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House Price Crash Forum


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Posts posted by Wad

  1. So, you don't have those pesky "morals" or that "conscience" thing that some of the rest of us do then?

    You only get one life, don't waste it on evil deeds.

    Or alternatively, if you are set on that course of action, you should know that there are much greater profits to be made in the drug dealing market, along with other organized crime.

    You make a good point. I was being ironic. The whole property business really makes me feel moraly uneasy at times.

    TBH if I was a property developer in the next boom I think I would be out of the market well before it became overvalued and downright silly. I don't think property is ever really going to be my thing - its all that debt wrapped up in an illiquid asset that bothers me.

    I am a bit of coward really when it comes to investing. I like things I can sell quick.

  2. The standard procedure is for the agreement to be signed in two parts, one by the landlord (or his agent) often referred to as "the original" and one by the tenant "the counterpart". The tenant should end up with the original and the landlord with the counterpart. The agent should not have kept the original and just given you a copy.

    Agreed. What I normally see is the agent gives me two blank copies. I sign both and send one back. The agent then sends me the copy that the LL signed (or the agent signed on his behalf) and the LL gets my signed copy.

    The agent keeps photocopies of both signed documents.

  3. I am sorry but I simply cannot recall a single time that an EA or a banker or anyone to do with the mortgage, or housebuilding industry ever said that house prices were unsustainably high during the period 2000 - 2008. Someone may have said it, but it was not a message I consistently heard. All I seemed to hear was BUY!

    I may be wrong, I may have forgotten but I definitely do not remember a single person connected with house selling to say that people should not buy a house until prices drop substantially back to the historic 3 x salary multiple. All I head was ITS DIFFERENT THIS TIME!

    Indeed, it is only recently that many have admitted that prices are actually falling and set to fall further.

    HPC is the only place I have consistently heard the stark warning messages apart from a few people like Roger Bootle.

    So ingrained is the idea that house prices wil continue rising that even now EAs, bankers, builders Govt are all still saying that people should NOW buy after a relativley small fall.

    That said, I think Michael Coogan (CML) s has written a good piece here and I particulalrly agree with this piece of his analysis:

    The financial system had become so complex that nobody, even regulators it would seem, had the ability to understand it "in the round".

    There was a silo effect as professionals understood the particular market they worked in very well, but did not understand how that market fitted into and interacted with the rest of the financial system. There was no one joining the dots to see the global picture. Regulators weren't asking the right questions, too much trust was placed in ratings agencies and investors weren't cautious enough about the risks they took on and at what price.

    In a sense there was a failure of imagination across the globe – no one stopped to think "what if". The full picture has only become evident with hindsight, and even now it is clear that the financial system is not adequately understood.

  4. I arranged to go and someone at my bank about a mortgage tomorrow.

    I am not buying as yet but I just want to see what they are really prepared to do. I asked to see a manager with significant experience and authority as my personal circumstances are somewhat unusual (i.e self employed, mainly capital gains, irregular earnings but with substantial equit capital so low LTV).

    I was assured that I would see someone senior. A few hours later they called back and told me I would be seeing smeone junior. I am not hopeful in having a sensible conversation.

  5. This is a very interesting thread.

    I know Worcester (a typical provincial city) quite well. In the last 2 years I have been visiting the place every time I come here a new shop closes.

    Indeed, my wife said today that she had noticed 2 - 3 more had closed down the side streets off the high street since last week!

    There is carnage in the retail environment in Worcester. There are many pubs/restaurants/cafes for sale or rent in the centre of town and I would say easily 15% of shop and office space is empty already.

    Worcester suffers a bit from being close to Birmingham and more especially because its rail link to the South East is very poor. That said I have been trying to rent or buy 3-400 sq m of home/office space in Worcester for the last 18 months and landlords just seem to think that prices and rents are going to go back up soon. Indeed, some of he buildings I have offered on have been empty for two years. It just does not make sense.

    It is not going to recover any time soon. Regional cities like Worcester have to see a halving of rents and prices for commercial property in my view and residential something similar.

  6. I have been saying out loud for the last few years WHENEVER I met with poor service or idiocy of the private and public sector - "what we need is damn good recession".

    Couldn't care less, don't give a damn, don't care, not my job to deal with it, the Govt should do something, I will just put it on the credit card, I am a properdee developer, BTL is my pension".

    All phrases that characterise the moral and financial bankruptcy of the UK.

  7. At the risk of soundy a bit lah-di-dah, visit Paris regularly and the French way seems to make a lot more sense. Smaller shops stocking plenty of useful stuff. Fewer gigantor supermarkets (well, none). Sensible practical opening hours, in the evening you can buy freshly baked bread. Plenty of cafe's with cheap and appealing menus. Its a bit like high streets in this country were years ago. A bit. We tried the American model of mammoth chain stores in every town without realising We're not America. The high street might be dead, but on the upside it might, in the years to come - after the depression - be a chance to remake them in a more user friendly mould.

    That is the kind of post my wife would make. She just luurves Paris and especially the Avenue Montaine.

    I absolutely hate the place but she has dropped an enormous hint that that is where she is going for our anniversary and I can come with her if I want to!

  8. Recently the police liason officer visited my children's school at the invitation of the headteacher. My children came home with various bits and pieces that the police liason officer had given out including a fingerprint of my children that the police officer had encouraged them to give.

    I have no reason to believe that the police officer took a copy of the finger prints away with him but it did disturb me that a police officer was allowed to ask very young children to give their fingerprint. You could call it 'conditioning' a child for the future. Indeed, many school children are now conditioned to put their finger into a scanner to get library books, school meals and other school services.

    I have refused to allow my children to ever interact with any fingerprint scanner and instructed to refuse point blank if anyone aks them to and tell the teacher to phone me immediatley.

    One headteacher I read about defended the use of fingerprint scanners in school as preparing the children for the future where everyone will see it as normal. We do not need an ID card if everyone has to identify themselves with a fingerprint every time they want to buy somethng or interact with Govt. In effect your finger print will become your ID card.

  9. I am not disagreeing with the OP about the onset of eventual inflation as the stmulus will go on for far far too long and policy makers and central bankers will be terrified to switch it off too early for fear of causing the deflation depression to return.

    However, we all know very well what to do when this happens. Borrow as much money as possible at negative real rates and buy as many houses as possible.

    I know ... I just said BUY HOUSES ... but to be fair its the only thing to do when central bankers give money away at below the rate of inflation. See last decade for full details of how that ends.

    Just make sure you sell out before the next crash which will come in about 2020.

  10. The whole boom in corporate jets really took hold when Concorde stopped flying.

    In the old days when Concorde still flew - it was common place for investment bankers and corporate leaders to board Concorde in the morning and fly across the Atlantic for a meeting and then back again the same day. When that stopped they demanded they be flown by corporate jet instead. It was slower but still meant they did not have board ordinary planes (even into First Class) with ordinary flyers through security checks like normal people.

  11. The option of converting bank debt into equity has screamng out as a solution for the last 18 months.

    If all banks had converted some or all of their subordinated debt tranches into equity before Xmas there would have been no need at all for the October bailout or the more recent one.

    I am amazed that Govt has not forced them to do his before now. No tax payer money woudl have been at risk if they had done this.

    Problem is that the life insurance industry is terrified because a lot of its capital cushion is held in bank preference shares and this debt - equity swap will change the nature of their capital reserves. There was a meeting with Govt officials last week about it and explains why life insurer shares fell last week. If banks convert a lot of this preference debt to equity then life insurers may have to raise more equity.

    Stil I think debt - equity swaps are the best option even if life insurer and other equity holders are diluted.

  12. Yeah the river roads are really nice.

    When I bought (back in 1999) I was pipped at the post on a property in Cleaveland Rd (3 bed Victorian), it was on at 158,000 which was at the very top end of my price limit!!!!!!!!!!!

    I think it sold for over 470K last year!!!!!!!! Wish I'd bought it in 1999 :lol::lol:

    Yea but you would struggle to sell at £400k now and the Tiffin School which is a major draw in the area is in financial trouble. Might not be so attractive now for families.


    Mind you, £400k sounds cheap for a 3 bed Victorian semi compared to the same thing in Oxford right now.

  13. You must have the max! Took me 2 years to get a win. The prize fund payout is only 1.8% now. Chances of winning have therefore halved, approximately since Oct 2008.

    Well, a 1.8% yield on Premium Bonds is still paying a higher rate of interest than short term T Bills at the last UK auction on 23 January 2009. Actually its not a bad rate at all given what short term 'risk free' UK Govt debt is yielding. Highest accepted yields last week at the T Bill auction were 1 month 0.990%, 3 month 0.959%, 6 month 1.000%.

    I agree with other posters here though that a lot of old people still think the Post Office savings accounts are backed by the UK Govt. I think that if push came to shove the Post Office savers would be bailed out by the UK Govt - they tend to be relatively old, relatively poor, and tend to be Labour voters I suspect.

  14. The other guys offer good advice. I'm afraid there's not much you can do, since the LL chose to use this EA. The EA is getting a cut from you and probably 8-15% of the annual rent off the LL, which is why the lettings side is the only business supporting quite a few EAs at the moment.

    This is the price we pay for an imperfect advertising market and other demands on people's time. The LL has probably tried Gumtree or local small ads in the past and found that the EA's service is more reliable and gets him a better class of tenant, as well as handling all the viewings, the credit checks, and so on.

    I'm a landlord (boo, hiss!) and in my experience you get rubbish EAs but also some good ones, who do the job propeprly and are probably worth what they get paid. I know this won't be a popular view on this website as the general consensus is that buying houses to let is inherently evil, but there you go.

    I agree with what you are sayng. I do not take the common view that buying property and renting it out is evil. I also think using a good letting agent is a mark of a good landlord in my view.

    I also tend to agree that when broken down the fees that letttng agents charge to a tenant are by and large more or less justifible. However, on a number of occassions I have had quite heated arguements with letting agents that a tenants cannot be expected to hand over a fee if they do not know what contract they are going to sign. I therefore insist on negotiating the conract in full BEFORE handing over any fee. In particular, I make sure that they put in writing anything I want doing to the proerty before I move in. Believe it or not there are quite a few letting agents who regard the fee they charge tenants as a payable before they will hand over the contract. I always walk away if they insist on that.

  15. I stopped driving 20 years ago. I just could not stand doing it and I did not need it in my life as I lived in London.

    However, I have toyed with buying an Aston if they got incredibly cheap. They are beautiful cars and I do not say that about many cars. I would just put it in the garage and look at it, however, I might just have to pay someone to take it to a track and then get a tame racing driver to teach me to drive properly.

  16. When house prices have fallen 50% the arguing will stop. Only the lawyers will have made money.

    I was an expert witness in a case a few years ago where exactly this had happened with an industrial facility. Prices of inputs had changed dramatically and the plant was making a lot more than the original owner had expected when he had sold it and now wanted more money.

    They got short shrift from the judge. I was on the winning side. The two parties are stil in the contract and the prices of inputs are now such that the buyer is making a lot less money and the seller is getitng the best of the deal.

  17. I was asked by an EA the other day to 'make an offer'. I had offered to rent the property but he asked 'out of interest' what would I be willing to offer to buy it?

    I replied that as I was expecting 40% off on a peak-to-trough basis it was unlikely his client woudl be interested in any offer I would make. I am waiting to see if he comes back.

    I also saw another house today up for rent but the owner has also put 'offers to purchase will also be considered'.

    I do think this 'make me an offer' gambit is growing among EAs because it gives them an excuse to ring the client with something in thei rhand to talk about rather than just ringing them and telling the vendor to drop their asking price out of the blue. It gives them some leverage to start talking about a price reduction.

  18. The older generations and government will rue the day they priced young people out home ownership, the national debt is a liability dumped on the unborn, the problem is they will remain just that, unborn.

    How right you are. It already happened in Japan and is beginning to happen in the UK and USA except among immigrant populations who are transient and can just as easily go back to their old country.

  19. So who's designing suicide booths?

    I got told off on here last time I said that on HPC.

    We have to think seriously about allowing people to end their own lives when they felt they had no quality of life left. We have the power to artificailly prolong life well beyond any use or enjoyment of our bodies and yet no doctor or politician is prepared to deal with the questions.

    I for one do not want to be imprisoned in a body that no longer functions and have nothing left to live for. We happily say 'its a humane thing to put an animal out of its misery' but we will not let people decide on their own humane death.

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