Thursday, November 11, 2010

Global dash for all commodities – cash debasement continues

UK House Prices Overvalued, So Where's the Crash?

'I remember Professor David Miles saying in 2000 that houses were expensive then and crucially consumers could no longer have their debts inflated away as they had in the 70's and 80's. However, there has been really no price crash and now Professor Miles believes that more falls are unlikely. In nominal terms, I believe he may be right.'

Posted by hpwatcher @ 05:19 AM (2990 views)
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59 thoughts on “Global dash for all commodities – cash debasement continues

  • All i ever hear about these days is house prices are going down big time yet i still see them at high levels now i just abit fed up with all the noise lets face it nobody really knows.

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  • And what is so frustrating is you can’t even do something constructive in the housing Market to give you an edge, like building your own, as there are virtually no plots available.

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  • I’m not surprised that Jonathan Davis is losing it during interviews, we should have had a ‘normal’ house price crash by now. but the politicians simply won’t let it happen. They will use various ways and means to keep that bubble inflated – the banks would simply lose too much money otherwise.

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  • I remain fairly certain that house prices where I live will continue their downward path. For anyone monitoring say month to month the downward path will look pretty erratic.

    I accepot that this notion is to be throw out if it becomes apparent that wages are spiralling upwards. That said if this happens my earnings will follow a similar trajectory so I don’t see the possibilty (and my view is that it is the remoter possibilty) as a particuarly strong argument for buying now.

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  • typos “there”, “accept”, “thrown” – hope point not obscured.

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  • Can we at least try to stick to some facts?

    The banks would lose very little money if house prices fell by say 20% because the average equity they hold, as collateral, is more than 20%. This is an unarguable fact, so lets not keep repeating the same nonsense day in and day out.

    It is pure fantasy and conjecture to say that the politicians are deliberately holding up house prices. Why do people keep saying that without offering a shred of proof to back up this conspiracy theory? (remember conjecture and fantasy isn’t the same thing as fact). Interest rates are low because bond yields are low and because the BOE wants to stimulate the economy. That’s a fact. I’m sure politicians (if such a fractious bunch could ever unanimously agree on anything) would wish for orderly falls and rises in all markets but that is hardly a sufficient basis on which to build a wild conspiracy theory

    House prices have not collapsed because unemployment is relatively low and because interest rates are at record lows. If unemployment increases and interest rates rise, then house prices will fall. Only the terminally stupid would waste keyboard stokes, boring us on a daily basis, with conspiracy theories, when this obvious truth is staring us in the face.

    We will have a house price crash (probably in the range of 10 to 40%) IF we get significant increases in unemployment and interest rates. Anyone who argues with that should be treated with suspicion or even contempt.

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  • I don’t see the possibilty (and my view is that it is the remoter possibilty) as a particuarly strong argument for buying now.

    Bellweather, I have actually started looking at houses again as I honestly don’t see much happening by way of significant falls. Everybody seems to be sitting on their hands again, as in 2009, with nothing much happening. If you remember the 2008 falls only started happening due to the reposessions; this is also true of the falls in the early 1990’s.

    If the economy does start to slow, and house prices start to fall, I can see BOE simply doing more QE to keep interest rates low – regardless of what’s happening with inflation. The only way house prices will really begin falling, will be if reposessions start rising, and it appears that the only thing that will cause that are interest rates rising…..which BOE won’t allow.

    Flashman said himself yesterday, that there are plenty of purchases of government debt….

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  • other countries prices have fallen…uk and australia haven’t

    apparently according to this guy this is a new normal which of course is total rubbish

    all bubbles like this deflate…oil and gold kept falling for 19 years,despite rising population worldwide,in fact in 1999 during a boom oil actually hit $9…in japan property prices have been falling for 19 years also…in actual terms prices are up to 70% lower and in parts of central tokyo they are 90% lower despite zero interest rates….in fact japan’s carry trade fuelled the dotcom boom

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  • the politicians are deliberately holding up house prices.

    I believe they are – apart from most of them being VI’s – house price measurements are now regarded as being a key economic indicator. So it isn’t in anybodys interest – apart from the people on HPC – to allow them to fall.

    We will have a house price crash (probably in the range of 10 to 40%) IF we get significant increases in unemployment and interest rates.

    That is a very big ”IF”. As I don’t think BOE are going to allow interest rates to rise, if they do, there will simply be more QE to keep them down. You yourself wrote yesterday that there are lots of buyers for UK bonds.

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  • bluebeach: give me a list of your personalities and I’ll tell you which ones to discount

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  • @Flash: In a global economy, with the Pound depreciating approx. 25% against e.g. the Euro, you Brits already had your crash. So call me terminally stupid at your peril;)

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  • hpw, I don’t know your situation but be prepared for any house you buy to fall in value over the coming few years – which I’m sure you are prepared for.

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  • hpw:

    I said: “We will have a house price crash (probably in the range of 10 to 40%) IF we get significant increases in unemployment and interest rates”.

    You said: “That is a very big ”IF”. As I don’t think BOE are going to allow interest rates to rise, if they do, there will simply be more QE to keep them down. You yourself wrote yesterday that there are lots of buyers for UK bonds.”

    With respect, you don’t appear to understand the currency markets, interest rate mechanisms, the economy and the finacial markets. The BOE have very little control over long term interest rates/mortgage rates. Long term mortgages and fixed rate mortgages are mostly dictated by the bond market. If we do more and more QE, then bond yields/mortgage interest rates will ultimately rise because we would start to be seen as a risk. We got away with it once because we were seen as a better risk that most. QE is not something we can do endlessly without severe interest rate consequences.

    You also failed to address the unemployment component of my statement. As most people know, I regard unemployment as the master factor in the house price equation. If the BOE can be considered to have little influence over long term interest rates, then it has even less influence over employment (the time proven master controller of house prices). I make no predictions on unemployment itself, but I am completely confident in saying that if we get large increases in unemployment, then we will have correspondingly large falls in house prices. It’s actually quite obvious, if you think about it.

    To sum up, you claim that the BOE will keep house prices up by using a tool over which they have little control and they will achieve this gravity defying stunt whilst having even less control over the master factor (unemployment).

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  • Isn’t it about time for…..the vauxhall currency will be debasificated and there will be hyperinflation like wot Mugabe had and then houses will go up cos of inflation but if u had done bought gold then thy wuld have gon down in nooominal terms and yui could buy beck’s house for half a Sov

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  • isn’t it though

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  • You’re all forgetting that large parts of the country will be under several foot of sea water due to global warming, I’ve just looked out the window and it’s hammering it down, so it’s started already. I for one feel confident that the large ark I have built in my back garden over the last 2 years will be coming in quite handy. And the neighbours laughed at me… they’ll not be laughing now.

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  • @bluebeach : The above comment clearly makes me one to add to your list.

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  • There will be no crash and I will tell you why. People like two years ago are refusing to sell. Most now see the cons of having a large family in a small home or not moving to find a job far less of a problem then losing thousands on their home by either selling up or if allready up for sale, lowering their asking price. 40% falls are ridiculous! Maybe in the region of 10% and thats from peak I believe. The only thing that will force prices down are reposessions and the goverment has in place so many safety nets to provent that happenning to joe public.

    I live in Wales and according to the latest land registry figures house prices are actually up 0.1%. Wales has one of the largest public sector work forces anywhere in britain but are they scared??? Are they Fu…

    I predict prices falling no lower than the last trough in 2009. Then up up and away through to 2016 when the government has to start building homes again!!

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  • Flashman 5, thanks for this: “The banks would lose very little money if house prices fell by say 20% because the average equity they hold, as collateral, is more than 20%. This is an unarguable fact, so lets not keep repeating the same nonsense day in and day out.”

    You just have to agree that banks are not just owned by shareholders – bondholders are part owners of the banks as well. And the total enterprise value of a bank = market value of shares + market value of bonds.

    I did all these calculations and linked to them yesterday – even if prices fell 50%, only forty per cent of borrowers would be in nequity, and even if they all defaulted, declared themselves bankrupt and had no other assets (all highly implausible scenarios), the total write down on banks’ balance sheets would only be about twenty per cent, which could easily be absorbed by converting bonds to shares.

    The total ‘enterprise value’ would barely change as ‘the markets’ have already pencilled in these falls (the total ‘enterprise value’ of UK banks is currently about ten or twenty per cent less than the book value of all their assets)

    Depositors would lose not a penny, it would cost the taxpayer nothing. End of. I’ve been saying this since NR went *pop* three years ago – the irony is that a couple of years later, the government ended up doing a rather complicated debt for equity swap, which involved splitting NR into two separate companies.

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  • Hi TC

    Was that posted because ‘They’ll Always be an England’ or because we’re ‘Pretty Vacant’.

    Quite funny really, I started watching that assuming it was some old footage from the seventies, and then thought wow, viewing that in widescreen makes the Sex Pistols look quite fat, as they walked on stage.

    Only to realise, it’s recent footage and they are quite fat.

    So for that I deserve the ‘Pretty Vacant’ category.

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  • But Flashman, on the other hand, it must be quite clear that UK politicians are doing their damnedest to prop up house prices. It is the politically popular thing to do. Like pretending we can fix the economy by making long term jobless sweep the streets for £1 an hour, or cutting long term benefits by ten per cent (which will save all of £500 million a year, absolute most).

    You know how the markets work, and so to you it might be clear that this cannot possibly work in the long run – so they are delaying rather than preventing a crash, but it will happen sooner or later. It’s just that politicians work on a very short term basis. A problem deferred is a problem solved as far as they are concerned.

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  • There have been quite a few comments and I thought I will perhaps contribute. My first experience was in the 70’s.
    I started work in 1977 and my pay was £1250 pa and my partners was £1750 pa. We lived in a rented flat for about 18 months and our salaries went up to £1500 and £2000 respectively. Having a deposit of £850 (10%), we decided to buy a one bedroom flat for £8500. The best mortgage offered initially was £6500. After a long meeting and having connections with my employer we were eventually able to borrow £7650. We purchased the flat. What I am trying get here is that if you were to multiply all the numbers by 10 then the flat today would cost in the region of £85000. This what you could pay today in Southampton. A 2/3 bedroom house cost in the region of £13000 in 1977and today it may cost in the region of £130k to £150k. So things have not changed that much. Prices of property, it would appear have stablised and yes some areas may experience bigger falls to other areas. As Flash says, it is unemployment that determines the price of the property as most of us are willing take higher risks if our monthly incomes/salary is guaranteed for a foreseeable future. I think most people on this site should not expect any great falls but look on the positive side, it is not going up so plan accordingly if tyou are thinking of buying a property. Save more and buy later if possible.

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  • Flas – do you not agree with the point I put forward yesterday; thank the government don’t want big HP falls because high HP’s make people FEEL wealthy and if they feel wealthy they will keep spending. With big falls, people would feel less well off and discretional spending would fall, having a big impact on retail and hence the economy as a whole. Okay this is a theory and I have no evidence to back it up, but doesn’t this make sense? I think this is more rational than arguing that they are keeping prices inflated because they all own 2 houses.

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  • There is no conspiracy by government as such but it is reasonable to conjecture that there was little governmental appetite to quell the rise in house prices due to the credit expansion. I think this is what Bernanke refers to as the “wealth effect” the willingness to spend and take on credit based on rising asset prices – particularly asset prices that can be leveraged to debt.

    I suppose that falling house prices would tend to have the opposite effect making people save more and borrow less. This would at least be a reason for goverments to be concerned about house prices.

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  • timmy t – I read your comments yesterday and the one above today and your point was in general terms echoed on Monday of this week at a presentation I attended by a senior investment fund manager (6bn under management).

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  • Particularly in an economy heavily predicated on consumption. It is hard to get people to feel confident and keep spending when their principal “asset” is falling in value, it also makes borrowing more difficult.

    Whether people should think of their house as an asset is another question and probably close to the root of the problem.

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  • Timmy T just noticed we are saying broadly the same thing.

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  • Bellwether – yes. You don’t have 6Bn under management do you?
    This was also the main source of nulabours “unprecedented period of sustained growth”. Sustained, yes, sustainable, no! It was rocketing HP’s getting people spending money they were only given because of the book value of their home.

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  • The words “thin” and “ice” come to mind… We’re all on this site because we’d like to see house prices crash. I doubt that any contributor here doesn’t have a roof over their head (apart from the captain – it’s windy today and his shed roof may have blown off, although I hope not), so why the need for cheaper houses when you can rent for less than buying? The answer is greed. It’s greed that caused the credit crunch and it’s greed that unites us all, like it or not.

    Just a discussion point, opinions may go up as well as down.

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  • sibley's b'stard child says:

    Timmy T, i’m not sure if I quite agree with that proposition. After all, just because the public ‘feel’ wealthier, if more and more of our take-home pay is spent servicing debts than where will the discretionary spend come from to buy all thse goods?

    Then again, i’m skint all the time so I seldom ‘feel’ wealthy. Meh.

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  • sibley's b'stard child says:

    Hang about Alan – and I hope i’ve misread you – are you suggesting it’s greed to want cheaper homes?

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  • Sibley – not sure I follow… actually not sure if you follow me…

    It’s not that keeping HP’s high will make people spend, it’s that allowing them to fall will make them spend less. The good times are over (see my post 29), and I believe they are just trying to stop things becoming worse than they already are.

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  • No you’ve missed the point sibley, I’m pointing out that we’re all here because we’d like to see a rapid fall in prices i.e. a crash. Why? So that we can buy a house. If we already have somewhere to live, and it is cheaper than buying at current prices then it’s just a matter of waiting until prices correct in due time, and what’s the problem with renting in those circumstances? Why do we want to buy? Because we want to own a house, and as we all know house prices only ever appreciate over time – get in when it’s low and make a killing, no? Renting as we are all told is “wasted money”. Just highlighting that none of us are immune to greed.

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  • timmy, bellwether, mark w: I’m never sure about the idea that politicians, as a collective group, have any sort of coherent plan for house prices or anything else for that matter. They are a notoriously fractious bunch and they probably spend too much of their time politicking against each other, to come up with a coherent house price plan. My best guess is that most of them are more concerned with their careers than anything else. I’m sure that the few politicians who are directly in charge of the economy would wish for orderly rises and falls in all markets but remain unconvinced by the notion that their prime concern is house prices. I think their prime concern is mostly to secure a positive legacy for themselves. To achieve this, I imagine they think that its important that the economy was seen to be well managed under their tenure and also that they initiated some grand social scheme or revolution like the NHS or motorways. House prices are probably no more than a component of the economy part of their legacy plan.

    I wholeheartedly agree with you all that most of them would regard precipitous house price falls as bad for votes and bad for the economy but ultimately they are blowing in the wind of market forces, just as much as we are. QE and other emergency support mechanisms were put in place because there was a severe shock to the world financial system and because our economy was slumping quite badly. To directly give my opinion as to whether politicians specifically target house prices, I will ask a rhetorical question. If the banking/finance system was proven to be in rude health and the economy was chugging along at a sustainable pace…would they implement QE and the other emergency support mechanisms just to support a falling property market? I think that the answer has to be a resounding no. If I’m right in this assertion, then we can safely discard the notion that house price support is their prime motivator

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  • sibley's b'stard child says:

    Nah Alan, you’re mistaking me with the STRs.

    To be honest, what I pay on rent is roughly what i’d pay on a mortgage for an equivalent house in the same area. My beef is that my monthly outgoings are artificially inflated by HPI & LHA; my only VI is that i’d like a little more discrectionary spend each month to indulge in that crazy fantasy of ‘living’. There’s no way of knowing what the true market value should be but sure as sh*t ain’t what i’m forking out at the moment. So, i’m biding my time in the wings so – hopefully, in a year or two – i’ll be in the position of paying far less than £800 pcm.

    Don’t get me wrong, i’m sure there’s plenty of people on the forum (and perhaps on the blog) that view HPC as an ‘investment opportunity’ but that ain’t me.

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  • The key word in this article is ‘nominal’. The media always talk about nominal prices when the ones that count are the real prices (ie. after accounting for inflation).

    If CPI runs at 3-3.5% for a while (as Merv now admits it will), RPI (the one that counts) will be running at 4.5-5%. So even if the nominal price of your house doesn’t fall over a year, it’s REAL value has dropped by 5% ish. Compound this for 3-4 years and you’ve lost 20% – even though the media are telling you that house prices haven’t fallen.

    Say nominal prices actually fall slightly over the period at 2-3% per annum as well (who will shout about that?) then you’ve lost over 25% in real terms, maybe getting on for 30%. Job done. Real prices will then be back in line with long term trends, and most people won’t even have noticed!

    In my view this is the master plan for house prices, whether they’ll manage to pull it off or not is another question. If Merv has to push interest rates up sharply then the wheels and the bus may part company.

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  • Maybe this high house price/keep spending thing will becoming to an end.

    Put simply, spending because the house is going up has (inthe past at least) involved extracting said equity.

    So the spending isn’t done with real money as such.

    However if house prices were alot lower then hypethetically people would have real spare cash to spend.

    But maybe society doesn’t work like that as there is a tendancy to buy the biggest house one can afford and stretch to whatever is the liimit.

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  • sibley, I agree with you entirely. My point reamains that we’re all driven by greed. You’d like more spare cash to spend each month for instance.

    As an aside, if your rent is equivalent to a mortgage, why not buy now? OK I realise prices are (hopefully) on the way down, but you could no doubt get away with an offer on the cheeky side of being low and still purchase, and then fix for 5yrs. Don’t forget we don’t know where interest rates will be in a 2 or 3 years time – you might find that although prices have dropped significantly, higher interest rates mean that your payments may still be similar to buying now. Food for thought.

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  • With respect, you don’t appear to understand the currency markets, interest rate mechanisms, the economy and the finacial markets

    I am very well aware, thank you very much.

    The BOE have very little control over long term interest rates/mortgage rates.

    Depends what you mean by long term, but BOE seem to have done a very good job at keeping them very low for the past few years. And as you said, there are plenty of people to buy government debt – so unless this changes, interest rates will continue to stay low for a long time.

    Long term mortgages and fixed rate mortgages are mostly dictated by the bond market. If we do more and more QE, then bond yields/mortgage interest rates will ultimately rise because we would start to be seen as a risk.

    Yes, I agree with that, but what I am saying is that if it looked like they were going to rise, there would be more QE to keep them low. Obviously there would need to be a balance between keeping them low and the needs of bond holders etc, but that is a balance that has so far been achieved. Don’t forget, the UK isn’t the US. The UK can borrow over far longer periods….and pensions funds and their like, love bonds because they are safe – your words.

    You also failed to address the unemployment component of my statement. As most people know, I regard unemployment as the master factor in the house price equation.

    If unemployment increases, there will simply be a stimulus of some kind. Adn naturally, lower interest rates and depreciation of the pound will probably boost exports.

    To sum up, you claim that the BOE will keep house prices up by using a tool over which they have little control and they will achieve this gravity defying stunt whilst having even less control over the master factor (unemployment).

    I think it incorrect to say that BOE have little control. They have a degree of control over some things that are very significant.

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  • Flash, “My best guess is that most of them are more concerned with their careers than anything else.” Yes exactly, and how many people in this country have never had it so good as when they could buy whatever they wanted because they were taking equity from their ever increasing House Price? I reckon that’s what got Labour re-elected so much.
    STR “However if house prices were alot lower then hypethetically people would have real spare cash to spend.” Whilst this would be true for people who buy at the new low price, unfortunately most of the population already have a house, and for them the ability to withdraw equity gets reversed, so instead they feel the need to spend less on other stuff because they have a 200K mortgage on a house worth 150K and it scares them. And to tie this back to the point above, politicians are worried about what gets them re-elected, and that’s people feeling good about them.

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  • timmy t, personal debt tripled under Labour, pretty odd for the so called working man’s party. But don’t get me started on that…

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  • sibley's b'stard child says:

    Hmm, I see what you’re driving at Alan, although i’d say self-interest rather than greed would be more appropriate. Self-interest borne from the injustice of a VI-led collusion to benefit themselves at the expense (quite literally) of the hoi polloi. Let’s face it, even those that rode the good times are being shafted; they just don’t realise it.

    In theory, I could buy but it wouldn’t make financial sense. I’m gambling on a HPC to improve my standard of living. If i’m wrong; c’est la vie. To quote Seasick Steve: “I started out with nothin and I still got most of it left”.

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  • alan – yes – that’s because the money they spent would only actually have become theirs to spend if they’d sold their house.

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  • Flash 35: “I will ask a rhetorical question. If the banking/finance system was proven to be in rude health and the economy was chugging along at a sustainable pace…”

    That’s the whole point. I don’t just go by what the papers regurgitate, as far as I can see the banks are in rude health and the economy is not doing that catastrophically is it? Sure, we’ve got lots of stored up problems, but they aren’t that much worse than they were before

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  • alan 540: Greed drove me around for so many decades that I no longer have the need for that particular chauffeur. I have owned many houses over the years, so I have no personal need of a HPC.

    My motivation is far more noble. I am constantly forced to rub shoulders with upper middle class women. On average there are at least four of them sitting in my living room, on any given day. Collectively this group of people are so vile that I wish to see them homeless or at least physically abused in some way. Yesterday some old bag called me up and ordered me to donate a bottle of champagne and a large smoked ham to her Christmas tombola. Last summer, I was volunteered for several village fetes and was tapped up for at least £700 worth of charitable contributions. If a 50% HPC sees at least one of them homeless and therefore unable to pester me, I will be delighted.

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  • sibley's b'stard child says:

    Ha ha Flash, tis indeed a noble aim. I wish you godspeed.

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  • I am constantly forced to rub shoulders with upper middle class women. On average there are at least four of them sitting in my living room, on any given day.

    Tupperware parties?

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  • hpwatcher: Don’t get bitter. It’s not my fault you’re out of your depth.

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  • flash, images of the vicar of Dibley are flashing through my head, but yes, a 50% drop would certainly shake some sense into the middle classes. Although I’m in the local rotary and we do some good work, you get to meet some extremely unpleasant and avaricious people from time to time.

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  • mark w: I think we are all trying to add nuance to the same side of the coin. Yes, the banks are in rude health but most economists regard the economy as not yet being out of intensive care. In the early 90’s when house prices fell precipitously and interest rates peaked at 15%, they did not implement QE. The difference between then and now was that there was no Bear Stearns/Lehman’s type super shock to the financial system. This time they implemented QE precisely because they were terrified by this severe shock to the financial system (not out of an implicit desire to support the property market). I’m sure that support for the property market was a happy consequence for many politicians and BOE members but it was demonstrably not their prime motivator.

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  • that should read “unpleasantly avaricious” to be fair.

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  • Flash – If a 50% HPC sees at least one of them homeless and therefore unable to pester me, I will be delighted.
    If they’re made homeless you might find them in your bedroom as well as your living room!!

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  • And mug here decided to fix at 5% to avoid suffering the consequences of a repeat of 15%, d’oh!

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  • Anyway, I’m off to buy some ballast for the ark – gold bullion & tinned baked beans should do the trick.

    Two pints and a bag of nuts please, bar steward.

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  • hpwatcher: Don’t get bitter. It’s not my fault you’re out of your depth.

    No, not at all – holding Tupperware parties is a very respectable activity, but you say ”my living room” so do you own a house then?

    I just think that you are rather underestimating how important to the UK economy housing has become, and the lengths BOE and UK government will go to sustain the situation. I wish it were otherwise, and that you were right, but I think there is simply too much riding on it. Nothing to be out of one’s depth about.

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  • TC @26, spot on!

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  • Yes hpw, I own a house and I have owned several houses and some land since 1986 (proudly mortgage free since 1993). What about you? Are you angry because you can’t afford a house (genuine question)? If I couldn’t afford a house, I wouldn’t waste my time blogging here 24/7. By your high volume blogging habits, I assume you are unemployed? If you are not unemployed, how on earth do you get away with blogging so much during work hours? My blogging habit is usually one month on, three months off but I am semi-retired so I can afford to do it.

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  • Yes hpw, I own a house and I have owned several houses and some land since 1986 (proudly mortgage free since 1993).

    Strange that you would choose to frequent a site like this. I think it okay if you do, but it seems odd. I don’t think I would.

    What about you? Are you angry because you can’t afford a house (genuine question)?

    I’m not really angry, but am rather perturbed by the failure of the last government to manage the economy correctly.

    If I couldn’t afford a house, I wouldn’t waste my time blogging here 24/7.

    I can – just about.

    By your high volume blogging habits, I assume you are unemployed? If you are not unemployed, how on earth do you get away with blogging so much during work hours? My blogging habit is usually one month on, three months off but I am semi-retired so I can afford to do it.

    I just type very, very fast.

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  • No matter how fast you claim to type, you shouldn’t be blogging in your work hours (if you really do have a job). You are in effect stealing from your employer and in doing so, you are displaying precisely the kind or irresponsible, work-shy attitude that you so often venomously attribute to various sectors of society and public sector workers in particular. I am here because I happen to think that lower house prices would be good for the economy and for society. I have held these views for more than twenty years. The fact that you cannot understand how someone with a house would blog here, speaks volumes about your self-centred and self-serving attitude to life. Why is it that people like you only take a stance if there is something in it for you? Once again, by taking this stance, you amply display all the negative character traits, that you so readily criticise in others.

    To use language you understand, are you aware that you are fast becoming this sites’ number one troll? I’m sure you don’t realise this but you really are regarded in that light by the majority of posters. The reason that so many posters find you irritating is because you are entirely incapable of presenting or responding to facts or information. You have a fixed view on life and you become unstable and angry if facts are presented that disprove your particular brand of hubris. It is apparent to almost everyone that you have an almost negligible understanding of the economy or the financial markets and that your responses to the reasoned arguments of other posters, are invariably illogical, non-sequitous or insulting. Several people have commentated on your habit of singling out knowledgeable or respected posters and subjecting them to your ‘trolling’ attacks (your pestering of techieman is a good example of this). I don’t think it’s too much of a leap to deduce that you only single out the better posters because you envy the respect they enjoy on this site and you think that you can become respected by attacking them. All you achieve by choosing to ‘troll’ the decent posters, is to disrupt decent argument and you drive your reputation ever lower. I tried to give you the benefit of the doubt for months but I’m afraid that techieman and many others are absolutely correct about you. If you behave, I will reset my attitude to you. I have learned over the years that people who behave like you are often ‘injured’ by life, in some way. If you try to behave a bit better I will treat you with respect. I would prefer that, so please try.

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