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madasafrog

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Posts posted by madasafrog

  1. New agency to drive home building

    _39340137_homes203.jpg

    The government wants three million new homes by 2020

    Plans to create a new agency to ensure three million additional homes are

    built across England by 2020 have been announced in the Queen's Speech.

    The new Homes and Communities Agency is to be created as part of the Housing and Regeneration Bill.

    The agency will have the specific task of ensuring a greater supply of social and affordable private homes.

    A separate Planning Reform Bill aims to speed up planning decisions, especially for major infrastructure projects.

    Brownfield development

    The Homes and Communities Agency will also have responsibility for improving the level of service that social tenants receive.

    It's now up to other bodies like local authorities, developers, planners and housing associations to start delivering on the ground

    Adam Sampson, Shelter chief executive

    Its other duties will include making better use of surplus public sector land, maximising the potential for brownfield development and supervising investment in wider infrastructure improvements.

    In addition, the agency will be put in charge of ensuring future housing developments are as environment-friendly as possible.

    The government said that while one million more families had become homeowners over the past 10 years, challenges continued.

    It said difficulties included first-time buyers' struggle to get on the housing ladder, while other families were making do in cramped accommodation.

    "There is a dire shortage of homes throughout the country, so we welcome the creation of this new agency as the government's first step in delivering three million homes by 2020," said Adam Sampson, chief executive of housing charity Shelter.

    "But although the government can legislate for change, it's now up to other bodies like local authorities, developers, planners and housing associations to start delivering on the ground."

    Less planning delays

    The Planning Reform Bill aims to reform and speed up the planning system, including the introduction of a single body to rule on major infrastructure projects, such as airport expansion.

    This new agency will be called the Independent Infrastructure Planning Commission.

    The government says it aims to ensure "more timely and predictable decisions on infrastructure projects which are key to economic growth, international competitiveness, tackling climate change, energy security and improving quality of life".

    It says the changes will also make decision-making more transparent and improve opportunities for public engagement.

    BBC

  2. Bovis warns house prices to fall

    By Emma Thelwell

    Last Updated: 9:15am GMT 06/11/2007

    Housebuilder Bovis Homes has warned that sales volumes and average prices will be lower than expected this autumn, as consumer confidence slides on global credit woes.

    The group said average sales price is likely to tumble 3pc below that achieved last year.

    In a trading update today, Bovis admitted: "Recent events in the financial markets have adversely affected consumer confidence, resulting in sales being lower than anticipated during the key autumn selling period."

    The group, which is the first housebuilder to predict a fall in its sales prices, said completions for the year would be "marginally below that achieved last year."

    Analysts at Panmure Gordon said: "Bovis tends to be very honest about market conditions and certainly in the 2004 slowdown the company was the first to warn.

    "However, it is still disappointing to get another downgrade this early in the down-cycle.

    "Reading across, Bovis cannot be the only housebuilder to be feeling the pain and therefore, we expect more statements like this to follow over the next few months."

    Looking ahead, Bovis said: "The mid and longer term supply and demand dynamic remains very attractive in the housing market but, in the short term, sales will reflect this recent decline in consumer confidence, in particular as it relates to major consumer purchases."

    The news follows property website Hometrack's warning on Friday that the number of home transactions could plunge 17pc in 2008, as the market grinds to a halt.

    However, it still expects a 1pc increase in the average property price during the year. For the next 12 to 24 months, it said it expects house prices to remain flat

    Source

  3. Excellent point. The more 4x4s there are out there, the less "well protected" the timid little pr!cks are in their steel safety bubbles.

    I like this sort of attitude...

    http://www.fuh2.com/index.php

    Totally agree with you on the H2. It is a crap car and is just a piece of bling for tasteless footballers. Built by the yanks on the chassis of the old Chevy Tahoe which was too crap even for the yanks.

    Re the rest of 4x4's, dont judge what you dont understand

  4. I had a V6 Touareg for a week a while ago. I was shocked at how it made me feel different when driving. The raised height in particular definately gave me an unwarranted feeling of superiority over other road users. I'm not an aggressive driver so was suprised at how driving a car like that could have that effect on me. The trip computer told me I was getting about 18mpg overall. I wouldn't ever want one or have one again. The logical conclusion to SUVs is everyone driving around in tanks with rocket launchers and machine guns on them, which of course is why HUMVEE's sell. They may work in the US but in the UK they really are a joke. I went past a local school at chucking out time the other week, and there was a line of them having just picked up their kids. About 8 of them one behind the other at a junction. Range Rovers, X5s, a Merc thing, it was the most comical thing I have ever seen. All presumably protecting themselves from each other. :P

    You have an elevated driving position in a Renault Scenic and a ford transit.

    The 4x4 we have does 40mpg. My rx8 does about 18mpg.

    A good point of 4x4's is that they are well suited for the poor condition of UK roads.

  5. What do you mean by the sheer heft of the vehicle? That's not how it works: it's actually to do with distribution of weight in the structure. The higher centre of gravity in an SUV means it's more unstable than a normal car with a low centre of gravity typically is. Crashes aren't always as simple as one mass of metal beating another mass of metal. If an SUV skids, it is much more likely to topple over than a normal car as a result. The car companies won't tell you that, however, as their main sales targets for SUVs are silly housewives with no knowledge of cars who think "it's big therefore it must be safer" as you do. Secondly, SUVs have wider tyres and are more likely to aquaplane / skid as a result compared to cars with normal tyre widths.

    And it's not like having another van on the road because people drive vans for practical reasons whereas SUV drivers claim to drive one because 'it's better for the kids' or because 'it's safer' when it's actually for very superficial reasons related to status anxiety, keeping up with the Jones' etc.

    A 4x4 is not more unstable than a normal car. Stability boils down to more than just the centre of gravity. Chassis, stability control, suspension, tyres all dictate the road holding of a vehicle. Re skidding, the 4x4 tends to come with safety devices such as ABS and brake assist.

    I am a petrol head and I chose this car as it was ideal for what we needed with its reliability, practicality, economy, safety, space and resale value. People who moan about 4x4 have never owned one or really looked into them.

  6. The program seemed to cover a lot of the aspects of the current housing market but there was a lack of coverage on any possible housing crash.

    All the program did was demonstrate the lunacy of the current housing problems in the UK.

    No real program has covered this subject with any detail. The max coverage on the media seems to be 5 mins on sky with financial planner

  7. Link to sky report

    Chancellor Calm Despite Credit Fear

    Updated:10:00, Monday November 05, 2007

    Chancellor Alistair Darling is insisting the economic situation in Britain is fine, despite admitting that major banks face a sharp drop in profits over the sub-prime market.

    1596532.jpg

    He was speaking in the wake of the resignation of Charles Prince, the boss of Citigroup and emphasised that he expected banks to be more "cautious" in their lending following the crisis

    While the Chancellor insisted that "transparency" had to be improved after the global credit crunch, he stressed that UK banks had strong balance sheets and the fundamental economic position was strong.

    The crisis was sparked by huge bad debts in the US sub-prime housing market - a market that lends to high-risk borrowers, and gets higher rates of return.

    "We need to get to a far better situation where there is a great deal more transparency, more openness, so people understand the risks to which these banks have become exposed and they can avoid being so exposed in future.

    Advertisement

    "I do think we need to get it in perspective, but without doubt some of these big banks will see a reduction in profits as you have seen today."

    Mr Darling insisted it was "no bad thing" that institutions would be less cavalier about handing out cash.

    The impact of the credit crunch had been taken into account by revising down his growth forecast, he said.

    "The fundamental point is that the British economy is strong. "It's been growing now for well over 10 years," Mr Darling said.

    "There are grounds for believing that we will get through this. We have a strong economy, its momentum will carry us through."

    In an overnight announcement, Mr Prince said his resignation "was the only honourable course" after the world's largest bank racked up billions in losses and write-downs over high-risk mortgage debts.

  8. Will Cgnao be there?

    Will he follow every scentence with '100% correct, guaranteed'?

    Not if you tell him its his round ;)

    What are the odds of outright violence breaking out at any such gathering? :unsure:

    As its in london, not much chance with them drinking shandy :P

  9. You still don't get it do you? I agree. I wouldn't be dictated to by Ken Livingstone either. I wouldn't give him my £8 or whatever it is. It was you who said you were smug; I'm not sure how many times I can repeat that I support your right to pay more taxes than me, use more fuel than me and so on. The market sets prices and the govt. sets taxes. All you and I can do is then exercise personal choice. I support your right to use as much of the limited resources on the planet as you want. In fact I welcome it. It will and has resulted in cheaper motoring for me. That is your choice. Nobody forces you to do anything. All I am saying is you can grumble all you like that oil prices are rising or taxes on higher CO2 cars are rising and it won't change a thing. If you don't want to pay more then you have a choice. Don't pay more.

    Maybe we are misunderstanding each other then

    My grumble is people using the 4x4 as a target for global warming. Totally misguided.

    Re global warming, it is being used an excuse for additional taxation with the argument of it being an ethical tax. Its just a tax against motorists. Its a long debate that wont be resolved on a single thread or post.

  10. Well you are the one complaining about paying higher taxes. I'm not. I was fully supporting your right to pay the market price for fuel, higher taxes for higher CO2 emissions and higher insurance for driving a faster car. As I said, it is your cash and your taxes, and I am more than happy for you to subsidise my motoring. You misunderstood me entirely so I will re-iterate. I am VERY HAPPY for you you to pay more than me for the same end result. If you feel smug about that, then that is up to you, it has no effect on me either way.

    I wont be dictated to by the Ken Livingstones of this world and I wont be berated and judged by someone who knows nothing about me and then takes a smug attitude about it. The fact that it has not effect on you shows what a shell you live in.

  11. Only if you're incredibly stupid.

    You can't buck markets and you can't beat the system. Life becomes far simpler once you understand those two truths.

    The science or the reality has nothing whatsoever to do with it. If you want to pay higher taxes for no reason then be my guest. I will be more than happy to pay less taxes for the same purpose at your expense whilst you complain about the swindles, the unfairness and the lack of scientific evidence. It is your money, if you want to p*ss it up the wall I fully support your right to do so. In fact, if I were you I would buy the biggest, fastest (hahaha) most expensive, fuel inefficient car you can possibly afford. You would not believe the pleasure to be gained by pootling along behind you knowing how much more than me you are paying in taxes for the same bit of road. I know I shouldn't gloat, but sometimes it just can't be helped.

    How do i p1ss it up the wall. Another green goblin who thinks they know it all but knows nothing. You know nothing about me so to make those comments demonstrates what a t1t you are.

    Its not the most expensive car i can afford, I paid cash for them, i pay no company car tax and i have cars that suit our needs.

    I will be sure to tip my hat to you when i pass you in your solar powered car. Numpties like you make me feel smug

  12. learn to drive better, i too live in the deepest darkest countryside and have no need for a 4WD.

    Your right to chose is not paramount, future generations right to a share of the earths natural resources should be.

    You are wasting your childrens future but you can't see it. In 15 years time your children might have some interesting questions concerning your profligacy I hope you have some better excuses than the feeble one above.

    Another misguided tree hugger who wants to dictate to everyone else what they should and shouldn't do.

    How is the 4x4 more polluting than a normal car? Get your facts straight and then i might take you seriously.

  13. Breaking news on bbc news 24 @9.45. Suprisingly latest figures show no change in reposessions, IVAs or bankruptcies. Even Declan was highly suprised. Anyone have any ideas why the figures are virtually static YOY ?

    Will post a link once it is available.

    If the effects are being felt in the housing market, repossessions dont happen overnight. For a house to be repossessed takes quite a few months at least (depending on the lender). Applications have to made to court etc.

    There was a brief report on five live this morning that i caught briefly. The guest speaker said that mortgage companies work closely with the borrower to work things out so they can avoid losing their home. If they have already fallen into trouble with repayments, they will find the future harder when they are playing catchup on their mortgage and they then have a black mark on their credit record. Their future interest payments are likely to be much higher than before they got into trouble.

    It may not be until the new year that the figures rise for repossessions.

    Re IVA's, banks have been refusing to accept deals from the IVA companies and also to accept the fees that they charge. This service is in decline.

  14. Breaking news on bbc news 24 @9.45. Suprisingly latest figures show no change in reposessions, IVAs or bankruptcies. Even Declan was highly suprised. Anyone have any ideas why the figures are virtually static YOY ?

    Will post a link once it is available.

    If the effects are being felt in the housing market, repossessions dont happen overnight. For a house to be repossessed takes quite a few months at least (depending on the lender). Applications have to made to court etc.

    There was a brief report on five live this morning that i caught briefly. The guest speaker said that mortgage companies work closely with the borrower to work things out so they can avoid losing their home. If they have already fallen into trouble with repayments, they will find the future harder when they are playing catchup on their mortgage and they then have a black mark on their credit record. Their future interest payments are likely to be much higher than before they got into trouble.

    It may not be until the new year that the figures rise for repossessions.

    Re IVA's, banks have been refusing to accept deals from the IVA companies and also to accept the fees that they charge. This service is in decline.

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