This Week in Property: The Latest News (15th October 2021)

Take a look at what our CEO Gill Fielding has to say about this week’s property news…

3,500 year wait for winning chance!

A statistician has calculated that you now have to wait 3,500 years to have an equal 50/50 chance of winning the jackpot on the Premium Bonds, and you have to wait 2 years to have a 50/50 chance of even winning the £25 prize. Heavens! My Dad was a fan of premium bonds and when he died – at the grand old age of 92 I cashed in his meagre holding. I wonder if he would have been such a fan if he’d known he needed to live another 3,408 years to have a decent chance of winning the big prize. Despite these odds Premium Bonds – which pay savers in prizes rather than interest – have about £111 billion of savers money. At the same time the investment bank Goldman Sachs tells us that the average return from shares in the last 140 years has been 9.2% and higher at 13.6% on the S&P 500 over the last decade. Now they’re proper returns! And fortunately more people are understanding that and the difference between investing in shares and saving in Premium Bods as there is now approximately £1,573 Billion invested in UK funds and that’s over double what it was in 2012. The difference is not only in returns but in intention. Premium Bonds are a bit of speculative fun and share investing is a wealth creation activity. It’s good to see so many people get that but for those that don’t please keep taking the life enhancing tablets as you may have to wait a long time for a Premium Bond pay out.

Recycle everything

I’m impressed by the commentary from Prince William who is saying that we need to repair the broken planet we live on before we start trying to find another and he hopes that some of the funds currently being spent on the space race could be re-directed to environmental projects here on earth. What a great idea! I’m a huge fan of repair and recycle and a passionate believer that we need to recycle everything – even the planet! Sadly we have become such a disposable culture that we waste so much and so many resources and of course I immediately think of money as a precious resource and even that can be recycled. I invest small amounts in other people’s projects and I have a few small pots of money and I constantly recycle them – so I lend the money to one person, they do a project and give me the money back and I then recycle onto another project. It’s a great use of a small amount of money but one pot of money can go around and around countless times and help many people rather than just one – ie me! Nothing needs to be wasted, resources, money and certainly not the planet. Let’s work with wat we already have and protect it rather than constantly looking for something new.

Planning is a Party Political issue

I’ve been a property investor for over 40 years and throughout my investing career every government has announced that we need about 250,000 – 300,000 new houses a year to get the supply of housing that this country needs. And EVERY government has said something similar: sometimes their methodologies differ or the exact amount differs but the principle has remained the same throughout that time. This current Conservative government has been big on changing planning permission rules and legislation to encourage more building but since their election manifesto statement of building 300,000 new homes per year by the middle of the 2020s their promises have got smaller and smaller and now their major initiative is to allocate £58m for 5,600 houses on brownfield sites across the UK. Every government gradually always decreases their building targets or objectives because of the unpopularity of building of all the residents who campaign and protest for new homes NOT to be built in their back yard. This is particularly difficult for the Conservatives. They got elected partly on a promise of building additional homes which was an attractive policy for people who aren’t home owners and less well off and that may have been a reason for the Tories success in breaking down the red wall in the north but that policy doesn’t attract traditional Conservative voters who live in the shires and are owner occupiers. It’s a political conundrum: housing policies get votes but house building loses votes and so every government is eventually faced with the dilemma of building the homes we need or getting re-elected and of course every government abandons the long term needs of the populace for short term election success. Unless there’s a fundamental change in how party politics works, we’re never going to build enough houses for our needs.

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