Tuesday, Oct 06, 2009

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 (1913 views)
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1. Mikthe20 said...

Has the human race split into two sub-species?

Tuesday, October 6, 2009 03:32PM Report Comment

2. Another_pleb said...

I wonder if there have been any studies into people's performance at basic arithmetic and structured reasoning tests and their performance at paying back loans on time and managing their finances. When I apply for a job, I usually have to perform well in an aptitude test, when I apply for a bank loan, I just have to seem as if I can pay the money back.

Personally, I've long ceased to be shocked when I encounter someone who has problems with what used to be known as The Three Rs. A friend of mine once refused to accept that four months is one third of a year.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009 03:39PM Report Comment

3. crash n burn said...

Was this survey carried out in some overly priced chav town??? I don't think I know anyone who couldn't answer that question.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009 03:56PM Report Comment

4. will said...

I'll just have the one bar - thanks.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009 03:56PM Report Comment

5. Djia977 said...

It could equally be said to be the reason why house prices must rise.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009 04:00PM Report Comment

6. tenant super said...

I also think one of the reasons for the insane boom was people's inability to conceptualise the price of houses. Admittedly some of the mind-boggling bailout figures are beyond my ability to grasp in a meaningful way, but I can grasp how much money £250K is. That's a quarter of a million pounds, eight times the average London wage, 100 decent holidays and far too much for a lousy 2 bedroom flat the wrong side of Clapham (which is what a friend of mine paid recently).

Tuesday, October 6, 2009 04:01PM Report Comment

7. crunchy said...

More Labour spin.

Yeah I really should have bought two houses at the artificial temporary 8.13% discount before prices took off again. Silly me.

I would rather pay double and will be soon for a chocolate bar for now thanks.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009 04:08PM Report Comment

8. mrflibble said...

It's reports like this that give me the fear our currency will end up priced as junk as it is discovered we really do have nothing left to offer the world. OK you could argue this survey was done in Chav Town, but 90% of the population still believe houses only ever go up. Still with El Gordon at the levers they would be right...

Tuesday, October 6, 2009 04:12PM Report Comment

9. alan said...

crash n burn,
Yes, it was probably somewhere near me. You called it right!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009 04:15PM Report Comment

10. Bluebeach said...

OK brainboxes, £100 to anyone who correctly calculates the cost of the sausage.....?

Tuesday, October 6, 2009 04:18PM Report Comment

11. bluebeach said...

ok......£100 to anyone to correctly calculate the cost of sausages

Tuesday, October 6, 2009 04:23PM Report Comment

12. greenshootsandleaves said...

So what's new? Not knowing what APR, for instance, stands for has never stopped people from borrowing up to their eyeballs on their credit card(s), much to the delight of the companies concerned. Luckily, when it comes to really big purchases (such as houses), there's always a smugdog/estate agent or other trustworthy person ready to offer a helping hand, i.e. interpret the market signals and guide them through the complicated bits.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009 04:27PM Report Comment

13. japanese uncle said...

Pushing complicated credit arrangement including credit card loans involving revolving repayment, to the vast majority of population operating on this level of arithmetic knowledge is nothing short of criminal.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009 04:40PM Report Comment

14. Robbie said...

What a pointless result, did any of them understand what 87% means?

Tuesday, October 6, 2009 04:52PM Report Comment

15. str 2007 said...

''The campaign will be talking to shoppers in various Sainsbury's stores this week to promote the courses. ''

Shouldn't they be in Lidll or Iceland.

What a snob LOL

Tuesday, October 6, 2009 04:58PM Report Comment

16. uncle tom said...

ok......£100 to anyone to correctly calculate the cost of sausages

OK, if the sausages cost a guinea and are now one third off, that would be fourteen shillings.

But if they cost a pound, they would now be two angels.

Or if they cost a shilling, they would now be two groats

Can I have my £100 in threepenny bits please Bluebeach -

- that would be 8,000 of them :)

Tuesday, October 6, 2009 05:18PM Report Comment

17. magnifico said...

str @10

In my opinion people in Lidl and Iceland would be more likely to have money sense.

By the way I haven't been posting in a while but regularly follow the blog.

For what it's worth I think the HPI of both Nationwide and Halifax will turn negative next month.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009 05:21PM Report Comment

18. mdmick said...

Ah, but sausages with a third off would give you sages!


Tuesday, October 6, 2009 05:35PM Report Comment

19. uncle tom said...

Indeed mdmick - but without the exclamation mark you'd be short changed..

Tuesday, October 6, 2009 05:41PM Report Comment

20. greenshootsandleaves said...

Magnifico @ 12

I think you're right (about the HPI), but just suppose that only one property is sold in the UK next month (that's a fairly big 'if', I know) and that that property happens to be that super mega jumbo white elephant in Windlesham ('ifs' don't come any bigger than that, do they? I tell you, even if I had the £70 million, I still wouldn't buy it!), .... Imagine what that would do to the already skewed stats....

Come to think of it, would the property even have to sold?

Tuesday, October 6, 2009 06:09PM Report Comment

21. krustyatemyhamster said...

"In my opinion people in Lidl and Iceland would be more likely to have money sense."

That's what I was thinking. They'd be better off targeting Waitrose or Marks and Spencer. The personal debt problem seems to me to be a mostly middle class problem imo.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009 06:11PM Report Comment

22. robh said...

In these deflationary times, I would rather buy one full price bar today and a smaller one for the same price tomorrow :)

Tuesday, October 6, 2009 06:31PM Report Comment

23. drewster said...

Blatant self-promotion by the please-don't-cut-our-budget civil servants at the Learning and Skills Council. Expect to see more such self-serving press releases over the next few months.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009 06:31PM Report Comment

24. mr g said...

The survey was probably carried out in Basingjoke.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009 06:38PM Report Comment

25. crunchy said...


Tuesday, October 6, 2009 06:58PM Report Comment

26. str 2007 said...


Your probably right,

Can't believe the prices they get away with in Waitrose & M&S at times.

Asda man myself, far fewer additives.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009 09:36PM Report Comment

27. japanese uncle said...

Magnifico reminds me of the Foundation series by Isaac Asimov, does it not?

Tuesday, October 6, 2009 09:53PM Report Comment

28. mark wadsworth said...

When I first read the "Foundation" series I assumed that it had been written after the event as an allegory for the rise of Japan as an economic power from about the 1960s onwards (clever, industrious people with elevated sense of status living on a planet devoid of raw materials - what they do best is miniaturise and specialise and trade with more backward planets).

After a few re-reads, I took the trouble to look at when it was first published, which was in the 1950s sometime. Now that's what I call prescient!

PS, the subsequent prequels and sequels are rubbish. Stick to the original three books.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009 10:46PM Report Comment

29. japanese uncle said...


Interesting association. Asimov was one of the best-read men (ie he read tens of thousands of books himself and his works were read by millions) and history and social sciences were among his favorite desciplines. He might well have predicted the rise of the Japanese economy. Actually not a few in Japan believe it was carefully choreographed by the poweful class of the US and ultimately the UK as at the end of WWII.

Personally I prefer The Stars Like Dust written in the same period.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009 11:12PM Report Comment

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