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harris

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About harris

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  1. This is a really good point. Pensions are a total rip-off in this country. Anyone paying basic rate tax who puts their own money into a pension is basically throwing it away. If you are paying higher rate tax and/or get employer contributions it is a different story but for anyone not in this situation it is total a rip off.
  2. I feel sorry for people coming out of school or uni in the middle of a recession. Although if people think its hard at the moment, they should have tried the 80's. There were no jobs at all then in some parts of the country .... Having said that, I've no sympathy at all for the whinging git who wrote the Observer article. He finished uni years ago in the middle of a boom and has had several jobs and made no headway in any of them. I'd say that his problems go a bit deeper than the current recession.
  3. There are about 14 million owner-occupied homes in the UK. About 11 million of these have mortgages on them Its simpy not true therefore to say that there are more people with savings than mortgages. Even the majority of people with money in a savings account owe more on their mortgage than is in their savings account. I think this whole myth started because there are more savings accounts than mortgages. However most people have only onemortgage but may have multiple savings accounts, often with very little in each. As for the CPI rise, its hardly a surprise as VAT went down in December last year. The CPI figures have been 1% below their true level for the last year and will be 1% above their true level for the rest of this year. Expect a rise to 4% or so next month followed by a fall to around 3.3% the month after. It will then stay just over 3% until the middle of the year and then fall slightly in the second half of the year. Re rate rises, not until after the election at the earliest. They'll want 2 quarters of GDP rises before raising and won't get these before April at the earliest which will probably be the middle of the election campaign. There's enough uncertainty at the moment to provide an excuse for doing nothing so that is exactly what they will do.
  4. I can't really get too excited about the idea of the EU having more power. Anthing that takes power away from our current lot of politicians the better in my view. Most of the policies and regulations coming out of the EU are far more sensible and on the side of the people rather than the state than the crap coming out of Brown's unelected government. I do sort agree with the arguments about democracy and accountability, but we don't live in much of a democracy anymore anyway. We already have a Prime Minister with no electoral mandate whose deputy sits in the House of Lords. Before we try and get some power back from the EU, it might be a good idea to get our own broken system of democracy sorted out first.
  5. More stupidity from a stupid Government. Even when banks do request full financial details they are not particuarly interested in levels of discretionary spending as these would be cut by anybody who is sane to ensure that they could pay their mortgage. If you are so financially irrresponsible that you would not do this to keep a roof above your head, this would show up in 99% of cases in missed payments and high levels of other borrowings such a credit and store cards.
  6. More stupidity from a stupid Government. Even when banks do request full financial details they are not particuarly interested in levels of discretionary spending as these would be cut by anybody who is sane to ensure that they could pay their mortgage. If you are so financially irrresponsible that you would not do this to keep a roof above your head, this would show up in 99% of cases in missed payments and high levels of other borrowings such a credit and store cards.
  7. Here is why I think that the market has already seen a nominal bottom. The bottom in March/April was artificially low due to the almost total unavailability of mortgage finance and the uncertainty as to the future of the economy leading people and businesses to put off any sort of future decision. 6 months later on things have stabilised and the future outlook for the economy, a long slow recovery at best but not complete meltdown, is a lot clearer. I'd expect prices to now stabilise around current levels, plus or minus 5%, for the next 2 to 3 years at least meaning further price drops in real but not nominal terms. While affordability levels at current interest rates are OK, any upward pressure on prices from this will be offset by increasing unemployment. Overall I'd expect the UK housing market to be very dull over the next few years and the wider economy will be very difficult for UK businesses who rely on UK rather than overseas customers.
  8. Easyjet are great. Ryanair used to be OK but have just too far out of their way to make the whole flying experience totally unpleasant in the last couple of years.
  9. Harriet Harman is a complete moron. Leaving aside people's personal views on lap dancing clubs, the fact is that corporate entertainment of any kind where clients are involved is not tax deductible at the moment under any circumstances. There are limited exemptions for entertainment provided to your own staff which don't even fully cover a decent Christmas party, never mind a night at a major London lap dancing club. You'd be struggling not to go over the limits in an East London strip pub. What a joke this Government is, making a huge fuss over ending a "tax break" that doesn't even exist while over 700,000 people have lost their jobs in the last year.
  10. It should stop now. You have had your crash and should get used to this fact. Earlier this year was the low in terms of nominal prices. There will be further falls in real prices in the next 2 to 5 years but this will be accompanied by higher interest rates and inflation meaning that the nominal prices won't fall below the lows reached this year.
  11. Given that the average full time male wage in London is £55k per year, £40K a year on a single income is not going to get you too far, especially when you factor in double income couples and the many business owners and self employed consultants etc who pay themselves in dividends rather than wages. That's not to say that prices aren't completely stupid, but even if they return to normality a single first homebuyer on $40k a year with a small deposit is going to be looking at the bottom third of the market. Options are 1) earn more 2) Get a partner 3) Buy outside London 4) Don't bother buying at the moment
  12. Leasehold is normally OK but there are exceptions. The main thing is to use a good well established, preferably local, firm of solicitors who will look at the lease issues and discuss them with you properly rather than just using some conveyancing factory because they are cheap.
  13. Agreed, I worked in McDonalds at Uni. Far from the worst job you could be doing. The staff were treated fairly and the business was well organised and run. A couple of the guys who started at the same time as me even dropped out of uni and have their own restaurants now.
  14. Houses sell for the market value at a particular time. If you think that house prices will be 30% lower in a years time that's fine. Buy a house in a years time. However there's no reason why, however good your analysis of why prices should be 30% lower, why any seller should sell it to you for 30% less than the current market value rather than to someone else who is willing to pay the current market value. As to whether a seller's view of what the current market level is, is in fact accurate, that is a completely different issue.
  15. Very surprising figures re the CPI. Next months will be even more interesting as it will show if the increase is down to the new goods basket that was introduced this month causing a one off blip or whether there is something else going on re prices. I'm aware that there are inflationary pressures from the due to the fall in the pound but to put this into context, this is the largest one month rise in CPI for at least 4 years, larger even that when power bills went up 30%. That doesn't sound quite right to me.
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