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The Three Little Pigs

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  1. The fragrant Miriam Clegg and her shag-adventurous beau, Nick, live south of the river. in Putney. In a semi. Nowadays various coppers freeze their bits off guarding Clegg Towers. The other half of the semi put it up for sale at 2.8but as soon as the coalition was formed reduced it to 2.6. Just walked by and Savills is saying under offer - we will see what it trades at. ( Those fools who got involved in the Ocado IPO will be pleased to hear there was a large delivery of jamon, boquerones y patatas fritatas going into Parkfields.)
  2. Welcoming the world’s downtrodden and giving them everything they might need seems not to have gone down too well in some quarters and much the same reaction is forthcoming towards the local feckless and lazy. In the March budget changes to housing benefit were announced by the last government – this fact seems to have been completely forgotten not only by Polly “final solution” Toynbee but also every other media outlet.. In the emergency June budget the proposals were amended and the Tories softened Labour’s proposals – yes, softened them. Want to take a guess at how many households this will effect in H&F? 1 bedroom 950 2 bedroom 700 3 bedroom 150 4 bedroom 40 5 bedroom 20 And how many of these households will the changes effect: 1 bedroom 100% 2 bedroom 100% 3 bedroom 100% 4 bedroom 100% 5 bedroom 100% What will be the weekly loss per household? 1 bedroom £19 2 bedroom £22 3 bedroom £16 4 bedroom £101 5 bedroom £239 The losses for the smaller properties look modest but admittedly I’m judging from a different place than the recipients. No doubt there will be some hard luck stories but equally others may choose to give up something else to stay in their homes. These figures suggest to me that any change to house prices attributable directly to these changes will be negligible H&F has a total of 80,000 dwellings therefore just 2.3% of them are going to be affected. That’s simply not enough to change the market even if every loser was kicked out, and given the distribution of the losses that does not look like that’s going to happen. On the other hand, if anyone presently receiving the benefit for a 4 or 5 bedroom property manages to stay surely the Revenue will be round. A loss of £5 or £10K can not be magically made up and if it is the benefit can not have been warranted. In terms of the wider market , these changes affect a total of just 60 larger homes borough wide. The other day there were 159 4+ bed homes in SW6 and 55 in W6 listed for sale on Rightmove , so if all the landlords decided to sell all the properties on the same day there would be an increase in supply of around one third ( making an allowance for multiple listings on Rightmove) One last point before Fulham’s only SWP member starts spouting: “most vulnerable in our society/ communities/ fair, progressive society for vulnerable communities/ fairly progressive fairs for the vulnerable/ vulnerably unfair fairs, fair enough, community?” let me repeat the changes detailed in the Tory budget of June 2010 are less harsh than the ones Labour announced in their budget of March 2010. The Tories decided to reverse the decision to exclude the highest rents from the calculations. ( I reckon TLP would make a great Leftie – he knows literally ALL the words).
  3. In H&F we boast more than our fair share of the types of people who thoroughly upset the Great British Public. Our dramatis personae includes the greatest ogres of the contemporary cast .; In the blue corner we have Lion houses full of prop traders, hedge fund managers and pirate equity boosters, whilst In the red we present clans of recently arrived immigrants living in very expensive housing. Add to these two groups of charmers our now almost indigenous Sloane Ranger and you can see why H&F is such a popular and costly place to live. Should there be reading this, any offspring likely to benefit from the demise of a wealthy self-made relative who suffers with a weak heart, may I suggest TLP’s “Lifestyles of the rich and/or lucky” tour. It’s an admittedly short trip down the North End Road and Parsons Green Lane, past The White Horse and terminating at The Hurlingham Club. In those few hundred metres your relative will be able to: *PONDER the self imposed apartheid of the burqa clad Somali and GUESS the total lifetime cost to the state of her and her family. (Hint: 5 children @ £7000 pa state education bill per kid = £455,000 for schooling alone.) Don’t forget to add healthcare and Housing Benefit, Old Timer! * PEER into the underground lifestyle of the cellar converters of the Peterborough Estate and GASP as they slather for the vitamin D we tease them with ( tablets on string provided on all tours). AGREE as they tell you £500k to move their lives from street level to below ground was money well spent. REMEMBER that the risks you took creating your business Grandad, were exactly the same as the risks these gifted bankers took creating theirs – except of course it didn’t and doesn’t really matter if they fail. * SWOON as this seasons entire range of Gucci pumps is doused in Old Farty as Rupert misjudges his ability to hold two pints at the same time. REJOICE , Pops, as you celebrate the demise of the social mobility that let you make something of your life and now keeps dense Rupert somewhere near the top. In less than an hour you should have your inheritance. Please make cheques for the tour payable to TLP Inc, Bank of Belize. This post was supposed to be about the scale and effects of the changes to the Housing Benefit in H&F but I do seem to have got rather carried away on my coach trip idea – so better have a separate post on that. Coming up….
  4. On occasion the thread may have cast doubt on the accuracy of the Rightmove survey. Concerns about its volatility, bias towards higher value properties and lack of seasonal adjustment should now be cast aside: H&F Average Price August 2010 £747,033 H&F Average Price September 2010 £685,263 Monthly Loss £61,770 Monthly movement Minus 8.3% The country’s biggest faller – makes you feel proud to be a resident,doesn’t it? (A rare post but couldn't resist posting these numbers)
  5. H&F has turned.Prices fell according to the latest Land Reg figures. Not by much admittedly – indeed by the smallest percentage the index can record, -0.1%. Translate that into pound terms and the fall equals £459. The average H&F property was worth a paltry £494,730 in May 2010, yet just a few weeks previously commanded a magnificent £495,189. If this is the turning point, and there are few reasons tobelieve it isn’t, then it can be confirmed H&F never regained its peak. Feb 2008 remains the top albeit with its ever changing result – this month the Feb 2008 peak is recorded at £509,414. Given the up,down,up, down recent history let’s work backwards through the possibilities: if you bought the average H&F home in April 2010 you have lost £459 If you bought a home between March 2010 and May 2008 you are ahead If you bought a home between November 2007 and April 2008 you are behind if you bought earlier than October 2007 you are ahead. And if you bought in 1995 or 6 you are a lucky saud. (It will be interesting to do this exercise again at the end of the year.)
  6. Interesting James, interesting But then you did also say in Aptil of this year: ":We have just finished our quarterly update and the figures have shown Fulham house prices have reached a new record high. January 179, February 204 and March 194 with the previous peak being in May 2007 at 190. This, together with our other indices, will shortly be available on our website under Surveyors and Publications." So far no sign of your new high in the Land Reg figures. Indeed latest Land Reg figures say prices have fallen a smidge for recent completions ( see following post) And according to the Land Reg this applies to the more expensive homes ( like you measure) as well as the cheaper ones . One has to be so careful choosing which data sources to trust, don't you think?
  7. The Land Reg Feb HPI data was publtshed today and whilst I am not doing the full update I did think it was worth noting what has been going on with the H&F peak figure. The timing of the peak according to the Land Reg has remained the same since it was announced - Feb 2008 - but now the peak figure is more than £5000 below the peak peak figure. Look through previous posts on the thread and you will see peak figure of more than £515,000 - now the peak is recorded at £510,186. I have no doubt this is Ed Balls's doing; he personally applies quarterly smoothers to the H&F figures. Ballsian logic being: "There can never be a crash because there was never any boom - just look at the Land Registry numbers.. Certainly no boom whilst my wife, sorry partner, was Minister. Now make my tea Yvette and put some clothes on, you're sagging."
  8. Just started Sebastian Faulks' new one "A week in December" - it's cast includes a hedge fund manager, tube driver, jihadist and lawyer together portraying fin de siecle London. On the very first page is this brief gem of a comment on the new Westfield centre: "This was not a retail park with trees and benches, but a compression of trade in a city centre, in which migrant labour was paid by foreign capital to squeeze out layers of profit from any Londoner with credit". Aaah - it's always the artists who have the distance to create the commentary that lasts.
  9. http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/robertpeston/2010/02/tories_withdraw_support_from_t_1.html Today's Pesto-wire considers Cameron's motives for softening his position on the pace and depth of cuts: "The innocent explanation is that it is a response to growing and widespread fears that economic recovery in the UK is far from robust or entrenched - so Messrs Cameron and Osborne would not want to be seen to be killing off the buds in a sharp frost of public-expenditure reductions and tax increases. " TLP prefers the concluding paragraph: "Now if you were a conspiracy theorist, you would note that David Cameron's change of tone on debt-reduction coincides with what will probably be the most important financial decision this side of the general election - that is whether the Bank of England will stop buying gilts. If he has made the fiscal position of a future Tory government less clear, he has made the Bank of England's decision on whether to withdraw support for the gilt market that much more complicated. And - you could argue - that Mr Cameron has increased the risk that investors will stop lending to HMG or demand much more onerous terms. Which, of course, would upset him, but perhaps his personal pain would be rather less if any sterling crisis were to happen before the general election."
  10. Follow link and then register to download McKinseys "Debt and Deleveraging" report - the latest key credit crunch text. Highlights include: UK is the world's most indebted country and economies take 6 to 7 years to reduce ratio of debt to GDP by 25%,
  11. New Star - anyone lose any money with these over-advertised charmers? http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/standard-business/article-23631947-henderson-grabs-ailing-new-star-in-tuppenny-takeover.do The City at its worst.
  12. Well there’s been three months between my posts and few additions by others. (Thanks to those that did keep the topic alive.) This lack of activity, on this thread and others, suggests bear food has been scarce recently. So what do the numbers say? Today the Land Reg released its results for November recording 0.9% growth nationally with H&F chalking up 1.3% growth. This latest figure comes on top of September and October rises of 2.1% and 1.3%. The cumulative effect has been to ameliorate the annual rate of change from a stonking minus 16.9% in May of 2009 to 0% now, In other words prices are the same as they were in November 2008, That is not to say prices have regained their peak . If you bought between June 2007 and October 2008 you are still underwater. In £ terms the average price is £55,542 below its top. Volume for September 09 (the latest available) was 201, more than double September 08 but down on the 300 average for Septembers through the decade. Several well rehearsed points are confirmed by these numbers: 1. Stimulus has had an effect. 2. Interest rates at 0.5%, few forced sellers 3. Some foreign money coming in to London residential - sterling depreciation 4. City - bonuses still being paid, job prospects improved. So. where next? What does 2010 hold in store for H&F? An election that’s what. A change of regime. English voters maybe deeply unhappy with Labour but I’m not sure they quite remember how politics and policies can change things. (Of course the Tories aren’t yet giving them much to build this belief upon.) I see it this way: through the winter months seasonal factors are at play, early 2010 will be hobbled by election nerves, May 2010 sees a substantial Tory victory ( disregard this present wishful thinking by the left for a hung parliament and recent promotion of a March vote), the World Cup in June has house buyers stuck on their sofas and following England’s group stage success but before the semi final defeat by Brazil on July 6 we have an economic crisis. The Tories want this crisis. They need it – and soon after the election so to pin responsibilty on Labour. Taking over, without a crisis, just as the benefical effects of QE come to an end risks a one term mandate. Without a crisis Labour’s mismanagement and profligacy will not be crystallised in the minds of the electorate and the Tories will find delivering change harder. The population might not take the pain and the associated social unrest without the “requirement” to do so firmly established. Cameron’s dream must be the men from the IMF arriving at No 10 the day before he does, unforunately for him that looks as it will remain a dream. All this does make one major assumption: that the Tories want more than to manage the speed of the UK’s decline. Earlier this year, the European Commission forecast that unless action was taken to cut state pension costs and healthcare bills, UK public debt would rise from around 60pc of gross domestic product this year to 160pc by 2020, 406pc by 2040, and 760pc by 2060. The Tories need a substantial majority AND the crisis to sort this as well as the QE debt. The Spectator says Osborne has been meeting with Fitch , the rating agency. The suggestion being we hold onto our AAA on the basis of Osborne's promise of the level of cuts. This scenario is echoed by Andrew Ellson of The Times in his predictions today for 2010. It is now an established view that Osborne’s cuts and debt reduction package will be substantial enough to keep interest costs low enough to afford for us to pay back the principal. But what if Osborne has over promised. He can not be sure of his numbers yet. If the numbers are worse than he has based his promises upon, the already prescribed medicine will not be strong enough. Then its: - bye-bye AAA, hello sterling crisis and open wide, here comes the nasty medicine. A nice crisis gives the Tories a blame free mandate to address public sector pensions, the size of the state, the costs of unlimited immigration and other big ticket items. It establishes the requirement to change and change rapidly and at the same time type casts Labour and the Left as incompetent villains. Just what the doctor ordered, The sterling crisis causes interest rates to rise,so property prices fall nationally. In H&F the increase in PAYE to 50% and to a lesser extent this year’s bonus restrictions already suggest price falls. Add in the above and it’s a double whammy causing prices to fall faster and harder in H&F than nationally. This time table and outlook suggests prices stay level through to July then start falling at the same sort of pace we saw last year. (1-2% pcm in H&F) That means the Land Reg ( my preferred index) will only record three or four months of the trend in its 2010 figures - TLP’s 2010 H&F Land Reg prediction is therefore minus 6.43% with larger falls to come in 2011. It is of course foolhardy to be specific in forecasts which is why the pros give you a range and why I choose to go to only two decimal places. Anyone else got a crystal ball?
  13. "Wherefore art though Three Little Pigs?" It’s an interesting question. If I remember my Shakespeare Juliet is not asking the whereabouts of Romeo ( he’s behind you Jailbait! Look under the balcony) but why oh why is he called what he is? The Montague surname rather than the Romeo moniker being the problem due to the long running feud between the families. Her quandry is better conveyed by the “what’s in a name” line. So wherefore art though Three Little Pigs? Still expecting house prices built of straw to be huffed and puffed away – and many of those made of wood too. Still living up to the name. Wary of wolves, as you would expect. See the main thread for latest view on H&F. I should also admit I have been absent as I didn’t want to spend any time recording the effects of the black magic worked by the government of the walking dead through its stimulus induced reprieve. So Olala/Juliet,promise if Labour did win in May you would pass me the virtual poison, it would be time to kill off TLP . And do remember to make it the good stuff not that play dead brew you sometimes quaff.
  14. Land Registry Report released end September 09. Average House Price August 09 - £430,995 Average House Price July 09 - £423.933 Average House Price July 09 as reported last month - £418,511 Average House Price June 09 - £420,157 Average House Price June 09 as reported last month - £420,393 Average House Price May 09 - £412,583 Average House Price May 09 as reported last month - £414,132 Average House Price May 09 as reported two months ago £416,548 Monthly movement - Plus 1.7% YoY minus 11% Peak figure of Feb 2008 adjusted up from £514,300 to £514,992. Bull Food- Up 1.7% in a month. House prices are rising again. Bonuses are back, big and untouchable. Bear Food - Total loss from peak £84,059 (16.3%) Last month’s July to August figure showing a monthly fall of £2,000 came from a June price upgraded by more than £4,000. This month we have the first (and last?) set of figures showing month on month rises and the extent of the Spring bounce in H&F. We have a low of £412,583 reached 15 months after the all time high and a bounce over the last quarter of 4.5%. ( I could work out this annualised but I’m not going to because it’s not going to happen) Volume for June (the latest reported month) is 138 up on 103 last year but round about half “normal†June levels. Food for thought; Deflation and debt default or inflation and disappearing debt=> Rent or Buy
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