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2020 Vision

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  1. As the meltdown in Europe continues I am keen to hear house price antedocals from those on the ground in the effected countries. We hear in the press every day that the Greeks are spiralling back towards the dark ages (literally with the national power company giving up on collecting payments and needing a bailout itself). But have house prices collapsed by 90% to reflect this? The Greek banks have seen a bank run so presumably mortage availability is zero? In Spain unemployment is 3x that of the UK (not that I believe either countries official figure), are house prices falling three times quicker, or are the banks hoarding every single property knowing they will be bailed out endlessly? I keep hearing Irish house prices have bottomed, no chance I think, but what are people's first hand experiences? And has Hollande's victory led to an explosion in the supply of >€1m homes on the market as the rich scurry for the exit? I'll go first. Just back from a weekend in Marbella, Spain. Probably not representative of the country as a whole as 90% of the population appeared to be British (80% from Essex), with the balance being Spanish, Russian and German. Since my last visit (two years ago) not much seems to have changed, in many cases it's the same apartments up for sale, mostly at the same price (although some had been discounted by 10-20%). Nothing much selling, some of the building work that had stopped seems to have restarted. And that's it, not particularly exciting I know.
  2. http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-02-03/london-landlords-facing-rents-of-zero-turn-offices-into-condos.html
  3. It seems to me many on here are planning to buy a house in the UK when the time is right. Lets ignore for now, that UK property may never reach a fair price if you think the country is in permanent decline. And instead focus the forum's considerable expertise on what kind of property to look for. For what it's worth the only genuinely good "tips" I've been given are: - Buy the worst property on the best street, rather than the best property on the worst street. - At the bottom of the market land will have declined much more in percentage terms than houses. Therefore it might make sense to buy a property with additional land / potential building plot. * The smell of fresh bread, twigs in vases, and manolia paint are "no-brainers" and do not need to be discussed here.
  4. Thought you might find it interesting to know that they're spending £25m to build a new police station in Wood Green, North London. £25m!!! As if that wasn't bad enough Wood Green's existing police station is perfectly usable if a bit shabby. Oh, and every PCSO in Wood Green has been given notice that they might be made redundant. And whatever your view of PCSOs, surely there has never been a better opportunity to promote the good ones and sack the dozens of PCs on permanent light duty because of made up medical conditions.
  5. Banked another £300 from my oil puts. Actually feel a bit cheated as I was up around £700 with 15 minutes to go before the market closed. Still lesson learned about holding to expiry. TRADE #3 - I have gone short the Liffe Sugar no5 contract today. It looks to be forming a double top at 500. Smallest position you can do at IG Index is £15/point so I've set a reasonably narrow stop.
  6. I exited my silver positions at 19.25 and 19.10 giving a profit of just under £400. TRADE #2 - Spot oil is trading at 74.80. I have bought some deep out of the money puts on oil that expire at the end of the day. Total premium paid £200. This is purely a technical trade, the trend is down and oil has weakened significantly after 1pm on most days over the past few weeks.
  7. Hi HPCers. I've posted ocassionally here over the years but mostly just observed from a distance. I wanted to record my efforts to raise enough cash to buy a decent house (and retire) outright somewhere, and this seemed like as good a place as any. My view of house valuations? They are obviously overvalued... maybe by 50%. My view of house prices? I was firmly in the "deflation / massive nominal house price falls" camp until the European bail-out. It seems the powers that be really will stop at nothing to prop up this ponzi scheme. This WILL lead to currency debasement so who knows what will happen to nominal prices now? Anyway, lets say I'm starting with £10k. Over the next several months I will post here what trades I have on. And please guys, do let me have your comments/suggestions/digs. TRADE #1 - I have gone long silver July futures at 18.55, sized at £4/point. Silver breaking out this afternoon. The idea behind the trade is really just that currencies will weaken against real assets, and the gold/silver price ratio suggests that silver has not priced this in to the extent that gold has.
  8. So, when interest rates rise later this year (and they will), I can expect 40% of the homes available for sale in my area/price range to be repossessed? This would be a sea change and would send prices hurtling downwards surely.
  9. I keep an eye on Rightmove for 4/5 bedroom places in south Herts/Middlesex. Prices came off considerably in late 2007 and the first half of 2008, stabilised, and then very recently have started creeping downwards again. Supply has been muted and a significant proportion of the homes remain unsold after over a year. Two years ago almost none of these homes were available for rent. Now I would say 40% can be rented. The gross yield (based on asking prices for sale and for rent) seems to average about 3.5%. It makes no sense to me to buy what look like very overvalued and depreciating assets on a gross yield of 3.5% (net <2%?). So my question is this.... Can anybody explain why the very significant change in the number of these "executive" homes available for rent? Surely the owners would be better off selling at a lower price?
  10. Halifax house price index for October was announced on 3 November. The index was up 1.2% on the month to £165,528. November's figure must be due later this week. Based purely on Nationwide number my guess is we're looking at a small positive. The IG Index house price future based off Halifax's end of March 2010 figure trades at 168.2k to 170.7k. So circa 2% of increases are priced in and if anything this will probably increase slightly after this weeks positive number. When prices were falling last year these contracts priced in 15% falls and made no sense whatsoever. We all know about Dr Bubb's theory that falling housebuilder shares provide a leading indicator to falling house prices. And it's pretty clear to me that mortgage lending is not getting any cheaper. So my question is..... What do people think to having a very large punt later this week on falling house prices via IG?
  11. Volatility at abnormally low levels so you can pick up options cheap. US is effectively closed for the rest of the week after today. Surely there's a decent chance of something kicking off in Europe or Asia over the coming days? My bias is for it being negative, maybe something to do with UK, German bank handouts and UAE/Greece debt issues. I have just bought a load of deep out the money S&P put options, and a few deep out the money S&P call options. I think they will be substantially higher come Monday. The plan is to hold from that point until time decay dictates that I'm back at breakeven, or probably until maturity if either side get in the money. What do others think?
  12. Put options on the S&P looking very, very cheap. I've taken a small punt.
  13. Why buy gold when you can buy junior gold miners at massive discounts to NAV that are profitable at Au>$500??? I have 50% of my SIPP in LSE.MWA. See todays Telegraph for more info.
  14. unforeseen = marked at par with real value of cents on the dollar!
  15. TITLE: Joint Venture - Iconic Devon Waterside Home - To Prevent Repossession on Monday 2nd Nov 09 SYNOPSIS: This is a property deal. A six bedroom luxury house on the banks of the River Dart in the property hot spot area called South Hams. Recently renovated to the highest standards, it has private landing stage. Repossession is due on Monday 2nd Nov. PROPOSAL SUMMARY: This house has been in the entrepreneurs family for over 35 years. It has been recently renovated to the highest standards, using the finest materials. Cash flow problems mean it is due to be repossessed by a bridging company. £150K would clear the bridging and sort out arrears and provide six months + repayments. The owner has £1.35 million borrowed against the property including the bridging. In July 2008 Savills thought it was worth £2.5 - £3million, top local agent £2.9million and in March 2008 Knight Frank thought it was worth £2.7 million. The sale price on the HIP in August 2008 was £3milllion which was the expected sales value. It was valued by a RICS Surveyor in end of September for £2.15million. It went on the market in approx. October 2008 and hasn't sold, although a sale has just fallen through at £1.85 million. It is a lovely home, a character cottage from the front and a nautical heaven to the rear. There is no land between the back of the house and the water. It has a private landing stage with boat davits. You could take two steps out your back door and get onto your boat at high water and go all the way out to sea. You can feed the swans from the kitchen window. It is a magical place on a tiny sheltered inlet which means you get a great deal of privacy. It overlooks a hillside in an area of outstanding natural beauty. It was previously on the front cover of the South Devon Tourist Guide, it appears in a number of books on the area and has been the subject of countless works of art. It was featured in the UK's biggest selling weekly magazine as one of the eighth best properties on the market in areas of outstanding natural beauty. The press have described it as Iconic, Historic, Landmark, Stunning and Spectacular. Five bedrooms are en-suite, one has a riverside roof terrace with hot tub. It is effectively a state of the art modern building in a 250 year old shell. It has everything, computer controlled lighting, a complete home network, high definition TV cabling to every room and in ceilling speakers. When the tide is out the crystal clear waters of the river bubble over the rocks and you can take in the amazing wildlife. The village is idyllic, with two waterside pubs one of which was voted number six in the Sunday Times Best Days out in 2008, the other used to be owned by the late celebrity chef Keith Floyd. Two further pubs are a comfortable stroll away. Valuations are notoriously difficult with unique properties, but research puts it in the highest category of most desirable waterside properties. According to an article in the telegraph asking prices for properties in the area have gone up 16% Jul 0 - Jul 09. Everyone is pessimistic on valuations right now but it is the sort of place that could sell for a high price to the right buyer The owner would walk away with his borrowings (not equity) covered at £1.35 million or a joint venture is offered where £150K is invested secured as a second charge sitting on top of an £800K first charge, with a 50/50 profit share on everything over £1.35 million. There is the possibility to aquire a 3 acre field opposite and an adjoining barn. There are plans for a pool in the garden which has been turned down by planning but probably needs to be appealed. Due to imminent repossession, time is of the essence, you need to be prepared to move fast. Comparable properties are difficult, but the closest sold for £3million in 2007.
  16. You can add mine to that list... and about 100 of my colleagues.
  17. ST, I use EnglishHousePrices.com. Very straight forward.
  18. I'm moving 25% into Canadian Dollars. Lowest private and public debt in the developed world, resource rich and well capitalised banks. Anybody think otherwise?
  19. Was thinking of heading over to the Must Be Sold auction on April 8th as a friend bagged a "bargain" at one of their earlier sales. Anyway I've been looking at their not unpleasant London apartments which seem to be valued at about £250k... http://www.mustbesold.com/index.php?option...d=5&status= http://www.mustbesold.com/index.php?option...d=5&status= http://www.mustbesold.com/index.php?option...d=5&status= However I also came across the following package of 10 (yes TEN) apartments in Berlin for not a great deal more than any individual London apartment. http://www.mustbesold.com/index.php?option...d=5&status= My question really has two parts: How can I be confident London prices won't fall at least another 50% given where prices are in Berlin? I happen to quite like Berlin. Would it be completely nuts to use my STR fund to purchase these ten Berlin apartments (inflation hedge, GBP hedge, decent yield, no price bubble etc) and use the rent to pay for my living expenses here?
  20. I'm going to the London one. I'll be bidding on 6 lots. My highest bid is on average about 35% of (note: 65% off) the auctions "previously valued at" figure. No amount of bells or whistles will make me up my price.
  21. 10% must be wrong! My firm employs 500 in the UK. No pay increases this year and 25% reduction in headcount. Nobody I know (outside the public sector) has had a pay rise this year. Two mates and countless people I know professionally made redundant already.
  22. Wow... the crash is definitely picking up pace. Your house number two has dropped another £5k in the four minutes since you started the thread!
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