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greengreen

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About greengreen

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  1. I know this area quite well and it has always been a bit grotty. there are so many shops that haven't been used for 5+ years (boarded up and very sad). What has happened is that about 2 years ago, the three upstairs floors, above an old bar, across the road and on the corner were renovated and sold (7 one bedroom flats). This has started a craze on this part of Lavender Hill and another 4 or 5 properties are now adding lofts and selling off the flats. Also these three premises were auctioned a while ago and I did see them on eigroup. Fortunately it does make this section fo the Lavender Hill look a bit nicer, but it is a very busy road and the prices are just mad.
  2. I know this area quite well and over the past year the prices have gone mad. Ritherdon road and all the streets that run northwest from Elmbourne Road (Louisville, Drakefield, Streathbourne, Huron etc) have gone up massively. Admitedly they are very large houses, some with basements so you get a lot fo square footage. but people are now trying to sell unmodernised houses for the same price as fully modernised houses. Look at this one on Ritherdon road, I went to see it and you would need to spend at least £300k + to get it up to date: 6 bedroom house for sale Ritherdon Road, Tooting Bec, SW17 Insane.
  3. Telegraph - France faces 40pc house price slump France faces a property slump of Anglo-Saxon proportions as the frothiest boom in French history finally tips over, threatening the country with an economic shock just as austerity hits. "It is a gigantic bubble, all the more dangerous as it is spread across France," said Pierre Sabatier, from the consultancy PrimeView. "It reached a paroxysm in the summer of 2011. There is a mix of incredulity and denial as it starts to burst but there can be little doubt that all levers propelling the market are disappearing." have a read, there are a lot of comments!
  4. Hi Agentimmo, Thanks for that, I was reading those posts when they went up and yes they did get a bit heated. What I though was interesting about this article was that it was in the Mail, which would potentially reach a larger audience and I also found the comments about the article interesting. I do not want to reignite a very heated debate, rather I wanted to post the article and leave posters to read if they so wish. there was also another article on the telegraph: British holiday homeowners in France to be hit by new tax which received quite a detailed comment from poster "fs": It seems this article has been updated, but it is still a very poor piece of reporting lending itself to scaremongering. Others have already pointed out countless errors. 1. The law hasn't been voted yet. The government hopes to get it voted by July. The article presents it as a fait accompli. 2. The change is part of a reform of the wealth tax that is quite damaging by chasing capital away. 3. The criteria of applying the tax to non-residents is not discriminatory, as it doesn't target any specific nationality. French non-residents will also be taxed. There is an exception for temporary expats being abroad for professional reasons. 4. Some people may take court action, but that will not suspend the tax. The government is likely to take it all the way to the Conseil d'État, the highest administrative jurisdiction, if necessary. That would take years. The tax would be due in the meantime, but if judged illegal, it could in theory be reclaimed. 5. Contrary to what the article says, the tax is aimed at properties NOT rented out. 6. "Estimated value of annual rent" is a misleading description of the "valeur locative cadastrale". It may be an approximate translation, but that figure is purely fictive. It is the same basis that is used for the taxe foncière. 7. Income tax has nothing to do with property tax, but the figure of 41% tax over 70,830 euros is not quite correct, as the default allowance for professional expenses of 10% has been forgotten. The actual figure is closer to 78,700 euros, but only for a single person without children, not for a married couple or someone with children living at home. The French income tax system is very family friendly, contrary to the UK tax system, and levels out the family income over all the family members so that everybody can use their personal allowances and low tax bands regardless of which person earned it, children included. A married couple without children would have to earn close to 157,400 euros between them before the 41% tax sets in. A married couple with two children can earn 17,889 euros without paying income tax at all. Furthermore, the taxable income is very close to the income NET of social security charges, whereas in the UK, the tax is due on the gross income before deduction of NIC. Try beating that in the UK. It is unfortunately typical for UK reporters who don't understand the French income tax system to present such misleading figures. What is expensive in France is the social security charges, not the income tax. 8. Forced to sell? Unfortunately, every tax increase may force a change of behaviour. Nobody ever promised anybody that taxes would remain exactly as when a property was purchased, just as airlines never promised they would keep flying perpetually to the same destinations at the same prices. One takes a risk when buying property abroad. The French can talk about tightened budgets already, the increasing CO2 taxes on cars, the increasing fuel prices, increasing rents, increasing electricity and gas prices, and other tax and prices increases taken into account while income levels don't move. Many low- and middle income earners in France are more or less forced to limit car use to a strict minimum and to scrape the budget to be able to pay the ever-increasing rents and property prices. Residents have already been squeezed economically for many years now. The tightening isn't limited to non-residents. 9. Hundreds of thousands are living in property unsuitable for human habitation because there is not enough property and what there is is beyond their financial means. Others don't have a home at all. The increasing number of properties being bought up for second homes, standing empty most of the year, increases the housing problem. In some regions, some locals (of whatever nationality) can't find a place to live any more. This indirectly adds to public expenses, as the government has a duty to assure that there is housing for everybody. If anything, the new tax could be justified on that basis. The primary purpose of housing is to provide a place for residents to live, not for Britons to have holiday homes. Expats who are residents of France contribute to the French economy (except when evading French taxes and social charges by declaring businesses in the UK while resident in France), but those who only stay a couple of weeks a year, how much do they contribute? What is the interest to local communities of houses standing empty, shutters closed, 11 months out of 12? Britons are perfectly in their right to buy properties as they see fit, but if one buys property in another country, then one is bound by the laws and taxes of that country, however they are changed. The attitude by some (not all), such as "we have a right not to pay more taxes while residents themselves are crumbling under tax and price increases" isn't helpful for the image of Britons in France. An attitude a bit more humble would seem suitable. If someone doesn't like the taxes, they have the freedom to sell or rent out their properties. In any case, whether they like the tax or not isn't going to make any change, so those concerned might just as well start considering their options.
  5. you may have already seen this on the main forum: Daily Mail: Britons with holiday homes in France face £700-a-year tax as Sarkozy looks to raise cash some Interesting comments: An excellent plan, but why not French owners too and why only £700? If we introduced punitive tariffs on second homes in the UK (regardless of whether the owners be foreign or British), not only would it yield lots of money for the exchequer, but house prices should fall to levels local owner/occupiers could afford once more. That's ok sell up and leave them with empty wasteland and a drop in tourism. Give me enough bricks and mortar and I would brick up the entrance to the Channel Tunnel. As a protest I will not be buying any more letters from the French. Good, if they can afford a second home in France they can afford the tax besides all they should make a contribution to the host country - Sam, Cardiff UK, 24/5/2011 10:32++++++++++++++++++++++++you sound like a bitter little man Sam. Actually we do pay taxes on our properties already and spend thousands in the French economy which benefits businesses and the taxman as the French have VAT also you know. Maybe some of us can afford second homes because we didn't p**s all our money up against the wall. I spend 5 months a year here in France. I pay my tax fonciere and my tax habitation which come to around 1500 Euro per year. I spend thousands of pounds here (including tax on goods) on DIY materials food and wine I eat out regularly in local restaurants and contribute in a very positive way financially towards the French economy. If this tax is introduced however I shall place my house on the market and spend more time in the UK. NOT because I can't afford it but as a matter of principal. It is wrong and I will feel unwelcome . Good, if they can afford a second home in France they can afford the tax besides all they should make a contribution to the host country As someone who lives in a county over-run with second homes, I do have some sympathy for the French attitude. Those of you who own homes in Cornwall must realise that you do drive the price of buying a house here way out of the reach of most people. The average wage here is between £14,000 - £15,000 per annum and the largest proportion of jobs are at the minimum wage level whereas the average house price is £180,000; you do the maths! This is not a whinge but a fact and having children who have no hope of climbing on the property ladder it is also despairing. There are some fishing villages and areas in Cornwall with an average house price of £300,000 but which stand empty in the winter due to holiday homes and summer lets. Some will say that the 2nd home owners bring money into the county, yes they do, for a few weeks of the year, but not as much as a family living in a property the whole year round; whose children boost the numbers in small primary schools and helps small shops.
  6. I dont think that they messed up too much, the exemption does make some sense. Imagine that you work for a large french company and are asked to do a 3 year placement in London for example. You may want to hold onto your house for when you return, some allowance should be given for that, otherwise people wouldnt move or they would have to be compensated for it. I suppose that there is a difference if you rent the house out as you are then raising revenue and would be subject to tax in teh country you reside in.
  7. also saw this from the main forum home page: France To Slap Tax On Foreign-Owned Second Homes PARIS : France is to hit non-resident owners of 360,000 second homes - many of them British or Dutch - with a new tax equal to 20 percent of the properties' rental value, under a draft law unveiled on Wednesday. Property dealers immediately warned the measure, designed to cut France's yawning budget deficit by about 176 million euros per year, would have a chilling effect on the holiday home market in rural regions like the Dordogne. Some also questioned whether it might breach European Union laws intended to ensure the free movement of capital, despite also applying to French citizens who are resident abroad but keep a second home in France. The draft, which was approved by President Nicolas Sarkozy's cabinet on Wednesday and is expected to pass parliament in time to become law in 2012, says second home owners should help pay for French public services. It is part of a package of measures to compensate France's overstretched coffers after an increase in the threshold for a supertax on the rich. "Being owner of one or more second homes implies that one benefits directly or indirectly from local and national public services, like the police, legal system and national infrastructure," the finance ministry said. France is a popular destination for tourists from Britain and the rest of Northern Europe, and many choose to stay on, buying up relatively cheap homes in rural areas - without always becoming French income tax payers. While second-home owners already pay local property tax, if their income is declared abroad, they do not pay the same tax as permanent residents. For the government, this is a loophole to plug, but for the thousands of French estate agents who make a living selling to foreign buyers, any new levy can only depress the lower end of the market. Experts said such a tax could hit British and Dutch retirees and summer visitors who flock to the south and southwest to enjoy the warm climate and fine cuisine, while having little impact on the international super-rich. Thibault de Saint Vincent, chairman of luxury property agency Barnes, said that Russian, Chinese and Gulf Arab tycoons would still snap up Paris flats, Alpine ski chalets and Cote d'Azur villas. "An extra 15,000 to 20,000 euros per year won't matter to them," he said. But property agency Emmanuel Garcin warned: "This new tax could reduce the enthusiasm of foreigners at a time when France is more and more seen as a country of adoption for people the world over." The law has clearly been written so as not to apply only to foreigners - as this would breach EU law - but also to French citizens who have moved abroad and are no longer French residents for tax purposes. However, it makes an exception for those who have paid French tax for at least three years out of the previous ten - presumably mostly French citizens - and who would not pay the tax for their first five years abroad. Paris property lawyer Daniele Siboni predicted the tax would be challenged under European law as discriminatory, and Marion Chapel-Massot of private wealth managers Equance wondered about royal loopholes. "I wonder if those who belong to foreign ruling families will continue to benefit from a diplomatic exemption," she mused. The French parliament is due to vote on the tax reform bill in July.
  8. If the french say that its for business, surely the tax man will get them as they will have to show that they are running a business in france and therefore are due to pay tax. I dont see how the french or other nationalities who live outside france will get out of this tax.
  9. Very interesting chart if I'm reading it correctly, what is amazing is that there are countries that have over 50% of their working population as LTU, how do they survive? And why is Mexico so low? do they have no benefits whatsoever?
  10. As I am not an economist, can you clarify why if boomers/care costs will being funded out of the tax base instead of savings would make IRs higher? I understand that IRs have been lower in the last 10 or so years compared with the 80s and early 90s. I always think of Japan when I think of low interest rates, what did they think when their bubble burst, did they anticipate that it would be as long and slow as it has been and why couldnt this happen in the UK? with low interest rates. very true, probably why there is such interest in bricks and mortar, people can relate to the concept of ownership of something tangible even if the numbers dont add up. The divide I mean is wealth divide - BTL people with money can afford to buy property and effectively force people who cant buy (either through salary levels, or lack of time to pay off a mortgage) to rent. As renters increase in number this allows small and large professional landlords to increase their holdings.
  11. I agree that IRs wont stay low over this period, but what do you think will happen over the medium term to wages, tax and inflation. I think that the government will offer some sort of tax cut prior to the next election, having tried to deal with the deficit now, I think that there will be considerable pressure to raise rates, which will be dependent on how well business is doing, and finally the pressure for wage inflation will be significant, unions will push hard, but find it difficult, and the desperation of some to find jobs based on unemployment will help business keep wages down. I am sure that some will have long term investments and that easy purchase may be possible, but I think that they will be in the minority. There are simply too many people who dont have savings/investments and are living month by month with no safety net if things go wrong. Personally I think that there is already at least one generation stuffed by high house prices and another generation growing up into it who will have high debts. renting will become more prevalent but possibly not due to choice and finally I think that there will be an every greater divide between the have and have nots.
  12. if you are thinking that the final bottom is coming 2020-25, thats a long way off. In a worst case senario that means 18 years from peak (2007) to 2025! people not on IO mortgages should be able to pay off a good chunk of their mortgage by then. If interest rates stay low to stimulate the economy irrespective of inflation as they are now, that gives some mortgage holders a chance. the tragic thing about a long drawn out correction is that if the avg age of a FTB is 37, the there must be some who are consderably over 40. For those individuals, if they have to wait another 10 years at least for prices to correct to a level they can afford based on sensible salary multiples, they'll be over 50 and they simply wont be able to get a 25 yr mortgage - stuffed. this generation will then be followed up by heavily indebted graduates and employees on low salaries competing in a global economy. What a wonderful future to look forward to.
  13. I am getting used to hearing about hundreds of billions and the occaisional trillion, but when numbers like this come up i find them truly staggering, (maybe I just need to get used to them and then it wont matter, just like ever inflating house prices, I just need to get used to it). Surely if something goes wrong in this marketplace the effects will be enormous? Is this simply an example of severe over leveraging to extract ever larger and larger profits based on very little? Can someone who has a good understanding of what these "products" are, explain in a simple way to a non banking person what the risks and benefits are? or am I missing the point, do the other financial products include pensions, savings etc?
  14. I read this story from a link on the home page of HPC, please have a look, I think that you'll find the URL is quite unusual! I cant paste it here as the filters will probably cut it out. The unusual link also shows up on google if you search for: cameron says gordon brown is a c***
  15. you read my mind, i have thought about this too, now all I need to do is work out how to get the £10m!
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