August 2009 Archive

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Japan new gov stimulus

JDP: Japan Democrat Manifesto

The Japanese changed government for the first time in 50 years (ignoring a small change in the 90s). Here is the manifesto of the successful Democratic party. Major policy push directed to increasing the birth rate, more accessibility to education, free health care, more of a guarantee on the pension scheme. To put this into perspective, 250,000 yen is a good monthly wage in Japan, per birth they propose 500,000 yen with an annual stipend after that of 300,000 up to Junior school. This represents a huge fiscal stimulus. They also propose to change the nature of Japan to small government and domestic not external demand. This is relevant because a lot of Japanese savings are ultimately in dollars.

Posted by stillthinking @ 09:42 PM 6 Comments

The Advantages of a Falling Market

This is Money: Monday view: Will a recovery in house prices be sustainable?

More than a quarter of people don't live in a house they own. Some of these folk aspire to do so. For them, the greater the fall in prices, they happier they are: a home of their own comes within easier reach. "Many home-owners would like to trade up - move to something with an extra bedroom, a larger garden, a place in a smarter neighbourhood. For them, too, a slide in prices as a whole is welcome. Should we feel sorry for those who have seen a collapse in the value of the equity in a home bought two years ago? Of course; their folly has cost them dear. But not everyone wants to see a resurgent housing market. For some, low prices are thoroughly welcome"

Posted by sybil13 @ 09:09 PM 5 Comments

Truthful article about reasons behind HPI

Guardian: Prices might be going up, but the new homes aren't

"Housing affordability is getting worse, not better," said a senior government adviser. "The reason is the requirement for a deposit. The expensive thing is not the house, but saving for a deposit.", ofcourse, silly us, all the time it was the cost of borrowing the money to buy the (in)-expensive houses, not the cost of the houses that caused everyone to borrow hugely. Brilliant politician double speak.

Posted by bystander @ 07:37 PM 2 Comments

No s**t Sherlock

The Graudian: Huge Increase in Mortgage Fraud, report police

When a felons not engaged in his employment- His employment. Or maturing his felonious little plans -Little plans. His capacity for lying at to his local building society - Building society. Is just as great as any honest man's - Honest mans.

Posted by baudot @ 07:23 PM 0 Comments

Second hand toilet paper bubble drives stock market rally....

Zero hedge: Five Financial Stocks Dominating Market Volume

Since the beginning of July, the most prominent feature of the market has been the divergence in volume between financials and "all other" stocks. While overall stock market volume has been flat if not down over the past two months, and a continuation of a long-term downward trend since the March ramp up, the volume in financial stocks has staged an unprecedented pick up. As the chart below demonstrates, five primary names have been responsible for the bulk of the volume in not just financials but across the entire market. The five stocks are Citi, AIG, CIT, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Posted by roy @ 12:47 PM 3 Comments

Ipsos MORI research shows that 43% of Britons now believe the UK is emerging from recession

Observer / Guardian: Support for Gordon Brown falling as economic confidence grows, reveals poll

Ipsos MORI research shows the proportion of people expecting the economy to improve in the next 12 months has staged the biggest recovery in nearly three decades of polling, with 43% of Britons now believing the UK is emerging from recession. Surprisingly the article does not mention who the 43% are when the next to last paragraph states that only one in four people over 65 think the economy will improve over the next year and only one in 20 of those under 35 are positive!

Posted by enuii @ 12:41 PM 11 Comments

Mole tells all

Mail: One in three Halifax branches 'to close' as Lloyds mole reveals plan for biggest ever bank cull

"More than a third of the Halifax branch network faces closure by its owner Lloyds in one of the biggest bank culls in history. The move, which immediately sparked bitter criticism, would wipe out 550 small branches and 'agency counters' inside the offices of estate agents, solicitors and financial consultants".

Posted by alan @ 09:27 AM 7 Comments

Saturday, August 29, 2009

♫♪ the devil will find work for idle hands to do ♫♪

The Times: Idle young should be entitled to nothing

Society today is very different. Stigma has been abolished. To live on benefits has become a lifestyle choice. In many families there is no memory of anyone working. Ours is a culture of entitlement, a word coined to minimise shame and maximise claiming.

Posted by devo @ 10:38 PM 45 Comments

'Renting isn't all that bad after all'

Timesonline: Alice-Azania Jarvis: The pitfalls of being a property owner have taken their toll

"And, of course, there's the tempting lack of responsibility that comes with renting: the whole call-up-the-landlord-and-get-it fixed mentality." Hell yeah!!!!!

Posted by bystander @ 10:06 PM 0 Comments

Socially useless

The Times: Too big for their own good

A tentative threat by regulators this week to slap a tax on City trading has triggered a furious response in the Square Mile. Bankers and traders are hopping mad. Even the CBI has blasted the idea. But I wonder whether it wasn’t the suggestion that some bankers serve no useful purpose that really got under the skin of so many people.

Posted by devo @ 09:34 PM 8 Comments

The great bubble of china

The Real News Network: Is Chinese "miracle" real?

China is embroiled in voodoo economics, with lax lending policies and no one to sell to and their bubble may burst soon

Posted by the number cruncher @ 09:14 PM 1 Comments

Remind me: why were the banks nationalised?

The Guardian: End the City's dependency culture

Conservatives should make bank privatisation a priority, so that this crucial sector can flourish without political interference

Posted by devo @ 09:10 PM 1 Comments

Ambrose criticism of easy money policy

Telegraph: The troubling side of Ben Bernanke

Discussion of the policy of easy money being pursued over the last 20 years only working because the dose has been increased and increased and ... , and that there is no room left with this policy. I also have a comment on this.

Posted by stillthinking @ 08:25 PM 2 Comments

Canary or songbird in the coal mine

Guardian: Canary Wharf owner rescued by China and Qatar

Qatar and China have had to jump in to rescue Canary Wharf. Songbird Estates, which lost a mere £1.8bn last year , agreed to raise equity financing to safeguard its future - not so good for shareholder then. Analysts say the fundraising will be the biggest ever seen in the property sector - which just goes to prove the size of hole in the property sector. More write downs to come no doubt.

Posted by mikelivingstone @ 04:29 PM 0 Comments

Graduate Appeal - Marvelous

YouTube: Adopt a Graduate

Most of you will find this funny. Younger viewers on pointless degrees will not! Comments welcome.

Posted by new_order @ 02:18 PM 4 Comments

Especially for the Bulls

First Rung: UK house prices, why it’s not adding up...

Now don't all cheer at once, or shout it from the roof tops, but UK house prices have apparently 'recovered' and are headed back to their peak of Aug/Sept 2007. The 'good news' doesn't stop there; do you remember that deep recession/depression, the once in a two century event that started with banks collapsing and continues with the jobless numbers spiralling out of control?

Posted by bufferbear @ 01:03 PM 9 Comments

'Double dose of good news'


HOUSE prices rose by 1.7 per cent last month – the biggest increase for five years. And in a double dose of good news it appears the economy could be recovering sooner than expected. Official data revealed the recession is not as severe as originally feared. The nation’s Gross Dom­estic Product fell by 0.7% last quarter – not the 0.8% predicted. A survey by Rightmove showed 78%of people think house prices will not fall any further over the next 12 months.

Posted by little professor @ 10:13 AM 22 Comments

Friday and guess what?

Cnn: Bank failure tally tops 84

Regional banks in Maryland, Minnesota and California were closed by regulators Friday, bringing the total number of failed banks this year to 84, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation said.

Posted by mark @ 09:48 AM 0 Comments

HP debate

BBC 5 Live: Stephen Nolan

They are all there, Financial Planner, The Beeney and some EA from Solihull. This debate starts at 1.23:30 and goes on until around the 2 hr mark (interspersed with stories about Noel and Liam). I only caught the tail end myself last night (by which time Jonathan was having a bit of a rant).

Posted by techieman @ 08:51 AM 3 Comments

Difference getting greater

BBC: Rents rising as landlords sell up

House prices up 1.7% in July Rents up 0.5% So in comparison renting is becoming even more attactive

Posted by tenyearstogetmymoneyback @ 08:17 AM 7 Comments

Summary of the market in July

HousingExpert: The Month in numbers

After the confusion of the Nationwide survey (prices just 2.7% down year on year?) and the Land Registry data, this is a useful round up of the main numbers from all the various house price indices for July together with some original numbers on days of inventory.

Posted by charles lister @ 07:29 AM 0 Comments

Double dip for prices looks likely

The Guardian: A house price revival looks flimsy

Interesting article helping explain why there may be more pain for home owners.

Posted by charles lister @ 07:25 AM 0 Comments

Friday, August 28, 2009

Is this better than financial market regulation?

Financial Times: We should put sand in the wheels of the market

A big problem in finance has been the systemic risk that's due to the growing gap between gross and net exposure in the securities and derivatives markets. Consolidation in settlement and clearing systems is reducing that gap = lower risk = lower capital requirements = cheaper trading. This consolidation makes it easier to levy transaction taxes. Are such taxes desirable? Well, banks make most profits in socially useless markets where there's excessive trading, churning and volatility, and acquire undue political influence from those profits. Could tax on financial transactions steer more bank activity towards the real economy and pare down finance so that its size and profitability is no longer out of proportion to its role of facilitating the growth of that economy?

Posted by icarus @ 06:12 PM 5 Comments

Dented tins anyone? will this ever happen in greedy UK

Abc news: Big Savings at Salvage Grocery Stores

They take in damaged, dented or discontinued products that grocery stores won't sell -- everything from baby food to bug spray, cereal to salad dressing -- and offer them at huge discounts.

Posted by mark @ 05:40 PM 2 Comments

Refried AAA CDO anyone?

Associated Press: Remember me? Wall Street repackages debt for sale

In recent months investment banks have been repackaging old mortgage securities and offering to sell them as new products, a plan that's nearly identical to the complicated investment packages at the heart of the market's collapse.

Posted by mountain goat @ 04:37 PM 3 Comments

I just dont getit

Brown faces backlash over plan to cut housing benefit: London Standard

"Treasury plans to pare back a housing allowance by up to £15 a week will mean some claimants could lose a fifth of their income, Labour MPs warned. Under the current scheme, claimants are allowed to keep the difference if they find rents lower than their housing benefit. Up to half of them are gaining up to £780 a year as a result." Isnt this a bit chicken and egg - HB is for the median price that a rented property can fetch in the area for the type of property the claimant qualifies for. On that basis if i reduce the rent i pay in negotiations at some point the median must come down.....erm mustnt it?

Posted by techieman @ 01:23 PM 4 Comments

A new [false] measure of economic success.....

BBC: House prices rise most in 5 years

''House prices in England and Wales rose by 1.7% in July compared with June - the biggest monthly leap in value since July 2004, the Land Registry said.''

Posted by hpwatcher @ 11:29 AM 69 Comments

Rises but for how long? Nationwide - house prices rise again

Good to see stability being valued and not the boom and bust we have witnessed. "The next few months coming up towards Christmas will certainly be interesting. Will we see the usual increase in sellers and housing stock coming to the market after the school holidays? and if so will this recent stability in prices be sustainable?" Will be for sure !!!

Posted by kaz @ 10:53 AM 5 Comments

Wait until they revise it downwards next

Yahoo: British Economy Shrinks Less Than Feared

The news comes as analysts warn that a quick recovery is unlikely because of Britain's underlying structural problems.

Posted by mark @ 10:07 AM 5 Comments

Its the Arrears, Stupid!

Guardian: Building society borrowers face higher standard variable rates

"Building society borrowers on standard variable rates (SVR) face the prospect of rising mortgage costs after Scottish Building Society became the latest mutual to hit customers with a rate hike. The building society will raise its SVR, which borrowers revert on to at the end of their mortgage deals, by a quarter point to 5.29 per cent on August 29". "In a letter to borrowers, Scottish Building Society said that it was forced to increase interest rates because of the cost of handling an increasing number of customers in arrears".

Posted by alan @ 09:28 AM 4 Comments

Fed Deadline is Monday if appeal rejected

Market Watch: Fed to appeal court ruling on naming bank names

The Federal Reserve on Thursday said it planned to appeal a federal judge's ruling that the central bank must release the names of the financial institutions that have borrowed money under its emergency loan programs. The Fed asked the court to delay the release of the names while the appeal was heard. In a ruling Monday, federal judge Loretta Preska ordered the Fed to give the names to Bloomberg News, the agency that had requested the information under the Freedom of Information Act. In its notice of appeal, the Fed repeated that releasing the names would harm the institutions

Posted by sold 2 rent 1 @ 08:50 AM 4 Comments

UK house Prices Leading Indicators Analysis

The Market Oracle: UK House Prices Tracking Claimant Count Rather than Unemployment Numbers

This analysis seeks to compare UK house prices against unemployment data.

Posted by nadeem walayat @ 06:47 AM 11 Comments

Mortgage drought for FTBs thanks to Basel II (?)

The Times: First-time buyers may need 60 per cent deposit

'The “Basel II” (pronounced “barl”), an international finance directive introduced in January last year, is the main reason that buyers with small deposits are being turned down for home loans. “It looks to everyone like the credit crunch is to blame for the lack of deals for first-time buyers. While this has obviously had some impact, Basel II is also very relevant,” says Ray Boulger, of John Charcol, the mortgage broker.' The Times reckon that due to Basel II regulations, FTBs might require a 60% deposit to get the best rates compared with 40% right now.

Posted by quiet guy @ 01:20 AM 12 Comments

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Moody's paints a bleak picture on Prime mortgage arrears

Mortgagestrategy: Prime arrears on the rise

The number of prime borrowers in three-month arrears has continued to rise as Moody’s warns that arrears on prime mortgages are set to deteriorate. Arrears of more than 90 days on prime residential mortgage-backed securities have doubled from the level recorded by the Moody’s index last year, going from 0.9% in Q2 2008 to 1.8% in Q2 this year. Repossessions have eased off slightly from last year’s levels, with the Moody’s UK prime RMBS indices for Q2 recording a repossession trend of 6.6 basis points compared with 8.0 basis points at the same time last year.

Posted by jack c @ 10:43 PM 0 Comments


CNBC: California Turns to JPMorgan for $1.5 Billion Loan

JP Morgan Chase is lending a hand to the nation's worst credit risk. California State Treasurer Bill Lockyer announced that the banking giant is lending the state $1.5 billion to help it pay off IOUs.

Posted by devo @ 10:33 PM 4 Comments

Next wave of US mortgage problems starts soon

Business Insider: Coming Soon: The Alt-A Mortgage Reset Bomb

Nice charts showing subprime resets are past but Alt-A haven't really begun.

Posted by mountain goat @ 08:54 PM 44 Comments

More banks in distress

MarketWatch: FDIC: Number of troubled banks rises to 416

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. reported Thursday that the number of distressed banks rose to the highest level in 15 years as its insurance fund continued to shrink. More lenders ran into financial trouble during the second quarter with recession saddling banks with soured loans, according to the report. The FDIC said that the number of troubled banks rose to 416 at the end of June from 305 at the end of March. This is the largest number of banks on its "problem list" since June 30, 1994, when 434 banks were on the list, which isn't disclosed by the FDIC.

Posted by devo @ 07:45 PM 0 Comments

House prices can't defy gravity for ever

Guardian: House prices can't defy gravity for ever

Nice sensible article from the guardian putting the latest news into perspective. It states the obvious and why those wanting to buy a house shouldn't be upset by the latest news and wait for the adjustements down to work through the system whether they take 18 months or 5 years to do so.

Posted by britishblue @ 06:47 PM 18 Comments

UK Housebuilders Finally See Market Improvements

E1 News: UK Property Market Finally Stabilises - Persimmon

Another sign of the stabilisation of Britain’s property market came as the largest UK housebuilder – Persimmon – claimed that the value of its land bank increased.

Posted by james cornell @ 06:15 PM 0 Comments


Zero Hedge: Bailed Out Banks Threaten Systemic Collapse If Fed Discloses Information

The Clearing House Association, another name for all the banks that were bailed out over the past year with the generous contributions from all of you, dear taxpayers, are now threatening with another instance of complete systemic collapse if Bloomberg's lawsuit is allowed to proceed unchallenged, let alone if any of the "Audit The Fed" measures are actually implemented. As a reminder, The Clearing House Association consists of ABN Amro, Bank Of America, The Bank Of New York, Deutsche Bank, HSBC, JP Morgan Chase, US Bank and Wells Fargo.

Posted by devo @ 04:54 PM 18 Comments

Where do we go from here?

BBC news: Head-to-head view on house prices

Jonathan Davis and Ashley Brown answer questions on what to expect next in the housing market. Some of this might be re-hashed from earlier interviews. Question: If I buy now, am I buying at the bottom of the market? AB: In my opinion, the very bottom of the market was reached several months ago, when cash buyers and professional property investors were having a field day. JD: No. When the government stimulus ends there will be nothing holding up the market. Prices will fall 20-30% from here to 2011/12.

Posted by katalan @ 03:04 PM 4 Comments

Ebay sale saving USA

Yahoo: Arnie Plans Great California Garage Sale

As the state finances in California crumble, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger is holding a "car boot" sale on eBay to try to get some more money into the coffers.

Posted by mark @ 02:56 PM 2 Comments

House prices fell by an average of £5,102

Rightmove: August House Price Index

Prices fell by an average of £5,102 in the past month, however with August being a seasonally slow month should this be a concern? A busiest ever month at Rightmove suggests there is strong demand for housing, so what’s preventing a more steady housing recovery?

Posted by nicky @ 02:45 PM 1 Comments

But, but - I thought things can't get worse

The Times: Business investment slumps at record rate in Q2

More downward revisions showing just in what state we really are

Posted by growler @ 02:03 PM 1 Comments

Difficult figures to spin.

FT: Investment crash hints at economic pain

Investment by businesses collapsed in the second quarter of this year as the shortage of credit and the recession cut into British companies’ spending plans. New spending by businesses on a range of investments from new building work to computer software fell by 10.4 per cent from the previous quarter, the Office of National Statistics reported, the biggest decline since 1985 excluding a blip in the data in 2005. Investment was 18.4 per cent lower than a year earlier – the sharpest decline since records began in 1966.

Posted by devo @ 01:11 PM 0 Comments

More cold water poured on the housing market recovery

Money Week: Don't believe the bulls: US house prices will take years to recover

David Stevenson explains why he thinks the recent bounce in house prices won't last.

Posted by will @ 12:42 PM 5 Comments

Why rocketing house prices?

Press Association: UK population rises to 61 million

The UK population increased by a record amount last year to top 61 million for the first time, figures revealed. There were 408,000 more people living here in 2008, the Office for National Statistics said. That takes the total population to 61.4 million - an increase of more than two million over 2001. The increase was driven by a baby boom as fertility rates shot up to their highest rates in a generation. The increase is the highest since modern records began in 1972 and more than twice the increase of 2001 when the population rose by 201,000. The ONS confirmed the increase in population was the highest in nearly 50 years.

Posted by charlie white @ 12:31 PM 16 Comments

Interest Rates down, pound down, energy & food prices up!

Daily Telegraph: Pound weakens on strong UK housing data

The pound remained anchored near the two-and-a-half month low struck against the euro and six-week-low against the dollar. The market is wary the Bank of England might act again if there isn't clear improvement in the broader economy. The Bank of England's printng money to buy government bonds to keep borrowing costs down has hit sterling hard this month. So lets sum it up in laymans terms. BOE prints money, Sterling falls as nobody has confidence in its value, Energy and food prices as well as other imported goods rise, thus the average house hold has less disposable income so house prices must come down to make them more affordable! What a mess but it seems we must go the whole way before people realise that a sterling crisis is looming.

Posted by who stole my pension? @ 12:31 PM 5 Comments

This is massive news yet ignored by the majority of the MSM

American banking news: Federal Judge Orders Federal Reserve to Turn Over Agency Records to Bloomberg News

If you’re not familiar with the history of the Federal Reserve, it’s hard to understand what has happened with this ruling, but it’s huge. We will get the first look at these types of workings within the Fed from the first time it was launched in 1913. It will only be a glimpse of their recent actions, but that should open up a crack which hopefully will lead to a full-fledged audit of the Federal Reserve based on the HR 1207 bill introduced by Rep. Ron Paul, R-Texas, who has a large, bipartisan group of 250 lawmakers that have cosponsored the bill

Posted by sold 2 rent 1 @ 11:35 AM 13 Comments

Retail sales weaken unexpectedly

Yahoo: Retail sales weaken unexpectedly

"These results round off a slow and disappointing summer for many in the high street, and the picture is not set to improve in September," said Andy Clarke, chief operating officer of Asda

Posted by mark @ 11:35 AM 1 Comments

Mass Delusion

Guardian: One in five GCSEs passed at A or A*

Educational "success" and the "success" of the property market may not appear to be linked on the surface - but perhaps they are. In both cases it's difficult to get to the real story because of the mass desire to believe in something comforting. House prices are going up, our children are becoming more and more clever.

Posted by mken @ 11:11 AM 4 Comments

Benefit payouts

Telegraph: Workless rate jumps as Labour benefit bill reaches £350 billion

This article suggests that the amount of money pumped into the housing market through LHA and other initiatives from 1998 is 100 billion, which is the first time I have seen it separated out. Unfortunately this is with figures such as 20 billion in council tax benefit... so quite unreliable. (you don't get council tax benefit, you may get a waiver on payment of council tax, but misleading to suggest you receive that as a benefit). I would be extremely interested in total DSS housing costs if anybody knows.

Posted by stillthinking @ 10:38 AM 3 Comments

Of course house prices are affordable!

Guardian: Average pay rise for British workers falls to record low of 1%

"Average pay rises in Britain have fallen to 1%, the lowest on record, as nearly half of British firms have frozen their employees' pay, a survey reveals today. Pay specialists Incomes Data Services said the median pay settlement in the three months to July dropped to 1% from the 2% that prevailed for several months".

Posted by alan @ 10:38 AM 2 Comments

Reality in the UK housing market c/o Savills

Citywire: Estate agent Savills cautious on housing after profits all but disappear

Real estate giant Savills quashed hopes of a sustained recovery in housing markets in the near term this morning, after revealing its profits had all but vanished in the first six months of 2009. The internationally diversified group - which has businesses in Europe, the Middle East, the US and elsewhere, as well as the UK - warned that property markets generally were still being affected by a lack of mortgage finance.

Posted by jack c @ 10:17 AM 5 Comments

But house prices are rising ... ?

BBC 'News': One in six homes have no work

The BBC has used quotes in the title so that it reads One in six homes 'have no work' - why I have no idea but probably to downplay it as heresay rather than fact. So house prices are rising, eh? Well on the plus side, this will convince the city that quantitative easing has done its magic, and there is no need for more. On the minus side, when the BBC continues to give house price rises stories prominence over niggly little stories about fundamentals like this, a lot of people will be sucked in.

Posted by paul @ 08:21 AM 20 Comments

Green Shoots

Bloomberg: U.S. Economy Probably Contracted More Than Initially Estimated

Obviously if the economy is shrinking the US consumer will be buying, buying, buying, oh hang on. I thought everything was great and that all the numbers were pointing to a return to imminent growth. I am getting very confused by all this conflicting data - house purchases up, economic growth down, stock market up, economic growth down. WTF is going on??

Posted by bystander @ 08:11 AM 2 Comments

UK house Price Bounce Continues

The Market Oracle: UK House Prices Summer Bounce Extends into August 2009

• House prices rose by 1.6% in August • Year-on-year decline slows from -6.2% to -2.7% • Low interest rates helping to underpin prices for the moment

Posted by nadeem walayat @ 08:10 AM 1 Comments

It's a stand off

MSN: Third 'refuse to drop home price'

35% of sellers won't accept less than the full asking price. Only 12% of househunters are prepared to offer it.

Posted by tenyearstogetmymoneyback @ 08:06 AM 2 Comments

Grim Reading

Nationwide: August House Price Survey

Even though I know it's just a 'spring bounce', it does seem to be dragging on far too long ...

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 07:23 AM 11 Comments

Nationwide: +1.6% for August

BBC: House prices 'continue to rise'

"UK house prices rose again in August, increasing by 1.6% from July, the Nationwide has said. The average price of a home is now £160,224, up from £158,871 in July, and following four monthly rises in a row. While prices are still lower than last year, the annual rate of decline in property values slowed sharply to 2.7%, compared with July's 6.2% fall. "

Posted by phdinbubbles @ 07:16 AM 30 Comments

An absolute liar....


''GORDON Brown faced huge embarrassment yesterday when a leading US financier said the Premier had been warned that the world’s banks were heading for a crisis. Hedge-fund chief Jim Chanos said then-Chancellor Mr Brown was told so-called toxic loans could send the global banking crisis into meltdown''

Posted by hpwatcher @ 06:34 AM 14 Comments

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Fools rush in

Times: London sellers celebrate as buyers rush in

Increased competition among buyers has halved selling times in London over the past year. Vendors now wait an average of 4.7 months from putting their property for sale to completion, against 8.6 months a year ago, according to Cluttons, the London estate agency. It said that the pace had been quickened by more people chasing fewer homes. Rightmove said yesterday that there had been a “major U-turn” in sentiment, with more than 3/4 of survey respondents believing that the bottom of the UK market had been reached. In January, 66% believed prices would continue to fall. Cluttons said: “Sellers are being pleasantly surprised by the speed at which they are selling and the price levels being achieved, as the shortage of stock in London drives the market upwards.”

Posted by little professor @ 11:19 PM 12 Comments

City 'Socially Useless' says FSA chair

BBC: Lord Turner backs new banking tax

Lord Turner, the chairman of the Financial Services Authority, also described much of the activities of the City of London as "socially useless".

Posted by phdinbubbles @ 10:38 PM 7 Comments

The risk of unemployment combined with negative equity could catch out young borrowers.

The age: When home is a debt trap

First-time buyers are piling into the property market, aware that beefed-up Government grants are fast approaching their use-by date. But while that's been a boon for the housing sector and the economy generally, there's disquiet about how prepared inexperienced borrowers are for the challenges that may lie ahead.

Posted by chris @ 09:41 PM 0 Comments

Spanish Banks

Daily Finance: Are Spanish banks' growth strategies hiding problems at home?

There is a lot about recently on Spanish banks. This article suggests that when Santander bought back their debt at 82% they made a short term gain at long term expense, because they still need to borrow, and current rates are much higher (so over time their immediate savings are lost). Further that Santander has been and is increasing leverage while the underlying assets grow progressively shakier. Also despite the increase in Santanders shares, there has been an increase in short selling.

Posted by stillthinking @ 09:23 PM 3 Comments

For once, 'stunning' is the word

Rightmove: 6 bedroom character property for sale

Expect the average asking price in the county, nay the country, to go up on the strength of this one. I'm beginning to believe those headlines about increased confidence among sellers.

Posted by greenshootsandleaves @ 07:53 PM 12 Comments

Direct lending

The Telegraph: German state to lend directly as second credit crunch looms

Germany could directly intervene in the credit insurance and lending markets as soon as September to head off a looming credit crunch, as it fears the economic recovery may soon falter as banks refuse to roll over loans. "The banks are not stepping up to their responsibility to provide credit," he told the German paper Handelsblatt. Among likely measures are use of the state-bank KFW to make "global loans" to industry on terms that pass on the full benefit of lower interest rates, as well state aid for credit insurance and trade finance. Mr Steinbrück said markets are awash with liquidity again, but little is going into the real economy. After two years of financial crisis the gambler mentality is gaining the upper hand again.

Posted by devo @ 07:38 PM 8 Comments

Builders of the Olympic site are relaxed

Bloomberg: Westfield Says Asset Values Have Bottomed After Loss

Westfield Group, the world’s largest owner of shopping centers, said property values in the U.S., U.K, Australia and New Zealand markets have reached their low and the company doesn’t need to sell shares to raise capital.

Posted by alan @ 05:20 PM 2 Comments

Lovemoney on W shaped Recovery

Lovemoney: Find out why the housing market hasn’t bottomed out just yet!

"My money is on W as each positive statistic has a lingering element of doubt attached to it that suggests further decline looms. It's unlikely that the summer upturn is sustainable and that we'll be back to 2007 volumes and house prices in the foreseeable future. Quite simply, current mortgage criteria will not allow it, and until lenders begin to offer higher loan-to-value (LTV) mortgages, the housing and mortgage markets are stifled. Far more likely in my view is that we will experience a double dip. In other words, these green shoots will be followed by another downturn before a proper pick up at the end of the big W. This is not my own theory (I'm not clever enough) -- economists are increasingly turning to the idea of a W-shaped recovery."

Posted by sybil13 @ 02:49 PM 5 Comments

Auction values in July 2009 40% below peak

FT: Recent house price rises may not be sustained

In June, around 30 per cent of properties sold at auction were 35 per cent below their level at September 2007 and in July that proportion rose to 44 per cent. Seema Shah, property economist, explained: "As the transaction process at auction is so much quicker than selling property using more conventional methods, prices of property sold at auction may give us a better insight than house price indices into the level of prices which is required to clear the market today."

Posted by sybil13 @ 02:44 PM 7 Comments

Will be be able to sue estate agents for selling at inflated prices..

BBC News: Compensation call for consumers

Consumers who lose money to underhand sales practices should be allowed to seek compensation in court, according to a watchdog. Bring it on....

Posted by thecountofnowhere @ 02:13 PM 0 Comments

Some more green shoots

Cnn: Toyota To Cut Output Capacity; Long Sales Slump Feared

Toyota is also considering suspending one of two lines at its Derbyshire auto plant in the U.K.,a person familiar with the matter said.

Posted by mark @ 02:10 PM 0 Comments

More green shoots?

The Times: Jobless households hit highest level since 1997

Enough said, lets have Analtoes verdict on the stats? ;-)

Posted by growler @ 01:09 PM 1 Comments

What America REALLY thinks of us Elle Macpherson Can't Counter London Gloom as Americans Flee Rising Taxes

Oh dear, if bloomberg (USA's primary financial news site) are writing articles like this, it doesn't bear well for our future, or lack there of. Should a recovery not include the recovery of financial services, our main export? If it's leaving, what will replace it? Manufacturing? lol

Posted by skinnymalinky @ 12:51 PM 0 Comments

Green shoots anyone?

Yahoo: Electronics Firm Fujitsu To Axe 1,200 Jobs

Fujitsu has announced plans to slash 1,200 jobs in the UK because of lower than expected revenues

Posted by mark @ 12:36 PM 1 Comments

Things must be bad... at least they wont waste money on overpriced food!!

Yahoo: Air India Workers Go On Mass Hunger Strike

Around 20,000 Air India staff at airports across the sub-continent are refusing to eat after the cash-strapped company said it was delaying paying wages and cutting bonuses.

Posted by mark @ 12:18 PM 2 Comments

New form of corrupt estate agents

Las vegas sun: Unflattering Time Magazine story puts agent in hot water

She helps Stein break into a foreclosed home and brags about helping clients who are underwater on their mortgages buy a second house on the cheap and stop making payments on their first mortgages, pressuring the bank into selling the houses for a loss. Everybody’s doing it, she says in the story. In fact, she said, she did it herself.

Posted by mark @ 11:44 AM 0 Comments

The final phase of the financial crisis to begin

LA Times: Judge orders Fed to release documents detailing bailout loan programs

Manhattan Chief U.S. District Judge Loretta Preska on Monday ruled in favor of a Bloomberg News lawsuit that seeks to force the Fed to disclose details about the emergency lending programs it set up to arrest the financial system breakdown last fall. She gave the Fed five days to turn over documents it told the reporters it located, including 231 pages of reports, and said it must look for more at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, which runs most of the loan programs.

Posted by sold 2 rent 1 @ 11:09 AM 30 Comments

Well, that's all right then ...

FT: US says debt outlook worsening

President Barack Obama announced his intention to reappoint Ben Bernanke as chairman of the Federal Reserve on Tuesday as the White House warned of a sharp deterioration in the US fiscal outlook. The announcement came as the White House pro jected the budget deficit would be $2,000bn higher over the next 10 years than it had predicted. Taken with a separate forecast by the independent Congressional Budget Office, the news presented a bleak picture of America’s deteriorating debt position. The CBO released sharply higher deficit projections predicting the 10-year deficit would reach $7,140bn, some $2,700bn more than it had thought in March. Unlike the White House’s calculations, the CBO estimate assumes all policies will stay exactly as they are.

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 10:27 AM 0 Comments

The real beneficiaries of low IR rates

Telegraph: Bank profits on mortgages reach record level

Bank profits on fixed rate mortgages have hit record levels as the difference between the cost of bank lending and home loans reached a 21-year high. It is the latest evidence of how customers are paying the price of banks' mistakes which led to the global banking crisis.

Posted by quiet guy @ 07:42 AM 2 Comments

Bank of China Joins British Lenders' List

E1 News: The Bank of China to Enter UK Mortgage Market

It has been announced recently that one of the largest banks of the People’s Republic of China - Bank of China Ltd. – has plans to expand onto British residential property lending market.

Posted by james cornell @ 07:13 AM 1 Comments

Latest update from one of HPC's favourite couples!

Daily Mail: Property tycoons worth £70m demand brand new £3,000 bathroom suite from tenants ... after they broke a toilet lid

They are the maths teachers who did their sums right and created a multi-million property empire. But Judith and Fergus Wilson, who are the 34th richest couple in the Sunday Times Rich List, have been embroiled in an extraordinary court saga over a broken peach cistern lid - estimated replacement cost £212.75.

Posted by sold my soul to the never never never @ 12:24 AM 1 Comments

The silly season draws to an end

The Telegraph: Britain is sleepwalking towards a decade of economic misery

The recession is over. The stock market is powering ahead, business confidence is rising and – joy of joys – house prices are looking up. Sit back, relax and bask in the late summer sunshine. The UK is about to enjoy a spectacular V-shaped recovery. Worried about your debts? Fear not, we'll have ultra-low interest rates for years to come. The world's leading central bankers just said so. No need to save, then – we Brits can borrow and spend our way out of trouble. Again. I'm not, by nature, pessimistic. I'd really like to say the economy is out of the woods. If I could see signs of genuine growth, I'd shout about them from the rooftops. But I can't honestly say I do. Instead, I see lots of stockbrokers, estate agents and other vested interests talking up "imminent recovery" ...

Posted by devo @ 12:11 AM 20 Comments

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Wow its all over!!! ;-).

BBC: US consumer confidence 'improves' get it in before smiling :-). Also more great news : "Prices fell 15.1% last month, compared with July last year, according to the latest figures from S&P/Case-Shiller....the rate of decline had slowed from June. The annual rate of decline in June had been 16.8%"

Posted by techieman @ 05:13 PM 61 Comments

Great page of facts

Cnn: Bailout tracker

The government is engaged in a far-reaching - and expensive - effort to rescue the economy. Here's how you can keep tabs on the bailouts.

Posted by mark @ 04:42 PM 0 Comments

Setting yourself up for a fall again?

The Times: No cause for celebrations across Europe just yet

".....the recovery will be stronger than generally expected in America and possibly in Britain, while in continental Europe and possibly Japan the depth of the recession will produce longer-term structural problems that limit growth for several years ahead." How so? Most of it is about Germany, it's manufacturing vulnerability and how the 1991-3 recession there ended up in much more unemployment for far longer than in the UK recession of the time. Hello Analtoe? Remember Reunification in 1989? If we had had 17million extra people and a huge country to fix and invest in we'd have had a bit more strife than 2-3 years more unemployment than normal, and a small mid 90s recession. We'd be finished.

Posted by growler @ 03:46 PM 5 Comments

Eight times salary multiple so still a long way to go

Johnston Press: 16 percent fall in North East house prices

The North East has had the largest fall in house prices in England in the past year, yet this has not eased the shortage of affordable housing according to a new report published today. House prices in the region fell 16 percent between June 2008 (£126,492) and June 2009 (£106,424), the sharpest decline in the country. Despite the market downturn, house prices in 2008 in the North East still cost nearly eight times average incomes (based on home address)

Posted by jack c @ 03:29 PM 1 Comments

Flog off the last bits of the state?

FT: Call to privatise main roads

More privatisation stupidity, now from the tarmac-over-the-green-belt-for-my-SUV people. Its only a matter of time now :)

Posted by non frog @ 12:59 PM 1 Comments

The Year of the Green Span

Financial Times: Rule of the Iron Rooster

Those impressive-looking numbers for the Chinese economy result from creative accounting and unprecedented and unsustainable credit creation, much of it mainlined into stock and property markets, and most of the rest into ridiculous infrastructure projects that create relatively few jobs and will end up as bad loans. Small/medium enterprises are losing out, private sector wages are low and private employers who can get loans are just buying bubbly financial assets. There is a huge premium on getting a government job and much bribery is involved in getting one. If you want a picture of the nature of the global "recovery" just take a look at the Chinese "recovery".

Posted by icarus @ 12:23 PM 6 Comments

Is gold saying deflation is a comin'

Market Watch: 'Inflate or die': Not an accident that gold is falling alongside stocks

Stocks weren't the only asset class that was a casualty of Friday & Monday 17th big down days. Gold was, too...Nor was Monday's action a fluke. More and more recently, the two asset classes have been rising and falling more or less in unison. It isn't supposed to be this way, of course. Financial planners have told us for decades that equities and precious metals aren't very highly correlated. What's going on? When there is a real worry about a deflationary collapse, then both gold and stocks will tend to become more correlated. That's because gold will go down in price during a period of deflation, just as stocks will also suffer because of the prospect of an economic collapse that the deflation makes more likely. A visit to $700 beckons when the stock market bull goes to bed.

Posted by mountain goat @ 11:28 AM 40 Comments

Last chance for 'Les Miserables'

FT: World recovery is not yet in the bag

'policy must remain stimulative for the foreseeable future'

Posted by smiling @ 10:34 AM 1 Comments

HPC is back on track

Yahoo News: Net Mortgage Lending Weakest Since 2000

Despite Mervyn King chasing the next housing bubble, the old magic won't work because of the pesky transmission mechanism. Just like in Japan twenty years ago.

Posted by paul @ 10:32 AM 3 Comments

'We're all right Jack', say Persimmon

BBC News: Persimmon sees improving market

The UK's largest housebuilder by volume, Persimmon, has said that the housing market is stabilising

Posted by smiling @ 10:25 AM 2 Comments

Seven in a row!

BBC News: Steady rise in mortgage approvals

The number of mortgages approved for house purchases by the major High Street banks has risen for the seventh month in a row, figures show.

Posted by smiling @ 10:21 AM 3 Comments

Mr Obama said Mr Bernanke had helped prevent a repeat of the Great Depression

BBC News: Bernanke set for second Fed term

financial markets see Mr Bernanke as the person who almost single-handedly staved off a meltdown, says the BBC's Greg Wood in Washington.

Posted by smiling @ 10:20 AM 4 Comments

Inflation,inflation,inflation starring G Brown, A Darling

Yahoo: Car Insurer Hikes Premiums As Claims Rise

The company's profits were boosted by a rise in car insurance premiums, allowing it to raise rates by an average 5.5%, which means its rates are now 8% higher than a year ago

Posted by mark @ 10:09 AM 3 Comments

All is well. Some US companies are hiring!

Bloomberg: Citigroup’s Mortgage Unit Adds 1,400 Staff to Stem Foreclosures

"Citigroup Inc. said its mortgage business has hired 1,400 employees this year to help modify delinquent loans as President Obama’s administration increases pressure on banks to stem foreclosures. The hires, made in recent months, are in addition to about 2,600 employees previously dedicated to late payments".

Posted by alan @ 09:42 AM 0 Comments

Hmm...the reality of withdrawing government cash

Cnn: Dealers get ready for the 'hangover'

"I think you're going to be able to shoot a cannon through here and not hurt anybody," Tonkin said.

Posted by mark @ 09:04 AM 1 Comments

Santander the invincible.

FT: Santander unveils €16bn bond buy-back

Debt markets were given a significant confidence boost on Monday when Santander, Spain’s largest bank, launched a programme to buy back securitised bonds with a face value of €16.5bn ($23.6bn).

Posted by flintster1994 @ 08:36 AM 5 Comments

Could be interesting.

Bloomberg: Court Orders Federal Reserve to Disclose Emergency Loan Details

The Federal Reserve must for the first time identify the companies in its emergency lending programs after losing a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit. Manhattan Chief U.S. District Judge Loretta Preska ruled against the central bank yesterday, rejecting the argument that loan records aren’t covered by the law because their disclosure would harm borrowers’ competitive positions.

Posted by flintster1994 @ 08:04 AM 1 Comments

UK Property Market to Split in Two

E1 News: Rightmove Expects UK Property Market to Split

The latest statement made by Rightmove Plc, one of the largest UK property companies, suggests that the British property market shows some early signs of recovery despite the fact that property values in the areas that were hit the most will continue to decline

Posted by james cornell @ 07:08 AM 0 Comments

...and back to housing

Timesonline: Home Economics: House prices in for a bumpy ride

"So what has prevented house prices from falling further this year?".....Good question - here are some answers.

Posted by bystander @ 06:53 AM 1 Comments

Now, I like Krugman and I like Ferguson, but who is better?

The Times: Professor Paul Krugman at war with Niall Ferguson over inflation

One of them is a “poseur”. The other is “patronising”. One suffers from “verbal diarrhoea”. The other is a “whiner”. A bust-up on the set of High School Musical 4 perhaps? A scrap behind the catwalk at a Milan fashion show? No. Those accusations were slung round in an increasingly bitter public row between two of the world’s most distinguished commentators on global finance and economics, professors Paul Krugman and Niall Ferguson, of Princeton and Harvard, respectively. It started as an argument about bond prices. But last week it blew up into a row about racism, printing money, spending our way out of recession, and the fate of the global economy

Posted by devo @ 12:30 AM 23 Comments

Monday, August 24, 2009

Investors don't tend to kid themselves

Bloomberg: U.K. House Prices to Drop Further 13%, Bond Investors Forecast

You won't find this featured anywhere in the mainstream media this week.

Posted by paul @ 09:42 PM 3 Comments

More down than up....

Hargreaves Landowne: Should I stay or should I go?

Recent market data has suggested that the housing recession has now bottomed out. I would be very sceptical of this. True, this year has gone a lot better than most of us housing bears expected but similar to the stock market the housing market seems to have risen on a very low level of transactions.

Posted by don @ 09:42 PM 4 Comments

Investments behaving badly... Neil Morrissey £2.5m debt after property firm fails

Men Behaving Badly star Neil Morrissey is millions of pounds in debt after a property scheme he invested in collapsed, it was reported today. The actor, who lives in Crouch End, north London, said he lost £2.5m after investing in a string of hotels and pubs. He told the News of the World he would not file for bankruptcy and intended to pay his creditors in full.

Posted by hotfoot @ 05:01 PM 1 Comments

One in six out of work... The real jobless total six million

Six million are out of work and claiming benefits, according to research which lays bare the true scale of joblessness in the UK. The figure dwarfs the official rate of unemployment, which this month hit 2.4m, and is four times the number claiming Jobseeker's Allowance. It is expected to soar to 6.4m by the end of the year and 6.8m by the end of 2010, prompting fears that Labour has created a generation of benefit addicts.

Posted by hotfoot @ 04:56 PM 4 Comments

Chinese Whispers

Big Picture: Lull before the storm

Was thinking of bullish recentyl, which is probably as good a sign as anything that things are about to get a lot worse. I am hpwever convinced whatever happens that bears are being too impatient. Everyone is waiting for the stock market to half again and house prices to plumet but the pace of deteioration will be slow, months and even years, if you see this cycle starting in 2000, rather than days. I find this so easy to forget. Anyway good bearish article on China which is begining to look the market to short. Also read something from Felix Zulauf the other day were he described the UK (in comparison to the US) as barely develeraged. A comment that will make sense to many here.

Posted by bellwether @ 02:37 PM 12 Comments

Party finally ending for the feckless

Telegraph: The party is over for borrowers with tracker mortgages

Lots of fixed rate mortgage resets in the coming months. This should get the market moving again!

Posted by paul @ 12:42 PM 7 Comments

Many more bank failures to come in the US (but not in socialist UK?)

Reuters: Analyst Bove sees 150-200 more U.S. bank failures

Bove said "perhaps another 150 to 200 banks will fail," on top of 81 so far in 2009, adding stress to the FDIC's deposit insurance fund. Three large failures this year -- BankUnited Financial Corp in May, and Colonial BancGroup Inc, Guaranty Financial Group Inc in August -- collectively cost the fund roughly $10.7 billion. The fund had $13 billion at the end of March.

Posted by mountain goat @ 12:36 PM 6 Comments

Oh dear,

FT: Bovis sees housing market stabilise

Bovis Homes said on Monday that the UK housing market had stabilised to the point where it was considering making purchases of land this year.

Posted by smiling @ 11:22 AM 6 Comments

Good times are back

FT: London shares continue their ascent

London equities made further progress on Monday, as traders continued to bet that the prospects for a sustained global economic rebound were improving.

Posted by smiling @ 11:19 AM 2 Comments

Back to reality

BBC News: Asian shares up on recovery hopes

get in before it's too late. HPC has been sunk, only the blind stay aboard

Posted by smiling @ 11:12 AM 8 Comments

Back to life, back to reality, back from a fantasy

Yuck i hate those double dippers..

Reuters: Roubini warns of double-dip recession

Yet he warned that policymakers face a "damned if they do and damned if they don't" conundrum in trying to unwind their massive fiscal and monetary stimuli to keep the global economy from toppling into a depression.

Posted by mark @ 10:11 AM 0 Comments

It can happen to you!

Yahoo: The tricks call centres use

But soon afterwards he discovered his identity at his local branch had been changed to a Ugandan divorcee aged 33. His overdraft facility had been withdrawn and direct debits totalling £750 had been cancelled, landing him with £60 of charges. And when he tried to draw cash from a hole-in-the-wall dispenser, it swallowed his card.

Posted by mark @ 09:42 AM 0 Comments

Publicly owned banks buy their own assets

The Times: RBS and Lloyds sell repossessed properties to subsidiaries

Britain’s taxpayer-owned banks are selling repossessed property assets to their own subsidiaries to avoid billions of pounds of losses that would be incurred by selling them in the open market. Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), which is part-owned by the Government, has set up West Register to buy properties taken over by RBS after borrowers had fallen into default. Lloyds Banking Group, which inherited billions of pounds of commercial property loans when it took over HBOS, is understood to have a similar subsidiary that buys assets from its owner.

Posted by quiet guy @ 08:38 AM 43 Comments

Sensible lending on sensibly priced homes seems a sensible idea

FT: Fall in house prices is nothing to ‘fear’

Just a readers comment but " News Now" flagged it : "Sir, Interesting use of the word “fears” in the headline to Daniel Pimlott’s article on the prospects of a further decline in property values (August 13). This long-overdue correction to our absurdly over-inflated property values is generally agreed to be a good and necessary thing by impartial observers. It certainly doesn’t matter to those of us who just own a house to live in. Indeed a further fall will be a good thing for those looking to trade up, as the gap between what they’re selling and what they’re buying will narrow. It would be an even better thing for those who are looking forward to the day when homes are once again sensibly priced, so that they can actually buy one."

Posted by sybil13 @ 07:48 AM 0 Comments

UK Mortgage Competition Is Limited - CML

E1 News: CML Reports Limited Competition on UK Mortgage Market

Latest Council of Mortgage Lenders report suggests that 6 largest UK lenders have increased their market share in the course of 2008, which fact resulted in limited competition on the mortgage market. Not only Lloyds, Santander, Nationwide, Barclays, RBS and HSBC, expanded their share, but a large number of specialist banks has either left the market or ceased the lending.

Posted by james cornell @ 05:53 AM 0 Comments

Sunday, August 23, 2009

An unusual mainstream article

The Washington Times: Doomsday

Two major entrepreneurial tycoons, in the multibillion-dollar league, with worldwide interests, speaking not for attribution, agree that the worst is yet to come. Both global entrepreneurs mentioned at the beginning of this column believe Israel will resolve its existential crisis by bombing Iran's key nuclear facilities later this year. One thought Gulf Arabs would be secretly delighted and that Iran's much vaunted asymmetrical retaliatory capabilities would fizzle as the theocracy imploded. The other could see mayhem up and down the Gulf, the Strait of Hormuz closed, and oil at $300 per barrel. Arnaud de Borchgrave is editor at large of The Washington Times and of United Press International.

Posted by devo @ 10:36 PM 8 Comments

Rumours of repos being held on books?

BBC: City Diaries: 21 August

"In recent weeks I've been hearing rumours that our state-owned mortgage lenders are holding tens or even hundreds of thousands of repossessed houses on their books. The government cannot face the humiliation of dumping them on the market but at some point this inventory will need to be disposed of. Just what price this will occur at, nobody can say for sure. So when "end of recession" is spoken of as a wishful shorthand for a return to "2007 levels of lending" and steadily rising house prices, the collective delusion of our times is laid bare. We seem to be hellbent on trying to forget the lessons of the crisis. "

Posted by phdinbubbles @ 09:51 PM 16 Comments

Witham, Essex: A retirement community of one

New York Times: Won't you be his neighbor?

WITHAM, England — Like many new housing developments in these troubled times, Homebridge Village retirement community is not currently bursting with tenants. But it is keeping up its standards, said a spokesman for Baker Tilly, the receiver that took over when the owner went bankrupt. There is just one resident. Someday he hopes to get a neighbor. “It would be nice if, when you’re out there and it’s dark, you could see someone with their lights on or hear the sound of someone’s television set to music,” said Mr. Harrington, 86. “It would be nice to have people, someone just sitting there chatting to you, what they want to do, their families. Anything.”

Posted by drewster @ 07:45 PM 1 Comments

Your money spent screwing the elderly

This is Money: Controversial SAM mortgages go on trial

HBOS and Barclays have been up to their tricks, duping elderly people out of their homes. A fightback to bring them to court and justice has started, but now the banks are trying every tactic to delay or increase legal costs beyond the reach of normal citizens. HBOS are throwing taxpayer money at trying to wriggle out of it. Complain to your MP NOW!

Posted by fraccy @ 12:50 PM 10 Comments

According to Lord Mandelson bankers are fraudsters?

Greg Pytel: author of an analysis on the financial crisis published by the House of Commons Treasury Committee: Lord Mandelson concluded that bankers were fraudsters

A brief but thought provoking article. It clearly makes a case that, according to Lord Mandelson, bankers are fraudsters. (Although it is not surprising that Lord Mandelson would not use this word.) I think the public should wake up and look deeper into the causes of this crisis. Leaving it all, to still legal, "bankers' greed" or "irresponsible decisions" etc. seems to be short of addressing the real causes and mechanisms of this crisis. There seems to be more than that below the typical rhetoric of mainstream media. And above all, where is the money that that "evaporated" causing liquidity crisis?

Posted by andrew @ 12:04 PM 27 Comments

House prices linked to self-employment

Telegraph: Self-employed running on empty as they chase harder for less cash

The Federation of Small Businesses, in a survey of its members in 2008, found that lack of access to affordable finance and a shortage of working capital, coupled with late payments, are making the situation worse for small firms. Many small business owners over the past few years were able to finance their businesses by mortgaging their houses. Indeed, a recent paper found that half of the rise in self-employment of around a quarter of a million from 2005-2007 could be explained by rising house prices. Rapidly declining house prices means that source of funds has dried up.

Posted by drewster @ 11:23 AM 3 Comments

Where are the pensions?

Bloomberg: U.K.’s 100 Biggest Companies Have $163 Billion Pension Deficit

If all 20 million private sector workers worked for the 100 largest companies, which of course we don't, then per person the fund is £5,000 short. The shortfall must be much more substantial and it is hard to see how they will cover their obligations. Fortunately this is a problem for tomorrow...

Posted by stillthinking @ 11:09 AM 9 Comments

The best is left to last...

Daily mail: Britain's most sumptuous semi at £3.5m

When Sutton House is sold, the family will move into a more modest four-bedroom home on the waterfront overlooking SS Great Britain. Nick, a fitness fanatic and triathlete, bought the house new in 2003 for £300,000 as well as two more nearby, which he lets. He is confident he will get his price for Sutton House but knows first-hand how values have tumbled in Bristol 'Two years ago, I tried to buy a disused petrol station for £750,000 but my offer was rejected,' he says. 'I bought it last month for just £150,00

Posted by mark @ 11:04 AM 12 Comments

Corrupt ratings agencies?

Telegraph: Madoff victims to sue accountants PwC over feeder fund audits

The world's largest accounting firm, PricewaterhouseCoopers, is being sued for billions of pounds over its role as auditor to one of the feeder funds that channelled fortunes to Bernard Madoff, thus helping prop up his $65bn (£45bn) fraudulent "Ponzi scheme".

Posted by flintster1994 @ 10:43 AM 1 Comments

Pension lockdown

Guardian: Over-50s rush to take pensions early before rule-change deadline

From next April, a 5 year delay on access to pensions will be introduced by changing access rights to begin at 55 not 50. Pushing that awkward moment of paying the money -back- that little further into the future. Something interesting for those reading aged between 50 and 55 with a mortgage. Get 25% of your money out now tax free and pay down your mortgage debt (or if you are paranoid, get 25% of your money out now while it is still there).

Posted by stillthinking @ 10:28 AM 1 Comments

Stocks resume uptrend on economic rebound

Investment Postcards from Cape Town: Words from the (investment) wise for the week that was (August 17 – 23, 2009)

After starting the week with a broad-based sell-off, stock markets resumed their five-month uptrend as investors’ confidence in the recovery prospects of the global economy gained traction. With risky assets back in favor, a number of bourses and crude oil closed at fresh highs for the year, showing resilience in the face of a sharp correction in China. Safe-haven assets such as government bonds and the US dollar received a cold shoulder. 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:

Posted by prieur du plessis @ 09:35 AM 3 Comments

Just another casualty? .

Daily Mail: My fiancé committed suicide weeks before our wedding after credit crunch caused collapse of his firm

Abigail King was making final preparations for her wedding when her fiancé Mark went missing. Although she was aware that his property business was failing in the credit crunch, she had no idea of the extent of his desperation ... God knows how many similar tragedies are developing throughout the country. Just until a couple years ago, young people were viciously encouraged to 'take a risk' as an 'entrepreneur, to be able to live like a celebrity as if it were the ultimate 'end' of your life, with the implication 'Otherwise you are a loser.'. Now this is the aftermath of taking a 'chance' in the name of 'risk' with your life. Know that taking a well-calculated risk is an art that takes skill and talent beyond far majority of people. It's a totally diffrent game than sheer gamble.

Posted by japanese uncle @ 09:24 AM 7 Comments

Saturday, August 22, 2009

What next then? "The Really Distressed Property Company"?

Times: Grant Bovey’s new property firm folds after four months

From Turnbull2000 on the forum. "After initially threatening to sue anyone who suggested Imagine Homes was in trouble, Bovey and Turner have spoken freely of their anguish at losing much of their wealth. When it was launched, Bovey said: “The only thing I will guarantee you is that this company will never have financial difficulty.” Oh dear.

Posted by paul @ 10:34 PM 9 Comments

State guarantee but zero payment

Wall Street Journal: Northern Rock Defers Payments

NR aka Bank of Nulab defaulted on subordinated debt. Aside from calling the government guarantee into question, it also makes me wonder to what extent the savings of the population are being honoured anyway. Financial institutions hold these bonds and ultimately financial institutions are the collective savings of the UK population. So if for example as a saver with money in the bank and -also- a pension fund, annuity or whatever, the government says well your 50K is safe but simultaneously pops 50K off the value of an investment vehicle. Net effect is still money gone. It isn't a guarantee really. I mean, are people happy to have money in the bank safeguarded at the cost of torching pension funds?

Posted by stillthinking @ 03:43 PM 8 Comments

Another bank goes down....

Cnn: Third largest bank failure of 2009 announced

where is your money safe?? under the matress? in a bank? your choice

Posted by mark @ 12:40 PM 1 Comments

Is it over....erm maybe...early bird catches???

CNBC: Time To Switch to Cash

"In late February, we had long-time bear Robert Prechter, Founder & CEO of Elliott Wave International on the "Closing Bell," where he predicted a sharp rally. Prechter has been studying the charts for the past 30-years. That's a pretty bullish call for the perma-bear!" Target for the move back up is actually a range, so might extend and might go up for a while yet... then again..

Posted by techieman @ 12:08 PM 5 Comments

What a bunch of bankers......

FT: Investors strive to track Bank’s QE cash

'Pathetic' is the only word I can use to describe these incompetent fools......''The real issue for investors is the difficulty in tracking where the QE money has gone. No one knows whether the massive financial injection through the Bank of England’s purchases of gilts and corporate assets is likely to feed through into bank lending, vital to breathe life into the economy.''

Posted by hpwatcher @ 07:10 AM 8 Comments

The new property prophet?

Telegraph: Rightmove shares soar 19pc as it says property prices have bottomed out

"Shares in Rightmove, Britain's biggest property website, were the stock market's best performer on Friday after the company surpassed market expectations with its half-year results and forecast continued growth. Pre-tax profits fell 8pc to £18.2m, but the company is using the recession to increase market share, with sellers favouring online advertising over more traditional areas in an attempt to cut costs ... It said that it considered property prices to have "bottomed out", and that it would look to increase its prices early in 2010." You just can't beat impartial advice.

Posted by quiet guy @ 12:58 AM 7 Comments

Friday, August 21, 2009

It's very worrying when the BBC resorts to stories like this one!

BBC News: Baked bean sales signal recovery

The BBC reveals that in official statistics and influential surveys, there have been signs that the worst of the recession may be over, and that is reflected in the all-important baked bean sales figures.

Posted by enuii @ 11:58 PM 12 Comments

Getting out of that Hole

Telegraph: Markets rally on Ben Bernanke's optimism over global economy

Markets in London and New York rallied on Friday after Ben Bernanke, chairman of the US Federal Reserve, declared the global economy is "beginning to emerge" from recession. "His remarks – at the annual economic symposium in Jackson Hole, Wyoming – coupled with fresh data showing the rate of existing US home sales rose at their fastest pace in almost two years in July, added to a growing sense that the global recession is drawing to a close".

Posted by alan @ 11:29 PM 5 Comments

Move along, nothing to see here, dollar is fine.

The Wall Street Journal: Tracking Bank Failures

Just to put things into perspective. 102 banks have failed since the beginning of 2008, that's more than one a week. I posted this for the dollar bulls :o)

Posted by debtfree @ 09:52 PM 1 Comments

Amateur speculators

Agents Diary blog: Our Survey Says - Monday

A blog that claims to be an insider's description of the estate agent's trade comments about future house price trends.

Posted by quiet guy @ 08:46 PM 3 Comments

Return of VERY cheap mortgages?

Thisismoney: Libor rate latest- rapid descent

The important three-month sterling Libor rate continued its more rapid descent, falling from 0.73% to 0.721%

Posted by smiling @ 03:53 PM 2 Comments

Interesting article

Citiwire: Ratewatch: a revival of mortgage fortunes

Big City bonuses are back, and with their return mortgage lenders are again anxious to sign up these wealthy clients, many of whom have for the past couple of years had difficulty in getting loans of more than £500,000.

Posted by smiling @ 03:48 PM 1 Comments

Oil touches price high for 2009

BBC News: Oil touches price high for 2009

you can touch the optimism - its everywhere!

Posted by smiling @ 03:44 PM 0 Comments


No respite for bears

Reuters: U.S. July existing home sale pace fastest in 2 years

bears wallowing in the deep stuff

Posted by smiling @ 03:39 PM 0 Comments

Ohhhhh no!!

Reuters: Wall St rises further after home sales data

Stocks rocketing upwards

Posted by smiling @ 03:37 PM 1 Comments

Nightmare scenerio?

US July Existing Home Sales Rise at Fastest Pace in 2 Years

Yahoo Finance USA: Existing home sales rise 7.2%

In the strongest sign yet that US housing is pulling out of a 3 year slump the National Association of Realtors said July sales jumped 7.2% to an annual rate of 5.24Million units. The highest pace since August 2007. July's increase was the largest monthly gain since the series started in 1999.

Posted by michael shields @ 03:30 PM 0 Comments

Surprise the market. Recovereh in mid US?

Philadelphia Fed: August 2009 Business Outlook Survey

The survey's broadest measure of manufacturing conditions, the diffusion index of current activity, increased from -7.5 in July to 4.2 this month. This is the highest reading of the index since November 2007. ** Market expectations were around -2 according to FXStreet.

Posted by 51ck-6-51x @ 03:09 PM 5 Comments

It has been consistent, but I still think it gets worse before it gets better, said

Las vegas sun: LV keeps spot at top of list of distressed properties

John Restrepo, principal of Restrepo Consulting, said he has heard reports about lenders trying to work with developers and property owners because they know there are no buyers for those properties.

Posted by mark @ 02:37 PM 0 Comments

Caught out? Aiding and abetting their own bad debts, more like.

Telegraph: Mortgage fraud: how lenders have been caught out

Considering the banks were the ones telling their customers to falsify applications, this smacks of shamelessly hiding the facts in the public mind. "Mortgage fraud will cost Britain’s lenders at least £1bn, according to accountants BDO Stoy Hayward. We look at the ways the fraudsters have caught out lenders, costing Chelsea Building Society £41m and Bradford & Bingley £271m in writedowns."

Posted by dohousescrashinthewoods @ 01:47 PM 8 Comments

The Bulls are back in town

Findaproperty: Time To Put Up The 'For Sale' Sign

Jump in before it's too late:0(

Posted by bystander @ 01:42 PM 20 Comments

Spanish banks are now running their own estate agents to hide problems

FT Alphaville: Are Spanish banks hiding their losses?

"The real estate crash in Spain is worse than is widely believed, much as the subprime problem was much worse than people believed...In order to hide from the effects of the real estate crash, Spanish banks have been buying properties before the loans on them go bad and trying to dispose of them through their own real estate companies. They have also come to own dozens of thousands of homes through debt for equity swaps. "

Posted by mountain goat @ 01:03 PM 6 Comments

The truth is out - Their time is limited

Times: Review of Location, Location, Location

“There is a very strong chance that whatever I do and however hard I try, that family will end up in rented accommodation,” said Kirstie, with the air of a probation officer who had worked for ten years with an errant youth, only for their protégé to head back to prison. She really is a cow.

Posted by wdbeast @ 12:41 PM 4 Comments

One in three mortgage-holders may have made inadequate provision to pay off the capital...

Times Online: Repayment crisis threatens millions of homeowners

“At the top of the market it was the case that for a lot of borrowers, interest only was the only way they could afford to buy. For these borrowers it becomes increasingly difficult to pay off the capital as time goes on.” Quite. The significant number of people who took out IO mortgages are not just burdened for 25 years of their working life - it is an eternal burden until death! Must be quite depressing finding yourself trapped living in an inner-city slum (and trapped in your job as you can't move house), making interest-only payments you can ill-afford, with no possibilty of parole!

Posted by doom&gloom @ 11:40 AM 21 Comments

More equal than others

FT: Eliminate financial double-think

Gillian Tett, one of the most insightful of financial journalists, points out that banks don't apply free market principals to themselves.

Posted by letthemfall @ 11:08 AM 5 Comments

More spending is need for recovery

Bloomberg: Darling Says U.K. Recovery at Risk, Treasury Must Keep Spending

The comments are aimed at challenging Conservative Party leader David Cameron’s suggestion that the Labour government is damaging the economy by running up too much debt. Already BoE has printed 5 years of VAT revenues how far can they go before election?

Posted by mander @ 10:52 AM 6 Comments

The first pieces of the inflation puzzle are exposed

Times Online: UK forced to borrow in July first time since 1996

"The recession and rising unemployment cut the corporate tax take by 38 per cent and income from income tax and capital gains tax dropped by 14 per cent. Public spending on benefits rose 10 per cent in July compared with July last year." ... => Therefore companies have cut their profit margins, and at the first sign of any recovery, they need to be reinstated, this will also increase tax revenue, so don't expect any help from Government. Plus of course the minimum 2.5% raise in VAT. (Any bets about a further temporary 2.5% raise in March 2010 ... always a possibility).

Posted by fahrenheit451 @ 10:40 AM 2 Comments

Tractor production up!

Metro: Recession 'will end in 40 days'

The recession will end in 40 days, economists believe - but the recovery will be slow as the country struggles to pay back £800billion of public debt. On September 30, figures are expected to confirm that our gross domestic product for the three months to that date will have grown by up to 0.25 per cent. This will end five consecutive quarters of negative growth and the recession - defined as two consecutive quarters where GDP contracts - will technically be over. The prediction was backed up by a raft of positive economic data yesterday. Mortgage lending jumped 26 per cent in July to £16billion - a nine-month high - while home loan approvals stood at 80 per cent compared with 70 per cent at the start of the year.

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 10:17 AM 15 Comments

Household finances take a hit but still people are spending

Citywire: Great British public duped again

UK household finances weakened in August as income and savings continued to fall, but an increased optimism about house prices and the job market fuelled further falls in savings and an increased demand for borrowing.......................Despite warnings that house prices are likely to stagnate at best over coming months, part of the increased optimism is based on the view that house prices will rise, with nearly half (41%) of households expecting an increase and less than a fifth expecting a fall in prices.

Posted by jack c @ 10:08 AM 10 Comments

Criticism about the real cost of a mortgage

Renegade Economist: Dreams don’t come in instalments

Food for thought from an article by Damon Young, an Australian philosopher. “Buying a home isn’t necessarily touched by reverie - it’s matter-of-fact, dull and sometimes brutal. Is this as good as our dreams get? Is this what we must settle for?” The advertisement on the side of the car said: ”Own Your Dream”. In Australia, this ”dream” can only be one thing: a house. The ad was for a property developer, claiming intimate knowledge of our private unconscious, and hoping to sell it back to us (with a competitive rate of interest).

Posted by quiet guy @ 09:08 AM 1 Comments

Can we expect an FSA investigation sometime soon then?

BBC 'News': Massive fraud at building society

This raises a number of questions. Firstly, assuming this was not one single buy-to-let investor defrauding the Chelsea BS, how much responsibility should the Chelsea BS take for allowing themselves to be 'defrauded'? Secondly, is this fraud because Chelsea BS didn't make checks on the validity of information being provided? Are the actions of Chelsea BS's 'fraudulent' customers defined as fraud because Chelsea misjudged the property market by any chance? I expect the FSA will be hot on the case, bringing those responsible to swift justice. Or not.

Posted by paul @ 08:57 AM 12 Comments

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Confirmation, not really Information...

SKY: Public Finances Show Record July Deficit

"A slump in tax receipts has seen Government borrowing rocket to its highest level for the month of July since records began. Official figures show that public sector net borrowing was £8bn last month, the highest July deficit on record. That compares with a repayment of £5.2bn in the same period last year". (Consumers are spending money they don't have in the High St too).

Posted by alan @ 11:16 PM 0 Comments

Economist - USA No green shoots, Stagnation, 60% of Nevada homes underwater

Economist: Americas housing Market - Where it all began

Excellent article spelling out the trouble still brewing across the pond. "HE IS hardly your typical distressed seller. Hugh Hefner recently sold his personal residence in Holmby Hills, California, next door to the Playboy mansion, to a 25-year-old entrepreneur for $18m—some 36% below the asking price. It will come as little solace to the ageing Lothario that the discount looked about right: house prices have fallen by one-third from their peak nationwide, and by much more than that in the worst-hit states, such as California, Florida and Nevada".

Posted by mbga9pgf @ 08:19 PM 6 Comments

Is this in store for the UK?

Reuters: U.S. mortgage late payments hit record high in Q2

"Late payments on U.S. mortgages increased to a record high in the second quarter, with almost one in eight homeowners delinquent or in the process of foreclosure"

Posted by alan @ 07:20 PM 5 Comments

1in10...sounds familiar

Money marketing: 1in10 us mortgages in arrears

No brainer really...................

Posted by fred--------brissal @ 05:44 PM 0 Comments

No longer "if", but "when"

REUTERS: Getting ready for the dollar’s fall

It just won’t go away, this needling worry about the U.S. dollar losing its coveted top-dog status.

Posted by alan @ 02:00 PM 24 Comments

I really to hate to have to do this, but ...

Metro: Home loans up by a quarter in July

Mortgage lending jumped by 26% during July as the housing market showed further signs of improving, figures have showed. Around £16 billion was advanced during the month, the highest figure for nine months and up from £12.7 billion in June, according to the Council of Mortgage Lenders. The group said the increase was further evidence of a modest improvement in the market after an exceptionally weak winter. But it cautioned that activity still remained subdued by historic standards, with lending last month the lowest for July since 2001 and well down on the average of £27 billion seen during the past seven years.

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 12:22 PM 25 Comments

Worse than expected

The Telegraph: Government borrowing jumps as tax receipts plummet

Plummeting tax receipts - especially from companies - saw Government borrowing surge to its highest level for the month of July since records began.

Posted by devo @ 10:26 AM 39 Comments

The other property price crash that hardly anybody talks about ...

Assetz: Investors 'positive' about commercial property

Ricardo's Law Of Rent in action: "Commercial property prices have fallen continuously over the last two years, according to recent research. In the middle of July, Investment Property Databank (IPD) reported that capital values were down 44.1 per cent in June compared to peak levels, with a 30.8 per cent decline observed year-on-year. However, there were signs that the market might be about to hit its bottom - the 0.9 per cent drop in June was the smallest monthly decrease since August 2007." (the law being that landlords do disproportionately well in the good times and dispoporionately badly in the bad times)

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 10:00 AM 4 Comments

More pushing on that elastic ...

Metro: Bankers pass on just a third of rate cuts

This article is quite informative by Metro standards. It tries to perpetuate the myth that there is an economic link between the BoE base rate and mortgage rates (or indeed savings rates) with this:"While the Bank of England has slashed the base rate from five per cent to 0.5 per cent since August last year, the average mortgage rate has fallen by just 1.3 per cent." but at least they allow the lady from Lloyds to explain this: "Banks are now raising funds through longer-term funding; this is more expensive to do as longer-term interest rates are typically higher than short-term rates."

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 09:58 AM 11 Comments

This must mean sales are up then!!

Shropshire star: Home sales in 44pc drop

Sales of homes in Telford are down by more than 40 per cent on last year, a county estate agent revealed today.

Posted by mark @ 09:28 AM 13 Comments

Debtors rejoice! Foolish savers!

Guardian: Low interest rates are here to stay, City predicts

Bank of England gives strong hint it may again expand its policy of flooding the economy with money. Expectations were growing in the City tonight that interest rates could remain at historically low levels for years after the Bank of England gave a strong hint that it might again expand its policy of flooding the economy with money.

Posted by quiet guy @ 01:00 AM 29 Comments

Wednesday, August 19, 2009


The Times: Lloyds makes U-turn on plan to shut down C&G

Lloyds Banking Group today told 930 staff at 164 Cheltenham & Gloucester (C&G) branches that it was not going to sack them after all in a startling U-turn of strategy. Just two months ago, Lloyds, which is 43-per cent owned by the UK taxpayer, announced that it would close C&G’s entire network. However, today it said it was “reviewing the decision” and refused to give any reason.

Posted by devo @ 10:46 PM 6 Comments

There is going to be some money withdrawn rapidly

Yahoo: UBS to reveal 4,450 accounts in US tax deal

BERN (AFP) - Swiss bank UBS (Virt-X: UBSN.VX - news) will hand over details of 4,450 accounts to US authorities in order to settle a tax fraud case,

Posted by mark @ 03:08 PM 1 Comments

Some serious shenannigans in the rapidly deteriorating Auld Sod

Irish Examiner: Banks deny mortgage threshold claim

BANKS have rebuffed claims that they are refusing mortgages below certain amounts in order to inflate property prices ahead of the start up of NAMA. Ireland’s largest housing charity claimed yesterday that some banks were not lending below certain levels. Respond! said many buyers were unable to access mortgage funds for amounts less than €150,000. A senator also stood over claims that management at one major bank had admitted to him that loans of less than €175,000 were not being released for properties in the Dublin area. Read more:

Posted by buddleia @ 01:22 PM 1 Comments

Hey, whats's a few Billion here or there (Manjana, manjana)

BBC: Bank split over money injection

The Governor of the Bank of England, Mervyn King, wanted to pump more money into the UK economy this month but was outvoted by fellow policymakers. Minutes of the bank's Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting on 6 August reveal that Mr King wanted £75bn rather than the £50bn that was injected. Two fellow committee members also voted for a bigger cash injection. The decision to pump £50bn came as a surprise, and was already twice the £25bn that the market expected.

Posted by jack c @ 12:55 PM 21 Comments

Don't fall for the deflation hype

MoneyWeek: Don't fall for the deflation hype

So deflation's not all bad after all then. The average commuter will see the price of a season ticket fall by around 0.4% next year, after the annual rate of retail price index inflation came in at -1.4% in July. It might not sound like much of a price cut, but it's a damn sight better than the 6% raise most had to pay out this year. But train passengers should enjoy it while it lasts. Because it increasingly looks as though this is about as much of a whiff of 'deflation' as we're going to see in Britain...

Posted by damien @ 12:35 PM 9 Comments

What is going on in Merv the Swerve's head ?

BBC and Bloomberg: Bank split over money injection

The Bank of England shocked markets today by revealing its governor, Mervyn King, and two others had pushed for a bigger increase in its quantitative easing (QE) programme but were outvoted by the rest of the monetary policy committee

Posted by bluebeach @ 10:55 AM 0 Comments

Those pesky bad loans again.

BBC: Retail banking 'set for losses'

The retail arms of the UK's High Street banks are likely to see losses in the second half of 2009, a survey suggests.

Posted by devo @ 09:52 AM 2 Comments

Upbeat downbeat article.

Timesonline: The mid-lifers’ deadly grip on the market

Last week a middle-aged man bought a home. Why the interest? It’s partly to do with the buyer’s identity and partly because he neatly illustrates the tightening grip of the mid-lifer demographic on the emerging property market. "Banks should see a deposit of 15 per cent as an adequate cushion against another collapse in prices — which not even the arch-miserabilists think is a possibility." Hmmmmm!

Posted by flintster1994 @ 08:26 AM 17 Comments

Seconds away.....

Telegraph: Germany braces for second wave of credit crunch

Germany's economics ministry is drawing up a raft of special measures with the Bundesbank to head off a fresh financial crisis, fearing that a loan squeeze by struggling banks will set off a serious credit crunch early next year.

Posted by flintster1994 @ 07:22 AM 19 Comments

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Irish House Prices in Free Fall

Irish Auctioneers & Valuers Institute: Auctioneers report 9.2% fall in house values for Q2 2009

Irish house prices are down 9.2% in the second quarter or 16.9% for the year to date (i.e. 6 MONTHS). Should continue to wipe the smile of smug Irish property owners - the news just keeps getting worse (see a previous post). But then the last 6 years of the Celtic Tiger was just an illusion built on debt which is now unravelling. Ireland is suffering the deepest recession of any industrialised country. Ireland's crash started about 1 year ahead of the UK.....

Posted by europeanbear @ 11:47 PM 0 Comments

Scaremongering and innuendo

The Guardian: David Cameron warns spending could lead to Britain defaulting on its debt

David Cameron today raised the stakes in the pre-election battle over government borrowing when he warned that Gordon Brown's anti-recessionary spending could lead to Britain defaulting on its debt.

Posted by devo @ 11:32 PM 28 Comments

Doomsday -- pros and cons

The Washington Times: Doomsday -- pros and cons

From August 10th article in the Washington Times. Two entrepreneurs. Very bearish for the future generally.

Posted by wizzstick @ 09:17 PM 0 Comments

"To put it in simple terms, it is like buying fire insurance policies from five different insurance


says there are evildoers out there who will make the Ponzi scum "look like small-time." predicted major scandals will soon be revealed about the unregulated, $600 trillion, credit-default swap market.

Posted by chris @ 09:16 PM 0 Comments

Irish Bankers seem to be up the proverbial Creek of Poo We'd all like to see bankers squirm in a full public inquiry

Just when you think things couldn't get any worse at the banks, they do. With every day that passes, it is clear that the Irish-owned banks are even more bust than we thought they were.

Posted by vindicated @ 08:24 PM 6 Comments

Nuts for the monkeys....creating good news from nothing

BBC: Train fares set to fall in 2010

An insulting & party political message intended to placate the masses...

Posted by hpwatcher @ 07:50 PM 4 Comments

Compared to July last year, housing starts dropped 37.7 per cent.

Times: US housing starts surprise with July fall

US housing starts and permits fell unexpectedly in July, as hopes for a boost from falling house prices and government stimulus efforts for first-time buyers proved over-optimistic.

Posted by sybil13 @ 06:15 PM 0 Comments

Oh dear it is all about to go pearshaped!!


“July marks the third time in the last five months where we’ve seen a new record set for foreclosure activity,” noted James J. Saccacio, chief executive officer of RealtyTrac. “Despite continued efforts by the federal government and state governments to patch together a safety net for distressed homeowners, we’re seeing significant growth in both the initial notices of default and in the bank repossessions.”

Posted by mark @ 06:03 PM 0 Comments

Mortgage strain in Spain

Fist Full of Euros: Twenty Percent of Spanish Mortgages Now Considered To Be High Risk

One in five Spanish mortgages is now considered as being high risk and liable to become “non performing”.... "the proportion of income devoted to servicing the loan is down from peaks in 2007 but rising again (MG - I presume from falling incomes) so Spanish households are now extraordinarily vulnerable to any rise in interest rates."

Posted by mountain goat @ 03:44 PM 0 Comments

What happened to deflation?

NY Times: UK inflation unexpectedly holds at 1.8%

A key measure of inflation in the UK has unexpectedly remained at 1.8%. Economists had expected the Consumer Prices Index (CPI) to decline to 1.5% in July. The Retail Prices Index (RPI) inflation measure, which includes mortgage interest payments, also unexpectedly rose to -1.4%, from -1.6%. Inflation has repeatedly surprised on the upside in recent months despite the worst recession for decades.

Posted by little professor @ 11:53 AM 35 Comments

How far are we behind?

BBC News: Chicago Shuts Down

Public services in the US city of Chicago have been shut down for a day as the authorities face an expected budget shortfall of some $300m (£184m). Non-essential services such as rubbish collections, libraries and health centres were closed, in the first of three planned reduced service days.

Posted by afrobaggie @ 11:09 AM 2 Comments

Inflation figures

BBC news: Inflation beats Expectations

Inflation better than expected!!!

Posted by mylipsaresealed @ 09:57 AM 2 Comments

They can't bang 'em all up!

BBC News: US banker found guilty of fraud

"A former Credit Suisse banker has been found guilty of fraud after deceiving investors into buying risky investments that led to $1bn (£610m) of losses. A jury in New York needed less than a day's deliberation to find against Eric Butler. His co-defendant, Julian Tzolov, had already pleaded guilty. The two sold high-risk US sub-prime investments to people who were told they were buying much safer products. They did this as it meant they received much higher commissions." Sound familiar? The Option ARM timebomb interests me. With that and other high-risk activity how many more cases like this will be unturned over the next two years?

Posted by happyrenting @ 09:49 AM 0 Comments

This hasn't happened before (even during the Great Depression and two world wars)

Times: Social housing plans to be abandoned as Government cuts tenants’ rents

Plans to build thousands of new social homes will have to be abandoned because of the Government’s decision to cut the amount tenants will have to pay in rent next year, The Times has learnt. Housing associations will warn today that their income will fall by at least £260 million next year if the Government continues to link social housing rent to inflation. The retail prices index is expected to fall below minus 2 per cent in September, the month when rent is set for the next year, presenting the prospect of real cuts in social rental payments for the first time.

Posted by jack c @ 09:43 AM 17 Comments

House prices still not low enough according to Bootle

CityWire: Roger Bootle: House price affordability misleading

He said: 'With interest rates currently at unusually low levels, initial affordability may therefore be painting a somewhat misleading picture of the true position.'

Posted by voiceofreason @ 09:05 AM 14 Comments

Real Jobless Total Is Six Million

Daily mail:

Frightening reality much as many have housing market seems to be one giant ponzi scheme based on inflated asset values Lets face it if we had REALLY had a proper 11 years of boom the we wouldn't have all the debt

Posted by taffee @ 07:16 AM 4 Comments


MarketOracle: Why Iceland and Latvia Won’t Re-Pay the E.U. Credit Crisis Debts

I couldn't agree more with this article. What is happening in Iceland is a disgrace and equivalent to state organised theft. We just watch but actually we are next in line. Hopefully the Icelanders will hold their nerve and tell the UK and Holland(?) to get stuffed. The simple fact is that taxpayers don't have to honour the false gains of ponzi schemes and fraud, the Icelanders are suffering an extreme version of this because it isn't possible for them to pay up anyway. The fake gains are such they are totally disproportionate to the size of their whole economy. Anything ring a bell?

Posted by stillthinking @ 12:41 AM 17 Comments

Monday, August 17, 2009

Tories blowing it

Guardian: Tories to make NHS 'world's biggest quango'

Not related to house prices but the Tories seem to have left themselves wide open with this. I am not so sure that a Tory landslide is on the cards given New Labours protectorate.

Posted by stillthinking @ 10:44 PM 23 Comments

Old wives' signs of recovery

Bbc: The popcorn route to recovery

Various interesting and bogus indicators of where you are on the curve. The "cranes on the horizon" one seems to me to be more of an early indicator of a bust. None of them beat the skyscrapers clue.

Posted by inflation is eating my savings @ 08:38 PM 1 Comments

Here we go... Rightmove: Prices fall as market fractures

Property asking prices dipped £5,000 in the month to mid-August as the summer lull hit and homebuyers split into the haves and have-nots, says Rightmove. The property listing website reported a 2.2% fall in average asking prices during the month, but saw a record number of visitors to the site hunting for new homes.

Posted by hotfoot @ 07:19 PM 2 Comments

BBC, I'm sorry I ever doubted you.

Editorial Guidelines: Editorial Guidelines for Financial Journalists

From the top of page 2: "Transparency is the key. In order to ensure that the public cannot doubt the integrity of our financial journalism, the requirements for disclosure are greater for financial journalists than for other programme makers. These additional requirements for disclosure apply to all financial journalists including presenters, reporters and producers." It's a shame that the links don't work.

Posted by nomad @ 07:07 PM 5 Comments

Rightmove HPI shows asking prices drop in August

Telegraph: Home owners drop asking prices

Asking prices were dropped by an average of 2.2 per cent from July to August to £222,762 – the biggest slump this year – as sellers were forced to cut their prices amid the housing slump.

Posted by yogibear123 @ 02:10 PM 0 Comments

Property Behaving Badly

Mail: Neil Morrissey vows to pay creditors after property firm collapse leaves him £2.5m in debt

"Men Behaving Badly star Neil Morrissey is millions of pounds in debt after a property scheme he invested in collapsed, it was reported today. Morrissey (who provided some of the voices in the children's television show Bob the Builder), set up a property company five years ago".

Posted by alan @ 11:46 AM 11 Comments

The failure of regulators: a case study

Hidden Mysteries: The Fall of the House of Stanford

Stanford outdid Bernanke by making HIS helicopter money-drop at Lords but unlike Bernanke he has now been rumbled. But what took so long? Partly it was that he was such a bad guy that too many authorities were watching him (FBI, SEC, customs, IRS, DEA - drugs) and he slipped between the cracks (bad guy escapes while FBI and local cops argue about on whose patch the mayhem is taking place), partly because he bought the govt of Antigua, whence he operated, and some of the regulators and agents on his trail. But largely it was because he was laundering money for swindlers, tax dodgers, drug barons and intelligence agencies and was able to buy protection by snitching to the DEA about the movement of drug money through his bank - and maybe to other agencies.about his other scumbag clients.

Posted by icarus @ 10:38 AM 4 Comments

Daily Mail


Usual rubbishing of Land Value Tax, not expolring any of its benefits.

Posted by the number cruncher @ 10:38 AM 30 Comments

LVT - in the media again

Grauniad: Property taxes could help stabilise the housing market

Land Value Tax is the freemarket solution to house price boom and bust. If only Gordon Brown really stoped Boom and Bust and introduced LVT instead of being the bankers bitch.

Posted by the number cruncher @ 10:34 AM 2 Comments

Recovery fears spark global selloff

Cnn: Recovery fears spark global selloff

"We are now down to how companies are going to grow. The growth we have seen out of Japan as well as Europe looks like it has been primarily based on government stimulation ... The question is, is this sustainable?"

Posted by mark @ 10:14 AM 2 Comments

Someday, we'll have to raise rates.

Telegraph: The rise and rise of zombie households

Edmund Conway discusses how the "perverse interest rate environment we’re living in at the moment" is keeping household budgets in the black and why this cannot continue forever. Overall, this is a very bearish article.

Posted by quiet guy @ 10:08 AM 16 Comments

UK bottom 40% in negative cashflow

Telegraph: The way to a macro recovery that includes not only the privileged

Over 2008 the lowest income 40% had insufficient cash flow. Previously they were borrowing the difference. The suggestion in this article is to force bank lending, which misunderstands IMO the difference between liquidity and solvency. Also points out a growing gap between rich and poor. 40% of the population being dependant on additional debt for running costs is pretty scary.

Posted by stillthinking @ 09:56 AM 5 Comments

A bit of fun. Just replace motorcycle for house.

Guardian: Motorcycle sales see dramatic fall as credit crunch bites

Motorcycle sales are being hard hit as credit crunch Britons cut back their spending on bikes. High youth unemployment is keeping many first-time riders out of the market, while the gleaming superbikes that appeal to fortysomething executives are stuck in the showrooms as potential buyers bank their redundancy cheques, rather than blow their bonuses on dream rides.

Posted by flintster1994 @ 09:32 AM 2 Comments

House prices suffer biggest fall this year

Independent: House prices suffer biggest fall this year

House prices have suffered their biggest monthly fall this year after summer sellers dropped asking prices to more realistic levels, but sentiment in the market continues to improve.

Posted by neil @ 09:02 AM 0 Comments

So, what will happen to the UK?

BBC: Japan's economy leaves recession

"Japan has come out of recession after its economy grew by 0.9% in the April-to-June quarter. Correspondents say that the rise is due to a huge government stimulus package and it is unclear whether the momentum will be sustained". "...and Hong Kong recorded growth of 3.3% in the three months from April to June".

Posted by alan @ 08:47 AM 12 Comments

Socialism anybody?

Telegraph: There's no quick fix

Too many steel mills have been built, too many plants making cars, computer chips or solar panels, too many ships, too many houses. They have outstripped the spending power of those supposed to buy the products. This is more or less what happened in the 1920s when electrification and Ford’s assembly line methods lifted output faster than wages. It is a key reason why the Slump proved so intractable, though debt then was far lower than today.

Posted by all in vain @ 03:07 AM 5 Comments

Rightmove: -2.2% MoM, -3.1%YoY

Times: Sellers drop asking prices

A seasonal lull in the recent homebuying frenzy has prompted sellers to reduce their asking prices by 2.2% in August to achieve a sale, according to Rightmove. The annual rate of fall remains at 3.1%, but the 2.2% fall from last month more than wipes out the 0.6% rise in July. The typical asking price in the UK is now £222,762, down from £227,864 last month.Market commentators have said that recent house price rises are tenuous because even the slightest increase in interest rates could force more people to sell up.

Posted by little professor @ 01:32 AM 18 Comments

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Lies Lies Lies Housing affordability at the highest level since 1996

"Housing has become more affordable than at any point in the past 13 years, according to new research which will raise hopes that the property slump could soon come to an end." Yeah Yeah Yeah.... in Cornwall we remain in the mid teens of average income to house prices ratio, it's not been affordable to buy a home here for over 10 years.

Posted by powerofnow @ 10:21 PM 5 Comments

Laughing at the pigs

Telegraph: Bankers bag £7.6bn in bonuses

The scale of the resurgent bonus culture at Britain's banks has been laid bare by official figures that show £7.6bn of bonuses have been paid in the City this year.

Posted by devo @ 08:41 PM 3 Comments

This is what GB should have done!

BBC News: Nigeria sacks heads of five banks

The Nigerian central bank has injected 400bn naira ($2.6bn; £1.6bn) into five banks and sacked their managers.

Posted by pauly_boy @ 07:25 PM 6 Comments

Why is this surprising?

Telegraph: Barclays £30 million offer sparks City pay row

The government funds billions of pounds into the banking system and yet seems perpetually surprised that people in the industry take it out as pay. The solution is to *stop giving the banks money*, but the government seem to imagine otherwise. Imagine if you were working in a company that made some widget for the car industry, and doing very badly, then to your delight and surprise some idiot starts pumping money in. What would you do? I think the obvious answer is to take it out as your own money, because you decide your wage. That we have to read this again and again and again while the government bleats makes it even more ridiculous. New Labour are so christ awful stupid they wouldn't even recognise a punch in the face.

Posted by stillthinking @ 04:19 PM 4 Comments

MSW updates her view

BBC: House Prices Analysis

1.08:45 in MSW and Kate discuss prices. Its all "obvious" - although i agree with MSW i am still reminded by Joe Granville's matra.....

Posted by techieman @ 02:38 PM 4 Comments

Bankruptcy tourism

This is Money: UK could face wave of bankruptcy tourism

Apparently there is a small but growing trend for bankrupts to seek bankruptcy in the UK the restrictions of which must be recognised by other euro area countries. The UK has a discharge period of one year, Ireland 12 and Germany 7 years. So going bankrupt in the UK allows you to legally evade the recovery period in your country of usual residence. Whether this will eventually cause UK bankruptcy procedures to standardise against european counterparts, who can tell? There is no cost to the UK, just that creditors in the originating country face larger losses than they would have otherwise.

Posted by stillthinking @ 02:08 PM 0 Comments

UK has the smallest average room size in Europe

Auntie Pravda (aka the BBC): Room to swing a cat? Hardly

An interesting and for once truthful housing related report from the BBC. Apparently the size of the average room in a UK property is the smallest in Europe. No surprise there for regular HPCers who have coined the phrase SlaveBox to describe many of the new build flats around the UK. Globally we are only beaten on our efficient use of space by Lilliput and Smurfland, but the residents of those place don't mind as they are only 2 apples high.

Posted by mikelivingstone @ 09:37 AM 3 Comments

Stay Put and Rent

Property Times: Home Economics: Market recovery is a false dawn

An odd piece for the times by Hometrack's Director of Research "Scratch beneath the surface of the headlines and it quickly becomes apparent that the so-called recovery is being driven by increased activity of exceptionally low volumes and by those looking to trade up the ladder — from a three to a four-bedroom house, for example — rather than those struggling to get onto it. The jury is out as to whether further price falls are needed to reconnect the bottom rung ...... first-time buyers shouldn’t be panicked into jumping out of the rental market and into owner-occupation "

Posted by sybil13 @ 07:44 AM 6 Comments

Quickly, join in the recovereh before it's too late!


Britain is awash with bargain priced houses costing as little as £29,000. However, would-be buyers will have to act fast, as experts warned last night prices in many parts of the country are rising. The deals are so good that estate agents have begun to report back-to-back appointments for viewings and bidding wars breaking out ­between first-time buyers. “Now is the time to buy,” said Aaron Turner, of “If you’re looking for a fabulous long-term investment it’s hard to go past property right now." A survey published yesterday by one property website forecast house prices rising by up to 50 per cent over five years. Liam Bailey of Knight Frank Estate Agents said buyers are being too cautious about grabbing one of the many bargains now available.

Posted by little professor @ 01:25 AM 15 Comments

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Don't believe EAs and Mortgage Lenders says Darling?

Times On line: The chancellor says: Admit it, I was right

Chancellor Alistair Darling “Public sector workers will have to tighten their belts, he says, and he seems gloomy about the property market, saying people shouldn’t read too much into the endless updates from estate agents and mortgage lenders. “

Posted by thirdeye @ 09:59 PM 4 Comments

Iceland banks stone flipped over

Telegraph: Iceland: what ugly secrets are waiting to be exposed in the meltdown?

The stone has begun to be turned over for the Iceland banks. Apparently, or I should say "allegedly", a few used the ability to create money fraudulently. I tried to tune out reading "allegedly" in this article. At the heart of all this banking mess we are in is fraud IMO. But no prosecutions. I saw the unedifying spectacle of Blair with rolled down sleeves and Tom Cruise style shades sunning himself with Larry Ellison on board a 150mill yacht in the metro. Stupidity isn't a crime but has the harshest punishment (about the UK population not Blair). We will see but I don't hold up much hope for prosecutions.

Posted by stillthinking @ 08:46 PM 8 Comments

It's not over yet!

BBC: Biggest US bank Failure this Year

"Colonial BancGroup has become the biggest US bank to collapse this year. Colonial, a property lender based in Montgomery, Alabama, had about $25bn of assets, said the US regulator, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp (FDIC)".

Posted by alan @ 01:56 PM 6 Comments


Telegraph: Bradford & Bingley suffers £160m loss

Bad debts at Bradford & Bingley, the state-owned buy-to-let mortgage lender, more than quadrupled to £328m in the first six months of the year, driving it to a £160m loss. The losses illustrate for the first time the scale of the problems at the bank. Last year, B&B posted a £134m profit despite reporting £507m of bad debts for the full 12 months due to gains made from the £612m sale of its £20bn deposit book and 197 branches to Abbey. B&B's remaining £40.3bn mortgage book is now being wound down.

Posted by quiet guy @ 12:30 PM 1 Comments

From the man in the know

This is money: Me, the MPC man and the 38% house price fall.

David Blanchflower's prediction for a 38% fall in house prices and that we are not there yet.

Posted by will @ 10:50 AM 27 Comments

Wonder if they really would....

BBC News: Tories want end of bonus culture

A Conservative government would seek to stop the payment of large bonuses across the banking system, shadow chancellor George Osborne has said. I want to believe them but would they really?

Posted by big_mike @ 07:58 AM 2 Comments

Do Rising House Prices Keep Us in Work and With a Roof Over Our Heads

Blogs Sky Money & Property: House Prices On The Rise, But Is It Good News?

An article that seems to believe along with the NAEA that property values are the "engine of the economy". Seems to fail to realise that they are the reason the country is now on its knees. The journalist seems open to considering what others have to say so PLEASE go and have your say HPCrashers

Posted by sybil13 @ 07:51 AM 3 Comments

Hell of a risk, if the market falls further....

FT: Wealthy Britons set for housing boost

Another ramping article, though this one just seems rather hollow....1930's Wall street, here we come..... ''Private banks are capitalising on what is expected to be a bumper bonus season in the City by easing their lending rules to attract wealthy home buyers who have been shut out by the high street. '' ''Warwick Newbury, chairman of SG Hambros, said the high street’s retreat from the large loan market presented traditional private banks such as his with a “golden” opportunity to use mortgage lending to build long-term ties with wealthy clients.''

Posted by hpwatcher @ 07:09 AM 0 Comments

Friday, August 14, 2009

Beeny, Krusty - BUSTED!

Times: Mortgage lenders turn backs on those in ‘risky’ businesses

Applications from property developers would be declined in 95 per cent of cases, according to Knight Frank Finance, while estate agents, surveyors and — ironically — mortgage brokers, also face greater scrutiny of their financial affairs than those in lower-risk jobs, such as doctors and accountants.

Posted by tyrellcorporation @ 10:29 PM 4 Comments

Sorted ?

Bloomberg: Bradford & Bingley Arrears Increase, May Have Peaked

"B & B, the biggest lender to U.K. landlords before it was nationalized, said the proportion of mortgages in arrears rose by almost a third in the first half and may have peaked. Mortgages at least three months overdue rose to 5.88 percent at June 30, from 4.6 percent at the end of 2008, the Bingley, England-based lender said today in a statement. Arrears dropped to 5.82 percent at the end of July". "Bradford & Bingley was nationalized in September after the bank struggled to find funding and customers lined up outside branches to withdraw deposits".

Posted by alan @ 08:04 PM 1 Comments

Industry insider says these are 'Extraordinary' provisions.

Times Online: B&B suffers £160m loss as mortgage fraud rises

Bradford & Bingley has had to raise its provision for fraud and professional negligence to £271 million. Bradford & Bingley, the nationalised mortgage lender, has laid bare the dire state of its loan book and said that a rising wave of fraud dragged it to a £160 million loss for the first half of the year.

Posted by hotfoot @ 07:40 PM 2 Comments

Dive in

This Is Money: How to cash in on the property crash

With property prices temptingly low, when Sally Brown inherited a lump sum she invested in a flat in Birmingham, which she will let out to students. "The idea is to achieve a small monthly income of £550 to £575, then to sell in four or five years. By then, the market should have recovered fully and I will enjoy capital appreciation as well," she says. Sally's investment could prove a good one. She is taking full advantage of the property slump. Her flat, a new-build which remained unsold throughout the downturn, was originally marketed at £100,000; Sally negotiated a price of £72,000. Stuart Law of Assetz, which helped Sally find her flat, says investors should act quickly. "All signs now point to an increase in house price increase of 5-10% by the end of 2009"

Posted by little professor @ 03:42 PM 34 Comments

Are prices going up again?

Home: News: House Prices Up 1.1%, Says Halifax

just saw this article, I'm having my doubts about a crash, can the die hards please help me, when is it going belly up?

Posted by smiling @ 01:20 PM 4 Comments

Who's still in denial?

Reuters: Fifth week of gains

European shares rose for a third straight session on Friday and remained on track for a fifth week of gains as investors snapped up

Posted by smiling @ 01:13 PM 4 Comments

What the bbc didnt tell you

Telegraph: Home owners struggle to repay mortgage debt

Drop in overall repossessions mask a hidden crisis in the housing market with repossessions expected to rise in months ahead, the Council of Mortgage Lenders said. I can feel the second wave comming on!!

Posted by waitingtobuy @ 12:44 PM 2 Comments

Apparently fund managers hold all the answers

Owning a mortgage, the untold story

FT Alphaville: UK housing market, the untold story

> Negative equity and self-cert mortgages - "3 1/2m households out of approximately 10m with a residential mortgage will currently find it very difficult or impossible to move". - > footprinted credit checks - leave their mark on you because "credit score is negatively impacted by too many searches."

Posted by mountain goat @ 12:23 PM 4 Comments

Another example of a strong economy built on rising property prices (Irish Fail!)

The Indy: Developer's collapse threatens Irish bailout

Banks want there money back, will they cause a fire sale of property in London and Dublin, Answers on a post card!

Posted by pauly_boy @ 11:42 AM 0 Comments

"called a repayable launch investment." More 1984.

BBC News: Government to loan Airbus £340m

The government is to give plane manufacturer Airbus up to £340m in loans for new projects, which is expected to secure 5,000 jobs. The UK and its bottomless pockets!

Posted by flintster1994 @ 11:19 AM 4 Comments

Some more green shoots for the budding

Las vegas sun: Nevada tops foreclosure list for 31st month

Foreclosure filings were reported on 16,798 Las Vegas properties in July

Posted by mark @ 09:07 AM 1 Comments

More green shoots...

Yahoo: Over 850 Jobs Cut At Allied Carpets

More than 850 jobs have been axed at failed retail chain Allied Carpets after administrators were forced to close 142 stores

Posted by mark @ 09:03 AM 6 Comments

First indication that the nascent housing rebound is already fizzling out

FT: Concern that housing rebound could be 'fizzling out'

The auction price index showed that more than 40 per cent of properties sold at auction in July went for a discount of between 10 per cent and 40 per cent. This was a big increase in the dispersion of prices, after about 25 per cent were sold for 10 to 20 per cent discounts in June, and may point to increasing uncertainty about the right value for purchases.

Posted by sybil13 @ 07:46 AM 9 Comments

Shelter Predicts Second Repo Wave

BBC: 'Second wave' repossession threat

"Homeless charity Shelter is fearing a second wave of home repossessions, especially when interest rates rise. It said that rising unemployment would add to the risk of homeowners being unable to make their regular mortgage repayments in the coming months."

Posted by phdinbubbles @ 07:11 AM 12 Comments

Thursday, August 13, 2009

While the UK is still mired ...

BBC 'News': Why are France and Germany out of recession?

This article basically admits, in a very guarded way, that Britain is not out of recession because the financial sector is much bigger than France or Germany (yay we're number one at something!), we cannot afford to continue the fiscal stimulus that Europe will continue to get and we're far too much in debt. In other news last Tuesday on the BBC News website, houses are being undervalued according to the RICS. Do keep paying your license fee, after all the BBC likes socialist taxation for their revenue and capitalist remuneration for the 'talent' that produces this stuff.

Posted by paul @ 11:45 PM 13 Comments

Goldman's Economist Speaks Out

London Evening Standard: 'Britain's worst recession in living memory is over'

"Britain's worst recession in living memory is over, one of the City's leading forecasters proclaimed today. Jim O'Neill, chief economist at Goldman Sachs, said the country had pulled out of the financial crisis and the economy was already growing again" (Does anyone believe it?).

Posted by alan @ 06:30 PM 17 Comments

Crash? What Crash? says Scottish estate agent

Bridging & Commercial: Property value crash 'less than other assets'

[...] drops in value and confidence in the sector were not as "significant" as the losses experienced in other asset classes [...] the market is slowly "stabilising" and [... ] the worst of the decline in the property industry appears to have come and gone.

Posted by montesquieu @ 06:23 PM 2 Comments

A review of penny share companies that invest in Eastern European Property

Penny Sleuth: Don't make this fatal investment mistake

Along with most other such property funds, such as Bulgarian Land Development (ticker: BLD), Equest Balkan Properties (ticker: EBP), Metro Baltic Horizons (ticker: MET) , and the Eastern European Property Fund (ticker: EEP) , Carpathian is still afloat – but only just. Aside from opportunistic bids for distressed properties there is little activity in the property market, making it impossible to test the real level of values. The banker still have the whip hand and tenants know that landlords are desperate to retain them. It is not a pretty picture.

Posted by warren @ 06:08 PM 0 Comments

UK Sub Prime starts to surface

Mortgagestrategy: 3.5 million households unable to move

Research from John Charcol has found that 3.5 million households, a third of all those with a residential mortgage, are unable to move due to a lack of equity in their property and/or restrictions on access to mortgage finance. It says there are currently around 2 million households either in negative equity or with equity of less than 10%, 500,000 households with equity only between 10% and 15% and a further 1 million households who have either sub prime or self-certified mortgages. Furthermore, there are very few mortgage deals available for people with less than 15% equity.

Posted by jack c @ 03:30 PM 8 Comments

NAEA's latest cry for "BTL ministerial assistance"

Mortgagestrategy: Buy-to-let will plug housing gap, says NAEA

Landlords will be responsible for ensuring “Britain has a roof over its head” in the wake of dwindling housing supply, claims the National Association of Estate Agents. The NAEA says that with a lack of homes available to meet demand the private rental sector will end up stepping in to pick up the slack. Stewart Lilly, chair of the Planning, New Homes & Rural group for the NAEA, says: “The government will end up relying on buy-to-let investors to provide property for rental and ensure that Britain has a roof over its head.

Posted by jack c @ 01:31 PM 14 Comments

More trouble for house prices…

MoneyWeek: The unemployment figures mean carnage for the property market

Britain's dole queues just got a lot longer. Another 220,000 people were added, according to yesterday's official stats. That takes the total to 2,435,000, or a rate of 7.8%, the highest since 1996. What's more, the number of people without work is set to increase much further. And even if you still have a job, the chances are that your pay packet's hardly growing. And that spells more trouble for house prices…

Posted by damien @ 11:11 AM 24 Comments

UK debt continues to rise

Credit Action: Debt Statistics

Talk was always that UK consumer debt was going to bring down the housing market. Yet debt has continued through £1T to £1.3T to now stand just shy of £1.5trillion. To me this recession is mostly a result of the American nation and banking system deleveraging. UK households are not deleveraging despite lower house values, rising unemployment and record public debt. Britian has not solved a fundametal problem and is now in a worse position to do so. The answer - to get banks lending again. We are going to end up with a rich banking fraternity and a broke Britain. It now appears not such a good idea letting the BoE manage the base rates or that the FSA is funded by the financial industry.

Posted by pj @ 09:50 AM 1 Comments

Just read the comments at bottom of page..

Las vegas sun: Lenders to foreclose on Lake Las Vegas’ last golf course

Lake Las Vegas’ third and final golf course, the private Southshore Golf Course, is heading for foreclosure. change better for worse in that song labour used when they got into power...

Posted by mark @ 09:35 AM 0 Comments

Phew, for a while, i thought we were in the biggest recession since WW2

Bbc: France and Germany exit recession

The French and German economies both grew by 0.3% between April and June, bringing to an end year-long recessions in two of Europe's largest economies.

Posted by happy mondays @ 08:45 AM 13 Comments

Don't look down!

Telegraph: Fresh alert on global stock market

The post from Pretcher was largely ignored the other day, which kind of astonished me. I guess there were too many articles about the minutiae of the day to day of our housing market! Anyway another call although maybe the timing is too soon, as many are thinking that restocking after the cost cutting and firesales will show temporary improvements until we discover there are no buyers. Some think this year will mirror last year and thus far it has, even down to the spike in oil. Watch out below

Posted by bellwether @ 08:26 AM 13 Comments

Fareed Zakaria interviews credit crunch/recession guru's

CNN: Great Interview with Niall Ferguson, Nouriel Roubini and Mortimer Zuckerman

Some great stuff covered, with the panelists mostly agreeing that there are serious systemic risks still out their. All presented in very reasonable fashion not too much hyperbole just reasonable points made well. Topics covered:- Goverment borrowing, all see this as a very major issue, with notable points about credit card debt, comercial property, further states after california going bust, possible further banking failures, Chinas attempts to spend their way out of recession and worries about the dollar. Niall makes a classic point (8:01) that in terms of house hold wealth in relation to income 'were back to we were in 1989' yet we've still got a long way to go in the delevarging process, which is greeted with gasps from people in the studio.

Posted by oldfashionedbanker @ 02:14 AM 1 Comments

Suffer little children

The Times: One in six young Britons jobless as unemployment hits 14-year high

Looks like the media have "ringfenced" the worst of the economic crises, recession or what ever you want to call it, to those who will make little difference to their new found wealth. Yes middle England and house prices will escape the worst.

Posted by cheekie charlie @ 12:17 AM 7 Comments

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Understanding banks' liquidity risk

Greg Pytel: author of a report published by HoC Treasury Select Committee: Liquidity risk

This is an exchange in discussion between Greg Pytel and the CEO of one of the largest banks in the world. This will help you with understanding what banks' liquidity risk is all about. Importantly it also shows that top banks executives do not understand it fully completely, hence this crisis is not such a surprise after all.

Posted by andrew taller @ 11:58 PM 0 Comments

At last something resembling the truth about the gravity of the economic situation

Telegrapth: Recession will be the worst in modern history, Bank of England confirms

Mervyn King, the Bank of England Governor, declared that Britain is facing the worst recession in modern history and expects the economy to contract more severely than in the 1930's.

Posted by enuii @ 11:44 PM 19 Comments

Amateur Landlords Watch Out

Evening Standard: Travellers living in £1m house on benefits

Why get a job when you can rent a £1m house for free? (and then smash it up).

Posted by cyril @ 10:40 PM 6 Comments

Good description of bubble economics

Ludwig Vom Mises Institute: Bubble Economics: The Illusion of Wealth

Not much new for regular readers but it's such a well written article and has interesting anecdotes about the American property bubble. Some quotes from Von Mises are remarkably apt to the UK's current state.

Posted by quiet guy @ 07:11 PM 1 Comments

The fat cats are put on a diet

BBC: Banks given new rules on bonuses

New rules on how financial institutions should determine pay and bonuses for staff have been set out by the Financial Services Authority (FSA). It wants to see bankers' pay deals linked far more closely with the long-term profitability of the banks. The FSA says that bonuses should not be guaranteed for more than a year, and that senior employees should have their bonuses spread over three years. Many believe that big bonuses led to excessive risk-taking at banks.

Posted by george monsoon @ 04:10 PM 3 Comments

Any trick these sneaky BOE can think of to prop up spending..

Yahoo: Bank to look at cutting rate it pays banks on reserves

The Bank of England said on Wednesday it might consider cutting the interest rate it pays to banks holding deposits with it, in a bid to encourage them to lend on the extra money it is pumping into the economy. Asked whether the central bank could follow Sweden's Riksbank in offering negative interest rates on central bank reserves, Bank Governor Mervyn King did not rule it out.

Posted by mark @ 02:57 PM 30 Comments

How to cancel Gov debts

Onion: US government stages fake coup

Silly fun but strangely plausible at the same time...

Posted by mountain goat @ 01:31 PM 3 Comments

They're Rising Again!

Times: Fixed home loan rates at highest for ten months

"The cost of fixed-rate mortgages rose to its highest level for ten months as more borrowers took out loans to buy new homes, according to figures published yesterday". (Bank margins up, mortgage interest rates up, food up, unemployment up).

Posted by alan @ 01:27 PM 0 Comments

Inflation forecast

BoE: Bank of England Says Inflation May Miss Target in Slow Recovery

The Bank of England said inflation may miss its 2 percent target as the economy endures a ``slow'' recovery and the risk that banks will limit credit. The inflation rate will drop further and economic growth may resume on an annual basis by 2010, according to forecasts released by the central bank today in London. Its main predictions are based on current plans to spend 175 billion pounds ($288 billion pounds) in U.K. debt markets to aid the economy and market expectations of interest-rate increases. U.K. unemployment rose to the highest level in 14 years as companies cut job even as the recession showed signs of easing, government data showed today. Policy makers last week increased their bond-purchase plan by 50 billion pounds the slump proved deeper than they originally thought.

Posted by 51ck-6-51x @ 10:47 AM 13 Comments

Applies equally to the UK as the US Turning Japanese

I haven't found many articles expressly saying what US and UK policymakers seem very reluctant to admit - our central banks are making exactly the same mistakes as Japan did. I'm not familiar with the magazine but the article seems to make sense.

Posted by paul @ 10:30 AM 6 Comments

More green shoots

Yahoo: Unemployment Rises By 220,000 To 2.4 Million

The recession claimed another 220,000 jobs in the three months to June to take the total number of unemployed to 2.44 million, official figures show. Unemployment in the UK is now at its highest level since the summer of 1995. The number of people claiming jobseeker's allowance in July rose by 24,900 to 1.58 million, said the Office for National Statistics. This was its worst level for more than 12 years. It marks the 17th month in a row where the so-called claimant count has increased in the UK.

Posted by mytimeisnigh @ 10:11 AM 12 Comments

Housing shortage will ease further as lodger numbers double

Telegraph: Households take in lodgers to beat recession

Families are taking in an extra 500,000 lodgers amid the recession to help meet their mortgage costs....Analysts suggested lodger numbers could double in the next year as renting out a room becomes even more popular.

Posted by mountain goat @ 09:31 AM 12 Comments

Joined-up government? I think not

The Times: Recession starts to threaten home life

Ministers need to speak to each other and be honest with us. Yes, I know this is like asking Mandy to buy Rata Tata a box of chocolates. "The Audit Commission reports that Britain is still in the first phase of the recession, which it describes as economic, with output declining and companies failing. But the country is about to face the second, social phase, where growth returns but long-term unemployment triggers a range of housing, health and domestic problems. " This is hardly the sort of thing that is going to drive a house price recovery. Add in the issues of ongoing mortgage rate hikes, increasing base rates in 12-15 months and the full impact of sterlings weakness on inflation - and you have a perfect property storm.

Posted by growler @ 08:54 AM 4 Comments

HPC founder discusses Northern Ireland House Prices Fall 'To Continue'

According to an expert who predicted the 'crash' of two years ago, NI property prices have further to fall. Jonathan Davis, a financial planner based in the City of London, told the Belfast News Letter last night that property here remained severely over-valued in relation to incomes, and that buyers should be "wary of talk of green shoots". But the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), who report "increasing stabilisation in house prices", cautioned against "alarming predictions" of major price falls.

Posted by quiet guy @ 08:34 AM 8 Comments

The crisis was the perfect opportunity to correct postwar economic policy

Guardian: If we're back to business as usual it's curtains for Labour

"Even assuming the Bank of England gets it right, all that happens is that we return to a fundamentally flawed model. The return of property inflation, asset bubbles, private equity deals and the whole big swinging dick culture that pervaded Britain back then does not signify real economic recovery: it is evidence of a deluded and chronically sick nation determined to learn nothing and forget everything from the crisis."

Posted by sybil13 @ 08:26 AM 5 Comments

Something to consider before signing a mortgage

Telegraph: Banks profiteering on mortgages with record gap between borrowing and lending rate

"The difference between the interest rate that banks charge and the rate at which they borrow is the biggest since the Bank of England started collecting data 15 years ago. The figures demonstrate that, two years after the credit crunch began, consumers are being hit harder than ever, despite the Bank cutting interest rates to an all-time low of 0.5 per cent." Guess what happens when rates rise?

Posted by quiet guy @ 07:59 AM 4 Comments

The trigger for the next down phase

Telegraph: Credit tightening threatens China's 'giant Ponzi scheme'

China is having a bubble frenzy at the moment - sucking in excess liquidity into its stock markets and real estate. But it looks like it's all going belly up soon and may well result in the next leg down of the present recession. Expect Chinese stock market collapse in the autumn with world wide ramifications.....This recession is not over yet. It looks like a classic double dipper and the situation in China looks like the loaded trigger to set off the second dip.

Posted by euopean-bear @ 03:19 AM 0 Comments

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Pretcher calls major low in the US$

Fund Mutual Fund: Dollar has made a major low

With all the optimism floating around its taken Robert Pretcher to deflate me - quite literally. The feed seems a bit clunky on the first video so only listened to the second but a must read for anyone who dares to call themselves a bear - this is bearish with bells on every tooth and claw ! Not sure if that image works but still listen and you will be chilled. Some decent sounding advice too.

Posted by bellwether @ 11:05 PM 5 Comments

Gotta love jingle mail

Bloomberg: U.S. Underwater Mortgages May Reach 30%, Zillow Says (Update2)

Aug. 11 (Bloomberg) -- Almost one-quarter of U.S. mortgage holders owed more than their homes were worth in the second quarter and that figure may rise to as much as 30 percent by mid-2010 as job losses and foreclosures climb, said.

Posted by yoss @ 08:33 PM 0 Comments

Now that's a surprise!

Guardian: US banking crisis far from over, Congress warns

Congressional panel warns that if unemployment remains high and the property market continues to crumble, banks will still incur further losses on bad assets

Posted by flintster1994 @ 06:48 PM 0 Comments

Are you living in your vehicle? Would you like to participate in an ITV1 documentary?

ITV factual: Original Television Appeal.

ITV Factual are making a primetime documentary which tells the story of a week in the working life of London's roads. We will be following interesting stories of the very people who use London's street on a daily basis.So whether you've renounced your worldly possessions for life in your campervan or have been forced to make the move due to the financial climate, if you will be based in your vehicle between 6th-14th of Sept. 2009, ITV would love to hear from you. Call 0871 626 62 62 and leave a message on our voice mail system. We will call you back for an informal chat asap. Calls cost 10p from BT landlines, Call from other networks may be higher and from mobiles, considerably more. You must be 18 or over to apply. Lines close at 5pm on 04/09/09. Terms and conditions at

Posted by itv1 @ 04:42 PM 0 Comments

Interesting figures on home loans (not asking prices)

BBC NEWS: Loans to homebuyers '23% higher'

The average house purchase loan rose from £105,000 in March to £111,000 in June, signalling the recent increase in the typical house price. But there has been little change in the average deposit needed for these loans. This was 25% in March and 26% in June.

Posted by neil b @ 03:54 PM 0 Comments

Tuesday afternoon at the Comedy club

Mortgagestrategy: Lenders undervaluing properties, claims NAEA

Peter Bolton King, chief executive of the NAEA - “We all know that valuation is not an exact science and you can understand under current market conditions people erring on the side of caution. But is it fair that they value a property based on what might happen in the future rather than what is happening today?"

Posted by jack c @ 03:07 PM 10 Comments

Charts showing distributions of incomes and residential property wealth

ALTER: Property Tax in the UK: the Social Justice Argument

NB, this is not a plug for the Lib Dems (I am a Ukipper) but it's a good article with some most interesting tables showing that inequality in the distribution of property wealth are far, far greater than inequality in incomes (the latter being pretty irrelevant, as lower income people simply get far better value for money on what they spend).

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 01:52 PM 12 Comments

Toxic assets are still there... Elizabeth Warren: The Toxic Asset Problem Hasn't Gone Away

Quick reminder: those toxic assets, which a few months ago were all anyone could talk about, are still there. They never went away. The TARP never removed them from bank balance sheets, the underlying health of the securities hasn't improved, and there's still a big dispute over how much they're worth.

Posted by hotfoot @ 01:30 PM 0 Comments

Like Lambs to the Slaughter...

Write About Property: UK Housing Market Media in a Frenzy After Positive Forecast

The Centre for Economics and Business Research has whipped the UK housing media up into a frenzy today, when it issued a report saying that house prices would rise 2% next year after ending this year with a further 3% fall and bottoming in the first quarter of next year.

Posted by problem pete @ 01:13 PM 0 Comments

Strategic Defaults

DailyWealth: My Friend Can't Wait to Default on His Mortgage

Story from Las Vegas, Sin City. "My friend and his wife can comfortably afford their monthly mortgage payment. But they may stop paying anyway....By defaulting on his loan, he'll save himself over a hundred thousand dollars... and still own a home. "Everyone's doing it," says my friend. "I know three other people who are doing [strategic defaults] too," he says. "They're buying bigger houses with lower monthly payments. And that's just from my work..."

Posted by mountain goat @ 12:50 PM 7 Comments

Mum and Dad will have to subsidise payments, also.

Reuters: Fixed mortgage rates nudge higher

The cost of taking out a new fixed-rate mortgage rose to its highest level this year in July, extending a jump of around half a percentage point in June, figures from the Bank of England showed on Tuesday.

Posted by paranoia blue @ 12:22 PM 2 Comments

House price opinions


"THE number of people with something to say about house prices rose by 15% in July, according to a report by the Institute of Chartered House Price Opinion Surveyors." Cruel, but good satire from the Mash.

Posted by richard h @ 12:15 PM 1 Comments

Should we save or spend?

MoneyWeek: How savers could derail a recovery

Is our economy recovering? And is the United States about to snap back into growth mode? If so, then the recent stock market rallies make some sense.

Posted by damien @ 11:24 AM 1 Comments

Government knows best

Telegraph: Buy one get one free food offers face axe over wastage

Apparently 2 for 1 food deals cause food wastage and should be replaced with mandatory single unit pricing. This ignores the fact that 2 for 1 deals are functionally a single unit and is tantamount to artificially reducing packet sizes. There have been a couple of articles about food recently. Food, the one import we can't forego. The idea is presumably by avoiding waste we reduce demand, and by reducing demand we reduce prices. This makes farming less profitable.

Posted by stillthinking @ 10:52 AM 10 Comments

There won't be any mention of this on the BBC today

Yahoo News: House prices fall 10.7 pct year on year in June

Those pesky hard facts biting into the ever-rising property value dream again.

Posted by paul @ 10:19 AM 4 Comments

Latest mortgage stats from CML

BBC: Large rise in mortgage lending

The number of mortgages taken out in June rose by 23% compared with the previous month, according to lenders. Some 45,000 home loans were granted for house purchases - just 6% lower than the same month the previous year, the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) said. The group said the mortgage market had stabilised, although this was far from a return to the housing boom. First-time buyers were still being squeezed, as they required an average deposit of 25% of a home's value.

Posted by jack c @ 09:46 AM 5 Comments

The retuen of an old chestnut ZZZzzzzzzzzzz

BBC News: House shortage 'props up prices'

''A shortage of homes for sale in the UK propped up property prices in July, according to the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (Rics). In further signs of improved market sentiment, only 8% more surveyors reported seeing price falls than those who said the cost of homes increased''

Posted by hpwatcher @ 08:09 AM 14 Comments

Banks of M&D throw away retirement funds

BBC: Is the worst over for home sales?

"Estate agent David Smith is much happier than he was a year ago when the BBC website last asked him how business was going. " "It's quite amazing, the number of buyers we get coming in with mum and dad in tow, he says. The majority of the people we are registering on our books are coming with the big deposits from their parents. Many have been putting down large sums of money to finance the 20% or 25% deposits their children often need to buy flats or houses. One of the flats I sold at the weekend, the buyer brought his mum and dad down because they are putting down the deposit of over £100,000," says David. It is without question family funds, you can't save that sort of money in just one or two years."

Posted by phdinbubbles @ 07:35 AM 22 Comments

Monday, August 10, 2009

Ominous rumblings in the euro zone.

Telegraph: S&P downgrades Baltic states' debt ratings

The sovereign debt of Latvia and Estonia have been downgraded as the brutal slump plays havoc with public finances and tests commitment to euro currency pegs across the Baltic states.

Posted by flintster1994 @ 10:01 PM 0 Comments

Common Sense Stuff

MSN Money: 10 lies that put you in debt

A common sense article with a link straight from the Internet Explorer default home page. Numbers 2, 3 and 7 are directly related to houses. I like the bit about 19% mortgages.

Posted by tenyearstogetmymoneyback @ 09:14 PM 2 Comments

Print more money.

Guardian: Stimulus or bust

Questions are being raised as to whether the policy of jump-starting the economy through a massive fiscal stimulus has failed. Has Keynesian economics been proven wrong now that it has been put to the test? That question, however, would make sense only if Keynesian economics had really been tried. Indeed, what is needed now is another dose of fiscal stimulus. If that does not happen, we can look forward to an even longer period in which the economy operates below capacity, with high unemployment.

Posted by flintster1994 @ 04:15 PM 9 Comments

More falls expected.

Telegraph: Sorry - the house price crash isn't over yet

The housing market crash is over; prices have fallen as much as they are going to; sit back, strap up and prepare for the recovery. That, at least, is the impression we’ve been left with after a number of institutions effectively declared that the slump is at an end. Last week the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors binned its forecast for a 15pc fall in house prices this year and replaced it with the prediction that home values could actually rise. This morning, the Centre for Economics and Business Research said we could expect a (small) rise in house prices between next quarter and the end of 2009.

Posted by flintster1994 @ 02:56 PM 5 Comments


Telegraph: Food crisis could force wartime rations and vegetarian diet on Britons

Having worked myself up today over the dire straits of the UK, I was more than perturbed to read this. The only thing missing from this article is the idea of "money to pay for food". People won't starve in Blighty while emigration is an option.

Posted by stillthinking @ 02:32 PM 13 Comments

Consumers have now "hit the wall" will not borrow more

The Market Ticker: Economic Bottom Calls: Willful Ignorance

Great chart analysis of consumer debt. "With the breakdown it becomes more clear: it is the turn in revolving - that is, credit-card - debt that has led the market up in the modern era. " But now is leading it down.

Posted by mountain goat @ 12:52 PM 15 Comments

How to increase public & national debt with no benefit to UK economy

BBC: What RBS's results say about QE

If you want to know why quantitative easing may not be working - in the sense that it hasn't led to a conspicuous increase in lending - this morning's financial results from Royal Bank of Scotland give a pretty good clue.

Posted by hpwatcher @ 12:23 PM 3 Comments

Return of the beach hut - 5 bed beach hut chalet for only £595,000

Telegraph: Beach huts for sale: a seaside retreat

Such is the demand for beachfront properties in locations such as Brighton, Dover, Swansea and Worthing, that it can be a tale of waiting lists, and, when you do fork out your thousands of pounds, a capped 10- or 12-year council lease. So when a hut comes on the open market in a sought-after spot like Gun Hill in Southwold, Suffolk – affectionately known as "Hampstead on Sea" – it's a rare opportunity to acquire seaside prestige. A hut named Charles II – standing alongside other "royals" such as Margaret and Edward – on the stretch of sand in front of the promenade, which has, according to the owner "just a few hooks on the wall", is a case in point.

Posted by jack c @ 09:08 AM 3 Comments

So then why is the BoE repeating their mistakes?

Telegraph: UK risks a Japan-style lost decade, BoE will warn

It's the transmission mechanism again, duh. Japan tried reflating their economy and it didn't work. They even helicoptered money but it was turned out to be pointless. 'Quantitative Easing' was originally a Japanese invention, so why then does the Bank of England continue to use it even though it doesn't work? Also, surely the Bank of England should have looked at the Japanese credit boom in order to avoid a Japanese-style deflation? Are the Bank of England a bit dim? Either way, hold onto cash because deflation here we come!

Posted by paul @ 08:12 AM 22 Comments

We don't want those sorts living near us!

Auntie Pravda: Anger over house-share cuts plan

The Government wants to limit the number of Houses in Multiple Occupation in an area. Not surprisingly Land Lords don't like this restraint on their high yield properties, whilst the NUS doesn't like it either and says students bring positive benefits to areas. I wonder who the Government is trying to please then, of course its the NIMBY lobby.

Posted by mikelivingstone @ 08:02 AM 3 Comments

Recovereh ahoy!

New York Times: UK House prices seen rising 2% in 2010

British house prices are likely to fall just 3 percent more over the rest of 2009 before growing by 2 percent in 2010, the Centre for Economics and Business Research said on Monday. "Our view is that the extent of house price falls already seen means further significant falls are unlikely," said CEBR economist Benjamin Williamson. The forecast comes the week after the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors said it expected house prices to end the year higher than they started it, in contrast to its previous prediction that prices would fall 10-15%.

Posted by little professor @ 12:41 AM 6 Comments

Sunday, August 9, 2009

ID Card anyone?

ITPROPORTAL.COM: White Hat Hacker Cracks UK ID Card In 12 Minutes

Bit off topic, but relevant to the UK economy if true, as false information on cards could be used by anyone for financial gain.

Posted by hotfoot @ 08:39 PM 6 Comments

US market still very stressed

New York Times: Mansions go under the Gavel

US property prices are still getting whacked, but now it is across the board i.e prime. This guy's appraisal 2 years ago was $14m and property just sold for $2.5m. I know, lots of you will say the US is different (plenty of supply) and the UK has all this pent up pressure for housing - well answer this...why are rental prices going down in the UK. If there was such a squeeze rents too would be rising.

Posted by mrminsky @ 08:28 PM 1 Comments

Student landlords to learn about hard times

Financial times: Accidental landlords face ‘double whammy’

Accidental landlords forced to enter the lettings market because they are unable to sell could also find themselves hit with heavy costs if government proposals to redefine rental properties for planning purposes go ahead.

Posted by philip9134 @ 06:17 PM 6 Comments

QE inaction

Telegraph: Bank mortgage lending falls by nearly £40bn

British banks dramatically scaled back new mortgage lending in the first half of the year, issuing little more than half the sum they lent in the same period a year earlier. They also and demanded substantially higher deposits from borrowers in a climate of high caution. An analysis of interim banking results carried out by The Sunday Telegraph reveals that gross mortgage lending by the high street banks totalled just £50.25bn in the six months to June, down from more than £90bn in the same period a year earlier.

Posted by devo @ 03:21 PM 3 Comments

David Smith turns bearish?

Times: Quantitative easing clips the wings of rising pound

The decision to announce an additional £50 billion of asset purchases came as a big surprise to the markets. I have to say that, armed with the publicly available information on Thursday morning, I would not have done it. I can see the argument for a degree of overkill. I share with Sushil Wadhwani, a former MPC member, a slight sense of unease. The Bank has expanded its balance sheet enormously, giving it a potential exit-strategy headache when the time comes. You expect central bankers to be cautious about this kind of thing. Thursday’s decision was not cautious.

Posted by little professor @ 12:03 PM 8 Comments

Big numbers.Bring on the quadrillion!

Telegraph: IMF puts total cost of crisis at £7.1 trillion

The cost of mopping up after the world financial crisis has come to $11.9 trillion (£7.12 trillion) − enough to finance a £1,779 handout for every man, woman and child on the planet.

Posted by flintster1994 @ 10:03 AM 1 Comments

Stock Market Rally Out Of Sync With Economy Five Signs The Current Rally Is Out Of Sync With The Economy

Investors have unknowingly been watching a bull and bear work together simultaneously. We have a stock market bull and an economy bear. How can that be?

Posted by optionalreaction @ 01:01 AM 0 Comments

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Behaving very rationally - lending three times income

Telegraph: Days of easy mortgages remain a thing of the past

Talk is cheap. For all that the high street banks have waxed lyrical about their enthusiasm for re-inflating the moribund mortgage market, an analysis of first-half lending figures lays the reality bare.

Posted by thirdeye @ 09:51 PM 0 Comments

What a vote-winner!

Telegraph: Tories study plans for 20pc VAT

The Conservatives are studying plans to increase VAT to 20 per cent if they win power at the next election as part of an “emergency” package to pull Britain out of the red. The proposal – likely to raise up to £10 billion a year – is being “very actively considered” at the highest level, according to senior shadow ministerial sources.

Posted by devo @ 09:30 PM 30 Comments

Why banks are still not lending?

Greg Pytel: author of the analysis published by the HoC, Treasury Committee: "Financial crisis? It's a pyramid, stupid."

Most likely, the best and most comprehensive explanation why the banks are still not lending to ordinary business and people on a level expected by the public and the government. The analysis is clear and indicates that banks are not start going to start lending more soon, and that the banking system requires thorough overhaul.

Posted by andrewt @ 09:15 PM 3 Comments

The BIG Q Will the BOE use this Money to Prop up the Housing Market?

City Wire: Morning Line: Is the Bank of England deliberately trying to ramp up house prices?

You have to join to read this one so better not quote but good article re QE and joining costs nothing

Posted by sybil13 @ 09:14 PM 7 Comments

Media tells the truth for once

Sunday Herald: The house always wins, but not always the one we are living in

HOUSE PRICES bounce back! The Daily Mail became an even greater parody of itself last week as it proclaimed the return of the housing boom and celebrated the end of the recession. The City of London has decided that the good times are here again, and a government desperate for good news is echoing its triumphalism. Well, I hate to be a moaning minnie, but the recession is most definitely not over, and we'll be living with the consequences for many years, as unemployment mounts and public spending is axed. All that has happened is that the banking crisis has been resolved by the input of hundreds of billions of pounds of public money. If you throw £1.2 trillion at any economy and start printing money by the tens of billions, something has to give.

Posted by thirdeye @ 09:05 PM 0 Comments

Property values found a resting ledge on the way down

Moneyweek: House price rebound won't last

What the commentators said The chances are that the housing market has only "found a resting ledge on the way down", as Lex put it in the FT. At present there is a shortage of housing because low interest rates mean that the number of sellers has fallen steeply. But this is unlikely to last. As David Smith of Carter Jonas points out, "the worry is that this shortage ... will cause buyers to sit on the fence again as they shy away from committing to a purchase at a higher price".

Posted by sybil13 @ 08:44 PM 3 Comments

End of cheap finance

The Times: Housing downturn will leave property the domain of the wealthy, says agent

"The recession has caused a huge shift in the housing market that will lock out first-time buyers and amateur landlords and leave only wealthy families, wealthy investors and Middle East billionaires with a chance of buying." Even though the source is an estate agent, I have to say that the analysis makes some sense and perhaps even goes some way to explaining the seemingly absurd property price rises as we look at an economic abyss.

Posted by quiet guy @ 05:46 PM 12 Comments

Betrayal of Old People?

SKY: Saving Fears 'May Push Retirement Age To 70'

"Workers may not be able to retire until they are 70 years old in the future, the chairman of the Pensions Regulator has warned". "The current state pension retirement age is 60 for women and 65 for men. But it is set to rise to 68 by 2044, as advised in a Government report by Lord Turner". (What will my house be worth in 2044?)

Posted by alan @ 05:19 PM 2 Comments

Gold price falls

Telegraph: Gold falls in value by 10pc for UK investors

Like this bit "even though gold has appreciated by 2.2pc over the period. ", yes, amazingly although the value is down 12%, its appreciating ! Going up but down. Simultaneously. Basically in summary gold is down in sterling, but up in dollars.

Posted by stillthinking @ 12:13 PM 5 Comments

They didn't see the crash coming.

Guardian: Berkeley Homes: Buyers trapped in mortgage nightmare

Dozens of young professionals say they face financial ruin because one of Britain's biggest housebuilders, Berkeley Homes, is threatening to sue them for tens of thousands of pounds after they signed up to buy new flats before being left high and dry when the property market collapsed. Some claim they face losing their life savings, being made bankrupt and even being made homeless because a lack of mortgages means they are no longer able to complete the purchase of apartments they agreed to buy at the height of the boom. In some cases the flats are valued at 40% less than the original price and mortgage offers have been withdrawn, leaving buyers in the near-impossible position of having to find perhaps £100,000 or £150,000 to plug the gap.

Posted by mytimeisnigh @ 11:29 AM 18 Comments

Looking at the bigger picture Deleveraging the U.S. Economy

We are in the process of deleveraging the most leveraged economy in history. Many investors look at this deleveraging as a positive for the United States. We, on the other hand, look at this deleveraging as a major negative that will weigh on the economy for years to come and we could wind up with a lost couple of decades just as Japan experienced over the past 20 years. It is true that Japan didn't act as quickly as we did but our debt ratio presently is much worse than Japan's debt ratios throughout their deleveraging process.

Posted by novice pete @ 11:13 AM 0 Comments

Undervaluing 'hitting home sales'

BBC News: Undervaluing 'hitting home sales'

Property sales and remortgage deals are collapsing because some mortgage lenders and surveyors are deliberately undervaluing homes, estate agents say.

Posted by dave dribble 2 @ 06:33 AM 0 Comments

Melbourne estate agents facing prosecution

The Age (Oz): Probe finds underquoting breaches

Melbourne estate agents have been breaking local laws by advertising properties at significantly lower prices than the estimated selling price, thereby boosting demand for the property and feeding the buying frenzy at auction. Funny thing that.

Posted by monty @ 02:43 AM 3 Comments

End of the beginning of in sight?

Information Clearing House: The world needs a breather from the US

There was a thread earlier in the week on a piece by Mike Whitney. Some apparently perceived him as a blood-spitting, rabidly Fed-hating Bernanke-basher... OK, they didn't think much of him. But he has given a far broader and more disinterested account than most economists throughout the present macroeconomic hiccup. Here, he explains what's happening - as far as anyone can tell - to the US economy. Part of the commentary concerns the housing market; as far as the present debacle goes, if it's not prime suspect No. 1, it's up there somewhere. It's not a long piece, and if you read it, you'll find it difficult to displace nagging and ominous questions about what it means for the UK economy at large, and real estate in particular.

Posted by a solovine @ 01:43 AM 0 Comments

Old people suffer under Gordon.

Yahoo: Older bankrupts figures 'soaring'

Official figures obtained by the Conservatives showed the number of insolvent over-60s rose from 802 in 2000 to 5,189 in 2008 - a jump of 547%. The figures were published as it was revealed a record number of people were declared insolvent during the second quarter of the year, with commentators warning the worst was still to come. Shadow business manager Mark Prisk said bankruptcies in the older part of the population had risen every year since 2000 and now outstripped those in other age groups. "These pensioners are the human face of Gordon Brown's decade of irresponsibility," he said."Individuals should have been encouraged to save, but Gordon Brown did the opposite and instead, endorsed reckless spending. Now, they are paying the price for his failures."

Posted by mytimeisnigh @ 01:20 AM 9 Comments

Friday, August 7, 2009

Ha Fecing Ha!!!!!

The Times: John Denham wants to fast-track plans for database of landlords

Read it and weep - it you're a BTL landlord

Posted by eglintine mcshoogle @ 11:51 PM 0 Comments

Bank profits comment

BBC news: City Diaries

Anthony comments that managers have to pay the going rate for the best talent and that this will go on if there is no international conscensus to reduce payments. He also thinks we are heading for another correction in October

Posted by guest @ 09:19 PM 0 Comments

A record number of people declared insolvent

Yahoo: More than 33,000 declared insolvent

A total of 33,073 people went insolvent during the three months to the end of June, the highest level since records began in 1960, said the Insolvency Service. The figure represented a 9% jump on the previous quarter and was 27% higher than a year earlier, as the combination of the economic downturn and the credit crunch continued to take its toll on people's finances. Corporate failures also rose by 39% year on year, with 5,055 companies going into liquidation on a seasonally-adjusted basis, the highest level since the Insolvency Service began recording data in this way in 1998.

Posted by mytimeisnigh @ 06:48 PM 4 Comments

Yes, Yes, Rush Out and Buy!

Mail: Insolvency Soars as Record 33,000 People go Bankrupt in Just 3 mths

"Middle class workers are increasingly turning to debt management plans to avoid bankruptcy as new figures show the number of personal insolvencies has reached record levels.In the second quarter of this year, 33,073 people were declared insolvent - the highest number since records began in 1960"

Posted by alan @ 06:43 PM 0 Comments

Boom & Bust.

Times Online: Recession sends personal insolvencies to new high

A record 33,073 people in England and Wales were declared insolvent during the three months to the end of June according to new figures released today. The number is 27.4 per cent rise on the same period a year ago, according to the Insolvency Service, and is the highest since the series began in 1960. Of these, 18,870 were bankruptcies, up by 15.3 per cent compared with a year ago; 12,225 were Individual Voluntary Arrangements (IVAs), which were up 27.4 per cent, and 1,978 Debt Relief Orders (DROs).

Posted by tim miller @ 06:17 PM 0 Comments

From the horses mouth

Goldman Sachs: State of the Market

Some weekend reading from the vampire squid. Looks bearish on commercial real estate.

Posted by bellwether @ 04:07 PM 5 Comments

Monetise this!

Counterpunch: The expiring economy

Why the US is running out of options

Posted by icarus @ 03:02 PM 3 Comments

US: Non-farm payroll -247K

BLS: Employment Situation Summary

Nonfarm payroll employment continued to decline in July (-247,000), and the unemployment rate was little changed at 9.4 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. The average monthly job loss for May through July (-331,000) was about half the average decline for November through April (-645,000). In July, job losses continued in many of the major industry sectors. In July, the number of unemployed persons was 14.5 million. The unemployment rate was 9.4 percent, little changed for the second consecutive month.

Posted by 51ck-6-51x @ 01:37 PM 1 Comments

More unemployment coming

The Register: Half of UK firms have lay-off plans

Half of British businesses are either certain they will have to lay off staff in the next six months or are considering such action. Ten per cent of firms questioned by the British Chamber of Commerce are certain to cut jobs and 40 per cent are considering lay offs. One in five firms believe the British economy will return to growth by the end of 2009, but half of those surveyed did not expect a return to growth until the first half of 2010. None of the companies questioned expect to increase stock levels in the next three months.

Posted by kruador @ 11:03 AM 1 Comments

Blind Ben Bernanke Video

YouTube: Bernanke: Why are we still listening to this guy?

July 2005 1min into video...INTERVIEWER: Tell me, what is the worst-case scenario? Sir, we have so many economists coming on our air and saying, "Oh, this is a [housing] bubble, and it's going to burst, and this is going to be a real issue for the economy." Some say it could even cause a recession at some point. What is the worst-case scenario, if in fact we were to see prices come down substantially across the country? BERNANKE: Well, I guess I don't buy your premise. It's a pretty unlikely possibility. We've never had a decline in house prices on a nationwide basis. So what I think is more likely is that house prices will slow, maybe stabilize: might slow consumption spending a bit. I don't think it's going to drive the economy too far from its full employment path, though.

Posted by mountain goat @ 11:02 AM 10 Comments

Bad debts jump to £7.5bn

Guardian: RBS bad debts overshadow return to profit

"The statutory pre-tax profit was £15m but chief executive Stephen Hester focused on the "poor" net attributable loss to shareholders of £1bn which drove the share price down 14% to 45.8p by 8.15am. It is now back below the 50.5p at which the taxpayer breaks even on its 70% stake after recording a £1bn paper profit yesterday". Hester admitted that while the bank was "on track" to increase net mortgage lending by £9bn as planned, the target for £16bn of business lending "remains challenging".

Posted by alan @ 10:05 AM 1 Comments

You Thought our Bank Problems were bad...

Reuters: Fannie Mae draws on U.S. support after $14.8 billion loss

"Fannie Mae, the largest provider of U.S. home mortgage funding, on Thursday reported a $14.8 billion quarterly net loss that it said would force it to go to the U.S. Treasury trough a third time for money to stay in business".

Posted by alan @ 07:02 AM 3 Comments

Opinion differs on buy to let

Times online: Is it the end for buy-to-let?

In this market, many investors have found their ambitions curbed. Brian Murphy, head of funding at the Mortgage Advice Bureau, a broker, says: “The amateur landlords who fuelled the buy-to-let boom have all but disappeared.” And even those with substantial portfolios — who at first were unaffected by more stringent lending rules — are finding that banks and building societies are reluctant to lend to investors with too many commitments. Gary Murphy, the auctioneer at Allsop, agrees: “It is a buyers’ market and those investors with cash are taking advantage of it.”

Posted by tim miller @ 12:19 AM 5 Comments

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Send for Dyno-rod

FT: The liquidity pipes remain clogged

The longer that the banking pipes remain partly or fully clogged and the governments keep pouring water into the system, the more that investors and policy makers need to watch what this liquidity “backflow” might do; and not just in the gilts market, but other, less obvious corners of the global asset markets too.

Posted by devo @ 11:14 PM 28 Comments

Not just green shoots at lovemoney but veritable lush green forrests it seems Top deals for first-time buyers

Better mortgages for first-time buyers with small deposits could be on the way soon. But if you can't wait, Christina Jordan reveals the top deals available now. The positive news releases just keep on coming. This week sees Nationwide's house price index recording an increase in average UK prices for three months in a row. In July they increased by 1.3% to £158,871 - the fastest rate since February 2007.

Posted by novice pete @ 09:44 PM 7 Comments

Extracts from Jeff Randall - Live

SKY: Business Leaders - "Don't Bank On A Recovery"

Business leaders have poured cold water on suggestions that the economy is about to emerge from the recession.

Posted by alan @ 09:37 PM 1 Comments

Is thisanything to worry about Cheap Chinese mortgages arrive in the UK

Bank of China, the world's third-largest bank, has started lending cheap tracker mortgages to UK homebuyers. Cliff D'Arcy finds out if these deals are really as good as they seem...

Posted by novice pete @ 09:30 PM 5 Comments

Harry the anti war hero, i wonder what he thought of the mess we are in today...Here's to Harry..

Yahoo: Farewell to Britain's last WW1 veteran

Thousands of people lined the streets of Wells, in Somerset, to pay their respects at the funeral of Britain's last First World War veteran, Harry Patch. Skip related content

Posted by happy mondays @ 07:21 PM 6 Comments

More pain to come in the American market

Reuters: About half of U.S. mortgages seen underwater by 2011

"The percentage of U.S. homeowners who owe more than their house is worth will nearly double to 48 percent in 2011 from 26 percent at the end of March, portending another blow to the housing market, Deutsche Bank said on Wednesday." The American crash isn't really news bow but 48% implies astounding losses for holders of RMBS.

Posted by quiet guy @ 06:24 PM 2 Comments

Interesting ......

Cnn: Half of mortgage borrowers will be 'underwater'

An estimated 25 million borrowers will owe more than their house is worth by 2011.

Posted by mark @ 06:14 PM 0 Comments

More 'Brown' shoots!

Mail online: Bank of England warns recession is 'deeper than previously thought' as it extends 'printing money' scheme by £50billion

Meanwhile, Halifax said it now expected house prices to drop by 7 per cent or less this year - well down on its previous estimate of a 15 per cent decline. However, Vicky Redwood at Capital Economics said it was 'still early days' in a recovery and she expects the Bank to take further action. 'Given the MPC's caution about these 'green shoots', as well as the rather more disappointing news on the monetary side of things, we still think that more quantitative easing will be announced,' she said.

Posted by tim miller @ 03:08 PM 1 Comments

They get a Kickstart, we get a kick in the teeth

BD The Architects Website: 270 housing projects vie for £1bn in Kickstart money

£1 billion to be given out to deserving causes.

Posted by yorkshireman @ 02:06 PM 1 Comments

Where will the next bubble develop?

Daily Telegraph: Excess liquidity thesis gains traction as financial markets soar

Many countries have suffered their worst GDP declines in generations. Consumer prices are still falling in the US, Japan, the eurozone and China. But stock prices are once again hitting crisis highs, the oil price has almost doubled, distressed debt is selling at 90pc of face value and credit spreads are steadily narrowing. This financial mini-boom cohabits oddly with deflation. Money might solve this puzzle. More precisely, in their anti-deflationary fervour, central banks may be creating more money than depressed economies require. The surplus creates "excess liquidity" - which may be feeding a new series of stock, commodity, property and bond bubbles.

Posted by drk @ 01:49 PM 27 Comments

Green shoots??? WTF

Cnn: Hunger hits Detroit's middle class

On a side street in an old industrial neighborhood, a delivery man stacks a dolly of goods outside a store. Ten feet away stands another man clad in military fatigues, combat boots and what appears to be a flak jacket. He looks straight out of Baghdad. But this isn't Iraq. It's southeast Detroit, and he's there to guard the groceries.

Posted by mark @ 01:48 PM 0 Comments

Manufacturing Flourishing, House Prices Rising, Green Shoots

Mail: Mortgage defaulters 'could hit 400,000' by 2011 with 3.5m unemployed

"Up to 400,000 households could default on their mortgages, City experts have warned. Ed Stansfield of Capital Economics said arrears could exceed the peak of 350,000 in the early 1990s recession and housing crash".

Posted by alan @ 12:46 PM 2 Comments

An extraordinary divergence of opinion!

The Times: Times panel says MPC should pause money printing programme

The Bank of England should call a halt today to its radical drive to jump-start the economy with huge injections of newly printed money, The Times Monetary Policy Committee recommends today. Burgeoning signs that the recession is coming to an end, with recovery taking hold, should lead the Bank to put on hold its campaign to combat the slump by “printing” money, at least temporarily, eight of the nine economic experts on the Times panel say.

Posted by devo @ 12:19 PM 6 Comments

No change to UK Bank Base Rate of 0.5% but more cash required !

BBC: Bank to pump more cash in economy

The Bank of England's rate-setters have decided to pump another £50bn of new money into the economy in their programme of quantitative easing. They have spent £125bn so far in their attempts to stimulate the economy by putting more money into circulation. In order to extend the programme beyond £150bn they will have had to seek permission from the Treasury. The rate-setters also decided to keep interest rates unchanged at their historic low of 0.5% for a sixth month.

Posted by jack c @ 12:09 PM 53 Comments

Straight from the horse's mouth.

BOE: Bank of England Maintains Bank Rate at 0.5% and Increases Size of Asset Purchase Programme by £50 Billion to £175 Billion

The Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee today voted to maintain the official Bank Rate paid on commercial bank reserves at 0.5%. The Committee also voted to continue with its programme of asset purchases financed by the issuance of central bank reserves and to increase its size by £50 billion to £175 billion.

Posted by devo @ 12:08 PM 4 Comments

Hope is a big word!

Guardian: New hope that the UK is pulling out of recession

"Although the economy has shrunk in the past five quarters, today's figures and a week of improved news from Britain's banks suggest growth could return by the end of year." ...could return. Yeah and Wolves "could" win the premiership thi syear. Lots of things "could happen" but this is not journalism its vacant speculation to arouse the sheeple.

Posted by brickormortis @ 11:19 AM 4 Comments

BBC Bearish???

BBC News: 'No quick return' to housing boom

This Chartered Surveyors Report has been featured elsewhere. I've put this on because of the out-of-character spin put on it by the Beeb.

Posted by nomad @ 11:15 AM 1 Comments

RICS warning on house prices subtly buried in this article

Times: Shortage of homes for sale expected to push up prices by end of the year

An acute shortage of homes being brought to the market will push property prices up this year as bargain-hunters vie for the best deals, a leading estate agency body forecast yesterday. But it warned that the market had not yet hit the bottom and that prices could start falling again next year as more homeowners are expected to put their properties on the market. The prediction came as Halifax, Britain’s biggest mortgage lender, said that property values jumped by 1.1 per cent in July, adding nearly £1,800 to the price of an average home. Sellers have been deterred from putting their homes on the market over the past year as prices slumped and buyer interest dwindled.

Posted by jack c @ 09:30 AM 6 Comments

The credit crunch has many months – or, more likely, years – to run

Daily Telegraph: How the housing market could still wreck the recovery

Notwithstanding the economic shafts of light in recent weeks, people are still suffering. Every week, tens of thousands more people lose their jobs. As their savings run dry, they struggle to hang onto their homes. Banks, themselves still trying to repair their balance sheets, are less willing to lend, even to those with the ability to pay them back. Given that this is happening now, with interest rates at half a percentage point, one can hardly bear to imagine how tough it will be when, at some point in the next couple of years, borrowing costs have to rise again. The credit crunch has many months – or, more likely, years – to run yet.

Posted by growler @ 07:13 AM 20 Comments

Gonna Flatline in 2009?

SKY: Surveyors: 'House Prices To End Year Higher'

"Property experts have claimed house prices look like they will end the year higher than they started". "The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) is no longer predicting a fall of between 10-15%. Instead, it now forecasts a slight rise by the end of the year - but warns there are still uncertainties ahead".

Posted by alan @ 06:39 AM 6 Comments

Debt fueled mini-boom continues - thank you QE!!!!


''PROPERTY prices yesterday showed their most significant rise since the housing bubble burst almost two years ago. The latest figures provided a massive boost for the industry and led some experts to announce the end of the housing slump and a return to sustained price rises.''

Posted by hpwatcher @ 06:19 AM 23 Comments

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

The Recession is actually MUCH worse than people think

Spiked Online: It’s time to get real about the recession

For Britain there is no such thing as going ‘back to business’ as usual. Over the past 10 or so years, financial services were the motor for the British economy, and that is simply not going to come back in the same way. Public spending is now in deep crisis, partially, at least, because of the loss of revenue from the financial services sector and the money that has gone into propping up the banks.

Posted by c'mon correction @ 11:19 PM 3 Comments

"The highly perverse world of quantitative easing "

The Telegraph: Coming soon to the UK: negative interest rates?

Did you know that for the first time in history, there is more money parked at the Bank of England in high street bank’s reserve accounts than there is flowing around the country in the form of notes and cash? A lot more, come to mention it.

Posted by devo @ 11:03 PM 4 Comments

Taylor Wimpey slashes value of land bank and ditches Bryant Homes and George Wimpey new build brands

This is money: Wimpey cuts ties with past as losses soar

Posting a half year £672.7m loss and is expected by analysts to have to post a further write of £400m over the next 18 months at current values and trading levels. Chief executive Pete Redfern is hopeful the worst is over for the company and said: 'We don't expect to have to make further land value adjustments.'

Posted by enuii @ 10:48 PM 0 Comments

Upping the ante

The Times: Goldman Sachs staff urged to ignore attacks and stay focused on work

The chief executive of Goldman Sachs urged his troops to rise above the barrage of bad press aimed at the investment bank, which in recent weeks has been accused of causing the credit crunch and infiltrating the US Government.

Posted by devo @ 10:45 PM 1 Comments

Is London Separate from the Rest of the UK?

Times: Off-plan Buyers Return as London Property Market perks up

"Off-plan buyers have returned to the London housing market and are putting down deposits of thousands of pounds for homes that will not be completed for at least a year, amid a shortage of property for sale in the capital". "Developers are also spurring buyers into quick decisions by offering incentives, such as fitted wardrobes, to those committing themselves before the launch". (Beware of those Cash Back deals, folks).

Posted by alan @ 10:29 PM 1 Comments

And the interest rate is what at the moment?

Evening Standard: City fears 400,000 will default on mortgages

Increase in number of people falling behind with their mortgages. Lloyds: 83,153, Northern Rock: 22,141 RBS: figures due Friday. This at a point when it is historically cheap. This tells me what I already know. Comments chaps?

Posted by gruppenfuhrer @ 08:17 PM 0 Comments

US housing market problems continue... Home sellers frustrated as short-sale deals collapse

Scores of homeowners who thought they'd cut a deal with their banks to sell their houses for less than their unpaid mortgages are seeing those agreements fall apart months later, contributing to the mounting foreclosures that threaten the housing market's recovery. The sales of homes for less than the amount owed the bank, known as "short sales," have been widely viewed as an alternative that could help slow the foreclosure epidemic. In theory, delinquent homeowners escape a mortgage they cannot afford, and lenders, although taking a loss, avoid the even costlier process of completing a foreclosure.

Posted by hotfoot @ 07:16 PM 1 Comments

Doesn't look like rates are going up until next year according to some... When will rates rise?

The Bank of England is almost certain to keep interest rates on hold tomorrow, say economists. The Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) will conclude its monthly meeting at midday. The only question, it seems, is whether the Bank will spend the remainder of the allocated £150bn money it has 'printed'.

Posted by hotfoot @ 06:40 PM 0 Comments

One housebuilder down... more to come soon. Taylor Wimpey Writedown Signals More Home Price Falls (Update1)

Aug. 5 (Bloomberg) -- Taylor Wimpey Plc, the U.K.’s largest homebuilder by revenue, dropped the most in almost a month after writing down the value of land and unfinished stock in Britain by 445 million pounds ($894 million). Taylor Wimpey fell 3.2 percent after earlier declining as much as 7.5 percent. The size of the writedown indicates that the company is expecting further price declines, said Collins Stewart analyst Imran Akram.

Posted by hotfoot @ 06:34 PM 0 Comments

Reality sinks in... Housing starts will not recover for five years, warns Taylor Wimpey

The boss of Taylor Wimpey has warned that it could be five years before housebuilding returns to pre-recession levels after the company was forced to write down the value of its land bank in the UK by £445m, despite increasing optimism about the state of the market. Pete Redfern, the chief executive, said the UK housing market is likely to see a "slow, gradual recovery" and that the recent rises in house price indices, underpinned by low supply, "do not yet constitute a convincing trend".

Posted by hotfoot @ 06:26 PM 0 Comments

Have house prices bottomed out?

Investors Chronicle: Is now the time to buy residential property?

Yolande Barnes at Savills and Ed Stansfield of Capital Economics debate whether now is a good time to buy residential property, particularly as an investment. The arguments are familiar, but interesting nevertheless.

Posted by je @ 06:20 PM 0 Comments

The causes and mechanics of the current crisis

House of Commons Treasury Committee: Banking crisis - written evidence

The analysis accepted as evidence and published by the HoC Treasury Committee did not receive much media attention, but it is worth readuing. In fact its author set up his blog where he regularly publishes analysis related to the current crisis. Quite detailed but worth following. For example yesterday's article "Is another loot going on now?" is an eyeopener

Posted by andrewt @ 04:52 PM 0 Comments

'Ruthless' loan shark is jailed

BBC News: 'Ruthless' loan shark is jailed

"He said Kiely had set up Millennium Finance Ltd last year, by falsely obtaining a licence from the Office of Fair Trading (OFT). New rules now mean that anyone applying to run a money-lending firm would be subject to more detailed checks" !!?

Posted by doomwatch @ 03:37 PM 4 Comments

Baby boom 2009

Biz: Industry Insights

I can't find the original article and I may well have read it here, but anyway, there has been a dramatic upsurge in Boots sales of prenatal stuff like pregnancy vitamins which would indicate an upsurge in pregnancies. The short line from the business summary is "Higher birth rate forecast from 2009." Possibly a side effect of the housing bubble was for many couples to delay families, inducing a dip (Japan still low birth rate), similar to the war years. Women can't delay for ever of course. Our immigration policy assumes that our birth rate had stabilised at a lower level. 2009 would only be the beginning of this trend.

Posted by stillthinking @ 12:23 PM 3 Comments

What's going on? Is the house price crash over?

MoneyWeek: Has the housing market bottomed out?

What's going on? Is the house price crash over? MoneyWeek don't think so. There's certainly been a bounce in prices. But there are good reasons to believe that this is unsustainable.

Posted by damien @ 12:18 PM 3 Comments

A reality check from across the pond

The Business Insider: Housing Bottom? No, The Mother Of All Head Fakes

This article is related to the US housing market. However, it is certainly pertinent to what's happening in the UK. The writer's second case on the issue of mixes is interesting and ought to be born in mind. He talks about a "temporary seasonal change in the mix of houses sold--with 'organic sales' (normal, voluntary, free-market sales) becoming a larger percentage of the overall sales than they were in the winter, when distressed/foreclosure sales dominated...The organic sales market picks up each summer...But the season ends now. Every year, organic sales fall off of a cliff beginning in August primarily because kids go back to school in Sept...Never before in the history of the housing market have we had two markets pulling and pushing on each other like this."

Posted by wanderinman @ 11:47 AM 3 Comments

The real world!! not browns fantasy world

Daily mail: Families and the elderly pay the price as cost of food keeps rising

Families are still suffering punishing rises in the cost of living as food prices continue to go up

Posted by mark @ 10:27 AM 19 Comments

No sub-prime in the UK ? Yeah right.

BBC News: Lloyds blames HBOS for £4bn loss

Lloyds Banking Group says it has made a loss in the first half of the year, due to mounting bad debts at HBOS, which it took over in January.

Posted by doomwatch @ 09:25 AM 2 Comments

House price rising will be soon over.

BBC News: Are house prices now on the rise?

The recent pick up in prices has been totally illusory, transient, temporary. The number of properties for sale is about to explode. The number of properties on the market is rising rapidly and buy-to-letters are in a dreadful state.

Posted by hpcuk08 @ 09:07 AM 18 Comments

Taxpayer loses again!

SKY: Lloyds Banking Group Reports Heavy Losses

"Part-nationalised lender Lloyds Banking Group has reported pre-tax losses of £4bn for the first half of this year. It said impairments on bad debt rose "significantly" to £13.4bn, largely due to reckless lending by HBOS".

Posted by alan @ 08:42 AM 3 Comments

Labour Government installing surveillance Cameras inside UK Homes.

Daily Express: Sin Bins for worst families

The Children’s Secretary set out £400million plans to put 20,000 problem families under 24-hour CCTV super-vision in their own homes. They will be monitored to ensure that children attend school, go to bed on time and eat proper meals. Private security guards will also be sent round to carry out home checks......................... If this is Stage 1, presumably stage 2 is to take all those who disagree with the corrupt elite state, and offer them forced pyscological re-patriation procedures inside Room 101...............

Posted by dan1 @ 08:23 AM 0 Comments

Prices up 1.1% in July

BBC News: House prices rising, says Halifax

House prices are now rising, according to the latest survey from the Halifax mortgage lender. The cost of the average house went up by 1.1% in July to £159,623. Prices in the three months to July were 0.8% higher than in the previous three months, the first increase in the underlying trend since October 2007.

Posted by wdbeast @ 08:02 AM 55 Comments

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Another one bites the dust...

BBC News: Buy-to-let firm in administration

"Five hundred investors are set to lose deposits of up to £20,000 which were put down on unfinished residential apartments in Manchester. The spokesman said a number of the firm's partners had failed to secure funding to start developments. This has resulted in several projects being postponed indefinitely or the developers going into liquidation, he added." I wonder how many more there will be this time next year when interest rates rocket and reality bites...

Posted by happyrenting @ 10:46 PM 0 Comments

For those private landlords in for the long term - it's looking good for the next 3 months !

FT: Landlords suffer rental arrears but feel worst is over

Nearly a third of private landlords have experienced rental arrears over the last year, however most believe the worst is over and are optimistic about the future. According to new research from Business Development Research Consultants (BDRC), the number of landlords with rental arrears increased from 18 per cent in Q1 2008 to 30 per cent 15 months later. However, the research suggests that whilst there are undoubted challenges in the current economy, some private landlords feel that the worst is over.

Posted by jack c @ 09:34 PM 4 Comments

Find the Lady

Counterpunch: Bernanke's Shell Game

Cash created from Bernanke's QE - buying US Treasuries and mortgages to swell the monetary base - was mainlined into equity (and bonds and commodity) markets to produce green shoots (a boom in tradeable assets but not in the real economy). The plan was for the funds created in this way to find their way into equities etc. - the Fed calculated that there was nowhere else for them to go. This equities boom then bolsters the equity/capital positions of banks, which in turn buy Treasuries, thus taking up the slack resulting from sagging demand from China etc. for US Treasuries. One hand washes the other - as long as the wizard stays behind the curtain. This kind of money laundering saves central banks the bother of going through democratic processes to get things done.

Posted by icarus @ 06:44 PM 23 Comments

US House Prices Still Stalling

Daily Reckoning UK: More Empty Houses in America

The Daily Reckoning UK explains... The bubble era created new households at the rate of 1.2 million per year. Practically every one of them wanted to get in on the housing boom. Now, there are only 500,000 new households per year. And few of them still believe that housing is the route to wealth. At the current rate, it will take many years to fill up all America’s empty houses.

Posted by warren @ 05:22 PM 0 Comments

Trapped on the rock

BBC News: Are Northern Rock customers stuck?

Bearish article on mortgage and house trapped Northern Rock borrowers and the flight of savers funds from the government owned former building society.

Posted by enuii @ 05:07 PM 4 Comments

The Chinese now trust prostitutes more than teachers, gov officials

Breitbart: Prostitutes better than officials in China: survey

Real estate developers were least trusted of all

Posted by mountain goat @ 04:56 PM 4 Comments

Rising commodity prices are bad news for the economy

MoneWeek: Surging commodity prices could crush this recovery

Everyone is cheering banking profits and banking bonuses. But the system that caused the financial crisis in the first place hasn’t changed. That’s why we’ll end up with another crash, says John Stepek – and this time commodity prices could be the culprit

Posted by damien @ 04:43 PM 6 Comments

Busted flush

Forbes: Crispin Odey's Apocalyptic World-View

At some point things will come to a head. Although this article mentions as usual horrific cuts in state spending, our state workers are a bit unusual compared with those in usual failed states. Namely, some failed nation has a huge government debt and the IMF say OK slash spending and then presumably the governments financial position improves. In the case of the UK though state workers themselves carry a lot of debt, saving money by slashing the state will save 25K each in the first year(or whatever) but those state workers will then default on a 100K debt. So initially cutting the size of the state will worsen the UK's finances...

Posted by stillthinking @ 03:04 PM 78 Comments

Should they do it?

SKY: Call For BoE Boost As Money Supply Shrinks

The Bank of England is under mounting pressure to create more new cash when it unveils this month's interest rate decision after UK money supply fell to a decade low. Vicky Redwood, from Capital Economics, said: "With the recent bank results highlighting how bad debts are rising sharply, banks are likely just to sit on their cash. So (QE) money is unlikely to make it past the banking system in the near-term."

Posted by alan @ 03:03 PM 5 Comments

A realistic forecast on What's to Come

Write About Property: UK House Prices to Fall Until 2012 - National Housing Federation

Even some people who have very bearish about the housing market are now back-tracking; because of the strong upward momentum on house prices at present, some are now saying that house prices may end this year higher than they started it. Bears still believe that a second fall is inevitable, but now fear that it may not happen before the end of this year.

Posted by problem pete @ 11:53 AM 0 Comments

Some sort of DISTRESS INDEX: Q3 2009 UK DISTRESS INDEX: Q3 2009

"The forgotten mass market: working-class homeowners trapped in debt “While our business primarily looks to assist sellers at the mid to top end of the market, our latest Distress Index reflects continuing problems for the forgotten mass market of working-class homeowners. These owners are trapped by a combination of surging unemployment, reducing household incomes, growing negative equity and increasing mortgage costs, with no chance of securing a competitive, new mortgage rate. At PPR, we are continuing to experience a growing number of enquiries from homeowners at the bottom end of the market, who are desperate to sell and have nowhere else to go."

Posted by doomwatch @ 09:52 AM 6 Comments

Fill Yer Boots: Kathmandu is the Next Big Thing!

Times Online: Beauty queen Aayusha Karki forsakes modelling to become estate agent

Calling all property magnates: the UK market might be in a 'temporary plateau' but you can still make money on property. Go to Kathmandu! "House prices may be tumbling across the credit-crunched West but in Kathmandu they are booming...." You see property does only ever go up. The UK boom might have faltered but to take your mind off that read this article about somewhere else where property is booming instead! I wonder will the Times ever get bored of property ramping?

Posted by an bearin bui @ 09:44 AM 7 Comments

Just when "The Express" thought it was safe...

Bloomberg: Lloyds, RBS May Write Down Extra $30 Billion on Property Loan

Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc and Lloyds Banking Group Plc, the U.K.’s biggest taxpayer-funded banks, may post a combined 17.7 billion pounds ($30 billion) of writedowns after the U.K.’s property slump worsened. (Is this the sequel to The Housing Crash?)

Posted by alan @ 09:44 AM 1 Comments

A period of quiet dignity would be just the tonic for little Britain.

Timesonline: Time is up for once-great Britain

Even in the decades after it lost its empire, Britain strode the world like a pocket superpower. Its economic strength and cultural heft, its nuclear-backed military might, its extraordinary relationship with America — all these things helped this small island nation to punch well above its weight class. Now all that is changing as the bills become due on Britain’s role in last year’s financial meltdown, the rescue of the banks and the ensuing recession. Suddenly the country is having to rethink its role in the world — perhaps as Little Britain, certainly as a lesser Britain.

Posted by flintster1994 @ 09:10 AM 2 Comments

Buy the Paper and feel GOOD!


"BRITAIN’S economy bounced back spectacularly yesterday with shares soaring and the pound on a 10-month high against the dollar"."There was also good news in the housing market as a new report suggested prices in the UK will soar by as much as 20 per cent by 2014". (Is a 20% rise over 5 years "soaring"?)

Posted by alan @ 08:49 AM 12 Comments

Compensating the depositors......

FSA Website: FSCS levies for deposit-taker defaults: implications for firms – Update

How much? Whats a billion here and a billion there anyway? "He took it to the levy but the levy was dry". - the FSCS borrows the money to pay the depositors who lost . They also paid santander for B&Bs losses (unless i have missed something) - 15Bn for that one. The FSA collects the money - after the FSCS has worked out what it is. "Levy invoices will be issued by the FSA on behalf of the FSCS to firms before the end of July 2009 for payment on 1 September 2009." How much would that have been if the banks were allowed to fail? And how would that have been funded..... Answers on a postcard, or by comments to this thread.

Posted by techieman @ 08:23 AM 19 Comments

Rock and Roll...

Money: Northern Rock posts £724m loss

The Newcastle-based company also said the share of its mortgages in arrears had risen to 3.92% by June 30, from 3.67% three months before. Northern Rock - which was taken into public ownership in February 2008 - said it incurred an impairment charge on its loans of £602.2 million and expected that figure to be similar in the second half.

Posted by rob @ 08:18 AM 1 Comments

£724 million loss in six months !

BBC: Northern Rock makes hefty losses

Loads of bad figures here 3.92% of loans over three months in arrears. Amount owed the government = £10.9 billion. I doubt if they will be re-introducing the Together mortgage soon.

Posted by tenyearstogetmymoneyback @ 08:16 AM 6 Comments

Recession over...move along, nothing to see here

The Scotsman: Light at the end of the recession tunnel

"Britain's worst recession of the post-war era looks as good as over." "Excellent news, and well done Gordon!", says one comment underneath the article. Eh...hang on, unemployment rising to 3m, the FTSE is 20% lower than at turn of millennium and the pound buys 1 euro and 17 cents. What's this article about again?

Posted by gaztops @ 07:35 AM 0 Comments

Who wants more lending?

The Times: Posturing cannot disguise reality

Whatever the political posturing, the truth is that the banks are right to lend cautiously and there is little the authorities can do about it short of outright nationalisation.

Posted by devo @ 12:42 AM 0 Comments

Monday, August 3, 2009

Slightly different spin on today's news.

Evening Standard: Londoners should wait as the market will not 'recover' until 2011

"Until lending is freed up, young and lower income households without access to large deposits will be locked out of the market." emotive! LOCKED OUT of the market... just like being locked out of THE HOME YOU'RE ENTITLED TO AS A CITIZEN OF GORDON'S GLORIOUS EMPIRE. No, the first line should read like this: "UNTIL NORMAL PRICES ARE ACHIEVED, NORMAL PEOPLE WILL WAIT UNTIL THEY CAN BUY AT FAIR PRICES." Best bit about this article was that in the London Lite freesheet [Evening Standard spinoff] is that its headline was HOUSE BUYERS SHOULD WAIT TILL 2011... Funny it's not made it online. Wish I'd've saved a copy and scanned it in...

Posted by angry anchovy @ 11:33 PM 1 Comments

Can those who bought at the top afford to wait? House prices to rise 20% by 2014

Homeowners may be stuck in negative equity for five years, according to a new report, which says house prices will rise 20% by 2014. The property market's steep fall since its 2007 peak means those who bought then will have homes worth less than mortgages until well into the next decade. The National Housing Federation (NHF) study suggests prices will continue to fall then start to recover slowly in 2011.

Posted by hotfoot @ 06:18 PM 0 Comments

40% deposit anyone? Nationwide cutting mortgage rates

LONDON (SHARECAST) - Nationwide is cutting the cost of some fixed and tracker rate mortgages by as much as 0.5%, although only those with a 40% deposit and £995 fee will get the best deals. Britain’s third largest mortgage lender will offer a four-year fix at 5.08%, down from 5.58% before, while a two-year tracker drops to 3.08 points above the 0.5% base rate. The move will raise hopes that other lenders follow suit, but critics point out that first time buyers will still find it tricky to find such large deposits.

Posted by hotfoot @ 06:12 PM 3 Comments

FSA joins the debt party

Citywire: FSA takes loan of £200m as it falls into the red for the first time

The Financial Services Authority (FSA) has borrowed a total of £200 million from HSBC and Lloyds as it falls into debt for the first time. The FSA annual report shows the regulator overspent in 2008/09, with net costs for the year totalling £347 million and fees raised in the year standing at £324 million. The deficit is the first time the FSA has gone into the red and according to The Independent on Sunday the regulator has been told by directors - headed by Lord Adair Turner - to review its cashflow.

Posted by jack c @ 01:47 PM 11 Comments

Forget those High st Shop Closures and Repossessions

BBC: Pound hits 10-month dollar high

""The manufacturing sector has clearly pulled out of the nosedive it was in earlier this year and is no longer plummeting," said David Noble, chief executive of CIPS". "The pound rose as high as $1.6850 against the dollar - its highest level since mid-October". (But don't forget the rate was $2 last year!)

Posted by alan @ 01:35 PM 6 Comments

Economic recovery dependant on oil.

Independant: Warning: Oil supplies are running out fast

The world is heading for a catastrophic energy crunch that could cripple a global economic recovery because most of the major oil fields in the world have passed their peak production, a leading energy economist has warned. Higher oil prices brought on by a rapid increase in demand and a stagnation, or even decline, in supply could blow any recovery off course, said Dr Fatih Birol, the chief economist at the respected International Energy Agency (IEA) in Paris, which is charged with the task of assessing future energy supplies by OECD countries.

Posted by flintster1994 @ 11:30 AM 12 Comments

Green Shoots????

This is money: UK mortgage arrears weigh down GE

Repossessions almost doubled in the past quarter, and more than a quarter of customers on its UK home loans book are now at least 30 days behind on their repayments

Posted by rob @ 11:22 AM 0 Comments

Things are beginning to get interesting

Market Oracle: U.S. Dollar Collapse Starting Next Monday ?

Nice graphs of USD index. This guy sets a taget of USD index 67 when it breaks down through 78.

Posted by sold 2 rent 1 @ 10:02 AM 58 Comments

House prices to fall this year, next year and so on.

BBC 'news': House prices 'to recover slowly'

'House prices in England will fall this year and next before recovering, the National Housing Federation forecasts'. - What the report actually alludes too is that they are finally waking up to the fact that property prices, like our beleagured economy, will take 10 years to recover. Even this assesment by the National Housing federation reckons that prices will be 20% higher today by 2014. Slowly, oh so slowly but surely, the realisation that the 'party' is over is sinking in. 80,000+ a month on the dole, inflation around the corner, massive spending cuts to balance the countries finances imminent....sounds like the dying days of another labour governement! Anyone for a winter of discontent?

Posted by shining wit @ 03:04 AM 20 Comments

Can we afford this?

The Times: Bank of England urged to extend quantitative easing (creating money)

The Bank of England’s monetary policy committee (MPC), which meets this week, is under pressure from economists and business to extend its policy of “quantitative easing”, or creating money. The shadow MPC says the Bank should proceed with the remaining £25 billion and then go further, with between £50 billion and £300 billion of additional easing.

Posted by devo @ 01:07 AM 5 Comments

May, May, and thrice, May...

Bloomberg: Greenspan Says 2.5% Growth Possible in Third Quarter

The most severe recession in at least five decades may be ending and growth may resume at a rate faster than most economists foresee, former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan said. “We may very well have 2.5 percent in the current quarter,” Greenspan said in an interview today on ABC’s “This Week” program. “The reason is there has been such an extraordinarily high rate of inventory liquidation that the production levels are well under consumption.”

Posted by devo @ 12:51 AM 0 Comments


LoveMoney: It's a buy-to-let apocalypse

After a decade of unbroken growth, amateur landlords are now fleeing the four horsemen of the property apocalypse: falling house prices, falling rents, growing tenant defaults and lack of mortgage finance. Lenders are fleeing the market in terror. The number of buy-to-let mortgages has collapsed from 4,384 in April 2007 to just 213 today, a 95% drop. They are pricier too. Lenders are also demanding minimum 25% deposits, while tenant arrears continue to rise.

Posted by little professor @ 12:45 AM 3 Comments

No v-shaped recovery here

Press Association: Homeowners face negative equity

Homeowners could be stuck in negative equity for at least another five years as the property market struggles to bounce back, grim figures have showed. House prices will plunge by 12.2% this year and fall a further 4.6% next year before stabilising in 2011 with a 1.1% rise, according to research from the National Housing Federation. Homeowners who bought during the peak of the market in 2007 are likely to be waiting until 2014 or later to see any profit in their properties, the figures suggest.

Posted by little professor @ 12:39 AM 2 Comments

Goldman Sachs declined to comment

FT: Goldman Sachs’ reputation tarnished

Goldman Sachs’ reputation among both the general public and financially sophisticated Americans has been damaged by the events of the past year, according to research conducted for the Financial Times. The headline on the cover of New York magazine last week asked: “Is Goldman Sachs evil? Or just too good?” The subsequent article argued in favour of the former, with a tip of the cap to the latter.

Posted by devo @ 12:02 AM 1 Comments

Sunday, August 2, 2009

An argument against house price bubbles

Guardian: New homes matter more than rising house prices

"If one person's asset rises in value, he or she is, on paper, richer. But if the price of every asset rises simultaneously it is not mass enrichment, it is inflation." Closing paragraph: "It will be a sign of Britain's healthy emergence from recession when, instead of celebrating price rises, we measure success by how many new homes are built and how affordable they have become."

Posted by quiet guy @ 10:06 PM 5 Comments

Could this have been said at the Mansion House?

Geocities: The Depression Papers of Herbert Hoover

"While the crash only took place six months ago, I am convinced that we have now passed the worst and with continuity of effort we shall rapidly recover." And other such gems... 1st May 1930... erm what happened next????

Posted by techieman @ 08:36 PM 19 Comments

Did anyone notice???

Cnn: 5 more banks fail

egional banks in Oklahoma, Florida, Ohio, Illinois and New Jersey fall, bringing the national tally up to 69 for 2009. The closures cost the FDIC $912 million.

Posted by mark @ 07:06 PM 4 Comments

178 daily repossessions for rest of 2009

This is Money: Britain: a picture of a nation in debt

..and 4m unemployed. Er.. I think Jim Rogers may be right, the UK economy is dead... and not just sleeping.

Posted by eeyore @ 06:46 PM 1 Comments

Possibly not hell in a handcart!

Guardian: Shaky consumer spending keeps u.s. economy in mire

Ignore the u.s. for a second The last paragraph is cheerier news for our kids!

Posted by fred--------brissal @ 06:13 PM 0 Comments

Bubble Fiction

Wikipedia: Bubble Fiction

Apparently using real estate as collateral for loans is a well known mistake, making its way into the film industry in 2007. "When inventor Mariko Tanaka (Hiroko Yakushimaru), who works for Hitachi appliances, accidentally re-engineers a washing machine for time travel, the Japanese government then convinces her to go back in time to prevent the passage of a fictitious law that would prevent the usage of real estate as collateral for loans,".

Posted by stillthinking @ 03:57 PM 1 Comments

Its not working

BBC: Darling seeks more bank lending

Part of the solution to a debt deflation spiral is increased bank lending at 0% close as. Now two years in there isn't even a slight sign of this happening, and so all reflation plans fail, and all asset prices with real economic activity continue their decline. I hope Darling is getting desperate because he should be. To think we could have carried out an orderly liquidation of the banks and avoided all this. Oh no, that would have been too easy.

Posted by stillthinking @ 01:45 PM 14 Comments

Another New Labour time-bomb set to go off

Guardian: 'Dumbing down' row over value of degrees

A report set to be issued this month questions the long term financial value of a large proportion of degrees as a result of obtaining information usually withheld by universities about where their graduates end up working. Wes Streeting, of the National Union of Students, said; "We find it astonishing that universities continue to demand ever higher fees without showing how they make a difference to the people who pay for them." Lord Mandelson the cabinet minister for higher education, arrogantly said last night that he did not "recognise the committee's description" of universities.

Posted by enuii @ 12:45 PM 1 Comments

.....Weekend entertainment

You Tube: Peter Schiff Was Right 2006 - 2007 (2nd Edition)

I'm off out in the sunshine for the rest of the day. I thought i would post this which you have probably seen. Although (for what its worth) i don't agree with everything he says - i.e. he doesn't have fantastic timing BUT this is quite amusing. Re housing : 2:34 is quite interesting - 3.27 this Guy is so VI he looks like a parody of an EA - he's even wearing a two tone shirt! 3.45 has a "max headroom" laughing moment. Personally i like his discussion with "mr way off base"Art Laffer - (the Laffer curve) who wants to bet him a penny - did he think deflation was set to get that bad since he last watched trading places! Have a great Sunday folks!

Posted by techieman @ 10:09 AM 1 Comments

Obama white house makes CEO pay for lunch

Yahoo News: W.H. makes CEOs pay for lunch

White House invited top US CEOs to lunch at white house and then ask for their credit card details to be billed. Time for British politician to follow this move (no free lunch for friends and bankers at No 10/11)

Posted by easybetman @ 10:00 AM 4 Comments

Is the sentiment tide finally turning

Independent: Julian Knight: So house prices are up? Well, not in the real world

Worth considering the figures in the FT yesterday in relation to this article: "Homeowners would be stupid to believe those house price rises were based on anything like a meaningful sample size. Over the periods covered by the indices, sale volumes were down by around 75 per cent, compared with the 10-year average – and down by 50 per cent on last summer. As former statistics software vendor Nick Hopkinson, now of Property Portfolio Rescue, put it: “Such an illiquid housing market makes looking at monthly price trends statistically meaningless.” It is to be hoped that the article in the Independent today will be the start of a lot more articles speaking of 40% + falls again other words a return to the REAL WORLD.

Posted by sybil13 @ 08:12 AM 2 Comments

We aren't all like Gordon Brown - and that's who she's talking about!

Times: Harriet Harman: you can’t trust men in power

''HARRIET HARMAN has demanded that one of Labour’s two top posts should always be held by a woman — because she believes men cannot be trusted to run organisations on their own. ''

Posted by hpwatcher @ 07:37 AM 4 Comments

Danny boy talking sense for a change?

Telegraph: House prices are still falling

By David Blanchflower.Last week the Nationwide reported that house prices rose by 1.3pc in July. Great, the slump in house prices is over. Actually, probably not. From June 1989 to July 1995, for example, when average house prices fell from £70,095 to £60,965 there were 23 months where prices increased and 48 when they fell. How much further will house prices fall? The best guide is the ratio between average earnings and average house prices. The peak was 5.84; we are now at 4.33 but the long term average is 3.6. This suggests a drop of 38%, not including any overshoot.

Posted by little professor @ 02:32 AM 4 Comments

Our savings and taxes are being used as a piggy-bank for the City

Telegraph: Bankers are getting away with murder

Despite the worst banking crisis in history, costing the taxpayer £1.3 trillion in public support, bankers are behaving as if nothing of any significance has changed at all.

Posted by devo @ 12:07 AM 24 Comments

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Stats and stuff

FT: House prices pose sizeable question

Are the house price rise figures of recent months a reliable indicator? Answer: no.

Posted by letthemfall @ 03:47 PM 3 Comments

Desperately seeking an economic revival

Spiked On-line: Desperately seeking an economic revival

The British government seems more interested in saving its own skin than devising an economic strategy.

Posted by c'mon correction @ 01:32 PM 0 Comments

Useful summary of the main market numbers

HousingExpert: The Month in numbers

A helpful summary of the main numbers for June. No hype or spin, just the basic numbers of sales, prices, volumes etc., compared every year back to 2003.

Posted by charles lister @ 08:46 AM 2 Comments

Look at who has come out of the wood work... Foxtons founder says slump close to an end

Wow - Look at this! This is the man who called the top by selling off Foxtons. And he is back... As we now have proof that he correctly called the top, he can only be right in calling this the bottom. Let's not question his well prepared re-appearance. He must be right. And it must be for the greater good.

Posted by trough2010 @ 02:13 AM 29 Comments

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