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Paul Barrett
Paul Barrett
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About Me

my expertise in the industry

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Paul Barrett

From: Paul Barrett 28 August 2020 18:48 PM

Paul Barrett
Yep it is obvious why there has been the imperative to reside near London for the daily commute. I believe EA have a fantastic opportunity to entice Londoners and their money to areas they previously wouldn't have considered. As you suggest there are many better areas and considerably cheaper. Bizarrely I believe that this CV19 crisis will be a fantastic opportunity for EA to assist what is effectively 'white flight'. Very few in diverse areas will wish to move out of their communities. But for 'white flight' there are many opportunities for EA to assist this flight to far better circumstances than they currently have. Once the supposed imperative to live with Tube distance has been eradicated then opportunity to move to the areas you suggest with a far better quality of life is easily achieved. I believe CV19 will be the catalyst for the biggest mass movement out of London for decades. WFH is a major change. Office workers have supported the London housing market since the war. Now providing a train can get you to Central London within about 1.30 hrs then I believe that will drive coastal property prices up. There is simply no way that office workers will return in the numbers they previously were. The proverbial genie is out of the bottle. Companies have seen they don't need expensive London offices. I believe we will see an upsurge in property values 1.30 hrs away from Central London. Norfolk; Suffolk, Kent; Essex, Sussex coastal areas will see an increase in property values. This will be very good news fo these coastal areas that have suffered economically. I believe EA are well placed to entice OO out of London to the delights of coastal areas not far from London. 1.30 hrs train journey is nothing. It used to take me 50 mins by Tube to travel 15 miles to Central London. If one chooses a end of the line coastal location like Margate you will always get a seat in the morning!! I believe the traditional EA perspective of all London property expensive and all outside London cheaper will change. Remember in those coastal areas that was where the London well to do of London went to get away from stinking London and so many mansion type properties were built. We are sort of having this again facilitated by WFH possibilities. Essentially there is no need to be near 'stinking' London anymore. Enlightened EA will do well to push the delights of areas away from London with far bigger and cheaper properties. It is welcome that London wealth will be exported to outlying areas from London especially east of London where properties are cheaper than the Shires. Value is to be found in outlying areas to the coast East and South of London. Bizarrely out of this CV19 crisis there will be a significant potential increase in business for EA.

From: Paul Barrett 07 August 2020 02:15 AM

Paul Barrett

From: Paul Barrett 19 June 2020 17:26 PM

Paul Barrett
So instead of NO DSS Just have Subject to status The status of a HB claimant simply won't be acceptable to LL. Those in receipt of HB are not part of the protected characteristics for discrimination. It also shows you how clueless these ministers are are. This particular idiot clearly hasn't heard of the risks of direct payment of HB. Clearly he doesn't understand the concept of 'clawback' There is simply NO WAY I would EVER accept direct payment unless I was evicting a HB tenant. When you have clueless idiots like this minister pontificating how LL may cope with DSS tenants it just proves how unaware ministers are of all things PRS. If this idiot minister reads this thread I'll tell him how he could ensure LL would be prepared to take on HB tenants. CHANGE THE EVICTION PROCESS FOR RENT DEFAULTING TENANTS!! So very simply facilitate a fast track eviction proves without any need to use a court process. So after 2 months of rent default which would be usually one month and one day if rent paid monthly in advance the tenants to be removed the 2nd day by Police if they refuse to comply with the LL instruction to vacate. Magically you would then find LL prepared to take on HB tenants. This very fast track eviction process would ONLY apply for rent defaulting tenants. The remaining S8 process may be used for all other eviction reasons. However de facto most evictions would end up being fast track as the first thing tenants do when given NTQ is to stop paying the rent. Until there is a fast track eviction process LL will continue to refuse to accept HB tenants. No Govt can force any LL to take on HB tenants. So personally I would be fielding enquiries from DSS tenants who I would reject as soon as they advised rent would be paid by HB. I will also be refusing to let to anyone in the hospitality industries as they have proven to be feckless and have stopped paying rent. So again such hospitality workers won't meet my status requirements. I am just about to get rid of some Ryanair cabincrew and am replacing them with Stansted security staff who are paid regardless. The ability of tenants to pay rent is the only status I'm interested in. There have proven to be many tenants who are feckless and have made no provision to meet their normal monthly costs in the event of sudden income loss. I won't have anything to do with these tenant types. Subject to Status will be the replacement phrase to mean NO DSS

From: Paul Barrett 02 June 2020 20:59 PM

Paul Barrett
I'm afraid that for many EA jobs they are effectively in zombie employment. When furloughing ends there will be mass redundancies in the EA industry. This has been a long time coming. There are simply too many EA and LA for the property industry as a whole. There needs to be considerable consolidation. For those savvy EA/LA that are prepared to consider and have been engaging in differing ways of operating they will prosper. There is also of course the professional qualification requirements for EA/LA. But overall there needs to be far fewer industry participants. This will of course be very painful for those that find their roles redundant. It won't be their fault. But it won't be anything personal it is just business. This CV19 issue is of course that proverbial black swan event. It will though ultimately leave the industry a far leaner; meaner and PROFITABLE industry. Surely no bad thing!? This CV19 will be a catalyst for substantial changes in the UK economy. The EA/LA industry will be no different. A bit like in wartime when things that would usually take years to achieve are done so in months. The EA/LA will behave the same way. Changes in the industry will be fast tracked such will be the imperatives to do so Substantial homeworking is possible in the industry and will surely protect a business from inevitably future pandemic circumstances. New ways of working will be required and certainly this is not something to be sacred of. Rather it could bring new opportunities for those prepared to adopt new methods of working. So rather than doom and gloom even in light of a depressed market for those EA etc prepared to do things differently they will survive. But doing things the same old way is for the past. EA adapt or die!

From: Paul Barrett 13 May 2020 18:13 PM

Paul Barrett
Unfortunately your excellent suggestions don't factor in to what the Tories consider are political imperatives. They still for some bizarre reason believe they need to appease GR by virtue signalling with ridiculous policies which damage whole sectors of economic activity in the property market. They seriously believe these GR snowflakes will vote Tory if somehow LL are eradicated. I don't know if any Tory politician has ever engaged with a GR snowflake but if they had they would surely have been disabused of the idea the the Tory would receive a GR snowflake vote. It will Never happen so why do the dopey Tories persist in having policies which damage income generating activity. It defies all logic. I never believed that the Tories would prove to be so politically illiterate. But this is what we currently have. I believe it is more a generational divide. There aren't many young Tories. No surprise therefore how little the Tories understand GR who are naturally Labour voters. It is the former traditional Labour voters that are now the Tory voters. The Tories need to free up the mortgage market by getting rid of MMR and allowing long- term IO mortgages with NO repayment vehicle required beyond that of just selling the property. I just don't believe the Tories are sophisticated enough in political intellect to realise they need to abolish policies like S24 and SDLT surcharges. But the Tories are so stupid they won't do any of this. Consequently the property market in general will remain moribund for many years.

From: Paul Barrett 25 April 2020 01:41 AM

Paul Barrett
As you suggest the simple act of purchasing a property has so many attendant benefits for the general economy. Govt has failed to realise this. Govt needs to get the property market moving. The ONLY way this will be achieved is to drop the majority of the MMR. All SDLT should be suspended for at least the next 5 years for any purchase up to £500000. IO residential mortgages with terms as a standard from age 18 to 90 with NO repayment vehicle required beyond that of selling the property to repay the mortgage. Also tracker IO mortgages at no more than 2% ABBR. Also to allow such IO residential mortgages to be up to 95% LTV. These changes would allow many tenants to buy properties. Many would also be able to miss out being a tenant and buy. They could afford to buy and if they wished they could take on lodgers and rent where they need to be. But at least they could get on the housing ladder and by taking in lodgers they wouldn't be subject to the new CGT regulations. By visiting their home at least once per month to comply with residential insurance conditions the live-in LL would not be subject to tenancy regulations and could easily get rid of feckless rent defaulting lodgers. Of course it would mean mostly unrelated sharers and definitely no DSS lodgers. At least 4 lodgers could be housed in a homeowner's property without requiring a Mandatory HMO licence. Residential homeowners should be allowed the facility of IO mortgages. If it is good enough for LL then it should be for homeowners. With LL restricted to usually 75% LTV this will give a competitive advantage to aspirant homeowners. The demand is out there from homebuyers. It is just the ridiculous MMR which is preventing aspirant homeowners from buying.

From: Paul Barrett 21 April 2020 19:02 PM

Paul Barrett
You are of course TOTALLY correct. But when faced with potential destruction of what was a perfectly viable business before the goalposts were moved retrospectively............S24 etc a LL has little alternative than to turn to fraud! Very few freeholders; lenders, insurers, Councils would ever find out previously AST let property is now short-term accommodation. Given the choice of gaming the system or being put out of business by bonkers Govt policies I know what I would do! Needs must and all that. Of course commiting fraud could result if a lender finds out on the LL being blacklisted on the National Hunter system. So any LL on that can kiss goodbye to any future mortgages. They would probably also call in the loan. Insurers if they find out will blacklist the LL; cancel the insurance and the LL would struggle to ever obtain insurance of any type. If they did it would at a vastly increased premium. Councils could sanction a LL from required Licencing though I'm not totally sure about all the things Councils can do against a LL not meeting Council requirements for short-term letting. But I bet such Council actions would be very expensive for the LL. A Freeholder could cancel the lease and require it to be sold. There are so many potential ramifications for LL committing fraud with such short-term lettings that it doesn't bear thinking about! However very few LL will ever be found out even though they will be letting fraudulently and uninsured short-term accommodation. LL engaging in this fraudulent activity must be aware of what they are doing and bear the consequences if they are ever sussed out. Imagine a worse case scenario. A fire occurs in a flat being let for short-term accommodation. The block of flats burns down killing all occupants. The LL will be declined on the insurance for his flat that started the fire. Block insurance will probably cover to rebuild the block. The LL will probably get done for manslaughter and legal action for recovery of all their costs by the insurer. I appreciate this is an extreme scenario but this what could occur as LL play fast and loose with terms and conditions. I would bet that there wouldn't be many LL affected if they game the system. As long as nothing bad happens nobody will know. Lenders in particular which much prefer the mortgage to be paid by whatever means. As long as they AREN'T made aware of what the LL is doing then everyone can say they didn't know. So lenders don't bother checking short-term listings to ascertain if any of their borrowers are breaching mortgage conditions. The whole situation is very much a case of letting sleeping dogs lie. But if Shelter and GR get the bit between their teeth they could play merry havoc with short-term LL and for once Shelter and GR would be totally correct about the fraudulent nature of substantial amounts of short-term lettings. If LL want to do short-term letting then they need to ensure they are fully compliant with all aspects of that letting. I know of NO freeholder in the UK that permits short-term letting. I guess there might be some but they would surely be few and far between! LL gaming the system with short-term letting due to the need to sustain their business need to be aware that they are essentially gambling they won't be caught out!! If a LL is caught then he has no one else to blame apart from himself. Though I would like to blame that idiot Osborne for all the grief and financial suffering he has caused with his bonkers anti-LL policies. I don't blame LL at all for responding the way they have. The blame for the sudden increase in short-term letting is TOTALLY the fault of dopey Osborne!!

From: Paul Barrett 09 March 2020 02:32 AM

Paul Barrett

From: Paul Barrett 26 February 2020 00:25 AM

Paul Barrett
Housing is far and away the MOST IMPORTANT ISSUE for any elector. Everything that anyone does in the economy is principally designed to resolve accommodation circumstances. Housing should merit a Cabinet position. It should be the no 1 priority for the Govt. When an electorate is housed lots of other things feed off that to produce economic activity. If you are homeless then pretty much every avenue to economic activity is closed off to you. If you can't access affordable accommodation then attempting economic activity is pretty much impossible. Affordable housing is an economic facilitator something the Tories just DON'T seem to understand. If they did they wouldn't attack the mortgaged sole trader LL who currently provides about 25% of the PRS. That 25% needs the mortgaged sole trader LL as no way will BTR providers be able to supply that 25% of the market anytime soon. Post-war Govts recognised the importance of housing and both political parties competed with eachother to produce housing for the masses. Electorally it was very advantageous to be seen to producing housing. We need a return to those days of housing being the most important thing bar security that the Govt needs to facilitate by whatever means. Mobilising the private capital of many people to facilitate mass housing for those unable to achieve this themselves you would have thought would be welcomed by Govt. After all it means Govt doesn't have to provide the private capital to house those millions. Yet despite the logic of these things Govt seems determined to destroy a LL demographic that has done so much to address the housing problems in the UK. Much of these problems have been caused by bonkers Govt policies. It seems this Govt intends to carry on being bonkers over housing policies. That does no good for the overall economy at all.

From: Paul Barrett 13 February 2020 15:08 PM

Paul Barrett
I don't believe you EA have fully understood how FB works. Those wishing to sell don't need to list with ANY EA. They just privately list!! As indeed I will be doing when I sell up soon. Yes it means me being my own EA. I'm sure I'll cope! Especially as I and the buyer WON'T have any large fees to pay if any. I have only recently become aware of the efficacy of FB . It has the capacity to undermine the likes of eBay and RM etc. A free online marketplace means no need for the existing industry players. FB marketplace will make you obsolete. I've noted there are far more FB listings for vehicles than the usual media. Vendors can list for free and do to the point that it isn't worth bothering with the usual media outlets. Exchange and Mart business model is dead with Free FB listings. I didn't even realise there was such a thing as FB marketplace until recently when I finally joined FB and that was just to buy a van. FB marketplace has the ability to completely undermine standard business models with EA being one of many victims of it. The nirvana for private property sellers is to be able to list for free on a platform that everyone uses. RM ISN'T available but FB is!! If I can list for FREE to sell stuff INCLUDING my property why would I bother paying vast commissions for somebody else to do so!!?? I'm just about to buy a shed on FB. From a retailer for a very good price and better than anywhere else. Direct from factory I believe. The days of the middleman may well be numbered due to FB!!

From: Paul Barrett 26 November 2019 10:37 AM

Paul Barrett
There is no contracting market. Just people AREN'T putting their properties up for sale. LL bring forced to sell up won't increase demand. There are already too many properties for sale but nobody is buying for a wide variety of reasons. Forcing LL to sell up does not increase demand. Your weird idea that LL buying restricts the availability of property for sale is just too bizarre for words!! There has always been a surplus of properties to buy. LL only bought them as very few FTB were interested in buying the stock that LL were prepared to buy. GR wants everything perfect at the outset. The concept of picking up a paintbrush or stripping wallpaper is an alien concept for the little GR darlings. LL however are more realistic and able to see property potential and are prepared to put in the sweat equity to restore a property to a proper value. GR ISN'T interested in doing hard work. This is not how it used to be. It was essentially a rite of passage that when starting out as a homeowner you bought a fixer- upper and fixed it. Then you moved to a larger property and doso on. GR would far rather move into some crappy new-build with a massive loss of value the day they move in and also owe Govt massive debts on the HTB scheme. The concept of organic growth based on a homeowners hard work input completely escapes GR. LL have effectively been the FTB of old. With no FTB prepared to buy it has been left to LL to fix the fixer-uppers!! It is not the fault of LL that FTB have declined to buy properties available to all on the open market.

From: Paul Barrett 01 October 2019 02:10 AM

Paul Barrett

From: Paul Barrett 13 September 2019 12:31 PM

Paul Barrett
As a potential seller and buyer let me give you the only low down that you need. If a property is not on RM OTM Zoopla Then to me it DOESN'T exist. I simply DON'T have time to go traipsing round EA offices. So the first thing you EA need to do is just put your properties on at least one of the three websites I have mentioned. There are a few other of the upstart websites I might check as well but as far as I am concerned the property doesn't exist if not on one of the 3 principal property portals. It DOESN'T matter what your EA office is like. It could be a room in a house. I simply don't care. Having an expensive High St office would not attract me at all. First thing I would do is check the websites. Now I appreciate I may miss out on deals that might only be with a particular EA who for whatever reason DOESN'T advertise it on the property portals. That would be a strange thing to do as far as a vendor would be concerned. Most vendors would want their property on at least one of the main property portals to ensure maximum marketisation. EA are simply a commodity to me. No amount of flash offices and cars will impress me. But an excellent online display of the property details with an ideal video fly around inside and out would be something that would attract me to an offering. So I suggest you all get rid of your expensive High St offices...............they simply aren't needed. You don't need footfall. That comes via the internet. I suggest you combine with insurers; letting agents. Mortgage brokers etc to offer an effective one stop shop all at one venue. This will sweat the value out of expensive High St presences. EA do not need expensive shop windows anymore. Such windows are just a commodity now and definitely not worth the cost of having them as Most EA are currently constructed.

From: Paul Barrett 05 September 2019 00:21 AM

Paul Barrett
Yet again we have the stupid London centric media espousing views that are really only shared by a very small metropolitan elite. Essentially GR who are the whingers that they can't afford to buy near mummy and daddy in the SE. This situation had been caused by mass uncontrolled immigration along with insufficient housing being built. The result of this is that London and it's near surrounds has become very expensive. Should whiney GR wish they can easily afford to buy even in the SE. Just they won't be able to afford the near shires to London. London is not representative of the UK property market. Indeed so distorted is it by foreign money that really it should be removed from all national statistics. Then you will see the true situation which is as has been mentioned that property is eminently affordable. I'll give you an example. A few years ago a terraced property in Walthamstow was about £260000. Now it is £450000. That same terrace house in Southend is £260000 It takes a similar time to commute from Southend to London as it does from Walthamstow. So it is perfectly possible for a GR FTB to buy in Southend but possibly not in Walthamstow. Why should any GR FTB believe they should have the right to afford to live in Walthamstow!? The facts are that GR refuses to accept that there are many areas just too expensive for them to afford to buy.............................were it ever thus. So GR needs to consider cheaper areas. Property is still eminently affordable providing you can be bothered to save a decent deposit and live like a church mouse to put yourself in the best position to buy. But GR doesn't do this. They want it all now and refuse to save and reduce their lifestyle expenditure. Well that will just lead to them remaining tenants. Life is all about choices and GR makes the wrong choices if they are aspiring FTB. There needs to be some realism injected into the fantasy lives of GR if they ever hope to become property owners. The trouble is GR is causing much damage to the PRS and consequently the property market. LL are leaving the market which means fewer properties being built and far fewer rental properties. Govt must stop pandering to GR. GR is causing massive damage to the UK economy. They should be ignored.

From: Paul Barrett 13 August 2019 15:30 PM

Paul Barrett
The waterbed effect. The numbers in TA as a result of LL being forced to sell up have exponentially increased costing the Govt far more in additional TA rent costs. Plus once the LL property is sold there is a permanent loss of revenue as very few LL sell to other LL. Govt would find it is actually costing far more in lost revenue than one off CGT receipts. But then the Treasury DOESN'T consider actual economic effects of it's bonkers pernicious policies like S24 and CGT etc. Once all the CGT has been taken from LL forced to sell up or downsize there will not be anymore CGT coming for decades. It will probably take 40 years for CG to increase to the amount it has over the past 30 years. This CGT scam is a one windfall. Govt will not have such a honeypot to raid in the future. The PRS simply won't be of a size where Govt can steal such taxes if they can manage to force LL to sell up. It is simply not worth being s leveraged sole trader LL anymore. Personally I will be making 14 tenants homeless as I sell up and I won't be selling to a LL. I want top retail price! Govt seems hellbent on destroying the PRS and as the Irish Govt have discovered after their about turn on their disastrous S24 equivalent trying to persuade LL to return to the PRS is far from easy. This is why there is currently a housing crisis in Ireland. There is simply insufficient rental properties caused by the idiotic Govt policies of taxing LL turnover rather than profits. This with the Irish S24 NOT being retrospective still devastated the Irish PRS Much worse will be occurring in the UK PRS where S24 IS retrospective!

From: Paul Barrett 07 August 2019 11:54 AM

Paul Barrett

From: Paul Barrett 13 July 2019 10:25 AM

Paul Barrett
All very insightful posts etc. Consolidation is required. Also there needs to be barriers to entry to become EA and LA. The industry can really do without the Johnny come latelies who just jump on the bandwagon of rising markets. We need qualified EA and LA not a load of flash Harry's! The direction of travel in sales and lettings markets is for fewer transactions caused by Govt meddling. This is unlikely to change as housing has now assumed a political importance which hasn't been the case for decades. Due to demographic changes mostly caused by past Labour Govts housing is now a rather live political issue. Kicking LL now appears to have become a political football. It seems to LL that politicians believe they can kick LL around as much as they like with impunity. I suggest they are in for a rather rude awakening. Many leveraged LL do not need to be LL. Continually kicking them will result at some point in them determining enough is enough and they will exit the PRS or substantially reduce their exposure to it. As regards housing transactions more homeowners who would have once moved are now just improving. Whilst that might be good news for jobbing builders it does not produce the more beneficial economic activity of people moving houses. The sales and lettings market must accept that in future there will be fewer transactions and therefore need to downsize EA and LA. There simply ISN'T the market to support the current incumbents as so cogently stated by the lead article writer. We are I believe already starting to see a cull of EA and LA but this process has only just started. There is a lot further to go!!!

From: Paul Barrett 06 July 2019 17:07 PM

Paul Barrett
The ability to vote is there for all who qualify. If they can't be bothered to vote then that is their lookout. In Australia they have True democracy. Everyone is forced to vote! If the same occurred in the UK you would have a radical difference in politics. But we are where we are so it matters not that only 37% bothered to vote. More than 50% of that vote was for leave. Cambridge Analytica didn't influence the vote at all. Neither did the millions spent by either side. I wanted to leave the EU when idiot Blair flung open the borders to the A8 countries I got my chance to reject that policy years later in the referendum. No amount of campaign monies or anything else influenced my vote. Blair decided my vote years earlier. Rubbing the right's nose into diversity was Blair's stated aim. Well the British have rejected that. Had free movement been stopped I doubt the leave vote would have won. But the political elite refused to engage with the views of the common man and have received bloody noses as a consequence. I very much doubt whether there will ever be another referendum again as the results aren't usually what the elite want! As for RTB an appalling and destructive policy. Why should my taxes go to support feckless Council tenants to buy their properties at a massive discount!? Social housing is there for a reason. If council tenants want to buy then they should receive no advantage over other buyers. Let them buy on the open market. Let them buy their council home at FULL market value with no assistance whatsoever from Govt or Council. I don't want my taxes subsidising feckless council tenants to achieve ownership. Govt should reintroduce MIRAS for all properties under £350000 index linked. It should allow IO mortgages til 90 at 95%LTV. That would go some way to achieving homeownership for all. We also need to see mortgages being paid by HB when a person is unemployed. With IO only resi mortgages this would be cheaper than bankrupting the unemployed homeowner who would inevitably be made homeless requiring HB etc etc.

From: Paul Barrett 02 July 2019 09:10 AM

Paul Barrett
LL are slowly selling off So will about 300000 accidental LL before the 2020 deadline for new CGT regulations. Any other what you could call normal business will be lower every month compared to last year. Few can afford to buy or sell. So it is only the effective 'distressed' LL that are having to sell to avoid S24; S21 ban etc etc plus if course those accidental LL caught out by the new CGT regulations. Crafty old Chancellor has worked out a way to effectively force 300000 homes to be put on the market. The fact that in doing so it will cause about 1 million homeless tenants doesn't concern him in the slightest. In his mind it gets rid of 300000 LL or forces them to re-occupy their homes to avoid large CGT bills though I'm not sure this tactic will reduce CGT past the 2020 deadline. Still causes mass homelessness. For years illegal letting with residential mortgages without CTL has been a substantial part of the PRS. Well the CGT bill in 2020 will make it pointless. Any rent received will be paid to HMRC for CGT. So EA might be kept busy with these aberrant 'distressed' sales but once they are gone the market will fall flat on its face. Nothing will be happening BrExit or otherwise! Gonna be some tough times for LA and EA but then I can remember the overwhelming support that EA and LA gave to mortgaged sole traders during the JR for S24...................................NOT!!!!! So us LL don't give a a monies for the poor old EA and LA. Reap what you sow but you won't be getting much LL business I can assure you!!!

From: Paul Barrett 24 June 2019 15:19 PM

Paul Barrett
Only because the portals refuse to accept individual private listings do EA stay in business. It should be perfectly possible for a portal to make money out of listing properties for free or very cheaply. How many vendors or purchasers would bother with EA if private listings were facilitated by the major web portals!? Google must surely come up with something like this. That would wipe out the EA industry. But I reckon it would mutate where vendors who listed privately instructed an EA consultant to manage all aspects of a purchase with a FEE not commission being paid. Of course many private listings wouldn't bother using an EA Consultant. I believe Google did try this private listings malarkey but were knocked back due to something about EA Law. But never say never. Just imagine a free or cheap permanent listing until sold for say £50. Most vendors are forced to use EA as cheap continuous private listings aren't available.........................................yet!! But there are a few LA out there that have devised a business model which doesn't involve charging their LL clients anymore in charges to make up for lost tenant fee income. I'm sure EA could adapt and survive even without listing and sale commission. But as it stands RM and Zoopla are the only game in town. They know it and charge accordingly. But if Govt allowed private listing that would transform the EA industry with many vendors doing it all themselves. Most cars are sold by free listing. Few use dealers. Property will go that way eventually.

From: Paul Barrett 18 June 2019 11:11 AM

Paul Barrett
Steve mate, I just can't take the risk. I am at a time of life where I have no real time remaining to recover from a Labour Govt once they have done their worst in a 5 year term. I'm not religious so praying won't do it for me! What is that they say about Failing to plan is planning to fail!!! So I need to get out of the AST PRS and hope to Christ the looney Corbyn or his successors don't introduce CGT on PPR. The temptation to do so would be massive. After all would all those tenant and homeowner votes go elsewhere just because homeowners are taxed more!? Can't see any non-homeowner being the slightest bit concerned. Many of them may aspire to be homeowners but few can afford where they want to be. Hitting the property owning classes in general is a very attractive proposition as far as a Marxist is concerned. After all ALL property is theft!!!! Mansion taxes etc etc; anything to make property owners as poor as tenants. Not as though it would be electorally damaging. Few Labour voters own property. The votes are where tenants are. Property owners should be fully cognisant of the damage a Labour Govt can do to their property wealth. Mind you there isn't much you can do about it as property tends not to move around much. I consider those that have sold up and are currently renting and watching and waiting are being very shrewd. The rest of are stuck like a stuck pig waiting to be slaughtered by the Marxists. I should imagine the banks are a bit nervous as well. The effects on their mortgage loan book values could be very detrimental and then we are in CC territory. Brexit is simply not a problem. Corbyn on the other hand just doesn't bear thinking about!!!! I don't believe the UK has ever faced the prospect of such a radical Govt. Property rights have been considered as fairly sacrosanct since the war by all Govts. Well Corbyn won't have any qualms about going for the property owning classes. You couldn't blame him....................it is after all where the money is especially in the SE. Not many vote Labour in the SE so he hasn't much to lose by stripping wealth from the SE property owning classes.

From: Paul Barrett 29 May 2019 16:08 PM

Paul Barrett
What a load of twaddle you talk. Houses have always been investment vehicles. All of my homes were something that I considered and hoped would increase in value. It was just an investment that I could live in. I struggled to achieve the Residential property. It was always a vehicle to make PROFIT on with a view to pulling out equity and investing in a BTL property. It is just tough s### if whiney GR can't afford to buy near mummy and daddy. They will have to buy where they can afford which for most of them will be nowhere near mummy and daddy. When a country has faced MASS UNCONTROLLED IMMIGRATION for over a decade of millions most of whom want to live in the SE it is no surprise with such demand that property prices have increased as much as they have in the SE. Move out of the SE and there are thousands of affordable properties to buy. Just snobby GR refuses to accept they can't afford where they wish to reside. Welcome to the real world idiot GR. You have some very stange views as an EA. Perhaps you should work for a Social Housing provider as you seem to bizarrely imagine that residential property is not used to make PROFIT. Most homeowners aspire to use residential profits to achieve things. Usually to buy a larger property. To imagine that homeowners consider their residential property as just a home is for the birds! Most of us want profit out of how homes to do with as we wish. Of course lots of homeowners are content to leave their profit alone. That is their choice. Residential borrowing is the cheapest money you can obtain. As such this cheap money can be so useful for many things. I ALWAYS invested in a residential property or home with a view to making PROFIT and I achieved this objective and utilised it. Homes are PROFIT centres. It is just unfortunate that many can't afford to invest in a home in an area they prefer...........TOUGH!!! Welcome to the real world. There are plenty of affordable properties in the UK for sale but perhaps just not in the areas that are affordable. Well boo hoo!! I'd like to live on Park Lane...............but you know what I can't afford it so live sonewhere that I can afford. It is a simple fact that there are too many people in the SE wanting affordable property. With inadequate housing supply to meet demand this is purely incompatible with affordable prices.

From: Paul Barrett 25 May 2019 10:57 AM

Paul Barrett
@jamesrobinson Yep totally agree that it is not a good idea to deter those rich from buying property in the UK. The normal taxpayer doesn't give a stuff if the rich buy in London. It is recognised that it is a market for the rich. Nothing wrong with that. The rich will always be the only ones buying Central London Property. They provide an awful lot of work for those who service their needs from the EA to the plumber! Indeed if I am to coin a phrase phrase I am incredibly relaxed about the filthy rich. Penal SDLT to deter the rich is bad for the economy in general. To say that building lots of expensive apartments in London is wrong when there are lots of London homeless is a ludicrous statement. Developers won't bother building social housing on prime London land. Indeed the homeless should not be housed in London. They should be deported up North where there is a surplus of rental housing and also housing for sale. Naturally I am extremely envious of the rich as unfortunately I'm not one of them!!! But fairly taxed rich are needed. The penal additional SDLT for the rich is simply unfair on the rich. Even they have their tipping point at which they refuse to buy. I don't blame the rich at all for not wishing to pay ridiculous amounts of SDLT. It is a well known fact that the less a tax is the more it rakes in. So reducing SDLT will actually get the property market moving again and will benefit everyone especially HMRC who will receive more SDLT at lower rates than what they are receiving at higher rates. London is an international city. We certainly don't want the feckless HB tenants being paid to stay in London. I would clear the London homeless and deport them up North. HB is far cheaper there and everyone could be housed. But the rich will remain distanced from the London market while the ridiculous penal SDLT rates persist.

From: Paul Barrett 22 May 2019 11:03 AM

Paul Barrett
Rent controls would simply be evaded. LL would withdraw their properties from LA and self-manage You can hardly expect LA to collect the brown envelope with the top-up cash to pay the true rent! It will be a pain but LL would have to collect their own rent. Cash is how most rents would be paid. HMRC would lose billions in taxes as no LL would ever declare rent in excess of the controlled rent. A massive black market would arise with both LL and tenant complicit. Tenants would not have any choice if they wanted to rent a property. This process already happens in Stockholm. Of course with rent controls no lender can lend on the basis of actual rents being achieved even if illegally. Nope lenders would have to base loan offers on controlled rent levels. Which means lower loan offers. Which means lower prices. Which means negative equity. Which means price crash. Which means run on the banks. Which means a CC ............again. Which means many bankruptcies exacerbated by S24. It is the value of credit advanced that sustains BTL property prices. Few LL could come up with the additional deposit required to make up for a lower lender offer. Portfolio LL might be put in a situation where because property prices reduce the lender demands more cash to reduce LTV. So again more bankruptcies. Lenders will become de facto LL like the last time. They eventually managed to sell their repossessed properties but of course there were no rent controls so lenders could offer what LL needed to buy the repo properties. HMRC would take a massive hit in tax income as many leveraged LL would not be making any profit though of course those cash rich LL would continue but with a reduction in income. After all if you are a cash rich LL and your income per property is reduced by £400 per month you still stay in business. Just means a slight cutback in domestic lifestyle. However for a leveraged LL such income reduction would result in bankruptcy Rent controls would be an unmitigated disaster for the UK economy. Of course as has been mentioned a lot of homeless tenants will result from rent control.

From: Paul Barrett 11 May 2019 17:22 PM

Paul Barrett
If Countrywide cannot make a go of these offices one presumes it matters not who is running them the business isn't there. I wouldn't imagine these closing offices were incompetent. Surely just a case of prevailing market conditions rendering the offices unprofitable or rather not profitable enough. Seems a shame that the presumably well trained staff are to have their jobs made redundant due to market conditions and not any fault of theirs. Could these trained staff members be redeployed within the Corporate Countrywide entity!? It makes sense to hang onto experienced staff. But I do believe as things progress many LA and EA will find themselves distinctly unclothed when the tide goes out. What's the standard phrase commonly used when a major industry has to undergo massive rationalisation? This process is not unique to the EA/LA sector. Other industries are going through the same downsizing process. Supermarkets being the classic example. So I don't believe these Countrywide offices are closing through lack of competence. It is just the market isn't there to support these offices. There are simply too many EA/LA chasing too little business which is only going to get worse. Surely closing and opening offices is just the natural cycle of things as the market goes up and down!? Not nice of course when you are caught personally in the down bit! But ebb and flow is just capitalism working. I'm sure these Countrywide Staff members will be able to use their skills in other areas or probably with other EA/LA. One wishes them well

From: Paul Barrett 11 May 2019 08:21 AM

Paul Barrett
The effects of SDLT should not be underestimated. Most people move to a bigger property. Well the SDLT could pay for a loft extension thereby facilitating the bigger property desired. SDLT as currently levied is a severe impediment to moving. Affordability is a major issue as MMR has since been introduced and borrowers under the old criteria cannot achieve the mortgage they require to move. It is largely Govt policy that is causing the logjam. BrExit has nothing to do with it. Things were like this way before BrExit. Abolishing the SDLT surcharge should occur immediately. Reform or even abolishment of SDLT should occur. A flat rate charge for ALL properties no matter what the value should occur. Say £2000 per sale. Doing this would cause mass selling and buying with the result that the Govt might even receive more SDLT into Treasury coffers than is currently the case. I believe that in the Spring Statement that due to the reduction in Corporation tax more tax has been received than when it was a higher rate. I know the lefty idiots can never work this out but the fewer taxes you charge the more actual tax you receive. Low taxes promote more economic activity and consequently generate more tax receipts. As for BrExit the UK voted to leave the EU protectionist racket which was designed to keep French peasants working and Germans to sell their expensive goods. That is why we had those stupid butter mountains and wine lakes. The last thing the EU wants is to expose itself to the world economy. Doing so would bankrupt the EU which is simply not viable without restrictive trade barriers in place. It would result in even more unemployment in the EU. The UK is better off out of the EU. By the way the figure on the side of the coach was an example of what the EU contribution monies could be spent on. The point being it would be the UK Govt that decided what the monies were spent on NOT the EU. No Deal is the better option. We managed perfectly well before the Common Market. The EU still wants to trade with the UK and vice versa. It DOESN'T pay for either party to make trade difficult for eachother.

From: Paul Barrett 16 March 2019 19:28 PM

Paul Barrett
It does seem that despite the belief of many that the local EA has proven to be a very resilient business model. The online offerings seem to have burned through an awful lot of unproductive cash. It does seem that the local EA with superior knowledge of that local market than any online EA could achieve has proven to be a stable and workable business model. Strange that LA aren't in the same position. But it does look like the commission based sales model appears to be the most effective business model. So perhaps the much mooted death of the traditional High St EA is far from the case. It is more like the death of the online EA is more likely. I'm sure that if the amount of money that has been thrown at online EA startups had been invested in tradtional EA they would have made a profit!!! It appears the normal EA will remain in rude health as vendors still seem to prefer the commision based sales model. EA are competitive with eachother and this seems to arrive at an average commission of 1 to 2 %. Perhaps this commission is now just something that vendors need to accept will have be paid to guarantee a successful sale. But for EA fearful of being put out of business by online offerings I think they can relax. Google and Tesco tried to start online offerings but were slapped down as not being compliant. EA to further establish their professional credentials would do well to become as professional as they can. This includes all staff achieving professional qualifications. As local EA they seem to still be the most effective way for anyone to sell a property.

From: Paul Barrett 14 March 2019 12:30 PM

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