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contrarian

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  1. Paying IO sure beats paying rent. It is usually cheaper than rent, and you only get kicked out of your home at the end of 25 years, not after every 6 months of tiptoeing around trying to satisfy some BLT landlord that you are looking after his or her nest egg.
  2. We will get high inflationm, real risk of finanical turmoil (clearing bank default being an extreme case), more wars, economic slowdown, UK house prices will fall in real terms. Interest rates will rise sharply. Taxes will rise. Members of this site waiting to buy will find getting credit (which is now easy) nearly impossible wihtout genuine large deposit and income, and will find our incomes and / or job security under pressure. But there will be nice opportunities for those who are cash rich with funds held in a non-dfaulting bank. Start saving. Does that make me optimistic about a HPC???
  3. Obviously they will not be relying on a discussion board, with 30k at stake they must take professional legal advice. In English contract law in general the chance of getting back a deposit having broken a contract of sale can be a grey area. But in contract law as it relates to property contracts I think it is a bit more predictable that deposits are not likely to be reocoverable. The chances of getting back a 10% depost on a property transaction is very slim indeed. It is of course a theoretical possibility that the vendor can sue the defaulting buyer for any loss over and above that 10%, as mentioned above. However the vendor would have to prove that the market value was (at date of breach, in effect the agreed completion date in most cases) more than 30K less than the agreed price. Which is likely to be hard to prove. So basically if a buyer cannot complete or renegotiate, suing to get the deposit back is likely to be throwing good money (on legal fees) after bad; but in the case of a typical house, the risk of being successfully sued for money over and above that deposit is also small. Hence options are likely to be (a) complete (maybe with bridging loan); ( renegotiate completion date; © lose deposit, with a very small risk being sued for more than the deposit (of course that risk would be greater if property values halved suddenly....) I would add that it seems very unlikely that a solicitor acting for buyers and knowing they did not have a reliable source of money to complete, would not have advised against going ahead. The solcitor should and usually would advise of the risks of going ahead with exchange in strong terms (and would have made a note saying they had given that advice). If the solicitor failed to give that advice, then it would worth consulting another solicitor pronto to get on advice on the prospects of negligence suit against that solicitor. If the advice was given and ignored, there is of course no comeback. As noted, this is general info in this type of situation, it is not intended to be advice and should not be treated as such, your friends need professional advice.
  4. Thanks for those replies. The figures on the homepage here for London, June 06, are Rightmove up 2.1%, Home down 0.6%. It seems to follow from the above replies that sellers think the market is (or may be) rising, and buyers think it is falling. In other words the people in the market - the market sentiment in London - is confused & vacillating between slighlty bullish & slightly bearish.
  5. Recently added statistics show Rightmove reporting a big increase in asking prices in London. And Home reporting a small decline. Does anyone know the explanation for the difference, & which is more accurate?
  6. So says a lawyer. But a lawyer also knows the obstacles to obtaining a remedy would be great where a fair market price is not acheived. However, it may be that in practice almost all mortgagees do in almost all cases obtain something like a market price. Maybe members with relevant experience could say whether that happens.
  7. Shoes are a good idea. If you spend money on a pension you will be keeping humungously well paid fund managers in hand-stitched bespoke shoes at £2000 a pop. And Ferraris. And BTL flats. Can that be an efficient way to invest? If you have £2000 a year for either a pension or a pair of decent shoes, you might as well wear the hand-stitched bespoke shoes yourself. It is better for your feet. (That's the philosophy I live by, anyway).
  8. Of course the bank could chase the debt within the EU easily, a UK court judgment is directly enforceable (without having to go to court again in e.g. Italy) provided the debtor is within the EU. The debt, with or possibly without a Uk court judgment (which would not be hard to get) could probably be sold on to an Italian debt collector. Financially a 'fire sale' to get out of the situation quickly is usually a bad idea, but if for personal reasons or extreme financial distress he wants to go ahead, why not put the house in an auctioneer's hands himself instead of letting the lender do so? That way at least he could set a reserve at say two thirds of market value, which could protect him against the possibility, that that particular lot bombs and sells for a fraction of what it should fetch. If reserve is not met, just put it back in the next auction. I have seen auctioneers knock down a lot cheap to a regular buyer as a favour, that is the kind of risk where the the seller being able to set a reserve would offer some protection.
  9. I have heard what the non-vested-interest experts say & believe it. A terrible epidemic could happen any time. Govenments are right to plan for it. The chances that it will come from bird flu are small. Een if avian flu mutates to be easily transmissable human-to-human, it could well lose its potency in the process. The reason this ever-present danger of a flu pandemic got pushed in the past couple of years at WHO, and conveneintly sold to the public through a bird flu scare, (rather than some other time) is that Donald Rumsfeld currently has a big stake in the manufacturers of Tamiflu. The chances of a flu pandemic are serious but no more or less than they were 10 years ago or in 10 years time. Nobody knows when & from where it will come, and bird flu is one of the thousands of possible sources. I accept the bird flu is potentially a very serious issue for the poultry industry. Not for humans.
  10. What is so great about econmic growth? When in history did economic growth begin to exceed population growth in net terms (taking a smoothed overall graph, so allowing for the odd recession)? If it started say 300 years ago, can we project economic growth to exceed population growth in net terms for the next three hundred years? Thousand years? Or could it hit the buffers irreversibly in our lifetimes? Given that the world's poor are probably far more miserable than they were 100 or 300 years ago, would it matter for the human race as a whole if growth hits the buffers soon? Given that we in the UK have enough to go round for a decent lifestyle for everyone (barring massive immigration), would it matter for us?
  11. I think I would take it. They have a cheek not paying interest on the deposit to be returned in Feb 2007, I suppose they would say this is covered by the 7.5k. At least this contract amounts to something in your hand which looks enforceable, and has no obvious holes in it. What more would you get if you took on the cost & stress of suing H for negligence, assuming you win? No much, probably. The cost & complexity of suing the companies is too horrible to contemplate. However you should take legal advice, and my comments should not be construed as legal advice. Of course if you were going to chase this complex case through the courts you would need a very good lawyer, as stated above. On the other hand, if you can find a low-cost high street solicitor to OK the settlement contract for a modest fee that at least gives you an insurance policy (you can sue him if anything goes wrong).
  12. He should complain about the agent, who must have known the statement was nonsense. I agree with the comments above suggesting that it sounds like the agent is desperate to close the deal, and maybe his offer was too high.
  13. GB will never become PM and if he did he would only last a few monhts. He is too technical, on general policy he comes across terribly for the average voter. I heard him doing a wide-ranging pirme-ministerial interview on the Today Programme a few weeks ago and it was a shambles, much less good than when he sticks to economic facts & figures, where he sounds impressive. For my money anyway Tony is in his phase of trashing the Labour party's electability for future leaders, more or less as Thatcher did to the tories by staying too long. Tony is coming out with a fresh piece of demagoguery every day to shore up his own position with Mail-reading middle England, but this will further weaken his party, and further alienate the grass-roots workers, whose work really does count in winning elections .
  14. The figures show an annualised modest rise for London, which is contrary to the view I expressed. Sharper rises in April. And yet my perceptions remain that in the longer term the middle ranking areas are not rising and tend to be falling. Then you get reports of astonishing rises in a few isolated areas.The most compelling figures of course are those which come directly or indirectly from LR. But fine - I could be wrong. As a potential buyer, a falling market would not particularly suit me, I would prefer a stable market. That is not what I see through my bear goggles or otherwise. As for the equity markets, I have no idea where they are going to go.
  15. Well, CPI of 1.8% and HPI of 0.9% on those figures (assuming it for the same period) seems to suggest a modest decline in house prices in real terms. What have Precott & Clark got to with it, you ask. It is like the argument that equity markets respond to hemlines. I have no idea whether there is any truth in these arguments that markets are influenced by 'subconscious' public moods casued by unrelated factors. If I were an investment analyst I would want to find out.
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