduce, a typical estate agent apparently has just 23 live listings and over 400 applicants on their register.

If knowledge such as this were to be broadcast, it would skew prices-levels downwards whilst the market is flush with houses for sale and it would skew prices-levels upwards when there were 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 to 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 has been what’s going on recently of course.

Selling agents may try to argue that it is the desperation of buyers which is forcing the prices up but that does not explain why the housing markets are operating at such low efficiency in terms of completed sales. This shows serious imperfections, resulting in their lack of stability which means these markets are in need of a completely new approach to buying and selling houses.

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

A: Firstly there should be restrictions on the right to occupy a proportion of houses in each locality as being permanent “Primary Residence” restricted. This would mean these houses 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 in any way if this is carefully scrutinised.

This is where The House Price 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 methods entirely and by including the use of “Primary Residence” restrictions on certain properties.

AND

It would enable all buyers to be free to participate and establish the price levels themselves, (subject to declared “Primary Residence” restrictions, which would be locally established using the local planning rules).

To read more about how The House Price 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 Solution

How to Improve all local housing markets across England and Wales

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

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

Constructive comments are very much welcomed.

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.

The House Price Solution

How to Improve all local housing markets across England and Wales

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

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

Constructive comments are very much welcomed.

Intro to: The House Price Solution – the key to fairer house prices

The Independent newspaper recently published in its online version with the headline:
More than 8 million people in England are living in unaffordable, insecure or unsuitable homes, the report says.
If accurate, this predicament is unacceptable and in urgent need of remedying with the help of our government.

There have been many claims of similar housing crises over past decades in the media. These claims suggest that all is very far from well in the housing sector. as the old adage goes; there’s no smoke without fire!

This is why over decades past and as I’m now a retired valuation surveyor, I have views on the reasons for these failings, particularly as they adversely affect poorer communities.

Because of this I’ve devised a new and better way to deal with the currently unaffordable level of house prices and associated housing issues because purchase prices currently being claimed as being ‘affordable’ are very clearly not really affordable at all.

Once you take a look into this, it should become crystal clear that it is the poorer buyers whom are actually propping up the house prices for the rest of the home owners!

Why is this so? Because it is they who must borrow astronomical sums of money to them, by mortgaging the very properties which they need to live in, so that the present very high prices prevailing in a so-called open marketplace may be maintained. One has to ask, who gains most from them doing this?

Firstly, it is those fortunate enough to already have substantial property assets and who enjoy a healthy and almost guaranteed rise in the capital values of their relatively extensive holdings. Secondly, it is the banks and financial organisations that gain from earning interest on the substantial loans which they can thus arrange. Profits derived from these activities depend on the ability of those on this side of the equation to be able to liquidate these large financial rewards each time they sell these assets, without having to do much to earn the extremely large profits involved.

Borrowers today by comparison, have increasing job insecurity issues, especially borrowers on the lower rungs of the property ladder who have to commit to high mortgages by taking on burdensome and increasingly risky and long-term borrowings. These families and individuals are the ones who need relief, by way of a lessening of their large and onerous borrowing commitments they are being forced into making.

It is time the whole rigged house-selling regime, which is being played out using the historic role of estate agency, is re-balanced, such that those wishing to make money from owning property are seen as causing excessive un-affordability issues being experienced by an increasing number of poorer, aspiring to become, home owners in this country.
Is there a political party in the land that might contemplate such a re-think? Let’s hope so.

Those requiring housing should rightly expect to depend upon an efficient and fully functional housing marketplace in order to move house and should expect be able to reasonably afford to buy, or alternatively rent, their next housing accommodation.

Judging by the recent dramatic slowdown of sales transactions as shown in the current sales completion statistics, efficient agency services are simply not available at present.

For anyone interested in the best and only way to correct this unacceptable shortcoming, please read, mark and digest the proposals within: The House Price Solution starting at the following link.

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

How to Improve the Housing Markets in England and Wales.
The background of this, leading to the logically deduced conclusion arrived at, starts at the following link:

Home Page – improvethehousingmarket.co.uk

As author I would be happy to engage in online discussions about the technicalities and/or the new strategies necessary in order to reach perfection in the operation of all local housing markets in England and Wales. This web site sets out how these housing markets may be improved for the benefit of owner-occupiers, private tenants and in fact, everyone using all forms of housing everywhere in our country.

The House Price Solution

How to Improve all local housing markets across England and Wales

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

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

Constructive comments are very much welcomed.

How can the housing market be made more efficient in Britain?

On face value one might be forgiven for thinking that if you want to sell a property, you might simply advertise it for sale or employ an agent to do just that.
But have you ever thought; Can the housing market be made more efficient in Britain?

To help answer this, if you were selling any other item such as a car or a boat for example, advertising it or using an agent to do so would be a reasonable thing to do but not with houses as I will explain.

With houses things are different because houses are capital assets, rather than depreciating ones. In other words, they are not mere chattels to be chalked up at a notional price and simply sold.

How is this so?

It’s because the amount of work and expertise required to build a house is sufficiently great to cause its value in the market place to adjust, upwards or downwards, depending on buyer’s demand and their ability to pay to purchase the property.
Secondly, houses are expected to last for around a century, which is different to most other things that are sold or let.

Thirdly, the availability of finance or mortgage borrowing is another primary factor which affects the prices of houses in the marketplaces wherever they are situated.

Question:
Why can’t a selling agent just deal with all of that?

Because the important aspect when selling is to know and understand how many buyers are out there and what might they each be prepared to offer (or bid) once they have everything in place to make a final decision. Buyers also need to arrange things they require like a survey, a confirmed mortgage offer, completed legal searches etc…

The best people to deal with all these matters would unquestionably be an agent acting specifically for the buyer in question.

Only they could best represent each buyer and in fact therefore could also serve vendors to best advantage too.

Why would this be an improvement?

It would be an improvement because selling agents do not, in fact, act for any of the buyers whereas buying agents would be able to do so all the time.

Selling agents can only act for those selling their houses. This is half of the marketplace of course; and that’s exactly where the problem lies.

Registered House Buying Agents, [RHBs] on the other hand, would be acting for multiple buyers simultaneously so they would be fully in touch with these buyers as well as knowing what houses are currently available for sale on the market. They would know all of this because their other buyers will be among those selling too.

The difference between the two types of agents is that with selling agents, once they sell a property on behalf of their vendor-client, they aren’t interested in who else is buying. They’re only interested in who else may be selling!

Working in that way is, as I say, only dealing with one half of the housing marketplace at any one time. It is this which is causing the housing marketplace to malfunction or to perform badly. It is this which is causing wild price swings upwards and downwards, depending upon the availability of purchasing power (or buyer demand) at the time.

For as long as the existing estate agents are isolating themselves from being responsible for dealing with the buying side of the housing marketplace, price anomalies will continue.

The result must be more of what we see today, buyer frustration at what might have been, as regards home ownership.

Using this logic (as well as other arguments), I emphatically suggest that the existing vendor-centric estate agent model is no longer fit for purpose, is out of date and is way too inefficient.

The House Price Solution

How to Improve all local housing markets across England and Wales

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

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

Constructive comments are very much welcomed.

Extra reading:
Article in The Property Industry Eye dated 9th May 2019 giving the current market downturn information:
Estate agents are reporting a drop in property instructions
New instructions sink to a three-year low – and worse is expected.

The primary justifications for sales and marketing reform in all housing markets across the UK

This is a brief, potted, history lesson explaining why house prices have risen so much in the past 10 – 15 years.

The cause of the failure of large numbers of buyers to be able to continue to afford to get onto the housing ladder is primarily on account of government banking and finance policy or fiscal policy.

More than 10 years have passed since the 2008 financial crash and the effects of using quantitative easing (QE) are, at last, beginning to reveal themselves.

Virtually all capital assets have increased in value against sterling, whilst savings have simultaneously experienced a decrease in value – in real terms.  This situation, as everyone will now undoubtedly realise, does include significant price increases right across the housing markets.

The effect of this policy has resulted in a majority of millennials (i.e. people coming-of-age around the turn of the millennium) becoming unable to afford to buy houses.  Instead they will have to accept becoming long life tenants as being the only viable alternative to having to stay with their respective parents into middle age.

In my opinion, along with many others, this is sufficiently bad to warrant a complete re-think of the way monetary policy is managed both by government and equally as importantly, by the separate institution of The Bank of England.

Here is the brief reason for this conclusion:

10 years ago (2008), the government was faced with coming up with a rescue plan to deal with the global financial crisis which was seriously affecting Britain as well as the currency markets in America and other major nations’ currency markets too.  The required decisions were extremely time critical.

As a response, the government decided to authorise The Bank of England to issue digital money to purchase government bonds as loans for use to fund public borrowing by financial institutions.

The effect of this (which was of course well known at the time) would be to reduce the yields on such bonds owing to the increased demand for them.  The secondary effect (which would also have been well known at the time), was that we were going to have to accept permanently lower interest rates across all financial markets.

This would result in banks everywhere having access to more funds to lend but (and this is a big but), they would then need to lend more money in order to earn enough from the lower rates of interest able to be earned from it.

The scale of QE engaged upon following the crisis was huge and at unprecedented levels.  Indeed such a course of action had never been tried to such a massive extent previously, even though it was deemed essential and the only plausible course to take.

Knowing that this was about to happen in the USA our government decided, along with The Bank of England, to follow suit.

The effect was going to be that suddenly, practically everyone in employment would start to have more borrowing ability and hence more purchasing power.  This was intended to help the economy to recover and save it from diving into a full blown recession.

The policy however would have to adversely affect those with savings to the extent that the interest earned on all such savings would no longer keep pace with the rate of erosion of the value of their savings both by the risk of inflation as well as the severely reduced interest rates likely to be obtainable.

What the government was perhaps understandably somewhat coy about however was (knowing the only way to counteract the resultant inflationary pressures following the severe dose of QE which was about to be prescribed), they would have to simultaneously engage in a severe program of austerity cuts.  The last government did this with a determination that suggested their very skins depended upon it!

The unavoidable difficulty would naturally be that more substantial mortgages, available to those who could afford to borrow, would cause house prices themselves to increase very substantially.  In some places house prices have in fact actually increased by between 40 and 60% over the past five years alone because of these policies.

As wages were never going to be able to keep pace with such increases, those having to save for a deposit to buy a house were soon going to find themselves unable to save enough fast enough to keep up with expected house price increases.

The result of this, as we can now clearly see, is that many hopeful first-time buyers have had to defer and in many cases completely give up the aspiration of ever becoming home owners in their own right.  This has been and is a tragedy for all of them and it is now clear for everyone to see.

Owing to the resultant house price increases the direct effect of QE has been to cause a very significant slow-down in the numbers of houses being sold across all housing markets, certainly in England and Wales.  Whilst this is true it has not been very well documented, perhaps for fairly obvious reasons.

A further side-effect is that estate agency is suffering significantly, since they generally get paid after the sales they have actually arranged are completed.  Thus they are experiencing a similar fate to the other organisations more directly subject to the targeted austerity measures.

The true aftermath of the risky QE approach embarked upon is now becoming clear.  We are destined to be stuck with very low interest rates for years to come and our house prices, like a mirage appearing to stay just out of reach of the thirsty, will remain similarly out of reach, for a large number of future home-makers or home owners.  There seems to be no easy alternative – now that we have been led down this particular road for such a long distance and, to a large extent, in our ignorance.

There is however one way in which houses may be priced more competitively and market sales turnover thus restored.  It is what is advocated by The House Price Solution which is explained more fully in the link below.

Implementing this solution would greatly help both the present and future affordability of all houses by improving open market conditions.  This would allow the prices paid, to more closely match peoples’ ability to buy instead of having prices set based largely on the projected financial returns of house builders and developers – as generally happens at present.

The House Price Solution is a new and innovative way to make all housing markets across the land, behave more in accordance with what local people can actually afford, by placing less reliance on vendors’ asking prices as being the primary price mark. It was conceived by Peter Hendry, a surveyor with years of experience working in the front line of providing reliable property advice to intending purchasers by inspecting the houses they planned to purchase and reporting as to the condition of these directly to the buyer involved.

In the long run The House Price Solution, if implemented, would begin to restore confidence by enabling successful house purchasing across all areas, both within our towns and in the country.

I would therefore earnestly suggest that this proposal should receive full scrutiny and I would also encourage healthy debate in regard to it by all those with genuine knowledge in the housing sector.

The House Price Solution

How to Improve all local housing markets across England and Wales

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

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

Constructive comments are very much welcomed.

Supplementary reading:

My second article titled:
Further justification for changing the way houses are marketed within the U.K.

BBC article on QE

propertyindustryeye article about first-time buyers and the housing market

Further justification for changing the way houses are marketed within the U.K.

Justification 2:
Before much is said about the reasons for the pricing problems perhaps the most important thing to be known and understood, is the fundamental reason why house price rises have been happening recently, despite our general economic trends falling.

Firstly, it is essential to know what distinguishes house sales and purchases from almost all other sales and purchases. It is that houses are capital assets and not chattels. This means that the values of all such assets vary in the market place, dependent upon the current demand for such assets.
In other words, such assets have an ‘intrinsic value’ which can both increase and decrease, depending upon current market conditions whereas things that are not within the class of capital asset, generally only depreciate in value as they age.

For this reason in particular, all those owning houses should treat them as such and not merely regard them as being something which can be marketed by the seller without taking the all-important ‘buyer’ considerations into account.

Justification 3:
It is of fundamental importance that houses should be regarded as having special characteristics in terms of their true current market values. If not, they cannot be bought and sold with price reliability in the marketplace.

The current way this is done does not have due regard to this aspect and the result is general chaos, with price disparities constantly rippling across the whole of the housing marketplace – generating unnecessary uncertainty.

The frequent delays and transaction failures which happen as a result, are testimony to this and they show that there is a need to substantially revise the way that things are done in these markets.

The way to resolve this situation correctly, is to alter the existing methods used to market these assets and instead treat them as capital assets in a similar way in which shares are traded on the stock market. I mean by this that buyers are and must be integral in deciding the prices-levels at which such assets ultimately change hands.

The House Price Solution gives the detail of how this may be achieved without excessive cost or delay and I hope you find these new proposals to be both interesting and worthy of consideration.

Justification 4:
In essence, what is required is to reform the methods by which estate agents operate in the housing market and this reform is now long overdue.

The necessary fix cannot simply be about building more houses to try and balance supply and demand, as claimed by many whom I have discussed this with. Instead it must be about making the housing market itself function far more efficiently. This may well (but perhaps understandably), be something which estate agents themselves are currently reluctant to seriously consider.
Nevertheless, this is what is needed, even more than starting to get additional housing units built as soon as possible.

There IS a better and quicker way, besides that of building many more houses which, by any degree of estimation, would have to take nearer ten years than just one if indeed such a proposal should even be capable of any degree of swift implementation somehow? More about that later!

Justification 5:
As stated, the housing market is broken, with prices being forced up beyond most people’s ability to pay.  This is not however solely about supply and demand, as I am keen to explain here.

It is also about money finding its way into the housing market illicitly, without sufficiently rigorous financial checks being made.  It’s essentially about selling agents (the estate agents) having become oblivious to this as well as a number of other issues – since their primary remit is simply to try and get the highest price possible for each property which they manage and sell on behalf of a vendor client.
Yes, estate agents will happily try and maintain that house prices are decided simply by supply and demand but this loose statement does not bear any serious scrutiny. A rudimentary knowledge of economic theory will undoubtedly confirm that.

Consider for a moment:
Dodgy money (or the money that requires laundering) which has caused significant house price inflation recently …
And:
Over-borrowing The rules for ascertaining who should be permitted to borrow, for what reason and exactly how much should be tightened – especially whilst such large sums are able to be borrowed so cheaply.
And:
Lack of valuation knowledge There’s a general lack of adequate valuation knowledge (and experience) possessed by most agents in the property sector currently …
And:
Bias towards vendor negotiations
There is a worrying lack of transparency concerning the way in which estate agents operate nowadays, especially as far as buyers are concerned.
Changes need to be brought in by government as agents themselves would clearly prefer not to do so whilst primarily supporting their clients, the vendors.
And:
Exaggeration
Meaning that lies, deceit and broadcasting misinformation are nowadays pretty rife amongst competing agents, whom are forced to utilise such tactics in their quest to each gain more instructions to sell or let.

It simply cannot be denied that each of these highly unacceptable behaviours are playing too great a part in deciding current-day house prices in England and Wales and that such matters have clearly not been adequately addressed so far by any responsible organisation including our government. To find out how such a significant market improvement could be achieved, please go to:

The House Price Solution

How to Improve all local housing markets across England and Wales

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

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

Constructive comments are very much welcomed.

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

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 House Price Solution (otherwise known as The Hendry Solution). This would not cost much to implement and would bring massive benefits to all local marketplaces.

The House Price Solution

How to Improve all local housing markets across England and Wales

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

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

Constructive comments are very much welcomed.

Simply building more houses can’t solve the housing crisis

Obviously we need to get more houses built, both for rent and to buy but developing this as a strategy for calming the housing market is not going to remedy the prices uplift which we have recently experienced. It cannot do that simply because building more can’t achieve anything for as long as the considerable time it would take to actually complete the building of the extra housing required.

The market itself is in need of intervention and this does require the involvement of government. A government that can put effective policies into practice faster than the simple but over-quoted ‘build more’ idea.

My solution is to overhaul the way in which houses are marketed, both for sale and to let by changing the way agents themselves operate.

A more market friendly method is required so that house prices can be attuned more towards peoples ability to pay, with less of the speculative pricing by agents, whom currently act only for the vendor legally. It is this which requires urgent attention.

A more transparent housing market would not only take the froth out of asking prices but would have the added effect of calming rent levels too. For more information please go to the link below:

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 House Price Solution. This would not cost much to implement and would bring massive benefits to all local marketplaces.

The House Price Solution

How to Improve all local housing markets across England and Wales

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

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

Constructive comments are very much welcomed.