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If I sold I'd have approximately £300k to invest.

If I got 3% on that money that would be £10k a year before tax, £8k after.

Renting an identical house to mine would cost £14k a year.

So prices would have to fall by £6k (2%) a year for me to break even.

Now if interest rates went up and I was earning 5% (£15k) on that money, and prices were falling by 10% a year (£30k) then it would be very different.

However I just can't see interest rates rising. Knowing my track record they'd open the printing presses, bring in negative interest rates and inflate my cash away to zero.

So I'm not selling. I'm hoping for a crash so the bigger house I want falls more than the house I live in.

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STR'd in Oct 2014 in SE. Still got the £s. Left shite job in Sept 2015. Moved to the country. Invested in training. Earning potential and family time increased.

Freedom.

Life is great.

Sounds like you are training for another gaol sentence at work. My human capital, near zero, sod the training. Get the financial capital and stick two fingers up at the system, that is real freedom.

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I can buy the "move somewhere cheaper for a simpler life" argument if you are still left with a secure home afterwards.

But to all those advocating "STR for a quick buck" - isn't that just as bad as the rampant speculation and profiteering that has led us where we are today?

Personally, I can think of plenty of places I'd rather be than London, but almost none with a cheaper cost of living AND the earning potential you have here.

Unless you really hate your job, If you have a half decent income and can afford your mortgage it's better (imho) to just knuckle down and get it paid off so you can look forward to a decent debt free, secure retirement.

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I did and I've been thousands of pounds a year better off.

Approx £150K since 2007

The people who sold the house they bought off me in 2007 lost £50k+ on the deal too.

To join in the madness when it's so obvious is, well, madness.

Now is the time to STR in London for sure, maybe even too late now. The peak profit time has gone.

.

Ditto.

I STR in London at a similarish time. No regrets. The way it has worked out I'm much better off than if I'd owned, and I've saved myself a lot of hassle.

If I owned in London now I'd be doing exactly the same thing.

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Sounds like you are training for another gaol sentence at work. My human capital, near zero, sod the training. Get the financial capital and stick two fingers up at the system, that is real freedom.

Need something to pay the bills, bring the kids up and build the capital. I can already drive. So I paid a bit more in order to be paid to drive.

No more office bolleaux for me.

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I sold in 2006 and moved back to England (from Wales). Moved to a smaller house and banked the rest some of which I lived off for a few years until my pension. I hope I never have to work in a s***** job again. If/when prices fall I will be overjoyed as people with families are priced out at the moment and really struggling.

My reasoning is/was: I would rather own than rent as I would be more in control of my own destiny

and by buying a smaller place I would not have all my "wealth" in one asset class ie property.

When I sold up the cash I released was earning a decent amount of interest but not any longer (sad face). However it was the best thing I ever did and I was so relieved to be off the treadmill.

I realise how lucky I was to be able to do this and to be financially independent. I have a very low income but have never been happier/more content now my time is my own.

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Bit like the mo money mo problems thread. What do you do with the str cash? Someone upthread mentioned 3% return - can you really get that, esp after tax?

If I had no cash and lived in London - and had a significant mortgage - I might consider it, but it seems a lot of hassle for a problematic return....

Met a guy on holiday who wortked for a pensions provider - I asked him what they do and he said - cash, "everything else is overvalued". I might agree there, and stick to my own house rather than try and invest the str fund.

We live in mad times. My .sig has been proved wrong, in London at any rate. Still a year to go tho :)

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I left the London I was born in, never moved more than five mile radius....worked all my life there, parents live and were born there, siblings and friends live and work there.......moved to the country, but always back and forth..... have no regrets about leaving, would never move back......the UK is a small island, nobody is that far from anyone......once you pass the viable daily commuter belt everything relaxes and winds down, the quality of life imo improves.....the people seem friendly and welcoming, although it takes a bit of time to settle in, made lots of friends, but you have to go out of your way to do that if that is what you want.

.....don't believe the myth that there is no work, there is work but depends how fussy you are about what you want to do, and how much you need to live on....living in the country close to nature is not for everyone, some will always prefer the city life......advantages and disadvantages to both......for the young, city life is great.....we all evolve, there is no right or wrong way of living.....a change is as good as a rest. ;)

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I can buy the "move somewhere cheaper for a simpler life" argument if you are still left with a secure home afterwards.

But to all those advocating "STR for a quick buck" - isn't that just as bad as the rampant speculation and profiteering that has led us where we are today?

Personally, I can think of plenty of places I'd rather be than London, but almost none with a cheaper cost of living AND the earning potential you have here.

Unless you really hate your job, If you have a half decent income and can afford your mortgage it's better (imho) to just knuckle down and get it paid off so you can look forward to a decent debt free, secure retirement.

No. Anything which brings sellers to market is good. Stock on market at something like 1978 levels, despite millions new houses built since then.

And very few owners get out at peak. We need sellers to come to market. Not STR resentment. (I've never owned).

I don't know how owners can continue to resist cashing in on mega-fortunes.... complacency and bubble-headness most likely. STRs fine with me - there is IHT carry over from higher end. I suggest you lock in that gain before other owners realise it, and beat you to accepting from fewer buyers in future market.

The idea that older people don't see their homes as investments is a ridiculous self-serving platitude.

If that were true, the age demographics of landlords wouldn't be what they are, the daily mail wouldn't print the house price of every serial killer and murder victim, and house prices probably wouldn't be an issue.

Very few people can afford to ignore the value of their home, whatever their age, it's a key factor in everyone's decisions about housing.

I'll repeat my earlier point, in the hope that reading comprehension wasn't just a passing fad from my youth.

We live in a market economy, of sorts. The selling point of a market economy is that selfish decisions should lead to an optimal allocation of resources.

The distribution of housing is not optimal. Why?

The elderly ought to downsize. Not that they should be forced to, like in a command economy, but that it ought to be the outcome of their selfish decisions, and it isn't. That is a fact that needs explaining.

I claim that this can be explained by looking at the lack of incentives to move. Retired people don't downsize because:

1. They don't pay the costs of their decision, other people do.

2. Homes are investments, and the financial incentives beat the real economic incentives.

In other words, we don't have a free market for housing. An alternative position is that we do have a free market, but free markets don't work for some reason.

'Some older people are poor' isn't an alternative argument.

Nor is individual psychology, the relative mentality of demographic groups (as if such a thing even exists) or how anyone feels about anything.

A lot of bankers did benefit, it's just that plenty of other people also benefitted and benefitted more in many cases.

There are plenty of people who have made more through the housing bubble than they have ever earned in their lives. For landlords and London homeowners or anyone with an inheritance the amounts are similar to lottery wins - hundreds of thousands or millions - largely untaxed.

Those people wanted the banks to inflate the bubble, and they wanted the bailout. They may even be the reason there was a bailout, but none ever holds them responsible.

People love to blame banks for what happened, but millions of people were complicit. Most obviously the banks didn't get any criticism when the damage was actually happening. They only get blamed for stopping it.

Even now the British middle aged middle classes

Are clamouring to go back to the days when the crisis was still looming, so they can play at being property developers.

According to Rachman, if a 20 year old goes to London in July 2015, this person can replicate Rachman's material gains if he rolls up his sleeves and spits saliva into the palms of his hands and works hard, despite house price growth that has well outstripped wages for years after Rachman's initial house purchase. Maybe this 20 year old just has to work even harder than Rachman's own Herculean efforts. How many hours in a week again? 168? Should be no problem.

What annoys many people is rachman - like many in London - are literally lottery winners. (Being given £1-1.5 million pounds for nothing can most definitely be classed as a lottery win)

And are not even cashing it in !!

There is also the belief that they are somehow deserving of it - which is ********.

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I don't know how owners can continue to resist cashing in on mega-fortunes.... complacency and bubble-headness most likely. STRs fine with me - there is IHT carry over from higher end. I suggest you lock in that gain before other owners realise it, and beat you to accepting from fewer buyers in future market.

I don't have a mega fortune in my place - I only bought 2 years ago. Maybe if I did I would feel differently.

In my current situation though, I could see myself living where I am for another 10 years easily. London really isn't a bad place to live if you have a secure home (my whole motivation for buying in the first place)

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Yes I remember.

You got what you wanted, and made your own decision, and seemingly happy with it. You won't need the hpc excuse givers if and when values begin to fall.

Be happy.

I'm still expecting HPC (and on HPC), finding many good reasons why more sellers should come to market, and STR. Alongside the IHT carry-over, the move against the BTLers, 3% stamp duty hike BTLers/Second home owner buyers, and HTB ISA quenching demand for a few years.

I'm in a very similar situation to apom - have been a long term lurker on this site for many years and have lived and worked in London throughout that period- fervently hoping for a HPC.

I finally buckled and bought about 2 years ago - zone 2 and about 3 * single income (due to a very hefty deposit - not inherited btw)

So what pushed me over to the "dark side" ? - simply put I couldn't keep putting my life on hold and was sick to death of insecure tenancies and constant rent rises.

To paraphrase someone else in another thread - renting and buying are both sh**ty options in the current messed up, HPI obsessed economy we have in the UK - and London is the cherry on top of the turd.

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Alongside the IHT carry-over, the move against the BTLers, 3% stamp duty hike BTLers/Second home owner buyers, and HTB ISA quenching demand for a few years.

Yep, I certainly wouldn't want to be a highly leveraged BTL "investor" with the current storm clouds on the horizon.

Hopefully enough of them will get taken to the cleaners with the recent changes to put people off the easy money / HPI forever attitude going forward

Obviously self interest dictates that i wouldn't want to see a full blown HPC, but I can totally see your point of view, and if it does happen, you won't hear any excuses from me - I knew what I was getting into

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STR is very ballsey in my opinion, nearly as ballsey as buying a second home/BTL. At this point in the cycle I would rather STR than buy another house if I was forced to but I would rather sit on my hands and do nothing.

Low yielding London, South East and other UK is a cleary sell as a speculative investment but STR is a different calculation.

When you STR you are moving from a geared neutral position to a geared short position - assuming you have a mortgage. Both of those is dangerous as leverage is involved. However an owner occupied property is not an investment, shelter is a human need and if you sell your equity in one then you have to rent something or buy another one in the future. So you better be 100% sure the crash is coming, because if it doesn't you will severely financially damage yourself.

I think the only people who should STR are those that have the following circumstances;

- Their personal finances are so poor they woudn't be able to afford a 30-40% draw-down in property prices. i.e. no other savings, high LTV, risky job, property too small and inadequate to be able to "sit it out" for a long period c.10 years, had to bend the truth to re-mortgage etc etc.

- The cost of renting a place is less than the mortgage interest plus maintenance. i.e. they are in a low yield part of the country.

Otherwise you should just weather the storm as an owner occupier. I think the storm is a 2017 event at the earliest.

Oh and if you do STR then don't hold the proceeds in sterling cash, diversify.

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STR is very ballsey in my opinion, nearly as ballsey as buying a second home/BTL. At this point in the cycle I would rather STR than buy another house if I was forced to but I would rather sit on my hands and do nothing.

Low yielding London, South East and other UK is a cleary sell as a speculative investment but STR is a different calculation.

When you STR you are moving from a geared neutral position to a geared short position - assuming you have a mortgage. Both of those is dangerous as leverage is involved. However an owner occupied property is not an investment, shelter is a human need and if you sell your equity in one then you have to rent something or buy another one in the future. So you better be 100% sure the crash is coming, because if it doesn't you will severely financially damage yourself.

I think the only people who should STR are those that have the following circumstances;

- Their personal finances are so poor they woudn't be able to afford a 30-40% draw-down in property prices. i.e. no other savings, high LTV, risky job, property too small and inadequate to be able to "sit it out" for a long period c.10 years, had to bend the truth to re-mortgage etc etc.

- The cost of renting a place is less than the mortgage interest plus maintenance. i.e. they are in a low yield part of the country.

Otherwise you should just weather the storm as an owner occupier. I think the storm is a 2017 event at the earliest.

Oh and if you do STR then don't hold the proceeds in sterling cash, diversify.

You missed off a family busting out of the seams of their flat in urban SE and moving to a rural area in the SE near family, where renting a 4 bed detached is half the price of the old area, and that a purchase of a house is out of financial range and sensibility even with equity and previous jobs.

Or, our situation.

Generalisations. They're not for everyone.

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You missed off a family busting out of the seams of their flat in urban SE and moving to a rural area in the SE near family, where renting a 4 bed detached is half the price of the old area, and that a purchase of a house is out of financial range and sensibility even with equity and previous jobs.

Or, our situation.

Generalisations. They're not for everyone.

Like I said - house is too inadequate to sit it out for c.10 years. Family in a cramped flat in the urban south east seems to fit that description.

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I STR'd in 2005. My family and friends thought I was stupid. When 2007 happened they thought I was the cleverest man on the planet. But then the months passed and, in London and the South East at least, not much actually happened. Family and friends stopped palpitating and went back to the stupid verdict. Eventually I gave up on the waiting game and bought back in, I think it was at the end of 2010, I can't remember exactly because I didn't actually move in until I took early retirement at the end of 2012. One thing I did was radically re-think how much of my money I wanted tied up in a non liquid, sitting tax duck, asset class like domestic property. So instead of buying the biggest property I could afford I bought the smallest property that fitted my needs. Family and friends re-affirmed the stupid verdict.

I'm out of the game now, I'll neither STR again nor will I trade up if a crash comes, my partner and I are happy where we are in a smaller house. But I still have a kind of proxy STR play running, or rather a proxy No-Buy play. I've two children rapidly approaching first property age, my ex wife and I both banked enough money to get them each a starter home and the calls to buy are getting louder by the day. I'll hold out against that in the hope that something unforeseeable happens and UK interest rates get cranked up, it's not impossible, just I doubt it's very probable. Still, weirder stuff has happened so who knows.

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You've had a good run of things silver surfer.

Even a self-build along the way.... as my memory has it.

Are your Russian friends still hot and monied-up for London?

I will counter your old 'supply problem' - vs housing financialisation bubble - and big HPC future. The BTLers are up against things, markets move at margin, 3% stamp duty hike, MMR, HTB ISA saving taking away FTB demand.....

I bought my first house in the very early 1980's. It was three bedroomed terraced house in a decent part of Sheffield, it cost about £10,500 and my pay was about £5,750.

After a couple of years my job took me to London, in price terms I virtually swapped my Sheffield house for a one bedroom flat with an SW1 post code, Sloane Square was less than a five minute walk away and the nearest "off licence" was Berry Brothers & Rudd.

A couple of years after that I paid about £22,000 for a two bedroom flat in Fulham, I think at the time my wages had topped £10,000. Property costs can't have been too much of a burden because soon after I bought a Porsche.

Incidentally, I had no student debts and a rock solid final salary pension that subsequently allowed me to retire at 55.

Absolutely none of this is available to my children. They're fortunate in that I can afford to match for them the benefits that I was lucky enough to enjoy, but anyone from my generation who thinks their own hard work and industry were the keys to their good fortune is just taking nonsense. We were the most privileged generation that has ever lived.

What a great article. And he's absolutely right, ultimately there is only one solution...build more houses.

But as that's not going to happen any time soon the only rational conclusion is that any meaningful fall in house prices is probably a generation away.

Now isn't a good time to buy. But tomorrow won't be much better.

House prices are way too high in most of the UK, but with ultra low interest rates set to continue for many more years there's no reason why prices won't stay high for many years to come.

The only exceptions are areas like the North East where some isolated pockets of sanity exist. Although there's a good argument that says even there prices may drift down further so you could still be better off waiting.

Unless you really want to own a property for non financial reasons, and can afford to buy outright, then the rational thing is to reconcile yourself to a lifetime of renting and structure your personal affairs accordingly.

[...]I'm sure some inheritances are squandered, or the recipient is a cat's charity as the deceased has no living relatives. But a very large percentage of those inheritances will surely flow straight into the UK property market. Especially as Picketty pointed out the tendency in the UK to pass on wealth via gifts rather than wait until bequests after death. It all suggests a more sinister interpretation of the Bank Of Mum And Dad, a future where if you're lucky enough to have the right parents you can expect a substantial helping hand into a property of your own. But if you're not that fortunate then you either have to rent for your entire life or accept a sharply lower standard of living as you're saddled with repaying a crushing mortgage debt.

Why "sure"?

I used to work in Russia and recently I've had a few calls from Russians wanting to know about the UK property market and/or the prospects for work in the UK. These aren't the headline grabbing billionaires buying Kensington mansions, but upper middle class professionals and business people with assets of perhaps a few £m. The issue they all mention is the risk of exchange controls, which if enacted would prevent them from taking their roubles out of Russia. Many Russians are coming to the conclusion that, even though they've been pummelled by exchange rates, if they wait too long for a rouble recovery bounce they may find themselves locked in.

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If I sold I'd have approximately £300k to invest.

If I got 3% on that money that would be £10k a year before tax, £8k after.

Renting an identical house to mine would cost £14k a year.

So prices would have to fall by £6k (2%) a year for me to break even.

Now if interest rates went up and I was earning 5% (£15k) on that money, and prices were falling by 10% a year (£30k) then it would be very different.

However I just can't see interest rates rising. Knowing my track record they'd open the printing presses, bring in negative interest rates and inflate my cash away to zero.

So I'm not selling. I'm hoping for a crash so the bigger house I want falls more than the house I live in.

I forgot to include property maintainnce costs in my calculations.

Probably because I was in shock at the best part of £2.5k I've got to shell out for a new boiler as, despite £500 of work/parts, my old one is now dead.

Add in £1400 for new gutters and boards, £400 to replace failed double glazing and another £500 to fix a damp problem and it has been an expensive month!

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Now with low mortgage rates and high rental rates (3% v 5%) plus the 10% or so to move in and out of the market it would be IMO be a brave decision to STR as realistically any price adjustment will take several years.

House prices are set at the margin.

_45349013_house_prices_jan09.gif

Even low rates are seeing MMR'd buyers paced-out of affordability. Only needs buyer side to ebb out.

This growing lack of affordability when it comes to house-buying for the average British borrower has happened alongside a mortgage price war that has seen rates plummet in recent months.

http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/money/mortgages/article4481168.ece

More sellers with incentives to sell (IHT carry down, BTLers and BTLer's own homes, taxes on BTL, stamp duty for btlers and second home buyers hiking 3%, horizon of sentiment change.)

I totally agree that these are just idle musings - but I also think that IT may have started already. If it falls far enough then timing won't be everything. UK property was flat quite a while after the late Eighties bust. If the movement is guided by the share of the stock that is late entrant BTL and highly leveraged BTL (could easily be 10% of the housing stock) the correction could be very swift.

You can wait it out thinking 'got time' and 'more HPI ahead' (possibly is and lots of happy HPI forecasts for 2016) - but when markets turn, they really turn. All I know is I will be fighting the breakdowners and their thrashing around with excuses for older-older side/BTL side... claiming they are innocent. Inventory on market at the moment is so low - option to sell if you want to STR and likely get good price. And no one is forcing anyone to buy.

I know that you, just like me, favour a balance of a hard market and some common decency.

The problem is I have no debt and a massive pile of liquid assets on hand, which I have earmarked for house buying. Seriously, at 85% LTV it would be adequate to buy this very ordinary house that I am renting, and leave change.

My concern is this. I could bail these BTL [email protected] out directly by catching a falling knife, but I cannot help thinking, what if sentiment reversed? What if instead of everyone rushing in to buy before prices rose without limit people sat on their hands to see how low prices would go?

Edited by Venger
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the LR figures I have for average prices are Nov 07 186k, Dec 08 159k (so down 15%) then some recovery in Dec 09 162k and Dec 10 164k as the props were put in place. Clearly 15% per year falls are possible and could be repeated year on year, the problem is the intervention with average prices of 160k in Dec 11and 162k in Dec 12 and 167k in Dec13 ...and back to 2007 with 186k in Nov 15 with HtB etc

Clearly London is a totally different story with prices up 50% or more in some cases on 2007.

True enough satch - but banks recapitialsed into the props, and the HPI reflation.

Perhaps next time there will be no blessed intervention. Note that SMI is going back to 39 weeks - instead of the bailout anti-hpc Labour change that was made, and in future is set to become some sort of loan secured against the property.

Budget – help with mortgage interest is cut AGAIN

Support for Mortgage Interest (SMI) provides help with mortgage payments to some people getting benefits such as Job Seekers Allowance and Pension Credit. In the July 2015 Budget, two significant changes were announced that will reduce this for new claimants:

from April 2016, you will have to wait 39 weeks, up from 13 weeks, to get help;

from April 2017, this benefit will be replaced by a loan on which interest will be charged, which you will have to repay when the house is sold or on death.

These changes come on top of the reduction in SMI which came in in July 2015, see Help with mortgage interest is being reduced.

- a 13 week waiting period before you get any payments – this will be increased from 13 weeks in 2015 to 39 weeks from April 2015; if your mortgage is more than £200,000 you won’t get any help with the extra;

- Moving to a loan – “A radical change”. Changing SMI from a benefit which doesn’t have to be repaid to a loan that does, might not sound so significant. The Budget said “Loans will be repaid upon sale of the house, or when claimants return to work. Payments will accrue interest at a rate tied to the OBR forecast of gilts.”

My point was simply to push back against the widely held view that markets can't fall sharply/quickly - given low inventory on market and an unwillingness from many that STR should be considered, where some owners can cash in lottery-winning fortunes of free-ride HPI. Next time it may be -15% followed by -15%

Obviously all the excuses, into a HPC, will be all about such owners being victims spilling some of their precious HPI, 2008 style, 'stop the crash' / 'media' / 'prevent renter-savers getting any position' - no matter that main view now is big-smile HPI+++ and anti-STR, and 'plenty of time to sell' if need to.

I've got memory of a property-guru on an ITV Tonight Show piece about risks of future HPC (broadcast pre-crunch 2006/07) - it's fallen off YT...maybe because the voice sync went out on the video file - and the property-investor twins, full of forever HPI, were saying how prices took 3+ years to crash in early 90s. He replied, 'Well interest rates went up overnight, and so the market crashed overnight.'

Simon Ashwell. Savills Estate Agents. ITV Tonight show. 2006

Right. Modern property, guide price is £4 million pounds. Surrounded by an acre of landscape gardens. You've got 4 receptions rooms on the ground floor. Superb galleried entrance hall here.

In the last recession, you got to the point where certainly on these larger houses.. you couldn't get rid of them. I mean they were seen as a liability. We were doing valuations on property where people had lost.. you know, a million pounds on the value of what they'd paid for it, and of course you know you could see that visibly affecting their body with the shock of it.

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You've had a good run of things silver surfer.

Even a self-build along the way.... as my memory has it.

Are your Russian friends still hot and monied-up for London?

I have had a good run, like so many boomers. Where I differ is the realisation that it was just generational luck rather than evidence of personal achievement.

I'm still HPC pro, but I differ from the mainstream of this forum in at least two ways. Firstly I recognise that any particular outcome I desire may not happen, it might or it might not, so best to confront and plan for both results. Secondly I try not to weave moral issues into the narrative. Not only are the outcomes I desire not guaranteed, but neither are the outcomes I deserve. Bad things happen to good people, and good things happen to bad people. Loathsome BTL landlords may die in penury, they may not. Patient, honest citizens may get their dream house at a fair price, they may not. There's no invisible and righteous hand guiding how things play out. My indignation and outraged sense of natural justice won't have the slightest effect one way or the other.

Self build? More a big re-build during the 1987-95 crash. Lot of learning from that experience but that's another post.

Russian friends are generally much reduced, both in numbers and in circumstances. Only three or four that I'm still in contact with, and the past year hasn't been particularly kind to any of them. One ditched her husband and came to the UK but subsequently lost her job, one stayed in Moscow but now has a much smaller job, one went to Switzerland and fell ill, another rediscovered the Russian Orthodox Church I suspect there's a back story to that but I don't know what it is.

I've had a couple of trips up to Manchester recently, which if my memory is correct is where you are. Changed out of all recognition, and very much for the better, could have been Vienna or Milan with all the trams and restaurants and beautiful architecture! I can see why people are clamouring to live there.

Good luck, I'm not a frequent visitor here anymore but I always enjoyed your posts.

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I've had a couple of trips up to Manchester recently, which if my memory is correct is where you are. Changed out of all recognition, and very much for the better, could have been Vienna or Milan with all the trams and restaurants and beautiful architecture! I can see why people are clamouring to live there.

Wherever we're heading, Manchetser is still on some sort of ascendance. I'm not falling for this northern shithouse malarkey but something is definitely happening.

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