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Ballyk

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About Ballyk

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  1. Agreed. You could cut a shooting estate into 4 parts and completely destroy its viability, as it needs the scale to function economically. Each of those 4 parts would be unviable. And if there's an 'Historic House' or castle attached, there is no or not enough money left for its unkeep, and it falls into rack and ruin. There are good and bad landowners, both large and small. There were certainly some appalling ones in Ireland and Scotland, and no doubt there still are. But the good large ones do provide some good jobs and tenure, and add considerably to the local economy and society. A lot of woodland and heathland / moorland exist today in good condition only thanks to rural hobbies and traditions.
  2. If the yanks are doing it, we won't either.
  3. The trouble is a lot of Scottish land is not really that valuable in economic terms. You can have an estate of 10,000 acres, most of which is only good for sheep, and it will not generate a huge income. Friends recently sold a large estate in the North of Scotland, as it was getting tougher to make an income from farming, plus declining numbers for shooting, and cutbacks by the MOD who did exercises on it. They sold out to a European who does not need to make an income from the land. Also, in Scotland there are very liberal 'right to roam' access laws which mean that it's fairly irrelevant who owns the land, as anyone can enjoy it without worrying about the upkeep. Having said that, some of the recent community buyouts on Scottish islands, etc, have been very successful.
  4. Prices have softened, but aren't collapsing. Incredibly low interest rates = debt inexpensive to service, banks happy to lend to anyone with a decent deposit and steady income. Very big contrast to early 1990s with recession, unemployment AND very high interest rates. Plus not such a tight supply of property in relation to demand, in SE England. I absolutely wish it weren't the case, but even with Brexit and other problems Fergus can offload without a huge amount of stress.
  5. What struck me is that the landlords who got in in the 1990s and early 2000s are now cashing in their chips in a very benign environment (ultra low interest rates, etc). They really did win the lottery. S24 and other initiatives are doing quite a good job in encouraging BTL divestment, and should be stepped up. One thing Panorama missed was the obvious observation that every house sold by Fergus = extra house on the market potentially for owner occupier / former renter to buy.
  6. To be fair, the Royal Family probably spend more time with the kinds of people who might end up living in HMO's (eg soldiers, etc) than Blairite New Labour types like Cherie Blair. The latters' aim in life seems to be to amass Buy to Let properties and become landlords to the poor (and increasingly the 'middle class', aka the poor).
  7. Lay off Persimmon everyone, they deserve every penny they have made. I for one am 100% happy with the government's Help to Buy scheme. True, it has inflated house prices, and in turn the profits of Persimmon and all the house builders. But the houses they have built are of such high quality, they put the Victorians to shame. And the directors are of such high moral fibre they make the Quakers look avaricious. In a hundred years people will dream of living in a turn of the (21st) century Persimmon house.
  8. Currently the two things that give me the greatest hope are - 1. Renewable energy reaching cost parity with fossil fuels, and; 2. Long range electric vehicles (cars, buses, etc) becoming economically and commercially viable. To my mind both these things are game changers in terms of our whole economy. They will make the air that we breathe and the earth that produces our food cleaner. And the fact that they reduce our dependence on oil, means we'll send less money to all the crazy regimes which supply it. Science, and the application of that science by business, with a little assistance from government, has made these advances possible. But I think it is mainly business that will make these things happen. Personally I find these trends quite cheering, and it gives me hope that the world can and will be improved.
  9. As you point out yourself, the HTB has merely reallocated resources. I would not worry about house prices falling, it will have less of an impact on the economy in the medium term than most people fear, although will no doubt have severe short term consequences for some. It is entirely healthy for assets to re-balance at a proper market value. Many of those who are sitting out the market will return. I doubt those who bought pre 2014 will go into negative equity.
  10. I think we are going to have to agree to disagree. The world carry on regardless
  11. I think there is plenty of room for society to improve. Firstly, air quality. Secondly, congestion. Thirdly, health service. Fourthly, the quality of housing. I could go on. The greater our wealth as a society, then more resources there are to tackle these problems. The greater the level of productivity, the better the standards of living and the reduced need to import cheap labour, and pay low wages. We have a serious problem of plastic in the sea and environment. Only a wealthy society could afford to replace all we use plastic for, with an organic / biodegradable alternative, but we must try to do this. Only a wealthy society could afford (quickly) to replace all diesel buses with electric buses, as they are now gradually doing in London.
  12. Yes, it is quite conceivable that we will one day not have actual pilots. But consider the consequence of that: costs come down, prices come down, demand for air travel increases, more planes are produced, more jobs in manufacturing. Or people spend less on flights and more on their gardens or whatever. The point is that where jobs are lost in one area, they are created in another. This argument has probably been had in varying different guises since ancient times . I'm sure the same issues were discussed in Roman tavernas, in pubs alongside the building sites of pyramids, Babylonian bath houses, etc. It was ever thus.
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