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MinistryMan

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  1. Could be the latter. UK’s finance’s seem dire. For context the required maintenance budget for just the main trunk roads in Wales (not local roads) is around £400m. April’s 22/23 settlement was cut to £60m. Unbelievable when diesel, steel, timber and concrete costs have gone through the roof. This week it was cut again. That includes tunnel refurb and stringers on Menai Bridge between Anglesey and needs emergency 7.5t weight limit. 23/24 settlement estimated to be even lower. Panic setting in with Ministers required to sit a Corporate Manslaugter session on advice of legal team based in Cardiff. They know there’s no money and sh!t will hit the fan.
  2. I know lots who’s parents or grandparents consider themselves working class and vote labour, worked in manufacturing or mining, but their kids don’t identify the same. To start with those jobs don’t exist here (north east wales red wall) in the numbers they used to. Many of my generation (late 70’s to 90’s kids) want a different life. They work for themselves - It might be doggy daycare, window cleaner, small shop, self employed trade person or in technical manufacturing like steel or aerospace and they have little interest in Labour. It’s as if the traditional labour voter heartlands have embraced a new thinking of self employed self reliance and rebel against their parents / grand parents thinking. A self employed taxi driver from Deeside says he and mates are still more likely to vote Con than Labour. He says Labour has a stigma attached to it and is tarred with 70’s militant thinking. Maybe I’m not explaining it very well, but that’s what comes across in conversations. For me no party currently appeals and I feel somewhat marooned as a UK voter.
  3. EA friend yesterday says market for some people around him has become panic (north Wales 20 mins from Chester area). He said still too many kite flying, but more and more calling him up to reduce their property by big numbers. A month ago they’d knock £3k off a £260k asking price. Now they’re calling to knock 15k off in one go. His Inventory is up and it’s taking a much shorter time for some to request large asking price reductions shortly after listing. He did say if it’s a nice rural place (which many would generally agree on) it will get interest even at 500-600k, but fall way short on surveyor valuation, such as barn conversions. If it’s the 70/80/90s shoebox it’s not even getting a viewing. He says too many thought their shoebox with new kitchen and conservatory was worth 280/300k but more like 170-220k. I asked why except the instruction if you think this, he said because no one believes their house isn’t worth it and he wouldn’t have any inventory. They need to learn the hard way he said. Another thing we talked about is the increase in car repossessions and hand backs according to friends we both have in the car trade. Not only have friends at local dealerships confirmed this, my dads retired ex motor trade, he’s being asked to go back and drive flat bed lorries 7 days a week for a large dealer group to pick up the hand backs. Wonder if someone can get data to substantiate the health of UK car finance economy?
  4. Finance friends said definitely a ‘rush for rates’ at the moment. A bit like those desperate to purchase during the reduced stamp duty. But also sellers know this (a tide of bad news and strained economy stories in the press) and are willing to accept offers under asking to ensure sales go through and avoid losing a buyer who’s mortgage offer may become more expensive in weeks to come and a sale is lost.
  5. Not knowledgable how this data plays through, but best mate had their offer accepted last October. They got the keys end of May. What month would this price data be reflected? Next door to us very similar story. Offered in March 2021. Got the keys a few weeks before Christmas 2021. Is this the norm? The in-laws are in finance and say buyers may need to go to multiple lenders before getting the mortgage finance they require and this can take time. They say Surveyors and lenders are getting fussier.
  6. We’re a couple in an average mid 1930’s semi. During covid stopped using the iron (no work shirts!) no tumble dryer or hairdryer and got it down to £24 month. Now we’re at £77 month with Bulb. Anticipating a £100 in October. We can afford it but it’s a big difference. We’re also on oil and that’s £1080 for 1000 litres. Was £385 during covid! Lasts us about 7months. Our monthly energy costs are up hugely and we’re very frugal.
  7. We were sat in a cafe this morning in Greater Manchester. 2 guys mid fifties next to us discussing their rentals. One was advising the other. “Don’t buy another now, not unless it’s close enough for a regular drive by check”. then says he’s selling his properties . The other guy in shock says why…then it all comes out. No margin. Tax is a pain. Too much risk of a bad tenant. It’s not what it used to be. But you’ve had some of them over 20 years his mate says. Yep, but time to sell. They’re in good condition and we’re at peak price now. Not going to see these prices again in my lifetime he says. Going to put one on sale and see how quick it goes. Then discussed their gym is probably going to close because everyone’s quitting their membership. My gf was kicking me under the table by this time for blatant ear wigging!
  8. https://stocks.apple.com/A1QM7U0tVTbmtxYXrMluC-w Mike Harris’s CNBC interview near the bottom of the article explaining why the UK economy is one of the most vulnerable in the world. And todays data - UK credit card borrowing now highest since 2005. No doubt the UK is desperate to avoid rate rises, but it’s people can’t stomach inflation. Which will it be? For those of us old enough to remember MTV’s celebrity death match…this is how we shall decide….SUNAK v BAILEY
  9. When a lower tax bracket couple can save £750 month on non reimbursed travel to work costs. And save £600/month on childcare costs as a result of being at home 24/7. Then add to that the gov take an extra £80 month (£40 each) from you in tax and your essential household bills go up £320 month….I can see working from home being hugely attractive for many as of April 2022 and worth the fight to keep it. Add discretionary spending up around £200 month for us, I wouldn’t be surprised if some households (when looked at on paper) are near 2k a month down if they returned to the office and compared their expenditure with 2021 and 2020. It’ll be another month or two before many realise this and all before October’s energy price rises. By then it’ll be too late for much of the nation after spunking their covid savings and bounce back loan payments on flights to Benidorm and a new car pcp. If Rishi doesn’t pull a magic money rabbit out of his hat very soon, late 2022 and beyond could be very interesting.
  10. Last week my brother in law sold forty 10 month old beef cattle at 18-20 month old prices. That’s £1100 a beast. He paid £450 a head for them 2 months ago. No point he said keeping and fattening them for 6-8 months if they’re making this much money in just 2 months. All based on fertiliser prices for grass feed costs going up drastically. This is a phenomenal price increase in beef at source. And those cattle are not ready yet. He thinks there could be another doubling of their price before they hit the food chain, by the time they’re bulked up over summer, plus vet costs and treatments. He also thinks grain prices are so high we’ll need to see £5 for a dozen free range eggs as Christmas approaches, if hens aren’t to be culled en masse. He said the £2 pound chicken is coming if this happens which will then kill the beef, pork and lamb industries as people switch to a cheaper protein. Saying this, eggs still £1 half dozen at the farm gate and 4 pints of raw milk for a £1…just bring your own egg boxes and bottles!!
  11. I can’t see how we won’t get a drastic change in many peoples spending habits. Thursday I spoke with friends at a local football match. All the talk was cost of living. People I’ve known for years who wouldn’t know what day of the week it was quoting interest rates, PAYE tax increases, the cost of fuel, council tax etc. Many have crunched their numbers and seem genuinely frightened by what they find. An average earning couple with kids saying they’ll be 2.7k a year worse off same time next year, and that’s without the energy price hike to come in Oct. Our Neighbours (with 2 teenage daughters) have given up both PCP cars and bought a washing line for the first time in 12 years…they admit they took the full 50k loan and it’s a struggle to pay their outgoings. Their electric bill is now over £400/month. They’ve bought 2 much older second hand vehicles for cash - this is noticeable stuff. One person I spoke to said their house sale fell over last week because it’s on bulk gas heating. The buyers apparently scared off by uncontrollable variable costs. Their contingency plans didn’t budget for the price shocks in everyday stuff at the moment. This has broken a long chain they said they were in and others will be affected. It seems day to day costs are starting to affect peoples decisions and affordability calculations. I’m seeing very obvious signs in day to day life around me. However, we went out in town last week for food and everyone bar us and I mean everyone looked under 30 (under 25 in most cases) in the latest designer getup like they were going the gym. I was the oldest in there by a country mile! The girls had the standard UK issue trout pout, push up bra, platform Balenciaga trainers, excessively long eye lashes, botox and fillers, the car park full of 2 series BMWs no doubt on PCP. It seems the ones without any responsibilities, or have credit or disposable income are those under 30 with Instagram accounts!
  12. Or did they?? The world’s media can’t seem to make up their mind! https://blockworks.co/update-evergrande-has-paid-part-of-148-13m-interest-due-yet-dmsa-begins-bankruptcy-proceedings/
  13. Short 2min segment on Bloomberg last Tuesday said BOE might need to do 1% in NOV. Imagine that! Wednesday I attended a UK devolved gov finance catch-up. Consensus was rates to be at 1-1.25% by March 2022. But in the last few days across UK and US, commentators saying they must not raise rates. It could be the biggest policy mistake ever if they do! Which is it to be? Can’t wait to see whose view is even close to the mark and if BOE make any move at all in next 6 months. Made me smile yesterday queuing for a sandwich they were talking about interest rates in the bakery…felt like I’d time travelled back to a forgotten era!
  14. Yes agreed. Consumer is being mugged and green washed for years over both petrol and diesel quality. E5 (super unleaded-98+octane) lasts many months with improved MPG and reduces bore wash and allows longer oil change intervals. E10 (10%ethanol-lower octane) less stable, loses potency after 50days and will require significantly more frequent oil changes - but a manufacturer won’t want to tell you that. Fill a lawnmower with E5 or super unleaded and watch how much extra use you get, how much cleaner it burns with less fumes and no need for expensive petrol additives. Also, take sulphur in diesel. Basically 4 levels. High cetane super diesel - low sulphur. 12-16k miles oil change required Normal pump diesel - higher sulphur. 8-10k miles oil change required Red diesel - high sulphur 4-6k miles oil change Marine diesel - very high sulphur. every 100hrs or 2-4K miles oil change recommended to avoid bore washing in the engine. Copious reports of Diesel engine and DPF failure in motor trade, but when we look closer and do laboratory fuel tests, most never run on high cetane diesel. Majority of failures run on super market diesel and red. If you run on lower quality diesel you should change engine oil more often. Cheaper fuels and bio fuels will likely cost you (and the environment) more in the long run.
  15. In July 2007 at the height of hpi madness my brother bought his first house, despite advice to rent a little longer. He bought a 3 bed semi with a £17k deposit at an LTV of 70% on a 5 year fix. 2 years later in mid 2009 the Irish bank rang to apologise, but we think house prices in your area have softened and we need another £14k from you if you want to stay on your current LTV of 85% for the remaining 3 years. My brother took legal advice stating he had a fixed mortgage agreement, but he lost. This hit my brother very hard and he had no choice but to move to the SVR on interest only. He sold his house in 2014 for £2k more than he paid in 2007. Costing significantly more overall than had he stayed renting. Remember, to those young guns out there, some of us saw the pain after 2008. I can promise you a fixed rate mortgage is not strictly that when the banks smell trouble…check your small print.
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