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bears all

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About bears all

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  1. Hmmm. If you are a consultant, stop moaning and tell us how much you earn. If you aren't, bide your time, play golf with the right people, and wait for the gravy train to stop at your station - it worked for my friends. A terrifying amount of the extra money (about half?) the government put into the NHS went on salaries, much of it for GPs and consultants. Not that there was a noticeable shortage of contenders.
  2. I've been posting on this site for 18 months now, and while it hurts me to say "I was wrong", things certainly haven't panned out in the way I'd hoped. When I read my old posts I was convinced that the market couldn't continue without FTBs. And yet what has happened is that cheap credit has enabled middle-aged property owners (like me) to BTL the properties that FTBs would otherwise have bought, thus filling up the gap. At the moment the market doesn't need FTBs. Sometimes on this site you get people posting requests for advice - "Should I buy?" and so on. I always said you should buy if
  3. A good deal of sense being talked here; clearly houses that are used only for a couple of weeks a year benefit almost no-one (hardly even the owner), and it doesn't seem to be interfering with the operation of the free market too much to suggest there should be some punitive tax regime in force. But the distinction between self-catering accommodation and 2nd homes is not made sufficiently frequently on threads like this, and I'd very much like to see some figures showing how many owners under-utilise their property - my gut feeling is that even if you confiscated them all that would not make
  4. 1. A two-minute internet search will find you about 500 properties in Cumbria under £100,000. 2. The real scourge of areas like Cumbria is unemployment and the lure of the big city. Young people go away to college and don't come back because there are few jobs and because they enjoy the bright lights. Agriculture and mining hardly employ anyone any more, and the biggest earner, tourism, is paradoxically the industry that would be most affected by restrictions on 2nd home ownership. 3. Empty holiday homes are to a great extent a myth. I know the owners of three 2nd homes in Cumbri
  5. In my S Manc suburb not a million miles from Didsbury someone with a house on for 950 hasn't sold; one at 750 has just come down to 695; one at 500 is now hoping for 480; and some new builds on for 250 are just sitting there with no buyers. On the other hand a terrace which originally went on for 240 came down to 180ish, still a vast amount, and finally sold after the best part of a year on the market. People are so desperate to own that as soon as they can scrape the money together they can't resist forking out. If that sentiment ever changes, then you might see some action.
  6. Immigration benefits us only when we have nearly full employment, and we are short of skilled labour. Even then, the availabilty of foreign replacements depresses wage costs, thus keeping interest rates down, encouraging debt bingeing and increasing demand for - and hence the price of - housing. It increases the population, eating up land and straining the country's infrastructure. It makes social cohesion problematic. Moreover it removes skilled people from countries that badly need them. A classic example would be the large number of Zimbabwean nurses we took in in the 80s and 90s. At
  7. You can buy a run down cottage in the Highlands for £65k. There are plots on the hspc site right now for £25k and upwards. As for these new jobs, so that's where the Barnett money's going to go! I must say I wish them luck - they'll have succeeded where many have failed before. I think my point is - and this is peripheral to the main debate about housing costs - that an area whose main source of income is tourism - have you ever been down Fort William high st at 9 p.m. on a January Saturday? - needs to look after itself very carefully. In my experience development in the Highlands is do
  8. Don't build kit bungalows - do up your existing house; and by the way your plot figures are - of course - exaggerated. Have a look on the highland solicitors property centre website for more realistic figures. Looking forward to the Barnett "squeeze". Should have taken full effect in about thirty years.
  9. Sadly Ardnamurchan is another area where there is virtually no industry at all. Fish-farming employs a handful and there's a bit of tourism but that's it. The days when large numbers of people were prepared to live on a croft are gone. I remember staying on Lewis one winter about 15 years ago. In Stornoway all the kids were walking around wearing Megadeath T-shirts, and the whenever I went into the local post office to get milk they were all glued to the likes of Eastenders on TV. The lure of the bright lights and the decline in agriculture has killed those places, not holiday homes. It
  10. Gruffyd, seeing as you apparently know what the stats are, please share them with us. Personally I'm not sure how contacting the tourist board would help, since many holiday lets are done through private agencies, and as you point out there will be some that are never let at all. I know the owners of three holiday homes, one in Wales, two in Cumbria. All are let out as often as the owners can manage. I notice you don't refute my assertion that holiday lets bring income into an area from outside. I have some sympathy with you as far as Wales is concerned. When I first started thinking abo
  11. I think you're right. Like many people on here I've been saying "it can't go on forever" for the best part of a decade. The fact that it has confounded intelligent speculation doesn't mean to say the bears won't be right eventually. On the holiday house front generally - 1. As I've demonstrated higher up this thread, the fact that people are complaining about a shortage of affordable housing in an area doesn't mean - at least not in the area I know about, Cumbria - that there actually is one. What there is is a shortage of affordable housing with a stream at the bottom of the garden and
  12. I think that's not quite right. Sure, there's an increasing number of losers - ie, those who can't get on the property ladder - but there's also a corresponding increase in the winners - ie, those who are buying BTLs and 2nd homes. As for discontent, yes, there's plenty of that. But IMO it'll have to get a lot more vocal before HMG will do anything serious about it. And don't forget that proposals to liberalise the planning laws and tax second home owners aren't necessarily vote winners either. Just a thought - when I bought my first flat in 1987 it seemed like an awful lot of money. Whe
  13. What this boils down to is that people who have more money are buying houses that the people who have less money would have liked to buy if only they'd had more money. Welcome to the world of capitalism. I wonder how many contributors to this site said, "No, I'm not going to buy that cheap computer or that £4 pair of jeans because in doing so I would be exploting the inequalities capitalism throws up". Not many. There are winners and losers under the present system. Those in the UK who can't afford to buy one house (in a good, attractive or OK area!) let alone two are currently losers.
  14. So the cry is not "I can't afford a roof over my head in Cumbria". It's "I can't buy a house in a part of Cumbria that's attractive or good or OK ". Since when has there been a right to such a thing? Can't you just buy one of the hundreds of affordable houses in a part of Cumbria that's not attractive or good or OK and thank your lucky stars you don't live in Darfur or the Lebanon?
  15. Quenkish - go to Rightmove and search for properties in Cumbria for less than £100k. You will find there are more than 500 for sale.
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