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About Kaos0001

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  1. Half a million? That sound seriously wrong to me... I am curious to know - you mentioned making an offer under (I guess -8% or so, the average nowadays). You are willing to pay around 450K for a house of rather modest square footage in Stadhampton ???
  2. There is something weird happening in the area north of Summertown: there is a small block that I have been checking for about three years now, with rightmove & p-bee. The ups and downs of that search are, imho, indicative. At the peak of the frenzy, there were 130-150 properties offered. Three months ago there were at some point under 60, and many of those have been on for dogsyears. The last couple of weeks something spectacular happened. The properties went from 60-70 to 100+. Amazing as it is, that is not the weirdest bit. The weirdest bit is that about half of those properties were tagged as "Sold" or "Under Offer" the minute they went on the web. How is this possible??? I can understand that a couple of properties might have been picked up very very early (viewings before the web, it happens) but I find it hard to believe that such a major jump coincided with more than half of the properties being grabbed before they are advertised. Any ideas? What makes me even more suspicious that something fishy may be happening with the EAs here is that one particular house, that I have been passing by twice a day on my way to work and back, was also marked as "Sold" a few days ago. That house has been on the market 3 years ago for about 6 months, did not sell, went out and then went back in a year and a half ago. It stayed "For Sale" for a year and half, and there is good reason for that - the asking price was/is about £130K above what identical properties in that region are going for. And now, it is "Sold", together with a whole bunch of others, out of the blue? BTW, I have never never seen anybody viewing that place; the garden is a mess, I would believe that it is uninhabited and only rarely maintained. My conspiracy theory hat is on...
  3. Here are a few cute ones from Oxon: Chains: http://www.rightmove.co.uk/viewdetails-192...p;mam_disp=true A cool -20%: http://www.rightmove.co.uk/viewdetails-198...p;mam_disp=true And a "how to get your house sold" (price it at 25% down from the last contract in your neighbourhood): http://www.rightmove.co.uk/viewdetails-197...p;mam_disp=true
  4. This is a good point; and I'm surprised that you know the house so well; you must be a townie popey! The fact that places like this stay on the market till forever and the owners are pushed to water down their weird notion of value is a new development though: last year this place would have flown at asking or more... I am tempted to keep my mouth shut regarding the Japanese Royal Family comment mate, but I just cannot. I am no fan of royalty (that's actually an understatement) but the particular one has sent lots of members in Oxford, usually in paid taught graduate programmes, and, although you'll attribute it to favouritism, they have actually done very well. It's not a big secret either who they are or what they've done, and I am pretty certain that although in a couple of cases they have been SCR members, honoris causa so to speak, they have never been voting members of Governing Bodies or on hiring committees... OK, I'll shut up now
  5. Hmmm... Don't you mean JCR? Or are you saying that one of the dons is the Dalai Lama??? (it's the Fellows that frequent the SCRs). We would have heard, I think... Here is a bit of overpriced flat example, that is representative of what is happening to this type of property in the primest of the prime North Oxford. Living God notwithstanding. http://www.home.co.uk/search/price_info.ht...perty=460299961
  6. I am not crazed Please remember that it was you who walk out with indignation; "This does not deserve a response" you said? Let me not go back to the Harvard issue, but remind you that although US universities have legacy places ("reserved" for gift-bearing kids) Oxbridge does not, formally or informally. You guys say you have stories; you know how many stories fellows from poor colleges (literally at the brink of bankruptcy) have of "approaches" they have had they systematically turn down? As I wrote in another post, this was probably a shameful bastion of privilege. Appreciate that it is changing....
  7. Indeed I am frustrated. My Oxford experience does not go back decades, but I know very well what is happening in the University now. Actually, my exposure to the procedures of hiring, recruiting and interviewing is probably as involved as it gets. You should not deny your experience of course; the fact that you and popey (and others for sure) feel so strongly about this reveals how screwed up this place was. What I can say for sure however is that in 2008, the practices that you refer to are inexistent. There are subjects here were the people controlling the process are not Etonians, they are German, Polish, Chinese or from Sheffield (that'll teach them!). I can appreciate what the public perception of Oxford is (and discussions like this re-enforce this appreciation) but if what you mention were to happen today, hell would break loose. I can accept that it was happening, and I can accept that there might be some isolated pockets where weirdness still surfaces, but the game has been redefined (its not port any more, its publications and grant money) and this game you cannot win but with meritocracy (and even then...) Back to housing (and to how "insulated" North Oxford is): Here is a cute one. I believe that this is a case of a smart seller who checked the web and realised the bs his/her EA was serving: http://www.rightmove.co.uk/viewdetails-197...p;mam_disp=true 11 October 2008, Initial entry found. Guide Price £400,000' 12 October 2008, Price changed from £400,000' £399,950' 16 October 2008, Price changed from £399,950' £385,000'
  8. To Popey: Well, apparently you are not very keen to respond to the housing comments; you said Oxford (because of North Oxford) is insulated, I responded, go to property bee, or home.co.uk and count the reds. And “Not worth replying to except to point out that your claim for American 'social responsibility' is laughable in the present financial circs”: so it’s Harvard’s fault that the government and the banks have been lending rednecks $$$ that they could not possibly repay? And what about Germany (in deep banking ***)? Are they also irresponsible antisocial scum? Is it also their Universities fault? To D’oh: So, in your book, everybody, public school, middle class state school, etc. is rich. Well, according to your own statement, Oxford is second only to Royal Holloway. Oh, wait now: I’ve seen quite a few Ferraris around Bloomsbury and UCL. And you know, what about all those in Fife? Royalty! Come to think of it, what about all those yachting clubs the students in Southampton and Plymouth go to? People going to top Universities everywhere are about the same. This does not make Oxbridge different and definitely does not make the ratholes most people live in (in Oxford to start with, but elsewhere too) immune to market forces. An image that has been engrained in the public eye through generations of discrimination (Oxford WAS a place for the privileged, no doubt) and is cultivated still by the press is difficult to change; that I appreciate. To say however that nowadays Oxbridge picks people based on income is, at least, unfair to the people busting their ***** to make this place work. Oxford is very similar to all the other Russell Group Universities in the country, just trying to compete with the big guys (and not doing very well there, unfortunately). You wrote that you were a research fellow there. Did they ask you how much money your daddy has, at the interview? Or did they ask you how many papers you have published? To housing: here is another prince's palace in precious Oxford: http://www.rightmove.co.uk/viewdetails-214...=3&tr_t=buy From £1.75M to £1.375M. Apparently the Oxford jab didn't manage to immunise this one
  9. The North Oxford you refer to is 300-500 houses. The % of those occupied by academics or students (!) is negligible. The rest of Oxford (the real Oxford) is closer to Blackbird Leys than to North Oxford. "Hardship" and "means-tested" reeks of nothing: these are terms the charities, scholarship bodies and OFFA (Office for fair access, a government organisation) use. Who said that 1% of Harvard students come from working class families??? Have you ever been there???? The big difference between the top US places and Oxbridge is that Americans are not afraid to admit that you need money to be excellent in academia. They have done what it takes to get the money and now their future is secure, and they can be socially responsible and fair. As I wrote, with the current attitude (of Government, Governance and Press) this will not happen in Oxford, whatever the intentions are (they are good, but that is not enough). Back to housing: if you are saying that it is North Oxford that is "much better insulated" (the 500 houses I mentioned before), two answers: a ) I don't give a damn; not my range (or anybody else's actually, no matter what happens) b ) Really???? Check this example: http://www.home.co.uk/search/price_info.ht...perty=347576324 plenty more where this came from. Is that a 25-30% frop in asking price or what? I've heard this many times before: "there is a pocket that is bulletproof". If Witney or Bicester or some other village around Oxford drops 50%, frustrated Oxford non-buyers will go there. This will moderate prices in the village and remove pressure and therefore demand from the "hotspot". If it goes down, it all goes down, more or less.
  10. Sorry friend, but you are way off. The fact that some family in a far away country is sending their offspring to Oxbridge does not mean that they are rich; definitely not rich by UK standards. They pay the overseas fees and in many cases they are choking to do that. The graduate community you are thinking of is not the majority in the University, i.e. those it taught courses where they actually pay fees. The vast majority of grads are on research degrees and they are just bright kids, either paid by the University (through research grants) or on scholarships (that are pretty competitive and often make a point of not being awarded to families with money, means-tested, hardship). I noticed that you refrained to comment on the academics; the easier group to show that there is no wealth conspiracy behind! As for Harvard (and all the top schools in the US) you could not be more wrong. Some of them have a small portion of places reserved for legacy students; those usually come from alumni families or from major benefactors. However, the vast majority of places go on merit. You mentioned Harvard: Harvard waives all fees for students coming from families with incomes below $70K and they are the majority and Harvard does not care; actually they can go on indefinitely charging zero fees to the entirety of their student population. Other ivy league places literally chase students that will be applying for hardship funds. With current policies, Oxbridge will reach that enviable (and socially just) position when hell freezes over, unfortunately. You can buy the **** the tabloids promote wholesale; however the reality in Oxbridge is different. To go back to housing, you write that "You cannot apply the 'X times income' formula in conditions where amount of income is not the only factor"; true, there are other factors that modulate these ratios and this is truer for Oxbridge with all its peculiarities than for other places in the country. However, the issue here is quantitative and not qualitative: you can modulate a reasonable baseline -X times income- formula: change it by 10%-20%, or even, if you go crazy, 50%. But the ratio everybody thinks is reasonable is x2.5-x3.5 and we are talking x10 here. That is 300%. If you want to believe that beautiful Oxford is immune to what is happening to the market, feel free. RM & PB advise differently.
  11. "'astronomical house prices ... not based on multiples of academics' salaries' ...'scandalous lending' etc, etc. No, you must look at this more rationally. " & "You must also consider that many students and academics are supported by families that have wealth which will not be greatly affected by recession ( lawyers, politicians, big landowners)" Regarding the first point, there is nothing irrational in the perspective I am offering. I am not saying that there is no explanation; people have had their reasons for getting x10 mortgages and the sentiment was that that is the right thing to do. The fact that HPC-ers are shown to be on the spot in saying that most buyers have been conned to a pyramid just demonstrates that the borrow-borrow-borrow rationale that was prevailing works up to a point, and definitely not 2006 onwards. Regarding the second point, that is absolutely not true. The tabloid perspective that Oxbridge is basically rich public school kids has stopped being true years ago. There are of course independent school kids going to Oxford; they are not the majority; this does not take into account the exploding graduate population and the way things are, independent school means parents concerned with the state school system! it does not mean stinking rich, unfortunately. As for the "academics are supported by families that have wealth" this is science fiction.
  12. You are about 10-15% down on your numbers re academics, remuneration and grades etc, but definitely in the ballpark. As with everywhere else, the astronomical house prices in Oxford were not based on reasonable multiples of academics' salaries. They were based on scandalous lending by banks and on a proposterous acceptance by the community at large that it is ok to borrow x10 for a rathole. I have found it very interesting to click the "Sold STC" button on the rightmove search engine. Combined with property bee, this is quite revealing of how realisation slowly sinks in that a transaction is not completed when a crazy price is agreed upon (for whatever reason) but when money actually changes hands. I can only imagine the frustration of these people that buy the bs their EAs feed them and go from "Available" to "Sold STC" and back to "Available" again and again and again....
  13. Reporting from the north-of-Summertown-but-within-the-Ringroad area: from one of the streets I have been monitoring, with identical 3D semis, the peak sale price last year was at around £460-470K. The exact same houses on the exact same street are popping up at £400K, trend downwards, now. If the market average of 10% off asking price is applied, that takes us to £360K sale price (*IF* a sale happens, and other houses around the area that are on the market since March tell us... not) and this translates to around 20% drop in a year in "will keep its value" Oxford. Please do not start with the usual "400K is still way overpriced" standard blurb; I know and I agree. The point is, the sentiment has changed. Rationalisation is coming, as always, gradually. That being said, compared with the previous 2 crashes, this feels like a free fall...
  14. That is an easy question to answer: Go to www.nethouseprices.com and type in Sunderland Avenue, Oxford. You will see that: -Up until 8-9 months ago, people were happy to pay £500-£600K for semis and detached houses on that busy ring road; in certain cases even more. -Now.... not. So the answer is that if the sentiment promotes overpriced house buying "Plenty". If reason starts to sink in (now) "Nobody".
  15. This is speculation of course, but IMHO the reasons are: -no newbuilts -a nicer place to live (than Cambridge for example) -good link(s) with London (bankers galore) -town *and* gown seeking roof -conservativism = takes longer for the message to hit home -a "core" of very high quality and value houses that are lending glamour to the rest (North Oxford). As far as the £500K --> £400K property I posted, I agree with all posts: it is right on the ring road and it is tiny. Yet, a year and a half ago it would have sold for circa the asking price whereas now I doubt the owner is getting any viewings at all. Before reason sinks in, sentiment must change and there are lots and lots of examples in OX and everywhere that sentiment is indeed changing rapidly.
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