October 2009 Archive

Friday, October 30, 2009

People Power

BBC: Depositors bring down Dutch bank

Customers of the Dutch bank DSB have forced it into bankruptcy by withdrawing £550m of their savings in just 12 days. BBC News Saturday, 24 October 2009 15:44 UK

Posted by devo @ 11:43 PM 18 Comments

The Sooner there is Another 50% off House Prices the Happier I will Be

Telegraph: Oh no, house prices are going up again

".....we know that there are vast swathes of Middle Britain where the state of the housing market is regarded as an indicator of financial, social and moral well-being, if not as a direct correlative to the size of the male Middle British appendage. See daytime television for confirmation of this. Actually, for Pete’s sake, don’t. And don’t you just want to plank anyone who talks about “properties”? It’s a house, you plonker, it’s a BLOODY HOUSE! It’s for LIVING IN! We’re not playing Monopoly here! "

Posted by sybil13 @ 09:48 PM 2 Comments

The Flip Side of the Continued Ramping

FT: House prices still horribly out of kilter with real life

Prices are still horribly out of kilter with real life. Homes cost two-thirds more than they did in 2001, but wages are just one-quarter higher. The UK is not out of recession and unemployment has further to run, which will inevitably damp demand. And not all houses are selling like hot-cakes

Posted by sybil13 @ 09:44 PM 0 Comments

The UK isn't doing too well either!

Bloomberg: Wilbur Ross Sees ‘Huge’ US Commercial Real Estate Crash

Billionaire investor Wilbur L. Ross Jr., said today the U.S. is in the beginning of a “huge crash in commercial real estate.” “All of the components of real estate value are going in the wrong direction simultaneously,” said Ross, one of nine money managers participating in a government program to remove toxic assets from bank balance sheets. “Occupancy rates are going down. Rent rates are going down and the capitalization rate -- the return that investors are demanding to buy a property -- are going up.” U.S. commercial property sales are forecast to fall to the lowest in almost two decades as the industry endures its worst slump since the savings and loan crisis of the early 1990s, according to property research firm Real Capital Analytics Inc.

Posted by alan @ 09:04 PM 1 Comments

Youth unemployment crisis mounting

BBC News: Paperboy offered £6.93 redundancy

A 13-year-old paperboy in Bedfordshire who earns £6.53 a week could have been one of the youngest people in the UK to be offered a redundancy package. Kane Middleton received a formal letter which told him he was being laid off from his round in Clophill. It outlined a redundancy package of "one week's pay in lieu of notice, which equates to £6.93 (subject to tax and NI)". Kane said he began his round two months ago to buy treats and a new cage for his hamster, Splodge.

Posted by drewster @ 07:18 PM 5 Comments

Housepricecrash predictions page needs updating

Ukpropertyshop: Upturn in housing market sentiment but prices to fall back in 2010 by 7%

Jones Lang LaSalle predicts this market revival is likely to be unsustainable and a fall in prices of -7% on average is likely during 2010.

Posted by cynicalsoothsayer @ 04:19 PM 2 Comments

Yup. Just as bad as the other lot.

City AM: Why Britain’s recession is lasting longer than others

George Osborne makes a promising start, actually "Why are we faring worse than our competitors? Partly because we had a bigger housing boom, larger credit bubble and a more unbalanced economy than any other major country." So what's the solution? Burst the housing and credit bubbles? Nope. Keep them inflated: "As the Conservatives have argued throughout this recession, the continuing shortage of credit is still the single biggest barrier to recovery. That’s why we need to accelerate the recapitalisation of the banking sector and provide more guarantees for new lending."

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 02:45 PM 11 Comments

Back to reality

MarketWatch: Consumer spending retreats after clunkers program ends

Real disposable incomes fall for fourth month in a row. WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) -- U.S. consumer spending fell sharply in September after the government's cash-for-clunkers program ended, while after-tax incomes fell for the fourth month in a row.

Posted by devo @ 01:27 PM 1 Comments

First out but still not looking good for Germany - so what hope for the UK?

BBC News: German retail sales in new fall

If its bumpy there you can guarantee it going to be tougher here - and were not even out of the woods yet. Shares in companies providing ink, paper and presses have never looked better.

Posted by lambstotheslaughter @ 12:11 PM 3 Comments

Work in progress

The Times: Economists expect Bank of England to extend QE next week

The Bank announced yesterday that it had reached its current £175 billion limit in asset purchases under its scheme of QE, but the majority of City economists expect that it will seek permission from the Treasury to extend this limit next week. Two thirds of the 62 economists surveyed by Reuters this week said that they expected QE to be extended by at least £25 billion, with many forecasting a £50 billion increase.

Posted by devo @ 11:08 AM 89 Comments

Abbey Increases Its Share of UK Mortgage Market to 20%

E1 News: Abbey Increases Its Share of UK Mortgage Market to 20%

Profits for the first three quarters of 2009 of the Abbey bank, owned by the Spanish banking group Santander, grew significantly as the lender increased its share of the UK mortgage market. Profits of the UK division of Santander Group, which also owns 2 other British banks, Alliance & Leicester and Bradford & Bingley, increased to £1.16 billion, up from £849 million by 37%.

Posted by uch1405 @ 11:06 AM 2 Comments

Meanwhile, back in the real economy

FT: Close the funding gap for smaller businesses

Making re-financing small and medium-sized firms (SMEs) through the banks is like pouring water into a bucket with a big hole at the bottom. Further big write-downs means the banks can't/won't do the job. Senior lending by banks goes only to the most secure companies. Equity and bond markets are closed to SMEs (equity comes at a ruinous price if at all, and private equity has dried up). Deferring investment results in contraction and unemployment. What's the answer? (Google the FT title if you can't see the whole article.)

Posted by icarus @ 11:00 AM 0 Comments

Vince's still small voice

Guardian: We rage at bankers, and the state-backed casino rolls on

Amongst the slavering of the house-price-rise-forever orcs, Vince offers his wise counsel.

Posted by letthemfall @ 10:48 AM 5 Comments

Man who owns 900 houses - speaks out

HIp Consultant: The buy to let king’s secret; avoids flats

You have just got to love this video, how funny are some of his comments? though a little close to the wind.

Posted by kaz @ 10:47 AM 6 Comments

Following on from my earlier post

Spanish Property Insight: + Home + News & Views + Intelligence + Solutions + About + Spanish Property Forums Property price declines “only half way there” says new report

Consensus in Spain seems very realistic "House and land prices are heading down, but since their peak in 2007 house prices have only fallen 15%, urban land by 21%, and building land outside cities by 25%. To return the market to balance house prices must fall another 22%, urban land 53%, and building land in other areas 62%, all in the next 2 to 3 years" Can't see Rightmove, Halifax, Nationwide or the RICS suggesting this for the UK market - Yet!!

Posted by magnaman @ 10:41 AM 3 Comments

Spooky - Similar to UK?

Spanish Property Insight: Spanish Property Prices Surged 288% During Boom

Spanish property prices rose a hefty 288% in Spain’s decade long real estate boom (1997 – 2007), according to a new report from a research foundation run by BBVA, one of Spain’s largest banks......Sounds familiar!!

Posted by magnaman @ 10:33 AM 0 Comments

Another 6'500 Jobs at Risk

Yahoo: Threshers Goes into Administration

On Wednesday, it was reported that First Quench Retailing (FQR), the company behind the chain, was weighing up options for restructuring the company, including a pre-packaged administration, putting thousands of jobs at risk. FQR has confirmed the appointment of KPMG as administrator, but says it hopes to preserve "as many jobs as possible" by securing a sale as a going concern.

Posted by magnaman @ 10:15 AM 2 Comments

USA quote of the year 2009 award goes to

Las vegas sun: Experts say economy crushing Las Vegas real estate market

The sagging economy will weigh on the Las Vegas real estate market and boost foreclosures on residential and commercial properties, according to a panel of local business executives.

Posted by mark @ 10:04 AM 0 Comments

No quotes in this title. Even though it's based on contradicting sets of data

BBC 'News': House prices higher than year ago

I think I'm going to apply for the newly created position of chief statistician at the BBC Online new team. I can count, I can add up and most importantly I can tell the difference between selective interpretation of a data subset and a fact. Well, in the kingdom of the blind ...

Posted by paul @ 08:27 AM 31 Comments

+0.4% MoM +2.0% YoY

Nationwide: October Index

Commenting on the figures Martin Gahbauer, Nationwide's Chief Economist, said: “House prices rose for a sixth consecutive month in October, but the strong upward momentum in property values seen over the summer is showing some signs of moderating as we head into the autumn months. The price of a typical property was 0.4% higher on the month in October, compared to an increase of 0.9% in September and 1.4% in both July and August."

Posted by phdinbubbles @ 07:24 AM 9 Comments

Quick, bring me my needle!

The Guardian: Quantitative easing set to be extended as business lending slumps

Well here is an idea, lend less for mortgages on overpriced houses and more to sound businesses. And in what world should house prices be rising with unemployment and quantative easing be maintained on the back of a deflating, over indebted economy full of numbskulls who want to pay more than they can reasonably afford to live in shoeboxes? Best just shoot up and keep going for another week or two until the next hit is needed. Quick, bring me my needle!

Posted by brickormortis @ 03:18 AM 4 Comments

Printing money will save us all, apparently

Telegraph: Money from helicopters is Ben Bernanke's modern encapsulation of Milton Friedman's bold revelation

The Fed has expanded what economists call base money. But the so-called money multiplier, which is a function of bank lending, remains constrained. Today's bold monetary policies are Friedman's invention. That the Fed can always create fresh liquid funds – and should do so liberally in an emergency – was his revelation. Money from helicopters is Bernanke's modern encapsulation. The forces of depression and deflation can be combated by policymakers, and the world has learned from the 1930s. A second Depression should be avoided.

Posted by drewster @ 12:59 AM 7 Comments

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Papering cracks with billion dollar bills. AIG is bust, let it go!

Bloomberg: AIG’s Federal Reserve Debt Surges to Five-Month High

American International Group Inc.’s draw on a Federal Reserve credit line surged for a fourth week to the highest since May after the insurer paid down a commercial paper facility and propped up its airplane unit. AIG, bailed out in September 2008 with a package that has ballooned to $182.3 billion, also tapped the Fed line for $2 billion this month to prop up its International Lease Finance Corp. unit after a bank loan facility expired, the plane leasing subsidiary said in a filing Oct. 19. Why, why WHY keep this charade going?

Posted by tyrellcorporation @ 11:00 PM 3 Comments

Another one bites the dust! (see Jack C's earlier post)

Financial Service Authority: Arc Capital & Income plc goes into administration

"ACI were involved in providing structured investment products to retail investors via Independent Financial Advisers (IFAs). They dealt with approximately 10,000 UK investors... Carter Backer Winter LLP have been appointed as their administrators... The firm’s administration will affect investors in ACI products in different ways, depending on when they invested in the product and who provided the underlying securities. Some of the structured products sold by the firm in 2008 were backed by firms in the Lehman Brothers Group. The marketing and distribution of these products, along with the wider structured products market, have been subject to an FSA review. Full details of this review will be published at the end of October."

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 10:38 PM 1 Comments

Comedy classic from Independent EA

Wales Online: UK house price crash has hit parts of Wales hardest

Parts of Wales have experienced the most drastic drop in house prices anywhere in England and Wales, new government figures show. Data from the Land Registry for September shows the average house price in every single region in England and Wales fell in the last 12 months. But in Neath Port Talbot that fall was 18.7%, more than three times the average fall of 5.6%...... Leighton Williams, owner of independent estate agents Alison George. “We are working to an annual drop of around 20%. Houses we were comfortably selling in the £90,000s 18 months ago are now selling in the £60,000s. I wish I could put my finger on why.

Posted by jack c @ 09:18 PM 6 Comments

Foreclosure, foreclosure.

Bloomberg: U.S. Home Vacancies Rise to 18.8 Million on Defaults

"About 18.8 million homes stood empty in the U.S. during the third quarter as banks seized properties from delinquent borrowers and new home sales fell in September. The number of vacant properties, including foreclosures, residences for sale and vacation homes, rose from 18.4 million a year earlier and 18.7 million in the second quarter, the U.S. Census Bureau said in a report today. The record high was in the first quarter, when 18.95 million homes were vacant. The homeownership rate, stood at 67.6 percent". The worst U.S. housing crash since the Great Depression has led to a record number of foreclosures and shaved almost a third off property values.

Posted by alan @ 08:51 PM 9 Comments


Telegraph: Mortgage lender GMAC-RFC fined £2.8m by FSA for unfair treatment

"Around 46,000 mortgage customers of GMAC-RFC will also be paid a total of £7.7m in redress following an investigation by the Financial Services Authority. The FSA said a number of serious failings by GMAC-RFC were identified in relation to its dealings with customers experiencing arrears and repossessions. The investigation covered the period between October 31 2004 and November 30 2008".

Posted by alan @ 08:29 PM 0 Comments

Another one bite's the dust (see happymonday's earlier post)

BBC: Threshers owner in administration

First Quench, the owner of Threshers, The Local, Wine Rack, and Haddows, has gone into administration. Administrators KPMG are working on the basis of keeping the company as a going concern and all stores will stay open. All of the company's 6,500 employees will be paid as usual this Friday, the BBC was told. "It is no secret that the credit crunch has made a very competitive marketplace even more challenging," the firm said in a statement on Wednesday.

Posted by jack c @ 06:48 PM 1 Comments


Zero Hedge: Trend is your friend until it hits the bend

As usual excellent analysis from Albert Edwards (a god to all bears) explaing where markets are heading and why. Great stuff.

Posted by bellwether @ 03:29 PM 0 Comments

We did not want to make houses affordable therefore we are still in recession...

Timesonline: Britain out in the cold as US exits recession

America joins Japan, China, Germany and France as the world’s leading economies that have emerged from recession. However, shock figures, released last week, showed that the UK economy contracted between July and September, leaving the country battling the longest recession on record.

Posted by mander @ 02:02 PM 28 Comments

Stocks and other risky assets stumble

Investment Postcards: Stocks and other risky assets stumble

Global stock markets, as well as other risky assets, closed sharply lower over the past few days as concerns mounted over the sustainability of the global economic recovery and the outlook for central bank policy. Read on for an assessment of the outlook for stocks. The link to the post is: http://www.investmentpostcards.com/2009/10/29/stocks-and-risky-assets-stumble/

Posted by prieur du plessis @ 11:16 AM 0 Comments

Those profits not "materialised" yet, then?

The Business Desk: Eatonfield raises £7.4m

"A PROPERTY company led by one of the stars of Channel 4's Secret Millionaire series has been forced to secure extra capital to avoid his company going into administration.Eatonfield chief executive Rob Lloyd, who appeared in the TV series earlier this year, has pumped £800,000 into the company as part of a share placing which raised £7.4m.The troubled Cheshire-based group has placed 147.2 million new shares at a price of 5p with existing and new investors.The investors include Mr Lloyd, executive chairman Paul Williams..."

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 10:43 AM 5 Comments

Rise in mortgage approvals

BBC: Strong rise in mortgage approvals

"Mortgage approvals rose to the highest level since March 2008 in September, according to the Bank of England. The number of mortgages approved for house purchase, but not yet lent, rose 3,000 during the month to 56,000. Mortgage approvals are a good indicator of short term trends in the property market, and have risen this year in line with recovery in completed sales. According to recent figures from HM Revenue & Customs, sales rose to 82,000 in September, double the number sold in January."

Posted by phdinbubbles @ 10:39 AM 14 Comments

The Peak Oil Crisis: $80 a Barrel

ENERGY BULLETIN: The Peak Oil Crisis: $80 a Barrel

Last week oil broke out of a months-long trading range and surged to $82 a barrel. For many of us who remember $140 oil from the summer of '08 this might not sound impressive until you are reminded that every time oil (adjusted for inflation) broke $80 a barrel some sort of economic recession occurred.

Posted by seanb303 @ 09:53 AM 4 Comments

Unemployment threatens "spring bounce" of house prices

Reuters: Shell cuts 5,000 jobs as profits tumble

"Oil majors Royal Dutch Shell Plc and Eni warned of a slow recovery, highlighting weak energy demand and operational challenges, as their profits slumped. Shell, Europe's largest oil company by market value, said it was cutting 5,000 jobs to tackle the tough economic environment". Don't worry about the loss of tax revenues - just print more cash

Posted by alan @ 09:45 AM 5 Comments

'M25' market shuts shop for Winter

The Times: House price mini-boom slows as Christmas looms

A surprisingly sombre report. "The unexpected “mini-boom” in house prices continued in September, according to the latest official figures, but analysts have said that a slowdown in the pace of the recent rebound has begun ... estate agents have said that the strong performance is confined to London and the South East and to prime country houses. The head of one UK estate agency said: “The recovery is inside the M25. The market outside, in the real world of one-bedroom and two-bedroom flats, has not changed.”

Posted by quiet guy @ 09:14 AM 6 Comments

More sales to Tesco's

The independent: Threshers owner on the verge of administration

The beleaguered owner of the Threshers off-licence chain is teetering on the brink of administration, putting 6,500 jobs at risk.

Posted by happy mondays @ 08:36 AM 4 Comments

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Foreclosed Homeowner Still Living In Home, 18 Months Later

Miller-McCune: Shadow Market Delays Recovery, Helps Defiant Homeowners

In a follow-up story about the foreclosure of Horatio Bernard, Miller-McCune finds he is still living in the house, with the tacit blessing of the bank. This is due to the "shadow market", the growing glut of foreclosed homes that banks won't put on the market. If they were to flood real estate markets all at once, banks would suffer under a glut of inventory drawing down overall prices. So the banks have held back, in effect drawing out the nation's recovery.

Posted by jay macnamara @ 11:08 PM 0 Comments

Blacks tries to abandon commercial leases

Times: Blacks Leisure seeks to leave shops

"Blacks, which trades as Millets and Blacks Outdoor, wants to jettison 89 closed stores through a company voluntary arrangement (CVA), under which landlords agree to make financial concessions to ensure the surival of a tenant company". = More empty shops in the shopping malls - another green shoot dies...

Posted by alan @ 11:06 PM 3 Comments

House price crash averted by foreign and institutional buyers?

The Guardian: Foreign investors eye up repossessed UK homes

Investors from overseas are eyeing up repossessed homes in the UK, with German and French buyers at the head of the queue, according to data from property website PropertyEarth. The site, which specialises in chain-free properties including lender repossessions and developer's unsold stock, said it had attracted visits from investors all around the world drawn by the price of property and the weak pound.

Posted by serendipity-my ass @ 08:06 PM 21 Comments

Is the economy addicted to asset-price inflation?

PIMCO / Bill Gross: Investment Outlook

Stocks, other assets, profits and nominal GDP used to rise together. From about 1980 we've had the cult of markets, leverage, securitisation, derivatives and the belief that wealth creation is a product of asset-price inflation. Before then economic growth was a bit higher than asset-price growth but since then, apart from recessionary lulls, that has emphatically reversed, and the US, UK etc. have hollowed out their productive futures in exchange for paper. Overall, since 1956, asset prices in the US have 'outperformed' nominal GDP by 1.3% p.a., or 100% compounded over that period. But what will fall into the vortex now that leveraging has given way to deleveraging? Has it become necessary to support asset prices to prevent GDP from sliding? And have recent asset rallies peaked?

Posted by icarus @ 07:11 PM 8 Comments

US still sneezing

BBC: US new home sales slip back again

The annual rate of US new home sales fell unexpectedly in September, raising doubts about the strength of the housing sector's recovery. The Commerce Department said sales fell by 3.6% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 402,000 homes, down from a revised 417,000 in August. This marks the first fall in the rate of home sales since March.

Posted by phdinbubbles @ 05:39 PM 1 Comments

Back to the future... a sign of things to come when QE ends in 2010 the UK.

Bloomberg.com: U.S. Economy: New-Home Sales Drop as End of Tax Credit Looms

Oct. 28 (Bloomberg) -- Sales of new U.S. homes unexpectedly fell in September as the end of a tax credit for first-time homebuyers approached, highlighting the importance of government aid to the emerging economic recovery. Purchases dropped 3.6 percent to a 402,000 annual pace that was lower than the most pessimistic economist’s forecast, according to Commerce Department figures issued today in Washington.

Posted by hotfoot @ 05:22 PM 0 Comments

Interest rates around the globe set to rise (update)

Bloomberg: Norway Lifts Benchmark Rate, Signals More Increases

Oct. 28 (Bloomberg) -- Norges Bank raised its key interest rate a quarter point from a record low and signaled steeper increases than it previously forecast over the next three years as inflation accelerates and unemployment remains low. The Oslo-based bank raised the overnight deposit rate to 1.5 percent, becoming the first European central bank to reverse its easing cycle since the credit crisis started to abate. Nineteen of 20 economists surveyed by Bloomberg had predicted the move, while one had expected a half-point increase.

Posted by jack c @ 01:59 PM 10 Comments

What BP's results tell us about the state of the economy

MoneyWeek: What BP's results tell us about the state of the economy

BP's $5bn profits exceeded expectations, but were only achieved on the back of hefty cost cuts. And with every other company slashing overheads too, there's trouble ahead for the fragile economy.

Posted by damien @ 01:02 PM 0 Comments

Good bank, Bad bank

Sky: EU Green Light To Northern Rock Split

"The European Commission has approved a restructuring package that will see Northern Rock split." "The endorsement, required under EU state aid rules, paves the way for a clawback of taxpayer cash which has been ploughed into the nationalised bank". "This will allow what the EC called the "orderly liquidation" of this section of the business, which will house unsecured debt and mortgage assets".

Posted by alan @ 12:00 PM 3 Comments

BBC version of MW's earlier post

BBC: 'Continued rise' in house prices

House prices in England and Wales rose by 0.9% in September compared with August and sales also picked up over the summer, the Land Registry has said. The average home in England and Wales cost £158,337, the figures showed. This was 5.6% cheaper than the same month a year earlier, but September was the fifth consecutive month when the year-on-year price fall has slowed. Sales were higher in July compared with July 2008, after months of lower annual sales figures, the registry said.

Posted by jack c @ 11:44 AM 46 Comments

Annual change - down 5.6% ...

Land Registry: September 2009 House Price Index

... as compared to Down 16.3% in February. Spring bounce?

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 11:01 AM 24 Comments

A mutual interest in housing "investment"?

Telegraph: Speaker John Bercow helps house 'flippers' get away with it

"MPs who “flipped” their second homes to maximise their expenses or avoided paying capital gains tax will escape censure under the official House of Commons inquiry, while those with far less questionable claims are asked to repay tens of thousands of pounds. John Bercow, the Speaker, has turned down a request by Nick Clegg, the Liberal Democrat leader, to widen the scope of his audit into MPs expenses amid concerns that some of worst abusers of Commons allowances are escaping punishment".

Posted by alan @ 11:00 AM 8 Comments

More lack of personal responsibility from one of the sheeple....

Guardian: "I could lose my house. It's that serious"

....I had 12 credit cards....its the Banks' fault for giving them to me and getting me into a five-figure debt.....

Posted by basildonbond @ 10:25 AM 14 Comments

Borrowers Should Expect a Hike in Mortgage Application Fees

E1 News: Borrowers Should Expect a Hike in Mortgage Application Fees

UK borrowers might soon face even higher mortgage fees than they do now as the new FSA intentions will definitely cost lenders a fortune. Previously, a number of UK lenders have already been accused of setting up high application fees that oftentimes amounted to £1,000; however, mortgage brokers are determined that in future lenders will further increase these fees as the checks, including affordability tests, spending habits, and income levels, proposed by the FSA, will cost banks and building societies a lot of money.

Posted by uch1405 @ 08:03 AM 0 Comments

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

It is better to be roughly right than precisely wrong

FT: How mistaken ideas helped to bring the economy down

How did the world economy fall into such a deep hole? This is not the first time in recent decades the world economy has had to be guided through a post-bubble collapse

Posted by devo @ 09:42 PM 10 Comments

MPs to be told to rent second homes

BBC: MP mortgage claims 'to be banned'

MPs will be banned from claiming the cost of mortgages on their second homes under proposals being put forward, sources have told the BBC. It is understood the Kelly committee, which has been reviewing MPs' expenses, will recommend that MPs will only be able to rent second homes in future. It is also expected to recommend that MPs will not be able to employ family members in the future.

Posted by krustyatemyhamster @ 08:28 PM 6 Comments


Risk.net: Rehypothecation "driver of contagion" during crisis

This is more "smoke and mirrors". When leveraged deals are made collateral is required to compensate for the losses. This collateral is sitting at the investment house doing nothing but acting as security against client losses. Investment houses can profit from lending this collateral out, with the permission of the client. When Lehman went under, they lost this collateral, removing the legs underpinning hedge fund transactions, hence contagion. Why is this relevant? Because a gold ETF, GLD, had suspicious difficulty listing the serial numbers of gold bars held at the same time announcing customer authorised transfer to JPMorgan for collateral purposes, described here http://ftalphaville.ft.com/blog/2009/10/27/79826/glds-mysterious-disappearing-gold-bar-list/#comments

Posted by stillthinking @ 06:44 PM 2 Comments

Indefinite Printing

Bloomberg: Cameron Backs Away From Call to End Quantitative Easing ‘Soon’

David Cameron, leader of the U.K. Conservative Party, said his speech earlier this month warning that the Bank of England’s policy of quantitative easing would have to stop “sometime soon” had been over-interpreted. His remarks were described at the time as “dangerous” and “bizarre” by former Bank of England policy maker David Blanchflower.

Posted by mander @ 06:30 PM 16 Comments

"Landlords are less equipped to sustain non paying tenants than they were a year ago"

Mortgagestrategy: Buy-to-let will remain tough in 2010

Rental arrears and uncertainty over interest rates are set to plague buy-to-let investors well into next year, warns tenant eviction service Landlord Assist. The company says that by the end of this year, approximately 150,000 tenant evictions will have gone before the courts, and Lanlord Assit predicts next year landlords will not fare much better as the rental market attempts to stabilise. Landlord Assist says that rental arrears will continue to be the main problem facing landlords next year, in line with the expected rise in unemployment. Uncertainty over interest rates will also be brought to bear on property investors next year.....

Posted by jack c @ 02:13 PM 2 Comments

Have a guess

Channel 4 News: House price predictions for 2010

It’s a nervous time for many people involved in the property market. So nerve wracking in fact, that many of the companies that normally predict what’s going to happen to property prices in the next 12 months – haven’t. So who is giving forecasts for 2010 property prices and beyond, and are they likely to be accurate? Savills predict 3% fall in 2010, Cluttons estate agents 2% fall (but 3% rise in Lahndan), Knight Frank estate agents 3% rise, Market Oracle 3.5% fall, Capital Economics 10% fall.

Posted by little professor @ 01:04 PM 70 Comments

Not like Japan

FT: Why sovereign bond yields will explode

Serious article which argues that prolonged deflation is unlikely and the end of QE will bring about a bond and equity collapse. (Delete your FT cookies if you can't view article)

Posted by letthemfall @ 12:03 PM 12 Comments

Bankers froth and splutter

FT: City tells Osborne to ‘wise up’ on bonuses

"The London Chamber of Commerce and Industry said that “not for the first time this year, the City feels that politics is unfairly shaping pay and remuneration policy”." ...even while politics is fairly keeping them afloat.

Posted by letthemfall @ 11:36 AM 6 Comments

Interest rates look set to rise around the Globe

Bloomberg: India Central Bank Begins Exit From Monetary Stimulus

BBC carrying a similar story - Bank comments hit Indian shares (news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/8327493.stm) - analysts said the bank was laying the ground for increasing interest rates. "The RBI is sending signals and preparing the system for a tightening of rates in the near future, led by inflationary concerns," said Rupa Rege Nitsure at the Bank of Baroda. Bloomberg- The Reserve Bank of Australia increased rates three weeks ago, citing costlier real estate. Norway’s Norges Bank is set to raise borrowing costs tomorrow, according to a Bloomberg survey. Bank of Korea Governor Lee Seong Tae said Oct. 23 that keeping rates at a record low may not be healthy for the economy.

Posted by jack c @ 10:55 AM 3 Comments

Proposals for faster Credit card debt repayment

BBC: Credit card terms 'to be curbed'

Some unfair credit card terms are to be outlawed under proposals being put forward by the government. It wants to stop card firms raising interest rates on existing debts and to prevent them raising someone's spending limit without authority. Monthly repayments must be used to pay off the most expensive debts first, and the size of minimum repayments will be raised to ensure faster debt repayment.

Posted by jack c @ 09:02 AM 7 Comments

Shock Horror Houses Cost 12 x's Actual Average Income

This is Exeter: Devon house prices — shock report

"YOUNG people are being priced out of the housing market by a massive gulf between house costs and the average wage in the city. Calls have been made for an urgent injection of government cash to help resolve the housing crisis in Exeter after new figures revealed homes in the city cost more than 12 times the average income." Surely nothing new here, but what exactly do they want the government to do? Regulate lenders in sensible loan to incomes perhaps and allow the market to fall back in line with sensible lending levels

Posted by sybil13 @ 08:33 AM 32 Comments

They creatyed these Zombie banks, what do they expect?!?

Telegraph: UK financial system 'not able to support recovery'

Britain's financial sector is not equipped to support recovery when it comes and could trigger a double-dip recession if not fixed, the newest recruit to the Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) warned yesterday.

Posted by tyrellcorporation @ 08:13 AM 3 Comments

Monday, October 26, 2009

What about the shortage if they start building?

Telegraph: Tory plans to kick-start housing projects get backing from property chiefs

Under proposals put forward by the Conservatives, local authorities would be given greater decision-making powers. Low interest rates and a cheap pound make the UK a great investment proposal and it is vital that we do not let outdated planning laws hinder recovery."

Posted by mander @ 10:23 PM 23 Comments

Ehh...! Could this be preparing for more QE next week.

Yahoo Finance: No evidence QE spurs inflation - Posen

There is no evidence from history that quantitative easing will result in high or persistent price pressures, Bank of England policymaker Adam Posen said on Monday. In his first public speech in Britain since becoming a member of the Bank's monetary policy committee in September, Posen struck a dovish tone and said problems in the banking system could weigh on economic activity for some time. "There is no evidence from relevant periods of UK or other major economies' economic history that QE will result in high or sustained inflation," Posen said. "Thus, high inflation is not something we should be worrying about."

Posted by wanderinman @ 07:05 PM 25 Comments

5% wealth tax

BBC: Rich Germans demand higher taxes

Rich germans suggest a 5% wealth tax for 2 years to raise 91 billion sterling for the government. Their petition has 41 signatories (you have to be one of the rich to sign this petition).

Posted by stillthinking @ 05:35 PM 5 Comments

Currency Devaluation

Bloomberg: Pound Is Poised for Goldman Rally Not Helping Brown

Oct. 26 (Bloomberg) -- The U.K. pound, trading at the cheapest level against the euro in a decade, is making everything from Ipods to Toyotas less expensive for foreigners and turning Goldman Sachs Group Inc. into a sterling bull.

Posted by flintster1994 @ 04:24 PM 4 Comments

Raising interest rates.

Bloomberg: Treasuries Fall as U.S. Prepares Record $123 Billion Note Sales

The central bank will probably discuss next month how and when to signal the possibility of raising interest rates, the Wall Street Journal reported on Oct. 24, without citing anyone. Members of the central bank are beginning to consider the best strategy for letting the market know that an “extended period” of record-low rates will draw to an end, the Journal reported.

Posted by flintster1994 @ 04:22 PM 1 Comments

The Man with 900 Houses

Renegadeeconomist.com: The Man with 900 Houses

"Ross Ashcroft catches up with Britain’s Buy to Let King Fergus Wilson. A man who bizarrely seems to be totally in the dark to the underlying mechanisms that drive the property market."

Posted by doomwatch @ 03:53 PM 8 Comments

Empty offices at 5 year high

Times: Capmark Financial files for bankruptcy

Capmark Financial, one of America's biggest commercial property lenders, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Sunday night after being hit by souring loans. Capmark was the commercial real estate loan business of GMAC, General Motors' finance operation, before being bought in 2006 by a consortium led by KKR, Goldman Sachs Capital Partners and Five Mile Capital Partners.

Posted by mken @ 02:42 PM 4 Comments

I'm not expert at "forward yield curves" but ...

BBC: NS&I raises rates for new savers

... NS&I monthly income bonds (i.e. instant access) are currently paying 2%, but for one year fixed you can get 3.95% and for two years fixed you can get 4.25%. Any thoughts? Hang on with monthly income until rates go up even further? Even if they went up to 6% in six months time, you'd still be better off by fixing for a year, methinks.

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 02:21 PM 16 Comments

LloydsHBoS Q3 Results

LloydsHBOS: Q3 HP Index

London average has gone up by around £8k, although still down 23-24% from Q3 2007 peak. I don't suppose the Evening Standard will report this as enthusiastically as the recent Rightmove figures.

Posted by wageslavex14 @ 02:06 PM 0 Comments

Blowing bubbles again

Credit Write Downs: The latest bubble warning: Swedish house prices

Swedish negative interest rates and quantitative easing seems even more aggressive than BoE. But the results are the same... "There is mounting evidence that bubbles are forming again everywhere across the globe as easy money makes itself felt in asset prices. The latest evidence comes from Sweden where Europe’s lowest home loan rates have pushed up the price of residential property.

Posted by mountain goat @ 12:08 PM 8 Comments

It's all going to end in tears

FT: Ruffer abandons gilts in fear of inflation

Ruffer has become the latest group to move out of conventional gilts and into their inflation-linked counterparts, as Schroders' head of global fixed income compared the UK's money-printing policy to Zimbabwe's. Nick Gartside, who has recently shifted into index-linked gilts, pointed out both countries had used quantitative easing to assist government financing, which in Zimbabwe's case has resulted in hyperinflation. Although the UK has condemned Zimbabwe's version of quantitative easing and has planned strenuously to avoid its ruined finances, both Mr Gartside and Steve Russell, investment director at Ruffer, have said inflation is now a real threat to the UK economy.

Posted by jack c @ 11:01 AM 1 Comments

LTSB survey - BOMAD ready to be sucked in

Moneyfacts: Parents advise property purchases

With figures showing that housing is at its most affordable level for six year, the vast majority of parents believe it is the right time for their children to secure a mortgage.

Posted by jack c @ 10:41 AM 9 Comments

Merryn Somerset Webb Sounding Far From Bearish to be Honest

Moneyweek: Why the FSA's reforms make good sense

Apologies to Masked Tulip you could be right maybe even Moneyweek is changing its colours.......yet also worth remembering until the last .....another recent Moneyweek quote: "Fidelity's Anthony Bolton explained in the weekend's FT about the stock market, if everyone is positioned for the market to rise, it means these bullish expectations are already discounted – i.e. factored into the price. As a result, the market often moves to make the majority wrong and does the unexpected… so at turning points especially, the correct is the minority view. And while there are plenty of differences between shares and houses, the principles of crowd behaviour are the same for every asset class. When almost everyone is bullish, get ready for a price fall. "

Posted by sybil13 @ 10:03 AM 1 Comments


City AM: Slump in tax receipts proof of deep crisis

The government has apparently not been stimulating the economy after all, "In other words, the government is not spending that much faster this year than in previous years. There is no deliberate stimulus, merely an out of control and destructive budget deficit caused by a collapse in tax receipts." So we are going to run out of the ability to provide a non-existent stimulus...

Posted by stillthinking @ 09:57 AM 0 Comments

Lloyds and Royal Bank of Scotland – both now among the largest land owners in the UK

Citywire: Lloyds considering handing land bank to house builders

Lloyds is talking to a number of house builders about plans to hand over much of its land bank as it seeks to reduce its holdings without taking another massive hit on valuations. According to the Guardian newspaper the management team at house builder Bellway has approached Lloyds to discuss a plan which would see builders – possibly also including Barratt Developments and Persimmon – developing land accumulated by HBOS in the boom years as part of a series of profit-sharing joint ventures. Lloyds would get a share of the proceeds once the houses have been sold.

Posted by jack c @ 09:45 AM 3 Comments

One small step on the road to recovery.

London Evening Standard: City fury at George Osborne’s bonus war on bankers

George Osborne faced howls of anguish from the City today after calling for a clampdown on big bonuses. The shadow chancellor wants the regulators to take action now to ban high street banks from giving big cash payments as rewards. Mr Osborne said he was talking about "emergency measures this Christmas", adding: "Let's end the big cash bonuses. If there's spare cash at the bank it should be lent out to small businesses, medium businesses, to help people keep their jobs.

Posted by devo @ 09:25 AM 6 Comments

Could history repeat this week????

Cnn: Stocks: Trying to recharge the rally

Thursday is also the 80-year anniversary of the 1929 market crash.

Posted by mark @ 09:23 AM 4 Comments

Are Central Banks starting to work it out? In the UK & US they actively promote asset price bubbles.

Bloomberg: Central Banks Hitting Asset Bubbles Show No Faith in Greenspan

Central bankers from Washington to Oslo are taking greater account of accelerating asset prices to avoid the policy mistakes that inflated two speculative bubbles in a decade and led to the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. A month after warning that property prices are rising “probably excessively,” Norges Bank Governor Svein Gjedrem is set to increase interest rates on Oct. 28. Reserve Bank of Australia Governor Glenn Stevens cited costlier real estate as a reason for raising rates three weeks ago.

Posted by tyrellcorporation @ 08:47 AM 9 Comments

UK Bankers Choose Mortgage Offers from Northern Rock

E1 News: UK Bankers Choose Mortgage Offers from Northern Rock

As we have reported earlier, the past fortnight was marked by a number of significant cuts in the interest rates on mortgage deals offered by state-owned Northern Rock. The results of the cuts are now evident: many bankers from London chose Northern Rock as prime lender not only because of the decreased interest rates, but also because of other attractive loan terms.

Posted by uch1405 @ 06:41 AM 7 Comments

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Land Value Tax gains further support

Miller-McCune Magazine: Could a Land Tax Support the Operations of Government?

This idea would revolutionize the tax system of any country: Taxes don't need to be pulled from your income. Henry George argued for a "single tax" on the value of land. Land, to George, was the resource for earning money, or just living: Only beggars could get by without renting a slice of it. Land was not just natural but limited, so it belonged, in the truest sense, to the nation. Other taxes put an undue burden on human activity: Income tax weighed on productivity (wages and profits); a sales tax put a burden on trade; a "property tax," which involves not just land but the structures on top of it, burdened development. In a booming city, land values rise with the tide of human activity, so the power of a government to build subways and schools would rise, too.

Posted by drewster @ 10:36 PM 25 Comments

Time for hard decisions?

Sunday Times: Bring on the squeeze, it can make us better

"Perhaps the most profound human instinct, after the desire for food and sex, is the urge to ignore unpleasant truths in the hope that eventually they’ll go away". "We’re not prepared for the fact that when the supply of money is turned off, as it will have to be in the next couple of years, some sharp rocks are going to be exposed" (like negative equity)."The parties have been reluctant to spell out the mess we are in for fear of making themselves unpopular. We won’t get through it, as we have in the past, by leaving the politicians to deal with it alone. We have to participate in these decisions; we have to take responsibility. It’s going to be our problem, too".

Posted by alan @ 02:50 PM 47 Comments

A lunatic hell-bent on going out with a big bang

Times: Recession will be over by Christmas, says Brown

'Gordon Brown gave the ultimate hostage to fortune this morning by stating categorically that the British economy would be growing again by the turn of the year. With economists and Downing Street staggered by Friday's figures showing that the country is still in in the grip of a recession, Mr Brown tried to go back on the offensive by telling people they would not have long to wait for a recovery.'

Posted by hpwatcher @ 12:52 PM 19 Comments

Self-cert mortgages were not only for the untrustworthy

Gruniad: Anguish of self-employed as 'liar-loans' face ban

Worried self employed workers are left wondering how they will be able to get mortgages if the FSA ban so called liar-loans? I personally know several people who have had self-cert mortgages and the two who actually lied significantly about their incomes were employed full-time but wanted much bigger mortgages. As a side issue it might be worth mentioning that those I know have continued to pay their loans and have so far not even got into arrears or defaulted.

Posted by shining wit @ 12:23 PM 3 Comments

The UK is going bust: are we prepared to face the truth?

Greg Pytel: Will the UK go bust after the elections?

It's time for politicians to make it clear what the economic situation is. We know it's bad. But how bad is it? And it's time for us to face the harsh reality.

Posted by ant @ 12:05 PM 30 Comments

A conspiracy of pusillanimity

Observer: We can put a stop to huge, undeserved bank bonuses

"The bonuses being paid this year are not a reward for talent, but the product of taxpayer support, central bank rates so cheap they are almost free, and reduced competition."

Posted by letthemfall @ 09:12 AM 12 Comments

More First-time Buyers Seek Mortgage Advice

E1 News: More First-time Buyers Seek Mortgage Advice

According to the latest data presented by Unbiased – a UK online comparison service for financial, mortgage, and legal advice – the number of mortgage enquiries from first-time buyers reached its peak this September, thus marking recovered confidence and interest in the British property and mortgage markets. The latest report made on the basis of visitors’ searches shows that the number of people looking for “advice on first-time buyer mortgages” reached 51% in September 2009; first-time buyer mortgage enquires, thus, became the most popular advice criteria last month.

Posted by uch1405 @ 08:45 AM 1 Comments

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Printy printy

The Telegraph: Gordon Brown: 'It would be suicidal to abandon economic stimulus

"Now more than ever is the time for steady and clear policies. That is why it would be suicidal to put recovery at risk by suddenly cutting off the funding and investment that is supporting young people, families and businesses throughout the most challenging times in a generation." His comments suggested the Bank of England's policy of "quantitative easing" – effectively printing more money and pumping it into the economy – would continue despite earlier signs that the programme, which stands at around £175 billion, might be halted.

Posted by devo @ 09:50 PM 33 Comments

Analysis by the well known magazine

Economist: Still Falling

"BRITAIN'S recession, already the deepest since the second world war, has now become the longest, lasting for six consecutive quarters. Contrary to widely held expectations that the economy had started to recover over the summer, it shrank by 0.4 per cent compared with the level of activity in the second quarter. As a result GDP has now fallen by 6% since its peak at the start of 2008. Britain's households are the most over-borrowed in the G7. Its banks have been among the worst affected in the financial crisis as a result of unsound financing practices (a heavy reliance on fickle wholesale funding rather than steadier retail deposits) and insufficient capital to support over-extended lending".

Posted by alan @ 08:01 PM 21 Comments

Dodgy interest only home loans face the Chop

Guardian: Is the interest-only mortgage endangered?

Interest only loans for speculators and the financially clueless or reckless to be axed after the FSA eventually labels them "high-risk" and puts them in the same category as liar loans and mortgages for people with dodgy credit records. Apparently the FSA has been worried for a while that many homebuyers are storing up problems for the future as they have little or no idea how they will pay back the loan and could end up being repossessed. Simples- it's hardly rocket science!

Posted by enuii @ 01:54 PM 27 Comments

Metal hoarding

IBT Commodities: Pig Farmers Are Making Brent Nervous

As China offers negative interest rates, the whole population have started obsessive metal hoarding, copper, aluminium, whatever they can get their hands on, using their gardens as storage. Suggests that metals are in a bubble in essence. Pig farmers have got around 50 000 tonnes of copper stashed.

Posted by stillthinking @ 10:45 AM 11 Comments

Ungrateful proles should stop complaining

BBC News: Banker bonuses minute, says duke

The Duke of York has defended bankers' bonuses, saying they are "minute" in the scheme of things. The UK's special representative for trade and investment said he did not want to demonise the financial sector and bonuses were an easy target.

Posted by shipbuilder @ 10:35 AM 20 Comments

Friday, October 23, 2009


Business Insider: A Big Crash is Coming

Roubini believes a big crash is coming and that a 'wall of liquidity is chasing all kinds of assets. He's been right all along. I am inclined to agree with him

Posted by britishblue @ 11:53 PM 26 Comments

100 US bank failures

BBC: US bank failures hit 100 for year

sorry for stealing your glory mark!

Posted by phdinbubbles @ 11:28 PM 4 Comments

Do as you're told

Telegraph: Be bullish about house prices, for now

Here's a contrarian thought: What if the house price boom of 1997-2007 was not a bubble at all, but a perfectly rational response to the low interest rate environment, which is set to continue for quite a while? It's not the boom in house prices that was the aberration, but rather the present, somewhat mild, correction.

Posted by little professor @ 10:37 PM 10 Comments

Lahndan, innit

Times: Discreet City buyers set to pour huge bonuses into housing market

City workers, their arsenals boosted by bonuses that seem certain to be bigger than expected this year, are priming their guns for a new property bidding war. Buyers are reported to be active in the housing market only days after a prediction that they would benefit from £6 billion in bonuses this year. Agents now expect that London house prices, especially in the most luxurious postcodes, will be boosted by a flurry of bonus-funded property purchases, which they say have started already and may stretch through the next six months.

Posted by little professor @ 10:32 PM 4 Comments

The economists are revolting

The Times: Economists revolt over surprise recession data

Ben Broadbent, economist at Goldman Sachs, said: "While we are entirely sceptical about the ONS's data, it still matters for policymakers and markets. For all its failings, today's weak data increases the likelihood of quantitative easing in November."

Posted by devo @ 06:05 PM 18 Comments

Am I the only one who thought this?

Guardian: Uk Economy in its Longest Recession on Record

I am stunned that everyone thought things were fine again adn that the Guardian ran its story on a prediction of 0.8% rise in GDP this morning. The world has gone mad. Totally mad. And why, why, why are we still accepting that house prices are on the rise. it is madness. Absolute madness. Ok, i am going to stick my head down the toilet to taste something real and honest.

Posted by brickormortis @ 06:03 PM 5 Comments

Are we depressed?

Telegraph: This recession just became a depression

"The National Institute for Economic and Social Research has been calling this a “depression” rather than a recession for some time – these figures surely now underline such a description."

Posted by letthemfall @ 04:55 PM 14 Comments

Sums on what we've said here for about 3 years...

Telegraph: Recession Why Britain has fared so badly

My favourite bit is this... Ruth Lea, economic adviser to the Arbuthnot Banking Group, said: "We had a bigger house price boom than nearly all other states, save perhaps Ireland and Spain, and we had an unsustainable boom in the banking sector. "What goes up must come down."

Posted by timmy t @ 04:55 PM 0 Comments

All change after the election

London Evening Standard: Bank of England is set to reverse quantitative easing

The Bank of England today said it is ready to reverse quantitative easing as the housing market showed further signs of recovery. Policymakers on Threadneedle Street said the Bank will have to withdraw the £175 billion of freshly printed money it has pumped into the economy, but only when the time is right. Adam Posen, a member of the monetary policy committee, said: "In the medium term, meaning more than six months out, there's no question that we're going to have to reverse the extreme policy measures that we took. The reason for being very cautious is because there are high stakes involved. It's not because things are that knife-edge or that uncertain but it's that you don't want to make a big mistake. So we on the MPC are being very cautious."

Posted by wanderinman @ 03:24 PM 12 Comments

"housing bulls should enjoy the recent summer bounce while it lasts. 2010 isn’t looking pretty."

Moneyweek: Tighter money spells lower house prices

"Interest rates for US 30-year fixed home loans have just risen for the second week in a row. The average rate is now 5%, against 4.92% last week. That may not sound like much of an increase, but the reason behind the rise should have housing bulls everywhere worried."

Posted by sybil13 @ 03:09 PM 3 Comments

Well balanced article on the major factors that will affect the shape of the economic recovery

Fundstrategy: Shaping up

Signs of an upturn are dished up but geopolitical uncertainties and the responses of policy makers are crucial to the outcome. Vanessa Drucker in New York examines the factors that will affect the shape of the economic recovery. Every tendril of a green shoot engenders mounting optimism. Investors respond with intense rallies in equity and credit markets worldwide. Predictions for a second Great Depression have quieted, replaced by arguments over the probability of a V, L, W, U or some kind of squiggly shorthand-shaped recovery.

Posted by jack c @ 03:01 PM 0 Comments

OMG! It really is just starting all over again! Financial alchemy is back...

Bloomberg: JPMorgan Takes the Lead in Europe’s Asset-Backed Market Revival

'JPMorgan Chase & Co. is the lead investor in both of this year’s public securitizations of U.K. mortgage loans, as the New York-based lender snaps up the type of assets behind billions of dollars of losses at other banks. JPMorgan has committed to buy 1 billion pounds of A2 securities from Nationwide’s Silverstone 2009-1 trust and will accept 1.25 billion pounds of class A1 notes as collateral on a loan. The class A2 notes will be priced to yield about 145 to 150 basis points more than the London interbank offered rate, or Libor, a person familiar with the transaction said. The deal is being marketed to investors now.'

Posted by tyrellcorporation @ 01:23 PM 3 Comments

Commentary on that Lord Brian Griffiths "inequality is good statement"

ZeroHedge: Ratigan Throws Down The Gauntlet At Goldman Sachs

From the video: "Making money, however, is different from stealing money. If you steal the money, you are not expected to give it to a charity my friends. If you steal the money we will take the money back from you, by way of the government, and put you in jail. The American taxpayer in fact has given trillions of dollars, billions directly to Goldman Sachs so that Goldman can use the taxpayer subsidy to play a parlor game and pay themselves record bonuses." Now what was that movie where everyone shouts "I'm mad as hell and not going to take it anymore".

Posted by mountain goat @ 12:22 PM 5 Comments

Will the Fed squeeze in a couple of rate hikes next year

Citywire: Recovery Watch: US rate rises pencilled in as Fed cracks

The US Federal Reserve has been utterly consistent in promising low interest rates for the foreseeable future but at the latest meeting of its rate-setting committee the first hawkish note was struck. Having sung from one hymn sheet since early 2008 when the central bank instigated a surprise mid-month rate cut, tensions are now becoming apparent. In the most recent meeting notes issued last week, voices were clearly heard questioning orthodox views on spare capacity and the massive stimulus. For the first time, a hint of doubt about inflationary expectations crept in – with one member even proposing an immediate halt to the asset purchase programme.

Posted by jack c @ 12:03 PM 1 Comments

How to heat your home in Stockholm

Spiegel: Sweden Turning Stray Rabbits Into Biofuel

Stray rabbits are getting a raw deal in Sweden. Thousands of them living in the center of Stockholm are being culled, deep frozen and converted into biofuel for heating homes. Wildlife campaigners have criticized the practice.

Posted by mountain goat @ 11:59 AM 5 Comments

The latest bubble is about to burst, but this time it's in the commercial market.

Fortune via cnn: 3 signs of the next real estate collapse

When the FDIC closed Chicago's Corus Bank last month, it may have signaled the beginning of the next shock to the banking system: commercial real estate defaults. Corus, whose balance sheet was larded with bad construction loans, is just one of many banks that have a slew of this debt on their books. Refinancing the $2 trillion in commercial mortgages will be tough, as property values decline

Posted by mark @ 10:14 AM 4 Comments

Petrol on the wet bonfire

UK economy is still in recession

BBC News: UK economy is still in recession

The UK economy contracted by 0.4% between July and September, according to official figures, meaning the country is still in recession.

Posted by cat and canary @ 09:34 AM 45 Comments

No real change then.

Telegraph: Bank of England will not target asset bubbles, say deputy governor Paul Tucker

The Bank of England's leading voice on finance last night all but ruled out suggestions that the central bank will in years to come target asset bubbles as well as inflation, in one of the first hints of the shape of Britain's protean monetary policy framework.

Posted by flintster1994 @ 08:32 AM 21 Comments

Can you really the house you're about to pay silly money for

MSN: Rates will return to normal - King

More sense from MSN. "Rates will return to normal - King" Read as: "House prices will return to normal - Count".

Posted by thecountofnowhere @ 08:04 AM 0 Comments

Attractive Mortgage Deals Introduced by the Post Office

E1 News: Attractive Mortgage Deals Introduced by the Post Office

On Monday, October 17th, the first tracker deal was launched by the Post Office in the framework of its strategy to break through onto the UK mortgage market. In the past months, the Post Office made any possible effort to become one of the top 10 lenders in Great Britain by approving an average of £3 billion of mortgage loans. The efforts of the Post Office are being backed up by the Bank of Ireland, which used to be in the top 10 of UK lenders before the beginning of the credit crunch as its total mortgage lending amounted to £9.2 billion; in February 2009 the bank lost its position.

Posted by uch1405 @ 07:49 AM 0 Comments

Thursday, October 22, 2009

This caught my eye - Church of England set to lose out on New York property investor bankruptcy.

Bloomberg: Tishman Group Moves Toward Default After Court Ruling

“Bondholders potentially face a billion dollar loss, which would be the largest loss in CMBS history,” Steve Kuritz, senior vice president at credit rating company Realpoint LLC, said in an interview today. New York-based Tishman and partners including BlackRock Realty LP owe more to bondholders than the complex is worth, Kuritz said in a report on the property this week. One of the investors in the complex includes the Church of England. God clearly doesn't approve! (I added that bit)

Posted by tyrellcorporation @ 09:30 PM 3 Comments

Laughable social fabric

Credit Action: October 09 Personal debt

House prices are going back up as fast as they came down! People around me look so poor. Yet, London seems to be on a roll again. I'm amazed at the Governments willingness to make so many young and old so poor throughout this land, without hope of getting out of the problem, in order to make a very small sector extremely rich. Is it to be expected with the Band of England now controlling monetary policy yet having no social responsibility? I would love to see the day the people of this land marched together on Parliament to demand change. That would be a most auspicious event. Nice to see we all owe £1.4 trillion, now on the back of a broke government borrowing £100's millions, diluting your wealth by QE, and claiming there is no inflation.Everthing seems to be going up in price to me!

Posted by pjm @ 06:32 PM 2 Comments

I think the BTL 'empire' owning BBC online editors have lost the plot

BBC 'News': Banks 'to lend more in mortgages'

Read the article, then read the title. What is going on?

Posted by paul @ 06:32 PM 15 Comments

Wonder if it was a FTB

Bloomberg: Four-Year-Old Got Homebuyer Tax Credit, Treasury Says

"Children as young as four years old have improperly received first-time homebuyers tax credits as the U.S. failed to adequately screen filings, a Treasury inspector general told lawmakers today."

Posted by rumble @ 05:55 PM 1 Comments

Just a quick summary of US

Reuters: August house price index dips 0.3 percent

"U.S. home prices fell by a seasonally adjusted 0.3 percent in August, bringing the 12-month decline to 3.6 percent... The U.S. index is down 10.7 percent from its April 2007 peak."

Posted by rumble @ 05:50 PM 0 Comments


London Evening Standard: Return of bank bonuses fuels a new surge in house prices

The return of huge bonuses is already pushing up the price of homes - even though City workers have yet to receive their payouts.

Posted by rumble @ 05:47 PM 3 Comments

Confidence returning ?

FTAdvisor: First-time buyer mortgage enquiries hit peak levels

The IFA promotion website's latest Mortgage Advice Drivers report shows requests for advice on first-time buyer mortgages increased to an all time high of 51 per cent in September, making it the most searched for advice criteria. The second most searched for criteria was re-mortgage advice, which also increased to 34 per cent from 29 per cent in August. Meanwhile, buy-to-let mortgages also reached an all time high, with 17 per cent of all enquiries now seeking advice in this area in September.

Posted by debtfree @ 03:33 PM 2 Comments

I can't afford it, you can't afford it. Who can ?

Property Wire: Spanish property investors who have become reluctant landlords hit by huge rise in tenant defaults

Property owners in Spain who are renting out their properties because they cannot sell them due to the country’s depressed real estate market are increasingly experiencing problems with bad tenants hit by the economic downturn. The number of defaulting tenants and evictions have tripled in the past two years. Many of them who are having problems are expats who moved to Spain for a better lifestyle and then became reluctant landlords because of the credit crisis.

Posted by debtfree @ 03:21 PM 0 Comments

Commercial Property loss hits Banks (list)

Bloomberg: Commercial Mortgage Backers Face $1.6 Billion Loss

"Investors in the first U.K. commercial mortgage bonds to be liquidated since the financial crisis began may lose as much as 1 billion pounds ($1.6 billion) after values of properties backing the two deals collapsed. Epic (Industrious) Plc issued bonds on 1,500 warehouses, which fetched 44 percent of their peak value in sales that completed this month. Banks, insurers and pension funds that hold the bonds face losses from the 35 billion euros ($52 billion)...."

Posted by alan @ 02:46 PM 1 Comments

Equality not on political agendas

Guardian: Diversity and equality are not the same thing

Following on from yesterday's discussions, this article points out that none of the political parties here or in the US are interested in policies that bring us closer to an equal society. Slightly off-topic, but only slightly.

Posted by letthemfall @ 01:06 PM 4 Comments

I hate sky news but here is something slightly connected to our cause

Sky News: Land Registry to Cut 1500 jobs

Can anyone find anythign in the article which attempts to explain why? I hate sky news!

Posted by brickormortis @ 12:23 PM 4 Comments

Not Enough To Do These Days

BBC: Job cuts feared at Land Registry

Only 5,500 people needed to register property sales next year

Posted by ontheotherhand @ 12:05 PM 15 Comments

Poor mans super market pulls out of poor mans town

Evening Telegraph ( Northants ): Periodictask.cpp

Something must be really bad when a shop like netto is closing down in of all places, Corby. Maybe all the corby-wegians are shopping at waitrose these days !!!

Posted by thecountofnowhere @ 11:58 AM 0 Comments

Consumers underwater! (And the weather was very good in September)

Times: British retail sales fall flat in September

Retail sales remained flat in September, confounding analysts' expectations that the figures would show a monthly pick-up amid growing optimism about the economy. The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said that sales volumes failed to grow last month, for the second consecutive month, with the steepest decline in clothes and shoe sales, which were down by 0.5 per cent from August. Food sales were down by 0.1 per cent, while sales in non-specialised stores such as department stores, were up 0.5 per cent.

Posted by tyrellcorporation @ 11:22 AM 8 Comments

Cor blimey! Someone actually taking a stand against the Banksters. Will the UK follow suit?

Telegraph: Obama's pay tsar to cut executive salaries by up to 90pc

President Barack Obama's pay tsar is to reduce the pay of leading bankers and traders at Citigroup, Bank of America (BoA) and American International Group (AIG) by as much as 90pc as part of a major crackdown on excessive compensation in the financial sector and beyond.

Posted by tyrellcorporation @ 11:18 AM 5 Comments

Markets now addicted to 'stimulus measures' - where do we go from here? Dash for the exits?

Bloomberg: Stocks Fall Around World on China, Ericsson as Dollar Rallies

Stocks fell from Tokyo to Paris and the dollar rose as the fastest economic growth in a year in China stoked speculation that government stimulus measures will be removed. “It is clear that time is running out for the sweet spot,” Lee Hardman, a currency economist at Bank of Tokyo Mitsubishi UFJ Ltd. in London, wrote in an e-mailed note today. Following today’s GDP release in China, “market sentiment has been soured as the report has turned attention towards when the Chinese will begin to tighten policy,” he said.

Posted by tyrellcorporation @ 10:51 AM 4 Comments

Things are about to get a whole lot worse

Cnn: Losing their lifeline - 7,000 a day

As the Senate debates whether to extend unemployment benefits, more than 200,000 jobless Americans are set to see their checks stop in October.

Posted by mark @ 10:29 AM 3 Comments

There goes the last line of employement for the average worker

Daily mail: Are the days of the checkout worker numbered? Tesco pioneers first ever self-service only shop

Tesco sounded the death knell for checkout workers today after opening Britain's first entirely self-service shop. The Tesco Express in King's Langley, Northampton, has a total of five self-scan tills overseen by a single member of staff but no manned checkouts. It is described by the company as an 'assisted service store' designed to increase efficiency and speed up the shopping process. *******More likely to increase profits and completly finish off browns dump of a country******

Posted by mark @ 10:06 AM 57 Comments

Perhaps all is not as hunky dory as the EA's would have you believe

Mortgagestrategy: Property Ombudsman gets four complaints an hour about lettings

The Property Ombudsman, Christopher Hamer, says that he has seen lettings disputes rise from 77 calls a week in 2008 to 129 in 2009, which works out at four an hour. The Ombudsman said he is also getting calls from estate agents complaining about the behaviour of other agents who are making unsolicited approaches to sellers who already have their properties for sale or to let, widely known as touting.

Posted by jack c @ 09:53 AM 0 Comments

Blowing up the next BIG bubble - Chinese Property Market

Bloomberg Video - requires WMP: Xie Says China Property Market Risk to Nation's Economy

A rollercoaster of bubbles and busts... This guy is very wary of the huge property bubble that has been blown up in China over the last 18 months or so.

Posted by tyrellcorporation @ 09:09 AM 0 Comments

A Few Ups Do Not Mean There Will Not Be Many More Down Down Downs....

New Statesman: It’s time for a few home truths

"My guess is that, when this is all over, house prices will eventually fall from peak to trough by around a third. However, it is perfectly possible they may well undershoot on the downside by more than that, as they did in the early 1990s, before they recover. Already prices have fallen by roughly 20 per cent on the Halifax measure and probably have at least another 10-15 per cent still to fall." "If incomes are falling and it is hard to get credit, if there are several million households in negative equity, unemployment is rising and there is a large stock of unsold houses, it is hard to understand how house prices could increase any time soon. "

Posted by sybil13 @ 08:09 AM 2 Comments

Nothing new - House Price Inflation Not Such a Great Idea

Guardian: Rising house prices are only good news for economists

"...the Bank of England's measure of inflation excluded house prices, a fact that Mervyn King, its governor, bemoaned before and after the crisis, and you yourself agree should now be rectified. If house price inflation had never been mistaken for something fabulous, instead of something terrible, all those sub-prime loans wouldn't have looked nearly so attractive in the first place." So now what? Surely not just more of the same?

Posted by sybil13 @ 07:56 AM 6 Comments

Smaller banks would be good for competition. What about a Glass-Steagall separation?

Telegraph: Is Labour setting us up for the next crisis? King thinks so

Bank of England Governor Mervyn King favours a Glass-Steagall like separation of utility and investment banking. "There are those that claim such proposals are impractical," he said, before adding: "It is hard to see why." The case for a serious review of how the banking industry is structured, he concluded, is strong. Paul Volcker, Mr King, Lord Lawson, John Kay, Terry Smith, Anthony Bolton, and all have now pronounced themselves in favour of Glass-Steagall. It is often said that Glass-Steagall would not have prevented Northern Rock nor would it have stopped Lehman Brothers. I beg to differ. By the time it went under, the Rock could in no way be described as a narrow utility bank.

Posted by drewster @ 12:46 AM 11 Comments

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The truth will out.

The Guardian: Darling blasts Goldman Sachs over bonuses

"I've spoken to all our banks and none of them would be standing here today if the taxpayer hadn't put their hand into their pocket."

Posted by devo @ 08:32 PM 16 Comments

Actually, separating commercial banks from investment banks isn't such a good idea

Marginal Revolution: Glass-Steagall: The Real History

Many wise people are now recognizing that the repeal of Glass-Steagall was one of the few saving graces of the current crisis. Let's thank President Clinton for that wise bit of deregulation. For example, national banks with security affiliates were much less likely to fail than banks without affiliates. The separation of commercial and investment banking increased the cost of external finance. Most of all, repealing the Act enabled financial diversification and thus it paved the way for a number of mergers. It made it possible for JP Morgan to buy Bear Stearns and for Bank of America to buy Merrill Lynch. [This blog is written by two US economics professors, albeit in September 2008 before the big bailouts in November.]

Posted by drewster @ 08:30 PM 3 Comments

Where are what?

Cnn: Where are the %&@*!# jobs?

Repeat after us. There is no strong recovery without job growth. There is no strong recovery without job growth. Why does Wall Street not get that?

Posted by mark @ 08:22 PM 2 Comments

There's life in the old dog yet

BBC News: Pound soars on Bank meeting notes

The pound has rallied after the Bank of England said its monetary policy committee voted 9-0 earlier this month not to pump more cash into the economy. The pound was up 1.8% against the dollar and up 1.1% against the euro, after the minutes of October's MPC meeting revealed the bank voted unanimously not to extend its £175bn programme of quantitative easing, and to keep interest rates on hold at 0.5%.

Posted by little professor @ 05:42 PM 17 Comments

Your Thoughts Wanted

Citywire: Are house price rises really a good thing?

So what do you think then, are house price increases robbing the young and poor – and future generations – to pay for the consumption of the old today? Is the government deliberately trying to engineer this scenario, motivated by short term political considerations? And is there any other choice? Thoughts - from the young and old, landowners and landless - please.

Posted by sybil13 @ 04:23 PM 7 Comments

Brown slaps down Merv, I wonder why?

Telegraph: Gordon Brown rebuffs Mervyn King's suggestion that banks need breaking up

Mr Brown told MPs that "the difference between having a retail and investment bank is not the cause of the problem." The Prime Minister added that "the cause of the problem is that banks have been insufficiently regulated at a global level."

Posted by tyrellcorporation @ 04:05 PM 22 Comments

Obama worried he can't afford first time buyer tax credit

Moneynews.com: U.S. Skeptical of Renewing Homebuyer Credit

Reality check, bailouts have to slow down. "The Obama administration is still considering whether to back a popular tax credit for first-time homebuyers but is skeptical the United States can pay for it, Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan said Tuesday....The new homebuyer $8,000 tax credit, which will expire at the end of November, has boosted home sales in recent months, helping to revive a flagging housing market that had been a key factor driving the United States into a recession."

Posted by mountain goat @ 02:16 PM 2 Comments

More bear fodder?

Motley Fool: The Greatest Threat To Economic Recovery

Just as the economy is coming out of recession, rising house prices are threatening to put us back to square one.

Posted by mr g @ 01:09 PM 1 Comments

Last chance to get out

ThisIsMoney: Property tales: Why I'm selling up to rent

The editor of "ThisIsMoney" is selling to rent, and exchanging in November (perhaps writing after he had the cash would been safer), regretting his missed chance in 2007 and quoting Rightmove "a window of opportunity for sellers". Housing is apparently overpriced against wages, rents at the moment, and touches briefly on overpriced against future government expenditure and disposable income. A useful reminder of VIs who exist at every level in the media, the poor lamb has been holding on against hope for an opportunity to escape through a temporary recovery in prices, but lo, is in fact the editor of ThisIsMoney. Does anybody know if they have been ramping over the last year?

Posted by stillthinking @ 12:59 PM 7 Comments

Well, that and the fact they are over-priced

Daily Mail: Online crime maps 'could wipe thousands off house prices overnight'

"An interactive map offering detailed crime statistics on every street in England and Wales could wipe thousands off house prices in certain areas, experts warned today." Makes a change from being robbed by the banks.

Posted by thecountofnowhere @ 12:22 PM 5 Comments

NLA Expects New FSA Initiative to Increase Mortgage Costs for Buy to Let Landlords

E1 News: NLA Expects New FSA Initiative to Increase Mortgage Costs for Buy to Let Landlords

Yesterday, on October 20th, the National Landlords Association (NLA), UK leading national independent body for residential landlords, expressed its concern over the statement by the Financial Services Authority made on Monday, October 19th. In the opinion of NLA experts, the proposed regulation of the buy to let sector in the UK might result in an increased cost of borrowing for buy to let landlords. Let us remind that the FSA wants to impose tighter control on the UK mortgage market by banning self-cert mortgages and by introducing affordability tests. The FSA is determined that the measures it outlined will help resolve the problems of the UK mortgage market caused by the economic downturn as borrowers will only be granted mortgages they can actually support.

Posted by uch1405 @ 11:42 AM 0 Comments

CML Reports Increased Gross Mortgage Lending

E1 News: CML Reports Increased Gross Mortgage Lending

The report on gross mortgage lending in September, published by the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) on its website on Tuesday, October 20th, reveals that UK homebuyers’ mortgage borrowing from banks, building societies and other lending organisations totalled to £12.5 billion in September 2009. The figure is 2% higher than it was in August, but still it is as much as 25% lower than in September 2008. CML report also showed that mortgage borrowing by UK homeowners in the 3 months to the end of September amounted to £38.9 billion – an 18% increase on the 2nd quarter of the year, yet a 36% decrease against the 3rd quarter of 2008.

Posted by uch1405 @ 11:41 AM 0 Comments

How much I am off to switzerland!!!

Daily mail: Income tax 'must rise by 7p to pay back Britain's debts'

The Government could have to put 7p on the basic rate of income tax as part of its efforts to rein in Britain’s spiraling debts, according to a report published today.

Posted by mark @ 10:08 AM 14 Comments

The banks must be controlled

FT: How to manage the gigantic financial cuckoo in our nest

"Either we impose a credible threat of bankruptcy, or institutions we have to support are made safer, or, better, we have both of these. Open-ended insurance of weakly regulated institutions that take complex gambles is intolerable. We dare not return to business as usual. It is as simple – and brutal – as that."

Posted by letthemfall @ 09:36 AM 2 Comments

No words...

Telegraph: Goldman Sachs vice-chairman says: 'Learn to tolerate inequality'

...let Lord Gribble of Slartibartfast tell that to the 50 million worldwide now out of work, or the 46 million worldwide who have now slipped below the poverty line. See what they have to say about it.

Posted by cat and canary @ 09:04 AM 48 Comments

Robinson Way Ltd. to Resume Debt Portfolio Purchases

E1 News: Robinson Way Ltd. to Resume Debt Portfolio Purchases

A British debt collection company, Robinson Way Ltd, previously owned by London Scottish Bank, which collapsed lately, re-emerged on the UK market of debt collectors. According to the Credit Services Association, country’s body for debt recovery agencies, the major challenge Robinson Way Ltd. now faces is the availability of funds that the company needs to purchase new debt portfolios. In the opinion of Mr. Sean Feast, Credit Services Association’s spokesman, debt collection firms that do have enough funds to buy debt portfolios can develop successfully, while others might face difficulties in fund raising.

Posted by uch1405 @ 07:39 AM 0 Comments

Bank of England Governor Mervyn King has insisted banks must no longer be allowed to take gambles, s

Herald scotland: King calls for reform to ward off future financial meltdown

n an exclusive article for The Herald, which comes after his hard-hitting speech in Edinburgh last night, he warns sweeping reform of the UK financial system is “essential” so future generations will “not suffer an even greater crisis” than that which tipped the economy into deep recession.

Posted by chris @ 06:21 AM 27 Comments

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Economic problems have been parked, not solved

This is London: London’s economy breathes easy but can it really last?

"Now people so want to believe the worst is over that no one wants to hear how it could all go pear-shaped again. Just as two years ago no one was prepared to listen to those who said the boom was out of control, so today no one wants to be told that this recovery might turn out to be a false dawn. Arguably we are beginning to make those same mistakes again - with bankers' bonuses just the beginning. What worries the Cassandras like me is that the fundamental economic problems have been parked, not solved. The Japanese have a proverb which says that if you put rotting meat in a freezer, you don't cure the rot, you simply kill the pong. So it is with our banking system."

Posted by sybil13 @ 11:53 PM 2 Comments

Is Mervyn King singing from George Soros's song book?

Telegraph: Mervyn King: bank bail-outs created 'biggest moral hazard in history'

Mervyn King tonight attacked big banking, indicating that high street banks should be separated from their risky investment banking wings and calling for a reconsideration of the whole financial system's structure warning that the support handed out by the Government had "created possibly the biggest moral hazard in history".

Posted by enuii @ 10:26 PM 8 Comments

Quantitative Easing - but not quite as the BoE imagined it

Evening Standard: Cheap money offers that beggar belief

Just when you think the banks have exhausted their capacity to deliver a surprise, along comes something else which just takes your breath away. Funny money lining affluent pockets and not going to SMEs. This is causing the dash for trash and anything providing a marginal return.

Posted by crash n burn @ 10:24 PM 2 Comments

I was wrong, I was expecting a "W" shaped recovery

SKY: King Signals Sign Of UK Economic Recovery

"He (King) said he expected Friday's GDP figures (Gross Domestic Product, a basic measure of a country's economic performance) for July to September to be positive". "In the UK, in the form of direct or guaranteed loans and equity investment, it is not far short of a trillion (that is, one thousand billion) pounds, close to two-thirds of the annual output of the entire economy". "To paraphrase a great wartime leader, never in the field of financial endeavour has so much money been owed by so few to so many".

Posted by alan @ 10:16 PM 0 Comments

Huge increase over five years in quantity of interest-only mortgages

This is Money: The interest-only mortgage timebomb

Forget affordability, income multiples and self cert, interest-only mortgages are the real elephant in the room of the UK property market. Hidden deep in the FSA's mortgage market review, which has been grabbing the headlines, a chart shows the rise of interest-only mortgages as house prices boomed from 2002 to 2007, from 13% of those taken out to 33%. The FSA report highlights that 'the vast majority had no repayment vehicle specified'.

Posted by wanderinman @ 05:46 PM 25 Comments

More good news for the jobless recovery.

Sky News: 'Deluge' Of Firms Will Hit The Wall In 2010

"Britain is likely to see a "deluge" of business failures and rising unemployment next year, a report has warned." Plently of people to buy houses and invest in stocks and shares. Full steam ahead to a labout party victory and the next election. No more boom and bust. They way it's going it will just be bust.

Posted by thecountofnowhere @ 05:04 PM 0 Comments

Interesting ...... does anyone know if this is genuine from the beeb

Bbc: PartyGaming founder reduces stake

Anurag Dikshit will sell up to 75 million shares, reducing his stake to 9.5% from 28%. In December 2008, Mr Dikshit pleaded

Posted by mark @ 12:07 PM 10 Comments

House price crash in 2010?

YouMove.co.uk: House price crash in 2010 boom in 2013?

After falling for 18 months is the housing market finally starting to recover? For the first time since the crash began, both the Nationwide and the Halifax house price indexes are showing a price rise in the last quarter (2.6% and 0.8% respectively). While this is seen as good news by many in the housing industry the overall picture still looks far from rosy, with Halifax showing an overall fall of 20.1% from the market’s 2007 peak and Nationwide showing a drop of 14.6%. Nevertheless, has the past quarter seen the start of a recovery or are we looking at an upward blip in an otherwise downward trend? The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) certainly seems to think things are picking up. Not all agree, however ...

Posted by johno @ 12:05 PM 11 Comments

'Unsustainable' buy-to-let market 'must be regulated'

Telegraph: 'Unsustainable' buy-to-let market 'must be regulated'

It called the buy-to-let market "unsustainable" and said the high incidence of mortgage fraud and arrears showed the need for the sector to be brought within the scope of FSA regulation. If buy-to-let remained outside its remit, borrowers who were turned down for residential mortgages – which are already regulated and will be subject to tougher rules under the FSA's proposals – might try to take out unregulated buy-to-let loans instead, a process it called "gaming".

Posted by cat and canary @ 11:31 AM 4 Comments

CML - "The rise in mortgage lending is unlikely to continue"

FT: Mortgage lending shows further modest growth

Mortgage lending rose once again in September by 2 per cent to reach £12.5bn, but the figure is still significantly lower than the same month last year. According to new figures from the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML), there has been a significant pick up in house purchase activity, however, remortgages have continued to decline. The CML revealed that gross mortgage lending totalled £12.5bn in September, a 2 per cent rise from the £12.3bn in August but down 27 per cent from September 2008.Lending in the third quarter of 2009 reached an estimated £38.9bn, an 18 per cent increase from the second quarter but still down 36 per cent from the third quarter of last year.

Posted by jack c @ 10:42 AM 2 Comments

Spring bounce, summer bounce, autumn bounce ...

BBC: Summer lift in mortgage lending

"Mortgage lending has shown a late summer lift compared with earlier in the year, according to the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML). The group said that gross mortgage lending in the third quarter of the year reached £38.9bn, an 18% rise on the previous three months. Mortgage lending was up 2% in September compared with August, but still down 27% on September 2008. The CML suggested that the recent lift in lending could have hit a plateau..."

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 10:42 AM 6 Comments

Up up and away

BBC: Record in public sector borrowing

The UK's public sector net borrowing totalled £14.8bn last month, official figures have shown. The figure from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) was slightly lower than economists had expected but was still a record for September. The rise takes net borrowing to £76.2bn for the six months of the financial year so far. The government expects borrowing to total £175bn in 2009. The government's overall debt now stands at £824.8bn, or 59% of GDP.

Posted by jack c @ 10:17 AM 2 Comments

Home prices: About to get much cheaper

Cnn: Home prices: About to get much cheaper

If you thought home prices were bottoming out, you may be wrong. They're expected to get a lot more affordable.

Posted by mark @ 10:06 AM 0 Comments

Irish comparison

Telegraph: Irish house prices to fall 45pc as debt spiral looms

Price deflation in Ireland is running at 6.5%. If you were to assume that Ireland had a similar situation with us, similar enough to be comparable i.e. if the UK were in the Eurozone then we would also have 6.5% price deflation, and you also accept that the government cannot create real wealth. Then for ZIRP and QE to hold prices steady in the UK at a time of massive demand destruction must be equivalent to an annual 93.5 -> 100 rate of inflation, which is 7%. If you also guess this happened from 2008 then should the economy recover in late 2010 to 2011, prices will need to compensate by around 21% up. The government cannot hold to 2%, so the currency markets look reasonably accurate (around 20% devaluation).

Posted by stillthinking @ 09:56 AM 4 Comments

More green shoots

Guardian: Business failures predicted to surge

Hope you haven't just bought a house!!!

Posted by chrisch @ 09:55 AM 1 Comments

Further Analysis of the FSA Rules

Independent: A million frozen out of mortgage market

Experts criticised what they said was an "over-reaction" from the Financial Services Authority, saying that while there were abuses in the run-up to the credit crunch, the vast majority of such "self-certification" loans were legitimate. Even the FSA said it accepted that the mortgage market worked well for "95 per cent of consumers".

Posted by alan @ 09:30 AM 6 Comments

Things aren't as bad as they seem in Spain

Telegraph: Recession-hit Spain goes back to black economy

Spain doesn't feel like a country with an unemployment rate of 19% [and youth unemployment of 39.2%]. Bars, shops and restaurants are full and only 3% of mortgages have gone sour. What gives? Unemployment benefits in Spain are very generous and family support networks are stronger. But the Spanish may also be falling back on a less attractive tradition – dodging taxes. Anecdotes abound of people working in side jobs while collecting unemployment benefits. Consider the surprisingly small number of people who applied for extended unemployment benefits. One reason may be the requirement to take training courses to qualify. That's difficult if you're already working at another job.

Posted by drewster @ 01:43 AM 14 Comments

9 reasons to avoid debt slavery

Yahoo.co.uk: 9 reasons to say No to credit

I haven't read an article telling us to stick 2 fingers up to the scummy banksters for ages :-D Combine the excuses from those of us who know better with a lack of knowledge from those of us who don't, and you've got a nation of debtors. Whether you need a gentle nudge to get back on the right track or some basic knowledge to keep yourself out of trouble in the first place, we'll give you nine ways to help you talk yourself out of drawing on credit. But why do we have to be spoken to like we are children?

Posted by xswampyx @ 12:14 AM 1 Comments

Sharp fall in repossessions going to auction

Guardian: Housebuyers bid for market recovery as auctions lead the way

This part of the article says that the number of repossessions going to auction is barely a quarter of the same period last year. " The latest figures from auction specialists the Essential Information Group (EIG) showed that 72% of lots were sold at all residential auctions in July to September this year, up from 62% in the same period a year earlier. David Sandeman, managing director of the EIG, said: "The vendor is being more realistic and the purchaser is more willing to buy." However, analysts believe the lack of repossessions going to auction is artificially holding up the market. EIG said just 306 repossessed lots were up for sale in the third quarter of 2009, compared with a whopping 1,351 in the same period a year earlier. "

Posted by wanderinman @ 12:10 AM 6 Comments


Telegraph: Half of all home buyers have mortgage requests rejected

The exclusive research for The Daily Telegraph revealed how banks are restricting mortgage deals and holding onto Government cash to improve their balance sheets instead. The survey by credit checking agency Equifax revealed that 46 per cent of home buyers had their first mortgage application refused, compared to 23 per cent last year. The survey also revealed further evidence that lenders are cherry-picking the best borrowers with 18 per cent of home buyers unable to get on the property ladder because they do not have a large enough deposit. It compares with 10 per cent a year ago.

Posted by wanderinman @ 12:01 AM 2 Comments

Monday, October 19, 2009

NOW he makes the right noises

Bloomberg: Greenspan says US should consider breaking up large banks

Alan "it wasn't me, it was the Chinese and their excess savings" Greenspan says banks must not be too big to fail - failure is an integral part of a market system. Getting too big to fail makes for moribund firms that are a big drain on society's savings and undermine living standards. Implicit gov't guarantees of big banks' obligations give them an unfair advantage (they can borrow more cheaply for a start) and this squeezes out competition (and makes the big banks even bigger). Just taxing the big banks more and raising capital ratios won't do the job. They should be broken up. Strange how these guys see the light AFTER they leave office. Then again, maybe it's not so strange.

Posted by icarus @ 07:26 PM 16 Comments

Oh what a shame ... this is not bad news by the way Capital Economics group!

Citywire: Will new mortgage rules bring down house prices?

Economists are predicting new rules from the Financial Services Authority (FSA) aimed at tightening lending criteria and preventing borrowers from getting in over their heads will bring down house prices. Seema Shah, Capital Economics, said: 'The closure of the self-certification mortgage market would spell yet more bad news for house prices.'

Posted by hjg @ 04:33 PM 1 Comments

Commercial Real Estate Credit Crunch in slow motion

Commercial Mortgage Alert: 10/16/2009 Lenders Gloomy as Credit Crunch Drags On

The main concern for the next few years is the overhang of maturing debt that won't qualify for refinancing. "I think this is a much bigger problem than people realize," said Jack Taylor, a managing director of Prudential Real Estate Investors...Unlike some other investors, many property owners don't have to mark their holdings to market value. So as long as they can make their loan payments, the crunch does not come until loans mature. Long-term leases have delayed the day of reckoning for many office landlords. And extraordinarily low Libor rates have helped borrowers with short-term loans skate by. Also, lenders and owners have a mutual interest in kicking problems down the road. Lenders are willing to extend loans rather than recognize losses that could cripple their capital bases."

Posted by mountain goat @ 03:32 PM 3 Comments

Err!!..but, but, interest rates are going to stay low

FTAdvisor.com: Schroders issues inflation warning

No matter how many different lines of spin nulabs pollitt bureau can come up with, the truth is you cannot keep producing money out of thin air and expect everything to work itself out in such a fashion that "the greatest financial disaster in the history of the planet" appears to be nothing more than a blip during 2008-2009. Inflation will come, markets will fall, ordinary people will lose out, the tories will only last 1 term, then labour will start it all again...the human race really is dumb!!

Posted by mr cobblepot @ 02:06 PM 8 Comments

Hahahaha - one way to get back at lenders!!

Yahoo: Report finds new wrinkle in U.S. bankruptcies

HICAGO (Reuters) - Recent bankruptcy filings by small U.S. businesses show a trend that could complicate lenders' efforts to identify at-risk borrowers, a new study reveals. PayNet, which provides analytic tools to the commercial credit industry, looked at 750 small business bankruptcy filers and found 50 percent were current with one or more of their lenders when they threw in the towel and sought protection from their creditors. "Approximately half the lenders never saw it coming,"

Posted by mark @ 01:50 PM 0 Comments

A Tale of Two Cities (part 2 - Miami)

Bloomberg: Buyers Sue Trump as Miami’s Condo Prices Plummet

This brings to mind the Pan Peninsular development in Canary Wharf, East London, where buyers have similar problems

Posted by john galt @ 11:07 AM 1 Comments

A Tale of Two Cities (part 1 - London)

Bloomberg: London Agents ‘Sold Out’ as Home Prices Reach Record

Amazing and hurts me to say it, that despite all the speculative excesses, the UK, and London in particular seem to be escaping the worst of the downturn.

Posted by john galt @ 11:07 AM 23 Comments

Worth a read..

Bloomberg: Armageddon in Alabama Proves Parable for Local U.S. Governments

In its 190-year history, Jefferson County, Alabama, has endured a cholera epidemic, a pounding in the Civil War, gunslingers, labor riots and terrorism by the Ku Klux Klan. Now this namesake of Thomas Jefferson, anchored by Birmingham, is staring at what one local politician calls financial “Armageddon.”

Posted by mark @ 10:46 AM 0 Comments

The Dutch know how to do it.

Dutch news.nl: DSB bank bankrupt, two rescue bids fail

I know this may seem off topic, but it is important to see how our European cousins actually stand up to the banksters, responsible for the current mess - "The bank got into financial difficulties after a run on savings prompted by a campaign by angry customers who say they were oversold mortgages and charged too-high fees on insurance policies.".................where is the British fire. I will not believe it has been destroyed totally, by the nanny state of Crash and Bleuuuuuur!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by bystander @ 10:03 AM 13 Comments

GRrrrrrr these boys are tough ! LOL

Yahoo: FSA unveils tougher mortgage rules

The Financial Services Authority is also calling for a ban on mortgages containing "toxic combinations" which put borrowers at a higher risk, such as lending a high proportion of a property's value to people with impaired credit histories

Posted by happy mondays @ 08:58 AM 66 Comments

How to cut waiting lists in half

Independent: SNP scaps right-to-buy

About time too. Now what about the rest of the UK.

Posted by chrisch @ 08:38 AM 2 Comments

Ernst and Young have been reading HPC archives!

BBC News: ´Too early´to declare recovery

"The forecasting group (Ernst and Young) blamed the weak growth on consumers repaying debt and tax rises after the election." ...you heard them, its all your fault people! No go out and spend!!!! What is all this "awakening" about anyway, cant you people see paying your debt off is so 1920s!! Naughty consumers, naughty!! What can we do Gordon, to force them into more debt?!! If the nation stops borrowing, then our banker friends are in big trouble!! And we dont want them to go to China, with all of their "gigantic brains!!".

Posted by cat and canary @ 07:37 AM 2 Comments

What the.....?

Guardian: London house prices surge past 2007 record high

Property asking prices in London have broken through the record high set in November 2007 as the drought of homes for sale around the country continues to distort the market. New research out today shows that the average asking price in London jumped 6.5% to £461,157 in the four weeks to 10 October, sailing through the high of £412,731 set in November two years ago. The survey by the property website Rightmove also shows that asking prices in England and Wales are now higher than a year ago, after climbing 2.8% in the past month. In its survey, Rightmove said a paucity of homes coming on to the market fuelled a £6,188 rise in asking prices in England and Wales. "Some agents are virtually 'sold out' and are reporting available stock levels in single figures."

Posted by drewster @ 02:36 AM 10 Comments

I've got my beady eye on you!

Telegraph: Mortgage applicants face new checks on spending habits

"Homebuyers applying for mortgages will have to provide much more detailed information about their monthly spending habits under new rules to clamp down on reckless lending. (Today), the Financial Services Authority will tell lenders they must carry out in-depth examinations of households' disposable income before granting a mortgage". Lord Myners, the City minister, said in future, lenders will have to carry out a “meticulous analysis of the ability of the individual to repay the loan.” ......And later this month, the Government will announce new rules curbing the activities of credit card lenders!

Posted by alan @ 12:06 AM 7 Comments

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Can the nation handle the necessary belt-tightening?

The Times: Government debt ‘nearly three times higher than official figure’

The true level of Government debt is equivalent to 157 per cent of national output and nearly three times as large as the £805 billion figure reported by the Office for National Statistics, according to a new book published by a centre-right think tank. Mr Newmark argues that the UK’s public sector net debt is equivalent to £85,610 per household...

Posted by devo @ 10:39 PM 14 Comments

RBS: £4 billion in pay and bonuses this year

The Telegraph: Lord Myners: We will block big bonuses at RBS

Lord Myners said: "We are simply not going to tolerate high levels of remuneration which are not justified and earned. The nation is angry and I'm angry."

Posted by devo @ 09:48 PM 10 Comments

“Wall Street is mocking us”

Cape Cod Times: Fats cats gain as Main Street struggles

The infuriating news that the same inept financial barons who wrecked the economy a year ago are poised yet again to pocket exorbitant paychecks already has Main Street Americans fuming.

Posted by devo @ 08:12 PM 10 Comments

Cracks re-appearing

Telegraph: Lloyds short-selling doubles as traders predict share collapse

Short-selling in Lloyds Banking Group doubled last week in a sign that traders and hedge funds expect shares in the 43.5pc state-owned bank to collapse when it launches a £25bn fund-raising in order to escape the Government's asset protection scheme. The Financial Services Authority (FSA) and the Government are understood to have expressed grave concern that Lloyds may not be able to raise enough cash to extradite itself from the scheme. The Treasury and the FSA were last night holding emergency talks about an escape plan, which has yet to be given the green light by either body.

Posted by wanderinman @ 01:30 PM 0 Comments

When the Old Etonians rule

Observer: Cameron's Conservatives will repeat economic mistakes of 1930s

Highlights some of the tried and tested and failed policies that those spiffing chaps have planned for us.

Posted by letthemfall @ 01:25 PM 19 Comments

Banks are too big to fail, too big to manage, basically just too big

Economist: It wasn't me

Far from expertly manipulating their firms’ books, many bank bosses could not understand them. UBS’s own post mortem found that “at no stage” did managers have a decent assessment of its subprime exposure. Perhaps the clearest lesson is that big banks are as close as businesses can get to being unmanageable. Bank of America's assets are now ten times those of Exxon Mobil, America’s most valuable firm. A balance-sheet of $2.3 trillion is beyond the ken of mere mortals. Even firms staffed only by all-knowing deities—such as Goldman Sachs—look like giant black boxes to outsiders. If the new bank bosses want to be in charge, they must shrink and simplify their firms. That way, next time round, they really can be blamed for everything.

Posted by drewster @ 12:29 PM 0 Comments

Establishment’s cover-up?

Greg Pytel: The Economist exonerate the bankers

Mainstream media talk a lot about irresponsible, greedy, incompetent etc. bankers. However they never question the legality of the financial industry practices. Why?

Posted by ant @ 10:44 AM 6 Comments

More on the FSA mortgage review

BBC News: Tough new lending rules expected

But it is expected to stop short of caps on loan-to-value ratios and income multiples that lenders can offer borrowers.Gordon Brown said the "much tougher rules" would protect the public."Never again should banks and credit card companies encourage you to borrow more than you can realistically afford to repay," he said in a webcast on the Downing Street website. "I believe lenders should have to carry out proper checks on incomes before agreeing home loans. "And to protect homebuyers further, we need much tougher rules to make sure that high loan-to-value or high loan-to-income mortgages are offered only when the lender has done rigorous checks to ensure people can keep up repayments."

Posted by z_boson @ 10:20 AM 3 Comments

Taxpayers cash to prop up top end London property

Observer: Top traders scoop £1.8bn

Not much one can say really.....

Posted by chrisch @ 10:07 AM 0 Comments

Roger Bootle on the economy

Observer: Modern academic economics 'a disaster and a disgrace'

Bootle has a new book out. He expects deflation, house price falls and wants a new global currency

Posted by letthemfall @ 09:57 AM 4 Comments

Still want to vote for the Bullingdon Boys?

Times: Kirstie’s in charge now, so fill your boots, banker boys

Kirstie was a mere handmaiden to the property greed culture, a braying, buxom real-estate hobgoblin, if you like. Cameron’s public support of her, however, is another example of how, even while the unemployment total rises still further, all the stuff that helped to cause the recession from which we are said to be emerging has returned, with a vengeance. Nothing has been learnt: we are back where we were.

Posted by paul @ 09:44 AM 5 Comments

More Common Sense From Cliff D'Arcy

Lovemoney: Why first-time buyers should think twice

.......as I warned in Get ready for the housing crash part II, despite the recent spring bounce, I expect house prices to resume their downward trend very soon. Hence, I have no plans to buy a house for at least another year -- and I would urge first-time buyers to be equally cautious!

Posted by sybil13 @ 08:53 AM 4 Comments

FSA regulates to keep house prices down

Telegraph: Era of cheap mortgages is over, British homeowners warned

Reduction in money lending to hold down house prices.

Posted by eeyore @ 01:49 AM 0 Comments

Chicken feed

The Telegraph: Tax raid on banks planned by ministers

Ministers are drawing up plans for a tax raid on Britain’s banks worth hundreds of millions of pounds.

Posted by devo @ 12:14 AM 6 Comments

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Students at Harvard do not longer have to attend their finance classes

Bloomberg: Harvard Paid $500 Million to Exit Backfired Swaps

Harvard University, the world’s richest school, paid almost $500 million to investment banks to escape interest-rate swaps that backfired, according to the school’s annual report released today.

Posted by mander @ 11:19 PM 1 Comments

BOE soon to be left with egg on their faces

Telegraph: Those once called bonkers now point to where the madness lies

A fairly one-sided argument about the UK not entering deflation any time soon. Mostly blaming the new money and banks releasing the spigot and suggesting that there isn't as much of an output gap as economists think there is. Might be right.

Posted by fallingbuzzard @ 10:59 PM 5 Comments

UK Japan Comparison

Market Oracle: Japan a Deflation Death? - Nope Stagflation

Comparison between the UK and Japan.

Posted by stillthinking @ 10:52 PM 6 Comments


Telegraph: German 'Wise Men' fear credit crunch in 2010

The German government economic advisors fear a credit crunch in 2010, due to increasing bad debts and roll-overs. Spanish banks are mentioned for false accounting, the Germans it would appear don't think that a million new builds will hold their value at the same time as 20%+ unemployment (blue nun+sausage=deep thought). Santander has been fingered fairly often over this. It is hard to see how in 2010 the UK government can brake rising unemployment, when all current figures are a temporary mirage, and our saviour the eurozone is going to tank.

Posted by stillthinking @ 04:06 PM 0 Comments

Shows Gross Rental yeilds across countries

Global Property Guide: Country investment ratings

I thought this might be of interest to show where we (sorry its the capital only) are in the world for Global property investing for yields. Of course it doenst take things into account - like political climate, and tax status. Although if you hover over the star ratings you can see pros and cons of the country. Also the stats arent all as at the same date nor are they all updateable at a common date going forward. To see us we are at no. 74 - its alphabetical 3.48% "very poor".

Posted by techieman @ 03:18 PM 5 Comments

Irish taxpayer props up British mortgage market. Hope they don't send applications out by post.

Times: Post Office sets up bank deal for assault on the mortgage market

The Post Office is to launch a major assault on the mortgage market on Monday with its first tracker deal and a rate cut on some existing products. Its aim is to become one of the Britain’s top ten lenders, approving at least £3 billion worth of home loans by the end of next year. The Post Office expansion into the mortgage market is being financed by Bank of Ireland, now rescued by the Irish Government, as part of a joint venture.

Posted by wanderinman @ 02:56 PM 2 Comments

.... unless you dont have a 25% deposit and unless you live in Londinium

Love money .com: Why it's cheaper to buy than to rent

The average monthly rent (not including London) comes to £434, while those buying a property would currently see a monthly mortgage bill of £382 - an average saving of £52 per month. In the capital, expensive house prices make renting a more affordable option. Those looking to buy in London now would be a massive £466 worse off a month compared to renting. In Wales prospective buyers are the best off each month, saving £90 by buying rather than renting, followed by those in the North West who save £87. Below is a breakdown of what you can save by buying a property across the country instead of paying off your landlord's mortgage:

Posted by techieman @ 02:05 PM 11 Comments

Real life Monopoly: 1,000,000 empty properties

Guardian: Unoccupied, unloved: London mansions left to crumble by elusive offshore owners

Council official despairs at total of 1m empty homes in London and across the UK ... "When I was a boy I used to come up to London and see houses like these and think 'Wow. Who lives there?'" says Paul Palmer, gazing up at a pair of seven-storey mansions in Park Lane across the road from Hyde Park. "Now I know – no one. These are owned by two different companies registered at the same address in the British Virgin Islands. They haven't been occupied for at least seven years, apart from when the squatters were there in January."

Posted by quiet guy @ 01:57 PM 13 Comments

Global trap

FTAlphaville: Zero interest rate policy: Treatment may be as expensive as the crisis

Suggests that given the dramatic additional funding from the government to the finance sector, the G20 are now locked into zero interest rates, as any country attempting to raise rates loses out from capital inflows. Accordingly the way out of such policy is in tandem. However, Australia have recently raised rates quite out of step with other countries. This article seems to suggest (but doesn't actually talk about Australia) that this move cannot be sustainable due to the consequences of a flood of carry trade impacting adversely on the value of the AU. dollar. Chinese central governor calls this the "Triffin dilemma". Summary could be that globalisation has removed monetary control from domestic authorities.

Posted by stillthinking @ 12:43 PM 7 Comments

Zero interest, daily fees for ANY overdraft

Which: Halifax makes current account changes

They must be deserately short of money. Or believe their customers are plain stupid enough not to see that they are being fleeced. Perhaps they've still reeling from the £1 firesale of their estate agency business?

Posted by paul @ 11:29 AM 3 Comments

Nationwide Surprises Its Borrowers with Great Deals

E1 News: Nationwide Surprises Its Borrowers with Great Deals

Good news recently came from one of the largest UK building societies – Nationwide. Not only did it reduce interest rates on mortgages for existing borrowers, but it also introduced new affordable deals for first-time buyers. The move comes in contrast with recent Britannia’s incentive. Nationwide announced a 0.84% cut on some mortgage loans for existing customers.

Posted by uch1405 @ 08:02 AM 0 Comments

Keeping Browns bubble inflated....

Mail: You can STILL get a mortgage for five times your salary

''Banks are offering crippling mortgage loans of up to 5.5 times salary in a further sign that the lessons of the credit crunch have been forgotten. Reckless lending to first-time buyers remains endemic in the financial services industry, according to a study of the practices of leading banks and a mortgage broker. An investigation by the housing charity Shelter found a worker with an income of £28,000 could borrow more than £153,000 from one high street bank. The repayments would have put an impossible financial squeeze on the buyer, bringing a serious risk of repossession.''

Posted by hpwatcher @ 07:39 AM 14 Comments

Friday, October 16, 2009

The Great Awakening.

Daily Mail: We bailed them out. This is how they repay us.

Just a year after the Royal Bank of Scotland came within a few hours of running out of the money to replenish its cash machines, the poor practices and financial greed which brought about the great panic are back with a vengeance.

Posted by devo @ 11:22 PM 49 Comments

Who's still in charge... That would be the bankers

The Atlantic: The Quiet Coup

Here's a comment from former IMF chief economist, confirming what many have said - that our governments are owned by the financiers, and we will all continue to suffer the consequences. If anyone is any doubt about this, ask yourself: why has the biggest fraud in financial history ( securitised toxic financial products ) gone unpunished? To this day, not one of those responsible for this massive fraud has been jailed, and not-one of the "reputable" rating agencies who gave AAA ratings to this financial poison has been prosecuted either. Yet a big song and dance has been made of the prosecution of the minnow Madoff. All a smokescreen of course. Comments from 'War Eagle'

Posted by the number cruncher @ 10:47 PM 2 Comments

From the horses mouth

Renegade Economist: The Man with 900 Houses

Ross Ashcroft catches up with Britain's Buy to Let King Fergus Wilson. A man who bizarrely seems to be totally in the dark to the underlying mechanisms that drive the property market.

Posted by the number cruncher @ 10:20 PM 9 Comments

What will happen to the dollar

The Real News: The Dollar: Dive or survive?

Prof Leo Panitch, New York University on the U.S. dollar's place in the global economy and the political issues that surround it

Posted by the number cruncher @ 10:15 PM 1 Comments

Features a pic of flashman and bob1

The Telegraph: The return of the bonus bonanza for bankers

A year ago, the financial system was in meltdown and bankers were the villains of the piece. So how can it be that Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan now have billions to pay out in salaries and bonuses? Edmund Conway explains.

Posted by devo @ 08:15 PM 9 Comments

Phew Something Bearish

TELEGRAPH: House prices to fall 10pc in 2010

Capital Economics is predicting that house prices will fall by 10 per cent next year and 5 per cent the following year, taking the average price from £163,500 – on the Halifax house price index – to below £139,000 by the end of 2011. Its pessimistic outlook on house prices follows two weeks after the ratings agency Fitch predicted house prices had a further 17 per cent to fall. Fitch argued that prices, despite their fall from the peak of the summer of 2007 when they hit £199,000, were still too expensive, when compared with the average earnings of British workers.

Posted by sybil13 @ 07:46 PM 6 Comments

Neither am I !

Spiked Online: We’re all Keynesians now? I’m not

Recent government actions in response to the financial crisis – in particular the Bush and Obama stimulus packages in the US – have been widely viewed as a sign that Keynes’ brand of economics is back in fashion. Whatever their theoretical inclinations prior to the crash, a majority of economists – and especially those in the Obama administration – dropped any inhibitions they may have had about increasing state spending and debt substantially when confronted with what they thought was the prospect of another Great Depression. As Robert Lucas, a leading economist and critic of Keynes, puts it, ‘I guess everyone is a Keynesian in a foxhole’

Posted by c'mon correction @ 05:11 PM 4 Comments

Fun Online Poll

Pollcode.com: How much land in England (by surface area) is still undeveloped?

Choose from 30%, 50%, 70% and 90%. And yes, I mean 'England' as opposed to 'Great Britain' or 'the United Kingdom'. 'Developed' means built on (incl gardens) as opposed to farmland, forest, lake, marshland, beach, estuary etc. I've been running the poll for a couple of days on my own 'blog and it is quite staggering how many people get the wrong answer.

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 01:52 PM 26 Comments

Lloyds to Sell Halifax Estate Agents for £10m

E1 News: Lloyds to Sell Halifax Estate Agents for £10m

LSL Property Services – the leading UK estate and surveying agency – recently announced that it has started negotiations with the Lloyds Banking Group, which are associated with a possible acquisition of Halifax Estate Agents. Halifax Estate Agents is British 5th largest network of estate agencies, which consists of 218 offices. Yet, according to the speculations, the Lloyds Banking Group, plans to sell the business chain because it, being non-core to Lloyds’ operations, distracts the company from its major activity. Moreover, Halifax Estate Agents was hit hard by the economic downturn in the past 2 years and is not expected to expand further.

Posted by uch1405 @ 12:06 PM 3 Comments

A further triumph for the Home-Owner-Ist Movement

Metro: Kirstie Allsopp set to join House of Lords

"She's advised countless people on the importance of location and now Kirstie Allsopp's possible new home couldn't be much grander... the House of Lords. The Channel 4 property guru is being lined up as one of dozens of new peers should David Cameron win next year's general election. According to leaked documents, the Conservative leader is looking to 'sprinkle stardust on the red benches'." House prices can only go up! Taxes on property must be reduced! All hail The Hallowed Greenbelt! When I was young I saved up a decent deposit! Taking out the biggest mortgage you can afford is the hallmark of a prudent and responsible citizen! (continued page 94)

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 11:43 AM 51 Comments

Sign of a booming property market

BBC News: Halifax estate agents sold for £1

Lloyds Banking Group has agreed to sell its Halifax estate agency business to LSL Property Services for £1. The loss-making business has 218 offices, 93 of which are franchise operations. There are 121 Halifax banking counters located in estate agents, which will close down in early 2010.

Posted by quiet guy @ 08:25 AM 5 Comments

Take your medicine.

The Telegraph: Ex-FSA chief Sir Howard Davies sees 'dramatic’ risks for Britain

What is disturbing is that the British people seem unwilling to face minimal belt-tightening.

Posted by devo @ 07:07 AM 3 Comments

Britannia Withdraws Mortgage Deals for First-time Buyers

E1 News: Britannia Withdraws Mortgage Deals for First-time Buyers

Despite the fact that first-time buyers constitute a large part of UK borrowers, lenders do not try to provide them with new mortgage products. Rather, lenders choose to withdraw mortgage products, which proved to be accessible to first-time buyers earlier. Recently, one of the largest British lenders – Britannia (it merged with Co-operative Bank earlier this year) – pulled out its mortgage deals for borrowers with 10% deposit. In the past months, Britannia held approximately 10% of the market share, offering first-time buyers various mortgage options.

Posted by uch1405 @ 07:06 AM 3 Comments

Regulation is needed.....

Mail: What credit crunch? Bankers saved by OUR money last year gorge on bonuses ... and high-risk mortgages are back

'Bankers have already forgotten the lessons of the credit crunch, it was claimed last night. They were accused of recklessly returning to the practices that tipped the world economy towards meltdown only a year ago. Executives are queuing up to collect multi-million pound bonuses and lenders have launched a hard sell on 95 per cent mortgages, triggering a price war on the high street'

Posted by hpwatcher @ 06:56 AM 7 Comments

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Delay and pray!

Reuters: Fast repossessions may help housing market

LONDON (Reuters) - European housing markets need to see more repossessions in 2010 to bring limp credit markets back to life, or months of mortgage scarcity could morph into years of stunted house prices, fewer sales and more costly home loans. Europe has largely escaped the wave of foreclosures that has dogged the United States, but experts say lenders could hasten an end to Europe's housing hangover if they called time on their most troubled mortgages to free up funds for stronger borrowers

Posted by waitingtobuy @ 09:43 PM 1 Comments

Things can only get worse remember that song labour used..lol

Las vegas sun: Nevada bucks nationwide downward trend in foreclosures

With unemployment running at 13.2 percent in the state, 18,766 foreclosure filings were reported in Nevada in September. These include default notices, scheduled auctions and bank repossessions. The number of Nevada filings increased 4.8 percent from August and was up 44 percent from September 2008, RealtyTrac said. Foreclosure filings were reported on 343,638 properties nationwide in September, a 4 percent decrease from the previous month but a 29 percent increase from September 2008.

Posted by mark @ 07:58 PM 0 Comments

Taxpayer to bail out another financial disaster

Equitable Life losers to be compensated: Guardian

So yet another financial company needs the taxpayer to cover their incompetence? A friend is a EL pensioner so good news for him, I am genuinely pleased, but where is all the money supposed to come from? Ohh yes, from me.....

Posted by chrisch @ 05:49 PM 6 Comments

Any interest in a 7 bed home at $7,000?

Yahoo: At foreclosure auctions, broken dreams on sale

It is an open question whether the auctions indicate that the U.S. real-estate market is recuperating or is still in intensive care. Saddled with swollen portfolios of foreclosed and unsold properties in the housing crisis, U.S. lenders and builders are turning to professional auctioneers to help them unload the unwanted real estate in a hurry.

Posted by mander @ 05:37 PM 2 Comments

The EU think we are in trouble

Daily Mail via This is Money: Britain is at high risk of going bust

The UK's worsening deficit poses 'serious concerns' that the country will be unable to meet future spending commitments such as pensions.

Posted by will @ 02:19 PM 26 Comments

Suck it

Yahoo News: Goldman Sachs has £10bn for pay and bonuses

Investment banking giant Goldman Sachs said it had set aside a mammoth 16.7 billion US dollars (£10.3 billion) so far this year in pay and bonuses as it revealed a 278% leap in profits.

Posted by little professor @ 01:39 PM 5 Comments

These guy's want to have their cake and eat it

Mortgagestrategy: Property coalition calls for abolition of Stamp Duty

A property coalition has called for Stamp Duty to be abolished, slamming the property tax as a relic that fails to reflect the modern UK housing market. The coalition has been formed out of a joint campaign from the National Association of Estate Agents and the Association of Residential Letting Agents. Peter Bolton-King, chief Executive of the NAEA, says that as well as being a barrier to entry for many first-time buyers and home movers, the tax also unfairly penalises buy-to-let investors.This is because landlords have to pay Stamp Duty on their purchases in bulk, rather than paying it for individual properties...........

Posted by jack c @ 01:09 PM 13 Comments

Old news but good commentary from the Guardian

Guardian: For sale: Britain's biggest buy-to-let empire

"That the Wilsons are now hoping to sell their entire portfolio says a lot about what "professional" investors think of the market. Maybe it is because the Wilsons simply wish to retire. Or maybe they believe the game is up for property investing...Don't bet against the Wilsons. They made a lot of money on the way up, and have lost only some of it on the way down. In the racing world they are regarded as eccentric enthusiasts, but their horse Cerium, a 500-1 rank outsider, romped home fifth in the Grand National this year. When they say it's time to sell, it's a compelling signal that falls in the property market are a long way from being over."

Posted by mountain goat @ 01:00 PM 14 Comments


Love money .com: There won't be another housing crash

Arguments are numbered 1, 1b and then 3 - say what?. I will post the Cliff article too. "Think about it. You can print more money, which makes it worth less, but you can't easily print more houses." Erm right

Posted by techieman @ 12:25 PM 5 Comments

Comedy club chief at his all time best !

Mortgagestrategy: House price recovery is no blip, says Assetz

Investment specialist Assetz has poured cold water on predictions that the recent upturn in house prices will be short-lived. Assetz says concerns that imminent interest rate rises will trigger a wave of forced sales coming to the market are unfounded. Stuart Law, chief executive of Assetz, says: "Lenders are still resisting the market’s natural buoyancy with strict lending criteria ruling out thousands of sensible borrowers, but this will not continue forever".

Posted by jack c @ 12:13 PM 2 Comments

London housing not affordable on single wage

Evening Standard: First-time buyers 'need to earn more than £93,000'

Read this on the way home last night. This is the reason why the market will crash.

Posted by refusetobuy @ 11:11 AM 11 Comments

London home needs £93,000 wage

Bbc: London home needs £93,000 wage

The research by the National Housing Federation, which represents 1,200 housing associations, puts the average house price in London at £362,000. A single buyer would require the near-six-figure income to get a 90% mortgage at 3.5 times their salary. The average wage in London is £26,000

Posted by mark @ 11:00 AM 1 Comments

Inflation busting fare rise

BBC: London travel fares to increase

I add insult to injury to those poor souls on the over-priced hamster wheel of London, they'll be paying more to be treated worse than cattle. Were'nt congestion charges meant to help keep charges down ?

Posted by doomwatch @ 10:33 AM 15 Comments

But i thought it was all over!!!

Cnn: Foreclosures Worst three months of all time

Despite the Dow hitting 10,000 and hopes for an economic recovery, the third quarter shows that the foreclosure plague is still spreading. **can anyone actually afford the house they bought?**

Posted by mark @ 09:03 AM 5 Comments

The party isn't over until the..........

Daily Telegraph: Housebuilders face 'false dawn'

Some realistic analysis from the Telegraph. Essentially, Fitch think we're only half way through the HPC. Can they really be so wrong? I don't think so!

Posted by growler @ 08:52 AM 1 Comments

UK Commercial Property Sector Recovery to Start in 2010

E1 News: UK Commercial Property Sector Recovery to Start in 2010

BNP Paribas Real Estate is determined that UK commercial property sector will start its slow yet sustainable recovery next year, according to Mr. Keith Steventon, company’s head of research, who made a speech at BNP Paribas Real Estate economic forecast seminar held in Cardiff, Wales. He highlighted that the major factor affecting the commercial property sector is UK retail rents, which are under the influence of UK household incomes. As household incomes, according to forecasts, are expected to fall in 2011 and to grow in 2012, the commercial property sector is to follow the same trend.

Posted by uch1405 @ 08:42 AM 0 Comments

Stating the bleeding obvious

Mail online: Britain is in danger of going bust, warns EU

The European Commission issued a humiliating warning that the worsening budget deficit poses 'serious concerns' that the country will be unable to meet future spending commitments, such as pensions.

Posted by tim miller @ 08:15 AM 0 Comments

Jumping on the bandwagon

Telegraph: Harrods to sell gold bullion for first time

It is renowned for its glitzy clientele and upmarket Knightsbridge location, but shoppers at department store Harrods will from today be able to buy the ultimate luxury accessory – gold bars. From this morning, Harrods will start selling gold bullion and coins over the counter. Aimed at private investors, the gold will be sold at the Harrods Bank branch on the lower ground floor of the West London store. Poor interest rates and falling property prices have left wealthy investors looking for alternative asset classes to put their money into. A weak dollar yesterday pushed the gold price to a record high of $1,072 an ounce. "Harrods are the only location in London where investors can purchase a 12.5kg gold bar 'off the shelf'." [Worth over £250,000! Note use of word 'investors'.]

Posted by drewster @ 06:22 AM 6 Comments

HPC's preferred measure also rising?

Times: Auction house prices soar over guide values

Homes sold at auction are achieving record sums above the guide amounts set by valuers as lower property prices have brought about a bidding war among bargain-hunters. Graham Barton, senior auctioneer for Westcountry Property Auctions and a presenter on BBC One’s Homes under the Hammer, said: “These are the biggest margins over guide I can remember in 30 years in the industry. In a recession these results are amazing. "

Posted by little professor @ 01:45 AM 26 Comments

We bail out banksters again to prop up house prices

The Guardian: Lloyds asks taxpayers for another £5bn

Alistair Darling is ready to hand over up to £5bn of taxpayers' money to the part-nationalised Lloyds Banking Group in order to shore up its finances.

Posted by devo @ 12:13 AM 4 Comments

The bank of the future will be the bank of the past

MarketWatch: U.S. banks may take big hit from U.K. liquidity rules

Controversial new U.K. rules that require banks to hold more cash and government bonds could end up costing U.S. and European financial institutions dearly as well.

Posted by devo @ 12:08 AM 0 Comments

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

The Jobless Recovereh is Good For The Markets

BBC News: Dow Jones breaks through 10,000

The Dow Jones Industrial Average has topped the 10,000 mark for the first time in a year. World markets were boosted by the news that US bank JP Morgan Chase reported a better-than-expected profit in the July-to-September quarter. The Dow closed 144.8 points higher at 10,015.86 - its highest level since October 2008.

Posted by fubar @ 10:32 PM 12 Comments

Hard times all round...

Sky news: £400m Divorce Wife Evicted From London Home

Even the extremely rich are being kicked out their houses.

Posted by thecountofnowhere @ 08:16 PM 0 Comments

Cloud Cuckoo Land Economy

Telegraph: Public sector workers get pay rises twice the rate of private sector workers

Figures from the Office for National Statistics indicated that public sector workers received a pay rise of 3.4 per cent in the three months to August compared to a pay rise of just 1.5 per cent for employees in the private sector. It highlights the growing disparity between those working in the public sector, who enjoy generous perks such as gold-plated pensions, and those working in the private sector who have suffered the closure of many final salary pension schemes.

Posted by sovietuk @ 05:42 PM 19 Comments

Some people think it's all over............

Moneymarketing: Economy over the worst, says BoE

The Bank of England says the UK is over the worst of the global economic downturn. In a speech to the London Society of Chartered Accountants yesterday, Bank of England deputy governor Charlie Bean said the downturn has “troughed”. He said: “Early in the year, there were considerable fears that the recession would continue to deepen, but some of the worst downside risks look unlikely to crystallise.” Bean said a drop in gilt yields, the biggest rise in equity prices over six months in three hundred years, the issuance of £60bn of corporate bonds and Libor’s return to base rate levels suggest that the economy is improving, in part thanks to the Bank’s quantitative easing scheme.

Posted by jack c @ 05:21 PM 8 Comments

Important Milestone in Green Shoots Recovery

Guardian: America on the verge of 100th bank collapse this year

So far this year, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation has seized control of 98 banks, setting in motion an increasingly well-practised operation in which regulators typically descend on failing banks on a Friday evening, allowing time for regulators to shore up deposits before the financial industry re-opens on a Monday morning. The most recent banks to fail were Warren Bank in Michigan, Jennings State Bank in Minnesota and Southern Colorado National Bank, which shut earlier this month. In all three cases, the FDIC found alternative banks to take responsibility for deposits.

Posted by cat and canary @ 04:16 PM 1 Comments

Frightmove: Getting desperate?

Rightmove: 2 bed terraced house Stockport

"Look at that price again!! Quite unbelievable & certain to inspire many viewings. So what is this arresting experience that will stop you in your tracks?... As you can see this is not a hard sell, and far from it in this difficult climate you'll be handcuffing yourself to the front door in protest, should you miss out." Another sign that fear is kicking in. A shoebox being marketed as a steal at £170k. If it wasn't so sad it would be funny...

Posted by happyrenting @ 03:20 PM 18 Comments

Vampire squid morphs into Bambi

FT: To avoid crises we need more transparency

Lloyd Blankfein, CEO of Goldman Sachs, has lots of sound advice on how regulators should have reined in the big investment banks and prevented the crisis. GS, of course, didn't need to be regulated because they regulated themselves just fine.

Posted by icarus @ 02:06 PM 8 Comments

Thought you might find this statement from savills interesting

Savills: Commercial Auctions Market Review

The present turmoil in the World's economies is far from over and the "Green Shoots of Recovery" are still far from imminent. In these uncertain and unstable times we offer you the speed and transparency of an auction sale.

Posted by mark @ 10:43 AM 5 Comments

Unemployment Up but Not by Much

BBC News: UK Unemployment Goes Up to 2.47m

The latest official UK unemployment figure has risen once again, but the rate of increase has narrowed. - Is this because of McBroon's recovery or because companies don't really lay people of over the summer months?

Posted by need-a-crash @ 10:37 AM 14 Comments

House price inflation by suppressing savings


First paragraph: "THE property market is starting to shrug off the effects of the recession after it was revealed that house prices are rising by up to £1,000 a month." sounds very bullish but later the article states: "By 2014 prices should be back to their 2007 peak – up 21.5 per cent on current values." which is roughly equivalent to 4% per annum compounded over 5 years after tax, by my calculations. In other words, if savers could get a decent return, houses wouldn't be good investments.

Posted by quiet guy @ 09:10 AM 16 Comments

Up, down or flatline?

Bloomberg: U.K. Housing May Face ‘Double-Dip’ Within Two Years, Fitch Says

"The U.K. housing market may face another steep decline within the next one to two years because of a scarcity of affordable mortgages and rising interest rates, putting homebuilders at risk, Fitch Ratings said". “Fundamental indicators, including limited mortgage availability and stretched affordability, point towards a period of stagnant growth at best, or at worst a double-dip contraction,” analysts said in a report today.

Posted by alan @ 09:05 AM 3 Comments

Tragic but....look at his house, 600K...who values it, Northern rock ?

Sky news.: Top City Banker Guilty Of Killing Wife

"A city banker has been found guilty of killing his unfaithful wife after bugging hundreds of hours of her calls. Neil Ellerbeck bought hi-tech gadgets to record his wife's phonecalls Neil Ellerbeck, 46, attacked wife Kate during a violent row at the couple's £600,000 home in Enfield, north London, in November last year." Forget the s***t. look at the photo of his house in the backgrouns, 600K....would anyone pay more than 50k for a house some money grabbing twot did his wife in...and killed her too :lol: "The banker had been working long hours and was drinking two bottles of wine a night, while his industry was going through the worst of the credit crunch." At least he can afford wine, while the rest of us "eat cake"!!!!!

Posted by thecountofnowhere @ 01:17 AM 3 Comments

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

First BIG ramping article seen for a while...

Evening Standard: London house prices will jump nearly 40% by 2014

London prices are going to rise 40% by 2014, said an estate agent with no vested interest whatsoever in ramping the market. The rest of the UK will NOT do as well as London during this period... said the newspaper which has a readership which almost exclusively covers (you guessed it!) London. What, are you calling me cynical? "[Estate agency Knight Frank's] comments coincide with a report from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors which says that a lack of supply continues to underpin the house-price recovery." A coordinated propaganda attack, no less!

Posted by james in london @ 10:08 PM 38 Comments

Wrecking the economy

Market Oracle: Gordon Brown Announces British Public Assets Fire Sale

'Gordon Brown hell bent on going out with a financial bang announces a fire sale of British assets to the tune of £16 billion in exchange for a short pause (1 month?) to the size of the growing debt mountain rather than seek to cut public spending in an election year.'

Posted by hpwatcher @ 08:29 PM 0 Comments

Crash ended, even the builders are back to normal(ish)

Telegraph: Bellway sees rise in reservations for homes, pays dividend

Bellway, the British housebuilder, reported a rise in reservations and said it planned to pay a dividend despite reporting a pre-tax loss for year to the end of July. Reservations since the beginning of August were 58pc ahead of a year ago said the builder. Chairman Howard Dawe said: "With national coverage, a robust balance sheet and low gearing, the Board believes Bellway is well positioned." Losses for the year fell to £36.6m pre-tax after a £66.3m writedown on land values. This compares with a £34.8m pre-tax profit last year. Turnover fell 40pc to £683.8m as the company sold fewer homes - 4,380 against 6,556 in 2008. Bellway said it planned to open new outlets and buy land, mainly in the south of England.

Posted by drewster @ 06:13 PM 1 Comments

Branchflower rebuttal

Spectator: Deconstructing David Blanchflower

Branchflower economic plan refuted paragraph by paragraph.

Posted by stillthinking @ 05:56 PM 1 Comments

Latest CML comments on Self Cert

Mortgagestrategy: Self-cert should not be banned, says CML

Banning self-cert mortgages would exclude borrowers that legitimately use the product from the mortgage market or result in them being trapped in their current mortgage, says the Council of Mortgage Lenders. The CML made the comments as part of its submission to the Financial Services Authority ahead of the publication of its Mortgage Market Review - expected next week. This week's Mortgage Strategy reports that week that rumours are rife that as part of the review the FSA will ban self-cert mortgages. But the CML says it considers self-cert a valid niche product for those that have irregular income or cannot verify their income from employment.

Posted by jack c @ 04:34 PM 18 Comments

Still failing in the US?

Bloomberg: CIT Says Chief Executive Peek to Resign at Year-End

CIT Group Inc., the 101-year-old lender that may file for bankruptcy protection, said Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Jeffrey Peek plans to resign. The U.S. government rejected a second bailout for CIT after committing $2.33 billion in taxpayer funds in December to keep the lender afloat. The company turned to bondholders in July after it was denied access to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.’s program to sell U.S.-backed debt.

Posted by tyrellcorporation @ 04:28 PM 0 Comments

Killer punchline

Times: House prices grow for fifth month in row

After the usual ramping, the best bit is right at the end: "Recent Bank of England figures showed mortgage approvals were at 52,317 in August, still well below the average monthly 93,400 level since 1993. Mortgage approvals below 70,000-80,000 are generally seen as consistent with falling house prices."

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 03:37 PM 1 Comments

I thought demand was going up?

RICS: Drop in enquiries

What ever happened to surging demand?

Posted by semirg @ 02:52 PM 0 Comments

Could this be a test model for the UK?

Independant.i.e (via Bloomberg): Banks may buy back homes from struggling customers

BANKS and building societies may be forced to buy homes from people struggling to meet their mortgage payments and rent them back to them.

Posted by mr cobblepot @ 01:37 PM 11 Comments

El Gordo deleveraging

Mirror: Gordon Brown's £16 billion 'fire sale' sparks fury

I realise this has been posted but there is a bit that was missed out on previous articles (or maybe I didn't notice)."The PM insisted the rest of the £16billion had to come from Local Government. He said council estates could be among those assets sold to and managed by the private sector." Council estates run by the private sector sound a lot like buy-to-let plugged directly into housing benefit. Sell 10,000 at 100K each to raise 1 billion.

Posted by stillthinking @ 10:56 AM 22 Comments


Telegraph: Six European Lehman Brothers bankers claim £70m in lost pay and bonuses

Six European bankers at Lehman Brothers are claiming £70m for lost pay and bonuses from the administrators of the collapsed bank.

Posted by cat and canary @ 10:48 AM 1 Comments

More bear food from MSN, good on 'em

MSN: Are first time buyers heading for a fall

MSN point out that first time buyer buying now might well be wasting their hard earned deposits. Or more likely, blowing the equity their stupid parents have released from their proerty to keep the pyramid selling scheme alive.

Posted by thecountofnowhere @ 10:40 AM 4 Comments

MMMMmmmmm...QE, we're hooked!

Bloomberg: BOE Should Buy as Much as 200 Billion Pounds in Bonds, BCC Says

The Bank of England should expand its bond-purchase program to as much as 200 billion pounds ($316 billion) next month to secure Britain’s recovery from recession, the British Chambers of Commerce said. “With quantitative easing, there’s still scope for some more,”

Posted by tyrellcorporation @ 10:40 AM 0 Comments

The Priced Out Generation

Metro: Renting age rising as prices go up

"The average house renting age has gone up by three years. Tenants in shared flats are now about 28 years old - up from an average of 25 years since 2006, a study showed. The reason is that many young home buyers are being priced out the market, according to renting website SpareRoom." Assuming that to be true (and knowing that the number of private tenants has increased with the number of 'involuntary landlords'), it would suggest that there hasn't been a single FTB for three years. So it's probably a bit exaggerated but not without foundation.

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 10:06 AM 2 Comments

RICS Surveyors Report House Price Increases

E1 News: RICS Surveyors Report House Price Increases

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) reported today that a growing number of its surveyors marked an increase in UK house prices caused by decreasing supply of marketed properties in September. RICS carries out house price surveys monthly, which allows to clearly see the month-to-month changes. As such, the number of surveyors reporting house prices increases rather than falls grew to 22% in September, which compares to merely 10% in August. The figure is also the highest since May 2007.

Posted by uch1405 @ 09:54 AM 0 Comments

Copy of The Rics Survey Being Widely Reported

RICS: September 2009 Housing Survey

Always worth a read, if only for the EA's comments.

Posted by wdbeast @ 09:52 AM 2 Comments

Am I deranged?

Bloomberg: U.K. Housing Market Strengthens on Home Shortage, RICS Says

'The Bank of England says that rising asset prices may buoy the economy and encourage Britain’s recovery from recession.' I'm starting to seriously question my sanity here. How are inflated asset prices 'good for an economy'? How is huge amounts of cash being spent to service debt/mortages and not being spent or invested elsewhere 'good for the economy'? I give up!

Posted by tyrellcorporation @ 09:46 AM 3 Comments

CPI & RPI Latest

BBC: UK inflation rate falls to 1.1%

A key measure of inflation has fallen to its lowest level since September 2004, official statistics show. The Consumer Prices Index (CPI) dropped to an annual rate of 1.1% in September from 1.6% in August. Meanwhile, the Retail Prices Index (RPI) inflation measure, which includes mortgage interest payments and housing costs, fell, to -1.4% from -1.3%. The Bank of England aims to maintain CPI inflation at 2% to keep both prices and the broader economy stable. If CPI falls below 1%, the governor of the Bank of England will have to write a letter of explanation to Chancellor Alistair Darling.

Posted by jack c @ 09:45 AM 6 Comments

Pound continues its descent on Deflation fears

Citywire: Pound continues its descent on inflation fears

The pound continued its decline against other major currencies this morning as fears that inflation has tumbled further below target weighed. Dipping to levels not seen for over half a year, sterling hit a low against the euro of €1.065, down around a third of a cent from opening levels, marking its lowest ebb since late March against the single European currency. It also slid against the dollar in early trading, back under the $1.58 level at $1.5738 at its lowest point. The currency had already taken a hit yesterday after the government announced it was selling off a number of assets - including the country's student loan book and the Dartford Tunnel - and today the trend continued as investors fretted over the impending inflation data.

Posted by jack c @ 09:19 AM 20 Comments

Good news for home owners

BBC News: UK rates 'to stay low for years'

UK interest rates will stay low for years amid tax rises and spending cuts, according to an economic forecast.

Posted by markc @ 09:14 AM 1 Comments

RICS - Biggest increase since May 2007

BBC News: Lack of sellers ups house prices

The proportion of estate agents reporting house price rises exceeded those reporting falls by 22%, the highest in RICS survey since May 2007. "A lack of supply is still underpinning the rise in house prices with new instructions to estate agents only edging up very gradually," said Rics spokesman Ian Perry. This imbalance between demand and supply suggests that house prices will move higher in the near term."

Posted by little professor @ 03:11 AM 1 Comments

Far too late

The Times: Truth will out as City regulator prepares to kill off ‘liar’s loans’

"The multibillion-pound self-certification mortgage industry, in which customers are not required to provide proof of income, is set to be banned by the financial regulator. Dubbed “liar’s loans” by critics, self-cert loans were blamed for playing a large part in the housing bubble and ensuing financial crisis. The Financial Services Authority (FSA) is effectively planning to kill off self-cert home loans by introducing a rule compelling lenders to insist that customers provide evidence of their income." Credit checks on big loans! Revolutionary or what?

Posted by quiet guy @ 02:58 AM 4 Comments

Apparently bankers are in demand after all

FT: Third of staff at RBS Coutts Singapore quit

RBS Coutts, the international arm of the UK private bank, is scrambling to rebuild its flagship Singapore office after the mass resignation of one-third of its staff in the city-state. A lack of annual bonus prospects is believed to be a factor behind some of the resignations at the division, owned by Royal Bank of Scotland, which was rescued by the UK government last year. Rivals are aggressively hiring established private bankers with track records in Asia to expand operations, keen to manage a slice of the wealth being created in the region. Singapore is the centre of the group’s offshore private banking activity in fast-growing areas such as south-east Asia and India.

Posted by drewster @ 12:31 AM 4 Comments

Monday, October 12, 2009

"QE not rolled back before 2014"

CEBR Report: Cebr forecasts for the UK economy

follow link to "United Kingdom Prospects press release, 12 October 2009" "Base rates of 0.5% till 2011 at least; QE not rolled back before 2014; long bond yield down to 2.5% by 2013; £ to weaken to $1.40 and perhaps to go below €1.00"

Posted by neil @ 09:56 PM 0 Comments

UK House prices still 60% above their

The Economist: House proud?

THE global economic crisis was accompanied by a collapse in house prices in most rich (and some not-so-rich) countries around the world. The IMF has compared house prices in the first quarter of this year with their level a year ago in 52 rich and emerging housing markets. It found a median house-price decline of 7%. The figures drive home just how savage the falls in house prices have been in many countries.

Posted by georgef @ 09:47 PM 0 Comments


Telegraph: The perils of deflation are still lurking

Roger Bootle wrote "The Death of Inflation" so perhaps his mind is a bit fixed, but he points out that globally prices have fallen more than the UK, we have only been spared through sterling devaluation. Also, he points out that in developed Western societies (he doesn't mention the UK specifically) underlying productivity growth is 2%, from that he suggests that any wage growth less than 2% is deflationary. Fair enough. The 2% value rang a bell though because that has been our inflation target, in which case with our productivity growth, we have been following a zero inflation policy? Doesn't mention asset prices or debt. Conclusion is deflation will be waiting in the wings over the next few years.

Posted by stillthinking @ 07:58 PM 19 Comments

Lunatics and Asylum spring to mind

Citywire: Blanchflower recommends 5% inflation to reduce UK debts

The government should engineer and tolerate a burst of high inflation over the next few years in order to reduce the real value of Britain’s debt mountain and bail out mortgage borrowers in negative equity......................................

Posted by jack c @ 05:54 PM 53 Comments

Euro Parity ahead?

Sky: FTSE Hits 12-Month High As Sterling Slips

"The rally came as the pound moved in the opposite direction - slumping to its lowest level against the euro in more than six months and sparking renewed fears that it could be heading for parity. Low interest rates and high levels of public debt are also behind the pound's lack of appeal for investors". "Sterling dropped to a low of 1.069 vs Euro - a level not seen since the end of March".

Posted by alan @ 04:38 PM 7 Comments


Digital Journal: U.K. Government to Raise Billions of Pounds Through Asset Sale

If the problems in the financial sector are due to debt encumbered entities attempting to deleverage at the same time, causing a collapse in prices, then how can the UK government as an asset seller possibly benefit the wider financial community. That the government are playing exactly the same deleveraging game seems a bit absurd. Any money the government raises from selling UK publicly owned assets of necessity comes out of prices elsewhere, you can't spend the same money twice after all. Given the gov. is currently guaranteeing the prices of the other assets, it is hard to see how there is any net beneficial effect. Maybe the UK government finally realises that they are in even more trouble than the insolvent banks are. A dash for cash isn't much of an example to set.....

Posted by stillthinking @ 02:45 PM 3 Comments

Scarcity of deals available for FTBs

Citywire: First time buyers stumping up £40k deposit

First-time buyers are currently shelling out more than £40,000 on a 25% deposit, the Council of Mortgage Lenders revealed today as it reported a monthly dip in mortgage lending. The UK's mortgage market continued to improve from lows seen at the height of the credit crisis but at a huge cost, the CML said, with new borrowers shelling out a quarter of the value of properties in an effort to get their foot on the property ladder.

Posted by jack c @ 01:59 PM 31 Comments

Is the UK any better?

Bloomberg: Writedowns on US Mortgage Servicing Make Even JPMorgan Vulnerable

"The four biggest U.S. banks by assets may have to take writedowns on $55 billion of mortgage- collection contracts after marking them up by $11 billion in the second quarter, casting a shadow over earnings. Mortgage rates fell about 0.26 percentage point in the third quarter, according to Freddie Mac, and servicing costs are rising, meaning the four banks, which handle collections on more than $5.9 trillion of U.S. mortgages, may face writedowns"

Posted by alan @ 12:25 PM 1 Comments

People Remain Long Term Property Bulls

The New York Times: A Bounce? Indeed. A Boom? Not Yet

I'm sure it's the same in the UK. People think property always goes up (fast) over the long term, and any falls are short term only. In our survey, we ask, “On average over the next 10 years, how much do you expect the value of your property to change each year?” The average answer among 311 respondents in 2009 was an increase of 11.2 percent. In our survey data from one year earlier, when prices were falling at an annual rate of nearly 20 percent, buyers were still expressing long-term optimism. Then, the average answer to the question about expected yearly increases in home values was 9.5 percent a year.

Posted by ontheotherhand @ 12:12 PM 6 Comments

Inflation/Deflation duopoly

Chris Martenson: The Sound of One Hand Clapping

Article with great comments about the conflict inherent with real economy deflation, but financial market inflation. Asks the question; if a central bank purchases bad debts but never clears them, to what extent can the bad debts be said to exist and to what extent do they contribute to a deflationary destruction of credit? Mish discusses this article at http://globaleconomicanalysis.blogspot.com/2009/10/one-hand-clapping-theory-analyzed.html .

Posted by stillthinking @ 11:13 AM 3 Comments

Land Prices in UK Vary Greatly – Smiths Gore

E1 News: Land Prices in UK Vary Greatly – Smiths Gore

According to the results of the latest research of UK land market conducted by Smiths Gore – leading British land surveyors and agents, the price of bare land in Great Britain increased by 2% between July and September 2009, leaving an acre of average bare land priced at £4,900. farmlandResearchers say that this is the first rise in land value since the beginning of year; in the first 6 months of the year, the prices remained consistent at £4,800 per acre.

Posted by uch1405 @ 11:04 AM 0 Comments

Dips = Down positively

BBC News: Mortgage lending dips in August

"House purchase activity has revived from its moribund state at the beginning of the year," said the CML's economist Paul Samter, contradicting the headline.

Posted by cynicalsoothsayer @ 10:01 AM 3 Comments

Rubbing salt into the wounds...

Telegraph: Britain has worst quality of life in Europe, study says

I wonder if "the chance of being punched in the face on a night out with your family" is one of the metrics they considered using

Posted by matt_the_hat @ 09:56 AM 38 Comments

A Last Gasp?

Home.co.uk: Prices Show Weak Recovery in South

If this is a recovery its pretty dismal and only in the south. Time on market still terrible. Scotland in meltdown. Unemployment is the key driver now taking punters out of the housing market and increasing supply..

Posted by tinecu @ 09:06 AM 0 Comments

Still in an Unhealthy Bubble

Times Online: Housing Market Why the Downturn's Not Over Yet

"George Buckley, chief economist at Deutsche Bank, declared the market was “still in a bubble”. The panel raised concerns that the strength of the house price recovery could provoke the Bank into raising interest rates to contain inflation — precipitating a “double dip”. ....." I like Buckley's short termism, with his comments of housing currently being affordable, whilst also saying, "As soon as interest rates go back to normality or somewhere near normality, house prices will not look at their right level". So doesn't that mean they are not at the right level NOW if those buying will not be able to afford them when things get back to NORMAL?

Posted by sybil13 @ 07:41 AM 9 Comments

UK Farmland Prices Continue to Rise

E1 News: UK Farmland Prices Continue to Rise

Latest information on UK farm prices, revealed in the Farmland Index published by a British estate agency Knight Frank, shows a 3.2% increase in the values of UK farmland registered in the 3rd quarter of this year. This is the second quarter, when farmland prices have been rising, says Knight Frank. An average price for 1 acre now stands at £4973, which is merely £125 less than in the summer of 2008, when farmland prices were on the peak. Unfortunately, the farmland market is not that stable yet, as, according to Knight Frank, land prices differ greatly depending on the type of land. Also, Knight Frank highlights the fact that land prices are mainly boosted by scarce availability of farmland for sale.

Posted by uch1405 @ 07:17 AM 5 Comments

Printy printy

Daily Mail: Interest rate to 'stay below 2 per cent until 2014' Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1219744/Interest-rate-stay-2-cent-2014.html#ixzz0ThJzTGA9

The CEBR expect the Bank to print another £75billion in its quantitative easing plan to encourage lending. CEBR chief executive Douglas McWilliams said: 'Our analysis says that this ought to work.'

Posted by devo @ 06:49 AM 17 Comments

Intelligent Finance Customers Face Changes of Mortgage Terms

E1 News: Intelligent Finance Customers Face Changes of Mortgage Terms

Halifax’s online arm – Intelligent Finance – which is popular among borrowers who prefer online banks has recently faced criticism for changing its offset mortgage terms. Intelligent Finance (IF), which might be called government-backed as it is owned by Halifax – member of Lloyds Banking Group – informed its customers that starting April 2010 they will no longer be able to use IF offset mortgages if they move. This will, evidently, force bank’s borrowers to switch to other lenders who offer better mortgage terms, yet, higher interest rates. IF’s borrowers, who plan to move before April 2010, will be allowed to use their offset mortgages, however, they won’t be able to borrow more money from Intelligent Finance.

Posted by uch1405 @ 06:44 AM 2 Comments

How much more will this crisis cost us?

Greg Pytel: UK government officially confirmed it does not have a clue about the size of the liquidity hole

The government admitted that it does not have an idea of the size of liquidity hole it is trying to plug. We do not know then whether there is another credit crunch wave on the way (especially that others, like Germans, are bracing for it) and how much, overall, this crisis will cost us. Pretty worrying.

Posted by ant @ 12:51 AM 4 Comments

Oooh! I wonder which banks they might be?

The Telegraph: Banks to support Lloyds' rights issue

UBS and Bank of America Merrill Lynch are thought to have agreed to act as lead underwriters for the bank, which is seeking to limit its participation in the government-backed toxic loan insurance scheme. Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan Cazenove and HSBC have also been lined up as underwriters.

Posted by devo @ 12:09 AM 2 Comments

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Brown says "recovery hasn't started"

The Telegraph: Government to sell off £16 billion of assets

'We need a deficit reduction plan that supports growth and jobs not one that snuffs out recovery before it has started,'' Mr Brown is to say.

Posted by devo @ 11:45 PM 8 Comments

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Gold warning

Reuters: Gold Q3 ETF inflows dwindle, investors switch

Gold isn't flowing into ETFs (holding fund, you put money in and they hold gold, more money in, more gold in) anymore, and you could infer from this article that the tide is literally on the turn. According to ftalphaville(link in a comment), courtesy of Bedlam Asset management, quite a few ETFs generally have used leverage to generate stronger returns, and should one of them pop when prices go against them, the lack of transparency in ETFs generally will lead to a run, which will in turn lead to a large amount of whatever commodity the ETF deals with flooding onto the market tsunami style. So if you are a deflationista wondering why gold hasn't collapsed (i.e. why you are wrong), then look in the news for an ETF failure as price collapse trigger, or deleveraging induced deflation.

Posted by stillthinking @ 06:09 PM 2 Comments

Rate Hikes could threaten House Prices!

Independent: Inflation rise prompts fears of early rate hikes

"An unexpected jump in factory gate prices has raised concerns that the Bank of England may have to tighten monetary policy before the recovery is firmly secured, in order to head off the threat of higher inflation. The volume of British exports rose by 1.6 per cent in the three months to August, the first positive reading in a year. The Retail Prices Index, which includes mortgage bills, has recorded negative inflation recently".

Posted by alan @ 03:36 PM 13 Comments

Blow for sellers

Telegraph: Housing market: blow for first-time buyers as Britannia withdraws 90pc mortgages

As a reminder, 20K deposit at 10% LTV represents 200K funding for a purchase. At 15% LTV for 20K deposit represents ~133K funding for a purchase. Either prices will drop or deposits must rise, if deposits rise to compensate then an additional 10K must be saved (30K deposit). For 50,000 transactions/month, 500million must come out of UK consumption, or 6 billion/year. This doesn't sound like much but of course the overall effect on the economy is many many times worse (Peter buys a beer from Paul, Paul uses the money to buy ciggies from Sam, Sam etc), because the initial transaction is lost. Higher deposit requirements are deflation in themselves. Although I was surprised because I thought all the 10% ltvs were already gone.

Posted by stillthinking @ 02:05 PM 8 Comments

Banks to be called to account

The Times: Government will compel Lloyds and RBS to lend £27bn to SMEs

Lloyds Banking Group and Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) are to be instructed by the Government to lend £27 billion to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) amid a fresh dispute over why they say they cannot meet lending targets promised to the Treasury at the time of the taxpayer bailout, The Times has learnt.

Posted by devo @ 11:20 AM 6 Comments

Running on fumes

MarketWatch: Banks cutting back on loans to businesses

U.S. banks are reducing their lending at the fastest rate on record, tightening the credit squeeze and threatening to leave many otherwise viable businesses unable to borrow money to expand their businesses, meet their payroll or refinance their maturing debts. Despite more than a trillion dollars from the Fed and from the Troubled Asset Relief Program, "the banking system has still not fully recovered," New York Fed President Bill Dudley said in a speech this week.

Posted by devo @ 09:28 AM 5 Comments

And now for some good news....

Daily Telegraph: House Prices 'have further 17% to fall'

"The recent rises in house prices will prove to be a false dawn because of the broader problems facing the British economy, Fitch Ratings said yesterday. " The press seem to have slipped off message this morning. Finally some good news from an unexpected corner.

Posted by uitlander @ 09:00 AM 0 Comments

Sell Baby Sell -

Kent on Sunday: More EA ramping

There all at it now! My local rag's property section is full of adverts from EA's ramping the market and all saying sell baby sell. LOL page 20 onwards scroll down - its a hoot, they are putting little ads saying now is the time to sell. I notice on page 22 there is an auction advert - have not seen that before.

Posted by the number cruncher @ 07:29 AM 5 Comments

Selling up £180m buy to let empire

Daily Mail: Meet the Wilsons, richer than the Beckhams

Judith and Fergus Wilson are proud owners of a £180million property empire. The couple own between 700 and 900 houses - Fergus hasn’t counted recently. They bought their first property in 1975, and kept on buying, all the while on interest-only mortgages. They finally stopped buying in May, after bagging one final bargain. Now they are planning to sell up. If they sell their portfolio for the £180million asking price, after paying off their meagre borrowing debt (£45million) and taxes, they will retire with a cosy nest-egg of around £100million.

Posted by little professor @ 03:33 AM 17 Comments

UK Housing isn't home free

Wall Street Journal: An Englishman's home is his castle in the sky

U.K. house prices are defying gravity, again. At the height of the financial crisis, most forecasters expected prices to fall at least 30%. Instead, prices fell just 19%, and now are rising again, up 4.1% so far this year. But this is likely to prove a blip before reality sets in...

Posted by little professor @ 01:19 AM 4 Comments

Friday, October 9, 2009

Debt fueled boom into a general election: The words of an irresponsible liar

Telegraph: Britain's economy ready to bounce back, says Brown

'In an interview with The Daily Telegraph, the Prime Minister insists that he is optimistic about the future and predicts strong growth over the next 12 months.By contrast, David Cameron’s Conservatives are "pessimists" whose plans for the biggest cuts in public spending for 30 years would prolong the recession, claims Mr Brown.'

Posted by hpwatcher @ 11:55 PM 7 Comments

Blanchflower attacks Cameron on QE

Press Association: Cameron money comments 'dangerous'

David Cameron's suggestion that the policy of printing money would stop under a Conservative government has been branded "wildly dangerous" by Mr. Blanchflower a former senior Bank of England official.

Posted by mander @ 11:04 PM 8 Comments

Whole Lotta Rosie

Zero Hedge: A V shaped recovery

A favourite bear explaning that EVEN assuming the bulls are right about the recovery the markets are still overvalued from just about every perspective.

Posted by bellwether @ 03:21 PM 40 Comments

Social Costs of High House Prices

BBC News: Focus on women's work needs urged

The YouGov poll interviewed 4,690 men and women and found just 12% of the mothers wanted to work full-time. - Ah but with house prices based on 4 x assumed double incomes, women will just have to carry on working full time.

Posted by need-a-crash @ 02:49 PM 39 Comments

More Bearish Views on UK Housing Market

CNBC: 1 Year Since Global Coordinated Rate Cut

In this video a discussion on the course of global interest rates touches on the UK house prices with some bearish views, skip to 07:30 for the house price discussion

Posted by optionalreaction @ 01:03 PM 0 Comments

Interest Rates have nothing to do with it..

BLOOMBERG: Low Mortgage Rates Fail to Get Phones Ringing

Mortgage rates near historic lows aren’t producing more buyers, said Kittrell, who recited terms on a rate sheet on his desk which he said were almost unprecedented in his 30 years as a broker: A 30-year fixed mortgage for 4.75 percent, a 15-year fixed for 4.25 percent, a 5-year adjustable at 3.5 percent.

Posted by rob @ 12:37 PM 2 Comments

We could have told you that!

Bbc: World financial crisis 'not over'

"There is a wall of liquidity cashing assets," he said. "But I think that there is a growing gap between what is the asset prices and the real economy."

Posted by mark @ 12:23 PM 10 Comments

The Bills are Alive - Austria's Subprime

Economist: Foreign Currency Mortgages (Swiss francs)

THE alpine hamlets and valleys of Vorarlberg, Austria’s westernmost province, rarely attract much attention, even at home. Yet the region was the source of an idea for cheaper borrowing that has spread risk not just throughout Austria but into many of its neighbours, too—and is now complicating efforts by the European Union and the International Monetary Fund to rescue Latvia’s teetering economy....

Posted by alan @ 12:10 PM 0 Comments

Investment opportunity ...

Telegraph: Introducing the £10 bottle of champagne

There is a glut of champagne, which keeps a long time. Almost a liquid gold except cheap. You could do worse if you bought 60 bottles of the stuff while waiting for house prices to come down.

Posted by stillthinking @ 11:04 AM 11 Comments

Utility costs

Telegraph: Energy bills 'could hit £2,000 by 2016'

Energy prices are expected to soar but because of the costs of going green, not because of inflation.

Posted by stillthinking @ 11:00 AM 1 Comments

Labour to the rescue..with...an advertising campaign

Sunderland Echo: Sunderland families hit by home repossessions

The new Government advertising campaign is the second stage of the national Mortgage Help campaign, launched by Housing Minister John Healey last month. "The worst thing any struggling homeowner can do is bury their head in the sand," said Mr Healey. "I want anyone in Sunderland concerned about paying their mortgage to know that practical and impartial advice is available online and over the phone.

Posted by sold out @ 10:40 AM 6 Comments

House Prices to Fall Another 17% – Fitch

E1 News: House Prices to Fall Another 17% – Fitch

UK house prices have almost 20% to fall further, reported Fitch – a leading British rating agency in its latest statement. Fitch experts are determined that house prices in Great Britain will fall by 30% from their level in 2007; as they have already dropped by 13%, leaving an average house priced at £162,000, Fitch predicted that house prices will decline by another 17%.

Posted by uch1405 @ 10:06 AM 0 Comments

Woooah! Taxpayers now paying for NEW home loans at top of price cycle! New Labour criminals!

Bloomberg: No-Money-Down Property Loans That Sank U.K. Housing Return

Stuart Heathcote and his wife never intended to buy a house this year. Then the U.K. government offered an incentive that changed their minds: a no-money-down mortgage.

Posted by tyrellcorporation @ 08:56 AM 32 Comments

Slums of the future.

BBC News: Financial shadow cast by city apartments

Grey, concrete, 16-storey Thames Tower is typical of the newly-built or renovated apartment blocks thrown up across cities in the UK in recent years. It dominates the skyline on the northern tip of Leicester city centre, overlooking the inner ring road and the edge of the shopping district.

Posted by flintster1994 @ 08:30 AM 4 Comments

Bit of blatent ramping

Press Association: Most renters better off buying home

Bit of dodgy calculations claiming that everyone is better off buying then renting by about £52 per month. But for this you need a 25% deposit (opportunity lost from investing that 25%), then you have to pay for upkeep and repairs. And there is the risk of further house price declines wiping out your 25% deposit...

Posted by europeanbear @ 07:42 AM 15 Comments

Property investors forced to buy

BBC: Property investors forced to buy

Investors hit by the downturn and who choose not to complete property deals can still be forced to buy after a court injunction, lawyers have warned

Posted by frustrated gardener @ 12:36 AM 0 Comments

Thursday, October 8, 2009

The forex markets see it differently...

Independent: Britain's not bust. So don't use it as an excuse to impose cuts

Our entire political class has taken to their beds with National Debt Hysteria. Let's start with a few facts that have been forgotten. Britain went into this recession with one of the lowest debt levels in the developed world. To claim, as Cameron does, that Gordon Brown had "racked up debts in the good times" so we "can't afford more" is simply untrue. Britain has been "bust" for almost its entire history since the 1750s if Cameron's standard is right. From 1750 to 1870, Britain won wars, assembled an astonishing navy, built an empire and launched the Industrial Revolution to become the envy of Europe, yet the national debt was consistently above 80 per cent of GDP. Nobody cared. Osborne's cuts could well send unemployment soaring to five million.

Posted by drewster @ 11:30 PM 32 Comments

To remove quantitative easing and cut public spending is like a return to 1937 — it could drive the

The Times: Bank’s wait-and-see on QE divides opinion

There have been calls for the Bank to pump more money into the economy. David Kern, chief economist at the British Chambers of Commerce, said: “There is worrying evidence that earlier hopeful signs of improvement in the economy are weakening. To counter serious risks of relapse, we urge the MPC to raise the QE [quantitative easing] programme to £200 billion.” Geoffrey Dicks, chief economist at Novus Capital, agreed: “The scheme should probably be extended. It is very easy for the Bank to sell back the gilts if needed.”

Posted by devo @ 11:16 PM 6 Comments

The bond market is far smarter than the stock market.

The Pragmatic Capitalist: Bonds are saying deflation, stocks are saying reflation. Who is right?

There have been 4 famous cases of such bond and stock divergences in the last 20 years. The most famous is the summer of 1987. We all know what occurred then. The other three cases were fall ‘94, summer ‘98 and winter 2000. All three preceded declines in the market. Of all 4 instances, three of them preceded 15% declines in the S&P 500

Posted by mountain goat @ 09:47 PM 10 Comments

Do the wall street shuffle, watch the greenbacks tumble, feel the Sterling crumble

BBC Business: Banks step in as dollar tumbles

Asian central banks have intervened in the currency markets in an attempt to slow the slide of the US dollar. Asian countries are worried about their export industries, which would be hurt by a weaker dollar. Central banks in South Korea, Taiwan, the Philippines and Thailand have been buying the US currency, traders said.

Posted by jack c @ 08:12 PM 0 Comments

House prices still have another 17% to fall despite recent rally says agency

Daily mail: House prices still have another 17% to fall despite recent rally says agency

Fitch Ratings said it expected the value of property to fall by a further 17% from its current level, leaving prices 30 per cent below their peak in October 2007. A drop of this level would knock an additional £28,000 off the average price of a home, leaving it at £134,000 on the Nationwide measure

Posted by mark @ 07:37 PM 4 Comments

The Mortgage Industry faces it's future...

Introducer Today: Fitch warns property values will fall again

Apart from the fact that here is the mortgage industry being told the blunt facts of life, in their own publication, the comments at the bottom provide and interesting insight into how they see the situation. eg 'Michael White CEO Emailmortgages' thinks affordabilty will remain at current levels until 2012 (he doesn't say what then..), while John (15:40:47) responds with a much more balanced (and therefore inevitably downbeat) view.

Posted by bidin'matime @ 07:14 PM 0 Comments

UK had largest housing bubble of them all

McKinsey Quarterly: A global view of the housing bubble

The chart shows just how inflated our housing bubble was... and still is. It's a short article, from McKinsey. You don't need to register to read it.

Posted by jake @ 05:37 PM 0 Comments

Citygroup say it could go to $1200

SKY: Gold Hits New Record High On Weak Dollar

"Gold prices have a hit a record high for the third day running" (personally, I think it will go well above $1200).

Posted by alan @ 04:24 PM 17 Comments

Flexible labour force

AssPress: UK postal workers vote in favor of strike

If the UK labour force is so flexible and dynamic, why are we facing a shut down on postal services and travel in London?

Posted by stillthinking @ 03:04 PM 16 Comments

No, but, they are going up....

MSN: 'House prices will fall further'

"'House prices will fall further' A leading ratings agency dampened hopes that the housing market had recovered, warning that there were more price falls to come." MSN used to be very bullish and pro-HPI news, it's nice to see their headlines taking on a more realistic bent.

Posted by thecountofnowhere @ 01:14 PM 2 Comments


Introducer Today: London prices on ‘road to recovery’, says Winkworth

I can't find any source Winkworth research. It seems the article refers back to something from August. The commentary from Winkworth employees seems new (well, rephrased versions of short supply etc.). I wonder if Winkworth just lazily issued a press release with some commentary based on nothing new whatsoever?

Posted by ontheotherhand @ 12:56 PM 3 Comments

Stop at 175 billion? It may be fun to guess what the final figure will be, before their forced to st

Stop at 175 billion? It may be fun to guess what the final figure will be, before their forced to stop.: Bloomberg

Oct. 8 (Bloomberg) -- The Bank of England plans to spend the remainder of its 175 billion-pound ($278 billion) bond- purchase program as officials seek to drive home the economy’s recovery. The Monetary Policy Committee, led by Governor Mervyn King, kept the target for its plan unchanged today, as predicted by all 42 economists in a Bloomberg News survey. The central bank also maintained the benchmark interest rate at a record low of 0.5 percen

Posted by flintster1994 @ 12:49 PM 11 Comments

UK interest rates on hold at 0.5% for the seventh successive month

BBC: UK interest rates remain on hold

The Bank of England's rate-setting committee has kept UK interest rates on hold at 0.5% for the seventh successive month, as widely expected. The Bank also said it would continue with its programme of pumping £175bn into the economy, which it said would likely take another month to complete. Interest rates remain on hold as data continues to show that any UK economic recovery remains patchy. Figures out later this month could show that the UK has exited recession.

Posted by jack c @ 12:10 PM 4 Comments

Could YOU be wrong ?

BBC: Newsnight Wednesday 07th October

28:10 in. Apparently economist Blanchflower (he thinks cuts could lead to 5m unemployed) is "at odds" with just about everybody, whilst George, who has only ever had a career in politics refuses to entertian the concerpt he may be wrong. The only thing appealing to be "in together" with George is a nice Roffschild yacht holiday.

Posted by doomwatch @ 11:42 AM 3 Comments

"rises in house prices for many people is their final hope – in some cases their only hope"

Citywire: Morning Line: Why house prices seem to be climbing higher

Forgot all those tired clichés about a long-term shortage of housing in the UK. That may be true, to a limited extent, but it doesn’t even nearly begin to explain away the phenomenal rise in house prices over the past decade – less still the mini ‘boom’ that seems to be under way at the moment. No, there is something else going on here, something less immediately tangible but more disturbing. For why on earth, one might reasonably ask, should house prices still be rising - despite the fact that they remain hideously overvalued by any reasonable measure and unemployment is climbing inexorably towards the three million mark?

Posted by jack c @ 11:23 AM 9 Comments

"local authority taking a creative approach to meet housing needs"

FT: Birmingham to boost locals' home deposits

Birmingham City Council is considering a scheme to assist residents with deposits to help them obtain mortgages from high street lenders.Simon Houltby, spokesman for Birmingham City Council, said a residential "mortgage intervention" scheme was also being considered. Rather than competing with high street banks, the scheme would be aimed at helping local residents access mainstream lenders, he said. Mr Houltby said: "There has always been an intention to see what we can do to help people buy homes. What we identified is while the high street is lending again, they are requiring big deposits. "We have looked at not so much lending the mortgage but lending part of the deposit to people. That is the model we are looking at but it is in early stages."

Posted by jack c @ 10:59 AM 19 Comments

Danny Boy sings the blues

New Statesman: This crisis is far from over

BY DAVID BLANCHFLOWER. Over the past week, the labour market has received a great deal of attention around the world and the news has been universally bad. Unemployment continues to rise apace. People say the labour market is a lagged indicator. It may have been in the past, but not during the great financial pandemic of the Noughties. To see recovery, I will be looking for firms to start hiring again - there is no sign of this yet .If anything, it looks as if the jobs picture in the US may have started to get worse again. There is a lesson here for the UK, which is that a few data points do not make a trend. You shouldn't read too much into a few months of rising house prices when wages are falling, profits are down and credit is scarce.

Posted by little professor @ 08:52 AM 4 Comments

US deficit triples to record high of $1.4 trillion

The Hindustan Times: US deficit triples to record high of $1.4 trillion

The US federal budget deficit tripled to about $1.4 trillion for fiscal year 2009 in the midst of the worst economic decline since the Great Depression, the office that keeps track of spending for Congress said on Wednesday. The figure represented about 9.9 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP), the highest percentage since 1945, the Congressional Budget Office said in a statement. In 2008, the deficit was only 3.2 per cent of GDP.

Posted by devo @ 06:50 AM 4 Comments

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Wake up, this is reality

FT.com: Fitch forecasts steep house price falls

The recent gains in UK house prices are likely to prove only a temporary respite before a further steep fall next year, according to Fitch, the global ratings agency.Fitch warned on Wednesday that it expected prices to fall by about 30 per cent in total from the October 2007 peak, despite three consecutive months of house price growth that has led to hopes of a more sustained recovery.

Posted by bufferbear @ 11:28 PM 10 Comments

Ah ha

Think Money: House prices - on their way up?

Last September, the `average` house was valued at around £161,800*. Prices were on the way down, and kept falling for another five months - reaching an average of £147,700 in February - before starting to climb again. This September, the average house was again valued at around £161,800, giving us an annual change of 0%. The last 12 months, in other words, have seen house prices move down and up again in a `V` shape, leading many to hope that prices were on their way back up and that all the fears of negative equity and a `house price crash` had been blown out of proportion.

Posted by bufferbear @ 11:15 PM 21 Comments

Financial sector still in the maelstrom

Bloomberg.com: U.K. Faced ‘Bank Runs, Riots’ as RBS and HBOS Neared Collapse

British banks have only recognized 40 percent of a likely $604 billion in writedowns from 2007 to 2010, and earnings won’t be sufficient to offset this, the IMF said Sept. 30. A sluggish economy and rising unemployment will add to loan losses, it said. “Trust has returned, but there is too much trust and people are taking risks blindly,” said LSE’s Kirchmaier. “If you look at the market, people assume it is back to normal, but there are huge risks in the system.”

Posted by novice pete @ 10:09 PM 4 Comments

More on this failed state - the endgame draws near for property

Guardian: Latvia threatens huge losses

In the US the bank takes the equity loss. Now Latvia seeks to push its losses on the banks and the Euro denominated mortgages. Iceland has a moratorium on possession, soon to be ended. The pack of cards is beginning to fold, the wobbling Jenga pile nears the point at which the last piece is available and the next move will bring about the inevitable.

Posted by chrisch @ 09:54 PM 0 Comments

Latvia first.. how long before the UK suffers same fate. Beginning of the end for paper?

Marketwatch: The Latvia domino may be ready to fall

LONDON (MarketWatch) -- It's never good news when a government bond auction fails. It's particularly bad news when an auction fails for a note maturing in just six months. And it's really bad news when there isn't any bid at all. Yet that's what happened Wednesday when Latvia tried to sell close to $17 million of paper.

Posted by doom&gloom @ 04:50 PM 4 Comments

First of many?

Guardian: Will California become America's first failed state?

One in four American mortgages that are "under water" are in California. In the Central Valley town of Merced, house prices have crashed by 70%. Two Democrat politicians have asked for their districts to be declared disaster zones, because of the poor economic conditions caused by foreclosures. In one city near Riverside, a squatter's camp of newly homeless labourers sleeping in their vehicles has grown up in a supermarket car park – the local government has provided toilets and a mobile shower. In the Los Angeles suburb of Pacoima, one in nine homeowners are now in default on their mortgage, and the local priest, the Rev John Lasseigne, has garnered national headlines – swapping saving souls to saving houses, by negotiating directly with banks.

Posted by afrobaggie @ 02:42 PM 8 Comments

More news from the struggling airlines

Telegraph: Aer Lingus underlines woes facing airlines with 600 job cuts

The struggling airline today announced a slew of measures designed to return the airline to profit, including 676 job losses and pay cuts for those who earn more than €35,000 (£32,000) a year.

Posted by ftb dave @ 12:54 PM 8 Comments

Bloomberg v The Fed (who got the bailout nmoney FIOA case)

Bloomberg: Fed Should Release Borrowers’ Names, Bloomberg Says

Bloomberg won the case in August, The Fed appealed on 30 September, Bloomberg wants the names of the banks released now whilst the appeal waits to be heard. Once thing is certain, when the information of which banks got what money is released there will be a massive finacial sector crash - investors selling, depositors withdrawing

Posted by sold 2 rent 1 @ 11:57 AM 13 Comments

Who can the banks flog their repossessed properties to?

The Property Finance Blog: Who is going to benefit from bank sales?

When RBS Lloyds has to get rid of repossessed properties, will the government let them flood the auction halls?

Posted by ontheotherhand @ 11:02 AM 9 Comments

Fitch Ratings expects reversal of recent gains in UK house price indices

Mortgagestrategy: False dawn for UK housing market, says Fitch

Fitch Ratings says today that it expects the recent gains in the main UK house price indices to be a temporary respite. The agency continues to expect that UK house prices will fall approximately 30% overall from the October 2007 peak. Prices are currently 13% down from that peak, having dipped as low as 19% down in Q1 2009. Brian Coulton, Head of Global Economics and EMEA Sovereigns at Fitch Ratings, says: "The UK's average house price to income ratio remains significantly higher than the long term average. "A 30% fall from the peak of October 2007 would bring this ratio back in line with the long term average." In comparison, he says the house price declines in the recession of the early 1990s saw the average house price to income ratio fall below the long term trend

Posted by jack c @ 11:02 AM 2 Comments

Are house price "rises" going to continue

BBC 5 Live: Wake up to Money: 07 Oct 2008

18:30 in. Conclusion: False dawn

Posted by doomwatch @ 10:40 AM 3 Comments

No return to the bust, either

Telegraph: House prices: no return to the boom

House prices have jumped by nearly 6pc since April but economists are divided over how long the recovery will last. The improvement has come despite rising unemployment and the ongoing problems in the mortgage market, while the number of mortgages approvals is still half the level of 12 months ago, at a volume that would normally be consistent with price falls. Seema Shah, of Capital Economics, is bearish, saying: "We suspect that recent gains in house prices will be reversed in due course. Currently, prices are being driven up by a shortage of property for sale." But Ray Boulger of the Council of Mortgage Lenders is more upbeat, saying he expects house prices to rise 7.5% overall this year, with 5-6% growth in 2010.

Posted by little professor @ 10:01 AM 27 Comments

Apologies to Sarah - its a chart- but relevant to the conversation yesterday

EWI: Illusion of Control: Central Banks and Interest Rates

But it illustrates what i was saying about rates and markets.IF the markets wanted it the UK would be forced to raise rates.

Posted by techieman @ 09:59 AM 40 Comments

… too little too late?

Greg Pytel: Apology from the bankers

A sense of reality is finding its way to some bankers' heads. But isn't it too little too late? And isn't it odd that it comes from a bank, HSBC, that seemed to screwed up the least? In fact HSBC appears to have been acting prudently with healthy Loan to Deposit ratio of 90% before the crisis and have been affected by other banks' actions. This actually brings some confidence in HSBC but does not say much about others.

Posted by ant @ 09:43 AM 0 Comments

Both Sellers and Buyers Need to be Helped to Understand Market Fundamentals

Estate Agent Today: Low pipelines of business worry agents

"Prices, however, do not seem to be the issue: pipeline business is." Whilst I may not agree completely with that statement does it show a growing understanding by EA's that if they want to stay in business they do actually need to sell a few of the houses that are cluttering up their books? Surely what both sellers and buyers need is not another dose of endless ramping by the press but some help in reaching a clear understanding of some market fundamentals such as restricted lending. Then all they have to do is get their heads round the FACT that lending is not going to return to 2007 levels for a long time to come if ever, Rightmove's latest HPI suggested 10 years to rebuild the banking system , and such things as AFFORDABILITY in relation to ACTUAL wages and we may be getting somewhere

Posted by sybil13 @ 08:44 AM 12 Comments

There isn't the money for lending I wonder what that might mean?

Estate Agent Today: Money Talks Mortgage Drought Continues

Nothing new here I know but one is left asking "what next?" If you read this in Estate Agent Today , as an Estate Agent, would that signal that property prices are actually going up or that there might be a reason that your sold ratio to unsold stock has risen for the 8th successive month!!? As Moneyweek recently said: "....A lot of lending power has now left the market for good. Almost £300bn of UK mortgage debt was securitised, i.e. packaged up and sold off from bank balance sheets onto the bond markets, between 2005 and 2007. That represents more than 90% of the growth in mortgage debt over that period. ....the world isn't exactly clamouring for British securitised mortgages anymore, and won't be for a long time" That is not a recipe for house price increase!

Posted by sybil13 @ 08:33 AM 0 Comments

Lenders to Increase Lending to Commercial Property Sector

E1 News: Lenders to Increase Lending to Commercial Property Sector – Savills

Until the recent research conducted by Savills was published, the UK property industry was concerned over the slow recovery of the sector as banks did not express any willingness to lend more than they did. However, according to the survey performed among 100 British lenders by Savills, UK lenders have become more interested in lending to commercial property objects as they started to offer good yields upon the stabilisation of financial markets.

Posted by james cornell @ 07:03 AM 0 Comments

Easy money - sounds familiar

Bloomberg: Kamei Says Moratorium Won’t Increase Japan Bad Loans

Japanese banks’ bad loans won’t be driven higher by a proposed moratorium on debt payments by struggling small companies, said Financial Services Minister Shizuka Kamei. “We’re going to make it extremely easy for very small companies to get money,” Kamei said.

Posted by devo @ 07:02 AM 1 Comments

Why are the bears being refuted?

London Evening Standard: House prices surge in the face of gloomy forecasts

"House prices look certain to defy all expert opinion by ending the year up after another surge ... The extraordinary recovery since the spring confounds almost every prediction made earlier in the year by economists and property experts. In a Reuters poll of 36 City analysts in March — around the time the market was touching bottom — the average prediction was a fall of 14 per cent this year, with 23 analysts saying it would be at least 12 months before the market stabilised." It appears that HPCers are not alone in being wrong footed by this market.

Posted by quiet guy @ 12:42 AM 30 Comments

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Why inflation is on the cards in UK

BBC: Pound weakens

Even after nobody wants dollars and its slide, price of $ valued commodities rose sharply like gold ($1036/ounce) and oil ($71/barrel). But if you see the exchange rate for UK£ against major currencies you will see red against everything even US$. What that means is UK£ is falling faster then even USD. As we import most of what we consume you are likely to see a rise on CPI rather than deflation. Also note that this does not help businesses in export as it raises the cost of production and hence become uncompetitive.

Posted by deepak @ 11:18 PM 0 Comments

Why EU Saving guarantee mean nothing

BBC: Wake up your money is gone

While listening to this episode it was made clear that EU savings guarantee is not legally binding and Iceland is not responsible for the failure of Icesave. Interview starts 5:15 mins in. I have added Key points in the blog post

Posted by deepak @ 11:07 PM 0 Comments

No dollar crash here - move along

Counterpunch: Dollar hysteria

The dollar will not crash and send gold to the moon. Five points. 1. The US$ will strengthen in the short term as equities come back to earth. 2.Foreign $ holders are more concerned about QE than they are about deficits, but they have an idea how far QE will go and they are still buying US Treasuries. 3. The main reason the $ will slide is that US consumers will continue to rein in spending and this will attenuate the incentive for foreign central banks and corporations to stockpile dollars or trade exclusively in the currency. 4. Private sector companies are far more important than central banks in the slide away from the $, and they have been slowly veering away from it since 2000. 5. As the $ declines the US will have to curtail its wars and conform to international standards.

Posted by icarus @ 10:16 PM 2 Comments

Can you hear me gordon? or do we need jamie oliver to tell you?

Cnn: Take this jobless recovery and shove it!

Economists argue that job growth always lags following a recession. But this time may be different. It's hard to have a recovery with unemployment near 10%

Posted by mark @ 06:49 PM 4 Comments

Green shoots grounded

BBC: British Airways to cut 1,700 jobs

British Airways has announced that is to cut 1,700 jobs and introduce a two year pay freeze for cabin crew as it looks to cut costs during the downturn. It also announced that it would press ahead with plans to recruit new staff on different terms and conditions to current employees. The airline is losing money and expects to make a big loss for the second consecutive year. Global airlines are struggling with a fall in passenger numbers.

Posted by jack c @ 05:05 PM 11 Comments

Dollar Decline...the Pound next?

Bloomberg: Platinum, Palladium Gain as Gold Rises to Record on Dollar Drop

“The U.S. dollar is taking an incredible beating,’’ Miguel Perez-Santalla, a Heraeus Precious Metals Management sales vice president in New York, said in a note. “Gold has gotten a tremendous boost on this. The other metals rallied along.’’.The analysts said the metal is forecast to be at $1,450 an ounce in the second half of 2010. (In 1967, Harold Wilson gave the "pound in your pocket" speech - the US version may come soon).

Posted by alan @ 04:53 PM 15 Comments

This is why house prices will fall

BBC: Maths 'failing bargain hunters'

"Just over 1,000 adults were given the example of a chocolate bar that was priced at £1.99 for one, but £3.45 for two. Some 87% of those asked were unable to work out how big the saving on two bars would be, the campaign organisers said. Around 57% of those asked could not work out how much a packet of sausages would cost if it had a third off."

Posted by phdinbubbles @ 03:21 PM 29 Comments

Green shoots withering

BBC: UK economy 'is still not growing'

"Contrary to expectations, the UK economy did not grow in the third quarter of the year, an influential economic group has predicted. Gross domestic product (GDP) was unchanged from July to September, the National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR) calculated. Official GDP figures for the third quarter will be released on 23 October."

Posted by phdinbubbles @ 03:12 PM 2 Comments

Liam Carroll finished

Irish Times: Zoe group not entitled to seek court protection

I take a great deal of interest in Irish market as I am hoping to relocate. This is great news as commentators felt that liquidating Zoe could exacerbate the Irish property crash (that's why the Irish banks supported Carroll's application for protection). However, NAMA (ergo the taxpayer) will pick up the tab for the bad loans. Liquidating Zoe's assets will only cover about 25% of the loans made to Carroll. NAMA is a bailout for the most greeedy and corrupt.

Posted by tenant super @ 02:00 PM 0 Comments

UK House Prices Continue with the Upward Trend

E1 News: UK House Prices Continue with the Upward Trend – Halifax

The latest information on UK house prices was revealed today, on October 6th, in a report by Halifax, a British building society. According to the report, house prices in the UK saw a 1.6% increase this September, marking the 3rd consecutive month of rises this year. On a national basis, the prices on UK property rose by 1.7% since the last quarter of 2008. Despite the fact that house prices are still 7.4% lower than at the same time last year, there is still an improvement compared to the level of year-on-year difference in house prices marked in August 2009 (10.1%).

Posted by uch1405 @ 12:01 PM 6 Comments

... or facing the abyss?

Greg Pytel: author of expert evidence published by HoC Treasury Committee: FSA: coming back to their senses

Is liquidity so bad that banks are not even able to retain adequate liquidity reserves? Is the financial system a massive and shaky pyramid on the brink of collapse? The article (and other on this blog) really is worth reading.

Posted by ant @ 11:15 AM 3 Comments

Barclays Cuts the Cost of Popular Mortgage Deal

E1 News: Barclays Cuts the Cost of Popular Mortgage Deal

The Times reported yesterday that one of the largest UK lenders - Barclays - announced a 0.45% cut in the interest rate on a mortgage deal that is considered the most popular among banks' borrowers. Moreover, the bank said it will remove the restrictions previously imposed on mortgage loans.Barclays' lifetime tracker deal, offered earlier at 3.24% will now cost borrowers 2.79%, which is 2.29% above the base rate of 0.5%, set by the Bank of England. Borrowers with a min. 30% deposit will be able to benefit from the reviewed deal, which includes a £999 fee and a 1% early termination fee during the first 2 years.

Posted by uch1405 @ 11:03 AM 12 Comments

More green shoots

BBC: Shock fall in industrial output

"Industrial output unexpectedly fell in August due to factories closing for maintenance and the summer break. It fell 2.5% compared with the previous month, the biggest such fall since January, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS). Manufacturing output, which excludes energy production, fell 1.9%."

Posted by phdinbubbles @ 10:52 AM 4 Comments

Is this a turning point on interest rates

BBC: Australia raises interest rates

Australia has raised its main interest rate to 3.25% from 3%, becoming the first G20 nation to do so as the global economy begins to recover. The move by its central bank was not unexpected as the Australian economy was the only one in the developed world to expand in the first half of 2009.

Posted by jack c @ 10:33 AM 10 Comments

This will colapse America and the UK finacial Syesyem

The demise of the Dollor: The demise of the dollar

The yanks will go to war over this. They will dispose democratically elected governments and assassinate people before the see the dollar's demise. If it does ever happen America will be facing an era of austerity like we faces after the second world war. It was the collapse of sterling as 'THE' trading currency that was the last nail in the coffin of Pax Britania. It could be the first nail in the coffin of Pax Americana. This would certainly cause a House price crash (and all asset price crash) across the USA and UK. It would be very grim for all of us, but I fear that it will end up in war.

Posted by the number cruncher @ 10:17 AM 21 Comments

Where are we on the economic cycle?

BBC News: More signs of house price rises

UK house prices rose for the third consecutive month in September and showed the first quarterly increase for two years, according to the Halifax. The average home rose in value by 1.6% in September compared with the previous month, to £163,533. And prices in the three months to September increased by 2.8% compared with the previous quarter.

Posted by slaney @ 10:01 AM 0 Comments

+1.6% MoM -7.4 YoY

Halifax: September House Price Index

Commenting, Martin Ellis, housing economist, said: "House prices increased by 1.6% in September; the third consecutive monthly increase and the fifth so far this year. House prices nationally have risen by 1.7% since the end of 2008. The combination of increased demand and a low level of properties available for sale has pushed up house prices in recent months. The marked improvement in affordability due to the reduction in both property prices and interest rates since mid 2007 has been a key factor in stimulating higher demand. Continuing increases in unemployment and low earnings growth are likely to constrain the rise in demand. There are also some signs that the improvement in market conditions is encouraging more people to put their properties up for sale. This development could lo"

Posted by phdinbubbles @ 09:07 AM 42 Comments

E-poll go and have a vote

Times Online: E-Poll: Is the downturn in house prices over?

As of 08.59 in answer to "Is teh downturn in house prices over?" there is a 81% NO vote Seems to suggest bears are not in hibernation but out there is FULL force

Posted by sybil13 @ 09:02 AM 9 Comments

Is it the beginning of the end of the low interest rate bonanza?

Www.telegraph.co.uk/: Australia unexpectedly raises interest rates

Australia's central bank unexpectedly raised interest rates by a quarter point on Tuesday, the first major economy to increase the cost of borrowing amid signs its recovery from the global slump is gaining momentum.

Posted by amedeo @ 08:58 AM 0 Comments

BTL to escape scrutiny

Independent: The loans regulators forgot

The BTL loans that soaked up so much speculative money - and failed - escape FSA control as tehy are "between professionals". Really?

Posted by chrisch @ 08:56 AM 0 Comments

Brutal and Definitive Correction

Citywire: No More Money to be Made in Property Stocks

Can't quote but essentially says that the problems with the UK housing sector are not going to go away

Posted by sybil13 @ 08:07 AM 4 Comments

Summer bounce over

LoveMoney.com: Get ready for the housing crash part II

After the usual ‘spring bounce’, what’s next for property prices? Here are five reasons to fear the future...

Posted by flamepoint23 @ 07:10 AM 0 Comments

Australia test the waters

Bloomberg: Australia Lifts Key Rate From 49-Year Low, Signals More to Come

"Australia’s central bank unexpectedly raised its benchmark interest rate from a 49-year low and signaled further increases in coming months amid signs the economy is strengthening." First nation to begin withdrawing stimulus?

Posted by faust @ 06:42 AM 0 Comments

First Iceland, now Latvia?

Telegraph: Banks brace for Latvia's collapse

The Baltic states are once again in the eye of the storm after leaked reports that Sweden is bracing for a full-blown economic and political "breakdown" in Latvia. Latvia has failed to deliver draconian spending cuts demanded by the EU and the IMF. The ruling coalition voted against austerity measures last month, raising concerns that the country is ungovernable. Latvia's economy contracted by 18.2pc in the twelve months to June. Youth unemployment in Latvia is already 31pc, and concentrated among ethnic Russians. Premier Valdis Dombrovskis said his chief task is to "preserve social peace". The Baltic states financed property booms in euros (and swiss francs) because rates were lower. It was taken for granted that eventual euro entry had eliminated the exchange risk. This has become a trap

Posted by drewster @ 12:44 AM 1 Comments

Monday, October 5, 2009

How to Run a Real Estate Company, US Style

Bloomberg: General Growth Proposes $11.6 Million Bonus Pool

"General Growth Properties Inc., the second-largest shopping mall owner in the U.S., asked for court permission to pay as much as $11.6 million in incentive bonuses to 12 executives" (General Growth, based in Chicago, filed the biggest real- estate bankruptcy in U.S. history in April after amassing $27 billion in debt during an acquisition spree that left it behind only Simon Property Group Inc. in U.S. mall ownership).

Posted by alan @ 09:09 PM 0 Comments

This seems to contradict the mortgage figures from other sources of the last few months

Telegraph: Banks to tighten lending criteria on loans and reduce credit card limits

The Bank’s Credit Conditions Survey suggested lenders will place stricter limits on those they give money to and reduce credit card holders’ limits in the run up to Christmas. It comes as more lenders said they had reduced the availability of mortgages rather than increased it during the past three months following a “deterioration” in the cost and access to wholesale funds. But this is expected to improve over the next three months as the billions of pounds pumped into economy begins to filter through to consumers.

Posted by wanderinman @ 06:33 PM 1 Comments

There is still the worry governments have just papered over the cracks

FT: Is Baltic Dry a harbinger of doom?

The pubs and coffee shops of Britain are probably not full of chat about the Baltic Dry index. But it is worth a look all the same, as the index tracks the cost of moving raw materials by sea. It is thus a rough-and-ready guide to global trade activity, although of course it is also affected by shipping capacity. The index is very volatile. In the summer of 2008, it was hovering around the 12,000 level. It then suffered a dramatic plunge that took it below 1,000 around the turn of the year. There then followed a sharp rise, with the index hitting 4,000 by June, as hopes grew for economic recovery. A tax break for homebuyers will end in November, but already there are signs of another slowdown in home sales.

Posted by jack c @ 05:08 PM 2 Comments

Darling, we'll have to sell the pony

Guardian: Middle-class life and debt, even on a good salary

When your big salary is just not enough. A sign of impending repossessions?

Posted by letthemfall @ 04:31 PM 15 Comments

UK Savings Ratio Reaches 5.6%

E1 News: UK Savings Ratio Reaches 5.6%

The recent figures published by the Bank of England show that an average Brit is now saving more than an average Japanese does, which fact has been registered for the first time in 30 years and has been explained by the difficult economic situation caused by the credit crunch. Official figures show that the proportion of household income that is being saved rather than spent – also known as the savings ratio – has reached 5.6% since the beginning of the economic downturn. Economists believe that UK consumers choose to save their hard-earned money rather than spend them because they are concerned with falling house prices and growing rate of unemployment.

Posted by rick bales @ 03:47 PM 0 Comments

Horse, Door, Shutting, Stable, Bolted.....

BBC Business: Call for regulation of buy-to-let

Buy-to-let mortgages should be regulated by the City watchdog in the same way as other home loans, an investors' group has said. Buy-to-let mortgages are generally treated as business loans, unlike other mortgages which are regulated by the Financial Services Authority (FSA). The British Property Federation, which represents investors, said regulation would halt "reckless lending". Many amateur landlords were drawn into the buy-to-let market during the boom.

Posted by jack c @ 02:23 PM 2 Comments

At last! Negative quantitative easing!

Telegraph: Banking row looms as FSA tightens liquidity rules

As Prof WIllem Buiter explained, QE is a smokescreen, all that happens is that banks "sell" gilts to the BoE and are credited with a balance with the BoE. The FSA, in its infinite wisdom is now going to reverse that, banks will have to buy back those very same government bonds, and as their most easily accessible form of cash is their balances with the BoE, that is what they will use up first. The article reckons this will reduce the amount that banks can lend (which is theoretically possible, but as QE did not increase the amount that they lent, there's no automatic reason to assume that negative QE will reduce it). It's a pity that nobody seems to understand the difference between "assets" and "liabilities" any more (I avoid the word "reserves" because that can refer to either).

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 02:18 PM 7 Comments

1929, 1987, 2009??????

Market Oracle: Another October Stock Market Surprise?

In summation, given everything we know about the underlying economic fundamentals, and the nature of bear market rallies; it certainly won’t be much of a surprise if we have another horrendous October. And if the first day is any indication, it could be a long month.

Posted by sold 2 rent 1 @ 11:47 AM 1 Comments

Awards for the worst ramping ever

Kent On Sunday: Don't Miss the Boat

This add by an EA in a local rag must go for the worst ramping award. Perhaps we should get a wall if infamy to publish this rubbish for posterity This link may not work on everyones computer

Posted by the number cruncher @ 10:37 AM 24 Comments

Cameron caught on 2006 regulation quotes

BBC: Andrew Marr Show

Eaton Dave was yesterday given a right kickin by Marr. One classic at 53:30 mins in. Brilliant sqirm moment... ANDREW MARR: The Prime Minister made one point about you, which seems to be fair, which is that you complain bitterly about the way the financial crisis was run, but all the way through the crucial years you were calling for less regulation. You were calling for government to stand aside. In terms of bad calls, that was about as bad as it gets, wasn't it? DAVID CAMERON: Well I don't accept that because I think the big mistake … ANDREW MARR: (over) Well I mean I can … As you can probably guess, I've got all the quotes here and they're pretty strong.

Posted by doomwatch @ 10:33 AM 7 Comments

All Wall Street Investment Banks guilty of huge systemic Fraud

Mish: Janet Tavokoli - Risk of Collapse greater than in 2007

Plain talking about the derivatives fraud. "At its core," Tavakoli observes, "the mortgage crisis is no more sophisticated than a schoolyard swindle, and the SEC is the Principal" Check out the You tube links also. "Regarding the outlook, my analysis is grim. I am not a doomsayer, I follow the cash, and so far, I’ve been correct, and the government has been wrong. Here’s the situation. We are at greater risk of a total meltdown due to a deflationary collapse than we were in 2007. After the greatest Ponzi scheme in the history of the capital markets, we’ve seen history’s greatest fiscal and monetary expansion, but it hasn’t worked. Debt levels of consumers and business exceed the capacity to repay."

Posted by bellwether @ 09:29 AM 6 Comments

A bear at the top of HSBC

Financial Times: HSBC chief fears a second downturn

Michael Geoghegan, chief executive of HSBC, is so convinced there will be a second downturn in the coming months that he plans to delay any rush to expand the bank. “Is this a V recovery or a W?” Mr Geoghegan asked in an interview with the FT. “[I think] it’s the latter. [If I’m right], we have to be very careful we don’t grow the balance sheet so far before the recovery has come only to write it back into the impairment line later on. I’m cautious about growing too fast.”

Posted by wanderinman @ 12:25 AM 3 Comments

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Political debate reaches a new level of sophistication

FT: Darling set to reveal autumn spending cuts

“To end support for the economy and scrap the new deal seem to me to be entirely wrong and that approach is downright daft.”

Posted by devo @ 11:48 PM 1 Comments

Start the graph when you like.... you still can't make UK property look cheap!

Economist: World house price graphs

The whole world really did fall for this house price bubble (Japan, Switzerland and Germany being the honourable exceptions). Only the US now looks to be back to anything approaching sensible valuations..... no amount of ramping can get passed the fact that at some point in the not too distant future UK homeowners are going to come back to reality.... with a bump....

Posted by domt @ 10:05 PM 1 Comments

Devo's 'Bigger Picture'

MarketWatch: Geithner says risks remain to global economies

Public support of financial sector will withdraw 'when time is right' While global economic growth is likely to improve next year, U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner warned Sunday that risks remain that will require cooperation of the world's economic leaders.

Posted by devo @ 09:59 PM 5 Comments

Housing market is currently in something of a sweet spot

Telegraph: You can't trumpet a housing market revival on a low number of sales

"...house prices to average earnings (the HPE ratio), which has long been my favourite indicator of value...has fallen from a peak of 6.2 to 5.0, but this is around 35pc above its long-run average of 3.7. Indeed, the HPE ratio is only now just about back to where it stood at the previous peak of the housing market in 1989/1990. That hardly inspires confidence. ..... Interestingly, the US HPE ratio now stands about 15pc below its long-run average. In other words, by historical standards, houses there are now cheap. That is a far cry from the situation here. So, despite the recent recovery, I still think that house prices here are heading for a fall."

Posted by sybil13 @ 06:54 PM 12 Comments

A can of bull food (warning: check ingredients before consuming)


I wouldn't normally bother with the Express but this is so over the top that I had to post it. Stuart Law, of property investment firm Assetz, said: “This latest data represents a significant milestone in the recovery process – the first time that any of the major indices have failed to record annual house price falls since the second quarter of 2008. “All indices are now recording regular monthly price rises and we are firmly on course to see strong positive growth for 2009.” David Brown, of LSL Property Services, said: “This is good news for the housing market and good news for the wider economy. With borrowing rising and house prices on the up, there is a growing sense of optimism in the market. Home owners and landlords alike have reason to celebrate.”

Posted by quiet guy @ 12:34 PM 41 Comments

The road to nowhere

The Times: House prices: we’re getting there – slowly

An important milestone has been passed with the Nationwide building society’s report last week that house prices are back at the levels of a year ago. It has been heading that way for some time — the low point for prices was reached in February — and it should be followed in a month’s time by news that prices are higher than their level a year earlier ... It would be unusual, moreover, to have another big bout of falls when the economy is recovering.

Posted by quiet guy @ 12:28 PM 9 Comments

House prices are still way to high

Citywire: Are first-time buyers really in an advantageous position?

Nothing surprising for regular readers just a straightforward commentary on current price levels: "I would go so far as to say that 2007 was a bubble within a bubble, like the last days of Rome. Indeed, whenever I hear any estate agent/ lender/ journalist crow that prices have returned to 2007 levels, I wonder exactly what they were doing in those crazy days, or what they had had for breakfast that morning."

Posted by quiet guy @ 12:20 PM 3 Comments

Get off your lazy backsides and pay the rent.

BBC: Tories 'to get Britain working'

"David Cameron has said a "big, bold" welfare shake-up will be at the heart of the Tory conference in Manchester aimed at "getting Britain working".

Posted by krustyatemyhamster @ 11:06 AM 14 Comments

A talk on the real news network

The Real News Network - Video: The crisis will deepen, we need real news

Paul Jay of The Real News speaks at the Von Krahl Academy, Estonia in November 2008 - he explains why we need real independent news and touches on why he created the real news network. In this he explains why the news is not reporting the truth and that is fundamental to our political and economic problems. A little distant from house price crash but it is fundamental to understanding why we get a torrent of House price ramping and how the truth is hidden from our eyes. If you think this is socialist rambling you can skip to 36:15 and here is his explanation of the current economic crisis you can browse the real news channel - some excellent economic stuff

Posted by the number cruncher @ 10:59 AM 0 Comments

Phoney Housing Market and False Hopes

Independent: Julian Knight: How was the house price crash for you, Darling?

"....this optimism reminds me of the final scenes of Blackadder Goes Forth, when the boys are standing in the trench ready to go over the top and the guns suddenly stop firing. For a moment they think the war is over, and Captain Kevin Darling announces, "Thank God, we lived through it, the Great War 1914 to 1917". The truth is that what we are seeing now is a phoney housing market, a false hope like that experienced by poor old Captain Darling. "

Posted by sybil13 @ 08:23 AM 3 Comments

What???? Really? You do surprise me Timmy!

MarketWatch: Geithner: World not ready for end of stimulus

The global economy is not yet strong enough to allow governments to end their fiscal and monetary stimuli to boost demand and growth, U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said Saturday

Posted by devo @ 12:22 AM 9 Comments

Saturday, October 3, 2009

In UK measure of affordability is still nearly 60% above its level in 2000

Economist: House Proud

"In Britain prices fell by around 11% in the year to the second quarter of this year but are still slightly higher than in the third quarter of 2003. In America the Case-Shiller index of national prices is back to where it was in the fourth quarter of 2000. And, despite the falls, the ratio of average prices to average incomes, a measure of the affordability of housing, is still nearly 20% above where it was in 2000, a few years into the house-price boom. In Britain, this measure of affordability is still nearly 60% above its level in 2000. ........The IMF argues that although house prices have already fallen by 20%-close to the historical average–“there could still be significant corrections to come”. This conclusion will not please those hoping for a sharp recovery."

Posted by sybil13 @ 11:37 PM 5 Comments

Bonkers Desparation: 25% Shared Equity !

Propertyfinder.com: 25% Shared Ownership Scheme

Has anyone ever seen anything like this before ? I've seen 75% and 50% shared ownership but 25% ! Who carries the loss if properties drop 10% ?

Posted by tenyearstogetmymoneyback @ 09:21 PM 8 Comments

What an investment.... I think not

Mirror News: Average house prices rose again last month by £53 a day

Average house price going up £53 of course, who are they trying to kid with this news...

Posted by dgj @ 08:37 PM 4 Comments

Weekend bank closures without fail every weekend...

Cnn: Bank failure tally tops 98 in 2009

hree regional banks failed in Michigan, Minnesota and Colorado, raising the national tally. failures. The closures will cost FDIC $293.3 million.

Posted by mark @ 05:29 PM 2 Comments

The current stalemate is temporary

Independent: David Prosser: Blinded by housing's false dawn?

Homeowners should be thanking their lucky stars that Labour have bunged them low interest rates and legally stymied the repossession process. If normal market effects had been allowed, the house price correction would probably have been over by now. However the unforeseen and undesirable consequence is a dragging out of the crash to damage confidence in the housing market for a decade. In short, the government and Bank of England are creating the lost generation through their 'rescue' measures for homeowners which will never solve the problem, only kick it into the long grass for a few years.

Posted by paul @ 01:24 PM 26 Comments

Others argue we are just staving off an inevitable collapse. WHO ME?

Cnn: Taxpayers on the hook for $200 billion

Taxpayers stand to lose between $100 billion and $200 billion on TARP -- Treasury's $700 billion financial market bailout. While that's nothing to sneeze at, many experts say that the Troubled Asset Relief Program helped rescue the economy from a second Great Depression. But there are others who argue that the billions of dollars that taxpayers shelled out simply delayed an inevitable epic collapse of the financial sector.

Posted by mark @ 12:30 PM 7 Comments

Warning: unsuitable for those of a nervous disposition

Bloomberg: U.S. Unemployment Now Lasts Longer Than Benefits: Chart of Day

For the first time, the average amount of time it takes fired employees to find a new job exceeds the length of their standard unemployment benefits.

Posted by devo @ 09:52 AM 0 Comments

Land-hoarders party has great idea

BBC: Tories launch care home guarantee

Maybe I'm being thick here but can someone point out why anyone needs a house if they're in residential care?

Posted by phdinbubbles @ 09:08 AM 71 Comments

Friday, October 2, 2009

More government help for the overly indebted

BBC News: New laws (Scotland) on possesions

Housing Minister Alex Neil said: "With an increasing number of families facing financial difficulties, it is imperative that they are protected with the full weight of the law." Or is that from the full weight of the law?

Posted by chrisch @ 10:07 PM 10 Comments

Some weakness with the nationwide index that helps explain the current "boom"

Investor's Chronicle: More doubts on house prices

Not a criticism but simply a feature of the Nationwide index which suggests the recent rally is not as strong as many would like to believe.

Posted by chrisch @ 09:31 PM 18 Comments


The Mirror: Nice little earner for former Northern Rock boss Adam Applegarth

Former Northern Rock boss Adam Applegarth is set to make a fortune - helping to buy back parts of the bank he helped bring to its knees.

Posted by devo @ 09:27 PM 5 Comments

Even Daniel doesn't 'get it'

Zero Hedge: Guest Post: Daniel Hannan MEP on When Nothing is Something

Is there anything - anything at all - that might convince world leaders that they shouldn't respond to the credit crunch by spending more? It may seem common sense that you can't borrow your way out of debt: we all apply that principle to our household budgets. But, since the financial crisis began, states increased their spending despite the plain evidence that stimulus packages have done nothing to ward off the recession.

Posted by devo @ 09:03 PM 36 Comments

Nationwide, doubt, where's Fionnuala

Guardian: Nationwide doubts housing crash is over, despite fifth month of rising prices

UK's largest building society warns of 'considerable headwinds' in the property market, although prices are back to 2008 levels.

Posted by mken @ 08:20 PM 3 Comments

Gold, Inflation and another Lost Decade?

The Renegade Economist: Talkshow - 2nd October

The Talkshow is back and has as guests Dominic Frisby and Michael Hudson from Commodity Watch Radio. The team discusses gold, Zimbabwe hyper-inflation v 70’s inflation and the Japanese lost decade.

Posted by neo-serf @ 04:03 PM 7 Comments

Bearish Case Still Strong

Telegraph: UK housing "recovery" still work in progress

"So prices can keep rising, but only if interest rates stay low and banks soften their terms for new buyers. But the reverse is more likely. If the UK economy keeps recovering – and the International Monetary Fund has just said it will do so more sharply than previously expected in 2010 – then rates will rise, probably well before banks return to pre-crunch levels of lending. That leaves house prices in an odd place. If the economy stays weak, rising unemployment and a lack of mortgage supply will keep a lid on a recovery. If the economy motors, rising rates could re-open the Pandora’s box of forced selling. Either way, the bearish case is still strong. "

Posted by sybil13 @ 03:11 PM 2 Comments

A huge cry for help in a market that is reported as on the up

Moneyfacts: NAEA: Government must encourage home ownership

The Government has been accused of not doing enough to encourage potential homeowners to own a property. The National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA) has reported that more than one in four adults no longer have any desire to own their own home in some cities in the UK. Thirty per cent and 27.7 per cent of residents in Cardiff and Manchester respectively said they had no designs on owning a home, while a quarter of respondents in Belfast and Brighton gave the same response. It was a similar case in Leeds and Norwich, where 24 per cent of those questioned said they had no plans to buy.

Posted by jack c @ 02:46 PM 13 Comments

Investment warning


Britain’s best-selling financial magazine ‘breaks rank’ to give you this urgent warning... INVESTMENT WARNING: Get out of this "Suckers' Rally" NOW!

Posted by mr g @ 02:03 PM 10 Comments

Finger Food

MarketWatch: U.S. job losses accelerate to 263,000 in September

Would anyone like some cheese and pineapple a stick? Or maybe a cocktail sausage? We have plenty of dips available..., hummus, guacamole, and a very special dip that has been brought to you courtesy of the reckless artificial mal-investments made by the self-serving vote-seeking politicians. It's called a double dip.

Posted by jackas @ 02:02 PM 2 Comments

Oo-er (3)

Mortgagestrategy: House prices back to 2008 levels (part 2)

David Smith, senior partner at property consultancy Carter Jonas, thinks now is the ideal time for home owners to sell up. "We are in the eye of the storm, at present. "House prices are rising, due to a combination of low supply and more positive news generally emerging from the economy, and yes we are almost certainly past the worst, but we have to expect more turbulence ahead, specifically as a result of rising unemployment and interest rates. "This toxic combination will bring more property onto the market as people struggle to meet their repayments, which will apply downward pressure on prices and potentially reverse the recent trend, at least for a time. "As a result, we are saying to anyone wishing to sell in the near future that now is the best time to do so."

Posted by jack c @ 01:49 PM 2 Comments

Capital reserves vs cash reserves

Greg Pytel: author of expert evidence published by HoC Treasury Committee: Economic world remains confused

Well worth reading to understand the fundamental difference between capital reserves and cash reserves. It explains why, despite the fact that banks held adequate capital reserves, liquidity crisis happened. Sometimes obvious things are the easiest to miss:-)

Posted by ant @ 01:44 PM 0 Comments

House prices: "possibly the most important sign of consumer confidence"

Citywire: Signs of life: eight graphs on the state of the recovery

Signs of life: eight graphs on the state of the recovery - Graph number 8 relates to house prices

Posted by jack c @ 12:41 PM 1 Comments

Bull Trap Bull Trap Bull Trap

Telegraph: House Prices: Rise Unsustainable

Good to see a few article todays at least pointing to the inevitable falls to take the market back to where ordinary folk can afford to enter it. Eventually the message has to sink in that a market that is bottoming let alone recovering needs FTB's / sensible loan to incomes (especially in a market where interest rates are rising) and money for lending . Good to see the IMF are back to saying: " the typical housing boom lasts six years and sees house prices in real terms go up by about 50%. Downturns last five years, during which time house prices in real terms fall about 24%. ...prices in the UK, Spain and Denmark all probably have quite a long way further to fall - in the UK's case, maybe another 12-13% in real terms."

Posted by sybil13 @ 12:33 PM 1 Comments


BBC: House prices: Too good to be true?

The average price of a house in the UK is now the same as it was a year ago – or so says the Nationwide. But even estate agents are wary of calling the turn of the cycle. And for good reason

Posted by paranoia blue @ 10:00 AM 6 Comments

Spanish banks buying houses in an effort to prop up prices - it'll just prolong the pain.

Bloomberg: Pain in Spain May Linger as Banks Seek to Avoid Property Losses

Banks bought about 110,000 homes to keep losses off their books as Spain’s property bubble burst, according to real estate researcher RR de Acuna & Asociados in Madrid. Now they’re using strategies reminiscent of the boom times -- 100 percent mortgages, low interest rates and free cars -- to sell homes, potentially slowing a drop in prices that’s needed to spur recovery from Spain’s worst recession in 60 years. “Maybe you can create some accounting value with all these tricks, but in the end it doesn’t make the situation any better and in the long term makes it worse,” said Luis Garicano, a professor of economics and strategy at the London School of Economics, in a phone interview.

Posted by tyrellcorporation @ 09:47 AM 17 Comments

Oo-er (2)

BBC: House prices 'back to 2008 level'

UK house prices have now recovered to the same level as a year ago, according to the latest Nationwide figures. The average price of a home last month was equal to September 2008, it said. The building society said that UK house prices rose by 0.9% in September compared with August, the fifth consecutive monthly increase.

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 07:38 AM 72 Comments

IMF Reviews Its Forecast for UK Economy

E1 News: Stabilisation of House Prices to Bring about Recovery of UK Economy – IMF

n its recent statement, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) reviewed its forecast for the British economy, suggesting that it will recover faster than expected. The major reasons for the reviewed forecast lie in the recent improvements seen in the property market and in increased export levels, caused by weaker pound.

Posted by rick bales @ 07:13 AM 0 Comments


Nationwide: House prices now at the same level as September 2008

“The recent upward momentum in house prices has continued into September, with the price of a typical house increasing by 0.9% on a seasonally adjusted basis. The 3 month on 3 month rate of change – generally a smoother indicator of the near term trend – rose from 3.3% in August to 3.8% in September, the highest level since August 2004. At £161,816, the average price of a typical UK property was essentially unchanged from a year earlier, representing the first time since March 2008 that the year-on- year rate of change has not been negative. Over the first nine months of 2009, the seasonally adjusted index of house prices has risen by 4.1%, though relative to the October 2007 peak it is still down by 13.5%.

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 07:10 AM 24 Comments

The rise of a charlatan

Times: 'President' Blair waits on voters of Ireland

'Tony Blair is in line to be proclaimed Europe’s first president within weeks if the Irish vote “yes” in today’s referendum. Senior British sources have told The Times that President Sarkozy has decided that Mr Blair is the best candidate and that Angela Merkel has softened her opposition. '

Posted by hpwatcher @ 05:22 AM 4 Comments

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Cash from empty coffers

Telegraph: HSBC wins case on Treasury's £20bn illegal tax haul

Treasury lost a case on stamp duty reserve tax. "Tax experts believe the ruling will set off a wave of similar claims from firms that have been involved in cross-border takeover activity in the past 23 years. " However, 20 billion assumes everyone kept the documents but estimates are 5 billion will be recoverable by companies. I wonder how many other possible rulings against the government there will be, there are a few in the offing, bank shareholders and the like.

Posted by stillthinking @ 11:38 PM 0 Comments

Banks are still toxic

Business Insider: You Have No Clue How Bad Bank Balance Sheets Really Are

The US government’s latest list of “problem” banks, ran to 416 lenders, a 15-year high, as of June 30. One outfit not on the list was Georgian Bank, the second-largest Atlanta-based bank, which supposedly had plenty of capital. It failed last week....and ..Georgian’s clean-up will be unusually costly.

Posted by mountain goat @ 11:24 PM 0 Comments

Severe shortage of cash

The Telegraph: Bankrupt Cayman Islands to get £38m bail-out

After lengthy wrangling, the British overseas territory on Wednesday confirmed that it has finally secured permission from the UK to obtain a CI$50m (£38m) bail-out loan to plug a 35pc-40pc collapse in revenue this year.

Posted by devo @ 10:56 PM 1 Comments

Oi! Give us our money back!

Bloomberg: RBS, Lloyds Send ‘Shocking’ $4.4 Billion to Ireland

RBS and Lloyds, which were saved from collapse by British taxpayers last year, have injected 3.03 billion euros ($4.4 billion) into their Irish units over the past 10 months, to cover rising losses from real estate. British banks invested in Irish real-estate developers at the height of the “Celtic Tiger” boom and are now writing down investments amid the worst property slump in western Europe. RBS, 70% government-controlled, and Lloyds, 43% taxpayer-owned, were bailed out with $59billion of taxpayer money last year. “Many will find it hard to understand why British taxpayers are bailing out bad investments made in Ireland,” said Vince Cable. The government agency appointed to oversee the taxpayer investments stated it did not interfere in operational decisions of the banks.

Posted by little professor @ 08:06 PM 3 Comments

This is what happens after stimulation ends..

Cnn: Auto sales fall as Clunkers rush ends

Without the popular government program and low inventories, Ford's sales slip 5%, while Chrysler and GM sales plunge more than 40%.

Posted by mark @ 07:40 PM 0 Comments

Is this the future of Britain?

Guardian: Iceland one year on...

Will the UK look like this next year? Will the Daily Mail call for mortgage repayment strikes by hard pressed householders? An interesting glimpse of a possible future.

Posted by chrisch @ 05:48 PM 2 Comments

Court decision could have ramifications for car finance, personal loans and even mortgages

BBC: Court lets woman off £8,000 loan

A decision by a county court judge could mean thousands of borrowers being able to renege on their debts. Judge Jacqueline Smart at South Shields county court has decided that the MBNA credit card company cannot demand the repayment of a customer's debt. IIt tried to force Mrs Lynne Thorius to repay the £8,000 she owed on her card. But the Judge decided there had been an unfair relationship between Mrs Thorius and MBNA because of the way she had been sold payment protection insurance.

Posted by jack c @ 03:39 PM 2 Comments

October is here

Market Oracle: Predicting the Stock Market Crash

Crashes are very rare and are almost impossible to predict. Yet the likelihood of their occurrence can be very high if conditions are ripe. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index, whose increase in the past three months was the steepest in seven decades, is rallying in tandem with benchmark measures for raw materials, developing- country equities and hedge funds. The so-called correlation coefficient that measures how closely markets rise and fall together has reached the highest levels ever, according to data compiled by Bloomberg." - Financial Times

Posted by sold 2 rent 1 @ 02:38 PM 44 Comments

Remain Bullish but act Bearish

Yourmortgage: Reluctant Landlords Urged to Hold Steady

Despite the ramping on rising house prices EVERYONE seems to reach the same conclusion, the chances of selling an overvalued property is VERY difficult if not impossible without a cash buyer : "In spite of improving house prices, the continued lack of mortgage finance remains a key obstacle for a return to any level of robust sales, and those hoping to sell may still face disappointment.” Should say "face disappointment UNLESS you are willing to market at TODAYS value". Even then however, Rightmove said months ago that : " ..even sellers who have dealt with the market reality and drastically dropped their asking price are faced with buyers unable to obtain finance" .

Posted by sybil13 @ 01:14 PM 10 Comments

Pundits are getting it all wrong?

Greg Pytel: author of expert evidence published by the HoC Treasury Committee: Narrow banking: barking up the wrong tree

It seems that many pundits in the financial community, top experts like John Kay or Martin Wolf, top press like the FT, are unable to get their head around the fact that the current financial crisis was caused by a global pyramid scheme. As a result they debate the ideas like 100% reserve banking and take them seriously. Traditionally these ideas have been associated with alter-globalists, tree-huggers and loony-lefties. It seems that the world has gone rather mad. 100% reserve banking will take us centuries back, making credit very expensive and only because bankers committed a crime of building a pyramid scheme and "experts" are unable to understand it and the fundamentals of fractional reserve banking (and related concept). In the alternative it may also be a cover up strategy.

Posted by ant @ 11:41 AM 17 Comments

Luxury apartments to ease housing crisis

Manchester Evening News: Bid to fill empty homes

"TOWN hall chiefs will be asked to explore ways to fill thousands of empty homes as part of plans to overcome the housing crisis. An estimated 13,000 homes, including hundreds of purpose built flats, are lying empty in Manchester while more than 18,000 people have their names on waiting lists for housing in the city... Manchester's Lib Dems will next week ask the council to pass a motion to 'use all the powers and resources at its disposal to make serious inroads into tackling the housing crisis faced by this city'." I could see this coming a mile off! Imagine what this would do to the already deflated value of city centre property! Should be able to pick up a 2-bed with a balcony for £20k by 2011... if you like the neighbours that is!

Posted by happyrenting @ 11:06 AM 13 Comments

End of Sky News Interview clip where Gordon Brown shows poor humour

Channel Four News: Wed 30th Sep Pt 2: Labour - Papa...

Select part 2, the whole of last nights 7pm Channel Four News is split into "chunks". Then forward to 2:24 on the timeline to Brown first give a fantastic "Paddington hard-stare" and then get up with his microphone attached to the clear amusement of Adam Boulton. Also there is a funny clip of Peter Mandelson explaining to a reporter that the "c-word" he shouted at Sun editor Rebekah Wade (recently Rebekah Brooks) was in fact "chumps".

Posted by john galt @ 10:54 AM 1 Comments

Fudamentals don't matter

Assetzzz: House Prices Look Less and Less Likely to Be Affected by Unemployment

We've already commented about the unlikely possibility of unemployment having any significant negative effect on house prices in this recessionary cycle. Assetz just don't think it's going to outweigh the effects of significant lack of supply. We've now got the government admitting that long-term unemployment is going to be massively lower than previously predicted. House prices are not going to be pushed down by unemployment in the private sector, and by the time any public sector job reduction kicks in, private sector recruitment growth will be endemic, helping helping to cap peak unemployment. We are already seeing the companies that entered the recession early beginning to hire staff again, and we expect this flow to continue.

Posted by little professor @ 10:53 AM 15 Comments

According to the article, we have a choice: More QE or higher interest rates

Telegraph: Britain's £215bn-a-year funding gap the worst in the world, says IMF

Fortunately for HPC'ers, we have no choice. We will soon be forced to choose higher interest rates. The government desperately wants to keep interest rates low but the resulting loss of foreign investment will destroy us. CATCH 22: More QE would ultimately lead to higher interest rates and the loss of foreign investment

Posted by flashman @ 07:42 AM 44 Comments

Sounds perfectly fair to me!

Mirror: ‘Tories will quadruple council rent’

Council house rents would quadruple under a Conservative government, a union leader warned yesterday. Unite deputy general secretary Jack Dromey said housing would be one of the areas hardest hit by Tories. He said they were studying plans by Hammersmith and Fulham council to raise rents to “market levels”. “It would mean a two-bedroom council flat that currently costs £85 a week would go up to £380 a week,’’ said Mr Dromey.

Posted by drewster @ 04:11 AM 29 Comments

How much taxpayers' money is spent on lining the pockets of landlords?

Human Rights TV: A Welfare State for Landlords: Who Benefits?

Housing benefit has become a welfare state for landlords to the tune billions of pounds. The belief that the free market in terms of rent would deliver lots of cheap, good quality rented accommodation has now been demonstrated to be false in the UK. The peculiar laws pertaining to Britain have made it a key target for overseas buyers to dabble in the property market. They have entered the UK housing market in considerable numbers, particularly in London. The problems of absentee landlords are well known and analogous to English landlords in Ireland in the 19th century. A large amount of public money is disappearing abroad and into private pockets for little return and no investment in housing stock. [Warning: it's a bit of a long rant]

Posted by drewster @ 12:17 AM 3 Comments

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