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  1. Because at the time they originally lent the regulations were not in place, this has only truly begun as of January this year as a result of something called “advice note 14”.
  2. Our (still pending since February) sale was affected by this issue. Often I would agree with caveat emptor but this is I believe the first ever piece of retroactive UK building regulation in history, it is a quite bizarre and a potentially worrying precedent. Ours is a two storey maisonette, with about two meters of timber rain shield cladding about the size of a very small dinner table, meets all building regulations current and historic (double regulation thickness for material and not “significant amounts” as per the guidelines stated in current building regulation documents), buyers lender still kept asking for ews1, even though ews1 states on the form itself that it does not apply to buildings of less than 18 meters outside of a very very small set of specific criteria. Because our late Mum had a rare form of cancer which made mobility difficult the place is actually internally fitted with additional fire systems as well, so technically about as “safe” as you could reasonably get. We are lucky enough to know a structural engineer who came out to look at our place, laughed and said “what are they playing at” he then did us a letter to RICs who overturned the original surveyor.....point is however many people are not fortunate enough to know someone like this (Complete fluke) and this could render millions of homes without value. Great for a house price crash, but then I don’t see the benefit to anybody in a crash of properties that nobody can buy or sell, unless the plan would be to just dump your house after you are done with it 😁. Only reason I chose to bring this up is to not assume that this mess up by the government is just limited to tower blocks, it’s a gigantic mess created by an unqualified housing minister. If it applies to our block which is for all intents and purposes a generic detached house split into two living units, then it can and should in theory be applied to any house with any external wall detail in future as there is no material structural difference. It’s a balls up.
  3. I have spent some time in California. For Los Angeles specifically in all honesty for film industry work it’s the only place worth being where making a living is semi viable, the deals will be made on very short notice and you need to be local to get to the meetings to book the work. Even if nothing actually shoots there anymore. I think I heard once the anecdotal number that New York has about 40 good film jobs a month vs Los Angeles having 40 a day. I know a few people who live there permanently and every single one would leave instantly if not for the above. From my admittedly brief experiences there, I actually think the city has a lot of good amenities and if you drive south some of the nearby towns are quite lovely, plus the weather is good almost to a fault, not too hot, not too cold and lots of sun, would probably live near it if I could in all honesty.
  4. The conveyancing on our sale has been going on since the end of June (south east London) and still has about 8 weeks minimum estimated to run, original offer was back in February, so expect ages for conveyancing, we are also a chain free sale so that’s a short time scale, our conveyancer has said that due to the stamp duty change they are now massively struggling with demand and pretty much cannot cope. ( would have been nice to know that earlier) incredibly long timescales at the moment I would expect. We are toying with making an offer in the UK in October ish time or going back to Canada....so I might report back later in the year on the other side of this madness would in theory be cash buyers but now everybody has gone mortgage mental maybe not. The UK housing market remains an absolute insane mess and will probably end quite horribly.
  5. The devil is in the detail, don’t worry just yet, allow me to elaborate. Our sale is looking like it will fall through due to a government snafu, wherein they put out advice in January without thinking it through, that any building of more than one unit, with cladding (Sometimes asking for it when there is none) regardless of height needs intrusive fire checks ( wherein a fire engineer needs to be commissioned by the building owner Not leaseholder to investigate the building is fire safe), regardless of it it meets all current building regs re fire safety. Unintended consequences being that now hundreds of thousands of homes are in scope of rushed legislation with only about a thousand engineers in the country to actually do the checks. ?. This will cause an absolute standstill in the housing market in the coming months as the lower to middle tier has effectively been taken out of contention. Currently nobody knows about the impact as there aren’t many sales going through. Essentially the majority of the traditional first time buyer places, within most budgets will now require a document that almost nobody can provide. Don’t bet on a massive boom all the while this is official policy at the banks ?. I think this will probably be a big thing in the next few months.
  6. I would agree also. Funny story, kind of. The buyers for our place were refused a valuation until a full fire inspection Grenfell style takes place on a bit of Timber cladding about three meters in length at the front of my mums old flat, (Only a picture would do it justice of how silly this is ) despite the Inspection form itself saying it does not apply to buildings of less than 18m or buildings without significant quantities of combustible material (eg does not apply to a two story maisonette, with three meters of timber cladding with a flower pot on it ?), we currently literally cannot sell as a result because there aren’t enough inspectors in the country to even have a look and the building owner ain’t doing it in any hurry. (Amusingly they tried to claim that leaseholders are de facto building owners ? ). So it might be we leave the flat semi empty as a kind of storage facility whenever we can get back into Canada, which is complete waste of housing resources. Apparently banks are applying this to all flats with any cladding ( even concrete rendering) despite rics specifically saying it’s not required, because of a single line of text , in some government guidance saying “this can apply to buildings of any height if the surveyor has specific concerns”. (Surveyors are largely ignoring this and putting they have concerns for all cladding ? to protect their back sides as they don’t want to get sued down the road). Long story short, banks trying to get out of lending with the help of surveyors and almost any flat is unmortgagable. So far Halifax, natwest, nationwide, the mortgage works and barclays are confirmed to be doing this. This could decimate what is left of buy to let as well. We didn’t even want to inherit the place ?....proper mess. I don’t fear a crash myself as have been saving for twenty years with my girlfriend , so I am one of the lucky ones (assuming wealth tax doesn’t kill my savings), given what we have experienced I certainly wouldn’t bet against a crash, especially in flats.
  7. I just have to be candid, it’s because the members of parliament and indeed the head of state is absolutely neck deep in land investments. It’s the equivalent of if you put a Blu Ray tax on me, I wouldn’t be keen as I have a lot of blu rays, oh wait they do already, it’s called VAT. I fully realize in the UK a universal basic income would be the absolute last resort after politicians have tried absolutely everything else, a real apocalyptic scenario, I am not naive enough to believe that everything possible will be done to suppress the idea.
  8. As much as it needs to, by your calculation of 300 billion. commercial real estate, has a market value of £1,662 billion. (Source British property federation). Total value of British housing market stands at £7.9 trillion. ( source zoopla). So the tax would be a tiny fraction of those values. You could even do two taxes fifty percent land value tax, fifty percent levy tax on financial transactions (at the point of transaction), a couple of big companies alone can more than cover the 300 billion bill. Especially as it will go towards directly funding the very consumption they need to operate. You won’t think twice about that fancy vacation if you know you won’t be homeless and broke after. The fiat monetary system as I am sure you are aware so apologies if this is old news, is money essentially conjured out of thin air, that gets directly funneled through the banking system, lent to people with interest giving banks a sickening spread. I am sure the government could funnel it to people aka consumers instead. It’s a giant confidence trick as evidenced by the nullification of currencies when the euro was adopted, unless you are of the view that we currently balance the books ? With negative interest rates being discussed, the whole current monetary system and argument around “how will all this be paid for” is kind of moot, because “how it will be paid for” if applied to the current system leads to complete collapse anyway. The absolute terrified fear of deflation as governments panic that they can’t pay for their promises to their mates by taxing the proles with falling asset classes is proof positive that “how it will be paid for” is currently moot as it is.
  9. I cannot see a way around this that does not end in dystopia, if anything UBI will free up technological innovation, the majority of jobs will soon not “need” humans to do them, so you have few options, stifle innovation arbitrarily, create a dystopia in which jobs are slowly automated away and no social safety net, allow a universal basic income where technological innovation will be a benefit to society without a disruptive effect on people’s lives. In my career I have had numerous times were I could have automated my entire job but chose not to because, I still wanted a job. If I could have went back to universal basic income and watch movies and make creative things I would have automated my role in a month. The Finland experiment was fairly robust and showed that it did not deter people from working, nor have any particular negative effects, during covid 19 UBI would have allowed people to be free to choose when they felt safe to work again, rather than being forced by circumstance. Full disclaimer cards on the table, I will vote for (almost) anyone if they will Meng a universal basic income funded by a land value tax.
  10. I don’t think it does harm sellers. I am a seller, (sadly through probate) and the pretend value of the place we are selling, is only relative to other places, so if all places fall, then that’s a good thing for a seller as it makes the place you are selling easier to sell. It’s easier to sell a mars bar for what it’s worth, than it is a Van Gogh. It hurts hoarders who have more than one house and people who have massively over borrowed, that’s pretty much it. This will sound very cold, but the maxed out borrowers didn’t care when they were outbidding me and mine for two decades using cheap irresponsible credit, so I don’t care how far “the market” falls.
  11. I think we will see a “flat/apartment price crash” in places with jobs, within the first six months. Buy to let, probably fully extinct in about a year from now. The banks will extend every possible measure of forebearance to mortgage holders, because the debt will just be too expensive to collect on. So people with decent houses near towns with jobs will sit this one out and enjoy the never ending payment holiday. The challenge initially will be getting estate agents to want to realize the crash, prior to the lockdown no agents were willing to work with us when we were dropping our price for a quick sale. ( we wanted to be the cheapest in the area ) This might be where services like purple bricks and yopa come into their own. So expect the first six months to be slooooow (in my opinion). In short, yes probably a crash, but very low availability on “proper houses”.
  12. Sadly the issue is not flights but health insurance you can’t cross the border without the insurance and nobody will insure against covid19 right now, so I check every day to see if there is any update from insurance companies ? all good fun. In the grand scheme of things people have lost loved ones, so I won’t be too “woe is us” about it all.
  13. Not that it’s a competition but my brother has a work permit to join me in Canada that expires in October, he is pretty much my last relative, came back to the UK to help him move/sell the family flat and got trapped ? ....not looking good that he will be able to make it out as travel insurance is non existent now. Thats my sob story, fingers crossed that everything works out for you ?
  14. They can also do construction outside your house until about 9 o’clock at night which in the case of the elderly may violate sections of the care act for vulnerable or elderly individuals. It’s good though because if you are selling, you are encouraged to let people wander around your place while you go to the park, no danger of crime there. So glad I didn’t vote for this shower.
  15. Essentially no. A straight cash purchase with no conveyancing required maybe or an auction. The estate agent who represented us in our sale has disappeared into some kind of vortex ever since the lockdown ? never to be seen again, ( I think because I refused to pay for conveyancing until the buyer actually could present an offer in principle) mortgage companies don’t seem to be doing much of anything right now and listings have been non existent in my area. We will be one of the first to reduce our price, as at a maximum LTV of 85 percent there is a new floor on prices and we actually shock, horror want to move. But we are watching very carefully before rushing into anything as I still am not seeing anything that will make decent quality housing not just sit it out and pull themselves off the market and the place we are stuck in, while not suitable for three adults, is also not so horrible that we will move into a craphole. My prediction will be a game of chicken between buyers, sellers and mortgage companies in the run up to next year, “I’m not giving it away” vs “I can’t get afford that” vs “I am not going to lend that much to somebody”.
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