The loo roll effect: Estate agent explains why housing market is not about to crash

Matt Nicol

The supply-demand imbalance continues to place upward pressure on property values across many parts of the country, which largely explains why Worcestershire estate agency Nicol & Co is predicting that prices will rise 6% by the end of this year.

Matt Nicol, managing director of Nicol & Co, has rubbished claims by some property commentators the housing market is about to crash.

He explained the reasons for his bright outlook as “the loo roll effect” in one of his latest market insight vlogs.

Nicol said: “We predict that house prices will end up 6% higher by the end of this year, and there’s a lot of good reasons for that.

“If you forget about the 2007-2008 price crash, house prices typically rise between 3-5% each year.

“So with our prediction that house prices are going to go up by 6%, and with others predicting as high as 7%, we’re still in a very, very strong market.

“We’re expecting things to continue in this way because basically there’s still a supply and demand issue: there’s a great demand for properties, but a shortage of properties on the market right now.

“You will remember the loo roll prices that came about when everyone was out panic buying? Prices of loo roll went up because there was a high demand for it and a lack of supply.

“It’s similar-ish with houses right now: there’s a lack of supply, lots of people looking to purchase and as a result that’s pushing the prices up still.

“It’s not going to be as bonkers as it was, but actually you’ll still find that house prices are on the up.

“We can’t build these homes quick enough and one of the major issues is that the bricks needed to help build those homes are still going up in price.

“Back in 2020, a thousand bricks were costing around £595, and they now cost about £795 for the same brick.”

Nicol also explained that the number of prime-age buyers, which is around 35 years old, has also increased by 235,000 growing from around 4.2 million in 2010 to 4.435 million today.

He said that this growing number of buyers comes on top of growth in the number of households which have increased from 26 million in 2010, to 28 million today.

Nicol, who has Nicol & Co branches in Droitwich, Malvern and Worcester, added: “We don’t think this market is going to drop.

“We think it may well slow down slightly, as the increase in interest rates has an impact on buyers’ borrowing power. But we’re not going to see a drop off in interest in properties.”

The Nicol & Co vlog called Matt’s Insights can be accessed at


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  1. Dominic_Murphy33

    Couldn’t agree more, well said Matt.

  2. Typhoon

    Thank God there is still one person out there with his glass half full. (maybe three quarters!!)

    “What can I as one person do?”, said 7 billion people



    Way to go Matt.

  3. ALOnline

    Stating that “There is more demand than there is supply” may be an explanation for why the price rises are currently rising but this is not a catch-all answer. It makes the flawed assumption that demand is somehow constant, that it will remain as it is or that there is no possibility of it going down which is patently false.

    We all know that supply is unlikely to change without some serious change in the property market (e.g, mass exodus of private landlords, as many PIE articles say is inevitable at this point). Supply is going to be fairly static for the near future.

    Demand, however, is unavoidably going to fall. At some point, mortgages will become unaffordable for people entering the property market because: 1) Interest rates will return to levels seen in the early 2000’s 2) House prices will become so high that monthly payments and deposit amounts are unachievable for the average consumer or 3) All other living costs make current mortgages unaffordable.

    It’s simple to understand that if a mortgage becomes £1500 PCM for a first time buyer, most will be priced out of the market. If all other living costs turn to £1500 ++ per month then people are going to be unwilling to pay upwards of £1000 PCM for their mortgage. If things continue as they are, demand will go down.

    Property has never been a closed system of Supply = 1 and Demand = 2. I think we should all start preparing for a difficult 2023.

  4. Robert_May

    In an industry where income is dictated by price and volume, sometimes a ‘crash’ isn’t always about falling prices.


    If  prices remain stable but instead of 100 completions an agent only gets70 sales over the line the fixed costs don’t reduce but the competition for completion intensifies. That means the 2nd, 3rd  and 4th choice agents start competing hard on fees which exacerbates the pressures caused by lower transaction volumes.


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