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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 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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