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About Scarlet

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  1. From the number of times Osborne made reference to house builders in front of the TSC, my impression was this scheme suits the house builders very well. It's widely known a lot of the big firms overpaid for land at the peak in 2007/8. This is a great way for them to keep their profit margins in tact. It's a deal. The house builders promise more supply and Osborne keeps the market afloat for them. He refused to acknowledge that supply needs to come online first to prevent a situation where even more buyers are chasing currently constrained stock levels. What kind of world are we living in where the government keeps house builders happy by risking tax-payers money in the event of default. I hope everyone writes to their MP about this.
  2. To answer your question. The two people I know who do BTL intend to sell their 'investment' at the end of the 25- year loan so there is no concern on behalf of the borrower or the bank because the owner won't be living in it and over 25 years the profit is enough to repay the original loan and allow the owner to retire in 'luxury'. Maybe this is stupid, but I often wonder what will happen when a glut of BTL properties hits the market in the future with everyone cashing in at roughly the same time? Isn't this move due to the general nervousness (brought about by FSA?) re; owner occupiers not having any kind of repayment vehicle in place and the banks' fear they'll get sued for mis-selling IO mortgages and not ensuring borrowers have actually made provision to pay off their capital at the end of the term? All seems like too little, too late to me if it's not going to have any effect on existing borrowers.
  3. I watched George Osborne on TV in front of the Treasury Select Committee earlier this year and it was painfully obvious he couldn't reveal much detail on the scheme because it had not been thought through in sufficient detail. Nothing has changed. I have written to my local MP in Westminster, Mark Field, regularly on the subject of housing and found it difficult to do so on the subject of Help to Buy because I am not clear on exactly what the Government is proposing. Estate agents and the general public do seem to think it's a straight 20% loan so the last few posts on this thread have been enlightening.
  4. This is true , nothing very radical is going on from what I've observed. I can only speak about central London (I suppose 'prime') as flat-hunting there (tale of woe posted in other London bubble thread). Although central London might have a lower benefit bill per head spend it's still a significant factor. I viewed a two bed flat rented out to HB tenants. Westminster council was paying a rent of £1500 per month for the flat. When I asked the agent 'how come?' given that the new cap for a 2-bed flat was supposed to be £290 per week she said they're paying lots of tenants' rents as the only other option would be to move them to B&B so it's cheaper for the council to pay the extra rent above the cap from a discretionary fund. Furthermore, the council are obliged to house anyone and everyone who gets off the coach at Victoria and can't afford housing; they do not need to have any prior connection with the borough. Eventually the 'discretionary' money will run out I guess but how long will that take. From what I've read Camden are the only central London borough who've had the will to relocate people out of London and were universally panned for doing so.
  5. That is a truly shocking figure. Based on my experience of looking in central London I would have said property in W2/WC1 and NW1 (Euston) had jumped between 10% - 15% (asking) in a year. If overall it's 25% then I hope this does hasten a correction as it's madness.
  6. Always interesting to read other people's experiences of trying to buy in the capital - I too need very strong coffee before I can look at RM alerts these days. On your last point, two of the three sellers I dealt with were people who already had homes elsewhere in the country so weren't trading up. Their London flat was their first home which they hung on to as an investment (rented out) and both had outstanding mortgages of less than 100k so they could have afforded to take a hit but after consideration (and wasting my time & £) didn't want to. The third vendor was a company which accepted my offer then decided it could get more at auction so pulled out of the purchase (we'll see as it goes to auction in two months' time). As the areas I'm looking in seem to consist mostly of investment properties (every flat I have looked at in the past two years bar two has been a rental property) my hope is that the fall in rents in the areas I'm looking in consolidates and forces more investor-owned properties onto the market the only other thing that would do this would be an increase in interest rates for those with loans to service.
  7. Just wanted to add my experience of trying to buy for myself in central London in case it is of interest to others on this thread. I joined this forum a couple of years ago as I had just began looking for a home in central London and felt then what I was seeing price-wise was unsustainable in the long-term but was determined to find a home I would be happy to stay in for at least 5 years and hoped I'd find a 'bargain' if I looked hard enough. I have had three purchases fall through and in every case each flat has been remarketed at a higher price than I could meet as the vendor realised they had agreed to sell to me 'too cheap'. Of course I had looked very hard for something I felt was good value but it seems impossible in central London (where I've lived, worked and rented for last 15 years). At present in W2/WC1 and central parts of NW1 at up to 450K I'm seeing the lowest stock levels since I have begun looking and this, I believe, is the major problem in central London and increasingly the proportion of ex-council properties makes up most of the flats available. I am not looking at new builds so not competing with overseas buyers there. My competition seems to be developers and investors (some of the latter from overseas) and a few buyers looking for a home like me. Agents all moan about the lack of stock and say this is forcing prices up and until this changes I can't see how the market will turn. On the rental front, two agents I know in W2 area have both said the market for 1/2 bed flats is much quieter and some owners are having to reduce their prices to get a let. One has put this down to the departure of City workers and the slump in hirings there. He said his agency is so quiet (they have 8 properties to sell) and are struggling on the lettings front that he doesn't see how someone isn't going to lose his job soon! I hope this materialises into a solid trend and note the postings about rental falls in other 'prime' areas but I believe investors will just take a reduction and still hang on in there (if they can). I thought I found sellers each time who were genuinely prepared to take a hit for a quick sale but in each case it didn't play out that way. After two years and three failed purchases it all seems much worse (stock and price-wise) than when I started.
  8. Well done, I hope this gets enough exposure and everyone who signs forwards it to their address book with some arm-twisting note!
  9. If you are going to ask about the benefits cap, I would like to hear a firm assertion from the coalition govt. represenatitive on QT that the govt. are NOT going to do a u-turn on this policy (given all the recent bleating in the press) and have the courage of their conviction to see it through.
  10. Do any of you know who the author/s is/are? Can't find a ref. on the site. Read the section/chapter on 'The Housing Market'. The author is bang on with his/her analysis of the utterly complex and totally useless plans each governement comes up with for solving the housing crisis and trying to meet future demand - they never will be viable or even helpful because they (the powers that be) simply don't want them to be. Taking the content of this site as a whole the author makes a confident and convincing assertion the UK is in terminal decline with little left to sell that any country would want and an aging and increasingly economically inactive population to boot. Going to bed completely depressed ...
  11. I'd say those 99 purchases are significant if they are concentrated in a locale, where stock levels are lowish. I suspect this is what is happening but of course I can't prove it. I don't know if accurate data exists which breaks down purchases by postcode and the nationality of the buyer.
  12. There's a website called homecheck.co.uk, by searching using your postcode you can find out the make-up of housing in your borough. Mine has just under 30% of total stock as private rented accommodation. In spite of what local EAs say about professionals being the main customers in this sector there are 2 housing benefits tenents in my building of 6 flats alone. One has not worked for 10 years and both have told me after the cap changes come into effect in January they will no longer be able to afford to live in their flats (apparently the landlord has already refused to lower the rent, confident he will get new tenants I guess) so I'm sure this will have some effect, but I don't know how you find out how benefits-dependant the private rented stock is in your area.
  13. Hope it all works out and you don't look back Out of interest, would you share with us the percentage below asking price of your accepted offer?
  14. I take the points about keeping things in perspective. But, London being a series of micro-markets with not enough stock up for sale on a regular basis then this activity does have an effect. I believe, from what I've read, the Chinese like to buy /live near water, so I bet the areas they are actively buying in, Canary Wharf etc, have felt a significant boost to two beds and upwards properties, much to the annoyance of professionals or whoever else can afford and wants to buy those properties. Hence a cash injection starts to feel like a tidal wave very quickly at a local level. This is anecdotal, so forgive me, but 2010 saw a lot of Italian money going into property in Bayswater/Kensington, following Berlusconi's crackdown back home on hoarded funds. I knew an an Italian at the time looking to buy a one-bed for himself in an area he'd lived in (renting) for 10 years and even he was complaining about the competition from his fellow citizens looking for a convenient cash stash, and of course euro-£ exchange added to the lure.
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