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The False Estate: Did Property Journalists Mislead Investors?

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No news to HPCs, of course, but the MSM is catching up.?

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/media/press/the-false-estate-did-property-journalists-mislead-investors-2058639.html

If the British property market resembles a shrivelling party balloon, in Ireland it looks more like the aftermath of the Hindenburg disaster. The bubble that started growing in the 1990s and accelerated out of control after 2002, when Ireland joined the euro, eventually burst spectacularly in 2008, and has yet to show any signs of recovery. Since the crash, those who lost a fortune or who have been left with unsellable property have been looking for someone to blame.

Now a hate figure has emerged in the form of the property journalist. Although a case has yet to be lodged, a number of aggrieved investors are said to be consulting Dublin lawyers about launching a case against certain journalists who, they believe, were responsible for misleading them into investing in developments that failed to deliver promised returns.

"Journalists fear they may be made legally liable for misleading readers who followed their advice and bought properties abroad, suffering major losses," says Richard Compton Miller, a property journalist himself. "There's a lot of anger among investors."

If such a case were brought, it would raise questions about the responsibility of journalists who use supposedly impartial editorial space to promote commercial developments. It may be understood among journalists that the editorials of glossy property supplements follow a less rigorous code of impartiality than conventional journalism – they are essentially vehicles for advertising – but to the consumer such a distinction may not be so clear.

Articles recommending holiday homes abroad are particularly contentious, says Compton Miller. "Journalists would go on trips to places like Bulgaria and recommend it as a place to buy a holiday flat. Now, places like Bulgaria have fared very badly, and people are feeling angry with the journalists who promoted it."

Property journalists have already fallen victim to the crash as newspapers have cut budgets and downpaged – or axed – their property supplements, because of loss of advertising. But many lawyers are sceptical about how strong a case against journalists could be. "The idea that any investor could sue a property journalist is barking mad," says Simon McAleese, a Dublin lawyer. "Though it wouldn't surprise me: people have been getting desperate to find someone to blame."

Even if it would be hard to prove that property journalists had deliberately misled readers, it is easy to see why investors might feel cheated. Property journalism has exploded over the past decade in line with the boom. But it has always been fraught with questions of independence, as developers use offers of lavish trips abroad to entice journalists to write about their projects.

"There are a huge number of freebies," says journalist Graham Norwood. "One top agent offered me cash to write a nice piece about aproperty. But part of the problem with international property is that the only way we can see a development is if the trip is paid for. Newspapers can't afford to send us, and we can't afford to send ourselves."

Because of this, it is rare to find developments getting a negative press. "If we don't like a development or property, we don't run an article," says one editor. This approach has led to certain supplements earning reputations for only running good-news stories, which investors might argue is misleading.

But, says Norwood: "Developers can be aggressive about coverage. They have threatened to sue newspapers if they publish negative editorial."

Among the victims of Ireland's property crash are newspaper groups themselves: at the height of the boom in 2006, The Irish Times bought property search website Myhome.ie for €50m, a sum it would now be unlikely to fetch. And with papers investing in the property market, the impartiality of property supplements became even more questionable. "There were certainly some journalists who were notorious for only writing good-news stories, and of questionable partiality," says one writer, who wishes to remain anonymous. "But most are like any journalists, they try to be fair and accurate."

Whatever a story's angle, the burden of due diligence would always rest on an investor, says McAleese. "Proving professional negligence is difficult at the best of times," he says. "But the argument here would be impossible to stand up. It is buyer's remorse gone mad. It's like the mad murderer's argument: you knew I was mad, you should have put me in a padded cell."

But McAleese does not rule out such a case being lodged. "We've had the most bizarre excuses trotted forward in the Irish courts for commercial naivety. The English have a much more stoical approach, they just say tough luck, and get on with it. Here we're still casting around for someone to blame."

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The thing these journalists were probably to thick to fully understand the markets and believed what the were saying. The people who bought were too gullible and lazy to do their own research.

They're both to blame for stoking the bubble but only the 'investors' are responsible for their actions and investments losses.

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The thing these journalists were probably to thick to fully understand the markets and believed what the were saying. The people who bought were too gullible and lazy to do their own research.

They're both to blame for stoking the bubble but only the 'investors' are responsible for their actions and investments losses.

If everything you read says "buy this, it's a great investment and you can't lose" then you need to be either very independent-minded or to have a support group such as HPC which will give you the confidence to say "it's a bad investment".

There is at least one case quoted on here of a poster either divorcing or leaving their partner because she and her family insisted he buy a house with a huge mortgage. The wife and the family would have been hugely influence by these journos and property porn shows whereas the poster, being more financially savvy, saw it as a fast-track route to bankruptcy.

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No news to HPCs, of course, but the MSM is catching up.?

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/media/press/the-false-estate-did-property-journalists-mislead-investors-2058639.html

If the British property market resembles a shrivelling party balloon, in Ireland it looks more like the aftermath of the Hindenburg disaster. The bubble that started growing in the 1990s and accelerated out of control after 2002, when Ireland joined the euro, eventually burst spectacularly in 2008, and has yet to show any signs of recovery. Since the crash, those who lost a fortune or who have been left with unsellable property have been looking for someone to blame.

Now a hate figure has emerged in the form of the property journalist. Although a case has yet to be lodged, a number of aggrieved investors are said to be consulting Dublin lawyers about launching a case against certain journalists who, they believe, were responsible for misleading them into investing in developments that failed to deliver promised returns.

"Journalists fear they may be made legally liable for misleading readers who followed their advice and bought properties abroad, suffering major losses," says Richard Compton Miller, a property journalist himself. "There's a lot of anger among investors."

If such a case were brought, it would raise questions about the responsibility of journalists who use supposedly impartial editorial space to promote commercial developments. It may be understood among journalists that the editorials of glossy property supplements follow a less rigorous code of impartiality than conventional journalism – they are essentially vehicles for advertising – but to the consumer such a distinction may not be so clear.

Articles recommending holiday homes abroad are particularly contentious, says Compton Miller. "Journalists would go on trips to places like Bulgaria and recommend it as a place to buy a holiday flat. Now, places like Bulgaria have fared very badly, and people are feeling angry with the journalists who promoted it."

Property journalists have already fallen victim to the crash as newspapers have cut budgets and downpaged – or axed – their property supplements, because of loss of advertising. But many lawyers are sceptical about how strong a case against journalists could be. "The idea that any investor could sue a property journalist is barking mad," says Simon McAleese, a Dublin lawyer. "Though it wouldn't surprise me: people have been getting desperate to find someone to blame."

Even if it would be hard to prove that property journalists had deliberately misled readers, it is easy to see why investors might feel cheated. Property journalism has exploded over the past decade in line with the boom. But it has always been fraught with questions of independence, as developers use offers of lavish trips abroad to entice journalists to write about their projects.

"There are a huge number of freebies," says journalist Graham Norwood. "One top agent offered me cash to write a nice piece about aproperty. But part of the problem with international property is that the only way we can see a development is if the trip is paid for. Newspapers can't afford to send us, and we can't afford to send ourselves."

Because of this, it is rare to find developments getting a negative press. "If we don't like a development or property, we don't run an article," says one editor. This approach has led to certain supplements earning reputations for only running good-news stories, which investors might argue is misleading.

But, says Norwood: "Developers can be aggressive about coverage. They have threatened to sue newspapers if they publish negative editorial."

Among the victims of Ireland's property crash are newspaper groups themselves: at the height of the boom in 2006, The Irish Times bought property search website Myhome.ie for €50m, a sum it would now be unlikely to fetch. And with papers investing in the property market, the impartiality of property supplements became even more questionable. "There were certainly some journalists who were notorious for only writing good-news stories, and of questionable partiality," says one writer, who wishes to remain anonymous. "But most are like any journalists, they try to be fair and accurate."

Whatever a story's angle, the burden of due diligence would always rest on an investor, says McAleese. "Proving professional negligence is difficult at the best of times," he says. "But the argument here would be impossible to stand up. It is buyer's remorse gone mad. It's like the mad murderer's argument: you knew I was mad, you should have put me in a padded cell."

But McAleese does not rule out such a case being lodged. "We've had the most bizarre excuses trotted forward in the Irish courts for commercial naivety. The English have a much more stoical approach, they just say tough luck, and get on with it. Here we're still casting around for someone to blame."

Brilliant news! Thanks for posting it.

Someone should send a link to it to Kirstie Allsopp. :)

.

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The thing these journalists were probably to thick to fully understand the markets and believed what the were saying. The people who bought were too gullible and lazy to do their own research.

They're both to blame for stoking the bubble but only the 'investors' are responsible for their actions and investments losses.

Oh come on PentUp, these journos were incompetent. You may be right, some may be just very thick, but incompetent nevertheless.

And some must have known it was a bubble, and kept writing cr@p. Now let us enjoy watching them shake a little. They fully deserve it!

Let the courts decide case by case. :) Including the BBC's bias - "talking up the economy" = making cannon fodder out of gullible viewers - but "for the good of the nation", you understand... :rolleyes: The unethical B@stards! They do deserve to be sued.

Actually, the BBC - a public sector service broadcaster - deserves a public enquire!

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The plebs that bought and lost are just looking for someone to blame.

Where there is blame there is a claim? Any self respecting Judge would throw this out in an instant.

This is like trying to sue the Sports writer in your newspaper as you lost out by backing his tip in the 2.30 at Newmarket.........

Nothing to see here..........

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http://www.independent.co.uk/news/media/press/the-false-estate-did-property-journalists-mislead-investors-2058639.html

If the British property market resembles a shrivelling party balloon, in Ireland it looks more like the aftermath of the Hindenburg disaster. The bubble that started growing in the 1990s and accelerated out of control after 2002, when Ireland joined the euro, eventually burst spectacularly in 2008, and has yet to show any signs of recovery. Since the crash, those who lost a fortune or who have been left with unsellable property have been looking for someone to blame.

Now a hate figure has emerged in the form of the property journalist. Although a case has yet to be lodged, a number of aggrieved investors are said to be consulting Dublin lawyers about launching a case against certain journalists who, they believe, were responsible for misleading them into investing in developments that failed to deliver promised returns.

"Journalists fear they may be made legally liable for misleading readers who followed their advice and bought properties abroad, suffering major losses," says Richard Compton Miller, a property journalist himself. "There's a lot of anger among investors."

If such a case were brought, it would raise questions about the responsibility of journalists who use supposedly impartial editorial space to promote commercial developments. It may be understood among journalists that the editorials of glossy property supplements follow a less rigorous code of impartiality than conventional journalism – they are essentially vehicles for advertising – but to the consumer such a distinction may not be so clear.

Articles recommending holiday homes abroad are particularly contentious, says Compton Miller. "Journalists would go on trips to places like Bulgaria and recommend it as a place to buy a holiday flat. Now, places like Bulgaria have fared very badly, and people are feeling angry with the journalists who promoted it."

Property journalists have already fallen victim to the crash as newspapers have cut budgets and downpaged – or axed – their property supplements, because of loss of advertising. But many lawyers are sceptical about how strong a case against journalists could be. "The idea that any investor could sue a property journalist is barking mad," says Simon McAleese, a Dublin lawyer. "Though it wouldn't surprise me: people have been getting desperate to find someone to blame."

Even if it would be hard to prove that property journalists had deliberately misled readers, it is easy to see why investors might feel cheated. Property journalism has exploded over the past decade in line with the boom. But it has always been fraught with questions of independence, as developers use offers of lavish trips abroad to entice journalists to write about their projects.

"There are a huge number of freebies," says journalist Graham Norwood. "One top agent offered me cash to write a nice piece about aproperty. But part of the problem with international property is that the only way we can see a development is if the trip is paid for. Newspapers can't afford to send us, and we can't afford to send ourselves."

Because of this, it is rare to find developments getting a negative press. "If we don't like a development or property, we don't run an article," says one editor. This approach has led to certain supplements earning reputations for only running good-news stories, which investors might argue is misleading.

But, says Norwood: "Developers can be aggressive about coverage. They have threatened to sue newspapers if they publish negative editorial."

Among the victims of Ireland's property crash are newspaper groups themselves: at the height of the boom in 2006, The Irish Times bought property search website Myhome.ie for €50m, a sum it would now be unlikely to fetch. And with papers investing in the property market, the impartiality of property supplements became even more questionable. "There were certainly some journalists who were notorious for only writing good-news stories, and of questionable partiality," says one writer, who wishes to remain anonymous. "But most are like any journalists, they try to be fair and accurate."

Whatever a story's angle, the burden of due diligence would always rest on an investor, says McAleese. "Proving professional negligence is difficult at the best of times," he says. "But the argument here would be impossible to stand up. It is buyer's remorse gone mad. It's like the mad murderer's argument: you knew I was mad, you should have put me in a padded cell."

But McAleese does not rule out such a case being lodged. "We've had the most bizarre excuses trotted forward in the Irish courts for commercial naivety. The English have a much more stoical approach, they just say tough luck, and get on with it. Here we're still casting around for someone to blame."

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Odd that £300k salaried, best of the best of the best, "I deserve a bonus cos Im worth it", bankers also fell for it.

Maybe they are just as stupid as those who thought £150K for a flat in crime and poverty ridden Bulgaria was a ticket to a Royal Lifestyle.

COurse, the bankers kept their jobs and bonuses...in spite of the loans they sold defaulting and the remaining backed by worthless property.

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Whatever the rights and wrongs, where responsibility lies etc., two good thing could come out of this:

1. Property rampers in their various forms may think twice before ramping.

2. Joe public may start to question ramping a little more.

All good with me...

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I half-remember an episode where, six months before, they had bought the place for £120k and when she came back it had gone to £180k. We can likely assume the buyers only had a 10% deposit, so they had turned £12k into £72k (six times your money) in six months. Everyone looked mildly despondent at the news of 36 times your money annualised rate of return, and Krusty reassured them that "it hadn't done too badly".

At this point anyone should have known that she knows as much about investing as she does about circuit training.

It was quoted on here that they'd pulled the last season of her property ramping show because people were losing money and it wasn't much fun.

Well it would have been for some of us B)

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Whatever the rights and wrongs, where responsibility lies etc., two good thing could come out of this:

1. Property rampers in their various forms may think twice before ramping.

2. Joe public may start to question ramping a little more.

All good with me...

+ 1

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There was an 'article' in the Sunday Times today about property investment in student areas - might as well have been sponsored by Foxtons.

They cunningly cited capital growth over 5 years to show how much property had risen in university towns. Pah.

Some fools will buy into it, I suppose.

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I would consider my taxes well spent if Kirstie et al were prosecuted over this.

You have had to have an extremely strong mind not to buy into the mania of the last 5+ years (and frankly in many areas of the country you would still be considerably ahead if you'd bought in 2005). Fortunately where I live prices in some areas are already at 2005 levels and still dropping. The argument has been finally worn with my friends and family.

The media is definitely cupable - and most of them are still doing it (prices soar by 0.1% one week and ease by 1% the next). Which is why I refuse to buy any newspapers nowadays.

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I would consider my taxes well spent if Kirstie et al were prosecuted over this.

You have had to have an extremely strong mind not to buy into the mania of the last 5+ years (and frankly in many areas of the country you would still be considerably ahead if you'd bought in 2005). Fortunately where I live prices in some areas are already at 2005 levels and still dropping. The argument has been finally worn with my friends and family.

The media is definitely cupable - and most of them are still doing it (prices soar by 0.1% one week and ease by 1% the next). Which is why I refuse to buy any newspapers nowadays.

Where do you live?

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The thing these journalists were probably to thick to fully understand the markets and believed what the were saying. The people who bought were too gullible and lazy to do their own research.

They're both to blame for stoking the bubble but only the 'investors' are responsible for their actions and investments losses.

"TOO THICK" --- NOT "TO THICK"!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :angry:

Edited by eric pebble

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[Kirsty Allfat]

At this point anyone should have known that she knows as much about investing as she does about circuit training.

:D:D:D 11/10.

Edit: God I LOATHE that fat cow..... :rolleyes:

Edited by eric pebble

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remember the t0$$er Phil Spencer when he was talking to some poor and getting poorer idiot about his flat,

he had bought it for something stupid like 180k and it was now only worth 130k (he said, i would say 80k) the rent he was getting was £200 a month less than the mortgage he was paying, and phil called it ! "a nice little earner"

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At least they admit the property sections are puff-pieces.

"There are a huge number of freebies," says journalist Graham Norwood. "One top agent offered me cash to write a nice piece about aproperty. But part of the problem with international property is that the only way we can see a development is if the trip is paid for. Newspapers can't afford to send us, and we can't afford to send ourselves."

Perhaps a "health-warning" on the masthead of each Sunday supplement?

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There was an 'article' in the Sunday Times today about property investment in student areas - might as well have been sponsored by Foxtons.

They cunningly cited capital growth over 5 years to show how much property had risen in university towns. Pah.

Some fools will buy into it, I suppose.

Oh dear, everything is screaming run for it from that market! More halls of residence being built, less University uptake...

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Oh dear, everything is screaming run for it from that market! More halls of residence being built, less University uptake...

Although we are not currently looking to buy any more, our set of 15 student houses in Kent are doing very well - all let for this year, most of them were rented for the academic year just abut to start back last December.

Although some Unis ARE building new halls of residence (usually in conjunction with some private developer) have you seen the high prices they want to charge per room per week? In many towns these new "halls" cost so much more than the going rate to rent a house that many students would rather just rent a house.

People should still "do their homework" as with any property investment. We did.

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After that legendary Money Programme edition that Eric Pebble often refers to (and rightly so), the journalists were instructed by the PTB to STFU and toe the line.

The instructions were clear and unambiguous: Your responsibility is to create a culture of property avarice among the masses and don't go asking any questions or else.

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Journalists opinions have no legal duty to give good advice.

Their views are just another person's opinion, like on here, or down the pub, or wherever else.

I really doubt that anyone will make a court case stick on the basis that "some bloke in the paper said this place was a good deal".

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  • 195 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


      • down 5% +
      • down 2.5%
      • Even
      • up 2.5%
      • up 5%



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