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Everything posted by exiges

  1. A flippant answer would be that the public sector have been experimenting with 20hrs weeks for some time now..
  2. For many many reasons, not limited to the following: 1. Halving the hours worked per person doesn't automatically follow that twice the people will want to work to pick up the slack. 2. Halving the hours worked will halve our industrial output, and therefore wealth unless you double the workforce. 3. If you try to maintain productivity by doubling staff, then you double the overheads in looking after them making businesses less competitive, double the traffic, double the pollution etc. 4. If you work 4 hours a day, then you spend a disproportionate time commuting, or if you work fewer days then there's the age old problem of trying to get stuff done when people are on a "day off". 5. For us to provide goods that are competitive with other nations and still maintain a lifestyle superior to theirs we need to keep the output-per-person high.
  3. Why ever not ? £16,000 a year after tax lets you live like a king in London doesn't it ? There are plenty of £48,000 houses.
  4. Beats the pages and pages of weak puns usually found here. David Cameron can hardly conceal his contempt for Ed Balls, I bet he'd love to land one on him too.
  5. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2086400/Council-fines-couple-cleared-away-rubbish-weeds-outside-home-unless-restore-was.html Personally, I can see why the council isn't happy, it's not the couple's land to lay gravel on, and soon everyone with a council house will be doing it.
  6. Because in todays society kids can't fail, it'll scar them mentally for life.. in the same way on sports day every kid gets a sticker for finishing the race.. They only have to look at their parents, no matter what their parents qualifications or what they did for a living, they were all property millionaires..
  7. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-16562966 They don't get it do they, the cuts are for the good of the "ordinary people".
  8. This still doesn't stop me wanting to punch Ed Balls repeatedly until I can't lift my arms anymore.
  9. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-16544228 Italy's cost of borrowing has fallen at the government's latest bond auction, though some analysts were disappointed by the level of demand. Italy raised its target of 4.75bn euros (£3.96bn) in Friday's bond sale. The interest rate on the government's benchmark three-year bond fell to 4.83% from 5.62% at the last auction at the end of December. On Thursday, Spain raised 10bn euros in a bond auction - twice as much as its original target. The interest rate on Italian 12-month bonds also fell on Thursday after it raised 12bn euros. "After the stellar bill auction in Italy and the very good Spanish auctions yesterday, there will be some disappointment in the market," said Marc Ostwald, strategist at Monument Securities. The three-year Italian bond drew bids worth 1.22 times the amount on offer. At Thursday's Spanish auction, investors bid for almost four times the amount originally offered. Analysts say demand at recent auctions has been boosted by cheap funds from the European Central Bank (ECB). The ECB launched new, cheaper three-year loans on 21 December that were snapped up by eurozone banks, who borrowed some 489bn euros.
  10. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-16544654 Antonio Horta-Osorio, chief executive of Lloyds Banking Group, has said he will not take an annual bonus for 2011. He has just returned from a two month absence due to fatigue and acknowledged that had had an "impact" on the bank. He also said his bonus should reflect the performance of the group, and "the tough financial circumstances that many people are facing". Mr Horta-Osorio joined the board of Lloyds in January 2011 and became chief executive in March. His basic pay is £1.06m a year, and he would have been eligible for bonus payments of up to 225% of that. In a statement, Mr Horta-Osorio acknowledged that "my leave of absence has had an impact both inside and outside the bank including for shareholders". Lloyds chairman Sir Winfried Bischoff said: "Under Antonio's leadership, the bank made significant progress last year in its transformation against a very difficult economic backdrop." The bank announced on 2 November that Mr Horta-Osorio was to take extended leave because of a stress-related illness. Shares in Lloyds - which is 41% state-owned - fell more than 60% in 2011.
  11. I maybe wrong but the first house had been "done up", whereas the second one was in serious need of renovating.
  12. Yes, people are fed up with their sharp discounting practices, but I think their problem is much simpler than that.. They're just too expensive. People know they can do their weekly shop for nearly half the price at Lidl / Aldi. Tesco used to be cheap, now it isn't.
  13. I was about to say the same, 11pm and only 4-5 comments on the subject.
  14. Hmm.. I don't think house prices are rising, I think the average value of houses they're selling is rising.. ie. there's no first time buyers, so they're leeching off the equity "rich" for larger houses.
  15. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2085681/Terry-remortgages-fourth-time-home-loan-double-paid-mansion.html John Terry has remortgaged his mansion for a fourth time, taking his home loan to a staggering £4.65million, it has been reported. The huge sum is more than twice the £170,000-a-week Chelsea captain paid for the house, The Sun reports. He bought the property in Oxshott, Surrey, for £2.25million in July 2003, according to publicly available records. Land Registry records seen by the Sun show the England captain carried out the most recent remortgaging deal last June.
  16. Thanks for your kind wishes guys. My expectation is we'll continue to see nominal drops, maybe 0.5% a month on average, give or take. Prices are simply unsustainable at their current level. Thing is, we've been waiting until 2008 for a decent crash and the missus is not happy living with all our stuff in storage, our son needs to have his name down for a school before September (and she doesn't want to pull him out of school to move) . And you know what happens when the missus is unhappy, you end up losing privileges, and we can't have that ! Some things are more important than getting a great deal on a house, having a happy homelife is priceless. We gave it our best shot, held out for 3yrs, but it's time to throw in the towel. Even if there are nominal drops in future, our house is losing the same value as the next house we'd be moving to.. I'd be more worried if we had a mortgage and therefore losing equity but still having an amount we had to give back to the bank back.. Then we'd be unable to trade sideways. I've done a Zoopla estimate on the house we're buying based on what they paid 15yrs ago, and we're paying less than their current estimate, plus the owners have purchased some additional land since then. (I can kid myself I'm making a shrewd move, see, delusion is setting in already !) This website is my second-home online so you haven't got rid of me yet, keep posting the stupidly overpriced Rightmove links (no, not the advert for my house !)
  17. I stalled for a day or two because I was panicking. My missus and son are in Kenya on holiday (I'm just launching a new business so I'm holding the fort). Today was D-day.. exchange or be damned, and I had pre-wedding jitters "am I doing the right thing" etc. "what else can I get".. I phoned the missus to say I was having the heeby-jeebies, but rather than freaking out at me (like usual) she said "OK, if you've seen other places, go see them then".. so I did.. I've not viewed a house alone before, it was quite liberating ! The windmill was nice, but as always they only show you the nice bits in the brochure.. and the house was a 1970s timewarp, the guy (Tom Wheatcroft, he of Donington Raceway) had spent serious money on it in the past, but his tastes hadn't kept up with everyone else. The other problem with the windmill was the windmill blades, they were HUGE, and would need constant painting and although uncanvassed I wouldn't want to be near them in the recent winds we had.. Every single room had to be gutted, purple bathroom suited, green tiles, formica, convection air heating, the lot. So it had potential, but you wouldn't want to live in it and it wasn't going to have my money.. and for the money that it'd take to do up, you could have bought a lovely £1.4m house already complete. The other one was in complete contrast, hardly any land, and all very modern inside. But the footprint of the house is relatively small but on 3 floors so there's lots crammed in.. It was very similar to the house we sold in 2008, same 5000+sqft, but with a bit more garden than we had but only just (we had about 12ft sq) dunno, it felt very claustrophobic being garden grabbed.. No wonder they didn't get £1.4m for it. And then there's the horror stories from the EA about pipes leaking under the house causing unknown and untold damage, I figured it was best to walk away. So with my morning recce out of the way, it was back to the house we had in mind.. I only had a look from the outside to make sure I was doing the right thing, called the missus to confirm, and we exchanged about 20 minutes ago. EEK ! I've officially called the top of the market, I always do, so the crash may now commence. have fun guys, thank me later.
  18. So much so, I went and viewed it today.. and I viewed this one: http://www.rightmove.co.uk/property-for-sale/property-17765499.html "But", I hear you say.. "you were supposed to have exchanged last week right ?"..
  19. http://www.lovemoney.com/news/property-and-mortgages/buying-and-selling-property/14022/hidden-icebergs-set-to-harm-homeowners According to the latest Halifax House Price Index, a typical UK home cost £160,063 in December 2011. A year earlier, this price tag was £163,665, so the average value of a property has fallen by £3,602 (2.2%) in 12 months. What's more, most economists and property pundits predict further falls for 2012. For the record, I also expect house prices to decline yet further this year, because of this toxic cocktail of problems for property prices (in no particular order): 1. Higher unemployment In the three months to October, UK unemployment rose by 128,000 to 2.64 million, or 8.3% of the workforce. Although this the highest level since 1994, unemployment is expected to continue to rise throughout this year, before peaking at 2.85 million in 2013. Obviously, weaker employment puts house prices under strain, as people don't buy homes when they've lost their jobs or fear this could happen in the near future. 2. Feeble pay rises In the three months to October, average earnings growth was 2% a year. Excluding bonuses, average incomes rose by just 1.8% in 12 months. What's more, real (inflation-adjusted) wages have fallen in the past two years, making homes less affordable. 3. Elevated inflation Inflation is the tendency for the prices of goods and services to rise over time. The Bank of England's target for the Consumer Prices Index (CPI) measure of inflation is 2% a year. Alas, CPI inflation was 4.8% in November, which squeezes disposable incomes and, in turn, harms house prices. 4. Government austerity At present, our Government is spending £10 billion a month more than it earns. Faced with this deadly deficit, the coalition is cutting public-sector spending and lifting taxes. As well as pay freezes, we can expect 120,000 job losses in the public sector in 2012. Again, these spending cutbacks will hit individuals and companies across the UK, making them less likely to put more money into property. 5. Credit crunch II The Bank of England's latest survey of credit conditions revealed the worst squeeze on funding availability since the near-collapse of Northern Rock in September 2007. The ongoing problems in the eurozone make it increasingly hard for banks to borrow money in wholesale markets. This forces banks to ration their lending to home-buyers and businesses, worsening the long-standing 'mortgage famine'. 6. Higher mortgage rates Also, the Bank of England is gradually withdrawing two support schemes for lenders, known as the Credit Guarantee Scheme (CGS) and Special Liquidity Scheme (SLS). Thanks to this new leg of the credit crunch, lenders' funding costs will surely rise. Indeed, mortgages and loans to businesses have already started to become more expensive. 7. Safer home loans The UK's financial watchdog, the Financial Services Authority (FSA), is poised to tighten the rules governing mortgage lenders and brokers. Proof of income will be needed for all home loans, finally killing off self-certified and similar 'liar loans'. Other regulations governing affordability and income multiples will prevent borrowers from taking on loans they cannot afford. 8. A double-dip recession Many economists and financial forecasters predict a double-dip recession for the UK in 2012. What this means is that they expect our economy to shrink for at least two quarters in a row. Even if we avoid this fresh downturn, our economy will still be smaller than it was in 2007, thanks to the deep recession of 2008/09. 9. Negative equity At least one in 12 homes in the UK (8%) suffers from negative equity. This is where the outstanding balance of a mortgage is greater than the value of the property on which it is secured. With few options to refinance, these troubled homeowners are forced to sit tight, sell at a loss or give up their homes -- thus weakening the housing market. If you're facing negative equity, check out How to...get out of negative equity 10. Rising arrears and repossessions The Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) expects 45,000 homes to be repossessed this year, up 8,000 from the 37,000 estimated to have been seized in 2011. In addition, the CML expects more borrowers to fall behind on their mortgage repayments in 2012, thanks to mounting pressures on household budgets. If you're falling behind on your mortgage payments and want to act before it's too late, be sure to read 13 minutes to the next repossession 11. Record insolvencies According to one debt-management firm, 137,500 Brits will become bankrupt or insolvent in 2012. This works out at 375 insolvencies for each day of the year, which is a tenth (10%) higher than 2010 and the highest number since records began in 1960. This 'boom in busts' could lead to more forced or 'distressed' property sales. 12. Weak sales In the 2006/07 tax year, 1,853,000 properties changed hands in England and Wales. In the latest tax year (2010/11), only 981,000 transactions took place. Given that the property market is running at half its peak level, I firmly believe that this 'phoney market' indicates more weakness to come. In short, for house prices to rise in 2012, the market must overcome these ‘dirty dozen’ problems, as well as other negative trends. Frankly, I don't see this happening, which is why I expect house prices to continue falling across the UK, with the possible exception of 'Fortress London'!
  20. I was intrigued by this property.. It's a new build, and has been reduced by £500,000 since it came n the market a year ago http://www.rightmove.co.uk/property-for-sale/property-16974795.html I called the EA today to find out what the deal is, turns out the builder ran out of money, is dying to get out of it and needs shot of it.. The EA said that while the house looks nice and shiny in the pics, in reality it's been left empty a year or so and settlement cracks are appearing (nothing serious) and they had to send someone into patch the damp on the ground flood (which is mostly below ground level) I mentioned "still, it'll be covered by an NHBC warrant right ?".. Turns out it isn't, very odd.. Not sure I'd want a house only recently built that has signs of early problems with no warranty.. I thought they were mandatory, no ?
  21. Indeed , I'd argue that all the stock on Rightmove is overpriced, as anything sensibly priced gets snapped up before it hits the website.
  22. It was one my missus was keen on, then we viewed it. It's built in someones back garden (pet hate as you know), and the house is just too small in every aspect (for our needs and for the price) Looks like it's changed EAs. This one is more compelling (albeit out of Northants) http://www.rightmove.co.uk/property-for-sale/property-16974795.html Was £1,375,000.. now £869,000.. still quite a hill of beans to be spending, but that's some £500,000 (36%) off the original asking. It's massive inside, 5000 sqft + 600sqft garage ( I know you like your square footage calculations), "wine cave", gym, cinema room, study, garden room.. and is pretty energy efficient. Only snag is there's not much in the way of a garden, and what it does have is on a slope.
  23. Indeed, more than once I've witnessed productivity increase significantly when an employer blocks the firewall for Facebook.
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