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The McGlashan

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Everything posted by The McGlashan

  1. I agree, I expect Aberdeen City to fall less than some of the drops already being seen in Glasgow, Tayside, etc. However, I expect that Aberdeen's buoyancy will be at the expense of the suburbs, particularly those without train links. Haven't heard of any Abdn auctions, maybe by the end of the year... Hold tight, save hard, get ready to pick up real bargains for CASH in 2010 / 2011.
  2. The knowledge economy. Invisible, carbon neutral, growing. I myself export terabytes of ones and zeroes all over the world for income in many currencies. There are more of us than you might think. Arts and culture. Life sciences. Academia. Don't bet on the oil patch in Aberdeen surviving because of other hydrocarbon provinces. Hubbert's peak applies there too.
  3. Hiya, First off, if you can - get out of the oil industry, do so before it becomes your life-long career. I left Stolt (now Acergy) in 2000, just at the peak. At the time, I was encouraging the board to invest in heavy-to-medium lift capacity to install deep-water offshore windfarms. I was openly laughed at. A few years later and we get this: http://www.beatricewind.co.uk/press/technical_3.asp And much more to come: http://www.greatergabbard.com/opencontent/...lt.asp?itemId=5 The rest of your points: 1. Check. Inevitable now. 2. Fair enough, but how? 3. I don't like this one - Aberdeen society benefits greatly from a more cosmopolitan cross-section. 4. Not necessary. 5. Check. I take it you mean Trump? I'm not bothered by Nicklaus at Stonehaven. My greatest concern about Trump is that he is more a successful bankruptcy negotiator than property developer. I also despise golf. Interestingly, private golf courses are in contravention of the Land Reform (Scotland) Act 2003. Mass trespass anyone? http://money.cnn.com/magazines/fortune/for...73899/index.htm 6. Well, that'd be nice, but don't hold your breath - I understand that uk.gov's finances are in a similar state to Aberdeen City Council's. Your best way to reduce costs is to become self-employed, VAT registered and work from home. That way, a great deal of your regular living and household expenses become tax-deductable. 7. No chance. Learn to bake your own bread and make your own soup. Ditch your car and get a bike. 8. I noticed Vince Cable calling for a tax on empty homes, and the end of BTL being able to claim tax relief on mortgage interest. Does this mean I have to vote for Nichol Steven? Again? 9. Not likely given 8.
  4. I totally agree; my point being that last year, this property would have been asking closer to 200k, and wouldn't have shown on the search. I would certainly expect a property like that to be available for closer to 70k by 2010. I don't think it's a bad property tho' - I'd much sooner have a 100-year-old granite-built property within walking distance of the city centre than a ticky-tacky new-build in a suburb which obliges me to drive everywhere. High ceilings and original quality finishes are a MUST for me, I feel very constrained and claustrophobic in most new-builds, and horrified by the quality of finishes on architraves, skirtings, etc. The trend for "shiny-sh*tey" laminate floors is similarly horrifying. The flat linked to will have original pitch-pine or oak flooring underneath those horrid new carpets, aah that's better. Hold tight, save hard, get ready to pick up real bargains for CASH in 2010 / 2011. (I think I'll make that my sig)
  5. Hi DBP, You are quite wrong to say that the only high-earners in Aberdeen are oily. You are also wrong to assume that it's one person per household, the projected average is 2.11 in 2010. Your assumption that industrial activity in Aberdeen is proportional to the oil price also does not bear scrutiny. No matter how high the oil price, the geology of the North Sea will not change. A bit of infill drilling here and there, a bit of enhanced recovery there, a few more "puddles" becoming economic to suck up by modular subsea development or mobile FPSO's - all small beer, all easily accommodated within the existing industrial and employment base. Moreover, costs are increasing with the oil price - E&P is an energy-intensive activity in the North Sea. In energy terms alone, it costs (in energy return on energy invested - EROEI) about one barrel of oil to recover 3 barrels of oil from the North Sea. All the enhanced recovery techniques available further erode this already very poor figure, as well as incurring greater capital, employment, consumable and resource costs. Can you see the vicious cycle of increasing costs there? Past about 130 usd/barrel, the higher the oil price (or energy prices in general), the LESS ATTRACTIVE developing North Sea resources becomes. What's the rig rate at the moment? What was it in 2002? Peak North Sea production came in 2000/2001 and has been declining 8 - 12% per year since. The high oil price cannot change this - flow rates cannot be sustainably increased, no matter how much we wish it were so. “It's difficult to get a man to understand something if his salary depends on him not understanding it.” —Upton Sinclair I'm also doubtful about there being a problem of supply of property. The city centre abounds with empty houses and flats - more and more are coming on to the market now, more will do so in the months ahead. It seems that the owners of these empty properties have been holding out for a recovery. As the truth dawns on them, we will see more properties for sale at increasingly realistic prices as owners look to cut losses. Hold tight, save hard, and be ready to pick up bargains for chump change in 2010, 2011.
  6. Just been idling away some time on ASPC. My search strategy has been: Aberdeen City Centre, any type of property, price to 125k, features "garden" In the past year, until April this search strategy has often returned absolutely nothing. Today, 140 homes that match. This one's nice: http://www-p.aspc.co.uk/cgi-bin/public/Liv...BJMOOCM#picture It's also very interesting to note that there are 280 properties for sale in Aberdeen City Centre under 100k. 58 for sale under 75k I'll be keeping an eye on these stats...
  7. Maybe this Kepplestone story's an urban myth. I've heard it from a few sources now, and always "a friend of a friend".
  8. As mentioned, development within the city might not be as daft as it looks given the asymmetric dynamic of the decline. We have a name for these new-build overpriced tenements - "Crapitecture" - they seem to have invaded every city in the UK. From what I understand, the build quality is very low - were I a bank, I would be wary about mortgaging them. Is it true what I've heard about the maximum floor-loading of the Kepplestone crapitecture slums of tomorrow?
  9. Hi delboypass I'd refer you to my previous postings about North Sea industrial activity inevitably following the depletion curve of output, the fact that the price of petrol (lagging the oil price by 4-6 months) is likely to increase by a further 40-50% by Christmas (and will continue to rise), and my perception that house prices in the suburbs are already falling faster than those in the city. The age of discretionary motoring is coming to an end - and it will hurt those who are not prepared for the transition. The motoring landscape will have changed beyond recognition by 2011. Oil and gas will be rationed and ring-fenced for strategic purposes (fertiliser manufacture, insecticides, plastics, pharmaceuticals). You may expect to see oilfields being nationalised. As the Shah of Iran said "oil is to valuable to burn". Expect to see a groundswell of indifference to the AWPR and a corresponding increasing clamour for the restoration of Aberdeen City Trams, the Old Deeside Line, Formartine and Buchan Line, Vale of Alford Railway etc. These are the only measures which will save the suburbs - and they're not likely to be implemented soon. Meantime, people will want to live closer to where they work or work closer to where they live. This will inevitably lead to a continuation of and acceleration in the trend of house prices in the suburbs and elsewhere in the shire falling faster than those in the city - great news for those who can telework, but a disaster for those who (at present) have chosen commuting as their way of life - they will face increasing costs and an increasing loss unless they are in a position to take action and move home soon. BTW. I totally agree with your assessments of the state of public transport at the moment. I don't use it, but I don't drive either. I met a guy in Westhill who works in the harbour area. He complained to me that it took him 1 hour to get to work in the morning! An hour! I can cycle that route in 30 minutes on about 80% dedicated cycle routes and on-road cycle paths. It's about 45 mins on the way back 'tho. (net uphill).
  10. I've just had a shocking thought about house prices in central Aberdeen: City centre & west end prices fairly static right now, or showing slight drops, but development of newbuild flats in the city on any vacant lot available still going ahead. http://www.aspc.co.uk/cgi-bin/public/SINGLE?ID=257731 I asked myself why... then I thought about the price of petrol. Be aware that the price at the pumps right now has more relation to oil when it was about $80/b rather than $120 - $130. I expect that by the end of the year we will start to see the hollowing out of the suburbs as the cost of commuting becomes too much to bear for some. More central locations will see a corresponding UPSWING in demand. Some prices in Portlethen, Dyce, Kingswells and Peterculter are already beginning to look attractive. A move to Culter would suit me just fine...
  11. Hi Delboypass, Here's the link. As for the high oil price sustaining the Aberdeen property bubble - well, don't believe the hype. I too watched the Truth, Lies, Oil & Scotland documentary, and was unsurprised that it didn't tell us anything new. Seems BBC Scotland has become the agitprop wing of the SNP. No amount of wishful thinking, favourable tax regimes or high prices per barrel will alter the geology of the UKCS. The amount of recoverable reserves remains the same as it was 100,000 years ago. Enhanced recovery techniques, infill drilling, hi-res reservoir modeling etc CAN prolong the productive life of a field, but only incrementally, at great cost, and subject to the law of diminishing returns. For instance, the East Texas oilfield has been producing since the 1930's at 100,000 barrels per day. During the 40's and 50's that was 100,000 barrels of pure crude. Today, the field still produces 100,000 barrels per day, it's just that 99,000 of those barrels are water. On the documentary, Apache Oil were proud of their success extending the productive life of the Forties field. I've attached a graph of what that "success" looks like. Fact is that UKCS production peaked between 1999 and 2001 and has declined on average 10% per year since. This cannot change. Link. Industrial activity levels in Aberdeen will inevitably reflect this. Aberdeen can indeed seem to be a crummy town at times - I tend to avoid the city centre as much as possible these days, I try not to go further east than the Music Hall. However, right now, viewed from Kincorth or Altens, the city looks at its most beautiful with the gleaming white granite terraces punctuating the vast green sward of the newly re-leafed trees; easy access to the highlands, beaches, cliffs; a cultural life unparalleled anywhere by a city this small (the Russian State Symphony Orchestra visited last month); excellent mixed terrain cycling accessible from anywhere in the city; and a sh*te football team. No, I'll not be leaving, tempting though the cheap house prices in Arbroath, Montrose, Carnoustie, Dundee etc may be. As for the hotels, a friend of mine's father is a (now retired) hotel developer. He developed the Skean Dhu hotels in the 70's. Just before he retired, he tried to get the council to accept his plan for a 5-star hotel straddling the Denburn, next to the HM Theatre. They turned his proposal down. Pity, 'cos then we could have had Education, Salvation, Damnation and Accommodation! Boom Boom!
  12. As luck would have it, the flat in question went on sale yesterday, asking price about £25k less than it sold for in August. A look at aspc pictures show total refurbishment, (new kitchen plus appliances, a wall removed, new bathroom, new flooring, re-plastered etc etc) I guess at a cost of about £10k. So, loss so far about £35k, plus the notional loss of being empty for 10 months £8k (a guess, admittedly) and transactional costs, call it in total a conservative £45k or 22% of the asking price. That's quite a bit of value destruction, I'm sure you would agree.
  13. Anyone else noticed the large amount of houses and flats lying empty in the city? I live in Broomhill Road, and a casual walk from South Anderson Drive to Holburn St. reveals about 18 obviously empty properties, not counting the ones which are for sale or lease. Anecdotally, a neighbour of mine sold up and moved to the shire last August. Sold their modern tenement flat for a FORTUNE to a BTL. Flat still not occupied. A back-of-the-fag-packet calculation of mortgage payment or rent loss for the time the property has been empty is about £8k. How can this be sustainable? Why is their so much empty property? Who is absorbing the losses on this?
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