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UK estate agents brought current property downfall upon themselves, it is claimed

Real estate agents created the boom in property prices by encouraging sellers to push prices artificially high, according to Chris Marshall. 'They fed the boom that led to the bust,' he said and added that he is surprised not more are going out of business.

With 150 estate agent branches closing every week he believes that the strong businesses will survive. 'In many industries, the impact of job losses aside, such a shake up is usually a good thing, whittling out the weaker members of the pack and allowing the others to thrive – perhaps losing a few of the bad apples,' he said.

He added that the new regulations which come into force next month are much needed and criticised the government for taking so long to act.

'The government always claimed that estate agents were regulated under a 1979 Act, but anyone could set up in business without mandatory qualifications or any other permission,' he explained.

'It wasn't until a scathing report from the Office of Fair Trading just four years ago that the government even realised it should properly tackle complaints handling.'

Now from October 1st, it will be a legal requirement for any estate agent operating in the UK to register with the Ombudsman for Estate Agents Scheme. The new regulations will give buyers and sellers a formal route of redress for any unsolved disputes between them and their estate agent.

In the current climate the property sectors are most at risk of redundancies according to Manchester-based employment law and HR consultancy, Tp people ltd. It found that 62% of estate agents are planning to make redundancies in the next six months and 71% freezing recruitment.

Jones Lang LaSalle is the latest property and finance consultancy to announce job losses. A spokesman confirmed that 'in light of the current challenging financial and economic climate, the company has taken the difficult but necessary decision to make 60 to 80 redundancies affecting employees based in England'.