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About markgriffith

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    HPC Poster

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    Working on several new book projects.

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  1. Really sorry to make your blood boil, Toast! And I'm glad you started to think it might be (at least) a necessary evil. ...Actually I believe it gets better. I tried to explain this on my thread, although several people there disagree. I think that not only will it help some people chase the rising values of houses they cannot (yet? ever?) afford, but it will also _reduce_ house prices long-term, which is what you really feel should happen. So it might be better than a necessary evil. My argument for why it will bring prices down might seem a bit abstract, but as a former futures trader, what strikes me about housing is that it is a market where everyone goes long. By creating a way for some to go short (this initiative) the market should become more symmetrical, and less inclined to only go one way, always up. You might not agree, but this is my reasoning and hope, that long-term it should ultimately help both sellers and buyers experience a saner, less ramped, market in property.
  2. I might be one of those unorthodox members, Toast! Welcome to the board.
  3. Pieman Pieface, you might find my thread about buying and selling 1% slices of homes interesting. It's an idea I'm knocking around here to gauge reaction while talking to traders and lawyers about the details. It's a way people like you could invest in property and hedge against its rising prices without having to go into debt to buy an entire house at once. Someone who had bought several 1% slices of different properties would be able to swap them into cash for a deposit. They wouldn't be actual owned slices of homes, but options against contractual charges to get 1% of the cash received on sale. Just a proposal at the moment.
  4. Speculation is legitimate, particularly where it introduces liquidity and symmetry into a market governed by speculation already. The distinction between pure speculation and "investment" is artificial and doesn't reflect the needs of real traders, who have to speculate in assets all the time. The reason this idea should be vigorously _encouraged_ is that it enables people to withdraw cash from their own homes without reborrowing and it creates a natural way in which people can effectively go short of houses (or small pieces of houses). Right now the "investment"-based bias in house buying and selling means that traders can only go long in houses or hold zero positions (unless they are very large players indeed), and this creates the dangerous asymmetry we've seen in property price bubbles since the 1950s. I understand your point about effort being taken away from physical building or maintenance, but in many places (for example districts of historic housing) this is _undesirable_. Capitalising on an attractive area of historic houses by buying a space, knocking down an attractive old house and building a block of flats that benefits from the fact the surrounding buildings are still old and aesthetically appealing is the logical result of claiming that only development and reconstruction can be "useful or desirable". Whereas this approach will help to naturally deflate absurd localised bubbles. These exist where (for example) sections of central London housing are kept empty by investment funds or wealthy oligarchs. This partly occurs because no individual still living in those areas can generate debt-free cash and _stay living there_ if remortgaging or selling up are the only two options. Once there are cash short positions in housing as well as cash long positions, outside more elaborated types of derivatives, the apparent inevitability of continually rising future property prices will be exposed as an asymmetric market artefact and cease to be self-fulfilling.
  5. True, though I'm looking at something both simpler and more focused than a sector-wide index.
  6. Reasonable points sir. On the other, potentially much cheaper and smaller-scale than buy-to-let, and something as simple as a return to the rates would pull the rug from under buy-to-let anyway.
  7. Agreed, spyguy. I have been chatting about this with a property lawyer. It's not intended to be joint ownership, but I agree it needs to be positioned as a tradeable option.
  8. I think this is totally different and has a different investor base. I'm talking about a way for a small investor/speculator to take a punt on house prices without buying a whole house. Housing associations are something else entirely.
  9. No, the current owner owns 100% of the asset, not 99%. The buyer has merely bought the right to receive 1% of the amount paid when it's sold. You cannot protect it. It's hedging, like any other option. If house prices go down, you lose, as with any hedging instrument. If prices go up, you gain. You've profited from rising house prices without having to buy a whole house.
  10. I'm envisaging a market where these options can be traded. Effectively they're tradeable charges.
  11. Fees have to be streamlined as (effectively) a standard option contract. Buyer doesn't get 99% of a house. Buyer gets 100% of a house and seller buys out the option-holder with cash equalling 1% of what the home sold for.
  12. Sorry to be slow at the joke. We lose all sense of humour here in the East Bloc!
  13. As a way of quickly raising some cash without 1) remortgaging or 2) selling.
  14. Hello people! Rough straw poll here - how many of you would consider selling 1% (one per cent) of your home if you could do so? If there was a simple way to do it? Imagine your tax is unchanged - your rights and duties remain unchanged. Assume you are in clear ownership (after debts and charges) of at least 80% of your home before you do this. All that happens is that when and if you sell or give away (or a relative inherits) the home, the holder of the 1% contract is entitled to one per cent to a cash payment equal to one hundredth of the house value at that time. Thanking folk in advance!
  15. Just updating my profile after an absence, people. Thanks for your patience!

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