Property often makes the news be it the latest house price index, the impact of a Budget or a global health emergency, or the seemingly endless debate of how many homes need to be built, for whom and where. Newspapers and broadcasters need commentators, experts and practitioners who can explain what is going on, what the outcome might be and what it might mean for the man or woman on the Clapham Omnibus!
I’m often asked by newspapers to provide a comment and the BBC is always looking for a balanced perspective to explain to their audience what is going on. I have a rule – if asked, I go. If I say I will go then I always turn up!
Since 2007 when I made my first appearance on The Today Programme I have done more than 700 radio and Tv appearances from BBC1 to BBC Hereford & Worcester, The News Channel, Radio 2, 3 and 4 as well as countless contributions to the BBC website.
The UK’s 24m homes are worth around £7tr. That’s the biggest single asset class and dwarfs the total value of companies traded on The London Stock Exchange. It touches everyone – whether you rent or own, are buying or selling. It’s a part of many peoples pensions. Housing helps fund spending in the High Street as people borrow against their homes to buy white goods, to fund businesses or even to fund more property be it new or second hand.
There are very few other subjects that touch so many people – not even sport comes close so it’s no surprise that property is the topic of conversation around dinner tables and in pubs and coffee shops.
There are a lot of very eloquent and knowledgable people who contribute to the national debate. People who can inform and shape what happens to what most people regard as a basic necessity – a roof over our heads, but that has become, for better or worse, an asset that millions depend upon both for the physical and financial well being.
I’m delighted to be able to make a modest contribution to the general debate whenever asked, where ever I am.