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Mr Mephisto

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About Mr Mephisto

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    HPC Poster
  1. Mr Mephisto

    Off Topic -amateur Stock Market Investment

    Has anyone got any views on the LLoyds "Placing & Compensatory Open Offer". Should I take up my options or forget it?
  2. Mr Mephisto

    Developers In Trouble

    NI based developer with substantial land banks in NI + ROI. Apparently owes multiple lenders - as would be expected with such huge borrowing - many of the Irish banks expected to take a hit
  3. Mr Mephisto

    Developers In Trouble

    I have heard on the grapevine that one of the big players is just about to be declared bankrupt owing the banks a very, very large sum of money - allegedly in the region of £600 - £800 million - quite a staggering amount of money - what will that do to the already battered Irish Banking sector ?
  4. I heard this joke the other day. What’s the difference between the Ireland Banking Sector and the Iceland Banking Sector? Answer - one letter and six months. I apologise if this one has been posted already
  5. Mr Mephisto

    Agricultural Land

    Good find Rock-n-Roll. I thought that the closing words were fairly relevant to the most recent debate "its value frequently bore little relation to profitability from farming". I have lifted two quotes from the article that I thought were poignant "farming and fishing were the only sectors of the economy that had not slipped into recession" "However, the fact remained that borrowing to farmers was largely underpinned by the huge capital base on the industry in the form of high land values, which showed no sign of falling. Land appeared to be the ultimate security, though its value frequently bore little relation to profitability from farming". I do agree - if RBS supports this view then it is well and truly fecked
  6. Mr Mephisto

    Agricultural Land

    Hi Yadayada. Any up to date figures on land prices? Are you aware of any tracts of land up for sale and what farmers expect to get for it? Are we in for a bout of "forced selling" in the farming community? Is the state of farm finances in dire straits and are they about to flood the market with land at knock down prices? Have the banks called "time" and forced them to "sell the family silver"? I do think that land as a whole has been grossly over-valued and is long overdue a correction, however it does all come back to supply and demand with the constraints being on the supply side i.e. actually persuading the farmer that he should be selling you his family land for £2,000 an acre. Now telling the bank that they should be selling you his heritage for £2,000 an acre is another matter altogether. Even so I think the bank would be trying to secure the best price possible for any land they foreclose on. I presume all of the land foreclosure to date has been in “development land” sector - unless there has been a financial tsunami in the farming sector that has gone unnoticed. Farmers are usually quick to tell anyone that will listen how badly they are doing and that they are not making any money. This has been the case from time in memorial. Their favourite pastime is telling all in sundry how badly they are doing. They are a canny lot and like to play the victim in a “Columbo” sort of way – pretending to be naïve however more than capable of running financial rings around the average man in the street, most spectacularly the Inland Revenue – do any of them ever pay any tax to the exchequer? Perhaps they really are doing badly this time around but the Irish press have much bigger stories to cover at present. Perhaps “development land” will revert to agricultural land as no-one in their right mind would want to build on it at present. With the sheer amount of development land kicking around at the moment you have to think that there is a significant amount of it that will never be built upon. I presume that there is a risk with any change in planning policy and “Area Plans” that land that was at one time “zoned for development” will revert to agricultural land if it not developed within a timescale and that government will remove a significant quantity of the oversupply from the market. The banks are sitting on huge amounts of debt secured against the once valuable asset of "Development Land". This has been the hardest hit of all property types since the asset bubble has burst. Does anyone know of any development land that has sold in the past couple of months and what it went for? Perhaps the farmers plan to liquefy their assets and take a gamble on foreign currency exchange markets ad bet some money on the Yen! It will obviously all come out in the wash.
  7. Mr Mephisto

    Oil Crash

    Hi Hermy - I see from the same article that Goldman Sachs are predicting further falls down to $30 a barrel "In a separate study published yesterday, another group of Goldman commodities analysts predicted that world oil demand would fall by 1.7million barrels a day, helping to drive oil prices down to as low as $30 a barrel in the first quarter of next year".
  8. Mr Mephisto

    Oil Crash

    I found this article in The Times "The leading Goldman Sachs oil analyst, who had been one of the market's biggest bulls this year, predicting that crude could hit $200 a barrel, has slashed his 2009 forecast to $45, blaming “incredibly weak demand” as the global economy plunges into recession". http://business.timesonline.co.uk/tol/busi...icle5333424.ece
  9. Mr Mephisto

    Agricultural Land

    Further to my last post I would like to clarify that any such purchase should be viewed as a purchase of “recreational” or “utility” land not “agricultural” land. True agricultural land would obviously not fetch anywhere near this value. The price of any such land also seems to depend on the quantity being bought. If you are truly buying “agricultural” land you would be buying in bulk i.e. 100+ acres or more. Under 10 acres, under 20 acres, under 50 acres and over 100 are all different markets and command different premiums. The elephant in the room however is as always “The Credit Crunch” and if “forced sellers” appear in this market.
  10. Mr Mephisto

    Agricultural Land

    Hi Doccyboy, I live in the Mid Ulster area. Our local property market has taken one hell of a beating over the past year or so, however what you are after seems to remain at a premium. I know of one such small holding which totalled 36 acres (I think this is still classed as a smallholding – still slightly more land than you were after!) + a old decrepit farmhouse that sold within the past couple of months for £12,000 an acre for the land + £200,000 for the farmhouse – a small knocker-downer that will leave the new owner fighting the planners for the next 2 years in attempt to get any decent sized “replacement dwelling” to justify the cost of his “site” (never mind the cost of his land). This was in a sought after area - nice houses in a longstanding greenbelt, however it is still relatively rural and there is no potential for development so it is being bought at that price purely because someone wants it and it is not being viewed as a "hope plot” or a "development opportunity". I have been watching this market probably like yourself for many years and it seems that anything nice usually gets snapped up by someone with piles of cash that want to play at being the country gent. I know that the individual who bought the land mentioned above is not a farmer and does not come form a farming background. I doubt that he plans to do any farming whatsoever. I don’t really know what he plans to do with the land. He probably just wants to own it and he can afford to pay for it. He comes from a very wealthy background and probably hasn’t had to borrow the money to buy the land in the 1st place. That is part of the dilemma with regard to any such “aspirational” property. Although you may be like me and envision your very own vision of “The Good Life” keeping your own chickens, there is always someone out there with more money. I’m not trying to rain on your parade. I have been equally frustrated over the years and have been blown out of the water in several attempts to buy a smallholding over the past 8 years or so. There is something inexplicable about the Irish desire to own land. This desire seems to burn brightly in many from a non-farming background never mind the farmers themselves. If anything farmers should be objective about the monetary value of land and its ability to pay for itself, however as with many things in life emotion and sentiment are very powerful driver in themselves and its not at all about cold hard cash. As for farmers selling land they would need to be heavily incentivised to doe so i.e. being offered ridiculous sums of cash or facing financial ruin and being forced to sell by the banks. As one farmers son once said to me - farmers would quicker sell their children than sell their land. We are in the middle of a major financial downturn and farmers may well become the next group of distressed sellers not that PPS14 has killed of their No1 cash crop – building sites – we will have to wait and see!
  11. Mr Mephisto

    Oil Crash

    Thanks Traktion. I now know who to contact if I need any car buying advice! I did think about adding a smiley at this point, however I think that not only do I need a dictionary for abbreviations but I would also need one for smiley’s.
  12. Thanks Doccyboy. I think that the list would need expanded a bit !
  13. Mr Mephisto

    Capitulation?

    Hi MD, as you are well aware, I think that your contribution to the debate is extremely valuable. You give a completely different perspective on the debate. You look at the issues from multiple different angles. You do not in any way reiterate or regurgitate what has already been said again and again. You should not be personally attacked for attempting to shine some light on the subject. I think that you have been more than honest in your disclosure of your property interests. I share your concerns for the economy in general. The HPC website obviously started off as a debating forum on house prices, however events have overtaken all of us and there are now much larger concerns. The debate is no longer about how cheap I will be able to buy a house. To be honest that debate has now become somewhat irrelevant. The main debate is now will I still have a job in a year’s time or how am I going to pay the bills if I am no longer working? If you subscribe to the view that house prices are the barometer of the economy, then you could argue that we are not witnessing the bursting of a house price bubble but witnessing the complete meltdown of our economy, with house prices being the 1st casualty. (Feel free to substitute Oil Price for House Price in this argument). I do agree with your comment that most of the large house price drops that we have witnessed so far have been developer discounts. The developers have obviously formed the largest group of distressed sellers in the current market and desperately needed the cash flow. The rest of the distressed sales have no doubt come from the cheery group of deaths, divorces etc. I’m sure that there are more than enough vultures out there just waiting for another to fall so that they can pick the carcass clean. I suppose it depends on how you view vultures - useful opportunists or feeders on others misfortune – society seems to judge them with contempt and some degree of revulsion. It does look that governments may try and inflate their way out of the current situation, with inflation eroding the debt in real terms. I presume that this is inevitable if interests rates drop towards zero and savings become worthless. My main question then is – where does this leave holders of tangible assets i.e. land + property – in a situation where cash has lost its value, will we once again see a rise in the price of these assets forming another inflationary bubble?
  14. Thanks Traktion. Without wanting to appear completely stupid, what is IIRC? I presume RL is real life? You see my need for an HPC dictionary!
  15. Mr Mephisto

    Oil Crash

    Hi Traktion. I'm still running as scared as everyone else with anything to do with money at the moment. The interest rate cut is saving me an absolute fortune with regard to my mortgage repayments - I'm lucky to have a relatively old tracker which doesn’t appear to have a collar or a floor with regard the bottom rate that I will get charged - or at least I think I have - I have had a look through my original mortgage documents and I see no reference to a "bottom rate". Still I will be saving my pennies like everyone else and trying to pay down my debt. I have done quite a bit of fantasy car shopping recently on the web however I think I will stick to my 10 year old diesel Golf. It is nice to dream however. What about a Nissan 350Z - they seem to be going cheap at the moment. I see that one of the local garages is trying to offload a 2005 Aston Martin DB9 with 19,000 miles on the clock for £49,000 - do you think they would accept £12,000 with the Golf as a trade in? As for oil prices I was a little more conservative than you – I thought $60 - $70 a barrel was a reasonable long tem bet. That judgement was however when oil was at its peak price level. Now that the worlds economy is heading down the toilet who knows?
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