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The McGlashan

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  1. Ros for Nov. http://www.ros.gov.uk/pdfs/la_nov09.pdf All up except Glasgow. Aberdeen showing a particularly large growth.
  2. Hi Rookie, I used to be full-time management in O&G, these days much less so. I'm sorry if you feel that my quoting of the Dept of Energy figures is naive and alarmist - you seem a bit rattled - please bear in mind that these are government production figures - not mine. There's much more here: https://www.og.decc.gov.uk/information/statistics.htm At no point have DECC or I suggested that the North Sea will 'just close'. Oil & Gas will not run out, it will just continue to decline and this should take a long time. The production profile will follow the normal-distribution Gaussian bell-curve - just like everything else (though enhanced production techniques may kill the goose by hastening depletion and giving the curve a 'short tail'). Industrial activity associated with the sector in Aberdeen will inevitably follow the depletion profile downwards. Yes there will be work; ongoing maintenance, decommissioning, infill drilling and some new 'puddle' development. But these opportunities will become increasingly scarce with the attendant pressures on employment and wages. None of this is controversial. In the context of the ongoing liquidity squeeze and particularly when compared with 'sure fire' plays like deepwater Brazil, offshore W. Africa, Sakhalin Island and the Caspian Sea region the North Sea seems like a very dodgy place in which to risk capital, what with an uncertain tax regime, a volatile price and high capital and operating costs. Capital will follow activity overseas; it always does. This is not a case of 'abandon hope' wrt the Aberdeen economy, far from it. However, I've mentioned Dutch Disease and the Resource Curse before. Have a look and see how good a fit you think these models are for what you see around you: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dutch_disease http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Resource_curse It breaks my heart to see the downside of these economic models playing out in real life, in real time, in the city that I love. However what I said about the industries which used to sustain the NE holds true. We have thrown away our 'flexicurity' with barely a backward glance. As cities increasingly compete to attract finance capital and human and intellectual capital, it is those cities with a diverse economic and social base which will compete best to attract and retain these assets. For cities that have specialised more heavily, there are dangers that a downturn (in our case geologically inevitable) will impact productivity and employment levels significantly without there being alternative industries for those workers to move into. In this context, Aberdeen's high-earning oil sector labour market participants and the real-estate bubble they sustain have a negative effect on flexicurity - those outwith the industry are priced out of home-ownership and may leave the city, thus further concentrating the the labour market on the dominant sector and further exacerbating the worst effects of the Dutch Disease/Resource Curse pathology. I'll declare an interest and say that I have a cash fund now available for house purchase, preferably in Aberdeen. So, like you, of course I'd like to see prices fall so I can get more for my money. Moreover, in the interests of social justice, economic sustainability and a diverse economy with plenty 'flexicurity' to hedge against the inevitable ongoing decline in O&G it'd be better for everyone in Aberdeen in the medium to long term if prices fall soon and steeply. However, vested interests always discount the future. Just try telling a heavily mortgaged O&G employee that it'd be better for him, his long-term employment prospects, the town he lives in and it's medium to long-term economic future if house prices fell 20% in Aberdeen. You'll not get a positive response.
  3. Unsurprisingly crap production stats for North Sea Oil & Gas Department of Energy & Climate Change press release http://www.decc.gov.uk/en/content/cms/news/pn150/pn150.aspx Oil production down 10% YoY. Gas production down 18.5% YoY. More DECC figures and analysis here: https://www.og.decc.gov.uk/information/bb_updates/chapters/production_projections.pdf The attached graph demonstrates the seriousness of the situation for both the O&G sector and the UK as a whole: Gulp! Luckily, here in Aberdeen, we can still fall back on stone-dressing, paper manufacturing, linen weaving and bleaching, meat-packing and fisheries. Oh. Perhaps we can all get jobs at the forthcoming Swatch shop. Or maybe we can just sell houses to each other.
  4. Edinburgh's unemployment claimant count continues to rise, despite the drop in the UK figure. Must just be a blip tho, eh no?
  5. Surprise rise in unemployment claimant count in Aberdeen. While the claimant count in the UK has dropped, I was surprised to see it rise sharply again in Aberdeen. Just a blip, presumably.
  6. I've just learned that the Halifax BS says that the long-run average of house price / earnings ratio is 4. The sexist pigs use male-only full time mean earnings to calculate the ratio. So.. plugging this in with the latest quarterly (Q3 09) RoS average house price data and the latest ONS ASHE we get: UK affordability ratio = 5.0 (Fall in house price required to get to long-run avg. affordability ratio = -19.2% = -£31,784) Scotland affordability ratio = 4.9 (Fall in house price required to get to long-run avg. affordability ratio = -18.9% = -£29,133) I'm sure it's within the bounds of statistical error if we just say that there's no difference in affordability between the UK and Scotland. As for the detail.... Aberdeen = 4.9 (Fall in house price required to get to long-run avg. affordability ratio = -18.8% = -£32,775) Dundee = 4.5 (Fall in house price required to get to long-run avg. affordability ratio = -10.1% = -£12,691) Edinburgh = 6.0 (Fall in house price required to get to long-run avg. affordability ratio = -33.2% = -£69,024) Glasgow = 4.7 (Fall in house price required to get to long-run avg. affordability ratio = -14.5% = -£20,153) Edit, for Redhat Sly Moray = 4.9 (Fall in house price required to get to long-run avg. affordability ratio = -17.9% = -£25,707) Highland = 5.2 (Fall in house price required to get to long-run avg. affordability ratio = -23.5% = -£36,049) Now, of course the affordability ratio will vary across the country and from city to city. It is up to us to take a view on just how big the overvaluation is. Similarly, what will provoke the necessary adjustment to bring prices back into line with the long run average ratio. Will wages go up during 09/10, and by how much? Will house prices go down, and what will be the mechanism to achieve this?
  7. The numbers I gave are for "all employee jobs". That is male and female, full time and part time. IMHO, this is the measure which we can best use to get a feeling for 'final demand' in an economy. For determining the final demand affecting house prices, it'd probably be best to strip out p/t earnings. (Though there's no doubt many couples where one partner is p/t.) So... Gross earnings, full-time jobs, excluding o/t. by LA place of residence. XLS download here: http://www.statistic...009/tab8_1a.xls Scotland median = £24,554 (up 2% on 07/08) Scotland mean = £28,854 (up 3%) Aberdeen median = £26,010 (up 4.1%) Aberdeen mean = £31,839 (up 4.9%) Dundee median = £21,803 (down 4.6%) Dundee mean = £25,896 (down 0.1 %) Edinburgh median = £26,951 (up 2.2%) Edinburgh mean = £32,307 (up 3.9%) Glasgow median = £23,498 (up 4.1%) Glasgow mean = £28,002 (up 5.8%) All this compares to: UK median =£25,412 (up 2%) UK mean = £30,539 (up 2%)
  8. Data for tax year 2008/2009 All sorts of data here: http://www.statistics.gov.uk/downloads/theme_labour/ASHE-2009/2009_res_la.pdf Gross earnings, all employee jobs, excluding o/t. by LA place of residence. XLS download here: http://www.statistics.gov.uk/downloads/theme_labour/ASHE-2009/tab8_1a.xls Scotland median = £20,150 (up 2.7% on 07/08) Scotland mean = £23,764 (up 2.8%) Aberdeen median = £20,774 (up 3.8%) Aberdeen mean = £25,745 (up 6.7%) Dundee median = £18,829 (up 3.3%) Dundee mean = £21,741 (up 3%) Edinburgh median = £22,152 (up 1.8%) Edinburgh mean = £26,988 (up 3.8%) Glasgow median = £20,150 (up 6.7%) Glasgow mean = £23,644 (up 7.8%) All this compares to: UK median =£20,660 (up 2.2%) UK mean = £25,007 (up 1.6%)
  9. RoS Oct http://www.ros.gov.uk/pdfs/la_oct_2009.pdf Edinburgers to your boom-proof shelters! Up MoM Up YoY (Still down 8% from July 07 peak, tho) Volume down a bit MoM and YoY, and is still down an astonishing 62% from Aug 07 peak.
  10. Oct RoS http://www.ros.gov.uk/pdfs/la_oct_2009.pdf No real change MoM for Aberdeen: YoY now negative again: And down 8% from peak. Volumes exactly static YoY. Down 50% from peak.
  11. RoS Monthly figures for October have been published: http://www.ros.gov.uk/pdfs/la_oct_2009.pdf Edinburgh UP Aberdeen STATIC Dundee DOWN Glasgow STATIC Scotland STATIC
  12. Aha! A sweepstake! Great find ATW! (If it doesn't sell very soon to some dopey mug,) I guess it'll sell in February for £85-90k.
  13. Additionally, the character of the area to the immediate north of Union Sq (Exchange St to the Green) changes significantly after midnight. If you take your stroll around there on Saturday night you might be invited to do a different kind of 'shopping' and transact a different kind of 'business'. That's very well put. But the 80's were a development disaster for Aberdeen. IMHO, the retail development in the 80's didn't do much to boost Aberdeen, and unnecessarily destroyed a great deal which was good. The areas now occupied by Bon-Accord and St Nicholas centres were vibrant, pedestrianised, human-scale mixed residential and retail. They were fully pedestrianised between 1978 and 1985. Safe, inviting, inclusive places. Demolished wholesale in 1986. This photo from 1953 is looking north up George St and was taken from a point just about where the entrance to the Bon-Accord Centre now stands. Again 1953, taken from Schoolhill, looking east up Upperkirkgate. (Today, the Bon-Accord centre is to the left, St Nicholas centre to the right) St Nicholas St looking north, the building with 'Claude Alexander' painted on the gable is where M&S now stands. Likewise, infrastructure development in the 80's was ill-conceived. The still unfinished 'Inner City Ring-Road' similarly destroyed a lot which was good. Site of the Mounthooly roundabout: Commerce St Of all the 80's residential developments only Westhill remains anything like approaching desirable. Edit, "It's not like the old days!" Heh, all that makes me look like a bit of an old reactionary fuddy-duddy. I'm not - I'm a high-tech progressive modernist. It's just that it breaks my heart to see the obvious waves of malinvestment and misallocation of capital crash against our town again and again, leaving unnecessary destruction in their wake.
  14. I was also in the west end this afternoon for lunch. Paull and Williamson have moved out of their premium offices on Union St, and Aberdein Considine are out of their property shop at the end of Union Grove. I notice that the latin-theme restaurant next to Paramount has failed, as has a juice-bar opposite the Bells Hotel. The "High and Mighty" tall peoples shop has just closed and the Remax office next to the Bells Hotel is shut; so has the one on Holburn St. Also closed on Holburn St is the 'One Stop Property Shop' next to Annie Mo's. The IFA and foreign real-estate agent AGS (?) across from Hass's chip shop is also very recently closed. At the large development on Justice Mill Lane, all reference to Park Inn Hotels has been removed from the hoardings, to be replaced with advertising for 'Hazeldene IQ Aberdeen' - office suites to let. (Does anyone know more about this?) I was very disappointed to be served a below-par lunch in Soul where, along with the standard of floral arrangements and musak soundtrack, the standard of service seems to have plummeted. (Attractive and attentive eastern europeans have been replaced by hurried east asians.) The class of clientele also appeared to have tumbled - I was surprised to see fat loudmouth unwashed single-mother types barking loudly into their mobiles as their pups yapped loudly over a plate of chips. My eyebrow arched so high that my monocle nearly fell out.
  15. I think his car was most likely a company vehicle provided by his first job, complete with fuel allowance. He is likely moonlighting for the pizza shop, and stealing milage allowance from his day-job.
  16. I've mentioned before about how Aberdeen is the sort of new-money town where the newly-moneyed drive their Porches to the Burger King drive thru, but yesterday I saw a new spin on this... There's a pizza shop quite close to my house, run by a lovely Turkish guy. His delivery drivers usually seem to be young members of his extended family, and drive bangers - old Seats and Kia's - you know the sort of thing. Yesterday, my pizza was delivered by a middle-aged local Scot, driving his Audi TT. I had to wonder what the back-story was...
  17. I live in 'oil-rich' Aberdeen. There's a great deal of 'new money' and conspicuous consumption. It's a town with an astonishing social division between the haves and the have nots. It's full of chavs on crack / chavs with money. The arrivistes are seen progressing their Porshe Boxters through the Burger King drive-thru, but I saw something new last night... There's a pizza shop quite close to my house, run by a lovely Turkish guy. His delivery drivers usually seem to be young members of his extended family, and drive bangers - old Seats and Kia's - you know the sort of thing. Yesterday, my pizza was delivered by a middle-aged local Scot, driving his Audi TT. I had to wonder what the back-story was...
  18. Hmm. An operating economy is not required for the continuation of our and other species. By contrast, an operating biosphere is the sine qua non. Get your footprint to around 2 tonnes, and you'll pay no extra tax. Is this morally right? I don't know. Is it going to happen? Without doubt. Is it "green nonsense"? Opinions are irrelevant. The tax is coming. You have a choice. Modify your behaviour now, ahead of time, or be taxed into submission. Sometimes it might be better just to go with the flow.
  19. The govt carbon calculator works a great deal better now than when bahumbug deconstructed it in 2007. I'm a freelancer, and I largely have a passive income generated from copyright holdings. It's a practical impossibility for me to separate my personal from my business activities, so the carbon footprint I calculated and quoted is inclusive of both my personal and business activities. Fair play on the biomass. It's convenient, appropriate and cheap for me to use it in the sparsely populated area where I stay. It's sustainable over a 15-20 year cycle at current levels of use. I take your point that as a mass-solution it's a non-starter - urban air quality would also become abominable. I don't pretend to have all the answers - Milliband is announcing the Nukes today... So - what's your footprint and how do you get it "well below" mine?
  20. A personal carbon footprint of around 2 tonnes does not imply a 'dark ages' way of life. Have you completed the actonco2 calculator? You are quite correct to point out that the calculator does not, at present include for the 'embedded' carbon in my possessions. The calculator is, of course, not perfect, but it's stated policy is committed to continuous improvement. From the FAQ's: Now, as I said, I do not live my life by it's carbon calculation; it is entirely serendipitous that my footprint is relatively low and I don't intend to come across as 'holier-than-thou', but I would like future generations to enjoy an operational biosphere - I therefore have no plans to increase my carbon footprint at present. In the absence of contrary indications, I trust that this is the right thing to do for my children and their children. So, put up our shut up; what's your footprint?
  21. My own small business has seen a drop in turnover over the last two years. I have maintained profitability by ruthless cost-cutting and an aggressively parsimonious procurement policy; if a supplier doesn't give me a discount from their list price, then they don't get my order. Something's got to give.
  22. Ok everyone, 'fess up. http://carboncalculator.direct.gov.uk/carboncalc/html/ I'm 2.15 and highly smug. The tricks are not to drive (work at home) and wood-fired heating. I'd hasten to add that these were 'lifestyle choices' which I settled upon many years ago, long before the concept of carbon footprint became current. What nonsense people spout when they say that living standards will drop, etc etc. I can vouch for the fact that working from home leads to a far better lifestyle than does commuting.
  23. Statistics day at the RoS Monthly Figures here. Quarterly Figures here. Press Release here. My graphs for City of Aberdeen: Quarterly average price: Quarterly volumes: Quarterly total market value: Monthly raw prices: Monthly YoY change: There is no recovery. There isn't even stability. Just about all classes of property in all areas continue to become more affordable YoY; volumes continue to plummet and total market value is at 2003 levels.
  24. Statistics day at the RoS Monthly Figures here. Quarterly Figures here. Press Release here. My graphs for City of Edinburgh: Quarterly average price: Quarterly volumes: Quarterly total market value: Monthly raw prices: Monthly YoY change: There is no recovery.
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