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  1. GBP. I've done pretty OK out of the recent Aussie dollar weakness- long may it continue!
  2. Just an update, I have STILL done nothing, but thanks to a good couple of years in the stock market, have almost doubled my available deposit funds. Greenwich has risen by 25% in the last year, so verging on unaffordable now, but with the spectacle of QE and deflation all over, and Osourne signalling every intent to keep the HPI party going until every shithole in the country is >£1,000,000, I see no Choice but to buy. I am currently working in Sydney (and have been offered a long term position here, but I am going to turn it down for a lot of reasons). When I get back in the summer, I will start looking. At least the upward pressure on London has taken a bit of hiatus, so I shouldn't have the same frevent competition for every place on the market, but at £400,000. Wish me luck chaps. yours, A reluctant buyer.
  3. So what's your point? that I should stop complaining and keep renting? What about my post makes you assume I cannot do 'simple finance maths'? Yields may be low, but that does not change the fact that rents and cost of servicing a mortgage are still far too high as a % of income in London.
  4. Just an update (Can't believe I posted this last November!) I've taken no action at all, apart from to renew my existing rental agreement (which has now gone up by about £48PCM, but is still very good value for Greenwich). However, we've had quite a good start to 2013 in terms of earnings and savings. With Carney's commitments to hold interest rates down for what will probably amount to 3-4 years minimum, I cannot see much choice other than buying now. 3-4 years of HPI in London, plus the then subsequent crash that may or may not unfold, or be a slow decline over many years, coupled with higher interest rates, making it impossible for us to buy, and the thought of spending another £30,000 -£45,000 on renting our current place means we will be reluctant buyers. Circumstances (Wife's self employment, etc) dictate that we have to stay in London, preferably zone 4 or less too, so we won't exactly be getting value. 2 bed flat with a garden for near £400K....! I have even looked at using the Help To Buy scheme to protect some of my own capital for a few years, however everything new- build just looks like an utter rip- off (£500K for 2 bedroom 'executive apartments' without a garden??????!!!!!! so this is not an option either. Greenwich/ Blackheath/ Brockley/ Crystal Palace are our first targets. I do worry about decent schools in these areas -for the future- though.
  5. I will very likely earn near 100K over the next 12 months and make my own salad at least half the time (get bought a lot of lunches too) so yes such people do. Also never buy coffee out of my own pocket. I either use the decent office machine or expense it as part of a meeting. (Which it usually is) You are forgetting a lot of the perks that 'high earners' get as you are often in and out of client meetings, or have team meetings that typically involve a receipt to the Payables dept. PS I am 30 and live in Greenwich where I rent. Refuse to buy due to silly prices around here. Might just pack it all in and move so Sao Paulo or Dubai with the company in the next few years.
  6. God knows - we are also going to look a bit further out like Hanwell, etc. but even so..... Moving away and up to the 'next thing' is going to be really tough. To be honest I would either need an enormous pay rise, or strike it rich through my own business or similar I think.
  7. I have written and deleted this about 5 times this evening, so I hope it does not come across as too self indulgent (although it probably will). So I have been a member here for yonks now, and have long believed that there will be a major correction at some point. I've been laughed at, mocked, and got into countless debates where it is me vs everyone over property prices, and why they have to fall. However, I am really coming to the end of my patience now and I am constantly getting my ear bent by the wife, etc. Now I don't for one second think property is fairly valued, but at 29 with a wife, a desire to get a dog, maybe pop a couple of sprogs in the next 5 years or so, I don't know if I can wait much longer. I currently live in a £1,080 PCM maisonette in Greenwich and commute to central London (30 mins a day each way) where I earn a decent (for my age) salary, and it really feels like a waste of money whilst house prices continue to creep up around here. I have also amassed about £85,000 in deposit funds, so have a decent pot ready to go. I am starting to plan investing almost all of it as a deposit for a first home. I am doing everything I can to mitigate the risk of it turning into a total feck up if when property does go south - a max. 2.5x joint earnings mortgage, no plans to move, some of my higher yielding assets would remain unliquidated, something out of 'centralish' London. (Possibly Richmond, or Kingston on Thames). Unfortunately spending around £300,000 or more seems to be the order of the day to get anything remotely decent. For me it is about getting on with my life - we feel like we are living with the pause button pressed in a way - no options to do simple, silly things like get a dog, have a garden to tend to, buy decent furniture (as it might not fit/ fit in with the house), etc. Also I guess the inevitable peer pressure is a factor too, no matter how hard I try and avoid it. I cannot see any end to these 'emergency interest rates' and whilst mortgages are so cheap, we could pay off a fair whack of capital. The Government seems to be doing everything it can to keep the zombified housing market going - plus the 'race to the bottom' relentless trashing of Sterling means house prices are crashing for everyone apart from us locals - so why not benefit from it all? I know it may well end up screwing me up, but if I buy 'for the future' I would hope I can survive the inevitable collapse. Madness setting in, or just the grim reality I am going to get buggered by the Government later down the line for the sake of having a life? any tips? Thanks and apologies for the rant.
  8. So was at a wedding yesterday. Was sat with someone I have known for about 20 years now (I am 29). He is the same ago as me and has "owned" (Read: parents put down a 10K deposit on a £300K house which he had to subsidise out of his own pocket for 6-7 years due to non-payment by tenants and is still on I/O) a house in Bristol since 2002 in which at the age of 29 is still living with 7 other undergrads all around 10 years his junior. He rather smugly asks me when if I am buying in London (where I live) any time soon, to which I simply replied 'Not until house prices in London come down from their silly levels', to which he turned to my wife, laughing, (Who also wants to buy something, but being from overseas, and not really the kind of person who thinks nor cares about economics) said "He's been going on about there being a crash for years now'. I found it quite embarrassing, and luckily our conversation was cut short. However, later on, he brought it up again breifly, and seems to somehow think he (as does everyone else who owns a house I know) is insulated from any 'reductions' that have taken place over the past few years. I am sure this is because parents drill in to their kids (who at my age have never seen a crash) that 'property is a safe bet', and through a combination of blind fortuitousness, economic ignorance, and general arrogance seem to be blind to any falls whatsoever. So really two things: 1) When are we going to see something happen that really makes people sit up and take notice? it seems like everyone either ignores the occasional dab of news we get about houe prices and thinks it only affects everyone else or 'it will never happen to me'. 2) Never one to shy away from getting the last word in, does anyone have any good links I can send the chap (and the wife) that succinctly sum up the inflation- adjusted falls of the last few years?
  9. So you would suggest that the repayment rate be higher (say 15% of income) and the costs beter outlined to make students think before going to University? I am not sure it would do anything. I think too many people want to go to uni for a party/ shag-a-thon (All my housemates were there for that pretty much - with the exception of one, they are all sub-30K [some working in London!] 7 years on with a huge student loan still to pay). I and only one other guy I know are the exceptions to this. (It was an ex-poly and we both did a Computing degree). I don't think the pricing element would have stopped them - just put more pressure on parents maybe. Unfortunately unis make money from student admissions, and the easiest way to get them though the door is the ensure the union is stocked with cheap booze, the digs are plush, and the local bars/ clubs offer good 'stoodent nights'
  10. Never been to Mumsnet before, but came across this gem: http://www.mumsnet.com/Talk/am_i_being_unreasonable/1541152-Offering-cash-to-those-in-crisis-then-welching-how-ok-is-this un******ingbelieveable
  11. To be honest this sounds more like an opportunity for you to brag a little than being an actual valid point. I think the way it ramps up makes perfect sense. Sure the repayments go up, but on 50K per year, your take- home is near £3,000 per month - hardly living on the poverty line. Being in a similar position, yes the boost will be nice come the end of the year, but it's not exactly 'hammering' one is it? What would you suggest as an alternative? Pay less, accrue more interest, and have smaller repayments coming out for the next 10 years whilst you pay off the balance and all that extra interest?
  12. The only suprise here is that they lasted so long with websites like Salt & Paper, MP, FunkyPiigeon and so on devouring their market share..
  13. Excellent stuff. I have noticed a massive turn-around in the last few weeks... I think everyone is expecting falls now. I was even reading a rather bearish article in The Economist about European house prices this morning- let's hope it all turns out to be true!
  14. Perhaps they shouldn't be splashing their finances all over the papers if they don't want people commenting on them
  15. Really? I didn't know that. Isn't that what the deposit held in the DPS is for? In any case, I still won't pay a penny to these insurance companies - bunch of crooks for the most part.
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