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Andrew McP

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About Andrew McP

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    HPC Poster
  1. Very good point. Large sums of money bring out the worst in everyone... whether it's blatent profiteering or just fear of missing out on something which is "rightfully their's", or which might hold them back at a later stage in the ladder. Ok, the unrestricted nature of Estate Agency practice makes the business in general much less trustworthy than it ought to be, but I think it's unfair to blame the lightning rod for what is -- when all's said and done -- a fairly universal human failing... greed. All the more reason why government should have stepped in long ago to impose a framework on the whole housebuying business to minimise the potential trauma and excesses involved in moving home. I'm sure nobody would welcome that more than the majority (I hope :-) of perfectly decent EAs. Andrew McP
  2. I tend to agree. I just can't believe the era of cheap, mass air travel will last much longer. In ten years' time (not long in the life of the aircraft industry) the business could be very different. In fact I *hope* it will be very different, because the current situation is insane for a variety of reasons, and we'll soon be able to find much better use for that energy than hoiking chubby chavs to Benedorm and slightly skinnier backpackers to Australia. Selling up now is probably very shrewd in the medium term. Much though I love the new flagship A380 as an example of what can be achieved, it has dinosaur written all over it... though I suppose it's always possible that the future might be fewer, larger aircraft flying less frequently. But that's still bad news for an industry built on mass air travel. Andrew McP
  3. One bearish EA doesn't prove or disprove anything, but his blog is a very good read indeed. I look forward to reading back through it all. Thanks for pointing us at it. Andrew McP
  4. "Council Tax rises by more than inflation" isn't exactly news is it? Besides, around here we're always saying that the *real* rate of inflation is much higher than the reported rate. So maybe 7% is about right. Bring back the poll tax, that's what I say. Mind you, these days a Pole tax might be more popular. Andrew McP PS Mine's gone up about 4%. We do get some flowers hanging off the lamposts for that though, so I can't complain. It really makes up for living in a dump of a communter town.
  5. I tend to agree. Ideally I'm with Gordon "end to boom & bust" Brown. But I think recession, or at least economic slow-downs, are an essential part of long term progress. Without leaner times to remind you what most of the world has to live with constantly, we grow collectively chubby & lazy, losing our sense of perspective. Hence the credit boom and insane house pricing. Obviously not everyone needs a regular kick to motivate them, but I think human beings are inherently lazy when times are good. Why go snare another rabbit when we hunted a mammoth yesterday? The economic mammoth's starting to stink a bit now though. Andrew McP
  6. And there was me hoping for a 10% hike just for laffs. Then my massive 6.2k cash ISA might actually be on track to pay for my retirement in Skegness* in 25 years' time. Looks like I'll have to invest in shares instead. This week is a good time, isn't it? No? Oh, right. Maybe I'll invest it in an Ontrack course instead. I believe that's a sure-fire way to become a property millionaire... with the emphasis on the "air", obviously. Andrew McP *Actually 6k probably will buy me a huge retirement home in Skeggy in 25 years, what with it being about three feet under water by then.
  7. I think the BBC is generally, though not wholly, there to reflect herd mentality rather than lead it. The same goes for any of the mainstream media. If you want free thinking you always have to dig a little deeper. Andrew McP
  8. He was talking to someone and mentioned buy to let (I wasn't concentrating until then, sorry). Shaw said that his hairdresser had recently asked him whether it was a good time to invest in a little buy to let property. Shaw was wondering if this wasn't exactly the kind of indicator which means the end is nigh for BTL. When everyone and his hairdresser's at it, the endgame for any particular investment bubble must be getting near (my words, not his). Just another nice example of sensible views on the BBC. Folk are quick enough to criticise, and I thought this deserved a mention. Andrew McP
  9. Nobody who's read this site regularly in recent months should be surprised by this. Peak oil is the headline issue, but peak everything else is on the horizon too. Gawd bless the free market and all who sale in her! Speaking of which, now's a great time to invest in wooly jumper shares. Just don't ask me to share one with Giles Brandreth, ok? Andrew McP
  10. I did half an hour of economics in A-level general studies some time in 1980, so I'm perfectly qualified to answer. It sounds to me like suppliers were afraid to pass on increases in case it suppressed dwindling sales. If those sales have almost dried up anyway there's no point in holding off any longer. I imagine this is fairly typical of any economic cycle on the way into recession. Andrew McP
  11. It's willpower that's being imported, not manpower. Andrew McP
  12. That's an excellent (if rather long :-), way of making a good point. The trick is in being to recognise when the puzzle's broken, and to walk away until it's fixed. Either that or find a different puzzle to solve. Andrew McP... wishing the "your age in k" thing worked in reverse. I'd love to be 18 again. :-)
  13. I suspect what he means is that someone who has £5 in the bank and shares/property worth -- if successfully sold today -- a million isn't the same as someone with a million in the bank. One is real wealth convertable into anything. The other is really only a rather posh betting slip worth a variable amount. If I had 500k in cash and shares/property worth a notional million more, I might feel confident about calling myself a millionaire. Sorry, can't let that kind of stuff slip by. Nobody makes a killing on their own property unless they downsize successfully (which is increasingly hard) or sell up and go live in a cardboard box. Obviously the BTL brigade are in a different situation. You can heap as much contempt as you want on them. :-) Andrew McP
  14. Well said. Even though I agree wholeheartedly with the idea that house prices are far too high and a destructive force in society, I think some people here have a strange idea about the relatively recent past. There were always people in a position to do well within the norms for that period. But the proportion of people doing quite nicely thank you seems, to me anyway, to be much higher now than it was when I was growing up, and even in my 20's (I'm 43 now) when buying a house was beyond most people's expectations. <violins>Heck, when I was a kid both my parents worked but they couldn't even afford to heat the bedrooms, let alone buy a car or a house.</violins> And yet somehow life went on (with the help of a hot water bottle). What's changed is expectations. Margaret Thatcher did a good job of persuading people that the only thing which counts is owning your home, when in truth all that matters is that you can live comfortably, and happily, within your means. The two are totally unrelated, but have somehow become inseparable. And as long as that's the case, the EA's and banks are laughing all the way to the.. er, bank. Ultimately we own nothing. When the Grim Reaper stumbles and accidentally cuts us off in our prime or dotage or Ford Focus*, it's all gone anyway. So to get stressed over relatively short term HP fluctations is pointless. Live within your means, save hard if you have aspirations to own, remember that spending does not equal happiness, and wait. Patience will pay off in the end. And even if it doesn't, at least you'll have a large deposit saved to blow on high-pods or whatever it is young people do these days when not eating Dorritos, watching Friends DVDs, and comparing the size of their student loans. ;-) Andrew McP *If Ford's lawyers are watching, I have no reason to believe the Ford Focus is any more accident prone than any other vehicle. In fact I'm sure it's exceptionally safe (unless driven by crackheads**). However the name has alliterative qualities making it very attractive in context. **Not that I'm implying Ford Focus owners are more likely to be crackheads than any other car owners. Neither am I implying any defect in the locks which might make the Ford Focus more likely to be stolen by crackheads. In fact, just forget I said crackheads, ok? And how about you substitute Austin Allegro for Ford Focus... except then half the forum won't know what I'm talking about.
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