Thursday, October 14, 2010

Grant Shapps’ property profits

Your home is a place to live, not a pension: Tory minister vows to end era of house price booms

STR (I think) asked about Shappsy's property portfolio recently. The DM has this to say: "Mr Shapps... has already pocketed an estimated £250,000 from a previous house sale, and could make a similar amount if he sold his five-bedroom detached house in Hertfordshire, which is currently worth more than £1million." So by MP standards, he's a choirboy (he's made no more money that I have, albeit he's a couple of years younger than I am).

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 10:39 AM (1698 views)
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17 thoughts on “Grant Shapps’ property profits

  • Due to the amazing competance of pension fund managers, my pension is worth exactly 15% of the total amount of money I’ve paid in over the years – That’s an 85% fall over what I paid for it.

    On the other hand, my house is still worth pretty much exactly what I paid for it. In fact, it’s the only thing I’ve ever thrown money at which hasn’t drastically gone down in value. Even if a 50% HPC happens, my home would still be better performing than my useless pension.

    If my home is not my pension anymore, I fail to see what else is… My pension is certainly useless.

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  • MW – you do have a tendency to brag about the money you’ve made buying and selling houses. My view is that this site should be about wanting sensible house prices so that famillies can afford to buy somewhere decent to live. You appear to want price falls so you can buy up cheap places and make another killing. I’m not saying I’m right and you are wrong, but you appear to me to be very hypocritical because you criticise when people say price rises are good, yet you want them too, only after you’ve bought back in though so you can benefit. The fact that you also have political ambitions reinforces most people’s assumptions that whilst politicians all become politicians because they “want ot make a difference”, they are actually only interested in milking the system for personal gain.

    Rant over.

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  • You will be driven out with that sort of talk TT.

    Well said all the same, good for you.

    Cone head to comment?

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  • mark wadsworth says:

    Timmy T, I’m not bragging.

    But as the topic was about Shappsy’s property history it only seemed fair to ‘fess up that I had done the same. If people want to hate me for having sold to rent or call me a hypocrite, then fine, but don’t expect me to feel guilty about having done so either.

    Further, I have no politicial ambitions whatsoever and have mentioned Land Value Tax on more than one occasion as an ideal method of killing property speculation stone dead. LVT “will never happen” of course, so if and when prices crash don’t blame me if I dive back in and become a BTL landlord again. That puts me in a win win. Either they introduce LVT and I’ve lost nothing and we’ve all gained a lot; or they don’t and I shall make another killing on the back of stupid Daily Mail readers.

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  • Touché MW,

    That’s reasonable. Good for you also.

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  • Mark, when MP’s expenses hit the headlines, very few people sympathised with their argument that it was the system that was at fault and they simply claimed what they could. Should we not expect them to feel guilty either? As a society we are very quick to find fault with money making schemes that work for other people but that we have not had the benefit of, but still very willing to make money when we can, despite the negative impact on others. You say that “houses are for living in and not an investment” when you don’t have one and want the price to come down, yet only too willing to get back into property investment when prices drop. Would you start blogging on http://www.housepriceboom.co.uk once you’d built your BTL portfolio?

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  • mark wadsworth says:

    Timmy T. I see a clear distinction between people who MAKE the rules and people who ABUSE them.

    For example with welfare, there are clearly many cases where people abuse the system. But it was not them who invented the system and it is not difficulty to replace it with a welfare system with little or no abuse. Which is why I don’t in for Mail-esque bashing of “scroungers”, they are just doing the sensible thing and not looking a gift horse in the mouth. I blame this one entirely on successive UK governments (basically for not replacing the whole thing with a Citizen’s Income/Pension scheme).

    Neither have I ever signed a petition opposing new construction in my area nor called for interest rates to come down or Council Tax to be frozen etc etc. Sure, I benefitted from the fact that others did this, but it was never part of my plan.

    This is quite different to the MPs expenses or indeed CGT breaks for flipping second homes – it was the same people designing the rules as abusing them. This is clearly morally wrong.

    As to house price booms I have been a Land Value Taxer ever since I first heard of it in 2005. Make of that what you will, I have explained my view on this above.

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  • @3 MW said :

    “…I have no politicial ambitions whatsoever…”

    http://whoknowswho.channel4.com/people/Mark_Wadsworth

    Quote :

    Mark Wadsworth was UKIP Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Uxbridge and South Ruislip in the 2010 general election

    Methinks you’re being just a little disengenous Mark… but show all the traits of a (wannabe) politician.

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  • mark wadsworth says:

    Alan 540, I never put myself forward as a candidate.

    The person who had been chosen dropped out very late in the proceedings and the local MEP asked me if I’d stand instead, so being a helpful sort of party member I said “Yes”. I don’t think standing for UKIP counts as “politicial ambition”, it’s not like any of us we’re going to win, was it?

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  • Mark, I take your point, but you’re hardly disinterested in politics! And to say you’ve no political ambition having been a parliamentary candidate (even by default) is stretching the truth somewhat. To say UKIP was not likely to win, although true, has no relevance – other than, perhaps, to show a certain lack of judgement on your part. And don’t think I’m being argumentative for the sake of it, your posts are often insightful, even if you do bang on about LVT a lot of the time.

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  • mark wadsworth says:

    Alan, somebody who has ‘political ambitions’ has to start working for Labour or Tory straight out of school or even better University, preferably Ox or Cam or somewhere posh, and one of the golden rules is pander to the Home-Owner-Ists and never mention LVT.

    Not middle aged blokes who don’t like the EU who stand out of protest and never miss an opportunity to explain how LVT would sort out [any particular problem].

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  • Mark – somebody who has “no political ambitions” doesn’t stand at a general election 🙂
    I’m just questioning your motives for being here – that’s all. You talk passionately about the need for sensible house prices, yet stand ready to invest as soon as the market has bottomed out. It’s this kind of speculation and investment that got us here in the first place. In my view, saying that you want cheap houses, but being willing to play the game that then makes them expensive again because you will gain is hypocritical. And being a LVT campaigner is a convenient shield to hide behind because as you have already admitted, it will never happen. Why don’t you campaign for something that might?

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  • Mark, we’ll have to agree to disagree, by the way, I don’t think political ambition is at all a bad thing.

    LVT it occurs to me is a bit like vitamin-c : easy to implement and cures a variety of ills.

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  • timmy t, I don’t think MW’s support for LVT yet wanting to buy a house when prices are more sensible is hypocritical, just pragmatic.
    Although I see a place for LVT, in my way of thinking income tax would be the main form of taxation alongside some form of LVT. MW’s ideal is that LVT would replace all other taxation (I think). As for whether it will happen or not doesn’t mean that one should dismiss it, stranger things have happened.

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  • Alan – don’t get me wrong, I’m a big LVT fan too.
    If MW was waiting for the crash before buying a home I wouldn’t have a problem. But he’s talking about wanting a crash so he can get back into BTL – that’s what I have the problem with because that is what’s largely responsible for this forum even existing.

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  • mark wadsworth says:

    Perhaps I am a hypocrite, but as Pete Townsend once said, I’m the sort of hypocrite who admits it, which is the worst kind of hypcrite of all.

    For instance, a couple of months ago UKIP member asked me to help him get out of a hideous French tax charge. Under EU law, this tax charge was clearly illegal, so I helped him draft a letter and (luckily for him) the French decided to withdraw their demand and cancel the tax charge.

    Is that hypocritical of me, who wants out of the EU to play the EU card when it suited me/him? PS I once had to play the EU card myself in a parallel situation.

    It’s the same with STR’ing, hoping for a crash and being pro-LVT. You’ve got to see it as insurance. And if the price of flats falls to a level where they are a good income yielding investment, is it really a crime to buy some? It’s not the rents that makes people poor, it’s ridiculously high house prices.

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  • 1. Fecn
    May I suggest you sack your incompetent (possibly greedy) Pension Manager, and pick managed funds yourself, which do perform. Don’t get hoodwinked by the high risk rating on some funds, look at the figures and graphs, also monitor fund performance regularly (e.g. quarterly) and be prepare to move money when a fund performs poorly. I’m invested in four different managed “High Risk” funds and all are beating real inflation, some by a big margin, even the dropped ones made gains!

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