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Written by rosalind renshaw

A chartered surveyor, Mark Prisk, has become housing minister in succession to Grant Shapps who has been appointed Conservative Party co-chairman and who will move into the cabinet as a minister without portfolio.

Prisk, 50, has represented the Hertford and Stortford constituency since 2001, and moves to housing from the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), where he was minister of state. Among his responsibilities, he was given the job of cutting red tape.

While his new appointment will give hope to those wanting a minister who actually knows something about housing, it is BIS – under the Red Tape Challenge – that is currently considering changing changing the Estate Agents Act to allow new entrants – for example, online agents and supermarkets – to operate in the sector without having to comply with the legislation.

Further developments on the proposed changes to the Act are said to be imminent.

Prisk, who spent two years working as a surveyor for Knight Frank, is married to Lesley Titcomb, who is acting chief operating officer at the Financial Services Authority.

A Cornishman by birth, he was educated at Reading University. He has worked in the property and economic development markets and run his own business consultancy, advising a range of professional firms in the property, construction and environmental markets.

In Parliament, he has presented a Private Member’s Bill to protect Green Belt land. He enjoys watching rugby and cricket, and is vice-chairman of the Parliament choir.

Shapps had been in his post as housing minister since May 2010, making him look positively long-lived in the role compared with his nine predecessors appointed during the Labour administration.

Shapps has been most notable in the estate agency world for his instant move to ditch Home Information Packs. However, his efforts to stem the prolonged housing market downturn have yet to bear fruit, and he has come under fire for some initiatives – notably, the NewBuy 95% taxpayer-backed mortgage scheme and his suggestion that lenders should introduce ‘mates mortgages’ for house-sharers.

The new homes building industry welcomed the appointment of Prisk as housing minister, but said he had an ‘unenviable in-tray’.

Stewart Baseley, executive chairman of the Home Builders Federation, said Prisk needed to take action to address the severe lack of mortgages and development finance, at a time when Britain is building fewer homes than at any time since the 1920s.

Baseley said: “We hope he will offer some radical ideas to transform the current housing and planning systems, and tackle the housing crisis.”

The president of the National Association of Estate Agents, Mark Hayward, said: “The NAEA congratulates Mark Prisk on his appointment to the role of housing minister. His first job is to address the growing challenges faced by consumers, and act swiftly to restore confidence in the UK property market which has reached crisis point.
“Concerns amongst potential buyers about job security, the size of deposits needed, mortgage availability, levels of Stamp Duty and the stability of the market means that levels of home ownership are at their lowest rates for twenty years.
“Whilst the NAEA welcomes initiatives such as the NewBuy mortgage indemnity and FirstBuy schemes, we would like to see more a concrete commitment of support from the Government to kick-start market activity and boost supply and demand levels for new and existing stock.

“We look forward to working with the minister to support him in achieving this aim.”


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    6 Fairfield, Herstmonceux, East Sussex BN27 4NE.
    Recent headlines, 4 million think they will never afford a house,
    Nation of mortgage slaves, cheap homes crisis, risking health to pay mortgage, one million pensioners suffer alone, generation driven to drink to fill lonely days in retirement. 10,000 oap`s trapped in unfit care homes, every 59 seconds in uk one person is declared insolvent.
    Family breakdown is often caused by money problems, resulting in depression leading to mental health issues, loneliness and isolation can be the beginning of dementia, there are also many people retiring who don’t have the financial means of keeping themselves in good health and well-being. The answer would be not to have a market system where the higher rate becomes the going rate.
    Now we have seen the achievements of the Olympics’ and the way it can unite the people, this is an opportunity to start a campaign to protect our open space and have a new way of housing ourselves. We should stop developers turning up and saying` we want to build here you try and stop us. May be a community farm in some areas could be part of the scheme, a different layout and design is needed which would allow older people to move into and free up other houses. I believe a new community living building could break the cycle of bad behaviour. See designs for more insight.
    It has been reported that 4 of every ten new houses will be occupied by immigrants, should we not build some houses in Eastern Europe and make those countries better so they don’t want to leave their home land? May be we should build 40% of the proposed houses in Eastern Europe and not in the UK.
    I recall a lady speaking of the lack of care with her husband’s dementia; we should be looking at the Local Core Strategy’s that are now being decided over the next twenty year plan. A development area could be decided by each parish or town council, where a housing complex could be built , and the local folk who have health problems that fine it difficult to live in their house- be it a single person or a couple -could move into, people could help look after each other with in the complex, also some younger care workers could live on site to be on call, At the moment , we have carers driving all over the place , attending clients for a few minutes a time The people who need the care are then let alone for several hours where a number of problems can arise.
    It has been said we should build on Brown field sites, many seem to go along with this, but often brown field sites are closed down industrial areas, we should re-establish these areas for industry, Instead of importing so much, and create employment at home.
    We should not be building on Grade one or two agricultural land, there are areas that could be used of less productive land, but developers rather go where they can make most money.
    It is immoral that land can go from £5,000 to £500,000, per acre when someone gets planning permission to build houses, then the eventual house purchaser borrows that money and spends most of their live paying it off, just because one land owner and one developer can say this is the going rate and you must pay it! The people should be invited , to say where new homes should be built, (one has to accept we must have them with the population increase) a land community trust would be formed to oversee the project, they would offer the land owners £1,000 an acre annual rent for the land, or have a fifty year lease, invite a developer to build the homes for the cost of doing the job, this would bring homes for the people at about £85,000 each, plus any infrastructure levy, they could be bought at this price, but would not be allowed to sell them on, only back to the trust, rents could be £350 per month, with life time tenancies’, in the event the land owner would not except the rental offered the land would be compulsory purchased at agricultural value. We should build houses on steel frames off ground and use wooden cladding and have wool for insulation, stop dredging the sea beds for shingle for building. This would help the Steel industry and the environment by growing more trees, plus have a market for our wool industry.
    A family pension fund could be set up on a national or local bases, to allow people to pay into this fund; with a new affordable housing scheme one would be able to do this, the fund could pay interest of around 6%, but one would not be able to draw on the capital until one has retired any surplus capital could be passed on the other elected family members once one passes on. The income generated would be used to build affordable care homes, under the rented land scheme.
    Designs are needed to allow open space for walks, allotments, sports facilities, and general wellbeing; in some cases a community farm could be formed. There is a need for older people’s accommodation to free up homes that have single occupancy; this would apply in towns and villages.
    Under the above plan, we could have flexible retiring age, and mothers would not have to work, that’s not to say mothers shouldn’t work, but they shouldn’t have to.
    Accommodation would be better provided with a design for single mothers (for whatever reason they are alone,) and retired people, isolation and being alone can cause more problems, a problem shared can be a problem halved. There are two things we need has human beings, that’s the company of others and our own space, on new estates we one is overcrowded yet isolated
    We are not taking the advantage of our technology; every industry has reduced the need for Labour.
    Three million unemployed could be considered an achievement, we should not have three million doing nothing while others keep them unemployed, we should have more job sharing especially for the over 55s, but you cannot have more part time jobs on a market economy where the higher rate becomes the going rate that everyone else has to follow. We could of course return to cutting the road side hedges with a swop and clean out the ditches with a shovel, milk the cows by hand and deliverer the milk with a pair of yokes, we remember bus conductors and telephonist that plugged us in. Capitalism has we know it allows too many to fall off. But we really need to look at the future for the sake of younger members of society. For those who bought a house in the Sixties, they can sell and move round, but if you are 19, what hope do you have? Everyone needs a purpose, can growth go on? Is Growth destroying the Planet?
    We should take housing benefit out of the private sector from the next time one moves, the money saved would build the affordable house we need, (however, we need to build the homes for the people to move into,) Then the real market rent would be established, similarly with care with care home cost, the money sent does not go on care, it goes to a few private people or some large company’s making money. County Councils close their care homes as the Government cut their funding, then the state pay out more on private care fees.
    The Community Trust Model would benefit the three million people who are on the waiting list .Building homes in this way that cannot be sold on the market would create employment; and older folk would have a better retirement.
    It has been said that social housing causes problem people, when people had the right to buy, those who could afford the rent could afford to buy, and unfortunately we are left with the less well off in the social rented sector which is no fault of their own. It is not to affordable housing that is causing the problems but the market housing that’s the real issue. Market housing is causing debt and despair. Building houses and calling it growth is a recipe for disaster. If one looks at the problems in Ireland, Spain and America its building too many houses that is the root of the problem.
    While some of the above would be outside the Local Council, May I recommend this is put to the government for consideration. Also put this to a referendum with in the Localism Act to take place next May at County Council Elections.
    We should stop building social housing, stop building market housing, we just need proper housing?
    Get in touch, e-mail lvkeeley22@homecall.co.uk or address above.

    • 25 October 2012 08:56 AM
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    Prisk is as irrelevant to the housing market as Shapps was.

    They'll continue to tinker around the edges, while utterly failing to fix the real problem holding back both the housing market and wider economy.....Mortgage Rationing.

    By the time they look past their failed ideology and realise you can't fix the wider economy until you get mortgage lending on a massive scale moving again, it'll be too late for them.

    They'll get wiped out at the next election as surely as they were humiliated by a stadium of booing voters last week not once but twice.

    And we'll be stuck with another 15 years of Labour's nanny state nonsense. :(

    • 07 September 2012 18:24 PM
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    Anybody good at anagrams?

    Mind you MARK PRISK is a wonderful Spoonerism in waiting.

    • 07 September 2012 14:32 PM
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    Oh no!!! He's a surveyor, everything he touches will be down valued. UK inc is in deep SH*T now. Plus he's got a tit comb in the FSA which means he sleeps with the enemy.

    • 06 September 2012 15:13 PM
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    Idiot Dave, post twaddle as said for a year. No crash. PLC's called developers still building and selling, anyone seen these go bust, last time I looked David Wilson, Persimmon, Miller Barrett all still trading and building plus oh don't forget idiot Dave, 600,000 people will buy this year!

    And you BtL portfolios in problems have been dealt with by the LPA and literally thousands all sorted out and still in sound BtL portfolios. Far more intelligent people than a prat with a hang up on Japan are still buying.

    Who added the 10 and the 4 for you?

    • 06 September 2012 11:08 AM
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    my sources in agency tell me its happening now

    the market changed a few months ago

    central london will make the headlines with drops of 50%+

    I'm just suggesting that now is not a good time to buy...its the top of a bursting bubble thats gonna catch complacent sheeple out big time

    reduce property exposure now

    • 06 September 2012 10:35 AM
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    I have been reading EAT for well over a year and i think you have been posting at least as long as that.

    when do you believe the crash is coming exactly?

    • 06 September 2012 07:37 AM
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    Hawkeye: 'Anyone with a BTL portfolio buys with a profit rent or does not buy.'

    Really? You mean there weren't loads of people so desperate to jump on the bandwagon, so keen to build a pension, that they did not balk at a mortgage of £1000 a month and rent of £800 a month - regarding the £200 a month contribution as a pension payment.

    All those outfits like Inside Track, RIP, and Imagine Homes, RIP - helped people build 50 strong portfolios and every single one of them the rent more than covered the mortgage even allowing for maintenance, voids and .... INTEREST RATES GOING UP ONE DAY EH?

    EeeeHH, you have to smile. I've seen folk on telly who paid 200k for 2 bed new builds in Manchester that you're lucky to get 60k for now. They'd been to a 'property seminar' and, because they bought a couple 'off plan', the 3k price of the seminar was refunded. Canny eh?

    • 05 September 2012 19:10 PM
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    “Concerns amongst potential buyers about job security, the size of deposits needed, mortgage availability, levels of Stamp Duty and the stability of the market means that levels of home ownership are at their lowest rates for twenty years"

    Weird. Nothing to do with the price of houses and the massive rise in Buy to Let.

    • 05 September 2012 18:57 PM
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    anyone investing in or developing property is off their trolley

    the market is collapsing and will take anyone stupid enough to the cleaners

    have any property bulls actually taken a step back to see just what a mess this country is in financially

    we make greece look prudent(and I'm not joking)

    • 05 September 2012 15:59 PM
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    Is Mark Prisk the saviour for the supply of building land who will throw out the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) or the "TAX on the sale of land" as I prefer to call it?

    Let's hope he'll free up the land supply so builders can get on with what they're best at.

    As his wife is Lesley Titcomb, acting chief operating officer at the Financial Services Authority, perhaps she'll be able to loosen the controls to allow high net worth individuals to finance developers without too much red tape. Private invetsors would be able to earn premium interest and fill the gap left by the banks who run from lending to property developers. They could lend direct to developers thus cutting out the banks which would be a popular way to punish them for running scared from property.

    Please help out with CIL Mark, and ignore the idiotic comments about Cornwall, such small minded discrimination from estate agents like this must make opening the property sales market up to Tesco even more tempting!

    • 05 September 2012 13:01 PM
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    Who gets which job will make little diffence to the directon this country is going - third world status beckons.
    Coalition governments never work effectively unless there is a strong OVERIDNG common goal and purpose - there isn't one - even if 'lip service' is paid about growth and debt reduction - look at the record.
    This 'shuffle' is just the preamble to the Conservatives plan in trying to be be re-elected with a majority.
    Very few of the current lot (both parties) have a genuine interest in the country, just an interest themselves and their positions relative to each other - again look at the record.
    Time we all woke up to what they really are?

    • 05 September 2012 12:49 PM
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    @Dave. What drivel 'liquidated BTL portfolios'. You should sit on and not talk out of it. Anyone with a BTL portfolio buys with a profit rent or does not buy. You quite clearly talk crap and have the same between your ears. Rubbish properties are cheap to buy cheap to rent and don't turn in the numbers. Good property on the other hand............

    I for one will miss GS because he was deserving of all he got as he was an a55 hole who knows zip about housing, he just got a job as one of the boys. He will no doubt screw up elsewhere

    • 05 September 2012 11:46 AM
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    You only have to look at the trees along the border to see what sort of a place Cornwall is, it is evident from the way they lean that "thems" trying desperately to get out of there!

    • 05 September 2012 10:43 AM
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    Schapps must be thanking his lucky stars. Throw lots of taxpayers' money at builders who have built very little in response and then get promoted!

    • 05 September 2012 10:23 AM
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    Well said, @Devon Agent!

    • 05 September 2012 10:18 AM
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    Eww Ang! Yewm gonna av t' wait , us be only doin things drecklee!
    The only reason Cornwall doesn't float off to America is coz Devon sucks

    • 05 September 2012 09:56 AM
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    the problem could of course be that houseprices are way way too high being propped up by the government?

    sorry to be controversial

    30-50% off and the economy will grow and our kids buy the remnants of liquidated btl portfolios

    this is gonna happen anyway,why not bring it forward and raise interest rates to encourage saving and allow our banks to lend real money to viable businesses

    • 05 September 2012 09:42 AM
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    A Cornishman! Oh great, can't wait!!

    • 05 September 2012 08:46 AM
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