After experiencing two (and a half) dramatic booms and busts in the property markets, Paul has an abiding curiosity into what causes the lemming-like behaviour of the market and its participants every 15-20 years. He has lectured extensively on the subject and is currently researching a book in this area.

 

Fortunes have been made and lost by those who time the cycle right – or misjudge it. But it’s no longer just a game of skill and judgement played by real estate entrepreneurs. Market cycles have been getting ever more volatile and the swings more damaging. The 1974 crash was largely a local UK affair, but in 2007/8 it was global. The failure of Lehman Bros Bank in September 2008, triggered by over-lending to sub-prime residential borrowers in the US, caused a collapse of confidence which had the global economic system teetering on the edge of collapse.

We might now look back and say we got away with it, but it cannot be allowed to happen again.

 

Or will it? In 2015 there are signs of yet another boom gathering momentum. Prices in the US and parts of the UK have sprung back to pre-crisis levels and banks are fighting for business again. Will the efforts of the regulators, who were given bigger and sharper teeth in the wake of 2008, prevent the same (or worse) happening again by, shall we say, 2020?