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House Price Crash Forum


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About RandomFactor

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  1. Did you set the reserve yourself or were the estate agents advising what to set it at? If it's the latter I'd guess they'd suggest what they think is the regular auction market value - minus £6k (or whatever the buyers premium is) to help ensure a sale. Maybe I'm wrong, but that's what I'd do if I was them and there was £6k minimum waiting for me for any succesful sale. It's an incentive to sell quickly at any price. So that might explain why bids matched the reserve very closely. People bidding what they thought it was worth - minus their £6k or whatever costs. Usually auctions have a guide price, and I think the reserve price has to be legally within 10% of that guide (may be wrong - but that's what most of them seem to specify so I'm guessing it's a legal obligation). I've always assumed that the reserve price is probably exactly or very close to 10% higher than the guide in most cases as they'll want to put the lowest guide on it they can get away with to attract interest. As many people are looking for a bargain at auction, my guess is that they'd bid a max of whatever the guide is plus 10%, then if they don't get it move onto the next one. So if your guide was exactly 10% less than the reserve, then that could explain it too?
  2. I see a lot of these auctions in the North East (I think I remember reading that this is where this innovation originated somewhere). Usually for lower priced properties. I'm at a loss why people would choose to sell in this way but plenty seem to get sucked into it. It seems the estate agents sell the idea on the basis of it being more attractive to buyers because the auction terms are different and they don't need to complete within 28 days so it gives them more time to deal with mortgages etc (though sellers could specify similar terms for a regular auction sale easily if they wanted to as far as I know). Plus they say there are no seller fees. Which might be technically true. What they possibly don't draw so much attention to is that any sensible cash buyer is going to consider that £6K+ in fees (and £6,000 is the minimum) to be gone from the pot they have to bid from, Even if they don't have a fixed budget, they're not going to want to pay out £66K for a property that they think is only worth £60K either. They're going to be reluctant to bid much over £54K for such a property as they have £6k in auction fees to pay. But hey, that's OK because the seller hasn't paid any fees. They've just sold for £54k instead of £60k. I can't see how it'd work so well for people buying with mortgages either. Particularly for lower priced properties. As unlike a regular auction where you might be asked to pay a 10% deposit on winning that goes towards the value of the property, that £6k+ in these modern auctions isn't a deposit. It's just a big fee that you're paying to the auctioneer and estate agent, which as far as I know, many banks won't want added onto the mortgage (as it's not part of the value of the property). So that's a minimum of £6k less you have to put down as a deposit, and I would imagine in some cases having a substantially lower deposit, would mean you'd be able to borrow much less (and therefor bid significantly less), and perhaps borrow at a higher rate. I can't see that there are many winners here, apart from the auctioneers making £6K instead of a few hundred. And maybe the odd cash buyer who's coming along and snapping up properties that might otherwise have gone for much more sold in the usual way or at a regular auction, because the fees are putting some fo the competition off. I'd be very surprised if that's not happening. I've seen places go for much less at these modern auctions than comparable places on the same streets that were sold more traditionally. I haven't bid on one of these yet, but I think it's still intended a competitive process, and I've seen properties where they have several bids on them before it even gets to the auction day. I think often they go for the reserve price because that's all bidders are prepared to pay in many cases, when they're imagining throwing £6k or more down the toilet in fees before they even place a bid. I might be missing something, but this was my take on it anyway and it seems to be backed up by the prices you see some of these 'modern auction' properties sell for in relation to others on the same streets.
  3. I think the homesteading idea is worth a try. It seems to have worked in the past. I see places in newcastle that had a bad reputation with run down houses that were being sold off for 50p, 20 odd years ago, that now seem much better. Houses all occupied, areas improved significantly, in a better state of repair, and selling for six figures. It seems that selling them off cheap to individuals to actually live in themselves is seen is a last resort nowadays though. I came across this place in the north east recently: http://www.channel4.com/news/horden-county-durham-bedroom-tax-one-pound-housing Despite much talk of selling them off for a pound to local people, all I could find was that the housing association in charge of them had made an offer to sell them back to the council at a pound each (which was rejected), and that their hopes to sell them to other landlords already invested in the area was falling flat. I notice they're now appearing on rightmove/zoopla/onthemarket at around £10k each: https://www.onthemarket.com/for-sale/property/sr8/?view=grid&direction=asc Apparently the reason they fell empty wasn't so much because of the quality or upkeep, but because they were small two bedroom places that housed mostly single people, and when the bedroom tax came in, people started moving out and they couldn't let them. There seems something quite wrong with this situation to me. Instead of offering them to the council for a quid each, they could have offered them directly to young local people on the understanding that they live in them and look after them to a reasonable standard (which I suspect is more likely if they feel invested in the area personally rather than renting). Infact, they could have given the f*king things to the previous tennants for £1 each, and the cost of ongoing maintenance would have probably been a fraction of the cost of housing benefit for those tennants each year, even at the rate reduced bedroom tax rate I'd guess. But then ongoing rent/housing benefit extraction would have been taken out of the equation, and I get the impression this is seen as a bad thing. Or perhaps I'm just being naive. I must admit, I don't know all the ins and outs, but it did strike me as odd when I saw them appearing on rightmove/onthemarket at £10k each (presumably to attract private landlords?) when they'd previously offered them for a pound each to the local council. What happened to the homes for £1 for locals scheme they were talking about earlier.
  4. I seem to remember that surveys were part of the plan for those HIPS reports to begin with. At a time when they were getting a lot of criticism, I though they were a good idea for that reason alone. Then if my memory is right, they dropped the survey requirement from it, and it turned out to be a largely pointless waste of money afterall.
  5. I think so. Though if someone gets in before me with a firm offer, and the seller decides to take it, I doubt there's much they can do, so I don't think I can really blame the estate agent for that. Maybe they'd already had a few offers below that price, and the first one to come along at it, the seller snapped up. I'm assuming the seller knew about me, as I'd booked a viewing (I was offered one next morning, but was too short notice for work, and the next they could offer was couple of days after the weekend by which point it had been sold). By the sounds of things, I wasn't alone as when I rang to find out what was happening, I was told that they had a few others to ring to cancel viewings too. When I called to arrange a viewing, and they told me they had a lot of interest and were expecting it to go above the listed price I said something along the lines of "I'm a cash buyer but have a fixed budget, and it looks like it needs a lot of work doing to it, so I wouldn't be able go a great deal over the asking price if there was a bidding war, but I'm interested so would like to take a look anyway". I can't remember the exact words I used but that was the gist of it. Perhaps I should have been clearer, but I didn't want to give away exactly what I was able to pay until I'd had a chance to view the place, and know who/what I was up against. I thought this was clear enough that I had at least the asking price with a bit in reserve though (without disclosing exactly how much). I only mention it really because in this case at least, they really did mean "offers in the region of", and weren't just using it as a marketing gimick to fish for higher offers (even though I always assumed that was the case, and it sounded like that to begin with).
  6. I recently booked a viewing on a place "Offers in the region of £X". Seemed a bargain at the listed price. Assumed seller didn't know what it was worth (bit quirky and rundown), and they would wait for a few offers to decide which to go for. Agent tells me they'd had lots of interest and it was likely to go for more than price listed (reaffirming my assumption above). Explained I was a cash buyer but couldn't go a lot over the listed price, as I had a fixed budget and it needed a lot of work doing, but was still interested so booked a viewing. Morning of day before I'm due to view, check rightmove listing to have another look, and notice "sold". Call estate agent in late afternoon to find out what's happened, as they hadn't called me yet, and I'm told seller has accepted offer at listed price (annoyingly a bit less than my budget). Another one slips through my fingers. So in some cases, it seems the seller is expecting lower offers and will take the first one that comes along at the price listed, rather than kite flying for a higher offer (which is what I previously always assumed was happening when I saw that term).
  7. Just came across this on programming blog site, and thought some of you might be interested: http://www.briskat.com/blog/House-Prices-Analytics/ Click the big screenshot of the dashboard, and it'll take you directly to the interactive dashboard itself.
  8. I was quite surprised when I discovered this. Had (probably like most people) assumed that freehold meant you owned the land under the building. I think perhpas it isn't only the queen who owns everything (if my memory of this article below is correct anyway), but nobody seems to know exactly who it all belongs to, because it's a secret and the records of it were lost or destroyed. http://www.newstatesman.com/life-and-society/2011/03/million-acres-land-ownership It's longish article, but quite fascinating.
  9. Not really, it's just automated and comodified the lower end of the market, but that end of things has always been saturated to some extent. In yesteryear, it was little johny grandson banging together messy barely understood html using frontpage, nowadays it's people clicking buttons to install the latest themes and plugins without really understanding what's going on. While that's great and it's lowered the barrier to entry as you say, it only gets them so far. Little industries have sprung up around that providing development work to get them beyond that point. When people advertise for wordpress and magento developers, they're not typically looking for numpties to click an install button in fantastico (or whatever web hosting auto installer is flavour of the month at the moment), then click a few more buttons in the admin to automatically download and install themes and plugins. They could do that themselves. They're most often looking for programmers with an insight into the underlying database structures and code/frameworks of the particular systems they're to be working with (and often much more besides - particularly where things like magento are concerned as it's not the easiest thing to work with for beginners - even experienced developers struggle with it a bit sometimes). I did a quick search for 'magento developer' and this is the first thing that popped up for me for example: http://www.exec-appointments.com/job/1405325/magento-web-developer/?TrackID=31&utm_source=Adzuna&utm_medium=CPC&utm_campaign=Adzuna_Premium Look at the requirements: That's a pretty typical sort of list for someone looking for a magento developer ime. Code reuse has been going on for decades, but as you say, the landscape is changing very fast so again, that only gets you so far (that's always been the case and that's why there's still a skills shortage of good developers and the presence of such platforms hasn't really changed that). Neither of us can tell the future, so we'll need to see how things work out. You might turn out to be right - but I'd be surprised because I've heard it so many times before over the years and the opposite has tended to happen. My main point really was that 'web developers' aren't just glorified data entry clerks as was mentioned above. While it may not be the most complex programming job out there, it's a LOOONG way from being a data entry job, and if anything it's getting more complex, not simpler. The sort of thing you're alluding to isn't a "web developer" job.
  10. I'm not so sure myself. Even small businesses care about brand differentiation, and will often have functional requirements beyond off the shelf plugins etc. Sure, sme's (and many larger businesses infact) might be using something like magento to run their store, but quite often they'll discover that dealing with conflicts, upgrades, maintenance, customisation etc. is beyond their grasp and go looking for help with it (if anything the market for that has increased because the complexity of the platforms have increased - so while in the past someone with little to no coding knowledge might have been able to pick up enough knowledge to hack together some customisations into the terrible mess that was osCommerce, they're going to be facing a comparatively uphill struggle doing the same with something as complex as magento so are more likely to need more skilled help if they ever need anything not out of the box - and their friends grandson little johnny who plays around with the internet in his spare time outside of school is going to be less likely to be able to help them nowadays). I've been working in this area for years (since the mid to late 90s) and have heard this prediction repeatedly, but it doesn't seem to have turned out that way. The number of jobs available for good developers seems to have increased, not decreased. The media littered with articles like this: http://www.computerweekly.com/news/2240216646/Shortage-in-web-developer-talent-causing-retailers-to-struggle http://www.forbes.com/sites/ayoomojola/2013/07/15/the-shortage-of-developer-talent-is-crushing-mobile/ http://www.londonlovesbusiness.com/how-londons-looming-tech-talent-shortage-could-cripple-our-country/6374.article and there are all sorts of initiatives trying to push more people into learning to code to fill the gap. P.S. I know some of those articles are a year or so out of date now - but things haven't changed that much in the last year or two, particularly in some countries where the skills shortage appears to have got worse.
  11. I do a bit of bespoke website development and there's still a market for it. Just not so much at the bottom end of the market you're talking about. All of those templates, systems and platforms you're talking about were built by web developers in the first place of course, and they're constantly improving/changing and requiring customisation. They don't just appear out of thin air. Like wise with hosting - if it weren't for people working on and managing the server hardware, software and operations then where would these app-tailored and managed hosting services that you're talking about come from in the first place? What you're alluding to is the automisation and comoditisation of the low-skilled end of the market. Surely you must see the paradox there (bearing in mind both wordpress and magento and the market for their templates and plugins are themselves based upon PHP and to a great extent MySQL)? Where would they come from, if it were not for people who know PHP and MySQL?
  12. That's really not the case. It's the web developers who write the code to build the backends and interactive front ends that make managing websites easier for people without coding skills. It's the users of the systems created by web developers that are two steps up from data entry clerks, not the developers themselves. Even front end web development is becoming increasingly complex nowadays with mobile support, client side application development, and some of the advances in javascript and the vast array of frameworks built upon it. Not to mention what's happening on the server side of things. It's been a LONG time since it was about people knocking together a few simple interlinked html pages in a wysywyg editor like frontpage or dreamweaver and calling themselves web developers (if that was ever the case). People who install a cms along with off the shelf themes and plugins aren't web developers, any more than someone driving a car is an engine designer.
  13. I watched this public domain movie on youtube a while back, some of you might find interesting (how true to life it is I'm not sure though I found it interesting and entertaining): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pk93JIkolAU
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