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brianc_li

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Everything posted by brianc_li

  1. Soul Reaver - As a fellow IT Contractor and a pretty successful one at that (in banking) that is a great story you have to tell. I take my hat off to you. You were indeed lucky but in many ways it has to be said that you made your own luck. In the mid to late nineties pretty well anyone who could spell the word internet could get a job in IT. So many 'specialists' came into the industry, most of whom were clueless. Including yourself as you readily admit. The vast majority of these were found out as the dot boom turned to bust. They went back to their jobs in call centers, etc. Where you were different is that you were prepared to learn and take on new challenges. Fair play to you. You survived and thrived. Guitarman - Having been through a similar, athough about 10 years earlier, transition to IT at the ripe old age of 27 I can confirm that Soul Reavers tale is IMO very plausible. I am now in my early 50s, have worked solidly, was and am very well paid probably averaging 150k a year since I went freelance in 95. Its not for you, fair enough but it is churlish to decry those who have seen the opportunity, applied themselves and gone for it. I'm pretty certain that Soul Reaver would have made a reasonable fist of anything he put his mind to, I think I would too. Like me, he saw that there can be good money to be made in IT if your skills and attitude are right.
  2. Getting rich with Commercial Real Estate Quite a thought provoking article. Lots of empty offices around already. Many will never be filled.
  3. It can't be a coincidence that this news is breaking on the same day as results of the revised bank stress tests are due to be published. I feel that a run on CAM, similar to that on Northern Rock, is on the cards. Even without one the news is worrying. CAM were in advanced merger discussions with three other cajas. These have fallen apart. I can only assume that the other cajas looked at Cam's books and shied away from the deal. This also leaves the government/BoS strategy of merging the smaller cajas into larger more sustainable businesses in disarray. Hold tight, it could be a bumpy ride. CAM in trouble
  4. Your forecast of doom is about as accurate as all the others that have been on here down the years. - Asian markets were slightly down but European ones and US futures are up. - North Korea have announced that they won't react to the South's war games. - No sniff of anything from wikileaks thus far. Those aside you're doing rather well.
  5. The big problem in Spain is private, rather than public, debt. Since the spectacular collapse of the property market, many companies both large and small are in deep trouble. Likewise many individuals overstretched themselves during the 'good times'.
  6. It depends on where you want to buy. Like all large countries Spains market falls into multiple sectors. General consensus is that, for investment purposes, Spain is a no go for at least five years. If it is a lifestyle purchase on the costas you are after then I'd say wait at least two years. Take a look at the forums here if you are really interested: http://www.spanishpropertyinsight.com/
  7. I looked at Brazil a few years ago and ruled it out after taking advice from my sister who lives there. The biggest problem is that you will have real problems taking any money you make out of the country. Whilst the laws, agents, etc. say that you can the practice is that it is very difficult. In my sisters case - she works for an Irish organisation and was buying a property from another one - they transferred the agreed money in Ireland to get round this.
  8. If you put things in a longer term context you can see that, whilst markets are well up from March lows, this is not a bubble. The BBC world index this morning was 88.6 (It started at 100 in Jan 2000). The noughties have thus actually been a poor decade for equity investment.
  9. One of the best analogies and summaries of the situation I have seen anywhere. Well done. Traditional press and media are in structural decline. What will remain in a generation, particularly print media, will be a fraction of what we currently know. News Corp are, frankly, clutching at straws with daft ideas such as this.
  10. Quite right. A simple search on the BBC news website shows they hardly ever mention Rightmove. Rightmove search results Paranoid is the word. Quite usual on here I´m afraid.
  11. On thing has mentioned is the very low interest rates at present. Many people think only in terms of ´how much do I have to pay per month´. That is all very well and good but once inflation starts to rear its head, as it most certainly will, and interest rates have to go up these people could well find themselves in trouble.
  12. That Sur in English article is ridiculous. The Spanish market is in he doldrums and any independent analysis indicates it will be for years to come. As always estimates vary but the most accurate index (Tinsa) indicates that prices have fallen 20% from their Dec 2007 peak. Nobody knows for sure when or where the market will bottom but 50% from peak in around two years time is not an unreasonable prediction.
  13. Asian markets close higher. European markets up 0.5%-1% Dow back up over 10k in morning trading. Good call
  14. To me they should take a simple look at the numbers. What is the flat worth on the open market and how much could they buy it for under the right to buy scheme? For the sake of argument say it is worth 200k and they could buy it for 120k. They would then be sitting on an instant 80k profit. Catch is of course that they couldn´t sell the place for three years to fully realise this gain. Whereas they could take the 30k now offered and move straight away. The question then is, is it worth sitting it out for the three years to gain the extra 50K? Only they can answer that. On a separate point an old friend of mine back in the early 80´s was offered a bribe of what then seemed a huge amount (20k) to move out of his council flat at world´s end in Chelsea. He declined and bought the place for 38k. Three years later, when the area was regarded as much more desirable, he sold it for 210k.
  15. Don´t know if this has been on here yet. If it has i haven´t seen it. A little tool for comparing international house price changes. If anything I find it surprising that there don´appear to be many countries showing a similar pattern to the UK. http://www.economist.com/displaystory.cfm?story_id=14438245
  16. I wouldn´t get too carried away by this news. DSB were a small bank with no branch network to speak of. It only had 2000 employees. They specialised in consumer credit. The fall is being blamed on bad management. Gerrit Zalm, ex finance minister, being one of those on the board. This isn´t going to shake anything up. The state of the Spanish banks is however another story.
  17. European markets up around 2%. Us markets up over 1%. Good start!
  18. Interesting angle. One I hadn´t considered before.
  19. My reasoning is that Cameron will win with a landslide. Labours recovery in the polls would have to be little short of miraculous for it to be otherwise. Yes indeed Maggie would probably have been turfed out after her first term if it wasn´t for the Falklands but her first term majority was quite small so it wouldn´t have taken much of a swing to oust her. In general when people vote decisively for a change in government they tend to give that government time. First term governments, whatever the party, always tend to blame the previous regime for any problems. I´m pretty confident that will be the case this time. Too many people are simply brassed off with labour. just as they were with the conservatives in 1997. Only time will tell of course.
  20. This is a no brainer. There is simply no way will the UK join the euro in the near or forseeable future. If Tony Blair, arguably the most pro-european prime minister we have ever had, with two landslide election victories under his belt couldn´t manage it there is no way any conservative leader will. The tories are almost certainly coming into power. They are likely to be there for at least two terms, probably longer. You can forget about euro entry for at least ten years.
  21. Not sure. Ireland has actually taken much of the hit in terms of property prices which ate 40%-50% down from (also ridiculous) peaks. Also its unions are much less strong and productivity generally higher. I´m not saying it isn´t/won´t be tough for them but they are not in nearly as bad a shape as Spain. In the peak year 2005 there were about 450k new properties thrown up. In most of the 90´s the figure was around 150k. Suffice to say, it is a lot!
  22. Because people in Spain, both the Spanish and expat property owners, are still in denial about the extent of the problems. Most vendors are still asking for prices at or close to Dec 2007 peaks. They will fall but it will take some time for reality to hit.
  23. There are some amazing hotel deals to be had at present if you know where to look. Through the Priceline ´Name your own Price´ option I have seen people getting double rooms in 4* hotels in central Amsterdam for 50 quid a night. Last weekend I stayed at the Grosvenor House on Park lane, room cost me 110 quid per night.
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