April 2009 Archive

Thursday, April 30, 2009

What is it about Scottish Banks?

Scotsman: Clydesdale vows to continue high-level mortgage lending

"The firm said that only customers who receive a one-on-one interview will be given the deal. Factors taken into account include type of employment, length of time in their current job and credit history." What? WTF? They mean that banks gave mortgages without these obvious checks in the past hence implementing the bleeding obvious makes Clydesdale fit for 90%+ LTV loans? Later: "He also admitted that the number of balances in arrears by more than three months has nearly doubled in a year, to 0.71 per cent." So it's time for a bit more aggressive lending!

Posted by quiet guy @ 11:07 PM 5 Comments

UK properties are undervalued - according to property developer

Telegraph: Taylor Wimpey boss questions valuations as debt deal is struck

The boss of Britain's biggest house builder, Taylor Wimpey, says he is "concerned and frustrated" by the valuation of homes in the UK, warning that it is costing the company sales as cautious lenders put pressure on valuers.

Posted by peter_2008 @ 10:38 PM 7 Comments

'BTL king' rubbing his hands in glee

Ajay Ahuja: 80% LTV mortgage on its way

Roll up Roll up! Get ready for 1st July when a major lender is releasing the first 80% buy to let mortgage. They are busy recruiting to cater for the enormous demand that will occur once released. This will mean only 25% BMV (below market value) needed for a no money down deal, and only 30% BMV to get a cashback deal! I reckon we could see an 85% buy to let by October 2009. Then I have to say it will be happy days and the term PROPERTY MILLIONAIRE will start appearing in all the property press adverts again! Ajay

Posted by little professor @ 05:37 PM 24 Comments

Prices down by almost a quarter in real terms

UK Bubble: UK house prices down 23 percent in real terms

The Nationwide House Price Index, which was published today, adjusted for inflation.

Posted by inflationwatch @ 04:08 PM 0 Comments

Main lenders pull the plug

BBC: Chrysler 'to file for bankruptcy'

Chrysler is to enter bankruptcy protection after failing to persuade its main lenders to write off its debts, a White House official has said. President Barack Obama is now due to make a statement later on the future of the struggling US carmaker.

Posted by jack c @ 02:40 PM 15 Comments

Latest idea to kickstart stalled housing schemes & mitigate against market downturn"

Mortgagesolutions: HCA launches a private rented sector initiative

The Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) has launched an expression of interest process for a new initiative, which could potentially attract significant investment into the housing market by encouraging institutions to fund new homes specifically for private rent. The objective of the HCAs Private Rented Sector Initiative (PRSI) is to create an opportunity for investors like pension funds to enter the private rented sector on a large scale for the first time...................

Posted by jack c @ 02:35 PM 1 Comments

Is this the nail in the coffin for crazy London house prices?

Bloomberg: Londons Twin Pillars of Doom May Spark Hedge Fund Exodus

After helping to move 23 hedge funds to Switzerland from London in the past two years, David Butler describes the flow as a steady trickle. Now hes bracing for a flood. Call it the twin pillars of doom, said Butler, a founding partner at hedge fund consultancy Kinetic Partners LLP in London. Put together the U.K. tax changes and what the ogres in France and Germany have created and you will see a mass migration. Butler said inquiries about relocations have gone up by a factor of 10 since Britain pledged a new 50 percent rate for top earners on April 22

Posted by tyrellcorporation @ 02:02 PM 14 Comments

What a difference a week makes

Daily Express: So Much for Green Shoots:House Prices in Fresh Fall

Wasn't this the paper that just a week ago gave over the front page again to a "PRICES RISING" type headline. When will they realise that "a blip" is just that at not proof the market is rising? I am sure I can't be the only one totally fed up with having read over and over that the market is bottoming when any intelligent person must realise it is not going to bottom for a long long time. It is to be hoped that the average UK citizen is more intelligent than the current average UK property buyer!

Posted by sybil13 @ 01:22 PM 3 Comments

But I'm told the bottom is near, yea right!

Mailonline: Average house price falls to 151,000 with no end in sight to property slump

Prices will keep falling for a few years yet.

Posted by tim miller @ 12:41 PM 5 Comments

Fairly obvious really

The Telegraph: BTL Double Whammey for Amateur Landlords

Apparently its difficult finding people to rent city centre flats at the moment and for some reason they're not selling either

Posted by theoakster @ 12:25 PM 2 Comments

After this morning's Nationwide results

Land Registry: House prices -0.4% MoM, -16.2% YoY

House prices fell 0.4% in March, taking the annual rate of falls to 16.2%. In London, prices actually rose by 0.6%, the first monthly rise since March 2008. The North-East, South-West and Wales also rose on the month. Meanwhile Yorkshire, the East, and the West Midlands were hardest hit, falling up to 2%.

Posted by little professor @ 11:15 AM 12 Comments

Trade imbalances as the primary source of ecomomic crisis

Postcards from Cape Town: Roubini: Navigating towards Bretton Woods II

Imablances between consumer - producer nations as leading to this crisis and whether the imabalances will be resolved or repeated.

Posted by bellwether @ 10:16 AM 0 Comments

UK House Prices Far From a Bottom

The Market Oracle: The UK House Price /Gold Ratio: Bricks vs. Bars

Top to bottom in the 1970s, house prices measured in gold lost four-fifths of their value all told..." BEWARE THE CLAMOR to call the bottom in house prices. Because with a tired predictability, the UK experience of seeing "green shoots" in every new survey says the global bust starting barely two years ago has a long way to run yet.

Posted by nadeem walayat @ 10:12 AM 8 Comments

Perhaps a little Underpinning......

Guardian: City bankers on course for 7bn in bonuses

City bankers are to reap nearly 7bn in bonuses this spring even though the government has been forced to pump tens of billions into the banks to prevent them collapsing. Someone has cleaned the looking glass.......so much clearer now

Posted by braindeed @ 09:09 AM 146 Comments

Quite a few

Times: Skilled migrant jobs to be cut by a third

Skilled migrant numbers to be cut. The number was originally 800,000, now 530,000. This does seem quite a lot considering there are only 20 million workers, 10 million public and 10 million private. There are obviously no plans in place to cut the public sector.

Posted by stillthinking @ 08:37 AM 5 Comments

Should they have called it Mayan Flu

Telegraph: Investors can learn a lesson or two from Swine Flu

Previous flu pandemics have adopted the name of their country of origin but here too mistakes are made the Spanish flu of 1918-1919 apparently started in Scotland. Fortunately memories are short and, even if this outbreak comes to be known as Mexican flu, the tourists will be back soon enough.

Posted by str 2007 @ 08:32 AM 9 Comments

Still a long way to go....

BBC News: UK house prices 'down 0.4% in April'

'House prices in the UK fell by 0.4% in April reversing some of the rise seen in March, according to the Nationwide. The building society's figures show that the pace of decline in house prices slowed, but the typical home still cost 15% less than a year ago.'

Posted by hpwatcher @ 07:05 AM 21 Comments

-0.4% Nationwide April Index

Nationwide: House prices fall slightly in April

Commenting on the figures Fionnuala Earley, Nationwide's Chief Economist, said: The price of a typical house fell by 0.4% in April. This reverses some of the rise seen in March, but is in line with our expectations, given the current economic conditions. Aprils decline leaves the average price of a typical house at 151,861, down 15% from 12 months ago. The 3-month on 3-month rate of change, generally a smoother indicator of the short-term trend in prices, improved to -3.1% in April from -4.1% in March."

Posted by phdinbubbles @ 07:03 AM 3 Comments

Europe! Halp us Europe!

Times: Celtic Tiger ready to pounce on treaty as recession bites

Ireland, the former 'Celtic Tiger', is gripped by the worst recession of any developed country. The projections are startling - unemployment to hit 17% this year, GDP to fall by 12% by 2010 (worst in the developed world,) house prices to fall a third from their 2007 peak, government budget deficit to hit four times the EU limit, despite an emergency budget earlier this month slashing spending and hiking taxes. The consequences of Irelands dependence on the property boom have been laid clear. It's the worst performance by an industrialized nation since the Great Depression. Ireland halted EU expansion last year by voting No on the Lisbon Treaty. The perceived value of the ECB's support has helped changed minds

Posted by little professor @ 01:10 AM 1 Comments

House prices now have even further to fall to reach 3.5x earnings

Telegraph: UK wages collapse at fastest rate in 60 years

Average weekly earnings fell 5.8pc compared with the same month last year. The private sector took the full force of the fall in weekly earnings, down sharply by 7.7pc; while average weekly earnings in the public sector actually rose by 3.2pc. "We certainly haven't seen anything like this in the last 60 years, and probably not in peacetime since the 1930s," said Michael Saunders, chief UK economist at Citigroup. According to the ONS data, it is only the second month of falls during the current downturn, after weekly wages fell 1.9pc in January compared with a year earlier. The falls partly reflect moves by some private sector employees to freeze wages and even cut pay as they struggle to keep jobs and stay afloat during the recession.

Posted by drewster @ 12:04 AM 21 Comments

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Americans stop moving around

US Census: Residential Mover Rate in U.S. is Lowest Since Census Bureau Began Tracking in 1948

The U.S. Census Bureau announced [last week] that the national mover rate declined from 13.2pc in 2007 to 11.9pc in 2008 the lowest rate since the bureau began tracking these data in 1948. In 2008, 35.2 million people 1 year and older changed residences in the U.S. within the past year, representing a decrease from 38.7 million in 2007 and the smallest number of residents to move since 1962. Even though the number of people who changed residence in 2008 dropped by 3.5 million from the previous year, millions of Americans continue to move, said Tom Mesenbourg, acting director of the U.S. Census Bureau. Principal cities within metropolitan areas experienced a net loss of 2 million movers, while the suburbs had a net gain of 2.2 million movers.

Posted by drewster @ 11:53 PM 0 Comments

Ok so it's not as bad as Lithuania, but we're talking about the world's largest economy!

FT: US economy shrinks 6.1% in Q1 2009

US gross domestic product declined by an annualised rate of 6.1pc in the first quarter, after declining by 6.3pc during the fourth quarter of last year. The decline was worse than the 4.7pc that economists expected. The US economy has not contracted for three consecutive quarters since 1975 and the last six months have been the weakest period in 51 years. Imports plunged by 34.1pc while exports fell by 30pc as trade dried up. It was the biggest quarterly decline in exports since 1969. Unemployment, at 8.5pc, sits at a 25-year high. On the bright side, car and retail sales have broadly stabilised; and consumers spending actually rose at an annual rate of 2.2pc. However business investment sank by a sickening 38pc (annual rate), the steepest since records began in 1952.

Posted by drewster @ 11:36 PM 5 Comments

Post subprime Wall street!

Telegraph: Michael Douglas returns to a post sub-prime Wall Street

A sequel to Stone's 1987 original has long been on the cards, but the meltdown of the world's financial markets has given the scriptwriters a wealth of material.

Posted by roy @ 07:06 PM 0 Comments

More on Irelands economic collapse.

The Times: Ireland's decline worst since Great Depression

"Economic output will shrink by 9.2 per cent this year and unemployment will spiral to 17 per cent next year, the Economic and Social Research Unit said in its gloomiest ever quarterly report. "

Posted by roy @ 06:43 PM 0 Comments

Baltic economy not only collapsing, but rate of collapse still increasing

BBC News: Lithuania's economy shrinks 12%

I remember spending many hours reading about property investment in the new EU emerging markets. Subscribed to the websites and read the books, but felt I missed the boat by the time I was in a position to get involved. Friends told me stories of flats in regal builings in Vilnius going for 8k. Looks like the Baltics are going to be a horror story even before the rest of the EU. Bulgaria is another market I'm watching with interest....

Posted by doom&gloom @ 05:16 PM 14 Comments

The Lighter Side of Reposession

Mail: Father returns home to find house boarded up after 'incompetent' bailiffs repossess wrong property

A semi-retired father-of-two returned home to find 'incompetent' court bailiffs had repossessed his house by mistake. Ian Parrott, 62, discovered his locks had been changed, the letterbox boarded up, and a repossession order hanging in his window. The notice said his detached home in Eynesbury, Cambridgeshire, had been repossessed and that he had seven days to reclaim his belongings.

Posted by alan @ 05:05 PM 3 Comments

More comedy (this time North of the Border)

FT: Student property flagged as sound investment

Investing in student property remains a "sound" investment despite the current environment of falling house prices and rental income. According to one of Scotlands letting agents, parents with children set to attend university could save thousands of pounds in rent payments and provide themselves with an investment opportunity by purchasing a property for their children during their studies. Braemore Property Management, says many students rely on their parents to help cover their rent payments, but it suggests that it can be more cost effective for parents to purchase a property for their children to live in.

Posted by jack c @ 04:12 PM 11 Comments

Mid-week at the Comedy Club - Cluttons "top of the bill"

Mortgagestrategy: Property shortage driving quick sales, says Cluttons

A shortage of properties on the market in Central London is driving quick sales and some price stabilisation, reports estate agency Cluttons. Cluttons says that many would-be sellers have put off marketing their properties as they are worried about receiving a lower than expected valuation...............................

Posted by jack c @ 03:41 PM 4 Comments

Are US House Prices likely to go back up soon?

Times: US economy shrinks faster than forecast - 6.1% in first quarter

The US economy contracted at a sharper-than-expected rate between January and March, revealing that the world's largest economy is still mired in deep recession.

Posted by alan @ 03:34 PM 2 Comments

House prices : Still Falling

Citywire: Signs of Life: Eight graphs to help you spot the market bottom

(1) The Baltic Dry Shipping Index: A key measure of the health of world trade (2) Vix Index: A measure of volatility in equity markets (3) Gold & Copper prices: Copper has traditionally proved more accurate than gold in measuring turning points in global industrial demand (4)Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities: A key indicator of investors' desire to hedge against inflation (5) Banking shares in the UK and US: These shares have proven the key thermomotor of investor confidence (6) S&P 500: The world's most followed equity market (7) Halifax Property Seasonally-Adjusted Index: House prices still remain one of the biggest drivers of consumer confidence (8) US Investment Grade Bonds: History suggests these bonds rally on average two months ahead of equity prices

Posted by jack c @ 03:17 PM 2 Comments

A small tax on investment, a large tax on gambling

Counterpunch: A Financial Transaction Tax

A tax that would hurt financial shenanigans without hurting the real economy. Shame that Wall Street/Congress won't pass it.

Posted by icarus @ 01:57 PM 1 Comments

Real interest rates

Zopa: Zopa Home page

I've said before that Zopa, by the way it works will better reflect market interest rates. Still not involved myself in any way, but interesting to note the 8.8% average return over th last year.

Posted by inbreda @ 01:30 PM 8 Comments

Petition for Brown to resign rises up the rankings

Number10.gov.uk: Petition for the prime minister to resign

Yes, I know it's a bit of fun but the petition for the Brown to resign has risen from 5th place earlier this morning to 2nd place as of lunch time today. How long before it is pulled?

Posted by denzil @ 01:20 PM 10 Comments

More pent up supply

Telegraph: Buy to let: Double whammy for amateur landlords as flat rents fall

LuckyOne found this on the forum. It comprehensively destroys the myth of pent up demand or rising rental prices.

Posted by paul @ 11:49 AM 6 Comments

As US house prices continue to fall the outlook for the world economy is grim, says Patrick Collinso

Guardian: A Florida condo for less than the price of a new car

Interesting because some Real Estate pundits were calling a bottom in this 'epicenter' of the property downturn earlier this year. This article suggests that optimism might be misplaced.

Posted by xbz @ 11:35 AM 2 Comments

Should they get a Bonus?

Reuters: Citi seeks permission to pay bonuses: report

Citigroup Inc has asked the U.S. Treasury for permission to pay special bonuses and is looking for ways to free an energy-trading unit from government restrictions, the Wall Street Journal reported on its website on Tuesday. Citigroup executives are describing these as retention bonuses, but the bank is still considering several options of how to structure any bonuses, the paper said.

Posted by alan @ 11:14 AM 10 Comments

Only less than ten lots sold

REDC: No Title

No article, No news, nothing at all, why they did not published the results of the auction? I tell you why, on more than 200 lots less than 10 have been sold and the prices were very good (till to 50% off)

Posted by mario @ 11:13 AM 2 Comments

Any excuse!!!

Las vegas sun: Sued by Fontainebleau, banks could cite act of God as defense for refusing funds

Legal experts say the banks attempting to back out of their commitment to finance the Fontainebleau Las Vegas might defend their decision by arguing the economic downturn that has created doubts about the projects future is an act of God.

Posted by mark @ 10:27 AM 2 Comments

BBC finally admits that renting makes more sense than buying right now

BBC 'News': Is renting the new buying?

A little off-topic. For many sold-to-rent ex-homeowners, renting does make an awful lot more sense, but you won't hear the BBC saying so.

Posted by paul @ 09:42 AM 2 Comments

For the bulls

Market Oracle: The Great U.S. Housing Market Depression, America Stop Thinking about Homes as Investments

Theyre taking billions of dollars of your national wealth and transferring the loot to their Wall Street friends on the promise they can make things all better the way they used to be. America, its time to wake up and smell the coffee. The glory days of the housing bubble arent returning. You can wear a faded rose and pine for days gone by all you want, but your life will be much easier and stress-free if you can get the real estate monkey off your back. The world has changed, and the days of flipping houses like rows of hamburgers are probably not coming back for a decade maybe longer.

Posted by bufferbear @ 12:03 AM 1 Comments

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Repossession writs down under

Sydney Morning Herald: Thousands living on borrowed time

No escape from the downturn....

Posted by storkney @ 11:49 PM 1 Comments

So then the green shoots were just ... media 'astroturfing'?

Daily Mail: Why early signs don't mean the housing market is back on the up

It now seems that the green shoots were a complete fiction, created by the media while carefully turning a blind eye to the actual numbers.

Posted by paul @ 10:36 PM 8 Comments

Asha Bangalore tells it like it is!

BBC: US house prices continue to fall

The [Case Schiller Index] index is now 30.7% down from its peak in mid-2006, with average home prices now at similar levels to where they were in the third quarter of 2003, S&P said. For the second consecutive month, prices in Phoenix showed the largest annual falls (35.2%), followed by Las Vegas (31.7%) and San Francisco (31%). "It confirms information we've seen from that home prices are probably stabilising at low levels," commented Asha Bangalore, economist at Northern Trust in Chicago.

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 05:15 PM 4 Comments

Speculators exit

BBC: Dubai property prices 'fall 41%'

Property prices in Dubai plunged 41% during the first three months of this year, a report has calculated. The decline is from the last quarter of 2008, said global real estate consultancy Colliers International. It is just the latest indication of the extent to which Dubai's property boom of recent years has come to an end in the face of the worldwide recession. Colliers said prices had fallen as global finance has dried up and job opportunities in Dubai have declined.

Posted by jack c @ 04:41 PM 14 Comments

Dubai property prices fall 41% in last 3 months!

BBC News: Dubai property prices 'fall 41%'

Property prices in Dubai plunged 41% during the first three months of this year, a report has calculated. The decline is from the last quarter of 2008, said global real estate consultancy Colliers International.

Posted by buconero @ 04:37 PM 0 Comments

"UK housing market will limp along at best during the remainder of 2009"

Citywire: Housebuilders overvalued, warns broker

The UK's housebuilding sector faces significant headwinds in coming months and companies have risen to unrealistic values, Panmure Gordon warned today. The broker, which took the decision to cut its overall view on the sector from neutral to negative, instigating a 'trading sell' on housebuilders, said recent gains had taken prices across the sector too high, given that the housing market remain depressed and the economy was weak.

Posted by jack c @ 03:27 PM 0 Comments

Shoe-throwing, banker-ishtyle

Reuters: Fortis shareholders revolt at meeting

The Chairman of Fortis Bank halted Tuesday's crucial shareholder meeting temporarily after angry investors called for his resignation. Fortis was rescued by the governments of Belgium, Holland and Luxembourg in September 2008. Shareholders were upset about a proposed sale of the firm's Belgian assets to French bank BNP Paribas. Shareholders grew angry, shouting "resignation" and throwing shoes and coins at the chairman

Posted by little professor @ 03:11 PM 0 Comments

Petition for Brown to resign reaches the telegraph

Telegraph: Gordon Brown should resign -- No 10 petition makes the top five

The petition on Number10.gov.uk for Brown to resign has reached no 5. At last look it needs just another 5000 more signatures to reach No 1. Though it's probably pointless, the fact that it is being reported in quite a few areas of the media will no doubt generate significantly more signatures. My bet is that as soon as Brown gets wind of it on his return from another bashing in Poland the poll will be rapidly removed.

Posted by denzil @ 01:40 PM 16 Comments

Looks like 60% falls then

Financial News Org: Housing Market Takes a Tumble

For weeks I have been reading 40% 40% 40% . CEBR 40% falls if approvals didn't double, now confirmation there is not enough money for approvals to double and if they did money would run out by the end of the summer . Moodys downgraded on "the assumption now is 40% falls" but they stress tested for 60%. The article about the BOE official warning Darling not to stop the property crash stated property down 21% from peak is still 40% overvalued. And now this article today: "It now appears that an overall decline of close to 37% from their peak in 2007 is inevitable, with 2009 being the worst year," NOT TOO MANY GREEN SHOOT THERE THEN. But what does this article mean when it says: "Currently the average costs of a home in the UK is around 55000"?

Posted by sybil13 @ 01:17 PM 5 Comments

But the student will not learn

Telegraph: Gordon Brown receives a lecture from Polish Prime Minister

He said: "The Polish government at a time of financial crisis has behaved with full responsibility in terms of its public finances and the budget deficit. "After a few months, our government made the assumption that the method to deal with the financial crisis was not to increase expenditure but (to ensure) the availability of public finances." He added that Poland's success was down to "efficient supervision of banks and sticking to the rules."

Posted by peter_2008 @ 12:57 PM 0 Comments

The Armstrong high has past

Market Oracle: Mexican Swine Flu Hits Stock Markets

Its just what we need now - a flu-pandemic scare in the midst of the biggest financial crisis since the Great Depression. Risk appetite was bubbling up a little late last week. The fall-out from the US bank stress test was seen to be confined to some of the regional banks and the economic data continued to show some bottoming. Fords share price jumped sharply on better-than-expected earnings and US home-builders rallied to their highest level since October.

Posted by sold 2 rent 1 @ 12:24 PM 29 Comments

No reluctance for bailed out lenders to lend Tax payers money (In Ireland !)

Times: Rescued UK banks sell cheap home loans to Irish

Banks controlled by British taxpayers are offering mortgages to first-time buyers in the Irish Republic at half the rate that they are available in the UK. Halifax, part of the Lloyds Banking Group, is charging 2.74 per cent for a two-year fixed-rate deal to first-time buyers in Dublin. A five-year fixed-rate deal would cost borrowers in its home town of Edinburgh 6.14 per cent.Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) is charging 2.95 per cent for a new mortgage in Ireland; in the UK, it charges 5.99 per cent for a similar product.

Posted by jack c @ 12:17 PM 3 Comments

A proud nation of shoppers

Retuers: Retail sales far stronger than expected

LONDON (Reuters) - Retail sales unexpectedly jumped at their sharpest rate in more than a year in April but the figures may have been distorted by the timing of Easter, a survey showed on Tuesday.

Posted by holding out @ 11:52 AM 5 Comments

How many signatures would make this a referendum on Brown?

Guardian: Downing Street website hosts petition calling for Gordon Brown to resign

http://petitions.number10.gov.uk/please-go/ Off piste I know - apologies. But for every one of you that has posted negative comments about Brown - here's your chance to put your money where your mouths are. This petition has slipped past the No 10 censors and is only 6,000 signatures from being the top petition on the No 10 website. Only 200 signatures guarantees a responce from No 10 'for serious subjects'. Would be amusing to be in the room with Brown when his media advisors first have the balls to tell him about this petition! What option would Brown have if millions of people vote him out via his own website?! He'd face protests in the streets if he didn't take it seriously!

Posted by jonathan @ 11:39 AM 2 Comments

Just checking you no longer writing those dodgy mortgages

Bloomberg: FSAs Light Touch Turns to Iron Fist as More Bankers Questioned

The regulator, criticized by lawmakers for not doing enough to prevent the financial crisis, has broken with its past approach, promising more intrusive regulation and warning that people should be frightened of the FSA. The FSA is becoming nastier, said Sara George, a former FSA prosecutor who is now a regulatory lawyer at Allen & Overy LLP. Better late than never I guess.

Posted by mountain goat @ 11:14 AM 1 Comments

HIPs are now being favoured

HIP-Consultant.co.uk: Home Information Packs receive approval from industry professionals

The media has been reporting about HIPs pretty negatively. Is the tide turning towards the view of the Home Information Pack?

Posted by kaz @ 10:59 AM 2 Comments

Don't believe Rightmove data

Investors Chronicle: Housing - Over confidence

Further explanation as to why asking prices remain too high.

Posted by will @ 10:40 AM 1 Comments

Replacing greed with hard work - what a shame

The first Post: No Job, No Home, No Future

Debt-ridden, overtaxed, disinherited and unable to afford a home, today's graduates face a a life of hardship

Posted by the number cruncher @ 10:36 AM 6 Comments

More Brown shoots

Metro: Weeds among property market's green shoots

"Mortgage approvals have fallen for the first time in four months, dampening talk of a property market recovery. They slumped by seven per cent in March to 26,097, according to the British Bankers' Association. All measures of mortgage lending were slightly weaker during the month than in February. 'This drop in mortgage approvals shows how fragile the "green shoots" of recovery in the housing market are,' said Seema Shah, property economist at Capital Economics. 'Rising unemployment and expectations of further house price falls will continue to weigh heavily on mortgage demand,' she added. It is the first negative data on the housing market in recent weeks, following a run of positive indications that the slump may have bottomed out." OK, Spring Offensive over, back to business!

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 10:09 AM 3 Comments

The Next Round

Guardian: Citigroup and Bank of America 'must raise billions in extra capital'

Leaked preliminary results of US government stress tests on banks suggest the financial crisis is far from over. Citigroup and Bank of America have both been told that they must raise billions of dollars of extra capital, according to a report that suggests the financial crisis is far from over

Posted by alan @ 08:27 AM 6 Comments

Missing the gloating?

FT: House price smugness remains a distant memory

Dinner party chat about house prices now seems very mid-noughties but has been picking up again given signals that an end to the slump could be in sight. House values may no longer be a vetoed topic but those looking for the green shoots should keep digging. It is too early to say spring has begun for house prices. Affordability might be improving, but increasing unemployment and the straitjacket of mortgage availability seems destined to put pressure on prices in 2009. During the five years of the 1990s crash, prices rose in almost a third of the months during innumerable false dawns and brief rallies. Similarly, home owners should be wary of seeing a sustained recovery in the recent data.

Posted by little professor @ 02:45 AM 13 Comments

Housing in California is affordable IF you have 20% deposit and record low interest rates

Carpe Diem (blog): Housing Affordability in California Reaches Record High

"43% of California households can afford to purchase the median priced home with a 20% down payment and financing at the national effective average mortgage rate." ----- [But nobody has 20% down payment; interest rates aren't guaranteed to stay low forever; and you need a secure job too. There's nothing cheap about a 1% mortgage if your salary is falling by 10% a year. Also massive regional variations - 65% affordability in the suburban sprawl, but only 17% affordable in San Francisco which more closely resembles London.]

Posted by drewster @ 01:48 AM 2 Comments

From across the pond: how low can they go?

Calculated Risk (blog): Another House "Deal of the Week"

Here is the price history for the featured 1,442-square-foot home: July 1997: $60,000 August 2006: $330,545 January 2009: $96,000 This isn't an outlier; this is pretty much the neighborhood average. Homes similar to this 1,442-square-foot, single-family house have been selling left and right in the $100,000 to $120,000 range in this area. Dropping into five figures isn't uncommon. How much is the mortgage payment on a $96K home? Probably just over $500 per month for principal, interest, tax, and insurance. ------ [The number of transactions seems to be picking up in California now that prices have fallen to affordable levels. I wish the UK would hurry up and crash properly too!]

Posted by drewster @ 01:35 AM 1 Comments

Fewer homeowners in America

Calculated Risk (blog): Homeownership rate back to 2000 levels

The homeownership rate is back to the level of Q2 2000. So much for the homeownership gains of the last 8+ years. Gone. It is almost like the Bush presidency never happened. Well, except for that Iraq thing. And $5 trillion in debt. But other than that, clean slate. The homeowner vacancy rate is (more-or-less) the highest it has ever been; the rental vacancy rate is also the highest on record. People are selling second homes, moving in with family members, cutting back all round. ---- Remember, the UK is behind the US so all this is yet to come for us!

Posted by drewster @ 01:30 AM 0 Comments

Monday, April 27, 2009

4 Billion to be spent on public sector consultants despite Labour's efficiency drive

Telegraph: Government spending 4bn on consultants, say Tories

It's easy to regard the public sector as a gravy train. It could well be that Labour think that if they employ enough in the public sector it will increase their chances at the next election. The latest claim is that they promised an efficiency drive but are to spend 4 Billion on public sector management consultants over the next four years.

Posted by denzil @ 09:49 PM 13 Comments

How has it come to this?

BBC News: Unemployed couple live in garage

This is a short video of a couple who have been repossessed from their home in Kent (looks like Swanley from the bin bags), and now live in a privately rented garage. It doesn't go into the circumstances of their repossession, other than that they were both made unemployed, but highlights an extreme case of its consequences. Why can't we just have a nice, regulated, stable housing market that brings neither booms nor busts, savings us from such misery and insecurity and just let us get on with our lives.

Posted by hammered @ 09:15 PM 12 Comments

Well, here's another nice mess you've gotten me into

Mortgagestrategy: Politicians in row over HomeBuy sales figures

Housing minister Margaret Beckett has denied the Opposition's claims that no properties have been sold through the government's HomeBuy Direct scheme. The scheme was announced last September as part of a 1bn housing package and offered first-time buyers earning less than 60,000 a chance to get on the housing ladder via shared equity home ownership. It offers buyers a loan of up to 30% of the purchase price, which is interest-free after the first five years. Beckett now claims this is not the case, saying that although there are no solid figures she has met "at least one couple" that has participated in the scheme.

Posted by jack c @ 03:04 PM 13 Comments

Check your Provider won't break their Promise before Housebuying!

BBC: Nationwide axes Mortgage Promise

The UK's biggest building society, the Nationwide, has abandoned a promise to peg its variable rate mortgages to the Bank rate. Existing customers on the Nationwide's variable rate home loan, called BMR, are guaranteed to pay no more than 2% above the Bank rate, currently at 0.5%. But new customers will have no such guarantee when their fixed-rate deal ends and they shift to a variable rate.

Posted by alan @ 01:04 PM 22 Comments

Check you can Meet your Outgoings before Housebuying!

Independent: Two-thirds facing a pay cut or freeze

More than two-thirds of British companies plan to cut or freeze their workers' salaries this year, the British Chambers of Commerce said yesterday, as it warned that private sector employers face a desperate battle to survive the recession.

Posted by alan @ 12:46 PM 7 Comments

Check your Job is Safe before Housebuying!

Independent: Retailers collapse at a rate of seven each day

Seven retailers collapsed on every single working day, on average, during the first quarter of the year, the accountant PricewaterhouseCoopers said yesterday, revealing figures that lay bare the impact of the worst recession for at least 35 years. PWC said 705 retailers fell into insolvency between January and March, a 60 per cent increase on the same quarter last year.

Posted by alan @ 12:41 PM 1 Comments

Did anyone see the sunday times? 22,000 applicants for 130 jobs at Aldi!!! Depression levels

Daily Mail: The binman job advert that attracted 238 applications

Unemployed workers are applying in droves for even the most menial positions amid astonishing levels of competition in the job market.

Posted by mark @ 11:50 AM 15 Comments

Hope For Housing Market As Price Falls Slow


"House prices fell at their slowest rate for more than a year during April as potential buyers returned to the market, figures showed today."

Posted by becky @ 11:19 AM 10 Comments

No model outliers - just lots of liars

Q and A Podcasts: Q and A with Janet Tavakoli

An insider names names and shows that fraud, not mispricing of risk by those dazzled by their own models, caused the crisis, which continues because the bad guys are still in power and are bailing themselves out. Do read past the personal stuff in the middle of the interview because after that she she continues in the same vein. Things are certainly not improving under Obama, so maybe in 2012 we'll have the release of Bush Crime Family III.

Posted by icarus @ 10:54 AM 0 Comments

Darling's wishful thinking is bad news for gilts

MoneyWeek: Darling's wishful thinking is bad news for gilts

"The more the Government is seen to be messing around at the edges and shying away from getting to grips with the debt, the less keen investors will be to support its spending. That would push up gilt yields, and hit prices. The same would happen if the Government prefers to inflate its way out of debt, rather than cut spending and raise taxes another very possible scenario."

Posted by damien @ 10:44 AM 4 Comments

Fannae fakes housing recovery

Bloomberg: Fannie Mae Creates Housing Mirage With Bum Loans

Faced with growing numbers of homeowners unable to make mortgage payments, Fannie decided to fund loans to borrowers that were instant losers. The point was to buy time. Even though those loans resulted in a $453 million loss, they helped keep troubled homeowners from defaulting. That meant Fannie for now didnt have to make good on loan guarantees that may have cost it as much as $2.4 billion.

Posted by brite2006 @ 10:41 AM 0 Comments

No crisis in housing, just market correction

Forbes: The Housing Crisis Isn't A Crisis

His research has revealed three distinct types of housing markets--and only one of the three shows real signs of distress. Even then, that distress is only in a limited number of areas.

Posted by brite2006 @ 10:27 AM 0 Comments

Halifax Q1 09 Regional Breakdown

Halifax: Halifax Q1 09 Figures

They seem to have given up expressly stating what the quarterly falls are (London -4.9%, -24.9% from peak, on my calculations). We can only speculate as to why (hint - Government majority shareholding).

Posted by wageslavex14 @ 10:20 AM 1 Comments

'No' 'more' 'Green Shoots'

BBC: UK mortgage lending 'falls back'

Mortgage lending by the UK's major banks fell for the first time in four months in March, striking a blow to talk of housing market recovery. The number of mortgages approved for house purchases fell to 26,097 in March, down 6.8% from February and 25% lower than a year earlier.

Posted by little professor @ 10:02 AM 11 Comments

Recesion and house prices...

Bloomberg: Bootle Says U.K. Faces 1930s-Style Collapse as Home Prices Drop

The U.K.s recession will last through the end of next year as house prices drop in an economic slump increasingly resembling that of the 1930s, former Treasury adviser Roger Bootle said. Gross domestic product will drop 1 percent in 2010 after shrinking 4 percent this year, Bootle, an economic adviser at Deloitte & Touche LLP, predicted today. U.K. house prices dropped for a 19th month in April, Hometrack Ltd. said in a separate report.

Posted by attila @ 08:24 AM 0 Comments

Pointless survey of the week

FT: Hometrack: House price plunge slows as rising demand boosts sales

House prices fell at the lowest monthly rate for a year in April, fuelling hopes among housing experts that a bottom is being reached in the market. Prices fell by 0.3% month on month, according to the national housing market survey from Hometrack, taking prices down by 10.1% year on year. Hometrack said this would add to optimism among estate agents on the back of increased levels of market activity and sales during the first three months of 2009.

Posted by little professor @ 04:26 AM 1 Comments

Interesting Graph

Paul Maunders Blog: Unemployment versus House Prices 1975-2008

A blogger I've never heard of has compiled a graph showing unemployment rates against inflation adjusted house prices from 1975 to 2008. Extrapolating this graph looks dicey but the trend is obvious and remarkably consistent. Admittedly, there is much scope for questioning the criteria used for this graph over such a long period of time.

Posted by quiet guy @ 12:56 AM 1 Comments

"Subtle" EA persuasion in action....

The Times: What does the future hold for house prices? Ask the artists

This is incredible! "Subtle" EA persuasion in action.... What begins as a cultural article about Damien Hirst and the birth of the Young British Artists slowly mutates into a housing market ramping article !!! And then at the end, you find out who the article was written by....

Posted by roy @ 12:07 AM 0 Comments

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Gordon Brown hears some truth told

BBC News: Daniel Hannan gets angry

A blistering speech attacking Gordon Brown by Daniel Hannan, a little known Conservative MEP, has become a global internet hit. Watch it here.

Posted by ace of hearts @ 08:11 PM 1 Comments

Want to Buy this Worthy Enterprise?

Times: Northern Rock to be Sold by End of Year

NORTHERN ROCK is to be sold off by the end of the year under a fast-track government plan to start clawing back some of the hundreds of billions of pounds of taxpayers money ploughed into the banking sector. Advisers at Credit Suisse have started to draw up the sale plan, which is linked to moves to split the nationalised bank in two.

Posted by alan @ 01:02 PM 17 Comments

Spanish unemployment hits 17.4!

New york times: Reuters

Spanish unemployment startlingly hits depression levels with house price down as much as 50% all fuelled by a property and construction boom itself fuelled by easy credit.....SOUND FAMILIAR?

Posted by taffee @ 12:48 PM 5 Comments

Rosie Millard drops 100k

Rightmove: Thornhill Square

Those with Property-bee will see that Rosie Millard has just dropped the asking price on her pad in Thornhill Square by 100k, from 1.495m to 1.395m. No property crash in Islington? Chasing the market down too slowly, don't you think?

Posted by mark @ 12:18 PM 8 Comments

Japanese pension fund sells government bonds

Telegraph: The capital well is running dry and some economies will wither

Japanese pension fund becomes a seller of Japanese government bonds. I think this places pressure on the UK issuance in the future as the J. bond yield must go up to counter falling demand. The article points out that the UK is in a global market as a weak financial player, and international competition amongst governments to find buyers for gov. debt. Or yields will go up, and borrowing costs will rise. Perhaps the UK budget was really the point of no return as we are locked into excessive debt issuance with rising servicing costs. New Labours plan to compensate for a fall in the velocity of money by attempting to increase the quantity precludes any recovery. Hold onto your hats if you love low house prices (and unemployment boo..).

Posted by stillthinking @ 12:02 PM 8 Comments

Krusty has lost the plot

BBC IPLAYER: Newsnight Friday 24th

Thought this is worth posting. 20 mins in we have Kirsty Alsop uttering garbled rubbish about how we need to be ashamed of our past excesses and embrace austerity. Seems a bit rich to me!

Posted by philipk @ 11:27 AM 8 Comments

IMF suggests housing crash is on the cards for the UK

The Guardian: IMF Forecast LONG Housing Slump

The IMF were sneered at a couple of years ago when they said that Britain's Housing was overvalued by 40%. This was when mainstream commentators were suggesting that housing would be FLAT for a year. It was also before there was any hint of worldwide recession and the words, Banking, Lehmans and the City were expressed in reverent tones. They now have an equally negative prognosis of the UK market and say that the crash has a long way to go. They point out that in the USA the crash started earlier, is accelerating and that the USA didn't have the bubble we did. In the last month we have had the worst ever monthly decline from the land registry -2% (actual sale prices), the worst GDP figures in 30 years -1.9%, the worst budget deficit in history and now the IMF's prognosis. Buyers beware!

Posted by britishblue @ 06:47 AM 12 Comments

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Missing you already!

The Times: Were fleeing high-tax Britain, say City tycoons

Hugh Osmond, the pubs to insurance entrepreneur, is considering a move to Switzerland. Peter Hargreaves, the 10m-a-year co-founder of Hargreaves Lansdown, the financial adviser, is looking to move to the Isle of Man or Monaco. They are likely to be followed by others. Osmond said: A lot of people will be off. I think its highly unlikely that I will continue to have the UK as my country of residence. Its just as easy to work from any close location Switzerland or wherever. Hargreaves said: I wont pay, Ill leave.

Posted by devo @ 10:30 PM 35 Comments

Holiday Home Crash

The Times: Holiday Home...

Totally misleading title but good news for FTB and others priced out of the market in tourist areas. We should see UK holiday homes flooding the market very soon.

Posted by captain sensible @ 06:16 PM 1 Comments

Is it time to get back into property?

Times: No

The housing market has certainly seen a significant improvement in sentiment since the beginning of this year. Now is the time to start buying because most of the falls in price have happened, says Yolande Barnes of Savills. Those who hang on, waiting for further falls, may be disappointed, she believes. In a year, getting hold of stock is going to be an issue. Estate Agent David Horrowman says "If you are a first-time buyer, I would say buy now. I reckon prices will start to go up again.Increased longevity means we need more household units and the collapse of housebuilding for the last two years must lead to pent-up demand" I am quite optimistic that we are not far off the bottom of the market, and there are significant gains out there for those in a position to embrace the risks."

Posted by little professor @ 05:05 PM 8 Comments

FT's John Authers says US house prices are recovering

FT.com: Green Shoots in Housing

Interesting video from John Authers at the FT, suggesting that the "snap back" in US house prices in the last two months is due to the banks' self-imposed moratorium on foreclosures. But they were only waiting for Obama's housing plan - soon it will be Crash Phase Two...

Posted by woodworm @ 02:03 PM 0 Comments

Debt virus hits the US 'prime' market

Counterpunch: A housing crash update

Numbers of 'prime' borrowers at least 60 days behind on mortgages owned or guaranteed by Fannie and Freddie doubled between October '08 and January '09, when it reached nearly 750,000. Obama's mortgage Modification Program can't keep up with the size of the problem. 'Cramdown' legislation (which would allow judges to mark down the mortgage principal to current market value) is likely to fail because powerful bondholders are against it. Foreclosures. already under-reported because banks re keeping most foreclosed properties off the market, will carry on rising. MW likens the situation to that of Sisyphus, rolling his boulder up the hill only to see it roll back down when the effort became too much. Sisy tried lots of tricks to avoid this punishment but the gods got him in the end.

Posted by icarus @ 01:55 PM 0 Comments

Battling the worst financial crisis since the 1930s, the government has committed more than $11 tril

Forbes: Fed says gov't ready to save stress-tested banks

The Federal Reserve on Friday said the government is prepared to rescue any of the banks that underwent "stress tests" and were deemed vulnerable if the recession worsened sharply. The Fed, in outlining the tests' methodology, said the 19 companies that hold one-half of the loans in the U.S. banking system won't be allowed to fail - even if they fared poorly on the stress tests. The Fed reinforced its view that major financial firms are "too big to fail," and the government must do whatever is necessary to save them, said former Fed examiner Mark Williams.

Posted by devo @ 01:40 PM 2 Comments

BBC content contradicts its title

BBC: Tunbridge Wells bucks downturn

The BBC have studios in this town. The film shows the shops that have closed down and sees an estate agent talking her book and then a lady that indicates people are losing their jobs like anywhere else. I moved here because its nice and my previous life inside the M25 led me to believe that you need to be mad to live in the UK; I now think you need to be a millionaire to live in the UK. About 40% of people are bankers or insurance brokers, 10% are seriously minted and most think their town would be just dandy in a nuclear holocaust. But homes are coming on at reduced prices and there are fire sales of conversions, land and Porsche Cayennes. Many shops and EAs have shut. My letting agent went bust a year ago and I lost my home when Ms Landlady got in trouble. Recession proof? Righto.

Posted by lukeskywalker @ 01:03 PM 0 Comments

I hate to be the bearer of bad news - LOL!!

Wallet Pop: House prices to fall 50%

OK, this is an obscure source but the basic point is valid. Who do you trust most to predict future property price trends? An estate agent or a fund manager who deals in property derivatives?

Posted by quiet guy @ 10:28 AM 20 Comments

The Children's Budget

The Age of Stupidity: Blog

We are in the midst of the worst recession any living person would have experienced. Looking back at history when events like this happen, economies take years or a decade or more to recover from these credit excesses. The growth projections given yesterday were lies. Not even Mr Darling believed them. The idea that the economy will grow at the end of the year, and be in the thick of a new boom within a couple of years is nonsense. The economy will continue its decline for this year and the next. If there is any recovery after - which this author does not believe - it will be weak at best.

Posted by david @ 08:31 AM 0 Comments

More surplus property on the market

Telegraph: Budget 2009: Blow for second homes

Holiday homeowners will no longer be able to write off trading losses from second homes against their tax bill, while capital allowances and capital gains benefits will also go. The only way to get around these tax changes is to sell the holiday home. This could result in a rush to try to sell qualifying properties before 5 April 2010 and the resulting surplus of properties for sale could delay any recovery in the housing market in seaside towns around the UK, said Richard Mannion, tax partner at Smith & Williamson.

Posted by mytimeisnigh @ 08:11 AM 6 Comments


Times Online: If no buyers are found for government gilts, out debt interest could bankrupt us

It threatens to become the worst case of indigestion yet seen and one that even a limitless supply of Alka-Seltzer would fail to cure.

Posted by ash4781 @ 08:04 AM 1 Comments

Friday, April 24, 2009

Looks like high earners won't be splashing the cash now Gordon's budget has slapped up the tax

FT.com: Higher taxes set to hit house prices

Estate agents are warning that the higher taxes introduced in this weeks Budget could increase the pressure on house prices, as buyers at the top end of the market decide to live elsewhere. Many buyers of multi- million pound properties earn enough to be hit by the higher rate of income tax from next year. Agents said this extra levy could lead to fewer people living and working in London and could reduce demand for properties in the prime market.

Posted by dohousescrashinthewoods @ 10:57 PM 8 Comments

Its easy, stop trying to sell at 2007 prices.

Guardian Unlimited: How to sell your home in troubled times

It's the traditional house-hunting season, and hopes harboured by owners and sellers of a recovery in the market are high, fuelled by figures this week showing that asking prices have increased for a third month. Rightmove said the typical asking price rose by 1.8%, or almost 4,000, this month, adding this may mean "we have finally reached a price floor, and confidence is starting to return". Mortgage lending is also showing signs of recovery. But estate agents say it remains a buyer's market and those who can get a mortgage are not prepared to pay premium prices. Therefore it is vital to get the marketing right. So which tactics work best if you want to sell at the best price?

Posted by basildonbond @ 03:26 PM 20 Comments

Iceland's lessons in bankruptcy for Britain

MoneyWeek: Iceland's lessons in bankruptcy for Britain

The shocking state of Britain's finances means an IMF bailout is still a distinct possibility. So what can we learn from Iceland, a country now living under an IMF recovery plan?

Posted by damien @ 03:24 PM 3 Comments

Petition calling for Gordon Brown to resign

10 Downing Street: We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to resign

Come on everyone. Do your bit for your country. Maybe if the whole country signs it... OK, so there's no chance of him actually quitting. Come the election they'll probably have to physically drag him, kicking and screaming, from number 10. But at least this might wipe the smug grin off his fat face for a few minutes. :o)

Posted by still renting @ 01:50 PM 22 Comments

Does this explain the latest move up in gold?

FT: China reveals huge rise in gold reserves

China revealed on Friday that it built up its gold reserves by three quarters since 2003, making it the worlds fifth largest holder of bullion. Treasuries look out below.

Posted by mountain goat @ 01:19 PM 13 Comments

Social decline and the rise of vermin in our towns and cities.

Bloomberg: Rats Feed Off U.K. Recession as Trash Mounts, Buildings Empty

April 24 (Bloomberg) -- For British rats, the worst of times has turned out to be the best of times. The vermin more associated with the Dickensian era than modern Britain are thriving, with shuttered shops and half-built housing sites to live in, rotting piles of uncollected garbage for dinner and fewer exterminators sent out to kill them.

Posted by flintster1994 @ 12:17 PM 12 Comments

NAEA "nothing has been done that will radically change the direction in which the market is headed"

Mortgagestrategy: "Botched Budget" may slow buyer interest, says NAEA

The National Association of Estate Agents says chancellor Alistair Darlings botched Budget has failed to capitalise on a boost in buyer interest. The latest NAEA market report shows that the number of prospective buyers registering with estate agents grew by more than 12% between February and March. Applicant numbers went from 240 per agent in February to 268 in March.

Posted by jack c @ 11:30 AM 6 Comments

UK GDP Contracts by the Most in 30 Years‎: Q1 -1.9%; YoY -4.1%

ONS: UK output decreases by 1.9%

Gross Domestic Product (GDP) contracted by 1.9 per cent in the first quarter of 2009, compared with a decrease of 1.6 per cent in the fourth quarter. The increased rate of decline in output was due to weaker services and production output. Construction output decreased by 2.4 per cent, compared with a decrease of 4.9 per cent in the previous quarter. Total production output weakened further in the first quarter, decreasing by 5.5 per cent, compared with a fall of 4.5 per cent in the previous quarter. Manufacturing output made the largest contribution to the slow down, falling by 6.2 per cent compared with a 4.9 per cent decrease in the previous quarter.

Posted by 51ck-6-51x @ 10:32 AM 27 Comments

Going down!

The Housing Market Can't Recover During Economic Devastation

Write About Property: Budget 2009: No Magic Wand for UK Housing Market Recovery

As expected the reactions to Alistair Darling's 2009 UK budget were numerous and varied from within the property and housing industries. Almost -- if not -- all the major bodies and representatives had urged something of the chancellor to breathe life back into the housing market, some have even said that solving the housing crisis will breathe life back into the economy as a whole. I have come up with a name for this: industrial-economic blinkers; the art of looking at the economic situation with blinkers so that you only see your own industry in front of you. The UK economy is in the worst shape of the industrialised world. Our budget deficit is now expected to reach over 12%, compared with 8.9% in the US, 6.2% in France and 3.2% in China. We will be paying for the Chancellor's massiv

Posted by problem pete @ 09:50 AM 0 Comments

Grab Yourself a Bargain.....

REDC: UNITED KINGDOM - Online Only Auction Bid NOW

Is this what we've been waiting for, or is there better yet to come?

Posted by yoyo1 @ 09:29 AM 26 Comments

For US read UK, more hope for us bears

NY Times: For Housing Crisis, the End Probably Isnt Near

The author states: "Ill confess that this bearish picture isnt exactly what I had hoped to find. A year ago, as part of a move from New York to Washington, my wife and I bought our first house. We did so fully expecting prices to continue falling.... We preferred buying before the bottom of the market instead of renting and having to move again in a year or two... Still, when I wrote about that decision last spring, I argued that anyone who didnt have to move probably should not buy yet. Prices still had a way to fall. They dont have as far to fall today, but the great real estate crash is not over, either. So if you are part of the 30 percent of American households who rent and youre trying to decide when to buy, relax. The market is still coming your way."

Posted by jvm @ 08:35 AM 0 Comments

The legacy of Gordon Brown.....

Telegraph: Budget 2009: Britain's debt will not be under control until 2032

''Debt freedom day, when the national debt returns to sustainable levels, will not be reached until 2032 - another 23 years away, the respected Institute for Fiscal Studies said. Families could soon find themselves paying at least another 1,400 a year in tax as part of the Governments attempts to bring public debt back under control, the IFS predicted.''

Posted by hpwatcher @ 08:22 AM 2 Comments

Leave property alone its on the way down

Lovemoney: Why we should let house prices fall

Echoeing Paul Fisher, the BOE official's sentiment when he warned Darling not to stop prices falling, that article said that even with 21% falls the market was still 40% overvalued.

Posted by sybil13 @ 07:42 AM 1 Comments

Australias authorities seem to be so intent on intoning the mantra that Australia-is-in-better-sha

Businessspectator.: IMF forecasts and an admission from the Finance Minister that we are heading for government debt greater than $200 billion raises an obvious question: what on earth is the cash rate doing at 3 per cent?

As a result the Australian dollar will fall. At 70 US cents it looks fundamentally overvalued. International investors will not buy Australian government debt at a yield of 4.7 per cent and an exchange rate of 70c/70, when debt levels are at the point where a negative rating watch is likely, if not an actual downgrading.

Posted by chris @ 07:20 AM 0 Comments

Silly Moos

Guardian: Sub-Prime Lender Cattles halts dealing

May we never see their like again. Good riddance.

Posted by jackas @ 12:52 AM 4 Comments

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Fears of Reykjavik-on-Thames are back again

Telegraph: Gilts continue to slide as Budget 2009 sparks UK sovereign rating fears

Prices for government debt, or gilts, slumped for a third day after Alistair Darling admitted that the Treasury will be forced to borrow a record amount this year to plug the gaping hole in its finances. Bond investors knew that the Government would be forced to borrow more but were still stunned by the Chancellor's Budget admission that it will need to tap them for 220bn this year. That figure dwarfs the previous record of 146bn set last year and is more than the 180bn that was expected. "The main anxiety in the market is that this might not be the worst of it," said a bond investor. Ten-year gilt yields rose to 3.51pc at market close as fears have risen that investors may start to sell because they believe the UK economy is likely to deteriorate further.

Posted by drewster @ 11:54 PM 0 Comments

It's a knockout!

I thought we'd seen the end of articles like these

Times: How to get your first mortgage

If you are unable to obtain a mortgage on your own income, the obvious solution is to turn to the Bank of Mum and Dad, to help out with the deposit or to act as guarantors. If they are prepared to be guarantors, their income will be taken into account when deciding how much you can borrow. If your parents cannot help, you could buy with friends. Some lenders will take the incomes of up to four friends into account when deciding how big a mortgage to give you.

Posted by little professor @ 10:34 PM 5 Comments

Your "high quality mortgage book" at work

Telegraph: North Rock problem loans at double industry average

Problem loans on Northern Rock's mortgage book have almost doubled in just six months as the poor quality of the bank's lending continues to unwind. In March, 3.67% of its customers were in arrears by 3 months or more, up from 2.92% in December and 1.88% in September. In contrast, the industry average is 1.87%. The nationalized lender has warned there is worse to come, and that it will be "substantially loss-making" in 2009. One in three of NR's customers are in negative equity, many of them after taking out the infamous 125% "Together" mortgages. NR plans to increase its lending by 14billion over the next two years.

Posted by little professor @ 09:30 PM 0 Comments

The American government should give everyone a load of cash to trade in cars older than 6 months.

Telegraph: GM eyes factory closures as Chapter 11 looms

The troubled car manufacturer, which is struggling to stay afloat under $62bn (42.5bn) of debt following a slump in car sales, is set to announced today(FRI) that work at the bulk of its American plants will cease over the summer in order to attempt to reduce some of its growing backlog of finished but unsold cars.

Posted by flintster1994 @ 09:25 PM 3 Comments

Round 2 may not be too far away.

Telegraph: Germany's slump risks 'explosive' mood as second banking crisis looms

A clutch of political and labour leaders in Germany have raised the spectre of civil unrest after the country's leading institutes forecast a 6pc contraction of gross domestic product this year, a slump reminiscent of 1931 and bad enough to drive unemployment to 4.7m by 2010. Michael Sommer, leader of the DGB trade union federation, called the latest wave of sackings a "declaration of war" against Germany's workers. "Social unrest can no longer be ruled out," he said.

Posted by flintster1994 @ 09:23 PM 1 Comments

This is the largest number of businesses that Dun & Bradstreet has ever downgraded in a six month pe

Australian: 130,000 businesses now at 'higher risk' of distress

Nearly 130,000 Australian businesses are at higher risk of financial distress over the next 12 months, with a record number of risk profile downgrades, according to credit reporting agency Dun & Bradstreet.

Posted by chris @ 09:19 PM 0 Comments

Newcastle City Council seeks Northern Rock commercial BTL loan (LOL)

BBC: Council buys Northern Rock Tower

Newcastle City Council is to spend more than 20m to buy Northern Rock's empty "glass tower". The structure in Gosforth was completed last November and was to have been the bank's new headquarters. But when the bank got into difficulties and was subsequently nationalised, it put the structure up for sale. The council said it planned to let the 120,000 sq ft building to environmental support firm Eaga, where its 2,500 staff will move. The council is to borrow the estimated 22m to buy the building, which it said was a "sound commercial investment."

Posted by jack c @ 08:50 PM 0 Comments

DETROIT The Treasury Department is preparing a Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing for Chrysler that coul

Nytimes: U.S. Is Said to Prepare Filing for Chrysler Bankruptcy

Moreover, Fiat of Italy would complete its alliance with Chrysler while the company is under bankruptcy protection.

Posted by chris @ 08:41 PM 0 Comments

Central plank of the economy, Weafer said (he could be talking about a certain man we all know lol)

Yahoo: Russian economy contracts, central bank drops rates

Deputy Economy Minister Andrei Klepach said that a six percent contraction in GDP forecast by the International Monetary Fund for 2009 was "rather realistic."

Posted by mark @ 07:58 PM 0 Comments

Longer dole queues will push down house prices

MoneyWeek: Longer dole queues are bad news for house prices

"As prices drop, more 'loose holders' - like buy-to-let landlords who are desperate to service their bank borrowings are driven into unloading their investments at fire-sale prices. It all adds up to a vicious downward value spiral."

Posted by damien @ 04:54 PM 29 Comments

Budding Economics & Finance Journalists - Try Your Hand.

The Economist / CFO Europe: Marjorie Deane internship

** Quick - due 24th April ** Applications are invited for the 2009 Marjorie Deane internship. This award, financed by the Marjorie Deane Foundation, is designed to provide work experience for a promising journalist or would-be journalist, who will spend three months of the summer at The Economist, writing about economics and finance. Applicants may also be considered, if they wish, for an internship of similar duration at CFO Europe, a sister publication of The Economist. Applicants should send a letter introducing themselves, with an original article of no more than 500 words that they think would be suitable for publication in this section of The Economist. Applications should be sent by e-mail to deaneintern@economist.com or posted to The Economist, 25 St Jamess Street, London SW1A 1HG

Posted by 51ck-6-51x @ 04:47 PM 2 Comments

Sensible comment

BBC: Cable Questions Budget Figures

The Liberal Democrats' treasury spokesman, Vince Cable, does not accept the Chancellor's prediction that the economy will rebound strongly. If only this guy could win "Strictly Come Dancing" the public might listen to him!

Posted by alan @ 03:19 PM 1 Comments

Krusty denies the "eat my hat" comment

BBC: BBC radio 5 Live

Simon talks to Paddy Ashdown about his autobiography A Fortunate Life, and Kirstie Allsopp about her new Channel 4 series Kirstie's Home Made Home.

Posted by jack c @ 02:30 PM 8 Comments

Have a look at the picture in the article

BBC 'News': Borrowers 'flock' to Northern Rock

Does the picture look familiar? Well according to our esteemed and trusted state media, this shows people queuing up to take out Northern Rock mortgages, not as some might recognize, people withdrawing all of their savings from the failed institution. In other news, customers more than 3 months in arrears on Northern Rock's loan books have risen 26% and over a third of its customers are in nequity. Oh dear.

Posted by paul @ 01:50 PM 14 Comments

Weighing up the policy of encouraging home ownership

The Economist: Home ownership: Shelter, or burden?

The social benefits of home ownership look more modest than they did and the economic costs much higher.

Posted by 51ck-6-51x @ 12:50 PM 7 Comments

The screw is still turning...

Thisismoney.co.uk: Further setback for building societies

The Bank of England has turned up the heat on a raft of building societies following damaging credit rating downgrades last week. As many as seven societies could be asked to put more cash into an emergency Bank scheme designed to make it easier for lenders to raise money.

Posted by hotfoot @ 12:40 PM 0 Comments

Why the budget will cost us all a fortune

MoneyWeek: Why the budget will cost us all a fortune

"...when reality finally hits home, Mr Darling will have to admit that his hopes for a storming 'recovery' in 2011 were just as flawed as all his other forecasts. And that to return the budget to any sort of balance, we'll face higher long-term interest rates, as well as raised taxes and not just his new 50% top rate for higher earners for many years to come. Regardless of who's in power"

Posted by damien @ 11:35 AM 0 Comments

Ramping of new build development sales

Evening Standard: Flats snapped up as agents use 'sensible pricing' policy

According the the highly impartial Savills, these flats on Hornsey Road (N7) were sensibly priced. Amazingly they claim that 70% of purchases were funded by parents who consider property a safer investment than a deposit account.

Posted by meltsheep @ 11:27 AM 3 Comments

Has anyone told Gordon & Alistair!!!

Reuters: Northern Rock says lending arrears up

Nationalised bank Northern Rock reported a sharp rise in lending arrears in the first three months of 2009, blaming continued difficult conditions in the mortgage and housing markets. Northern Rock said on Thursday accounts more than three months in arrears accounted for 3.67 percent of its loan book at the end of March, up from 2.92 percent three months earlier.

Posted by beachbum @ 11:13 AM 1 Comments

Do we need a National Government/Coalition to sort this out

You Tube: Baldwin appeals for support for the National Government

"The further back I look, the further forward I can see." Winston Churchill

Posted by wdbeast @ 11:04 AM 2 Comments

The US housing market, the perceived root cause of the credit crunch

Cnbc: US Housing Could Fall Another 30%

The US housing market, the perceived root cause of the credit crunch, could take another hit as Commerzbank estimates US house prices to fall another 30%. Markus Wallner from Commerzbank discusses the report's forecasts.

Posted by chris @ 12:20 AM 0 Comments

A sovereign downgrade now looms

The Telegraph: The lesson from Budget 2009 is that our politicians are blind to Britain's financial risks

This is government profligacy on a quite simply unprecedented scale a disgraceful, morally repugnant raid on our children and grandchildren. Yet its highly likely that even these blood-curdling borrowing forecasts will turn out to be under-estimates.

Posted by devo @ 12:02 AM 24 Comments

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Dany Boy says he saw it coming

RTTNews: BoE's Blanchflower: Nonsense to Believe Crisis Could Not Have Been Foreseen

Couple of days old - found this in a Google search on Blanchflower: Bank of England policymaker David Blanchflower said it is "crass nonsense" to say that the magnitude of the financial crisis was unpredictable before the fall of Lehman.

Posted by dohousescrashinthewoods @ 10:37 PM 4 Comments

Bye! Don't forget to write!

The Times: Darling accused of prompting British brain drain with tax increase on high earners

Alex Henderson, tax partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers, said today's tax hike could see the City's high-earners flee to lower tax locations such as Ireland and Switzerland. "Unfortunately, the Chancellor seems to have ignored the knowledge economy entirely," Mr Henderson told The Times. "This has got to reduce the UK's attractiveness as a place to do the kind of business that requires highly-skilled and correspondingly highly-paid individuals, whether that is people choosing to go overseas or - the hidden cost - people who never come here at all.

Posted by devo @ 10:21 PM 50 Comments

A refreshing change

This is money: Don't stop housing crash, Bank man warns

"A top Bank of England official today warned the Government against trying to prevent the housing crash. In a controversial call, markets director Paul Fisher said it would be 'dangerous' for policymakers to try to stem the relentless slump in the value of property. He argued it is also 'sensible' for families to be forced to save up for bigger deposits, rather than returning to the days of near-100% mortgages."

Posted by quiet guy @ 09:22 PM 2 Comments

Gallows Humour?

SKY: Budget 2009: Darling's 700bn Debt Hike

I hear a new phrase " you can grow your way out of a recession, not cut your way out". Nicely said, but who is going to lend us 700bn? Look out for articles on black holes tomorrow, and of course recovery in the Guardian and the BBC.

Posted by alan @ 08:38 PM 2 Comments

Spend less on your people and more on us bankers

Reuters: IMF urges Spain to curb spending, defend banks

Spain should be wary of extra fiscal stimulus measures and must prepare contingency plans for bank bailouts to head of possible systemic risk, the International Monetary Fund said on Wednesday. In a report following a regular review of Spain, the IMF said Spain had to present plans to cut a ballooning budget deficit and needed to launch reforms in labour and economic markets to raise economic competitiveness.

Posted by little professor @ 08:14 PM 0 Comments

Wake me up in a few years when it's recovering

Times Online: UK slump will not end in 2010, says IMF

To all those who were thinking they can see a light, it's a train coming!

Posted by tim miller @ 06:50 PM 0 Comments

Budget - serious costs hidden in small print

Taxpayers' Alliance: Brown Bombshell bigger than debts from the Napoleonic Wars, First World War and Second World War combined

*Darling's borrowing plans will run up more debt than World War I, World War II and the Napoleonic Wars combined - in today's money. *The green jobs proposals could result in a net loss of 480,000 jobs across the economy as a whole. *The Car Scrappage scheme could cost up to 14 billion - and only 2 billion would go on British cars. *The Chancellor's growth forecasts are "wildly optimistic" - Ruth Lea, leading economist and TPA board member.

Posted by mrs boodle @ 05:28 PM 0 Comments

Cat among pigeons

BBC News: Tax blow for holiday-home owners

Thousands of UK holiday-home owners face losing a range of tax benefits under changes announced in the Budget.

Posted by jezer @ 05:07 PM 0 Comments

House Prices Still Crashing in USA, 2 Yrs Ahead of UK

NY Times: For Housing Crisis, the End Probably Isn't Near

The US housing market is two years ahead of the UK and still crusing at crash speed. Even though house prices there are only 5% overvalued by the usual measures, there is still a glut of property on the market and prices are still falling. This journalist bought as an FTB in 2008 to avoid having to having to move again while renting but now finds that house prices are still crashing 1 year on, despite reports of a recovery. .

Posted by an bearin bui @ 04:55 PM 9 Comments

But the Green shoots !

Yahoo: Jobless figure climbs to 2.1m

Business groups and unions now expect the wider measure of unemployment to reach at least 3 million next year because of the effects of the recession.

Posted by happy mondays @ 04:40 PM 0 Comments

Hmmm make of this what you will! I have my own theory

Cnn: Freddie Mac CFO found dead

The acting chief financial officer of mortgage finance giant Freddie Mac, David Kellermann, was found dead Wednesday morning, police said.

Posted by mark @ 03:50 PM 11 Comments

Comedy Club stalwart - "housing market is the engine of the UK economy"

Mortgagestrategy: BUDGET 2009: Budget is a water pistol to put out a fire says NAEA

The National Association of Estate Agents has damned the chancellor Alistair Darling's second Budget report as "water pistol to put out a fire". The extension of the Stamp Duty holiday for properties up to 175bn the NAEA says is "disappointing" and adds that now was the perfect opportunity for the chancellor to get rid of the tax. Peter Bolton King, chief executive of the NAEA, says: "In this difficult economic time, Mr Darling could have seized the opportunity to encourage first time buyers to the market and to send a signal of confidence that may have reverberated around the economy.

Posted by jack c @ 03:27 PM 9 Comments

290,000 Jobs to go in City ?

Here is the City News: 290,000 Jobs Likely To Go In London Before End Of 2011

I think the figure is actually 29,000 ? No "green shoots" in the UKs property price engine forecast then.

Posted by doomwatch @ 03:20 PM 4 Comments

Gordon Brown - the dance of the comedian

Crown blog: Gordon Brown - the dance of the comedian

Dance video mash up http://thecrownblogspot.blogspot.com/2009/04/gordon-brown-dance-of-comedian.html starring Gordon Brown

Posted by crown @ 02:50 PM 1 Comments

Where to put your cash safely?


50 institutions with the highest ratings from the leading credit ratings agencies Standard & Poor's, Moody's and Fitch. Looks like Nationwide and HSBC make the top 50.

Posted by mountain goat @ 02:12 PM 7 Comments

50 per cent tax rate for Britain's rich

The Telegraph: 50 per cent tax rate for higher earners in Budget 2009

A new 50 per cent top rate of income tax has been announced in the Budget by Alistair Darling, the Chancellor.

Posted by davidmchristopher @ 02:11 PM 2 Comments

CDS: which do you want to hear first the good news or the bad news?

Bloomberg: Credit Swaps Market Cut to $38 Trillion, ISDA Says

CDS market was behind a lot of the risk taking that fueled the hp bubble. When it came to the risks to the CDS market itself there was the arguement that "most contracts balanced each other out". Since the crunch it seems players have been tearing up balancing contracts. The good news is that 38% have been torn up. The bad news is that it was only 38%, which means that most presumably most don't balance each other out. So this still leaves $38 Trillion financial weapons of mass destruction targeting the world's economy, I mean the world's tax payers.

Posted by mountain goat @ 12:58 PM 19 Comments

Housing boost expected from Budget

The Telegraph: Budget 2009: boost for housing expected

The Government is expected to unveil a 1 billion package to help boost the housing market and beleaguered construction sector in the Budget.

Posted by davidmchristopher @ 12:08 PM 7 Comments

How low could stock markets go?

MoneyWeek: How low could stock markets go?

Predicting market moves is always difficult. But we can learn a great deal about today's market crash by studying that of 1929, writes Dominic Frisby. And judging by what happened back then, things are going to get even uglier for equities.

Posted by damien @ 11:56 AM 4 Comments

The first quarter of 2009 has seen one of the biggest ever changes in the take up of fixed rates

Citywire: Cautious homebuyers switch to fixes

Homebuyers are more astute than most people give them credit for. Borrowers realise that massive government borrowing and quantitative easing otherwise known as printing money will lead to inflation and higher interest rates and large numbers are switching to fixed rate home loans.

Posted by jack c @ 10:57 AM 1 Comments

UK House Prices: What Goes Up (too fast) Must Come Down

Write About Property: Gloucester Property Market Hit Hard by UK Housing Market Crash

Gloucester property prices had fallen by around 16% up till February, according to Land Registry data, an equal percentage to the average for England in Wales. Property in Gloucester, like almost everywhere else, grew massively from 2004 onwards. The growth between Feb 2004 and Feb 2005 alone was over 10%, from 153,434 to 170,231.That growth has all but been reversed. The average price of a house in Gloucester is now 166,867, and that is based on the Land Registry figures taken us up to February, the price is likely to be lower again when the Land Registry releases its figures for March.

Posted by problem pete @ 10:39 AM 2 Comments

Of the top nineteen (19) banks in the nation, sixteen (16) are already technically insolvent

Bloomberg: Bank Regulators Clash Over U.S. Stress-Tests Endgame

The U.S. Treasury and financial regulators are clashing with each other over how to disclose results from the stress tests of 19 U.S. banks, with some officials concerned at potential damage to weaker institutions. With a May 4 deadline approaching, there is no set plan for how much information to release, how to categorize the results or who should make the announcements, people familiar with the matter said.

Posted by sold 2 rent 1 @ 10:04 AM 31 Comments

Fla. county declares state of emergency over skyrocketing foreclosures, unemployment

Abc News: Fla. County Declares Emergency Over Economy

A South Florida county that rode high through the housing boom earlier this decade, then crashed hard when the foreclosure crisis struck, declared a state of economic emergency on Tuesday.

Posted by last_days_of_disco @ 08:36 AM 1 Comments

Spring Bounce

BBC: House sales 'jumped 40% in March'

"Even when the figures are adjusted for seasonal trends, they still show a rise from 54,000 to 61,000, a jump of 13%. " Why isn't 13% in your headline then Mr BBC.

Posted by phdinbubbles @ 07:22 AM 14 Comments

So, no recovery for a few years then!

Mail online: Budget wake-up call for Darling:

Labour was rocked last night by a devastating warning that the banking crisis will cost every person in Britain 3,000. So that's nice then, 3,000 quid for every man, woman, child and baby, thanks darling!

Posted by tim miller @ 02:47 AM 6 Comments

The nations jobless rate, already a painful 15.5 percent, could soon reach 20 percent, a troubling

Nytimes: Spains Falling Prices Fuel Deflation Fears in Europe

VALENCIA, Spain Faced with plunging orders, merchants across this recession-wracked country are starting to do something that many of them have never done: cut retail prices.

Posted by chris @ 02:28 AM 12 Comments

John Nash would be proud.

Daily Mail: Look where the morals of Monopoly have got us

This innocent-looking board game has probably had a corrosive influence on western morals, writes Rowan Pelling. "I wonder if Joanne and Darren Jones, found guilty this week of snaffling over 60,000 from a faulty cash machine, ever played Monopoly when they were young? For all the modern angst about violent computer games, this innocent-looking board game has probably had a more corrosive influence on western morals. For starters, Monopoly brazenly encourages players to plunder their savings and put every last penny into property. And just look where that's got us all: the Joneses were symbolic of our crazy age, owning three properties yet up to their gills in credit-card debt."

Posted by charlie brooker @ 12:37 AM 10 Comments

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Don't try and stop the housing crash, Bank of England official warns Darling

Daily Mail: Don't try and stop the housing crash, Bank of England official warns Darling

A top Bank of England official today warned the Government against trying to prevent the housing crash. In a controversial call, Markets Director Paul Fisher said it would be dangerous for policymakers to try to stem the relentless slump in the value of property.

Posted by becky @ 11:02 PM 26 Comments

Reality of the slow descent

Firstrung: House sellers continue to waste estate agents' time with totally unrealistic asking prices

The final selling price of a UK property is still circa 17% down, year on year, but that isn't stopping sellers continuing to waste estate agents time by asking totally unrealistic prices for property according to Miles Shipside of Rightmove... Starting from a very high price Rightmove are witnessing vendors desperately reducing prices by up to 2% a week until they find a level at which a willing buyer (armed with funds) is prepared to make a commitment. Those that do sell quickly are typically having to price at 25% off peak 2007 prices.

Posted by quiet guy @ 10:56 PM 3 Comments

April Fool: No recovery, we're sinking into depression

Finance Markets: Welcome to the New Depression

The green shots are being fabricated by bail out packages, and we remain headed into a new depression to rival the 1930's.

Posted by brite2006 @ 10:27 PM 0 Comments

"Germany is in the most severe recession since the second World War,"

Cnbc: Germany in 'Severe Recession': Economist

Jorg Kramer from Commerzbank said. "I personally expect the German economy to shrink by 6-7%." He sees the country's economy continuing to shrink until the third quarter, then to stabilize

Posted by chris @ 09:53 PM 0 Comments

Rumble of thunder...

Bloomberg: Fannie, Freddie Defaults Rise as Borrowers Cite Lower Income

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac mortgage delinquencies among the most creditworthy homeowners rose 50 percent in a month as borrowers said drops in income or too much debt caused them to fall behind, according to data from federal regulators. The number of so-called prime borrowers at least 60 days behind on mortgages owned or guaranteed by the companies rose to 743,686 in January, from 497,131 in December, and is almost double the total for October, the Federal Housing Finance Agency said in a report to Congress today.

Posted by tyrellcorporation @ 09:52 PM 2 Comments

DJIA and the Dow Jones Transportation index, shows a bearish pattern,

Cnbc: Nicole Elliott from Mizuho Corporate Bank said. She sees the index falling below the March low of 666,

The S&P 500 index chart, like all the European indexes, the DJIA and the Dow Jones Transportation index, shows a bearish pattern, Nicole Elliott from Mizuho Corporate Bank said. She sees the index falling below the March low of 666, and suffering staggered declines for the next 2 years.

Posted by chris @ 09:52 PM 0 Comments


NY Times: It May Be Time for the Fed to Go Negative

Professor of economics at Harvard says we need negative interest rates and has cunning plan to prevent money hoarding. Fits the trend of destroying every bit of capital left in the US.

Posted by mountain goat @ 09:31 PM 26 Comments

Boris' people paint a fairly grim economic outlook

GLA: Londons Economic Outlook: Spring 2009

GLA Economics fourteenth London forecasti suggests that: Londons Gross Value Added (GVA) growth rate should fall to 2.7 per cent in 2009. Growth should remain negative in 2010 before rising to 1.7 per cent in 2011. London is likely to see contractions in employment in 2009, 2010 and 2011. London household spending will probably fall in 2009 and 2010 before growing slowly in 2011. London household income will probably fall in 2009 before growing slowly in 2010 and 2011.

Posted by 51ck-6-51x @ 04:40 PM 0 Comments

AIG's Bailout Man Knows Best

Bloomberg: Geithner Says Most U.S. Banks Have Enough Capital

reasury Secretary Timothy Geithner told a congressional panel that the vast majority of U.S. banks have more capital than needed. He also said there are signs of thawing in credit markets and some indication that confidence is beginning to return. Indicators on interbank lending, corporate issuance and credit spreads generally suggest improvements in confidence in the stability of the system and some thawing in credit markets, Geithner said in prepared testimony to the committee overseeing the Troubled Asset Relief Program. Earlier today, Geithner said the program has enough money for bank rescues even under conservative estimates.

Posted by 51ck-6-51x @ 04:06 PM 3 Comments

Why you are the best person to manage your own money

MoneyWeek: Why you are the best person to manage your own money

"Just because the economy's not collapsing quite as rapidly as it was, doesn't mean that everything is now just fine. And with the earnings reporting season pretty much upon us, investors are starting to get nervous about just how difficult companies will reveal things are getting."

Posted by damien @ 03:00 PM 8 Comments

"One year ago, the IMF estimated that total losses from the credit crunch would be $1 trillion"

BBC News: Meltdown losses of '$4 trillion'

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has warned that potential losses from the credit crunch could reach $4 trillion (2.75tn) and damage the financial system for years to come.

Posted by flintster1994 @ 02:47 PM 4 Comments

Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water . . .

BBC: Meltdown losses of '$4 trillion'

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has warned that potential losses from the credit crunch could reach $4 trillion (2.75tn) and damage the financial system for years to come. It says that even if urgent action is taken to clean up the banking system, the process will be "slow and painful", delaying economic recovery. It says that banks may need $1.7 trillion in additional capital. But it warns that political support for further bank bail-outs is waning. One year ago, the IMF estimated that total losses from the credit crunch would be $1 trillion, which has been exceeded, showing how rapidly the financial meltdown has escalated.

Posted by charlie brooker @ 02:45 PM 3 Comments

Board 'em and Hoard 'em

Counterpunch: The housing bust comes roaring back, worse than ever

Only 30% of foreclosed properties in the US are put on sale. There are 600,000 properties that have been repossessed but not put on the market. Banks are probably servicing these mortgages to conceal the extent of their losses. This means that an even larger segment of the banking business is insolvent and there'd be carnage if these distressed properties ever flooded onto the market

Posted by icarus @ 02:42 PM 3 Comments

More useless measures.Role up your interest payments? Financial suicide!

BBC News: Mortgage support scheme underway

A scheme to keep some mortgage borrowers in their homes if they fall on hard times has begun. The Homeowners Mortgage Support Scheme (HMSS) will allow borrowers to defer up to 70% of mortgage interest payments if they lose some of their income. The plan is one of several initiatives that have been launched recently by the government to stop repossessions.

Posted by flintster1994 @ 02:01 PM 15 Comments

It's different in Scotland. Negative equity is an English problem!

BBC News: Suburb 'plushest area of country'

An upmarket suburb of Aberdeen has been named as Scotland's most expensive postcode, in an annual property survey. The study by house prices website Zoopla suggested Milltimber, which has the postcode AB13, had an average house price of 422,760.

Posted by flintster1994 @ 01:32 PM 5 Comments

Common sense for a change

Yahoo Finance: Of Course Banks Aren't Lending...And There's Nothing Wrong With That

The government's goal since the beginning of this crisis has been to get banks lending again. They have failed fortunately.

Posted by mountain goat @ 12:17 PM 12 Comments

Mortgage Fraud: The Truth Slowly Seeps Out

Huffington Post: The Two Documents Everyone Should Read to Better Understand the Crisis

William K. Black (fraud expert, former regulator during Savings and Loan crisis) writes in the Huffington Post about mortgage fraud. By 2004, the FBI was warning of extensive mortgage fraud going on in the banks but they were ignored. Lenders completed bypassed basic regulations and checks to originate as many liar loans as they could in order to make astronomical profits. Black outlines why the current crisis has its origins in this fraud and demands an inquiry.

Posted by an bearin bui @ 12:13 PM 0 Comments

Life at the sharp end of the downturn...

BBC News: Homeless struggle in Atlantic City

BBC correspondent Matthew Price continues his journey across the US to assess whether there are any signs of economic recovery. Today he reports from Atlantic City, New Jersey, where life appears to be getting harder by the week

Posted by hotfoot @ 11:14 AM 0 Comments

Housing Tax cuts to remain

BBC News: Stamp duty cut 'to be extended'

Chancellor Alistair Darling is set to extend the stamp duty "holiday" on homes costing up to 175,000 by three months, to the end of the year.

Posted by refusetobuy @ 11:13 AM 10 Comments

Inflation? Nothing to see here, move along now.

BBC News: Inflation measure turns negative Tomatoes being weighed

Annual inflation measured by the Retail Prices Index (RPI) went negative in March for the first time since 1960, to -0.4%, down from zero in February.

Posted by flintster1994 @ 09:42 AM 26 Comments

The Truth About Raised Asking Prices and Just How Wrong the Rightmove Index Is

Write About Property: UK House Prices & Rightmove: Bumping Along the Bottom? I Think Not

The Rightmove index has once again showed a rise in asking prices, but this time, because it is the third such monthly rise, they are viewing it with more optimism than the last. The fact that agent's are pushing up asking prices to attract sellers is a side-note in the latest release.

Posted by problem pete @ 09:09 AM 3 Comments

Interesting views on Banks earnings and the recent accounting cons.

Bloomberg - Video: Whitney Expects Banks to Return to `Negative Earnings

Video. Basically the recent profits reported by the major US banks are a one-off and going forward, earnings potential looks dire.

Posted by tyrellcorporation @ 09:02 AM 4 Comments

Progressive taxation shocker !

Telegraph: Britain's middle classes 'face stealth tax'

Utter idiocy, by and large, but does contain one of our favourite subjects, the mythical average wage: 24,292, according to these muppets. 80k-90k average house price here we come then..

Posted by ski @ 08:11 AM 3 Comments

NIMBY's destroy society over concern about house prices

Telegraph: New homes to be part funded by Government

"Although the plan will be welcomed by the construction industry it may alarm existing homeowners and estate agents amid fears that boosting the housing supply may hinder any recovery in house prices. It may also lead to concerns that thousands of homes will be quickly constructed across the south east on green-belt land." Let's all screw the young to pay for our retirement. If I can persuade the Mrs, we're taking our 5 degrees and 15 years of highly demanded work experience to somewhere else, where this NIMBY attitude is viewed as purile.

Posted by ski @ 08:09 AM 8 Comments

THE OECD has warned that the rollback of the Howard government's Work Choices industrial relations l

Australian: Labor risk to youth jobs says OECD as PM Kevin Rudd calls recession 'inevitable build-up of a large pool of youth at risk of becoming long-term unemployed,"

THE OECD has warned that the rollback of the Howard government's Work Choices industrial relations laws may result in higher youth unemployment, as Kevin Rudd conceded for the first time that recession in Australia was inevitable.

Posted by chris @ 02:25 AM 0 Comments

You love it


HOPES of a recovery in the housing market have been sparked by a report from Rightmove showing asking prices on the increase for the third month running. Signs that a spring revival might be on the way have tempted people putting their homes on the market to boost their prices by 3,996 the largest rise for 14 months and the third consecutive monthly increase. A series of positive reports have prompted economists to say that record low interest rates and lower prices are finally tempting buyers back into the market. RICS says the number of new buyer enquiries has risen for five consecutive months, while the Council of Mortgage Lenders says the number of new mortgage approvals rose by 4% in February.

Posted by little professor @ 01:36 AM 37 Comments

Aww, they'll miss us. Seems a bit early though!

FT: What we will miss about the prophets of doom

For two years now, we have collectively gorged on tales of tears and deeds of downfall. If the bulls really are back and the economic and financial misery is about to end, here are 16 reasons why we will miss the gloomy times. 3. The prophets of doom have had a field day. Yet we feel strangely comfortable with the Cassandras. We have enjoyed being told that the light at the end of the tunnel signals an approaching train. Now we will have to get re-acquainted with the optimists a much more dangerous and unsettling bunch of people. 9. Dinner party talk of house price rises will return. People will no longer be ashamed of being estate agents. Sons and daughters will again want to go into investment banking rather than eco-farming.

Posted by drewster @ 12:59 AM 6 Comments

NuLabour makes history

Telegraph: Markets braced for historic 200bn deficit

The pound slid after it emerged that Alistair Darling will this week unveil Budget plans which will consign Britain to a deficit dwarfing anything faced in peacetime. With economists raising the prospect of 200bn deficit and a gilt strike in the coming years, sterling fell by 2.66 cents against the dollar to $1.4539, wiping out much of the ground made against the US currency in recent weeks. The plunge came as it emerged that tomorrow the Chancellor will be forced to slash his economic forecasts and raise his borrowing forecast well into the future.

Posted by quiet guy @ 12:05 AM 3 Comments

Monday, April 20, 2009

Anticipates huge cuts in service provision

Telegraph: Too much stimulus could spell disaster for Dr Darlings ailing patient

"At some point someone is going to have to confess that the NHS can only deal with items such as A&E, pregnancy and cancer." Keeping on a medical theme," the economy is like a patient in the emergency room who has suffered a heart attack. He has just been given the largest dose of adrenalin and the largest shock from the defibrillator in medical history. If there aren't a few flutters from the heart after that, be very afraid. To take the analogy further, this patient had previously appeared fit but only because he had been taking steroids.." If the media keep coming out with stuff like this everybody will know this -is- the UK economy, not some unfortunate global event taking a strong man down.

Posted by stillthinking @ 09:51 PM 1 Comments

Interesting summary by Vince Cable

Guardian: Vincent Cable's slideshow of economic doom

Suggests the policy makers don't know whether to fight the deflation of the richest 20%, or the 5% inflation for everybody else. Umemployment to stay high for 2 parliamentary terms, 32% drop in housing over the next three years, UK credit rating worries, long term budget deficit, rising repossessions etc. Surprisingly, there was no mention of the beautiful weather we have had recently.

Posted by stillthinking @ 06:46 PM 5 Comments

Green Shoots. My Ar*se

REUTERS: GLOBAL MARKETS-Global stocks tumble on BofA results, oil slumps

Wall St slides on bank jitters, earnings outlook caution * US dollar rallies broadly as equities worldwide tumble * Government debt shines on banking worries flare up * Oil drops over 8 pct on economic outlook, dollar rise (Recasts; updates U.S. markets; changes dateline, previous

Posted by pesimistic @ 06:31 PM 3 Comments

CH 4 Mon 20th 8pm

Channel 4 Dispatches: Crash - How the Banks Went Bust

Just before he became Prime Minister in 2007, chancellor Gordon Brown congratulated the city on their ingenuity and creativity during his tenure: 'An era that history will record as the beginning of a new golden age for the city of London'. He couldn't have been more wrong. Now, thanks to the financial crash, Britain is facing economic catastrophe. The debts the UK is incurring will take generations to pay off. But how did the economy get from boom to bust? In this two-part special, economist and author Will Hutton gives the definitive insider's account of what went wrong.

Posted by little professor @ 04:47 PM 11 Comments

Great news for Mr Brown, money with no strings.

Bloomberg: IMF Lending Exceeding $55 Billion Prompts Bondholders Anxiety

April 20 (Bloomberg) -- The International Monetary Fund may be so conscious of having handed out bad advice to needy countries in the past that it isnt offering them enough guidance now. The Washington-based lender is combating the worst financial turmoil in its 64-year history with more than $55 billion in loans for nations from Pakistan to Serbia. As the fund prepares to lend even more, it is retreating from its practice -- carried out with adverse effects a decade ago in Asia -- of demanding that governments overhaul their economic systems in return for aid.

Posted by flintster1994 @ 04:37 PM 2 Comments

Latest Halifax residential property review

FT: Housing at its most affordable for almost seven years

Falling house prices and shrinking mortgage rates mean home affordability has improved significantly since mid-2007, according to a new Halifax review. According to the Halifax, house prices across the UK fell by an average of 16 per cent in 2008 and are expected to decline again in 2009, making it easier for borrowers to get on the property ladder. At the same time, the proportion of disposable earnings devoted to mortgage payments, a key affordability measure, has also fallen significantly over the past 18 months. Across the nation, typical mortgage payments for a new borrower have fallen from a peak of 48 per cent of average disposable earnings in the third quarter of 2007, to 31 per cent in Q1 2009.

Posted by jack c @ 03:34 PM 8 Comments

Prices on the slide at the top end of the market

FT: House prices slump 5m in Britain's most expensive street

According to the latest Property Rich List compiled by the house prices website Zoopla.co.uk, London is still home to over one thousand streets where average home values remain over the 1m mark. All three of the most expensive areas in Britain are in the capital and all boast average homes values of over 1 million despite the market downturn. Homes average about 1.3m in Kensington, and 1.1m in Chelsea and Knightsbridge. No other areas of the country managed to achieve average home values over 1m, and the values in these three areas are all down on last year, with average property prices having fallen almost 250,000.

Posted by jack c @ 03:28 PM 0 Comments

Inflation in goods which typically fall 10% a year

The Times: Electrical goods increase in price

Recent purchasers of MacMinis might be pleased to know that there was a 25% price increase. Whether or not this is a one-off effect due to sterling devaluation through artificially low interest rates, or the emergence of a general inflationary spiral remains to be seen. Rising unemployment and high inflation, the heady mix only possible under Labour governments. But against the losses of UK housing stock? The new gold will be white goods and cars older than 9 years.

Posted by stillthinking @ 02:47 PM 12 Comments

But our financial institutions are in better shape....

Turner Radio Network: LEAKED! Bank Stress Test Reults !

lending has decreased by 23% since TARP.. and some other nuggets.

Posted by techieman @ 02:27 PM 9 Comments

Why your company pension might not be so safe

MoneyWeek: Why your company pension might not be so safe

"UK company pension funds are now in the red to the tune of over 240bn - the biggest shortfall ever recorded. And here's the irony. It's partly due to QE quantitative easing, the Bank of England's cash printing press, which is supposed to be bailing Britain out."

Posted by damien @ 12:49 PM 5 Comments

On Yer Bike Son

Motley Fool: Why Halfords Isn't Woolworths

Although I can see the points in the post I don't think that over priced bikes, 10 car bulbs and the most expensive accessories area I have ever seen is really going to cut it in the long term. With the internet prices being about 40% the only fool in a recession would be the ones going to Halfords to buy their goods

Posted by dj2000 @ 11:55 AM 0 Comments

Inflation and gold.

Telegraph: Gold price could hit $1,500

The aggressive monetary policy of central banks around the world is playing havoc with the structure of the bullion market, creating a chronic shortage of gold that may soon push the metal to fresh records above $1,500 an ounce.

Posted by flintster1994 @ 09:16 AM 58 Comments


BBC: Is the housing market about to recover?

"Prices will weaken further over the next three or six months," says Simon Rubinsohn of Rics. A few experts are happy to be more specific. Ray Boulger - "a fall of 5% this calendar year." Ed Stansfield - "down 20% this year and 10% next year." Jonathan Davis - "a 40% drop from September 2007 to the end of 2010 or 2011."

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 07:37 AM 22 Comments

Things will get a lot worse before they get better

Yahoo/ITN: 'Recession will end in spring 2010'

Recovery will be "slow and fragile", the CBI business group said. The Ernst & Young ITEM club said a tough road lies ahead as unemployment passes the 3 million mark. ITEM's chief economic adviser Peter Spencer said: "We face another 12-18 months of serious grief". The CBI business group now expects the economy to have shrunk by 1.8pc in the first three months of the year - and contract by 3.9pc over 2009 as a whole; with growth of just 0.1pc in 2010. Unemployment will peak at 3.25 million early next year.

Posted by drewster @ 01:31 AM 2 Comments

Rightmove: +1.8% MoM, -7.3% YoY

Telegraph: Sellers raise prices by almost 4,000 in April

Home sellers raised their asking prices by almost 4,000 on average in April compared to the previous month, according to Rightmove. The 1.8% rise brings the average asking price to 222,077, in the latest sign that confidence may be returning to the housing market. This was the third month in a row that asking prices have risen. "It looks like we are now bumping along the bottom of the trough," said Miles Shipside, commercial director of Rightmove

Posted by little professor @ 01:10 AM 25 Comments

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Moar bailouts plz, KTHXBYE

Times: Building societies in Bank of England talks after downgrade

Crunch negotiations are due to take place this week between the Bank of England and a group of building societies in an attempt to prop up their levels of mortgage lending. The societies - including the Chelsea and the Skipton - were hit last week by credit ratings downgrades, affecting their participation in the BoE's 185 billion Special Liquidity Scheme. The downgrades are based on the scenario of house prices falling 40%, thus affecting the value of assets put up by the building societies as collateral for funding from the liquidity scheme. Societies may be forced to either put up additional collateral or hand back the Treasury bills unless a deal can be reached with the BoE.

Posted by little professor @ 10:43 PM 5 Comments

Darling wants to use our taxes for mortgages

Guardian: Chancellor's 50bn home loans boost

At a time when public finances are in an absolutely wretched state, the government is proposing to commit 50,000,000,000 of public taxes to try to boost the mortgage market. Darling appears to be trying to wrest the title of the UK's Worst Ever Chancellor away from Gordon Brown and the government is showing its contempt for savers. This must be one of the worst ideas NuLabour have ever come up with :(

Posted by quiet guy @ 06:08 PM 24 Comments

Location, Location, Location - Phil Spencer liquidated

Daily Mirror: Location, Location, Location star Phil Spencer's company owed 500k

TV property expert Phil Spencer's failed company owed more than 500,000 when it went bust. The full extent of the Location, Location, Location star's financial turmoil was revealed in administrators' documents signed by him and seen by the Mirror. His firm, Garrington Home Finders, owed creditors 576,052 when it folded in February.

Posted by funkygibbon @ 05:53 PM 1 Comments

We're almost out of the wood! Green shoots will grow into great big oaks! Phew!

BBC News: Economy 'no longer in free fall'

The economy is no longer in free fall and a recovery next spring is likely, a renowned economic think tank has said. Stabilising markets and the easing of credit conditions may well mean that the worst of the recession is over, The Ernst & Young Item Club said.

Posted by flintster1994 @ 03:26 PM 10 Comments

House prices will continue to fall.

Independent: When will the housing market hit bottom?

A lot of noise is emanating from the housing market, with insiders detecting the first of those much-vaunted "green shoots of recovery" but there is still cause for concern, says Julian Knight, nearly everywhere you look the housing market figures aren't just bad they are cataclysmic. Jonathan Davis, a certified financial planner and commentator on the housing market, who has consistently called the size of falls in the housing market correctly since 2007, says first-time buyer numbers are at an extraordinarily low ebb.

Posted by mytimeisnigh @ 02:35 PM 6 Comments

Debunking the Optimism Surrounding RICS Comments

Write About Property: Response to More Falsely Optimistic Reports on UK House Prices

In an article in the Coventry Telegraph, Harvey Williams Coventry and Warwickshire regional spokesman for the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, has slated the recent government figures on the UK housing market, which showed a 12.3% year on year decline for the three months from the beginning of December to the end of February this year. I have put his comments in bold, and mine in plain text.

Posted by problem pete @ 01:25 PM 0 Comments

Dvaid orr has NO credability , 25% increase!

House price: David orr says HP will increase 25%

David Orr should be sacked. Anyone who thinks HP will increase 25% is laughable ans has zero credability

Posted by raj @ 12:13 PM 3 Comments

A scoundrel unmasked...

Telegraph: How Gordon Brown became 'The Gordfather'

'In Brown's world, power is more important than performance. Until the "bust", Brown relied upon spending billions and distorting statistics to retain power. In pursuit of a fundamentally flawed economic policy, he trumpeted disingenuous statements about his "golden rule" of balancing the budget to conceal Britain's growing debts and the inevitable recession. Over the past months, that trusted ruse was exposed, confirming Britain's unprecedented financial plight. '

Posted by hpwatcher @ 11:09 AM 1 Comments

Buy to Let Debate

Citywire: The Citywire Debate: Should we encourage buy-to-let?

In the first of a series of debates, our writers Lorna Bourke and Tony Bonsignore go head to head over whether we should encourage buy-to-let. Add your own comments in our blog, there is a link at the bottom of the article. YES, says Lorna Bourke NO, says Tony Bonsignore..............

Posted by jack c @ 10:50 AM 10 Comments

Six of the best for stock markets

Investment Postcards: Investment Postcards from Cape Town: Words from the (investment) wise for the week that was (April 13 19, 2009)

Spring is in the air at least in the Northern Hemisphere and on global bourses. Last week marked the sixth consecutive up-week for stock markets as investors risk appetite returned amid signs of global economies and the financial sector embarking on the road to recovery. Read more about this, together with some thought-provoking news items and quotes from market commentators during the past week, in the weekly Words from the Wise review: http://www.investmentpostcards.com/2009/04/19/words-from-the-investment-wise-for-the-week-that-was-april-13-%E2%80%93-19-2009/

Posted by prieur du plessis @ 10:11 AM 0 Comments

Response to Optimistic Reports on the UK Housing Market

'write about property", Liam Bailey: Response to Optimistic Reports on the UK Housing Market

n an article in the Coventry Telegraph, Harvey Williams Coventry and Warwickshire regional spokesman for the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, has slated the recent government figures on the UK housing market, which showed a 12.3% year on year decline for the three months from the beginning of December to the end of February this year. I have put his comments in bold, and mine in plain text.

Posted by rex @ 09:44 AM 0 Comments

'Steady' Eddie George dies at the age of 70

Times: The governor unafraid to speak his mind

During his initial five-year term, Eddie George saw the economy grow consistently every quarter. At a speech in 1999, he was able to boast that it had expanded every quarter for seven years. By the time he stepped down in 2003, after a decade in the post, he had presided over 40 consecutive quarters of GDP growth. However, he later admitted that the Bank had deliberately stoked the consumer boom that led to spiralling house prices and personal debt in order to stave off the onset of recession. We knew that we were having to stimulate consumer spending, he said. We knew we had pushed it up to levels that couldnt possibly be sustained into the medium and long term. In the late 1990s George remarked that job losses in the north of England were helping to bring inflation under control

Posted by little professor @ 03:27 AM 8 Comments

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Governments special liquidity scheme runs into new problems with downgraded building societies

Times: Bank of England holds crisis talks with seven building societies

Recent credit-rating downgrades of building societies last week threatens to breach the terms of the governments Special Liquidity Scheme, the Chelsea has already breached the terms of the scheme and others namely the Yorkshire, Skipton, Coventry, Newcastle, Norwich & Peterborough and Principality are in danger of breaching the terms of the scheme annd may be forced to hand back cash to the Bank of England. The six have 30 days to negotiate a deal with the ratings agency Moodys and the regulators.

Posted by enuii @ 10:24 PM 5 Comments

Corruption stink

Times: Brian Cowen in legal tangle over his British investment property

Brian Cowen, the Irish prime minister, is facing legal action in the English courts over his ownership of a buy-to-let flat, which his freeholders say he is illegally sub-letting to Leeds University. The purchase of the student apartment block, which cost around 12.5 million, was financed through mortgages with Allied Irish Bank, whose share value plunged 98% last year because of bad property loans. The current market value of the flats is half the 2005 sale price.Last September, amid fears that the bank was about to go bust, Cowen stepped in with an emergency government loan. The freeholder of the apartment block alleges Cowen has breached covenants by subletting the flats to Leeds University without permission, and has not paid invoices for ground rent and management fees

Posted by little professor @ 09:45 PM 1 Comments

Cheap credit depends on small state sector

WalesOnline: Welsh academics lesson from history suggest austerity will follow Darling

Comparison with post-war interest rate management to enable cheap credit. Suggests that low interest rates and low inflation must be credible over the medium term, otherwise investors will keep away from the markets. Between 1947 and 1949 such belief was lost and the pound lost a third of it's value (sound familiar) as yields on long term gilts rose to 3.6% away from the 2% target. For the current government to avoid a similar outcome then the only way in which a cheap money policy can be maintained is through the achievement of a sufficiently large budgetary surplus.

Posted by stillthinking @ 09:40 PM 3 Comments

More desperation

Telegraph: Stamp duty cut to be extended to end of year

The freeze on stamp duty on properties up to 175,000 will be extended until the end of the year, Alistair Darling will announce in next week's Budget. Nearly 35,000 first time buyers are likely to benefit from the move which the Chancellor hopes will give the housing market time to recover. The threshold at which buyers must start to pay the duty was raised from 125,000 to 175,000 last September and was initially planned for one year. The extension would cost the Treasury around 100million and Mr Darling has been advised that keeping the new rate in place, rather than reverting to the old threshold in September, will continue to aid any tentative housing recovery. Some mortgage brokers have been calling on Mr Darling to temporarily scrap all stamp duty on residential property.

Posted by little professor @ 09:25 PM 0 Comments

If only New Liebor understood GNH instead of GDP...

Centre for Bhutan Studies: Gross National Happiness Website

"Happiness is a subjectively felt public good. Happiness is a public good, as all human beings value it. Hence, the government of Bhutan takes the view that it cannot be left exclusively to private individual devices and strivings. If a governments policy framework, and thus a nations macro-conditions, is adverse to happiness, happiness will fail as a collective goal. Any government concerned with happiness must create conducive conditions for happiness in which individual strivings can succeed. "

Posted by voiceofreason @ 08:44 PM 1 Comments

Advice from an expert gold seller

This is Money: Gordon Brown on house prices

This is a bit old and I'm surprised it wasn't posted on the blog earlier but it's good for a quick giggle. Gordon Brown says that "Supply has not kept up with demand for housing. Over time, as the housing market starts to recover, the sense that we need to build homes would grow. That must make you more optimistic about the housing market in the years to come."

Posted by quiet guy @ 12:32 PM 16 Comments

The building societies may be too exposed

Telegraph: Building societies ignored warnings from Financial Services Authority on lending

Building societies ignored repeated warnings from the Financial Services Authority to clean up their books without any censure, the City watchdog revealed yesterday ... Seven of the top 15 mutuals increased their commercial property books by 15pc or more between 2006 and 2007, according to data from accountants KPMG. The news strengthens the case made by a FSA whistleblower, who told Liberal Democrat Treasury spokesman Vince Cable that societies "have become highly vulnerable due to lowered asset quality, increased reliance on wholesale funding liabilities, and under-capitalisation".

Posted by quiet guy @ 12:19 PM 3 Comments

Affordability at 25 year high?

This is Money: Homes are cheap, if you have 50k deposit

Homes are now more affordable than the 25-year average, a new report says, but an average buyer would need a 50,000 deposit to take advantage .Halifax's Affordability Review report, released today, says typical mortgage payments for a new borrower have fallen from a peak of 48% of earnings in September 2007, to 31% in March 2009. However the figures are based on a buyer with a 30% deposit.

Posted by little professor @ 11:21 AM 6 Comments

'Well he would say that, wouldn't he?'

Times: Recovery on the horizon for banks and the Budget

'Alistair Darling will tell Britain to invest in the recovery next week as he balances the worst economic figures since the Second World War with confidence about the upturn. The Chancellors cautiously upbeat message that the economy will bounce back to health next year, after similar remarks from President Obama, will come amid signs that the City is detecting the first signs of green shoots.'

Posted by hpwatcher @ 06:48 AM 10 Comments

Friday, April 17, 2009

Government hints at funding broadband for rural homes

Times: Mandelson hints at 1bn plan to supply rural homes with superfast broadband

Mandelson hints at 1bn plan to supply rural homes with superfast broadband, ministers are considering substantial cash investment to avoid a situation where only half the country is easily able to download film and television programmes. Mandelson added that government cannot be indifferent to wider national needs for a globally competitive economy", and believes that taxpayer-funded spending on high-speed internet could be sold as part of a wider job creation scheme. Sounds like a state subsidy to prop up ailing B.T. with more non-existant cash the borrowing (or printing) of which will eventually be sucked out of our pockets.

Posted by enuii @ 10:34 PM 5 Comments

ITV1 8pm Fri 17th

Tonight with Trevor McDonald: Empty Home Syndrome

As the number of empty properties in the UK is predicted to top one million this year, Jonathan Maitland investigates why so many homes lie unused when this country faces an acute housing shortage and asks what is being done to tackle the problem.

Posted by little professor @ 06:30 PM 12 Comments

Not earth shattering, but fairly bearish

The Times: The 10 places where asking price are falling the most

"RICS said that the number of new buyer inquiries rose for the fifth consecutive month in March and at the fastest pace since September 2003. The increase in demand led to a rise in sales, raising hopes for an end to falling house prices. However before you get too excited, bear in mind that transactions are still near historic low levels. Vendors are still being forced to cut asking prices before potential buyers will even consider a viewing... Here are the 10 towns or cities where asking prices fell most IN MARCH, according to property website Globrix."

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 04:50 PM 4 Comments

Round 2 ding ding

Las vegas sun: Las Vegas braces for commercial foreclosures

A tsunami of commercial real estate foreclosures is on the horizon and is threatening banks and undermining developers who are already struggling with high vacancy rates.

Posted by mark @ 04:22 PM 0 Comments

A large dose of reality (no green shoots) for the housing market

FT: LTV rates hit two-year low as deposits soar

First-time buyers and remortgagers now need a 30 per cent deposit to easily secure a mortgage, as average loan-to-value (LTV) rates hit a two year low in March. Figures released by Moneyextra.com today (17 April) reveal that the actual number of mortgage loans available have also hit a two-year low. The Moneyextra.com mortgage index found that lending to first-time buyers with deposits of five per cent was now practically non-existent. Supply of borrowing for first timers with a 10 per cent deposit has also decreased 84 per cent compared to the same time last year.

Posted by jack c @ 02:43 PM 11 Comments

Higher taxes lower revenue

Reuters: The toughest Budget ever

At some point taxation affects consumption, and when consumption drops the amount of revenue you receive with higher taxes becomes lower than you would receive with moderate taxation. The same is true for income tax, income taxes are ultimately covered by the purchase price, so to the consumer VAT and income tax both serve to raise prices and reduce consumption. Given the high level of taxation in the UK, I think the question should probably be asked, is the government already receiving peak revenue from the economy? Is it actually possible to raise more revenue from the UK without a) the disaster of reducing revenue and b) damaging the economy in the process. If not, then we are in bigger trouble than we thought.

Posted by stillthinking @ 02:21 PM 4 Comments

Planning the next housing bubble....haven't these idiots learnt anything?

Times: Bank's Barker backs 'risky' 100% mortgages

A member of the Bank of England's rate-setting committee said that mortgages which leave buyers with an immediate risk of negative equity should not be banned and that bank demands for big deposits from homeowners may have been "overdone."

Posted by hpwatcher @ 01:41 PM 20 Comments

If you repeat the message often enough...

Times: Signs point to economy turning corner, says BoE's Miles

Hopes were raised of an early economic recovery yesterday when David Miles, an incoming member of the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of the Bank of England, said there were signs that the worst of the British recession was over.

Posted by alan @ 12:58 PM 2 Comments

Economic and social myths of house ownership

Economist: Building castles of sand

A pair of articles that analyses the costs and benefits of ownership. A measured antidote to the nonsense served up in many of the newspapers.

Posted by letthemfall @ 12:44 PM 1 Comments

Building Societies could be in trouble too

BBC News: Regulator accused of complacency

Heard this piece on Today this morning. It seems that building societies could have some of the same problems as the banks.

Posted by letthemfall @ 12:08 PM 2 Comments

A Slow and Painful Decline

Home.co.uk: Market Prices Falling More Slowly

The UK housing market presents a mixed picture this month, consistent with sellers expectations of a spring bounce amidst desperate market conditions. Asking prices have held firm in 4 of the 9 English regions and Scotland. Greater London and the South East show small rises in asking prices for a second consecutive month. However, price-cutting is still prevalent and Time-on-Market indicators are still rising overall.

Posted by tinecu @ 10:34 AM 9 Comments

Green shoots? Or not quite yet...

BBC News: Are there any signs of recovery?

Views from a selection of economists on whether things are getting better already. Comfortingly, all but one are bearish. The ITEM club chap is talking boloney as usual. Unbelievable that someone can make a career out of spouting this rubbish: "we should be in recovery by the spring of next year...if a recovery does begin, the UK will be one of the best placed to take advantage of it, because of the fall in the value of Sterling". Gordon's Brown's lapdog?

Posted by doom&gloom @ 10:22 AM 6 Comments

Kate Barker defends her housing report

Spectator: Kate Barker responds to the Spectator Inquiry

What went wrong with the British housing market? Fraser Nelson interviews Kate Barker as part of The Spectators ongoing inquiry into the causes of the recession. Fraser concludes: She missed the elephant in the room: the problem of house prices wasnt lack of supply, it was that there was that there was a asset bubble going on

Posted by daisyb @ 10:18 AM 9 Comments

Ratings agency pencils in 40% peak-to-trough house price falls

FT: Moodys downgrades building societies

"Nine building societies, including Nationwide, have been downgraded by Moodys amid concerns about their exposure to falling house prices and specialist mortgage loans. The ratings agency said it had made the downgrades after stress testing how mutuals would perform against a base case scenario of a 40 per cent fall in house prices from the peak of the boom. It also stress-tested a more extreme scenario based on a 60 per cent fall." Ah well, about five years too late, but hey...

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 10:17 AM 4 Comments

You lot are so pessimistic...

The Times: FTB Bargains to be had

How to bag a bargain now that 'all but the most pessimistic' know that the market has bottomed out

Posted by theoakster @ 10:06 AM 3 Comments

Interesting blog showing data back to 60s

Ainsworld blog: Digging Deeper into House Prices - History

Personal blog that shows some interesting charts showing prices and income ratios all the way back to the mid-60s, and also includes a visual on what the futures markets expect over the next couple of years.

Posted by mark ainsworth @ 09:59 AM 0 Comments

It's the unprecedented steps which are going to cause the 'greatest depression'

Telegraph: IMF warns over parallels to Great Depression

''The International Monetary Fund has warned of "worrisome parallels" between the current global crisis and the Great Depression, despite the unprecedented steps already taken by central banks and governments worldwide. This recession is likely to be "unusually long and severe, and the recovery sluggish," said the Fund, releasing two advance chapters from its World Economic Outlook. However, it warned there is a risk that it could spiral down into a full-blown slump unless further action is taken to stop "feedback effects" gathering force.''

Posted by hpwatcher @ 09:00 AM 3 Comments

Only 10% ? Do people really believe this stuff ?

BBC News website: Negative equity stops home moves

But it said two thirds of the 900,000 homes in negative equity had only a modest shortfall of less than 10%. That equated to an average of about 6,000 for first-time buyers in that situation, and 8,000 for the other home owners.

Posted by angonamo @ 08:22 AM 18 Comments

Thursday, April 16, 2009

The real story.....without Government embelishments...

Mail: More than a million homeowners are in negative equity - and another million 'are on the edge'

'More than one million homeowners are currently in negative equity because of the house price crash, official figures have revealed for the first time. Almost a million more are days away from being plunged into the same situation if prices continue to drop. '

Posted by hpwatcher @ 08:40 PM 13 Comments

Decent analysis of housing market

ROOF Magazine: Slide rule

This is a long one, but a decent analysis of the state of the property market. Conclusion is that the market most likely has a way to fall yet. There are a number of useful graphs and comparisons to previous crashes and on the whole it reads as a straightforward analysis of the current state of the market, which is a refreshing change from the yanking going on in the mainstream media at the moment.

Posted by dohousescrashinthewoods @ 04:27 PM 6 Comments

Not sure that is true

Zoopla: Unsold houses are 'not unusual' and do not have 'stigma'

Not sure that I agree with this article. Having watched the same batch of houses on the market for the last year or so, on and off as they go under offer and fall through, change agents, lower prices slightly, personally I am sick and tired of them and even if they do slip down to a price that I would have paid in the past, I am bored and no longer likely to go and view them. They certainly seem stale and tired, and no longer of interest. Still everyone to their own method I guess.

Posted by karen @ 03:56 PM 1 Comments

Tip of the iceberg!

BBC News: Mortgage broker banned and fined

'Serious and blatant'

Posted by paranoia blue @ 02:03 PM 5 Comments

Copper Standard

Telegraph: A 'Copper Standard' for the world's currency system?

China's State Reserves Bureau (SRB) has instead been buying copper and other industrial metals over recent months on a scale that appears to go beyond the usual rebuilding of stocks for commercial reasons.

Posted by flintster1994 @ 01:02 PM 9 Comments

Nouvelle Vague

Yahoo Finance: Mall operator files for bankruptcy protection

The company had about $29.6 billion in assets and more than $27 billion in liabilities as of Dec. 31, according to documents filed with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in the Southern District of New York A story worth following as a steer as to what will happen when commercial properties co's need to roll over debt over here. Will the state step in? If not its a fire sale and the problem is revisted on the banks.

Posted by bellwether @ 11:47 AM 4 Comments

More Property ramping publication

FT: House prices to start rising steadily as soon as October

Four million homeowners in the UK are playing a waiting game with the property market, watching for the best moment to trade up and cash in on cheaper home-ownership before prices start to rise. According to research from First Direct, these homeowners are now sitting on a savings pot of 20.2bn which is ready to be ploughed into the housing market when the time is right.The survey found that with the property market already showing small signs of recovery, the average Brit expects house prices to start rising steadily as soon as October 2010. One in six (15 per cent) of respondents said that house prices would return to steady growth by the end of 2009. However, a further 16 per cent expect to wait until after 2012 to see steadily rising prices again.

Posted by jack c @ 11:35 AM 38 Comments

Rome all over again. Can we stop it?

Martin Armstrong on scribd.com: The Decline and Fall of Western Civilization

The Decline and Fall of Western Civilization because of debt and taxes AGAIN. Can We stop it?

Posted by sold 2 rent 1 @ 10:29 AM 21 Comments

Have you felt a backlash, personally?

The Grauniad: TV presenter and property guru Kirstie Allsopp on... the real causes of the housing crash

"No. People are so kind. If I had a pound for everyone who said, "You look so much younger and thinner in real life" ... Yes, thank you. I know you're being nice, and I'm going to take that as a compliment, but can you not say I look fatter and older when you see me on television?" She should get out more...

Posted by mym @ 10:27 AM 15 Comments

Carry on ramping

Express: Housing slump nears end

THE housing slump is coming to an end as record low interest rates, bargain prices and more readily available mortgages tempt buyers, experts believe.Economists say a hat-trick of measures are driving house price recovery. Repeated cuts by the Bank of England have seen the base rate drop to 0.5%, pushing mortgage rates to their lowest level in five-and-a-half years. Secondly, house prices have fallen by an average of 20% since their peak in 2007, making homes a lot more affordable. And, finally, there has been a gradual loosening of the purse strings by lenders. Stuart Law, chief executive of property investment company Assetz, said: All indicators now suggest that we are closing in on the bottom for house prices." Have Your Say is unavailable for this story.

Posted by little professor @ 10:23 AM 7 Comments

Keiner on GS new profitability

Bloomberg.com: Goldman Tarp Repayment is a Fairytale

Well spotted Becky - see what this economist thinks of the Goldman Sachs "recovery"

Posted by nomad @ 09:54 AM 0 Comments

Property getting crushed although the markets seem to have their rose tinted glasses glued on!

Bloomberg: General Growth Filing Says Eurohypo AG Owed $2.6 Billion

Don't bother clicking on Link as this is the only text. General Growth Propertiess bankruptcy filing lists Eurohypo AG, a unit of Commerzbank AG, as its largest unsecured creditor, with claims totaling $2.6 billion under two loans. The Chapter 11 filing today in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Manhattan lists debts to noteholders totalling about $4 billion.

Posted by tyrellcorporation @ 08:40 AM 1 Comments

A prominent American risk analyst says optimism about economic recovery is delusional because the ec

Abc: Financial optimism 'delusional', analyst says

The warning comes as Americans turn to their leaders for reassurance that the chill of recession is giving way to the green shoots of recovery.

Posted by chris @ 02:34 AM 3 Comments

Normal ramping service resumes at The Times

Times Online: Property sales come to life as hopes rise for end to falling prices

RICS say new buyer inquiries rose for the fifth consecutive month in March and at the fastest pace since September 2003. CML say there was a 4% rise in the number of mortgages approved between January and February. So 4% represents salvation for the housing market?

Posted by quiet guy @ 12:03 AM 12 Comments

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

This sucker's going down

Telegraph: US housing data puts Obama's hopes on hold

The number of US citizens losing their homes leapt by 44pc last month, as banks pursued delinquent borrowers after federal mortgage lenders Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac lifted temporary bans on foreclosures. A survey by Foreclosures.com found that 175,199 homes were repossessed by lenders in March. In spite of major banks promising to work with troubled mortgage holders to keep them in their homes, almost 370,000 families have lost their homes so far this year.

Posted by devo @ 11:59 PM 8 Comments

If it's so great why are you leaving?

Telegraph: Terraced house on market for 100m in London

The property, if it was sold for 100 million, would be the clearest sign that house price crash the worst since at least the Second World War might be over. The seller is a Lebanese private developer. It has more than 21,000 sq ft of living space and every conceivable luxury, but estate agents are baffled at the record asking price considering the collapse in the housing market. Charles McDowell, a property agent, said: "At the 'uber-prime' end of the market, with few exceptions, buyers expect a price adjustment. To ask 100 million for such a house and expect it to be paid is ridiculous." On the opposite side of Belgrave Square is a house for sale at 80 million; this one was bought by a Ukrainian philanthropist, when the London market was near its peak in February last year.

Posted by drewster @ 11:47 PM 5 Comments

Massive increase in mortgage application rejections

The Telegraph: Mortgage rejections increase fourfold

Nearly 9pc of vetted mortgage applications are being rejected this year compared to just 2.3pc in 2007, according to moneysupermarket.com. The website said that all the applications were qualified against the lender's criteria prior to submission and on paper appeared to fit. However, lenders still found reasons to reject them. Louise Cuming, head of mortgages at moneysupermarket.com, said: "Lending criteria has become too strict even vetted applications that we would expect to be accepted without a hitch are being rejected."

Posted by wanderinman @ 11:24 PM 2 Comments

Futures show 18% falls expected over next 12 months

Tradition: Sharp Rise in Forward House Prices

Our indices still show future house price values below the current index level for a decade to come and with rising unemployment and poor mortgage availbility, it is still too soon to call the bottom of the physical housing market. But look future house price expectations HAVE risen and maybe more importantly sentiment HAS moved. The City may be sending a signal that the over-pessimistic phase of the cycle has passed.

Posted by mark ainsworth @ 10:29 PM 0 Comments

Floyd Norris of the New York Times noted that Goldman Sachs used a more prosaic trick having nothing

Huffingtonpost.com: On Goldman Sachs Ditching December Both banks have used odd accounting tricks designed to obscure the truth of their status to investors.

ournalist Jonathan Weil, who helped uncover the Enron scandal, pointed out that much of the increase in Wells Fargo's earnings came from a new accounting term called 'Level 3' gains and its application to Wells Fargo's mortgage servicing portfolio. "So what are Level 3 gains?" asks Weil. "Pretty much whatever companies want them to be."

Posted by chris @ 08:47 PM 1 Comments

Martin Armstrong: Looking Behind the Curtain: The "Real" Conspiracy

Gold-speculator.com: Looking Behind the Curtain: The "Real" Conspiracy

Martin Armstrong on Goldman Sachs Consipiracy, how Putin became president, and how he was put in jail with out any chance to defend himself.

Posted by mercury22 @ 05:28 PM 0 Comments

A another view of the downgrades - with some response from the building societes

Guardian.co.uk: Building societies' financial ratings downgraded

Building societies holding the accounts of millions of British savers were savagely downgraded to near junk-bond status by ratings agency Moody's today. In a shock warning that the sector is heading for potentially massive losses from the housing market crash...

Posted by hotfoot @ 05:00 PM 1 Comments

'Interest is strong in every region'

RICS: Key indicators show signs of improvement

More green shoots. Spring recovery. HPC cancelled. Or just a dead cat bounce?

Posted by p. doff @ 04:58 PM 10 Comments

There is No Floor on House Prices, Only End of Recession will stop the falling

Write About Property: UK House Prices will Fall for as Long as Unemployment Rises

Almost everyone seems to have developed the belief that a further 10% will be enough for the UK housing market to hit rock bottom. This will mean a 26.5% drop from peak if you go by the current Land-Registry index, and 30 - 35% if you go by some of the other indexes floating around. Several reports have recently either forecast and/or said that this recession will be/is equal to or worse than the great depression of the 1930s.

Posted by problem pete @ 03:46 PM 0 Comments

Ratings actions based on stress-testing a peak to trough decline in house prices of 40%

Citywire: Moody's downgrades top building societies

Ratings agency Moody's has slashed its credit ratings on a number of building societies after warning of further losses to come as people struggle to pay their mortgages. Moody's has downgraded a total of 16 building societies, including groups such as Abbey National, Alliance & Leicester and Nationwide, in anticipation of further pain to come in the UK housing market as a result of the global economic crisis. It has cut both its Bank Financial Strength Rating's (BFSR) on all the firms, as well as reducing some of its senior debt and deposit ratings.

Posted by jack c @ 02:55 PM 11 Comments

Current Optimism Over UK Housing Market Built on Sand

Write About Property: Latest Reports on UK Property Market Overly Optimistic

Yesterday experts predicted that the UK property market would bottom and the recovery would begin all in the next few weeks. The press have been quick to pounce on his optimism, but in reality that is all it is. My worry is that their early optimism could be detrimental to the market and actually crush the very positive signs that have made them so optimistic.

Posted by problem pete @ 02:53 PM 0 Comments

Reverse VIs

Guardian: The people paid to talk down house prices

For years estate agents, banks and Kirstie and Phil have talked up property prices. Every time there's a smidgen of evidence that the property market might be cranking up again, there's a flood of press releases from the usual booster merchants, all desperate to spot and promote "green shoots." My personal favourite is Assetz, a big promoter of buy-to-let in Britain. Its MD Stuart Law stated in July 2007 that prices would rise 8% for the next five years, and salivated at the potential rental rises from FTBs being priced out. The arch property pusher's latest release is headlined "All signs point to imminent house price recovery" with "savvy cash buyers" leading the way. Now there is a new breed of public relations specialists talking the market down - property "rescue" schemes

Posted by little professor @ 01:03 PM 6 Comments

One for S2R1

Moneyweek: Watch out this weekend

27 February 2007 is not a date that stands out. It is not indelibly imprinted on the minds of millions; it does not carry the pain or notoriety of 9-11; unlike 'Black Wednesday', it has not been nicknamed Nor, like 31 August 1997, The Day Diana Died, did it send a nation into mourning. Yet the repercussions of this day are, quite simply, enormous. They may be felt for decades, and possibly mark the beginning of the next Great Depression. For this was the day the greatest credit bubble in history peaked and popped. And one man predicted this turn as far back as the 1970s. He is Martin Armstrong. What's more, another one of his turn dates is coming this weekend

Posted by flintster1994 @ 12:03 PM 30 Comments

House prices down 12% on last year as values plummet at record pace

Daily Mail: House prices down 12% on last year as values plummet at record pace

A counter to all the bullish articles we've seen recently.

Posted by becky @ 11:45 AM 5 Comments

Old article but valid

Marketwatch: Five reasons not to buy a home this year

Homes are more affordable, but don't rush -- prices won't skyrocket soon

Posted by mark @ 10:34 AM 2 Comments

UBS to cut nearly 9000 jobs

Market Watch: UBS faces $1.8 bln loss, will cut nearly 9,000 jobs

LONDON (MarketWatch) -- Shares in Switzerland's UBS fell nearly 9% Wednesday after the struggling bank said it lost nearly 2 billion Swiss francs ($1.8 billion) in the first three months of 2009 as it planned another round of cost cutting and nearly 9,000 job losses.

Posted by doomwatch @ 10:17 AM 0 Comments

House Swap

Telegrapraph: Number of house swaps rise by more than 400 per cent in a year

The number of home owners who are resorting to swapping their properties as a means of selling them has jumped by more than 400 per cent in the past year, figures indicate. There are currently 973 properties listed for home swaps on free classifieds website VivaStreet.co.uk, compared to just 180 properties this time last year, an increase of 441 per cent. The website has also seen a significant rise in visitors viewing home swapping ads, with 21,231 views recorded. In March 2008, compared to 102,009 last month, an increase of 380 per cent.

Posted by jack c @ 09:58 AM 0 Comments

HBOS offers lifeline for existing customers?

Telegraph: Halifax to rescue borrowers in negative equity with 120pc remortgages

One of Britain's biggest mortgage lenders is offering loans of as much as 120pc of the property value to existing customers coming to the end of their current deal. HBOS, which is part of Lloyds Banking Group, will consider offering a new mortgage to customers in negative equity whose existing deal, such as a fixed rate, is about to expire. Normally such borrowers would see the rate they pay revert to the lender's standard variable rate (SVR) and would be unable to remortgage if the new loan were greater than the current value of the property as a result of the decline in house prices.

Posted by quiet guy @ 08:20 AM 12 Comments

Back to 6x earnings - what a relief for everyone

Telegraph: Economists hail first green shoots in housing market

Numbers rose from 23,400 loans in January to 24,300 loans in February, a 4 per cent increase. However, the lack of affordable mortgages remains "a barrier" to most first-time buyers who typically had to find a deposit of 25 per cent, a record amount, the CML explained. RICS said the number of properties being sold by estate agents rose from 9.6 properties during the three months to February to 9.7 properties during the three months to March.

Posted by matt_the_hat @ 07:19 AM 20 Comments

RICS says house prices stabilizing

Reuters: House prices fall slowest since February '08

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors' monthly property survey reported that its seasonally adjusted house price balance rose to -73.1 in March from -78.1 in February.

Posted by matt_the_hat @ 07:13 AM 2 Comments

RICS - Housing Market Bottom?

The Market Oracle: UK Housing Market Bottoming?

The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) is reporting that the average sales per surveyor increased for the first time since late 2007 as the number of sales ticked up to 9.7 from a low of 9.6 last month as record low interest rates of 0.5% have cut the mortgage servicing costs for homeowners coupled with the government running an unsustainable 160 billion per annum budget deficit.

Posted by nadeem walayat @ 06:55 AM 1 Comments

Guess what the EAs are saying?

Guardian: View from the street - what estate agents are saying

"The market has more or less reached the bottom, so a lot of people are moving up the market if they have got good jobs and their mortgage is going down. HSBC have introduced their 90% mortgage- that will help, finding the 10% is ok, parents will help," "It is picking up, people would prefer to put their money in to property rather than a bank." "People who sold to rent 18 months ago are now coming back in to the market, the public realise this is a good time to buy a house. The most important thing is getting your hands on a mortgage, if you can do that then you can buy a house." "First-time buyers seem to be coming out again now. They are being helped with 10-20% deposits by their parents as they can see now is a good time to buy." "Prices have reduced as low as they are going to."

Posted by little professor @ 12:22 AM 19 Comments

Just draw a line under it!

The Times: Lehman yields bonanza for the professionals

This is without doubt the most complex and challenging insolvency the UK, and arguably the world, has ever seen. In part how long it takes depends on how quickly the Street' provides the data we need. But could it be longest ever? Yes, it could.

Posted by devo @ 12:16 AM 1 Comments

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

While the bank is returning the government's $10 billion, why not also return the $13 billion it got

Business Week: Goldman, Give It All Back

As we have seen in this financial crisis, some contracts can be broken. Maybe it was a smart move for the government to indirectly bail out AIG's trading partners to prevent a systemic financial collapse. But the government didn't have to make firms such as Goldman completely whole by paying face value for the CDOs that AIG had insured. If nothing else, maybe Goldman should now take the haircut it probably should have taken on those CDOs at the time of the AIG bailout. The bank could start by offering to give some of that $13 billion back, too.

Posted by devo @ 10:23 PM 2 Comments

Enslave yourself now

Daily Mail: Boost for first time buyers as HSBC launches cheaper loans

HSBC's shock decision to slash the price of home loans for buyers with just a 10pc deposit could breathe new life into the ailing property market. Until now, typical interest rates for buyers with small deposits had barely budged since last summer, despite the Bank of England base rate being slashed. HSBC's new deal, at 4.99%, is a full percentage point below its nearest competitor. But those who are turned away from the usually conservative lender will find the next best deal is much more expensive. Money Mail figures show that first-time buyers are expected to put down a whopping 30,238 deposit on average if they want to get a home loan.

Posted by little professor @ 10:04 PM 8 Comments

Pension lifeboat may need to be bailed out

Guardian: 240bn final-salary pension deficit threatens to swamp lifeboat

The Pension Protection Fund has become a financial and political timebomb and the deficit is already "significantly greater than the quantitative easing package" and "on a par with the level of support being put together for the banking system". Well at least there is nothing safer than bricks'n'mortar; it's me pension innit!

Posted by enuii @ 09:43 PM 0 Comments

A warning to the overly optimistic - we're nowhere near out of this mess yet......

The Times: Green shoots a mirage in economic desert

The yearning for the economy to get well this soon is wholly understandable. Yet to claim that recovery is already at hand is akin to arguing that the patient is out of danger when moved from intensive care to the high-dependency unit. The painful fact is that economies are far from out of danger.

Posted by roy @ 06:24 PM 0 Comments

Raising the bar on spin.

MarketWatch: Poland asks for $20.5 billion credit line from IMF

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the IMF's managing director, welcomed Poland's announcement. "I am very pleased by this positive response from Poland to the invitation I extended to strongly performing economies to use this new instrument to bolster international confidence," he said in a statement.

Posted by devo @ 03:53 PM 10 Comments

Location lazarus

DAILY MAIL: Location location location

i fought tooth n nail......... whoooooaaaarr rise lazarus, your not dead yet.....

Posted by camping @ 03:06 PM 15 Comments

Banks expression of free speech

First-time buyers need to find a record typical deposit of 25%

BBC: Mortgage lending 'rises slightly'

The number of mortgages handed out by lenders rose slightly in February but activity in the market remains weak, according to a lenders' group. Loans for house purchases in February in the UK rose to 24,300, up by 4% compared with January, the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) said. But the group warned that activity in the market remained at a "very low level historically".

Posted by jack c @ 10:39 AM 3 Comments

The bankrupt bank, in the throes of paying off creditors, acquired uranium cake under a matured com

Bloomberg.: Lehman Sitting on Bombs Worth of Uranium Cake as Prices Slump

We plan on gradually selling this material over the next two years, he said. We are not dumping this on the market and have no fire-sale mentality. Forced to Liquidate

Posted by chris @ 10:38 AM 0 Comments

Does anyone of this timelime mirror the 90's 2000's?? Comments please!!!


Over the decade, about 1,200 mergers will swallow up more than 6,000 previously independent companies; by 1929, only 200 corporations will control over half of all American industry.

Posted by mark @ 09:49 AM 4 Comments

The plight of the downsizers: Record number of middle classes desperate to sell homes

Mail: The harsh reality in UK housing ....

Record numbers of middle-class homeowners are trying desperately to sell and move to smaller properties. As a 'white-collar recession' begins to bite deeply, new figures show a sharp jump in families looking for a quick sale on houses worth 500,000 or more. Experts say the downturn is entering a new phase and even high earners face losing both their jobs and their homes.

Posted by hpwatcher @ 03:37 AM 21 Comments

'Portfolio' sounds more impressive than 'debt'

Homemove.co.uk: Landlords opt for distressed sales as refinancing tightens

Property Portfolio Rescue (PPR), which says it offers services to those wishing to divest their residential property portfolios quickly and discreetly, has reported a sharp rise in inquiries. The firm received 3,321 approaches in the first three months of 2009 (up from 1,949 in the first quarter of 2008) and attributes the rise to a surge in the number of buy-to-let landlords unable to refinance mortgage deals, plus an increase in middle-class homeowners contemplating distressed sales.

Posted by quiet guy @ 01:51 AM 0 Comments

Expectations vs reality = Gridlock

Telegraph: Quarter of houses unsold after six months

More than a quarter of houses up for sale have been on the market for more than six months, research showed today. Around a third of flats and 26 per cent of houses have failed to sell during the past six months, while 10 per cent of flats and 7 per cent of houses have been on the market for more than a year, according to property website Globrix.com. The group said despite interest from potential buyers picking up during the past few weeks, falling house prices and the shortage of mortgages meant sales had remained static.

Posted by quiet guy @ 01:28 AM 4 Comments

Telegraph and Lombard Street Research say all is well

Telegraph: Housing slump will end by Christmas, predict economists

"In a forecast that will reassure homeowners, Lombard Street Research (LSR) has declared that house prices are now affordable, and forecast that the worst of the property crisis is over. Its affordability index, produced in conjunction with The Daily Telegraph, shows that for the first time in five years house prices throughout the UK are better value than their long-term average." Time to buy? I'll just watch and wait, thanks!

Posted by quiet guy @ 01:23 AM 14 Comments

Monday, April 13, 2009

Are Nationwide falseifying figure

Nationwide House price Index July 2007: Nationwide house price Index Jully 2007

Are the Nationwide falsifying their long term trend figures? If you scroll down in the press release from July 2007, you will notice they are reporting a long term trend of 2.7% a year. Since then we have had a fall of nearly 20% and they are now reporting a long term trend of 2.9% as featured on the right hand side of this website.

Posted by britishblue @ 11:04 PM 3 Comments

More repo's

The Independent: Surge in middle-class homeowners seeking help

The collapse in the housing market and the economic slowdown is increasingly taking its toll on middle-class homeowners, a company that specialises in buying properties from cash-strapped sellers said today.

Posted by confusedsaver @ 09:49 PM 0 Comments

Former estate agent sees her BTL flat trashed on facebook

Telegrath: Woman spots her rented flat being destroyed on Facebook

"I recognised it as my flat straight away and I couldn't believe what I was seeing - people jumping on the furniture, dancing on the kitchen table, holes in the walls and smashed TVs. It looked like a slum." 26 year old Miss Lorimer refused to name the lettings agency or the tenants for fear of "recrimination"

Posted by enuii @ 08:21 PM 10 Comments

Remember this lady?

BBC: Property shock hits first time buyers

I first met Dawn Burden in August 2007, when filimg The Truth About Property, back when the credit crunch seemed confined to the financial industry. Back then she was a budding FTB who had camped out all summer, queuing to purchase a new build property. She is now in negative equity. She is also reaching the end of her 2-year fixed rate deal at 5.8%. You might think she would have lower monthly payments by going on to the lenders SVR. Far from it. Dawn borrowed at 95% and is now seen as high risk. Her interest rate would go up to more than 7%. She is already struggling to pay the mortgage, even with her sister's help. At 25, instead of having fun she has had to cut back on going out and buying clothes

Posted by little professor @ 06:05 PM 29 Comments

No distressed sellers?!?!?!?

Bloomberg: More Debt-Ridden British Homeowners Seek Exit, Company Says

More debt-saddled homeowners and landlords in the U.K. want to sell their properties, according to Property Portfolio Rescue, a company that buys property from distressed sellers. The number of people seeking to sell property through the company rose 70 percent to 3,321 in the first three months of 2009 compared with the period a year earlier, the company said in an e-mailed statement.

Posted by attila @ 04:52 PM 1 Comments

No matter what they are saying, It's still not all rosy

Nouriel Roubini's Global EconoMonitor: According to press reports the IMF may allegedly be increasing its estimate of global bank losses to $4 trillion, a figure consistent with estimates by a variety of independent bank analysts

The RGE Monitor has been suggesting for a while that "total loan losses by US based financial companies could peak at about $3.6 trillion. Essentially, it suggests that the United States' banking system if virtually bankrupt. The IMF is now also catching up and suggesting a figure $4 trillion. It now looks like the G20's $1 trillion injection will be a drop in the bucket. Hold onto your hats - it's not looking pretty at all.

Posted by billhill @ 03:08 PM 0 Comments

I simply cannot believe that a 2.5% cut in VAT has had this effect.

BBC News: Cut in VAT 'boosts retail sales'

The government's much-criticised cut in VAT is working and has led to a big boost in consumer spending, according to a leading economics consultancy. The Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) says that the cut, which took effect on 1 December 2008, has led to 2.1bn of extra sales.

Posted by flintster1994 @ 11:33 AM 19 Comments

The UK might not be such a

Happy days! we still make enough stuff to see us out of recession: Daily Telgraph

Roger Bootle is one of us! He is prominent in his views that House prices have much further to fall. However, he has different views on British manufacturing and the exchange rate and how we might come out of this recession. There is a view by many that 'because we don't make anything and sterling has been devalued we are doomed.' Not necessarily so! This is the best article I have read yet that articulates why, although we are heavily in the SH*!?, we are not alone and may actually benefit in the longer term.

Posted by britishblue @ 09:48 AM 0 Comments

Sunday, April 12, 2009

David Smith thinks we may overshoot

Times: A question of over-correction

Everybody agreed that house prices were overvalued before they began to fall more than 18 months ago [O RLY?]. The question was how they would work off that overvaluation: gradually or suddenly. The Nationwide building society suggests that, by the end of last year, the inflation-adjusted average house price was just 5,000 above the long-term trend . The further fall in prices during the early part of this year means that house prices are now back on trend. [the trendline having been dragged upwards over recent years by rampant HPI] Meanwhile Halifax says the house-price-to-earnings ratio has fallen to 4.34 - within 9% of the long-term average.

Posted by little professor @ 07:53 PM 12 Comments

Expect Property Prices to Crash soon the link said

Cebr: Tax Revenue from Financial Service Sector down 28 billion

This article was not from today but did a search for CEBR on Yahoo and the Yahoo heading for this article was " Expect the housing market to crash soon". CEBR in February said they saw:" 25 per cent drop in prices from the coming level and a 40 per cent drop in total with stagnation through 2010 and 2011 and prices still below 2003 in 2013. " Yet it was the CEBR report that gave rise to the new reports all headed "Prices are Rising". This article said govenment to lose: 9billionincorporationtaxrevenue,10billionfromlessincometaxandNationalInsurancecontributions,2billionfromstampdutyand3billionfromwithholdingtax.Addinginalltheothersourcesofrevenue,thetotaltaxtakeisforecastbycebrtodropfrom67billionto39bn and be long lasting

Posted by sybil13 @ 03:00 PM 2 Comments

More bail out nonsense

This is Money: Car scrapping 2,000 bounty gets green light

Motorists will be promised a 2,000 bounty for scrapping old cars in the Budget, ending months of debate between MPs and the motor industry, it has been claimed. A controversial 'scrappage' scheme will finally be announced by Chancellor Alistair Darling in the Budget later this month, in a move that will mirror a successful German scheme.

Posted by peter_2008 @ 02:28 PM 17 Comments

Times going to extraordinary lengths to smear banking industry collecting their debts

Times: Lloyds bank staff puts frighteners on debtors

Perhaps Lloyds should put an undercover reporter on the Times newsdesk to root out property-market bias and uncover the many vested interests there ... ?

Posted by paul @ 11:13 AM 2 Comments

Bovey Homes

The News of the World: THE GRIM REPOS

CASH-STRAPPED Anthea Turner and husband Grant Bovey are preparing to profit from other people's misfortune-by snapping up repossessed homes. Their last property firm went bust just last December, leaving creditors 389,648 out of pocket. And Bovey has FOUR OTHER failed property companies to his name. But the undaunted pair-on Hell's Kitchen from tomorrow for a rumoured 100,000 fee-are gleefully rubbing their hands in anticipation after lodging official papers for new firm The Distressed Property Company Ltd.

Posted by sold out @ 10:48 AM 5 Comments

Your six weeks are up Rosie

Housepricecrash.co.uk: Rosie Millard buys a house

"Now that Ive got a 1m wreck on my hands, whats the plan? Well, lying down in a darkened room, struggling to comprehend the notion that I have gone mad and, whats more, have done so during a recession, was obviously the first thing to do. The second was sorting out the finances. Not easy. The rules of the auction room dictate that you have six weeks to finalise everything, or you lose your deposit." Sorry, this is not a normal news article but a little reminder for Rosie. I am waiting to see her next column with great interest ...

Posted by quiet guy @ 12:40 AM 11 Comments

The debt party turns nasty

The Times: Lenders accused of dirty mortgage tricks

Halifax, Britains biggest lender, has been accused of undervaluing customers properties when they come to remortgage, forcing them on to more expensive deals. Brokers say borrowers may see as much as 40% wiped off the value of their homes, although prices have fallen by an average 21% from their August 2007 peak, according to Halifaxs own house-price index.

Posted by quiet guy @ 12:31 AM 10 Comments

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Why would a strong bank do this?

BBC: Barclays' painful deal

Barclays says that it has sold iShares for 3bn. But it's not a sale in the sense that most of us would recognise. Because it has lent the buyer 2.1bn of the purchase price.

Posted by devo @ 11:47 PM 3 Comments

A study of why repossessions happen

Calculated Risk (blog): Fed Paper on Reducing Foreclosures

1. Income multiples don't matter so much - what matters more is income volatility. People with highly volatile incomes are more likely to default. People with stable incomes don't default. 2. Banks prefer forcing repossession instead of debt forgiveness, even if it means selling the house at auction and not getting much for it. This deters people from defaulting and prevents moral hazard. 3. Negative equity predicts behaviour. When homeowners lose their jobs, if they have positive equity they sell; if they have negative equity they default. "Loans on high income multiples were an enabler for speculation during the housing bubble, and this speculation pushed up house prices. The prevalence of loans on high income multiples was evidence of a bubble and a good predictor of a housing bust."

Posted by drewster @ 08:09 PM 2 Comments

Taxpayer funded bribe to scrap old cars

Thisismoney: A 2,500 handout to scrap your old car

Sorry if this has been posted before, just saw something in a newpaper headline at the supermarket this morning. Carmakers have been lobbying the gov to adopt a scheme similar to that in Germany, where motorists are paid to scrap older cars, to stimulate the carmaking industry and save the planet by reducing emissions. And our gov -always ready to bail out their mates with taxpayer money - are actually thinking about it. Unbef**kinglievable, the utter waste....

Posted by a saver @ 05:10 PM 13 Comments

Average weekly wages fall for first time since 2001

The guardian: BT cuts contractors' pay by up to 30% amid growing wage squeeze

Thousands of jobs have been cut in the construction and financial services industries, while those who still have jobs are likely to see pay frozen, or even reduced, in the coming months. Firms run under partnership, such as legal practices, have also seen salaries come down. Many cash-strapped firms have also cut back on contractors or stopped using them altogether to save money. BT has already made about 6,000 contractors redundant over the past few months as part of its plan to cut 10,000 staff. Those who remain with the business had until earlier this week to accept new terms, including lower rates of pay. Cuts are understood to have ranged from 10% to as much as 30%.

Posted by sold out @ 12:24 PM 4 Comments

Interesting 'financial ecosystem' graphic

Zero Hedge: The Incredibly Shrinking Market Liquidity, Or The Upcoming Black Swan Of Black Swans

"Anyone who is doing anything sensible right now is either losing money or is out of the market entirely." These are the words of a quant trader, who is seeing something scary in the capital markets. Scary enough to merit a warning that we could be on the verge of another October 87, August 2007, or January 2008.

Posted by devo @ 12:16 PM 5 Comments

Yup, the editors who are not mortgaged to the hilt are holding the fort at The Times this weekend.

The Times: Don't be fooled by 'green shoots' in housing market

There is still some way to go before house prices stabilise and we are a very long way from a recovery. Facts, Mark Twain once observed, are stubborn things. But statistics, he noted, are more pliable. It is with this caution that we should observe the latest data on the housing market.

Posted by wanderinman @ 10:20 AM 1 Comments

The Times' second bearish article in as many days.

The Times: Housebuyers may have to wait a year for better market conditions, say economists

Homeowners hoping for a revival in the housing market could have to wait at least another year, economists have warned, as rising unemployment, a squeeze on household finances and problems in the mortgage market continue to exert pressure on prices. Economists have cautioned that it is too early to say that the market, which has already fallen about 20 per cent, has turned a corner. Most are sticking to forecasts of a 25 to 35 per cent drop in prices from top to bottom. They think monthly mortgage approvals must double to 70,000-80,000 before prices can stabilise or start to rise.

Posted by wanderinman @ 10:07 AM 5 Comments

Chocolate box cottages get crunchied

The Daily Telegraph: The Cottage Crunch

According to the article, prices of some of the UK's Prettiest Cottages are down massive amounts, despite all their charm and appeal. In place like Cornwall they have fallen 30% according to Knight Frank Residential Research. So if people can't sell their rural idylls, what on earth can they sell.

Posted by mike livingstone @ 08:55 AM 2 Comments

Battle lines drawn between R.I.C.S. and Estate Agents

The Times: Housebuyers may have to wait a year for better market conditions, say economists

More bear food - from the usual sources. And you can see why there's no love lost between the R.I.C.S. and the world of EA's with R.I.C.S.'s Jeremy Leaf telling how it really is: Potential buyers continue to come through estate agency doors, but without mortgage finance, transaction levels are likely to remain close to all time lows." The R.I.C.S. is also pushing hard for regulation to the EA 'profession', provoking some strong anti-R.I.C.S. feeling on Estate Agent Today website. http://www.estateagenttoday.co.uk/News/Story/?storyid=1790&title=RICS_demands_Government_act_to_regulate_estate_agents&type=news_features

Posted by johnny5thumbs @ 01:44 AM 0 Comments

Friday, April 10, 2009

Glimmers of hope. Not.

MarketWatch: Budget deficit triples to $957 billion for year

The U.S. federal budget deficit rose to a record $956.8 billion in the first six months of the fiscal year after the government stepped up spending to cope with a recession that has depressed tax receipts, the Treasury Department reported Friday. Compared with a year earlier, corporate income tax receipts fell 90% to $3.4 billion.

Posted by devo @ 07:43 PM 0 Comments

Countering the ramping myths

Times: Is it time to buy property?

It's started again. People are talking about getting back into property.Nothing, it seems, can shake Britons confidence in bricks and mortar, even a near 20 per cent drop in house prices. But here are five myths about property that need to be challenged. Housing is not cheap. The recent falls have only sent prices back to 2004 levels, and even though affordability is improving it it still not back to the levels at the bottom of the last house price downturn. The average FTB house price to earnings ratio is 4.1, almost double the 2.1 it stood at in 1996. Japan, like Britain, is a crowded island. Japan's property bubble burst in the late 1980s and hasn't really recovered since. Inflation could return with a vengeance, meaning interest rates may jump again.

Posted by little professor @ 07:41 PM 13 Comments

Bank makes profit

BBC News: Banks drive US stocks up sharply

US Bank shows record profts. "Part of the strong performance was due to the bank's acquisition of Wachovia, which was the fourth-largest US bank, after it almost collapsed last year." There's something very wrong about this....

Posted by alan @ 07:25 PM 0 Comments

75bn today. How many bn next?

Telegraph: Bank of England speeds up quantitative easing

The Bank of England is speeding up the pace of quantitative easing accelerating the rate at which it is buying gilts in a sign that it may buy more than 75bn worth of government debt. The Bank's Monetary Policy Committee yesterday voted to leave interest rates on hold at 0.5pc and reaffirmed its commitment to spend 75bn of newly created money on bonds. The announcement caused gilt prices to rally as traders dismissed previous fears that the Bank's commitment towards quantitative easing would fall short of the original pledge of 75bn.

Posted by quiet guy @ 06:00 PM 3 Comments

Transparency v Opacity

Bloomberg: Fed Said to Order Banks to Stay Mum on Stress Test Results

April 10 (Bloomberg) -- The U.S. Federal Reserve has told Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Citigroup Inc. and other banks to keep mum on the results of stress tests that will gauge their ability to weather the recession, people familiar with the matter said.

Posted by devo @ 04:14 PM 0 Comments

Government spending not the answer.

Mail Online: How Ireland became an economic basket-case (...and the lessons for Britain)

Article on Ireland, who seem to be facing up already to what the UK must one day come to terms with. "As one Irish economic expert told me last night, pressing the spending button in an open economy like Britain or Ireland can never work. It only fuels more consumption and more imports." I think so too.

Posted by stillthinking @ 01:33 PM 7 Comments

Commentary about US commercial & residential property

Mises blog: The Real Estate Bust Is Far From Over

"For those thinking that the real-estate bust is all over with think again. The residential market has hit the ditch and continues to sink lower, but now the commercial property market is rolling over and will take many lenders down the drain with it ... A Vegas appraiser who lived through the 1980s Texas property meltdown echoes Miller's view, remembering that it took property owners in Texas back then years before they figured out that their property values weren't coming back any time soon."

Posted by quiet guy @ 12:59 PM 0 Comments

How to win the next general election...

Times: Mortgage rates fall to five-and-a-half year low

'The interest rates on Britain's most popular mortgage deals have fallen to the lowest point in five-and-a-half years, revealing that the Bank of England's six successive interest rate cuts are making an impact on the housing market. '

Posted by hpwatcher @ 12:32 PM 0 Comments

May the ramping recommence

Times: After G20, reasons to be cheerful

At the first available opportunity, Old Noshbag Smith jumps back into his well worn groove. "However, the ratio of house prices to average earnings has now fallen to 4.34, says the Halifax, which is close to the long-run average of 4, and well down from its peak of 5.84 in summer 2007. This should add stability to the market. ".... Read my lips: High house prices not good for the majority !!

Posted by voiceofreason @ 07:43 AM 16 Comments

A more intelligent bullish outlook

Citywire: House prices may only have another 8% to fall

Ben Read, managing economist at the Centre for Economics and Business Research, says we may see house prices "likely to bottom out by the start of 2010." My question: is that nominal or inflation adjusted?

Posted by quiet guy @ 12:37 AM 13 Comments

Express ramping? Who would've thunk it?

Daily Express: New hope on house prices

BRITAINS battered housing market is looking up as record low interest rates, bargain prices and more readily available mortgages tempt back buyers, experts said last night. They predicted that the bottom of the market will be reached in the next few weeks and a recovery could be on the cards before the end of the year. Stuart Law, CEO of Assetz, said: All indicators now suggest that we are closing in on the bottom for house prices. Price falls, increasing buyer interest, historically low interest rates and early signs of increased lending are all beginning to have an effect. If things continue as they are, I expect to see monthly price rises across the board by the end of the summer.

Posted by little professor @ 12:29 AM 28 Comments

With your tax money

Sky News: Darling Urged To Spend 6bn On New Homes

Chancellor Alistair Darling is being urged to invest 6.35bn in new homes to give "immediate social and financial return" to the economy. Four leading organisations are calling for the Government to build 100,000 social houses in the next two years - creating 150,000 construction jobs.In a letter to Mr Darling, the group said: "Investment in housing in the coming Budget would save and create thousands of jobs and apprenticeships, maintain skills in the construction industry, and safeguard our ability to build the homes Britain needs over the long term."

Posted by little professor @ 12:26 AM 4 Comments

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Deflation here and now

Mish via Market Oracle: Rampant Signs of Economic Deflation as Consumer Spending Contracts

Nice article reporting on art sales falling, empty seats at restuarants, boats too costly to keep littering coastlines, and shoppers looking for lower-cost own-brand products. Forget Peak Oil this is Peak Credit and Peak Earnings.

Posted by mountain goat @ 11:42 PM 6 Comments

A true voice of reason speaks

FT: Ten principles for a Black Swan-proof world

I particularly like number 10. "...marginalising the economics and business school establishments, shutting down the Nobel in economics, banning leveraged buyouts, putting bankers where they belong, clawing back the bonuses of those who got us here,... "

Posted by voiceofreason @ 09:32 PM 3 Comments

One More For The Bears

Telegraph.co.uk: Roger Bootle on Housing

Roger Bootle, Telegraph columnist and economic adviser gives his view on the housing market. 4 1/2 minute video clip.

Posted by kara gee @ 08:06 PM 0 Comments

Interesting correlation between car market and housing market

BBC NEWS: New cars 'cheaper than used ones'

Slightly off-topic Replace Parkers with Haliwide, change cars to houses and it's the same VI spin.

Posted by wdbeast @ 05:14 PM 5 Comments

Old timer who won in the world's longest bull market not doing so well in the bear market

BBC News: Buffett loses top credit rating

Has the old sage lost his touch? Not so long ago he was saying, "US equities have never been so cheap", or something along those lines, and buying in. But goes to show that even the best pundits can't keep getting it right forever.

Posted by doom&gloom @ 04:49 PM 4 Comments

From Celtic Tiger to Celtic Dodo

Moneymarketing: Fitch downgrades Irish banks

Fitch Ratings has downgraded both the Allied Irish Bank and the Bank of Ireland as it predicts further government bailouts. Fitch has today downgraded both banks Long-term Issuer Default Ratings to 'A-' from 'A' after yesterday's downgrade of the Long-term IDR of the Republic of Ireland from AAA to AA+. At the same time, Fitch has placed AIB's Individual Rating of 'D' and BoI's Individual Rating of 'C/D' on Rating Watch Negative. Fitch has also downgraded the banks' subordinated debt and hybrid instrument ratings.

Posted by jack c @ 01:53 PM 3 Comments

Whatll happen to house prices? POLL

Money saving expert: Whatll happen to house prices?

can't believe so many think house prices will go up. Let's all vote and bring it back in line.

Posted by mazza @ 01:36 PM 0 Comments

Downward trend continues

Mortgagestrategy: Average house price slumps to 2006 level

House prices in England and Wales fell by 0.9% in March, taking them back to March 2006 levels, shows the latest data from Acadametrics. This represents the thirteenth consecutive monthly price fall, with prices now 13.4% lower than a year ago. All ten regions in England and Wales are showing prices falling on an annual basis and the same is true on a monthly basis apart from Wales.

Posted by jack c @ 12:09 PM 5 Comments

Interest Rates held at 0.5%

BBC: Bank keeps interest rates at 0.5%

The Bank of England has held UK interest rates on hold at 0.5%, in a widely expected move following a number of rate cuts in recent months. Rates remain at an all-time low after six cuts since October last year, when interest rates stood at 5%.

Posted by jack c @ 12:02 PM 10 Comments

Obama covering up for the bad guys and supporting zomble banks

Bloomberg: Obama Stakes His Fortunes on Failed Banksters

It looks like it will all end in tears. Why doesnt the Obama administration force insolvent banks and insurance companies to come clean about their losses first? Its the why thats so vexing. The who, what, when, and how are mere details, by comparison. More than anyone elses, it should be in Obamas political self-interest to accelerate the worst of the financial crisis and get as much of the inevitable pain behind us as quickly as possible. Every day he waits is one less day he will have between the time we hit rock bottom and the next election. And yet, Obama and his minions are doing all they can to delay the reckoning, which only will make it worse.

Posted by penbat1 @ 10:50 AM 4 Comments

Crock does something right shock!

Telegraph: Northern Rock Mortgage Blow

Northern Crock customers who made overpayments on the (mis)understanding they could automatically borrow the money back are receiving a nasty shock when they are asked a series of perfectly reasonable questions about their ability to afford repayments. It turns out they never had an automatic right to borrow the money back, as it was always subject to NR's lending criteria. The best bit is that the Crock have finally tightened their income multiples. The bulls have finally had their no.1 food supply cut off!!

Posted by ea enemy no.1 @ 10:01 AM 0 Comments

Will gold fall further this year?

Telegraph: Gold price to break $1,000 as people scrap gold jewellery for cash

Gold may reach a record this year as demand for a hedge against inflation outpaces an expanding scrap supply and weaker usage by jewellers, according to researcher GFMS. "You can't just increase supply of money like that and not expect there to be some consequences in terms of its value against a yardstick such as gold, the supply of which is increasing by about 1pc a year," said GFMS Chairman Philip Klapwijk. "That's going to start to worry investors as much or more than the security of their banks or financial instabilities."

Posted by hpwatcher @ 09:11 AM 38 Comments

Spin Spin Spin

Credit Crisis Diary 9/4/2009: Independent

Denial denial denial . Talk it up talk it up ....

Posted by sybil @ 08:31 AM 0 Comments

China, the world's second largest economy by purchasing power parity, contributed over 10% to global

Forbes.com: The Outlook For China's Economy

Despite the fact that China's aggressive policy response included monetary easing, a scaling up of bank lending and a particularly aggressive scaling up of government investment to offset the contraction in private demand, there is an increased risk that China will grow only in the 5% to 6% range year-on-year in 2009, about half its average growth of the previous five years, and well below potential. Such a growth rate would increase pressures on China's government, as the hard landing has been accompanied by job losses and factory closures as well as implying that Chinese commodity demand could continue to be lower than recent trends.

Posted by chris @ 08:20 AM 0 Comments

Royal Mint figures released in September last year suggested that 2 per cent of 1 coins - around 30

Telegraph: One in 20 1 coins could be fake, experts say

He said the figure could be closer to 5 per cent, meaning one in 20 coins are fake. In 2002, one in 100 1 coins was a worthless fake and in 2007 the figure was one in 50.

Posted by chris @ 07:24 AM 3 Comments

Too late for this crisis but still a good idea

Times Online: Bank of England Governor Mervyn King weighs case for forcing banks to split their operations

The Bank of England is examining whether Britain's biggest banks should formally separate their investment banking and retail banking operations, The Times has learnt. News that such a move is under discussion at such a high level will send fresh shudders through the UK banking sector, still reeling from the fallout of toxic debt and the credit crunch. George Osborne, the Shadow Chancellor, hinted yesterday that a Conservative Government would break up Britain's nationalised banks and would also consider whether to block other lenders from becoming too big.

Posted by quiet guy @ 02:18 AM 17 Comments

Does this describe you?

Telegraph: Number of grown-up children returning to live with parents triples amid recession

The number of 18-34 years olds living rent free with family and friends has more than tripled as the recession bites, new figures suggest. Numbers have risen to 1.6 million, up from 500,000 this time last year, according to the findings by Abbey Mortgages. A further 300,000 people aged 35 to 54 also find themselves in this position, with the South being the hotspot for so-called Kidults. Nici Audhlam-Gardiner, Abbey's mortgage director, said: "In the current climate many people have little choice but to return home or turn to their friends or family for somewhere to live at no cost. It means there's now more than 1.9million Kidults in the UK and with average rents of 441.78 per month, these individuals are saving 839 million.

Posted by drewster @ 01:26 AM 14 Comments

Commercial property looking grim, rents down 27%

Telegraph: London's empty office space tops 10m sq ft

Approximately 11.9% of City offices are vacant up by a tenth already in 2009 and more than double the 5.2% prior to the onset of the credit crisis in 2007, as increasing numbers of businesses collapse or downsize. It is first time since 2004 that empty office space has breached the 10m sq ft mark, according to research by property agent NB Real Estate. The slump is placing immense pressure on rents, which have now fallen 27% in the past year from an average of 65 per sq ft to 47.50. Increasing supply through the completion of new developments is hastening the fall in rents, although the situation is even more dire in the West End. The failure of a large number of hedge funds, many of which are based in the area, has pushed rents down 37.5pc to 75 per sq ft.

Posted by drewster @ 01:24 AM 0 Comments

Prices fall 87% from peak

Carpe Diem (blog): Average Home Price in Detroit Falls to $12,669

According to the Michigan Association of Realtors (data here), the average sales price of a Detroit home fell to $12,669 in February, a 42.5% decline from the $22,016 average home price during the same period last year. For the entire state of Michigan, the average YTD home sales price has fallen by -31% to $85,892 through February 2009, compared to last year's average price of $124,618 for the same period. [Note: based on the graph in the article, I make that an 87% fall from the 2003 peak.]

Posted by drewster @ 12:41 AM 0 Comments

HPC is over, 125% LTV will soon be back

Times: HSBC drops interest on low-deposit mortgages

Further signs of revival in the mortgage market emerged yesterday when HSBC unveiled competitive deals for borrowers with small deposits. Britain's biggest bank announced fixed-rate home loans available for up to 90 per cent of a property's value with rates starting at 4.99 per cent. The next best-buy rate for borrowers with a 10 per cent deposit is from Yorkshire Bank, at 5.99 per cent.

Posted by peter_2008 @ 12:36 AM 15 Comments

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Pension Scheme Double or Quits

Times: Aviva calls time on free pensions for 16,000 staff

This is getting rather popular at the moment with insurers and may make the old chestnut of 'my house is me pension innit' (or string of BTL's) rear it's ugly head again. The title is a bit misleading though as 16000 does sound more dramatic than 7249 threatened with the boot from their final salary scheme unless they double contributions.

Posted by enuii @ 11:18 PM 0 Comments

SDRs (Special Drawing Rights )

Telegraph: Sleepwalking our way towards a world currency

Which of these two scenarios would you feel more uncomfortable with: 1. That a shadowy sect of global leaders are conspiring together to set up this new world currency; or that, 2. Instead, clueless politicians are sleepwalking into this, not knowing precisely what they are doing.

Posted by devo @ 11:18 PM 4 Comments

Criminals undertake fiscal stimulation

Daily Telgraph: 1 in 20 1 coins is fake

Looks like the criminal fraternity have taken it upon themselves to help out with a bit of fiscal stimulation

Posted by britishblue @ 08:47 PM 5 Comments


Times Online: Shop prices soar as pound pushes up food costs

Shop prices rose during March as the weak pound continued to push up the cost of food, new figures showed today. Shop price inflation edged up for the fourth month in a row to 2 per cent March from 1.9 per cent in February, data from the British Retail Consortium (BRC) revealed. The findings emerged after official data confounded expectations that the country would slump into deflation in February, as CPI inflation unexpectedly ticked up to 3.2 per cent from 3 per cent.

Posted by sold out @ 05:14 PM 21 Comments

Hmmm more green shoots..lol weedkiller must have been sprayed!!

Yahoo: Russia banking crisis just beginning: top banker

Russia's banking crisis has only just begun and the government has been slow to react, the head of its largest bank said Wednesday, contradicting optimistic comments by Prime Minister Vladimir Putin. The blunt comments by Sberbank chief executive German Gref, who also said bad loans in Russia were increasing by 20 percent a month, came just two days after Putin said the threat to the banking system had receded.

Posted by mark @ 04:28 PM 0 Comments

An indication of what is REALLY going on in the UK residential property market

Mortgagestrategy: Colleys places all 400 valuers into consultation

Colleys, Halifaxs inhouse valuation and surveying firm, has put all 400 of its chartered surveyors into consultation with a view to losing around 106 roles overall. The job losses come as part of a bigger move to merge the two existing support centres into one by the end of October. Colleys has suffered a fall in demand for valuations and surveys as the number of housing transactions shows a marked decline year-on-year.

Posted by jack c @ 02:42 PM 1 Comments

Yes, the BBC have actually made this programme

BBC: Repossession, repossession, repossession

Europbaron on the forums found this. I wonder if Kirtsy Allslop will make an appearance?

Posted by paul @ 01:58 PM 15 Comments

Fixing the gilt market

FT Alphaville: Fixing the gilt market

Article pointing out that the costs of borrowing are about to rise as the government pushes up the yield through excess borrowing.

Posted by stillthinking @ 12:56 PM 3 Comments

The unsettling effect of landlords' short-termism

The Guardian: The unsettling effect of landlords' short-termism

While we're on the subject of Landlords .....

Posted by becky @ 12:11 PM 3 Comments

Our survey said - "haggle vendors down to the bone on price"

FT: Housing market not expected to recover this year

The majority of Britons do not expect to see any recovery in the housing market this year, according to new research by Unbiased.co.uk. The study found that 58 per cent of people do not expect to see any recovery in house prices this year, while 18 per cent do not see any prospect of an upturn until at least 2011. This situation is exacerbated by the fact that while 28 per cent of people are currently interested in buying a property, a quarter of these are holding off looking at prospective properties in the belief that prices have further to fall.A further one in four are holding off buying to save up a bigger deposit, with this figure rising to almost one in five (18 per cent) of those aged between 18 and 34.Even more worrying for sellers, is that 50 per cent of people feel they would

Posted by jack c @ 11:41 AM 1 Comments

More green shoots of recovery

BBC: US banker sees 10% jobless rate

A top US central banker has said that the unemployment rate in the country could jump above 10% this year.

Posted by mrr19121970 @ 10:58 AM 0 Comments

Green shoots my a***

BBC News: Confidence Hit by Job Fears

Confidence among UK consumers fell in March as worries continued about jobs, a survey from the Nationwide says.

Posted by ea enemy no.1 @ 09:40 AM 2 Comments

We are three, six, maybe nine months away from a price shock

Market Oracle: Crude Oil $200, the Price for Wasting Financial Crisis Opportunity

Matt Simmons, the brilliant energy analyst and author of Twilight in the Desert , recently told Reuters, "We are three, six, maybe nine months away from a price shock. We are not talking about three to five years away -- it will be much sooner. These prices now are dangerously low. The lower prices fall, the less oil will be produced and the greater the chance of an oil spike."

Posted by sold 2 rent 1 @ 08:28 AM 30 Comments

Coming out of the woodwork

Telegraph: Goldman Sachs chairman Lloyd Blankfein admits Wall St greed

Mr Blankfein, confessing that the last year has been "deeply humbling" for the entire banking industry, said that "decisions on compensation and other actions taken and not taken, particularly at banks that rapidly lost a lot of shareholder value, look self-serving and greedy in hindsight".

Posted by devo @ 12:51 AM 3 Comments

Buy-to-let landlords 'face repossession' - nuff said :)

Telegraph: Buy-to-let landlords 'face repossession' over benefit changes

In April last year the Local Housing Allowance (LHA) was introduced, under which money for rent was paid to tenants, rather than being paid directly to private landlords. But the National Landlords Association said research had shown that many tenants were failing to pass on these payments to their landlords. [HPC spin: Tenants can now hold the threat of payment withdrawal over their landlords, forcing them to actually undertake repairs which they might otherwise neglect for extended periods of time.] As a result, 52pc of landlords surveyed said they would now not let or would be less likely to let a property to a tenant receiving LHA.

Posted by drewster @ 12:48 AM 22 Comments

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Recovery USA - where California leads, the rest will follow

Forbes: The American Suburb Is Bouncing Back

The vast flatlands sprawling east of Los Angeles, consisting of roughly 3 million people, have suffered one of the highest rates of foreclosures and surges in unemployment in the nation. Yet now sales are picking up and inventories are finally beginning to drop. Even developers of new properties report a strong uptick in sales. In new developments in the Inland Empire, Brookfield Homes reports sales volumes up 150% since six months ago. Although the economy is still hurting, the housing trend has become much more positive. Statewide, existing home sales have jumped 30% over the past year, taking the inventory from an estimated 16.7 months to less than seven months. Most encouraging, this activity is taking place exactly where the market was hit hardest in the beginning - low-end suburbs.

Posted by drewster @ 11:47 PM 6 Comments

Pure cash creation

The Daily Telegraph: ECB attacks G20 plan to pump cash into global economy

"This is helicopter money for the globe," said Jrgen Stark, the ECB's chief economist and Germany's member on the bank's executive board. "There hasn't been a study to see whether the world needs additional liquidity. In the old days one would take a long time to to explore such a thing."

Posted by devo @ 10:12 PM 4 Comments

Silly sods - don't they realize all they need to do is print money?

BBC: Stephanomics on the emergency Irish budget

Why on Earth are they doing that? That would be a reasonable first reaction to the emergency Irish budget unveiled this afternoon. In the teeth of the worst recession in decades, the government is raising taxes and cutting spending, for the second time in six months. The G20 leaders may have endorsed a global effort to kick-start the global economy, but for Ireland, it's tightening all the way. What gives? There are some lessons for the UK. The first lesson is that, if you're lurching further and further into debt, there comes a point when fiscal stimulus isn't very stimulating at all.

Posted by little professor @ 08:15 PM 11 Comments

No more electric suitcase

CNN: GM preparing for bankruptcy

"We're talking about what could be the largest industrial company to ever go bankrupt. The preparations better be intense and earnest," the source said. "The preparations are being made because there's a short time frame here."

Posted by mark @ 07:05 PM 0 Comments

Worth reading, if only so you can laugh at the quote from the Irish Finance Minister

BBC News: Ireland unveils emergency budget

"The Finance Minister said the Republic had relied too heavily on the housing sector, which had proved a bubble."

Posted by welshboy @ 04:19 PM 0 Comments

Irish property - down, down, down

Finfacts: Asking prices for Irish houses fell 4.2% in the first three months of 2009

A further fall of 4.2% in Irish house prices since the begining of the year. In Dublin city centre - the epicentre of the "Celtic Tiger" prices are down a whopping 11% in 3 months.....and the crash started in Ireland about 12 months earlier then GB.

Posted by euopean-bear @ 03:46 PM 0 Comments

Former White House Advisor Tells It How It Is...

The Renegade Economist: The Michael Hudson Series - Part 1 Housing Market

Michael Hudson answers questions on the global housing market. The guy knows what he is talking about....

Posted by neo-serf @ 02:16 PM 0 Comments

This is what bailouts do for GM... this is a company bound to fail....

Cnn: GM sees an electric, 2-wheel future

General Motors - under an end-of-May deadline to come up with a viable plan of operation - has joined forces with personal transporter maker Segway to develop a two-seat, two-wheeled, electronically powered vehicle for use navigating city streets.

Posted by mark @ 01:58 PM 18 Comments

Miore green shots.

BBC: RBS to cut a further 9,000 jobs

The Royal Bank of Scotland is to shed a further 9,000 jobs, half of them in the UK. BBC Scotland understands the losses are to be in its back office operations.

Posted by peter_2008 @ 01:13 PM 3 Comments


Telegraph: Is it time to go back into property?

Stelios Haji-Ioannou, the founder of easyJet, is calling the bottom of the property market. Optimists are starting to see green shoot appear amid the scorched earth of Britain's property market. In March, house prices rose by a modest 0.9%, according to Nationwide - the first price rise since October 2007. At the same time, the Bank of England released figures showing that mortgage approvals jumped by almost a fifth the month before. The international buyer is focused on the truly international market, whether it is St James's, Mayfair, Belgravia or Knightsbridge. This had led to a severe restriction of supply, as vendors hold off selling their prime assets at what they perceive to be the nadir of the market.

Posted by little professor @ 12:54 PM 12 Comments

BTL is dead

Knight Frank: Property rentals in London at September 2000 levels

The vibrant capital of the small island populated by cash laden city boys spending 10,000 to dine out, with corporate rentals to multi-million salary expatriate bankers... guess what... rentals are down to 2000 levels. Says who? Knight Frank... "Demand for rental property has increased by 20% over the past year, but this has been more than offset by a 67% increase in supply" take that, BTL leeches! bleed cash and hurry up to repay your loans.

Posted by confused76 @ 12:16 PM 21 Comments

Bloomber Video: Doom & Gloom Guru speaks on current outlook

Bloomberg.com: Stocks May See Correction of 10%, Marc Faber Says

Longish video in which Marc Faber gives his opinions not just on current stock market, but a good general round up that will interest all those with views on the economy & investing. He does not speak specifically on the housing market, but his dim view of the long term outlook for the US continues, and about three quarters of the way through the video he says that the current world recession will not end without "war and conflict"!

Posted by hotfoot @ 12:04 PM 0 Comments

HIP changes

HIP-Consultant.co.uk: Home Information Pack changes

The changes seem quite positive for the HIP certainly the property questionnaire does not seem as bad as i had read.

Posted by kaz @ 11:41 AM 0 Comments

There are still more nasty surprises to come from banks

MoneyWeek: There are still more nasty surprises to come from banks

The recent uptick in optimism is gradually being replaced by a creeping realisation that the banking sector and the wider economy is still in a terrible mess. For all the capital raising, and government intervention, and bail-out mania, the world's banks are still very weak, says John Stepek.

Posted by damien @ 11:38 AM 3 Comments

Comedy club chief takes the show to the US (Detroit here we come)

FT: US affordable housing shortage flagged as "opportunity"

UK investors are being drawn to the US where there is an opportunity to purchase repossessed property for rent to local residents, according to Assetz. The property investment group is working with local housing departments and developers in the US on an investment programme to refurbish repossessed properties and offer them for rent in the local community. Assetz said the scheme has "vast investment potential" with gross yields of over 20 per cent and longer term prospects for strong capital growth. One particular area that Assetz is focusing on is Detroit, where it said there is an acute shortage of affordable housing.

Posted by jack c @ 11:21 AM 10 Comments

How to kill buy to let market......read on.....

Contract journal: Taylor Wimpey and Lidl to build homes costing just 64,000Taylor Wimpey and Lidl to build homes costing just 64,000

It is understood the home will only be available to first-time buyers buy-to-let investors will be barred.

Posted by mark @ 11:09 AM 6 Comments

The BBC would have you believe the opposite

Ft: Manufacturing decline worst in 40 years

on another note why should the car manufacturers get a bailout when they have huge stocks of overpriced cars??????????????

Posted by mark @ 11:05 AM 2 Comments

It's almost time to turn bullish on stocks

MoneyWeek: It's almost time to turn bullish on stocks

The bear market may not be over just yet - but some markets may finally be worth a cautious bet. If history is any guide, returns over the next few years should range from acceptable in the US to pretty spectacular in parts of Asia

Posted by damien @ 10:15 AM 4 Comments

Something smells

MarketWatch: Government Sachs is in control

Until it was fully extricated, Goldman always characterized its exposure to AIG as "immaterial," and that its $20 billion notional exposure to AIG was hedged. Turns out that it was -- through government bailouts that didn't exist when Goldman entered the contracts. A conspiracy theorist might think this run of fortune has something to do with the former Goldman executives having influential roles in the Treasury Department.

Posted by devo @ 10:08 AM 0 Comments

Ireland to Buy Billions of Euros of Property, Loans

Irish Times: Budget to announce spend of billions on bank loans

Irish gov to buy up 60 billion worth of toxic property loans to save banks, in their new budget. Our budget will strike the difficult balance between making sure our bankers maintain their extravagant standard of living while imposing crushing taxes on everyone else Mr Lenihan said.

Posted by mountain goat @ 10:06 AM 0 Comments

Idiot sloanie with simplistic thinking.. oh and there's Kirsty too!

Times Online: Kirstie Allsopp: no-nonsense, enthusiastic and exactly as she comes across on TV

What makes me ill is that this awful creature and her cohorts have taken their London-centric views and transposed them all over the UK - "There is a brief suggestion that we go to a caf, but then she decides that we may as well just go to her house in nearby Holland Park" - "...the Honourable Kirstie Allsopp discovers that she is locked out of her two-floor flat as the nanny has taken her sons for a walk.." - "It is a property show for the credit crunch...accused of puffing up the property market and encouraging us to buy houses we couldn't afford. This makes Allsopp cross.." - "Not a single person who has appeared on the show has found themselves in trouble. We have only ever been responsible..." - "Stamp duty is unbelievable. Then you have VAT on agent's fees..."

Posted by shining wit @ 10:03 AM 23 Comments

Housing green shoots to die

Investors Chronicle: Housing green shoots to die

Four very good reasons why UK house prices are going to drop. THis article suggests another 15% drop over the next 4 to 6 years. "In the last few days, some green shoots have appeared in the housing market. The Bank of England has reported a rise in mortgage approvals, and the Nationwide Building Society says that prices rose 0.9 per cent in March. These green shoots, however, are likely to die. The chances are, house prices will continue to fall. I say so for four reasons...."

Posted by tpbeta @ 12:46 AM 1 Comments

Monday, April 6, 2009

I got your stress test right here

MarketWatch: What are the banks worth?

The government's stress test has two fatal flaws: It's being done in secret, and the government is putting its thumb on the scale. It's almost enough to make you think the regulators are protecting someone.

Posted by devo @ 11:30 PM 1 Comments

The financial system has suffered a blow unlike anything since the Great Depression

WSJ: From Bubble to Depression

It appears that both the Great Depression and the current crisis had their origins in excessive consumer debt -- especially mortgage debt -- that was transmitted into the financial sector during a sharp downturn. It appears that we're witnessing the second great consumer debt crash, the end of a massive consumption binge.

Posted by devo @ 11:12 PM 2 Comments

MSM is coming round to our way of thinking

Financemarkets.co.uk: RICS warns against premature optimism on house prices

"The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) has warned that it would be premature to assume that house prices are on the road to recovery after figures from the Halifax house price index showed an average house price decrease of 1.9% during the month of March." When RICS start turning bearish, is that a sign that our stance is joining the mainstream?

Posted by quiet guy @ 11:08 PM 1 Comments

Pricing in the future drops

BBC News: Lenders still want high deposits

Mortgage lenders are still demanding high deposits from buyers as the number of deals expands. More than two-thirds of the 1,485 mortgage deals on offer require the customer to put up a deposit of at least 25%, according to Moneyfacts.

Posted by quiet guy @ 11:03 PM 4 Comments

Who's holding what?

TMF: Will Bank Losses Be Worse Than the Great Depression?

Is temporary nationalization the only solution? Does the Public-Private Investment Program really have any hope of succeeding? It's quite clear that the banks have been sinners for some time now, but I don't see how we can determine the optimal flavor of penance until we're doing more than guessing about what's lurking in those banking vaults.

Posted by devo @ 10:52 PM 0 Comments

Once again, Trillion is so yesterday. Not long untill the media starts talking about quadrillion!

Timesonline: Toxic debts could reach $4 trillion, IMF to warn

Toxic debts racked up by banks and insurers could spiral to $4 trillion (2.7 trillion), new forecasts from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) are set to suggest. The IMF said in January that it expected the deterioration in US-originated assets to reach $2.2 trillion by the end of next year, but it is understood to be looking at raising that to $3.1 trillion in its next assessment of the global economy, due to be published on April 21. In addition, it is likely to boost that total by $900 billion for toxic assets originated in Europe and Asia.

Posted by flintster1994 @ 10:47 PM 0 Comments

Roger Altman: former deputy Treasury secretary

FT: Why this will not be a normal cyclical recovery

The implications for US policy include a likely second round of stimulus, much more federal capital for the banking system and stunning budget deficits. Households felt wealthier, despite pressure on incomes, because home and financial asset values were rising. Now that wealth effect has reversed with a vengeance. Funds from the Troubled Asset Relief Program are only replacing lost capital, not increasing it. When might they end? With key categories of toxic assets still losing value, the answer is: not soon. The scale of lending needed to support a normal cyclical recovery will not materialise. Despite public opposition, substantially more federal capital will be required for banks.

Posted by devo @ 10:18 PM 0 Comments

The G20 and Gordon Brown's spin doctors...

Mail: Brown brings home the moonshine

Let's face it, we have all been had once again.....''KEITH WATERHOUSE: On the moonshine front, Gordon already has a good deal of form. He is an old lag - an expert at what an accountant might call his own private double entry system. Thus, he has no compunction about using the same figures twice under different headings, if it suits his purpose. ''

Posted by hpwatcher @ 09:05 PM 0 Comments

Loan losses will exceed Great Depression levels

Cnn: Bank woes nowhere near over - analyst

The cyclical pressures of mortgages and an acceleration in cards, consumer credit, construction, commercial real estate and industrial will cause the loan losses-to-loans ratio to increase to 3.5% by the end of 2010 from the current 2%. The Great Depression's peak was 3.4%, according to the report.

Posted by mark @ 07:30 PM 0 Comments

IMF Chief economist says western world no better than banana republics

The Atlantic: The Quiet Coup

Great essay. The brief conclusion is that the public is being persistently ripped of by financiers, who are essentially dictating terms to governments. Also points at the absurd privileges made laws to benefit financiers.

Posted by stillthinking @ 06:01 PM 8 Comments

Slumdogs and Millionaires

BBC PANORAMA: Dubai: From riches to rags

Having spent the last three months travelling there, I no longer think of the seven star Burj Al Arab hotel when I think of Dubai, but of emaciated, wretched men, lining up for buses before the sun has risen, resigned to the fact that their hard day's work wouldn't earn them enough to buy a round of coffee here. The branding of Dubai has to be one of the greatest PR triumphs of the past 20 years. It works out incredibly well for the developers - they can charge first world fortunes for the dream villas and apartments, but pay third world salaries to the men actually building them.

Posted by sold out @ 05:45 PM 3 Comments


Reuters: Central banks set currency swap lines via Fed for U.S. banks

This seems a bit significant. Preparations are being made for a defense of the dollar.. .Bank of England, the European Central Bank, the Swiss National Bank and the Bank of Japan opened foreign currency credit lines to the Federal Reserve.

Posted by stillthinking @ 04:23 PM 3 Comments

Saving the best 'til last ...

FT: House price falls add to eurozones woes

There's not much in this article we didn't know (i.e. prices are tanking in UK, Ireland, Portugal, Spain etc) but the really interesting bit is the last sentence: "According to the ECB report, busts that follow housing price booms in the main eurozone economies typically last five years." So we're in for the laong haul.

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 12:43 PM 0 Comments

Plenty more of the HPC to go

Daily Telegraph: Beware talk of recovery as the world economy is not a picture of health

Best bit of this from Roger Bootle: "The old joke about stockmarkets having forecast 10 of the last four recoveries remains apposite. And we've already seen at least three false stockmarket recoveries in the last year or so. True, this was the first up month for Nationwide house prices for 17 months. Even so, this does not assuredly mark the end of the slide. In the 1990s downturn, during the housing market's 74-month long downward trend from May 1989 to July 1995, there were 22 months in which house prices rose month on month. That's a rise roughly once every three months. Indeed, house prices rose in four consecutive months between July 1993 and October 1993, leaving them 2.4pc higher in October than they had been in June. But the downward trend then continued for another 21 months."

Posted by growler @ 11:57 AM 6 Comments

Destroying UK savings: Get rid of sterling now!

FT: UK is urged to print money

''The government will have to print money to finance public spending, moving quantitative easing to a new level, according to the manager of one of Londons biggest hedge funds. Mike Platt, co-founder and chief executive of BlueCrest, Europes fifth-largest hedge fund, had been predicting quantitative easing in the UK for six months before it was adopted by the Bank of England last month. ''

Posted by hpwatcher @ 06:38 AM 41 Comments

More examples of head-in-the-sand attitudes to property

Independent: Don't trip up if you become one of Britain's 'accidental landlords'

It's hard to imagine a more difficult time to sell a home, and current conditions in the property market have pushed some homeowners into the reluctant role of landlord. Lucinda Marsden, 24, who works in public relations, lives in Notting Hill, west London, but owns a three-bedroom flat in Nottingham which she bought in her second year of university in 2004. She rents out her Nottingham property for 900 a month. This money is used to cover the mortgage and also goes towards her rent in London. Lucinda has no plans to sell the property at present and wants to wait until the market improves.

Posted by drewster @ 02:31 AM 2 Comments

First REDC auction in the UK and all the buyers were BTL investors!

Guardian: Repossessed homes go under the American hammer

Britain's first US-style auction of repossessed properties took place in Gateshead this week. There's nothing new to repossession auctions another nine will take place on Saturday, organised by the likes of Savills, Jones Lang LaSalle and Allsop but REDC does them with a little more song and dance than the Brits. Two croupier-like "bidders' assistants" from California HQ theatrically tease up bids with whoops, hollers and whistles. REDC, and bidders at its auctions, stand accused of cashing in on the misery of repossession victims. REDC deny the charge - "We're turning houses back into homes, by bidding today, you can be part of the solution." However nearly all buyers are BTL investors: "So when will your daughter be moving in?" / "Oh no, she won't be living in it. She's an investor."

Posted by drewster @ 02:12 AM 1 Comments

"Some buyers are so desperate they have resorted to using credit cards to make mortgage payments"

Guardian: Downvaluing leaves high fliers reeling

New-build property schemes are in disarray as buyers run into trouble. Some Canary Wharf flats were sold off-plan in 2006 at sky-high prices. Investors paid 20% deposits. Now it's 2009, building work is complete, and buyers have to pay the remaining 80%. However they can't get a mortgage because the lenders' surveyors say the properties have lost 17-35% of value. The developers have told buyers they are "required to proceed with the purchase at the contract price" as the purchases were not made "on a subject-to-mortgage basis". [I guess this means they'll lose their 20% deposits. Oh noes.] Businessman Denesh Bhabuta bought his 335 sq ft studio flat for 264,000 in 2007. [Yes, a studio for 264k] Some buyers are so desperate they have resorted to using credit cards to make mortgage payments

Posted by drewster @ 02:00 AM 12 Comments

Across the pond: record pace of falls, prices down to Q3 2003 level

Mish's: Case-Shiller March 2009 Analysis

The Jan 2009 Case-Shiller data continues to accelerate to the downside at a record pace. The 10 and 20 city index show declines from their peak at 30% and the bubble cities all have declines of 40% or more with Phoenix having the largest percentage drop of nearly 50%. Additionally, all 20 cities tracked by Case-Shiller have now experienced price declines in excess of 10%. The Case-Shiller data uses a Repeated Sales Methodology which provides the most accurate housing data available. Cities such as San Francisco have likely already experienced the bulk of their price decline as prices have already returned to those of 8 1/2 years ago (Oct 2000). However, cities in the Pacific Northwest have only seen prices return to mid-2005 levels and are likely have significant price declines yet.

Posted by drewster @ 12:59 AM 3 Comments

Across the pond: Green shoots, or pond scum?

BusinessWeek: Housing: Signs of Life

Last year the Cape Coral area of Florida had the highest foreclosure rate in the country. But recently a curious thing has been happening in this blighted former boomtown: Buyers are swooping in. First-time home-owners are suddenly entering bidding wars with real estate speculators from as far away as Spain and Germany. Sales in February outpaced those at the peak of the boom, with some houses getting more than 50 offers and selling above their asking price. So what's going on? In all of these markets, banks are dumping foreclosed properties, attracting cash-rich speculators looking for cut-rate bargains. Government incentives of up to $8,000 in tax credits for first-time buyers and low mortgage rates engineered by the Federal Reserve are luring buyers who otherwise would be sitting out.

Posted by drewster @ 12:44 AM 3 Comments

Taxes are for the little people

The Times: MPs claim stamp duty on expenses

MPs are avoiding stamp duty of more than 10,000 on second and third homes by claiming it back on their parliamentary expenses. They are claiming it in addition to furnishings and mortgage interest payments for homes they are allowed to keep after leaving parliament.

Posted by quiet guy @ 12:18 AM 3 Comments

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Our real suffering lies here.....Inflation destroys all

Daily Telegraph: Breaking the silence before the inflation tsunami

"You must be the only person worried about inflation, Liam". So I was told on Newsnight last week by someone who's spent four of the last five years in the cabinet......This scares me on more levels than I care to mention, not least the deafening silence............

Posted by marvin @ 08:15 PM 3 Comments

Rental price index

Renting.co.uk: Residental Rental Price Index

I was curious and searching on Google and came across this. I thought it was interesting for the renters here. Seems rents have been falling nationally since late 2007.

Posted by dohousescrashinthewoods @ 06:19 PM 5 Comments

The recession is bottoming out.....not

Cantos: Economist Intelligence Unit

This erudite analysis from highly respected source suggests the world economic deterioration is accelerating. Grim outlook with significant recovery unlikely until 2011. Housing market not directly mentioned but I think one can infer from this that continued decline is on the cards. Good sensible antidote to the recent G20 hype.

Posted by matthew @ 03:54 PM 0 Comments

HPC gets a mention

Times: The water margin

We put in a low bid for quite a nice house the other day. The agent we dealt with was cross about our low offer and seemed to take it as a personal insult, which was silly. He said he was almost certain that the property slowdown had bottomed out and prices were heading skyward once again. But I dont understand. Is there any reason why you wont offer any more money? Lucky he was having the conversation with the old man and not with me, because I would have found it impossible not to cackle, then to point him in the direction of housepricecrash.co.uk, a website with which I have recently become obsessed. Its tone is as one-sided as the name suggests, but Im rather taken by a chart I have printed out and pinned to my wall...

Posted by little professor @ 03:15 PM 8 Comments

Merryn's back with some common sense on the housing market

FT: Merryn Somerset-Webb: Investing

She says a lot of commentators and contacts in the industry believe the market has hist the bottom. She explains why they are misguided.

Posted by othello @ 10:33 AM 8 Comments

BTL leeches got what they deserve

FT: Buy-to-let blow for wealthy

Wealthy borrowers are being given as little as one month's notice to pay 1m off their mortgages, as banks take ever more dramatic steps to cope with the housing downturn

Posted by confused76 @ 08:24 AM 19 Comments

Obama administration seeks to avoid restrictions, including limits on pay

MSNBC: U.S. aims to help firms sidestep bailout rules

The Obama administration is engineering its new bailout initiatives in a way that it believes will allow firms benefiting from the programs to avoid restrictions imposed by Congress, including limits on lavish executive pay, according to government officials. Administration officials have concluded that this approach is vital for persuading firms to participate in programs funded by the $700 billion financial rescue package.

Posted by devo @ 07:34 AM 2 Comments

Former IMF official on the banking crisis

ICH: The Quiet Coup

Slightly off-topic, but a laudable synopsis of the US banking crisis from Simon Johnson, a former chief economist at the International Monetary Fund (2007/08). Professor Johnson puts the US crisis in the context of his experience at the IMF and his diagnosis and suggested remedies are highly relevant to the UK.

Posted by a solovine @ 02:31 AM 1 Comments

Value of holiday homes dropping by up to 24 per cent

Telegraph: Holiday homes: Second place

Having a terrace house in Wandsworth and a small stone pile in the Cotswolds has been one of the great aspirations of the high-earning upwardly mobile for half a century. Now, however, a subtle change is taking place. Just as the sale of Agas has dropped by 15%, so the number of second homes has fallen. Owners in the second-home havens of Salcombe and Rock are holding their breath to see what the market will do. "They grew exponentially in the boom times, hugely fuelled by City money, with thrusting young buyers eager to purchase at any price," says Martin Lamb of Savills in Exeter. "The market has gone very quiet here now. We have not yet seen distress sales but this was a real bubble, fuelled by high levels of gearing, and debt-driven sales are a distinct possibility." [Clever man!]

Posted by drewster @ 01:38 AM 4 Comments

Sofa surfing is on the rise in these tough times

Telegraph: Sofa surfing: C-ouch! Crisis hits home

There is nothing like a recession to focus adult minds on making life more practical and affordable. In times like these, the yachts, the horses - and the second homes - have to go. There are many more pied-a-terres on the market now. Business-people are selling their crash-pads and crashing on sofas instead. "I had assumed that sofa-surfers would be hippie travellers, but people making bookings tend to be business people in the UK. My first booking was from a businessman based in Portsmouth who stayed on a futon in a drawing room in Brixton which was much more cost-effective than a hotel and nicer than a hostel. It is a wonderfully inexpensive way of staying in town." [More sales and less rental demand = falling prices and downward pressure on rents. Sweeeeeet!]

Posted by drewster @ 01:32 AM 0 Comments

"The severity of the disruption is no longer worsening as sharply as it was"

Telegraph: Credit crisis is easing for UK business, CBI says

The CBI's latest credit conditions survey, published today, shows that companies were less negative about the availability of new and existing credit in March than they were in February. The CBI report is significant because the inability to access credit has been cited by businesses as one of the most serious obstacles to survival since the onset of the downturn. [Access to credit was their biggest problem. Their next biggest problem is finding customers who have access to credit.] Firms are not saying that credit conditions are getting better, but the severity of the disruption is no longer worsening as sharply as it was three months ago. And the combination of easier monetary policy and the Government's measures to support the banking sector may be starting to have an impact.

Posted by drewster @ 01:18 AM 2 Comments

Have commercial-property funds reached rock-bottom?

Independent: Signs of life in crippled property fund market

Property funds which invest in offices, shops and other commercial buildings have slumped 40 per cent since hitting their peak in June 2007. Does that mean it's time for investors to pile in to take advantage of some juicy recovery? [Erm, no. Fancy boutiques are closing and re-opening as charity shops - which means significantly lower rents. Offices are emptying as companies announce redundancies, just as millions of newly-built square feet are coming onto the market.] In fact, anyone speculating that the property market has reached the bottom is likely to be proved wrong, if the experts are to be believed. Any recovery is likely to be months away at best, says Scottish Widows. They predict that the commercial property market has a further 10 per cent to fall.

Posted by drewster @ 01:13 AM 2 Comments

Banks demanding cash from Buy-to-let borrowers

Financial Times: Buy-to-let blow for wealthy

Wealthy borrowers are being given as little as one month's notice to pay 1m off their mortgages, as banks take ever more dramatic steps to cope with the housing downturn. Charles McDowell, a prime property consultant in London, told the Financial Times that lenders had asked a number of his clients with large buy-to-let property portfolios to come up with more cash after falling prices slashed the level of their equity. NatWest had asked the owner of a 5m property portfolio in London to hand over 1m in a month to compensate for a 20 per cent drop in value, even though there was no evidence the client was likely to default on the loan.

Posted by funkygibbon @ 01:06 AM 0 Comments

Pyramid scheme fraudster funded lavish lifestyle from property scam

Guardian: Buy-to-let tycoon jailed for conning millions from investors

John Potts, 60, siphoned money from a pyramid selling scheme to pay for luxury cars, fine art, antiques and racehorses. In one instance he bought Inspector Morse's red Jaguar at auction for 53,000. A penchant for Savile Row suits cost 125,000.

Posted by drewster @ 01:00 AM 0 Comments

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Lender repossession auctions

The Times: Failed banks accused over showbusiness-style property auctions

Dozens of homes repossessed by two nationalised banks are being sold this week for knockdown prices at a series of auctions where buyers are whipped up into a frenzy. Northern Rock and Bradford & Bingley have been accused of profiting from the misery of repossessed families by disposing of their homes in showbusiness-style sales. Critics claim that the high commission charged to buyers by Real Estate Disposition Corporation (REDC), which claims to be Americas biggest seller of foreclosed property, mean that there is less money for borrowers to pay off their mortgage debts.

Posted by devo @ 10:42 PM 4 Comments

Conspiracy theory ? Whose turn to post the BS ?

Financial Times: House price movements cause confusion

Different data from Nationwide and Halifax this week have been part of a confused picture of the status of the housing market. While Nationwide prompted hopes that the bottom of the market may be in sight when it reported a surprise rise in house prices this week, Halifax data to be released on Saturday shows house prices are still falling. In March its index decreased by 1.9 percent. The disparity in the respective data is mirrored by the differing opinion reported by estate agents, with some noting a sharp increase in buyer interest and a higher volume of sales, while others are being more cautious.

Posted by howsyercat @ 06:41 PM 3 Comments

Quantitave Easing

Marketoracle.co.uk: Governments Printing Money Can't Make Money

We are told over and over again that the problem is banks stopped lending to each other and now to businesses and people seeking mortgages. The reality however is shortage of money within the UK and globaly because of the overvalued assets and bad debts. This cannot be solved by simply printing money (quantitave easing) as this further increases debt and also causes currency devaluation and subsequently inflation. The Chinese know this well and hence their argument for an alternative currency to the Dollar in a way to protect their wealth. On the other hand, providing sheap money/low interest rates hardly stimulates the economy in a market dominated by growing unemployment and uncertain future. Many savers feel punished and those with spare money aside now opt to repay their mortgages

Posted by zorbeh @ 03:34 PM 0 Comments

Proof that anyone buying in the present market is stupid

BBC News: Buyers blocked by low valuations

Homebuyers are being prevented from buying many properties because lender valuations are coming in too low, say estate agents. One buyer, Chris, wanted to purchase a one bedroom flat earlier this year in SE London, which was on the market for 175,000. However his lender's valuation survey came back at 140,000. [In the radio programme, it transpires that other flats in the development were repossessed and sold by the banks at auction for 135,000. Chris can only negotiate his down to 160,000. So why doesn't he buy at auction???] The CML said some flats have lost a lot of value, and lenders are concerned that the only resale value they'd get is through a forced sale. Countrywide (surveyors and valuers) said many sellers still have unrealistic expectations of what their property is worth.

Posted by drewster @ 02:47 PM 14 Comments

No Green Shoots

Independent: Jeremy Warner: This housing correction has a way to go yet

Hardly news I know but good to be reminded what negative equity does to the market

Posted by sybil13 @ 08:44 AM 5 Comments

Anne Ashworth again

The Times: Knock-down auction prices risk knocking back recovery

Apparently the best time to buy is BEFORE the light appears at the end of the tunnel, so you can guarantee initial capital losses. Also property auctions are doing us all a disservice by actually selling houses for what people are prepared to pay for them. My brother is currently buying a house, quite possibly after reading such tosh, and against my advice. You can take a horse to water etc. As the price falls continue, I hope Ashworth ends up in a few years' time as unpopular as senior bankers are now.

Posted by monty032 @ 08:38 AM 11 Comments

Well done BoE MPC.

BBC: Warning of food price hike crisis

Thousands of pensioners will die an early death thanks to the BoE's policy of bailing out reckless house speculators with low IRs.

Posted by krustyatemyhamster @ 08:05 AM 6 Comments

New World, New Rules; Now Brown must dare to spend

Guardian: A different perspective from the article below

A new world order? Really? That hope still hangs in the balance, on a knife edge, by the skin of its teeth. The world has turned upside down in Obama year: the G20 seemed to thunder out the death knell of the Reagan-Thatcher neoliberal experiment. A year ago who would have dared predict a G20 finding a trillion dollars to save weak countries, or hedge funds and banks globally regulated with bonuses restrained, and an end in sight to tax havens? Change is in the air. Social democratic solutions are proving the best economic as well as social answers.

Posted by ketha @ 08:00 AM 1 Comments

Friday, April 3, 2009

Smoke and Mirrors go Global

Daily Mail: Hubris, hoopla and claims that were false, cynical and very, very dangerous

Analysis of G20 communique reveals cracks and falsehoods regarding the amount of 'new' money involvedn and it is more likely that Gordon Brown seems to have corralled fellow leaders into perpetrating a gigantic collective fraud on world public opinion. Unfortunately it is also a sign of the degradation of the civil service over the past ten years that senior British government officials were happy to throw their weight behind what was little more than a lavishly funded PR stunt that President Obama may well end up bitterly regretting.

Posted by enuii @ 10:15 PM 6 Comments

Nothing to be ashamed of.

The Daily Telegraph: Britain should not fear asking for IMF cash

Britain should not be afraid or ashamed of taking money from the International Monetary Fund, a senior Cabinet minister has told the Daily Telegraph. Economists have warned that the UK's public finances are in such a bad state there is a real possibility that Britain will seek help from the fund.

Posted by devo @ 09:47 PM 10 Comments

'green shoots' long enough for Brown to win the election, then the bust

FT: Signs of green shoots raise hopes

''Scattered signs of green shoots in the global economy are raising hopes that the recession could bottom out later this year, paving the way for economic recovery in 2010.''

Posted by hpwatcher @ 09:15 PM 4 Comments

Would this make most of property flopping VIs criminals by default?

24 dash com: Home sellers face 'swathe of legal consequences' over PIQs

The introduction of the Governments latest addition to the Home Information Pack (HIP), brings with it a 'swathe of legal consequences' for those selling homes, according to a property law specialist. From April 6, sellers will need to fill out a Property Information Questionnaire (PIQ). The PIQ is a set of mandatory questions about the property. Most importantly, it commits a homeowner to make representations that have legal ramifications even before a contract has been agreed.

Posted by peter_2008 @ 07:54 PM 3 Comments

Margin Call!!!

FT: Borrowers forced to pay down buy-to-let loans

Lenders are now forcing professional buy-to-let investors to inject large cash sums into their mortgages, as sharp falls in house prices have eroded the equity in their properties. Agents said some banks were becoming increasingly nervous as the drop in house prices meant loans they provided two or three years ago were now too large relative to the value of the property. Owners of multi-million pound portfolios have been ordered by banks to top up the equity in their properties by paying off up to 20% of the outstanding mortgage - even if they were not in any breach of their financial obligations.

Posted by little professor @ 07:43 PM 23 Comments

Mad Max? .... I don't think so!

BBC 5 live: Max on G20

The differences between an economics editor 2.07 - 2.11.40 and a proper analyst 2.11.40 and 2.16 "Glambler-a-holics" - class!!

Posted by techieman @ 05:52 PM 2 Comments

VIDEO:George Soros likes the G20 deal but considers British Economy to be in deep trouble

BBC News - Video: George Soros on G20 deal

Worth a view in case you missed it on Newsnight. Soros mentions "extreme" over valuation in UK housing market mid way through interview.

Posted by hotfoot @ 05:33 PM 4 Comments

Global Currency?

Telegraph: The G20 moves the world a step closer to a global currency

A single clause in Point 19 of the communiqu issued by the G20 leaders amounts to revolution in the global financial order. "We have agreed to support a general SDR allocation which will inject $250bn (170bn) into the world economy and increase global liquidity," it said. SDRs are Special Drawing Rights, a synthetic paper currency issued by the International Monetary Fund that has lain dormant for half a century.

Posted by flintster1994 @ 02:26 PM 3 Comments

U.S. Non-Farm Payrol: unemployment hits 8.5%

Beuareau Of Labor Statistics: The Employment Situation: March 2009

Nonfarm payroll employment continued to decline sharply in March (-663,000), and the unemployment rate rose from 8.1 to 8.5 percent, the Bureau of Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor reported today. Since the recession began in December 2007, 5.1 million jobs have been lost, with almost two-thirds (3.3 million) of the decrease occurring in the last 5 months. In March, job losses were large and widespread across the major industry sectors. In March, the number of unemployed persons increased by 694,000 to 13.2 million, and the unemployment rate rose to 8.5 percent. Over the past 12 months, the number of unemployed persons has grown by about 5.3 million, and the unemployment rate has risen by 3.4 percentage points.

Posted by 51ck-6-51x @ 01:35 PM 3 Comments

Dual Nationality Bankrupts

Myvesta UK Articles: Bankruptcy From Outside the UK

Given the number of people with dual nationality in the UK, I always wondered how many would take the step of declaring bankruptcy here, to avoid paying off debt fruitlessly. Like the abandoned cars at Dubai airport. This article suggests a growing number of enquiries and states that all external assets are within the scope of UK bankruptcy recovery. However, this would require the trustee going through the courts of the foreign country to acquire the necessary rights, with attendant costs, and also disclosure from the bankrupt(!) as to assets. The price to government of this kind of debt avoidance remains to be seen.

Posted by stillthinking @ 12:33 PM 1 Comments

Meanwhile back on planet earth.

Gaurdian: US unemployment rate set to reach 26-year high

American jobless rate for March predicted to hit 8.5% Some economists begin cautious talk of recovery Alistair Darling warns UK unemployment will keep rising. Does anybody have stats comparing the unemployment rate to house prices?

Posted by cheekie charlie @ 11:52 AM 3 Comments

Licence to print money revoked...

Msnbc: Slump takes swagger out of once-booming U.K.

"Glancing at her mortgage bill, Jennifer Wilson cant help but lament that a portion of her monthly payment covers the cost of her dalliance with decadence." Hah. Serves her right.

Posted by mym @ 11:27 AM 20 Comments

It's all over then...

The Times: The property market is improving - but not to the levels of old

Probably one of the weakest and myopic pieces of analysis I have ever read. And they pay this woman money...

Posted by theoakster @ 11:16 AM 3 Comments

"...the most debased form of rentier capitalism"

Guardian: Buy-to-let: The truth is out

Article from Tuesday's paper on the shattering of B&Bs illusions. Current mortgage arrears are at 4.6% (compare with worst figure in 1992 of 3.55%)

Posted by letthemfall @ 10:29 AM 5 Comments

No such thing as a free lunch (for most people)


What the coin basically means is that your retirement will last the eight seconds it takes for you to collapse at your work station, fall to the floor and die and up until that point you'll be taxed every time you say the word 'a'.

Posted by sovietuk @ 09:58 AM 2 Comments

Normal service resumed

BBC: House prices 'drop 1.9% in March'

UK house prices fell by 1.9% in March compared with the previous month, according to the Halifax.

Posted by holding out @ 09:14 AM 37 Comments

The Halifax Don't Agree With The Nationwide

BBC News: House prices 'drop 1.9% in March'

UK house prices fell by 1.9% in March compared with the previous month, according to the Halifax.

Posted by garyb @ 09:13 AM 0 Comments

It's al over

Telegraph: G20 summit: Gordon Brown announces 'new world order'

Gordon Brown announced the creation of a "new world order" after the conclusion of the G20 summit of world leaders in London. The Prime Minister claimed to have struck a "historic" deal to end the global recession as he unveiled plans to plough more than $1 trillion into the world economy. "This is the day that the world came together to fight back against the global recession," he said. "I think a new world order is emerging with the foundation of a new progressive era of international co-operation,"

Posted by little professor @ 08:38 AM 6 Comments

Banks selling each other their bad assets

The Financial Times: Bailed-out banks eye toxic asset buys

US banks that have received government aid, including Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and JPMorgan Chase, are considering buying toxic assets to be sold by rivals under the Treasurys $1,000bn (680bn) plan to revive the financial system. Spencer Bachus, the top Republican on the House financial services committee, vowed after being told of the plans by the FT to introduce legislation to stop financial institutions gaming the system to reap taxpayer-subsidised windfalls. Mr Bachus added it would mark a new level of absurdity if financial institutions were colluding to swap assets at inflated prices using taxpayers dollars.

Posted by devo @ 07:41 AM 1 Comments

Do what you want. It wont change a thing.

Independent: Why not knock years off the mortgage?

It's a question on many home-owners' lips: what to do with the spare cash in their pockets now rates have been slashed so dramatically that some borrowers on tracker mortgages for example, are now paying less than 1 per cent in interest. Should they simply enjoy the lower repayments and save the extra cash, or start overpaying to knock years, and possibly thousands of pounds in interest, off their mortgage?

Posted by dissavowed @ 01:23 AM 1 Comments

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Mark it zero

TIME Magazine: Banks told they can ignore the market. The market rejoices.

Mark to market accounting rules have been just suspended in the US. HPC regulars who follow this sort of thing will know this is huge news. Basically banks can pretend their assets are worth whatever they like, rather than pricing them at the market price. It would be like you denying your house has fallen in price by 20%, and getting a loan on it based on its 2007 value. So say goodbye to writedowns, and also goodbye to transparency and accountability. This is a license to lie. Capitalism is dead.

Posted by little professor @ 11:50 PM 15 Comments

BLT properties up for grab

The Times: 80m buy-to-let fraudster John Potts jailed

A company director whose luxurious lifestyle was funded by an 80 million property fraud has been jailed for five years. Potts, 60, from Sunderland, and fellow directors of his buy-to-let company, Practical Property Portfolio, stole from 1,750 investors, who were promised 15 per cent annual rental returns.

Posted by peter_2008 @ 11:09 PM 3 Comments

More bank lending but margins are increasing

The Times: British banks expect to increase lending

More banks expect to boost credit availability than to reduce it in the next three months, the Bank found in its closely watched survey of banker intentions. The new Credit Conditions Survey also found that margins on loans to people and businesses had widened considerably and banks expect them to continue widening. Default rates rose in the past three months and are expected to continue rising.

Posted by wanderinman @ 08:58 PM 5 Comments

Oops - no more money to lend

Ft: B&B struggles with loan book

B&B has tried to encourage customers to leave by waiving early redemption charges for those who redeem all or part of their mortgage by June this year. It has closed its doors to new mortgage applications.

Posted by mark @ 08:33 PM 1 Comments

Law charged up by the Nationwide

Assetz: The House Price Recovery Is Here - Make No Mistake

I decided to have a look at assetz to see what Mr Law says about the Nationwide March reported. I wasn't disappointed. "Make no mistake, the house price recovery is here and savvy cash buyers have been purchasing in volume from us since around November ... The next big phase of this market will be the first time buyers coming back in high volume - don't be fooled by the withdrawal of 100% mortgages, the average first-time buyer put down a 10% deposit two years ago and I would hazard a guess that parents would subsidise them even greater if necessary (sic) to take advantage of current pricing."

Posted by quiet guy @ 05:58 PM 19 Comments

This is not good reading guys .....!!!

Guardian: The G20 communique in numbers

By the end of next year a "concerted fiscal expansion" of $5tn ... raising output by 4%

Posted by waitingfor hpc @ 05:22 PM 7 Comments


BBC: G20 leaders seal $1tn global deal

Leaders of the world's largest economies have reached an agreement to tackle the global financial crisis with measures worth $1 trillion (681bn). To help countries with troubled economies, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) will get extra resources worth up to $750bn.

Posted by alan @ 04:20 PM 15 Comments

Toxic assets still a huge problem

FT: A task fit for Herculean policymakers

Gillian Tett points out that govts are avoiding the subject of bad assets with unknown value. Meanwhile IMF estimates of the losses are increasing. Puts ideas about economic recovery and house price rises into shadow.

Posted by letthemfall @ 02:35 PM 0 Comments

Published yesterday but relevent

THE SUN: The Ghost Towns

THE credit crunch is creating ghost towns the length and breadth of Britain. Our High Streets have been hurt by more than 50 chains including household names Woolworths and MFI hitting the wall in the past year and smaller stores are going the same way. Nowhere has struggled more than Edgbaston, Birmingham, the official ghost town of the UK. An exclusive survey reveals that an astonishing 67.9 PER CENT of store space in the suburb is EMPTY.

Posted by mark @ 12:24 PM 13 Comments

Sure houseprices will kep going up???

Yahoo: Hundreds Of Jobs Go At Aircraft Maker

Nearly 1,000 jobs are being axed at aircraft maker Bombardier in Belfast, union sources say. The figure is on top of 300 jobs that were axed earlier this year.

Posted by mark @ 12:13 PM 0 Comments

Why there's a lot more pain ahead for the economy

MoneyWeek: Why there's a lot more pain ahead for the economy

"...the G20 is unlikely to lead to anything except mutual recrimination and more financial regulation. Exporters unsurprisingly - won't see why they should be pushed into spending more money by profligate consumer countries. That'll leave the consumer countries like the UK, pressing on with printing money, which will continue to weaken their currencies and make imports more expensive."

Posted by damien @ 11:35 AM 3 Comments

Gilts glut

Bloomberg: Gilt 30-Year Sale Haunted by Ghost of 40-Year U.K. Auction

UK government is backing off from issuing 40 year gilts. Today there is a 30 year issuance, presumably they have done their sums are confident of getting them away. As events move on average gilt maturity will shorten. Two aspects of this, one is that auction prices will become more sensitive because as the maturity shortens the number of auctions/borrowed pound increases, and there is a current technical depression of shorter maturity gilt yields as investors seek to get out of long-dated positions.

Posted by stillthinking @ 11:21 AM 0 Comments

This is will no doubt push houseprices up too..lol

Daily Mail: Seven price rises to hit families from this week adding an extra 145 to average weekly bills

April 1 was the trigger date for increases on the cost of everything from a tank of petrol or a hot shower to a dental appointment or a doctor's prescription.

Posted by mark @ 11:18 AM 7 Comments

Round 2 ding ding

CNN: Housing bust hits Manhattan

During the boom years, Manhattan was churning out double-digit price increases, with a 20% jump, for example, during 2005. ============= "The tipping point was in September and was largely triggered by the bankruptcy of Lehman Bros. and bailouts of AIG, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac," said Miller. "This marked a sharp contraction of credit, greatly restricting demand as participants had more difficulty obtaining financing.

Posted by mark @ 11:11 AM 0 Comments

Now For Some Real News (rather Than Fantasy News)

Bbc: More than 1,000 Swiss Re jobs cut

Does anyone think it strange whilst we are hosting the G20 we have news like houseprices going up etc, maybe it is fixed for the purpose of making UK looking like it is bouncing back.......... after all vauxhalls looks like it might now go..........

Posted by mark @ 11:09 AM 2 Comments

Nationwide: March: +0.9% :(

Surprise Bounce to March House Prices: Nationwide

Commenting on the figures Fionnuala Earley, Nationwide's Chief Economist, said: Spring brought a surprise bounce to house prices in March. The price of a typical house increased for the first time since October 2007, rising by 0.9% during the month and reducing the annual rate of fall from -17.6% to -15.7%. This brings the price of a typical house to 150,946. The moderation in the annual rate of fall is somewhat distorted by conditions last year and so it would be unwise to draw strong conclusions from the significant slowdown in the annual rate of fall. Equally, while the rise in prices in March is welcome, it is far too soon to see this as evidence that the trough of the market has been reached. The Bank of England has already taken strong measures to ease the tensions in econo"

Posted by phdinbubbles @ 07:16 AM 46 Comments

Nationwide HPI bounces up a little....

BBC News: 'Surprise bounce' in house prices

House prices rose in March for the first time since October 2007, according to the Nationwide. The building society said that property prices increased by 0.9% compared with the previous month. That reduced the annual rate of house price falls from 17.6% in February to 15.7% in March, with the average UK home costing 150,946.

Posted by beachbum @ 07:07 AM 3 Comments

Confidence will be eroded further

The New York Times: Obamas Ersatz Capitalism

THE Obama administrations $500 billion or more proposal to deal with Americas ailing banks has been described by some in the financial markets as a win-win-win proposal. Actually, it is a win-win-lose proposal: the banks win, investors win and taxpayers lose. Treasury hopes to get us out of the mess by replicating the flawed system that the private sector used to bring the world crashing down, with a proposal marked by overleveraging in the public sector, excessive complexity, poor incentives and a lack of transparency.

Posted by devo @ 06:38 AM 8 Comments

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Estate Agents Comedy Act arrives in Chelmsford

Essex Chronicle: At long last, house sales are starting to pick up

"I keep telling my friends with children wanting to get onto the property ladder that you'll never get a better opportunity than now mortgage companies are lending and it's much more expensive to rent these days than pay a mortgage." "Chelmsford attracts a wide variety of people including families and commuters. "It is all about confidence. At the moment Chelmsford has been able to retain its unique bubble from the rest of the housing market and people are now feeling more positive about the situation."

Posted by sold out @ 05:16 PM 19 Comments


Sky: Arrests As G20 Protesters Go On The March

My mate discussed the forthcoming march on Monday. He's wearing a bright yellow top with POLICE on the back. He feels pretty much the same as many of the protesters and is hoping that they stick to throwing soft fruit.

Posted by alan @ 01:10 PM 23 Comments

Cattles Slaughtered

BBC: Sub-prime lender facing 700m hit

"Last month, it said there had been a failure of internal accounting controls and it had suspended senior managers. Batley-based Cattles trades under the Welcome Finance brand, and it also owns debt recovery firm Lewis". Cattles said an investigation was still continuing into how and why the estimates of bad debt was miscalculated.

Posted by alan @ 11:53 AM 1 Comments

The markets in action ...

Metro: Britons reduce mortgage debt by 8bn

The short article in full "Britons reduced their mortgage debt by a record 8 billion during the final quarter of the year, figures showed today. The amount of equity people withdrew from their homes was negative for the third quarter running, as they instead made the biggest net injection of equity since records began in 1970, the Bank of England said. It is only the third time that housing equity withdrawal has been negative since 1998, with the rate at which people are repaying their mortgage accelerating from the third quarter, when net repayments of 5.9 billion were made."

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 11:30 AM 8 Comments

The demise of the dollar

MoneyWeek: The demise of the dollar

With America's foray into quantitative easing and China calling for a new world reserve currency, the dominance of the dollar is under threat...

Posted by damien @ 11:27 AM 1 Comments

Propertybee sells out

Propertybee: Rightmove acquires property-bee.com

**** April Fools!!! **** Looking forward to hearing more from Beerhunter on the consequences of this for coverage of other sites etc. "Rightmove. (FSTE: RMV) today announced that it has acquired property-bee.com. The purchase of property-bee.com, is a key part of Rightmove's strategy to provide a range of new initiatives in the rapidly developing area of web based services to buyers. Following the acquisition, property-bee.com will continue to operate independently to preserve its successful and passionate community. Commenting on the purchase Milles Shipside, commercial director of Rightmove said: "I'm delighted that we have been able to secure this deal. property-bee.com has become a revealation that is difficult not to admire."

Posted by mark @ 09:51 AM 3 Comments

Hyper-inflation or hyper-deflation?

Antal E. Fekete via Market Oracle: The Marginal Productivity of Debt, Why Obama's Stimulus Package Is Doomed to Failure

I hesitated to post this because it is too apocalyptic. However, I believe it has something intelligent to add to the inflation vs deflation debate. It concerns the cost of holding debt. If you have a profitable business taking on debt to expand can be profitable. But there is a point where more debt is no longer profitable. That point has now been reached; we are "eating our seed corn". More debt now actually harms the economy. Growing government intervention causes debt to grow. The only profitable investment speculation now is goverment bonds. Money printed is needed to pay off debt and does not go into circulation. Money printed during quantitative easing (buying up government bonds) causes the economy to contract; a vicious circle causing asset and commodity prices to fall-deflation

Posted by mountain goat @ 08:25 AM 7 Comments

Falling Fast

Daily Telegraph: US property prices down 29pc and still falling fast

US house prices have fallen 29pc from their peak and are still tumbling at the fastest rate on record, according the closely watched Case-Shiller index.The latest figures dash hopes that emergency action by the US Federal Reserve over the winter would at least slow the pace of decline. Prices dropped 19pc in the 20 largest cities in the year to January, with an accelerating downward lurch during the first weeks of 2009.

Posted by sold out @ 07:37 AM 16 Comments

It's not over yet

Daily Mail: Homeowners face further falls in prices

House prices in Britain have nowhere near bottomed out even after a 20 per cent dive, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development warned yesterday. Property values are still 140 per cent of their historic averages, suggesting further declines are unavoidable, the Paris forecaster warned. Economist Petar Vujanovic of the OECD said: 'Affordability is still nowhere near back at what it has been historically. So we think it has got a way to go."

Posted by little professor @ 02:21 AM 18 Comments

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