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Tonester

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About Tonester

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    HPC Regular

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    Cambridge
  1. "It is dif­fi­cult to speak ade­quate­ly or just­ly of Lon­don. It is not a pleas­ant place; it is not agree­able, or cheer­ful, or easy, or exempt from reproach. It is only mag­nif­i­cent. You can draw up a tremen­dous list of rea­sons why it should be insup­port­able. The fogs, the smoke, the dirt, the dark­ness, the wet, the dis­tances, the ugli­ness, the bru­tal size of the place, the hor­ri­ble numeros­i­ty of soci­ety, the man­ner in which this sense­less big­ness is fatal to ameni­ty, to con­ve­nience, to con­ver­sa­tion, to good man­ners – all this and much more you may expa­ti­ate upon. You may call it drea­ry, heavy, stu­pid, dull, inhu­man, vul­gar at heart and tire­some in form. I have felt these things at times so strong­ly that I have said – “Ah Lon­don, you too then are impos­si­ble?” But these are occa­sion­al moods; and for one who takes it as I take it, Lon­don is on the whole the most pos­si­ble form of life. I take it as an artist and as a bach­e­lor; as one who has the pas­sion of obser­va­tion and whose busi­ness is the study of human life. It is the biggest aggre­ga­tion of human life – the most com­plete com­pendi­um of the world." - Henry James
  2. The article is written by an entrepreneur with a choice about buying a home. I suspect most entrepreneurs in the UK, at least of the younger generations do not have that choice. I do wonder how harmful our government's outstretched hand, supporting those with mortgages above renters, is to our nation's innovation. Those who innovate and start new businesses are not mortgage-material. I'm in this situation, and I don't have any qualms with the banks in this regard - my future income is not as predictable as it used to be when I had a more regular job. This was not really a concern when renting was cheaper than maintaining a mortgage 5 years ago, and indeed when house prices were declining. However, now it is firmly the reverse. It makes financial sense now to be in a reliable job and to buy a house. The optimum time for innovation is when the smartest and most enterprising people can take the risk to go out on a limb and work on their idea. I want to work into this idea that innovation is not limited to younger people or younger companies. It could be argued that the housing boom allowed many entrepreneurial types to cash out and start new ventures. However, the whole imbalance created by low interest rates propping up of the housing markets is dealing too good a hand to those with mortgages, and is only going to distract or limit those who should have their focus elsewhere. Talking of focus, it's getting late and I'm not happy I've nailed my thoughts on this, but will look again tomorrow as I think it could be an interesting topic of discussion!
  3. Hi all, haven't been on here much recently but I'd be interested to meet up again! Wed 12th Salisbury suits me too.
  4. Long time from me on here too. I notice this thread has 180,000 views - probably more than the population of Cambridge! I've moved from one rented property to another - the rental market is incredibly competitive so there's probably upwards pressure on rental prices. Hopefully the tide has turned with house prices, however being self employed now I doubt I could get much of a mortgage in any case, so I haven't been following the market so closely! I'm still reluctantly bullish on prices though while interest rates remain at 0.5%.
  5. Haven't been on here for a while. Is the general consensus that it's a seller's market and we're back up to peak prices in Cambridge now? Looks that way from a glance at Rightmove?
  6. Pure politics at it's frustrating worst. 1-0 to Mandelson if anything. The traditional political strategy at this time would be to play your cards closely to your chest and keep policy under wraps until election - and for the Tories to say they will cut waste and for Labour to say Tories will cut key services. Yawn. I just wish one of the parties had the balls to take a risk of being specific with what they plan. If so I think they would get some respect, as plenty are expecting measures of austerity and I think can accept some pain.
  7. Isn't there a chance they all just need time to sync their economies? The effort to get Germany into growth with low interest rates fueled a boom in Spain, Ireland etc. It may not be possible to achieve equality easily. Kind of a big risky experiment to go through wasn't it?
  8. I was about to say it wasn't bad price for Cambridge until I saw: Lolololol
  9. There are fewer properties on the market, prices are up and competition for houses is hotting up. Well, interest rates did go from 5% to 0.5%. We are seeing a housing recovery of sorts - no doubt about it, but for how long they keep interest rates this low - who knows?
  10. I only monitor Cambridge city-wide prices in the medium-low range. They have dropped around 15% from peak - as opposed to over 20% nationwide. However, there has been little movement since Christmas. Anecdotally friends looking to buy locally have seen a lot of competition for each property recently. On the supply side, across the country mortgages are cheaper than a year ago, and now the deposit requirements are creeping back down. On the demand side the main factors are sentiment and employment. There is currently a more positive sentiment, and Cambridge employment seems to be holding up well. That is the short term though. As I say I don't know what is going to happen next. Ultimately I want to buy a place but I'm going to wait for the next clear trend. The danger of that is if prices shoot up again, which I still think is the least likely scenario.
  11. There has been a turn around in the property market since the interest rates have dropped. That is for certain. There is increased activity, property bee showing fewer reductions and Cambridge employment appears to be holding up well. Will be interesting to see what comes next because I haven't a clue. I'm still expecting this to be the main 'bull trap' on the way to the bottom though.
  12. I bought about 5 years ago, probably in similar situation to your son. It is natural for him to want his own place, and for you to want to help out. But, as Redwing said consider the middle option of renting a house. I was lucky about when I bought in the cycle but it wasn't due to any skill or judgement on my part. I didn't consider renting a house. In this stage of the cycle (on way down) it may be the better option. Renting is not dead money if house prices are going down this fast. Rent on, say a home of £170k is around £750 per month in Cambridge. If mortgage was £120k at 4% this would be £400 per month interest only... but the house is losing 1% a month which is £1700.
  13. If you take UK house price measures they range from a 10% to 20% decrease over last year. Anecdotally I'd say Cambridge has seen a 15% decrease in price. It is now cheaper for your son to have a mortgage than to rent with rates as they are but I think there will be an 'overshoot' of prices, so you should hold off for a year if possible. I think we're about half way through the steepest falls and there's another 10-20% to go. I don't see much evidence of properties selling quickly having regularly checked Rightmove website. I use the Firefox browser rather than Internet Explorer and this allows use of a plugin called Property Bee which tells you the price history of each property (the estate agents don't really want you to be tracking that!) If the urge to buy is too strong, then make sure you start with cheeky offers - first offer should be almost embarrassing for you to make. However, if using property bee you see a property that has been on market for a long time you may get lucky.
  14. ...and those three will be on the market a whole lot longer too
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