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Sour Mash

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About Sour Mash

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    HPC Guru

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  1. I agree - the days when you would need to commit large amounts of data to your memory are long gone - the real skill now is knowing what to search for to quickly find an accurate solution to the problem. What matters is a basic understanding of the technology, not ability to regurgitate facts (which will never match what can be pulled up quickly from the internet on a smartphone anyway).
  2. Sour Mash

    I think the wait is over

    No - it's primarily about the availability and cost of credit to allow you to borrow to chase stupidly high prices. The government stepping in with a chunk of interest free (for five years) cash over and above what the banks will lend you is one very obvious sign of that. Other longer term 'solutions' will be extending the period of the repayments - multi generational mortgages anyone? - and government backing to enable cheap, fixed-rate loans over long durations a la Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac in the USA. The key objective will be to get the public borrowing large amounts of credit into existence on an ongoing basis.
  3. Sour Mash

    I think the wait is over

    HTB for everyone! It's such a 'success' that it's manifestly 'unfair' that only a subsection of buyers can enjoy it. A taxpayer funded bung to all house buyers to enable them to take on an even bigger debt load to 'own' a roof over their heads is clearly what's needed. Credit created through property purchases makes up a substantial part of the pool of money out there in the economy. The government can't afford for the credit pool to shrink, they will do anything to keep the 'borrowing massive amounts of money against property' bandwagon going. Debt will be simply rolled over and the can kicked down the line as far as it can go.
  4. Sour Mash

    Design the EU

    +1 Although there should be freedom for EU citizens to look for jobs in other EU countries and a right to residence if they should get a job and pay tax. You'd also ideally reform the UK benefits system to be contributions based with decent benefits based on past contributions but a discretionary stipend after that, paid only to legal residents. Right to residency for those claiming their contributions based benefits, after that no automatic right.
  5. The majority of people around me seem to be in perpetual debt. When work screwed up with the wages a few years back (ie. paid ten days late one month due to an admin issue, they warned a week in advance) there was uproar from people panicking that they wouldn't be able to meet debt repayments. Also, while I try to avoid overtime if I possibly can, most others are trying to pick up out-of-hours work to get extra cash to service debt.
  6. Yeah, there have been reports of an imminent big freeze for weeks and so far, the Winter has been exceptionally mild. It's like waiting for a HPC.
  7. Sour Mash

    Yellow Vest Protests

    Username checks out ...
  8. Sour Mash

    Yellow Vest Protests

    Not to mention very real danger of a meltdown of Italy's banking system and possible Euro withdrawal, which would absolutely torpedo the Euro generally and really weaken the EU. But, according to the likes of the BBC, getting out of the EU would be a disaster for the UK (one of the World's largest economies on its own) which absolutely could not survive without being part of a monolithic, protectionist, bloc that's barely holding together at the moment.
  9. Sour Mash

    Decent Apartments?

    How would you feel if you had spent £100-200k on your apartment (instead of renting it)and thus couldn't easily move? That should inform your decision as to whether actually buying one as a place to live in, is a good idea. They can be great to rent for a short time but I personally wouldn't want to own one, unless it was in a really desirable area of London or something.
  10. Sour Mash

    NI House Prices up 6% why?

    I posted something similar to this a while back: There's near full employment in NI (using standard definitions, not actually total employment) at the moment. Plus there seem to be lots of new jobs in the tech sector around Belfast with decent wages. Interest rates are near zero and have been for a decade and the banks are keen to lend. The public sector is a big, stable employer and the government has not been keen to make job cuts so far. There have also been a lot of immigration over the last decade. And of course NI took about a 50% haircut on average prices from peak after the bubble burst, around a decade ago so they are starting from a reasonable level. No surprises that house prices are going up under that set of conditions. The biggest thing that is likely to put downward pressure on price is cost and availability of bank credit for house purchases. That will likely go hand in hand with a poorer economic outlook adding further downward pressure. But as long as the current print-fest continues to keep the zombies alive, there's scope for prices to keep rising.
  11. Sour Mash

    The Bubbly Bitcoin Thread -- Merged Threads

    Depends how you define 'looking good' - If you mean as a speculative bet that you expect to return quick, sizeable gains on, then probably not. OTOH if it can survive and further develop as a method of payment and it doesn't look like going to zero, that's perfect for what I want to see - an alternative to fiat currency that is somewhat easy/ safe to hold and transact with. The speculative frenzy made it pretty useless for such, IMO, with massive wait times and high costs for transactions. If it can be made quickly transactable and with minimal to no fees - and isn't likely to swing madly in value, possibly to zero - then great.
  12. Sour Mash

    Household debt record highs

    Since the minimum payments go straight to reducing the capital debt, not a big deal. And minimum payment with no interest to be added is pretty minimal. I think they are hoping that enough people miss the min payments and then lose the deal, leaving them with a large interest-bearing debt on their hands, making the whole offer profitable for them. Or maybe they can just access credit for the period of the loan themselves for much less than the 3% one-off fee that they charge the customer.
  13. I think that there's a lot of potential investment (either into new businesses or making existing business more productive) that has been passed over in favour of 'free' money and using it to buy back shares, or speculate on various asset classes. Why do something difficult and complicated to make money when you can borrow for next to nothing and punt it into an asset that's going up, up, up or buy back your own stock and see the price increase and you get a fat executive bonus?
  14. Its physical stores are it's biggest asset - they are ideally set up as 'collection points' for stuff that you can order online and pick up in store. If they have it in stock you can pick up your purchase within the hour and even if not, maybe the same day if there a store nearby with stock - but otherwise they make a good address to have your online purchases sent to. They already partner with eBay for this and really need to do so with other services too - a bit tricky as Amazon is so dominant in online retail and may not want to play ball with a competitor.
  15. Sour Mash

    Household debt record highs

    Financial industry doing their best to keep the credit flowing anyway - just got my regular email from one of my card providers offering me up to 20 months interest free credit (for a flat fee of 3%) on balance transfers and money transfers on their card. Can't remember the limit on that card but it's a good few grand - so I could have an unsecured loan of that size over the next 20 months for a cost of 3% of the borrowed capital. Insanity. Almost tempted to buy gold with it. 😀
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