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About kezzabazza

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  1. Based on the latest inflation data and the credit situation, I don't think that King's comments should come as any great surprise. F&M will have no effect on house prices.
  2. No misunderstanding on my part - like I say, fiddling with the taxation system to encourage people to get married is by no means a good thing. I don't believe that people should be choosing to marry (or separate) based on income, taxation etc.
  3. To be honest, I don't think that the tax system and the breakdown of marriages are remotely related. If people have to be persuaded to get married by the promise of tax breaks then they're getting married for the wrong reasons. Similarly, if a couple decide not to divorce because of the offer of extra income to stay together, then this is surely a negative too. If two people are unhappy in a marriage, then they are undoubtedly better off apart. What is undoubtedly a problem is that people get married without really considering whether or not it is right for them. That's a social problem and one that has been around for a long time.
  4. Charlie - just to correct this, as such comments can sometimes go unchallenged I've noticed. You've misread the data on the BBC website (which is easily done, as the presentation is not the best). The FTSE 100 stood at somewhat below 6000 points this time last year and is currently (as I type!) somewhere above 6200, so the FTSE 100 is not down by 0.3% over the past 12 months.
  5. Funnily enough, Cameron's latest policy announcements make another term in office for Brown almost inevitable. As the Conservatives move further to the right, so they become less electable. The problem that Cameron has is that he realises that moving to challenge Labour in the middle ground is the way to win the next election. Unfortunately for him, the rest of his party don't want to move - they want to hear him talking about longer prison sentences, the European Union, reducing immigration, reducing taxes for the wealthy and other popular "old school" Conservative policies. With Labour leading in the opinion polls and Cameron facing criticism from within his own party, he's had to respond. He's responded by announcing new policies that are all aimed at impressing the right of his party. Great cheers from within the Conservative party and support from the Daily Mail. But his party has just drifted further away from the bulk of the electorate.
  6. Just coming back to this, I'd be interested to hear whether you've noticed any significant shifts recently TGF? I was just browsing on the Belgarum estate agents website and I notice that they seem to have a number of new instructions. This time last year (almost to the day) I was looking at 2 bed properties - mainly terraced, Victorian houses. Those advertised in East City (which I believe is basically Bar End) were available for about £240k. I now see that they are on sale for up to £295,000. What it's hard to see is whether they are actually fetching anything near that price. If they are, then house price inflation seems to be steaming ahead here. I'll try and include a link (hope this works): Belgarum - estate agents in Winchester
  7. A bit of advice (that you'll need to check) but I believe that, in the case of something like a sofa or carpet, the landlord can only charge you for the cost of replacing the item at its last value. So, for example, if they spent £400 on a sofa but had it for 3 years, then the second-hand value might be £100 by that point (as I say, this is just an example). If you then move into the house and damage the sofa beyond repair, then you would be liable for a maximum of £100. In other words, you can only every be charge for a like for like replacement, not for the cost of a new item. Does that make sense? Hope it's of some help!
  8. People seem to be getting very confused about what's being measured by CPI and how it's "not very representative" - I'd say that it is a pretty good representation of what it is supposed to show, which is effectively outgoings and how they change. I must admit that I've only had a brief glance at the make up of the so-called basket but I think people are getting pretty confused if they don't see it as being representative of their spending. The basket includes transport costs, energy bills, the cost of eating out, drinks, cigarettes, health care, clothing, food and education, to name but a few. It's clearly not going to be perfect - it is, after all, only a measure - but it seems pretty close to reality to me. It's no surprise that so many people on here are grumbling about the figures when making claims that don't appear to have any basis in reality. In 2005 it was big news when petrol prices hit 90p for the first time. Today, I paid 97p per litre. An increase - certainly - but hardly so extraordinary as to push inflation up in the way that many suggest it should have been going up. While listing all the items that have supposedly gone up dramatically in price, people are forgetting items that have remained the same, or even dropped in price. Not surprising, as many people on the forum naturally want to see high inflation figures, in the hope that it will lead to interest rate increases. The only problem is that inflation doesn't seem to be wildly out of control right now - as the CPI figure confirms. Quite frankly, I've no idea whether house prices are about to crash, whether there will be a slowdown, or whether they will continue rising, but it seems to me that the knee-jerk reaction to the CPI figure is a bit strange. There's plenty of evidence to suggest that inflation is not out of control, so it's hardly surprising to see that reflected in the figures.
  9. I'd suggest that we shouldn't be trying to encourage kids to get degrees for the sake of it. By all means, intelligent kids who can get useful degrees should be going to university. Devaluing degrees by making them commonplace, introducing useless courses and making exams easier doesn't seem to me to be a very good plan. Certainly not one that I am happy to pay for.
  10. Again, I'm intrigued. In which part of the country are you living where you're seeing these massive increases? You mention that petrol increased by about 50% in a little over a year - have to say that's not my experience. Just checked and petrol prices nationwide have risen by 7% (on average) in total over the past 2 years. So why are you seeing such large increases? Why have your utility bills almost doubled too? Mine have certainly increased (or at least had until a few months ago), but prices appear to have come down recently and never doubled for me in the first place. The same with food prices - how are you paying 10% more for the same items? If anything, I've seen a slight decrease in food prices over the past year. Sorry if I sound sceptical - it's just that plenty of people are dismissing the CPI figures but then coming up with their own indicatiors of inflation that appear to be completely unrealistic. Clearly some of the increases that you've witnessed are adding to inflation (eg increased rail fares for commuters, increased cost of borrowing), but other costs (electronics, furniture, some services) are falling, hence why the rate of inflation does look as though it would be at between 2% and 4% right now.
  11. I'm not sure that I understand the point here about CPI figures being massaged. When I walk into the local supermarket I don't see food prices being significantly greater than they were this time last year. Similarly, if I buy fruit & veg at the local market (or even at the farmer's market), I see little evidence of a large rise in prices. When I go to the petrol station it's certainly clear to me that petrol prices are significantly higher than they were 10 years ago. But much higher than 12 months ago? No, I don't see that. Rent prices also seem to be static - I don't see people paying significantly more rent than they were this time last year. Mortgage payments will undoubtedly have increased for a proportion of the population during the last year, as a result of the interest rate rises. Many items (electrical, furniture, clothing) are at best static - in fact, there seem to have been significant price drops in some of these areas during the past year. I'm also not seeing great increases in prices in pubs or restaurants. It's also fair to say that my salary hasn't increased by more than 3% in the past year. So an inflation figure of somewhere between 2% and 4% seems pretty reasonable to me - it's reflecting the prices that I'm paying each month. Yet, I hear others on here suggesting that the "real" rate of inflation is at 10%. Where's this figure coming from? Are things so different elsewhere in the country?
  12. I'm not sure why people are thinking that energy and petrol prices will be rising any time soon - anyone care to explain the thinking behind that?
  13. Hi there, Long time lurker on this forum who's finally decided to join in with the conversation. I live in Winchester in Hampshire - some of you may remember that Channel 4 proclaimed it the best place to live in the UK. Not sure about that, but I like it. Anyway, I've been monitoring house prices quite closely in the area and I would say that the situation remains largely unchanged from a year ago - there may have been a slight slowdown but properties still appear to be selling quickly, with advertised prices gradually creeping up. As a guide, there are 2 bedroom flats/houses on the market here for between £250,000 and £260,000. This time last year similar properties were on the market for between £225,000 and £240,000.
  14. I think the real problem has been the drive to get more and more people to go to university, without thinking about alternative paths. University degrees have largely been devalued and the state obviously can't afford to pay for the increased number of students.
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