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Big Ears

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  1. Bill Gates seems to think so too! http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=100...iQeANA&refer=us
  2. NRK share price went down largely because they are stating far higher then expected earnings hit due to the new accounting standards. The market was expecting 5%, and NRK are stating 10-12%; some think that NRK are hiding underlying weakness in the business through this vehicle. Whichever way, most of the sector got dragged down by this. The key statement in the moneytimes article is: "profit margins ought to be under less pressure unless lenders stupidly undercut each other to gain market share." What do they think the likes of NRK have been doing, and will undoubtedly continue to do in thier pusuit of agressive (10%+) commitment to annual growth.
  3. Note that there share price is taking a hammering....this is because they are saying that earnings will be hit 10%-12% under the new accounting rules!! - the market was expecting 5%!! So, the question is 'is there an underlying weakness in the business that they are trying to hide in the 10-12%?
  4. I too have been wondering why Halifax news has been released in such a high-profile way (ie. lead on BBCNews24 all day, front-page of Times etc).... After all, the only new real news is the 'lowest in 23 years' bit! My guess is that they are seeing the mortgage market stalling, and they know that the ONLY way to get the market moving again is for prices to come down. Guess they are also betting that falling prices will hurt the small mortgage players (Northern Rock, B&B, A&L etc) far more then them in terms of neg equity/defaults, 'cos it is they who have been most silly in terms of self-certs and absurd multiples. (Wasn't it HBOS that were the first to cut-back on self-certs etc?) Whatever it is, this 'news release' was massively coordinated to get MAXIMUM coverage.
  5. This may be useful. IMO when this baby starts dropping it will be steep and deep! http://business.timesonline.co.uk/article/...1450168,00.html January 21, 2005 Tempus Countrywide IT IS not the best time to be running an estate agency chain. The UK housing market has performed sluggishly over the past few months following a string of interest rate rises last year. Liquidity, meanwhile, is drying up and prices are going nowhere fast. Countrywide, the UK’s biggest estate agency chain, whose brands include Bairstow Eves and John D Wood, has been feeling the pinch as hard as anyone. Countrywide peppered last year with profit warnings and it was forced to lay off staff before Christmas. Instead of cutting back, the company expanded last autumn with the purchase of Bradford & Bingley’s property chain. It is an ambitious move that may pay off in the long run. But it is likely to make the short-term going, which is already tough, even tougher. Against this backdrop it is something of a mystery why shares in the company are currently trading at a whisker below their record high. US investors have been snapping up the shares because they look cheap compared with similar companies in the US. The share price strength may have more to do with the number of investors who have taken short positions in the stock. Given the market conditions and the plethora of profit warnings from Countrywide, it is easy to see why UK investors think that the share price will fall. But the buying of shares to cover the expiry of those short postions has, ironically and perversely, led the price higher and higher. There is an acute danger that this odd share price support mechanism will unwind. Sell if you can. But don’t go short.
  6. WRONG! Go back a little further in history and look at who developed most of the basic elements of modern civilisation. It is only because the western europeans raided and looted the wealth of other countries that they were able to fund the development of 'industrialisation' and the subsequent discoveries/inventions. STOP kidding yousrself, and being led by popular media - do a bit of reserach and READ HISTORY!
  7. If there is so called 'Mass Immigration' it is (as always) because that there aren't any 'nationals' willing to do the CRAP jobs. Beleive me, the UK is NOT the most popular place to come any more. It's just because the Brits think that flipping burgers or cleaning is beneath them (as in the sixties with transport work). The 'foreigners' are happy to work for minimum wage - and the locals are not! - simple supply and demand! Stop f****ing whinging about foreigners, and get off your ass and get a job! There is NO WAY these people are gonna go away as long as they are prepared to accept a lower wage and do the SHIT jobs that the indigenous population is not prepared to do. Good on them! I hope we see many many more. If you think that it is they who are driving that HPI then you are living in cockoo-land!
  8. You're right. It's not anything particularly new. I guess that B&B's timing (ie. at the peak of the market) is what's bringing out the criticisms now.
  9. Note that their survey focussed on those landlords that have been in the game for a long time: "More than 8 out of 10 (83%) landlords have been involved in the business for 6 years or more, and 35% have 11 or more years’ experience. 8% have over 20 years’ involvement in buy-to-let." Ofcourse these guys will not bail out.....I'd love to see results of a survey that focussed on those landlords that entered the BTL market say 2-3 years ago!!
  10. Well, I think it must be a case of begiiners luck - my first ever 'short' and I am up a 'few quid' on my NRK short- am expecting more next week as a result of reports on mortgage lending from CML etc. I have to say that this 'shorting' lark is great....(guess I may change my view when/if I get burnt!)
  11. Very very good point Yandros. I have to say I have been recently wondering if HPC should 're-brand' itself - in name, structure, and content - to serve a wider community. As the market gets worse I expect that there will be a mushrooming in new users of the forum - both buyers wondering whether/when to jump in, and sellers wondering what on earth is going on and seeking to share experiences with others in the same boat. In its current format HPC probably alienates many new browsers, particularly vendors. Could we (Should we?) do something to encourage these guys to come on and tell their stories, and perhaps use HPC as a source for info on how to deal with issues relating to neg equity for example... I'd like new-generation BTL'ers to come on here and tell everyone else what it's really like out there for them. Just think how useful all this kind of content would be to through back at the vested interests! Just a thought. What do others think?
  12. Anyone know when CWD results are out for 2004? - I can't find anything on there website.
  13. Am now shorting CWD, PAG, and NRK. Got a bit lucky with PAG on the very first day - hope it continues next week. Hope I have caught NRK at (near) their top - guessing (hoping!) that the fund manager buying will have dried up, and we should beging to see a small slide.
  14. I've gone for a June close for CWD, and am thinking of doing the same for PAG and NRK. I reckon NRK has been propped up by takeover speculation. They are heavily reliant on new mortgage lending and re-mortgaging - with a 'slowing' housing market, lower valuations, and hopefully higher IRs their revenues should take a hammering. Also, I've heard, third-hand ofcourse, that there has been some seriously dodgy self-certs through NRK. I reckon their share price could be up for a 20-30% correction over next few months. On a similar note, I can't see what on earth is propping up PAG share price!!
  15. Van: What about Northern Rock and Paragon - any views? Thx
  16. I believe that Northern Rock are heavily exposed to the UK housing market. Their share price has had a good run lately, and is now sitting at all-time highs. With the ever decreasing monthly mortgages, and soon re-mortgages, does anyone have any views on why they would not be a good target for shorting? BTW: Opened a short positions on Countrywide and Paragon today!
  17. I appreciate that things aren't exactly the same with stocks as they are with property, however what was the 'catalyst' for the recent tech stock crash? Was there one, other then mass realisation that something was not right?
  18. What do you think will cause a crash in 3-4 years? What will be different then to today?
  19. By 'shorting' are you suggesting buying 'put' options. Can you point me to where I could do this online please. Thx
  20. Well, that's that settled then - Premium Bonds it is!! Thanks to everyone who replied.
  21. When people refer to a x% drop in prices, from which point are they referring to? From todays prices or from June '04? or earlier? Is there a generally accepted 'reference point'?
  22. Absolutely right....and now made more likely as a result of Nethouseprices.com !
  23. OK, let's assume that this is correct. On this basis BTL'ers would keep piling in. Would you agree that at some point (in the future?) we may reach a situation where supply of rental property may exceed demand? If so, what do you think happens to rents, and what would you do with your BTL portfolio in such circumstances?
  24. I know of a house in my area that sold for 499,999 back in August - however I don't know what it was originally on the market at, or by which EA... Does anyone know of a way to find the details online of houses that were on the market 6-9months ago? Thanks.
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