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About MartinKeown

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  1. You lot really are a misanthropic bunch of khunts aren't you? Haven't read the article. Sure it looks like they aren't particularly careful with money but they don't seem abnormally wasteful. They are just suffering from the same problem as everyone else. And which readers of this website ought to recognise very quickly. Taxes and Rents are too high. I don't know how they earn their 80K but I would imagine they have had to work hard for it. This is not some idiot benefit claimant aggrieved that they have to move out of their central London pad. Frankly these people DO deserve the lifestyle they aspire to. They are just a bit slow to wake up to the fact that rents are too high, landowners and other rentiers have taken all the wealth, the baby boomers let them, joined them or just avoided the issue by borrowing what they needed to keep up and assumed their kids would pay. Now there's no wealth left for anyone under about 40 who are left to either wait for an inheritance or work their ******** off to pay for it all. As far as I can see its not (especially) the fault of the individuals in the article - they were probably too busy working whilst you moany ******* idle away your time, changing sweet ****** all, on here. But the problems recognised on here affect pretty much everyone earning up to about 200-300K a year no matter where they sit on the social scale. We have a form of almost perfect communism amongst earners. Over a 100K a year you are paying probably about 70-80% of your earnings in tax and rents in order to keep the helpless and the feckless from rioting so that the holders of wealth can enjoy it in peace. Its probably just about worth it but we have arrived, through trial and error, at something that looks like the peak of the Laffer Curve where people will keep on plodding on but where it barely feels like its worth the effort. These people are pretty much at the peak of their own personal Laffer Curve. Its frankly ludicrous that this can happen at a salary that cannot afford a family house, but we can all see how its happened. The only options now are high inflation, hyperinflation/default/collapse or a wealth tax. The latter would be fairest and most sensible but is probably least likely to happen. Next best we can all hope for is high inflation without hyperinflation and collapse.
  2. Move to CT17 mate. Cheap and chips and getting cheaper. Lovely countryside too and much more community than being stuck in some anonymous London borough. That said not sure its 50% off yet. Think that suggestion was compared with a little peak in March 2010. But that was a statistical anomaly - it was a month where very few houses sold - and I know that included the one we bought that month which was about 5 times the average and probably the most expensive house ever sold in the area. That said I'm sure like everywhere its still getting cheaper. Probably more so now Pfizer is closing. Cant be long before people realise that with a bit of imagination they can swap a 2 bed flat in a grotty part of London for a big detached house in a nice part of a smaller market town.
  3. That's a fair point. For us it's just me coming into London though. Plus I work one (sometimes two) days a week at home and crash in London one or two nights. I try to do no more than two round trips a week. Which keeps life bearable and costs down. My view is that that London firms are very soon going to realise that flexible working is a HUGE opportunity to make cost and productivity savings. We have a 700K house. My guess it would cost pobably 2 million in a reasonable part of london. That's an extra 1.3m to be paid out of post tax income (not to emention the interest if you're using a mortgage for at least part of it). I dont have time to work out what it would cost my firm to pay me to make living in London worthwhile. I'm fairly confident however that it would have to be at least 3 or 4 times my current gross salary. At least another 2-300k off their bottom line. Not only that but I get more done at home.Plus if they started doing this properly they could massively cut back on their astronomical floor space costs. Flexible working is already pretty widespread. I think it will soon hit a critical mass where it becomes culturally acceptable and everyone will do it. The Olympics will probably be the moment it dawns on everyone how utterly ridiculous it is working 5 days a week in central London. You'll need to keep a 'centre' to any business - so I doubt people will be out of the office more than a couple of days a week - but that's enough to massively increase your commuting options. There's two poweful forces at work : the power of the internet to disperse people and the rising cost of fuel drawing people closer to their place of work. Everyone's so miserable right now they've forgotten just how transformative the internet has been. I'm convinced the internet will win this battle hands down. My bets are that when this bubble properly deflates London prices will suffer most.
  4. That's exactly what I did. Get right out to East Kent and there's some really cheap stuff. Unfortunately for me its getting cheaper rapidly with Phizer closing down! But if you were looking now, wanted to work in London and be able to to buy a decent house there's going to be some great value over the next couple of years.
  5. Here is a house which I know was on at 800k around the end of 2009. http://www.rightmove.co.uk/property-for-sale/property-29604115.html http://www.rightmove.co.uk/property-for-sale/property-29604115.html How do I know? Because I offered 680k and might have paid 700k. (Well probably not actually as Mrs MK told me it was no good as a family home and she can be stubborn. But I was peppering the East Kent market at the time with offers trying to get a good sized family house). As you can see its now on for 500k and still hasn't sold. The woman who owned this has lost in excess of 200k through sheer greed.
  6. So a load of bemused bank clerks in West Didsbury, wherever that is, look on quizically as a load of crusties hang out of windows above their branch and jeer the various elderly and disadvantaged folks who still feel the need to physically visit a bank to deposit birthday present cheques and the like... Are we sure this isn't a sitcom? Do they mean Dibley?
  7. I nearly spat my tea out over that!!!! That really ought to win some kind of prize for inadvertantly forgetting incredibly significant piece of detail. Less than 3 per cent for 15 years! That is a fantastic deal. Far far better than 1.5 % for 2 years. Christ I wish some awful banker would screw me over with that sort of deal. I'd have given him free poppadoms for life.
  8. Dont get me wrong - I think there could be a lot of play in the PM bubble yet. Could be a great bet - and I find it astonishing that people dont have at least a little bit held in it. But 75% in PM strikes me as idiotic unless you are able to make that bet with someone else's money or unless you at least recognise that you are making a bet. Nothing wrong with gambling. But gambling whilst convincing yourself that you are investing your life's savings prudently is what has got us into this mess. Fact is there's every chance real interest rates will rise. They certainly cant get any lower. You could be right about the fixed rate mortgages however. Its a disgrace really.
  9. Wasn't meant to sound quite as scathing as it came out. Quite an interesting thread actually for which am grateful.
  10. Not good skills at all - save in the tinfoil hat world of HPC. You are ignoring two fundamental investment principles: 1 There is hardly any diversification in that portfolio 2 You are not matching your assets to your liabilities. Given your liabilities are are going to be in sterling - for UK rents, housing, taxes, food, widgets etc you could end up with a very poor result if the pound is strong at the time that you wish to spend your 'investments'. Even if the pound doesn't strengthen what happens if gold is at the top of a bubble already or Bullionvault turns out to be some kind of con? Now HPC could be right - and in a high inflation scenario or house price deflation scenario you could do very well indeed (although not necessarily - dont make the same mistake as the bankers and traders and assume that obvious correlations will always emerge). But most importantly don't kid yourself into thinking that a portfolio positioned almost 100% for economic melt down of one form or another is an investment portfolio. Its a speculative portfolio. And if this turns out to be just another recession you could find yourself doing very poorly as equities rise, inflation and interest rates pick up, savings flow back into equities and cash, houseprices flat line in nominal terms whilst gold deflates or crashes just as you get a payrise and think you see some value in housing some combination of this happened in the 70s, 80s and 90s). Its all very well positioning yourself for a black swan eventbut remember its defined as a low probability high impact event. Dont bet your life savings on it as though its an odds-on favourite at Newmarket. Your portfolio is about as risky as being 75% in BTls in 2005. Would have made a lot of money. But could have been a disaster. Could still be a disaster. My advice would be to stop being a smart-alec trying to beat the market. Put 25-40% in a range of equities and bonds, maybe commercial property. No more than about 30% in PMs. If you are planning on using it towards a house you could do worse than putting it all in cash. FFS - RPI is only 3% and even in nominal terms houses look pretty weak for at least the next 12 months. If you are really worried about high inflation, you will do well to beat a long term fixed rate mortgage on a property. Upside - free house. Downside lose your deposit, go bankrupt, hide your PMs for a rainy day. To be frank its a bloody good bet.
  11. I'm not sure what's more shocking - a drunk Irishman shouting at people in the street or an HPCer assuming that this is a portent of the End of Western Civilisation. To be fair I read HPC because I think there is real chance things do melt down. But I do think even today it must remain far more likely than not that they wont. Sometimes HPC feels like a kind of post-enlightenment millenialism. Someon should get Gillian Tett to do one of her anthropological pieces on you (well, lets face it, us) lot.
  12. I think what this thread shows as much as anything is just how innefficient the housing market is whether renting or buying. I also think that this is why a quite dramatic crash doesn't always show up as clearly as we would like to see in the actual prices of houses that are available to buy now. My take on it is that the spread between a 'good' and 'bad' buy can be up to 15 maybe 20 % either side fair value. In my view that's possibly up to a massive 30-40% spread between buying/renting very well and buying/renting very poorly. Hence I am quite sure that Bruce Banner and others on here are right about their rental figures (although my guess is that a bit of confirmation bias and starry-eyed Kirsty valuing may be behind their 350K valuations of the houses - presumably if its 'worth' 350K everyone on HPC would be putting in bids at 20% off or 280K?). Who knows what its really worth. Even if BB's valuation is absolutely fair, I suspect that he has got a very good deal. Given his heroicly strident approach to housing this should not be a major surprise to any HPCers. The house I sold in London last year sold for 315 (of course it was "worth" about 330 on the basis the better houses had sold for 340 on the same road in 2007 and prices never go down... you can imagine me crying with despair at not realising the full value of my "investment"). At the point at which we sold for 315, its rentable value would have been about 1000-1100. London has a better more liquid rental market than most parts of the country. So my view is that a 900 month rent on something geuinely worth 350K is a very good deal. As to examples of people who are better off buying than renting. Not many at the moment as I'd agree that housing is still overpriced. But someone getting as a good a deal as BB did on his rent probably wont be buying too far off the bottom. We've had a 20% correction already and will probably lose another 10-20% nominal. Makiing for the 50-60% real crash we all dreamed of. But we're already half way through it -Try to avoid buying a shoe box off plan for top whack because its shiny new and the developer throws in a few twigs with his equity loan and you wont lose too much. Spend your life on HPC and shower the market with 10-20% off asking price bids on nice homes until some one desperate bites and then screw them down a bit more on survey and you'll probably find you're buying about 30% of peak anyway. If you buy now you also have had the benefit of over 3 year of 3-4% RPI. You could with a little bit of work easily be buying at about 40% off in real terms which for all we know could be the bottom. Its certainly starting to get close. Fix your mortgage for a bit and you'll probably not even notice the crash. I think BB's mistake is to assume that all renters are as ruthless as him and all buyers take the Kirsty "lets see if we can get it for 10% over the asking price" Allsopp approach to buying. I suspect that we are at or close the point where the buying/renting curves cross. Its been better to rent for a while now ( taking account of present cost and future anticipated price changes). Given the further falls to come it will continue to be better to rent for a year or two yet and I suspect that there will be another year or two after that before people wake up to the fact that buying has become an attractive proposition again. Then in 4-5 years time off we go again. Less dramatically this time due to demographics and growth limitations but sufficiently enough to get even fairly idiotic/unlucky buyers out of trouble. Unless of course they've been repossessed in between. By the way, is it just me or is Bruce Banners prevailing tone and Stalinist list of "one's to watch" slightly more grating than having Hitler grate your balls with a blunt cheese grater in wierd S&M sex game? Christ he's annoying.
  13. Current 20-30 year olds will generally be fine: in 4 or 5 years times houses will be affordable again - just as they come to acquire their first home or move into their main family home. The people who are really screwed are those between 30-45 who have moved into their main family house between about 2004 and now. Or who bought their first home during this period and bought very poorly. Anyone over 45 who's not set up for life is has probably fvcked up somehow.
  14. heh. it was the wrod 'technical' wasn't it. Should never be used unless deliberately trying to make people's eye's glaze over to get something past them without their noticing...
  15. Yes. As an avid reader of HPC I would hope it goes without saying that I 'know' this. I trust that you also appreciate that there are some technical legal differences between renting the capital to buy a house and renting a house. Such as 1 The fact I have at least a 5yr tenancy on the capital and, if I dont fvck up too badly, will be able to extend that tenancy without having to get anyone elses consent. 2 I can do whatever i like with the property in the meantime and any value that I may add will accrue to myself. Interesintingly the rent on the capital is about the same as the rent on our London house and probably about the same as the rental value of the current house. If we had taken a variable mortgage the rent on the capital would have been significantly less than the rent we were previously paying on our London house. Plus its about three times the size with about eight times the garden and no-one has been recently murdered at the end of the road either.
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