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Written by rosalind renshaw

The call by the RICS for house price inflation to be capped at 5% annually by official measures has met with widespread condemnation in the property industry.

Paul Smith, CEO of Spicerhaart, said: “This is the RICS seeking headlines rather than real solutions. A market sets its own level and to manipulate it means playing with fire. Imagine if there was a call to cap the stock market.”
 
Nicholas Finn, London director of property finders Garrington, said the proposal would disadvantage mortgage buyers while giving cash buyers an extra edge.  

He said: “Cash buyers, who remain unaffected by the proposal, make up around 40% of the market.  

“They are already ahead and advantaged, and buyers with mortgages do not drive the market when there is a small pool of properties. We were recently involved in a case where a seller had a number of sealed bids, and our client had to convert to a cash buyer to be in the running as cash buyers are considered quicker buyers.

“Capping mortgage buyers will further alienate them from a competitive London market.”

Nicholas Leeming, incoming chairman of Jackson-Stops & Staff, warned that restrictions could be detrimental to the market in parts of the country still waiting to experience the ‘froth’ highlighted by RICS.
 
He said: “While there are some signs of greater activity in the UK housing market, this is not reflected across all sectors.

“We do not believe that there is any set formula to be followed in controlling the housing cycle, but the Bank of England will obviously consider whether higher interest rates, restricting credit availability or other controls are required if there is clear evidence that the overall market is overheating in the future.”

One critic, Stuart Law of property investment firm Assetz, said the RICS’s proposal was an outrageous idea – and called for more farmland and Green Belt sites to be made available for house building.

He said: “No one wants to see house prices rising at outlandish levels, but artificial price controls always end in tears and are not the way to approach this issue. A cap on property price increases would lead to a corresponding cap in developers building homes.

“However, the best way to temper rising prices is by building more homes and placing a temporary block on NIMBYism.

“A useful mechanism would be to compel local authorities to pre-zone and compulsory-purchase greenfield and Green Belt land which is then automatically released for building homes in areas where property prices are exceeding, say, 5% annual increases.

“Farmland is cheap and if accompanied by substantial Section 106 affordable housing requirements would improve supply and help reduce price growth. This is an extension of the recent positive step to force local authorities to identify brownfield land which could receive planning quickly and efficiently.

“The RICS is effectively asking for market prices to be manipulated, and thereby falsify the property market. This is outrageous and a poor economic solution to a simple supply demand problem. Let’s build more.”
 

Comments

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    @THIS is your fifteen minutes of fame? on 2013-09-18 14:24:02

    Have you just worked out there are plenty on here to tell you what your opinion is mate!

    • 19 September 2013 16:51 PM
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    ''Then, contributors seem to have gone off at a bit of a tangent ...''

    Peter Peter Peter.
    The tangent is not yours to follow I'm afraid old boy. Do try and keep up.

    • 18 September 2013 15:04 PM
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    Sorry but where can I read the 15 minute precis? This chap makes the volumes of Marcel Proust a novel to read at the traffic lights.

    • 18 September 2013 14:24 PM
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    Are you all retired, how much time have you on your hands!! Or perhaps Civil servants????

    • 18 September 2013 13:39 PM
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    Mr RR.

    Rather than contributors going off on a tangent, in fact they have gone back to the original story and ignored you. I wish I had their capability to ignore you - but I am weak.

    This is NOT your thread - you simply tried to hijack it like you always do. You throw a lit firework into the room and run away giggling before it makes a scary bang. Unfortunately for you, it actually squeaks like a trapped f@rt and only I and a couple of others react to it.

    Back to your latest response. You say "PeeBee (the troll agent...) ...still refuses to disclose who he really is, even though he admits to having gone back to being an estate agent recently. Okay - for the umpteenth time... IT DOESN'T MATTER WHO I AM. I am irrelevant. YOU are irrelevant - but you simply won't or can't accept that. THIS is your fifteen minutes of fame - and you are grasping it for all you are worth. What you need to REALISE is that there is a very fine divide between fame and notoriety, Sir.

    I have made my comment on your ridiculous, unworkable 'solution' to YOUR perceived problem - I have little else. You can wriggle all you want - you can move the goalposts out of one field and into another but it does not shake off the simple fact that IT WILL NOT WORK. You fail to accept hat he wheel is invented, and rolling. Sometimes it rolls downhill at speed; sometimes it needs a push to go uphill - but it always rolls. YOUR three-sided wheel will sit and gather dust, rust - and anyone adopting it will go BUST.

    You are ignored by politicians, Estate Agent bodies and the great majority of professionals in the industry so why you continue this unjust crusade is beyond me.

    One point I DO wish to pick up on. You state "If they wish to, or if there is more than one agent claiming victory, the client could leave that matter to the solicitor doing their conveyancing to decide." I don't think so. You are clearly here opening the door to hundreds or even thousands of claims for payment - which one way or another will add cost to the HOMESELLER. Sorry - but I thought that you were trying to make selling a property EASIER, CHEAPER and LESS OF A MINEFIELD.

    Apparently I was wrong. Thank you for pointing that out to me and the rest of the world. I am sure it will be noted by all concerned.

    Last point. You say "To Ampersand, this certainly 'does' make perfect sense, sorry."

    Considering Ampersat (please note his CORRECT name...) stated "Although you managed to de-bunk his latest cunning plan...", I'm absolutely over the moon that you accept his assessment of the situation.

    Thank you, for FINALLY Realising Reality.

    Good day, Sir.

    • 18 September 2013 12:39 PM
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    When I posted "Oh smart ones" RR that of course did not include you.

    • 18 September 2013 11:57 AM
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    I am sure it does Mr Hendry, all you have to do is prove it. Find two other agents in Nottingham willing to go ahead with this trial, with you being the third and demonstrate a live example.

    I would be delighted if you can prove me wrong but until you actually demonstrate this scheme it remains just an idea.

    • 18 September 2013 11:42 AM
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    Well, none of this matters now, 'Jeremiah' Cable is coming to get us!

    • 18 September 2013 10:03 AM
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    As promised I am making an effort to sum up any relevant contributions here.

    But before I do I want to say that there is clearly a difference between how honest some agents are, and how honest they think they are. If anyone wants to know about the general levels of honesty and objectivity in the estates profession currently you could, for example, listen to the recent interview on BBC Radio 4 of Trevor Kent, estate agent, by Eddie Mair, presenter. Here, it is perfectly clear that there is much work to be done to enhance levels of honesty and objectivity, though one would not dare to level any accusations directly at the interviewee in person of course!

    Radio 4 PM Thurs 12th Sept 2013 at 1700hrs
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b039rqq9
    To listen to the bit about estate agents, scroll the tape forward to 26 mins 20 seconds into the programme.

    Now on to the question of 3rd 4th and 5th parties referred to in PeeBee (the troll agent)'s reply. (He still refuses to disclose who he really is, even though he admits to having gone back to being an estate agent recently).

    What PeeBee is concerned about is nothing more than what exists at present in upward and downward chains of sales pending. Estate agents claim to be very efficient at resolving these as part of their service, so they should be happy to continue doing this, in either direction as they do currently.

    To use PeeBee's example, Mr Green is the person moving. An agent whom he has signed with, finds him the house he wants to buy (from Mr Gray whom he has no contract with). That's it. Mr Brown does not feature in the scenario. Mr Brown is not in the equasion.

    The main difference between my proposed arrangements and the current method of trying to get the best the best price on each single house, is that agents would become facilitators and the most successful one would be the one that gets paid. That agent would be the one that helps the person moving, to secure the house being bought, on the best differential terms instead of simply getting the best price for the one being sold. I should point out that there may well be fee advantages for agents beginning to operate in the way I am suggesting here.

    Each agent may, at their own discretion, have business arrangements with other agents in other locations, in order to find buyers for the house being sold by the client, if they need to or prefer to.

    All the client needs to do is pay the agent that gets him/her the best terms on both the sale and the purchase.
    If they wish to, or if there is more than one agent claiming victory, the client could leave that matter to the solicitor doing their conveyancing to decide.

    Ideally, agents would need to be able to agree amongst themselves which one got the best terms on each individual house move and thus know whether to claim payment or not. That is why I am including the BBC PM programme interview in this reply. Obviously the client moving should know which agent got them the best deal on the house move in any event though.

    Estate agents would need to be prepared to work much closer with each other than they currently do. I would argue that this would be of most benefit to the various clients moving house, up and down the country of course.

    To Ampersand, this certainly 'does' make perfect sense, sorry.

    I'm glad 'PeeBee' responds by acknowledging that over-valuing by agents "is a blight on our profession", and 'Hound' basically agrees.

    Then, contributors seem to have gone off at a bit of a tangent ...

    • 18 September 2013 09:41 AM
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    Quick add smart post soon story dropping off front page.............................................

    • 18 September 2013 08:45 AM
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    @Rant & @PeeBee

    Good to see you both back in touch chaps..........Rant, house price indexes still utter nonsense and prices in your little bit of England still going South?

    Jonnie

    • 17 September 2013 21:26 PM
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    One of the 'football Dads' at my boys club was talking tonight about the house he's just agreed a deal on, he's been watching the area he's bought in for donkeys, Zoopla and all all the others........Nethouseprices is the other one.

    Any way he's agreed a sniff over a million quid and he's asked me what I think and is it too much and all that, even though he's done the deal without asking anyone. I told him he's now set the price for that little patch of England and everyone else will measure the values on him as he's the latest sale so he's set the new bar

    He went off happy, I went off wondering if I should tell him he's a mug

    Jonnie

    • 17 September 2013 21:24 PM
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    Not sure why you're making the point that you're richer than me either. Um - you're older than me, so you should be.

    I'm in the position of buying a house with cash in my mid 30s. You however seem to have been handing huge amounts of your take home pay to the banks at that point...

    • 17 September 2013 19:13 PM
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    "Today you poor buggers are forced to buy at 5.16x your average salary and cough up a whopping 20% of take home."

    So you too have seen the secret document that says interest rates are going to be this low for 25 years. There's quite a few other posters on this site that have seen that too.

    And now you're blaming the last government for how your kids' generation have turned out. That's hilarious.

    Next you'll be saying you rely on Zoopla valuations, that house prices in the South East have increased by 50% over the last three years and you deserve unearned equity because you're 90 and fought for six years in World War II. Or did you tell us that in other discussions already?

    • 17 September 2013 19:05 PM
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    I bought at 3x my salary and beacuse of interest rates at the time was spending 49.5% of my salary on Interest and repayments.
    Today you poor buggers are forced to buy at 5.16x your average salary and cough up a whopping 20% of take home.
    Your multiples argument is very convenient but like the Red Herring it is holds no water.

    Mate it seems you have changed your tune yet again from I won't buy because prices will fall, they didn't and now it is the Chinese and Eastern Europeans.

    Thankfully I am not a teacher, trying to educate the likes of you; know everything, a new excuse for every occasion and always willing to blame someone else.
    Thank you Mr Blair and Mr Brown for the generation you nurtured.

    • 17 September 2013 18:28 PM
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    They did this in Japan

    • 17 September 2013 18:22 PM
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    "The thing is things are no different "

    You're making a fool of yourself now. Boomers weren't competing with a billion workers in China and India for their jobs. Boomers didn't face an open immigration policy with Europe like the UK has now. Boomers got free university education. There was a lot more wage inflation back now than there is now too.

    This "I should have bought when I was told" you keep mentioning is incredibly patronising. Are you a teacher or something? I've made my decisions and I'm happy with them. Unlike many of my peers, that means I'm not in negative equity or paying off a jumbo sized mortgage that needs two wage earners. I mainly post on this site to combat the ignorance that posts like yours in particular are full of.

    (and I don't have an iPhone either - my mobile was free and the contract is £5 a month, which covers all I use)

    • 17 September 2013 18:14 PM
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    Hound

    And to put EVERYTHING into perspective:

    Your £18000 home, at 5% compound growth per annum would be worth £77795 in 30 years.

    Your £5500 salary, assuming the same compound growth, would get you £23771.

    SO... THAT house price has overperformed to the tune of almost 1.5% per annum compound. It has increased by 332%.

    I and many others (including, no doubt, your goodself...) can relate countless tales of properties where the percentage increase over the same three decade period has been FAR less than that.

    You are then stating YOUR salary 30 years ago as the yardstick - and then using 'yer average' local 20-something as the comparison. Cheese and chalk, I would suggest. You could have been a milkman's runner - or you could just as easily have been a junior doctor 30 years ago. They didn't get he same rate of pay. MY salary 30 years ago was probably similar to yours - and despite having NEGATIVE growth during the last decade, I am still above the £17k you quote... just.

    rant - the average BUYER is not buying at the average PRICE. You know that as well as I do, matey.

    • 17 September 2013 18:13 PM
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    £50/month makes little difference to you but it pays the interest for a £60,000 deposit @ 1% or £30,000 @ 2% for someone smart enough to realise it and release it.

    Not having an Iphone saves £35/ month but around here it nets an additional £382 in rent. not a bad windfall if you have the mind to bend down and pick it up.

    • 17 September 2013 17:36 PM
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    The thing is things are no different and that was my point. my generation had folk who whinged and couldn't afford and had people who bought.
    My 23 yo has a property which is worth 11x her current salary, she saved the deposit and has tenants paying her mortgage till she wants to move in there. She bought while Rant and Co were whinging about multiples, boomers etc. Her 20% deposit is now worth 38% and since this time last year the value has bounced back by more than it fell after she bought it.
    Buying property is requires a mindset, an understanding and listening to informed advice
    Despite Ranting and arguing every single point made by anyone advising him to buy Rant has simply missed the boat till it docks again once employment rates drop to 7% and Interest rates double overnight.

    • 17 September 2013 17:23 PM
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    Average UK house price today is around seven times the average salary. When a Boomer tells me that they paid seven times their salary for their house, then I would have a lot more respect for their views. I'm guessing you didn't pay anywhere near that multiple, but you'd happily accept a free windfall of the difference though.

    A 10% deposit for the average property is above £16,000. That's more than many people's annual salary after tax, at a time when the cost of everything else is rising faster than wages. Cutting out £50 a month on beer and booze is going to make bugger all difference in that (and for the record, I don't smoke or drink).

    I do find it amusing when older folk berate younger folk for being wasteful with cash. If that's true, then they aren't going to be able to buy the Boomers' properties at anywhere near the prices the Boomers think they are going to be getting.

    Remind me too which generation it was that spent the noughties drunk on mortgage equity withdrawal, cruising the world and hoping to pass the tab for that on to someone else.

    • 17 September 2013 16:59 PM
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    @ Rant reckons

    Not quite sure what you're trying to say here, surely the 'golden days' were when first time buyers COULD afford to buy?

    I think that's what Rantnrave is getting at.

    Let me give you a for instance:

    I bought my first house, age 23, (30 years ago) for £18,000, I scrimped and saved (and borrowed from parents) £2000 to put into it, and on my then salary of £5,500, was able to borrow £16,000
    That same house would now sell for £120,000, so if I've done my sums right, 10% deposit would be £12k and mortgage needed £108,000, so our 23 year old today would need a salary somewhere around £36k and we certainly don't see too many of them round here. earnings for someone of that age in these parts is probably no more than £17k, so really, that house should now in ideal world, only be around £60k and would then be just affordable for local first time buyers.

    I'm guessing you're probably a bit younger than me, so I can appreciate that it would have been more of a struggle when you first bought, and I have no magic solution as to how we could return to that ideal world where first time buyers were plentiful and could afford to buy.

    • 17 September 2013 16:48 PM
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    'House prices would then rise in line with salaries'

    Whose salaries? yours or a premier league footballer's?

    The big problem Rant is that a return to the golden days of first time buyers claiming they can't afford to buy won't happen. Going back over a generation when I 1st bought, many of my mates didn't understand how I could afford it. I actually couldn't afford it for 5 years so went without Cigarettes, excessive amounts of beer and a new Golf gti with Pirelli Alloys.
    You have proven time and time again you will not listen, you think us Boomers have had it easy and its all at your expense. None of your whinging has changed a thing and if you had bought when you were told to you would now be better off.

    Property trendlines at about 0 .83%/month in line with population growth, there will be boom and there will be bust so next time prices fall below the trendline and someone tells you to buy, buy. Till then please stop your whinging, going on and pseudo knowledge of the subject in the mean time mate you have missed out if you are down south and if you are up North there is still time to catch a deal but you might have to wait till mid November now.

    • 17 September 2013 16:06 PM
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    PeeBee - I'd prefer a cap on lending multiples, since I believe that credit drives house prices more than anything else.

    The current state of the economy and housing market has proven that the country cannot afford the multiples of salaries that were being handed out in the last decade.

    A return to the lending practices before the current bubble would be in the interests of many people, in my opinion. House prices would then rise in line with salaries, easing the endless boom and bust cycle.

    Prices however have been allowed to rise to a far greater level than would have happened had a cap on lending multiples remained. Many vendors are now holding out for those prices though. Getting the genie back in the bottle is not going to be easy without disappointing many, particularly older, folk who in many cases are treating those artificially inflated prices as cash in the bank.

    • 17 September 2013 14:35 PM
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    rant - welcome to the debate! ;o)

    You are correct - but of course here we are discussing actual house price inflation, not the size of Mickey Mouse's ears so marketing figures do not come into it.

    But while we are on the subject and have your attention, mon ami, what would YOU, a prospective buyer, think about an annually scaled inflation on property?

    Would it make you MORE or LESS likely to buy a home - and why?

    I look forward to your response.

    • 17 September 2013 13:19 PM
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    "Every SALE is a contributory factor in "house price inflation", not every valuation."

    Unless it's an index that measures asking prices. The media often blur the difference between the sold and asking price indices for instance. The Daily Express among others has got a lot of front page mileage of 'house prices soaring' headlines based upon an increase in Rightmove's measure of initial asking prices. No wonder the public get confused...

    • 17 September 2013 13:07 PM
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    Hound

    Every SALE is a contributory factor in "house price inflation", not every valuation.

    If a property that others consider "overvalued" sells - than it clearly wasn't.

    At least the buyer didn't think so.

    We all know that in the vast majority of cases, the resultant price reductions follow the initial laughable instruction figure (often tallied to a change of Agent...) - but I can't hold my hand high and swear that I've never been surprised by the occasional sale being made at more than I appraised a property at - can you?

    And at the end of the day, like it or not, I have to admit that I was wrong when that happens.

    And appraise the next one accordingly.

    • 17 September 2013 12:17 PM
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    Haven't you worked out that the stupidity that infected ARLA and NAEA is now being mirrored at RICS? I will leave you to work out the common link!

    • 17 September 2013 11:34 AM
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    What an amazingly stupid statement from the RICS. PBK must be on holiday!

    • 17 September 2013 10:41 AM
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    Good morning PeeBee,

    sorry I couldn't stay up any longer, although it looks from timing of our respective posts that we were typing at the same time, although I will confess I was in bed using my mobile ;)

    From my experience, the public pay far more attention to asking prices than actual price achieved, (despite the fact that we all trot round with our Rightmove best price guide!) so I'll still say that overvaluing is one of the contributory factors to house price inflation.

    I'm old and ugly enough (just) to remember a time when the industry as a whole commanded considerably more respect and there was not the pressure to over value just to get the instruction. According to the BBC news last night, Vince Cable wants to control house price inflation and see's agents as part of the problem, I'm looking forward to see his suggested solutions!

    • 17 September 2013 10:24 AM
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    Hound.

    Sorry you didn't stay up a little later - but nice to know that I wasn't the only saddo on the site past eleven! ;o)

    I agree with what you say up to a point. "Overvaluing" is a blight on our profession. We all have at least one exponent in our patch - in mine I have three (and am probably lucky only to have that many...) - but they are not the root of the problem, surely? They do not decide what a home actually SELLS for - only its' initial asking price. Al they do is spoil the market - both for other, more realistic Agents, and also for the vendor of the property whose (falsely created) expectations will in most instances not be met.

    Those properties that ARE priced correctly DO sell. Overvaluing is, as you know, not a new thing. Unfortunately, a ten percent overvaluation today is a completely different kettle of fish to one given fifteen years ago - people see the numbers and like what they see, even if they don't believe them.

    RICS are trying to sew a button on a f@rt with this one. This could herald the end of their Royal Charter.

    Goodness knows, if THIS is what they consider a plan - then they don't deserve to retain it a second longer.

    • 17 September 2013 09:54 AM
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    Morning Peebee, I think I am going to award that round to Peter. You got well and truly trolled. Although you managed to de-bunk his latest cunning plan he had you up till nearly midnight.

    Most of us read this story last week chuckled at the stupidity of the idea, sighed at the fall from standing of RICS credibility and moved on.

    Peter couldn't do that; Shapps, Prisk and Osborne have created a problem and have obviously requested help and ideas from RICS. When the great minds of RICS could only come up with a daft cap on price rises that massively favoured the South East (5% on the average property in the South East is equivalent to 30.6% t'up North) they opened the floodgates for other fringe ideas.

    Just as Lord Such had a right to stand in elections and by-elections and had every right to make a Charlie of himself, Peter is allowed to comment. It makes sense in his head and who knows when he has trialled this latest system on the vendors of Nottingham and a remote village in Cornwall this one might just catch on and he will get the last laugh.

    • 17 September 2013 08:09 AM
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    11.16 pm and still awaiting PeeBee's response with baited breath ;)

    Dare I suggest that perhaps one of the answers to house price inflation lies in the hands of one of the 'eminent' people mentioned above. Mr Smith could always organise the re-training of his valuers to give honest and realistic valuations instead of valuing high to get the instruction, and to justify their fee by telling vendors that they will get them a better price than any other agent!

    Whilst I totally accept the argument that we all react to the forces of supply and demand, the culture that pervades most of the industry, where earnings are heavily commission based, and staff are placed under so much pressure results in persistent over valuing and raising expectations of vendors to often unrealistic levels, and this, to my mind is a contributory factor to price inflation.

    Watch this space for Vince Cable's next pronouncement!

    Just a thought on another contentious issue, anyone see Terry Leahey talking on 'Robert Preston Goes Shopping'? Interesting comment on how he and his colleuges all laughed when they were told fifteen years ago that internet shopping would become a huge part of their business, and all declared that it would never happen!

    Maybe there's the solution, away from the conventional model, a culture change so agents are paid for what they do, thus proving better value for clients, and removing the need to overvalue to hit the target for this week. If the industry changed, the public expectation may well change as well, therefore controlling one of the factors that add to price inflation organically!

    • 16 September 2013 23:47 PM
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    So. Here we are again, Mr RR - you trying to convince us all that you have reinvented the wheel and are 'unveiling' your offering for us all.

    You no doubt expect us all to embrace your plan - to accept it as the way forward.

    Erm... hang on - didn't you try to unveil it several months ago, when you 'blogged the original MDT, but got laughed out of town on that occasion (nothing new there, then...)?

    But here you are again - obviously thinking you've polished up its single rickety spoke enough to have a second bash.

    Mr RR - you are already aware that I HAVE thoroughly read, thoroughly digested and then duly dumped your offering in the appropriate receptacle.

    I say you are aware, as you quickly removed my response to it way back in May - remember?

    But - now that you regurgitate it here, I would like to open it up for debate. WIDE open. Whether you want to debate - or simply tell me to "go away" as per your usual stance before shrinking back from the ACTUAL reality yourself - is to be seen.

    Here we go.

    The new wheel you offer, is three-sided. Not round. Not fit for purpose. Won't roll.

    What is more - you offer NOTHING to show that it will.

    Your starter for 10: You state "What's causing the trouble is the method estate agents use to get the best price for each individual property.."

    Really? Correct me if I am wrong, but WHATEVER "method" Estate Agents use (and I really don't think you have a tenth of an inkling what that "method" is...), the "best price" is plain and simply what is achieved and the amount that the property changes hands for.

    Whether that be the asking price of the day... below that asking price... or even above it - the price is the price. HOW an Agent achieves that price is not a universal "method" - so you simply cannot generalise the way you have.

    Another example of your smoke and mirrors style of stacking the initial deck in your favour, Sir. Just a pity for you that you mark the cards so blatantly - and badly.

    "Instead if trying to interfere with the free market, the government should change the way estate agents scoop up instructions."

    Sorry - isn't that just another "interference with the free market" you refer to in such negative manner?

    "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 also to negotiate the best buy-price for that individual, on their next purchase. "

    Let's just park that one for a minute. In order to respond, I need to refer to your original woeful blog entry that you draw our attention to, in which you state "...instead of vendors signing selling contracts with solely appointed estate agents (as happens at present), they would instead appoint several estate agents and sign deals with each of them – both to find suitable new houses as well as finding buyers for their existing houses... This way, the seller would not be beholden to any specific agent until they had both found a buyer AND helped them to negotiate and secure the house they wanted to buy."

    You then go on to state "This would be rather similar to a house-owner getting two or three competitive quotes for a replacement roof, the roofer being hired being paid after successfully completing the work."

    You REALLY like your similes for Estate Agents, don't you? Red Arrows... orchestras - and now b100dy ROOFERS!

    Except it would be BOT ALL like "getting a competitive quote" - and you darn well know it! For a roofer to provide a quote, he/she will do a drive-by or AT BEST shinny up a ladder to see what looks as if it is required, then ring the customer with a price - or AT BEST type up a very brief and wooly report and quotation for works required (subject to further detailed inspection, of course...).

    They will do ten or more of these in a day. They will get maybe two or three of the jobs. Other than the cost of travel to the inspection and the time involved, the roofer will have no expenditure in providing these quotations - and the jobs they get more than pay for the unsuccessful tenders.

    Every aborted sale attempt costs an Estate Agent HUNDREDS of pounds - how, then, can you POSSIBLY akin your ridiculous "solution" to the offered analogy?

    You state "As far as fee collection is concerned, the firm most likely to secure the fee on completion would be the firm that finds the house being bought (instead of the firm selling the house being sold), as at present."

    It is HERE that I un-park the earlier quote. What you are advocating is a scenario where in order to get paid ANYTHING, an Agent must find both a buyer for the property that our vendor - lets call him Mr Green - is selling; also finds him a house to buy and negotiates with the vendor of that property - who I shall name Mr Gray - to get it at the best price for Mr Brown.

    *BUT... in order to do this, you would have to ALSO be selling the property for the person (Mr Orange) buying FROM Mr Brown. If Mr Orange sold his property through 'Dibbs & Co', then they would have to handle Mr Orange's purchase of Mr Brown's home to get paid anything in your highly complicated web of ridiculousness.

    In fact, before you tried to think it out better and add some claptrap about collaboration between Agents, your offering would have actually required ONE AGENT to handle EVERY SINGLE TRANSACTION - as sellers' AND buyers' Agent. Unfortunately for all concerned, you CAN'T think it out - it is way past your own comprehension yet you continue with it thinking that others won't see how impossible it would be to work.

    Think THIS over, Mr RR. Mr Brown's home is 'worth' £100k. You are advocating that in order for an Agent to successfully negotiate a chain sale (and therefore get paiiid...) that the Agent needs to negotiate Mr Brown DOWN from that figure in order to satisfy the requirements of Mr Orange (whose home you have negotiated down in order to sell to Mr Purple/Yellow/pick-your-colour ) - and to do that successfully they will negotiate with Mr Gray FOR Mr Brown to get the Gray's house at a reduced figure which... yada yada and so on.

    So many colours to think about - you cannot see for colours in this example of your "solution" to this mythical problem you seek to resolve. What is, however, completely TRANSPARENT is your aim to completely bu99er up the housing market with this offering.

    Estate Agents are empowered BY LAW to do the best job for their fee-paying client. To get them "best price", from the best buyer. You know that fine well. Your triangular wheel simply doesn't move. Rather than "smoothing" it - you would grind the market to a halt.

    But, of course, that would be the idea.

    (By the way - LOVE the blogpost you allowed to be displayed on your site by some far-eastern spammer who convinced you that "she" is a freelance writer.
    What a pity you have thereby allowed embedded links to a chargeable telephone connection service passing itself (badly) off as part of Land Registry to be advertised. And more ridiculous is the fact that you agreed to it - 'she' notified you of her intention in an open post to you on 2 August:
    " I intend to guest post an article in around 500 words of high quality unique content and that would be completely free for you. If this is something you could allow me to do, In return I add a single link to our site."

    Not good, Sir. Believe it or not - I expect better of you.

    Taking away this unfortunate slip, the spammers' post was otherwise perfect content for your blogsite....

    Complete MDT.

    • 16 September 2013 23:31 PM
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    Well I for one am awaiting your response Pee Bee.


    should be good.

    • 16 September 2013 16:29 PM
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    Mr RR

    Your bad news for the day...

    I WILL be commenting - later. Unlike you, I am GENUINELY too busy to put my mind to it at this moment.

    You will no doubt have retired for the night by the time I post - but it will be there waiting for you in the morning.

    Something for you to look forward to. :o)

    • 16 September 2013 15:26 PM
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    ITF - you're right, I just had the urge to wind him up when I stopped for coffee earlier. I should be old enough to know better really . . . .

    • 16 September 2013 15:13 PM
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    Steve, the best plan with RR is just to ignore him,if he ever had the plot, hes lost it.

    • 16 September 2013 13:26 PM
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    I'll point out the most obvious flaw in Realising Reality's comment.

    Mass market vendors don't want to pay someone to "help them buy". If they did there be loads more relocation / homesearch companies out there.

    But. if you think differently and you think its a great business idea, give it a go - perhaps you'll make a killing.

    • 16 September 2013 12:54 PM
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    What a ridiculous suggestion everyone knows who has an IQ over 10 that the more you mess with a free market the more less efficient it becomes...just like communism!

    • 16 September 2013 12:51 PM
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    Glad I got a nice little portfolio when the HPC crew were saying its going to crash, they are all going on the market to release the profits in Spring, lovin it!

    • 16 September 2013 12:38 PM
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    Thanks for leaving out EA's Rant ;-)

    • 16 September 2013 12:23 PM
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    "No one wants to see house prices rising at outlandish levels"

    Apart from the government, bankers, the media and the Boomer generation.

    • 16 September 2013 11:56 AM
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    Here we go again.

    • 16 September 2013 10:45 AM
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    Basically the story is all the VI's think :
    Any intervention or manipulation to cool house prices = bad
    Any intervention or manipulation to raise house prices = good. What a surprise.

    Paul Smith, CEO of Spicerhaart, "A market sets its own level"
    If left alone it does but i think record low interest rates and various schemes thought up by the vote buyers, may have something to do with the current level of the housing market.

    Building more houses will not make them any cheaper the main thing that effects house prices is the availability of cheap credit.

    • 16 September 2013 10:03 AM
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    As few others seem to be willing to comment here, I wish to announce, to the estate agents profession, my unique formula for smoothing peaks and troughs in the housing cycle and wish to announce it today. I invite detailed but constructive discussions on these new proposals:

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

    Instead if trying to interfere with the free market, the government 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 also 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.

    There's more information on this at the Property Match (UK) blog, which I would politely suggest those interested should read before trying to castigate these positive new ideas without having properly considered them.

    I shan't be available to give blow by blow responses here but hope to sum up after your comments are mostly made.

    • 16 September 2013 10:01 AM
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