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Everything posted by kev-all-in

  1. Compared to the cost of all those JCB's digging moats and building barriers, let alone the pumps and energy to run them - wouldn't it have been easier to simply just built up the land the house is stood on by say 10ft or so? Surely it wouldn't take that much to build it on either a mound of earth or piles / stilts and just backfill it (or just have a garage underneath)? I doubt the planners would've allowed it though! I can see the potential benefits of a house that could be raised up on stilts when required, or float - I've seen this on TV before I'm sure. It seems ridiculously expensive / pointless, but when you think about how much that land is (was!) worth it doesn't seem so impossible. Of course there is always the option of just building houses on higher land that rarely floods... but that would be too easy. If land really is as scarce and therefore valuable as the NIMBYs would have us believe they will just have to deal with the fact they will have to share the good bits with everyone else - tough titty. There's NO WAY I would even consider buying a house on a flood plain, next to a river or anywhere that may be liable to flooding (let alone has flooded before multiple times in living memory) and I'm sure I'm not alone in thinking that.
  2. I know we've discussed shrinking pack sizes loads on here, but I've noticed it getting significantly worse lately, ie. 3 tins of beans in a pack rather than the usual 4 (-25%!), 5 packs of crisps not 6, and then they are 25g not 30g. At the very least the shops should be forced to clearly advertise the change, next to the price, for say three months minimum, showing what you got before, what you now get, the % change and the date it started. This would seem reasonable, to avoid any potential 'misunderstanding' or 'confusion' for the customer who thought they were getting their 'usual' size but in fact may be misled or missold (is that even a proper word?!). Can you imagine the squeals from the supermarkets if the Govt proposed this! They'd have it lobbied into oblivion (in fact they probably have! lol). How are these size reductions accounted for in this mythical basket of supposed essentials they use for the inflation stats? do they use branded products? is it worked out per pack, per gram or some other way? How do they account for special offers? I rarely buy anything in the supermarket that isn't on offer, and stock up a few months worth when I see something I like half price - to hopefully see me through until the next half price promotion (they often seem to be 3/4 times per year), this works pretty well and saves quite a bit of cash over the course of a year - but how is this fed into the CPI stats? Is there anywhere that independantly does a more accurate calculation based on a more realistic basket, that includes basic foodstuffs, basic energy costs, HOUSING(!!!), basic transport / motoring, usual bills such as a mobile and broadband, etc etc and doesn't seek to manipulate it using SD cards, plasma TV's or omit crucial things like errr.... shelter? Are there any credible alternative inflation figures which go back a good few years? It would be interesting to compare an index that includes housing costs / rents (somehow) and genuine basic essentials against the tractor production stats cooked up by Broon and now carried on by Osbroon. They pretty much make them up to suit whatever propaganda is required don't they?
  3. Great work Anje! That's a MUST READ for anyone who rents, basically thousands of pounds paid in 'hidden' or illegal charges could be recoverable from these vultures. I think this has the potential to get really 'big', I can't see how they are not bang to rights breaking the law, and if claims can go back 15 years - ouch! Really well written too, it's nice to read a well structured, well researched article for a change - puts the mainstream news media to shame. It also shows how pathetic and inept (and corrupt?) the so called 'regulators', ombudsmen, trading standards, OFT etc etc etc all are - this has obviously been going on for decades, it's clearly illegal, they know full well it's going on AND who's doing it ...yet nothing but handwringing and review this and draft that and formal requests to please not do this or that - total waste of space / public money (as per usual). I'm going to check my tennancy agreement and see what illegal stuff I was charged for, and will henceforth tell the letting agency to poke any renewal or check out fees. Anyone on here had any dealings with this property ombudsman? - I might fire off an email seeking some clarification on some of these issues. Keep up the good work and keep us posted - be very interesting how this all unfolds.
  4. From the Beeb A survey by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (Rics), found that more surveyors expected prices to rise than at any time in the last 14 years. A separate forecast by mortgage lenders predicted that borrowing would keep increasing in 2014. But the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) added an "unbridled" housing boom was "unlikely." The last time such a clear majority of surveyors expected price rises was in September 1999. It's all so depressing.
  5. live now (17:56) bbc link usual squirming and guff, trying to move the goalposts. It looks like a total mess, yet the committees weak questions are letting them off the hook - how predictable. Anyone who read this thread would have plenty of pithy questions and a much better grasp than this panel of honorable brilliant minds - hopeless.
  6. Yes - this is the crux of it. Strange that deflation in prices is seen as a terrible disaster to be avoided at ALL COSTS, yet deflating wages and incomes is considered acceptable to the BoE. It's pretty clear who's interests are being looked after.
  7. signed.....for all the good it'll probably do lol.
  8. What a truly epic fail by Balls today - he was totally 'owned' by Gideot today, hilarious to watch. I'm not Gideons greatest fan, and a lot of what he churned out today was utter guff, but he totally monstered Ballsacks fumbled response and actually put in a pretty assured performance today I thought, and really put Mr Cooper in his place. The image of Balls playing chopsticks on the piano juxtaposed with his stupid fat fuming red face was brilliant. Watching Millitwat and Harperson squirming and grimancing in pain as Balls rambled and just got angier and redder was priceless, not much protection from Bercow either. Balls is a total liability to Labour, his days must be numbered now? Link to the Video. Balls response from 12:05, slapdown at 12:25ish - well worth a watch!
  9. What's the betting that they'll let them offset any losses from 'negative growth' from 2015 against earnings / evasion somewhere else! Pathetic.
  10. I'm starting to wonder what a massive housebuilding programme will do for prices in 2014 / 15? could all this ramping and Help To Bubble rubbish actually be designed to merely counteract a HPC caused by a large increase in new supply of new build properties? I wouldn't be surprised if there is a large housebuilding annoucement coming in the pipeline, a lot of the rabid property morons I work with seem to prefer new builds over older housing, which hopefully will suck a lot of buyers out of the market for older properties that I'm interested in. Everyone who signs up for one of these teaser rate taxpayer underwritten schemes on a new build will be out of the market for years probably. Maybe there will be a 2 speed market where new build prices hold up OK with all the govt support for their housebuilder mates, whilst older stuff needing a bit of work will drift down as fewer and fewer people can afford / be bothered to fix them up - here's hoping anyway.
  11. It'll be interesting to see what sort of percentage of applicants on the scheme get approved and then go on to actually complete, I suspect it may be pretty low given the inherently younger and 'less prime' demographic it's aimed at. What's the betting the applicant / approval stats will be quietly dropped in future propaganda press releases. I'm hoping this ridiculous scheme quietly fizzles out over the next few months like most of these government 'initiatives' seem to.
  12. 'boomlet' - like it! that's my word of the day sorted. Nothing makes any sense to me any more, I'm becoming very weary of hyperbole on one hand that never seems to come to anything, and complete indifference to what would've been siesmic events only a few years ago. Probably that's what they want I suppose. For example Cyprus, meltdown a few months ago, unthinkable theft from savers whilst letting those in know off the hook, and now completely 'fixed'. Greece, one week it's chaos bankruptcy death spiral, next weeks it's all fixed again, nothing to see here massive growth confidently expected next year etc etc. all complete ****** cut n pasted by unquestioning moron propaganderists in our so called media - pathetic. This week ECB lower interest rates to an inconcievable 0.25% AND France downgraded by one of the biggest ratings agencies again (they didn't even bother to wait for after trading hours on Friday eve FFS!) and yet barely a ripple? no doom and gloom stories and surprisingly little gloating - makes me wonder why not, are we next in line for some of the same treatment? I'm starting to get a bit more nervous for my STR fund again lately, Cyprus set a very worrying precedent, and illistrated how quickly and completely phwucked you could be if it goes tit's up - assets effectively frozen and confiscated with NOTHING you could do about it. Trouble is everything just seems so risky and overpriced, makes me more inclined to just say sod it and get a cheap mortgage and just join the homey borg ponzi and be done with it. - Probably that's what they want I suppose :angry:
  13. It's strange that this joyous news of sustainable and completely non bubble-like soaring prices isn't on the BBC site. It's not like them to miss an opportunity to celebrate in the happiness and wealth creation of good old rising house prices. Perhaps they were disappointed the number wasn't higher! Out of interest has Carney ever actually indicated any ball park figures for what constitutes a "housing bubble"? i.e. what he actually means by the phase "housing bubble", to be vigilant for it must mean he thinks he can identify it? surely some hack must've pressed him on this by now?? Has he ever admitted or even indicated that there just may have been a tiny little housing type bubble possibly somewhere like errr Canada in the last decade? and I wonder what he thinks might have caused it? (were it to have existed). For that matter has Gideot ever said that the UK experienced a house price bubble during the late 00's? I'm not sure he ever has, I can't remember him ever criticising Brown's stupid bubble, nor ever even saying high prices for housing are bad in any way - FFS! 10% PER MONTH is patently ridiculous, which makes these figures very embarrassing for Gideot and Carney in the wake of their reassurances in the last couple of weeks. Their stupid Help The Banks nonsense hasn't even really started yet either. I can't see how they can keep these plates spinning until the election...very risky IMPO.
  14. Yes indeed, the supposed party of the working class looking the other way whistling...pathetic Not that I've got any interest in anything the idiot Balls would have to say. My contempt for all three main parties really is plumbing new depths.
  15. I'd say it's a safe bet the only reason the Banks are turning a blind eye to this is because it doesn't suit them to 'discover' this massive fraud .... at the moment, I'm sure once they are more confident of getting their money back at resale / auction this will change very rapidly. I mean how many people genuinely don't live in the property they are paying their Owner Occupier mortgage on? can't be that many really, some people doing renovations for a few months maybe, some maybe work abroad quite a bit I suppose, but it wouldn't take much to find these and discount them from further enquiries. HMRC really are a pathetic joke, apart from being unable and unwilling to collect taxes from massive corporations like Amazon etc we are also supposed to believe that even with their shite computer systems they cannot cross reference people that don't live in the house they pay a mortgage on!! WTF! how hard is it to check the Land Registry list of mortgagees against the electoral roll / their own records. I'm sure they could find thousands of these scamsters easily if they wanted to - obviously they don't want to find them. I wonder why??? I thought they were supposed to be setting up some 'special teams' to look into this a couple of years ago? maybe someone decided it was a can of worms they didn't want to open... Anyway doesn't HMRC have some sort of legal obligation to look into this and do something about the tax being evaded? - could pressure be applied to them as well as the banks? Would HMRC be obliged to inform the lender if they found this going on? Would tax evasion like this show up on credit checks like experian / equifax etc in the future? presumably you would have to declare a criminal conviction for mortgage fraud on future applications for credit? Would better Tenants rights that would prevent banks evicting innocent renters midway through AST's with a only a few weeks notice help encourage banks to take this more seriously? I think this is this a good example of WHY we have such poor rights as renters - ie. ultimately one way or another most of the population actually indirectly rent from banks not 'landlords' - landlords are just middlemen skimming a bit off, and I think we all know how much power and influence the Banks wield when it comes to lobbying govt to get what they want. It all looks totally corrupt and fraudulent to me.
  16. Yep, I hear this! A Girl at work the other day was going on about how 'cheap' houses were at the moment, she has just bought an average boring 3 bed semi for nearly quarter of a million! But to make it 'cheaper' (sic) they have gone for a 30year mortgage, despite having a large deposit and currently 2 decent wages - lol. When I suggested that would make it much MORE EXPENSIVE not less, and interest rates are bound to go up over the next 30 years it was met with a blank expression, absolutely clueless. All that matters is the monthly payment, deposit can be borrowed on credit cards, and over paying the mortgage is akin to voluntarily giving your money away and pointless. It would be funny if I wasn't forced to compete with these morons.
  17. From the beeb today : link Stoke-on-Trent £1 houses: Hundreds express buying interest More than 600 people are interested in buying rundown homes in Stoke-on-Trent for £1 each, the city council has said. Thirty-five derelict homes, mainly two-bedroom terraced properties, will initially be sold off in the Cobridge area, with a further 89 to follow. Under the £3m project, the local authority is offering loans of up to £30,000 to help complete essential repairs on the houses. Anyone applying must have lived in the city for the past three years. Other criteria they must satisfy include: A joint income of £18,000 to £25,000 a year - £30,000 maximum if they have children Applicants must have been employed for the past two years They must not own another property They must have the right to live permanently in the UK The new house must be their main home for at least five years However, Steph Dunn-Fox, from Stoke-on-Trent-based estate agents findahomeonline.co.uk, said Cobridge was presently an unattractive area for home buyers and was "full of empty homes". She said: "I think it's a great idea in principle and they're probably thinking it'll appeal most to first-time buyers. "It's the sort of area and offer that could appeal to property developers, but they're excluded from this. snip This may be an interesting development, especially if it catches on. I think it sounds like a good idea if it's set up and run properly. But will the property VI's lobby against it and kill it off / subvert it before it gets a chance to work? How will they enforce the rules? will they actually have the legal powers to repossess BTLers? What effect will it have on house prices in that area? I initially thought it would drive them down (increase supply) but if it actually works, and rundown slums are turned into cared for communities maybe they will actually make those areas more desirable. I wonder what sort of condition these houses are in? £30k could be swallowed up pretty quickly if they need major structural repairs, plus the value of a terrace is dependant on the condition and structural state of the houses attached either side. I could see it getting complicated TBH. Wouldn't it just be easier for the council to spend this money doing this themselves, they could employ local youngsters / trainees and get the work done cheaper, provide employment and training to loads of local people, get all the houses renovated much more efficiently and to a consistent standard. (edit to add link)
  18. Thanks for posting that hirop - very interesting. Here's the relevant bit, I thought it worth reproducing for posterity, it asks such pertinent questions it could've been written by us! (sorry it's a bit long) Staggering that such obvious questions are unanswered, does anyone know when, who, how the government / treasury will respond to this and answer all these very legitimate questions? anyway, here it is.... 20 April 2013 The Treasury Committee has today published a report containing conclusions and recommendations relating to its inquiry into the Budget 2013. 1. Housing “The Government’s Help to Buy scheme is very much work in progress. It may have a number of unintended consequences. “Without further detail it is not possible to estimate its effects. The questions the Committee has asked the Government need answering. “Any decision to continue with the scheme should probably be made by Government, on the basis of advice from the FPC.” a. The role of the taxpayer as guarantor - The Chancellor says that expected losses under the scheme will be covered by the commercial fee charged to participating lenders. No details of the proposed level of the fee nor how it will be structured in practice are yet available. Nor has a date been given. (para 157) - We...believe that the Government will find it extremely difficult to price the fee in such a way that sharply curtails Exchequer risk. (para 158) - The mortgage guarantee scheme also makes the Government an active player in the mortgage market. The Committee is concerned that the Treasury now has a financial interest in maintaining house prices to limit losses to the taxpayer. (para 159) - There is a risk that if mortgage lenders begin to exercise reduced levels of forbearance, repossessions may rise and house prices subsequently lower than they would otherwise be. If this happened, and unless this risk was fully priced into the fee, then the Treasury could end up facing large losses on those mortgages it has guaranteed. (para 160) b. The impact of Help to Buy on house prices and the supply response - It is by no means clear that a scheme, whose primary outcome may be to support house prices, will ultimately be in the interests of first time buyers. This is the group the Government says it wants to help. (para 170) - The Committee finds the Chancellor’s assertion that increased demand for home ownership and rising prices, resulting from the mortgage guarantee scheme, will trigger a corresponding supply response, unconvincing, at least for the short term. In the longer-term there may be an effect. [...] Overall, though, if the Government’s priority was housing supply, its housing measures should have concentrated there. (para 171) c. The temporary nature of Help to Buy - Our concern is that, should the current scarcity of high loan-to-value mortgages reflect structural rather than cyclical factors, the pressure for Government to extend the scheme in three years time will be immense. The unintended and unwelcome outcome could well be that a scheme designed to deal with a supposedly temporary problem in the UK housing market becomes a permanent feature of the UK housing market. (para 175) - As far as can be understood from the Chancellor’s evidence, the initiative to seek continuance, or require discontinuance, of the scheme appears to lie both with the FPC and the Government. The Chancellor should clarify whether the above interpretation of his evidence is correct. [...] The new task given to the FPC is an onerous one, but is particularly so given that it is a new body, and given the current economic and financial climate. The new responsibility for Help to Buy: mortgage guarantee is an extension of the FPC’s responsibility beyond its current remit, and one with considerable political implications. Given the considerable challenge already faced by the FPC in creating and implementing new macro-prudential tools in the conduct of its central role, this new responsibility may prove a distraction or burdensome. (para 177) - The closure of housing support measures has often been fiercely resisted. The FPC’s reluctance, even to ask for a loan-to-value macro-prudential tool, preferring instead a less politically visible proxy, sectoral capital requirements, is a reflection of this. There is a strong case that such decisions should be made by politicians acting on advice, in this case advice from the FPC. (para 178) - If the Government does decide to press ahead in giving the FPC this role, the Government should publish clear criteria against which the FPC should make its decision, before the commencement of the scheme. The FPC should be given the opportunity to comment on the criteria. The Committee will expect to see this exchange and scrutinise it prior to the commencement of the guarantee scheme. (para 179) d. Support for second homes - The lack of clarity over whether the mortgage guarantee scheme will be open to those wishing to purchase a second home is concerning on two grounds. First, it is a reflection of the need to think schemes through carefully before announcing them. Second, whilst the Committee is aware of the complexity which may come with an exclusion, we struggle to see the rationale for the taxpayer to stand behind loans for people wishing to own a second property, especially given that the Chancellor has repeatedly stated that the scheme is primarily designed to help people onto the property ladder as well as those who wish to move property. (para 181) e. Outstanding questions arising from Help to Buy - The Government’s latest intervention in the housing market raises many questions. These questions require answers to allay concerns that the scheme may have unintended and unwelcome consequences: o The Government has asserted that the current scarcity of high loan-to-value mortgages—whether for cyclical or structural reasons—represents a market failure. What is the Government’s assessment of the likely duration of this market failure? o Does the reduction in the availability of high loan-to-value mortgages reflect temporary/cyclical factors or does it represent a longer-term move by lenders away from such provision? o If the former, does the Government believe that the availability of high loan-to-value mortgages will increase after three years, rendering the scheme unnecessary? o If the latter, should the Government be trying to reverse the move by lenders away from potentially riskier forms of high loan-to-value mortgage provision? o What is the Government’s estimate of the number of home owners it expects to be supported by the mortgage guarantee scheme and what estimate, if any, has been made of the number of first-time home owners who will be assisted via the scheme? o What is the Government’s estimate of the likely dead–weight costs of the guarantee scheme? o What is the Government’s estimate of the effect of the guarantee scheme after three years on house prices? o Has any estimate been made of how much higher house prices would be relative to the likely level of house prices in the absence of such a scheme being in place? o What is the size of the supply response the Government expects as a result of the introduction specifically of the mortgage guarantee scheme? o Over what period does the Government expect any tangible supply response to emerge? o What are the principal constraints on increasing the supply of housing in the UK? o The Government will receive a commercial fee from lenders who participate in the guarantee scheme. How will the fee be determined? Will the fee be subject to alteration? o Will the fee income be ‘ring-fenced’ or treated as general Government revenues? o How will the fee income and the contingent liabilities resulting from the guarantee scheme be treated and reported in national accounts and whole of government accounts? o Why was the FPC chosen to make the decision on the continuation of the mortgage guarantee scheme after 2017? o If the FPC is given responsibility for terminating the mortgage guarantee scheme, will this require a change in remit? o Against what criteria does the Government expect the FPC to make a decision on continuation of the guarantee scheme? To what extent would the FPC be expected to take into account factors other than those related to financial stability? o The decision as to whether to continue the guarantee scheme after 2017 could be politically controversial. Does the Government accept that giving this decision to the FPC could affect its ability to perform its core role, namely the pursuit of financial stability? o Why have second homes not been explicitly excluded from the scheme—is it on grounds of complexity or does the Government wish the guarantee scheme to encourage the acquisition of second homes? The Committee expects the Government to answer these questions in its response to this Report. (para 182) (my emphasis)
  19. from the beeb today.... Lending to business falls by £4.8bn, Bank of England says Lending to businesses in the UK has fallen by a further £4.8bn in the three months to February, the Bank of England has said. That represents a fall of 4.4% in loans to companies and small firms from the same period a year earlier. The Bank also said that the mortgage market was "broadly unchanged". Lower lending The Bank of England's figures show that loans to construction firms and housebuilders were particularly weak. Lending to the real estate sector fell by 5.3% in December 2012 from a year earlier, the sharpest drop for more than three years. link Hardly a raging success - they can't even give away free money. I was quite worried about the impact FLS would have in staving off a HPC, and there does seem to be a fair bit shifting round here (East Anglia) at the lower and middle of the market recently. However there seems to be surprisingly little seasonal ramping from the local EA's / VI's going on at the moment, given the supposed Spring bounce + FLS + better weather I expected to get loads of EA junk mail, free paper supplements etc etc but this year I've hardly noticed anything. Maybe I'm just getting better at ignoring it all. (edit typos)
  20. what happened to 'Legaurds List' of corrupt Greek MP's? all seems to have gone quiet again on that front, obviously locking up a few pesky journalists does work for a while it appears. Surprised that wikileaks release of financial skull duggery a few weeks ago didn't make more of an impact too, seems to have rattled a few French champaign socialists but thats about it. Must be plenty of connections to be made what with Cyprus in the mix as well. There must've been a good few Greek politicians / ex politicians who had way more than 100k euros stashed away in Cyprus, and plenty of other off shore havens that they can't get at now. They must spend half their time moving their money around from one crisis to the next, but it's getting harder and harder - Luxemborg next up for some 'attention'....good. 59% youth unemployment is shocking. Does this include students? does it account for the 100000's brightest that have already fled? what a mess - Greece really does look screwed, will it be a sudden collapse or a slow grinding drawn out decline though? I guess it depends on Merkle, or her replacement....
  21. If the market for PM's is being manipulated down it would be a very useful way of boosting bank capitalisation, or at least reducing the flood of cash out of the creaking banking system - at the end of the day all the cash coming out of PM's must be going somewhere else. Last week bitcoins melted down, this week gold and silver crash, will next week be the stock markets turn.... It's getting more and more tempting to just say **** it and buy a poxy overpriced shack than to try and make sense of this broken fraudulent clusterfcuk of an economy / financial system. (prehaps it's all an elaborate global conspiracy just to prevent a UK HPC! )
  22. ^ THIS! That's it in a nutshell right there.
  23. Thanks for posting that - hilarious! What a stupid lying pathetic bint, you can just sense her outrage at being told what to do by a judge let alone a pikey builder! The stupidity of someone who should know the legal system and how it works inside out is staggering. The ease with which she can lie and squirm, always with an excuse conveniently to hand to justify her actions (or lack of) makes you wonder how thoroughly she investigated the many criminals she presumably put away. How credible is the evidence she has given in previous court cases in light of this? How much more convenient to just leave out bits you don't like (ie receiving legal docs) or add in a few uncorroborated allegations (theiving gypsies etc) and throw around some mitigation that suits you (dyslexic enough to be a factor, yet worked for decades in a buraecratic system writing, reading and submitting documents as evidence every day....hmmm ok then ). I'm glad the judge saw through all her excuses, although he should've thrown the book at her for wasting everyones time, contempt of court and making false declarations. And annoying that she'll still have >£1/2 million left over.
  24. Luxembork is way to 'core' to be allowed to fail IMPO, I can't see one of the original benelux countries being cut adrift like Cyprus. At the end of the day it was mostly 'foreign' money burnt up in Cyprus ie probably mainly Russian, British and a fair bit of turkish cash (much of questionable provenance anyway), certainly not much 'proper' Northern Euopean industrialist money, i'd bet they would try rather harder to avoid ANY haircuts amongst themselves. I'm sure there's enough powerful Eurocrats with fingers in all sorts of dubious 'tax arrangements and investments' in Luxemborg to solve any problems quietly behind closed doors anyway, imagine the panic a levy in Luxemborg would cause throughout the whole of mainland Europe though, I don't think they could contain that.
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