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Clarky Cat

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  1. I suppose it says something about "my property is my pension" when the income from multiple BTLs isn't sufficient to cover care - both in terms of the profitability and the costs of social care.
  2. It's not even typical BTL - it's short term holiday lets, a worse problem in many areas. I don't buy the argument that they're not suitable for residential purposes. Most of these small "cute" holiday cottages are ideal small homes for people starting out. The Welsh Government are looking at introducing planning permission for change of use to from residential to holiday lets so I'd expect a rush of people trying to get into this before that happens.
  3. Yes - one of the unforgivable aspects of the last period of Labour government is that they did nothing to stop housing becoming unaffordable. The covid house price boom pales into insignificance compared to what happened in the decade prior to the financial crisis and we're still living with the consequences.
  4. Not much of a real terms increase then, and likely a fall when measured against RPI. Not really helpful if wages don't keep up with inflation though.
  5. You would probably expect more to be coming to the market now - it's nearly Spring, people coming out of winter hibernation and thinking of moving etc.
  6. Well if the housebuilders have to pay, then the solution will be to extend Help to Buy, increase the price of newbuilds and transfer the costs to new homebuyers.
  7. I was using the example of a relatively lethal virus (figures are for smallpox btw) to illustrate that something doesn't need to evolve to circulate long term. The overall population mortality rate is constrained by immunity in the population, so it doesn't continue killing 30% of everyone. I'm not sure where lockdowns come in to this - was just countering the "viruses always get milder" argument. They usually do, but it's not a given.
  8. It's perfectly possible for a virus with an infection mortality rate of 30% and a reasonably high infectivity to circulate without the virus itself becoming more benign. It just wipes out the 30% when it emerges and the remaining 70% develop immunity. As the population becomes less immune (waning immunity/new children) you get further outbreaks where 30% of the non-immune die and this cycle continues. They just need to reproduce enough to be transmitted, that is all.
  9. Yes - I think this is correct for all nations aside from Wales and I'm surprised it hasn't been publicised more widely. The significant number of reinfections occurring with Omicron will not be reported in the cases update on the dashboard. "COVID-19 cases are identified by taking specimens from people and testing them for the presence of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. If the test is positive (except for rapid lateral flow tests which have negative confirmatory lab-based polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests taken within 72 hours), this is referred to as a case. If a person has more than one positive test, they are only counted as one case for all nations with the exception of Wales."
  10. It could be reassuring, it probably is in terms of death rates at least, but if their cases have peaked, this is at about 115% of previous peaks. We're already at 150% of the Alpha wave peak and London is at 200%, with several boroughs close to 400% - so we'd be relying on the risk of admission being 1/4 of Alpha in order to not surpass January 2021 peak admissions if this is replicated nationwide. This will all hinge on the effectiveness of vaccine + booster in preventing serious disease -at the moment they're saying 85%, but only 47.2% of the eligible population have had them so far.
  11. As Slawek said, she's very out of date with those numbers Dec 13th - 11 Dec 14th - 16 Dec 15th - 65 Dec 16th - 85
  12. Pillars 3 and 4 are the antibody and surveillance screening respectively - pillars 1+2 are the PCR capacity.
  13. The UK Gov dashboard says about 800k at the moment. The most it's ever been on there is 900k. Obviously positivity could go higher but since we've had mass testing it's never gone as high as 30% (In England anyway)
  14. Testing capacity will be saturated soon, so daily increases in reported cases are not going to correlate to underlying infections. There's about 200k per day spare capacity - at current positivity levels of 10% only another 20k reported cases. Obviously positivity will increase as the probability of a cough being covid will also rapidly increase over the next week, but even a positivity rate of 20% will mean a maximum reported cases of 164,000 based on current PCR capacity. You can see from some areas in London that they are already at 400% of last peak and data is still incomplete so there is no way testing would cope nationwide if/when this happens. News reports early next week - "Is Omicron tailing off already?"
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