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House Price Crash Forum


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About pharm

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    HPC Poster
  1. pharm

    Halifax Today +0.8%

    It's because the annual figure quoted by the Halifax is (IIRC) based on the change in the quarterly figures, which are believed to smooth out month to month variations. Of course, this does sometimes lead to weird outcomes like the current figures where the actual year-on-year number is down, but the 4Q-2009 to 4Q-2010 figure is up. You have to seasonally adjust the figures, otherwise the signal gets swamped by the (large) seasonality in the data.
  2. Phone round the local jewellers and coin dealers and ask? It's surely worth 10 minutes of your time to find out & if they try and stick you with 'refining charges' after the fact you can tell them to get knotted...
  3. pharm


    Timperley is weird. It wants to be Hale, but hasn't got the cash & village centre a bit run down. Been like that for years though. Altrincham town centre on the other hand is just going from bad to worse: shops closing all over the place. Some lovely houses dotted around: North end of Moss Lane & nearby for instance. Roads down to the poor local Tory council who seem to always put keeping the council tax down ahead of actually keeping the roads in good order.
  4. pharm

    Section 21 Notice Argument Before Court

    I'd be talking to Shelter, Citizen's Advice and a suitable lawyer (if I had the cash) right now. Don't walk into the court unprepared whatever you do.
  5. pharm

    Ridiculous Letting Agent Charges

    Letting Agents always try this sort of stuff on. Remember: everything is negotiable, including all these ridiculous fees, right up until the point where you sign the contract. Agents will always try and snow you with extra charges (£50 charges for credit checks that cost them £3 + 10 minutes of staff time is a particular favourite!) Mind, if there's lots of demand for rental property in your area you may just have to suck it up: just mentally add it to the cost of your monthly rent and forget about it.
  6. It may have been shared ownership in the first place? If they had a 25% share (say) already, then the £152k transaction in the LR would represent them purchasing the remaining 75%. Tack on the cost of some renovations & you've got a £215k notional "value" at the time.
  7. pharm


    You'll notice that Oxford has several residential areas in orbit around the blasted, moronic walkways that make up the central shopping zone - and all of them cost about a third less than most of north central Oxford for houses of a similar girth and charm. This is because north central Oxford is an aberration, a mirage, a Bermuda Triangle of psychic longing for a halcyon, almost certainly mythic past of Penny-farthings, leather bound volumes creaking by fireplaces and poets leaping about in the meadow, a time when gentlemen carried a Webley to defend themselves from footpads and a slim volume of Lucretius for idle moments strolling in the university parks. The prices are absurd because many of the buyers coming here from other parts of the island hark back to this imaginary past as they saunter the lonely backstreets, feeling safe and only intellectually challenged. Also, Grandpont floods
  8. Medicine can be a very snobbish field: I guess for some reason his face doesn't fit. It's a very competitive field to get into, which doesn't help. Whatever else he does though, please for the love of all that's holy dissuade him from doing Forensic Science. If he actually thinks Forensic Science might be the career for him, then get him on a real science degree (Physics or Chemistry ideally) and consider doing FS as a Masters afterwards, possibly on-the-job. Look here: Kent.ac.uk says that the UK recruits 200 forensic scientists a year, yet the output from Forensic Science degree courses is 1500 / year. I bet a large chunk of those 200 actual recruits have straightforward Physics or Chemistry degrees as well. These are not good odds!
  9. Good grief. How old is that development?
  10. pharm

    A Bit Of A Conundrum .......

    I don't know about the particular Russian case, but the fact that you *can* print your local currency to pay the debts doesn't mean that you have to! I suspect that much depends on where the power lies: if the powerful won't be affected by default, then expect default rather than inflationary printing, since the powerful would be affected by runaway internal inflation as much as anyone else.
  11. According to this you still have to pay stamp duty on the value of the house you acquire in the swap (which makes perfect sense tax-wise, even if it is a pain in the posterior).
  12. Rubbish. Last week a friend bought a game for me. Did I pay him in cash? No: I made a direct bank transfer to his account. That's credit money in action. Ever pay for something with a credit card? The retailer is accepting a debt in exchange for goods. Not cash. Credit is money.
  13. Sterling speculators closing shorts & thereby driving Sterling back up again probably.
  14. If that was the case, then why hasn't the Yen fallen precipitously against other currencies? The loans were in Yen after all, not foreign currencies. It obviously *has* fallen (by about 60% or so) over the last thirty years, but that's not exactly a hyperinflationary collapse is it? I have a second counter argument: the Great Depression itself. Sure, the world claimed to be "on the gold standard", but that was a lie: there was never any gold backing the currency, the dollar & £ were just fiat currencies which claimed to be backed by gold. No different to banks offering gold investors 'unallocated gold' right now: there doesn't have to be any actual gold there to back up the investment. So when the GD hit, the governments in question could (and did) print like mad, unconstrained by any need to have gold on hand to back the currency, yet prices still fell during the GD. IOW, having a fiat currency is no barrier to falling prices in some circumstances, namely a Fisher-style debt-deflation in a credit-money economy.
  15. pharm


    Further down the food chain, a number of the houses round us were snapped up by developers at what seemed to me at the time fairly toppy prices. Some have sold, and some have come back on the market after going Sold STC over the spring / summer. It's not as bad as that: The Independent claims 2008 rent was £1.5 million. The £842k figure comes from the income to Quintain alone, who held a 49% share in the holding company, but their press release says that Trinity bought all of the outstanding shares for £24million, of which Quintain received £11 million. Trinity have got their hands on a 6% yield which is fairly inflation proof to boot. Not bad going in the current climate. It seems that supply is tighter than a gnat's whisker in Oxford, just as in the rest of the country, which is supportive of prices assuming availability of finance. The neutral / bearish view is that current pricing is a reflection of cash rich buyers deciding that they may as well buy now, and that given that there is a limited supply of said buyers, prices will probably grind lower over the next few years. The counterveiling influence is of course QE & the depreciation in the £ which is bringing in foreign buyers for whom the drop in the £ means the UK HPC has already happened. My personal suspicion is that 'prime' areas (of which N.Oxford is clearly one) will benefit disproportionately from the latter effect: I'm not sure I believe that Chinese / Far-eastern buyers are going to be buying up suburbian 3-bedders in the Midlands or the NE, but Kensington / Chelsea / N.Oxford? Sure.

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