July 2010 Archive

Friday, July 30, 2010

Looks like Bricks 'n' Mortar are possibly a better bet after all thanks to our chums in the city

Telegraph: £7billion a year skimmed off our savings

More than £7.3billion a year is being “skimmed off” the value of Britons’ savings by City bankers and fund managers, an investor putting £50,000 into a fund providing typical returns over 25 years would lose out on £108,000 because of unnecessary charges. Investors have become victims as the charges they have to pay have risen and risen while the returns they get have been consistently below par and the actual cost of managing their money has continued to fall.

Posted by enuii @ 10:57 PM 11 Comments

It's time we stopped bailing out overstretched borrowers.

Save our Savers: How to have your inflationary cake and eat it

Inflation is proving to be the Chancellor’s best friend. In it he has an ally that is systematically reducing the real value of the UK’s debt and, at the same time, by changing the measure of inflation used to index link certain expenditure he is able to reduce Government spending. The fact that it is also eroding the value of the Nation’s savings seems to be of no concern to him at all, though.

Posted by mr g @ 06:34 PM 22 Comments

Rejoice! Thank God for the return of subprime mortgages. I didn't think I would get to buy till now!

Love Money: Best 90% mortgage deals on the market

Two years ago, the mortgage market was a different place from what it is today. Borrowers with a small deposit, or little equity in their homes, were stuck with super high mortgage rates. In fact, if you were after a 90% mortgage and a fixed rate deal, you could be hit with rates in excess of 7% at some of the UK’s largest lenders, including Abbey, Bradford & Bingley and Northern Rock. Thankfully, since that time, things have started to look a little better. Hope is indeed on the horizon as Yorkshire Building Society has recently launched a range of new fixed-rate deals for borrowers who are after a 90% loan-to-value (LTV) mortgage.

Posted by crash n burn @ 05:25 PM 0 Comments

Another desperate attempt to keep house prices up...

Metro: Public to get right to veto council tax

Further to the previous post re scrapping the £22 charge, here's another corker from The Blue Wing of the Home-Owner-Ist Party - they'll happily hike VAT by 2.5%, costing each household £500 a year on average - but a couple of weeks later they'll continue chipping away at the only modest annual tax that we still have on residential properties, enabling each household to "save" about £50 a year or something. If it's local council waste we're worried about (which is not at the top of my list of worries), how about freeing them up from all the EU and Whitehall imposed directives and targets and just reducing central funding to local councils by a commensurate amount?

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 02:35 PM 10 Comments

Fixed £22 fee is charged for a search of a council's land charges register, but government advice is

Guardian: Homebuyers search fee to be abolished

The fixed fee is charged for a personal search of a council's local land charges register, but it is a cost homebuyers should no longer have to face, the communities and local government department said. The land searches tell people about potential issues affecting the property – for example, if the house is in a conservation area and it would make getting permission for an extension difficult, or if there is a protected tree that cannot be cut down.

Posted by mark @ 01:40 PM 7 Comments

No more rabbit hutch apartments

Bloomberg: Shift to Houses From Flats Helps U.K. Homebuilders Overcome Weaker Market

U.K. homebuilders reacted to the financial crisis by switching from apartments to single-family homes. The move away from apartments, combined with a 60 percent drop in land prices, may lift operating profit margins in the industry. “Houses don’t lock up as much capital as apartments, as you can build them in phases so it doesn’t tie up as much work in progress.” New houses tend to fetch higher prices than secondhand ones, while that’s no longer the case for apartments. A decade ago, the premium for new apartments was 55 percent. It remains at about 15 percent for new houses. "Houses are cheaper to build as you need less steel frames and things, and it’s less problematic," said an analyst at Panmure Gordon. "More importantly, people want to live in houses and not flats."

Posted by drewster @ 01:13 PM 12 Comments

House prices to fall in second half, but what about 2011?

Investment and Business News: UK house prices begin second dip

The falls in house prices revealed in Nationwide and Hometrack data are the inevitable consequence of the changes in the relationship between enquires and new instructions revealed in RICS data several months ago. And since the gap between the two indices has grown since, clearly more falls in house prices will occur over the next few months. But what about beyond that?

Posted by mike @ 12:22 PM 0 Comments

Is it possible the credit crunch is nearing end in US?

Investment and Business News: The credit crunch may be over

If the credit crunch was born in the USA, is it possible that it is now dying in the US. News on US banks may point that way. Also there is some stuff here on the difference between US banks and UK banks with regards to repossessing property, which may explain why the two respective property markets have reacted so differently to the recession.

Posted by mike @ 12:19 PM 0 Comments

Australia turns at last

ABC News (Australia): House prices hit the wall

Australian house prices have fallen for the first time in 17 months, as rising interest rates and the end of government stimulus payments crimp demand. Seasonally adjusted figures from RP Data and Rismark show an average national capital city home price fall of 0.7 per cent in the month of June. Capital city home prices were up a mere 0.1 per cent, over the June quarter. RP Data's research director Tim Lawless says he is not surprised by his index showing a fall in home prices. "I wouldn't say it's that surprising. We have been seeing the writing on the wall for some time now," he told ABC News Online.

Posted by drewster @ 12:09 PM 2 Comments

The wheels are in motion

Mirror: House prices drop £25 a day

House prices are falling by £25 a day as ConDem spending cuts drain the confidence of buyers. Mounting job fears are deterring many people from moving and homes for sale outnumber house hunters.

Posted by debtfree @ 11:47 AM 0 Comments

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Great News - Wheat Prices Soar!

Bloomberg: Wheat Heads for Biggest Monthly Climb Since 1973 on Concern About Drought

"Wheat rose in Chicago, heading for the biggest monthly gain since 1973, on concern that a crop- damaging drought in Russia and parts of Europe will curb exports, lifting demand for U.S. supplies." I am glad I INVESTED in Wheat instead of property! "And then my heart with pleasure fills, And dances with the daffodils."

Posted by estrader @ 09:20 PM 71 Comments

Great News! Wheat prices soar!

Bloomberg: Wheat Heads for Biggest Monthly Climb Since 1973 as Russia Drought Worsens

"Wheat rose, heading for the biggest monthly gain since 1973, and corn and soybeans advanced as hot, dry weather damaged crops in Russia and other parts of Europe, boosting demand for U.S. supplies." ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ I'm glad I INVESTED in wheat instead of property.

Posted by estrader @ 08:54 PM 0 Comments

Almost worth kidnapping!

PBS: The Next Foreclosure Crisis

Video interview with Elizabeth Warren discussing the American situation; consumer agreements, residential property and commercial property. Real common sense: sadly I can't imagine a way we could get her to migrate here.

Posted by sureseam @ 06:31 PM 0 Comments

Agency Express property activity index latest

FT: Government's spending cuts impact housing market

Both the number of houses being put up for sale and those being sold dropped in July, data from the monthly Agency Express property activity index has shown. Agency Express blames this on the government’s recently announced spending cuts as potential buyers have revised their budgets and are putting their moving plans temporarily on hold. For the second consecutive month, the number of monthly house sales has fallen. In July, it dropped by 2.9 per cent compared to June. This was the lowest level since January 2010.

Posted by jack c @ 03:41 PM 2 Comments

We Must Pay This Off Somehow!

BBC: Fixed retirement age to be axed

Setting up the ability/obligation to work forever. Thiw will enable anyone who bought their home with a big mortgage post 2000 to work a lot longer to pay it off. This also enables the inevitable creation of the 50 year mortgage, coming to a cinema near you some time in the future, to find yet more leverage from the younger generation to keep the whole pyramid scheme going.

Posted by ontheotherhand @ 03:39 PM 8 Comments

A surge of properties coming on market then

Yahoo: Second home owners to lose tax breaks

George Osborne reversed the measure in the June Budget saying he wanted to help small businesses operating in the tourism industry. However, the Treasury has now said it intends to make it much tougher for home owners to qualify for the breaks. It means more than a quarter of the 65,000 home owners offering holiday lets in Britain will no longer be eligible for the tax benefits from 2011-2012, according to a consultation document published by the Treasury.

Posted by mark @ 03:31 PM 2 Comments

The house price rally has run out of steam - what's next?

MoneyWeek: The house price rally has run out of steam - what's next?

The latest rally in UK house prices is over. But what happens next? Will we see a long slow grind back to fair value? Or are we heading for a second crash?

Posted by damien @ 02:04 PM 1 Comments

More housing, but not for UK people

Mail: Nearly 100,000 new homes must be built every year for immigrants

''Nearly 100,000 new homes must be built every year just to provide housing for immigrants, ministers disclosed yesterday. Four out of every ten new houses or flats built to cope with the rising population will go to a migrant, they said. Over a 25-year period, immigrants will require 2.5million extra homes unless the Government meets its pledges to bring about a major reduction in numbers arriv­ing to live in Britain.''

Posted by hpwatcher @ 12:55 PM 10 Comments

Why house prices will collapse and interest rates will rise

Telegraph: Europe's €30 trillion headache

The rating agency Standard & Poor's said banks are at risk of a vicious circle as sovereign debt fears and financial stress feed off each other. Most of their mortgages and other personal loans stay on their balance sheets and require funding. This contrasts with the US, where financial institutions securitize (these) loans and which do not require balance sheet funding. The collective funding needs of Europe's banks are vast. Total liabilities are €23 trillion for the Euro-zone and €8 trillion for the UK, Sweden, and Denmark. The lack of funding over the next 2 years must surely mean a collapse in house prices and mortgage interest rates.

Posted by miken @ 11:30 AM 4 Comments

The spiral of death!

Cnn: Foreclosures climb in 75% of metro areas

"Look at a place like Salt Lake City," said Sharga. "The foreclosure rise there appears to be entirely related to the economy," not because people can't afford their subprime loans.

Posted by mark @ 10:13 AM 3 Comments

Anyone for a bargain? wait a bit longer for 90% drops

Bloomberg: Greek Villas Marked Down 45% as Crisis Hits Island Homes

Greek island homes, long coveted by millionaires and Hollywood stars such as Tom Hanks, are being marked down by as much as 45 percent as the country’s debt crisis destroys demand for holiday getaways. A half-built villa on Mykonos, an island in the Aegean Sea known for its all-night beach parties, is being offered by brokers at Athens-based Ploumis Sotiropoulos OE for 2 million euros ($2.6 million) after the price was reduced by 500,000 euros. The same firm is seeking a buyer for a three-bedroom home on Corfu for 750,000 euros, down from an original asking price of 1.4 million euros. So far, no bidders have emerged.

Posted by mark @ 09:54 AM 0 Comments

Brutal Combination

Mish: Mish via Bill Gross ponders demographics

stimulus won't work not because of demographics per se, but rather because of the enormous amounts of consumer debt (as a result of decades of Keynesian and Monetarist stimulus) in conjunction with unfavorable demographics and global wage arbitrage.

Posted by bellwether @ 09:51 AM 20 Comments

Certain Smile

Telegraph: UK house prices fall in July for only second time this year

Nationwide today suggested that the balance between buyers and sellers, which has also helped buoy prices, may be changing as the number of potential buyers dwindle.

Posted by fuzzy @ 08:42 AM 0 Comments

Down 0.5% in July YOY +6.6%

BBC: House price inflation eases again, says Nationwide

Rather than blaming the World Cup I will blame those dastardly house builders for threatening to build some more. One more month of this and the Property Tycoons will be having to dip into their pockets to fund their houses.

Posted by tenyearstogetmymoneyback @ 07:16 AM 15 Comments

The forecast for UK house prices is positively jubilant!

FinancialAdvice.co.uk: The forecast for UK house prices is very depressing

While the National Institute of Economic Research has today issued a report regarding the UK property sector, with a forecast that house prices will fall by 8% in real terms by 2015, this is not the worst forecast currently in the marketplace. A report by Capital Economics today forecasts that the UK property market could fall by up to 25% over the next two years wiping off almost £42,000 from the value of the average home in the UK. Despite the fact that only a few weeks ago there appeared to be hope for the future, with competition returning to the mortgage market, the outlook for the UK property market has down turned after the emergency budget. But are we now in danger of talking ourselves into a property recession?

Posted by drewster @ 12:41 AM 5 Comments

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Housing firm boss has to justify building houses

BBC: Work starts on £500m Woolston quay development

They have just reported this on the local news, much more negatively. Their main concern seemed to be what the effect of building more homes would do to the prices of existing ones. Rather than being congratulated the spokeman from Crest Nicholson had to point out that there is actually a shortage of homes and people still aspire to have homes to live in. While looking for this I found this http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-dorset-10772944 Yet more Nimbys wanting to have the only house in the area.

Posted by tenyearstogetmymoneyback @ 10:42 PM 0 Comments

Don't worry about your debts

Reuters: Greece passes law to relieve debt-stricken households

The law does not specify what percentage of the loan can be forgiven but stipulates that debtors must provide proof that they are unable to fully repay their debt by liquidating assets.

Posted by crash n burn @ 04:38 PM 9 Comments


Telegraph: Bank of England's Mervyn King warns over inflation

Bank of England Governor Mervyn King has warned that high inflation will continue to erode earnings power through next year as the economy faces the threat of 'stagflation'. However, addressing a committee of MPs, Mr King suggested that they will be reluctant to try to curb the problem by raising borrowing costs from 0.5 per cent any time soon because of the weakness of the economy. “We must be careful not to read too much into one number,” King said. “And the wider economic problems around the world underline the fact that we cannot be confident that the recovery in demand, output and employment here in the U.K. will be sustained.”

Posted by cat and canary @ 04:36 PM 11 Comments

Low rates for another year?

Reuters: Bank's King says monetary stimulus should remain

"Britain's surprisingly strong second quarter growth reading does not mean the country's interest rate setters should put their foot on the brake, B of E Governor Mervyn King said on Wednesday"

Posted by alan @ 02:38 PM 8 Comments

BBC Refuses to Talk in £££s

BBC News: House prices 'now at 2006 levels'

Typical attempt to put an extra positive spin on Land Registry figures. Interesting how they've resorted to not mentioning prices very much but talk in terms of '2006 levels' or '2003 levels'. They at least give a bit of a dose of reality at the end for once.

Posted by hash browne @ 01:17 PM 8 Comments

Still hovering on the precipice

HM Land Registry: Land Registry data for June

Average price £166,072; Change Monthly 0.1%; Annual change 8.4%.

Posted by greenmind @ 11:37 AM 6 Comments

Falling knife awareness on the increase

Daily Telegraph: House prices will fall over next five years, says Niesr

More bear food on how the market will not keep pace with inflation. And also... Simon Kirby, a NIESR research fellow, said: “While we have assumed the housing market remains stable, house prices could decline at a more rapid pace.” With this the more likely outcome, folks on HPC, our time will come :-)

Posted by growler @ 07:13 AM 19 Comments

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

£320K fine for wrecking company and economy

BBC: Northern Rock finance boss banned for hiding arrears

Bernard Madoff got 150 years. One of the fraudsters who brought down Northern Rock gets fined £320K and a slap on the wrist. Lets not forget that other banks had to adjust their lending criteria to "compete" with Northern Rock. In fact you could say David Jones at Northern Rock helped wreck the entire economy. For the first time I will defend the FSA / Gordon Brown by saying that if they believed the data being published then they couln't make sound judgements on the economy.

Posted by tenyearstogetmymoneyback @ 11:19 PM 7 Comments

One rule for the rich, another for the workers

Daily Mail: Buy for £20m - and pay no stamp duty: How Candy brothers advised foreign buyers to avoid millions in tax on luxury flats

The flamboyant developers of Britain's most luxurious apartments planned to help foreign multi-millionaires deprive the Exchequer of up to £69million in tax. Prospective buyers of newly built flats at One Hyde Park in Central London, with an average price of £20million, were urged to opt for a corporate 'structure' when buying an apartment. This meant that instead of buying the property on a freehold or a lease and registering its sale price with the Land Registry, which would incur stamp duty, the purchaser would buy out the shares in a company that owns the property. These arrangements, which are not illegal, account for around 20pc of the high-end, multi-million pound property sales in London. Details of this stamp duty avoidance scheme will almost certainly concern Vince Cable....

Posted by drewster @ 10:45 PM 7 Comments

A silver bullet for the emerald isle?

Irish Independent: Property tax: how will it work

The prospect of a property tax is looming large as the Government attempts to plug holes in the Exchequer finances. An annual tax based on the value and size of the property is being considered. For a lower-valued house, homeowners would pay around €250 a year, while those with a pricier house in a sought-after area would pay more than €3,000 a year. The Commission on Taxation report recommended that the tax should apply to residential properties, second homes and holiday homes, which means it would replace the €200 levy imposed by local authorities. The owners of residential housing that is rented out would also have to pay the tax. Commission recommendations would see the tax applied to vacant housing units as well.

Posted by drewster @ 10:23 PM 4 Comments

Dire outlook for US economy and house market as long as the banks hold sway

Counterpunch: A decade of declining house prices

The housing depression will last for a decade or more. This is by design. The Fed has been working with the banks to withhold inventory so prices do not fall too fast or too far. That way the banks can manage their write-downs without slipping into insolvency. But what's good for the banks is bad for the country. Capital impairment at the banks means no credit expansion in the near-term. It means the economy will continue to contract, unemployment will remain high, and deflation will push down wages and prices. Everyone will pay for the mortgage-backed securities scam that was engineered by the banks.

Posted by icarus @ 07:34 PM 6 Comments

Philip Coggan comments on the British housing bubble

FT: What goes up must come down

House prices are finally obeying the laws of gravity. The Halifax measure has fallen in four of the past five months, the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors survey shows new buyers are starting to dry up, while even the Rightmove survey of asking prices suggests seller optimism is starting to evaporate.

Posted by jack c @ 03:37 PM 8 Comments

A tax "levied on people with multiple homes" - now there's an idea!

Property Wire: Property tax of up to 1% likely for major Chinese cities by 2012

A property tax trial is expected to be introduced in parts of China in 2012 with Shanghai likely to be the first city to introduce the new levy. If it is successful it could be introduced across the country. The mayor of Chongqing said the city wants to impose a 1% tax on homes that are three times the average market price. Premier Wen Jiabao has already restricted loans to real estate developers and imposed higher interest rates and down payments for second mortgages to help cool surging property prices that rose by records in some cities in the second quarter. The tax could generate 120 billion yuan ($17.7 billion) of revenue annually for the government nationwide based on a rate of 0.8% of the market value of properties and levied on people with multiple homes.

Posted by drewster @ 02:40 PM 3 Comments

Looks like NZ may be the first to target house prices

NZ Herald: Reserve Bank should target the housing bubble

Now that the world has avoided going over the financial cliff, at least for now, the powers-that-be are doing a post-mortem of what went wrong. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has just produced a 42 page paper titled "Central Banking Lessons from the Crisis" that makes for an interesting read. It diagnoses a bunch of problems, including keeping interest rates too low for too long, not watching the shadow banks, and light handed regulation.

Posted by mcagol @ 12:54 PM 2 Comments

Just for fun

Dailymail: David Beckham's holiday building boom sees..

I wonder what would happen if beckham said houseprices were crashing? Just goes to show how much the british public are obsessed with Jordonbeckhamhalliwellkatyperrythismorningshow

Posted by mark @ 10:33 AM 2 Comments

Economist Kevin O'Rourke talks about housing slumps

Irish Mortgage Brokers: A Conversation with Kevin O'Rourke (Economist, Trinity College Dublin)

Kevin O'Rourke wrote a paper about how housing slumps end, he applied this to several economies to determine what probability there was of Ireland's housing collapse ending. The paper looks at five key variables, this blog was a follow up conversation to it asking some general housing/property questions specific to the Irish Market.

Posted by karl deeter @ 09:48 AM 1 Comments

LVT case study

Telegraph: Rising house prices reveal first Olympic winners

The last paragraph spells out the LVT case clearly: "homeowners in the neighbourhood have more substantial reasons to be glad the Games are coming to London, But homeowners and taxpayers elsewhere may not share their joy – although all of us will certainly share the costs." How would LVT deal with the Olympics? Raising taxes on people who just happen to own property near the Olympics doesn't really seem right. Imagine being disinterested in sports yet getting a big LVT tax raise for Olympics infrastructure improvements. Perhaps part of the problem is that substantial sums of centrally raised taxes are being injected into a small part of the country leading to economic distortions including a local property boom.

Posted by quiet guy @ 08:43 AM 12 Comments

Best quote: "London estate agents now faced with new instruction levels 67% higher than last July"

Rightmove: London asking prices plummet by 1.7% in a month

It is appalling that London estate agents have been faced with 67% more business than last July!!!

Posted by paul @ 07:55 AM 10 Comments

Monday, July 26, 2010

Credit deflation with price inflation - it's possible

Daily Reckoning: Credit Deflation Lands in Britain

Private-sector UK loan growth overall last quarter turned negative. This has never happened before - at least not since records began in 1963. However while private net lending shrank between April and July, quarterly consumer-price inflation meantime rose to 1.3%. Deflation in credit but inflation in prices? Economists from Mervyn King to Paul Krugman say this confluence of pain can never happen. But it is happening.

Posted by drewster @ 10:42 AM 28 Comments

Local governments are getting tough with those who should be maintaining the many empty houses

Las vegas sun: Focusing on foreclosures

Across the valley, local governments are using fines and other tactics to pressure owners and lenders to more quickly repair and sell abandoned houses before they become eyesores.

Posted by mark @ 10:25 AM 1 Comments

Why the government can't stop house prices falling

MoneyWeek: Why the government can't stop house prices falling

The media playing dumb "But the real question the interviewer wanted answered was: "How come no one saw it coming?"

Posted by doomwatch @ 09:44 AM 10 Comments

Going Down

Guardian: Hometrack survey shows house prices fell 0.1% in July

There is further evidence that the housing recovery is running out of steam in a survey published today showing that prices dipped during July, the first decline in 15 months according to the property data specialist Hometrack. Prices have fallen 0.1% this month as demand waned, supply rose and homes took longer to sell, the company said. Hometrack's report also indicated that talk of impending public spending cuts is hurting confidence, with a 1.3% fall in new buyers registering with agents and homes now taking 8.7 weeks to sell – back to August 2009 levels.

Posted by gone-to-colombia @ 08:13 AM 4 Comments

Age of low interest rates, piles of cheap money sitting in banks - time to get out of cash?

Telegraph: The Death of Paper Money

''People’s willingness to hold money can change suddenly for a "psychological and spontaneous reason" , causing a spike in the velocity of money. It can occur at lightning speed, over a few weeks. The shift invariably catches economists by surprise. They wait too long to drain the excess money. "Velocity took an almost right-angle turn upward in the summer of 1922," said Mr O Parsson. Reichsbank officials were baffled. They could not fathom why the German people had started to behave differently almost two years after the bank had already boosted the money supply. He contends that public patience snapped abruptly once people lost trust and began to "smell a government rat".

Posted by hpwatcher @ 07:52 AM 11 Comments

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Self-cert crackdown

Money Marketing: Self worth

"ultimately means someone who originally took out a mortgage on a self-cert basis (accounting for over a million borrowers at last count) will now be left with the stark reality that they are now being unnecessarily excluded from access to finance and will face much higher costs as they are forced to remain on a standard variable rate."

Posted by mountain goat @ 11:02 PM 0 Comments

Perhaps that low 5.29% fix was a bad idea after all in 2005

Telegraph: Interest rates will stay low until 2014, predicts E&Y

Having been 'sensible' in the circustances in 2005, I have now concluded that it was perhaps somewhat of a mistake. Surely it cannot be feasible for interest rates to stay at or near 0.5% for 4 more years! The Earnst and Young item club however seem to think that will be the case.

Posted by enuii @ 02:30 PM 12 Comments

The Economist on weed

Greg Pytel: The Economist confused

"It is quite amusing to watch the banks doing the right things quietly (so they are not accused of not doing so in the first instance) whilst being lambasted by The Economist for doing the right things." sums it up well.

Posted by ant @ 12:09 PM 0 Comments

In the UK, as we teeter on the precipice of a second property price bust...

Citywire: 'Home staging' is all the rage - but there are better ways to sell up

Three months of falling house prices, according to the influential Halifax index, and a recent Rightmove asking price survey suggesting that potential vendors are getting the jitters just as soon as they – in droves – list their properties, are a decent indicator of impending problems. The supply-demand imbalance that has supported the market for the past year appears to be reversing, with vendors eager to shift their homes before the new government’s austerity measures kick in. And with Home Information Packs now a thing of the past, there’s nothing to stop someone casually ‘fishing for a bite’, and driving down average asking prices in the process.

Posted by mick rupert @ 11:59 AM 1 Comments

Eat up osito

The Independent: Repossessions likely to rise as options run out for struggling homeowners

Homeowners are warned that a three-pronged attack could see the number of repossessions spiral. Lenders are losing patience with those in arrears; government support programmes are being cut and economic shocks to the system will see interest rates creep up and potential unemployment figures soar. The latest forecast from the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) predicts there will be 53,000 repossessions in 2010, but a new study has warned that home repossessions could mount to 175,000 in 2012.

Posted by gone-to-colombia @ 03:57 AM 15 Comments

More bear food

The Independent: Was the last fall in house prices just a warning?

House prices started to fall in autumn 2007, more than a year before the government had to rescue HBOS and Royal Bank of Scotland and before the rest of the economy sank into recession. Now there are widespread fears the property market is about to turn downward again, anticipating a double dip in the wider economy. Theysuggest 20% falls, and the rest. Just use Property Bee and see the falls.

Posted by gone-to-colombia @ 03:49 AM 13 Comments

Saturday, July 24, 2010

The illusive rate rise !

Mail: When will interest rates rise?

What next for interest rates? We wish we could give an exact forecast, but we can't. We can, however, arm you with the right information and views from those in the know so you can make your own call.

Posted by happy mondays @ 08:19 AM 11 Comments

Friday, July 23, 2010

Going wrong with bricks and mortar

BBC Money Watch: How to Beat Tough Times 3

3 mins in. Over-priced assets in a falling market. :))))))))))))

Posted by doomwatch @ 02:45 PM 8 Comments

Anyone seen this today?

BBC News: UK economic growth jumps to 1.1%

That is great news for the lads here at HPC, after all, with our stores of gold, and hoards of cash, we can really make hay now... bring on the recovery!!

Posted by smiling @ 11:42 AM 10 Comments

Mortgage approvals down

BBA: June High Street Banking Statistics

BBA statistics director, David Dooks said: “The banks’ mortgage lending position was little changed in June. The abolition of HIPs and a reported increase in the number of house sellers is expected to encourage activity in the market, though this may be tempered by households’ uncertainty over job prospects and the impacts of fiscal tightening. “Overall lending to business continued to reflect subdued demand, and contraction in lending to most non-financial sectors slowed.”

Posted by phdinbubbles @ 10:33 AM 0 Comments

Spanish troubles, more news this afternoon

The Times: Fears for Spanish banks in stress tests

Financial markets await the results of “stress tests” on the financial health of 91 of Europe’s largest banks today, with reports that 18 of the smaller Spanish savings banks would fail to pass when results are released this afternoon. There remain questions about the condition of six Greek banks being tested as part of the exercise.

Posted by refusetobuy @ 10:15 AM 2 Comments

BTL playing the pryamid game... how will it end?

BBC 2: How to Beat Tough Times: Money Watch

4.50 in (BTL) a bit before then too. JD, makes an appearence to about 9:45. "we were paying 0.54% - we were happy with that" - erm really!!! "what we didnt expect was for it to go up at a stroke to 4.79%"

Posted by techieman @ 10:03 AM 3 Comments

With great power comes great responsibility

BBC News: Villages could get housing development powers

The government plans to enable villages in England to build homes without seeking council planning permission. The Right to Build initiative aims to provide small numbers of affordable homes in rural areas where high home prices are driving people away. It is part of David Cameron's "big society" idea of allowing more decisions to be made locally. But the Campaign to Protect Rural England says building development should be democratically accountable. BBC UK affairs correspondent Tom Symonds says: "The government believes there are many rural communities eager to see more houses built to stop the countryside, as ministers put it, becoming a museum." Housing minister Grant Shapps envisages small developments of fewer than 20 homes.

Posted by drewster @ 09:45 AM 8 Comments

HPC will be bloodbath

Guardian: 750,000 may lose homes

So a bit of media spin, but I'm sure that whatever the real figure is we are going to see some big upheavals soon.

Posted by chrisch @ 09:14 AM 62 Comments

After releasing their minutes the MPC do a bit of PR

Independent: Spencer Dale: The Bank's man keeps a hawkish eye on the 'evils' of inflation

Spencer Dale, chief economist of the Bank of England, said "Inflation has come out a little higher than expected, and the news on VAT in the June Budget means that the time it will take inflation to get back to target will be pushed out, and I expect it will be above target until the end of next year ... Our central view was that inflation would be below 1 per cent, and, as you know, inflation is above 3 per cent. We've been very surprised about that and we need to understand the factors ... Now, we can come up with all sorts of clever and legitimate reasons to explain our view but at some point people will say 'inflation just seems higher than it used to be' and that is a very substantial risk. We're aware of that ... We know the evils of inflation. We have to be incredibly vigilant."

Posted by wanderinman @ 07:22 AM 6 Comments

Selling is even harder than we thought

Housing Expert: Sellers have just an 8% chance of finding a buyer this summer

Taking the tax mans' statistics on sales Henry Pryor has worked out that only 8% of homes on the market will sell over the summer and that figures rises to just 35% of all homes for sale over the next year!

Posted by charles lister @ 05:44 AM 0 Comments

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Why the government can't stop house prices falling

Money Week: Why the government can't stop house prices falling

If we should have learnt anything over the last ten years it is surely that the price of a house is not defined by how many people would fancy living in it, but by how many people can raise the finance to buy it. I simply don't see how the government can change that basic dynamic.

Posted by nick mac @ 10:42 PM 0 Comments

Property prices only going up was delusional

BBC Radio 4: In Business

Interesting on the economy as a whole.... forward to 26 minutes... Neil Ferguson talks how we should be cured of our addiction to asset price inflation, given we have had two property crashes in the last 20 years...(let's make that 3 for 2011 shall we). He interestingly blames the crisis on total ignorance of people's awareness of historical economic events.... he refers to the current situation as scary and dangerous!!

Posted by soldin2004&waiting @ 09:58 PM 0 Comments

Deflation & Inflation what does it mean

Sareloberholster.BLOG: War On Savings

The on balance sheet fiat money activity of the central bank requires scrutiny. Interesting analysis & perspective.

Posted by keep walking @ 09:11 PM 0 Comments

Houses 0, TVs clothes and rubbish 3

Telegraph: Retail sales rise more than expected on World Cup boost

James Knightley of ING Financial Markets said: “It appears that the World Cup boosted sales despite falling consumer confidence and Budget uncertainty with regard to taxes and government spending... Clothing sales jumped 1pc on the month, household goods rose 1.6pc while ‘other stores’ saw sales increase 1pc, boosted by sales of electrical equipment.” We were all told it was the World Cup wot did it... Come on, estate agents, it's small wonder your houses aren't shifting - they're all clearing out the shelves of rubbish thanks to zero interest rates and another British obsession. Tick...tock...tick...tock!

Posted by happyrenting @ 07:50 PM 0 Comments

Beware of Housing Market

CNN: Original news video commentary

The clip warns of the pending double dip in the US property market and discusses its fundamental economic drivers. The parallels to the current UK scenario are obvious.

Posted by mwlacey @ 07:01 PM 0 Comments

Does quantitative easing result in inflation in all cases

Gold subject: The bitter irony of quantitative easing

There appears to be a glaring misconception floating around, namely, that deflation is impossible in a fiat-money system, on the grounds that there is no limit, in principle, to how much new money a government can create, and that therefore deflation can always be kept at bay with quantitative easing. This is completely wrong: quantitative easing exacerbates deflation in the very assets that governments were hoping to inflate.

Posted by fuzzy @ 06:39 PM 0 Comments

Not much to do with HPC but plenty to do with taxpayers bailout money

Cnn: GM buys subprime lender for $3.5 billion

I understand some british banks are still lending subprime in the states too, such as RBS, wonder if any are linked to this deal?

Posted by mark @ 01:57 PM 2 Comments

Let the unloading of commerical property begin

Telegraph: Watch out, the great £50bn property unload is about to begin

Despite the fastest and deepest commercial property slump since records began – a peak to trough fall of approximately 44pc – there has so far been only limited impairment applied to these assets. That may be about to change. According to a recent De Montfort University study, there is approximately £300bn of banking loans outstanding to the British commercial property market, of which approximately £50bn is in breach of covenant. A minimum of £50bn of property coming onto the market cannot be postponed much longer. This will surely make commercial property prices fall much further and restrict lending due to their losses.

Posted by miken @ 09:31 AM 26 Comments

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

You don't get deflation in a fiat system - here's why:

Telegraph: Bank of England could pump more cash into the economy: MPC minutes

''Economists have raised the prospect that the Bank of England could restart quantitative easing after minutes from this month’s rate-setting meeting showed that “money printing” was discussed for the first time since February.''

Posted by hpwatcher @ 07:11 PM 38 Comments

Bankers not keen on IR rise

Citywire: Bank of England’s Sentance the lone voice for interest rate rise

Most of the Bank of England’s rate-setting committee remain happy to keep the base interest rate at the record low of 0.5% as the risks to the UK economy remain very finely balanced, minutes from the committee’s last meeting show. Depressing innit?

Posted by a saver @ 04:58 PM 7 Comments

More council waste of taxpayers money

Yahoo: Parking ticket for car with lines painted beneath it

An accountant from Manchester returned to her car after work and found it parked facing the opposite direction, with a fresh set of yellow lines painted underneath. Accountant Sally Barker had parked her Peugeot 206 CC on Little Quay Street that morning, near her office. There were no yellow lines on the road and no parking restrictions in place.

Posted by mark @ 04:29 PM 9 Comments

Dear Dubai

UK banks and housing market on life support

Telegraph: British banks face £390bn 'funding gap'

British banks face a funding crunch next year as they attempt to refinance debt amounting to double the amount they raised on average during the years of the credit boom. Banks must raise about £390bn in new debt in 2011, or more than £30bn every month just to replace their existing funding as they are hit by a combination of maturing bonds and the closure of major Government-guaranteed financing schemes. Nomura analysts in a presentation yesterday, pointed to last month's Bank of England Financial Stability Report (FSR) as they warned of the funding crunch facing the UK's major banks... UK banks, which must replace debt worth just over 200pc of the average raised in the years 2005 to 2007...

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 02:41 PM 10 Comments


BBC Wales: Welsh economy department 'at significant risk' - audit

They called the management of Ieuan Wyn Jones' department "a long list of failings and ineptitude", resulting in what they say is "financial chaos". An internal audit had highlighted management weaknesses exposing the department to "significant risk". On Tuesday, it announced at least 250 civil service jobs would be cut, reducing the number in the department to around 890.

Posted by mark @ 01:35 PM 1 Comments

Savers Need to Decide on Inflation or Deflation

Telegraph: Inflation is yesterday's problem, says man who predicted credit crisis

Mr Kauders said: “Index-linked gilts are bad value because, if the Retail Prices Index (RPI) of inflation moves downwards, the redemption value of these gilts will also fall – unlike NS&I index-linked certificates where you are guaranteed to get your capital back. “In any case, inflation is yesterday’s problem. What is coming next is long-running deflation, a long-term trend for prices and interest rates to fall – as they have done for more than 20 years in Japan. “The recent increase in RPI has been caused by governments’ attempts to bail out the banks but these figures, like those for economic growth, are misleading and there will be nothing the authorities can do to prevent deflation over the long term.”

Posted by mountain goat @ 12:57 PM 12 Comments

Austerity or stimulus, there is something else that’s more important.

Investment And Business News: The two words economists forget

The big illusion of the noughties was the idea that investment in property creates wealth. When banks would rather lend to property speculators than would be entrepreneurs, the economy stumbles, and then hits the buffers. This article says that there are two words that say more about the economy then any economic theory: the words are Moore’s Law.

Posted by jacnixon @ 12:29 PM 0 Comments

These girls fall like dominoes, dominoes, dominoes

Mish's: Ponzi "Shark Loans" Fuel China's Housing Bubble; Home Sales Plunge 44% in Xiamen; Bubble Busts in Tianjin

China's property bubble is now on the verge of collapse. Transaction volumes are significantly down and declining volume is how property bubbles always burst. In simple terms, the pool of greater fools eventually runs out. Construction is financed by government land sales. Selling land produced 41pc of income for Tianjin municipality last year. But property sales slid at an annualised 8pc rate in June. A typical Beijing flat costs about 22 times average incomes in the city.

Posted by drewster @ 10:12 AM 24 Comments

The nations wakes up to being sold down the river

Telegraph: There is trouble ahead if interest rates rises

Tracy is "one of us" in the main. But it's good to see more people writign about the "madness" of the mortgage market. More of this please!

Posted by growler @ 09:55 AM 16 Comments

Council bosses spent more than £36,000 creating a virtual town hall in an online computer game - onl

Telegraph: Council scraps £36,000 virtual town hall in Second Life

Tameside Council, in Greater Manchester, 'rented' an island in the virtual world of Second Life and built a computerised town hall, hoping it would encourage users to access local authority services. But the project has been abandoned after council chiefs admitted they could not justify the cost. Now the authority has been attacked by critics for wasting taxpayers' money at a time when the squeeze was on public finances.

Posted by mark @ 08:39 AM 10 Comments

I'd like to see more of this please.

The Herald: Down to earth benefits of the bursting of the bubble

The property party’s over. Prices are beginning to fall again, the pre-credit- crunch boom is a distant fond memory and you know what: I’m pleased.

Posted by cass @ 08:30 AM 0 Comments

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

China willconsume every resource on the planet.....

Bloomberg: China Passes U.S. as World's Biggest Energy Consumer, IEA Says

China will consume resource on the planet so there is no hope for global deflation. China will drive up the demands for energy and hence the price can only go north. It causes oil and factors of production to rise, ultimately filtering through the entire economy. China overtook the U.S. as the world’s biggest energy user last year, emphasizing that developing nations are driving global growth, according to the International Energy Agency. China consumed 2,252 million metric tons of oil equivalent in 2009 in the form of crude, coal, natural gas, nuclear power and renewable sources, IEA Chief Economist Fatih Birol said yesterday. That exceeded the 2,170 million tons used by the U.S.

Posted by simon68 @ 07:59 PM 25 Comments

A major cause of budget deficits

Hindustan Times: Carbon trading a front for money laundering

Governments look solely for ways to cut expenditure instead of looking too at increasing tax revenues from the world's tax-avoiding rich - globalisation is a tax-avoidance scheme, e.g. the carbon trading nonsense is becoming a good way for the rich to launder their swag. This will be a massive market in assets that can be securitised and derivatised (e.g. futures contracts to deliver an agreed number of allowances at an agreed price and time), allowing Wall Street et al to speculate, manipulate and game it as with the MBS markets. The financial services industry now has numerous lobbyists working on "climate issues" in order to develop this huge market to their advantage. Meanwhile, back at the Big Society.....

Posted by icarus @ 06:59 PM 1 Comments

Deceitful government

Asia Times Online: UK joins the dark side

Which isn't a surprise, but good article on the way published government figures have become meaningless. Talks about the switch for UK pensioners from RPI to CPI and suggests 25% overall loss in real income. Makes me worry about steps to introduce an additional (on top of NI) mandatory pension saving scheme. We will then have two schemes, both mandatory, and both with zilcho chance of even matching the amount you put in. Much worse in the US apparently.

Posted by stillthinking @ 06:58 PM 7 Comments

Look back at 2002 - Oh, those heady days.....

BBC Online news: House prices 'power ahead'

"House prices are rising at an annual rate of more than 20% and are expected to continue climbing until the end of the year, according to a survey by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS)." (November 2002)

Posted by rental john @ 06:14 PM 0 Comments

Sterling seems to like the news anyway.

Guardian: • Public sector net cash requirement hit £20.9bn last month

Why am I typing this listening ot Krusty and Phil on my TV. F**kers!

Posted by brickormortis @ 05:48 PM 1 Comments

Tumbling down the hill

Building.co.uk: UK house prices fall for first time in 2010

". . . .conditions are ripe for a strong buyers’ market in the second half of 2010.”

Posted by billyboy @ 04:49 PM 0 Comments

Government diverts resources to maintain housing bubble...

Money Saving Expert: Government to maintain mortgage rescue schemes

The Housing Minister has said schemes introduced by the previous Government to help homeowners struggling with their mortgage will be maintained for the next few months, despite public spending cuts.

Posted by dr.pressman @ 04:27 PM 0 Comments

Death and taxes

FT: Goldman Sachs profits plunge 83%

''Goldman Sachs’ quarterly profits plunged from a year ago, the company reported on Tuesday, as revenue slumped and the bank set aside more than a billion dollars for the UK bonus tax and its historic settlement with US securities regulators. “The market environment became more difficult during the second quarter and, as a result, client activity across our businesses declined,” Lloyd Blankfein, Goldman’s chief executive, said in a statement.''

Posted by hpwatcher @ 02:55 PM 5 Comments

US housing starts at historical low

Zero Hedge: Weak Housing Starts in USA

As pointed out by a commenter, these are 32% below previous low set in 1982, and would have to more than triple to reach 2005 levels. Previous month's figures were revised downward too. Huge overhang of unsold property - both new build and repossessed - already on the market.

Posted by notyethomeless @ 02:53 PM 0 Comments


Youtube: MY OLD MAN'S A BANKER By Jo Waite

I little comic relief for all the bwankers

Posted by the number cruncher @ 02:43 PM 0 Comments

More trouble in US housing market on the way

MarketWatch: U.S. housing starts drop 5% to 8-month low

Ground-breaking on new housing units fell sharply after a federal tax credit for buyers expired, putting the housing sector back in the dumps where it was a year ago, according to Commerce Department data released Tuesday. After a 15% drop in May, housing starts fell another 5% in June to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 549,000, the lowest level in eight months, the Commerce Department estimated.

Posted by rob @ 02:28 PM 0 Comments

Mad Max talks to Fred

Max keiser interviews Fred: Max Keiser - Economist Says Current Financial Struture Will Cost Us 10 Year Depression

Yes its January of this year, but think we missed it! starts at about 2mins in, sadly gets cut off right near the end.

Posted by techieman @ 01:50 PM 7 Comments

United we stand

BBC News: Savers join forces to fight the interest rate plunge

About time the downtrodden savers had a voice.

Posted by jalopy @ 11:23 AM 15 Comments

A few days old but great headline

The Sun: House prices drop £36 a day

Would be great to see more headlines like this. Especially in papers like this, the one the sheeple read.

Posted by mark @ 11:00 AM 8 Comments

Larger cuts to come.

Yahoo: Public borrowing surprises with rise to record high

Public sector net cash requirement rose unexpectedly last month compared to the same time a year ago, hitting its highest level since records began in April 1984, official data showed on Tuesday. The Office for National Statistics said the public sector posted a net cash requirement of 20.905 billion pounds in June, up from 20.213 billion last year and well above economists' forecasts for a fall to 15 billion pounds.

Posted by mark @ 10:44 AM 6 Comments

Why the Irish construction boom didn't dampen their property price bubble...

Irish Independent: Economy derailed by tax-break gravy train

"WE have ghost estates, zombie hotels, unrentable retail units and office buildings as deserted as the Marie Celeste. Meanwhile, the possible cost of the Anglo bailout soars to more than €33bn and the amount of non-performing Nama loans is revealed as 75 per cent. Madly generous property tax breaks played their part in triggering the [property price bubble and ensuing] property crash and the banking collapse. A jaw-dropping amount of State-subsidised tax bonanzas were attached to everything from multi-storey carparks, hotels and housing estates -- to holiday camps, private hospitals and holiday homes... At €7bn by 2005, the cost of various tax breaks to the Exchequer was three times bigger than income tax receipts. As much as €3bn of that may have been property related..."

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 10:12 AM 0 Comments

I find this most surprising. Anyone care to speculate on possible reasons?

Telegraph: Buy-to-let: demand for rented accommodation at record levels

Demand for rented accommodation reached record levels during the second quarter of the year, research has revealed. Countrywide, the UK's largest letting agent, said 50,480 people wanting to rent a property registered with it during the three months to the end of June, the highest level it has recorded since it started collecting the data in 2003. June saw the biggest spike in demand with more than 18,000 new tenants registering for rented accommodation, the highest number ever recorded during a single month and 22pc more than in May. [Even during the World Cup!] But the increase in the number of people looking to rent a home contrasted with a 6pc fall in the number of properties being made available to let during the period.

Posted by drewster @ 09:51 AM 22 Comments

Estate Agent is Unregulated Profession in UK………..

Guardian: Regulation of estate agents ruled out after OFT inquiry

Despite repeated calls over a number of years by consumer bodies and even some agents' groups, the OFT will conclude that the industry is generally working in consumers' best interests and that a regulatory regime is not required. At present anyone can set up as an estate agent. "Once again the OFT has categorically failed to see that better regulation of the home-buying and selling market is required. Buying a home is often the largest single transaction of a person's life and it is disappointing that the OFT has not thought it appropriate to acknowledge that a robust and appropriate level of consumer protection is needed."

Posted by simon68 @ 09:20 AM 16 Comments

"It’s the creation of a negative pricing spiral"

Bloomberg: U.K. Real-Estate Agents Are Losing Faith in House Prices

“It’s a leading indicator that is showing the people who set pricing are losing confidence in the strength of pricing”

Posted by uncle tom @ 08:29 AM 4 Comments

Its not a lot but "Every Little Helps"

BBC News: Mortgage rescue scheme funding to be cut

If the scheme helped those who bought years ago, using a reasonable loan to earings ratio and who have since hit bad times, then this is a sad thing, but if it went to help the clowns who paid massively over the odds and helped drive the prices through the roof, then my sympathies are muted.

Posted by mr cobblepot @ 08:04 AM 0 Comments

Scenario 6 - yep they probably will still hit 175,000 in the second leg of this crash

Daily Mail: Repossessions could hit 175000 a year

Secret report, 'Scenario 6' commissioned last year by the Department for Communities and Local Government and compiled by top academics at Oxford University, was kept under lock and key. It projected possible 175,000 repossessions in 2012. 'Since the forecast was made, however, the economy has emerged from recession - making the projected figure redundant.' but hold on - we've only just come to the end of the dead cat bounce! "It exposes the gulf between the Labour Party's rhetoric and the sensitive state of the housing market".... humm care to comment Gordon???

Posted by silverfinger @ 01:38 AM 0 Comments

Monday, July 19, 2010

80-year-old sold highly leveraged property fund

Citywire: My mother, the IFA and the property fund he sold her

Not many financial advisers would recommend that an 80-year-old widow should invest a significant amount of her portfolio in a highly leveraged property fund that only traded once a quarter. Its not brain science - what qualifications do you need to be an IFA?!

Posted by smithers @ 04:17 PM 10 Comments

The children are scribbling again - attempted VI brainless drivel

Yahoo Biz: Five reasons not to panic over house prices

Despite so much negativity over the past week, there is also some cheery news to be found if you look beyond the headlines. Honest!

Posted by montesquieu @ 03:52 PM 9 Comments

As DBC Reed has pointed out many times...

Wishaw Press: Tenants feel 'trapped by right-to-buy'

"Many former council tenants who bought their homes through right-to-buy legislation feel trapped, new research has found. The measure was brought in by the Tory Government of Margaret Thatcher 30 years ago but has failed to mobilise the workforce as expected, according to the research by St Andrews University. Dr Maarten van Ham of the Centre for Housing Research, an expert in neighbourhoods and housing, said the right-to-buy has had a limited effect on homeowners."

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 03:13 PM 7 Comments

Down from £800,000 to £700,000 asking price after three months

Property Snake: Detailed history

Good stuff. That's what I call "agressive pricing". I'd happily pay £250,000 for it.

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 03:05 PM 11 Comments

MSM catching on fast

Sky News / Yahoo: House price gains 'to be lost in months'

House price gains in the first half of the year are set to be entirely wiped out in the next five months, a new study warns. [...] Miles Shipside, Rightmove's commercial director, told Sky News that the number of new mortgages being approved is less than half the number of new sellers, feeding an oversupply of property. [...] Rightmove claimed that conditions were rapidly shifting to become a buyers' market.

Posted by montesquieu @ 01:38 PM 15 Comments

Euro holding up quite well though

Grauniad: Ireland's debt downgraded by credit ratings agency

Have there been any more misguided than the Irish regarding property booms? I know of many in Ireland who are having a really s**t time of it. Huge portions of the population entered construction trades and now can not find an ounce of work. I can't see it improving any time soon.

Posted by brickormortis @ 12:15 PM 1 Comments

NS&I index linked savings too popular

Telegraph: NS&I withdraws index-linked savings certificates

NS&I has announced that its Savings Certificates (both fixed-interest savings certificates and index-linked savings certificates, also known as inflation-beating savings) have been withdrawn from general sale. It is also reducing the interest rates paid on its Direct Saver and Income Bonds by 0.25 of a percentage point with immediate effect. Sales volumes in recent months across all three products have far exceeded those either anticipated or required by NS&I, it said.

Posted by siskin @ 09:52 AM 16 Comments


Bbc: BT to raise call charges by 10%

Telecoms giant BT has said it will increase call charges by 10% and its monthly line rental by 50p from the beginning of October. Funny that 50p figure considering that amount was going to be broadband tax, which i understand they decided to stop.

Posted by mark @ 09:35 AM 4 Comments

Maybe! We shall see?

Mail: House prices fall as flood of owners rush to sell

The report blames the price fall on a rising tide of homeowners deciding to sell. More than 30,000 homes are flooding onto the market each week - almost 50 per cent higher than last July. In London, the number of new sellers is 7 per cent higher than last summer. Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1295806/House-prices-fall-flood-owners-rush-sell.html#ixzz0u71nOVBh

Posted by happy mondays @ 08:48 AM 15 Comments

How to Beat the Banks..Lol!

Independent: Vince Cable hits out at 'rip-off' banks

Business Secretary Vince Cable today accused high street banks of "ripping off" their customers as it was disclosed some are charging up to 167% interest on unauthorised overdrafts.

Posted by happy mondays @ 08:43 AM 4 Comments

Sunday, July 18, 2010

"But I'm worried about the property market and if it suddenly starts to rise again before we buy"

Independent: Wealth check: Is a young guitarist in tune with the market?

Luke Grahame, 28, is a musician from Cardiff. He plans to buy a property soon and wants to make sure his finances are in good shape. "My salary is inconsistent, but I made about £20,000 last year." Luke's financial focus is getting a foot on the property ladder with his girlfriend. He has amassed £20,000 in savings in an ISA paying 2.8pc. At present, he pays £200 a month for a room in a two-bed flat in Cardiff, but he would like to buy a two-bed flat around the area. A property of this size will cost between £100,000 and £115,000. "But I'm worried about the property market and if it suddenly starts to rise again before we buy. Nobody seems to know what's going on, so I'm keen to hear what the advisers have to say on this." [Go on HPCers, let's hear what advice you'd give!]

Posted by drewster @ 10:18 PM 13 Comments

It's getting really mad

Greg Pytel: The world has gone boners

Bankers completely lost the sense of proportion and reality. They are lunatics.

Posted by ant @ 04:42 PM 6 Comments

To fix or not to fix, that is the question

The Inside Edge - UK property news and views: To fix or not to fix

By Andy Golding, Chief Executive of Saffron Building Society The question that every borrower wants to know the answer to is whether to tie themselves into a fixed rate mortgage deal, and at least get certainty, or whether to take a gamble on a variable rate and hope it pays off. The answer is all a matter of what happens to interest rates. In the strangest set of economic circumstances for at least 60 years, there are many opinions but very few facts to go on. Should you fix your mortgage rate now? Economists use the phrase “balance of probability” quite a bit, so what is the balance of probability for the direction of UK base rates?

Posted by james @ 03:58 PM 0 Comments

Stimulus over?

Harry Dent: Harry Dent update for July 2010

Harry says market is toppy.. Dow resistance around 10,380 t 10,400, which he posted on July 13th. I have a print of 10,422 on the 15th and as of Friday close we are around 10,100. Around 6mins for his near term numbers. 6.45 : the humpty dumpty quote. He predicts a crash to this year - thinks GDP will disappoint- end of month. For balance, he is a site mentioning his prior record.: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_D2RzRoQI7g Best to watch both... He also makes some comments below the vid....

Posted by techieman @ 03:12 PM 9 Comments

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Businesses failure and bankruptcy are lining up in UK......

Sky News: Holiday Firm Collapses With '16,000' Abroad

A British tour operator collapsed leaving thousands of holidaymakers abroad, the Civil Aviation Authority has confirmed. Greece and Turkey specialist Goldtrail Travel Ltd went into administration at about 4pm on Friday, with an estimated 16,000 people overseas. The CAA said it was making arrangements to fly customers home at the end of their holiday under its ATOL (Air Travel Organiser's Licensing) scheme. The aviation regulator's Andy Cohen was quoted by Travel Weekly as saying the authority was still "in the dark on detail" about the failure. But he said it was not on the scale of XL Leisure Group, which collapsed in September 2008 and left 60,000 holidaymakers overseas.

Posted by simon68 @ 02:29 PM 23 Comments

More bear food

Telegraph: Are house prices set to fall again?

Hearts would have skipped a beat last week on reports that by 2015 there is a good chance that homes will be worth less than they did in 2007. PricewaterhouseCoopers said there is a 70pc chance that British house prices will be below peak 2007 levels in 2015 in real terms, despite a continued expected recovery in prices in cash terms - in other words any rise in property prices won't keep pace with inflation. Even in 2020, after five years of predicted relatively steady growth, the accountants warned there is a 50pc chance that "real" house prices would be below 2007 levels.

Posted by quiet guy @ 10:57 AM 10 Comments

A little bear food

Scotsman: House prices could fall by 25% amid new lending rules may

THE housing market is on the precipice of a double dip as experts warn that new mortgage affordability rules could send house prices tumbling. House prices have levelled out in recent weeks after more than a year of increases and as evidence mounts that the recovery has stumbled, a growing number of economists are predicting a sustained fall that could last for up to a decade and shave up to 25 per cent off prices.

Posted by quiet guy @ 10:51 AM 2 Comments

Why don't they buy in London too?

CTV News (Canada): China's latest export: home buyers

Half a world away, a handful of Chinese citizens are feverishly planning a Canadian real-estate shopping excursion. Each of them expect to drop at least a half-million dollars on downtown condos during their 10-day visit. “With the rising risk of the bubble bursting in the Chinese real estate market, there is a demand for overseas real estate for diversification, safety and relatively high rental yield.” “The purpose for this trip is to find good deals for immigrants and investors. We do not intend to bring speculators to Canada." Most foreign investors make the purchase sight unseen.

Posted by drewster @ 09:39 AM 10 Comments

Friday, July 16, 2010

A similar story in the UK?

Bloomberg: US Housing Bubble Leaves $4 Trillion Hangover: Chart of the Day

"The bursting of the U.S. housing bubble has left homeowners buried under about $4 trillion of excess mortgage debt, according to Dhaval Joshi, the chief strategist at RAB Capital".

Posted by alan @ 10:22 PM 5 Comments

Another English fellas obssessed with China boom story……………..

IPE Real Estate: No property bubble in China, says HSBC's Geoghegan

No property bubble in China, says HSBC's Geoghegan12 Jul 2010 16:35 CHINA – HSBC chief executive Michael Geoghegan has dismissed predictions of a Chinese property bubble. "There'll be some bubbles in some places, but China is a big country, and it won't have a bubble as we understand it in the West," he told an audience at Chatham House, the London think tank. "There may be some asset value corrections, but look at London in 2009 and real estate price increases – talk about a bubble in China."

Posted by simon68 @ 09:00 PM 12 Comments

A surfeit of bear food

Daily Telegraph: House prices 'to crash 20pc by 2012' as Budget bites, says Capital Economics

House prices will crash more than 20pc over the next two years as a result of Government spending cuts, tax rises and a surge in unemployment, according to a leading economic forecaster.-- Delicious !

Posted by gone-to-colombia @ 08:30 PM 8 Comments

Anthony Bolton:The legendary investor talks about his move to China and his belief that the future l

Telegraph: Anthony Bolton: 'I don't think we're heading for a double-dip recession'

Anthony Bolton's track record as a UK fund manager will go down in the annals of history. Thousands of investors will have benefited from his extraordinary ability to find value in companies where the majority couldn't. He turned a £1,000 investment into £147,000 over a 28-year period. The China story persuaded Mr Bolton to defer his retirement and relocate to Hong Kong. What about the UK and do you feel under pressure? I'm not following the UK like I used to. Part of my reason for coming here is the centre of gravity is shifting eastwards.

Posted by simon68 @ 08:25 PM 5 Comments

Get rid of this scum from our country

Dailymail: '£500-a-week? I can earn more on benefits!', unemployed driver tells stunned haulage boss

A haulage boss was left stunned after an unemployed driver rejected the offer of a job paying more than £500 a week so he could remain on benefits. Graham Poole, the managing director of a 23-wagon fleet in Rochdale, offered the job to the man who had been out of work for 18 months only to be told told it was not enough to have him come off government handouts. The man turned the job down claiming he could get more money on benefits by 'sitting around at home'.

Posted by mark @ 07:51 PM 12 Comments

Only 20pc

Yahoo: House prices 'to crash 20pc by 2012' as Budget bites, says Capital Economics

House prices will crash more than 20pc over the next two years as a result of Government spending cuts, tax rises and a surge in unemployment, according to a leading economic forecaster.

Posted by mark @ 07:39 PM 2 Comments

Coalition ready to let property values fall

Money Marketing: Coalition ready to let property values fall

Association of Mortgage Intermediaries director Robert Sinclair said the Government does not want to stimulate the housing market and it may even want to see property values fall from a “disproportionate” level

Posted by berto2002 @ 06:36 PM 0 Comments

Who is the biggest punter in currency market?

Bloomberg: Euro to Gain 6% as China Moves Reserves Away From U.S., Faros Trading Says

Europe’s common currency will gain 6 percent to the highest since April over the next two months after China’s June 19 decision to end a yuan peg to the dollar gave it the flexibility trim Treasuries holdings………………….Premier Wen Jiabao said today Europe is a major market for China to invest its foreign-exchange reserves. China’s foreign-exchange reserves, the world’s largest, totaled $2.45 trillion at the end of June and the country has the biggest overseas holdings of U.S. Treasuries.

Posted by simon68 @ 06:23 PM 0 Comments

What a humble prime minister ever in Britain

Bloomberg: U.K. Is `Junior Partner' to U.S., Cameron Says Before Visit to Washington

U.K. Is `Junior Partner' to U.S., Cameron Says Before Visit to Washington David Cameron, preparing for his first visit to the U.S. as U.K. prime minister, said he sees Britain as America’s “junior partner.” “Clearly the U.S. is a larger country,” Field said. “Its economy is five times the size of the U.K.’s as is its population. It has a larger army. We need to understand the dynamics of the relationship, and to understand our role. That’s the best way to bring our influence to bear.”

Posted by simon68 @ 06:02 PM 3 Comments

Finally, if it works, if not send them all to OZ

Daily mail: Ministers to end scandal of benefits claimants rewarded for staying out of work

The biggest shake-up of Britain's welfare system for decades will end the scandal of millions of people being paid to stay out of work.

Posted by mark @ 11:39 AM 13 Comments

Will house's be cheap enough by 2013 ?

Bloomberg: U.K. Home Prices Will Drop Through 2012, Capital Economics Says

July 16 (Bloomberg) -- U.K. house prices will fall through 2012 as the deepest public-spending cuts since World War II and tighter credit conditions deter potential buyers, Capital Economics Ltd. said.

Posted by mr cobblepot @ 10:51 AM 14 Comments

Things are about to get a whole lot worse

Telegraph: Fed's volte face sends the dollar tumbling

The US workforce has shrunk by a 1m over the past two months as discouraged jobless give up the hunt. Retail sales have fallen for the past two months. New homes sales crashed to 300,000 in May after tax credits ran out, the lowest since records began in 1963. Mortgage applications have fallen by 42pc to 13-year low since April. Paul Dales at Capital Economics said the "shadow inventory" of unsold properties has risen to 7.8m. "The double dip in housing has begun," he said. ----------------------------------------- The signs of a deep and sudden slowdown in the US are becoming ever clearer as the "sugar rush" from the Obama fiscal stimulus wears off and the inventory boost fades. California, Illinois and other states are cutting spending, tightening US fiscal policy by 0.8pc of GDP.

Posted by mark @ 10:45 AM 5 Comments

GS fined peanuts.

CNNMoney.com: Goldman settles with SEC for $550 million

NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Goldman Sachs paid $550 million to settle charges of defrauding investors in a sale of securities tied to subprime mortgages, the Securities and Exchange Commission said Thursday.

Posted by novice pete @ 10:11 AM 1 Comments

McWhirter telling it like it is

The Herald: You can bet the house that we will all pay for liar loans

You’ve heard of locking the stable door when the horse has bolted. Well, the Financial Services Authority has gone one better and promised to do its job properly only after it has been closed down. Yesterday, the boss of Britain’s financial watchdog, Lord Turner, grandly announced the FSA was going to put an end to “liar loans”, 125% “suicide” mortgages and other scams from the great housing bubble. Bit late, your lordship. Last month, Chancellor George Osborne announced that the FSA is to be scrapped and financial regulation returned to the Bank of England.

Posted by cass @ 08:26 AM 1 Comments

At last

Telegraph: George Osborne is wrong on Bank of England's innocence in crisis

When the captain of the plane walks from the crash unharmed (and unchallenged) you know there's a problem. When he's then given control over a fleet of planes, you know there's real problems. Remember this article is written *by an ex-MPC member*.

Posted by paul @ 08:18 AM 10 Comments

Thursday, July 15, 2010

I know who I blame..

Financial Times: The financial crisis blame-game

Governments keen for endless amounts of cheap money to fund their mighty public sector programmes, homeowners keen for an extra bedroom even though their income didn't quite stretch, central banks who appeared to almost wilfully ignore what was going on under their very noses. And the waiters, of course, the bankers, running around the table filling everyone's glass to over-flowing, whipping everyone up into an ever-increasing frenzy and taking their very nice cut (and cut and cut), thank-you very much.

Posted by exiges @ 11:10 PM 0 Comments

After Subprime - still a big mess

Bloomberg: U.S. Home Seizures Rise 38% to Record as Banks Process Backlog

"A record 269,962 U.S. homes were seized from delinquent owners in the second quarter as lenders set a pace to claim more than 1 million properties by the end of 2010, according to RealtyTrac Inc". " “Foreclosures haven’t peaked yet,” Nicolas Retsinas, director of Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Studies in Cambridge, Massachusetts, said in a telephone interview. Unemployment suggests that bank repossessions may climb for another six to nine months, he said".

Posted by alan @ 09:02 PM 1 Comments

More austerity needed?

Telegraph: Spain calls on ECB for record funding

"They borrowed a total of €126.3bn (£105bn) from the ECB last month, which was a 48pc jump compared with May and the largest amount borrowed according to Bank of Spain records since 1999".

Posted by alan @ 08:58 PM 0 Comments

Protecting fools or lenders?

The Economist: Consumer choice or consumer protection: the next big policy debate

The FSA... To ensure better lending in the future, it wants lenders to take a much more stringent approach to assessing the affordability of the mortgages they offer. First, lenders will have to verify income for all sales... sounds like a no-brainer, but around half of all British mortgages in 2007 and 2008 were processed without income verification.

Posted by rental john @ 05:26 PM 0 Comments

Interesting article about status of the EU

The Economist: Staring into the abyss

In Europe or screwed by Europe? Being outside the Euro - our salvation or damnation? See graphics at www.economist.com/blogs/freeexchange/2010/07/european_economies

Posted by rental john @ 05:17 PM 0 Comments

Nope you cant have deflation in a fiat money system [fingers in ears la li la li la]

Yahoo finance: [us] Wholesale prices drop 0.5 percent in June

"Wholesale prices dropped 0.5 percent last month, following declines of 0.1 percent in April and 0.3 percent in May, the Labor Department reported Thursday. Core inflation, which excludes food and energy, posted a modest 0.1 percent increase. The third month of declines in Labor's Producer Price Index raised new concerns about the possibility of deflation, a prolonged period of falling prices which has not been seen in the United States since the Great Depression of the 1930s. While most economists believe outright deflation remains a distant threat, they said it can't be totally ruled out."

Posted by techieman @ 03:28 PM 39 Comments

The simplest explanation for UK house prices is fraud

Reuters: UK houses, Occam's razor and fraud

Un-freakingbelievable - 43 percent of mortgages in first quarter were STILL non-income verified. A fraud perpetuated by borrowers with connivance of banks. Banks see their collateral values protected and borrowers get a lifetime of debt.

Posted by jim @ 03:11 PM 0 Comments

Try lost century

Cnn: Lost decade: The new threat to the U.S. economy

Now some economists are starting to talk about an even worse fate: a prolonged period of very weak growth, a so-called "lost decade." "The probability of a lost decade is significantly greater than a double dip," said Sung Won Sohn, economics professor at Cal State University Channel Islands. The most famous lost decade occurred in Japan in the 1990s. From 1992 through 1999, the Japanese economy grew by less than 1% a year. It has yet to fully recover from the economic weakness and falling prices it suffered during that period.

Posted by mark @ 12:54 PM 0 Comments


Zero Hedge: China Has Been Covertly Funding A Housing Bubble Five Times Larger Than That Of The US: 65 Million Vacant Homes Uncovered

China just announced that its Q2 GDP came in at 10.3%, just below a consensus estimate of 10.5%. Surprisingly, for some odd reason the market seems to believe this "data." Although in retrospect, based on China's bottom up GDP goalseeking, the number, which we will show in a second is completely irrelevant, could very easily be true, based on two just announced stunners about the Chinese economy. The first comes from Fitch, which in a report released today titled Informal Securitisation Increasingly Distorting Credit Data, uncovers that China has in fact been massively underrepresenting the actual amount of new loans in the first half of 2010, courtesy of precisely the kinds of securitization deals that blew up half of our own banking system

Posted by quiet guy @ 12:49 PM 25 Comments

More deleveraging

Independent: Mortgage debt falls £3.2Bn

Spending is so yesterday.

Posted by chrisch @ 12:02 PM 4 Comments

Less students to rent houses / rooms to

Dailymail: Degree courses could be cut to two years in cost-cutting higher education overhaul

He will argue that condensing three-year degrees into two years will help cut the cost of tuition and maintenance fees for a generation of poor students. Living at home would reduce the need for students to pay for accommodation and cut living costs dramatically.

Posted by mark @ 11:13 AM 2 Comments

What have the savers ever done for us?

Guardian: Inflation leaves savers struggling to keep up

"CPI, the government's favoured inflation figure, is still far higher than the target of 2%, which means that higher rate tax payers are unable to find a straightforward, no-strings savings account that will enable them to beat its erosive effects. They would need to earn 5.33% on their savings to beat tax and inflation".

Posted by alan @ 07:54 AM 25 Comments

Notes on the Chinese property market

Charles Hugh Smith blog: China's Real Estate: Black-Hole Capital Trap

If you think you have it bad in the UK, here's a postcard that points out why it could be even worse in China: "Despite the general mood of optimism fueled by rising property prices in China, history suggests that all bubbles end badly. The bubble in Chinese stocks certainly did; the Shanghai Index has fallen over 55% from its late-2007 peak. The restrictions which effectively funnel China's vast savings into savings accounts that don't even match inflation or into speculative asset bubbles in stocks and real estate boosts the risks of serious losses for Chinese savers and investors, many of whom have relied on the savings of three generations to buy investment homes."

Posted by quiet guy @ 02:00 AM 27 Comments

It's (not) grim up north

Scotsman: Jeff Salway: Plenty reasons not be cheerful over house price trends

THE evidence has been building slowly but it now seems that all the signs in the housing market are pointing in only one direction - downwards. Significantly, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors reported on Monday that buyer demand reached its lowest point for two years in June, despite improved affordability and the raising of the first-time buyer stamp duty threshold to £250,000 in March. Firm evidence that buyers are staying away at a time when sellers are growing in confidence means the imbalance in supply and demand that drove prices up last year has now been redressed and set to have the reverse effect.

Posted by quiet guy @ 01:05 AM 2 Comments

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

It's grim up north..

Daily Mail: Great British divide

They might be in the same country – but these two properties are worlds apart. One is a single-storey beach 'chalet' with no central heating while the other is a two-bedroom mid-terrace house. However, in what is becoming an increasingly prevalent North/South property price divide, one is a staggering £315,000 more expensive than the other.

Posted by exiges @ 06:06 PM 0 Comments

Rates will Rise!

Daily Telegraph: There's trouble ahead if interest rates rise

This article hidden at the back of today's Torygraph. Bring it on!

Posted by billyboy @ 05:17 PM 1 Comments

Tee hee!

Mortgage Strategy: Landlords struggling to cover mortgage payments

"Four out of ten landlords admit they would not be able to cover mortgage payments on their properties if interest rates increased by 2%. A Spareroom.co.uk poll of UK landlords reveals 41% of landlords barely get their mortgages covered by rent payments. And 43% confessed that when interest rates rise by 2%, then the rents would no longer cover their mortgages. A total of 22% of landlords say that a rate rise of just 1% would mean that rents would no longer cover their mortgages, and for 10% of landlords just 0.5% would create a rent-mortgage shortfall..." The expression "very reluctant landlords" springs to mind.

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 01:48 PM 23 Comments

No more Boom and Bust Honest: but must not touch interest rates

BBC Today Programme: Lord Turner: 'Housing market behind boom and bust'

No more Boom and Bust Honest: but must not touch interest rates.... Lord Turner, the chairman of the Financial Services Authority, is calling for radical reform of the global financial structure. He speaks to Today presenter, Evan Davis, before setting out his views in a speech later today.

Posted by the number cruncher @ 12:30 PM 14 Comments

Pass it on to the next generation?

Independent: Britain’s debt: The untold story

"The true scale of Britain's national indebtedness was laid bare by the Office for National Statistics yesterday: almost £4 trillion, or £4,000bn, about four times higher than previously acknowledged"

Posted by alan @ 08:21 AM 29 Comments

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Unless prices fall

Telegraph: Tighter lending rules mean 10-year wait for first-time buyers

First-time buyers who cannot raise a deposit from the "Bank of Mum and Dad" are being forced to rent or remain in their parents' home 10 years longer than middle class "first timers" one building society claims, as regulators propose to make lending rules even tighter. John Wriglesworth, a spokesman for Newcastle Building Society, said: "You cannot get a mortgage at competitive rates unless you have a deposit of 15 per cent or more these days and low interest rates are irrelevant if you cannot raise the required deposit. Now new research based on CML figures shows the average age of first-time buyers who can get help from their parents has fallen to 27, while first-time buyers who are not lucky enough to have rich parents have to wait until they are an average of 37 years old."

Posted by drewster @ 07:37 PM 35 Comments

One for the deflationists - including techieman

The Market Oracle: UK Inflation Falls to CPI 3.2%, Precisely inline with 2010 Forecast - Delusional Deflationist Continue to See Non Existant Deflation

''The reality of the situation remains in that the worlds economies swim in an ocean of inflation with the occasional ripples of deflation on its surface as the following graphs illustrate that the pseudo economists with their persistence deflation clearly only see the deflationary ripples whilst missing the deep inflationary ocean.''

Posted by hpwatcher @ 07:35 PM 13 Comments

Cut and run...

Home.co.uk: Sellers Slash Prices By Over £1.1 Billion In June

Seems there's a lot of property sellers ever more desperate to sell. Wonder why?

Posted by tinecu @ 05:03 PM 1 Comments

Slightly Overvalued Again

PWC: Outlook for UK house prices

A fairly benign outlook from the number crunchers at PWC

Posted by ontheotherhand @ 04:25 PM 9 Comments

Maybe he should become a headteacher! lol

Dailymail: Somali asylum seeker laughing over £2,000-a-week Kensington home paid for by benefits

An unemployed Somali bus conductor living with his family in a luxury Kensington home has defended their right to live in the posh suburb at taxpayers' expense. Abdi Nur laughed yesterday after answering his door to howls of protest about the £2,000-a-week home he shares with his wife Sayruq and their seven children.

Posted by mark @ 03:47 PM 17 Comments

It's official - FSA determined to burst the bubble..

BBC News: FSA plans to ban self-certified mortgages

"The Financial Services Authority (FSA) says it is "adamant" that new rules will include a ban on lending without proof of income." - This is dynamite..

Posted by uncle tom @ 02:31 PM 18 Comments

Here comes the next phase of the UK housing bust

MoneyWeek: Here comes the next phase of the UK housing bust

Right now, sellers are flooding into Britain's property market. But buyers are becoming ever scarcer. And with the regulators getting tough on the mortgage market, the housing bust is about to pick up speed.

Posted by damien @ 11:56 AM 20 Comments

RICS Housing Market Survey June 2010

RICS: RICS Housing Market Survey June 2010

"New instructions continue to rise, while new buyer enquiries decline". The comments from estate agents are always the most enlightening part of this report. Alex McNeil of Bramleys in Halifax said, "As an optimist, the glass is now only a quarter full."

Posted by monty032 @ 09:55 AM 18 Comments

Is this right? should people earn this in schooling?

Dailymail: The £276,000 primary head: Staggering salary revealed days after pledge to cap head teachers' pay

A primary school headmaster was paid £276,523 last year - £70,000 more than the head of Eton College, it emerged last night. Mark Elms, who runs a 335-pupil inner-city primary, received £231,400 with a further £45,123 in pension contributions. He is among around 100 head teachers taking home more than £150,000 - outstripping David Cameron's £142,500 a year.

Posted by mark @ 09:29 AM 39 Comments

To ease or not to ease?

Money week: Printing money won't save us from the next wave of deflation

If banks won't lend, we'll get a double-dip recession To cut a long story short – no wonder banks aren't keen to lend. And if they're not keen or able to lend, the economy isn't going to grow. And if that doesn't happen, we'll see a double-dip.

Posted by happy mondays @ 09:12 AM 4 Comments

Self-certification mortgages likely to be banned by FSA

The Daily Telegraph: Self-certification mortgages likely to be banned by FSA

If house prices are set by the buyer prepared to pay the most, then they are likely to fall a long way once people are limited to four times income. Does anyone believe the statistic that nearly half of all mortgages taken out between 2007 and the first quarter of 2010 were advanced without consumers having to verify their income? That's an awful lot of small businessmen.

Posted by monty032 @ 08:17 AM 19 Comments

UK house prices not set to recover for another ten years

The Daily Telegraph: UK house prices not set to recover for another ten years, says PWC

The prediction seems about right. Looking at the long-term chart of nominal house prices, after each boom the bust takes one year longer than the boom period. The most recent boom lasted from 1996-2007. That means that nominal house prices will not start to rise again until 2019.

Posted by monty032 @ 08:03 AM 5 Comments

A large fall in real terms

Daily Mail: House price slump may last a decade, experts warn

Fears that any recovery in house prices will be short-lived were growing last night - following a series of devastating reports about the future of the property market. In an unprecedented warning, four leading experts raised concerns that the housing market could be teetering on a knife-edge for the next decade. They included accountants Pricewaterhouse Coopers, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, a leading economic consultancy and the Council of Mortgage Lenders.

Posted by morbotheterrible @ 08:03 AM 0 Comments

CGT Suggested by think tank on FIRST homes, near the end of the programme

BBC: Time to Get Real

Going where the politicians seem to fear to tread, Michael Blastland asks some of the UK's most influential policy experts and politicians how the difficult decisions on what to cut should be reached. He demands hard data on which activities should be curbed or abandoned altogether and how the sums will match the rhetoric.

Posted by gone-to-colombia @ 01:23 AM 2 Comments

Sentiment change

BBC News: Surveyors expect property prices to fall

Surveyors are expecting house prices to fall in the coming months owing to more home sales and economic uncertainty. The rise in supply means more are expecting property values to fall than rise - a shift in sentiment from a similar poll a month ago. The survey, from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (Rics), said that the number of enquiries from new buyers dipped in July. A separate forecast by accountants PricewaterhouseCooopers has suggested that house prices might not reach the levels seen at the peak of the market in 2007 for another decade. The firm's head of macroeconomics John Hawksworth said "The possibility of a renewed fall in house prices over the next few years, particularly in real terms, cannot be ruled out as mortgage interest rates start to rise again."

Posted by wanderinman @ 12:38 AM 1 Comments

Roll up, roll up, get your buy-to-lets in Berlin now

Telegraph: Deutschland über alles does not mean a trickledown recovery in EMU

Germany is sizzling, for now. Manufacturing output grew at an annual rate of 26pc from March to May. Mercedes, BMW, and Audi are ramping up overtime. Economic growth in the second quarter may top 5.2pc. German unemployment has been falling for 12 months in a row to 7.5pc. Hans Werner Sinn from Germany's IFO Institute said his country is on the cusp of a property boom. "Germany is the winner of this crisis," he said.

Posted by drewster @ 12:20 AM 0 Comments

Monday, July 12, 2010

Maybe someone heard of MW tax plan

Dailymail: Seventy-five firefighters battle inferno at 15-storey tower block in London

'We are assessing what people's needs will be,' he said. 'If it's the case that they won't be able to return to the block tonight********would you want to return********

Posted by mark @ 07:54 PM 2 Comments

It's just another few billion a year, move along!

Reuters: Recession Deeper than Thought (we were told...cough, cough!)

What else might be revised later on I wonder?

Posted by brickormortis @ 01:21 PM 3 Comments

The general public is increasingly miffed at shelling out to pay for state workers' pensions.

Telegraph: Public sector pensions: unfunded and heading rapidly off the rails

I'm sure there will be the usual obfuscation about low pay in the public sector, there's no difference between public sector and state pensions in an attempt to defend this indefensible discrimination. Lets be clear, I'm not suggesting public sector employees should be denied a decent pension but why should the rest of us subsidise it?

Posted by mr g @ 12:54 PM 10 Comments

Regional strategies revoked

FT.com: Planning policy shift undercuts homes drive

A slew of large residential developments has been cancelled in recent weeks following a shift in planning policy, prompting fears that Britain’s housing shortage is set to worsen.

Posted by cynicalsoothsayer @ 12:29 PM 10 Comments

New land on debt mountain

FT.com: Taylor Wimpey seeks refinancing package

Taylor Wimpey is negotiating with lenders over a refinancing package that would increase the ability of the UK’s second-largest volume housebuilder to buy land. The company is seeking to refinance its bonds and bank loans after last year completing a £1.55bn debt restructuring that extended the repayments due on its debts to July 2012.

Posted by cynicalsoothsayer @ 12:25 PM 2 Comments

Rejoice! Credit bubble reinflated!

BBC: Affordable rates lift mortgage borrowing

"The number of loans made for house purchases rose slightly in the UK in May amid a market of affordable rates, lenders have said. About 42,000 home loans were granted in May, up 2% on the previous month and 15% higher than May 2009, the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) said. Mortgage interest payments accounted for the lowest proportion of home movers' income for 35 years, it added... With the Bank rate at record lows, the environment for low rates has meant that homeowners' mortgage payments have also proved to be low. For those moving home, just 9.5% of average income was spent on mortgage interest payments in May - the lowest since comparative data began 35 years ago."

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 11:04 AM 15 Comments

Greece is out of cash and the mood in Athens is palpably gloomy

Cnn: The Greek pocketbook snaps shut

"Either everyone's away or they don't have any money to spend at all," said a cashier at AB Vasilopoulos, pointing at the nearly empty aisles of the usually bustling supermarket in the Athenian suburb of Neo Psyhiko.

Posted by mark @ 10:23 AM 1 Comments

60 Hartlepool Home-owners seek damages for defective homes

TBI Solicitors: 60 Hartlepool Home-owners seek damages for defective homes

Sixty Hartlepool home owners are in Court this week seeking substantial payments from Shepherd Homes Ltd as a result of being sold houses built with defectively designed piled foundations. Shepherd Homes Limited built 94 'executive homes' on Eden Park, Hartlepool which were sold between December 2001 and February 2004. In March 2003, cracking and other signs of movement were first noted in some houses. Since then, many houses have shown varying degrees of cracking and movement and significant ground movement across the site has lead to patios and paths sinking up to 10 inches in places.

Posted by tbilaw @ 10:22 AM 0 Comments

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Building Society Succumbs to Corporate Temptation

Telegraph: JC Flowers plans building societies lifeboat

Building Societies are looking increasingly vulnerable to corporate vultures as American outfit JC Flowers wraps its financial tentacles around the cast strapped Kent Reliance Building Society. Is this signaling the end for the principles of the good old mutual?

Posted by enuii @ 11:48 PM 3 Comments

U.S. Economy,great documentry, just over 54mins, but worth it.

Inflation.us: Meltup

About a third way down the page NIA believes Meltup is the most important economic documentary ever produced in world history. The Second American Revolution has begun! Please share this documentary with all of your friends and family members immediately

Posted by novice pete @ 06:53 PM 19 Comments

In which the less equal become more unequal

Sunday Times changing its spots!

The Times: House prices could keep falling for another year

I don't know if you will be able to read this as they are now subscription only but I will post a few snippets in the article summary. "House prices could fall 15% over this year and next, economists have warned, as evidence grows that the property market is heading for a double dip." "Economists fear the recent falls could be the start of a “double dip”. Capital Economics, the consultancy, expects prices to drop 6% to 7% over the second half of 2010, meaning they would be down 5% for the year as a whole. Prices will then fall 10% in 2011 as public-sector job losses and a continued drought in mortgage lending offset the benefit of low interest rates, it predicts." The article is more upbeat later on but it makes a change from the usual VI dominating headline!

Posted by sold my soul to the never never never @ 08:24 AM 1 Comments

History repeats - will our bankers & MP's ever learn?

Reuters: Panics and Booms, a lesson from 1897

A very good but old article. Funny how it seems so bang up to date

Posted by who stole my pension? @ 04:27 AM 8 Comments

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Gloom and doom from Mish

Mish Blog: UK Roundup: Average Salaries Drop; IMF Downgrades Forecast; Pension Plans Forced to Address Liabilities; Home Prices Drop

Mike Shedlock serves a four course meal for the UK: average salary drops, IMF forecast downgrades, pension problems and property price drops. Regarding property prices, Shedlock declares "This is not even a start of what is going to happen. Canada, Australia, the UK, and China all have property bubbles that are about to burst wide open."

Posted by quiet guy @ 01:28 PM 8 Comments

Friday, July 9, 2010

It already has had it's day at some banks and building societies.

Save Our Savers: Has the Cash ISA had its day?

Has the cash ISA had its day? It has been a remarkably popular and successful savings product. Introduced to encourage saving on its launch it provided returns much higher than standard deposit accounts that not only beat inflation but had the key attraction of being tax free.

Posted by mr g @ 07:30 PM 6 Comments

Avg house lost £1100 last month

Mirror Online: Tory spending cuts hit house prices

The ConDems' savage spending cuts will trigger a second house price crash next year, warn experts. Spiralling taxes and a cull of public sector jobs are expected to blow a hole in the housing market. The slump has already begun. The Halifax said yesterday prices fell 0.6% in June - the fourth dip this year. Last month's drop slashed the value of the average home by almost £1,100. That takes the national average to £166,203, with nearly £3,300 wiped off the value since the start of the year. Although prices are still 6.3% up on last year, Halifax predicts that further falls in the coming months will mean they end 2010 unchanged.

Posted by exiges @ 06:48 PM 0 Comments

Will the UK be immune to this

Yahoo: Double dip for housing looks likely

Zillow.com, a Seattle-based real estate data provider, is preparing to release figures for May and expects them to show a 1.7% decline in home values nationally through the first five months. The pain is spread unevenly across the landscape, with home values in cities like San Diego, Los Angeles and Boston rising 2% to 4% while prices in Las Vegas, Miami and elsewhere tumbled 6% to 7%.

Posted by delboy @ 04:42 PM 0 Comments

Martin Wolf in the FT on fine form:

Financial Times: Why we must halt the land cycle

"I have long been persuaded that resource rents should be socialised, not accrue to individual owners. Yet, as [Fred] Harrison tellingly remarks, “as a community we socialise our privately earned incomes (wages and salaries), while our social income (from land) is privatised.” Yet, whatever one thinks of the justice of this arrangement, the practical consequences have become calamitous. Do we want to start yet another credit-fuelled property cycle as soon as the debris of the present one is cleared away, some years of misery hence?"

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 03:46 PM 20 Comments

Did anybody else watch this yesterday?

ITV: Homes From Hell

A classic of the genre. The first couple admitted they could have made more money from just selling on the land with planning, rather than building houses (rather badly). The second couple bought a new house on what turned into a ghost estate, one of 621 in Ireland, allegedly. They made themselves bankrupt because the house was worthless. LVT would have helped them, because once it became a ghost estate, their LVT bil would have fallen to nil so their debts would only have been half as big. And so on.

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 12:12 PM 10 Comments

Bricks not flesh! Bricks not flesh! Bricks not flesh!

The daily mash: HOUSES GO BAD

HOUSES, for so long the friends of mankind, have finally turned against their masters, according to the latest property market survey. Mortgage lenders have reported a sharp rise in houses uprooting themselves from their foundations and embarking on murderous rampages, caused by either a comet which recently skimmed the earth's atmosphere or the tightening of credit conditions since April....

Posted by powerofnow @ 11:15 AM 1 Comments

For Dollar Bulls (and Bears)

EW Forex: 7th july video analysis of the dollar index

This is a elliott wave analysis of the USD index. The components are : http://www.babypips.com/school/the_usdx_components.html The analysis starts at a monthly level (monthly high low close) since 1985. That shows that the Dollar is due some major bull move. You can see the 1 and the 2 on the far right. As Laura says after the pink 2 comes the pink 3 of the green C, and that C should eventually break the break the green A (2001). This (amongst other supporting indicators) was why i said @ 2 [when everyone was saying that the USD was finished] that no the dollar was about to make a big move up. So why is it important, how reliable is it and what has that got to do with asset prices? I will say why i think that in the comment below.

Posted by techieman @ 10:57 AM 7 Comments

-0.5% MoM +7.7% YoY

Acadametrics: June Index

Or as the Express puts it: HOUSE SALES SOAR 20% IN JUNE

Posted by phdinbubbles @ 09:49 AM 7 Comments

JD v EA.......

BBC 5 Live: Johnathan Davies (FP) potificates - again

48 mins on - JD comes in after a couple of minutes. to about 1hr 05. JD - as usual impassioned!!! "37. techieman said... by the way TC - this news is no doubt gonna give your mate JD some more coverage..... I doubt if he will milk it though ;-)!!! Thursday, July 8, 2010 02:31PM" 'nuff said!! - great value as usual "its a listeners show as well"....

Posted by techieman @ 09:04 AM 28 Comments

Intra-company transfer (ICT) permits

PCG: Vote : Should the Government include ICTs within the planned “cap” on migration?

Intra-company transfer (ICT) permits might not be included in the Government's proposed cap on migration, based on current proposals. Should the Government include ICTs within the planned “cap” on migration? IMO ICTs are abused to bring cheap labour into the UK, to the detriment of the UK labour force, especially by "consultancies".

Posted by doomwatch @ 08:44 AM 9 Comments

Financial crisis: we can only blame ourselves

Greg Pytel: What a strange world...

If we choose politicians who are idiots, we get idiotic decision. If we choose politicians who are fraud, we, taxpayers, get defraud. Simple, inni't?

Posted by ant @ 08:16 AM 3 Comments

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Miami Faces 80% Chance of Being Hit By BP Oil Spill

Bloomberg: Miami Faces 80% Chance of Being Hit By BP Oil Spill

Bloomberg reported today that Miami, Ft. Lauderdale, Palm Beach and Florida Keys face an 61-80 percent chance of the BP’s tar balls reaching their popular beaches and precious real estate. They face a greater probability of being effected because the black oil has entered the Gulf’s Loop Current which snakes eastward and around the tip of Florida. If the nasty tar balls arrive on the billion dollar beaches of Miami, Palm Beach and Ft. Lauderdale, the real estate market and coastal Florida economy could face a catastrophe.

Posted by jmichaelzenn @ 11:58 PM 1 Comments

Pensions down and Mortgage Interest Rates Up

Telegraph: Millions to see private sector pensions reduced

Millions of people with private sector pensions are likely to see them reduced by as much as 25 per cent after the Government announced plans to change the way they are calculated. The Government plans to link pensions to the lower Consumer Prices Index instead of the Retail Prices Index which includes housing costs such as mortgage interest payments.

Posted by enuii @ 07:25 PM 11 Comments

Déjà vu...again

Topix.com: David Gilberta s East Sussex house comes with a free Lamborghini

remember this...note the date:-) http://www.echo-news.co.uk/news/3704607.Buy_my_house___and_get_my_Lamborghini_too/

Posted by braindeed @ 06:59 PM 0 Comments

Headline says it all

Daily Finance UK: New UK house price crash looms

A surprisingly even-handed piece that admits a house price crash would not necessarily be a bad thing... is the message finally getting through? Depending whether you're a seller or looking to buy for the first time, prospects look mixed. If you're in the latter camp, the news will be a huge relief.

Posted by mnorman @ 06:46 PM 0 Comments

Probably not news to anyone?

Reuters: Bank keeps interest rates at 0.5 percent

Nobody seems to have bothered to post this decision.

Posted by alan @ 06:40 PM 17 Comments

Why house prices must fall by 25 per cent or more

Daily Telegraph: Why house prices must fall by 25 per cent or more

The obvious conclusion is that house prices have much further to fall. A decrease of about 25 per cent in prices would bring them into line with the increase in supply we have already seen. But government spending cuts mean more sellers look set to enter the market, depressing prices further.

Posted by neil @ 04:56 PM 0 Comments

Pensions apartheid under attack again.

Yorkshire Post: Reform call for public sector pensions

Workers in the public sector would need to save more than 40 percent of their salary each year, including their employer's contribution, to fund the final salary pension benefits they are building up For those outside God's Own Country. The Yorkshire Post isn't a tabloid rag like the Express etc, is older than The Times and whilst being broadly Tory adopts a fair stance towards liberal views. I'm not the editor of the YP by the way.

Posted by mr g @ 02:32 PM 1 Comments

Not many green shoots here even with high public sector employment.

Yorkshire 'will stay mired in recession': Yorkshire Post

CITIES and towns in Yorkshire failed to capitalise on the economic boom, suffered worst in the recession and now face no prospect of recovery, according to startling research today.

Posted by mr g @ 02:17 PM 3 Comments

UK house prices wilting in summer

BBC News: UK house prices wilting in summer

UK house prices have fallen slightly in the early summer compared with the start of the year, a survey has found.

Posted by neil @ 01:35 PM 1 Comments

Estimates of by how much are welcome...

Daily Telegraph: House prices will fall in 2011

I like this bit the best... Paul Diggle, a property economist at Capital Economics, said: “Today’s figures showing accelerating house price falls fits with our long-held position that we will see a second leg of the house price correction soon.

Posted by timmy t @ 12:55 PM 0 Comments


BBC: US mortgage giants delisted from NY stock exchange

"American mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are being delisted from the the New York Stock Exchange. It is the final admission that these once government-backed private firms are now entirely the responsibility of taxpayers. But despite their failure, the two firms continue to prop up America's housing market." That's a very un-Home-Owner-Ist view of the role of taxpayers and banks! I thought propping up house prices was the be all and end all?

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 11:39 AM 2 Comments

And fall they will

Yahoo: House prices will fall in 2011

Prices will close 2010 below their end 2009 level and we expect them to continue falling in 2011. Howard Archer, an economist at Global Insight, said: It is hard at this stage to be optimistic about house prices in 2011 as the fiscal squeeze will increasingly kick in, which will hit people's pockets and lead to serious job losses in the public sector.

Posted by mark @ 11:34 AM 1 Comments

EMU break-up risks global deflation

Daily Telegraph: EMU break-up risks global deflation shock that would dwarf Lehman collapse, warns ING

Oh what to do with my ever dwindling savings...... Perhaps a one World currency would make things simpler.....

Posted by tom101 @ 10:48 AM 1 Comments

Hey guys! You're not pumping enough into the bubble!

Telegraph: UK lending to small businesses collapsed last year

Near the end of the artilce... "Customers paid off £11.6bn of credit card and other non-mortgage debt last year, the report showed. Net mortgage lending was just £7.8bn, less than a 10th of its £110bn peak in 2006."

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 10:30 AM 1 Comments

June Index

Halifax: -0.6% MoM +6.3% YoY

Back to Normal

Posted by phdinbubbles @ 09:12 AM 49 Comments

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Let's have exports led growth instead of properties bubble led growth

Bloomberg: Obama Says U.S. Increasing Access to Export Financing

Obama created the Export Council in March, laying out a goal of doubling U.S. exports during the next five years to about $3.1 trillion by 2015, supporting 2 million additional jobs. He said today he wants the panel to send him a progress report in September, two months before the elections. The president highlighted 18 trade missions coordinated by the Department of Commerce, loans from the U.S. Export-Import Bank that have helped support almost 110,000 jobs, and new agreements on exports of U.S. agricultural products. The U.S. reached an agreement in March to resume exports of pork to China and in June to reopen poultry sales to Russia, two steps worth more than $1 billion in annual sales, according to the administration.

Posted by simon68 @ 06:17 PM 20 Comments

How stupid are people in britain? DO these people deserve a house?

Yahoo: Most home owners unaware of impact of interest rate rise

Around 74pc of people with a mortgage admitted they did not know how a 1 percentage point rise in the Bank of England base rate would affect their monthly outgoings, according to the newly formed Consumer Financial Education Body (CFEB). More worryingly, 15pc of people do not even know what type of mortgage they have, such as whether it is a fixed-rate deal, which would make them unaffected by an interest rate rise, or whether it is a variable-rate one, meaning their monthly payments would go up.

Posted by mark @ 12:52 PM 21 Comments

Could this be a forward indicator?

FT: RBS to sell off £3Bn of property loans

Interesting article but the last bit caught my eye "The disposal will be significant for the real estate market given the huge amounts of outstanding debt to the sector, and the worries about the need for aggressive action by the banks." So, the banks need to get tough on the borrowers but they need to get rid of the poor loans first? Or am I reading in something that's not there? If RBS sells off enough rubbish the government can get rid of it (RBS) as well. Maybe my imagination going mad or maybe something here to see....

Posted by chrisch @ 10:09 AM 7 Comments

These girls fall like dominoes, dominoes

Mish's: Vancouver home sales drop 30%, Calgary 42% - First comes volume, then comes price; Canada housing peak is finally In

The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver reported yesterday that home sales fell 30.2 per cent in June from the inflated levels of a year earlier, and 5.8 per cent from May. New property listings rose 1.2 per cent from May and 32 per cent from a year earlier. The Calgary Real Estate Board, meanwhile, reported sales of single family homes fell 16 per cent in June from May and 42 per cent from June of 2009, while condo sales fell 14 per cent from a month earlier and 40 per cent from a year earlier. Notable is that sales of high-end properties worth $1-million or more are rising, the group said.

Posted by drewster @ 09:37 AM 10 Comments

The last great ponzi scheme

FT: UK directors seek public pensions overhaul

Sweeping changes to public sector pensions were demanded on Tuesday by the Institute of Directors and the Institute of Economic Affairs, as unions accused the two bodies of “simply wanting to reduce taxes for business and the super-rich”.

Posted by goldbug9999 @ 09:30 AM 5 Comments

These girls fall like dominoes

Telegraph: China's property market braced for 30pc drop

Standard Chartered has told clients to prepare for a fall in property prices of up to 30pc in Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzen, and other large cities in China as the delayed effects of monetary tightening begin to bite. Stephen Green, the bank's China economist, said a glut of newly built homes were hitting the market just as buyers are restrained by higher down-payments and curbs on speculation. "We believe developers will be forced to cut prices," he said. The government is trying to deflate the housing market gently, mostly using tools known as "financial repression" rather than Western style rate rises. China views soaring house prices as a threat to social stability, since workers are shut out of the market. The price-to-earnings ratio is 13 in Beijing and Shanghai.

Posted by drewster @ 01:27 AM 5 Comments

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

A metaphor for the housing market?

Guardian: EAs get burned

I know some of you don't like them so you will like this....

Posted by chrisch @ 10:27 PM 4 Comments

A slow decline

Telegraph: With the US trapped in depression, this really is starting to feel like 1932

'The US workforce shrank by 652,000 in June, one of the sharpest contractions ever. The rate of hourly earnings fell 0.1pc. Wages are flirting with deflation.'

Posted by hpwatcher @ 08:15 PM 17 Comments

Would you get £66,000 redundancy in the Private sector ?

BBC News: Civil servant redundancy payouts to be capped

3yrs pay blimey.. No wonder they want to cut that perk. Civil servants made redundant will have their payouts capped at one year's salary under plans announced by Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude. He also said the maximum on offer for those taking voluntary redundancy would be limited to 15 months' salary. Unions have threatened strike action, describing the proposals as "absolutely outrageous". Mr Maude said the measures were "an inevitable consequence of current economic circumstances".

Posted by exiges @ 07:55 PM 1 Comments

Jobs for the boys, another waste of public money.

Mail: Professor Brown? Former PM lined up for new role as university academic

OK, so it's the Mail before we get a barrage of hate posts. But how as Gordo represented his constituents? if, as reported in other publications besides the Mail, Mr Brown has rarely been seen at Westminster since Labour's defeat in May, leading him to be criticised as an invisible man. Perhaps he might now find his true vocation.

Posted by mr g @ 04:55 PM 7 Comments

The cuts have started....

Northampton Chronicle and Echo: Council workers left furious by sweeping pay cuts

Staff at Northamptonshire County Council have reacted angrily to news of how much their wages will go down following a review of pay rates across the authority. The Chron revealed yesterday that more than 4,000 council staff will lose cash from April 1, 2011 as part of a review designed to make pay rates across the authority fairer. Read the comments, they are not happy about.

Posted by thecountofnowhere @ 01:57 PM 13 Comments

The truth of the house prices mess

Guardian: Business News

The truth will out......."Private speculation in housing rather than public profligacy is real villain of Labour years". What a mess, at least some people are okay, but god help their kids. Funnily this article wasn't on the 'money' or 'property' pages in the Guardian, but then bank adverts for mortgage lending probably isn't a happy bed mate on the same page.

Posted by anonymhouse will @ 12:42 PM 13 Comments

More Bearish Prognosis.

MoneyWeek: The shipping index has dropped 50%. What does it mean?

The Baltic Dry Index (BDI) measures the cost of shipping dry bulk goods – commodities such as iron ore and coal, for example. The BDI has fallen almost in half since the end of May, but let's put that in perspective. The index saw a 95% drop during the financial crisis of 2008. If the price of moving raw materials falls, that's because demand for finished goods is also slowing down. Company restocking is now ending, and we're waiting to see what sort of 'real' demand remains to pick up the slack once government stimulus is removed. Therefore, a drop in the BDI suggests that the global economy must be slowing down.

Posted by dan1 @ 12:38 PM 4 Comments

Council Tax Doubles since 1997

Telegraph: Councils 'waste millions' on pointless jobs

Struggling workers and families funding “audience development officers”, “cheerleading development officers” and “communications waste strategy officers”. All have been employed by local councils in recent years.

Posted by sovietuk @ 09:49 AM 37 Comments

What about a really expensive shoe box?

BBC: Living 'costs at least £14,400' for a single person

There seems to be no mention of mortgage in this arseicle. We must remind ourselves that a £150,000 mortgage for 25 years @ 6% costs almost £1000 a month. This really ought to be in there somewhere in the article because that is the size of a mortgage on the "average" house - assuming a 10% deposit! You would need a salary of £16,000 to pay for this mortgage alone! Add in council tax and basic bills and its about £20,000. Remembering nobody has eaten a thing yet this should be a little worrying!

Posted by brickormortis @ 08:33 AM 11 Comments

That's sorted, let's enjoy the sun!

Investment Week: BoE to hold rates until at least May 2011

Wise choice by our wise men. And the love kickstarts again.

Posted by smugdog @ 08:24 AM 3 Comments

More evidence of deflation

BBC: Gig promoters warn of price hike

''Concert and festival promoters have warned that ticket prices could go up as songwriters consider requesting a greater share of live music takings.....With VAT also rising by 2.5%, Mr Benn, who runs Festival Republic, said the cost of an average festival ticket would go up by about £10.''

Posted by hpwatcher @ 08:17 AM 6 Comments

Fussy LHA recipients have more choice than private renters

Daily Mail: 'Live in a £1m mansion for £130 a week? Only if you throw in a new kitchen...':

A housing association officer exposes the scandal of the choice based lettings system and some of the outrageously fussy behaviour of some of the "clients".

Posted by mikelivingstone @ 07:38 AM 2 Comments

Monday, July 5, 2010

The me first generation

Guardian: Baby boomers: powerful and selfish

The one piece of good news in the budget was that George Osborne restored the link between state pensions and earnings, which Margaret Thatcher broke in 1980. Osborne's decision comes just in time for the baby boomers – the children of the 1960s – to benefit. But for the children of the baby boomers, governments offer only misery. Higher education minister David Willetts has made it clear that students' fees are going to go up. A lot. Baby boomers, born between 1945 and 1955, paid no fees at all when they were students in the free and carefree 60s.

Posted by dothemaths @ 09:23 PM 3 Comments

Spain's mortgage delinquency fudge

Bloomberg: Spanish Savings Banks May Be Hiding Home-Loan Losses, CreditSights Says

Spanish savings banks may be hiding losses on home loans by taking non-performing mortgages out of securitized transactions, according to CreditSights Inc. By carrying the bad loans on their own books the so-called cajas sidestep downgrades to their mortgage-backed securities, the independent bond research firm said in a report. The regional lenders helped fuel the nation’s real-estate bubble, which burst after the collapse of the U.S. subprime market.

Posted by alan @ 08:27 PM 0 Comments

Shareholders shafted by BTL mortgages & Liar Loans.

Yorkshire Post: No compensation for bitter Bradford and Bingley investors

Former investors in nationalised lender Bradford & Bingley should receive no compensation for their shares, the independent valuer of the stricken business said today.

Posted by mr g @ 07:29 PM 21 Comments

Any excuse to crank up the printing press!

Telegraph: We must not be seduced by apparent attractiveness of a strong pound

The markets have welcomed the new coalition government. The pound has risen from its lows by about 20pc against the euro and about 10pc against the dollar. Governments are easily seduced by the apparent attractions of a strong currency. It gives them the seal of approval from the financial markets. This happened under the first Thatcher government in 1979-81, and again when Tony Blair was first elected in 1997. Yet the over-valued pound was right at the centre of the distorted economy that followed. So what could be done here? The Bank of England could buy foreign assets, i.e. foreign government bonds, by printing money. The monetary effect would be the same as ordinary QE but this would have the added effect of helping to keep the exchange rate down.

Posted by drewster @ 06:18 PM 6 Comments

Is now a good time to buy a house?

The Inside Edge - UK property news and views: Is now a good time to buy a house?

Following the emergency budget last week, many homeowners and landlords are picking through the new factors that have been thrown in to the to-buy-or-not-to-buy conundrum. A few reassuring points remain, says Saffron Building society's Michelle Monck.

Posted by james @ 05:18 PM 0 Comments

Ex-head of NIESR replaces Kate Barker on BoE's MPC - base to stay low for longer?

The Guardian: Martin Weale joins Bank of England's monetary policy committee

The Treasury has appointed leading academic Martin Weale as a member of the Bank of England's monetary policy committee (MPC) in a move widely seen as providing Mervyn King with support for his low interest rate policy. Weale, who is fairly relaxed about the government's austerity measures, has nonetheless argued that they are unnecessarily tough, and is likely to vote to keep interest low while the measures take their toll on the economy. Weale is one of four external members appointed by the government and will replace Kate Barker, who finished a nine-year stint on the rate-setting committee at the end of May.

Posted by 51ck-6-51x @ 04:43 PM 6 Comments

The North / South divide still applies

Telegraph: UK towns where it's hardest to find a job

Doncaster, Barnsley and Grimsby have the worst employment prospects of any major towns in the UK, according to an independent analysis.

Posted by mr g @ 04:12 PM 0 Comments

Hold on to your tin foil hats

Yahoo: Dollar tipping over the edge as traders eye US double-dip

The mood has darkened after a raft of data suggesting that the recovery from the financial crisis may now have run out of steam. In the US, the amount of money flowing around the economy has collapsed, while consumer confidence on both sides of the Atlantic has dipped ahead of the austerity measures intended to shore up Governments' finances.

Posted by happy mondays @ 03:23 PM 5 Comments

Where have we heard this before..?

The Move Channel: No NZ asking price drops despite glut

"Property sellers in New Zealand are refusing to drop asking prices in the face of a continuing high stock of unsold houses, according to a new report... The average asking price in June rose slightly by $2,709 to $410,058, despite inventory levels of unsold houses remaining high at 45.3 weeks, a drop of only 1.7 weeks from the month before, the latest monthly NZ Property Report shows. But while the market appeared to be relatively flat, the numbers showed that metropolitan areas were more active than provincial New Zealand, said Alistair Helm, Realestate.co.nz chief executive..."

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 03:15 PM 6 Comments

Your favourite newspaper

Daily mail: For a few million, the chance to grab your own piece of Italy: Treasures put up for sale in battle against soaring national debt

Fancy owning an island off the coast of Venice or Sardinia? If money is no object, one could soon be yours - as the Italian government is to sell off hundreds of treasures to reduce its national debt. About 9,000 buildings, palaces, beaches, islands and forts with an estimated value of more than £3billion are among the items that will become available at the end of this month. Italy's growing debt stands at £1.18trillion. Among the most expensive and picturesque assets on sale is the Caprera island chain, part of the La Maddelana archipelago off the north-east coast of Sardinia.

Posted by mark @ 12:32 PM 8 Comments


Yahoo: With the US trapped in depression, this really is starting to feel like 1932

"Home sales are down. Retail sales are down. Factory orders in May suffered their biggest tumble since March of last year. So what are we doing about it? Less than nothing," he said. California is tightening faster than Greece. State workers have seen a 14pc fall in earnings this year due to forced furloughs. Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger is cutting pay for 200,000 state workers to the minimum wage of $7.25 an hour to cover his $19bn (£15bn) deficit.

Posted by mark @ 09:44 AM 0 Comments

House prices continue to defy logic and rise - are they simply invincible?

Love money .com: House prices are invincible

House prices are the captain scarlett of our economy (and no not the CGI version - cant destiny angel be french like in the original?). Now could any mysterons please stand up?

Posted by techieman @ 08:14 AM 62 Comments

Perpetual Property Boom

Guardian: Private speculation rather than public profligacy is real villain of Labour years

Bank lending to fuel the property boom plunged UK into spending crisis - ... Budget projections show that Cable and Osborne expect the property boom to be back within a couple of years

Posted by mken @ 04:19 AM 18 Comments

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Food for thought animation

Citywire: The crises of capitalism, and their inescapable conclusion

Radical but influential anthropologist David Harvey exposes the flaws in our ways of thinking about the financial crisis in this brilliant animated video. Harvey is a Marxist theorist, but don’t let that put you off – this is cogent and entertaining stuff, whether or not you agree with its conclusions.

Posted by novice pete @ 05:33 PM 18 Comments

More mess

Citywire: Keydata Crisis: one year on and still the boss won't say sorry

Tens of thousands of investors in Keydata Investment Services have endured a nightmare year since the company was forced into administration. Yet Stewart Ford, its multi-millionaire founder (pictured below), refuses to say sorry and blames the City regulator.

Posted by novice pete @ 05:05 PM 1 Comments

Always read the small print

IndyMedia: Those Housing Benefit Reforms – it’s not just about unemployed Londoners

In the budget small print it has been announced that Local Housing Allowance (LHA) rates will now be set at the 30th percentile of local rents as opposed to the median (50th percentile). Also buried in the fine print of the budget document is the news that those who have been claiming Job Seeker’s Allowance (JSA) for 12 months will see their Housing Benefit cut by 10% from April 2013.

Posted by drewster @ 09:39 AM 29 Comments

Saturday, July 3, 2010

UK Debt

Telegraph: Servicing our debt is tough now, but it's only going to get tougher

If the UK government sticks with the current austerity plans, that might already lead to strikes and so on, and keeps doing that for the next 30 years (past my working life and yours probably), our national debt will still hit 300pc by 2040. The article points out that the deficit is the rate of debt increase, not debt, and that the liabilities of the UK government are understated, and are due to dramatically increase as the population ages. Not a good message because we are trying to cut back but the damage is done now, so... I could have an around 150/month pension plan matched by where I work, but I am not so sure this is going to be worth it. I have my doubts that I will even get my 150 a month back, let alone the 300 combined.

Posted by stillthinking @ 10:44 PM 14 Comments

Be careful what you wish for

The Guardian: Cabinet ministers have been ordered by the Treasury to plan for unprecedented cuts of 40%

Cabinet ministers have been ordered by the Treasury to plan for unprecedented cuts of 40% in their departmental budgets as the coalition widens the scope of its four-year austerity drive. The eye-watering demand from the chief secretary to the Treasury, Danny Alexander, was sent this weekend to cabinet colleagues ahead of a week in which ministers will step up emergency cost-cutting across the public sector.

Posted by gone-to-colombia @ 10:41 PM 5 Comments

Time to sell before it's too late!

Telegraph: House prices: is it time to buy or sell?

The consensus among economists and housing experts is that the recovery is running out of steam, and that prices look set to stall at best and fall at worst. For would-be sellers it seems a bigger gamble to hold off in the hope that the housing market will continue to improve than to sell now following a recovery in house prices and an improvement (for the time being) in mortgage lending conditions. House price bears (that's us!) reckon that many home owners could not cope with a rise in interest rates.

Posted by miken @ 08:24 PM 9 Comments

"Let Hercules himself do what he may, the cat will mew and the dog shall have his day" - Hamlet 5,1

Telegraph: Private landlords to slash rents to keep tenants because of housing benefit cuts

eco-house desire found this. Looks like the taxpayer-funded party is over for greedy landlords.

Posted by paul @ 07:40 PM 3 Comments

Will there be any left for the EU?

Bloomberg: Ukraine to Get $14.9 Billion From IMF in Deal Conditional on Deficit Cuts

The International Monetary Fund agreed a new $14.9 billion standby arrangement with Ukraine after a mission to the country approved its economic policies aimed at reducing the budget deficit.

Posted by alan @ 02:16 PM 1 Comments

Consequences and Decisions

Telegraph: Changes in women's lives highlighted in official figures

Yes their lives have changed but what percentage is through choice and what percentage have had it unwillingly forced on them from through qualification and house price inflation.

Posted by enuii @ 02:06 PM 2 Comments

Allow the housing bubble to correct

HM Government Your Freedom: Allow the Housing Bubble to Correct

Cleggy's goevernment website on "Your ideas for your freedom". Someone wise has suggested that the housing bubble be allowed to correct, anyone here? You can sign in and add support and comments, should you wish.

Posted by catch_22 @ 01:14 PM 0 Comments

This is where tax payers money is wasted!!!

Telegraph: RBS 'pays' HSBC to take its Indian busines off its hands

However, the majority of any losses made by the business will be covered by RBS, meaning it could end up in effect paying HSBC to buy the unit. RBS will bear 90pc of any losses made in India in the next two years

Posted by mark @ 12:17 PM 1 Comments

No point handing around

Channel 4: Homebuyers decide in 20 minutes

So there you have it. The biggest financial decision of your life, one that can bankrupt you or enrich you. 20 minutes. The market can stay irrational for longer than you can live.

Posted by chrisch @ 10:14 AM 9 Comments

What Do Bond Spreads Signal For Share Prices?

Index Universe: Keep An Eye On Bond Spreads

Share prices have sunk by nearly 20% in little over two months, as fears of a double dip in the world economy intensify. But meantime corporate bond prices - another indicator of companies' health - are trading near all-time highs. Why the divergence, and what does it signify for the future of both markets?

Posted by paul amery @ 07:46 AM 0 Comments

Makes those 'Mafia' union guys look like chumps

The Sunday Times: The Sunday Times Rich List 2010: fortunes of super-rich soar by a third

dated april 25, 2010 More controversially, a host of City bankers and financiers have seen their fortunes rise sharply after the financial system was rescued from meltdown by taxpayers. Louis Bacon, the hedge fund manager, is ranked 49th at £1.1 billion, up from £650m last year; Alan Howard, who co-founded Brevan Howard, Europe’s biggest hedge fund, is ranked 66th with £875m, up from £375m; and numerous other “hedgies” have seen their wealth jump by 50% or more. At the height of the financial crisis, one hedge fund manager, Richard Chenevix-Trench, is believed to have made £82m in one year. At least 170 people on the list made their fortunes primarily in finance and banking, compared with 246 through property and 229 through inheritance.

Posted by novice pete @ 12:08 AM 15 Comments

Friday, July 2, 2010

Unemployment Impact on House Prices

The Market Oracle: UK House Prices, Unemployment and Claimant Count Impact Trend Analysis

UK unemployment is set to rise as a consequence of deep spending cuts and tax rises that target an annual £113 billion withdrawal from the economy by 2015-16, which according to the ConLib governments own figures will result in 1.3 million job losses comprising of 600k public sector and 700k private sector jobs. This analysis seeks evaluate the likely impact of unemployment trends against house price trends.

Posted by nadeem walayat @ 11:59 PM 0 Comments

BTL increase

FT: Buy-to-lets surge on capital gains tax news

If mortgage rates stay low then the money seeks the highest yield ... property! With the goverment supporting low rates ... game over.

Posted by sam @ 11:41 PM 0 Comments

Rates are creeping up slowly

BBC: India raises interest rates to curb inflation

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has raised key interest rates by a quarter of a percentage point in an attempt to curb double-digit inflation. The rise came after a surprise hike in inflation to 10.2% in May.

Posted by alan @ 10:12 PM 3 Comments

I need you guys to vote for this law

HM your freedom: Allow the public to sack corrupt council workers

protect the public and communities from being abused by corrupt councils, planning and workers.

Posted by mark @ 02:45 PM 8 Comments

When will they change trespass laws

Dailymail: Trench warfare: Developers forced to dig moat at upmarket estate to stop invasion of travellers

A developer has surrounded a camp of travellers with a moat in an effort to move them on, after they settled on an upmarket new estate, just metres from a sales office and display home.

Posted by mark @ 02:32 PM 0 Comments

Rats leaving sinking ship???

Yahoo: McCarthy to quit as CEO of RBS's Ulster Bank

"I have decided to move on from my position as chief executive of Ulster Bank as I believe that now is the right time for me to seek new opportunities," McCarthy said in a statement, without elaborating on his reasons.

Posted by mark @ 12:56 PM 1 Comments

Fiat money conspiracy theory could send us to depression

Investment & Business News: Are our economic fears now being realised?

Towards the end of this article it says: “What worries us is the current backlash we are seeing against debt, and the fiat money conspiracy, and all these fears you see circulating about impending inflation. It is all very dangerous. If productivity is rising, and given the advances in technology and the greater specialisation that is coming with globalisation, it surely should be, then we need an expanding money supply. We need debt levels to rise, or else demand will lag further and further behind potential. It continues: In reacting against the practices of the last decade, we are in real danger of overreacting, castigating all debt as bad, and sending the global economy into deep, deep recession, as a result.

Posted by jac nixon @ 12:17 PM 14 Comments


Telegraph: Almost 70pc of London buyers from overseas

The number of wealthy foreigners buying top end homes in London has jumped by almost 20 per cent in the past year.

Posted by dill @ 12:11 PM 9 Comments

Great idea Arnie

Cnn.com: Schwarzenegger orders minimum wage for California state workers

As many as 200,000 state workers in California could see their pay scale slashed to minimum wage, if orders from the governor's office are followed.

Posted by mark @ 11:26 AM 5 Comments


Yahoo: Howard Davidowitz: U.S. Economy

As far as the actual economy goes, Davidowitz's chief concern is the strained state of the housing market, from which the bad news continues to pour in. According to Davidowitz, Americans are facing an $8 trillion negative wealth effect from the bursting of the housing bubble. "We're talking about some serious money here," Davidowitz exclaims. "I mean this is a complete disaster and that's why we are going to have a double dip. We're guaranteed a double dip in housing." Impact on UK property market highly likely!

Posted by cdo1 @ 10:55 AM 0 Comments

Trade Union Rich List

TaxPayerAlliance: Trade Union Rich List

Not exactly HPC but thought it would be of interest (or maybe it is HPC relevant for those who wonder who can afford those £500k+ houses...)

Posted by easybetman @ 10:54 AM 24 Comments

God save us...

Greg Pytel: Don't jump over yet. It will get worse.

If the so-called "experts" do not have a clue we are heading for a big one.

Posted by ant @ 08:52 AM 1 Comments

Bang on cue

Citywire: Trio of BoE rate-setters dampen talk of interest rate hikes

Just last week they were talking of the need to raise rates soon. But lo! Next week is rate-setting week so now we see the torrent of news stories about the coming credit crunch and how mortgages might become harder to get and double dip recession and .... rates will have to stay at 0.5%.

Posted by paul @ 08:26 AM 6 Comments

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Please sir can we have (print?) some more money to fund higher house prices?

Daily Mail: Warning of second credit crunch as lenders predict loans will plunge over next three months

Britain could be on the brink of another mortgage drought, the Bank of England has warned, as fears grew of a 'second credit crunch'. Lenders could be facing a major funding gap because of the the bank's £165billion 'special liquidity scheme'. It's predicted there will be just £15billion of net mortgage lending this year, compared to nearly £110billlion in 2007. House price crash here we come! Let's hope businesses do not struggle because the banks may prefer to lend their remaining pennies to home owners in order to keep up the value of their over-inflated property assets.

Posted by miken @ 09:04 PM 35 Comments

New LHA Rates Have Huge Implications for All Landlords

Landlord Association: New LHA Rates Have Huge Implications for All Landlords

This is the crunch time - if what landlord association claim is true, then those expensive properties will find private renters who will pay the same rates for it. If not, then we will see rent fall in the expensive areas. But they do have a point that rents in outer borough of say £350 will now go to £400...

Posted by easybetman @ 08:27 PM 4 Comments

The truth goes mainstream

Telegraph: Middle class families face a triple whammy

You don't usually expect radical neo-Marxism from the International Monetary Fund – the last great bastion of capitalism, spreading the gospel about the free market to the furthest reaches of the world. And yet, hidden away in an obscure IMF report a few years back is a short sentence that explains precisely the problems that Britain, and the rest of the Western world, have been sleepwalking towards for years.

Posted by dill @ 04:36 PM 7 Comments

You can put rates up then !

BBC News: Mortgage Defaults fall unexpectedly

Hardly surprising when rates are at 0.5%.. The rate at which mortgage holders and businesses default on loans has fallen "unexpectedly", according to the Bank of England. The drop in the April-to-June period continues a trend seen with home loans since last year. However, the Bank's Credit Conditions Survey said that the default rate was expected to remain unchanged in the third quarter of 2010. Lenders warned that the rate could rise if the economic outlook worsened.

Posted by exiges @ 01:20 PM 0 Comments

Adam Posen yesterday said that the economy could be at a tipping point

Yahoo: Borrowers warned of mortgage crunch

Bank of England interest-rate setter Adam Posen yesterday said that the economy could be at a tipping point. Mr Posen commented in a speech that he had "laid awake for a number of nights" worrying about the state of the economy. He said: "The UK economy is potentially switching between two states a recovery, which we are now in, albeit perhaps an initially weak one ... and the renewal of a severe recession if not outright deflation."

Posted by mark @ 12:52 PM 7 Comments

Not much for savers to look forward to

Telegraph: When will interest rates rise?

Various sources speculate that rates will stay low. Ray Boulger is quite explicit why: "Despite one rogue member of the MPC voting for a quarter-point increase in Bank Rate in June, the strong measures announced in the Budget will have a similar impact on consumers to an increase in interest rates and hence are likely to enable the MPC to keep Bank Rate low for an extended period. These low interest rates will help support house prices."

Posted by quiet guy @ 12:34 PM 2 Comments

Some interesting (and very large) numbers involved here...

BBC Robert Peston 'blog: The risks of forcing banks off welfare

"UK banks face a deadline of the end of 2012 to repay £165bn ... under the Special Liquidity Scheme. And over the same timescale, British banks will have to find £120bn to pay back debt that has been guaranteed ... under the Credit Guarantee Scheme... as bad luck would have it, this schedule for repaying the Bank of England and the Treasury coincides with a spike in repayments on other substantial debts of British banks, in the form of bonds and residential mortgage-backed securities. What this means, according to the Bank of England, is that banks need to refinance or replace up to £800bn of term funding over the coming 30 months... what's required is 66% more debt issuance per month on average by banks than actually took place during the boom years of 2001-7"

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 12:03 PM 0 Comments

Lower prices?

Yahoo: Banks plan less Q3 mortgage lending

Banks plan to cut mortgage lending over the next three months due partly to higher expected funding costs

Posted by mark @ 09:57 AM 0 Comments

US 2nd leg down

Business Insider: House Prices Are Still Too High And They're Going To Tank -- Ritholtz

"We're on our way to a second leg down in housing price...because house prices are still too high. Even after a plunge of more than 30% from the 2007 peak to the 2009 trough, house prices still did not fall to their long-term "fair value" level relative to incomes and rents of the past century. Over the next year or so, Ritholtz expects prices will resume their fall and drop at least another 10% before bottoming."

Posted by rumble @ 09:48 AM 8 Comments

Perhaps it wasn't really a recovery after all?

FT: Manufacturing growth slows in Asia

''Chinese factories slowed production in June for the first time in fifteen months, while manufacturers in other major Asian countries eased the pace of growth in output, according to new data released on Thursday. The combination of lower output in China and slower expansion in Japan, South Korea, India and Taiwan confirms that the region is seeing an easing from the growth surge that followed the global financial crisis.''

Posted by hpwatcher @ 09:07 AM 2 Comments

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