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  1. Not really that much detail IMO. Just that we are friendly people and able to strike up a rapport with people - and it's natural to ask where they are hoping to move too and generally they are happy to say. Having said that one of the divorce cases didn't actually volunteer the info when we asked - but I knew she was divorcing as she was an aquaintence of a woman I used to work with. On the indicative of rats leaving the sinking ship question - I think my experience might be a little misleading as we ourselves are no spring chickens and so are looking at 3rd / 4th rung type properties. So probably fair to expect for us not to see that many BTL bailing examples as I percieve those to be the 1st / 2nd rung type props. But I am surprised not only at the high numbers of those emmigrating but the low numbers of those just moving elswhere in the UK or even downsizing. However, I suspect if (unofficial) inflation continues as it has been over the last year then there will be a lot more downsizing going on shortly.
  2. Just some anecdotal evidence to add here. Been keeping an eye on the market around my way (NW & NWales) and every now and then do some viewings etc. Probably now looked at around 20 or so houses over the last year and a bit - and tend to try an keep to No Onward chain types as I perceive them to be more motivated to actually want to sell. Of these - 3 were probate, 2 were OAP's leaving to move in with children, large number - probably 10ish were emmigrating, 2 divorces, 1 had already bought another house, only 1 was an obvious flipper/btl. Remainder - either can't remember. Of those emmigrating - Spain was the most popular and a particular favourite of those in North Wales. Others were off to Australia or Canada, 1 to New Zealand and 1 to Patagonia. I agree that NO Chain stuff has and continues to be a regular feature of the property stock around here but in my experience the majority of this is due to emmigration with sadly no great sign of BTL pulling out. Perhaps that's one key reason why prop. prices around here continue to defy gravity.
  3. I actually tried something like this (although not quite as severe as cutting the fee in half) a few years back when trying to sell our house. I can't take the credit for the idea and forget where I saw it, but it was on some money website or other with a "selling your house / dealing with estate agents section" Basically, you agree the "realistic" valuation (say 295 - 305K) and agree to pay the agents standard commission (say 1%). However, you then agree a "shared risk / shared reward" type deal around this. So if the house sells for between 280 - 295K the commission reduces to 0.7% but if the house sells for between 305 - 320K then his commission increases to say 1.3%. The house would initially be marketed at 320K This way, as the seller I am a little more cofident that the agent will genuinely try and sell at the higher value and if successful shares the reward. Equally, if his marketing / selling skills are not as good as I'm led to believe and I am forced to consider a lower offer, then I know he will share some of the pain (and more pain than he would otherwise have done on a flat % basis). I put this scheme to 3 agents - 2 were regional type multi offices and 1 small local independant. The 2 multi offices understood where I was coming from but wouldn't go with it (I'm guessing they didn't have the authority or couldn't be bothered to run it by head office) - the independant had no trouble signing up to it. Would have worked great, except house was on the market for 3 months with a fair few viewings but didn't receive any offers. In the end we decided to stay put for another couple of years.
  4. Theres a hell of a spread behind some of these averages. i.e. Outer South East - look at the end table; IOW +17%, Basingstoke +11% then Milton Keynes +1%, and from the commentary Malden -5.7% This can't be "normal" - I would expect variation but a much tighter spread. Perhaps the big variations are being caused by small sample populations?
  5. Edit. Originally posted that this was dated 2002 ....but just seen from your sub heading that you were aware of that. Doh!
  6. I don't know Birmingham at all. If I was thinking of buying a house in an area I didn't know, I would start with a little research. UpMyStreet is usually a good place to start. I picked Property 2 at random - Alwold Road (B29 5JA). Here's a little of what it says. "These are poor families in low-rise estates. The estates are home to nearly as many single parents as traditional two parent families. There are many school age children and families are larger than average. There are also some couples whose children have left home. Housing is usually in the form of low-rise council terraces, perhaps with three bedrooms, but still crowded for the size of family. To be earning anything approaching an average income is rare. Long-term unemployment is high, and employment is routine factory or manual work" Here's the link Sounds a little rough and councilly to me.
  7. Get bloody real. You feel hard done by but these kind of numbers have been made jobless 97' - 2004'on a weekly if not monthly basis. No- you get bloody real!! I gave you one personal example in response to your original denigration that anyone in the 92 era was affected. Actually at the time we had the infamous end to News at Ten when they went through the list of job losses and company closures every night!! It was a major event when they made an announcement of any new jobs created. I don't know off hand the actual numbers of the early 90's recession and to be honest can't be arsed to find out for someone who was obviously still itching to get to use a razor for the first time. I'd be suprised that it was anything less than orders of magnitude more than the last few years though. I agree that recent years have seen a change in working practices and employment terms but true unemployment on the scale that we had then - not a chance. Of course, if I'm the only the only one to respond to the 2500 views then you're right. It must have been a non event. It couldn't possibly be that others a) were too young to voice a credible opinion been at the wine and couldn't be arsed c) still couldn't be arsed 'cause they don't reckon you're worth spending the time on or d) thought they would reply to other threads. By the same context, I notice none of those 2500 views jumped in to support your argument either! Actually - let's agree to disagree. If you think that things have been bad for the past few years fine; I'm not going to disagree - I'll just add that if this thing really takes hold - you ain't seen nothing yet.
  8. My problems and those of around 35 (my dept); 225 (uk subsiduary) ; 1500 (European wide company). Trust me -I was being polite; Forget all your subsequent attempts at mitigating your original weasel words, and accept that there was a lot of pain (personal and corporate) around in the early 90's recession. I accept that there were some people that inevitably prospered, in much the same way that some are starting to now (debt collection, cashconverters, shorts on CWD, B&Q etc) but that wasn't your original point. Stop changing the goalposts.
  9. Actually I did and it did. And no I personally had reasonable debt (at that time around 2.5 times salary on my mortgage), no further borowings always believing in saving to buy things I wanted and like to think I have a few brain cells with a science degree from a red brick university. So too, did most of the hard working concencious people I had to make redundant. I recall the many sleepless nights thinking what to tell the MD why turnover figures why down, why profit margins were being savaged, where else I could make cost savings in the departement even after I had cut advertising, staff training, salary / bonus freezes, maintenance schedules, increased company car replacement cycles from to 2 to 3 years etc. etc. After a couple of painful years there was the then inevitable, re-organisations and redundancies, followed by delayering and redundancies, then just plain redundancies and finally the company went bust. Only then did the last employees find out that things were so bad that the group finance management had done a Maxwell and been borowing from the pension fund. Don't tell me I didn't notice the 90's recession you liitle pr**k. Sounds like you were just about enjoying your first fondle behind the bikesheds. Apology to Oldie / other mods - I know that you are trying to clamp down on abuse to other posters but this twonk is a complete and utter f***wit.
  10. Slightly off the main thrust of the topic but nevertherless demonstrates the encouragement of taking on extra debt. I had a small personal loan with Alliance and Leicester. Just before Xmas I called them to ask what the outstanding balance was as I was in the position of being able to pay it off. After concluding the various security questions I was told that they would write to me informing me of amount I still owed. Somewhat bemused I asked why I couldn't get it over the phone? - I forget the exact reply but it amounted to "company policy". I then had a mini rant to the operative about wanting to sort it out now etc.. She suggested I might want to talk to one of her colleagues in another department about adding to the loan. Still slightly in rant mode, I asked if I was in the happy position of being able to pay this one off why would I want to add to it? She just calmly replied "No you misunderstand - You really ought to speak to one of my colleagues about adding to the loan" At this point the penny dropped - so I agreed. Sure enough, a few minutes later having been transferred to a different operator in another department and discussing one or two additional details, I was told the balance outstanding was X and I could therefore borrow up to an additional Y, this could all be arranged now over the telephone and how much would I like her to transfer into my account? Of course, I politely declined the offer and settled the balance a few days later.
  11. Yep - must be getting close to BoE MPC intrest rate meeting time again!
  12. Then there is this one from the good 'ole expats site - originally 329K now 300K plus "incentives" worth 11K so all in all 40K reduction. Of course, checking nethouseprices and seeing that next door sold for just 195K in March 2004 might be a reason why it's been around awhile. House nethouseprices edit: typo
  13. ...and how the hell would you know exactly what they earn, how much they spend and how much is left at the end of each month or not? Are you by chance admitting to the installation of certain electronic devices during your sundry refurbishments? Is this the real reason why you go to the trouble and expense of converting the lofts you were bragging about a couple of months back? http://www.flyonthewall.uk.com/ Is your favourite film Sliver? http://movie-reviews.colossus.net/movies/s/sliver.html
  14. First Direct never was that good anyway - lost interest on the whole deposit for the month even if you just took £1 out. I've just set up an account with Abbey £200,000 plus gets you 5.40% £100,000 plus gets 5.30% £50,000 plus gets 5.20% £1 plus gets 5.10% but this does include 6 months introductory bonus of 0.4% - still gives me another 6 months to find somewhere else to put the stash.
  15. Keeping with the sheeple theme - couldn't we use "thinking outside the pen"
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