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Selling up

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  1. First: If it's money to buy a house, general inflation doesn't matter if house prices aren't rising. Inflation can be running at 20%; as long as houses are getting cheaper, your deposit is gaining in house-buying value.

    Second: If you're worried about inflation that includes houses, it takes time for inflation to build up a head of steam. It took years for Weimar Germany and Zimbabwe to go from 5% to several thousand%. Having your wealth in cash means you can move quickly in any direction: IE you can buy a house / gold / shares / foreign currency if and when it becomes necessary. So cash is a good place to be even if you're worried about future inflation.

  2. So while I am ok to live in bad dangerous areas where people are murdered on a daily basis etc prior gf's generally prefer to live in more expensive better areas. If you don't submit to such pressures you usually find yourself single again.

    I've noticed this too. I live in Deptford, an arsehole of a district in Zone 2 South East London. Ugly, noisy, dirty... [no, the area, not me!] ... but fine for me 'cause it's cheap by London standards and very convenient for the West End where I have a lot of meetings.

    My recent girlfriend lived out in Acton... pretty, quiet, clean [no, the area] ... saying she felt safe there; but it's expensive and took bloody ages to get into the centre. Had we not split up for other reasons I'm sure we would have had difficulty agreeing on a place to live.

  3. This article is seriously rubbish.

    Almost a quarter of couples in long-term relationships are living in separate properties, with many blaming the cost of buying a home together, a survey suggests.

    ...which is clearly crap, because they could always rent together.

    The average non-married couple living apart spent £808 a month on rental and mortgage payments, compared to the average monthly mortgage repayment for first time buyers being £406, Santander said.

    Meaningless comparison.

    You can meaningfully compare non-cohabitors' rent with cohabitors' rent

    You can meaningfully compare non-cohabitors' mortgage payments with cohabitors' mortgage payments.

    But you can't meaningly compare non-cohabitors' rent or mortgage payments with cohabitors' mortgage payments.

    [edit: OK, before someone objects. You can compare whatever you like. As a child, my big brother wondered aloud which was better: buses or buckets. But by comparing dissimilar things you can't interpret your findings. Say the cohabitors' mortgage is less that the non-cohabitors' rent. Does that mean that the smarter move is to rent a place jointly with your partner or to buy a property? You can't tell from the figures, and I suspect that is the disingenuous aim of the exercise: to make it look like buying together is the only alternative to renting separately.]

    "While some couples may prefer having separate homes, many are only holding back from joint ownership because they are under the impression that it will be too expensive or they won't be able to get a mortgage."

    ...makes no sense at all since again it is positing only two options: Choose to live separately or buy together. It fails to acknowledge that even couples who can't afford to buy can rent together.

    Weird weird article.

  4. An interesting question but a I predict that few will cheerfully admit to being so materialistic as to put money before love.

    I recently went on a few dates with a girl who (I gathered) earned a bit more than me and spent a LOT more than me. Her attitude to money was "money is to enjoy", mine is "money is to save". One resulting difference: I hope to buy a house outright in the next 5-10 years. Her net wealth, I gathered, is more or less zero.

    I did see it as a significant problem. Could I really link my welfare to someone whose attitude to money alarmed me? Not the same question as the poll, of course...

  5. David Newnes, the managing director of Your Move, says that the mood is still “fragile” but reports that his valuers’ diaries are filling up as more homes come up for sale. Mr Newnes believes that this indicates a measure of confidence among householders.

    Apparently an increase in the number of sellers is a bullish sign. You heard it here first...


  6. if she bought last month she would already lost 1%. Congrats!!! :lol:

    That's a bit of a weird conclusion.

    Property's not like gold where you buy and sell it instantly at the spot price with small transaction costs.

    If she decided now to sell, the amount she would have gained/lost would depend on what specific offer from a particular buyer she chose to accept, minus substantial transaction costs.

    It doesn't make sense to claim that a [edit: particular] house is worth 1% less this month than last month just because that's the average change in price of a substantial sample of houses sold UK-wide over that period.

  7. Nick Guttmann, Christian Aid’s director of emergency relief operations, fell short of denying the allegations but said that the story needed to be put into context. “We were working in a major conflict, there was a massive famine and people on all sides were suffering. Both the rebels and the Government were using innocent civilians to further their political ends,” he said.

    That's more or less an admission that the claims (that most Live Aid money went to buy arms) are correct isn't it?

  8. Interesting and depressing comments after a rubbish article in the Guardian: This benefit cut will hit the poorest

    I work as a legal rep and specialise in Housing Benefit. I can tell you now that LHA is not only a joke - as it's being abused by landlords in colusion with their tenants in certain boroughs, it's also driving up rents in areas where the LHA cap rate is too high.

    I can't afford to live in the borough I work in because the LHA cap rate has pushed all the rents in the area up to the cap level. For example, the one bed rate is £240 a week, so most landlords are now advertising all one bed and studio rents at £240 a week.

    It's an absolute joke and a disaster waiting to happen, the biggest f*ck up in private sector rents since deregulation. And I can't wait to see how our glorious governments subsidy bill for HB going to be spun, as I imagine it's not even included in costs at the moment and going from what I've seen in my casework alone, HB spending has doubled in some instances.

    So it seems to me that:

    In every area the council sets a cap for LHA (housing allowance) for each type of property.

    Every landlord markets his property at that price, no matter how poor the property, and is guaranteed a tenant.

    Therefore the landlord has a guaranteed fixd income irrespective of what the market might dictate.

    Therefore prices will stay at whatever level produces a respectable yield: property investment is more like buying gilts than selling a service.


  9. There is more than one reason for the decline of geographically defined communities.

    Take your pick out of:

    Increasing car ownership leading to increased mobility.

    The tendency of the modern capitalist model to demand mobility of labour (how many children now live within walking distance of their parents?)

    The internet allowing the creation of non-geographical communities (hint: this is one)

    The death of religious observance leading to the irrelevance of parish churches

    etc etc

    I see no conspiracy; merely the natural result of a constellation of forces.

  10. Good question.

    I for one am not against debt per se.

    For instance, those eco loans mentioned elsewhere on this forum could generate more savings over time than the costs - and therefore may well be a valid investment.

    OK. So it's possible to formulate this as a generalisation:

    If taking on debt (thereby accepting the obligation to pay it back with interest) frees one from a greater obligation (for instance, the obligation to pay rent or to pay heating bills on an inefficient property) then taking on the debt is the prudent course; you are merely accepting a lesser obligation in exchange for a greater one.

    Edit: obviously this requires that you have done your sums to work out which obligation is less!

  11. the types of property where price falls have been lowest in this recession - and therefore arguably the best sort to buy or invest in

    Or perhaps the types which remain most overpriced, and therefore arguably the worst sort to buy or invest in!

    Edit: I've added a comment to the article:

    A fascinating new investment principle:

    Andrea is claiming that when the prices of some assets has fallen, improving their value, and the prices of other similar assets have stayed the same, it is a better investment to avoid buying the better value ones and focus on the others.

    Rather like advising bargain-seeking shoppers to avoid any goods reduced in a sale, and only buy goods still at full price!

  12. I think Scotland works on a system of sealed bids submitted to the seller's solicitor, and the "offers over" relates to the seller's reserve price. I would expect offering less than this will just have the bid excluded from the auction, unless there are no other bidders for the property.

    Sounds reasonable but in fact if you look at the possible scenarios, your statement is logically meaningless:

    Suppose as you say, a bid below reserve is excluded unless there are no bidders above reserve. Picture the possible permutations:

    1. There is a higher bidder above reserve = you don't win

    2. There is a higher bidder but you are both below reserve = your bid is 'included' but you don't win

    3. You (below reserve) are the highest bidder = your bid will be the one to be considered.

    (Note that in the Scottish system inviting bids does not oblige the vendor to accept any one of them, even the highest.)

    Clearly these are the same outcomes as if you claimed that 'all bids at any level are included'.

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