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Everything posted by Cogs

  1. Nothing like a captive landlord kept safely at the end of a contractual leash! Best place for them I can understand (almost, just barely) a tenant not reading the small print on a contract, what sort of lunatic LL doesn't read the contract they actually wrote and offered to a tenant? Serve them right if it was a pre-packaged "fill in the gaps" one like you can buy from a stationers. Is there a Tesco Value DIY BTL landlord set available I wonder? Wouldn't surprise me. You can't make this stuff up can you...
  2. I'm not sure "balls" is quite the right word. Casey seems to be a bit of a fantasist living in a 'Walter Mitty' kind of world where he believes he is going to pull down a multi-million dollar deals out of nowhere for no good reason. Because investment banks often ask guys living out of trailers with a history of mortgage fraud and no degree to broker deals for them... It seems the reason he can't go bankrupt is because he committed serial mortgage fraud which he'd have to disclose to a judge. The only thing that makes me feel a bit guilty for mocking the fool is the possibility that he is actually mentally ill rather than merely stupid.
  3. <---- feel slightly guilty for laughing Poor old Casey... even when it's getting better, it just gets worse.
  4. I know you are joking but your first suggestion would fulfill a useful service esp. if it included some info on tenant's rights etc. There used to be a thing along the "property porn" template with used cars that was pretty useful, I can't remember what it was called. Quite a lot of "tell him he's having a giraffe" and "tell him to shove it, there are thousands of cars of that model about you can buy instead if he won't shift". Probably saved a few meek punters a few quid by showing them that, yes, you can be rude to a used car salesman and he may still want to do you a deal. One of the things about property porn is that there is very little to learn as a buyer in a seller's market where you have Krusty insisting everyone pay top dollar to 'secure the property'. This is one of the reasons those programmes are so tiresome. They might be moderately interesting in a falling market if they are still going then.
  5. My neither-ness is also due to 'category 1' beliefs. And also the fact that I wasn't sure what was understood by Bull vs. Bear on this website when I registered the account. I wasn't sure if it was an indicator of what you thought was going to happen or wanted to happen. And now I can't figure out how to change it...! Can the government stop a HPC? I don't think are bigger than the 'forces of economics' but I have very little faith in them not to do something bloody stupid. Like, I dunno, make houses completely tax exempt 100% MIRAS or something like that. Stupidity needn't cost a penny either, some sort of further weakening of tenant's rights that would make BTL more attractive again could be done. Pushing Shared Ownership is a milder actual example. I also lack faith in people to ever say enough is enough as they happily trumpet their x15 shared ownership mortgage buying 5% of a shed with 100k of MEW from their parents as their deposit. I just don't know, my comfort level with all this was breached years ago, I have no idea what those still playing the game think they are doing so I can't figure out where the limits lie for them.
  6. The local government worker is going to find it far easier. What possible logic is there for believing otherwise?
  7. Oh I dunno, depends how you imagine it (top of Page 2, NOT NECESSARILY SAFE FOR WORK)
  8. I lean towards thinking this will be a two-parter. Flats first, then houses. In the former, the problem is with the stock itself. In the latter, it has more to do with the over-gearing and MEW people have taken on that makes them vulnerable to the general economic effects of a decline in flat prices (not least of all BTL of course). I don't think houses will be untouched but there is sense in thinking of flats vs. houses as different markets/situations/etc. The problem is getting data beyond the basic Land Reg. stuff that breaks it down (e.g., mortgage approvals) in that way.
  9. Advance minutes of MPC meeting Mr King began the meeting by stating "It's time to play the music, it's time to light the lights...and now lets get things started". Prof Blanchflower urged that meeting should should not over-run as he had a plane to catch; "why don't you get things started?" Ms. Barker added that she hoped the committee's decision would be "sensational, inspirational and indeed, celebrational". An observer from property website HPC.co.uk later commented "Why do we always come here? I guess we'll never know, it's like a kind of torture".
  10. I'd like to see a lot more regulation in the rental market. An increase in the rights of tenants and in particular an actual dedicated regulator beyond small claims and trading standards or whatever that has teeth, will prosecute and is responsible for the massive BTL sector with the power to remove properties from supply and/or bar LLs from operating as such for a number of years. Being a LL should be a licensed activity which I'd model on getting a license to serve alcohol (so property is evaluated + licensee is evaluated on some level and runs huge risks to their livelihood if they step out of line, this would obviously be a good moment to get everything shipshape and a file opened with the revenue as well). Operating as an unlicensed landlord would obviously be the sort of thing that gets your office raided by the cops, trading standards and the revenue. I realise many libertarian types will find this abhorent but particularly at the bottom of the market its like the wild west and I'm tired of pseudo-Rachmanism and unhealthy, dangerous accomodation coming on the market. It is a disgrace in this day and age. To a degree many of the above elements already exist but they are spread across a range of different offices at LAs, different rules from HMO, the deposit scheme etc, I'd like to see the whole thing consolidated. It seems wrong that you can barely blow your nose in this country without paperwork but when it comes to the places people live we are dangerously lassez-faire about it. I think the above might be enough actually. Too much hassle for amateurs, kick out of the cowboys, keep the pros. I'm nervous about any kind of government intervention into proper asset markets though. Maybe they could place most responsibility on the shoulders of lenders so as to stop them issuing stupid mortgages. Self-cert and IVA should be returned to their place as for entrepreneuers only rather than the general population.
  11. Hang on a mo... I'd be very interested to see the details of where this "slowing of tenant demand" is coming from. Certainly a blow to the standard bull arguments if there is any truth to it. As people get priced out and immigration increases isn't it supposed to be a certainty that tenant demand will rise ever upwards? Hrm. I particularly like the cartoon. BTL is a money making scheme but it is also a fashion. You are nobody without a 'portfolio' in some circles. But people are very shallow, the more BTL begins to look like "folly" and ceases to be socially acceptable the better, this will have an affect regardless of the numbers I'd imagine. The spreadsheet may say we are in it for the long term but dirty looks at a dinner party and a tumbleweed silence down the pub may say otherwise for some. <<<<EDIT>>>> Hrm well I found the other story: Eh? Huh? OK, I don't understand this at all as it doesn't fit with the last land reg. and mortgage figures. Is this a cart/horse mix-up re: HIPs and the recent increase in EA's listings? Confused. The supply & demand here don't seem to add up.
  12. Q. What Makes A Flat Executive/luxury? A. The asking price. To be honest the idea of an "Executive Appartment" makes me think of somewhere suitable only for a a dead-eyed souless corporate wageslave to get a few hours of fitfull sleep in between returning from miserable late shift at the office and venturing back out to fight with the other grey drones in the morning rush hour. In which case, it turns out their marketing is fairly truthful after all.
  13. Be careful what you wish for, healthcare in the US accounts for 17% of GDP (vs 8.3% here). The US government currently pays about 60% of this from taxation by tax allowance to company insurance schemes (ie. the same amount proportionally as we spend on the universal NHS). The NHS delivers services very cheaply, you couldn't get private provision that cheaply, we already have the cheapest private healthcare in the Western world (like for like, excluding dentistry but that is where there is little NHS competition so its to be expected), you aren't going to shed much by increasing competition given they are already in competition with something that is free at the point of access. Thus, I actually think free-market competition would lead to a rapid rise in the cost of existing private provision and therefore it seems unlikely to me that someone on the average wage would be better off being given their taxes back to spend on private care. The US figure is set to rise to 25% in the next 20 years as the US government is forced to procure healthcare for aging and failing boomers at market rates, we will be spared such large increases owing to the ability of the British government to effectively procure below market rates. Increased private competition would also drastically weaken the bargaining position re: big pharma so drug costs would increase markedly as would everything else once economies of scale are no more. This also doesn't allow for things like the way American workers are put in a weak bargaining position with regard to pay and conditions given that if they lose their jobs their children will lose health coverage. I realise bashing the NHS is a popular sport and no amount of reasoned argument will put off those who enjoy grumbling about public services, but I think ultimately people do need to consider what exposure to the market rate for things like health and education would actually wind up looking like. I'm pretty confident it wouldn't be today's public sector workers who'd be any worse off, put it that way. Even the managers and other appendages would be richer, the American example suggests that people are prepared to throw away 8.7% of GDP if they have no other options, plenty of money for everyone. They could probably hire even more people to make coffee and look decorative, paid for out of your suffering. Anyhow, the NHS IT project is managed by iSOFT and is based around an entirely private sector consortium. Funny, I thought the private sector was always better at everything, as they so ably demonstrate with their running of British Rail (which everyone also used to whinge about endlessly about back in the bad old days when it only cost a third as much as it costs the tax payer today). This is the whole problem with it, the NHS below senior civil servant level has absolutely nothing to do with it whatsoever. And because it is private sector, they refused last month to allow an independent external audit. Commerical issues you see.
  14. I think if you read my whole post you'd see I don't really agree with the "key worker" concept and that it has in anycase been abused and as this thread demonstrates, misunderstood. "By my logic" isn't "my logic" at all, thanks. Take it out on someone else.
  15. I'm not sure you've understood the concept of the key worker. A key worker is a provider of key services. The idea is they provide essential services for the people of that area, and were they not able to live close to or in that area local people would suffer as a result. The idea is NOT that it is a 'perk' or badge of status, it is not ostensibly for the direct benefit of the individual involved but rather the people of that area. It is (or was before people started game playing) a common sense idea, for example if the residents of a town can't see an out of hours doctor because he lives two hours away and is having trouble moving any nearer it is common sense for them to suggest that said quack gets priority if new houses are built, right? I'm having difficulty seeing what essential service you might provide for the people of Dyfed whereby they would suffer if you were stuck for a couple of hours in traffic one morning. I doubt they are under threat of imminent invasion. Of course if you are talking of leaving and being a paramedic or indeed a fireman that might be a different issue, but you haven't said that. As to why teachers are key workers (as this will no doubt come up at the moment), if teacher isn't there at 9am, thats 30 parents who won't be able to go to work that day. Ask local businesses what would happen if a school closed for an unscheduled week, it would devestate them in many cases. To be honest, I'm not really sure why Dyfed council is creating key worker housing at all, commuting round Cardiganshire isn't really that bad and there is hardly much of a squeeze on accomodation even now. Llanelli is hardly Kensington and Chelsea is it. I think it is an initiative that only really makes sense in London and a few other major cities and the odd rural property hot-spot that doesn't have very good transport links, but not everywhere.
  16. Teachers are expected to be social engineers these days as well as teachers. You note a lot of the people taking a pop expect them to solve all the country's ills with a click of their fingers, they are part of the problem, not the solution. Every time there is some hysteria in the papers, be it anything from anti-social behaviour, "social cohesion" to obesity (FFS), it is for teachers to fix, not parents and not anyone else. Sorry mate, too busy, not my problem. Everyone has an angle about what should wind up in the curriculum, no wonder its a dog's breakfast. Hour of Chinese a day? What about extra Maths? Lessons in Britishness anyone? People say "why don't they just teach" standards blah blah, I think most of them would love to do just that but unfortunately the deep endemic problems in our society do surface in the classroom. Little Johnny's dad is an alcoholic and mum has run off with the gasman. Little Alison is deaf in one ear and losing hearing in the other, mum and dad don't give a toss. Who winds up stepping in there and fighting with social services through hours of meetings and mountains of paperwork? Quite often the teacher. And they do all this while they have their day job to do and 29 other kids to look after. Given that society is actively engaged in this process of ducking all their responsibility because adults refuse to grow up and heaping them on the shoulders of a single profession, I hope teachers get every penny they ask for given they are being expected to do everyone else's job for them.
  17. Lenders tell debt advisers to slash fees The huge growth in consumer debt over the past five years has spawned a small industry of IVA providers who charge creditors fixed fees for negotiating and administering the deals. However, lenders have become increasingly angry about the cost of each IVA, which averages around £7,500. Many banks have complained they have to pay most of the fee at the outset of the IVA, even though a significant number of borrowers subsequently default on the agreements and end up becoming bankrupt. While the BBA is prevented by competition laws from setting a maximum price for IVAs, its members will tell leading IVA providers that they are no longer prepared to pay fees of more than £4,500 for each deal brokered. In addition, lenders will demand a significant reduction in the portion of the fee levied upfront, with much more of the charge agreed to be spread over the lifetime of the IVA, which can be as long as five years. ...lenders seem pretty keen on putting their ducks in a row at the moment. I wonder what they are expecting will happen? Surely if they've applied rigorous standards to their own lending there is absolutely nothing to fear! It would be interesting to know if it is actually viable to arrange an IVA for £4,500 or whether this is an attempt to effectively ditch them by the industry. I guess this could be considered a form of credit crunch actually. The free liquor is drying up and now they are even considering barring drunken customers from the Last Chance saloon.
  18. According to Private Eye, Peter Hain, Alan Johnson and Hilary Benn have all taken campaign contributions from... property developers! On p6 of the current issue in the "HP Sauce" column.
  19. Women have this habit of wanting to have babies, thus either there is half the income or both work and most of one income gets spent on childcare and various time-saving busy-parent type products which appear in the shopping basket. Kids do themselves, cost money, so that second income will effectively disappear anyway and perhaps a slice of the main income as well. I think this might impact the size of deposit a couple can save but after that I think all bets should be off unless we're talking of the "pink pound" or people who are determined not to have children or to adopt.
  20. Is it my imagination or has this article wound up in Life_and_style -> Women because a lazy sub-editor just looked at the title? A nice link to email to any bleating politician who play-acts wringing his hands over the political disengagement of youth IMHO.
  21. Quite so, and I also think there is an emerging rule for the 21st century worker that holds unless, perhaps, you live in London (maybe, I don't know). If you want to get up the career ladder in a hurry, you'll never do it by staying in the same town all your life (no doubt some people manage it so don't all write in but as a general rule I'd say not). Geographical mobility is a huge advantage to have up your sleeve if you are very career focused. Sure, you don't have to be like that in life but we're talking here of a scenario where you really have to be looking at stepping up your earnings by a considerable amount. So the idea of SO, which will tie you down (and issues about what you can do with the place as regards selling it or renting it out don't help either), well it doesn't add up. Maybe in London it might, but out in the sticks, forget about it.
  22. House prices are dooooomed I tell ye! Just kidding, excellent work by FP.
  23. Two things: Does this mean what we think it does? Debt - external This entry gives the total public and private debt owed to nonresidents repayable in foreign currency, goods, or services. These figures are calculated on an exchange rate basis, i.e., not in purchasing power parity (PPP) terms. There is debt and there is debt, is it possible some of this is in part accounted for by investment? Further, are these figures Net or Gross? We are owed a lot of money. Am I clutching at straws here or is there an argument that these figures might be looked at as evidence of simply what happens when you are major financial centre? A lot of money comes in, a lot of money goes out, a lot of money comes back in earning profit, a lot of money goes back out again. "A debt repayable in services" in what a double glazing company has if I were stupid enough to pay in advance, it doesn't make them insolvent, far from it. Is this just a function of capital flows? If someone buys shares in BP or opens a savings account with HBOS from outside the UK, does it show up in this statistic as debt? Try and imagine a country without any external debt, by the above definition I'd expect them to be subsisting (pre-Mercantilist) and not involved in any trade whatsoever. Fair enough though, I don't have a particular reason to argue against the figure I was just wondering. 1990 Figures (CIA World Factbook 1992 edition) External debt: $10.5 billion (1990) When we were an utter basket case with 8% unemployment and 0% growth. I'm not sure I understand this statistic at all.
  24. If you are a real person, get help with your CV or how you are applying for/trying to find work; something is going badly wrong if you have genuinely applied to 100 companies and not got anywhere. Is this "cold calling" though, because you are really playing with low probabilities if it is? People are being a bit rude, but it looks like a numerate engineering/tech course with a balance of pure and applied/project elements, token bit of management with which it shouldn't be an impossible feat to find decent work. 20k p.a. to start looks very unrealistic as an expectation though. Most people don't get anything like that, the problem is that those that do and those that offer it (graduate milkroad) tend to crow rather loudly and everyone keeps quiet (or lies) giving a very distorted picture of the labour market. Careers office ASAP and ask them for help with overhauling your approach.
  25. The Government owns those companies, they were set up by Bevin after the war to give jobs to disabled servicemen. The problem is a lot of them make things that nobody wants to buy, there has been a great deal of unhappiness about the scale of subsidy involved (+ contributions from charities) and the, in some cases, artificial "workhouse" quality of some of the work (work for work's sake). I'm not an expert though, I just listen to Radio 4's coverage of disability issues sometimes. I don't think everyone in disability circles will necessarily be as unhappy about this as we imagine. If people want to support these intiatiatives, get on google and you can order from the websites of their different divisions. (knowing this forum, cue: outrage from some small business owners who have just twigged the government has been massively subsidising competition against them). I'm not saying I agree with what has happened, we shall have to see what the implications are. I'm not sure if it is right to necessarily perceive this as a British industry issue, I think there were other more specific issues involved. It is possible they will be in a position to use their funds more productively as a result of these changes -- for example, to support better integration into mainstream work -- although I'll believe it when I see it.
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