February 2007 Archive

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

New build BTL market is looking fragile

MSN: Why investing in new homes could be disastrous

The beginning of the chain is weakening.....

Posted by newbie @ 08:56 PM 0 Comments

US new home sales plunge, from bad to worse

CNN: New home sales plunge

Worst figures in 13 years, beware all piffle that US house market is hitting bottom, nothing could be further from the truth. Also watch the market in mortgage backed securities - the A rated vehicles are now starting to wobble badly, and they are NOT subprime

Posted by andy h @ 07:45 PM 9 Comments

Council tax rise will be a heavy blow for pensioners and the low paid!

Freehelpadvice: Council tax rise will be a heavy blow for pensioners and the low paid!

With the average council tax bill forecasted to rise by 4.2 per cent in Britain during 2007/08, the Liberal Democrats have warned that the increase could be too much for some. Andrew Stunell, Liberal Democrat local government spokesman, said that the council tax rise will be a heavy blow for pensioners and the low paid and more people will be added to the two million people already struggling to pay their council tax bills.

Posted by matt @ 05:46 PM 4 Comments

Another kick in the nuts for mortgage lenders....

BBC News: Firms yield on mortgage exit fees

"Around 10 million mortgages have been redeemed in the last four years," said Ray Boulger of the mortgage broking firm John Charcol. "But the number of people who claim compensation will no doubt be largely influenced by the amount of media coverage this topic receives. "However, I would estimate that the total compensation payable will be at least 50m and probably in the region of 100m."

Posted by millard @ 05:13 PM 1 Comments

Interest rate hikes have started to dampen the housing market

Freehelpadvice: Interest rate hikes have started to dampen the housing market

Nationwide Building Society, a major provider of mortgages in the United Kingdom, has claimed that the three interest rate hikes in five months have started to dampen the house price growth in the country. According to Nationwide, negative indicators emerging in the market, point to an impending decline in the house prices, which grew by 0.7 per cent in February compared to 0.3 per cent in January.

Posted by matt @ 04:45 PM 0 Comments

Cost of water increases at twice the rate of inflation

Water bills to rise by 7%: Guardian

OFWAT, regulator of the Water Industry has confirmed that water rates for the average household will rise by 20. Customer of South West Water face an increase of around 16%. These rises come despite the perceived failings of the industry and the shortages last summer.

Posted by jellycaster @ 03:48 PM 5 Comments

Water Bills rise by more than twice Inflation

BBC news: Water and sewage bills up by 7%

South West Water has spent 1.5bn on cleaner beaches Household water and sewerage bills will go up by an average of 7% in England and Wales in the coming financial year, confirms the regulator, Ofwat.

Posted by randomkevlar @ 01:32 PM 1 Comments

Bearish news from around the globe sends markets tumbling

FT: European markets tumble following Asia sell-off

A combination of worries about the sustainability of Chinese growth and bearish news from the US particularly from the former Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan who used the word "recession" gives the markets the jitters.

Posted by denzil @ 12:00 PM 5 Comments

NI housing market to slow to ONLY 15% in 2007

BBC News: NI housing market to slow in 2007

Houses in NI rose by 37% 2006 and to slow to 15% this year....the madness continues.

Posted by richard @ 11:58 AM 0 Comments

In the US, is the worst over?

The Indy Online__: As home values fall, is the US heading for the much-feared 'hard landing'?

A doom and gloom article which suggests the economic situation in the US might take a turn for the worst - a 'soft landing' might not happen afterall.

Posted by talking rot @ 11:22 AM 1 Comments

IR rises effecting buyers, says Nationwide

BBC News: Housing demand 'starting to wane'

Nationwide sees the house market cooling off, despite an increase in the annual rate of house price inflation. The UK's third largest mortgage lender pointed towards a drop in the number of new mortgage approvals and enquiries at estate agents as possible indicators of a dip. This could be attributed to recent increase in the BoE's inflation base rate.

Posted by jellycaster @ 10:39 AM 6 Comments

Markets continue to take a slapping

BBC: World stock slump hits second day

The second day of significant losses on worldwide markets continued today. After yesterday afternoon's 2.5% loss, the FTSE 100 shed a further 1.9% in early trading. Although the correction was expected at some point after such a long bull run, it wasn't expected quite as suddenly. It was triggered by comments about the possibility of a US recession by former FED chief Ben Bernanke, and the possibility new regulatory laws governing Chinese markets.

Posted by jellycaster @ 10:32 AM 0 Comments

Nationwide figures released

Guardian: House price growth returns to double figures

The average price of housing in the UK rose by 0.7% in February, up to 174,706. This takes the annual rate of house price inflation to 10.2%, up from January's 9.3%. This comes despite the BoE's surprise decision to raise IR rates in January.

Posted by jellycaster @ 10:25 AM 1 Comments

UK's largest mortgage lender posts results

Telegraph: HBOS cautious on lending

HBOS, owner of Halifax, posted its annual report yesterday. Its profits increased by nearly 20%, and it increased its dividend by 15%. Chief Exec Andy Hornby said the group's performance was moderated by concerns about bad debt and levels of unsecured personal lending, which it aims to scale back.

Posted by jellycaster @ 10:21 AM 0 Comments

Housebuilder half-yearly profits up 10%

Guardian: Barratt posts 180m profits

Barratt, the homebuilder who recently purchased competitor Wilson Bowden, has posted its interim results, which show solid increases in business and revenue. Charkes Toner, the chairman, attributed their success to a cohesive business model and a market where demand outstrips supply.

Posted by jellycaster @ 10:16 AM 1 Comments

Belfast 4 bedroom houses heading towards the million mark

BBC: 'Hysterical' buyers driving market

Developers have been knocking on doors of large houses in fashionable parts of Belfast, trying to perasuade homeowners to sell the house, so the developer can convert it to flats. Prices have reached frenzied levels, and first time buyers are becoming incredibly squeezed. Some parents are buying for their children now, before they move out, as they worry that leaving it any longer will make it impossible for their children to obtain a property.

Posted by jellycaster @ 10:06 AM 8 Comments

Demand weakening

FT.com: House prices rise 0.7 per cent in February

Nevertheless, the January and February data taken together hint that the housing market could be starting to lose buoyancy. Markets reacted little to the stronger than expected Nationwide report, with traders more concerned about about the ramifications of Tuesdays and Wednesday mornings global equity sell-off.

Posted by dohousescrashinthewoods @ 09:07 AM 7 Comments

Come on...!!

BBC: World stock slump hits second day

A global stock sell-off has moved into a second day, after a wobble in China sparked fears of a big price correction and hit UK, Asian and European indexes. ..

Posted by george monsoon @ 08:24 AM 3 Comments

Come on...!!

BBC: World stock slump hits second day

A global stock sell-off has moved into a second day, after a wobble in China sparked fears of a big price correction and hit UK, Asian and European indexes.

Posted by george monsoon @ 08:23 AM 0 Comments

Looks like the Yen Rise is having an effect

Reuters: Stg slides vs yen, investors unload carry trades

Something is happening to Sterling. "Sterling fell sharply against the yen on Tuesday .... with the move also dragging the pound down versus the euro." Remember a rate rise may also occur in defence of the currency. However ..to be fair... the article also mentions Blanchflower's belief in voting for a cut soon ... "which would leave us with a three-way split on the MPC," Rabobank senior proprietary trader Lee Ferridge said. I think the MPC meeting on 8 March will be one where the members earn their pay... could be a long one.

Posted by sirgoogle @ 05:17 AM 5 Comments

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

What Next?

BBC News: World stocks plummet on China woe

Global stock markets have slumped, with the US Dow Jones index plummeting by more than 400 points and London's FTSE 100 index also posting sharp losses.

Posted by nearly30 @ 10:19 PM 10 Comments

It means buckle your seatbelt, Dorothy, 'cause Kansas is going bye-bye

National Post: Stocks end sharply lower on China

Some friends of mine keep asking me "So when is this big crash going to happen then". I tell them, be patient, you'll see the first creaks soon enough. THEM: "Yeah, but you've been saying that for the last 5 years - and my house is now worth 5 times what it was 5 years ago, so you're the mug" ME: "True enough, but tell me, have you actually sold and realised that profit or are you just mewing like a cat on LSD? When the stock market tightens credit, your house may resemble an engine block strapped to your body as you are thrown into the River of Financial Despair"

Posted by lvmreader @ 10:06 PM 2 Comments

FTBs Go For Broke With 100 Per Cent Mortgages

FindaProperty.com: FTBs Go For Broke With 100 Per Cent Mortgages

Mortgage Advice Bureau (MAB) revealed a 21 per cent rise in first-time buyers opting for 100 per cent mortgages in 2006 compared to 2005. They recorded an even greater increase in those borrowing in excess of the value of their property. This rose by 50 per cent over the course of the year with 11 per cent of all MAB cases now applying for mortgages in excess of 100 per cent. The Department for Communities and Local Government reported that in December the average house price for first-time buyers was 155,120, considerably more than the 125,000 stamp duty thresho

Posted by cash_buyer @ 10:00 PM 2 Comments

Mortgage figures hint at slowing market

The Guardian: Mortgage figures hint at slowing market

Signs of a possible cooling in the property market emerged last month as the number of people taking out a mortgage fell to its lowest point in two years, the British Bankers Association (BBA) said today. The number of people taking out a mortgage to buy a home fell from just over 45,000 in January 2006 to 37,804 in the same month this year.

Posted by cash_buyer @ 09:57 PM 0 Comments

Britannia sees house market slowing

Reuters: Britannia sees house market slowing

LONDON (Reuters) - Britannia, Britain's second biggest building society, sees little or no growth in the mortgage market this year as higher interest rates and personal debt feed through to the housing market, it said on Tuesday.

Posted by cash_buyer @ 09:56 PM 0 Comments

Property Market Cools

SKY NEWS: Property Market Cools

Borrowers are feeling the heat, according to Britain's second biggest building society. The three interest rate rises since last August and high personal debt are having an effect on the property market, says Britannia. It saw little or no growth in the UK mortgage market this year, Britannia said, as it revealed a record profit of 130.4m for the year, up from 120.5m in 2005.

Posted by cash_buyer @ 09:55 PM 0 Comments

First one to blink!!!

Reuters: FTSE tumbles 2 pct on China fears

"What a session. A stock exchange fall-out in Shanghai, indifferent data on inflation and durable goods exacerbating the downbeat sentiment of a creaking economy ... and geopolitical threats from Iran," said David Buik of Cantor Index. "That all looks like a very intoxicating cocktail of despair indeed," he said.

Posted by tyrellcorporation @ 07:24 PM 3 Comments

High prices and low interest rates, or lower prices when rates are up?

CNNmoney: Home buying: Buy now? Or wait for a price drop?

VIs put a positive spin on falling prices. Will we soon be reading similar advice from our own media? We cant be that far behind.

Posted by ftbsean @ 06:55 PM 0 Comments

It's unravelling: The rats are heading for the Exits. US mortgage crisis goes into meltdown

Telegraph.co.uk: US mortgage crisis goes into meltdown

Panic has begun to sweep the sub-prime mortgage sector in the United States after the bankruptcy of 22 lenders over the past two months, setting off mass liquidation of housing loans packaged as securities. Analysts say the housing bust is pulling America into recession, citing a 14.4pc drop in housing starts The rapid deterioration could not come at a worse time for British bank HSBC, which has set aside $10.5bn (5.4bn) to cover bad loans in the US.

Posted by eric pebble @ 06:38 PM 2 Comments

US house price slide continues

CNN: Home price slump continues

Sixth straight month that prices have shown that year-over-year drop, a relatively rare condition for home prices before the current slide.

Posted by james @ 05:01 PM 1 Comments

Britannia sees a slow in mortgage lending this year

Interactive Investor: Britannia sees house market slowing

Are these the signs that things are beginning to slow down?

Posted by j tallis @ 04:48 PM 0 Comments

house price rises getting faster and broader bases

Reuters: Latest News

LONDON (Reuters) - House prices climbed in February at their fastest annual rate since June 2003, a survey showed on Monday, with robust growth in London and the southeast overshadowing weaker increases elsewhere. Property consultant Hometrack said house prices rose 6.4 percent this month from a year earlier, up from 6.0 percent in January. Price growth was once again concentrated in London and the southeast, with property prices in areas such as the Midlands and Wales edging up by just 0.1 percent. However, unlike the previous month when growth was concentrated in a quarter of areas, prices in February rose more evenly, with rises in 42 percent of the nation. "Despite the January rate rise, it seems that a lack of supply is continuing to support higher prices, primarily in London an

Posted by jpb radlett, herts @ 04:23 PM 0 Comments

If only the MPC were as vigilant!

FT: Eurozone money supply hits 17-year high

Money supply in the eurozone grew faster in January than at any time since early 1990, raising expectations of further interest rate rises by the European Central Bank in the coming months. M3, the money supply measure that the ECB uses as an indicator for the likely course of inflation, was 9.8 per cent higher last month than in January 2006, the bank reported on Tuesday.

Posted by tyrellcorporation @ 02:01 PM 1 Comments

Joe Public's verdict on the miracle economy?

Telegraph: Poll puts Cameron ahead with 11-point lead

The Labour party have been suffering in the opinion polls of late. This poll for the Independent puts the Conservatives on 40 per cent (up six points since Jan), Labour unchanged on 29 per cent, and the Lib Dems down four points on 17 per cent.

Posted by denzil @ 01:18 PM 15 Comments

The fundamental problem of housing price

Bloomberg: London Home Shortage Won't Go Away, BOE's Barker Says

This article can help to understand why the housing market hasnt crash yet (if you didnt have a clue yet) but moreover why it keep rising. Is it a coincidence, incompetence or rather a persistence relaxed attitude from some in power toward HP inflation? Found out for yourself in this article.

Posted by anytime @ 01:02 PM 4 Comments

Greenspan admits possibility of recession

FT.com: Shares slide on fears of global slowdown

Adding to the downbeat sentiment, former Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan said on Monday that it was possible the US economy may fall into recession later this year. Lots of bearish indicators in here which could contribute to an economic picture for HPC, including a 9% drop in China's stock market index and the FTSE dropping by over 100 points (1.7%) today. Also, concern over Iran, oil and the "carry trade" which could see global credit squeezed if it unwinds.

Posted by dohousescrashinthewoods @ 01:02 PM 0 Comments

8pm Friday night: The usual VI spin from Trev's team

ITV1: House Price Forecast: Tonight

"Amid persistent warnings of an imminent property crash, Tonight consults experts about their predictions on house prices for the coming year" I'm not sure if the senior staff at ITV have managed to sell off all their investment properties yet, so watch this programme to be told by "experts" (the usual VI cheer leaders rolled out from estate agencies and mortgage lenders) that the UK property market is alive and well. If there is any bear advice, I notice, as usual, it's been scheduled for Friday night when a large part of the country are drowning their sorrows, probably FTB woe related.

Posted by doomwatch @ 12:32 PM 0 Comments

Hammerson echoes warning on valuations

Telegraph: Hammerson echoes warning on valuations

Hammerson added its voice to recent warnings that the upward shift in property valuations in recent years has run its course. But the shopping centre and City office block owner promised a 25pc hike in the dividend this year and a 5bn development programme. John Richards, chief executive, said: "Following the recent rises in interest rates the positive differential between property investment yields and borrowing costs has been largely eliminated or reversed, reducing the attractions of property to some debt financed investors." He warned that "secondary property remains potentially more vulnerable to any market weakness".

Posted by cash_buyer @ 12:09 PM 0 Comments


BBC: Mortgage approvals fall at banks

Mortgage approvals by the UK's biggest banks dipped slightly in January, said the British Bankers' Association (BBA). The underlying number of mortgages approved for house purchase last month was 44,804, a fall of 1% from the figures from a year earlier. "It was notable that underlying mortgage approvals were down by around 1% year-on-year in number in January," said Howard Archer of Global Insight. "This was the second successive month that approvals were down year-on-year, and contrasts with the substantial year-on-year increases seen through much of 2006."

Posted by cash_buyer @ 12:07 PM 4 Comments

buy to let remaining healthy?

Firstrung: Strong marketplace for UK residential lettings - NAEA

Lettings members of the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA) reported a strong marketplace for UK residential lettings over the last quarter of 2006.

Posted by converted lurker @ 10:48 AM 1 Comments

rates starting to bite?

Firstrung: Mortgage lending down significantly in Janaury - BBA

Following last week's release of MBBG net lending figures for January, further information now available on lending to individuals shows that: January's gross mortgage lending was 16.6bn, 15% more than the 14.5bn in January 2006. In line with seasonal patterns, January was well down on December's 18.1bn.

Posted by converted lurker @ 10:45 AM 0 Comments

Housing inflation a problem in Ambridge

BBC Radio: Monday's episode of the archers

Listen to monday's edition. what's funny is that they got all key components in over dinner. -over priced hosues. -interest only mortgages. -parents lending kids money to move out. enjoy,

Posted by sam @ 10:21 AM 1 Comments

More tax for individuals to pay

The Telegraph: Private equity firms beat the Revenue

Five of the 10 largest private equity-owned companies in the UK effectively paid not a single penny of UK corporation tax in 2005/06.

Posted by sold 2 rent 1 @ 09:39 AM 10 Comments

Beware militant pensioners, Mr Brown...

Times Online: Council tax rises to beat inflation for a tenth year

The average council tax bill will rise 3.8% to 1,315. This means that since Labour came to power, council tax has risen 90%, and every year has seen increases above inflationary levels. Unsurprisingly, these increases will anger many who perceive the quality of local services to be decreasing.

Posted by jellycaster @ 08:51 AM 3 Comments

Inflation could head back towards MPC target

Guardian: Falling energy prices force down inflation

The Monetary Policy Committee are split over the direction the economy will take in the coming months, says member David Blanchflower. His personal viwe is that inlflation will drop back towards target levels with dropping energy prices.

Posted by jellycaster @ 08:47 AM 12 Comments

UK House Prices continue to Rise whilst the US Housing Market Slumps

Goldseek: UK House Prices continue to Rise whilst the US Housing Market Slumps

The UK housing market has proved remarkably resilient by notching up a further gain for January of 1.3% (Halifax) , whilst the US Housing market continues to go from bad to worse as the sub prime mortgages time bomb goes off, resulting in a slump that looks set to be the worst since the Great Depression of the 1930's. The UK housing market looks set to continue to be supported, even at these elevated levels,

Posted by david @ 01:53 AM 12 Comments

Monday, February 26, 2007

House prices soaring again

Daily Express: Another irresponsible headline from the Express

House prices are rising at their fastest rate in almost three years. The average property is gaining 500 a week.

Posted by david @ 11:14 PM 7 Comments

Houses still affordable in the UK?

Seekingalpha.com: This is the Housing Market the UK Built

The UK housing market looks set to continue to be supported, even at these elevated levels, primarily due to housing still not having reach unaffordable levels experienced in the past. Additionally, the strong growth in the money supply and continuing immigration continues to support the market. Even an expected interest rate rise to 5.75% is unlikely to affect the situation significantly. It would require an interest rate hike to well beyond 6% before we are likely to witness a significant house price decline in the UK. This would be preceded by inflation taking off beyond 3% CPI, and would be associated with a decline in economic activity.

Posted by shipbuilder @ 10:16 PM 1 Comments

Spend your way out a hole

BBC: US economic outlook 'improving'

The outlook for the US economy in 2007 has improved, research has indicated, suggesting that interest rates may stay on hold all year.

Posted by holding out @ 04:56 PM 4 Comments

House price boom 'could end soon'

Dail Mail: House price boom 'could end soon'

The era of rising house prices and low interest rates could soon be at an end, say leading economists. In a red alert to Britain's 18m home owners, they said rates could rise while house prices fall. Last week, the average house price went above 200,000 after more than a decade of increases

Posted by cash_buyer @ 02:24 PM 9 Comments

Higher interest rates put brakes on housing

Moneyextra.com: Higher interest rates put brakes on housing

Although mortgage rates take time to change, the increase in base rate early in the New Year appears to have had a salutary effect on homebuyers and mortgage payers. Robin Amlt of Moneyextra.com said, "For many, November's base rate rise has only just hit their mortgages and, now, they have the prospect of another guaranteed increase in their costs and talk of yet another base rate rise to come in the near future! "Under the circumstances it's hardly surprising that the average value of both property and likely mortgage being searched against on Moneyextra.com's mortgage comparison tool eased down across all sectors (first time buyer, home mover, re-mortgagor) from December to January."

Posted by cash_buyer @ 02:22 PM 0 Comments

100 p/c mortgage borrowing soars

Daily Mail: 100 p/c mortgage borrowing soars

The number of first-time buyers taking out a mortgage greater than the value of their home has risen by 50 per cent.

Posted by cash_buyer @ 02:16 PM 1 Comments

Groundbreaking research from propertyfinder.com

IC Wales: Population movement drives up house prices

The areas of the UK with the highest inward migration have seen the most dramatic increases in house prices. Apparently, a 1% increase in population can increase house prices by up to 183%.

Posted by jellycaster @ 10:46 AM 4 Comments

Persimmon profit in line

Reuters: Country's biggest housebuilder meets market expectations and expects strong year

A secure economy and job market have helped keep demand for new housing high, with the unexpected IR hike making little dent in the strength of the property market. The company increased its dividend yield by 50%, on the back of achieving a good amount of reservations and forward sales.

Posted by jellycaster @ 10:42 AM 3 Comments

Consistencies between Sterling and Euros

Independent: Stephen King: Why the pound and the euro are as entwined as lovers

Steven King, Economics Director of HSBC discusses the reasons behind the steady relationship between Sterling and the Euro. For the last 5 years or so, the behaviour of the two currencies has been remarkably similar, despite some fairly disparate behaviour from the central banks.

Posted by jellycaster @ 09:40 AM 1 Comments

Shop around - loyalty is old-fashioned

Yorkshire Post: Shop around banks haven't earned loyalty

Today, consumers with the best deals in banking and finance are known by banks as 'promiscuous'. They shop around, and don't stick with the same institution through thick and thin. With banks' increasingly motivated towards short-term profits, this attitude is hardly surprising.

Posted by jellycaster @ 09:31 AM 0 Comments

Hometrack survey shows prices up 0.7% in Feb

Guardian: Supply shortages push house price growth to three-year high

The lack of supply compared to continuing high demand for property stock, particularly in the south, is the main factor keeping the property market strong. This is despite the MPC's IR rate rises at the end of 2006 and January 2007.

Posted by jellycaster @ 09:02 AM 12 Comments

3i joins the chase as Foxtons sports a 400m tag

Times on-line: 3i joins the chase as Foxtons sports a 400m tag

3i Group, the quoted private equity house, is hoping to buy Foxtons, Londons largest estate agent, in what could be a 400 million sale, The Times has learnt. The UK private equity group is among suitors set to submit first round bids for Foxtons by the close of business today. Foxtons hired investment bankers at Credit Suisse last November to explore a possible stock market flotation of the company, which is owned and run by Jon Hunt, its founder.

Posted by ukuser1 @ 01:28 AM 4 Comments

Will The Housing Bubble Burst in 2007?

Time: Will The Housing Bubble Burst in 2007?

Since early 2000, economists have been sounding the housing bubble alarm with increasing urgency. And while many markets around the country have seen prices drop in the last year, the dire, across-the-board correction that many predicted has yet to materialize.

Posted by ukuser1 @ 01:26 AM 0 Comments

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Prepare for the failure of HBOS & similar

MoneyWeek: US Subprime worries just the tip of the iceberg

What happens when the loan goes bad? Mortgage companies make lots of money writing iffy loans as long as Wall Street can package and sell the securities (and risk) into the capital market. All looked well for the Titanic sailing ahead in the fog, until it was too late. Looks can be deceiving, too, in the subprime mortgage market because the mortgage companies are very thinly-capitalized and highly-levered. A few million dollars of capital can end up supporting reps and warranties on billions of mortgage loans.

Posted by lvmreader @ 04:54 PM 8 Comments

The week that was

Firstrung: First time buyers property news, the week in focus - 24/02/07

Firstrung has always urged caution for those expecting a dramatic correction in house prices, our contention has remained steadfast that prices could revert back to 2004 levels as a minimum correction. This would reduce current prices by approx. 22%. However, it must be remembered that even at 2004 prices vast swathes of first time buyers were still locked out of the house buying process, therefore a reduction of 22% would hardly make property widely affordable to the many currently priced out and just how long this correction would take to unfold is anyone's guess...

Posted by converted lurker @ 11:56 AM 7 Comments

UK Agi-Land is the Next Investment Bubble?

Times Online: Urban exodus fuels return to the farm

Agricultural land rose in value by an average of 18% last year. Tax break = farmed land potentially qualifies for 100% relief from death duty, which means it should fall out of your estate for IHT purposes. The rate of CGT for a higher-rate taxpayer would be just 10% if you had owned the farm for two years or more.

Posted by nearly30 @ 10:37 AM 0 Comments

Sharebuying Frenzy = 1930s Style Depression?

Times Online: How to spot the top of the market

With the Footsie soaring to a six-year high, is it time to turn cautious before the bubble bursts, asks David Budworth. Unit-trust sales high of 17.7b in 2000 just before crash. Investment funds rocketed to 15b in 2006 - where next?

Posted by nearly30 @ 10:30 AM 1 Comments

Saturday, February 24, 2007

The boom is over, the price must yet be paid

Guardian: The boom is over, the price must yet be paid

In some ways the housing market has resembled a drunk standing at the bar in some back-street boozer. With every drink he has, people think he must soon stagger and tumble over. But he doesn't. He keeps drinking and he remains standing. He stays up for so long that eventually people decide they were wrong to think he would fall over. But then, just as they decide he will never fall, he takes the last drink and finally tumbles to the ground.

Posted by tony blair @ 04:39 PM 10 Comments

Yet more debt stories

Times: Consumers hit by credit squeeze as debt spirals

High street banks are preparing to write off an unprecedented 6.6 billion as Britons default on a record amount of personal loans and credit card debt.

Posted by holding out @ 03:46 PM 4 Comments

Just look who really benefits from HPI

Firstrung: House prices in 236 postcode districts are above the inheritance tax threshold - Halifax

Halifax calculates that the number of postcode districts where the average house price is above the inheritance tax (IHT) threshold has more than doubled in the past five years. The average house price in 236 (11%) postcode districts in England and Wales is now above the IHT threshold compared to 117 (6%) postcode districts five years ago in 2001.

Posted by converted lurker @ 12:51 PM 4 Comments

Never had it so good, or owed so much to so few

Firstrung: Pay rises and bonuses spent before received

No matter how generously large or painfully small people's pay rises or bonuses may be, nearly eight in ten (79%) of us will have already 'mentally' spent the extra cash before it even hits our bank accounts.

Posted by converted lurker @ 12:49 PM 1 Comments

Debt is so good

MSN money: Why it pays never to pay off your mortgage

The author argues that debt generates wealth in a booming market.I enjoyed spotting and counting the statements supported by weak arguments; the most obvious being that markets don't always gain.

Posted by magnifico @ 10:16 AM 7 Comments

Property prices rising faster than Inheritance Tax

BBC News: More homes 'face inheritance tax'

More than two million homes are now worth more than 300,000 - the level at which inheritance tax (IHT) is levied - a report says. The study from the Halifax found that in 236 postcode areas, mainly in London and south-east England, the average house price now tops 300,000. It said if current trends continue, 4.3 million homes will be worth more than the IHT threshold by 2020.

Posted by rachel @ 09:27 AM 0 Comments

More bad news from the US

Daily Telegraph: US mortgage crisis goes into meltdown

Not looking good in the US - careless lending to people who shouldnt really be borrowing/stretching the tradition income multiples etc.....and look what starts to happen

Posted by van hoogstraten @ 05:07 AM 8 Comments

Friday, February 23, 2007

Private Equity Juggernaut smashing through UK companies

Guardian Unlimited: Private equity: the human cost

A very good article, especially when you are half way through it and you see the figures involved. I now realise that I myself was a victim of one such buyout in 2003 by 3i, fasten your seatbelt you have been warned.

Posted by enuii @ 09:44 PM 5 Comments

February - up but slower up?

London Stock Exchange: House Prices to Lose Buoyancy

Although property prices in the UK are likely to have risen in February, they are expected to slow down over the next few months, one expert has claimed.

Posted by night watchman @ 08:15 PM 0 Comments

This link is worth it just for the picture!

Atlantic Free Press: The Second Great Depression

This weeks data on the sagging real estate market leaves no doubt that the housing bubble is quickly crashing to earth and that hard times are on the way. The slump in home prices from the end of 2005 to the end of 2006 was the biggest year over year drop since the National Association of Realtors started keeping track in 1982. (New York Times) The Commerce Dept announced that the construction of new homes fell in January by a whopping 14.3%. Prices fell in half of the nations major markets and existing home sales declined in 40 states.

Posted by lvmreader @ 04:16 PM 8 Comments

feature on MPC 'Hawk' Sentance

Times Online: Bank of Englands new boy is happy to be known as a pragmatic hawk

Since joining the MPC 5 months ago, Sentance has voted to raise interest rates 4 times. He is concerned that the high level of consumer demand in the economy will perpetuate inflation, and keep pushing it away from the MPC's target.

Posted by jellycaster @ 04:14 PM 1 Comments

ONS figures show UK economy still growing

Times Online: Economy growing at fastest pace for two years

Today's ONS figures show that the UK's GDP increased by 0.8% in the fourth quarter of 2006, which is the highest rate since the corresponding period of 2004. Consumer spening also rose by 2.6% over the course of the year.

Posted by jellycaster @ 04:09 PM 0 Comments

Inflation expectations decrease

The Guardian: Inflation predictions scaled back

A YouGov policy conducted this week shows that people are scaling back their inflation expections for the coming months. The figure from the poll now puts the CPI at 2.4% rather than 2.7% Although this is still above the MPC's 2% target, it will come to some relief to the policymakers with concerns over rising prices.

Posted by jellycaster @ 04:02 PM 3 Comments

Uncertainty over investment and inflation

The Herald: Investment and inflation cloud interest rate picture

Analysts are unclear as to what direction the MPC will take in their next meeting as high levels of business investment may be distorting the CPI inflation figures to some extent.

Posted by jellycaster @ 03:55 PM 0 Comments

It's a long shot by the BBC - but it's all they've got this month!

BBC "News": Ten signals of areas 'on the up'

Running low on feelgood stories for the housing market? As an up and coming newsdesk sub-editor, have you been worried that your BTL investment may not have been so prudent? Things gone a bit quiet on the good news gravy train? Well simply post a no-facts, no figures, wishy-washy opinion-editorial article with catchphrases like "A sign of a property price boom?". PS. Remember to pay your TV license fee!

Posted by paul @ 01:38 PM 6 Comments

Things are changing in the personal banking world

BBC News: Lloyds introduces credit card fee

Lloyds TSB is to impose a 35 annual charge on credit card account holders who do not use their cards. The annual charge will apply to "low-usage" customers; including people who use do not use their cards at all.

Posted by webmaster @ 10:35 AM 4 Comments

Nearly 100K homeless households in the U.K

Firstrung: 20,000 additional social rented homes a year needed to start tackling the housing crisis - Shelter

"With waiting lists topping 1.6 million and 93,000 homeless households currently trapped in temporary accommodation, there is an urgent need to build more social rented homes. The Government must commit to funding 20,000 additional social rented homes a year to start tackling the housing crisis and help those children and families in the greatest need."

Posted by converted lurker @ 10:25 AM 0 Comments

The right to home ownership comes second to the right to an adequate home

Firstrung: Future of social housing

The Government must respond to Professor John Hills report into the future of social housing by placing the issue at the top of the political agenda, says the National Housing Federation, which represents England's housing associations - the country's main providers of affordable homes.

Posted by converted lurker @ 10:22 AM 0 Comments

You can't fool all the people all of the time

Telegraph: Brown losing touch on economy, say voters

Gordon Brown is losing his reputation for economic competence. When voters were asked which party was likely to run the economy well, 30 per cent said the Conservatives and 27 per cent Labour. At the 2005 election, Labour had a commanding 22-point lead, with 49 per cent regarding them as economically competent compared to 27 per cent for the Tories.

Posted by uncle chris @ 08:46 AM 16 Comments

Could we be getting a visit?

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Another article questioning the strength of the BTL market

Guardian Unlimited: Buy-to-let investors are still smiling - but for how long?

Nothing really new for HPC visitors. It talks about how rental yields are falling, but with lots of quotes from VIs saying how the market will tail off rather than collapse. It also mentions that additional interest rate rises will be very dangerous to BTL... "With three interest rate rises in six months, and another on the cards, life is getting harder for buy-to-letters, with some talking about selling up because their mortgage payments are now higher than their income from rent."

Posted by rich @ 06:49 PM 13 Comments

More tosh from a VI

London Stock Exchange: Investors attracted by rising property prices

With many investors considering their BTL properties part of their pension fund, a number of people are attracted to the market by rising house prices, it has been claimed. Philip Davies, CEO of the Linden Homes, said: "Many are concerned only with covering the costs through rental income rather than making an immediate profit, in the knowledge that the property is gaining value which can be realised in the future." Lee Tillcock, editor of business at Moneyfacts, recently stated that investors should remember that the current base rate of interest remains close to "historic lows" and that the buy-to-let market can provide a "sound" long-term investment.

Posted by little professor @ 06:27 PM 7 Comments

Repossessions on the rise

MoneyExpert: Mortgage rate rises hit home in repossession misery

Homeowners who remember the housing crash of the early 1990s will shiver at the news of a rise in repossessions. Last year saw a 65 per cent rise in the number of homes repossessed after their owners couldn't keep up payments. That doesn't mean we should all start panicking. The 17,000 repossessions are sad but still represent just 0.38 per cent of all mortgages in the UK. You have a one in 260 chance of getting repossessed.

Posted by little professor @ 06:24 PM 5 Comments

First A&L, now HSBC. The wheels are coming off the SubPrime Market

FT.com: Mehta quits as HSBCs North American head

Bobby Mehta, head of HSBCs North American arm, has become the banks first senior casualty following its first profits warning earlier this month. Mr Mehta, chief executive of HSBC North America Holdings and chairman and chief executive of HSBC Finance Corporation, stepped down with effect from February 15, the bank said on Thursday.

Posted by lvmreader @ 05:06 PM 1 Comments

Flashback: May 2006 - Incorrectly priced mortgage risk

MoneyWeek: How US mortgage debt could cause a global financial crisis

And if you want the even briefer version, here it is: The large size of GSE mortgage portfolios (about US$1.5 trillion), coupled with the lack of market discipline at correctly pricing the risk of GSE debt, multiplied by the interconnectivity of the world's financial institutions has led to a possibility "without precedent." Henry adds that "Financial markets across the board would likely become very illiquid and volatile as firms with significant losses attempted to unwind their positions."

Posted by lvmreader @ 02:12 PM 0 Comments

Utter rubbish


I beleive this as much as the other bull that comes from "experts" in the industry. I was under the impression that HIPS would add some degree of framework to protect buyers from the dubious and well documented practices of estate agents. However, the Daily Express seems to think this is a tax. "But a study by property company In2Perspective showed last year that the proposals could instead trigger a 1.35trillion property crash." Why does this deserve the front page ?

Posted by doomwatch @ 02:07 PM 8 Comments

Novastar Financial - a taste of things to come

"Jeff Matthews is not maming this up" Blog: The Least Helpful Research Report You Will Read Today

What happened last nightspecifically, four seconds after the market closedwas that Novastar Financial took New Centurys crown by announcing one of the most horrific operational 180s in Wall Street history.

Posted by lvmreader @ 02:01 PM 0 Comments

Insights of an active buy to let investor

everyinvestor.co.uk: Why newbuild BTL is heading for disaster

This year could see a record number of new-build flats completed, but most families still prefer houses and the supply of new flats could be well ahead of demand. In December and January, BTL mortgage lenders and agents were pumping out optimistic comments that were unthinkingly recycled by the press. Now they have gone quiet. No prizes for guessing why.

Posted by dohousescrashinthewoods @ 12:41 PM 8 Comments

Housing downturn = economic downturn

Bloomberg: Housing `Hangover' Kills Jobs as Spending Wanes; More Cuts Loom

Quite a few examples of this coming through lately, Home Depot being another notable case. Expect to see a lot more of this Stateside over the coming months. Here...? Who knows.

Posted by garch @ 12:18 PM 0 Comments

Brits are not community minded to live in these new flats

ehomesblog: Brits just can't live in these new posh apartments

Interesting blog I've found on the web - this latest entry talks about the sheer agro of managing all these new apartments where occupants don't give a damn about communal living. And these are prestigious new flats in desirable locations. As a result service charges are going through the roof to clear up the mess. BTLs take note.

Posted by the capitalist @ 08:49 AM 7 Comments

Huh? How about Yen falls because BoJ didn't raise rates soon enough?

FT.com: Yen falls as BoJ raises rates

This is because the Japanese Economy is still being pummelled 15 years (FIFTEEN!) after drinking too much "Houses can never crash" Kool Aid. This means that the smart move is to sell Yen and buy better currencies. This is our future if Crash Gordon stays the course. Except that they actually DO something. "Currency analysts said the rate rise was unlikely to cause any let-up in the global carry trade, which has seen investors borrowing the Japanese currency to invest in higher-yielding assets elsewhere. Neil Mellor, currency strategist at Bank of New York, said the yens weakness was no surprise given that Japanese interest rates were set to remain low for the foreseeable future."

Posted by lvmreader @ 01:55 AM 3 Comments

Does this sound like a man who knows something the rest of us don't

The Independent: Alliance & Leicester chief in surprise exit as profits rise

When reality still ruled in UK Economics, people who presided over periods when their bank made record profits would have to be carried out stone cold dead from that organisation, their claw marks in the marble flaw as they were subdued prior to being removed. Here we have a Chief Executive hightailing it out of their faster than the Starship Enterprise on speed. Something stinks really badly in the state of the City: -> "Alliance and Leicester boss Richard Pym yesterday took the City by surprise, saying he planned to quit as chief executive after five years in the top job. Mr Pym, who has been with the mortgage bank for 15 years, made the announcement at the end of the company's annual results presentation to analysts."

Posted by lvmreader @ 01:47 AM 11 Comments

Can you all say "In Defence of Currency" people.....

The Herald: Bean signals early rate rise

Reminds me of a nursery rhyme.... Oh dear, what can the matter be? That man Gordon Brown has destroyed our currency Mortgage Defaults soon will follow thee Gordon and Tony are clowns...

Posted by lvmreader @ 01:42 AM 0 Comments

US mortgage applications fall again

CNN: Mortgage applications tumble

US mortgage applications lowest for year so far, levels fall back to mid 2006 values, shows that supposid recovery in US market is a dead duck.

Posted by andy h @ 12:55 AM 0 Comments

US subprime meltdown expands

bloomberg: Subprime collapse

Yet more bad news as the subprime problems in the US worsen - yet another big subprime lender in trouble and the costs of 'insuring' these toxic loans soars.......

Posted by andy h @ 12:52 AM 2 Comments

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

NYT tells it how it is!!

New York Times: Bank of Japan Raises Short-Term Interest Rates

"Economists say this trade has made Japan a source of low-cost capital for the world, pumping money into everything from Wall Street stocks to real estate in South Korea, India and even Eastern Europe. Economists say the risk is that global markets could suffer steep sell-offs, hurting home buyers in Seoul and Bucharest, as well as 401(k) holders in New York, if the trade suddenly dried up or worse, if Japanese investors started pulling back their money. This has led some economists to begin calling the carry trade a bubble, funded by cheap Japanese credit, that is just waiting to burst."

Posted by cheeky charlie @ 11:29 PM 0 Comments

This will keep those oil prices lower...

Herald Sun: Second US carrier arrives off Iran

The USS John C Stennis and its accompanying strike group joined the USS Dwight D Eisenhower in the Sea of Oman but has not yet entered Gulf waters, the US Fifth Fleet said from its base in Manama.

Posted by lvmreader @ 06:59 PM 12 Comments

FINANCE:What exactly is a Credit Default Swap

Wikipedia: Credit Default Swaps

This little creature may be the financial instrument which brings the whole Anglo-Countries house of cards down. Read more and find out what it is.

Posted by lvmreader @ 02:56 PM 7 Comments

Nice conclusion

Dismal Scientist: Mounting mortgage credit problems

Things are turning sour but there's nothing to worry about .... or is there?

Posted by inbreda @ 02:42 PM 0 Comments

Another rate rise on the cards for the US?

BBC News: US consumer prices show increase

US consumer prices increased more than expected in January, figures have shown, despite a fall in energy prices. US Department of Labor figures showed rising medical and food costs pushed consumer prices up 0.2% in January, with prices up by 2.1% on a year ago.

Posted by webmaster @ 02:40 PM 2 Comments

A sign of things to come

Guardian: George Wimpey axes jobs in US

Builders. US. In the s**t.

Posted by inbreda @ 02:04 PM 3 Comments

2 members wanted rate hike to 5.5%

Firstrung: MPC members Andrew Sentance and Tim Besley opted to hike interest rates to 5.50 pct

The Bank of England's rate-setting body - the MPC voted by a 7-to-2 margin to keep its benchmark rate unchanged at 5.25 pct at its policy deliberations earlier this month, minutes of the meeting revealed today. The vote to leave the base rate unchanged at a five-and-a-half-year high revealed a divergence of opinion within the nine-member Monetary Policy Committee.

Posted by converted lurker @ 10:46 AM 5 Comments

Sub-prime lending worries begin to hit UK banks

MoneyWeek: Why the UK debt mountain isn't getting any smaller

The UK consumers average credit card spending fell on an annual basis for the first time ever last year, according to Euromonitor International. Meanwhile, banking giant Barclays reckons its over the worst of its bad debt problems. So are UK consumers finally getting to grips with our borrowing? No, says John Stepek. Credit card debt may be falling, but lenders are still borrowing elsewhere - and that includes sub-prime lending against property.

Posted by mary @ 10:26 AM 3 Comments

The times gets it right!

Timesonline: Is it a monster? No, its a liquidity squeeze

As ample supplies of capital fuelled a boom in demand for investments of all kinds, the resulting rapid rise in asset prices depressed the returns being earned, triggering the well-known search for yield, with moves into riskier asset classes and increased use of leverage, not least by hedge funds and private equity players.

Posted by not-so-dumb-capitalist @ 10:20 AM 0 Comments

the 21st Feb 1979 was a Wednesday...

BBC News: The News in 1979

It really is 1979. Figuratively and temporally. The dates in 2007 are identical to 1979.

Posted by lvmreader @ 08:56 AM 1 Comments

Fisherprice "My First House Price Crash"

ITulip.com: New Road To Serfdom

A Simple look at the housing bubble and crash taking place in the USA.

Posted by simon @ 08:47 AM 2 Comments

Japan tightens monetary policy

BBC News: Japan ups interest rates to 0.5%

Japan's central bank has showed signs of confidence in the country's economy, raising interest rates to 0.5%. It said the decision - only its second interest rate rise in more than six years - had been made because Japan's steady growth was likely to continue.

Posted by webmaster @ 07:02 AM 6 Comments

It's the 1970s all over again

Prospect.org.uk: Defence professionals vote for strike action

Six thousand specialists, managers and technical support staff in the Ministry of Defence have voted to take industrial action over a below inflation pay offer. By 61% to 39%, they voted in favour of a one-day strike to be held on 28 February. They are protesting over a two-year pay offer worth 2.5% for most staff in 2006 and 2007, which will be imposed on staff by MOD on the day of the protest. "This offer is a kick in the teeth for years of commitment by dedicated staff, without whom the front line simply could not function. The action is not an attempt to bring government to its knees, it is a demonstration of resolve that government must value its most skilled staff if it wants decent logistical support for the armed forces."

Posted by scumbag @ 12:29 AM 3 Comments

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Runaway Train

BBC: Many NHS trusts face growing debt

NHS trusts in England are creeping deeper into debt, forecasts show. Over one in three hospitals and primary care trusts, which pay for local services, are not expecting to balance their books this financial year.

Posted by sovietuk @ 04:58 PM 2 Comments

Times hacks state the obvious

Times Online: Homebuyers borrow to pay soaring stamp duty

The only actual news seems to be that "lenders are calling on the Chancellor to increase the stamp duty thresholds in next months budget".

Posted by rich @ 04:21 PM 3 Comments

Call for mix of homes on estates

western daily press: Call for mix of homes on estates

"Moves to get higher earners living alongside the poorest households have been unveiled in a Government-commissioned report on "sink estate" deprivation."

Posted by millard @ 04:04 PM 16 Comments

The end of high prices?? hhmmm

reuters: Lending growth boosts case for rate rise

LONDON (Reuters) - Mortgage lending rose strongly again, building society mortgage approvals hit a record high and money supply growth picked up in January, bolstering the case for higher interest rates this year. Interest rate and gilt futures extended losses after the data on Tuesday which suggest three rate rises since August have not yet affected the housing market significantly, while signs of excess cash in the system may fuel fears of higher inflation.

Posted by it will happen @ 03:12 PM 1 Comments

Effects of high house prices

The Independent: Steve Richards: It will take real courage to solve our housing crisis (which is why it is so rarely discussed)

Steve Richards talks about various effects of high housing costs and how it'll take balls to solve them without proposing any solutions. From the article : "The Labour MP and deputy leadership candidate, Jon Cruddas, claims that in his east London constituency and well beyond, the rise of the BNP can be linked directly to housing."

Posted by rich @ 02:59 PM 5 Comments

Govt want to raid accounts for Olympics

BBC: Bank alert over dormant accounts

Halifax bank wants customers with dormant accounts to contact them so they can be reunited with their cash. Labour spin is that it will go to good causes - but recent statements point to it supporting Olympics!

Posted by nearly30 @ 01:07 PM 3 Comments

What can happen to other asset classes when you bet big and lose big on a commodity

Money Week: The Amaranth Debacle

Many banks and hedge funds have positions on oil, gas and other commodities. If these positions unwind unexpectedly causing huge losses, the bank/hedge fund will have to sell its other assets to compensate. This happened to Amaranth Advisers last summer and by losing a Natural Gas bet , they actually forced the global price of oil down, because they were "long" oil and had to sell it all to cover their losses. If a war with Iran kicks off and banks who were betting on low oil prices get killed, guess what they will have to sell sharpish: you got it - property. This will ironically more likely be the trigger of the biggest house price crash since the Great Flood. Welcome to Credit Contagion 101.

Posted by lvmreader @ 11:09 AM 9 Comments

What happens when a country destroys its manufacturing base

WhatReallyHappened.com: The United States is in Deep Doodoo

This article talks about the United States - but it may as well be the UK. Imagine for a moment that someone inherits a farm. Let's say that the farm has good topsoil, a good well, good breeding stock, good seed, and excellent farm equipment in good repair. Prior to passing into the control of the present owner the farm did a good business selling vegetables, meat, and dairy products to the local market, and it made a small profit. But let us suppose for a moment that the present owner of the farm doesn't understand farming, or isn't even really interested in learning. The present owner has no objection to standing around looking good, so he stays at the farm, standing in front of it, looking good to passers by.

Posted by lvmreader @ 10:58 AM 10 Comments

UK plc moves from savers to spenders in one month

Firstrung: Building societies had net withdrawals of 196m in January 2007 compared to net receipts of 212m in January 2006

"The net withdrawal of savings from building societies is not too surprising. We often see this in January, as people use their savings to pay off their Christmas bills. At the moment, it is difficult to say how savers are responding to higher rates, as these figures won't fully reflect the January rate rise. We expect that higher savings rates being offered by building societies should attract greater deposits in future months, especially as utility bills begin to reduce and consumers have more of their take home pay to play with."

Posted by converted lurker @ 10:53 AM 0 Comments

Real Estate Boom 1.0

Japan Inc: Real Estate Boom 1.0

Compared to the real estate prices of the 1980s Bubble Economy, today's office rents are dirt cheap. Back then, a 100-dollar bill wouldn't buy the land it covered in downtown Tokyo, the Imperial Palace was worth more than California, and all of Tokyo could have bought all of the US. In theory, the Japanese could have bought the entire world by selling their archipelago. At the height of the bubble, Tokyo land prices reached $350,000 per square meter. Since that peak, prices have fallen by more than $5,000 billion, over 110 percent of Japan's GDP.

Posted by lvmreader @ 10:53 AM 3 Comments

Mortgage lending "robust" according to CML and BSA

BBC: Mortgage record broken in January

The council of mortgage lenders (CML) and another body called the Building Societies Association (BSA, no I'd not heard of them either) state that the increase rate rises are not having any impact on the housing market as yet. CML state the lending in January was a record for January but it was also down 6% on December.

Posted by denzil @ 10:42 AM 3 Comments

Blair's Britain

BBC: Blair's Britain

Gordon Brown (son of the manse) has presided over an economy in which we all live on tick. Consumer debt is 150% of disposable income (up from 105% in 1997). No-one seems to worry much because house prices keep rising, up 165% since 1997. The IMF say they are 1/3 above sustainable level.

Posted by david20040_0 @ 09:53 AM 0 Comments

Barclays profits hit record level

BBC: Barclays profits hit record level

Barclays Bank has announced a record pre-tax profit of 7.14bn in 2006 - up by 35% on the previous year.

Posted by david20040_0 @ 09:51 AM 1 Comments

U.K. House Prices Rose in February, Rightmove Says

Bloomberg: U.K. House Prices Rose in February, Rightmove Says

Feb. 19 (Bloomberg) -- U.K. property prices accelerated for a second month in February as a shortage of homes for sale mitigated the impact of higher interest rates, a survey showed.

Posted by david20040_0 @ 09:50 AM 0 Comments

House prices soar by one pound a minute in fashionable London areas

Kuwait News Agency: House prices soar by one pound a minute in fashionable London areas

LONDON, Feb 19 (KUNA) -- House prices in one fashionable area of London have risen by close to one pound a minute over the past year, according to a survey here Monday.

Posted by david20040_0 @ 09:49 AM 0 Comments

Is this what it's come to? =:(

Firstrung: First time buyers and the 52 year mortgages

Julia Harris, senior analyst at Moneyfacts.co.uk investigates the increasing take up of longer term mortgages and questions the overall viability of terms exceeding the normal 25 years..."A mortgage for most of us will represent the largest and longest financial commitment of our lives. For many years the standard term considered for a mortgage in the UK was 25 years, but as affordability becomes increasingly difficult for many of today's first time buyers, a 25-year term is perhaps no longer considered sufficient.

Posted by converted lurker @ 09:16 AM 6 Comments

Keep an eye on oil!

BBC: US 'Iran attack plans' revealed

US contingency plans for air strikes on Iran extend beyond nuclear sites and include most of the country's military infrastructure, the BBC has learned. It is understood that any such attack - if ordered - would target Iranian air bases, naval bases, missile facilities and command-and-control centres.

Posted by tyrellcorporation @ 09:09 AM 33 Comments

Inflation warning as Bank predicts volatility

Telegraph: News Article

Well it looks like some of the soothsayers on line have been right all along about Chinese prices and globalization keeping prices down. Perhaps one swervyn Mervyn's position is also 'inherently volatile' so to say...

Posted by orwell @ 09:03 AM 0 Comments

Even the Wall Street Journal can see the danger now

Wall Street Journal: How expansions die

When the normally perma-bull WSJ can see a problem with US housing you sense the tide is turning

Posted by andy h @ 08:39 AM 0 Comments

Reckless spending: will it all go pop? Er... Yes

Telegraph: Reckless spending: will it all go pop?

Dresdner Kleinwort said its fear and greed index - a measure of the global market's appetite for risk - had just hit an all-time high. It warned that this meant a full-scale slump in risky assets could come in a matter of months, or even weeks.

Posted by eric pebble @ 01:36 AM 1 Comments

More to come

Business Week: Fewer Housing Starts? Don't Despair

If you have a house on the market or you're thinking of selling, the latest bad news on housing was actually very good news from a selfish perspective. How's that? Because when construction slows down, it means fewer new homes are hitting the market to compete with your own listing. Less competition means quicker sales and higher prices. Relatively, that isit's still an extremely soft market.

Posted by lvmreader @ 12:02 AM 0 Comments

INFO NUGGET: What are gilts?

Money Week: What gilts are telling us about the UK economy

Yields on UK government bonds are at extraordinary lows. This has caught pension funds up in a vicious circle - and could have serious consequences for the UK economy.

Posted by lvmreader @ 12:02 AM 1 Comments

More to come

Business Week: Fewer Housing Starts? Don't Despair

If you have a house on the market or you're thinking of selling, the latest bad news on housing was actually very good news from a selfish perspective. How's that? Because when construction slows down, it means fewer new homes are hitting the market to compete with your own listing. Less competition means quicker sales and higher prices. Relatively, that isit's still an extremely soft market.

Posted by lvmreader @ 12:01 AM 0 Comments

Monday, February 19, 2007

And the news keeps rollin in...

TimesOnline: Banks to write off record 6.6bn of bad personal debt

Bad Debts: Barclays 1.67b / Lloyds TSB 1.26b / HBOS 1.24b / RBS 1.34b / HSBC 943m. A 20% increase on 2005, which itself was 50% up from 2004.

Posted by nearly30 @ 11:53 PM 3 Comments

And these people think this is the end? This is just the beginning

Times Online Business: Banks to write off record 6.6bn of bad personal debt

Write-offs today are almost twice as much as a proportion of the loan book as they were in the depths of the early 1990s recession, when unemployment and interest rates were three times as high. With record numbers already walking away from their debts, the move to insolvency could turn into a stampede in the event of a recession.

Posted by lvmreader @ 11:51 PM 0 Comments

More on the US crash

Fox News: Housing sales fall in 40 states

WASHINGTON - The slump in housing deepened in the final three months of 2006 with sales falling in 40 states and median home prices dropping in almost half the metropolitan areas surveyed.

Posted by tinecu @ 07:51 PM 1 Comments

Unexpected drop in house price inflation

Reuters: Rightmove: House Prices up 11.5% in Feb

Asking prices for homes rose an annual 11.5 percent this month, the weakest reading in four months, in a sign the market is stabilising. Rightmove said February's gain was the weakest for that month in the survey's five-year history. "With prices still at record levels and rising interest rates, sellers are showing signs of realising that buyers' resources have a limit," said Rightmove commercial director Miles Shipside. "It looks like a good call that the Bank of England has resisted two consecutive rate rises as one increase appears to have struck the right balance."

Posted by little professor @ 06:36 PM 19 Comments

Dead Cat?

New York Times: Housing Market Heats Up Again in New York City

Excess printed money finds new home

Posted by inflation is eating my savings @ 06:18 PM 1 Comments

Is this the start of a new era?

BBC News: UK low inflation 'may not last'

The Bank of England has warned in a report that while inflation has been low recently, this may be short-lived.

Posted by nearly30 @ 05:43 PM 7 Comments

Inflation's death greatly exaggerated

BBC: UK low inflation 'may not last'

The Bank of England has warned in a report that while inflation has been low recently, this may be short-lived.

Posted by holding out @ 05:40 PM 0 Comments

bring on the interest rate hikes

reuters: Are the good times over for property prices?

LONDON (Reuters) - Interest rate hikes are starting to bite, consumer sentiment has dwindled and there are the first signs of a downturn: are the good times over for property?

Posted by it will happen @ 12:27 PM 4 Comments

Tories criticse Nu Labour's right to buy assistance

Firstrung: Labour's 'Right to Buy' cuts kick first time buyers off the housing ladder

Shadow Housing Minister Michael Gove has warned that Labour's rhetoric on expanding home ownership does not match the reality of Government policies.While Communities Secretary Ruth Kelly has proposed changes to help more council house and housing association tenants take a step onto the housing ladder, Government cash curbs and other initiatives have actually made it harder for people to realise the dream of home ownership, he said.

Posted by converted lurker @ 10:23 AM 2 Comments

Rightmove call top of market?

Firstrung: House prices at 'crossroads' as February asking prices defy normal trend

A smaller than anticipated monthly rise in asking prices has resulted in the sharpest drop in the annual rate for 18 months. The annual rate fell 2% last month, from 13.5% to 11.5%. Analysts are forecasting a slowdown in the annual rate to around half the current level of 11.5% by the end of 2007. However, it is highly unusual for sellers to constrain their price aspirations so early in the year...

Posted by converted lurker @ 10:20 AM 0 Comments

Followed by the Bust

The Guardian: The boom is over, the price must yet be paid

One last push required to send it tumbling, house of cards in the hands of a drunk!

Posted by lloyd @ 10:08 AM 0 Comments

The gains in property value have been disproportionate, the problems permanent

Guardian: The boom is over, the price must yet be paid

By Ashley Seager, the Guardian's resident economist and self-confessed property market bear. "We do not get richer as a society from rising house prices. We merely transfer a burden to future generations who have to pay more for their houses. We shut out the have-nots who cannot tap their parents for a deposit. We lock in a permanent underclass who have no hope of ever getting on to the property ladder."

Posted by drewster @ 01:51 AM 7 Comments

Supply of Sterling Rose 12% in Dec

Money Week: Mainstream Finance Gets It Wrong On Gold

Anyone got a spare barrow for that loaf of bread!

Posted by nearly30 @ 12:35 AM 4 Comments

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Introducing the "Predatory Mortgage Lending Lawsuit" bootcamp

Business Week: Bankruptcy Boot Camp

How one man is training an army of lawyers to fight predatory lenders Every week at least two homeowners walk into the office of Boston bankruptcy attorney David G. Baker looking to get out from under their mortgage debt. That's an alarming increase for a sole practitioner like himself. "I've never before had clients who walk in and say: `I just can't afford my house anymore,'" he says. "It's a little scary."

Posted by lvmreader @ 06:39 PM 0 Comments

Sub-Prime plumetting

Bleak houses: The Economist

"The Eliot Spitzer of the housing downturn may be about to start his charge." Values of BBB- down 20% in 3-4 months...! No one quite knows in whose hands these little bombs will ultimately explode. The fear is that they all sit in the lap of a few big hedge funds.

Posted by financial planner @ 03:55 PM 8 Comments

Credit Default Meltdown Imminent

Yahoo Business News: Will Sub-Prime Loan Defaults Create Another Amaranth?

Amaranth was a USD8billion hedge fund which spectaculalry collapsed a few months ago after a seemingly unstoppable 6 year run of creating double digit returns for its investors. It seems that Amaranth top management had not correctly understood risk and what would happen if its leveraged bets on Natural Gas went the wrong way. Ironically, a hedge fund is supposed to have all bases covered. Amaranth did not. They were not too big to fail. Similarly, a large retail bank will be taken out. There is not the understanding of Credit Default Swaps needed to prevent this occurrence. (A Credit Default Swap is a way for a lender to insure itself against default by a borrower)

Posted by lvmreader @ 02:54 PM 0 Comments

debt bubble warnings

Firstrung: As UK debt culture grows one in five are considering insolvency

1 in 5 Brits are considering insolvency, but the total number struggling with debt is beginning to fall. That's according to the latest quarterly research published by leading debt consultancy, Thomas Charles.

Posted by converted lurker @ 10:46 AM 11 Comments

House prices in Perth screech to a halt and find reverse gear

Firstrung: House prices have slumped by up to 8% in Perth in the last quarter

House prices have slumped in almost half of Perth's suburbs, with some falling more than 8 per cent, in what is the strongest evidence yet that the State's most lucrative property boom has turned. Figures provided by the Real Estate Institute of WA reveal the extraordinary house price growth of the past three years came to a sudden halt across much of Perth in the December quarter, with 118 of 277 suburbs recording falls.

Posted by converted lurker @ 10:43 AM 0 Comments

More factors contributing to rising inflation?


Water bills in Plymouth are set to rise by up to 16.1 per cent from April.Metered South West Water customers will see an increase of about 12.5 per cent and unmetered customers' bills will go up by 16.1 per cent. The average household metered bill will rise to 378 for the year and the average unmetered bill will go up to 650 annually.

Posted by scumbag @ 10:43 AM 0 Comments

This time next century Rodney....

Firstrung: 85.6m today is equivalent to 1m in 1907

Someone would need 85.6 million today to enjoy the equivalent lifestyle of a person with 1 million in 1907, demonstrating how dramatically inflation has reduced the spending power of 1 million over the past 100 years. Alternatively, 11,700 in 1907 would have had the equivalent spending power to 1 million today, according to new research from Clerical Medical

Posted by converted lurker @ 10:39 AM 1 Comments

What next.... window tax?

Sunday Express: A bus stop can push up your tax

HOMEOWNERS in England will face higher council tax bills just for living near a bus stop or having a grocery shop round the corner, the Sunday Express can reveal. An explosive set of documents, drawn up for Labours army of home inspectors, reveals how even the most basic local amenities will be used in the looming property revaluation to tip homes into higher council tax bands.

Posted by rich @ 10:18 AM 1 Comments

Homebuilders hoarding land

Independent: Planners accuse homebuilders of hoarding land to keep prices high

Planning experts have hit back at claims that the planning system is slowing the rate of new homes being built, instead blaming homebuilders for holding on to land to inflate prices. Property firms are making record profits on the back of huge increases in their land banks by manipulating supply, one source said. "Homebuilders get planning permission but delay building houses to keep prices high,"

Posted by rich @ 10:13 AM 1 Comments

Education, Education, Education = Greed, Greed, Greed

Telegraph: Blair's wealth gap: voters want City bonus curb

73% polled say city bonuese are excessive. Alan Simpson (Labour MP) said, "Financial services and the money markets are engaged in a greed-fest - and Treasury rules are actually making this possible. Many of these huge bonuses are actually rewards for failure."

Posted by nearly30 @ 09:33 AM 15 Comments

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Welsh affordability ratios worst since 1991

icWales: Wales' spiralling house prices

Affordability warnings in Welsh Media indicate that affordability is at its worst level since 1991, reposessions are up and social housing provision is declining.

Posted by enuii @ 11:46 PM 1 Comments

Are they trying to sell newspapers or has the editor just sold their BTL's


What's going on, this rag said that average house prices would be 1trillion next year, now they're saying that people can't afford the mortgage on a meagre 500K house.

Posted by bryan @ 09:48 PM 7 Comments

Financial stress map of the UK

BBC: The UK's debt footprint

Experian use the "financial stress" measure to guage an individuals potential to become over-stretched and struggle with repayments. Well worth reading the linked PDF's on this page.

Posted by denzil @ 05:38 PM 0 Comments

Torquay : 1% of population is bankrupt

Daily Mail: Insolvent on sea: our bankruptcy capital

Ok it's The Daily Mail, but the stats are from Experian!!

Posted by nearly30 @ 04:50 PM 2 Comments

Banks told to outlaw irresponsible lending

Will greed or sense win out with the banks?: Daily Mail

Banks have been told to outlaw irresponsible lending and hidden charges by the Office of Fair Trading, which is demanding dramatic changes in the policing of the industry.

Posted by uncle chris @ 03:32 PM 0 Comments

Home-owners net 58bn as house prices hit new high

Belfast Today: Home-owners net 58bn as house prices hit new high

New research indicates the average owner has seen their house rise by nearly 124,000 in that 10-year period. Ulster property prices are rocketing faster than anywhere else in Europe, with values soaring by 36 per cent in the last year alone.

Posted by david20040_0 @ 03:16 PM 1 Comments

Lancashire house prices booming

Preston Today: Lancashire house prices booming

The average price of a house in Lancashire rose well above the national average, new figures show. Homeowners can expect to pay an average of 145,791 across the Lancashire County Council area after property prices rose 10.7% in the last quarter of 2006 - 2% more than England and Wales.

Posted by david20040_0 @ 03:14 PM 0 Comments

Millions of households struggle as 51% of net pay goes on household bills

Firstrung: Millions of households struggle as 51% of net pay goes on household bills

The Express has really woken up to the problems facing homeowners lately and for that they should be applauded. The massive 'reach' they have, in order to get the message across that the house price boom is over and that many (severely over-stretched by the lure of easy equity) will be left nursing a hangover, cannot be underestimated...

Posted by david20040_0 @ 03:13 PM 0 Comments

House prices to rocket 10 per cent this year

Evening Mail: House prices to rocket 10 per cent this year

A LEADING Furness property expert believes house prices in the area will rise by at least 10 per cent this year.

Posted by david20040_0 @ 03:10 PM 0 Comments

Welsh house prices 'rising fast'

BBC News: Welsh house prices 'rising fast'

Wales is one of the most profitable areas in Britain to own and sell a home, according to a property survey.

Posted by david20040_0 @ 01:49 PM 0 Comments

Sayara Begg: Debt Diary Redux

BBC: My year of debt torment

"I was overcommitted, but anyone who starts a business knows that that is the way things go. What is the alternative - should you never risk anything?... There were some cruel comments after I wrote that my father had died - and then I had someone post on a message board some personal details they had found through Companies House...I am in a quandary. Should I never take financial risks again, with the chance that I may suffer a change of circumstances that my average male counterpart would not?" Sayara says she now feels that she is on an even keel. The arrears built up in 2006 are nearly paid off. [thanks to the publicity on the BBC leading lenders to write off her debts!!!]

Posted by little professor @ 12:57 PM 8 Comments


Daily Express: Mortgage costs are crippling

Like the way they gear this towards the MPC.Significant increase in intrest rates could have a damaging impact on households. Citizens Advice "We know that some people are taking on mortgages that stretch them to the limit. Increases in intrest rates could spell disaster". In most of the locations studied by the report homeowners are parting with well over the traditional one-third of take home pay repayments. The average is 6.62 times typical annual salary, but this jumps alarmingly in the South East.

Posted by bubbles.... @ 12:39 PM 0 Comments

Friday, February 16, 2007

More dire news out of US housing market

cnn: Housing starts plunge

It just keeps coming - the lowest level of new housing starts for 10 years. Bare in mind that a significant portion of the new jobs created in the US economy in the past 6 years have been in construction and you can see where this is all going........

Posted by andy h @ 07:38 PM 4 Comments

US housing market to cause credit crunch?

rgemonitor: Sub prime meltdown

Excellent resume of where the fall in the US market could lead with the subprime mortgage market in turmoil. US house building stats were out O/N - yet more poor data. Industrial production in US has also contracted, things could turn nasty very quickly.

Posted by andy h @ 07:27 PM 0 Comments

Chelsea 'dominates house prices'

BBC News: Chelsea 'dominates house prices'

In the BBC's own words, it's good that house prices are going up! "But there was some good news for those based outside of London and the South East... "[Properties in Wales and the North East have] increased in value by far more than property in London and the South East."

Posted by spleeper @ 03:34 PM 6 Comments

New home prices wobble

Home.co.uk News: New build homes see dip in prices

Despite early indications of a buoyant start for the 2007 new homes market, the average price of a new home dipped slightly by 0.3% in January, as many new home buyers put plans on hold as they waited to see if another interest rate rise was in store.

Posted by tinecu @ 02:44 PM 0 Comments

Bubble? You ain't seen nothing yet

Belfast News Letter: Rate hikes fail to halt property surge

Hilarious - yer English property bubble ain't nothing compared to ours - Average earnings 20% less than UK. Massive public sector employment. Houses hugely undervalued for years - no memories of HPC on these shores. Tiny market with speculators from ROI piling in like there's no tomorrow - many I suspect looking to flip. Rents are miniscule and with an expanding rental market and flats galore, likely to stay that way - 'old school' landlords making 3-4 times their mortgage payments. Rates doubled and water tax in April. All this and the average NI price higher than all of the UK apart from London and the South East - 2 bedroom terraces in the most deprived areas in Europe going for 190-200K, and an 8% rise in the MONTH of January in some areas. Oh dear.

Posted by shipbuilder @ 02:13 PM 2 Comments

House prices static

Firstrung: House prices rise by one percent in estate agent's windows

The latest housing market survey from the National Association of Estate Agents has shown a positive overall national picture in the residential housing market for the start of 2007. Members have reported a steady market during January, with a good level of consumer confidence as the number of people registering to buy increased.

Posted by converted lurker @ 02:07 PM 2 Comments

First time buyers to be hit hardest?

Firstrung: First time buyers still at low levels

How the NAEA can continue to suggest that interest rate rises will "hit first time buyers hardest" is still a mystery to the Firstrung team. First time buyers either have, or are in the process of obtaining, the smallest mortgages available. Sound logic would therefore suggest that they are far less likely to feel exposed to the current doldrums in house prices and increasing mortgage rates than, for example, an owner occupier with a 400K mortgage sweating on how best to protect that illusory 50% equitable value...

Posted by converted lurker @ 02:05 PM 4 Comments

How the Fiat Money System Works

Google Video: Fiat Empire: A Closer Look at the Federal Reserve

The Federal Reserve System is a privately owned institution which "coins" the money in the USA. We have many parallels. This informative video, albeit American, will give you an insight into just why cheap money causes poverty.

Posted by lvmreader @ 01:00 PM 2 Comments

Record home price slump

CNN News: Original News Article Link

Will UK prices follow?

Posted by orwell @ 12:16 PM 0 Comments

New build targets not met

Independent: Government rapped as new home completions stall

The Government's efforts to tackle the housing crisis were criticised as "totally unacceptable" after figures revealed that completions of new homes rose by just half a per cent last year.

Posted by rich @ 11:48 AM 0 Comments

Gordon Brown's fair and equal society with oppurtunities for all

Guardian: A guaranteed pension is like striking gold - here's where to work to get one

Phillip Inman investigates the huge gap between the haves and have-nots in retirement.

Posted by sovietuk @ 10:15 AM 8 Comments

The interest rates are hitting the tiny margins on the high street

Daily Telegraph: High street suffers shock 34pc dive

Shopkeepers experience worst monthly slump in the value of goods sold in over 20 years as interest rate rises bite.

Posted by what-ho! @ 09:55 AM 7 Comments

Pay rises highest for eight years

Yahoo: Pay rises highest for eight years

"Average pay deals have risen to 3.5% in recent months - the highest for eight years - figures show." well, that's not going to help keep inflation down!

Posted by millard @ 09:43 AM 3 Comments

Generation debt - but not just the young!!!

BBC News: Older males 'have largest debts'

Credit Counselling Charity see more men over 60 with ave ratio of debt to monthly income of 36:1, on average oweing 36,940. When including female clients, the age group with the biggest debt problems, regardless of gender, tended to be thos 40 to 59.

Posted by nearly30 @ 08:33 AM 7 Comments

US property prices in tailspin

CNN: US house prices fall

3rdQ median prices down 1%, accelerated to a 2.7% fall in Q4, not looking good at all......

Posted by andy h @ 02:55 AM 11 Comments

Thursday, February 15, 2007

down under going under

sydney morning herald: House price gains wiped out

SYDNEY was the only state capital to record an annual drop in house prices last year. Sydney prices slipped 0.1 per cent, with early gains dragged back by a 1 per cent fall in the final three months, figures published yesterday by the Bureau of Statistics show. Last year's three interest rate rises have constrained NSW borrowers' ability to afford larger mortgages and forced some others to sell.

Posted by phil @ 06:51 PM 0 Comments

Foreign investors seem to be dumping $ assets?

Bloomberg: U.S. Attracts Least Investment Since January 2002

Total purchases of equities, notes and bonds fell to a net $15.6 billion, from a revised $84.9 billion in November, the Treasury Department said today in Washington. Including short- term securities, such as Treasury bills and so-called non-market trades such as stock swaps, foreigners sold a net $11 billion.

Posted by autopilotengage @ 05:20 PM 2 Comments

Sweden tighten IRs and will tighten again within 6 months

Reuters: Sweden lifts rates seventh time in 13 months

Not much more to say really, though Sweden's central bank has a very similar IR model to our own and has a currency significantly traded with GBP, ECB is going to raise next meet also apparently.

Posted by autopilotengage @ 05:17 PM 1 Comments

What happens to retail banks when interest rates take a hike

Time Magazine: Flashback: Special Report: The Retail Bank (Savings And Loan) Crisis

How did the S & Ls arrive at such a sorry state? Traditionally, running a thrift was a relatively tranquil business. S & L managers used to follow what was known as the 3-6-3 rule: pay depositors 3%, lend money at 6% and tee up at the golf course by 3 p.m. When interest rates remained stable, the strategy worked well. But by the late 1970s, thrifts began steadily losing depositors to the new money-market funds, which were not covered by deposit insurance and paid higher interest rates.

Posted by lvmreader @ 05:00 PM 0 Comments

The interest rates arms race has begun....

FT.com: Sweden lifts rates seventh time in 13 months

Two major things are going to happen here. 1. All major central banks are going to be forced to keep raising rates to protect their domestic currency. No one can risk international investors fleeing their currency. 2. Credit Spreads are going to widen, i.e. the difference between what a retail bank borrows from the Central Bank at and what it lends to the sheeple at. This is usually a measure of accepted credit qality of a population. This will have to happen to cover the bad losses, especialy in sub-prime home loans (mortgages)

Posted by lvmreader @ 04:58 PM 0 Comments

First time buyers never had it so bad

Firstrung: Affordability is 230 times worse for first time buyers than ten years ago - RICS

RICS' "accessibility index" has found that nationally, constantly rising house prices has meant that accessibility is around 230 times worse than it was ten years ago, and currently as low as 1980. The average first-time buyer couple will now have to save up to the equivalent of 82 per cent of joint income to build up the amount of savings needed to pay for their home, deposit and stamp duty, compared to 25 per cent in 1996. And with house prices expected to rise another 12 per cent over the next two years, the situation is set to worsen.

Posted by converted lurker @ 01:36 PM 18 Comments

High Prices here to stay

Edmonton Journal: Analysts predict oil price plunge to $30

The headline says it all really. With oil prices falling like an apple from a tree, where is the inflationary pressure? Looks like Merv holding his nerve has got it just right. We'll be lucky to see IR above 5.5%, and it will be back to 4% within a year. Reckon it will just be hard luck for us guys who don't own, the generation that missed out.

Posted by miniftse @ 01:35 PM 27 Comments

Bring out the band on the Titanic?

FT.com: Fed sees soft landing for economy

Stocks and bonds jumped on Wednesday after Ben Bernanke laid out a fundamentally benign analysis of the US economy in his twice-annual testimony to Congress. The Federal Reserve chairman painted a picture of recovering growth, moderating inflation and reduced economic risks that evoked memories of the Goldilocks economy of the late 1990s so-called because it was neither too hot nor too cold.

Posted by dohousescrashinthewoods @ 01:21 PM 3 Comments

Will Mervin be swervin' again?

FT.com: MPC plagued by inflation uncertainty

The one thing Mervyn King is relatively sure about is that the economy will grow healthily over the next three years. This has been the one fixture in recent quarterly inflation reports which have otherwise been characterised by change the Bank of Englands forecasts have yo-yoed, its risk assessments have jumped about and interest rates have gone up three times. On almost everything else, Mr King was cautious and uncertain.

Posted by dohousescrashinthewoods @ 01:17 PM 0 Comments

Disposable incomes feeling the squeeze

FT.com: High Street sales fall sharply despite discounts

January retail sales fell faster than in the past four years despite sharp discounting on the High Street, data released on Thursday showed. The findings suggest that Christmas, which was busier than expected, masked the impact of interest rate increases on consumers. This has come right out of the blue for the markets; expectations were that shoppers would be taking advantage of post-Christmas discounts, but this just hasnt materialised.

Posted by dohousescrashinthewoods @ 01:12 PM 0 Comments

Still Rising, but at a slower pace

Bloomberg: U.K. House Prices Rose at Slowest Pace Since June

Encouraging news? (at least until tomorrow, when another industry report is bound to show conflicting data and crush your hopes) : U.K. house prices rose at the slowest pace in seven months in January after the Bank of England raised interest rates, a survey by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors in London showed.

Posted by james @ 12:02 PM 1 Comments

Home Loan Rates To Soar Again

Daily Express: Home Loan Rates To Soar Again

MILLIONS of households have been warned to brace themselves for another punishing rise in the cost of home loans. The head of the Bank of England warned that interest rates would have to rise again, leading to another jump in mortgage repayments. Governor Mervyn King signalled that a quarter-point increase was needed to keep inflation in check.

Posted by kc @ 11:44 AM 2 Comments

More speculation about a cooling market

Guardian Unlimited: Higher borrowing costs put off first-time buyers

From the article - "The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors said that in January, 28% more surveyors had reported a rise rather than a fall in prices. That was down from 36.6% in December and marks the fourth monthly drop in a row."

Posted by rich @ 11:29 AM 1 Comments

Liquidity under threat?

FT.com: Japan GDP growth fastest in three years

Expectations that the Bank of Japan would raise interest rates soon strengthened on Thursday after fourth quarter GDP figures showed the Japanese economy grew at its fastest pace in nearly three years. Why is this important? Because if the BOJ raise rates, there is less cheap borrowed money washing around. Less cheap borrowed money means less easy credit. Less easy credit means tougher mortgage lending criteria. Tougher mortgage lending criteria means less money chasing the same housing stock. Less money supply means less inflation of house prices or..

Posted by dohousescrashinthewoods @ 11:22 AM 2 Comments

Number of buy-to-let mortgages rises 30-fold in past decade

Financial Times: NATIONAL NEWS

30 fold increase in buy-to-let landlords since 1998, up from 29,000 to 850,000 loan value now at 85% HSBC forecasting this to tripple!!!!!! Article says some observers see this as a speculative bubble! meetoo - SELL

Posted by jpb radlett, herts @ 09:04 AM 0 Comments

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Affordability Question

Daily Mail: First time buyers face higher repayments

A double whammy of house price hikes and rate rises has added 120 to the monthly mortgage repayments of first-time buyers, according to new research. Nationwide found the increased price of property had put 75 on to the typical first-time buyer's monthly costs in the space of 12 months

Posted by rich @ 06:35 PM 2 Comments

Herd mentality?

Guardian: BTL mortgages up48%

...or self fulfilling prophecy?

Posted by inbreda @ 01:42 PM 12 Comments

Another bug in the system

The Economist: Japan's Currency: Carry On Living Dangerously

Looks like this is being swept under the carpet

Posted by inflation is eating my savings @ 01:36 PM 14 Comments

Same story, but less noddy than the BBC

FT.com: BoE report hints at further rate rise

Mervyn King, Bank governor, said the outlook for inflation over the coming year was highly uncertain: a description that matched the Citys initial reaction to the Banks latest quarterly inflation report. Inflation will remain above the governments 2 per cent target if interest rates do not rise further the Bank of England said on Wednesday.

Posted by dohousescrashinthewoods @ 12:52 PM 0 Comments

The Psychology of the Amateur BTL Landlord Neatly Described ...

MONEYWEEK: How not to invest in property

John Stepek examines the psychology of the amateur BTL Landlord described in Thisismoney as having a 230K interest-only mortgage coming to the end of the fixed-interest period - remember it? Mr Stepek describes the folly of the BTL-er psychology which some amazingly simple and obvious points, including "If you bought shares in a company paying a nice dividend one year, and then the following year, it slashed the dividend to zero and said that you would in fact, have to start paying the company for the privilege of holding onto the shares, what would you do? Youd sell, of course." I think this is evidence of herd mentailty and I wonder what will happen when BTL-ers no longer want to loose money?

Posted by talking rot @ 11:08 AM 9 Comments

Interesting development?

Firstrung: Approvals for Muslim mortgages under Shariah law predicted to reach 1bn by 2009

The Islamic bank Alburaq has revealed that it has approved over 100m worth of mortgage business over the last six months. The bank expects to see the total market grow to 1bn by 2009.

Posted by converted lurker @ 11:03 AM 2 Comments

Suffer little children

Firstrung: UK bottom of assessment on childrens wellbeing -- UNICEF

The UK has been ranked bottom in an assessment of child wellbeing across 21 industrialised countries, UNICEF said Wednesday. The report said the UK lags behind in terms of relative poverty and deprivation, the quality of children's relationships with their parents and peers, child health and safety, behaviour and risk-taking, and young people's own sense of wellbeing.

Posted by converted lurker @ 11:01 AM 13 Comments

Playing games with the Pound?

BBC: Bank hints at further rate rise

The Bank of England has hinted that it is likely that interest rates will need to be increased once more to keep inflation in check.

Posted by sovietuk @ 10:59 AM 1 Comments

Pay data eases inflation fears

Guardian: Pay data eases inflation fears

Muted average earnings growth in the three months to December brought some reassurance to policymakers this morning, after fears of inflationary risks from higher wages.

Posted by david20040_0 @ 10:59 AM 1 Comments

Brown critised again

Telegraph: OECD says Brown must avoid slump

Gordon Brown must do more to improve Britain's ailing transport infrastructure, improve poor standards of skills and get more people off incapacity benefits, or risk an economic slump, says the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. The assessment of the economic and social challenges and risks facing the Prime Minister-in-waiting is made in the British section of a review covering all member states of the rich nations club. It argued Britain suffered a major productivity gap with other leading nations and prescribed a three-point course of action to bridge the gap and improve the economy's performance.

Posted by jason @ 06:52 AM 14 Comments

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Drop in housing demand predicted

Citywire: Equity release faces demographic challenge

Tom McPhail, head of pensions research, at Bristol-based adviser Hargreaves Lansdown is saying that an expected drop in the population over the next couple of decades would reduce housing demand. Meanwhile, he says, older people will be trying to trade down or release equity in lieu of a pension.

Posted by rich @ 04:47 PM 9 Comments

Here we go...

Guardian: falling property shares fence in footsie

The markets clearly smell something other than roses

Posted by inbreda @ 02:33 PM 5 Comments

House prices still soaring ahead

Daily Express: House Prices up 10% a year

More signs that there is still no let up in the rate of house price increases.

Posted by j tallis @ 11:40 AM 15 Comments

Inflation down

FT.com: Dip in UK inflation as transport costs ease

Lower transport costs in January helped UK inflation to fall the most in four years , data released on Tuesday showed. The pound slumped and government bonds rose as traders calculated that the news reduced the need for the Bank of England to continue increasing the cost of borrowing.

Posted by dohousescrashinthewoods @ 11:22 AM 21 Comments

Supply Outstripping Demand?

FT: Average Price of a New Flat Down 0.9%

Article from FT last month. Important data that may have been missed?

Posted by crashhorizon @ 10:37 AM 6 Comments

Will there be a flood of properties for sale in N.Ireland?

Firstrung: Buy to let 'frenzy' has caused the boom in house prices in N.Ireland

The buy-to-let boom in Northern Ireland may have 'peaked', according to a recent report. The rapid growth of the private rented sector is the focus of a new study led by University of Ulster. This study begins to suggest that those hooked on the lure of easy profits (due to capital growth) may find themselves marooned and out of their depth as increasing evidence gathers that many recent purchases, by buy to let investors, lie empty as owners anticipated a quick profit by 'flipping' their purchase.

Posted by converted lurker @ 10:03 AM 1 Comments

Be afraid.....?

BBC News: Teenagers 'laid-back' about debt

1/2 schoolchildren have been in debt by the time they reached 17. 1/20 thought credit card debt did not have to be paid back at all. 1/4 18-year-olds said a credit card was something with which to buy goods and services, where parents pick up the bill!

Posted by nearly30 @ 08:47 AM 4 Comments

Inflation lowering???

BBC News: UK inflation 'expected to ease'

Economists are expecting Britain's inflation to have eased slightly in January, after a jump in the rate to an 11-year high in the previous month. CPI is expected to dip to 2.9% from 3%.

Posted by nearly30 @ 08:33 AM 14 Comments

Monday, February 12, 2007

1 .. 2 .. 3 .. arrrrrrrrr

thisismoney.co.uk: What can I do with buy-to-let?

I bought a buy-to-let property three years ago on a fixed rate mortgage deal of 4.5%, which has now run out. I have an interest-only mortgage of 230,000 on the property and rent it out for 1,000 per month. However, rates have risen to make potential monthly payments the same as the rent and many buy-to-let deals now seem to be charging big fees.

Posted by uncle chris @ 11:37 PM 15 Comments

Energy falls relieve inflationary pressure

FT.com: Fall in energy prices cuts manufacturers costs

Manufacturers costs fell sharply last month as energy prices tumbled, official data released on Monday showed. News that industrys costs declined at their fastest annual pace in more than four years pulled the rug from under sterling, as traders calculated it reduced some inflationary momentum at the beginning of the supply chain and therefore cut the chances of further increases in interest rates.

Posted by dohousescrashinthewoods @ 05:44 PM 12 Comments

Flat and dropping

home.co.uk: Housing Market Sentiment Cools

East Midlands down 2% over last 6 months. That's where things usually wind in first as affordability constraints kick in. Scotland up a massive 14% as more lemmings over-extend to purchase second homes or just move lock stock for a better quality of life.

Posted by doomwatch @ 11:06 AM 13 Comments

Average house price hits 200,000

BBC News: Govt's Own Dept Says Ave House is 201K

The average house price in the UK has now passed 200,000, says the Department for Communities & Local Government (DCLG).

Posted by nearly30 @ 10:29 AM 15 Comments

Another day, another house price survey

Firstrung: House prices rose at 9.9% in 2006 - DCLG

The UK house price inflation rate rose from 8.8 per cent in November 2006 to 9.9 per cent in December 2006. Between November and December there was a rise of 0.9 per cent in the prices of properties bought compared with a decrease of less than 0.1 per cent over the same period last year resulting in an increase in the inflation rate

Posted by converted lurker @ 10:18 AM 24 Comments

Well, whaddya know? Inflation's in the system!

Bloomberg: U.K. January Factory-Gate Prices Rise the Most in Six Months

Feb. 12 U.K. factory-gate prices rose in January by the most in six months, feeding inflation pressures in the economy and adding to the case for the central bank to raise interest rates.

Posted by financial planner @ 09:48 AM 3 Comments

Is it time to convert pounds to yen?

The Independent: The central bank that matters for now is not the BOE - it's the Bank of Japan

However, if the increase in sterling is accompanied by a rise in money deposits in the UK, it's just as easy to argue that there's been a loosening of monetary conditions because those higher deposits might find their way into rising equity and house prices. These in turn, lead to higher demand and, maybe, higher inflation.

Posted by sold 2 rent 1 @ 09:39 AM 1 Comments

Sunday, February 11, 2007

BCC tries to deter future rate rises

BBC News: Rate rise 'could hit UK growth'

The British Chambers of Commerce said UK growth could decline below 2%, if BoE raises rates to 5.5% in the coming months.

Posted by nearly30 @ 09:52 PM 14 Comments

Weeks news in focus

Firstrung: First time buyers, the week's property news in focus - Firstrung

Our view still remains that increased interest rates will help FTBs as house prices will stop accelerating and hopefully fall back in line with sensible multiples- although 3.5 X single salary (for entry level housing) will begin to be looked upon as a relic of the past. We know FTB business is wanted by lenders therefore the rates will stay attractive in this sector and continue to be heavily subsidised, by current borrowers having interest only mortgages - BTL in particular.

Posted by converted lurker @ 01:25 PM 2 Comments

David Smith then says but they won't rise.

Sunday Times: Inflation will fall but IRS could still rise

As nice a guy he is, he's been saying that since 2005. "The Bank of England will this week predict a sharp drop in inflation but leave the door open to further interest-rate rises if pay accelerates."

Posted by financial planner @ 11:11 AM 6 Comments

York Minster to sell assets

York Press: York Minster to sell assets

YORK Minster is planning to sell a number of properties in the city - but the money raised won't help the cathedral's 23 million restoration appeal. The proceeds will be invested in other assets to bring a better return on investments, said a spokeswoman.

Posted by bearback @ 09:19 AM 1 Comments

3 factors behind London prices

The Independent: You won't get much for 84m when the world is pouring money into London

This is a story at three levels: the London effect; global property prices; and the long-term consequences of the flood of money around the world.

Posted by sold 2 rent 1 @ 09:02 AM 0 Comments

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Concern about the source of cheap money

MSN: G7 warns markets against yen-shrinking bets

The G7 industrial powers, under pressure to address a decline of the yen, warned investors on Saturday that they could get burnt betting in one direction when Japan's economy was continuing to strengthen. European Central Bank President Jean-Claude Trichet added a layer of warning against the practice of borrowing vast amounts in low-yield currencies such as the yen to reinvest for a profit elsewhere -- carry trades, as they are called.

Posted by uncle chris @ 09:19 PM 2 Comments

House price confidence hits a high

IC Wales: House price confidence hits a high

Homebuyer confidence in rising house prices hit a 20-month high as the year ended, figures show. Yorkshire Bank says that in December, 71% of consumers believed property prices would continue to rise during 2007 - the highest level of confidence since April 2004.

Posted by david20040_0 @ 04:38 PM 11 Comments

House prices up 83 per day

Daily Express: House prices up 83 per day

House prices rose last month by 1.3 per cent an average of 83 a day.

Posted by david20040_0 @ 04:37 PM 14 Comments

High mortgage burdens bad news for home improvements

BBC Scotland News: House hunters wave goodbye to DIY

Rising house prices are leading buyers to search for "ready-to-live-in" homes that need little money spent on refurbishment due to high mortgage commitments. Once in their home these buyers are intending to stay put for over 10 years.

Posted by enuii @ 04:15 PM 0 Comments

US slowdown is starting to hit Britain's economy

The Independent: Britain's trade gap widest on record

As a proportion of GDP, the trade gap is now running at 4.3 per cent, and is fast approaching the 4.9 per cent peak hit in the mid-1970s. Thirty years ago, the deficit triggered a sterling crisis and Britain was forced to go cap in hand to the International Monetary Fund for a loan. Yet yesterday's news caused barely a ripple in foreign exchange markets.

Posted by sold 2 rent 1 @ 11:19 AM 8 Comments

FT Index produced by Acadametrics reveals subdued HPI

Firstrung: House prices rose 6.9% over the past twelve months - FT Index

FT House Price Index - National and Regional January 2007 The latest FT House Price Index, updated with the most recent monthly data from the Land Registry, shows that house prices rose by 0.7% in January and by 6.9% over the past 12 months.

Posted by converted lurker @ 10:49 AM 4 Comments

Temporary reprieve on borrowing?

Guardian: Interest rates put on hold but further rises feared

British business was taking scant comfort last night from the Bank of England's decision to leave interest rates unchanged as firms braced themselves for a renewed tightening of policy in the months ahead.

Posted by rich @ 09:42 AM 0 Comments

Vinegar strokes before the end?

Guardian: 80 buyers for every sale: welcome to the property bun fight

Outside London, despite the price surge, buyers can expect that, with enough cash and bloody, will-sapping effort, they should secure the poky cottage of their dreams. But recently something very odd has been happening in London. The cherished topic of middle-class dinner parties is taking on the characteristics of a gold rush

Posted by rich @ 09:37 AM 9 Comments

Joseph Rowntree on homelessness initiatives

Firstrung: Flexible tenure scheme could cut repossessions in some housing associations

Figures out this week have shown a 65% increase in house repossessions since 2005 but a new paper from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF) shows some of these might have been prevented. Flexible tenure gives those in shared ownership schemes the chance to decrease, or increase, the share in the property they own if their personal finances change. Examples of how this is working are featured in the paper, which is based on case studies within the Joseph Rowntree Housing Trust (JRHT).

Posted by converted lurker @ 08:09 AM 0 Comments

Friday, February 9, 2007

An assault on the unaffordability brigade!

Citywire: Housing not affordable for first-timers? You must be joking

Fings aint what they used to be are they? In the old days you could buy a two-up, two-down terraced house, take the wife out to the films, have a nice steak dinner and still have change from a tenner at the end of the evening. Or so the myth goes...

Posted by webmaster @ 11:22 PM 7 Comments

Will British Gas cuts affect the inflation figure?

This is Money: Gas cuts turn down heat on rates

Falling energy prices could pull inflation sharply lower in the coming months, reducing pressure on the Bank of England to hit households with further interest rate hikes.

Posted by webmaster @ 09:57 PM 8 Comments

All Jan Pay Goes On Ave Debt Interest Alone

unbiased.co.uk: UK works whole of Jan just to clear interest on debts

2K interest on an average persons personal debt, it would take someone earning the UK average of 23K, all of Jan to earn enough just to service the outstanding interest on their debt, let alone re-paying the actual debt itself.

Posted by nearly30 @ 09:53 PM 1 Comments

Things aren't looking good for the commercial property market

MoneyWeek: Is commercial property set to disappoint?

Next month's inflation report will no doubt be like every other inflation report - hopelessly optimistic. And that will cause problems for UK retail investors' favourite asset class...

Posted by mary @ 05:02 PM 3 Comments

Tight spending position coming our way...

The Guardian: Clarke backs charging for non-essential NHS services

Mr Clarke said: "We have got a tight spending position coming over the next three to five years." Surely not... what with the economy doing so well and all...

Posted by lovingit! @ 02:04 PM 3 Comments

BTL and the damage it has caused

Firstrung: Buy to let has taken one million properties from first time buyers - Firstrung

Firstrung, the leading website for first time buyers seeking their first mortgage, has poured scorn on the most recent pronouncement from ARLA who stated earlier this week that the recent 'buy to let movement' has not harmed the buying opportunities of first time buyers. Firstrung estimates that up to one million properties have been taken out of circulation by the buy to let movement and Firstrung further suggest that this 'movement' has caused price increases, specifically in the first time buyer sector, of approximately 50K over the past four years...

Posted by converted lurker @ 11:59 AM 18 Comments

Looks fairly disinflationary to me....

BBC News: British Gas to cut energy prices

"British Gas has said it will reduce its gas and electricity prices next month. The group says it will cut gas prices by 17% and electricity by 11%. It added that the average annual dual fuel bill would fall by 167 to 953." Disinflation::- a terrible (yet meaningful) Americanism for a decrease in the rate of inflation.

Posted by monty @ 11:55 AM 11 Comments

Basket case economy

BBC: UK annual trade gap hits record

"a little bit worse than expected, a larger deficit than expected".

Posted by sovietuk @ 11:51 AM 0 Comments

Looks fairly inflationary to me....

Forbes: China seeks increased yuan flexibility, market forces to play greater role

China make another move towards at least saying that they're going to let their currency float more freely. Some of this might just be hot air to keep the dogs at bay. Either way, it'll fuel speculation if nothing else...

Posted by autopilotengage @ 11:34 AM 2 Comments

More US housing bad news

The Telegraph: US house price fall steepest since 1963

The median price of a US home peaked at $257,000 (130,400) in April last year after climbing 40pc over three years. By December the median price had fallen back 8.6pc to $235,000, the sharpest drop since the US Census Department began data in 1963.

Posted by sold 2 rent 1 @ 10:00 AM 5 Comments

FT index agrees market is cooling

FT.com: FT data confirm cooling of housing market

London house price rises still lead the rest of England and Wales on both monthly and annual comparisons, but the gap between the capitals housing market and elsewhere has narrowed. In December, prices in London were 9.4 per cent higher than a year earlier with the house prices in the East and West Midlands showing the smallest gains of 4.2 per cent. But Londons rate of house price inflation fell sharply in December as the monthly growth of 0.9 per cent could not match the 3 per cent growth recorded in December 2005.

Posted by dohousescrashinthewoods @ 09:58 AM 1 Comments

Inflation set to rise in February

The Telegraph: Pound tumbles on rate freeze

"Our best forecast for the February CPI is 3.2pc and for the RPI 5pc. This data will be seen by the MPC before it makes its March decision, and would make a rate rise at that meeting quite likely."

Posted by sold 2 rent 1 @ 09:57 AM 3 Comments

Why the UK Pound and the US Dollar will die together

ICHBLOG: The Great Dollar Crash of 07

Unless someone has 2 trillion worth of gold and precious metals, it looks like the venerable Sterling is going the way of the Dodo. If all we have to hold it up is US Paper Currency and Notes, we had better become use to being the New Eastern Europe. Read and weep y'all.

Posted by lvmreader @ 12:07 AM 0 Comments

Thursday, February 8, 2007

David20040_0 said...Theres the evidence

Reuters: Poll says house price inflation has peaked

"Higher rates are starting to have an effect already, but it would cause serious damage if rates go to 5.75 percent," said Karen Ward at HSBC. Yes thats right karen, looks like your shares are in for a battering (again).

Posted by cheeky charlie @ 08:56 PM 22 Comments

Subprime US lender quotes unexpected loss

Reuters: New Century sees surprise loss, shares sink 17 pct

New Century Financial Corp. (NEW.N: Quote, Profile , Research), the No. 2 U.S. subprime mortgage lender, on Wednesday projected an unexpected fourth-quarter loss and said it expects to restate each of the previous three quarters' earnings lower, sending its shares down more than 17 percent.

Posted by michael @ 04:33 PM 2 Comments

Flashback: Chancellor forced to raise rates 5% in one day to defend the currency

Wikipedia: Black Wednesday

Ah, what short memories people have! This idea that the interest rate will only move 25 basis points (0.25%) in a month is a great thing to believe in. How quickly we all forget. Norman Lamont had to raise rates in a special session to protect our currency from massive devaluation. It needs to be said that when e.g. the ECB bank loses its bottle and bumps up rates, there will be an international interest rates "arms race". To stop flows out of your currency, you will need to boost those rates. 15% bank base rates is not unheard of. People need to vist the series data for 1978 - 1982 to see what can happen.

Posted by lvmreader @ 03:54 PM 17 Comments

How much is your pound really worth today?

Measuring Worth: Five Ways to Compare the Worth of the UK Pound in the past

Joe Numpty on the street has no idea how his beloved pound is rotting away. Often one knows the price, cost, or value of something in a particular ("original") year, and one wants to know the value of this money amount in another ("desired") year. There are many contexts in which such a computation might be performed. Examples include the determination of the appropriate level of deferred compensation in a legal case, updating the price of a commodity fifty years earlier, and assessment of government expenditure on health care in one year relative to another.

Posted by lvmreader @ 03:45 PM 1 Comments

Deckchairs being moved all round

BBC: Eurozone rates unchanged at 3.5%

"The European Central Bank has kept its key interest rate on hold at 3.5%, but hinted that it may go up next month."

Posted by sovietuk @ 03:06 PM 1 Comments

Several thousand financial advisers will read this.

Investment Week: The art of getting out on time

"The news last week that a 12-foot by 6-foot cupboard in Chelsea has been placed on the market as a studio flat for 170,000 may be significant"... You think?!!!

Posted by financial planner @ 01:42 PM 14 Comments

House price inflation peaks according to poll

Interactive Investor: Poll says house price inflation has peaked

According to a Reuters poll house price inflation has peaked amid signs higher interest rates are already biting and there is a risk of correction later this year if borrowing cost climb much higher.

Posted by j tallis @ 01:36 PM 0 Comments

Bank holds rates

Bank Of England: Bank of England Maintains Bank Rate at 5.25%

The Bank of Englands Monetary Policy Committee today voted to maintain the official Bank Rate paid on commercial bank reserves at 5.25%.

Posted by rep013 @ 12:06 PM 16 Comments

UK rates expected to stay on hold

BBC: UK rates expected to stay on hold

The Bank of England is expected to keep interest rates on hold at 5.25% on Thursday, but an increase may still be possible after January's shock rise.

Posted by david20040_0 @ 10:57 AM 0 Comments

Tough call - but we expect a hike today

MoneyWeek: Will interest rates hit 5.5% today?

Its that time of the month again. Anyone with a variable rate mortgage will be nervously awaiting noon today to find out if the Bank of England is going to make life more expensive for them or not. Should they be worried? Probably.

Posted by mary @ 10:23 AM 19 Comments

Huge increase in bad debt provisions

FT.com: HSBC warns on US bad debt provisions

HSBC shocked investors on Wednesday night by warning that its US mortgage business would push group bad debt provisions for 2006 $1.75bn (888m) higher than expected. That's not $1.75bn in provisions, that's $1.75bn over and above expected provisions. Subscriber only article, but of particular note.

Posted by dohousescrashinthewoods @ 09:41 AM 3 Comments

Prices up 1.3%!

Firstrung: House prices increased by 1.3% in January despite interest rate increases - Halifax

House prices increased by 1.3% in January, leaving the annual rate of house price inflation unchanged at 9.9% compared with December. The mixed pattern of monthly price rises and falls in December and January is consistent with a slowing market.

Posted by converted lurker @ 09:18 AM 9 Comments

The Supply Lie Exposed!

The Reluctant Accountant Blog: The Supply and Demand Conundrum in The UK Housing Market

If existing home owners cannot buy there must be an issue here. HPC - here we come!

Posted by bubblicious @ 09:16 AM 2 Comments

HSBC in shock profit warning

This is Money: US Mortages: HSBC in shock profits warning

Shares in global banking giant HSBC slumped today after the lender shocked investors with a profit warning due to a far worse bad-debt problem in the bank's US mortgage book than previously thought. Also see: Robert Peston's BBC blog: http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/robertpeston/2007/02/hsbc_us_troubles.html

Posted by mr mash @ 09:04 AM 1 Comments

Two thirds of home owners have all their eggs in one basket.

Durham University: Majority of English homeowners keep all financial eggs in one basket

Nearly two thirds (65%) of homeowners in a study of English mortgage holders store almost all their savings in one single asset their own home new academic research from Durham University suggests.

Posted by paulos @ 08:34 AM 0 Comments

Rate rises to cause crash

The Telegraph: Markets in a fog over rate rise decision

Last paragraph: Diana Choyleva of Lombard Street Research warned the recent behaviour of the Bank suggested it no longer had full control over the economy. "Not only does this show in excessive growth now - more importantly, the almost inevitable reversal suggests a sharp correction by 2008," she said.

Posted by sold 2 rent 1 @ 08:28 AM 3 Comments

BBC prepares to feign shock if IRs rise today

BBC "News": UK rates expected to stay on hold

I do wonder if the BBC ever expects rates to rise. I like the bit "This would give mortgage holders, who have seen their payments rise since January's increase, some much needed breathing space" - and who has decided that householders need/deserve any breathing space? The BBC's own anonymous article writer, that's who.

Posted by paul @ 08:26 AM 0 Comments

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Live in London? Sell sell sell !!

Firstrung: London house prices have peaked as haart calls top of the market and urges sellers to sell now

Haart estate agents market reports are mostly notable for their bullish levels of optimism. This report differs in several key apsects; firstly in suggesting sellers should sell now Paul Smith of haart could be calling the top of the market.

Posted by converted lurker @ 06:20 PM 9 Comments

CEBR Believe House Price Inflation Will Continue

TimesOnline: House prices up '12,000' in 2007

The Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) predicted that the value of the average house would jump by nearly 8 per cent in 2007. Thjey expect growth will, however, slow in 2008. "CEBR is forecasting house price growth of just 1.5 per cent in 2008, which is well below the general level of inflation, followed by a 3.9 per cent gain in 2009 and 7.1 per cent in 2010." Anyone know the track record of the CEBR?

Posted by talking rot @ 06:10 PM 9 Comments

Bliar has 11x joint income mortgage

Telegraph: Tories ask how Tony Blair can afford 5th home

Opposition MPs are demanding to know how the Blairs can afford a fifth home on their current income levels. The addition of the 800,000 Georgian house to the Blairs' property empire means the couple could now have mortgage debts approaching 5 million, with monthly repayments of over 20,000. However, according calculations, the Prime Minister and his wife should only have been able to borrow 1.3 million on their current earnings.

Posted by little professor @ 05:22 PM 6 Comments

This is madness

BBC News: People queue for week for homes

House-hunters are queuing in the snow for a week to be first in line for new Aberdeenshire homes.

Posted by sosoon @ 04:10 PM 1 Comments

Landlords not to blame for pricing out first time buyers - really?

Firstrung: Buy to let not to blame for pricing out first time buyers - ARLA

The belief that buy to let investors are pricing first time buyers out of the housing market was discussed by a leading expert in property economics at the Annual Conference of the Association of Residential Letting Agents, ARLA, held in London today, February 7th.

Posted by converted lurker @ 01:33 PM 27 Comments

Buy to let increasingly at risk

Firstrung: Buy-to-let properties are at the highest risk of repossession action

Moore & Blatch, solicitors who specialise in advice to mortgage lenders particularly when considering litigation leading to repossession, have warned lenders that buy-to-let properties are at the highest risk of repossession...

Posted by converted lurker @ 01:31 PM 2 Comments

Greenspans "cheap Money" you watching Mr B

The Market Oracle: Greenspans Cheap Money role in the US Housing Crash of 2007

The American people appear to be oblivious to the economic hurricane which is expected to touchdown in late 2007. That's when $1 trillion in ARMs (Adjustable Rate Mortgages) will reset triggering a massive increase in foreclosures and plunging the country into a deep recession. If energy costs continue to rise at the same time or if the dollar loses more ground, we may be rooting around in the backyard garden-plot looking for passed-over spuds and radishes.

Posted by vwphil @ 10:25 AM 17 Comments

Government action needed to ensure affordable country homes exist

BBC: Warning on affordable rural homes

The BBC seem to be a tad more balanced in their reporting. To a seasoned HPC'er this article is nothing new.

Posted by denzil @ 09:47 AM 12 Comments

Ten percent interest rate needed to bring house prices into line with inflation

Personal Loan: Ten percent interest rate needed to bring house prices into line with inflation

According to some experts the property value boom in the UK has become so out of hand that in order to bring it back in line the Bank of England would need to double the current interest rate, despite having hiked up the interest rate by three quarters of a percent over the past six months.

Posted by david20040_0 @ 09:39 AM 10 Comments

NI house prices highest in Europe

BBC: NI house prices highest in Europe

The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors European Housing Review found the market was proving extremely difficult for first-time buyers.

Posted by david20040_0 @ 09:32 AM 2 Comments

Off plan costs off the scale

Time on-line: Luxury property prices go through roof as flats in London set 4,200 sq ft record

Note the last line "Both brothers are now tax exiles based in Monaco"

Posted by ukuser1 @ 02:46 AM 2 Comments

American middle-class drowning in debt

The Telegraph: Spending spree over as Americans walk without safety net

Americans are drawing down their personal savings at the fastest rate since the depths of the Great Depression, suggesting that US household finances may be more fragile than they look.

Posted by sold 2 rent 1 @ 12:53 AM 11 Comments

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

New homes drive prices down

Home.co.uk News: The town where theres no shortage of homes

"Estate agents in the North-east town of Darlington reckon sheer numbers of new homes being built are driving prices down, the only place in the country where this is happening."

Posted by tinecu @ 11:30 PM 0 Comments

Youngsters get saving to buy a home

Express & Star: Youngsters get saving to buy a home

Black Country children as young as 14 are being encouraged to start saving pocket money for their first home. Instead of squandering their average 8 weekly allowance, children are being urged to start building a nest egg for the future.Dudley Council will be touring schools to encourage young people to save money each week to help them get a foot on the property ladder. Buying a home is the best way forward for security. When you buy a car it tends to go down in value but when you buy a house you may well be able to make a profit on it.

Posted by njp @ 07:47 PM 23 Comments

Gold - An interesting alternative to Bricks 'n' Mortar

Fin Facts: Why Individual Investors and Institutions should Diversify into Gold

Gold returned 24.75% in 2006, rising from $497 to $620 per ounce. It completed its 5th year of gains and is up by more than 140% in the last 5 years.

Posted by enuii @ 07:02 PM 7 Comments

The Grip of Death

Daily Reckoning: Credit: Money from thin air

The evidence? "The March 1997 statistical release from the Bank of England," says Rowbotham, "shows that the total money stock in the United Kingdom currently at approximately 680 million...The total of money created by the Treasury on behalf of the UK Government [was] a mere 25 billion of notes and coins...[so] 97% of all money in the United Kingdom has been created entirely by banks and building societies, and that they have created this staggering quantity of money out of nothing - Fast forward to Feb.2007, and the notes and coins in circulation in the UK today account for just 3.1% of the total money supply. The rest all 1.496 trillion of it remains only so many digits on the banks'computer system. So BANK DEBTS/MORTGAGES = FRESH AIR.

Posted by andy @ 03:41 PM 2 Comments

FSA warnings on shortfalls

Firstrung: The FSA has encouraged consumers facing endowments shortfall to "act now"

The poor performance of the stock market over recent years has seriously affected many mortgage endowment policies. On 15 July 2005, the Financial Services Authority (FSA) published Mortgage endowments - shortfalls and consumer action setting out the findings of its research on households with endowment linked mortgages.

Posted by converted lurker @ 02:43 PM 2 Comments

Shelter comment on rate of repossessions

Firstrung: Repossession cases seen by Shelter have more than doubled in past two years

The number of families threatened with homelessness as a result of mortgage repossessions has risen sharply in the past two years with repossession cases seen by Shelter advisers more than doubling.

Posted by converted lurker @ 02:42 PM 2 Comments

More tightening...

Reuters: Days of cheap personal loans numbered

The days of the sub-6 percent loan market could be numbered after two more providers hiked rates. Independent price comparison service uSwitch.com predicts an end to cheap personal loans, against a background of rising bad debts and interest rates and an Office of Fair Trading probe into payment protection insurance.

Posted by tyrellcorporation @ 01:27 PM 0 Comments

Don't take out a big mortgage

Telegraph: Merrill sounds alarm on global liquidity

"it's going to be a soft landing or a hard landing, but the bottom line is that we face a landing,"

Posted by sovietuk @ 09:24 AM 26 Comments

UK house price increase compares wqell with Europe

Finance Markets.co.uk: UK House Prices up 10% in 2006

A recent survey shows that UK house prices did well last year with a rise of 10% (compared with 7% in France and 0% in Germany. Best of all though was Eastern Europe with an amazing 30% rise in Polish house prices.

Posted by Caroline @ 09:01 AM 1 Comments

FTBs Shouldn't Jump In


LOWER rents and slowing property price rises are making things easier for first-time buyers - as long as you don't buy. A survey by the Abbey found would-be buyers say they are prepared to give up holidays and drinking or even live with their parents to afford their first home. But my advice is: Get a life. Simply save sensibly towards a deposit and you should get one without going to extremes.

Posted by jason @ 06:57 AM 15 Comments

Monday, February 5, 2007

Yee Hah!!!!!!!

Bloomberg: Fed Says More Banks Tighten Standards on Mortgages

More U.S. banks tightened lending standards for home loans in the past three months than in any quarter since the early 1990s

Posted by financial planner @ 10:36 PM 1 Comments

FSA speaks out on property fund fear

FT.com: Regulator warns on property funds

The UK's financial regulator has for the first time warned retail investors of the potential dangers of overexposure to property funds, just as small investors appear to be accelerating their involvement in the sector.

Posted by Webmaster @ 10:18 PM 0 Comments

Rate rise this week not ruled out

Firstrung: Interest rate rise could be on for February

However, several of the five members who voted in favour of holding rates had a bias in favour of raising rates later in the year. There was also a feeling amongst those who wished to raise rates that there may be a need for monetary policy to tighten even further in the near future. Andrew Lilico of Europe Economics summarised that view saying: "there is a reasonable probability that inflation has peaked but if it goes any higher then there would be a serious breach of credibility." He continued: "Rates should rise by % now but rates should rise further if there is another rise in inflation."

Posted by converted lurker @ 12:38 PM 1 Comments

BTL refusing to die?

Firstrung: 55% of buy to let landlords plan to buy more properties - Bradford & Bingley

A wide range of people are investing in buy-to-let. A survey of 3,617 UK landlords carried out by GFK NOP shows that confidence in the market is higher now than it was this time last year. The survey on behalf of Bradford & Bingley, the UK's leading lender of buy-to-let mortgages, found that a staggering 95% of landlords plan to either increase or maintain the number of buy-to-let properties they own.

Posted by converted lurker @ 12:36 PM 21 Comments

Guessing game begins

FT.com: BoE keeps City guessing on rates

Will they or won't they? That is the question on the lips of most forecasters as they seek to divine whether the Bank of England will follow last month's earlier-than-expected rate rise to 5.25 per cent with another increase this week. Only five of the 62 economists surveyed by Reuters in recent days think the Bank's monetary policy committee will stage a back-to-back rise at the end of its two-day meeting on Thursday. But that scarcely amounts to conclusive evidence: after all, in the same survey a month ago only one economist predicted a January increase. Expect to see cautionary press-releases from RICS and Halifax.

Posted by dohousescrashinthewoods @ 12:17 PM 0 Comments

Calling the top?

FT.com: Swiss Re confirms 600m Gherkin sale

The insurer, which owns the building at 30 St Mary Axe and uses it as its London headquarters, decided to sell last year to take advantage of rises in commercial property prices. Subscriber-only article, but it looks like someone is calling the top of the commercial property market.

Posted by dohousescrashinthewoods @ 12:13 PM 0 Comments

Oh dear, oh dear

Mail: Brown's 'creative accounting' hides fact that Government is dangerously in the red

The true scale of public debt is now 1,100 billion, equal to 87 per cent of national wealth - more than twice the level that the Treasury itself regards as "sustainable".

Posted by sovietuk @ 10:38 AM 14 Comments

Bootle says rate should be 6pc

Telegraph: The temperature is rising fast over interest rates

Admittedly, the MPC does not have complete control over the monetary system. Finance now flows in from everywhere and bond yields are set internationally. But is that an argument for doing less or more? I would have interest rates at 6pc and I would make a start by raising them this week to 5.5pc.

Posted by monty @ 09:02 AM 9 Comments

"He said he doesn't like it but he'll have to go along with it, Chris"

BBC "News": 'Strong chance' of UK rates rise

According to the BBC, inflation is now called "growth", BDO Stoy Hayward's opinion is merely "according to a report" and interest rate rises are bad (has the BBC ever hailed a rate rise as a good thing?). Bravo for the BBC's biased, self-interested cut-n-paste journalism. I do hope someone picked up on my Chris Morris "The Day Today" quote.

Posted by paul @ 07:17 AM 5 Comments

Sunday, February 4, 2007

Or perhaps back to the good old days?


Inflation is back and with a vengance - looks like those old trade union buddies will be turning up the heat for Gord.

Posted by orwell @ 08:59 PM 1 Comments

The arbitrageurs got it wrong twice!!!

Sunday Times: Top EA faces 950m bid

And yet, maybe they got it right but you can't legislate for abject stupidity. If you want a prime example of the madness markets and the stupidity of private equity investors, an American fund wants to buy Countrywide for nearly a billion pounds. Its OK, they say, because on a P/E basis its s sound investment. Interesting. Repos in the US up 42%, in the UK up 65% (from a low base). So, the future is obviously dodgy. Yet they want to do this. It will serve them all right when this whole craziness goes and bites their bums.

Posted by financial planner @ 11:43 AM 16 Comments

Writing is on the wall as inflation surges

SUNDAY TIMES: Original News Article

Will it might not just be Banksy's writing on the wall but Swervyn Mervyn's notice that is handed in if he doesn't keep upping the stakes ... 5.5% ? ... 5.75% ? ... 6% ? Now heaven forbids where it might go. We wouldn't like to be playing this game of poker with the spenders and the City Merv.

Posted by orwell @ 09:24 AM 0 Comments

Saturday, February 3, 2007

Foreclosures kill the dream

Workers Organisation: Original News Article Title

Looks like the US HPC is upon them - will the UK follow?

Posted by orwell @ 07:01 PM 8 Comments

Take the Blair Debt Test


If you can take this test as the Blairs and not come out unstuck then you can be called the teflon kids as well.

Posted by orwell @ 06:52 PM 6 Comments

Rising insolvencies are the fault of Gordon Brown and his economy built on debt

TimesOnline: Debt-torn Britain sees insolvency climb to a record high

Experts give warning that the scale of the debt problem was going to get worse this year as consumers began to pay the price for chronic overspending in the first half of the decade. George Osborne, the Shadow Chancellor, said: Rising insolvencies are just the latest symptom of an economy built on debt and Gordon Brown is to blame.

Posted by denzil @ 12:16 PM 8 Comments

Edmund Conway

The Telegraph: Is it really too early to mention the 'C' word...?

Imagine you've just been asked by your husband or wife to cook the big roast lunch for your in-laws at their house in the country. Easy, you think. Then, with horror, you lay your eyes on their oven. It is a prehistoric model with a dicky door so difficult to open that you will only be able to get access to the furnace once at the start, to put the meat in, and once when it is time to take it out and carve it.

Posted by ts @ 11:54 AM 2 Comments

Credit Boom Leads to Personal Bust

Telegraph: 400 go bust every day as debt hits home

More evidence of the increasing level of personal debt exceeding individuals ability to repay. Government figures show that a record 107,288 people in England and Wales declared themselves bankrupt or took out an Individual Voluntary Arrangement (IVA) last year.

Posted by enuii @ 11:51 AM 0 Comments

Flood of houses coming on the market?

thisismoney.co.uk: Hips coming to a home near you

They have been slated as an expensive waste of time and their launch has been described as a fiasco, but if you are planning to sell your home this year you'll have to fork out around 400 for one unless you move quickly.

Posted by uncle chris @ 09:58 AM 2 Comments

Who said immigration wasn't an issue?

Daily Mail: One in five of UK home buyers are Polish

One in every five home buyers in Britain is now a Polish immigrant, estate agents have revealed. The new arrivals from eastern Europe are forcing up house prices as they work tirelessly to get on the property ladder. The migrants are selling their properties back home to raise a deposit - making it more likely they will remain in the UK for good - or taking out 100 per cent mortgages.

Posted by uncle chris @ 09:08 AM 19 Comments

Tony Blair buys his fifth property

MSN UK: Blairs buying another house

It brings his monthly mortgage payments up to 20,000! How can this madness stop if it is being fuelled right at the top?!

Posted by optimist @ 08:10 AM 0 Comments

Friday, February 2, 2007

cml arrears and repo stats

Firstrung: Mortgage arrears and repossessions statistics for 2006 - CML

The number of mortgage repossessions rose from 8,140 in the first half of 2006 to 8,860 in the second half, according to figures released to day by the Council of Mortgage Lenders. This brings the total for 2006 to 17,000 - 65% higher than in 2005, but broadly similar to 2001 levels and roughly 1 in 690 mortgages.

Posted by converted lurker @ 02:20 PM 1 Comments

IVAs being squeezed out?

FT.com: Bankruptcies surge in the UK

The number of individual insolvencies in England and Wales hit a record 29,804 in the fourth quarter, government figures published on Friday showed. The fourth quarter showed a 7.1 per cent increase on the third quarter and a rise of 44% on the same period a year ago. At the height of the last recession in 1991, personal insolvencies barely topped 25,000. You could more than fill the new Wembley Stadium with those who have formally become insolvent in 2006.

Posted by dohousescrashinthewoods @ 01:50 PM 4 Comments

Lenders whack borrowers

FT.com: Borrowers hit as lenders leapfrog latest base rate rises

Lenders increase their variable mortgage rates more than the IR rise

Posted by giddy @ 01:24 PM 0 Comments

Any truth in the 'Olympic effect'?

Firstrung: House prices in East End of London rise after Olympic win - Halifax

With 2,000 days to go to the start of the 2012 Olympics, new research from Halifax Estate Agents shows that house prices in three London postal districts close to the site of 2012 Olympics games have risen by more than 15%, or at least 35,000, since London's winning bid was announced

Posted by converted lurker @ 12:34 PM 8 Comments

There may be trouble ahead......

BBC: Insolvencies rise to new record

The number of people who were declared insolvent in England and Wales rose to a new record of 107,000 last year. That was a 59% increase on the year before, when 67,500 people went bust.

Posted by sovietuk @ 10:02 AM 12 Comments

People are saving at the lowest level since the Great Depression.....

nwsource.com: Few pennies saved: Americans spending more than they earn

The 1 percent negative savings rate in 2006 followed a 0.4 percent negative rate in 2005. There have been only four years in history that the savings rate has fallen into negative territory. The other two were 1932 and 1933 during the Great Depression.

Posted by cashisking @ 08:53 AM 3 Comments

All time high for the Dow

BBC News: Dow Jones closes at record high

The Dow Jones Industrial Average index closed at a record high after strong earnings and investor confidence that interest rates are stable. The Dow closed 51.99 points up at 12,673.68, after earlier hitting a new intra-day record of 12,682.57.

Posted by Webmaster @ 07:07 AM 1 Comments

Thursday, February 1, 2007

Inflation genie well and truly out of the bottle

FT.com: UK pay rises at six-year high

Pay settlements have risen sharply to their highest level for six years, increasing concern that wage demands will fuel inflation and trigger further interest rate rises.

Posted by bricksnmortarhaha @ 11:50 PM 16 Comments

Debt Freedom Day - Interesting Presentation of Stats

Reuters: It's Debt Freedom Day -- but don't get too excited

Another interesting take on averages, so now we have debt and tax freedom days, another interesting aspect is that it is also 'interest only'.

Posted by enuii @ 11:07 PM 1 Comments

Personal Savings

YahooFinance: 2006 Personal Savings Fall to 74-Yr. Low

People once again spent everything they made and then some last year, pushing the personal savings rate to the lowest level since the Great Depression more than seven decades ago.

Posted by sgp @ 04:17 PM 6 Comments

Crash Gordon's Miracle Economy Means Companies Go To The Wall

Daily Telegraph Online: More companies going to wall

More news of declining British economy. I like the line "Particularly hard hit were hospitality and leisure sector groups and financial services companies, including independent finance advisers, where the numbers calling in the administrators rose by 50pc from 2005." Does this mean all those noshbags who have encouraged normal-people into financial-suicide BTLs are starting to have their comeupance? Article was written by arch-bear Edmund Conway - well done Mr Conway.

Posted by talking rot @ 04:07 PM 7 Comments

The increasingly sad "Tale of the tape" - credit action stats

Firstrung: "Debt is the slavery of the free" Credit action stats Feb 2007

According to uSwitch in the last 12 months almost eight out of ten borrowers were issued loans without the lender carrying out any checks to verify that they could afford to repay the debt and almost 1.6 million loans have been approved without properly verifying people's incomes. 763,000 loans were issued for debt consolidation purposes and yet 91% of these borrowers were not asked to prove that other forms of credit had been closed with the proceeds of the consolidation loan

Posted by converted lurker @ 12:18 PM 15 Comments

What will become of the 'Want it all' generation?

Daily Mail: 'Live for today' Britons plunging into debt

Britain's live for today attitude toward debt is plunging an ever-growing number of families into financial ruin, the Citys watchdog warned yesterday. The Financial Services Authority (FSA) issued a stark warning that borrowers have become profoundly complacent about the size of the debt they are carrying.

Posted by uncle chris @ 11:27 AM 16 Comments

Comment on "mis-selling" in consumer debt

FT.com: A slow motion pile-up in the consumer debt trade

At the worst extreme, unqualified call handlers have been selling complex, long-term debt agreements to financial incompetents lured by misleading advertising. Hindsight will show that some would have done better to seek bankruptcy or, conversely, repay their debts in full and preserve their credit ratings.

Posted by dohousescrashinthewoods @ 10:53 AM 2 Comments

Other than cash property worse performing asset class in 2006

Firstrung: Precious metals have been the best performing asset class in two out of the past five years

Clerical Medical calculates that precious metals* were the best performing asset class in 2006 with a 28% return for the year - ahead of UK shares (17%) and international shares (16%). In 2005 commodities were the best performers with a 23% return, marginally outperforming UK shares (22%).

Posted by converted lurker @ 10:39 AM 3 Comments

This is a beautiful quote....

Guardian: Flu and consumer debt: FSA outlines main risks to the City

"Ms Carlson admitted the regulator had been "rather surprised" by the rise in bankruptcies and individual voluntary arrangements given low interest rates. "Even at low interest rates people are struggling," said Lyndon Nelson, head of risk at the FSA." And interest rates are heading in which direction?

Posted by inbreda @ 10:28 AM 3 Comments

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