Thursday, 17 September 2009

Look4aproperty £1 billion marketing drive

You will recall that James Caan and the guys at Look4aproperty made some ambitious claims a while back that they were going to single handed kick start the housing market.

They have now announced a £1 billion marketing offensive. Look4aproperty has tied up a deal with a finance company to provide interest free loans to first time buyers to cover fees and disbursements. Buyers can apparently borrow any amount from £500 and pay it back over 36 months interest free. Sadly, it doesn't include the deposit!

Speaking with the Negotiator, James Caan said '...The market has changed dramatically in terms of the deposit you need today versus what you may have needed a couple of years ago. In that environment, a few thousand pounds today is a material sum. First and second-time buyers don't have that level of liquidity; whatever cash they have, they need for the deposit, so I think this product can make a big difference.'

I like this idea, it has balls on the face of it. But dig deeper and is it all a little vague. Is this just a big £1 billion marketing exercise?

Indeed, if the average number of houses sold per month is currently 35,000 (Land Registry) and average fees were £1,000 then even if look4aproperty was involved on every transaction they would not come close to the £1 billion. So, if you have a billion why not offer deposit loans?! Now this really would have balls!

The devil will be in the detail and the terms and conditions are conspicuous by their absence.

Punters can only access this through agents who are signed up to the scheme. These agents must be signed up to look4aproperty, i.e. paying £200 per month. Agents get a healthy commission of £500 (apparently) per sign up and only two agents per region (no definition) are allowed to participate.

This has all the hallmarks of a clever PR stunt, but I can be persuaded otherwise if the guys at Look4aproperty send me the terms and conditions and fill in some of the blanks.


Property Owl said...

Just been looking at the stamp duty aspects and this may have some attraction, but again let's see the terms and conditions.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the interest. There isn't an ulterior motive here and I'm not sure what Terms and Conditions you're looking for - are you talking about for the consumer or estate agents? You can read more on and if you have any questions please just call or email us.

Property Owl said...

Thanks Look4aproperty. I would like to see terms and conditions between the consumer and lender (Hitachi Capital?) and now you have offerred, I would also like to see terms and condiitons between you/Hitachi and agent. I can't seem to find them on the website?

How will Hitachi make any money from these loans? Will these loans be secured? I guess this will all be in the terms and conditions and I look forward to seeing them.

Anonymous said...

Thanks. The loans are NOT secured, this should have come across in all of the PR, sorry if it hasn't. We cannot supply you with these terms and conditions for legal reasons but we will be publishing more details about the product shortly. We're just trying to deal with the influx of enquiries we're currently receiving. I would repeat that if any estate agent has any questions about the product they should contact us ( and we will answer any questions they may have.

Investment Property said...

I think the whole thing looks good but will need to see the details. The housing market needs a push so everything that helps is good.

Property Owl said...

Hi look4aproperty. Thanks for the feedback, but 'legal reasons'?! I suspect the FSA would have something to say about providing consumers with terms and conditions. What are you hiding?

Martin Chamberlain said...

I agree with with Property Owl wrt deposit loans.

Given that deposits are the main hurdle for first time buyers, deposit loans would have more chance of kick starting the housing market.

HIP Consultant said...

As they have a £ billion surely they could offer both.

renthusiast have done some further exploration of this and the feasability.

Some interesting reading, we will see how this pans out.