New housing minister Mark Prisk must drive growth

Robyn Hall

September 5, 2012

Prisk, MP for Hertford and Stortford since 2001, is a former chartered surveyor and is married to Lesley Titcomb, acting chief operating officer at the Financial Services Authority.

Prime Minister David Cameron announced his appointment yesterday afternoon after former housing minister Grant Shapps was appointed Conservative Party co-chairman alongside Lord Feldman of Elstree, replacing Baroness Warsi.

Pundits had mixed opinions to news of Shapps promotion.

John Heron, director of lending at Paragon Group, wished the minister well in his new position but had concerns over the impact it would have on housing policy

He said: “The rapid turnover of people in the role means they are not familiar enough with the brief to develop a robust housing policy which may obstruct the UK housing markets needs.”

Andrew Montlake, director at Coreco, described the move as “interesting”.

He said: “They need to be capable of making sensible decisions to help the housing market. Mr Shapps was passionate about his job but I know a lot of people were disappointed with what he managed to achieve – in a lot of cases I think his hands were tied and the job was made very difficult for him.”

The Residential Property Surveyors Association was quick to welcome Mark Prisk into his post.

Alan Milstein, chairman of the RPSA, said: “We’d like to take this opportunity to welcome Mr Prisk into his new role. A big focus for our organisation, which lobbies for higher residential surveying standards nationally, is to ensure that consumers are better informed about the survey options available to them when purchasing a new home. Too many home buyers are mistakenly led to believe that their lender’s valuation is a thorough survey on their future home.

“As a result, they make their buying decision without access to detailed information about the condition of the property they are about to buy.

“As a chartered surveyor himself, Mr Prisk should be well aware of how buyers are being disadvantaged in this way.

“As he settles into his new role, we hope to work with the Minister to ensure future home buyers are better informed when making their next property purchase.”

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