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House Price Crash Forum


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About Longinthetooth

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    North Wales
  • About Me
    Housing and housing history
  1. After a five year investigation by North Wales Police: http://www.dailypost.co.uk/news/north-wales-news/2013/01/09/jury-sworn-in-for-1m-mortgage-fraud-trial-55578-32574460/ I recall reading recently that the Force didn't have the resources to handle four alleged ongoing murder investigations in North Wales. Sounds like a place where it's OK to kill somebody but woe betide you if you exaggerate your income on a mortgage application!
  2. I used to take the kids to Manchester regularly on a Sunday. Go to a museum, meal in Chinatown, maybe a bit of shopping. Last time I went I found it strange that there were so many empty parking spaces. You now had to pay the same rate as for a Monday morning. Haven't been back since and probably won't!
  3. This sort of thing really scares me. The public image of these recruiting campaigns potrays them in the glamorous James Bond vein but one has to ask the question of whether it more like the start of a pre-war German style 'Gestapo' or Cold War Russian 'Stasi' organisation.
  4. I was in France last summer and saw a number of families living in Tranist type vans. I remember one in particular, in a hypermarket car park near Falaise, which has seven people living on matresses in the van. Couldn't tell if they were migrants or poor locals.
  5. As my avatar suggests, I've been around a while. The OP is absolutely right, I've several kids and frankly, would not like to be in their financial shoes. In 1974 I was earning £1340 a year and was offered a terraced house for £300, cheap bearing in mind they normally sold for about £600 in that location. In 2001 I was earning around £35,000; it simpy was not possible to buy a terrace house in some of the villages where I live for more than £25,000 (and I'm talking about the more pleasant parts of North Wales). My older kids are in their twenties and earn an average of around £21,000, none of them own a house or can even envisage a time when they possibly could. I went to a Polytechnic in 1977 - the fees were paid for by the County Council and I was given £1350 a year grant to live on (accommodation was also paid by the education authority). My kids will probably be paying off their student loans until they retire. I would agree that anybody born in the 50's and 60's who tries to say that 'times were hard' is talking through his/her backside. I'm sure that then, as always, life was tough for some but at least jobs were plentyful. I'm not suprised there is a resentment of baby boomers. If it's any mitigation I never bought any property other than for living in and anything I accrued over the years my ex-wife took; I now share a rented flat with one of my daughters. It's hard to gauge one's own contribution towards the change in culture from the 'communal good' to 'self preservation', which took place from around the late eighties but accept we all must have played a part. I watched, however, with deep distain the voracious property grabbing of a relatively small number of people over the last 15 years, as well as the transformation of the essentials of life (food and fuel in particular) into speculative trading vehicles. I recognize that we do, indeed, have a serious problem which is going to get worse. There are ways forward but we are miles away from any government that has the strength of will to undertake the 'major surgery' that is clearly necessary.
  6. I note with interest that there is an inherent perception that wealth is consistent with land ownership. You may all be right, I don't own any land. I hear all the time that 'they don't make land any more'. I live in 'the sticks'. I would challenge any reader living in London, Oxford, Bristol or wherever to jump on a train to anywhere. Look through the windows - there's loads of the stuff. I would argue that value is proportional to ability to control perception (of value) rather than the reality of supply and demand.
  7. Would I be right in saying that 'wealth', then, is part of a 'belief system'? Take your average Russian oligarch. He may have two or three Picassos', a room full of Chippendales in his estate in Buckinghampshire (surrounded by 200 acres of grass/wood land that nobody can do anything with because it's private) and a controlling share in Accrington Stanley FC. What happens if nobody believes it anymore?
  8. Thanks for the replies. Given that money is fluid and migrates, and the limitation of constant redistribution, what causes (if it exists) wealth creation? Not to the individual but to Society as a whole. It sounds like $10,000 per head is what we are all worth, on average.. Would I be right in saying that this figure would only fluctuate with the perceived value of money (ie inflation'/deflation)? I hope I don't sound patronising but I'm tryhing to get my head around a few basic concepts where the things I have read recently appear to me to judge their worth by counting the least number who understand a word they are talking about!
  9. Has any research been carried out to attempt to establish what the stardard of living would be for the average family or individual, if all the tangeable wealth in the world was shared equally between the earth's population? I know it's a very, very hypothetical question but wonder if anybody knows of any studies that have been undertaken.
  10. Quite right. During the 'heady days' (2004 to 2008) firms were instructing their surveyors not to down value (in some cases it would require authority from a line manager). Ergo the recriminiations we are now seeing. Now it's more a question of balance but no doubt the monopsony of valuation suppliers will be a factor.
  11. The way in which fees are paid to surveyors, in most cases, doesn't result in any pressure to value highly. The fee is paid on a scale based upon what the applicant tells the lender he thinks it is worth. A typical example is somebody buying a house for £175,000. The scale fee may be, say, £190. This is taken off the applicant and is paid to the surveyor no matter at what he values the property. If anything, it is an incentive to down value as the fee is the same and the risk is lessened. This isn't true in every case but serves as a general rule. It's probably been mentioned on this site before but in reality the lender will ask the applicant more like £400 under the guise of a valuation fee but what actually happens is that the surveyor is still only paid £190 whilst the lender pockets the rest as an 'administration fee'. Business volume for most practices has remained reasonably constant in recent years although the type of business undertaken has shifted towards re-mortgages and re-possession work.
  12. Now here's the rub. Twenty years ago I was writing, challenging the system. Back then, even for a £125,000 house the valuation fee could be anything from £126 to £400. I advocated a system where the money went, rather to a valuer, into a 'pot'. This would be used to indemnify any losses to a lender through anything other than fraud. No complicated Court proceedings, just an insurance policy. Do the maths - twenty yerars of property transactions versus twenty years of challenging surveyors in Court (the £19 million set aside by e.surv, for four years claims, for example) would more than cover losses to lenders/borrowers.
  13. Is the provision of mortgage valuations sustainable? In the early 1990's the mortgage valuation market changed radically. Many small independant surveying practices were put out of business by the widespread introduction of 'Panel Managers' - large concerns offering 'UK coverage' and lower fees. Lending institutions were more than happy to stand back and watch these Leviathans hack at each other with fee cuts and service promises. The result of this was that there has been a steady migration of experienced surveyors away from the industry; when statistics were last published a few years ago the average age of a qualified residential surveyor was 59. A national surveying concern has been advertising in my locality for a residential surveyor (salary circa £50,000 pa) for the past eighteen months and, as far as I know, still haven't found anybody. The announcement of a number of conglomerates that massive provision has had to made for professional negligence claims comes as no surprise. With the introduction of conditional fee arrangements, ('no win - no fee' to you and me), to sue a surveyor the position can only get worse. The RICS have recenly conducted a study of the future provision of Professional Indemnity Insurance and it makes grim reading; there is a possibility of it not being available at all. All in all, the future looks bleak for the industry (music to the ears for many on this site, I suppose!).
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