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Everything posted by Orbital

  1. As someone who is testing the water right now, my anecdotal experience in SW London is of an active and depressingly competitive market. Every house I have seen is already under offer . I hope it is a seasonal trend that will die off...
  2. There is definitely renewed activity right now, I have stepped up my own quest for the elusive 4 bedder detached house and once again everything seems just out of reach. Admittedly I am looking at some of the nicer parts of SW London with the best commuter routes but it just reinforces my idea that the nicest houses in the nicest places to live will always sell at a price that the most well off people can afford. Sometimes I find myself believing what I read here and keep saying to the agents "yeah I'll come back in 6 months" and this place will be reduced, only to have them look at me funny. A couple of days later and these places are under offer, reportedly for full asking but the cynic perhaps shouldn't believe that much! I guess I can still feel smug if the sales don't go through but we'll have to wait and see on that. If these houses represent the top x% of housing stock then surely only the top x% of buyers will be able to buy them. The bottom line is that if you aren't in that wealth bracket (no matter what "real" values and "real" wages are or what you think they should be) you won't be able to afford it. I think this will be the real shock for posters on here who are average earners but don't yet appreciate that these nice detached houses are not for average people . I think a lot of the vitriol comes from middle class kids who were brought up in nice areas by their better off parents but now can't accept the prospect of living in a terraced or flat - the reality for much of the population throughout history. This kind of housing is no longer perceived "good enough" by a generation brought up to expect the best. I think a lot of the snobby us and them posts give this feeling away (lest we have to live near the common "chavs"). I hope I'm wrong, but as an average earner these nicer houses always seem just out of reach no matter what the current trends are. I think my strategy will be to buy something that needs modernisation and take a course in plumbing lol! Of course if these massive drops do extend to these types of houses eventually then I will be able to afford a mansion - I still don't get why someone like me, an average earner, should be able to get such a nice place but whoopee if that's the case !
  3. An 11k fine, yes, I can see they are taking this just as seriously as you expect ! ps. /me looks to see if I can hide sigs - this thread is ridiculous!
  4. I was trying to think of a cunning way to point out the fatal flaw of such a plan but I think this comment sums it up just great. Nice one. Someone missed economics 101
  5. Did you really expect any other conclusion from a thread on this board? Here's hoping you don't look back on the 2 years that prices took off again ! I think it is the right choice too though . Wish your son good luck with his course from us!
  6. And it's normally polite to offer £100 or so for our time. That's what I got from the Times for a "case study".
  7. We can't win really, pay out more: taxes go up and people will see that not working pays better than working. So less people work, taxes go up, inflation is scrwed etc. Pay out less: people go hungry and die. Some of us will always think the balance is wrong. I'm not sure it is too far off. Good to see HPCers are still planning to borrow borrow borrow! !
  8. Thanks for this - was almost about to give up! Reading threads in that other format is impossible.
  9. Yeah all the papers are running stories on "record increase in enquiries" - of course that aint hard if you had just one enquiry, and now you have 5. That's a big % rise lol! But having been looking around the last weeks and arranging viewings things have picked up for sure. Out of 4 places I wanted to see only 1 was available to view, the others were all under offer. Nice places in nice areas are, as always, selling. Like we've always said, it's the new builds and crummy areas that rose faster and will now fall. It's a bit disappointing as a long term reader of this site - I was almost starting to believe the hype - but from my research nice places are holding up . The bank is prepared to give me an extra couple 100k on my mortgage at a very low rate - my monthly repayments won't be much higher than they are now (as my old fix is higher - but almost up !). I think people here forget that affordability is a function of interest rates, so as they go down, affordability goes up. Just remember to take up the fix! It doesn't suprise me that things are picking up a bit, there will always be people with money looking to buy in the nice areas, like I said, it is the less desirable places that will fall first but I realise a number of people on the board aren't prepared to compromise. Prob best of renting imo.
  10. Unfortunately you need to worry if you want to move area like OP says. But maybe that's the answer, stay put for a bit whilst saving/working to get back into a position you can afford to move? But these are the people I feel most sorry for, those that get trapped. I have friends who are starting families trapped in £400k London "luxury" apartments now worth nearer £300k. Who can afford to lose that sort of money, but then do you raise your kids in a two bed flat? tbh millions of us probably have been raised in smaller properties, I think some forget where we have come from and big gardens etc have been out of reach of the majority for most of history. I guess what hurts these people is by all accounts they "should" be in the nicer houses as they are middle class grads with decent jobs. Doesn't mean they can come up with 100k though and there they are trapped. Ouch.
  11. I do feel people here are a bit out of touch on what you can really buy. I'd buy something a bit like: http://www.rightmove.co.uk/property-for-sa...Price%3D1000000 Not too big, 30 mins from the City, North downs on your door step. Not too big. I enjoy my job enough to keep working buy maybe I'd go part time. It's a shame you can't put the other million in the bank and live off the interest. Although Im sure IRs will be up again before I could blow the lot! But that said, Im not really a lottery sort of person. I prefer to make my own luck !
  12. Seems like alarmist scaremongering to me. As off shore skills improve their rates go up, soon the ratio of cost to benefit falls below an acceptable level. It's always a hot topic in computer weekly. They reckon that costs need to be about 10% to make the drop in productivity and distance problems worthwhile. Current trends suggest it won't be economical sooner than we think. My old employer outsource, I moved after I got bored of battling with offshore teams producing sub standard work. The competent guys just put their prices up. I now work for a company that believes in hiring a small number of highly experienced people. There are less of us but we cost more. Our productivity is about 10x. I think a few companies will learn the hard way this is a flase economy - but it works in some sectors.
  13. Or put him on your website. Which is what right move did. Just seems a bit immature to me. Time and a place and all that...
  14. You can offer whatever you want, but if you come in too low the vendor will just decide to wait. If no one else offers and they have to sell, maybe in time you will get it or maybe you won't - how can anyone here know lol! Potentially they might just decide to wait, for example my folks are just going to sit in their 6 bed detached London town house and enjoy having the grand kids over. They bought it for about 60k and paid off the mortgage years ago! What's the hurry? I think I will regret them turning down the >1m offer they had in 2007 more than they ever will Alternatively, there are people out there with money and if this property is a nice one in a nice area then someone else may well have it. I've been looking myself in some of the nicer Surrey towns recently and prices are holding up. The nice detached family houses in these villages come on and sell in weeks. It's the old problem, not enough houses for those chasing them. Sure many people are struggling but they aren't really the people we're competing against here are they! Anyways good luck. It's worth a try, but also you need to be careful. If someone put a silly offer on my place I would prob not be able to treat them as a serious buyer again. Vendors need to know their buyer has the money and is committed.
  15. Looking at the comments it seems not much has changed. Ironically a "crash" now will prob put figures back to levels that the commenters describe as unbelievable. They certainly had no idea how far it was going to go! Indeed, nobody saw it coming...
  16. It's interesting. A colleague was flat hunting over the last couple of weeks and was finding that nice places (this is in central W.London) were being snapped up super fast - but he did feel rents had dropped. What I found hard to process was how he had to be quite firm with agents when it came to showing him the sh** holes. I mean, some of the places he saw sounded totally awful - leaks, rats, blood stains, unbelievable stuff. And then the nice ones got snapped up the day they went on. He only got the place he wanted as he happened to be in the area when a EA rang, he saw the place immediately and signed up there and then. God I'm glad to be out of that game.
  17. I always thought it was ironic that someone down the line no longer has to worry about affording a house!
  18. All the "good" ones seem to be made up of a bonus amount. No doubt they will all be close to nothing by this time next year Still, you only get one chance to use the allowance so in it goes... I was going to go with Halifax.
  19. erm.... unless they need somewhere to live dur. Or maybe I can go sleep under my pile of gold lol.
  20. Or maybe its simpler than that. Perhaps things aren't so prescribed as we like to think! I know it is human nature to continuously seek out patterns but things will bumble along in their own way. To me it seems like arrogance to think anyone can call the exact bottom of the market. Anyone who has avoided "the top" won't be so bad off.
  21. My good friend is a teacher. She works in a state school, just a normal comp. I'd add a couple of insights to a number of posters who seem very out of touch or perhaps simply had a bitter childhood themselves and can no longer see past their own experience. This particular comp has a mixed intake from the local sink estate and the nicer surrounding suburbs. My friend treats each pupil equally and expects good results from them all. A good mix is important and middle class parents shouldn't be afraid of state schools! Child behaviour is manageable - the real problems are with senior management and government legislation. Teachers should be able to teach, just let them get on with it. As someone who has always worked in the corporate world I want to weep at the dire high level management of teaching staff. Teachers are there to educate, not bring up children. There is a big difference. Kids must come to secondary school able to read and write and able to fit in socially. If parents have not managed this then they should be kept out of mainstream education (how could you let your child get to 11 without teaching them to read?). When teacher's time is taken up by this small minority everyone suffers. My friend got a 1st from a top uni, 10 A*s at GCSE, 4 A levels, speaks five languages, you know the type. She went into teaching because of a family tradition - not for the money lol. But it is so obvious to me the difference that someone of this ability makes. In a school with an average pass rate of 50-60% her kids get 80-90%. Even the kids that society (especiall HPC members it seems *sigh*) have given up on. These are the standards we could have if we could make teaching attractive to high achievers. She tells me how "nightmare" classes (bottom set year 9!) will sit and work for her in silence. She is constantly on top of every child in the room and demands maximum standards from the first minute of the first lesson. And it works. Some teachers do do the minimum. Once you are at the top of the pay scale you can't go down. There is no further incentive to improve. This must change, under performing teachers should go backwards on the pay scale. Teachers that put the hours in really do work hard. My friend is up at 5.45, in school by 7. Works non-stop (no breaks for teachers, you can't just nip out for a cup of tea when you have a class!), lunch times are taken up with activities or detentions. Meeting go on until about 4.30. Gets home, eats, then back to work - you have five powerpoint presentations to prepare for the next day (some of my colleagues stress for days over a single hour presentations!!) it's all done on computers and projectors these days. Marking can be up to 60 books a night every night. The good teacher will correct every mistake and comment on how to improve. Her pay slip (ive seen it) actually has 100hrs down as the weekly hours worked. She gets less than the minimum wage at an hourly rate! You are in bed at 11, having had ZERO time for yourself. No time to watch TV, or see friends, have a drink. None. You get Saturday to clean the house, do the weekly shop etc, then back to work on Sunday - catch up on the marking and do the other admin tasks (get building those stats - where do you think those league tables come from!). How long could you live like that? Holidays? Yeah they are there. But Christmas and Easter are mostly tied up with course work marking. Summer can involve preparation of a scheme of work (this outlines all work that classes will do that year), teachers have to come into school on A-level and GCSE results day, they will be in a few days before term starts and a few days after it ends. Summer is only 5 weeks anyway. But for 14 weeks you work non-stop without the time or energy to socialise for even one night. You can't take a day off. No break. She was able to get away for two whole weeks last year. Most of us get 4 clear weeks off, some I expect will be on 5 or 6. Such a hard life Do not under estimate the importance of education. This is the single biggest factor that will determine our country's future. Countries such as India are pouring money into education where they can and the results are starting to show. It won't be long before we are left behind. Under invest in education and we will all suffer. With all the people on this board criticising the "youth of the day" (as if it was any different when I was a kid 10-20 years ago!) I am stunned that people aren't backing anyone who is looking for investment in education. I appreciate those with failed educations are the ones least able to understand this, but why not start the turn around - get reading about human capital and the importance for the future of our country. If we get education right and invest in our young then everything else will follow. It's not rocket science. Like someone pointed out the other day, we are one of the best countries in the world at distributing parking tickets, yet we don't invest in our children. And we wonder why things are going backward. It is so obvious I could cry lol. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_capital
  22. The problem I would have is availability. With things moving slowly, if a house came on, I'd be tempted to go for it (if I were looking to move). So the author suggest there might be another 10% to go, others might guess more, some less. No one knows for sure, not even Mystic Meg (shock news to some!). So assuming one isn't arrogant enough to believe they can call the bottom with pinpoint accuracy, getting within 10% might be enough for some. I'd fear turning down a house now only to see prices come down but for there to be no house in my chosen area around. I guess it all depends on your search radius and flexibility ! Conversely I'd be a little annoyed if my dream house came up down the line for less cash but then life doesnt stand still....
  23. Which is why I would suspect it is more likely a misunderstanding on OPs part.
  24. I'm not suprised it has come down from 170k, a few stops down the line to my neck of the woods and you could get a whole house for that much! Nicer area too.
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