EGi Award Winners – Recognition for the deals we do

Vince Cable19th March 2013.


EGi Award Winners – Recognition for the deals we do


By Charles D’Auncey,  Director, Agency





From a commercial property viewpoint an easing of credit and availability of finance for property lending will provide some real impetus to growth.  My colleague Neil Slade talked about a shortage of new development where demand exists but credit is difficult and I thought it was worth supporting Neil’s piece with a little more detail.
Well the headline from the latest Ernst & Young Item Club that “The crippling credit crunch is loosening” certainly seems to be a pointer that the availability of credit may be getting a little easier.
There is little doubt that the ongoing credit crunch and crisis in the Banks continues to affect business thinking nearly 5 years on from the start of the world’s economic woes.  The effects on property both commercial and residential are well catalogued and there for all to see – not least the retreat of values!
It is not an argument for inflating property values – what we need is more financial liquidity in the market to ‘make things happen’.
The Item Club lays bare some of the statistics around the credit crunch.  Part of their commentary was how UK Banks borrowed “£900 billion” that was borrowed from overseas up to 2008 and how we’ve been paying the price ever since as the UK reigns back from the £100 billion a year that Banks were using to fund domestic lending.
The Item Club explain that once it happened, the breakdown in the funding markets triggered several other crucial factors.  Secondary banking subsidiaries had to be supported, straining capital adequacy ratios.  Loan losses had the same effect.  Bank boards, as well as their shareholders and regulators, became very risk-averse as the losses mounted.  Tougher capital and liquidity requirements exacerbated the lending squeeze.  The ensuing recession made Banks even more worried and of specific concern for those earning their money in the property market, about the solvency of mortgage borrowers and small businesses.  Lending was depressed because the economy was depressed and vice versa, a classic vicious circle.
The Item Club thinks the background of tight credit and the Banks’ liquidity issues may be coming to an end with credit and liquidity requirements having been relaxed.  The Bank of England’s new Funding for Lending Scheme is designed to increase the flow of credit and reduce its cost, increasing the funding gap, or at least slowing the speed at which it is paid down.  It will reinforce the effect of the revival of the UK mortgage-backed securities market seen in recent weeks.
Ernst & Young say that ‘Although banks remain very risk-averse, they are effectively shifting the risk lending to affluent home buyers who have equity to invest.  In the case of first-time buyers, the builders and the government are shouldering the risk through new-buy schemes.  The banks’ capital base is also recovering’ they say.  Furthermore they comment that ‘These developments help to explain the marked improvement in the mortgage market suddenly being signalled by the Bank of England’s Credit Conditions survey, the sharpest since this survey began in 2007.  In the third quarter of this year, a significant proportion of mortgage lenders said they had loosened their lending criteria or were planning to do so, while 22% were planning to reduce the mark-up on mortgage rates.  The survey suggested that little movement in unsecured lending and forecast a continued deterioration in the outlook for lending to small companies, which it seems, are still regarded as too risky.  Nevertheless, these developments are encouraging.’
A lot of economic detail but for ‘property watchers’ and for those like us working in the property industry these are important pointers for how the market may perform over the next 12 to 24 months.
Not sure we can say this is the end of the credit crunch although we’d all hope that, it may just be the ‘end of the beginning’ though


The Harris Lamb team is delighted to have been named the Most Active Agent in the West Midlands for the fifth year in a row by EGi Deals – and it’s not an achievement we take lightly.


The property sector has suffered over the past few years as a result of the economic climate, and we’ve always been proud of the way that each of our agents throws themselves into their work; going the extra mile to understand a client’s needs, networking with businesses and land-owners to identify potential opportunities and ensuring that they’re at the cutting edge of market insight to advise clients and help them secure the right deal.


That kind of determination has been one of the keystones to our success over the past two decades – we’re very proud of the dedication and integrity of our team, but to have that acknowledged by industry bibles such as Estates Gazette cements to us as a business, and to the individuals who have worked for Harris Lamb, that what we try to do as a matter of course, is worthy of special recognition.


There are a huge number of very successful, established and hard-working agents across the country; and the very nature of the industry means that often, we’ll work together on behalf of clients to sell and let properties for them. We always acknowledge the success of our peers, and that’s why it’s such a morale boost for everyone within our agency to receive such an accolade from Estates Gazette – it’s a public acknowledgement that all of our continued efforts and dedication are worthwhile.


Such accolades work for us on two levels – firstly, just like a swimming badge, it’s something that we can hold up as proof that we worked hard and our efforts paid off, but secondly, it makes us want to continue to perform and uphold those service and success levels . Our own pride in the business and our service mean that we always strive to offer a consistently high level of customer service, but once we start to achieve these awards on an annual basis, it acts as a real incentive to continue to deliver and prove that we remain at the forefront of the industry.


I would like to thank all of my colleagues at Harris Lamb, in particular the dedicated agency team, who’s outstanding contribution this year within the commercial property market played a key part in securing this success for the practice.


For help on any of your commercial property enquiries, please contact one of the Agency team at Harris Lamb on 0121 455 9455 or email

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