The Rat and Mouse interview – Nigel Lewis

Nigel Lewis is an experienced property journalist and head of content for the Digital Property Group (the owners of FindaProperty, Primelocation and Globrix). Read on for an interesting take on why Brits are obsessed with property, the future of home-ownership and Government confusion.nYou began working, as a journalist, covering the property market right at the start of the most recent boom. Property prices were leading the news and everybody seemed to want to claim their stake in what appeared to be something of a gold rush. Did you “happen into” property journalism… or was the market something you were already interested in?n
20110728Nigel_Lewis.jpgI had covered a variety of subjects before coming to property, including fishing, motoring and personal finance, but was then invited to join a property dotcom during the late 1990s called smove.com – now defunct – and I immediately warmed to bricks and mortar. But I was then offered a job at the Daily Mail working on its property pages. I love writing about bricks and mortar because it’s so wide ranging, covering personal stories, celebrity moves, government policy and construction, planning – I could go on. But I don’t remember readers and the media being quite so obsessed with house prices then as they are now.n
Was anybody questioning the wisdom of house price gains of 20% in 12 months?n
I am old enough to have witnessed and worked through two property downturns and during the run up to the current one, or the ‘gold rush’ you refer to, experiences from the previous downturn were ignored by both home owners and many in the industry, not to mention most property writers and that included, sometimes, me. When people’s homes are rising in value so fast, it’s hard to persuade national newspaper editors to calm down – it is a good story at the end of the day.n
The period was also characterised by the rise of the popular property TV show, and of the powerful online property portal. You’ve worked for both… do you think television and technology have shaped or altered the British public’s relationship with property?nRead the rest of the interview by clicking here.nn (more…)