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Everything posted by Methinkshe

  1. What, I wonder are the exact "moifications" they have made to thses loans. Extended terms - 100 years?
  2. When the bust is so obvious that Gordon Brown cannot deny it, how is he going to retreat from his "no more boom and bust" promise? I've been trying to think of ways he could retreat without looking a complete idiot but none come to mind. He might just as reasonably have promised no more winter - henceforth there will only ever be summer. How on earth will he get out of it? I have a sneaky suspicion he WILL spin his way out, but I can't imagine how. Any suggestions?
  3. My sister's ex husband sold his Spanish farm to property developers a couple of years ago for several million - they've lived there for 20+ years. Then he bought another bundle of land and is going to make a fortune using it for wind turbines - EU subsidy. Just shows, there's money to be made in a downturn if you stay one step ahead of the crowd and take advantage of the next big government sponsored racket and don't get stuck on yesterday's con.
  4. Crooked brokers selling self-cert were around just before the last housing crash. I knew a woman who set herself up as a mortgage broker selling self-cert mortgages to people on the dole - that was when mortgage interest was paid as soon as you became unemployed. I believe the rules have changed now. The commission she earned was handsome!
  5. Exactly so! There are far too few family houses being built and an excess of one and two bed flats.
  6. Isn't this where the 10 billion that the B o E have made available comes in? Mind you, from what I have been able to glean, the banks are worried about going to the B o E in case it were to leak and they ended up in the same position as NR. They may not have much choice but to risk a leak, though.
  7. Fair enough. In which case, does anyone on here know of a site that collates property auction results that would give a more accurate picture - preferably nationwide and one that doesn't require subscription?
  8. Does anyone know whether mortgage brokers have to be licensed and/or registered with the FSA? From what I have heard anyone can set themselves up as a mortgage broker just by calling themselves one.
  9. I was impressed by your straight talking - no hedging around the obvious like the other commentators. Congratulations! With any luck you should get more invites from the BBC now - they tend to keep coming back to the same person for a specific view, eg Vicky Gillick always gets wheeled out whenever their is an abortion or contraception debate.
  10. Borrowers told to lie about wages A BBC investigation has found evidence of serious mis-selling in Britain's sub-prime mortgage market. Industry insiders have described how people have been advised to lie about their incomes to take out loans far bigger than they can afford. Half of all sub-prime mortgages in the UK are self-certification mortgages, where borrowers state their income and lenders do not necessarily check. No-one from the Financial Services Authority was available for comment. A former broker in the industry told BBC Radio 4's File On 4 that some advisors in the sector tell clients with low incomes to inflate their earnings on application forms to get outsize loans, which they often cannot afford. 'Inflated income' Inflating the client's income is seen as an easy way for brokers to get the deal passed. One borrower whose real income was £25,000 told the BBC he was advised to double that on his mortgage application. He got a loan of more than eight times his salary. His monthly re-payments take up most of the family's income and he has been threatened with re-possession. It is impossible to tell how many other cases there are because few borrowers or mortgage brokers will admit to the practice, but campaigners fear it is widespread and have urged the Financial Services Authority to take action against the lenders and brokers involved. You can hear more about this story on BBC File On 4, Tuesday 25 September 2007 at 2000 BST, repeated on Sunday 30 September 2007, 1700 BST.
  11. Only now can we begin to judge Brown's Chancellorship "On September 16, 1992, after a day of chaos and drama on the foreign exchanges during which the authorities had been unable to staunch the loss of Britain's reserves, Norman Lamont, the then Chancellor, announced that the pound had left the ERM. Uncannily, exactly 15 years later, his successor but two spent an agonised Sunday trying to put together a policy that would staunch the loss of deposits from Northern Rock and restore confidence in the banking system. Black Wednesday later became known as White Wednesday as it ushered in a decade and a half of sustained prosperity. How will we eventually come to view the Northern Rock debacle? Doubtless, financial practitioners can convince themselves that the quaint episodes of the past have little relevance in today's high-tech world. Yet the events of the past few weeks seem to have come straight out of the financial history books. It has become obvious why dramatic financial dramas are frequently referred to as "panics". Last week, it wasn't only the practitioners or depositors who were panicking, but the central bankers and regulators as well. The word typically used by financial historians to describe the activities of those caught up in a bubble – mania – has also acquired new resonance. Regular readers will need no reminding that I have been warning of a crisis stemming from irrational exuberance in the debt and credit markets. Only the proximate causes and the timing should have caused surprise. The root causes lay with the operation of a policy of very low interest rates for a sustained period, coupled with the excessive risk-taking in the financial markets. It is amusing now to reflect on the excuses proffered by the market professionals for such exuberance: the world has gone ex-risk and financial sophistication has enabled the markets to take on risk safely. In the event, the slicing and dicing of debt and its packaging into baskets of great complexity and widely differing degrees of risk combined to increase the risk facing the system as a whole. Once the markets recognised that there would be big losses somewhere in the system, the fact that no one knew exactly where these losses would show up provoked a liquidity crisis. What now? There are going to be casualties from these events. The financial set-up established in 1997 is now under the spotlight – the separation of financial supervision from monetary policy as between the FSA and the Bank, the separation within the Bank of monetary policy and financial stability policy and even, ultimately, the whole regime of inflation targeting. For it is the regime of inflation targeting, regardless of the consequences, that impelled the Bank to operate the policy of sustained low interest rates. However necessary last week's deposit guarantee was to restore confidence in the banking system it can only be a half-way house. Even now the uncertainties about the scheme beggar belief. Does it apply to deposits with foreign-owned banks here in the UK? On Thursday the Governor and Deputy Governor, appearing before the Treasury Select Committee, evidently did not know. Does it apply to foreign currency deposits at British banks? How long will the scheme last? Supposedly, "during the current instability in the financial markets". But what does that mean? Who is to decide when it is over? If troubles re-emerge what will be put in its place? And if bank deposits are protected in this way, why not pensions? Could the guarantee be extended to pensions if thousands of pensioners queued round the block under the eagle eye of television cameras? The Government has effectively nationalised one side of bank balance sheets but left the other unaffected. This cannot make sense. One consequence will surely be a move to greater bank regulation. If government cannot, as a matter of political reality, allow depositors to lose out, then it surely cannot allow bankers to gamble with what amounts to taxpayers' money. Black Wednesday was the endnote to the massive distortion that had occurred in the economy during what came to be known as the Lawson boom. It was suggested then there had been an economic miracle. Accordingly, demand was allowed to grow much too fast, inflation picked up and the balance of payments deficit ballooned. During the Brown boom inflation did not resurge, thanks to both the China effect and a strong exchange rate. Again the M-word was heard and again a Chancellor was hailed as hero. Like Lawson, he made fundamental improvements. But he also made the fatal mistake of believing his own publicity. The credit numbers, the behaviour of house prices and the current account of the balance of payments again showed this was not a miracle but a binge. Only the denouement had been delayed. The Northern Rock episode represents not the end of our troubles but the beginning. I suspect we will now see the unwinding of many of the excesses in the credit and debt markets. Banks will tighten lending criteria and spreads will rise. This will represent the equivalent of a Bank Rate rise of perhaps as much as 1pc-2pc. Accordingly, the outlook for Bank Rate itself has now changed. I believe that to try to offset at least some of this tightening, the first cut in British interest rates will come sooner than I originally thought. It could come very soon but the continued strength of consumer spending and lingering inflation concerns argue for a pause. I am pencilling in February for the first move. Of course, it is possible that the current febrile mood will dissipate and the economy will sail on much as before. But I doubt it. There may well be more casualties, not just here but abroad. A Spanish bank is in trouble and I would be surprised if it were not the only one. Here, even before the Northern Rock episode, the commercial property market had taken a severe jolt and the banks are heavily exposed to it. But as regards wider economic and financial consequences, surely the housing market holds the key. With house prices at vertiginous levels and affordability low, now that finance is going to be more difficult to get, I suspect that this may well give the market a shock. In these circumstances, sterling could fall too, making the task of bringing relief to the housing market through lower interest rates more difficult. I've long said we will be able to judge the Brown Chancellorship only when the housing boom was over and the pound had fallen. Northern Rock may well have begun the process that will make possible that assessment"
  12. The story of Flat 904 and what it means "If a major property auction held in London this week is anything to go by, a dreadful story is about to unfold that could engulf the bonanza that was Britain’s new-build buy-to-let sector. The auction, organised by Barnard Marcus and held in the plush Café Royal on Regent Street, featured 255 lots ranging from a parking space in Hackney (reserve price £6,000) to a terrace of five buildings in south east London which failed to sell despite attracting bids of £2.1 million. Among the lots were several entries to which the dreaded words ‘by order of the mortgagees in possession’ were appended – repossessions in other words, where the owner had figuratively tossed in the keys to the bank or building society which was now trying to get some of its money back. Here are a couple of stories arising from the auction. First up, flat 904 in the Vista Building in Calderwood Street in Woolwich, south east London. The Vista Building was a tatty old 10-storey office block that was refurbished by Kerrington Developments in 2002. When the 224 flats came on the market, there was great excitement. Ash + Lacy Building Systems, which supplied the roof, described in 2005 how big the fuss was: ‘Deemed the 'New Docklands', with its Waterside View, the Vista building has generated much public attention, resulting in queues of potential purchasers, including one buyer who camped outside the development for two days to ensure he secured his one bedroom flat.’ The Times property section didn’t rate the development much, sneering that ‘Woolwich may well become the new Docklands, if the developers try hard enough’ and that despite total redevelopment, the exterior looks like a decommissioned Holiday Inn.’ Flat 904 was a two-bedroom flat on the ninth floor with a bathroom and a shower room. Whoever completed its purchase on 14 April 2005 paid £250,000 for his or her leasehold. At some point the cost of paying the mortgage for the owner or investor. One cannot say for certain that this was a buy-to-let property but you could do so as a reasonable assumption, being utterly typical of the genre – new build, up and coming area, two bedrooms making it ideal for sharing tenants. In any case whoever lent the owner the money took repossession at some point. And hence its appearance in yesterday’s auction as lot 127. Being shockingly realistic, the mortgagee didn’t expect to get all its money back. Instead it put a reserve price on the flat of £175,000 – a drop of £75,000 or 30% from the original sale price over two years in which the London property market has been soaring ahead – until recently anyway. And guess what? It didn’t even get that. The first bid lobbed at £150k, the last at £160k. Lot unsold. As indeed were two other flats on the same floor, while three others in the same building were withdrawn before the auction. How many were bought off plan by the same owner, who knows. Quite possibly all six – that’s how things happened in the very recent past as BTLers fancied a quick buck, enticed by ‘discounts’ and other incentives such as free legal fees, guaranteed yields etc etc. Is this just a London thing? Let’s take a look at Lot 258, Flat 3 in a Nottingham development called Brook Court. No quasi-Docklands here or talk of river views but a pleasant enough looking two-bedroom ground floor flat in a gated development. So pleasant in fact that someone paid £139,000 for it back in November 2005. Less than two years later it failed to fetch half that at auction yesterday, with the highest bid some £3,000 shy of the £70,000 reserve. Now these may be straws in the wind, perhaps not representative of the new build BTL market as a whole. But I think they may be something more than that. Back in July, the Sunday Telegraph found similar results from another auction for repossessed properties in Essex. And I suspect there are similar tales coming from auction rooms up and down the land. In some cases the original buyers will be chased for the shortfall in a process that could end up in insolvency. In others the lenders will write off the loan. But there is no happy ending here whatever happens. This story has much further to go."
  13. Yvette Cooper mewed for £45,000 and guess who ended up paying the extra interest on her remortgage - the taxpayer. Her (and Ed Balls) main residence is in Yorks for Parliamentary expenses rules and in London for Inland Revenue - CGT - purposes. And MPs pension pots are so gold-plated that they have made it illegal for nayone else in the country to amass such a huge pension pot - capped at 1.8 million for everyone else, while voting themselves a guaranteed annual pension income that would require a pot of well above 1.8 mill. Time we did something about this corrupt lot of spongers.
  14. Please, please, please, could we stop falling into the trap of perpetuating New Labour's spin by reference to "hard-working families." Of what do these families consist? Mum, Dad and three year old and three month old, maybe? Like,the three month old is busy pooing his pants and the three year old is busy wrecking the 3 pce suite or whatever. Wow! That's really hard-working! The whole concept of a "hardworking family" is tripe.. Dump the phrase and in so doing call Gordon to account. So long as you perpetuate his nonsense cliches you are playing into his hand.
  15. What about people coming up to retirement who have relied upon the equity in their home to be released in the process of downsizing to provide a pension? These are the typical baby-boomers.
  16. When it comes down to the last crushed Walker's salt and vinegar crisp in the bottom of the bag, and all quick-fix solutions have made their way to fast-buck heaven, I'd sooner have about me kids with practical skills than a meeja degree. And if and/or when things get really bad, I have a son who can capably lay a mine or two to protect the boundary against those who would steal me spuds!
  17. I wish I knew! I'm a total ignoramus when it comes to computers and databases and possibilities thereof, and websites and that kind of stuff. I can see a need but beyond that......over to those who know...
  18. I console myself in the knowledge that I have sons (5 of) who are competent in electrical stuff, carpentry, building and applied trades, horticulture and animal care and explosives - a short spell in the RE's was useful! I've long since stopped believing in the value of a University Degree except for the few like my bro who is a Cambridge engineering grad and now works in the US. As for the degree in dog-walking or whatever other useless degrees that are available, I'd sooner my kids had a trade, and stuff the Student Loan and subsequent debt for an iffy degree and even iffier empployment prospects.
  19. ..or the black market - and that's where they are pushing these youngsters.... They want to be above-board but they are being forced into the black market from both sides - the consumer who cannot afford to pay £25/hr plus and will gladly employ a disaffected employee to work for half the price evenings and week-ends, and the employer who has to undercut if he is to stay on the right side of government vis a vis Inland Revenue and H & S.
  20. When anyone mentions "hard-working British families" I instantly go into snooze mode, although that is rapidly turning to anger. In fact, I'm so sick of this cliche that I'd like to smack on the nose the next politician who is so intellectually deficient as to use it. Morons!
  21. Haywards Heath ain't exactly a small village. Used to live in West Hoathly - now that IS a small village. Anyway, your story is actually a good metaphor so, kudos. Edit: misquote instead of reply
  22. Well, I'm pretty displeased. My electrician son is now required (to meet the competitive quotes accepted by his bosses) to cram into 2 days what he previously did in 4 days and at the same time instruct an apprentice. Meanwhile he has Health and Safety jumping on his back because he is forced to cut corners to stay within imposed budgets. The salesmen in his company are coming back with contracts won but the shit is being piled on the person doing the work. He's no shirker, btw - the job really DOES require 4 days not 2. Hence, my son cannot physically do (to the highest standard which is what he aspires to) what is required by the salesman's quote, but the salesman to get the job has to undercut immigrant labour....
  23. He's Scottish, don't you know. All those highland sheep with long wool. He's good at pulling it over our eyes.
  24. Good find. However, it occurs to me that Propertysnake can only ever nibble around the edge of the HPC biscuit. The real losers will go straight to auction. How can we find out about those on a national basis?
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