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StuartMc

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About StuartMc

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  1. Ah, but if I show you door number two has a goat behind it, do you stick with door 3 or switch to door 1?
  2. That unwritten constitution, and reliance on conventions is great - until you get a mini-Trump in charge who realises he can just ignore the conventions and suddenly many of the 'checks and balances' so vital for a functioning democracy suddenly disappear.
  3. Good on you. Make it your home and enjoy it; if it doesn't make sense to the 'market' but makes sense to you: it makes sense. (Not meaning to take anything away from Astrid's valid points about caution - which would certainly apply if the value of the house been more relevant to you).
  4. TheGuardian: Developers may be creating sub standard accommodation not fit to live in. HPC commentators: Wow, what dangerous Stalinists hating private enterprise and jealous of the rich.
  5. Entering and leaving a trade block are not equivalent and interchangeable. I think it is clear that entering any trade block has an implied plan - to increase the wealth of the nation through increased trade and therefore economic activity (e.g. massive investment by Japanese car manufacturers in the UK), and along with that, once being a member, to influence the trading block to favour policies aligned with our own interests (e..g the UK veto). Conversely, leaving a trade block doesn't have a implied plan - we're facing the possibility of doing without trade benefits (and therefore economic benefits) that we are currently enjoying: so we either need to seek alternatives (e.g. trade deals with other partners) - or just tighten our belts and accept the fact we will be worse off. An analogy: We go on holiday and I book us into a hotel. You don't like the hotel rules and cost so you suggest we leave the hotel and go camping instead. I say, okay, that's fine, but what's your plan for warmth and shelter? You reply: we didn't plan for warmth and shelter when we went into your hotel, so why the hell should we suddenly have to have a plan now we're leaving the hotel?
  6. Maybe the promised 30% first time buyers discount is an impending house price crash?
  7. I notice that the extra deaths caused by dilly-dallying about imposing the lockdown (when it was very clear from what was happening in the rest of Europe that it wasn't going to go away even if we bury our heads really deep in the sand) has, according to some sources caused more UK deaths than the IRA plus Al Qaida plus every war we have been involved in since 1945!
  8. On the contrary, there is lots of money to be made in disaster capitalism... we're like a load of greenhouse owners who are being persuaded by glaziers to hand out catapults to all the kids.
  9. No one really knows what's going to happen to the market! I think it helps to think of how much house you are getting for your money, rather than how much money you pay for a house. If you find a house you love, then go for it at any time; we put an offer in on a house that we really wanted in Jan (but we were outbid) - but I believe that if we had bought that one and then then afterwards the value dropped (on paper), we'd still be happy as we got a house we'd have preferred, rather than a "better deal" on one we really didn't like as much. On the flip side if we had put an offer in a house that was nothing special and then prices dropped, I think we'd be annoyed that we didn't wait and get something better.
  10. I'm thinking a big factor in the magnitude and direction of price changes in the next few months (given that a larger than usual number of people will be unable or unwilling to sell/buy at the moment) is the number of forced sellers vs the number of potential buyers actually willing and able to buy. Normally, the motivated sales are led by the three 'D's - "deaths, divorces and destitution". However, in the UK there's a fourth - and with a big cost clock running: Duty. Specifically second home stamp duty. There's an article in the Telegraph that a couple built a £1.3 house, the ownership of which overlapped with that of their London flat. They have a grace period (3 years) in which to sell one of the houses to escape a £40,000 2nd home tax bill... which runs out soon. They had previously found a buyer for their flat for £500k (down from asking price of £550k) but they pulled out when the buyer dropped their offer by another £50k. Apparently small developers are also likely to have the same problem as they buy/renovate/sell in an even smaller window before the 2nd home tax kicks in. https://www.telegraph.co.uk/tax/capital-gains/13m-grand-designs-style-dream-build-now-40000-stamp-duty-nightmare/
  11. Also this: https://www.cnbc.com/2020/03/29/mortgage-bankers-warn-fed-purchases-of-mortgages-unbalanced-market-forcing-margin-calls.html This is pretty technical, but basically AFAIU, the mortgage brokers short the mortgage market for the time between them taking on the mortgage until they get it backed by the feds, as a protection (hedge) against the cost of the mortgage increasing over that period. However, because of fed bond buying, the rates have gone drastically down and they then suffer a large volume of margin calls (demands to top up the shortfall on the short with extra funds) - and they are having difficulty covering this.
  12. I think you're overplaying the "they would have happened anyway" angle meaning no impact. People still wipe their bottoms the same amount, they just "brought forward" purchases of loo roll that they would have made in the months or years to come - and look what happened!
  13. Seems like strong demand here in Cambridgeshire - we were outbid on a house after offering 5% over the asking price last weekend. Both houses we looked at had multiple viewings in a few days, a third one we didn't even get to see as they had closed viewings as they had enough offers.
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