Real estate, alternative real assets and other diversions

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News from the resi frontline - part 2

The Stamp Duty and BREXIT issues that have beset the UK housing market for the last 3 years feel like a walk in the park (no pun intended) when compared to the current economic paralysis. 2020 felt like a new start, a chance to reset the clock and move forward with confidence. Boris was in No. 10, we were entering the negotiation phase of the withdrawal from Europe and people knew the direction that the country was now taking. Prime London values had risen 2% by the end of February, according to... Read More >

Recent Articles:

Big Moves in the Estate Agency Market
A planned new regulatory system aims to raise standards in a rapidly changing marketplace Is competency finally going to be as important as competition in the UK residential estate agency market?  When in 1979 the Estate Agents Act Read More >
The influence of Foxtons on London Estate Agency
40 odd years ago, Jon Hunt hit upon the idea of shaking up the Estate Agency business, creating an organisation that was very much out of his mould.  I don't know him per se but by all accounts he is a dominant individual with an acute Read More >
Purplebricks posts £52m loss, 55% revenue rise and confirms US withdrawal
Purplebricks has revealed its annual results for the year ending April 30 2019.  The hybrid agency has posted an operating loss of £52.3 million, up from £27.8 million in 2018. It does, however, report a UK operating profit of £5.3 Read More >
Market Share: High Street estate agents crush online firms
New figures released show High Street estate agents taking an increasingly large market share as online operators continue to crumble. According to the fortnightly update from The Advisory, a consultancy that monitors housing market Read More >
Increasing number of large-scale landlords as buy to let amateurs quit
A new survey by one of the sector’s most respected lenders, Paragon, suggests large scale landlords are now a bigger force in the buy to let sector following the exit of some small amateur landlords. Paragon’s survey is small - just 200 Read More >
The Scorpion #2 Online vs high street, estate agents' boards, and rude receptionists
The battle between traditional high street agencies and their online competitors rumbles on, in a Goliath versus Goliath sort of way. While city investors don’t seem very keen on the former at the moment, the latter are not without their Read More >
The Scorpion #1 An insider's take on the business of buying and selling property
This is the first of a series of columns written by a residential estate agent about residential property. I have adopted a pseudonym because I am employed, and I would like, if necessary, to separate my views from those of my employers. I would Read More >
Online and hybrid estate agency – the beginning of the end or the end of the beginning? A view from inside the industry
Recent news for those operating in the property market has generally been negative with the effects of weak transactional volumes, falling house prices, lack of consumer confidence and increasing regulation all causing businesses to reappraise Read More >
What goes up can come down 1988 to 1998
A new generation now realised that what goes up can come down. 1988’s falls took until 1998 in London property to fully recover. Lessons learned in London over that period included the fact that even well off people didn’t want to live in Read More >
Ageism & aggression hits and things get personal! Why being an estate agent requires thick skin
Well, the year has got off to quite a start with my ego taking something of a hammering! First off, The Property Chronicle titled me a ‘Veteran Agent’ (could they not have thought of a kinder description?) then I was described as ‘Old Read More >
Tug of war with hands pulling rope in opposite directions Has buying and selling improved over the last five decades? A veteran agent looks back to the good old days of a 28 day exchange
A question often asked: so, how much has the whole procedure of buying and selling houses changed and hopefully improved then? Well, frankly, it hasn’t at all. On the plus side, we do have computers, better telephone systems, Read More >
Cassette tapes The beginning of the end Being an estate agent in the 80s
During the 80s being an agent still felt ‘less’ than working in the City. They had their own set of fireworks with Big Bang but at some point house prices started to become a talking point. They never had before and I remember conversations Read More >
Vintage cars on a street A new breed of agent Ed Mead looks back to what estate agency was like in the 80s
I’m not quite sure what it was that led to the emergence of the high end independent agent, especially in central London. For years, unless you were professionally accredited i.e. a RICS or ISVA member, you wouldn’t even have been considered Read More >
Monopoly houses balanced on one pound coins Reminiscences of an estate agent Alan Howick looks back on his five decades of experience
This November I clock up 50 years as an estate agent - and what have I learnt or gained from this experience? Well, I have tried alternative business options over the last five decades but still ended up selling second hand houses for a Read More >
Old clock in Waterloo Station, London How it was With almost 40 years' experience in the industry, Ed Mead looks back at what estate agents used to be like
About thirty years ago I remember my stepfather, a well-known man of considerable standing, surprising me by telling me I was in a ‘gentleman’s profession’. OK, he was quite old, but amongst the next generation up from me, i.e. the majority Read More >
Online Retailing: Britain, Europe, US and Canada 2017 European Online Growth
E-commerce is the fastest growing retail market in Europe and North America. Online sales in Western Europe and Poland grew from £174.76 bn [€201.33 bn] in 2015 to £201.90 bn [€232.60 bn] in 2016 (+15.6%). In 2017, we expect total Read More >


Investor's Notebook

Smart people from around the world share their thoughts

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The Macro View

Recent financial news and how it connects across all asset classes

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Fintech, proptech and what it all means

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A sideways look at the world of wine

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The Architect

Some of the profession's best minds

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The Auctioneer

What's going on in the auction world

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Residential Investor

Making money from residential property investment

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The Professor

Analysis and opinion from the academic sphere

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Face to Face

In-depth interviews with leading figures in the real estate/investment world.

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The Headhunter

Recruitment and career moves

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The Analyst

Investment themes and trends

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The Historian

A look back at previous cycles, events, characters

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The Economist

Money, rates and prices

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Political Insider

The inside scoop on Washington, Westminster and Whitehall

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The Agent

Reflections on estate agency, today and in past times

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Alternative assets

Investing in tangible assets

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