March 2007 Archive

Friday, March 30, 2007

Was this the moment the birth of BTL

Telegraph: Revealed: Brown's pension grab secret

Gordon Brown was warned explicitly that he would cause the death of the final salary pension scheme and cost companies and individuals billions of pounds when he took the knife to the pension system in his first Budget.

Posted by enuii @ 11:08 PM 11 Comments

More inflation [they tried to hide from news desks!]

Media Newswire: Don't ignore heavy thud of water bills on doormat

Water and sewerage bill increases take effect this weekend. Consumers face an average water bill rise of 20 ( or 7% ) from Sunday ( 1 April). A range of 5.7% increase at Severn Trent to a 10.1% rise for South West Water customers.

Posted by nearly30 @ 11:03 PM 2 Comments

Inflation in US food prices........yet more evidence of the US's inflation problem

Breibart: Milk Prices Expected to Rise 9 Percent

Milk prices to go up by 9% in the US because of higher fuel costs and higher animal feed costs. But it's OK because the US doesn't have an inflation problem! (Yeah........right!)

Posted by royston @ 08:44 PM 3 Comments

We'll have it worse here in the UK. Much worse.

Boston Herald: Going up and up: Expert: No clear end to wave of foreclosures

Bay State mortgage foreclosures have hit a record high for the second straight month, and a top market watcher warns problems will continue at astronomical levels well into 2007.

Posted by lvmreader @ 08:03 PM 3 Comments

Search actual house prices in your area

Useful link: www.houseprices.co.uk

Perhaps the second major driver for the current property bubble (after cheap credit) is the lack of transparency of this market. Professional sellers (the agents) have a very easy task convincing uninformed buyers. I wonder how many people actually check recent transactions in the same neighbourood or even the purchase prices of the same house by the previous owners (... could the "envy factor" help keeping prices down?). This site is also user friendly... have fun!

Posted by confused76 @ 08:02 PM 2 Comments

Clock ticking for landlords

Firstrung: One week left to prepare for tenancy deposit protection

Landlords who take deposits from their tenants under an assured shorthold tenancy agreement must belong to a tenancy deposit protection (TDP) scheme from 6th April 2007 or risk being taken to court and fined, says the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA).

Posted by converted lurker @ 06:21 PM 1 Comments

RICS predicts April rate rise

Firstrung: Another interest rate hike is likely despite uncertainty over inflation picture - RICS

Another rate hike is likely despite uncertainty over inflation picture.. Although inflation is likely to fall during the next six months, and wage rises have remained subdued, RICS still expect interest rates to rise to 5.5% in May. While there remains uncertainty over the prospects for price changes in the UK in 2008 and beyond, the fear of higher inflationary pressure from abroad and increased price setting power of firms at home, will convince policy makers that interest rates need to rise one more time.

Posted by converted lurker @ 06:18 PM 4 Comments

Dorothy? Kansas? Bye Bye?

Rense.com: Operation Bite - April 6 Sneak Attack By US Forces On Iran Planned - Russian Military Sources Warn

This will drive up real "you can feel it now" inflation in days. For those of you pesky kids not old enough to remember the 1970s, this will go hard on all of us in the West.

Posted by lvmreader @ 05:07 PM 15 Comments

Invasion imminent.....

IHT,com: Iran planning to stop using U.S. dollar to price oil, central bank governor says

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia: Iran is planning to stop using the U.S. dollar to price oil, with less than half of its oil income now paid in the U.S. currency, Iran's central bank governor said. "That's the plan for the future, we are working on that," Governor Ebrahim Sheibany said in an interview with Zawya Dow Jones News Service late Tuesday when asked if Iran was planning to stop pricing oil in dollars. He was speaking on the sidelines of an Islamic finance forum in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia's largest city.

Posted by lvmreader @ 05:05 PM 4 Comments

New book reviewed

Bull not bull: Social Cycles, Depression and Revolution (Part II)

A review of a new book predicting a new golden age lies ahead.
Unfortunately we have to go through a depression and revolution to get there.

Posted by sold 2 rent 1 @ 04:23 PM 5 Comments

Oil prices rise on back of kidnapped British sailors in Iran and French oil refinery strike

CNBC: Oil Above $66 on Iran Fears, French Strike

Help. I really am struggling to understand this. Let me see if I have got things straight:- 1) Oil/energy prices are rising 2) Food prices are rising 3) Chinese prices are rising (forcing their recent interest rate rise) 4) Housing costs are still rising 5) Salaries & mark-ups are rising 6) Consumers are spending like its going out of fashion 7) Money supply swelling at double digit level .............but we don't have a global inflation problem? - I'm really confused!

Posted by royston @ 03:10 PM 10 Comments

Think we're not in for the mother of all crashes? Buy this book now

Amazon.co.uk: Manias, Panics, and Crashes: A History of Financial Crises

Manias, Panics, and Crashes, Fifth Edition is a scholarly and entertaining account of the way that mismanagement of money and credit has led to financial explosions over the centuries. Covering such topics as the history and anatomy of crises, speculative manias, and the lender of last resort, this book has been hailed as "a true classic . . . both timely and timeless." In this new, updated Fifth Edition, Kindleberger and Aliber expand upon the ideas presented in the previous edition, and include two new chapters on the real estate price bubble that occurred in Norway, Sweden, and Finland at the end of the 1980s, and the three asset price bubbles that occurred between 1985 and 2000 in Japan and other Asian countries.

Posted by lvmreader @ 02:24 PM 6 Comments

Evidence of US inflation keeps on coming in.......

Bloomberg: U.S. Personal Spending Rose 0.6%; Core Prices Up 0.3%

Key US inflation indicator comes at DOUBLE forecasted level. But it's OK, because the US doesn't have an inflation problem. (Yeah.... right!)

Posted by royston @ 02:08 PM 1 Comments

UK buy-to-let investors reaping a good return

999 Today: UK is second best for buy to let

According to the Assetz Property Investment Tracker, UK buy-to-let investors are enjoying a 63% return in cash investment. Poland leads the table at 165% with Bulgaria in third position at 54%. The managing director of Assetz predicts a growing demand for buy-to-let properties in the next few years.

Posted by Caroline @ 01:42 PM 9 Comments

Fiscal impact of falling housing market

Bloomberg: Housing Slump Erodes Budget Gains From Florida to California

States in the US are curtailing spending or increasing deficit spending as real estate-based tax revenues declines.

Posted by richc @ 01:33 PM 1 Comments

20% of UK landlords want more than one buy-to-let property

Houseladder.co.uk: One in five landowners seek multiple properties

20% of UK landlords want to own more than one buy-to-let property according to Landlord Mortgages. The majority, however, see one investment property as sufficient to provide a nest egg for retirement. The UK buy-to-let market is second only to Poland in terms of profitability.

Posted by Caroline @ 01:20 PM 4 Comments

Very interesting - Industry re-positioning itself...

Reuters: Gleeson downsizes with property sell-off

British construction company M.J. Gleeson Group Plc (GLE.L: Quote, Profile , Research), having trimmed 80 percent of its workforce, said on Friday it will exit the commercial property business in its efforts to remake itself. He said it was a good time to exit commercial property, as the company believed the market had peaked and it has about 30 million pounds in developments to sell to investors.

Posted by tyrellcorporation @ 01:09 PM 1 Comments

Will UK housing market go the same way as the US?

Assetz News: Can UK property avoid American humble pie?

Worries abound as to whether the UK market will experience the same crash as has hit America recently. Mervyn King is confident that the UK market is sufficiently robust to stay strong although other experts disagree.

Posted by Caroline @ 01:07 PM 5 Comments

There will be more of these "failures" as our banking system collapses

FT.com: Banking glitch delays salaries

We used to read about teachers, government workers, nurses and the like not being paid in former Soviet republics or in tinpot dictatorships. Now we are feeling it. Welcome to Bankrupt Britain 2007.

Posted by lvmreader @ 11:58 AM 26 Comments

Why UK interest rates will rise by June

MoneyWeek article: Why UK interest rates will rise by June

News of strong UK retail sales and solid mortgage lending came despite reports earlier this week that consumers' disposable income was squeezed harder last year than for more than 20 years. On top of this, oil prices are heading back to uncomfortably high levels, defying continued forecasts for a decline... All of this adds up to another interest rate rise from the Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee either next week, or in May.

Posted by mary @ 11:51 AM 1 Comments

Ben Bernanke in the poop?

Bloomberg: Fed Risks Moral Hazard as Housing Market Melts: Mark Gilbert

The hangover from that borrowing binge is beginning to hurt. Evidence is building that the U.S. economy is slowing sufficiently to warrant a soothing reduction in interest rates from the Federal Reserve. That poses an interesting dilemma for Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke. Cut too soon, and he will stand accused of ignoring inflation in an attempt to rescue the housing market. Leave it too late, and he risks tainting his second anniversary at the helm of the world's biggest economy by overseeing a recession.

Posted by rich @ 10:54 AM 13 Comments

Heading towards $70 again!!!

BBC: Iran concerns push oil above $66

Oil prices rose to new six month highs above $65 a barrel on fears of a clash between Western forces and Iran. Light sweet crude jumped by $1.95 to settle at $66.03 in the US. In the UK Brent crude rose $2.10 to $67.88.

Posted by tyrellcorporation @ 10:22 AM 2 Comments

Crude Price Rises

BBC: Crude Prices Rising Nicely

Crude prices rising nicely. Higher interest rates soon perhaps, to stave off inflation?

Posted by j tallis @ 10:12 AM 1 Comments

Thursday, March 29, 2007

It's all looking good for my savings!

Reuters: Mortgage, sales jump boost chance of rate rise

A surge in retail sales and an unexpectedly big rise in mortgage lending suggest three interest rate hikes since August have failed to curb consumer spending and make another rise look all the more imminent.

Posted by tyrellcorporation @ 09:49 PM 4 Comments

Recent FTBs not as 'at risk' as other borrowers

Firstrung: First time buyers not opting for interest only mortgages- CML

The length of mortgage terms has increased in some cases and, over a number of years, there has been an increased in take up of loans classified as interest-only. These remain more popular with movers, rather than first-time buyers. There has also been greater use of affordability models based on ability to meet payments, rather than a simple loan to earnings ratio. Despite being stretched, the vast majority of recent first-time buyers are not at risk of an imminent rise in loan payments. The CML's data reveals that the share of first-time buyers taking out fixed rate mortgages has been around 80% in the last eighteen months, and was at 85% at the start of this year.

Posted by converted lurker @ 03:41 PM 0 Comments

Property prices cooling

Fool News Wire: House prices start to slow

Figures from the Nationwide show that property prices are slowing down due to the three rises in interest rates since last Aug and the expectation of further increases. Nationwide's chief economist predicts, however, that the market in the short term will remain "fairly firm".

Posted by Caroline @ 03:38 PM 6 Comments

Sutton house prices rocketing

Wimbledon Guardian: House prices rise sharply

Property prices in Sutton rose by 3.5% last month as buyers are forced further out of London for economic reasons. Sutton has excellent schools, good transport links to central London and a good variety of properties. The increase, however, is not welcome for first-time buyers who are finding it hard to get on to the properrty ladder.

Posted by Caroline @ 03:29 PM 10 Comments

Wait till you see what the "real" rate of inflation is

Ludwig Von Mises (LVM) Institute: Radioactive Money

Because of Iran's great oil wealth, it has been able, thus far, to stave off a hyperinflationary blow-off. Other countries have not been so lucky. Zimbabwe, today's poster child of hyperinflation, has collapsed into economic destitution, its population suffering from the outbreak of social diseases as well as from slow starvation. And, Zimbabwe's inflation has been modest when compared to other recent hyperinflations. In the chart below, I track the exchange rates (to the US dollar) of four currencies that recently went through hyperinflations, Argentina, Brazil, Yugoslavia and Zimbabwe. As you can see, the hyperinflation in Zimbabwe is just getting underway.

Posted by lvmreader @ 03:24 PM 0 Comments

Property prices up in England and Wales

www.realestatetv.com: House prices rise across England and Wales

Property prices in England and Wales rose by 1% in Feb, bringing the average house price up to 177,099, an increase of 8.5% in the last year. London's prices have risen by 11.3% in the last 12 months with terraced houses having had the largest increase at 10%.

Posted by Caroline @ 03:17 PM 2 Comments

Why Soft Landings are Impossible in Property Booms

University College Dublin: Irish House Prices: Gliding into the Abyss?

Academic Economist reviews property booms in recent history and explains why the soft landings are the stuff of fantasy.

Posted by royston @ 11:39 AM 20 Comments

Great article on money supply growth

Market Oracle: Parabolic Money Supply Growth - The End of Money

Money supply growth has gone parabolic
It took us from 1620 until 1974 to create the first $1 trillion of US money stock. But it only took 10 months to create the most recent $1 trillion and I don't recall seeing an entire continent's worth of factories, schools or bridges built during that time.
Household debt has doubled in only 6 years.
Total credit market debt (that's everything) was about $5 trillion in 1975, has increased by $5 trillion in just 2 years, and now stands at over $51 trillion.
The wealth gap between the super-wealthy and everybody else is widening at a furious pace

Posted by sold 2 rent 1 @ 10:27 AM 14 Comments

Growth slowing Mervin? Really?

Reuters: Mortgage lending growth picks up unexpectedly

LONDON (Reuters) - Mortgage lending growth accelerated unexpectedly in February and home loan approvals also beat forecasts, suggesting the housing market is holding up despite three interest rate rises since last August.

Posted by rich @ 10:21 AM 6 Comments

If this is not sub-prime lending... !?

Firstrung: New FTB Cashback Mortgage launched by Co-Op

"As house prices have continued to rise it is important that the lifeblood of the market - First Time Buyers - are given extra help to gain that all important first footing on the ladder... As a responsible lender the Co-operative Bank does not impose costly Higher Lending Charges (HLCs) on borrowers who wish to borrow more than 95 per cent of the value of the property"

Posted by confused76 @ 10:20 AM 4 Comments

France joins Ireland with falling prices

The Telegraph: French housing bubble set to burst

The french property market is much less overheated than most other EU countries.
The ratio of household debt to disposable income in France is a modest 65pc, compared with 115pc in Spain, 146pc in Britain, 171pc in Holland, and 190pc in Ireland. The markets are pricing in another euro IR rise in June

Posted by sold 2 rent 1 @ 10:07 AM 6 Comments

Another example of VI spin!

Reuters: UK Feb mortgage lending growth picks up unexpectedly

Mortgage numbers look good when compared to expected numbers rather than last year's! British mortgage lending growth accelerated unexpectedly in February and home loan approvals also beat forecasts, suggesting the housing market is holding up despite three interest rate rises since last August. The Bank of England said on Thursday that mortgage lending rose by 10.256 billion pounds in February, up from 9.520 billion the month before and stronger than forecasts for a 9.4 billion pound rise. Mortgage approvals -- a leading indicator of house prices -- were also higher than expected at 119,000 last month, against forecasts for an easing to 117,000 and the same as January.

Posted by cash_buyer @ 09:50 AM 4 Comments

Merv plays to the stalls!!

FT Online: Bank governor sees housing demand slowing at last

The housing market is at last slowing, Mervyn King, Bank of England governor, told MPs yesterday.

Posted by nearly30 @ 09:32 AM 4 Comments

This ole house is a-gettin' shaky

TheTimesOnline: Slow growth sparks fears that housing market has peaked

To Glorious Sunshine: This ole house once knew his children This ole house once knew his wife This ole house was home and comfort As we saw the prices rise This old house once rang with laughter This old house heard many shouts Now he trembles in the darkness When the REPOSSESSION word comes out ALL TOGETHER NOW Ain't a-gonna need this house no longer Ain't a-gonna need this house no more Ain't got time to fix the shingles Ain't got time to fix the floor Ain't got time to oil the hinges Nor to mend the windowpane Ain't a-gonna need this house no longer He's a-gettin' ready to meet the saints

Posted by onyerhike @ 09:26 AM 0 Comments

US Markets Fall because Bernanke is Pessimistic on US Economy

CNN: Stocks slump on economic woes

US Markets Fall because Bernanke is Pessimistic on US Economy

Posted by royston @ 01:31 AM 1 Comments

Irish property market & economy grind to a halt

Irish Times: Economy slows down as housing, exports decline

Further evidence that the Irish property market (and economy generally) is scr@$#d!

Posted by royston @ 01:22 AM 0 Comments

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

UK Wealth Gap Widens

Channel 4 News: More living in absolute poverty

The divide between rich and poor is widening, with the number of people living in absolute poverty up by 357,000 last year. The Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) showed that the UK's wealth gap increased last year - with the rich getting richer while the poorest fifth saw their incomes fall. It is also revealed that there are currently around 7.4 million individuals now living in absolute poverty in the UK after housing costs were factored in, up from 7.1 million in 2005/06.

Posted by enuii @ 08:11 PM 8 Comments

UK Wealth Gap Widens

Channel 4 News: More living in absolute poverty

The divide between rich and poor is widening, with the number of people living in absolute poverty up by 357,000 last year. The Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) showed that the UK's wealth gap increased last year - with the rich getting richer while the poorest fifth saw their incomes fall. It is also revealed that there are currently around 7.4 million individuals now living in absolute poverty in the UK after housing costs were factored in, up from 7.1 million in 2005/06.

Posted by enuii @ 08:10 PM 0 Comments

Senior guy at Citibank comments on current global imbalances

Financial Times: A market correction is coming, this time for real

Interconnected world, hedge funds etc. - global imbalances - necessitates greater prudence in lending and investing.

Posted by royston @ 08:09 PM 7 Comments

Poll shows that sentiment is wobbling

Guardian: Has the house price bubble finally burst?

Arguably the UK housing market is not sustained by fundamentals but by irrationality (and cheap credit). If the market sentiment starts changing...

Posted by confused76 @ 07:31 PM 0 Comments

Global Stocks Markets Drop on Bernanke's Testimony

CNBC: Stocks Drop Sharply On Fed Chairman Bernanke's Comments

I told you it was going to be a choppy week! These markets are a knife-edge. Smart money knows that asset prices are way too high. But these is a lot of dumb money looking for a home. Result: volatility. Bernanke sees downturn in property "could be more severe than we expect". That's as near as these guys get to "it's going to crash". He also said "core inflation is above the level conducive to sustained growth". Translation: "We have an inflation problem". He also talked about wage inflation and rising mark-ups. Their problem emanates from the same underlying cause as ours: too much credit. We seem to develop identical symptoms but only after a lag of a few months.

Posted by royston @ 04:07 PM 4 Comments

BTL credit dependency

Home.co.uk News: Landlords set store by mortgage advisers

This VI inspired article shows how completely dependent Buy-To-Let Landlords are on the supply of credit. When the deals dry up, as they eventually will, thousands of these investors will be in big trouble.

Posted by tinecu @ 04:03 PM 0 Comments

Distressed property company looking for buyers.

Gumtree.com: DISTRESS SELLER LOOKING FOR A QUICK SALE

Not strictly a news story but I could resist sharing this with you - look what I found on Gumtree.com: Distressed property company looking for buyers. (I have to admit, while I do sympathise with those employed in that firm, this did bring a smile to my face). I think the internet is going to make the coming HPC different from any in history.

Posted by royston @ 02:56 PM 3 Comments

UK: When the tide goes out

The Economist: The trouble with the housing market

Nice picture. Thinking of framing it, as a reminder of the turning point. Page 36: When the tide goes out: Rising house prices have hidden a multitude of sins Pages 87-89: Crack in the facade 3.60 well spent.

Posted by doomwatch @ 02:26 PM 4 Comments

UK: When the tide goes out

The Economist: The trouble with the housing market

Nice picture. Thinking of framing it, as a reminder of the turning point. Page 36: When the tide goes out: Rising house prices have hidden a multitude of sins Pages 87-89: Crack in the facade 3.60 well spent.

Posted by doomwatch @ 02:26 PM 0 Comments

Irish property market slowing down!

RTE News: Planning figure shows property slowdown

Evidence that Irish property market is slowing fast. It matter to us for 2 reasons. First, part of the global phenomenon of credit bloated house prices leading to inevitable bust. Second, the amount of Irish money that has flowed into UK residential property in the last few years. More than anyone else, the Irish have convinced themselves that rising prices are an intrinsic part of houses. If these guys have to pull out money from the UK to shore up failing investment at home, things could get interesting.

Posted by royston @ 02:04 PM 3 Comments

Think I will buy two!

Metro: London Flat sells for 100 Million

Struggling to find the first foot on the property ladder, why not buy a flat in London, great location!

Posted by afrobaggie @ 02:00 PM 3 Comments

The tide turns on the reporting of housing market

Daily Express: INTEREST RATES TO GO UP AGAIN

"MILLIONS of households were put on red alert yesterday for another round of crippling rises in home loans." As I've long predicted, once the gloom becomes a bigger seller than the boom, the tabloids will start to sing our song...

Posted by bidin\'matime @ 01:55 PM 10 Comments

Economic growth slowing? Moi?

BBC "News": UK economic growth revised down

"The ONS added that service sector growth accelerated by 0.9% during the period, while business and finance sector output grew by 1%." Growth "accelerated" 0.9%? "Grew" by 1%? Wooah steady on! Thanks for the impartial and unbiased summary, BBC.

Posted by paul @ 01:25 PM 1 Comments

Lenders reporting shortfalls after repossession

Firstrung: Nearly half of lenders have reported an increase in shortfalls after sale of property

Up to half of lenders have reported an increase in shortfalls after sales of property, a survey by litigation specialists Moore & Blatch reveals. These shortfalls become apparent when Lenders sell property, usually at auction, having had to repossess due to client payment difficulties.

Posted by converted lurker @ 10:35 AM 22 Comments

Still reckon it started Nov 2006 when rates reached 5%

Firstrung: House prices cool in March - Nationwide

Commenting on the figures Fionnuala Earley, Nationwide's Chief Economist, said: "The housing market showed further signs of cooling during March. The price of a typical house increased by 0.4% during the month, bringing the annual rate of house price inflation back into single digits at 9.3%. The price of a typical property in the UK is now 177,083, 15,000 higher than at this time last year. This is the equivalent of a monthly rise of 1,250 per month or 41 per day".

Posted by converted lurker @ 10:32 AM 17 Comments

More rates rises to come

www.theherald.co.uk: King leaves base rate trapdoor open

Bank of England governor Mervyn King yesterday left the door wide open for another rise in UK interest rates when he and his Monetary Policy Committee colleagues testified before the Treasury Select Committee. King hammered home his view that the risks to inflation two years out remained to the "upside". He said the MPC was "concerned about" UK firms' surprisingly high confidence about pushing through price rises.

Posted by cash_buyer @ 09:57 AM 1 Comments

House price growth tailing off

guardian.co.uk: House price growth tailing off

Despite showing a degree of buoyancy over the last few months, Nationwide said the underlying trend indicated a softening property market in the face of recent interest rate rises. Mortgage approvals and buyer inquiries at estate agents have weakened since the start of the year, it noted.

Posted by cash_buyer @ 09:55 AM 2 Comments

Debate: Homes or Investments?

BBC News: Head to head: Property or pension?

So should people forget about saving in a personal pension fund and just put their faith in bricks and mortar instead?

Posted by nearly30 @ 09:03 AM 8 Comments

There 'May' be trouble ahead

Daily Mail: Governor warns of house price slowdown and rate rise

Repeat mostly of earlier posting regarding Mervyn Kings comments about the economy and the signs that house price growth is starting to slow - indicating that another rate rise is expected in May, with a slim possibility it could be April, as inflation still seems to be running high.

Posted by p. o. o. r @ 08:27 AM 9 Comments

region by region fluctuations

DQNews: California Home Sale Price Medians by City

Facinating to see just how regions, if not surburbs vary. But the general theme is down. Also shows how misleading averages can be and the huge effect London prices have on the national average house prices that the mainstream press so often love to quote.

Posted by geed @ 07:30 AM 5 Comments

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Thou doth protest too much Mr 'Helicopter' Bernanke

Toronto Star: U.S. could withstand effects of debt sale: Bernanke

All house prices (and for that matter any asset prices) depend largely on the amount of money supply. Ben Bernanke can print all he wants, but unless he has more weaponry than the rest of the world combined (which many Americans would like to believe is still true - but isn't) - he cannot force anyone to accept his overvalued paper as payment any longer. In an nutshell, the USA is completely finished and with it, the UK also. There are a lot of nations we wronged (not even counting slavery) who are waiting to give us a good kicking. What better way to start than with a House Price Crash to end all House Price Crashes?

Posted by lvmreader @ 11:32 PM 4 Comments

Who do you think you are kidding Mr Dollar.....?

Scotsman: China shifts to euros for Iran oil

Oh my, oh my. Looks like this is the final act after all. What do you think our inflation rate will be once the USD backed GBP collapses? 20%, 30% 80% p.a.?

Posted by lvmreader @ 11:25 PM 6 Comments

Is that a sneer behind the Budget Box?

eBay: Gordon Browns 2p TAX 'CUT'

Gordon's 2p tax cut being auctioned on eBay!

Posted by webmaster @ 11:20 PM 0 Comments

The Canary in the Coal mine?

Bloomberg: Lennar's Profit Falls 73% as U.S. Home Demand Wanes

The US' largest homebuilder reported an earnings drop of 73% for Q1 '07 compared to Q1 '06: $68.6 million, or 43 cents a share, from $258.1 million or $1.58, a year earlier. They are now calling this the "biggest drop in U.S. home sales since 1990". And what did we have back in the '90s in the UK? But even more worrying is the inventory value of their unsold homes fell 51%! 3.45 billion from $7.1 billion. Others must now surely fall... is it pouring yet?!

Posted by layers @ 06:26 PM 1 Comments

Child Poverty Linked to Housing Costs

BBC News: More UK children live in poverty

Interesting article that subtly links child poverty to income after housing costs and charts it's recent rise with 3.6 million children living in relative poverty in the UK.

Posted by enuii @ 06:12 PM 2 Comments

What will this do to oil prices?

MSNBC: U.S. launches show of force in Persian Gulf

The U.S. Navy on Tuesday began its largest demonstration of force in the Persian Gulf since the 2003 invasion of Iraq, led by a pair of aircraft carriers and backed by warplanes flying simulated attack maneuvers off the coast of Iran.

Posted by lvmreader @ 05:25 PM 2 Comments

Dorothy? Kansas? Bye Bye?

Al Jazeera: Gulf economies to 'drop the dollar'

Gulf economies will move away from a dollar currency peg and shift foreign exchange reserves away from dollar to other currencies, including the Chinese yuan, the chief executive of Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) has said.

Posted by lvmreader @ 05:23 PM 2 Comments

King damps rate rise speculation

Guardian: King damps rate rise speculation

Speculation of a further interest rate rise in the coming months was dampned today after the Bank of England governor Mervyn King said that the UK housing market was starting to slow down and that inflation would return to target in two years. What is he going on about the market isn't slowing down, he just wants to keep the boom going.

Posted by daniel @ 02:38 PM 9 Comments

King also refused to say that house prices in the UK are over-valued and argued that much of the rise was perfectly understandable even though they appear high relative to earnings.

Forbes: BoE's King says impact of modest fall in UK house prices will be limited

We are all screwed King has said he will support house prices if they start to dip: The problem would be 'much more severe' if large falls materialise, though he stressed that the central bank would take offsetting action in the event that the decline came as a result of an external shock.

Posted by daniel @ 02:36 PM 6 Comments

Oh dear, more bad news...

Bloomberg: S&P/Case-Shiller Home Prices Fell 0.2% in January, Index Shows

March 27 (Bloomberg) -- The price of homes in 20 U.S. metropolitan areas fell in January for the first time in seven years, a private survey showed today. Home values dropped 0.2 percent last month from January 2006, according to the S&P/Case-Shiller home-price index. The decrease was the first since the group started the index in January 2001.

Posted by houseoflords @ 02:13 PM 6 Comments

Stop moaning, just save for ten years, then buy a studio 'apartment'..

Firstrung: First time buyers need on average a 38,000 deposit - Moneyextra

Moneyextra.com has revealed that, according to their mortgage approval data, first-time buyers (FTBs) are having to save an average of 37,632 for a deposit. First time buyers are putting down ever larger deposits. Robin Amlt of Moneyextra: "Our analysis shows the average mortgage deposit being put down by first time buyers in February 2007 is almost 11 per cent higher than a year ago at an eye-watering 37,632.

Posted by converted lurker @ 12:23 PM 10 Comments

Will supply and demand dynamic turn on buy-to-letters?

MoneyWeek: Could the UK property market could the way of the US?

Theres safety in numbers, so the saying goes. Maybe thats why UK house builders are clamouring to hook up with each other like theres no tomorrow. George Wimpey and Taylor Woodrow are headed for a 5.4bn merger - though many believe that FTSE 100 house builder Persimmon may gatecrash the party. Things aren't getting any better in the US property market and, back in the UK, the demand dynamic propping up the market isn't as strong as people think.

Posted by mary @ 10:49 AM 16 Comments

Raining stones in the mortgage market?

Firstrung: Mortgage approvals weaken in the face of rising costs and prices

Take a look at some of these figures; it has taken just 4 years for the average loan size to go from 100K to 140K, amount lent - 16.6bil in Jan down to 14.9 in Feb (bearing in mind Dec/Jan are the slowest months traditionally). When compared to February 2006, house purchase approvals were down 5% by number though up 8% by value; remortgaging approvals were up 6% by number and up 22% by value; and approvals for equity withdrawal were unchanged by number but 10% higher by value. nice to see the BBA blame it on lack of housing stock =;)

Posted by converted lurker @ 10:24 AM 2 Comments

Monday, March 26, 2007

Gerald Ronson, one of the property industrys most canny survivors, has warned that the industry is heading for a correction

FT: Ronson warns property investors

Mr Ronson, chief executive of private company Heron International, told guests at his annual lunch at Londons Savoy hotel that there can only be one ending to the current hot property market. We will look back and talk about how obvious the signs were, said the tycoon, whose business went bust in the early 1990s recession but who has since rebuilt himself into a successful real estate player

Posted by confused76 @ 11:33 PM 9 Comments

7 Billion Turnover Makes Wimpey No.1 in New Build

Times Online: Wimpey creates UK housing giant

Shares rise on 6 Billion Deal but how expensive will this deal be if the UK housing market has already peaked.

Posted by enuii @ 07:54 PM 0 Comments

Smith's still not convinced about the US housing market

EconomicsUK: US housing - not dead yet

What will it take to convince this guy. The credit cycle is turning and it looks like the US will be the first economy that will be going down.

Posted by sold 2 rent 1 @ 06:11 PM 6 Comments

February's inventories of unsold US houses at a 16-year high

Market watch: US New-home sales fall to seven-year low

The words "shaped" and "pair" (but not necessarily in that order) spring to mind

Posted by sold 2 rent 1 @ 05:51 PM 3 Comments

Flashback: 1977 in the UK

Time Magazine: Time to Be Bullish on Britain?

The money is beginning to roll in at just the right time; after three nightmarish years, Britain is finally getting its economy in order. Much of the credit goes to the International Monetary Fund, which a year ago made available $3.9 billion in loan money to Britain in return for a severe austerity program. The IMF loan prevented a collapse of sterling. A long period of voluntary wage restraint, accepted by Britain's powerful trade unions at the Labor government's prompting, has reduced inflation from a Latin American annual rate of almost 27% in August 1975 to a still high 13% now.

Posted by lvmreader @ 04:14 PM 6 Comments

Watch the Stock Markets Drop around the Globe!

CNBC: Drop in New [US] Home Sales Sparks Selloff in Stocks

Another US housing figure falls very far short of expectations. The stock markets, which have been bouyed up by a lot of stupid money which thinks it is buying in the dips, re-evaluate downwards. I reckon if we can breach the lows touched in previous weeks, we could get a stock market crash.

Posted by royston @ 03:15 PM 16 Comments

Here comes the first really bad news...

Bloomberg: New-Home Sales in U.S. Fell 3.9% to 848,000 Pace in February

Purchases declined 3.9 percent to an annual pace of 848,000 last month from a revised 882,000 rate in January that was lower than previously reported, the Commerce Department said today in Washington. The supply of unsold homes at the current sales pace rose to the highest in 16 years. Economists had forecast new home sales would rise to a 985,000 rate from a previously reported 937,000 for January, according to the median of 63 projections in a Bloomberg News survey. D'oh!

Posted by houseoflords @ 03:07 PM 0 Comments

Ooops, Gordon your legacy is showing again ... !

Times Online: Home ownership slips into reverse for the first time in half a century

Under Gordon Brown's stewardship, the MPC deliberately started the house price boom, now it's consequences have come home to roost. It is unprecedented to see home ownership decline in Britain and a sad commentary on Labours failure to spread prosperity across society, Mr Gove said. It is particularly unfortunate that Gordon Browns Budget made home ownership more difficult and did nothing to help first-time buyers.

Posted by paul @ 01:16 PM 0 Comments

Labour 1st govt ever to cause decline in home ownership

BBC News: Owner occupation falls in England

The number of owner-occupied homes in England has fallen for the first time since official records began in 1939. There were 14.62 million owner occupied homes in England last year, according to the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG). That was 25,000 fewer than in 2005, because of a drop in the number of people buying a home with a mortgage.

Posted by pricedout.org.uk @ 01:13 PM 0 Comments

BBC Economist admits property market is inflated

The Times: Property prices

Evan Davis corrects The Times for wrongly quoting his opinion, and doubts "investing" in property is a good bet anymore. Please see also the bullish caption to the article, which otherwise conveys some balanced opinions, http://property.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_style/property/article1554085.ece One wonders if The Times journalist had in fact understood Davis' points

Posted by confused76 @ 11:56 AM 7 Comments

IR rise now guaranteed by May

The Telegraph: Sterling to smash $2, says ABN

The outlook for the next 12 month's:
Sterling to rise strongly as inflation and IR rise and economy overheats
Sterling to crash badly whern carry trade ends and economy slows

This all ties in with a crash and economic downturn in 2008.

Posted by sold 2 rent 1 @ 11:19 AM 16 Comments

House Prices Continue to Rise......No End in Sight Yet!

Daily Express: HOUSE PRICES HIT NEW HIGH

More VI frontpage, cheerleading, propaganda from the Express. Not worth commenting on any further.

Posted by royston @ 10:19 AM 7 Comments

READ THIS!!!

Guardian: We have nothing to fear but Wall Street

It is now becoming clear that there was fraud on a pretty massive scale. There will be more mortgage lenders filing for bankruptcy and, no doubt, some class-action lawsuits.

Posted by inbreda @ 09:37 AM 18 Comments

UK subprime like in the US

Guardian: Income 517, mortgage 430. It's the new housing scam

Council house tenants are losing their homes after being targeted by mortgage companies encouraging them to borrow ridiculous amounts of money to buy their properties

Posted by confused76 @ 02:54 AM 1 Comments

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Musings on landlord type 'stuff'....

Firstrung: Tales of an accidental landlord

Finally it's done, after eight weeks of trying it's finally let. Firstly let's get one thing 'arrow straight', the editor of Firstrung has not done a volte face and finally succumbed to the 'dark side' and become a buy to let landlord...

Posted by converted lurker @ 03:09 PM 13 Comments

Under 35's Mugged by Baby Boomers

New Statesman: The great generational robbery

This is what it's all about, the older generation sub-consciuosly fleecing todays youngster to fund their retirement plans. Many of you reading this will be thieves. And a good proportion of you will be victims. There is no mugging involved, but a new form of wealth exchange, which economic observers are calling generational robbery.

Posted by enuii @ 02:30 PM 10 Comments

Subprime lender points to differences between US and UK

Reuters: 15-Mar: Kensington sees strong demand

One-step-from-the-grave Kensington bullish outlook of just 2 weeks ago: "The UK market is fundamentally different to that in the U.S., with stringent regulation and high levels of checks."

Posted by confused76 @ 01:55 PM 2 Comments

Subprime market alive and kicking?

Sunday Telegraph: 25-year mortgage for a man aged 102

So the subprime market is alive and kicking but for how much longer? I don't know whether to laugh or cry. "A 102-year-old has been granted a 25-year, 200,000 mortgage. It will run until he is 127. The pensioner, from East Sussex, is believed to be the oldest person in the UK to be granted a mortgage. The revelation was greeted with alarm by debt advisors. He faces repayments of 958 a month on the interest-only loan and intends to pay them from rental income and make money from the property's increase in value over time."

Posted by monty @ 01:35 PM 13 Comments

The past week in focus

Firstrung: Firstrung, the week in focus 25/03/07

What caught the eye of the Firstrung team eye during the past week? Undoubtedly Lord George's interview regarding the actions the BoE believed they had to take after 9/11...In order to avoid the imminent recession (which was already on course) becoming a global collapse, the BoE, (under the former Governor's remit) increased the money supply and lowered interest rates to stimulate consumer demand. This led to the legacy of high house prices. It's important to remember this when faced with the usual anodyne argument that a "shortgage of supply has caused house price rises", it's nosense. Speculation caused by cheap credit is the reason, tell 'em "Lord George said so".

Posted by converted lurker @ 11:59 AM 11 Comments

The human cost

Yahoo News: Subprime bust forces families from homes

Excellent article combining analysis of the subprime market with a story about the Snearys, a hardworking all-American family trapped by debt. To be repeated in the UK soon.

Posted by harold @ 11:13 AM 2 Comments

Saturday, March 24, 2007

The U.S. subprime mortgage meltdown

CBC: The U.S. subprime mortgage meltdown

Will it spread to Canada? Would you like a mortgage that lends you more than the value of your house? Would you like it structured so that your first payments are extra low? If the mortgage weren't structured that way, would you be unable to afford the payments? Are you convinced that real estate prices will continue to rise? Do you have a poor credit history? Congratulations if you answered "Yes" to most or all of those questions! You're an ideal target for a subprime mortgage lender.

Posted by daniel @ 07:38 PM 0 Comments

Financial Planners say house prices 'bloated'

FT Money Makeover: Go liquid for a child-friendly plan

Young professionals invested in property looking for Makeover. Planners respond - 'sell up'.

Posted by financial planner @ 07:22 PM 6 Comments

The Budget missed opportunity

Guardian: House of Cards

Awareness is brewing... a well-written piece that hits all the right points. Sad to conclude that New Labour's biggest economic contribution has been to "rent-seeking". In 1997 Gordon Brown said, "I am determined that as a country we never return to the instability, speculation, and negative equity that characterised the housing market in the 1980s and 1990s." To address the property madness gripping the UK, Gordon Brown needed to do several things in his budget earlier this week. Restricting the money supply, forcing mortgage providers to adopt more stringent lending criteria, capital gains taxes on speculative property investments as a powerful incentive to invest in alternative forms of savings

Posted by confused76 @ 04:01 PM 3 Comments

Will this happen when we get our HPC?

BBC News: US house sales jump as prices dip

US existing home sales rose at their fastest rate since March 2004 last month, despite fears of a slowdown in the property market. Sales of existing homes rose 3.9% in February driven by a surge in activity in the North East, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) said.

Posted by pedagog @ 03:52 PM 6 Comments

The warnings of investing in property

BBC News: Buy-to-let pitfalls

Buy-to-let investments have become increasingly popular in recent years, but some observers warn that the market is on the wane. A mortgage expert outlines the possible drawbacks of buy-to-let and gives some handy investment hints.

Posted by benstar @ 01:26 PM 0 Comments

property will continue to produce far greater returns than other forms of investments such as pension funds and the stock market

Landlord Expert: UK property: To buy or not to buy?

Please read the article, it is a true gem! There are statements like "maximising the power of gearing (but without overstretching yourself)" and "property will continue to produce far greater returns than other forms of investments such as pension funds and the stock market"

Posted by confused76 @ 09:52 AM 21 Comments

Friday, March 23, 2007

Higher oil prices will impact such things as lending rates

BBC News: Oil prices leap on Gulf incident

"This sort of incident, and subsequent mishandling, is just the sort of thing that fuels concerns about a global conflagration over oil," said Fimat analyst John Kilduff. We live in a highly connected world. There are those who think everything is nicely compartmentalised, but the world is more like a vast, highly complex differential equation with hundreds of partial derivatives which affect each other. Oil Prices going up, may cause the failure of a large firm, or force a large hedge fund to unwind positions in other areas. These "unexpected" events can shock entire systems and thus lending costs. "Spreads" will widen (meaning that lenders have to charge more for loans above the rate they borrow at), leading to consequences such as a fall in house prices.

Posted by lvmreader @ 10:13 PM 6 Comments

UK sub-prime lender feeling the pinch

BBC News: Sub-prime lender's profit warning

It would appear that the sub-prime mortgage business here in the UK may be starting to have problems.

Posted by wedgels @ 02:57 PM 11 Comments

Here it Comes!!!! UK Sub-Prime-LIE TO BUY outfit -in deep trouble

Guardian Newspaper Online: Chief quits as mortgage lender issues profit warning

Shares plunged at Kensington Group, the mortgage lender that focuses on customers with below-average credit ratings, after it issued a profit warning. The company also announced that chief executive John Maltby had quit the company with immediate effect.

Posted by eric pebble @ 02:25 PM 0 Comments

Hometrack see HPI falling to 4% by year end

Firstrung: House price rises affect first-time buyers - Hometrack

Higher house prices and rising interest rates means that more first-time buyers than ever are struggling to go-it-alone. Their dwindling numbers casts a shadow over the future of the property market and raises doubts over the sustainability of house price growth.

Posted by converted lurker @ 12:25 PM 5 Comments

Buy to let to get squeezed

Firstrung: Could buy to let suffer due to new consumer credit legislation?

Lee Tillcock, editor of business Moneyfacts commented: "The last year has seen a raft of legislation impacting on the buy-to-let sector, with more new rules and regulations still to be implemented. So far the new regulation has covered areas to protect both the landlord's and tenant's rights. However lenders and borrowers should also be aware that The Consumer Credit Act 2006 (CCA 2006) presents potentially far more serious issues when its provisions begin to take full effect next April.

Posted by converted lurker @ 11:58 AM 2 Comments

fall-out in the US subprime sector

FT: Kensington Group chief to step down

Kensington provides mortgage-broking services, mortgages, and personal loans to customers in the UK, Ireland and Sweden, who do not meet the criteria for other lenders often because of poor credit history.

Posted by foggy @ 11:38 AM 0 Comments

Calling the top? Older generation downsizing and buying smaller properties for cash

Reuters: Property price boom creates cash buyers

Almost 400,000 people who plan to buy a new home in the first half of this year will be cash buyers, after raking in thousands of pounds in the property price boom. Three million people are planning to buy a property between February and July, but 13 percent -- some 395,000 people -- say they will not need a mortgage, according to research by mortgage comparison Web site mform.co.uk.

Posted by bobsta @ 11:35 AM 0 Comments

Very good... (Bit about retrospective tax handouts to people with holiday homes abroad)

Telegraph (Rory Bremner): Gordon's 'real' budget

Very funny (in a very dark way!). Good to see mainstream entertainers latching on to the activities of these crooks.

Posted by tyrellcorporation @ 11:06 AM 0 Comments

BTL lender Kensington's profits dwindle, boss quits.

Bloomberg: Kensington CEO Maltby Quits; Net May Miss Forecasts

CEO Maltby had catered to households that refinance debt to reduce payments. Still, profit has been hurt by rising bad debts and competition from HBOS. Kensington shares dropped 23 percent.

Posted by macgregor @ 11:01 AM 0 Comments

The BBCs economics editor tells Judith Heywood why property is still a good bet

Times Online: The house master

"Davis... reminds us that property is historially cheap because of low mortgage rates"

Posted by rich @ 10:52 AM 6 Comments

BOE helped UK avoid a recession

Firstrung: BOE created consumer boom to boost house prices and personal debt so that "UK Plc" could avoid recession

This article was missed off the list this week - thought I might add it now. Confirms everything we already knew - but good to read.

Posted by nearly30 @ 10:08 AM 33 Comments

It's official - US is due a recession and soon!!

Market Oracle: US Recession Imminent - 2007/08?

Technical analysts find data the strongly implies a recession is on the cards for the US for 2007/08.

Posted by nearly30 @ 09:56 AM 1 Comments

Fed finally recognises the problems (it's caused)

BBC: Fed acknowledges sub-prime errors

The US Federal Reserve should have been more aware of the financial risks posed by the sub-prime mortgage market, a senior Fed official has admitted.

Posted by holding out @ 08:18 AM 9 Comments

Is this Britain's future?

New York Times: Foreclosures Force Suburbs to Fight Blight

In a sign of the spreading economic fallout of mortgage foreclosures, several suburbs of Cleveland, one of the nations hardest-hit cities, are spending millions of dollars to maintain vacant houses as they try to contain blight and real-estate panic.

Posted by richc @ 08:01 AM 2 Comments

The only way is up...

MoneyExtra: House prices unstoppable

It would take a major economic decline for house prices to fall in the foreseeable future, which is highly improbable, experts have agreed at the second annual 'Great Housing Debate', organised by financial PR firm, The Wriglesworth Consultancy. David Miles, Chief Economist at Morgan Stanley said: "Public expectations regarding house price growth are key to the market's stability. Growth would need to fall successively for a number of months before peoples' expectations, and therefore prices, were seriously impacted." Nigel Terrington, Chief Executive of Paragon Mortgages, said "A serious correction in the housing market traditionally occurs as a result of a sharp economic downturn, which looks extremely unlikely."

Posted by little professor @ 07:24 AM 13 Comments

UK Subprime Snapped Up

reuters investing: Paragon closes 1.5 bln stg buy-to-let mortgage bond

Please could somebody explain how I can 'short' some of these bonds?

Posted by kagiso @ 12:07 AM 0 Comments

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Rising house prices have hidden a multitude of sins

The Economist: Subprime mortgages - When the tide goes out

IT SHOULD have been a warning sign to Britain's mortgage lenders, but news of the meltdown in America's subprime market (see article) has prompted only self-congratulation. With straight faces, lenders, rating agencies and investors have counted the reasons why mortgage lending in Britain is as neat and orderly as the terraced Victorian houses it often finances.

Posted by sold 2 rent 1 @ 11:01 PM 4 Comments

More US housing detail

The Economist: Cracks in the faade

America's riskiest mortgages are crumbling. How far will the damage spread?

Posted by sold 2 rent 1 @ 10:59 PM 1 Comments

Lead article this week

The Economist: The trouble with the housing market

The true cause for concern is that just as America's housing boom was part of a synchronised global binge on cheap money, its bust may be part of a global story too
Inevitably, Americans will ask what policymakers can do. It is too late to unwind monetary policy of a few years ago; cutting rates now risks compounding the error. The Fed's main worry is inflationand rightly so.

Posted by sold 2 rent 1 @ 10:56 PM 2 Comments

Mortgage Crisis Deepens in USA

CNN: Mortgage crisis overwhelming credit counselors

The mortgage crisis in America is overwhelming debt counsilors on the other side of the pond. A situation soon to come to the shores soon im sure of that. Mirracle economy my ar$e.

Posted by doggadogdog @ 09:13 PM 0 Comments

Now the fingerpointing and scapegoating starts

InvestmentNews Daily: 'Abusive' loans fueled subprime debacle

I really wonder about all this in the UK - What will be said about A&L, Barclays, HBOS, HSBC, Northern Rock? The surge in subprime mortgage defaults was caused by abusive lending and fraud, the deputy comptroller of the U.S. Office of the Comptroller of the Currency told the Senate Banking Committee today.

Posted by lvmreader @ 08:09 PM 0 Comments

More conflicting reports

Guardian: Fresh fears over inflationary pressures

The prospect of higher interest rates loomed larger after a leading survey today showed that the number of manufacturers expecting to raise their prices hit the highest level in nearly 12 years, sparking fresh fears over inflationary pressures in the economy.

Posted by inbreda @ 04:45 PM 11 Comments

Paragon still happy

Sky News: Buy-To-Let Stays Strong

"The credit quality of the buy-to-let portfolio remains exemplary," it said. The housing market has stayed resilient despite three Bank of England interest rate rises since August to 5.25%. ...Paragon seem happy with the outlook for BTL.

Posted by bosscat @ 03:41 PM 0 Comments

BOJ will have to raise rates - end of the carry trade

BBC News: Japan's land prices start to rise

Here is some much needed cheer as today's posts are depressing.
The major metropolitan areas of Tokyo, Nagoya and Osaka each saw significant increases.
Commercial land prices in these big cities rose by 8.9% on average, led by a 9.4% average rise in Tokyo.
The last thing that Japan needs is another property bubble. The BOJ will raise rates faster than we think.

Posted by sold 2 rent 1 @ 03:23 PM 2 Comments

Get the poor paying 20% tax instead of 10% and help people with holiday homes!!! NICE!

FT: Sunnier outlook for holiday home taxpayers

Hundreds of thousands of people who have bought overseas holiday homes through companies will enjoy lower income tax charges following changes flagged in Wednesdays Budget. The move was heralded as much-needed common sense as, although these many homeowners were in theory clocking up significant income tax bills, only a minority of owners of overseas property were actually paying the tax.

Posted by tyrellcorporation @ 01:37 PM 2 Comments

The Affluenza test

Fool.co.uk: Does Wealth Make Us Worse?

There is a massive downside to our embracing of dog-eat-dog consumerism, as revealed in my latest read, Affluenza: How to Be Successful and Stay Sane by clinical psychologist Oliver James. (By the way, if you apply for an Amazon credit card and make a purchase on it, then you get a 15 Amazon gift certificate which will pay for this book with 4.21 left over.)

Posted by converted lurker @ 11:14 AM 4 Comments

More data to support a rate rise in April

SKY News: High street sales climb

High Street sales bounced back more than expected last month to rise at their fastest monthly rate in more than two years. Sales volumes climbed 1.4% in February - twice as much as predicted - and the strongest monthly rate since January 2005.

Posted by Webmaster @ 10:04 AM 15 Comments

Budget and E-Petitions on housing

Firstrung: The budget, never mind the first-rung check out the smoke and mirrors

It would appear that 'pips can be squeezed' in relation to; mortgage interest rates, council tax, insurance costs, holiday taxes, airport taxes, etc. without a murmur. Houses rise in price by hundreds of thousands of pounds and middle England celebrate their equitable wealth, mess with petrol prices and fuel blockades ensue. Oh, and whilst on the subject of middle England, can you guess which E-Petition is also the most popular on the number 10 site? Yes, that's right, inheritance tax abolition, which received a massive boost in the budget to be implemented by 2010. Small comfort that the Government recognises who it actually needs to vote them back in.

Posted by converted lurker @ 09:59 AM 0 Comments

Standard Life job cuts in Edinburgh

BBC News: Standard Life to cut 1,000 jobs

Standard Life is to cut another 1,000 jobs as part of plans to save 100m a year by 2009. The life and pensions group, reporting its first full-year results since its stock market listing, has already scrapped 4,500 posts since 2004.

Posted by webmaster @ 09:56 AM 0 Comments

NAEA bemoans yesterday's budget

Firstrung: Budget provides little consolation for home owners - NAEA

This year's budget report has provided little consolation for home buyers and sellers as important issues such as a stamp duty and inheritance tax were skirted around by the Chancellor. The National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA) has expressed its frustration that once again little appears to have been done to help first time buyers. It does, however, welcome moves to increase energy efficiency in UK homes

Posted by converted lurker @ 09:14 AM 0 Comments

The irrationality of property buyers

NY Times: NY Times Property section

broadly, US market is almost as overblown as UK market. It is argued ( reasonably well in my opinion) that this is due to the irrationality of investors who are able to speculate using the leverage provided by mortgage companies. The reasons for doing this are: greed, mass psychology, funding and fear of stock market crashes. It does seem applicable to UK market. Buy2letters are happy to accept minimal yields often less than 4 % gross because they are simply convinced that property prices are a one way bet. we'll see.

Posted by jpb radlett, herts @ 09:07 AM 0 Comments

No mention of inflation - as ever

BBC: Fed holds rate unchanged at 5.25%

The US Federal Reserve has left its main interest rate unchanged at 5.25%.

Posted by holding out @ 08:43 AM 14 Comments

House prices unstoppable say experts

About Property: House prices unstoppable say experts

House prices look set to continue to rise at an unstoppable rate for the foreseeable future, experts have said. Focusing on income multiples alone is not helpful they must be considered instead in the context of affordability," said Michael Coogan, director general of the Council of Mortgage Lenders. He added income multiples of six or seven could be a possibility in future.

Posted by daniel @ 02:13 AM 6 Comments

This was hidden well.. and on the day of the Budget too.. hmmm

BBC: Mis-selling is 'rife' at Barclays

A nine-month investigation by BBC reporters working undercover in a leading British bank has revealed a culture of ruthlessness and lies which will shock their customers.

Posted by george monsoon @ 12:46 AM 1 Comments

What would an escalation in military hostilities do to our currency and thus credit supply

Hartford Courant: Crude Prices Rise Slightly

Remember that House Prices are a symptom of the credit / money supply in the economy. Furthermore geopolitical effects shape currency at least as much as "simple" economics. What do you think business confidence will do if an obvious shooting war begins?
2 Killed in Nuclear Submarine Fire in Northern Russia
Canadian dies of injuries from submarine fire
Two sailors die in explosion on nuclear sub under Arctic ice
US Navy investigating 'vanishing submarine' incident

Posted by lvmreader @ 12:39 AM 7 Comments

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Loans shock on way

www.mirror.co.uk: Loans shock on way

Fresh mortgage misery is on the cards after a shock rise in inflation and signs that the housing boom is set to continue. In an eve-of-Budget blow to Gordon Brown, new figures showed that inflation is now at a near 16-year high.

Posted by cash_buyer @ 10:28 PM 0 Comments

House prices in Bodmin fell by 11% last year!

www.thisiscornwall.co.uk: Shock fall in value of our properties

Home-owners in Bodmin are reeling from the shock that a house price fall could leave those with maximum mortgages facing negative equity on a scale not experienced for 20 years. According to latest Land Registry figures, house prices in Bodmin fell by 11% last year. The value of an average property was 174,780 in December 2006, and the value of an average detached house was 259,278 - 12,722 less than in January last year.

Posted by cash_buyer @ 10:26 PM 0 Comments

House Prices Down As Rate Rises Bite

www.findaproperty.com: House Prices Down As Rate Rises Bite

The latest housing market survey by the NAEA recorded the average house price for February as 213,259, having fallen from January's average of 217,955. With three interest rate rises finally having a substantial impact on house prices the number of registered buyers is also on the wane - over February their numbers fell to 345 from January's figure of 367.

Posted by cash_buyer @ 10:24 PM 0 Comments

Here comes the commercial property crash ?

Citywire: Tax reduction for empty commercial properties threatens fund returns

The government intends to reduce empty property relief (EPR) in an effort to enhance the supply of commercial property.

Posted by ash4781 @ 07:40 PM 2 Comments

US Housing Collapse - more likely than not?

MarketWatch: What goes boom must go bust

"Booms turn to busts not because something 'happened.' They turn to bust because there is simply no other path."

Posted by humptydumpty @ 04:22 PM 0 Comments

Look at the small print and watch your back folks!!!

Telegraph: Brown's stuns opponents with tax cuts

The figures underlying the Budget showed that the Chancellor plans to take back almost precisely the amount he will give out to families and businesses through extra taxes and the removal of certain allowances. Election round the corner ????

Posted by sovietuk @ 03:16 PM 11 Comments

What's Gordon doing for first time buyers? Zilch.

BBC "News": Point-by-point: Budget

The report gleefully notes that house price inflation will "subdue" in 2007, but remain above the economic growth rate. He's raising the IHT threshold though, because ageing property-rich middle England wants their wealth for keeps. I suppose Stalinist Macavity will be on a plane off to the Bahamas by now.

Posted by paul @ 02:19 PM 2 Comments

last-business-journal

france 24: last-business-journal

Some french-TV, in english, about the US bubble bust... Good to see images instead of article.

Posted by tangara @ 11:30 AM 0 Comments

Real interest rates too low to cool down property market

MoneyWeek: Is Uncle Gordon warming up the gulags?

Last time the retail price index was this high, the UK base rate was 11%. And inflation doesn't look to be going away any time soon - expect further rate hikes.

Posted by mary @ 10:55 AM 7 Comments

But will it make a difference?

Evening Standard: Another interest rate rise to 5.5% is just weeks away

Reasonably ballsy article. Jolly good.

Posted by geed @ 10:50 AM 1 Comments

But will it make a difference?

Evening Standard: Another interest rate rise to 5.5% is just weeks away

Reasonably ballsy article. Jolly good.

Posted by geed @ 10:49 AM 0 Comments

Oh my god. one of them even wanted to cut rates

BBC News: Bank voted 8-1 to freeze UK rates

"However, the minutes showed that the members of the bank's Monetary Policy Committee were less concerned about the risks of wage inflation." so which figures do they think are important? David Blanchflower, was in favour of cutting rates to 5% WTF???

Posted by sam @ 10:41 AM 0 Comments

The 1 actually voted for a cut - You know who

BBC: Bank voted 8-1 to freeze UK rates

The Bank of England's rate-setting committee unexpectedly voted 8-1 to keep the cost of borrowing at 5.25% this month.

Posted by holding out @ 10:41 AM 18 Comments

National press coverage of the biggest fib since WMD

Daily Express: COST OF HOME LOANS TO SOAR

HARD-pressed households face more crippling mortgage rate rises as the official cost of living continues to soar.

Posted by mr cobblepot @ 10:22 AM 0 Comments

Front page

Daily Express: COST OF HOME LOANS TO SOAR

Its what we want to hear in the mainstream press. Mentions Eddie Georges statement from yesterday, although in diluted form. They will still keep buying houses though, warnings appear to do nothing even if they are explicit. People are stupid and greedy and they need to be forced to stop paying monopoly money for property. It will go on unless a stinging 0.5% rise is factored in.

Posted by geed @ 10:19 AM 5 Comments

Kate Barker on changing interest rates

Independent: Ex-Governor George says Bank deliberately fuelled consumer boom

Kate Barker, a current MPC member, said in a speech last night that interest rate changes might become more frequent as the committee tackles volatile energy prices, rising inflation expectations and increasing pricing power. See last paragraph.

Posted by sara @ 09:59 AM 0 Comments

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Should FTBs be exempt?

Firstrung: Should the stamp duty exclusion band should be based on average house prices?

With the Chancellor announcing his Budget this week, mortgage brokers up and down the country would like to see an increase in the stamp duty exclusion band in line with the average national house price, according to research by GE Money Home Lending. The rise, if it were implemented, would take the exclusion band from 125,000 to just over 200,000 - an increase of more than 75,000 - and would save a buyer over 2,000.

Posted by converted lurker @ 11:36 PM 16 Comments

Mortgage fees rocket

Firstrung: Research from find.co.uk reveals mortgage application fees have nearly doubled since 2004

The average fixed application fee for a fixed rate mortgage has soared from 334 in February 2004 to 611 in February 2007. Find.co.uk's analysis of mortgage data from independent financial product research firm Defaqto, shows that in 2004 fixed application fees ranged from 149 (Darlington), to 2,500 (Bank of Scotland Mortgages Direct).

Posted by converted lurker @ 11:34 PM 0 Comments

How dangerous is this trend?

FT.com: Loan rescues Accredited Home Lenders

Farallon Capital Management has come to the aid of embattled subprime mortgage lender Accredited Home Lenders, lending them $200m over five years to avoid a credit crunch.

Accredited will use the money ,along with proceeds from a planned fire sale of $2.7bn in mortgage loans, to boost working capital after its existing lenders Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs and Merrill Lynch demanded collateral to cover losses from a recent spike in late payments and defaults.

Huh?!

Posted by lvmreader @ 11:06 PM 1 Comments

Selling your girfriend to pay the mortgage...

Sky: Pimping for the mortgage

A Tory councillor who sold his girlfriend, a woman with learning difficulties, for sex has been given a 12-month suspended jail sentence. Alan Burkitt, of West Bromwich, in the West Midlands, advertised the woman on the internet to help pay his mortgage. More here and here

Posted by little professor @ 05:57 PM 7 Comments

They set us up, insider trading, the works!!!

Skynews: BoE Takes Property Blame

The group that decides the interest rate deliberately fuelled a consumer boom to boost house prices and personal debt so that "UK Plc" could avoid recession. And guess who all bought property: Blair, Brown, MPC...........

Posted by millard @ 05:15 PM 22 Comments

MPC deliberately caused housing boom

Ananova: Bank Takes Blame Over Property

"The group that decides the interest rate deliberately fuelled a consumer boom to boost house prices and personal debt so that "UK Plc" could avoid recession."

Posted by rich @ 04:47 PM 9 Comments

Boe take blame for house inflation

SKY News: BoE takes blame for house inflation

Boe takes blame for house inflation

Posted by j tallis @ 04:26 PM 0 Comments

And the response is swift......

The beeb: No 10 hits out at Brown accuser

Downing Street has criticised a former head of the civil service who said Chancellor Gordon Brown operates with a "Stalinist ruthlessness". ......And... I don't think there is an argument for slander here.. .. does anyone object?

Posted by george monsoon @ 01:12 PM 9 Comments

Brown uses denial of information as an "instrument of power"

BBC: Brown accused of 'ruthlessness'

Gordon Brown today is on the end of a scathing attack by the ex-head of the civil service who accused Brown of possesing "Stalinist ruthlessness". He also stated that Brown possessed a, "very cynical view of mankind and his colleagues". This is not directly related to HPC but is unquestionably related to HPI which has been rife during Brown's role as chancellor.

Posted by denzil @ 12:58 PM 4 Comments

Are we at the end of the road for the housing market mini-boom?

Sunday Times: Are we at the end of the road for the housing market mini-boom?

The panel of "experts", as usual seems to be derived from estate agency and mortgage lender cheerleaders. Property prices are at a crossroads, so we asked a panel of experts for their views on where they go now. The consensus is a gentle but prolonged slowdown, but no-one denies there are still risks. Money editor Kathryn Cooper asks the questions ...

Posted by doomwatch @ 12:36 PM 6 Comments

Mortgage lending down for 4th successive month

Firstrung: CML put spin on 'record' February mortgage figures despite being 7 percent down on January 2007

The Firstrung team are not entirely sure what the CML are trying to prove here; mortgage lending fell in February by 7%, the bulk of the "gross mortgage" lending refers to either re-mortgaging or equity release, which have been the only 'growth areas' in the mortgage lending market for some time. In relation to the CML take on first time buyer activity, by their own admission the CML figures are inaccurate containing as they do; returners, divorcees and buy to let investors buying their first BTL property.

Posted by converted lurker @ 11:36 AM 0 Comments

Inflation up!

BBC: UK inflation rate rises to 2.8%

IR to follow ? Wouldn't BankofE on it

Posted by holding out @ 09:59 AM 20 Comments

It's those pesky iPods driving down inflation again

Forbes: DVDs, sat nav systems, mobile downloads make debut in UK inflation basket

"Measuring inflation in the UK will change to include DVD recorders, satellite navigation systems, digital radios and mobile downloads for the first time, reflecting shifts in spending habits, the Office for National Statistics said." Call it manipulation if you will, but this is how they're making up the numbers now.

Posted by monty @ 09:52 AM 1 Comments

UK inflation rate rises to 2.8%

BBC News: UK inflation rate rises to 2.8%

Inflation measured by the Consumer Prices Index (CPI) rose to 2.8% in February from January's figure of 2.7%. There was a bigger rise in the Retail Prices Index (RPI), which rose to 4.6% from January's figure of 4.2%. The RPI includes mortgage interest payments and is used in many wage negotiations. If the CPI goes above 3%, Bank of England governor Mervyn King has to write a letter to the government explaining why it has happened.

Posted by kc @ 09:46 AM 0 Comments

The latest installment from Radio 4 talks touches on the phenomena of Buy To Lets

Radio 4: The price of property

The latest installment on Radio 4 repeated tonight at 9:30 pm touches on Buy To Let and mentions campaign websites such as HousePricecrash.co.uk and PricedOut.com. We need to get our growing list of signature on the governments petition website growing.

Posted by j tallis @ 09:45 AM 1 Comments

Inflation down, believe it or not

Telegraph: Energy prices to weigh down inflation

Inflation could be set for an even more abrupt fall this year than originally expected, after the Office for National Statistics announced it has dramatically increased the weighting of gas and electricity prices in the Consumer Price Index. ..... He added that there was now next to no chance this year of CPI rising above the 3pc mark, at which point the Bank of England Governor would have to write a letter of explanation to the Chancellor.

Posted by monty @ 09:44 AM 15 Comments

BoJ supports the carry trade?

BBC: Japan holds interest rate at 0.5%

Japan's central bank has kept interest rates at 0.5% following last month's increase in the level. The decision had been widely expected, with the bank facing political pressure not to raise interest rates too quickly with inflation still subdued.

Posted by monty @ 09:16 AM 6 Comments

5 million extra units needed by 2029?

Firstrung: Households to grow by over five million units by 2029

The number of households in England is projected to increase from 21.1 million in 2004 to 26.0 million in 2026 and to reach 26.5 million in 2029. The drivers of household growth are similar in the updated 2004 based household projections and the 2003 based ones. One person households account for 155,000 of the 223,000 annual growth to 2026. One third of these one person households are in the age groups over 65 years.

Posted by converted lurker @ 09:11 AM 5 Comments

A Surprising Look at 100+ Years of Home Prices

DailyWealth: A Surprising Look at 100+ Years of Home Prices

It's possible that the great boom that we've seen in home prices since 2000 the greatest in the history of our nation is really home prices simply making up for lost gains of the second half of the 20th century. In 1950, the average home in America was 983 square feet. It had two bedrooms and one bath. It was short on modern amenities nobody had a dishwasher or air conditioning. By 1970, the average home size jumped to 1,500 square feet. It had three bedrooms and one-and-a-half baths. One in three homes had a dishwasher and air conditioning.

Posted by info123 @ 08:54 AM 3 Comments

UK crowded island, USA bags of space.

FIND: House prices: big shortage of homes on the cards

But there is an important difference between the UK and US markets. In the US, there's bags of space, and no underlying reason why supply should be less than demand. In the UK, however, it's quite different.

Posted by nick @ 02:14 AM 10 Comments

Monday, March 19, 2007

...thank heaven for the "housing experts" predictions...

Times online: All fall down?

Amid fears of an American-style crash, the Times Property Editor argues that its unlikely, but we should never assume that house prices can only rise: and housing experts predict what will happen next. Homeowner psychology is often perverse: the conviction that property prices can only ever appreciate seems to be accompanied by the ever-present fear of an imminent downturn. The latest focus of this anxiety is turbulence in the US property market, where low-income American home-buyers are suffering a rash of repossessions as house prices slide and mortgage repayments soar.

Posted by ian @ 09:41 PM 8 Comments

Jim Rogers: George Soros' ConFounder

newsarchives.tamu.edu: Rogers Says China Is The Next Great Country

The USD is a flawed currency and will collapse in value before the end of the decade, taking with it the prosperity of the American nation. Investors should be buying commodities - platinum, lead, wheat, sugar, oil, the sort of assets that haven't been fashionable for a quarter of a century or more. Teach your children to speak Mandarin. And don't encourage them to do an MBA: "Tell them to be a farmer and do a real job."


Jim Rogers on China, the dollar and commodities
The Indiana Jones of investment rides on
Indiana Jones and the China crusade

Posted by lvmreader @ 07:24 PM 0 Comments

Some of these guys will get crushed

Times Online: Property Tycoons who owe billions

It is important to remember just why this type of behaviour can happen: cheap borrowing rates.
Refer back to :What are CDS?

Posted by lvmreader @ 05:52 PM 0 Comments

Chap from Fiat Empire on the Housing Bubble

US House of Representatives/RonPaul: Don't Blame the Market for Housing Bubble

The U.S. housing market, long considered vulnerable by many economists, is now on the verge of suffering a serious collapse in many regions. Commodities guru and hedge fund manager Jim Rogers warns that real estate in expensive bubble areas will drop 40 or 50%. Mainstream media outlets like the New York Times are reporting breathlessly about the possibility of widespread defaults on subprime mortgages.


You tell 'em Ron

Posted by lvmreader @ 04:47 PM 2 Comments

Petition 10 Downing Street for tax on Buy To Lets

E-Petitions: HousePricing

If you believe that Buy To Lets are contributing to the squeeze on the supply of houses and helping fuel house price rises have your say and petition Tony Blair.

Posted by j tallis @ 02:33 PM 24 Comments

Is call for stamp duty change mad?

Investment and business news from Find.co.uk: House prices: stop the industry self induced madness

Mortgage broker John Charcol wants Gordon Brown to use the occasion of his budget to change stamp duty on properties. But, Martin Weale, at the National Institute of Economic and Social Research says "housing gets better tax treatment" anyway, and that is causing a problem. But maybe, what we are really seeing is a new kind of British disease, called "talking up house prices". And fiddling with stamp duty will do nothing to cure the real illness.

Posted by michael baxter @ 01:06 PM 0 Comments

investors-should-prepare-for-subprime-sector-fallout.

moneyweek: Prepare for subprime fallout

Strange, perhaps, to begin an article on the crisis in the US sub-prime mortgage lending market with a quick look at the outlook for US corporate earnings but the two are related as dogged readers will shortly discover...

Posted by tangara @ 11:50 AM 0 Comments

Expect more stealth taxes in Brown's last budget

MoneyWeek article: What will Brown's last budget have in store?

The key economic event of the week - in the UK at least - is also likely to be the biggest anti-climax. Gordon Brown's last Budget, says Capital Economics' Roger Bootle, is likely to be "one of the most boring Budgets ever - and that is against some pretty stiff competition" (much of it from Mr Brown himself, might we add). But that doesn't mean he won't find a way to pick your pocket somehow - after all, a Brown Budget just wouldn't be the same without a stealth tax or two, now would it?

Posted by mary @ 10:49 AM 8 Comments

Three IR rises do nothing to quell HPI

Reuters: House prices up in March

Asking prices for homes in England and Wales rose an annual 12.2 percent in March, shows Rightmove survey. But it's all been driven by London - price rises in Wales and the north of England only up 5 percent on a year ago.

Posted by bricksnmortarhaha @ 10:39 AM 2 Comments

Spring 'dead cat' bounce?

Firstrung: House prices gaining from early spring market - Rightmove

Average Property Asking Price 228,183, % Change in Month +1.5%, % Change in Past Year +12.2%, Monthly Index (Jan 2002=100) 185.7 Average national asking prices rise by 1.5% (3,381) in the month as spring activity kicks in. With prices now rising at over 12% per year, first-time buyers face ever increasing difficulties getting onto the housing ladder.

Posted by converted lurker @ 10:37 AM 13 Comments

Fund managers to reduce gearing in property funds

Telegraph: Property to shift down a gear

British property fund managers are to cut debt levels on their main funds in anticipation of a market downturn. Some of the UK's biggest fund managers, including Henderson, ING and Schroders, are in the process of raising equity and selling assets to reduce interest payments before the market dips.

Posted by webmaster @ 09:07 AM 6 Comments

Civil Servents very unsafe!

Yahoo News: Green measures expected in Budget

Gordon seems set to offload even more Civil Servents than expected. Links heavily to the Taxation Con. It seems money is scarce at treasury level, could this fuel speculation that a recession and a bust is looming ever near? Or is it clever management on Labours behalf.... I know which one I believe. Labour might be looking for an exit now, so thats why these unpopular decisions.....

Posted by mattpascoe @ 08:16 AM 3 Comments

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Running for cover or trying to hide something?

FT.com: Barclays makes approach to ABN Amro

Barclays, the UK banking group, has made a tentative takeover approach to ABN Amro as the embattled Dutch bank attempts to fight off a campaign by activist investors. You know, I remember when Warburg went belly up in 1995, SBC bought them for 860m (nothing was said about their debts). When UBS went belly up in 1998, SBC bought them too. Then you had Chase Chemical merging, then JPM buying that behemoth. The pattern is clear, make losses, do a merger.....

Posted by lvmreader @ 09:10 PM 1 Comments

"Imaginative ways to get on the property ladder"

Guardian: Could You Handle an Extreme Mortgage?

Chrystal Fenwick is 18 and Daniel Barry is 19 - and they've signed up for a 40-year 100% mortgage so they can clamber on to the property ladder."We felt renting would be a waste of money so we wanted a mortgage and our own place as soon as possible," says Chrystal. What made the offer affordable for Daniel and Chrystal was the decision to take the mortgage over a 40-year term instead of the normal 25 years. "Over 25 years, our repayments would have been nearly 732 a month and that was just too much to cope with," Chrystal says. "Over 40 years, our monthly repayments dropped down to 618 and we felt that, being so young, it would be more manageable. We're managing comfortably, it just means no more new clothes and shoes for me for a while!"

Posted by little professor @ 05:03 PM 23 Comments

'000s of second incomes lost

S Telegraph: Labour speeds up job cuts

"The Government remains on track to deliver 84,000 job reductions by 2008." The 3 underpins are falling apart - govt, construction and financial services. As jobs go by the 10s of 000, NAE will still rise as unexportable professionals drive up salaries, IRs will continue to rise and HPs will - oh you get it!

Posted by financial planner @ 11:49 AM 9 Comments

House price meltdown in US will spread to UK

The Observer: Just pray this country doesn't go sub-prime

Excellent article by Nick Cohen: The parlous state of the US housing market offers a chilling warning to Britons........ .....The British have allowed themselves to become far too dependent on the property market. It matters too much, fills too many of our hopes and fears. Whether it goes up or down, the consequences are likely to be about as sub-prime as you can imagine.

Posted by the end game is upon us @ 11:33 AM 2 Comments

This guy must post on HPC surely..

Firstrung: House price crash be careful what you wish for..

The long expected crash in the housing market has begun... How I fantasise about reading that headline. I have, alas, come to accept that the only way I will see it in print is if I write it myself. I found it quite therapeutic actually. Might try it again. "The value of property is expected to fall by as much as 20 per cent over the next week." Mmm. Negative equity. Lovely negative equity....

Posted by converted lurker @ 10:30 AM 3 Comments

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Overheated House Prices are merely one symptom of a larger malaise: irresponsible monetarism

Asia Times: Why the subprime bust will spread

This practice of borrowing short-term at low interest rates to lend long-term at higher interest rates, known as "carry trade" in bank parlance, when globalized by deregulated cross-border flow of funds eventually led to the Asian financial crisis of 1997, when interest-rate and exchange-rate volatility became the new paradigm. Today, there are undeniable signs that the same interest-rate risks have infested the US housing bubble in recent years. And the Fed's traditional gradualism, now revived as "measured pace" in raising the Fed Funds Rate targets in response to rapid asset-price inflation, has had little effect in curbing bank lending to fund rampant speculation.

Posted by lvmreader @ 11:45 PM 4 Comments

What happens when the tide goes out?

Firstrung: House prices fall by over 4,500 in February - NAEA

The National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA) has released figures from its latest housing market survey, revealing that the residential housing market has begun to feel the full effects of the interest rate rises seen in the past few months. AVERAGE ASKING PRICE FEBRUARY 2007 213,259 AVERAGE ASKING PRICE JANUARY 2007 217,955

Posted by converted lurker @ 01:54 PM 14 Comments

Parallels with 1974 DJ

Zeal Speculation and Investment: Eve of a Bear?

Check out the graphs of the DJ and see how it compares to to the early 1970's The 34 year cycle is still looking good.

Posted by sold 2 rent 1 @ 11:12 AM 9 Comments

UK Citizens Ripped off as never before in gigantic scam

Express: Pay more, get less tax con

Councils were last night accused of ripping off households by hiking tax while slashing services like rubbish collection. We are paying twice as much council tax as we did 10 years ago, but core services, which we used to take for granted, are actually being cut back. "With council tax at 1,000 a year, many councils are nonetheless cutting back on libraries, public conveniences and services for the elderly." "Many top officials enjoy 100,000-plus wages and perks along with pension pots worth over 1million." "And it is estimated that up to a third of some authorities budgets goes on pensions."

Posted by sovietuk @ 10:56 AM 14 Comments

Reached the top and come to a stop?

The Daily Telegraph: Home Sales Gridlocked

'The property market has come to a near standstill with the supply of homes for sale the lowest for 10 years, research by The Daily Telegraph shows. Experts yesterday warned that the market was "gridlocked"... Mark Rimell, partner in charge of Buckinghamshire and Hertfordshire in the country house department of Strutt & Parker, said: "There is a gridlock situation developing, where properties are jammed because people who want to move can't find what they want, so they don't put their own house on the market."' Properties not being put on the market because people who want to trade up but don't have to move can't find what they want for a price they are prepared to pay, and are waiting for a drop, perhaps?

Posted by kyuzosan @ 10:04 AM 0 Comments

More of the same?

BBC: Food pushes up US consumer prices

Stagflation anyone??

Posted by wannabemigre @ 05:04 AM 0 Comments

"Moral Hazard" is the term Ladies & Gentlemen.

PRNewsWire: To Protect Sub-prime Borrowers and Nation's Housing Market, NCRC Urges Administration and Congress to Allow FHA to Refinance Loans in Default and Establish a National Rescue Fund

From WRH: This is a repeat of the S&L bailout of the 80s, which was one of the greatest swindles of the American people in history. Under Presidents Reagan and Bush I, the laws were changed that made it easy for S&Ls to invest in high-risk ventures. At the same time, Bush I increased the maximum limit for insured d=savings to $100,000 per account. That set the stage for a huge rip-off of the taxpayers and here is how it worked. Drug criminals. in many cases working for the CIA's Iran-Contra operation, mixed their drug cash in with legitimate proceeds from cash-heavy front companies such as convenience stores, office supply places, and multi-screen cinemas. That cash was deposited in S&L accounts always under the $100,000 limit.

Posted by lvmreader @ 03:18 AM 2 Comments

Friday, March 16, 2007

First major developer to crash?

ic-cheshireonline: Petition filed to wind up property company

"Yesterday David McLean said he believed Albany had been unable to sell enough apartments at The Albany Building. Last summer, Albany said it had sold 70 of its 123 units at the building and Mr Nisbet yesterday said sales had been slow since then." Oversupply is Oversupply.

Posted by kagiso @ 10:05 PM 0 Comments

More bad news from across the pond

ITV: Florida Beached

Until recently Florida's weather and theme parks attracted British holiday home hunters in their droves - but many buyers are now counting the cost a of a sudden property market crash.

Posted by sold 2 rent 1 @ 09:04 PM 1 Comments

Lenders and Mortgage providers getting comfortable with the current climate

FT: Lenders signal interest rate peak with costs reversal

"Many lenders are cutting the costs of their fixed-rate mortgage deals just weeks after increasing them, a sign that they believe that interest rates are nearing their peak." bank of england's 'wait and see' approach is being treated as 'they're too spinless to go through with it'.

Posted by sam @ 04:24 PM 0 Comments

According to Alan Greasepan 10% rise in house prices will sort out US problems

BBC: Sub-prime firm sells $2.7bn loans

One of the firms hit by woes in the US sub-prime lending market has struck a deal to sell some of its loans.

Posted by holding out @ 12:53 PM 8 Comments

Is China planning to dump it's USD

BBC: China sets out investment scheme

China has confirmed plans to create an investment company to get better returns on its foreign currency reserves worth $1 trillion

Posted by holding out @ 12:51 PM 8 Comments

Houses for 21K

BBC: Middlesbrough has cheapest street

The cheapest street in England and Wales has been identified as Tower Green in Middlesbrough, where houses sell for an average of just 21,290.

Posted by david20040_0 @ 12:49 PM 0 Comments

Not sure whether this is good or bad news, I think a crash will happen but when we least expect it

First Rung: House price crash predicted by 24% of UK adults within 18 months

"The research shows that a high proportion of UK residents have lost their faith in the stability of the UK housing market. With interest rates rising and bad debt soaring, fewer and fewer people can afford to gamble with a mortgage. Young people are particularly affected since they are likely to have substantial unsecured debt and no equity, making it almost impossible to take that first step onto the housing ladder. We may begin to see a trend whereby those with equity tied up in their homes may begin to sell up to preserve their capital, sparking a crash in the near future."

Posted by andrew - ealing @ 12:41 PM 5 Comments

Middlesbrough has cheapest street

Where is the cheapest housing in England and Wales?: Middlesbrough has cheapest street

The cheapest street in England and Wales has been identified as Tower Green in Middlesbrough, where houses sell for an average of just 21,290. Despite booming prices around the country, the cheapest properties, all in the North of England, have still been selling for less than 30,000. The prices are sometimes depressed by "right to buy" sales and regeneration or demolition plans in the street.

Posted by scumbag @ 12:22 PM 0 Comments

For the first time, country also fails to record surplus in investment income

The star: U.S. trade deficit a record 6.5% of economy

The family silver has been sold. What now for the US. Investment flows turned negative by $7.3 billion from a surplus of $11.3 billion in 2005. It was the first time investment income has been negative on records going back to 1929. That means foreigners earned more on their U.S. holdings than Americans earned on their overseas investments. "The hope is that the transition to a lower current account deficit goes smoothly, but the danger is that people stop loaning us money before they start buying our goods," said David Wyss, chief economist at Standard & Poor's in New York.

Posted by sold 2 rent 1 @ 11:57 AM 3 Comments

London house price keep on growing!

Reuters: London house price growth fastest in 28 years

LONDON (Reuters) - Prime central London house prices have grown at their fastest rate in 28 years, a study shows. Significant demand pressures and continued low supply levels drove property prices up 31 percent in the year to end-February, according to Knight Frank's latest index. International demand and a strong bonus season in the City saw prices climb 8.4 percent in the past quarter and 2.6 percent in February alone.

Posted by studdymx @ 11:20 AM 2 Comments

Sale on the the Buy-to-Let Department - Big Savings!!!!!

Financial Times: Buy-to-let loan rates now on a par with residential

Desperate measures to shore up demand in the UK property market. Make buy-to-let mortgages cheaper, more people will take them out. More buying pressure maintains the high property prices and high commissions that the financiers have become addicted to.

Posted by royston @ 10:41 AM 1 Comments

Pyramid is beginning to look a bit top-heavy

The Economist: Is the financial system a confidence trick?

Financial-sector debt has risen from virtually zero 50 years ago to 100% of American GDP today, and Europe's financial corporations have helped to accelerate the money supply. The big worry is of a contraction in credit supply. As lending standards tighten, consumer demand could suffer, possibly prompting a recession in the United States. No one knows when the credit cycle will end. But the pyramid is beginning to look a bit top-heavy.

Posted by sold 2 rent 1 @ 10:21 AM 11 Comments

How the US sub-primers got in such a fine mess

Washington Post: Recommended - 'No Money Down' Falls Flat

Steven Pearlstein presents an easy to understand assesment of the US sub prime market, and how it dug its own grave by some creatively irresponsible lending practices.

Posted by jellycaster @ 09:29 AM 0 Comments

No US market collapse in UK

Independent: UK can avoid US-style mortgage crisis

The UK housing market does not have to suffer the same fate as the in the US. Here, the sub prime market is much smaller, around 5-6% compared with 10% in the US, and included the 'near prime market' which covers borrowers that have a 'low adverse' credit rating. The problems in the US were caused by lenders 'not factoring in a housing recession into their risk models'.

Posted by jellycaster @ 08:51 AM 34 Comments

The sub-prime lenders brought it upon themselves

Guardian: Suffering from dementia? Over 80? Need a mortgage? No problem

Irresponsible behaviour and marketing by sub-prime lenders has to some extent caused the panic in the sector that is resonating in global equity markets. This story looks at the case of an elderly man suffering from dementia that was sold a sub prime mortgage over the telephone, with no background or income checks being performed.

Posted by jellycaster @ 08:41 AM 2 Comments

A little black humour for Friday!

Cartoon by Matt Davies: The Housing Market Goldmine

Click on the link for a laugh

Posted by layers @ 08:14 AM 1 Comments

Thursday, March 15, 2007

In 2007, why not become a buy to letter? More ramping!

Tiscali: 2007: Year of the BTL

Paragon Mortgages, specialists in buy-to-let, have looked at all the data and suggested that people should be buying-to-let in 2007. In other news: publicans, specialists in lager, have the considered opinion that people should be buying more lager, and initial reports from prostitutes indicate that rumpy-pumpy makes the world go a-round.

Posted by albertini albertino @ 11:17 PM 2 Comments

'Mortgage holidays' the veritable 'never never'.

Home.co.uk News: Mortgage payment holidays rise in popularity

Over the last six months the proportion of mortgages with a payment holiday has increased from 50.8% to 56.3%. In real terms the number of products with this facility has increased from 409 to 629.

Posted by tinecu @ 09:23 PM 1 Comments

Better hope you've paid off your mortgage in full

Bloomberg: Subprime Defaults to Soar, Lenders to Fail, Hedge Funds Say

Investors holding mortgage-backed bonds stand to lose $100 billion from defaults on $10 trillion in outstanding home loans, Citigroup Inc. bond analysts said this month. Hedge funds have profited from the rising costs of insuring against defaults and from fears that Wall Street will finance fewer subprime loans, hurting new-home sales and the economy.

Banks ``will shut down their origination platforms,'' and the business of pooling subprime loans into packages of securities ``will all but disappear,'' Paulson said in its letter. ``While the bonds have fallen significantly, we think they have much further to fall.''

Posted by lvmreader @ 09:18 PM 0 Comments

Ok, ok I was wrong, we clearly need MORE money to be printed

Investment News Daily: Cut rates or face recession, says analyst

If the Federal Reserve doesn't lower interest rates, more stringent credit standards among mortgage lenders might lower U.S. home prices by 10%, leading to a recession, a Merrill Lynch & Co. analyst said in a report, according to Bloomberg.com.


This analyst is clearly insane, imho

Posted by lvmreader @ 08:19 PM 8 Comments

The Dark Side of the Carry Trade: Part 2

Turkish Weekly: US Dollar Hit By Another Meltdown in the Dow

US Dollar Hit By Another Meltdown in the Dow Japanese Yen Soars as Carry Trade Liquidation Resumes New Zealand Dollar Sees Majors Losses Against the US Dollar and Yen


Whoopsie! Another day another dollar - in this case the NZD gets slammed as folks unwind their carry trades. Much like Iceland's Krona, New Zealand's Dollar was an attractive target for the back-end of the carry trade - investors borrow cheap, nasty currency and invest it in higher yielding currencies (South African Rand(ZAR), New Zealand(NZD) and Iceland (ISK)). Now the music has stopped and rates start racing upwards, it is a dash for the exits.
What do you think the Govt of NZ may have to do......In defence of currency?

Posted by lvmreader @ 08:16 PM 3 Comments

Liquidity and Credit are oftn confused

FT.com: The Short View: Dr Dooms diagnosis

Kaufman had no words of reassurance. But Dr Doom did have a clear diagnosis.
The problem lies in the changing definition of liquidity. After the war, liquidity was an asset- based concept companies cash on hand and so on.
Now, Kaufman said, firms and households alike often blur the distinction between liquidity and credit availability.
Money matters but credit counts.

Posted by lvmreader @ 07:34 PM 1 Comments

The future of unrestrained currency inflation...

LewRockwell.com: Like Crazy

"Asians make things and sell them to Americans, who borrow money from their suppliers (on the inflated value of their houses) in order to continue living beyond their means. Asians take their profits and either relend them to Americans...or use them to buy more productive capacity, in America and elsewhere.

For those who wonder where this trend will lead, we offer a guess: The average American will be left with a shoeshine kit and instructions on how to say 'please' and 'thank you' in Chinese...."
Bill Bonner.

Posted by lvmreader @ 06:30 PM 0 Comments

We cant all live in $1-million houses

MoneyCentral @ MSN: The housing bubble doesn't add up

When the math does not work We have seen drunken lending orgies in the past, and they always end in disaster. Just as the math hasn't worked for everyone to live in a super-expensive house, no matter their income, the math doesn't work in lending, either. That's two pieces of the housing market where the math just does not work.

Last week, I had a chance to read "The Asset Economy," the most recent article by Morgan Stanleys Stephen Roach. He is probably the lone economist working on Wall Street who understands what has been going on during Greenspan's tenure. Kudos to him for standing up tall and telling it like it is amidst the ocean of dead fish surrounding him.

Posted by lvmreader @ 06:20 PM 0 Comments

Dorothy? Kansas? Bye-bye?

Gold-Eagle.com: How A US Currency Crisis Can Unfold

Imagine going to your bank (probably online) and wanting to take out say 50k, say half of your cash, so you can go buy say, Yen. The bank tells you, "you are only allowed to take out 5k per month, it's a new law." This would be same situation for a brokerage account.
Sound far fetched????
Argentina did that in about 2002. The Argentine peso collapsed, people wanted to take their pesos and sell for dollars. The Argentine government just told the banks, don't let them pull out their money. Freeze the bank accounts. The peso dropped like a stone and the people with money in the bank... just had to watch... and starve too. There was rioting in the streets of course, for months.

Posted by lvmreader @ 06:16 PM 0 Comments

M1, M2, M3, M4 - not just UK motorways- ways to measure supply of money in circulation

Wikipedia: Money Supply - definition

Money supply ("monetary aggregates", "money stock"), a macroeconomic concept, is the quantity of money available within the economy to purchase goods, services, and securities. The money supply affects the interest rates. The two are related inversely, such that, as money supply increases interest rates will fall. When the interest rate equates the quantity of money demanded with the quantity of money supply, the economy is working at the money market equilibrium.

Posted by lvmreader @ 06:05 PM 1 Comments

State Sub Prime Mortgage Rises to 9.3 Billion

BBC News: Olympics budget rises to 9.3 Billion

The full cost of development in a booming housing market. Anybody fancy coming to london with a spade and shovel? Me neither, put it on the tab please Gordon.

Posted by andy @ 02:13 PM 0 Comments

Inflation concerns in the US

BBC News: Shock jump in US producer prices

Could this be a recession and inflation in the US at the same time. Are we looking at stagflation

Posted by sold 2 rent 1 @ 01:53 PM 11 Comments

A reminder of what happens when you print too much currency / extend too much credit

USAGold.com: 1920s The Nightmare German Inflation

Foreword: The many parallels between 1924 Germany and present-day United States are cause for concern. It seems we differ from 1924 Germany only in the duration between cause and effect. While the German experience was compressed over a few short years, ours has been more protracted. I think this has occurred for two good reasons: First, American central bankers have learned enough from the German experience to delay and extend the consequences of printing too much fiat money. Second, Germany was a small state isolated from the rest of the world --- a pariah nation of sorts --- and, as a result, it had a difficult time finding a market for its government bonds. German deficits had to be financed internally --- an impossibility which greatly accelerated the printing of fiat currency.

Posted by lvmreader @ 01:52 PM 14 Comments

First Time Buyers Leaving UK

Easier: First-time buyers would leave Britain to save for a house back home

A quarter (25%) of British people attempting to get onto the property ladder in this country would consider moving abroad - even as far as Australia or New Zealand - to live more cheaply so they could save for a deposit to buy their first home in Britain. The findings are revealed in the latest Quarterly Savings Survey from National Savings and Investments (NS& I).

Posted by david20040_0 @ 01:01 PM 7 Comments

US market effects on UK housing

Independent: Hamish McRae: After the reverse, where next for markets?

Hamish McRae talks about the effect of the US equity market instability on the UK

Posted by rich @ 11:30 AM 0 Comments

History repeats itself

Market Oracle: Analysis of the last UK Housing Market Crash as today's US Real Estate Meltdown continues

As house prices fall, repossession rates rise. Unless the lenders wake up to their dilemma... "UK HOUSE PRICES to recover next year," said The Times of London on 17 November, 1989. Real estate in the United Kingdom had risen three times over on average during the previous 10 years. National prices rose 40% in the last 18 months alone! But now, suddenly, house prices had stopped rising. When would the good times kick off again?

Posted by krishna @ 11:20 AM 1 Comments

Falling gold price means buying opportunities

Money Week: What recent market falls mean for gold

At some point I think the US dollar is going to come under serious pressure and when that happens the dollar and the gold price will decouple, with the gold price rising and the dollar falling. I am actually hoping that the gold price continues to fall in the interim as it only means there will be more money to be made in the longer term.

Posted by sold 2 rent 1 @ 10:53 AM 4 Comments

Any points for the ironic use of a Delorean?

Firstrung: House prices heading back to the future in Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland's rampant house price rises could be slowing down, a new survey has revealed. Prices in some unnamed areas even dropped by up to eight per cent just before Christmas, according to property surveyors. Others didn`t move at all...

Posted by converted lurker @ 09:59 AM 0 Comments

No need to fear council tax rises...over and above 4.5% that is

Firstrung: Local Government minister aims to calm fears on council tax rises

Local Government Minister Phil Woolas has today moved to reassure householders about how homes are valued for council tax purposes. He urged people to read the facts for themselves in a new guide published today by the Valuation Office Agency (VOA).

Posted by converted lurker @ 09:57 AM 2 Comments

Could the US housing carnage spread to the UK?

MoneyWeek: Could the US housing carnage spread to the UK?

The ongoing fears over the impact of the US sub-prime mortgage fall-out continued to hammer markets across the world yesterday. Stocks may be set for a rebound today, but there are signs that it's not just US sub-prime borrowers who are in trouble. John Stepek explains how US housing market woes have begun to have an impact on the UK market.

Posted by mary @ 09:54 AM 0 Comments

UK's sub-prime sector now outstrips US in relative terms

The Telegraph: Another crack in the wall

Anyone who thinks what is happening in the US cannot happen here - read this.

Posted by sold 2 rent 1 @ 08:40 AM 24 Comments

Fantastic explantion of how CDS led to the extreme end of the boom in the first place

TheStreet.com: Kass: Finding the Next Shoe to Drop

The credit spigot is being turned off. No more cash-out refis. No more cash-back-at-close flips. No more Hummer H2s. No more trips to Greece. No more no-money-down-do-doc-interest-only loans. No more bidding wars on condos. And no more price appreciation on homes. It's going to be real ugly, real quick.

Posted by lvmreader @ 05:44 AM 5 Comments

UK economy 'to see solid growth'

BBC: UK economy 'to see solid growth'

The UK economy will perform better than previously thought in 2007, the CBI has said, although it thinks interest rates will rise again soon.

Posted by david20040_0 @ 01:02 AM 1 Comments

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Eight buyers for every seller in UK property market

Easier: Eight buyers for every seller in UK property market

The current property market is continuing to hit giddy heights with an average of eight buyers for every seller, according to analysis from Hamptons International. This imbalance in supply and demand is showing no sign of abating as the spring market moves closer, with many sellers holding back from putting their property on the market until a suitable property becomes available.

Posted by david20040_0 @ 11:47 PM 3 Comments

First-time buyers would leave Britain to save for a house back home

Easier: First-time buyers would leave Britain to save for a house back home

A quarter (25%) of British people attempting to get onto the property ladder in this country would consider moving abroad - even as far as Australia or New Zealand - to live more cheaply so they could save for a deposit to buy their first home in Britain. The findings are revealed in the latest Quarterly Savings Survey from National Savings and Investments (NS& I).

Posted by david20040_0 @ 11:26 PM 1 Comments

Young Brits invest in NZ property

TV3: Young Brits invest in NZ property

New Zealand is being seen as a cheap housing destination for young British people trying to get a foot on the property ladder.

Posted by david20040_0 @ 11:25 PM 0 Comments

The dark side of the Carry Trade

FT.com: Hot money brings Iceland to boil

When interest rates move in other countries, a victim may be another country as international investors short (sell) the weak currency, e.g. Sterling to invest in other places where there are higher returns (e.g. Iceland, New Zealand, South Africa). Obviously, one must adjust for risk, but you get the picture. If the BoE don't raise rates to around 8%+, Sterling is gone.

Posted by lvmreader @ 11:02 PM 5 Comments

Making sense of the markets

Financial Sense Online: World Liquidity Crisis Emerging

With the unraveling of the Yen carry trade, a sequence of events has been set in motion for a world liquidity crisis (and in case you were wondering, yes, this will pop the UK housing bubble). Combining this with ongoing pressure from US sub prime deterioration will further harm confidence in US and consequently Asian stock markets. Warning: blog article, but very informative.

Posted by harold @ 10:41 PM 0 Comments

Eat your words Mr Economics?

Market Watch: Subprime concerns overblown

"The subprime-mortgage market is big, but it's not big enough to push the U.S. economy into a recession by causing a credit crunch....it will be the most hyped disaster that never occurred since Y2K'

Posted by nearly30 @ 08:39 PM 8 Comments

rebounded like a dead cat falling...

BBC: Shares volatile in world markets

Wall Street shares have rebounded after a stocks sell-off in Europe prompted by continued concerns about the US economy and mortgage industry.

Posted by george monsoon @ 08:38 PM 0 Comments

just thought some of us deserve a cuckle.

Rightmove: paranormal feature oversees sale of house

good way to get lots of hits but doubt anyone will want to put a offer in.

Posted by sam @ 05:05 PM 0 Comments

Muted mage growth

FT.com: Subdued UK pay rises ease inflation fears

Recent increases in average earnings have remained relatively subdued, easing fears of inflationary pay rises that could act as a further trigger for interest rate increases. According to official figures published on Wednesday, average earnings excluding bonuses rose at an annual rate of 3.6 per cent during the three months to the end of January. This was 0.1 percentage point lower than during the previous three monthly period to the end of December. Ironic considering jellycaster's post. Are these the same official figures?

Posted by dohousescrashinthewoods @ 01:50 PM 5 Comments

unemplpyment down and city bonuses high

Guardian: Jobless total falls but wage inflation remains a concern

Unemployment fell again last month but growth in average earnings rose sharply on the back of record City bonuses, official data shows today.

Posted by jellycaster @ 01:13 PM 0 Comments

Sterling under presssure

Reuters: Sterling hits 8-mth low vs euro in carry unwinding

I've noticed sterling has being going down steadily not just against the EUR and JPY and most currencies as you might expect but also the USD which is itself weak

Posted by holding out @ 11:43 AM 8 Comments

and why the pain could be severe

Firstrung: Why housing crashes hurt

"I worry in terms of the bigger picture," said Barry Hyman of EKN Financial to Marketwatch.com. "There are now risks to economic growth and therefore risks to earnings growth." It seems that the American investing public is finally waking up to the fact that you can't have a housing slump without the whole economy feeling the pain.

Posted by converted lurker @ 10:56 AM 2 Comments

More news on the BIG SELL OFFS...

BBC News: World stocks tumble on US fears

Funny how quickly everyone starts shi**ng their pants....Here's good old aunties take on it all...

Posted by larry pickleman @ 10:44 AM 8 Comments

FTBs worried about IRs look for fixed rate deals

Guardian: First-time buyers snap up fixed rate deals

85% of first time buyers chose a fixed rate deal in January, the Council of Money Lenders has revealed. Spooked by recent rises in IR rises, borrowers concerned about the prospect of future rises are looking for fixed rate deals so they can plan ahead.

Posted by jellycaster @ 10:23 AM 3 Comments

New homes sales up at Linden

Firstrung: Linden reports new home sales up 55% compared to second quarter 2006

The new homes market is in an exceptionally strong position heading into the spring months according to the innovative new home builder Linden Homes. Firstrung recently released advice highlighting caution when buying new. The housebuilder has experienced record sales so far in 2007, which are 55% higher than during the same period last year.

Posted by converted lurker @ 10:21 AM 2 Comments

Is HP inflation increasing or decreasing?

Times: Housing market studies differ on impact of rates

The recent RICS figures that show the rate of inflation is decreasing are consistent with the recent hikes in interest rates. However, they conflict with figures released by lenders such as Halifax showing that prices are still soaring because of tight supplies in the SE.

Posted by jellycaster @ 10:12 AM 1 Comments

Three Reasons Bailouts Will Fail

Safe Haven: 1st Helicopter Drop Now Being Organized

Three Reasons Bailouts Will Fail 1. Consumers are going to be unable to take on more debt in the face of falling home prices. 2. A recession will force a cutback in consumer spending. 3. Credit will tighten up such that banks will be unwilling to lend given falling asset prices and rising credit risk. Number 3 above is happening already and it will spread further. A significant repricing of both assets and risk will be the result. Unfortunately this tsunami is about to hit the baby boomers just as they think they are ready to retire.

Posted by sold 2 rent 1 @ 10:03 AM 2 Comments

Estate agent record profits, but will they continue?

The Times: Countrywide surges but adds caution

When an estate agent warns of a slowdown in the housing market, you know something's up. Countrywide, one of the largest chains in the UK had a record year in 2007, and has just agreed to a 1 billion bid from Apollo. They said that although they believe the market is fundamentally sustanable, house price growth will slow down this year.

Posted by jellycaster @ 10:01 AM 0 Comments

Shortages will drive further increases

Telegraph: Bovis predicts 4pc rise in house prices

Housebuilder Bovis released a strong set of 2006 results, and said it expected propery prices to continue increasing, by about 4%, in 2007. It said recent IR raises have effected demand, but continuing shortages in the South East would drive prices up

Posted by jellycaster @ 09:53 AM 8 Comments

It's only just starting

The Telegraph: US mortgage mayhem prompts sell-off

Ominously, the Mortgage Bankers Association revealed that 4.95pc all loans tracked were in arrears of 30 days or more, the highest since the depths of the 2002 recession. Deliquencies on sub-prime loans have reached 13.3pc, even though the economy has barely begun to slow.

Posted by sold 2 rent 1 @ 09:40 AM 4 Comments

A bubble? What bubble?

Firstrung: House price bubble looks nowhere near set to burst as Spring market moves closer - Hamptons

Hamptons International Reveals Average of Eight Buyers for Every Seller in UK Property Market... Latest analysis from Hamptons International, one of the premier international residential agents has found that the current property market is continuing to hit giddy heights with an average of eight buyers for every seller.

Posted by converted lurker @ 09:16 AM 9 Comments

State Intervention to protect the housing market !!!!!!!!

Telegraph: Home loan arrears in US spark Dow plunge

American politicians are considering an emergency bail-out of 2.2 million borrowers struggling with their mortgage payments. On Wall Street the Dow tumbled 242 points to 12,076 in near panic trading as investors fled bank stocks with heavy exposure to the riskier end of the home loan market.

Posted by tyrellcorporation @ 08:48 AM 11 Comments

US mortgage mayhem prompts sell-off

Telegraph: US mortgage mayhem prompts sell-off

"This is not the end of the wave, this is the beginning," she said, accusing brokers of issuing loans without even asking for proof of income. Nouriel Roubini, of New York University, estimates that half of the entire mortgage issuance since early 2005 is "garbage", warning of a seizure in housing. "We have the beginning of a much broader credit crunch that could have severe macro-economic effects,"

Posted by andrew - ealing @ 08:20 AM 0 Comments

HPC's Financial Planner on BBC

BBC: Head to head: Will property prices crash?

House prices are accelerating again and first time buyers are stretching themselves even more. But interest rates have gone up and may go higher. Two commentators ponder if the property market is a bubble about to burst.

Posted by david20040_0 @ 12:13 AM 7 Comments

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Trouble up at mill? Just a little.

BBC News: Missed home payments hit markets

Late mortgage payments and home repossessions in the US have hit their highest level since records began, official figures showed. The Dow Jones and Nasdaq both lost about 2% in Tuesday trading.

Posted by harold @ 11:22 PM 1 Comments

Here we go! Enron 2! Hold onto your hats!

BBC: US probes sub-prime mortgage firm

US markets regulator the Securities & Exchange Commission is investigating troubled sub-prime mortgage lender New Century, the firm has revealed. New Century has stopped making loans and its shares have tumbled, with some analysts now predicting bankruptcy. The firm also said it had received a grand jury subpoena for documents.

Posted by tyrellcorporation @ 04:52 PM 6 Comments

little difference in getting a home or a BTL

Financial Times: Buy-to-let loan rates now on a par with residential

"Buy-to-let borrowers are for the first time being offered mortgages as cheap as mainstream residential loans, as banks and building societies compete for what has increasingly come to be seen as low-risk lending." wont be low risk if the house/flat is empty and you cannot keep up payments or other loans secured on it.

Posted by sam @ 04:24 PM 0 Comments

The sound of subprime implosion

Bloomberg: Accredited Shares Fall, New Century Trading Suspended

The sound of subprime implosion - can you hear it? "March 13 (Bloomberg) -- Accredited Home Lenders Holding Co., a mortgage company for people with bad credit, needs to raise cash after paying more than $190 million demanded by backers this year. The stock lost almost half its value. ... New Century, based in Irvine, California, said today it received default notices from UBS AG, Barclays Plc and three other banks, adding to five such notices disclosed yesterday. The New York Stock Exchange said in a statement before trading began it will suspend trading in New Century's shares, which have lost 95 percent of their value this year."

Posted by goldfinger @ 02:13 PM 0 Comments

Economic Froth from Evan Davis ?

The Price of Property: BBC Radio 4

Think it's repeated tonight on radio 4 at 21:30. Or listen to archive with Real Player.

Posted by doomwatch @ 01:30 PM 1 Comments

Can we simply build our way out of it?

Firstrung: Latest house price figures show urgent need for new affordable homes

David Orr, chief executive of the National Housing Federation, said: "Rising property values are good news for those lucky enough to be on the housing ladder already, but they spell misery for many thousands of people unable to afford a decent home. This isn't just a problem for first-time buyers; rampant housing inflation also means higher private rents and increasing strain on our shrinking affordable housing stock. There are currently 1.6 million households on housing waiting lists. This figure will soar unless the Government can get a grip on our affordability crisis.

Posted by converted lurker @ 01:16 PM 11 Comments

second wave of price rises?

Firstrung: House prices show steepest rise since February 2005 - Home.co.uk

Despite three interest rate hikes, asking prices are rising once again in England and Wales, albeit at a more sustainable rate than observed in the run up to 2004. Market house prices rose 3.5% overall, in the last year, which is broadly in line with wage rises and the Retail Price Index.

Posted by converted lurker @ 01:14 PM 0 Comments

IR rises are beginning to take effect..

Yahoo Biz news: House price gains slow, says RICS

"Nevertheless, "The interest-rate rises have started to worry would-be buyers, with many concerned that they will be unable to meet mortgage repayments,'' said RICS spokesman Ian Perry. " "Three interest rate hikes have started to eat away at buyer affordability with a net balance of 19% more surveyors reporting a fall, a marked deterioration from January's 6%."

Posted by millard @ 11:16 AM 2 Comments

Asking prices rising regardless

Home.co.uk: UK House Prices Ride A Second Wave

"Asking Prices for homes in England and Wales have reached their highest level since February 2005 with a monthly rise of 0.7%," according to the latest Asking Price Index report from Home.co.uk...this increase is part of an upward trend spanning the last ten months. These indications suggest the UK is experiencing a second wave of house price inflation and renewed confidence in the housing market.

Posted by tinecu @ 11:01 AM 0 Comments

Front Page of Daily

Daily Mail: 'Raise interest rates or face economic disaster'

Interest rates need to go above eight per cent to control booming house prices, a leading economist has warned. Martin Weale said that unless the property market is restrained it will suffer a crash, devastating those who look upon their home as their pension.

Posted by scumbag @ 09:49 AM 2 Comments

Interest rates should be at 8% says treasury advisor

This is London: 'Raise interest rates or face economic disaster'

House price inflation is continuing at an unsustainable rate, increasing the possibility of a crash, and endangering the livlihood of many thousands of people who count on their property as a pension. Martin Weale, director of the National institute of Economic and Social Research and advisor to the treasury, says that interest rates need to be raised to nearer 8% to make an impact on the housing market.

Posted by jellycaster @ 09:42 AM 10 Comments

The argument for decreasing interest rates

Telegraph: Contrarian whispers are talking rates down

An article in last Sunday's telegraph that assesses the state of the UK economy, with particular regard to interest rate. it also argues that Gordon Brown will leave the treasury with a massive headache when he leaves, as he hasn't managed to control his spending, which has increased out of proportion with the economy.

Posted by jellycaster @ 09:32 AM 7 Comments

Your one stop shop for an in depth analysis of the housing market (this covers everything!!)

BBC Radio 4: The Price of Property

Evan Davis continues his exploration of Britain's housing. The spiralling price of property may make British home-owners feel richer, but has the boom of the last decade really made them money? Evan takes a hard look at house prices and asks why our homes cost so much, why house prices are so volatile and who really benefits from a rising market. He talks to former Chancellor Norman Lamont about the price of property, meets the experts who believe that high house prices threaten our economy and asks what went wrong the last time the market crashed.

Posted by scumbag @ 09:21 AM 0 Comments

How much further can it go?

Telegraph: This week the average British house price is predicted to hit 200,000

The price of the average house in the UK is poised to break the 200,000 barrier this week. This reflects a massive disparity between average earnings and house prices, and makes it almost impossible for first time buyers to buy a home, unless they are abnormally well paid, have rich family, or prepared to buy jointly.

Posted by jellycaster @ 09:17 AM 0 Comments

Over 30% of all mortgages in last 2 years were liar loans

The Economist: Will turbulence in America's Sub-Prime mortgage market spread

From this week's edition: When America sneezes... if anyone believes the rest of the world will not catch a cold they're living on aother planet.

Posted by financial planner @ 08:53 AM 5 Comments

DCLG data shows inflation increase

BBC News: House prices show sharp increase

The average house in the UK now costs 205,286, according to data released by the Sept for Communities and Local Government. January saw an annual rate of inflation of 10.9%, up from 9.9% in December. This is somewhat at odds with RICS data released today.

Posted by jellycaster @ 08:50 AM 8 Comments

Higher interest rates finally put brake on house price increases

Independent: RICS data shows inflation down

Data published by the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors shows that house price inflation has pulled back somewhat, and new enquires from potential buyers have decreased. This is possibly due to the successive interest rate rises at the end of last year an in january. Up until this data was released, it was unclear whether the interest rate changes were really doing their job.

Posted by jellycaster @ 08:45 AM 0 Comments

Crash or 8% - either will do

Daily mail: Raise interest rates or face economic disaster

Interest rates need to go above eight per cent to control booming house prices, a leading economist has warned.

Posted by holding out @ 08:40 AM 11 Comments

What was the inflation rate in the UK in 1975?

MeasuringWorth.com: Annual Inflation Rates in the United Kingdom, 1265 - 2006

That's right people - 24% From 1970 -1982 the 12 year average was 13%. So "Chancellor" Brown, 2.5% is it here. And pray tell, when our beloved Sterling collapses by 30%, what will it be then. (Hint: if all our raw materials jump up 30% in cost it won't be 2.5%)

Posted by lvmreader @ 04:00 AM 0 Comments

Flashback: Only weeks before the default, the Argentinean government declared that the economy was fundamentally sound.

Von Mises Institute: No Tears for Argentina

"Given that the statement came from government, one may not worry too much about it if this declaration was based on ignorance or an outright lie. " compare this with "The Treasury responded to his warning by claiming that the decline in savings is a result of economic stability. A spokesman said: "The UK's macroeconomic performance, in the words of the IMF, remains impressive. And with a strong and stable economy, the UK is well placed to benefit from the opportunities of globalisation and absorb shocks. " Is it just me or does this sound like Gordon Brown anyone?

Posted by lvmreader @ 03:51 AM 0 Comments

Flashback: How Argentina's Currency Crisis Unfolded Five Years Ago

RCWhalen.com: Argentina's Failure Could Be Contagious

Financial markets barely noticed Argentina's long-expected Christmas Eve default on $150 billion in foreign debt. It marked the fifth time Argentina has reneged on foreign obligations since July 1827, when the City of Buenos Aires defaulted on a million-pound loan from Barring Brothers, which ultimately failed in 1890 after a subsequent Argentine default. Yet despite this history and a tough recession, sell-side analysts were actually recommending Argentine stocks and bonds until recently. But smart money knew more than a year ago that Argentina, which adopted a fixed-dollar-peg regime in 1991, would eventually falter. We reported as much last spring ("Look Out Below," Barron's, May 21, 2001).

Posted by lvmreader @ 03:46 AM 0 Comments

Words of wisdom coming too late

The Daly Mail: 'Raise interest rates or face economic disaster'

Interest rates need to go above eight per cent to control booming house prices, a leading economist has warned. Martin Weale said that unless the property market is restrained it will suffer a crash, devastating those who look upon their home as their pension. ----------------------- YOU ARE ABSOLUTELY RIGHT BUT WHY NOW? Why did he not say this five years ago?

Posted by japanese uncle @ 12:05 AM 11 Comments

Paging Dr Debt Doom, Paging Dr Debt Doom, Please pick up the white courtesy phone....

FT.com: Mortgage lenders tighten standards

Dozens of mortgage lenders to people with poor credit histories have closed or tightened lending standards amid rising delinquencies in the subprime home loan market in recent months, analysts say. New Century Finance, the second-biggest subprime mortgage lender in the US, is the latest mortgage provider to disclose that Wall Street lenders have cut short-term funding for originating new loans, as the company has struggled to repurchase old mortgages. With trading in its shares suspended, many analysts expect a bankruptcy filing.

Posted by lvmreader @ 12:04 AM 0 Comments

Monday, March 12, 2007

It took over a century for Britain to recover from the South Sea Bubble

Stock Market Crash.com: South Sea Bubble - The Enron of England

The issuing of shares was outlawed to prevent any future bubbles. This law was in effect until 1825. Despite all of the efforts of the government, Britains economy was in shambles. The economy didnt fully recover until one century later. Several generations were adversely affected by the stock market crash. The corporate management con artists fled to other countries with their fortunes. Every bubble and market crash has the same important elements. Greed and unrealistic expectations will continue to foul peoples judgment as it always has

Posted by lvmreader @ 09:52 PM 0 Comments

Does this sound familiar?

Economy Models: Bubbles in Speculative Markets

At the peak of a bubble, misleading financial statements and sometimes even fraud abound. The South Sea bubble in the 1720s is the prime example, as most public companies at that time were started in order to defraud the public. The fraudsters are usually exposed only after the bubble has started to collapse, as they find it impossible to continue to fund their enterprises. This is also where the public start to find out that they have been tricked and start crying for blood.

Posted by lvmreader @ 09:45 PM 3 Comments

Lehman plays down impact of subprime mortgage defaults

Bloomberg: Mortgage Defaults May Reach $225 Billion, Lehman Says (Update2)

"Mortgage defaults over the next two years may climb to $225 billion, probably not enough to be a drag on the U.S. economy, according to debt strategists at Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. The forecast, based on an assumption of flat home prices,... Defaults may rise to $300 billion if home prices fall and tighter lending standards keep borrowers from refinancing, they wrote." Anyone else thinking this estimate is a little too optimistic?

Posted by goldfinger @ 06:09 PM 1 Comments

More US sub prime problems?

bloomberg: New Century Gets Default Claims, Says It Lacks Cash

Is this the tip of the iceburg & do American housing markets become more Irrationally exuberant than ours?

Posted by paul @ 03:48 PM 2 Comments

The Day the Buying Stopped

http://www.dailyreckoning.com: The Day the Buying Stopped

Extract: These institutions are guilty of manipulations that make the folks at Enron look like a bunch of Boy Scouts. They've cooked their books, concealed huge losses, paid off politicians, and lied to investors every which way from Sunday.

Posted by andrew - ealing @ 01:53 PM 3 Comments

What shortage?

Stock exchange: UK property shortage is an "urban myth"

"It is an urban myth that the UK has a shortage of property overall," he stated. "A shortage of affordable property has been caused for first-time buyers by the feverous speculation due to the increased money supply and loose lending criteria." Mr Holmes suggested that it is poor management of the UK's housing stock - where a number of rental properties remain unused and many homes are poorly maintained - that has caused this situation.

Posted by converted lurker @ 01:47 PM 12 Comments

Interesting and reasoned bull view

SeekingAlpha: This is the Housing Market the UK Built

A moderately bullish article backed by logic rather than rhetoric. The thesis starts with the premise that a house price to earnings ratio needs to be balanced with interest rates. Note that the chart has started to break out and they cite inflation as the potential trigger for rising interest rates. Well worth a look, whether you are bull or bear as, whether or not you agree with the arguments, it reads ass remarkably balanced. Good starting point for the kind of reasoned discussion most of us are looking for. Let the thinking begin.

Posted by dohousescrashinthewoods @ 01:08 PM 16 Comments

Factory gate (if you can find one) prices up

Irish times: UK February factory prices rise

British core factory gate inflation picked up last month on higher scrap metal prices, and raw material costs also rose more than expected. The Office for National Statistics said today output prices excluding food, drink, tobacco and petroleum rose 0.5 per cent on the month, the biggest gain since April last year and more than double the consensus forecast.

Posted by holding out @ 12:50 PM 0 Comments

Prices up 1% since December 2006 - DCLG

Firstrung: House prices rise from 9.9% in December to 10.9% in January 2007 - DCLG

The UK house price inflation rate rose from 9.9 per cent in December 2006 to 10.9 per cent in January 2007. Between December 2006 and January 2007 there was a rise of 2.1 per cent in the prices index of properties bought compared with a lower increase of 1.1 per cent over the same period last year resulting in an increase in the inflation rate

Posted by converted lurker @ 11:29 AM 16 Comments

IR pressure mounting?

FT.com: UK factory gate prices up 0.3%

Manufacturers in the UK raised prices for the third consecutive month in February, data released on Monday showed, increasing the chances that the Bank of England will again have to hike interest rates to control inflation. This is the fastest pace of core output price inflation since June and suggests that inflationary pressures are becoming entrenched in the middle of the supply chain. "the biggest monthly increase since July after the cost of crude oil products jumped by 5.5 per cent."

Posted by dohousescrashinthewoods @ 11:26 AM 2 Comments

Yes, property prices are catching up with the south east so everyone's ok!!

BBC News: UK wealth divide 'set to shrink'

This is such a funny article, reminds me of a crap soundman who instead of lowering the volume of whatever is drowning everything else out keeps pushing up the volume of everything elseuntil eventually everything has peaked and you're left with a big f**king mess!!

Posted by larry pickleman @ 11:09 AM 8 Comments

The pair used a crayon to draw upside down risks to inflation in the medium term

Firstrung: Bank of England Really Really Know What They're Doing Really - The Spoof.com

"The exact timing of the anticipated interest rate hike or de-hike or status-quoing is likely to depend critically on the strength of economic activity and inflation data over the next few weeks as well as wage developments. The next twenty-four hours are going to be crucial. 250000 and just one question. Deal or no deal. Or phone a friend."The MPC had voted by 7-2 to keep British borrowing costs steady or thereabouts in February. The central bank opted for a cry for help approach after a surprise quarter-pounder in January surprised even the people who voted for it. The dissenting votes at February's surprise rate meet came from the MPC's latest recruits, Andrew Senile and Tim Beastley, who were both caught with their pants down.

Posted by converted lurker @ 11:05 AM 2 Comments

A prize for short sightedness?

Firstrung: Development of thousands of new homes to be blocked by St. Albans council

Strong objections to proposals to build thousands to homes on Green Belt land in and around the district are being finalised by St Albans City and District Council. The council is expected to submit its official response to Government's Proposed Changes to the draft East of England Plan, setting out its objections to many of the changes...

Posted by converted lurker @ 11:01 AM 2 Comments

Bloomberg on US meltdown

Bloomberg: Foreclosures to hit 1.5million

Detailed article on continuing slow motion train crash that is US housing. For those of you unable to see the link with UK HPC the mechanism is straightforward IMO: US HPC leads to US recession leads to global recession leads to UK HPC.

Posted by andy h @ 09:11 AM 2 Comments

How will Brown's legacy be judged?

Guardian: In 1997 he was applauded in - but will Gordon now be cheered out?

When Brown came to power in 1997, his first act was to delegate decisions on interest rate changes to the Bank of England. Did this set the foundations for 10 years of sustained growth? Or will the next chancellor inherit a treasury rife with debt and overspending? Well, it looks like both are true. But how will history judge the economics of Gordon Brown?

Posted by jellycaster @ 08:51 AM 13 Comments

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Unusually bearish for a corporate rag

NY Times: Crisis Looms in Market for Mortgages

Strange- the NY Times can usually find some upbeat lies to maintain the delusion- here, they seem rather worried

Posted by inflation is eating my savings @ 08:40 PM 13 Comments

Is this government capable of running anything?

Daily Mail: Prezza's 60k 'affordable' homes sham

John Prescott's flagship scheme to build affordable homes for just 60,000 has been exposed as a sham after the first properties went on sale - for at least 175,000 each. Says it all really!

Posted by uncle chris @ 08:21 PM 6 Comments

Support Your Local Analyst

New York Times: Crisis Looms in Market for Mortgages

On March 1, a Wall Street analyst at Bear Stearns wrote an upbeat report on a company that specializes in making mortgages to cash-poor homebuyers. Last week, the company said it would stop making loans and needed emergency financing to survive. The stock collapsed to $3.21.

Posted by daintydiana @ 03:42 PM 0 Comments

Lots more financial services jobs to go to Mumbai

S Times: Pru revamp risks thousands of jobs

Imagine that... Deloitte said in 2004 that by 2010 2 million fin servs jobs would from the West to The East, of which I estimated 200k would be from UK - and that's only fin servs. All those second incomes servicing bank loans...

Posted by financial planner @ 02:27 PM 4 Comments

News round up for the week that was

Firstrung: Firstrung, first time buyers the week in focus - 11/03/07

We had the emergence of first time buyer Barbies, the fact that 20% of purchases are now above the 3% stamp duty threshold, news that first time buyers are shunning the Homebuy initiative, reports that prices rose 1.8% in February, interest rates were kept at 5.25%, the news that buy to let yields keep falling, the fact that first time buyers need an extra 2K more for their typical deposit, couch surfing is becoming increasingly an option for those priced out of (even) the rental market, 25% of new builds in Leeds lie empty...and finally terraced houses, the preferred entry level housing for first time buyers has increased in price by 239% over the past decade whilst wages have increased by less than 40% for the same group of buyers...

Posted by converted lurker @ 12:01 PM 3 Comments

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Not quite selling like hotcakes then.

newswire today: Barratt Leeds Announces Opening of Their New Marketing Suite

.........new marketing suite at The Oaks in the prestigious Leeds New Forest Village development.........A new sales team is also moving in headed up by senior sales negotiator...........Barratt are also offering special introductory deals............The deals will see a 5% deposit paid by Barratt, carpets fitted throughout and 1000 paid towards the legal fees of the buyer........ (but please take note, this is still a 'prestigious' development)

Posted by kagiso @ 11:24 PM 2 Comments

HPI appears 'locked' on 7% year on year

Firstrung: House prices up 0.9% monthly, 7.6% year on year - FT Index

"Monthly house price growth at 0.9% and annual growth at 7.6% are both in line with our results over the last six months. They continue to indicate that nationally house prices have reached a plateau. On an annual basis prices in the South West and East Anglia are above average (8.7% and 8.2% respectively) while in London, prices have accelerated on both a monthly and annual basis (1.5% and 11.1%).

Posted by converted lurker @ 07:54 PM 0 Comments

This is from a 'trusted' source =:(

Firstrung: House prices in parts of London show meteoric rise in last six months

"As a preview, the current month figures for London reveal that the average annual rate of growth over the past six months ranges from: 28.7% (City of London), to 2.2% (City of Westminster), elsewhere in the capital Kensington and Chelsea ( 18.5%), Camden (17.8%), Richmond upon Thames (17.0%) have also performed strongly, while trends in Greenwich (4.3%), Barking and Dagenham (4.4%), Newham (4.7%) and Enfield (4.8%) give a sense of the wide dispersion of price movements across London."

Posted by converted lurker @ 07:51 PM 11 Comments

Lowering Intererest Rats

MoneyWeek: How (not) to fix a Housing Crash

Containing the subprime collapse, in short, might take more than simply talking down the risk before a Treasury committee. And looking for research on how to fix the US real estate market, Dr.Bernanke could do worse than ask his friend (and fellow academic) Mervyn King at the Bank of England to show him what happened the last time British house prices collapsed. Cheap money makes real estate look cheap on the monthly repayments. The extra demand it unleashes then pushes the total price higher and to keep the bubble inflating, new ways of making cheap money look cheaper have to be created.

Posted by sirgoogle @ 06:48 PM 5 Comments

UKs largest mortgage lender acknowledge the signs of a modest slowdown in the housing market

Freehelpadvice: UKs largest mortgage lender acknowledge the signs of a modest slowdown in the housing market

Halifax, UKs largest provider of residential mortgage and savings accounts has acknowledged that there are signs of a modest slowdown in the housing market, in spite of the 1.8 per cent house price growth registered in February.

Posted by matt @ 04:48 PM 0 Comments

Credit card companies adopt new tactic to force late payment fees on their customers

Freehelpadvice: Credit card companies adopt new tactic to force late payment fees on their customers

uSwitch.com, a free impartial online and phone based credit card guide, has revealed that many credit card providers are intentionally delaying the mailing out of credit card bills, forcing their customers to face a late payment fees.

Posted by matt @ 03:32 PM 0 Comments

Slowly but surely the net tightens on debt junkies

Guardian: Does it still pay to be a rate tart?

During the past decade or so, millions of home owners have saved themselves a fortune by moving their mortgage every few years. Cut-throat competition in the home loans market has produced some great deals, with banks and building societies often throwing in freebies to entice people to defect. But more recently, many lenders have started pulling up the drawbridge and are deploying a range of tactics designed to clamp down on "rate tarts" who hop off to a rival as soon as their fixed or discounted rate period ends.

Posted by uncle chris @ 09:50 AM 4 Comments

British manufacturing continues to struggle

Times: Drop in manufacturing output suggests economic slowdown

Manufacturing output fell unexpectedly in January, official figures showed yesterday, amid signs that the economy may have begun to lose momentum at the start of the year. The drop in output of 0.2 per cent was the first fall since October. It brought the annual rate of manufacturing growth down to 2 per cent, compared with 2.4 per cent in the year to December and the weakest such figure since August.

Posted by uncle chris @ 09:47 AM 0 Comments

Friday, March 9, 2007

Britons need to know more about the financial products they use!

Freehelpadvice: Britons need to know more about the financial products they use!

A new study has concluded that Britons know very little about the financial products they use and indeed they know more about groceries than their credit cards. Only 6 per cent of Britons covered in this study said that they are confident in their knowledge on financial products they use and some did not even know what an Annual Percentage Rate (APR) is.

Posted by matt @ 06:19 PM 0 Comments

UK property prices reach plateau

www.inthenews.co.uk: UK house prices 'levelling out'

The FT house price index suggests that the UK market has reached a plateau although according to property consultant Peter Williams, the three increases in interest rates in the last 5 months have not yet impacted on the market. A 0.9% increase in property values occurred across the UK in Feb.

Posted by caroline @ 04:04 PM 0 Comments

Terrace houses lead property boom

BBC: Terrace houses lead property boom

The average terraced house now costs 186,316 as against 54,945 a decade ago. And they are still rising at 10k a year. Signs of a crash? The answer is a resounding NO

Posted by steve @ 11:45 AM 19 Comments

Interest rate predictions? Use the magic 8 ball

Firstrung: Interest rate freeze welcomed by property experts

Property experts have welcomed the interest rate freeze as 'good news' for the housing market. Far be it from us to consider ourselves 'experts' amongst such lofty company in such matters, although to be fair most market commentators may as well use a 'magic 8 ball' when making predictions as to future MPC decisions. However, whilst 'expert' opinion and imput is welcome, there is the rather obvious point that most have missed - which the Firstrung team feel compelled to highlight...

Posted by converted lurker @ 11:30 AM 10 Comments

Shoot the lot of them!!

BBC News: Billionaire club membership jumps

"This growth in the billionaires list is a mere reflection of a dynamic global economy. More people are better off on this Earth than ever before," Mr Forbes said.

Posted by larry pickleman @ 10:58 AM 23 Comments

Buyers so overstretched that furniture sales are falling

MoneyWeek: Global interest rates just keep on creeping up

With the latest figures from Halifax showing that house price inflation is still rampant - along with anecdotal evidence on just how overstretched buyers are - John Stepek explains why the Bank of England's decision to keep interest rates on hold is likely to be only temporary.

Posted by mary @ 10:54 AM 4 Comments

gap between wages and house prices widening

Telegraph: Homes earning more than their owners

The average house price increased by 122 per day last month, which equates to over 40,000 per year. This is far in excess of the average salary, which is around 24,000. This kind of surge was last in the late 80's the Telegraph reports.

Posted by jellycaster @ 10:24 AM 12 Comments

Economy could be 'blown off course'

Guardian: Economic ill winds threaten stability, says Balls

Gordon Brown's closest economic advisor, Ed Balls has warned that the government's committment to stability is being severely tested by current global economic conditions. In his speech to the London Business School, Mr Balls said "The market turbulence of recent weeks demands that policy makers are continuously vigilant to potential downside risks and continue to take a forward-looking approach to policy."

Posted by jellycaster @ 10:17 AM 3 Comments

FT house price index

FT.com: House inflation still too high for comfort

The housing market in East Anglia and the Midlands appears to have cooled, but exceptional demand in London's most fashionable districts has kept the national rate of price inflatiion high. The latest FT HPI includes a breakdown of the London boroughs. Kensington and Chelsea show the highest gains.

Posted by jellycaster @ 10:06 AM 2 Comments

Housing boom remains intact

The Independent: Rates held despite fresh house price rise

Martin Ellis, chief economist at the Halifax, Britain's largest lender attributed February's increase in house price to a shortage of new housing in London and the South East, combined with ongoing strong demand. However, he also said that inflationary pressures on householder's finances are likely to curb demand within the coming months.

Posted by jellycaster @ 09:55 AM 0 Comments

Homeowners personal inflation is twice renters

Evening Standard: Homeowners 'on the rack' due to record mortgages

"The CCCS also found that a typical homeowner who contacts the charity has unsecured debts of 36,192, which is about 14,200 higher than a non-homeowner. Unsecured debt includes borrowings on credit cards, personal loans and other overdrafts. It excludes their mortgage debt which is 'secured' on their home. Malcolm Hurlston, the CCCS chairman, said: "Homeowners are being stretched. They are on the rack."

Posted by kagiso @ 12:39 AM 4 Comments

Our quarterly look at the price of housing around the world

The Economist: Home result

THE global housing boom has lost a lot of its vim. The annual rate of house-price inflation has eased since the last quarter of 2005 in ten of the 20 countries The Economist tracks each quarter.

Posted by sold 2 rent 1 @ 12:23 AM 4 Comments

More Oversupply

Yorkshire Evening Pos: 'A quarter of new homes in Leeds standing empty'

"He found that the vacancy rate had gone up from 12.9 per cent to 14.3 per cent between 2005 and 2006.............."

Posted by kagiso @ 12:21 AM 0 Comments

Thursday, March 8, 2007

Foreclosures decimate neighbourhoods

Bloomberg: Fed Warned on foreclosures as Mortgage growth cools

Bernanke hears evidence of subprime lending practices causing whole neighbourhoods to be left empty as people chuck in the keys unable to keep up with the payments. But don't worry the American dream is alive and well (but it might be turning into a nightmare...

Posted by timbuk3 @ 10:41 PM 0 Comments

BTL is a great idea!

Daily Telegraph: Buy Two, Let One

Snapping up two neighbouring properties then renting one out can be a very smart move, explains Sue Corbett. Although rental income may not be the best part of the buy-to-let deal at present, it is encouraging to think of the likely growth in capital value, and the useful claim you could be staking in the property market for the benefit of your children in a few years' time.

Posted by little professor @ 10:27 PM 15 Comments

Up to 4% of UK Homes Lying Empty

EmptyHomes.com: Empty Homes Statistics 2006

This one is for Steve who thinks HPI is all down to not enough houses being built, even Surrey has 3.3% of its housing stock lying empty. Can't wait for all those empty new build flats to be added to the totals this year.

Posted by enuii @ 07:15 PM 5 Comments

Those deep in debt have to be told they're too stupid to realise it!

BBC: Homeowners warned over high debts

Many homeowners will face a tough time in 2007 dealing with high levels of debt, a leading charity has warned

Posted by holding out @ 05:25 PM 1 Comments

BoE to 'wait and see'

FT.com: UK holds rates at 5.25%

Despite the fact that inflatiion is still above the government's 2% target, the MPC today voted to hold interest rates at 5.25%. This decision was probably influenced by the sell off in equities last week, and the fact that the chancellor's budget is due in a fortnight.

Posted by jellycaster @ 02:16 PM 4 Comments

ECB goes for it

BBC: Eurozone interest rates hit 3.75

The European Central Bank has raised its key interest rate to 3.75%, in a bid to keep inflation under control

Posted by holding out @ 12:52 PM 6 Comments

Bad debts begin to take their toll on banks!

Freehelpadvice: Bad debts begin to take their toll on banks!

Banking experts have cautioned that the global banking sector could face tough times ahead, with fears over increasing indebtedness and poor credit quality affecting their bottom line. The caution has come amidst of profit warnings from banking giants like HSBC and HBOS, which expect their bed debt provisions to go up in future.

Posted by matt @ 12:36 PM 0 Comments

They bottled it!

BBC: UK rates kept unchanged at 5.25%

UK interest rates have been kept unchanged at 5.25% by the Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee. While it is good news for borrowers this month, many in the City still expect there to be another rate rise in the next few months.

Posted by tyrellcorporation @ 12:05 PM 19 Comments

Still smelling rotten in the US!

BBC: Bleak housing outlook for US firm

The boss of the largest US housebuilder has warned that his company's fortunes are likely to "suck" in 2007. DR Horton chief executive Donald Tomnitz told investors that the weak US housing market would continue to hit home prices during the year.

Posted by tyrellcorporation @ 11:43 AM 0 Comments

February house prices 'rose 1.8%'

BBC: February house prices 'rose 1.8%'

121 rise a day. A crash on the horizon? I don't think so.

Posted by steve @ 11:34 AM 16 Comments

Will the Bank of England raise interest rates today?

MoneyWeek: Will the Bank of England raise interest rates today?

Another month, another interest rate decision. What will the Bank of England decide today? It seems quite likely that interest rates will remain on hold this month, says John Stepek. The recent upheaval in the stock markets is likely to have made even the more hawkish members of the Monetary Policy Committee a little wary of rocking the boat with a rise. Of course, thats not to say that we couldnt do with one

Posted by mary @ 10:10 AM 0 Comments

MPC unlikely to raise rates

The Guardian: All eyes on Threadneedle Street

Despite inflation figures still over the Bank of England's targets, the MPC are unlikely to raise the cost of borrowing when they announce their decision today. With the budget near, and close on the heels of last week's stock market turbulence, the MPC is more likely to adopt a 'wait and see' policy.

Posted by jellycaster @ 08:52 AM 0 Comments

HBOS survey

Reuters: UK house prices up 1.8 pct m/m in Feb

The HBOS house price suvrey suggests that the higher costs of borrowing haven't impacted demand for houses. The price of the average house rose 1.8% in February, the highest amount since October. This brings house price inflation to 9.9%. HBOS attributed the rise to a mismatch of supply and demand in Europe.

Posted by jellycaster @ 08:43 AM 5 Comments

Guess what the BBC predicts will happen to rates today?

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

I suppose if rates go up they'll change this link to "SHOCK UNEXPECTED RATE RISE", and do their best to sound indignant. Talk about shilling the news.

Posted by paul @ 08:12 AM 23 Comments

Buy to let players are...(cough)...in it for the 'long term'

Firstrung: Buy to let landlords prepared to ride out the storms

Despite interest rates rising drastically over the last six months and rental yields evaporating, record levels of established landlords are apparently looking to expand their 'portfolio' as they remain committed to buy to let as a 'long term investment'...

Posted by converted lurker @ 12:56 AM 6 Comments

Rental myths debunked

Firstrung: Increased house prices causing a renters' paradise - Gumtree

This is an unusal source of information but highly credible IMHO, real evidence of a cash squeeze everywhere;, lodgers, mortgage payers buy to let investors, the increased money supply appears to have slashed and burnt already..quick answer, keep on printing?

Posted by converted lurker @ 12:52 AM 5 Comments

Biggest US homebuilder says 2007 will be dire

CNN: 2007 is going to suck

Horrible US word 'suck' isn't it, but it is something when the biggest US housebuilder uses it to describe prospects for the year.

Posted by andy h @ 12:48 AM 1 Comments

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

London Market slackening

findaproperty: Property Prices Easing In The Capital

"Four areas of London experienced negative price growth, the largest decline being inthe North-East with a -0.3 per cent drop.........." 'negative price growth'?

Posted by kagiso @ 10:25 PM 6 Comments

New Zealand interest rates are on the rise.

New Zealand Herald: Interest rates on the rise

New Zealand Reserve Bank Governor Alan Bollard has today raised the official cash rate (OCR) 25 basis points to 7.5 per cent. "Our concern is that the recent pick-up in housing and domestic demand may gain momentum, giving rise to a stronger cyclical upturn at a time when resources are already very stretched", Dr Bollard said.

Posted by ashwina @ 09:52 PM 1 Comments

House prices in London show signs of a slowdown!

Freehelpadvice: House prices in London show signs of a slowdown!

According to a report from Haart Estate Agents, house prices in London, grew by 0.1 per cent in February, much lower than the 0.5 per cent growth it registered in the month of January. The house price growth had slowed down, in spite of the continuing shortage of available properties to buy in the city.

Posted by matt @ 05:58 PM 0 Comments

Land Registry reports strong start to year

www.themovechannel.com: Land Registry reports strong start to year

The January data from the Land Registry shows that 2007 has begun with another rise in house prices for England and Wales. The first month of the year demonstrates an annual house price increase of 7.7% and a monthly increase of 0.9%. This increase has led to the average property now being worth 174,827.

Posted by daft boy @ 05:52 PM 1 Comments

Pre-Hips rush expected by agents

www.themovechannel.com: Pre-Hips rush expected by agents

Estate agents haart is expecting the spring market to be boosted with a sudden influx of properties to the market, prior to the introduction of home information packs. At the moment the London house market has seen prices stabilise, with overpriced properties not selling. The average London house price saw a slight increase of 0.1% in February to 260,375 as buyers remain price sensitive despite a continuing shortage of available stock.

Posted by cash_buyer @ 01:18 PM 5 Comments

Raising stamp duty had little or no effect for FTBs

Firstrung: Rising house prices forces most first time buyers to pay stamp duty - smartnewhomes.com

Buyers are finding it increasingly hard to purchase a property which doesn't force them to pay stamp duty. According to SmartNewHomes, buyers looking to purchase a new home under the 125,000 price bracket, to avoid paying stamp duty, are faced with relocating hundreds of miles away from family and friends as a result of the huge property price differences across the UK.

Posted by converted lurker @ 12:50 PM 0 Comments

Chickens coming home to roost

Guardian: Private equity predicted to spark company collapses

Another example how complete mismanagement of the economy (and the funding of the labourr party by private equity parasites) is coming back to bite us on the bum. Just more potentially very bad news to turn the outlook sour.

Posted by inbreda @ 10:39 AM 7 Comments

Evan Davis talking about the madness of crowds.

BBC news - Evan Davis' blog: Economic froth

"Im getting a little worried that the UK economy has overheated a bit and is getting frothy. Should I be?" also he mentions a new breed of property speculator - Buy to Sit???

Posted by sam @ 10:20 AM 7 Comments

US - Toll Brothers admits, no rebound in housing

Bloomberg: Housing Rebound Elusive as Market Fails to Reduce Lost Deposits

Looks like the fabled US rebound in housing is failing to materialise.

Posted by pricedout.org.uk @ 10:18 AM 9 Comments

US recession is one-third probability'

FT.com: Greenspan risks new row with Fed

Alan Greenspan risked stirring renewed controversy on Tuesday when he told the Bloomberg news agency that there was a one-third probability of a US recession this year. The former Federal Reserve chairmans comments are starkly at odds with the relatively upbeat assessment made by Ben Bernanke, his successor, in testimony to Congress last week. Mr Bernanke has not put any figure on the likelihood of a US recession this year. However, his public remarks suggest that, while he feels there may be some chance of a hard landing so painful that it results in negative growth this year, the likelihood of that is much less than one in three.

Posted by dohousescrashinthewoods @ 09:18 AM 5 Comments

Go back to old inflation measure

Indpendent: Bring back 'credible' inflation target, urges expert

A treasury manager from the Bank of Ireland has urged the Bank of England to revert a system of measuring inflation which is a better reflection of people's living costs. There is an increasing divergence between the consumer price index, currently at 2.7%, and the old system of the retail price index, currently at 4.2%.

Posted by jellycaster @ 08:49 AM 4 Comments

ARLA survey of BTLs

PR Newswire: Rents Mark Inflation While Property Prices Soar

The Association of Residential Letting Agents, ARLA, has published the findings of its recent survey. It says that although rental yields have kept pace with inflation, profits have remained relatively static. However, buy to let investors have benefitted significantly from capital growth.

Posted by jellycaster @ 08:45 AM 3 Comments

HIPs attacked by Red Tape Commmission

Daily Mail: Home energy certificates 'will hit property market'

The last vestige of HIPS - From June 1, a 100 Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) will have to be provided to potential buyers to warn them if the house needs a better boiler or loft insulation. Ministers were under pressure last night to delay the introduction of home energy certificates after the Governments own watchdog (Better Regulation Commission) warned they could harm the housing market. But the Commissions report identified a series of problems with the way the Department for Communities and Local Government has designed the legislation. It calls for a full assessment of "potential risks to the housing market".

Posted by sirgoogle @ 05:04 AM 3 Comments

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Speaks for itself really

BBC News: Economic Froth

Comments on the 'buy to sit' trend

Posted by kagiso @ 10:24 PM 0 Comments

Sub prime lending in the UK

FT.com: Lenders open doors to blemished credit scores

"Borrowers with less-than-perfect credit ratings are muscling in on the buy-to-let market as lenders become more willing to accommodate those who have previously defaulted on loans.............."

Posted by kagiso @ 10:14 PM 3 Comments

Further interest rate rise could be on the cards

Sky News: UK Warned On Inflation

While the International Monetary Fund heaped praise on Britain's economy, it warned that vigilance would be needed to keep inflation under control.

Posted by anytime @ 03:12 PM 0 Comments

Property could slump warns IMF

Daily Mail 6th March 2007: Property could slump warns IMF

Homeowners were warned last night that the property market is 'overvalued' and could be heading for a slump. The respected International Monetary Fund warned that last year's resumption in the property boom was raising the threat of an abrupt slide in homes values. Making matters worse, the Washington-based group warned that rising wage demands and inflation could force the Bank of England into a fourth interest rate increase.

Posted by ukuser1 @ 12:08 PM 12 Comments

European and Asian markets rally

BBC: European and Asian markets rally

Asian and European stock markets regained ground on Tuesday following five days of losses.

Posted by steve @ 11:51 AM 0 Comments

Desperate..

Firstrung: Can the emergence of first time buyer 'BARBIES' (Buying Abroad, Renting in Britain) be taken seriously?

We should thank Hiscox for finally labelling the birth of the illusory group of first time buyers - who supposedly buy abroad due to the fact they are priced out of the UK. Certain media sources have been desperately trying to peddle this myth and having finally tagged the buyer with the name 'Barbie' they have done the overall concept proud...

Posted by converted lurker @ 11:50 AM 14 Comments

Retail sales figures show stunning rise

Firstrung: Retail sales up strongly in February could prompt interest rate rise

The jump in like for like sales (Feb 2006 v Feb 2007) is huge and despite the coded plea from the BRC this could give the MPC the readily available ammunition to raise interest rate rises - given that their decisions often accompany statements on 'shopping'...

Posted by converted lurker @ 10:47 AM 12 Comments

HSBC release results

Scotsman: US debt shadow over HSBC's 11.5bn profits

Europes largest banking company posted record $22.1 bn profits for 2006, an increase of 5% on 2005. However, in sterling terms profits actually fell, because the dollar is much weaker against sterling compared to this time last year. Last month HSBC posted its first profit warning for 142 years, after the company became concerned about the amount of bad debt it was exposed to in the US sub-prime mortgage market. In an attempt to reassure markets, it said there had been no deterioration since then.

Posted by jellycaster @ 09:32 AM 0 Comments

Eurozone inflation in check

FT: Tension over ECB rate rises

Inflation in the Eurozone is on target for the first time since 2000, and governments around the block are becoming uncomfortable with the high interest rates charged by Brussels. There is likely to be another quarter point rise this week, which will increase the tensions within the Eurozone as to the direction of European fiscal policy.

Posted by jellycaster @ 09:08 AM 0 Comments

Last weeks market turbulence could lead to further IR rises

Independent: Hamish McRae: Could the day of the correction persuade the Bank to keep its powder dry on rates?

Hamish Mcrae looks at last week's turmoil in the global equity markets, and considers what effect it will have on the UK economy. he believes there will be another interest rate rise before long, and the peak could be as high as 6%. The main differences between the UK and US economies, he identifies is the condition of the property markets. Despite both economies going through periods of growth financed by borrowing, when the US raised house prices, it effected the market.

Posted by jellycaster @ 09:01 AM 2 Comments

Flying in the face of recent articles

Times: High street spending could force new interest rate rise

Pressure on the Bank of England to push through another interest rate rise this week is set to grow today following reports of the strongest trading on the high street for seven months

Posted by holding out @ 08:55 AM 0 Comments

Consumer spending looking healthy

Guardian: Retail sales hold up despite rise in interest rates

Retail figures released by the British Retail Consortium were healthy, showing a 3.3% increase on February last year. This discredits the concerns voiced this week by many industry lobbyists who claimed that consumer spending was being seriously hit by the MPC's successive rises in the cost of borrowing.

Posted by jellycaster @ 08:48 AM 0 Comments

Australia building sector still affected by rates hike

iii.co.uk: Australia building sector still affected by rates hike

SYDNEY (XFN-ASIA) - A continuing decline in building approvals in January shows interest rate hikes delivered over 2006 are still influencing housing activity, Westpac Banking Corp economists said. But, they said, dwelling approvals are likely to stabilize in coming months as the effects of last year's interest rate moves start to moderate and the Reserve Bank of Australia keeping interest rates on hold bolsters confidence

Posted by cash_buyer @ 08:46 AM 0 Comments

Worried IMF calls for rate rise

www.telegraph.co.uk: Worried IMF calls for rate rise

The International Monetary Fund has urged the Bank of England to raise interest rates to 5.5pc, amid fresh evidence of growing wage inflation, a growing property market bubble and a booming economy.

Posted by cash_buyer @ 08:43 AM 0 Comments

Brown's taxes are highest since mid 80s

Telegraph: Taxes are at highest levels for 20 years

Further tax increases would seriously jeopardise the UK economy, driving business away and putting househoulds under pressure, an IMF report says. This comes in the wake of a YouGov poll showing that Briton's were losing their faith in the ability of Gordon Brown to run the economy competently.

Posted by jellycaster @ 08:40 AM 3 Comments

IMF criticises Brown, says HPC is possible

This is money: Property could slump warns IMF

The Washington-based International Monetary Foundation has warned that house prices in the UK are overvalued, and a crash is possible. They also criticised Gordon Brown's policy of gradually increasing the tax burden, which could jeopardise the future of the UK economy.

Posted by jellycaster @ 08:33 AM 12 Comments

More evidence of property lunacy

What is beyond truly bonkers?: Citywire

...Lulu Egerton of Chelsea estate agents Lane Fox who said: 'For the first time, I'm finding London prices quite extraordinary. Our hearts are in our mouths when we ask for them, but we still get buyers.'...also HPC mention at the bottom of the article.

Posted by webmaster @ 07:04 AM 4 Comments

Its all downhill from here

www.nowandfutures.com: The Business Cycle And the Future

Got this one off bullnotbull.com. Economic confidence has peaked. It is all downhill until 2011 Martin Armstrong: The Man Who Predicted Tuesday's Plunge ... 8 Years Ago ...(See graph and table in article) ...Has Been Imprisioned for the Past Seven Years Without a Trial ... http://www.topix.net/forum/business/TS8IHELKS6G8FDV65

Posted by sold 2 rent 1 @ 01:40 AM 1 Comments

Monday, March 5, 2007

The guys at the top are still drowning in money!

Times Online: US bad debt charges set to haunt HSBC for three years

HSBC has admitted it will take up to three years to sort out the troubled US sub-prime mortgage business, which last month prompted Europes biggest bank to issue the first profit warning in its 142-year history. On unveiling a record $10.6 billion (5.51 billion) bad debt charge, $6.7 billion of which came from North America, Mike Geoghegan, HSBCs chief executive, conceded: It will probably take two to three years to work this out.

Posted by tyrellcorporation @ 11:34 PM 0 Comments

Independent EA's Reporting House Price Drops

aboutproperty.co.uk: Surge in properties on the market

"The Team research finds the biggest fall in house prices from December to January was in East Anglia, where prices were down 2.2 per cent, followed by Essex (down 1.7 per cent) and the West Midlands (down 1.6 per cent)..............."

Posted by kagiso @ 09:15 PM 1 Comments

New Century Financial Stock Drops to 70%

Bloomberg: New Century Leads Drop in Shares of Mortgage Lenders

Subprime lenders stock hit the floor. Analysts say the fallout could hit prime lending and connected institutions. Prime lenders are safer from fallout - only IF they had good underwriting practices in place. Now that's a big IF!

Posted by nearly30 @ 08:14 PM 7 Comments

Britons are secretive about their debt problems!

Freehelpadvice: Freehelpadvice

The Debt Counsellors Annual UK Debt Survey 2007 has exposed that Britons are secretive about their debt problems and many hide it even from their partners. The survey, which polled people seeking help for their debt related problems, has found that a significant percentage of Britons, who are suffering with debt problems, are keeping their worries to themselves.

Posted by matt @ 07:36 PM 0 Comments

Good News for Propery Investments as IMF Upbeat on UK Economic Growth

BBC News: IMF upbeat on UK economic growth

Good News for Gordon's Economic Miracle (and the BTL economy) as IMF praises UK economic performance as "impressive", continuing to communicate the importance of wage restraint will help minimise the need for additional increases in interest rates.

Posted by enuii @ 07:31 PM 5 Comments

Jap's IR rise could cause system collapse

Lyndon La Rouche: Japan's Interest-Rate Hike

Despite the illusions of small investors who are being led by the nose, allowing themselves to be blinded by record numbers on the stock markets; and despite the promises of countless analysts, that the decision of the Japanese central bank to raise interest rates from 0.25 to 0.5% would have only an insubstantial influence on the so-called "carry-trade," this rate increase could actually have a dramatic effect on the world financial system, and could even generate a systemic collapse.

Posted by cristiano barbaro @ 07:25 PM 1 Comments

Lets all laugh at this BTLer

BBC News: House repossession lost me 22K

This bint got a BTL mortgage but couldn't keep up with repayments. The house was repossessed and sold for 60,000 at auction, not enough to cover her debts (27k outstanding). Now she is bleating that the same house sold for 82,000 a few months later. "I just want to cry." Mrs Smith said. "I've got to find 27,000. At the moment they can swing for it. Because they're not going to get it off me."

Posted by little professor @ 06:39 PM 14 Comments

Another interest rate rise could intensify the debt crisis in the UK!

Freehelpadvice: Freehelpadvice

Chiltern Debt Management, one of the United Kingdoms leading debt management specialists, has urged the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) to leave the interest rate at their current level when it meets on March 8, to avoid aggravating the debt crisis in the country.

Posted by matt @ 04:22 PM 0 Comments

Services hit by interest rates

Guardian: UK service sector expands at slowest pace for six months

Interest rate rises toward the end of 2006 and January this year have caused decelleration in Britain's service sector, figures released today reveal. There is debate about whether a further IR rise is needed, business chiefs have called for a relaxation, but other analysts predict further rises in the coming months.

Posted by jellycaster @ 04:05 PM 0 Comments

189% pay at least 7.5k stamp duty on house purchases

Guardian: One in five pays higher stamp duty charges

19 per cent of house buyers paid the highest rate of stamp duty in 2006, according to research carried out by HBOS, owner of Halifax, Britain's largest lender. The gorvernment earned 4.6 bn last year, compared to 2.1 bn in 2001.

Posted by jellycaster @ 04:00 PM 1 Comments

The DJ has been falling for years

Gold Price: The Dow Priced in Gold

Good graph of DJs priced in gold Central banks are stealing our money from under our noses

Posted by sold 2 rent 1 @ 01:21 PM 10 Comments

Slowdown in the second half of 2007

housefund.co.uk: Interest rate rises starting to bite

Slowdown in the second half of 2007 By the second half of 2007, we continue to expect to see a more pronounced slowdown in the annual rate of house price growth. This will be a reflection of higher interest rates and stretched affordability curbing the demand of residential buyers, along with some slowdown in buy-to-let demand. We do not expect a severe fall in confidence, even if interest rates were to rise once more, due to the continued strength of the economy and the labour market in particular."

Posted by cash_buyer @ 12:31 PM 2 Comments

Higher interest rates are having an effect

www.moneyextra.com: Investor confidence on the retreat

Latest findings from the Standard Life Savings & Investment Index show that interest rate rises have had a significant impact on people's belief in property as an investment category. Confidence in people's own homes as a savings vehicle for their financial future has fallen by just over 19% since October 2006 while confidence in buy to let has decreased by almost 27%.

Posted by cash_buyer @ 12:29 PM 0 Comments

Will the sub prime fall out reach the UK?

Firstrung: No one wants to be in the 'sub-prime' business anymore - Moneyweek

Well, unfortunately it's not quite that simple. In the race to the bottom to lend to sub-prime and near-prime borrowers, lenders lowered standards to the extent that everyone and their dog decided they could buy a house. When you artificially stimulate demand like that, we know what happens next - more demand = higher prices, all the way across the market. But as dozens of sub-prime lenders go to the wall and the entire industry acquires pariah status, the sub-prime money will dry up. And as it dries up, so will the source of the extra demand - and that means lower prices

Posted by converted lurker @ 12:13 PM 5 Comments

Stupid borrowers have not fully understood the risks involved

FT: Scrutiny grows on US subprime lenders

The dumb lending to the even dumber, encouraged by the dumbest (AKA BOE)

Posted by lloyd @ 11:39 AM 0 Comments

A loss of liquidity is the real cause of stock market turmoil

Independent: Stephen King: How a small shock upset the apple cart

Stephen King, chief economist at HSBC, discusses the continuing sell off in global equity. He dismisses the reasons bandied around by traders such as Chinese regulatory changes and the allusion Alan Greenspan made to the possibility of a US recession. Instead, the key issue is liquidity, and the availability of cash to investors.

Posted by jellycaster @ 10:28 AM 4 Comments

It's not looking good folks!!!!

BBC: World markets see slide continue

Asian and European stocks have fallen rapidly already this morning

Posted by sovietuk @ 09:12 AM 16 Comments

Commercial sector against further IR rises

Guardian: Firms urge Bank: keep rates on hold

Economic advisors to businesses have urged the Bank of England to not rise interest rates, despite continuing growth in the economy and the threat of inflation. This advice comes on the back of a mass sell-off in global equity markets last week. The British Chambers of Commerce warned that another rise in interest rates could cause consumers to panic.

Posted by jellycaster @ 09:03 AM 10 Comments

BoS calls for rising stamp duty threshold

BBC News: Bank calls for stamp duty change

The Bank of Scotland, the biggest corporate bank in the UK, has called on the Chancellor to raise the stamp duty threshold on higher priced property. Buyers pay 3% on properties between 250 and 500 k, rising to 4% above half a million. These haven't changed to reflect the 175% rise in house prices since 1997.

Posted by jellycaster @ 08:47 AM 3 Comments

Schools lottery to anger parents who bought houses in catchment

Guardian: Parents who paid a premium for houses in good school areas face heavy losses

In those areas considering a schools 'lottery', ie, where the best schools pick there registers at random from those who apply, there is likely to be a backlash from parents that have paid inflated house prices, sometimes up to 100k extra, in order to secure their child a place at their desired school.

Posted by jellycaster @ 08:41 AM 7 Comments

Sunday, March 4, 2007

Another 0.25% incease will make all the difference!

Soft landing for house prices predicted by Savills: citywire.co.uk

Recent interest rate rises which have taken Bank Base Rate to 5.25% from its July 2003 low of 3.5% will not have a dramatic effect on house prices, but a prolonged spell with interest rates at 5.5% could derail forecasts, according to Yolanda Barnes, research director at estate agent Savills.

Posted by cash_buyer @ 09:34 PM 1 Comments

What will happen if every one wants to sell?

www.findaproperty.com: What Goes up Must Come Down

As house prices continue their ascent and first-time buyers struggle to get that elusive first foothold, Yorkshire Bank has revealed that one in ten parents are looking to descend the property ladder. The financial implications of such a move are what holds the attraction. Selling up now could net empty nesters a tidy profit to bulk up their pension in later life. Thoughts of stretched affordability abound in today's market, and while parents plan for their own future, they are clearly concerned for that of their offspring.

Posted by cash_buyer @ 09:33 PM 0 Comments

China spawns 90,000 New Share Traders per Day

BBC news: Chinese market gold rush goes on

Worth Reading as the Similarities with the Wall Street Crash are stunning, is China the New America of the 1930's.

Posted by enuii @ 07:03 PM 2 Comments

UKs insolvency figures breach the 100,000 mark for the first time

Freehelpadvice: UKs insolvency figures breach the 100,000 mark for the first time

According to the Insolvency Service, 107,288 Britons went insolvent in the year 2006, an increase of 40,000 compared to the previous year. The alarming increase in the number of insolvencies has prompted insolvency experts to issue fresh warnings on the irresponsible borrowing by consumers in the United Kingdom

Posted by matt @ 05:33 PM 0 Comments

Scum entrap the ignorant and the greedy in "property seminar"

Guardian: The 'Inside Track' on property investing?

.....Says David: "We normally put junk mail straight into recycling, but the flier from Inside Track for a free workshop caught our imagination. It used words like property investment - and we knew we needed to do something as we are both self-employed with no great pension prospects......

Posted by crashbunny @ 05:01 PM 4 Comments

HeliBen gets it right for a change

Bloomberg: Bernanke Says Globalization May Push Inflation Higher

Erm, haven't we been told for, like, ever that globalisation would bring inflation down. Gosh, its all just too, like, everything'c changing, man. I mean we all used to know that China exported deflation and hosue prices rise. HAHAHAHAHAHAHA

Posted by financial planner @ 04:04 PM 0 Comments

Economic Pundits Suggest Lower Rates to avoid Recession

BBC World Service: World Business Review - On the recent Stock Decline

Start listening from 19:30 (although whole programme is worth listening to). The economic pundits on the World Business Review of the BBC World Service see a need to lower interest rates to stave off global recession. If that occurs then the HPC is toast and HPI will get yet another leg up from cheap credit.

Posted by sirgoogle @ 03:55 PM 15 Comments

Oversupply is Oversupply......

Easier Property: UK house-building hits highest levels since 1980s

The last time house building reached such high levels was in 1989 when over 191,800 new homes were built................. Could somebody remind me what happened in 1989?

Posted by kagiso @ 03:33 PM 0 Comments

Rumble

Market Watch: Yen rallies as carry trade unwinds

The yen turned in its best weekly performance in 14 months, posting a 3.5% gain against the dollar, as heightened volatility in global markets and increased aversion to risks prompted investors to unwind their so-called yen carry trades.

Posted by harold @ 02:53 PM 0 Comments

Big Names, Big Junk

Bloomberg: Merrill, Goldman, MStanley `Junk'

Since this is what the U.S. housing market is doing to the world's three biggest securities firms, I'd say we're looking at contagion (caused by their weakening financial status harming their operations, including in London). Note also HBOS putting $11bn aside for its sub-prime lending in the U.S. Then there's the unwinding of Yen carry trades (estimated by the Economist as worth up to $1trn). The U.K. property market isn't going to be supported by the top end buyers for much longer as liquidity vanishes from the global system leaving the gut-rotting debt for Ordinary Joe. Banks, too, must be edgy about their lending practices over here when they've seen the harm the U.S. downturn can do. It's time to stick or twist for the banks. Some will stick, and that will be enough. Keep the faith.

Posted by bangybongo @ 02:28 PM 1 Comments

Hell on Earth

YouTube: Liberty In North Korea

I will buy a house some day. It is getting very tough I know. But for those of you that constantly complain about house prices, I strongly suggest you watch ALL of this video. The man who filmed it risked execution to smuggle it out.

Posted by scott @ 01:00 PM 0 Comments

Is ARLA culpable?

ARLA website: ARLA review of investment returns

For a geared investment, the Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA) are telling people they can make 21.97% a year. Well, who wouldn't if they could? However they are v. selective in their assumptions e.g. exclude letting and maintenance costs and assume average capital appreciation every year of 8.66% pa. ARLA claim to be a professional association for private landlords - but their vested interests leave them open to the charge that they are actually ramping unregulated investment schemes to the unwary leading to a buy-to-let and house price bubble. (by the way, even on their definition of Net Yield, this is now negative. God only knows what it would be if you actually had to take costs into account).

Posted by hotairmail @ 11:47 AM 5 Comments

Possibly an end to the tax breaks for rich and wealthy foreigners

Observer: Oligarchs' tax break 'racist'

Its about time we saw something like this. There are plans to challenge the unfair tax rules in the courts on the basis that they are racist. There is mention of the fact that this has been a driver of the proprty boom in London.

Posted by worzel @ 09:27 AM 2 Comments

Oversupply Kicks In

mform: Plummeting prices for London apartments

The price of a city apartment has fallen by 4.9 per cent since December and the cost of an Essex flat has crashed by eight per cent, according to a study by independent estate agents, Team Association...................................

Posted by kagiso @ 08:58 AM 6 Comments

Proof the market has topped or proof the market is superstrong?

Telegraph Online: "We've got a house to sell... don't tell anyone" by Olga Craig

I thought hard about posting this article and I even double-checked its datre to make sure it was written in 2007. What convinced me was " ... So toxic has the market become that gazumping, the great evil of the late 1980s property boom, has returned, accompanied by two newer nightmares ... " This piece portrays a frenzied and hectic market and makes a reference to the late-1980s. People are paying grossly over the odds for a house and this is portrayed as a signed of strength within the market, along the lines of "Estate Agent says 'It hasn't been like this since the 1980s and therefore the market is super strong' or words to that effect." Poor George might get depressed at this one but I see it is a sign the market has topped. Your thoughts? Will Merryn Somer-Webb be right?

Posted by talking rot @ 08:32 AM 15 Comments

2nd Sign of Mass fallout

Timesonline: US triggers $11bn HSBC fall-out

Wait until A&L come clean. This is going to get really ugly, really quickly folks.

Posted by lvmreader @ 01:06 AM 6 Comments

Saturday, March 3, 2007

More properties to sell - prices down - more than seasonal?

houseladder.co.uk: Properties registered for sale more than double

The number of properties reaching the market more than doubled during the first month of 2007, estate agents have said................

Posted by kagiso @ 07:01 PM 3 Comments

Financial worries haunt Britons more than anything else!

Freehelpadvice: Financial worries haunt Britons more than anything else!

According to a new survey carried out by Abbey National plc, the UKs sixth largest bank and Europes second largest mortgage lender, people in the United Kingdom are more concerned about their personal finances than the threat posed by terrorism or climate change.

Posted by matt @ 03:19 PM 0 Comments

What a future...what future?

Firstrung: Gordon Brown mortgaging Britain's future - Cable

"Despite Gordon Brown's claim to have abolished cycles of boom and bust, he is likely to be as effective as King Canute in stopping the ebb and flow of the tides. "The combined legacy of Blair and Brown has been to preside over the mortgaging of Britain's economic future - both in the public and private sectors. Our task is to show how financial discipline can be restored in a way which also rebuilds people's faith in fairness and equality of opportunity."

Posted by converted lurker @ 03:09 PM 4 Comments

many parents would solve the problem by "downsizing

Firstrung: First time buyers forced to stay at parental home as numbers reach lowest figure since records began

One in four parents with young families expects their children to be in their 30s before they can afford to buy their own home, says a survey. They fear rising house prices will leave their children unable to get a foot on the property ladder any earlier. With the average house price topping 200,000, one in seven parents with a child under ten are so concerned about the situation that they have started a "home fund" to help their offspring later in life.

Posted by converted lurker @ 02:30 PM 2 Comments

Buy to let obsession fading

Firstrung: Buy to let confidence has decreased by almost 27% since interest rate rises - Standard Life Index

Interest rate rises have had a significant impact on people's belief in property as an investment category, according to latest findings from the Standard Life Savings & Investment Index...

Posted by converted lurker @ 02:28 PM 0 Comments

Irish property price growth slows

Irish Times: Property slowdown confirmed by new figures

After more than a decade of booming annual double digit growth, Irish property price grew by only 0.1% in January. This article suggest that this will cause a budget shortfall for the Irish exchequer. All major Irish banks and building societies have lowered their forecasts in recent months.

Posted by frankiem @ 01:25 PM 0 Comments

Flexible living to bring buy-to-let boom

Yahoo: Flexible living to bring buy-to-let boom

The buy-to-let market will grow by 40 percent within the next decade, as more Britons crave "flexible living", according to Alliance & Leicester (A&L).

Posted by rep013 @ 01:42 AM 9 Comments

Friday, March 2, 2007

Are credit cards loosing their sheen?

Freehelpadvice: Are credit cards loosing their sheen?

The number of credit card applications in the United Kingdom fell for the second consecutive month in February, suggesting that more and more Britons are deciding against borrowing on their cards. Experts attribute this decline in credit card applications to the change in the attitude of Britons towards their personal finances, with many thinking twice before borrowing.

Posted by matt @ 09:05 PM 2 Comments

21st Century Homeowners to move house 16 times during their life

Scotsman: Sixteen - the average number of homes you'll have in a lifetime

Another useless statistic, or is it? Gordon will love this one as it is potentially 16 lots of Stamp Duty. If climbing the housing ladder means moving 16x in this country I'll stay put thankyou.

Posted by enuii @ 05:01 PM 15 Comments

Stock market continues freefall

BBC "News": European shares resume decline

Not of much direct consequence for the housing market, but a bitter taster of how profligate and lazy we've become under cheap credit conditions.

Posted by paul @ 02:04 PM 1 Comments

Welsh repossession court action 'soars'

www.firstrungnow.com: Welsh repossession court action 'soars'

Prospective first time buyers in Wales may be interested in data showing an increase in the instances of court action to repossess houses across the region. In news which may concern potential first time buyers worried about rising house prices, according to data released by the Department for Constitutional Affairs, the number of repossession claims in Wales increased by 26 per cent between 2005 and 2006, reports Inside Housing During the period, repossession claims rose to 8,294 from 6,559 across Wales.

Posted by cash_buyer @ 12:59 PM 0 Comments

Can Gordon Brown conquer inflation?

MoneyWeek: Can Gordon Brown conquer inflation?

John Stepek examines why despite below-inflation public-sector pay rises and falling energy prices, March's interest rate decision will be a nailbiter.

Posted by mary @ 12:38 PM 2 Comments

Property loses it's appeal for investors

BBC News: Rate rises hit property investing

Higher interest rates have knocked investors' confidence in putting their money into property, evidence suggests. The insurance company Standard Life says that the rate rises since last summer have led more people to question the wisdom of property investment.

Posted by webmaster @ 11:47 AM 8 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 @ 11:33 AM 9 Comments

subprimes might affect credit status of investment banks

Bloomberg: Goldman, Merrill Almost `Junk,' Their Own Traders Say (Update1)

As of Feb. 28, the bonds of Goldman and Morgan Stanley were trading as if the debt were rated a step below Moody's official rating....The same companies had an above-average risk of being downgraded, with about 22 percent of them having their ratings cut, he said.

Posted by waiting...waiting @ 10:10 AM 0 Comments

BBC News

BBC News: Brent Crude Oil$/Barrel

Price $62.52 It's back again!!

Posted by andy @ 09:28 AM 6 Comments

Analysis of the suffering US housing market, and it impiactions for the rest of the economy.

Money Week: The Bubble In The US Housing Sector

This is a useful and conprehensive analysis of the problems faced by the US economy, which are rooted in the unwillingness of Americans to save and the recent astronomical gains in the housing market.

Posted by jellycaster @ 09:28 AM 3 Comments

Shopper's didn't notice IR rises

Guardian: Prices rise as shoppers keep on spending

The third successive increase in spending on the high street has curbed fears that repeated increases in inflation rates would dampen consumer demand. Joh n Longworth, chairman of the CBI's trades panel said "The headline figures show a heartening high street performance in February as year-on-year sales volumes grew again and selling prices continued to rise. The recent rally in pricing power, while good news for retailers, will provide food for thought for interest rate watchers."

Posted by jellycaster @ 08:56 AM 0 Comments

Strengthening case for further IR rise

FT.com: Growing economy shrugs off rate rises

Signs that secured borrowing remains robust and firm data on manufacturing and retail sales, released on Thursday, painted the picture of an economy that has yet to be cooled by the recent spate of interest rate rises. The Bank of England said that the number of mortgage approvals considered a good indicator of near-term demand for property rose from 114,000 in December to 120,000 in January. Given the monetary policy committees concerns about inflationary pressures, the data broadly support the case for a further interest rate hike,

Posted by dohousescrashinthewoods @ 08:52 AM 2 Comments

Subprime coming home to roost

FT.com: Subprime woes add to concerns

The recent sharp increase in late payments and defaults on risky US mortgages has added to concerns on Wall Street that complex debt products backed by the loans could be vulnerable to the sectors troubles. Until recently, investment banks that packaged and sold CDOs found that subprime mortgages could be used to engineer products with attractive yields for investors starved of returns.

Posted by dohousescrashinthewoods @ 08:50 AM 1 Comments

Mortgage demand high again

BBC News: Mortgage approvals 'bounce back'

The property market is continuing to exhibit growth at similar levels to last year, according to figures released by the Bank of England. This comes despite comments from the Nationwide Building Society saying demand is 'waning'.

Posted by jellycaster @ 08:49 AM 8 Comments

Economy still growing

Telegraph: Bank unlikely to raise rates

The CBI released figures showing there is still demand among consumers and the manufacturing industry is continuing to enjoy good sales, despite interest rate rises. There is also concerns that inflation will psuh further away from the Bank of England's atrget. However, there is scant belief that the MPC will take action by raising interest rates before the summer.

Posted by jellycaster @ 08:44 AM 3 Comments

US Treasury Secretary tries to calm nerves

Telegraph: 'I believe that the US economy is healthy'

Another shaky day on the markets prompted US Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson to try to calm jittery financial nerves by saying he coonsidered the US economy to be in good health. Much of the problems in the global markets have been due to concerns about the US economy.

Posted by jellycaster @ 08:39 AM 0 Comments

Thursday, March 1, 2007

It has begun: ~9,000 banks went under in the 1930s Great Depression

Herald Tribune: First bank failure in years happens in Pittsburgh

The streak is over. After nearly 21/2 years without a bank failure, a small Pennsylvania bank collapsed this month. Metropolitan Savings Bank of Pittsburgh was closed by its state banking department. About $12 million in deposits were assumed by Allegheny Valley Bank of Pittsburgh.

Posted by lvmreader @ 08:11 PM 1 Comments

Signs of cooling house market as number of home loans drops

Yorkshire Post: Signs of cooling house market as number of home loans drops

THE number of people taking out a loan for a new home fell to its lowest level for two years in January, figures showed. The British Bankers' Association (BBA) said that overall gross mortgage lending rose to 16.6bn in the month, 15 per cent more than the 14.5bn in January 2006. But the number of people taking out a mortgage for house purchase fell from 45,039 to 37,804 year on year, in a possible sign of a cooling market

Posted by cash_buyer @ 07:22 PM 0 Comments

Could the US crash happen here?

Citywire.co.uk: Property: Could it happen here?

Rising interest rates, bad debts and falling house prices have started to hit the US sub-prime market hard, usually the first sector to suffer in a downturn. As interest rates start to rise here could such a trend begin to affect the UK market, heralding a return to the bad old days of the 1980s, asks Lorna Bourke.

Posted by cash_buyer @ 07:21 PM 2 Comments

Thousands of MoD workers to strike

BBC News: Anger at public sector pay offer

Thousands of Ministry of Defence managers and technical staff are to stage their first strike for 25 years in a row over pay. Prospect said 6,000 of its members will walkout on February 28, the day a two-year wage deal is set to be imposed. The union said the increase was worth 2.5% in each of the next two years, below the rate of inflation, which it described as a "kick in the teeth."

Posted by scumbag @ 07:15 PM 0 Comments

Governmental Finances Tightening around Brown's Miracle Economy

BBC News Online: Brown 'faces 20bn funding gap'

Institute of Fiscal Studies gets bearish with the stats. Brown relying on fiscal drag and cutting public spending to balance government finances, article contains nice graph household debt burden as percentage GDP that must look horrendous now compared to 1995 and 2004.

Posted by enuii @ 07:06 PM 1 Comments

London House Prices up 40% in London February

BBC: London House Prices up 40% in London for February

London house prices soar to new highs in London.....nah just kidding. you wish!

Posted by mervin king @ 05:57 PM 2 Comments

Interest rates may go up in the second quarter!

Freehelpadvice: Interest rates may go up in the second quarter!

A Reuters poll of economists has concluded that the Bank of England (BoE) would probably increase the interest rates before mid-year, but not in March. Most of the economists polled are confident that this rate hike will be enough to keep the inflation from posing a threat to the countrys economy.

Posted by matt @ 05:34 PM 0 Comments

Fresh turmoil for world markets

thisismoney.co.uk: Fresh turmoil for world markets

London shares are suffering further severe falls, with the Footsie over 100 points down after a calamitous open on Wall Street.

Posted by p. o. o. r @ 04:12 PM 4 Comments

Debts are affecting the personal and professional lives of Britons!

Freehelpadvice: Debts are affecting the personal and professional lives of Britons!

The Annual UK Debt Survey 2007, carried out by a UK debt counselling company - The Debt Counsellors, has reveled that debts are affecting both the personal and professional lives of Britons. The survey covered people seeking help for their debt problems and the results show that debts are having an adverse effect on peoples day-to-day lives and their performance at work.

Posted by matt @ 03:39 PM 0 Comments

All bow down to the housing market sacred cow - inflation must not rise, IRs must not rise

BBC "News": Anger at public sector pay offer

Q. What happens when you set aside a policy of maintaining the bloated, overstretched sacred cow that is the housing market by cutting people's wages? A. Strikes. Get ready, because here they come.

Posted by paul @ 03:37 PM 0 Comments

As shares plummeted around the world this week, City bosses in London have been insisting on paying back the enormous bonuses they were paid only a couple of months ago.

The Corporation: Stock market turbulence persists

Stock markets around the world remain volatile after the heavy losses of recent days, with share prices falling in Asia for a third straight session.

Posted by george monsoon @ 01:45 PM 6 Comments

It's not all bad news out there

Forbes: Royal Bank of Scotland FY profit up 14 pct, hikes dividend

"LONDON (AFX) - Royal Bank of Scotland Group PLC delivered full-year profits ahead of analyst forecasts, and hiked its dividend by a greater than expected 25 pct, prompting a sharp rise in its share price." On page 19 of the 2006 results posted at http://www.investors.rbs.com/downloads/FYR06.pdf it states that "Impairment losses increased by 15% to 1,343 million," - sounds terrible does't it? That's a mighty shovel load of bad debt. Now here is the real kicker - "Mortgage arrears remain very low – the average loan-to value ratio of Retail’s mortgages was 46% overall and 64% on new mortgages written in 2006." Those are hardly the numbers one would expect from a borrowing populace supposedly MEWed up to the eyeballs.

Posted by monty @ 01:30 PM 2 Comments

1 Last Dying Breath to Inflate the Bubble

LSE: Buy-to-let investors urged to consider costs

Investment advice desperately trying to get the last remaining 'victims' to carry the can!

Posted by nearly30 @ 01:30 PM 1 Comments

'New' mortgage business practically non existent

Firstrung: Eighty percent of new mortgage business is remortgaging - BOE

The latest BOE report confirms that mortgage lending is still on the increase, allbeit at a lesser rate. However, what is noticeable from the information provided is that approx. 80% of mortgage lending transactions are now re-mortgages - 104,000 loans from 120,000. The putitonthemortgage.com spenders show no signs of self control. Are UK consumers maintaining a 'spending binge' by simply using their homes as cash machines?...

Posted by converted lurker @ 12:26 PM 14 Comments

The poorest in society end up paying more for the kind of services most people take for granted

Firstrung: MPs tell energy companies to end unfair charging for poorest customers

A cross-party coalition of MPs led by Dr Alan Whitehead, MP for Southampton Test, has backed the National Housing Federation's call for an end to unfair energy pricing for the poorest customers by tabling a Commons Motion.

Posted by converted lurker @ 12:24 PM 0 Comments

worries over US economic outlook

Times: Downgrade of growth figures puts US rates in the balance

Concerns over the US economy persist as figures released yesterday indicated growth in the fourth quarter slipped to an annual rate of 2.2, significantly lower than initial stimates of around 3.5%. This increases the liklehood of the federal reserve reducing interest rates to kickstart the economy.

Posted by jellycaster @ 08:57 AM 9 Comments

Hornby justifies HBOS profits

Times: HBOS defends its record profits as 'the economy's fuel'

Andy Hornby, chief executive of HBOS, which operates Halifax, the UK's largest mortgage lender has defended the company against attacks from consumer groups who excused the bank of exploiting its customers. Hornby claimed that HBOS's profits add to the economy, and that 'profit isn't a dirty word'.

Posted by jellycaster @ 08:48 AM 0 Comments

Lenders unable to justify high exit fees

Times Online: Mortgage lenders to pay back millions in exit fees

The FSA has challenged mortgaged mortgage lenders to justify their new higher exit fees. In response, lenders have said they are willing to refund the fee to millions of customer who remortgaged in the last few years. Some lenders charge up to 295 for borrowers to move their mortgage somewhere else.

Posted by jellycaster @ 08:37 AM 1 Comments

BBA data shows mortgage lending stays high

FT.com: Bankers data show continuing mortgage demand

The British Banker's Association believe recent interest rate rises are not having an effect on mortgage lending, figures released show. However, consumers are much less willing to take put unsecured loans and use credit cards.

Posted by jellycaster @ 08:31 AM 1 Comments

The R word in the US again

The Telegraph: Goldilocks gives way to recession fears

Investors should have paid more attention as the world's big central banks all tightened monetary policy in lockstep last year for the first time since the early 1980s. The asset markets have been on borrowed time ever since.

Posted by sold 2 rent 1 @ 07:30 AM 1 Comments

Bull thread unanswered

Bull thread unanswered: HPC

This thread slipped away without the debate it deserves

Posted by sold 2 rent 1 @ 07:18 AM 3 Comments

U.S. Stocks Rebound From Plunge; P&G, Sprint, Merck Lead Gains

Bloomberg: U.S. Stocks Rebound From Plunge; P&G, Sprint, Merck Lead Gains

Feb. 28 (Bloomberg) -- U.S. stocks rebounded from their biggest plunge in four years after Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke said the economy will continue growing and the nation's largest financial institutions advised investors the bull market isn't over.

Posted by steve @ 02:01 AM 2 Comments

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