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Selling up

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Everything posted by Selling up

  1. Dropping fast? Yes, in the context of having almost touched its 20-year sterling high at noon. So I'm not panicking yet.
  2. MSW makes an excellent point: if the seller had priced at a realistic market clearing level, getting gazundered would be no big deal at all because (s)he always find another buyer quickly and easily. (And at a realistic market-clearing price level, of course, it wouldn't actually happen because the buyer would know that the seller would simply go with another of the would-be buyers) Gazundering is only a problem for a seller who has no other buyers waiting, and a buyer who knows (or guesses) this. The problem wouldn't exist if sellers lowered their price enough to attract more than one potential buyer.
  3. @AlfieMoon Thanks for the link. It actually seems to me that the case for government bailout is less clearcut than I had thought. Don't really know which side I'm on now!
  4. The basket is meant to represent what people spend money on; when tinned pineapple becomes less popular, it is removed from the basket; when avocados become the salad fruit of choice, they are added. One difficulty with this is that price changes influence spending patterns. Suppose pasta is in the basket but smoked salmon isn't. One year a catastrophic pasta harvest quadruples the price, while a new salmon-on-steroids technology halves the price of salmon. People stop buying pasta and start buying salmon. So now salmon is added to the basket and pasta removed. But look - the item whose price has increased has been excluded from the index; the item whose price has fallen is now included. It is widely considered that this adds a systematic downward bias to the system (particular relevant in the case of electronics which get cheaper every year). The biggest problem for me with the inflation indices is the failure to reflect the fact that for many households, half their income goes on housing costs. Housing is included in RPI - I think, but in a very stupid way: mortgage interest on a £100,000 loan is included. Therefore if house prices quadruple but interest rates halve, housing is considered by RPI to have halved in cost. There is also an element of rental cost included, which seems to be better thought out. On the other hand, peoples' situations are so different that it's hard to be sure that "inflation" - a single figure applied across the economy - actually means that much. For instance, I have large savings in a bank account simply to buy a house. These savings dwarf any expenditure I might have on food, petrol, heating etc. So my personal inflation rate is actually the house price inflation rate. If food, petrol, heating triples in price but houses halve, CPI and RPI will go through the roof, but the spending power of my cash will have more or less doubled.
  5. I think AlfieMoon is right. I forget the details but I'm pretty sure there was a clear failure of the government to perform a duty to which they had committed themselves. Much as I dislike bailouts, I always felt this one was in fact justified (and remember that unlike the banks, this is a bailout of individual investors, not the institution.) Anyone remember the details?
  6. Actually, why the guilty tone? Yes I would have bought. I have never felt it is the moral responsibility of the individual investor to refrain from entering a get-rich-quick scheme. I have always felt it is the responsibility of those in power to ensure that such schemes are not socially damaging.
  7. Yes I would have bought. I like to think I would have had the grace to continue to email ramping newspaper feature writers etc trying to educate them in the perils of bubble-nomics. And that I would have still voted for any party that promised to control house prices - though of course no party did use that platform except the party that presided over the bubble. It's like my public sector salary. I think it's too high. I accept it, but make my views clear in discussion with friends, web forums etc... though not with my boss. Does that make me hypocritical or more honest than most (who I presume wouldn't say so to anybody at all)?
  8. I would however take all my nice energy-saving ones and replace them with cheap incandescent ones. Does that make me appalingly cheap?
  9. "Fix" is too strong a word. However, they will "improve Broken Britain". Capping total benefits at the equivalent of a 35k pre-tax income does not seem particularly harsh to me.
  10. Oh and before you all start hating me, you don't need to tell me how lucky I've been to get into GP as it became disproportionately lucrative, and to have been in a position to buy a house before the peak. I'm very well aware of my good luck. However, I like to think that even if I hadn't had this luck, I'd still have been bold enough by now to start making more adventurous choices.
  11. Why stop at the 20s for kidulthood? Every year that passes I get more irresponsible. 1992 age 18, rushed out of 6th form to medical school, desperate to qualify as a doctor as fast as possible. I was a seriously cautious, ********-retentive adolescent. Eventually became a GP partner. 2005 age 30, looking around and noting that I had no particular ties (I'm not against marriage and family on principle, it just hasn't happened, which is fine by me), quit the partnership in favour of part-time locums and part-time hobby-work in music and theatre. 2007 sold my house, being both a devotee of this site and seeing it as an unwanted tie. 2009 moved to London to take a 1 year fulltime Masters degree in Musical Theatre. Now I've finished my degree. Am I going back into full time medicine? No chance. What next? I'll carry on looking for theatre work; I've started thinking about a new hobby (standup comedy)... Finally at 36 I feel the sense of adventure, freedom and possibility that I saw in my friends at 18, but never felt for myself! Anyway, if you want a substantive contribution to the thread, I think there are 2 key issues: housing costs and delayed marriage, which I think is due to sexual liberalism. Once it became socially acceptable to have sex outside a lifelong-committed relationship, it was pretty obvious that people (men??) might prefer to delay making a lifelong commitment! (Edit: Cute: the site automatically censors the word ********-retentive.)
  12. As far as I can tell from reading the linked article, this was not a survey put only to boomers. No age range is mentioned for the survey, so presumably when they asked "do you expect to hand wealth on to your children" they were asking adults of all ages, including todays debt-soaked graduates. I don't think you can therefore conclude anything about boomers spending the kids inheritance from this survey. For all we learn from the article, the boomers might have been passionately committed to passing on wealth, and the young poor (quite reasonably) doubtful about their ability to pass on wealth. (Later, a conclusion is indeed drawn by the survey organisers about the 45-54 demographic, but it is unclear whether and how this is related to the headline statistics.)
  13. My favourite example is 'no turning' signs in driveways on long narrow lanes. Whenever I see one I feel like driving in and turning round, even though it'll leave me facing the wrong way!
  14. Obviously that's true but I struggle to work out how reprehensible they are. Very immoral or just rational economic behaviour?
  15. Editorial: House Prices: Heading South Fantastic to see this in the editorial section.
  16. When you buy shares in a manufacturer, have you actually made the journey to SEE the factory? Or do you trust the information in the public domain and the contract? When you buy bonds, have you actually SEEN a pile of money in a vault with which you will be paid back? Or do you trust the information in the public domain and the contract? Virtually no investment in a sophisticated economy can be transparently assessed by the investor. (Physical gold is an exception, if you are prepared to pay to have your own assay done.) The question is whether gold companies are uniquely risky in this regard. I don't see that they are.
  17. Not so, LGIR. Effect (noun) = result There is a noun 'affect' but it's a piece of psychiatric jargon meaning emotion: the patient showed flatness of affect. The word affection comes from this root.
  18. Ken, you usually talk sense but: Yes you can identify trends today. But to extrapolate for 31 years? It's lunacy. Here are some other factors any of which could arguably influence age of FTBs in 2041: Financial sector regulation GDP Immigration policy Life expectancy Birth rate Marriage, cohabitation and divorce rate Job security Promotion prospects Social unrest / revolution Withdrawal from EU / further integration Government debt levels War Interest rates New building Asset prices Pension policy Benefits policy Disease epidemic It would be like a professor in 1905 giving a press release estimating FTB demand for property in 1936. To have a hope of being in the right order of magnitude, he would have to correctly predict WWI, spanish flu, the great depression etc. You cannot forecast such a compex system over almost half a lifetime!
  19. While I love bear articles as much as the next man, this one really is an insult to the intelligence. Today's 21 year olds unable to buy until age 52... that will be in, what, 2041, isn't it? So they can confidently make a prediction on any changes of age-stratified wages, inflation, interest rates and house prices over the course next 31 years? Pathetic nonsense.
  20. Well, it's not so much that as: GPs (and I was one until very recently) are now paid to identify and actively manage chronic "pre-disease" such as high cholesterol or borderline blood pressure. 10 years ago, I couldn't give much of a **** who had borderline cholesterol, borderline kidney disease, borderline blood pressure. I believed that the downside of medicalising such non-conditions outweighed the upside. Today I couldn't give much of a **** who has borderline cholesterol, borderline kidney disease, borderline blood pressure. I believe that the downside of medicalising such non-conditions outweighs the upside. BUT my contract requires that I test for these things, and, when found, advise, follow up and perhaps prescribe. So 10 years ago most of the appointments could be used to see people who wanted to see the Dr. Now half the appointments are used to 'manage' stuff that is doctor-payment-driven, not patient-demand-driven.
  21. I read a fascinating history of the tube called 'the subterranean railway'. I gave away my copy but from memory: The original East London line is very old - the Thames tunnel was built by Isambard Kingdom Brunel. But the line was always a white elephant; it connected places that few people had any need to go, and failed to connect to any important transport hub or commercial centre. I don't see that anything much has changed.
  22. Interesting but consistency demands that we don't argue that this has anything to do with prices. (I know, you didn't say it did, I just want to avoid people over-interpreting) Recently the figure has been rising and the consensus on this site is that this is not a sign of rising prices, but of less activity at the bottom end of the market. So either the average value of mortgages says something about prices or it doesn't. If it doesn't when it's rising, it doesn't when it's falling.
  23. It's not contradictory. The home.co.uk survey is methodologically so flawed as to be meaningless. It measures the average time on market of properties which have sold. If only one property out of 100,000 sold this month, and it sold 2 hours after being put on the market, home.co.uk would show an average time on market of 2 hours.
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