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Written by rosalind renshaw

Vince Cable has described estate agents as part of an army of “invaders” who must be stopped.

Employing biblical terms while speaking at the Lib Dem conference, he said: “David Cameron says I am the Jeremiah, but you will recall from your reading of the Old Testament that Jeremiah was right.

“He warned Jerusalem would be overrun by the armies of Nebuchadnezzar, and in my own book of lamentation I described how Gordon Brown’s new Jerusalem was overcome by an army of estate agents, property speculators and bankers.

“The problem we now have is the invaders are back and they have a bridgehead in London and the south-east of England, and they have got to be stopped.”

He went on: “We must not now settle for a short-term spurt of growth fuelled by an old-fashioned property boom and bust.”

Cable said: “We have seen it all before and there are already amber lights flashing.”

Interesting speech, but (a) let’s hope Cable won’t need the services of an estate agent soon and isn’t planning to sell up either to downsize in a post-political career or to move house to Downing Street; and (b) that he didn’t base his “army” reference on the ONS figures which, as EAT readers now know, lump in housing associations, exhibitions and conferences along with estate agency numbers.


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    "For more information, see back to: ..."

    Yes, everybody - PLEASE visit that story, if only to see Mr Smoke-and-mirrors failing miserably YET AGAIN to replace the current wheel with his rickety, three-sided offering.

    For comedy value alone, it's worth a look.

    • 19 September 2013 17:23 PM
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    RR, calm down me duck, just because Connells gave you a bad time, if your first love gave you a bad time would you have changed sides?

    • 19 September 2013 16:45 PM
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    Unless ...
    either the Lib. Dems get voted into power in 2015 by saying they will repair the housing market for generations to come - using my new theories ...

    Or, the more entrepreneurial estate agents take up my idea of a better way to smooth both peaks and troughs in the housing cycle.

    What's actually causing the trouble is the method estate agents use to get the so-called best price for each individual property. It's this that needs urgent change.

    Instead of the government trying to interfere with the free market by making more finance available, they should change the way estate agents scoop up instructions. Moving contracts should replace selling contracts making estate agents responsible to help sellers not only sell but buy too. Only when each successful 'move' has been achieved should they be entitled to levy their fee.

    This simple change would make them fully responsible, not only to get the best price when selling on behalf of an individual, but simultaneously to negotiate the best buy-price for that individual, on their next purchase.

    If they were made responsible in this way, the market would start to operate properly, a first in the history of estate agency!

    For more information, see back to: http://www.estateagenttoday.co.uk/news_features/RICS-call-to-cap-house-prices-is-shot-down-in-flames

    Peter Hendry, Consultant in Housing Valuation at Property Match (UK).
    (There's additional information about these theories at The Property Match (UK) blog for anyone interested.)

    • 19 September 2013 11:19 AM
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    We are all doomed anyway when the £99 national on line agent gets going!

    • 18 September 2013 13:33 PM
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    Was he reffering to cionists?

    • 18 September 2013 12:48 PM
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    excellent post Reverend Cable.
    I remember Yvette Cooper making a huge mess in the Surrey/Berkshire area as miles of land was stopped from being developed because of some protected bird. They hadnt worked out any strategy to deal with the situation so for ages planning in a huge area ground to a halt. It was finally resolved by a legal backhander/tax. One day we may get a Government that actually thinks through all the different outcomes before launching some new legislation!

    • 18 September 2013 12:00 PM
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    Whatever Vince Cable thinks about agents and bankers is irrelevant. He is looking at the symptoms and not the cause.

    The cause is a shortage of homes and a very poor planning process that blocks development in favour of NIMBYs. The increase in localism may help win votes, by indulging neighbours, but it will slow the planning process and limit the housing supply, especially for small developers. The likes of Taylor Wimpy will have swathes of green belt released for development while the smaller developers get stifled by possies of objectors.

    Vince can moan about agents, but he could actually do something constructive about the planning process instead of making self-indulgent and rather pompous speeches about something he can't control.

    If he wants to get Biblical, he could consider the greed of the people who ask inflated house prices, or the idolatry of people who want more goods and covet the possessions of others. The agents are just the messengers who serve the property owners.

    The man has lost his way on this one. It would be great for us all of he turned to the Ministry instead of Cabinet Ministry.

    What do you think folks? Time for Reverend Cable to quite politics or not?

    • 18 September 2013 09:53 AM
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    Frankly the sooner both David Cameron and that Lib Dem chap realise that Cable's off message in pretty well everything he says and get rid of him the better. He worms his way everywhere and I wouldn't put it past him that 'twas he who put the cap idea to the RICS. It was certainly he who temporarily reined back his Mansion Tax only in return for 7% Stamp Duty from the Chancellor. The man is a menace to the free market and entrepreneurship and this Cable should be dragged from Government as soon as possible..

    • 18 September 2013 09:24 AM
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    What he has said doesn't really make any sense. How about you ask him for an explanation Ros?

    • 18 September 2013 06:47 AM
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