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Everything posted by Van

  1. Not sure if this has been posted, but it makes good reading. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/3701070.stm Is the message finally starting to filter through??
  2. Red Baron, I think the market has been falling longer than that - it peaked in April, at least in London, and was falling by June. Indices are of course lagged by some months, but if you're measuring the sharp end of the market - ie what people are prepared to pay for a property - then for me, the peak was Easter 2004!
  3. Well, I finally found myself a flatshare. Cheap as chips, just a stone's throw from Clapham North (rent is probably not covering mortgage interest). So now it takes me 30 mins in to work, and rent is 1/3 less than interest payments on my old mortgage (okay, admittedly I'm not comparing like for like). I have to say that my impression is that surplus rental accomodation is beginning to tighten, but rents are still low- perhaps beginning rise just a bit. Certainly if you have a good property in a decent location, you'll have no trouble letting it - voids just shouldn't be an issue if you're a good landlord and advertise a vacancy in advance. I have to say that in my estimation the pressure on rents is now firmly upwards. We'll see what the rental market does in the next 6 months. Downward pressure on rents could easily come back if BTLs can't offload at the price they want and simply decide to re-let.
  4. Did he also tell you which way the thought the property market was heading? Honestly, TTRTR, your bank manager WANTS you to borrow more - of course he's going to say that rates will stay low.
  5. I'm sure the BoE would love to keep rates on hold at 4.75% well into next year in the light of the deflating property bubble and softening consumption. However, I still believe they will have to keep raising rates, as the US and eventually the Eurozone start raising theirs. The Fed are just itching for their election to be out of the way so they can raise their rates towards a more neutral level. The £ is currently very strong, which is keeping our imports cheap and, crucially, the cost of oil down, keeping inflation at these very low levels. A shift in the exchange rate caused by gradually increasing US and Euro rates will eventually lead to rising inflation, which is the BoE's primary remit. Let's fast forward a year, and ask what would 3%-3.5% US rates do to the £/USD exchange rate, and how this would affect costs? Back in July I predicted July 2005 rates at 5.25% and HPI down 15% from a June 2004 peak, which I'll stand by for now!
  6. I remember a few months ago after Nationwide's monthly report showed a 2.1% increase, we had a thread (on the old board) about NW's lending multiples. I can't remember precisely, but I think that they were lending x3.5 single salary (could have been x3.75), and x4 joint (could well have have been x4.25 or x4.5). There was general disbelief at this, but it was true. Well, I have just checked back on their mortgage calculator, and it seems they have now changed their policy: x3.85 for both single and joint mortgages. Lending is definitely beginning to be reigned in ahead of the new FSA regulations. There's no one left to support these prices, I'm afraid. No wonder nothing's shifting.
  7. Haha. I love it. 160k, 2k buying cost, 4k selling cost, £XX on renovation, £8k on a year's mortgage cost... Let's say £185k in total. On the market for £189k - will he get his money back? Methinks not.
  8. I noticed this too, and e-mail Hometrack about it. Their answer: they have rebased their index: "Utilising latest information available from the 2001 census, the Land Registry, and hard data on over 4 million actual property sale prices recorded by lenders, surveyors and estate agents, the Hometrack index has been re-based this month. Accordingly some historic absolute house price levels will differ slightly from those previously published. This procedure does not invalidate any of Hometrack's previously published analysis. The re-basing is part of Hometrack's continuing programme of ensuring that its house price and activity data is the most comprehensive, accurate and up to date data available in the UK." This disclaimer blurb is also in the notes in the actual press release.
  9. Be good at your job and make yourself indispensible to your employer!
  10. Sounds like your landlady is taking the absolute biccie. She has a responsibility as the landlord to answer and deal any issues that you may raise. If I were you I'd move out ASAP. Seriously - before it all kicks off upstairs and you end up being called as a witness (or worse) to a mass dance-music instigated brawl.
  11. Just to add that in the space of 4 months, Hometrack have revised their 2004 London HPI forecast from 10% (as it stood in May), down to 2% as it stands today. Given that current year to date HPI stands at 3%, this actually means that Hometrack are expecting the market to fall further in between now and the end of the year. 0% in 2005 my a**!!
  12. Dee Monic, I think even the Lib Dems would still seek a referendum for joining the Euro, and for me, any referundum at the moment looks unwinnable. If the economy crashes and the Eurozone picks up, then things could change, however.
  13. Topher, I think the things that will be most scrutinized at the next election are turnout - I can see another record low turnout - and the FPTP system. I agree that a lot of people have lost their trust in Labour and want to see the back of them. I also think the Lib Dems are going to get a sizeable chunk of the vote - maybe 25% or so. I expect labour to fall to below 40% of the vote, and Tories to stay firmly in the low 30%'s. Unfortunately for democracy, the FPTP system is now SO tipped in Labour's favour that even with a reduced vote, Labour will get a sizeable majority bordering on landslide. Lib Dems will do well to get an extra dozen seats, but will do well to convert the extra votes into a sizeable increase in number of seats. As I can see no end to the events in Iraq, I think there'll still be a strong anti-war vote, and the Lib Dems could benefit more than we expect. A housing crash won't, IMO, affect this election too much, but could be devastating for Labour at the next election if negative equity is around for the next half decade - same as for the Tories in 1992/1997.
  14. Hate to say it, but I think Labour are a shoe in for another landslide, which would make them odds on for a FOURTH term after that. Tories are in decline. I can't see them winning power for another decade a least, and may well fall away as the main opposition party.
  15. TTRTR, Would I be right in thinking that the average Australian property is larger than the average UK property? This UK specialises in rabbit hutches, and the Sq Ft that you get for your money is far less than most other countries. This doesn't make your point about Aussie price/wages ratio invalid, of course, but it is important to emphasise, and is a reason why I believe property in Britain is perhaps more expensive than other countries, despite what the p/e ratio would suggest.
  16. Hometrack have replied to my query. They have rebased their index this month, given the latest statistics available from different sources. This "does not invalidate any of Hometrack's previously published analysis", apparently. There you go, then.
  17. http://www.hometrack.co.uk/index.cfm?fusea...sitem&newsid=87 3rd consecutive month of worsening figures. All leading indicators are worsening. If you've just bought an average house in Hammersmith/Fulham then you've lost £6500 (1.9%) in the last month. It's all going to end in tears. NB Hometrack have definitely changed their methodology and now quote the average London price as £270k, a jump from £249k in August. I have written to them about this and will post their reply.
  18. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/3692616.stm Inflationary pressure still building. Wonder what IR futures make of this. Time to don my Mad Max gear??
  19. Bubble Pricker is a wise man (not to be confused with Wiseman) In addition to his points, I would also add that a crucial factor in the slowdown/reversal is that BTL withdrawal has happened within a very short period. There are headlines of FTBs "going on strike", but the reality is they were priced out long ago by BTLers. Back in Spring, there were still some BTL mugs thinking that property was a one way bet and looking to expand their portfolios. Now BTL is dead in the water. The message has finally got through that the property investment is not supportable at these prices. As a result, the bottom has fallen out of the market, and its effects are spreading right through the rest of the market like wildfire.
  20. I think the only reality checking that remains to be done is for those in denial and those who think the current level of prices is sustainable or who think that prices will fall but "only a little". No soft landing, gentlemen!
  21. London is a very big place. Some of the areas Generally the W and SW are nice, so Richmond, Barnes, Putney, Roehampton etc. Lots of parts of the N/NW are great - Hampstead, Highgate, Finchley, St John's Wood. Try to avoid the SE with a few noticeable exceptions like Blackheath & Greenwich, and definitely avoid anything with an "E" postcode if at all possible. Of course, the go out far enough, say, zone 4, and you get start getting into suburbia of the home counties, while still being able to call yourself a "Londoner".
  22. zzg113, I am wondering why your "number of posts" counter is stuck on 580. Is it because you say the same thing in all your posts? Webmaster, is there a conspiracy going on here? I think we should be told...
  23. That is SO funny. GAL BEAR, far from boring us, I am finding this particular little saga to be one of the best subplots we've had on HPC. With all the high brow intellectual analysis going on, these ground-level reports bring home what the market conditions really means on a practical level. In your friend's case this means utter denial and putting her plans on hold for 6 months - to likely be further disappointed - if not shocked/horrified - come spring. More, please!
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