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House Price Crash Forum


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Everything posted by LiveAndLetBuy

  1. Yes I think that's possible. Or just go anywhere you like for those winter months. I've worked with plenty of digital nomads holed up in Thailand, Sri Lanka, South America, etc. As long as there's a reasonable internet connection, all you need to do is pack your laptop and get on a plane.
  2. If you want to live in Spain while working for a UK company then you have to register as a freelancer (autonomo) in Spain (unless the company is registered in Spain, in which case it might be able to add you to their Spanish payroll). By registering as an autonomo you'll have to pay a monthly fee, which covers social security, state pension, etc. This fee is 286 euros a month, and you pay it regardless of your earnings (although you can sign off the system for a period, if you know beforehand that you won't be earning). The first couple of years are discounted though. All the same, it's annoying as a lot of that fee goes towards a state pension you can only receive after having paid into the system for 15 years. Also you have to file VAT receipts every quarter and deal with quite a bit of bureaucracy. Usually people pay someone else to do it. Don't be put off by paperwork though, just be prepared for it. However it'll probably be easier to do this before the transition period ends at the end of this year. My only advice is that if you want to move to another country, do so because you like the culture, the people, and want to learn their language. If you go looking for just a sunnier version of the UK, you'll probably end up back in the UK.
  3. They have already started to cut the state pension as well as increase the retirement age. Now you need to have worked for 15 years to even qualify for one, and the calculation at retirement is based on the previous 25 years income rather than just the previous 5 years.
  4. I wanted to pay a rare visit to see what people's thoughts were on this. To me it sounds like a way of formalising what we have anyway - state backed banks - so yes you might as well place the central bank in the way of banks lending to each other. I guess it might ring-fence them since only the central bank has exposure to a bank with bad debt, so it would allow banks to go bust without systematic melt-down. Retail banking would effectively be nationalised, with the job of dealing with customers outsourced to the banks:. Not ideal but better than what we've got?
  5. I live in Arganzuela, which is central and resonably cheap (new build 3 bed flats with parking, pool and gym go for less then €300k now). If you prefer the "bohemian" scene then Lavapies is bang in the centre and cheap (you can easily pick up apartments for less than €100k). Madrid doesn't really have dangerous areas (not by UK standards anyway) but some areas are poorer than others. The main problem with buying in Spain is the cost (both purchase and selling) - it can easily excede 15% of the price - so it's something you want to get right first time.
  6. A lot of this is true (Penelope Cruz was on the Nuevos Ministerios El Corte Inglés, which now has signs to each department in Mandarin as well) The Chinese are buying up a lot of real estate in Madrid and a lot of upmarket hotels such as Four Seasons are moving in as well, and they're bringing shopping centres with them. Spain seems to have built up a lot of trade with China - I guess this is partly because not having experienced much immigration during the last century, there was a "gap in the market".
  7. Catalonia is the prettiest part of the med coast, but you don't get the long summers/warm winters there. The Atlantic coast is better than Catalonia but it rains a lot. If you're not too bothered about being near the sea then there's plenty of good scenery but most people don't see it because they stick to the motorways that tend to cut through the plain.
  8. If they could fail on their own then they wouldn't have offered them the emergency lending facility in the first place
  9. The EU had a conundrum in that it wanted to allow people to work and therefore pay social security in different EU countries, but in order to qualify for the state pensions in many EU countries people need to contribute for several years. E.g. in Spain you need to contribute 15 years social security to qualify for a state pension, so anybody spending less time than that working in Spain ended up paying into the system but with no pension in return. Also there's the issue of different retirement ages in different countries. To get round this the EU came up with a system whereby you claim your pension in the last country you work in before retirement, you send them the details of the other EU countries you have worked in, and each country will work out the equivalent pension if you had paid everything into their system. That amount is then adjusted to reflect the actual time you were covered in that country and you are given whichever amount is higher. I don't quite understand how they do that but it is described here: http://europa.eu/youreurope/citizens/work/retire/state-pension-claims-and-calculation/index_en.htm So it seems the EU basically underwrites your state pension if you work in different EU countries.
  10. Sports events are perhaps the one type of broadcast where it makes no difference whether it's on ITV or BBC. It's the same football match, track event, etc regardless of the channel. And I'm happy to have the occasional advert if it a) saves me money and means I don'thave to listen to some stupid BBC panel trying to fill airspace by talking utter sh1te and smugly smiling to the viewer/each other because of course everyone knows that the BBC is the best there is. After all they've been using other people's money to run their own advertising campaign telling everyone how wondeful they are for years now. The worst example is Match of the Day, where the BBC uses public money to outbid ITV which would give the same service to the public for free. And then we have to put up with this: http://www.youtube.com/embed/AfQarImZ97Y?feature=player_detailpage
  11. In Spain there is a tax based on "imputed rent" for property held overseas. I live in Spain and still own my UK house and I have to pay tax based on the "imputed rent". However they calculate it as a certain percentage of the purchase cost for the house (they don't realy have much else to go on) so it has no relation to the rental market whatsoever.
  12. I wonder who Siemens bribed this time? http://www.keeptalkinggreece.com/2011/04/11/athens-metro-german-rail-bribes-hand-in-hand-with-siemens/
  13. He was right about practically all the economic faults in the euro, and some of the consequences (no lender of last resort = bond market runs, one size fits all interest rates = debt crises, etc) But while he is good at describing and predicting certain economic situations, he is hopeless at predicting what will be done about them, since that depends on politics and how far politicians will go to protect themselves. So when AEP writes this type of article I tend to switch off. He might turn out to be right this time, but if so it would be a case of being a stopped clock
  14. A bit about Spanish employment law: In Spain there are two main types of employment contract: temporary and permanent. Those on a temporary contract have very few rights and can be dismissed instantaneously without compensation. Those on a permanent contract have very strong employment rights: for example, if they are made redundant they are untitled to 33 days pay for every year worked (45 days for years worked before 2012) so it costs an employer over a years wages to lay someone off who has been working for them for 10 years. People on permanent contracts do not change job regularly because they lose accrued redundancy, they would rather get made redundant first and then find another job. So they sit behind the same desk for as long as possible, doing as little as possible. And the longer they sit there the more expensive it is for an employer to lay them off. By law people on temporary contracts have to be given a permanent contract when they have been working for 2 years with an employer. Therefore most people on temporary contracts get made redundant just before they have been 2 years with an employer and they then have to start again somewhere else. These are the people on the minimum wage. Somehow the Spanish government has come to the conclusion that it is the temporary contract workers who are causing the problem, and they need their wage floor removed while permanent contract workers can continue having more and more job security as a reward for doing less and less. They really are clueless.
  15. No they increased it to €500k recently (obvioulsy after the more discerning Russian gangster)
  16. The UK could easily resolve the "immigration issue" by applying existing EU law in the same way Spain has done: nobody (including those from other EU countries) can get Spanish residency unless they can either prove a certain amount of monthly income or they can show they already have a contract to work in Spain. Why Cameron doesn't implement something similar is beyond me.
  17. I find this site is great from an academic point of view, I learnt a lot about money theory and economics, especially leading up to and during the 2008 crash. However theories only give a certain point of view, and one can get bogged down in them, trying to make the best decision, or waiting for some "event" to occur, when really it is sometimes best to "take a punt". I made that mistake with gold, back in 2008. I thought about buying gold but then thought I'd rather hold cash in order to buy a cheap house. Houses in my area crashed, but not enough to make them a good "investment", gold shot up, house prices shot back up, and an opportunity was missed. These days I tend to drip feed money into various asset classes if they start to look attractive (such as gold is again) rather than trying to hit a market bottom.
  18. The bottom line is a strong pound and a week euro makes holidays in Spain a lot cheaper. That's the economic thinking behind it
  19. Yup. Problem is that they also lent the Spanish regions money that got spent on complete and utter sh1te. Combine that with the fact that they got German backed EU subsidies on top of German bank loans for building airports wthout flights, houses without buyers, huge sports complexes on the outskirts of villages with about 50 residents, etc, etc and you can see why the Germans are p1ssed off with Spain. But then again if someone offers your limited liability company a billion euro loan to build a block of flats on a piece of worthless scrubland in the middle of firkin nowhere, what would you do?
  20. Yup. Spain actually ran a government surplus in the 3 years leading up to crisis, got its government debt down to below 40% and did everything by the Keynesian book. It was being touted as the model economy by the EU. Of course they conveniently ignored the reason behind all this apparent "growth" - negative real interest rates fueling a private debt boom- but that was fine as long as they were spending it on German cars. Now they have stopped buying German cars they must be punished.
  21. Yes but while unit prices of consumer electronics goods have been deflating, their production numbers have been increasing, and they have been bought in a inflationary environment in general. Usually on credit with the money being lent out by banks. It works like that for many tech industries - cars are a lot more affordable now than they were a few decades ago. Consumer electronics are exceptional due to their very short product lifecycles (the first iphone is virtually obsolete now) and a few other factors. Globalisation has generally been deflationary from a western point of view, but the cheaper goods are coming from countries like China and India which have been in high growth/high inflation mode. Agreed. Although I think the notions of inflation and growth are highly abused, even before you put them into that equation. For want of a better analogy I view cash as the equivalent of engine oil. Not enough and the economy/engine ceases, but that doesn't mean that throwing more and more oil into the engine is going to make it go any better.
  22. If we get to a deflationary environment and large flat screen TVs, tablets, and other such hi-tech gadgets start flying off the shelves then I wouldn't be the only one interested in knowing why.
  23. Those on a permanent contract are entitled to about 33 days pay for each year worked. Up until last year it was something like 45 days. So if you had worked say 8 years with a company they'd have to pay you an extra year's salary just to get rid of you. If you work in an industry with strong unions then you'd expect even bigger payoffs. Then for the first two years you'd get a generous employment benefit from the state - maybe over half your salary. Now after 2 years you get €400/month if you are still unemployed. Incredibly generous compared to the UK and the obvious reason for such high youth unemployment - nobody takes people on if it costs so much to lay them off. On the other hand those are just about the only benefits you can expect from the Spanish state. There is no housing benefit, child support, etc. You'll get sickness benefit if you fall ill at work, and paid maternity leave, but if you're out of work there is very little.
  24. Why would you want to buy real capital in a deflationary environment? Why would you want to buy anything apart from the essentials? It's not just me who would refrain from consuming, everybody else would as well. The real capital might be cheaper but who is going to buy your product?
  25. Agreed but that's because the system is broken. In fact if the banks were carrying out fractional reserve banking right now and lending out all the QE money then things would start to improve, and interest rates would go up. The problem right now is that it simply isn't happening. Long term the FR system needs to be modified or scrapped for something else, but we simply can't go back to a system that encourages money hoarding over money lending.
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