May 2008 Archive

Friday, May 30, 2008

And they don't mean Kirstie & Phil

Timesonline: There goes the neighbourhood: bloodsuckers thrive on credit slump

Of all the crises triggered by America's property crash, the economists never predicted a plague of blood-sucking mosquitoes spawned in the stagnant swimming pools of unsold or abandoned luxury homes. The phenomenon is threatening to turn into a disaster for cities such as Las Vegas, where land values in some areas tripled every year during the boom, prompting developers to build thousands of million-dollar mansions, complete with lavishly proportioned swimming pools and outdoor Jacuzzis.

Posted by lvmreader @ 11:06 PM 17 Comments

New Labour & Gordon Brown's popularity sink to lowest ever

Telegraph: Labour crisis: No way back for Gordon Brown

The latest YouGov poll indicates Labour now has the lowest level support since the Gallup poll in 1943, a few months after El Alamein. Gordon Brown fairs significantly worse with just 15% of the electorate stating they are "satisified" with him in comparison to a massive 75% stating they are "disatisfied".

Posted by denzil @ 09:46 PM 6 Comments

That's enough posts about the bull, here is the real world....

Times Online: Property sales slump a third as buyers dry up

''...Housing transactions have slumped by a third as buyers struggle to secure mortgages and house prices slip, official figures show. Nearly 72,500 sales were completed on average each month between November 2007 and February 2008, sharply down from a monthly average of 103,141 in the same period 12 months ago, figures from the Land Registry show....''

Posted by hpwatcher @ 07:41 PM 0 Comments

May comedy club finale - no hint of a crash it's simply low price base regions drag the rest down

Assetz Property News Service: Where now?

When Nationwide released its house price figures this week revealing a dip of 2.5 per cent in May, there were plenty of groans but also some caveats. One of these was that the picture is the subject of much regional variation. Such a point was made by the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA), whose chief executive Peter Bolton King said: "The national sales figures do not tell the whole story. We know from our members that the picture is still very regional with some areas continuing to do better than others."

Posted by jack c @ 07:35 PM 5 Comments

Comedy club chief lays into Nationwide

mortgagestrategy: Assetz urges banks to stop profiteering

Property investment firm Assetz says banks profiteering is lowering house prices. The accusation comes after Nationwide reported a 2.5% monthly fall drop in house prices, while the Land Registry House Price Index recorded a 0.2% drop. Stuart Law, chief executive of Assetz, says: The marginal 0.2% monthly fall in house prices provides a true reflection of the current housing market and is far removed from the spurious 2.5% fall suggested by Nationwide earlier this week.

Posted by jack c @ 07:04 PM 18 Comments

Sharing the pain

RT news: Irish house prices down 1.1% MoM, 9.2% YoY

The latest house price survey from Permanent TSB and the ESRI shows that house prices across the country fell by 1.1% last month. This is the largest drop in a single month so far this year. The survey also found that house prices had fallen by over 9.2% since April 2007. An average house was over 7,300 cheaper in April than it would have been in December.

Posted by little professor @ 06:42 PM 3 Comments

Can anyone help Lee?

Times: Stuck in a Streatham studio flat

Lee is looking to buy a one-bedroom flat with the sale of his studio because he needs more space. In early April he reduced the price of his flat from169,950 to 159,950 and further dropped the price to 149,950 two weeks ago. He is considering waiting until next spring before a second attempt to sell

Posted by confused76 @ 06:30 PM 14 Comments

Its a Bad Karma - Stupid!

Bloomberg: Moody's Implied Ratings Lab Reveals Ambac, MBIA Turning to Junk

The team from Moody's Analytics, which operates separately from Moody's ratings division, uses credit-default swap prices as an alternative system of grading debt. These so-called implied ratings often differ significantly from Moody's official grades. The implied ratings frequently show that swap traders think debt is in more danger of defaulting than Moody's credit ratings signify. And here's the kicker: The swaps traders are usually right.

Posted by alan @ 06:01 PM 1 Comments

But it's okay - repayments are affordable

Guardian: Quarter of borrowers relying on windfall to pay off mortgage

Another poke in the eye for the dim VIs who claim there are fewer interest-only loans now - forgetting that interest-only these days means interest only, with no repayment plan. Even the CML, prince of the VIs, grudgingly acknowledges as much. "Oh sh1t ...."

Posted by letthemfall @ 04:11 PM 3 Comments

Get your panic sensitive black sunglasses out

Daily Telegraph: House price data adds confusion to an already volatile market

Basically an article that shows how different the stats are. Clearly there's a view (read the comments) that because the numbers are all created in a different way, it's best to forget looking at them as they are misleading. Except, that is, if they point upwards. "But, as Ms Barnes (Savills) is quick to point out, putting indices and predictions together, especially in the current climate, is not easy, nor possibly even advisable. Ms Barnes said: "Just by looking at an index, you cannot tell what is going to happen to house prices. Indices are backward-looking. The thing is to do is not to latch on to one single month's movement."But unless you are buying or selling at the moment, it might be best not to look at them at all." Ha ha. So if they're bad, ignore them.

Posted by growler @ 03:02 PM 4 Comments

Whatever he says, Brown needs oil to stay high

MoneyWeek: Whatever he says, Brown needs oil to stay high

Gordon Brown makes much of wanting to get oil prices down. But he's not being entirely truthful - a fall in oil prices would be disastrous for him.

Posted by damien @ 03:00 PM 5 Comments

Priceless BBC!!

BBC: House prices slowdown confirmed

"It was the eighth month in a row during which annual property inflation has fallen, though the decline has not been as fast as suggested by other surveys" Many other reports have claimed that prices have fallen so fast that they are now lower than they were a year ago. On Thursday, the Nationwide said prices were now 4.4% down on May last year and had dropped at a record rate. However, the Land Registry survey, which covers all completed property sales and not just those of particular lenders, suggests that point has not yet been reached in England and Wales"

Posted by confused76 @ 01:04 PM 14 Comments

Land Registry reports London down -0.5% in April

Land Registry: House price index

"London's monthly price change is -0.5 per cent for April, which is a more volatile movement than the -0.2 per cent experienced by England and Wales as a whole" but we know these reflect prices agreed back in December / January, but down trends are accelerating

Posted by confused76 @ 12:59 PM 0 Comments

The final paragraph of this article is VERY interesting

Citywire: Gang groomed bank staff in multi-million pound scam

Mortgage fraudsters wined and dined staff from sub-prime lenders and entertained them with boxes at Premiership games but used chainsaws and guns to intimidate people who stood in the way of their multi-million pound scam, a recent British Bankers Association conference heard. The gang used a simple flipping scheme, buying about 60 properties at inflated prices to defraud banks, Simon Chandler, partner at law firm CMS Cameron McKenna, told delegates at the mortgage fraud conference in London.

Posted by jack c @ 12:43 PM 1 Comments

Credit crunch? Not when it comes to City bonuses

MoneyWeek: Credit crunch? Not when it comes to City bonuses

While the rest of us suffer, it's bonus time for the bankers whose dodgy dealing and wreckless risk-taking led to public bail-outs and worldwide financial anxiety.

Posted by damien @ 12:32 PM 3 Comments

Banks??... Lying??... Never!!

Wall Street Journal: Study Casts Doubt on Key Rate

"WSJ Analysis Suggests Banks May Have Reported Flawed Interest Data for Libor LONDON -- Major banks are contributing to the erratic behavior of a crucial global lending benchmark, a Wall Street Journal analysis shows. The Journal analysis indicates that Citigroup Inc., WestLB, HBOS PLC, J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. and UBS AG are among the banks that have been reporting significantly lower borrowing costs for the London interbank offered rate, or Libor, than what another market measure suggests they should be. Those five banks are members of a 16-bank panel that reports rates used to calculate Libor in dollars."

Posted by crutchley @ 12:06 PM 0 Comments

Economic storm to hit Europe

The Telegraph: Euro suffering from 'reserve currency curse' as investors pull out

Long-term private investors are pulling their money out of the eurozone at the fastest rate since the creation of the single currency, according to a report by the French bank BNP Paribas.

Posted by sold 2 rent 1 @ 11:52 AM 3 Comments

When the going gets tough

Yahoo: Japanese man finds woman living in his closet

I wonder if I will find my landlord living in my closet???

Posted by crash n burn @ 10:51 AM 5 Comments

Lets fight them on the beaches!!!!

Yahoo: News

I just thought, what would happen if the whole of the UK homeowners got together and simultaneously didnt pay there mortgage for say a couple of months. whether that would seek out those lending companies who maybe hiding behind there cash flow to stay afloat. Also if we prolonged non payment this may mean that if we all did this, they (the lenders) could all go bust because they wouldnt be able to deal with everyone defaulting at the same time. They would all go bust and we can keep our houses and never pay another mortgage payment. Anyone with me to start a campaign!!!!!!!

Posted by thedevilsuglytwin @ 10:48 AM 0 Comments

Banks in positive spin shock

Reuters: Banks may be understating key lending rate: report

"Major banks may have understated Libor, a crucial global interbank lending benchmark, masking weakness in the global financial system, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis. Libor has indicated that the banking system was stronger than it actually was at critical junctures in the financial crisis, the paper reported." Looks like they've been lying to us chaps and chapesses

Posted by crutchley @ 09:18 AM 0 Comments

Edmund Conway accepts a bubble crash is under way

Telegraph: Housing crisis: Average home now worth what it was in 2006

Edmund Conway comes round to our way of thinking. He doesn't mention factors that mean this crash could be worse than previous ones. House prices as a proportion of earnings or rents are far higher this time, and the turnaround in the availability of mortgages has been much quicker and more vicious than I remember it being in 1989-90.

Posted by monty032 @ 09:12 AM 8 Comments

Orchistrated boom. Orchistrated bust

The Telegraph: Oil prices to be probed by US regulator CFTC

America's leading commodities regulator has launched an unprecedented investigation into possible market manipulation in the US crude oil market amid record prices which continue to cripple various parts of the global economy.

Posted by sold 2 rent 1 @ 08:50 AM 60 Comments

What does this say about the state of their mortgage book ?

BBC: Rock to take on more debt staff

Northern Rock is to more than double the number of people who work in its debt management department over the next year, the BBC has learned.

Posted by duncan @ 07:52 AM 3 Comments

Stress tests say OK?

reuters: More UK bank rating pressure possible -Moody's

UK banks "MAY" face further pressure on their debt ratings this year as the credit crisis continues, Moody's Investors Service warned on Friday, although most institutions can "MANAGE" the downturn at current rating levels. Moody's had said it had run stress tests on mortgage lenders' exposure to house price declines, and that as a result it did not expect the "quality of portfolios to deteriorate so much as to eat into core capital". Lovely piece of Doublespeak. But really, who believes Moody's models?

Posted by mken @ 06:31 AM 0 Comments

All over the papers today

Independent: House prices now falling at fastest rate since early 1990s

(Yeah, I know this is the zillionth story based on the same Nationwide figures, but let's celebrate while we can.) The largest monthly drop ever seen in the Nationwide's survey of the property market prompted some economists yesterday to predict a "deep and prolonged" housing slump. The price of a typical house is now 8,000 less than at this time last year. Negative equity in this downturn will be much more serious than it was during the early 1990s, simply because the price of property has trebled since then. Repossession orders are running at a 15-year high. Figures from the British Bankers Association this week showed a fall of almost 40 per cent in the number of new mortgage approvals. Further pain seems likely.

Posted by little professor @ 12:34 AM 42 Comments

House arrest: how many years to escape negative equity?

The Times: Negative equity fears soar after record slump in house prices

This months slide in prices prompted economists to forecast that house prices would fall by more than 20 per cent in two years. This would plunge two million homeowners, or one in six mortgage borrowers, into negative equity, according to Morgan Stanley, the investment bank.

Posted by quiet guy @ 12:21 AM 0 Comments

Thursday, May 29, 2008

With increasing worldwide food price inflation, what is the long-term solution?

BBC News: World Bank offers $1.2bn food aid

I've not quite worked out what the World Bank's agenda is. From wikipedia, it appears to be 'part-charity/part-profit-making-money-lender'. If world food price inflation is real (and not just a reflection of dollar weakness/short-term speculation/etc) and is getting worse, it's going to take more than the World Bank and Live Aid 2010/2011/2012 to stop people starving.

Posted by doom&gloom @ 08:49 PM 23 Comments

UK sure to follow

Economist: Through the floor

America's house prices are falling even faster than during the Great Depression AS HOUSE prices in America continue their rapid descent, market-watchers are having to cast back ever further for gloomy comparisons.

Posted by mken @ 07:20 PM 3 Comments

Toights main ITV news carries a story on HPC - they are even promoting the price crashometer Calculate your house price

Fears for ther UK housing market have deepened after figures from Nationwide showed the average cost of a home dropped by 2.5 per cent in May - the seventh running month house prices have slumped. It is the biggest monthly fall recorded by the building society with average prices now 4.4 per cent lower than a year ago. The report also revealed that a typical home lost almost 5,000 in value over the month. To find out how the value of your property may have changed, click on the link below:

Posted by jack c @ 07:03 PM 3 Comments

Not just the Landlords suffering. Man pays $30K in rent, faces eviction

Charles Nelson has paid about $30,000 in rent since moving into a spacious four-bedroom home in August. He was stunned when a real estate agent knocked on his door recently and said the home was in foreclosure. His landlord had not paid the mortgage since he moved in and the bank is now demanding the house back. Nelson will also lose his $7,700 security deposit. When he confronted the landlord, he says, he was given a terse response: "That's none of your business." Other victims of HPC to think about !

Posted by plato @ 06:49 PM 6 Comments

A small celebration

House prices: Welcome to the bust: Guardian

This is linked to in the previous article but worth a post for its return of the VIs' lame serves. Of course we all knew this already, but always good to see in the newspapers.

Posted by letthemfall @ 05:52 PM 6 Comments

I predict -15% to -20% overall this year, then further -10% next as things level off.

Find a property: Market Will Recover By 2010

In a new forecast for the residential market, the estate agency predicts that the economy will progressively weaken over the course of the year and remain soft in 2009. This slowdown will have an inevitable impact on the housing market, but only in the short-term. Price falls will moderate to just 1-2 per cent in 2009 and will climb again in 2010 by 2-4 per cent. Looking further ahead, they forecast that UK house price growth will then surge towards ten per cent by mid-2012 and average around eight per cent a year from 2011-2013. > A bit simplistic but shows that VI sentiment has turned somewhat. I don't expect to see any 'rise' in value from the trough for at least 5 to 7 years

Posted by rental john @ 05:49 PM 0 Comments

Link to blog in a Guardian article

Guardian: House prices: Judgment Day or Apocalypse Now?

At the bottom of the article just before the comments.

Posted by pelethar @ 05:31 PM 2 Comments

From April, but worth a read

Times: Revealed: the truth behind the housing market scare stories

The stream of bad news coming out of the housing market has grown into a torrent in recent weeks, with stories of falling house prices, withdrawn mortgage rates and warnings about payment shocks. Excpet they were never 'stories' - fact is always more surprising than fiction....

Posted by rental john @ 04:47 PM 9 Comments

Bet Darling wishes he could off-load Rock in similar fashion.

Interactive Invester: Bear Stearns shareholders OK buyout by JPMorgan

Bear Stearns Cos. shareholders on Thursday approved JPMorgan Chase & Co.'s $2.2 billion buyout of the investment bank whose wagers on subprime mortgages made it the largest corporate casualty of the global credit crisis.

Posted by rental john @ 04:23 PM 0 Comments

Greed accelerates price decline in a downturn

Estateangels: Landlords should look for 40 per cent property discounts

"Landlord Mortgages has advised buy-to-let investors that they should be looking for around a 40 per cent discount on property" "If you are under market value today but are then undercut by 20 per cent in the next year then no, it wasnt a good time to buy" like they say... PRICELESS!

Posted by confused76 @ 04:06 PM 8 Comments

Here we go, Whoooooooo!!!!!

Yahoo: News

I just bought a house near bristol made an offer from 525,000 asking price, made an offer for 440,000 vendor wanted 475,000 to start with. Told him naaah!! Three weeks later he accepted our offer. I know the property we are buying will go down still, but feel I got a fair deal in anticipation of another lets say 8% drop.

Posted by thedevilsuglytwin @ 02:36 PM 19 Comments

As the crash gathers momentum expect to see some high profile casualties

FT: John Charcol consults staff on redundancies

John Charcol is consulting on redundancies and its chief executive is discussing his future with management according to head of communications Drew Wotherspoon. Wotherspoon would not confirm how many people would be made redundant, but said that the company's chief executive Ian Kennedy was discussing "future roles" at John Charcol with chairman John Garfield. John Charcol's product specialist Katie Tucker has also left with immediate effect.

Posted by jack c @ 01:53 PM 6 Comments

Just don't tell me the fundamentals are strong!

Times: High street prices in biggest surge since 1992

''...The retreat by consumers from the high street slowed slightly from April despite prices rising at the fastest pace for 16 years, a key CBI survey found today. Sales fell for the second consecutive month in May but the fall was less sharp than expected. They are forecast to rise next month. The figures spell the latest blow to fast-fading hopes for any further cuts in interest rates over the summer. ...''

Posted by hpwatcher @ 01:36 PM 2 Comments

From the 'Property porn channel' !

Channel 4: House prices fall by 2.5%

Homeowners should be braced for more pain after a shock 2.5% fall in house prices during May, experts have warned. Almost 5,000 was wiped off values after the largest single-month fall in the 17-year history of the Nationwide building society's index. The average house now costs 173,583 - 4.4% lower than a year ago and the biggest annual decline since December 1992. Prices have fallen for seven months in a row.

Posted by rental john @ 01:30 PM 1 Comments

May 2006: Sydney is the 6th least affordable city in the world

Sydney Morning Herald: Priced out of the boom

If you live in Sydney and have not bought a house yet, you might have to get used to renting, writes Michael Duffy. Late last year an American pro-growth consultancy named Demographia announced that the median house in this city cost 8.5 times the median household income. This was up from a multiple of five in the 1980s, which even then was steep. Demographia defines "affordable" as a multiple of no more than three. The 2005 result meant housing in Sydney was the sixth least affordable of 100 cities looked at around the world. "Sydney house prices are somewhere between 50 and 60 per cent higher than Melbourne house prices it is still nearly 10 times average earnings in NSW to buy a house, whereas in Melbourne it is about seven times."

Posted by lvmreader @ 01:13 PM 4 Comments

Abiogenesis - the facts from Thomas Gold

SEMP: Oil Doesn't Come from Squashed Ferns and Fish??

What IS the evidence for each of the two theories of the origin of oil? Two main observations have favored the biogenic (ferns and fish) origin of petroleum. 1. Petroleum contains groups of molecules [e.g., hopanoids, a material coming from bacterial cell-walls], which are clearly identified as the breakdown products of complex, but common, organic molecules that occur in plants, and that could not have been built up in a non-biological process. (6) 2. Petroleum is mostly found in sedimentary deposits and only rarely in the primary rocks of the crust below; even among the sediments, it favors those that are geologically young. In many cases such sediment appears to be rich in carbonaceous materials that were interpreted as of biological origin, and as source material for the petroleum

Posted by lvmreader @ 01:03 PM 37 Comments

Consolidation is likely across the Antipodean banking sector

Sydney Morning Herald: Merger raises $64bn question

INVESTORS are preparing for further consolidation in the banking sector, as Westpac tries to gain control of the country's fifth-largest bank. Westpac and St George banks remained in a trading halt yesterday as negotiations continued in a deal that would dramatically alter the Australian banking landscape.

Posted by lvmreader @ 12:59 PM 0 Comments

From May 13th 2008: Maybe it will be blocked....

Sydney Morning Herald: Banks agree on mega-merger

Update Westpac and St George have agreed a merger deal that values the combined group at just over $66 billion and will see the smaller bank's investors own 28% of the new financial institution. The terms of the deal will see St George's shareholders receive 1.31 Westpac shares for every one of their own shares. In all, the transaction values St George at $18.6 billion or $33.10 per share. That represents a 24% premium to its most recent closing price of $26.65.

Posted by lvmreader @ 12:58 PM 0 Comments

UK house prices have their Wile E. Coyote moment

MoneyWeek: UK house prices have their Wile E. Coyote moment

To virtually nobody's surprise, UK house prices have shot off the edge of the precipice and are plummeting headfirst to the bottom of the canyon. It is unlikely that anyone save a few particularly optimistic estate agents will be surprised by any of this - so how far could things go?

Posted by damien @ 12:58 PM 0 Comments

Great slide show

Safe Haven: US Economic Outlook 2008-11+

Great 27 page slide show - all you need to know and very concise

Posted by sold 2 rent 1 @ 12:57 PM 14 Comments

There there Peter, take a pill and have a lie down

Firstrung: House price crash not on the radar - NAEA

Following the release of the Nationwide house price index today, Peter Bolton King, Chief Executive of the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA), the residential sales arm of the National Federation of Property Professionals (NFOPP), said: "The national sales figures do not tell the whole story. We know from our members that the picture is still very regional with some areas continuing to do better than others. Indeed, our recent survey of agents records some stability returning to the market in the number of sales agreed, the number of viewings before a sale is secured and the average difference between asking and sales price.

Posted by converted lurker @ 12:56 PM 11 Comments

Brits one wage packet from the gutter

Firstrung: Over half of working Brits would survive finanically for only four months if they lost their jobs - Egg

A quarter of people in Britain have little or no money set aside for emergency situations, according to research by online bank Egg...And what's more, over half of all working Britons (52%) do not have sufficient savings to support their families were they to find themselves out of work, even if only for the UK's average redundancy period of four months.

Posted by converted lurker @ 12:54 PM 2 Comments

FOS witness a huge spike in complaints

Firstrung: Mortgage and banking complaints increase by 300% in 2007 - Financial Ombusdman Service

The Financial Ombudsman Service - the independent organisation that settles disputes between consumers and financial companies, has published its annual review for the 2007/08 financial year. The review shows that during the year, the ombudsman: Handled a record 794,648 consumer enquiries and 123,089 new complaints - a 30% annual increase. Saw the number of mortgage and banking disputes more than triple, and insurance disputes double - while complaints about mortgage endowments fell by 70%.

Posted by converted lurker @ 12:52 PM 1 Comments

Good charts on oil, housing, banking stocks, mortghage finance, bond insurers, and gold

Market Oracle: Imminent Banking Stocks Destruction

The totally unreported story lately is that banks face larger losses, as housing prices continue their historic decline, ensuring profound additional bond losses. Banks have openly admitted it. Watch for the bond insurers to basically go bust, belly up, after failing to replace their capital core. The charts tell the story. The financial press networks do not, as they continue to obey their advertisers who pay the bills and dictate the messages, even if totally false. This USGovt Administration might do well to formalize a new cabinet post, Secy of Information, in keeping with a tradition started seventy years ago in Berlin

Posted by sold 2 rent 1 @ 12:32 PM 8 Comments

House prices on cue for 20pc drop by end of 2009

Telegraph: House prices are still on track for a 20pc drop

The plunge in house prices in May is a reminder of just how fast house prices can decline. Of course, given the lack of mortgage finance, as well as weak buyer interest, anything other than another fall this month would have been a surprise. The sheer size of the drop in house prices, without the economy having yet slowed significantly, suggests that this housing market correction will be deep and prolonged.

Posted by syphan @ 12:14 PM 0 Comments

For a bit of light relief ...

Guardian: Labour cash crisis could bankrupt party leaders

... couldn't happen to a nicer bunch, could it?

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 12:11 PM 14 Comments

It's the ECB birthday party, but not everyone gets cake

MoneyWeek: It's the ECB birthday party, but not everyone gets cake

The European Central Bank is ten years old and there's a big party at its German HQ, but not everyone in the eurozone is celebrating with quite so much gusto. The second ten years are going to be a lot less triumphant than the first ten...

Posted by damien @ 12:09 PM 0 Comments

A cyclical correction as the global economy slows would not necessarily invalidate the Peak Oil theory

The Telegraph: Asian countries begin to burst the oil bubble

One by one, countries across Asia and the Middle East are being forced to abandon price controls on fuel and energy, bringing hundreds of millions of consumers face to face with the true market cost of oil. The effect has already begun to chip away at world demand and may ultimately trigger a slide in crude prices.

Posted by sold 2 rent 1 @ 11:43 AM 26 Comments

Problems in the South African economy

IOL (South Africa): Tito hints at huge hike

"Consumers and unions are reeling in shock after SA Reserve Bank governor Tito Mboweni hinted on Wednesday he may raise the benchmark interest rate by two percentage points next month to help bring inflation back within the target range." Wonder how house prices are doing there. Loads of people from the UK bought houses in Cape Town. Wonder what they are worth now? I wonder how they feel about the security situation?

Posted by last_days_of_disco @ 11:33 AM 2 Comments

The worst is yet to come

The Telegraph: US and European debt markets flash new warning signals

The debt markets in the US and Europe have begun to flash warning signals yet again, raising fears that the global credit crisis could be entering another turbulent phase.

Posted by sold 2 rent 1 @ 11:31 AM 1 Comments

better late than never

Reuters: Investors flee emerging property markets

LONDON (Reuters) - Cash-thirsty investors are being forced to abandon plans for investment in emerging property sectors because of persistent problems in global money markets, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors said on Thursday.

Posted by debtfree @ 10:03 AM 0 Comments

"Fifth night" destruction accelerates

The Telegraph: House prices fall by biggest margin in 17 years

House prices fell by 2.5 per cent this month - the biggest monthly drop since records began 17 years ago, according to Nationwide figures.

Posted by sold 2 rent 1 @ 09:57 AM 31 Comments

Property fears grow as house prices dive

Evening Standard/Thisismoney: Property fears grow as house prices dive

The Evening Standard's translating today's wipeout figures this: "The housing market today looked as though it was headed into its biggest crisis since the crash of the early 1990s". Surely we're already in that crisis! And it goes cites the approaching blizzard... "The Nationwide figures follow a blizzard of weak news on the housing market, with everyone from rival lender Halifax to the Bank of England and Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors reporting massive falls in mortgage lending and sales."

Posted by n lamont @ 09:28 AM 0 Comments

Factors will make this slump far worse than 1992......

Times Online: House prices fall at fastest rate for 17 years

''...The slump in Britain's house prices accelerated in May to the fastest level since the Nationwide began records 17 years ago. The price of an average house fell 2.5 per cent in the month, making the seventh consecutive monthly fall in prices, the longest downward slope since the housing recession of 1992...''

Posted by hpwatcher @ 08:20 AM 3 Comments

It's awful but it's all going to be alright House price falls accelerate in May

Link to latest press release from Nationwide indicating house price falls are accelerating (price are now falling ca 10% p.a. if you take latest quarterly view of falls). Fionnuala's department at Nationwide of course can only see the positives: " * House prices fell by 2.5% in May * Prices are 4.4% lower than this time last year, but remain 5% higher than 2 years ago * Falling house prices combined with higher inflation makes MPC decision more difficult still * Borrowers are better placed to weather the storm than in the 1990s * Tighter credit conditions should help the longer term sustainability of the market"

Posted by trough2010 @ 08:14 AM 48 Comments

Biggest drop since 1991

Nationwide: May HP figures

The first of many - now a YoY drop of alomst 5%

Posted by growler @ 08:07 AM 8 Comments


Telegraph Online: UK house price decline accelerated in May

On Radio 4 Today's programme Fionnuala Earley remained upbeat and claimed the credit markets were opening again and this would raise hope in the housing market. From utter gloom to rather gloomy Ms Earley? Still, I'm not seeing evidence of FORCED SALES around my area though.

Posted by talking rot @ 08:05 AM 6 Comments

2.5% drop in May

BBC News: House price falls 'accelerating'

Nationwide admitting an accelerating decline in house prices. No short term forecast but a further drop implied.

Posted by lewis @ 07:50 AM 2 Comments

House price chill in summer of 2008!

Bloomberg: Nationwide - May pricees worst since 1991

the YOY decline is now nearly 5%...already in the first 5 should we see a frantic revisions from those calling for 'modest single digit declines' in 2008? Contrast the lack of 'modesty' in reported figures by these same players when prices were ballooning upwards over the last few years...:)=

Posted by sanroy @ 07:28 AM 1 Comments

It's catching!

Independent: Credit crunch sends property prices falling worldwide

The housing slump is going global, with the adverse effects of the credit crunch on property values spreading from Europe and the US to the rest of the world.

Posted by alan @ 07:16 AM 1 Comments

Enjoy the ride.

BBC News: House Price Falls Accelerating

House prices have recorded their largest monthly fall since 1991, says the Nationwide building society. Prices have fallen by 2.5% during May, according to its latest monthly survey.

Posted by sinkingship @ 07:09 AM 1 Comments

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

The New Paradigm for Financial Markets: The Credit Crisis of 2008 and What It Means (Speakers: George Soros and Howard Davies). It was available between 5pm and 6pm (BST) on Wednesday 21 May. This was the first event to be streamed live from LSE via the w

lse: Recording of the live event -The opportunity to trial a live webcast was made possible by funding from George Soros.

The New Paradigm for Financial Markets: The Credit Crisis of 2008 and What It Means (Speakers: George Soros and Howard Davies). It was available between 5pm and 6pm (BST) on Wednesday 21 May. This was the first event to be streamed live from LSE via the www and was a trial webcast.

Posted by chris @ 09:56 PM 0 Comments

Boom or Bust ?

Emirates business 24: Steps needed to avoid West-like bust

"For a country, which has almost made a fetish of the property, and which has used the rising value of property assets as the basis of its prosperity for many years, the consequences of this collapse are excruciating"

Posted by housebear @ 09:53 PM 4 Comments

Confirmed: Gordon is the First Horseman of the Apocalypse!

Times Online: The End of the World Is Nigh: It's Name Is Gordon

Not quite the Gordon you expect but a namesake proclaiming it's TEOTWAWKI.Apparently half of humanity will be toast by July - should clear up the holiday resorts for a nice summer break!

Posted by an bearin bui @ 05:12 PM 0 Comments

Think rates are coming down eh?...Abbey just put em' up again!

BBC News: Reversal of Abbey mortgage rates

''...Abbey has reversed cuts it made to mortgage rates two weeks ago, one of two lenders lifting borrowing costs. The Abbey is raising rates on new fixed-rate deals by between 0.15% and 0.56% from 29 May...''

Posted by hpwatcher @ 04:25 PM 19 Comments

BTL = Buy To Leave?

Contractor UK: Buy-to-let investors could be fined

Opps. Looks like MPs have taken a dislike to the BTL market as well.

Posted by dude @ 04:11 PM 15 Comments

Hands up if you hate Foxtons

BBC News: Estate Agency Loses Out in Court

I do. I hated them before the documentaries came out showing their illegal fly boarding and sharp practices. I hated them even more afterwards. I hate their minis. I hate their salespeople. I bought a bottle of champagne when Inside Track went bust. I will buy a case of 12 bottles if Foxtons ever go bust.

Posted by doom&gloom @ 04:04 PM 19 Comments

Too hot to handle

Daily Telegraph: Treasury struggles with Northern Rock

"The feeling is the Treasury is just looking for a rubber stamp" Not too much change with anything else emanating from this office then

Posted by growler @ 03:21 PM 5 Comments

Paragon financing buoyed by a 287m rights issue in the face of a 40% interim profit fall

FT: Paragon is 'stable' despite a first-half profit decline

Despite deterioration in the housing market Paragon Mortgages has announced a stable financial position in its latest interim results. In the results for the six months to 31 March this year, the company has announced a profit before tax of 26.4m compared with last year's interim result of 43.3m.The company will pay an interim dividend of 1p a share on 1 August, 7p a share less than was issued at the same time last year. HOW LONG BEFORE PARAGON MOVES FROM "STABLE" TO "INTENSIVE CARE"?

Posted by jack c @ 02:49 PM 2 Comments

Worse than 92

Daily Mail: Repossessions crisis 'could be worse than 1992'

More homebuyers are at risk of losing their homes than during the property bust of 1992, new research says. A report published by insurance giant AXA yesterday said as many as 1.8million buyers will be struggling to cover monthly repayments by the end of this year. The figure is 200,000 higher than in 1992, when the country was gripped by recession, rising unemployment and mortgage interest rates of 15 per cent.

Posted by doomwatch @ 01:39 PM 2 Comments

Mortgage companies very scared to lend 's Mortgage shelf life falls dramatically

The average shelf-life of mortgage products in the UK market has fallen dramatically over the last year, according to new research. At present deals remain on the market for an average of just 11 working days, down from 30 per cent just one year ago, finds research from Indeed, following the Bank of England's decision to cut the base rate of interest during April, deals appeared and were subsequently removed from the market in as little as six days.

Posted by housebear @ 01:06 PM 3 Comments

Oil is in a bubble. Yeah, course it is, Anatole

MoneyWeek: Oil is in a bubble. Yeah, course it is, Anatole

Whatever Anatole Kaletsky may claim in The Times, there is no oil bubble and no over-supply. Oil may be over-bought, there may be a correction coming, but the larger trend is upwards, says Dominic Frisby.

Posted by damien @ 12:44 PM 33 Comments

map of missing properities

sydney morning herald: Empty homes now for all to see

Gmap of vacant properities in Australia. I like the community aspect of creating this map and the way it shows up where people might be sitting on investment properties. Why isnt there one of these for the UK? a good addition to HPC.

Posted by al @ 12:44 PM 12 Comments

First time buyers need to be more patient and stop buying houses for a while. First time buyers finding it harder than ever to get a mortgage

Evidence of the continuing decline of first time buyers in the mortgage market emerged today as Charcol revealed only four per cent of its customers were first time buyers in March. The mortgage broker blamed the lack of mortgage deals above 90 per cent loan to value for the decline. It also accused mortgage lenders of charging borrowers who could not provide a deposit of at least 25 per cent of the value of the property they wished to buy up to three quarters of a per cent more in interest.

Posted by housebear @ 12:28 PM 0 Comments

Carlyle Group in trouble - no, can't be true, can it?

Times: Stunning collapse of bond fund leaves Carlyle down, not out

The apparent overnight meltdown of a $22 billion (10.9 billion) credit fund is a huge embarrassment for Carlyle Group, the US private equity firm with unrivalled links to big business and global politics. Even a few weeks ago it would have been inconceivable that a fund operated by such a well-established and respected investment firm that specialised in AAA-bonds would suddenly melt down - especially when it invested in bonds underwritten by Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, the US government-chartered mortgage groups.

Posted by rental john @ 12:28 PM 2 Comments

They've got to pay for all their cr@p TV adverts somehow!

Times: Abbey raises cost of fixed-rate mortgages again

Abbey raised the minimum deposit required for most borrowers from 5 per cent to 10 per cent of a property's value to reduce its exposure to the downturn in property prices. It also made it harder for homeowners to take out cheaper interest-only deals. Those who do not have at least 25 per cent equity will no longer be able to switch from capital repayment to interest only - a common way of reducing monthly outgoings for homeowners struggling with rising living costs.

Posted by rental john @ 12:21 PM 0 Comments

But 1992 is ancient history for most current 'home buyers'

Post Magazine: Axa warns homeowners over downturn

Nearly 16 years since the last major economic downturn in the UK, research published by Axa claims UK homeowners have failed to learn the lessons of 1992 Its research reveals there are more people at risk of falling into mortgage arrears or having their home repossessed, and the vast majority of homeowners have no protection in place to guard against possible financial hardship. Yes - but as you were in your teens or younger in the early 90's why should you know what would happen - house prices always go up - right?

Posted by rental john @ 11:51 AM 4 Comments

50bn bailout ensures party can go on

guardian: What credit crunch? City bankers receive 13bn bonuses this year

City "workers" have been awarded 13.2bn in bonuses so far this year, suggesting that the credit crunch has yet to be felt in the pockets of most bankers. The figure is down a modest 1% on the same stage a year ago. You have to sympathise, they are doing an important job with great personal risk, doing a hard day's work comparable to soldiers in Iraq. They really do believe it. And after all that they have to take a 1% hit.

Posted by mken @ 11:10 AM 16 Comments

Getting better for first time buyers 'Bad as it's ever been' for first-time buyers

The situation for first-time buyers in the UK property market is presently as "bad as it's ever been", according to campaign website Firstrung. However, with house prices seemingly on the verge of a major correction, the environment could be about to improve. "It's as bad as its ever been for first-time buyers, but hopefully we are entering the period where it will start to be good again," said Paul Holmes, chief executive of Firstrung.

Posted by housebear @ 10:47 AM 10 Comments

Nasty stuff...

Inside Housing: Drug traffickers accrue multi-million pound social housing portfolios

Drug dealers have amassed multi-million pound portfolios of former social housing by targeting landlords in money laundering scams, Inside Housing has learned. Criminals across England have washed cash by offering it to social tenants to buy their homes under the right to buy or the right to acquire, according to Liesel Annible, a fraud specialist at accountants Grant Thornton.

Posted by rental john @ 09:59 AM 0 Comments

Inflation v Deflation: both at the same time but in different regions

The Telegraph: Back to the 1970s, or the early 1920s?

"We could see a reply of the early 1920s, when the world system split in half as they faced the policy ructions following the Great War. Could this divergence occur in a modern global economy with (mostly) floating currencies? The emerging world inflates into the stratosphere; the Atlantic economies and Japan go into a deflationary slide? "

Posted by sold 2 rent 1 @ 09:57 AM 8 Comments

Wonder what current figurse are

Inside Housing: First rise in empty home figures for nearly a decade

The number of vacant homes in England has increased for the first time in nine years and looks set to rise further.

Posted by rental john @ 09:55 AM 4 Comments

"sell-and-rent-back company comes to the rescue"

Citywire: Would you sell and rent back your house?

Back in the summer of 2007, before any significant amount of solid had hit the fan for the housing market, a man describing himself as a property investor, working for a sell-and-rent-back company, posted on a popular online forum I visited occasionally. Now, with homeowners performing cartwheels for mortgages, and repossession supplanting global warming and bird flu as material for the night-time dreads, the whole sell-and-rent-back business has blown up into an industry of around 2,000 operators, and most people know what they think about them.

Posted by jack c @ 09:33 AM 0 Comments

Very clever: An economic false flag operation

The Telegraph: Gordon Brown calls on Opec to lift production amid surging oil price

Print lots of money - causing oil to go through the roof. Blame in on your political enemies. Very clever indeed - Nice try - but no cigar.

Posted by sold 2 rent 1 @ 09:30 AM 15 Comments

Is the free market dead? Even its most avid supporters doubt it is working.

fundstrategy: Myriad controls stifle freedom in practice

Is the free market dead? Even its most avid supporters doubt it is working. The credit crunch is undermining their faith. Martin Wolf, the chief economics commentator of the Financial Times, declared that: "Friday, March 14 2008 was the day the dream of global free market capitalism died". That was when America's Federal Reserve decided to rescue Bear Stearns. He also quoted Josef Ackermann, Deutsche Bank's chairman, saying: "I no longer believe in the market's self-healing power".The credit crunch shows how quickly rhetorical support for the free market can evaporate. Trouble at Bear Stearns and Northern Rock both brought massive intervention by the public sector.

Posted by jack c @ 09:20 AM 0 Comments

HSBC can't wait to raise rates

The Herald: HSBC calls for interest rate hike to fight inflation

Europe's biggest lender - yesterday called on central bankers to raise interest rates in order to fight inflation.

Posted by yoyo1 @ 08:56 AM 4 Comments

Australia heading for an abrupt slowdown in economic growth

afr: Westpac index at four-year low

Australia heading for an abrupt slowdown in economic growth The Reserve Bank rate rises have also brought about "a significant downturn in housing markets," the Westpac report stated

Posted by chris @ 08:43 AM 0 Comments

And why is this a bad thing? Oh, it means sellers' fears are fuelled - right.

Independent: Fears for house sales are fuelled by 39% fall in mortgage lending

Another article looking at the issue solely from the perspective of sellers. Classically silly quotes here: "Savings inflows have improved, thanks to rising interest rates and the climax of the ISA season, although every pound saved is one denied the nation's retailers and housebuilders." So every penny kept in the pockets of consumers is bad, and every penny "denied" by those people for housebuilders is a bad thing? Sean O'Grady needs to check his priorities.

Posted by paul @ 07:44 AM 0 Comments

We've hardly started the crash yet already UK is showing signs of distress

Guardian: Mortgages: Rise in sub-prime arrears

More than one in five borrowers on sub-prime mortgages fell behind with their repayments in the first quarter of this year, figures showed today. The proportion of borrowers on sub-prime deals falling at least 30 days into arrears - known as a delinquent mortgages - grew to 21.7% in the first three months of 2008, according to ratings agency Standard & Poor's (S&P). This was up from 19.4% in the last quarter of last year. Meanwhile, the proportion of borrowers falling at least 90 days behind with repayments moved into double digits, reaching 10.6%.

Posted by quiet guy @ 07:44 AM 5 Comments

Stretching your finances to get on the 'laddder'

Metro: 1.8m cannot pay mortgages

About 1.8million people will find it hard to pay their mortgage this year, an insurer has warned. More were at risk of losing their homes than in 1992 and have 'failed to learn the lessons' from then, Axa claimed yesterday.

Posted by quiet guy @ 07:30 AM 10 Comments

The vice tightens on the homeowner and consumer.

The Times: Homebuyers continue to feel the squeeze from credit crunch

Mortage rates up to 7% from 5% 2 years ago. Mortgage lending down 40%. Credit card debt being reduced a bit. Evidence that some people may be trying to save. Consumer spedning unlikely to recover before 2010.

Posted by mikelivingstone @ 07:00 AM 0 Comments

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Foxton Loses Appeal on Joint Fees

The Times: Estate agents lose out to vendors in appeal ruling

Three senior appeal judges said that Foxtons was not entitled to a 20,000 fee after a buyer they had initially introduced to a 1.15 million home went to a joint agent that was marketing the property. In a test Court of Appeal ruling that clarifies the law on estate agents commission, they said that commission was only payable if the agents had already persuaded the buyer to make the purchase.

Posted by russelleng @ 11:57 PM 0 Comments

Privatised UK Energy Infrastructure Creaking from Underinvestment

Times: Blackouts hit thousands as generators fail

Electricity blackouts hit the UK Tuesday when six power stations shut down with the unscheduled stoppages being seen as an unprecedented sign of the fragility of Britains power infrastructure. Operations were cancelled, people were stuck in lifts, traffic lights failed and fire engines sent out on false alarms. Householders were unable to use any appliances or make phone-calls as the blackouts hit areas including Cleveland, Cheshire, Lincolnshire and London. The cause has not revealed with power stations failing across the country as far apart as Essex and Fife.

Posted by enuii @ 11:37 PM 6 Comments

Profound shift in the political climate since the credit crunch began

TELEGRAPH UK: German leaders are to propose a worldwide ban on oil trading by speculators, blaming the latest spike in crude prices on manipulation by hedge funds.

Uwe Beckmeyer, transport chief for Germany's Social Democrats, said his party would call for joint measures by the G8 powers to prohibit leveraged trading on energy contracts. "It's an extreme step but it has to be done," he told the Berlin media.

Posted by chris @ 11:21 PM 0 Comments

This is hilarious [bbc flash movie]

BBC: The housing market dilemma

"A long nine months since our house has been on the market and we've tried everything.... painting the walls.... doing the garden.... we just don't know what to do next..." [can they be serious?] To be fair, two of the experts come to the genius solution that they might just have to........ lower the price. The rightmove expert actually suggested taking it off the market and "relaunching" it [after painting the front door red] to a "refreshed and different market sector".

Posted by pendulum @ 10:59 PM 11 Comments

Homeowners seek to add value in a falling market!

MoneyNews: Halifax Mortgages: Home improvements 'can add value'

Halifax Mortgages proclaims that 28 per cent of homeowners are planning DIY improvements to their property this year specifically to add value. Half of those surveyed believed that decorating and doing the garden up will add up to 5,000 to the value of their home, while 12 per cent think the increase will be between 10 and 25,000. Sadly in a falling market all that hard work and cash may be a complete waste of time.

Posted by enuii @ 09:24 PM 10 Comments

Debt and more dept First-time buyers spend half of income on mortgage

According to data from Nationwide, the countrys largest building society, the average first time buyer is handing over 49 per cent of their post-tax salary on repaying their mortgages. This is the highest level since 1990 the depths of the last housing crash and twice the level of ten years ago. My worry is that people will not be able to borrow themselves out of trouble. Previously people could have re-mortgaged their homes or taken out more debt on their credit cards, but these avenues have been more or less closed thanks to the credit crisis and the faltering housing market. That is going to leave people with nowhere else to turn.

Posted by housebear @ 08:53 PM 5 Comments

Boom. Boom. Boom.Boom. The house price crash is coming.

The Times: US house prices in sharpest fall for 20 years

American house prices are collapsing almost five times as quickly as during the last US recession in 1991, with losses expected to double before any recovery begins, new data showed today. Residential property values fell 14.4 per cent over the first quarter of 2008 compared with the same three months the year before, according to the S&P/Case-Shiller US house price index. The decline marks the worst performance since the index began twenty years ago. In March alone, some cities such as Las Vegas suffered a 4.4 per cent drop in real estate values, while homes in Miami fell 4.5 per cent. Over the year as a whole, Las Vegas homes have lost 25.9 per cent of their value.

Posted by cheekie charlie @ 08:45 PM 3 Comments

Why commodities are rising

safehaven: Monetary Stuff

"As far as we can tell, most people attribute the large increases in commodity prices to NON-monetary factors such as strong growth in China, price gouging by greedy corporations, OPEC, the Iraq War, government stupidity, and the weather (including "Global Warming" and natural disasters). Some of these non-monetary factors are significant, but our assertion is that few people appreciate the key role being played by the systematic debasement of all national currencies."

Posted by sold 2 rent 1 @ 08:10 PM 9 Comments

How long will the UK keep an unrealistic 2% inflation target?

Bloomberg: Inflation Hurts German Consumers, French Companies

Confidence among French executives and German consumers fell more than economists forecast as surging prices sapped purchasing power and raised production costs.

Posted by alan @ 05:39 PM 7 Comments

Mortgage brokers caught inventing incomes for clients

Sky News: Sky Exposes The Dodgy Mortgage 'Deals'

Last November, the Financial Services Authority (FSA) warned there were an unacceptable number of dishonest mortgage brokers. Six months on and our investigation has revealed that bad practice still exists.

Posted by angonamo @ 05:24 PM 8 Comments

Will be interesting to see how our 'services-based economy' holds up in the new era we're entering.

BBC News: Services fall 'worst since 2001'

"Companies such as restaurants, bars and cinemas have had their biggest drop in business activity since 2001, according to the employers' group the CBI...Profitability was the weakest since the survey began in 1998 and employment in the sector fell for the second quarter in a row. " And this is just in Q1/Q2 - the start of it. Expect the job losses to start around October, with repossessions really ramping up from beginning of 2008

Posted by doom&gloom @ 04:40 PM 10 Comments

Because computers take longer to move larger numbers

Times Online: Same-day bank payments system goes live

A new service to speed up cash transfers between bank accounts has gone live, but many people will not see any immediate difference. The Faster Payment Service will enable electronic payments, made via the internet or phone, to be processed in hours, rather than the four days it has taken. By 7am on the first day, 898 payments totalling 461,383 were made successfully under the new scheme. However, critics have been disappointed at the slow adoption of the service by many of the UK's biggest banks.

Posted by lvmreader @ 03:37 PM 1 Comments

14.4% drop in a year - and accelerating! (in the US I'm afraid to say)

Bloomberg: S&P/Case-Shiller U.S. Home-Price Index Falls 14.4%

Home prices in 20 U.S. metropolitan areas fell in March by the most in at least seven years, pointing to continued weakness in the housing market that will further drag on the economy. The S&P/Case-Shiller home-price index dropped 14.4 percent from a year earlier, more than forecast and the most since the figures were first published in 2001. The gauge has fallen every month since January 2007.

Posted by tyrellcorporation @ 02:58 PM 2 Comments

England's green and pricey land

MoneyWeek: England's green and pricey land

While Britain's residential property market remains full of doom and gloom, the price of farmland is rising at a record pace. But why has farmland traditionally a money pit suddenly soared in value?

Posted by damien @ 02:49 PM 0 Comments

Service sector takes a hit

BBC News: Service sector in '7-year slump'

Companies such as restaurants, bars and cinemas have had their biggest drop in business activity since 2001, according to the employers' group the CBI. Profitability across the service sector as a whole was at a decade-low.

Posted by pellet @ 02:34 PM 0 Comments

Rental market crashing as well Rental market bounces back

The housing market is collapsing. OK, perhaps that's a rather sensational statement, but nevertheless, I think there's more than a grain of truth in it. Buyers are finding it increasingly difficult to finance property purchases or are holding back for fear of buying in a falling market. Meanwhile sellers are struggling to achieve their asking prices. Indeed, according to figures from Hometrack's National Housing Survey last month, sales are going through at just 93% of the asking price on average. And property sales are taking around 50% longer to complete than they were 12 months ago.

Posted by housebear @ 02:30 PM 6 Comments

Ouch! Although I would like to know how it goes

Reuters: Spaniard plans raffle for flat to escape mortgage

This caught my attention. Admittedly, that's what it's there to do but it makes me wonder how long before we see novel ways of "selling" property here crop up. I mean besides having deposits or legal expenses "paid" for you.

Posted by cautiously pessimistic @ 01:28 PM 2 Comments

Meanwhile, back in the real world....

Times: Mortgage approvals down 40 per cent on tighter lending

"Mortgage approvals for home purchases in April were nearly 40 per cent lower year-on-year, despite rising slightly from a record low in March, new figures show. Mortgage lenders are still tightening their lending criteria and increasing their rates in the wake of the credit crunch to limit the number of mortgage applications they receive, making it increasingly difficult for borrowers, especially first-time buyers, to obtain a home loan."

Posted by drewster @ 01:10 PM 5 Comments

Of course, in the wrong hands that could result in customers being refused mortgages or life insurance.

The Herald: A picture of something chillingly Orwellian

Imagine a world where the government knows where you are all the time. Imagine a world where a man you've never met knows you are about to get married before your beloved has even popped the question. Imagine a world where you can be refused a mortgage or life insurance because someone has mislaid or sold your personal details. These aren't scare stories. There are already hundreds of sites selling medical histories and other sensitive data. I try to protect my privacy by shredding mail, refusing loyalty cards and always ticking the box on forms refusing permission to share my details. What's the point when the new information superhighway is a two-way street between government and the commercial world, with my personal details moving along it in both directions?

Posted by malct @ 12:54 PM 2 Comments

Three shocking examples of the plight were in

MoneyWeek: Three shocking examples of the financial plight were in

Getting a mortgage with complete strangers, calls for the Bank of England to muck about with the CPI and bankers rigging prices all demonstrate what a mess we're in...

Posted by damien @ 12:49 PM 3 Comments

Dr Evil Has His Say

Timesonline: George Soros: The economys doomed

Its like a Greek tragedy, says George Soros, with a smile playing around his lips. You can see the trouble coming and you cant avoid it.

Posted by mrmickey @ 12:40 PM 7 Comments

Get 3 x your deposit back

BBC: Tenants' money 'still not safe'

If you are about to come to the end of a tenancy & the landlord/agency hasn't signed over your deposit to an official scheme, you can get 3 x your deposit back: "If a landlord does not sign up to a scheme, it is up to the tenant to take their landlord or agent to the county court, which has the powers to award a tenant three times their deposit."

Posted by doomwatch @ 11:34 AM 0 Comments

"As a form, the hedge fund dates back to the 1940s. But this population explosion is of very recent origin."

SOTT: Signs Economic Commentary for 26 May 2008

First, mortgage-backed securities. Starting in 1980 - "when scarcely any such thing existed" - they total $3.5 trillion-worth today. Then he cited "the whole range" of other newly-born asset-backed instruments - automobile loans, equipment loans, student loans, credit card-backed debt derivatives.. Take hedge funds, for example; Ferguson notes that in 1990, those financial life-forms known as "hedge funds" numbered around 600 (also including funds of funds). Now they've reproduced and multiplied up towards 10,000. "Inflation will return to the 2% target," claimed Mervyn King, head of the Bank of England - and one half of the financial furry freak brothers running Anglo-American monetary policy - last week. "Growth will eventually recover to a sustainable rate."

Posted by malct @ 11:09 AM 0 Comments

Liar Loans Inaction - Watch The Sky News Undercover Video


Sky Discovers Dodgy Mortgage Deals A Sky News investigation has found evidence of mortgage brokers misleading lenders and arranging loans they know buyers can't afford. Joel Hills found some brokers seem prepared to bend the rules to seal a deal.

Posted by eric pebble @ 11:05 AM 5 Comments

Well - More Good News For GB,

MSN: Is the Uk Govt Going Bust?

People are seeing through the lies and deceit now! The UK has been sold down the river. Inflation, crime , debt, employment, NHS, prisons, immigartion. You name it, all messed up by Labour.

Posted by waitingfor hpc @ 10:41 AM 18 Comments

Prime borrowers able to refinance are doing so in droves

FT: Recent borrowers hit problems earlier

Sean Hannigan, a director and credit analyst at S&P, said the terms of subprime loans, including those with relatively low upfront rates, are typically so punitive that even if borrowers need to pay a penalty, it is worth their while to refinance as soon as possible. The slowing of prepayment rates may also suggest that sharp house price inflation, which improved the position of earlier borrowers with poor credit, is no longer helping recent borrowers. In addition, the data suggest more recent borrowers are running into financing difficulties earlier in their mortgages.

Posted by malct @ 10:38 AM 1 Comments

Roughly 80 per cent of all subprime mortgages have been securitised, as have about 20 per cent of all prime mortgages.

FT: Sharp rise in overdue mortgage payments

We have seen numbers like this two years ago. However, he added: The difference today is that borrowers are not being helped by rising house prices as they have been in recent years, he said. In previous years, homebuyers in difficulty could find another lender to refinance the mortgage. It could mean that now more homes wind up in repossession. The fact that a rise is occurring while employment is strong and interest rates low suggests that it may not only be macroeconomic factors making it hard for homeowners to pay their debts.

Posted by malct @ 10:32 AM 1 Comments

Some relevant news for a change

Reuters: Mortgage approvals down sharply

Mortgage approvals for house purchase were nearly 40 percent lower than at the same time last year in April, although they rose from March's record low, a survey by the BBA shows.

Posted by little professor @ 10:25 AM 0 Comments

"Keep pumping, Darling"

Digital Look: As Safe as Houses?

Intelligent article from Justin Urquhart Stewart on how houses have become not just one bubble but a series of little ones that threaten to, or have already, combined (and then burst).

Posted by dark_horse @ 10:16 AM 1 Comments

what many leaders now see as a much bigger threat to international stability than terrorism.

The Guardian: what many leaders now see as a much bigger threat to international stability than terrorism.

Summit in Rome follows record spikes in cost of rice, wheat and dairy products Calls for urgent action to tackle serious threat to international stability. The urgency of the meeting follows historic spikes in the price of some staple foods. The price of rice has doubled since January this year, while the cost of dairy products, soya beans, wheat and sugar have also seen large increases. Thirty-seven countries have been hit by food riots so far this year! Stability? inflation? Jobs? Mortgage defaults? Just how low can house prices go?

Posted by malct @ 10:11 AM 4 Comments

Would you spend the night in your car for $100 - I would

CNN: Long lines for $1 gas

Video is dated 14th May, apologies if its been posted before but it seems quite apt with todays protests in London. I guess, despite the difference in fuel costs between here and the States, the average US citizen feels like theyre being screwed too. Maybe it wont take too long before we see queues like this if the hauliers decide to start blocading refinerys again.

Posted by angonamo @ 10:10 AM 1 Comments

Estate agents: Crisis? What crisis?

The Independent: Estate agents: Crisis? What crisis?

Recent reports on house prices have been universally downbeat. But a National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA) report, published today, says that in April the number of agreed sales, the number of pre-sale viewings and the average difference between the asking and selling prices all levelled off, belying alarmist predictions that the market is heading into freefall.

Posted by caramba @ 10:09 AM 4 Comments

Before anyone comments - EU Treaty and HPC are related

The Telegraph: Free enterprise in Europe hangs on Ireland's EU vote

"Can anyone really claim that the Lisbon Treaty is rooted in the democratic assent of the French, Dutch, British, Danes, Swedes, Finns, Poles, and Czechs? We have the spectacle of Gordon Brown refusing to sign the treaty in public because of the potent danger it poses to his Government. A British prime minister slinks away to a private room to commit Britain to an arrangement that alienates the powers of Parliament - in perpetuity and perhaps illegally - knowing that his people would vote 'no' by crushing margins if given a chance. How on earth did we arrive at such a sorry state of affairs?"

Posted by sold 2 rent 1 @ 09:53 AM 26 Comments

No bottom to decline in house prices

Market Oracle: US and UK Housing Bear Market Trends

The housing bear markets continue to bite into economic activity as the US heads for recession this year and the UK during 2009. The US is still showing no signs of a housing bottom having fallen by 3.1% in the first quarter of 2008 according to government statistics, and foreclosures rising to a all time high as borrowers walk away from homes sinking into negative equity. The UK housing bear market has now entered its 9th month following the peak of August 2007, having gone negative on a year on year basis for April 08 data, which was one of the primary reasons for the meltdown in the UK Labour parties vote in the recent string of May elections.

Posted by flamepoint23 @ 07:38 AM 0 Comments

MP's demand 62% pay rise

Timesonline: MPs demand 23,000 tax-free grant to hide expenses

"Senior MPs on the House of Commons Commission have recommended a salary rise from 61,820 now to about 75,000 after the next general election, expected in 2010." ...this equates to paying themselves an above inflation pay rise of 23%. Wonder what the police, nurses, teachers etc will have to say about this, especially when you add on the new requirements for housing allowance of 23.000GBP, making their pay rise a whopping 62%. Corruption alive and well in Whitehall. It's so good to see the powers that be are in such good touch with their constituents.

Posted by bystander @ 07:23 AM 13 Comments

UK Housing Bear Market Trend Analysis

The Market Oracle: US and UK Housing Bear Market Trends

The UK housing bear market has now entered its 9th month following the peak of August 2007, having gone negative on a year on year basis for April 08 data, which was one of the primary reasons for the meltdown in the UK Labour parties vote in the recent string of May elections.

Posted by nadeem walayat @ 03:08 AM 0 Comments

Monday, May 26, 2008

Oil, HPC, it's all related

This is London: Forget house prices, it's oil that will sink Gordon

"The soaring cost of oil may not be the Prime Minister's fault but there is something about Gordon Brown that makes you want to blame him for it anyway - as the voters in Crewe and Nantwich effectively did on Thursday, the day that US light crude reached a new record of $135 a barrel. [...] Highly priced oil and the economic disaster it unleashed in the Seventies eventually swept Jim Callaghan from office and Labour into the political wilderness where it languished for 18 years."

Posted by drewster @ 11:27 PM 2 Comments

Looks like Inside Track style companies will be classed as Unfair Traders

Times: Law shake-up in crackdown on rogue traders

A new legal weapon came into force over the weekend in a government crackdown on unscrupulous companies that mislead customers or use aggressive sales tactics.

Posted by enuii @ 10:55 PM 0 Comments

New builds coming down in price?

Easier Property: Bag a new build bargain with George Wimpey

Buyers at George Wimpey North Yorkshire's Thorntree Vale development in Thornaby can buy a brand new semi-detached home for a lower price than that of an average older property in the area. The three bedroom Ryton is on the market for 124,950, whereas the average price for an older semi-detached property in Thornaby, which does not boast all of the added extras of a George Wimpey home, is 148,716*.

Posted by hamish1985 @ 10:27 PM 2 Comments

The big test is here - it's now or never

FTG: Brown and the Bank of England

"Mr Brown has been hinting, not too subtly, that he hopes the Bank will cut rates. It looks increasingly unlikely that he will be around to deal with the long-term consequences, after all. But watching the prime minister chipping away at the foundations of his first and greatest political achievement merely adds to the sense of watching a Shakespearean tragedy unfold. Thankfully, the MPC is unlikely to respond to political pressure. Expect a robust fight against inflation." This will be a hot topic the comming months: will the BOE stick to its targets or will they go soft when it really matters. GB's own creation is coming back to bite him... surely he must regret making them independent now.

Posted by scandinavian pessimist @ 10:04 PM 3 Comments

Debts too high to cover.

Telegraph: One in four faces ruin if unemployed.

The UK economy is going to rip apart at the seams, and the first stitch has gone.

Posted by stillthinking @ 09:59 PM 7 Comments

Only 2850 but a profit of 100k - you just can't lose

FT Businesses for sale: Estate Agent New Franchise For Sale

If you're still kicking yourself for not getting in on the Buying Off-Plan boom, you know, where you buy a property Below Market Value and then sell it on for a bundle. Don't worry, here's the next unmissable investment opportunity. This business will always make money, people will always need somewhere to live and will always need a professional to sell it.

Posted by angonamo @ 08:17 PM 3 Comments

At last, an Estate Agent that knows how to value something honestly his business.

FT Businesses for sale: Independent Estate Agency *UNDER OFFER*

Location Croydon, Surrey, United Kingdom Financials Asking price: 17,500 Business description ... There are a small number of sale properties on the books. Competition / Market Other estate agency offices nearby but there is ample business from the densely populated surrounding area to support them all Me thinks, if there was ample business from this densely populated area, they would have more than a small number of sale properties on the books.

Posted by angonamo @ 07:45 PM 2 Comments

From a 2001 Article... and still as true today

Telegraph: Luke Johnson's view: Trophy wives cost millions

Trophy wives are important acquisitions for men who have everything. These tycoons have already got the yacht and Gulfstream jet. They frequently marry young and have worked obsessively to amass great fortunes. They have achieved wealth, fame and power, but they no longer find their first wives sexy or sophisticated enough for their new found status. Perhaps they never had time to sow their wild oats when they were young, since they were too busy empire building. They reach late middle age and they want to relive their youth - roll on the Harley Davidson and leather jacket, turn up the disco music - let's party!

Posted by lvmreader @ 06:47 PM 4 Comments

Trophy Wife seeks divorce - only 8,000 miles on the clock

Telegraph: City job loss sees trophy wives seeking divorce

Hilarious! With thousands of job losses announced and more rumoured to be on the way, divorce specialists say that some wives want to secure good divorce deals before their husbands lose their jobs. Consequently, divorce specialists have seen the number of inquiries treble.

Posted by lvmreader @ 06:44 PM 2 Comments

Whoopsie.... How many marriages were founded on the illusion of affluence

Guardian: Love is ... a good job and a hefty salary cheque

'When money looks like flying out of the window, love walks out the door,' said Sandra Davis, head of one of London's leading legal firms, Mishcon de Reya. 'Redundancies are still only being whispered about in the big City firms, but already we have never been busier with stay-at-home spouses asking what their options are.'

Posted by lvmreader @ 06:42 PM 4 Comments

Buyer wait for prices to CRASH! House prices fall as buyers 'go on strike'

House prices falls are accelerating as home buyers "go on strike", according to the latest analysis of the housing market. The average house is now worth 1.9 per cent less than a year ago, a report from Hometrack will say today. This is the largest fall recorded so far by any of the leading property indices and is the latest evidence that Britain's home owners should brace themselves for a protracted slowdown in house prices. Property values have now fallen eight months in a row, says Hometrack, the property research company, with sellers achieving just 92.3 per cent of their asking price, on average. This is the lowest level since the survey began in 2001.

Posted by housebear @ 05:13 PM 6 Comments

House repossessions rising VERY sharply House repossessions rising sharply

Figures released by the UK Ministry of Justice (MoJ) on May 9 showed a marked increase in homeowners facing court action for repossession of their homes. The figure of 37,740 for the last three months was an increase of 17 percent on the last quarter and a 20 percent increase on the figures one year ago. Repossessions have risen in most of the English regions. The figures indicate that lenders are quicker to resort to the threat of court action. A press release issued by the housing charity Shelter explained that at the time of the last housing crisis in 1991, there were 2.5 court actions initiated for each repossession that went ahead. Last year the figure was five.

Posted by housebear @ 05:09 PM 2 Comments

Black swan on the horizon

Kitco: Fuel Price Shock Coming

Gas prices are set by purchases that are forward contracts by suppliers. These contracts are one or two months ahead. That means that, when the newer contracts start to come into effect, gas prices will start to reflect this $120/130 oil. Thats this summer. A few months from now, its estimated that gas prices can reach $5 to $6 at that point.

Posted by sold 2 rent 1 @ 01:30 PM 11 Comments

Coming to a Country Near You?

Bloomberg: California Prices Down 32%

May 23 (Bloomberg) -- California home prices tumbled 32 percent in April from a year earlier as ``distressed'' properties and a lack of financing cut demand, the state realtors group said.

Posted by uro_who @ 12:50 PM 5 Comments

The final coffin nail is recession

Independant: Number of homes on market surges but buyers stay away

"In order to get sizable price falls, a large majority of transactions need to be 'forced' sales which are mostly prevalent in periods of rising unemployment and recession." The UK has sizable personal debt, large government debt, increasing debt service costs, inflation in consumer goods, and a collapsing financial sector.

Posted by stillthinking @ 12:06 PM 7 Comments

EA Marsh & Parsons "it's worse in London we've seen more than that"

BBC Five Live: The Wake Up To Money: House price falls

8 mins in Prices in the housing market continued to fall in May according to Hometrack. We speak to Peter Rollings, managing director of the estate agent Marsh & Parsons.

Posted by doomwatch @ 11:25 AM 1 Comments

Speculators and big oil companies are being trotted out as scapegoats

Market Oracle: US Dollar Crisis Not Oil Crisis

"The reality is that after years of reckless consumption and dollar debasement, Americans are now being priced out of markets over which they formerly held unchallenged title. As more affluent foreigners consume more of the resources and products they previously supplied to us, Americans are being forced to cut back. The rising dollar-based price of gasoline is simply an illustration of this global trend. "

Posted by sold 2 rent 1 @ 11:02 AM 10 Comments

Jeremiahs are no longer solitary figures

Economist: Structural cracks

PESSIMISTS used to wear a sandwich board announcing the end is nigh; now they just set up a website. And Jeremiahs are no longer solitary figures, particularly when it comes to the housing market. Proof that misery loves company can be found on the forum XXXX where the running total of discussion topics this week was 14,455, eliciting some 171,609 responses.

Posted by doomwatch @ 10:59 AM 7 Comments

Falls accelerating

Telegraph: House prices fall as buyers 'go on strike'

House prices falls are accelerating as home buyers "go on strike", according to the latest analysis of the housing market.

Posted by doomwatch @ 10:36 AM 10 Comments

The air you breath....

BBC News: MPs back personal carbon credits

''...The government should go ahead with a system of personal "carbon credits" to meet emissions targets, MPs have said. ...''

Posted by hpwatcher @ 10:35 AM 9 Comments

BTL is doomed!

LettingNews: Buy to let reaping benefits of market downturn

BTL is entering the next phase, as I predicted monhs ago: "James Scott-Lee, a spokesperson from RICS, said that weaker demand from buyers had forced sellers back into the rental market where yields were rising" therefore rentals will fall since supply is rising. No! the pundits still maintain that "The sales market's loss is the lettings market's gain" Blood and tears underway!!

Posted by confused76 @ 10:24 AM 4 Comments

Happy reading Central London anyone having a hard time selling?

Have been trying to sell my property for nearly a year now,every offer has fallen through,and the last 2 because of the problems with mortgage /bank rates. This thread is well worth a read and gives an insight to whats going on in London at the moment. Expect this sort of thing to become more common as the credit crunch tightens and the ripples spread wider!! Happy days.

Posted by sitting tight @ 10:10 AM 2 Comments

Buyers are on Strike, apparently

Bloomberg: U.K. May House Prices Fall for an Eighth Month, Hometrack Says

U.K. home values fell for an eighth month in May and will probably drop further, Hometrack Ltd. said. ``The `buyers' strike' continues,'' said Richard Donnell, director of research at Hometrack, in a statement. ``Pricing looks set to remain under downward pressure over the coming months.'

Posted by cynicalsoothsayer @ 10:03 AM 0 Comments

High house prices are just redistributing wealth, not creating it

Telegraph: Lower house prices can make you happy

A great deal of sense as usual from Roger Bootle

Posted by monty032 @ 09:23 AM 5 Comments

American Bankers, British Humour

WallStreetFighter: Buffett Enjoys Comedians Explaining Finance

Warren Buffett and his shareholders gathered over the weekend in Omaha, Nebraska for the annual Berkshire Hathaway 'Woodstock for Capitalists'. It's a big pep seminar where Warren unleashes his shiniest pearls of wisdom, and people sell books and jump on moon bounces. Good times all around. According to many of the participants, a highlight of the entire program was the following clip explaining the subprime crisis by the famous British comedians John Bird and John Fortune:

Posted by nathan @ 08:56 AM 0 Comments

Great work deserves great reward. HSBC pay plan raises eyebrows

BANKING heavyweight HSBC faces a revolt over directors' pay at its annual general meeting of shareholders on Friday. - 120M for 5 directors over 3yrs, performance related of course. I wonder how many bonus' are repaid for bad performance. They'll probably be given a golden goodbye. Win-win situation. Any jobs on the board?

Posted by markj69 str05 @ 01:20 AM 1 Comments

Your money's safer in the bank

Reuters: House prices fall annual 1.9 pct in May

Hometrack calculated house prices fell by an annual 1.9 percent this month, its biggest fall since November 2005

Posted by markj69 str05 @ 12:46 AM 5 Comments

Hometrack: -0.6% MoM, -1.9% YoY

Times: House prices fall again

House prices are stuck in decline, with values slipping around the country for the eighth month in a row, according to the latest figures. Hometrack says the average property is worth 1.9 per cent less than a year ago - the worst figures since 2005. Figures also showed also showed a fall in new buyer registrations, a rise in the length of time a property spends on the market and a smaller proportion of the asking price being achieved.

Posted by little professor @ 12:46 AM 6 Comments

Looks like nobody else wants to take responsibility - Not yet anyway.

Reuters: Labour heavyweights back Brown as leader

Two senior members of the government backed the prime minister. "This does qualify as fiction," Miliband told Sky News. "Gordon was elected as the right man for the job last year and he's the right man for the job this year." I guess he's waiting for the worst to emerge, and then let the dust settle a bit.

Posted by markj69 str05 @ 12:35 AM 2 Comments

Sunday, May 25, 2008

The property market vicious circle for the economy

Guardian: Coming soon to Middle Britain: The Doldrums

a sudden slowdown in a property market that until then had seemed on a never-ending climb. Not only have prices started coming down but buyers and sellers are staying away from the market in droves. For shops and businesses reliant on the property market this can mean only one thing - a sharp slowdown in turnover and a subsequent fall in profit until many will shut. At this point in the circle the doors of the local job centre start swinging. Forced to wait for work or take lower-paid jobs, the people going through these doors will start to struggle with their repayments. Red credit-card bills will appear on people's mats, while missed mortgage payments will quickly lead to more repossessions!

Posted by confused76 @ 11:36 PM 1 Comments

The absurdity of New Labour

BBC News: Jail staff 'fear Muslim inmates'

Labour's obsession with human/equall rights has completely prevented them taking the tough decisions ti address Law & Order, this is a classic example:- ''...A review of Whitemoor Prison in Cambridgeshire found staff were fearful of doing the wrong thing, "shifting the power dynamic towards prisoners"...''

Posted by hpwatcher @ 10:33 PM 13 Comments

Miliband confides ambitions to friends

Sunday Times: David Miliband is ready to save new Labour

It seems a shame that Miliband's so called friends are unable to keep close to their chest the secrets of David Miliband who according to this article has said he is ready to take the top job if Gordon Brown steps aside. At a time when senior Labour insiders claim that half the cabinet have concluded they will not win the next election under Brown, one of those who has lost faith is one of Brown's closest allies, Alistair Darling. My own view is that the title of the article from the Times is wrong and it should be, "Miliband, ready to build a New Labour". The current New Labour has been a dismal failure that has been plagued by spin and has always suffered from a Cabinet that were weak.

Posted by denzil @ 08:39 PM 14 Comments

Housebuilders in trouble

The Economist print edition: Home truths

..the Lumiere building, which is due to be finished in 2011, may represent a final roll of the dice in a speculative property game from which the players are silently stealing away.

Posted by mken @ 08:18 PM 1 Comments

The Giant Pool of Money

This American Life: The Giant Pool of Money

A special program about the housing crisis produced in a special collaboration with NPR news. We explain it all to you. What does the housing crisis have to do with the turmoil on Wall street? Why did banks make half-million dollar loans to people without jobs or income? And why is everyone talking so much about the 1930s? It all comes back to the Giant Pool of Money.

Posted by frabcus @ 07:31 PM 0 Comments

It's him again!

The Times: Analysts predict Bank rate will be cut to 4.5%

ECONOMISTS still expect further interest-rate cuts before the year-end in spite of sharply rising inflation and a warning from the International Monetary Fund this weekend that there is no scope to relax monetary policy in the short term.

Posted by cheekie charlie @ 10:48 AM 7 Comments

My landlord has just lost 20k!!!!

Times: Capital depreciation

Both Houslow and Kingson are down 4% in a month!! How house prices are faring borough by borough

Posted by confused76 @ 10:48 AM 13 Comments

Letters page - BTL newbie gets pwned!

Guardian: Instant Access ... to buy-to-let misery

I was sold a buy-to-let flat in Leeds in June 2005 after going to an impressive Inside Track seminar. This convinced me property was a safe route for my children's financial future. But the figures never worked out - I am paying out some 240 a month more for my Birmingham Midshires loan than my rental income. And now I am behind with my mortgage. Instant Access will not buy the flat back or offer any material help. What are my options? Will I lose my home? [Property was valued at 219k, with 40k "discount" and estimated rental income of 1050/month. It is now lying unrented even at 575/month, and the property is valued at 120,000. PWNED!!!]

Posted by little professor @ 10:09 AM 27 Comments

Bear's breakfast in today's paper.

The Observer: Coming soon to Middle Britain: The Doldrums

A double page spread on housing and economic woes in typical middle England. Tales of houses not selling, businesses feeling the pinch and estate agency branches closing in Ely and Hereford. One particular house reduced from 325,000 to 250,000 and still no interest.

Posted by redwing @ 10:07 AM 1 Comments


Daily Mail: Blair took out 300,000 mortgage on house that was 'worth just 150,000'

Tony Blair took out a mortgage of almost 300,000 on his constituency house double its estimated value to help fund his growing property empire. The Blairs remortgaged with the Cheltenham & Gloucester building society to borrow 297,000 against the value of the house. The property was estimated to be worth about 150,000. After years of booming prices, the houses value is now estimated at closer to 250,000 still 50,000 less than the total mortgage. At the time of the remortgage, Mr Blair was negotiating the 3.6million purchase of his Connaught Square mansion. Financial experts were puzzled at how he managed to secure financing on his Prime Ministerial salary.

Posted by little professor @ 09:59 AM 22 Comments

"The darling locations of the City bonus boom will never be ugly ducklings, but some of the shine has come off the top of the market.

Times: What's happening to London house prices?

As half of the capitals boroughs record price drops, Helen Davies asks if we are in for a slump or a slide

Posted by confused76 @ 09:06 AM 4 Comments

Hold on to your hats - we're going down!

Sunday Times: 100,000 in negative equity by year end

More good news from The Sunday Times!

Posted by cha55a @ 08:25 AM 3 Comments

Brown should stop meddling

Times: Oil costs up, house prices down - good news

"With no loss of green belt and no eco-towns, house-buying has been brought within the range of millions of new buyers, albeit under a more disciplined mortgage regime. Only builders and estate agents get hurt." [a bit premature, but soon...]

Posted by pendulum @ 08:09 AM 3 Comments

Taxpayers funding BTL Opportunity knocks for landlords to help homeless

A pioneering scheme in London offers landlords a chance to rent their flats for a guaranteed income, pay low running costs and have almost no loss-making periods without tenants - as well as helping to ease the capital's homelessness crisis. ...You receive a rental income every four weeks so you have 13 payments a year, effectively coming from the government so there is no real worry about not getting payment.

Posted by bearback @ 08:08 AM 0 Comments

RPI to undercut CPI? - time to switch!

Telegraph: Labour cannot doctor sky-high inflation

With house prices weakening, we are about to enter a rare phase when RPIX falls below CPI. So changing the target index now would be seen by the markets, equally correctly, as a politically inspired ruse. And that would inflict even more damage on the inflation-fighting credibility of our monetary regime.

Posted by pendulum @ 07:52 AM 12 Comments

Saturday, May 24, 2008

U.S Economy is shagged (Not in the good way)

Reuters: Buffett sees "long, deep" U.S. recession

The United States is already in a recession and it will be longer as well as deeper than many people expect, U.S. investor Warren Buffett said in an interview published in German magazine Der Spiegel on Saturday. He said the United States was "already in recession" and added: "Perhaps not in the sense that economists would define it" with two consecutive quarters of negative growth.

Posted by sortofsilver @ 11:57 PM 0 Comments

Fun online poll

LabourHome: Coalition of the willing

Rather surprisingly, I'm only losing by 6-votes-to-9.

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 07:52 PM 4 Comments

Out of sync. Rates will rise as borrowing dries up.

Bloomberg: IMF raises growth forecast. Warns on rates.

IMF warns that the UK must be on alert to raise rates as soon as further signs of an inflationary spiral appear, such as wage inflation. In my view, the government cannot hold rates down long enough for the effects of reduced borrowing to lower inflation. So the final inflationary flare off a la Japan will be accompanied by being forced to raise rates although borrowing will have collapsed. -> deflationary recession

Posted by stillthinking @ 06:37 PM 14 Comments

Major U.S. city defaults on debt

Telegraph: Californian city of Vallejo declared bankrupt

An entire Californian city in the once-booming Bay Area has become the latest victim of Americas property crash when its elected leaders declared bankruptcy. The fate of Vallejo has sent shock waves across the country Vallejos municipal leaders signed off on exorbitant wage deals during the flush years of the real estate boom. However, a crippling 26 per cent was wiped off the value of house prices in Vallejo over the 12 months to March, sharply reducing takings from property taxes.

Posted by little professor @ 06:11 PM 3 Comments

Are we heading back to the 1970s?

MoneyWeek: Are we heading back to the 1970s?

Stock markets may be up, but that doesn't mean it's business as usual. Inflation is getting out of hand and policymakers don't seem to have learnt from past...

Posted by damien @ 04:40 PM 0 Comments

Max Hastings prescribes the medicine we desperately need...

MailOnline: In the second decade of the 21st century, what will British people want from their government?

Our economy is sick, our society fractured. If he wins, Mr Cameron may face a tougher task than Mrs Thatcher. People are frightened by the cost of filling the car, the spectacle of their houses falling in value, pensions being squeezed, utility bills rising, holidays suddenly looking unaffordable.Now, storm clouds are breaking. If this government tries to raise an umbrella, we reckon that it will either cost us a fortune or collapse in Chancellor Alistair Darling's hands.

Posted by jack c @ 03:51 PM 4 Comments

The Reality of House Prices May 2008

Hair commercial: May 7th Auction results

Lot 18, 22 Cambell Close,Chelmsford Sold at Auction for 165k.This is nearly 50% below very similar properties, on the market in the same small cul de sac.The Crash gathers momentum.

Posted by sold out @ 03:00 PM 9 Comments

House market gridlock

BBC News: House sales to hit '30-year low'

The number of properties sold in 2008 is likely to be at its lowest level for 30 years and 30% lower than last year, according to a housing expert. The prediction by Richard Donnell, from website Hometrack, comes as uncertainty in the market prompts many would-be buyers to wait in case prices fall.

Posted by quiet guy @ 01:29 PM 1 Comments

Back to normality?

Telegraph: Interest rate rise is on the cards, says IMF

The next move in interest rates may have to be up rather than down, the world's leading economic authority has said in a further blow to struggling households.

Posted by quiet guy @ 09:52 AM 19 Comments

Gordon's shared equity scam

Spectator: Half a house is hardly worth having

Why is the government trying to buck the housing market at all? Leave it alone and prices will continue their slide. Then, perhaps in a couple of years time, first-time buyers will be able to afford to buy themselves entire houses, rather than the half-houses which Gordon is offering them now.

Posted by pendulum @ 09:51 AM 12 Comments

Black swans swim swiftly

FT: Long View: Fall in US house prices heralds problems for all

Falling US house prices may lead to severe and unpredictable market consequences.

Posted by letthemfall @ 09:33 AM 0 Comments

Nice Property Porn from Kate Hughes

Independent: Why first-time buyers should head overseas

Having a property abroad strikes many of us as a great lifestyle opportunity, but a growing number of UK first-time buyers looking overseas are more interested in sidestepping Britain's challenging property market than the lure sun, sea and sand.

Posted by kaneo @ 09:21 AM 0 Comments

It might be worth while doing a credit check on your landlord.

The Scotsman: Tenants suffer eviction fallout as number of repossessions rises in buy-to-let sector

WHEN tenants of rented homes are evicted it is usually for arrears, or excessive noise or damage (and in some extreme cases, all three). But there is now a new and growing phenomenon: perfectly respectable and law- abiding tenants being forced to quit because the landlord has defaulted on his mortgage and the lender has taken possession.

Posted by kaneo @ 09:18 AM 0 Comments

Poole builder goes into administration

Bournemouth Echo: Building Firm in Trouble

Poole builder goes into administration leaving dozens of flats and houses unfinished.

Posted by duncan @ 09:02 AM 0 Comments

A blow for the media VIs

Times: IMF says there is no scope for rate cuts

A good sober article from Gary Duncan, which implicitly states the need for rates to rise again. The IMF has got it dead right, which leaves no scope for Darling to be packed off begging for a loan to prop up the failing economy. Imbalances emerged in recent years - inflation, overheating in housing markets, low domestic savings rates, high current account deficits, and sustained drops in the international investment position . Time to encourage saving, reduce borrowing and reduce spending on imported goods.

Posted by fed up @ 08:39 AM 0 Comments

Simple explanation of rising mortgage costs

BBC News Peston's Picks: The mortgage gap

This should be compulasory reading for FTBs: "The cost of mortgages for many of us is probably still on a rising trend. Here's why. Net lending for mortgages - that's mortgage lending over and above the refinancing of existing mortgages - was 110bn last year (it was a similar amount in 2006 and a touch less in 2005). According to a leading bank, net lending this year will be 60bn."

Posted by quiet guy @ 08:37 AM 6 Comments

Only the cream of Cornwall's homes are holding their price

The Times: The Cornish property boom is over - except for the rich

Good news for children going on a Cornish holiday this summer: there will be no trips to the estate agents, no traipsing around houses for sale. The credit crunch and falling prices have scared off all but the most serious buyer.

Posted by kaneo @ 12:13 AM 2 Comments

Friday, May 23, 2008

Ever wonder whether HPC will become just a molehill next to a giant mountain?

BBC News: Vast cracks appear in Arctic ice

It's off-topic (ish). But then posts often get sidetracked by climate-change discussion, so why not start a post with climate change? Worth stopping to think that if the scientists are actually onto something, then HPC could become a small detail in the history of what happens in our world over the next few years. Maybe it's just a flavour-of-the-month theme, but it is worth watching the i-player...

Posted by doom&gloom @ 11:51 PM 7 Comments

UK Housing and Labour Voter Meltdown

The Market Oracle: UK House Values Have Fallen by 25%, Contributing to Labour Vote Meltdown

Whilst the mandarins of the Labour government scratch their collective heads as to why the voters have lost total confidence in Gordon Browns government, one of the key reasons for the meltdown in the Labour vote in the Crewe and Nantwich by-election is the housing bear market.

Posted by nadeem walayat @ 11:21 PM 1 Comments

Relentless Pressure

Bloomberg: U.S. Home Resales Decline, Inventories Jump

Sales of previously owned homes in the U.S. fell in April and the supply of unsold properties reached a record, signaling no let-up in the 27-month housing slump.

Posted by alan @ 07:09 PM 3 Comments

VI Opinion Industry Opinion

Gross mortgage lending reached an estimated 25.3 billion in April, a 5% increase from March and an 8% decline from April 2007, according to the Council of Mortgage Lenders... A fall is typically expected from March to April. However, the fact that Easter was in March is likely to have affected the monthly profile this year. For March and April combined, lending was down 16% from 2007 levels.

Posted by housebear @ 03:25 PM 3 Comments

Why derivatives are getting much more dangerous

MoneyWeek: Why derivatives are getting much more dangerous

The total value' of global derivatives - financial instruments which are priced on the back of the underlying assets that they track - has now reached a breathtaking $596 trillion. And there are some very good reasons to be worried by this figure.

Posted by damien @ 02:48 PM 4 Comments

Feel the fear (2)

Redrow: The help you need, when you need it

Same goes for this lot.

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 02:42 PM 2 Comments

Feel the fear (1)

Persimmon: Now's the time to move with Persimmon

They could try, er, dropping their prices?

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 02:41 PM 0 Comments

Lord Oakeshott talking about how to solve the housing crisis

Property Week: The sooner we get the fall in house prices over with, the better

After a house party as wild as Britains over the past few years, the hangover will really hurt. At the end of any speculative boom, turnover slows right down as buyers run out of cash and confidence. The bigger the boom, the more reluctant people are to believe its over and bite the bullet when they need to sell. A home is a place to live, not a way to bet. Thats a lesson we must never again forget.

Posted by kerstin @ 02:04 PM 9 Comments

The screw tightens

FT: Banks get jitters on property lending

Bank lending to the property sector raced to record levels last year, before the market tightened as the credit crisis ended years of easy finance, according to the survey. Debt rose to a record 247bn in 2007, from 215bn in 2006, with some 200bn standing on the balance sheets of the lending banks.

Posted by rental john @ 01:28 PM 0 Comments

Obscure corner of England - but still another crack in the facade

Spalding Today: Spalding developer set to close

A SPALDING developer looks set to shut because of bleak conditions in the housing market. Allison Homes' office in Spalding is intended to be closed under measures by Kier Group, which Allison is part of, to cope with current difficulties in the private housebuilding sector.

Posted by rental john @ 01:16 PM 0 Comments

Sharks, Spivs, or both?

Wired Gov: FSA fines three mortgage brokers for poor mortgage sales procedures

The Financial Services Authority (FSA) has fined three mortgage brokers for inadequate sales procedures which meant they could not demonstrate that they had recommended affordable mortgage contracts that met their clients needs. The FSA has fined Mohammad Rana, registered as Countrywide Management Consultancy and trading as Property Compass (Countrywide) 14,700, Peter Scott trading as the Mortgage House (Peter Scott) 11,900, and Chariot Mortgage Services Limited (Chariot) 10,500.

Posted by rental john @ 01:11 PM 1 Comments

Adam Champion, from charity New Homes Mortgage Helpline, says: The message to those on the edge of the market is why rent when you can buy?

mortgagestrategy: Galliford Try Homes tries to lure house buyers

Galliford Try Homes is launching a range of initiatives to encourage hesitant buyers to purchase a new home. The home builder is linking up with New Homes Mortgage Helpline. The joint venture is designed to raise awareness of mortgage deals and developer incentives still available to prospective home buyers. Among the incentives is The Easy Start programme, which allows first-time buyers to purchase homes for 75% LTV, with Galliford deferring the remaining 25% to a maximum value of 75,000 for up to 10 years interest free.

Posted by jack c @ 01:06 PM 15 Comments

Is hpwatcher's 'Brown to go' clock still ticking?

BBC News: Cameron hails 'end of New Labour'

I'm sure the press and media is full of this - but just wanted to post first..... Big protest vote - will Brown listen? End of New Labour? Start of Old Tory?

Posted by rental john @ 01:01 PM 2 Comments

Bill Mott (Ex Credit Suisse)

Investment Week: Mortgage data will force BoE to cut rates, says Mott

Data emerging in the coming months showing that the UK is on the verge of a recession will force the Bank of England to cut interest rates, according to PSigmas Bill Mott. He is extremely critical of the MPCs policy to hold interest rate cuts in a bid to stem what he believes are non-existent inflationary pressures. We remain of the view that the Bank of England are following an inappropriate interest rate policy and that domestic inflationary pressures are almost non-existent. He anticipates figures regarding mortgage approvals due to be printed on 27 May will be truly horrendous and could trigger a change in policy either by the government or the Bank of England.

Posted by jack c @ 12:52 PM 19 Comments

Credit calamity Credit crunch 'to get worse before upturn'

THE economic squeeze will "get worse before it gets better", experts warned yesterday, as the UK's biggest building society admitted its new mortgage lending dropped by more than half last year. And a housing charity warned Scotland is no longer "insulated" against a market fallout.

Posted by housebear @ 12:38 PM 0 Comments

Followup to "When Mortgages Buy The Farm"

One Magazine: When The Bubble Bursts

I was asked to post an update to the earlier article, which apparently proves popular in the US. This time I'm looking at who's to blame for the bubble, and who they're blaming instead. The original article is at:

Posted by fofp @ 12:35 PM 0 Comments

Property porn is now a minority sport

The Times: Property porn is now a minority sport

Traditional bank holiday pastimes include gardening, shopping and what teenagers call chillax and parents call putting your feet up. That other popular pursuit - drooling over property gems in the windows of estate agents in country or seaside locations - could be on fewer schedules this weekend. It's becoming a bit of a minority sport, rather like polo, say.

Posted by homerjay @ 11:59 AM 0 Comments

The New Paradigm For Financial Markets

PBS: Interview with George Soros

As the U.S. grapples with an economic slowdown and a housing slump, financial leaders are rethinking their strategies. Financier and author George Soros reflects on the changing business trends and details his new book, which examines the 'credit crash' of 2008. GEORGE SOROS: "I think this is the most serious crisis of our lifetime. It's not just a housing crisis, but a crisis of the financial system. There's been a super-bubble growing over the last 25 years at least, which basically consisted of an extension in credit, increasing use of leverage. ... You have to regulate not only the money supply, but you also have to regulate credit conditions. ... It is the Federal Reserve's job to prevent bubbles from happening. ... Also I think oil is in a bubble."

Posted by drewster @ 11:51 AM 10 Comments

Dumb and dumber??

market oracle: Immoral hazard - Incompetence at the Fed

Excellent summary of the crisis. Are Greenspan and Bernanke are just incompetent or is it that "Greenspan was a tool of the moneyed interests who gave him his job. He knew who 'buttered his bread' and returned their favors manyfold. He engineered many crises and used them all to 'advance and consolidate the influence of US-centered finance over the global economy, almost always to the severe detriment of the economy and broad general welfare of the population'". Compare that with President Garfield's 1881 quote, "Whosoever controls the volume of money in any country is absolute master of all industry and commerce...And when you realise that the entire system is very easily a few powerful men at the top, you will (know) how periods of inflation and depression originate".

Posted by icarus @ 11:43 AM 3 Comments

A Municipality Funding Story Gone Bad - Quite A Sad Read Actually

Bloomberg News: JPMorgan Swap Deals Spur Probe as Default Stalks Alabama County

May 22 (Bloomberg) -- As nighttime temperatures plunged in Birmingham, Alabama, last October, Dora Bonner had a choice: either pay the gas bill so she could heat the home she shares with four grandchildren, or send the Birmingham Water Works a $250 check for her water and sewer bill. Bonner, who is 73 and lives on Social Security, decided to keep the house from freezing. ``I couldn't afford the water, so they shut it off,'' she says.

Posted by yt1 @ 11:36 AM 1 Comments

Oh no! US interest rates might rise

FT: Short View: Markets and the Fed

John Authers on video about possible rise in US rates and bad prospects for the US economy. Parallels for us of course. There is a text version of this (, but the video has graphs and more detail.

Posted by letthemfall @ 11:15 AM 1 Comments

Look at oil exports not just production levels

Safe Haven: What the Export Land Model Means for Energy Prices

"To understand the importance of exports when discussing peak oil, ask yourself the question, "What's more important: the fact that global oil production is falling ... or that the oil-exporting nations are cutting off their exports?""

Posted by sold 2 rent 1 @ 10:54 AM 7 Comments

Mega bearish article. A must read.

Market Oracle: Failure of US Brand of Capitalism

The four insolvent pillars to the USEconomy: federal budget, current account (trade) deficit, bank capital, and homeowner equity point to imminent desperation in policy, all directed toward mammoth unprecedented monetary inflation. THE GLOBAL ENERGY WAR THAT STARTED IN 2003 IN IRAQ HAS NOW EXPANDED INTO A GLOBAL WAR OF CAPITAL

Posted by sold 2 rent 1 @ 09:58 AM 27 Comments

The DOW priced in oil, gold and copper

Market Oracle: The Stocks Stealth Bear Market

Since 2000 the Dow has risen 10.2% to almost 13,000. But even at that level, it would only purchase: 105 barrels of oil 77% less than it did in the year 2000 ... 14.38 ounces of gold 65% less than it did in 2000 ... 74% less copper than it did in 2000 ...

Posted by sold 2 rent 1 @ 09:21 AM 4 Comments

The solution - join the EU and the euro - NOT

Market Oracle: Iceland Facing Meltdown as the Credit Crunch Sinks its Currency

This tiny country - home to a mere 300,000 people - has somehow created a financial system nine times the size of its gross domestic product (GDP). The Icelandic krona has fallen 26% against the euro this year. Over the past three months, consumer prices are up 6.4%. That's equivalent to an annual inflation rate of 28%. The economy will contract by 2.5% next year and 1.5% in 2010.

Posted by sold 2 rent 1 @ 09:12 AM 10 Comments

LSL takes 3m hit as estate agency stalls

Yahoo: LSL takes 3m hit as estate agency stalls

LSL Property Services (LSE: LSL.L - news) is to take a 3m hit this year as part of a retrenchment plan following a slump in business at its estate agency arm.

Posted by mark @ 09:07 AM 0 Comments

big corporates win again

The Telegraph: British Airways warns oil surge will put a rash of airlines out of business

British Airways believes it can ride out the storm caused by the rocketing oil price by making capacity cuts of only around 2pc this winter.

Posted by sold 2 rent 1 @ 08:49 AM 7 Comments

Newspapers and Vested Interests - The Property Section

Guardian: Regional newspapers suffer from slump in advertising

Daily Mail and General Trust warned yesterday that its regional papers were suffering, partly as a result of a lack of property advertising. The news sent shares in the group, owner of the Daily Mail and Mail on Sunday, to their lowest for more than 10 years. This explains why the 'Express' are still banging on about house price increases.

Posted by should_of_banked_it @ 08:47 AM 10 Comments

The Destruction continues

The Telegraph: Defaults on commercial property loans surge 400pc

The study of bank lending to the commercial property industry shows that while the amount lent continued to rise in 2007, nearly 400 loans slipped into default, up from fewer than 80 in 2006.

Posted by sold 2 rent 1 @ 08:06 AM 2 Comments

The end of Brown & New Labour...

Times Online: Disaster for Gordon Brown after Tory landslide

''...A resurgent Conservative party stormed to a crushing victory over Labour in the Crewe & Nantwich by-election early today, placing Gordon Browns leadership under even greater strain. In a massive boost for David Cameron, the Tories overturned a 7,000 Labour majority to make their first gain from Labour in a by-election for 30 years with their own 7,860 majority on a massive swing of 17.6 per cent....''

Posted by hpwatcher @ 05:55 AM 19 Comments

Pile in, boys

Telegraph: Buy to Let bandwagon has not yet hit the buffers

Bearish commentators love to raise the spectre of Middle England landlords being forced to dump their investment properties on an already fragile property market. A "buy-to-let" crash would appease the green-eyed monster that exists inside all of us. But however much we may wish for it, the reality is somewhat different. Many of those who have invested in property have done so to provide for their retirement - they will ride out these difficult times even if it means re-mortgaging their own home. The demise of the buy-to-let landlord is overdone.

Posted by little professor @ 12:36 AM 14 Comments

It's not different here

Scotsman: Housing slump may hit less hard in Scotland but it will still be a blow to buyers

Stories reporting how the credit crunch is likely to affect the Scottish housing market currently all tend to say the same thing. The headline on one such story in The Scotsman yesterday was typical: Scots to escape worst as UK house prices set to fall 7 per cent. In other words, while there may be house price woe south of the Border, we will be all right up here. I'd like to think that will be true, but I fear it won't.

Posted by little professor @ 12:32 AM 10 Comments

Thursday, May 22, 2008


forex factory: Ready for the Oil Bubble?

"Theres a few hedge fund managers out there who are masters at knowing how to exploit the peak [oil] theories and hot buttons of supply and demand and by making bold predictions of shocking price advancements to come, they only add more fuel to the bullish fire in a sort of self fulfilling prophecy." National Gas Week, Sept. 5, 2005 as reprinted in the US Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations report, "The Role of Market Speculation in Rising Oil and Gas Prices," June 27, 2006

Posted by bystander @ 10:29 PM 5 Comments

'Scandalous' OPEC to blame for slump, by-election results, weather etc...

The Register: The economy: A big Arab did it and ran away, claims PM

It's all OPEC's fault, according to Gordon Brown. He told an audience that the world's current economic woes can largely be blamed on the scandalous behaviour of the oil producer's cartel. They're just not pumping enough oil, he claims. Brown's pitch can't exactly be categorised as a major contribution to economic rationality. [Warning: no relevance to HPC. It's just shocking to see how out of touch "Prudence" Brown really is on economic matters.]

Posted by drewster @ 09:55 PM 11 Comments

Look out - cliff!

Independent: Sharp fall in new home sales puts thousands of jobs at risk

"The slowdown last autumn was minuscule compared to what we are seeing now since the start of April the market has fallen off a cliff and trade has almost stopped,"

Posted by letthemfall @ 09:37 PM 1 Comments

Egypt - the most populous Arab country - has just raised petrol prices by 40pc. Rumours swept China yesterday that Beijing was preparing to lift fuel prices. While the Chinese government is unlikely to risk protests in the lead up to the Olympics, the jit

TELEGRAPH UK: Oil's perfect storm may blow over

Almost all emerging nations have to slam on the brakes in coming months to curb inflation before it starts spiralling out of control. Inflation has hit 30pc in Ukraine, 22pc in Vietnam, 8.5pc in China, and double digits across most of the Gulf. The countries that account for the most of the growth in oil demand over the last two years are almost all nearing the limits of easy economic growth. Read

Posted by chris @ 08:11 PM 0 Comments

Just why are high house prices a good thing?

Press TV: People sleep in cars in rich US city

How did we all get so programmed into this? That it is better to borrow than to work? It seems a good many of us just wanted to be able to say "I'm the Lord of this Manor. You are my serfs" and brag about our "investments" at dinner parties. Serves us all right. High house prices in one of the wealthiest US cities have forced increasing numbers of women and elderly people to sleep in their cars. According to organizers of a program that makes it possible for the homeless to sleep safely in their cars at night, more people are living in their cars in the city of Santa Barbara, while many of them even hold part time jobs.

Posted by lvmreader @ 08:04 PM 4 Comments

BOE special liquidity scheme - take up could exceed 50bn initially allocated

mortgagestrategy: New Star claims BoE has swapped 16bn in securities

Banks may have swapped about 16bn of securities under the Bank of Englands Special Liquidity Scheme within the first 10 days of its launch, analysis from New Star suggests. The figure is based New Star's broad money supply release for April, published today, which shows that banks removed a record 16.4bn worth of loans from their balance sheets last month.The number represents a sharp upward turn from an average of just 500m in the first three months of 2008.

Posted by jack c @ 07:05 PM 0 Comments

Oil's not the only thing that's rising!

Money Supermarket: 1 year fixed rate account 7.10 %

OK it's Firstsave from Nigeria. But they have a bigger oil reserve than us and they are pushing real interest rates further and further away from the base rate. This must surely result in our banks competing for new deposit's and lending will have to be squeezed further and become more expensive!

Posted by cheekie charlie @ 05:05 PM 0 Comments

Hubble bubble - oil and trouble....

Guardian online: Why the oil price means bubble trouble

All of these factors may have contributed to the upward trend in the oil price over the past six years, which has seen the cost of a barrel of crude rise from around $20 a barrel to $135 a barrel today. None of them really explain, however, why the price should have gone up by more than $5 in the past 24 hours and by a third in little more than a month. That sort of price action is the result of a speculative frenzy of the sort that was witnessed in the dotcom mania of the late 1990s. The oil market, to put it simply, is a massive bubble waiting to be popped.

Posted by rental john @ 04:46 PM 9 Comments

U.S. Sees Largest Decline on Record

The Wall Street Journal: Home Prices Continue to Decline

For home-owners and financial market observers, these declines spell further erosion in home equity levels and potentially more trouble for mortgage markets

Posted by yoyo1 @ 04:43 PM 0 Comments

Economist "probably" "maybe" suggests a crash

economist: Trouble ahead for global house prices

OUR round-up of house-price indicators (see table) suggests that any crash is far from universal. Only five countries have suffered annual house-price falls in the latest data and two of thoseJapan and Germanyhave been in the doldrums for a decade. It is a fairly safe bet that the data will look less reassuring in six months time.

Posted by mken @ 04:42 PM 1 Comments

Efin typical!

Daily Mail: Nationwide accused of cashing in on credit crunch as profits soar by 112million

BRITAIN'S biggest building society has cashed in on the credit crunch by pushing up profit margins on some mortgages and savings to make an extra 112.1million. Nationwide said yesterday that profits surged by 17per cent last year to 781.1 million.

Posted by rental john @ 04:24 PM 6 Comments

Estate agent shocker

BBC Peston's Picks: Estate agent shocker

I'm presuming Robert is a "doom-sayer" bear ... "Britain's largest estate agent, Countrywide, has toggled. ... If it weren't for the way that Apollo screwed this mind-boggling deal out of the lenders - if Countrywide hadn't been able to suspend cash-interest payments and borrow to pay interest - the prospects for this business and their jobs would be a good deal worse (though in view of the mess in their market, that's probably not a reason to be too cheerful)."

Posted by doomwatch @ 02:27 PM 4 Comments

Why there's a 95% chance of a recession

MoneyWeek: Why there's a 95% chance of a recession

New research reckons there is a 95% chance that Britain will go in to recession. It'll be long, bleak and hard, and the government won't be able to do a thing about it.

Posted by damien @ 01:46 PM 10 Comments

More job cuts will be the result

BBC News: Air France warns on fuel prices

It's not mentioned in the article but how long before the big airlines lay off staff as the lack of people willing to fly to their holiday destination increases. That's a lot of Pilots, Stewards, Baggage Handlers, Aircraft Engineers, etc world wide. Anyone truly believe now that house prices and rents can remain high, or have the last of the housing Bulls truly left the building.

Posted by symo @ 01:39 PM 5 Comments

Good to see they haven't forgotten why they exist

Telegraph: MPC minutes hint at splits as BoE steps up inflation crusade

(the MPC) regards a housing market slump and a possible recession as prices worth paying to keep inflation under control in the long term.

Posted by paul @ 01:18 PM 11 Comments

Record oil prices could give Brown a popularity boost

BBC: Oil soars to new record over $135

It's probably too late for the Crewe & Nantwich but Gordon Brown could boost his rapidly fading popularity but capping the tax take on fuel. Whilst derv and petrol soars to 1.30+ per litre the government tax take increases in line. A simple and potentially cynical decision could be made to cap the tax take at for example 1.00 a litre. Increases in the cost of oil over and above the 1.00 would incur no additional tax on the punter at the pumps. The above comments are not based directly on the BBC linked article but are based around a potential approach to address several factors, which include the distress and the impact of inflation on the motorist and an attempt to portray Brown as helping the people who he serves.

Posted by denzil @ 12:59 PM 11 Comments

Please Sign E-Petition! Downing St Fuel Duty

Downing St: Downing St E-Petition

We the undersigned petition the government to lower the current levels of taxation on fuels within all UK territories. Petrol, Diesel, Heating Oil and Gas by at least 30% The current cost is unsustainable to the average family. I myself drive 60 miles per day to work and home again and can not maintain this level of spending (even in our current diesel car) The fuel prices in the UK are simply ridiculous the fault in this case does not lay with the fuel companies it is completely the governments over taxing the hard working people in the United Kingdom.

Posted by hardeep @ 12:42 PM 23 Comments

What is this nonsense?

bbc: The nasty decades of the past

There are some who see a cycle of boom and bust as inevitable. But as Britain and much of the Western world faces up to a downturn, it's easy to look back into the past and find nasty decades, writes Finlo Rohrer.

Posted by george monsoon @ 12:23 PM 8 Comments

toilet paper futures?

321 gold: Another Shaft in the Mining Business

For those aware of the impending collapse of debt-based paper money assets, the fact that the majority still have no idea about the magnitude of the approaching danger is unbelievable. What is also unbelievable are the positions some of those people hold. The 2007 annual report confirmed that SSRI (Silver Standard Resources) is well positioned to take advantage of the coming collapse of paper assets. The 2007 report revealed that Silver Standard Resources had invested $57,102,000 in asset-backed commercial paper otherwise known as ass-paper or ABCP for short, paper assets (IOUs) backed by commercial debt that is now illiquid and cannot be sold.

Posted by malct @ 11:33 AM 2 Comments

Dodgy economics dressed up as accurate models

FT: House prices: a bumpier ride lies ahead

This looks like a case of two economists being wise after the event - suddenly switching their forecast to price falls, though not by very much. These two produced a model which was suspiciously close to the actual growth in house prices. But they talk as much waffle as the VIs: eg "Systematic and comprehensive models are needed to distinguish fact from fiction in claims such as those made at the time by the OECD and IMF"; "pent-up demand...";"fundamentals of strong growth in real income". Even academics resort to bullsh1t.

Posted by letthemfall @ 11:00 AM 13 Comments

Nationwide sees 40% drop in residential lending and now predicts house prices will fall

Citywire: Nationwide predicts single-digit drop in house prices

The percentage fall in house prices will be limited to single digits this year, says the Nationwide Building Society in stating a 5.2% rise in full-year pre-tax profits. The building society was more optimistic than some doom-sayers in the property market who have said house prices could fall by more than 10% while Halifax, the UK's largest lender, has forecast mid-single-digit falls.

Posted by jack c @ 10:28 AM 15 Comments

Sales vs. inflation

Bloomberg: U.K. Retail Sales Fell for a Second Month in April

Sales declined 0.2 percent from March but are up 4.2 percent from a year earlier.Sales of food fell 1 percent last month, leading the overall decline. Household goods stores sold 1.4 percent less than the previous month and clothing sales were flat, the statistics office said. Retailers cut prices by 0.9 percent from a year earlier to attract shoppers, the report showed.

Posted by ontheotherhand @ 10:12 AM 1 Comments

The lagging indicator of the economic health rears its ugly head... Unemployment

Telegraph Online: Unemployment to rise sharply this year, warns Bank of England

Unemployment could increase sharply this year, economists have warned, after an influential report showed more firms were looking to fire staff than at any point for last 11 years.

Posted by inthedelhi @ 09:46 AM 4 Comments

Increasing yields but also increasing supply...

Sales slowdown lifts buy-to-let: BBC News

RICS survey indicates more properties are being let, because their owners can't sell them. Gross yields are also up apparently, but with the increase in supply of properties to let I wonder whether this increase will soon reverse.

Posted by doom&gloom @ 08:39 AM 20 Comments

Oil buying leveraged at 16:1

Market Oracle: The Real Reason Behind Record High Oil Prices- Part 2

US margin rules of the government's Commodity Futures Trading Commission allow speculators to buy a crude oil futures contract on the Nymex, by having to pay only 6% of the value of the contract. At today's price of $128 per barrel, that means a futures trader only has to put up about $8 for every barrel. He borrows the other $120. This extreme leverage of 16 to 1 helps drive prices to wildly unrealistic levels and offset bank losses in sub-prime and other disasters at the expense of the overall population.

Posted by sold 2 rent 1 @ 08:25 AM 44 Comments

Credit agency in denial about crisis facing UK...

Telegraph: 'UK feels more stable' than US, says Experian

''...Britain is better placed to weather the brewing economic storm than the US because UK banks tightened up their lending criteria for consumers two years ago, the world's largest credit information agency, Experian, claimed yesterday. 'UK lenders started getting tougher about lending standards a couple of years ago' Don Robert, chief executive, said the group has seen "real evidence of the weakening consumer in the US" as problems in the mortgage market spread to "credit cards and auto finance". By comparison, in the UK "the quality of credit portfolios is holding up well". ...''

Posted by hpwatcher @ 07:57 AM 6 Comments

Council of Mortgage Lenders 2008 House Price Forecast Busted

The Market Oracle: Council of Mortgage Lenders 2008 Housing Market Forecast Demolished

The Council of Mortgage Lender (CML), revised their forecast for UK House prices for 2008 from an anticipated rise of 1% as of Oct 07 to now project a fall in prices of 7%. The CML, inline with its member institutions has a vested interest in talking up the housing market as evidenced by the inaccuracy of their housing market forecasts during periods of falling house prices. As a reminder to readers, the Market Oracle forecast for UK house prices made ahead of the actual peak in the housing market in August 2007 is for a 15% drop over 2 years from August 2007 to August 2009, therefore forecasting a 7% to 7.5% drop for the year 2008.

Posted by nadeem walayat @ 06:38 AM 0 Comments

The credit crunch triggered by the U.S. subprime mortgage meltdown seems to be the worst crisis of its kind since the end of World War II," he added.

nikkeinews: Stagflation has become a global concern on the back of rising oil prices, Eisuke Sakakibara, former vice finance minister for international affairs, the Nikkei reported in its Thursday evening edition.

Large amounts of speculative funds are flowing into the commodities markets as the U.S. housing market plummets and the U.S. economy slips into a recession, sending crude oil prices to record highs and raising concern over the possibility of global stagflation," he said at The Future of Asia forum organized by Nikkei Inc.

Posted by chris @ 06:20 AM 0 Comments

We need this sort of treatment for our bankers here in the UK

CNN: Boy-band mogul can buy time off sentence

Lou Pearlman founded boy bands Backstreet Boys, 'N Sync Scam bilked thousands of investors; some lost life savings Judge says he'll shave off one month for every $1 million paid back ORLANDO, Florida (AP) -- Lou Pearlman, the man who created the Backstreet Boys and 'N Sync, was sentenced Wednesday to 25 years in federal prison for engineering a decades-long scam that bilked thousands of investors out of their life savings. Lou Pealman was the boy band king, then fleeced investors of some $300 million. It was the maximum sentence the boy band mogul could receive for allegedly swindling some $300 million from investors and banks since the early 1980s.

Posted by lvmreader @ 02:55 AM 7 Comments

Update: Congresswoman denies foreclosure report

L.A. Times: California Congresswoman walked away from $578K mortgage

Update: California Congresswoman Laura Richardson today denied a published report that her $535,000 Sacramento home had slipped into foreclosure, saying she has renegotiated her loan to keep the home. The house "... is not in foreclosure and has NOT been seized by the bank," Richardson, a Democrat from Long Beach, said in a statement. "I have worked with my lender to complete a loan modification and have renegotiated the terms of the agreement -- with no special provisions." (Rep. Richardson's entire statement is at the bottom of this article). Earlier, Capitol Weekly reported that Richardson walked away from the mortgage on her $535,000 Sacramento home, letting the house slip into foreclosure and disrepair less than two years after she bought it with no money down.

Posted by lvmreader @ 12:56 AM 2 Comments

VIs facing the truth

Telegraph: Housing slump could be worst since 1970s

House sales could fall to their lowest level since the mid-1970s the Council of Mortgage Lenders warned yesterday. In a sharp revision to its previous forecasts, the CML said it is expecting house price falls of 7% by the end of this year. In its last forecast, it had predicted a rise of 1% for 2008. The CML is also predicting a 35% fall in transactions to 770,000, which would be lowest level of activity in the housing market for 30 years. Meanwhile, RICS has warned that housing transactions could fall 40% if the lending squeeze continues, although its forecast for house price falls is 5%.

Posted by little professor @ 12:55 AM 6 Comments


BBC 'News': Sales slowdown lifts buy-to-let

The downturn in property sales is having a positive affect [sic] on buy-to-let, a survey from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (Rics) suggests. Its survey of residential lettings says the number of new instructions to let property rose by 29% in the first three months of 2008. Weaker demand to buy houses has forced sellers back into the rental market, where yields are rising, Rics says.

Posted by little professor @ 12:49 AM 10 Comments

I have some Tulip bulbs from the 18th century, let's mark those at 1m each Top banks call for relaxed writedown rules

The worlds leading banks have stepped up pressure to relax controversial accounting rules with a new plan aimed at breaking the downward spiral of huge writedowns, emergency fundraisings and fire-sales of assets. The proposals on fair value accounting by the Institute of International Finance, an alliance of 300-plus companies chaired by Josef Ackermann, Deutsche Banks chairman, would enable financial companies to cushion the blow of financial crises by valuing illiquid assets using historical, rather than market, prices.

Posted by lvmreader @ 12:37 AM 7 Comments

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

james was right to be concerned

times: Women win right to children without fathers

Single women and lesbian couples won landmark parental rights last night as MPs voted to remove the requirement that fertility clinics consider a childs need for a father. As James pointed out a few days ago most posters here are men. However it now seems our bleetings are just that - bleetings - the future doesn't need men

Posted by malct @ 09:45 PM 17 Comments

It doesn't work like that!

Motley Fool: Mortgage Lenders Are Still Ripping You Off

Getting on the property ladder seems harder than ever for first-time buyers. Not only are mortgage rates rising, but lenders are demanding even higher deposits. And -- as if that wasn't bad enough -- rip-off mortgage fees are really rubbing salt in the wounds.

Posted by rental john @ 09:17 PM 0 Comments

T. Boone Pickens helped lift oil prices once again yesterday with his "$150 in '08" call on CNBC.

Can't sell - won't over!

Kent Online: Grim warning as house prices are set to plummet

Trevor Hines, head of public policy and communications for RICS South, said: Kent is going to suffer and will have to weather the storm like everybody else in the south east. No one can predict how long it will go on for and how serious it will be but people will have to tighten their belts. The second half of 2008 will prove a difficult period for the housing market. Mr Hines said it would be particularly difficult for those trying to sell their properties and already house owners in Tunbridge were deciding not to sell up because they would not get value for money for their homes.

Posted by rental john @ 09:10 PM 2 Comments

source suggesting that speculators account for 60% of oil trading volume. The Index speculators about which Masters testified include institutional investors like corporate and government pension funds, university endowments, and sovereign wealth funds.

bloggingstocks.: Oil at $130 -- partly due to Goldman Sachs betting on $200 oil?

In this post, I suggested that supply and demand figures would mean a drop in price. But I found a source suggesting that speculators account for 60% of oil trading volume. The Index speculators about which Masters testified include institutional investors like corporate and government pension funds, university endowments, and sovereign wealth funds. And he suggests that they're betting on a drop in the dollar and a rise in the price of oil as an inflation hedge.

Posted by chris @ 09:08 PM 0 Comments

Taylor Wimpey - cut head count by 10%

Express and Star: Homebuilder axes 600 jobs

Around 600 jobs, including dozens in Wolverhampton, are being shed by a major homebuilder due to the slump in the housing market. Bryant North Midlands is part of the countrys second-biggest builder Taylor Wimpey, which is closing 13 of its 39 offices across the country.

Posted by rental john @ 09:06 PM 1 Comments

I'm even feeling sorry for the estate agents - but they are reaping a bitter harvest partly of their own making.

Estate Agency News: MARKET 'IN SHREDS'

Rates of sales halved in a year, say NAEA, while Hill predicts that if current trend continues, a third of offices could close THE slump in transactions has plunged most estate agencies into losses this Spring and if the current trend continues, as many as a third of offices could close, Countrywide chairman Harry Hill has forecast.

Posted by rental john @ 08:59 PM 7 Comments

"The early signs are that some agents have been walking away from the industry, others have been told to hang up their car keys and go"

Citywire: Estate agents must adapt or die

Inevitably, tempers are frayed and nerves raw in the world of estate agency. The high streets volume of business is being hit by a sudden and catastrophic volume drop-off, with the average agent shifting just 22 properties in the first quarter of the year. Thats close to the all-time low of 1992, when the market effectively shut itself down to all action apart from repossession.

Posted by jack c @ 08:44 PM 1 Comments

Now would you credit it -- British houses priced in Euros?

Bloomberg: Housing Bust Shakes Migration, Sparks Euro Talk: Matthew Lynn

So the economy is going down the pan, and all those nasty foreigners are going back home leaving no one to do the dirty work. But out of the doom and gloom comes the mighty Euro! Fancify? Perhaps. Or perhaps not...

Posted by dude @ 08:31 PM 6 Comments

$132: How high will it go?

Bloomberg: Oil Rises Above $132 on U.S. Supply Drop, Bank Price Forecasts

Crude oil rose to a record above $132 a barrel as U.S. stockpiles unexpectedly dropped and banks raised price forecasts because of supply constraints and demand growth. Supplies fell 5.32 million barrels to 320.4 million last week, the biggest drop in four months.

Posted by alan @ 07:26 PM 0 Comments

Paying the price of replacing cheap money

BBC News: US is told to revamp dollar notes

The US government has lost a court case to replace the identically sized bills with different notes catering for partially sighted etc. As the dollar is currently worth about 50p as a piece of single ink paper, and the replacement proposal is for different inked different size notes, the costs will be truly enormous. How much longer does the single dollar bill have?

Posted by stillthinking @ 07:24 PM 1 Comments

Outcry Over Oil Prices Oil exec: Prices driven by 'fundamentals'

NEW YORK ( -- Amid increasing public outcry over record-shattering oil and gas prices, senators on Wednesday hauled industry executives in to testify about the recent runup. NEW YORK ( -- Amid increasing public outcry over record-shattering oil and gas prices, senators on Wednesday hauled industry executives in to testify about the recent runup. Let us not forget over 2/3rds of the pump price is tax.

Posted by plato @ 06:10 PM 8 Comments

Oh pwned

Bloomberg: UK Homebuilders to Cut Tens of Thousands of Jobs

UK homebuilders will cut tens of thousands of jobs as the 19 billion-pound industry grapples with the worst housing slump in more than a decade, according to the chairman of the Home Builders Federation. "There isn't a builder in the land who isn't considering overheads and job losses,'' Stewart Baseley said in an interview yesterday. Job losses "will be in the tens of thousands,'' he said. "I've never seen a downturn escalate as quickly as this.''

Posted by little professor @ 05:57 PM 6 Comments

Time to re-write the economic cycle and move the goalposts on debt to GDP ratio

BBC: UK debt 'to break' official rule

The decision to nationalise Northern Rock has pushed UK debt levels above the government's official ceiling of 40%, preliminary figures suggest. Bailing out the lender pushed public net debt to 43.1% of gross domestic product (GDP) in March, suggests the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

Posted by jack c @ 05:24 PM 11 Comments

House prices to fall 7% in 2008

LSE: House prices to fall 7% in 2008

UK house prices will fall by seven per cent this year, according to the latest projections from the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML).

Posted by andy @ 05:11 PM 2 Comments

BOE report - see brief summary

Bank of England: Agents' Summary of Business Conditions for May

See May 2008 PDF download for full report - Brief summary - Estate agencies have reported a further reduction in enquiries into established properties and that sale periods are continuing to lengthen.The report also maintains there has been a rise in the cancellation of sales and attributes the phenomenon to tighter credit conditions. It says vendors were accepting sizable discounts on asking prices in May and that this is reflected in the fall in price inflation for established homes. Estate agencies are reporting a cull of staff to accomodate the reduction in demand for services.The summary also reveals demand for new housing has continued to weaken as a result of tighter credit conditions.

Posted by jack c @ 04:31 PM 0 Comments

Para? Para? Gone!

Times: Paragon cuts mortgage lending in half

"Paragon had managed down its exposure and reduced lending, particularly in buy-to-let. The reputation of buy-to-let investments has taken a battering in recent months amid worries that some borrowers have overstretched themselves and rental increases have failed to keep pace with increased mortgage costs" But sorry, rents were soaring! maybe not! Look at the Primelocation link

Posted by confused76 @ 03:58 PM 4 Comments

US import price index

Market Oracle: China Now Exporting Inflation Abroad

Most of us have been waiting for higher inflation to erupt on the scene for some time. Government statisticians have been able to avoid the reality of market place. How many million words have been written on these web sites on nonsense of core inflation? Simplistic nature of that measure, which ignores developments in prices for oil and Agri-Food, is about to come back to haunt those policy makers that have hidden behind it.

Posted by sold 2 rent 1 @ 02:16 PM 10 Comments

Report out at long last,. Prices down, stock unsold up

Primelocation: April houseprice report

At long last - a nice read from the highest of the asking price surveys

Posted by growler @ 01:35 PM 5 Comments

Crash is good news

Spectator: The truth is that the house price crash is, overall, good news

Rod Liddle says that our pursuit of property as investment has been the most repulsive and soul-destroying aspect of contemporary British culture.

Posted by doomwatch @ 01:34 PM 7 Comments

US M3 Money Supply

You Tube: founder John Williams

John Williams talks about US M3 growth and predicts a depression

Posted by sold 2 rent 1 @ 01:17 PM 1 Comments

More newspeak

yahoo: Smith gets rough ride

"The need to keep mortgages and the cost of living under control - and that includes your mortgages and your families' cost of living as well. "At a time when families are feeling the pinch, I know how important it is to restore stability and confidence into discussions on your pay." Errrmmm, so high mortgage costs are now an excuse NOT to pay people properly? Nice one NuLabour

Posted by inbreda @ 01:16 PM 0 Comments

Double digit falls predicted for 2008 and 2009

Times Online: House prices will fall 7% in 'uncertain' market

Conditions in the UK housing market will "get worse before they get better", with mortgage lending expected to fall by 21 per cent this year while house prices will decline by 7 per cent. " is looking ever more possible that house prices will suffer double-digit falls both this year and in 2009"

Posted by dan @ 01:13 PM 2 Comments

Down it goes

Independent: George Soros: Credit crisis is the worst since the Great Depression

Soros' makes a few pertinent comments on UK house prices

Posted by peter s @ 01:11 PM 0 Comments

Inflation v Deflation???

The Telegraph: Has the Fed really flooded the world with dollars?

So let me throw it open to any readers who have a view: do we really face galloping inflation in the Atlantic and Japanese economies (still almost 60pc of world GDP), or is deflation lying in wait?

Posted by sold 2 rent 1 @ 12:38 PM 7 Comments

Lessons to be leant from the Germans?

BBC World Service: Germany seems to be doing well.

At a time of gloom in many of the major western economies, Germany seems to be doing well. Damien McGuiness asks why the credit crunch hasn't hit Germany as hard as other countries.

Posted by landedgentry @ 12:36 PM 6 Comments

Interview with best performing fund manager...

Times: How Invesco Perpetual's top manager keeps ahead of the market - and his rivals

Key quotes:- ''...I am convinced that the UK economy is going into recession ...we have had huge growth in [consumer] consumption, funded by rising levels of debt, but the party is over for this type of debt-fuelled consumption...''

Posted by hpwatcher @ 12:24 PM 7 Comments

In a language the average BTL/Assetz employee might understand

Childrens BBC Newsround: Are you counting the pennies?

Check out what the little darlings are saying: "I don't get pocket money, as my parents need it for bills and stuff. So, I've got myself a paper round, which pays 10 a week. I only used to get 10 a month in pocket money before!" Heather, 13, Sheffield, England

Posted by landedgentry @ 12:09 PM 2 Comments

A conservative estimate, but no-one really knows

BBC News: CML predicts 7% house price fall

''...The Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) has predicted a 7% drop in UK house prices during 2008. The CML expects there to be 35% fewer property transactions in England and Wales this year than in 2007. ...''

Posted by hpwatcher @ 11:54 AM 14 Comments

Not a news article - but great fun

Youtube: Rory Bremner 'Who wants to be a millionaire?'

Rory Bremner as Chris Tarrant on "Who wants to be a millionaire?" Place these following banks in ascending order of what they've lost on sub-prime mortgages A: Barclays Capital B: Citigroup C: UBS D: Merrill Lynch

Posted by rental john @ 11:51 AM 1 Comments

Traders share a laugh in the crude oil options pit of the New York Mercantile Exchange, where the price of oil futures swept toward $130 a barrel. The record-shattering run-up in energy and food prices has prompted Congress to consider taking action again

la times: Are commodity traders bidding up food, fuel prices?

The record-shattering run-up in energy and food prices has put investors who buy and sell such things on the hot seat -- so hot that some in Congress on Tuesday threatened action.

Posted by chris @ 11:38 AM 0 Comments

The illusory recovery

MoneyWeek: The illusory recovery

Credit markets may have rallied recently, but the worst is yet to come. And that will mean real pain for everyone, not just financiers...

Posted by damien @ 11:09 AM 0 Comments

Short article....but highlights much between the lines

Reuters: CML predicts 7 pct drop in 2008 house prices

The Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) predicted there will be 770,000 property transactions in England and Wales this year, down from 1.18 million in 2007. The CML's last forecast in October had predicted a 1 percent rise in house prices and a 14 percent drop in transactions. So 410,000 less transactions - that's a lot of lost business for EA's and solicitors! Depending on through put 410,000 equates to a lot of EA sale no fee - SH@T, that was a crap business model.

Posted by rental john @ 11:01 AM 0 Comments

House prices: the 10 most recession proof counties

Times Online: Original news blog

The Times says there are still 10 places where the property market is still going from strength to strength...

Posted by andrew ellson @ 10:58 AM 0 Comments

Now it looks like we'll always be bailed out by the Central Banks, let's try this trick again!

FT: HBOS returns to mortgage-backed bond market

HBOS, the UKs largest mortgage lender, has sold 500m of mortgage-backed bonds in the first such deal for any mainstream European issuer since the credit crisis struck last summer. The banks first deal since July 2007 will lift hopes that mortgage securitisation markets, which have been in effect shut for months, could begin to re-open and that other lenders may now be encouraged to test the waters.

Posted by tyrellcorporation @ 10:48 AM 1 Comments

In - out - in - out - shake it all about - you do the hokey cokey and you turn around....that's what it's all about!

The Times: First Direct resumes mortgage lending

When they pulled out 7 weeks ago their two year fixed rate was 4.75%, now their new rates are 5.76%. If the BoE raised interest rates by 1% there would be a riot!

Posted by rental john @ 10:44 AM 0 Comments

Long article - but worth the read

The Times: Gordon Brown - is that all there is?

Here is a man who had his lifetime ambition snatched from under his nose by his best buddy and who spent the better part of the next 13 years plotting, scheming, agitating, conspiring, hustling and conniving to snatch it back. And when he finally gets his hands on the shiny keys of No 10, what does he find? That the job was not everything he had so fondly imagined. His current difficulties, I would suggest, are not so much a function of ineptitude as of existential confusion.

Posted by rental john @ 10:29 AM 0 Comments

Holiday Home USA

BullionVault: Holiday Home USA

Fanny Mae, the US-government backed mortgage lender, is urging British holiday-makers to take unsold stock of its hands. "Affordable housing opportunities," says the ad. "Find a holiday home in America..."

Posted by adrian ash @ 09:23 AM 0 Comments

Beyond farce

BBC: UBS's real loss

Swiss bank UBS is selling $22billion of its sub-prime mortgage assets to the private group Black Rock for a knockdown price of $15billion - a 32% loss. Not only that, but UBS is actually financing the deal themselves, lending Black Rock the money to buy the assets from itself. Huh?

Posted by little professor @ 08:48 AM 7 Comments

Still ramping? How quaint

Independent: Escape the rental trap

Haven't seen one of these articles for a few months. The Independent tells you how to "escape the rental trap" by putting forward such splendid options as shared ownership, buying a new-build, adding your parents to your mortgage, and clubbing together with friends to buy a property. I thought the writers of these kind of articles had given up the fight long ago. Strange to see one still battling on, like the Japanese soldiers after the end of WWII. 'Kato Harris, 28, a teacher, bought a one-bed flat in Lee, London. "I had a 103 per cent mortgage because everyone told me that if I didn't buy now, I would never get on the property ladder. But because Lee is cheap, I feel it'll be one of the last places to be hit by the slump." '

Posted by little professor @ 08:20 AM 24 Comments

Mass redundancies loom for housebuilders U.K. Homebuilding Industry to Cut Tens of Thousands of Jobs

``I've never seen a downturn escalate as quickly as this,'' the chairman said. Trying to compare it with previous downturns ``is like comparing apples and oranges.''

Posted by inthedelhi @ 07:44 AM 4 Comments

Four notches lower

FT: Moodys error gave top ratings to debt products

Moodys awarded incorrect triple-A ratings to billions of dollars worth of a type of complex debt product due to a bug in its computer models

Posted by sosoon @ 07:26 AM 18 Comments

The RBA has raised interest rates twice this year to stem inflation. The benchmark overnight cash rate target is at a 12-year high of 7.25%.

the age: The Reserve Bank's strategy of inflation targeting may lead to a "disaster'', a Nobel Prize-winning US economist has warned, adding it was "absurd'' for the RBA to think it could dampen global food and energy prices.

The RBA has raised interest rates twice this year to stem inflation. The benchmark overnight cash rate target is at a 12-year high of 7.25%.

Posted by chris @ 05:09 AM 0 Comments

CONSUMER sentiment improved slightly in May thanks to a post-budget bounce, but remains "disturbingly low", a survey says.

AUSTRALIAN: Consumer sentiment 'disturbingly' low

The Westpac-Melbourne Institute index of consumer sentiment, released today, rose by 2.7 per cent in May to 89.8 index points, from 87.4 points the previous month.

Posted by chris @ 03:26 AM 0 Comments

Housing affordability at record low

AUSTRALIAN: The Housing Industry Association/Commonwealth Bank first home buyer affordability index slumped by 3.5 per cent in the three months to the end of March. This is the worst result since the series began in 1984.

The latest index also was 10 per cent lower compared with the March quarter of 2007. The March quarter housing affordability index fall was double the December quarter's 1.7 per cent slide.

Posted by chris @ 03:25 AM 0 Comments

Taxpayers' money tied up in Northern Rock is more at risk than first thought, the nationalised lender's chairman, Ron Sandler, has conceded, as the credit crisis threatens to undermine its restructuring.

TELEGRAPH UK: Rock billions 'at risk in a downturn'

The key risks are what is happening in the wider economy. If we suffer a downturn and this leads to higher levels of unemployment, then this would place considerable strain on the ability of the company to deliver the plan."

Posted by chris @ 01:55 AM 8 Comments

Informal survey of housing costs

MoneySavingExpert: How much of your after-tax income goes on accommodation?

Vaguely interesting stats. Most people pay about the same proportion of their incomes on rent as on mortgages. Only 12% mortgage-free, surprisingly.

Posted by drewster @ 01:07 AM 0 Comments

Two million British citizens have left the UK in a decade, the greatest exodus from this country in almost a century, new figures will show.

TELEGRAPH UK: Two million Britons emigrate in 10 years

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) will release figures showing that more than 200,000 Britons emigrated during 2006. That will take the total number who left the country between 1997 and 2006 to 1.97 million.

Posted by chris @ 12:08 AM 0 Comments

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Hold On For Your Hats The Ride In The Dow Has Just Started So Get Selling And Beat The Crowds

cncb: LOOKING FOR A BIG DROP IN THE Dow Jones Industrial Average

Nicole Elliott from Mizuho Corporate Bank takes a technical look at the Dow Jones Transportation Index, the Dow Jones Utilities Index and Dow Jones Industrial Average.

Posted by chris @ 11:02 PM 2 Comments

Oil hit another intra-day high today before settling just under $130 a barrel. Walter Zimmermann, of United Energy and Mark Waggoner, of Excel Futures, share their insight.

CNBC: Crude Speculation

Oil hit another intra-day high today before settling just under $130 a barrel. Walter Zimmermann, of United Energy and Mark Waggoner, of Excel Futures, share their insight.

Posted by chris @ 11:00 PM 0 Comments

Covering all bases, is captain darling tipping a nod and a wink to possible higher rates

CNN Money: UK Darling: Inflation Poses 'Threat' To Economic Stability

In a speech to leading business lobby group, the Confederation of British Industry, Darling said "inflation, while at low levels compared to the peaks we have seen in the past, remains a threat to economic stability." "The Government fully supports the Monetary Policy the difficult decisions it faces as it balances the upside risk to inflation in the short term from global price shocks, against the longer term downside risk to growth and inflation," he said, according to a text of the speech. Both remarks signal a shift in language from Darling. MWWWHAHAHAHAAAAA and this clown and his mates run the country, as for the housing market, it cant possibly end any other way..they're doomed, doomed I tell ya!!

Posted by mr cobblepot @ 10:12 PM 0 Comments

Is this a thaw ?

Bloomberg: HBOS Sells First U.K. Mortgage-Backed Bonds This Year

"HBOS Plc, Britain's biggest mortgage bank, sold 500 million of bonds secured by U.K. mortgages, the first public sale of the debt since credit markets seized up last year".

Posted by alan @ 08:51 PM 8 Comments

They are lining up to get Gordo

SKY: 'UK Economy Is In Serious Trouble'

Speaking on the Jeff Randall Live programme is one of Britain's best-known entrepreneurs Theo Paphitis. He tells Michael Wilson the British economy is in serious trouble - and believes Government intervention is not helping.

Posted by alan @ 08:47 PM 0 Comments

Tuesday evening comedy club routine - "top of the bill" - Stuart Law

mortgagestrategy: No sign of housing market crash, says Assetz

Following on from the Express headline today :- There is no evidence of a housing market crash despite average house prices remaining flat, says the May edition of the Assetz House-Price Watch. The firm bases its statement on the five major UK house price indices that reveal an average of 1.7% annualised growth for the 12 months prior to April 2008. This is a 9.7% decrease from the April 2007 annual growth rate of 11.4% ................but in the long term....The effect of this release of demand back into the purchase sector will probably surprise many, supporting house prices and even causing them to grow again in due course."

Posted by jack c @ 07:55 PM 15 Comments

Is this because they'll be arrested for fraud if the don't go ?

BBC News website: Top bankers 'leaving US for Asia

Wonder when the UK exodus starts.

Posted by angonamo @ 07:43 PM 6 Comments

Life on the verge of financial disaster

BBC News: Thousands given mortgage warning

Homeowners in Scotland could be living one pay packet away from a housing crisis, Shelter Scotland has warned.

Posted by quiet guy @ 07:27 PM 0 Comments

Bye Bye 2nd Property 60,000 second homes could be sold off in slump

Demand for second homes in Britain will "plummet" over the next two years as up to 25% of those with more than one property sell up in response to falling property prices, according to a report out today. A study by Capital Economics, a forecasting and consultancy group, said almost 60,000 homes could be placed on the market in England alone, adding to the downward pressure on prices. The south west would be hardest hit with the Midlands the least affected part of the country. Now that the housing market correction is underway, expectations of house price growth have deteriorated significantly and the incentives to own a second home will fade.

Posted by plato @ 04:38 PM 20 Comments

Well, would you believe it?

The London Paper: Bogus London estate agent jailed for fraud

A bogus estate agent who sweet-talked would-be tenants out of thousands of pounds each was jailed for eight months today.

Posted by rental john @ 04:37 PM 1 Comments

George said...

Times: George Soros: Crunch will bite deeper in UK

In the UK weve had a housing bubble that in terms of price increases has been greater than in the United States. Thats also now going to be corrected - it is taking longer than in the States because you havent had over-building like in America."

Posted by confused76 @ 04:35 PM 13 Comments

Megabubble Soon To Burst

MarketWatch: Numbers Racket Exposes Potential Disaster For Economy

If Washington's harping on weapons of mass destruction was essential to buoy public support for the invasion of Iraq, the use of deceptive statistics has played its own vital role in convincing many Americans that the U.S. economy is stronger, fairer, more productive, more dominant, and richer with opportunity than it really is. The corruption has tainted the very measures that most shape public perception of the economy, especially three key numbers, CPI, GDP and monthly unemployment statistics

Posted by yoyo1 @ 04:21 PM 1 Comments

Pant wetting losses

Times: Slump pushes British Land into 1.6bn loss

British Land, Britain's second largest commercial property company, has written down the value of its shops and offices by 1.9 billion as it slumped to a 1.6 billion loss and gave warning of a further decline in property values for the year ahead. The decline in its holdings - 1.59 billion from its directly owned property and a 354 million decline in its share of joint ventures - drove the group into a pre-tax loss of 1.6 billion compared with profits of 1.2 billion a year ago.

Posted by rental john @ 02:15 PM 5 Comments

how long before it hits the UK consumer

CNN: America's Money: Gas crunch hits home

The record-high price of gasoline is putting a strain on American motorists - and spurring some to shift their habits. Here are their stories. Will British people change habits? or stop going to work because they can no longer afford petorl, sounds like a plan go on the dole because i cannot afford to drive to work anymore, well done Brown...

Posted by mark @ 01:49 PM 24 Comments

Governments Pre-planned Disclaimer Comes to Fruition

Bloomberg: Northern Rock Says Housing Decline May Hurt Debt Plan

``If house price were to decline 5, 10 or 15 percent, that would seriously impede fulfilling the plan,'' said Sandler, at a hearing of Parliament's Treasury Committee in London today. ``In the present housing climate, if things remain as they are, the plan can and will be delivered.'' And we all know which of the 2 is most likely dont we, and so does the government!!!

Posted by mr cobblepot @ 01:47 PM 13 Comments

Read between the lines, there is only one possible outcome

Forbes: U.K. Faces Housing Crisis

"While the U.K. economy remains remarkably strong and home-price falls are currently modest, signs are emerging of significant slowdown and pointing to a prolonged period of falling home prices. Moreover, contraction of equity withdrawal, falling new construction and the prospect that rising mortgage defaults could prolong the credit crisis may dampen further GDP growth" Listen, in the absence of a major global upcycle that would benefit the UK disproportionally (is it just me? but I do not see it) how do you keep this inflated prices up? The only other way is to shave an additional 20 to 30% off Pound.

Posted by confused76 @ 01:06 PM 3 Comments

Merryn tells it like it is

Moneyweek: No oil or housing shortage, just a lack of common sense

We have such a vast oversupply of houses in the UK that Gordon Brown is proposing to spend 200m to buy up some of the excess. There is a nice irony in seeing the government, whose tax and easy-money policies drove the buy-to-let bubble, backed into becoming a buy-to-let investor itself just as everyone else rushes for the exit. This seemingly sudden surplus of new houses throws light on the nonsense that has been used to rationalise the housing bubble over the past decade. The thing in short supply was never houses. No, it was common sense.

Posted by little professor @ 12:12 PM 4 Comments

sky-rocketing oil prices, are merely accelerating a descent into the abyss

Online Journal: There is more than meets the eye about the world food crisis

On 2 April, World Bank President Robert Zoellick told a meeting in Washington that there are 33 countries where price hikes could cause widespread social unrest. The UN World Food Programme called the crisis the silent tsunami, with wheat prices almost doubling in the past year alone, and stocks falling to the lowest level since the perilous post-WWII days. One billion people live on less than $1 a day. Some 850 million are starving. Meanwhile, world food production increased a mere 1 per cent in 2006, and, with increasing amounts of output going to biofuels, per capita consumption is declining.

Posted by malct @ 11:32 AM 9 Comments

Iceland's nasty financial hangover

MoneyWeek: Why Iceland is suffering a nasty financial hangover

"Banks all over the world have spent much of the few years bingeing on cheap money, but Iceland's taken the whole thing to quite an extreme." "Joining the Euro would mean offering up a decent chunk of sovereignty at the the EUs altar. But then, given that interest rates in Iceland are running at 15.5% and that in the Eurozone they remain at 4%, it might also offer the suffering Icelanders the hair of the dog they really need right now."

Posted by damien @ 11:30 AM 1 Comments

Inflation 70s style on its way?

FT: Insight: Life wont be easy in the nasty decade

From yesterday's FT. Suggests that there is no reason, given very low interest rates, that inflation won't take off as in the 1970s. Also suggests that property is one a the few assets to make real returns under these conditions. Not in the early 70s.

Posted by letthemfall @ 11:26 AM 10 Comments

Secondary effects taking hold in middle America

BBC News: Taking the pulse of Culpeper

Very interesting series of films, showing how the secondary effects of the downturn are taking hold. The US is roughly 9 months ahead of us into the downturn - this is UK next winter..

Posted by uncle tom @ 10:54 AM 0 Comments

Ambrose Evans-Pritchard - aka Mr Bear

The Telegraph: ECBs Trichet calls crisis 'very serious'as troubles reach Europe

The European Central Bank has warned that the world economy is still in the grip of a "very serious market correction" and risks repeating the inflation debacle of the early 1970s if global authorities respond by slashing interest rates too soon.

Posted by sold 2 rent 1 @ 10:20 AM 4 Comments

Bit of (West London landlord) anecdotal evidence here + bit of BBC op-ed there = Factual news

BBC "News": 'Rents rise' as house prices fall

With typically lopsided reporting panache, the BBC claims it to be fact that rent prices everywhere are rising. Widespread oversupply of new build flats is given a cursory nod, then dismissed as "niche market". This is breathtakingly biased reporting. Why have the BBC chosen to only interview West London landlords only? Why have they chosen to dismiss the rest of the country? All questions that should be answered by any credible state media - if only we had one. There is no comments section in the BBC media, and Have Your Say is heavily censored.

Posted by paul @ 10:12 AM 30 Comments

Credit Crunch meteor causes mass extinction....

The Scotsman: Estate agents facing the future as an endangered species

But Matthew Gray, property services director at Pagan Osborne in Edinburgh, said the better agents would survive. Estate agents with genuine expertise and experience will continue to play a very valuable role. Due to a shortage of housing UK-wide, this is a market place that demands expertise, especially now. The best will adapt and prove their worth, with the survivors growing in size.

Posted by rental john @ 09:41 AM 0 Comments

With NO-profits!

The Scotsman: Standard Life rules out 100m with-profits fund

STANDARD Life has rejected a call to divert 100 million a year from its profits to fund a decade-long programme to fill the firm's endowment policy "black hole". The plea to bolster the fund, set aside to cover shortfalls in with-profits mortgage endowments, came at the company's annual general meeting in Edinburgh yesterday. Guess Brown and Darling won't loose any sleep over this issue.....! Think I'll change my blog name to 'who stole my endowment'!

Posted by rental john @ 09:32 AM 0 Comments

What to expect from a discredited government

ThisIsMoney: 10bn lost in tax credit mistakes

"Fraud and error in the tax credit system has cost the taxpayer 10bn over just four years. The amount is enough to pay for the 2012 Olympics or equal to just over 3p on income tax. The overpayment crisis runs alongside a growing controversy over the way tax credits favour single parents at the expense of couples. Researchers have shown that some couples would be 100 a week better off if they split up thanks to the effect of tax credits" This is the beginning of the collapse of the Labour social policies as we know them! long overdue!

Posted by confused76 @ 08:56 AM 4 Comments

Pay buy-to-let with benefit money!

Times: Councils culpable as benefits fraudsters steal 140 million from taxpayers

With 6m people on benefits, 140m of fraud is a clear understatement. "A tenant who claimed benefits for homelessness and was given a tenancy had actually bought two homes in different London boroughs and was renting out both" what a surprise!! if you suspect or hear about these abuses report them to your Council and the DWP Hotline 0800 854 440

Posted by confused76 @ 08:49 AM 4 Comments

More of the same but...

BBC News: Food price rises 'to hit UK hard'

As mentioned, this is more of the same inflation news. what makes this interesting is the final couple of paragraphs. Ernst & Young are seriously suggesting removing Food and Fuel from the inflation measures. I mean - what's the point of monitoring the cost of living and removing the essentials of living. I can't eat HD TVs. "Inflation's getting out of control... we need a way to control the rise in food and fuel prices. Any ideas?" "Stop measuring the food and fuel prices?" Also - the fairyland tale rate of 1.7% inflation from food and fuel? Please.

Posted by cautiously pessimistic @ 08:47 AM 5 Comments

House prices won't crash!

Times: Citigroup shuts UK call centre and 49 branches

Citigroup announced plans yesterday to extricate itself completely from new sub-prime lending in Britain, with the loss of up to 700 jobs. The American bank is closing down Future Mortgages, its mortgage operation, and CitiFinancial, its unsecured loans business.

Posted by confused76 @ 07:58 AM 4 Comments

Food for thought

Market Oracle: Grain Markets Panic Buying, Export Controls, and Food Riots

Last month Taylor delivered some bad news. He pegs the odds of a major drought at 1 in 3, about double the usual risk. "There is a significant chance of drought," he said. At Iowa State , Taylor seeks to put the reams of weather data into historical context. A major drought typically strikes the Midwest every 18 or 19 years, and the last one hit in 1988. Taylor noted the average length of time between major Midwest droughts is 18.6 years. "The longest gap between major droughts in 800 years is 23 years, so if we don't have one by 2011, we'll break an 800 year-old record," Taylor said "We're overdue," he noted.

Posted by sold 2 rent 1 @ 07:47 AM 12 Comments

Headline trying to stop a crash...

Express [Who else?]: HOUSE PRICES WONT CRASH

''...HOME owners received a double dose of good news yesterday as experts dismissed predictions of a property crash and Britains biggest mortgage lender cut its rates. Despite doom-mongers gloomy forecasts, house prices remain up on last year with annual growth at 1.7 per cent last month....''

Posted by hpwatcher @ 07:17 AM 35 Comments

Crisis continues to build..........

Telegraph: Mortgage debt fears hit banks' shares

''...Bradford & Bingley's (B&B) shares slumped to a record low amid fresh fears about the mortgage market. Jitters about a potential increase in bad debts also hit other UK banks, including HBOS, owner of Halifax and Bank of Scotland, and Royal Bank of Scotland. The further slide in banking shares came as investors focused on problems that could lie ahead for the UK's banks. ...''

Posted by hpwatcher @ 06:38 AM 3 Comments

This latest result is the first Roy Morgan Consumer Confidence Rating since September 1993 to be less than 100.0 points. Gary Morgan says

marshallplace: The May Roy Morgan Consumer Confidence Rating is 97.1, down 3 points from April and a massive 25.4 points below the May 2007 result of122.5

"The large jump in Australians who expect their family to be in a worse financial situation in a year's time shows Australians are beginning to worry that the downturn in economic conditions is likely to affect them and their families."The Reserve Bank, which finally noticed the distress in the community and did not again raise interest rates at its meeting earlier this week, May 6, should be dropping interest rates at its next meeting in June before the Australian economy enters a recession Australians don't need."

Posted by chris @ 06:28 AM 0 Comments

The recent surge in crude oil, gold and copper prices to record highs has reignited the stock market.

Hold on tight, because it's about to hit hard. The great mortgage meltdown is coming.

ninemsn: Already record numbers of Australian homebuyers are going to the wall.

it set off a chain reaction that's now being felt all around the world. Including, right here in Australia Already record numbers of Australian homebuyers are going to the wall

Posted by chris @ 05:09 AM 1 Comments

Get informed.

Revolver Entertainment: Taking the Liberties

Think that you may want to protest at some point against the theft of our wealth from monetising the debt? From bailing out international financiers with our money? From being priced out of having a home and family by the banks for the past decade? Think again. Good O'l Mr Blair took away that liberty from you. Watch "TAKING THE LIBERTY" to see what you don't read in the newspapers. It is a shocking but hilarious polemic documentary that charts the destruction of all your Basic Liberties under 10 Years of New Labour. Released to coincide with Tony Blair's departure, the film and the book follow the stories of normal people who's lives have been turned upside down by injustice - from being arrested for holding a placard outside parliament to being tortured in Guantanamo Bay.

Posted by planning4acrash @ 02:02 AM 20 Comments

Monday, May 19, 2008

Sound the air raid siren - things are getting desperate!!

Money Supermarket: BRADFORD & BINGLEY - High Life 2-in-1 Saver Issue 2 - 8%!!!!!!

Northern Rock sequel with or without bank bailout!

Posted by cheekie charlie @ 11:54 PM 0 Comments

Ztuart's at it again

Press Association: House price inflation flatlines

House price inflation continued to flatline in April but there remained no evidence of a market crash, new figures show. The latest House Price Watch by property firm Assetz recorded annual growth at 1.7% last month. Despite a slump since the beginning of the year, house prices are still showing annual increases - suggesting that the market is levelling out rather than heading towards a bust. Stuart Law, chief executive of Assetz, said the figures indicate that doomsayers' predictions of a market crash were misplaced.

Posted by little professor @ 11:11 PM 6 Comments

Another one bites the dust (with the loss of 400 jobs in Sunderland)

mortgagestrategy: Future Mortgages to close

Future Mortgages is closing down for new business as of Wednesday May 21. The lender says it is advising brokers and packagers of the news and that it is honouring all pipeline business. A spokesman for the lender says: "With effect from Wednesday we are closing down for new business. This will be a controlled shutdown." Citigroup, future's owner, will also stop new lending through its CitiFinancial personal loans business.

Posted by jack c @ 09:27 PM 3 Comments

Ding Ding Round Two!

Guardian: C&G pulls its entire mortgage range

C&G pull there entire mortgage range. The new range will be 0.25% higher.

Posted by who stole my pension? @ 07:37 PM 9 Comments

The statistics also suggest that the Bank of England's attempt to manage the economy through the base rate is failing in spectacular style.

mail: Lenders push up cost of personal loans despite Bank of England cutting rates three times

Banks are pushing up the cost of personal loans - boosting profit margins - despite the Bank of England's decision to cut the base rate three times

Posted by chris @ 07:23 PM 0 Comments

American downturn to be short-lived U.S. Economy: Leading Economic Indicators Index Rose in April

The index of leading U.S. economic indicators rose in April for a second month, the first back-to- back gain since October 2006, signaling that the current slowdown will be short-lived. The Conference Board's gauge increased 0.1 percent, better than forecast and matching the gain in March, the New York-based research group said today. The measure points to the direction of the economy over the next three to six months.

Posted by morbotheterrible @ 06:56 PM 1 Comments

One of Thatcher's many legacies

Times: 100,000-plus face endowment shortfall

I have endownments with Standard Life - and feel like I am handing money over to a gambling addict - in the hope he will one day get a big win. FSA?, Financial Ombudsman?....don't get me started!

Posted by rental john @ 06:51 PM 2 Comments

One of the MPC's saner members quits. Little hope for a sane replacement

Telegraph: Rachel Lomax to leave Bank of England, sparking Treasury row

I wonder if the people in government will choose a dove or a hawk at this crucial time? Prudence or profilgacy? Hmmm. Sensible high borrowing costs or "'to hell with it all' keep the cheap money coming!" mentality needed right now ...

Posted by paul @ 06:40 PM 0 Comments

Eye watering figures at the bottom of article

Bloomberg: Banks Keep $35 Billion Markdown Off Income Statements

Banks and securities firms, reeling from record losses resulting from the collapse of the mortgage securities market, are failing to acknowledge in their income statements at least $35 billion of additional writedowns included in their balance sheets, regulatory filings show.

Posted by rental john @ 06:30 PM 0 Comments

Bradford & Bungle

Bloomberg: Bradford & Bingley Plunges on U.K. Mortgage Outlook

Bradford & Bingley dropped 16 percent to 112 pence, the lowest close since its initial public offering in December 2000, valuing the bank at 692 million pounds ($1.3 billion). Edinburgh- based HBOS Plc, Britain's biggest mortgage lender, dropped 1.4 percent, and Leicester-based Alliance & Leicester declined 2.4 percent in London trading.

Posted by rental john @ 06:24 PM 1 Comments


Bloomberg: UBS $100 Billion Wager Prompted $24 Billion Loss in Nine Months

"In the nine months ended on March 31, UBS lost 25.4 billion Swiss francs ($24.3 billion), more than any other bank caught in the worldwide credit crunch. Shareholders say Chairman Ospel and his fellow managers took a profitable Swiss bank and wrecked it on the shoals of structured finance and subprime mortgages".

Posted by alan @ 05:51 PM 0 Comments

Bradford & Bingley Plunges on U.K. Mortgage Outlook

Bloomberg: Bradford & Bingley Plunges on U.K. Mortgage Outlook

Bradford & Bingley Plc, the U.K.'s biggest lender to landlords, fell to an all-time low as Panmure Gordon & Co. said the economic outlook worsened ``significantly.'' Bradford & Bingley dropped 16 percent to 112 pence, the lowest close since its initial public offering in December 2000, valuing the bank at 692 million pounds ($1.3 billion). Edinburgh- based HBOS Plc, Britain's biggest mortgage lender, dropped 1.4 percent, and Leicester-based Alliance & Leicester declined 2.4 percent in London trading.

Posted by robert stirling @ 05:51 PM 0 Comments

BTL investors under more financial pressure

MortgageSolutions: BTL deals above a psychological 6%

Mortgages for Business, the specialist buy-to-let mortgage broker, has warned landlords almost all buy-to-let products in the marketplace are now priced above a psychological 6% - a trend they expect to continue for the foreseeable future. The firm noted Cheltenham and Gloucester last week withdrew its 5.89% five year fixed mortgage replacing it with a 6.29% five year fixed rate. Jonathan Moore, head of marketing at Mortgages for Business comments: Other than a few exclusives available for a limited period, all mortgages on our sourcing system, which searches the market, are priced above 6%. This is first time we have seen this situation this year and certainly for several years. Lenders with mortgage products below 6% have been flooded with applications and have been forced to withdraw

Posted by jack c @ 05:05 PM 3 Comments

Monday evening at The Comedy Club - Paragons latest buy-to-let (BTL) index.

FT Adviser: Rental incomes rise 14 per cent

Rents continued to rise in April as tenant demand for private rented properties grew. Rents have risen nearly 14 per cent over the last year to stand at an average annual income of 12,048 in April, having broken the 1,000 a month barrier in March.Paragon also revealed that the buoyancy in the private rented sector has been spurred on by the fact people in their thirties and forties still cannot afford to get on the property ladder and are having to rent instead.

Posted by jack c @ 04:55 PM 25 Comments

The tax & spend days of Labour are coming to an end

Mail: Cameron calls for Government to 'live within its means' in return to Thatcherite values

''...David Cameron today echoed Margaret Thatcher by promising "good housekeeping" to purge waste from government and - eventually - deliver tax cuts. In a keynote speech he promised that a future Conservative government will use the saved funds for "essentials" and to ease the tax burden on families. ...''

Posted by hpwatcher @ 04:11 PM 17 Comments

The lie that is CPI.....

Mail: Food prices rising at the fastest rate since records began 10 years ago

''...Food prices are rising at their fastest rate since records began more than a decade ago, according to devastating figures published today. The cost of 'basic' food from flour to eggs and beef mince to cheese have soared to prices never seen before. The figures, from the Office for National Statistics, highlight the crippling impact on families struggling to afford their weekly shopping bill. ...''

Posted by hpwatcher @ 04:07 PM 5 Comments

Guess who voted for a cut

Reuters: BoE minutes expected to show 8:1 vote to hold rates

Minutes of the Bank of England's May 7 policy meeting on Wednesday are expected to show only arch-dove David Blanchflower voted for an interest rate cut this month. Minutes of last month's meeting revealed a three-way split on the nine-member monetary policy committee. Blanchflower voted to cut rates by 50 basis points, two others voted to leave rates on hold and the remaining 6 voted to cut rates by a quarter-point.

Posted by little professor @ 03:20 PM 9 Comments

The next building bust

CNN: The next building bust

Nonresidential construction held up as housing slumped. But a slowdown for offices, hotels and malls is looming, which could be another jolt to the economy.

Posted by mark @ 02:56 PM 2 Comments

the new homeless

CNN: The new homeless 3:21

Scroll down videos and watch the one about the new homeless in the states...

Posted by mark @ 02:54 PM 1 Comments

"Bluffers" guide to property surveys

BBC Working Lunch: Housing Price Surveys

Analysis of what's happening in the housing market, as the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors warns of a 40% fall this year, while property website Rightmove says asking prices are actually up over 2% last year. This part of the programme starts at 6 mins into the show.

Posted by jack c @ 02:54 PM 2 Comments

Why you should sell this May and go away

MoneyWeek: Why you should sell this May and go away

The FTSE 100 is riding high despite six months of financial turmoil. But with more credit-crunch fallout to come and commodities ripe for a correction, its now time to sell up.

Posted by damien @ 02:28 PM 0 Comments

Buying off plan - then plan to be ripped off!

Independent: How much will a new build cost if you fall for a freebie?

With mortgage lenders cautious about anything less than two years old, Laura Howard finds developers resorting to desperate measures to attract buyers

Posted by rental john @ 02:04 PM 0 Comments

"When sorrows come, they come not single spies, but in battalions".

Independent: Plan to oust Brown as MPs claim he has lost support

Not directly related to HPC - but may reset hpwatcher's countdown....

Posted by rental john @ 01:56 PM 0 Comments

Fun with numbers

FT: House sales to decline by third, says Rics

8 out of 10 owners say their cat thinks prices will fall sort of thing. The site marks this as a duplicate article, but I can't find it in the listings so I'll post anyway. "For 2009, Rics envisages further weakness in the early part of the year, followed by an improvement in market conditions." That's what they said in '92.

Posted by letthemfall @ 01:53 PM 9 Comments

More nails in the coffin?

Guardian: Agents axe free home pack offers

'We had one client a few weeks ago who was having problems paying her mortgage and wanted to put her home on the market,' said Daniel Carter, managing director of Jonathan Hunt, an estate agent in Ware, Hertfordshire. 'She couldn't afford the upfront cost of the Hip and couldn't defer payment because of problems with her credit record.'

Posted by rental john @ 01:44 PM 0 Comments

Number of transactions could fall by 40%

FT: House sales to decline by third, says Rics

The number of house sales could slide by more than a third this year unless economic circumstances improve, according to the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors. House prices are set to fall by 5 per cent, the professional body will predict on Monday, but the most striking impact of the credit squeeze will be on the number of transactions, which could drop by up to 40 per cent.

Posted by rental john @ 01:34 PM 0 Comments

Another take on Broon's housing policy

Daily Mash: Government to give your neighbour's house to junkies

"Junkies are finding it increasingly difficult to get onto the housing ladder as they deal with the combined pressures of taking crack, swearing at each other as loudly as they can and throwing their rubbish over the garden fence."

Posted by montesquieu @ 12:05 PM 9 Comments

Hear from the man who is ultimately setting the UK base rate

Times: Jean Claude Trichet warns of 'very significant market correction'

"acting to restrain rampant inflationary growth was the best way to ensure stability and job security. Price stability and credibility in price stability in the medium term is the best way to have a high level of sustainable growth and sustainable job creation, he told the BBC"

Posted by confused76 @ 11:13 AM 3 Comments

A&L and B&B fall on short selling

Citywire: Bradford & Bingley plummets on bad debt worries

Shares in embattled lender Bradford & Bingley fell more than 9% on Monday morning on worries over bad debts. Its FTSE 100 rival Alliance & Leicester was also trading down over 3% after Goldman Sachs cut its price target from 438p to 350p. A&L is being watched closely for a decision on a rights issue to shore up its own capital base after announcing worse than expected write downs of 192 million last week.

Posted by jack c @ 11:01 AM 7 Comments

"if the government were expecting housing market salvation to come from the Old Lady of Threadneedle Street they were backing the wrong horse"

BBC: Will Bank of England's rescue plan work?

When the Bank of England launched its Special Liquidity Scheme, the Bank and the government had rather different ideas about what would count as a success. Four weeks on, the Bank thinks the 50bn-plus official bank lending scheme has done what it was asked to do, though it is still early days. The government is less enthused. I'm told that Number Ten advisors have been calling in City experts to explain why the programme has not had more impact. (Stephanie FlandersEconomics editor, BBC News)

Posted by jack c @ 10:46 AM 14 Comments

So called middle class under huge debt pressure

Firstrung: Middle class debt stretching agencies to limit

As the cost of credit rises, and fixed rate mortgage deals end, middle class people who took out loans when money was cheap are turning to advice agencies who used to see mainly benefit claimants and social housing tenants...Transact member Community Money Advice (CMA), which supports money advice services across the UK and Ireland, says one of its centres in Haywards Heath has had to close its doors to new cases because of the dramatic increase in demand.

Posted by converted lurker @ 10:26 AM 2 Comments

Money, CPI, and bubbles

Zeal LLC: Money Inflation

It is ironic that the surges in money never go into the sector the Fed is trying to bail out. The tech-stock bailout attempt went into housing. And the housing bail out is already starting to flow into commodities. This is a serious problem for the Fed. When monetary inflation hit tech stocks and housing, people saw it as good. But when monetary inflation hits commodities, most folks arent going to be thrilled.

Posted by sold 2 rent 1 @ 09:58 AM 24 Comments

Starring Brown, Boom and Bust. Misdirected by Prudence

Telegraph: UK economic hangover set to worsen after 16 years of plenty

"After all, the fall in house prices has only just begun. When you look at the scale of over-valuation in the housing market (about which I have been banging on for years) and the scale of the coming squeeze on bank lending (about which I have been banging on for the last few months) you have to imagine that house prices have much further to fall."

Posted by letthemfall @ 09:08 AM 4 Comments

Are we too dim to save?

MoneyWeek: Are we too dim to save?

" awful lot of people in the UK dont save not because they are too dim to open a bank account, but because they get paid the minimum wage. After paying all Gordon Browns rapacious taxes, their out-of-control mortgage or rent, buying a few bus tickets and eating, theyre lucky not to be bankrupt. Saving is a distant dream."

Posted by damien @ 09:03 AM 4 Comments

Is UK CPI 'adjusted' too?

Dailyreckoning: Consumer Price Indexes May Lie

The IMF, for example, says food prices rose 43% last year. Yet, after the feds waved their wands, US food costs were up only 5.1%. And import costs rose 15% year to year according to the numbers when they first got off the boat. But by the time the Labor Department statisticians had finished adjusting them, they were down to only 0.2%. Inflation may be worse than the consumer price index shows, reports a suspicious USA Today.

Posted by cornishman @ 08:17 AM 13 Comments

Young_mark bypasses HPC site

BBC News: PM launching online question time

Gordon Brown is seeking to embrace the digital age by launching an online version of prime minister's questions. In an introductory video on the Downing Street YouTube site, Mr Brown says the online question and answer sessions will be a "regular event" and offers to answer questions on globalisation, climate change, housing, jobs and public services. "Politicians get a chance in prime minister's question time and other question times - I think it's time the public had a chance," he says.

Posted by cornishman @ 07:44 AM 12 Comments

surveyors warn of home sales fall of 40%

bbc: surveyors warn of home sales fall

sheer panic in the market imo.....this is just the lull before the fall and prices I believe will fall for 5-10 years

Posted by taffee @ 06:55 AM 13 Comments

The failure of two home builders is a serious jolt and the worry if that it is a sign of things to come .

afr: Australian Housing collapses ring alarm bells

Australian Housing collapses ring alarm bells The failure of two home builders is a serious jolt and the worry if that it is a sign of things to come . The largest project home builder in NSW BBeechwood Homes , collapsed this week throwing hundreds of home buyers and sub contractors into limbo

Posted by chris @ 06:14 AM 0 Comments

An alternative reality.....

Express: HOUSE PRICES UP 3,000

''...Peter Bolton King, chief executive of the National Association of Estate Agents, said: There is no housing crisis. We do not have a credit crisis. If anything, we have only a crisis of confidence. Property in Scotland is selling, as are homes across the UKs university towns, for example....''

Posted by hpwatcher @ 05:57 AM 18 Comments

Such a fall would threaten a wider recession as furniture and carpet stores and firms selling fridges, washing machines and other household products all suffer the knock-on effects

mail: House sales set to plummet by 'up to 40 per cent', warn experts

Others to feel the pain would include estate agents, where thousands are already being made redundant, and solicitors specialising in conveyancing. RICS warned that the number of home sales could plunge by around 400,000 to approximately 600,000 and said the second half of the year would be a "difficult period for the housing market".

Posted by chris @ 04:27 AM 1 Comments

Debt advice centres in middle-class areas have seen increases of up to 500 per cent in the numbers of people pleading for help. There are even fears of suicides prompted by despair and shame.

mail: Now desperate middle class families face huge debt crisis as more and more professionals plunge into the red

Middle Britain has been hit by a devastating debt crisis, experts said yesterday. Even apparently well-off people with good jobs have plunged into the red.

Posted by chris @ 04:07 AM 2 Comments

Newspeak - Relevant today, as ever. 1984 - George Orwell

For discussion purposes. Much of the VI nonsense about house prices is ominously similar to George Orwell's Newspeak language, which cuts out words that do not match the aims of Big Brother. The basic idea behind Newspeak is to remove all shades of meaning from language, leaving simple dichotomies which reinforce the total dominance of the State. The underlying theory of Newspeak is that if something can't be said, then it can't be thought. Generically, Newspeak has come to mean any attempt to restrict disapproved language by a government or other powerful entity. - I'll start off. The use of statistics like CPI deflecting attention from monetary expansion. Negative price growth, eliminating the phrase: price falls. The national socialist dichotomy of blaming immigrants for high prices.

Posted by planning4acrash @ 01:04 AM 11 Comments

Asking prices up 1.2% - but Shipside turns bear!

Rightmove: Wrong tactics for market recovery [pdf]

Average asking price up 1.2% in May, marking a record high of 242,500. Figures are skewed by "discretionary" selling of expensive properties in the South. In 6 out of ten regions, there are year-on-year falls. Miles Shipside, commercial director of Rightmove comments: New sellers can see the storm clouds overhead but seem to believe its only raining on other people. The reality is it started raining last September, and has reached storm force in the last month. Sellers who are hanging out to achieve last years prices need to accept that the market has fallen and that they will end up being punished in the long-run.

Posted by little professor @ 12:35 AM 10 Comments

Cry for help from Judy Heywood's career advisor

Times Online: Cry for help from debt-ridden middle class

The article starts off sensibly enough in the leading few paragraphs, but then as soon as she has everyone's attention, she starts spouting rubbish. She stoops to desperately talking up rental prices (thereby trying to talk up yields for property "investors"- and wait for the logic - according to Hometrack rents must be increasing, because people are not buying. This non-sequitur casually ignores the fact that there is a vast smelly throng of buy-to-let landlords being hammered by rising mortgage costs and falling rents. When the price of apples goes down, the price of oranges can only go up ... rright?

Posted by paul @ 12:14 AM 1 Comments

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Government cornered as the House Price Economy and Its Finances go pear shaped

thisismoney: 'Big tax rises' on way after 10p debacle

Experts are predicting big tax rises next spring to help bail out the Government at the ultimate expense of the Mortgage and Debt burdoned British Taxpayer so it looks like were in for a re-run of the 1970's again, but without any sound undergarments this time.

Posted by enuii @ 11:06 PM 4 Comments

I wish that we had a politician making these statements. He could be a HPC blogger!

Ron Paul Blog: Big Government Responsible for Housing Bubble

"many in Washington fail to realize it was government intervention that brought on the current economic malaise in the first place." "The solution is for government to stop micromanaging the economy and let the market adjust, as painful as that will be for some. We should not force taxpayers, including renters and more frugal homeowners, to switch places with the speculators and take on those same risks that bankrupted them."

Posted by planning4acrash @ 10:27 PM 3 Comments

Starts crash as builders down tools

Firstrung: House building crashes by 21% inside the past three months

House building crashes by 21% inside the past three months The latest national statistics on house building were released under the auspices of the UK Statistics Authority on 15 May 2008...Statistics in this release present figures on new build housing starts and completions in England. Figures for the UK and constituent countries are also available in the accompanying tables. The latest statistics report on the period January to March 2008 and update those previously released on 14 February 2008. Key points from the latest release are: There were an estimated 32,100 seasonally adjusted housing starts for all dwellings in England in the March quarter 2008, down by 21 per cent on the previous quarter and 24 per cent lower than the March quarter 2007.

Posted by converted lurker @ 01:38 PM 29 Comments

How long before they're taking 'Giros' off people like in the 80's?

Firstrung: Pay day loans see increase of fifty five percent since September 2007

With the prices of the essentials of life such as basic foods and petrol continuing to spiral out of control, a record number of Brits are turning to payday loans to help tide them over financially... Research from price comparison site shows the take-up of short-term payday loans has seen a massive upswing, increasing by over 55 per cent since September.

Posted by converted lurker @ 01:36 PM 2 Comments

Express continues their propaganda run

Sunday Express: Bargain Britain for Shoppers

Still no new developments on either the Princess Diana or Madeline McCann stories, so the Daily Express continues to tell us how wonderful the economy is, this time by reporting on the exceptionally low inflation we are experiencing at the moment.

Posted by jonb @ 11:18 AM 19 Comments

more of the same

Orange News: credit crunch

A debt advice charity says it cannot cope with demands for help in some of the most affluent parts of the country. Transact said the increase was most dramatic among the middle classes, with many professionals and homeowners unable to cope with their debts.

Posted by sitting tight @ 10:55 AM 2 Comments

Sinking ships and rats?

Independent: Treasury on back foot as deputy Governor quits

Considered to be a brilliant administrator, Ms Lomax spent her early career at the Treasury, where she was private secretary to Nigel Lawson, then Chancellor, in the mid-1980s. In a recent speech, Ms Lomax described the credit crunch as the "largest-ever peacetime liquidity crisis" and conceded there were many uncertainties facing the markets. She will have helped draw up the Bank's special liquidity scheme, launched a few weeks ago, which injected 50bn into the market by allowing banks to swap their mortgage securities for gilts.

Posted by rental john @ 10:52 AM 0 Comments

All the way down!

Independent: Commercial market heading for 30% slump, warn property gurus

Key stat from the article, commercial property is down 20% already compare to a year ago. Can anybody guess what logic the VIs will come up with to explain why this won't happen to residential?

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 10:50 AM 0 Comments

CPI is Orwellian Newspeak

Mises: What you should know about inflation

I just found the whole book online! Wikepidea ROCKS!! From: Anybody who wants to understand houseprice inflation, oil inflation, any inflation, MUST read this genius.

Posted by planning4acrash @ 09:36 AM 17 Comments

Credit Crunch Over????

Times: Credit crunch fails to produce the feared economic catastrophe

So what next?? The central bans are pumping money in and banks now have cash ... and are making profits from oil etc etc. Is this it now then - what of all the govt debt. My next door neighbour is an ex bank manager for Barclays and now an IFA for SME's, he says that this was only a liquidity problem and the bank bailout was right. He says now back to business and the credit boom can carry on???

Posted by waitingfor hpc @ 09:21 AM 10 Comments

No-One Is Safe

Transact: Middle class debt stretching agencies to limit

"As the cost of credit rises, and fixed rate mortgage deals end, middle class people who took out loans when money was cheap are turning to advice agencies who used to see mainly benefit claimants and social housing tenants. Transact member Community Money Advice (CMA), which supports money advice services across the UK and Ireland, says one of its centres in Haywards Heath has had to close its doors to new cases because of the dramatic increase in demand." The combination of increased taxes, increased costs and runaway credit have made life unaffordable even for the relatively wealthy.

Posted by renting2 @ 07:49 AM 9 Comments

Economic evolution - are we heading for a 'mass extinction'?

ABC Radio: Lessons from financial history - Professor Niall Ferguson

A long but interesting programme worth a listen - it draws parallels between evolution and economics and discusses are we heading for a 'great dying' in our financial and economic institutions as a result of the credit crunch.

Posted by ao @ 02:45 AM 0 Comments

The real reason why property prices are so high manifests itself...

Guardian - The Observer: Epidemic of debt spreads to Britain's middle class

Easy money, borrowed to pay for extras and luxuries, is a big contributor to the problem, says Richard Blake, from Meridian Money Advice in Greenwich. 'Many of the people we are seeing borrowed money over the past couple of years simply because they could. I had a young semi-professional in last week who owns her home and had borrowed 25,000. When I asked her what she had borrowed the money for, she couldn't tell me. We never saw this kind of thing until recently,' he says.

Posted by inthedelhi @ 02:30 AM 4 Comments

Hot US property market!

Guardian: Fire sale

It may be an extreme way to kiss goodbye to a dream home but a growing number of Americans are torching their properties when they find themselves overwhelmed by sub-prime mortgages.

Posted by quiet guy @ 02:20 AM 2 Comments

The Fruit of Greed

The Times: Is Britain's love affair with the property market finally over?

The fishing stories about houses you wish youd bought, the buy-to-let plans, the fantasies of gains on foreign properties these conversations diminish as the mood becomes more chastening. Meanwhile, the people facing repossession and perhaps also the general public have learnt the value of suspicion. Dont trust banks an inch, says Sir Charles Wolseley. Theyll force lending on you in fine weather and claw it back when its stormy.

Posted by quiet guy @ 02:14 AM 4 Comments

Saturday, May 17, 2008

This is called 'Progress'

THE INDEPENDENT: Prices up, profits up: businesses pass on cost of economic crunch to the consumer

Concern is rising that consumers rather than businesses are bearing the full cost of the credit and raw material crunches that are destabilising the world economy and threatening to plunge some countries, including Britain, into recession. One step forward Two steps back !

Posted by plato @ 09:41 PM 1 Comments

Housing crisis in full swing

Standard: Town halls fear two million families will need social housing

Councils are struggling to cope with the flood of people turning to them for housing because of soaring mortgage costs, high property prices - particularly in London and the South-East - and more repossessions. Experts have already predicted that young middle-class people face having to live in council houses because they will be unable to buy or rent a private property." Tell me, how are prices and rents going to rise if people can't afford them?

Posted by confused76 @ 05:58 PM 17 Comments


Telegraph: Cost of Living

Cartoon on the cost of living and press previous for one on Gordons re-launch

Posted by who stole my pension? @ 03:08 PM 4 Comments

The Bank is not blameless

John Redwood: Why has the government and the Bank of England failed us on inflation?

John asks the BoE ten questions. Long article and I suspect some will dissagree with some of what he says.

Posted by who stole my pension? @ 02:27 PM 6 Comments

4.6 million households without fulltime employment

chennel4: 4.6 million households without fulltime employment

shows more of the crash gordon b*****cks of employment....on benefits more like of credit cards

Posted by taffee @ 01:27 PM 9 Comments

Uh oh

FT: Inflation figures damp hopes of ease on lending

"Borrowers should brace themselves for yet more increases to mortgage rates as the latest jump in inflation and a bleak economic picture renew the pressure on lenders." Dear oh dear.

Posted by letthemfall @ 11:51 AM 0 Comments

Just the excuse than Banks need to hike mortgages rates to cover their forthcoming losses

Times Online: Prospects of cheaper loans hit as inflation forecast sends Libor soaring

Two-year swap rates, a key benchmark for fixed-rate mortgages, have leapt from 5.27 per cent to 5.63 per cent in the space of a week. Darren Cook, of Moneyfacts, said: Well see a bit of a lag and then fixed-rate mortgage rates are going to go up again.

Posted by inthedelhi @ 11:45 AM 0 Comments

Please buy a house

bloomberg: Fannie Mae Bows to Pressure on Down Payment Standard

Fannie Mae, backing down from pressure from homeowner and real estate groups, will allow buyers in markets with falling home prices to purchase houses with 3 percent down payments, potentially increasing the company's risk.

Posted by mken @ 11:22 AM 0 Comments

Q1 2008 house price fall from the Land Registry data

BBC Property: UK House Prices

Find out the actual price fall in your region. Greater London 0.6%, South East -1.2%, South West -4.0%, East Anglia -1.5%, West Midlands -4.7%, East Midlands -4.6%, Yorks & Humber -4.9%, North West -4.4%, Wales -5.9%, Scotland -5.1%, North -3.7%. NB. Contradicting to yesterdays BBC News Scottish house prices rise again (said by the VIs), Scottish house price has suffered from the second largest fall 5.1% according to the data.

Posted by crashonitsway @ 11:02 AM 6 Comments

Housing shortage? What housing shortage?

FT: Merryn Somerset Webb: Its common sense that is in short supply

"But the best bit of all is the way this seemingly sudden surplus of new houses houses no one wants to buy throws light on the nonsense that has been used to rationalise the housing bubble over the past decade." Merryn shows up our dim politicians.

Posted by letthemfall @ 10:26 AM 9 Comments

Shropshire - long established EA cuts back

Shropshire Star: Property firm axes branches

Well respective local EA (if there is such a thing) cuts this space for me as the housing market unfolds. If the longer established firms are closing, what about the flash newcomers in their company Smart cars?

Posted by rental john @ 09:20 AM 3 Comments

B&B - Analysts advise shareholders to sell

The ft: Analysts say sell B&B

B&B mortgage bank - 55% buy-to-let, 22% sefl certified with no proof of income. Oh dear, not good for B&B shareholders.

Posted by baudot @ 09:06 AM 4 Comments

HBOS makes the rightmove

Independent: HBOS sells 13 per cent stake in Rightmove as agents feel the heat

Who better than HBOS would know where the housing market is heading?

Posted by confused76 @ 08:42 AM 4 Comments

EAs close down

Times: Top estate agents firm close to collapse after credit crunch

One of Britain's largest estate agents has fallen victim to the slowdown in the housing market, prompting fears for thousands of jobs around the country. Shares trading was suspended in Humberts, which has 80 branches from Central London to Hampshire, amid doubts about its viability. Other companies, including Connells, the second-largest chain, have started to raise their fees in an effort to keep afloat as they struggle with an average 40 per cent decline in the volume of business since the new year

Posted by confused76 @ 08:36 AM 7 Comments

There are lies, damned lies and then there are statistics

Daily Reckoning: Consumer Price Indexes May Lie

In April, in the US, petrol prices fell 2% says the Fed. Do you remember petrol prices going down in April? We dont. As we recall, oil prices were soaringand so was the price of petrol. Something smells funny in the aira rat. It was largely thanks to this reported drop in prices at the pump that the Consumer Price Index registered a scant 0.2%. We checked the records found the price actually rose 12% in April. How come the Feds put it down as minus 2%? Turns out, they made a seasonal adjustment. But turning plus 12 into minus 2 sounds like more than an adjustment; it sounds like either magic or major surgerylike turning a prince into a frog or a fat man into a slim woman. And its not the only prices that the Fed adjusted! Expect to see the same here soon!

Posted by who stole my pension? @ 06:54 AM 4 Comments

Endless ramping yes but of interest rates!

Daily Reckoning: LIBOR Says It Isnt Over

The Libor rate has increased by 0.08% over the last two days. Now with all that money from the BoE you would expect it to drop. However, it appears the banks want 90,000,000,000 and not the 50,000,000,000 that the BoE offered! When Libor goes up so do our IR. I wonder if we will soon see mortgage IR rates calculated using the old rule of thumb formula i.e. IR = BoE rate + Inflation + Bank's Profit. This will be eye watering!

Posted by who stole my pension? @ 06:40 AM 1 Comments

Endless ramping

Express: New hope for end to slump

THE country began its recovery from the credit crunch last night as the economy showed the first significant signs of improving. here was further welcome news for the housing market, a day after the Daily Express revealed that major lenders were finally beginning to cut their loan rates. Figures to be released on Monday are likely to show that the average asking price for new properties increased by 1.2 per cent last month, up by 2,879 to a new record of 242,500. One estate agent is so confident the housing market will bounce back he has offered to refund buyers if their home falls in value.

Posted by little professor @ 12:44 AM 19 Comments

Friday, May 16, 2008


Bloomberg: `Gazunderers' Thrive as Deals Fail in U.K. Home Slump

``I've just gazundered a 70-year-old lady who is undergoing a hip replacement,'' said Blavier, 39. ``You can't get a scenario to make you feel more guilty. But this is not my hobby. It's what helps me make a living.''

Posted by confused76 @ 11:33 PM 3 Comments

500,000 UK construction jobs could go ....

Times: Kier warns start of public sector slowdown

Kier, one of Britain's biggest construction and house building companies, today gave warning of a slowdown in public sector spending across the country. When asked by Times Online whether it was possible that up to half a million jobs could go across the entire housebuilding and construction sector - in a repeat of the early 1990s job losses, Chief Executive, John Dodds said: "Yes. We are looking at that [scenario]."

Posted by uncle chris @ 09:44 PM 3 Comments

Is it different in Scotland?

BBC News Scotland: Scottish house prices rise again

I hope you'll forgive me for this slightly mischievous posting but I cannot help wondering what this story is about. I found this bit amusing: "The Edinburgh & Lothians Property Group (ELPG,) which brings together property solicitors, welcomed the figures. Steve Spence, senior partner at ELPG member-firm Neilsons, said they underline the message that Scotland has a distinct property market that is largely immune from the peaks and troughs that affect English homeowners." Kinda reminds you of arrogant estate agents perhaps?

Posted by quiet guy @ 08:06 PM 10 Comments

By 'prevent', they mean 'cause'

Landlord Expert: Buy to let will prevent a housing crash

Strong rental demand will underpin the buy-to-let market and help the country avoid a more painful housing crash. "All our anecdotal feedback is that significant landlords... are absolutely seeing the current market environment as an ideal opportunity for them either to continue to expand their portfolio or to start expanding them again," said Jeremy Law, head of buy-to-let at [f'cked] mortgage lender Bradford & Bingley. Like other banks, B&B says the fundamental drivers behind buy-to-let -- immigration, fewer people per household, a more mobile workforce, first-time-buyers unable to get on the property ladder -- remain, and are driving rents higher. Rising rental yields in turn mean landlords are able to pass on the impact of rising mortgage rates straight to tenants.

Posted by little professor @ 06:38 PM 21 Comments

Taking the rough with the smooth - and squealing all the way

New York Times: For Wall Street Workers, Ax Falls Quietly

People on Wall Street seem to be vanishing overnight. Thousands are losing their jobs as hard-pressed banks cut deep. But while layoffs are nothing new in the financial industry (they come with almost every downturn), this round seems different: it is eerily quiet.

Posted by lvmreader @ 05:38 PM 2 Comments

No pity

MSN: Pity the estate agents

The International Monetary Fund said last month the UK has experienced one of the world's largest "unexplained" increases in house prices over the past decade, which has left prices here 30% too high, compared with just 10% over-value in the US. That could mean an average British home, now costing 196,000, might be worth just 137,000. The OECD, in a report last year reached a similar conclusion

Posted by sold out @ 05:27 PM 0 Comments

You'd have been better off renting love.

New York Times: Collateral Foreclosure Damage for Condo Owners

Barbara Sanz has never missed a mortgage payment, but the plunge in real estate is punishing condominium owners like her anyway. Four years ago, she bought her first condo in a glassy new Miami tower when the building was filling up. Now nearly one in six residents in the 43-story building is battling foreclosure and their contributions to the building association are shrinking. Each of the remaining owners has had to chip in an extra $1,000 assessment and $50 more a month for cable and Internet. That is on top of Ms. Sanzs $450 monthly maintenance fee.

Posted by lvmreader @ 05:26 PM 3 Comments

Inflation is 2.5%. The PM says so.

New York Times: For Europes Middle-Class, Stagnant Wages Stunt Lifestyle

In France, when you cant afford a baguette anymore, you know youre in trouble, Ms. Renard said one recent evening in her kitchen, as her partner measured powdered milk for their 13-month-old son, Vincent. The French Revolution started with bread riots. The problem is that if your salary rises more slowly than the cost of products you buy on a daily basis, you feel poorer every day. When I started working at 23, I earned almost the same wage that I earn now, said Mara Salgado, a 37-year-old director of television documentaries living in Madrid. Fourteen years ago, her monthly salary of about 1,200 euros ($1,873), bankrolled a full social life. No longer. The well-to-do middle class has become the tight middle class, she said. Im surprised we havent started a

Posted by lvmreader @ 05:25 PM 11 Comments

Good news blog article from Hilary Osborne

The Guardian: I've had my fill of Kirsty and Phil

The problem is that Phil's crash pad is my first-time buyer home - and in helping "successful barristers James and Zoe pursue their dream of rural life", or whatever the mission is that week, the Relocation team are turning another property into a second home. And when the buyers are planning to spend half the week in their "sprawling family home in the country", the effort seems particularly misplaced. From April - but I agree whole-heartedly - 'say no to property porn!!!'

Posted by rental john @ 05:12 PM 0 Comments

Thought we all needed something for the weekend

mysinglefriend: mysinglefriend is the brainchild of TV presenter Sarah Beeny and her childhood friend, Amanda Christie.

Slight diversion - but I think with all the dire news this week, we all need a little bit of Beeny... Came across this - no not literally

Posted by rental john @ 04:59 PM 0 Comments

More EA job cuts

Property Week: Eighty jobs go at Crest Nicholson

Developer Crest Nicholson is cutting 10% of its workforce because of the severe downturn in the housing market.

Posted by rental john @ 04:45 PM 0 Comments

If Carlsberg did a rights issue it would probably be the best rights issue in the world

Times online: Carlsberg launches 3bn rights issue for S&N

Bit off message - but if the banks can do - why no everyone else. Think I'll launch a rights issue - go to my local pub and say unless they give money I won't drink there anymore....

Posted by rental john @ 04:13 PM 0 Comments

Aux grands maux les grands remdes.

Times: Eurozone growth fails to halt fear of effects from global downturn

The French/German view that at the centre of Europe they are safe from the 'US excesses' prove wrong! Watch this space.

Posted by rental john @ 03:31 PM 0 Comments

Panic on the streets of Belfast.....

Belfast Telegraph: Developer to pay first-time buyers' deposit

"One of the province's top residential property developers today threw a much-needed lifeline to beleaguered first-time buyers by offering to pay a 5% deposit and stamp duty." Mr Fraser explained the offer would relate exclusively to the development's remaining Phase 4 homes. "Our view at the moment is that there are many potential home buyers out there who are being hindered from getting on to the property ladder by the recent changes to lending criteria by many banks here and in Great Britain which we feel is rather unfair," he said. PHONE NUMBER AND EVERYTHING - WHY IS THIS BLATANT ADVERT BEING RUN AS A NEWS STORY?

Posted by shipbuilder @ 03:23 PM 13 Comments

'Selling house is all about fear ' {from Sold the ITV comedy series}

The Guardian: Ghost sales deception comes back to haunt estate agent

From Tuesday 13th May An estate agent's novel way of coping with the property slowdown cost him rather more than he expected, a court heard yesterday. Mark Halls put up "sold" signs on carefully chosen empty properties which had nothing to do with him and had never been on the market, to give the impression that his firm was the one to watch.

Posted by rental john @ 03:07 PM 8 Comments

Time to grasp fundamentals: Property is overpriced and EAs too weak to tell Vendors. Result: Collapse on the cards.

The TImes: Humberts shares suspended over financial fears

"In February the group reported a 17 million post-tax loss and gave the first warning about its future. At the time Humberts blamed the slowing property market for its financial woes and said that it was in urgent talks to raise cash without which there was a material uncertainty about its future." If estate agents can tell their customers (the vendors) to price realistically, then people will be able to afford the mortgages and comission can come in. Come on EAs - stop the lunacy. Bramptons in Beaconsfield are an example of some crazy pricing. A house valued at about 475k off-plan (it was being gutted, extended and rebuilt) in April 2007 goes on the market for 675k. Apparently the buyer didn't go with EA advice. Sure. Property taken on anyway. Craziness like this causes woe.

Posted by growler @ 02:54 PM 8 Comments

Utterly twisted logic!

BBC: CPI target to 'crucify' consumers

Consumers will be "crucified" unless the government changes its inflation target, a leading economist has warned. Peter Spencer from the influential Ernst & Young Item Club is urging ministers to change the 2% inflation target used by the Bank of England. He warned that interest rates would have to stay at 5% if inflation is to be brought down to 2%. He added that keeping interest rates at their current level would hurt hard-pressed households. With annual inflation at 3%, the Bank has little room to cut borrowing. March's 0.8% monthly rise in consumer prices was the steepest for nearly seven years. He called for the Bank of England's remit to change so it focused on "core inflation", a measure that excludes food and energy prices and is used in the US.

Posted by tyrellcorporation @ 02:54 PM 9 Comments

Snouts in the trough

BBC: Open secrets: MPs in High Court blow

MPs have lost the latest round in their battle to keep secret the full details of what they have been spending on their second home. In its decision issued today the High Court has backed the earlier Information Tribunal ruling that receipt-by-receipt details should be published. Due to other freedom of information requests the House of Commons authorities has already been forced to concede the publication of the amount spent under sub-headings such as mortgages, cleaning and groceries. This decision would take that much further into the release of individual invoices and receipts for spending for the 14 MPs involved in this case. The decision is a huge embarrassment for the Commons authorities.

Posted by little professor @ 02:49 PM 13 Comments

Has hpwatcher set his countdown going yet?

The Economist: Gordon Brown's woes - A flimsy fightback

WHEN Gordon Brown became prime minister last June, few doubted that it was his commanding performance in ten years as chancellor of the exchequer that made him the uncontested candidate. Yet in his astonishing fall from grace of the past few months, economic and fiscal stumbles have featured large. A haunting precedent is the short-lived administration of Anthony Eden, famed as a diplomat, who was felled by his mishandling of foreign policy in the Suez crisis of 1956.

Posted by rental john @ 02:47 PM 2 Comments

UK house prices to follow US lead?

Moneyweek: Dont buy into this suckers rally

American house price falls, the malaise that started the crisis, will continue. They are deflating at a 32% annual rate now, up from 8% six months ago, and with 4.6 million homes on the market almost double the average inventory in pre-bubble days the outlook is grim...

Posted by cornishman @ 02:44 PM 3 Comments

Blame it on the fatties!

BBC News: Obese blamed for the worlld's ills

Obese people are contributing to the world food crisis and climate change, experts say. They are also responsible for using more fuel, which has an environmental impact and drives up food prices as transport and agriculture both use oil.

Posted by afrobaggie @ 01:20 PM 19 Comments

Bank of England buys more junk with our money Banks eye 90bn in mortgage asset swaps

You thought BoE were swapping just 50bn of 'mortgage-backed assets' for your hard-earned cash. But already it looks like we're up to 90bn of the stuff. Good job it's all AAA rated.

Posted by doom&gloom @ 01:10 PM 6 Comments

Looks as if even Rightmove is feeling the pinch

Times Online: Rightmove stuns market with fund raising plan

Investors dumped stock in Rightmove today as the property website announced plans to raise funds through a share placing, weeks after warning that rising estate agent closures would have an "adverse impact" on the business.

Posted by icepick tony @ 01:02 PM 0 Comments

Suggestion to dump inflation target is what would really hurt the poor

MoneyWeek: Forget scrapping the 10p tax band: heres how Gordon could really hurt the poor

"If you really want to rob the poor, Mr Brown, forget about scrapping 10p tax bands. Dump your inflation target, and watch as the pensioners, the low paid, and those who saved their money in the mistaken belief they were being responsible citizens, slide into penury as their fixed incomes utterly fail to keep up with living costs. But then, all those buy-to-let investors will vote for you, so who knows it might be worth it."

Posted by damien @ 12:40 PM 2 Comments

Lots of hoo-har from the politicians so thought I'd look it up.

Metropolitan Home Ownership: Housing Options

Just thought I'd post this website - in case you needed some reading material to see out Friday afternoon.

Posted by rental john @ 12:08 PM 0 Comments

Lame security risk excuse for secrecy not bought by judge

Reuters UK: MPs lose bid to keep second home expenses secret

LONDON (Reuters) - Members of Parliament must disclose details of expenses claimed for second homes and their location, the High Court ruled on Friday. House of Commons authorities had sought to block the publication of second-home expense claims for 14 current and former MPs -- including Tony Blair and Gordon Brown -- requested under the Freedom of Information Act.

Posted by landedgentry @ 11:39 AM 0 Comments

Could It Happen Here?

Houston Chronicle: Electricity Retailer Won't Honor Fixed Price Contracts

With pressures mounting on disposable income, and monthly household mortgage costs escalating, the more sensible fraternity may have locked in their utility accounts to avoid cost increases in gas and electricity supply. But as the US' National Power Co. is demonstrating - companies are already frantically looking for ways to extricate themselves from such deals. One to keep an eye on; if only because it clearly indicates where they think energy prices are going.

Posted by lierbag @ 10:53 AM 0 Comments

May 16th

BBC News: US lists polar bear as threatened

Well, S2R, contrary to your own view of ethics, today has given the world a huge indicator that your underlying idea is correct. America, today, protected the Polar Bear. From here on in, ANY Federal or State policy likely to unjustifiably exacerbate global warming IS legally challengable. Note that law and power are required to achieve this type of ethics. The press seem to be in denial. It hasn't hit the front page of American papers or the BBC! href="" id=u-AFrqEzezHIR5SlxaC7FAGMArRJqbxseIRg:r-0_1211934549>Will Canada deem the polar bear - Clearly, there is a knock on effect. We merely need to await the results of the first legal challenge to a climate negative policy to see implementation of the change.

Posted by planning4acrash @ 10:49 AM 58 Comments

how thin?

CNN: World economy on thin ice - U.N.

UNITED NATIONS (AP) -- The U.N. says the world economy is "teetering on the brink" of a severe downturn and will grow by only 1.8 percent in 2008. That's down from a global growth rate of 3.8 percent in 2007. The U.N.'s mid-year economic projections released Thursday blamed the downturn on further deterioration in the U.S. housing and financial sectors in the first quarter.

Posted by mark @ 10:49 AM 5 Comments

Home Expenses - Freedom Of Information

BBC News: Commons loses MPs' expenses fight

The House of Commons has lost its High Court battle over an information watchdog's decision to force disclosure of MPs' expenses.

Posted by northamptonbear @ 10:20 AM 0 Comments

Rightmove are short of cash...

LSE: Rightmove cash call

... like most of their buyers!

Posted by james @ 09:53 AM 0 Comments

Martin Wolf lays it down

FT: Britain must not cut loose its anchor

The lesson of the 1970s was simple: letting inflation rip, to avoid pain in the short run, greatly increased pain in the long run. The UK must not repeat that error. Today, the combination of a devaluation with tight monetary policy gives it the best chance of escaping from its predicament. It enjoys this option because it decided, rightly, not to join the eurozone. But the country must have the will to make that option work. There is no sane alternative.

Posted by james @ 09:48 AM 0 Comments

Bad news for UK and USA - debt junkies of the world

BBC News: Exports bolster Japan's economy

With news yesterday that German economic growth is robust and exports strong, now Japan looks to be weathering the 'storm' of the credit crunch. I think the UK and USA have put spin out there that the present economic troubles is truly global, however the situation looks far, far worse for us. Can anyone else think of a 'leading' nation in a worse position economically than the UK going forward ?

Posted by c'mon correction @ 09:36 AM 0 Comments

Be positive, sell newspapers......


First we get: ''...Home owners were given the best news for months yesterday when the second major lender in a week cut its mortgage rates...'' then we get: ''...Admittedly, the Abbey cuts of 0.05 per cent on flexible and tracker loans and 0.17 per cent on fixed-rate deals are small...''

Posted by hpwatcher @ 08:17 AM 15 Comments

Watch mining shares drop and gold prices go up?

Reuters: Venezuaea stops open pits and gold mines

Environment Minister Yuviri Ortega said the South American country will not give permits for any open-pit mines and will not allow companies to look for gold in its vast Imataca Forest Reserve. "Venezuela will deny environmental permits for the open-pit mine exploitation," Ortega told Reuters in an interview. "Neither private or public companies will for now explore Imataca's gold." Is this Chavez turning all green on us, or just trying to boost the value of his gold reserves, or thirdly sees America is struggling and has decided to twist the knife

Posted by afrobaggie @ 08:03 AM 3 Comments

Smoke and mirrors

BBC News: '1m more' on housing waiting list

About 4m people are now waiting for a council or housing association home, and the Local Government Association expects this to reach 5m by 2010.

Posted by cornishman @ 07:42 AM 13 Comments

Well, who wudda thunk it!

FT: Banks eye 90bn in mortgage asset swaps

Love this bit...the European Central Bank on Thursday voiced its high concern at growing evidence that banks are exploiting its efforts to unblock the frozen funding markets by using its liquidity scheme to offload more risky assets than it envisaged. Yves Mersch, a governing council member, said the ECB was now looking very hard at whether there is not a specific deterioration of collateral that the central bank is accepting in return for funds. He was speaking amid signs of some banks creating low-rated assets specifically so they can be traded for Treasuries at the ECB.

Posted by gardeniadotnet @ 07:06 AM 8 Comments

Coming here soon

BBC News: Property slump in Spain

House prices in Spain are in freefall, with estate agents telling customers that prices are falling by up to thirty percent. Brian O'Hanraha-hanrahan reports.

Posted by little professor @ 05:59 AM 5 Comments

If you don't like the game, change the rules

Telegraph: Bank of England 'must abandon inflation target or crucify consumer'

'The Bank of England will "crucify" consumers unless the Treasury lets it abandon its inflation target, one of Britain's leading economic authorities has warned. The Government must consider re-writing the Monetary Policy Committee's remit or leave the UK to face an unnecessarily deep and painful economic slump, according to Peter Spencer, chief economist of Ernst & Young Item Club.' Perhaps house prices are shortly going to be considered for inclusion in CPI?

Posted by quiet guy @ 01:00 AM 13 Comments

How many considered this scenario when they took on their mortgage?

Telegraph: Housing crisis: Mortgage rates at 8-year high

The average rate for a two-year loan, the most popular mortgage, have reached 6.64 per cent. This is the highest rate since 2000 and compares to an average rate of 4.34 per cent two years ago.

Posted by quiet guy @ 12:46 AM 17 Comments

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Home Truths

Times: Q&A: Why house auctions are hitting the headlines

Cheerleader Senior First Officer Judith Heywood is facing the hard reality of the forced sales. And property has stopped shfting even in the auction room! "And even the Government, which likes to talk up the market, now believes that the best case scenario is a fall of 5 to 10 per cent this year - a projection revealed inadvertently by Caroline Flint, the Housing Minister" And now even the Times, which likes to talk up too, is confronted with the humiliation of repossessions! "So why are buyers not biting?" Laugh, laugh...

Posted by confused76 @ 10:03 PM 3 Comments

Last ditch attempt at proping up ailing market

Yahoo: Is There Still Hope For House Prices?

With the amount of scary property statistics being quoted everywhere just lately, you could be forgiven for thinking that (in the words of Dad's Army's Private Fraser) we're all doomed. Stories warning of a 1990s-style housing crash have become almost permanent fixtures in the media this year. And, given our national obsession with house prices, the mere whisper of a crisis is enough to send British blood pressure through the roof. Apparently there are reasons for being cheerful - but they do make me laugh and put my head in my hands as I worry about the author's now tainted reputation.

Posted by crash n burn @ 09:06 PM 1 Comments

The Great House Price Crash...ehm ops sorry it's dated 2005 !!

BBC News: The Great House Price Crash

I think house prices will fall from peak to trough by around 20% Roger Bootle, Capital Economics 03/03/2005 !!!!

Posted by des @ 07:45 PM 12 Comments

Fiddling and Rome burning comes to mind....

Times: Brown announces rescue plan for first-time buyers

Anyone earning less than £60,000 will now be eligible for the Government's shared ownership schemes. So let me get this straight - even people in the top tax bracket will be eligible? Bloody hell - house prices must be too high!

Posted by rental john @ 07:03 PM 1 Comments


Times: New housing starts plunge by a quarter

The Department of Communities and Local Government today said the number of new house builds fell by 24.4 per cent to 32,144 in January to March on the first quarter last year, and shrank by 21.5 per cent compared to the final three months of 2007.

Posted by rental john @ 06:52 PM 1 Comments

Bradford & Bungle

Telegraph: Bradford & Bingley chief must go to restore trust after rights denial

On april 13 The Sunday 'Torygraph' revealed to an unsuspecting world that Bradford & Bingley was plotting a rights issue and that it had asked Citigroup to work on the plans. The ripples continue......Barclays next?

Posted by rental john @ 06:41 PM 1 Comments

Libor going up again

ThisIsMoney: Credit crunch fears as libor jumps

Libor - the interest rate at which banks lend to each other - rose from 5.70% to 5.84% as banks reacted to yesterday's grim quarterly Inflation Report from the Bank of England, which all but ruled out further cuts in interest rates.

Posted by flamepoint23 @ 06:34 PM 1 Comments

Not all robbers wear masks and carry a swag bag!

FT: Sale and rent back sector to face scrutiny

Growing criticism of companies that buy poor peoples homes at a discount and then rent them back under tough terms has triggered an inquiry by the competition watchdog.

Posted by rental john @ 06:33 PM 0 Comments

UK Sub-prime really does exist

Moneymarketing: FSA fines Thinc Group 900,000 for sub-prime failings

The FSA has fined Thinc Group 900,000 for sub-prime record keeping failings. Thinc and two of its group companies failed to have adequate risk management and compliance systems for its sub-prime mortgage business between January 1, 2006 and September 30, 2007..................

Posted by jack c @ 06:24 PM 4 Comments

No comment

Reuters: Resilient buy-to-let may soften housing downturn

"All our anecdotal feedback is that significant landlords... are absolutely seeing the current market environment as an ideal opportunity for them either to continue to expand their portfolio or to start expanding them again," said Jeremy Law, head of buy-to-let at mortgage lender Bradford & Bingley. "In many ways (buy-to-let) is counter-cyclical." Please remind me, what did B&B say about their rights issue? "B&B, the number two player in the buy-to-let sector, has reported strong demand and said this week it would use a 300m cash call to continue lending"

Posted by confused76 @ 04:45 PM 26 Comments

Those who are buying - are buying terraced

Property Week: More than a quarter of homes bought are terraced

According to the Nationwide's latest figures 27% of homes bought are terraced.

Posted by tags @ 04:06 PM 0 Comments

Connells latest cry for help

mortgagestratey: Connells slams 200m pledge for housing market

Connells Survey & Valuation says the government's pledge of 200m to help the housing market is a "distraction technique" and just grazes the surface of what is needed. Ross Bowen, managing director of Connells, says: This 200m is a drop in the ocean in terms of housing supply. It would only purchase around 1,000 homes.

Posted by jack c @ 03:57 PM 13 Comments

Oh dear - we can't afford gadgets anymore

Guardian: DSG to close stores and lay off staff

Struggling high street retailer DSG failed to impress the City this morning after announcing that it will close more than 75 stores, axe staff and slash its dividend in an attempt to turn its fortunes around in the worsening economic climate.

Posted by uncle chris @ 02:49 PM 3 Comments

They are planning for worse to come

Mortgage Introducer: Treasury meeting on repossession

She continued: We are extremely pleased to be involved in todays meeting where we will put forward various recommendations. These include, a review of the current qualifying conditions for state supported mortgage payments, the feasibility of creating a national mortgage rescue scheme, the implementation of the early protocol on repossession action as drafted by the Civil Justice Council and an examination of the possession action taken by sub prime lenders who are not presently regulated by the Financial Services Authority. They all know what's coming!!

Posted by renting2 @ 01:11 PM 16 Comments

This fantasy of rents going up will soon end & BTL collapse

CityWire: Rising unemployment will hit landlords in the pocket

"ARLAs figures show that nationally rents increased by 4% for houses and 2% for flats in the three months to March 2008, in the south east rents for houses were down 2% to 1,361 and down 5% for flats to 882. landlords will have to cope with rising rent arrears as families struggle to make ends meet" Builders stop building in order to corner the market? they will just dig their grave deeper: hundreds of thousand jobs in housing and EAs will be lost; and "if they are made redundant, they wont be able to afford to rent either" Too bad the article lacks the usual commentary by Para-gone and my Assetz

Posted by confused76 @ 01:08 PM 1 Comments

BTL my Assetz!

CityWire: Just how bad is the state of buy to let?

Will landlords precipitate the crash of all crashes while they squeal like pigs drowning in a rough sea of schadenfreude?

Posted by confused76 @ 12:58 PM 1 Comments

Gordon Brown: the worlds best contrarian indicator

MoneyWeek: Gordon Brown: the worlds best contrarian indicator

"When Gordon Brown sold half our gold reserves all those years ago, it almost precisely marked the end of the yellow metals long bear market. So its fitting that now the UK property boom is well and truly over, hes decided to go out and buy some houses."

Posted by damien @ 11:35 AM 15 Comments

Brown trying hard

BBC News: I can save economy again - Brown

"I think I can steer this economy through difficult times". Mr Brown - we want more conviction than THINK. "The reason it's going wrong are international factors that we are going to deal with". Oh dear. If there 'international', therefore 'external', how are you going to 'deal with them'? And if they can be 'dealt with', why haven't you 'dealt with them' before? I'm not party-political: I've voted both ways in previous elections. But poor Gordon really needs a spin-doctor to sort out his soundbites. Fast.

Posted by doom&gloom @ 10:56 AM 29 Comments

Bank of England independence is a joke

FT: No rate cuts before 2010

... in other words, there'll be a couple of rate cuts just before the next General Election.

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 10:04 AM 14 Comments

Bush does the right thing for once

Wall Street Journal: Democrats Face Rescue Backlash

Old news now, but I don't remember seeing this reported on this newsblog - President Bush is vowing to veto a bill the House passed last week -- with the support of 39 Republicans, about a fifth of their ranks -- that would, among other things, allow certain homeowners to refinance loans through a government agency if their lenders agree to take less than the full amount borrowed.

Posted by nubbers @ 09:58 AM 1 Comments

Completely off-topic

Conservative Home: A case for legalising cannabis

But I'll link to it anyway to show that I think about more than just house prices.

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 09:56 AM 14 Comments

The mess Labour always seems to leave behind....

Telegraph: Financial crisis: Labour's history is repeating

''...The twilight years of Labour governments are always like this: the pound in freefall, the economy sliding towards a possible recession and the public finances out of control. And the ultimate bill left in the hands of households, blameless in every respect but for their foolish decision to vote the ministers in....''

Posted by hpwatcher @ 08:39 AM 18 Comments

Slightly off-topic but a good reflection of rubbish mainstream media reporting

The Telegraph: Mankind is the 'Earth's biggest threat'

Global warming is causing significant changes to the Earth's natural systems and it is highly unlikely that any force but man-made climate change can be blamed . Read the comments at the bottom; they are almost universally saying this article is garbage

Posted by sold 2 rent 1 @ 08:26 AM 62 Comments

End of the road for property bulls

Independent: No rate cuts for two years, King hints as inflation heads towards 4 per cent

The Bank of England indicated that there is not likely to be another cut in interest rates for two years, as it forecast that inflation will reach 4 per cent this autumn.

Posted by quiet guy @ 08:25 AM 39 Comments

Dummy Voted Out

yahoo news: Support melts away for wax British PM

"By a convincing consensus he is duly voted out of Madame Tussauds, becoming the first incumbent prime minister not to be featured in the attraction for over 150 years," the London tourist magnet said.

Posted by sold out @ 07:57 AM 4 Comments

Mervyn not very happy today!

Telegraph: Recession danger is real, warns Mervyn King

Mervyn King warned families to brace themselves for a further "squeeze" on household finances as rising energy bills and food prices continue to rise. Mr King said that inflation was set to increase sharply to about 3.7 per cent - almost double the official target. As a result most British people will feel poorer this year as pay rises fail to keep pace with rising costs. The Governor - who said that "the nice decade is behind us" - also warned homeowners that property prices would fall further and that it was impossible to predict the scale of the decline. The British economy may now be heading for recession. Keep reading for even more glum news.

Posted by who stole my pension? @ 06:25 AM 7 Comments

This man is drinking some of the same Kool-Aid, Gordon "2.5%" Brown does

Yahoo News: The US does not torture / UK inflation is 2,5%

I actually thought that this was a satire. I really did. The scary, depressing thing is, it is not.

Posted by lvmreader @ 12:25 AM 4 Comments

Auction tsunami to hit UK shores?

Los Angeles Times: Foreclosure flood: 1,000 auctions per day in California

The number of properties in California up for auction grew 44% from March to April. If the UK housing market is 12 months behind, would anyone bet on 10% monthly price drops by this time next year?

Posted by xaje @ 12:05 AM 1 Comments

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Brown to use 200 million of taxpayers money used to buy unsold homes

Times: A return to Blairism as Gordon Brown looks back to save his future

The man has had 10 years with his hands on our money to get it right and hasn't, why should he have another chance to use our money to save his political neck?

Posted by enuii @ 11:22 PM 12 Comments

PCC, sleeping policeman of the corporate machine.

Swarnturton: The Inevitable Appearance of Bias

The Press Complaints Commission is a body created and funded by the press, adjudicates a complaint based on a Code which the press has drafted, by means of a commission on which the press is substantially represented, and where the newspaper is defended by lawyers expert in the field in circumstances where the PCC will not make an award of costs to the claimant for equivalent expert assistance, where the PCCs sole power is to make finding that the newspaper has breached the Code (to its own commercial advantage), but no financial penalty is imposed on the newspaper, or compensation awarded to the complainant, and where there is effectively no appeal against its determination. It is funded by the Press and its stated objective is to avoid state regulation.

Posted by planning4acrash @ 11:19 PM 2 Comments

OOoops - Cancel That!

Bloomberg: London's Walkie-Talkie Skyscraper May Be Delayed

The London office building dubbed the Walkie-Talkie, one of six towers over 500 feet (150 meters) planned for the city's main financial district, may be delayed by the commercial property market's slump, the developer said. Land Securities Group Plc plans to construct the tower at 20 Fenchurch Street in the city's main financial district. Demolition of an existing building on the site is due to be completed in early 2009 and construction work will start once a tenant has been found, said the company.

Posted by alan @ 10:51 PM 3 Comments

Inflation everywhere

TELEGRAPH UK: OECD warning as stagflation goes global

Price pressures across the emerging world are reaching levels that may soon threaten stability unless governments jam on the brakes. Inflation rates have reached: Venezuela (22pc), Vietnam (21pc), Latvia (18pc), Qatar (17pc), Pakistan (17pc), Egypt (16pc) Bulgaria (15pc), The Emirates (11pc), Estonia (11pc), Turkey (9.7), Indonesia (9pc) Saudi Arabia (9.6pc), Argentina (8.9pc), Romania (8.6pc), China (8.5pc), Philippines (8.3pc), India (7.6pc).

Posted by chris @ 10:24 PM 0 Comments

Assetz comedy act: Buying falling assets is a long term safe investment strategy

Assetz: Now for the long term

He elaborated: "Because prices are going to be shaky for the next couple of years you are going to have to wait a long time for prices to come up; it's got to be a long-term investment. Property is a long-term investment; it's not a get rich scheme." Of course, many seem to be doing just this, such as the 46 per cent of those who were revealed in the March survey of the Association of Residential Letting Agents to be planning to expand their portfolios over the next year. With so much uncertainty in the short-term, it may be a good time to hammer home the message that long-term is the only safe way to invest.

Posted by quiet guy @ 09:51 PM 8 Comments

Not Again !!! Income tax row as an extra 150,000 people move into higher rate tax bracket

Accountants claim that Mr Darling was "disingenuous" in his statement to the House of Commons because the starting point for 40 per cent tax will be lowered by twice as much as he told MPs, writes Ian Cowie An extra 150,000 people will have to pay the top rate of income tax as a result of Alistair Darling's emergency budget, accountants calculate. Those affected are currently earning more than 34,800 a year but less than 36,000 in excess of their personal allowances.

Posted by plato @ 08:31 PM 11 Comments

Damn Right it needs reform, its rotten to the core!

The Guardian: Steel: press watchdog needs reform

See below a repost of my look at members of the Press Complaints Commission and its selection methods. It is the group that select that is the most scary. This is a follow up from the Press Complaints Decision I received in the post earlier today, posted here earlier today.

Posted by planning4acrash @ 08:18 PM 18 Comments

Forget about any more UK interest rate cuts

MoneyWeek: Forget about any more UK interest rate cuts

"Forget about any more interest rate cuts. Inflation is firmly on the agenda. It looks like the pound in your pocket will be losing another hefty chunk of its purchasing power over the coming months. Meanwhile, the economy will crash and burn but theres nothing the Bank of England can do about it."

Posted by damien @ 07:40 PM 0 Comments

Tax harmonisation only way out

Australian: Darling sweats over the bill as the party ends in UK

"IT WAS fun while it lasted and everybody drank too much, but the UK plc party is over and nobody can remember who promised to pay the bill." Weird article with a number of quite incoherent threads. Has its funny moments though.

Posted by mken @ 07:17 PM 0 Comments

Dreams of a life in the sun - over!

BBC News: UK expats face Spanish troubles

The hundreds of thousands of Britons who have moved to Spain in search of a better life have been hit by falling property prices, sometimes with devastating consequences.

Posted by landedgentry @ 06:39 PM 6 Comments

Bradford & Bingley's 300m U-turn

MoneyWeek: What does Bradford & Bingley's 300m rights issue mean for banks?

Bradford & Bingley has become the latest UK bank to whip out the begging bowl, but dont expect it to be the last. Its business model, like Northern Rocks, worked fine when house prices were going up and people were hungry for mortgages. Of course, this is no longer the case...

Posted by damien @ 05:53 PM 1 Comments

Another great idea from a morally bankrupt Broon

Times: Got a few quid for the old rich folk?

"My house is my pension"?? then sell the house and pay the bills, what s the problem

Posted by confused76 @ 05:41 PM 4 Comments

Mervyn's speech

BoE: Inflation Report presentation

A very grim picture. Mervyn is a clear doommonger. The silver lining, the weakening Pound will boost exports. Exports? He is dreaming. The weakening Pound will mean immigrants will return home compounding economic decline.

Posted by confused76 @ 04:47 PM 14 Comments

Deck chairs? Titanic?

Reuters: Brown announces housing aid and banking reforms

LONDON (Reuters) - Prime Minister Gordon Brown announced 300 million pounds of new schemes to help the troubled housing market on Wednesday and proposed a new banking law to support financial stability.

Posted by jeremy @ 02:23 PM 23 Comments

Stuatz comedy club analysis - "property market is in serious danger of continuing to stagnate or even falling to some modest degree"

mortgagestrategy: Assetz chief: Bank should cut rates

Stuart Law, chief executive of Assetz, says the Bank of England should not use yesterdays spike in inflation as an excuse to hold back interest rate cuts........There are however much bigger issues at stake. With mortgage lending down 48% since the same time last year the property market is in serious danger of continuing to stagnate or even falling to some modest degree. I strongly suggest the Bank of England now lowers base rates very quickly to 3.5%"

Posted by jack c @ 02:14 PM 23 Comments

And ... there goes Australia ... House bubble bursts, but whose fault is it?

HOUSE prices in some parts of Sydney have almost halved as battling borrowers struggle to keep up with increasing interest rates.

Posted by hubbers @ 01:43 PM 3 Comments

How much longer can we be fooled by inflation figures?

Firstrung: Real consumer price index is closer to 8% -

The difference between the Consumer Prices Index (CPI) and the true rate of inflation means that for many people, household income lags behind personal inflation. Unless this is tackled, consumers will increasingly find they not only have less money to put away, but they will be forced to raid savings or turn to debt to make ends meet...

Posted by converted lurker @ 01:01 PM 3 Comments

Fantasy article from Agents-7 Good reasons to buy now

Urban Spaces: Reasons to buy now!

An extract of their idiot innumerate reasoning below: Let's take a 300,000 property and look at two scenarios. Scenario 1 - The prices drop by a further 10% over the year Scenario 2 - We are at the bottom and prices will stabilise. The buyer who waits, notionally will save themselves 30,000 by holding off for a year, but to rent that same product will cost them approximately 300 per week or 15,000. So in truth, their gamble by waiting would save them only 15,000 and the money they paid in rent would have been used towards mortgage repayments on the loan. What about interest on 300 k at >300 p.week? or scenario 3 where prices fall 35%?

Posted by musicben @ 01:00 PM 9 Comments

Brits still not 'got over' the Northern Rock fiasco

Firstrung: Will my bank survive the credit turmoil? Customers worry over banks' future

As British banks write off humungous sums related to the American sub-prime mortgage fallout, customers weigh up their banks' abilities to weather the credit turmoil...

Posted by converted lurker @ 12:59 PM 1 Comments

Brits can't afford to have kids, or look after them

Firstrung: Cost of living takes its toll as disposable income reaches lowest level in a decade

The choice of caring for your own children is rapidly turning into a luxury available only to those who can afford it. A new study by reveals that more than 1 in 3 (38%) new parents (those with children under 2 years old) are forced to return to work to make ends meet...

Posted by converted lurker @ 12:57 PM 2 Comments

See decision in comment

PCC: Planning4ACrash (name altered!) vs The Independent

This was a useless exercise except for my ability to use it here to reveal here the folly of our press complaints system. Newspapers are, as we all know, entitled to be partisan, provided that they distinguish clearly between comment, conjecture and fact. Nowhere, however, is it necessary to explain the partisan vested interests that may lie behind the story. It is up to the reader to put one and one together. It should however, in my opinion, be the "journalist's" responsibility to explain how their vested interest benefits from the slant taken, because the general public, coming from a different vested interest are, by definition, unlikely to be able to recognise the impact of the partisan view without it being clearly explained.

Posted by planning4acrash @ 12:43 PM 17 Comments

"The MPC must focus on bringing inflation back to the target in the medium term."

BBC News: UK inflation woe 'set to worsen'

Mr King said inflation would probably stay above the government target of 2% for two years, hampering the economy. He added that house prices were set to fall further, though no one could be certain how far they would decline. ..."We are reverting to a more sensible and prudent approach to lending and borrowing," he added.

Posted by disillusioned @ 12:41 PM 0 Comments

Brown spends 2.7 billion of tax payers money clear up his own mess

Times: Gordon Brown pays 2.7 billion to end 10p tax crisis

In a move to counter a back-bench revolt the chancellor performed one of the biggest U-turns in modern times by borrowing 2.7 billion to patch up the mess created by Brown. Analysts point out that raising the 2.7 bn will have to be paid for by additional taxes or cuts in public spending. Regardless of the massive cash injection 1 million of the lowest rate tax-payers will lose out as a result of the abolition of the 10p rate. Cynics could look at the Darling's statement as the tax payer being asked to pay for Gordon Brown political survival or a sweetener in the face of the Crewe & Nantwich by-election. Alternatively the prime minister is starting to listen. Whichever way you chose to view it, the whole mess has been created by astoundingly poor decision making by the Gordon Brown

Posted by denzil @ 12:22 PM 5 Comments

Unfortunately I haven't bought any of these items in the last 12 months and have no intention of doing so - I have bought a fair bit of food and fuel though!

Times Online: Inflation buster: the 10 items that have fallen in price most this year

With the cost of bread now above 1 a loaf and petrol at 1.12 a litre, there seems no end to rising living costs. Just this week, the Consumer Prices Index, the Governments preferred measure of inflation, shot up to 3 per cent. But there is some good news for shoppers. Believe it or not, the price of many goods is actually falling, and by quite large amounts. Below we outline the price of ten items that have fallen the most on average over the past year and give an example of each product.

Posted by tyrellcorporation @ 11:36 AM 21 Comments

Situation is truly precipitating

Bloomberg: BOE Sees Inflation Accelerating, Requiring `Number' of Letters

The Bank of England said that inflation will accelerate, requiring ``a number'' of letters of explanation from Governor Mervyn King to the government and hindering policy makers from cutting interest rates further. The central bank's forecasts show inflation will exceed the government's 3 percent upper limit for ``several'' quarters. The bank said that the inflation will overshoot the 2 percent target in two years if it cuts the benchmark rate to 4.5 percent in 2009, as investor predict" And in addition BoE will have to run the printing press to avoid banking collapse and finance growing public spending, I am afraid the currency will weaken much further, probably Euro parity is not a too remote possibility

Posted by confused76 @ 11:29 AM 0 Comments

Goodbye Rate Cuts

Bloomberg: BOE Sees Inflation Accelerating, Limiting Scope for Rate Cuts

The Bank of England said inflation will accelerate, breaching the government's 3 percent limit for ``several quarters,'' making it harder for policy makers to cut interest rates as economic growth slows. The bank said inflation will overshoot its central 2 percent target in two years if it cuts the benchmark rate to 4.5 percent in 2009 as investors predict. Maybe opting for that tracker rate when the fixed rate deal ran out wasn't such a good idea.

Posted by richc @ 11:28 AM 0 Comments

king warns of 4% inflation and zero growth

timesonline: king warns of 4% inflation and zero growth

all I can say is what a total can anyone believe anything said anymore u-turn from all angles

Posted by taffee @ 11:27 AM 10 Comments

Ron Paul writes on the housing rescue

Safe Haven: Big Government Responsible for Housing Bubble

We should not force taxpayers, including renters and more frugal homeowners, to switch places with the speculators and take on those same risks that bankrupted them. It is a terrible idea to spread the financial crisis any wider or deeper than it already is, and to prolong the agony years into the future. Socializing the losses now will only create more unintended consequences that will give new excuses for further government interventions in the future. This is how government grows - by claiming to correct the mistakes it earlier created, all the while constantly shaking down the taxpayer. The market needs a chance to correct itself, and Congress needs to avoid making the situation worse by pretending to ride to the rescue.

Posted by sold 2 rent 1 @ 11:27 AM 15 Comments

BTL, an inconvenient truth

BBC: Preview of The Truth about Property: A solid investment

"Former launderette worker turned property multi-millionaire Andreas Panayiotou reveals what he thinks could happen to house prices" Punters and property gamblers, at the core of the 'bour economic miracle. But, as heard from ministers, the economy is "underpinned by strong fundamentals"

Posted by confused76 @ 11:21 AM 2 Comments

lies in USA lies in UK.. misery index

CNN: Economic 'misery' more widespread

No inflation if you don't eat or drive

Posted by mark @ 11:10 AM 0 Comments

The beginning of the end of another myth.....

BBC News: UK unemployment rises by 14,000

''...UK unemployment rose by 14,000 to 1.61 million in the three months to March, the first increase in more than a year, official figures show. ...''

Posted by hpwatcher @ 09:57 AM 3 Comments

It's time to pay for past excesses

Independent: The spectre of 'stagflation'

A combination of stagnant output and high inflation not seen for decades is set to haunt policy makers for months if not years to come. Even with the credit crunch, the housing market at its lowest ebb in 30 years, high street sales at their most miserable in half a decade, and industry reporting a collapse in orders, prices are still rising and at an ever-faster rate.

Posted by quiet guy @ 08:11 AM 5 Comments

bradford and bingly emergency rights issue

timesonline: bradford and bingly emergency rights issue

another bank in trouble despite just 4 weeks ago saying they are well funded through to 2009.What the hell is going on...seems like a real financial cisis out there changing every few weeks

Posted by taffee @ 07:45 AM 28 Comments

Caroline Flint Housing Market Briefing Notes in FULL

The Market Oracle: Caroline Flint UK Housing Market Briefing Notes in FULL

Caroline Flint the UK housing ministers full cabinet meeting first page briefing notes on the state of the UK housing market follows in full.

Posted by nadeem walayat @ 04:11 AM 9 Comments

UK is suffering from 'housing bubble'

BBC: UK could suffer 'housing bubble'

Article from 2004 - locked up in this site's New Blog vault. Was nice to re-read the news. Amazing... Durlacher got it wrong by 5 years (as always with Economists who get the theory right but the timing wrong). Substitute 2004 for 2008 and you'll see what's unfolding in Britain today... "The possible slide in prices, Durlacher said, could be triggered by a combination of higher interest rates, increased lender caution and tighter regulation of the mortgage market. Overall, Durlacher predicts that house prices will fall by 30%, starting in the second half of 2004. Ominously, the report suggests the housing market bust could be "very messy. We expect transactions to drop sharply, mortgage lending to decrease by 55% and widespread mis-selling allegations."

Posted by trough2010 @ 12:17 AM 4 Comments

The government gives back 120, but the Bank of England will take 480 from everyone this year

Telegraph: Inflation leaves families 600 a year poorer

As the MPC has been desperately trying to resuscitate the housing market, is this the cost we will all have to bear for the recent rash of panic rate cuts? Rate cuts = currency devaluation = inflation. Its a simple equation so why can't the Bank of England get it right?

Posted by paul @ 12:12 AM 4 Comments

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Read the last paragraph -

BBC: Ministers' housing fears revealed

UK house prices could fall "at best" by 5-10% this year, according to secret Cabinet briefing notes accidentally revealed by a housing minister. The notes - prepared by officials for Caroline Flint - also said: "We can't know how bad it will get." Ms Flint, who was photographed with the notes as she entered No 10 for a Cabinet meeting, shrugged the incident off saying: "These things happen".

Posted by mouth @ 09:51 PM 5 Comments

Looks like the penny has dropped - At last. Minister sees 5-10% house price fall this year

Ministers attempts to play down fears of a property crash were undermined after Caroline Flint, housing minister, was filmed arriving at cabinet with notes in which she warned of price falls of up to 10% this year

Posted by markj69 str05 @ 09:49 PM 17 Comments

Riba free

washington post: A Higher Law for Lending

Business is up at Islamic finance firms, which don't charge interest and weren't part of the mortgage debacle.

Posted by mken @ 08:55 PM 6 Comments

Carrots dangled?

Times online: Nationwide opens doors to long-term borrowers

Nationwide today announced a series of rate cuts that will reward homeowners who are willing to commit to long-term mortgage deals. The UK's biggest building society cut the rate on the nation's favourite mortgage deal - the two-year fixed rate - by 0.15 percentage points but reserved a bigger 0.3 percentage point cut for borrowers wanting a five-year loan.

Posted by rental john @ 07:15 PM 1 Comments

A solid 30% drop

BBC: Preview of The Truth about Property: A solid investment?

Former launderette worker turned property multi-millionaire Andreas Panayiotou reveals what he thinks could happen to house prices. The Truth about Property will be broadcast on BBC Two on Tuesday 13 May at 2000 BST.

Posted by doomwatch @ 06:45 PM 16 Comments

Are the Government housing fundamentalists?

Priced Out: Are the Government housing fundamentalists?

PricedOut come out swinging.... "We've become used to successive housing ministers indulging in the normal reorganisation of the deck chairs onboard the Titanic but it seems the ante is now being upped with the government planning to go all out to help young families on board with cut price tickets."

Posted by home truths @ 05:16 PM 1 Comments

Why interest rates should stay frozen for now

MoneyWeek: UK inflation: why interest rates will stay frozen for now

The Consumer Price Index has hit 3%, its highest level for 13 months. But while the numbers might shock the experts, but the man or woman in the street probably wont be too astonished. Several recent surveys have suggested that the real inflation rate for those who dont spend all their spare time buying new gadgets, but have to refuel the car to visit the supermarket after paying their electricity and council tax bills, is still some way higher than the official numbers have been indicating.

Posted by damien @ 05:06 PM 0 Comments

Recession predicted to be long and deep

Investment Week: Blue Planet's Murray predicting deep recession

Blue Planets Ken Murray is predicting a much more severe recession than after the crash and maintaining large cash balances on his financial investment trusts. He believes corporate earnings will fall sharply and the stock market to follow suit and has also moved into short-dated bonds in currencies he expects to appreciate against sterling. In our opinion, stock markets are currently completely unhinged from reality and fail to appreciate what is going to happen, he added.

Posted by jack c @ 04:51 PM 3 Comments

HSBC Director of Economics tells us property might not only go up in value

The Independent: Stephen King: As safe as houses? How harsh realities are dispelling the home market myths

Funny how the 'experts' are so wise now HPC is alive and with us already. With all these experts working for them, it makes you wonder why HSBC piled into mortgage-backed securities and has lost $15.6bn so far.

Posted by doom&gloom @ 04:27 PM 2 Comments

This Market is finding a realistic price level Home prices continue sharp descent

Lawrence Yun, the chief economist of NAR, attributed much of the record decline to liquidity problems dragging down high-priced markets. "These are highly unusual results because there were very few jumbo loan originations in the latest quarter," he said. "So sales are much slower in high-cost areas." Worth noting the realistic prices of positive performers. The UK is way over the top. Big falls to come.

Posted by plato @ 04:14 PM 0 Comments

Yet more U turns

BBC: Basic rate taxpayers to get 120

Chancellor Alistair Darling has put up the personal tax allowance by 600 - meaning every basic rate taxpayer will pay 120 less tax this year. Mr Darling, who said the package would cost 2.7bn, added that the 40p rate threshold would change so that higher earners' tax bills would be unchanged. The Commons announcement came as part of Mr Darling's package to help those hit by the axing of the 10p tax rate.

Posted by jack c @ 04:08 PM 13 Comments

Are you crash proof?

BBC 2: The Truth About Property Series 2

Quite long (60 mins) it can be bookmarked or downloaded as a file to watch later. Concludes tonight 8pm.

Posted by yoyo1 @ 04:00 PM 5 Comments

Exposed! Minister's fears on house price falls

Independent: Exposed! Minister's fears on house price falls

The Government's private fears over the dire state of the UK property market were laid bare today. Housing Minister Caroline Flint warned the Cabinet that "at best" prices are set to fall by 5 to 10 per cent this year. She also briefed colleagues that housebuilding was "stalling", adding starkly: "We can't know how bad it will get." ......

Posted by giove (ex username) @ 03:47 PM 3 Comments

Is There Still Hope For House Prices? NO Is There Still Hope For House Prices?

I really don't understand how people like Laura Starkey at manage to keep their jobs whilst posting such rubbish, I recommend everyone here posts comments on the article website with the hope some preson sacks her and writes something a little more reflective of the current market. very poor article shame on Laura

Posted by zippys @ 03:47 PM 3 Comments

SAM - Surface to Air Missile? - yep...pretty much

Independent: Ask Annie: They call it equity release but these homeowners are trapped

SAM = shared appreciation mortgage..... If house prices had increased by 'sensible' and sustainable levels then this would not be a problem. I suppose you could always sell your house at a knock down price so little or no appreciation (?)....screw the banks I say! see also:

Posted by rental john @ 01:58 PM 4 Comments

What Kindness Gordon Brown: Elderly 'will not have to sell their houses to fund care'

Gordon Brown has proposed an "age insurance" scheme, which he says will safeguard care of the elderly. Few details were disclosed but it is thought the plan involves compulsory payments into a pot throughout an individual's working life. Enforced savings would be spent on care in the individual's old age or infirmity.

Posted by plato @ 01:52 PM 27 Comments

Now we need 300bn as 50bn isnt enough !

BBC: Mortgage lending hits 33-year low

Mortgage lending to home buyers has hit its lowest level for 33 years, according to figures from the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML). Just 47,000 such mortgages were lent in March, taking the total for the first three months of the year to 142,000.This was the lowest quarterly total since the first three months of 1975. The CML predicted lending and house sales would fall even further in the next few months because of the credit crunch affecting the banking system.

Posted by jack c @ 01:48 PM 12 Comments

A&L pulls a Northern Crock

Telegraph: Alliance & Leicester to pull 4bn from UK mortgage market

Alliance & Leicester is on course to reduce its mortgage book by 10pc this year, pulling as much as 4bn out of the market in a move that will add to the shortage of deals for home buyers. Britain's seventh largest mortgage lender revealed today that its mortgage balance fell 1.5bn in the first four months of year to 41.2bn.

Posted by uncle chris @ 01:36 PM 4 Comments

Or ... they could lower prices

Telegraph: UK housebuilder Redrow axes 15pc of jobs as market worsens

Redrow has become the first UK housebuilder to reveal job losses in the wake of the credit crunch, saying that it has already laid off 15pc of its workforce as it lead the way in a raft of gloomy company statements today. The FTSE 250 company said it had already made about 200 staff redundant and hinted at further cuts after the key spring selling period was even worse than expected as the squeeze on mortgages intensified.

Posted by uncle chris @ 01:34 PM 0 Comments

UNBELIEVABLE!!!! Government confirms house prices are slumping!

Times: Gaffe by minister, Caroline Flint, exposes secret note over house price fears

Personally, I always thought the role of the Housing Minister, was a sort of Campbell Soup Spin-master. Let us see how Caroline is gonna turn this around. "Caroline Flints briefing note conceded that house prices would fall by 5 to 10 per cent at best this year and that we cant know how bad it will get

Posted by confused76 @ 01:17 PM 12 Comments

UK house price inflation slows to 5.2%

Forbes: It's OK, government says prices still rising

Most news outlets haven't even bothered to cover today's ridiculous DCLG figures showing house prices are still rising - up 0.1% month on month. The annual rate of house price inflation fell to 5.2%, from 6.3% the previous month.

Posted by little professor @ 12:36 PM 5 Comments

Full details of today's RICS press release including EA comments

RICS: Full April survey

Nice graph on page 1 too!

Posted by pelethar @ 12:26 PM 11 Comments

Is inflation or deflation the biggest threat to the global economy?

MoneyWeek: Is inflation or deflation the biggest threat to the global economy?

House prices are falling and retail sales are down, which signals deflation. But raw materials prices are soaring, and that spells inflation. Whichever we end up with, its going to be nasty...

Posted by damien @ 12:04 PM 1 Comments

Caroline Flint blunder lets slip Government's house price pessimism

Telegraph: Leaked document shows government's panic

Photographers managed to capture Caroline Flint's briefing note as she left number 10. "House prices at best will fall 5-10% this year.".... "We don't know how bad it will get"

Posted by little professor @ 11:54 AM 43 Comments

A way to protect our wealth ?

BBC: Lewes plans its own local currency

This caught my eye. Lewes (alongside Totnes) to intoduce a local currency. Is this a valid way to insulate ourselves from the theft of our currency's value perpetrated by the BoE and VIs ? There would have to be strict anti-speculator rules.

Posted by voiceofreason @ 11:49 AM 7 Comments

Inflation up again

Yahoo News: Shock Increase in the Cost of Living

Even the government's figures can't conceal the increase in inflation. Of course the real rate is much higher than the 3% quoted here.

Posted by jonb @ 10:32 AM 2 Comments

300 year debt bubble ready to burst

Market Oracle: Triage In Financial Markets

Capital markets built on credit and debt need to continually expand in order to service previously created compounding levels of debt. When only England was on a credit-based system, as long as England 's empire expanded its increasing debts could be absorbed; but when England 's expansion slowed, so too did its economy. The conundrum of the necessity of continual economic expansion is now being played out on a global scale. Now, the entire world is based on England 's debt-based central banking system; and, consequently, unless the world economy continues to expand, the commensurate expanding edifice of global debt will collapse.

Posted by sold 2 rent 1 @ 10:23 AM 18 Comments

Price predictions are continuing to fall on the Spreadfair betting exchange

mortgagestrategy: Cantor Spreadfair predicts 16.4% fall in house prices

Cantor Spreadfair has forecast a 16.4% drop in house prices by 2010. The betting exchange predicts the average property will drop to 160,200 over the next 18 months.Cantors prediction is based on the average traded price in April, which was 160.2 represented as 160,200, against an average traded price of 171.8 in March represented as 171,800.

Posted by jack c @ 10:22 AM 3 Comments

More good news

BBC News: House sales sink to '25 year low'

"There were 896 transactions between January and March compared to 2,120 over the same period a year ago. The University of Ulster quarterly house price index report said some of the 120 estate agents surveyed reported no sales at all. However, the average price of 230,908 is still 7.5% higher than a year ago. But they still fell by 4.6% in the first three months, which according to the report, demonstrated the continuing correction in the housing market. The report's authors, Professor Alastair Adair, Professor Stanley McGreal and Mrs Louise Brown insisted, however, price levels had not collapsed." Incredible how the authors of a report can deny the evidence of their own statistics - the peak was 250K

Posted by shipbuilder @ 10:14 AM 4 Comments

Kick in the teeth!

Times: New mortgage lending falls by almost 50%

''...Mortgage lending to first-time buyers and existing home owners plunged by 48 per cent during March compared to the same month last year and is predicted to worsen throughout 2008. ...''

Posted by hpwatcher @ 10:12 AM 2 Comments

An incompetent government and an incompetent BoE preside over the collapse of the UK economy

Times: Food and fuel send inflation to 3 per cent

No letter this month, thank to inflation figures under the 3.1% threshold by a truly magical 0.1% Tomorrow, King "is expected to deliver a hawkish message, dampening hopes for further cuts in base rates". Stagflation stagflation here we go! Not even George W has been able to s@rew the economy so effectively!

Posted by confused76 @ 10:10 AM 7 Comments

Add another 10% and you could be close!

Times: Food and fuel send inflation to 3%

''...Soaring costs for food and fuel triggered the sharpest jump in inflation for almost six years today, lifting its annual pace of increase for last month to 3 per cent. In much worse figures than the City expected, inflation shot still further above the Bank of Englands 2.0 per cent target, climbing by half a percentage point from the 2.5 per cent rate recorded in March after prices for consumer rose by 0.8 per cent last month....''

Posted by hpwatcher @ 10:09 AM 0 Comments

Cpi 3% DJ: UK April CPI +3.0% On Yr; No BOE Letter Required

Why the poles broke this news, I have no idea

Posted by camem' @ 10:08 AM 0 Comments

Stand Up Brown!! Put On The Pointy Hat And Stand In The Corner!!!

Daily Mail - This is Money: Analysis: Brown boom has gone bust

If there were any remaining doubts that the wheels are coming off Gordon Brown's economic miracle, a new clutch of grim reports will put them to rest. A survey from the retail sector suggests the high street is now feeling the squeeze as rising costs and falling property prices erode consumers' willingness to spend. Meanwhile, the housing market is, according to the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, immersed in its deepest downturn since the late 1970s as banks ratchet up borrowing costs.

Posted by mr cobblepot @ 10:01 AM 0 Comments

The media snowball gathers pace

Reuters News: UK house price falls most widespread since 1978

LONDON, May 13 (Reuters) - House prices suffered their most widespread decline across Britain for 30 years and retail sales fell for a second consecutive month in April, surveys showed on Tuesday, in a sign the economic slowdown is worsening.

Posted by mr cobblepot @ 09:53 AM 0 Comments

Inflation rockets.

BBC News: UK inflation jumps to 3% in April

Today's inflation figures at 3% and it's going to get worse. Yet the BOE doesn't care as long as Gordon's economic miracle is preserved.

Posted by ian - bedford @ 09:41 AM 0 Comments

Clearing the Decks...US Style!

Bloomberg: Meruelo Maddux Tumble Puts Los Angeles on Sale at 65% Discount

May 11 (Bloomberg) -- A package of Los Angeles real estate on sale for 35 cents on the dollar is attracting investors to the depressed shares of Meruelo Maddux Properties Inc., the biggest private landowner in the city's four-square-mile downtown. The stock has plummeted 85 percent since an initial public offering 15 months ago as the global credit crisis threatens to disrupt refinancing of $200 million in mortgage debt coming due in the next 12 months, as well as completion of the city's tallest downtown residential tower.

Posted by yt1 @ 09:20 AM 0 Comments

This is a truly disgusting article

MSN Money: How you can still afford a home

"put down as big a deposit as you can and to look for borrowing beyond your mortgage lender." This article should be illegal. I am astounded that anyone is still printing this rubbish.

Posted by inbreda @ 09:03 AM 12 Comments

Big Brother is watching...

FT: UK government agency to monitor blogs

The COI, the UK governments communications agency, is working on a way to monitor what people say about policy on blogs and internet forums for the media briefings it sends to ministers.

Posted by cornishman @ 08:36 AM 104 Comments

A creative interpretation of the correction from RICS

Guardian: Homes shortage limits price fall, say surveyors

Ian Perry of the RICS said: "Although most surveyors are now seeing price declines, the extent of the fall is, at this stage, quite modest. The real issue is the number of housing transactions. This has very real implications ... for the ... wider economy." Some RICS members blamed the media for the price falls. "There is no crash, but the media is causing one," said Richard Sayer, of Rook Matthews Sayer in Alnwick, Northumberland.

Posted by quiet guy @ 08:18 AM 14 Comments

There goes Mom's ol' rockin' horse!

Telegraph: Credit crisis makes Americans sell possessions

Americans who have lost their homes in the property crisis are starting to lose their possessions too as even the cost of storage proves too much for them. Auctioneers across the United States are conducting sales at self-storage facilities, selling off the contents of units belonging to people who have fallen behind with their payments.

Posted by tyrellcorporation @ 08:18 AM 1 Comments

Credit Crunch Bites UK Mortgage Payers as Risk of Repossession Soars

The Market Oracle: Credit Crunch Bites UK Mortgage Payers as Risk of Repossession Soars

The number of home owners at risk of repossession surged in the first quarter of 2008. Home owners served with county court claims jumped by 16% to 38,700. Home owners actually issued with eviction orders surged by 17% to 27,500. The Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) upped their estimate for the number of repossessions for 2008 to 45,000. The Market Oracle forecast as of August 07 is for 70,000 repossessions this year, though the actual number will probably be around 60,000 as the CML repossession statistics tend to under report the true number of repossessions.

Posted by nadeem walayat @ 01:56 AM 0 Comments

RICS: worst results EVAR!!!

Times: Mood is gloomiest in 30 years

A record number of surveyors reported a drop in house prices and property transactions last month, according to RICS. The balance of surveyors reporting that house prices had fallen rather than risen increased to 95.1%, up from last months 79%. This was the biggest margin since records began in 1978. Meanwhile the number of transactions fell, matching the record low set in November 1992; Price expectations for the next three months among surveyors fell to the lowest level since this data was included in the RICS survey in 1998; And new buyer enquiries also slumped to the lowest level since 1999, when this information was first included in the RICS survey.

Posted by little professor @ 12:11 AM 30 Comments

Monday, May 12, 2008

Creative Accounting at HSBC

Times online:

Knight Vinke, the activist shareholder laying siege to HSBC, today accused the bank of massively understating its probable losses on US subprime debt, suggesting it should have written off another $25 billion or more to be as prudent as its biggest rivals.

Posted by mken @ 10:35 PM 0 Comments

Brown's science fiction

Times: Rebel MP: Gordon Brown will not lead Labour at election

Almost unnoticed, a morally and technically bankrupt goverment issues pearls of wisdom like "the Prime Minister attempted to launch a fightback, with a major speech at the King's Fund on social care. Mr Brown is seeking to find ways of preventing the elderly being forced to sell their homes to finance time in care homes. However, the government is not putting forward any concrete suggestions at this stage" should we laugh? what a 'major' concrete speech..

Posted by confused76 @ 08:45 PM 11 Comments

Sales dive as rising rates hit battlers

AUSTRALIAN: Australian Bureau of Statistics figures released yesterday for new mortgage approvals support the central bank's forecast that the dive in consumer confidence will slow the economy this year.

THE Reserve Bank's interest rate rises have sent housing markets plunging around the country, with the squeeze hitting those on low incomes the hardest.Both the owner-occupier and investor ends of the market have dropped, but the biggest fall has been in purchases by first-home buyers and of new project homes.

Posted by chris @ 07:43 PM 0 Comments

Stuart Thomson - Chief economist at Resolution Asset Managemen - "we are still within the Minsky moment"

fundstrategy: Path to recovery may hold surprises

The Federal Reserve's rescue of Bear Stearns in March represents an important milestone in the credit crunch, but it does not mark the beginning of the end of the crisis. Financial distress and the failure of a major American institution has been a feature of every post-War recession. The central bank rescue is an important gauge of the authorities' understanding of the financial problems, and provides several innovative channels to increase market liquidity. But it leaves plenty of surprises before the crisis is eventually resolved.

Posted by jack c @ 07:30 PM 1 Comments

Your tax money at risk

Telegraph: Northern Rock overstated quality of its mortgage book

Northern Rock's former directors overstated the quality of its 100bn mortgage book by using "inadequate" controls that have left the taxpayer more exposed to a housing downturn than previously thought. Northern Rock had prided itself on the low level of arrears, frequently comparing itself in favourable terms with the rest of the industry. However, investigations have revealed that the bank was using "discretion" in calculating what qualified as an arrear. Standard industry policy is to declare a mortgage "in arrears" if a borrower is behind on three payments. Northern Rock was reclassifying such loans as "performing" once a borrower started making the back payments, even if they were not fully cleared.

Posted by little professor @ 07:27 PM 15 Comments

"resemblance between the surge in food prices and earlier bubbles in technology and housing"

fundstrategy: Food supply fear is knee-jerk delusion

The world seems to be suffering from the delusion that there is a chronic shortage of food. Rising consumption of food in the developing world and the growing use of biofuels is said to be bolstering demand and therefore raising prices. Many fund groups are also harnessing such arguments to encourage investors to put money in their shiny new agriculture funds. Problem is there is little basis to such arguments. As Daniel Ben-Ami shows in this week's cover story the rising demand for food inside, for example, China is largely met from rising productivity inside the country. Even America's Department of Agriculture concedes that China is largely self-sufficient in food. It is unlikely therefore that Chinese demand is pushing up prices on the world market.

Posted by jack c @ 06:54 PM 7 Comments

HBOS sets up more hoops to jump through!

Times online: No account, no mortgage, says Halifax

Halifax, Britains biggest mortgage lender, will from tomorrow force borrowers with small deposits who do not use a broker to open a current account before they can get a mortgage. You have to ask yourself - with the way things are panning out who in their right mind would want to take out a mortgage.....and who wants these sharks to get their hands on their well earned cash?

Posted by rental john @ 06:33 PM 0 Comments

Another desperate EA.

Anglia News / Estate agent fined for 'fly-boarding' homes not for sale

An estate agent put up sold signs on properties which had never been for sale, trading standards officers said today. Mark Halls, of Debenham, Suffolk, pretended that his firm had sold houses to increase customer confidence, officials said. He was fined 7.5k + Costs (3k according to Anglia TV)

Posted by angonamo @ 06:27 PM 1 Comments

Inflation soars past City forecasts

MoneyWeek: UK inflation soars past City forecasts

The latest UK producer price figures shout so loudly from the rooftops that everyone, particularly the Bank of Englands Monetary Policy Committee, needs to sit up and take note.

Posted by damien @ 05:46 PM 0 Comments

Vince cable again calls for counter cyclical reserves, and said it would be the BoE's mandate to call the cycle

Moneymarketing: High risk banks should go bust say Lib Dems

The Liberal Democrats have proposed a banking system whereby risk-taking banks are barred from using the Bank of England as lender of last resort if their gambles do not pay off. Launching the Lib Dem's "A new deal for the City" manifesto today leader Nick Clegg and Shadow Chancellor Vince Cable said banks should either be extremely prudent, like utility companies, or choose to take risks at their own peril.

Posted by jack c @ 03:57 PM 18 Comments

Jeremy Law, head of buy to let at Mortgage Express joins Stuatz comedy club

MortgageSolutions: BTL Investors unfazed by credit crunch

The credit crunch has done little to diminish the appetite of buy-to-let investors, according to intermediaries, with 62% revealing their clients believe the current market presents good buying opportunities. A survey of more than 300 intermediaries by Mortgage Express found the credit crunch appears to have had little impact on confidence among buy-to-let investors, with landlords remaining upbeat about rental demand. A total of 80% of intermediaries reported their buy-to-let clients are confident about rental demand over the coming months.

Posted by jack c @ 03:51 PM 10 Comments

Tropicana bankruptcy filing expected

reuters: Tropicana bankruptcy filing expected

I know this article is a few days old, but this is big, gambling is supposed to be recession proof!!!

Posted by mark @ 01:39 PM 7 Comments

Northern Rock BOE loan stood at 24.1bn at 31 March 2008

Mortgagestrategy: Northern Rock reveals rising arrears

Northern Rock has revealed the proportion of its total residential mortgages in arrears of three months or more has risen by 0.38% in Q1. In its results statement for Q1 2008, published today, NR says that more difficult economic and market conditions, along with its shrinking mortgage book, has caused the proportion of its loans in arrears of three or more months to increase from 0.57% in Q4 last year to 0.95% for Q1 this year.

Posted by jack c @ 01:38 PM 2 Comments

mortgage mess mortgage mess mortgage mess

reuters: California man losing nine homes in mortgage mess

It was those "neg-am" loans, which include triggers causing payments to balloon if the debt reaches a certain percentage of the original balance, that would come back to haunt him.

Posted by mark @ 12:02 PM 12 Comments

The bear market is nowhere near over yet

MoneyWeek: The bear market is nowhere near over yet

Markets across the world have been steadily rising as hopes of an end in sight to the credit crunch become more entrenched. But there are plenty more shocks to come...

Posted by damien @ 11:44 AM 1 Comments

Inflation is "in the bottle"

BBC: UK producer inflation at record

UK factory gate prices and producers' costs rose at a record pace in April, official figures showed.

Posted by holding out @ 11:06 AM 19 Comments

We are right behind you folks.......

NZHERALD: Housing market in slump

First year on year national falls reported in New Zealand. More than a few Pommies have bought over here (a kind of long distance Costa Kiwi), in order, no dubt, to diversify from their Spanish holidings. looks like they will be dumping these properties as well.

Posted by andy hamilton @ 10:27 AM 0 Comments

The lefty Guardian is a bit sick of the right wing new labour

guardian: Brown Damned by his Faustian Pact

For Labour the warning is clear, since the public is asking a perfectly valid question. If the government is culpable for the economic crisis but responds to it with utter passivity, is there really any point to it?

Posted by inbreda @ 09:38 AM 10 Comments

More destruction on its way

The Telegraph: The global slump of 2008-09 has begun as poison spreads

Britain, Europe, Japan, and China will go down before America comes back up. This is turning into a synchronised bust, after all. The Global Slump of 2008-09 is under way.

Posted by sold 2 rent 1 @ 09:35 AM 39 Comments

Well, they won't reduce the price so what do they expect!

Telegraph: Homes for sale number rises to above 1m

''...There are 1.03 million properties up for sale in Britain a 15 per cent increase on a year ago. There are 25 million homes in Britain. ...''

Posted by hpwatcher @ 09:31 AM 3 Comments

BBC news video - Kirsty Allsop - 'property sexpert'

BBC Oline: Allsopp bid for stamp duty cut

TV property expert Kirstie Allsopp calls for a stamp duty cut to help first-time buyers get a house. Need a Monday morning fix of the buxom property wench?

Posted by rental john @ 09:28 AM 7 Comments

Taxpayers to foot bill for incompetent bankers?

Spectator: Public finances take a battering

The losses suffered by three banks Royal Bank of Scotland, HBOS and Lloyds TSB will result in them paying 2.5bn less in corporation tax. Though some of the losses will be booked outside the UK, the majority is expected to come at the expense of British taxpayers. (Full article in FT if registered).

Posted by pendulum @ 09:22 AM 0 Comments

Equity - correct me if I'm worng - ain't hard cash.

BBC online: Homeowners cope with price falls

Homeowners are far better placed to weather a house price crash than they were in the early 1990s, analysis for the BBC has suggested. House prices would have to fall by 56% to put the average mortgage borrower in negative equity. The 'on-paper' value of a house does not necessarily equate to the actual sales value - which is shrinking by the day.

Posted by rental john @ 08:59 AM 16 Comments

We are being primed to quietly accept the Bank of England's chronic failures

Telegraph: Spectre of stagflation set to haunt Mervyn King

It still evades me how a bunch of lay-people posting messages on a website predicted stagflation followed by deflation last year but the monetary policy committee (each paid c. 180,000 for 12 day's work a year) couldn't remotely see it coming at all, after the explosion of M4 money supply (which had nowhere else to go apart from the credit market) and after at least five years of asset-price targeting interest rate policies.

Posted by paul @ 08:53 AM 2 Comments

Let's get populist

BBC: Fall in house prices 'welcomed'

More people want house prices to fall than to rise, BBC research has found.

Posted by holding out @ 08:27 AM 20 Comments

Homeowners 'favour' price falls

BBC News: Homeowners 'favour' price falls

More people want house prices to fall than to rise, BBC research has found. That is the surprise finding of the first poll to test the assumption that house price falls are unpopular and therefore politically damaging. Barely a fifth of people want house prices to rise - fewer than the number of people who want them to fall. The poll, specially commissioned by the BBC, found that only 22% said they wanted prices to go up while 28% said they wanted house prices to fall.

Posted by umbongo @ 05:29 AM 1 Comments

Seven reasons why property is not the automatic route to riches

Independent: Stephen King: As safe as houses? How harsh realities are dispelling the home market myths

A reaction rather than a prediction about the housing market. This could have been written by a HPC contributor years ago. That said, I like this bit: "First, even more so than in earlier episodes, the downturn was preceded by an extraordinary period of house price in-flation. Relative to people's incomes, house prices are now ludicrously high."

Posted by quiet guy @ 01:14 AM 9 Comments

Sitting in a hotel on the Costa del Sol, a handful of expat Brits are watching the sun set on their dreams of a new life in Spain.

mail: Helldorado: How expats dream life in the Spanish sunshine has turned into a property nightmare

Gathered inside the ballroom of the Hotel Alanda on Marbella's Golden Mile, they are stony-faced as one by one their homes go under the auctioneer's hammer for thousands of pounds less than they paid for them. Fittingly described in the auction catalogue as "distressed sales", these properties were once the pride and joy of their owners.

Posted by chris @ 12:59 AM 5 Comments

Sunday, May 11, 2008

IT'S every home owner's heartbreak - watching the value of their home plummet to half the price they paid within a few years.

AUSTRALIAN: Heartbreak as home repossessions hit suburbs

"A lot of them are sick of the situation - they're shattered when they realise how much their house has gone down in value in such a short space of time," she said.

Posted by chris @ 11:25 PM 1 Comments

17% M4 money supply growth for the last five years means onyl one thing ...

Times Online: Mervyn King to grimace and bear bad news

Inflation noun 1 econ a general increase in the level of prices accompanied by a fall in the purchasing power of money, caused by an increase in the amount of money in circulation and credit available. See also deflation, reflation, stagflation. 2 loosely the rate at which the general level of prices is rising. 3 the process of inflating or being inflated. inflationary adj relating to or involving inflation. I wonder which part of "increase in the amount of money in circulation" is not understood by Mr Duncan?

Posted by paul @ 11:23 PM 2 Comments

Hah hah ha h aha ah ahhah 1m = 500k in ten years

Times: One in 10 British families soon to be worth 1m

"Nearly one in 10 British households will have millionaire status within a decade, an authoritative new study has predicted. Despite the global economic slowdown and falling property prices, the number of households worth 1m or more will increase from 1.5m to over 2.4m by 2017, the study says" Ah hahha hahh reason to be happy... but Friedman would call it inflation

Posted by confused76 @ 09:44 PM 10 Comments

Prime Sydney is crashing despite "huge demand"

The Daily Telegraph, Australia: Sydney properties halve in price

The Sydney housing market is in a bind - we have a shortage of housing and huge demand but that isn't going to stop prices declining further. I think we'll see prices fall by another 10 per cent this year - and that's without another interest-rate rise." When the RBA decided to leave the cash rate at a 12-year high of 7.25 per cent last week, it hinted that rates might have to rise later this year if inflation kept rising, which would be disastrous for Sydney's homeowners. "If rates rise again it will accelerate the declines, and that's an ominous prospect because price falls can be infectious" Mr Oliver said.

Posted by foggy @ 09:42 PM 0 Comments

It's not easy, but try to feel a teensy weensy bit sorry for estate agents

Guardian/Observer: It's not easy, but try to feel a teensy weensy bit sorry for estate agents

"Did anyone get angry when the prices of their houses were being ridiculously overinflated? Did I, who staunchly polices the airbrushing of celebrity thighs on the pages of glossy magazines, complain when my fusty two-bed dump was described as a 'delightfully bijou maisonette' and photographed from flattering angles? No I didn't. None of us did. We all jumped feet first into the nest of vipers and now, diddums, we've been bitten." This made me smile. Hope it's not a re-post - I've been out in the sun all day so may have missed it.

Posted by becky @ 07:08 PM 6 Comments

Mortgage Possession Actions getting to 1991 levels

The Market Oracle: UK Housing Market Surge In Mortgage Repossession Orders

From 2000 to 2006 the property market could be viewed as benign, prices went up (and up) whilst affordability from a debt servicing point of view increased. This coupled with loose lending standards (125% mortgages, mortgage limits set at multiples of 5 or 6 times gross earnings) encouraged a buying spree. However, when you view the figures of mortgage possession actions in County Courts, you can see the clear "suckers rally" that has now turned sour:

Posted by inthedelhi @ 03:59 PM 2 Comments

Echoes of the UK 20/30-somethings over the channel

Guardian: After the boomers, meet the children dubbed 'baby losers'

Across Spain, France and Italy, young middle-class professionals with good degrees and diplomas are facing a lifetime on low salaries with unrewarding jobs, forever poorer than their parents.

Posted by uncle chris @ 03:20 PM 17 Comments

disaster as fears of decade wide slump grow

independent on sunday: disaster as fears of decade wide slump grow

looks like this isn't gonna be a correction over a few years...more like a japan squeeze which could go on for 10+ years in 2005 halifax waned prices may not rise again until 2016...then joined in the 'party'

Posted by taffee @ 11:26 AM 15 Comments

Fait accompli !!

The Telegraph: Bank of England warns of two years of stagflation

"Mervyn King, the Bank's Governor, is poised to unveil new forecasts showing that the Consumer Price Index (CPI) will rise above 3 per cent over the next six months, forcing him to write a letter of explanation to the Chancellor." "They come amid warnings that Britain now faces a US-style housing crash, with plummeting prices and rising repossessions." But wait for it!! "Despite the higher rate of inflation, the Bank is likely to indicate its readiness to cut borrowing costs again at least once - perhaps twice - in the coming months." "The Governor would insist that the increase had not come as a surprise." Oh thats OK then.

Posted by cheekie charlie @ 10:01 AM 7 Comments

Depressing tales of irresponsible lending

observer: 'I welcome the crunch: it's shut off the easy loans that destroy lives'

"Counsellors say that tighter credit conditions are, at last, arresting the debt spiral that sucks in vulnerable borrowers." "Antcliffe, who has worked for Citizens Advice since 1994, says: 'The banks have acted as a secondary welfare state. I'm not sure how people are going to adjust to living on their income again."

Posted by mken @ 09:47 AM 11 Comments

EAs want turnover, any kind of turnover

observer: Drive a hard bargain while market is soft

"One of Britain's leading buying agents has startling advice for anyone wishing to purchase a home in today's sliding market: don't settle for a price reduction of 5 or 10 per cent when you could negotiate 20 to 30 per cent off." On the other hand why settle for a price reduction of 20 or 30 per cent when you could negotiate 40 to 50 per cent off. "while the market is soft" i.e. the next 10 years ...

Posted by mken @ 09:35 AM 17 Comments

From Mr Buy-to-Let to Mr Die-in-Debt

Independent: From Mr Buy-to-Let to Mr Die-in-Debt

The Inside Track guy tells us that it's the banks' fault his company went under and after his divorce he's only got less than 16million to get by on. Poor unfortunate bloke, I hope none of his customers tries to sue. Also includes the phrase "green shoots of recovery"

Posted by jimmy_joe @ 09:35 AM 3 Comments

As travellers, we all love the euro. It made my life marginally easier as the Telegraph's Europe correspondent in Brussels, sparing me the toil of filling out separate expense forms in marks, lira, francs, escudos, and so on.

TELEGRAPH UK: To those loudly insisting all this week that Britain should have joined the euro ten years ago, I can only say: are you completely mad?

But let's be serious. A minor convenience is nothing set against the fate of nations. Currencies are formidable instruments of economic management, for good or ill. Every great financial crisis over the last century has was the perverse workings of the fixed exchange Gold Standard that turned the US slump into a global depression in 1931. (See

Posted by chris @ 09:06 AM 4 Comments

Barclays squeeks, "Excuse me, you know I said I didn't need any cash, well..."

The Independent: City waits on rights issue as analysts say Barclays needs 5bn

Barclays will this week disclose whether it plans to go ahead with the third rights issue by a big British bank in a month, when it gives an interim trading update on Thursday. A dramatic jump in write-downs linked to the credit crunch could force the bank to tap shareholders for cash, or more probably see funds from an outside investor such as Singapore's Temasek or China's Development Bank brought in. If the Chinese fall for this, they deserve to lose their money.

Posted by last_days_of_disco @ 02:15 AM 0 Comments

Saturday, May 10, 2008

David Smith analysis

Times: Fall in house sales hits builders, estate agents and mortgage brokers

"Spring weather may have arrived, but cold winds continue to blow through the housing market. Mortgage brokers are finding there is no longer much for them to broker and are feeling the pinch. In fact, anybody connected with new homes is struggling which means the builders themselves and their employees, the self-employed tradesmen they use and those whose job it is to market housing developments to potential buyers. Estate agents are closing offices and shedding staff" This is really great news!

Posted by confused76 @ 11:47 PM 5 Comments

Another futile article by Rosie Millard

Times: Estate agents become scapegoats for the property market slowdown

It will be a list of problems, ranging from professional negligence by developers who filled areas entirely with investors, so a community never managed to grow, to criminal cases where we can show collusion between valuers, agents and surveyors. we are going to have a BTL armageddon

Posted by confused76 @ 11:30 PM 2 Comments

The Credit Crunch is Biting Big Business

THE INDEPENDENT: Ferrovial forced to put 400m into BAA as debt talks stall

Ferrovial, the Spanish parent of BAA, was forced to put 400m of new cash into the beleaguered airport operator to convince its creditors to start talks on its massively delayed 9bn debt refinancing that has been hit hard by the credit crunch and doubts about its future as a group. Last month, Standard & Poor's, the credit rating agency, slashed its rating of ADIL to just one grade above junk. All part of the bigger picture !

Posted by plato @ 07:53 PM 3 Comments

Anne Ashworth Calling Cash-Rich Investors

The Times: No silver lining for first-time buyers

Apparently, first-time buyers "who are facing huge difficulties obtaining mortgages, can only stand by in frustration" because they are priced out by cash-rich investors. A very clever analysis by Anne Ashworth. Not.

Posted by quiet guy @ 07:18 PM 15 Comments

Bye bye fly to let

The Times: What does a low-cost airline offer if flights are not cheap

Now that house prices are returning to normality watch the cost of flying return to normality. With rocketing fuel inflation that holiday home is not much use when it's empty and 1000 miles away, it'll be as usefull as a chocolate fire gaurd!

Posted by cheekie charlie @ 06:46 PM 4 Comments

Book your Foreclosure Bus Tour now!

BusinessWeek: Foreclosure Bargains on the Block

"Even in affluent communities, foreclosures often offer a chance to buy a luxury home for as much as 40% or more off the market value" [...] "Many agents specialize in bank-owned listings, and companies in Michigan, Maryland, Nevada, and other hard-hit markets have started foreclosure bus tours that take buyers to several properties in a given day."

Posted by trough2010 @ 01:37 PM 1 Comments

Buy To Let crash

Times: Thousands in Leeds left out of pocket

In 1996 Leeds had a mere handful of city centre apartments. The city centre now has 7,070 flats, with a further 2,096 under construction, and 8,514 with planning consent. And yet it is estimated that more than 1,000 of the existing city centre flats are lying vacant. An estimated 80 per cent of the city centre flats in Leeds were bought as buy-to-let investments, many by members of investment clubs. More than 1,000 were purchased by members of Inside Track. A recent riverside development of 50 flats each with an agreed buyer who had paid a 10 per cent deposit of 20,000 is empty because every purchaser has pulled out. The 20,000 they have all lost is far less than the fall in the value of each flat since they signed their off-plan deals.

Posted by little professor @ 10:55 AM 15 Comments

Cherie Blair we had "a mortgage the size of Mount Snowdon"

BBC: Blair 'secretly advising Brown'

Mrs Blair - "Mr Brown, as the new chancellor, was wrong to announce he was not going to take a salary increase, thereby putting pressure on others to follow suit. "How dare Gordon do that? What did he know about financial commitments? He was a bachelor living on his own in a flat with a small mortgage," she writes. She said the Blairs had "a mortgage the size of Mount Snowdon" on their 3.6m house in London's Connaught Square. "That was very scary. Whatever happened, we had to meet the monthly payment and it was down to me. Because no one else was going to meet it, were they?"

Posted by jack c @ 10:36 AM 7 Comments

3.6% rise over 2 years minus inflation is a ...

icWales: Welsh house prices predicted to rise

Global information services company and leading economic forecaster Experian said that while Britain would see falls of up to 10% in its house prices between now and 2010, Wales would see its house prices rise by 3.6% over the same period, one of only two UK regions to experience an increase. 10% decline in the rest of UK does seem very low - but this is a "leading economic forecaster".

Posted by mken @ 10:18 AM 3 Comments

Those who managed to buy real houses instead of worthless contracts find the houses are worthless

guardian: Spanish property: the fiesta's over

Polaris World invites you to 'live the dream' at its gigantic golf resorts. But as the market sours, is it turning into a nightmare? "I don't know why anybody would want to buy these things, they are out in the middle of nowhere. You are a long way from the beach."

Posted by mken @ 10:05 AM 2 Comments

houseprice crash is here say city banks

daily mail: house price crash is here say city banks

yep..its no longer a correction or a slump..its officially a crash...pity 'cos it never needed to get to this stage

Posted by taffee @ 09:37 AM 4 Comments

Friday, May 9, 2008

Another Criticism of Banking Risk and Reward

Telegraph: Credit crisis brings best chance to make banks rethink pay

It seems to be very fashionable to put the boot into the bankers right now. I don't want to miss out.

Posted by quiet guy @ 10:43 PM 0 Comments

Let's get back to proper jobs

Times: Credit crunch to claim 40,000 financial jobs

About time the UK economy re-balanced to doing real work I reckon. I have lost count of the number of times banker's million pound bonuses are harped on about by the media. My boss in engineering is on a million Euros per annum basic plus bonus. And we don't hear Auntie Beeb bleeting on about that do we !! Sooner we get back to basics, the sooner we can get back to a sensible economy.

Posted by voiceofreason @ 09:53 PM 17 Comments

A trip down memory lane

tiscali money: RBS profits beat forecasts (2006)

The Royal Bank of Scotland has reported record profits and reassured investors it continues to avoid the damaging level of bad debts that have hurt its rivals. RBS stressed again today the benefits of having avoided lending to the "sub-prime" sector - those who are not traditionally targeted by banks."We have retained our inherently cautious stance towards higher risk activities such as unsecured consumer lending and sub-prime credit markets more generally," said Sir Fred.

Posted by yoyo1 @ 09:13 PM 2 Comments

Everything's fine, honest

Guardian: We're not like John Major, says Harman

"I absolutely do not accept that we're in the same situation as the Major government was," she went on. "Just remember back: the economy was an absolute disaster, with high levels of unemployment, really high levels of business failure, [and] record levels of people losing their homes." Whereas now, we have high levels of incapacity claims, really high levels of business failure, and record levels of people losing their homes.

Posted by jonb @ 07:29 PM 20 Comments

India shocked the markets yesterday by suspending trading in futures contracts for a range of farm products in a bid to clamp down on alleged speculators and curb inflation, now running at 7.6pc.

TELEGRAPH UK: Global free market for food and energy faces biggest threat in decades

The global free market for food and energy is facing its biggest threat in decades as a host of countries push through draconian measures to hold down prices, raising fears of a new "resource nationalism" that could endanger world food security.

Posted by chris @ 07:03 PM 3 Comments

China's long export boom slowed last month as the weakness of the American economy continued to affect its biggest supplier of consumer goods

.telegraph.: China's long export boom slowed last month as the weakness of the American economy continued to affect its biggest supplier of consumer goods.

China's long export boom slowed last month as the weakness of the American economy continued to affect its biggest supplier of consumer goods

Posted by chris @ 06:59 PM 1 Comments

In the eurozone, the central bank's dilemma is becoming ever more acute: the inflation rate, which had fallen unexpectedly in April to 3.3%, could even turn out to be somewhat higher again in the coming months due to the recent increase in oil prices. At

actionforex.: Signs of Weakness in the Eurozone

European side and therefore the euro will probably tend to be weaker in the short to medium term

Posted by chris @ 06:52 PM 0 Comments

They sowed the wind, and now they are going to reap the whirlwind.

The Economic Times: High mortgage foreclosure rate has hit broad economy

Federal Reserve chairman Ben S Bernanke, seeking to end the worst housing slump in a quarter century, urged the government and mortgage lenders to intensify their efforts to avoid home foreclosures. Hey honey...let's pretend we can't afford to pay the mortgage - and stay here for free! Also see:

Posted by rental john @ 06:40 PM 2 Comments

This is a true mess, the Broon legacy!

BBC: Repossession figures ignore many in trouble

Leaches and scavengers lived happily and unregulated under Broon

Posted by confused76 @ 04:29 PM 2 Comments

Guess it's easy then? BBC property porn

BBC Stoke & Staffordshire online: Property Mums

Move over Sarah Beeny... Two mums from the Staffordshire Moorlands show us how to develop properties and bring up a family.

Posted by rental john @ 02:53 PM 0 Comments

Rising Damp!

Times: Flat-hunter: Life is tough for would-be London renters

On the market for 200 a week, the smelly basement was more like a squat. And don't ask about the carpet The government is busy finding ways to shore up the banks, and help 'homeowners' facing repossession.....BUT how about some regulation and help in the private rental sector to protect private tenants........guess I'll be disappointed.

Posted by rental john @ 02:44 PM 1 Comments

Bring on the crash!!!!

ThisIsMoney: House price crash is here, say City banks

'A serious housing crash is now under way,' said Citigroup economist Michael Saunders. The shocks hitting Britain from the credit crunch and rising inflation are 'very severe'. Roger Bootle, economic adviser to accountants Deloitte, said the MPC will eventually have to cut rates 'dramatically' because there's a danger of a 20% house-price slump. 'By deciding not to cut interest rates today, the MPC risks presiding over the deepest and longest economic downturn since the recession of the early 1990s,' he said.

Posted by confused76 @ 02:41 PM 11 Comments

Swansong of the Bricks chicks?

Times: The credit crunch has hit buy-to-let investors, but only up to a point

Good riddance of the Times property section! Anne & Co, please try again as comedians.

Posted by confused76 @ 02:36 PM 8 Comments

BoKloks - sounds like 'B*ll*cks' - but am I the only one to notice?

FT online: Credit crisis hits Ikea home sales

The sharp slowdown in mortgage lending has hit sales of BoKloks, the Ikea flat-pack homes targeted at first-time buyers on modest incomes. Interesting articles - very indicative of cuurent and unfolding situation....

Posted by rental john @ 02:35 PM 1 Comments

Huge Rise In Home Possession Orders

Yahoo: Huge Rise In Home Possession Orders

Worryingly, say experts, this forecast was made before the full impact of the economic squeeze became clear. maybe they shouldnt have borrowed 10 times salary..

Posted by mark @ 01:40 PM 4 Comments

Looks like the French will be on the losing side with us, Ireland, Spain, and Italy.

BBC News: Big fall in French factory output

Germany might be the only major Western economy to emerge relatively unscathed by all of this. Interesting to remember that German house prices have always been no more than a fifth of ours, that most Germans rent not buy, and that house prices have never boomed. But I like the article most for the quotation from Global Equities economist Marc Touati: "The French economy is in the process of going from autumn to winter". So true and not just for France.

Posted by doom&gloom @ 01:11 PM 21 Comments

You couldn't make this up...

Guardian: NatWest lent a single mum on benefits 5,000 for a nose job. Why?

The very tenuous link to house prices is that it shows the sort of thing that the banks are doing with their [or should that be 'our'?] money at the moment and is indicative of why the UK is in the sort of financial mess it is. "She had the operation and was happy with her new nose. With the 1,400 left, she bought hair extensions and spent most of the rest on Christmas presents. "I paid NatWest for the first couple of months with some of the left-over money. But then I stopped as soon as I ran out of money. The bank started to write to me and phone me. I told them I was broke. I was expecting to be told off but it lent me another 1,000. I was really surprised because a friend, who's also a single mum, didn't get anything when she asked."

Posted by cornishman @ 11:32 AM 18 Comments

FT index falls into line!

Financial Times: FT Index confirms house price fall

Note that they revised downward the March figure as well. Woo-hoo!

Posted by papabear @ 10:52 AM 2 Comments

Fight inflation or save house prices?

Independent: The Bank doesn't know which way to go

You don't need to wait until next week's publication of the quarterly Inflation Report to know why the Bank of England yesterday left interest rates on hold. Inflationary pressures are refusing to abate, and it looks perverse to be cutting interest rates into a worsening medium term inflation outlook. Inflation has remained stubbornly above target for virtually all of the last two years, and that's despite the fact that CPI doesn't include the strongly rising house prices that have ruled through most of this period. If the Bank of England cannot make people believe it has tamed inflation, maybe the Government should try another way. With house prices now falling, surely the time has come to reinclude them in the targeted index. That ought to do the trick.

Posted by little professor @ 09:20 AM 19 Comments

Buy to Let:

Times: Professional investors cash in on the credit crunch

Professional investors with large property portfolios are cleaning up; many are sitting on substantial sums of equity built up throughout the housing boom. Unlike new investors, they can afford to meet lenders' more stringent requirements for larger deposits. For these people, a weak housing market represents an opportunity to find a bargain property. Professional investors are not under pressure from the credit crunch because the amounts many need to borrow to fund future purchases are modest compared with the size of their overall portfolio. These investors will do well out of rents. Falling property prices and the tightening credit crunch means that fewer people are willing or able to buy their own homes and therefore end up renting.

Posted by little professor @ 09:16 AM 25 Comments

Asking Prices Start Tumbling

nestoria: The Property Crash 2008

Great site that enables you to see the property crash as its happening,without having to wait for the data from halifax,nationwide,land registery etc.Asking prices in Chelmsford have fallen by a massive 9.4% in ONE MONTH.

Posted by sold out @ 07:42 AM 20 Comments

Just look at the current financial crisis.

Washington Post via TS: The Superclass

As government regulators have sought to head off further market losses, they've found that perhaps the most effective tool at their disposal is what the president of the New York Federal Reserve Bank described to me as their "convening power" their ability to get the big boys of Wall Street and world financial capitals into a room or on a conference call to collaborate on solving a problem. Once again, the meltdown in global financial markets brings this aspect of the story into focus. For years, financial elites have argued that markets should self-regulate even as instruments grew more complex and risks more opaque. Then, when a crisis came, they used their influence to get top government officials to come in and help cauterize their self-inflicted wounds, warning of a "systemic failur

Posted by malct @ 07:39 AM 0 Comments

repos all times high 4 months into slump!

times: repossessions at ALL TIME high

I dread to think whats gonna happen in 6-12 months time...this is starting to look ugly...fraud cases come out next

Posted by taffee @ 06:58 AM 14 Comments

What about help for renters?

BBC: Help pledged over repossessions

Help for homeowners having trouble paying their mortgage is being announced, ahead of figures expected to show a rise in repossession claims. More free legal advice for those at risk of repossession and specialist training for debt advice agencies is being outlined by the government. How long before it's actual handouts - sponsored by the taxpayer - to help people who took out irresponsibly large mortgages?

Posted by welshie @ 06:56 AM 1 Comments

The property crash is getting worse !!!!

The Independent: City of Vallejo goes bankrupt after property crash hits taxes

The city of Vallejo, very briefly the capital of California in the middle of the 19th century, has returned to national prominence for a much less edifying reason: it is about to become the first city in the history of the state to file for bankruptcy. The collapse of the housing market, which has hit parts of California more severely than almost anywhere else in the US, was the final straw for the city of 117,000 residents, which was already struggling to pay its public employees and service its debts. With house prices in Vallejo and the surrounding area down some 26 per cent on a year ago, and transactions drying up, the city is expecting $1.6m (800,000) less in property sales taxes. On top of that, the impact of lower home values and high energy costs on consumers has further dented

Posted by robbie b @ 05:57 AM 4 Comments

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Things slowing down in London... Spotlight On London Boroughs

An activity report for 6 boroughs in London as seen by Kinleigh Folkard & Hayward, the estate agents. Notice Kennington allegedly down 10% year-on-year!

Posted by trough2010 @ 11:00 PM 1 Comments

Secret Stampede

TIMESONLINE: Lenders rush to borrow 71bn in weekly auction

UK lenders today scrambled to borrow money from the Bank of England, bidding more than four times the amount of money the central bank made available in its weekly auction despite a recent pledge to pump 50 billion into the wholesale funding market. Wonder which ones they were ?

Posted by plato @ 07:33 PM 10 Comments

Why Leave Rates on Hold ? Why did the Bank sit on its hands?

The Bank of England's decision to leave rates on hold was hardly a shock. Borrowing costs have already been cut three times since December yet inflationary pressures are mounting. Oil prices are not far shy of $125 a barrel and while the economy has been slowing, it is still some way short of stalling altogether. Even so, it is clear that Threadneedle Street's no-change decision merely delays the next cut in rates and probably only until next month.

Posted by plato @ 07:15 PM 9 Comments

Kirsty Allsop not eating hat

BBC News: TV's Kirstie urges stamp duty axe

Investment guru Kirsty "Prices can only go up" Allsop hasn't eaten her hat yet as far as I know, but it might stop her talking rubbish for a moment if she did. Despite looking foolish, she's not ashamed to blatantly try to influence the market back in her favour.

Posted by renting russ @ 05:20 PM 7 Comments

Need unbiased financial advice? You'll be lucky

MoneyWeek: Need unbiased advice? You'll be lucky

Despite the efforts of a few financial advisers to revolutionise the way they do business, the majority of our so-called advisers are no more than salesmen. The FSA is finally recognising that the current commission-based advice system is inherently corrupt - but the battle for reform is far from over, says Merryn Somerset Webb.

Posted by damien @ 03:19 PM 6 Comments

Labour seeks emergency BOE funding with period of temporary public ownership inevitable

Mail: In the red Labour in emergency talks to extend 10million loans

The Labour Party are facing a financial crisis as they make a desperate bid to put off 10million in loan repayments. The party are running out of money and are 20million in debt as they struggle to pay back loans made by wealthy businessmen in the run-up to the 2005 election. The money was due to be given back to the dozen millionaires, who bankrolled Labour with secret loans, over the next few months, but the party coffers have run dry.

Posted by jack c @ 02:16 PM 23 Comments

Banks encouraging customers to move to fee-paying accounts and away from traditional "free banking"

Mail: Seven million bank customers hit by rises of up to 20% in account fees

Millions of bank customers are being hit with higher current account fees ahead of a possible cap on overdraft charges. An estimated seven million people who bank with Lloyds TSB, NatWest and Royal Bank of Scotland have been told their monthly account fees will go up. They all use increasingly popular "packaged accounts" which offer extra services such as holiday insurance and credit card security plans on top of the basic current account

Posted by jack c @ 02:08 PM 8 Comments

It's a recession to 4 out of 5 Americans

CNN: It's a recession to 4 out of 5 Americans

It's a recession to 4 out of 5 Americans

Posted by mark @ 02:06 PM 0 Comments

Shortage of buyers is forcing vendors into agreeing big price cuts in order to sell.

Mail: The home that dropped by 1million in a month

The effects of the credit crunch on the property market are providing opportunities for some buyers who are snapping up London homes for up to 1million less than the asking price. Self-employed financial trader James Sanders bought a five-bedroom house in the plush Kensington area of London for 3.91 million, a 22 per cent discount on its price tag of about 5million.

Posted by jack c @ 02:04 PM 9 Comments

Council of Moaning Lenders disappointing that there has been no cut in rates

Moneymarketing: CML slams MPC for failing to cut rates

The Council of Mortgage Lenders says the Monetary Policy Committee has missed an opportunity to ease problems in the housing market by failing to cut interest rates today. The Bank of England voted to maintain a rate of 5 per cent, a decision the CML says is disappointing but not surprising.CML director general Michael Coogan says: We understand the conflict between slowing economic growth and rising inflationary pressures, and the uncertainty over some of the data reflected in the split views of MPC members last month. However, the MPC had an opportunity to act to anticipate the worsening economic environment today, and it is disappointing that there has been no change.

Posted by jack c @ 01:53 PM 8 Comments

Musical Instrument Up in Price Due to Weak Pound

Yamaha: Yamaha Tenori-On Price Change

Some musical instruments such as Yamaha cannot longer afford to sell at a loss due to the weak pound. In spite of a recession, they are increasing the price of the Tenori-On instrument from 599 to 629. (5%). With food prices sky-high and now electronics also suffering the consequences of inflation, where does the 2.5% CPI stand?

Posted by janitor @ 01:52 PM 1 Comments

No Going Back to the Days of 125% Cheap Mortgages

Times Online: Mortgage Costs Will Not Fall for 2 Years

The Chairman of the Building Societies Association made an announcement today to the effect that the credit crunch will continue to affect lending policies for another 2 years at least."There is clearly no going back... In my view, it is hard to see global and domestic markets recovering in anything less than a two-year timescale, and when they do, how they operate will be very different to how they were in the first part of the decade," he said. Goodbye to buy-to-let indeed...

Posted by an bearin bui @ 01:52 PM 0 Comments

Computers going UP in price?? This has never happened before Rising Costs Hit Laptop Makers

In recent years falling consumer goods prices have offset increasing oil prices helping lower overall inflation. NOT ANY MORE! The Chinese want higher wages, and those raw materials are maybe starting to get a little scarcer! When have ANY electronics been known to go UP in price? Through my lifetime computers have always been going down in price month after month.

Posted by doom&gloom @ 01:03 PM 18 Comments

Manufacturing economies (Germany) doing well while service/housing economies (Spain) suffer Eurozone economies diverge

How did the UK end up going down the path of financial/service expansion while losing manufacturing, while Germany developed it's manufacturing economy so well? This could eventually spell doom for the Euro IMHO. After all you have a single currency with two different interest rates! Suggest digging out your Pesetas from that old holiday drawer when you've got a spare moment...

Posted by doom&gloom @ 12:56 PM 11 Comments

Liverpool luxury flat market nose diving

Liverpool Daily Post: Liverpool luxury flats fail to tempt buyers

Liverpool property market is in a bad way with even more property coming on stream from the massive Liverpool One project. Estate Agents only have just over 6 months to flog their 'European City of Culture' sale tool - Ouch!!!

Posted by scouser @ 12:29 PM 1 Comments

BOE elects to hold UK interest rates

BBC: UK interest rates unchanged at 5%

UK interest rates have been held at 5% by the Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee (MPC). The move was widely expected, although many analysts now predict that rates will be cut to 4.75% in June. The MPC's decision came despite a flurry of downbeat data this week which has added to worries about the state of the UK economy amid a global slowdown.

Posted by jack c @ 12:01 PM 16 Comments

Why an interest rate cut will only make things worse

MoneyWeek: Why an interest rate cut will only make things worse

Its too late to save the economy from recession, says John Stepek. But any rate cut will further weaken sterling, and make the impact of high commodity prices even worse on UK consumers...

Posted by damien @ 11:26 AM 1 Comments

Not sure these are bargains quite yet

ThisIsMoney: 1m homes are biggest bargains

Mark Anderson, managing director of Hamptons, which has 85 offices, mostly in the South East, said: 'The market is in a very different place from this time last year.' Liam Bailey, head of residential research at rival estate agent Knight Frank agreed. He said: 'We are now in the grip of a major housing market slowdown.' These EA leaches now are running for cover! They ask "vendors to be realistic" AHHA HHAHAH AHH HAHAH now they will die by the same ludicrous price expectations that they have promoted. Good riddance all EAs!

Posted by confused76 @ 10:17 AM 2 Comments

A few economic areas are discussed here. Good read.

Market Oracle: US Economy No Recovery Whilst Housing Bust Continues

Nevermind the cause being the housing price declines. That has been ignored. When banks announce further big bond losses, the winds will change very rapidly, and with anger by the people. Rating agencies are cooperating in ways, but not offering ratings on debt securities in certain bond types. Yet they also are issuing huge downgrades of typically safe asset backed bonds. This summer will involve a very very rude awakening. The reality of recession, housing decline, and bank losses will undo the positive attitudes that are lifting the subprime US Dollar and stock prices broadly

Posted by sold 2 rent 1 @ 10:16 AM 6 Comments

Time is running out for the Ben

Market Oracle: The Bernanke Monetary Policy Conundrum Heading for a Crash

It looks to me that Bernanke has already instituted the measures he believes will help avoid a repeat of '29-'33 by delivering the medicine now rather than later. As we have seen earlier in this article, the medicine does not seem to be affecting the patient. Credit availability continues to contract due to the policies of banks. Ben Bernanke now finds himself in a situation where he has delivered all he can to no avail. Does he sit back and wait for a change in credit conditions to become apparent or is there more that he can do? Whatever he does, unless lending conditions change markedly and rapidly in this quarter , it will be ineffective. Bernanke will no longer have to refer to history to see a deflationary depression, he will be living it.

Posted by sold 2 rent 1 @ 09:55 AM 12 Comments

Good graphs

Market Oracle: UK House Prices Tumbling- Interest Rate Conundrum

This makes the projected trend beyond September 2008 harder to ascertain at this point in time, due to the possibility that the Bank of England may be forced to abandon the 2% inflation target in favour of measures to boost a faltering UK economy ahead of a UK general election. This suggests that we may see negative interest rates in the UK, i.e. the UK base rate being cut to below the rate of inflation as measured by the RPI inflation measure. The current spread between the base rate and RPI is a healthy 1.2%

Posted by sold 2 rent 1 @ 09:25 AM 8 Comments


guardian: No Buyers for John Charcol

Who'd have thunk it. Jon Charcol aint wurf nuffink!

Posted by inbreda @ 09:10 AM 5 Comments

FSA Starts Doing Its Job - 5 Years Too Late

Guardian: Building societies getting too deep into buy-to-let risk, regulator warns

Hector Sants, chief executive of the FSA, said building societies were not preparing for "extreme stress scenarios" and some of them may need to tighten their lending criteria.

Posted by quiet guy @ 08:26 AM 6 Comments

Where's the money coming from?

Mirror: Blair-faced cheek

Tony Blair has just bought his sixth home - Sir John Gielgud's old 4million mansion (how apt for a Lady Macbeth?) to go with his two London properties, two Bristol flats and his house in Sedgefield. It means the Blairs' total mortgage debt is 8m and their monthly payments more than 30,000. But that's peanuts for a man who has signed deals worth more than 10m since leaving office. Selling the knowledge he picked up as PM to investment bankers. I'm sure all those facing repossession feel the same as the bereaved families in Iraq and don't begrudge Blair a penny.

Posted by little professor @ 08:10 AM 5 Comments

Uncertainty sees fall in London house prices

FT: Uncertainty sees fall in London house prices

The value of upmarket housing in London is coming under pressure because of economic uncertainty and the squeeze on City jobs, says Savills, the property agent. The price of London homes costing more than 1m ($2m) fell by 1.5 per cent in the first quarter, the property consultant said on Wednesday. This follows a 2 per cent fall in the value of such homes in the final quarter of 2007. Ahhh my heart bleeds.

Posted by crash n burn @ 07:40 AM 2 Comments

BS do not understand commercial BTL loans

Guardian: Building societies getting too deep into buy-to-let risk, regulator warns

The FSA told building societies they were accumulating too much risk in buy-to-let mortgages, by buying mortgage books from rivals and failing to understand the risks of commercial borrowers such as BTL. The FSA made it clear that societies should only lend to those able to pay their mortgages!!! Er is this not common sense?

Posted by who stole my pension? @ 05:44 AM 4 Comments

The US and Europe now have a united desire to see the dollar strengthen against the euro, senior officials have told the Financial Times.

ft: Europe and US unite on stronger dolla

Policymakers welcome the recent rebound in the dollar, which at one point on Wednesday rallied to a six-week high against the euro. They are concerned that the currency markets have been paying too much attention to short-term economic weakness and market stress in the US, and not enough to the medium-term prospects for the US and Europe, a senior US official said.

Posted by chris @ 02:19 AM 1 Comments

Ramping a cut

Independent: Lower interest rates are no magic bullet, but they will work

The housing market does seem to be falling off a cliff. As everyone knows we now have a small year-on-year decline in prices, but that conceals six months of gains and six months of losses. Look at prices on a six-month basis and prices are falling at an annual rate of around 9 per cent. Look at them on a three-month basis and the number is minus 15.7 per cent. Those of us who expected either a plateau in prices or modest declines look like being wrong.

Posted by little professor @ 12:19 AM 12 Comments

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

The currency crunch: British tourists pay price for euro's strength LINKToday a euro is worth 80p, an all-time high against the pound. Bad news for British holidaymakers but are there more serious consequences of living next door to the world's stronges

TELEGRAPH UK: The currency crunch: British tourists pay price for euro's strength

The currency crunch: British tourists pay price for euro's strength LINKToday a euro is worth 80p, an all-time high against the pound. Bad news for British holidaymakers but are there more serious consequences of living next door to the world's strongest currency?

Posted by chris @ 09:50 PM 7 Comments

More job losses

Reuters: Barclays cuts 1,000 jobs at Goldfish unit

Is any one counting the job losses?

Posted by who stole my pension? @ 09:38 PM 2 Comments

wasn't the size of Bear Stearns Cos. (BSC:The Bear Stearns Companies Inc

market watch: SEC official: Future Bear Stearns could be allowed to fold

Erik Sirri, director of the trading and markets division at the regulator, told a Senate panel that had the crisis at Bear Stearns played itself out over a longer period, it may not have been necessary for the Federal Reserve, Treasury Department and SEC to step in and put together an emergency lifeboat for the bank.

Posted by chris @ 09:31 PM 0 Comments

I did cr@p - only got 2/8 right !

BBC online: The Truth about Property quiz

From Oct 2007 - property price quiz..... The price of property can vary greatly across the UK. Test your knowledge of property prices with this guess the house price quiz. I did cr@p...only scored 2 out of 8 (only because I knew the price of a 2 bed terrace in Manchester, and one where I just got lucky.

Posted by rental john @ 08:22 PM 3 Comments

183.2% APR typical !!! An advert on the HPC home page

Provident Personal Credit: Apply online - advert on HPC home page!

Normally I ignore inserted adverts as just webpage clutter......but sat up when I saw this ad on our beloved HPC website.... Sub-prime loans for the underclass? Poor Credit History, CCJ's, Tenant?....then we'll screw you over to the tune on 204 quid on top of a 300 quid loan.....a disgrace - please block or remove this ad.

Posted by rental john @ 08:08 PM 3 Comments

Ripples spread out from credit crunch

BBC online: 900 jobs go in Goldfish closure

The Goldfish credit card business is to close its customer service centre in Cumbernauld, North Lanarkshire, with the loss of up to 900 jobs. Credits Cards = Spawn of the Devil!

Posted by rental john @ 08:00 PM 0 Comments

Northern Rock's second largest shareholder is poised to fight the government over shareholder losses

FT: L&G to sue government over Rock nationalisation

Legal & General (L&G) has filed for legal action against the government over its dealings with Northern Rock, according to the financial services provider. The news comes just weeks after the UK shareholders association UKSA announced it would be fighting the government over shareholder losses incurred by the controversial nationalisation of the bank.

Posted by jack c @ 05:16 PM 19 Comments

An amusing ramble..

Grauniad: Who should we hate instead - and other pressing questions

What will ex-estate agents do for a living - and what use can be made of all the empty offices?

Posted by uncle tom @ 04:15 PM 20 Comments

Desperate home builders will soon have to offer geniune discounts

MoneyWeek: Bad news for home builders - soon youll have to offer genuine discounts

Desperate home builders are offering all kinds of 'incentives' to buyers. But anyone tempted should stay put - by the time this bust has run its course, developers will practically be giving property away..

Posted by damien @ 03:52 PM 1 Comments

BBC want to write an article saying that rents are rising with inflation????????? Rent inflation is bad?? HPI for the last 7 years has been good news??? What???

BBC News: Have you been hit by rent rises?

Business analysts are predicating that the cost of renting property will rise. Have you been affected? Capital Economics is forecasting that rents will rise by more than 10% over the next two years. This comes despite the fact that UK's biggest mortgage lender has confirmed house prices are falling. We want to speak to people who have been hit or are due to be hit by the rising cost of rent.

Posted by mattormsby @ 03:17 PM 14 Comments

Downward spirall gathers more momentum

Citywire: Woolwich lops loan to values to avoid negative equity

Woolwich has cut the maximum loan to value (LTV) it will offer mortgage customers to 90% from 95% in response to falling house prices. The Barclays subsidiary said it was prudent to cut back the proportion it will lend against the value of properties to avoid homeowners seeing their equity eroded by falling house prices. The market is constantly changing and we have seen in recent weeks that there has started to be a decline in property prices, said a Woolwich spokesman.

Posted by jack c @ 02:30 PM 11 Comments

Can't wait to buy my copy of the Standard this evening

Evening Standard: Gloomy spring for estate agents as prime London property prices dip

"Two London estate agents specialising in expensive property today gave a gloomy assessment of prices in the capital's most desirable areas" desirable desirable conveniently located a few steps from the Tube stop near local amenities and coffee shops two en suite bathrooms and... a conservatory roof deck and magnolia interiors

Posted by confused76 @ 02:17 PM 4 Comments

Northren based EA's and Builders feeling "the crunch" Urban estate agency jobs go

MORE than 100 estate agency staff in the North East are believed to have lost their jobs as the property market slows. Industry insiders say the jobs have gone in recent weeks with the closure of at least 10 sales offices as the market nationwide is hit by the credit crunch. The property slump has also sparked speculation about the future of the North Easts biggest housebuilding companies.

Posted by jack c @ 02:00 PM 2 Comments

They call price falls of 1.5% a slump?

Metro: Luxury house market hit by slump

They ain't seen nothing yet!

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 12:33 PM 9 Comments

40 per cent drop in the number of buy to let mortgage products in past month

Firstrung: Buy to let mortgage market shrinks by 83% in past twelve months

Research from price comparison website shows five per cent more people are renting properties now than in October last year. However, in the past month alone there has been a 40 per cent drop in the number of buy to let mortgage products available, revealing Britain might be on the road to a housing disaster

Posted by converted lurker @ 11:31 AM 5 Comments

Exodus, movement of the people..oh yeah

Firstrung: Britain is experiencing its biggest exodus in nearly 50 years

As record numbers of Britons leave the country permanently to live abroad, new research indicates that Gordon Brown might be responsible. A survey, commissioned by removals company Robinsons International, reveals that 15% of emigrants blame the government for driving them away from the UK..What's more, Gordon Brown got the vote in the wrong kind of election when it came to naming British personalities who emigrants will be most pleased to see the back of. While a quarter of respondents were most looking forward to waving goodbye to the Prime Minister, not far behind him was Tony Blair, followed by Victoria Beckham.

Posted by converted lurker @ 11:08 AM 24 Comments

Rightmove fear the worst

Firstrung: With up to 150 estate agents closing per week and 4000 jobs lost in 2008 Rightmove still remain confident

Rightmove has warned investors in its annual report that with increasing numbers of estate agents closing, (150 a week according to a recent report) and up to 4,000 jobs lost in the sector in 2008 the slower housing market would inevitably take its toll on their results. The firm stated that its retention rate for estate agents - the proportion who keep using the website to advertise properties - has slipped to 85 per cent this year, compared to 92 per cent in 2007.

Posted by converted lurker @ 11:06 AM 3 Comments

Snouts in the trough! What else will creep out of the woodwork?

FT: Top UBS banker detained by US

One of the most senior private bankers at UBS, the worlds leading wealth manager, has been detained by authorities in the US investigating whether the Swiss bank helped its American clients evade tax. Martin Liechti, the Zurich-based head of North and South America for UBSs international wealth management business, was held in connection with a US justice department investigation into investment advice that UBS gave its American private banking clients between 2000 and 2007.

Posted by rental john @ 10:58 AM 0 Comments

No-one seems to care about this any more...

BBC News: UK manufacturing falls in March

When the history of the 'Blair Bubble' or 'Brown Bust' is studied by future students, they will be incredulous that a country could believe it's economy was in calm waters when over 80% of the workforce was in the service sector..

Posted by uncle tom @ 10:17 AM 33 Comments

Do they deserve our sympathy

Guardian: Pity the poor Estate Agent?

"We talk in this business about 20-year cycles - 15 making hay and five grim," Nice to know they actually plan for a boom and bust business - maybe someone should tell moron Brown that it is all the fault of the estate agents

Posted by inbreda @ 09:15 AM 17 Comments

The Next Depression: Mistakes or Orchestrated - you decide.

Kitco: The Great Depression of the 2010s

The collapse of financial markets in the first Great Depression led to the US Congress to enact laws that would hopefully insure that such a collapse would never again happen. To that end, in 1933 the Glass-Steagall Act was passed by Congress and signed into law. However, in 1999, the US Congress repealed the Glass-Steagall Act and America was once again vulnerable to the highly leveraged shenanigans of Wall Street. This time, however, it was not only the US but the entire world whose futures were to be bet and lost by Wall Street gamblers.

Posted by sold 2 rent 1 @ 09:12 AM 37 Comments

Surely he's had it now?

SKY NEWS: 'Brown's Days Numbered' - Fleet Street

Newspaper coverage in the wake of Gordon Brown's hammering at the polls will have had Labour Party strategists choking on their low-salt muesli. And nothing will have alarmed them more than the verdict from The Sun, whose switch of allegiance from the Tories to New Labour in the run-up to the 1997 election was a huge PR coup for Tony Blair.

Posted by grizzly adams @ 08:57 AM 0 Comments


madame tussauds: gordon brown

Hi Just wanted to make sure you didn't miss out on the opportunity to vote in the Madame Tussauds General Election! Madame Tussauds is giving YOU the chance to decide whether Prime Minister Gordon Brown deserves to join our other legendary leaders figures in the world famous attraction It's up to you to vote him in or out! Visit to cast your vote! Voting closes 13th May 5pm - so make sure your opinion is counted.

Posted by dan @ 07:41 AM 0 Comments

Some Schadenfreude from the Telegraph

Telegraph: Basking property market sharks start to bleed

One of the momentous consequences of the credit crunch is that the housing market has stalled. Stalled? Plunged off a cliff and lying in a smoking heap at the bottom of Dead End Gulch would be more accurate.

Posted by quiet guy @ 07:35 AM 23 Comments


Independent: Collapse in Bovis sales shocks City

Bovis Homes dealt another blow to the fragile housing market yesterday with a profits warning that rocked the sector to its foundations.

Posted by anotherway @ 07:29 AM 0 Comments

UK vote for Brown

yahoo news: British vote on wax prime minister

LONDON (AFP) - Embattled Prime Minister Gordon Brown faces more potential poll humiliation -- as Madame Tussauds waxwork museum said Tuesday opened a vote on whether they should bother making a model of him.

Posted by sold out @ 07:25 AM 5 Comments

Bank of Brown: They shouldn't cut.....but they probably will......

Telegraph: Data woes put Bank on course to cut rates

''...The Bank of 'Brown' is now on the verge of its first back-to-back interest rate cut in almost seven years, experts have claimed after a blizzard of miserable economic data....''

Posted by hpwatcher @ 06:03 AM 8 Comments

Lloyds is Bracing Itself for a Correction

The Times: Lloyds TSB predicts profits rise and house price fall

'Lloyds TSB predicted a 10 per cent fall in house prices by the end of 2009 as the bank bucked the trend to report relatively small writedowns and no need for additional capital.' Today the predicted fall is 10%. Next year's number will be ... ?

Posted by quiet guy @ 01:50 AM 4 Comments

The Australian Industry Group-Housing Industry Association Performance of Construction Index fell 5.1 points in April from the previous month to 42.6 points.

wsj: This is the weakest reading since the series began in 2005.

Australia's construction sector recorded a decline in activity in April, a performance gauge produced by an industry group published Wednesday shows. The Australian Industry Group-Housing Industry Association Performance of Construction Index fell 5.1 points in April from the previous month to 42.6 points. A reading below 50 indicates a contraction in activity in the sector and a reading above 50 indicates expansion.

Posted by chris @ 01:15 AM 0 Comments

The latest survey of business expectations predicts economic conditions will deteriorate sharply in the second half of the year.

ABC news: Survey predicts economic situation to get worse

Survey predicts economic situation to get worseThe Dun and Bradstreet survey shows there was negative growth in sales and capital investment during the March quarter and employment growth was at its lowest since June 1992.

Posted by chris @ 12:37 AM 0 Comments

Federal Opposition Leader Brendan Nelson has questioned the Government's economic credibility over inflation.

ABC news: Govt invented inflation crisis: Nelson

"The reason we've been given for the expenditure cuts, the inflation crisis as we've been told, is a complete charade," he said.

Posted by chris @ 12:35 AM 0 Comments

Interview with Dan Dicker

The Street .com: Forget $200 oil - $240 is next

Ok, I don't want to start sounding like peak oil bull, but this could be worrying. That said, I am suspicious. About a year a ago I read that whilst banks were trimming debt traders they were increasing those with commodities skills. Do we have our next bubble ladies and gentleman? If so do we buy in now (when 5 years ago was the real time to buy) or do we sit this one out. Thoughts welcome.

Posted by mikelivingstone @ 12:28 AM 0 Comments

Monitor banks to make sure they're being run properly? Heaven forbid!

Times Online: Bank of England and FSA seek control of failing banks

Callum McCarthy of the FSA remarks The difficulty of giving two sets of triggers is that, if I were working for another organisation and were responsible for pulling the trigger and having to appear before this committee to explain my actions, it would inevitably force me into quasi-monitoring of the banksThe FSA monitoring banks? historically of course, the FSA were there to tag along in pinstriped suits and make reassuring remarks like "Yes, Mr Applegarth, I see you're doing a fine job. Let's move along, lunch soon ..."

Posted by paul @ 12:23 AM 1 Comments

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

The press have changed their tune and now so have Hamptons !

Mortgagestrategy: Realistic pricing will help stop further UK house prices fall

Hamptons International says that despite a 10-15% fall in house prices since autumn 2007, properties that are realistically priced are being sold with competitive bids taking place in high demand areas. Hamptons says that there is still a steady market for houses that are priced correctly, with a current average of 6 buyers for every seller.

Posted by jack c @ 11:25 PM 18 Comments

Special report

Channel 4 News: The return of gazundering

Worth a watch - today's Channel 4 News report on the rise of gazundering. Some people would like it made illegal.

Posted by little professor @ 10:28 PM 4 Comments

Its not bad practice, its just protecting yourself Gazundering 'will rise as house prices slip'

Donna Werbner, a property expert at, commented: "Falling house prices create a terrible moral dilemma for buyers. If they don't gazunder, they could potentially find their property has fallen in value before they have even bought it.

Posted by herrbbiiee @ 08:16 PM 6 Comments

house prices could take 10 years to recover

Reuters: UK house prices set for 14 pct 1-yr fall-market data

"LONDON, May 6 (Reuters) - The average cost of a British house is expected to sink by 14 percent over the next year and prices could take a decade to return to 2007 highs, property derivative brokers said on Tuesday." Some people in the business are facing reality!

Posted by herrbbiiee @ 08:14 PM 12 Comments

Another major builder can't hide lack of revenue from their shareholders.

BBC News: Bovis Sets Out New Profit Warning

Bovis admit sales are down. No getting away from the usual sales puff though.

Posted by baudot @ 08:11 PM 0 Comments

Follow on to the article posted at midday from MortgageSolutions

Daily Mail: Homebuyers need a deposit of nearly 30,000 to get a cheap fixed rate mortgage deal

Homebuyers need a minimum deposit of nearly 30,000 to get a cheap fixed rate mortgage deal, research reveals today. The report, from the mortgage advisers Mform, highlights the crisis facing people, particularly first-time buyers, who want to buy a home but do not have any savings. At this record-breaking level, this is equal to about 20 months' take-home pay of a private sector worker on the country's average salary.

Posted by jack c @ 06:29 PM 11 Comments

It is time for serious regulations of the mortgage

Times: Airmiles mortgage set to fly

Sean Gardner, of MoneyExpert, a comparison website, said: Of course, nobody would advise that you selected your mortgage provider based on how many flights to Rome, cases of wine or free haircuts youll get. But with a rate of 5.89 per cent over three years the Airmiles mortgage is amongst the most competitive." But then again, Brown and Darling are just inept

Posted by confused76 @ 05:46 PM 5 Comments

The first run on a UK Bank in 100+ years but the regulator elects to pay it's employees a "bonus"

MoneyMarketing: FSA staff received same bonuses despite Northern Rock

The FSA's senior management received the same amount as bonuses in the year 07/08 as the previous year, despite the regulator admitting to deeply worrying mistakes in its handling of Northern Rock. In response to a question from Treasury Select Committee sub-chairman Michael Fallon, chief executive Hector Sants admitted bonuses had not been cut to reflect self-confessed shortcomings. Sants said: We paid the same percentage of salaries as bonuses to employees of the FSA for 07/08 as we did the previous year. It was the same for the two years in question - a decision that was made by the board on the recommendation of the executives."

Posted by jack c @ 05:40 PM 3 Comments

Remember that stuff that was good well now its bad!

Bloomberg: Merrill Says Level 3 Assets Jump 70% in First Quarter (Update2)

U.S. brokerage reclassified commercial mortgages and other assets as hard to value...

Posted by perfectstorm @ 05:01 PM 0 Comments

Labour Soft On Crime!-These people are criminals lock them up!

BBC News: Mortgage fraudster banned by FSA

Fiddle yourself and your friends a nice big mortgage, and get away with it! Between June 2006 and February 2008, he put in seven mortgage applications in his own name, raising his supposed income - and thus the size of the loan - from 49,600 in 2003 to an eventual income of 140,000 in 2006

Posted by acumh @ 04:27 PM 1 Comments

Business confidence has slumped to a 14-year low on the back of the worst conditions in five years, a new survey reveals.This is the lowest level since the survey began in 1994.

businessday: Business confidence slumps: survey

General business conditions also fell to 52.5 in the March quarter from 57.3 in the December quarter.

Posted by chris @ 04:19 PM 0 Comments

Should you buy into banks rights issues?

MoneyWeek: Should you buy into banks rights issues?

Normally, if you want to raise some money, you call up your bank. Now, apparently, its the other way round. And for investors, recents rights issues are still unlikely to mark a low point in banking sector...

Posted by damien @ 03:15 PM 0 Comments

FT survey of economists and "experts" UK house prices to fall further

...interesting to see that they have included details of the economists' own housing status, although since they are all broadly the same in this regard it is not particularly revealing.

Posted by flashharry @ 02:26 PM 6 Comments

MPs See Through Official Inflation Figures Fiddling

Daily Express: Secret 25% Pay Rise for MPs

When it comes to awarding their own pay rises, it seems that MPs aren't fooled at all by the government's official CPI based "fiddle it to make it seem low at all costs" inflation figure. Many of them obviously do their own shopping, and have witnessed the same tub of margarine rising in price from 0.85 to 1.11 in about 5 months, as I have just done at my lunchtime shop at Tesco. Obviously the police, teachers, nurses, etc are just expected to down-grade to inferior brands of margarine.

Posted by eyeoftheweasel @ 02:10 PM 19 Comments

150 Billion in aid for homeowners facing repossession

Fed: Bernanke gives green light to Frank foreclosure bill

Clusters of foreclosures can destabilize communities, reduce the property values of nearby homes, and lower municipal tax revenues. In addition, foreclosures can drive house prices lower.

Posted by yoyo1 @ 02:06 PM 4 Comments

Things Not Looking Too Rosy for the Estate Agents

ThisIsMoney: Thousand estate agents closed this year

Estate agencies are closing at a rate of up to 150 a week as house sales plunge. Approximately 4,000 job losses have been reported this year as hundreds of firms are forced to cut staff.

Posted by jj @ 01:56 PM 5 Comments

"25% auto loans underwater"

RGEMonitor: Negative Equity in Auto Loans and the Bust of the Auto Bubble

"Sounds familiar? The car lending bubble was as reckless as the subprime and mortgage bubble. And now this credit bubble is going bust leading to rising default rates, significant negative equity in car loans (25% of all car loans are under water), massive losses to auto loan firms and a severe recession in the auto industry."

Posted by hotairmail @ 01:25 PM 0 Comments

How Many Will be Homeless and Broke?

Independent: Repossessions set to soar to highest level for 17 years

The number of properties being repossessed has soared as the effects of the credit crunch push court orders from banks and building societies to record highs, figures will show this week.

Posted by quiet guy @ 01:17 PM 9 Comments

Credit losses "will be even worse next year"

Bloomberg: Fannie Mae to Raise $6 Billion After Posting Loss

"May 6 (Bloomberg) -- Fannie Mae, the largest U.S. mortgage- finance company, reported a wider loss than analysts estimated and said it will cut its dividend and raise $6 billion in capital to help overcome the worst housing slump since the Great Depression. The Washington-based company tumbled as much as 12 percent in early trading and said its credit market losses will be worse next year than in 2008. The first-quarter net loss was $2.19 billion, or $2.57 a share, compared with a profit a year earlier. Analysts had anticipated a loss of 64 cents a share, the average of 12 estimates from a Bloomberg survey. Fannie Mae and smaller rival Freddie Mac may each need as much as $15 billion in capital to cope with the delinquencies and foreclosures that pushed their shares down more than"

Posted by hotairmail @ 12:58 PM 1 Comments

Aw diddums

BBC: Estate agents closing branches

About 150 estate agents' branches are now closing every week in the UK, according to research. Business monitor Debtwire said the number of branches had fallen from 13,000 to 12,000 so far this year. Jeremy Leaf, from RICS, told the BBC many were closing because people eager to move could not get a mortgage. Bank of England figures show that the number of new mortgages approved in March was the lowest since records began.

Posted by little professor @ 12:37 PM 23 Comments

Many more to come in the next 12-18 months.

BBC: Bankruptcy for US linen retailer

US retailer Linens 'n Things has filed for bankruptcy protection, citing problems in the housing market and the credit squeeze. Consumers cutting back on discretionary spending hit demand for its furnishings and homewares. Linens 'n Things had suffered a "precipitous decline" in profitability and liquidity, the company said. The firm intends to close 120 stores. The rest will trade normally while it reorganises the business.

Posted by tyrellcorporation @ 12:22 PM 0 Comments

Louise Cuming of Moneysupermarket - "I fear we will soon see many people unable to buy or rent - the question is, where do they go from there?"

Mortgagesolutions: Moneysupermarket in BTL warning

Research from price comparison website Moneysupermarket has revealed that there has been a 40% drop in the number of buy-to let mortgage products available in the past month. Up to 5% of Brits have been forced off the property ladder since October last year according to the firm. Moneysupermarket said lenders' demands for ever increasing deposits, tightening of credit criteria, higher product prices and general uncertainty over market conditions made owning a home a luxury out of reach of an increasing number of people.

Posted by jack c @ 12:02 PM 13 Comments

Why US employment data is worse than it looks

MoneyWeek: Why the US employment picture is much grimmer than it looks

Markets have got very excited recently over talk that the credit crunch could be over, and better than expected US economic data. But take a closer look, and the reality is quite different

Posted by damien @ 11:50 AM 2 Comments


yourmortgage: Property Price Predictor

Type in your postcode at the bottom of the page and see how much you could make if you bought a house now.

Posted by cornishman @ 10:33 AM 28 Comments

Just one reason the "housing shortage" is a Big Lie

This Is Money: Empty houses outstrip new-homes targets

Almost 290,000 homes are sitting empty in England despite the housing shortage blamed for spiralling house prices. A report by Halifax bank says although figures show 289,000 homes sitting empty for six months or longer, just half a dozen orders have been granted to take control of empty properties since new rules were introduced in July 2006. The number of homes empty for longer than six months far outstrips the Government's revised housebuilding targets of 240,000 new properties per year.

Posted by sneaker @ 09:58 AM 1 Comments

$200 oil just around the corner

Bloomberg: Goldman Says Oil Likely to Reach $150-200 a Barrel

Spare production capacity of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries is low and the producer group's exports may fall because of lackluster supply growth and rising domestic consumption in member countries. Non-OPEC supply is struggling to grow, with notable declines being seen in Mexico and Russia showing signs of rolling over following an extended period of rapid growth. Note that another name for 'rolling over' is peaking.

Posted by also sold to rent @ 09:33 AM 35 Comments

Pop go the fundamentals!!

Guardian: UBS to axe 5,500 jobs

UBS, Europe's biggest casualty of the credit crunch, is to axe 5,500 jobs, with 2,600 facing compulsory redundancy in its stricken investment bank. The Swiss bank lost Sfr11.54bn (5.6bn) in the first quarter - mildly better than the Sfr12bn it indicated on April 1 - and warned that financial markets would remain difficult.

Posted by inbreda @ 09:13 AM 2 Comments

Triple A to junk - who'd-a-thunk it?

guardian: Junk debt puts Countrywide rescue in jeopardy

Doubts are mounting over a $4bn (2bn) rescue bid for the US's biggest mortgage lender, Countrywide Financial, after a deterioration in its stricken loan portfolio and a downgrade in its debt to junk status.

Posted by inbreda @ 09:12 AM 1 Comments

"Sharp deterioration in last 2 months"

Sharecast: Profits warning at Bovis

"Housebuilder Bovis Homes says housing market conditions have deteriorated sharply in the last two months and results for the first half of 2008 will be substantially lower than previously anticipated. In 2008 so far Bovis has seen a 30% decline in the number of reservations"

Posted by hotairmail @ 08:24 AM 3 Comments

Chancellor of the Exchequer sent to the Tower of London

HM Treasury: The origins of HM Treasury

As is often the case, wars are expensive and in 1433 war with France led to a deficit of 30,000 - the equivalent of over 100 billion today. The war years of 1914-18 had seen an increase in the National Debt from 650 million at the start of the war to 7,500 million by 1919. This ensured that the Treasury developed new expertise in foreign exchange, currency, credit and price control skills and were put to use in the management of the post-war economy. The slump of the 1930s necessitated the restructuring of the economy following World War II (the national debt stood at 21 billion by its end) and the emphasis was placed on economic planning and financial relations. WAR what is it good for? absolutely no better way to get we the people into debt!

Posted by malct @ 07:50 AM 0 Comments

SAFE is established as a responsible battle proven group

SAFE Online: Struggle Against Financial Exploitation

Not a news item as such, but the existence of this organisation is news to me and may be to many others. Certainly relevant to most discussions taking place on this site. Hope it helps. SAFE is a company limited by guarantee and has developed from the original SAFE, (Struggle Against Financial Exploitation), group which, over a decade ago carried out various demonstrations to draw attention to how both the banks and other governing institutions were seemingly condoning systemic fraud and deception upon unsuspecting individuals throughout the UK.

Posted by malct @ 07:33 AM 0 Comments

Removal firms have also laid off hundreds of staff after a 26 per cent fall in the number of properties changing hands over the past 12 months.

TELEGRAPH UK: Estate agencies are closing branches at the rate of 150 a week, with 4,000 job losses since the start of the year.

The job losses are the clearest sign yet of the impact the global credit crisis and housing market slowdown have had on the wider economy.

Posted by chris @ 06:06 AM 9 Comments

If You Want To See The Future Of House Prices In Australia Just Look At Newzealand

afr: NZ shows us the way ahead

Cooler economic climate dampens growth

Posted by chris @ 03:53 AM 2 Comments

Monday, May 5, 2008

The Bricks Chicks

Times: How low will they go? Ten things you need to know about house prices

"Firm action is needed to stop the slide becoming a crash"

Posted by confused76 @ 11:25 PM 12 Comments

Just how high will the price of oil go in 2008?

Bloomberg: Oil Rises to Record After Report Shows Service Industries Grew

Crude oil rose above $120 a barrel to a record in New York after a report showed that U.S. service industries expanded in April, signaling higher energy use. Crude oil for June delivery climbed $3.65, or 3.1 percent, to settle at $119.97 a barrel at 2:42 p.m. on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It was the highest closing price since trading began in 1983. Futures surged to an all-time intraday high of $120.36 a barrel today.

Posted by jack c @ 11:17 PM 1 Comments

A two-man tent for under 10 is being marketed at cash-strapped Britons who need to holiday at home.

Daily Mail: What housing crisis? Argos launches flatpack log cabin - for just 13,099

In these days of sky-high house prices, it could be the answer to a couple's prayers. As long as they're handy with a hammer, that is. And are able to follow instructions. Argos, known for its toasters and toys, has branched out into flat-pack DIY family homes. For just over 13,000, families can buy a log cabin with five rooms, underfloor heating and laminate flooring.

Posted by jack c @ 11:03 PM 6 Comments

Housing Associations can't get funds from Building Societies

BBC: Credit fear for Social Housing

So much for my idea of getting the unemployed builers back to work building social housing. I had always assumed Housing Associations got all their money from the Government

Posted by duncan @ 09:54 PM 0 Comments

Very very scary

Cranmer News: How Gordon Brown really went down in the USA

This article left me stunned, even more stunned since it had not been covered in the UK press. GB is really selling this country down the river so he can pick up a top trough job later down the road, a bit liek that scumbag Blair but GB will be well suited to the European Parliment with all the other traitorous freaks!

Posted by pontiuspig @ 08:37 PM 0 Comments

Fuel Price Charts for OECD countries

Australian Institute of Petroleum: INTERNATIONAL PRICE COMPARISON

Perhaps this is old news to regular posters (apologies if so). Look at how much tax we pay as a percentage of the fuel cost. And that git Brown still won't give us a break - we need a revolution.

Posted by nowjusthangonamo @ 07:52 PM 0 Comments

How the mortgage industry nurtured deceit (in America)

Slate: Inside the Liar's Loan

The term "Liar Loan" is mortgage-industry slang for what's more formally called a "stated income" mortgage a mortgage that a lender gives without checking tax returns, employment history, or pretty much anything else. Many of the loans that are in trouble now, or will be in trouble soon, fall into this category. But the term gives only the barest hint of the pervasive failure involved. Americans lying on mortage applications became as common and as normal as Italians or Russians lying on tax returns. This was a systemic failure of the norms of society.

Posted by drewster @ 07:46 PM 1 Comments

Largest Musical Instrument & Technology Retailer Goes to the Wall

Sound on Sound: Sound Control Enter Administration

"According to Deloitte, who have been appointed administrators of Sound Control Holdings Limited, 10 of the retailer's 26 stores have been closed, with 163 of the 338 employees made redundant." As far as I can tell, the remaining stores will be closed in a few weeks if a buyer can't be found. This is a bit like the musical equivalent of Tesco's going bust.

Posted by khali @ 06:36 PM 0 Comments

Fred Harrison's 3 yr forecast from 3 years ago..

Money Week: Bust will follow boom - but when?

"So when will the crunch really come? History suggests that things will start to collapse in 2008"

Posted by uncle tom @ 04:27 PM 9 Comments

You cannot beat the boom bust cycle, Gordy

Guardian: Owning the past

British governments and homeowners have remarkably short memories: the history of housing in this country is filled with boom and bust. Karl Marx once wrote that those who are unaware of history are enslaved by it. Nowhere is this truer than in the British home ownership market, where institutional and individual memories seem to be remarkably short term.

Posted by confused76 @ 02:37 PM 7 Comments

Buy to lose

Guardian: Buy to let - or to lose?

"The problem is for the recent buy-to-let landlords who bought near the top of the market and face rising mortgage costs, oversupply and static or falling rents. They cannot rely on rising prices to bail them out. Instead, falling prices mean that they are in negative equity, particularly if they bought at inflated prices as some seem to have done. For the latest wave of buy-to-let landlords, sucked in at the top of the market on the hope of overhyped and unrealistic profits, the prospects are grim" Bail them out, Gordy!!

Posted by confused76 @ 02:30 PM 10 Comments

Failure Can Be Very Lucrative

Telegraph: Credit crisis shows that banks need wise men not wide boys

The silence about the corporate behaviour which led us to this pretty pass is scandalous. Come off it boys, you were sucked into a bubble of the classic sort. You were persuaded to believe that nothing could go wrong. Yet any study of financial history would have set the alarm bells ringing. But do you ever read any? To his great credit, the Governor of the Bank of England warned explicitly and publicly of the risks. But did you listen? Outside commentators and analysts, and even, in some cases, your own in-house experts, pointed out the over-valuation of property. But did you pay any attention?

Posted by quiet guy @ 01:08 PM 3 Comments

Inevitable job losses, but are we prepared?

Firstrung: Brits should begin to prepare for mass job losses

David Kuo, Head of Personal Finance at, says: "Consumers should not dismiss the 4% rise in company insolvencies as a blip. 3,210 companies went bust between January and March this year, taking the twelve-month running total to over 12,500 businesses. " urges all employees to ensure they are prepared for the worst, should their employer become insolvent. Businesses can go bust for a number of reasons, though it invariably boils down to a shortage of cash...

Posted by converted lurker @ 12:31 PM 2 Comments

Tell us something we don't know

Firstrung: Britain approaching Bankruptcy

New figures published by The Insolvency Service reveal that just three months into 2008 and 25,264 people have already fallen victim to the insolvency epidemic with 9,614 IVAs and 15,651 bankruptcies reported. According to price comparison and switching service, individual insolvencies could reach 103,659 by the end of the year...

Posted by converted lurker @ 12:28 PM 4 Comments

FMB :- "We're not on course to build three million new homes by 2020 and what the Government should be thinking about is looking at empty homes in this country,"

Moneyfacts: Empty homes key to solving housing crisis

According to the Federation of Master Builders (FMB), Britain's 700,000 empty homes offer the solution to any housing shortage. It believes that with the Government committed to building two million new homes by 2016 and a further one million carbon neutral properties added by 2020, this target is growing increasingly unrealistic. "We're not on course to build three million new homes by 2020 and what the Government should be thinking about is looking at empty homes in this country," said Brian Berry, director of external affairs at FMB. "We've got about 700,000 empty homes in England and we need to look at more creative ways to bring redundant buildings back into use, because that is more sustainable than creating sustainable communities."

Posted by jack c @ 12:02 PM 7 Comments

50 Billion + in secret

This is Money: Bank bail-out to be kept secret

The Bank of England has imposed a permanent news blackout on its 50bn-plus plan to ease the credit crunch. Ferocious and unprecedented secrecy means taxpayers will never know the names of the banks that have been supported through the special liquidity scheme, which was unveiled by Bank Governor Mervyn King last week. Requests under the Freedom of Information Act are to be denied. Details will be kept secret even after 30 years - the period after which all but the most sensitive state documents are released.

Posted by pixel8r @ 11:55 AM 15 Comments

Is the oil price being rigged?

Market Oracle: Perhaps 60% of today's Crude Oil Price is Pure Speculation

Interesting article saying how the "paper oil" market operates in a largely unregulated manner. A June 2006 US Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations report into this serious problem was ignored in the media and in the Congress. If this is true then should oil only be around $50?

Posted by sold 2 rent 1 @ 11:28 AM 8 Comments

Slightly off-topic, but the UK has a six trillion pound debt..

Wikipedia (from CIA data): List of countries by external debt

Scanning the UK's economic data in the CIA world factbook, I noticed a huge stat for external debt - $11.5 trillion. over 20% of the world's total, and more than twice the amount, per head of population, of any other country - shouldn't we be worried about this??

Posted by uncle tom @ 11:01 AM 17 Comments

Prof Nickell: 'there are good borrowers out there

Telegraph: Gordon Brown adviser Stephen Nickell fears 'mortgage rationing'

Britain is now facing widespread "mortgage rationing" which threatens to keep thousands of would-be homeowners from taking their place on the property ladder, a leading adviser to Gordon Brown has warned. Professor Stephen Nickell, a former Bank of England policymaker and the warden of Nuffield College Oxford, told The Daily Telegraph that with banks refusing to lend to risky borrowers, including first-time buyers and those with poor credit ratings, he was becoming increasingly worried about the fate of the economy.

Posted by jack c @ 10:33 AM 12 Comments

Housing Bubble exploding from USA to Spain

Noche Hache Housing Bubble exploding from USA to Spain

Humor in TV about crisis and bursting housing bubble, from USA to Spain. (In Spanish)

Posted by smile @ 10:04 AM 0 Comments

Brown has to think of something... oh yeah shared equity

Times: Youve got one year, ministers tell Gordon Brown

The Prime Minister has summoned a special Cabinet session for tomorrow for what is expected to be an anguished inquest into what went wrong and an urgent discussion of whether and how Labour can dig itself out of the hole. Measures to be announced over the coming days will include: Homeowners under threat of repossession because of mortgage problems to be given advice on how to avoid it; Boost for the housing market with new help for first-time buyers through shared equity schemes;

Posted by pendulum @ 09:59 AM 2 Comments

Hey,Hey I wanna be a Rock Star pt2

the sun: Blairs buy 4m country estate

FORMER Premier Tony Blair and his wife Cherie have splashed out 4million on the late actor Sir John Gielguds 18th century country mansion.

Posted by sold out @ 09:51 AM 3 Comments

See how much money the UK owes

This is Money: Forever in Gordon's Debt

People who wonder why the UK banks are having difficulty borrowing money should look at the figures in this article. It looks like we have maxed out our overdraft already and owe the Chinese billions.

Posted by duncan @ 09:09 AM 0 Comments

The disease - which begins with fever, blisters, mouth ulcers and rashes - has spread in Anhui since early March, but the first reports about the epidemic only surfaced last week on Xinhua. China Virus Outbreak Leaves 26 Children Dead - State Media

Hans Troedsson, on Sunday dismissed claims by Chinese media that local authorities in Anhui had tried to cover up the initial stages of the outbreak.

Posted by chris @ 08:02 AM 0 Comments

It was the middle of the night when the bulldozers came. Scores of families living in the building woke to the sounds of the courtyard wall being flattened in the name of the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Olympic construction in Beijing leaves thousands homeless

Governments and human rights organisations across the world are hoping that the Olympic Games will open up China and further the progress of individual freedom, but behind this facade lurks a sinister element to the Olympic hysteria that is getting little attention.

Posted by chris @ 07:59 AM 5 Comments

Another tax that was on the way from Gordon Brown......

Mail: Embattled Brown to bin rubbish tax in bid to win back Britain

''...Gordon Brown has ditched Labour plans to burden families with taxes on their rubbish as part of a summer fightback to save his leadership. He vetoed a national pay-as-you-throw scheme in a round of consumer-friendly measures designed to win back the trust of middle class voters ......''

Posted by hpwatcher @ 06:51 AM 9 Comments

A series of reports in the international media have drawn attention to the role of professional speculators and hedge funds in driving up the price of basic commoditiesin particular, foodstuffs. The sharp increase in food prices in recent months has led Financial speculators reap profits from global hunger Just like the boom in house prices, commodity price inflation feeds on itself. The more prices rise, and big profits are made, the more others invest, hoping for big returns. Look at the financial web

Just like the boom in house prices, commodity price inflation feeds on itself. The more prices rise, and big profits are made, the more others invest, hoping for big returns. Look at the financial web sites: everyone and their mother is piling into commodities. The trouble is that if you are one of the 2.8 billion people, almost half the worlds population, who live on less than $2 a day, you may pay for these profits with your life.

Posted by chris @ 12:18 AM 0 Comments

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Gordon Brown has the conviction and ideas to take the country forward, according to Gordon Brown

BBC: Labour will recover, says Brown

The local election results under Tony Blair were incredibly poor but Gordon Brown has picked up the baton and taken Labours popularity into the abyss. Some question whether Brown is the right person to take Labour forward. Rumours have it that a "stalking horse" is being groomed and saddled up within the Labour party with the specific aim of removing Brown. Brown stated to Andrew Marr this morning that he has the "conviction and ideas" to take the country forward but he (Brown) has clearly not figured out what those "ideas" are yet unless of course they are a secret from us all. Brown would do well to listen to the Tory Liam Fox, who said Mr Brown was "caught in a mental rut" and should "stop patronising" voters.

Posted by denzil @ 09:03 PM 9 Comments

Man arrested after property crash

BBC: Man arrested after property crash

The police have finally done their duty and arrested the man responsible!

Posted by andy h @ 08:06 PM 2 Comments

A bit more comedy for the bank holiday weekend

Bbc: UK property lures India's super-rich

"UK developers are heading to India in search of wealthy new customers for their luxury flats. But why would anyone invest in London's wobbly property markets? Because the super-rich still have plenty of cash to spend" says alot about the brain cells of the "all inherited" Indian super-rich!

Posted by confused76 @ 07:43 PM 1 Comments

Smith : "I got fed up"

TIMESONLINE: Will housing crush the UK economy?

RECENT DAYS have witnessed some extraordinary developments, most of them from the Bank of England. Time was when months would go by without a peep from the Old Lady. Now it has become a news-generating machine that Max Clifford would be proud of. Some more sparkling comments for you to get your heads around. The comments below the article are definitely worth a read.

Posted by plato @ 07:24 PM 11 Comments

This is so sad - and funny

Wiltshire times: Wiltshire homes 'hold their value'

HOUSE prices in Wiltshire are holding up well compared to the rest of the country, new figures have shown. The average value of a home in the UK has dropped by 44.39 a day so far during 2008 as the property market slows. But in Wiltshire, the drop in value is just 5.35 per day.

Posted by little professor @ 06:54 PM 5 Comments

O fundamentals, please save us!

Landlord Expert: NO housing crash and NO demise of BTL

The hurricane however is not coming. A housing crash is not around the corner but enough people telling you that it is has bad, short-term effects on the market. This ''fundamental' is not constant. Rumour cannot sustain a full housing crash. Somewhere along the line, the positive underpinning factors supporting our housing market will kick in and bring some stability. The Bank of England are planning to 'rescue' lenders so that normal practice can resume. So, things aren't as bad as they press would have you believe. My hate affair with the media is no big secret. They have the power to influence all and sundry. But buy to let is thriving due to the fact everybody is renting.

Posted by little professor @ 02:45 PM 32 Comments

Credit crunch over, recession beginning

BBC News: Buffet sees credit crisis easing

Investment guru Warren Buffett says the worst of the global credit crunch is over for Wall Street, but not for the man or woman on the street.

Posted by morbotheterrible @ 02:03 PM 2 Comments

When is a mortgage like a divorce? A ladeeeys view

FT Weekend: Why I take a stern line on mortgages and men

Your house may be at risk if Americans do not keep up their mortgage repayments? he said. This, while amusing at face value, also betrays a British misapprehension about the credit crunch. We seem to think that, like hamburgers and control-top pantyhose, the subprime crisis is a US problem that has inconveniently affected us." [US] banks lent money irresponsibly to people who could never afford to repay it, on the underlying assumption that house prices would rise forever. How stupid was that? Well, they are not alone. We too have a trade deficit and budget deficit. And we too have lent money irresponsibly to people who could never repay it, on the assumption house prices would rise forever........"

Posted by techieman @ 01:15 PM 0 Comments

Safe bank for savings?

Observer: Nick Mathiason on problems at Kaupthing, lender to London's property boom

A related topic for many of us here, I suspect, who have to find somewhere for their cash after selling a house in recent years. Kaupthing looks vulnerable, and the market thinks so. Despite the FSA protection, the bank collapsing would still mean hassle for anyone with 35K in there. Difficult to assess whether such an event is likely, given how sudden they are. Thoughts anyone?

Posted by letthemfall @ 12:41 PM 5 Comments

Once again Andrew Marr is useless...Brown is still talking and not listening

BBC News: Brown offers Labour reassurance

The Prime minister has said he was going to listen....didn't see much this morning on the Andrew Marr show, the BBC's most useless interviewer. Brown thinks the economy has been well run and that inflation is low - CAN YOU BELIEVE THE CHEEK OF THAT GUY?

Posted by hpwatcher @ 09:47 AM 36 Comments

Wait for the Mother-of-all-Bailouts from a desperate, hapless leader!

Telegraph: Gordon Brown to refocus on food and homes

"He will offer help for homeowners, food shoppers and motorists in an effort to restore his badly damaged political authority and halt the Tory march towards a general election victory." If he's serious he could slash fuel tax and slash stamp duty. His instinct though is to threaten oil companies and supermarkets with windfall taxes and/or massively increase regulation.

Posted by tyrellcorporation @ 09:32 AM 33 Comments

A Ponzi scheme collapses

ThisIsMoney: Advice for Inside Track victims

"The claims were incredible to many and we repeatedly warned against them, but thousands fell for the patter, partly because it cruelly played on people's fear of an impoverished retirement"... nothing to joke about, this is a tragedy for thousands in the UK

Posted by confused76 @ 09:26 AM 4 Comments

Express changes tune on housing!


''...HOUSE sales are falling through at three times the rate they were two years ago, the latest research shows. Almost half of agreed sales fail to survive to completion, according to a leading property buying specialist...That was the biggest yearly decline since June 1993, analysts said, when the economy was still in the depths of of the last big house price crash....''

Posted by hpwatcher @ 07:09 AM 4 Comments

Vorderman's cronies will take your house

Observer: Repossessions set for dramatic rise

House repossession rates this year could hit levels not seen since the last property crash in the early Nineties, because an increasing number of people have taken out secondary loans on their homes, says Shelter. The charity calculates at least 20 per cent of repossession orders now being issued by county courts are due to lenders taking action against people who have secondary loans on their homes. Often the loans have been used for holidays, home improvements or to pay off credit cards. A particular concern for Shelter is that while the mortgage lenders are usually prepared to give the homeowner some breathing space, many companies pushing secondary loans are prepared to issue repossession orders even when a home owner defaults on small payments.

Posted by little professor @ 12:45 AM 9 Comments

30% drop in Belfast's most 'exclusive' area - must be those billionaire non-doms leaving....

The News Letter: A 152,000 discount in the leafy suburbs

"In a dramatic example of Northern Ireland's falling property market, a house in an exclusive part of Belfast had to drop its asking price by 150,000 almost a third before it sold." Oops.

Posted by shipbuilder @ 12:21 AM 0 Comments

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Estate agent wants more money for his house - he must be from Foxtons - oh he is!

Times online: Estate agent rejects 200 million quid for his house

Mr Mittel's probably meet his match with this estate agent. Doesn't he realise he needs to up his offer by at least another 100mill, then go to sealed bids, get screwed over by the small print and drive a poxy mini.

Posted by waiting for the crash @ 11:35 PM 1 Comments

Will This Help London Property Prices ? Boris Johnson gets down to business as mayor

Speaking outside his home today, Mr Johnson said it felt "fantastic" to have won the election. "I have been elected on a very clear manifesto to clear up crime in the areas for which the mayor has responsibility," he said. "So I'm going to be having discussions on that and other matters with the police commissioner and the transport commissioner."

Posted by plato @ 07:05 PM 23 Comments

Soft landing? No such thing

Independent: Jeremy Warner's Outlook: Ministers think housing woes all America's fault. They should look to beam in own eye

A robust dismissal of all the weaseling of Govt ministers: "Yet all historical evidence suggests that once the housing market turns negative, it will then fall significantly until the overvaluation in prices is removed. Hopes of a gentle correction are almost certainly misplaced." PS. Is Yvette Cooper (domiciled Yorkshire for expenses purposes) the dimmest minister of the lot?

Posted by letthemfall @ 12:38 PM 28 Comments

Even the illegal immigrants have had enough

Daily Mail: 'We're fed up with the cold weather and the NHS,' say asylum seekers trying to break OUT of Britain

Failed asylum seekers are sneaking out of Britain - because they are fed up with the poor healthcare and bad weather. Scores have been caught trying to break past border controls in recent weeks, according to immigration staff. The majority of those who have been found are from Afghanistan and Iraq, said Les Williams, a chief immigration officer for the UK Border Agency.

Posted by uncle chris @ 12:06 PM 12 Comments

Common Sense Versus The Herd

Telegraph: The death of common sense comes with a very heavy price

A brief discussion of the psychology and morality of speculative booms by Jeff Randall.

Posted by quiet guy @ 09:22 AM 11 Comments

A: Yes

Guardian: Q: Is this the end of the road for buy-to-let?

"Fears are growing for the future of the buy-to-let market after Inside Track Seminars, a controversial property company at the heart of Britain's biggest buy-to-let sales operation, went into administration this week. The demise of the company, which was a regular advertiser on television, radio and in some newspapers, brings to an end the most visible symbol of the buy-to-let craze" Fear of market collapse because an aggressive marketer has gone bust... in other words btl IS a ponzi scheme

Posted by confused76 @ 08:29 AM 19 Comments

68% decline in Building Society lending

Guardian: Building society mortgage loans fall 68%

Building societies advanced net loans of just 580m in March, down from 1.8bn in the same month last year. The 68% decline means that building societies are scaling back lending as a result of the credit crunch even more severely than major mortgage bank rivals. Societies are now lending to one in 10 would-be homeowners, compared with a traditional level of almost one in five. The Council of Mortgage Lenders has warned that the overall market could shrink by 50% this year.

Posted by who stole my pension? @ 07:13 AM 6 Comments

Typical city day of coke hangovers and questionable ethics.

Guardian: Tricks of the traders

Everyone's saying there's a bid for Company A. Nine times out of 10 it was complete nonsense - but in this game nonsense wins prizes. The rules say you must specify which client you're dealing for before you trade - so, in theory, the winnings would already have a home. But for many a broker, the rules are slightly different. You trade first, ask questions later. If it all goes pear-shaped, if the stock falls instead of rises, there's always a pension fund or discretionary account that can take the hit. If it goes right then the profit ends up in the brokers bank account! The only thing that matters is feathering your own nest, regardless of who gets shafted along the way or how compromised your morals become. Long article worth a read, explains why the FTSE is still going up.

Posted by who stole my pension? @ 07:02 AM 7 Comments

Friday, May 2, 2008

Bye bye non dom

Times: Double whammy for non-doms trying to bail out as new tax bites

"Those who wish to take their leave of London are discovering that the values of their swish 1 million to 2 million properties in the best postcodes have slumped, as the housing market nationwide goes into decline. Halifax reported yesterday that prices fell by 1.3 per cent in April, the fourth consecutive decrease. The drop in the value of the pound against the euro 20 per cent since September will reduce further the amount of capital that the departing non-dom takes home if he or she is returning to Paris, Berlin, Milan or Madrid" HAHAHAHHAHAHH

Posted by confused76 @ 11:26 PM 3 Comments

Ever felt like a daft government is handing silly money to idiot bankers?

The Daily Mash: Darling tells idiots to help themselves

The government agreed to the unprecedented 50 billion giveaway after a period of intense lobbying by a group of people who are terrible at running their businesses - heh

Posted by dohousescrashinthewoods @ 11:11 PM 0 Comments

BoE report spun

John Redwood: Is the Credit Crunch over?

The independent Bank of England allowed its Financial Stability Report to be published just before the local elections, and allowed the spin to be placed on it that the losses in the financial sector will prove overstated, that the Credit Crunch has not reached its worst point, and that from here we should expect some improvement. It is difficult to make up such a story. The body of the Report is more interesting and more realistic than the glib spin placed on it when it was released to the press. It does not make comfortable reading, showing as it does persistent problems with liquidity in banking markets.

Posted by who stole my pension? @ 07:54 PM 4 Comments

Looks like HBOS want the cash up front.....

BBC News: Halifax restricts new mortgages

The Halifax, the UK's biggest mortgage lender, will stop offering home loans on its standard variable interest rate (SVR) to new customers from 3 May. They will have to take out fixed or tracker rate deals which have set-up charges, and penalties for being redeemed early. I was astonished at the new mortgage rates published on the IF website (backed by HBOS) last week. New mortgage rates are 7.29% with hefty fees and the SVR is only 7%. Are they trying to get everyone on the SVR so they have more pricing control???

Posted by inthedelhi @ 07:44 PM 15 Comments

They had to do something!

Bloomberg: ResCap to Start Exchange Offer on $14 Billion of Debt

Residential Capital LLC, the mortgage- finance company owned by GMAC LLC, is offering as little as 80 cents on the dollar to exchange or buy back $14 billion of bonds to stave off bankruptcy.

Posted by alan @ 07:04 PM 0 Comments

Can sell the backlog - so build more!

The Independent: Construction slump wrecks plan to boost supply of new homes

The Government's plans to ease the UK's housing shortage by building some two million new homes by 2016 were close to collapse last night, as official figures revealed that private and public housing starts slumped in the first quarter of this year.

Posted by rental john @ 05:58 PM 10 Comments

Former Morgan Stanley Chief Global Strategist recommends a bolthole ready for breakdown of infrastructure

BBC Magazine: Do you need to stock up the bunker?

Good article to help sales of this chap's book. I've done the maths and 5% of my income will not buy me a farm unfortunately, so guess I'll have to be happy with 24cans of baked beans in the cellar.

Posted by doom&gloom @ 05:29 PM 7 Comments

More money comes our way

TIMESONLINE: US intervenes to flood Europe with dollars

The US Federal Reserve today led another intervention to ease global liquidity by joining the European Central Bank (ECB) and the Swiss National Bank (SNB) in efforts to flood the Continent with dollars while pumping a further $50 billion (25.3 billion) into the American financial system. The Fed will swap a further $20 billion worth of dollars for euros with the ECB, on top of the $30 billion the two central banks have already exchanged with each other. In addition, the US Fed will swap $6 billion for euros with the SNB, bringing the total exchange between the banks to $12 billion. The move will help inject dollars into the European wholesale market where the availability of the greenback appears to have dried up as the credit crunch worsens.

Posted by plato @ 05:07 PM 1 Comments

HBoS u-turn heralds major downturn

MoneyWeek: Bank U-turn heralds major downturn

As HBoS announces a 4bn rights issue, the key worry for the bank is in the UK, where it is the biggest mortgage lender and heavily exposed to weakening residential and commercial property.

Posted by damien @ 04:41 PM 0 Comments

Just a few more billion, that should do it. FTSE hits 6200 today, it seems everything is back to normal in the financial world.

BBC: Central banks in new credit move

Central banks will pump billions of extra dollars into the banking system to ease the continuing credit drought. The co-ordinated move by the US Federal Reserve and the European Central Bank, is the latest effort to stimulate bank lending stymied by the credit crunch. Extra billions will be auctioned to banks in Europe and the US once every two weeks for an indefinite period. The measure would address "persistent liquidity pressures" in markets, the ECB said in a statement. The latest liquidity boost will raise the amount of cash available in bi-weekly auctions by the Fed and ECB to $75bn and $25bn respectively. Previously, Fed credit offers have totalled $50bn while the ECB's auctions have ranged in value from $10bn to $15bn.

Posted by tyrellcorporation @ 04:12 PM 17 Comments

spoof article, but probably more accurate than was intended.


PRIME minster Gordon Brown last night admitted he loathes absolutely everyone in Britain. As Labour faced its worst election result in more than 4000 years, Mr Brown confirmed the long-held suspicion that he's never liked us either.

Posted by george monsoon @ 04:05 PM 2 Comments

Brian Bloom - not your average gold analyst

Market Oracle: Gold Stocks- Time to Buy?

The gold shares seem to be looking to gold to reach a bottom and, if gold does bottom, gold shares might very well start to outperform gold on the upside. Now looks like a good time to buy gold shares if you happen to be a trader.

Posted by sold 2 rent 1 @ 03:38 PM 11 Comments

Safe as houses

Guardian: 'Ultra safe' money market fund loses millions

Slightly oblique to the main topic, but another example of the money men doing a great job for us - managing a fortune, putting a small fortune into their pockets, losing another. Don't worry though - stick it into housing; you can't lose with .... Ah.

Posted by letthemfall @ 03:23 PM 1 Comments

Don't blame the lenders!!

TimesOnline: Lax British bankruptcy rules worsen credit crunch

Britains bankruptcy rules have exacerbated the effect of the credit crunch across the country, the UKs leading economics institute said today. And here was me thinking it was lax LENDING that caused the problem!

Posted by renting2 @ 02:46 PM 4 Comments

Thousands of Londoners trapped in negative equity

Evening Standard: House slump has put thousands of first-time buyers in negative equity

A comprehensive survey of sale prices in 15 districts in March, ranging from one-bedroom flats to large family houses, is the strongest evidence yet that thousands of young buyers mortgaged to the hilt are already being saddled with negative equity.

Posted by yoyo1 @ 02:42 PM 13 Comments


ThisIsMoney: Negative equity shock for first-time buyers

"The value of one- and two-bedroom flats, the most common first-time buyers' purchase, has fallen by about 10 per cent in a year in popular areas such as Battersea, Blackheath and Islington" this is just the beginning!!!

Posted by confused76 @ 02:31 PM 12 Comments

Flow Of Oil Stops

judicial inc biz: The Coming Showdown In Iran

With enough anti-ship missiles, the Iranians can halt tanker traffic through Hormuz for weeks, even months. With the flow of oil from the Gulf curtailed, the price of a barrel of crude will skyrocket on the world market. Within days, the global economy will begin to grind to a halt.

Posted by malct @ 01:47 PM 7 Comments

A first-time buyer now needs 25,000 on average to buy a property

telegraph: Halifax survey shows house values dropping 500 a week

Halifax, the country's largest mortgage lender, said that the average home price has fallen by 8,136 since the start of the year to hit 189,027. The decline in value equates to a fall of 479 a week. It is the third major survey this week to confirm that after months of falling prices, houses are for the first time in 12 years worth less than they were worth a year ago.

Posted by malct @ 01:44 PM 1 Comments

It doesn't work like that!

Citywire: Chelsea suspends intermediary mortgage range

The Chelsea Building Society will withdraw all of its intermediary mortgages at 5pm today in an effort to safeguard service.

Posted by rental john @ 01:17 PM 0 Comments

'House of Cards' just doesn't describe it!

Times Online: Capital & Regional shares plunge on fear its Mall Fund has breached covenants

The firm has just over 600 million of debt on its balance sheet. Including debt also held by the three funds C&R part owns and manages, the company is directly responsible for a total of 1.3 billion of borrowings. C&R, which manages 6 billion of buildings from shopping centres to the Xscape leisure centre in Milton Keynes, told investors last month that it was in talks to sell about 300 million of properties from its Mall fund to help it to stay within banking covenants, but company sources yesterday confirmed that no sale has been agreed. Bugger me!

Posted by rental john @ 01:02 PM 0 Comments

I hear the sound of worms coming out of the woodwork?

FT: Berkshire examined in credit ratings probe

Billionaire Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway is being examined as part of a broad investigation into conflicts of interest in the credit rating industry that is being conducted by the Connecticut attorney-general. page 2 of the article Mr Blumenthal said Berkshire's ownership of 19.5 per cent of Moody's, which last week gave a top-notch rating to Berkshire's newly formed bond insurance business, "certainly creates an appearance of a conflict of interest". But he said the examination of the relationship was only "a slice" of the investigation: "It may be one symptom of a flawed system rife with apparent conflicts of interest and problematic relationships."

Posted by rental john @ 12:53 PM 0 Comments

F&C's Jeremy Tigue - The latest bear to go public on UK house prices

Citywire: Property price falls will be 'substantial, painful and prolonged', says F&C's Tigue

The fund manager of the Foreign & Colonial Investment Trust, Jeremy Tigue, has said there is now no chance that a major bank will fail, - but still expects a big decline in house prices.UK house prices have only just started to fall and in the last bear market fell 20%, Tigue said. I have no idea how far they are going to drop this time but the fall will be substantial, painful and prolonged. The UK is going to have an increasingly tough year during 2008 and into 2009.

Posted by jack c @ 12:44 PM 1 Comments

Things are getting really bad latte sales are down

MoneyWeek: Things are getting really bad latte sales are down

Rising mortgage bills, fuel costs, and food bills are starting to bite on the High Street. But the really worrying thing is that weve all started cutting back on lattes and as the UK tightens its belt, the recent hopes from bankers that they might be over the worst sound premature...

Posted by damien @ 12:01 PM 3 Comments

US pension funds have to declare their funded status

Buchanan Ingersoll and Rooney: New Multiemployer Pension Plan Funding Rules Begin Impacting Employers in April 2008

Over the last few months, the banks have had their 'credit crunch' and declared their losses on the new investment vehicles. Now it's the turn of the US pension funds. What will happen if pension funds - loaded with SIVs - can't pay out? Will there be a 'pension crunch'?

Posted by cornishman @ 11:55 AM 6 Comments

After Halifax, HBOS confirms yearly fall in house prices

Bloomberg: UK House Prices Post First Annual Drop Since 1996

U.K. house prices posted the first annual decline since 1996 in April as mortgage lending dried up and the construction industry shrank the most in almost a decade, industry reports showed. The cost of an average home declined 0.9 percent to 189,027 pounds ($373,082) in the three months through April from a year earlier, HBOS Plc, the U.K.'s biggest mortgage lender, said today. That was the first annual drop in HBOS's index since February 1996.

Posted by my2cents @ 11:38 AM 0 Comments

Weren't Barclays gloating that they wouldn't have to raise funds like other banks?

BBC NEWS online: Top Barclays exec stepping down

A senior executive at Barclays, Paul Idzik, is stepping down from his role at Britain's third largest bank. His decision to resign as Barclay's chief operating officer was unexpected, and sparked talk of boardroom tensions at the bank. It's not just a HPC we need to worry about - the whole system is mortally wounded!

Posted by rental john @ 11:30 AM 1 Comments

If we finance the banks, can't we tell them what to do?

new statesman: Everything you want to know about the bank crisis AUDIO

This is the worst financial crisis in 60 years, and it has shaken the banking system to its foundations. Even the Chancellor, Alistair Darling, has compared the crisis to the Great Depression and he is not given to overstatement. Banks are in the business of lending money they don't have - it is called "fractional reserve banking". Does this affect my savings? The good news is that the banks want your money, so they are putting savings rates up. The bad news is that most of the banks are in effect insolvent and are posting epic losses on their irresponsible lending. Many are in danger of going out of business, See also becky's text version here:-

Posted by malct @ 11:11 AM 7 Comments

Survey already cited from a few other sources

BBC News: Halifax confirms house price fall

"According to the Halifax's figures, prices have fallen by 4.2% in the first four months of the year. If that rate of decline continues for the rest of 2008 then the annual fall in prices will be nearly 13% by the end of the year. ". I'm thinking that the rate of decline is more likely to INCREASE than 'continue', Potentially off 20% YoY by January 2008?

Posted by doom&gloom @ 11:03 AM 2 Comments

earn 25k age 25 we will restrict you to 1 mill loan!

halifax website: buy-to-let criteria

unbelievable....from the horses mouth halifax will lend 10 mill but restrict individuals to 1 mill pretty scary stuff

Posted by taffee @ 10:17 AM 17 Comments

Disaster for builders

Guardian:: New-build homes market collapses

Reservations of newbuild houses and flats have collapsed by two-thirds this spring due to the lack of mortgage availability, according to confidential industry data.

Posted by ms marine @ 09:55 AM 1 Comments

The one to watch in coming months - "Company liquidations"

BBC: Insolvencies figures up slightly

The number of people declared insolvent in England and Wales was up slightly in the first three months of 2008, the Insolvency Service has said. The number of individual insolvencies stood at 25,264, up by 1.7% compared with the previous three months. But it was still 13.2% fewer than over the same period a year ago. Company liquidations were up 2% on the previous three months and rose by 4% compared with the same period a year ago to 3,210.

Posted by jack c @ 09:51 AM 3 Comments

New Price, New Price

FT: Halifax data add to house market gloom

"... the downturn in the UK property market is gathering pace." The VIs once again are still trying to offer up irrelevant comparisons to kid everyone the prices will rise again soon. But now that we are well into spring, I think the EAs are beginning to set lower prices because they no longer have the excuse that things are always slow in winter. More "new prices" to come.

Posted by letthemfall @ 09:41 AM 0 Comments

Halifax press release PDF

Halifax: Halifax House Price Index April 2008

From the horse's mouth. Have a look at the figures at the end of the PDF. The headline -0.9% figure comes from comparing the latest quarterly figures to those from a year ago. House prices are actually 3.7% lower this April than they were last April. Added to last month's 2.5% drop, house prices have fallen 3.8% in just two months.

Posted by monty032 @ 09:26 AM 15 Comments

Halifax signals start of two-year house price fall

Times Online: House prices fell in April by 1.3%

''...Home-owners were dealt a fresh blow today as Halifax, Britain's largest mortgage provider, said today its measure of house prices had suffered its first annual fall in 12 years. ...''

Posted by hpwatcher @ 09:08 AM 20 Comments

Halifax index now shows year on year falls

Telegraph: UK house prices down 1.3pc in April: Halifax

Halifax said the decline the price slide was driven by a squeeze on spending power amid the rapid rise in house prices over the last few years. The group also pointed out that a modest decline in 'real' earnings had kept demand in check.

Posted by steve g @ 08:49 AM 0 Comments

Hey,Hey I wanna be a Rock Star

Times online: Tony Blair eyes up rock star pad as he homes in on sixth property

Tony Blair is taking advantage of falling property prices to go house hunting. The former prime minister has viewed two possible homes in Buckinghamshire in the past month.Blair is understood to have a budget of 5m and be willing to extend his mortgage debt to almost 9m but since he is now earning up to 250,000 a time as a speaker, he can borrow the money on the strength of future memoirs and speaking tours.

Posted by sold out @ 07:27 AM 14 Comments

Well written article that sums up the present postion

FT: Why Britains economy will change

What does the economic turmoil mean for the UK economy? How well can an economy long characterised by soaring house prices, exploding debt and a dynamic financial sector adjust to a new world? The UK is a country in which financial intermediation grew by 126 per cent, in real terms, between 1992 and 2007. If the growth of debt is now to slow, as it must, this explosion of the financial services industry cannot continue. The challenges ahead, therefore, are far more structural than merely cyclical. A new economy will emerge. The transition will be more painful than the government cares to admit. It is unavoidable, all the same.

Posted by who stole my pension? @ 07:07 AM 1 Comments

Labour suffers big council losses

BBC News: Bad, but not as bad as we'd thought.......

''...Labour is suffering a grim night in local elections in England and Wales, losing more than 140 seats so far. ...''

Posted by hpwatcher @ 06:06 AM 4 Comments

Marky Mark Tag: House price crash

Surprise, Surprise, Labour website is trawling for Mark Wadsworth!

Posted by planning4acrash @ 12:15 AM 5 Comments

Another one

Boardreader: Domain Profile for

Can't get my head around it. Its odd to see and as top outbound sites. What does that mean?!

Posted by planning4acrash @ 12:13 AM 23 Comments

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Everything you want to know about the bank crisis

New Statesman: Everything you want to know about the bank crisis

As the financial crisis enters what the governor of the Bank of England has called a "new and dangerous phase" Iain Macwhirter has been looking at the big questions

Posted by becky @ 11:08 PM 5 Comments

Trouble up at mill....

Telegraph: Barclays executive quits over power struggle

Paul Idzik, Barclays' chief operating officer and one of chief executive John Varley's most senior lieutenants, is quitting following frustration over the way the bank is run. Barclays will inform employees about the departure of Mr Idzik tomorrow. Mr Idzik, an American, came to London in November 2004 to become Barclays' chief operating officer. He had previously held the same role at the bank's investment banking arm, Barclays Capital, in New York. Mr Idzik, 47, soon became famous for his management style. He snapped a subordinate's pen because it had a Royal Bank of Scotland logo on it.

Posted by lvmreader @ 10:18 PM 2 Comments

We are being watched!

daylife: Source profile for House Price Crash

* Opinion Content: Low * Sentiment: Mostly Neutral Discuss!!!! Frequent posters can click on their profile and see how many they've posted. The front page on posts is not accurate, but click on your profile and you get a run through. I found it on a random Google search!

Posted by planning4acrash @ 09:05 PM 50 Comments

Wanna rent a shop?

Bloomberg: Hammerson Says U.K. Commercial Property Fall Extends

"Hammerson Plc, the British developer that owns Birmingham's Bullring and London's Brent Cross shopping centers, said U.K. commercial property values fell in the first quarter and the French office market started to weaken". (shops are going bankrupt as people struggle to pay mortgages)

Posted by alan @ 09:01 PM 0 Comments

Wanna buy a shopping mall?

Bloomberg: Capital & Regional Slumps After JPMorgan Rating Cut

"Capital & Regional Plc, the U.K.'s worst- performing real estate stock in 2007, fell the most in at least 19 years after JPMorgan Chase & Co. cut its rating on concern the company may have to sell assets". "Capital & Regional, which owns one in eight malls in Britain through two funds co-managed by Aviva Plc's Morley Fund Management Ltd., has lost 75 percent of its market value in the past 12 months on concern about property values and its debt level".

Posted by alan @ 08:54 PM 0 Comments

The Ultimate Moral Hazard - A Good Homeowner Gamble?

BlownMortgage: Is Bank of America headed towards principal reductions?

We will continue to work with distressed borrowers to match the customers repayment ability with the appropriate loss mitigation option, including loan modifications, forbearances, repayment plans, lower rates and principal reductions, McGee said. Paul thought it was absurd that no one pressed McGee on the last point which was principal reductions. This, he argued correctly, is a massive change in policy for the industry, If Bank of America is truly making principal reductions a part of its home-saving playbook it would have incredibly wide-spread implications across not only the banking industry but the housing market and general economy. Homeowners who are struggling with their payments due to myriad reasons will see principal reductions to keep them in their home.

Posted by malct @ 08:35 PM 0 Comments

More than one GBP could lead to lower inflation...

Institute of Economic Affairs: Denationalisation of Money

Hayek's masterpiece on economic crises, free banking and inflation has been reissued In this groundbreaking work, first published in 1976, Friedrich von Hayek argues that the government monopoly of money must be abolished to stop recurring bouts of inflation and deflation. Abolition is also the cure for the more deep-seated disease of the recurring waves of depression and unemployment attributed to 'capitalism'. For the first time Denationalisation of Money is available as a free download in high quality pdf format (12 MB).

Posted by lvmreader @ 08:08 PM 2 Comments

Down Down Deeper & Down But not the Status Quo version

IcWales News Website: Major correction in the housing market under way

House prices have now fallen by 4.3% since the Nationwide index first began to report consecutive monthly drops in the cost of property in November last year, and, at 178,555, the average UK home is now worth 1,759 less than 12 months ago.

Posted by mr cobblepot @ 06:19 PM 0 Comments

Crash good for the economy

Guardian: A wholly good thing for the economy, which has been very unbalanced

How "the media" has changed their tune. The fickle little darlings: The Guardian's economics editor Larry Elliott says that the housing bubble is now over and that 30 per cent of the previous increase was unjustified

Posted by doomwatch @ 05:59 PM 7 Comments

Miss Wall forgets houses are only worth as much as buyer is willing to pay


Article a couple of months old - but you need to see what cr@p the masses are fed to understand the sentiment of the sheeple... Halifax chief economist Martin Ellis said: UK home owners have accum-ulated an extra 2trillion of equity in their homes over the past decade. But it is a balance sheet value that is going to topple back to F-all.

Posted by rental john @ 05:58 PM 0 Comments

I feel so mislead!


Slightly off beat - but great just the same.... I once saw my brother-in-law viweing a house on Property was valued at 300K, and he had a quick look around (in his jeans and tee-shirt) and said 'I'd definitely put in an offer'......he's a taxi driver and does not have that kind of dosh lying I don't believe anything I see anymore.

Posted by rental john @ 05:52 PM 0 Comments

Police probe fraud at HSBC

reuters: Police probe fraud at HSBC

Police are investigating an alleged attempted fraud at Britain's biggest bank, HSBC Holdings (HSBA.L: Quote, Profile, Research), the bank said on Thursday, which is estimated to involve about 70 million pounds.

Posted by stooboy @ 05:51 PM 0 Comments

If it's in The Sun - it must be true

The Sun online: US duff deals risk to UK banks

Big buxom Mitchel, 20, from Essex said 'Cor - just look at how tight my credit is!'

Posted by rental john @ 05:45 PM 0 Comments

But Kasriel said he believes the free market should reign, and would not want to see banks more heavily regulated.

Sun Times News Group: Recession's here, economist Kasriel says

The U.S. is now in a recession and it won't start recovering until early in 2009, Northern Trust economist Paul Kasriel told Northbrook Chamber of Commerce members Tuesday. "I think this recession will be more severe than the last one," said the Deerfield resident, who spoke at the chamber's annual Economic Outlook Breakfast at the Wyndham Glenview Suites on Milwaukee Avenue. Housing is already in a recession, and consumer spending is poised to falter, Kasriel said. Business equipment spending will be the next "domino" to fall, he predicted.

Posted by malct @ 05:33 PM 1 Comments

"People don't have as much access to credit as they used to," said Wal-Mart USA CEO Eduardo Castro-Wright

Report on Business: 'There is no sign of a bottom'

WASHINGTON -- Conditions at the epicentre of the credit crunch are getting worse as Ben Bernanke and the U.S. Federal Reserve Board appear poised to slow their aggressive drive to cut interest rates. Home prices are falling faster in virtually every major U.S. city

Posted by malct @ 05:29 PM 5 Comments

So far this year 156,463 families have lost their homes to repossessions.

CNN: Foreclosures spike 112% - no end in sight

Real estate information firm RealtyTrac reported that nearly 650,000 foreclosure filings - which include notices of default, auction sales and bank repossessions - were issued in the first quarter. That represents 1 of every 194 households and marks a 23% increase from the last quarter of 2007. "Foreclosure activity hasn't slowed down yet," said Rick Sharga, spokesman for RealtyTrac. "But I was a little surprised that foreclosure filings more than doubled since last year."

Posted by malct @ 05:23 PM 0 Comments

Plans are already underway to relaunch Gordon Brown

Times: Gordon Brown set to fight for his future after poll

With Gordon Brown facing the first litmus test as leader, strategists fear that Labour could suffer its most humiliating defeat in a decade and actually finish third behind the Lib Dems (no doubt if they are not third then they will hail the polls a success). Brown's closest advisors are already planning a relaunch for Mr Brown which includes "new policies", "a contrite and listening tone" and a plan to divide and conquer the Tories. What next? A relaunch of the Titanic perhaps. It may have more chance of success. It's debateable whether senior Labour statemen and back-benchers will consider a relaunch if Labour suffer a humiliating defeat under Brown, especially bearing in mind Milliband's masterful "party unity" speech over the weekend.

Posted by denzil @ 05:11 PM 15 Comments

Anyone know what effect this is having on Spanish property?

The Guardian online: A place in the sun becomes a climate of fear for Britons along Spanish coast

Article a few weeks old, but scary stuff indeed! Not sure if this situation is common knowledge - haven't seen anything on the Brit TV news. Watch out for cheap Spanish properties appearing on the market. Bet the local authorities only follow this to letter of the law with regards expats!

Posted by rental john @ 04:54 PM 0 Comments

The buy-to-let cash cow is now barren!

Yahoo Finance: Has The Buy-To-Let Bubble Burst?

In today's uncertain property market, buy-to-let lenders will want stronger assurances that you can afford to keep up your mortgage payments. They will judge this by looking at your rental income in relation to your mortgage payments. In the past, many lenders would have considered you even if you only had 110% or even 100% rental cover, but today, most lenders will want 125%. So if your mortgage payments were 1,000 a month, you would need to prove you could rent out the property for 1,250 before the lender would even consider offering you a mortgage. *** Why would you rent at 1,200 if you could buy at 1,000 - the BTL business model is busted!!!

Posted by rental john @ 04:39 PM 0 Comments

Chestertons latest house price poll of polls has found 87 out of 170 local authorities (51%) recorded negative month-on-month house price growth in April

MortgageSolutions: Over 50% saw house prices fall in April

The report also highlighted that on an annual basis, prices fell in Northern Ireland, the East Midlands and Wales. The largest fall was in Northern Ireland, where prices fell by 4.6%. The monthly market snapshot showed detached houses took the biggest hit with a 1.1% fall in prices. Flats have shown the strongest growth amongst the different property types, rising in value by 4.0% over the year. The value of properties in the bottom 20% of the UK market fell by 0.2% in April, while the value of the top 20% increased by 0.5%. Robert Bartlett .....

Posted by jack c @ 04:20 PM 2 Comments

Camels back truly broken

This is money: Mortgages 'to rise by 230 a month'

Those conned in to panic buys at the peak of the market have most to lose.

Posted by rental john @ 03:30 PM 2 Comments

Money the banks will never get back....

Telegraph: Hammerson: City of London [commercial] rents are falling

''...Hammerson, the commercial property company, said that rents in the City of London office market were falling because banks were shedding jobs in the wake of the credit crunch and needed less space. At the same time more office developments are being completed, so there is more space available at a time when demand is diminishing, pushing rents down. ...''

Posted by hpwatcher @ 03:26 PM 4 Comments

Jim Moore the Man.......didn't see con before the man...HAHAHAHA

Jim Moore website: A Business Success Story

Following the 'demise' of Inside Track..... Need a good laugh to cheer you up before the bank holiday washout - sorry I mean weekend. See: 'Ask Jim a question' ( ) reads ~ Due to a change in hosting you can't submit new questions to Jim. Please check back soon. old article but worth a visit: Why oh why do people fall for this cr@p.....over and over again!

Posted by rental john @ 03:17 PM 0 Comments

No Sh#t Sherlock!

The Guardian online: House prices could keep falling for three years

On Tuesday, David Blanchflower of the Bank of England's rate-setting monetary policy committee (MPC) said house prices could fall by a third over the next few years, with the UK repeating the recent experience of the US. City analysts said the Nationwide data marked the start of a long period of decline until the last possible date for the next election, particularly since lenders were taking a hard line with borrowers. A report yesterday showed that four out of 10 lenders had not passed on last month's cut in base rates. When Mr B is sacked from the MPC for telling the truth (however obvious) - can I have his job?

Posted by rental john @ 03:05 PM 3 Comments

Rock bottom as lender plans to shed thousands of jobs

Chronicle Live: Rock starts consultation on 2,000 job losses

NORTHERN Rock have this afternoon submitted plans to the Government outlining its proposed 2,000 job cuts.The bank, which was put into temporary public ownership in February, handed in the legally-required redundancy form to the Government today.It means, though dates for job losses are yet to be confirmed, the bank will start its 90-day consultation with Unite the union and other staff representatives.

Posted by jack c @ 02:48 PM 5 Comments

Paragons latest "survey"

FT: BTL booms as rental costs skyrocket

Buy-to-let (BTL) remains a lucrative investment option, with average rents increasing by 12 per over the last six months to reach record levels. Average rents have risen to more than 1,000 a month (12,041 annually) over the last six months, according to Paragon Mortgages' latest Buy-to-Let Index. The index also revealed that rents increased 4 per cent in the first quarter to 2008, indicating that the market is not suffering greatly from turbulence in the wider property market.

Posted by jack c @ 02:38 PM 23 Comments

Ohmigod! I knew it was bad, but.... The Prophesied End-Time Revealed

I asked my broker for a bit of investment advice - you know, expecting a bit of 'take the RBS rights issue' and 'don't buy a house right now'...but look what's actually on the cards! Don't say you weren't warned!

Posted by cha55a @ 02:32 PM 4 Comments

Just a little diversion....HAHAHAHAHA

BBC online news: Italy posts salary details on web

There has been outrage in Italy after the outgoing government published every Italian's declared earnings and tax contributions on the internet. The tax authority's website was inundated by people curious to know how much their neighbours, celebrities or sports stars were making. The Italian treasury suspended the website after a formal complaint from the country's privacy watchdog. The information was put on the site with no warning for nearly 24 hours.

Posted by rental john @ 02:01 PM 0 Comments

Japanese Bubble

Wikipedia: Japanese Bubble

Take a look at the graph that compares houseprices with Japan. prices are almost back to their base... i.e.. they doubled and have now almost halved again... Very relevent for those who say that the UK cannot crash due to a shortage of land/housing. Tha japs have a smaller island and double the population.... Obviously there would also be some social and economic factors that may differ.... but still interesting to see that supply/demand might just not have any relevance on the way down..

Posted by corporate financier @ 02:00 PM 2 Comments

Evicted renters

renters problems: renters problems

Looks like us renters have not got it all rosy after all.....

Posted by morris @ 01:52 PM 1 Comments

The only solution to the housing crisis falling prices

MoneyWeek: The only solution to the housing crisis falling prices

Now that house prices are falling, the old supply and demand argument looks a lot weaker. And this also means affordability for key workers and first-time buyers will eventually stop being an issue.

Posted by damien @ 12:28 PM 2 Comments

Stephen Rose (Debt Advice Bureau Director) - "The downside could be potentially more severe than previous house price booms"

Citywire: House prices: 50% falls before fair value

Recent house price falls represent just a fraction of the potential 50% downside shown when growth is measured against historical data stretching back almost 60 years. The analysis, compiled for not-for-profit agency the Debt Advice Bureau, stripped the effects of retail price inflation out of house prices to produce a long-term trend and then compared this to nominal price figures. Against almost 60 years of data and three major house price corrections, house price growth showed a sustainable floor at between 20% and 25% below the long-term trend.

Posted by jack c @ 12:14 PM 29 Comments

What is in store for house prices?

BBC: What is in store for house prices?

"Commentators with a vested interest in house sales are notoriously reluctant to suggest that their business may be heading for a downturn. But, unmistakably, the evidence is staring everyone in the face."

Posted by doomwatch @ 10:49 AM 3 Comments

You take the red pill and I show you how deep the rabbit-hole goes.

321GOLD: Don't take the Blue Pill

Just imagine what life would be like without the IRS (to drain away your wealth and without the federal reserve (BoE) to drain away your children's and grandchildren's wealth. Imagine a life with only a small constitutionally authorized government that didn't have both hands in your pockets and controlled what could and could not be taught. . . For a real education you must study and educate yourself. To remain ignorant is treason to your country . . . You can watch TV and simply take the blue pill or you can take the red pill and start to see the truth - be warned that you can never go back. When Aaron Russo made his film, "Freedom to Fascism" he was interested in tax protesters and ended up looking into the federal reserve. Larry LaBorde, Silver Trading Company

Posted by malct @ 09:59 AM 69 Comments

The history of science is the history of the suppression of great inventions.

the truthseeker: You Tube: Free Energy: Another Inconvenient Truth

You Tube: Free Energy: Another Inconvenient Truth The history of science is the history of the suppression of great inventions. Foremost among these is burying of free energy devices, which threaten the worlds most profitable enterprise bigger than guns, drugs or defence the production of energy More ... national debt x taxation x energy monopoly = no cash left for a beer - or pay the mortgage

Posted by malct @ 09:33 AM 41 Comments

The game is up

BBC News: What is in store for house prices?

There seems to be no doubt about it - house prices are going to fall this year. That is the consensus view of property market experts who, just a few months ago, had been predicting that prices in 2008 would be flat or might even rise slightly. Commentators with a vested interest in house sales are notoriously reluctant to suggest that their business may be heading for a downturn. But, unmistakably, the evidence is staring everyone in the face.

Posted by little professor @ 09:26 AM 9 Comments

Yanks get "all clear" fairy story

MarketWatch: BoE says credit correction gone too far

..risk appetite will most likely return...who writes this gumpf? The only a blind lemming up for a quick plummet has a 'risk appetite' to borrow and 'risk' right now. But hey, don't listen to me...go fill yer boots...

Posted by cha55a @ 09:13 AM 2 Comments

Stamp duty payments will be hit as house prices fall - best get the housing market re-inflated asap Alistair

Times: Credit crunch to deliver 16bn squeeze on Chancellor's tax plans

The blow to tax revenues from the credit crunch is set to send the Chancellor plunging 16 billion or more deeper into the red over the next two years than he has planned, calculations for The Times indicate today. The estimates of the toll on tax receipts by the National Institute of Economic and Social Research will aggravate the acute financial headache already facing Alistair Darling.The Treasurys coffers too will feel the impact from the housing downturn. Stamp duty payments will be hit as falling house prices and the mortgage drought lead to a drop in numbers of people moving home. HM Revenue & Customs figures released yesterday showed that revenue from stamp duty is forecast to drop this year for the first time since 2003, falling to 13.5 billion, from 14.1 billion in 2007-08.

Posted by jack c @ 08:51 AM 7 Comments

They will say, it's bad, but not as bad as we feared....(same old spin!)

Yahoo News: Polls open in key test for Brown

''...Labour has seen support plummet to its lowest since Margaret Thatcher's heyday in the late 1980s in the months since Tony Blair stepped down last June, and the local council and London Mayor elections are the party's first real test since Brown took over....''

Posted by hpwatcher @ 08:12 AM 16 Comments

cost of living up 11.5% p/a

express: cost of living up 11.5% p/a

just goes to show what we know and the government tries to hide from us. Lets hope we have a nice protest vote today

Posted by taffee @ 07:49 AM 8 Comments

Total doomsday scenario ....

BBC: Banks warned over lending fear

"The Bank of England has warned that banks' fears of a financial meltdown may become a self-fulfilling prophecy... Its financial stability report suggests the credit exposure not declared by UK banks may be near to 100bn. The twice-yearly report says that there is a "significant increase" in the risk that a major bank collapse or reluctance to lend will disrupt the financial system."

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 07:38 AM 16 Comments

BoE warns BTL cannot cover investments costs- what a surprise

Telegraph: Bank of England sounds alarm on 5bn commericial property defaults

The BoE warned of on a 5bn-plus wave of real estate defaults which could engulf the financial sector before it has even recovered from the sub-prime crisis. Despite falls of more than 15pc in commercial property prices, banks have continued to pile into the sector and could now face significant losses of upto 10% of profits. The commercial market is in the midst of its biggest crash in more than a decade. However, banks have reported no major write-offs from the slump. The Bank warned this will not persist. The BoE also warned:- many buy-to-let investors are unable to cover their investment costs with rents and households could see their mortgage rates jump by as much as 2.5 percentage points as they are pushed onto expensive deals.

Posted by who stole my pension? @ 07:32 AM 3 Comments

Forget fact, it's all about confidence!

BoE: Confidence is Key for Financial Markets

Rising US sub-prime defaults have triggered a broad-based repricing of risk and deleveraging in credit markets. An adjustment was needed after the credit boom and was bound to have costs, but it is proving even more prolonged and difficult than anticipated. Prices in some credit markets are now likely to overstate the losses that will ultimately be felt by the financial system and the economy as a whole, as they appear to include large discounts for illiquidity and uncertainty. Conditions should improve as market participants recognise that some assets look cheap relative to credit fundamentals. Lots of information here.

Posted by who stole my pension? @ 07:24 AM 1 Comments

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