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The McGlashan

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Everything posted by The McGlashan

  1. One of the counter-intuitive effects of a drop in land prices can be to actually support house prices. In my own small neck of the woods (Aberdeen) the drop in land values has prevented the local council from selling large plots of land to developers for housebuilding, thus constraining supply of new houses coming on to the market. The council would rather keep the land in the bank, waiting out the downturn, in the hope of a recovery in land values in the future. They have a statutory duty of care to their council-tax holders which obliges them to get the best possible price when selling assets. This has happened at Hazlehead to the west of the city, and threatens the vast planned development at the Craibstone Estate to the north.
  2. Small drop in Edinburgh unemployment.
  3. I noticed that behaviour too.
  4. Thanks for that, Geed. I was very interested to see how *relatively* low the guide prices were for the properties in Aberdeen. Some of them were even in reasonable areas. Wahay! Cheapo Flats! Now, where's my credit card....? A long weekend in London, coming back with couple of flats in my back pocket. There's just enough time to book an apex fare on the Scotrail Sleeper.
  5. RoS Monthly Figures... http://www.ros.gov.uk/pdfs/local%20authorities%20mar%202010.pdf Down -1.5% MoM on rising volumes. Up +12% YoY Down -10% from July 07 Peak. RoS Quarterly Figures... http://www.ros.gov.uk/pdfs/Statistical%20Report(final)%20-%20Jan%20-Mar%202010.pdf Useful mix-adjusted figures to be found within the depths of the report. Here's graphs of some of the headline data for Aberdeen...
  6. RoS Monthly Figures http://www.ros.gov.uk/pdfs/local%20authorities%20mar%202010.pdf Average Price down -11.5% MoM. big rise in volume Up 16.5% YoY Down -12% from July 07 peak. RoS Quarterly Figures http://www.ros.gov.uk/pdfs/Statistical%20Report(final)%20-%20Jan%20-Mar%202010.pdf A lot of mix-adjusted data in there - useful. Here's the pictures of the headline figures....
  7. http://www.ros.gov.uk/pdfs/local%20authorities%20mar%202010.pdf A'body doon. All on rising volumes, too.(Except static in Dundee).
  8. OMG, don't subbies exist anymore? The report mentioned is the RoS quarterly report. http://www.ros.gov.uk/pdfs/Statistical%20Report(final)%20-%20Jan%20-Mar%202010.pdf Aberdeen's P&J at least did us the courtesy of reporting the statistics accurately: http://www.pressandjournal.co.uk/Article.aspx/1720375 Along with some doom&gloomtm from Aberdeen University Property expert Dr John Bone. I used to know John when he sold double glazing over the phone He was a student.... he needed the money....
  9. Choose the 'classic' skin (drop-down menu at bottom of page) , and you'll not be troubled by ads on HPC.
  10. I always seem to be depressing you, quine. I'm sorry. Don't worry, tho. There's many more like me, active at grass roots, infiltrating the likes of Aberdeen Civic Society and making nuisances of ourselves in the local press. The capitalists I decried above will not get a free-run with our 'braif toun'. Let them be capitalists, I have no problem with that. It is when they use their money as a lever over civic society and impinge upon the public realm that they invite the reaction of leviathan. We, all of us, are leviathan and we are all participants in the social contract. Did you read the rubbish that Tory candidate Amanda Harvie wrote about her candidacy in Aberdeen South? She said "I am honoured to have this opportunity to champion the interests of the people and businesses of Aberdeen..." and then went on to talk of issues related exclusively to business interests only. It's almost as if she genuinely believes that business interests are the only thing that matters. Oh, hang on. Right enough; Tory candidate, links to George Osbourne, Chief Exec of Abdn Chamber of Commerce and Scottish Financial Enterprise; clearly she believes that business interests are the only things that matter. What does this woman have to say about health, education, transport, foreign affairs and the pressing social problems which Aberdeen faces? I'll tell you what, she has to say: nothing! These things do not concern her and her pencilneck sponsors who are also her clients. From the Scottish Tory website: This talk of 'the big society' from the Cameroons is simply a loincloth for people like this. A future Tory government will roll back the state, not (as they would have us believe) so that 'little platoons' of civic virtue will fill the void, setting up primary schools and cottage hospitals like busybody boyscouts (horrifying though that prospect may be). Rather, that void will be filled by business interests who will lever their financial and real capital into usable political power over ordinary people. What we see in Aberdeen with the unelected ACC and ACSEF business lobby groups calling the shots over our elected council is a foretaste and a warning of the plutarchy the country can expect should the state be allowed to derogate from the social contract. It's 'Capitalism with Russian Characteristics' as Ken Macleod warns. Meantime, (to cheer you up) here are some of the things which make it worthwhile living in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire: The hillwalking; the ornithology; the archaeology; the mountain-biking; the angling; the skiing; autumn on Royal Deeside; the long summer evenings and the crisp blue winter mornings; the sands to the north and the cliffs to the south; the symphony, ballet and opera; world-class local produce; the (relatively) dark skies; the sleeper to London and the ferry to Shetland. And a sh1te football team. Oh, and the golf (if you must - ugh!) "Fit a rare place tae bide!"
  11. I find this forelock-tugging servile excuse for ongoing blind consumerism nauseating. I am tired of reviewing young people's CV's where they list 'shopping' under hobbies and interests. This very large city-centre site which hosts Union Sq would much better have been utilised as a marina (plans were drawn up in the late 90's); the site for the new community stadium and/or concert arena (mass attendance venue alongside transport hub - joined up planning!) or even returned to being the tidal estuary of the Denburn (which it was until the 1880's). But without doubt, the best use for this site was what it was originally created for, the reason the estuary was drained. This is a rail-freight and rail-engineering hub, fully integrated with the sea-port. It is now uncontroversial to point out that rail transport has a bright future. In that context, the recent destruction of this huge piece of rail infrastructure seems short-sighted at best. The business practices of Hammerson Developments (owners of Union Sq) used in attracting tenants to the development are probably the aspect of the mall most harmful to Aberdeen in the short-term. All of the large retailers which have chosen to occupy units in the mall are there rent-free for a year. The blight that this has caused in other areas of the city centre is clear to all those who have eyes to see. It will be interesting to see what happens when the rent-free year expires. The mall is not 'nice' inside. It's unoriginal rubbish badly done; you could be anywhere. It has been designed by accountants - I can assure you that no architect has been near this. Open your eyes and look at the detail - cheap materials and a poor standard of finish typify the approach to this development which was thrown up with unseemly haste. Being in Union Square is like being in an underpass. It's alienating and dehumanising. Go and see Dundee's new Overgate redevelopment if you want to see a decent shopping mall which has original charm and quality and actually integrates with it's immediate and wider location. Both it and Glasgow's recent Buchanan Galleries knock Union Sq into a cocked hat for quality of design. But still, they do contain the same identikit crappy shoppies selling the same crappy products to the same over-indebted advertising-conditioned consumerist automata - is this what is meant by 'aspirational'? I note that there's been a 'surprise' 12% decline in burglary since 2008. No surprise to me: 'What's the use of robbery when nothing is worth taking?'. It's all crap. The 'themed' restaurants upstairs at Union Sq make me laugh. One of them celebrates the conquest of the Inca. So false is everything about it that the laminate photocopies of wooden floorboards which they have glued to the concrete floor actually include *cigarette burns*! (The irony being, of course, that smoking was banned in public spaces long before the building was constructed). The standard of food seems to be an afterthought (non-thought, actually). Maybe one day we'll get a 'restaurant' themed restaurant. There is one civic aspect which Union Square contributes to Aberdeen which is unparalleled. The view over the harbour from the top-deck of the car-park is panoramic and dramatic. Go and see - well worth it. Do you mean that in a monetary sense? You are in danger of confusing standard of living with quality of life - the two are quite different. Hmm, "a good 5 solid years left". Then what? What good is that to kids sitting their Standard Grades right now? What good will these shiny new shops be then? Where is Aberdeen's economic future? Just a generation ago, Aberdeen had a diverse industrial economy: stone dressing; paper and board manufacture; meat-packing and fish processing; textile weaving, bleaching and dyeing; hide tanning; cabinetmaking; glove and comb manufacture (!); shipbuilding; locomotive engineering; medical research; fisheries and agricultural research; blue-sky scientific research. Not a lot remains, and that which does has largely been co-opted in support of the North Sea O&G industry . This is called 'the resource curse'. (Sort-of). Maybe it's a bit like Gresham's Law. I think you are mistaking what you perceive to be negativity against Aberdeen with what is actually negativity against the civic direction the city fathers may continue to allow Aberdeen to take. I can only speak for myself, of course, but I regard the fight for a sustainable future for the city which I love as being very important. Too important to leave to the Chamber of Commerce and ACSEF, who, in common with their Conservative Party Candidate, represent business interests and far-off shareholders only. One of the main problems with the ongoing free-market obsession with shareholder value is that it is very short-sighted (based upon reporting periods and annual dividend payments) and tends to discount the future. The problem with that is that I have every intention of living in that future. The business interests making their current putch on civic Aberdeen seek to 'farm' us Aberdonians as compliant and unquestioning producer-consumers good only for enhancing their shareholder value: the remainder of the public realm does not matter to these people. This is important. All Aberdonians who care about their city should be aware that a handful of rich business players are at present attempting to gain full control over council decisions. Read this http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/home-news/the-tycoon-the-secret-meeting-and-the-battle-for-the-soul-of-aberdeen-city-1.1021429 and weep.
  12. BBC Scotland's venal property ramping is legend in our house. Haylee Millar is the worst, IMHO, but I'm beginning to wonder whether its a 'corporate' position. What exactly is BBC Scotland's exposure to the Scottish property market? I know they built a lot of flats in the former 'Beechgrove Garden' in the city centre of Aberdeen. What happened at QM drive in Glasgow? What other property deals are they into? Should we moan to OFCOM about a conflict of interest?
  13. ASPC Quarterly report for 2010 Q1. http://www.aberdeencity.gov.uk/nmsruntime/saveasdialog.asp?lID=29212&sID=332 The average figure for the Aberdeen Housing Area is the second lowest since the beginning of the banking crisis. Only 'beaten' by the figure for Q1 09. Total Abdn Housing Area Decline from Peak (Q1 08) -9.1% Quarterly change -6.3% Annual change +5.3% City centre: Decline from Peak (Q3 07) -9.8% Quarterly change -4.4% Annual change +6.7% Bridge of Don/Danestone: Decline from Peak (Q2 08) -1.9% Quarterly change -2.6% Annual change +17.5% Bucksburn: Decline from Peak (Q2 07) -19.3% Quarterly change +2.6% Annual change -3.7% Lower Deeside: Decline from Peak (Q4 08) -44.3% Quarterly change -26.8% Annual change -28.5% Nigg/Cove: Decline from Peak (Q2 07) -6.1% Quarterly change +2.8% Annual change +25.5% Kingswells: Decline from Peak (Q4 07) -18.5% Quarterly change -0.9% Annual change +9.3% Dyce: Decline from Peak (Q3 07) -23.3% Quarterly change -22% Annual change -14.7% Westhill/Kintore/Blackburn/Kemnay: Decline from Peak (Q2 08) -10.1% Quarterly change +0.2% Annual change +16.4% Ellon/Newburgh/Balmedie: Decline from Peak (Q2 07) -5.7% Quarterly change +4.8% Annual change +15.8% Inverurie/Oldmeldrum/Pitmedden: Decline from Peak (Q2 07) -12.2% Quarterly change -3.9% Annual change +14.9% Newmachar: Decline from Peak (Q3 08) -13.4% Quarterly change -5.8% Annual change +8.2% Banchory/Durris/Drumoak: Decline from Peak (Q3 08) -10.2% Quarterly change +13% Annual change +7% Stonehaven/Portlethen/Newtonhill: Decline from Peak (Q1 08) -9.3% Quarterly change -1.2% Annual change +11.6%
  14. Edinburgh unemployment down a bit. http://www.statistics.gov.uk/StatBase/Product.asp?vlnk=15084
  15. No drop in Aberdeen unemployment http://www.statistics.gov.uk/StatBase/Product.asp?vlnk=15084 The Potempkin Village Economy. This article is about the US economy in general and the Florida economy in particular and talks of US political issues, but the broad diagnosis of what ails the economy below the shiny surface is perfectly analagous to Aberdeen's 'fur coat but no knickers' economy. Aberdeen increasingly resembles the pimp who drives a custom Lexus but lives in a bedsit with bare floorboards and a paraffin heater.
  16. Ta for that - my mistake - now corrected. Good luck with your plans.
  17. RoS monthly figures http://www.ros.gov.uk/pdfs/localauthoritiesfeb2010.pdf Aberdeen up 2.7% MoM Up 12% YoY down -9% from July 07 peak. Volumes and total market value, however, are plummeting.
  18. EEK! RoS monthly figures http://www.ros.gov.uk/pdfs/localauthoritiesfeb2010.pdf Edinburgh up 8.7% MoM Up 20% YoY down -0.5% from July 07 peak. Volumes and total market value, however, are plummeting.
  19. Bit late this month.... RoS figures for Feb http://www.ros.gov.uk/pdfs/localauthoritiesfeb2010.pdf Edinburgh really booming WTF???!!! Aberdeen and Glasgow up a bit. Dundee down. Scotland as a whole pretty even. Volumes plummeting. (Edit - Dundee/Glasgow mix up - doh!)
  20. Desire Petroleum shares down 50% on dry-hole. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/8592734.stm When the rig arrived on station, a Desire Petroleum mouthman exec was interviewed on STV tea-time news urging private investors 'with a few quid spare' in Aberdeen to sink their money into this 'exciting venture' with 'potentially unlimited rewards'. What he didn't say, of course, was that this was an opportunity for experienced oilpatch investors who can afford to lose. To be fair - there's more to exploration of the province than just one well - but it's looking like a white-knuckle ride. A good time to buy?
  21. Heres a graph of Gross UK Mortgage lending going back for years and years. And here's the same data plotted with YoY delta.
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