Your Views

Heathrow decision may bring affordable housing – but not in a good way

No one in their right mind could find a property desirable if that property sees jumbo jets hurtling past at all hours of the day and night, rattling secondary double glazing and leaving the faint aroma of jet fuel lingering in the air.

Homeowners have been screaming out for an affordable part of the capital and the decision to place a third runway at Heathrow may have inadvertently provided that, but not as they would have wished.

Although the expansion will mean great things for London and the economy, it could see house prices in those areas worst affected by the noise and air pollution plummet by as much as 20 per cent as a result.

We aren’t talking a month or two of minor roadworks; this is a seriously large project with ongoing, permanent implications for those impacted by it.

A fall in value of 20 per cent is a very realistic expectation given the negative impact that noise and air pollution can have on a property’s desirability.

We could see the average house price in the likes of Hounslow and Hillingdon sink to around £330,000.

Russell Quirk, emoov

Zombie lending doesn’t help the market and does nothing for GDP

‘Zombie lending’ is a specific term but I would apply it to any lender that benefits from a central government lending stimulus.

This stimulus is based solely on optimism and speculation and does nothing for GDP.

Lenders post credit crunch targeted easy buy-to-let lending – that is, any Tom, Dick or Harry earning £25,000. They searched for easy business to turn a quick profit, they shunned professional landlords, discontinued light refurbishment schemes and insisted that every property was lettable before releasing funds.

And you would have expected that, as soon as the tax changes on buy-to-let were announced, lenders would have made an immediate and decisive change – that is, banned high gearing on the Tom, Dick or Harry buy-to-let mortgages and announced corporate buy-to-let schemes.

But no – they encouraged further borrowing by Tom, Dick or Harry, citing the need to “get in quick before the PRA restricts the amount by which we can overextend”.

Do you think that any of my landlords with 300-plus properties became successful because they invested like a zombie? No. In every property they would have looked to add value, whether by developing or by refurbishing. Professional landlords often operate as developers and continually improve rental stock, and indirectly help the real economy.

Research suggests a housing bubble that subsequently bursts could boost GDP as resources and capital are reallocated to the real economy. If the sacrifice in a housing downturn is Tom, Dick or Harry landlords and those lenders that supported them, that could be viewed as a small price to pay to find the holy grail of GDP growth.

Lee Grandin, Lend2Landlord

Buyers and sellers are taking more time in wake of Brexit vote

This year is fast becoming one of two halves as a succession of data demonstrates growing uncertainty since the referendum vote in June.

The market has not collapsed but on the ground we are seeing that the outcome and its aftermath are making buyers and those considering remortgaging think twice before making decisions.

Needless to say, resilience is very much to the fore, and pragmatic buyers and sellers are still achieving most of their aims.

Jeremy Leaf, estate agent and formerly of RICS