May 2010 Archive

Sunday, May 30, 2010

London BS back due to panic more like

Observer: London HPI back due to shortages

"London house prices have averaged 10% compound growth since the second world war as a result of the constant housing shortage. "With even more dramatically falling housing supply, despite a short-term lull in the market, we're going to go back to that trend of over 10% growth," says Pane." Flats in Stoke Newington to hit £12M next year.....

Posted by chrisch @ 09:59 PM 7 Comments

More taxpayer's money wasted

Telegraph: Bloody Sunday Inquiry: A £191 million fiasco

No connection to HPC (and I'm not objecting to an enquiry into the tragic events of Bloody Sunday, by the way) but this is very pertinent to the country's financial situation. The obscene waste of taxpayer's money is a damning indictment and exemplifies all that was wrong with the Nu Liebor years. Note that nineteen lawyers have become millionaires thanks to the Saville Inquiry, no doubt they were all mates of Bliar, they all pee in the same pot.

Posted by mr g @ 08:52 PM 6 Comments

Land Value Tax on the cards?

Renegade Economist: Coalition government and the prospects for LVT

interesting article exploring the coalition partners in the libdems who are in the know about LVT

Posted by the number cruncher @ 08:24 PM 0 Comments

I'll have whatever Ian McWhirter's having.

Sunday Herald: Tackling free lunch culture is Cameron’s toughest challenge

Is there any group in society more jealous of its privileges, more militant in defence of its perks, more determined to avoid paying tax than the “hard-working” British middle classes? The howls of anguish at the proposal to tax capital gains as income, part of the ConDem coalition agreement, illustrates how difficult it is to tackle what is called the middle-class welfare state. People who complain about welfare scroungers and benefits tourists see nothing morally wrong with ­avoiding tax.

Posted by laurag @ 08:16 PM 6 Comments

A cautionary tale

Irish Independent: That starter home is now permanent for so many

Up and down Ireland, there are young people, carried along on the wave of what we now recognise as property hysteria, who are now living in places they hate, all because they wanted to get their foot on the first rung of the ladder. Buying a "starter" home simply to have a property, confidently expecting to sell it easily and profitably and move on in a short few years to bigger and better, was an expectation.It turned out so many young people got left with the property, unable to sell it. This must never happen again.

Posted by little professor @ 06:14 PM 4 Comments

Assetz on top form


House prices are set to return to pre-credit crunch levels as early as next year as a result of the continuing nationwide housing shortage, figures to be released tomorrow indicate. Average UK house prices for April are just 6.7% off their 2007 peak and are expected to recover as early as March next year, according to the Assetz House Price Watch, which compiles monthly average figures taken from five of the major house price indices. Stuart Law said "The 6.7% is next to nothing. Housing never took the hit people thought and those that panicked lost out. "

Posted by little professor @ 06:07 PM 7 Comments

Bite that bullet...oh NO...STOP

Reuters: UK at risk of double-dip, fiscal cuts should wait

"Britain faces the risk of a double-dip recession and the government should hold off making big spending cuts until the recovery is assured, according to the British Chambers of Commerce. In its latest economic forecast published on Sunday, the business lobby group revised up its projection for growth this year to 1.3 percent from 1.0 percent in its March forecast". OK folks - what should we do, I'm confused?

Posted by alan @ 01:08 PM 13 Comments

Bad Breath Bubble Blowers

The Australian: Option Scheme Duped Banks & Buyers

Dodgy practices revealed - agents declare 'not me gov' Is it possible in the UK to use deeds with 3rd parties to artificially inflate purchase prices as described here?

Posted by rollercoaster @ 01:13 AM 0 Comments

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Russians target Central London

Bloomberg: London Luxury-Home Prices Gain on Demand From Russian Buyers

"London luxury-home prices climbed in May for the seventh straight month as the pound’s weakness attracted buyers from abroad, Knight Frank LLP said". "The number of Russians seeking property through Knight Frank has more than doubled in the past two months, and they now account for almost 8 percent of all purchases of more than 2 million pounds, Bailey said. Knight Frank compiles its luxury-homes index from estimated values of properties in the Mayfair, St. John’s Wood, Regent’s Park, Kensington, Notting Hill, Chelsea, Knightsbridge, Belgravia and South Bank neighborhoods of London.

Posted by alan @ 05:26 PM 3 Comments

Politicians will say anything to keep the markets calm - but will they actually do anything?

Telegraph: David Cameron hints at interest rate rise to combat 'worrying' inflation

The Prime Minister has voiced alarm at the level of inflation, issuing a veiled hint that the Bank of England should consider taking action and perhaps even raise interest rates. David Cameron said that the rise in the Consumer Price Index to 3.7pc in April – almost double the Monetary Policy Committee's (MPC) 2pc target – was starting to concern him. "We have seen a slightly worrying increase in inflation in recent months, so interest rates will be set to control inflation," he said. Although the Prime Minister went on to say that "policy [is] set independently by the Bank of England", the comments are likely to be seen as a veiled warning that the Bank should be wary of allowing prices to rise much further.

Posted by drewster @ 04:49 PM 12 Comments

Mortgaging our Childrens future.

BBC newsnight (Friday): Nicholas Taleb V Will Hutton

About 13 minutes into programme, well worth a listen

Posted by rainbow @ 01:04 PM 0 Comments

Squeezing more from the fruit available

Nationwide: Letting application fee and interest rate

From 1 September 2010 Nationwide are making some changes to their mortgage fees and charges. These include an application fee and additional letting interest rate for mortgage customers wishing to rent out their property. There will be many an upset and implications. What checks will they make? Will other Lenders follow?

Posted by dill @ 12:45 PM 1 Comments

More HPC start evidence

Independent: House market up since Hips dumped

The number of homes being put on the market has risen by a third since the Government announced plans to scrap home information packs, an estate agency said today. Countrywide, the UK's biggest estate agency, also said new instructions, which are up 68 per cent compared with the same period a year ago, are at levels last seen in September 2007, just before the credit crunch began and shortly after home information packs were introduced.

Posted by gone-to-colombia @ 12:55 AM 24 Comments

The HPC begins?

Daily Mail: The growing CGT rebellion: Fear of tax grab sparks mass sale of homes and shares

Homes are flooding on to the property market and shares are being dumped by worried investors who hope to dodge the Government's controversial plans to hike Capital Gains Tax. The country's biggest estate agency group, Countrywide, said the number of homes put up for sale in the past week was 34 per cent higher than the week before and 68 per cent higher than this time last year. Investment experts believe plans to increase the tax on profits made on 'buy to let' properties and share portfolios are a key element of the great rush to sell.

Posted by gone-to-colombia @ 12:37 AM 8 Comments

Friday, May 28, 2010

Another downgrade, things are going from bad to worse

Cnn: Stocks slip on Spain downgrade

"People were expecting a nice slow day and then the Spain news turned things around," said Joseph Saluzzi, co-head of equity trading at Themis Trading.

Posted by mark @ 09:14 PM 1 Comments

Its time to panic borrowers....

BBC News: Lloyds ups SVR

Widely predicted rises in IR are soon to be a reality whether Merv does it or not....

Posted by chrisch @ 05:21 PM 7 Comments

Ivory Tower meets Hedge Fund

BBC Newsnight via ZeroHedge: Hugh Hendry: "I Would Recommend You Panic"

In case you missed Wednesday's BBC Newsnight as I did. A lively financial discussion which brought together Hugh Hendry (Hedge Fund), Gillian Tett (FT) and Jeffrey Sachs (Prof). Another great quote from Hugh Hendry (made elsewhere): "The most dangerous people to your wealth are establishment figures who wear suits and pontificate and sound conventional. Conventional minds are a disaster at profound turning points in economic history,"

Posted by mountain goat @ 01:13 PM 25 Comments

The devil's in the detail - house prices to rent and income

Investment and Business News: Which way next for global house prices?

The latest OECD economic outlook report has revealed some fascinating stuff about the value of house prices relative to income and rent across the world. This is a good indicator, because it gives us a pointer as to whether house prices are overvalued, and thus due another fall down the line. The article looks at the UK, US, Germany Japan, Spain and France. Japan's tale of woe is illustrated beautifully by the data, will the rest follow?

Posted by mike @ 12:59 PM 5 Comments

What a pickle...

BBC: Robert Peston: A coalition housing crash?

CGT prices falling like confetti after the Con-Lib marriage... How an election changes everything...

Posted by bemused @ 12:15 PM 4 Comments

Scary stuff

Telegraph: Spain orders banks to come clean on debts to restore shattered faith

Even the strongest banks – Santander and BBVA – are paying a stiff premium over Libor. The Wall Street Journal reports that BBVA has been unable to roll over €1bn in commercial paper. This has raised fears of a chain reaction through Europe's banks due to the nexus of loans. Data from the Bank for International Settlements show that European banks – led by German lenders, in some trouble themselves – have $851bn (£584bn) in exposure to Spain, as well as $240bn to Portugal and $189bn to Greece. The Bank of Spain risks opening a Pandora's Box since nobody knows how many cajas are insolvent

Posted by mark @ 11:57 AM 9 Comments

Bad times cometh

Times: More people turn to credit to make ends meet

More than five million homeowners are turning to their credit cards to pay at least one household bill a month, a survey has revealed, prompting fears about the fragility of Britons’ personal finances in the wake of the recession. The study found that 14 per cent of Britain’s 35 million credit card users have paid gas and electricity, phone and insurance bills with their plastic, while another 7 per cent admitted to taking out cash from an ATM on credit, incurring hefty fees

Posted by mark @ 11:51 AM 6 Comments

Heltenham & Gloucester increases standard variable rate for new customers from 2.5 per cent to 3.99

Times: C&G pushes up rates for new customers

Cheltenham & Gloucester (C&G), part of the Lloyds Banking Group, has hiked its standard variable rate (SVR) for new mortgage customers, potentially raising the cost of monthly repayments on a typical loan by £185 a month. From June 1, the SVR for new C&G customers will increase to 3.99 per cent and will not be pegged to the base rate, allowing the lender to adjust the rate at any time. Borrowers move onto an SVR after their initial deal expires.

Posted by mark @ 11:48 AM 1 Comments

A radical departure from chasing property prices

Yahoo: Rates must be set to control inflation - Cameron

The article doesn't specifically mention that the Bank has been targeting property prices, but does mention that its targets haven't been inflation in recent years, Hmmm.

Posted by paul @ 10:29 AM 19 Comments

Time to sink your cash in the USA

Assetz: US house price rise 'loses steam'

'Some may be interested in buying up US property at this time as a temporary dip may mean more affordable homes are available for sale, while the long-term economic recovery could see prices rise over the next few years. Earlier this month, editor at BuyAssociation Paul Collins suggested that prices are unlikely to fall again in the US anytime soon and that now is a "good time to invest".' I don't pay much attention to Law these days but this is a gem. Compare the twaddle from BuyAssociation with a real economist's take on the state of America's economy:

Posted by quiet guy @ 08:29 AM 3 Comments

Property plateau

This is Money: House prices will stall, says Nationwide

The usual factors: low levels of transactions skewing statistics, increased supply, stressed household earnings and possible interest rate rises will repress further price rises over the next year. Still, Nationwide aren't actually saying prices will drop but just hang around. Perhaps the property bulls expect a permanently flat market.

Posted by quiet guy @ 08:08 AM 4 Comments

Put capital gains tax on all homes

The Times: Put capital gains tax on all homes

"The Government’s proposed increase in capital gains tax on non-business assets is sensible. But it does not go far enough. A reforming and fiscally responsible government would introduce CGT on all home sales. One day it will happen." It seems to me a very fair way to start to balance the government's books. Start off with the tax at 1% and remove stamp duty to compensate, then ramp it up in future years. What fairer way to tax people than on unearned gains they have made by doing nothing cleverer than buying a house on a mortgage and living in it? I can imagine the howls of outrage that will follow.

Posted by monty032 @ 08:04 AM 34 Comments

CGT Rise - a double edged sword?

Telegraph: Capital gains tax rise to punish prudent savers

"A rise in capital gains tax would cause "unfair financial hardship" for prudent long-term savers, one of the world's biggest investment firms has warned". The Telegraph goes on the ofensive against the big CGT rise.

Posted by alan @ 07:49 AM 5 Comments

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Fewer immigrants = less pressure on house prices and rents?

BBC News: More European migrants 'leaving Britain'

For the first time since 2004, net migration from Eastern Europe has turned negative. In all, there were 45,000 arrivals of A8 nationals last year, compared with 57,000 departures. Overall, the UK's net migration figure - the number of immigrants minus numbers emigrating - for the 12 months ending in September 2009 was 142,000, down from 160,000 for the same period the previous year.

Posted by drewster @ 08:20 PM 6 Comments

But... but... won't someone think of the housing market?!

Telegraph: UK interest rates must rise to 3.5pc, says OECD

The OECD said rates would have to start rising this year from the historically low level of 0.5pc that they have been held at since March 2009 because inflation expectations were creeping up. "The reversal of the December 2008 VAT cut and higher fuel prices have contributed to the recent jump in inflation. Notwithstanding the temporary nature of these price developments, the gradual drift up of some measures of inflation expectations implies a need to increase interest rates earlier than previously thought and no later than the last quarter of 2010," it said in its latest Economic Outlook. "The projected increase of core inflation to the Bank of England target warrants policy rate to 3.5pc by the end of 2011."

Posted by drewster @ 06:39 PM 7 Comments

CBI reports shrinking consumer spending

Guardian: High street sales slump

'Poor weather and price rises sent high street sales tumbling in the early part of this month, heightening fears that consumers are tightening their purse strings as they brace themselves for house price falls, tax rises and pay squeezes ... The hardest-hit subsectors included chemists and DIY, the latter's performance echoing signs of a slowing housing market ... The CBI's chief economic adviser, Ian McCafferty described the figures as "clearly disappointing" but indicated that pressure had gone beyond mere weather factors. "Unseasonal poor weather at the start of the month is likely to have dented clothing sales, while some signs of slowing momentum in the housing market may help to account for the renewed weakness in sales of big-ticket items and other household goods," he said.'

Posted by quiet guy @ 06:28 PM 0 Comments

Market points to house price falls

The Right Side: Market points to house price falls

The stock markets react to news instantly and often violently, losing or gaining several percent in a day. Not so the housing market. If the stockmarket is the hare, then the property market is the tortoise. But don’t think that this means housing doesn’t react to the wider economy. While the spreadbet prices are already bearish on housing I reckon they’ve got even further to fall. Property markets are cyclical and we’re still on the down-curve.

Posted by damien @ 02:04 PM 1 Comments

"Work or lose your benefits"

Daily Mail: Work or lose your benefits: Iain Duncan Smith heralds biggest shake-up of welfare state since the war

A little off topic, but may be of interest. "Those who refused to look for work, take jobs that were offered to them or do voluntary work would have their handouts stopped, he said. Mr Duncan Smith said it was simply not ‘sustainable’ for Britain to carry on spending almost 14 per cent of its national income on welfare. ‘About 43 per cent of those who are economically inactive are stuck on some sort of sickness benefit. That has risen from about 15 per cent in 1981,’ he said".... wonder if they'll need to start employing security guards down the local job centre?

Posted by cat and canary @ 01:06 PM 35 Comments

The weather has been glorious??????

Yahoo: CBI May retail sales slump to 14-month low

The CBI said bad weather, a slow down in the housing market and higher prices were to blame for the year-on-year fall in sales during the April 27-May 12 survey period.

Posted by mark @ 12:46 PM 6 Comments

The housing rot is still eating the US economy from the inside

MoneyWeek: The housing rot is still eating the US economy from the inside

On the surface, the US economy looks healthy. But property prices are still falling, and that could lead to more carnage in the banking sector.

Posted by damien @ 12:30 PM 0 Comments

No disagreement about CGT in Coalition

BBC News: Capital Gains Tax: No coalition split says Vince Cable

"It's very important that we have wealth taxed in the same way as income. "At present it is quite wrong and it is an open invitation to tax avoidance to have people taxed at 40% or potentially 50% on their income, but only taxed at 18% on capital gains; it leads to large scale tax avoidance so for reasons of fairness and practicality, we have agreed that the capital gains tax system needs to be fundamentally reformed."

Posted by katalan1 @ 12:24 PM 0 Comments

Pity we dont see charges brought on people in uk

Las Vegas Sun: Grand jury indicts 5 on mortgage fraud charges

The indictment alleges that from 2005 to April 2007, the defendants devised a mortgage fraud scheme that involved the use of straw buyers and the submission of false information to financial institutions in order to obtain mortgage loans. The defendants solicited persons to act as straw buyers to purchase real estate, and in some instances, the defendants had the straw buyers purchase multiple houses at or about the same time. The defendants caused to be submitted to the financial institutions mortgage loan applications containing fraudulent information about the straw buyers’ employment, income, assets, liabilities, rental history, value of the property, intent to occupy the homes, Social Security number, and source of earnest money deposits and costs.

Posted by mark @ 10:52 AM 0 Comments


Telegraph: US money supply plunges at 1930s pace as Obama eyes fresh stimulus

The M3 money supply in the United States is contracting at an accelerating rate that now matches the average decline seen from 1929 to 1933, despite near zero interest rates and the biggest fiscal blitz in history.

Posted by dill @ 12:23 AM 7 Comments

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Sound Familiar - the Blair Brown strategy perchance!

Associated Press: Italy makes cuts to dodge euro crisis

"In this way, Italy's social spending has gone out of control and has transformed itself into subsidy spending. This irresponsible system worked as long as it was able to resort to devaluing currency, and as long as you could raise taxes," Berlusconi said.

Posted by enuii @ 10:33 PM 0 Comments

Interest Rates Must Rise say OECD

Guardian: Interest Rates Must Rise

OECD say interest rates must rise during the second half of this year. Clearly they have not been reading the output from the BoE ove rthe past months who have been clearly stating that inflation is all under control. I would suggest that if inflation increased even further than it's current high levels, the IR increase will be coming in the 3rd quarter.

Posted by catmandu @ 07:30 PM 0 Comments

A Sign?

Yahoo: Bank to launch floating-rate repos on June 15

Under the new system, the Bank will no longer lend to banks for 9- or 12-month terms, and banks can only borrow from the Bank on a floating-rate basis that leaves them exposed to future increases in the Bank's main Bank Rate, currently 0.5 percent.

Posted by mark @ 03:26 PM 1 Comments

London way down list

UK doing well by comparision

BBC News: EuroZone in Crisis

If the BBC Graphics are to be believed the UK comes out well in comparison to the rest of Europe. Earnings are at the top of the scale. So is GDP per head etc. Indebtedness appears to be relatively benign. Do these graphics ring true?

Posted by mken @ 02:36 PM 7 Comments

Excuses, excuses

The Metro: Mortgage lending hits nine-year low

"Net lending, which strips out redemptions and repayments, was just £1.83 billion during April, the lowest level since February 2001, according to the British Bankers' Association. The low figure did not come as a surprise as mortgage approvals have been depressed since the turn of the year due to a combination of the end of the stamp duty holiday, the severe winter weather and the uncertainty created by the general election, all of which have limited activity in the housing market." (That's the whole article by the way - one statistic and three excuses).

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 02:11 PM 1 Comments

Ant (Japan,China,germany) and Grasshopper(US,UK) and land/house prices

FT: Ant and Grasshopper and land/house prices

Martin Wolf @ FT put the subprime/property bubble in the ant/grasshopper analogy

Posted by easybetman @ 01:34 PM 3 Comments

So they want them to rise?? i say put them up to 10%

Yahoo: Nationwide profits tumble, warns of threat from low interest rates

Nationwide Building Society reported a 46pc fall in annual profits and warned that historic low interest rates would hit profits over the year ahead

Posted by mark @ 12:12 PM 37 Comments


Times: The 10 most expensive homes in the world

scary prices, wonderful places, maybe krusty will be showing them to home buyers soon..

Posted by mark @ 12:06 PM 8 Comments


Times: UK ‘must raise interest rate this year’

The Bank of England must raise interest rates by the end of this year to keep inflation in check, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development warned today.

Posted by dill @ 11:55 AM 5 Comments

Wilson's start reducing prices?

Connells: Website

I have noticed in the last two months the average offer price for a 'Fergus Wilson' style two bedroom starter home in the Park Farm area of Ashford has gone from about 180,000 (fixed price) to about 160,000. Fergus is or course releasing about 1 property a week in this area (and Connells is his favourite estate agent.)

Posted by the number cruncher @ 11:28 AM 3 Comments

Anyone for a dip?

Telegraph: Double-dip fears over worldwide credit stress

The global credit system is flashing the most serious warning signals in almost a year on triple fears of a Spanish banking crisis, escalating political risk in Asia, and a second leg to the US housing slump.

Posted by mark @ 11:19 AM 0 Comments

In real money, British house prices are down by 70%

MoneyWeek: In real money, British house prices are down by 70%

You may be forgiven for thinking that UK property is still expensive. After all, that's what every reputable index says But, if you measure house prices in real money, they are cheaper than they've been for the last 40 years.

Posted by damien @ 11:13 AM 6 Comments

No Spring Bounce Then

BBC News: Mortgage lending remained subdued in April

Maybe an indication of a start to the inevitable.

Posted by wdbeast @ 10:14 AM 1 Comments

Crunch! and the boom is gone

City Wire: Want to know what a real HPC looks like?

This solution (demolition) is the only answer for Spain and Eire IMO.

Posted by chrisch @ 09:47 AM 8 Comments

Destructive force of economics

Citywire: Want to know what a real house price crash looks like?

Detroit is being effectivly, destroyed... What’s interesting about Detroit’s immediate future is how the economics of two failing markets, the American car industry and the debt-driven housing market, will physically re-shape a major US city; passing through like a plague, ravaging it, shrinking it by half.

Posted by smithers @ 08:47 AM 0 Comments

The Great Debt Myth?

UK PUBLIC SPENDING: UK National Debt As Percent Of GDP

Take a look at the chart. It shows UK national debt as a percentage of GDP since 1900. You will notice a very small upturn over the last few years but the current total is still dwarfed by past totals. The UK owns banks shares worth about £40 billion. When these shares are sold, the very small recent upturn will disappear. Is anyone surprised by what they see on the chart?

Posted by flashman @ 08:21 AM 53 Comments

New politics or more of New Labour?

Telegraph: Middle classes face higher taxes under Government plans

Tax, tax, tax.....and more tax. ''The Queen's Speech ended hopes of a climb-down on tax rises for the middle classes, with an unqualified commitment to increase capital gains tax. It also set out plans to raise taxes on the pay of those earning more than £45,000 and paved the way for bringing forward an increase in the retirement age. As part of the coalition deal between the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats, David Cameron accepted many of the principles of Lib Dem tax policy.''

Posted by hpwatcher @ 08:10 AM 3 Comments

Rare piece of bear food

Daily Mail: Are we heading for a new housing crash?

Homebuyers could be battered by a credit clampdown next year if a £300 billion black hole in mortgage funding is not plugged. Experts have warned that borrowers face higher interest rates, bigger fees, tougher credit scoring and a greater risk of being rejected. Loans to those with small deposits could be withdrawn or carry such high interest rates that they would become unaffordable. All this could bring the recovery in the housing market to a shuddering halt and send prices crashing in parts of the country. Some economists predict a staggering 20 pc plunge in prices, wiping £34,000 off the average £167,802 home.

Posted by little professor @ 01:32 AM 9 Comments

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

There is often a time-lag between economic disaster and social fury, writes Simon Schama

FT: On the brink of a new age of rage

Historians will tell you there is often a time-lag between the onset of economic disaster and the accumulation of social fury. In act one, the shock of a crisis initially triggers fearful disorientation; the rush for political saviours; instinctive responses of self-protection, but not the organised mobilisation of outrage. Act two is trickier. A breathing space gives room for a dangerously alienated public to take stock of the brutal interruption of their rising expectations. What happened to the march of income, the acquisition of property, the truism that the next generation will live better than the last? The full impact of the overthrow of these assumptions sinks in and engenders a sense of grievance that “Someone Else” must have engineered the common misfortune.

Posted by drewster @ 08:57 PM 12 Comments

What impact does general price inflation have on house prices?

Money AM: US house prices fall

From the article "While the national, purchase-only house price index fell 3.1% from the first quarter of 2009 to the first quarter of 2010, prices of other goods and services rose 3.5%. Accordingly, the inflation-adjusted price of homes fell approximately 6.3% over the latest year." That suggests to me there might even be an inverse relationship...

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 04:46 PM 7 Comments

And again and again

Cnn: Think housing is recovering? Think again.

Optimists are pinning their hopes on a continuation of low mortgage rates. They note that rates could remain low because of concerns that debt problems in Europe portend a wider slowdown. Low rates help to reinforce demand. But even if these optimists are right, low rates only have so much of an effect. Despite the average 30-year rates now hovering around 4.8%, the Mortgage Bankers Association noted last week that the number of people seeking mortgage purchase applications had dropped more than 27%, reaching a level last seen in May 1997.

Posted by mark @ 03:56 PM 0 Comments

Your property in Spain, Portugal, or Greece looking dicey?

Guardian: Europe is a dead political project

Could the EU fracture, could the PIGS (or PIIGS) revert to national currencies...? No a matter of if, but when...

Posted by rental john @ 03:27 PM 0 Comments

To be reinstated it if NR looks like failing?

Times: Savers with Northern Rock lose 100pc Government guarantee

From Tuesday customers with variable rate accounts no longer have all of their money guaranteed by the Government, but will instead be protected up to the £50,000 limit under the Financial Services Compensation Scheme.

Posted by mken @ 12:27 PM 1 Comments

"Gross buy-to-let lending is predicted to grow to £25.6bn within the next four years"

FT: Datamonitor sees years of growth ahead for BTL

The key findings from independent market analyst Datamonitor predict that gross advances will remain flat this year, but will rise to £15.8bn in 2012, £20.2bn in 2013 and £25.6bn in 2014. This comes after the Council of Mortgage Lenders figures showed that buy-to-let gross advances totalled £8.5bn in 2009. However, Paul Monk, partner of Merseyside-based Balmoral Associates, warned this could spell bad news for the property market...........

Posted by jack c @ 11:01 AM 5 Comments

VI article but the numbers are interesting (assuming they are accurate)

FT: Landlords' portfolios soar in first quarter

The average landlord's portfolio jumped 6.1 per cent in value to over £1.5m during the first three months of 2010, according to Paragon Mortgages.The lender said the general improvement in UK house prices was reflected in an acceleration in the rate of growth in residential property portfolio values and was up from a 4.2 per cent rise the previous quarter ending December 2009. Paragon said the figure takes into account changes to property values and sales and acquisitions, which suggested landlords had been adding property to their portfolios or replacing existing stock with higher value properties .

Posted by jack c @ 10:56 AM 3 Comments

CPI at 3.7%, RPI at 5.3%, yet deflation is our biggest risk?!

Telegraph: MPC's Adam Posen warns Britain at risk of Japan-style deflation

Britain is at risk of sliding into a Japan-style episode of deflation, and may be even worse-equipped to escape. Britain faces an uncomfortable trio of obstacles. Unlike Japan, Britain has to sell a large proportion of its debt to overseas investors, who are more likely to exit the market if they become scared of Britain's fiscal prospects. The UK also faces the challenge of having to boost a troubled manufacturing sector if it is to recover sufficiently. Unlike Japan, it does not have the luxury of having a worldwide market with a large and growing appetite for exports. He also warned that the banking system's continued troubles would undermine companies' abilities to raise funds, and pointed out that businesses already appeared to be hoarding savings - something which happened in Japan.

Posted by drewster @ 10:29 AM 20 Comments

Good Money After Bad?

TIMES: Greeks give new meaning to idea of sovereign wealth

This makes no sense to me. If the Greeks stopped using the Euro, then there is a chance that the Euro would appreciate because there would be less drag from supporting one of the PIGS. Any Greek citizen holding Euros would then be able to exchange them for Drachmas at a very favourable exchange rate. Surely exchanging their Euros for gold at this stage is a much riskier strategy? If gold took a serious hit, they’ll be rioting, for real, once they realise that there government profited from their panic. Maybe Gold will soar in value and there will be many happy Greeks but it seems like a an unnecessarily risky gamble to me

Posted by flashman @ 10:15 AM 6 Comments

There wasn't a pot of gold, and now it turns out there wasn't even a rainbow

Baseline Scenario (blog): The Very Bad Luck of the Irish

Ireland’s problems are, sadly, far deeper than the need for simple fiscal austerity. The Celtic tiger’s impressive reported growth over the past decades was in part based on helping major American corporations reduce their tax bills. The Irish govt set corporate taxes at just 12.5% of profits, thus attracting foreign businesses to set up corporate bases and wash profits through Ireland to keep them out of the hands of the Internal Revenue Service. The remarkable success of this tax haven means that roughly 20% of Irish GDP is actually “profit transfers” that raise little tax for Ireland. These profits should not be counted as part of Ireland’s potential tax base. When we adjust Ireland’s figures accordingly, the situation is dire. The deficit rises from 11.7% to 14.6%.

Posted by drewster @ 12:39 AM 6 Comments

Changing the rules - why predicting the HPC is so difficult

Mish: Insanity Down Under: ING Says Thanks to Capital Appreciation, Paying Principal on Mortgage Loans is Unnecessary

This is not a UK article but I offer it as a an example of why logic doesn't work when underlying assumptions about markets can be changed. Repaying the principal on a loan is an outdated concept according to ING. If a major bank is prepared to countenance this type of investment strategy, it's little wonder timing the HPC is so hard. In the UK, we've seen 1/2% interest rates, tinkering with the normal repossession rules and the perhaps adding property costs to the CPI, by the ConLibs, to keep the party going. How many more wheezes can bankers and politicians dream up to support property prices?

Posted by quiet guy @ 12:20 AM 5 Comments

Monday, May 24, 2010

Konichiwa London

Yahoo news: MPC's Adam Posen warns Britain at risk of Japan-style deflation

Adam Posen of the MPC warns the UK is at great risk of Japanese style deflation. So low interest rates and more QE it is then.

Posted by mikelivingstone @ 09:24 PM 0 Comments

Inflation not a debtor's friend these days

Moneyweek: Why inflation won't help today's homeowners

So what is inflation actually doing for today's debtors? Increasing their cost of living (via rising oil prices and food prices) and leaving less money for interest and debt payments. So the higher it goes, the more of a burden the debt becomes – not vice versa. ... Inflation may erode the real value of the debt in theory. But it can't reduce the monthly burden of the debt unless wages are rising too. And they are not.

Posted by wanderinman @ 06:26 PM 26 Comments

Borrowers demand chance to pay more

Daily Mail: Low valuations hold back housing market

Nationwide and Halifax say house prices are up 10% from a year ago. But mortgage borrowers say this good news isn't yet being reflected in the prices that valuers put on their homes, and that low valuations are jeopardising their chances of getting the mortgage they want. Experts say low valuations continue to plague the market and that victims may struggle to overturn them. As there is no conciliation or independent ombudsman service for people unhappy with low valuations, the odds are you will have to accept the price your lender puts on your home. If it's so low that you don't qualify for one of its best-buy deals, you may need to look elsewhere.

Posted by little professor @ 05:25 PM 12 Comments

Landlords Don't Want to Pay

National Landlords Association: Capital Gains Tax Campaign

They have a twitter going saying that 1,500 landlords have already used their website to lobby their MPs. "The NLA is calling on the Treasury to recognise letting as a legitimate business and therefore include capital gains from the sale of residential property in the wide-ranging “generous exemptions”" But but but... The rental yields don't even cover our costs, so we NEED to keep capital gains.

Posted by ontheotherhand @ 04:59 PM 9 Comments

Wonder if this could happen in UK?

Yahoo: Spain to block credit for local authorities

"The local authorities and those that depend on them ... cannot obtain long-term public or private credit, in any form, to fund their investments," a draft law said Monday, The ban is valid until the end of 2011.

Posted by mark @ 04:40 PM 0 Comments

A sober read from a party animal

Daily Telegraph: Nouriel Roubini said the bubble would burst and it did. So what next?

"Eventually inflation will go up and that erodes the real value of public debt," Roubini says. "In that scenario the value of the pound will fall sharply. It could even become disorderly and that could damage the economy, the financial markets and also the role of the pound as a reserve currency."

Posted by sureseam @ 04:24 PM 7 Comments

Easy way for Osborne to save a few bucks...

Citywire: Could Child Benefit cuts be next?

They've ditched Child trust funds, so why not child benefit? The serious cuts have got to come from somewhere.

Posted by smithers @ 04:24 PM 0 Comments

Here's why British house prices will fall

MoneyWeek: Here's why British house prices will fall

Many people are still under the impression that the only way house prices can possibly go is up. But this just isn't the case. Here's why.

Posted by damien @ 03:40 PM 6 Comments

Credit destruction outpacing QE

Zero Hedge: Bob Janjuah

The calls for a serious correction are gathering, of the people I follow only Doug Kass and Nadeem Walayat seem bullish although both have reasonable records during the crisis. Richard Russell of Dow Theory has advised his clients to get out of stocks in no uncertain terms, as as Pretcher, with similar type messages from Klarman, Roubini (as usual) and Albert Edwards. Let's see what happens now. Every time since March 2009 we have rallied to new highs. Also Janjuah makes the interesting point that eventually the fed will be forced into QE 2 (which I have alwways thought a near certainty. It will be then that we might have to worry about inflation.

Posted by bellwether @ 02:05 PM 12 Comments

Cajasur - "heavily exposed to the collapse in Spain's property market"

BBC business: Cajasur bail-out hits Spanish bank shares

Shares in Spanish banks fell on Monday following the government bail-out of one lender over the weekend. Shares in Santander were down 1.25%, while lenders BBVA and Banco Popular were also down 2% and 1.3% respectively. On Saturday Spanish bank Cajasur - one of Spain's largest regional lenders - was taken over by Spanish authorities after running into trouble.

Posted by jack c @ 01:20 PM 1 Comments

What do council workers do for this money...??

Daily Telegraph: More than 50,000 council staff receive more than £50,000 a year, Telegraph survey finds

I don't suppose this includes the freelancers on 2k per day...

Posted by tom101 @ 12:59 PM 5 Comments

Doom Doom and More Doom

Telegraph: UK households grow most pessimistic about their finances as cuts loom

A survey of households showed that 43pc expect their finances to be worse in a year's time. This is the highest percentage since April 2009, when Britain remained in the shadow of recession, according to Markit Economics and YouGov. The survey also showed that 57pc of the households questioned expected the cuts in spending to hurt them.

Posted by sovietuk @ 12:11 PM 1 Comments

I thought this problem was fixed...

London Evening Standard: China and US take opposite views on Europe's debt crisis

"Global markets have been gripped by fears that the problems engulfing Greece will spread to other highly indebted nations, particularly in southern Europe, dragging down the continent's economy and hitting trade with the US and Asia."

Posted by belfast boy @ 09:56 AM 0 Comments

US Default levels hit peak

Bloomberg: Defaults on Apartment-Building Loans Set Record for U.S. Banks

"Defaults on apartment-building mortgages held by U.S. banks climbed to a record 4.6 percent in the first quarter, almost twice the year-earlier level, as more borrowers failed to repay debt approved near the market peak, said Real Capital Analytics Inc. in a report". "The global recession cut demand for U.S. apartments, office space, retail shops, hotels and warehouses during the past two years as jobs disappeared and consumers cut spending. Defaults on apartment-building mortgages surpassed the previous record, set in 1993, for the past three consecutive quarters".

Posted by alan @ 08:06 AM 2 Comments

Sunday, May 23, 2010

The usual 'properdee experts' are putting on a brave face, but ...

Independent: Is the housing market about to see a fire sale?

"Experts argue that the reaction from investors will depend largely on the detail behind the new proposed rates and, in particular, whether investors profits will be protected against inflation." - why would landlords' profits be protected from inflation?

Posted by paul @ 10:17 AM 20 Comments

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Let the squealing begin

The Telegraph: David Cameron's 500 day programme to change Britain

Mr Osborne will tomorrow spell out the £513 million of savings to be made from stopping government funding to various quangos... £200 million could come from university funding. Other Whitehall savings will be made through cutting consultancy and travel costs; cutbacks on government orders; a reduction in property costs; scaling back or cancelling wasteful IT projects and restricting recruitment. It is understood that over the past seven days the Treasury has identified “endemic” waste across Whitehall — including yearly government spending of £125 million on taxis; £320 million on hotels; £70 million on flights; £3 billion overall on travel; £580 million on office furniture and £1 billion on advertising.

Posted by devo @ 11:10 PM 53 Comments

I think he's gone. Now, where were we...

FT: Prepare for age of austerity, says Laws

The Liberal Democrat minister in charge of Britain’s biggest postwar spending squeeze has said he is ready to make “aggressive” cuts to bring down the £163bn budget deficit, admitting the choice lies between “the unpalatable and the disastrous”. David Laws, Treasury chief secretary, will on Monday set out £6bn of savings this year, but told the Financial Times that this was just a start. “We are moving from an age of plenty to an age of austerity in the public finances,” he said.

Posted by devo @ 10:28 PM 4 Comments

Savings after Subprime

Guardian: We've cut back on the credit cards but we're still not saving

"The credit crunch sent our spending into reverse but one in four Britons still has no savings". "We have stopped using our houses as cash machines. During 2007 we were taking out around £12-£13bn every quarter in "mortgage equity withdrawal", some of it going into building extensions, but much of it frittered away on cars and holidays.Two years on, economists have come up with a new term – equity injection – to describe the fact that we're actually paying down our mortgages, to the tune of around £5-£6bn every quarter".

Posted by alan @ 09:58 PM 3 Comments

Commercial Defaults the Catalyst to the Resi Market?

Property Week: £50bn of property loans breached or in default

De Montfort research shows total lending continues to rise to £250bn A fifth of all UK real estate debt is in default or in breach of its terms as the banking industry seeks to overcome its profligate lending past.

Posted by magnaman @ 03:11 PM 0 Comments

Recovereh at risk

FT: Housing market recovery shows signs of stalling

Hopes of a springtime recovery in the housing market are set to be dashed, according to a slew of data that paint a bleak picture of prospects for hard-pressed homeowners. Mortgage approvals in April were at their lowest level for a year, while the Council of Mortgage Lenders warned that its members are facing higher costs as they compete for wholesale funding. This is likely to mean that rates on mortgages may have to rise even if the Bank rate remains on hold.

Posted by little professor @ 12:06 PM 3 Comments

Begging bowl business

Independent: Lenders warn of £400bn funding gap as mortgages fall back again

Britain's biggest mortgage lenders have issued a thinly veiled threat that the country's housing market could be plunged into a new downturn unless the Government and the Bank of England do more to help the sector to improve its funding. Data released by the Council of Mortgage Lenders yesterday revealed that they lent just £10.2bn to homebuyers and people remortgaging during April, 12 per cent less than in March and the worst figure for the month for a decade.

Posted by quiet guy @ 12:03 PM 10 Comments

I was not aware of this, but it makes interesting reading

Wikipedia: Long Depression

It was most notable in Western Europe and North America, at least in part because reliable data from the period is most readily available in those parts of the world. The United Kingdom is often considered to have been the hardest hit; during this period it lost some of its large industrial lead over the economies of Continental Europe.[2] While it was occurring, the view was prominent that the economy of the United Kingdom had been in continuous depression from 1873 to as late as 1896

Posted by mark @ 10:55 AM 2 Comments

Fear and loathing and blind panic

Your Mortgage (and remortgage): Rush to sell buy-to-let property

The intersting scenario for me is that this will send houe prices southwards with inflation going northwards. Can the Bank of England restart QE (to chase house prices again) in this scenario and retain credibility? I don't think so.

Posted by paul @ 10:30 AM 3 Comments

The bells the bells

Cnn: Bonds ring economic alarm bells

Economists generally aren't worried about the U.S. or global economy falling into another recession. Looking at the bond market, many investors don't agree. The yields on long-term U.S. Treasurys, such as the benchmark 10-year bond, have tumbled sharply over the last six weeks, hitting as low as 3.1% in early trading Friday before they rebounded to 3.2% late in the day. Some experts say this is a sign a lot of major investors are betting on tough times ahead.

Posted by mark @ 10:29 AM 4 Comments

Do not watch on a full stomach

BBC News: Five Minutes With - Kirstie Allsopp

This inteview does give a little insight into why she is what she is.

Posted by wdbeast @ 09:08 AM 12 Comments

Anecdotal, but.....

Mish's: Global Bust II - Perfect Storm for Australia; How Safe is Australia's Banking System?

For many years Australia has sought "services exports" through attracting overseas full fee paying students to come and live and study in Australia. Many tens of thousands have done so, especially from China. Over the same period, Australia developed huge housing bubble. These two factors came together at the end of 2008, when the Australian Government, fearful of the implications of a collapsing property market, relaxed restrictions on overseas students purchasing Australian residential property. The inevitable happened. Chinese families with a child studying in Australia (i.e. the newly monied Chinese) went into the market with their ears back. Demand and prices at the top end in Sydney and Melbourne went through the roof. Finally, three weeks ago, the Australian Government responded...

Posted by drewster @ 01:59 AM 5 Comments

The New Brown

Torygraph: David Cameron vows to cut taxes

“Only millionaires should pay inheritance tax,” he said. “I’m absolutely clear on that. As the economy recovers and as house prices continue to rise you will find people getting caught by the inheritance net that should not be there.” 1. Your plans for inheritance tax were feudal 2. If you think house prices are gonig to rise over the next few years (and think it's a good thing) then you belong to the same pantheon of economic gods as Gordon.

Posted by krustyatemyhamster @ 12:37 AM 0 Comments

Friday, May 21, 2010

The Runes

Telegraph: Selling houses: How to survive election fallout

This could be the calm before the storm before prices dip again, warn the experts. So if you are thinking of selling your house, act fast. If you want to sell your home this year, do it in the next few weeks — there will not be a better time, say estate agents. After the disruption caused by the General Election to the traditional spring sales market, property insiders now warn there are just a few weeks for sellers to get the best prices for their homes before the market swings in favour of buyers.

Posted by dill @ 07:30 PM 2 Comments

Looks like its starting to get through to the masses

Yahoo: City fears of 'Great Depression Mark II'

Its all going pete tong, 1930's here we come.

Posted by zebbedee @ 06:01 PM 0 Comments

Housing and inflation indicies

FT: The rush to include housing in the UK inflation target

Article argues that including housing will have negligible impact on inflation indicies.

Posted by another alan @ 05:30 PM 0 Comments

Better out than in - as with UK property

Telegraph: FTSE falls below 5,000 due to eurozone crisis

London's blue-chips fell as the eurozone crisis continued to overshadow trading, while banking stocks plunged after US senators voted for a crackdown on Wall Street.

Posted by dill @ 02:42 PM 1 Comments

Can someone else give me money so I can lend it recklessly or I'll go bust

Times Online: Funding gap causes mortgage lending to dive

Outrageous. Having frittered away real cash on stupidity, they now want more cash so that it's back to the old ways. Loser: buyers, followed by us all again in teh ensuing bailout

Posted by growler @ 11:59 AM 18 Comments

Easter causes drop in mortgage lending.. what next?

Council Mortgage Lenders: CML publishes April gross mortgage lending data and calls for funding issues to be addressed

Gross mortgage lending declined to an estimated £10.2 billion in April, down 12% from £11.6 billion in March and 1% from £10.3 billion in April 2009, according to new data from the Council of Mortgage Lenders. This is the lowest April total since 2000 (£9.3 billion). A slight seasonal decline was expected as Easter fell in April this year. Gross lending remains broadly in line with our forecast for lending of £150 billion for 2010 as a whole.

Posted by rob @ 10:48 AM 0 Comments

Parting shots?

Sky News: Public Borrowing Hits Another Record High

The Government borrowed £10bn last month, new figures show - the highest total on record for April. In April 2009 the figure was £8.8bn, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said, a rise that further highlights the challenge facing new Chancellor George Osborne. However it is not quite as bad as the £10.9bn that had been feared by the City. Meanwhile the annual total borrowed by the Government was revised down to £145bn, after former chancellor Alistair Darling earlier said it might be as high £178bn. The figure equates to 10.4% of GDP. Commenting on the figures, economist Howard Archer of IHS Global Insight said "The fact that the rate of deterioration in the public finances slowed further in April does not disguise the fact that they are still in a dismal state."

Posted by drewster @ 10:46 AM 0 Comments

The latest excuse "Easter in April led to a seasonal dip in lending"

BBC: Mortgage lending falls in April, says CML

The total amount of money lent in new mortgages fell back in April. The Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) said £10.2bn was lent, both to home buyers and other borrowers. That was 12% less than in March and was the lowest figure for any April since the year 2000.

Posted by jack c @ 10:14 AM 11 Comments

Down 3.7% in one month!

Fulham Cronicle: Cost of home in Hammersmith and Fulham falls £30,000 in one month

The drop was the fourth highest in London after Newham, where prices fell by 6.1 per cent, and neighbouring boroughs Kensington and Chelsea and the City of Westminster, which saw drops of 4.3 per cent and 4.2 per cent respectively.

Posted by cash_buyer @ 08:44 AM 1 Comments

Greece is the word

The Telegraph: Whatever Germany does, the euro as we know it is dead

"Money can't buy you friends, but it does get you a better class of enemy" – Spike Milligan For Angela Merkel, leader of the eurozone's richest country, a queue is forming of high-quality adversaries. As she tips German Geld und Gut into the furnace of a rescue package for the euro, while going it alone in a misguided ban on market "manipulators", the brass-neck Chancellor has infuriated domestic voters, angered her EU partners (in particular the French) and invited the so-called wolf pack of global traders to do its worst. EUR RIP?

Posted by shazza @ 07:24 AM 2 Comments

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Even the Chinese are worried about Europe's debt!

Reuters: Merkel and Sarkozy pledge unity as markets wilt

"The leaders of Germany and France pledged on Thursday to work together on financial regulation and the euro zone crisis after European discord over debt and new market rules rattled investors worldwide".

Posted by alan @ 09:24 PM 0 Comments

Subsidence insurance problems getting cover

Wales Online: Subsidence Insurance issues for Welsh homes

Many homeowners in Wales, in former mining areas, have long suffered either the direct effects of property damage through subsidence or heave, availability or costs of insurance and affectation of property value.

Posted by bentley @ 06:24 PM 0 Comments

Article Summary: Sound familiar!

Al Jazeera: General strike paralyses Greece

Protesters had chanted "thieves come out" and "bring back the stolen money and get out of there"

Posted by happy mondays @ 02:59 PM 6 Comments

Inflation nutters and why the fiat money conspiracy theory is dangerous

Investment and Business News: Rift opens in heart of Bank of England as US inflation falls to 44-year low

Why current fears over inflation are quite nutty and the “fiat money” conspiracy theory has got it wrong, and dangerously so. But then again, there is real quandary on how we deal with the problem of deflation pressures and simultaneous inflation pressures on house prices.

Posted by mike @ 12:20 PM 0 Comments

Banking still in dire straits

Bbc: Newcastle Building Society cuts jobs and loses branches

Jim Willens, chief executive for Newcastle Building Society, said: "To remain strong we need to be realistic in the knowledge that this is still a very challenging climate for the financial services sector. "We have to make some difficult decisions but these will benefit the society and the majority of its staff in the long-term.

Posted by mark @ 11:17 AM 1 Comments

How worried?

Cnn: Why Wal-Mart's sales should have everyone worried

Real wages have continued to decline. Inflation-adjusted personal disposable income has remained relatively flat. And, even if current economic growth were sustained, it would take more than three years to bring the unemployment rate below 6.3%, where it was at the peak of the 2001 recession. Meanwhile, the Mortgage Bankers Association reported yesterday that the number of mortgages in foreclosure has climbed to a new record, with foreclosures and delinquencies now accounting for one out of every seven US mortgages out there.

Posted by mark @ 11:07 AM 5 Comments

HIPS gone, Energy Certificates stay

BBC: Home Information Packs scrapped

The coalition government has suspended the use of Home Information Packs (HIPs) by home sellers. "Today the new government is ensuring that home information packs are history," said Housing Minister Grant Shapps. "By suspending home information packs today, it means that home sellers will be able to get on with marketing their home without having to shell out hundreds of pounds upfront. From now on all that will be required will be a simple energy performance certificate," he added.

Posted by little professor @ 10:51 AM 14 Comments

The Coalition: Programme for Government

HMG: Communities and local government

This is the page which includes planning and housing issues. Comments can be left at the bottom of the page. Links to other areas of policy are in the right pane.

Posted by dill @ 10:13 AM 4 Comments

House Price Crash, here we come. Panic selling underway.

Guardian: Buy-to-let landlords rush to sell before capital gains tax rise

The Guardian reports a huge increase in estate agent enquiries from buy to let landlords who what to sell their properties before the CGT rise takes place.

Posted by jonb @ 09:45 AM 30 Comments

Suspension of HIPs

HIP Consultant: Abolishing Home Information Packs (HIPs) – Facts & Fiction

The news is of HIPs being suspended today, though it does seem a little strange the emphasis is so strong on how this could benefit the property market. Was it not calculated HIPS were 0.2% of the buying and seling cost? How can a government suspend a law such as this, does it not need to go through due process?

Posted by kaz @ 09:38 AM 8 Comments

At last, the media are realising that the Euro was doomed to fail....

TimesOnline: Will the Euro Survive?

Angela Merkel, the German Chancellor, declared yesterday that “the euro is in danger”. She is surely right. It seems increasingly likely that the currency bloc will fracture or shrink, losing at least one of its sixteen members, although the gargantuan €750 billion international rescue this month has bought it time......

Posted by fjcruiser @ 07:13 AM 7 Comments

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The light begins to dawn!

The Telegraph: Behind the drama in Europe lies a global crisis

The technocrats who run our economies are realising that the main barrier to resolving a crisis and reinstating business-as-usual is not so much our ability to afford it, but our populations' willingness to pay. Unless they intend to embrace totalitarianism, Europe's members will eventually have to abandon either their national sovereignty or globalisation itself.

Posted by devo @ 10:54 PM 5 Comments

Ever wondered why germany doesnt have house price booms and crashes

Anglo Info: Buying and selling property in Germany

In Germany the costs of buying a house can be up to 12%, you need to show a pattern of regular savings for six years and if you sell a house less than 10 years after you have bought it, you have to pay a tax of 15% of the profits. If the seller, sells more than 3 pieces of property in 5 years then they have to pay a commercial tax. Germany haven't had house price booms, reckless buy to lets or priced the younger generation out of the market.

Posted by britishblue @ 10:27 PM 16 Comments

And guess what?

The Telegraph: Germany's 'desperate' short ban triggers capital flight to Switzerland

A year ago, Germany's financial regulator BaFin warned that the toxic debts of the country's banks would blow up "like a grenade" once hidden losses from the credit crisis caught up with them.

Posted by devo @ 10:10 PM 1 Comments

Play nice

The Telegraph: Markets crash as German short-selling ban bites

Amid scenes reminiscent of the financial crisis of 2008, markets reacted with a mixture of disbelief and anger to a German government ban on short selling of European Union government debt and banks. "Nobody has a clue what is going to happen next," said Anthony Peters, a strategist at Swissinvest. "Politicians have shown they have no understanding of markets. They are firing the wrong calibre gun, at the wrong target and they are missing."

Posted by devo @ 08:58 PM 7 Comments

How auspicious!

Beeb: Inventor of cash machine, John Shepherd-Barron, dies

The man credited with being the inventor of the world's first hole-in-the-wall cash dispenser has died in hospital following a short illness. John Shepherd-Barron, who was born in India, to Scottish parents, had been living in Portmahomack in Ross-shire. He died at Inverness's Raigmore Hospital on Saturday, at the age of 84. Mr Shepherd-Barron came up with the idea for a cash machine while in the bath. The first ATM machine was installed at a bank in London in 1967.

Posted by charlie brooker @ 08:08 PM 1 Comments

Let them rise; why should the country suffer to keep the profligate in their homes?

Times: Bank of England calls for stronger medicine to cut deficit

'The Bank of England piled more pressure on the Government over its emergency Budget today, saying that a more “demanding” plan to cut the deficit would be needed to prevent interest rates rising.'

Posted by hpwatcher @ 04:30 PM 6 Comments


BBC: What's the impact of changes to Capital Gains Tax on buy-to-let investors?

6 mins in. The problem is, it's not just inviduals with BTL that wil be scr3wed by this. What about people that only own 1 property, but have to live/rent ("residence") somewhere else to work, caught by the "residence" bull sh1t rule from HMRC. DOULBE TAXATION !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! IMHO, CGT should only apply if on individuals who OWN more than 1 property.

Posted by doomwatch @ 01:47 PM 10 Comments

Coming to UK soon????

Bbc: Australian consumer mood hit by high interest rates

Australia's central bank raised its main interest rate to 4.5% earlier this month. In October, rates were 3%. Mortgage rates have been rising even faster, putting pressure on household spending.

Posted by mark @ 01:09 PM 4 Comments

More one-sided economics from the Home-Owner-Ists

Metro: Nasty double whammy for investors

"Higher gains tax will throttle the private rental market, making it far less worthwhile for investors to let out property (1), as the Institute of Economic Affairs points out (2). It will cut the supply of homes for sale as investors will be loath to realise gains and hence pay tax (2). It will trash the investments of individuals (3) and force many to postpone their retirements.(4)" My response to that is quite lengthy so I have posted a comment rather than try and squeeze it in here.

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 10:53 AM 3 Comments

Start selling!!!

Cnn: Will gold be $800 in one year, or two?

When gold prices turn skyward, like they did for the past two weeks before some recent flattening, some mix of greed, fear and uncertainty are likely ruling the market. What better time to remember what really drives prices over the long-term: market fundamentals. Through that lens, gold might not be such a hot investment.

Posted by mark @ 10:52 AM 17 Comments

HPC crimewatch report

Telegraph: Inflation hits 5.3pc – no savings account pays any return

Reports are comming in that a figure who calls himself 'King' has staged a brazen daylight robbery of high street savings banks. Remarkably, many of the King's victims still remain unaware of their losses due to King's subtle robbery techniques. This fiendish criminal mastermind is reported to have a quiet, unassuming demeanour yet is known to regularly write letters glorifying and boasting of his exploits. Savers should review their financial security carefully - some commentators allege that King enjoys the protection of the government and further cash heists are already being planned.

Posted by quiet guy @ 08:47 AM 5 Comments

Media finally waking up to the fact that they (and us) are being taken for simpletons each month

FT: King under attack over attitude to inflation

I nicked this link from hpwatcher. I think the fact that IRs were 5.5% the last time inflation was this high is beginning to alarm the media and consumers. In their last monthly meeting, the Bank of England opted to leave interest rates unchanged at their emergency all-time historical low of 0.5% for the 15th month running.

Posted by paul @ 08:05 AM 23 Comments

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

A watched pot never boils

The Telegraph: Market chaos warning after German ban on shorting

Traders greeted the move by BaFin, the German regulator, with a mixture of anger and astonishment. One bond trader said he expected Wednesday's trading session to be one of the most volatile in living memory: "It will be complete chaos, I really don't know what the Germans think they are doing." "Without the two-way flow the German market is likely to become utterly dysfunctional," said one London-based bond trader. "Nobody ever thought they'd do this in a million years and it raises the long-term question of who is now going to want to buy their debt."

Posted by devo @ 09:18 PM 43 Comments

About time

The Times: EU clampdown on hedge funds trumps UK

A controversial clampdown on hedge funds and private equity groups was backed by European Union finance ministers today, with the majority of Britain’s objections effectively overruled. The draft rules would control pay and borrowing at hedge funds as well as forcing them to disclose extensive information to regulators about their investments. Wolfgang Schäuble, the German Finance Minister, said: “We are determined to accelerate the pace of regulation. Up until now this [the hedge fund industry] was not regulated. This hole will now be closed.”

Posted by devo @ 08:53 PM 3 Comments

Old fool, proved wrong many times, bumbles when Rome burns...

Market Oracle: UK Inflation Hits New High of CPI 3.7%, RPI 5.3%, Mervyn King Writes Another Excuses Letter

''UK Inflation has yet again hit a new high of CPI 3.7% up from last months inflation peak of 3.4%, with RPI rocketing even higher to an eye watering 5.3%, a level not seen since 1991. The academic economists were again taken by surprise. The Bank of England's failure in its primary duty of targeting inflation has prompted the Governor Mervyn King to write another letter to this time the new Chancellor George Osbourne that will again state for the fifth time this year that the rise in inflation above 3% was temporary and not to worry, it should come down, eventually ''

Posted by hpwatcher @ 07:22 PM 8 Comments

CPI Benchmark Target Increased to 4% or Interest Rates Up?

CityWire: Housing costs must be included in inflation target, says Osborne

"Chancellor George Osborne has backed plans to include housing costs in inflation measures, reversing the move many blame for allowing the housing bubbl" ABOUT TIME!

Posted by magnaman @ 01:08 PM 32 Comments

Future predictions anyone....?

Daily Telegraph: Congress blocks indiscriminate IMF aid for Europe

What will happen if Greece defaults and restructures? And how quickly will things take shape?

Posted by tom101 @ 11:02 AM 8 Comments

Map of UK Home Insurance prices, plus top ten cheap home insurance postcodes Bournemouth homeowners win postcode lottery on home insurance

Very interesting press release showing how home insurance racks up all across the country - No surprise to see London being the epicentre of the high prices, but it's interesting to see where it all lies.

Posted by chris spann @ 10:56 AM 0 Comments

The ice is creaking....

Guardian: Insurance "perfect storm"

I have wondered for some time when the first insurance company would go bust. After all they bough a lot of the CDOs and other toxic junk from the banks. The bail out of AIG seems to have been glossed over in favour of more bank bashing, but the $1.2Tn Obama coughed up was spent just the same. Total financial collapse may not be inevitable (one hopes so) but it remains "highly likely".

Posted by chrisch @ 10:15 AM 6 Comments

Gideon and Mervyn are new penpals

The Guardian: Inflation hits 3.7% in April

and RPI hits 5.3%

Posted by cynicalsoothsayer @ 09:43 AM 41 Comments

2011 figures will be worse still

Telegraph: Record debt enquiries at Citizens Advice

Citizens Advice Bureaux have dealt with a record number of consumers with debt problems over the last 12 months, according to its annual statistics. The charity handled 2.37 million separate debt cases in the 12 months to the end of March, a 23 per cent increase on the year before. This equates to one in ten households contacting the Citizens Advice asking for help over their debts – though many individuals approached the charity on more than one occasion.

Posted by dill @ 12:38 AM 4 Comments

Beyond comment


BRITAIN’S resurgent housing market showed further signs of strong recovery yesterday with evidence that mortgage approvals have almost doubled.The increase provides more proof that the housing market is regaining momentum. David Newnes of Your Move said "Values have climbed back to their previous heights and confidence has surged back."

Posted by little professor @ 12:25 AM 26 Comments

Monday, May 17, 2010

To cut or not to cut?

The Guardian: If we cut too much too soon, we can bid recovery au revoir

It seems that everyone from the Liberal Democrats to Mervyn King is suddenly a deficit hawk. But without international support, fiscal masochism is a futile gesture.

Posted by devo @ 11:25 PM 15 Comments

What did you expect?

The Telegraph: Banks dump Greek debt on the ECB as eurozone flashes credit warnings

Foreign holders of Greek and Portuguese debt have seized on emergency intervention by the European Central Bank to exit their positions, leaving eurozone taxpayers exposed to the credit risk.

Posted by devo @ 09:43 PM 4 Comments

BTL as pension still a winner with oldies

Money Week: What's driving HPI

I think house prices will crash. If I am right then there is going to be a wailing and gnashing of teeth that Ian Paisley would be proud of..

Posted by chrisch @ 09:42 PM 3 Comments

Home Ownerism Rampant?

Bloomberg: U.K. Homebuyers Rank House Ownership Over Marriage, Poll Says

"Britons looking to buy a new home believe that owning their own property is a higher priority in life than getting married or starting a family, according to a ComRes Ltd. poll. Asked to rate the importance of home ownership, 71 percent of those polled scored it as at least 8 on a scale of 10, compared with 46 percent for marriage and 44 percent for having children, according to the poll, which was carried out for the U.K.’s biggest homebuilder, Barratt Developments Plc".

Posted by alan @ 04:07 PM 8 Comments

The fears of a sell off are rapidly surfacing

Mortgagestrategy: Lawyer warns against selling homes due to CGT hike

Wealth management lawyer Moore Blatch is warning investors not to rush into selling property ahead of the proposed rise in Capital Gains Tax. The government announced plans last week to increase CGT from 18% to 40%. But Moore Blatch says that even with the proposed rise in CGT many investors would be better off holding onto their property, unless they were planning a sale within the next 12 months.

Posted by jack c @ 03:28 PM 10 Comments

Flip-flops aren't just for holidays, they're for politicians too

Daily Fail: Buying into Britain: With UK holidays on the rise, second home owners are renting out and cashing in

The sun is out. There are signs of a long, hot summer ahead. So if you're thinking about buying a second home in Britain and hope to rent it out, it's the time to strike. Add into the equation memories of volcanic ash, fluctuating exchange rates and the general hassle of overseas travel and it's little wonder more and more of us are holidaying at home. As a result, the [holiday] lettings business in Britain is on the rise. In the scramble leading to polling day, there was no time for MPs to carry through a Labour plan to scrap holiday home owners' right to offset the cost of furniture and fittings against tax on earnings. The Conservatives claim the measure would lead to the loss of 4,500 jobs in rural areas because holiday home owners would withdraw from the lettings market....

Posted by drewster @ 02:09 PM 3 Comments

If property prices hadn't gotten out of hand there would be no financial crisis

The Big Picture: Its Not Rocket Science

Financial crisis caused by house and commercial property price spiral from 2000 - 2007 and the unsupported liquidity this released. "To simply chalk it up as a Black Swan event is an intellectual copout that concedes an unacceptable level of helplessness in the face of less than mysterious forces. Labeling the largest financial crisis in history as a Black Swan event also provides a degree of absolution to those responsible, who were either blinded by ideology or straightforward greed"

Posted by bellwether @ 01:58 PM 7 Comments

David Cameron: second home owners deserve higher taxes

Yahoo: David Cameron: second home owners deserve higher taxes

The Prime Minister suggested that second homes deserved to be hit by increased capital gains taxes because such properties were not ''splendid'' for the economy.

Posted by mark @ 01:31 PM 18 Comments

The shoe is on the other foot

This is Money: Capital gains tax rise hits buy-to-let

'There should be further consultation with the industry before drastic changes are made. The law of unintended consequences should be considered here.' It's funny how they assume that there might be "unintended consequences". Tax legislation has been in their favour for so long that they’ve got used to the government being on their side. They can’t imagine it any other way. However, all things must end and tax legislation will now seek to claw back some of the profits that were previously granted to them. The bailouts were designed to prop up the banks. House prices were propped up as a by-product of this strategy. The banks have now been considerably strengthened, so the props will be removed and consequently, these much loved creatures will be hung out to dry.

Posted by flashman @ 01:21 PM 21 Comments

The spring bounce?

Fat finger 'identified'

Here is the city: Dow Crash 'Mystery Trader' Said Identified

Regulators are 'looking closely at heavy selling in the market for stock-index futures by a single trader, who accounted for around 9% of the trading volume on the 500 e-mini futures contract' in the period under review.

Posted by refusetobuy @ 10:04 AM 1 Comments

Only one option in a Cul-de-sac

Rightmove: ‘Broken’ housing market challenge for new Government

Miles Shipside, commercial director of Rightmove comments: “We observed last month that rising prices and more properties coming to market would be unhappy bedfellows in the long-term. This month we are seeing signs that the relationship is under increasing stress. Sellers are starting to reduce their pricing expectations to court the fewer buyers who are able to proceed, though the number of buyers who can purchase is too low to bring volume back to the housing market. The ugly ducklings in the housing beauty parade will be left on the shelf”.

Posted by dill @ 06:34 AM 11 Comments

Sunday, May 16, 2010

One more big job

The Daily Mirror: Brown's heading to US for IMF role

Former Chancellor Mr Brown was widely praised for his role in fighting the global financial crisis. "Gordon would relish the IMF job - not for the status - for a chance to tackle world poverty."

Posted by devo @ 11:08 PM 20 Comments

Blanchflower presses the "FEAR" button

Guardian: George Osborne starts to cut spending

"George Osborne will set out plans for an audit of the country's finances and begin the process of cutting public spending amid claims from ministers that the Labour government hid "crazy" spending commitments to play down the scale of the nation's deficit. Labour, in return, said the government was attempting to offset the blame for savage spending cuts that will be introduced in coming months, while a former member of the Bank of England monetary policy committee, economist David Blanchflower, warned that talking the economy down risked a "death spiral" ".

Posted by alan @ 10:29 PM 7 Comments

Higher CGT a Boon to FTBs as a Sell Off is Likely Prompted

City Wire: Landlords’ losses could be first time buyers’ gains

One man’s meat is another man’s poison and whilst buy-to-let investors will be looking anxiously at the proposals to tax capital gains at anything up to 50%, first time buyers should see an opportunity to get on to the home owning ladder at a reasonable price.

Posted by mick rupert @ 10:11 PM 4 Comments

Print or bust

Telegraph: Forget the wolf pack – the ongoing euro crisis was caused by EMU

Jean-Claude Trichet tells us the world faced a second Lehman crash in the days and hours before EU leaders launched their €720bn (£612bn) defence fund. If the European Central Bank’s president is correct, we are in trouble. The EU-IMF package is already unravelling. What will the West do for its next trick?

Posted by devo @ 09:39 PM 4 Comments

Not sure I believe this bullish article

|Times: First-time buyers stung as house prices rise again

House prices rose by 0.7 per cent in March, the fifth consecutive month of increases, according to the Government’s official measure. This brings the annual UK rise to 9.7 per cent. The average house price is now £205,598, the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) said. It found that price rises had disproportionately affected first-time buyers. Prices of homes bought by first-time buyers have risen by 12.6 per cent in the past 12 months, compared with 8.6 per cent for properties bought by home movers.

Posted by hpwatcher @ 06:19 PM 9 Comments

Why does this feel like a sleight of hand?

BBC News: Household wealth grows five-fold in past 50 years

Household wealth in the UK has risen five-fold over the past 50 years, according to the Halifax. The total worth of households' property, savings and investments, was £6.3 trillion ($9 trillion) at the end of last year. It gives an average value per household of £237,000, three times the £73,000 in 1959. The difference between household wealth and value per household is due to the rise in the number of homes since then.

Posted by powerofnow @ 04:45 PM 13 Comments

Fancy That !

BBC: Cameron announces audit of 'crazy' Labour spending

David Cameron has announced an audit of the government's books after finding examples of "crazy" spending decisions in Labour's last year in power. The prime minister told BBC One's Andrew Marr show the review would be launched on Monday by the new Office of Budget Responsibility. (No surprise to HPC site)

Posted by alan @ 03:18 PM 6 Comments

$3,000 gold price “may yet prove conservative,” says Rosie

Investment Postcards: $3,000 gold price “may yet prove conservative,” says Rosie

Gold bullion on Friday made an all-time high in US dollar terms and just about every other currency one cares to mention. Click through for some comments on the outlook for the “barbarous relic”.

Posted by prieur du plessis @ 09:02 AM 0 Comments


Lomdon Evening Standard: Let’s hope for a steady rise in house prices

However, a steady rise which keeps pace with or runs a little ahead of inflation seems by far the most likely outcome over the next 10 years.

Posted by paranoia blue @ 05:58 AM 0 Comments

More from the bunker...

Times: Labour hid ‘scorched earth’ debts

''THE government last night accused Labour of pursuing a “scorched earth policy” before the general election, leaving behind billions of pounds of previously hidden spending commitments. The newly discovered Whitehall “black holes” could force even more severe public spending cuts, or higher tax rises, ministers fear. ''

Posted by hpwatcher @ 05:55 AM 23 Comments

Good start

The Telegraph: Osborne in EU hedge fund defeat

George Osborne is to admit defeat on new European Union rules to regulate Britain’s multi-billion pound hedge fund and private equity industry and allow finance ministers to pass a new directive which could badly damage the sector. Sources close to the new Chancellor of the Exchequer said that although the British Government still disagreed with large parts of the directive, the process was now too far down the track to be stopped. “We know we have to pick our battles and this was one we had already lost.”

Posted by devo @ 01:10 AM 4 Comments

Saturday, May 15, 2010

2nd home house tax

The Times: Tax on wealth to hit one million

Who would have thought it? It looks like the coalition are going to increase tax to 40% on 'none business asset' to 40%, which will include second homes. If this is introduced in the emergency budget on a delayed basis (April 2011) we can expect a deluge of people trying to offload property, becuase the increase in tax is the equivalent of 20% drop in house prices.

Posted by britishblue @ 11:19 PM 0 Comments

Yeah - here's the truth at last.......

Times: The journey back from brink is proving slow

Growth in Britain has been unbalanced since at least the mid-1990s, over-dependent on consumption. With hindsight, the seemingly easy growth of the Blair years was achieved only through a self-reinforcing cycle of house price growth and plentiful credit.

Posted by chrisch @ 06:44 PM 5 Comments

Errr, ok

Economic Times: Euro is not under attack, ECB's Trichet says

He described as "nonsense" any suggestion euro zone governments had forced the ECB to act this week, sending out a fatal signal on its independence and credibility. "What we need is a quantum leap in mutual surveillance of economic policies in Europe. We need improved mechanisms to prevent and punish misconduct." "We need an effective implementation of the mutual control, we need effective sanctions for breaches of the Stability and Growth Pact. The ECB calls here for profound changes."

Posted by devo @ 06:18 PM 3 Comments

Falling dominos

MSN MOney: The UK could drag the US down

The reason why interest rates haven't spiked as the govt. debt has been bought by BOE via printing money (or what I call social taxation by the back door). When that stops they will have to go the private market and who will ask for reasonable rates. Hence interest rates going by one to two percentage points. Pushing UK into inevitable recession. Failure of a major financial player will have it's consquences on US economy as UK is the hub of all activities which can't be done in US.

Posted by deepak @ 11:18 AM 6 Comments

US banks sell debt on EU worries

Business Week: Morgan Stanley, Citigroup sell debt....

“Market conditions are perfect for banks because the yield curve favors them,” Larkin said in a telephone interview - Yes perfect FOR BANKS

Posted by chrisch @ 10:43 AM 0 Comments

Moral hazard in the USA

CNN: Taxpayers to pay your mortgage

I am at a loss what to say.

Posted by chrisch @ 10:35 AM 9 Comments

[Also being discussed on Forum]

Telegraph: Detroit family homes sell for just $10

According to Tim Prophit, a real estate agent, the crisis has led to a unprecedented portfolio of homes, but they are failing to sell. He said there were homes on the market for $100 (£61), but an offer of just $10 (£6) would be likely to be accepted. Speaking on a BBC 2 documentary, Requiem for Detroit, to be screened on Saturday, Mr Prophit said: "The property is listed by the city of Detroit as being worth $35,000 (£22,000), but the bank know that is impossible to ask. Five years ago the average home price in Detroit was hovering around the $100,000 (£61,000) now that has fallen to $11,500 (£7,000).

Posted by cat-whiskers @ 07:49 AM 0 Comments

Friday, May 14, 2010

Cough up Obama

LA Times: Schwarzenegger unveils austere budget plan

Schwarzenegger outlined a stark vision Friday of a California that would no longer lend a helping hand to some of its poorest and neediest citizens, proposing a budget that would eliminate the state's welfare-to-work program and most child care for the poor. His $83.4-billion plan would freeze funding for local schools, further cut state workers' pay and take away 60% of state money for local mental health programs. The plan also relies on $3.4 billion in help from Washington

Posted by devo @ 10:19 PM 5 Comments

Add this to the mix

Daily Mail: Sarkozy threatened to withdraw France from the euro unless Germany vowed to back Greece

French president Nicolas Sarkozy threatened to pull his country out of the euro if Germany did not agree to rescue Greece’s economy, it emerged today. Mr Sarkozy made his sensational ultimatum at a meeting of EU leaders in Brussels last Friday.

Posted by devo @ 09:33 PM 8 Comments

Snout - meet trough

Guardian: RBS hands out shares to management

Ever wondered where all your tax goes?

Posted by chrisch @ 09:11 PM 0 Comments

Sense at Last?

Daily Mail: First-Time Buyers Hit by Fresh Lending Drought

Interest only mortgages limited to £500,000 - bring on the HPC

Posted by total_injustice @ 11:48 AM 19 Comments

U.K. Commercial Property Prices May Decline

Bloomberg: U.K. Commercial Property Prices May Decline, Biggest Funds Say

U.K. commercial real estate prices may fall next year as investors’ enthusiasm for buying stores, offices and warehouses wanes, according to the managers of the country’s largest property mutual funds. Banks will put more assets on sale as they refuse to refinance loans maturing next year that borrowers are unable to repay.

Posted by karma4all @ 10:59 AM 1 Comments


Yahoo: Five million home owners unable to afford interest rate rise

More than five million home owners will be unable to afford a rise in interest rates and will be in danger of being evicted from their homes, charities have warned.

Posted by mark @ 10:55 AM 16 Comments

Not so simple

FT: The economic legacy of Mr Brown

Posting this as an antidote to all the immoderate attacks on our previous PM. Sound discussion of the causes of our economic problems from Martin Wolf. I particularly like the following quote, in view of some recent discussions here: "Would a Tory government have been much more distrustful? If you believe that, I have a bridge to sell you." (Search title in Google to read)

Posted by letthemfall @ 10:16 AM 47 Comments

Yippee! Home-Owner-Ists now have FakeCharities on their side!

Metro: What The Other Papers Say

"The Daily Telegraph: More than five million home owners will be unable to afford a rise in interest rates and will be in danger of being evicted from their homes, charities have warned. Despite repossessions falling slightly at the start of the year, charities and housing experts warned home owners remained “vulnerable” to a rise in interest rates which would put additional pressure on their finances. A third of home owners would not be able to afford a rise."

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 09:58 AM 2 Comments

ConDems 1st own goal on CGT

ToryGraph: Coalition government: outcry over Capital Gain Tax plans

Even me, as an uber bear, can't see this as workable.

Posted by doomwatch @ 09:22 AM 36 Comments

BTL strike - oh dear...

Guardian: CGT anger

Property "investors" are angry and will move to Switzerland. The time now HPC folk to buy shares in Eddie Stobart as they put their property portfolio on a lorry and move it somewhere else?

Posted by chrisch @ 09:20 AM 9 Comments

Will this reduce House Prices?

Mail: VAT rise 'will cost family £425 a year' as new Government signals cuts of 20%

"Millions of families face a VAT rise costing them £425 a year, while public spending cuts of 20 per cent are being planned by the Government, experts said last night. Chancellor George Osborne told the first meeting of the Cabinet that the need to rein in an unprecedented £163billion budget deficit left behind by Labour would 'overshadow' all its other work". (Could these measures reduce the money which the UK spends on houses?)

Posted by alan @ 09:11 AM 6 Comments

Its down again this morning

Reuters: Sterling hits day's lows vs dollar, euro

"Sterling fell to the day's low against the dollar and euro on Thurdsay, extending earlier losses made after data showed the UK trade deficit widened more than expect. The latest move happened after selling triggered a breach of a key technical barrier level at $1.47, traders said. Its $1.4550 now.

Posted by alan @ 08:56 AM 2 Comments

Who will bail out the countries?

Market Watch: The second debt storm

The debt mountain that brought down some of the world's biggest banks and dragged the international financial system to the brink of disaster has simply shifted to governments. Now, it's threatening countries around the globe and if left unchecked could rip the very fabric of Europe's economic system and wreck economic recoveries in the U.S., China and Latin America.

Posted by devo @ 06:39 AM 5 Comments

Prepare the firing squad

The Guardian: Bankers' earnings surge towards pre-crash levels

Pay and bonuses in the City are surging back to their pre-crash levels despite widespread criticism of the Square Mile and the banking industry, which was rescued by the taxpayer 18 months ago.

Posted by devo @ 12:00 AM 5 Comments

Thursday, May 13, 2010

What emergency budget???

The Telegraph: Tax cut worth at least £140 in this summer’s emergency Budget

The tax-free personal allowance will be raised by at least £700 to more than £7,000 under plans by the Liberal-Conservative coalition — a move that will benefit an estimated 25 million lower-paid workers and pensioners. Anyone earning more than £35,400 will be worse off due to the planned rise in National Insurance contributions.

Posted by devo @ 11:11 PM 7 Comments

Oh Rly?

The Telegraph: US faces same problems as Greece, says Bank of England

Mervyn King, Governor of the Bank of England, fears that America shares many of the same fiscal problems currently haunting Europe. He also believes that the European Union must become a federalised fiscal union (in other words with central power to tax and spend) if it is to survive.

Posted by devo @ 10:08 PM 8 Comments

Best Jeff Randall article yet.

Daily Telegraph: It will take a long time for the new boys to unravel Gordon Brown's mess

Despite its record of fiscal incompetence, constitutional vandalism and disregard for Middle England, Gordon Brown 's administration ought never to have collapsed. It had, after all, created for itself a client class of supplicant voters. As part of a grand plan for permanent office, more than one million immigrants were handed British passports (80 per cent of first-generation arrivals vote Labour) and 900,000 workers added to the public-sector payroll.

Posted by crashedoutandburned @ 08:36 PM 1 Comments

Now Portugal, who's next?

Euronews: Play/Pause VideoPortugal steps up budget gap austerity measures

On the streets of Lisbon, one woman seemed resigned as she said: “What can we do about these taxes? If it’s to save the country, I agree with them.”

Posted by happy mondays @ 07:54 PM 1 Comments

To be forewarned is to be forearmed

Yahoo: Five million home owners unable to afford interest rate rise

More than five million home owners will be unable to afford a rise in interest rates and will be in danger of being evicted from their homes, charities have warned.

Posted by happy mondays @ 07:45 PM 20 Comments

Have we been fat fingered?

Money week: Are we heading for a repeat of the 2008 crash?

Whether it's volcanoes, general elections, oil spills, rogue traders with fat fingers, Greece, Spain, Italy or Portugal, all is clearly not well with the world. But this time the panic is in Europe. It now faces 'a complete meltdown of its own financial system', or its currency at least.

Posted by happy mondays @ 07:40 PM 2 Comments

Inflation to rise - BBC predict VAT @ 20% soon

BBC: Abu Dhabi ATM swaps cash for gold

An Abu Dhabi hotel has installed an ATM-style gold dispenser to give customers easy access to the precious metal. It comes as gold prices have reached record highs in recent days (currently $1245). Food & energy prices can only go up IMHO.

Posted by alan @ 05:13 PM 4 Comments


Coalition by accident


The prime minister and his deputy charmed reporters in the Downing Street rose garden yesterday by opening with a haphazard musical number using a variety of everyday items that will soon be subject to VAT at 20%. Meanwhile Britain's funniest ever cabinet will meet for the first time today as Lib Dem and Tory ministers bid to make each other laugh with their chucklesome, knockabout policy programmes.

Posted by sovietuk @ 03:03 PM 4 Comments

Arrears and repo's (bearing in mind interest rates are at historic lows)

Moneymarketing: Repossession fall in Q1 2010

The number of mortgages in arrears and the number of repossessions both fell in the first quarter of 2010, according to the Council of Mortgage Lenders. However, the trade body says people who are only just coping remain vulnerable to any shocks in the economy. Repossessions as a proportion of all mortgages were 0.09 per cent in the first quarter, the same as the previous quarter, and down from 0.12 per cent in the first quarter of 2009. The total number of repossessions was 9,800, down from 10,600 in the previous quarter and 13,200 in the first quarter of 2009.

Posted by jack c @ 02:11 PM 4 Comments

How easy is it to scrap HIPs

HIP Consultant: Scrapping Home Information Packs – Ins & Outs

The tories have been banging on about scrapping HIPs for months. Will they actually do it and how easy it would it be? What affect to the property market if it happens?

Posted by kaz @ 12:28 PM 7 Comments

Five million home owners unable to afford interest rate rise

Telegraph: Five million home owners unable to afford interest rate rise

More than five million home owners will be unable to afford a rise in interest rates and will be in danger of being evicted from their homes, charities have warned.

Posted by doverboy @ 11:53 AM 0 Comments

The begging of the end, or the end of the beginning

Times: Repossessions likely to hit 15yr high

The number of house repossessions has fallen in the first three months of the year to less than 10,000, the Council of Mortgage Lenders has reported. The decline was not strong enough for the trade association to revise down its grim forecast for the year. The CML, which compiles the data, expects 53,000 homes to be repossessed this year, the highest rate in 15 years. The number of repossessions in the first quarter was 9,800, compared with 10,600 in the previous quarter and 13,200 in the first three months of last year. Mortgages in arrears totalled 186,300, compared with 196,400 in the previous quarter.

Posted by exiges @ 11:48 AM 0 Comments

Will the govt. keep pressure on banks to be nice ?

BBC News: Fewer Homes Reposessed

The number of homes repossessed in the UK fell by 7.5% in the first three months of 2010, according to lenders. Figures show that the number of homes repossessed dropped from 10,600 in the last three months of 2009 to 9,800 in the first quarter of 2010. This was also lower than the 13,200 of the same period a year ago, the Council of Mortage Lenders (CML) said.

Posted by exiges @ 11:03 AM 0 Comments

Exports down even with record low exchange rates

BBC News: UK trade deficit widens again in March

They managed to get some "weather spin" in there, which is always good.. "The UK's trade deficit with the rest of the world widened sharply in March, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS). The gap rose to £3.7bn ($5.5bn) in March from £2.2bn in February ($3bn). The ONS said the swings in the gap had been exacerbated by January's bad weather. That delayed the export of some goods until February, which helped to flatter that month's figure. Even so, the gap was also worse than in March last year. The figures show the UK is struggling to export goods, despite a weaker pound. On Wednesday, the Bank of England governor, Mervyn King, said the UK's economy should shift its weight towards exports, rather than relying on domestic consumption. "

Posted by exiges @ 11:00 AM 0 Comments

Meanwhile LibCon soften stance on banks

NYT: Prosecutors Ask if 8 Banks Duped Rating Agencies

The New York attorney general has started an investigation of eight banks to determine whether they provided misleading information to rating agencies in order to inflate the grades of certain mortgage securities, according to two people with knowledge of the investigation.

Posted by mken @ 10:20 AM 4 Comments

Bankers are heroes

Independent: Kaupthing boss wanted by Interpol

Now if only things had gone well there could have been a knighthood not the handcuffs......

Posted by chrisch @ 08:41 AM 4 Comments

Costs going up

Times: Nationwide pushes up mortgage charges

"More than a million borrowers at Nationwide, Britain's biggest mutual, face a barrage of new mortgage fees and higher charges in the coming months as the lender moves to align itself with high street banks. Members with a residential home loan who opt to let out their property for more than three years will see the interest rate on their loan jump by 1.5 percentage points, adding almost £190 a month to the cost of repayments on a £150,000 interest-only home loan. Customers will also face a new £75 fee when notifying the lender of their intention to let out their home".

Posted by alan @ 08:32 AM 6 Comments

All to keep the banks from collapsing

The Telegraph: Spain has followed Ireland and Greece in imposing 1930s-era wage cuts to slash the budget deficit

Pension rises will be shelved. The country’s €2,500 baby bonus will be cancelled. Aid to the regions will be slashed and infrastructure projects will be put on ice. "It is not a viable policy. Weakening demand will cause the tax base to shrink. If the population could see light at the end of the tunnel, they might put up with it, but there is no light: it is a long dark passage leading nowhere."

Posted by devo @ 06:54 AM 42 Comments

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

RBS Ulster Bank cuts rates - A bit worrying for bears

Belfast Telegraph: Leading mortgage lender cuts rates

Derek Wilson, Ulster Bank's head of lending products, said the bank would "love to see increased customer demand for mortgages in 2010" and that it had "substantial funds ready to help buyers". The bank said it is reducing three of its offerings, including a two-year discounted variable rate for lending up to 75% loan to value, which is being cut from 3.19% to 2.99%. It is also cutting two of its two-year fixed rate deals - the rate for loan to values up to 75% is being reduced from 3.99% to 3.78% and the rate for loan to values up to 90% is being cut from 5.89% to 5.29%.

Posted by spoony @ 11:41 PM 0 Comments

Common sense

The Times: Death knell for interest-only mortgages

"... Lloyds is also set to impose rigorous checks to ensure that interest-only borrowers have a suitable plan in place to repay their debt." The article also asserts that roughly 20% of mortgages are interest only - not as bad as a previous report but still indicative of a lot of speculating in my view.

Posted by quiet guy @ 11:23 PM 11 Comments

Bye Bye Buy To Let

FT: House prices could fall on back of CGT rise

Property experts warn that their interests may be damaged by these efforts to rein in their wanton destruction of the economy.

Posted by paul @ 10:33 PM 14 Comments

Get orf my land.

Farmers' Weekly: RPA millionaires

Cuts dear boy? Oh gosh no. Only for the proles don't you know?

Posted by chrisch @ 10:22 PM 5 Comments

Interest Rates - Overdrafts

Mail: Banks hike overdraft rates to highest levels in a decade

"Banks are turning the screw on struggling customers by pushing up current account overdraft rates to their highest level in a decade. The average figure imposed on those who find themselves in the red is a staggering 14.22 per cent. The figure is some 28 times higher than the Bank of England base rate of 0.5 per cent and so is delivering an all-time record profit margin for the banks".

Posted by alan @ 07:43 PM 7 Comments

90% LTV Interest Only - just what this economy needs!

BBC News: Post Office steps up mortgage offer

I plan on boycotting the Post Office for this stupidity. Emails only from now on - no more stamps.

Posted by doom&gloom @ 05:49 PM 3 Comments

For the record

BBC: Full Text: Conservative-Lib Dem deal

This document sets out agreements reached between the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats on a range of issues. These are the issues that needed to be resolved between us in order for us to work together as a strong and stable government. It will be followed in due course by a final Coalition Agreement, covering the full range of policy and including foreign, defence and domestic policy issues not covered in this document.

Posted by dill @ 03:48 PM 8 Comments

Try to decipher what each comment means

Independent: Bank of England voices fears over UK deficit and European debt crisis

"The Bank of England issued a stark warning this morning that worries about countries' public finances threaten economic growth and that Britain's new government must act "sooner rather than later" on its own deficit. The central bank played down concerns about high inflation and suggested it would fall back below the government-set 2% target over the next two years, even if interest rates are held at their current record low".

Posted by alan @ 02:52 PM 3 Comments

Collapse in housing market

BBC: McCain grills Goldman boss

Never thought I'd see McCain saying these things.

Posted by doomwatch @ 02:35 PM 7 Comments

Could... this... be... the... HPC... trigger...?!

City Wire: Capital Gains Tax rise: should you act now?

Capital Gains Tax is definitely going to rise under the new coalition, possibly to come into line with income tax rates of up to 50%. So investors must start thinking about realising assets to take advantage of the current flat rate of 18%. [...] So what should investors be doing? If you were thinking of realising assets like a buy-to-let property – which will take some time to sell – now is the time to go ahead.

Posted by mick rupert @ 12:37 PM 12 Comments

Well What Do You Lot Reckon ?

Guardian: Pound Rallies on news of Con Lib Dem Coalition

The pound rallied this morning and investors rushed to buy UK government debt as the City cheered the new Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government headed by David Cameron. There are hopes that the government, formed after a five-day tug-of-war, will take quick action to cut Britain's record budget deficit. The Conservatives' George Osborne is the new chancellor, succeeding Alistair Darling.

Posted by str 2007 @ 11:17 AM 54 Comments

Spring Bounce (part the manieth)

Independent: Research shows spring surge for housing market

"The housing market benefited from its traditional spring revival during April as activity levels continued to increase, research showed today. The National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA) reported the biggest jump in sellers since August last year, while there was also an increase in the number of potential buyers.... "All of the trends reported by our members point to reasonably sunny prospects for the summer housing market." But the proportion of properties that were bought by first-time buyers continued to fall, dropping from 23% to 21%. The group said the number of first-time buyers was now getting towards the lower end of what was needed for a healthy housing market, and added that it would push for more measures to help this group from whoever forms the new government."

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 10:25 AM 1 Comments

Spring Bounce in UK unemployment


Independent: Post office launches mortgage deals

"The Post Office today increased its assault on the mortgage market with the launch of a range of deals for first-time buyers. The group is offering four mortgages for people with only a 10% deposit, two of which are best buys".

Posted by alan @ 09:41 AM 0 Comments

Robert Peston's take on CGT

BBC: Lib Dem voice is loud on banks and tax

"......What may shock many investors is that the coalition will more-or-less adopt the Lib Dem's policy on raising the capital gains tax rate to streamline it with income tax. That means the top rate of CGT will be at least 40%, and possibly 50%. However a much lower rate will be applied to "entrepreneurial" business investment: the higher capital gains tax rate is aimed at extracting more revenue from speculation, but there will in a sense be a return to the system only abandoned by Labour a couple of years ago, where there were significant tax rewards for those who invest in wealth-creating activities for longer........."

Posted by dill @ 09:18 AM 2 Comments

So it begins. Open you wallets folks.

City Wire: CGT to rise

CGT on that second home now 40%. IHT to remain unchanged. Gordon, missing you already.

Posted by chrisch @ 08:56 AM 17 Comments

Now the clean up can begin.

Mail: 'Thank you and goodbye': With Sarah at his side, tearful Gordon goes with grace . . . then resigns to the Queen

The real effect of Gordon Brown's flawed economic policy is only just becoming clear.

Posted by hpwatcher @ 08:49 AM 5 Comments

Flood of Sellers Starts the Next Leg Down? Seller Surge Stifles Prices

The scene is set for the next big slide in house prices. Massive increase in sellers and no more buyers. When bond yielsds go up it will be the last straw and whole charade will be done for. The comment section paints it black.

Posted by tinecu @ 08:20 AM 0 Comments

Idle threats

BBC: Spain to unveil deep budget cuts amid EU economic fears

The Spanish government is set to detail deep cuts in public spending amid EU concerns that economic problems afflicting Greece may spread. PM Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero is expected to outline the cuts on Wednesday, aimed at bringing down Spain's borrowing levels. US President Barack Obama has urged Mr Zapatero to take "resolute action". Spain approved an austerity package in January but that since then little has happened and Madrid is now under pressure from the European Commission to deliver, with new talk of penalties if it does not.

Posted by devo @ 06:49 AM 0 Comments

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Bailout solutions potentially have long term effects

Bloomberg: Germany, France May Hurt AAA Ratings in ‘Ponzi Game’

Top- rated euro-area states may compromise their AAA grades by standing behind the debts of weaker members with their 750 billion-euro ($955 billion) stabilization fund. The package is “making debt profiles deteriorate, potentially damaging the ratings of core sovereigns,” said Stefan Kolek, a strategist at UniCredit SpA in Munich. “It’s a kind of Ponzi game at the highest level.” History will show if the current 'trend' of bailouts will have been the right decision. Unfortunately the powers that be, will be long gone by then, so they can state with authority that bailouts are 'right course for action' and 'essential for stabilty'.

Posted by c'mon correction @ 11:51 PM 1 Comments

Irish not as daft as a lot of people think!

Independent ie: Banks protesters storm parliament

Protesters have stormed parliament during a march against government plans to inject billions of euros into the country's banks. Dozens of people broke away from the march and ran at the gates of the parliament's main building, Leinster House. They wrestled with police, who tried to force them back and secure the gate. At least one man suffered a head injury during the scuffles with organisers appealing for calm. Dont bother to click link,thats all of it

Posted by waitingtobuy @ 09:45 PM 0 Comments

Lets close the chunnel now!!

Yahoo: Britain must fend for itself in event of crisis, French official warns

Britain should not rely on EU help in the event of a renewed financial crisis after refusing to sign up to the bulk of a 500bn (£429bn) rescue package for the eurozone, the head of the French financial markets watchdog said.

Posted by mark @ 02:21 PM 14 Comments

House prices will fall - whatever government we get

CityWire: House prices will fall - whatever government we get

House prices will fall - whatever government we get Which coalition would be best for the property market? Linton Chiswick explains why all scenarios lead to falling prices.

Posted by fwiw @ 01:23 PM 5 Comments

Squid squirts endless stream of black ink

Bloomberg Businessweek: Goldman Sachs has first quarter with no trading loss

The source title doesn't mean it's the first quarter that the Squid has had without a trading loss. It means that it made no trading loss (a good chunk of net revenue in fact) on every one of the 63 days in the first quarter. Its nearly $10 billion trading revenue in that quarter exceeded the revenue of all its competitors. A good gambler makes profits but if he makes profits all the time he's fixed the game. Is it the High Frequency Trading scam that assures these revenues?

Posted by icarus @ 11:36 AM 12 Comments

The devil is in the detail: Sales DOWN, unsold stock UP

RICS: RICS housing market survey: April 2010

Reading past the spin, in this months "report" actual sales are DOWN, new vendor instructions are UP, unsold stocks are UP. This doesn't bode well for future prices, and indeed this is borne out in the none bullish "Expected change in prices" chart on page 3. Not sure why the Times & BBC are using this poor report as a bull piece.

Posted by doomwatch @ 10:56 AM 7 Comments

Boulton Loses it

Sky News: Sky News

4.25 in. Hilarious.

Posted by doomwatch @ 10:41 AM 21 Comments

Audit the Fed bill now watered down

Market Oracle: Did Bankster's Crash the Stock Market to Send a Message to Congress?

We believe that it may have been a clear message sent to our elected officials, resulting in major changes to Ron Paul’s Audit the Fed bill, essentially gutting the provisions that we require transparency and disclosure about the Federal Reserve’s global monetary policy.

Posted by sold 2 rent 1 @ 10:09 AM 29 Comments

House prices pendulum swings and points to rises

Investment and Business News: House prices in pre-election pick up

The latest round of housing data is now complete. The Halifax, Nationwide and Hometrack have all released their April surveys; the Bank of England’s latest data on mortgage approvals was out a couple of weeks ago; and this morning it was the turn of RICS. By far the most interesting of the findings of late has been the change in the dynamic between demand and supply, with the RICS index tracking new instructions soaring, but the index tracking enquiries declining, suggesting house price falls later in the year. But did this trend may have reversed in April.

Posted by mike @ 09:07 AM 2 Comments

Relax those criteria - fill your boots time

Times: Lenders boost BTL market

Oh dear 2.

Posted by chrisch @ 08:58 AM 3 Comments

Price out those FTB scum everyone...

RICS Monthly

Reuters: House price growth gathers pace in April

"House price growth accelerated in April, a survey indicated on Tuesday, with new buyers lured by a favourable interest rate outlook and expectations of a post-election bounce".

Posted by alan @ 08:41 AM 2 Comments

Chinese government recognise that developers inflate the market

BBC: China seeks to tame property boom

The Chinese government is desperately trying to cool down an overheating property market. New measures introduced in the past few weeks restrict mortgage lending, increase land supply and stop developers from hoarding apartments to push up prices.

Posted by powerofnow @ 08:13 AM 11 Comments

More ramping from the BBC

BBC News: Housing market still picking up, surveyors say

The UK's property market is benefiting from its normal spring pick up, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (Rics) said… They have been rising fastest in London and the South East, but are falling in Yorkshire, Humberside, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Posted by cool_hand @ 07:48 AM 0 Comments

First it was the weather, now the election is to blame

BBC News: UK retail sales 'fell in April'

Sorry love.. let's not do a Tesco shop this week, I need to know who wins the election first.. "UK retail sales fell in April owing to the timing of Easter and uncertainty from consumers ahead of the general election, figures indicate. The total value of sales fell by 0.2% in April from a year earlier, with the like-for-like drop at 2.3%, the British Retail Consortium (BRC) said. Food sales fell back, but this was distorted because of the early Easter compared with last year."

Posted by exiges @ 03:26 AM 0 Comments

Monday, May 10, 2010

The elusive 'people'

Bloomberg: SEC Meeting With Exchanges Yields No Cause for Plunge

Heads of the biggest U.S. trading venues could provide no clear reason for last week’s stock- market selloff in meetings today with the Securities and Exchange Commission, two people familiar with the matter said. Chief executive officers saw no evidence that a mistaken order caused the plunge, according to the people, who asked not to be named because the discussions were private. Schapiro and representatives from the NYSE, Nasdaq and other trading venues discussed the need to revise market-wide circuit breakers and implement halts for individual stocks, the people said. The New York Stock Exchange currently has circuit breakers that pause trading when the entire market falls 10 percent

Posted by devo @ 11:46 PM 14 Comments

Liblab V Libcon

FT: Resignation seen as potential masterstroke

Peter Mandelson marvelled at the sheer audacity of it all. Gordon Brown’s resignation announcement at 5pm was a moment of political theatre of the highest order, potentially a masterstroke. Lord Mandelson believes Mr Brown’s brief statement in Downing Street has unlocked a possible Labour deal with the Liberal Democrats completing the “progressive” coalition of the two parties once envisaged by Tony Blair.

Posted by devo @ 11:23 PM 9 Comments

All to play for

The Telegraph: How David Cameron was outflanked as he prepared to enter No 10

David Cameron awoke this morning believing there was an outside chance he would be prime minister before the day was out.

Posted by devo @ 11:12 PM 3 Comments

Gordon Brown has said he will step down as labour party leader

Sky news: Gordon Brown To Resign As Labour Leader

Gordon Brown has said he will step down as party leader as Nick Clegg asks for talks between Labour and the Liberal Democrats. In a statement outside Downing Street, Mr Brown said he had "no desire to stay in my position longer than needed" and would leave by the party conference in September. He said he will ask the Labour Party to begin the process for a leadership election but that he will not stand or intervene.

Posted by jack c @ 06:19 PM 19 Comments

Gordon Brown 'stepping down as Labour leader'

Vince left out to dry


After been endlessly paraided during the campaign, it would appear Vince has now been locked away. The public have been conned ... again.

Posted by doomwatch @ 01:35 PM 7 Comments

BOE leaves rate at 0.5% with QE suspended (for now at least)

Citywire: Bank of England leaves interest rates unchanged

The Bank of England has left interest rates at a record low of 0.5% for a 14th consecutive month as uncertainty about the levels of government debt here and across Europe remains a worry for policy makers. The Bank of England's announcement was delayed because of last week's General Election.

Posted by jack c @ 12:14 PM 14 Comments

It is like crack, the more they get the more they need

Yahoo: Bank of Japan injects cash for second trading day

the world will be paying taxes for all these bailouts for the next 200 years

Posted by mark @ 11:01 AM 10 Comments

Still Propping up House Prices

Guardian: The £3bn cash Isa swindle

"As annual cash Isa statements plop through letterboxes this week, savers will be shocked at how their interest rates have plunged".

Posted by alan @ 08:34 AM 10 Comments

Sorry its a bit technical....

The Contrarian Trader: Weekly Review on Sunday

... No need to read, if no interest in Financials. It is someone that is selling services, but his cynicism is entertaining if nothing else..

Posted by techieman @ 08:26 AM 9 Comments

They think its all over...

Telegraph: Euro jumps as markets welcome €750bn rescue

The euro soared on Monday morning as investors reacted with initial relief at the €750bn plan to defend the single currency and European Monetary Union from potential collapse.

Posted by alan @ 07:49 AM 48 Comments

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Half a trillion Euros

The National: Europe rushes to save euro from ‘wolf pack’

Speculators have been pounding the stock and bond markets of highly indebted euro zone members Portugal, Greece and Ireland on fears they will be next to call for bailouts. Economists estimate that the total cost of rescuing those three countries would amount to €500bn – a sum that could plunge the entire 16-nation euro zone into a debt crisis.

Posted by devo @ 10:18 PM 5 Comments

Imminent disintegration of monetary union

The Telegraph: Europe prepares nuclear response to save monetary union

Are Europe's leaders grasping the nettle at last? Faced with the imminent disintegration of monetary union, they appear poised to create the beginnings of an EU debt union and authorize the European Central Bank to step in immediately to stabilize the eurozone bond markets.

Posted by devo @ 09:59 PM 5 Comments

Not far off the truth

Youtube: Holy cow!

our leaders are mentally hitler!...totally delusional and no-one so far has taken the consequences what on earth happened to economics....they seem to have gone out the window...wealth is not debt or destruction....or war

Posted by taffee @ 06:26 PM 2 Comments

As if trading stocks and shares was not dicey enough!

Money Week: What was the Wall Street wipe-out all about?

We discussed that 'fat finger' is when someone types the wrong number on a computer - a suggested reason for the US stock market going crazy last week; I did not realise that, once a significant drop happens, auto-trading intelligent computers can cascade further drops into a rapid drop or crash... Should trades happen at a limited speed in order to allow time to investigate sudden market effects? Is the sensible future of trading a slow down in trading speed? How else can we avoid the craziness of a savings wipe-out caused by intention or by Mr Fat Finger and his white cat?

Posted by mdmick @ 04:53 PM 2 Comments

Seeing as its a quiet day, let see what the Times' David Smith is blathering about ...

Times: Leaderless UK stokes crash fears

Let's just run through the logic here. If a housing market crash is a consequence of the UK being forced to raise interest rates and raising interest rates is a consequence of lack of investor confidence in the pound and the lack of investor confidence is a consequence of hung parliament and (stay with me ... !) a hung parliament is the expression of the UK's political will, have we collectively voted in favour of a housing market crash? I'd suggest the UK's aggregate wish is about to be granted. David Smith (who is usually wrong about anything he writes about) fears that interest rates may need to rise 'sooner than is good for the economy'. Well Smith, what's good for the economy is not necessarily good for your personal property wealth m'afraid.

Posted by paul @ 10:35 AM 16 Comments

Something a little more light hearted for the weekend...

Dailymash: First-time buyers still pathetic

Tom Logan, the boyfriend, said: "On our combined salaries, the only way we could ever afford a place is if we start buying cheap wine and the supermarket own brand, pre-sliced bread that gives you cancer. It's a death sentence.

Posted by mrflibble @ 09:37 AM 2 Comments

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Just when we had enough trouble of our own article 122 is to be used to bailout Greece

Telegraph: British taxpayers ordered to bail out euro

Looks like we will be on the hook for 10% of any Greek default with Spain, Portugal and others waiting in the wings irrespective of our own position. Read, analyse and comment as it looks like we will be stitched up by article 122 whether we like it or not!

Posted by enuii @ 11:29 PM 16 Comments

Brown to resign - All those in favour say aye

Euro Update from Sky

SKY: Eurozone Acts To Stop Greek Crisis Spreading

"During a late-night summit in Brussels, the 16 heads of the single currency countries said they were ready to take whatever steps were required to protect the stability of the euro area. The leaders agreed to set up a crisis fund for all members to dip into in times of financial difficulty".

Posted by alan @ 08:57 AM 8 Comments

Could... this... be... the... HPC... cusp.... ?!

The Times: House prices slip as more go on the market

"House prices UNEXPECTEDLY fell in April as the number of unsold properties rose to the highest level in a year, figures showed today." (My emphasis in caps - "unexpectedly" for whom, exactly?). Surprised this ain't had a mention on here yet.

Posted by mick rupert @ 01:49 AM 12 Comments

New Age for House Prices

Times: Election to mark new era for house prices

"This week’s election may yet prove to be the moment that the UK housing market finally showed that it is subject to the forces of gravity. That is not to say that a hung Parliament is likely to be uniquely bad for house prices - The simple fact is that the new age of austerity starts here and, inevitably, that will weigh heavily on the housing market". Over the next couple of years the Bank of England will gradually withdraw its special liquidity and credit guarantee schemes, which lenders have become reliant upon to fund mortgages since the effective closure of wholesale money markets in 2007. Unless an alternative source of finance is put in place, the mortgage industry faces a £300 billion funding gap, which could undermine house prices dramatically over the coming years. "

Posted by alan @ 12:16 AM 41 Comments

Friday, May 7, 2010

Yeah thanks for the votes but we were lying

Channel 4: Clarke hints cuts to be "dropped"

All them cuts? No they would crash the housing market see? That would never do. Me and me mates we've all got these buy to let places innit. The other lot too. They got 'em an' all. Give it a few months guv', get me dosh out the country like.

Posted by chrisch @ 10:24 PM 11 Comments


Mortgage Org UK: National debt 'makes mortgage lending more expensive'

I was talking to the people I work with today, and speaking frankly, and nobody at all seemed to think that UK debt would affect them.

Posted by stillthinking @ 09:37 PM 4 Comments

Quiet now ... good day for bad house price news to be buried

RTT News: Shhhhhhhhhhh!

Only a small fall but strange at this time of the year?...

Posted by danlee74 @ 03:59 PM 0 Comments

As Homeowners’ Dreams Die, He’s the Undertaker

Ny times: As Homeowners’ Dreams Die, He’s the Undertaker

Mr. Laubinger is having a busy spring. Nearly four million households nationwide are severely delinquent on their mortgages, the biggest backlog since the housing crisis began. As more and more of the homes edge toward repossession — a record quarter of a million were seized by lenders in the first three months of this year

Posted by mark @ 03:35 PM 2 Comments

Hang on, roller coaster ride ahead

Yahoo: Contagion fears go global; governments try to calm storm

Stocks worldwide plunged as concerns about Greece's debt crisis went global, with investors seeing it as an omen of turmoil in other European economies and governments struggling to calm markets. Group of Seven finance ministers were due to discuss the Greek bailout in a conference call on Friday after Federal Reserve officials expressed concern and the White House said President Barack Obama was watching developments closely.

Posted by mark @ 12:22 PM 6 Comments

Skynet is not a Cameron invention after all!

The market ticker: Mr President - Unplug the ***** computers

Well in case you missed the fun and games last night (a welcome diversion from the Elections) the post is what happend. Can it happen here? Well sorry folks to upset anyone but it did. The FTSE went down (in after hours) to a low of 4420 [its now @ 5250].

Posted by techieman @ 12:01 PM 31 Comments

Merkel warns of threat to EU as Dow sees biggest one-day fall since 1987, before recovering

Investment and Business News: Markets hang further than parliament

Fears over Greek contagion spread to the other side of the pond yesterday as markets, indifferent to the UK election, saw their nerves stretched to the limit. The Dow saw a quite extraordinary day of volatility, Angela Merkel made the most passionate speech of her career as she warned the EU itself is under threat, and a credit ratings agency warned that Greek contagion could spread to the UK banks. Meanwhile, as the economic empire burned, the ECB president played with his fiddle.

Posted by mike @ 11:24 AM 1 Comments

This might give us a clue to what we can expect in the UK

Bbc: Romania to cut wages and pensions

Public sector wages will be cut by 25% and all salaries, including the minimum one, will be affected. Jobless benefits and pensions will be slashed by 15%. "The state sector is like a fat man of 200 kg sitting on the back of a 50 kg little man who is the real economy."

Posted by mark @ 10:12 AM 6 Comments

Personal insolvencies hit record high

BBC: Personal insolvencies at new high in England and Wales

A new record high has been recorded for the number of people being declared insolvent in England and Wales. There were 35,682 personal insolvencies in the first three months of 2010, a 17.9% increase compared with the same period a year earlier.

Posted by jack c @ 09:59 AM 3 Comments

Brown Broadcasting Corp spinning as usual

ShareCast: House prices fall as supply increases

The BBC reports this as "House prices up 6.6% in past year". I think this is originally from Halifax who state that increased supply and weaker buyer activity are having their effect. Oh yes. that and global meltdown Act II: "The Sovereign Debt Crisis".

Posted by voiceofreason @ 09:54 AM 4 Comments

Time for some Ouzo, me thinks!

Money week: The Greek crisis is spreading to the banking sector

What's spooked the banks? It's simple. Lots of them hold government debt from the likes of Greece, Portugal and Spain. French and German banks own about €80bn worth of Greek government debt alone, says Barclays.

Posted by happy mondays @ 09:47 AM 3 Comments

Halifax latest release

BBC: House prices up 6.6% in past year, the Halifax says

House prices have gone up by 6.6% in the past year, according to the latest Halifax house price survey. Although this was the fastest annual rate of increase since October 2007, the mortgage lender stressed that the trend in recent months has been for prices to slow down. Prices fell slightly in April by 0.1%, taking the cost of the average UK home to £168,202. The Halifax predicted that prices would be flat over the course of 2010.

Posted by jack c @ 09:23 AM 16 Comments

BTL blame game

Moneymarketing: Investors face huge buy-to-let losses after valuation errors

Buy-to-let investors who are facing huge losses say a panel surveyor used by their Government-backed lenders over-valued their properties - in some cases by almost double. The lenders which mortgaged the six properties in question - BM Solutions and Bank of Scotland, now part of Lloyds Banking Group, and Mortgage Express, part of Bradford & Bingley, say they are not responsible for the valuations. These were all carried out by the same surveyor, a firm on their approved panels, this week’s Money Marketing reveals.

Posted by jack c @ 09:10 AM 2 Comments

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Stock Markets Plummet

Wall Street Journal: Stocks' Skid Deepens

The domino effect...

Posted by gruffydd @ 09:58 PM 0 Comments

I hate it when that happens. lol

CNBC: Stock Selloff May Have Been Triggered by a Trader Error

In one of the most dizzying half-hours in stock market history, the Dow plunged nearly 1,000 points before paring those losses in what possibly could have been a trader error. According to multiple sources, a trader entered a "b" for billion instead of an "m" for million

Posted by devo @ 09:35 PM 21 Comments

This really is the end of the Miracle economy!

The Telegraph: Our politicians are powerless as the tide of debt rises ever higher

Yet as the crisis transmogrifies from a banking collapse to a fiscal implosion, the impotence of governments has been laid bare. You can't help but see it: even the distractions of the election have failed to keep the meltdown in Europe off our news bulletins.

Posted by cheekie charlie @ 07:34 PM 0 Comments

Santander think it necessary to put out this statement at this juncture!

The Telegraph: British savers 'safe from euro crisis' says Spanish bank

Santander, the Spanish bank that bought Abbey, Alliance & Leicester and most of Bradford & Bingley, has set out to reassure millions of British savers that their money is safe – despite fears the Greek debt crisis is spreading to Spain. The move follows talk of contagion in the eurozone and scathing criticism of the credit rating agencies’ assessment of the security of bonds issued by European governments. Bill Gross, managing director of Pimco, one of the biggest bond fund managers in the world, pointed to Spain’s 20 per cent unemployment rate, 10 per cent current account deficit and mocked Standard & Poor’s decision to downgrade bonds issued by the Spanish government from AA+ to AA. He said: “Oooh – so tough!”

Posted by cheekie charlie @ 07:09 PM 0 Comments

Buckle up & enjoy the ride!

Right side news: Bob Moriarty: Collapse as Certain as Time and the Tides

You talk about "if" we have financial collapse. I talk about "when" because no other alternative possible. Nobody and nothing is going to stop it from happening. It is as absolute as the time and tides.

Posted by happy mondays @ 05:23 PM 37 Comments

Another property scam

Sky News: Property 'Scam' Cost Buyers Thousands

However gets in tomorrow should rush through emergency legislation to put a final nail in the property speculation coffin. 50% CGT on more than 2 properties should do it.

Posted by doomwatch @ 02:55 PM 4 Comments

Yet they cant stop nuisances, useless corrupt councils

Dailymail: The council snoopers sizing up your garden for a 'tax database'

It would take into account alterations which have added value to houses like conservatories and extra bedrooms. It would also mean higher bills for those with swimming pools, summer houses, nearby parks and public transport links.

Posted by mark @ 12:27 PM 17 Comments

Ash stops the gardener, cleaner, window cleaner etc working

Yahoo: Volcanic ash hits April services sector data

LONDON (Reuters) - Services sector activity slowed unexpectedly in April because of disruption to air traffic from the Icelandic volcanic ash cloud and a hit to confidence from an unpredictable election campaign, a survey showed on Thursday. ********Excuses for a poor economy*********

Posted by mark @ 11:17 AM 0 Comments

Beware foreign property owners - not just in Greece

Citywire: Property investors abroad playing a dangerous game

Foreign property owners are an obvious target for the desperate Greek authorities....but will it deter us Brits from buying property abroad - hell no!

Posted by smithers @ 10:45 AM 2 Comments

Looks like these guys are trying to limit losses now before the storm really takes hold

Moneymarketing: Hedge fund offers mortgage borrowers golden goodbyes

City hedge fund Toscafund, which last year acquired a number of mortgage books, is offering to write off up to 20 per cent of mortgage holders’ borrowings if they remortgage with a new lender. The hedge fund uses a mortgage servicing company to administer its loans and borrowers who wish to remortgage away are being offered the opportunity to write off a large proportion of their debt if they refinance elsewhere.

Posted by jack c @ 10:07 AM 21 Comments

Phil Spencer now states that a house is primarily a home and houses don't always rise in price !

BBC: Adding value to the home

Go 1 hour 35 mins into the Steve Wright show to listen to Phil's latest on the housing market

Posted by jack c @ 10:01 AM 2 Comments

Printy printy

The Washington Post: Freddie Mac asks U.S. for $10 billion as losses pile up

Freddie Mac, the bailed-out mortgage-finance giant, reported Wednesday that it continues to lose money and needs an additional $10.6 billion in assistance from U.S. taxpayers.

Posted by devo @ 06:48 AM 12 Comments


Telegraph: Merkel plea to save Europe as contagion hits Iberia

"Europe's debt markets are flashing danger signals after spreads on Iberian debt reached the highest level since the launch of the euro and investors rushed for safety into German notes, prompting warnings from German Chancellor Angela Merkel that the European Project itself is at risk." I'm honestly not sure how this will play for HPC but I'm pretty certain that our homeownerist economy will not be unaffected.

Posted by quiet guy @ 01:40 AM 5 Comments

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Greek crooks don't need a mortgage

Bloomberg: Wealthy Greeks Turn to London Property as Safe Haven in Crisis

The U.K. has a record budget deficit, weak economic growth and may soon face a hung parliament. For wealthy Greeks, it’s a safe haven.

Posted by alan @ 09:26 PM 6 Comments

Protests Turning Ugly

Daily Mail: Rioters kill three bank workers in Athens protests as EU warns Britain's debt crisis will be worse than Greece's

Three bank workers died in a blaze at their Athens office block today after violence broke out in a mass demonstration against Greece's government. George Papandreou denounced what he called the 'murder' of two women and one man killed when bank was set alight as a 100,000-strong crowd protested against austerity measures imposed under Greece's international bailout package. In the worst violence since the Socialist government came to power in October, hundreds of striking demonstrators pelted police with rocks, chunks of marble and bottles, set garbage cans on fire and tried repeatedly to storm parliament

Posted by cat and canary @ 04:58 PM 26 Comments

Add in private debt, light blue touch paper and retire ...

Guardian: UK budget deficit 'to surpass Greece's as worst in EU'

The UK budget deficit will swell this year to overtake Greece, becoming the worst in the European Union - the UK deficit for this calendar year is forecast at 12% of GDP, the highest of all 27 EU nations and worse than the Treasury's own forecasts.

Posted by mken @ 02:05 PM 10 Comments

19 May deadline set for Greece

BBC News: Greece v Argentina: Who wins on penalties?

As far as football is concerned, the two sides will meet on 22 June. For both teams, it will be their third and final group match. But the day of decision for the Greek economy will come sooner, on 19 May, when the country needs to stave off default by honouring bonds worth 8.5bn euros ($11.2bn; £7.3bn).

Posted by sold 2 rent 1 @ 01:40 PM 3 Comments

Why Greek contagion won’t spread as far as Elgin Marbles

Investment and Business News: Why Greek contagion won’t spread as far as Elgin Marbles

Will the Greek crisis reach the UK? Although this remains a danger, here is a reason why the UK is likely to remain free of the contagion.

Posted by mike @ 01:22 PM 1 Comments

Global markets drop like guillotine, as fears over hanging parliament recede

Investment and Business News: Global markets drop like guillotine, as fears over hanging parliament recede

Yesterday was a day of panic. Markets looked at the social unrest in Greece, at the plight of Spain and Portugal, and then at efforts to stage a rescue. They weren’t impressed. The Greek contagion is spreading. Yet bizarrely, while the UK media fret over the prospects of a hung parliament, the markets seem indifferent. The real news on the UK economy yesterday was actually very promising, maybe the most promising to date.

Posted by mike @ 01:20 PM 2 Comments

Compassion stained blue

Independent: Johann Hari: Welcome to Cameron land

Not too far off-topic; it is about housing for those who don't actually have any, plus numerous other things that this council's appalling example indicates awaits us should the Big Society slide out from under Caring Cameron.

Posted by letthemfall @ 01:18 PM 68 Comments


Times: Property owners tell valuers ‘it’s your fault’ after crash

There were 25 High Court cases alleging professional negligence over valuations of residential or commercial property last year, according to Reynolds Porter Chamberlain, the law firm. This compared with only one case in the previous five years. The demands for compensation echoed the rush to court after the recession of the Nineties, when valuers also were sued for negligence.

Posted by mark @ 11:44 AM 3 Comments

Think states have made deep spending cuts? You ain't seen nothing yet.

Cnn: Goodbye, stimulus. Hello, state budget cuts

Until now, stimulus money spared governors and state lawmakers from making some of the most brutal budget cuts. But with this lifeline running out, officials are looking at making significant cutbacks to public services, particularly schools and health programs.

Posted by mark @ 11:21 AM 1 Comments

Cautious return to 90% mortgage lending

PropertyPal: Cautious return to 90% mortgage lending

An increase in Mortgage lending deals is evident according to a recent report by financial data firm Moneyfacts, with a number of mortgages offered by a variety of lenders offering 90-95% loan to value rates. With the majority of mortgages currently on the market requiring a 25% deposit, this incentive offers some hope to first time buyers.

Posted by paul anthony @ 10:08 AM 0 Comments

Impending shortage of easily accessible oil

News Week: A ‘Three Mile Island for Offshore Oil’?

It'll be years before we know the full extent of the damage caused by the Deep Horizon oil spill. But as thousands of barrels continue to leach out of the ocean floor, and with no way of stopping it anytime soon, the magnitude of the disaster has become clear: this is the worst oil spill in U.S. waters since the Exxon Valdez spilled 11 million gallons of crude into Alaska’s Prince William Sound. The economic and environmental impact will likely be catastrophic.

Posted by sold 2 rent 1 @ 09:21 AM 18 Comments

Spain Says

Independent: World markets tumble as contagion fears take hold

Spain's Prime Minister yesterday attacked rumours that the country would be forced to ask for a €280bn (£241bn) bailout as "complete madness", as world markets tumbled over the fear that financial contagion was set to spread beyond Greece's borders. The Spanish markets fell 5.4 per cent on talk that the country would call for an emergency loan. (Does this mean that ECB interest rates go up?)

Posted by alan @ 08:39 AM 20 Comments

The 'temporary' spike in inflation continues unabated

Independent: Shop price inflation jumped again in April

At some point in the distant future, economists will look back and identify the precise day that the UK's 'independent' Bank of England lost control of inflation.

Posted by paul @ 08:25 AM 0 Comments

Oh dear

The Telegraph: Euro plunges as Club Med debt fears spread

Yields on German two-year debt reached a record low, falling to 0.71pc on safe-haven demand in echoes of credit stress at the height of the financial crisis."This is very unusual and indicates concern about systemic risk from sovereign debt," said Stephen Lewis from Monument Securities. German Chancellor Angela Merkel told ARD television that banks and creditors should be forced to share the pain if further rescues are ever needed, suggesting "an orderly restructuring" of debt in future. The words were an icy warning to investors that the €110bn (£95bn) aid package for Greece is a one-off case. "This is dangerously ill-timed," said Marco Annunziata, of UniCredit.

Posted by devo @ 07:00 AM 7 Comments

Disappointment for the doomsters

Telegraph: Don't get your hopes up for market chaos on Friday

The polls have been pointing firmly towards a hung parliament for the past three weeks or so (before then the likelihood was narrower). If you were of the opinion that a hung parliament would spell disaster, you would be ditching your gilts, something which would push the average yield significantly higher. As you can see, yields have in fact fallen since the Cleggmania began. They are now well below 4pc. Why? Probably three factors, to a greater or lesser degree ...

Posted by quiet guy @ 12:14 AM 2 Comments

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Estate agents left to starve as no one wants to play house musical chairs anymore

Guardian: Mortgage lending down almost 90% from 2007 peak

Net lending rose slightly in March - but approvals during first quarter of 2010 down to £3.7bn from £28.3bn in 2007 and the Guardian concludes that high street banks are obstructing first-time buyers and throttling the housing market, after data showed mortgage lending has fallen almost 90% since its peak three years ago.

Posted by enuii @ 08:32 PM 8 Comments

Will this change once the sheeple wake up to reality?

MSN: The price of a lifetime of entertainment

Never mind the economic gloom - we Brits are spending billions of pounds on frivolous fun.

Posted by mr g @ 08:08 PM 8 Comments

End of the mortgageless recovery?

Evening Standard: Housing rally tails off

Mortgage lending collapsed in early spring as the recovery in the housing market ran out of steam ahead of the general election. Bank of England figures today showed net lending tumbled 83% from £1.85 billion in February to £318 million in March

Posted by apophis @ 07:59 PM 0 Comments

A slight chance of 5% interest when one wakes up on the 7th of May

FT: A British bond market all-nighter

The Gilt market will trade through the night and if the Bond Vigilantes don't like it, it would be 5%++ mortgage the next day

Posted by easybetman @ 04:33 PM 11 Comments

Try eating gold or protecting yourself with a bar of gold when the riots start

Yahoo: Gold breaks through $1,190/oz on sovereign risk fears

Gold broke through $1,190 an ounce for the first time since early December on Thursday as fears Greece's sovereign debt problems could spread to other euro zone economies fuelled a cross-currency rally in the precious metal.

Posted by mark @ 02:31 PM 21 Comments

Funds looking to profit in obvious rebound in property prices have missed the boat; tears shed

Financial Times: Recovery Funds Miss Rally

"Funds that tried to capitalise on the property crash have been outmanoeuvred by the speed of the correction, with most “property recovery” funds attracting little interest from investors." "Stuart Law of Assetz says 'there will be about five times as much in the next fundraise' as investors see the first acquisitions, while Joe McTaggart of Walls & Futures says: 'It’s a bit like a school disco. Nobody likes to be first on the dancefloor, but as soon as someone gets out there, it all goes crazy.'"'s a bit like a school disco. Everyone seems to be having more fun than you, so you rush in, only to realise you've pulled an absolute pig-dog.

Posted by notyethomeless @ 02:28 PM 0 Comments

Expect inflation in metals and some precious stones

Yahoo: FTSE miners to be hit by 40pc Australian 'super-tax'

The government unveiled the new tax as part of a wider pre-election overhaul of the tax system. The government expects the new 40pc tax which will be levied on all mining projects from July 2012 to raise A$12bn (£7.2bn) in the first two years.

Posted by mark @ 01:00 PM 2 Comments

Net mortgage lending rose by just £300m in March compared to £1.8bn in February

Guardian: Mortgage lending slows in March

With babyboomers retiring and 'downsizing' do we need the rare FTB anymore, or can this debt fueled generation self perpetuate themselves to the grave?

Posted by matt_the_hat @ 12:56 PM 1 Comments


Investment Postcards: European Web of Debt

An interesting visual although obv needs to be put in a larger context. People often argue that debt doesn't matter that much once asset values are taken into account. Surely this is only true to the extent that the assset is income producing. Perhaps the fund problem is that we have focused too much on asset valuations (which are largely artificial constructs and liable to bubble) and not enough on income which is real. UK housing is a prime example of this.

Posted by bellwether @ 11:23 AM 2 Comments

Anarchy cool ordering my gunpowder now

Independent: Brown worst ever PM, says Labour candidate

"And if you look at it, the average person has really got no respect for the Government and really we are moving towards not a government system but more towards anarchy, and that is very, very dangerous."

Posted by mark @ 10:28 AM 10 Comments

A horror story of blood, sweat, toil and tears

Independent: Stephen King: Forget the sterile debates, we are all facing a future of austerity and sacrifice

In reality, British society is increasingly at the mercy of events elsewhere in the world. As for dealing with the gap between rich and poor, this is hardly straightforward. The widening gap owes a lot to the forces of globalisation. The integration of labour markets has increasingly led to manufacturing jobs shifting East, driving down wages in the West. The massive expansion of capital markets has led both to heightened instability and created large rewards for some of those involved in the financial industry. Until recently, the British economy managed to mask the gap between winners and losers stemming globalisation through easy access to credit but that will not be so easy in the future. [Stephen D. King is global chief economist at HSBC.]

Posted by drewster @ 10:25 AM 9 Comments

Lots of excuses

The Independent: Mortgage lending plummets by 83%

Mortgage lending dived by 83% during March, fuelling speculation that the housing market recovery is running out of steam

Posted by cynicalsoothsayer @ 10:09 AM 13 Comments

UK CPI 3.5%, Official Interest Rate 0.5%, AUS CPI 2.9%, 4.5% Interest Rate

The Age: News article

Compare how your UK savings are being eroded. Today the Reserve Bank of Australia increased the official interest rate to 4.5% and CPI is currently 2.9%. In the UK CPI is 3.5% and the official interest rate is 0.5%. Why aren't your UK pensioners/savers rioting in the streets?

Posted by koala bear @ 07:21 AM 0 Comments

Monday, May 3, 2010

At least it's under control

MarketWatch: Deepwater disaster 'could be worse than Exxon Valdez'

BP's liabilities could run in the billions; market cap already down $36 billion

Posted by devo @ 10:16 PM 8 Comments

German view

Bloomberg: Merkel Says She Was Right on Greece, Winning ‘Unthinkable’ Cuts

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said she was right to demand International Monetary Fund involvement in the Greek bailout over the objections of her European peers, wringing previously “unthinkable” budget cuts from Greece. “This is an ambitious program that contains tough savings measures and on the other hand seeks to improve the efficiency of the Greek economy,” Merkel told reporters. Cabinet is in session.

Posted by alan @ 09:37 PM 12 Comments

Classic Denninger!

The Market Ticker: Greek Dog Squeeze Now Accepted At ECB

Congratulations Europe, you have now demonstrated that your central bank is and has been issuing dog turds disguised as Euro bank notes. If Germany has an ounce of sense they will withdraw from the Euro and return to the Deutche Mark post-haste.

Posted by devo @ 07:29 PM 4 Comments

Chinese stocks – canary in the coalmine?

Investment Postcards: Chinese stocks – canary in the coalmine?

In another move by the Chinese authorities to reign in its booming economy, China’s central bank yesterday announced the third increase this year in the amount banks must hold as reserves. These measures have been weighing on the Chinese stock market over the past few months. I will monitor this situation very closely for a possible leash effect regarding global stock markets.

Posted by prieur du plessis @ 03:12 PM 0 Comments

Welcome to the new market leaders – gold miners

Investment Postcards: Welcome to the new market leaders – gold miners

Gold stocks are on a roll: Market Vectors Gold Miners ETF (GDX) and the Market Vectors Junior Gold Miners ETF (GDXJ) have last week broken through overhead resistance on strong volume and marched on to new highs for 2010, emerging as new market leaders.

Posted by prieur du plessis @ 03:09 PM 0 Comments

Election lite

Guardian: Finance is responsible for this savage new era. But it's off the electoral agenda

The failure of the election campaign to address the unsolved problem of the damage wrought by the financial institutions (still comfortably in place and raking in the loot straight from your pocket) suggests there is very big trouble ahead.

Posted by letthemfall @ 11:42 AM 15 Comments

Crash on

Independent: Housing market is stalling

Hometrack do not appear to believe the CEBR.

Posted by chrisch @ 10:32 AM 8 Comments

House prices set to soar House prices are set to soar

Makes a change from the election

Posted by p. doff @ 08:10 AM 24 Comments

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Total Housing Stock vs GDP

Housingbubblebust.: Total Housing Stock vs GDP

A US version but explaination are equally valid as to how UK housing stock which is worth £7T vs a GDP of just £1.5T are just way out of line.

Posted by easybetman @ 09:43 PM 0 Comments

Early bet on sterling collapse

The Guardian: UK faces run on pound within hours of polling as futures exchange opens early

Britain could be battered by speculators on the international money markets within hours of the election result as the futures market in bonds and sterling has agreed to open for the first time at 1am on Friday. Usually bond dealers would have to wait until the markets opened on the morning after an election to begin trading but the futures market in gilts – UK government bonds – is opening only three hours after the polls close and seven hours earlier than usual.

Posted by devo @ 09:15 PM 5 Comments

The PIIGS are in a whole lotta debt

NYTimes: Europe's Web of Debt

An interesting graphic analysis from the NY Times. Can't be long now 'til the whole house of cards collapses ! Makes me wonder what the UK owes and to whom

Posted by tudorian @ 08:30 PM 9 Comments


Some estate agent bloke: UK House Prices 2010 Part 2. Stubbornly high asking prices warn further falls ahead

Bastardisation of Elliott and HPC. IMO. Interesting though....

Posted by techieman @ 06:43 PM 0 Comments

There's many a slip twixt cup and lip

BBC: Greece must make 'great sacrifices' for bail-out deal

Finance ministers of eurozone nations are gathering in Brussels and are expected to support the bail-out. The rescue package could amount to as much as 120bn euros over three years and is designed to prevent Greece from defaulting on its enormous debt. However it must first be approved by each government of the 15 eurozone other members. Germany has been the strongest opponent to the bail-out, but its economy minister Rainer Bruederle said there was a "good chance" of getting German parliamentary agreement by next Friday. But he said Greece had to implement its new austerity programme "quickly" and "to the letter".

Posted by devo @ 04:00 PM 1 Comments

Mortgage info

Guardian: Higher loan-to-value mortgages make slight return

"The number of mortgage deals available is on the rise, and there is good news for buyers with only a small deposit. Mortgage deals for homebuyers with smaller deposits are trickling back, with the Co-operative Bank and Britannia returning to 90% lending".Yorkshire Bank is one of the few offering a 95% mortgage: a three-year fix for first-time buyers. However, the rate is 6.99% .

Posted by alan @ 12:47 PM 2 Comments

No Anne, they will have to be cheap!

Timesonline: You may shudder, but Tesco homes might help

"But Spen Hill, Tesco’s development arm, is doubtless aware that its residential products will not sell unless they meet the highest customer expectations on convenience, quality, price and looks. The elegant recycling of existing buildings must be part of the offer, as must clever, contextual architecture." I'm thinking Park Homes with a ruddy great Tesco's store in the middle.

Posted by nomad @ 10:06 AM 1 Comments

Are we going to wheel out Brown from No 10 kicking and screaming?

G Pytel: Gordon the Firefighter

Interesting and succinct summary of Brown as a politician. He appears childish and desperate man.

Posted by ant @ 09:15 AM 5 Comments

Property tycoon keen to admit he is bust

Daily Mail: Sold by the £400m divorce tycoon: The extraordinary property portfolio Scot Young owned before the banks took back the keys

Normally property tycoons are keen to state their wealth, going as far as to appear on TV ramping the market. However, with a messy divorce it becomes vital to show just how bust you are really. Anyway this seems to be just another of those Schrodinger's Millionaires

Posted by mikelivingstone @ 08:12 AM 0 Comments

Homeownerist heaven

Asiaonebusiness: Capsule apartments for China's poor

Urban property inflation in China rose to 11.7 percent in the year to March, and economists believe the official figures seriously understate the extent of price rises. The population of 20-something collage graduates struggling to live on the cheap has been estimated to have reached around a million, with 10 percent of these people based in Beijing.

Posted by quiet guy @ 12:08 AM 4 Comments

Saturday, May 1, 2010

That should do it

The Telegraph: Radical tax on debt put to parties

Households should pay a new tax on every pound of debt they owe, according to one of Britain's leading economists. Martin Weale, director of the National Institute for Economic and Social Research, said the winner of the election should consider the plan in an effort to wean Britain off its reliance on debt.

Posted by devo @ 09:06 PM 30 Comments

Too much debt in Europe

Bloomberg: Greece Faces ‘Unprecedented’ Cuts as Aid Nears

"Greek Finance Minister said Greece faces “unprecedented” budget cuts as the euro region and International Monetary Fund near approval of a bailout of as much as 120 billion-euro ($159 billion) for the debt-stricken nation. Greece must brace itself for “very demanding tasks,” Papaconstantinou said."

Posted by alan @ 01:55 PM 0 Comments

It only seems crazy in retrospect ...

BBC News: Ghost estates testify to Irish boom and bust

There are 621 ghost estates across Ireland now, a legacy of those hopeful years. One in five Irish homes is unoccupied. The obvious question of who people imagined would live in all these new-builds makes Irish people wince now. County Leitrim alone would have needed about 590 new houses between 2006 and 2009 to accommodate its population growth. It got 2,945.

Posted by karma4all @ 11:02 AM 20 Comments

2 coats of magnolia and a few fluffy cushions myth exposed

BBC: Home improvements add little value to homes - survey

Seven out of 10 estate agents believe redecorating a home makes no difference to its asking price, a survey suggests. The study for insurance firm LV of more than 200 estate agents also found 64% said the same about garden landscaping..............................

Posted by jack c @ 10:49 AM 2 Comments

UK to call in the IMF

The Telegraph: Tories urged to call in IMF for audit of UK’s debts if they win election

Bob Janjuah, chief markets strategist at the Royal Bank of Scotland, told a group of German bankers and fund managers in Berlin that the plan would involve the IMF performing a "technical audit" of Britain's public finances, rather than lending any emergency cash to Britain, as it currently is in Greece.

Posted by devo @ 08:27 AM 16 Comments

Deutsche Bank organises a whip-round

FT: Germans consider private bail-out

A group of German banks and other companies is considering a private-sector contribution to the international bail-out for Greece as a conciliatory step intended to smooth the way for German politicians to approve the unpopular aid. Josef Ackermann, chief executive of Deutsche Bank, is leading efforts to garner support from banks, insurers and other companies, a person familiar with the talks said

Posted by devo @ 01:04 AM 1 Comments

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