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Everything posted by jywerhyx

  1. What's up there is almost certainly just random volatility caused by a small sample size.
  2. Deflation is terrible for an economy, much worse than inflation (except hyper-inflation). And Japan has been mired in deflation for two decades now. If prices are falling, no one will spend their money, because it will be worth more if they hang onto it and spend it later. What you want is for people to go out and spend their money now because it will be worth less if they wait.
  3. That's not been spent, just redistributed. If one person sells a house for £200,000 and another buys it for £200,000, then the overall amount of money that everyone has is unchanged, and more importantly, no one has had to do any work. If we pay money to people caring for the elderly, that means that they can't do something different instead that produces wealth, and that's a real cost, not just a redistribution.
  4. Entwistle didn't get double the amount he was entitled to, he got the amount he was entitled to for being sacked in exchange for "resigning" rather than being publicly sacked. He couldn't have been got rid of any cheaper.
  5. The whole point of the EU is to make rules on what sovereign countries have to do, so that they can trade freely with each other. Free trade necessitates free movement of capital and labour, uniform regulatory burdens on companies, and uniform product standards. If you don't want these things, then you don't want free trade. (Yes, NAFTA has much less power over its members than the EU, and does less of what I describe. It's also much less successful at actually permitting free trade between its members.)
  6. "Square footage" of a property is not a defined term. Do you want the gross floor area, the gross internal area or the net internal area? And have you asked the agent which one he is using?
  7. Plus we're in the EU, which is 100% self-sufficient in food. EU membership is a critical part of our long-term strategy for food security.
  8. No one. Birth rates have been falling all over the world, and most population growth is now because of people living longer rather than having more children.
  9. But for everyone paying more than you consider appropriate to buy a house, there's someone else receiving more than you consider appropriate for selling a house. So the total net impact on the amount of money available for people to spend is zero -- it's not tying money up, it's just redistributing it.
  10. We're talking here about the reason why Rightmove/Acadametrics have diverged from Haliwide over the past five years, not the absolute levels, which can't be compared at all due to the different methodologies. Cash properties may or may not be cheaper than mortgaged properties -- that doesn't matter. All that matters is whether cash properties have gone up or down in price relative to mortgaged properties over the past five years, and it seems highly likely that they have done better than mortgaged properties over a period of extreme tightening of mortgage availability. And in any case, cash b
  11. No, the Haliwide figures aren't any kind of statistical average, it's a more complex process. You're thinking of the Land Registry figures, which are indeed a geometric mean, which is why those figures are also significantly below the Acadametrics and Rightmove figures.
  12. The fall in prices is largely the result of the severe reduction in mortgage availability, and so houses in the cash buyer market have not fallen as far. Haliwide obviously can only report on houses that are purchased with a mortgage, whereas Rightmove and Acadametrics include cash buyers (or at least, properties that will eventually be bought by cash buyers), and that's the reason for the divergence between them since 2007.
  13. Haliwide don't report average (mean) prices, they report the price of the "average house", which is of course quite different from the average house price. It's more like a median, though it's not a median. You therefore can't compare the actual figures from Haliwide with Rightmove or Acadametrics, only the percentage changes over a period. Acadametrics and Rightmove both report true average prices and so those two are directly comparable, as you can see from the graph.
  14. It would be very very low, because no one would bother to work hard or invest for the future, in case the redistribution was repeated and they lost what they'd been working for again.
  15. The point of a penthouse is not the view, it's not having to worry about the neighbours above you being noisy. You get that whether you're on the first floor or the hundredth floor.
  16. You pay twice for healthcare in the US. Government spending on healthcare is about the same proportion of GDP as it is in the UK, so you pay the same amount through your taxes as you would in the UK, but that doesn't actually cover you and so you (or your employer, which comes to the same thing) have to pay more again for health insurance.
  17. Not until after the UK government loses the ability to borrow in pounds. While government borrowing is in pounds, there is no risk at all of default, since they can always print more.
  18. Banks don't close because they're insolvent, they close because they're illiquid. Admittedly, illiquidity can be caused by insolvency, but not in this case. It doesn't matter if NatWest is solvent or not; the Bank of England will lend it all the money it needs to keep trading. There is no chance whatsoever of it going under. Therefore, this computer problem must be taken at face value, because there are no other plausible reasons for it.
  19. By the time HS2 could possibly be built, motorways will be restricted to self-driving vehicles, greatly increasing their capacity.
  20. For cars, it doesn't matter much, because the depreciation would largely offset the taxable benefit. But there's certainly a case for taxing ownership of artwork, jewellery and antiques, as well as houses -- basically any asset that doesn't depreciate and from whose ownership you derive a benefit.
  21. Owner occupiers can also deduct mortgage interest from the income they receive from the property, except that whoops, there isn't any, because they don't pay tax on the benefit they get from owning the property so there's nothing to deduct it from. A level playing field would see owner occupiers paying income tax on the rent that they would be receiving if the property were rented out, and then deducting mortgage interest from that tax. They would thus pay more tax than they do at present, and not less. If you don't believe this, then work out the numbers for an example. Two people each own a
  22. There are no tax advantages for buy-to-let, only tax disadvantages. Consider: If you get paid money because of your job, you pay tax on it. If you get money as the return on owning an asset (e.g. shares, rental income), you pay tax on it. If you get use of an asset because of your job (e.g. company cars, tied housing), you pay tax on it. If you get use of an asset because you own it, you pay no tax. The tax system is massively biassed in favour of owner-occupiers (let's not even talk about the capital gains tax exemption). To redress it, we need to return to the pre-war system of imput
  23. iPad 2 down from £399 to £329 (-17.5%). You may not buy iPads as often as milk, but they cost a lot more when you do. It's true that you need food and you don't need an iPad, but the inflation indices are intended to measure what people actually buy, not what they have to buy.
  24. Banks aggregate lots of short-term deposits into long-term loans. It's why they're always at risk of bank runs, and it's why we need them -- unless you're prepared either to lock up your savings account for 25 years or to have a mortgage that can be called in for full repayment at any time on a month's notice.
  25. Sales prices currently average £220,043 (that's the most recent figure from the LSL Acadametrics index, which is the only index to measure average sales prices. (Halifax, Nationwide and DCLG measure the price of the "average house", more like a median than a mean; Land Registry measure the geometric mean (also closer to the median than to the arithmetic mean)). So average sales prices and asking prices are not far adrift from each other.
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