Friday, June 17, 2011

Happy Sellers and Buyers!

I just had to display this for everyone to see! Yvonne has been very stressed during this transaction so conveyancing solicitors will need to bear with her...

Sent: 16 June 2011 18:15
To: Barbara Harding
Subject: re our exchange

Thank you to you and David for the little extra support you gave me
latterly in the process it was much appreciated.  We were afflicted
with just about very problem you can get in a conveyance..except
someone dropping down dead !  I dont know that everybody knows
everything which gummed up the works along the way but certainly I
now have a very clear idea of what is good and bad in legal and
estate business.  YOU and Barbara Brooker were great and even a
Hertford estate agent I met on the way called Senel Ibrahim (of
Lanes) rang me up at intervals to ask how we were getting on..we were
hoping to buy in Hertford initially but the properties went up too
much in price.
In theory every property should have its own  one to one manager 24/7
but in practice I suppose this is not possible a lot of the time
especially in larger agencies.  It certainly would improve things
though if solicitors all informed their clients more often and
truthfully...there again buyers dont always play the game either as I
have seen.
 I have been in an advantaged position of  being able to access all
parties (with perseverance) without the restrictions of law and
ethical practice imposed upon the professionals.  I fully realise
this and am aware that your role is somewhat more
must be very frustrating for you doing this stuff sometimes if nobody
will tell you anything or the buyers are thick.

I hope you have an increasingly successful year and that the property
market goes back to its usual buzzing self very soon.  I am also so
glad you sold my friend Mary's house in Beresford Road..relatively
quickly too...she has been very unwell and needs an easier place to
maintain.  I tried to chemically burn out the bamboo in her garden
and it was a difficult job..did the developers think it was a
resettlement area for pandas?  Nobody plants that stuff anywhere but
in pots or the garden is lost.  I think solicitors and developers
need solicitor is better than most though even she was
getting ratty towards the end- perhaps we all were.

Best Wishes


Thursday, June 9, 2011

Fwd: HomeLet launches most comprehensive report on rental market

Sent from my iPhone

Begin forwarded message:

From: "HomeLet" <>
Date: 9 June 2011 18:15:46 GMT+01:00
To: <>
Subject: HomeLet  launches most comprehensive report on rental market
Reply-To: "HomeLet" <>


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Tuesday, June 7, 2011

£10 Billion of Public Land up For Grabs to Combat Housing Shortage

In a report in today’s Times it was reported that 1000’s of acres of public sector land that is deemed surplus near hospitals, schools and military bases must be identified by the autumn of this year to enable a potential sell-off.
Part of the proposal is a ‘Build Now, Buy Later’ plan whereby developers can pay for land once homes are completed. It is not clear in the article whether this means physical build completion or legal sales completion. The only way it would help developer/builders with a cash-flow problem is if it were the legal sales completion where money changes hands from buyer to seller.
Let’s just look at the ‘headers’ again:
·         Housing Shortage
·         Surplus Land
·         Developers/Builders with cash flow problems.

There is a housing shortage that is true. It was talked about before the more recent implosion of the financial system that helped create the current recession that has in turn caused a house price correction. House builders will not build at a loss. It’s not their ‘raison d’être’! So if it is not worthwhile building houses then you won’t. This situation has led to an increase in an already apparent shortage. It is worth examining where the ‘shortage’ actually is. Do we have a shortage of 5 bedroom, 3 bathroom, detached homes with triple garages and a pool? No. Do we have a shortage of 2/3 bedroom terrace and semi-detached homes? Probably Yes! I say probably because we are selling these homes that come to the market at prices that are affordable. So the key is price or affordability and it is primarily a social housing shortage.
If you have a shortage of any commodity, be it houses, flour, sugar or oranges then the price naturally rises if there is demand for it. It rises until it reaches a point where the buyers/consumers able to afford it drop off in numbers sufficient to halt further price increases (lack of sales) and the commodity remains on the shelf.
So the only way developers will buy surplus land to build homes on is if there is a market for the properties they build.  The tightening of mortgage lending, by increasing deposit requirements to levels unheard of before, means that the demand for these homes is there (the shortage) but the ability to buy is not. How is this equation solved? Simplistically you sell the land very cheaply so that when the build cost and profit requirement are added you have a total price that is within the grasp of these buyers. Why would any seller sell at the bottom of a cycle? If the land is surplus it was surplus some time ago!
Unfortunately, and I’m thinking out loud here, what happens to the value of similar second hand property in the vicinity of these new homes?
The other way is to create homes built by Government (our money) on surplus land (our land) to provide for the shortage. I think they used to call them Council Houses but today’s term is Social Housing!
Just to address the last point ‘Developers/Builders with cash flow problems’. Why is this the case? Probably because they can’t sell the homes they’ve already built, on land that they paid a lot more money for, at a profit and in sufficient numbers to create that cash flow.
I’m not proposing any answers here because I’m not certain there is any totally correct answer. If you think you might have then give Grant Shapps the Housing Minister  a call!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

House builders discuss 95% mortgages with lenders

So the house builders and the lenders have had a meeting to discuss how they can create 95% mortgages. Basically a good thing, as you would imagine most estate agents would say. But what proportion of the housing Market is represented by new homes sales to first time buyers? Also any first time buyer who purchases a new home is then a cost to the second hand Market of who knows how many sales!

If I think back 30 years my wife and I as first time buyers were providing a deposit of 10%. To do this we sold her car, saved up by not going out as much and generally committed ourselves to the task of buying our first home together. Ah, you might say, but house prices were so much cheaper then. True but my salary was just under £2,000 per annum with the prospect of perhaps another £1,000 in commission from selling at lease 6 houses per month personally. The first 4 didn't count towards commission but were to cover my costs to my employer!

I personally don't think 95% mortgages are what it's about. 90% is OK but today's first time buyers have to seriously want to do it! If that makes me sound old-fashioned then so be it. At least today's FTB's are not contending with galloping house price inflation. Qualifying for the mortgage is another can of worms. Freely available credit has enabled lots of youngsters the opportunity to get themselves a bad credit rating. The first whiff of this sort of problem and an application is rejected. Broadly this is seen as reigning in 'bad lending' but we have seen the extremes where minor misdemeanours create the same rejection.

The only way the Market as a whole will be motivated again is for reasonable lending to be restored - not just to to the new homes Market!