For over 20 years Trevor Kent (or Big T as he is sometimes known) has been the voice and face of the British housing market on television, radio, and in the press. He has notched up a staggering number of appearances and his press quotes run to thousands. He is, undoubtedly, one of Britain’s best known estate agency commentators and a celebrated “guru” in his field. Initially he was the spokesman for, and subsequently President of the UK estate agency industry’s body, the National Association of Estate Agents. Over the ensuing years his massive frame, good humoured clear presentation and a willingness to accept criticism has led to invitations to appear on virtually every news and current affairs programme.
Appearances range from Newsnight at one end to Richard & Judy at the other with hundreds in between, making him one of Britain’s best known property pundits.
Comment is not confined to serious interest rate and house prices work or his high profile opposition to the previous government’s ridiculous introduction of Home Information Packs – he is just as much at home with lighter home-improvement issues and live phone-ins. He deals with a variety of property market topics in an interesting, accurate and sometimes humorous fashion.
As an auctioneer Trevor holds a TV world first in conjunction with The Big Breakfast on Channel 4, when he masterminded and successfully auctioned a studio guest’s home on a live outside broadcast. At the beginning of the broadcast the guest (whose home was already on the market conventionally) was asked live ‘ do you want to auction it today? ‘, he said yes, so the pre-arranged plans swung into action and Trevor auctioned it live an hour and a half later!
Gazundering and, more recently, GazumpingÂ are topics he regularly addresses, as are the homes of the rich and famous together with wacky and weird properties. It seems that the roller coaster house prices saga, however, is never to be supplanted as his most visited topic. Recent regular series have been primarily for BBC Radio 2. He firstly assisted Steve Wright in the Afternoon to glance with humour at the property scene and was subsequently poached by The Jeremy Vine Show for a number of hour long and sometimes quite tricky phone-ins for his Friday Your Money & Your Life slot! He also used to be heard regularly on IRN NewsÂ broadcasts and Sky Radio News.
To ring the changes Trevor has also written on travel for the Daily and Sunday Express, the Press Association, a number of magazines and used to have a regular column in Estate Agent Today. Currently he is a columnist for Property Industry Eye, with a regular none-too-serious look at estate agency and âlifeâ on Saturdays, seeÂ http://www.propertyindustryeye.com/author/trevorkent-eye/
âIs there a pot of gold at the bottom of your garden?â is a phrase usually used by estate agents to entice owners to consider whether there might be a plot down their garden path. In this case, however, Trevor writes in The Buckinghamshire Advertiser of the day a Chalfont garden revealed four pots containing over six thousand gold Roman coins …Â Trevor Kent editorial September
Trevor writes again for the leading Property Blog published exclusively for estateÂ agents. His self-appointed task is to amuse his fellow practitioners of the land, as his days of educating them are long gone. His latest offering can be found onÂ http://www.propertyindustryeye.com/author/trevorkent-eye/
Trevor recounts for the Buckinghamshire Advertiser the history of St Huberts Mansion in Gerrards Cross, recalling its rather racy royal connections with a Prince and a Showgirl!Â Trevor Kent editorial 23rd July
Trevor recalls an interesting meeting with The Duke of Edinburgh many moons ago in his occasional column for Property Industry Eye, a specialist blog for professional estate agents. Read atÂ http://www.propertyindustryeye.com/author/trevorkent-eye/
Trevor explains to Vanessa Feltz on BBC Radio why Lawrence Llewellyn Bowenâs designer-decorated home needed to be repainted âblandâ after a year on the market unsold (not through Trevor Kent & Co he adds!). Basically he said buyers want a blank canvas on which to plant their own style, and certainly donât want to pay thousands over the top for someone elseâs flounces! Comments can be found 02.36 hours into programme here http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p02l9y6v#auto
Trevor explains to Eddie Nestor on BBC Drivetime that restrictions in supply and accelerating demand from foreigners, investment purchasers and buy-to-live-in families has lifted the average sale price in London to over half a million pounds. However, he cautioned listeners that in his long estate agency experience there was one truism, after every rapid market rise there comes a fall.
Trevor talks to Vanessa on BBC this morning about the recent announcement that the average price of a home in London has just tipped ÂŁ500,000. She queried how âanyoneâ could be expected to buy now, Trevor countered that âclearly many can, otherwise the prices would not be where they areâ. He also defended the position of both agents and owners who had been criticised for, in effect, being âgreedyâ, saying it is not the place of either agents or owners to refuse higher prices â the market is the market.
Julian Knight writing for The Independent asks TKâs opinion of the Bank of England and Financial Conduct Authority expressing fears that prices are rising out of control, Trevor agrees that the brakes are now being gently applied by dint of Help to Buy changes, new mortgage lending rules and constant hints of interest rate rises.
Mayor Boris announces plans for floating homes in Londonâs Royal Docks, BBC RADIO asks Trevor this morning if they will be saleable, insurable and popular â âyes, rather!â. He also scotches interviewerâs suggestions that they might be dangerous and âsinkâ, pointing out this is no âBohemian houseboat communityâ, but a professional development concept already adopted in The Netherlands.
Took my life in my hands and accepted an invitation from Channel 4 TV to do an antiques-based game show in France and York which was filmed last December and broadcast today.Â Usually more accustomed to dealing with property and mortgage stories, I still relished the temporary change of tack! If you can bear to, the show can be viewed for 28 days onÂ http://www.channel4.com/programmes/french-collection/4od#3702072
âWhatâs in a Postcodeâ, Trevor does 15 minutes on the subject for BBC Radio â highlights the incongruities that can have wide financial and other implications. A system originally designed purely to ease Post Office deliveries has now become a bench-mark of identification for all manner of everyday life considerations. Available for six days onÂ http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p01q9z05 skip 2.5 hours into show.
Trevor, speaking on BBC Radio this morning, agrees with Shelterâs gloomy predictions for possessions and evictions amongst hard-pressed mortgage borrowers and tenants. He warns, in particular, of the staggering lack of knowledge amongst many first times buyers and renters over the real cost of leaving the protective roof provided by parents, and fail to take basic new living costs into considerationÂ when committing themselves to a first mortgage or rental agreement.
Christmas period â I am invited to film a new game show for Reef TV! This involves me and two other contestants traveling to a vintage market in France armed with 800 Euros to spend on five or six items to sell on for a profit in the UK later. One of the items has to be renovated out of my budget (in my case, appropriately, a bit of âFrenchâ polishing of a cupboard) and later I was asked to sell the items directly to antique dealers and interior designers in York (no easy-option auction selling for us!). No idea if Iâve won until itâs broadcast on Channel 4 sometime next year, but more fun than trying to flog houses anyway!!
Trevor expresses his confusion on BBC Radio today that, on the one hand the Bank of England warns of increased interest rates for home buyers soon and withdraws its âFunding for Lendingâ scheme for fear of a boom, yet on the other hand Housing Minister Kris HopkinsÂ continues today to trumpet the success of the Coalitionâs âHelp to Buyâ initiatives.
ITVâs Daybreak breakfast show book me today to explain Governmentâs âHelp to Buyâ scheme following its surprise early launch tomorrow. 10 minutes before the taxi was due to arrive to take me to the studio they cancel. Perhaps they found a property commentator close by and needed to save the taxi cost -cheapskates! Or maybe I was just gazumped â the biter bit at last!!
Media madness on a quiet news day created firstly BBC Breakfast Radio with Paul Ross, followed by a chat with Vanessa Feltz on her show and culminating with the BBC Radio 4 PM show with Eddie Mair, and what were they all so keen to talk about â a suggestion that estate agents countrywide were recruiting madly so there must be a âboomâ, as this news is clearly much more accurate than Bank of England prognostications! Naturally I agreed!
BBC Radio London asks Trevor why London Boroughs getting difficult with estate agents’ boards – TK says because some agents do, sadly, flout the planning regulations covering For Sale boards and they can look a mess!
Trevor tells Jim Naughty on the BBC Radio 4 Today Programme that estate agents are proud to admit to their jobs these days, and are confident they are no longer regarded as âthe spawn of Satanâ a descriptionÂ once used by Liz Jones in the Daily Mail.Â Available on Today Programme website for seven days â skip to 2 hours 50 minutes into broadcast hhtp://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b038hhs5
TK goes into detail with Vanessa on BBC Radio today criticising estate and rental agents who fail to advise prospective tenants of the charges they will have to pay before they rent. He also accepted that the level of some of these charges some agents raise is unacceptably high.
Another fifteen minutes live with Vanessa for BBC Radio â youâve guessed it âaverage house prices in London hit half a millionâ, Trevor gives some comfort to listeners by explaining this was âasking pricesâ not sales, and to hit an average there must be lower prices too. He also mentioned meeting Eric Pickles Secretary of State DCLG and asking him to look at protection for Landlords when agents abscond with rental deposits. 2 hours 15 minutes in at http://www.bbc.co.uk/ programmes/p018gj7j for 7 days.
Trevor does a 20 minute live broadcast with Vanessa Feltz on BBC Radio looking at the trauma of repayment mortgages with no route to repay the loan at expiry, and the failure of many endowment-linked schemes to provide sufficient funds to similarly clear borrowings.
Trevor was invited to a reception in Milton Keynes just before the Budget and had a brief one-to-one with the Prime Minister.
All was affable and DC apparently remembered earlier meetings with TK (after all not a figure easily forgotten) but he moved on sharpish when Trevor questioned the governmentâs ridiculous Stamp Duty policy and enquired if there might be any relief in the Budget!
The BBC are currently working with me on a piece for broadcast concerning buyersâ experiences of commissioning full structural surveys. We are particularly interested to hear from purchasers who have either been pleased with a survey or thought it was a costly vague report, covered in indemnifying caveats and a waste of money. Willingness to comment on-screen would be appreciated, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if youâve anything youâd like to contribute.
- A somewhat depressed Trevor has a 13 minute discussion with Vanessa Feltz on BBC Radio trying to address the problems First Time Buyers face in finding a deposit which, on average, could be as much as ÂŁ100,000 for a first buy.
- Trevor mounts spirited defence of Estate Agents on BBC Radio this morning “We may not be all saints, but we are not devils!” he told the presenter. LINK
- Trevor contributes to the debate over the unfairness of some âshared ownershipâ schemes and the consequent risk to vulnerable first time buyers sometimes led as âlambs to the slaughterâ. Independent on Sunday. LINK
- Trevor was up with the lark to explain to BBC Radio Five Live listeners (at 05.45!) the implications of both the Budget Stamp Duty rises (highway robbery he said) and the effect of the loss today of the first-time buyersâ Stamp Duty holiday (short-sighted and unnecessary his opinion).
- Jeremy Vine’s BBC Radio 2 show asks Trevor whether a North Wales Agent should have “cropped” a sales picture of a ÂŁ200,000 bungalow to “lose” a 350ft TV mast only yards away!
- BBC Radioâs Vanessa asks Trevor whether the London property market has lived up to the promise of three months ago that it would buck the trend and continue to rise. Trevorâs opinion â itâs getting tougher thanks to a shortage of supply, shortage of loans and shortage of confidence, but better in the Shires.
- Trevor provides background for and is quoted in a piece on Stamp Duty for The Independent on Sunday. LINK
- BBC Radio London Vanessa show to discuss the stock market difficulties and a possible knock-on effect for house prices.
- BBC Radio. Trevor queries Housing Minister call for new builds to be ‘less Legoland identikit’ – pointing out the additional costs of building in character would be passed on to purchasers who are already finding property too expensive.
- Recorded an interesting piece for BBC 3 featuring a real life young entrepreneur starting to build a property portfolio from scratch – lucky chap!
- SKY NEWS, Trevor predicts that an unwelcome side-effect of the improving property market would be increasing numbers of repossessions.
- BBC Radio 2 Jeremy Vine asks Trevor ‘what on earth is going on with house prices?’ TK says it’s not all doom and gloom
- BBC Radio 4 Trevor discusses the ‘Double Dip” 27 minutes into the programme
- BBC News and Working Lunch on legacy of HIPs abolition.
- TK does business news on BBC Radio 5 live, subject – the election, what else!
- BUDGET DAY Trevor Kent hosts live ITV NEWS outside broadcast cameras in his office followed by ITN News.
- Following the Office of Fair Trading’s high profile release of their Investigation into Estate Agency, Trevor, who attended the launch, gave comment to BBC Online News, and was filmed for Press Association TV.
- BBC Working Lunch – Trevor discusses the dilemma of those approaching retirement whose homes are no longer their “pension”
- BBC Radio London, a 15 minute ‘down the line’ spot with presenter Jonathan Lampon looking at the future of the property market- a crystal ball job indeed !
- Andrew Neil’s Politics Show, Radio 5 Live, BBC Breakfast News, Money Box Live, Inside Out, Today Programme, BBC Evening News, BBC Business Lunch, World at One, The Six o/c News, BBC Three Counties Radio, BBC – Radio London – an hour with Lesley Joseph and Christopher Biggins X 2!!, SKY NEWS with Jeff Randall, BBC TV and Radio News on a tenant selling landlord’s house. Breakfast News – Trevor reports on latest market conditions, Budget Day ‘Wake up to Money, You and Yours, BBC TV ‘Working Lunch.