November 2010 Archive

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Portugal Insolvent - has anyone thought to tell them?

Mish: "Portugal Insolvent" says Citigroup Chief Economist

Citigroup's chief economist, just threw fat in the Euro-fire with his statement ‘Insolvent’ Portugal Needs Loans Soon Portugal is “insolvent” and will probably need soon to join the emergency-loan program from the European Union and the International Monetary Fund that’s available to Greece and Ireland, according to Willem Buiter, Citigroup Inc.’s chief economist.

Posted by devo @ 09:56 PM 9 Comments

About time, too

Mortgage Strategy: NatWest axes interest-only for FTBs

NatWest has stopped offering interest-only mortgages to first-time buyers. Any first-time buyer who applies for a mortgage with the RBS Group from today will do so on a capital repayment basis. A Natwest spokesman said “As a responsible lender, it is prudent for first-time buyers to build up equity in their property by reducing their capital from day one, particularly in times of economic uncertainty. “Repaying capital from the outset will help to protect first-time buyers from the possible threat of negative equity in the future. In turn, this will make it easier for first-time buyers to eventually move up the property ladder."

Posted by little professor @ 09:11 PM 14 Comments

Comply or default?

The Telegraph: Ireland's Debt Servitude

Stripped to its essentials, the €85bn package imposed on Ireland by the Eurogroup and the European Central Bank is a bail-out for improvident British, German, Dutch, and Belgian bankers and creditors. The Irish taxpayers carry the full burden, and deplete what remains of their reserve pension fund to cover a quarter of the cost.

Posted by devo @ 07:30 PM 6 Comments

Do you feel lucky today?

Bloomberg: Trichet Says EU's Resolve on Euro Shouldn't Be Underestimated

European Central Bank President Jean-Claude Trichet signaled investors are underestimating policy makers’ determination to shore up the euro region’s stability as contagion spreads through the bloc’s bond markets. “I don’t believe that financial stability in the euro zone could really be called into question,” Trichet told lawmakers in Brussels today. Observers “are tending to underestimate the determination of governments.” "Trichet called on European policy makers to improve communications as the crisis worsens".

Posted by alan @ 07:08 PM 1 Comments

Off topic, sorry. But another source of content here is to go behind a paywall

FT: Telegraph plans to charge for online content

The Telegraph Media Group is drawing up plans to charge for online news content next year. The Telegraph’s change of heart is part of a growing consensus in the newspaper industry that a hybrid model of paid-for and free content is needed as publishers confront steady declines in print circulation and the loss of advertising to web rivals. It will not follow the “all-or-nothing” model favoured by News International, which prevents readers from accessing any articles without paying and has seen stories removed from search engines such as Google News. Instead, the Telegraph’s approach will echo that of the Financial Times and the forthcoming New York Times paywall, whereby readers can access a certain number of articles for free before being charged.

Posted by wanderinman @ 06:09 PM 13 Comments

US house prices still falling

Zero Hedge: Case-Schiller confirms US house market deterioration accelerates

Several indices and numbers on the US house market are released. The main index in the US has just been published (September data) and shows another fall this month (0.8%). In big cities, 15 out of 20 are Year on Year negative, and the National index is YoY negative. As Zero Hedge puts it: the housing re-recession is here.

Posted by notyethomeless @ 04:05 PM 0 Comments

Low tax location with ample living space! For sale with extensive planning permission

Doing the rounds recently. Coming soon to another island nearby?

Posted by ontheotherhand @ 04:04 PM 0 Comments

OBR reduces house price growth forecast by 5%

Daily Telegraph: House prices will fall 2.7pc in the next year, says Office for Budget Responsibility

"House prices will fall 2.7pc in the coming financial year, the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) has forecast. The expected contraction in residential property prices represents a downwards revision of five percentage points on the OBR's June forecast for 2.3pc growth in 2011/12."

Posted by wdbeast @ 03:59 PM 6 Comments

Even the Express can't salvage anything...


Just a rehash of every other bearish article this week. Still, it's the Express so what's not to like? I see Sibley is conspicious in his absence from the comments section.

Posted by sibley's b'stard child @ 03:24 PM 4 Comments

Stock markets – mean reversion continues

Investment Postcards: Stock markets – mean reversion continues

Prieur du Plessis has argued on a number of occasions recently that he thought stock markets were in a corrective phase, expecting the process to continue to mean revert (at least partially) to the key moving averages. This post indicates how the correction is coming along.

Posted by prieur du plessis @ 02:09 PM 1 Comments

House Prices in Trouble

Telegraph: Fears for house prices as mortgage lending falls again

The number of mortgages approved for house purchase fell for the sixth month in a row during October as buyers continued to stay away from the property market. Only 47,185 loans were approved for people buying a property during the month, the lowest level since February, according to the Bank of England. The subdued level of transactions, which is well below the 70,000 to 80,000 approvals a month which are considered to be consistent with a stable market, will continue to put downward pressure on house prices.

Posted by house @ 11:54 AM 43 Comments

Why the Treasury won't illuminate 2010 bank pay

BBC: Why the Treasury won't illuminate 2010 bank pay

The new law on executive remuneration in financial services has been shelved, as the prime minister confirmed during Prime Minister's Questions yesterday.Why? Well, you probably won't need telling that those who run British banks have for some time been telling me how much they dreaded having to reveal how many of their people earn seven figures and above. Over a 10-year period, the share price performance of Britain's banks has been appalling (in the case of Royal Bank of Scotland and Lloyds/HBOS) or lousy (Barclays and HSBC). Over the same period (you probably won't need reminding) the remuneration of top bankers has soared. As for dividends, after the crash of 2008 banks either eliminated them (RBS, Lloyds, Barclays) or slashed them (HSBC).

Posted by cat and canary @ 11:30 AM 2 Comments

Depressed mortgage market heralds price collapse

ArabianMoney: Severely depressed UK mortgage market heralds price collapse

UK house prices will drop off the edge of a cliff if interest rates start to go up as a knock on effect of the growing euro zone financial crisis, and the lowest mortgage approvals in 20 years may already herald a price collapse. After all the UK is suffering from exactly the same problem as the euro zone. Interest rates have been held artificially low for far too long leading to an accumilation of debt, mainly as mortgage debt, as low rates have encouraged buyers to bid house prices up and up, and up again.

Posted by david smith @ 11:19 AM 1 Comments

Wikileaks to reveal bank secrets in 2011.

The Market Oracle: Could wikileaks cause banking system to collapse?

The next major Wikileaks subject to be revealed in 2011 is aimed at the fraud and corruption in the banking system. Nadeem Walyatt thinks that this could cause a major financial collapse - interesting as he was talking up a new bull market recently.

Posted by will @ 11:03 AM 14 Comments

Council wastes money paying for a man to press button on traffic lights

The sun: Lollipop mans job too dangerous

He has been reduced instead to waiting on one side of the road where he presses the button to tell a set of traffic lights kids want to cross.

Posted by mark @ 10:56 AM 12 Comments

How to be a tax-dodging, blood-sucking, BTL spiv

Telegraph: Never mind the riots; how to make double digit profits out of students

"Total returns over the last year hit a national average of 13.5 per cent, according to estate agents Knight Frank. Better still, these can be nearly tax-free, accountants point out, where families have a student son or daughter to act as landlord and skilful use is made of exemptions and allowances".

Posted by sibley's b'stard child @ 10:21 AM 10 Comments

A painted clock is right twice a day

City AM: UK housing slump continues

"MORTGAGE approvals reached an eight-month low in October, according to official data released yesterday. The Bank of England’s lending figures showed that only 47,185 mortgages were approved. A healthy UK housing market would record closer to 80,000 mortgages per month. The news pours more misery on the housing market, after recent figures showed a similar decline. On Sunday the property website Hometrack reported a 4.3 per cent fall for November in the number of new buyers registered with agents. Their survey also showed a fall in house prices for the fifth consecutive month, as prices dropped by 0.8 per cent on October... “House prices will trend down to lose around 10 per cent from their peak 2010 levels by the end of 2011,” said Howard Archer of IHS Global Insight."

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 10:02 AM 6 Comments

Co-ordinated withdrawal of funds from banks 7 December

The Guardian: Eric Cantona's bank protest isn't very wise

Who knew that Eric Cantona was quite so influential? The former footballer turned cod philosopher has called for a mass bank run on 7 December – and his message has sparked an online campaign spanning 24 countries. The former Manchester United striker thinks the days of placard-wielding protests are over. Instead, to create a "real revolution", he favours a co-ordinated withdrawal of funds to bring down the entire financial system.

Posted by devo @ 06:18 AM 9 Comments

Monday, November 29, 2010

House Price Drops predicted by Government Department

Office For Budget Responsibiulity: Economic and Fiscal Outlook

On the BBC website Stephanie Flanders says this report predicts a 3.1% drop forecast for 2011 I don't know where she found this but found on page 59 of the document a prediction of a 1.4% drop next year. Interesting that all the predictions are for drops

Posted by tenyearstogetmymoneyback @ 09:32 PM 10 Comments

"The crisis is intensifying and worsening"

The Telegraph: Contagion strikes Italy as Ireland bail-out fails to calm markets

Spreads on Italian and Belgian bonds jumped to a post-EMU high as the sell-off moved beyond the battered trio of Ireland, Portugal, and Spain, raising concerns that the crisis could start to turn systemic. It was the worst single day in Mediterranean markets since the launch of monetary union.

Posted by devo @ 08:52 PM 9 Comments

Housebuilder Taylor Wimpey has put its U.S. homebuilding subsidiary Taylor Morrison on the auction

Yahoo: Homebuilder Taylor Morrison on auction block

Taylor Morrison, a wholly owned subsidiary of Taylor Wimpey, builds housing in California, Arizona, Colorado, Texas and Florida. Most strategic buyers have shown limited interest in buying Taylor Morrison in its entirety given the fragile state of the recovery in U.S. homebuilding, one of the sources said.

Posted by mark @ 08:01 PM 1 Comments

Irish government forgets 'If you owe billions it's the bank that's in trouble'

Counterpunch: Hammering Ireland

The crony bankster-developer-politician government of Ireland is in a position to dictate terms to the Euro banksters - "Send in the collection agency and the bailiffs if you don't like the terms we're offering". So why are Cowen&co so pusillanimous? And why are they accepting loans at 5.8% when the lenders are getting the money almost free? But wait - there's a euro bailout programme for insolvent countries that may entail 'haircuts' for bondholders....but only if those bondholders agree to this. Doh

Posted by icarus @ 07:59 PM 2 Comments

The main stats for last month

Housing Expert: The Month in Numbers

Asking prices, sale prices, volumes of stock and numbers of sales. The regular summary of the housing market with a new number - the number of months of inventory. Here are the raw numbers lets see how people spin them.

Posted by charles lister @ 07:58 PM 0 Comments

Touch the throttle or keep on the brakes?

This Is Money: BoE must raise rates to show it's 'on the case'

Interest rates will have to rise to control runaway inflation and to prove that the Bank of England is still 'on the case', according to MPC member Andrew Sentance.

Posted by rental john @ 06:01 PM 0 Comments

Comments from: Hometrack’s economist, Richard Donnell

Estate Agent Today: More falls in house prices as buyer interest wanes

“Looking ahead, the real impetus to reduce supply is set to come from agents. Over the coming months, estate agents will be turning their attention to the supply of homes on their books, anxious to adjust stock levels to realistic prices more closely aligned to demand. “The reality is that in the months ahead, vendors will either need to reduce prices or withdraw property from the market.”

Posted by rental john @ 05:54 PM 1 Comments

Playing to the audience or a clear indicator?

Estate Agent Today: Shapps slams 'pernickety' proposals on sensible lending

"So, what is required here is proper, sensible, top-level regulation, not pernickety, down in the dirt, kind of ‘what you can and what can’t do’ as a mortgage company". He concluded: “I think it is very important we learn the lessons of the past without, in effect, repeating them, which is what I think they are in danger of doing.” *Sigh*

Posted by sibley's b'stard child @ 04:18 PM 16 Comments

YoY finally goes negative

Hometrack: Market Snapshot

T'is the season too be jolly. Mulled wine anyone ? It's not too late for C4 to do a documentary on a local EA's office Xmas do.

Posted by doomwatch @ 02:09 PM 5 Comments

Nightmare tenant unwittingly becomes HPC champion.

Citywire: Buy-to-let landlords face human rights hurdle in evicting tenants

"Can this really be fair? Can it be fair that a private landlord – a businessman or investor, not a provider of social services – should shoulder the burden of responsibility to house a non-paying tenant because the state might have failed in its duty to provide the care they need?" Admittedly, the case in point sounds like a real ne'er-do-well but anything to inconvenience the BTLers gets a thumbs-up from me.

Posted by sibley's b'stard child @ 01:02 PM 17 Comments

One step forward; two steps back...

Guardian: Housing benefit cap to be postponed until January 2012

I see this was posted Sunday morning but most of the blog's traffic is Monday to Friday so thought it was worth re-posting.

Posted by sibley's b'stard child @ 12:47 PM 5 Comments

What Britain will contribute€3.8bn in loansAnother €3.1bn

Yahoo: Ireland bailout: main points

Ireland had a budget deficit of around 14.3pc of GDP last year, which the EU wants to see brought back down to its limit of 3pc and we want inflation to drop to 2% but it aint going to happen either

Posted by mark @ 11:18 AM 2 Comments

End of an affair

Bloomberg: Lynn on U.K. House Prices

Bloomberg's Matthew Lynn talks about his latest column on the prospects for U.K. house prices.

Posted by doomwatch @ 10:17 AM 4 Comments

Hometrack: -0.8%MoM

Bloomberg: U.K. November Home Prices Fall for Fifth Month on Weaker Demand

U.K. house prices fell for a fifth month in November as demand for property dropped the most in almost two years, Hometrack Ltd. said. The average cost of a home fell 0.8 percent from October to 155,000 pounds, the London-based property researcher said. Demand for homes, measured by the change in new buyers registering with real-estate agents, fell 4.3 percent, the biggest decline since January 2009. The report adds to evidence of a weakening property market after Rightmove said on Nov. 15 that home sellers cut asking prices by the most since 2007 this month and U.K. banks approved the smallest number of mortgage since 2009 in October.

Posted by little professor @ 10:10 AM 0 Comments

Is this now starting to happen in the UK??


Government stimulus continues to bolster the private sector in the back half of 2010, but the lack of direct aid in housing begins to weigh on the housing market in the second half of 2010. Negative seasonal trends make for a very difficult H2 in housing and a tough start in 2011. The economy appears fairly strong into the latter portion of 2010, but the dwindling stimulus ultimately pressures the private sector. Demand for housing remains tepid as job growth is weak, the unemployment rate remains above 8% into 2011 and the negative inventory trends prove too much for the real estate market to overcome. Ultimately, prices decline 7%-15% over the course of the coming 2.5 years.” With supply near its all-time highs and demand near its all-time lows it’s safe to assume that prices have o

Posted by rob @ 10:00 AM 0 Comments

Mortgage approvals fall again.

BoE: Lending to Individuals: October

Number of approvals down 0.39% from September, but it's six months of falls in a row now.

Posted by phdinbubbles @ 09:49 AM 7 Comments

After Portugal, Spain and Italy

Telegraph: Hart bets on China as the next 'enormous credit bubble' to burst

Mark Hart, an American hedge fund manager who has made millions predicting the crises in US sub-prime market and European debt, has launched a fund to bet on the imminent implosion of China. He says complacency among market participants regarding China is eerily similar to the complacency exhibited prior to the United States sub-prime crisis and European sovereign debt crisis. The average price-to-rent ratio of China's eight key cities is 39.4 times – this figure was 22.8 times in America just before its housing crisis. Hart argues: "Lacking alternative investment options, Chinese corporates, households and government entities have invested excess liquidity in the property markets, driving home prices to unsustainable levels."The result is property is out of reach for the majority".

Posted by alan @ 08:41 AM 4 Comments

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Ireland, out of the frying pan and into the fryer

RTE: Labour's Burton says Ireland is 'banjaxed'

Labour's Finance Spokesperson Joan Burton said the country had been hobbled. EU and IMF negotiators played much better poker than the Irish negotiators and 'we are being asked to put up front all the assets we have as a country. They have walked over a weak Government and the deal has saddled Irish tax payers with a debt that is not sustainable. Fine Gael said it was a 'peculiar arrangement where there's a subsidiary fund against losses attached to this - so to get €100 you can use, you must borrow €120 and pay interest on the lot.' Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams added the Government had negotiated a terrible deal and the 5.8% interest rate is unaffordable.

Posted by enuii @ 11:19 PM 11 Comments

But can he persuade his colleagues on the MPC?

Telegraph: Andrew Sentance: why Britain needs higher interest rates

This month, the Governor of the Bank of England was obliged once again to write on behalf of the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) to the Chancellor of the Exchequer to explain high UK inflation – 3.2pc compared with the 2pc target. This is the fourth letter to explain above-target inflation this year and the ninth in total since March 2007. It will not be the last either, as inflation could reach 4pc or higher in the new year, as it is pushed up by higher VAT, energy prices, food prices and rising import costs. [If we don't raise rates soon,] the Bank of England's commitment to the inflation target will be seriously questioned by the financial markets, business and the public, and it will lose credibility.

Posted by drewster @ 10:38 PM 7 Comments

Will it ever happen?

BBC News: Delay for housing benefit reforms until January 2012

"Millions of people who currently claim housing benefit are to be given more time before cuts are introduced. Ministers had planned to introduce a cap from next April on how much housing benefit could be claimed. But the BBC understands that existing claimants will now have until January 2012 to adjust their circumstances if needed before the caps are brought in." HPC off? Too many landlords with vested interests? Mansion tax coming down the line instead?

Posted by happyrenting @ 10:25 PM 0 Comments

Just layin' out the facts The Laffer Curve, GDP and the rental value of land

Workings on by how much UK GDP would increase if taxes on output, labour, incomes and profit were scrapped; what the impact on the rental value of land would be, ultimately showing that the UK government could quite easily finance all expenditure with Land Value Tax.

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 09:56 PM 3 Comments

Hook line and sinker - who is next?

RTE: Eurozone agrees €85bn deal for Ireland

The EU has approved an €85bn rescue deal for Ireland, which includes €10bn for recapitalisation of banks, €25bn for banking contingencies and €50bn for budgetary financing needs.

Posted by enuii @ 07:45 PM 5 Comments

Dealing with foreign liabilities

Bloomberg: Iceland Is No Ireland as State Free of Bank Debt

Iceland’s President Olafur R. Grimsson said his country is better off than Ireland thanks to the government’s decision to allow the banks to fail two years ago and because the krona could be devalued. Iceland’s banks, which still owe creditors about $85 billion, were split to create domestic units needed to keep the financial system running, while foreign liabilities remained within the failed lenders.

Posted by alan @ 04:18 PM 4 Comments

Long overdue action taken

Independent: Lib Dems plotting council tax hike for second homes

Owners of second homes could be stripped of their council tax discount under Liberal Democrat plans to raise millions of pounds for town halls. There are currently 246,000 second homes registered for a discount in England, of which more than 40 per cent are larger properties in Band D or higher. Around 50 councils allow second-home owners to pay just half the tax of locals, though since 2004 some 85 councils have reduced their discounts from 50 per cent to the minimum 10 per cent.

Posted by drewster @ 03:44 PM 15 Comments

We've never had it so good

Daily mail: Costa nightmare could cost us our home

firstly the mentality here seems unbelievable but typical?can pay so hand it back?secondly they must have remortgaged many many times. Thirdly,historically they should be on well in excess of £100,000 to even get these they are not.if they are not then they aqre setting themselves up imo

Posted by taffee @ 01:00 PM 29 Comments

Its on

F.T.: UK house prices fall sharply in October

British house prices in October registered their biggest one-month drop since February 2009, according to an official index, which noted widespread price declines, falling in eight of 10 regions

Posted by tick tock @ 11:07 AM 5 Comments

All Five PIIGS Are Junk Ratings Differences Highlight Eurozone Risk

That is, according to the free market that trades in default risk insurance. However, official ratings agencies take a far rosier view of the ability of Portugal, Italy, Ireland and Spain to pay their debts. Which view will turn out to be correct? This is the critical question currently facing financial markets.

Posted by paul amery @ 10:32 AM 0 Comments

How to make even more money from the crisis

Telegraph: Jim O'Neill says the euro faces 'black swan' moment

"Jim O'Neill, one of Goldman Sachs' most senior partners, has said that the eurozone must embark on a significant round of fiscal and political harmonisation if the euro is to survive". Guess who will manage it and take a cut? "Goldman Sachs Asset Management (GSAM) manages $823bn (£528bn) in funds that invest in equities, debt and currencies worldwide. Mr O'Neill said he wanted that figure to double in the next five years".

Posted by alan @ 10:24 AM 7 Comments

The default is coming

Irish Independent: Default! Say the people

Slowly but surely the obvious fact that there is not enough money to pay for the bank fraud is becoming clear to everyone.

Posted by chrisch @ 10:18 AM 6 Comments

As fat as the 1918 cats

Observer: Britain must close the great pay divide

" If the chief executive's pay fell, the surgeon could soon be earning a far higher proportion of that top banker's income without anyone having to spend a penny. And all the rest of us would be richer, as we would not be being charged so much by our banks to allow them to pay those exorbitant salaries and bonuses. "

Posted by letthemfall @ 10:11 AM 0 Comments

Don't buy then you idiots

Observer: FTB face decade of mortgage shortage

"Having bricks and mortar seems to be the only way of guaranteeing you might have access to some kind of money in the future. My flatmate and I are in the same situation. We're a bit of a lost generation as far as homes go." Like lambs to the slaughter.

Posted by chrisch @ 09:35 AM 9 Comments

Lib Dems Bottle It

Telegraph: Housing benefit cuts postponed

Iain Duncan Smith will this week announce that families will not lose large chunks of their housing benefit from April next year, as first announced, but will, in fact, have until the following year to arrange somewhere cheaper to live.

Posted by alan_540 @ 09:02 AM 1 Comments

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Skipton offers more

Guardian: Regular savings accounts offer best rates

This week saw the launch of a regular savings account paying a table-topping 5% which allows people to tuck away as little as £10 a month or as much as £500. That is the best regular savings interest rate on the market, excluding those accounts which require people to jump through hoops, says Moneyfacts. The trend is upwards, IRs for borrowers should follow.

Posted by alan @ 11:27 PM 3 Comments

At last, the message starts to seep out... Why we need higher interest rates to beat inflation

Andrew Sentance makes the case for interest rate rises. A lone voice of common sense at the MPC....

Posted by andybee33 @ 11:25 PM 0 Comments

Bankers getting desperate for our savings?


Despite three-quarters of consumers worrying about their finances, nearly the same number have not changed their saving or spending habits. Richard Brown, head of savings at HSBC, said: “This demonstrates a worrying lack of preparation. “It is of utmost importance that people are setting aside money for emergencies but only a minority have altered their habits. This suggests people may have their heads in the sand and do not realise the need to change.” Comments says it all.

Posted by waitingtobuy @ 10:54 PM 2 Comments

Mind Boggling Stuff

Telegraph: Irish fury as EU nationalises Bank of Ireland

The European Union is to announce the effective nationalisation of Bank of Ireland within the next 48 hours after a weekend of crisis meetings between finance ministers and angry public demonstrations across Europe.

Posted by enuii @ 10:45 PM 4 Comments

The Mortgage Market Review is being smothered

Independent: I would have been denied mortgage, says minister

'The Housing Minister, Grant Shapps, says he himself would have failed to get a mortgage had new proposals for the mortgage market drawn up by the City watchdog been in effect when he bought his home. Speaking at the National House-Building Council's annual lunch, Mr Shapps said: "I think it was about the moment I realised that I wouldn't have a mortgage if the Mortgage Market Review (MMR) changes went through that I kind of thought that this might be going a step too far."' Needless to say, the CML are delighted by Shapps return to the fold.

Posted by quiet guy @ 05:27 PM 10 Comments

The bailout or default queue

Market Oracle: Euro Debt Crisis Bankruptcy Bailout Queue, Protect Savings & Deposits From Banks Going Bankrupt!

Interesting article from the Market Oracle which clearly shows level of debt and gives some order to likely nation bailouts or defaults. It states that if there is a collapse in Banking in the Euro zone, the 'Great recession of 2009/2009', will look like a picnic.

Posted by britishblue @ 03:58 PM 5 Comments

Financial mugging victims take to the streets in Ireland

Guardian: Thousands protest against Irish bailout

More than 100,000 Irish citizens took to the streets of Dublin today to protest against the international bailout and four years of austerity. Despite overnight snow storms and freezing temperatures, huge crowds have gathered in O'Connell Street to demonstrate against the cuts aimed at driving down Ireland's colossal national debt. No bankers were believed to be present at the march which totally consisted of normal people.

Posted by enuii @ 03:08 PM 0 Comments

Countryside invasion?

Mail: Number of second homeowners in rural hotspots up 2,000 per cent in five years

The number of second homeowners has increased by as much as 2,000 per cent in rural hotspots in just five years, research reveals today. The report, from the National Housing Federation, warns that large parts of the countryside are becoming places for ‘the well-off to enjoy at weekends’.It says house prices in rural areas have risen to a level few locals can afford. (Uttlesford, Essex is very nice, though)

Posted by alan @ 12:49 PM 5 Comments

Does monthly net mortgage lending affect house price changes?

Money Week: Why weak lending points to lower UK house prices

A couple of days ago, I promised Jack C and others to compile something on this. My first Google hit was s fine article in Money Week which has already prepared the chart, showing that from 1995 to 2007 the two went more or less in line. Since then, net mortgage lending has slumped to more or less £nil, but house prices appear to be "defying gravity".

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 12:00 PM 23 Comments

Calls to reject the bailout getting louder

Bloomberg: Bust Is Better Than a Bailout for Irish Patient: Matthew Lynn

It’s not too late. The request for aid may have been made. The negotiations may have started. But Irish Prime Minister Brian Cowen can still refuse a bailout from the European Union and the International Monetary Fund. It might sound like madness for a drowning man to refuse a lifebelt. But the decision the Irish make in the next few days will shape the future of their nation for a generation. Ireland would be better off going bust than taking a loan. The conditions attached to a rescue aren’t worth it: Once it takes EU money, it will never get off the hook. And the Irish banks aren’t worth saving anyway. Defaulting on your debts is a far less scary prospect than usually portrayed.

Posted by devo @ 11:39 AM 9 Comments

Where will it all end?

G Pytel: "I would recommend you panic"

The global pyramid scheme keeps collapsing. The queue of countries waiting to be "rescued" is long: Greece, Ireland, Portugal, Spain, Italy,..., UK, France, Germany, ... , US.

Posted by ant @ 10:13 AM 8 Comments

Uk's Largest Property Sale Commencing The Weekend Of The 4th & 5th December


There is no way offers over 190k is a sale, it would not be legal in a shop and trading standards would pounce if shops operated these kind of sales, why do estate agents get away with it?

Posted by mark @ 09:48 AM 1 Comments

Fall Guys, or New recruits to the 'elite club'?

BBC: HSBC announces new UK management team

HSBC has named its new UK management team as part of a reshuffle at the top of the bank under incoming group chief executive Stuart Gulliver. Watch this space. Don't they look happy - SHOW ME THE MONEY!

Posted by markj69 str05 @ 12:19 AM 0 Comments

Friday, November 26, 2010

Sound call, or more of the public purse being syphoned off by bwankers and gov't?

BBC: Japan passes new $61bn stimulus package

Japan's parliament has passed a stimulus package worth about $61bn (£39bn), designed to kick-start the country's fragile economic recovery.

Posted by markj69 str05 @ 11:42 PM 6 Comments

The Irish people are left with no choice but to resist.

Counterpunch: "Tell the EU and IMF to Shove It!"

The Irish people will now face a decade or more of grinding poverty and depression thanks to their venal leaders. This is about bailing out the banks. The bondholders get a free ride while workers get kicked to the curb. Ireland is being asked to cut to social services, slash wages, renegotiate contracts, and dismantle the welfare state so that undercapitalized banks in France and Germany can get their pound of flesh. Who gave Cowen the right to hand over his country to the IMF? Ireland needs to withdraw from the EU and start fresh. The Irish people didn't struggle through centuries of famine and foreign occupation so they could be debt-peons in the EU's corporate Uberstate.

Posted by devo @ 11:36 PM 17 Comments

Is the Irish bailout plan destined to fail?

The Guardian: * News * World news * Ireland Ireland hurries bailout deal as Portugal and Spain deny need for aid

The terms agreed for Ireland's bailout will set the tone next week as the markets fear that a new phase of the credit crunch could begin if bond holders in Ireland's banks are forced to accept losses. Bond investments are usually regarded as rock solid. Ireland's embattled government, whose majority fell to just two after losing a crucial seat in Donegal South West today, is expected to agree this weekend to the rescue funds from the IMF, EU, UK and Sweden. It is also expected to largely nationalise its banks.

Posted by devo @ 11:11 PM 3 Comments

As a simple guy - please can some one answer my question: Where is all this money actualy going?

Telegraph: EU rescue costs start to threaten Germany itself

Reports that EU officials are hatching plans to double the size of EU's €440bn (£373bn) rescue mechanism have inevitably caused outrage in Germany. Brussels has denied the claims, but the story has refused to die precisely because markets know the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF) cannot cope with the all too possible event of a triple bail-out for Ireland, Portugal and Spain.

Posted by rental john @ 06:43 PM 0 Comments

Getting more like Jenga than Dominoes...

Forbes: Forget Ireland And The Other PIIGS

The PIIGS owe France $911 billion, Germany $794 billion and Great Britain $418 billion.....

Posted by rental john @ 06:15 PM 0 Comments

Its on the way, then

Reuters: Spain PM "absolutely" rules out bailout

As concerns that the euro zone debt crisis could spread to the Iberian nations gripped markets, Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero said there was "absolutely" no chance Spain would need to seek outside help to manage its finances.The country had no plans to introduce extra fiscal measures either, and investors should think twice about betting against it, he added, telling private regional broadcaster RAC1 radio: "Those who are taking short positions against Spain are going to be mistaken."

Posted by alan @ 04:41 PM 16 Comments

AIB downgraded by S&P to junk status

Citywire: S&P downgrades Irish banks in preparation for bond hair-cuts

Ratings agency Standard & Poor's has downgraded a host of Irish banks in a sign of growing conviction that senior bank bondholders will see their capital slashed before the European debt crisis is resolved. S&P are lowering the long-term counterparty credit ratings on Allied Irish Banks, Bank of Ireland and Irish Life & Permanent by one notch, and lowering ratings on the senior and sub-ordinated debt of the banks. We are also lowering the long-term counterparty credit ratings on Anglo Irish Bank by six notches because we believe that the Irish government may be forced to reconsider its current supportive stance towards Anglo's unguaranteed debt

Posted by jack c @ 04:10 PM 0 Comments

Another carving of Land Registry bear food

FT Largest monthly drop in house prices since Feb '09

Monthly average house prices fell 0.8 per cent in October in England and Wales, the largest monthly fall seen since February 2009.This was the second consecutive month of falling house prices and the average price of a property was £165,505 in October, data from the latest Land Registry house price index has shown. Annual house price growth stood at 3.4 per cent, the fifth consecutive month in which the figure has fallen. Sales volumes have increased over the past year, from an average of 55,614 transactions a month in May to August 2009, to 59,512 in the same period this year.

Posted by jack c @ 03:51 PM 6 Comments

Housing market decline has created a wave of reluctant landlords

Mortgagestrategy: Reluctant landlords on the increase

The recession and subsequent housing market decline has created a wave of reluctant landlords – homeowners who have to let out their property because they cannot sell it, says the Association of Residential Letting Agents. Research conducted by ARLA showed that more than a third, 34% of member offices surveyed during Q3 2010 saw an increase in the number of rental properties coming onto market because they couldn’t be sold. This has caused an influx of former privately-owned homes.

Posted by jack c @ 03:46 PM 3 Comments

Citing a sharp increase in federal debt, which is now approaching $14 trillion

Cnn: 'Urgent action' needed on debt

Citing a sharp increase in federal debt, which is now approaching $14 trillion, Bair argued that "relentless federal borrowing" will eventually "directly threaten our financial stability."

Posted by mark @ 02:37 PM 5 Comments

Borrowers offered a mortgage lifeline

This is money: Borrowers offered a mortgage lifeline

Interest-only borrowers, the self employed and first-time buyers without a chunky deposit or wealthy parents all stand to benefit after the Financial Services Authority climbed down over its plans to push through its controversial Mortgage Market Review reforms.

Posted by hpsvinod @ 02:08 PM 1 Comments

Bear Food at the Beeb!

BBC News: House prices: Continued decline, says Land Registry

Surprisingly little 'positive' spin put on the Land Registry figures by the BBC. I suppose there's not much they could possibly squeeze out of this on their own without some bullsh** commentry from VIs such as Martin Gallbladder, etc, etc.

Posted by hash browne @ 02:01 PM 4 Comments

Factors fighting against each other

Estate Agent Today: More people set to move into private rented accommodation

In less than five years’ time, 17% of households will live in privately rented accommodation, it has been predicted.

Posted by the green manalishi @ 01:44 PM 3 Comments

Swerve this Merv

Telegraph: Mervyn King's credibility in doubt after public row with MPC's Adam Posen

The independence of the Governor of the Bank of England has been called into question by an embarrassing public row with one of his senior policy makers.

Posted by untoward @ 01:11 PM 2 Comments

Bad Banks

Index Universe: Bad Banks

With talk of burden-sharing between taxpayers and banks' bondholders on the rise, could winter be setting in for banks' shareholders?

Posted by paul amery @ 11:53 AM 0 Comments

House prices prediction for next year

Housing Expert: Crystal ball gazing in 2011

Interesting view of the future direction of house prices next year from an authoritative source. Regularly used by the BBC and frequently quoted in the national press this is one housing expert who seems to be his own man. Agree or disagree, Henry Pryor seems to know his subject. Refreshing, interesting and quite possibly accurate too?

Posted by charles lister @ 11:27 AM 1 Comments

No sh*t sherlock

CNN: Income inequality is the real problem

A free market guy agreeing with the left? Interesting take on the housing issue.

Posted by chrisch @ 11:13 AM 3 Comments

Real House prices drop 0.8% in October

Land Registry: Oct Index

Quite a sharp drop from Septembers 0.2% !!!!

Posted by doomwatch @ 11:03 AM 6 Comments

This is where

FSA: Economics, Conventional Wisdom and Public Policy

Some telling bits here- in April but mentions Ireland and also he tends towards minsky. That (IMO) is important and explains why they want to limit credit availablility (i.e. a tightrope between the re-emergence of the ponzi element of credit – for speculation rather than to increase productive capacity). I think that the recent draconian measures proposed by the FSA are the manifestation of Turner’s views on this. To my mind he is starting from a draconian position but will relax it to a degree. In the video he shows he is aware of the need for increase in cap ratios but doesn’t want to go “the whole hog” because he again admits that even if you agree with that , then this will take a number of years and would have to be managed, otherwise you thwart growth.

Posted by techieman @ 10:21 AM 2 Comments

Riots ahead in a winter of discontent?

Reuters: Euro nations lean on Portugal to seek help - report

A CRISIS UNFOLDS - "The Financial Times Deutschland, which did not identify its sources, said some euro zone states wanted Portugal to seek aid in order to avoid Spain, the fifth largest EU economy, from having to follow suit. Lisbon, which is preparing to pass an austere 2011 budget later on Friday that aims to deliver tough spending cuts to ward off a deeper debt crisis, issued an emphatic denial". "I think Portugal has already crossed the point of no return. Its bond yield has gone beyond a sustainable level. The market is now watching whether Spain will need a rescue," said a Japanese bank foreign exchange trader.

Posted by alan @ 09:49 AM 2 Comments

Two hundred Charity Commission workers in the city are also awaiting

Liverpool daily post: Government cuts 500 civil servant jobs in Liverpool

MORE than 500 UK Border Agency and Criminal Records Bureau workers in Liverpool are to lose their jobs as part of government cost cutting.

Posted by mark @ 09:13 AM 2 Comments

The madness of King Rompuy

This is Money: Euro debt crisis could cost UK billions more

British taxpayers could be asked to stump up bns more pounds to stop the European debt crisis spiralling out of control. George Osborne has already pledged around £7bn to the mammoth bailout of Ireland - at a cost of nearly £300 to every household. But, as the euro continues to tumble, the rescue package has failed to calm fears that other debt-ridden countries will need help to survive. Portugal is seen as the next in line but Spain, Italy and even Belgium are on the danger list. Fears are mounting that the £635bn rescue fund set up by the European Union and International Monetary Fund may not be big enough to cope.

Posted by quiet guy @ 08:54 AM 2 Comments

S&P 500: Caveat emptor!

Investment Postcards: S&P 500: Caveat emptor!

From a fundamental perspective, the S&P 500 Index is in expensive territory. The technicals aren't too great either. Read on for the skinny...

Posted by prieur du plessis @ 05:12 AM 0 Comments

Thursday, November 25, 2010


Zero Hedge: Nigel Farage To European Parliament: "The Euro Game Is Up... Just Who The Hell Do You Think You Are? You Are Very Dangerous People"

Famous eurosceptic Nigel Farage in just under 4 brief minutes tells more truth about the entire European experiment than all European bankers, commissioners, and politicians have done in the past decade.

Posted by devo @ 11:46 PM 16 Comments

What we need is a National Chastity Belt!

The Telegraph: City bonuses are being funded by a stealth tax on savings

Bank-bashing has always been a popular sport. Over the past two years it has been elevated into a universal obsession, yet little good does it seem to have done in taming the excesses of bankers.

Posted by markj69 str05 @ 11:42 PM 0 Comments

Mervyn King is powerless to halt the damage to savings and spending power, says Jeremy Warner

Daily Telegraph: Is inflation now beyond the Bank's control?

Remits, responsibilities, but no accountability. The ongoing saga at the BoE...

Posted by tom101 @ 11:22 PM 26 Comments

It's all smoke, mirrors, vague accounting and incestual financial arrangements

Wall Street Journal: Spain's Home Data Not Plain

Quirky data, obscure calculation methods, data from private appraisals rather than sales, cosy arrangements between banks and valuers, unrecorded transfers, asking prices used for values and under the table cash deals all mask the true fall in value of Spanish property. Whilst the Spanish Office of National Statisticcs claim prices dropped 11% from their 2007 high and bounced back 2% this summer others estimate the true losses based on actual sale prices to be 20-50% from peak depending on area with Santander and Cajasol sitting on huge potential but as yet unrealised losses.

Posted by enuii @ 11:14 PM 1 Comments

The Purpose and Method of Satire


"The best satire does not seek to do harm or damage by its ridicule, unless we speak of damage to the structure of vice, but rather it seeks to create a shock of recognition and to make vice repulsive so that the vice will be expunged from the person or society under attack or from the person or society intended to benefit by the attack (regardless of who is the immediate object of attack); whenever possible this shock of recognition is to be conveyed through laughter or wit: the formula for satire is one of honey and medicine. Far from being simply destructive, satire is implicitly constructive, and the satirists themselves, whom I trust concerning such matters, often depict themselves as such constructive critics..." Robert Harris, The Purpose and Method of Satire, 1990

Posted by pelagia @ 09:19 PM 0 Comments

Britain’s biggest lender has warned

Telegraph: Home buyers see mortgage rates rise on new deals

Michelle Slade, of personal finance researchers, said: “The Bank Rate of 0.5 per cent has meant many borrowers are reverting to rates significantly lower than they would find if they remortgaged to a new deal. “Lenders balance sheets have been dented by borrowers remaining on such low rates, something many can ill afford to allow to continue.

Posted by mark @ 04:26 PM 3 Comments


Rightmove: Unexpectedly back on the market!

Better than "unexpectedly re-available"?

Posted by brickormortis @ 04:17 PM 21 Comments


Yahoo: India Hit By Bank 'Bribes For Loans' Scandal

The banking scandal is one of the biggest to taint India, potentially harming the image of Asia's third-largest economy as a destination for foreign investors.

Posted by mark @ 03:03 PM 1 Comments

Spain, Portugal and Belgium set to follow Ireland into abyss as debt crisis threatens to destroy the

Daily mail: So who's next for financial meltdown?

Belgium's debt reaches 100% of annual national income Portuguese and Spanish borrowing costs rise sharply Standard & Poor's reduces Ireland's credit rating to A Eire PM resists EU pressure to raise corporation tax Irish families each face 4,600 euro bailout bill Euro drops to a two-month low against the U.S. dollar over bloc's financial health. Report warns eurozone's problems won't stop at Ireland

Posted by mark @ 02:56 PM 9 Comments

Actually i would re-name this as "something for everyone"..

FSA: Something old and something new: Novel and familiar drivers of the latest crisis

Yes it was in May... but its imo interesting nonetheless. Not a short read but shows that Turner is no lightweight when it comes to these issues. Of course all a bit monday morning quarterbacking ... but still.

Posted by techieman @ 12:31 PM 2 Comments

More problems in the Eurozone

Independent: Desperate fight to save the euro

The article now introduces Belgium into the fray. Hasn't anyone learned yet that we can't all party while our investments in property rise giving us a chance to pay off our overweight Mastercard debts? Anyone heard of insolvency? Referring to Madrid, Jennifer McKeown,says: "Such concerns are understandable, given Spain's resemblance to Ireland. Public borrowing there surged during the recession after a property-fuelled boom. Its banks are fragile and sky-high unemployment and falling house prices point to a risk of further huge defaults on domestic loans".

Posted by alan @ 10:12 AM 21 Comments

Are we intending to control inflation?

This is Money: Bank must raise rates

"Mr Sentance last night repeated his call for a quarter point rise in interest rates to 0.75%. As an external member of the Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee, Mr Sentence has been a lone voice in calling for interest rate rises. He has voted for a rise at each of last six MPC rate-setting meetings". (maybe the other MPC members are nobbled by VIs)

Posted by alan @ 10:00 AM 19 Comments

Sentance talks sence

FT: Call for gentle rise in UK rates

The body that sets monetary policy in Britain should begin making a “gradual transition to higher interest rates” now in order to avoid having to raise them sharply in the future, says one of its members.

Posted by si @ 09:44 AM 0 Comments

When the property bubble bursts

Mail: Ireland set to tap into pension fund

"Ireland has unveiled plans to tap even further into its national pension fund to help tackle the escalating financial crisis gripping the Republic. In a move that will see Irish workers shoulder yet more pain in the years ahead, Dublin said it would now begin digging into the 24billion euros (£20billion) pension nest-egg to fund its day-to-day needs". "As Ireland threatens to be subsumed by the mounting losses in its banking system, Cowen announced plans to cut the deficit by an eye-watering 15billion euros (£13billion) over the next four years".

Posted by alan @ 09:06 AM 6 Comments

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

When is €750 billion not really €750 billion

Wall Street Journal: How Europe's Massive Rescue Fund Could Fall Short

The €750 billion (about $1 trillion) European emergency fund, promoted as having the firepower to douse a financial crisis in the euro zone, may not even have enough to cover a bailout of Spain article contains lots of interesting numbers and the gem that once all the rules are applied only €310 billion is actually accessible to countries in need, a figure confirmed by an IMF economist.

Posted by enuii @ 10:24 PM 4 Comments

Who can predict what will happen next year, next month or even next week - let alone in 3~4 years!

Thisismoney: Property market 'will rise 16% by 2014'

Homeowners fearing a property slump could take some succour today from a report predicting house prices will be 16% higher by the end of 2014. Very insular view from the Centre for Economics and Business Research.... I predict a steady fall in house prices as sellers become more realistic, driven by number of buyers with sufficent deposit and access to finance....then will stabilise to around 4 x average salary for an average house for many years to come (at last 1/5th of house cost covered by deposit)....BUT I could be wrong.....The world might go mad, and will all end up living in £1M houses with swimmimng pools and sports cars on the drive.

Posted by rental john @ 06:14 PM 0 Comments

Peak Oil now Official !!!

Business Insider: Peak Oil Is Officially Set To Starve The Economy

Deny it or accept it. Peak Oil happened in 2006 and that’s now official. So what will happen to all the lovely equity in all the lovely homes when our economy is physically prevented from growing out of recession? Our leaders will ignore the severe life changing implications of this and be insane enough to pretend that ‘back to normal’ is possible. QE to Infinity for starters.

Posted by evohep @ 06:05 PM 4 Comments

For suggesting that mortgage customers could benefit from falling interest rates if they took out a

Yahoo / telegraph: Halifax 'misleading borrowers' over tracker mortgages

Which, the consumer lobby group, has attacked Halifax for suggesting that mortgage customers could benefit from falling interest rates if they took out a tracker mortgage. These loans usually have interest payments linked to the Bank of England's official rate.

Posted by mark @ 02:17 PM 8 Comments

IFS sets out the case for Land Value Tax

Institute For Fiscal Studies: Mirrlees Tax Review - Chapter 16

A bit wordy, and they make the whole valuation thing seem more complex than it really is, but hey. As to valuations, let's just base it on average (total selling prices in recent years ÷ size in square yards of land and buildings sold) for each smaller area (postcode sector, 3,000 addresses?) and have done with it. It'd be £30/sq yd in Burnley, £40 to £70 in most parts of the country and about £1,000 in Central London. There's no need to worry about "bricks and mortar allowance" because each household could also be paid a Citizen's Income that would more than cover the bricks and mortar cost (repairs, interest, depreciation, insurance, utilities etc). That'd do to replace income tax, VAT, Council Tax etc and the whole Welfare State.

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 02:09 PM 14 Comments

Nationwide can't be too chuffed with this...

Estate Agent Today: Nationwide confirms chopping agency network in estate agents' offices

Nationwide's nework of 130 agencies, most of which are based in estate agents, definitely face the axe, after the mutual made huge losses on its rock-bottom, over-generous 2.5% tracker rate mortgages.

Posted by sibley's b'stard child @ 02:01 PM 1 Comments

Moving averages flirting with key levels

Investment Postcards: Moving averages flirting with key levels

After the nascent correction, most stock market major indices are within striking distance of their 50-day moving averages. However, all the indices are still trading above their key 200-day moving averages – often used as an indicator of the primary trend.

Posted by prieur du plesssis @ 01:47 PM 0 Comments

Investment Postcards

Investment Postcards: Emerging Markets: the risks are increasing …

An interesting article in the "risk off" category. Although the author does not see emerging-market economies tanking, in his opinion the short-term risk of investing in these markets has increased significantly.

Posted by prieur du plesssis @ 01:37 PM 0 Comments

Volume sales are grinding to a halt

Oh dear...

Telegraph: Japan: land of the rising debt

Structural changes to the job market are not the only challenge. Japan's population has already peaked, with the first of the "baby boomer" generation set to retire next year. By 2050 the population is forecast to have fallen from 127m to just over 100m. "Japan will become the 'greyest' country in the world," says Mr Yamamoto, who warns of a spiralling health and social security bill that will have to be serviced by a working population that is already in decline. Japan's working population will also have to service (and eventually pay back) government debt that now totals 197.2pc of GDP. The highest level among all of the major world economies"

Posted by sibley's b'stard child @ 11:07 AM 9 Comments

Comments on the bubble

Independent: Turner offers little hope for first-time buyers

The chairman of the FSA, Lord Turner, has hit back at critics who have accused the regulator of creating a "mortgage famine" with tough new rules on lending, especially to first-time buyers. In an attempt to play down fears about the exposure of the British banks to Ireland, Lord Turner also told the Treasury Select Committee that the banks' exposure to Irish government securities was "not worrying". "Lord Turner told the MPs that that "easy credit is not necessarily good for first-time buyers" and that enthusiasm for forwarding unaffordable amounts to home buyers during the bubble had created a "clear tail of very harmful lending".

Posted by alan @ 10:56 AM 8 Comments

And how much will it cost the british ?

Yahoo / telegraph: Ireland austerity plan to cost Irish households £3,000

The average Irish household will have to pay up £3,000 in extra taxes under a four year austerity plan required as the precondition for an EU-IMF (Berlin: MXG1.BE - news) bailout. Between 2011 and 2015, the Irish government must make £8.5 billion of spending cuts and collect an additional £4.2 billion in taxation with an austerity programme that will bring Ireland (Berlin: IIK.BE - news) 's generous welfare state to an end. There was more bad news for Ireland this morning after Standard & Poor cuts its debt rating two points as contagion threatens to spread through the rest of the euro region.

Posted by mark @ 10:32 AM 0 Comments

They're stealing our bear snacks from under our noses!

City Wire: House prices unlikely to suffer 2008-style slump, says Nationwide

UK house prices are unlikely to suffer a 2008-style slump, Nationwide Building Society has said, despite fears of a ‘double-dip’ in Britain’s property market. Nationwide said in a report on its first-half earnings such a fall was unlikely given interest rates will remain low, limiting the level of mortgage arrears and repossessions. But it warned it expected buyer activity to remain weak amid uncertainty over the government’s austerity measures. It also noted that housing market conditions have ‘weakened noticeably’ over the last six months.

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 10:19 AM 22 Comments

On a cold morning, this'll make your blood boil

Citywire: Help needed for homebuyers - before disaster strikes

"What trade body the Council of Mortgage Lenders has long been lobbying for is reform which would allow SMI to be paid in proportion to the loss of income. For example, if the person who is made redundant earns £40,000 a year and the partner earns £20,000 then SMI should be paid at two-thirds of the full amount. Expecting the couple to pay the mortgage in full on just one third of their former earnings is totally unrealistic."

Posted by sibley's b'stard child @ 09:21 AM 11 Comments

It forecasts that it will be 2014/15 before unemployment rates

Manchester evening news: Greater Manchester will lose 95,000 jobs, say economic experts

Manchester council leader, Sir Richard Leese, said: "There are going to be less people in work, people are going to have less money and, particularly when the VAT increase comes in next year, the cost of living will go up, so it's going to be a triple hit.

Posted by mark @ 09:12 AM 1 Comments

Eire today - Gone tomorrow!

Bloomberg: Ireland Long-Term Sovereign Rating Lowered by Standard & Poor's

Ireland had its long-term sovereign rating cut to ‘A’ from ‘AA-’ and its short-term rating to ‘A-1’ from ‘A-1+’ by Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services, which cited concerns about additional borrowing by the government as it seeks external aid from the IMF and the European Union.

Posted by markj69 str05 @ 12:09 AM 0 Comments

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

And the trouble continues, in the EU!

Bloomberg: Merkel Points to `Serious' Bailout Risk as Spanish Bonds Drop

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said the prospect of serial European bailouts was “exceptionally serious,” sending the euro to a three-month low as officials estimated saving Ireland will cost 85 billion euros ($114 billion).

Posted by markj69 str05 @ 11:49 PM 7 Comments

Really! The BOE made errors. No Surely not!

Reuters: Bank slow in "fessing up" to pre-crisis mistakes - FSA

The Bank of England was slow in "fessing up" to mistakes made ahead of the financial crisis and will have to win trust by showing it can take unpopular decisions, the financial watchdog said on Tuesday.

Posted by markj69 str05 @ 11:28 PM 4 Comments

Guess the bond investor

The Guardian: Euro crisis worsens after bond investor says cash will be taken out of Ireland

The world's biggest bond investor tonight inflamed the growing crisis engulfing the eurozone by virtually inviting depositors to take their money out of Ireland's stricken banks. In a day of turbulence in the currency markets when the euro plunged more than two cents against the dollar and share prices fell heavily in Europe and North America, expectations mounted that Portugal would quickly follow Ireland in calling in the International Monetary Fund and the European Union.

Posted by devo @ 11:12 PM 1 Comments

Bank Stress Tests - Rigourous or simply a PR exercise

Guardian: * Business * European banks Faith in European banks shaken by stress test doubts

Stress tests conducted on European Banks under the supervision of the Committee of European Banking Supervisors gave Allied Irish Banks and the Bank of Ireland clean bills of health only 4 months ago yet these two banks are now awaiting ECB and IMF bailout funds and have cast doubt over the benign prognoses given for the other 82 banks tested.

Posted by enuii @ 11:01 PM 0 Comments

Excellent, more offices for thefinancial sector. Just what's needed.

Guardian: Ard to become EU's tallest building – but will the market follow it up?

There was a time when the Shard seemed nothing more than a glassy gleam in Sellar's eye, but when John Prescott – now Lord Prescott, the former New Labour environment boss – gave it the go-ahead in 2003, nothing, recession or otherwise, was going to stand in its way. So not all developments are struggling?

Posted by markj69 str05 @ 10:51 PM 2 Comments

Reasonable article from the Daily Maul - who would believe it!

Daily Mail: Fresh market turmoil as British bank shares take pounding over fears Irish crisis will spread

Long article but worth a read.... Financial markets were thrown into fresh turmoil today as the Irish bailout threatened to spiral out of control. Markets around the world fell for a second day due to the uncertainty, with the FTSE-100 down 1 per cent to its lowest level in more than a month. Barclays, Lloyds and Royal Bank of Scotland shares were also hit.

Posted by rental john @ 07:18 PM 0 Comments

More MSN reporting continuning falls

Guardian: Mortgage approvals hit 19-month low

A bear story a day helps you work rest and play :)

Posted by daz @ 07:03 PM 0 Comments

Goodwin and rbs back on the same page!!!!

Scotsman: Fred goodwin strikes again

what a **** ironic to see rbs advertising on the same page a frank spencer's latest ball up you couldn't make it up.

Posted by taffee @ 06:27 PM 1 Comments

Housing is not expensive...

Northampton Chronicle & Echo: House prices outstrip our average salaries

A NEW report suggests it will cost Northampton homeowners more than seven times their average income to own a home. The National Housing Federation survey shows the town’s average house price is £149,169, 7.4 times the average income of £20,166. This is Northampton, not the blinking Maldives !!

Posted by debtfree @ 05:32 PM 8 Comments

When is it Englands turn !

BBC News: NI house prices hit five year low

The average house price in Northern Ireland has fallen below £150,000 for the first time in nearly five years, according to a survey. Bank Of Ireland UK Economist Alan Bridle highlighted the fall in prices in Belfast with the average price of housing falling substantially by 21.7% over the year to £138,131.

Posted by debtfree @ 05:28 PM 0 Comments

Commodity prices - on a knife's edge

Investment Postcards: Commodity prices - on a knife's edge

This article comments on the short-term outlook for financial markets in general, and commodities in specific, arguing that volatility is expected to increase over the next two weeks. An assessment is also provided of the potentially weaker and stronger markets.

Posted by prieur du plessis @ 12:41 PM 2 Comments

Crash cancelled as housing market saved by Chinese students

Liverpool Daily Post: Liverpool property market set for influx of Chinese buyers, delegation says

LIVERPOOL’S property market could be set for a massive injection as Chinese parents look to snap up apartments for their children while they study in the city. A top Chinese delegation from Shanghai visited Liverpool yesterday to discuss multi-billion pound regeneration plans – with the opportunity for investment the main topic. Mr Li said ultimately investment in the city would depend on opening successful negotiations. He added: “Generally, we believe there is a great opportunity for Chinese families to send their kids to study in the UK."

Posted by drewster @ 12:32 PM 12 Comments

No more council housing for life? Not really.

Guardian: Simon Hughes faces dilemma as coalition tries to end social housing

The reality of the policy released yesterday is a little more nuanced, at least since the first plans to end the council house for life. The new short-term tenancy lasting a minimum of two years will not apply to existing tenancies in social housing. It will also be for councils to decide whether to introduce it. An existing council tenant who agrees to a council's request to downsize should also be allowed to keep a secure tenancy. It also appears from the consultation paper that there is no specific incentive designed to encourage councils to introduce the short-term tenancies. Older people, the disabled and the ill may also be excluded. "There is a good chance that centre-left councils, the ones most likely to have a large amount of council housing, will simply not participate."

Posted by drewster @ 12:22 PM 14 Comments

Cold comfort for NIMBYs

Telegraph: Why pensioners are hit hardest by rural poverty

From the comments: "We should encourage people to move to smaller, warmer, properties in the cities, rather than pleading for more subsidies for those who (in the main) choose to live in remote places ("we like the countryside") but then complain about lack of facilities. If you want better facilities (more shops) in remote villages, you need to build more properties so that more people live and work in those villages, creating a market for retail businesses (we call them 'towns'). You also need to build bigger, faster roads so that delivery lorries can get to these places quicker. You can't have it both ways - either you have rustic beauty (with poor roads, no buses and vacant pubs) or urban efficiency (with plenty of parks and gardens and all the shops in walking distance).

Posted by sibley's b'stard child @ 11:36 AM 9 Comments

A worthwhile round up of the Mish(anary) position

Mish: Failure to consider constraints

It is clear that stimulus has not gone far enough, leaving unemployment at unacceptably high levels across parts of Europe and indeed across the board in the US. Business margins are being squeezed as extreme flucations in commodity prices reminisent of 2008 (Cotton down 25% since QE 2 after a 100% run up largely in anticipation) are met by an over debted under employed and essentially compromised consumer. One struggles to see how this can be inflationary, but one can easily see that it is a recipie for disaster especially for business and the labour force. It would seem that stimulus in the form of savage tax cuts and higher state deficits are in order, but instead we try to bring the deficit under control and increase tax eg VAT increase. Madness.

Posted by bellwether @ 11:36 AM 35 Comments

British Bankers Association (BBA) latest release

FT Adviser: Gross mortgage lending plummets to 2001 levels

Gross mortgage lending in October was the lowest total seen since February 2001. Some £7.6bn was lent, 16.1 per cent lower than a year ago, data from the British Bankers’ Association (BBA) has shown. Gross mortgage lending means new loans which have been done and the net mortgage figure is the gross figure minus repayments. Net mortgage lending increased by £1.7bn in October compared to £3bn in October 2009, according to the data.

Posted by jack c @ 10:32 AM 19 Comments

Pain in Spain, or expecting a haircut?

Bloomberg: .Spain, Portugal Bonds Drop on Debt Concern

Spanish and Portuguese government bonds led losses by so-called peripheral European debt amid speculation the countries will struggle to manage their deficits after Ireland moved to secure a bailout. Spanish 10-year bonds fell a sixth day, sending the yield six basis points higher to 4.81 percent as of 9:08 a.m. in London, the highest since June 17. The extra yield investors demand to hold the securities instead of German bunds widened nine basis points to 218 basis points. Portugal’s 10-year yield rose nine basis points to 6.90 percent and Ireland’s yield increased three basis points to 8.34 percent.

Posted by alan @ 10:01 AM 2 Comments

Nationwide says houses prices too low

BBC News: Nationwide warns house prices will likely fall further

The lender said potential buyers were being deterred by the uncertainty generated by the government's public spending cuts.

Posted by cynicalsoothsayer @ 09:17 AM 18 Comments

So no significant falls then ?

Independent: Low interest rates 'to limit house price falls'

"However, we believe that large house price falls of the magnitude seen in 2008 are unlikely given that interest rates will remain low and limit the level of mortgage arrears and distressed sales," he added.

Posted by happy mondays @ 09:01 AM 20 Comments

You already guessed

Telegraph: Ireland bail-out: Portugal and Spain could be next victims of euro contagion

"Jean Claude Juncker, Luxembourg’s prime minister and chairman of the eurozone finance ministers’ group, spoke as the Portuguese and Spanish governments insisted the international bail-out of Ireland would calm the markets and keep them safe. With their large government deficits and poor long-term growth prospects, Portugal and Spain are the next potential victims of market “contagion”, where investors panic over countries’ ability to pay their debts". Jose Socrates, the Portuguese prime minister, insisted that his country “does not need any help,”

Posted by alan @ 08:00 AM 4 Comments

Monday, November 22, 2010

Sure to cause a riot

Dailymail: Pregnant again, the mother with five children in care who vows to keep having babies until she gets a council house

He does not work and rakes in around £600 a month in benefits. But Miss Samma claimed yesterday that it was her 'human right as a woman to have children' and vowed to continue falling pregnant until the local authority moved her from her 16th floor inner-city council flat to a 'proper council house'.

Posted by mark @ 05:08 PM 71 Comments

The failure of the last 20 years

Business Week: Eire shows supply side economics' shortcomings

The Laffer curve? Laughable. Hocus-pocus economics stared by Regan and now ended in another 1929 style crash (ongoing). Do a global search and replace, substitute England for Ireland and read the future.

Posted by chrisch @ 05:08 PM 7 Comments

The paradox of toil and flexibility means we need a property tax

Investment and Business News: Why the super rich should pay more tax, and the rest should pay a lot less

Keynes paradox of thrift suggested that in an economic depression the more we save the worse things get. Keynes advocated re-distribution of wealth to poor, who tend to have a lower savings ratio. Two new theories in this vein are the ‘paradox of flexibility’ and the ‘paradox of toil’. The theories suggest that in certain conditions, including zero interest rates, as we work harder or smarter, wages can fall, leading to falling demand, a deepening recession, deflation and rising levels of real debt. Maybe this can only be fixed by re-distribution of wealth, including much greater property and inheritance tax.

Posted by mike @ 04:30 PM 0 Comments

Beginners guide to mortgaging and the UK housing market

WalesHome.Org: UK Housing market – for beginners

Having trouble understanding why interest rates are so cheap ?

Posted by david jones @ 04:21 PM 0 Comments

NOW that's what I call a reality gap!

Evening Standard: 'Reality gap’ in property prices drives buyers from the market

"A spectacular “reality gap” has opened up in London between asking prices in estate agent windows and what buyers are prepared to pay, research reveals today. The difference has increased more than tenfold since 2003, leaving many buyers frustrated by prices that are often little below or even above their boom-time highs. In 2003 the gap between average asking prices in London and average sale prices stood at £6,574, or about three per cent. But by this year it had exploded to more than £79,000 or 24 per cent. Estate agents say the phenomenon helps to explain why the capital's property market has been so sluggish in recent years."

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 03:31 PM 11 Comments

Lettings agents reckon lettings are a good bet shocker

Telegraph: Buy to let landlords enjoy fat profits from the mortgage famine

James Moss, managing director of Curzon Investment Property, said: “The main reason we’re destined to stay a nation of renters is that Government promises to unlock the mortgage market* and build more homes have been broken. The market is being choked off at both ends and a combination of throttled lending and fractured supply means prices are kept high and people can’t borrow enough. New local planning laws which give Nimbys the right veto much needed development are the nail in the coffin.” *Lend more; damn you.

Posted by sibley's b'stard child @ 03:15 PM 2 Comments

The bad news just keeps on coming

Cnn: Another hit to states: Interest payments to Uncle Sam

NEW YORK ( -- The Great Recession has forced states to borrow $41 billion from a federal fund to cover unemployment checks for their jobless residents. Now the bill is coming due.

Posted by mark @ 02:04 PM 6 Comments

The process of securing these debts against a home is known as a charging order

Yahoo / telegraph: Home owners lose properties over £600 debts

Ray Watson, a director at the OFT, said: “Our investigation uncovered instances of charging orders being used to secure debts of less than £600. Lenders are entitled to use charging orders but must do so proportionately. Where we consider the use of charging orders to be unfair or oppressive we will take action to protect consumers.”

Posted by mark @ 01:55 PM 5 Comments

Banks already factoring in FSA style guidelines

FT: Lenders impose interest-only limits

Private banks are becoming more cautious about granting interest-only mortgages on high loan-to-value (LTV) ratios, as concerns mount over falling house prices, brokers have warned. Some lenders, such as Coutts and Barclays Wealth, had been willing to lend up to 80 per cent of a property’s value on an interest-only basis. But mortgage brokers have found that these lenders are increasingly restricting the interest-only portion of any home loan to 70 per cent – and insisting that the portion of the loan above this amount be arranged on a capital and interest repayment basis.

Posted by the green manalishi @ 12:29 PM 3 Comments

Why can't we have our cake and eat it?

Citywire: Morning Line: who's never had it so good? Not mortgage holders

Ill-thought out riposte to Young's infamous sound-bite. She argues that the 'positive' effect of ultra-low IRs on debt, while benefitting a proportion of homeowners, are far outweighed by the paper losses incurred by negative equity. I don't think she's considered the effect that raising IRs would have on house-prices. She started off rather well with a brief nod to savers but lost it after the second paragraph.

Posted by sibley's b'stard child @ 11:48 AM 7 Comments

Lisbon can't pay its way - some numbers

Telegraph: Portugal next as EMU's Máquina Infernal keeps ticking

"The Portuguese seemed baffled - and pained - that investors should link their country in any way with Greece or Ireland. I am afraid they must come to terms very soon with some unpleasant facts. They have yet to acknowledge the deeper truth that monetary union has insidiously destabilised much of Europe and trapped a ring of largely innocent countries in depression". Ambrose says"let me point out that Portugal will have a current account deficit of 10.3pc of GDP this year, 8.8pc in 2011, and 8.0pc in 2012, according to the OECD".

Posted by alan @ 11:24 AM 0 Comments

Maybe they will start to offload the 10,000s of foreclosures

Reuters: Top banks face $100 billion Basel shortfall

The regulations mean banks may need to increase their capital through retained earnings or issuing equity or they can cut their risk-weighted assets by selling off assets and cutting back riskier business.

Posted by mark @ 10:57 AM 6 Comments

Form an orderly queue please!

Independent: Will Irish bailout spark contagion?

The Irish government bowed to the inevitable last night and confirmed that it is requesting tens of billions of euros from international institutions to rescue its struggling economy and stricken banks. Commentators have expressed serious doubts that Portugal can continue without EU and IMF assistance, with a growing number also expressing doubts about the financial strength of Spain, and even Italy.

Posted by alan @ 10:51 AM 0 Comments

And the costs just keep mounting, when will they throw the towel in?

Dailymail: Every family in Britain will have to pay £300 to bail out the Irish

Bailing out the ailing Irish economy to the tune of billions is in Britain's 'national interest', George Osborne insisted today. The Chancellor described Ireland as a 'friend in need' as he defended plans to pay more than £7billion into an international bailout worth up to £85billion. British taxpayers will be landed with an increase in the colossal debt burden - already £952billion - at a time of desperate cost cutting.

Posted by mark @ 10:48 AM 16 Comments

William Yue was ready last week to pay about HK$11 million ($1.4 million) for an apartment

Bloomberg: Hong Kong Property Sales Slide as Tax Deters Buyers

Weekend sales of used homes fell 83 percent from the previous week, according to data from Centaline Property Agency Ltd. The changes mean homes sold within six months of purchase incur a 15 percent stamp duty, while down payments will rise to 50 percent for properties costing HK$12 million or more, and to 40 percent for those between HK$8 million and HK$12 million.

Posted by mark @ 10:07 AM 0 Comments

PLEASE try to understand what's going on

FT: Osborne to water down bank bonus rules

George Osborne is set to water down plans to force disclosure of bank bonus payments above £1m, in a move that will delight the City but sets up a political clash with business secretary Vince Cable and the Liberal Democrats. The chancellor has been lobbied by senior bankers who claim that if Britain introduces more pay transparency unilaterally it could put the City at a disadvantage and lead to some banks shifting activity to New York or other financial centres.

Posted by devo @ 01:08 AM 26 Comments

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Footballer kicks off second banking crisis

FSA climb down

This is Money: Borrowers offered a mortgage lifeline

Millions of borrowers who feared that they could be shut out of the property market have been thrown a lifeline. Interest-only borrowers, the self employed and first-time buyers without a chunky deposit or wealthy parents all stand to benefit after the Financial Services Authority climbed down over its plans to push through its controversial Mortgage Market Review reforms.

Posted by quiet guy @ 07:35 PM 16 Comments

They could try dropping the prices (part 2,794)

BBC: Mortgage lending will not recover in next year - banks

"Banks and building societies have told the BBC they do not expect any significant recovery in mortgage lending next year. A new vetting process for mortgages could "cement in place restricted... lending", denying many the chance to buy the homes they want, they added. The warning comes after figures showed new mortgages last month, at £12.4bn, were the lowest for a decade. First time buyers are most affected by the lending drought."

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 11:01 AM 7 Comments

Banks in Ireland 'on brink of collapse'

The Daily Mail: Lock down

Ireland's biggest banks are facing collapse this week unless an immediate international bail-out package can be agreed, senior insiders have revealed.

Posted by devo @ 08:53 AM 48 Comments

I wonder if those who have a lot to loose, can influence the markets?

Bloomberg: Duke of Westminster Tops Ranking of Real-Estate Investors Based in Britain

The Duke, whose name is Gerald Grosvenor, had assets with an estimated value of 6.8 billion pounds ($11 billion) at the end of September, the magazine said in its annual ranking of the 250 wealthiest people in the industry. David and Simon Reuben again ranked second with 5.43 billion pounds, while Earl Cadogan and his family were third with 2.5 billion pounds. The combined wealth of the people included in the survey increased by 4.3 percent to 72 billion pounds in the year through September...

Posted by markj69 str05 @ 01:28 AM 2 Comments

Accountability perhaps?

Wall Street Journal: U.S. in Vast Insider Trading Probe

Federal authorities, capping a three-year investigation, are preparing insider-trading charges that could ensnare consultants, investment bankers, hedge-fund and mutual-fund traders and analysts across the nation, according to people familiar with the matter. In another aspect of the probes, prosecutors and regulators are examining whether Goldman Sachs Group Inc. bankers leaked information about transactions, including health-care mergers, in ways that benefited certain investors, the people say. Goldman declined to comment.

Posted by markj69 str05 @ 01:07 AM 1 Comments

Saturday, November 20, 2010

How Goldman Sachs gambled on starving the world's poor - and won

Johann Hari: How Goldman Sachs gambled on starving the world's poor - and won

By now, you probably think your opinion of Goldman Sachs and its swarm of Wall Street allies has rock-bottomed at raw loathing. You're wrong. There's more. It turns out the most destructive of all their recent acts has barely been discussed at all. Here's the rest. This is the story of how some of the richest people in the world - Goldman, Deutsche Bank, the traders at Merrill Lynch, and more - have caused the starvation of some of the poorest people in the world, just so they could make a fatter profit.

Posted by devo @ 11:30 PM 16 Comments

Fixed rates falling!

Guardian: Fixed-rate mortgages back in fashion

Several major lenders this week cut interest rates on fixed-rate mortgages, despite the turmoil in financial markets provoked by Ireland's banking woes. Are we seeing one of the last acts to attract custom, in a bubble that's about to burst?

Posted by markj69 str05 @ 11:30 PM 2 Comments

CEO of PIMCO, the world's largest bond investor, writes:

The Telegraph: Ireland's long painful slog must begin with slow, steady steps

In the official sector lane, representatives of Ireland, the ECB, the EU and the IMF are frantically working together to come up with a rescue financing package. The other lane, that of the private sector, is dominated by increasingly nervous depositors worried about the safety of the money they have in Irish banks.

Posted by devo @ 10:25 PM 0 Comments

Roubini: Debt Collapse

CNBC: Roubini Maps Out Nightmare Scenario of Domino Debt Collapse in Europe

Roubini says, "The next one in line is going to be Portugal. "Due to the severity of Portuguese debt problems, Portugal is going to lose market access—and that means they are going to require IMF support as well. But the real nightmare domino is Spain. Roubini refers to the Spanish debt problems as "the elephant in the room". "You can try to ring fence Spain. And you can essentially try to provide financing officially to Ireland, Portugal, and Greece for three years. Leave them out of the market. Maybe restructure their debt down the line." "But if Spain falls off the cliff, there is not enough official money in this envelope of European resources to bail out Spain. Spain is too big to fail on one side—and also too big to be bailed out."

Posted by devo @ 10:13 PM 5 Comments

Financial Crisis - €100bn bailout

The Telegraph: US firms warn Irish over tax move

The Irish government has been given a stark warning from some of the biggest American companies in Ireland on the risk of a mass exodus if the country's low corporation tax rate is raised. The warning – from executives at Microsoft, Hewlett-Packard (HP), Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Intel – spoke of the "damaging impact" on Ireland's "ability to win and retain investment" should the country's corporation tax rate be increased from 12.5pc. It came as talks between members of the Irish government and the European Union and the International Monetary Fund continued around the clock on a financial aid package of as much as €100bn to shore up the country's beleaguered banking system.

Posted by devo @ 10:04 PM 2 Comments

Who knows?

The Telegraph: William Hague calls the future of the euro into question

William Hague raised doubts about the future of the euro yesterday, suggesting for the first time that it was possible the currency could collapse. Mr Hague, a long-standing critic of European monetary union, said he hoped the single currency would not collapse, but he acknowledged that this was possible.

Posted by devo @ 09:55 PM 3 Comments

The black country HPC is well under way

Express and Star: West Midlands house prices tumble by a tenth

House prices in the West Midlands have tumbled by more than a tenth in three years as the cost of renting soars, figures revealed today. Estate agents across the West Midlands say home owners are accepting up to 10 per cent less than their original asking prices in a bid to speed up chains.

Posted by miken @ 09:45 PM 0 Comments

The writing is on the wall

The Guardian: Ireland fears civil unrest as bank crisis deepens

Trade union leader warns of riots if government imposes further 'draconian' cuts to public sector. One of Ireland's biggest trade unions warned today that the nation was on the brink of civil unrest as government officials negotiated a multibillion euro bailout for the country's ailing banks. The Technical Engineering and Electrical Union said further "draconian" public sector cuts of €15bn over four years could lead to street disorder. It urged a campaign of civil disobedience unless the taoiseach, Brian Cowen, calls an immediate election. An emergency cabinet tomorrow will discuss the new round of cuts.

Posted by devo @ 09:04 PM 2 Comments

Difficult to get your head round this

Daily mail: Irelands ghost estates

The idea of empty properties unused or to be demolished seems unbelievable,but many areas had the same problem in the 90's in uk until the internet and buy-to-let along with 'inside track' made everything the same price

Posted by taffee @ 04:06 PM 6 Comments

How liquid should a house be

Orange: New rules will create 'mortgage prisoners'

The FSA wants to tighten up mortgage lending criteria to avoid a repeat of the crisis. However, the new rules it has put forward would mean that many fewer people would be eligible to take out a mortgage. Worryingly, many existing homeowners would be excluded under the new rules meaning they would be stuck with their current lender indefinitely, possibly on an uncompetitive interest rate. These borrowers have been dubbed “mortgage prisoners”.

Posted by quiet guy @ 11:56 AM 3 Comments

How much other folks earn

Guardian: Because you're worth it

Bit distorted because the journalist is based in the SE and has interviewed a lot of obviously semi-retired people but a nice little Saturday read non the less.

Posted by enuii @ 11:45 AM 5 Comments

Bidding War for Renters

BBC News: 'Bidding war' for homes to rent

Landlords, or more often their letting agents, are increasingly asking would-be tenants to compete by making "sealed bid" offers for the home they want. The practice is relatively commonplace in the market to buy homes, but is seen as a new development in the rental sector.

Posted by bunker @ 06:07 AM 0 Comments

Friday, November 19, 2010

The Giant Squid won't learn

The Telegraph: Goldman Sachs just won't learn when it comes to bankers' pay

It seems Goldman just won't learn, but if you read the comments you'll see the public are becoming wise to the scam. One comment even points out the use of AIG as a mark. I think at this stage Goldman heads may be on spikes sooner than we realise.

Posted by mikelivingstone @ 11:26 PM 0 Comments

High inflation unavoidable - duck now

Telegraph: Jailed counterfeiters aren't a patch on the Bank of England

The British and US governments are printing money to create inflation – to reduce their debts, says Jeff Randall. In his book Crisis Economics, Nouriel Roubini, professor of economics at New York University, predicts that inflation will return to advanced economies in 2012 if governments opt to monetise deficits (they have), or the glut of easy money fuels a fresh asset bubble (it has – just look at commodity prices), or the dollar continues to weaken (it has).

Posted by alan @ 10:38 PM 36 Comments

U.S. $5.40 to Generate $1.00 GDP

Bloomberg via youtube: In-Depth Look - Outstanding Debt Soars - Bloomberg

Bloomberg Interview - The Fed and Treasury Dept. claim that the housing bubble could not be foreseen. Take a look at this video to see how obvious it really was.

Posted by novice pete @ 09:51 PM 4 Comments

Nice bit of bear food to brighten up your Friday afternoon...

Your Mortgage: Housing market ‘will double dip'

"The housing market faces a double dip in house prices, a Reuters poll of industry analysts has found. The poll, taken over the past week, found that more than two-thirds of the 30 housing market analysts it surveyed predict UK house prices will "double dip", with most expecting a 5% fall from current levels." Rumours that 'Your Mortgage' was to rename itself as "Your Millstone" were unconfirmed at time of publication.

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 03:19 PM 13 Comments

Lord Young throws in the towel

Sky News: Young quits over recession comment

when the going gets tough...

Posted by cyril @ 02:26 PM 20 Comments

What decisions can companies make about you based on your postcode?

Yahoo: How your postcode costs you money

Obviously your postcode will affect the price of your property on a location level, but research by Zoopla has shown that the name of your street may also play a part. Apparently the highest valued properties in the UK are found on streets with 'Hill' (average price of £341,466) or 'Lane' (£328,378) in the name.

Posted by mark @ 02:09 PM 3 Comments

Despite fast growing inflation, which some economists say is likely to rise to more than 5 %

Reuters: In Shanghai, prices fly high

Despite fast growing inflation, which some economists say is likely to rise to more than 5 percent early next year, Chinese people are still spending more than ever and the global financial crisis hasn’t dampened the spending spirit in China, whose economy is probably the least affected during the crisis. In fact, Beijing is encouraging its residents to do so in order to boost domestic consumption and reduce the country’s reliance on exports.

Posted by mark @ 11:37 AM 0 Comments

The figures will make grim reading not only for officers and staff, but also the public

Dailypost: One in seven officers face the chop in North Wales Police rstructure

I remember once when there was an armed robbery in North Wales most of the local force were on a speed camera trap and could not attend the robbery, get rid of speed cameras and spend more time on real crime, I bet most of the increased officer employment was for extra speed traps.

Posted by mark @ 11:32 AM 1 Comments

PM talks about land prices

Guardian: Housing benefit cuts will stop social unrest, claims Cameron

"I think that is more likely, frankly, to lead to social unrest when people find out how much money they're paying in taxes for people to live in houses they couldn't dream of living in themselves." Cameron said housing benefit had risen by 50% in the last five years. "Everyone accepts it's out of control and you've got to take some steps to deal with it," he said. "We have been chasing ourselves round in a circuit of increased housing benefit, increased costs and all the while not building very many houses. We have had big capital allocations into housing for the last decade, but it has pushed up the price of land – anyone who owns a bit of land outside one of the towns we represent has done very well, but we seem not have built many houses."

Posted by drewster @ 10:53 AM 28 Comments

A few home truths you won't see in the UK media

Wall Street Journal: King’s Credibility Crumbles

Best quote: "... they ought to remember the Bank of England was equally complacent about the huge growth in U.K. private-sector debt and about British house prices as they formed the biggest bubble in the country’s history". Ouch.

Posted by paul @ 10:29 AM 4 Comments

Time to hide the money under the carpet

Irish Independent: Developers must sell their jets

Some good news at last!!

Posted by chrisch @ 09:44 AM 0 Comments

Euro rates up sterling down.

Irish Independent: Trichet hints at I.R. rise

Oh dear. This could be real bad news for the UK.

Posted by chrisch @ 09:44 AM 4 Comments

Keep Zirp to keep house prices high

Independent: O.E.C.D. highlights U.K. economy risk

If the housing market crashes we are finished. ZIRP until next summer begs OECD.

Posted by chrisch @ 09:23 AM 6 Comments

Tax payers money paying off the feckless's mortgages!

BBC: Homeowners feel the pain of government cuts

That meant that mortgage lenders were paid as if they were charging borrowers at a rate of 6%, even though the rate they were charging was often significantly less than that. Where there was a surplus, the difference was used to pay down the capital on the loan, as well as pay off the interest, giving recipients an extra benefit. Sorry if i've missed this one being posted. Another system to syphon off the tax-payers contributions to this great country. Who really is running teh finances? So much incompetence and neglect, and who's being made accountable - Yep, the general public. It's no wonder they deserve those huge bonus's.

Posted by markj69 str05 @ 12:37 AM 6 Comments

Thursday, November 18, 2010

You've never had it so good!!!

BBC: Lord Young apology over 'never had it so good' remarks

'The Prime Minister's enterprise adviser has apologised after saying British people had "never had it so good" despite the "so called recession". Lord Young of Graffham told the Daily Telegraph the Bank of England's decision to cut the base rates to 0.5%, meant many homeowners were better off. He said complainers felt they had the right to be supported by the state.'

Posted by sarah f @ 11:54 PM 17 Comments

Just 9%! I'm surprised.

Guardian: Mortgage lending down by 9% in a year

A total of £12.4bn was lent during the month, unchanged from September but 9% lower than in October last year, the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) said. It was also the lowest figure recorded by the group for October since 2000. In October UK rents rose for the ninth consecutive month, by 0.4% to £691 a month, surpassing September's record high of £689 and taking annual inflation in the average UK rent to 4.5%.

Posted by markj69 str05 @ 11:33 PM 0 Comments

And if you don't have a mortgage you clearly don't matter

Telegraph: Top Conservative: recession? You've never had it so good

The vast majority of Britons have "never had it so good" because of the low interest rates during the recession, Lord Young, a senior adviser to David Cameron, has declared. Lord Young, the Prime Minister's enterprise adviser, said a drop in mortgage rates "since this so-called recession" had left most people better off.

Posted by quiet guy @ 11:20 PM 2 Comments

If only.....

Daily Telegraph: European Central Bank tightens screw on Ireland, Portugal and Spain

The European Central Bank (ECB) has issued a clear warning that it will press ahead with plans to raise interest rates....

Posted by tom101 @ 10:31 PM 1 Comments

This would be funny if it wasn't true

You Tube: Quantitative Easing Explained

A rather comical look at the FED.

Posted by crash n burn @ 09:38 PM 4 Comments

George Osbourne .....the author

The Times: Look and learn from across the Irish Sea

Straight from he visionary's mouth........anyone seen the paddle?

Posted by braindeed @ 09:26 PM 4 Comments

Jane D'Arista: "Head of World Bank suggestion return of gold standard is grasping at straws"

The Real News Network: Parasitical Capital Not Lack of Gold the Problem

Quote "Nicholas Kaldor, who was a British economist and who wrote very presciently in 1970 that when we went to the fiat dollar standard, that we would be taking a nation of entrepreneurs, i.e. the US, and making us a nation of rentiers... Meaning that we would be living off other people. And that we would be an empire like the Roman, featuring bread and circuses to our people"

Posted by the number cruncher @ 08:13 PM 4 Comments

Schroders view on Interest rates

Fundstrategy: Interest rates staying put, says Schroders chief economist

Interest rates are set to stay at their current levels in America and Europe for the whole of 2011, says the chief economist of Schroders. Speaking at the group’s international media conference today, Wade says base rates will need to stay at their current levels as austerity measures kick in next year. Indeed he adds this is especially the case as many countries will see their debt levels exceed 100% of GDP next year.........As for the euro crisis, Wade says that in five years time the euro, in terms of its composition, may look very different, possibly without Greece, Ireland and Portugal.

Posted by jack c @ 04:15 PM 8 Comments

What a waste why dont the government use the houses for section 8

Bloomberg: Rust Belt Cities Raze Homes as Defaults Blight Neighborhoods

Cleveland’s population has been shrinking for 60 years as the city lost manufacturing jobs. Now, after more than 33,000 foreclosures since 2005, it’s demolishing hundreds of deserted, derelict homes. An agency started last year to manage abandoned houses in Cuyahoga County, which includes Cleveland, plans to acquire as many as 1,000 properties next year, and tear down as many as 900 of them.

Posted by mark @ 12:57 PM 4 Comments

Everyone can still borrow money

FT advisor: No lack of mortgages!

It'll just be 95% of what they can get now... which sounds to me like it wouldn't particularly help.

Posted by hpcwaiter @ 12:36 PM 2 Comments

Another good reason for not building.

Western Telegraph: Single property developers to face £30,000 National Park fee?

Not sure if you've seen this before but felt inspired to post it following MW's posting below. This authority want to demand £30k off you for the pleasure of building a new house. Guess how many houses will be build in Pembrokeshire if this proposal goes through!

Posted by thenewdoctorwho @ 12:01 PM 13 Comments

Morbidly Obese Politician unveils NIMBYs Charter

BBC: Pickles promises 'people's planning power'

"Communities in England will get the power to decide where no shops, offices and homes are to be built, the government will announce. Under the plans, local referendums will be held, which could force councils to adopt "neighbourhood plans" to block all new developments. The government will also offer financial incentives to encourage the "right kind of development", primarily "none". Communities Secretary Eric Pickles said this would mean "more people-planning for no new developments and less politician-planning for no new developments... For far too long local people have had too little say in turning down planning applications, and the planning system imposed bureaucratic zero targets by distant officials in Whitehall and the town hall."

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 11:33 AM 17 Comments

WAGs funding cheap housing!!

Dailypost: Wrexham to provide affordable homes thanks to grant

Wrexham County Borough Council secured the funding through WAG’s Strategic Capital Investment Fund.

Posted by mark @ 11:22 AM 2 Comments

The insane society we live in

Manchester evening news: Fire chiefs spend £82k on hotel course to train managers about cost-cutting

Today, the Fire Brigades Union condemned the use of a hotel – 12 miles from a force training centre in Ancoats – as ‘appalling’. A brigade source said: “I find it despicable that the fire service are willing to pay £100 a night for these managers who all benefit from £40,000-plus-a-year salaries.”

Posted by mark @ 11:10 AM 3 Comments

Anecdotal Evidence of growing conflict between EAs and Surveyors Down-valuing by a distance – is this a problem for you?

From the comments section it appears the EAs are not happy with their 10-20%+ over-valuations [to win business] been knocked down by 15%+ by regulated professionals with qualifications. Need I say more ? IMHO EAs need to appreciate that "market price" is what buyers [and more importantly mortgage lenders] are willing to pay for a dwelling, not what either the EA over-values at, and the seller is daft enough to believe this is what it is "worth". Capitulation for Xmas. Happy New Year.

Posted by doomwatch @ 11:05 AM 9 Comments

CML mortgage lending figures

Indie: Mortgage lending slumps to lowest for a decade

"Mortgage lending slumped to its lowest October level for a decade as activity in the housing market remained subdued, figures showed today. A total of £12.4 billion was lent during the month, unchanged from September, but 9% lower than in October 2009, the Council of Mortgage Lenders said."

Posted by phdinbubbles @ 10:47 AM 7 Comments

Reuters say it is worse than subdued

Bbc: Mortgage lending still subdued

Total mortgage lending in October was £12.4bn, the same as in September but the lowest October figure since 2000.

Posted by mark @ 10:47 AM 0 Comments

Sales volumes last month were 0.5% higher than in September,

BBC NEWS: UK retail sales increased in October

The HPC night shift talks about gazillion dollar death spirals and bankster ponzi derivative black holes. Then I switch on my computer and read about retail sales picking up. Yesterday I read that unemployment went down. There seems to be a very big disconnect between reality and the HPC doom-o-sphere. Every month there seems to be a new 'certain doom' story. Nothing ever comes of these stories but we dutifully plod on to the next doom story, flavour of the month. Is it time to get real or will the next 'certain' doom story be the one? Will we all be poor this time next month (copyright Dell Boy)? Could this Irish bailout malarkey finally produce the big ponzi death star that will sink the world or will this story just fizzle out like all the rest of them?

Posted by flashman @ 10:17 AM 30 Comments

Cloud cuckoo sellers wasting EAs time Asking prices drop as more properties stick on market

The comment at the end from one member about sellers says a lot: "...My view - the only way to stay in business is to be honest with people about the coming storm. The few buyers out there will go where they think there's a deal. As far as sellers go, the living in 2007 cloud cuckoo land brigade are a waste of everyone's time and energy." IMHO most sellers at the moment are wasting everybody's time, including their own.

Posted by doomwatch @ 10:12 AM 2 Comments

Massive inflation needed to save the world

Bloomberg: U.K's Larger-Than-Expected Budget Deficit in October Amid Modest Growth

"The shortfall was 9.8 billion pounds, the largest for any October on record and up from 9.4 billion pounds a year earlier, the Office for National Statistics said in London today. The median of 13 forecasts in a Bloomberg News survey was a deficit of 8.9 billion pounds. The shortfall excluding government support for the financial sector was 10.3 billion pounds". "Before the financial crisis and recession, Britain typically posted budget surpluses in October, when quarterly receipts of tax on company profits pour in".

Posted by alan @ 09:57 AM 1 Comments

One can hold a driving licence but still be a bad driver

BBC News: New checks on estate agents begin

A licensing scheme aimed at protecting home buyers and sellers from unqualified estate agents has been launched by an industry body.

Posted by soundman74 @ 09:36 AM 0 Comments

Great news for Labour and BTLers

Independent: White Britons 'could be minority by 2066'

Okay, it is rather naughty of me and if anyone deems it too OT by all means get it removed. However, it is significant particularly in terms of demographical change but also when juxtaposed with the nigh-on zero house-building activity. I've already identified some nice shares in tents and tarpaulin manufacturers...

Posted by sibley's b'stard child @ 09:31 AM 8 Comments

The Taxman Cometh

Telegraph: HMRC's new computer targets tax avoidance on second homes

The taxman is taking a much tougher line with owners of holiday homes and buy-to-let properties who try to follow MPs’ example by ‘flipping’ the place they call home to avoid Capital Gains Tax (CGT). HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) is using a new computer system to compare data on Stamp Duty, which is paid by most homebuyers, with CGT declarations by owners of more than one property, in a bid to deter tax avoidance.

Posted by dill @ 09:15 AM 6 Comments

Why you should stick to the £50K limit

This is money: RBS shares stabilise amid Irish meltdown fears

A follow on to yesterdays discussion about the risk of keeping more than £50K with RBS / Natwest, although I suppose you have to ask whether the Government would let them go under.

Posted by tenyearstogetmymoneyback @ 08:18 AM 0 Comments

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

George 'I'm just being neighbourly' Osborne"

The Telegraph: British banks have £140 billion exposure to Ireland's economic crisis

George Osborne has pledged to help Ireland after new figures showed British banks have a £140 billion exposure to the beleaguered country.

Posted by devo @ 10:29 PM 8 Comments

Is the BBC recognising contagion at last?

BBC: Europe's bad debt 'dominoes'?

Lots of analysis on Portugal and Spain - Looks like they are next on stage! Spain's housing market problems are cited as a major contributor. Isn't it about time the housing speculators had their support removed?

Posted by alan @ 10:20 PM 1 Comments

On the other hand

LoveMoney: Why you’re better off renting

Though I wouldn't put too much store on Yahoo, it seemed worth posting this when we've just had the Telegraph saying the opposite! Just shows how confused the situation is right now.

Posted by peter @ 10:11 PM 0 Comments

Subprime II

CityWire: How subprime mortgages could still sink American banks

Unclear property rights could unwind not only borrowers' mortgages, but banks' balance sheets too.

Posted by dohousescrashinthewoods @ 10:08 PM 0 Comments

A run on the banks is underway

FT: Dublin feels pressure on rescue package

With the rescue mission poised to begin negotiations with the Irish government on Thursday, analysts said there was growing evidence that bank deposits were dwindling, after Irish Life & Permanent said corporate customers had withdrawn €600m – more than 11 per cent of the total. Bank of Ireland reported a similar trend last week and Allied Irish Banks is expected to have been hit by a similar exodus.

Posted by devo @ 09:59 PM 3 Comments

"sellers creating over-supply and putting downward pressure on prices"

Journal (Newcastle): North East has lowest average house prices

THE NORTH East has the UK’s lowest average house price, with the figure continuing to fall, new research has shown. Nationally, house prices fell by 0.8% during September as the property market slowed down, according to Communities and Local Government (CLG). The drop, which wiped out the 0.7% increase seen during the previous month, left the average UK home costing £211,815. But the lowest figures were in the North East, with the average house costing £138,851 in September.The figure dropped from £140,909 in August, £139,446 in July and £141,903 in June.The North East also saw a dramatic fall in the year-on-year rate at which house prices are rising with the annual rate of growth falling from 5% to 1.7%.

Posted by jack c @ 07:58 PM 0 Comments

Don't get suckered into buy-to-let

MoneyWeek: Don't get suckered into buy-to-let

The buy-to-let property market is bullish once again, but is now the right time to get in? Bengt Saelensminde explains a lurching pitful every buy-to-let investor should be aware of.

Posted by damien @ 05:16 PM 3 Comments

More deflation in the pipeline

BBC News: US inflation nears zero

Sorry its the BBC - FT and Wall St Journal carry same news but are paywall. Anyway here's more bad news for the QE=Zimbabwe mob. Still waiting for Japanese inflation after 20 years......

Posted by chrisch @ 04:54 PM 13 Comments

Rent > buy (temporarily, at least)

Daily Telegraph: Renting a home is more expensive than buying one

Renting a home is more expensive than buying one in 80 per cent of British towns, new figures have revealed. Rents are typically 10 per cent more expensive – although in some towns, they exceed mortgage payments by almost 40 per cent, according to the research by property website Zoopla. House price falls and low interest rates have reduced the monthly cost of owning a home. Nicholas Leeming, a director at, said: “Buying has always been somewhat cheaper than renting, but we’re now seeing a real insider-outsider divide in the housing market. [I've been watching a few houses near us - well, 48 according to Rightmove - and we've saved £35,000 on one house by not buying it when it was on the market. That's more than 3 years' rent...Stick THAT in your pipe and smoke it!]

Posted by notyethomeless @ 03:25 PM 34 Comments

Where the UK's bailout of Ireland is going

Daily Telegragh: Northern Foods to merge with Greencore

Irish company taking over a British corporation, relocating to the Irish Republic to take advantage of lower corporate tax rate; meanwhile UK taxpayers are bailing out the corrupt Irish government which is going bankrupt because it doesn't collect enough corporate taxes.

Posted by richc @ 01:38 PM 9 Comments

With all of the recent hubbub about gold’s return to greatness and its phenomenal returns

Reuters: Is it too late to buy gold?

Let’s keep in mind that gold hit a record price of $850 per ounce in 1980 as a result of the international crisis arising from the Soviet Union’s invasion of Afghanistan and from the Islamic Revolution in Iran. By 1983 the price of gold had fallen to around $300 per ounce and didn’t find its way back to the $850 mark until 2008—28 years later!

Posted by mark @ 01:22 PM 6 Comments

Nothing to see here; move along.

Citywire: Morning Line: Should we worry about pensioners' unpaid mortgages?

"So the fact that over a million homeowners of pensionable age will still have a mortgage is not necessarily something to worry about. They could be making a very sensible decision".

Posted by sibley's b'stard child @ 01:21 PM 2 Comments

Loansharks at work

G Pytel: Irish crisis: why British government cut public spending

We are in the hands of loansharks. It is horrifying, actually. Well, forget it. We are having a Royal wedding soon. Cheer up!

Posted by ant @ 12:46 PM 2 Comments

Why Britain's deficit is nothing like a mortgage

MoneyWeek: Why Britain's deficit is nothing like a mortgage

here is a huge level of public ignorance about what the budget deficit actually is. It's nothing like a mortgage. It's more like a crippling credit card bill on which we're barely making the minimum payment, while the balance spirals out of control.

Posted by damien @ 12:25 PM 6 Comments

Great news! Oh, hang about...

Independent: Unemployment total falls by 9,000 unexpectedly

Double-d'oh: "Average earnings increased by 2% in the year to September, up by 0.3% from the previous month, leaving average pay, [b]including bonuses[b], at £453 a week.

Posted by sibley's b'stard child @ 11:48 AM 7 Comments

And on the flip-side...

Independent: Ghost estates and broken lives: the human cost of the Irish crash

Never a truer word said: "In Ireland right now, it's better to owe ¤50m than ¤50,000. The people who have sinned the most are suffering the least,"

Posted by sibley's b'stard child @ 11:38 AM 0 Comments

OOh dear

Dailymail: Ireland's debt crisis could kill the European Union stone dead, EU president warns

In an astonishing intervention, Herman Van Rompuy said the financial meltdown engulfing Ireland, Greece and other EU countries could spark the collapse of the entire European project.

Posted by mark @ 10:43 AM 17 Comments

Bankers on the take

Irish Independent: Anglo dealt blow in attempt to get money back

You gotta laff.... Top cheese borrows €8.5 million to buy shares in his own bank. Bank goes bust. Now they say he doesn't have to pay back the dosh and he can get €2.6 million compensation for "mental trauma". I want a job like that.

Posted by chrisch @ 10:34 AM 2 Comments

George Osborne has pledged British support of up to £7bn for an EU bailout of Ireland

Telegraph: K pledges £7bn to help bail Ireland out of debt crisis

George Osborne has pledged British support of up to £7bn for an EU bailout of Ireland and its banking sector. The Chancellor arrived in Brussels for a meeting of EU finance ministers aware that exposure of British financial institutions to Irish banks is £140bn. “Ireland is our closest neighbour. And it's in Britain's national interest that the Irish economy is successful and we have a stable banking system,” he said. “Britain stands ready to support Ireland.”

Posted by mark @ 10:04 AM 11 Comments

Blanchflower shows his hand

Guardian: Inflation could lift housing market

You read it often enough on this forum - the economy is dependent on high house prices. Love him or hate him Danny knows this is the truth and something must be done to bail out the morons who paid twice the true value and the idiot bankers that lent the money. The question of the day is will we bail or will we bust? Real house prices are going to fall 50% or more - the only question is how much nominal prices will fall.

Posted by chrisch @ 08:33 AM 12 Comments

Who are the bond holders we are bailing out?

Golem XIV: Who are the bond holders we are bailing out?

The citizens of Ireland have been forced over the last two years to give the bond holders of Anglo Irish bank 20 billion euros. WHY? The Irish government recently told its people the 20 billion was not enough and they MUST give the same bond holders another 10 to 20 billion euros. WHO are these special people called Bond Holders that they must be so carefully protected even at the cost of despoiling a nation?

Posted by devo @ 06:27 AM 8 Comments

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Iain Duncan Smith: Is he right about rents?

Planet Property: Iain Duncan Smith: Is he right about rents?

Iain Duncan Smith says rents have been inflated by housing benefit and vows to crack down on landlords. But is he right about the rental market?

Posted by planet property @ 11:38 PM 0 Comments

Blanchflower terrorises the nation

The Guardian: Inflation could revive Britain's economy

Unbelievably crass article by Blanchflower. Falling house prices = bad; inflation = good.

Posted by cass @ 10:12 PM 0 Comments

Making sure a mortgage is genuinely affordable meets with a raft of opposition

Guardian: Housing and legal bodies warn of 'dire consequences' from new mortgage rules

A coalition of the UK's leading housing and legal organisations have written to Chancellor George Osborne warning of "dire consequences" for homebuyers and the building industry if Financial Service Authority proposals for mortgage regulation are implemented. Eight influential bodies, including the House Builders Federation, the National Housing Federation and the Law Society, said the proposals would be so onerous, overly-prescriptive and expensive to put into action they would put many lenders off providing mortgages.

Posted by jack c @ 09:47 PM 15 Comments

One for Mark!

BBC News: House Builder Rok cuts further 1,800 jobs as sale attempt fails

The collapsed construction firm Rok has announced a further 1,800 redundancies after efforts to sell some parts of the business failed. Rok plc and Rok Building Limited, based in Exeter, Devon, were put into administration earlier this month.

Posted by khards @ 08:37 PM 5 Comments

Nicely put by Miles

Rightmove: Chriistmas sllowdown comes earlly as buyers and sellllers pllay ‘‘waiit and see’’

It takes two to tango, because if you expect the person from whom you are buying to cave in while still demanding the top price for your own property, your Christmas cards are unlikely to need a change of address”.

Posted by waitingtobuy @ 07:47 PM 1 Comments

“It is important that investors make their investments as soon as possible.

Las vegas sun: Taking a bath inside the real estate bubble

In 2004, two years before I bought my house, a website urged real estate investors thusly: “It is important that investors make their investments as soon as possible. This is because Las Vegas is growing and expanding at a scorching pace.” This month, more than four years after I bought my house, in the new issue of Rolling Stone, journalist Matt Taibbi writes about the “profound criminal mysteries of the great American mortgage bubble of the 2000s, perhaps the most complex Ponzi scheme in human history

Posted by mark @ 05:15 PM 0 Comments

How hidden subsidies mean we're all paying far too much for other people's council housing

Tim Worstall (via the Register): Those govt cuts - slasher horror or history-changing brilliance? (page 2 of 3)

The change that will make the most difference over time is raising council housing rents from 50% of market rents to 80%. It's true that social housing largely pays its costs from the rents paid for it, yes, but economists insist upon something called opportunity costs. Rent foregone is a subsidy just as much as lashing out cash in housing benefit is. The current system is entirely insane. If you at some point qualify for social housing: you're broke, homeless, just divorced with small kiddies, whatever, then you get that subsidy of below market rent for your whole life. It's as if having been unemployed for a few months you get dole forever. Taking rent foregone as just as much a subsidy as cash paid out, my back-of-the-fag-packet numbers show £20-£40bn a year in lost rents.

Posted by drewster @ 04:45 PM 7 Comments

Here's a stale headline to cheer up Smugdog, Greenbay etc.

Here's a stale headline to cheer up Smugdog, Greenbay etc.: UK house prices up 6.1% September year-on-year - DCLG

"The latest DCLG House Price Index statistics show in September UK house prices increased by 6.1% over the year but fell by 0.8% over the month (seasonally adjusted)." PS, yes I have a high forehead and am thinning on top.

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 04:16 PM 0 Comments

ECB says

Bloomberg: ECB Will Continue Exit After the End of the Year

Juergen Stark said the central bank will continue with its exit from emergency measures after the end of the year. “The phasing out of our liquidity support measures will continue after the end of the current quarter,” Stark in a speech in Frankfurt today. “In my view, conditions in both money and financial markets have improved significantly over recent months, notwithstanding the most recent tensions in some segments of the European sovereign debt market.” Stark said the ECB’s emergency measures “were the exceptional response to exceptional circumstances” and that the central bank’s “unambiguous mandate” is “to deliver price stability.” (will this deliver better rates for savers?)

Posted by alan @ 03:14 PM 6 Comments

The big banks could fork over $52 billion to make good on souring mortgages

Fortune: Banks face $52 billion mortgage hit

To put in perspective the potential problem, one investor action alone could seek to force Bank of America to repurchase and absorb partial losses on up to $47 billion in troubled loans due to alleged misrepresentations of loan quality. Bank of America currently has $230 billion in shareholders' equity, so if several similar-sized actions – whether motivated by concerns about underwriting or loan ownership – were to succeed, the company could suffer disabling damage to its regulatory capital.

Posted by mark @ 01:27 PM 2 Comments

Vendors must face reality as prices tumble

FT Alphaville: Bleak house (prices)

"Whatever sellers wish to believe about the value of their property, here’s a reality shot ahead of a bleak housing midwinter... Howard Archer of IHS Global insight further adds (emphasis theirs): This was a dose of reality from sellers as it more than wiped out the incredibly optimistic looking 3.1% rise in asking prices in the month to mid-October. In fact, with the exception of October’s spike up, asking prices for houses have fallen each month since July."

Posted by doomwatch @ 01:20 PM 4 Comments

How much will this cost the taxpayer?

BBC News: Prince William to marry Kate Middleton next year

Not much news yet only: 'Prince William is to marry Kate Middleton next year, Clarence House has said.' Great time to have a lavish wedding - maybe they will go the registry office routwe too. No matter, it will still cost thousands if not millions in security and the BBC will go over budget on helicopters.

Posted by longtermrenter @ 11:21 AM 6 Comments

Rising inflation caused by surging commodity prices could negatively impact

Yahoo / reuters: Inflation to hit European retail property in 2011

Rising inflation caused by surging commodity prices could negatively impact European retail property markets next year, causing occupier demand to weaken and prompt further tenant defaults, a report said on Tuesday. "One of the key destabilising risks on the horizon is rising inflation ... as raw material prices are increasing globally, retailers will invariably pass on the cost to consumers," the report by property consultancy King Sturge said.

Posted by mark @ 11:20 AM 0 Comments

''unexpectedly'' - complete BOE propoganda (inflation is THE plan!)

Telegraph: Inflation rises unexpectedly to four-month high

'Official figures out on Tuesday showed annual consumer price inflation (CPI) rose to 3.2pc in October, more than a percentage point above the 2pc target in October. Analysts had expected it to hold steady at 3.1pc.'

Posted by hpwatcher @ 10:20 AM 10 Comments

Prices are low in Ireland; but will they ever rise again?

Press Association: Interest in Irish property 'high'

Interest by Britons in Irish property still remains high despite the Republic's economic woes, research suggests. Website searches by Britons for overseas property dipped 2.3% between September and October this year, according to property company However, searches for Irish property in the period rose more than 8%, with Germany, up 7.45%, another country to buck the downward trend.

Posted by drewster @ 10:12 AM 4 Comments

An Increase In Interest Rates Can't Be That Far Off

BBC: UK inflation in surprise October increase

2011 will almost certainly see the first of several interest reate rises

Posted by flashman @ 09:52 AM 23 Comments

Maybe the banks would lend more if they built better-quality homes

Telegraph: Persimmon says lack of bank competition is still stifling mortgage market

Mike Farley, chief executive of Persimmon, the UK's second largest housebuilder, said home buyers were still finding it difficult to secure mortgages, particularly on new homes. "It makes absolutely no sense that some lenders won't offer as high a mortgage on a new home as they will on a second hand house. We need more competition to change this," said Mr Farley. Total completed home sales for the year are expected to reach about 9,400, compared to 8,976 in 2009.

Posted by drewster @ 09:11 AM 8 Comments

2 tier Europe ahead?

Bloomberg: Euro Dominos Will Fall Until Currency Is Split

"Who’s next? First Greece went bust. Now Ireland is on the brink of a bailout from the European Union and the International Monetary Fund. When it happens, we’ll hear plenty of soothing words about how contagion has been stopped, the euro area has been put on a firmer footing, and the single currency saved. There will be a lot of grand rhetoric about the importance of the European project. Stern condemnations of the speculators will ring out across the continent. Don’t listen to a word of it"!

Posted by alan @ 08:38 AM 0 Comments

Depressing news in Scotland

The Herald: Scotland bucks the trend as house prices hit new highs

Homeowners have been given a boost by new figures showing a steady rise in house prices across Scotland, as the economy continues a “robust” recovery from the recession.

Posted by laurag @ 08:14 AM 0 Comments

Panic Savers told not to panic over state bailout speculation

SAVERS were told not to panic last night. The Central Bank, economists and financial advisers all insisted that depositors' savings would be safe if the country was forced to sign up for an international bailout. Financial adviser John Lowe, also known as the Money Doctor, said any attempt to rob people of their savings as part of a bailout was highly unlikely as it would lead to anarchy and a total breakdown of society here. "Whoever comes in, whether it is the IMF or the EU, will honour the guarantee for deposits put in place by the State. People should not panic," he said.

Posted by devo @ 06:28 AM 13 Comments

Monday, November 15, 2010

Hours of fun

Economist: Interactive World Debt Map

The economist has produced this interactive world debt map that allows you to make all sorts of comparisons between different countries debt levels from 1999 to 2011. There is also a link to download the data in spreadsheet format for those of you who like that sort of thing. Not directly related to UK HPC but such a nice way of presenting the data, I think it's worth posting.

Posted by quiet guy @ 10:59 PM 9 Comments

Schadenfreude at Europe’s travails should be resisted

The Telegraph: Eurozone crisis laps at Britain's door

Who bails out the “bailer outers”? That’s the question that increasingly troubles markets as the European authorities attempt to force their “rescue package” on an unwilling Ireland.

Posted by devo @ 09:50 PM 9 Comments

More Bear food on the barbie from downunder

Money Morning Australia: Aussie House Price Crash Has Begun

The trend is telling you that more and more properties are going up for sale, but fewer and fewer are being sold. You can expect this to get worse as sellers become ever more desperate to flog off their over-leveraged properties

Posted by the number cruncher @ 07:59 PM 3 Comments

GOP Economists, Lawmakers Call for Abandoning $600 Billion Bond Purchase

Wall Street Journal: Fresh Attack on Fed Move

WASHINGTON—The Federal Reserve's latest attempt to boost the U.S. economy is coming under fire from Republican economists and politicians, threatening to yank the central bank deeper into partisan politics. A group of prominent Republican-leaning economists, coordinating with Republican lawmakers and political strategists, is launching a campaign this week calling on Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke to drop his plan to buy $600 billion in additional U.S. Treasury bonds.

Posted by peter rocker @ 05:43 PM 2 Comments

The cut capital of the world is gonna get cut

CNN: Canada's coming housing bust

This shining example of how cutting your deficit is such a good thing and works so very well........

Posted by chrisch @ 04:57 PM 0 Comments

Things are looking bad

Yahoo afp: Portugal at risk of needing bailout: finance minister

Portugal is at a high risk of needing a bailout due to the danger of contagion from other debt-hit euro nations, the country's finance minister said in comments carried by the Financial Times Monday.

Posted by mark @ 04:47 PM 5 Comments

Giving the housing market a boost?

Telegraph: UK economy may need more stimulus, says Bank of England's Martin Weale

'The Bank of England should provide another boost to the UK economy if ouput stays below trend as expected, according to one of its senior policymakers, raising the prospect of more quantitative easing (QE).'

Posted by hpwatcher @ 02:56 PM 13 Comments

Moving beyond twigs in vases...

Daily Telegraph: Estate agent uses poetry to sell properties

An estate agent has banned "meaningless jargon and clichés" and sent its staff on a poetry course to help inspire more lyrical descriptions of properties on their sales material.

Posted by rantnrave @ 02:48 PM 7 Comments

Not breaking news, but it's the Daily Mail and you can vote the comments up or down!

Daily Mail: Homeowners slash asking prices by 3.2% as they face worst-ever battle to sell

Homeowners who desperately need to sell are facing the worst-ever battle to find a buyer, a report warns today. The average property which is up for sale is staying on the market for a record-breaking length of time - 'more than 100' days. This is the longest amount of time needed to find a buyer ever logged by Rightmove, the property information website, since it started eight years ago. In February, it was just over 60 days but it has been gradually climbing ever since to reach a new peak.

Posted by rantnrave @ 02:08 PM 9 Comments

Longest period on record!

Telegraph: Houses now taking longer than ever to sell

This is the longest period recorded since the group began its index in 2001 and suggests that the stagnation in the housing market is unlikely to end anytime soon.

Posted by happy mondays @ 12:15 PM 11 Comments

"This is a full blown slowdown"

Bloomberg: Shipside on U.K. House Prices

Nov. 15 (Bloomberg) -- Miles Shipside, commercial director at Rightmove Plc, the operator of Britain’s biggest property Web site, talks about the outlook for house prices in the U.K. amid a seasonal slowdown in sales. Average asking prices for homes in England and Wales fell 3.2 percent from October to 229,379 pounds ($371,000), Rightmove said. Shipside speaks with Maryam Nemazee on Bloomberg Television's "Countdown." (Source: Bloomberg)

Posted by jack c @ 12:04 PM 0 Comments

We have to be more strategic and hard-headed

Reuters: UK must fix economy to retain influence - Cameron

Bank of England Governor Mervyn King said last week that Britain would have to rely heavily on overseas demand and global economic developments to sustain its recovery.

Posted by mark @ 10:38 AM 4 Comments

Neither do I

FT: Persimmon sees little sign of pick up

-- The company refused to make any firm predictions about the prospect of a recovery next year and said, “the outlook for sales and volumes for the full year of 2011 is as usual dependent upon the forthcoming spring selling season”. --

Posted by chrisch @ 10:24 AM 1 Comments

Sellers cut asking prices by 3.2%

Guardian: UK property prices record sharpest fall since late 2007

UK property asking prices have recorded their biggest monthly drop in nearly three years as desperate sellers try to get the market moving ahead of the Christmas slowdown. According to the Rightmove House Price Index, new sellers cut their asking prices by 3.2% in November – the largest decline seen since December 2007. The index said there was now an "unseasonably high number" of unsold properties on the market amid a dearth of first-time buyers and buy-to-let investors.

Posted by mark @ 08:04 AM 12 Comments

Black Monday looms for stocks says astrologer

ArabianMoney: Will financial astrologer Arch Crawford finally get the stock crash right?

Today is the final day for Arch Crawford, doyen of the financial astrologers to redeem his tattered reputation. Earlier this year his forecast of a major market correction between August and the end of October caught the attention of his followers, and only real devotees gave much heed to a mid-November extension. So now we arrive at Monday 15th November, the supposed day of the crash. Will it actually happen? Skeptics will laugh out loud but market analysts are far from rocking in their seats.

Posted by david smith @ 04:58 AM 0 Comments

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Starving children while bankers receive bonuses, something has to give

Guardian: Ireland's young flee abroad as economic meltdown looms

"Of course, a lot of people would be heading across the Irish Sea or the Atlantic if only they could sell their houses, but we can't do that either. So basically we're stuck on the Titanic as it goes down."

Posted by smasheroonie @ 10:34 AM 0 Comments

Comparison with the European way of doing things

Guardian: Are we better off renting?

For generations, we've aspired to be home owners. But evidence shows we'd be better off renting – both individually and as a nation

Posted by strandomranger @ 10:29 AM 0 Comments

Bribing The N.I.M.B.Y.S

The Telegraph: Lower taxes for communities which encourage house building

Grant Shapps, the Housing Minister, will say that £1 billion has been set aside for councils which welcome new housing development. Mr Shapps will say that despite targets introduced by the last Labour government which were aimed at boosting house building, an average of 26,000 fewer homes were built each year between 1997 and 2009. Under Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, the country witnessed the lowest level of house building in peacetime since 1924.

Posted by dan1el @ 09:44 AM 0 Comments

BTL is wrong

Channel 4 (Snowblog): The house Jack didn't build

Jon Snow bangs the drum for house building and bemoans the BTL trend of recent years.

Posted by chrisch @ 09:42 AM 12 Comments

Medicine treats the symptons not the cause

MSE NEWS: 'House prices could rise 16% by 2014'

But it expects low interest rates, further quantitative easing (printing money) from the Bank of England and the ongoing housing shortage in the UK to offer some support to the market. As a result, it predicts values to be 16% above their current level by the end of 2014.

Posted by alex @ 12:51 AM 0 Comments

Saturday, November 13, 2010

The Quantitative Easing

Mish: QE Explained

Here is an entertaining video that helps explain what Quantitative Easing is, and who in general benefits from it.

Posted by devo @ 09:34 PM 12 Comments

Going cap in hand to the EU

BBC: Ireland 'in preliminary talks with EU on bailout'

The Republic of Ireland is in preliminary talks with EU officials for financial support, the BBC has learned. It is now no longer a matter of whether but when the Irish government formally approaches the European Financial Stability Fund (EFSF) for a bailout, correspondents say.

Posted by alan @ 09:20 PM 2 Comments

Employs 850 people at five parks in England and Wales

Guardian: Pontin's goes into administration

Pontin's, famous for its hosts known as bluecoats, announced tonight that accountants KPMG had been called in to try to salvage the business, which employs 850 people at five parks in England and Wales

Posted by mark @ 05:36 PM 7 Comments

The start of the end of neo-liberalism?

The Real News Network: Hot Money Creating Havoc in Global Economy

How to combat a financial system that offers free money for the super rich - resulting in expensive commodities for the poor

Posted by the number cruncher @ 11:03 AM 0 Comments

More boomer moaning or real hardship?

Telegraph: More than a million pensioners paying mortgage

Why does everyone assume that old people are hard up? All the ones I know have stacks of cash. Constant propaganda from the boomer generation? As pointed out in the comments it doesn't make sense to pay off a mortgage (during the ZIRP). I'm sure there are poor old people - they are the ones that were poor when they were young as well.

Posted by chrisch @ 10:09 AM 21 Comments

Black Monday inevitable for UK stocks

ArabianMoney: Black Monday facing stock markets as Ireland and China bite

Stock markets sold off sharply on Friday with Shanghai tumbling over five per cent bringing global equities down from a two-year high and five-week mini-rally. On Monday we will see if this party is really over. The omens are not good. The hype that preceded QE2 has evaporated into doubts about its likely effectiveness, given the failure of QE1, and worries about its impact on inflation.

Posted by peter cooper @ 04:50 AM 0 Comments

Friday, November 12, 2010

Some very bearish comments here from the EAs themselves!

Estate Agent Today website: House hunters losing interest, says NAEA

The housing market contracted in October as the number of sellers and buyers declined month-on-month, the NAEA reported this morning.

Posted by rantnrave @ 04:54 PM 19 Comments

The demise of affordability

Professional adviser: OPM CIO Tony Yousefian looks at the effect of Treasury cutbacks on housing

As if the threat of unemployment were not bad enough, Mr Osborne’s austerity measures, specifically the cutback in the affordable housing budget, could hasten already declining house prices.....................The latest data released by Nationwide shows that property prices fell 0.7% month on month, the third consecutive drop in the last four months – data from the Council of Mortgage Lenders showing mortgage lending at very depressed levels and with no sign of recovery. The question is no longer whether house prices will fall, but by how much?

Posted by jack c @ 04:12 PM 5 Comments

£100,000 compensation from Manchester Airport after being plagued by plane noise.

Manchester evening news: £100,000 payout as Manchester Airport runway hits value of houses

Two families have been awarded more than £100,000 compensation from Manchester Airport after being plagued by plane noise. The couples took the airport to the Royal Courts of Justice in London claiming their lives were ruined by jets using the second runway, which opened in 2001. And a judge ruled the value of their homes had been slashed since runway two opened. Retired builders’ merchants Andrew and Annette Spark, who live in an Edwardian semi in Mobberley, were awarded £40,000. After the ruling, Mrs Spark, said: “At times it’s an aerial bombardment.” Their neighbours, Adrian and Kathleen Robertson, were awarded £72,500 after telling how the windows of their 19th century farmhouse are rattled by passing planes and it was impossible to hold a conversation in the garden.

Posted by mark @ 02:33 PM 1 Comments

Acadametrics report

Guardian: House prices rose marginally in October, but market is slowing

House prices rose marginally in October, but some regions across England and Wales will be displaying falling annual prices by the end of the year, according to housing economists LSL/Acadametrics.The group said the average house price rose by 0.3% to £224,709 in October, a drop of 3.1% from the peak of £231,828 it reported in February 2008. It took the annual rate of growth to 6.1%, but Acadametrics said this reflected past price changes rather than recent activity.The Acadametrics chairman, Dr Peter Williams, said: "On the assumption the market does not change significantly for the remainder of the year, the annual rate will decline to approximately 4% by December.

Posted by jack c @ 01:58 PM 4 Comments

What next for Britain's property prices?

MoneyWeek: What next for Britain's property prices?

Merryn Somerset Webb asks MoneyWeek's panel of experts where they think Britain's property market - and house prices - are likely to be headed in the coming year.

Posted by damien @ 12:49 PM 16 Comments

At Risk Of Drowning

Index Universe: At Risk Of Drowning

Can the current pressure on government bond markets be alleviated by a bailout of the Irish, or does the structure of Europe's Financial Stability Scheme mean that all Europe's sovereign debtors are at risk of drowning together?

Posted by paul amery @ 11:58 AM 0 Comments

No wonder the Aussie $ is so Strong!

ABC: Westpac, NAB complete rate rise quartet

Westpac has joined the other three major banks in raising mortgage rates more than the Reserve Bank with a 35-basis-point increase. The standard variable mortgage rates for the big four banks are:NAB - 7.67 per centANZ - 7.80 per centCommonwealth - 7.81 per centWestpac - 7.86 per cent And yet amazingly their housing market isn't crashing - if the UK ever gets to this level again, I hate to think of the carnage! !

Posted by layers @ 11:41 AM 0 Comments

Turn the printing press off!

Money week: Are we near the end of the line for bail-outs?

The Fed's flood of cheap money looks to be hitting the global economy just as everyone else is trying to tighten up. On the one hand, we have Chinese inflation picking up rapidly. The country raised rates last month for the first time in three years. Now the talk is that they could raise them again this weekend. That gave markets one extra thing to worry about.

Posted by happy mondays @ 10:58 AM 2 Comments

John Montgomery reckons he has lost about 350 euros ($479) a month, or 25 percent of his disposable

Bloomberg: IMF Shadow Looms as Irish Take Pay Cuts to Avoid Bailout

John Montgomery reckons he has lost about 350 euros ($479) a month, or 25 percent of his disposable income, because of lower pay and higher taxes since Ireland’s economy began to collapse in 2008. The father of a 10-month-old baby said he’s willing to take the hit, and more, as long as it helps Ireland avoid a rescue by the European Union and International Monetary Fund. The nation is saddled with a 20 billion-euro budget deficit and costs of as much as 50 billion euros to bail out five of its biggest banks. “I’d be a patriot like everybody else,” said Montgomery, who works in a Britvic Plc factory in Dublin making 7-Up and Pepsi soda under license.

Posted by mark @ 10:49 AM 0 Comments

The pressure on struggling home owners will only get worse

MoneyWeek: The pressure on struggling home owners will only get worse

The supply of houses for sale is increasing. But sellers still won't drop their asking prices. They may not be desperate to sell yet, but it's only a matter of time.

Posted by damien @ 10:27 AM 2 Comments

C'mon Referee!

WSJ - Eu: Europe Running out of Yellow Cards on the Debt Crisis .

"If history marks this week as the start of Europe's Debt Crisis II, next week has promise for still more nerve-testing action along Europe's crumbling outer rim. Fiscally frail Ireland and Portugal will stay caught in the spotlight of unforgiving bond investors. Joining them on Monday will be Greece, no stranger to that script".

Posted by alan @ 09:40 AM 2 Comments

Why gdp is misleading and why I'm begining to understand gold?

Guardian: Britains trillion pound horror story

Amongst the generalities untested assumptions and half truths, this programme made a terrifying point. The public sector being a monopoly tends to beget itself, growing (and in fact having grown) forever bigger. Eventually it is so big ie the majority of the electorate are employed under its umbrella, at which point it can never be cut down to size. There are, we were told 7.5 million public sector workers, of which the poster children for the state, eg nurses, police etc, the front line services, make up only 2 million. The public sector is bigger than the private sector. Then there are those unemployed and on benefits but effectively paid by the state, and we were told that benefits last year were in excess of income tax. There is more but I've run out of space.

Posted by bellwether @ 09:14 AM 53 Comments

Thursday, November 11, 2010

UK EAs/Vendors take note ...

CNN: 64% discount

... when you scoff a "cheeky" offers of 15-20% on your asking prices [that you've bumped up 15-25% from your book value] KEEP DREAMING. SANTA AIN'T REAL.

Posted by doomwatch @ 09:51 PM 3 Comments

I thought I was reading the express for a split second.

Bring on the cuts, the sooner the better!

Huddersfield Examiner: Kirklees Council officers’ and councillor's £866 hotel bill for staying 29 miles away from Huddersfield

The sum involved is peanuts but it's still money paid by the council tax payer. What really p*sses me off is the titles of 3 non jobs: Director for well-being and integration Assistant director for well-being and integration Assistant director for personalisation and commissioning What the f@*k!!??

Posted by mr g @ 07:31 PM 29 Comments

$600,000 is the new $1 million, according to Alex Villacorta

Cnn: Million-dollar homes: Massive discounts

Price: $1.15 million Discount: 28% Description:When this modern Mediterranean was built in 1946, Palm Springs was in its golden age, with Hollywood celebrities flocking to the city.

Posted by mark @ 06:09 PM 1 Comments

What happens when a house price bubble bursts

Wall St Journal: Ireland's Fate Tied to Doomed Banks

Ireland are odds-on to become recipients of the next ECB bailout. Just a year ago the EU member states were applauding the Irish for grasping the nettle and implementing rapid austerity measures to stave off financial collapse. Its looking like their austerity was all in vain, and they should have continued the party.

Posted by tudorian @ 06:09 PM 3 Comments

More pleading for intervention

Daily Telegraph: Biggest drop in Britain's wealth for 60 years

Vicky Redwood, of Capital Economics, said: “The increase in wealth is outpacing the growth in the wider economy, mainly due to developments in the housing market. Not withstanding the fall in prices in 2009, house prices have soared over that period. We think prices are still overvalued relative to household income so wealth will not stay this high.” Oh really?

Posted by tom101 @ 05:13 PM 3 Comments

Rates to Rise: Yippee!!!!!!

This is money.. or soon to be This was money..: Fixed rate savings (and mortgages) 'to rise'

All eyes were on the Bank of England's Quarterly Inflation Report today. It gives a rare and candid insight into how Britain's prinicipal rate-setters view the wider economy - and what they might do with rates in reaction. In the world of interest rates futures, what they said today was pretty explosive. These 'swap' markets, where banks borrow money, give an indicator of shifting sentiment on when rates will move. The five-year swap, which traded as low as 1.98% in October leapt from 2.13% before the report's publication to 2.25% several hours later. Such a large swing is rare

Posted by rob @ 03:57 PM 1 Comments

Warning: This article has something to do with house prices

FT Nearly 7 million live "beyond their means"

Fourteen per cent of the UK's adult population is living well beyond its means by spending more than they earn to fund their lifestyle, a survey by Bright Grey has found. According to Bright Grey's salary gap survey a further five million adults have no idea whether they live beyond their means A UK adult needs an average of £1,706 per month to furnd their lifestyle, which is 27 per cent more than the current average income while 82 per cent of UK adults have not changed their spending on lifestyle in last 12 months.

Posted by jack c @ 02:41 PM 11 Comments

Extra costs for homeowners

Irish Independent: Homeowners face paying €80-a-month property tax

HOMEOWNERS face paying an €80-a-month property tax under a plan drawn up by the country's top economic think-tank. The charge would be based on the value of homes, and middle-income earners would end up providing most of the tax generated, the study by the Economic and Social Research Institute says.

Posted by metallic @ 12:58 PM 0 Comments

Warning: this article is about house prices

Telegraph (blogs): House prices: misleading averages conceal 'flight to quality'

House price movements reported on a national average basis by Halifax and Nationwide create a misleading impression, claim estate agents who report a “flight to quality”. They claim prices are still rising at the top of the housing market while lower value properties continue to fall. With Bank of England base rate frozen at 0.5%, a stand-off has developed in the middle of the housing market between buyers and sellers; both parties refusing to budge from their bargaining positions. Despite all the talk of falling house prices, prospective vendors remain disinclined to consider ‘cheeky’ offers and can afford to shun them while mortgages continue to cost less than a third of what they did during the last property slump. But prospective buyers hope for better bargains next year.

Posted by drewster @ 12:47 PM 21 Comments

More job losses are expected in the coming weeks and next month

Lancashire telegraph: 206 Blackburn with Darwen council staff get ‘jobs axe’ letter

Lancashire County Council has also unveiled a massive cuts programme, which is expected to lead to around 6,000 job losses.

Posted by mark @ 12:20 PM 11 Comments

EU officials spreading fear....

Daily Telegraph: Herman Van Rompuy: 'Euroscepticism leads to war'

"In every member state, there are people who believe their country can survive alone in the globalised world. It is more than an illusion: it is a lie." What about Norway and Switzerland...... Trade and social mobility is what we signed up to right? "We have together to fight the danger of a new Euroscepticism. This is no longer the monopoly of a few countries," The EU question is getting more and more sinister and comments will increase the animosity he is prophesising about. Not a fan of free speech eh Rumpy?

Posted by tom101 @ 11:13 AM 31 Comments

Repo's falling.

Mortgages: Continuing fall in repossessions: BBC

However, I came across a house on nethouseprices the other day that sold for 35% less than than the owner paid for it in 2006 (after being on the market for two years). You don't need to be repossessed to be forced (and you don't need to be forced to drop prices if you have substantial equity, like most homeowners).

Posted by phdinbubbles @ 09:48 AM 10 Comments

Shelter says it is 'unlikely things are about to get easier for homeowners'.

Guardian: Debts leave 3m Britons struggling to pay mortgage, says Shelter

18% of mortgage holders say they are constantly struggling to meet monthly payments compared with 10% a year ago. As many as 3 million people are struggling to pay their mortgage each month, an increase of 80% on a year ago, according to the housing charity Shelter. Research for the charity found that 18% of mortgage-holders say they are constantly struggling to meet monthly payments compared with 10% a year ago.

Posted by jack c @ 09:44 AM 5 Comments

'Okay, we've agreed. There is going to be a trade war'.

Telegraph: Mervyn King urges G20 leaders to agree over trade row

Mervyn King has joined President Barack Obama in calling for G20 leaders to agree united action to tackle global trade imbalances at the Seoul summit starting today.

Posted by hpwatcher @ 09:22 AM 8 Comments

Property ownership is a bad idea

Irish Independent: Homeowners face €80 pcm tax

Eire needs money - home-owners are the milk cow. Coming soon to a country in which you live.

Posted by chrisch @ 09:20 AM 5 Comments

Global dash for all commodities - cash debasement continues

Market Oracle: 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 59 Comments

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Banana republic going down

FT: Irish bond yields leap after selling wave

Surprised this hasn't received more attention. Irish government bond rates have jumped to 8.7% - up from 7.9% yesterday. Back in August there was much wailing and hand-wringing about Irish bond rates reaching 5.4% - they've soared further since then. Irish bonds are now paying a massive 6.2 percentage points above Germand bunds. It's cheaper for your average chav to borrow money from their local predatory lender than it is for the Irish government to borrow money right now. “The Irish situation seems to be getting worse by the day... These yields are unsustainable. Ireland is close to losing credibility among investors, if it hasn’t already.”

Posted by little professor @ 10:04 PM 14 Comments

Here comes the default

City Wire: Portugal haircut on the cards

Slipped in just before the markets shut. Fun in the morning.

Posted by chrisch @ 09:45 PM 1 Comments

They must have watched Channel 4

Cnn: $4 trillion in deficit cuts proposed

In a surprise move Wednesday, the co-chairmen of President Obama's fiscal commission released their preliminary proposals to curb growth in U.S. debt. The report from Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson recommends spending cuts beginning in 2012, as well as tax reform and other ways to reduce the deficit by $4 trillion over the next decade.

Posted by mark @ 08:43 PM 4 Comments

That chart seems familiar. Double dip after suckers rally.

Zillow: It’s Going to Be Another Long, Hard Winter in Housing

Zillow economist Stan Humphries says prices won't hit bottom until next summer at the earliest, as foreclosure activity grows. Humphries warns: “While not unexpected, the unceasing declines in home values signal that we’re in for a long, bleak winter of continued troubles for the housing market. The length and depth of the current housing recession is rivaling the Great Depression’s real estate downturn, and, with encouraging signs fading, will easily eclipse it in the coming months."

Posted by ontheotherhand @ 05:17 PM 4 Comments

We Shall see...

Money week: The dollar still looks ripe for a rally

The dollar could easily rally from here I am bearish on all paper currencies compared with gold. But I still believe that the dollar could easily stage a rally from these levels. Anti-dollar sentiment is as high as I can remember. Of course, a dollar rally would drive all other asset markets lower, at least in the short term.

Posted by happy mondays @ 04:10 PM 0 Comments

A bit of bear food to cheer us all up!

Express & Star: Property prices reduced in christmas run-in

"The number of ‘discounted’ properties for sale has increased by 13 per cent over the past three months, with Birmingham the seventh highest area for price-reduced properties. Research by property portal Zoopla on their blog showed that many sellers had lowered their expectations in the hope of landing a buyer before Christmas, making now a great time for buyers to try to land a bargain. In their top ten areas, Birmingham was number seven with 44.2% of listings having had an average price reduction of 6.65% or £10,533. Top of the list for bargain hunters was Swindon, where 49.5% of listings have had an average price reduction of 5.14% or £10,299..." Read more:

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 03:42 PM 4 Comments

Fair play to ' least they're not taking it meekly

BBC: Clashes at student fee protest

As per title.

Posted by sibley's b'stard child @ 02:58 PM 21 Comments

A minister's decision to scrap regional housing targets was unlawful

Reuters: Court rules against government on home building

Home builders argue that by scrapping the targets before introducing an alternative planning system, the government created a policy vacuum that caused delays and confusion.

Posted by mark @ 02:37 PM 5 Comments

Food for thought - but is it bear food?

BBC News: Eric Pickles housing move 'unlawful'

Communities Secretary Eric Pickles has lost a court battle over his decision to scrap the last government's regional housing targets in England.

Posted by rantnrave @ 02:36 PM 1 Comments

We're (in)famous!

Estate Agent Today website: Falling house prices would boost prospects for new buyers

A couple of days old, but worth a read just for what's said about the HPC site in the comments

Posted by rantnrave @ 02:29 PM 11 Comments

Try tempting savers into new deals

Telegraph: Banks reduce remortgage rates

Banks are trying to tempt home owners onto new deals by making significant cuts to their rates.

Posted by mr g @ 12:17 PM 8 Comments

Cricket? Reacting to the ball when it's in the air

BBC: Bank of England says inflation will be above 2% in 2011

Mervyn King said this meant the MPC was operating as it should be, and compared it to the team spirit of England's cricketers: "Like the English batsmen preparing to defend the Ashes, watching carefully, perfectly balanced in the crease, ready to play forward or back according to the length of the incoming delivery... in order to keep inflation on track to meet the 2% target in the medium term."

Posted by ontheotherhand @ 11:43 AM 32 Comments

Sales Commission Collapses

Douglas and Gordon puffery: Rentals Same as Sales

"For the first time in 20 years at Douglas & Gordon rentals brought in more income than sales last month.Good to have a well rounded business"

Posted by ontheotherhand @ 11:35 AM 0 Comments

Could it really be this bad?

American Thinker: Bernanke's Cowardice Has Sealed Our Fate

The Madoff Model of government just ended. There are no longer enough bond buyers or taxpayers to pay for the profligate spending of the US government.

Posted by james stephenson @ 11:18 AM 4 Comments

Recession over! Now stop whining and get back to work!

Dash 24: House prices 'to rise by 2% in 2011', say economists

"House prices will edge ahead by just 2% next year but property values will be 16% higher than they are today by the end of 2014, an economics consultancy said today. The Centre for Economics and Business Research expects house prices to rise by only 2.2% in 2011 as unemployment increases on the back of public sector cuts and household incomes remain under pressure. But it expects low interest rates, further quantitative easing from the Bank of England and the ongoing housing shortage in the UK to offer some support to the market, with house prices likely to be 16% above their current level by the end of 2014."

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 10:10 AM 45 Comments

Don't worry about inflation, kids; we don't!

Guardian: Bank of England expected to raise growth forecasts but inflation fears remain

"While many economists still believe rates are set to remain at 0.5% well into 2011, stubbornly high inflation - currently at 3% - could prompt a rate increase sooner than expected. However, Shaw thought the report would show that the Bank remains generally relaxed about inflation prospects over the two-year horizon."

Posted by sibley's b'stard child @ 10:04 AM 0 Comments

The States has full-blown flu

Telegraph: Forex focus: better buy dollars

As a rule of thumb, if the dollar falls then other currencies strengthen. So it comes as no surprise that the dollar has weakened as investors sell the dollar, which in turn has boosted other currencies. The Fed's move shows it is not going to raise its interest rate anytime soon, so investors have gone in search of higher returns on their money elsewhere.

Posted by mark @ 09:46 AM 0 Comments

UK high on list of most overvalued housing markets

ArabianMoney: Oz tops list of overvalued houses, then HK, Spain, France Sweden, UK

Australia tops the ranking of countries not to buy a house because of overvaluation on fundamentals according to data compiled by The Economist magazine. Interestingly after a four year housing recession the USA is now approaching fair value. But Japan is the biggest bargain with a 34.6 per cent discount and then comes Switzerland.

Posted by peter cooper @ 09:42 AM 0 Comments

Schiff Vs Prechter in the great inflation/deflation debate

Peter Schiff Radio: Schiff interview with Robert Prechter

Super radio interview with Schiff inflationist vs Prechter the deflationist.

Posted by hpwatcher @ 09:41 AM 12 Comments

Bear food...

Moneyweek: Not even QE can pump up the British housing market

The new improved batch of quantitative easing (QE2) has been pushing up asset prices almost across the board. Stock markets took a breather yesterday as the dollar bounced against the euro, as fears continue to grow over Ireland's debt woes. But gold continued to rise. However, there's one market that it seems not even QE2 can pump up. And that's the British housing market.

Posted by rob @ 09:33 AM 1 Comments

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Reduction in property porn on the Beeb?

The Guardian: BBC told to improve 'formulaic and derivative' shows

Viewer research found that parts of the BBC daytime schedule "lacked quality" with too many shows described as "collectable hunting and property".

Posted by kruador @ 02:59 PM 11 Comments

House prices step onto cliff edge. No safety nets left

BBC News: House prices still falling, surveyors say

House prices continue to be dragged lower by a shortage of buyers, according to the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (Rics). Its latest monthly survey reports that more than half (55%) of its members who work as estate agents said prices fell locally in the past three months. Only 4% said that prices were rising.

Posted by doomwatch @ 02:14 PM 14 Comments

In your twenties? If you haven't started a pension and got on the property ladder, you're a loser

Independent: Being young just isn't fun any more

I am young and footloose, so why shouldn't I spend my precious spare time sozzled and dancing on a table rather than saving and precariously clinging to a housing ladder I can't afford to even start climbing? The injustice of it is that we're as poor as we ever were, as dependent as ever and as downtrodden, but there's a new moral edge which decrees that, whatever we do, we mustn't forget the misery of our continued penury. Older generations see us as infantilised narcissists in need of a short, sharp shock. And the generation nipping at our heels is wired with stories of hardship and hard graft, haunted by the whisperings of tuition fee increases and a social housing crisis. They're having even less fun than we are.

Posted by drewster @ 12:25 PM 6 Comments

"Demand for property continues to fall"

RICS: Housing Market Survey UK

Full report for October now available.

Posted by dill @ 10:51 AM 3 Comments

Don't Get Old!

MAIL: 20,000 a year sell homes to fund care

"More than 20,000 pensioners were forced to sell their homes to pay for residential care last year. The shocking figure, which can be revealed for the first time today, means an average of nearly 60 a day have had to sell up because they cannot afford expensive care home fees". My neighbour sold hers 5 weeks ago.

Posted by alan @ 10:21 AM 21 Comments

Loads more trouble ahead

Telegraph: Markets alert for credit crunch 2.0

Is there a second credit crunch looming? Between now and the end of 2012, UK banks and building societies must find ways of refinancing between £750bn and £800bn of lending. That's a number approaching half GDP. What's happening in mortgages is in fact just a microcosm of the concerns that dominate wider credit markets. Banks are addressing a continued short fall in wholesale funding by reducing their lending.

Posted by sovietuk @ 09:56 AM 8 Comments

House Prices in Northern Ireland still falling according to RICS

PropertyPal: House Prices in Northern Ireland still falling according to RICS

A report published today by the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) shows that expectations of chartered surveyors in Northern Ireland fell markedly last month.

Posted by propertypal @ 09:31 AM 0 Comments

Poland's housing bubble hasn't burst either

Mish's: Housing Bubble and Currency Controls in Poland

"In Poland, there has been a property bubble since 2006-7 that never really popped. Prices in central Warsaw are comparable to prices in Berlin and Vienna, and of course incomes are way lower. Prices have fallen 10-15% from the peak, but our currency has strengthened, so the net effect is zero. Prices has been fueled, as is typical for the whole region of central/eastern Europe, by cheap capital denominated in Swiss Francs and Euros, coordinated mainly by Austrian and Italian banks and originating in Switzerland. 62% of mortgages are taken out in foreign currency. Almost all mortgages are variable-rate. However, the Polish regulators have recently begun cracking down on all of this."

Posted by drewster @ 09:05 AM 7 Comments

Back in recession by February

Guardian: Falling house prices, poor retail sales and fragile confidence point to slump

The housing market continues to weaken, consumer spending remains sluggish and the economy is heading for a "moderate downturn", according to a slew of new data, suggesting that the tough financial conditions in Britain will persist despite stronger-than-expected growth in the third-quarter gross domestic product. Meanwhile, the latest figures from the British Retail Consortium (BRC) show that the uncertainty has spread well beyond the housing market. The value of underlying sales in the UK increased by 0.8% in October, compared with the year before, representing the seventh consecutive month of weak sales growth. The BRC said much of the revenue growth came from rising food prices, while non-food sales actually decreased in real terms.

Posted by khards @ 08:27 AM 0 Comments

RICS Survey October

Reuters: RICS house price index hits 18-month low in October

House prices fell last month at their sharpest pace in a year-and-a-half as a lack of mortgage finance and an uncertain economic outlook deterred potential buyers, a survey indicated on Tuesday. The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors' house price index dropped to -49 in the three months to October, below even the most pessimistic forecast in a Reuters poll, from -36 in the three months to September.

Posted by dill @ 12:24 AM 17 Comments

Monday, November 8, 2010

US Govt Mortgage loan body in trouble. Bank reports highlight growing risks in Ginnie Mae mortgage pools

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are quasi-US-Govt. bodies i.e. The US govt. does not need to stand behind them but does due to a lot of investors buy its bonds due to US govt. implicit backing. But many other like Ginnie Mae have fully backed by US Govt. Well this body seems to be in trouble based on two reports.

Posted by deepak @ 11:39 PM 0 Comments

It's not cricket to be forced to drop the price

Mail Online: Stumped by house price slump: Ashes hero Freddie Flintoff slashes £1.5m off mansion he has never lived in

Could it be the large stone-carved cricket wicket and bails on the front apex of the prestigious mansion? Or maybe it is corny drinks bar or the plethora of leisure equipment including two swimming pools, a sauna, a snooker room, a gym and a steam room. But whatever the reason, the prestigious abode of former cricketer Andrew Flintoff has failed to attract a buyer. The Ashes star originally put the six-bedroom mansion up for sale almost a year ago for the princely sum of £5m.

Posted by jack c @ 11:35 PM 0 Comments

Still falling (US) Housing prices decline as mortgage defaults rise for first time this year

House prices is US are still falling. And they are falling fastest in the places which have seen greatest falls. i.e. Phoenix, Miami and California "$8 billion in mortgage borrowers passed the two months or greater delinquency in October for the first time." What this means that this money is gone. Three months and in US they start the default proceedings. This is after US State finded Modification of loans, they are still failing just three months hence. Once a loan in default i.e. 3-6 months in default is modified it becomes a fresh loan and termed as delinquenct any more. Hence all the people helped are failing 3-6 months later Again.

Posted by deepak @ 11:34 PM 1 Comments

Another Mortgage Insurer bites the dust.

Bloomberg: Ambac Financial Group Files for Chapter 11 Bankruptc

Ambac failure means that there is persistent failure in Mortgage backed securities (MBS). This is due to fall in house and commercial real estate prices. Failure of Insurer acts as a domino, as people dis-invest that leads to a fall in prices and the fall in prices leads to dis-investment.

Posted by deepak @ 11:27 PM 0 Comments

Will you walk into my parlor? said the Spider to the Fly

The Independent: Falling prices 'music to the ears' of first-time buyers

House price falls are tempting first-time buyers back to the property market, research indicated today. Around 26 per cent of people who hope to buy their first property during the coming year are first-time buyers, up from a low of 22 per cent in July, according to property website Rightmove. The group said the small increase in the number of first-time buyers who thought they would be able to get on to the property ladder coincided with a rise in the number of people who think house prices will fall during the coming year.

Posted by jack c @ 11:15 PM 1 Comments

Balancing Acts

Independent: Sean O'Grady: Higher tuition fees will be paid for in lower house prices

The law of unintended consequences may be about to act with unusually capricious and savage force in the case of tuition fees. Could it be that making students pay for their education will devalue every home in Britain?

Posted by dill @ 07:56 PM 4 Comments

Don't forget to put the bin out

Telegraph: BBC has one year to improve 'formulaic and derivative' TV channels

The BBC Trust, which scrutinises the corporation’s output on behalf of the licence fee payer, said daytime television on the BBC had become too dominated by shows about "collectables hunting and property". Although it did not identify specific programmes, daytime BBC shows such as Bargain Hunt, Escape to the Country, Cash in the Attic and Homes Under the Hammer are likely to be at risk in the wake of the report.

Posted by dill @ 06:26 PM 6 Comments

The sign says it all really

Channel 4: Britain's Trillion Pound Horror Story

Martin Durkin explains the full extent of the financial mess we are in: an estimated £4.8 trillion of national debt and counting. It's so big that even if every home in the UK was sold it wouldn't raise enough cash to pay it off.

Posted by mark @ 03:24 PM 48 Comments

World Bank Gold Ramping Alert!!!

Financial Times: World Bank Chief seeks Gold Standard Debate

The front page of this morning's FT reports that the head of the World Bank is calling for a new global monetary order. The World Bank Chief, Robert Zoellick, suggests that the dollar, euro, pound and yen need to be joined by the renminbi in forming the backbone of such a system. But "the system should also consider employing gold as an international reference point of market expectations about inflation, deflation and future currency values," he adds. "Although textbooks may view gold as old money, markets are using gold as an alternative monetary asset today".

Posted by general congreve @ 01:37 PM 43 Comments

Mobile giants demand mast site rent cuts

Telegraph: Mobile giants demand mast site rent cuts

More fun on the rent seeking brigade.

Posted by easybetman @ 12:50 PM 2 Comments

One to look back on next year.

Savills Estate Agents: Savills Forecast 2011

Mainstream values are now expected to fall by a total of -7.3% between mid 2010 and end of 2011 (and some of these falls have already occurred, with -3% expected to occur in 2011). This compares to total falls of just 3.5% expected in prime central London over the same eighteen month period (with just -1.0% in 2011).

Posted by mark @ 11:16 AM 21 Comments

Another time bomb ticking

Ny Times: Taking on a Second Mortgage to Pay the Foreclosure Lawyer

If the Ticktin lawyers — cause the original mortgage to be nullified or reduced because of the bank’s misdeeds, the client must take out a new mortgage for 40 percent of the savings. For instance, if the mortgage was $500,000 and is reduced by the bank to $200,000, the client would owe Ticktin 40 percent of $300,000, or $120,000, minus any legal fees paid by the losing bank as well as any monthly sums paid to the law firm.

Posted by mark @ 11:00 AM 0 Comments

Slow motion train crash

BBC News: EU visits Dublin as worries mount

EU economic and monetary affairs commissioner Olli Rehn is in Dublin for two days to review the Irish Republic's draconian draft 2011 budget. Meanwhile financial markets increasingly fear the government will default on its debts, with Irish bond yields hitting new record highs.

Posted by eviledna @ 10:55 AM 0 Comments

An Irish revolution will be next

Irish Times: If you thought the bank bailout was bad, wait until the mortgage defaults hit home

Ireland is effectively insolvent – the next crisis will be mass home mortgage default. House prices are driven by the size of mortgages that banks give out. That is why, even though Irish banks face long-run funding costs of at least 8 per cent (if they could find anyone to lend to them), they are still giving out mortgages at 5 per cent, to maintain an artificial floor on house prices. Without this trickle of new mortgages, prices would collapse and mass defaults ensue. However, once Irish banks pass under direct ECB control next year, they will be forced to stop lending in order to shrink their balance sheets back to a level that can be funded from customer deposits. With no new mortgage lending, the housing market will be driven by cash transactions, and prices will collapse.

Posted by drewster @ 10:54 AM 7 Comments

Lets just get more and more debt!!!

Reuters: Retailer BrightHouse profit rises as poor feel pinch

"Overall, the trading year to date is in line with management expectations," said Chief Executive Leo McKee, who expects the most in-demand items for Christmas to include games consoles, smartphones and flat screen TVs. as more low-income shoppers were attracted to its 'rent-to-own' offer

Posted by mark @ 10:52 AM 1 Comments

Our Friends in the North

Channel 4: Newcastle council to offer 95% mortgages

Cunning plan by Newcastle City Council to sell their own flats (that they've just done up and can't now sell) by lending 95% LTVs to people using money they have themselves borrowed. All underwritten by the taxpayer. Originally posted by cashinmatress on the forum.

Posted by phdinbubbles @ 09:58 AM 8 Comments

Connaught, now Rok

Reuters: Rok goes bust

Social housing firms dropping like flies....

Posted by chrisch @ 09:15 AM 4 Comments

QE under attack

WSJ Europe: Germany Criticizes Fed Move

German officials, concerned that Washington could be pushing the global economy into a downward spiral, have launched an unusually open critique of U.S. economic policy and vowed to make their frustration known at this week's Group of 20 summit. The aggressive monetary policy in the U.S. runs counter to the strategy of the European Central Bank, whose institutional thinking reflects a German abhorrence of high inflation that goes back to the country's financial ruin in the depression of the 1930s

Posted by alan @ 08:43 AM 4 Comments

That four letter word again...

FT: Zoellick seeks gold standard debate

'Leading economies should consider readopting a modified global gold standard to guide currency movements, argues the president of the World Bank. Writing in the Financial Times, Robert Zoellick, the bank’s president since 2007, says a successor is needed to what he calls the “Bretton Woods II” system of floating currencies that has held since the Bretton Woods fixed exchange rate regime broke down in 1971'

Posted by hpwatcher @ 08:06 AM 1 Comments

House price falls being talked up to get first time buyers back to the market

The Press Association: First time buyers return to market

'House price falls are tempting first-time buyers back to the property market, research has indicated. Around 26% of people who hope to buy their first property during the coming year are first-time buyers, up from a low of 22% in July, according to property website Rightmove.'

Posted by hpwatcher @ 07:58 AM 8 Comments

'Either we need a new medium of exchange, or we completely redesign the global settlement system'

Telegraph: The rest of the world goes West when America prints more money

America is now isolated and the rest of the world is furious. The widespread use of capital controls and even a lurch into 1930s-style protectionism are both far more likely than just a few days ago. The Federal Reserve's words may have been anodyne. "We will adjust the programme as needed to best foster maximum employment and price stability," said the US central bank's Open Market Committee. But by announcing another round of "quantitative easing", America is rightfully incurring the wrath not only of the emerging giants of the East, but the eurozone too.

Posted by hpwatcher @ 07:36 AM 9 Comments

Sunday, November 7, 2010

The coming battle over land and property

New Statesman: The coming battle over land and property

"It will be said that in a world of internationally mobile capital and people it is counterproductive to tax personal income and corporate profit to uncompetitive levels. That is right. But a progressive alternative is to shift the tax base to property, and land, which cannot run away, [and] represents in Britain an extreme concentration of wealth." Vince Cable

Posted by powerofnow @ 09:17 PM 5 Comments

Savings dwindle as Brits withdraw cash to fund everyday lining expenses

Press Association: Britons 'use savings as costs rise'

Survey reveals that more than a third of Britons have dipped into their savings during the past six months as people struggle to meet the rising cost of living. The survey also indicates a North-South divide in the percentage using their savings to fund everyday living expenses with 51% of Londoners compared to 29% of people in the North-West withdrawing money for such purposes in the last six months.

Posted by enuii @ 04:30 PM 3 Comments

False economy?

Telegraph: Fed's reflation express must keep on rolling

'The governments of China, Brazil and Germany may think it's worth squaring up to Ben Bernanke, but investors in the UK stock market and plenty of others around the world are wisely acting on that old investment adage: Don't Fight the Fed.'

Posted by hpwatcher @ 01:48 PM 2 Comments

A few months old, but an interesting article..

The Age of Stupidity: Uk housing crash, it's a marathon not a sprint

"There is no means of avoiding the final collapse of a boom brought about by credit expansion. The alternative is only whether the crisis should come sooner as a result of a voluntary abandonment of further credit expansion, or later as a final and total catastrophe of the currency system involved.", Ludwig Von Mises

Posted by happy mondays @ 12:40 PM 1 Comments

BoA mortgage fraud crisis threatens repeat of 30s banking crash

ArabianMoney: Is Bank of America the Credit Anstaldt of today?

In the spring of 1931 it was the failure of the Austrian bank Credit Anstaldt that triggered a breakdown in the global banking system that deepened the Great Depression and led to the failure of thousands of banks around the world. The picture now emerging from the Bank of America Corporation is a worrying parallel. Only last April BoA looked a recovery success story with its government bailout repaid and shareholders who bought at the bottom sitting pretty. Not so now. BoA shares are down 41 per cent since April 15th. The problem is that mortgage-bond investors want their money back as the foreclosures fraud scandal comes to a climax. There is $141.6 billion of mortgages on Bank of America’s books, and who knows what they are worth now. But then that is true for most US banks...

Posted by david smith @ 11:11 AM 0 Comments

Reviewing the situation

Guardian: Home ownership is an impossible dream – so why worry?

"I'm becoming less and less interested in buying into the British obsession with owning property" - Mic Wright, 26 year old 'freelance' writer.

Posted by dill @ 08:18 AM 10 Comments

QE2 risks blowing up global economy

ArabianMoney: Is the world stepping into a ‘crack-up boom’ minefield with QE2?

Stock markets are back to the level of two years ago despite the crisis being far from over in many major economies of the world. QE1 and Fed money pumped into the banks has inflated an equity bubble. The other main impact of money printing is runaway inflation in China and surging commodity prices, though let us not forget that China spent half its GDP on stimulus measures last year so is hardly blameless. Welcome to the ‘crack-up boom’.

Posted by david smith @ 04:24 AM 1 Comments

Changing sentiments

Scotsman: Rents rising as Scots give up on ownership

Scots are turning to long-term renting in growing numbers as the housing market crisis drives owner-occupation levels down, new evidence suggests. The trend emerges in the latest quarterly figures from lettings website Citylets, which reports an unprecedented demand for private rental property. That is making rental properties more expensive, with the average price in the capital up 3.2 per cent in the past year.

Posted by quiet guy @ 01:32 AM 0 Comments

Mr Morgan of Redrow gets upset

Motley Fool: A Harsh Winter For Housebuilders

Advice to investors from a house builder perspective. The article begins: "After a modest rebound in house prices since the lows of spring 2009, the future isn't looking quite so bright for Britain's housebuilders." And the article concludes: "[with] the impending withdrawal of liquidity support for lenders by the Bank of England from next April -- I would not be a buyer of any housebuilder for the foreseeable future." No sh1t, Shirlock.

Posted by dude @ 01:26 AM 0 Comments

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Buy-To-Let Bonfire Night Special

Liverpool Echo: Landlord shocked after yobs strip his house of wood to make bonfire Read More

Estate agent in Birkenhead stumbles upon gang stripping rental property, owner later finds doors, kitchen, staircase and garden fence on bonfire. Landlord added “There have been various tenants here since I’ve had this house and nothing like this has ever happened before, certainly not to this extent."

Posted by enuii @ 06:09 PM 13 Comments

Mortgage Broker doesn't like FSA mortgage restrictions Ray Boulger: FSA is biggest threat to mortgage market

Ray Boulger asserts that half of the mortgages granted between mid 2005 to early 2009 would not have been possible if the FSA's proposed regulations were in place and thinks that the governemnt should do something to help the mortgage market: "If the FSA proposals go through, it will have a big impact on house prices."

Posted by quiet guy @ 04:26 PM 13 Comments

House Crash Needed?

BBC News: Shocking advice for the MPC

If the Bank of England were really serious about helping the economy, it would be trying to tank the housing market. That is not quite how the economists at Fathom Consulting would put it, but it's a key implication of their latest report on UK monetary policy.

Posted by at0z @ 03:38 PM 0 Comments

Why why why why why why

Daily mail: Rbs staff share £2 billion

nothing will ever persuade me that basket cases like this pay out bonuses for gambling unsuccessfully with our money.Even giving them free money they can't make any real money

Posted by taffee @ 09:16 AM 18 Comments

Demand for commodities feeds inflation, but there isn't inflation in the US - of course not

Bloomberg: Bernanke Defends Bond Purchases, Predicts Stronger Growth

Quote #1: ”Inflation is very, very low, probably below the level that is healthy for the economy in the longer term” Quote #2: ”Emerging markets are growing quite quickly...demand for those commodities is pretty strong. That is going to be a contributor to inflation in the U.S. because it will affect gas prices, for example, and so on“

Posted by hpwatcher @ 09:15 AM 3 Comments

'Deflationists get smashed and continue to exist in a parallel universe where up is down'

Markey Oracle: Fed Fights to Hold Up Stocks into Election, The Accelerating Inflation Mega-Trend

'Whether QE2 works or does not work, does not matter, what matters is as I have pointed out several times over the past year that once QE starts it does not stop whilst large government budget deficits exist, therefore we are looking at a decade of QE in the U.S. and much of the rest of the world. That is a decade of real-terms inflation expectations that is waiting to be priced into the asset markets!'

Posted by hpwatcher @ 09:01 AM 11 Comments

House Price's may well rise along with everything else

Telegraph: Producers' price rises gain pace feeding UK inflation threat

'Factory gate prices rose at their fastest rate in six months in October, reinforcing views that wariness over inflation will keep the Bank of England from more stimulus. The bigger-than-expected monthly rise was the largest since April and pushed the annual rate to 4pc, compared with a rise of 3.8pc in the year to September, under a new classification of the data.'

Posted by hpwatcher @ 08:58 AM 6 Comments

The X Factor

The Guardian: The strange case of Lord James and 'Foundation X'

Foundation X, apparently has huge reserves of gold bullion-backed funds. On some estimates, these funds amount to more than the entire gold bullion mined from the earth. With such great wealth, Foundation X is understandably secretive and only wishes to discuss the disbursement of its funds with a head of state or one of the "top six people in the world". So for 20 weeks, James investigated the foundation. He came to the conclusion that Foundation X is completely genuine and sincere and that it directly wishes to make the United Kingdom one of the principal points that it will use to disseminate its extraordinarily great wealth into the world.

Posted by devo @ 02:02 AM 6 Comments

Jekyll Island Conference underway

Wall Street Journal: Fed's Plosser Argues For 'Humility' Among Fed Colleagues

NOVEMBER 5, 2010 Jekyll Island: Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia President Charles Plosser argued Friday that the uncertainty of understanding the relationship between policy making and the economy calls for "humility" on the part of central bankers. The official, who will hold a voting role on the Federal Reserve's Open Market Committee next year, has expressed skepticism about the central bank's decision earlier in the week to buy $600 billion in Treasury bonds, done in a bid to help improve economic growth. Plosser's comments at a gathering held by the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta on Jekyll Island, Ga., were directed at what many believe were the central bank's mistakes that made the Great Depression worse than it needed to be.

Posted by devo @ 01:18 AM 1 Comments

RBS = zombie bank

BBC: The Royal Bank of Scotland sinks £1.4bn into the red

Royal Bank of Scotland has plunged back into the red with a £1.4bn ($2.3bn) pre-tax loss during the three months to September. Since October 2008, the bank has announced 23,000 job losses worldwide, including 17,100 in the UK. RBS led a consortium that bought Dutch bank ABN Amro before the credit crunch in 2007, but the deal was a disaster, weakening its balance sheet and forcing the government to pump in about £45bn to keep the bank afloat. The government paid an average of 50.2 pence for each of the 90.6 billion RBS shares it bought to save the bank from collapse. There are not thought to be any government plans to sell its stake in either RBS or Lloyds any time soon.

Posted by devo @ 12:50 AM 0 Comments

Friday, November 5, 2010

Printing and Pumping (continued from Pragmatic Capitalist post)

Mail Online: Shares surge back to pre-crunch level... as Osborne considers printing more money

Share prices shot back up to pre-banking crisis levels for the first time last night – increasing the assets of millions of British savers. The FTSE100 index of leading shares closed up 113.82 points or 2 per cent at 5,862.79, its highest point since June 9, 2008. The surge came after America’s central bank, the Federal Reserve, pumped a further $600billion (£370bn) into the U.S. economy late on Wednesday...... Many experts are unsure whether the huge experiment with printing money by the U.S. authorities will work. In Westminster yesterday George Osborne yesterday revealed that the Bank of England stands ready to inject further cash into the economy should the UK recovery wobble.

Posted by jack c @ 04:49 PM 7 Comments

Non HPC - but for Friday afternoon read - shows what MAD f@cking world it is!

Telegraph: Coconuts removed from trees in preparation for Barack Obama's India trip

India is preparing for Barack Obama's first visit to the country by removing coconuts from palm trees in Mumbai to protect the US president.

Posted by rental john @ 04:34 PM 0 Comments

Coalition punishes the north for its political leaning?

Independent Online: North/South arrears divide to widen

The Government's programme of spending cuts will "exacerbate" the North/South divide, a leading credit ratings agency warns in a report published today.

Posted by rental john @ 04:31 PM 0 Comments

Pass me another nail please....

Independent Online: City regulators attacked for triggering 'mortgage famine'

Amid a growing backlash against the Financial Services Authority's (FSA) uncompromising stance, Steve Morgan, chairman of Redrow, used the company's annual meeting to warn that its medicine "risks killing the patient". "Our message to the Government is simple: the regulators are going too far," said Mr Morgan. "Deliberately suppressing housing demand at the very time that the country has a chronic housing shortage is laying the foundations for the next boom/bust cycle."

Posted by reantal john @ 04:24 PM 0 Comments

Digging a big hole even deeper

Fortune: The cost of doing nothing for two years

What would happen to U.S. debt levels if fiscal policy simply stays on its current course for the next two to three years? Today, the federal debt held by the public totals around $9 trillion, or 62% of GDP, versus $5.8 trillion in 2008. In an August report "The Budget and Economic Outlook: An Update," the Congressional Budget Office provided data that projects deficits over the next several years. Using those numbers, the CBO projects that that deficits will total $3.5 trillion between fiscal 2011 and 2013. That would raise total borrowings by 39% and swell debt to GDP to around 76%., bringing America into the danger zone. America would then face one of two outcomes, both of them reminiscent of what Ireland, Greece and Argentina have suffered in the last several years.

Posted by mark @ 01:30 PM 1 Comments

Mortgage famine; let them eat cake

Citywire: Morning Line: Mortgage famine? So be it

A mortgage, bizarrely, remains the acceptable face of debt... Owning a house with an all-consuming mortgage is not a badge of honour that those renting a spot on the rung should desperately covet

Posted by smithers @ 12:46 PM 0 Comments

Why Goldbugs Are Doing The Feds Work


what mr bernanke wants is for people to believe that qe is money printing. i suppose he set the scence by talking about helicoper drops of money a few years back and the gullible seem to be buying his line. it will be most galling for the goldsters who rather fancy themselves as seeing through the fed that they end up as its most willing accomplices. understasnd that benanke wants people to believe he can print money and create a rise in asset prices at will (he has even said so) because he feels it will create a wealth effect. prices are not rising because of qe but because of misapprehensions about qe.

Posted by bellwether @ 11:02 AM 50 Comments

Surely this is a good thing? after all it bring prices to affordable levels

Yahoo / telegraph: Millions of home owners face restricted lending

More than 5m home owners will become mortgage prisoners or be forced to move to a cheaper area if new mortgage rules are introduced, lenders have warned.

Posted by mark @ 10:54 AM 21 Comments

Deflation my AR$E

Yahoo / reuters: October factory gate inflation picks up slightly

Factory gate inflation picked up slightly in October but was lower than expected after the biggest REWORKING of the official data since 1992, figures from the Office for National Statistics showed on Friday. The ONS said annual producer output price inflation picked up to 4.0 percent in October from 3.8 percent in September

Posted by mark @ 10:28 AM 2 Comments

Savills return to peak prediction is extended by 2 years

Bloomberg: U.K. Home Prices Won't Return to Peak Until 2016, Savills Says

U.K. home prices may take longer than expected to return to peak levels as tax increases and job cuts cause values to drop through next year, Savills Plc said. It will probably take until 2016 for prices to get back to where they were in 2007, according to a report released today. That’s two years later than the London-based broker predicted in November 2009. Savills expects average U.K. values to fall 3 percent next year and start to gain in 2012.

Posted by jack c @ 09:36 AM 6 Comments

Currency depreciation or great news?


'AN unexpected raft of positive economic news provided a boost for homeowners, pensions and businesses yesterday.'

Posted by hpwatcher @ 08:46 AM 18 Comments

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Exterminate!!! Exterminate!!!

The Telegraph: Resistance to budget cuts must be overcome

Yesterday's report from the Commons Public Accounts Committee (PAC) detailing the persistent inability of the public sector to make "value-for-money savings" makes depressing reading. It examined a three-year efficiency programme put in place by the last administration, which sought reductions of £35 billion. Despite the importance placed on the programme at the very top of government, it achieved just £15 billion, of which just 38 per cent represented "legitimate" efficiency savings as opposed to straight cuts. Departments could not even measure adequately what savings they had made, and the Treasury failed to create a framework for reliable reporting

Posted by devo @ 10:36 PM 19 Comments

Northerners severely downtrodden by house prices

Guardian: Northern homeowners 'struggling more with mortgage arrears'

What planet are bankers on when S&P claim that while the recession may technically be over, the north of the UK, and its mortgage borrowers, could continue to feel the residual effects for several years. After being bled dry by the leaching south since the inception of the industrial revolution it's hardly surprising that more than one in 10 mortgagees in the north-west were in negative equity at the end of June compared with only 1.5% in the south.

Posted by enuii @ 09:38 PM 5 Comments

"In our view, this is one of the greatest policy mistakes in the Fed's history,"

Daily Telegraph: Doubts grow over wisdom of Ben Bernanke 'super-put'

Currency games being played out......

Posted by tom101 @ 09:13 PM 5 Comments

Up to a year to wait...

Telegraph: Millions of home owners face restricted lending

The strict new rules on how much a person can borrow are expected to be introduced next year by the City regulator, the Financial Services Authority.

Posted by hpcwaiter @ 05:59 PM 0 Comments

Greedy Boris

Inside Housing: London seeks half of new homes cash

The Mayor of London is asking for half of the yet to be committed money available for building new affordable housing over the next four years to be spent in London. This after Osborne slashed funding for new affordable housing from £8.4 billion to £4.5 billion, with around £2.3 billion of that already committed.

Posted by greenmind @ 01:15 PM 1 Comments

No change in rates for 20th month in a row

BBC: UK interest rates remain at record low

The Bank of England has held UK interest rates at a record low of 0.5% for the 20th consecutive month. The Bank also decided not to pump any more money into the economy through quantitative easing (QE). The decision comes after the latest figures on the economy showed gross domestic product grew at a faster-than-expected 0.8% in the third quarter.

Posted by jack c @ 12:15 PM 58 Comments

14,000 Irish BTL investors being forced to repay capital

Irish Independent: Buy-to-let owners face losing trackers

Many Irish BTL investors are currently paying only interest on their loans. However, if they have not repaid any capital after 3 years, they can be forced onto a repayment mortgage, at a higher rate. So for example, a buy-to-let investor who is paying interest only at the moment, who borrowed €300,000 over 25 years in 2005, would have monthly repayments of €425 (EC base rate tracker). If they lost their tracker and ended up paying a rate of 2.75pc, the monthly repayments will shoot up to €1,600 a month, a rise of almost €1,200 a month.

Posted by subculture @ 10:45 AM 7 Comments

Number of bankrupt women aged between 35 and 54 known as Ladygloomers - jumped by 37 per cent

Yahoo / telegraph: Bankruptcies rise among divorced middle age women

Britain is on track to see a record 140,000 personal insolvencies this year, according to accountants RSM Tenon

Posted by mark @ 09:59 AM 18 Comments

Re-basing currencies

G Pytel: Currency wars: where will it end?

A very interesting scenario. We may be turning the full circle abandoning paper money (which became worthless as a pyramid scheme vouchers), moving into a form of a modern barter trading and then re-basing the major currencies based on commodities "baskets".

Posted by ant @ 09:59 AM 13 Comments

Redrow joins comedy club roadshow

London Evening Standard: Redrow warns mortgage squeeze could kill house sales

Housebuilder Redrow today said a dearth of mortgages was continuing to choke new house sales, particularly to first-time buyers. Chairman and founder Steve Morgan said that underlying demand remained strong, with sales rising since July, but there were very few mortgages available, pushing up the average age of a first time buyer to 37. “Our message to the Government is simple: the regulators are going too far and the medicine risks killing the patient,” Morgan said. “We cannot have a buoyant UK economy without a healthy housing market.”

Posted by jack c @ 09:55 AM 16 Comments

Does your MP have any VIs?

They Work For You: Keeping Tabs on the UK's parliaments and Assemblies

This is shamelessly plagiarised from the forum. Not entirely HPC-linked however it will list how many (where relevant) properties your MP is generating money from; as well as - ahem - donations from 'concerned' local businesses. If I had the time and inclination, i'd be tempted to knock up a list of every MP in England and how many of those own multiple properties.

Posted by sibley's b'stard child @ 09:53 AM 2 Comments

Lots of lovely data on land use

BIS: Land Use Futures - scientific evidence

As a follow up to Mark Wadsworth's 'Britain is NOT a crowded island' post yesterday, I thought I'd repost this series reports as they have added new papers and articles. Lots of reading but excellent data and analysis - erm and land

Posted by powerofnow @ 09:38 AM 16 Comments

House prices falls start to increase

Halifax: House Price Index Oct10

""Prices in the three months to October were 1.2% lower than in the preceding three months. This measure gives a better indication of the underlying trend in house prices than the monthly changes."

Posted by doomwatch @ 09:06 AM 10 Comments

Halifax Survey

BBC: UK house prices face 'mixed picture'

House prices in the UK rose by 1.8% in October compared with the previous month - but this followed a big drop a month earlier, the Halifax has said. The lender, part of the Lloyds Banking Group, said that the less volatile three-month on three-month comparison showed property values dropped by 1.2%. The average home cost £164,919, according to the survey. Monthly changes in prices had been a mixed picture, the lender said, but it is not predicting a sustained fall.

Posted by jack c @ 09:06 AM 6 Comments

By Mohamed El-Erian

FT: QE2 blunderbuss likely to backfire

Published: November 3 2010 20:12 Given the high market expectations, the US Federal Reserve had no choice but to announce a second tranche of quantitative easing, nicknamed QE2. But the measure is an inevitably blunt instrument for the difficult task of restoring growth and generating jobs. The benefits accruing to America come with burdens for other countries, and both could soon be swamped by the unintended consequences of this unavoidably imperfect policy approach.

Posted by devo @ 06:37 AM 22 Comments

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Not news, however it is interesting.

Google Trends: Google search traffic trend average for mortgages for United Kingdom

Bit of a computer geek myself, and was just thinking about the collapse in mortgage lending Are the banks not lending or are people not looking to borrow? This graph may hold the answer.

Posted by khards @ 10:24 PM 8 Comments

Britain is NOT a crowded island

DCLG: Generalised Land Use Database

You can download a spreadsheet from this site showing how land in England is used (you have to insert your own totals at the top of the columns). Land use is broadly as follows: homes and gardens 5.4%, non-domestic buildings 0.7%, roads, paths, railways 2.4%, 'other' 1.4%. Yup, only 9.9% of England, supposedly "the most crowded nation in Europe" has been built on or developed. 90.1% is either 'green spaces' (mainly farmland or forests) and 2.6% is water. If you do a guesstimate for the UK as a whole, only about 6.4% is built on or developed. So forgive me if I fail to go into a palpitations when somebody suggests building a few more houses or an airport or power station or something.

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 09:14 PM 28 Comments

Desperate Sellers

Daily Mail: Housing market loses £500m as 'desperate' sellers slash prices amid fears of another property plunge

According to the research from the property website than one in three sellers have cut the asking price 'at least once' since it was put up for sale this year. For many of the victims, their finances are under severe stress and they urgently need to sell because they are struggling to afford their monthly mortgage payments. It warned many people are becoming increasingly 'desperate' to sell amid fears that house prices could be set to plunge, or because their family finances are at breaking point.

Posted by cat and canary @ 07:50 PM 6 Comments

Will people have to put this on their mortgage applications ?

BBC: Students face tuition fees rising to £9,000

The figures being given are probably around a years salary for some Graduates (and I have just realised they don't include Student loans). So what I amd wondering is how these large debts will affect Graduates abilities to take out mortgages. Jack C might know what the current situation is. If someone with Student loans etc applies for a mortgage do they have to declare them ?

Posted by tenyearstogetmymoneyback @ 07:25 PM 8 Comments

The start of QE2

FT: Fed launches new round of easing - $600bn

'The Federal Reserve launched a last-ditch effort to shore up the US economic recovery with a new $600bn round of quantitative easing, but the announcement was likely to disappoint markets, with no bias towards increasing that number in the future. The Fed gave no signal about whether it will expand its asset purchases beyond that number after announcing it will buy the longer-term Treasury bonds by the end of the second quarter of 2011'

Posted by hpwatcher @ 07:20 PM 11 Comments

By offering farmhouses for rent at one dollar (99 US cents) a week to families

Yahoo: Australia town seeks new residents with one-dollar rent

The town of Trundle, with a population of about 380, is seeking people from from all over Australia to fill six homes, some of which have been vacant for years as the region suffered a long and devastating drought.

Posted by mark @ 05:30 PM 1 Comments

Timber !

FT House prices slashed in run up to Christmas

Homeowners have slashed asking prices in the run up to Christmas according to said the number of properties for sale in the UK that have had their asking price reduced at least once since coming to the market has climbed by more than 13 per cent over the past three months. The number of discounted properties for sale is up from 32.2 per cent in August to 36.4 per cent. The figures also show the total value of the house price discounts has risen by almost £500m over the last three months as owners start to get both more realistic and desperate to sell.

Posted by jack c @ 04:10 PM 11 Comments

Said it will be a "considerable time" before the housing market recovers.

Fortune: Freddie Mac sees no housing recovery soon

Freddie Mac lost $2.5 billion in the third quarter and said it will be a "considerable time" before the housing market recovers.

Posted by mark @ 02:55 PM 0 Comments

As house prices plunge, the populus feels poorer

Telegraph: If house prices are the barometer, we're in trouble

Combination of blog articles, the first of which laments the impact on personal finances of the impending collapse in house valuations. Which is nice. "Like it or not, the housing market is a key barometer of confidence. As a nation, we are obsessed with it. Put a story on house prices on our website and people read it in their droves. But it is with the housing market that my glass starts to look empty. Figures after figures portray a market going into reverse. Over the past few days we have learnt from the Bank of England that mortgage lending fell by 90pc in a single month, with net lending totalling just £112 million during the month, down from £1.62 billion in August."

Posted by notyethomeless @ 01:23 PM 1 Comments

The Month in Numbers

Housing Expert: Sale of £1m+ homes jump 84% in a year

Regular 'dry' look at the main market numbers from housing expert Henry Pryor. No spin just the year-on-year comparisons of prices and sales volumes. Useful summary from an unusual source. Pryor is a regular talking head on BBC radio and t.v. and seems to call it as it is.

Posted by charles lister @ 12:51 PM 0 Comments

Fantasy land

The Herald: Scots property prices reach record levels

Average house prices in Scotland are at new record levels, with some parts of the country seeing rises of almost 25% and almost every region recording increases.

Posted by cynicalsoothsayer @ 12:35 PM 2 Comments

Is the fuss about QE just a lot of hot air?

Index Universe: Much ado about Nothing

For all the media comment about hyperinflation, the end of the dollar, a new commodities boom and capital controls as a result of quantitative easing (QE), the effect on inflation expectations of existing QE programmes has been - NOTHING

Posted by paul amery @ 12:23 PM 0 Comments

Consequences of low IR

Mail: Millions in cheap home loans trap

Again an article on housing is the most commented on. Some interesting personal circumstances in the comments section. Eg. Anne who, when buying a house in the eighties budgeted carefully to manage a rate of 8% found that on completion it had soared to 15%. Interesting stat from FSA that they class mortgages as unaffordable if repayments come to more than 35% of take home pay.

Posted by nomad @ 11:55 AM 20 Comments

Less bang for your buck

Guardian: Fast-rising food prices feed inflation fears

"Weak consumer confidence and a sluggish housing market mean retailers are competing even more fiercely for the limited discretionary spending available," Roberston said. "That situation is unlikely to change in the run-up to Christmas, with retailers clamouring to win the attention of cash-strapped consumers through discounting and promotions."

Posted by sibley's b'stard child @ 11:33 AM 4 Comments

QE2 will start small and end massive

Zero Hedge: Citi Says QE2 Would Be End-Game For The USD

A second round of QE will likely put sharp downward pressure on the USD, to some degree versus the euro and other G10 currencies, with potential for a broader USD sell-off

Posted by sold 2 rent 1 @ 10:28 AM 33 Comments

Surprisingly pragmatic sentiment from BTL-haven

Citywire: Housing benefit cuts: a radical and unpredictable experiment

I know this has been done to death although it's still pleasing to see the lunacy of LHA laid bare in print: "’s certainly demonstrable that private landlords...have enjoyed setting rents on the basis of a seemingly limitless flow of public cash."

Posted by sibley's b'stard child @ 09:26 AM 2 Comments

Another bright idea to prop up house prices.

Thisismoney: 'Buy up bad mortgages to help house prices Read more:

The Bank of England should print money and buy 'bad' mortgages to boost house prices and prevent the UK entering a repeat of Japan's lost decade, according to a plan set out by a leading economic forecaster. Fathom Consulting today warns of the creation of 'zombie households' where families wallow in rock bottom rates by spending the benefit rather than paying down the debt. The reduction of household debt, now equivalent to 155% of annual income, is key to setting the UK on the path to sustained recovery, says Fathom.

Posted by caparn @ 08:16 AM 0 Comments

Today is the last day of the US stock market rally

ArabianMoney: Last day of the US stock market rally

Americans will wake up today to the mid-term election results and are likely to celebrate a Republican landslide by buying shares. However, reality lurks just around the corner in the impending statement on quantitative easing from the Federal Reserve which has been widely anticipated and used as a reason to push stocks higher. This has all the making of a climax or inflection point. All the ‘good news’ will be in stock market valuations at this juncture. Every potential buyer that can be squeezed out will be in.

Posted by peter cooper @ 04:30 AM 0 Comments

More real HPC stories Further house price falls 'inevitable'

House prices declined at their steepest rate for nearly two years in October, and further falls have been described as 'inevitable'. Property prices fell by 0.9% last month, the most marked drop since January 2009. The extent of the price dip was felt across more than half of England and Wales, with falls reported in 56% of agents, figures from Hometrack show.

Posted by blue peter @ 04:21 AM 0 Comments

This site needs to cover the HPC once more

Daily Mail: Millions caught in cheap home loans trap: Financial experts' warning over families under threat from interest rate rises Read more: households caught cheap home loans trap.

Up to three million households are on a financial precipice – and in danger of falling over it if interest rates rise. Leading economist Danny Gabay warned that a full-scale recovery will not take place until banks tackle the problem of the families who took out loans far beyond their means.The former Bank of England expert’s warning about the ‘zombie households’ which could be tipped into financial oblivion when interest rates rise were echoed by a series of finance experts last night.

Posted by blue peter @ 04:15 AM 0 Comments

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Weakest growth in eight months

The Telegraph: UK construction growth loses steam

David Noble, Chief Executive Officer at the Chartered Institute of Purchasing & Supply, said: "This data is particularly nerve-racking given the boost the construction sector gave to the overall GDP growth last quarter ... the high hopes of earlier in the year seem to have given way to dire predictions on what the future may hold.”

Posted by devo @ 11:42 PM 23 Comments

Something or nothing?

Bloomberg: .London Luxury-Home Values Fall a Second Month as More Properties for Sale

£1m+ property prices down, but only by 0.2%, and Central London up. However, if the biggies are static and falling, the tiddlers shouldn't do any better.

Posted by markj69 str05 @ 11:25 PM 3 Comments

An important and wide-reaching article

Yes!: Time for a New Theory of Money

The reason our financial system has routinely gotten into trouble, with periodic waves of depression like the one we’re battling now, may be due to a flawed perception not just of the roles of banking and credit but of the nature of money itself.

Posted by devo @ 10:13 PM 7 Comments

Why Europe's workers are up in arms

Counterpunch: What's happening in Europe

The EU is succeeding in carrying out the original aims of the backers of the dictatorships of the '30s and '40s - suppressing workers' rights and wages and enhancing the power of industrial cartels. The EU has brought with it an increase in unemployment, workplace stress, salary inequalities and fiscal regressivity and a decrease in wages, regulation of labour markets, labour's share in national income, labour and social rights and social protections against illness, industrial accident and unemployment. The 'social democratic' parties which facilitated these process have been abandoned by their worker base, so right-wing parties have taken over and worsened the situation with austerity measures.

Posted by icarus @ 07:09 PM 35 Comments

Yay for homeownerism

Telegraph: Home owners increasingly over 40

In its latest edition of News and Views, the CML said: “Since 2003, we have seen the first significant decline in home-ownership. And in the coming years, the benefits of owner-occupation – and the wealth it delivers – will increasingly be concentrated in the hands of those in their 40s, 50s and 60s.” [and, of course, we look forward to further government assistance for homeowners to make sure it stays that way.]

Posted by quiet guy @ 06:58 PM 12 Comments

Latest figures from Registers of Scotland (RoS).

BBC: Average Scottish property prices hit all-time high

Average property prices in Scotland have hit an all-time high, according to official figures. The last quarter saw the average property price rise to £163,360, which was the highest on record and an increase of 5.8% on the same period in 2009. This was despite sales volumes being only half of what they were at their peak in 2007. The figures were released by Registers of Scotland (RoS).

Posted by jack c @ 05:53 PM 3 Comments

Apparently us HPC'ers are not socially affluent - no more Times links since July on this site

Yahoo / Sky: The Times Reveals Sharp Fall In Web Audience

The Times has said he is confident over the decision to put the digital edition of the newspaper behind a paywall, despite losing millions of online readers.

Posted by crash n burn @ 05:10 PM 7 Comments

Another upbeat headline for the Bulls

This Is Money: Record traffic for property website Rightmove

Record numbers of people have been using Rightmove's website, suggesting it has benefited from the current uncertainty in the property market.Page viewings during July to September were 16% higher than in the same period of 2009, which had itself been a strong period for site traffic. August was its second busiest month ever, with record numbers of people viewing the site on two days during the month, while visitors have remained high during September following its recent advertising campaign.

Posted by rob @ 03:31 PM 20 Comments

Ambac Financial Group, the second-largest U.S. bond insurer

La times: Ambac might file for bankruptcy protection this year

Ambac Financial Group, the second-largest U.S. bond insurer before losing big on risky mortgages, has been unable to raise capital to remain solvent and is pursuing a 'prepackaged' Chapter 11 reorganization.

Posted by mark @ 03:26 PM 2 Comments

Oh well, at least someone's benefitting from low IRs

Independent: Lloyds sees increased profits on mortgages

"Taxpayer-backed Lloyds Banking Group today said moves to increase rates on new mortgages and borrowers switching from cheaper fixed-rate deals was driving higher profits on home loans".

Posted by sibley's b'stard child @ 03:04 PM 10 Comments

Breaking News (blackpool must be boring)

Blackpool Gazette: 1,000 job losses at Blackpool Council

Council Leader Peter Callow today announced the authority has begun consultation with trade unions on between 800 and 1,000 job losses as it prepares to cut £32m off its budget ahead of the next financial year.

Posted by mark @ 11:56 AM 2 Comments

And yet the waste goes on and on

BBC NI: DHSS employ 900 on £100k+ wages

He asked how many staff employed by agencies attached to each Stormont department earn wages over £50,000. Finance minister Sammy Wilson revealed 3,430 staff earn £50,000-£100,000 and 967 earn in excess of £100,000. Mr Wilson also revealed the department of health has the biggest wage bill employing 2492 people on salaries of £50,000-£100,000.

Posted by mark @ 11:43 AM 13 Comments

Yeh shameless is pretty apt, great TV show, is it a documentary?

Yahoo / telegraph: 'Shameless Britain' lacks embarrassment about debt

Britain has become a shameless nation where a third of adults are not embarrassed to discuss their debt, new research suggests. It is a far cry from an older generation of Britons who would only buy goods and services from their earnings or savings.

Posted by mark @ 11:39 AM 6 Comments

Ideal venue for a HPC party...

Daily Telegraph: Win a holiday at Kirstie Allsopp’s Devon cottage

How much could us bunch knock off the value of this place?

Posted by rantnrave @ 10:14 AM 34 Comments

I am amazed they Tescos didnt want to build a supermarket in the space!

Manchester evening news: Planning permission given for Britain's narrowest house

Plans to build Britain’s narrowest detached house in a 14ft gap have been approved for the second time. The three-storey house will be just 10cm away from neighbouring houses in Northenden, whose owners have slammed it as ridiculous.

Posted by mark @ 10:07 AM 11 Comments

There's one law for them...

Bridging & Commercial: Property slump saves £180k criminal from prison sentence

A man who stole £180,000 has been spared jail after blaming the housing slump on his failure to repay court-ordered compensation, according to reports in the Daily Mail. Dean McEvilly, 38, from Burnden in Greater Manchester was convicted of thefts last year, and in October was ordered to pay a proceeds of crime court £50,000 or spend 18 months in jail. However, McElvilly has now been reprieved after blaming the downturn in the property market, saying his house has depreciated so much in value it wouldn’t fetch enough money...

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 10:04 AM 1 Comments

A bit lacking in specification but some interesting ideas

Market Ticker: On the reality of depressions; Bernankes folly

"The attempt to protect home prices was not born out of a desire to help you. The best thing that could happen for the housing market, from an individual consumer perspective, is for prices to collapse back to where they're affordable and rates to normalize so that one has a reasonable expectation of flat rates in the future. This would leave you with easy affordability - today and tomorrow. Yes, I know people say that this would be "terrible" for people who looked at housing as an "investment." But housing isn't an investment, and no amount of trying to make it such will work out well in the end. Housing is a consumer durable good. It is consumed over time, as anyone who has owned a house knows - you either continue to put in to your house or it falls apart - literally."

Posted by bellwether @ 09:48 AM 8 Comments

Knife-edge numbers

BBC NEWS: Spending cuts and VAT rise to cost 1.6m jobs, says CIPD

By my calculation (using data from the article), our economy needs to grow by 1.9% per year to avoid unemployment reaching the house price tipping point of 2.8 million by 2014. As a ‘cut out and keep’ guide, when a quarterly growth figure comes in at less than plus 0.5%, we can expect to see unemployment increasing. Two consecutive quarters of negative growth would ruin any chance we have of making up the jobs shortfall and we would reach the 2.8 million tipping point in very short order. It really is on a knife-edge

Posted by flashman @ 08:28 AM 16 Comments

Faber - ''legendary investor'' - worried about holding cash

Arabian money: Marc Faber will never sell...and sees Asian markets falling

''A coming slowdown in China is due to have massive repercussions for global commodity producers warns Dr Marc Faber, the legendary investment advisor. But he is still investing in Asian stocks.....because he is more worried about holding cash and bonds in volatile global markets. China exports more to emerging than developing countries so the impact of problems in China will be severe for them.''

Posted by hpwatcher @ 07:27 AM 3 Comments

More great ideas about buying out negligence

Daily Telegraph: Bank of England must use QE to buy 'bad mortgages', warns Fathom Consulting

Can't help feeling outrage at this. Here we have a think tank basically saying let's use government money to buy out negligent financial decisions so we can sweep that lot under the carpet and start again.

Posted by growler @ 07:15 AM 12 Comments

A date for your diary

Zero Hedge: December 7 Is The Unofficial Pan-European Bank Mutiny Day

After German blog "All is Smoke and Mirrors" floated an idea of an organized bank run (something attempted previously in the US without much success) in France in response to French austerity protests (which have resulted in no gains), the effort has since expanded to a pan-European organized bank run day on December 7, 2010, and has metastasized to Italy, Germany, the Netherlands, the UK and Greece. We are confident that very soon the rest of Europe, which is currently gripped in a climate of extremely unpopular austerity, will join in this symbolic protest against banking, which unlike the US, may just succeed, considering the European banking system is in total shambles, and in far worse shape than its American counterpart.

Posted by devo @ 07:02 AM 1 Comments

Australia hikes rates to 4.75%

Cnbc: Australia raises interest rates again

note the comments that at 4.75 rates are still cheap and note banks followed by raising more than base rate rise take a step back and you can see just what a mess we are in here

Posted by taffee @ 06:55 AM 3 Comments

More anecdotal evidence of housing problems

Telegraph: The coming housing crisis is bad news for everyone but the far Right

Abena works part-time and is married with two daughters, aged seven and three. For the last eight years, she and her family have lived in a one-bedroom flat high in a tower block in Enfield. They do not have sufficient points for a two-bedroom council property. Shelter says that a million British children are living in overcrowded conditions. Anxiety about jobs and housing and a chaotic immigration programme led to the last surge of the far right. The private sector job surge, if it happens, will inevitably favour migrants. Jobs for milk-frothers in southern coffee bars won’t go to the jobless northern steelworker but to the pliable army of young Eastern Europeans. We are moving towards a world of elites with a mobile servant class.

Posted by drewster @ 12:14 AM 8 Comments

Monday, November 1, 2010

Ambrose Evans-Pritchard

The Telegraph: QE2 risks currency wars and the end of dollar hegemony

The Fed's "QE2" risks accelerating the demise of the dollar-based currency system, perhaps leading to an unstable tripod with the euro and yuan, or a hybrid gold standard, or a multi-metal "bancor" along lines proposed by John Maynard Keynes in the 1940s. So the question that Ben Bernanke and his colleagues should ask themselves is whether they have thought through the global ramifications of their actions, and how the strategic consequences might rebound against America itself.

Posted by devo @ 10:50 PM 1 Comments

Give and take

Inside Housing: £946m fund to drive house building

Starting in 2011/12 the scheme will match fund the additional council tax for each new home built and property brought back into use for six years after the work is completed. For affordable homes the government will increase payments to 125 per cent of the council tax income. The white paper says the government will publish a consultation with its proposed model for the New Homes Bonus ‘shortly’. It calls the scheme the ‘cornerstone of the new framework for incentivising housing growth’, and indicates that it will be a permanent part of the local government finance system.

Posted by greenmind @ 05:59 PM 1 Comments

UK behind in race to the bottom

Bloomberg: Pound Rises Versus Dollar on Speculation BOE Won't Follow Fed Into Easing

'The pound approached the highest level in nine months against the dollar on speculation the Bank of England will refrain from joining the Federal Reserve in renewed asset purchases this week. The British currency was within a cent of the strongest in almost a month versus the euro as data showed manufacturing unexpectedly accelerated in October. Bank of England policy makers meet this week to decide on interest rates and whether to expand a 200-billion-pound ($321 billion) quantitative-easing program. The pound had its biggest weekly gain in over a year last week after data showed gross domestic product growth was double analysts’ estimates.'

Posted by hpwatcher @ 04:36 PM 5 Comments

Do we HAVE to make a forecast this year?

Cluttons: Stormy times ahead for housing market, but London offers protection

"Continued diminutive quarterly falls in the first half of 2011 are expected, stabilising in the latter half of the year, delivering a small overall decline in prices of 0.1%. "Looking further ahead we expect strength to return to the market with an increase of nearly 4% in 2012 and then 5% in 2013 and 2014 respectively, on the back of an improved economic environment..."

Posted by ontheotherhand @ 04:13 PM 5 Comments

Dreamers dreaming of return to the days of free money

Estate Agents Today: Reluctant Landlords Make a Comeback

'The ‘reluctant landlord’ – a phenomenon that emerged during the recession as home owners were forced to let their property rather than sell it – has returned to the rental market, according to ARLA. Ian Potter, operations manager at ARLA, said: “The rise of the reluctant landlord seems to reflect wider market uncertainty and instability.”

Posted by montesquieu @ 03:07 PM 14 Comments

Read the comments on the article page.

Manchester evening news: Stockport council facing £78m cuts in four years

The town hall is the last local authority in Greater Manchester to spell out the impact of savage government cuts. Council chiefs will have to find £20m savings in one year alone. But they have declined to say exactly where the axe will fall. The scale of the cutbacks were revealed in a report going to the council’s executive committee tonight.

Posted by mark @ 12:37 PM 12 Comments

Disastrous number of foreclosures that may occur over the coming years.

Cnn: Home prices expected to slide another 8%

Nearly a million homes are expected to be repossessed this year, and analysts seem to be competing to issue the most dire forecast for future foreclosure numbers. Morgan Stanley reported that about 3.1 million borrowers are seriously delinquent with many expected to lose their homes. Zandi said more than 4 million are in trouble with half of those expected to go to foreclosure. And Laurie Goodman, of Amherst Securities, estimates the number of homes in danger of foreclosure at a whopping 11 million.

Posted by mark @ 11:01 AM 1 Comments

Where House Prices will Fall Fastest in The U.K.

MSN: Where Cuts Will Hit House Prices Hardest

Those of you who don't use Internet Explorer won't have seen this. The millions of people who do are getting this on the homepage today. Its being given the same prominence as the X Factor results, and, rather appropriately a feature on Rollercoasters.

Posted by tenyearstogetmymoneyback @ 10:30 AM 6 Comments

More indirect HPI cheerleading...

Independent: Sssh, say it quietly...but sub-prime lending might be coming back

This is simply an extended re-hash of the Guardian's article-cum-advertising on Friday. I can't help but feel disturbed by the taciturn positivity that such lending is greeted with: "The benefit of specialists is that they are more likely to take homeowners on a case-by-case basis. So, although having a record of arrears will mean automatic rejection from big lenders, smaller specialist lenders will use underwriters who can take other factors into consideration". Daily Mail or Express, yes; but I would expect more suspicion from the broadsheets as to the impact of such practices. Which - I guess - begs the question; who holds the whip-hand?

Posted by sibley's b'stard child @ 10:28 AM 11 Comments

The squeeze is on, inflation is out of control, families struggle to live, what next?

Bloomberg: Food Inflation Accelerating as Cooking Oil Poised to Catch Grains

The Standard & Poor’s GSCI Agriculture Index of eight futures climbed 30 percent this year, led by corn, wheat, coffee and cotton, as floods in Canada, Pakistan and China and drought in Russia and across Europe killed crops. The economies of China and India, the biggest consumers of cooking oils, are growing at three times the speed of the U.S. Water scarcity, increasing global temperatures and the potential for dry weather may threaten farm production, said Nomura Holdings Inc.

Posted by mark @ 10:06 AM 5 Comments


The sun: Scrounger cons BBC viewers

A JOBLESS 22-year-old portrayed by the BBC as a helpless victim of benefits cuts has admitted he REFUSES to work - because he is better off on the dole.

Posted by mark @ 09:02 AM 13 Comments

House prices dip in October

Yahoo / reuters: House prices dip in October

Hometrack, which asks estate agents and surveyors to give achievable selling prices for different types of homes in every post code in England and Wales, said prices were down 0.9 percent on the month -- the biggest monthly drop since January 2009.

Posted by mark @ 08:58 AM 6 Comments

Private sector recovery underway

BBC News: Small manufacturers 'expect to raise output'

A growing number of small manufacturers are now expecting to increase production to meet rising demand, according to the CBI business group. Is the recovery is now locked and have we have reached the bottom or are we starting the next leg down?

Posted by khards @ 07:32 AM 0 Comments

Yet more ..... House Prices Fall Again as Home Mortgage Loan Approvals Decline another Month

Mortgage loan approvals fell again in September making it a seven month low. The drastic reduction in lending is thought to be the cause of the drop in approvals as well as the fact that homeowners seem to be concentrating more on reducing mortgage debt than adding to it. With fewer able to qualify for loan approvals and less looking to add to personal debt it is not surprising the numbers have dwindled.

Posted by gone-to-colombia @ 02:50 AM 1 Comments

And back to crash news - more bear food

Reuters: House prices dip in October, first y/y fall since January

House prices in England and Wales dipped 0.1 percent in October from a year earlier, a survey by property data firm Hometrack showed on Monday, giving the first year-on-year fall since January. Hometrack, which asks estate agents and surveyors to give achievable selling prices for different types of homes in every post code in England and Wales, said prices were down 0.9 percent on the month -- the biggest monthly drop since January 2009.

Posted by gone-to-colombia @ 02:46 AM 16 Comments

First YoY

Yahoo: House prices dip in October, first y/y fall since January

Donnell said there had been a 14 percent increase in homes coming onto the market in the last six months while demand had fallen 8 percent. "A stand off is beginning to emerge between buyers waiting for prices to fall further and sellers being unrealistic on the price they're willing to accept." No standoff here. We're getting on with other things. We can wait till 2013 can you?

Posted by stickleback @ 12:15 AM 0 Comments

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