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Antony Antoniou – Luxury Property Expert

Antony Antoniou

We are all in this together

We are all in this together

We are all in this together

Are we really in this together?………………..I think NOT!

I will get to this later, but first:
I have been lambasted by Landlords, messaging me to say that they feel that I am in a campaign against them, nothing could be further from the truth. I am referring to the issues within the UK housing market, not making a case against anyone.

I have even had a comment accusing me of being a government agent, acting against landlords! Now whilst I must admit that I am partial to the odd Vodka Martini and exotic locations, the notion that I am a government agent would only be a feint vision of an exciting reality as seen in the movies, but the reality is that I am simply a businessman who runs an estate agents to my own personal moral code, regardless of the fact that I often lose out as a result, but I am more than happy to do so, if that means I can run my business to a strict moral code.

 

The volume of properties on the market is at 60% of a couple of decades ago, there are several reasons for this.

In the UK, people move every 5/6 years on average, selling their homes and moving upwards, making stock available for those entering the market. However, over the last couple of decades, as more and more properties have been bought for investment, these do not really return to market, which primarily affects FTB. At the same time, property from private landlords exiting the market is more than swallowed up by the massive purchases of corporations, notably Lloyds bank, who are buying thousands of properties, as they are on a mission to become the largest landlord in the UK by 2025, but what will be the consequences of that? It will invariably mean that there will be less and less housing available for first-time-buyers.

There is also the lack, or inadequate lack of building – lack of planning – and lack of incentives for small developers to improve the thousands of properties that are derelict, uninhabitable or now fall below the EPC minimum of an E, which is going to rise to a C in 2025, taking many more properties out of circulation. This is not to say that private landlords are to blame, after all, we have all been encouraged to invest in property by this and previous governments, yet they did nothing to avert this problem and ensure that everyone has the opportunity to own their own home.

What is my biggest concern?

My first concern is that none of you buy something that you potentially cannot afford, if I can prevent just one repossession over the next year, it will be worth it. This is why I just cannot emphasise enough, that if any of you are about to enter the market now, please do your sums. The pound may have had a slight reprieve, but it is still on thin ice, interest rates are likely to rise significantly and I do not want to see any of you lose your homes.

In the early nineties, especially after ‘Black Wednesday’ repossessions were at an all time high, people were literally handing their keys back to lenders, who in turn, proceeded to sell the properties for whatever they could get. This was why legislation was introduced years later, forcing lenders to ensure that they sell repossessed properties at market value.

I know people who had their home repossessed at that time, then years later, they re-established themselves, bought another home and built up some equity, but more than a decade later, the lenders from the past, sought out those who they had repossessed from and then took legal action against them for their losses. In a few cases, people I know, were in that exact situation and sadly, they suddenly found themselves facing legal action, for tens of thousands of pounds, which the lenders won, causing them so much financial hardship that they ended up being repossessed again!

Getting it wrong could be a Ball and chain that you could carry for years, I do not want to see that happen to any of you.

We are in this together!…………………..Are we?

This leads me to the insulting statement from politicians……We are in this together!

There is only one word that I can respond to that with………Bullshit!

Dear Ministers, Civil Servants and Corporations we most certainly are NOT!

We SHOULD be in this together…………………..The sad reality is one that we are all too familiar with.

I have had questions from so many people, most have a common theme, concern for their family, their home and they are really worried about the immediate future. People from different walks of life, cultures and backgrounds, I am not concerned who you are and where you are from, or how much you are worth…..we are, or should be a community.

Most people are more at risk than they realise, including landlords with a dozen properties and a dozen mortgages, they are more at risk than most.

Finally, I am so sorry that I cannot help with so many legal questions that I have received, it would be illegal and immoral for me to offer direction or advice, when I am not qualified to do so, the most I can do is to point out something that I am aware of and say…….“consider getting advice about this”

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