March 2011 Archive

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Some sobering observations from Nobel laureate Paul Krugman

New York Times: The Austerity Delusion

Nobel economics laureate Paul Krugman looks to Britain and concludes: The confidence fairy won’t save us from the consequences of our folly.

Posted by tel @ 09:27 PM 0 Comments

Rightmove Consumer Confidence Survey

Rightmove: CCS Quarter 1 2011

Hadn't seen this before. An interesting change of sentiment. Not sure where the figures come from, but...... Compared with last year, 30% fewer people expect prices to rise in the year ahead. Compared with last year, 20% more people expect prices to fall in the year ahead.

Posted by katalan1 @ 04:26 PM 0 Comments

Online campaign targets high cost of housing Online campaign targets high cost of housing

"It's the sort of social media campaign that sends shivers through people trying to sell their houses in a flat property market."

Posted by doomwatch @ 01:40 PM 7 Comments

UK has largely escaped such a self-sustaining downward spiral....but for how long?

The Economist: America's property market - On a losing streak

TO THE many dubious distinctions of Las Vegas, add one more: foreclosure capital of America. According to RealtyTrac, a property-listings firm, one in every ten homes in the city was in some stage of foreclosure last year, almost five times the national rate. In North Las Vegas, a poorer suburb, the figure was one in five.

Posted by rental john @ 12:58 PM 2 Comments

Did Mark Wadsworth Write This?

JRF Housing Market Taskforce: Housing taxation and subsidies: international comparisons and the options for reform

Four objectives for housing taxation and subsidy systems include (i) less volatile house prices; (ii) less distortion of choices between owning and renting; (iii) additional support for low income and vulnerable households; and (iv) additional housing investment incentives.

Posted by ontheotherhand @ 12:09 PM 3 Comments

Gather 'round, gold standard enthusiasts

Cnn: Utah: Forget dollars. How about gold?

"If somebody is stupid enough that they want to buy a Snickers bar at 7-Eleven with a gold coin worth thousands of dollars, they will be able to do that," the source said. The new law is, of course, a shot at the Federal Reserve. And Utah isn't alone. A few other states are considering similar bills. Conservatives fret that the central bank has permanently damaged the value of the dollar by pumping trillions into the economy, drawing down the greenback's buying power.

Posted by mark @ 10:56 AM 5 Comments

This article is for Mervyn King

Daily mail: The £1.50 litre to arrive within weeks': Drivers to be hit AGAIN by rising oil prices

The soaring price of petrol could soon hit £1.50 a litre, experts have warned. Motorists had welcomed fresh hope that prices would stabilise after the Chancellor last week in his budget scrapped a fuel duty rise. But despite an improved week on international stock markets, oil prices have continued to increase and added 1p to the cost of petrol.

Posted by mark @ 10:44 AM 6 Comments

Why would welfare reductions effect the sale of LED tvs? welfare is for essentials not TVs

Yahoo: Dixons warning raises spectre of retail slump

Consumers look increasingly unwilling to spend as muted earnings growth and higher inflation, fuelled by January's rise in VAT (sales tax) and higher oil and food prices, bite into real incomes. They are also worried about job losses and welfare reductions related to government spending cuts, as well as the prospect of higher interest rates.

Posted by mark @ 10:38 AM 13 Comments

UK house prices and transactions in latest falls UK house prices and transactions in latest falls

Latest from the funnelled and skewed world of the brain surgeons and rocket scientists.

Posted by doomwatch @ 10:33 AM 10 Comments

The Falklands oil story reignites

MoneyWeek: The Falklands oil story reignites

Rockhopper's oil discovery in the Falklands has sent its shares soaring and rejuvenated interest in the region. Tom Bulford looks at the next company hoping to find oil in the Falklands.

Posted by damien @ 09:52 AM 4 Comments

"modest increases in the base rate could see a catastrophic fall in house prices" 'Zombie households' would not cope with rate rise

Fund managers warned "zombie households" would not be able to cope with an interest rate rise, meaning the Bank of England (BoE) is unlikely to tackle high inflation in the near future. Interest rate rises to control above target inflation levels are unlikely in the near future as many households would not be able to cope with the effect this would have, fund managers have warned..........However Mr Spreadbury said the BoE was unlikely to adjust its current monetary policy to tackle inflation because of the spectre of "zombie households". "People are at the edge of what they can afford to pay right now and even modest increases in the base rate could see a catastrophic fall in house prices.

Posted by jack c @ 09:42 AM 5 Comments

The US dollar continued to appreciate at the beginning of Monday's trading session, bolstered by neg

Foerx4you: Forex4you Fundamental Analysis

The US dollar continued to appreciate at the beginning of Monday’s trading session, bolstered by negative messages from Europe, where German Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservative party lost a state election on the one hand, and Portuguese bond yields for 10 year notes jumped to their record high after S&P ratings agency downgraded several Portugal’s banks on the other. The greenback was also supported by St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank president Bullard, who said the Fed should review its program of quantitative easing in light of recent positive economic data, coming from the US economy.

Posted by namrata @ 07:16 AM 0 Comments


Telegraph: Giving troubled mortgage borrowers a second chance is storing up trouble for the banks

"Efforts by banks to help out mortgage borrowers in trouble could be storing up serious problems for the financial system, according to credit rating agency Moody's ... FSA figures show that for every UK mortgage borrower in arrears, two are subject to some kind forebearance process to help them avoid defaulting on their debt."

Posted by quiet guy @ 01:43 AM 6 Comments

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

If only

Money Week: The letter George Osborne should really send Mervyn King

British economic life has acquired a new ritual. Every three months the Governor of the Bank of England writes a letter to the Chancellor of the Exchequer explaining why he has missed the inflation target.

Posted by mr g @ 11:05 PM 6 Comments

Interest soaring in London land

FT: Interest soaring in London land

From 27 Feb 2011: Competition for land in London is hitting pre-recession levels, as international investors prepare to inject more than £5bn into the city’s lucrative residential property market.

Posted by peter rocker @ 08:41 PM 5 Comments

Its starting to smell down under.

Money Morning: Real Estate Industry Forecasts Major Price Falls

It seems it’s not just the so-called lunatic fringe saying the housing bubble is bursting down under.

Posted by dr pineapples @ 08:14 PM 0 Comments

Another 0.8%

The Press Association: Disposable income falls by 0.8%

Households' disposable income fell for the first time in almost 30 years according to the Office for National Statistics, first decline in spending power since 1981 came as wages failed to keep up with soaring inflation.

Posted by enuii @ 07:51 PM 4 Comments

House price preservation measures working fine

Guardian: House prices fall 0.8% in February

Official Land Registry figures show house prices down by 1.7% over the past year

Posted by mken @ 07:31 PM 2 Comments

The latest coalition property tax proposal is just as stupid as the last one

MoneyWeek: The latest coalition property tax proposal is just as stupid as the last one

Nick Clegg's 'mansion tax' was roundly dismissed as a stupid idea. But now it's back. And the new version has all the same problems as the original.

Posted by damien @ 02:05 PM 8 Comments

Tapping into a rich seam of Home-Owner-Ist drivel

CityWire Money: Why taxing property millionaires is unfair

Lorna Bourke reverts to type. The comments are an interesting mix of LVT-supporters (hurray!) and Home-Owner-Ists, who don't seem to be able to agree between themselves whether they prefer Poll Tax of Local Income Tax (the two are polar opposites and LVT is somewhere in the middle). They can't even get their facts straight, let alone their logic.

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 01:22 PM 17 Comments

Not totally newsworthy but some interesting figures

Manchester evening news: Bolton council housing set for £124m revamp

Around £1.2bn is set to be invested in the properties over 30 years.

Posted by mark @ 10:30 AM 1 Comments

UK property market is one of his biggest worries for banking Giving troubled mortgage borrowers a second chance is storing up trouble for the banks

Increased "lender forebearance" in the wake of the financial crisis whereby banks allow borrowers to extend the repayment period for their debt, switch a repayment mortgage to an interest-only product, or even allow them a holiday on interest payments, pose a risk to British banks.

Posted by fuzzy @ 07:52 AM 0 Comments

House prices linked to demographics - what about in the UK?

The Economist: Letters

Americans make their largest home purchase at the average age of 45. The apex of the Baby Boom was 1961. Therefore mathematically the peak house-buying year was 2006. The average age at which Americans make their largest home sale is 60. Since the number of Americans born in 1976 is almost 25% lower than the number born in 1961, and the bulk of aggregate property value is in the largest homes, it is therefore reasonable to assume there will be no demand and supply equilibrium in the American market until approximately 2021. The outlook for homeowners is unavoidably grim.

Posted by drewster @ 12:55 AM 22 Comments

Monday, March 28, 2011

Everyone knows MBS were poorly rated

Reuters: Bank paper urges reform of credit rating agencies

"Rating agencies need to become more transparent and less dominant if they are no longer to pose a risk to the financial system, a Bank of England research paper argues". - a bit late for that, isn't it?

Posted by alan @ 10:37 PM 1 Comments

Stamp duty giveaway to create house shortage

London evening standard: Stamp duty giveaway to ease house shortage

London's housing shortage should be eased as a Budget property tax giveaway boosts investment in private rental property, industry experts said today!!!!

Posted by jonamon @ 06:16 PM 1 Comments

Splendid bit of Home-Owner-Ist special pleading

Evening Standard: Nick Clegg warned against plans for 'super tax' on high-value homes

"Mark Field, Tory MP for the Cities of London and Westminster, backed the Chancellor's attempt to close loopholes but added: "Any further meddling with council tax banding would be both unworkable and unpopular." Ahem. Council Tax bands have not had any "meddling" at all for twenty years, let alone any "further meddling". Replacing the existing 8 bands with 26 bands from A, where you pay (say) £100 a year up to Z, where you pay (say) £10,000 a year, would be the work of a few weeks (which is as long as it took twenty years ago). That'd be pretty popular with about three quarters of households whose bill goes down, methinks.

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 04:06 PM 8 Comments

What's France's secret for rising house prices?

This is Money: House prices: Ireland slumps; France booms

House prices in France were up 10% in 2010, according to Knight Frank's latest round-up which is out today. They say it's because the French were more cautious on mortgage lending - but can they really account for such a big swing. Could there be something in their reluctance to trim public sector spending - or am I missing something else?

Posted by tom d @ 01:42 PM 6 Comments

-0.8%MoM, -1.7% YoY

Land Registry [pdf]: House prices fall 0.8% in Feb

Today's LR report (covering Feb 2011) shows prices fell 0.8% month on month, compared to a 0.2% rise in Jan. Annual rate of decline increased to 1.7% from 0.9% in Jan.

Posted by little professor @ 11:48 AM 19 Comments

More from the Banana Republic of Ireland

Guardian: Irish banks need another bailout

Fresh bank stress tests in Ireland are expected to show another black hole of between €18bn and €23bn and lead to the fifth bailout in two and half years. The losses reflect the worsening state of the banks' commercial and residential mortgage loan books with a worse-case scenario of a 60% fall in house prices from peak to trough. If the figures are confirmed, it will mean virtually all the EU-IMF contingency fund is now consumed

Posted by little professor @ 11:18 AM 3 Comments

Of course, it's different in the UK

24 Dash: Irish house prices fall nearly 11% in a year

House prices in Ireland are falling at a double-digit rate but property values in other countries favoured by UK buyers are showing signs of stabilising, research indicated today. The average cost of a home in Ireland dropped by 10.8% during 2010 as the market suffered from the fall-out of the country's economic problems, according to estate agent Knight Frank.

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 11:14 AM 9 Comments

More property tax platitudes

BBC News: Vince Cable hints at tax rise for 'high value' homes

The chancellor missed a trick with bringing in new CGT rules to prevent further speculation on property [as most MPs have made nice tax free capital gains over the last 10 years ?] in the 2011 budget. Business Secretary Vince Cable has said tax on high value properties may have to rise - if the 50p tax rate is axed. Nick Clegg told the Financial Times it would not be a return to the Lib Dem "mansion tax" policy but could include looking at council tax or stamp duty. Chancellor George Osborne said in the Budget that the 50p rate would be temporary but the government would look at tax on "very high value" properties. There was a "strong argument" for having a "proper base for taxing property", he said.

Posted by doomwatch @ 11:07 AM 0 Comments

Wonder what the vacant % is in UK

Cnn: 13% of all U.S. homes are vacant

And it's only getting worse: The national vacancy rate crept up to just over 13% according to last week's decennial census report. That's up from 12.1% in 2007.

Posted by mark @ 10:44 AM 2 Comments

Affordability is important when buying a house

BBC-Panorama: Take-home pay down 5% in real terms since 2009, says study

"The average employee takes home £1,088 a year less than two years ago when the sum is adjusted for inflation, research commissioned by BBC Panorama suggests".

Posted by alan @ 08:17 AM 2 Comments

Inflation - what do you think will happen?

Reuters: Bank's Posen says inflation to drop in 2012

"Bank of England policymaker Adam Posen was quoted as saying on Monday that inflation would drop to 1.5 percent by mid-2012 as the government's austerity drive and a weak economy would lead to a decline in consumer spending".

Posted by alan @ 08:09 AM 29 Comments

Sunday, March 27, 2011

"We're maybe thinking about one day starting a consultation into the idea"

Guardian: Cable confirms ending of 50p tax rate, and reveals 'mansion tax' plans

The business secretary, Vince Cable, has confirmed the 50p rate on tax will be abolished – and revealed the government would consider bringing in a 'mansions tax' to ensure the wealthiest pay their way. Cable, who argued in opposition for a 0.5% levy on properties worth more than £1m, told the BBC's Politics Show: "I and George Osborne agree that we have to move away from extremely high marginal rates of tax on income, including that [the 50p rate of tax]. But it needs to be a change which is fair overall and does take account of the fact that the wealthy have got to pay their share. The emphasis may well have to shift from high marginal rates of tax on income which are undesirable, to taxation of wealth, including property, and the chancellor said that, as much as that, in his budget."

Posted by drewster @ 11:24 PM 11 Comments

Aussie house prices a crumbling down

Ten News: Bargain mansions

Some vast price cuts in Aussie high end property in former hot spots - but also notes that falls also happening further down the food chain. Unadulterated bear tucker...........

Posted by andy hamilton @ 09:45 PM 0 Comments

Let's go Dutch:0)

Guardian: Dutch bankers' bonuses axed by people power

"An online campaign has overturned ING's executive pay policy, and the mood in Amsterdam is getting increasingly militant about bonuses at bailed-out banks"@ title of article......"Meanwhile the UK cowers in fear every time the bankers threaten to move to Hong Kong or Singapore."@hifolks from comments

Posted by bystander @ 07:35 PM 2 Comments

Why just the taxpayers suffering?

Reuters: Ireland wants bank bondholders to share the pain

"Ireland's government wants to impose losses on some senior bondholders in Irish lenders to reduce the burden on taxpayers from a prolonged banking crisis, a senior minister said on Sunday". (Could this be a way forward in dealing with Europe's troubled banks?). "Rumours that AIB was planning to miss a coupon payment on a bond, denied by the bank, helped send the yield on two-year Irish sovereign paper soaring to euro-era highs as investors feared a sovereign restructuring was in the works".

Posted by alan @ 05:32 PM 2 Comments

They look nicer than the average house

CNN: Sales of luxe doomsday bunkers up 1,000%

"People are afraid of the earth-changing events and ripple effects of the earthquake, which led to tsunamis, the nuclear meltdown, and which will lead to radiation and health concerns," said Vivos CEO Robert Vicino. "Where it ends, I don't know. Does it lead to economic collapse? A true economic collapse would lead to anarchy, which could lead to 90% of the population being killed off."

Posted by mark @ 01:28 PM 3 Comments

Help for housebuilders and property owners - not first time buyers

Observer: Firstbuy could lock young homebuyers into falling property market

Campaigners are warning that George Osborne's "Firstbuy" scheme to help cash-strapped young voters onto the property ladder is a subsidy for housebuilders that could lock vulnerable buyers into a falling market. Every time I hear "helping first time buyers" - I'd say it's about preserving prices - property owners helping themselves

Posted by mken @ 09:36 AM 29 Comments

US house sales plunge into new recession

ArabianMoney: US housing data shows market already in a double-dip recession

US housing, as Professor Nouriel Roubini noted in Dubai last week, is already back in a double-dip recession, and shows absolutely no sign of recovery. Far from it, and yet interest rates are presently very low and ought to be reviving the US housing market.

Posted by david smith @ 09:12 AM 0 Comments

Sounds like a good idea to me!

Taipei Times: Luxury tax bill leads to fall in land sale value

The Taiwan government’s plan to tax short-term property transactions, subjecting residential and commercial properties and land to a 10 percent levy if they are resold within two years of purchase has seen a large decrease in house prices

Posted by the number cruncher @ 12:10 AM 2 Comments

Saturday, March 26, 2011

How about letting some of them fail?

Reuters: ECB close to liquidity deal for troubled banks - source

"The European Central Bank is putting the finishing touches on a new facility that will give troubled euro zone banks liquidity over a longer time frame, throwing a lifeline to Ireland's ailing banks". "This will replace the ELA (Emergency Liquidity Assistance) that is currently being provided by the Irish central bank," the source said speaking on the condition of anonymity.

Posted by alan @ 11:42 AM 6 Comments

Because they know QE will bail them out again

Telegraph: Why isn't a further fall in US house prices troubling Wall Street?

America's housing market is again falling but investors appear untroubled. Average prices are now at their lowest since 2002. The volume of new homes being sold is at a record low. After reaching its own peak of 69.4pc in 2004, the level of home ownership has dropped to a current level of 66.6pc. Prices aren't just stagnating; they're still falling. Repossessions account for almost 40pc of all sales, though mainly concentrated in California, Arizona and Nevada.

Posted by drewster @ 11:21 AM 0 Comments

Cameron "declined to comment on their financial situation"

Independent: Portugal crisis deepens even as EU agrees new eurozone fund

"Estimates of how much that bailout will be start at about €70bn (£62bn), well within the limits of the ¤440bn emergency rescue fund which the EU leaders agreed to strengthen on Friday".

Posted by alan @ 11:14 AM 3 Comments

Extreme NIMBY

BBC: Defecating dog sparks US shootout

Two neighbours in the US state of Mississippi drew weapons and fired at each other as an argument over a defecating dog ran out of control.

Posted by peter_2008 @ 11:02 AM 1 Comments

If you build it, they will come?

SBS News (Oz): China's Ghost Cities

A closer look at Zhengzhou and other the new ghost cities. SBS also covers the now infamous mall in Dongguan. There's a disturbing contrast between the overpopulated poor neighbourhoods next door to the ghost apartments being punted for $300k.

Posted by monty @ 12:28 AM 4 Comments

As if we didn't know!

Motley Fool: The Real Rogues Of The Credit Crunch

A frank debate produces some surprising answers!

Posted by mr g @ 12:12 AM 6 Comments

Friday, March 25, 2011

State of the art Harvard Management

FT: Alliance Boots chief in surprise departure

2007 Kohlberg Kravis Roberts take over Boots and load it up to the eyeballs with debt. 2009 Andy Hornby responsible for driving HBOS to the "brink" of financial collapse in the space of 2 years. 2009 Andy Hornby appointed to the top job at Boots.

Posted by mken @ 07:16 PM 0 Comments

4% overnight decrease to £2 million homes, 5% by 6 April

Citywire: Government closes stamp duty avoidance loophole

The chancellor has clamped down on stamp duty avoidance schemes that are widely used by rich individuals buying high value residential properties as well as buyers of commercial properties. The changes take immediate effect as from 24 March so anything that wasn’t completed by Budget day last Wednesday will not get through the net.

Posted by caparn @ 06:21 PM 0 Comments

My new hobby is trolling the Daily Mail comments

Daily Mail: Britain's (low cost) property hotspots: The streets when you can buy a house for £40k

My comment pointing out that these surveys illustrate how easy it would be to work out the relative value of all homes for LVT purposes is currently third worst rated so far (at net score of plus 4).

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 05:24 PM 6 Comments

Here, here!

Financial Times - Letters: Let House Prices Fall to Natural Level

Sir, The best way the chancellor can help first-time buyers is by keeping well out of the housing market and leaving it alone...

Posted by peter rocker @ 02:09 PM 14 Comments

"Economists" call it right for once...

City Wire: Budget 2011: Osborne's boost for house prices

Chancellor George Osborne's latest plan to help first time buyers could push house prices higher and make it more difficult for people to buy their first home, economists have warned. With banks still reluctant to write mortgages and demanding higher deposits than before the financial crisis, the £250 million scheme is expected to help 10,000 people get on the property ladder. But Helen Miller, economics researcher at the Institute for Fiscal Studies, said ‘The move will affect the demand side and not the supply side [of the market] and that will lift house prices.’

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 12:23 PM 29 Comments

The real reason that the budget is great news for first-time buyers

MoneyWeek: The real reason that the budget is great news for first-time buyers

The Budget contained some great news for struggling first-time buyers. I don't meant the latest shared ownership scheme, which they should simply ignore. I'm talking about a tax change that could transform the private rental sector.

Posted by damien @ 12:11 PM 0 Comments

More non-jobs and lax lending needed Job security is stifling property market: BSA

Unemployment and strict lending criteria are stifling the property market, according to a survey from the Building Societies Association.The BSA's March property tracker survey showed that although many people wanted to buy, the actual demand for property purchase was weak and house prices are expected to be flat during the next 12 months. The findings showed that the proportion of people who believe it is a good time to buy fell to 41 per cent, from 43 per cent in December 2010. The number of respondents - out of 2000 polled - who said it was not a good time to buy a property increased to 29 per cent, compared to 26 per cent in December, the highest proportion since the aftermath of the housing crash in 2008.

Posted by jack c @ 11:30 AM 5 Comments

I say most realistic prices

Daily post: Most affordable houses in North Wales

THE slate quarrying town of Blaenau Ffestiniog is the place to pick up a bargain house in North Wales. Six of the region’s top ten cheapest streets are in the town, says a survey of average house prices.

Posted by mark @ 10:30 AM 3 Comments

Up to 80% cut in tax bills for BTL Landlords

Telegraph: Hidden boost for house prices in the Budget

"Tax bills for institutional investors and other buy to let landlords could be cut by 80pc if the Budget proposals pass into law"

Posted by jonathan @ 09:54 AM 0 Comments


BBC NEWS: Cheapest Houses in England & Wales

Everyone just move to Burnley....

Posted by whispers @ 09:52 AM 0 Comments

Lemmings insist on jumping off cliff despite it being closed-off.

Houseladder: The recession 'has made no difference to property market sentiment'

Many people have not changed their view of the property market, despite the credit crunch, it has been found. The credit crunch appears to have made little difference to public sentiment regarding the property market, it has been found. Research commissioned by Miller Homes showed that a quarter of the 5,000 potential house buyers and existing home owners questioned claimed the recession had not altered how they view the sector. It was revealed that six per cent of respondents are still willing to borrow the maximum amount possible in order to move in to their ideal home.

Posted by sibley's b'stard child @ 09:49 AM 6 Comments

Councils want a slice of that pie.

Estate Agent Today: New 'land auctions' trial comes under attack

The Chancellor has announced plans to trial ‘community land auctions’ whereby more plots could be made available for new homes. Local councils are being invited to join the 12-month pilot, which will initially involve only land owned by the public sector. If successful, it would then be rolled out. Under the scheme, local authorities would be able to ask landowners to submit sealed ‘bids’ giving the price at which they would be prepared to sell their land. The local council would then have the right to buy the land at that price for a specified period, grant planning permission and auction it off to developers.

Posted by sibley's b'stard child @ 09:39 AM 4 Comments

Poacher tells the gamekeeper to get off his case

Telegraph: Expenses bill to soar as MPs force watchdog to relax rules

You see, when you're not in power its all very well telling other people they are self-interested troughers but when you get into power yourself, ah well then it's different. From the article "From next month, MPs will be able to claim for the costs of accommodating their children at a second home". So then not just school fees and commuting costs but also the MP's costs of living "because Jocasta, Tabitha and Hugo have fwends in this area".

Posted by paul @ 08:58 AM 3 Comments

Debt bomb

Telegraph: Britain's £200bn time bomb of debt interest

Bombs usually go off. Article points out that inflating out doesn't work. You could additionally mention that the collapse in inflation continuously referred to by King will be of no use to the government servicing our gilts at 5% fixed.

Posted by stillthinking @ 07:56 AM 0 Comments

Thursday, March 24, 2011

First time buyers in a hole Filling potholes will not help the mortgage market

The Chancellor announced £100m for filling potholes in his Budget, but little to smooth the way for mortgage and housing markets. George Osborne announced measures to mend Britain's roads and plenty of help for businesses, but little support for the mortgage market. The headline-grabbing initiative was the £250m funding over two years to help first-time buyers. Most commentators quickly spotted, however, that the new FirstBuy scheme was remarkably similar to the recently axed HomeBuy Direct option – though on less generous terms. Instead of the HomeBuy Direct offering of an equity loan of up to 30 per cent of the value of the property, funded jointly by a developer and the government, FirstBuy will be based on a loan of up to 10 per cent from each of those sources.

Posted by jack c @ 06:57 PM 5 Comments

Ha ha ha - screwed themselves

Yahoo: Budget 2011: Cuts will be even deeper as inflation bites

Cuts to public services will be even deeper as higher inflation takes its toll on the public finances, a leading economic forecaster has said. Follow our live updates on Budget 2011 for the latest analysis on the 2011 Budget . The Institute for Fiscal Studies also warned that George Osborne, the Chancellor, has a one-in-three chance of being blown off course in his deficit-reduction plan, forcing him to raise taxes or cut spending even more. Whitehall departments will effectively be £4 billion worse off because of higher inflation

Posted by mark @ 04:59 PM 2 Comments

Mervyn got your ears on?

FT: Cheap China goods era over – Li & Fung

The era of cheap products from China is coming to an end, one of the biggest suppliers of Chinese goods to western retailers warned on Thursday.

Posted by mken @ 04:59 PM 3 Comments

50 Year mortgages now on the horizon

Moneymarketing: Budget 2011: Govt proposals could see state pension age hit 75

Government proposals to link the pension age to life expectancy could force a person in their mid-twenties to wait until they’re 75 to pick up their state retirement benefits, experts warn. In a surprise Budget announcement Chancellor George Osborne said the Government would seek a “more automatic mechanism” for increasing state pension ages in the future by linking the figure to life expectancy....Standard Life head of pensions policy John Lawson says: “This will hit young people the hardest. A 25-year old might not receive their state pension until they’re 75 under this system. “It’ll mean that people, particularly young people, will have to take a real reality check because a lot of people won’t realise how long they’ll have to wait until they retire.”

Posted by jack c @ 02:54 PM 24 Comments

And our councils can't even fix potholes

Daily mail: The Japanese road repaired SIX days after it was destroyed by quake

The picture of gaping chasms in a Japanese highway demonstrated the power of the March 11 earthquake. Now the astonishing speed of reconstruction is being used to highlight the nation’s ability to get back on its feet. Work began on March 17 and six days later the cratered section of the Great Kanto Highway in Naka was as good as new. It was ready to re-open to traffic last night.

Posted by mark @ 01:22 PM 8 Comments

Florida needs foreclosures!

CNN: Florida courts face $72.3 million deficit from foreclosure freeze

Florida desperately needs more foreclosures ... or its court system does, at least. The steep drop in foreclosure filings in recent months has opened a $72.3 million deficit in the Florida court system's budget. The financial situation is so dire that the chief justice has asked Gov. Rick Scott to temporarily transfer $42.5 million to the courts from other funds

Posted by mark @ 11:43 AM 1 Comments

PricedOut et al give their interpretation of 'FTB assistance'

Guardian: Budget 2011: First-time buyer scheme aims to open up housing ladder

But Matt Griffith of first-time buyer pressure group PricedOut said the fund could be dangerous for potential borrowers: "When independent economists are predicting a 10% fall in house prices this year, having the government encouraging first-time buyers to get on to the ladder using a 5% deposit looks foolhardy at best and, at worst, pretty irresponsible." Griffith added: "It's main purpose appears to be to help bail out the house building sector – which is suffering from buying too much expensive land at the peak of the boom. We saw plenty of these schemes under the Brown government, and it is depressing to see the coalition continue to connive with the building industry and act against the best interests of consumers."

Posted by sibley's b'stard child @ 11:27 AM 3 Comments

I'm sure the penny off petrol will arrest the decline.

Guardian: UK retail sales slump in February

Retail sales were down 0.8% month-on-month in February – a larger-than-expected fall that provides more evidence of consumer weakness. Figures released on Thursday showed that sales fell 0.8% compared with January, when they were up 1.9%, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said. The fall in spending, which was higher than the 0.6% drop predicted by economists, came after shoppers brought forward purchases to take advantage of post-Christmas sales and to beat the rise in VAT to 20%.....Supermarkets and food retailers saw volumes decline 2.2% on the previous year, marking the 13th month of declining figures in a row.

Posted by sibley's b'stard child @ 11:18 AM 3 Comments

And it starts

Reuters: Slower growth could hurt UK AAA rating - Moody's

Britain's triple-A sovereign debt rating could be at risk if slower economic growth makes it harder for the government to rein in its budget deficit, ratings agency Moody's said on Thursday

Posted by mark @ 10:42 AM 2 Comments

The Bank Of England has already lost credibility

Yahoo: Slow loss of credibility could lift inflation - Bank's Dale

The Bank of England is at risk of gradually losing public confidence due to persistently above-target inflation, posing an upward risk to future prices, the central bank's chief economist, Spencer Dale, said on Thursday.

Posted by mark @ 10:16 AM 4 Comments

One small step for Osborne, one small step in the right direction

Write About Property: Government's First Buy Scheme a Drop in the Ocean of FTB Misery

For those of you that don't know, today was Budget Announcement Day in the UK, the day when the Chancellor of the Exchequer dances for us all, well, at the moment it is more like a walk along the tight rope. Of particular importance for the housing market -- or so it appears -- is the first home scheme, replacing the Home Buy Scheme as the latest saviour for beleaguered first time buyers, that is the 1% of first time buyers that will actually benefit from the scheme.

Posted by propertyposter @ 08:57 AM 0 Comments

Chancellor calls current system 'chronic obstacle' to economic growth.

The Guardian: Budget 2011: New planning rules ease path for developers

Moves to streamline planning regulations could see sustainable projects given an automatic go-ahead and councils encouraged to auction land with pre-approved permission for development. The reforms are central to government strategy after businesses and construction companies lobbied hard, claiming growth is being hampered by local nimbys objecting to new developments. George Osborne told the Commons planning was a "chronic obstacle" to economic growth.

Posted by khards @ 08:56 AM 4 Comments

Cheer up! Here is the positive news from yesterday

Property Wire: Property industry welcomes changes to UK planning system

This news means much more to the housing market than bunging the BTL a few hundred brand. The Government has indicated its intention to introduce a presumption in favour of sustainable development as part of the National Planning Policy Framework. We see this as a crucial part of the Government’s pro-growth agenda and as a counterweight to concerns that localism could equate to nimbyism in practice,’ said Liz Peace, chief executive of the British Property Federation. 'However, it must not be hedged around with so many restrictions as to be meaningless in practice. It is right that planning should prevent urban sprawl but the designation as green belt should not mean ruling out any development, the green belt should be an additional hurdle, not an insuperable barrier,’ she added.

Posted by khards @ 08:53 AM 0 Comments

Same old Tories

Telegraph: Buy-to-let opportunities opened up by Budget

The Coalition has identified buy-to-let as a way of solving Britain's housing shortage and wants to attract investment into residential property. The Chancellor believes that promoting the private rental sector as a solid form of income for investors can boost homebuilding. If an investor buys 100 properties worth an average of £200,000, it will pay stamp duty at 1pc, equal to £200,000, rather than at 5pc, equal to £1m. The measure will cost the Treasury £560m over five years.

Posted by little professor @ 08:23 AM 8 Comments

Bringing a better quality of BTL's? Not convinced..

This Is Money: The real reason that the budget is great news for first-time buyers

Could be read in a couple of ways, better quality of BTLs? Or more government fiddling to support the bottom of market with a cheaper start to getting BTL portfolios.. I suspect the latter..

Posted by richy richless @ 07:58 AM 2 Comments

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Pull your tummy in a bit

Reuters: UK may need more budget measures if growth weak - Fitch

"The government may need to take more fiscal tightening measures if growth proves weaker than the government has forecast, Fitch Ratings said on Wednesday after Chancellor George Osborne's 2011 Budget". (or is this an attempt to talk the pound down with the Euro and the Dollar).

Posted by alan @ 09:55 PM 0 Comments

Tax Breaks for Landlords

HM Treasury: 2011 Budget

1.2.1 the Government will strengthen demand for residential property by reforming the stamp duty land tax rules applied to bulk purchases. This will reduce a barrier to investment in residential property, promoting private rented housing supply.

Posted by luckyjim @ 08:29 PM 6 Comments

More skullduggery from JPM.

Seeking Alpha: Will JPMorgan Now Make and Take 'Delivery' of Its Own Silver Shorts?

In a nutshell, JPM have circumnavigated a lengthy vault licence vetting process in order to buy time and mitigate the damage caused by their massive silver short position that is about to come due very shortly. Why was JPM awarded a vault license almost overnight, avoiding the lengthy vetting process others must undergo? Why did it happen in the middle of a major COMEX silver delivery month, during a massive worldwide silver short squeeze, at a time when physical silver is in severe shortage? I believe it's called market manipulation. BTW The article is from Seeking Alpha, but HPC no longer links articles from this site, so you will need to click through from the India Times site that I have used that links to the Seeking Alpha article.

Posted by general congreve @ 05:42 PM 15 Comments

Patient still on life support. Potential organ donees eyeing up vital organs

BBC: Property market 'still subdued', lenders say

New figures have confirmed that the property market is still very subdued. The British Bankers' Association (BBA) said the number of new mortgages its members had approved for homebuyers had risen by 3% in February, to 29,923. However that was still 11% fewer than a year ago. Meanwhile HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) said 57,000 homes had been sold in the UK in February, 4,000 higher than in January, but slightly fewer than in the same month a year ago.

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 04:26 PM 4 Comments

The size of the queue was a sign of the financial struggles facing many of his constituents

Manchester evening news: Sign of the times: 200 join queue in Salford precinct - for the opening of a charity shop

Many shoppers told us they can no longer afford new household items because of job cuts, the rising cost of living and spiralling debt. Instead they are forced to buy used goods – £30 for a fridge, £15 for a TV or £40 for a bed.

Posted by mark @ 11:52 AM 15 Comments

Not good

Yahoo: Portugal Bailout Fears Grow Over Debt Vote

Opposition parties in Portugal have withdrawn their support for the newest round of austerity measures, fuelling fears of the country's collapse and need for a financial bailout. The move comes ahead of this evening's parliamentary vote which will decide whether the plan, which was developed to meet stringent EU budgetary demands, will be approved. The country's prime minister, Jose Socrates, has threatened to resign if politicians block the plan. This would trigger a general election and make a bail-out for Lisbon all but certain.

Posted by mark @ 11:46 AM 1 Comments

Is this the endgame for the US dollar?

MoneyWeek: Is this the endgame for the US dollar?

The US dollar was once seen as a safe haven. But even amid the recent market turmoil, the dollar has declined and has now dropped through a key support level. How much further could it fall? And what might send it rallying higher? Dominic Frisby investigates.

Posted by damien @ 11:03 AM 5 Comments

'We are at tipping point... We WILL become insolvent, the question is when'

Daily mail: America is going broke! Federal Reserve official's fear as Libya missiles cost $100 million in just ONE day

A senior Federal Reserve official warned today that America is going broke as fears grow the Libyan bombardment could cost more than $1 billion. With the U.S. now fighting three wars, the massive new military drain on the budget could not have come at a worse time as the nation is trying to claw itself out of recession.

Posted by mark @ 10:37 AM 3 Comments

Mordidelas do urso

International Business Times: Portugal sees further property price falls and lack of confidence in market

"Residential property prices in Portugal have fallen further due to weak demand and confidence in the market is fragile, according to the latest report from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors. At the national level, weakening demand is the main factor weighing down on prices while regional price trends show much greater convergence, the February RICS/Ci Portuguese Housing Market Survey shows. Indeed, prices fell at broadly the same pace as during the previous two months, activity fell at a faster pace but confidence, whilst still negative was more or less unchanged on the month."

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 10:33 AM 0 Comments

One for sibley's b'stard child FSA waters down MMR proposals

Outlining its business plan for the coming year yesterday (22 March), the FSA revealed that it would be reviewing the proposed 25-year affordability test for mortgages. Plans outlined in the Mortgage Market Review (MMR) to enforce a 25-year affordability test for mortgage borrowers may be scrapped under a review of the regulation, the FSA has confirmed. In its business plan for 2011, published yesterday (22 March), the regulator said that it acknowledged that the new rule would "may not be appropriate, given the range of individual circumstances". The FSA added that it recognises the flaws of a "one size fits all approach and the need to balance the advantages of simplicity against those of flexibility." Feedback to last year's consultations were being considered "fully", the paper

Posted by jack c @ 10:27 AM 1 Comments

Those bankers' bonuses get everywhere! Bankers' bonuses are alive and well in Wales (at the Principality Building Society)

Great analysis of how we've all been suckered by the fat cat society

Posted by jacko @ 10:10 AM 0 Comments

Come on down suckers - Keep the sham going

Metro: Budget 2011 : Help for first-time buyers

About 10,000 buyers struggling to get a deposit together will have the chance to take up a five-year, interest-free loan of up to 80 per cent of the deposit. They will have to be first-time buyers earning less than £60,000 jointly and be looking to purchase a new build.

Posted by wdbeast @ 10:03 AM 12 Comments

As per title

Guardian: Budget 2011: live coverage

'As George Osborne prepares for his second budget speech, join Andrew Sparrow for all today's news and analysis and minute-by-minute coverage of PMQs, the chancellor's statement, the Commons debate and reaction.'

Posted by sibley's b'stard child @ 09:58 AM 4 Comments

You can smell it?

Mail: Interest rate rise fear grows as inflation hits a 20-year record

Around seven in ten home-buyers have a variable mortgage, which means their monthly mortgage payments will jump.

Posted by happy mondays @ 08:08 AM 10 Comments

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Interesting Take on the Australian Hoiusing Market

Sydney Morning Herald: Bursting the bubble of house price phobias

spruik: Verb (third-person singular simple present spruiks, present participle spruiking, simple past and past participle spruiked) 1. (transitive, Australian) To promote a thing or idea to another person, in order that they buy the thing, or accept the idea

Posted by luckyjim @ 11:43 PM 2 Comments

If not actually drunk, then tipsy perhaps..

BBC: Northern Rock: Back to old habits?

I asked someone to pinch me this morning when I saw that Northern Rock had launched its first securitisation issue since its great crisis of 2007. The bank is raising less than £400m from parcelling up mortgages into bonds and selling them on to investors - which is equivalent to around 2% of its balance sheet. And Northern Rock would argue that it is prudent to diversify its sources of funds - and not be wholly dependent on retail deposits. This begs so many questions that it is disorienting.

Posted by sureseam @ 11:04 PM 1 Comments

Osborne to promise housebuilder subsidy

BBC News: Budget - Osborne to promise first-time buyers help

The Budget will include a £250m package designed to help 10,000 first-time buyers to purchase a newly built flat or house, the BBC has learned. Under the scheme, those struggling to find the deposit necessary to get a mortgage will be able to share the cost with the government and builders. With the chancellor's shared ownership housing scheme, the buyer would have to put up 5% of the purchase cost while the government and home builder would both put up 10%.

Posted by little professor @ 10:14 PM 19 Comments

Cuts send chill through UK house market

Financial Times: Cuts send chill through UK house market

Growing economic and social problems caused by cuts in public spending have begun to undermine the housing market across the country, according to a poll of the nation’s surveyors on behalf of the Financial Times.

Posted by peter rocker @ 08:46 PM 1 Comments

According to my Crystal Ball this is getting boring

This is money: Bank's Sentance warns inflation to top 5%

Yawn, the Bank of England's Andrew Sentance today warned that inflation will rise above 5% this year and added that failure to act now risked a 'more abrupt and destabilising rise in interest rates in the future'. With RPI which includes such everyday necessities as oil and food already at 5.5% most normal folks would already argue that i has.

Posted by enuii @ 06:12 PM 5 Comments

As I was saying, Zoopla is a very reliable index...

This Is Money: House prices down 11% since summer

"Nick Leeming, of Zoopla said: 'Whilst it has been a challenging period for the property market over the past few months, the recent dip in prices and the notable variance between regions may have created some interesting buying opportunities.' "

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 01:18 PM 11 Comments

Few banks have extra money on hand to put at the central bank as reserves

Reuters: How much higher can China raise bank reserves?

With little fanfare on Friday, China set a new record, forcing the country's big banks to lock up 20 percent of their deposits as reserves. That level -- inconceivable in developed economies -- is probably not the ceiling. But just how high can it go? Up to 30 percent? Or 50 percent? The answer may lie in the distortions that this monetary tightening tool is beginning to impose on the economy. What has been a fairly effective way of taming inflation is, bit by bit, taking a toll on the banking sector.

Posted by mark @ 11:31 AM 3 Comments

Genie out of the bottle

Moneymarketing: UK inflation rate rises to 4.4 per cent

The CPI annual inflation rate has jumped to 4.4 per cent in February, its highest level since 2008, according to figures from the Office for National Statistics. The rate is up from 4 per cent in January 2011 and has been driven by domestic heating costs and clothing. RPI now stands at 5.5 per cent, up from 5.1 per cent in January.

Posted by jack c @ 10:07 AM 67 Comments

More forecast busting UK inflation

FT Alphaville: More forecast busting UK inflation

From the comments..... Dear Mervyn, You're doing a wonderful job. Too much easy money led to an epic property buble which then led to ZIRP & QE. Now inflation is racing ahead whilst you pounded out the mantra of deflation. Your credibility is sinking. Incredibly poor monetray management has taken us into this quagmire. When will you apologise to the savers of Britain for squandering their wealth? Yours

Posted by katalan1 @ 10:05 AM 8 Comments

Warning; this article is related to housing!

Houseladder: Mortgage lending dips to 2009 levels

The period between October and December 2010 witnessed a dip in mortgage lending, it has been shown. Net mortgage lending levels in the UK fell in the period between October and December 2010, it has been found. The latest Financial Services Authority Mortgage Lending Data for the UK for quarter four 2010 showed the amount dipped to its lowest sum since the beginning of 2009. It was revealed that net advances - or gross lending less borrower repayments - have tumbled 57 per cent since the fourth quarter of two years ago.

Posted by sibley's b'stard child @ 10:03 AM 4 Comments

Why this cheap market looks an even better bet today

MoneyWeek: Why this cheap market looks an even better bet today

Amongst the mayhem of the Middle East and the nuclear disaster in Japan, the Russian equity market has never looked so good. Bengt Saelensminde tips an investment trust to gain exposure to the world's cheapest market.

Posted by damien @ 09:49 AM 1 Comments

Need to change that basket of goods...quick!!

BBC: UK inflation rate rises to 4.4% in February

Consumer Price index - 4.4%, Retail Price Index - 5.5%

Posted by katalan1 @ 09:48 AM 1 Comments

Wrong type of snow, leaves on the tracks, now we officially have “the wrong type of inflation”

Moneymarketing: Budget 2011: Chancellor to admit higher borrowing due to "wrong type of inflation"

The Chancellor will be forced to admit in tomorrow’s Budget that medium-term borrowing will be significantly higher than planned. The Financial Times reports that Budget forecasts to be released tomorrow will say “the wrong type of inflation” will squeeze Government finances and hit household incomes. The pressure on household incomes will mean income tax and National Insurance contributions will not rise as is usual in an inflationary environment while benefits and index-linked Government debt are automatically linked to inflation.

Posted by jack c @ 09:02 AM 20 Comments

Stressed houshold budgets not well posiitoned for IR rises

Reuters: Household finances at two-year low

According to the Markit's household finance index, our finances are being squeezed. The MPC is hoping that there will be an improvement in the economy before they start raising interest rates but accoridng to Markit's index, this doesn't look likely in the near future. Perhaps asking prices are rising because the sellers really need the money to maintain their lifestyle?

Posted by quiet guy @ 08:18 AM 1 Comments

Slowed the market significantly.... nice way of saying its dropping!

SMH: Disaster season marks rough ride for property

Lots of property for sale but few buyers, plenty of hype from the usual estate agents, banks but buyers are not fooled, those coming over to make a life here RENT and watch.

Posted by whinging pom @ 03:39 AM 1 Comments

Monday, March 21, 2011

U.S. Housing Market

Business Insider: 27 Depressing Facts About The Housing Crash That Never Seems To End

The real estate crash that never seems to end appears to be getting even worse. Home prices continue to go down, the number of underwater mortgages is soaring and the number of foreclosures set an all-time record in 2010.

Posted by novice pete @ 10:42 PM 3 Comments

Appears there has been a misunderstanding Have house prices hit a ten month high?

An improving housing market has seen average asking prices hit a ten month high, according to the Daily Express. Unfortunately for property owners, this isn't quite what the figures said.

Posted by flamepoint23 @ 08:05 PM 1 Comments

UK Currently Fails Most Tests

Financial Stability Board: Review on Mortgage Underwriting and Origination Practices

"One of the biggest contributors to the problems experienced in the mortgage industry during the financial crisis was the inadequate or lack of verification of borrower’s income and financial information.... In the UK, around half of all mortgage applications in 2007 and 2008 were processed without income verification.", "Currently in the UK, future house price appreciation can beconsidered in the evaluation of the borrower’s ability to repay the mortgage loan." "Reasonable debt service coverage -According to the Joint Forum, one of the most fundamental components of prudent underwriting relies on the borrower’s income to service the debt, taking into account all debt commitments." The UK FSA will propose closing the barn door now that the horse has bolted.

Posted by ontheotherhand @ 05:28 PM 2 Comments

Bear Nibbles

Telegraph: House prices drop by £45,000 since start of credit crisis

"The average value of a home in Britain is £201,000, down 18 per cent from £247,500 in October 2007, according to property website Zoopla. Much of the drop has been seen during the last eight months, with prices dropping 11 per cent since last summer. The North East has been hardest hit, down 14.12 per cent since last July with average local house prices at £142,242. London has proved to be the most resilient, down 7.59 per cent to £378,295. Zoopla suggested that the recent fall in values may have created a buying opportunity."

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 05:05 PM 9 Comments

We own land! Give us subsidies!

Conservative Home: Empty Property Rates are an enemy of enterprise

The usual Home-Owner-Ist bleating over at Con Home: "Soon nearly all businesses will have to pay full business rates on an empty commercial property... Besides hitting entrepreneurs in the pocket, there could be other consequences. For example, instead of paying full business rates, landlords may be forced to simply demolish empty properties. This is a very real concern, and with high vacancy rates at the moment there’s a risk that Empty Property Rates will deplete the fixed capital stock, making it very difficult for businesses to relocate." a) How can you call the owner of a building who can't even be bothered to rent it out "an entrepreneur"? b) If somebody is insane enough to demolish his own building, serve him right. Or fix the problem by just taxing the land value.

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 02:48 PM 6 Comments

Never Ones To Miss An Opportunity


Ignore the video at the top. What follows below that though is a fascinating exercise in fudging asking and sold prices. Sibley is quick to comment, although doesn't point that fact out though...

Posted by rantnrave @ 02:45 PM 10 Comments

Us home sales plunge and prices keep falling

Cnbc: US houseprices fall to 9 year low

Is this indicative of the future here.I thought all the cash buyers would be piling into the market to buy 'cheap' houses. obviously not

Posted by taffee @ 02:41 PM 1 Comments

Is china slowing down too fast?

Yahoo: China commodity imports stall in February

February's imports of iron ore came in at 48.8 million tonnes, falling back sharply from the previous month, when a rush to fill orders before the week-long Lunar New Year helped push volumes to a monthly record of 69 million tonnes.

Posted by mark @ 12:54 PM 2 Comments

Contrast Zoopla with Rightmove

FT Adviser: Property values continue slide

Mark W - another trustworthy house price index, in your experience? "Property values in the UK have fallen consistently over the past eight months and are now some 18 % below their peak." It all goes well until... "Zoopla claimed that the recent dip over the past eight months could create buying opportunties if prices start to pick up in the second half of the year." Hmm...if...if...the biggest word with only two letters.

Posted by notyethomeless @ 12:51 PM 10 Comments

One of the financial curses of the Gordon Brown era.

This is money: The shocking rise of the stamp duty con trick

The extent of how this now hurts many more people is shown in the table below, revealing how the number of people hit with a £7,500 bill just for having the temerity to move home has rocketed.

Posted by mark @ 11:41 AM 9 Comments

Are we on the road to a hyperinflationary episode

Hyperinflation is more than just a monetary phenonenon: Pragmatic Capitalist

Are we the next Weimar Republic or Zimbabwe?

Posted by bellwether @ 11:41 AM 17 Comments

"Pre-emptive maintenance" is the new "twigs in vases"

Henley Standard: Optimum time to move means getting prepared

WITH spring in the air, bulbs sprouting and the busiest selling time of the year approaching, now is the optimum time for home movers to put their property on the market. But in order to achieve the best possible price, it is important to give your property a spring health check and carry out essential repair and maintenance work following the long winter., the UK’s leading provider of instant online quotes for moving services, suggests the following tips: lCheck the exterior of your home for cracked brickwork, flaky paint and crumbled cement. lCheck the roof for wind and weather damage. lClean out gutters and surfaces around your home. lClean the patio and outdoor furniture and set them up for entertaining, to present the garden in the best possible light...

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 11:04 AM 6 Comments

Inflation galore (stamps are going up 12% too)

BBC: BT to increase call charges by 9%

Telecoms giant BT has said it will raise call charges by 9% and increase its monthly standard line rental charge by 30 pence from 28 April. Post office is increasing price of stamps by 12%, nah we don't have an inflation problem.

Posted by mark @ 10:45 AM 0 Comments

The Irish show us how it's done.

Estate Agent Today: Allsop auctioneers to hold mass repo sale in Eire

Allsop, the UK auctioneer, is to hold a sale in Ireland where every lot will be a repossession. The sale will include flats expected to go for £21,000 – 75% down from their peak value. The April 15 sale will be the country's first-ever mass auction of repossessed homes. And, in a sign of how wide the property crash is, the latest item to turn up in another auction sale in Dublin is a job lot of 15 cranes. Allsop's online catalogue has 84 lots in the residential sale, which include everything from flats to family homes. Most of the lots were previously owned by property investors who have gone into receivership or simply handed back the keys to the banks. It is predicted that Irish house prices, which are already down 45% from their peak, may have still further to drop.

Posted by sibley's b'stard child @ 10:39 AM 4 Comments

Squatters beware!

BBC: South Africa's ruthless 'Red Ants' eviction squad

South Africa's many thousands of squatters live in fear of a security firm called the "Red Ants" known of their ruthless approach to evictions

Posted by mark @ 10:37 AM 0 Comments

The time-bomb ticking under Britain's house prices

MoneyWeek: The time-bomb ticking under Britain's house prices

According to the latest figures, 90% of all mortgages held in the UK are on a variable rather than a fixed rate of interest. So even a small rise the bank rate will force a great many people into debt - and house prices to collapse, says Merryn Somerset Webb.

Posted by damien @ 09:43 AM 1 Comments

Rightmove: +0.8%MoM, +0.9%YoY

Bloomberg: U.K. Home Sellers Raised Asking Prices in March

New sellers increased their asking price for the third consecutive month during March as activity in the housing market showed signs of picking up, research has indicated. The average cost of a home put on the market in England and Wales during the four weeks to March 12 rose by 0.8% to £231,790, following a 3.1% increase in February, according to property website Rightmove. Rightmove said the low level of new listings pointed to an absence of both forced sellers and traditional mass market ones.

Posted by little professor @ 01:00 AM 14 Comments

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Australias property bubble finally bursting Battlers take risks simply to pay bills

Seems every other house is for sale here, shops closing down and I am in a good area which is well populated, I read in parts of Sydney property is over nine times median price compared to income - unsustainable

Posted by whinging pom @ 11:31 PM 0 Comments

Budget coming up on Wednesday

Independent: Small firms and the housing market to benefit in austerity Budget

The Treasury believes low interest rates have saved the housing market from serious collapse and a much higher level of repossessions. That would have increased the benefits bill and exacerbated losses at Britain's mortgage lenders, making the financial crisis much worse. The 20 per cent fall in house prices since the 2007 peak is much less than many economists predicted, but after a bounce last year prices are falling again. Officials accept that interest rates will soon rise and unemployment worsen, so fear a further fall in property values could trigger more problems for owners and lenders and undermine consumer confidence.

Posted by drewster @ 09:42 PM 2 Comments

3/4 of the UK convinced they are middle class

Telegraph: Most Britons describe themselves as 'middle class'

With six distinct tribes of the middle class, ranging from retirees with annual household incomes of almost £47,000, to young people who spend their spare time watching soap operas and struggling to make ends meet on less than £30,000, overall those who describe themselves as 'middle class' have an average household income of £37,000 a year while the typical working class household income is £24,000. Overall I can't help wondering what sort of house the middle classes can buy on a total household income of 37K as there a lot of deluded people out there.

Posted by enuii @ 05:01 PM 31 Comments

Budget on Wednesday

Telegraph: Budget - Official UK growth forecast to be slashed

"The Chancellor's "pro-growth" Budget faces a stumble at the first hurdle as the Office for Budget Responsibility is likely to downgrade its expectations for the economy, while the threat of inflation intensifies". "The feed through of January's VAT rise and the climbing oil price are expected to have pushed the official inflation rate to 4.2pc for February"

Posted by alan @ 10:29 AM 2 Comments

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Breaking news...

Bloomberg: Yorkshire Building Society in merger talks

"Yorkshire Building Society, the the country's second-largest building society, said it was in merger talks with Norwich and Peterborough Building Society".

Posted by alan @ 07:53 PM 5 Comments

Upstairs downstairs

Guardian: Lettings data indicate steady rise in cost of renting

Lack of affordable mortgages lead to a small surge in demand for rental properties but many tenants are failing to pay rent on time. Tenants signing new contracts suffered a small rise of 0.2% in rents during February 2011, pushing the average rent in England and Wales to £684 per month – 3.9% higher than a year ago, according to the UK's biggest lettings agent network. But there was also an increase in tenant arrears during the month, indicating that many renters are struggling with the rising cost of living. The average yield on buy-to-let property increased to 5% in February. An investor entering the market now could expect to make an annual return of £5,933 per rental property – equivalent to £8,202 in rent and capital losses of £2,269.

Posted by drewster @ 01:51 PM 3 Comments

Half of "vital business lending" goes on commercial property loans

Daily Mail: Lenders face loss on loans to property developers, watchdog warns

British banks are facing escalating losses on £54billion of troubled loans to property developers. Commercial property loans account for half of all corporate lending. Banks, though, have yet to acknowledge the full extent of these potential losses. Through so-called 'extend and pretend' deals, many lenders have been giving developers more time to re-pay their debt. But with commercial property prices languishing at 35% below boom era levels and showing little sign of recovering, many of the loans will ultimately produce big losses for banks, the watchdog argued. In its annual prudential risk outlook, the FSA also sounded the alarm over the huge potential losses banks are facing on their mortgage books. Provisions may need to be made for 'more widespread' mortgage defaults, said the FSA.

Posted by drewster @ 12:55 PM 4 Comments

U.K. Inflation Probably Accelerated to 4.2%

Bloomberg: Place your bets...

UK CPI inflation rose 4.2% from a year earlier compared with the 4% increase in January, according to the median forecast of 32 economists in a Bloomberg News survey. The Office for National Statistics in London will publish the data at 9:30 a.m. on March 22.

Posted by little professor @ 09:39 AM 14 Comments

Friday, March 18, 2011

FSA tells it as it is

Telegraph: Low interest rates 'are storing up trouble for lenders'

"Low interest rates are storing up future problems for British banks as homeowners revert to pre-crisis behaviour, according to the Financial Services Authority". "Lord Adair Turner, chairman of the FSA, warned the move towards more than two-thirds of home loans to floating rates had created a "vulnerability" for the country and warned that banks need to be alive to the potential risk presented by the development".

Posted by alan @ 01:10 PM 10 Comments

States the obvious

Money Week: The time-bomb ticking under Britain's house prices

Last week, one dull-looking number emerged that might have a profound effect on UK monetary policy.

Posted by mr g @ 12:59 PM 3 Comments

A drop in UK House Prices is a bigger threat!

Bloomberg: China Raises Bank Reserve Requirement for Third Time in 2011 on Inflation

"China raised banks’ reserve requirements for the third time this year, judging that inflation remains a bigger threat to the world’s second-largest economy than Japan’s earthquake and nuclear crisis".

Posted by alan @ 12:48 PM 1 Comments

Misleading & inaccurate headline award so far in 2011

Daily Mail: Property sales soar 25% as owners put 'realistic' values on their homes

Journalist doesn't know the difference between on the market and a sale. Misleading & inaccurate headline. Fill your boots via Press Complaint

Posted by doomwatch @ 12:47 PM 9 Comments

At long last

Dailymail: Squatting is to be a crime: Police will be able to turf out intruders

The era of squatters’ rights is to end, the Daily Mail can reveal. Justice Secretary Kenneth Clarke is to scrap existing ‘soft touch’ laws and make occupying a private property illegally a criminal offence. It will mean the police can enter a property by force and evict the occupants within days. Offenders will face prosecution and even a jail term if found guilty. In Scotland, where squatting is already illegal, they can be jailed for 21 days.

Posted by mark @ 11:32 AM 30 Comments

Surprisingly subdued article from a Home-Owner-Ist newspaper

Daily Mail: Mortgage rise fear as householders taking out mega loans hits pre-recession levels

Their new bench mark for "mega loans" seems to be 3.5 times income, which is far lower than what people were borrowing a couple of years ago.

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 10:53 AM 8 Comments

Details are emerging of manufacturers facing disruption to their supply chain due to the earthquake

Bbc: Apple, Ericsson, GM facing Japan parts shortages

Although BMW, Daimler Peugeot, Fiat and Volkswagen were all identified as being affected, Liquid crystal displays used in mobile phones and satellite navigation may also be in short supply. Other computer-makers may be hit by shortages of laptop batteries after Sony shut down five of its six factories in Japan.

Posted by mark @ 10:45 AM 1 Comments

Reality begins to bite?

Daily Telegraph: UK consumer confidence crashes to record low

Nationwide said its closely-watched confidence index last month nosedived to its lowest level since records began in May 2004, meaning sentiment was at a lower ebb than during the recession.

Posted by katalan1 @ 10:44 AM 0 Comments

USA is in a right old mess

Cnn: Debt ceiling: Danger ahead

The Treasury Department, meanwhile, now estimates that the debt ceiling could be hit between April 15 and May 31. If it's not raised, Treasury will not be allowed to borrow and therefore will not be able to pay the country's bills in full without taking drastic measures to cut spending or raise taxes.

Posted by mark @ 10:40 AM 0 Comments

Bear Nibble

BBC News: Housing market 'stuck in a rut' says CML

So the housing market is "stuck in a rut" and "challenging" Any other suggestions?

Posted by wdbeast @ 09:55 AM 8 Comments

How the disaster in Japan will drive up energy prices

MoneyWeek: How the disaster in Japan will drive up energy prices

It's too early to tell how much damage will be done by the nuclear disaster in Japan. But the impact on the nuclear industry is already becoming clear. And that can only drive energy prices higher in the long run, says John Stepek.

Posted by damien @ 09:52 AM 1 Comments

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Falls of 20% over next three years

Guardian: FSA warms banks over vulnerable mortgage customers

Yet More MSN bear news, although no one seems to have told EA's in SW London.

Posted by daz @ 08:02 PM 0 Comments

Great news grant bovey has no debt

Express: Grant bovey back in the black

fabulous news.....official receiver has done a slendid job and I am sure all boveys creditors will agree. I guess we can writeof the hbos debt now as owners of lloyds banking group. not a prosecution in sight during this banking 'crisis'.I don't know what irritates me more bovey or the fraud known as hbos

Posted by taffee @ 04:20 PM 8 Comments

I'm starting to really like Ian Cowie

Telegraph: Sharp increase in homes for sale signals further house price falls

"When push comes to shove, no market can defy the law of supply and demand for long – and that includes housing. So the sharp increase in homes being offered for sale – up 25pc last month, compared to a year ago – should come as no surprise."

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 03:48 PM 11 Comments


GAURDIAN: House prices fall for the eighth consecutive month

Experts predict prices will continue to fall as fewer people are getting loans and many are falling behind repayments

Posted by happy mondays @ 03:19 PM 5 Comments

MP's set to keep gold plated pensions

Moneymarketing: New MPs to keep DB pensions despite Tory pledge

Chancellor George Osborne is set to renege on a pre-election commitment to offer new MPs to a defined-contribution pension in light of Lord Hutton’s recommendations. In his report on public sector pensions, published last week, Hutton recommends that all public sector workers should shift from a final-salary to a career-average defined-benefit scheme. Before the general election last year, the Conservatives said it would cap the biggest Government pensions and scrap DB provision for new MPs.

Posted by jack c @ 03:15 PM 11 Comments

Tip of an iceberg

BBC News: 14 in court over £20 mortgage fraud

Fourteen people, including a solicitor, surveyors, valuers and mortgage advisers, have appeared in court charged in connection with an alleged £20m conspiracy to defraud. It follows a two-year inquiry by North Wales Police into alleged multiple fraudulent mortgage applications.

Posted by little professor @ 03:05 PM 1 Comments

TSC member thinks the general public are "morons"

Moneymarketing: Tory MP makes scathing attack on Iceland bank saver 'morons'

Treasury select committee member David Ruffley says savers who chased high returns from the Icelandic banks are “morons” who “should have known better”. Ruffley said: “If you looked at an Icelandic bank and said ’the savings rate is up to three times what you can get in the UK’, you are a moron. “Were you a moron to think that there was some magic the Icelanders had come up with, a tiny economy whose banks were offering fantastic savings rates? I think you were probably a bit dim.

Posted by jack c @ 03:04 PM 21 Comments

Layoffs = 570, outsourcing = 560, does not take a genious to do the maths

The Independent: 'Despair' as Lloyds axe 570 jobs

Lloyds is to axe 570 jobs and outsource more than 560 posts under further organisational changes, the banking giant announced today. Bet the top level management escape largely unscathed or with nice golden-goodbyes.

Posted by rental john @ 03:02 PM 1 Comments

Market reactions to Japan, and other disasters

The Economist: Market tremors

UNCERTAINTY over the extent of the damage caused by the earthquake in north-east Japan on March 11th, and the associated radiation leak at the Fukushima Dai-ichi power station 140 miles (225km) north of Toyko, has made trading on Japan’s stockmarket an eventful affair. The Nikkei 225 index fell 17.5% in the three trading days following the catastrophe, wiping some ¥37 trillion ($458 billion) off equities.

Posted by rental john @ 02:43 PM 1 Comments

OECD says More Effective Taxing on Housing Needed

BBC Stephanomics: A health check for the UK

"Current land use planning policy is excessively restrictive, making supply unresponsive to demand and contributing to creating housing shortages and reducing affordability.... A reform to replace top-down building targets with incentives for local communities to allow development is underway, but the outcomes are somewhat uncertain. Housing taxation is regressive and encourages excessive demand for housing. More effective taxation could help contain demand and stabilise the housing market."

Posted by ontheotherhand @ 12:02 PM 8 Comments

Many new sellers have marketed their property at a level that does not reflect the recent price drop

Shropshire star: Number of homes for sale up 25%

The group said the rise in sellers suggested there was renewed confidence in the market, while there were also signs that people were being more realistic about the price at which they should market their home.

Posted by mark @ 11:35 AM 7 Comments

The UK's inflation is only transitory, they say

Bloomberg: India Raises Rates for Eighth Time in a Year to Curb Prices

India’s key wholesale-price inflation quickened to 8.31 percent in February, led by manufactured product costs.

Posted by alan @ 11:20 AM 3 Comments

Price inflation for Electronic goods and car parts

Nytimes: Long Pause for Japanese Industry Raises Concerns About Supply Chain

Technology analysts say the most persistent worry for digital device makers is the supply from Japan of so-called NAND flash — the lightweight storage chips used in smartphones, tablet computers, digital cameras and a variety of other components. Toshiba, the world’s second-largest maker of the chips behind Samsung of South Korea, has closed some production lines. So good for putting iphone and ipods into inflation figures.

Posted by mark @ 10:59 AM 1 Comments

So long as they don't make it harder for existing shops and favour supermarkets

Dailymail: Rundown high streets 'could be converted into housing'

Rundown high streets dominated by charity shops and bookmakers should be turned into homes, a Tory think-tank said yesterday. It called for an end to planning rules that say shops must always be shops and ban their conversion into flats or houses.

Posted by mark @ 10:36 AM 15 Comments

The consequence of a 10 year house price boom...

BBC 2: Newsnight 15/03/11

29.09: "The consequence of a 10 year house price boom." True and spoken by a Conservative minister!

Posted by mark l @ 09:42 AM 0 Comments

Honesty from an insider - searing stuff Welsh estate agents still ramping up house prices

Lifts the lid on why the housing bubble isn't bursting in Wales (and it's probably the same everywhere)

Posted by elephant @ 09:00 AM 0 Comments

Sums it all really...

Telegraph: Prince William and Kate Middleton could afford to buy 'just a caravan'

Prince William and Kate Middleton could barely afford to buy a caravan if they depended solely on their salaries, a high street bank reveals today. More accustomed to the surrounds of St James Palace, Prince William’s RAF salary of £37,170 means the couple could only obtain a mortgage of £142,000, according to the Spanish banking giant Santander. It found a selection of properties valued at this amount across the country, many of which it described as ‘less than regal’. They include a two-bedroom bungalow in Windsor which is a rebuilt mobile home, measuring just 50 square foot, and a parking space close to Westminster. However, if they traveled further north, they could consider a two-bedroom semi in Glasgow.

Posted by givenuphope @ 08:27 AM 0 Comments

NIMBYs' Charter proving to be devastatingly effective

BBC: Planning changes threaten homes targets, say MPs

"Plans to build 150,000 affordable homes by 2015 may not be achievable, due to changes to England's planning system, says a committee of MPs. It said axing "regional spacial strategies", targets for houses and other developments, left a "vacuum at the heart" of the planning system. The committee said planned new homes have dropped by an estimated 200,000. The government says "top down" targets failed and its plans gave councils a "clear financial incentive" to build."

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 08:02 AM 4 Comments

Renting is fine if you do it right

Guardian: Home sweet home is a rented property for many Germans

It takes a while for a British visitor window-shopping in any German town to realise that something is missing. But then it clicks: someone has removed all the estate agents. The lack of a physical presence on the high street is symbolic of two polarised national psyches. Britain is fixated by the property market; Germany is not. The Brits want to clamber on the housing ladder at the first opportunity; Germans are happy to rent. Britain has had four boom-and-busts in the housing market in the past four decades; German house prices are actually lower in real terms than they were in 1970.

Posted by quiet guy @ 02:04 AM 12 Comments

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Note *alleged* mass-exodus from Tokyo

The Sun: Mass Exodus from Tokyo

Whether it's true or not those insane house prices don't look so clever now, do they?

Posted by sneaker @ 05:47 PM 7 Comments

I'm currently the worst-rated comment with negative fixty-six...

Daily Mail: Taxes must soar to raise extra £82BILLION a year to pay for cost of baby boomers' pensions and health care

"OK - but is there any rule that says the extra taxes have to be taxes on income? Wouldn't it make more sense to fund this out of taxes on land values? Those are least damaging to the economy and at least level the playing field between older people in big houses (who are happy to claim the pensions, health care etc) and younger people who can barely afford a small house (and who are expected to pay all the income tax, VAT etc)?"

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 05:00 PM 24 Comments

Wondering why Obama is not out saving the World... he's busy at home, propping up USA housing market

Business Insider: Obama Has A Secret

..We already knew the Obama administration wants to push through a massive settlement over mortgage-servicing breakdowns. The talk had been that the government wanted to force the nation's biggest banks to shell out more than $20 billion in fines, or to at least fund the same amount in loan modifications for troubled borrowers.

Posted by rental john @ 04:38 PM 1 Comments

Vendo ergo sum - nevermind the rest

Bloomberg: Paris Homes Surge in Stalled French Market as Buyers Chase Waning Supply

Paris property broker Kerstin Bachmann warned clients two years ago that the global financial crisis would trigger a slump in home prices. Last year, they rose at the fastest pace since at least 1991. Residential values increased by almost 18 percent in 2010 after a 4 percent decline a year earlier, according to Paris Chamber of Notaries data based on prices per square meter. By the same measure, London had a 1 percent increase.

Posted by dill @ 04:31 PM 1 Comments

What bad news is being buried, or underhand deals being made?

Swing Trading Daily (& eWalstreeter): EU Politicians Seek to Unload PIIGS Bonds. Two Steps You Should Take Now …

While the media was totally focused on the Japanese disaster, German Chancellor Merkel and her European brethren insidiously decided to make a major change within the European Financial Stability Facility (EFSF), the EU’s euro rescue fund…

Posted by rental john @ 04:23 PM 1 Comments

Time to increase rates?

Cnn: Rising wholesale prices ring inflation alarm bells

The cost of producing goods is rising, and consumers could soon pay the price. The Producer Price Index rose 1.6% in February alone, the Labor Department reported Wednesday, the biggest jump in nearly two years. The rise was far worse than the 0.6% increase that economists surveyed by were expecting. Overall, prices rose 5.6% from a year ago.

Posted by mark @ 03:20 PM 1 Comments

Foreigners can see it - why can't the UK?

BBC News: UK recovery subdued for two years, says OECD

The OECD warned that strong economic growth in the run-up to the 2008-09 recession had hidden a build-up of "significant imbalances", creating an over-reliance on the financial sector, booming asset prices and too much borrowing.

Posted by rantnrave @ 03:01 PM 1 Comments

Is the U.S. heading for a recession?

Investment Postcards: Is the U.S. heading for a recession?

The closely-watched smoothed growth rate of the ECRI Weekly Leading Index (WLI) is about to peak, indicating that the WLI is losing momentum. Read on for the implications for economic growth...

Posted by prieur du plessis @ 01:20 PM 1 Comments

Liverpool embassy in london???

Liverpool daily post: Liverpool Council selling off 20 sites in city to boost development and city coffers

LIVERPOOL Council is to sell 20 major sites around the city in a bid to lure major investment from developers. The properties, which are being touted through the city’s embassy in London, include schools, industrial depots, office buildings and residential tower blocks currently considered a burden on resources.

Posted by mark @ 12:58 PM 4 Comments

Complaints against estate agents 'unacceptably' high

BBC: Complaints against estate agents 'unacceptably' high

No regulations for lettings agents. Landlord sc um can do what they like.

Posted by doomwatch @ 11:50 AM 2 Comments

Not good, this will surely push USA into deeper depths of the unknown

LA times: As Japan seeks to finance reconstruction, U.S. debt costs could rise

Tokyo may need to raise money to rebuild after the earthquake, but selling their U.S. Treasury bonds could create problems of its own. The nuclear power shutdown will affect production throughout Japan and boost demand for oil.

Posted by mark @ 11:47 AM 0 Comments

Economic reality groans under the weight of an illogical housing market

Telegraph: Unemployment surges to 17-year high

The total number of people unemployed increased by 27,000 in the three months to January to 2.53m, the highest figure since 1994, the Office for National Statistics said. The rate of unemployment rose to 8pc, higher than forecast and 0.1pc up on the previous quarter. More than one in five young people were trapped in unemployment, with a youth jobless rate of 20.6pc, up 0.8pc over the period.

Posted by sibley's b'stard child @ 10:52 AM 10 Comments

Roll up, roll up tax payers money available

Telegraph: First-time buyers offered £70,000 deposits by local councils

First-time buyers are being offered deposits of up to £70,000 by their local council to help them on the property ladder, with taxpayers footing the bill if house prices fall.

Posted by f1dweeb @ 08:01 AM 11 Comments


Daily Telegraph: US Federal Reserve: 'commodity prices are transitory'

The Federal Reserve has kept US interest rates at a record low after claiming that rises in commodity prices are "transitory". Rates have been maintained at between 0pc and 0.25pc following a unanimous decision by the Federal Reserve's Open Market Committee, which sets monetary policy with a mandate to foster maximum employment and price stability. It will also continue with its $600bn (£373bn) programme of quantitative easing

Posted by hpwatcher @ 08:00 AM 1 Comments


Guardian: Local councils to offer first-time buyer mortgage support

First-time buyers who are unable to call on the bank of mum and dad to boost their deposit may now be able to turn to their local council instead. Local authorities will top up the deposits of first-time buyers trying to buy a home in their area. The buyer must put down a deposit of at least 5% and the local authority will provide a cash-backed indemnity of up to 20%. Unlike shared ownership, the buyer will own the whole property. Helping more people buy their first home will reduce the waiting list for council homes. The local authority will carry most of the risk of loss should properties fall into negative equity or the borrower defaults on his or her loan.

Posted by drewster @ 08:00 AM 25 Comments

Domino quietly drops

FT: Moody’s downgrades Portugal

Moody’s downgraded the country’s long-term government bond rating from A1 to A3 with a negative outlook, implying the possibility of a further downgrade in the coming months.

Posted by dohousescrashinthewoods @ 07:59 AM 2 Comments

Coventry Building Soc Study - BOMAD

Mail: How the 'bank of mum and dad' shells out £43,000 AFTER a child has reached 18

The breakdown of cost of having children is interesting. The figure for house deposits seems a bit low, but I'm in Essex.

Posted by alan @ 07:39 AM 7 Comments

So much for the free market

BBC News: Councils to help first-time buyers on to housing ladder

Councils are to help first-time buyers get on the housing ladder by topping up their deposits.

Posted by ian @ 01:37 AM 1 Comments

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

We shouted loud, but nobody took any notice

Reuters: Bank board expresses unease at King deficit comments

"The Bank of England's supervisory board said that it was uncomfortable with the way Governor Mervyn King's (January) comments on fiscal policy had been used for political means and that the bank should have "shouted louder" to warn of an impending financial crisis". ""In terms of what it could have done in the run-up to the crisis, it may have been able to have shouted louder. Whether people would have listened is questionable," said Roger Carr, a member of the Bank's Court of Directors since June 2007.

Posted by alan @ 05:37 PM 6 Comments

Topple the tyrants ?

Sky News: Libya Protesters Take Over £10m Saif House

I wonder what would happen if somebody tried to do the same with Saudi Royal "assets" in the UK. I bet the rozzers would be round quicker than you could say "choice tyrant".

Posted by doomwatch @ 04:55 PM 4 Comments

Not really HPC - but worth a read all the same.

New Statesman: Inside the Saif house

The UK home of Colonel Gaddafi’s son is in the hands of Libyan exiles. This is what it’s like from within.

Posted by rental john @ 04:27 PM 0 Comments

Ha Ha

Independent and 'i' news: Tchenguiz firms go into administration

Vincent Tchenguiz, the property tycoon, saw the holding companies behind his largest property business collapse into administration yesterday. Zolfo Cooper, the restructuring firm, has been hired as administrator for four companies within the Peverel Group, which is the UK's largest property management company.

Posted by rental john @ 04:20 PM 0 Comments

Why now is as good as ever for homebuyers in Dubai

Emirates 24/7: Why now is as good as ever for homebuyers in Dubai

Ohhhh dear, welcome back to coco land again.....

Posted by ray @ 04:11 PM 0 Comments

Spas – historically desirable, and spa towns may command vastly higher house prices, says report

Telegraph and Argus: Price of houses in Ilkley is nearly double regional average says Lloyds TSB report

A report by Lloyds TSB, as published in the Bradford Telegraph and Argus, has found that houses in spa towns in the UK are being sold for an average of 16% more than their counterparts elsewhere in their particular county. The most dramatic effect they found was in the spa towns of Ilkley and Boston Spa, both in West Yorkshire, where average house prices are an astonishing 97% and 98% higher, respectively, than those for homes across the rest of the county. Dubbed the "spa effect", it taps into the idea that spas have since Roman times been associated with health, relaxation and opulence. Similarly, health spas are using the word's subtle connotations to become increasingly desirable high-end destinations for luxury getaways and health/pampering breaks from hectic modernity.

Posted by don connigale @ 03:39 PM 0 Comments

Take that you doom mongers. Pow!

Houseladder: House buyer optimism 'on the increase'

Optimism is high among house buyers, it has been found. House buyer optimism is high at present, new research has shown. The LSL Property Services and Acadametrics House Price Index has revealed February saw monthly home prices rise by 0.3 per cent. It was found that signs of a recovery in mortgage lending are evident, as the proportion of low loan-to-value product numbers hit a two-year low. Richard Sexton, business development director at e.surv, said: "After falls throughout the final quarter of 2010, prices have been bolstered by strong demand in London and the south-east."

Posted by sibley's b'stard child @ 03:22 PM 7 Comments

Difficult times ahead

BBC: Financial squeeze set to hit families, CCCS says

A few quotes from the article; Homeowners are facing higher unsecured debts than those who rent a home, the charity's annual snapshot found. On average, a client who owned their own home had debts of more than £30,000 in addition to their mortgage. A 2% rise in interest rates would increase monthly mortgage payments by £307, the charity found.

Posted by katalan1 @ 02:39 PM 4 Comments

A headline to warm the heart

Guardian: House prices fall for the eighth consecutive month

Guardian re-hash of DCLG press release.

Posted by sceneclub68 @ 02:39 PM 6 Comments

Great Tohoku earthquake: impact on the markets

Investment Postcards: Great Tohoku earthquake: impact on the markets

This article provides an analysis of the implications of the earthquake in Japan for the global economy and financial markets.

Posted by prieur du plessis @ 02:18 PM 0 Comments

Dont Panic...unless you're an unelected Royal....

BBC News: Bahrain king declares state of emergency after protests

It would appear Democratic Republics are coming into fashion once again. Governed by the people for the people. Thankfully we have that system right here in the UK......

Posted by thecountofnowhere @ 02:03 PM 1 Comments

Bear Nibbles

RICS: Distressed property - Listings are set to rise while investor interest wanes

Splendid headline, the article itself is a bit tepid though: "In Q4 2010, agents in 15 countries reported a rise in levels of distressed property as compared to 13 in Q3; Australia and Germany saw the most notable up-ticks. Looking ahead to Q1 2011, distressed property listings are expected to rise at a faster pace in 40 percent of the countries covered. Agents in the Republic of Ireland, Hungry, the UK and Germany expect the biggest increases in distressed listings, while agents in Australia and Portugal are also expecting higher levels of activity. Agents in Russia and Brazil, however, expect to continue to see declines."

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 12:54 PM 1 Comments

The BBC puts its own spin on the DCLG press release...

BBC: UK house prices see mixed picture, DCLG says

UK house prices fell by by 1.4% in January compared with the previous month, government figures show. However, there were significant regional variations in the monthly data from the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG). In the East of England, prices rose by 2.8% but there was a 3.6% fall in property values in Yorkshire and the Humber, it said. Separate research shows that mortgage availability is still tight for some.

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 12:49 PM 3 Comments

Prices up, but down, in the Gummint index

Dept of Communities: House Price Index: January

I can't actually figure out what this says, but I think prices are down in the UK in January (by 1.4%), but up in England, and up overall on a year earlier (but only by 0.5%). More coffee and patience would be required before I manage to understand the implications. HOWEVER a fall of 1.4% in a month is almost double the worst fall of last year. I'm surprised this doesn't seem to be anywhere in the papers...

Posted by notyethomeless @ 11:46 AM 9 Comments

Find Stuff Going Down in Price!

BBC: Smartphones and apps added to inflation basket

The ONS pulls in technology products and services every year that rapidly go down in price. In recent years we've had flatscreen tvs, mp4 players, blueray disks. They help to balance the price of a hair cut or a loaf of bread.

Posted by ontheotherhand @ 10:51 AM 22 Comments

Lambs knock on slaughterhouse door and ask 'can we come in?'

Independent: Australian dream still strong for UK buyers

"Buying a house in Melbourne was one of the most terrifying things I've done. The vast majority of houses are sold at auction; on a Saturday, in the street, in front of the house you're trying to buy," said Nic (pictured with his partner, Ann Tanket). There's no cooling off period. It's straight into the house to sign the contract and hand over a 10 per cent deposit. "We bid for three houses in the end," said Nic. "The final one was a three-bed detached Victorian home in North Fitzroy. I'd hardly given a thought to it because the price was close to our limit, and I turned up not really expecting to buy it. But when the only other bidder threw in the towel, we were $25,000 above the top of the range. I was shaking as I signed the contract."

Posted by sibley's b'stard child @ 10:46 AM 1 Comments

Repossessions, we've had a few. But then again, too few to mention

Mortgagestrategy: MMR rules would have saved 17,000 repossessions, says Shelt

More than 17,000 repossessions would have been prevented if regulation rules, as proposed by the Financial Services Authority in its Mortgage Market Review, had been in place over the last five years, Shelter claims. It says under the rules vulnerable homeowners would not have been lent huge sums of money they were never going to be able to pay back, which in turn would have stopped them from falling into arrears in trying to keep up with sky-high monthly mortgage payments......Shelter is now calling on the government to back the FSA’s proposals, which it says would introduce simple, common sense affordability and income tests to ensure consumers can manage their repayments. "Reckless lending over the last few years.............................

Posted by jack c @ 09:13 AM 6 Comments

Even if Joye was right... i wouldnt want to go to a dinner party with him!

Aussie Prop Interview: Steve Keen Vs Chris Joye Property Debate Feb 2011

Aussie equivalent of JD (Financial Planner) v Peter Bolton Estate Agent ..... Keen = JD Chris Joye (Rismark [VI]) = PB Estate Agent "Rismark International ("Rismark") is a global funds management and advisory business that has expertise in the execution of sophisticated real estate research and investment strategies. Rismark's business model is based on a "strategic partnership" approach. " Enjoy[e] ;)

Posted by techieman @ 07:51 AM 7 Comments

Monday, March 14, 2011

Up +0.4 MoM !

HOME: Spring Bounce?

"Increased optimism amongst new sellers..." (I think that's related to Fulham, Belgravia and Notting Hill).

Posted by alan @ 07:26 PM 13 Comments

Property shark starts

BBC News online: Vincent Tchenguiz's debt-laden firms in administration

Britain's biggest property management firm and others owned by Vincent Tchenguiz have gone into administration. Peverel Limited, Peverel Group Limited, Aztec Opco Developments and Aztec Acquisitions are all under the care of Administrator Zolfo Cooper. The firms' collapse follows the arrest and questioning of Tchenguiz by police earlier this month and, according to the Financial Times Bank of America, Merrill Lynch has asked the group to repay a loan of £125m.

Posted by sharp decline @ 06:33 PM 0 Comments

The only way is up, baby.

Telegraph: Nine in 10 homebuyers 'taking a gamble they can't afford to lose'

*Looks like my '9 out of 10 borrowers gamble on it being different this time' comment last week wasn't too far off the mark* 'Second, recent history strongly suggests that current mortgage costs are abnormally low. According to the Building Societies’ Association, variable rates averaged 5.3pc in the decade after 2000; 8.9pc in the 1990s; 12.5pc in the 1980s and 10.1pc in the 1970s. Third, many household’s biggest monthly outgoing is their mortgage. So, before anyone decides to bet that rates will remain at or near their historically abnormal current low levels, they should ask themselves whether this is a gamble they can afford to lose. Have the nine in 10 homebuyers currently opting for fixed rates done so? I wouldn’t bet on it.'

Posted by sibley's b'stard child @ 03:49 PM 7 Comments

So no real panic for now. Interest rates need to rise to 3.25pc before fixing your mortgage becomes 'worthwhile'

The Bank of England would need to push interest rates up to at least 2.75 per cent to make it worthwhile home owners fixing their mortgage, figures suggest. Borrowers are facing an increasing dilemma about whether or not to guard against future interest rate rises by locking into a fixed rate deal. Rising inflation is putting the Bank of England under pressure to increase rates sooner than expected.

Posted by house @ 03:37 PM 2 Comments

Another 1 bites the dust

BBC: Collapsed retailer axes 228 jobs but warehouse staff stay

Norfolk-based firm Bennetts, which employed about 300 staff in 14 stores across the country, has collapsed and called in administrators PKF. All the shops will remain closed and only 57 staff will be kept on while administrators try to find a buyer.

Posted by mark @ 10:52 AM 4 Comments

Surely they mean 2005 ?

IPPR: England faces 750,000 housing gap by 2025

England faces a shortfall of 750,000 homes by 2025 according to a new report from the [left-leaning] Institute for Public Policy Research. New analysis of official government projections show that if the economy bounces back, the gap between supply and demand could be equivalent to the entire housing demand of the populations of Birmingham, Liverpool and Newcastle combined. If the economy performs poorly, up to 1.2 million households will priced out of the private sector and will need social housing. Even under good economic circumstances, an additional 550,000 households will need social housing by 2025. The report says that without a new housing policy, this demand will not be met.

Posted by drewster @ 10:38 AM 25 Comments

Lock up your daughters; gazumping is back...

Estate Agent Today: Gazumping back with a vengeance

*Here's some VI comedy gold to brighten your mornings* 'Gazumping is back with a vengeance in the London market as the capital increasingly does its own thing – divorced from the rest of the UK. Agents are reporting that cash-rich buyers are piling into bricks and mortar, partly fuelled by a desire to beat the April 6 stamp duty deadline when £1m-plus houses will attract a 5% duty, and partly because their bonuses have landed.'

Posted by sibley's b'stard child @ 09:38 AM 18 Comments

Sunday, March 13, 2011

The Sheeple Ask A VI For Help

BBC News: Mortgage questions answered by an 'expert'

Q1. My girlfriend and I are looking to buy our first house. We are both 30 and have saved £170,000 for a deposit and have another £30,000 to cover stamp duty and other buying costs. Our combined salary is £120,000, which is just above the average for London. We both have clean credit histories. We are interested in buying a detached property out of London around the £650,000 mark. Do you think a bank would lend us the near £500,000 we would need?

Posted by rantnrave @ 06:23 PM 22 Comments

An explanation of the US Fed's quantitative easing

Naked Capitalism: This is How QE Really Works

Quantitative easing is an asset swap. The Fed creates electronic credits and swaps them with existing financial assets. If the Fed is buying government paper, it is essentially trading one government liability for another, swapping a demand deposit electronic credit for a longer-dated government liability. So QE2 is equivalent to issuing treasury bills. The Fed had intended to lower interest rates via the lowered risk premia. To date, the Fed has lowered risk premia.

Posted by wanderinman @ 05:37 PM 1 Comments

Wages and base rate

Money Week: The Bank of England's biggest worry – higher wages

I was looking around for this because its never fully clear what Mervyn is actually targetting. From the history it would appear that the BoE is indeed tracking the base rate against wage growth i.e. targetting inflation as in quantity of money, not "inflation" of prices. The difference between RPI and wage growth is the increase/decrease in standard of living. Given the decade of cheap goods and cheap loans flattered the figures (and our living standards) up to 2008, you can see that probably depending on how long we take to rebalance towards exports, that our standard of living is going to be in a cumulative decline of around 3% a year.

Posted by stillthinking @ 10:07 AM 2 Comments

Artificial prop for FTBs to be removed

Scotland on Sunday: New Rule on lending threaten housing market

In Scotland, shared equity (deposit loan) schemes are being banned.

Posted by catmandu @ 09:05 AM 0 Comments

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Market on the edge

FT: Houses for sale but where are the buyers?

The fragrant MSW tells us why housing is teetering. (May need to search title in Google to view.)

Posted by letthemfall @ 03:33 PM 15 Comments

Forget about gold, buy Aga.

FT: Aga rises after reinstating dividend

Shares in Aga Rangemaster rose 15 per cent after the maker of cast-iron cookers reinstated its dividend after a two-year hiatus

Posted by peter_2008 @ 11:28 AM 0 Comments

Foreclosure assistance cut in US

Bloomberg: U.S. House Votes to Cancel Emergency Homeowner Loan Program for Unemployed

"The $1 billion emergency loan program, which provides interest-free money to help borrowers keep their houses, was funded by a Democrat-led Congress before Republicans took control of the House. Because it is still in the design phase, no money has been spent on it". "“These are working people who had jobs, fell on hard times,” M. Watt (Dem) said. “All we’re saying is give them a break for 12 months and an opportunity to go back into the marketplace and find a job.” What now for the floundering UK programme?

Posted by alan @ 08:55 AM 0 Comments

Friday, March 11, 2011

Hong Kong’s land system that time forgot

FT Columnist: Hong Kong’s land system that time forgot

HK has a system that is closest to LVT that some here proposes. David thinks it is a bad idea. Calling LVTer to defend the position (and Egg21 in the comment has risen to the challenge..) By David Pilling In Hong Kong, the tiny corner of China where it is still permitted to gather freely outside a McDonald’s, several thousand people took to the streets last weekend. They were protesting at the contents of the budget. But, unlike their counterparts in Greece and Ireland, they were not lamenting cuts to public services necessitated by big deficits. Rather, they were outraged by what their government was proposing to do with its large surplus: give each and every one of them HK$6,000, or about US$770.

Posted by easybetman @ 09:27 PM 1 Comments


Telegraph: Why mortgage lending slumped by a quarter and house prices may fall by a fifth

Mortgage lending fell by more than a quarter in January, signalling as surely as a falling barometer that the housing market is nearing the end of the calm before the storm. Three years after the credit crisis began, the big surprise is that house prices have not fallen by more already.

Posted by dill @ 09:13 PM 4 Comments

Bears predict only a 10% fall

Guardian: Mortgage data reveals a sharp drop in house sales

A 29% fall in house sales in January compared to December is being blamed on inclement weather, rising inflation and government spending cuts ... the 13% year on year fall is much more substantial than it appears.

Posted by mken @ 12:48 PM 12 Comments

Are gold and silver warning us of a new stage in the financial crisis?

MoneyWeek: Are gold and silver warning us of a new stage in the financial crisis?

A spike down in the ratio of the price between silver and gold often marks a major market turn. In recent years, the ratio has remained above 45 to one. Until last week. So does this mean we're heading for another financial crisis? Dominic Frisby investigates.

Posted by damien @ 11:12 AM 11 Comments

Months of gloom ahead for retailers

Telegraph: Gloom on high street as British public will not spend

Prospects for growth in the consumer economy were dealt a severe blow yesterday when two of the UK's largest retailers warned of months of gloom on the high street. This is just the start. Imagine what's to come in April/October 2011 when Housing Benefits rules change.

Posted by cozza @ 11:00 AM 0 Comments

Splendid headline

Mortgage Strategy: Bad weather and cuts led to 26% house purchase lending fall in January

Data from the [CML] shows 28,500 loans were advanced for house purchase in the month, worth £4.2bn, which is a drop of 29% by number and 26% by value on December. It says while a fall between December and January is usually expected, a decrease of this magnitude cannot be explained by seasonal factors alone. The CML states potential house buyers are likely to have been discouraged by the effects of government spending cuts, rising inflation and tax measures putting pressure on household budgets. These factors, combined with December’s poor weather and uncertainty over interest rates, resulted in a lack of movement in the mortgage market, it claims.

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 10:43 AM 26 Comments

Wow would love to see his CV now lol

Dailymail: Don't call me a banker! Former RBS boss Fred the Shred takes out super-injunction to stop people identifying his former profession

SIR Fred Goodwin, the disgraced banker who took the Royal Bank of Scotland to the brink of collapse, has taken out a controversial High Court super-injunction, it was revealed yesterday. The order, which bans mention of matters Sir Fred wishes to keep secret, was disclosed in the Commons by an MP using parliamentary privilege. Liberal Democrat John Hemming claimed that the legal ban prevented anyone identifying the banker and called for a Parliamentary debate on freedom of speech

Posted by mark @ 10:43 AM 19 Comments

Bear main course

BBC: Sudden slump in mortgage lending, lenders reveal

The number of new mortgages lent to house buyers slumped by 29% in January compared to December, the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) said.

Posted by ontheotherhand @ 10:22 AM 6 Comments

Rejoice in the good news, homeowners!


RISING property prices and a jump in the number of house sales offered home owners some welcome good news yesterday. Prices in February rose by 0.3 per cent while the number of sales was up 2.4 per cent to 41,200, according to research agency Acadametrics. There were also signs of rising confidence in the strength of the housing market on top of a recovery in mortgage lending as the proportion of deals demanding high deposits fell to the lowest level for two years. David Newnes, managing director of LSL Property Services, which commissioned the figures, said: “After falls throughout the final quarter of 2010, prices have been bolstered by strong demand in London and the South-east.

Posted by drewster @ 10:13 AM 6 Comments

It's called "financial distress"

Bloomberg: Irish Banks Seek to Delay `Evil Day' as Home-Loan Losses Rise

“Putting off the evil day is not going to help.” says Judge Elizabeth Dunne of Dublin’s High Court.

Posted by alan @ 09:16 AM 1 Comments

One for TC

Bbc: Welsh housing market activity falls 'considerably'

Activity in the Welsh housing market has fallen "considerably", with prices and sales dropping, say experts.

Posted by happy mondays @ 07:38 AM 5 Comments

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Skeletons falling out of Spains cupboards

Bloomberg: Bank of Spain Says 12 Lenders Need $21 Billion More to Meet Capital Rules

Twelve Spanish lenders need to raise 15.2 billion euros ($21 billion) to meet new minimum capital levels or risk partial nationalization, the Bank of Spain said today. Subsidiaries of Barclays Plc (BARC) and Deutsche Bank AG (DBK), Spanish lenders Bankinter SA (BKT) and Bankpyme must seek funds along with eight Cajas named as Bankia, Banco Base, Banca Civica, Mare Nostrum, Catalunyacaixa, Novacaixagalicia, Caja Espana and Unnim.

Posted by enuii @ 06:10 PM 1 Comments

Build now, pay later … a sign of desperation?

Planet Property: Build now, pay later … a sign of desperation?

The government seems to have decided (we await details) to give housebuilders government land, with no need to pay for it until the properties are built and sold. Is this a genuine attempt to create more homes or a desperate bid to improve the growth figures?

Posted by the planet @ 04:00 PM 0 Comments

A wager on hyperinflation

Pragmatic Capitalist: The exploding US money supply myth

Claiming as insight that our currency will collapse is a little like claiming the "end is nigh", in that you must always be right providing the timeline is long enough. To pass such an observation off as insight is however dishonest if no timeframe is given. I'd be happy to wager that hyperinflation is neither probable or imminent in the UK/US and would be happy to agree to never again post here should inflation in the US rise above 10% in the next 24 months, if anyone wants to take the other side of that bet I'd be happy to oblige. In the first post I attempt to again explain why I'm of this view, although where these attempts have garnered few converts or even counter ideas beyond the banal and obvious I'm probably close to retiring the subject for now at least.

Posted by bellwether @ 03:13 PM 29 Comments

B.b.but isn't UK inflation over target?

Bloomberg: Bank of Korea Raises Key Interest Rate to 3% as Inflation Exceeds Target

"The Bank of Korea raised interest rates for the second time this year after inflation exceeded its target ceiling for two consecutive months". Silly me, I forgot, Merv said UK inflation has peaked and was dropping back ;(

Posted by alan @ 03:07 PM 2 Comments

This is where your Ryanair fares went ...

Planet Property: I lived here … Dr Tony Ryan (founder of Ryanair)

Former home of Dr Tony Ryan is for sale: comes with 600 acres and is priced at €60m.

Posted by the planet @ 03:03 PM 0 Comments

Housing bubbles

The Economist: Property is widely seen as a safe asset. It is arguably the most dangerous of all

Unlike other assets, housing is seen both as an investment and something to consume. This mixture of motives can be toxic for financial stability. If housing were like any other consumer good, rising prices should eventually dampen demand. But since it is also seen as a financial asset, higher values are a signal to buy. Most people do not borrow to buy shares and bonds, and if they do, the degree of leverage usually hovers around half the value of the investment. Moreover, when stock prices fall, borrowers can usually get their loan-to-value ratios back into balance by selling some of the shares. By contrast, many buyers routinely took on loans worth 90% or more of the value of the property. Most had no way of bringing down their debt short of selling the whole house.

Posted by ontheotherhand @ 02:58 PM 4 Comments


Chartered Institute of Housing: Warning of 30 per cent house price fall

"Rising interest rates will see house prices fall sharply by between 25 and 30 per cent, Chief Economics Leader writer for The Times, Oliver Kamm, told a major housing event in Brighton yesterday (9 March). He warned housing leaders at the Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) South East annual conference in Brighton that there was ”little prospect of an escape from the squeeze on living standards”. [And he also] described the UK obsession with home ownership and the competitive bidding for houses as “destructive” and called for greater stress on a healthier rental sector. He added: “It is long past the time when we should tax capital gains in the sales of property”."

Posted by dill @ 02:40 PM 7 Comments

Special Pleading Of The Week

The Press Association: Most MPs back first-time buyer help

"The majority of MPs think more should be done to help struggling first-time buyers in London and across the country get on to the property ladder, a survey has indicated. Around 83% of MPs said they thought their constituents should be given more support when buying their first home, rising to 100% among those with constituencies in London, according to insurer Genworth Financial... Angel Mas, president of mortgage insurance for Genworth Financial in Europe, said: "The return of high loan-to-value lending is vital if we are to unlock the market for those with a sound credit profile, but who are unable to save for a deposit in the near term. Lenders can participate safely in the high LTV segment by transferring default risk to a specialist insurer."

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 01:46 PM 9 Comments

Will interest rate ever rise ???? When will interest rates start to rise?

No surprise there, then. The Bank of England has held rates at 0.5pc for the 25th month running. Analysis from Legal & General Investment Management (LGIM) will have spooked the rate-setting Monetary Policy Committee, too. LGIM reckons 90pc of the country is on variable mortgage rates compared with just 60pc in 2007. In other words, in the past four years, an extra 3.3m households have started behaving as if permanently low rates are here to stay.

Posted by house @ 12:32 PM 6 Comments

Nothing new now move along

Guardian: Interest rates left unchanged

The Bank of England has kept interest rates unchanged again despite high inflation, judging that the economic recovery is too fragile for an immediate rise in borrowing costs.

Posted by richy richless @ 12:10 PM 0 Comments

Rates on hold as 0.5% celebrates 2nd year anniversary

BBC: Bank resists pressure to up rates

UK interest rates remain at their record low of 0.5%, as the Bank of England resists pressure to raise rates to curb inflation. There has now been no change to the Bank rate for two years, despite the fact that inflation is currently twice the Bank's target rate. But there had been some speculation that rates could change this month after three MPC members voted for a rise in February. No new quantitative easing measures were unveiled either. The Bank has faced a dilemma over what to do on interest rates.

Posted by jack c @ 12:10 PM 19 Comments

Zimbabwe were a nation of Billionaires too.

Sky News: Number Of Billionaires Soars Despite Downturn

The number of billionaires in the UK has increased to 32, with the Duke of Westminster Gerald Cavendish Grosvenor again named the country's richest man.

Posted by general congreve @ 10:55 AM 6 Comments

Houseladder; the purveyor of all that is sensational and unsubstantiated.

Houseladder: Rents 'are likely to escalate'

Question: "If your landlord increased your rent; at what point would you tell him/her to jog-on?" 'Rents are expected to rise over the coming year, new research has suggested. Tenants are likely to see their rents rise over the coming year, new research has found. The study, carried out by Rightmove, showed that more than half of those leasing property (53 per cent) expect the costs of doing so will increase in the next 12 months. Only four per cent of those questioned predicted that the payments will be reduced. More than a third forecast that their rents will inflate by up to ten per cent, while 16 per cent anticipate the sums will rise by double-digit figures.

Posted by sibley's b'stard child @ 10:27 AM 8 Comments

Unfunded liabilities? That's not real debt, provided you don't mind the system grinding to a halt.

Sky News: Mass Strike Fears Amid Public Pensions Review

Controversial reforms to public sector pensions will bring the threat of strike action by million of workers closer, unions have warned. A review carried out by Lord Hutton and published today is expected to recommend the likes of NHS staff, teachers and council workers pay more in contributions towards retirement.

Posted by general congreve @ 10:15 AM 15 Comments

The markets are ganging up on the Eurozone again. Today is Spain's turn. Moody's Downgrades Spain

Moody's Investor Service Inc. on Thursday downgraded Spanish government debt to Aa2 with a negative outlook from Aa1 previously, triggering sharp declines for the euro and European bond prices in early European trading. The news fanned concerns in European financial markets that high-debt countries in the euro-zone could bring the 17-nation currency closer to a new debt crisis. Earlier this week Standard & Poor's downgraded Greek government debt.

Posted by pbahra @ 08:53 AM 0 Comments

Here's a hot potato; catch!

Independent: Rock readies for sale despite losses of £232m

Northern Rock's executive chairman stoked expectations of an imminent move out of public ownership yesterday when he said the bank did not need to make a profit before returning to the private sector. Ron Sandler made his comments as the bank posted a loss of £232m for last year. He said a clear return to profit would be a benefit in attracting investors but that if it was on track for profit, that could be enough for a move out of nationalisation.

Posted by sibley's b'stard child @ 08:38 AM 2 Comments

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

An argument for a gently stagnating property market Interest rate will not save investors, says Neptune

Neptune Investment Management argue that we will not see any big interest rate rise in the forseeable future: "the Bank has little incentive to embark on a series of rate rises, as inflation is unlikely to be alleviated by lifting the interest rate from its current record low of 0.5%. Increasing global commodity prices, caused by the rapid expansion of emerging economies, is largely driving the current round of inflation, according to Dowey. Interest rate increases are only effective against broad-based inflation, which stems from rising wages, he explains." So although modest IR rises stressing indebted households seem plausible, the MPC may not 'get serious' about interest rates anytime soon.

Posted by quiet guy @ 11:28 PM 3 Comments

UK Economy Consumed by Mortgage Debt

Guardian: * Business * Interest rates Interest rate rise would hit 90% of homebuyers, says analyst

Legal & General Investment Management economist Tim Drayson said that with around 90% of homeowners opting for a tracker or variable rate mortgage after the slide in rates two years ago that 90% of Britain's 11.5m mortgages would cost more to finance if a rate rise went ahead.

Posted by enuii @ 10:10 PM 7 Comments

This is going to be fun

Yahoo: Warning Of 'Food Price Riots In The UK'

A senior economist at the worldwide bank HSBC (LSE: HSBA.L - news) has warned of civil unrest in Britain if food prices continue to soar. Speaking on Jeff Randall Live, senior global economist Karen Ward cautioned that the UK could experience the kind of food riots seen in other countries

Posted by mark @ 06:01 PM 9 Comments

Mervyn & Blanchflower say inflation has peaked

SKY: Fuel Prices: Unleaded Petrol Hits New High

"The average cost of unleaded petrol has hit £6 a gallon for the first time, increasing pressure on the Government to ease the growing fuel price burden on the economy". "New figures show unleaded at 132.12p a litre while the average diesel cost has also hit a new record at 137.92p". (I've paid a lot more than that on the motorway).

Posted by alan @ 04:10 PM 5 Comments

Yeah! Stick it to The Man!

Evening Standard: Squatters take over Colonel Gaddafi's son's £11m London mansion

A group calling themselves Topple The Tyrants said they took over the house because they "didn't trust the British government to properly seize Gaddafi's corrupt assets". The squatters unfurled a banner bearing a picture of Colonel Gaddafi and the slogan "Out Of Libya Out Of London" from the top of the house. Four of them were spotted walking around on the roof as police took photographs from below.

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 03:39 PM 19 Comments

A cracking trade if you can hold your nerve

MoneyWeek: A cracking trade if you can hold your nerve

Bengt Saelensminde has a cracking FTSE trade in mind, he's set out exactly what you need to do with concise easy to understand detail. But hurry, you'll need to get in on this quickly.

Posted by damien @ 03:20 PM 6 Comments

Blue Wing of Home-Owner-Ist Movement Announces Home-Owner-Ist Tax Cuts

BBC: Council tax bills 'to fall slightly this year' - CIPFA

"The government has suppled £650m to allow local authorities to ensure a council tax freeze. Communities Secretary Morbidly Obese One said "real help now to assist with the cost of living" was being provided." "Oh thank you!" chorus the obedient Home-Owner-Ist foot soldiers "You can hike income tax, hike National Insurance, hike VAT and deny people their savings income, but at least your using some of that £20 billion a year to prop up the value of Our Main Asset And Our Stake In Society."

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 12:57 PM 25 Comments

Our Leader on Bankers Pay

BBC iPlayer: The One Show

At 17.07 he is asked again about bankers bonuses and pay. Scary the way he ignores the concern (anger) of the questioners. No comment on how the sums can be justified. No justification for why they deserve even a fraction of the sums they receive. No mention of how the industry may be brought to heel. Banking brought to heel is surely what has to happen or the anger will continue to increase, it's happening on this site and everywhere else. What will happen when the Bankers Bonus Anger Bubble Bursts?

Posted by nomad @ 12:48 PM 9 Comments

Taking the bull by the horns?

BBC News: China to invest $200bn in low-cost homes to curb prices

Come on George, put your hand in your pocket..

Posted by richy richless @ 12:39 PM 4 Comments

Robert Tchenguiz borrowed £1.25bn from the failed bank to finance deals.

Bbc: Robert and Vincent Tchenguiz arrested in Iceland probe

The Serious Fraud Office has been working with Icelandic authorities for more than a year, looking at why substantial funds flooded out of the bank in the days before it failed.

Posted by mark @ 12:38 PM 2 Comments

Honestly, if you insist on the latest i-Thingie and designer clothes...

Guardian: Pensioners will die in debt

'One in seven baby boomers now hitting retirement never expect to be debt-free, according to a report by Aviva which reveals that one in three over-75 year olds have crippling credit card debts averaging £3,370 a head. The first generation with access to easy credit - Barclaycard introduced the first credit card in 1966 - will also be the first generation to take large debt to their graves, the report suggests. The Aviva Real Retirement Report found that pensioners in debt now typically have a credit card, plus a personal loan of £5,983 and a store card with an outstanding balance of £1,200, yet every month they also go overdrawn by £2,202 on their current account.'

Posted by sibley's b'stard child @ 11:31 AM 8 Comments

Are you reading this Shapps?

Citywire: Houses are simply too expensive for the young

'The unpalatable truth is that the politicians can express their concern and outrage all they like, but property prices remain unaffordable for first-time buyers, and if providing credit to pay for unaffordable houses proved unsustainable in the past it will prove unsustainable again.'

Posted by sibley's b'stard child @ 11:22 AM 11 Comments

Offshore owners!!!

Daily Post: Shocking state of former Denbigh mental hospital revealed

planning permission was granted by Denbighshire County Council in 2006 to build homes and commercial buildings. Both those plans failed to materialise and permission has now lapsed on the residential scheme. It is currently owned by businessman Ayub Bhailok’s off-shore firm Acebench

Posted by mark @ 10:43 AM 3 Comments

Nothing to do with QE?

Cnn: Why you're paying more for groceries

Food prices are currently being driven higher by spiraling costs for basic agricultural goods, which have been impacted by bad weather in many parts of the world. Tight supplies of grains have in turn pushed up prices for the livestock that eat them, resulting in higher prices for beef and pork.

Posted by mark @ 10:18 AM 12 Comments

Reintroduction of 90% mortgages should help turn a profit !

BBC: Northern Rock reports £232.4m loss for 2010

Nationalised lender Northern Rock, rescued after its near-collapse, has reported a loss of £232.4m for 2010. But the company said it was making progress, with income up and costs reduced during the second half of its financial year. However, executive chairman Ron Sandler said that trading remained "difficult" in the current environment. He said Northern Rock was still in talks with the government on returning the company to private ownership.

Posted by jack c @ 09:03 AM 11 Comments

Expect a spike in demand from wealthy inhabitants of North Africa and the middle east?

Telegraph: House prices: London £1m houses jump, rest of country falls

House prices in London are defying the slump in the rest of the country, because of the impending increase in stamp duty for properties worth £1 million. An influential monthly survey of house prices said a sharp divide had opened up between the capital – where prices are rising – and the rest of the country where prices are falling. The introduction of a new, higher, stamp duty level of 5 per cent for properties worth £1 million or more, which comes into effect in April, is thought to be the main reason, encouraging top end houses to suddenly start selling at their asking price.

Posted by hpwatcher @ 08:34 AM 2 Comments

Oil’s surge could ruin economic recovery

Investment Postcards: Oil’s surge could ruin economic recovery

The surge in the oil price due to the conflict in Libya and revolts in other MENA countries could significantly impact the recovery of the world economy and especially the U.S.

Posted by prieur du plessis @ 07:10 AM 0 Comments

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Make the City pay

The Slog: Make Wall Street Pay

"The reason I applaud this (and abhor the clowns who’ve been occupying Barclays over here) is because these are real people whose real lives are being ruined by bare-faced globalist greed – not the SWP with a few students swinging from the chandeliers." Is there a similar organisation in the UK and if not, why not? It's time for ordinary people to stand up and fight the banks!

Posted by mr g @ 10:57 PM 14 Comments

Practise what you preach - give the homes back

This is London: Don't rely on property - save for your retirement, Iain Duncan Smith tells young

Iain Duncan Smith today warned young people not to rely on home ownership to fund their retirement. Unveiling a radical overhaul of the state pension, the Work and Pensions Secretary said rising house prices were putting bricks and mortar out of reach. He added it was "absolutely imperative" that the Government took steps to "secure the position of the next generation" and encourage saving.

Posted by dill @ 08:57 PM 10 Comments

Property investors are in for a rude awakening

MoneyWeek: Property investors are in for a rude awakening

Given the option of shares or property most investors will choose property. They've been conditioned by years of rising house prices says Tom Bulford, but these property enthusiasts have been ignoring a key factor and they're in for a shock.

Posted by damien @ 04:39 PM 12 Comments

More bear nibbles

FT: UK house prices: falls to come

"Investors in British residential property are naive. They should look beyond the most recent data: the fourth consecutive month of slowing house price falls (according to the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors) and values only 5 per cent below pre-crisis peak (LSL Acadametics). The fundamentals still point to a big drop in prices... The effect of higher rates on housing could be significant. The 75 basis point increase expected by the market will raise average mortgage payments 8 per cent to £722 per month, estimates Capital Economics – enough to reduce offering prices"

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 04:08 PM 10 Comments

UK 30% overvalued against long-run rent ratio

The Economist: Global House Prices

In theory, the price of a home should reflect the value of the services it provides. People who choose to rent their homes buy those services on a monthly basis. Home prices should therefore reflect the rents that tenants pay. Our index calculates the ratio of prices to rents in 20 economies

Posted by ontheotherhand @ 01:25 PM 12 Comments

Are you not thinking of the children?

Toriegraph: Bank of mum and dad shuts up shop over divorce fears

Interesting article focusing more towards the tax avoidance of inheritence but there is evidence to suggest an emerging reluctance by BOMAD to assist in the purchase of say..overpriced property

Posted by richy richless @ 01:11 PM 2 Comments

Less regulation, more free market

G Pytel: Regulating financial risks

This piece puts a lot of beef on Marvyn King's recent interview in The Telegraph. It really shows how the financial system got degenerated into communism for the rich. Good stuff.

Posted by ant @ 12:01 PM 2 Comments

Bear Nibbles

City Wire: Faltering housing market and high street add to economic fears

Surveyors say house prices are falling in most parts of the country while shops say people are spending less than last year, adding to signs that the UK economy is still hobbled even before government cutbacks starts to bite. A quarter more chartered surveyors reported prices were falling than rising in February across the UK.

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 11:59 AM 1 Comments

Spotting a turning point in the currency markets

MoneyWeek: Spotting a turning point in the currency markets

John C Burford demonstrates how to spot a turning point in the currency markets, as a 'wedge' forms in the dollar/yen.

Posted by damien @ 10:36 AM 0 Comments

Time to build on the green fields?

Planet Property: Time to build on the green fields?

Is eco-friendly greenfield development the best way to preserve the environment?

Posted by the planet @ 09:55 AM 0 Comments

Has anybody learned anything?

Bloomberg: China Faces 60% Risk of Bank Crisis by 2013, Fitch Gauge Shows

Chinese banks fueled record property-price gains by extending a record 17.5 trillion yuan ($2.7 trillion) of loans over 2009 and 2010 under the stimulus program that propelled the nation through the financial crisis. Regulators’ efforts to contain the risks for lenders have included stress tests for declines in house prices and a crackdown on lending to local- government financing vehicles

Posted by rob @ 09:44 AM 0 Comments

RICs Survey download

RICS: RICS Housing Market Survey UK Feb 2011

"Demand stabilises and new instructions edge up • Headline price balance improves but remains negative • New enquiries stabilise while new instructions rise • London bucks the trend; shows rising prices The February 2011 RICS Housing Market Survey highlights four key points. First, the headline net price balance improves but remains negative. Second, new enquiries have stabilised after falling during the second half of 2010. Third, activity levels have also stabilised, with newly agreed sales broadly unchanged during the month while sales per surveyor edged up. Lastly, there is a marked divergence in the regional picture, with London being the only region to record rising prices."

Posted by wdbeast @ 09:21 AM 7 Comments

Interest rate timebomb: why rates will stay low until...boom!

The Slog: Interest rate conundrum: save the banks, or the people?

Excellent amateur journalism and analysis from a regular Telegraph commenter - rates have to stay low because banks have loaded up on interest rate derivatives which will blow up if rates rise. The potential impact is ten times that of subprime, so no bail-outs possible (the market is 6 times larger than world GDP, so who could bail you out...?) Several French & Italian regions have already been bankrupt when rates went against them. Sometime, the rest will fall...

Posted by notyethomeless @ 09:06 AM 8 Comments

What a Conundrum ;-)

Money week: Interest rates could rise sooner than you think

If petrol hits £2 a litre, a double-dip recession would be a foregone conclusion. So you can see why the idea of hiking rates seems risky to Mr King.

Posted by happy mondays @ 08:06 AM 10 Comments

Sherlock's monthly report

BBC: Housing market flat except in London, surveyors say

"The property market is subdued everywhere except in London, the latest survey from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (Rics) suggests".

Posted by alan @ 07:14 AM 1 Comments

Monday, March 7, 2011

Forget location, location, location. Think broadband, broadband, broadband.

Telegraph: Rightmove to list broadband speed of all its homes

Rightmove is teaming up with BT, the UK's biggest internet provider, to list the internet speeds of the 1m homes listed on its website, The Telegraph has learnt. Rightmove will also list whether or not the property will be covered by BT Infinity, the telecom company's new 40 mega bits per second (mbps) broadband. A source close to the company said: "Broadband is becoming one of the most, if not the most, important considerations for prospective buyers. Many people fall in love with a home only to find out it can only get really slow internet. By listing broadband speed with all the other property details buyers will be able to weed out homes that don't have high-speed access."

Posted by wanderinman @ 06:10 PM 19 Comments

Merv's forever blowing bubbles

Wall Street Journal: Mervyn King Attacks Banks, By Giving Them Money

Mervyn's attack on the banks would appear to be so much hot air. Seems he has aided and abetted the transfer of wealth from savers to bankers.

Posted by arthur kinnell @ 05:48 PM 0 Comments

Senior economist at Goldman Sachs to replace Andrew Sentance on MPC Broadbent to replace Sentance on the MPC

Ben Broadbent is to replace Andrew Sentance on the Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee (MPC). Mr Broadbent is a senior economist at Goldman Sachs and the appointment will take effect on 1 June 2011. The MPC's minutes reveal Mr Sentance has frequently been in dissent against the majority decision to maintain interest rates. George Osborne said Mr Broadbent's professional experience in the financial sector and academia, as well as his detailed knowledge of the UK economy, would be extremely valuable to the MPC.

Posted by jack c @ 03:22 PM 22 Comments

Interest rates could rise sooner than you think

MoneyWeek: Interest rates could rise sooner than you think

Mervyn King may think raising interest rates is 'futile', but the case for a rise is getting ever stronger as inflation continues to climb. Hiking rates may well be risky, but not doing so could be equally dangerous. Whatever happens, says John Stepek, it's not going to be pleasant for the UK economy.

Posted by damien @ 02:47 PM 5 Comments

Ha ha ha

Manchester evening news: Squatters occupy flat above RBS bank in Didsbury in protest over £1bn bonuses

A group of squatters have staged a protest against staff bonuses at the Royal Bank of Scotland - by occupying a flat above a branch of the bank in West Didsbury. The campaigners moved into a property on the first floor of the building in Lapwing Lane and unfurled banners protesting at the bonuses paid out by the bank, which has a branch on the ground floor. The flat is owned by a private landlord and not the RBS, meaning the bank is powerless to prevent the protest.

Posted by mark @ 02:23 PM 1 Comments

Err, what house price increases of 2010?

Houseladder: House price rises 'unlikely to repeat 2010 trend'

It is unlikely that house prices will increase at similar levels to last year, it has been claimed. House price rises are unlikely to occur at the levels seen in 2010, it has been claimed. Timothy Lambert, head of consulting at Ducalian, said a repeat of last year's trend is not on the cards. The industry figure noted that interest rates are due to escalate, which in turn will have an impact on the cost of borrowing. "Consequently, house prices will be stifled somewhat in a bid to make them still attractive to buyers," he explained.

Posted by sibley's b'stard child @ 12:16 PM 13 Comments

Couples earning £33,745 a year bear a tax burden that is 39% higher than those in the 33 other count

Shropshire star: UK families ‘have worst tax burden’

Couples earning £33,745 a year bear a tax burden that is 39% higher than those in the 33 other countries in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), a report found. Care, a Christian social policy charity, said the disparity would worsen to 50% by 2012-13 as child benefit was axed for families where one parent earned more than £42,000 a year.

Posted by mark @ 11:04 AM 12 Comments

A splendid bit of Home-Owner-Ist propaganda

This is Plymouth: No one would be served by a crash in West house prices

"For every struggling couple stuck in unsuitable rented accommodation or bedding down on a friend's sofa, there are many dozens here in the South West who have done well out of property price inflation. And the wealth they have made has helped to underpin the Westcountry economy over the past decade, when they have borrowed against the value of their homes or down-sized to free up capital... So tempting as it might seem for home-buyers if prices crashed the overall impact, particularly here in the South West, would be catastrophic. Negative equity, a nose-dive in financial confidence and billions wiped off the value of ordinary people's biggest assets are not sacrifices worth making to enable those who currently feel excluded to buy a home of their own."

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 10:57 AM 22 Comments

Nice to receive when it fails

Icenews: Large pay rise for new Iceland bank boss

Arion Bank is owned by creditors to its bankrupt predecessor, Kaupthing. Arion’s owners include some of the world’s biggest banks and investors.

Posted by mark @ 10:45 AM 0 Comments

Ouch that must have been painful

Reuters: Moody's slashes Greek rating, may cut further

Moody's cut the country's rating by three notches to B1 from Ba1 with a negative outlook, citing significant risks to the country's fiscal consolidation plan and risks of a debt restructuring.

Posted by mark @ 09:28 AM 1 Comments

Copy of a private letter sent to Downing Street from Mervyn King

The Dodgy Dosier: To George, from Mervyn

After the Bank of England published its quarterly inflation report and the Governor, Mervyn King, wrote his customary official letter to the Chancellor explaining the reasons why the target of 2% has not been met for the 10th time since April 2007. Our man on the inside managed to hack into the Governor’s computer and has emailed a copy of a private letter sent to Downing Street ahead of the official letter. We are pleased to publish it in full for the benefit of our readers....

Posted by the number cruncher @ 09:10 AM 2 Comments

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Home Truths

Economist: Financial crises and property busts go together. The link can be weakened

"Property is more than just a place to live and work. For many people, it is the biggest financial bet they will ever make. That bet has been disastrous for plenty of homeowners. Over a quarter of mortgage-holders in America owe more on their loans than their homes are worth. House prices there have fallen back to 2003 levels and are still declining—by 2.4% year-on-year in December. A huge pipeline of foreclosed homes is still on its way to market", The devil is in the debt....

Posted by alan @ 09:10 PM 1 Comments

The Fast Track to Prosperity

Guardian: High-speed rail: running rapidly right off the rails

Work this one out if you can, will Birmingham become a commuter town for London or will it just be the contractors building it who make a mint. Then again as for the claim that HS2 will create thousands of regional jobs, the small print of the documents concedes that 73 per cent of the "regenerative benefit" jobs created will actually be… in London and perhaps significantly ramp up property prices in the regenerated area and make a nice little earner for those already in the know.

Posted by enuii @ 09:08 PM 5 Comments

Do unto others as you would not have done unto yourself

Guardian: Privately rented homes bust despite sector boom

More than 40% of privately rented flats and houses in England are in a "non-decent" condition, according to damning figures released by the government. Results from the English Housing Survey show the private rented sector is booming as more would-be buyers find themselves unable to obtain mortgages. There were 3.4 million households living in privately rented homes in 2010, up from 2.4 million in 2005, which means that one in six English households now live in privately rented accommodation. But 1.4 million homes, some 41% of the private rented sector (PRS), are branded "non-decent", according to criteria set by the department of communities and local government.

Posted by dill @ 06:20 PM 6 Comments

Are the MPC Muppets listening?

Reuters: ECB's Gonzalez-Paramo says April rate hike possible

"An April rate increase is possible as the European Central Bank continues its mission to control inflation, ECB Executive Board member Jose Manuel Gonzalez-Paramo said in an interview published on Sunday"."It's not about responding to higher oil prices, but about preventing a second round of effects," Gonzalez-Paramo told Spanish newspaper El Mundo, echoing comments made last week by ECB President Jean-Claude Trichet".

Posted by alan @ 12:53 PM 1 Comments

Reckless and ruthless

Mail: Files show how aggressive lenders peddled mortgages borrowers couldn't afford and pursued them when they failed to meet payments

"Aggressive mortgage lending to high-risk borrowers by a British subsidiary of defunct US investment bank Lehman Brothers at the height of the property boom has been fully revealed for the first time in files obtained by Financial Mail. These relate to almost 10,000 mortgages advanced in 2006 by Southern Pacific Mortgage Loans. The loans were quickly sold to investors. This process, on a global scale, triggered Lehman's collapse in September 2008 and was central to the banking crisis".

Posted by alan @ 12:50 PM 0 Comments

Veiled Threat Or Real Possibility?

BBC News: HSBC says 'no decision' to move HQ from London to HK

HSBC, Europe's biggest bank, has denied reports it is planning to move its head office from London to Hong Kong. A spokesman told the BBC it had not made any preparations to rebase after 19 years of being London-based. The Sunday Telegraph quoted a major, unnamed investor as saying "we were told that a move [to Hong Kong] is now more than likely".

Posted by rantnrave @ 11:13 AM 15 Comments

The bear necessities of life will come to you

Independent: Housing market faces another miserable year as buyers and sellers retreat

There are now so many house price indices – not to mention a campaign for the launch of a better official yardstick from the Office of National Statistics – that it can sometimes be difficult to make out a clear picture of what is going on in the housing market. This, however, is not one of those times; and unfortunately the picture is unremittingly grim.

Posted by dill @ 07:11 AM 8 Comments

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Mel Smith Knocks £750k off asking price

Planet Property: Mel Smith knocks £750,000 off asking price

Comedian Mel Smith has had to knock £750k off the asking price of his Oxfordshire home.

Posted by the planet @ 04:38 PM 0 Comments

Hubble, Bubble, Toil and Trouble

Moneymarketing: 'Merlin misses out mortgages due to debt fear'

Home Funding chief executive Tony Ward believes the Bank of England does not want to encourage mortgage lending for fear of inflating the housing market....Ward believes mortgage lending was not included in Project Merlin as the BoE wants to reduce debt in the housing market. He says "I have concluded the Bank of England does not want to encourage banks or building societies to lend in the mortgage sector. On a macro global basis, everything is overleveraged and over- leveraging gives rise to asset bubbles. What that means in the UK is we have got one of the biggest asset bubbles in what I think the Bank of England would see as the housing market.”

Posted by jack c @ 04:29 PM 7 Comments

Silent Bank Run

CCTV News (via youtube): More banks suspended in South Korea

This disturbing event is currently receiving no mainstream media attention - A number of South Korean banks have recently closed their doors to depositors following massive withdrawals - the suspension of a savings bank for capital inadequacies has led to panic among depositors. It would appear that the Korean authorities have made a massive cash injection to try to resore confidence with little effect so far. The worry is that the concerns will spread to China where containing a bank run would be altogether that much more difficult.

Posted by jack c @ 04:13 PM 5 Comments

A fool and his money ...

BBC: Land investment 'scams' warning

Many are are being targeted by firms cold-calling them to buy land they say is ripe for development, but are being scammed as the potential for development is nonexistant and the true value of the land turns out to be a fraction what they paid.

Posted by greenmind @ 01:17 PM 5 Comments

Property is Not the Economy and mass graduation is not the answer

Guardian: The awful truth: education won't stop the west getting poorer

Skilled jobs will go to the lowest bidder worldwide. A decline in middle class pay and job satisfaction is only just beginning. The mantra that if enough people buckle down to acquiring higher-level skills and qualifications as well as working hard enough, Europeans and Americans will continue to enjoy rising living standards and can still do better than their parents is failing. All that is required is to bring schools up to scratch and persuade universities to teach "marketable" skills. That is the thinking behind all recent education secretaries yet the US, which introduced mass higher education long before Britain has seen the average graduate's purchasing power barely rise in 30 years.

Posted by enuii @ 11:00 AM 19 Comments

King confirms nothing has changed

Sky news: Mervin king warns of new crisis

my own thoughts exactly,whilst i cannot stand him the fact is that banks are beginning the same practices as before as if nothing has happened creating the possibility of a new crisis.Whats really worrying is that he is the head of the bank of england and it comes across as if there is nothing he can do

Posted by taffee @ 09:38 AM 11 Comments

Property is the economy

Telegraph: Halifax: UK house prices slide at fastest rate in 16 months

No surprises here for regular blog readers but the subtitle is begging for comment: "UK house prices fell at their fastest annual pace for 16 months in February, raising further concerns about the strength of the economic recovery." So the health of our economy can be gauged by house price movements right? Producing for a living? That's so yesterday: "Property prices have a major bearing on consumer confidence and the Halifax data is likely to give succour to those calling for the Bank of England to keep interest rates at 0.5pc."

Posted by quiet guy @ 09:32 AM 6 Comments

Magical fairies will make inflation painlessly disappear next year

Telegraph: Services data could be rates 'game-changer'

"This could be a game changer. It could push the first rate hike back some way," said Alan Clarke, an economist at BNP Paribas. "The services sector looks like it is growing, but only moderately and probably not enough to meet the Bank of England's expectations. A rate hike in the next few months is not the done deal that the market had priced in."

Posted by quiet guy @ 09:24 AM 2 Comments

Friday, March 4, 2011

Is it really cheaper to buy than rent?

Planet Property: Is it really cheaper to buy than rent?

Zoopla say it's now cheaper to buy than rent - but are they right?

Posted by the planet @ 01:47 PM 6 Comments

Brace brace brace

Daily mail: For a nation already feeling the pinch, a stark double warning: Food and fuel bills to rocket

Families face massive rises in fuel and food costs, ministers warned last night. A catastrophic 1970s-style oil price spike is on the cards while the price of supermarket basics continues to soar.

Posted by mark @ 01:34 PM 12 Comments

And the award for the most misleading title of article goes to...

This Is Money: Flintoff takes a £600,000 hit on house sale

This one surely belongs in the rogues gallery...from The Financial Website of the year no less..Pah!

Posted by richy richless @ 12:38 PM 1 Comments

Cash in on the farming boom

MoneyWeek: Cash in on the farming boom

Food prices around the world rose to their highest-ever levels in February. And they're likely to keep climbing. That's bad news for consumers, but offers opportunities for investors. David Stevenson reveals how to make money by investing in a company working to increase food production.

Posted by damien @ 12:31 PM 2 Comments

FTBs of the world rejoice!

Estate Agent Today: Connells steal a march with 95% mortgage for FTBs

Connells has stolen a march on competitors by announcing a 95% mortgage, exclusively available through its branches and aimed at first-time buyers. The announcement comes hot on the heels of Northern Rock unveiling the launch of a 90% mortgage. The Connells mortgage is being made available through its parent company, Skipton Building Society. The two-year fix for the 95% loan is not cheap, however, at 6.49% – more than 12 times current base rate. A new 90% two-year fixed deal is also offered, again exclusively through Connells, at 5.89%

Posted by sibley's b'stard child @ 12:25 PM 7 Comments

Do we need month-on-month house price indices from lenders?

Planet Property: Do we need month-on-month house price indices from lenders?

Month on month figures seem volatile, so why not just publish the 3 month data?

Posted by the planet @ 12:09 PM 1 Comments

Bundesbamk chief highlights problems of debt

Reuters: Weber tells cbankers meeting: worse imbalances loom

"Friday's gathering came a day after the European Central Bank said it could soon raise interest rates, heightening concerns about the implications for struggling euro zone countries as EU leaders strive to resolve the debt crisis"."Many of them point the finger squarely at the U.S. Federal Reserve's new round of money printing via a $600 billion (369 billion pound) bond purchase programme as the cause behind a wave of "hot money" inflows that risk destabilising their economies".

Posted by alan @ 11:13 AM 1 Comments

And i cant get planning permission to extend lol

Manchester evening news: Gary Neville wins planning approval for 'Teletubbies' house

Ambitious plans by Manchester United star Gary Neville to build a futuristic 'Teletubbies' family home on protected moorland were controversially backed by councillors. wonder how much they pocketed from this guy?

Posted by mark @ 11:10 AM 10 Comments

In January estate agents believed rents will be rising

RICS Residential Lettings Survey: Rents increase rapidly

40 per cent more chartered surveyors reported rents rose rather than fell in the three months to January - which is the highest positive reading in the survey’s history.

Posted by ontheotherhand @ 11:08 AM 3 Comments

Hmmm benefits

Daily mail: Taking a dip on benefits: The council house with a pool in the back garden

Mrs Frost, who lives on benefits and has her £80-a-week rent paid for her, said yesterday the pool did not contravene planning rules because it was ‘not a permanent feature’.

Posted by mark @ 11:06 AM 2 Comments

Break down of index calculations

BBC: House price surveys explained

Describes how different surveys work, how each is calculated. Useful one for reference.

Posted by interface @ 10:34 AM 0 Comments

Relocation, Relocation?

Sydney Morning Herald: Aussie home prices world's most-overpriced: survey

I read a lot of comments in articles linked here from people saying they're off to Australia to escape the UK, but is that such a great idea? At least from a property perspective? I guess at least they've got jobs there! "Australian house prices remain the most overvalued in the world, according to the latest quarterly ranking of global house prices by The Economist magazine..... the magazine estimates that Australian residences are 56 per cent over-valued, exceeding the 54 per cent over-priced rate in Hong Kong and 48 per cent in France. The Economist also noted that, while Australia's economy had outperformed most in the developed world in recent years, the recent surge in house prices might be hard to justify."

Posted by captain kangaroo @ 10:14 AM 0 Comments

-0.9 MoM -2.8% YoY

Halifax: February Index

Commenting, Martin Ellis, housing economist, said: "House prices, as measured by the underlying trend, continue to fall slightly with prices in the three months to February 0.4% lower than in the previous three months. "There has, however, been little change in house prices over the first two months of 2011 as a whole. February's monthly decline of 0.9% offset January's 0.8% gain. "Overall, we expect a modest 2% decrease in house prices in 2011. Uncertainty over the economic outlook is likely to weigh down on housing demand this year. "Fewer properties have been coming onto the market in recent months. This trend, if sustained, should improve the balance between demand and supply and help to prevent a more significant fall in house prices."

Posted by phdinbubbles @ 08:14 AM 26 Comments

'Your Fired"

CNBC: Fired workers burn Indian executive to death

Might make Lord Sugar think twice??

Posted by bystander @ 08:09 AM 16 Comments

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Buy Frosties and Rice Krispies or Silver

BBC: Food prices hit new record highs, says UN food agency

"The prices of cereals, such as wheat, rice and maize, have risen by 70% in the past year".

Posted by alan @ 05:53 PM 10 Comments

Glad someone has a brain - your move mervyn

Reuters: Trichet flags April ECB rate rise, stuns markets

"The European Central Bank may hike interest rates next month, far earlier than markets expected, though any rise would not signal a series of increases, President Jean-Claude Trichet said on Thursday".

Posted by alan @ 05:43 PM 5 Comments

Double dip - check out the graph

Cnn: Home prices: The double-dip is near

That big sucking sound you heard last week? That was the air being taken out of the housing market by a slew of bad reports followed by some dire predictions by an industry bubble-spotter

Posted by mark @ 05:17 PM 2 Comments

Agents urged to be super-vigilant on money laundering Agents urged to be super-vigilant on money laundering

Expecting this "industry" to help police money laundering is frankly laughable. With notoriously poor, if any, qualifications and a dubious public reputation with the truth, it's like asking the foxes to help count chickens. It's the bent solicitors that should be targeted.

Posted by doomwatch @ 05:10 PM 4 Comments

Hector Sants tells MPs "You've got another year to dump your BTL portfolios."

Mortgage Strategy: Sants: No MMR changes before 2012

Hat tip to Jack C! Sants says: “The MMR is still at the stage of analysis. I am sure we all recognise the market place did not function well in the decade prior to 2007. Credit expanded by 200% but there was no consequent rise in the percentage of home ownership, nor was there an increase in first time buying. We do, however, recognise the sensitivity of the interaction between our actions and the public policy agenda.” Which 'agenda'? The 'keeping up house prices at all costs' agenda, perchance?

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 03:38 PM 13 Comments

BoE Governor makes it clear that there will be no recovery.

The Independent: King says living standards may never recover from the crisis

The Governor of the Bank of England warned yesterday that living standards may never recover from the financial crisis and that households were only just starting to feel the full impact of bankers' mistakes. "It is not like an ordinary recession where you lose output and get it back quickly," the Governor said when asked if the country would ever recover from a squeeze on living standards on a scale not seen since the 1920s. "You may not get it back for many years, if ever, and that is a big long-run loss of living standards for all people in this country."

Posted by general congreve @ 03:11 PM 22 Comments

The best way to profit from the oil shock

MoneyWeek: The best way to profit from the oil shock

Oil shocks are bad news - they are almost invariably followed by a global recession. And a further rise in the price of oil will deal the West's fragile economies another serious blow. But things are not completely hopeless, says John Stepek. There is a bright side for investors.

Posted by damien @ 02:28 PM 2 Comments

A guide to translate ECB Chief's code words into rate changes Trichet Watch: Vigilance, Monitoring and All That

J.P. Morgan has published an intricate “code word” guide ahead of Jean-Claude Trichet’s ECB Governing Council Meeting press conference today. The Journal has re-published extracts to understand what Mr. Trichet really is hinting at on possible rate changes. Apparently, it’s all about “vigilance” and “monitoring”...which is zero and plus-25 basis points respectively.

Posted by pbahra @ 01:31 PM 0 Comments

Ian Cowie

Telegraph: Why it makes sense to hope for a house price crash

An article which shows a little appreciation for some of the fundamentals working against the Market.

Posted by dill @ 12:08 PM 9 Comments

What sets our mortgage rates? Apparently, Chinese savers

Wall Street Journal: Whither UK house prices? Look closely at Chinese savings rate

Mervyn King: The Chinese savers recycle their money into the UK mortgage market. If rates go up, it's because they're not savings as much. Note: we need them to spend more (and not save as much) so that the world economy can rebalance. Hence: UK house prices are likely to fall. You heard it from the man here!

Posted by notyethomeless @ 11:36 AM 7 Comments

Yay! Go construction industry! Without you, we'd be all fields...

Telegraph: UK construction grows at fastest rate in eight months

"British construction activity grew at its fastest pace in eight months in February, bouncing back after it was one of the key factors in a surprise economic downturn at the end of last year." "The construction sector is on course for reasonable growth in the first quarter of 2011 after contracting markedly in the fourth quarter of 2010," said Howard Archer, UK economist at IHS Global Insight. So - interest rate rises?

Posted by notyethomeless @ 11:17 AM 2 Comments

The worms are turning

Fortune: It's time to end the party of easy money

Kansas City Federal Reserve Bank President Thomas Hoenig has a message for Ben Bernanke, and he's not afraid to say it over and over: Raise rates.

Posted by mark @ 11:14 AM 0 Comments

Rip off britain

Daily mail: The High Street fashion chains that push up their prices just for British customers

Global fashion chains such as Zara, Ralph Lauren and Forever 21 are picking the pockets of British shoppers with huge price mark-ups. The Spanish-owned and hugely successful label Zara is charging its British customers as much as 45 per cent more for its dresses, T-shirts, bags and shoes compared with other countries. A snapshot survey of 15 items from its new collection, available across Europe, shows UK shoppers are paying much more than in Spain.

Posted by mark @ 10:35 AM 4 Comments

Another example of financial terrorism by a bailed out bank

Bbc news: Credit card borrower tortured by lender

mbna is owned by bank of america btw,bailed out after contributing to the financial meltdown.These practices and interest rates(some 35% even if account is up to date) are driving people to the depths of despair,contributing to family breakdowns and even suicide.The government needs to crack down on these credit card companies who feel they are above the law.Interest rates on credit cards should have a ceiling and shouldn't be increased 'because they can get away with it'

Posted by taffee @ 10:30 AM 5 Comments

Remind me; did 'something' happen in 08/09?

Houseladder: Big city living 'becoming more affordable'

Property in the UK's biggest cities is becoming more affordable, it has been claimed. The cost of houses in Britain's biggest cities is on the decrease, it has been found. New research carried out by Halifax has shown homes in large urban centres have become more affordable between 2007 and 2010.

Posted by sibley's b'stard child @ 09:31 AM 2 Comments

Don't fall ill

Management in Practice: NHS reform is 'disgracefully unethical'

BMA Chairman concerned that GP's will be offered incentives, or 'bonuses' if you will, to save money on the care of their patients. Admittedly tenuous link to the subject of house prices, but could it mean that healthcare for those of us who don't go private, or even those that do, since it's largely the same doctors, will become the subject of what the tabloids like to call 'a postcode lottery?'

Posted by we're all in this together @ 09:31 AM 1 Comments

Hometrack: -0.2%MoM, -2.7%YoY

Reuters: Feb house price fall biggest in a year - Hometrack

House prices in England and Wales fell at their fastest annual rate in more than a year in February, although a rebound in new buyers slowed monthly rate. Hometrack said prices fell 0.2 percent in February, the smallest monthly decline since July. However, the data are not adjusted for seasonal fluctuations, and Hometrack said the improvement could be due to a mix of seasonal factors and pent-up demand after weakness at the end of 2010. Indeed, on an annual basis, house prices fell 2.7 percent last month -- the biggest fall since November 2009.

Posted by little professor @ 08:45 AM 25 Comments

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Now you know why Oil, Gold & Silver is going up!

Guardian: US municipalities could default on $100bn, warns Nouriel Roubini

"Buyers of bonds issued by US states and local authorities are being 'Pollyannaish' in ignoring the state of their finances". "US states and local governments could default on $100bn (£60bn) of their debts over the next five years, according to a report from the consulting firm founded by economist Nouriel Roubini"."The report follows dire predictions of a wide-scale collapse in the US's $2.7tn municipal bonds market by Meredith Whitney, the analyst who was among the first to warn of the 2008 banking crisis".

Posted by alan @ 10:15 PM 14 Comments

Sad state of affairs in the UK, prices too high, people cant afford to live

Yahoo: A new lender on the high street: The Bank of Gran and Grandad

It sickens me there will be generations of people who will never enjoy owning their own homes due to the mismanagement of the country by labour and bank of england

Posted by mark @ 05:32 PM 17 Comments

Mervyn spells it out..(shocker!)

Guardian: Bank of England governor blames spending cuts on bank bailouts

King has repeatedly pointed the finger at the City since the crisis erupted in 2007, but this was the first time he blamed bankers for the coalition's spending cuts. Mervyn King has risked reopening the bitter argument over blame for the financial crisis by saying that government spending cuts are the fault of the City and expressing surprise there has not been more public anger. He told the Treasury select committee that the billions spent bailing out the banks and the need for public spending cuts were the fault of the financial services sector.

Posted by cat and canary @ 01:19 PM 16 Comments

Cheaper today than yesterday, but maybe not as cheap as tomorrow

Telegraph: Buying a house is cheaper than renting

The last sentance says it all really. "If interest rates were to increase by 1pc and rents were to remain the same, renting would become more cost-effective in 78pc of the locations studied."

Posted by cdo1 @ 01:12 PM 13 Comments

Where the value really lies

Guardian: Social mobility is a dead end

Some figures: "Hospital cleaners .... generate £10 social value for every £1 they are paid." "...well-paid jobs like City bankers (for every £1 paid, £7 of social value is destroyed) or advertising executives (£11 destroyed for every £1 popped into their bank account)" A bit off-topic but of wide interest. Cue the Alfs?

Posted by letthemfall @ 12:59 PM 13 Comments

Could gold hit $1,500 by the end of May?

MoneyWeek: Could gold hit $1,500 by the end of May?

The price of gold has hit another new high. And what's significant is that it's now rising independently of other asset classes. Dominic Frisby examines if we really are seeing a de-coupling - and if so, what it means for the gold price, the economy and your investments.

Posted by damien @ 11:28 AM 41 Comments

They will have a long wait for market to pick up

Daily mail: Huge banking fees for those forced to let homes

Homeowners who are forced to let their properties are being hit with huge fees by greedy banks. The fragile housing market has meant some owners must let their home because they are unable to sell. They might need to buy or rent elsewhere to relocate for work, or buy a bigger house for a growing family or a smaller one for their retirement. In the meantime, they must let their current property to provide an income until the housing market picks up and they can sell.

Posted by mark @ 11:21 AM 10 Comments

Councils cannot stop wasting money what is wrong with these people?

Manchester evening news: £800,000 speed camera on Cat and Fiddle fails to catch a single biker

The £800,000 cameras were designed to catch bikers on the winding Cat and Fiddle between Macclesfield and Buxton. Macclesfield activist Granville Sellars said: “This whole debacle has been an appalling waste of money. Every biker I’ve spoken to is fully aware the cameras do not work. “If this had happened in the private sector someone would have lost their job.”

Posted by mark @ 10:52 AM 6 Comments

Delusion of educated people

Cnbc: China not in a bubble-yeah right

take a minute to read this just shows how either he knows he's lying or he is in fact completely mad.two points 1/we were in a bubble 12 months ago,but as prices remained flat for last 12 months now we are not??????? 2/ people are putting down 30%....yes REMORTGAGED from anoth inflated property bIZARRE

Posted by taffee @ 10:32 AM 2 Comments

You've never had it so good.

Houseladder: Mortgage affordability 'best for a decade'

Mortgage affordability is the best it has been for ten years, it has been found. People on the lookout for a new home may be interested to learn mortgage availability is the best it has been for a decade, it has been found. New research from Barclays has showed people were paying out an average of 15.4 per cent of their take-home pay at the end of 2010 to cover their monthly mortgage payment. This was the lowest level ever registered as part of the analysis, which has been taking place for ten years.

Posted by sibley's b'stard child @ 09:58 AM 17 Comments

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Bank Chief says inflation will fall back to target on the 14th of August 2018

BBC News: UK inflation will fall back to target, says Bank chief

The UK's inflation rate will fall back to its target rate, but the timing of this fall is uncertain, the Bank of England governor Mervyn King has said. As the timing is not specified and rather open ended I have taken the liberty of setting a date.

Posted by enuii @ 09:47 PM 11 Comments

How many are accidental landlords?

Estate Agent Today: Million more rental properties as home ownership dips

Almost one in six homes is now a private rental property, as both home ownership and social housing decline. The English Housing Survey from Communities and Local Government shows that the number of households renting privately has gone up by one million in the last five years.

Posted by rental john @ 04:55 PM 0 Comments

Reality for most sellers is delusion...

Estate Agent Today: Only 40% of homes on market will sell, warning

Housing expert Henry Pryor has warned agents that the chances of houses selling this year are less than 40%. He warned that those who had raised asking prices had “completely misread the market”....

Posted by rental john @ 04:51 PM 0 Comments

We are angry at you Mervyn you need to increase rates

Yahoo: Mervyn King is surprised anger at bankers is not greater

Mervyn King, the Governor of the Bank of England, said he is surprised that the public is not more angry with bankers as they face a fall in living standards.

Posted by mark @ 03:38 PM 14 Comments

2011 will be a tough year for British consumers

MoneyWeek: 2011 will be a tough year for British consumers

Life in Britain is getting ever more expensive. Fuel, food and clothing are all shooting up in price. Yet wages aren't riseng to match. And the Bank of England looks unable to come to the rescue. One way or another, consumers are going to suffer, says John Stepek.

Posted by damien @ 02:01 PM 5 Comments

Here is no central bank put only the belief in one.

Pragmatic Capitalist: Hussman QE isn't adding new liquidity

QE isn't addding new liquidity to the market. " The only thing QE is doing is generating a huge amount of confusion, making investors believe the Fed is printing money and altering investor perception so as to to induce a speculative boom in commodities that is now helping contribute to global turmoil. "

Posted by bellwether @ 01:43 PM 12 Comments

How long before the public breakdown and start rioting

Dailypost: Record fuel prices hit North Wales drivers in the pockets

In parts of Gwynedd prices have risen three times in two weeks, with average prices now at 132.23p a litre for petrol and 139.15p for diesel. A rural Conwy garage saw prices reach 138.9p a litre for diesel and 132.9p for unleaded yesterday. The cost of filling a 70-litre fuel tank for a Ford Mondeo car has now hit £100.80 for some drivers, with the highest diesel price 144.9p a litre in Wrexham.

Posted by mark @ 11:18 AM 16 Comments

Supermarkets do not help the economy only rape it

Dailymail: Britons face soaring food prices as supermarkets boost margins and blame inflation, analysts warn

Analysts at the Swiss bank found prices in Britain were rising at an annual rate of 4.9 per cent - against 3.6 per cent in Germany, a euro zone average of 1.8 per cent and a U.S. increase of 1.5 per cent. And they said the UK stood out for having the 'broadest' range of food price hikes.

Posted by mark @ 11:01 AM 5 Comments

Excellent comment under the Mail rehash

Daily Mail: Mortgage lending bounces back after Big Freeze hit property market

You can click the green arrow to keep it on top: "Let's take a look at the Nationwide data to see what is happening. They record the average house price for each month since June 2010 as follows: 2010 June - £170111 July - £169347 August - £166507 Sep - £166757 Oct - £164279 Nov - £163133 Dec - £162249 2011 Jan - £161211 Feb - £161183 Yes, that's right the Nationwide house price index shows that UK house prices are firmly established in a FALLING trend. Indeed, in the last 8 months the average house price has fallen by £9000 - over £1000 a month. And this is whilst the Bank of England Base Rate (interest rate) is at a 316 year low. And this is b4 the job cuts, tax credit cuts, etc. really begin to take effect..."

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 10:55 AM 3 Comments

Better than firing them

Liverpool daily post: Sefton New Directions tells workers to accept pay cuts of up to 26%

WORKERS at a Merseyside social care provider were today told to accept pay cuts of up to 26% or face losing their jobs. Up to 500 staff at Sefton New Directions, which provides services for vulnerable adults and the disabled on behalf of Sefton Council, are braced for wholesale changes to employment terms.

Posted by mark @ 10:32 AM 2 Comments

If it's bad news for house prices, the BBC always puts it 'in quotes'

BBC: Housing market 'treading water', says Nationwide

Rehash of Nationwide press release.

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 10:19 AM 1 Comments

+0.3% MoM -0.1% YoY

Nationwide: February Index

Commenting on the figures, Robert Gardner, Nationwide's Chief Economist, said: “House prices increased by 0.3% month-on-month in February, leaving prices 0.1% lower than the same month a year ago. The overall picture is still one of a market treading water. Indeed, the three month on three month measure of house prices, a better measure of the underlying trend, was basically flat in February at -0.1%."

Posted by phdinbubbles @ 07:03 AM 93 Comments

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