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Jimmy James

My Letter To National Housing Federation

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Letter sent to the director and a good number of National Housing Federation policy and press staff. Will post any replies I get

--------

Dear David,

I have just been looking at your report and associated press release for your 'England's affordability timebomb report'.

As someone who is priced out of the housing market with very little hope of affording a home, I welcome the attention your report gives to the issue. However I feel the manner in which you present the report and the policy recommendations coming from it are unlikely to provide much help - and in fact may harm the cause of more affordable housing.

One of the major driver for increasing house prices over the past 7 years has been the evolution of housing into an investment asset - driven by greater levels of lax lending by banks and a new rise of investor, who buy property in hope of returns from their capital or from rental income.

Yet your report makes only passing reference to this issue, and none of its recommendations talk about addressing demand side issues.

It is difficult to see how house price inflation can continue to outstrip wage inflation unless you can convincingly answer the question - who will be able to continue to pay these prices, and why? Your report grossly fails to do this.

Instead you continue to have a myopic focus on supply side issues.

A cynical observer would say that your report is more designed as a case of special pleading for Housing Associations in the run up to the Treasury's Comprehensive Spending Review, than an attempt to set out the policy measures needed to bring about affordable housing.

These cynicism is added to by your use of 'econometric studies' by OEF - the same modellers that helped produce the equally supply side obsessed Barker Review.

Merely paying OEF to dust off their old models to help you catch a journalist's eye may be a good press strategy - but it severely undermines the policy credibility of the National Housing Federation. My bet is that commission was for three days work and with no expert policy input of National Housing Federation staff, and with little understanding of the parameters of the exercise - let alone ability to tweak the exercise to reflect the National Housing Federation’s traditional policy concerns.

It is also highly counterproductive for the quest for affordable housing.

It is also very difficult to see how getting widespread headlines stating "Home prices 'to rise 50% by 2011'" is going to do much to cool the speculative bubble that has grown up around housing. In fact it is likely to encourage more speculative investment.

For those who are priced out of affording a house this is disappointing. If you really want more money from government to spend on Housing Association projects - fine. But in producing such a thin report where the desire for media coverage takes precedence over decent analytical work you do yourself and the quest for affordable housing great damage.

Yours in disappointment

...

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Guest Alright Jack

Letter sent to the director and a good number of National Housing Federation policy and press staff. Will post any replies I get

--------

Dear David,

I have just been looking at your report and associated press release for your 'England's affordability timebomb report'.

As someone who is priced out of the housing market with very little hope of affording a home, I welcome the attention your report gives to the issue. However I feel the manner in which you present the report and the policy recommendations coming from it are unlikely to provide much help - and in fact may harm the cause of more affordable housing.

One of the major driver for increasing house prices over the past 7 years has been the evolution of housing into an investment asset - driven by greater levels of lax lending by banks and a new rise of investor, who buy property in hope of returns from their capital or from rental income.

Yet your report makes only passing reference to this issue, and none of its recommendations talk about addressing demand side issues.

It is difficult to see how house price inflation can continue to outstrip wage inflation unless you can convincingly answer the question - who will be able to continue to pay these prices, and why? Your report grossly fails to do this.

Instead you continue to have a myopic focus on supply side issues.

A cynical observer would say that your report is more designed as a case of special pleading for Housing Associations in the run up to the Treasury's Comprehensive Spending Review, than an attempt to set out the policy measures needed to bring about affordable housing.

These cynicism is added to by your use of 'econometric studies' by OEF - the same modellers that helped produce the equally supply side obsessed Barker Review.

Merely paying OEF to dust off their old models to help you catch a journalist's eye may be a good press strategy - but it severely undermines the policy credibility of the National Housing Federation. My bet is that commission was for three days work and with no expert policy input of National Housing Federation staff, and with little understanding of the parameters of the exercise - let alone ability to tweak the exercise to reflect the National Housing Federation’s traditional policy concerns.

It is also highly counterproductive for the quest for affordable housing.

It is also very difficult to see how getting widespread headlines stating "Home prices 'to rise 50% by 2011'" is going to do much to cool the speculative bubble that has grown up around housing. In fact it is likely to encourage more speculative investment.

For those who are priced out of affording a house this is disappointing. If you really want more money from government to spend on Housing Association projects - fine. But in producing such a thin report where the desire for media coverage takes precedence over decent analytical work you do yourself and the quest for affordable housing great damage.

Yours in disappointment

...

You're playing into their hands you fool. Can you not see that?

The only thing to do is ignore it. Say to yourself:-

"I'm no tennis player, but I know a racket when I see one"

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You're playing into their hands you fool. Can you not see that?

Unfortunately I don't know that, in the present political climate, it would be possible to do anything to the demand side. Middle England would pee pee themselves purple with apoplexy. Political suicide. Protecting the value of peoples homes and all that. Who are you going to vote for that would do any different? Except for the Ludwigs of course, but that just makes us all look like Ludwigs, so I would not recommend it.

pip pip,

Edited by gordonbrown

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Unfortunately, I don't think it will get far. Looking at the report it is simply rubbish. They assume interest rates will stay roughly the same, yet, wage inflation will pick up - causing inflation to pick up, causing interest rates to pick up. Or they must assume rents increase to support property as an investment, but this would cause inflation to pick up, causing interest rates to pick up. It's just rubbish.

I'm still waiting on several complaints from certain media broadcasters, yet they probably hope I will just drop it. Take "I want it now" (BBC1), I had extremely strong grounds to complain, but they can't even give me a decent reply. The whole media is a joke.

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Letter sent to the director and a good number of National Housing Federation policy and press staff. Will post any replies I get

--------

Dear David,

I have just been looking at your report and associated press release for your 'England's affordability timebomb report'.

As someone who is priced out of the housing market with very little hope of affording a home, I welcome the attention your report gives to the issue. However I feel the manner in which you present the report and the policy recommendations coming from it are unlikely to provide much help - and in fact may harm the cause of more affordable housing.

One of the major driver for increasing house prices over the past 7 years has been the evolution of housing into an investment asset - driven by greater levels of lax lending by banks and a new rise of investor, who buy property in hope of returns from their capital or from rental income.

Yet your report makes only passing reference to this issue, and none of its recommendations talk about addressing demand side issues.

It is difficult to see how house price inflation can continue to outstrip wage inflation unless you can convincingly answer the question - who will be able to continue to pay these prices, and why? Your report grossly fails to do this.

Instead you continue to have a myopic focus on supply side issues.

A cynical observer would say that your report is more designed as a case of special pleading for Housing Associations in the run up to the Treasury's Comprehensive Spending Review, than an attempt to set out the policy measures needed to bring about affordable housing.

These cynicism is added to by your use of 'econometric studies' by OEF - the same modellers that helped produce the equally supply side obsessed Barker Review.

Merely paying OEF to dust off their old models to help you catch a journalist's eye may be a good press strategy - but it severely undermines the policy credibility of the National Housing Federation. My bet is that commission was for three days work and with no expert policy input of National Housing Federation staff, and with little understanding of the parameters of the exercise - let alone ability to tweak the exercise to reflect the National Housing Federation’s traditional policy concerns.

It is also highly counterproductive for the quest for affordable housing.

It is also very difficult to see how getting widespread headlines stating "Home prices 'to rise 50% by 2011'" is going to do much to cool the speculative bubble that has grown up around housing. In fact it is likely to encourage more speculative investment.

For those who are priced out of affording a house this is disappointing. If you really want more money from government to spend on Housing Association projects - fine. But in producing such a thin report where the desire for media coverage takes precedence over decent analytical work you do yourself and the quest for affordable housing great damage.

Yours in disappointment

...

Good letter, exactly the point, and very well written.

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You're playing into their hands you fool. Can you not see that?

The only thing to do is ignore it. Say to yourself:-

"I'm no tennis player, but I know a racket when I see one"

"You're playing into their hands you fool. Can you not see that?"

Oh and I suppose you're the oracle Jack (you fool) can YOU not see that.

Nice one Jimmy....an excellent letter.....you got off your **** to counter the ******** emanating from the VI's......you should be applauded for this not written off.....

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The report is undoubtedly garbage. Any company wich includes 'Oxford' in its name is about as trustworthy as a 'Harley Street' Doctor! This one is nothing more than a 'consultancy' that will produce whatever report you want to pay for!

As for your letter FFS - it's basically too nice! They (the NHF) are VIs with as much interest in talking the market up as the rest of them.

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If I was writing to Halifax or Nationwide then you might have a point that I was being too nice. The problem is that there are lots of - otherwise well meaning - think tanks and housing groups, such as the National Housing Federation or Shelter, who are way off base in terms of their analysis. If you could get movement within these organisations - who have the resources and write about these issues all the time - to look at the demand side problems then that will be much more effective than just slagging them off.

There are many different types of actors who can bring about change through different routes. Being rude to some is justifiable, being rude to others gets you nowhere. Engaging with the policy teams in these groups makes sense, shouting at them doesn't.

JJ

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Decided that this may get a better response:

--------------------

Subject: the NHF report and legal status of advice.

Dear Gavin and George,

I've seen that you've also been involved in writing the report "England’s Housing Timebomb"

I've sent the below comments to David Orr and members of NHF's policy and media teams. Would also be interested to hear your comments.

I also wondered what NHF's view on the legal status of the forcasts you give in the report are.

On page 6 you state: "The average house price in England will be around £300,000 by 2011." and series of other statements including: "Average house prices will increase by 5.1% between 2005

and 2006, but will increase faster than 7% a year from 2008-2011."

I cannot find any legal caveats within the report stating disclaimers for this not constituting investment advice and that these forcasts may not prove to be correct. In fact I can find the following information: "The facts in this booklet use the latest available official government and other statistical sources at the time of going to print. In some areas the National Housing Federation has carried out additional analysis to draw out the social and economic implications of the figures." which seem to add validation to your analysis and directly link this to NHF's own in house analysis.

I, and several of my friends, are now thinking of buying a house in the next month based on the belief that you have given me that house prices are going to increase 50% within the next 5 years.

If this does not happen I believe I will have recourse to sue NHF for providing misleading investment information.

If you believe this is not true could you provide me with an independent legal opinion explaining which parts of the report state that the advice you give should not be interpreted as investment advice.

Many thanks

...

Edited by Jimmy James

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  • 301 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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