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Mick Sterbs

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Everything posted by Mick Sterbs

  1. How anybody can read the mail is beyond me. How anybody can can read the mail and think that what they are reading is journalism, is beyond me. How anybody can read the Mail and think that what they are reading is journalism, and believe what it says, is beyond me. All down the long years that I can recall coming into contact with the mail, discarded on toilet floors, wrapped around chips, stuffed somewhere to stop the draft blowing, or forming the lower layer of kitty's tray, it printed the same utter drivel. Those functions that I just mentioned for the DM are actually a cut above the general level of usefulness of this tissue. Its not a paper, its a propaganda machine.
  2. I like a person who can detect the humour in a doughnut, enjoy your espresso.
  3. Population is predicted to fall in the medium term, and, as in many western countries, the population is aging. In my view, gentrification of the east is unlikely. Under the communist regime prior to re-unification the possession of private property was discouraged, through political and other measures. Much of it fell into disrepair. Some was abandoned. Today, a lot of what was east germany's housing stock is in poor condition. Its the investment required to bring the property up to a lettable standard the precludes profitable investment. The demographic structure of the population is, in my opinion, not conducive to speculative investment in the east. If you really want to do it, stick to the west, and the cities.
  4. I do sympathize with you. Although I do not live in France, I find the same utter tosh being written about my adopted country as you do about yours. Personally, I think a lot of it is based on jealousy. (That should stir the pot somewhat!!)
  5. Steady lad!! Would you like me to E-mail you a Valium? Yields, if you mean rental yields, vary enormously of course. As does price. You could pick up an amazing property in the old Eastern states for next to nothing but get a terrible return because many are leaving the east and job prospects are poor. In the western Länder, prices are higher. Yields on flats tend to be better than houses, I have seen some at 10%+, but average is between 6 and 8 %, in my experience. Houses probably around 1%lower. But thats only my personal experience. In spite of re-unification, in terms of standard of living, Germany is still divided. Thats why you should beware of statistics that purport to represent the situation in Germany as a whole.
  6. One of the things that distorts comparisons between Germany and the UK, is that property in villages, of the type that would be viewed as very desirable in the UK, is not really wanted by germans. For the price of a city flat, you could buy a very nice country house with land, perhaps an old wine farm, for example. and in good order. I live in a relatively prosperous part of Germany, not far from Frankfurt, and you could buy a very nice 4 bedroom village house with a garden and a barn for around €150,000. Also the ratio of price to rent is different, because there is a culture of renting, and buying is rather the exception. German houses are certainly not mis priced when you consider what you get for your money, and what Germans earn (I wouldnt believe the stats you are fed in the UK, if I were you. )
  7. I dont need data to know that germany didnt have a bubble, I just needed to be here. I would need it though if I wanted to say anything about relative prices. That notwithstanding, I would be prepared to stick my neck out and say comparisons of averages concerning prices between two countries will probably not factor in differences in the quality of housing represented in the average. The average price of housing in Greenland might be double that of the uk (or not), but that says nothing about the relative benefits of living in an igloo or in a 3 bed semi in darkest suburbia.
  8. The site your post links to doesnt actually say that €255,000 is the average price. It says it is the price of a typical type of house. The typical type of house it quotes is not a first time buyers purchase. There are savings contracts in place in Germany which encourage people who wish to buy, to save a very substantial deposit. This ensures that in a stable housing market people enter into mortgage commitments having already lived under the conditions that a mortgage imposes (ie they save approximately the same amount each month that a mortgage would cost) There is no speculation based on HPI in this country, as prices are stable. This means that the desperation of "trying to get on the house price ladder" does not exist here. Also, there is no stigma attached to renting. No one will look down on you in Germany if you are renting. By way of example, my wifes father is an architect, who has always rented. Snobbery based on property ownership is virtually non existent. I my opinion, this is a much healthier way of looking at housing than the beggar thy neighbour attitude that prevails in the UK.
  9. That may be the case. My impression though, after a good few years here, is that mobility is not seen as a very desirable thing. at least in the area where I live, its common, especially in rural areas, for people to spend there whole life in one village, or, if they do move away, they often return.
  10. You might not know but a Berliner is a type of cake resembling a doughnut. Therefore, when you say Ich bin ein Berliner, your are actually saying, I am a doughnut.
  11. No tax on any capital gain on the house you occupy as your main residence after 3 years. After 7 years for others, including UK style BTL. Estate agent fees typically 5% paid by the buyer. Legal fees about 3.5% of sale price. Cost of buying a house, typically 10% of sale price. Minimum rental contract 2yrs. Old houses slowly falling for about last 10 years, new houses slowly rising, but big regional variations. It all add up to a very stable housing market. People very rarely move or sell a house, compared to the numbers who do so in England.
  12. Thanks for that, I think it answers my question. If data from organizations such as workers unions is included, then the effect of unpaid or unofficial hours on productivity figures has probably been properly considered. I do have an interest in methodology, but if greater minds than mine have been unable to spot a fault, I doubt very much if I could.
  13. At least the Excess is admitting that thousands are in negative equity. Four years from now they will probably report that house prices have indeed "soared" by 20%. Up from the 50% fall of the previous three years.
  14. Oh my gosh, it simply must be true if its in the Express, don't you think?
  15. You are trivializing the argument here. I am not suggesting that cooking of any kind should be the basis of immigration policy, and the old chestnut about the English not being able to cook was rolled out by you, not me. I want to ask you again, in a slightly different way, your opinion on one of the aspects of migrants and their effect on unemployment. Do you really think that your stated 50% unemployment rate amongst the educated young people you describe is a result of too many immigrants being in the country? Many, perhaps most immigrants, are easy to spot. You can see them doing menial jobs everywhere. Lets take the NHS as an example. Would the young people you mention, educated to A, and degree level, be prepared to step into the shoes of porters and cleaners on a long term basis? Curry may not be a good basis for determining policy, but staffing in the many sectors in which immigrants are over-represented, is. Personally, I do not support further immigration into the UK at this time, but blaming them for unemployment amongst well educated young British people is not the answer, and serves to obscure the deeper causes of unemployment in a post industrial society like the UK. Immigrants suffer unemployment too.
  16. I respect your opinion on this Miko, but let me give you an example. You might call it and exception, but I think it is illustrative. If you go out for a curry or a chinese meal tonight, I expect you will be served by people of Asian origin (you might prefer Thai or sushi, or a kebab, or a Greek. Perhaps a Pizza?). Do you think that in the absence of these people there would be a rash of English run and owned restaurants springing up to take their place?. Are those people putting others out of work? Or is their presence increasing expenditure,and tax revenue? Ok, I accept that you might say that if they all closed down we could have an extra 50000 fish and chip shops,all run by the English that those immigrants are supposed to have put out of work, but they are normally run by foreigners anyway.
  17. You position on immigration is one that is heard quite often. There is a simple logic at work. In a population, or economy, where there are no more jobs, adding to the population will create more unemployment (and the same argument is often heard for the supply of dwellings). But this is too simplistic. Adding to the population creates demand, and tends to increase the size of an economy. Moreover, to assume that every immigrant will take an existing job is simply untrue. There are many exceptions. some are under working age, some, like myself, have an independent income, some may go into business and be self employed. IMO, the relationship between the size of populations, economic activity, employment and unemployment is too complex to be addressed in terms of adding and subtracting numbers.
  18. I myself am an immigrant. So far as I am aware, i am not having a detrimental effect on the employment chances of others. However, I do have an income , which I spend locally.I believe that the demand created by myself, and others like me, could actually have created a job or two, generated some tax revenue for the government and increased the velocity of money a little. Perhaps I should be sent home....... to England.
  19. Where they come from is not the issue. The issue is, how is the system using them? Immigrants are useful for keeping wages down, and keeping working people compliant. Its wrong to blame immigrants for trying to better themselves, I think. I expect to be in the minority with this opinion, but never was the principle of divide and rule more relevant than it is today. Working people everywhere are divided and ruled. Some are so divided from the rest that they actually think they are on the other side of the divide, and can call for hardships to be imposed on others as if that will not effect them. What delusion!!
  20. Do I detect a spot of self righteous moralizing there by any chance?
  21. In a system that depends on extracting the last drop of juice from those who cannot or will not do the dirty work of milking their fellow man, those at the bottom of the hierarchy will always pay more. Some thing has to change.
  22. I can't say for sure of course, but it does seem that for the ordinary working person, no matter which country they happen to live in (with maybe one or two exceptions) life is getting harder and harder. They are being weighed down with personal debt. They cannot afford to house themselves in a way that they find acceptable. Their living costs are escalating. They are heavily taxed, and look likely to be even more burdened by taxation. Increasingly, they cannot afford the basics of life without struggling. Are these the people upon which the hopes of a consumer led, or (even greater) debt led recovery are pinned? Oh dear, It looks like the gasket in the factory fodders engine has well and truly blown. Second dip? no... I think it will be a plummet.
  23. Sweeping statements backed up by figures based on questionable methodology or anecdote often lead embarrassment. How often on this forum have we seen people hang their credibility as a poster on the gallows of false predictions, or false interpretation?. Figures, graphs, and analysis can never be more than indicative of what will happen next. Those who quote "figures" to back their arguments, should do so with caution.
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