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About JustinC

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  1. The most telling comment in the whole programme was a taylor saying that the global brands had to be seen to have a London address, so the money the shop is earning is irrelevant. If that is true, then the answer to your question is; yes, consumer spending in more profitable shops and online sales are subsidising the rents and London retail space is increasingly seen as a marketing tool as much as a revenue stream for global brands, pricing out independent shops.
  2. No you've slightly misread that quote. I said shittiest house condition wise. I live in Cambridge there are few unpleasant locations and nothing bad on a regional or national scale. We bought in the one of the best roads in the city, it's just in a very poor condition. Of course you are right on your view that in a picky market subprime housing really shows itself to be just that. Cambridge doesn't really fall into that category, hence £500k terraces. Of course the worst roads in any city will be the hardest hit in tough times. So we didn't buy in one of those. In terms of the mortgage rates issue. We all need to set our own comfort points about that. Obviously we fixed for multiple years to give us time and security to improve the house. Then we could afford a 100% increase in monthly repayments without changing lifestyles. If that doesn't happen we'll overpay.
  3. Thanks for the thanks. I think every point you make is spot on. As a system, it doesn't work. As a market it seems broken, surely? I am as unconvinced by all of this as you are, yet somehow and without taking risks that seem to put us in danger, we are moving up the housing ladder and navigating this market. Although I suspect this is as high as we will ever get. Although 5 years ago I said we'd never buy. 3 years ago I thought our then, first, house was all we'd ever be able to afford. So I won't hold my breath. In terms of the money side of things yes your assumptions are correct. We bought the first house with a £29k deposit which was around 15%. We could have borrowed more but I didn't want to borrow a higher LTV than that and even that felt, after many years of reading and agreeing with much of what is said on here, as paramount to financial suicide. 3 years later and after £40k of renovations we sold for £110k more than we paid for it giving us the majority of the 35% deposit on the new house. The renovations were paid for from earnings and not debt. The price we sold for seemed bonkers to me. The agent described it as a 'freak sale' then two weeks later a similar sized house in the same village sold for £500 more. If our sale set that anchor point I feel shameful. Where did those next people get the money from? I don't know. Did they take a bigger risk than we did the first time? I don't know, I hope not. Would I have paid that much for that house? No. The thing I will add to my story is that I do believe something about markets; that there is a right and wrong price to pay as well as a right and wrong time to buy. My personal philosophy on house buying after doing it just twice, and formed through not having from parents who can help me or a job that pays me a banker's ransom, is to buy the shittiest house on the street that most would walk away from. Use the condition to get it for a good price and then make it a lovely home and enjoy living in it. If you are happy in it then stay forever, if not then sell it before the redecoration looks tired and move on. Find another house that most people wouldn't consider and make that a great home. Hopefully one day a house will be that forever home. Financially, I certainly don't believe in borrowing more and more only to have to exit the market altogether through being over stretched or down size before the mortgage is paid off. Although if we were due to retire shortly, I'd happily move out of this city and pay less for the same space. I'm just hoping Google make that autonomous car work so I can do that in 30 years time and not have to get the bus to the GP.
  4. I can't see how to edit my post, just to clarify pt 10. I mean if we were 10 years older we may well have spent a similar amount 10 years ago, but the house would be much bigger. Obviously that seems unfair. We are very fortunate to be able to reduce our expectations in terms of what our money will buy us compared to older people. The scary thing is that we feel at the entry level for housing in the area of the city we have bought in. We also spent the best part of a year pursuing this goal, meeting estate agents and one of those relationships paid off where we were offered the 'opportunity' to buy the house without it being shown to any other buyers. For our younger selves, or us today with a few pounds less, this goal wouldn't have been possible to achieve. Is this house worth it, or is any these days, probably not in absolute terms. From a lifestyle point on view, it does currently feel worthwhile.
  5. 1, I'm not wearing a flack jacket, so please don't use real ammunition. 2, I'm not anti the concept of HPC. 3, I've just bought a terrace in Cambridge for close to that money. 4, I did think, long and hard about this decision. 5, The deposit, around 35% came from a previous 'profit' from our last, and first, house sale over a period of just 3 years. 6, Our whole lives are in Cambridge and want to be near the people we love, like and need in our lives. 7, We no longer live in a traffic jam to get in and out of this city. 8, Our household income in more than double average. 9, Our house will be a 5bed terrace by the end of this year, through hard work. 10, If we were 10 years older we'd have paid a similar amount, just got a much bigger house. We had two choices, not live in this city to buy a house similar in size to that which older people live in or accept a 50% drop in 'spacial returns' on our budget. (That phrase is used in jest.)
  6. One great part of these schemes is that they only sell to owner occupiers and you can't buy a house if you already own another house or part there of. That's something that I'd expect the vast majority of people on here to support. If all housing in the UK worked in that way we wouldn't be in such a mess!
  7. Why not? Cambridge, it seems that average prices are actually 11-12 times the average salary.
  8. It's really interesting reading the balanced views of people in this thread. An affordable house (which my girlfriend and I are considering buying) is, I agree, a laughable concept as all houses should be affordable. However the city in which we live has an average house price of nearly 8 times the average wage and having saved for years and earning average salaries we are still not able to buy on the open market. Largely thanks to the normal factors of inflation, btl'ers etc etc I can assure you that we won't be leaving the sofa in the garden or the washing machine on the driveway (allocated parking slot) for that matter. So fear not, some of us 'affordable' house buyers are after just people wanting an affordable first time home. It's fair to say that there are houses on the market within our price range but they are generally all bought with cash long before people wanting a home can even view them. On the subject of how they work... The planning authorities in our area have forced, as I believe is widely the case, all new developments to include a percentage of affordable housing. We've looked at developments that have terrible build quality compared to what you would reasonably expect from an 'unaffordable' development and others that are exactly the same quality as the open market houses on the same site. It seems that there is little consistency to finishing standards. Once the houses are finished the HA approves them and makes sure that they are up to spec for that HA. I've seen 3 bed houses remodeled as 2 bed because the HA thought that the rooms were far too small. The most shocking thing I've heard so far is of a builder friend of my Dad's who just finished a site and sold the (very nicely) finished 'affordable' house to the HA only for them to add 30% on top before selling it on to a buyer through the shared ownership scheme, so the developer is told he can't make money is order that the HA can. That's the blend of capitalist socialism that NuLab seems to be all about.
  9. I'm in my twenties and am very much priced out of the housing market. My girlfriend and I are average salary earners and work very long days 6 days a week. My girlfriend is a graduate from Oxbridge and we are both classed as 'professionals'. We had the opportunity to buy in 2007 (with a 6x earning mortgage offer and 10 percent deposit that represented 2 years of savings) we decided that it was just too risky as my contract was less than 6 months and we were even telling the mortgage advisor that the numbers were silly with too little security, she couldn't care less so we decided to be sensible and keep saving. The bank was one that we subsequently bought as tax payers. We had our usual one week holiday in the UK this year and have no debts. We support our parents financially as we can and they need our help, they are both baby boomers who have no pensions to speak of and one of them owns their own home. I'm not sure why I'm giving you all my life story other than to say that we are not angry or bitter at being priced out of the market. It's a struggle when we hear of friends being gifted incredible deposits to buy houses or family members with 5 kids being given ever bigger houses by the council to home their brood in. The thing we remember is that we have great health care, incredible freedom, education, no national conscription, no rationing, technology that lets us learn or explore the world in ways that our parents don't even understand. I feel uncomfortable about the villianisation of the boomers as it's simply untrue that they are all wealthy. It is in fact that the wealthy and powerful that have formed the country I live in, and that's as true for a 60 year old as it is for me. I wonder if it is however that both of those groups take a huge interest in politics to shape their life where as the common man is so often apathetic. In terms of the right to own a house, I don't think it's a god given right but I do think it's something that has been influenced by our society, when we can expect so so much for free it's natural to expect or want more. Lastly I think that before anyone gets too wrapped up in apportioning blame we must remember the list of things that my generation will be blamed for by our kids; from drinking water shortages to energy supply issues. I don't think that I've done anything to make the future of these problems worse but I know that I haven't helped to insure that these are not problems for future generations and so it's highly likely that I will be part of a generation who never knew they had it so easy, and so it continues.
  10. The ratio of London vs Cambridge prices was generally considered this by housing experts last year. Wages are 1/2 in Cambridge what they are in London (thats averages which probably largely accounts for the high paid banking and city jobs) and land prices were 2/3 of those in London. In other words the average homes were more affordable in London on a average salary than those in Cambridge.
  11. I agree, it is a very rare property type in Cambridge and while its views of the railway station are not ideal, I totally understand that it commands that kind of a price tag. I dont read this website because of a grudge that the super rich can buy posh penthouses, thats just life. I just want better management and provision of housing for normal people that want homes not pension funds and houses not flats.
  12. They were not giving Barrat Homes style incentives either, just offering incredible discounts for completing quickly as the needed the cash flow. We were offered 100k off to complete in 6 weeks. Sadly that still made it 50k at least more than we could afford. If this is really apartment 64, they are hoping for a 700k return for adding aircon and fancy remote control technology.
  13. This doesn't make sense at all. The advert is not for the penthouse apartment, its the wrong shape and the balcony is also wrong. Its also only 2 bedrooms and the real penthouse is a 3 bed duplex. I looked at the block when it was still being built and am totally certain that this is not the penthouse, I even struggle to believe that its part of the Tower I think its one of the top floor flats with a balcony at the top of one of the regular blocks (not the Tower section) that uses the adjoining lower block for its balcony (as seen at the top left of the photo on the property particular page). Also the advert says that it is no.64 and the Penthouse is no. 1 again this is in keeping with it being a regular block flat and not the Tower section. I suspect the idiot estate agent has incorrectly listed it assuming that it is a Penthouse flat and part of the tower and that therefore its valued at this kind of level. No. 64 originally sold for £234,000 according to the link you posted and while that was probably an off plan price its certainly wrong for the Tower. Im not at all surprised that the sold listing shows a £1,000,000 sales price for the real penthouse against the £1.5 stated in the press, as someone who works in the media I'm well aware of the over exaggeration of the boom, and consequently now the crash.
  14. I bought my first flat in 1991 in Battersea, South London, during the last recession. It eventually worked out fine. I sold the property in 1999 for £99,000. I had paid £72,000 for it and spent £8,000 on it so I made a profit In 1999, £80,000.00 from 1991 was worth: £99,116.10 using the retail price index £99,597.64 using the GDP deflator £111,279.07 using the average earnings £121,083.77 using the per capita GDP £123,708.28 using the share of GDP Thank god she used her wealth of knowledge of the property market to achive this return. God knows how else she'd have managed it. ****.
  15. I still dont see how anyone with half a brain can consider that a third reduction in price makes something a bargain when it was overvalued by 100 percent in the first place. Personally I feel a bargain is paying a third for what I feel something is worth. Also seeing as houses are not selling, how can you say actually state what a house is worth when its worth is entirely based on what the general public is prepared to pay. The guy in that article says he has had a dozen people through the door, surely this means he needs to lower his price until at least 6 of them are making offers close to the advertised price.
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