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.