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House Price Crash Forum


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Posts posted by hra

  1. I completely agree with the above sentiments.

    This forum is supposed to be about the housing market, not a general news/discussion board as many posters appear to think. It is completely correct and on topic to examine the relationship between current events and the housing market.

    Many of us appreciate Bubble Pricker's posts for his dispassionate clear-heading analysis; qualities that are too often missing from VI media talking heads (see Anatole Kaletsky thread). Keep up the good work.

    In the wake of the tsunami disaster, very similar objections were raised and "captain sensible" responded

    "It's a tragedy and you're right that people dying and injured is far more important than the effects on house prices. But this isn't a disasters discussion board, it's a house price discussion board, so it's quite right and proper that it's discussed here. People all over the world are talking about the effects it will have on their lives; seismologists are looking at their field, airlines at theirs, economists at theirs. We shouldn't be scared to talk about how it will affect the housing market. "


    We wouldn't want to be accused of double standards.

  2. You'll see that the average price was £162k, this press release states it's £174k which is funny if prices declined 5.9%!

    Absolutely correct and the Group Economist of the Hfx knows perfectly well it doesn't make sense, but hey, it was seasonally adjusted. The weather's been bad this summer.

    and the Halifax was last a Society when.....?

    Very well spotted and it was quite a while ago, but see below. Anyway that's probably been seasonally adjusted.

    Is it April 1st again?

    Yes, that's been seasonally adjusted too.

    Perhaps Hfx stands for "Hoaxerfax"?

  3. Small excerpt of this attached - no URL yet as it hasn't been officially released *

    House prices fell by a further 5.9% in June. However, the positive year-on-year HPI figure is still underpinned by robust growth in the third quarter of 2004.

    The annual rate of house price inflation fell to 0.9% in June, showing a sharp rate of fall from the May year-on-year figure of 5.7%.

    Whereas volatility was flat in the first quarter of 2005, a marked change in market sentiment is now evident in the accelerating rate of price falls.

    Estate agents have reported further declines in the number of sales, which now stand at around 55% lower than last year.

    The number of people putting their property on the market for sale has remained steady although average offer-to-completion times and the number of abortive transactions are rising steeply. An estimated 25% of transactions entailed downwards renegotiation of price before exchange of contracts.

    The housing sector is clearly starting to be impacted by cost-of-living increases which fall outside the key inflation indices whilst wages remain broadly in line with inflation. As such, the Society does not believe that modest cuts of less than a full 1% in interest rates will make a major contribution to affordability and ease the downwards pressure on prices.

    The Society has revised its forecast to a decline of 8% in house prices this year across the UK.

    * Obtained from an unofficial source and therefore without any guarantee its accuracy or authenticity.

  4. I get the impression TMF's getting a bit p!ssed off at verbatim cut'n'paste from their forums.  Rightly so, IMHO, even if what is copied is a forum post.  Link + teaser snippet is safest.  Unless of course you wrote the original post in which case it could be argued you have the right to post the same in both places.

    Why should I be singled out,

    on HPC where without doubt,

    Scores of postings must infringe

    the rules, but yet without a whinge

    For TMF my heart does bleed,

    But - breach of copyright indeed!

    Whoever could it really be,

    Who posted there as "Gremlins3"

    But back to poor old Blair and Brown,

    An IR cut might lift their frown,

    A shame about the falling pound,

    But maybe they won't be around.

  5. http://boards.fool.co.uk/Message.asp?mid=9393029

    Poetic Justice

    Let’s spare a thought for Tony Blair,

    Who bought-to-let in Connaught Square,

    A venture proving sadly rash,

    As prices promptly staged a crash!

    Gordon Brown - a man to trust,

    Said there will be no Boom & Bust,

    The BoE then waded in,

    Confirming all the Treasury spin,

    The Halifax and Nationwide,

    Denied the market was set to slide,

    Economists cited the New Paradigm,

    Insisting that it’s different this time

    Property shows all eulogised,

    Dewy-eyed buyers filled with pride,

    And ‘expert’ Kirstie boasted that

    if prices fall “I’ll eat my hat”

    Hometrack gave their erudite view,

    (Something which they doubtless rue)

    A property crash, anytime soon,

    Is like finding Elvis on the moon

    As time bore out his very worst fears,

    Poor Tony Blair came close to tears,

    O’er month by month and day by day,

    He’d lost seven hundred K

    Tony accosted Gordon Brown,

    “You never said prices could go down,

    It’s sexed-up vested-interest spin,

    That landed me in the mess I’m in!”

    And how could someone do this to me?

    So honest – a model of probity,

    I’ve never told a single lie,

    I’m really a pretty straight kind of guy”

    A worthy example Blair has set,

    To others bamboozled into debt,

    The irony plain for all to see,

    Their PM in negative equity.

    So spare a thought for Tony Blair,

    For sometimes, sometimes, life IS fair!

  6. Excerpt from Jeremy Warner's take on it in the Independent - an interesting last point -


    The dilemma is equally pointed for the Bank of England. It has successfully cooled the consumer boom and put the kibosh on the overheated housing market with repeated rises in interest rates, yet the economy is now slowing a little bit faster than it would have liked while special factors such as rising energy prices is keeping inflation on an upward trajectory. As Mervyn King, the Governor of the Bank of England, has pointed out, some of the factors which have kept the lid on prices, such as a pronounced shift in Britain's favour in the terms of trade, may now be coming to an end.

    So will the Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee come to the Chancellor's rescue and cut interest rates next week? My suspicion is that it won't, not with standing the fact that unexpectedly, two of its members voted for a cut at the last meeting. A slight pick up in mortgage lending in May suggests that the housing market isn't quite as dead as generally assumed.

    Consumer credit also showed some growth. America is an awfully long way away, and the British economy is arguably more influenced by the Continent these days than the US, but it would look perverse to be cutting British rates of interest at a time when the Fed is still raising US rates. And if the Bank does act, it may smack a little of panic. The economy has slowed, but we are hardly yet staring recession in the face. If the Bank does cut, the markets might assume it knows something nasty that the rest of us don't.

  7. On the other hand, the Independent did also publish this (comment on Abbey's Renting vs. Buying survey):

    Renting vs. Buying

    I was very pleased to see some sensible caveats such as:

    "A long-term survey reveals renting may be a financially wise decision"

    "What Abbey's figures do show, though, is that it is not necessarily a financial disaster to put off buying. House price and mortgage lending statistics suggest the market has cooled, and it looks likely that prices will remain stable, if not fall , in the near future. Would-be buyers might be able to improve their position if they rent and save for a deposit"

    The author even notes that even according to Abbey's analysis, not all people would be better off buying.

    And this is the same journalist who wrote the "Things look brighter for first-timers" article, where the possibility of price falls isn't mentioned at all (one of the main reasons I complained about it to their property editor).

  8. Nationwide's hard-copy Summary Financial Statement says:

    "The combined competition in the mortgage and savings markets will continue to put downward pressure on interest margins"

    and also

    "conditions in the retail savings market are likely to be significantly more competitive in 2005".

    (This despite the fact that at the time the report was written, 18th May, they were not forecasting a fall in BOE interest rates and in fact still some upside risk)

    But the news that the A&L has closed their e-account to new savers, even after a .35% drop seems a bit more dramatic than this and I'd like to know what is behind it.

    Even more dramatic is the fate of Birmingham Midshires. As mentioned elsewhere, they had a 1-year savings bond yielding 5.61% last June. Just checked and their latest issue is now down to 4.50%!

    Even their standard e-savings account is only offering 4.60%.

    Once consistent players towards the top of the best buy tables, they seem to have vanished.

  9. "THE new president of the National Association of Estate Agents has warned that, unless all risk is removed from the Government’s controversial proposals to make Home Information Packs mandatory in 18 months’ time, the Packs could turn out to be “the weapons of mass destruction of the housing market”."

    Found them at last, then :D

    I think the article is really just saying that the proposals could turn out to be unworkable, or an obstacle, because they haven't been trialled. They seem to be more worried about chaos and extra workload and sales failing to materialise, or falling through, because of problems with the new regulations.

    Obviously all of that could lead to price falls, and it might also deter short-term speculators from buying property if it's going to be an unbelievable hassle to sell it again.

    edited to say : but I agree the article is rather lacking in analysis to show how the "catastrophe" would occur or even exactly what it would be!

  10. If Blair bought a house in your road, what do you think would happen to property prices there?

    His poor neighbours have probably lost £100,000s more than they would have done, even with a full-blown crash.

    "Surprisingly spacious Regency 5-bed mansion blah blah conveniently situated close to major war criminal"

    No wonder his Islington place went up so much after he left.

  11. Lets face it Bulls only have about 3 arguments anyway:

    - Low interest rates (which they aren't particularly if you look at real rates)

    - Low unemployment (chicken meet egg)

    - Its different this time

    Thats why most of them have given up.

    Didn't the Independent gift them a few more arguments last week - and all in the same odious article "Things look brighter for first-timers"?


    Doubling of the stamp duty threshold (that old chestnut - but) "The stamp duty changes have the benefit of being effective immediately."

    "The number of private house builders offering shared ownership has increased by 74 per cent."

    "Planning controls require developers to offer "affordable" housing, as well as a need to sustain the first-time buyer market."

    "Mortgage lenders have also moved to help first-time buyers, by being more flexible towards different ways of buying property."

    "More lenders are now willing to grant mortgages with higher income multiples to first-time buyers"

    "Buyers who act now will be in a good position, should the Government's new scheme - as many market commentators expect - cause house prices to rise again"

  12. Not all 2nd homes are idyllic rural weekend retreats. Seems as if this whole issue is being "spun" to exploit a legitimate concern over the cliche of holiday homes pricing out rural communities, when there are all kinds of other reasons for having a 2nd home. E.g. work-related 2nd homes which people occupy only part-time such as a city pied-a-terre, where sharply deteriorating transport links have been the motivating factor for the purchase, not the desire for a weekend retreat.

  13. A spokesman for the National Audit Office said the accounts would now be published "in about two weeks". He confirmed they would not include contingent liabilities this time, which will not be published until the Treasury produces new Whole of Government Accounts, a project which has no deadline. However, a spokesman for the Treasury said contingent liabilities for each department were appearing on departmental websites.
    The November 2003 accounts included hundreds of contingent liabilities, such as £389m to indemnify works leant to the National Gallery and £3.7billion of loan guarantees for the Channel Tunnel Rail Link. Many are not on departmental websites.

    A key point must be whether the consolidated figure of liabilities actually exists somewhere in an as yet unpublished form - if it does, can't it be requested under the Freedom of Information Act?

    How else can the Government accurately estimate its budget deficit?

    The excuse that the information is available on departmental websites is clearly insufficient as the article shows.

    Wouldn't surprise me at all if someone leaked it.

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