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Phil_Spencer

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About Phil_Spencer

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  1. Keep up the good work Phil! You're a star!

  2. they will be doing larger flows of vanilla trades, and have also benefitted from larger spreads. It's also easier to hedge vanilla books so less losses from market moves and as a bigger percentage of their business will be vanilla, they have less risk. There is little appetite for exotics currently (although increasing form a low-base) and these are the books that often cause the big/consistant losses especially in volatile markets. Although lack of liquidity and higher spreads have made risk management of existing books more costly and harder to mark accurately.
  3. I used to own a 2 bed on the Isle of Dogs. Small block, no pool, but had a concierge. That was £3k a year, but included water rates and buildings insurance. I hated living there as the block just got scruffier and the managing agents were hopeless, we had a tramp living in the stairwell for a while. I viewed a flat in Burrels Wharf at the start of last year. 3 beds, 1100 sq ft with a terrace off the bedroom, very shabby and on the 3rd floor with no lift. They wanted £630k for it (If I remember rightly). Even worse than that, the service charge was £600 a month! I actually laughed out loud when the owner told me.
  4. don't forget to add VAT. 1.5% is actually 1.7250% including VAT.
  5. only problem with 10 years is that it may severely limit the overpayment options. When my fix comes up for renewal, I'm probably going to leave half of it on the SVR and try and pay it off asap, and fix the other half for 5yrs (Maybe less depending on the difference between rates at 3yr/5yr).
  6. you need to make sure that there is a decent surplus if you buy into an existing block. Because if the lift needs replacing or some other major renovations such as replacing all the windows, that cost will just be added to the service charge, regardless of how low it has been in prior years. I have had a leasehold property before, and not having to deal with buildings insurance, water bills and having a concierge was great (if you can get one that deals with the hot water, then even better - boiler issues always being major ball-ache). But the inefficient managing agent who was paying a fortune to have minor repairs done (badly) and charging a fortune in service charges was very frustrating. Also the flat above's boiler failed and leaked into my flat, and neighbours leaving their rubbish and bikes in the corridors used to wind me up, and I ended up selling it. I know it's difficult to get a freehold house in London (especially Canary Wharf), but it is possible.
  7. I'm sure i've posted this before. but i was looking at 3 bed flats on the isle of dogs a few years ago. One in Burrels Wharf (so not even very near the DLR) was about 1100 sq ft, needed refurbishment, and had a terrace (off the bedroom) which you couldn't have a bbq on as it was a fire hazard - this for the bargain price of £630k. This flat didn't even have a lift (on the 3rd floor) and the communal areas were loking shabby. Service charge was £600 a MONTH! I burst out laughing when the owner told me. Some of the service charges in the new blocks are going to be horrific. think £5-10k a year for a 2 bed flat in a "prime" block new pan peninsular. You'd be much better off buying a freehold house in one of the nicer roads (spindrfit, thermopylae or macquarie roads) around mudchute. Which are still only a 20 minute walk from canary wharf, or 5 mins on the DLR.
  8. yep or rent townhouses. which don't cost much more than a 2 bed flat. of course there will be less grads than usual being hired at the moment, I'm not trying to dispute that and they aren't going to be buying 700k flats either. They will increase (well actually partially offset the decline) demand for rental property in the vicinity of canary wharf. That won't stop prices coming down, but it might limit the downside a little.
  9. moving from Blackfriars to canary wharf. will be more jobs (partially compensating for bank losses) in E14, less in the city.
  10. agreed. but the way the accountancy firms are structured means a very large proportion of their staff are going to be junior (up to manager level) and mostly renting. This will bring more renters into E14. 2 bed flat is £1500 a month, and can be a lot less in older blocks. The new grads will be on at least 25k with annual payrises and managers probably 50k+.
  11. Anecdotally the banks seem to be hiring again, consultants I speak to always seem to have vacancies, whereas 6 months ago it was dead. One of the nationilsed banks in particular. What is interesting though is the base salary on offer is much higher than it would have been last year as it need to compensate for the probable lack of a decent bonus at year end. On the other hand a few bars have shut on West India Quay, and they seem noticeably quieter than 2 years ago. It will be interesting to see how busy they are this summer. One thing I will comment on when it comes to demographics of people living in E14, of the people who live and work here, most tend to be more junior as it's not a great place to have kids because of the relatively poor schools.
  12. there were a lot of flats completed in 2003-5 and that held rents and prices down in E14. In 2006 rents and house prices jumped considerably but they had been more or less stagnant for a few years. Now there are quite a few blocks due to complete in the next few years which will have a similar effect, except this time in a falling market. Pan peninsular was always a rip off and 2 bed flats were up for £700k+ when you could buy a similar sized flat in a newish block with river views for £400k nearby with a considerably lower service charge. The bank valuations that are coming through now are still overvalued IMO. £200k for a 300sq ft studio is retarded (£666p sqm). you can get a 1000sgft house with a garden for £350k (£350 psqm) just down the road. also that 400k flat in Millharbour is still not cheap. Larger 2beds in similar quality blocks in better locations with parking were going for less than that a year ago. There have been quite a few job losses in canary Wharf, but there are new offices opening soon (KPMG headquarters is one example) and I would be surprised if there is a net loss of jobs from 2006 to 2010 in the area. So I don't think it will be a major factor in reducing prices, in fact as an area it is maturing and becoming more desirable (albeit from a low base). But there is a surplus of sh1t flats with large service charges that are going to drop further.
  13. add back in the VAT cut and the effect of lowering rates on mortgage payments and the number will be positive. They have effectively fabricated a negative RPI number.
  14. don't see the mortgage advisor. what a crock of sh1t, it's not like there are going to be multiple buyers lined up. If you want to be really sneaky, get a mate to view the house and offer £130k.
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