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House Price Crash Forum


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About mgr

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    HPC Poster
  1. Yes, I think it probably will. Involuntary repossessions are obviously going to happen anyway, but the question is how hard people will try to hold on when it is in the balance. In America, people like Jim Cramer have been saying to people that they should walk away from their house before they walk away from credit card debts. The fact is that they have been doing it on a large scale already. It means that in America the banks take the biggest hit, but in the UK the ordinary Joe is the one who will suffer even more. Big political implications.
  2. I've always loved that scene where Laurel and Hardy are in a boat with a hole and the water is coming in fast. Laurel turns to Hardy and says - I've got an idea - if we make another hole on the other side of the boat, it'll let the water out! Hardy says - that's a good idea! You can just imagine Ben Bernanke and Hank Paulson having the same conversation about interest rates : Hank - Ben, we've had interest rates too low for too long and it's caused a runaway debt boom that is about to sink the economy Ben - I've got an idea - reduce interest rates now all over again and that will help. Hank - that's a good idea!!
  3. I think what they are talking about is that people in Zimbabwe thought they had a nice nest egg for retirement and then found themselves bringing their entire life savings in a wheelbarrow down to the shop to buy a single loaf of bread. Decent savings rates are no use in a hyper-inflation scenario. Of course it all depends whether you think hyper-inflation is possible or likely. I don't know, but if you believe it is then diversifying out of cash is something to be looking at.
  4. Cash - as good an investment as any at the moment. It's the one thing that will suddenly be scarce for a few years, and people with it will get new respect. Remember that at the height of the property bubble, to hold cash was considered to be a dumb thing to do and technically it was because you could make millions by maxing out on debt and speculating on property. Think of what is to come as a mirror image of that.
  5. I spoke to and estate agent outside Belfast about the situation yesterday. He is in favour of further large drops in the market and thinks it will happen in the spring. He says that in his town prices need to come back to £100k for a first time buyer home. In the spring a typical one would have gone for £220k, and now you could get it if you bid £160k. So he said "we're half way there" cheerily. I don't think he expects his own business to pick up until we do get there, so now people like him will be making it their business to make that happen.
  6. The last comment about for new for sale signs reminded me that Property News added 40 today, up from recent performance of 20 a day. I wonder is this the start of an acceleration where people are putting their properties on in time for January? Too early to say I guess.
  7. In Northern Ireland recently the crash has started with a vengeance, but in the last quarter a University of Ulster survey actually showed an increase in average price to over £250,000. What is in fact happening is that only bigger houses are selling, hence the increase. The true picture is of a huge and fast crash in transaction volumes, with a more gradual fall in asking prices lagging behind it. When small houses start to sell again the everage figure will drop like a stone, of course, but we don't know how long that will be. Just offering this as evidence to back up earlier comments.
  8. Sorry?? Don't be nuts - that's what this site is for!
  9. Here is a question for you - does anyone know someone who is waiting to put their house on the market in January? I know 4 - 1 is an estate agent selling first house as he bought a second house last year 2 is a small investor with a couple of houses in South Belfast 3 is a large investor with a portfolio that must sell soon 4 is someone else moving house who has already bought and needs to sell own house If little old me knows about multiple houses going on the market, maybe other people do too. Anyone else with knowledge of January sales? My point here is that I would be fairly sure we will have the Property News inventory racing ahead again in January. The growth has slowed to a trickle in it now, but probably just because very few going on. Maybe it means that property is starting to sell, but I doubt it. If that was happening I think we would hear about it.
  10. Disagree about Northern Rock. Britain is very vulnerable to the credit crisis and we only have seen the tip of the iceberg of that vulnerability. The root cause of the vulnerability is Brown's policies going back years to stoke the housing market with cheap debt, and not regulate bank lending. If people on this site could notice over a year ago that Northern Rock was an accident waiting to happen, then it is not too much to ask for someone involved in running the country to have an idea about it as well.
  11. Did you see BBC breakfast news this morning with a political correspondent with a forgettable name in Downing Street? More than enough twaddle for you. Bill Turnbull asked him about Brown and Darling now being compared to John Major and Norman Lamont in 1992. The lacky correspondent said words to this effect : '... but of course that is an erroneous comparison. In 1992 Black Wednesday was clearly the fault of the Conservatives. Gordon Brown and Alastair Darling can justifiably say that they didn't lose those disks and they didn't cause the American sub-prime crisis so Northern Rock's collapse can't be blamed on Labour. They are just very unlucky to have to deal with these issues right now.' Searching analysis from the impartial BBC, indeed.
  12. Kagiso, you seem to be discussing things in a more measured way than before, and so this discussion hasn't got out of hand, thank God. I was offended by your original posts, because of the way you made sweeping generalisations which stereotyped everyone living in NI. When you tar an entire population as being bigoted or stupid or whatever, it's fairly likely that the argument has a flaw, because in most places you get a fairly good mix of people, sensible, stupid, bigoted, broad minded etc. NI is not that different to other places in that regard. Your central charge is that the NI population is bigoted because they have voted for 'extremists'. I have never voted DUP or Sinn Fein - I was always a pro-agreement Trimble unionist, and I have argued against drift to the other two parties, so I would be expected to agree with you. However on long reflection I don't think that the drift to DUP and Sinn Fein is a sign that people have become more bigoted at all. Some points to illustrate that : - DUP and Sinn Fein have in fact changed their policies to come into line with the old policies that SDLP and UUP pioneered. Sinn Fein are part of a British administration in Stormont. DUP are sharing power with former terrorists. Sinn Fein are supporting the police force and courts for the first time. These are not policies of extremists, but of pragmatic realists. Nowhere else in Europe would you get coalition government between such different parties, so the fact that they are both working hard at it is evidence of their intentions. - UUP and SDLP were seen as weak negotiators. Their parties were tired and aging after the long years of the troubles. Trimble lacked a lot of people skills and tactical skills as leader. SDLP lost John Hume as leader. With the likelihood of major violence receding, people wanted strong negotiators to finalise the deal, so they felt safe in voting for DUP and Sinn Fein. - The relationships between DUP and Sinn Fein in the government departments in Stormont, especially in Office of First and Deputy First Minister are actually very good - much better than between Trimble and Mallon previously. They didn't speak to each other, and their officials were even worse. - If you lived here now I think you would feel that things really are changing. - It is not so realistic to say that ordinary people can be blamed for voting for 'bigots' or whatever. What happens in any political system is that it is only realistic to vote for people who have a chance of winning, so the incumbent structure is very durable. Also you can't expect the Unionist / Nationalist fault line to disappear just because you want it to. It reveals a real historical and political division that is not the fault of anyone alive. It's just there and we have to live with the consequences of it. The sectarian dividing lines won't be broken overnight. It will take at least a generation. To make a realistic stab at doing it, you can't just shout at people and call them bigots, and expect them to vote for so-called non-sectarian parties. The job of my generation is to lay the ground work for a new politics to emerge in about 20 years time by : - stopping the violence - building support for NI structures among all of the population (eg police) - building a politics based on issues such as health, education, economy, rather than constitutional issues - encouraging religious integration in society, including expanding integrated education - building a strong prosperous economy I can assure you that that work is underway and there are many signs that it is gaining strength. When my young children grow up, they will have a different perspective than people like me who grew up during the troubles, so there is a lot of hope for a stable future. Just a quick aside - my local Protestant school is going for integrated status, and last week the teachers and parents welcomed the local Sinn Fein MLA, to help lobby the Sinn Fein education minister to grant the status. The mostly Protestant parents are relieved we don't have a DUP education minister (yes really), as they tend to be less supportive of integration. An example if you want one how real political issues can start to break down old barriers and create common ground across differing camps. One last thing - I am proud to British and Irish, and I have heard Paisley say the same. The attitude seems to be more common than you thought. Anyway - back to house prices. Kagiso, please do post again in the NI thread - but maybe we can stick to house prices and stay off religion and politics :-)
  13. Firm up that bid and hit it. Your thinking here seems to be centred around trying to get as close as possible to an imaginary past price that would have solved your problems. The fact is that taking the best price you can now is the best possible option. If you really believe that everything will be fine in the spring then you should hold on, but you don't really believe that do you? If not then get the house sold ASAP.
  14. Ho ho - great find! What I hate now is hearing politicians and pundits saying that no-one predicted this or no-one could have predicted it. It's not about predictions, it's about whether or not to take leave of your senses and do things which are clearly financial madness. Northern Rock did, and only HPC people spoke out.
  15. I don't think Northern Rock is the reason they suspended the election, or if it was then it was a bit dumb. For now the consensus is that bailing out the bank was the right thing to do and criticism of the government and BoE centered around saying they should have done it earlier, given a blank cheque to all banks the week before, not charged penal rate, etc. Even now, no-one much except people on here are seriously doubting the value of NR's wonderful loan book or that the government will get all its money back. It will be many months before the full horror of what they have got themselves into starts to become apparent, and by then the election would have been long over. Gordon missed his chance.
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