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About bearishonhouses

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  1. I am aware of the dangers of 'government regulation' interfering in markets etc, BUT, it would not appear unreasonable to have rules that determine what can and cannot be described as a 'bedroom'. Or even whether a space should be allowed to be used as a bedroom. Basic fire safety concerns suggest that the two lower level rooms in this house are not safe; there is no means of escape. The rules in the USA (maybe not all states, but certainly many) are that a room cannot be described as a bedroom in estate agents particulars unless it has egress. In practice, this requirement means that a below ground level room must have fully opening windows through which someone could escape into a 'well' that has a ladder to ground level. To qualify as a bedroom, the room is also required to have a built in closet in many jurisdictions - which is arguably too much regulation.
  2. I agree. It looks as if #30 sold for 171k recently and the one you are looking at is far bigger, so I would think it umlikely the vendors would accept below 150k. (Not that the prices aren't still crazy high given average incomes in NG17.)
  3. Climate is definitely a factor. Also, some of the growing Southern states (e.g. Florida, Texas) do not have an income tax, whereas taxes in northern states (New York, New Jersey) have top rate up to 11% - but not until income is in excess on $1m. But in general, states with low rates of income tax have higher real estate taxes and/or sales taxes. Real estate taxes can be a killler for asset rich income poor retirees. In most of the country, annual real estate taxes are about 1% of values. In Texas, Florida, Illinois (low - but not zero - income tax) they can be >2% of values. And in New Jersey, there is a double whammy because annual real estate taxes are approx 2% of value. A nice 4 bed house in New Jersey, but commutable to Manhattan, can be had for about $1m - but the taxes are approx $25k a year.
  4. What really matters is life expectancy conditional on reaching retirement age (be it 62, 65, 67 or 70). That is the period for which the pension has to be funded. If life expectancy is falling because of increases in mortality of those less than 21, it probably doesn't help much in being able to afford bigger pensions. The ratio of worlkers to pensioners would remain roughly constant. otoh, if overall life expectancy is falling because people are living fewer years in retirement - then yes, pensions should be increased.
  5. Not true:- https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/george-soros-ss-nazi-germany/ In particular, Soros was born in 1930
  6. I lived in Chicago in the 90’s. It is law that landlords provide heat in winter and that it be included in the rent - but not thermostats for the steam radiators that were heated with a furnace for the entire building. The standard way of regulating temperature in many apartment buildings that I and many friends lived in was to open windows and allow external air (temperature often -15C) to mix with the indoor air.
  7. "It is just a data set get off your pious high horse LOL 😉 for illustration - you try eating better in the US than the UK - impossible for an average family " I moved the US from the UK 20 years ago. I agree with the assessment above. I currently live in DC suburbs. Food here is much more expensive than it was in Georgia. otoh, decent food is available at many supermarkets but I have regularly been back visiting family in the UK and overall, I prefer what is available in the UK - to the extent of considering whether to move back in retirement.
  8. 27% off initial ask - after 18 months. It was on the market in 2012 for 850 - and LR reports no transfer of ownership since 1996. LR data also show that nothing on the street has sold for an index-adjusted price of more than 700. Methinks this bargain will be around for some time before someone snaps it up. https://www.rightmove.co.uk/property-for-sale/property-72718394.html
  9. The rebuilding cost would set a floor for the selling price of new-build housing, but not for houses already built. E.g. https://www.rightmove.co.uk/property-for-sale/property-54227226.html and https://www.rightmove.co.uk/property-for-sale/property-72796643.html. Look to be terrific houses and would cost a lot to build - but I guess no-one wants to live there, and incur the maintenance costs.
  10. I believe Portsmouth council has been run by Tories since 2015. But some of those ‘investments’ may have been made prior to 2015 at which time liberals were the the largest group.
  11. I am not sure this statement is true - though it is hard to get much data. In the USA, tuition at public universities for in-state students varies from bargain rates of $7k in Florida to $20k in Pennsylvania. (More extreme examples at top and bottom end are very small states). However, many public universities charge extra for popular subjects when they believe market demand justifies it (e.g. Business, Engineering, Computer Science.) Tuition for out of state students (including international) is much higher - typically $20k to $40k. Private university sticker price of tuition is very much higher ($50k is not unusual) but they typically offer offer needs-based scholarships. However, if your household income is more than $100k, you are not getting a penny of needs-based financial aid. see: https://trends.collegeboard.org/college-pricing/figures-tables/2018-19-state-tuition-and-fees-public-four-year-institutions-state-and-five-year-percentage
  12. Is it not the case that if farming revenues (selling prices) fall, the reward to other factors of production. Whether the brunt of the decline is felt by labour, capital or land would depend on the elasticities of supply of each. I would think that supply of capital is very elastic (i.e. price is relatively fixed); supply of labour is somewhat elastic (would depend on local conditions of employment, welfare benefits available etc); and supply of land is almost totally inelastic. Farm land has few alternative uses because of planning restrictions. I do not doubt that economists have researched these issues thoroughly at some time, but I have no idea where to find quantitative estimates. Does anyone know?
  13. Some good news suggesting that even though the bubble popped in the US in 2008, it may well be popping again. https://www.nytimes.com/2018/11/15/upshot/housing-market-slumping-despite-booming-economy.html "When you look closely at the data, it appears this paradox of a strong economy and a weak housing market is, at its core, an illustration of a fundamental rule in economics: If something can’t go on forever, it won’t. Home prices in a given location are ultimately tethered to the incomes of the people who either live there or want to. But for much of the last six years, that relationship has come undone."
  14. But note that it is VI in the States - not here. They did have a bubble pop (in most places) in 2007 to 2009 and There might. Be more evidence for there not being another one yet. (I think some west cost cities especially San Francisco are in bubble land.)
  15. I wonder if the sale includes the upstairs furniture - particularly the big double beds? It would be fun getting them out (and new ones in).
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