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House Price Crash Forum


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Posts posted by Prof

  1. Couldn't they just have a big website for a few grand that would do the job?

    Is it really that difficult?

    I was thinking the same. I do have a (limited) understanding of IT and programming. Surely, what is required is a f*** off database. Once you`ve implemented this rather large database, you simply install PCs in hospitals, health centres etc than can access the database. I suppose the hardest part might be making sure that remote access to the database is 100% reliable 24/7, so the tinternet might not be totally suitable for the job. £12,700,000,000 ? :blink:

  2. in cold weather mens todgers apparently get smaller, this could introduce a feeling of less adequacy and machismo. This reduction of machismo and self worth naturally finds its way through to lower prices being offered.

    I think that works

    Free thermal underwear and viagra for every potential property buyer ?

  3. Please, please tell me how the BBC can attribute falling prices to the snow. Falling sales, yes, but prices.... ?

    As soon as I heard that, I was thinking the same. They`ve told us that a low number of properties for sale has contributed to rising prices, did people put thier properties on the market because of the bad weather ? Did buyers in January say "oooow, it`s snowing, we`ll have to reduce our offer" ?

    Let`s play a game. What will the BBC blame when next month`s figures get published ?

  4. I may be wrong here but at the moment, with IRs as they are I can get a better "on paper" deal with a fixed rate savings bond of 4 or 4.25%. At 4% gross that's about 3.2% net. There don't seem to be any ISAs paying more that 2.75% at the moment (or are there?).

    Of course, if rates go up, an accumulated ISA allowance becomes more worthwhile.

    Indeed. At the moment, ISAs don`t seem very competitive with normal savings accounts, and even less so with fixed term bonds.

    As you point out, long term, the accumulated investments in your ISA allowance is worthwhile.

    To someone who doesn`t take much notice of savings products, an ISA might not look like a particularly good deal at the moment, but I have found that for the majority of the time that I`ve looked at ISA accounts, they do return a bit more interest than non-ISA accounts.

    I suppose that for the banks trying to recover after the credit crunch, dropping their ISA rates is a good way to "rob" some of their long term savers. I think the trick is to "shop around" every 12 months, as I will be doing in the next month or two.

  5. I really wish the government would scrap all these ISA accounts and just charge everyone slightly less tax on their savings - that would be so much simpler to administer and understand. Apart from the tax benefits, the tax free accounts never have rates as high as standard accounts - so most of the benefit from these complex arrangements goes to the banks not the savers.

    That sounds like a good, sensible idea. Therefore, it will never happen.

    We need more complication, more paperwork and administration. Just think of the unemployment figures if things were made simpler.

  6. My experience of transferring ISAs has been mixed. I`m sure that the process has got slower and more prone to problems in the past few years, but maybe my experience with Lloyds a couple of years ago was just "unlucky" (they took weeks to complete the transfer, and my mother`s ISA transfer to them took nearly 4 MONTHS !). My most recent transfer took about 10 days, so I suppose that`s acceptable (but I still think that it shouldn`t take much more than 4 or 5 days).

    As far as wether it`s worth having an ISA, it should be easy to work out. Look at the ISA rates on offer, and compare the interest with what you would get on an ordinary savings product. If you shop around, you should find that the best ISAs will give you a slightly better return than the best savings accounts. The issue can be complicated if you start looking at ISAs with fixed rates / ISAs that don`t allow transfers in / ISAs that have penalties for withdrawals, then comparing them with "normal" savings accounts that have conditions attached.

    Over the years, I`d say that I`ve probably benefited from using the ISA allowance, and I` don`t see why most other standard rate tax payers shouldn`t use some or all of their ISA allowance.

  7. Encouraged it. In december 2003 the Chancellor Gordon Brown tampered with the inflation index, removing housing costs from it (RPI x CPI), against opposition from the BoE, forcing the BoE to keep interest rates too low for too long. It is on record. Just Google it.

    Yes, because HPI is just any inflation, it`s "special" inflation.

    I mean, let`s face it, what has the cost of housing got to do with the real cost of living (Laptops, MP3 players etc) ?

    And by removing property prices from the criteria for setting interest rates, what can possible go wrong ?

    Hang on a second, aren`t interest rates being kept low at the moment to save the property market ? Nah, it`s to help businesses, that`s the only reason. The BoE have said that they don`t place much importance on the property market when it comes to setting rates, it`s just inflation they keep an eye on. I suppose I`m unlucky, because the stuff I buy (diesel, food, clothes etc) seems to be going up in price more than the official rate of inflation would have me believe. Still, it`s my fault for buying the wrong things.

  8. So, the public went on a binge with the credit card, and the government stood by and watched (if not encouraged it).

    Eventually it all went wrong. The government then claimed that nobody could have predicted it, took the credit card from the public, then started on a spending binge themselves. They are now giving the card a hammering, hoping that tomorrow`s earnings would be able to pay the bill.

    Bridget Rosewell was advising that the credit card should be used carefully, and the bill should be reduced as soon as possible. David Blanchflower said that the government should carry on using the card.

    Mmmmm, I wonder which is the best option ?

  9. There is an election coming. I still think that savers are going to bite this Govt on the **** on election day.

    Even savers who have houses that are paid off will not look at the big picture re their inflated house prices but merely look at their savings dwindling... and will blame Brown and this Govt.

    We will.

    So much for saving for a rainy day.

    I`ve paid off my debts. I`ve been "prudent" (saved). My work has gone quiet, so I`m glad that I was prudent, but it is annoying to say the least to see that my savings are being "eroded" to pay for those who were not quite so prepared as myself. Just to make things even worse, should I become unemployed, the benefit system`s computer will say "no".

    Some might say that I`m lucky to have savings, I`d reply that it was a choice to save, and I`d feel even luckier if I`d got a large mortgage (at the moment).

  10. currently running painful and cringing adverts under the slogan 'helpful banking' ....... nat west now part of RBS group

    receiving billions of taxpayers money to keep them alive .......'helpful banking' ........FFS you just couldn't make it up

    All is good in the Nat West region. They even smile and laff while printing/delivering their propaganda leaflets. And what kind of parent would allow their offspring to attend a class where Nat West employees visit to teach them about personal finance ?

  11. Righto, I missed the fall bit.

    My mistake.

    I often make the same kind of mistakes, and I dare say a majority of the population do likewise.

    This article should be a real eye opener for anyone who simply accepts what the media tells them. The figures quoted in the article may be accurate (well, that`s debateable), but it shows how a bit of clever wording and selection of the statistics can lead a reader to the wrong conclusion. In this case, it isn`t so much that some may argue that the figures are wrong, it`s that property prices are rising more than they actually are.

  12. Ah...got it now. It's still odd though seeing as the majority of increase in sales is from lower priced property, you'd actually expect to see a fall in prices as this would weigh on the overall total. I suspect that there is some dodgy fudge factor, like Einsteins constant.

    Got there in the end !

    What I didn`t have time to explain earlier was (and I think this will make it absolutely clear how "clever" the BBC were with this report) is that they`ve quoted various percentage rises for various types of property, then gone on to quote the rise in the average amount spent on a property. It isn`t comparing like with like, so therefore it`s easy to be fooled into thinking that there is something wrong with their figures. Yes, if you have rises of 5%,3% and 1% in the price of some items, the average rise can`t be more than 5%. However, you could have these rises, yet at the same time, the average spent on buying these items could be much more than 5%, as more of the most expensive item may have been bought, as Dorkins pointed out.

    Wren, I`m sorry, but are you losing the plot ?

    "There is no component which falls in what the article says. That's the difference."

    I read this in the quote from the article - "but the prices of detached properties fell by 1%." Isn`t that a component which fell in price ? And to further confuse you, I`ll point point out that it may have been the sales of these detached properties which made the average sale price rise by more than the rise of any of the components.

    You are correct though, it is [email protected] journalism, but quite a good way to continue their property ramping campaign.

  13. prof, you keep arguiing your point without going back to check what the original question was. Take a breather and start afresh: The average change is not necessarily the average of the individual components (which is the point you're arguing and we agree on), but the average change cannot be outside the limits of all the other components. In your analogy, if PC's rise 4% and macs decrease 8%, i understand that the average change might be +3.9%, but it CAN NOT be +5%.

    +4% is the absolute maximum assuming no macs were actually sold.

    PLEASE read the wording of the article.

    The average change of ALL transactions can be higher than the rise of any individual component. They are stating that the average A rose by x%, B rose by x%, C fell by x%, but they go on to say that the average spend on all sales of A`s, B`s and C`s has risen by more than any of the individual rises. This can happen, and in my analogy (which uses the same wording) this is proven.

  14. Thinking about my analogiy, and looking at this report, it really does show how misleading the media can be when it comes to property price reporting.

    The articles is misleading on at least two levels.

    1. At first, it looks like you can`t have an overall rise larger than the largest individual rise.

    2. It`s more positive spin on property prices, because the average Joe will look at the overall 5.4% rise and think "good, my house is probably worth about 5% more than it was 12 months ago". Just like a computer purchaser would look at my figures and think that his Apple Mac is worth about 10% more than a year ago, even though the price of a new Mac fell by 8%.

    Yes, this article is a prime example of the BBC property advertising campaign.

  15. The point that he is questioning is that according to that article the overall average increase is higher than all the separate component average increases. And they are all increases. It doesn't seem to add up.

    "The research showed that over the last 12 months in England and Wales, prices of PCs increased by 4%, but the prices of Apple Macs fell by 8%.

    In January, the average price of ALL computer transactions completed in England and Wales in January was up 0.7% compared with the previous month - the seventh monthly rise. Year-on-year the rise was over 10% in January."

    I think that proves my analogy to be correct. It also proves that there is nothing mathematically wrong with the article, but I do agree that it is somewhat misleading.

  16. It doesn't explain it...using your analogy the overall rise in personal computers would be 5% if you use the same calculating methods as these guys even though PCs only rise by 4%...that is not possible.

    Maybe something like this happened ?

    Average price of a Mac = £1000.

    Avearge Price of a PC £500.

    10 Macs sold at £1000 = total Mac sales of £10000.

    100 PCs sold at £500 = total PC sales of £50000

    Avearge price of computer = £545.45.

    30 Macs sold at £920 (8% fall) = total Mac sales of £27600.

    100 PCs sold at £520 (4% rise) = total PC sales of £52000.

    Avarage price of a computer = £612.30

    Even though the price of Macs fell, more were sold. The average price of all sales rose over 10%.

    I`ll add that when I say "average price of a computer", I mean "average price of a computer purchase".

  17. How do you get an overall rise of 5.4% when the highest in any single type of housing was 5%, and one group showed a loss of 1%?

    If Apple Macs fell in price by 8% in a year, but PC`s rose by 4%, then I would suspect that the average cost of a personal computer for that year would rise.

    I think that explains it.

    I still think that a lot of property price stats are somewhat "massaged".

  18. If people bought petrol and gas as "an investment" like most od their house, then I suspect they would be happy for prices to go up!

    Mmmm, not sure where you`re coming from.

    If the 40 litres of diesel sloshing around in my tank were to double in value, I`d be quite unhappy, knowing that it was going to cost me more to replace the fuel when the tank runs dry.

    Having said that, the news that the house that I own has gone up a bit more (apparently) does not make me any more happy. In fact, I feel quite unhappy, knowing that any FTB`ers that do enter the market will have less money to spend for the forseable future. The rise in property prices will also encourage the banks to be a little more "generous" with their lending - and we now know what happens when the banks get a little too generous, don`t we ?

  19. I just think he didn't really know enough to comment so made laughing noises to disguise his lack of knowledge.

    Schiff makes some interesting points but seriously, who's going to listen to him? It's not political spin it's the truth about what needs to be done, but this won't fair well with the home owners still thinking they are "worth" so much due to the "value" of their house.

    Sentiment will need to change, on both sides of the Atlantic, before someone like Schiff is listened to.


    The medicine tastes horrible, but we need to take it to get well.

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