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This Is A Dark Corner. And You Are An Obsessive.


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Sunday Times 13 April

If it’s not yet time to throw in the towel on the world economy, what about Britain’s housing market? Surely Halifax’s shocker – a 2.5% drop in house prices last month alone – was confirmation we are in an almighty crash?

Since the credit crisis broke there has been a respectable position, now taken by most economists, that this would be the trigger for a significant house-price correction. I certainly considered that in August-September. We should distinguish that, of course, from the obsessives you can find in the internet’s darker corners, who have been wrongly predicting an imminent crash for years.

But, without shooting the messenger, it seems to me that Halifax’s figure gave us an object lesson in how not to interpret statistics. When a number is so far away from the norm, we should treat it as odd. Yet the figures were reported slavishly and the markets took them at face value.

The lenders’ statistics have been behaving slightly strangely in recent months. Halifax fell early, then recovered, then fell again. The statistics may have been distorted by home information packs (Hips), smaller samples than usual, or by the lenders’ own valuation policies.

Since summer the Halifax index is down 4% and the Nationwide nearly 3%. In contrast, the government’s measure – based on a larger sample – was up 1% (to January), while the Land Registry shows a rise of nearly 2% (to February) and the FT-Acadametrics index, to March, is also up nearly 2%. This may simply reflect different stages in the buying process but the contrasts are significant.

What is the true picture? Housing activity is down sharply and prices, I think, are slipping, but the lenders’ indexes seem to be overstating it. It may be this is just a stay of execution and soon every measure will be going the way of the Halifax. But let’s wait a while before declaring that the crash has started.

When is Murdoch going to turn on Labour and get rid of this apologist?

Edited by The Three Little Pigs
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I bet he earns more than you for the rubbish he writes.

A paper needs to confirm the world-views of its readers, or it will lose them. So his job is to tell the readers what they want/need to hear. He's performing this function so it's quite right that he should be well-rewarded for it ;)

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That's the irony he's missed isn't it? Our position wasn't actually wrong, it was just around 2 years ahead of the curve.

It's testament to many members of this forum that much of what has been talked about and predicted over the last few years (credit crunch, NR etc.) HAS happened EXACTLY as predicted.

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Quote from Smith April 2007 - Priceless

There are two things one should bear in mind about the housing market. One is that mere mention of a slowdown brings the “crash” obsessives out in force, their latest ammunition being the problems in the American sub-prime market. That has as much relevance to Britain’s housing market as the baseball world series has to whether Chelsea or Manchester United will win the Premiership

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http://www.economicsuk.com/blog/000326.html

April 2006-

Last time it took Hurricane Katrina’s devastation of New Orleans and surrounding areas, to give us a record crude price of $70.85 a barrel. This time Iran’s nuclear programme, and the fear of American military strikes, have pushed US crude above $75 and North Sea Brent crude above $74. This might be a useful time, then, to revisit my prediction that oil prices are unsustainable at these levels and will fall, in due course, to $40 a barrel.

He's good at predicting prices mind.

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Long term bear members on this forum have been predicting a crash for years. Now that we are entering the phase of a crash we can sit back and watch the fireworks with that humble feeling i knew i was right.

The problem is that the market was calling for a crash 2005 and the predictions were made by members on here which on the face of it turned out to be wrong because the propaganda machine went into overdrive and delayed the crash. The problem now is that the bigger the boom the bigger the bust which is worrying to say the least because of the ripple effect on the economy at large.

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$40 a barrel oil.

Where is it?

We said if the central banks kept printing like retards to save their (and their political master's) necks after basically running the economy via promulgating one disastrous, destructive, mis-allocating bubble after another then the end result would be inflation and even more destruction of the real economy.

It is not he dark corners that David should be looking at it is the reporting of his peers, more of whom either have woken up or who have stuck two fingers up at their increasingly shabby remit of not telling it like it is.

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David Smith's grip of the economic situation is as flimsy as a Ford Sierra body panel, as his articles over the last year have shown.

Perhaps he should take his rose tinted "$40 oil" spectacles off

Smithy is the reason I'll never buy a copy of the Times.

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So he finds the fall of 2.5% odd. So odd that he would ignore it or at best treat it with caution.

That's a classic sign of bias in my view. 'This number doesn't quite fit with what I want/expect, so I'll turn a blind eye to it and bury my head in the sand.'

I doubt he found the extreme monthy rises of 2%+ odd

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I agree with a previous poster - that papers will report the popular view or lose readers. I'd say the majority of readers will not want to believe the Halifax report so this is correct as far as they are concerned.

Jounalist's views do not stand up to scrutiny and are totatlly inconsistent because they are not there to educate just mirror the 'conversation around the Doritos and dips'.

Agent Smith will be replaced when all this turns. He'll go 'hill walking'.

Most people let's remember think Krusty is 'fabulous'...

Edited by 29929BlackTuesday
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An obsessive in a dark corner? I resent that! The Observer's much more on the ball:

You only have to dip into websites such as Housepricecrash.co.uk to get a sense of the resentment and exclusion felt by those who cannot afford to buy.

That's more like it: I'm a resentful, excluded obsessive in a dark corner.

Edited by Scunnered
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David, when you get to this comment on your visit to the dark recesses of the internet - first we are delighted that we clearly rile you this much - and second, accept the gauntlet that people will flog you out of your job as this housing market crashes. Murdoch will have to switch and you will be the proverbial toast. The 2.5% was only odd because the Nationwide had been massaging the figures and had to put the previous four months' statistical "rounding" in at some point before the ombudsman caught up with them. Coming months will have hair-raising data for you - maybe time to take that sabbatical at the University of Bull**it in Smithsville, Ohio.

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"Wrongly predicted" is all a matter of timescale. If I predict that there will be another house price boom, and that turns out to be true in 10 years time, would my prediction have been right or wrong?

Anyway, on balance, falling house prices are a good thing as it means homes are more affordable. Moving up the housing ladder is also likely to be mre affordable.

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We should distinguish that, of course, from the obsessives you can find in the internet’s darker corners, who have been wrongly predicting an imminent crash for years.

If he cared to look he’d find that most of us haven’t been predicting an imminent crash, what we’ve been observing is that the housing market has been in an unsustainable bubble while he has taken every opportunity to argue the opposite. Given what’s happened in the last 9 months it seems more and more likely that this is something else he's got very wrong.

As for the Halifax index overstating the situation, for once Will Hutton seems to have a better grasp of what’s really going on. There are lots of areas where prices have been reduced significantly but, because they still aren’t selling, these falls haven’t yet made it into any index. At some point they will, probably after even more price reductions.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/20...gmarket.economy

Last week, the reality began to sink in. The Halifax reported a 2.5 per cent monthly fall in house prices, the biggest since 1992. It is behind the curve. Prices are already 10 per cent down in most parts of the country; even the London market, which is supposedly holding up, is in trouble. I know of prices that have fallen by 25 per cent.

Smith is more of a propagandist than an economist.

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Sunday Times 13 April

Since the credit crisis broke there has been a respectable position, now taken by most economists, that this would be the trigger for a significant house-price correction. I certainly considered that in August-September. We should distinguish that, of course, from the obsessives you can find in the internet’s darker corners, who have been wrongly predicting an imminent crash for years.

What is the true picture? Housing activity is down sharply and prices, I think, are slipping, but the lenders’ indexes seem to be overstating it. It may be this is just a stay of execution and soon every measure will be going the way of the Halifax. But let’s wait a while before declaring that the crash has started. [/size]

What "dark corner" of the internet could he be referring to?

This website has been one of the few places where people actually understood that what we had was a classic speculative bubble, and moved to educate people, rather than sprouting rubbish arguments about the "housing shortage".

Property speculators like Rosie Millard are the dark corners in this crisis, and the reason we're in this mess.

Edited by BandWagon
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  • 441 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


      • down 5% +
      • down 2.5%
      • Even
      • up 2.5%
      • up 5%



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