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By Nat Daniels

CEO, Angels Media


Property Natter - Damned if you do and damned if you don't


It's not often that I have sympathy for our glorious leaders – those who set the rules by which we all live.

But I have to admit that I was moved to consider, over the last week or two, whether these people can’t do right for doing wrong.


Take Jeremy Hunt, for instance. His ‘Steady as she goes’ Budget went down pretty well in general terms. But because he did nothing directly to boost the housing sector, industry commentators accused him of giving them the ‘cold shoulder’ and described it as ‘a missed opportunity.’

But consider this, maybe Mr Hunt thought that the housing industry was perfectly capable of looking after itself and didn’t need any help from him, thanks very much. And perhaps he was reflecting on the last time a Chancellor did something radical – his predecessor, in fact. Say what you like, but Kwasi Kwarteng definitely did something. And look what happened.

Contrast this with this week’s interest rate rise announcement. As widely predicted, the Monetary Policy Committee of the Bank of England met on Thursday and put the base rate up by a further 0.25%, (for the 11th consecutive time!) to 4.25%. Why? Because it’s the most effective weapon they have against inflation and everyone was caught on the hop by the fact that it rose again in February to 10.7%.

In this case, unlike that of Mr Hunt, the MPC saw a problem (inflation) and tried to solve it by doing something (putting up rates).

Were they congratulated for their decisive measures?

Judge for yourself. Here’s a comment from David Alexander, CEO of DJ Alexander Scotland Ltd – part of the Lomond Group.

“I believe that the Bank of England has been too interventionist over the last year and have sought to micro-manage the economy in a way which simply doesn’t work. A little less action on rates and a bit more conversation explaining the benefits of rate stability would be more beneficial for the economy and the consumer.”

There you have it. You’re damned if you do and you’re damned if you don’t!

Just for the record and in case you missed it….according to Rightmove’s latest survey, average house prices have risen by nearly £3000 this month despite the gloom-mongers’ predictions.

Even with the flatlining economy and high mortgage rates, the average home is on the market for £365,357 in March – up 0.8% on last month. We’re more resilient than we sometimes think.

Winner number 1.

Warmest congratulations this week to our friends at AVRillo Conveyancing. The team there picked up the Law Firm Innovator of the Year prize at the British Conveyancing Awards ‘do’ at 8 Northumberland Avenue hosted by BBC news presenter, Samira Ahmed.

AVRillo’s entry, their Sale Ready pack, came about after two years R&D and is aimed at speeding up the house-buying process in a number of ways. But essentially it is about gathering all the necessary material information required for a sale before a property is even viewed.

Registry deeds, searches, indemnity insurances and a legal complexity score can all be made available for prospective buyers as soon as they make an offer. It is this sort of innovation that will speed up transactions and it also likely to reduce the number of fall-throughs that are causing all kinds of problems.

Well done to Senior Partner and Co-founder, Angelo Piccirillo and his team. Nice work.


Winner number 2.

Another industry figure on a winning streak this week was property commentator, Russell Quirk.

He found himself on breakfast TV after he sent the bailiffs round to Luton Airport in a bid to get money from Wizz Air after the last minute cancellation of flights for himself and his kids.

After months of waiting for the airline to cough up the £4500, he took them to court and then sent in the bailiffs.

In the end, Wizz Air stumped up and apologised to Russell who did not have to resort to filling his pockets with miniatures in a bid to claw back what he was owed.

Until next time



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    Loved seeing Russell on the telly - Wizz air picked the wrong man to cross there!


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