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mattyboy1973

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About mattyboy1973

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  1. People often say this, or the similar (and equally vacuous) "Lockdown doesn't save lives, it just postpones deaths" as if it is some sort of incredible insight. It should go without saying that anyone who dies today will not die again tomorrow. If the entire population died today, our annual death toll going forward would be zero - how fantastic would that be? All lives saved are just deaths postponed, but most of us are actually rather keen on postponing our own deaths.
  2. The devil will be in the details, of course, but in principle it is the right idea. Stamp duty is a really bad tax, but question is how much will we have to pay annually to make up for it, and I wonder will this be something that landlords pay or tenants pay? The problem for the Tory shires - and I live in one - is that they are always going to vote Tory, no matter what. Not a lot of political leverage there. Having said that, we pay much higher countil tax rates than, e.g. most of London, so if this is something that is going to fixed across the country (based on house prices?) then it'l
  3. You can always rely on the government to do the wrong thing when it concerns house prices. They've made it clear enough in the past that maintaining prices is their number one priority (make no mistake, they know exactly what the effects of HTB etc really are), and my fear is that next year, of all years, is not a time that they will be willing to let prices fall. The economy is going to be on the skids post Covid, with any additional Brexit fallout on top. Falling house prices would validate some remainer concerns and can't, IMO, be allowed to happen. I'm increasingly pessimistc about th
  4. Agreed. A period of readjustment, perhaps, but there'll still be some attraction to living in London or NY. NY was supposed to be finished in the 70s/80s, and London wasn't much better, so I'm sure both can reinvent themselves again. I'd say that despite Covid, the long term trend will continue to towards big cities.
  5. Certainly it will be one route. I have no doubt there are thousands of body-shopping IT consultancies just waiting to bring people in as well. The real issue at the moment is that the IT jobs market is already in the toilet (Covid, Brexit, IR35), and this could be a hammer blow.
  6. The funny thing is that the Polish were already starting to leave before Brexit, because conditions have got so much better in Poland. You could easily imagine a sort of levelling up within the EU, where an equilibrium of sorts is reached, and no one country is drawing in a particularly large share of migrants. We were moving in that direction already. Now we are open to the whole world, that sort of levelling up seems improbable in any sort of reasonable timeframe. I agree with everything you have written re: Aus. I lived there for 10 years. What they have spawned is a pyramid/Ponzi sche
  7. For a huge swath of white-collar jobs, immigration will become very much easier after Jan 1. IT is my profession, and that entire field has been designated as "in demand", which means only the base salary cap (~£25k) applies, and potential employers do not need to advertise positions locally before hiring from abroad. We are no longer that attractive as a destination for people already in the EU, with weaker £, poor jobs market, potential Brexit effects etc. We are still very attractive to migrants from the developing world, many of whom will tick enough boxes to get a visa, and be more than h
  8. Agreed. The new points system is actually likely to be far worse, in terms of immigration, for middle-class professionals than was being part of the EU. Although we certainly had plenty of professional EU migrants, the disparity between what a professional can earn/quality of life in the UK vs much of Europe is not that great, and has lessened significantly over recent years (witness the many Polish migrants returning home for similar pay, cheaper houses, better quality of life) - so moving to the UK had relatively limited appeal. The new system allows anyone, from anywhere in the world (which
  9. I think that's exactly right, so far at least. Most white collar jobs, people are just working from home and pocketing any savings, which can be quite substantial (commuting and the annual family holiday could easily be 5k+). The people who have been hit hardest are those who can least afford it, as so often the case. It will be interesting to see what happens next year when furlough is wound up and wider hits to the economy become more apparent.
  10. Can't see them getting rid of all of them (the £20 UC boost will go - that's not really helping the housing market), but if they do remove the housing specific props they'll replace them with something else. Count on it.
  11. There does seem to be a real divide between those who have done OK during this crisis and those who haven't. Anecdotally, I've got a couple of friends (not me - we've just about kept our heads above water) who have commented that they have never been so flush with cash, with limited spending opportunities (no holiday for most, zero entertainment spend), but income remaining the same. Some got lucky with furlough and have had basically a year off on full (or near full) pay, whereas others have had to work just as hard - or harder - for the same money, or got nothing at all. I'm not too sur
  12. In the South East at least I would say it is pretty onerous; £15k on a £500k house, which is probably somewhere around the average for a professional family, and rising pretty quickly from there. £15k of real, non-borrowed money is still a lot of money even now. Other costs of moving probably add another £15k so you need a pretty good reason to consider moving.
  13. I wouldn't - I think stamp duty is a crappy tax, actually, and if anything it works against true price discovery. Stamp duty at current levels makes moving for perfectly legitimate reasons (new job, whatever) so financially onerous that it has all sorts of knock on effects, including stifling free movement, incentivising people to hang on to properties they might otherwise sell (because the cost of sell/re-buy is so high) etc. It is absurd that, if you need to move 50 miles for a better job, you might be dissuaded from doing so because you would be forced to hand the government the next f
  14. On the face of it an entirely logical argument. However we have seen time and time again that incentives do work, every time.
  15. You're having a laugh? You won't have got the searches back in a month these days, and you'll probably still be waiting on a mortgage valuation. I'd want three months, and even then I'd be twitchy if a chain was involved. If there were properly motivated buyer, seller and solicitors on both sides and no chain then you might manage it in 4-6 weeks, but that is just about the best case scenario.
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