Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Bank of England Report

Begin forwarded message:

From: "Malcolm G. Lindley " <>
Date: 21 May 2010 17:00:35 GMT+01:00
To: "David Clark" <>
Subject: Bank of England Report

Malcolm G. Lindley
The Guild of Professional Estate Agents

Dear David Clark

The Bank of England Report

I would firstly like to thank all those of you who took the time and trouble to provide me with the information and ammunition for my meeting yesterday with the Bank of England – and, as promised, am pleased to provide a summary of the meeting.

The meeting was a discussion on current business conditions and was with Peter Andrews, Mark Menary and Kate Barker of the Bank of England Monetary Policy Committee.  I was representing Estate Agency interests and it is indeed a real privilege to be able to attend these consultations as they do form a real part of the Bank of England research and intelligence into the immediate sentiment of business at ground level.

I was questioned by the team and my report, in summary, was as follows –

"As Managing Director of GPEA Ltd I represent 800 individual independent estate agency offices. 

Since 2007, UK residential property sales levels fell from 1.2million transactions a year to a low of approximately 450,000 but they have now recovered to a run-rate of 650,000-700,000, however, transaction volumes are still approximately 33% off the peak.

Property prices have, on a national basis, recovered well, although this is patchy – in London, for example, prices have been particularly strong whereas part of the North of England, Wales and the Midlands are still recovering.

Prices have been stronger because of the level of supply versus demand, the introduction of Hips certainly tightened up the market and the lower interest rate (for those able to get mortgages) made property prices more achievable.

There are still enormous difficulties in the mortgage market and the supply of mortgage funds and low interest rates will be key factors in sustaining a recovery in the housing market. 

At present there is considerable concern around the uncertainly of Hips, interest rates, direct and indirect taxation, capital gains tax and spending cuts.  We look forward to clarity to remove this uncertainty and hope for a more consistent base upon which to rebuild a sustainable confidence".

Summary of the Bank of England Inflation Report –

"The United Kingdom continued to emerge from recession. World demand picked up further, although the pattern of recovery was uneven. The level of activity, both at home and in most other advanced economies, remained well below pre-crisis levels and heightened concerns about the fiscal position in some countries led to renewed fragility in financial markets.

A pickup in UK GDP growth is likely, underpinned by the considerable monetary stimulus, a projected global recovery and the past depreciation of sterling. But the pace of expansion is likely to be tempered by the need for fiscal consolidation and for further balance sheet repair by financial institutions.

Both the strength of the recovery and the impact of the financial crisis on the supply potential of the economy remain highly uncertain. Even with relatively robust growth, a degree of spare capacity would be likely to persist over the forecast period.

CPI inflation remained well above the 2% target, raised by the restoration of the standard rate of VAT to 17.5%, higher oil prices and the past depreciation of sterling. As these temporary effects on inflation wane, downward pressure from the persistent margin of spare capacity is likely to cause inflation to fall below the target for much of the forecast period. But the pace and extent of that moderation in inflation are highly uncertain.

Under the assumptions that Bank Rate moves in line with market interest rates and the stock of purchased assets financed by the issuance of central bank reserves remains at £200 billion, inflation is somewhat more likely to be below target than above it for much of the forecast period, although those risks are broadly balanced by the end."

Yours Sincerely,

Malcolm G. Lindley
Managing Director

Telephone: 020 7629 4141 Facsimile: 020 7629 2329 Visit Us Online
The Guild of Professional Estate Agents, 121 Park Lane, London W1K 7AG
G.P.E.A Ltd Reg No: 2819824. Registered Office: 119-121 Park Lane W1K 7AG
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Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Desktop Application | Rightmove property-to-you

Desktop Application | Rightmove property-to-you
You have to hand it to them! Rightmove keep on coming up with innovative ideas. This latest one is great for keeping up with what's coming to the market and you can schedule updates every 30 minutes if you wish. Great for agents keeping tabs on what's happening too!

Monday, May 17, 2010

HIPs on the way out?

HIPs abolition order is signed and ready 17/05/2010 (extracted from

An order to suspend HIPs has been signed, with the announcement of a suspension due this week as Parliament convenes.

According to well-placed sources, the order was signed on Friday morning.

The HIP industry is anxiously awaiting developments, and could mount a legal challenge to the suspension.

A note from the HIP Reform Group sent to its members says it is “firmly of the view that this would amount to an unlawful use of the statutory power (section 162). It could therefore be challenged in the Court. ??“Suspension of the HIP would kill our industry overnight. Not only would the HIP providers be affected, but the EPC market would also be instantly killed as responsibility for ordering the EPC would be left with the vendor. Thousands of jobs will be lost and livelihoods will be lost.”

The HIP Reform Group has called on all its members to lobby MPs and housing minister Grant Shapps.

Meanwhile Knight Frank called for the abolition of HIPs to go yet further, with the EPC pushed to the back of the transaction.

The firm said: “Only if this happens will the full damaging legacy of HIPs have been removed.”

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Try video again?

Does anyone remember way back in the days of VHS and Betamax when agents tried to use property videos to help sell and market properties? Most won't even remember those competing file types - a bit like Blueray trying to take over now really.

My youngest son is still a skateboarder at the ripe old age of 21 and he used to steal my video camera to get his mates to record some of his tricks and jumps etc. The inevitable happened and he dropped the £1,000 plus camera doing so much damage it was a write off. Being about 17 at the time he decided to just conceal the camcorder from his Dad and just hope I forgot about it. Well, he was right, I did - for quite a long time. Until I started to think about getting property back on to the web in video. I did a few short clips with my £100 Flip Mino to use via Youtube but was always a little frustrated at the amount of panning that had to go on - made you feel a bit seasick! Then I remembered the original video camera with the wide angle lens. Oh dear, the air was blue!

The wide angle lens was recovered and is now fitted to a new Sony courtesy of their latest trade-in deal - bit like the car scrappage scheme only my trade-in was scrap before it got to the shop!

I'm just starting to relearn the art of editing etc so here is my first little foray back into the amateur property videoing scene:

Thank goodness Youtube is free!