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nickd

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About nickd

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  1. What you have to look for is people making big cuts in discretionary spending. People will stop going on holiday, stop eating out, go down to 1 car or no car, stop buying new clothes. There's some evidence of this happening but surely not enough for people to have "hit the wall". It looked like that was starting to happen more but then interest rates were cut. So you have to wait for it to happen again , properly, due to inflation re-introducing the pain that was removed by low interest rates. When we reach that point things will really get tough. But 1 year away? Not so sure. Hopefully (from the point of view of people being alright and not having social breakdown etc) it will take a while for this to happen and meanwhile the UK can rebuild some industry on the back of exports with a low pound. This might prevent such a collapse in the housing market that some people on this site seem to want, but keep the country from descending into total riots/anarchy.
  2. Much of Wollaton is grossly overpriced, and a bit insular too. Do you really need to border on Wollaton park? The cheaper parts of Wollaton still have under £200k for 3-bed detached. Beeston is overpriced due to student landlords and the hourly London trains but has a lot going for it. If you want to live somewhere you won't get your head kicked in and is close to countryside, also try these - Bramcote and the better parts of Stapleford (OK be selective where in Stapleford) - 3 bed detached £165-£210k if you shop around outskirts of W Bridgford towards Ruddington - (between S Notts college & the big A606/A52 roundabout) £200k ish, much cheaper than central Bridgford. Gedling side of Carlton - 3-4 bed detached £140-180k , there are still some decent bits, off Oakdale Rd isn't so bad either. Mapperley - again £150-200k will get a decent family home, stay away from the parts bordering St Annes though Chilwell - parts of that are fine too, even the ex-council bits have lots of uni staff there now. I know people that live in Carrington / edge of Forest Fields which might sound like it'd be bad but is OK. That's a bit hemmed in and not green, but walkable from city centre which is great. The bottom line is, in Nottingham 100-110k will get you a terraced house in a perfectly decent area, 140k a detached family house in a so-so area, 170 for a detached in a fairly decent area, or semi in a good area, and 200k should get you all you ever need really, maybe 250 if you want a detached in a very good area but that's really not necessary for a good standard of living. Meanwhile it is possible to get a terrace for 65k in dodgier parts which are still less dodgy than much of London
  3. Nottingham city centre on a saturday night has had a rough edge for decades, certainly I've heard it was like this in the 60s. Don't most UK cities have similar problems? Nottingham has its issues but has a lot going for it too. Its a very vibrant place with good diversity of people, much fun stuff to do (whether you're into drinking, clubbing, sport, theatre amateur & pro, bands, music of any genre, you name it, more than other cities). Its easy to get around with a good network of cycle lanes, good frequent cheap buses, the tram now, line 2 of the tram about to be built. There's a great diversity of employment, many small hi-tech companies, small manufacturing companies, as well as Boots, financial companies, the universities, EoN etc. I think in this recession, just like the last one, while other cities that are more public-sector-dependent will stagnate, Nottingham might weather the storm better because it has more diverse employment. Also with relatively cheap housing etc you can have a reasonable quality of life in Nottingham on a lowish salary, compared to other places. I don't think Arnold or Sherwood have been "posh" for a long time - they're kind of middle of the road. Not bad places, in fact Sherwood is quite fun, a bit artsy with cafes etc. But crime is noticeable there. Compared to other cities - well Sheffield might be safer but it has a severe problem with wealth divide which can't be healthy. A lot of Sheffield is super rich or super poor. Sheffield is brilliantly located next to the peak district but the downtown was damaged by Meadowhall sucking the life out of it. I guess overall both Sheffield and Nottingham are pretty good places to live. There's some persistent unemployment in Nottingham but I think that's largely more to do with people's lack of skills rather than lack of local job opportunities. For some reason the media has "got it in for" Nottingham. South-easterners may like to slag off Nottingham but lets face it the price of a slave box down there would get a decent detached house up here even without a HPC.
  4. nickd

    From Bear To Bull

    This assumes that the Tories feel confident in being able to engineer a quick turnaround, and have the ability to do such a demanding/delicate thing. Which I doubt. My guess is, whoever gets in in May, whether Labour, Tory or a hung parliament, carries on the current policy which is , look at the books, and conclude that stopping QE, borrowing etc and being austere would cause chaos and pretty much guarantee they don't get in next time. So whoever is in, shies away from making any real cuts. Until at some future time , when who knows, we perhaps reach breaking point with the amount of interest that must be paid on public debts, or something else happens which means a government thinks it can cut and not get thrown out next election as a consequence. To those talking of higher interest rates, I think that inflation has been and is, incredibly low considering how extremely low interest rates are. This is presumably largely due to lack of wage inflation. It seems to me this demonstrates the capability for the UK to have prolonged low interest rates and not be forced by inflation to raise rates significantly for many years. I think the next few years, maybe the next 10-15 years, will involve house prices remaining largely static, wages being slowly eroded, some inflation. No mega-recession just long drawn-out lacklustre economic performance. As someone else on this thread said, the gov't has actually managed to engineer a soft landing.
  5. Now those are bold claims. I do not say they are false. Far from it. But bold. Accuracy is important. One big question, which determines the future for those HPCers needing a crash, is what % of current asking prices is inflated purely by liar loans, and will now be kicked away. Apparently half of mortgages in 2007 were self cert. This does seem extraordinary and could make Eric's claim of self-cert being the KEY, to not sound outlandish at all. Interestingly the press seems not to have info (or not reported) the % of liar loans for 2008, and 2009 so far. This news could be the biggest news for HPCers ever, if, for example the FSA cause a 40% HPC overnight with this legislation. OTOH maybe liar loans haven't accounted for a lot this year and this new legislation won't do much at all. My hunch is, this will lead to a price fall. But how much... is the question ....
  6. The answer is "ad nauseum" because of lack of inflationary pressure, particularly in wages. There has been a crisis due to ridiculous borrowing and irresponsible speculation. Someone somewhere has got to pay for this. Instead of a recession affecting everyone, the powers-that-be have managed to engineer a response to the crisis that props up house prices and means those who didn't buy "at the right time" are those who get screwed. This feels like a recession only different. Many people, rather than being out of work as in a conventional recession, are this time round keeping their jobs but faced with a poverty existence due to housing costs. A HPC would be nice for those of us who want our first home or to trade up. A more realistic approach is to accept that a convenient HPC looks unlikely over a reasonable timeframe and the best thing you can do now is look into drastic cost-cutting in your life in order to save up more for your first or next house. This may feel similar to scraping by on the dole. You've got a decent job but an insane % of your salary needs to go to saving for a house. The good news is that actually it is possible to eat very well for cheap if you know how, and to have a decent quality of life without a car.
  7. How much hassle is it to go through the process of selling, then find somewhere to rent, deal with the landlord etc? Compare this to , how much hassle is it to simply cut your everyday living costs by , e.g, cooking cheap but tasty food by making more effort, learning recipes etc, walking/cycling instead of driving, going to the library instead of buying books, DVDs etc. Your house will probably fall in value excruciatingly slowly over the next few years. As, happily, will a house you might want to trade up to one day. So if you stay put and get on with your life, then in the long run you'll get the reward of the next rung of the ladder being nearer. (This is my personal strategy BTW). To my mind STR only works when the market it falling sharply. When its creeping down, you can blow a huge amount in rent in the meantime, rendering STR pointless. Just my 2p .....
  8. nickd

    Thinking Of Buying

    Not sure about the logic of this. Seems to me you can legally bribe an EA to favour you as a buyer, by using their mortgage broker. If you find a house you really like, and other people are after too, it rather makes sense to make the EA want to favour you over another buyer, by making it to their advantage to let you get the property. One shouldn't have to do this but its a pragmatic approach. Counter-arguments welcome.
  9. Why is this news? If the house you're trying to buy is worth having, it is likely, except in an extreme slump, that you'll have some competition from other people that like that house too. In which case it makes sense to use the estate agent's mortgage broker, to give them more incentive to favour you over other people.
  10. Here's a hard-core money-saving trick thats also kind to the environment. Get down to Oxfam and buy some Eco-Balls . These cost £35 but you get 1000 washes out of them. They do work well, and also, though they don't claim this on the box, it looks like colours don't run as much which means clothes last longer. Washing powder? What a rip-off.
  11. Hopefully for you, you don't get any unexpected charge when you reach the airport. I used to think Ryanair were quite good and flew a number times with them, for great value, but they have now made the fares so complex / opaque, that its hard to have any idea what is going on or what the final price will be. Also although every Ryanair flight I've been on was on time, you do hear horror stories that if it isn't, you can get badly stranded. Yeah travel insurance will cover the cost but it doesn't help you get home sooner. More of an issue is, it seems to me just a combination of new planes, good pilots and maintenance guys and good luck that has stopped a crash, because the atmosphere in the aircraft is totally chaotic nowadays. It didn't used to be such a scrum getting on. I don't know whats changed but the atmosphere now leads to hostility between passengers. Add to that a cabin crew who are mostly intent on selling stuff, and a general din of announcements, and, if there was a crisis, it doesn't seem like "leaving the plane in an orderly fashion" is going to be very easy. Doesn't feel safe to me. You need calm in an aircraft, and people to cooperate in an emergency. And one does wonder about the tiredness of pilots, potential to miss a safety check due to pressured tight turnaround etc.... While their safety record is 100% so far, MOL's atittude is kind of... unnerving ....
  12. nickd

    What Could Cause Interest Rates To Rise?

    Fair point, but don't forget its only a tiny minority who, on losing a job , have a forced sale next month. (I admit this will probably go up). People will cut back on a lot of things before they fail to pay a mortgage which they know will result in the roof over their head being threatened. Presumably you'd see big route cuts, losses even, by the likes of Ryanair & Easyjet before you see mass forced sales, as people will cut their holidays first. Maybe thats an indicator. I don't dispute that ultimately job losses may cause a surge in forced sales which could push house prices down despite lack of increase in interest rates, but, seems to me we've yet to see much of that playing out. Also in that situation the economy would be v bad, and buying a house may seem risky to a lot of HPCers in fear for their jobs. In which case, ironically, my argument of "save like mad first" still stands as you then need to minimise your mortgage not just because you don't want to be a debt slave but also because you have very real fear for employment prospects...
  13. nickd

    What Could Cause Interest Rates To Rise?

    I agree the low rate is propping up the market. The fact that its 0.5% and there's been little sign of inflation taking off or currency collapse suggests it could stay low for ages, as long as other countries do the same. Meanwhile, rates on new mortgages are being put up by the banks. This makes it harder for new FTBs etc. That should put some downward pressure on the market but potential sellers don't need to sell if they're on trackers etc. The over-extended BTL landlord can carry on without a forced sale as long as interest rates for his/her specific mortgage are low. Seems to me the future is of long term static prices and low volumes. Less people can afford to get on the first rung due to higher rates for new borrowers, but less people have reason to sell if BOE rate and SVR remains low. The end conclusion of those on HPC who want their first home or to upgrade seems that, waiting for a crash is not going to be the solution, saving up a larger deposit (despite low savings rates) is the answer. This means forgo the car, overseas holiday etc. For those unlucky people that say, I can't save despite going without those things due to low wages or whatever, well, probably little future in the UK and these people should look at emigration as the best way to any standard of living. Sorry, this is grim, but seems to me realism ....
  14. Why does it have to be bull vs bear? What about in-between? I was always a tentative, "believe it when I see it" bear. Now, I still believe in a house price correction but at an even slower pace than I first thought. UNLESS there is a sudden shock rise in interest rates, in which case all bets are off. But I can't see what will happen to cause interest rates to rise enough to accelerate the slow drift-down into a crash. At the moment it looks like yes house prices will correct (not "crash" because that implies a short sharp fall) but not in any timeframe thats exactly helpful to anyone on this site. Being told "you'll get the house you want in 10-15 years time" is not exactly exciting to HPCers is it?
  15. Interest rates seem to me somewhat independent of who is in power. Seems to me of course interest rates (if you mean BOE rate) will stay down, because of lack of inflation. Energy prices have now come down from their highs. Food price inflation has largely been caused by the pound being low, which it isn't so much now, and supermarkets wiping out everyone else and getting local monopoly status. The main thing is complete lack of wage inflation - in fact probably wage deflation is to be expected
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