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Everything posted by dunderhead

  1. Top marks to you Exec for your honesty. You may be making a mistake; on the other hand, you may not. IMO, what marks you out from the average property-buying numpty is that you admit that 1) there are risks, and 2) there were logical, financial, and emotional reasons behind your decision. It sounds like you're going into this with both eyes open, ie like an adult. Some HPCers may question your wisdom, but I can't fault your approach. Good luck!
  2. Better than being with someone who forgot they had £6K of debt..
  3. I liked American comedian Chris Rock's quip about the minimum wage: "..it means, I would pay you less - but they wouldn't let me!"
  4. The 'BMV' concept is interesting. A friend of mine was in a country pub, drinking with people who he knew were mainly farmers and landowners. The subject of house prices came up, and everyone agreed that it was such a shame that the local young folk couldn't afford to buy houses, what with the price of them these days, scandalous it was. My friend made a suggestion. Maybe, he said, the people who had houses to sell in the village didn't have to charge the full market value. Silence.
  5. Like MattLG and SarahBell, I too would be inclined to persist with the facts-and-figures approach. I'd bet that your in-laws have received plenty of bad news on the household bills front over the past few weeks. Gas, electricity, Council Tax, etc. I'd also bet that they're old enough to remember the high inflation of the 70s. So they probably remember prices rising by teens of percent once before. They got through it. It didn't matter that much back then. Wages and salaries rose to match. Well, this time they won't. It really is different this time.
  6. Interesting Q+A article from The Guardian, November 2005 Note the average number of days' gas stocks, UK / Europe. Since this article was written, most of Europe has had an unusually cold winter
  7. I remember seeing something just like this on the BBC. Mind you, it was in black-and-white In the early 70s(?) they had a programme called "Made in Britain: Focus on Exports". Lots of shots of production lines, high-speed machines etc. Aah.. industry. Remember that?
  8. That reminds me of a remark an IFA made to me once. When he started making home visits to clients, he was amazed to see how many of the wealthy ones lived in council houses. There's also an old saying: most people's money is either in front of them (ie flashy possessions) or behind them (ie saved/invested). Seldom both.
  9. Good theory, Bearfacts. I wrote recently (on another thread) that a credit squeeze is under way at the bottom of the pyramid, with the result that Mr Average has been priced out of the market at present. The prospective landlord you met (would that make him a Keep-To-Let?) may be placing too much faith in the old adage, "it's better to owe the bank a lot of money than a little"..
  10. Hi FM123, Good post. I agree, it's puzzling that most of the traditional economic indicators are pointing downwards, yet the housing market seems to be picking up. Mr. Average would confirm that the outlook for jobs, debt and inflation is bleak. Mr. Average is beginning to feel the pinch. IMO Mr. Average is not buying at the moment. So who is buying? Maybe it's the people who don't participate in consumer confidence surveys, those who are not in fear of redundancy, and not juggling debts, maxed-out on cards, etc. Who are these people? BTL landlords / middle-class parents buying for children at university, perhaps. What I suspect we are seeing is a credit squeeze starting at the bottom of the pyramid. This is affecting Mr. Average and thousands who, like him, have (relatively) small borrowings: leaving those higher up the pyramid, with larger borrowings, comparatively unaffected. Perhaps it really is true that it's easier to borrow a large amount of money than a little!
  11. I'm wondering: to what extent are repossessions seasonal? It'd make poor publicity for the banks to be seen throwing large numbers of families out of their homes at Christmas, for example. And if a debtor is still making some interest payments at the moment, might it not be prudent to allow them to remain in the property, conveniently keeping it warm and dry during the cold, wet winter? If the banks are going to repossess, then why not wait a little longer, and do it just in time for the start of the Spring viewing season?
  12. "..lots of 40/50 something men throwing on the scraphead either took up fishing or hung themselves if they were brave enough." Ever see the film "The Full Monty" ?
  13. Reminds me of a man I knew who dabbled in shares during the mid-Eighties stock market boom. One day he telephoned his stockbroker with instructions to buy a certain share. When the paperwork arrived several days later, he saw that the broker had mis-heard him and actually bought shares in another, similarly named, company. "But it was OK.. because they'd gone up, too" he laughed. Property has behaved like this in recent years: even bad investment decisions have been rewarded.
  14. Shares in aero engine and turbine maker Rolls-Royce have been very active recently, too. Derby's fortunes depend on RR - it's a world-leader in its field and provides many well-paid jobs in the area.
  15. Maybe they're constrained by fear of missing out on future profits, if they were to jump off the gravy train now. How would they look if they sold and prices took off again? Typical amateur investor behaviour, IMO. They imagine there'll be a clearly-marked point further down the line where they can jump off without getting hurt. Most people think they can call the markets. But most people (and I include myself in this) get it wrong.
  16. Are many of them English, by any chance? When I see TV news items from Scotland, with a reporter asking people in the street for their views, I'm surprised how many people have English accents.
  17. Wasn't it B+Q whose Midlands distribution centre - chock-full of kitchen units and appliances - went up in smoke recently?
  18. The German-based company Continental AG makes tyres, rubber parts and lots of other components for the automotive industry. They're shedding jobs aggressively, profits are growing strongly, and the shares are one of the best performers on the Frankfurt exchange. So it doesn't automatically follow that companies shed staff because they're doing badly. The automotive business is global. Top managers are encouraged to literally scour the earth for cheaper ways of doing things. If they don't, their competitors will.
  19. Perhaps Mart knows your company; you don't say whether it's a Tier One supplier or not, or if it supplies the Aftermarket. But it does make a change to hear that it's the senior levels who are taking most of the pain.. Mart's correct about the rises in raw material costs, though. I'd add energy prices to that, too. On several occasions already this year, electricity 'pool prices' to industry have touched staggering levels. There must be easier ways of making money than manufacturing at the moment. When you realise how much cheaper stuff can be produced in China and India, it makes you sick, really, doesn't it? Good luck, I hope you manage to ride out the storm. My advice would be to keep a close eye on the people around you. Try not to get paranoid about it, just be aware that some people will stoop pretty low as they try to cling onto their miserable little jobs. Usually these are the people with heavy debts to service, so they may not be sleeping too soundly at night.
  20. A sharp rise in the CPI might drive wage demands up. But is that likely? Do we really believe that the CPI is giving an accurate indication of inflation? Gordon Brown won plaudits for giving the BoE independence to set interest rates: it bases its decisions on the level of CPI. That's handy!
  21. I hope this thread will continue, despite some of it making unpleasant reading. It would be interesting to debate the influence of HPI on divorce. Has the divorce industry become 'nastier' because, thanks to HPI, today's divorcing couples have more assets to argue over? Most of us on this forum would like to see lower house prices. Would significantly lower house prices:- - have any effect on the divorce rate? - make divorce easier to bear? - influence the 'marry or live together' decision?
  22. Some good points, well put, on this thread. Affordability: the key point is perceived affordability. A friend of mine sells cars; he is staggered by some of the debts people take on. Cars, and houses too, are now sold on the size of the monthly repayments. IRs have been so low for so long that few people consider they can go up significantly. Huge debts are perceived to be affordable. Working women: the UK workforce had far fewer women in the 60s and 70s. Back then, women were not expected to have careers; most young women left school and found a job just for a few years, helping their boyfriends save towards the deposit on a house. Once they were married, they often left the workforce to become housewives. Now we have Equal Pay legislation, modern family planning, better career opportunities for women (look at the numbers of women working full-time in the service sector or the NHS). Women have access to better education, and have more 'life choices' than before. The number of double-income households has exploded; another reason why high house prices are perceived to be affordable. Wage inflation: IMO wages will be lucky to keep up with even the 'official' rate of inflation. Companies are fighting huge rises in input costs. Immigration and offshoring are driving wages down. The trade unions are powerless. If your boss tells you that your job can be done more cheaply in China, what's your answer? Go on strike, like in the 60s and 70s? How many unions could make industrial action stick, with household debt at an all-time high? We owe, we owe, so off to work we go.
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