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Housing minister tells agents: 'no quick fix' for homes shortage

Housing minister tells agents: 'no quick fix' for homes shortage

Housing minister Gavin Barwell has told the NAEA conference that there is no quick fix for the country's housing shortage - and he effectively admitted his White Paper would provide a series of 'small adjustments' to help improve matters.

Addressing an audience of around 600 at the association's conference in London, Barwell cantered through a summary of the White Paper - released on Tuesday and sharply criticised at the time by agents - admitting that there was "no silver bullet" to solve a housing shortage created over many decades. 

But he emphasised that streamlining planning, forcing councils to be more responsive to new applications and deterring developers from land-banking would cumulatively improve supply. "I expect developers to up their game," he told delegates.

While most of the prepared speech covered familiar White Paper territory, Barwell also asked attendees directly whether they wanted estate agency regulation - there was approaching a unanimous 'yes' to the question.

Although the conference was inevitably an industry-centric event, the new NAEA, ARLA and NAVA 'Propertymark' branding - see separate story - emphasised the need to look outwards to consumers, and to speak with a unified authoritative voice.

The conference also heard about the 'Tinderfication' of property portal visits from Rightmove's commercial director Miles Shipside - whose company was a major sponsor of the conference - and enjoyed a marketing masterclass from Mark Palmer, former marketing director of Pret a Manger.

The afternoon session began with a high-spirited presentation from motivational speaker Jez Rose - described as a behaviourist who works with organisations to help them 'flip the switch' to achieve better results.

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