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Posts posted by Wad

  1. I have just been back through the historic data from RICs surveys and I have to say that we are way away from seeing any kind of recovery if Stocks and Agreed Sales per agent (both seasonally adjusted) are anything to go by

    Mar 07 Stock 60.3 Sales 28.1 Ratio 0.46

    Mar 08 Stock 89.8 Sales 21.7 Ratio 0.24

    Mar 09 Stock 66.7 Sales 9.7 Ratio 0.14

    Sales are running at 1/3 of the level in 2007 and the ratio of sales to stock is still collapsing.

    This is not a recovery - when will the property industry and media finally realise this? It is still dire and few peopole can get a sensible mortgage. Prices are falling still.

  2. Does your contract say anything?

    Normally I make a prior agreement when signing the lease that a prospective new tenant can come and see the places I rent but only during the notice period of the tenancy, only with 24 hour email notice and only between 9 am - 5 pm and only Mon - Fri.

    I know others on here will talk about quiet enjoyment and not letting people in etc but I just think a clear up front agreement with both side being sensible is a much better way to go.

  3. Not exactly on the topic but a similar theme.

    I have noticed a fair number of the economic statistics from the US have been 'surprise' to the upside recently but what is less well obseved that the figure from the month before is often downgraded and hardly anyone notices.

    No lets suppose you want to provide positive news copy and you are in Govt. What better way than feed lazy journos surprise positive economic news and then downgrade it a few weeks later without telling them.

    Just a thought but the overal level of the statistics is not wrong and downgrades do hapen so nothing wrong there but what matter is the positive news story on the upside surprise and no news at all on the subsequent downgrade.

    It would tend to give positive bias to the news but not lead to inaccurate statistics overall. Clever that.

  4. This has been on the cards for the last year or so.

    It is the job Gordon Brown needed to be able to allow himself teh space to resign gracefully from the PM job. My view is that there has always been a resignation pencilled in for May 2009 to give the new Labour leader time to bed in before the next election. The recent Grand Tour of Latin America made me sure the job was in the offing. My view is it will start more or less straight away.

    Question is who brokered it and why and for whom?

  5. To be honest I am not in the slightest bit surprised about your experience there Foundthelight

    My Dad sold his farm a few years back which was with a really top agent which as you can imagine brings in a huge commisison payment.

    He gave the agent the actual particulars he got from when he bought the farm and took the man round on a detailed trip pointing out each feature as he went.

    The agent then went back and typed it up. It came back in draft form with photos and it was a horrendous mess with loads of spelling errors, completley wrong measurements, misdescriptions and terrible photographs.

    In the end, my Dad rewrote the entire articulalrs and had the photos redone. They still messed up the sale and I had refinance the whole deal before it went through.

    Useless, utterly useless!

  6. Absolutely agree with others - BluRay is just something I do not need. What is wrong with a DVD/CD?

    As a statistician/economist myself I have always felt uneasy about the idea of removing and substituting consumer products from the basket for the reasons that others have mentioned. Cheap popular old established products are always cheaper than new products that do the same thing but only slightly better.

    In my view the inflation rate should be composed of commodity products that are very unlikely to be substituted for a many decades. Things like fuels, raw food products, metals commodities, land prices, rents and so on are immutable in the sense they will always have a demand and never replaced.

    It seems to me that a basket composed of these products would not only be more stable in composition but also more likely to give an early warnig of an impending inflationary burst from say a property bubble or an oil price spike. It would also be possible to create a global inflation index based on such basket but weighted according to the volume of production/consumption of each commodity.

    I know, I know - its never going to happen.

  7. Now these women cannot MEW or rely on their ex-husbands support they have simply stopped coming. Huge numbers of beach bums right across the islands from Jamaica in the north down to Tobago in the south are now penniless, feeling humiliated and will mostly turn to crime.

    Carribean Beauty - I have been watching your posts and following your story of selling up and moving from the Carribean for a while now and I have found it fascinating.

    I have been interested partly because I have thought that there as going to be an attack on tax havens by the G20 countries for a few years now and it looks like it is coming to pass. I also have felt that the collapse in society as you so rightly point out in these isands and the horrible encroachment of the drug gangs would eventually kill them as tourist destintions.

    My feeling is that the UK wil eventually be invited or forced to take the islands back under control as I do not think the experiement of independence has worked. I also have this feeling as well about the Channel Islands. I almost moved to Guernsey a few years ago and I must say one of the reasons I did not as the feeling of fragility in the island - that somehow it was not sustainable.

    What is your feeling about the Carribean islands being taken back under direct control or quasi dirct control in exchange for abandoning their tax haven status? Does it get discussed on the islands? How woud people feel about coming back into British control?

    EDIT: Wow! I have just been over to the other thread and seen you post at midnightlast night about the Turks & Caicos islands being taken back under Brtish control. You must have read mind. Its happening already. I think it will continue with other islands. What happens to the tax haven staus of these islands now?


  8. Imposing a strict 3 x salary multiple based on BASIC salary only without any bonus or overtime being taken into account would kill the housing market for years.

    I have no doubt if this were brought in the lenders would try and take bonus and overtime into account and then that would just make mortgege lending even more pro-cyclical with very big mortgages being handed out in boom times on the strength of 3 x (basic + bonus + overtime) and then suddenly being reduced dramatically when a downturn comes and bonus and overtime disappear.

    As much as I would like to se it happen I do not think this 3x salary cap will ever really be implemented and even if it does the policing of it wil be lax with 'exceptions' becoming the norm.

  9. To be honest I think the survey and comments in the Rightmove are a pretty fair reflection of what is happening in the market right now.

    My own view is 25% off peak asking price is where deals are being struck right now. Sellers are still deluded, agents are accepting instructions at about 10% below asking price and hoping to encourage sellrs to reduce later when they get an offer. Volumes are very low as a result.

    The gap between asking and actual sales prices is still widening in my view. Low volumes of sales are the end result. Until that gap closes the volume will not pick up. Plain fact is many sellers just cannot afford to accept less than asking price as they would be in negative equity.

  10. OPEC will find it hard to hold supply down because each country desperatley needs a certain amount of revenue. The temptation to cheat when prices are falling is too tempting. OPEC only works when price are already high.

    A long history of oil prices shows the price rarely hold for long at $40 / bbl. The need for revenue and the inherent instability that this causes in OPEC produces two distinct equilibrium price positions of either very high (over $70/bbl) or very low ($20 /bbl or less).

    There is no sustainable equilibrium at $40 / bbl oil. It either needs to rise to $70 or over (unlikley) or collape back to $20 / bbl (very likely).

  11. I have been watching the behaviour of the US stock market over the last month and I can think of no other explanation than Fed/Treasury money is behind the recent very sharp rally and also the strange end of day behaviour of rapid and sharp rises in the last hour of trading.

    Perhaps not direct Fed/Trasury buying but certainly some of the very large amounts of money being printed is finding its way very quickly and directly into the stock market.

  12. The other one I have noticed is "Viewing Advised"

    Me and my wife were discussing what this phrase could possibly mean. After all, the point of advertising a house for sale is surely to get viewings. In the end we concluded that it was actually a coded mesage from the agent rather than the vendor:

    "Please come and see this over priced house because we are getting hassle from the owner after telling him it was worth 30% more than the current market price and now we know the asking price is putting everyone off as no one has looked at it for ages. However, if you make an offer, please don't make it less than 5% under asking otherwise he will sack us and take it to another agent. "

  13. What a great article and the charts in it are very compelling.

    I agree we are still in the denial phase perhaps slipping towards fear in some cases but the 'fear' is not in the mainstream yet so it feels like 'Spring Bounce' might be a possibility. That is the 'Bull Trap' for sure. The words 'Return to Normality' have even been bandied about routinely by a variety of organisations and VI groups in the last month or so but this is surely the calm before the storm.

    How wrong can people be - workers are having wages cut 10% as a fairly common condition of keeping their job. John Lewis just seen a massive drop in profits. Banks still withdrawing overdrafts and working capital finance from firms. Bonus and overtime is zero throughout the economy except for the lucky few.

    It is carnage in the real economy. I was in Worester yesterday and saw that 3 new shops had closed in the last fortnight and that was just in one little side street. I counted about 10% of the street is up for rent or sale.

    Same in virtually every place in the UK.

  14. Cattles were attempting to get a banking licence until recently.

    I wonder if they would now be eligible to get cash from the BoE as part of the special liquidity schemes or perhaps take part in the asset insurance scheme and with Govt equity injections if they had been successful in that application.


    Oh look! Its lead bank is RBS. More or less part owned by Govt already then.

    "It has also breached its banking covenants, which could lead its own lenders to demand that their loans are repaid immediately. Cattles said it was seeking "appropriate waivers" from its debt providers. Its lead bank is Royal Bank of Scotland."

  15. Just give notice and leave. Make sure you get your deposit back ASAP.

    There is no positive reason to stay.

    Happened to me in the ealry 1990s crash - an divorced bloke who was trying to run up a massive arrears on the mortgage and pocket the rent so his wife would not get anything by selling the flat.

  16. I haven't posted here for months, simply because I now work long hours- deep breath - in an EA branch! I'm not an EA, which helps me sleep at night (I have qualifications, so I think that rules me out) but I do get involved with the day to day business within the branch.

    Yes, we have have seen a lot more people through the door in the last couple of months-but, they (on the whole with the odd stupid exception) certainly seem more reluctant to commit. Our branch has sold four properties this month so far, three of which were repossessions valued way under the local average. The other had been on for a year and had just reduced it's price by a huge margin - sold instantly (no-it hasn't yet completed). Loads of people genuinely are saying they want to use the cash they have in the bank and bringing in bank statements to prove they have it. Not many actually parting with it though!

    They register people so that they have a database of contacts. They can then call you about properties coming on (and associated crap), but your details then get passed to the mortgage guy in branch to call you as well. Our branch is now refusing to give property details to people that walk in if they won't register! I know - but nothing to do with me.

    As for EA staff keeping prices high-there is a degree of that. Our lister will go to value a property, do some research into what has sold in that area, go to the valuation with a figure in mind and come back blown out of the water by two other agents that have already valued at way over his estimation, just to get the property on their books. The vendor will say one of two things, this is what I owe so this is what I need irrelevant of the current market. Or- but I have this, that and the other so my house is definately worth more. No - it's not. Even when confronted with proof of why it's worth x, they still can't get it into their heads. Obviously the EA's need new property to get the potential buyers in, but it's only those coming on at a bargain price that are actually selling.

    This branch is in the South-East and we are probably the only one still recruiting people. We have interviews all this week lined up, all people that have recently been laid off from other agents. Unsure how long I will have this job, but having been made redundant from the last job I was in (for 10 years) a job is a job at the moment, so don't hate me!

    Your whole post is excellent. I firmly believe you are right about what buyers, vendors and agents are actually doing on the ground and why, as a result, prices in most cases are still at deluded levels and transaction volumes are so low.

    As a potential buyer, but a buyer who buys and sells things all day in the stock, bond and commodity markets every day, I find the property market and the way EAs go about the business of 'price discovery' both laughable and tragic in equal measure.

    Do come back and post again in a few months and I do sincerely hope you keep your job.

  17. A finders fee is not on but the OP may be getting confused with what letting agents charge to process the application once a prospective tenant has agreed to rent a place. I would never ever pay an upfront finders fee EVER.

    What I do is the following.

    See a house I want to rent, agree all the details before and also see a copy of the contract terms before I hand over any cash. Most will try and get you to hand that over the minute you say you want a place. That is not on.

    What I do is say to them is that I will come to their office and look at the contract terms once they have got the agreement of the landlord to my terms and conditions (i.e length of lease, rental price, any repairs, etc.) and they are prepared to put that in a confirmation note. Once I have that I hand over the fee there and then as a Switch payment.

    In effect, I have the contract in hand before I hand over any fee. A LA cannot argue that you have to pay them before they will even pick up the phone to a LL. What happens if the LL just says no to your terms or there is some clauses in the contract that are unacceptable? There is no way you wil get your fee back and no way they will agree to change anything after the fact.

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