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Cogs

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Everything posted by Cogs

  1. Aye. Note character of the distribution. 2002 I know but I doubt things have become any fairer since.
  2. Agree strongly with that hypothesis. I don't live in London and my circumstances are similar to drrayjo's. I've noticed whenever such figures come up some of bullish-leaning London mob immediately start calling everyone a liar "renting for buttons" etc. Things seem very polarised. Of course the old model was that renting was more expensive than buying, hence the infamous "rent trap" (you could never get a deposit because you were paying rent, and so trapped paying more for accomodation) which used to be a major Labour issue. Its also why older people have tended to regard renting as automatically irresponsible.
  3. Hehe, I guess she is making her way through progressively more serious taboos.
  4. St Asaph is only going to happen as the result of closing down places in England and then running up a (typically) colossal PFI bill.
  5. That should be: "Rival UK bank eyes Northern Rock's unlimited borrowing facility".
  6. Very true that GOM. It was only, what, a week or a fortnight ago that the "best areas of London will be the last to fall" argument was still considered worthy of debate here. Quite remarkable.
  7. For that money right now, in Edgbaston/Harborne there are a couple of odd 70s high rises incongruously plonked down in quite a nice leafy areas. I've seen a fair bit there priced sub 100k. I think I saw 80k in an EAs window recently. Worth considering I think because (1) you can come straight off the M5 (2) if things do sour a bit the area itself will hold up as being safe etc (old people + old money) which might not be the case with either one of the new builds or a flat over a chippy in Digbeth etc. I think the Council planners must have had a liquid lunch the afternoon they approved them. Just an idea anyway. Edit: Not that I should be encouraging you in your evil 2-home owning ways!!!
  8. They are free to do whatever they want within the law if they think it will help. I'm not sure why you think they'll be able to rent out a garage for more than many are failing to rent out flats for.
  9. Hrm, doubtful. The rental supply keeps expanding, not contracting. This was noted as early as late spring in some parts of the country by EAs (articles in the Observer and also reports on local TV). This means competition amongst landlords. A landlord is "justified" in asking for whatever he or she wants, alternatively if they are "forced" that is again their business, its a free market. However, faced with a rent increase there is still plenty to choose from, cut-throat competition to get tenants and plenty of empty rental properties swelled by unsold properties being let short term and all those "executive" one and two beds bought off-plan earlier in the year . It might be different in London (naturally), some sought after locations, but in the rest of the country I can't see any scope for notable increases in rents. Thats the problem with taking a leveraged position invested in a single asset class, as things get worse your position weakens. LLs were in a better position to play the bully two or three years ago when they could point at reasonably attainable capital gains, there was less choice about for tenants and were probably still just making enough profit to provide a cushion for themselves. My way or the highway, fair enough. And of course as with any excercise is determining the price of something, it isn't how you've conducted your affairs, its how everyone has. If the other LLs in your area are desperate enough to take a hit, then you'll be brought down to that level whether you like it or not. The older LLs will be the ones that will get through of course. If you already subsidising your tenant, as many are, and/or you face difficulties quickly realising your paper profits (thus you can't pull the plug) then to face an uncertain period of voids is a disaster. The tenant has an excellent opportunity to really twist the thumbscrews now and as prices decline and credit gets even scarcer at street level, the degree of pressure that can be brought to bear increases. The tenant really has very little to lose; the trouble of moving to the next street, or even a different property in the same block in most urban centres. Hardly the cause of a sleepless night. A lot of recent landlords will be going into the negotiation with a lot more on the line. Put it this way, I haven't had a rent increase in 4 years and if it was suggested I wouldn't argue, I'd just move out. After all, the property is 4 years old now, its only laziness that is keeping me here when there is bigger and better around for the same money these days.
  10. Which University did Kirstie attend again?
  11. very droll. Alastair Darling is something of an economic Andrew Ridgely. Gordon sings the tunes and he just sort of mimes along to it.
  12. No, he didn't. I'm not sure if he misunderstood the questions or was trying to sound deliberately condescending next to the 'excitable' Ms. Somerset-Webb. Either way, he said nothing of any interest as far as I could tell. Merryn has a nice speech pattern, albeit she gabbles a bit (holding the floor though I think in this specific example). It occurs to me that is how youngish women did used to be speak before they went either "upspeak" or "estuary".
  13. That the professionals don't always know what they are talking about either. I used to have an attitude of deference, what I've learned is to trust your own judgement. If something looks like a rip-off it is probably still a rip-off regardless of what men in sharp suits and their computer models claim. Sometimes they are right, sometimes simply wrong, but it turns out that for the vast majority that speak to the media they have a fairly obvious vested interest and cheerleading remit; this includes politicians and central bankers. This doesn't mean they are wrong necessarily, but it means what they say should be treated with caution. Further, the market sets the price of things but only you can "price" whether it is worth spending the money for yourself. Seems a lot of people confuse the two. Its that old joke about the woman who buys a pair of expensive shoes in a sale and then claims to have saved money.
  14. AFAIK the first recorded property bubble was caused by the Romans competing to buy up holiday places in Greece. It followed on the back of a national obsession with location, location, location and flipping properties (fitting a heated bath was the equivalent of the floorboard/magnolia routine). Nothing new under the sun!
  15. That isn't the fault of the minimum wage, its because they can't afford to take people on.
  16. The reason I object to the minimum wage being so low is that it then requires the government to make up people's wages through things like tax credits. This actually means the state is subsidising corporations who are being given a relatively docile pool of artificially cheap flexible labour to use and abuse. It is not the shelf-stacker or the cleaner that I resent, indeed that they are forced to 'request' from civil servants part of the payment that should rightly be theirs in their paypackets is not good at all. People for some reason imagine the corporations might resent state benefits, the truth is they are biggest supporters of them.
  17. I think economics is a very compromised profession. Many of the most important/famous "economists" (or people that appear to be even if technically they aren't) usually have a cheerleading role as part of their job. E.g., central bankers (1% reasoning, 99% showbiz), economists working for banks, economists working for professional associations etc. There are many neutrals around but they make their money quietly writing exceptionally expensive reports rather than flooding the papers and the beeb with press releases. Put it this way, although it isn't an exact science I have a reasonable degree of faith in economics but very little faith in economists.
  18. * 15. * At 11:39 AM on 04 Dec 2007, * Ben wrote: Ian, In answer to your question - everyone is right sometimes. The Doomsayers you pass on the streets wearing billboards proclaiming the end of the world will, at some point in the next few billion years, be correct. NICE TRY VI. Ah, the boilerplate reply. Shame it doesn't actually work when we are talking about judgments made regarding the business model of a specific highstreet bank. Doh.
  19. Did I imagine it or was the thrust of the HSBC economist's report almost entirely based upon a debunking of the shortage myth (by contrasting price growth to rental growth)? I had, perhaps rather optimistically, thought that was going to be the end of it actually.
  20. Well equally we might read The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists and come to a rather different view. The real question is of course who actually does "hard work" and who hopes to get "money for nothing".
  21. Ah the paradox of Xeno's Tightening Belt. Every time his bills go up, Xeno just tightens his belt another notch. And so he has infinite amounts of money and the baliffs are never needed.
  22. It isn't sexist, there is actually a reason for it. The property writers at The Times and other papers have generally come into it from "Lifestyle", if you google round you'll find many of these people have a track record not in the business pages but in reviewing plays or writing fluff about shoes and handbags. Indeed, in The Times articles about property have frequently appeared under the heading "Women" anyway, presumably because the articles are written by their "Women" staff writers rather than because property is a gender issue. I've proposed before the a good sentiment indicator will be when "Property" falls under the remit of the business and finance writers rather than the "Lifestyle" crew.
  23. No, not purile and it wasn't meant to be a dig either. Atlas Shrugged was at one point the 2nd best selling book in the United States after the Bible. It is taken seriously, and mad as it is, if you are an American or have a lot to do with them, interested in politics and finance it is probably a good idea to read it because a lot of the people you will be dealing with take it seriously even if you don't. So, it is a book for Americans because it is by now part of American culture, but this has nothing to do with its merits or lack of them. On the other hand Ayn Rand is almost unknown to popular culture in the UK (hence someone starting a thread on the subject).
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