An Estate Agent Speaks Out

Wednesday, April 22, 2009 by Ivor Dickinson

OK, so I know it’s all the fault of the banks. The fact that this “new” Labour government have been bowing and scraping to the City since its first day in power like some sycophantic maitre de in a pseudo grand restaurant never likely to achieve a star status of any kind, is beside the point. Why did the thought to improve regulation never cross their minds? Why did our then Chancellor continue to take the credit for the booming economy without once questioning that perhaps house price rises of 25% per annum weren’t a very good thing and issuing mortgages to individuals who couldn’t possibly service them was a recipe for disaster?

How Labour led us into this depression has been debated by people far more knowledgeable than I could ever be and on many occasions. What I want to know is something else entirely - what have you done with my money?

This Government has taken more money from the people of the United Kingdom than any other in history. Billions and billions of pounds in a never ending round of tax increases, and as if that wasn’t enough money for them, they have managed to increase the UK’s national debt to £717 billion and sold all our gold reserves for apparently tuppence ha’penny. And what have we got to show for it? Someone please tell me – does it have to be a secret? What amazes me is that we as a nation have not risen as one and paraded Tony Blair and Gordon Brown through the streets of London dressed in sackcloth until they arrived at Nelson’s Column, where they should have been bound and publicly flogged.

You might think this a bit extreme, but ask yourselves the question – where is the money? What have they both done with all this money? I have racked my brains, I have looked around and studied all I survey and I still cannot find the answer. The only thing I can think of is bonfires – this Government must have been building huge bonfires up and down the country late at night after we were all tucked up in bed. There must have been hundreds of them to so successfully dispose of so many billions of pounds, and yet no one noticed – amazing.

To be fair to the Government, they have done a far better job of disposing of our money than they have in helping businesses. As the country sinks ever deeper into recession, the damage done to business defies belief. What goes through their minds? Businesses are failing every hour – I know what, let’s put up business rates, let’s make pensions a thing of the past and everybody can just work for longer (if they have a job, that is), let’s introduce swathes of legislation which cost millions to implement and benefit nobody. HIPs are such a completely pointless piece of legislation that it literally beggars belief. If you asked a kindergarten in South London to come up with an idea to improve the buying and selling of property, they would without question come up with a better idea.

But all is not lost, despite their best efforts, some estate agents are still in business and as far as the property market in Central London is concerned, I genuinely think that we are over the worst. Over the past 3 months (January, February & March), here at D&G we have seen an ever increasing desire to buy and as landlords return their properties to the sales market, this should fuel the desire and at the same time slow the decrease in rents that we have seen in recent months. The lack of property that has been a feature of the Spring market this year has actually caused prices in D&G’s area to increase by 1.6%, which would have seemed unimaginable in January. As Labour told us on the night they won the election “Things can only get better” – and always remember, every recession has to end at some point.