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Everything posted by hra

  1. Anecdotal, but back in December I was saying I had not seen any very obvious attempts at advertising reduced prices (even if in actual fact they were being reduced quietly as my own sale would have been) - but that's changed. In the Reading property paper which came out around Easter just when the "spring bloom" was getting underway of course, there were several estate agents whose pages now unsashamedly sport "new price" flags or even overt "price reductions". I tried to work out whether there was a pattern in terms of property type. Certainly a lot are starter homes - or maybe "non-starter" homes - but not all: there are even nice-looking family homes and bungalows on the reduced list. The only theme seems to be that that the very upmarket estate agents and/or particularly desirable villages still seem unaffected. That could of course be down to the way they advertise.
  2. They were probably just trying to be ironic or something, considering the tone of their other articles anyway for me it didn't quite come off especially when the article is quoted out of context. I suppose it's just sensitivity to the fact that as HPC gets more and more publicity, there will be a temptation to portray it as doom-mongers rather than a reputable source.
  3. "where you can check whether your home is about to become worthless " Has there ever been a thread about checking to see if your home is literally going to become worthless (as opposed to a bad investment)? Rather an exaggerated and perhaps belittling way of describing the site, I thought.
  4. I've just visited the site and it says Points of View is off air, though they have a forum where you can air your views, maybe to little effect other than promo value but who knows. Someone has already started a thread there: Unreal Story
  5. Yes and it looks a little bit large and detached for a "2 bedroom terrace" but that's a minor detail beside getting the country wrong. The next one's in "Startford".
  6. I agree with you SC although a genuine complaints procedure with any backbone shouldn't be treated as some kind of voting process with some possibly arbitrary limit set on the number of communications which trigger action! Bit like Big Brother - only the worst x number of programmes get nominated for eviction? Obviously it is entirely possible for an astute minority of complainers to be right especially when backed up with such clear arguments, and in a peverse way, it might be worth making the point to Ofcom and elsewhere that a relatively low number of complaints can reflect the effectiveness and danger of propaganda even more than a media frenzy.
  7. Someone else suggested writing to their MP. Not a bad idea IMHO especially if enough people do so and considering it's election time. Another possible angle would be to suggest the subject as a discussion topic for your local radio station's phone-in.
  8. Want to bet? Surely the BBC would at least screen an in-depth feature-length documentary showing that the housing market wasn't going to crash at all until someone started that awful website and went round spreading malicious rumours, just like "putting smallpox in the water". They probably wouldn't show Kirstie eating her hat, though. Then there'd be a new series of Location, Location, Location, showing how homeowners can profit from the housing "blip" (a word I seem to recall Nigel Lawson used about the economy in 1988) to buy an even more expensive home than the one they've already got with a smaller relative difference in price than was the case during the boom years. Scraping the barrel just a tiny bit in terms of media angle but I wouldn't put it past them. Then finally after enough lawsuits they'd see the light, pack her off to star as an exhibit in Room 101, and the next series of Location, Location, Location would be all about how to find your way to the nearest bankruptcy advice centre.
  9. Thanks - considering the content, I don't think you have anything to worry about! Of course the whole thing's absurd, but a few months down the line they may very well regret the following. They may even have to eat their hats. for example. Did you notice how contradictory the first article was - then Then the first article says a crash may happen in other areas but not locally: the second cites a UK-wide study as evidence of market strength. Mind you, one of the EA authors was a rather aptly-named "Chris Hope" I'd love to see Kate Barker's face reading this bit: [sic] They've got a bulletin board as well - could be fun if they don't print your letter (or enough of it).
  10. What if someone puts a very large number of links all on one site - does that also increase the weighting enough?
  11. I was just wondering which of the users on here is your landlord.
  12. I hope they print it without editing it around too much. With any luck, it will provoke other correspondence too. It would be interesting to see the original article you're commenting on, specifically what the estate agents said to attack Kate Barker's statement. Perhaps she'd have a case against them!
  13. Very clearly-written article IMHO especially the often under-reported taxation implications. It looks as if she has been very prudent and probably fortunate too, in her choice of tenants. There's a bit more to it than the mere fact that she is marginally in profit though. What kind of return is she getting on her capital? How much of her own valuable time and energy is she spending on the whole affair? What are the risks e.g. of her tenants suddenly quitting, more maintenance hassles appearing, service charges and other costs increasing, or even (as the article fair-mindedly points out) the capital value decreasing?
  14. It's getting on for midday so I'd better own up: APRIL FOOL! I'm sure I didn't fool many of the discerning regulars on HPC but it would have been quite fun if anyone from the Beeb has been following the thread.
  15. 10% rise in the amount of spin they put out, perhaps?
  16. What a reliable, unbiased source indeed. Just like any good politician (see above). And of course the the Halifax and Nationwide are beyond reproach too. What do the RICS know about property, anyway. I wonder whether the BBC told the above reader they get loads of complaints from people saying the BBC is trying to ramp the market. Now that would be fair, wouldn't it. By the way, I also wonder who the said (and vastly outnumbered reader) was. It couldn't be a Ms. K. Allsopp, could it?
  17. The poor journalist was probably just about to file a well-balanced, professional, investigative report about what the March figures signify for the impending crash, when a lackey of Mark Thompson's came along, gently reminded him of the 2,000 or so recent redundancies at the BBC, shoved a piece of propaganda entitled "Spring Bloom for Property Market" into his hands and snarled "Print this or you can pick up your P45".
  18. Speaking of whom, it could have been a whole queue of irate husbands demanding DNA for paternity tests on their children.
  19. They were all people who wanted to see the estate agents' reaction when they found the HPC flyers pinned up outside their front door.
  20. Dear Phil, I suppose you must have been busy yesterday, what with the spring bounce! The market must be really taking off at this time of the year thanks to the seasonally-adjusted weather. I bet people were queueing up just to get in the doors of their estate agents! Anyway, forget about the 2-bed terrace we were discussing - thanks to you, I've sold it for £595,000 to a young couple who were just looking for a compact yet affordable 2-bed terrace with 3 ensuites, 2 patios and 4 sheds in an area "convenient for major transport links". (I hope no-one tells them about nethouseprices.com before they exchange contracts, but that's our secret, Phil). I wanted to ask you about one of my other BTL properties. It's a 2-bed flat in a modern block in a fairly major road in Bristol which I bought for £269,000 on a self-cert mortgage - I had to tell a few fibs e.g. that I was a top lawyer married to a prominent politician (oops, I nearly said 'war criminal') but never mind. The problem is, according to nethouseprices, the neighbouring properties have all been selling for £240,000 - £250,000, and it probably won't fetch more than £900pcm in rent, if that. Now the property doesn't have a garden, so we can't do the garden shed thing this time. But it does have an allocated parking space. Any more stunning ideas how you can work your magic and come up with the makeover of my dreams?
  21. Dear Phil and everyone else who wrote in, Thanks so much for your sympathetic and caring advice. Am I going to be on "Location location location"? Please? I've just been over to Chavs DIY and have almost got the roof on one of the sheds (the one-window one backing onto the railway line) and am busy painting it red as we speak. (Pity about the paint on the keyboard). As it is a BTL property (sorry I forgot to mention that) I'll be advertising my tenants' services rather than those of myself or my partner, in return for an increase in rent in consideration for providing them for such a lucrative and presumably tax-free business opportunity - one which can't be outsourced either. But I have just a few followup questions: 1. Do I need planning, or any other kind of permission or kickback, from the Council? 2. If so, will it speed things up if I claim to be a representative of a new residential subsidiary of a big developer like Wimpey or Barratts? 3. Should I get a webcam as well? 4. If we put a copy of your book inside one of the sheds (not the one painted red inside), will it qualify as an "entertainment centre" and if so, how much will it increase in value? 5. What should I do with all my garden tools? Counting off the minutes until the next episode of LLL, hra
  22. "Dear Phil, I am one of your biggest fans, I have been following your property programmes for years and I thought your webchat about garden sheds was fantastic, full of practical ideas and creative inspiration as one would expect from someone with a well-earned reputation as one of the country's leading property experts. Can you give me a few words of advice? I bought a 2-bed newbuild terrace for £395,000 in July 2004 with a 110% interest-only mortgage. I borrowed another £50,000 from my parents to put in a 3rd ensuite bathroom off the kitchen, add an extra patio and decking to the front garden and throw out the free furniture and kitchen fittings I got as a special deal and replace them with Ikea. After seeing your webchat, I have just taken out another £30,000 loan on my credit card to buy 4 sheds from B&Q and convert them to a meditation room, an entertainment centre, a spa, and a home office. However, the problem is my garden's only big enough for 4 sheds and I can't extend because the property is sandwiched inbetween a factory and the railway line. What else can I do to upgrade my property and protect myself against the housing crash my estate agents say is coming (after reading some leaflet which appeared through their door)?
  23. It was probably an "entertainment den" or home office or meditation room or 3rd bathroom or bar or something built by someone who watched Phil Spencer's webchat on shed conversions yesterday, only the snag was they had run out of sheds. You'll probably find the neighbouring property is on the market for £150K more than it was last week.
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