February 2011 Archive

Monday, February 28, 2011

Better than the kings speech

Huffington Post: Charles Ferguson's Oscar Speech Rips Wall Street

I watched Inside Job at the weekend and it well deserved its Oscar - but no main stream media carried this acceptance speech Trailer:

Posted by the number cruncher @ 07:27 PM 4 Comments

Do these people understand economics?

Cnn: Dudley: Don't blame Fed for recent price hikes

The Federal Reserve is not to blame for the rise in global commodity prices and it should continue its controversial purchases of Treasuries, according to New York Fed President William Dudley.

Posted by mark @ 06:21 PM 3 Comments

Middle Income, Flat Wages, Read This

Totally Money: “Squeezed middle” facing perfect storm as share of national wealth declines

Surprisingly well written article that covers the results of research done by the Resolution Foundation, a research and policy organisation working to improve the lives of people on low-to-middle incomes which has setup a Commission on Living Standards to investigate the pressures facing people on low to middle incomes and focus on economic trends that are changing their way of life.

Posted by enuii @ 05:52 PM 1 Comments

Connecting synapses

Guardian: Northern Rock's first-time buyer mortgage obscures the real problem

Northern Rock has announced it will offer first-time buyers a 90% mortgage. But this won't help a moribund market crippled by high house prices, says Jill Insley

Posted by dill @ 05:21 PM 0 Comments

Two more reasons to buy Japanese shares

MoneyWeek: Two more reasons to buy Japanese shares

It's little wonder that Japan is universally hated by investors. Its shares have been a losing bet for years. But the country has many plus points, says David Stevenson. And there are two reasons in particular why it could be worth buying back in.

Posted by damien @ 04:18 PM 0 Comments

Annual real estate lending in the U.K. may fall to £100bn pounds over the next three to five years

Yahoo: UK banks reduce property lending by £17.2bn

However, the Property Industry Alliance told the Bank of England last month that a £34.4bn shortfall in financing for debt due in the next four years could trigger a second slump in property prices.

Posted by mark @ 03:49 PM 5 Comments

On US Banking & SubPrime

ALJAZEERA: Will banksters get away with it?

"Here are ten of well-planned but flawed factors that help explain the procrastination and rationalisation for inaction. The government is not just to blame either. Several industries working together, through their firms associations, and well-paid operatives, collaborated over years to financialise the economy to their own benefit". No wonder AlJazeera is banned in the US! "Alan Greenspan and Ben Bernanke were repeatedly warned by underlings at the Fed about pervasive predatory practices in the mortgage and Subprime markets and they chose to do nothing. Now Greenspan acknowledges pervasive fraud but decries the lack of enforcement while Bernanke wants to run a Consumer Protection Agency after ignoring consumer complaints for years. Even as the FBI denounced "an epidemic "

Posted by alan @ 12:47 PM 1 Comments

With bigger rewards, come bigger risks!

Telegraph: Foreigner buyers snap up posh London homes

Fill yer boots, the only way is up!!

Posted by cdo1 @ 12:08 PM 6 Comments


Guardian: Baby boomers are Britain's secret millionaires

The inadvertent burden baby boomers have bequeathed the young is sending Britain broke. "....Most boomers had no idea that a pension promise or the trebling of house prices was so harmful. The need now is to address the problem, not to blame."

Posted by dill @ 11:36 AM 5 Comments

- 0.2% MoM - 0.9% YoY

Land Registry: January Index

"The data for January shows a small growth in monthly house prices, with a movement of 0.2 per cent. This is the first time in five months that the figure has been above zero. This brings the average property price in England and Wales to £163,177."

Posted by phdinbubbles @ 11:00 AM 32 Comments

Guess what's the worst threat ...

The empty-property ‘mountain’ includes both private and public-sector homes

Manchester evening news: ‘Ghost town’: 25,000 empty homes in Greater Manchester

More than 25,000 homes are standing empty in Greater Manchester – despite 100,000 people being on the waiting list for housing. The M.E.N can reveal today that there are 8,139 unused properties in Manchester alone.

Posted by mark @ 10:43 AM 1 Comments

Return of the Crock?

Reuters: Northern Rock to offer 90 percent mortgages

"Northern Rock, the bank nationalised during the credit crisis, is preparing to launch a series of mortgages that offer up to 90 percent of a property's value, the Financial Times reported on Monday. It said the lender could make the riskier new high loan-to-value mortgages available as early as Monday, citing unnamed people familiar with the plans."

Posted by phdinbubbles @ 07:30 AM 13 Comments

Sunday, February 27, 2011

John Craven looks at rising house prices in the Cotswolds

BBC One: Countryfile

John Craven is in the Cotswolds, where the gap between earnings and house prices is bigger than ever before. 13:00 - 20:10 & 26:00 - 29:45 "Ten years ago the average house would habe been 10 times average earnings ... now 20 times average income"

Posted by karma4all @ 11:52 PM 4 Comments

Nothing new here

Observer: Wealthy buyers exploit stamp duty loophole

Buyers of some of Britain's most expensive homes may avoid paying the new 5% rate of stamp duty on £1m-plus properties thanks to a tax loophole allowing houses and flats to be registered in the names of companies rather than individuals. Stamp duty on a home costing £1.5m will be £75,000. Duty on a £10m estate will be £500,000. Buyers have discovered a legal route that almost avoids the tax altogether. This is done by setting up an offshore company – registered in a tax haven such as the British Virgin Islands or Panama – specifically to buy a property. When the owner decides to sell the property on, he sells shares in the company rather than the property itself. The transaction is not logged with the Land Registry, enabling the new buyer to take over the property stamp-duty-free.

Posted by drewster @ 07:51 PM 14 Comments

House prices are going down

The Herald: It's time to hang on to your home

Iain McWhirter continues to bang the drum for cheaper housing, even referencing property-owning ramping journalists.

Posted by laurag @ 05:14 PM 0 Comments

Surging Food and Property Prices Promote Chinese Unrest

Bloomberg: Wen Vows to Control Chinese Food, Home Prices as Police Head Off Protests

Chinese police blanket Beijing and Shanghai to head off planned protests inspired by revolts in the Middle East, Chinese Premier Wen promised to boost food supplies to hold down costs, curb inflation, punish the abuse of power and tackle surging property prices that have put home ownership beyond the reach of many.

Posted by enuii @ 12:47 PM 20 Comments

A cartoon that says it all

Guardian: No let up on buy-to-let

'But house prices are starting to fall. Mortgage approvals have slumped. The buy-to-let market is our great nation's only hope of keeping property prices up.' '…and keeping others off the property ladder so they can pay me rent.'

Posted by imminent_plunge @ 12:34 PM 0 Comments

The pyramid sinks into the quicksand

Guardian: Cost of living crisis pushes 'squeezed middle' off the housing ladder

People on low to middle incomes are facing a "perfect economic storm", which is cutting their living standards and dramatically reducing their ability to buy their own homes, new research will show this week. The independent Resolution Foundation is to launch a major inquiry into living standards among the so-called "squeezed middle", having identified economic trends – in existence since the 1970s – that have led wages for this income group to grow at a slower rate than the economy. The foundation, which aims to improve the lot of 11.1 million people, will reveal evidence that home ownership is slipping out of the reach of those living in households with below-median earnings.

Posted by dill @ 11:09 AM 11 Comments

Another Day, Anothr Scam

Independent: As repossessions rise, so does the risk of a return to sale-and-rent-back scams

"Interest rates are set to rise and when they do the skids could be put under tens of thousand of stretched mortgage borrowers. "Low interest rates have helped many struggling debtors stay in their homes but I fear interest rate rises predicted by economists before the end of the year, we will see a fresh surge in arrears and repossessions," says Una Farrell, from national debt charity Consumer Credit Counselling Service". "..and with arrears and repossessions the controversial sale-and-rent-back (SRB) firms rear their heads". Previous investigations found that some firms would offer struggling homeowners as little as half the market value of their property, lock them into expensive rental arrangements and force some tenants out of their homes after less than a year.

Posted by alan @ 10:51 AM 7 Comments

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Rate your Landlord

Consumer Focus: Ratings website for private renters could help show bad landlords the door

"The private rented sector generates more complaints than almost any other. According to a new report issued today by Consumer Focus, the consumer watchdog, one of the biggest issues is that private renters often know very little about their landlords before signing a tenancy agreement. Today the watchdog has written to some of the largest letting agents and deposit schemes in England calling on them to explore how online feedback could empower tenants by giving them a better insight into their potential landlords".

Posted by alan @ 02:59 PM 9 Comments

Missed out on fly-to-let in Libya? Don't worry, there's still Morocco

BBC News (video): Making money from property in Fez, Morocco

26 February 2011. The old town in Fez is steeped in history - from its walled citadel to the oldest surviving university in the world. It has recently been named a UNESCO World Heritage site. In a way, though, that is bad news for the traditional Moroccans who have lived in the old buildings for generations: renovating them is too expensive for families on meagre incomes. So they are selling up, moving out and buying modern flats in the newer parts of the city. With locals moving out, it has created a niche for foreign entrepreneurs looking to buy up property. But is this really a good way for middle aged European couples to escape the "rat race" and start afresh?

Posted by drewster @ 12:09 PM 3 Comments

Enterprising landlords find innovative solution to housing crisis

BBC News: Slough Council takes action on illegal shed dwellings

Illegal sheds in back gardens which have been converted into housing are being inspected by Slough Borough Council as part of a housing crackdown. Recent years have seen an increase in landlords converting sheds in their back gardens into illegal dwellings. In the past three months, a housing team from Slough council has inspected 300 suspected 'sheds with beds'. The council has served 133 notices, requesting landlords to remove kitchens and showers from the sheds. The council describes the 'sheds with beds' as residential chalet style buildings at the back of occupied properties. The housing teams found that 40 sheds out of those inspected were hazardous due to problems such as poor electrics and only eight dwellings out of the 300 were found to be paying council tax.

Posted by drewster @ 11:57 AM 13 Comments

Renting from a bank hits a buffer

Telegraph: Home owners finding it 'virtually impossible' to remortgage

Home owners with equity of less than 15 per cent are finding it virtually impossible to find a new mortgage, new figures suggest. The exclusive data, based on more than a quarter of a million remortgage valuations since 2007, reveals the full extent of the difficulties facing home owners looking to secure a new home loan. At the height of the property boom in 2007, home owners did not need any equity in their homes to remortgage, with one in 20 borrowing more than the actual value of their home.

Posted by dill @ 11:55 AM 13 Comments

Fewer auction-room bargains ahead

FT: Banks gazumping buyers of repossessed properties

Property buyers are finding themselves being unwittingly “gazumped” at the last minute when trying to buy repossessed homes from large UK banks. The trend follows a change in the way banks sell the majority of repossessed homes. In 2008, government-backed banks such as Northern Rock came under fire when selling foreclosed homes through big auction houses. Defaulting borrowers often felt the lender had not maximised the sale of properties. To avoid such accusations banks are increasingly selling through estate agents.

Posted by drewster @ 11:53 AM 1 Comments

Even landlords agree that the housing situation is a mess

Herald Scotland: Housing charity claims rents are too costly

RENTS in many parts of Scotland including Edinburgh and Aberdeen are unaffordable for an increasing number of working people, according to housing charity Shelter and the National Landlords Association (NLA). The two groups believe the situation can only get worse unless the Government “stops tinkering around the edges” of housing policy. One in 10 tenants fails to pay their rent each month. “Rents are extortionate for many working people on low incomes, not just in London but in places like Edinburgh and Aberdeen as well, and at the route of it all is the lack of housing supply.”

Posted by drewster @ 11:49 AM 0 Comments

Fewer rabbit hutches = a good thing

Telegraph: Barratt Developments moves away from first-time buyer housing

Britain's biggest housebuilder has warned first-time buyers that they are going to find it even harder to get onto the property ladder. The company is moving away from building homes for FTBs because young people are finding it too difficult to get mortgages. "First timers are being pushed into the private rental market, but that also requires new homes to be built." Mark Clare, chief executive of Barratt Developments, said there is a "severe" lack of new homes, with only about 100,000 new homes being built each year, while 200,000 to 250,000 new family units are created annually as housebuilders concentrate on larger properties. "The gap is getting bigger and bigger," he added.

Posted by drewster @ 11:46 AM 2 Comments

Protect our property values!

Bristol Evening Post: Protesters urge Government to stop housing on green belt

A PETITION calling on the Government to protect South Gloucestershire green belt signed by thousands of residents has been presented to Parliament. Labour's housing targets for the area are being scrapped by the coalition but a raft of unpopular planning applications in rural areas have sparked concerns that beauty spots could be threatened before new rules come in. "Petitioners are concerned by attempts to build inappropriate development on the green belt and note that green belt sites have faced applications to build housing which have consistently been opposed by local residents, locally elected councillors and the Member of Parliament."

Posted by drewster @ 11:43 AM 4 Comments

Wish I could run my business like this

Telegraph: Lloyds will not pay corporation tax until profits hit £15bn

If I get this right Lloyds and Barclays are able to cut their UK tax bill by writing off losses made on US sub-prime investments which to me looks like the UK taxpayers one way or another are bailing out dodgy mortgage lending made to Americans.

Posted by enuii @ 10:39 AM 2 Comments

Forced Sales Ahead?

Mail: Public sector workers could see their 'gold-plated' pensions halved

Public sector workers could see their ‘gold-plated’ pensions slashed to make it easier to transfer services to private firms and charities. Payments due to hundreds of thousands of nurses, doctors and bin collectors could be cut to less than half under proposals being considered by the Treasury.The Government wants providers other than the State to take over the running of some services as part of David Cameron’s ‘Big Society’ plan.

Posted by alan @ 10:28 AM 13 Comments

Sound like a good idea to me

BBC: Landlords should get web ratings, says consumer group

Tenants should have a rating website on which they can share their experiences of landlords, a consumer body has said.

Posted by frustraated gardener @ 04:45 AM 0 Comments

Friday, February 25, 2011

Please, can I have some more?

Bloomberg: Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac Seek $3.1 Billion Amid Improved Earnings

"Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, the mortgage-finance companies operating under U.S. conservatorship, requested another $3.1 billion in Treasury Department aid as they reported quarterly earnings reflecting improving health " but " both companies reported net-worth deficits attributable largely to the quarterly dividend payments they make to the Treasury Department, which has owned more than 79 percent of both companies since they were seized and placed under U.S. conservatorship during the credit crisis in 2008.

Posted by alan @ 07:16 PM 3 Comments

Parasites alive and well.

Management Today: Lloyds is back in the black (sort of)

Lloyds’ balance sheet has made it back into positive territory, after it published encouraging full-year figures for 2010. Pre-tax profits hit £2.2bn, an impressive turnaround from 2009’s £6.3bn loss.

Posted by markj69 str05 @ 06:05 PM 5 Comments

Household spending power sharply eroded

Standard: Average disposable income down as families feel the squeeze

"The disposable income of the average British family fell by a record £9 a week during January as inflation outstripped wage growth at a quickening pace". "The researchers said the continued decline in spending power seen during 2010 and into 2011 was caused by the price of essential goods and services rising faster than net incomes".

Posted by alan @ 04:41 PM 7 Comments

Big issue

Comres: Barratt Home Buyers Survey January 2011

A major new poll of British attitudes to housing trends has revealed that growing intergenerational tension and long-term social problems will be the likely outcome if young people continue to be locked out of home ownership.

Posted by dill @ 04:18 PM 6 Comments

Profit from rising gas bills - buy this unpopular stock

MoneyWeek: Profit from rising gas bills - buy this unpopular stock

Energy costs are on the rise again, with the price of wholesale gas up 40% in the last year. That means higher bills for consumers, which is good news for one UK energy company that's already doing very nicely, says David Stevenson.

Posted by damien @ 03:11 PM 0 Comments

Another long term impact of inflation

Yahoo: Water bills increase from April

Average bills are expected in increase 4.6 per cent, the equivalent of £16 in a year, to £356, Ofwat said

Posted by mark @ 02:27 PM 3 Comments

Illiquid Investment Manages Gross Yield Less than Inflation

Findadproperty: Rental prices continue to rise as landlords cash in

This survey was out very late for some reason. Funny how new listings grew sharply in December when surely the snow made that impossible. "Despite a sharp increase in competition amongst landlords in December, the balance of power is still firmly in their hands. The average rental property was on the market for only 44 days, the shortest time since our records began. Property yields rose to and held at 4.8% nationally during the quarter, higher than any time since late 2008."

Posted by ontheotherhand @ 11:50 AM 9 Comments

Splendid bit of ramping, not sure if the irony was intended.

City AM: Property News

a) Prices falling: "“Assetz Homes” will help buyers to secure the best properties at the most competitive prices by negotiating discounts on their behalf – a significant advantage in what are challenging market conditions for buyers" b) Prices rising: "Gazumping has made a dramatic return to the capital’s prime property market, according to research by estate agency Marsh & Parsons. Agents have reported an increase in cases of gazumping – where a vendor rejects an accepted offer in favour of a higher price – as demand for properties hit record highs, averaging at 14.3 applicants per property."

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 11:17 AM 5 Comments

Sign of the times?

Rightmove: Partially Built

Is this really worth anything? How many like this are there around the UK?

Posted by mark @ 10:16 AM 5 Comments

Revision revision revision

Reuters: Economy contracted even faster than first thought in Q4

The economy contracted even faster than previously thought in the last three months of 2010, shrinking by 0.6 percent, after downward revisions to industrial and services output, official data showed on Friday.

Posted by mark @ 09:54 AM 14 Comments

Bank's Posen sees no long-term inflation worries

Reuters: Bank's Posen sees no long-term inflation worries

"Bank of England policymaker Adam Posen said on Friday that he does not expect current general inflation trends to continue beyond a few years".

Posted by alan @ 09:15 AM 14 Comments

How about "House Prices should share pain"?

SKY: 'Elderly Should Share Pain Of Spending Cuts'

"Around £16bn a year could be saved by 2015 if older people shared the pain of spending cuts, according to the Institute of Economic Affairs". (BTW, lots of money could be taxed if we earned a fair return on savings). Societies are judged on the way they treat their old, young and disadvantaged...

Posted by alan @ 09:03 AM 2 Comments

Headline report 2009/10

DCLG: English Housing Survey

Owner occupation was the largest tenure, with 14.5 million households, 67.4% of all households, but there had been a slight fall from 67.9% of all households in 2008/09. This fall in the number of owner occupiers continued the trend that began in 2007. There were 3.7 million (17.0%) of households in the social rented sector and 3.4 million in the private rented sector in 2009/10. The proportion of households living in the private rented sector has been rising in recent years and this trend continued with 15.6% of households renting privately in 2009/10 (from 14.2% in 2008/09).

Posted by dill @ 03:14 AM 4 Comments

Will common Sentance prevail?

Yahoo: Sentance Says BOE Must Raise Rate Now to Avoid Tougher Tightening Later

Andrew Sentance, the Bank of England's most hawkish policymaker, said on Thursday he was pleased to see the case for raising interest rates gain ground on the nine-member Monetary Policy Committee. In a speech entitled "Ten Good Reasons to Tighten," Sentance reiterated the case for withdrawing some of the exceptional monetary stimulus put in place during the recession. Also - 'http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-02-25/sentance-says-boe-must-raise-rate-now-to-avoid-tougher-tightening-later.html'

Posted by markj69 str05 @ 01:01 AM 5 Comments

More pressure on MPC - Are you listening Merv?

Reuters: Retail sales growth weakens, prices soar - CBI

Retail sales growth slowed more than expected in February to its weakest since last June, but firms ramped up prices at their fastest in 20 years, adding to worries about inflation, a survey showed on Thursday. ...with consumer price inflation already double the bank's 2 percent target, MPC members will be dismayed at firms' plans to pass on higher costs to consumers. Quarterly figures from the CBI showed retailers put up prices in February at their fastest rate since 1991, and planned to keep up the pace of price rises in coming months as well.

Posted by markj69 str05 @ 12:35 AM 3 Comments

Could all be back to normal soon, but i bet prices at teh pump remain high.

Reuters: Gold, oil retreat on rumour Gaddafi is dead

Gold slipped and crude oil prices dropped sharply from 2-1/2-year highs on Thursday on speculation Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi had been shot, but other markets barely reacted to the rumour.

Posted by markj69 str05 @ 12:27 AM 27 Comments

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Interactive guide - what will affect a HPC most?

FT: A Timetable for Austerity Britain

For all the talk of cuts in the UK, most are yet to take effect. The FT’s interactive calendar of cuts shows the timeline of all the different austerity measures over the next eleven years. Don't forget you can paste the title into your browser to avoid the FT subscription charge.

Posted by alan @ 10:37 PM 1 Comments

Oh dear

Cnn: Sales of new homes fall a shocking 11.2%

In total, the market is down 80% from its peak, which was set in July 2005, when the annualized rate of sales hit nearly 1.4 million.

Posted by mark @ 06:30 PM 7 Comments

Interest rate rises because of oil prices?

Reuters: Oil prices could be game-changer for world economy

If the price spike is sustained, it will soon add pressure on central banks already worried about food prices to tighten monetary policy, a move that would mop up some of the liquidity that fostered recovery in the first place

Posted by mark @ 03:15 PM 7 Comments

Brits love houses, not flats

Eurostat: Housing Statistics

Decent housing, at an affordable price in a safe environment, is a fundamental need and right. Ensuring this need, which is likely to alleviate poverty and social exclusion, is still a significant challenge in a number of European countries. This article provides information in relation to recent statistics on housing in the European Union (EU), focusing on dwelling types, tenure status (owning versus renting), housing quality and affordability. More here showing how damp and dark UK feels its houses are http://epp.eurostat.ec.europa.eu/cache/ITY_PUBLIC/3-23022011-BP/EN/3-23022011-BP-EN.PDF

Posted by ontheotherhand @ 02:48 PM 1 Comments

Why it's sometimes better to be a tenant...

Citywire: Homeowners can't move house because they can't get a mortgage

This is becoming a big problem, as a significant proportion of homeowners need to move house. Research from Clydesdale & Yorkshire Banks shows that in the South East some 40% of homebuyers say they are planning to move. And for many families moving is not optional, with 14% needing to relocate and 10% expanding their family. Much tougher lending criteria from the banks and building societies are to blame, with minimum deposits of 25% the norm along with a squeaky clean credit history. The result is that home loans are running at less than half their average over the ten years before the credit crunch hit in 2007...

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 02:43 PM 7 Comments

Who knows; perhaps?

Independent: MPC edges ever closer to hiking interest rates

A more hawkish mood and continuing deep divisions within the Bank of England were confirmed yesterday when the publication of the latest minutes of the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) revealed a four-way split. While the MPC left the quantitative-easing programme of directly injecting money into the economy at £200bn and the Bank Rate at 0.5 per cent at its February session, there was "a wider than usual range of views among committee members about the outlook for growth", which reflected a "highly uncertain" outlook for growth.

Posted by sibley's b'stard child @ 11:36 AM 17 Comments

Is the oil price heading for $200 a barrel?

MoneyWeek: Is the oil price heading for $200 a barrel?

The price of oil has shot up in response to the unrest in Libya, and the threat of civil war. And as protests spread around the world, it's only going to go higher. John Stepek looks at just how high - and how you can play it.

Posted by damien @ 11:30 AM 1 Comments

Just nipping out to stock up on petrol lol

Telegraph: Saudi ruler offers $36bn to stave off uprising amid warning oil price could double

We could see $220 a barrel should both Libya and Algeria halt oil production. We could be underestimating this as speculative activiites were largely not present in 1990-1991," said Michael Lo, the bank's oil strategist. Nomura said a shut-down in both Libya and Algeria would cut global supply by 2.9m b/d and reduce OPEC spare capacity to 2.1m b/d, comparable with levels at the onset of the Gulf War and worse than during the 2008 spike, when prices hit $147. Both price shocks preceeded – or triggered – a recession in Europe and the US.

Posted by mark @ 10:55 AM 12 Comments

Petrol just gone up by 2p a litre in my area

Yahoo: Banks warn of oil shortage, growth impact

Brent oil prices jumped by over $8.50 a barrel on Thursday to as high as $119.79 a barrel as oil firms said they halted output in Libya because of unrest, with over a quarter of output of the OPEC member now estimated to be lost.

Posted by mark @ 10:33 AM 2 Comments

Bear nibbles

Telegraph: Homeowners rush to remortgage ahead of possible interest rate rise

The housing market stayed sluggish at the start of 2011, according to lenders, but growing numbers of people are remortgaging to make sure they do not get caught out by a rise in interest rates. The number of loans approved for house purchases stayed almost flat in January at just over 28,900, following December's two-year low, the British Bankers' Association (BBA) reported. The figure is well below the 70,000 to 80,000 monthly approvals that tally with a stable housing market. In contrast, the number of people remortgaging rose by 5pc on the previous month and 28pc on a year ago, as homeowners hurried to secure fixed-rate deals to avoid being caught out by a possible rise in interest rates.

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 10:11 AM 9 Comments

If this is resilient what would a crash be like?

Liverpool daily post: Liverpool office take-up falls but market remains resilient

According to the latest Liverpool Commercial Office Market Review, total office space let across the city was 393,441 sq ft – down from 721,189 sq ft in 2009

Posted by mark @ 10:11 AM 1 Comments

Newsflash: Scotland has left the UK!

Council of Mortgage Lenders: 2010 house purchase lending in Scotland more affordable than UK

House purchase lending in Scotland was typically more affordable than in the UK as a whole in 2010, according to figures released today by CML Scotland. The average Scottish home buyer borrowed 2.75 times their income in 2010, compared with 3.03 for the UK as a whole although they borrowed 74% of their property’s value which was similar to the UK's 73%. 2010 saw 46,800 loans advanced for house purchase in Scotland, less than 1% down from 2009. The UK as a whole saw house purchase lending increase by 3% from 2009. Reflecting the trend across the UK, refinancing activity was subdued in Scotland. There were 30,000 remortgage loans advanced, down 23% compared to 2009. This was the same fall experienced by the UK as a whole for remortgage loans...

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 10:09 AM 2 Comments

Game over for buy to let

Dailymail: New European human rights ruling could lead to thousands of tenants refusing to pay

Evicting a woman from her council home for failing to pay rent would breach her human rights, judges ruled yesterday.

Posted by mark @ 10:06 AM 7 Comments

Vicky Pryce is right to succeed Sentance?

Daily Mail: MONDAY VIEW by VICKY PRYCE: The dangers of hiking interest rates too soon

Vicky thinks raising interest rates is not a good idea.

Posted by we're all in this together @ 09:45 AM 0 Comments

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Just as the people were starting to reclaim power from the banks....

Telegraph: Council's £100m Banking on Essex scheme set for axe

The first council-branded bank to be established in more than 30 years is due to be closed less than two years after it was established. Banking on Essex, a joint venture between Essex County Council and Santander, is due to be closed, the council has announced, attributing its decision to budgetary constraints and a lack of demand from small businesses. The scheme was established in 2009 in an effort to help small companies struggling to win investment because of the financial crisis and was backed with £100m, half of it public money. However, the initiative lent just £535,000 and cost £386,000 to establish.

Posted by drewster @ 08:29 PM 1 Comments


Cnn: Oil crosses $100 - highest since 2008

U.S. oil prices spiked above $100 a barrel for the first time in over two years Wednesday, as reports of Libyan oil production shutdowns swirled.

Posted by mark @ 06:54 PM 6 Comments

Long article - but well worth a read... will the rest of PIIGS and UK follow Ireland down the pan?

The Economist: Ireland's Crash....

Once among the richest people in Europe, the Irish have been laid low by a banking collapse and the euro zone’s debt crisis. What now?

Posted by rental john @ 06:51 PM 0 Comments

Rent Saif al-Islam Gaddafi’s London house … for £10k a week!

Planet Property: Rent Saif al-Islam Gaddafi’s London house … for £10k a week!

News reaches us that Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, son of the beleaguered Libyan leader, has his London house on the market with a rental value of £9,750 per week. Check it out!

Posted by the planet @ 05:52 PM 0 Comments

Waterside Wednesday … Gins Old Farmhouse

Planet Property: Waterside Wednesday … Gins Old Farmhouse

This week we’re off to Hampshire to lust over this rather lovely six bedroom house on the banks of the Beaulieu river. The house itself is grand enough, but it’s the location – on the edge of the river with gorgeous views over the Solent – that really makes us dribble over our keyboard.

Posted by the planet @ 04:39 PM 0 Comments

How useful is an automated property investment report?

Planet Property: How useful is an automated property investment report?

A new website is offering automated property investment reports - but what are the limitations of such a system?

Posted by the planet @ 04:32 PM 0 Comments

Will they, Won't they? Will sentiment, sense, or political pressure prevail?

Management Today: Bank of England split widens over interest rates

The Bank of England Monetary Policy Committee has just published the minutes of its latest meeting, when it voted to keep interest rates at 0.5% - and it turns out there's now three of the nine-strong committee in favour of raising rates. Even some of those who voted to hold fire think the case for higher rates is stronger than it was - which makes an imminent hike look increasingly likely.

Posted by rental john @ 03:55 PM 0 Comments

A new take on CPI

Love Money: How your underwear drawer affects the economy

Not quite as daft as the title suggests, it is the writer's take on the economy but there is some absolute cr*p in it if you're looking from Joe Public's side of the fence, for example: "Don't gripe if petrol prices are rising, that's a sign the economy is on the mend." WTF?

Posted by mr g @ 02:48 PM 9 Comments

When will BOE finally realise they are the odd ones out

BBC: Vietnam raises another interest rate in inflation fight

Vietnam has raised another of its main interest rates as it looks to step up its fight against inflation. The State Bank of Vietnam pushed its reverse repo rate to 12% from 11%.

Posted by mark @ 02:28 PM 3 Comments

The housing market is heading for a fall

MoneyWeek: The housing market is heading for a fall

UK house prices set to crash! Bengt Saelensminde reveals why he's so confident the UK housing market is set for a fall.

Posted by damien @ 02:22 PM 4 Comments

The MPC sentiment pendulum seems to be on its way back!

Management Today: Bank of England split widens over interest rates

'.... it turns out there's now three of the nine-strong committee in favour of raising rates. Even some of those who voted to hold fire think the case for higher rates is stronger than it was...' 'Long-time hawk Andrew Sentance again voted for a raise - in fact, he's now in favour of a 50bps hike - and this month he was joined by fellow independent Martin Weale and the Bank's chief economist Spencer Dale'

Posted by markj69 str05 @ 02:20 PM 0 Comments

Another bites the dust??

Yahoo: CSC says won't back JJB lifeline

Struggling sportswear retailer JJB Sports has been dealt another blow after Capital Shopping Centres, the largest mall owner, said it would vote against the firm's proposed rescue plan. JJB in which America's richest man Bill Gates holds a 5.5 percent stake, has said it needs creditors, including landlords, to back its second company voluntary arrangement (CVA) in as many years or it will likely go into administration.

Posted by mark @ 02:01 PM 5 Comments

UK shutdown?

Dailymail: Libya crisis hits motorists: Petrol price 'could soar to £6.50 a gallon'

Average pump price could hit 142.95p a litre Petrol prices hit a new record high today and are set to soar even higher as the mounting crisis in Libya and other Arab states sent oil prices surging, motoring groups warned last night. The AA said drivers faced another 2p a litre rise within days - with the potential for more in the pipeline. And experts fear that we could soon be paying as much as £6.50 a gallon - or 142.95p a litre - if oil prices continue to increase.

Posted by mark @ 01:49 PM 26 Comments

Trouble in little USA

CNN: Democrats and Republicans spar over possible government shutdown

With government funding set to run out in 10 days, and Congress on recess, Republican and Democratic congressional leaders sparred via press release Tuesday, blaming each other for steering the government toward a possible shutdown.

Posted by mark @ 01:43 PM 0 Comments

JOY for first-time buyers as air starts leaking from house price bubble

Daily Mail: Despair for first-time buyers as new mortgage lending stays near two-year low

First-time buyers received more GOOD news today as it emerged approvals for new mortgages remained close to a two-year low in January. Just 28,932 loans were approved for people buying a property during the month, broadly unchanged from December's figure, which was the lowest since January 2009, according to the British Bankers' Association.

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 01:14 PM 2 Comments

John Major's vision: Wealth cascading UP the generations...

House Fund.co.uk: Home birds could help pay off their parents' mortgage earlier

"With the UK’s average house price remaining relatively high at £164,773 and mortgage lenders requiring higher loan to values than before the credit crunch, parents are finding that their adult offspring are staying in the family nest for longer whilst they gather the higher deposit required. These young adults, often in full-time employment, usually pay something towards household bills, whilst saving the hundreds of pounds that would normally be spent on rent or mortgage payments each month as a deposit for their own place. first direct has identified that even a small monthly board payment could drastically reduce the parents’ mortgage if used to make overpayments, whilst leaving the child to comfortably save for their future."

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 12:13 PM 6 Comments

Help to find good BTL

Estate Agent Today: Property ranking service wins over more agents

Rankdesk.com was launched in December, ranking properties as though they were shares or some other asset class. Lots of calculations and observations go into their reports (rankdesk.com and look at a sample and methodology), but in the end the most important one is their assumption that property prices will rise 4% per year for each of the next 5 years.

Posted by ontheotherhand @ 11:50 AM 2 Comments

High house prices, inflation out of control and Mervyn thinks all is ok - think of the kids

Manchester evening news: Manchester named child poverty capital of Britain with 25,000 growing up in 'severe poverty'

More children live in 'severe poverty' in Manchester than anywhere else in Britain. A report by the charity, Save The Children, reveals that a staggering 27 per cent of youngsters – 25,000 – are blighted by the 'shameful' scandal.

Posted by mark @ 10:25 AM 21 Comments

Low levels of stuff happening

BBC: UK property market still subdued, BBA figures show

"The stagnation in the UK property market is continuing, figures from the British Bankers' Association suggest. The BBA said mortgages approved by its members in January for home buyers were 29% lower than a year ago. They approved just 28,932 loans for house purchase, although this was slightly higher than in December."

Posted by phdinbubbles @ 10:08 AM 7 Comments

Davids 3 Goliaths 6

Bank of England: MPC minutes February 2011

Regarding Bank Rate, six members of the Committee (the Governor, Charles Bean, Paul Tucker, Paul Fisher, David Miles and Adam Posen) voted in favour of the proposition. Three members of the Committee voted against the proposition. Andrew Sentance preferred to increase Bank Rate by 50 basis points. Spencer Dale and Martin Weale preferred to increase Bank Rate by 25 basis points.

Posted by dill @ 09:36 AM 13 Comments

Past Performance is No Guarantee of Future Results.

Houseladder: Buy-to-let landlords 'unlikely' to be hurt by rate rises

*Pure comedy gold* 'Independent property industry expert Malcolm Harrison said that should the Bank of England choose to increase interest rates, buy-to-let landlords will probably remain unaffected as the base rate is so low to begin with.'

Posted by sibley's b'stard child @ 09:07 AM 4 Comments

Meanwhile, at the sharp end of the cuts...

MoneySavingExpert: Housing Benefit: Find out how you'll be affected by the cuts

Over 1 million people who rent privately get housing benefit. The rules are due to change in April 2011 and it's expected most people will be affected. The average claimant is predicted to be over £600 a year worse off after the changes. The new lower income may mean you qualify for other entitlements, so it's important to check fully. The amount of housing benefit being paid in certain areas, especially London, is particularly high so the Government announced a number of changes to control this. They will affect most claimants and changes will start to be implemented from April 2011. If you rent from the council or housing association these changes DO NOT affect you.

Posted by drewster @ 02:44 AM 7 Comments

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The irresponsibility of Gordon Brown's ''light touch''

BBC: British banks ran 'deeply costly' strategy to lure top staff to London before crash, says U.S. Treasury Secretary

''The UK ran a 'conscious' strategy of trying to attract bankers to London that proved 'deeply costly' ahead of the banking crisis, the U.S. Treasury Secretary has said. Timothy Geithner said the UK's 'light touch' approach to financial regulation - at the time, under Prime Minister Gordon Brown and Chancellor Alistair Darling - was designed to pull in the banking sector from New York, Frankfurt and Paris.''

Posted by hpwatcher @ 10:08 PM 18 Comments

I still can't believe a house like this is worth £1m

London Evening Standard: Squatters given legal aid to stay in £1m property

The owner of a £1million house taken over by squatters spoke of his horror today after they were given hundreds of pounds of legal aid and won the right to stay. Father-of-two John Hamilton-Brown, 36, went to court to force them to leave his five-bedroom house in Archway immediately. But thanks to their lawyer it was thrown out on a technicality, meaning the 12 squatters have permission to stay for two more weeks and it may be six weeks before they can be evicted. Neighbours said the property had just been sold when squatters broke in last month after a window was forced open. They claimed there has been much damage caused and endless parties, to which the police had been called on a number of occasions.

Posted by drewster @ 08:32 PM 0 Comments

Pity the non-Londoners, having to "suffer" falling prices

Daily Mail: Super-rich bankers spark London property boom... while the rest of the country suffers falling prices

Lavish bankers' bonuses and mortgage lending rules that favour the super-rich have caused house prices in the capital to soar, a leading property website claims. The rest of the country has suffered with plummeting house prices forcing many home owners into negative equity during the economic downturn. House prices in the capital have risen by four per cent and there has been a staggering 21 per cent increase in the number of people looking to sell their homes. A three-tier market between the 'low loan to value elite' and the 'bargain hunting bottom feeders' - with the average buyer trapped in the middle - has now been created, according to property website Rightmove.

Posted by drewster @ 08:25 PM 9 Comments

And continue to decline

Las vegas sun: Price of existing homes drops to 20-year low in Las Vegas

New home sales in January and the price of existing homes tumbled to their lowest level in two decades in Las Vegas. SalesTraq President Larry Murphy said existing home prices are likely to keep falling. For the last 19 months, home prices have been fluctuating between $115,000 and $125,000, and January marks the first time the median price has fallen significantly out of that range, he said.

Posted by mark @ 06:16 PM 0 Comments

Fraudsters 6 Prudence 0

Mortgagestrategy: Mortgage fraud not a priority for police, says BSA

Mortgage fraud and other business crime is not a top priority for police forces, says the Building Societies Association. In the Spring edition of its e-newsletter, Mortgage Matters, the trade body says the major budget cuts announced in 2010 will hit police capacity and capability to investigate fraud. It says a chief constable with a budget under pressure might consider that compared to combating street crime, violent crime or anti social behaviour, investing in combating fraud offers a low return.

Posted by jack c @ 06:06 PM 5 Comments

What to buy as revolution spreads in the Middle East

MoneyWeek: What to buy as revolution spreads in the Middle East

Protests in the Middle East and North Africa have gone beyond the point where they can be easily contained. What happens next is anyone's guess. So it makes sense to set your portfolio up for an uncertain world. John Stepek explains how.

Posted by damien @ 04:09 PM 1 Comments

Letting agents complaining about unfair competition

Letting Agent Today: Fury as council-owned letting agency undercuts rivals

A council has set up a lettings agency. The outrage! How dare they act in the public interest!

Posted by cyril @ 04:06 PM 4 Comments

Things are looking really bad

Cnn: Government shutdown: What's at stake

The countdown to a possible government shutdown is on. If lawmakers don't pass a funding extension by March 4, the government will shift to performing essential operations onlyThe last time the federal government went dark was for five days in November 1995 and another 21 days, ending in January 1996, during the Clinton administration.

Posted by mark @ 02:57 PM 1 Comments

Doesnt look good in the USA

Cnn: Home prices near 2009 lows

Home prices took a big hit at the end of 2010, even as the economy gained steam. National home prices fell 4.1% during the last three months of 2010, compared with 12 months earlier, according to the latest report from the S&P/Case-Shiller home price index, a closely watched indicator of market trends. They were down 1.9% compared with three months earlier.

Posted by mark @ 02:52 PM 2 Comments

Are asking price indices useless?

Planet Property: Are asking price indices useless?

The Guardian has had a pop at asking price indices, and argue that they are of little use. But I'm not so sure they've got it right ....

Posted by the planet @ 01:14 PM 0 Comments

When will they fine the stupid public for over extending themselves

Yahoo: Deutsche Bank unit fined over UK mortgage sales

A home loan unit of Deutsche Bank has been fined 840,000 pounds and forced to pay about 1.5 million pounds in compensation for irresponsible lending practices in Britain.

Posted by mark @ 12:51 PM 8 Comments

Banks sued for irresponsible lending

Daily Telegraph: Home owners receive compensation after sold mortgages they couldn't afford

Exactly what we need. The £375 per customer is not the issue, the acceptance of RISK is.

Posted by growler @ 11:57 AM 8 Comments

Asking prices … why are the indices at odds?

Planet Property: Asking prices … why are the indices at odds?

Rightmove say prices are up ... but other asking price indices disagree. Who's right?

Posted by the planet @ 11:55 AM 6 Comments

Wallpaper is new the fresh coffee, scatter cushions and dried flowers

Wallet Pop: Increase your property value - and lower your risk

2. DIY is a matter of knowing the rules Painting: To take time to get the colour right, including testing. Carefully prepare the surfaces and measure your walls so that you know how much paint is needed. Wallpaper: Stripping is not as hard as it looks. Soak with cold water and remove with a scraper, or use a steam stripper. Wallpapering takes care. Measure and then re-measure, use the heaviest lining paper, buy the best tools and equipment you can afford, and always follow the manufacturer's instructions.

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 11:01 AM 9 Comments

BTL no longer a path to riches...

Letting Agent Today: Investors pile into market but may make no money

Rents dipped in January as more investors piled into the market – against warnings that they could actually lose money on their new investments. David Brown, estate agency managing director of LSL, parent company of Reeds Rains and Your Move, said that over the next 12 months, a property investor could expect to make a total annual loss of £61 per new rental property.

Posted by rantnrave @ 10:25 AM 7 Comments

Taxpayers to bail out BTL

Irish Independent: Developers to sue banks

It was the bank's fault for lending me the money. Honest.

Posted by chrisch @ 08:54 AM 11 Comments

Retiring Boomers Find 401(k) Plans Fall Short

WSJ: Interesting little article that will shortly be relevant over here

I am assuming that a 401(k) account is like a private pension, invented in the 1980's the median household headed by a person aged 60 to 62 with a 401(k) account has less than one-quarter of what is needed in that account to maintain its standard of living in retirement. Facing shortfalls, many Americans are postponing retirement, moving to cheaper housing (but not Detroit), buying less-expensive food, cutting back on travel (not going anywhere), taking bigger risks with their investments (banking sharks ahoy) and making other sacrifices they never imagined.

Posted by enuii @ 12:22 AM 18 Comments

Monday, February 21, 2011

A real property bust.

BBC 1 - Panorama: How to Blow a Fortune

'Will the death of Ireland's boom-time economy spell big trouble for the UK? Fergal Keane returns home to find out why Ireland went from being one of the richest countries in the world to the brink of bankruptcy.'

Posted by hpwatcher @ 08:35 PM 31 Comments

Refreshing: antidote to EA, but insight to market

Buying Agent blog: Vendors: take the bl#$dy offer!

Enjoyed this post from an anti-estate agent, but whose livelihood also relies on property sales. Clearly annoyed by greed and misunderstanding visible in market. Is popular opinion on the turn?

Posted by notyethomeless @ 06:22 PM 5 Comments

Dark Horse accidentally ripping off mortgage customers

FT: Lloyds facing £500m refunds to mortgage customers

Lloyds Banking Group is preparing to hand out up to £500m in refunds to hundreds of thousands of mortgage customers, after the bank revealed the borrowers may have thought they were paying a lower interest rate than they actually were. The payments, which will range from £5 to thousands of pounds, relate to the disclosure of a cap on the standard variable rate (SVR) paid by 300,000 customers who took out Halifax mortgages between September 2004 and September 2007.

Posted by micasasucasa @ 06:02 PM 1 Comments

Refreshingly un-Home-Owner-Ist spin by the BBC

BBC: UK housing market faces paralysis, warns Rightmove

Most of the UK property market faces "paralysis" this year, says the estate agency website Rightmove. The company claims to advertise 90% of all properties for sale on behalf of local estate agents. It says many sellers are refusing to drop their prices, with the price of newly-advertised properties in fact rising by 3% in January to £230,000. That was £65,000 above the average selling price of £165,000, according to the England and Wales Land Registry.

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 04:27 PM 25 Comments

Another write up of that Capital Economics press release

Citywire: House prices 'will fall around 20%' by 2013

Nothing we didn't know, but they include a splendid graph showing average price-to-earnings ratio which suggests that house prices still have a long way to fall.

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 03:09 PM 1 Comments

Builders concoct new methods of off-loading their guff onto the unwitting

Estate Agent Today: House builder offers 95% deals to FTBs

Taylor Wimpey has negotiated an exclusive mortgage guarantee scheme, paving the way for 95% mortgages for first-time buyers. The Take5 deal, with Melton Mowbray Building Society and Saffron Building Society, is being offered initially in three regions – the East Midlands, East Anglia and East London.
 It means that buyers could now secure a two-bedroom home with a deposit of just £5,750. The new mortgages have interest rates of between 5.49% and 5.99%. 
 Pete Redfern, group chief executive at Taylor Wimpey, said: “We have been working hard to secure this mortgage deal which we believe will make all the difference to those who aspire to own their own home but find it difficult to save for the large deposits needed.

Posted by sibley's b'stard child @ 02:25 PM 19 Comments

Compensation for being stupid !!!

Sky News: Halifax Agrees Mortgage Compensation

"Halifax is set to pay £500m in compensation after it failed to make clear potential increases on its standard variable rate mortgage to more than half a million customers. " Interest rates may go up and you will pay more...who didnt know that !!! "Lloyds Banking Group which owns the building society"....it was a bank !!! "Lloyds Banking Group which owns the building society"....Who owns Lloyds ?

Posted by thecountofnowhere @ 02:24 PM 1 Comments

If you're mad enough to sell your house, quick: buy another!

ThisIsMoney: How to protect your break from property

Reasonable article (this is the online version of the Evening Standard, after all, so be prepared to launch your toast at the screen at some point) on renting whilst sitting on a deposit. Interestingly, it points out that selling and renting whilst waiting for prices to go down is speculation - which it is! All you STR out there...you know who you are! Vicious speculators, parasiting on society! Oh, hang on, that's me. :-(

Posted by notyethomeless @ 12:06 PM 9 Comments

Economic Reality FC 1 : Deluded Vendors City 0

Estate Agent Today: Asking prices bounce up amid double dip warnings

Nick Hopkinson, director of PPR Estates, a company which buys up distressed properties, said: “With house sales volumes remaining on the floor, even estate agents acknowledge that current asking prices are more a reflection of home seller fantasy than what anyone else will really pay in 2011 for property across most of the UK. “Only super-premium London properties are achieving anything like asking prices due to a very limited availability of multi-million pound property being sought by cash-rich foreign buyers. This does not apply anywhere else. “Many potential sellers may well look back and wish they’d accepted a more realistic sale price last year once interest rate rises inevitably start to kick in later this year.”

Posted by sibley's b'stard child @ 11:45 AM 12 Comments

George Osborne says Bank of England is right to ignore inflation running at twice the target rate.

Wsj.com: U.K. Osborne: Bank's Inflation Remit 'Correct'

The Chancellor George Osborne said that despite recent price increases, the Bank of England still enjoys credibility, and he has full confidence in BOE Governor Mervyn King. The BOE has kept rates at a record low 0.5% since early 2009 and has embarked on a £200 billion ($324.68 billion) bond-buying program in order to counter the impact of the recession and the financial crisis. Some say that could stoke already high inflation in coming months, but Mr. King argued last week that inflation is as likely to fall back below 2% as to stay above it in the next two to three years because of spare capacity in the U.K. economy.

Posted by pbahra @ 10:53 AM 0 Comments

First Liverpool, now Manchester

Manchester Confidential: Hilton, Podium, Cloud 23 Bar in Manchester goes under

"Beetham Hotels Manchester Limited, the owner of the Hilton Hotels franchise here in Manchester, has gone into administration; Joint Administrators from KPMG have been appointed. Confidential were notified by post this morning." First 23 floors are occupied by Hilton Hotels, the remainder floor-upon-floor of 'luxury' apartments. Often wondered how long this would last. One bed flats up for rent for £800pcm and a city that no longer has the money (or footballers) to feed it - or rather never did have in the first place. Expect to see many more stories like this in the coming months.

Posted by happyrenting @ 10:51 AM 0 Comments

Will councils ever learn or even manage public money correctly?

Manchester evening news: Tameside council spent £5k on staff ‘walking lessons’

A council which may be forced to axe hundreds of jobs spent £30,000 on staff ‘lifestyle’ schemes – including almost £5,000 to teach workers how to walk safely. Tameside council, which last year warned 800 jobs could be lost over the next four years to save £100m, hired a company to identify six ‘urban walks’ near its offices – and conduct risk assessments to check they were safe. The firm printed 5,500 leaflets to show staff maps of the routes. Two officers received training on how to lead group walks. Shame they don't identify and fix all the potholes

Posted by mark @ 10:44 AM 7 Comments

We are no different!

Aljazeera: US economics: One big Ponzi scheme

As Noam Chomsky puts it: "The population in the United States is angry, frustrated and full of fear and irrational hatreds. And the folks not far from you on Wall Street are just doing fine. They're the ones who created the current crisis. They're the ones who were called upon to deal with it. They're coming out stronger and richer than ever. But everything's fine - as long as the population is passive."

Posted by happy mondays @ 10:15 AM 2 Comments

Little bit of slapstick to brighten up a dull morning.

Daily Schaddenfreude: Spain villa values halved and UK emigrants can't afford to come home

Out of pocket: Seven years ago, Marian Henderson moved to the south of Spain with £1million in her pocket. She will be lucky to return with one quarter of that sum Her home, a beautiful four-bedroom country house surrounded by orange groves, a swimming pool and stables, was once valued at £725,000. Today, it is on the market for just under £270,000. DIDDUMS!

Posted by montesquieu @ 10:13 AM 4 Comments

"I have been married for 10 years, but we still can't afford a house."

Yahoo: Bahraini protesters throng square to press demands

Amal Mohsen, 33, a teacher, complained about her living standards. "I have been married for 10 years, but we still can't afford a house, so we have to live with my husband's family." Not to different to the UK then where the average age of the FTB is now 37 and it is estimated that it would take an average wage earner a minimum of 17 years to save the deposit for a house at current prices and deposit requirements. RIOT!!!!

Posted by general congreve @ 09:59 AM 2 Comments

The dreaded vote of confidence

Citywire: Osborne: I have 'complete confidence' in King

Chancellor George Osborne has put his faith in Bank of England governor Mervyn King despite inflation reaching 4%. King and his fellow interest rate-setters have come under pressure to raise interest rates from 0.5% as inflation reached double its target figure. ‘The Bank of England has credibility,’ said Osborne (pictured). ‘I have complete confidence in it.’

Posted by jack c @ 09:25 AM 1 Comments

Only 20% & a nice graph

Mail: House prices to fall '20% in two years': Joblessness and spending cuts stifle demand

A second significant fall – or double-dip – is now being predicted to bring prices down to well below pre-recession levels Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1358985/House-prices-fall-20-2-years-Joblessness-spending-cuts-stifle-demand.html#ixzz1EaEZss34

Posted by happy mondays @ 09:20 AM 2 Comments

Sellers raise prices into falling market: madness

Henry Pryor blog: Chance of [your house] selling [in 2011] just 43%

Henry Pryor, housing expert (commentator, and a good one) highlights the folly of asking prices rising 3%+ when sales and demand are so low. A quick calculation shows the average seller has only a 43% chance if selling this year. Of course, if you're reading this and your house is on the market, I'm sure yours is special...

Posted by notyethomeless @ 09:17 AM 4 Comments

Rightmove: +3.1%MoM

Bloomberg: U.K. Home Prices Rise Most in Four Months

Average asking prices in England and Wales rose 3.1 percent to £230,030 pounds in February, according to Rightmove, leaving them broadly unchanged year on year. Spokesman Miles Shipside said 530,000 mortgages were taken out during 2010 while Rightmove recorded 1.3 million properties coming on to the market, highlighting the imbalance between supply and demand.

Posted by little professor @ 07:48 AM 14 Comments


Telegraph: House prices fears amid huge supply of properties for sale

Fears are mounting about a new house price crash as figures disclose today that the number of properties for sale is almost double the number of mortgages being approved.

Posted by jonboy2010 @ 07:31 AM 0 Comments


Shropshire star: February house asking prices soar

Property asking prices raced ahead by 3.1% during February as new sellers followed the traditional seasonal pattern of pricing high, figures show.

Posted by paranoia blue @ 07:04 AM 0 Comments

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Now Gov't f@@ks us over - Again.

Guardian: George Osborne shelves bank tax plan

George Osborne has shelved plans that would have forced banks to pay billions of pounds in tax over the next few years, despite Barclays's admission that it paid just £113m in corporation tax in 2009. Linked to earlier post. Not sure if this is old news regurgitated, but it still really gets on my goat. Can't wait for the next election. If only LibD's would stick to their manifesto, and stand up for the public. Do all political parties beleive they can screw all the tax payers all of the time? Grow a pair Niclegg, then you won't need to change the voting system. Labour put us in this mess, and the Cons are keeping us here. Where's our alternative gone?

Posted by markj69 str05 @ 10:33 PM 4 Comments

Posh boys jostle at the Tuck Shop

Sunday Expail: Cameron and Clegg clash

We should be grateful.....was a time when mono-party first past the post seemed like a con - now we know a singular Manifesto can be scrutinised as a document of intent, and not dismissed as a fanciful 'wish list' prior to 'coalition realities'

Posted by braindeed @ 06:24 PM 1 Comments

...don't Panic......

Reuters: Admiral Mullen visits Gulf, to urge restraint

Watch this space: ............, he was sort of just passing by on a wee boat with the sixth fleet, when he popped in for some nice sweet tea .........apparently

Posted by braindeed @ 04:44 PM 5 Comments

Claimed £18,000 a year in benefits while accruing a property empire worth £1.7 million

Daily Express: Religious teacher in £500,000 mortgage fraud

He acquired a portfolio of 10 properties with fraudulent mortgage claims. His dishonesty duped mortgage lenders out of £450,000. Leeds Crown Court heard how the father of six created a series of bogus identities and even invented a job for himself – saying he worked at a school which was in fact derelict – to achieve financial support for the “sophisticated” scam which gave him a £391,000 profit. He had gone to extreme lengths to establish false employers’ references and had backed up his aliases with false identification documents, including passports, with bank accounts opened in the appropriate names.

Posted by drewster @ 01:57 PM 7 Comments

Prime London rents soared by 11.5pc in 2010 and will rise by another 8pc in 2011

Telegraph: London rents to rise by 8pc in 2011, says property consultant Savills

According to research by Savills, rents grew by as much as 17.6pc in prime North London areas such as Hampstead and Islington last year, compared to a rise of 4.8pc in the mainstream UK market. "Stock shortages persist which is good news for landlords," said Jacqui Daly, Savills residential research director. “The dynamic of constrained mortgage markets, of buyers adopting a 'wait and see’ approach, a lack of new build supply, a return of corporate tenants, improving employment prospects and the reduction in accidental landlords, means that strong rental growth will continue to characterise the market in 2011.” Savills predicts that rents will increase by an average of 8pc across prime London and by 7pc in the prime central zones (such as Chelsea) this year.

Posted by drewster @ 01:48 PM 7 Comments

FTBs stuck while BTLs fill their boots

Bloomberg: U.K. Home Rents Fall for Second Month as Supply Surges, LSL Property Says

A gauge of residential rents fell for a second month in January as more property investors entered the buy-to-let market, pushing up supply, LSL Property Services Plc said. The average monthly rent for a home in England and Wales fell 0.3% to £682 from December, the lowest average since July, the company said today. From a year earlier, it was up 4%. While rents rose last year as prospective homebuyers were put off purchases as banks curbed mortgages and the government’s budget squeeze undermined confidence, lending to landlords is now increasing, bolstering the number of properties for rent, LSL said. The number of buy-to-let loans rose 6% in the fourth quarter, according to the Council of Mortgage Lenders.

Posted by drewster @ 01:39 PM 2 Comments

Housing situation in Egypt

Wikileaks (via Telegraph): Reform fatigue at the [Egyptian] housing ministry

The U.S. Ambassador met with Ahmed Amin El-Maghraby, Egyptian Minister of Housing. The minister lamented Egypt's deficiencies in civil planning and talked of the challenges of absorbing an annual population increase of 1.3 million people. The minister expressed his frustration with the rent control system. About one-third of Egypt's rental housing stock is rent controlled, and most units rent for a mere fraction of market rates. As a result landlords perform virtually no maintenance on run down common spaces and building façades. There is a fairly common practice of building without a permit and seeking the permit after the fact. Illegal housing is a huge problem in Cairo, and tenants in such buildings cannot obtain mortgages since they do not hold legal title to their homes.

Posted by drewster @ 01:24 PM 0 Comments

Banks screwing the government - Again.

BBC: Barclays UK corporation tax bill for 2009 was £113m

Barclays has revealed it paid [Just] £113m in corporation tax to the UK in 2009, 2.4% of its £4.6bn global annual profit. According to Lord Sassoon, commercial secretary to the Treasury, the Revenue would expect large banking groups to pay around £20bn in 2010-11. Of this, 80% would come from from pay-as-you-earn income tax and National Insurance Contributions, and only 20% from corporation tax. Even so, the level Barclays paid is actually remarkably low, according to Justin Urquhart-Stewart of Seven Investment Management. The £113m in corporation tax is only 6% of the £2bn total paid to the Revenue. A couple of days old and a little off-topic, but it all adds to the mix. When will our gov't grow a pair?

Posted by markj69 str05 @ 01:13 PM 11 Comments

House building completions in England fell to a record low in 2010, down 13% on 2009

Inside Housing: House building hits record low

Figures published by the Communities and Local Government department yesterday show the total number of homes completed in 2010 was 102,570 – the lowest number since 1923. Housing starts in 2010 increased 32 per cent from 2009, reaching 103,140. This is still a long way off household formation projections, which show 232,000 new homes need to be built in England each year to 2030 to meet demand. A spokesperson from the Home Builders Federation said: ‘The figures reveal the extent of the housing crisis and we need real action now to prevent the crisis deepening.

Posted by drewster @ 01:10 PM 2 Comments

A sign of confidence?

Telegraph: Redrow buys prime London housing sites

Redrow has made its first move into the prime London housing market after acquiring three sites for around £50m. The housebuilder has bought land in Ealing, Connaught Place and Kingston, and opened a new office in Central London. The sites have room for 244 plots, likely to be high-end apartments, and will have a development value of approximately £150m. Steve Morgan, founder and chairman, said: "House prices have been stable for some considerable time now and we do not share the pessimism of some commentators that there will be a major fall in house prices during the coming year."

Posted by drewster @ 01:03 PM 1 Comments

Saturday, February 19, 2011

NIMBYs slam NIMBYism charter...

Estate Agent Today: New homes bonus 'could be illegal' claim

The new homes bonus scheme is already running into trouble, with warnings that it could be illegal and in any case will not deliver enough new housing. The Campaign to Protect Rural England says that the plans to incentivise councils to build more homes could be unlawful. Yesterday, housing minister Grant Shapps announced that nearly £1bn will be set aside for the bonus in the next four years, of which £196m will be for the new financial year (2011-2012).

Posted by sibley's b'stard child @ 11:29 PM 19 Comments

Gourmet Bear Food

Guardian: House prices 'to fall by 20%'

Homeowners should brace themselves for a "short, sharp shock", with house prices set to fall by up to 20% over the next two years as rising unemployment and public spending cuts take their toll, experts are warning. The cost of the average home fell by up to one-fifth between mid-2008 and the end of 2009 as the credit crunch gripped the mortgage market, but then regained about half of that ground last year, aided by record low interest rates. With the Bank of England's policymakers locked in an acrimonious public row about whether rates should start rising again to choke off inflation, analysts say prices now look too high to be sustainable.

Posted by quiet guy @ 08:30 PM 21 Comments

Advice from 2nd biggest economy

Reuters: China central bank adviser calls for interest rate hikes

"China needs to increase interest rates because real rates remain in negative territory, a central bank adviser said on Saturday. "It's not right to keep real interest rates in negative territory for a long time," Xia Bin, an academic member of the People's Bank of China's monetary policy committee, told reporters on the sidelines of a financial forum in Beijing". "Xia's comments come the day after China's decision to raise lenders' required reserves by 50 basis points, effective February 24, its second increase this year".

Posted by alan @ 02:08 PM 0 Comments

EA makes sense: between rock (high prices & EA competition) & hard place (low volumes)

Douglas & Gordon blog: Better contracts might stop silly prices

I'm sure few here will have much sympathy, but this explains the dilemma of estate agents today. Rivals proffer high sale prices to win the instruction but lock people in to long contracts. Hence houses languish for 3 months - or the buyer has to be persuaded to drop the price...and no sales, so they go out of business! A lose-lose situation.

Posted by notyethomeless @ 10:51 AM 5 Comments

Why does Bank of England not increase interest rate?

G Pytel: Inflation trap

If you even wondered why BoE does not raise interest rate despite a pretty steep inflation. Thanks to the financial institutions, one way or another, we are, and will be, getting poorer. Much poorer. Lower wages, cut in services, higher taxes, higher pension age, inflation and so on. This is how the banks set up the financial system and engineered a transfer of the middle class money to bonuses of the few.

Posted by ant @ 09:53 AM 25 Comments

Brass neck king explains his economic policy by proxy whilst keeping a straight face

The Mail: We must not repeat mistakes of the Great Depression, warns Mervyn King

He said all the main players were ‘pursuing their own self-interest’ and called for ‘a grand bargain’ to prevent a fresh global disaster. "A global currency war has broken out with countries battling to devalue their exchange rates to boost exports and drive economic growth." Ah the "grand bargain" rears its head again! And you thought Gordon Brown had lost all influence.

Posted by cheekie charlie @ 09:38 AM 0 Comments

Some good reasons to buy gold

Daily Telegraph: Gold: the ultimate inflation hedge

"Is gold the ultimate hedge against inflation? Many investors clearly think so and with inflation now running at twice the Government's target it is not surprising that gold hasn't lost its lustre."

Posted by peter @ 09:27 AM 18 Comments

Banks gave us the housing bubble, a credit crunch and the recession.

Telegraph: Barclays' 'shocking' £113m tax pay-out

"Barclays paid out just £113m in corporation tax in 2009, despite making a pre-tax profit of £11.6bn, according to chief executive Bob Diamond".

Posted by alan @ 08:22 AM 7 Comments

Friday, February 18, 2011

The Caliphate beckons.....

Al jazeera: Yemen observes 'Friday of Fury

There is just a chance we'll all be cycling to work soon - and if Joe Sixpack gets p!ssed off enough to join in, the price of houses may just slip off the front page of the Excess

Posted by braindeed @ 06:44 PM 16 Comments

The house of cards continues to collapse

Liverpool daily post: Bank dispute brings down Beetham Hotels Liverpool ventures

PROPERTY group Beetham’s Liverpool and Manchester hotel businesses have been placed into administration, as a result of a dispute with its bank. Beetham Hotels Liverpool and Beetham Hotels Manchester collapsed on Tuesday when administrators from accountancy firm KPMG were appointed. The latest financial troubles to hit the Liverpool-based Beetham companies follow the failure earlier this month of Beetham’s West Tower skyscraper residential development, in Liverpool city centre.

Posted by mark @ 06:06 PM 0 Comments

Sinn Féin pledges to abolish ground rent

Planet Property: Sinn Féin pledges to abolish ground rent

Speaking at the launch of his party’s political reform proposals in Dublin today Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams has promised to ablish ground rents in the Irish Republic.

Posted by the planet @ 06:01 PM 0 Comments

Desolate Detroit will pay you $150k to renovate an abandoned home

Planet Property: Desolate Detroit will pay you $150k to renovate an abandoned home

Strange news reaches us from Detroit: in a desperate bid to kick-start urban regeneration, the mayor of the city has launched a new initiative entice residents back to abandoned neighbourhoods.

Posted by the planet @ 05:06 PM 0 Comments

February Inflation Report

Bank of Englan: Household credit conditions on p.14

The impact of reduced demand from first-time buyers on house prices will depend, in part, on how homeowners who wish to sell their properties respond. Some homeowners may be willing to reduce the selling price of their property. But others may choose to hold off selling, and perhaps rent out their property until first-time buyers have adjusted to the necessary higher average level of deposits, in which case the impact on prices may be more limited.

Posted by ontheotherhand @ 04:01 PM 7 Comments

Brown blasts Cameron for throwing kids on the dole

Daily Record : Scotland: Gordon Brown: Our kids are being consigned to a lifetime on the dole

"Gordon Brown yesterday accused the Con-Dem government of consigning young Scots to a lifetime on the dole."

Posted by jabberwocky @ 03:54 PM 17 Comments

One of the few hawks on the MPC

Wall Street Journal: Beware Imported Inflation: Andrew Sentance:

You can’t just ignore the impact of imported prices as 'exogenous factors'. Because before you know it, they become endogenous. In other words, imported inflation quickly becomes domestic inflation, particularly in an open economy like the U.K.’s. Sentance says the Bank of England let sterling slide too far during the devaluation around the time of the financial crisis, and that’s causing consistent outruns in inflation now

Posted by little professor @ 03:46 PM 13 Comments

46% this is far too high where is the money made?

Dailypost: More than 50,000 in North Wales targeted in welfare reform

But Vale of Clwyd MP Chris Ruane MP slammed the reform plans: “It’s a policy that doesn’t make sense at a time when the government is planning enormous job losses in the public sector, which employs 46% of people in the Vale of Clwyd and 45% in Clwyd West.”

Posted by mark @ 03:36 PM 12 Comments

Inflation and the Big Debt overhang

Bloomberg: G-20 Stung by Faster Inflation Amid Imbalance Dispute

"A report of greater-than-expected U.S. inflation yesterday followed a jump in the European cost-of-living index to a two- year high and a pickup in Chinese prices, further fraying a tentative global consensus over how to sustain the recovery. Rising consumer prices, a byproduct of the recovery from the worst recession since World War II as commodity costs surge, have put higher interest rates back on the agenda as the rich world grapples with a debt overhang and developing countries try to escape the boom-bust syndrome". "China’s central bank today raised reserve requirements half a percentage point for lenders, the second increase this year to counter inflation and curb property-price gains". Videos too,,!

Posted by alan @ 01:57 PM 0 Comments

Proper main-meal bear food: mortgage lending down £9bn in January

The Telegraph: Home buyers under pressure amid drop in lending

The bottom is falling out of the housing market, by the sound of this article. "Home buyers are under increasing pressure amid fears of sooner than expected interest rate rises, experts warned today, as figures showed a significant drop in lending." Lending is down 13% since December. [Rent-a-moustachioed-quote] Howard Archer, an economist at Global Insight, said: “The housing market is likely to be pressurized over the coming months by high and very possibly rising unemployment, negative real income growth, the increasing fiscal squeeze, very low consumer confidence, and difficulties in getting a mortgage - particularly for first time buyers."

Posted by notyethomeless @ 12:27 PM 14 Comments

Oil is a threat to the global economy – and a big opportunity for investors

MoneyWeek: Oil is a threat to the global economy – and a big opportunity for investors

With oil back firmly at over $100 a barrel and little prospect of a fall on the horizon, the age of cheap oil is over. But there are still plenty of opportunities for investors, says John Stepek.

Posted by damien @ 12:06 PM 6 Comments

Sheeple will buy anything they dont need if it is on sale

Yahoo: Retail sales rebound sharply in January

sales rebounded far more than expected in January after December's heavy snow, but the true strength of consumer demand after a sales tax rise remained unclear, the national statistics office said on Friday. Retail sales volumes jumped by 1.9 percent on the month -- more than three times faster than analysts had forecast -- following December's downwardly revised fall of 1.4 percent, the worst for any Christmas on record.

Posted by mark @ 11:42 AM 5 Comments

The 5th column are bleating again, this time about student visas for immigrants

Independent: Student visa cuts 'to hit economy'

A 'leading academic', ie a tin pot F rated education centre A rated trougher is calling it a 'body blow' that student visas for immigrants are going to be limited by the coalition. Institutions will lose "billions of pounds" he says. Next!!

Posted by cozza @ 11:34 AM 3 Comments

Baby boomers pay price for their seduction

The Share Centre: Reality prepares to bite the baby boomers

A Whitehall document has raised the spectre of lowering the means testing threshold for care home charges, implying that as baby boomers age, many will be forced to sell their home to fund the dotage years of their life. It’s scandal, cry the media, who funnily enough are read most religiously by the baby boomers themselves. But if you look at this problem from an economic perspective, it seems that the baby boomers are paying the price for an all-too-easy seduction which began many years ago in the summer of love,1967. The seducer had two heads: Inflation and exceptional economic growth. The seduction was given irresistible allure by the emergence of a new metaphor: the housing ladder, and higher interest rates and inflation will be the price that we will all pay.

Posted by mike @ 10:15 AM 25 Comments

No doubt there will be strange comments

Daily mail: Labour's crazy town hall 'non-jobs', including the walking co-ordinator on £32,000-a-year and the roller disco coach

Figures revealed in Parliament – separately from the LGA statistics – showed that town hall jobs hit 2.9million under Labour, up 179,000 from 1997.

Posted by mark @ 10:12 AM 3 Comments

Gross mortgage lending down 13% from December

CML: Gross mortgage lending declines in January

"Gross mortgage lending declined to an estimated £9.2 billion in January, a 13% fall from £10.6 billion in December but a 5% rise from £ 8.8 billion in January 2010, according to new data from the Council of Mortgage Lenders. "

Posted by phdinbubbles @ 09:49 AM 2 Comments

Thursday, February 17, 2011

A distortion of the meaning of Welfare State?

BBC News: Living on welfare: 'I don't want to have a job'

The government has outlined its plans to simplify the benefits system and ensure those in work will be better off than those who are unemployed. There will be sanctions for people who repeatedly turn down job offers, and a cap on benefits paid to a single family. The BBC spoke to Mike from Nottingham who has not had a job for the last 12 years and has claimed jobseekers' allowance for the last two years.

Posted by novice pete @ 11:23 PM 53 Comments

Builders and the BOE are all in it together

Independent: UK house-building at lowest level since 1923

The number of new homes completed in England last year fell to its lowest level since 1923, Government figures showed today. Just 102,570 properties were built in 2010, 13% less than in the previous 12 months, and the lowest level during peacetime since 1923, according to Communities and Local Government. Yet the population is growing by roughly 220,000 households per year. No wonder we don't have a crash yet.

Posted by miken @ 06:28 PM 8 Comments

Mervyn King should embrace the 'futile gesture'

Telegraph: TELEGRAPH

MERVYN KING is under pressure to put up rates. If people begin to think that the Bank is no longer committed to the inflation target, then it is game over for monetary credibility.

Posted by house @ 05:28 PM 8 Comments

No, you're alright; think i'll stay put for the meantime.

Estate Agent Today: FTBs fall to one in five in much of UK

First-time buyers account for less than a quarter of all house purchasers and in many areas on the UK account for a fifth or even fewer. Rightmove said that at just 22.8%, the proportion of first-time buyers is now around half the level typical of a healthy housing market. More than half said their biggest concern was getting a mortgage, with 44% saying their main concern was raising a deposit. A further 10% were worried about being able to meet monthly mortgage payments. The findings were discussed at yesterday's emergency summit, held by housing minister Grant Shapps to discuss the first-time buyer crisis. The meeting heard that there is no 'magic bullet' to solve the problem.

Posted by sibley's b'stard child @ 01:44 PM 14 Comments

Joe McNamara was once a successful property developer

Fortune: The Irish Rebel of the banking crisis

McNamara wasn't alone, of course. Ireland's property mania eclipsed that of even the U.S. More than 78,000 new housing units were completed in 2007, Bank of Ireland estimated in a research note. In the U.S., the Commerce Department reported 1.5 million housing units completed in 2007; if the U.S. had built at the same rate as Ireland in proportion to its population, more than 6 million houses would have gone up that year.

Posted by mark @ 01:33 PM 0 Comments

Already in the UK

Cnn: Coming soon to U.S. shores: Higher prices

"China has been like a huge buffer to absorb the inflation pressures the U.S. has created through monetary policy," he said. "It's inflating Chinese prices rather than boosting our CPI. But as China inflates its currency, we'll be paying a lot more for goods."

Posted by mark @ 12:58 PM 4 Comments

Please call off your strike, look at all the lovely deals we have you

Guardian: Mortgage lenders move to attract first-time buyers

A solitary mention of affordability buried at the bottom - I would've expected at least some socialist bias from the Guardian

Posted by richy richless @ 12:44 PM 3 Comments

Ah, jeez...

MoneySupermarket: Top tips if you're buying a property with a friend

Increasing numbers of first-time buyers are boosting their purchasing power by clubbing together with a friend or partner. A spokesman for RightMove said: "Mortgage lending and the economic downturn mean that buying alone is becoming less viable. While lenders so far haven't budged in finding solutions for first-time buyers, it is the buyers themselves that are adjusting to market conditions by coupling up in their pursuit of home ownership."

Posted by little professor @ 12:19 PM 14 Comments

Needed in the next Budget

Priced Out: Coalition “falls down on fairness” with Capital Gains Tax

CGT need to go up on property speculation, with clamp down on flipping to avoid CGT.

Posted by doomwatch @ 11:54 AM 5 Comments

What could possibly go wrong?

Zerohedge: What Is Wrong With The U.S. Economy? Here Are 10 Economic Charts That Will Blow Your Mind

But no debt spiral can go on forever. At some point this entire house of cards is going to collapse. If the economic trends documented by the charts continue, the U.S. economy will be totally wiped out. The U.S. economy as it currently exists is unsustainable by definition. It is only a matter of time before it slams into an economic brick wall.

Posted by general congreve @ 11:20 AM 5 Comments

Buoyant? On what planet?

Dailypost: 318 jobs face axe at Flintshire factory

“We’re lucky in Flintshire to have quite a buoyant economy, but upwards of 300 jobs is a lot of redundancies for us to absorb.”

Posted by mark @ 10:37 AM 0 Comments

It's all down to price you fools

FTAdviser.com: Shapps urges lenders to help FTBs on to property ladder

The housing minister has called on the FSA and the mortgage industry to step up efforts to help first-time buyers on to the property ladder. Grant Shapps MP used a summit on first-time buyers that he chaired at the department for communities and local government to tell delegates that house builders, lenders, insurers, councils and consumer groups have an urgent responsibility to improve the situation...........They discussed the main barriers and scale of the problems facing first-time buyers and looked at the possibility of creating new mortgage products, schemes to help buyers and local approaches to increasing shared ownership or equity loans.

Posted by jack c @ 10:29 AM 12 Comments

They admit they were lying

City AM: King lifts lid on inflation error

Inflation was higher than official figures suggested throughout the housing bubble and credit boom, the Bank of England admitted yesterday. Consumer price inflation was 0.3 per cent higher than previously thought every year between 1997 and 2009, due to errors on clothing prices. Sales prices were wrongly assumed to be the norm, distorting the Office for National Statistics’ numbers. The blunder was bound to have misled the Bank, economists said, and meant that interest rates were kept too low for too long during the boom. “If the ONS had got its figures right, the Bank might have moved more quickly to raise rates and get us out of the cheap-money spiral that caused the housing and borrowing bubble, and the inevitable bust that followed,” said Eamonn Butler [of the ASI]

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 10:06 AM 8 Comments

Nequity? Not me; i've got underfloor heating.

Houseladder: Underfloor heating 'can increase property value'

People are said to look for positive features such as underfloor heating when buying a home. Installing underfloor heating in a property may be helpful when it comes to selling it further down the line, according to a specialist in the field. A spokesman for QEP Vitrex, a tiling and flooring installation tool supplier, said it is an addition that can increase the value of a home. "That is one of the benefits of underfloor heating – it is seen as a positive factor in the housing market and it is a positive feature in the house," he said, adding the energy-efficient heating method is something buyers actively look for. The expert also observed that while fewer people are moving, homeowners are motivated by a desire for comfort and are spending money on improving living space.

Posted by sibley's b'stard child @ 09:54 AM 17 Comments

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


IPlayer: You and Yours: 15th February

You and Yours devoted yesterday's program to the housing market (54 minutes.) The program kicks off with a declaration from potential first time buyer Sarah Leighburn that "I'm a first time buyer. I've just turned 37 - that's the average of a first time buyer now. I now have enough savings to put down a 60% deposit on a house but I've refused to buy into this overpriced market. The best Mr Shapps can do is let this bubble deflate and let this market come back to its natural level." Relaxing planning permissions to make it easier to build is discussed by some contributors but tax reform wasn't explored at all. The presenter expressed disbelief that 40% of mortgages are self-certifed. RICS emphasised how solidly prices are being "underpinned" by lack of supply. More in the comments...

Posted by quiet guy @ 08:46 PM 11 Comments

Spirited exchange today between Mervyn King and Paul Mason

BBC News: Inflation: Mervyn and me

Techieman referred, in comments on an earlier thread, to this exchange today between Mervyn King and BBC Newsnight's Paul Mason on inflation targeting. However, I think this deserves elevating to its own article post as it is interesting.

Posted by wanderinman @ 06:16 PM 10 Comments

Fannie Mae Getting Serious About Selling Foreclosures in US

RealtyStore: Fannie Mae Foreclosure Prices Fall Below USD35,000 in Allegheny County Pennsylvania

Across the United States, Fannie Mae has taken back a load (think thousands upon thousands) of foreclosed homes over the past couple of years. What is troubling is that large portions of their foreclosure inventory is not listed for re-sale on public markets in most major U.S. metro markets. However, this recent study found in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania, Fannie Mae is pushing out its inventory with aggressive, low prices. Time will tell if this trend can appear in more markets.

Posted by foreclosed america @ 05:08 PM 0 Comments

Tough Talking And Kid Gloves

Index Universe: Tough Talking And Kid Gloves

With the Bank of England talking tough on inflation, should investors buy an ETF that benefits from rate rises? Bear in mind that Mervyn King has a history of talking tough, then delivering policy wearing kid gloves.

Posted by paul amery @ 04:10 PM 0 Comments

Housing market is a sword of Damocles over U.K.

Wsj.com: Mervyn King Stands Up to His Critics

U.K. house prices have fallen just 15% from the peak; no one seriously believes that represents the full unwinding of the property bubble. A continuing slide in house prices, against a backdrop of government spending cuts, rising unemployment (up another 60,000 in January) and declining real wage could have a deeply damaging impact on confidence.

Posted by pbahra @ 03:40 PM 0 Comments

LOL, "unexpected"

Guardian: Unexpected rise in UK unemployment

Unemployment unexpectedly rose last month, official figures reveal today. The Office for National Statistics said that the claimant count increased by 2,400 to hit 1.46 million in January, piling on the misery for households already suffering what Mervyn King has called the biggest decline in living standards since the 1920s. Economists said the worse-than-expected news was alarming, because it showed that job losses were already mounting before the worst of the governments' spending cuts started to bite.

Posted by little professor @ 03:05 PM 18 Comments

Bear Nobbled

My Finances: Uk-house-prices-saw-december-increase

"House prices in the UK increased in December, with the seasonally adjusted value climbing by 0.5 per cent over the month."

Posted by smugdog @ 02:54 PM 1 Comments

But but they didnt have any snow!!

Latimes: Southern California home sales at lowest level for a January in three years

Southern California's housing market extended its slump as sales hit the lowest level for a January in three years and the median home price dropped year over year for the first time since fall 2009. The price declines, which were steepest in the Inland Empire

Posted by mark @ 02:51 PM 0 Comments

A possible alternative to adding 10% to the 2007 asking price

Yahoo: Houses Selling For The Price Of A Car

'One wheel, one bedroom' has a nice simplicity to it. Back in the UK and at the other end of the scale there's a lady a few doors away who, upon learning that a Mrs Mubarak had asked for a viewing, has upped the asking price on her three-bed semi. She's now inviting 'offers over £8.4 billion. 'Well, you never know', she says.

Posted by greenshootsandleaves @ 02:01 PM 5 Comments

Wonder who is next?

Reuters: Borders files for bankruptcy

Borders had liabilities of $1.29 billion and assets of $1.28 billion as of December 25, according to documents filed on Wednesday with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Manhattan.

Posted by mark @ 01:02 PM 2 Comments

Inflation will rise sharply says Mervyn King

BBC News: Inflation will rise sharply says Mervyn King

Can someone explain to me; On the other hand, as the effects of the rise in VAT to 20% implemented in January and imported cost pressures began to diminish, there was a risk that weak growth "will push inflation well below target," he said. Risk? Surely you mean opportunity?!

Posted by richy richless @ 12:40 PM 14 Comments

They don't like it up 'em! (part 2)

Daily Mail: Baby boomers can 'afford to fund own care in old age': Government adviser determined to raid their property

The comments section is a rich seam of Home-Owner-Ist foaming at the mouth e.g. "We worked hard for meagre salaries, saved for our essentials and luxuries and always found work rather than draw dole which was minimal. We receive no interest on savings yet we'll have to finance our old-age care so that the hoardes [sic] of layabout-youth can continue to draw benefits for lying in bed all day and reproducing more to reap even more benefits..............! Ah well, roll on death!"

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 12:22 PM 9 Comments

Savers being cleaned out

A light hearted look at where it all went wrong.

Bloomberg: All You Need to Know About Why Things Fell Apart: Michael Lewis

Wall Street leaders now understand that they made a mistake, one born of their innocent and trusting nature. They trusted ordinary Americans to behave more responsibly than they themselves ever would, and these ordinary Americans betrayed their trust. Amazingly, these ordinary Americans don’t even appear to feel guilty for their actions. Like wild animals that have lost their fear of humans, they continue to wander down from the hills to rummage through our garbage cans for sustenance.

Posted by karma4all @ 11:30 AM 1 Comments

The commodities bull market has a long way to run

MoneyWeek: The commodities bull market has a long way to run

Commodities have been rising in price for a decade or so. Nothing, from oil to cotton, looks cheap any more. But that doesn't mean this remarkable bull run is over. Dominic Frisby looks at how much futher commodities can go.

Posted by damien @ 11:05 AM 0 Comments

BoE report

Reuters: Bank opens door to rate hikes

Inflation is just as likely to be above or below target in two years if interest rates rise as markets expect, the Bank of England said on Wednesday, opening the door to tighter monetary policy.

Posted by alan @ 10:44 AM 1 Comments

More VI bulldung

MSN Money: Mortgage market recovery 'gradual'

Michael Coogan of the CML says lending large sums of money to people with little hope of ever repaying it is 'normal.' Like the comment at the end.

Posted by arthur kinnell @ 09:05 AM 0 Comments

They don't like it up them!

Telegraph: Baby Boomers must pay for their own elderly care

The post-war baby boom generation “has done pretty well for itself” and should be prepared to use its property wealth to pay for care in old age, a government adviser has said.

Posted by micasasucasa @ 07:50 AM 30 Comments

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Fraser Nelson makes a compelling case - lots of graphics

The Spectator: Why we need a rate rise

'Inflation is up, dramatically. Commentators say that Mervyn King should “hold his nerve,” and not increase the absurdly low base rates of 0.5 percent. Inflation is temporary, he says, and should be okay again this time next year. The Spectator does not have much company in finding fault with King and calling for a rate rise. So here’s my case. '

Posted by montesquieu @ 11:49 PM 1 Comments

Judge for yourself whether 0.5 is reasonable

Bank of england: Interest rates since 1694

history says bank of england and mervin king are idiots....

Posted by taffee @ 04:13 PM 7 Comments

Has Grand Designs ruined our lives?

Planet Property: Has Grand Designs ruined our lives?

Charlie Brooker’s How TV Ruined Your Life? includes a hilarious attack on Grand Designs - is he right?

Posted by the planet @ 03:50 PM 0 Comments

Steph writing on UK Inflation @ 4%

BBC: Explanation time for the Bank

Stephanie Flanders take on Mervyn King's letter(s).

Posted by alan @ 03:47 PM 9 Comments

CML pats self on back, spouts usual drivel

CML: CML comments on first-time buyer summit

High loan-to-value lending is very capital-intensive for lenders. Under today's risk-averse regulatory environment, lenders need to hold typically 6-8 times more capital against a 90% loan than a 60% loan. This is bound to have a knock-on effect on the volume and the price of the high loan-to-value lending that is taking place. And consumers are also wary – demand is relatively low – not only because of the relatively higher cost of high loan-to-value borrowing, but also because they are unsure of the future direction of house prices. While mortgage insurance, shared ownership, and product innovation can all potentially play a part, none will provide a “magic bullet” to normalise the mortgage market – for first-time buyers or anyone else.

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 03:38 PM 0 Comments

Trees and the Tories: Reflections on the revolution in England

Planet Property: Trees and the Tories: Reflections on the revolution in England

The fierce reaction to the forestry sell-off is a prime example and makes me wonder if the Tories have lost the plot. Their logo, let's not forget, was replaced some years ago with an oak tree - a choice which drew on Cameron's early eco-friendly mood music and, more fundamentally, Edmund Burke's famous paean to English liberty as a sheltering oak.

Posted by the planet @ 02:26 PM 4 Comments

CEBR forced to eat hat; prices forecast to fall

This Is Money: CEBR reverses claim house prices will rise

"House prices will fall 1.7% in 2011 as confidence slips, according to a downbeat report from economists the CEBR, reversing a previous forecast of values rising. The forecast reverses the CEBR's December prediction that house prices would inch ahead 1.2% in London and 0.8% elsewhere this year. [Interesting point later on...] Ironically, as the market stagnates it may be estate agents that force down prices. Their business model depends on turnover – overpriced properties that don't sell make them no money"

Posted by notyethomeless @ 02:17 PM 19 Comments

I can't see an elephant in the room

BBC: First-time house buyers need help, says Grant Shapps

"We want to do more to help aspiring first-time buyers - the average age of the first-time buyer with no support from their family is now 37, and there are 1.4 million households who aspire to own a home but are simply unable to do so because of house prices and mortgage availability," Mr Shapps said. So if there are 2 issues, why are you only addressing one of them?

Posted by timmy t @ 02:06 PM 5 Comments

This is inflation for you

Aol: Motorists running on empty

cash strapped motorists struggling to get around is possibly the straw that breaks the camels back imo.the bank of england and others around the world need to act fast.Of course the real joke is the oil price is high owing to banks like rbs and lloyds gambling on futures contracts you couldn't make it up!

Posted by taffee @ 02:01 PM 8 Comments

Papers slant to aspirational property in areas where editors live

Propertynewshound: Read All About It! (If you're in southern England)

45 property stories from the pages of the Saturday and Sunday Telegraphs, the Friday and Sunday Times, the weekend FT and the Friday issues of the Independent and Daily Mail. Out of 45 stories, of which 35 were largely or wholly about properties or trends in the south of England. Homes featured are wildly more aspirational than actually affordable. That voyeuristic approach to how the other half live and buy, makes property an interesting subject to many. But whereas the motoring pages, for example, will test drive a Mini as well as a Bugatti Veyron, the property pages stay resolutely upmarket

Posted by ontheotherhand @ 01:48 PM 2 Comments

Roll up, and that's an invitation, roll up for the Taylor Wimpey tour Roll up to make a reservation

Mortgagestrategy: Taylor Wimpey offers FTBs 95% LTV mortgages

Taylor Wimpey is offering first-time buyers 95% LTV mortgages on a number of its developments in the East Midlands, East Anglia and East London. The Take5 deal is being offered in conjunction with Melton Mowbray Building Society and Saffron Building Society. The new mortgages will have rates between 5.49 and 5.99% fixed for two years. Pete Redfern, group chief executive at Taylor Wimpey, says: “We have been working hard to secure this mortgage deal which we believe will make all the difference to those who aspire to own their own home but find it difficult to save for the large deposits needed.

Posted by jack c @ 01:15 PM 1 Comments

Complete and utter catastrophic logic fail

Your Mortgage: 13% leap in releasing equity to repay mortgage

"The number of homeowners releasing equity from their property in order to repay a mortgage increased 13% in 2010, new research has shown. Home reversion provider, Bridgewater Equity Release found that 43% of people used equity release schemes to pay off their mortgage in 2010, compared to 30% in 2009." And 'bear nibbles', obviously.

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 12:22 PM 23 Comments

Bare nipples

Guardian: First-time buyer summit lacks crucial representation

Odd but no great surprise. First-time buyers have become accustomed to being cited but not heard. For the past 10 years the use of the phrase "helping first-time buyers" has increased in inverse proportion to the darkening of most 20- and 30-somethings' housing prospects. We thought that after 10 years of Labour "initiatives" (anyone fancy owning 25% of an overpriced executive apartment?) disguising the worst record on housing affordability in post-war history the coalition government might be a refreshing change.

Posted by sibley's b'stard child @ 11:17 AM 8 Comments

Now it is worth less than a 100K i can imagine the neighbours

Daily mail: Guy Ritchie's £6million London mansion invaded by squatters

Police were called and the squatters refused to leave. A note posted in the window said: ‘Legal warning. Take Notice..that we live in this house, it is our home and we intend to stay here.’

Posted by mark @ 10:44 AM 4 Comments

This is getting serious, riots? civil unrest? collapse of china property?

Cnn: Chinese consumers squeezed by rising prices

A Sina Weibo user called Fat Lady Bei posted, "One renminbi can buy a very small tomato or one cucumber. When I eat at the cafeteria, it's more expensive, and the portion sizes are smaller. Are we going to have to be like Japan in the future and ration our portions?" The country's explosive real estate market is another source of frustration among average Chinese. "Lots of peasants' land has been confiscated to build apartment buildings and factories, and fewer people are planting food. All people can do now is just try to shrink their stomachs," wrote Little Fu 01.

Posted by mark @ 10:24 AM 1 Comments

On the upside prices are likely to go up down lol depending on what paper you read

Bbc: Northern Ireland housing market continues decline

The market has become increasingly lower priced with 92% of properties selling at or below £150,000. At the peak of the housing boom, less than 10% of properties went for below £150,000.

Posted by mark @ 10:10 AM 17 Comments

CPI hits 4%

BBC News: UK inflation rate rises to 4% in January

... but, but we must protect the masses who we conned to buy continually over-priced piles of bricks, to fuel UK based [not owned or HQ'd] financial services and to bring in more Stamp Duty.

Posted by doomwatch @ 09:54 AM 11 Comments

Oh my fraud in property, never!

Liverpool daily post: Liverpool property tycoon admits fraud after firm’s £4m collapse

The company sold development and real estate, including luxury apartments in Spain and Italy. Metcalf, a patron for the Prince’s Trust and Inner City Sailing Trust, appeared in the dock at Liverpool Crown Court yesterday. Alongside him was his wife Nicola Metcalf-Chakravarty, 40.

Posted by mark @ 09:13 AM 1 Comments

This is the same council which last year wasted how much on a second life virtual town hall

Manchester evening news: Proms in the Park axed and libraries closed as Salford council slashes £42m from budget

Salford council's devastating cuts will see the Proms in the Park event axed, libraries closed and all staff told they will now have to pay for parking

Posted by mark @ 09:10 AM 0 Comments

European house price bubble far bigger than US shock

Financial Times: Study finds endemic European housing bubble

(subscription / registration may be required, so main points here) (note: Nothing here questioning why such huge rises have been followed by proportionally tiny falls.) Measuring the increase in [note: average] house prices in several countries since 2000, researchers at FreddieMAC [note: any vested interest in saying "it wasn't just us, others were doing it worse"? ] said that several western European countries had larger price increases than the US (47% followed by 15% falls). These are: Ireland (182% / 25%), UK (151% / 15%), Spain (115%), France (108%), and Italy (51%).

Posted by notyethomeless @ 08:23 AM 0 Comments

Wannabuy 95 JJB sports outlets?

Independent: More shops lie empty as high street feels the cuts

"More than one in seven retail stores across the UK are empty and in some small towns the number of boarded-up shops is nearly as high as two in five. Worse still, a "growing" North-South divide is set to increase the overall vacancy rate to more than one in six shops over the next 18 months, as the Government's austerity measures take their toll". "Matthew Hopkinson, a director of the Local Data Company, which compield the figures, said: "The sad reality is that the number of vacant shops are increasing, with certain areas of the country severely impacted and unlikely to recover." The retail data research firm found that town-centre vacancy rates surged to 14.5 per cent last year from 12 per cent in 2009".

Posted by alan @ 08:09 AM 5 Comments

Monday, February 14, 2011

No free lunch

FT: No free lunches in debt-fuelled bear rally

Pretty interesting analysis - crash ahoy.

Posted by gingellenator @ 11:34 PM 0 Comments

Deleveraging dilemma

Ch4 news: Reason why project merlin might be a charade

"the UK has to deleverage, and there’s absolutely no way that the banks will be able to meet the Basel 3 [Capital] requirements without deleveraging. On one level the UK as a whole has to deleverage, on another the key banks have to deleverage .." "At the very least, to the extent that what little available capital is deployed towards business lending, then it is coming off personal and mortgage lending." Add to this global real rates of 5% and price inflation despite zero money growth, and Clarks opinion that the middle earners don't realise how bleak things are going to be looks more on the money (ha).

Posted by stillthinking @ 09:00 PM 0 Comments

Whatever will they try next

Belfast Telegraph: Landlord who hung ‘no rent paid’ sign on door is fined

A landlord who barricaded the front door of a tenant's home with a steel barrier and hung a sign on it declaring ‘No rent paid' has been fined after it was claimed his actions amounted to harassment. The tenant had rented the house for eight years, but fled the property after the incident, the Magistrate’s Departmental Court heard. The court heard the 36-year-old landlord put the barrier and sign in place to “let neighbours see” the tenant was behind in her rent. The lawyer said his client owed a mortgage on property which he was using as his “pension plan”. District Judge Richard Wilson told the landlord he had sympathy for people who feel they are entitled to rent “but you went beyond what was appropriate”. The landlord was fined £200 and also had to pay costs of £132.

Posted by drewster @ 07:22 PM 5 Comments

They can see it coming...

Reuters: Bank Inflation Report to pave way for rate hikes

"The Bank of England is likely to smooth the way for a future rise in interest rates with its quarterly economic forecasts on Wednesday, and try to allay concerns that it is going soft on inflation".

Posted by alan @ 07:06 PM 1 Comments

Bournemouth Council serves up yet more bear nibbles...

Bournemouth Echo: Planning permission rules could impact rent and property prices

"MOVES to require planning permission before small houses can be converted to take tenants could drive up rents and slash property prices, a landlords’ group has warned..." That's excellent news for people looking to buy in Brighton!

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 04:29 PM 6 Comments

A New Bank - Will it do Mortgages?

BBC: Is the Big Society Bank a small-state bank?

"We have learned is that the Big Society Bank will operate independently of government. It will not make grants and it will be expected to make a sufficient return on its investment to cover its operating costs". "The government's new 66-page strategy document for its Big Society Bank and growing the so-called "social investment market", which has been published today, raises almost as many questions as it answers". "Part of Project Merlin, it will receive around £200m of additional capital in the form of some kind of loan or investment from Royal Bank of Scotland, Barclays, HSBC and Lloyds". "We have absolutely no idea what kind of interest rate the Big Society Bank will charge or what kind of dividend it will demand from those who take its finance".

Posted by alan @ 04:16 PM 6 Comments

Ponzi Scheme Fun (with extra bear nibbles)

Remortgage.com: First Time Home Buyers Lending Summit to Be Held by Housing Minister Shapps

"Those attending the mortgage lending summit will be industry leaders, think-tanks, bankers, and mortgage lenders. It is hoped that the meeting will bring minds together to find better ways to bring new buyers into the market and make lending available to those currently being so widely shut out. Not only do possible home buyers await the outcome but those sitting in their own starter homes anxious to move upward into larger property and will watch as well." Yup, it looks like FTBs are merrily sawing off the legs at the bottom of "the property ladder", having abandoned attempts to scramble onto the bottom rung. No mention of a 1% "people's mortgage" yet (although I wouldn't put it past them).

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 02:11 PM 10 Comments

You couldn't make this stuff up....

Northampton Chronicle and Echo: Northamptonshire County Council insists St James library could be saved if rent is waived by landlord... Northampton Borough Council

"THE library in St James could be saved from the threat of closure if the building’s owner agreed to scrap the £13,500-a-year rent, a senior member of Northamptonshire County Council has claimed." "But the county council’s cabinet member for libraries, Councillor Andre Gonzalez de Savage (Con, East Hunsbury) has told the Chron the library could be saved if the owners of the building – Northampton Borough Council – would agree to scrap the rent." Council charging council rent and using our money to pay it !!!! What a great society we live in. Someone probably gets a bonus for collecting the rent on time.

Posted by thecountofnowhere @ 12:42 PM 0 Comments

We are all Americans

New York Times: Housing Crash Is Hitting Cities Once Thought to Be Stable

Few believed the housing market here would ever collapse. Now they wonder if it will ever stop slumping.

Posted by edinburghcrash @ 12:39 PM 0 Comments

Kate Moss selling St Johns Wood home for £7m ... check it out!

Planet Property: Kate Moss selling St Johns Wood home for £7m … check it out!

We're reliably informed that this 5-bed house in St Johns Wood is Kate Moss's. It was widely reported that Moss had listed the house for £10m, but if so, it's now on for £7m.

Posted by the planet @ 12:31 PM 0 Comments

Economy failing to fulfil its purpose

Evening Standard (much better value etc): Further house price falls expected as economy remains fragile

"The fragile economic recovery looks set to disrupt the housing market during 2011 leading to property price falls, it was predicted today [etc]." Which planet do these people live on? They appear to think that The Housing Market (i.e. ever rising prices) is a given and that teh sole purpose of the "economy" (i.e. people exchanging goods and services for mutual benefit and thereby creating real wealth) is merely there to ensure that house prices keep rising.

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 12:22 PM 3 Comments

Bear nibbles (2)

Money Facts: Property asking prices continue to drop

"A shortage of buyers in the property market has seen homesellers continue to reduce asking prices in an attempt to secure a sale. The average discount now stands at £18,475, or 6.9% off the original asking price, compared with the reduction of £15,879, or 6.1%, reported by Zoopla.co.uk in November. The research also revealed that well over a third (37.4%) of all properties on the market at present have had their price reduced at least once." (yes I realise that this is a rehash of last week's press release, I'm just surprised that MF were so slow to get round to it).

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 11:25 AM 24 Comments

Bear nibbles

Estate Agent Today: Mortgage lending slumps 37% on year

There were just 39,900 loans for house purchase advanced in December – down 4% from November – the Council of Mortgage Lenders has confirmed. However, the year-on-year drop was savage, down 37% from December 2009, although the 2009 figures were distorted by the number of people rushing to complete purchases ahead of a Stamp Duty holiday deadline. First-time buyer numbers in December dropped by 3% to 14,500 and loans to people moving home fell 4% to 25,400.

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 11:22 AM 6 Comments

Rent Edith Piaf's love boat

Planet Property: Rent Edith Piaf’s love boat

This being Valentine's Day, we thought you'd like to know that you can rent Edith Piaf's love boat, wallow in her gold bath, and float up and down the Thames with your other half - or someone else's other half - for £1,500 a week

Posted by the planet @ 11:14 AM 0 Comments

Prices will rise 4.3864% in 2018

The Independent: House prices 'set to fall in 2011'

The Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr) said house prices had risen by 6.4% during 2010, but it said the market recovery would stall this year, triggering price falls of 1.7%. The group expects property prices to rise by 2.3% in 2012, followed by gains of 3.7% in 2013 and increases of 4.7% and 5.5% in 2014 and 2015 respectively

Posted by ontheotherhand @ 11:00 AM 3 Comments

Sliding down the slippery slope

Home.co.uk: Sellers Slash and Prices Tumble

Summary The mix-adjusted average Asking Price for homes on the market in England and Wales has fallen for a fourth successive month: Down 0.3%. Monthly asking price falls in all English regions (except East Anglia), Scotland and Wales. The number of properties reduced in price has leaped to 65,692 for the month of January, a massive 64% more than in January 2010. Typical time on market registered no change at 148 days (median). Total properties new to market in Jan 2011 was 14% higher than in Jan 2010. Annual change in asking prices: -0.6% 6-month change in asking prices: -1.5%

Posted by tinecu @ 10:55 AM 0 Comments

No Sh1t!

Estate Agent Today website: 'We got it wrong on housing', Labour admits

All three main political parties appear to be acknowledging that they are completely at sea over the housing market. Civil servants in the Communities and Local Government department are to carry out a review of the private housing market, whilst Labour is also to carry out one of its own after admitting that it failed the market during its administration.

Posted by rantnrave @ 09:44 AM 10 Comments

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Argiculture is the hot new investment opportunity

Telegraph: Ivolga puts for sale sign on world's biggest farm

Everywhere I read they tell me get into farming - its the big new thing. But its the British taxpayer that is getting shafted again. What a wonderful thing RBS is/was.

Posted by chrisch @ 10:15 PM 5 Comments

Let's just make every company a bank

Telegraph: Coming soon - the M&S mortgage?

Grant Shapps, the housing minister, will this week hold a first-time buyers’ “summit” at which he will call on industry chiefs to “step up efforts” to help aspiring homeowners get on the property ladder. Statistics show that the average of age a buyer gets their first home if they have no financial support from their family is now 37. There are 1.4million households where members want to own a home but cannot do so because prices are too high or they cannot get a mortgage. Mr Shapps said: “The lack of competition in the mortgage market is absolutely the key thing to tackle.” The problem will become even more acute if interest rates rise over the next few months, as many experts predict.

Posted by drewster @ 09:48 PM 6 Comments

Economists express "surprise" !

This is Money: Slumpflation fears grow as prices and jobless rise

"With economic activity still in the doldrums and price rises bolstered by global increases in commodity costs, key figures will be scrutinised for signs of a return to the horrors of the Seventies". " The nightmare spectre of 'slumpflation' - the combination of rising prices and lengthening dole queues - will loom large this week". "Nobody expects the Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee to hit that 2% annual rate for the CPI soon" (inflation numbers out on Tuesday, folks).

Posted by alan @ 04:03 PM 15 Comments

Why are house prices not falling substantially if we are back to 1982?

ThisIsMoney: This recession vs history: we're back to 1982

The British economy is stuck in a re-run. The progress of our collective wealth is mirroring the turmoil of the early 1980s recession. All we need now is an increase in inflation followed by a huge increase in interest rates. Then it will really feel like the 1980's and surely house prices must fall much further.

Posted by miken @ 12:12 PM 8 Comments

So what next?

Telegraph: UK inflation expected to be double target rate

"The upward pressure on UK inflation is intensifying, official figures will show on Tuesday, with one economist predicting that the Retail Prices Index will hit its highest level in close to two decades". "That will prompt the Bank of England Governor, Mervyn King, to write his tenth letter to the Chancellor to explain why the inflation rate has soared above the target".

Posted by alan @ 11:45 AM 1 Comments

Wow these words 'house prices too high' shocker!

Guardian: House prices fall as first-time buyer numbers plummet

But Matt Griffith, who runs the PricedOut website, which campaigns for first-time buyers and cheaper housing, says first-timers are facing an immovable problem. "House prices remain too high – prices are way out of line with earnings and banks simply do not have the funds to maintain lending at 2007 levels. An adjustment is needed. ...and first-time buyer numbers will remain at these historic lows. No amount of fiddling around the margins with gimmicky schemes like shared ownership, or public pleading with banks to lend more to first-time buyers can change this. First-time buyers are still sitting on the sidelines, and to be honest this is the safest place for them."

Posted by daz @ 09:45 AM 0 Comments

Saturday, February 12, 2011

The Slow Learners Club is recruiting

Financial Times: Mortgage providers relax criteria on buy-to-let loans

"Better mortgage deals are being offered to buy-to-let investors, with one lender now providing mortgages of up to 85 per cent of a property’s value – the highest loan to value available to landlords since the credit crunch. The move comes as more high street lenders look to enter the buy-to-let market, which could see competition in the sector increase and provide more choice for property investors." Somewhat surprisingly, London seems to be one of the worst cities for BTL which seems to contradict the rising rents angle: "for an investor to borrow the full 85 per cent, a property would have to yield in excess of 6.1 per cent, Bedford says. Rental properties in London are unlikely to achieve a yield as high as this." Leveraged BTLers could suffer from falling prices and higher IRs.

Posted by quiet guy @ 12:04 PM 22 Comments


Guardian: No comfort for Ireland's buy-to-let investors

Struggling home-owners will have got cold comfort from KBC, the Belgian-owned Irish mortgage company today. Its chief executive made it crystal clear it would not be following Bank of Scotland's lead by offering capital write-offs for those unable to meet their payments.

Posted by dill @ 05:57 AM 2 Comments

It's about spare capacity, not house prices, honest guv

Telegraph: Why the Bank of England has got it so hopelessly wrong on inflation

Input prices over the year to January are up 13.4pc. Factory gate prices are also racing away at 4.8pc. The BoE believes that today’s elevated inflation will abate because there’s plenty of spare capacity slopping around the economy. Yes, there's quite high unemployment and there’s certainly lots of vacant commercial property out there going begging should you wish to move in. But what if the bulk of this excess in labour and commercial property is essentially unemployable, or structural? Then there is much less spare capacity than assumed. The UK has a two-speed economy. If you've got the right skills and are in the right part of the country, then there is little difficulty getting a job and a raise. But if unskilled in the wrong part of the country, then you are on the scrap heap.

Posted by drewster @ 02:19 AM 24 Comments

Friday, February 11, 2011

Bank CEOs sold shares in their own banks at huge profit before crash

The Baseline Scenario: What Did Bank CEOs Know And When Did They Know It?

Researchers went carefully through the compensation structure of executives at the top 14 US financial institutions during 2000-2008. The key finding is that CEOs were “30 times more likely to be involved in a sell trade compared to an open market buy trade” of their own bank’s stock and “The dollar value of sales of stock by bank CEOs of their own bank’s stock is about 100 times the dollar value of open market buys”. If the CEOs had really believed in what their banks were doing, they would have wanted to hold this stock – or even buy more. Disproportionately more sales than purchases strongly suggests that the CEOs felt their stock was more likely overvalued than undervalued.

Posted by wanderinman @ 09:11 PM 4 Comments

Labour put pressure on IMF

Daily Mail: Labour ministers 'leant on IMF' to disguise devastating truth of pre-credit crunch economy

Labour ministers put pressure on international inspectors to ‘tone down’ warnings about the precarious state of the economy before the financial crisis, according to a devastating report. The findings came in a report from the International Monetary Fund’s Independent Evaluation Office which exposed a series of astonishing failures in the run-up to the crisis. The report found that information was withheld from the IMF and the public by the British authorities, Fund officials were intimidated, and regulators at home and abroad failed to spot serious risks in the banking system and the economy.

Posted by wanderinman @ 09:03 PM 2 Comments

As I was saying, make bankruptcy laws less distressing and build more social housing...

Daily Mail: Keeping up with the Joneses left me bankrupt: One woman's frightening story of how it easily it can happen

The story is the same old same old, but has a happy ending: "Her three boys are happy. ­Nicola’s relationship with her husband is stronger than ever and she knows who her friends are. The family now lives in a ­beautifully decorated, welcoming [Council house] they can comfortably afford to rent. Nicola’s husband is in a steady teaching job with good prospects and they can meet all their bills each month." Thought experiment: what if we ALL lived in council housing and paid market rent? The government wouldn't need to collect any income tax on top of that, we'd all have security of tenure etc, what's not to like?

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 05:07 PM 21 Comments

EU ruled from the centre... rather than member states?

The Economist: Pact of uncompetitiveness

EUROPEANS have learned to let their attention drift when Brussels starts droning on about “process”. But every so often, a change in the mechanics of the European Union really does matter. Just such a moment looms next month.....when Germany’s Angela Merkel and France’s Nicolas Sarkozy will press for agreement to a “pact of competitiveness"... The pact sounds technical, but it foreshadows something much bigger: a closer integration of the euro zone that could hold threats for the entire EU.

Posted by rental john @ 05:04 PM 0 Comments

How long will the Lib Dems sell out in order to support the Tories?

New Statesman: The voters are finally turning against the Tories

Lib Dem "human shields" are no longer protecting the Tories from the cuts backlash.

Posted by rental john @ 04:56 PM 0 Comments

WSJ sees 2011 as year of repossessions

Wall Street Journal: 2011 Could Be Toughest Yet for U.K. Housing Market

WSJ examines why this house price bump has been milder than the last. In a word: government support, and 'extend & pretend' from the banks. However, they predict a harsher 2011 as government cuts bite and interest rates trend upwards (perhaps).

Posted by notyethomeless @ 04:32 PM 1 Comments

Back out, lick wounds

BBC: Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac could be wound down

"The Obama administration has proposed an overhaul of the US mortgage market that would limit the government's role in supporting home ownership. Under the proposals, the state-backed mortgage guarantee giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac would be wound down". The administration has laid out three options: to only guarantee mortgages to poorer borrowers; support the mortgage market only in times of stress; or to guarantee mortgage investments created by private companies.

Posted by alan @ 03:36 PM 4 Comments

Kate puts a spin on things

Bloomberg: Barker Says U.K. Home Prices May ‘Drift a Little’ Lower in 2011

“It’s pretty clear that transactions are low,” Barker said. “The reason everything is very weak in the housing market at the moment is because the deposit requirements have risen, so we have fewer first-time buyers coming in to market.”

Posted by alan @ 02:22 PM 3 Comments

If Spain's banks fail, can their government afford a bailout?

Telegraph: Spain orders drastic caja clean-up to win confidence and fight off EMU debt contagion

Spain has imposed draconian rules on its saving banks and is preparing for part-nationalisation of the industry to restore confidence and boost the country’s defences against contagion from the debt crisis in Portugal. The weaker banks, or "cajas", must raise Tier 1 core capital to 10pc by September if they depend on wholesale capital markets for more than a fifth of their funding or if less than a fifth of their shares are in private hands. If they fail to do so, the government will seize control through the state bailout fund. The demands are even tougher than the broad-brush plans unveiled last month and shows the determination of the authorites to cut out any cancers rather than allowing the sort of drift that bedevilled Japan in the 1990s.

Posted by drewster @ 01:51 PM 3 Comments

Satanic Scottish castle 'built by Goblins' for sale

Planet Property: Satanic Scottish castle 'built by Goblins' for sale

For sale: 13th century subterranean stronghold allegedly built by Goblins after local warlock Sir Hugo de Gifford made a pact with the Devil.

Posted by the planet @ 01:37 PM 0 Comments

Yeh BTL purchases are really picking up lol

Yahoo: Remortgaging falls to a 13-year low

Just 39,900 loans were advanced for house purchase during the month, 4 per cent fewer than in November and the lowest level since February last year. The figure was also 37 per cent lower than it was in December 2009, when lending levels were boosted by people rushing through purchases to beat the end of the Government's stamp duty holiday.

Posted by mark @ 01:33 PM 0 Comments

Are vendors starting to get the idea?

Estate Agent Today: More sellers take an axe to their asking prices

Nearly four in ten (37.4%) of all properties listed for sale today have had at least one price reduction since coming to the market – up from 36.4% in November. The average discount now stands at £18,475 or 6.9% off the original asking price – up from £15,879 or 6.1% in November.

Posted by katalan1 @ 12:00 PM 0 Comments

U.S. housing market: remains under siege but ...

Investment Postcards: U.S. housing market: remains under siege but ...

For those who think the U.S. housing market is set to implode further, do not hold your breath...

Posted by prieur du plessis @ 11:02 AM 0 Comments

More House Price Index drops


Annual rate down from 2.2 in Dec10 to 0.6 in Jan11. Monthly rate now -0.1%.

Posted by doomwatch @ 10:27 AM 6 Comments

Soaring like an bird, until it gets caught in the propellers of IR rises...

Estate Agent Today: Buy-to-let lending soars as rental market prospers

*This is pure comedy gold for manifold reasons - enjoy* David Whittaker, managing director of Mortgages For Business, said: “If Merlin were around today he’d swap the wand and pointy hat for an investment portfolio and a range of assured shorthold tenancies, because the signals for the buy-to-let market are very encouraging. “Last year was a good year for the sector and conditions are set for the magic to continue, thanks to the Arthurian wizard’s namesake project. “Banks will have to lend more this year, and who better to lend to than professional investors with large deposits and proven track records of repayments".

Posted by sibley's b'stard child @ 10:14 AM 9 Comments

And neither is the Bank of England


WHY: the Bond Market funds nothing. QE does not increase the money supply. Recent asset prices increases have nothing to do with QE, but everything to do with the myth that QE is the same as printing money there will never be a failed bond auction and bond vigilantes do not exist.

Posted by bellwether @ 10:04 AM 36 Comments

Funny how this comes out today

Yahoo: Producer price inflation up more than expected

Manufacturers' input costs rose at their fastest annual rate in more than two years in January, led by sharp increases in the cost of oil and imported metals and materials, official data showed on Friday.

Posted by mark @ 09:56 AM 6 Comments

LSL/Acadametrics latest survey

FTAdviser.com: No recovery as January sees further house price falls

There has been no renewed recovery as January saw further falls in house prices according to LSL Property Services. The LSL Property Services/Acadametrics survey found the average house price has risen by only 0.6 per cent on an annual basis but has fallen by 0.1 per cent since December. The number of transactions is now 60 per cent of the long term average, at 40,600 in January. David Brown, commercial director of LSL Property Services, said concerns over the direction of the economy, and the ongoing difficulties in obtaining mortgage finance continue to take their toll on house prices.

Posted by jack c @ 09:37 AM 5 Comments

Why QE is good for the banks and bad for the economy

Counterpunch: QE2 sets off inflation alarms

Bernanke says QE2 is working, quotes rises in shares and business and consumer spending. But with near-zero interest rates and a $1trillion liquidity pipe to the markets you'd expect some levitation. The Fed's buying Treasuries simply flushes money from those bonds into riskier assets in search for yield. Hence higher prices for stocks, commodities, junk bonds, more money going into bank loans and emerging markets, fuelling inflation there. None of this increases aggregate demand, lowers unemployment, improves household balance sheets, reduces spare capacity or stops the housing slide. It just creates more liquidity in the financial markets chasing more paper assets. Confusion abounds - deflationary pressures and inflationary fears. It's OK for the financials though.

Posted by icarus @ 09:21 AM 1 Comments

House prices as an indicator of consumer confidence (98 to 2010 chart)

FTAdviser.com: Thawing out

..............House prices remain important to the UK's domestic recovery as they are a good indicator of consumer confidence and are closely linked to the fortunes of the banking sector. That they remain weak in a thin market that is starved of the lifeblood of credit and first-time buyers is a challenge for the recovery, but not one that cannot be overcome.............

Posted by jack c @ 09:12 AM 1 Comments

Pedro denies problems - is he related to Mubarak?

BBC: Portugal defiant as borrowing costs rise

"Portugal has denied it will struggle to raise capital from international investors after yields on Portuguese government debt hit record highs". "There are no reasons to think that Portugal does not have conditions to keep tapping the markets," said Cabinet Minister Pedro Silva Pereira.

Posted by alan @ 09:02 AM 0 Comments

Housing market "gummed up" by stamp duty

Moneymarketing: IFS chief says stop stamp duty gumming up market

New director of the Institute for Fiscal Studies Paul Johnson says stamp duty on housing “gums up” the market and should be scrapped. Speaking to Money Marketing, Johnson says the tax on house buys discourages people from moving. He says: “I do not think there should be stamp duty on housing transactions. It creates significant problems and gums up the housing market.

Posted by jack c @ 09:02 AM 8 Comments

Thursday, February 10, 2011

IMF issues report on possible replacement for the US$ as world's reserve currency

CNNMoney.com: IMF calls for dollar alternative

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- The International Monetary Fund issued a report Thursday on a possible replacement for the dollar as the world's reserve currency. The IMF said Special Drawing Rights, or SDRs, could help stabilize the global financial system.

Posted by jack c @ 09:12 PM 4 Comments

Hmmm wonder if these people read what they quote?

Cnn: Mortgage rates break 5%

"The interest rate is not the key issue for buyers," he said. "Increases do not produce a huge deterrent." For one thing, prices tend to decline a bit in response to higher rates, which offsets some of the increase. For another, most buyers could absorb the additional $29 per month that the recent interest rate jump would produce. Dont bet on it!

Posted by mark @ 07:54 PM 3 Comments


Las vegas sun: Social Security, foreign debt priorities if government shuts down

Nevada Rep. Dean Heller is trying to send with a new bill he’s filed this week, prioritizing Social Security over other spending in case of a doomsday scenario everyone is talking about but no one is yet trying to fix: a crash into the country’s legal debt ceiling. That would precipitate a shutdown of the government until the debt either comes back below legally permissible levels, or Congress tweaks the law.

Posted by mark @ 05:34 PM 5 Comments

Buyers' strike?

Daily Mail: Britain loses the moving bug: Mortgage approval rates plummet again in wake of credit crunch

"The devastating impact of the recession on the housing market led to the number of loans approved for mortgages falling by more than two thirds. Figures from the British Bankers' Association showed that the number of approved loans fell by around 45,000, from 62,363 in July 2007 to a low of 17,421 in November 2008. The approval rate rose in nearly every subsequent month to reach 45,562 in December 2009, but the green shoots of recovery appear to have been stomped down with approvals dipping again to 30,766 in October 2010. The housing market is struggling for first time buyers due to the huge burden of increased deposits. The predicted number of first-time home purchases this year is less than 200,000 - a third of the number in 2001."

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 03:02 PM 37 Comments

Rejoice! The UK is poised to borrow itself out of a recession

BBC: Buy-to-let lending picked up in 2010, lenders says

"In a welcome return to the optimism and buoyancy that underpinned the golden years of the Blair-Brown era, canny investors are taking a stake in our future economic success and providing homes for hard-pressed first time buyers who cannot compete in the free market (cont. page 94)"

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 02:02 PM 4 Comments

Wrong question. The correct question is "Why SHOULD there be any..?"

CityWire: Where are the safety nets for mortgage borrowers?

Love the first comment under the article.

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 12:39 PM 16 Comments

No pressure, guys!

This is money: UK borrowers 'must not be hit with rate rise'

The Bank of England was warned not to act in haste by raising interest rates today, as it would put the brakes on the UK's weak economic recovery. The British Retail Consortium (BRC) urged the Bank to hold its nerve in the face of mounting inflationary pressures and to protect borrowers from raised repayment costs. (so they could spend more, now)

Posted by alan @ 12:10 PM 7 Comments


BBC News: BoE holds rate

Nothing new, nothing unexpected..

Posted by richy richless @ 12:09 PM 12 Comments

Well they would say that wouldn't they?

Estate Agent Today website: Mary Portas programme on agents slammed as a 'circus'

Last night’s highly edited Mary Portas Secret Shopper programme on estate agents looks as though it tried but failed to deliver the hatchet job it so clearly set out to do. But the ill-tempered programme was this morning slammed as a 'self-serving circus show'.

Posted by rantnrave @ 11:32 AM 4 Comments

Brighton: The worst place to live in England?

Planet Property: Brighton: The worst place to live in England?

The new version of Brighton Rock has turned the spotlight on England’s most glamorous seaside city, and that, inevitably includes property supplements doing “let’s move to” pieces. But it's incredibly overcrowded, outrageously expensive and leaves a lot to be desired on the property front.

Posted by the planet @ 10:59 AM 0 Comments

Protecting young people from the spectre of affordable housing...

BBC: Home repossessions fell by 24% in UK during 2010

"The number of homes repossessed in the UK last year dropped by 24% to 36,300, the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) has said. The number of people in arrears by 2.5% or more of their outstanding loans also fell last year, by 13% to 169,600. The continued low level of interest rates has helped many home owners in financial difficulties. However, the CML repeated its warning that arrears and repossessions may rise this year. "As we go through 2011, the number of people facing payment pressures may increase if interest rates rise, and as a result of the spending cuts that have resulted in reductions in the level of public support available," said the CML's director general Michael Coogan." Yup, keep the pressure on the MPC!

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 10:20 AM 4 Comments

Default is starting

Irish Independent: Mortgage holders get debt written off

The Irish bill to UK banks has dropped through the letterbox. First instalment paid.

Posted by chrisch @ 08:25 AM 5 Comments

Plenty of lobbying going on today!

Reuters: Looming inflation surge raises risk of Bank rate hike

"Financial markets see a one-in-five chance that the Bank of England will raise interest rates from their record low 0.5 percent later on Thursday after what is likely to be its most finely balanced decision in years". "The MPC is coming under intensive pressure to raise rates," Bank of America/Merrill Lynch interest rate strategist John Wraith wrote in a note to clients. "It is being led to the brink".

Posted by alan @ 08:13 AM 1 Comments

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Required reading for the MPC

Telegraph: Housing is in need of some shock therapy

For significant numbers of mortgage holders, a rise in rates of even as little as two to three hundred basis points would increase debt servicing costs by 100pc or more. Many more would find their finances stretched to breaking point. As it is, substantial numbers of homeowners look set to be plunged into negative equity. We've already seen a roughly 18pc nationwide fall in house prices since the peak. Market derivatives indicate that in nominal terms, house prices will be the same in six years time as they are now, which implies a real terms peak to trough correction of well in excess of 30pc. That's much bigger than occurred in the early 1990s, when millions found themselves in negative equity. Rising unemployment would deliver the final coup de grace.

Posted by quiet guy @ 07:44 PM 15 Comments

Another from the telegraph

Daily telegraph: Housing is in need of some shock therapy

A great article. A call for higher interest rates and an end to this nonsensical housing market stalemate. Dunno what the BOE MPC are on (br:bes? hehehe) "When you consider that most households in Britain are actually net savers, the policy looks more debatable still. The thrifty majority is being forced to pay for the sins of the profligate minority."

Posted by roy @ 07:22 PM 0 Comments

Reality, slowly but surely sinking in....

Daily telegraph: 40pc of property sellers cut their asking prices

Almost four in 10 people selling their home have cut the price at least once since putting it on the market, according to a property website.

Posted by roy @ 07:13 PM 0 Comments

What happens when everyone borrows and can't repay

FT: Soaring debt pushes Portugal towards bail-out

"A leading investor said: “Portuguese debt costs are in danger of rising further and further as there are no buyers of the country’s debt.” The ECB has been the biggest buyer recently. "Portugal’s cost of borrowing hit a euro-era high on Wednesday amid growing concerns that Lisbon will have to turn to bail-out funds to revive its stagnating economy". Never mind - the banks will soon be lending out more cash to prop up the UK housing market.

Posted by alan @ 07:05 PM 1 Comments

Zoopla auction index - a leading indicator of HPC

Citywire: Property auctions: a house price crystal ball?

Maybe one of you clever chaps could add the Zoopla auction index to the graph comparing different HP indices and see if it works? Going down!

Posted by cyril @ 05:08 PM 1 Comments

More Home-Owner-Ist sleight of hand

Evening Standard (much better value now it's free): Every London council agrees to freeze in tax

To summarise, everybody is supposed to rejoice because the Lib-Cons have reduced Council Tax from 4.8% to 4.5% of total government revenues (about one-sixteenth of the cost of 'local services') and simultaneously increased National Insurance and VAT on "hard working families" to make up the difference.

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 03:38 PM 4 Comments

Gold will hit $1,650 before the end of the year

MoneyWeek: Gold will hit $1,650 before the end of the year

The price of gold fell back in the first few weeks of 2011. But its bull run continues. And while there is likely to be more consolidation in the short term, argues Dominic Frisby, there's every chance it will hit $1,650 by the end of the year.

Posted by damien @ 02:30 PM 8 Comments

Come on down............

FTAdviser.com: Homeowners cut asking prices to sell properties

Both the total number of price-reduced properties on the market in the UK and the average amount by which they have been reduced have climbed over the past three months.Some 37.4 per cent of all properties listed for sale on Wednesday have experienced at least one price reduction since coming to the market, up from 36.4 per cent in November, data from Zoopla has shown. The average discount now stands at £18,475 or 6.9 per cent off the original asking price, up from £15,879 in November. Zoopla claimed that the figures provide a clear indication of sellers becoming more realistic in terms of their expectations and will be a welcome sign to buyers as the gap narrows between asking prices and what buyers are willing to pay.

Posted by jack c @ 02:27 PM 4 Comments

Export-led recovery

Guardian: UK trade deficit hits record £9.2bn

Bad weather in December blamed for record balance of trade deficit.

Posted by cyril @ 01:21 PM 5 Comments

HPI (and inflation) out of control? How to quash HPI if you're the Politburo

Zero Hedge: China is orchestrating a 30% crash in the property market

Shanghai daily news article apparently says the increase in property purchase costs, property taxes, and interest rates are a 3-pronged attack on property speculation. Is there anything we can learn from the Chinese?

Posted by notyethomeless @ 01:17 PM 13 Comments

Get ready for hyperinflation then??

Reuters: Police "must adapt to new protest era"

Commentators are predicting there will be an increase in the number of protests as the impact of the government's austerity measures begins to bite. Mervyn King indicated he would not be raising rates for some years and expect food prices to climb 50,000% he suggested the police start shooting when there are food riots.

Posted by mark @ 12:44 PM 7 Comments

When the house bubble bursts

Bloomberg: Home-Price Drop Leaves 27% of U.S. Owners Underwater on Loans

"The number of U.S. homes worth less than their outstanding mortgage jumped in the fourth quarter as prices fell and lenders seized fewer properties from delinquent borrowers, according to Zillow Inc. About 15.7 million homeowners had negative equity, at the end of the year, up from 13.9 million in the previous three months, the Seattle-based real estate information company said in a report".

Posted by alan @ 10:23 AM 2 Comments

Do these people live on planet earth???

Yahoo: Forex focus: sterling turns the corner

This is great news for pensioners and those living off savings held in sterling. You could be getting the best rates for two years. Part of the boost has been a growing belief that the UK may be the first major economy to raise interest rates

Posted by mark @ 10:01 AM 10 Comments

No surprise there, then.

Estate Agent Today: Housing market gets off to a bad start, says RICS

From comments section: "I disagree 'busy agent' - we have had a very slow start to the year and a bad back half of last year, the country is just full of pockets of different markets. Its 9.10, I've read my e-mails, had a look on estate agent today, drunk some coffee and thats about it for today. Oh christ I'm going to have to lower myself to do some touting and hopefully scrape the odd instruction which has been stuck on the market with another agent at a silly price in the vain hope that they may see sense and reduce to the right price one day."

Posted by sibley's b'stard child @ 09:50 AM 5 Comments

Forget mining for gold

Bloomberg: Londoners `Mine' for Space Under Luxury Homes as Neighbors Fume

The scarcity of luxury houses and apartments on the market in neighborhoods like Belgravia and Knightsbridge has prevented many from trading up to larger properties. “People are enlarging houses and improving them rather than moving,” ... “You can either pay stamp duty and moving costs or you can add value to your home by spending the money on improvements.” Basement excavations in the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea almost doubled to 147 last year from 81 in 2006. “The amount of money being made in the rest of the world is astonishing -- confidence is more than just coming back to the London market,” ...

Posted by karma4all @ 09:34 AM 2 Comments

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Government acting on behalf of ...

Guardian: Revealed: 50% of Tory funds come from City

If this was Egypt we'd be down Traf. Sq. protesting at the anti-democratic pocket-lining elite who as we speak are "thinking of throwing their toys out of the pram" as faithfully repeated by the BBC's Bob Peston. See also letthemfall's post earlier today: The future's bright ... but not for you

Posted by mken @ 11:00 PM 24 Comments

Presumably it wouldn't have been so bad if they'd robbed a tenant?

Evening Standard (much better value now it's free): Raiders steal Audi after owner's advert in magazine

"A HOMEOWNER was robbed at gunpoint by car thieves who called at his home after he placed an advert in Auto Trader magazine. The two raiders tied up the victim and a woman companion using gaffer tape while they ransacked the house in Pinner and escaped with his £27,000 grey Audi RS4..."

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 08:20 PM 4 Comments

What rate are you paying?

Telegraph: Highest fixed rate mortgages for six months

"With interest rates at their lowest ever level, it is tempting to forget about the rate you are paying on your mortgage. The cost of a typical five year fixed rate deal has reached 5.45 per cent, the highest level since August last year, according to the research by personal finance website Moneyfacts" (Yields are up on government bonds). "Any rise in base rate would push mortgage rates higher, so borrowers looking to fix their repayments should act sooner rather than later.” (...is the Telegraph trying to spook mortgage owners?)

Posted by alan @ 06:48 PM 7 Comments

Want to profit from mergers? This is the sector to watch

MoneyWeek: Want to profit from mergers? This is the sector to watch

Mergers are back in fashion – the latest headline-grabbing deal is a $7.1bn tie-up in the oil services sector. But investors looking to profit from M&A might be better off looking at a less high-profile sector – healthcare. John Stepek explains why.

Posted by damien @ 04:30 PM 1 Comments

Realistic vendors only need apply.

Rightmove: Express Estate Agency

Attractively priced properties for sale. In the current market traditional Estate Agents are sadly failing their clients altogether or very often taking a very long time to achieve a sale. Click on the link at the top of page to view properties.

Posted by will @ 03:29 PM 9 Comments

It's Different/Better/Permanently High Plateau because xyz

Marsh & Parsons estate agent: Historic Highs

I had an interesting conversation with a wealthy and successful acquaintance last week who has always insisted on renting in London as 'the market will undoubtedly crash'.

Posted by ontheotherhand @ 01:42 PM 5 Comments

Fun in the sun!!!

Ekathimerini: Noose set to tighten

This article helps to place the UK situation in to context a little... More prices dropping, why, and the effect.

Posted by adam mouli @ 11:58 AM 0 Comments

Another take on the RICS survey, shows improvement in negative sentiment

Reuters via Interactive Investor: House prices fall at slower pace in January

Short summary of the RICS survey, stating the negative balance (i.e. more people saying that it will get worse - or better, as HPC would put it) on all measures of Chartered Surveyors. Sentiment has improved, though it is still clearly negative, and there are still more negative buyer expectations that seller expectations - my reading of this is that buyers are still rare and expect lower prices, whereas sellers are more optimistic / deluded.

Posted by notyethomeless @ 11:47 AM 0 Comments

The future's bright ... but not for you

Guardian: To us, it's an obscure shift of tax law. To the City, it's the heist of the century

Angry piece about the extreme bias inherent in our economic system. High house prices are only a part.

Posted by letthemfall @ 11:30 AM 22 Comments

Slip slidin' away

Citywire: FTSE inches down as house prices slip

Britain’s benchmark stock index pulled back slightly from a 3-week high on Tuesday after data showed that while UK retail sales rebounded in January, house prices continued to drop.....The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors said a balance of 7% of surveyors reported a decline in new buyer enquiries last month, amid concerns that the Bank of England will hike interest rates in the near future. Analysts at ING noted that the data also showed that house prices fell at a slower pace. However, they noted that, ‘We remain concerned that with employment falling again, real wages contracting significantly, benefits being cut and taxes going up, real household disposable income will be negative this year.

Posted by jack c @ 11:20 AM 1 Comments

Remember the Come Dine with Me woman and her bankrupt tower

Liverpool daily post: Liverpool Council chases £750,000 West Tower payment for fresh air

LIVERPOOL council officials are set for urgent talks with the administrators of the city’s West Tower over £750,000 it was due to be paid for “fresh air”. In 2008 Mapfield Properties agreed to buy a patch of land and airspace beneath the 40-storey tower from the council.

Posted by mark @ 10:29 AM 2 Comments

Those halcyon days of light-touch regulation

Citywire: 10 financial scandals the FSA could have prevented

A few days old and fairly lightweight, admittedly. Although, a fairly interesting summary of the FSA's biggest failings in recent years - nice to see 'Liar Loans' getting a mention also.

Posted by sibley's b'stard child @ 10:28 AM 3 Comments

How about cutting staff perks and reducing management first?

Manchester evening news: Manchester libraries and leisure centres to close, bin collections and free parking hit in savage council cuts

Today we reveal the devastating cuts that will hit almost every council service in Manchester. In what are described by town hall leader Sir Richard Leese as ‘the worst cuts since the war’, dozens of youth centres, libraries, nurseries, swimming pools and leisure centres will close. Bin collections will go fortnightly, housing for more than 300 vulnerable families will be scrapped and council childcare costs will be hiked by more than quarter. Car parking prices will rocket and motorists will have to pay to park in Manchester on Sundays for the first time. All overnight street cleaning will be axed and all public toilets will be closed – except for one.

Posted by mark @ 10:15 AM 23 Comments

RICs January Housing Market Survey

RICs: Sales levels remain weak with fresh stock in short supply

A spring bounce due to lack of supply does seem to be a real possibility, it all depends on the interest rate decision over the next couple of months.

Posted by wdbeast @ 09:59 AM 0 Comments

They Know!

BBC News: Caution dominates housing market, says Rics

A stark warning to house sellers - "Drop your prices or we will go out of business"

Posted by wdbeast @ 09:50 AM 10 Comments

RICS survey shows January growth

PropertyPal: RICS survey shows January growth

Northern Ireland’s housing market is showing growth in January, according to the latest survey released by the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors. RICS housing spokesperson Tom McClelland said of the news “The RICS survey suggests there is some positivity and a lot more interest and inquiry from buyers”. The market has shown positive signs of growth from late November / December, however the news was tainted with caution as the cold weather affected enquiry levels, and December is typically a slow month in the housing market.

Posted by paul anthony @ 09:41 AM 0 Comments


Daily mail: Economists rush to Mervyn King’s rescue as US critics savage him over 'stagflation'

In an extraordinary assault ahead of Thursday’s decision, the newspapers wrote: ‘A central banker need not be loved, but at least he should command respect – and in Britain these days Mervyn King cannot count on either.’ The article went on: ‘King has been accused of presiding over the worst stagflation — a dreaded combination of stagnant economic activity and rising inflation — happening in any major developed economy. ‘He has been condemned for flouting the bank’s independence by publicly supporting the British government’s deficit-cutting strategy.

Posted by mark @ 08:40 AM 15 Comments

Thought-provoking programme on 'financialisation' over the past few decades

BBC Radio 4: Analysis: escaping credit serfdom

I would say that, like the recent File on 4 which was linked on the blog, this is worth spending half an hour to listen to. Some startling information on household debt and 'asset based welfare' (i.e. the feel-good factor promoted by rising house prices and MEWing).

Posted by sceneclub68 @ 12:37 AM 3 Comments

Monday, February 7, 2011

GS - "the pendulum has swung too far the other way from “crazy” lending"

Mortgagestrategy: Shapps calls for more FTB support ahead of summit

Housing minister Grant Shapps says more can be done to help first-time buyers ahead of a summit next week. Shapps is chairing a meeting with the Financial Services Authority, Council of Mortgage Lenders and representatives form major banks on February 15. The meeting will focus on ways in which the industry can help first-time buyers get on the housing ladder. Speaking on BBC Radio 4 Shapps says house prices need to become closer to the average income but this must happen in the long-term.

Posted by jack c @ 04:22 PM 14 Comments

Probably April, I reckon

This is Money: Interest rate rises 'certain' to start

"Money markets are signalling a quarter-point rise in the base rate by May with more to follow, ending the emergency 0.5% level in force since March 2009, the lowest level in the Bank's 316-year history". Interest rises will undoubtedly release air from the housing bubble - looking forward to it!

Posted by alan @ 04:05 PM 7 Comments

Read this before you watch tonight's Panorama

Counterpunch: BBC joins smear campaign against Assange and Wikileaks

Not directly related to HPC but (a) it does say a lot about the the forces distorting what we glean from the media - a recurring theme on this site and (b) it's topical and is worth reading as background for those watching tonight's Panorama. The links in the paragraph above the photograph of Sweeney, especially the "redacting" and "arbitrary use" ones, are particularly interesting. Will Sweeney do a hatchet job on Assange? Why?

Posted by icarus @ 03:22 PM 5 Comments

FSA Tells European Regulator 'Dont you Dare' try to stop the Vested Interests from 'acquiring more'

The Telegraph: Don't interfere, FSA warns new European regulator

"We are clear the fundamental process of supervision has to occur where expertise is, with the national authorities," said Lord Turner of the FSA [The FSA being the residual waste of a Labours failed TRIPARTITE SYSTEM, TRIPARTISM historically being the preferred choice of FASCIST Governments who seek to organise the political system and the economy by CORPORATIST perspectives, and values. Probably why Gordon Brown knighted Sir James Crosby, former chief executive of HBOS, for services to banking, and put him in charge of the FSA. Before Crosby resigned, on a £10million pension, after it was discovered that Crosby was the person responsible for making HBOS insolvent, via liar loans, and taking huge risks. Crosby was of course cleared by the FSA, of any wrong doing.....Aherm. ]

Posted by dan1el @ 02:34 PM 1 Comments


Daily mail: Gypsy family on benefits 'ruin their £1.2m council house and make life hell for neighbours'

Residents in the upmarket London area claim the family, who live on benefits, dump used toilet roll in neighbouring properties, hurls beer cans into next door gardens and abuse residents as rich

Posted by mark @ 01:15 PM 14 Comments

By Danny Blanchflower

New Statesman: Stop worrying about inflation

Contrary to what Andrew Sentance has been foolishly claiming for months, inflation today or next week or in six months time is completely irrelevant for this week's MPC decision because rate changes take about eighteen months to feed their way through. The current inflation forecast of the MPC is overly optimistic and may well get revised down this month in light of the bad GDP numbers. Even with that forecast, inflation is well below target. Any rate increase would in all likelihood push the economy to deflation. I would go one step further and argue that the whole idea of targeting CPI inflation has failed. At the very least the MPC's mandate should be extended to include growth and employment. The inflation measure should include house prices or could just simply be raised to 4%

Posted by little professor @ 12:08 PM 25 Comments

Pish-poor yield on yer BTL? Not my problem, sucker.

Houseladder: Landlords 'cannot reduce rent'

A spokesman for landlords has reasoned they are not in a position to reduce rental costs. It is looking increasingly likely to some that landlords will have to pull out of the benefit sector. National Landlords Association spokesman Vincenzo Rampulla pointed out it might not make financial sense for professionals to carry on letting to Local Housing Allowance tenants. He explained how circumstances are being influenced by recent benefit cuts imposed by the government. "The cuts for large properties are quite significant on a per week basis and, if tenants can't make that amount of money up themselves … the numbers just aren't going to stand up," Mr Rampulla said.

Posted by sibley's b'stard child @ 11:19 AM 15 Comments

Interesting developments north of the border...

The Scotsman: Call for higher council tax for large homes

Unison call for more council tax bands and a revaluation so that those in the biggest homes pay more (moderate hooray!). Scottish Labour say they supported the council tax freeze and "they will reveal their plans when they feel like it" (Hiss!). And "the SNP last night confirmed that, if re-elected, it would once again attempt to introduce a local income tax. Under their plans, income rather than property would be taxed to pay for local services."(Boo! And thrice boo!). Not sure how this squares with the idea of doubling council tax for empty homes which they unveiled last week??? Not in the article, but the Scottish Greens are ahead of the game and would replace Council Tax and Business Rates with LVT (hooray!)

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 11:14 AM 0 Comments

Sunday, February 6, 2011

The clearest logic yet spoken on the housing market

Telegraph: Why must we make the same old policy failures in the housing market?

Banks should not be pressured into increasing mortgage lending in order to get more people into the housing market. This argument suffers from "the fallacy of composition". For an individual, the availability of more money may help them to become a property owner, but this is not true for the population as a whole. The supply of housing is fixed. An increase in mortgage lending will only generate higher house prices. What's more, if the Government makes special provisions for particular groups in society that it believes deserve support, such as first-time buyers or so-called "essential" workers, rather than improving the overall availability of housing, this only shuts out others deemed to be less worthy.

Posted by drewster @ 11:55 PM 15 Comments

Whilst the rich get richer, the poor get poorer!

Guardian: UK debt misery revealed: tower block where living in the red is a way of life

A very sad story. One that no doubt will become all too familiar over the coming months adn years. Whether feckless individuals, or just damn unlucky, there's going to be plenty of people in this position. And whilst the bwankers continue to reap their bonus's, and ex-PM's continue to live their lives in luxury, knowing their future is financially stable, the poor will continue to become poorer. Preyed upon by organisasions set-up to exploit the vulnerable. Legalised loan-sharks, only interested in their own profits. So where is the protection for people in this situation. Maybe the 'Big Society' will come to the rescue! Good luck to all unfortunates.

Posted by markj69 str05 @ 10:01 PM 1 Comments

London still better than most places in Europe

Evening Standard: Property investors home in on London

A "two-speed" property market across Europe will develop this year as investment hot-spots like London widen the gap on strugglers such as Athens, Dublin and Lisbon, according to industry forecasts. Nervy investors will pump funds into property in "winning cities" as fears over the eurozone debt crisis linger. "With capital so risk-averse, winning cities like London and Paris will continue to absorb investment as the only places where tenant demand will be robust. Meanwhile, cities like Dublin will be deserted by investors." Even within the UK, the market will be split between more buoyant areas in London and the South East and the rest of the country. "London is a country in itself and seems to defy gravity. Regionally, it is going to be ugly."

Posted by drewster @ 12:40 PM 22 Comments

Britain "not as bad as other countries" shocker

Daily Mail: The global financial crisis has brought the return of the Brits abroad

Five million Brits live abroad; but the global financial crisis has brought storm clouds and many expats are heading home. We look at the reasons why. 1: Property crashes. 2: Currency crisis (weak pound). 3: Overseas taxes. 4. Expensive healthcare costs.

Posted by drewster @ 12:37 PM 2 Comments

They have got to be joking

Saturday, February 5, 2011

I guarantee this will test your HPC moral compass...

Sibley's B'stard Child: Estate agent brands buyer 'obnoxious' over missing keys

'An estate agent branded a homebuyer "obnoxious" and "arrogant" after a row over a set of keys. BBC journalist Jason Korsner, 38, paid £204,000 for a studio flat in Belsize Park after more than four months of negotiations with the seller through West End Estates. Mr Korsner was unsatisfied with the service provided by the West Hampstead agents and said the final straw came when he was not provided with a single full set of keys and a storage heater and old mattress he asked to be removed were left behind.'

Posted by sibley's b'stard child @ 03:50 PM 9 Comments

Someone still has faith in Ben Bernanke

The Independent: Fed chief Bernanke spells out home truths on financing the future

This article tells us that the Chairman of the Federal Reserve wants to stop politician's kicking the can of the debt crisis down the road. Shame that as a comment points out it is his policies which are helping them to ignore America's large and rising debt problem. How long will journalists like this continue to be taken in by him?

Posted by vickiejo @ 12:02 PM 0 Comments

The government's view of the property market

Telegraph: Wikileaks: London Embassy 7/31/2009 14:37

A message from the London Embassy giving a broad brush summary of the state of the UK property market and the efforts of the government to prop up the housing market: "6. (U) Recognizing that the lack of mortgage financing dampened prospects for recovery in the housing market, HMG, during the past six months, implemented several measures to stimulate the market and encourage banks to increase lending."

Posted by quiet guy @ 11:44 AM 4 Comments

Grand old Duke of York housing market

Sky News: House Prices: Are They Going Up Or Down?

The latest house price figures from the Halifax offer a conflicting picture of the market compared with Nationwide's findings just three days ago. On the face of it, consumers could be forgiven for asking which statistics they should believe. For example - the Halifax says prices rose 0.8% in January. Nationwide believes they fell by 0.1%. Experts advise not to pull our hair out just yet. We should, they say, consider seasonal adjustments and the fact that mansions may be selling better in one particular month compared with small flats the next.

Posted by jack c @ 11:14 AM 0 Comments

Making huge profits on BtL?

BBC: One million rented homes in England 'are dangerous'

"Around one million privately let homes in England are so substandard they are dangerous, the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH) has said. The CIEH said unscrupulous landlords were exploiting the lack of rented accommodation, and there were fears that cuts to housing benefit could make the situation worse and force tenants to live in unsafe buildings, often with exposed electrics, mould and damp".

Posted by alan @ 09:31 AM 7 Comments

Adviser warns levels could smash 150,000 in 2011

Insolvency news: Personal insolvencies soar to a record 135,000

Bev Budsworth, managing director of debt solutions provider The Debt Advisor, said: “2010 was another record-breaking year with personal insolvencies topping 135,000 and a further 800,000 on debt management plans.

Posted by novice pete @ 12:05 AM 5 Comments

Friday, February 4, 2011

Express announces bounce as 'boom', 'rocket' and 'surge' are held back for another day


HOUSE prices bounced back today rising by 0.8 per cent for the month of January. The average cost of a home in Britain rose to £164,172 last month according to mortgage giant Halifax. The news follows the steep falls amid the pre-Christmas snow disruption, which saw house prices plunge 1.3 percent as snowed-in buyers stayed away from the market.Halifax said 2011 house prices would be constrained by consumer caution, with spending cuts and tax hikes hitting confidence. But it noted that fewer sellers coming on to the market would help support prices by shifting the demand and supply balance.

Posted by jack c @ 06:38 PM 14 Comments

Outbreak of commonsense in Scotland

24 Dash: Scottish Government's empty homes tax to raise £130 million for new affordable housing

"Councils will be given new powers to increase council tax on Scotland's 25,000 long term empty homes raising up to £130 million over four years to build low cost homes, it was announced today. The changes are expected to deliver around 800 homes annually and support 1,500 jobs in the construction sector and wider economy." That looks like a surcharge of a modest 'up to' £1,300 per empty home, but it's a small step vaguely in the right direction and thus to be welcomed.

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 04:56 PM 0 Comments

Jill Insley Writes A Balanced HP Article!

Guardian: House prices 'fell by 2.4% in 2010'

House prices fell by 2.4% over the past year, the Halifax said this morning – the biggest annual fall reported so far in the current housing market slide.

Posted by rantnrave @ 02:34 PM 8 Comments

Bear Nibbles for Friday Afternoon

Property Snake: Asking price down 21%

14 Jul 2010 First day listed (price £700,000) 21 Jul 2010 Price changed from £700,000 to £685,000 18 Aug 2010 Price changed from £685,000 to £650,000 06 Oct 2010 Price changed from £650,000 to £630,000 12 Nov 2010 Price changed from £630,000 to £600,000 17 Jan 2011 Price changed from £600,000 to £550,000 To be fair, the place isn't worth more than £150,000 or so, but they are heading in the right direction.

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 02:16 PM 8 Comments

West Tower has 123 apartments, with 106 let to tenants

Liverpool daily post: Liverpool's West Tower goes into administration

The owners of the building his wife was on come dine with me Cathy Frost, the wife of Hugh Frost, who runs Liverpool’s Beetham Organisation with his son, Stephen Beetham

Posted by mark @ 10:48 AM 13 Comments

Even property VIs can't find cheer in Halifax's +0.8%

Estate Agent Today: New mortgage approvals take a fresh battering

'Early signs are that the housing mortgage market is continuing to weaken more sharply than had been widely predicted. This is despite today's Halifax house price survey, showing that prices rebounded by 0.8% in January making good the 0.7% drop over the previous three months. Purchase approvals fell 6.2% in January compared with the month before – itself a weak month. The new data is based on the valuations activity of a national firm of chartered surveyors, e.surv, the largest distributor and manager of valuation instructions in the UK and which works for over 25 lenders. The firm says there was a marked drop in demand, and that the housing market stalled in January. It puts the total number of mortgage approvals at 39,905 which is 17.4% down on last January.'

Posted by sibley's b'stard child @ 10:20 AM 6 Comments

Much gnashing of teeth as gravy train hits buffers.

Estate Agent Today: Agent warns that benefit cuts will punish good landlords

Unsurprisingly, a lettings agent that specialises in housing benefit tenants isn't too happy about the impending LHA reforms. Cue lots of wailing about good (arguably very subjective) landlords being forced out of the market. Those poor HB claimants will then be pushed into using rogue landlords. Before you build-up a head of steam here's a lovely quote that is pleasing in many ways: 'The Government has repeatedly said that it expects private landlords will lower their rents once housing benefit is cut. But data shown to the conference – the result of polling over 1,000 landlords – revealed that only 88.3% would do so.'

Posted by sibley's b'stard child @ 09:33 AM 6 Comments

House Price Crash Cancelled

Halifax: House prices +0.8%MoM, -2.4%YoY

Time to give up?

Posted by little professor @ 08:16 AM 34 Comments

BBC don't do grammars

BBC: One in five workers fears losing job, survey suggests

The article starts: "One in five UK workers are fearful for their jobs, a survey has suggested. In the public sector, that figure rises to nearly one in three workers, the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) said..." And the BBC ignores the most basic rule of all - be consistent. In the title they say "One in five IS" and in the article they say "One in five ARE"

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 07:48 AM 10 Comments

Thursday, February 3, 2011

That should read "fewer than" and "10%", but hey...

Your Mortgage: Less than 25% expect house price growth this year

"Just under a quarter of homeowners believe house prices will remain stagnant in 2011, reversing the majority expectation in 2010 that house prices will continue to grow, according to Rightmove. Rightmove's consumer confidence survey found that 25% of those who expect house prices to increase cited a rise in the availability in mortgages as the main trigger for growth. Conversely, the survey found that those predicting lower house prices cited a lack of confidence in the economy (53%) and an increase in available property (30%) as the main reasons for a lack of growth in the market this year..."

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 04:21 PM 13 Comments

This'll cheer up Eric Cantona no end...

Telegraph: Irish bank flight quickens despite EU rescue

"Irish central bank data showed losses of €40bn (£34bn) in deposits from the key banks in December, compared with €27bn a month earlier. Over the past year Irish lenders have haemorrhaged €110bn, equal to 60pc of gross national product. "Would I want to leave money in an institution where I don't know who is making the rules?" said Gary Jenkins from Evolution Securities..."

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 01:30 PM 7 Comments

Mooo where is our home Mooo

Liverpool daily post: Merseyside green belt may be built on to ease housing crisis

MORE than 3,500 new homes may have to be built on Green Belt and green spaces to cope with demand from Merseyside families.

Posted by mark @ 01:23 PM 31 Comments

The start of things to come

Estateagenttoday.co.uk: New northern auction group off to flying start

Let's hope this can be rolled out across England & Wales, removing the need for EAs at the [mis-] valuation and "negotiations" stages [for good]. Let's face it, nobody likes "dealing" with these strangers to the truth. "Agents Property Auction, a business founded just nine months ago, has got off to a cracking start this year."

Posted by doomwatch @ 12:16 PM 2 Comments

How much further will UK house prices fall?

MoneyWeek: How much further will UK house prices fall?

While certain sections of Britain's economy are bouncing back from recession, that can't be said of the housing market. Whichever index you read tells the same story, says David Stevenson. Prices are down on last year - and they're not done falling yet.

Posted by damien @ 11:41 AM 7 Comments

Rember - We're all in this together

Bloomberg: Wealthy Britons Planning to Increase Spending in 2011, HSBC SaysWealthy Britons Planning to Increase Spending in 2011, HSBC Says

Wealthy Britons plan to save less and spend more on travel, commuting and home improvements, HSBC Holdings Plc said, citing a YouGov Plc survey. Households with a combined annual income of more than 100,000 pounds ($162,080) will probably increase spending by 7.8 percent in 2011

Posted by khards @ 10:48 AM 3 Comments

Lloyds plan to dump houses on market?

Sharecast: Thursday newspaper round-up: Lloyds Banking

Originally from the Times: Lloyds creating a "vehicle" to manage thousands of homes to sell or "float" - whatever that means. Is this a sneaky way to offload seized properties? Will it help the so-called shortage of supply?

Posted by arthur kinnell @ 10:18 AM 0 Comments

New Job for Kate Barker

Construction Enquirer: Housing Guru Kate Barker joins Taylor Wimpey

Government advisor who shaped housing policy and set interest rates becomes non-executive director.

Posted by rare poster @ 09:29 AM 3 Comments

Structural unemployment, output gap calculations & inflation forecasts = Low intrest rates??

Smellygraph: UK faces US-style jobless recovery, says Institute for Fiscal Studies

Britain is facing the prospect of a jobless recovery similar to the employment crisis engulfing the US, the economist behind the Institute for Fiscal Studies' (IFS) forecasts has warned.

Posted by khards @ 08:36 AM 0 Comments

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

How it really is out there

Credit Action: Debt Figures

Says it all.

Posted by yoss @ 08:05 PM 3 Comments

First Alan Sugar now Melanie Bien (I'll get the handbags)

Mortgagestrategy: Backlash over Allsopp’s Twitter slur on Melanie Bien

Television presenter Kirstie Allsopp has sparked a war of words on Twitter after making offensive comments about Melanie Bien, director of communications at Private Finance this morning. The comments were made while Bien appeared on BBC Breakfast. Drew Wotherspoon, director of marketing at John Charcol also tweeted: “I’ll send Ray (Boulger) in a dress next time so she can really have something to talk about… ridiculous.”

Posted by jack c @ 07:21 PM 5 Comments

Excellent news for Scottish landlords!

Telegraph: Most young Scots forced to rent by 2020

But, just in case collecting half of young people's income in inflated rents (see article) isn't enough for the hard-pressed BTL, I think we ought to increase the HB cap and give BTLers tax breaks and subsidies and low interest loans, just to be on the safe side. Remember kids: house prices can only go up! No landowner or homeowner can ever lose a penny for that would be an abomination in the eyes of The Lord.

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 05:17 PM 4 Comments

Merryn serves up some Bear Nibbles...

Money Week: The house price falls for 2011 have only just begun

Despite having fallen to the VI Hun and gone over to The Dark Side (i.e. bought a house), she has this to say: "So much for the great house price recovery. Nationwide numbers just out tell us that prices fell another tiny bit in December. That means they ended 2010 down just over 1%, and that they are still 13% off their 2007 highs. Add in inflation and it is more like 20%..."

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 04:36 PM 14 Comments

Dodgy brokers get slap on the wrist from Lloyds. In other news, Santander welcomes 900 new faces.

MoneyMarketing: Lloyds axes 900 brokers from its panel

*It should be noted that mortgage fraud is still rife with a quarter of all mortgage applications being fraudulent* Lloyds Banking Group has struck 900 mortgage brokers off its panel over the last three years after uncovering suspected fraudulent practices. This week’s Money Marketing also reveals that around 300 brokers have been removed from Lloyds’ panel over the last year. Practices such as over inflating income and fraudulent applications have led to brokers being suspended for interim periods of three, six or 12 months. In some cases Lloyds has stopped working with brokers on a permanent basis.

Posted by sibley's b'stard child @ 03:42 PM 4 Comments

Questions to which the answer is "No".

City Wire: Is Lloyds' 'second step' mortgage a good sign for property?

"If the current generation of frustrated first-time buyers harbours any envy for their predecessors, who just managed to scramble onto the ladder before the lenders stopped offering a leg up, they should consider the following. Four to five years is the average amount of time a homeowner stays in their first property. First-time buyers who bought-for-the-first-time four or five years ago did so at the very peak of the market, and they’re most likely to have bought the kinds of properties (smaller flats, new-builds) that have fared worse than average in the years since. If they’re not in a significant negative equity position now, there’s every chance they will be soon." But I thought house prices only went up?

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 01:46 PM 8 Comments

Barratt commissions 'independent' poll with which to attack MMR (nothing to do with Mumps or Rubella

Estate Agent Today: A lifetime of renting? No thanks, say under-30s

Mark Clare, chief executive of Barratt Developments, said: “The findings from this nationwide poll illustrate the extent of the housing crisis facing Britain and the depth of the public policy challenges we now have to tackle as a result. “There is no silver bullet which will solve the problem overnight, but there are steps which can be taken.” “Without doubt, making mortgage finance more readily available to credit-worthy first-time buyers should be top of the list. It cannot be right that people in their 30s with good jobs and good credit histories are having mortgage applications turned down. “I am pleased the Government has rightly identified this as an urgent problem and is meeting the banks to assess what can be done.”

Posted by sibley's b'stard child @ 12:51 PM 14 Comments

A forward indicator ?

Reuters: Construction activity bounces back in January

Construction activity returned to growth in January, helped by better weather and a rise in new business, the monthly Markit/CIPS purchasing managers index showed on Wednesday. "Looking at the trend in the data over the past two months as a whole, the picture is one of very modest growth, well below the strong pace seen in the first half of last year."

Posted by khards @ 12:45 PM 2 Comments

Council Job Losses

Guardian: Job cuts latest: council job losses total passes 150,000

The number of jobs earmarked for redundancy by councils in the UK has risen to above 150,000, up 10,000 over the past week as councils begin to finalise cuts plans. The latest figures compiled by the GMB union reflect formal notifications of "jobs at risk" made by 260 councils and authorities. A further 239 are expected to reveal the extent of job losses in the next few weeks,

Posted by cat and canary @ 12:45 PM 0 Comments

More inflation blips for Mr King

Fortune: Why cattle markets are having a cow

With incomes rising throughout developing Asia, in particular, the draw on food crops has grown intense. Among the biggest price gains have come in corn and soybeans both used as livestock feed, which is in great demand as emerging markets consumers clamor for protein. That trend is only expected to intensify in coming years.

Posted by mark @ 12:11 PM 4 Comments

RICS survey shows more UK house price falls looming

MoneyWeek: RICS survey shows more UK house price falls looming

Lead economic indicators: UK house prices. The RICS Housing Market Survey is arguably Britain's best house price predictor. It's a monthly measure of how many surveyors are seeing UK house prices rise compared with the number reporting a fall. The survey moves in very clear cycles, positive to negative and vice versa.

Posted by damien @ 10:29 AM 17 Comments

Carpetright shares still spell more house price woe

MoneyWeek: Carpetright shares still spell more house price woe

Lead economic indicators: UK house prices. Carpetright is Europe's leading specialist floor covering retailer, and also sells beds. So the firm's stock price is a good guide to UK housing market activity. It's also a handy predictor of future house price changes.

Posted by damien @ 10:26 AM 14 Comments

More Inflation Blips for Mr King

Guardian: Australian cyclone pushes copper prices to new high

The price of copper hit a new record high today, as Australia's fiercest cyclone in decades neared the North Queensland coast. The news that mining giant Xstrata is evacuating its copper refining and port operations in Townsville as cyclone Yasi approached helped to push the metal to as high as $9,985 a tonne. The Townsville plant produces around 300,000 tonnes of copper cathode a year, from ore extracted from the Mount Isa Mines in north west Queensland. The refinery is the largest of its kind in Australia, and employs around 220 people. Tin also hit a record high this morning, tracking the move in copper, to $30,425 a tonne.

Posted by mark @ 10:22 AM 1 Comments

I cannot be held responsible for any damage caused to your PC

Houseladder: Landlords 'should have more government support'

The government should support landlords by pushing lenders to increase provision of buy-to-let mortgages, it has been argued. Landlords should receive more government support in order to encourage lenders to grant buy-to-let mortgages, it has been claimed. Chris Town, vice-chair of the Residential Landlords Association, noted although the market appears to be "loosening up … it is still very restrictive for professional landlords who wish to get into the market in a serious way". Britons hoping to let property privately may find limited new home construction means it is difficult to join the buy-to-let market, as a shortage of real estate will potentially push up prices and make it harder to secure a loan.

Posted by sibley's b'stard child @ 09:28 AM 6 Comments

Wonder if the council would prefer a tescos built there!!

Manchester evening news: Restaurant boss told to pull down £500k dream home

A restaurant boss has been ordered to bulldoze his dream £500,000 home because he never got permission to build it so big.

Posted by mark @ 08:43 AM 17 Comments

Blah, blah, blah

BBC: Mortgage lenders ease loan restrictions

"The proportion of mortgage deals needing more than a 25% deposit has fallen to a two-year low. Moneyfacts says only 46% of mortgages currently on offer now ask for a deposit of that size."

Posted by phdinbubbles @ 08:24 AM 13 Comments

The price of Brent oil has breached the key $100 a barrel figure

Yahoo: Bean says Bank may be forced to act on rates

The Bank of England may be forced to act on interest rates if commodity prices continue to rise and inflation becomes embedded, the central bank's Deputy Governor Charles Bean said on Wednesday.

Posted by mark @ 08:17 AM 2 Comments

Won't somebody think of The Children!

Guardian: Online crime maps could drive down house prices

Nigel Lewis, property analyst at Findaproperty.com, said: "On the face of it, online crime maps are a brilliant idea akin to the neighbourhood watch schemes launched during the 1980s, but they are also dangerous for the housing market.

Posted by micasasucasa @ 12:06 AM 3 Comments

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Those who cannot remember the past, are condemned to repeat it.

MoneyMarketing: Santander slams FSA income rules

*Nicked off Jack* Santander Chief Exec complains that it's just not fair that (under the FSA's proposals) lenders should be held accountable for borrowers' ability to pay. I mean, verifiying income via intermediaries is a risk-free approach that has served UK mortgage lending well so far. Plus, she argues, if Santander can't be cavalier with other peoples' money; how on earth will they retain their 'competitiveness'? To be honest, all you need to do is read the headline in conjunction with the following excerpt: 'The share of Santander’s mortgage business which comes from intermediaries is around 80 per cent, meaning the bank would be more affected by the income verification proposals than some of the other high-street lenders.'

Posted by sibley's b'stard child @ 09:06 PM 4 Comments

A sign of softening activity?

Press Association: Pfizer to shut major Sandwich site, home of Viagra

Pfizer Inc is to close its research and development centre in Sandwich, southern England, which employs 2,400 people, dealing a major blow to Britain's scientific jobs base.

Posted by mr g @ 08:19 PM 10 Comments

Labour MP horrified by MMR (sensible lending)

Moneymarketing: TSC member "horrified" by the MMR

The mortgage market review will hit first-time buyers, the building trade and the mortgage industry, according to a senior Labour MP. Speaking in this morning’s Treasury select committee evidence session with Nationwide, Labour MP George Mudie said the review would hit lenders as well as having a wider detrimental impact. He said: “I am horrified by the MMR, the FSA have lost their balance. To guard against, “oh, you were weak and you are still weak”, they have swung the other way, and it seems to me they can damage the building industry, the mortgage industry and young kids trying to get a start with a new house.

Posted by jack c @ 05:37 PM 11 Comments

Meanwhile, in a parallel universe...

First Rung.co.uk: First time buyer demand rising as buy to let investors look to scavange lower end of housing market

"Demand from first time buyers is rising, while buy to let investors are now gravitating towards houses than flats says RICS' latest housing market research. The RICS' new buyer enquires series has reported a positive net balance for 11 consecutive months. On the back of the pick-up in interest in the market, RICS thought it would be valuable to delve a little further into this trend. Questions were asked about the proportion of enquiries coming from first time buyers and whether surveyors are now seeing a rise in buy to let investment..." This is sub-standard journalism barely worthy of the Evening Standard pwoperty pull out.

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 05:10 PM 5 Comments

Article by: Gary Styles; Strategy, Risk and Economics Director Hometrack

Hometrack: Why the path of interest rates really matters

Published in Nov 2010 - simplistic but worth a read, if only to generate a few comments.....

Posted by rental john @ 04:16 PM 0 Comments

Rightmove’s Consumer Confidence Survey

Propertytalk: Home-movers forecast house price stability into 2012

Director Miles Shipside says...“We have an obsession with house-prices in this country, but it’s worth remembering that when people make the decision to buy, the equation is far more complex for most than simply placing a bet on short-term price trends. For many, the relatively low cost of borrowing money means it really is a good time to buy, though the shortage of available property in some popular locations, and demanding criteria set by lenders, mean that it is not necessarily an easy time to buy.”

Posted by rental john @ 04:07 PM 0 Comments

BP's dividend is back, but should you buy in?

MoneyWeek: BP's dividend is back, but should you buy in?

Oil giant BP has reinstated its dividend payout. And new chief executive Bob Dudley has big plans to rebuild it as a smaller, stronger company. But with its recent Russian deal already proving troublesome, does it make sense to buy BP shares?

Posted by damien @ 03:40 PM 9 Comments

All is well if you've got £40m+ cash to splash

London Evening Sub-Standard: Prices dip as house market makes a gloomy start to the New Year

The property market began the New Year with a "whimper rather than a bang" as house prices showed their first annual decline since August 2009, building society Nationwide said today..................................Most forecasters expect London to buck the sliding trend this year thanks to the capital's stronger economy and acute supply shortages. Upmarket London properties such as the £56 million Sloane House and £45 million Kensington Palace Gardens mansion which Bernie Ecclestone just bought for his daughters, Petra and Tamara, continue to shoot up in price.

Posted by jack c @ 02:49 PM 3 Comments

Will this impact IRs?

Reuters: Manufacturing PMI hits record high in January

"Manufacturing activity grew in January at its fastest pace since records began in 1992, and factory costs also surged, in a further sign that price pressures are building in the economy, a survey showed".The survey, released on Tuesday, showed that new orders and employment also rose at their fastest rate on record and factory gate prices climbed at their strongest clip since August 2008. ."It brings forward the risk of a rate rise sooner rather than later and brings February into play as a possibility", said Ross Walker of RBS.

Posted by alan @ 01:24 PM 1 Comments

Check the details!

Las vegas sun: Udge overturns order, allows 8,900 Nevada foreclosures to resume

"The ever-expanding body of case law within this district (of Nevada) holds that the Nevada law governing nonjudicial foreclosure does not require a lender to produce the original note nor does it require that ReconTrust be substituted as trustee under the deed of trust as prerequisites to non-judicial foreclosure proceedings,"

Posted by mark @ 11:16 AM 2 Comments

A leading indicator of UK Property market takes a big dip

BBC News: Carpetright shares drop 8% after profit warning

More snow on the lines spin ... "Floor coverings retailer Carpetright has warned that its annual profits will be lower than forecast after sales were hit by poor weather and weak consumer confidence."

Posted by doomwatch @ 10:56 AM 12 Comments

Ha Ha Ha

Daily mail: Crimebotch: Police website crashes as 75,000 people a MINUTE log on to find out just how safe their street is

A Home Office website, www.police.uk, allows residents to type in their postcode to see the full extent of crime on their street. When it works .

Posted by mark @ 10:50 AM 14 Comments

Another blip? Inflation must be on course for new highs

Yahoo: Manufacturing PMI hits record high in January

Companies in January reported improved demand from both domestic and overseas markets, with the rate of increase in export orders among the fastest since the survey was launched in 1992. Growth reflected higher sales to the United States, emerging markets, Scandinavia and Australia. However, inflationary pressures also continued to build, with substantial increases seen for both input costs and factory gate prices.

Posted by mark @ 10:48 AM 2 Comments

Holed below the waterline

Bloomberg: Nationwide's Robert Gardner on House Prices

Robert Gardner, chief economist at Nationwide Building Society, talks about the outlook for U.K. house prices in 2011. The average cost of a home slipped 0.1 percent from December to 161,602 pounds, Nationwide, Britain’s biggest customer-owned lender said. Gardner speaks from Swindon, England, with Maryam Nemazee on Bloomberg Television's "Countdown." (Source: Bloomberg)

Posted by jack c @ 10:34 AM 1 Comments

Cant the same happen here? Do council workers need phones?

Cnn: No more cell phones for 48,000 California workers

The move will save the cash-strapped state $20 million a year. It comes a day after Brown announced a draconian budget plan that will cut $12 billion in spending and maintain $12 billion in tax hikes.

Posted by mark @ 10:13 AM 1 Comments

Credit bubble slowly going into reverse

24 Dash: Mortgage lending at lowest level since records began - Bank of England

"New mortgage lending fell to a record low in 2010 and advances are expected to drop further during the coming year, figures showed today. Net lending, which strips out redemptions and repayments, totalled just £8.15 billion during the year, down from £11.33 billion in 2009 and the lowest level since the Bank of England's records began in 1987. The market finished the year on the back foot, with net lending contracting by £298 million during December, as homeowners repaid more than lenders advanced."

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 10:05 AM 15 Comments

Better late than never

Bloomberg News: BOE Will Raise Rate Three Times This Year, Niesr Says

The Bank of England will raise its key interest rate three times this year to prevent a surge in consumer prices from getting entrenched in the economy, the National Institute of Economic and Social Research said.

Posted by mr cobblepot @ 10:02 AM 0 Comments

BBC rehash of Nationwide press release

BBC: House prices fell 0.1% in January, says Nationwide.

"House prices fell slightly last month, according to the latest survey from the Nationwide building society. It says prices slipped by 0.1% in January, leaving them down 1.1% on a year earlier." I like this bit, which veers dangerously close to the truth: "Cheaper homes would generally be welcomed by potential first-time buyers. However, rationing of mortgage funds is still being imposed by lenders."

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 10:01 AM 5 Comments

Is this a peak into the future

Cnbc: 11 percent of US property is empty

this is real and actually happening and blows away the myth that people pile into property in a falling market and why the housing market in us is unlikely to recover soon

Posted by taffee @ 09:06 AM 4 Comments

The Real Crime is affordability!

Telegraph: House prices could be hit by crime maps

Newly published crime maps detailing crimes committed in every street and neighbourhood in the country could cause house prices to slump in dangerous areas and rise higher in safer neighbourhoods, it was claimed.

Posted by happy mondays @ 08:50 AM 5 Comments

-0.1% MoM -1.1% YoY

Nationwide: January Index

Commenting on the figures, Robert Gardner, Nationwide's Chief Economist, said: “The property market entered 2011 with a whimper rather than a bang, with house prices edging down slightly in January. Prices fell by 0.1% month-on-month, leaving prices 1.1% lower than January 2010." 0.7% non-adjusted MoM fall

Posted by phdinbubbles @ 07:29 AM 24 Comments

UK faces jump in home repossessions if economy slows

The Daily Telegraph: UK faces jump in home repossessions if economy slows, says Standard & Poor's

The stock of severe arrears cases has steadily increased, despite the lowest interest rates in 12 generations. This was the main cause of falling prices in the early 1990s, and it's going to have to happen again if prices are going to fall. Those who have lost their jobs have my sympathy. Those who took on a mortgage they couldn't really afford of 5, 6 or 7 times their fictional income don't. It's because of them that I can't afford a house.

Posted by monty032 @ 06:45 AM 0 Comments

Britain's famous skills in "financial innovation"

Mortgage Strategy: Property fund offers 95% deal to FTBs

Here's how it works: Investors buy 95% of the house, you buy 5% and move in. You pay a "co-investment charge" to the investors, typically lower than a standard 95% FTB mortgage. The FTB is responsible for all maintenance and repairs (haha, sucker). The investors get a better-than-bank-account interest rate on their savings plus a share in the capital appreciation (hahahahaha, suckers!). The risk of borrower default is conveniently glossed over. For the FTB, this scheme "allows access to the property market before prices may rise" (ow my sides, please stop!)

Posted by drewster @ 01:03 AM 6 Comments

Fear is sinking in; even city boys are saving their pennies

PropertyWire: Rise on demand for one bed rental properties in London

Rising rents are forcing many London tenants to search for smaller properties, creating fierce competition for one bedroom flats, it is claimed. Where traditionally the majority of city workers have opted for a two bedroom property, giving them a spare bedroom or a study, property consultants Cluttons has seen a sharp rise in demand for one bedroom apartments as tenants try to keep rental costs down. The usual cycle of workers upsizing to a larger property after a year or so has stalled, as many are deterred from moving by rising rental prices and a desire to keep their outgoings low, as concerns over job stability continue.

Posted by drewster @ 12:49 AM 2 Comments

Always belive in!

You Tube: Gold always believe in your soul

Apologies but having spent an aeon typing a message to the good General regarding his gold thesis I realised the post to which I wanted to add it has disappeared - now attached as first message to this gratuitous post. Apologies to everyone else, although as a sort of defence I do see gold as being a sort of prism through which a great deal of what has happened and is happening can be thought about and discussed.

Posted by bellwether @ 12:13 AM 12 Comments

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