April 2011 Archive

Saturday, April 30, 2011

The Road to hell...Paved with Good intentions

The Real News: Keynes, Crisis and Monopoly Capitalism

Robert Skidelsky and Paul Jay discuss Keynes, the IMF, concentration of ownership, political power and rebellion.

Posted by the number cruncher @ 07:29 PM 20 Comments

Will the UK now adopt the same policy?

Reuters: U.S. Fed's spigot pumps up markets in April

Global markets closed out a week to remember on Friday as Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke's pledge to keep cheap money flowing through the economy pushed the Nasdaq to a 10-year high, and gold and silver broke records. Bernanke signalled on Wednesday that the U.S. central bank is in no rush to scale back its support for the economy with the labour market still in a "very, very deep hole." The euro touched a 17-month high against the greenback, trading at $1.4844 by 1500 GMT, Friday.

Posted by alan @ 02:25 PM 7 Comments

Rich people can afford houses shock!

Daily Telegraph: First-time buyers: Young, rich househunting

A lovely new programme showing rich first time buyers buying houses. That'll give us plebs something to think about. Thank you BBC.

Posted by don from donny @ 12:00 PM 0 Comments

Friday, April 29, 2011

But not in the UK, it appears!

BBC: Russia raises interests to fight inflation

"Russia is to raise its key interest rates for the second time this year as it attempts to control inflation. The Russian Central Bank will increase the refinancing rate from 8% to 8.25% and the deposit rate from 3% to 3.25% on Tuesday. Inflation in the year to 25 April stood at 9.6%." (China's inflation rate is up to 5.4% today).

Posted by alan @ 04:49 PM 1 Comments

This looks an interesting development

Reuters: Euro zone inflation rises, points to higher ECB rates

"Euro zone inflation rose further above the European Central Bank's target in April, increasing the chances of an interest rate rise in June, despite a weakening of economic sentiment and household demand. Inflation in the 17 countries using the euro rose to 2.8 percent year-on-year this month from 2.7 percent a month earlier, the highest level since October 2010, when it was 3.2 percent.

Posted by alan @ 01:20 PM 4 Comments

Base rate 4.75% ...inflation up at 3.3%.... and ready to raise again ... but not Merv in the UK!

Market Watch - Wall Street Journal: Australia inflation data sends currency jumping

Inflation in Australia unexpectedly jumped to 3.3%. Their base rate has been lifted many times up to 4.75% over the past couple of years. In the UK, were are here on a 'fixed forever' bank rate at 0.5% and much higher continuing inflation...not just a sudden jump. Merv and his chums sit on their hands to inflate all the debts away, and those at the bottom of the pecking order with their hard earned cash savings are to pay for those at the top playing casino. And what does the article on Australia say about their jump in inflation? .. 'it is increasingly clear interest rates are set too low.' The Bank of England has lost all credibility and it's clear that the government only rewards those at the top. By the way, the £ has dropped by 50% against the Aussie over the last 10yrs.

Posted by hadenough @ 11:42 AM 0 Comments

Lenders in risk aversion shock horror.

Citywire: Why Nationwide prefers buy-to-let landlords to first-time buyers

There's been a few articles such as these doing the rounds recently; to be honest I can't fathom their angle. As galling as it is to hear, why wouldn't lenders want to minimise their exposure to risk of default?

Posted by sibley's b'stard child @ 11:20 AM 11 Comments

Amazing how the police can act now, yet if there were squats anywhere else they dont give a s***

Daily mail: Police swoop on squatters 'planning to disrupt Royal Wedding' as central London is locked down

Hundreds of officers raided five squats across the capital, and 20 people were arrested.

Posted by mark @ 07:48 AM 21 Comments

Another day, another debt bubble

Bloomberg: China Economic Growth Faces Risks From Property ‘Shocks,’ World Bank Says

"China’s real-estate market is a “particular source of risk” to growth given the importance of property construction to the world’s second-biggest economy, the World Bank said. “Shocks to the property sector that would slow down construction significantly could have a large impact on the economy and on bank balance sheets,” the Washington-based lender said in its China Quarterly Update released in Beijing today. “A property downturn could affect the finances of local governments which do a lot of the infrastructure investment.” Premier Wen Jiabao has ordered local governments to cap gains in new-home prices after curbs on mortgage lending, higher down payments and limits on purchases failed to stem increases.

Posted by alan @ 07:48 AM 0 Comments

Thursday, April 28, 2011

From Millionaires’ Row to Billionaires' Row

Citywire: Pricey properties: UK's 10 most expensive homes

With £136 million changing hands for the UK’s most expensive apartment, we look at Britain’s most expensive residential properties as valued by Primelocation.com.

Posted by jack c @ 04:57 PM 5 Comments

Undereported impact of HB reforms.

Landlord Referencing Services: Single Tenants - Changes Brought Forwards

I came across this little tidbit while browsing the Singing Pig forum (which I do should I need a laugh). It looks like the govt's decision to refuse single, under-35s their own self-contained accomodation (while claiming HB) has made waves with the Residential Landlords Association. It may well amount to a damp squib but anything to derail the BTL bandwagon gets a thumbs-up from me.

Posted by sibley's b'stard child @ 03:49 PM 6 Comments

In case you've missed it on the news...it's 'the wedding' tomorrow

Zoopla Blog: Wills and Kate’s first official residence valued at £47m

Despite the young royals being the same age as the average first-time buyer (29 years old), their first marital digs will be worth 343 times the average newlywed starter-home (£137,000) in Britain.

Posted by rental john @ 03:31 PM 0 Comments

Same happens to big NegEq mortgages

Telegraph: Markets shun debt of rescued nations

"Europe's bailed-out economies saw their borrowing costs hit fresh records on rising concerns they will not be able to pay their debts". Another gem, Emma!

Posted by alan @ 02:22 PM 9 Comments

They don't look particularly cheap to me

Telegraph: The best buy-to-let mortgages

BM Solutions 2.75pc (Bank Rate plus 2.25pc for one year). Up to 60pc loan-to-value (LTV; in other words 40pc deposit) with 3pc fee Principality Building Society 3.19pc (Bank Rate plus 2.69pc for two years). Up to 60pc LTV with £3,750 fee. Coventry Building Society 4.49pc (two year fix). Up to 60pc LTV with £1,249 fee. Coventry Building Society 4.75pc (three year fix). Up to 65pc LTV with £1,249 fee. Paragon 5.50pc (two year fix). Up to 75pc LTV with 2pc fee. Leeds Building Society 5.69pc (five year fix). Up to 60pc LTV with £1,549 fee.

Posted by sibley's b'stard child @ 01:06 PM 14 Comments

Spring gloom

Bloomberg: U.K. Consumer Confidence Falls to Lowest Since 2009 Recession

U.K. consumer confidence slumped to its weakest level since the depth of the recession in February 2009 a report by GfK NOP Ltd. showed. The index of sentiment fell to minus 31 in April from minus 28 in March. The reading is down from minus 16 a year earlier and each of the five measures that make up the gauge declined on the month.

Posted by ontheotherhand @ 11:53 AM 0 Comments

From the red-tops


HOMEOWNERS had a double dose of good news yesterday as figures showed rising house prices and more mortgage lending. Asking prices increased by an average of £50 a day during March – an overall rise of £1,500 on February’s figure and the third monthly increase in a row. At the same time the number of mortgage approvals for purchases rose to an eight-month high with a strong start to the traditional spring bounce. "All the indicators are pointing the same way. The number of properties for sale has risen, they’re being sold quicker and vendors are asking for more money." However, mortgage advances continued to be subdued in March, with total lending of £7.75billion. This is below both February’s figure and the recent six-month average of £7.9billion.

Posted by drewster @ 11:30 AM 13 Comments

Both unwilling to go through the necessary restructuring

Telegraph: UK economy slides towards Japanese-style funk

It's all looking terribly familiar ...

Posted by paul @ 09:58 AM 0 Comments

Financial engineering-nothing learned

Telegraph: Toxic barclays bankers make £85 million

there's not much to say other than expect credit crunch mark2.To lend a company billions to hide your toxic debt is just lunacy. The banks are going to bring us to the edge of a financial meltdown again but this time there is little we can do.The people will suffer and pay

Posted by taffee @ 08:57 AM 5 Comments

Gavin sticks it to Vince that the housing bubble still exists

BBC Newsnight: Vice Cable Interview

Gavin Hessler asks Vince Cable if he worries that a housing bubble still exists, and that the housing market is driving the boe interest rate policy when it should be the other way around, Mr Cable says "there was a bubble", ..... "was"!!!!! The interview starts at around 5:44 into the program, but its worth watching the entire show.

Posted by mr cobblepot @ 08:25 AM 3 Comments

Something must be done... (yawn!)

Guardian: Ben Bernanke goes on record to warn US deficit 'not sustainable'

"Obama must address debt quickly, warns Federal Reserve chief, while interest rates will stay low to protect recovery".

Posted by alan @ 07:57 AM 7 Comments

Homes on a Knife edge

Telegraph: Banks expect increase in repossessions

The CML also expects a rise in the number of home owners who fall behind with their monthly mortgage payments from 169,000 in 2010 to 180,000 this year

Posted by happy mondays @ 07:52 AM 6 Comments

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

So good I had to Share

LVT Campaign: Think of the economy as a car

Think of the economy as like a car. The only place you need friction is between the tyres and the road! A "comprehensive" system of deliberate engine friction, gearbox friction, transmission friction would be engineering lunacy. So it is with tax frictions in the economy.

Posted by the number cruncher @ 04:54 PM 18 Comments

Article by Fernando Alvarez: Ex IMF Economist

Latin Daily Financial News: Greek & Portugal deficit exceeds forecasts

To the best of my judgment, it is highly probable that over the next 18 months all of the PIIGS (Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece and Spain) will either default on their debt or restructure the debt; notwithstanding the opposition of Germany and Euro Zone Institutions. The United Kingdom and Belgium may be the next countries to enter into an irreversible crisis of their sovereign debt. Life in these countries will be harsher and employment will decrease further as real GDP falls...

Posted by rental john @ 03:54 PM 0 Comments

GDP flatlines says Balls

Telegraph: Britain 'on the edge of a double dip recession'

“Excluding the impact of the snow in December, the preliminary GDP figures suggest that the economy has flatlined over the past six months, with no underlying growth in output since the third quarter,” John Hawksworth, chief economist at PricewaterhouseCoopers, said.

Posted by alan @ 12:57 PM 13 Comments

Russian pays $100m for most expensive home in US history

Prime central London prices tipped to rise by 33% by 2015

Planet Property: Prime central London prices tipped to rise by 33% by 2015

So says Savills, at any rate. It's all those pesky billionaires from around the world, apparently, who now account for 40% of sales in prime central London ...

Posted by the planet @ 11:55 AM 0 Comments

Check the small print...

24 Dash: Mortgage lending 'at eight-month high'

"A total of 31,660 loans were approved for people buying a new home, 5% more than during the previous month and the highest level since July last year, according to the British Bankers' Association... But despite the improvement, the figure is still down on the 35,124 mortgages for house purchase that were in the pipeline in March last year, while it is significantly below the 70,000 to 80,000 approvals a month that are considered to be consistent with a stable housing market."

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 11:24 AM 2 Comments

Housing market faces years of gloom

City A.M.: Housing market faces years of gloom

The great housing bubble of the noughties hasn’t finished deflating yet. The readjustment process is continuing, with prices falling in real terms – and there is still a decent way to go... Even though cash prices are down 18 per cent from their August 2007 peak, according to the Halifax, the cost of residential property compared to incomes remains higher than it used to be. The average house now costs around 4.45 times average annual incomes, well down from the peak (5.81 times in July 2007) but still above the post-1983 average of 4.0 times.

Posted by warren @ 11:16 AM 0 Comments

Grain yields up, tractor production up.

Guardian: Buying property now more affordable for key workers, Halifax report finds

Housing has become more affordable for nurses, policemen and firefighters since property prices peaked in 2007, a report by the Halifax has revealed. House prices in 38% of towns are now within reach of people earning the average key worker salary of £30,486 per year, up from just 3% of towns in 2007. However there has been a decline in properties affordable to key workers during the past decade with just 38% falling into the right price bracket now compared to 64% in 2001.

Posted by sibley's b'stard child @ 11:13 AM 8 Comments

EAs discuss HPC!

Estate Agent Today: House prices too high – but won't fall, say consumers

Nothing new in the article, but interesting comments...

Posted by rantnrave @ 11:07 AM 4 Comments

£140m: would you buy a flat in London or three Italian islands?!

Planet Property: Italian islands for sale for $236m

The latest piece of luxury real estate to hit the market: three private islands off the coast of Italy with an asking price of $236m. That, my friends, is £143,338,573. A colossal figure, no doubt, but given that a flat in London (oh alright then, a two-floor penthouse at One Hyde Park in Knightsbridge) recently sold for £140m, it looks like a bit of a steal.

Posted by the planet @ 10:47 AM 0 Comments

Will this affect House Prices?

Reuters: Economy makes feeble recovery in first quarter

"The economy recovered only modestly at the start of the year, hindered by a sharp drop in construction and making it likely that the Bank of England will keep interest rates at record lows for some months. Gross domestic product expanded by 0.5 percent between January and March, in line with forecasts, after contracting by the same amount in the final three months of 2010".

Posted by alan @ 10:34 AM 0 Comments

GDP Growth UK output increases by 0.5%

Guardian: GDP figures live coverage: Is the UK economy recovering?

The Office for National Statistics official figures show the economy grew 0.5% in the first quarter of the year.

Posted by trekking @ 10:23 AM 0 Comments

Rightmove survey

Telegraph: House prices 'overvalued', Britons agree

Half of Britons say house prices are overvalued, but home sellers are reluctant to reduce their asking prices, according to a survey by Rightmove. Miles Shipside, a director at Rightmove, said: “There is a growing sense that many homes coming onto the UK housing market are priced too high.” However, the same data found three quarters of respondents expect prices to either stay the same or increase during the next year, suggesting a mismatch between sellers’ expectations and what buyers are willing to spend.

Posted by little professor @ 08:16 AM 1 Comments

Home-Owner-Ist Propaganda at the BBC

BBC: Cash buyers drive the housing market

"Figures compiled by the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) show that in January 2011, nearly 40% of buyers did not need a loan to buy their home. This means the proportion of cash buyers has more then doubled since 2005, when the records began." The only reason the proportion of cash buyers has doubled is because total transaction numbers have halved. Are these people liars or stupid?

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 07:44 AM 28 Comments

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Debt limit - what debt limit?

FT: Nervous Wall Street warns on debt limit

"A group of the largest US banks and fund managers stepped up the pressure on Congress and the Obama administration to reach a deal to increase the country’s debt limit, saying that even a short default could be devastating for the financial markets and economy. The warning over the debt limit is the strongest yet to come from Wall Street, highlighting growing nervousness among investors about the US political system’s ability to forge a consensus on fiscal policy".

Posted by alan @ 11:01 PM 4 Comments

Forget UK GDP - Euro house of cards is wobbly

WSJ: Timing of Bailout-State Restructuring Could Affect Survival of the Euro Zone

"The earlier a restructuring occurs, the more it will hurt euro-zone banks. But the later it occurs, the more conscious taxpayers in creditor nations will be of giving help to another country. And that will provide a major test of the currency area's cohesiveness". "..As time passes, the debts of the Greek, Irish and soon the Portuguese governments are being transferred to the public from the private sector. Private investors aren't willing to fund these governments, so as bonds mature, they are taking their money and putting it elsewhere".

Posted by alan @ 08:09 PM 1 Comments

Tomorrow's GDP Figures Crucial Factor

BBC News: UK interest rates: When will they rise?

Interest rates in the UK have been at a record low of 0.5% since March 2009, and the arguments for raising rates are gathering momentum. With inflation at double the Bank of England's target, and likely to stay there for some time, many think the Bank should increase rates sooner rather than later in order to combat rising prices, which are eroding consumers' spending power.

Posted by rantnrave @ 04:03 PM 6 Comments

Keep plugging away, someone might listen!

Reuters: Bank's Sentance warns that low rates erode credibility

The Bank of England's inflation-fighting credibility is in serious danger due to its failure to raise interest rates, Monetary Policy Committee member Andrew Sentance said on Tuesday.Sentance, who is the most hawkish member of the MPC and steps down next month, said that the MPC had allowed sterling to weaken too much, and had sent signals to markets that it was prepared to be soft on inflation.

Posted by alan @ 03:09 PM 1 Comments

Austerity headlines are having some effect

This is money: More than 40% expect house price falls

The crash in property market confidence has been revealed by a new report, showing more than 40% of people expect house prices to fall. The latest Property Confidence barometer report from listing website Findaproperty.com has laid bare the nervy nature of the housing market. Just 11% of the 1,000 people surveyed on a monthly basis believe house prices will rise in the months ahead, while 42% believe prices will fall. This represents a reversal of fortune since the General Election – last May 16% of people thought prices will fall and 36% thought they would increase.

Posted by quiet guy @ 01:11 PM 3 Comments

Arch Home-Owner-Ist Lorna Bourke strikes more realistic tone...

City Wire: How much should you sell your home for?

"... much depends on the skill of the estate agent and an accurate valuation. At least some of the premium house prices now being quoted by Rightmove are down to estate agents putting unrealistically high valuations on properties in order to sign up the business – along with homesellers being greedy. The upshot is that mortgage lenders’ valuers – a conservative bunch – are putting lower valuations on properties than the asking price. This reduces the amount of the mortgage advance and makes the property unaffordable for the buyer. For example, where the buyer needs an 85% loan on a £200,000 property, or £170,000, if the valuer says it is only worth £185,000 the maximum loan drops to £157,250 – and the sale will usually fall through..."

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 01:03 PM 2 Comments


Telegraph: UK has third biggest budget deficit in Europe

The UK has the third biggest budget deficit in Europe, the EU’s official league table showed, placing it alongside the struggling nations engulfed in the eurozone’s debt crisis.

Posted by hpwatcher @ 12:46 PM 6 Comments

Maybe "The New Localism" can delay the tipping point?

Independent: House building plunges again

"There has been a sharp drop in the underlying value of private housing project starts in the first quarter of 2011. Glenigan, the construction data service, recorded a 61 per cent year-on-year fall in the underlying value of new starts in the three months to March. The weak first quarter of 2011, in line with other survey data, is in sharp contrast to the strong rebound experienced a year ago in the run-up to the general election. The underlying value of civil engineering project starts fell by 16 per cent."

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 09:51 AM 15 Comments

Still at tipping point !

Telegraph: House price gloom moves up a gear

Results from its March survey covering 1,000 people showed 42pc feel house prices will fall further in the months ahead and only 11pc are looking for an improvement

Posted by happy mondays @ 07:51 AM 2 Comments

Monday, April 25, 2011

What drives deleveraging?

Forbes: Zen of deleveraging

"Perhaps it is lower economic growth that forces deleveraging, not deleveraging that forces lower economic growth."

Posted by stillthinking @ 02:29 PM 2 Comments

Academic lives in £1m house shocker

The Daily Telegraph: Academic arrested over schoolgirl ecstasy death

I'm sure dozens, if not hundreds, of academics at any university have drugs in their house. The extraordinary thing about this story is that a former social worker and part-time university researcher lives in a million pound house. Such a possibility is only open to people who have lived in London for decades. My brother and his wife both teach at Brunel and have a household income well over £100K, but like any of their colleagues who have not lived in London for decades, they could not possibly afford to buy there and instead commute two hours each way once a week. Maybe my brain works differently to other people's, but when the extraordinary is accepted as ordinary, that is as good a definition as any of a bubble.

Posted by monty032 @ 12:08 PM 13 Comments

Another excuse to prop up the housing market and avoid taking the medecine.

Telegraph: Royal wedding offers interest rate cheer for mortgage holders

Prince William and Kate Middleton look set to dispense an unusual wedding favour to any loyal subjects sitting on tracker mortgages – a delay in the execution of an interest rate rise.

Posted by mr g @ 11:08 AM 11 Comments

David Blanchflower explains why house prices in the UK are set to fall.

New Statesman: Where do house prices go from here?

These numbers suggests that house prices have another 20 per cent or so to go, with the concern that, as has occurred in other house price corrections, there is a bigger overshooting before prices return to the long run equilibrium. Interestingly, a comparison of gross rental yields, relative to a long-run average, also indicate that housing is at least 20 per cent overvalued.

Posted by will @ 10:58 AM 9 Comments

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Simon Ward of Henderson's take on Inflation

Telegraph: Bank of England accused of 'smoke and mirrors' on inflation

"The Bank of England has been accused by a leading economist of using "smoke and mirrors" to present its official forecasts for inflation".

Posted by alan @ 09:29 PM 4 Comments

Rumour Mill - QE3

Bus Insider: Bernanke Has Unilaterally Added A THIRD Fed Mandate That Guarantees QE3

"In the latest version of his newsletter, James Grant points out that the Fed has a third, unofficial mandate, and that it explains why QE3 is much more likely than people presume right now".

Posted by alan @ 08:48 PM 10 Comments

Never give a sucker an even break

SKY: Buy House Rather Than Rent And 'Save £100'

"House price falls and record low interest rates mean buying a property is almost £100 a month cheaper than renting one, according to new research".

Posted by alan @ 05:00 PM 7 Comments

Economists speaking some truth?

The Real News Network: Hudson/Wolff On Debt and Recession

HPC favorite Economists Michael Hudson and Richard Wolff discuss the theatrics of the debt debate in Washington and why debt does matter.

Posted by the number cruncher @ 03:11 PM 1 Comments

Summer time for borrowers

Guardian: Mortgage lenders launch cut-rate deals as inflation fears subside

A mortgage price war is heating up with lenders slashing rates on fixed-rate and tracker mortgages at the start of the spring property-buying season. City fears of an imminent rise in the Bank of England base rate have dissipated and lenders are responding by cutting rates to attract homeowners looking to remortgage and first-time buyers with large enough deposits.

Posted by quiet guy @ 02:49 PM 1 Comments

GDP figures coming soon...

Telegraph: Can George Osborne turn the UK economy around?

"This week, Chancellor George Osborne faces a major test of his economic policy as GDP figures for the start of 2010 are announced. So, how is Britain faring"? plus...Stagflation, Investment and do people think it's worth saving....?

Posted by alan @ 07:28 AM 3 Comments

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Some depressing news from the leeching sector

Guardian: Buy-to-let Bounces Back

Britain's lenders are turning their backs on first-time buyers and other traditional borrowers, and granting mortgages to landlords instead amid signs of a new buy-to-let bubble. Northern Rock this week joined an expanding list of lenders, including a Lloyds Banking Group subsidiary, pushing out new buy-to-let loans on better terms, while Santander is also preparing to enter the market.

Posted by wanderinman @ 05:36 PM 21 Comments

Mike Maloney

Business Insider: $10 oil

$10 oil is just an attention grabber. Makes the point that there has been -no- stopping credit contraction or the psychology of credit revulsion, and that QE (for the US and by implication the UK) is tinkering with base money which is almost irrelevant in comparison to credit. As you may also read yourself elsewhere, inflation as in monetary base + credit expansion in the UK is barely holding also. Has a good video. One for the unnecessarily maligned deflationists! You can guess what happens to property in this scenario.

Posted by stillthinking @ 04:16 PM 1 Comments

Help for BTL hoarders

FT: Tonic for buy-to-let market

25 March 2011: The buy-to-let market received a boost this week after the government announced it would cut the tax cost of buying multiple residential properties, potentially unlocking £7.5bn of investment into the private rented sector.

Posted by peter rocker @ 01:30 PM 3 Comments

Housing market needs constant life support

Moneymarketing: Nationwide director warns of big arrears rise if rates increase

Increases in the bank rate could force lenders to adopt harsher repossession strategies, according to Nationwide...........Wyles warned the Bank of England that the situation “could quite easily go into reverse if rates start to rise with any degree of rapidity”. Simplicity Financial Services principal Chris Downham says: “If rates went up, it would cost banks more to look after these people. If interest rates increased by any more than 0.5 per cent, I think it would cause massive issues for some borrowers.”

Posted by jack c @ 09:53 AM 8 Comments

Nationwide distribution director lays his cards on the table

Moneymarketing: Nationwide in plea for tax breaks in buy-to-let sector

Nationwide group distribution director Matthew Wyles has called on the Government to introduce tax breaks to encourage more investors to the buy-to-let market. Speaking at the Great Housing Debate last week, Wyles said the buy-to-let sector has become hugely important to the property market.He said: “The buy-to-let market is now a fundamental and important segment of our housing solutions and it is set to grow. It is an opportunity for the young to rent in a flexible, low-risk way.” “We would rather lend at 75 per cent loan to value on a buy-to-let to a hardened, experienced investor than to a 22-year-old plumber who wants a 95 per cent loan.”

Posted by jack c @ 09:41 AM 22 Comments

Britons who buy, rather than rent, a home are saving £100 a month due to cheaper mortgage costs

The Daily Telegraph: Buying a home is £100 a month cheaper than renting

Just so long as we have the lowest interest rates for 12 generations. The calculation also ignores maintenance costs, the opportunity cost of the interest you don't earn on your locked-up deposit and the opportunity cost of not being able to move house at a month's notice.

Posted by monty032 @ 09:05 AM 4 Comments

Michael Collins presents a history of one of Britain's greatest social revolutions

BBC: The Great Estate: The Rise & Fall of the Council House

At its height in the mid-1970s, council housing provided homes for over a third of the British population. From the 'homes for heroes' cottages that were built in the wake of the First World War to the much-maligned, monolithic high rises of the 60s and 70s, Collins embarks on a grand tour of Britain's council estates. He visits Britain's first council estate, built as an antidote to London's disease and crime-ridden Victorian slums, the groundbreaking flats that made inter-war Liverpool the envy of Europe, the high rise estate in Sheffield that has become the largest listed building in the world, and the estate built on the banks of the Thames that was billed as 'the town of the 21st century'.

Posted by karma4all @ 01:08 AM 2 Comments

Friday, April 22, 2011

Hit below the water line

Guardian: Norwich & Peterborough agrees merger with Yorkshire

"The announcement came 24 hours after regulators ordered N&P to pay a fine and compensation totalling £52.4m over mis-sold investment products".

Posted by alan @ 10:01 PM 0 Comments

Something for the weekend, sir...

Bloomberg: Most Asian Stocks Decline, Led by China

The markets may be on a cusp...

Posted by uncle tom @ 08:51 PM 6 Comments

No Hope ;-)

Write about property: UK House Prices: Not a Lot of Room for Hope

However, in the same breath the Council for Mortgage Lenders has blown that house down with a report of yet another year on year drop in mortgage approvals. Mortgage approvals fell 2% year on year in March according to the CML. Optimists will cling to the 21% month on month rise, but this is simply a seasonal trend. Compared to the fourth quarter of 2010, the first quarter's 30.1 billion worth of mortgages represents an 11% decline on the quarter.

Posted by happy mondays @ 02:47 PM 1 Comments

Cheer up!

MoneyWeek: Why you should pick the fund manager with the widest grin

According to recent research, the happier people are, the better they are at predicting the future – and the more depressed they are, the worse they are at it. The study took 1,100 people and asked them to predict the results of games during the 2010 World Cup. As an incentive to try and get it right, there was a cash prize on offer. The more depressed the people were, the less likely they were to make accurate predictions. Indeed, many of the most down-in-the-dumps did worse than they would have done just by picking winners from a hat. They were significantly more likely to make ridiculous predictions, such as forecasting that North Korea would win the whole tournament. [Or that the world is run by lizard people who control the Federal Reserve. Or that house prices will crash?]

Posted by drewster @ 11:41 AM 11 Comments

Some holiday reading

MoneyWeek: We should give control of interest rates back to Downing Street

Before the BoE was granted independence in 1997, Chancellors were constantly manipulating interest rates for their own wicked ends. They'd put them up after an election then cut them as the ballot box loomed on the horizon. An independent Bank, so we were told, would be above such sordid considerations. It would set rates for the long term. But is that really right? Try a short experiment. Imagine the Bank had never been made independent and Osborne was in charge of interest rates. He would be in charge of a coalition with a secure majority and with no plans to hold an election until 2015. So what would be the smart thing to do? Put up interest rates gently now, then cut again in 2014. Just what the economy needs.

Posted by drewster @ 11:36 AM 4 Comments

Resistance is futile

Telegraph: Better to raise interest rates now and avoid the panic rush later

"Although numerous loud voices of late have been insisting that an increase in interest rates would be a mistake, a rise remains inevitable". So we should "..start the process with small increases that re-establish the MPC's inflation-fighting credibility, and avoid the need for larger, knee jerk rises later that will smack of panic and ironically have less effect than starting a calm and controlled process of monetary tightening now".

Posted by alan @ 09:22 AM 7 Comments

The costs of borrowing for property speculation

Bloomberg: Greek, Irish, Portuguese Bonds Slump as Cost of Default Insurance Surges

"Greek bonds slumped, pushing yields up by the most in almost a year, as the cost to insure the securities against default jumped to an all-time high amid mounting concern it will have to restructure its debt burden. Yields on two- and 10-year bonds from Greece, Ireland and Portugal all rose to euro-era records this week. Lars Feld, a member of German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s council of economic advisers, said on April 20 that Greek debt restructuring is probable. German bunds gained after Standard & Poor’s put a “negative” outlook on the U.S.’s AAA credit rating, sparking demand for an alternative to Treasuries".

Posted by alan @ 07:53 AM 3 Comments

Thursday, April 21, 2011

There's still some proper bears out there

London Stock Exchange: UK house prices could fall by 25% in 2011

While official data reveals an already depressed UK housing market, new research suggests the outlook could be even gloomier. Housing market data has provided little cheer for the average homeowner in recent years but the latest report by CheckRisk warns that residential property prices in the UK could fall by between 20% and 25% from current levels in 2011 and 2012. The investment strategy adviser explains that several factors are likely to send house prices tumbling including higher interest rates, reduced mortgage lending, high inflation and high levels of public and private debt.

Posted by quiet guy @ 08:27 PM 2 Comments

Fools rush in where angels fear to tread

FTAdviser.com: Risk-averse lenders help BTL's "remarkable" recovery

Risk-averse lenders are keen on buy-to-let investors with cash deposits, but are moving away from first-time-buyers. Buy-to-let (BTL) investors with large cash deposits are replacing first time buyers as risk-averse lenders are drawn back to buyers requiring lower loan-to-value (LTV) ratios required by most first time buyers, according to Assetz. Investors are returning to the market in considerable numbers as they seek to take advantage of lower prices and strong rental demand, with Assetz recording a doubling of BTL business over the past year.

Posted by jack c @ 02:39 PM 12 Comments

Great, first you amass the housing, now you want me to pay for your dotage?

Citywire: Will the kids pay for your retirement?

'With most of us saving far too little for our own retirement, increasingly we are going to be a burden on our children. But will the next generation be in a position to help out? Most young people will graduate with huge debts which could take up to 15 years to pay off. Then they will be saving for their own home and pension and bringing up children. And there are not many families any more, like mine, with six children to bear the costs.'

Posted by sibley's b'stard child @ 01:48 PM 6 Comments

Ireland's builders not the only ones in trouble

Bloomberg: India Builders Face ‘Large-Scale Distress’ on Debt Trap, Knight Frank Says

"India’s real estate industry is expected to face “large-scale distress” amid rising borrowing costs and shrinking access to credit that may force developers into fire sales for assets, according to Knight Frank LLP. Indian developers will have to repay 1.8 trillion rupees ($40.8 billion) of debt to state-run banks, private equity funds and other lenders over the next two to three years, said Amit Goenka, national director of capital transactions at the Indian unit of Knight Frank. Their cash flow may also be under pressure as creditors seek earlier repayments, he said".

Posted by alan @ 12:52 PM 0 Comments

That's about four times as much space as used for homes and gardens...

Dept for Communities & Local Government: Local Planning Authority Green Belt Statistics: England 2010-11

Key points from this latest release are: The area of designated Green Belt land in England at 31st March 2011 was estimated at 1,639,540 hectares, about 13 per cent of the land area of England...

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 11:52 AM 0 Comments

Overpriced new-build, meet risk averse lending.

Houseladder: New homes market 'hampered by discrimination'

*One can always rely on Houseladder for plum comedy pieces* Discrimination is harming the new homes market, it has been claimed. The new homes market is being hampered by lender discrimination, it has been suggested. Vernon Pethard, managing director at newhomesforsale.co.uk, said price growth in the sector has been restricted because of fragile confidence and general bias against new build homes. The representative noted: "The prudent attitude adopted by mortgage lenders towards new homes is not helping matters." He explained such discrimination is coming in the form of lower loan-to-value mortgages being offered on re-sales and brand new properties.

Posted by sibley's b'stard child @ 11:44 AM 8 Comments

Another gross waste of taxpayers' money

East London Advertiser: Family of 12 in London’s East End on £76,000 housing benefits

A family is being given £1,460 a week accommodation out of the Housing Benefit coffers of London’s deprived East End, it has emerged. The family of 12—both parents and 10 children—is thought to have arrived in east London in the last two months from Ethiopia and is now being supported by Tower Hamlets social services. The amount is 2.5x more than the next highest weekly sum claimed by another family who were paid £613 that week. Eight more families were claiming between £516 and £590, according to figures from the authority’s housing benefits claims department. The total bill hit almost £121 million in housing benefit for privately-rented accommodation for 2008-09 and another £38m for public housing in just 12 months.

Posted by drewster @ 10:21 AM 18 Comments

Mortgage lending up 21% m-o-m, but down 2% y-o-y

Telegraph: Mortgage lending rises as housing market 'emerges hesitantly from hibernation'

Mortgage lending increased by 21pc during March as both buyers and remortgaging returned to the market. But overall lending has dropped by 2pc over the past 12 months and by 11pc since the end of 2010. Bob Pannell, the CML's chief economist, said: "The housing market has emerged hesitantly from hibernation. Household finances are under a lot of pressure, and as a result demand for house purchase loans fell in the first three months of 2011." Daoud Fakhri, an analyst at Datamonitor, said: "The market has a long way to go, as the initial feeling in 2010 was that gross lending would grow to around £150 billion, but instead it fell." [So in other words, the market is still falling and expert predictions are as useless as ever.]

Posted by drewster @ 10:15 AM 2 Comments

Housing shortage but not for the right reasons

Daily mail: 1 in 7 couples own a second home

buy to let and second homes have created a massive shortage of homes not 'we are a small island'

Posted by taffee @ 07:43 AM 15 Comments

Labour's Social Napalm

The Telegraph: The 'other' housing market, where house prices have regressed 60pc

Everywhere's hurting right now, yet few places are hurting more than the North East. The collapse in low end property prices is only one outward sign of it. Public policy must focus like a lazer on these forgotten badlands, or risk permanently entrenching an ever more divided society.

Posted by fuzzy @ 06:43 AM 1 Comments

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

How not to buy the VI spin...

The Big Picture: How to Read National Association of Realtors News Release

For this post, we will look at our favorite chart — Existing Home Sales (NSA) — and also teach you how to read a National Association of Realtors news release. The secret is to focus on the data, and ignore the spin.

Posted by sureseam @ 08:45 PM 0 Comments

Why don't Moody's and Fitch agree with S&P on US debt?

Counterpunch: Is S&P trashing US debt to help crush social security & medicare?

Discusses the reasons for thinking that S&P's 'negative outlook' on US debt is driven by Wall Street's and the Republicans' aim to roll back the social safety net.

Posted by icarus @ 07:34 PM 2 Comments

The World's Hottest Real-Estate Market?

Yahoo Finance: The World's Hottest Real-Estate Market?

The World's Hottest Real-Estate Market? or massive bubble?

Posted by simon @ 04:27 PM 0 Comments

NIMBYs of the week

This Is Staffordshire: Plans for 280 homes would lower existing house prices, inquiry hears

"OPPONENTS of a controversial plan to build 280 properties on open farmland in Sandbach say it would result in a significant drop in house prices." 'nuff said.

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 02:47 PM 13 Comments

Same old VI drivel but there's a useful table at the end

Daily Mail: Mortgage lending soars by 20% as confidence returns to the housing market

It says gross mortgage lending down from £363 billion in 2007 to £137 billion in 2010 and last quarter's grss lending was second lowest for three years. Ah well "Buyers put plans on hold to celebrate Royal Wedding and long Easter weekend".

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 01:59 PM 6 Comments

It's all in the spin...

Guardian: Mortgage lending falls year on year

CML mortgage figures for March are down 2% from 2010, reflecting pressure on household finances, as analysts predict a continuing squeeze. Funny, that's not what the BBC article about the same data says...

Posted by timmy t @ 01:07 PM 0 Comments

Good news for estate agents

Citywire: Interest rates: rise now unlikely before August

The closely scrutinised minutes from the latest meeting of the Bank of England's monetary policy committee suggest that the UK's rate-setters are in no rush to lift interest rates and remain worried that the UK economy is far from out of the woods, say economists.

Posted by quiet guy @ 12:59 PM 9 Comments

Better late than never?

BBC: Four brokers banned for mortgage fraud

The watchdog has been clamping down on brokers using misleading and inaccurate information to secure mortgages.

Posted by ontheotherhand @ 10:31 AM 3 Comments

An alternative view to Assetz.

This is money: High asking prices leaving more homes unsold

The latest data comes just days after property website Rightmove.co.uk said a glut of unsold properties was building up on the market as new sellers priced their homes too high.

Posted by will @ 10:20 AM 5 Comments

More Misleading Tosh

BBC News: UK mortgage lending rose 21% in March, CML says

"Mortgage lending rebounded in March when the amount lent in home loans rose by 21% compared with the previous month, lenders have said." "There was a 2% drop in gross mortgage lending compared with March 2010, the CML said." So there you have it "UK mortgage lending fell by 2% in March, Wdbeast says"

Posted by wdbeast @ 10:01 AM 5 Comments

Barclays said to be at centre of LIBOR manipulation row

Reuters: 12 banks wordlwide sued for libor manipulation

Sixteen global banks are under investigation for manipulationg LIBOR rates during 2008, when further rises in the rates would've collapsed the whole system. French newspaper Le Figaro suggests that Barcap are at 'the heart of the inquest'. Bob Diamond was the head of Barcap at the time. More details at The Slog.

Posted by the slog @ 09:39 AM 0 Comments

Gold glorious gold, much safer than houses

BBC News: Gold price hits record at $1,500 an ounce

Gold price hits record at $1,500 an ounce An interesting look at the progressive rise of gold against the backdrop of an uncertain world in the light of the economic situation "In trading in Hong Kong, gold hit a record $1,500.70 an ounce, which traders said was mainly a response to Standard & Poor's downgrade of US debt. Silver also touched a 31-year high of $44.34 an ounce"

Posted by jibber @ 09:17 AM 0 Comments

Only fools would buy a home in this financial climate

City A.M. News: Euro is close to suffering the knockout blow as trouble rises

Pressure is building up across the Eurozone from the debt ridden periphery to the heart of the monetary union. THE euro is facing so many existential threats that markets don’t know where to look: anti-bailout elections have rocked Finland; umbrage is growing across Germany; austerity tightening is squeezing Portugal; Greece is on the precipice; banks are junked in Ireland; and jitters grow in Spain.

Posted by mr cobblepot @ 09:08 AM 0 Comments

Return of the Comedy Club

Daily Express: VALUE OF YOUR HOME IS SET TO JUMP £10,000

HOME owners will see the value of their properties soar by nearly £10,000 this year as more buyers come on to the market, experts predict. The number of new buyers rose to an eight-month high in March, pushing the price of the average home up by £1,305 since the start of 2011. Experts forecast the trend to continue, adding five per cent to the value of homes by the end of the year. Assetz House Price Watch predicted a return to record highs by next year. Spokeswoman Sarah Lawrence said: “By spring 2012 prices will be back at the peak we saw in the spring of 2007 – the highest we had ever seen.”

Posted by little professor @ 12:47 AM 21 Comments

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

"Low consumer demand and lenders' lack of funds hinder the mortgage market"

Guardian: Mortgage market will 'remain tight until 2014'

"UK consumers will find it tough to obtain a mortgage throughout 2011 and might have to wait until 2014 before it becomes easier to get a home loan, according to business analyst Datamonitor.It said that while the mortgage market is unlikely to decline further only marginal growth in gross mortgage lending is expected in 2011, rising from £136bn in 2010 to £138bn this year".

Posted by alan @ 11:34 PM 0 Comments

The road to going bust

Telegraph: Greece forced to pay sky-high rates to borrow

"Greece was forced to pay sky-high rates to borrow money for the next three months, amid reports Athens accepts that it has no alternative but to renege on the terms of its impossible debt burden". "Greek government 10-year debt is trading with a yield around 14pc, surpassing the peaks seen during the country's €110bn bail-out last year". Who next - Portugal, USA, Ireland?

Posted by alan @ 11:22 PM 5 Comments

What's going on here then?

Reuters: Twelve banks worldwide sued for manipulating Libor

Banks colluding to suppress Libor to make them appear healthier than they are, and then take advantage of trading opportunities not available to outside investors? Imagine that

Posted by watching with amusement @ 10:17 PM 4 Comments

Deputy PM encourages other MPs to "get out of the property game"

BBC News: Nick Clegg gives house sale profits to taxpayer

Nick Clegg has sold his constituency home, giving almost £40,000 in profits to the taxpayer. The deputy prime minister is now renting a two-bedroom flat, having received £325,000 for his four-bedroom house in Sheffield. Mr Clegg said he did not want to be "holier than thou" but encouraged other MPs to "get out of the property game". The flat Mr Clegg is renting is in Stannington, west of Sheffield. His main home, which he shares with wife Miriam Gonzales and their three young sons, is in Putney, south-west London.

Posted by wanderinman @ 07:14 PM 8 Comments

Is halifax in trouble?

What investment: Halifax withdraws online banking for 1 year

assuming this is genuine and not a joke,you can read into it what you like,but you only do this imo to control the outflows of your money

Posted by taffee @ 06:35 PM 10 Comments

... unfortunately only in Taiwan which is more concerned with social equality than Britain

Taipei Times: Housing correction expected with tax

In Taiwan, 'the government is serious about cooling the property market' as opposed to the UK where the government is desperate to prop it up.

Posted by reader @ 02:57 PM 1 Comments

Anyone with developers next door might want to read this.

Northampton Chronicle and echo: Lesbian couple sue ‘bullying’ neighbour for £300k over building site ordeal

"A lesbian couple who say they endured “four years of sheer hell” while their “bullying” neighbour gutted and refurbished his Victorian house are suing him for over £300,000."

Posted by thecountofnowhere @ 02:17 PM 13 Comments

University fees: the end of buy-to-let?

Planet Property: University fees: the end of buy-to-let?

Rising student numbers has been one of the reasons why the buy-to-let market has boomed in recent years, but will pricey tuition fees hammer landlords?

Posted by the planet @ 01:04 PM 3 Comments

O if this were China

Taipei Times: China cracks down on land hoarding

A few months old but I don't think this had been published here: China has ordered local officials to fine property developers who have left land vacant for more than one year as Beijing cracks down on hoarding that has been blamed for driving up real estate prices. The country’s land and resources ministry on Thursday published a list of 26 cases of land left undeveloped and the names of the property developers involved, with strict orders for authorities to punish the offenders.

Posted by reader @ 11:59 AM 4 Comments

Farmland: the new gold?

Planet Property: Farmland: the new gold?

The price of an acre of Blighty continues its upward trajectory, prompting some to argue that green is the new gold.

Posted by the planet @ 11:52 AM 1 Comments

Oh dear....

Independent: Cameron could block Gordon Brown IMF bid

''David Cameron has indicated he will block a potential bid by Gordon Brown to become managing director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The Prime Minister said his predecessor was not the "most appropriate person" to lead the IMF because he would not admit the UK had a "debt problem".''

Posted by hpwatcher @ 11:35 AM 32 Comments

Banks get tough in the regions

The Sentinel (Staffordshire): Couple's anger after bank cuts house value by 50%

A DEBT-STRICKEN couple say a bank's repossession of their home is driving them into even deeper financial straits. Young parents Jennifer and Jamie Barlow are accusing Royal Bank of Scotland of undervaluing their house, which they were forced to leave last year, by tens of thousands of pounds. "RBS valued our property at £130,000 two years ago, but now they're saying it's worth £79,000. Property prices have fallen, but not by 50%. Our neighbour has just had his house valued at £118,000, which is a fair price." RBS says the house was valued correctly by two independent surveyors: "You say that your neighbour's property was valued at £118,000. The bank cannot take this into consideration as the property was not sold at that price. The bank has a duty of care to the purchasers as well."

Posted by drewster @ 10:16 AM 23 Comments

Vox populi or VI agenda?

Evening Sub-Standard: Why London should say no to AV

Sorry, this has absolutely nothing to do with house prices but this made the front page of the Evening Sub-Standard last night and felt pretty p*ssed-off, to be honest, that they had the temerity to speak on behalf of the nation. Perhaps i'm over-reacting; who knows. Thoughts guys & gals?

Posted by sibley's b'stard child @ 09:33 AM 12 Comments

Cameron hints at blocking Brown bid for IMF job

BBC News: Cameron hints at blocking Brown bid for IMF job

Brown running the IMF, I don't have words...

Posted by bullion37 @ 09:31 AM 2 Comments

US is going bust

G Pytel: S&P: downgrade of US debt outlook

Short article but worth a read (especially the linked article there "A US way out?"; it's two years old but is spot on).

Posted by ant @ 09:09 AM 21 Comments

Zombies peeping out of the woods?

Citywire: Property: are banks being forced to sell distressed assets?

The obvious danger is that downward pressure on property prices becomes a self-sustaining cycle if large amounts of second tier assets are released onto a market that is only interested in prime sites at keen prices.

Posted by dohousescrashinthewoods @ 08:05 AM 3 Comments

Monday, April 18, 2011

Cracks widen in the Eurozone...

New Statesman: Moody's downgrades Irish banks

Pressure mounts on Eurozone as the Moody’s credit rating agency labels Irish banks’ ratings as junk.

Posted by rental john @ 06:50 PM 0 Comments

Markets tumble as S&P warns of US downgrade

Bloomberg: Standard & Poor’s Puts ‘Negative’ Outlook on U.S. AAA Rating

Credit ratings agency Standard & Poor's rocked global markets when it warned that the US debt situation must be addressed or the world's largest economy will be downgraded.

Posted by jack c @ 03:37 PM 21 Comments

Have the Chinese figured out how to halt a house price boom?

Planet Property: Have the Chinese figured out how to halt a house price boom?

House prices in China have been booming in recent years, a trend that has prompted numerous “they’re next” predictions in the West. But the latest survey from their National Bureau of Statistics reveals a cooling market. This follows government intervention to quell the market - but have they gone too far?

Posted by theplanet @ 02:11 PM 0 Comments

Surprising lack of VI spin from the Mail...

Daily Mail: House sellers raised their asking prices by 1.7 per cent last month, but buyers are still thin on the ground, leading to a glut of unsold properties

"House sellers raised their asking prices by 1.7 per cent last month, but buyers are still thin on the ground, leading to a glut of unsold properties. It was the fourth consecutive month in which new sellers have increased asking prices, according to property website Rightmove. The increase means the average property on the market in England and Wales has a price tag of £235,822 - six per cent or £13,400 higher than at the end of last year. But the leap in prices in March is due to misplaced optimism, as homes are not selling."

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 11:51 AM 8 Comments

'My work here is done' says Shapps to the rapturous FTBs

Estate Agent Today: Shapps due to be moved on from housing

Speculation is mounting in Westminster that Grant Shapps is to be moved from housing in a reshuffle that could see him promoted to a plum new role in the cabinet. His new role is likely to be either health, succeeding Andrew Lansley, or to being chairman of the Tory party, succeeding Baroness Warsi. Shapps, regarded as a rising star and even a possible future leader of the Tory party, has won a mixed reception for his handling of the housing brief. While he was decisive about the abolition of Home Information Packs, he has been criticised for reforms of social housing which some see as too harsh

Posted by sibley's b'stard child @ 11:16 AM 8 Comments

From penalty shoot out to property shoot out

CItywire: Sven Goran-Eriksson takes adviser to court

Former England manager Sven Goran-Eriksson is suing his financial adviser after allegedly being duped out of £10 million.... It is thought some of the money was invested in a property venture set up by Tottenham football club boss Harry Redknapp. It is claimed by Goran-Eriksson’s lawyers that Khan said they should both invest in a block of 92 luxury flats on the south coast being developed by Redknapp. However, the documents said ‘Khan’s representations were false as Mr Khan did not have any money to invest’. Redknapp’s development was predicted to make a profit of £4 million but in fact made a £4.2 million loss.

Posted by jack c @ 10:24 AM 7 Comments

2012 dividends are projected to comfortably exceed pre-recession levels

BBC NEWS: UK dividends 'to rise more than 13%' in 2011

I doubt there is a better indicator of the health of UK companies. Some quotes from the article: "2011 has got off to a very strong start, and underlying dividend growth will accelerate from here," "the dividend recovery is very broadly based, indicating companies are much more confident in their financial position". "Smaller firms are much more sensitive to swings in the economic cycle, so the dramatic rise in pay-outs from them is a further sign of optimism."

Posted by flashman @ 10:13 AM 46 Comments

Self-delusional homeowners

Telegraph: House sellers 'over-optimistic', says Rightmove

Overly optimistic sellers increased their asking prices by 1.7pc in April but potential buyers continued to stay away from the market, leading to a glut of unsold homes, according to research from property website Rightmove. It was the fourth consecutive month during which new sellers have raised their asking prices, leaving the average property on the market in England and Wales with a price tag of £235,822 - 6pc or £13,400 higher than at the end of last year. Rightmove warned that sellers' optimism was misplaced, as a jump in homes on the market had not been matched by a rise in buyers who were able to go ahead with a purchase. Rightmove warned that sellers who wanted to take advantage of the traditional spring window needed to adopt ''serious sales tactics".

Posted by drewster @ 09:39 AM 11 Comments

''Seems unlikely.....''

Telegraph.co.uk: Interest rate rise could push inflation higher, warns Item

''The problem is that an increase in the Bank's base rate would quickly boost interest payments on tracker mortgages, which are included the retail prices index (RPI) measure of inflation - often used as the basis of wage settlements. "It seems unlikely, but ironically this could… prove to be the last straw for wage settlements, persuading employers that the workforce needed a pay increase to compensate," Item said in its quarterly forecast report, published on Monday''

Posted by hpwatcher @ 09:01 AM 2 Comments

RM: +1.7%MoM, +0.1%YoY

Rightmove: London asking prices hit all-time high

Asking prices rise by 1.7% in April, following a 0.8% rise in March. Increased seller numbers not matched by increase in purchasers’ ability to buy, resulting in biggest jump in agents’ unsold stock since May 2007. As property supply is increasingly outstripping demand, this month’s jump in new sellers’ average asking prices of 1.7% (£4,032) looks misplaced. London remains the exception as buyer demand pushes asking prices to a new record.

Posted by little professor @ 12:17 AM 3 Comments

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Actual selling prices

Guardian: Buyers besiege Dublin auction where you can pick up a semi for £20,000

The crowds spilled on to the pavement at Ireland's first ever auction of "distressed property" today as an estimated 1,200 would-be buyers flocked to the swish Shelbourne Hotel in Dublin in search of a bargain. Two apartments sold for €61,000 and €62,000. A four-bedroom mews house in Ballsbridge – Dublin's most sought-after residential district – sold for just €550,000. In 2006 a similar mews house sold for €2.5m while in 2007 another sold for €1.5m – a sign of how far and fast property prices have tumbled in Dublin in the last four years. John Howard from rival UK company Auction House thinks there is going to be a surge of repossession auctions in Ireland and the UK.

Posted by drewster @ 06:14 PM 11 Comments

Back to reality

Thisismoney: House prices may fall by up to 25%

House prices are set to plunge by between 20 and 25% by the end of next year, a leading consultancy will warn tomorrow. Clients of CheckRisk, the specialist investment strategy adviser, will be told that several trends will send property prices tumbling.

Posted by dill @ 05:47 PM 5 Comments

Rejoice! Rejoice! Rejoice!

Metro: London flat breaks record by selling for £136m Read more: http://www.metro.co.uk/news/861069-london-flat-breaks-record-by-selling-for-136m#ixzz1JlsXmj8P

Despite the record-breaking price, the owner of the property apparently plans to spend around £60 million on fitting it out, as the 25,000 sq ft apartment was bought as a shell without amenities or interior decoration. One Hyde Park has proved to be a major success for developers Nick and Christian Candy, despite the problems in the wider property market. Prices have held up well in the prime London market and they have sold 45 apartments at the development for a combined total of more than £960 million. A further 35 flats are still for sale, although a number are already under offer.

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 10:31 AM 19 Comments

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Something for the weekend

Nouriel Roubini: China’s Bad Growth Bet

China has grown for the last few decades on the back of export-led industrialization and a weak currency. When exports collapsed in 2008-2009, China’s leader reacted by increasing fixed-investment - infrastructure, real estate, and industrial capacity. Thus, China did not suffer a severe recession – as occurred in Japan, Germany, and elsewhere in emerging Asia in 2009 – because fixed investment exploded. The fixed-investment share of GDP has increased to almost 50%. The problem, of course, is that no country can be productive enough to reinvest 50% of GDP in new capital stock without eventually facing immense overcapacity and a staggering non-performing loan problem. China is rife with over-investment in physical capital, infrastructure, and property.

Posted by drewster @ 02:31 PM 1 Comments

Average rents rise as first-time buyers struggle to raise deposits

Guardian: Average rents rise as first-time buyers struggle to raise deposits

Rents are now 4.2% higher than last year, according to the LSL index, with the average £25,000 deposit proving too much for hopeful buyers

Posted by happy mondays @ 11:54 AM 11 Comments

Slight relief for ozzy ftb's

Herald sun: Melbourne home property prices plunge

MELBOURNE'S property bubble is bursting, with $400 a day wiped off the average house price in the past three months.

Posted by happy mondays @ 11:49 AM 4 Comments

North-south, young-old, the gaps keep growing

Guardian: Never has London's atmosphere as a rich city-state felt so extreme

For the price of our London house I could buy 40 houses in Burnley. Without substantial inherited wealth, not even two-income families in the modern equivalent of those jobs could move in now. Everybody who's paid off their mortgage in my street is a millionaire, if property is counted. Most people I know have grander homes than their parents, no matter where they live in the United Kingdom. If they live in favoured parts of cities such as Edinburgh and Leeds, their homes are often enviable for their architecture and space. [The author was born in 1945 and he clearly doesn't know any young people.]

Posted by drewster @ 11:23 AM 3 Comments

Friday, April 15, 2011

Debt - Chickens coming home to roost

Telegraph: What Europe's coming debt default will look like

Lots of nice stats to keep you interested if you've just got back from the pub.

Posted by alan @ 09:27 PM 13 Comments

Thats how to do it

CNN: Detroit public school teachers get layoff notices

The Detroit Public Schools district is sending layoff notices to all its 5,714 teachers

Posted by mark @ 09:14 PM 6 Comments

The international plan to rescue Greece is instead starting to paralyse it

The Economist: Greece's economic woes: The labours of austerity

The mood in Greece is one of deepening pessimism. A plan drawn up last May to sort out the country’s public finances risks trapping the economy instead..... Is this the same path Ireland and Portugal will have to follow?

Posted by rental john @ 07:34 PM 0 Comments

$2.39bn losses from mortgage debts not repaid

BBC News: Bank of America reports lower-than-expected profits

Bank of America Merrill Lynch has reported a 38% decline in profits for the first three months of the year compared with a year earlier. Mortgage losses were one of the main causes of the financial crisis in 2008 which saw Bank of America merge with investment bank Merrill Lynch. Heavy losses in the merged unit forced the bank to rely heavily on Federal funds through the Troubled Asset Relief Program.

Posted by doomwatch @ 04:01 PM 1 Comments

Moving in for the kill

Yahoo: Bank ends interest-only mortgages without documentary evidence

Britain’s biggest mortgage lender has announced the end of interest-only mortgages without documentary evidence of how the loan is going to be repaid.

Posted by mark @ 02:41 PM 20 Comments

First distressed Irish property aution

Sky News: Top Irish Properties Sold Off On The Cheap

'Irish homes that were once worth millions could be sold for a fraction of the price at the country's first ever "distressed property" auction.' 'At the height of the boom, the home would have been valued at two million euros. You can bid to buy it now if you have 600,000 euros.' Click on 'The Catalogue' link to see for yourself if they really are bargains, I think not.

Posted by will @ 01:32 PM 6 Comments

US, plus England, Euroland etc

Telegraph: Who will save America from drowning in debt?

"Banks around the world are facing a $3.6 trillion 'wall of maturing debt' coming due in the next two years said the IMF, led by Dominique Strauss-Kahn". "According to analysis this week by the IMF, US public debt will still be rising five years from now, even assuming decent economic growth and taking account of known proposals for deficit reduction. By then, it will have reached 112 per cent of GDP. By the end of the decade, the annual interest bill alone will have reached $1 trillion, or more than a quarter of all current US federal spending". How can it be fixed? How urgent is it?

Posted by alan @ 12:59 PM 3 Comments

A mixed picture beyond the headline.

Guardian: Average rents rise as first-time buyers struggle to raise deposits

Essentially London & SE are taking the hit in terms of rent increases; the rest of the UK are actually seeing decreases in rent. As an aside, I can't say i've seen any 'positive' effect of the Housing Benefit reforms; I guess i'd expected the 30th percentile calculations would translate in a slew of cheaper rental listings coming onto the market - perhaps these things just take time to work through the system.

Posted by sibley's b'stard child @ 11:19 AM 10 Comments

Wonder if Mervyn King is reading this?

Reuters: China, India prices point to mounting global inflation

"It seems that inflation trajectory has changed. The expected decline in inflation is just not happening and looks like we have underestimated the underlying pressure on prices," said Ashutosh Datar, an economist at IIFL in Mumbai. "More monetary tightening is inevitable after today's data and the case for a 50 basis point hike in May is strengthened," he added.

Posted by mark @ 10:49 AM 0 Comments

Interesting read

Nytimes: Pain of British Fiscal Cuts Could Inform U.S. Debate

In the United States, the debate over how to cut the long-term budget deficit is just getting under way. George Osborne, top, the chancellor of the Exchequer, at an auto plant in Solihull, England, seeks to attack the deficit with big cuts. But in Britain, one year into its own controversial austerity program to plug a gaping fiscal hole, the future is now. And for the moment, the early returns are less than promising.

Posted by mark @ 10:44 AM 5 Comments

Not looking good

Daily post: Unemployment in Wales surges to 126,000

Figures for the three months from December 2010 to February 2011 showed the employment level in Wales rose by 2,000 from the last quarter to 1.334million. However, unemployment rose by 3,000 (0.2%) on the quarter to 126,000 (8.6%).

Posted by mark @ 10:30 AM 1 Comments

Only 10?

Cnn: 10 companies with the most untaxed foreign income

Accounting expert Jack Ciesielski crunched the numbers on the biggest overseas balances.

Posted by mark @ 10:08 AM 4 Comments

Record immigration plus a record low in house building equals?

The Telegraph: Almost one in eight people living in UK are born abroad

We are often quick to dismiss the "housing shortage" argument but could we be ignoring the major cause of high house prices in this country. This article tells us that “three million foreigners were added to the population during the party's 13 years in power”. How could that not put a strain on the housing supply, at a time when we are building fewer houses than ever?

Posted by flashman @ 09:09 AM 23 Comments

If only it were London

Sky News: Top Irish Properties Sold Off On The Cheap

Irish homes that were once worth millions could be sold for a fraction of the price at the country's first ever "distressed property" auction. Highlights include a penthouse apartment in Dublin's Chancery Lane. Three years ago, it would have cost 1m euros. The maximum reserve at today's auction is a quarter of that. Until now, the value of property has been dictated by over optimistic vendors. The auction will allow bidders to determine the true value of property in Ireland's stagnant market.

Posted by drewster @ 08:05 AM 1 Comments

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Irish Mortgages Debt Forgiveness and Cash Incentives to go Elsewhere

Guardian: Ireland's dirty little secret - tracker mortgages

With the Bank of Ireland having 62% of mortgage holders on trackers costing the Bank 2.5% every year few customers socially own up to having them because their mortgages are rock bottom while everyone else on a variable rate is suffering. Even if the ECB rate goes up four or five times between now and the end of 2012, the base rate will still be less than 2.5% - half of the banks' financing costs. However unlike Allied Irish Banks, which said earlier this week it would consider debt forgiveness for those struggling to keep up with payments the Bank of Ireland said at its annual results it will not pursue any such policy.

Posted by enuii @ 06:13 PM 10 Comments

What's the point of a rating agency that doesn't rate accurately?

Reuters: Moody's, S&P Caved to Mortgage Pressure by Goldman, UBS, Levin Report Says

"Moody’s Investors Service and Standard & Poor’s adjusted the way they graded securities after Goldman Sachs Group Inc., UBS AG and at least six more banks pressured them, according to a U.S. Senate report.". At the time, it was suggested on this site that the banks used pressure tactics. Are S&P and Moodys still being pressured in their ratings of Greek and Portuguese sovereign debt? Is it time for a European ratings agency?

Posted by alan @ 04:08 PM 10 Comments

This would be quite amazing, if it's true...

Imarket news: Beijing March New House Prices Plunge 26.7% M/M

Prices of new homes in China's capital plunged 26.7% month-on-month in March, the Beijing News reported Tuesday, citing data from the city's Housing and Urban-Rural Development Commission. Average prices of newly-built houses in March fell 10.9% over the same month last year to CNY19,679 per square meter, marking the first year-on-year decline since September 2009. Home purchases fell 50.9% y/y and 41.5% m/m, the newspaper said, citing an unidentified official from the Housing Commission as saying the falls point to the government's crackdown on speculation in the real estate market.

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 04:06 PM 11 Comments

A few days old but worth a look.

Independent: Rate rises to hit interest-only mortgages

Interest-only mortgages were traditionally targeted at buy-to-let investors as they could offset some of the interest against tax on rental income. However, during the final years of the housing market boom, interest-only mortgages were taken out by many first-time buyers. In 2006, a staggering 31 per cent of new mortgages were interest-only. "Interest-only borrowers who are in essence gambling on future house price rises to pay off their mortgages could be in for a big shock, particularly those living outside London and the South-east," said Ms Farrell. "Not only could they not be able to repay their mortgages, their debt could be bigger than their home's value."

Posted by sibley's b'stard child @ 03:00 PM 0 Comments

Unemployment down, consumer confidence up.

Telegraph: UK confidence picks up from record low

Sentiment among consumers picked up in March as people grew more hopeful about the future, according to Nationwide's closely-watched index. The headline reading on the lender's gauge rose five points to 44 from the previous month's record low of 39, which had signalled that sentiment was at a lower ebb than during the recession. Consumers were "slightly more upbeat" about the future state of their own finances and the economy, said the lender, even though they stayed pessimistic about their current situation. The measure tracking enthusiasm for making major purchases also picked up, which the lender said could signal that people are starting to adjust to the impact of the higher VAT, after the sales tax was upped to 20pc in January.

Posted by sibley's b'stard child @ 12:00 PM 7 Comments

Will this affect the way house prices are manipulated?

Reuters: BRICS demand global monetary shake-up, greater influence

"The BRICS group of emerging-market powers kept up the pressure on Thursday for a revamped global monetary system that relies less on the dollar and for a louder voice in international financial institutions". "Burdened by heavy debt, the United States, the euro zone and Japan are struggling to shake off the lingering effects of the 2008 global financial crisis. Rich countries will grow 2.4 percent this year and 2.6 percent in 2012, the International Monetary fund forecast this week". The BRICS caucus is a work in progress.. maybe the Yuan becomes more convertible before joining the SDR basket?

Posted by alan @ 10:05 AM 2 Comments

Those mortgages won't pay themselves y'know.

Guardian: Retirees forced to stay in work as affordability bites

Two-fifths of people who intended to retire this year will have to work for an extra six years because they cannot afford to stop working, according to a study by Prudential. The pension provider's Class of 2011 report found that 38% of people are delaying their retirement, and 40% of those say they will have to work until they are 70 to have a comfortable income. It also shows that 22% of those delaying retirement are doing so because they can't afford to stop working, up from 15% last year. They had intended, on average, to retire at 62, but now believe they will be at least 68 before they can draw a pension.

Posted by sibley's b'stard child @ 09:35 AM 17 Comments

More 'analysis'

Telegraph: House prices are falling faster in Britain than Spain

House prices at the bottom end of the market are now falling faster in Britain than Spain, according to a comprehensive survey of the biggest house price indices. But house prices continue to rise at the top end of the market, with an average increase of 3.4pc over the last year among the most expensive fifth of properties. By contrast, the cheapest fifth of properties saw prices fall by 5.1pc over the year, compared to a 1.9pc decline over the same period in Spain.

Posted by dill @ 09:19 AM 4 Comments

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Another country, another debt crisis to be fixed

Al Jazeera: Obama unveils $4 trillion plan to cut deficit

"Barack Obama, the US president, has unveiled a $4 trillion deficit-reduction programme, and slammed Republican plans for sweeping spending cuts as an attempt to fracture America's social compact". ""It's about the kind of future we want, it's about the kind of country we believe in.", he said - Meanwhile..."The White House is already warning of financial 'Armageddon' should Congress fail to raise the US borrowing limit from $14.29 trillion dollars, a threshold it is set to exceed by May 16, or see the US default on interest payments of its debt". "The White House says the issues of the debt ceiling and constraining the runaway deficit are separate, and that Republicans should not "play chicken" with the economy". (just lurve the rhetoric in the speech, doncha?)

Posted by alan @ 10:54 PM 1 Comments

Inflation Genie in or out of the bottle?

IFAonline: Artemis' Foster: Mervyn King 'losing the plot'

Artemis fixed income manager James Foster says the governor of the Bank of England needs to raise rates now to prevent inflation becoming embedded in the system. Foster, who runs the £516m Artemis Strategic Bond fund, says the MPC needs to act now by raising rates before people begin to clamour for higher wages, leading to an inflationary spiral. He says: "Mervyn King is starting to lose the plot. He is not being as aggressive as he should be on interest rates."He needs to get them back up again or inflation will become embedded in the system and will be much harder to get rid of."

Posted by jack c @ 02:39 PM 17 Comments

Man states obvious

Investment Week: Artemis' Foster: Mervyn King 'losing the plot'

Artemis' fixed income star James Foster says the governor of the Bank of England needs to raise rates now to prevent inflation becoming embedded in the system. Foster, who runs the £516m Artemis Strategic Bond fund, says the MPC needs to act now by raising rates before people begin to clamour for higher wages, leading to an inflationary spiral.

Posted by don from donny @ 01:08 PM 0 Comments

A bit of vested interest hype

FT Adviser: Housing market enters "sustained recovery"

Housing market activity continues to be buoyed by first-time buyers and the buy-to-let sector, new research shows.

Posted by paranoia blue @ 11:13 AM 14 Comments

Unemployment more or less flat

BBC NEWS: UK unemployment falls by 17,000 to 2.48m

Some selective quotes and my comment on them: "Total pay rose by 2% compared with a year earlier" - An inflation adjusted fall of about 2% "with the jobless rate for young people remaining above 20%." - A bit of a tragedy really. The government will have to spend some money on this. "The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said the rate of unemployment in the UK had fallen to 7.8%." - the government is clearly not making the claimed spending cuts.

Posted by flashman @ 10:12 AM 21 Comments

Japanese default edges ever closer - but no-one dares mention the word..

BBC News: Japan's government downgrades its outlook for growth

"The condition of the economy is no longer flat or at a standstill, but rather the direction is downward," said Shigeru Sugihara, director of macroeconomic analysts at the cabinet office.

Posted by uncle tom @ 09:42 AM 36 Comments

Honda and Nissan have also announced production cuts at their UK sites

Yahoo: Toyota has become the third Japanese car maker to announce production cutbacks in UK factories as a result of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan

No decision has yet been made regarding production beyond May. The company said it would continue to evaluate its supply chain and make plans based on the situation.

Posted by mark @ 09:26 AM 8 Comments

15% rise in UK companies facing major financial difficulty

BBC News: Rise in UK companies facing major financial difficulty

An increasing number of UK firms are showing signs of financial distress, a report suggests. 'Impending redundancies'

Posted by doomwatch @ 08:43 AM 13 Comments

Londers can't sell homes so forced to let them out

Mortgage Introducer: Higher value property entering the rental market

Research for Q1 2011 shows an 11.6% increase in the average capital value of rental houses, from £401,400 to £447,900. Previously, this figure had declined following the last market peak at £442,600 in 2007.

Posted by garth t @ 04:22 AM 0 Comments

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

A cautionary tale

BBC News: Woman 'killed husband amid rows over property costs'

A woman killed her husband when their relationship became strained due to the pressures on their buy-to-let empire, a court has heard. Mr Parkinson and his wife of 10 years had invested in the buy-to-let market, and the couple are believed to have owned 20 properties in Rutland. But the court heard rising interest rates and costs had caused profits to slump; the couple were losing £4,000 a month and facing bankruptcy. Mr Parkinson blamed her for going into the buy-to-let market in the first place.

Posted by little professor @ 11:25 PM 26 Comments

Pertaining to input costs and their possible moderation

Fund my mutual fund: GS turns near bearish on their recommended basket of commodities

From a trading perspective commodties would appear to have accelerated at rates that mean current pricing is unstable. Timber and Sugar are already reversing heavily and one struggles to imagine that the price of coffee or cotton can remain at 2 - 3 times average long term price for much long. From an HPC perspective this is perhaps negative with a moderation in RPI and CPI giving home owners greater financial head room and removing pressure on the BOE to raise rates. There are I'm sure other ways to look at this however.

Posted by bellwether @ 06:30 PM 14 Comments

Elsewhere in the News

Reuters: Retail sales tumble and house prices fall

With all this talk of 'economic recovery' one wonders why, house prices are falling, retail sales are plunging and disposable incomes have fallen for the first time in 30 years!

Posted by enuii @ 06:23 PM 2 Comments

Yes, no, maybe; can you repeat the question?

Citywire: Falling inflation: will it last?

Consumer price inflation (CPI) fell for the first time in seven months in March, down to 4% from 4.4%. But is this a blip or the start of a trend which will eventually see inflation back at a more manageable 2%?

Posted by sibley's b'stard child @ 02:10 PM 10 Comments

Another (lagging) Index

DCLG: House Price Index February 2011

• In February UK house prices increased by 0.7 per cent over the year and increased by 0.3 per cent over the month (seasonally adjusted). • The average mix-adjusted UK house price was £204,164 (not seasonally adjusted). • Average house prices were 0.3 per cent lower over the quarter to February, compared to a quarterly decrease of 0.7 per cent over the quarter to November (seasonally adjusted).

Posted by dill @ 12:41 PM 1 Comments

+0.4% MoM -0.9% YoY

Home.co.uk: Asking Price Index April 2011

The spring bounce continues in the UK home market. Seasonal optimism has lifted home prices a further 0.4%, although they remain 0.9% less than in April 2010. Supply of properties remains strong (9.5% more new properties appeared on the market in March 2011 than in March 2010) and continues to put downward pressure on asking prices. Hence, vendors continue to resort to price-cutting: 29% more properties were reduced in price in March 2011 than compared to March 2010.

Posted by dill @ 12:36 PM 4 Comments

Surprise fall in inflation - were the deflationist right after all?

BBC News: UK inflation rate falls to 4% in March

The drop was largely due to a record monthly fall in the price of food and non-alcoholic drinks, which fell 1.4%, compared with a rise last year. Retail Prices Index (RPI) inflation - which includes mortgage interest payments - fell to 5.3% from 5.5% in February. The fall eases pressure on the Bank of England to raise interest rates CONVENIENT HEDONICS

Posted by skeptical first time buyer @ 12:27 PM 0 Comments

Localism Bill to the rescue!

Houseladder: Private housing construction 'has fallen'

*In fairness, it doesn't say how the figures compare with the same period 2009-2010* Private housing construction fell in the three months from December 2010 to February 2011 when compared with the three months beforehand, it has been shown. According to figures from the Office for National Statistics, this sector saw a 23.3 per cent decrease during this time - the largest of any field. The report found that the total volume of construction output dipped by 18.3 per cent in this period, with new work tumbling by 19.1 per cent and repair and maintenance dropping by 16.8 per cent.

Posted by sibley's b'stard child @ 11:00 AM 3 Comments

UK housing market in trouble

RICS: UK housing market remains flat

No March madness Spring bounce to trumpet from RICS then. Supply UP, demand DOWN. Do the maths; there won't be a recovery. Interesting, the report only seems to be available to RICS members now ?!!

Posted by doomwatch @ 10:38 AM 3 Comments

Inflation latest

Moneymarketing: UK inflation rate falls to 4 per cent in March

The UK Consumer Prices Index annual rate of inflation has fallen to 4 per cent, down from 4.4 per cent in February. The Office for National Statistics said that food and drink costs had fallen in March, compared with February. Retail Prices Index inflation also fell to 5.3 per cent from 5.5 per cent in February.In February, Bank of England governor Mervyn King said inflation was likely to remain well above target for this year, before falling back in 2012, based on bank rate increases “in line with market expectations”.He said: “Although one cannot be sure, prices excluding the effects of these factors would probably have increased at a rate well below the 2 per cent inflation target. “Inflation is likely to continue to pick up to somewhere between 4 per cent and 5 per cent over.

Posted by jack c @ 10:14 AM 58 Comments

Pack sizes are getting smaller & our shopping bill is still higher than last week for same items

Yahoo: Inflation: Supermarkets Drive Surprise Fall

The rampant rise in the cost of living stalled last month, according to the latest inflation figures. The Consumer Prices Index fell back from 4.4% in February to 4%.

Posted by mark @ 10:13 AM 3 Comments

TSC report on FirstBuy scheme

Moneymarketing: MPs warn Osborne's FirstBuy scheme could hinder FTBs

The Treasury select committee has warned the FirstBuy scheme could push house prices further beyond the reach of many first-time buyers if the liberalisation of local planning laws fails to provide more housing stock. Chancellor George Osborne launched FirstBuy in last month’s Budget, a £250m scheme offering low interest loans to first-time buyers of up to 20 per cent of the cost of the house. The loans, joint funded by the Government and homebuilders, will be offered to 10,000 first time buyers with a 5 per cent deposit and an income of less than £60,000.

Posted by jack c @ 09:46 AM 3 Comments

Lend on property - its safe as houses!

SKY: Losses Quadruple At Allied Irish Banks

"The loss, at £9.2bn, is almost double that of some forecasts and a record for the bank. It was driven by a charge of £5.3bn, mostly against potential loan losses from residential mortgages and transfers of commercial property loans to a state-run bad bank. 2000 staff to go...etc"

Posted by alan @ 08:44 AM 5 Comments

A falling market equals a market in trouble

Daily Telegraph: UK housing market in 'two-tier' dilemma

House prices falling means a market in trouble, according to this article, not a market correctly adjusting to what people can afford to pay. The two-tier market will continue for a while, just as it did in 1988-9, but in the end London will fall the most in percentage terms.

Posted by monty032 @ 08:27 AM 0 Comments

Oh dear

BBC: UK retail sales suffer worst fall on record in March

The struggling UK High Street suffered another blow when the British Retail Consortium (BRC) recorded its worst fall in sales since records began.

Posted by the number cruncher @ 07:20 AM 8 Comments

Surveyors still in doldrums, say HPCers

BBC: Property market still in the doldrums, say surveyors

There is no sign yet of the UK property market pulling out of the doldrums, says the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (Rics). Its latest monthly survey shows sales and prices were generally flat, while interest from would-be buyers was declining. The survey results chime with those of other recent property surveys. However, Rics said there were big regional differences, with London very different to the rest of the UK. "The rather negative outlook for property prices across the UK seems to better reflect the general economy than the micro climate of London," said Rics housing spokesperson, Ian Perry.

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 07:15 AM 3 Comments

Monday, April 11, 2011

Mail gets a bit rabid

Daily Mail: Your £1,000-a-year mortgage rise to fund bank shake-up Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1375895/Bank-shake--1-000-year-mortgage-rise-fund-changes.html#ixzz1JG2GtpgY

Families (mortgageholders) face an average £1,000-a-year rise in repayment costs to prevent a repeat of the banking crisis, figures in Sir John Vickers report show that plans to force banks to hold far more cash to protect them in a crisis will force up mortgage rates by about 1 per cent thus adding almost £1,000 a year to the cost of repaying a typical £140,000 mortgage.

Posted by enuii @ 11:52 PM 7 Comments

When public debt and democracy collide

Telegraph: Britain will take Iceland to court over £2.3bn bail-out

The Government is preparing to take Iceland to the European courts to demand it repay every penny of the £2.3bn Britain lost when the Icelandic banking system collapsed. Danny Alexander, the Chief Secretary to the Treasury, said the Government had no choice but to take legal action after the Icelandic people voted against a long-term repayment plan. It will be at least a year until the dispute reaches court. Both Britain and the Netherlands are likely to block Iceland's application to join the European Union until the money is repaid. Credit rating agencies, including Moody's, are likely to further downgrade Iceland's credit rating as a result of its refusal to pay back the money. [Surely Iceland is *more* creditworthy if it doesn't have an extra £2.3bn of debt on its books??]

Posted by drewster @ 09:25 PM 3 Comments

Another way to keep the pyramid growing?

Telegraph: Grandparents urged to help first time buyers cope with high house prices – and beat IHT

Grandparents who have profited from decades of rising house prices should help adult grandchildren with the deposit to buy their first home and beat inheritance tax (IHT) at the same time, experts claim. “Many homeowners have unrealistic ideas about what to do – or not to do – with wealth locked up in bricks and mortar but one thing is certain; they cannot take it with them. They could well help their [grand]children by releasing a lump sum from their property, providing the funds for a first time buyer’s deposit, while using the rest to supplement a retirement income for themselves."

Posted by drewster @ 07:46 PM 5 Comments

An HPC axiom from Henry Pryor

Housing Expert: Send £5 to the person at the top of the list

The housing market today looks like one giant Ponzi scheme to me with buyers still being encouraged that prices are a one way bet. If you give the average 1st time buyer an extra £5k via one of the latest crazy ‘Councils-to-help-1st-time-buyer’ schemes all they will do is give it to a developer or home owner with an over-priced house. This may be good news for estate agents and sellers but the problem isn’t that buyers can’t borrow enough money, it’s that houses are too expensive.

Posted by dill @ 06:03 PM 1 Comments

Why nothing will change

Political Myths WE Live By: ZNET

15 political myths that mean we will forever see house price crashes and booms

Posted by the number cruncher @ 05:42 PM 7 Comments

Tenants unaffected by bank bail out: Shock

Evening Standard: Home owners pay to protect banks: Mortgage and account costs to rise

Same old, same old from the Homeys at the ES, it's only ever homeowners who are affected adversely by anything, savers and tenants can ride out any storm.

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 04:59 PM 1 Comments

Don't trust Government with your pension

MoneyWeek: Don't trust Government with your pension

The latest government pension reforms could dash any hopes you had of retiring comfortably, but there are ways to avoid squandering your money. Bengt Saelensminde explains how to avoid the government pension scam.

Posted by damien @ 04:42 PM 10 Comments

Move along; nothing to see.

Guardian: IMF cuts UK economic growth forecast for 2011 to 1.75%

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has cut its 2011 growth forecast for the UK economy to 1.75%, its third downgrade in a year. The cut cements the widely held view that Britain faces a year of low growth and rising unemployment with little prospect of a job-creating recovery until later in 2012. It will increase the pressure on the chancellor, George Osborne, to boost Britain's growth prospects. The Washington-based agency said on Monday in its half-yearly World Economic Outlook that its lower growth target, down from 2.1% last April, was the result of the UK's "necessary" front-loaded fiscal consolidation which will dampen domestic demand.

Posted by sibley's b'stard child @ 04:26 PM 1 Comments

The people benefit because of the new tram line won't be in a hurry to compensate the losers

This Is Nottingham: Homeowners say tram plans have devalued their properties

"Andrew and Susan Walker are among about ten families struggling to find buyers and want compensation. They have been trying to sell Mrs Walker's deceased aunt's flat for a year and had no interest, despite cutting the asking price from £78,000 to £70,000. Mr Walker, 55, said: "We can only assume that the lack of interest is because the flat is now blighted and is now of no value or, at best, is worth significantly less than one year ago."

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 02:25 PM 6 Comments

Eaton Dave's 3 letters

BBC News: NHS reform: Front-line clinical jobs 'under threat'

N H S I'm sure we can come up with a few 3 or 4 letters for Dave. Let's start the ball rolling A S S L I A R T W * T Note this is restricted to England. So it look like Scotland & Wales won't be affected AGAIN, just like they get FREE prescriptions & university places for their kids. There'll be a UN no fly zone over England soon if the Tories keep going at this rate.

Posted by doomwatch @ 12:43 PM 0 Comments

The truth is out there

Cnn: Now for the real budget war

The consequences of not raising the debt ceiling would be grave, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner told lawmakers last week.

Posted by mark @ 12:41 PM 1 Comments

The LVT debate rolls on

Mortgagestrategy: Mansion tax will never happen, says property lawyer

The so-called ‘mansion tax’ on properties over £1m would be impossible to enforce and will never come to fruition, says a property lawyer. John Stephenson, managing partner at Bircham Dyson Bell, says the overriding unanswered question at the moment is whether the tax will be on the property or the owner. He says: “If it taxes the property, then it’s just another version of the council tax and will be fraught with problems of how to value the property, how often to value it and by whom - the local authority? If it taxes the owner of property, then without a doubt it will see the middle classes as well as senior citizens hit the hardest.

Posted by jack c @ 12:34 PM 11 Comments

Spring bounce at the Comedy Club

Telegraph: Want to sell your house? Give it a name

If you have trouble selling your house, you should consider giving it a name rather than a number, according to a survey. The name "Rose Cottage", "The Lodge" or "Woodlands" conjures up images of a rural idyll and property full of character, far more than if the same house merely had a street number, according to a survey of 4,000 consumers. As much as pretty climbing flower in the front garden, or a smartly-painted front door, home buyers can be influenced even before they have visited the property, the study suggested.

Posted by jack c @ 11:45 AM 24 Comments

The rotund one comes good.

Estate Agent Today: Consultation launched on turning empty shops into homes

Communities Secretary Eric Pickles has launched a consultation that could see thousands of vacant office buildings converted into homes without planning permission. The British Property Federation has backed the plans, but warned they will not work in every location. With house building at a record low except during wartime, Pickles’ relaxation of the change-of-use laws could deliver 250,000 new homes and save almost £140m over ten years in what he has deemed are ‘unnecessary red tape costs’.

Posted by sibley's b'stard child @ 10:24 AM 3 Comments

OOh eer

Daily mail: Just when you thought it couldn't get any worse... 'mortgages to soar and interest rates to quadruple in a year’

Interest rates are set to quadruple within a year, adding more than £100 a month to a typical mortgage, a senior Bank of England adviser has warned. Families should brace themselves for a rate rise as officials try to get to grips with soaring inflation, said Andrew Sentance, of the Bank’s Monetary Policy Committee.

Posted by mark @ 09:12 AM 10 Comments

EU crisis coming to the UK?

G Pytel: (Sadly) the financial crisis proceeds as expected

It looks the UK is in line of a financial "attack" (similar to those on Greece and Portugal). And even if it is not right it would still be worthwhile to know what the government could do if it happened anyway. According to the current government policies and announcements if the so-called "financial markets" downgrade the UK rating, the government will simply cough up more to the bankers. Billions of pounds more. So why should bankers not just simply go for it?

Posted by ant @ 08:39 AM 0 Comments

Interest rates to quadruple

This is money: Interest rates to quadruple

Interest rates are set to quadruple within a year, adding more than £100 a month to a typical mortgage, a senior Bank of England adviser has warned. Forcing some of these multiple house owners (borrowers) to sell hopefully!

Posted by adam mouli @ 08:34 AM 1 Comments

Can we repossess the banking system?

Mail: Lenders get tough again on mortgage defaulters

"Lenders are stepping up their efforts to pursue borrowers in arrears, according to courtroom statistics and anecdotal reports from lawyers. Some lawyers even claim they are seeing a return to the harsher debt- collection practices used before the credit crunch".

Posted by alan @ 07:49 AM 1 Comments

“I have to accept my responsibility.”

Telegraph: Gordon Brown: I made a big mistake on banks

"In his first clear admission of some responsibility for the financial crisis, the former prime minister claimed he had not understood how “entangled” the world’s financial institutions had become. His comments will be seized upon by the Conservatives as proof that Labour played a part in the economic meltdown".

Posted by alan @ 07:29 AM 10 Comments

Not on iPlayer, alas

BBC Four: The Great Estate: The Rise & Fall of the Council House

At its height in the mid-1970s, council housing provided homes for over a third of the British population. From the 'homes for heroes' cottages that were built in the wake of the First World War to the much-maligned, monolithic high rises of the 60s and 70s, Collins embarks on a grand tour of Britain's council estates. He visits Britain's first council estate, built as an antidote to London's disease and crime-ridden Victorian slums, the groundbreaking flats that made inter-war Liverpool the envy of Europe, the high rise estate in Sheffield that has become the largest listed building in the world, and the estate built on the banks of the Thames that was billed as 'the town of the 21st century'.

Posted by drewster @ 01:18 AM 3 Comments

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Icelanders show Viking Spirit and reject public banker bailout

Guardian: Iceland rejects plan to pay back debt owed following Icesave bank crash

Icelanders have rejected the latest government-approved plan to repay the £3bn owed to Britain and the Netherlands meaning that the dispute will end up in a European court. Prime minister, Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir commented that the worst result had been chosen (well he would say that) whilst others like Svanhvit Ingibergs, 33, who works at a rest home, said: "I had no part in causing those debts, and I don't want our children to risk having to pay them. It would be better to settle this in a court."

Posted by enuii @ 10:52 AM 23 Comments

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Off topic, Fukushima radiation In U.S.

Forbes: Radiation Detected In Drinking Water In 13 More US Cities, Cesium-137 In Vermont Milk

Unusual Reading At Chatanooga Nuclear Plant • Milk Contamination At EPA Maximum • Highest Levels Yet In Boise Rainwater Radiation from Japan has been detected in drinking water in 13 more American cities, and cesium-137 has been found in American milk—in Montpelier, Vermont—for the first time since the Japan nuclear disaster began, according to data released by the Environmental Protection Agency late Friday.

Posted by novice pete @ 08:45 PM 13 Comments

White Elephant Conspicuously Absent

BBC News: Mortgage lending still at very low levels, lenders say

Mortgage lending is still running at very low levels, according to the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML). There were just 32,300 mortgages arranged with house buyers in February - 8% more than in January but still 12% down on the same month a year ago.

Posted by rantnrave @ 01:07 PM 5 Comments

LVT on the TV in Scotland

STV: 85% of households would be better off under Greens’ land tax, party says

LVT on the agenda in Scotland! The Scottish Green Party is proposing to replace council tax and business rates with land value tax by 2012.

Posted by the number cruncher @ 08:20 AM 8 Comments

Now is the best time (in fact, now is always the best time)

Telegraph: How to get on to the property ladder

Buying a house is more expensive than many expect. Don't be sucked in by the Government's FirstBuy scheme if it doesn't suit you – there is plenty of other help available for first-time buyers. For example, if your parents are willing to use their savings to support you, you could consider Lloyds TSB's Lend A Hand mortgage, which is available for first-time buyers whose parents will lodge 20pc of the property purchase price with the lender. There is also a local authority version of this in some areas, with plans to extend the scheme later this year. If you have managed to save as much as a 10pc deposit, then there are some good deals available at present. Melanie Bien, from Private Finance, recommends a five-year fixed-rate mortgage deal from the Co-operative Bank at 5.99pc.

Posted by drewster @ 01:35 AM 14 Comments

Has the market plateaued, or is it just catching its breath?

Guardian: House prices static over past 12 months

House prices remained static over the past 12 months with 0% growth, leaving the average UK house price at £222,146, according to the latest LSL Property Services/Acadametrics index. The number of seasonally-adjusted transactions rose by 6% as buyers rushed to beat the increase of the higher band of stamp duty on properties sold for £1m or more, which rose from 4% to 5% on 6 April. The latest figures also point to wide regional disparities, with eight of the 10 regions in England and Wales currently experiencing falling house prices. LSL said house price growth in greater London and the south-east was propping up the national average.

Posted by drewster @ 01:33 AM 0 Comments

What's in it for the seller?

FT: Rent your rung on the housing ladder

Rent-to-buy schemes that offer the chance to rent a property with an option to buy are increasingly marketed by private-sector companies as a way for cash-strapped buyers to get on to the property ladder – and as an option for homeowners who are struggling to sell their properties. A private sector rent-to-buy scheme will typically involve a lease option contract that gives the tenant the right, but not the obligation, to buy the property at a set price at an agreed future date. Tenants pay an upfront deposit of around 2-3 per cent of the property price, which is put towards any future purchase. Tenants then pay monthly rent as well as monthly payments towards the property purchase.

Posted by drewster @ 01:29 AM 1 Comments

Friday, April 8, 2011

Preserve the hallowed greenbelt at all costs!

Telegraph: Lord Wolfson says Britain held back by Luddite planning rules

Lord Wolfson has said British planning rules are "slow, Luddite and backward-looking" and act as a "powerful brake on UK economic growth". The chief executive of Next said Britain does not have a hotbed of technological development like the US Silicon Valley because "it would never get planning permission." The colourful retailer used his speech at the annual conference of the British Chambers of Commerce to call on Government to "seize the chance" to overhaul the planning system which he argued had hampered "every single business in the land at some stage." In order to promote growth, he said, the "Government should build the infrastructure and get out of the way."

Posted by drewster @ 07:57 PM 10 Comments

The MPC knew this yesterday!

Telegraph: Inflation at UK factories hits two-and-a-half year high

"Inflation at British factories hit its highest rate in more than two years in March, official figures showed, raising fears about the feed-through into the wider economy"." Factory gate prices – what manufacturers charge for their products – rose 5.4pc over the year, the steepest inflation rate since October 2008, said the Office for National Statistics" (wow). "The month-on-month jump was 0.9pc, while economists had expected a 0.6pc leap". The MPC only exist to prop up house prices I think!

Posted by alan @ 06:33 PM 3 Comments

Bellwether sounds ominous knell.

Guardian: Halfords and Carpetright warn profits will be lower than expected

Halfords and Carpetright have joined the growing club of retailers making downbeat predictions as analysts warned of a "twin track" consumer economy, with only well-heeled shoppers still spending...Better than expected results from Marks & Spencer on Wednesday could not outweigh the gloom elsewhere. Household names, from Argos owner Home Retail to Dixons and Mothercare, have all warned on profits in recent weeks and even M&S chief Marc Bolland said the coming year would be "absolutely challenging because commodity pricing is up and we know discretionary spend will be down".

Posted by sibley's b'stard child @ 02:59 PM 4 Comments

Costs are rising

Daily Telegraph: Inflation at UK factories hit two-and-a-half year high

After the Bank of England left interest-rates unchanged yesterday we see yet more examples here of cost rises for UK industry. It just seems to go on and on and one of the comments suggests that the numbers have been manipulated as well....

Posted by janetracy @ 01:11 PM 0 Comments

Moody's to review credit status of British banks

Daily Telegraph: Bank review 'will push up cost of borrowing’

House buyers and other bank customers will find it more expensive to borrow money under government plans to allow financial institutions to fail, experts have warned.

Posted by katalan1 @ 12:59 PM 0 Comments

Taking stock

Shelter: Second home stocktake

[06 April 2011] Shelter is calling for the council tax discount for second home owners to be abolished. Our new report, ‘Taking Stock’, which looks at ways to maximise England’s existing housing supply, shows that ending the discount for the 252,000 second homes nationwide would raise up to £42 million. This could be invested in new homes to help address the country’s escalating housing crisis.

Posted by dill @ 11:49 AM 6 Comments

(and the US is becoming main debtor of the world)

G Pytel: China is buying up the world

Really sharp piece telling what the China is up to, explaining world trade imbalance dynamics and its consequences. If it goes that way, China will but the world for the US debt and the US will end up the world's main insolvent debtor (and an enemy of everyone). The US will be the enemy No 1, China will own the world and the western world will be bust.

Posted by ant @ 10:31 AM 32 Comments

"housing market is becoming a tale of two halves, with gains in London and the South East offset"

Telegraph: House prices in London offset falls elsewhere

The LSL house price index showed that prices across the UK have fallen by 0.1pc in March, and annual growth for the year is 0pc. However, properties in Greater London have risen in value by 3.7pc in the last three months, and those in the South East have risen by 0.1pc. In contrast, Wales has seen prices fall by 2.9pc, and the Humber has seen the biggest fall, of 3.4pc. The counties of Blaenau Gwent and Monmouthshire, in Wales were the biggest losers, with houses losing 11.5pc and 11.8pc of their value respectively

Posted by jack c @ 10:01 AM 14 Comments

Gold investors already mark this as a "Fail"

Reuters: EU banks watchdog to set health check pass mark

"Europe will tell its banks on Friday how much capital they need to hold to withstand a two-year recession, as financial watchdogs seek to repair the sector's tattered image in the eyes of investors". "The European Banking Authority (EBA) will name the 90 or so banks that need to undergo this health check, which will determine which of them need to raise capital to bolster their defences against economic headwinds". No mention of stupid loans for sub-prime, sovereign debt, etc. Have a look at today's precious metals prices.

Posted by alan @ 08:27 AM 3 Comments

Acadametrics: -0.1% MoM, 0%YoY

Bloomberg: UK house prices slip 0.1% on lack of demand

The average price of a home in England and Wales declined 0.1 percent from February to £222,146 pounds, according to Acadametrics. From a year earlier, values were unchanged.

Posted by little professor @ 12:36 AM 12 Comments

Thursday, April 7, 2011

IMF calls for bolting of stable doors

Telegraph: IMF backs LTV cap to prevent housing bubbles

Housing market bubbles could be controlled by handing regulators powers to set maximum loan-to-value (LTV) ratios, the International Monetary Fund has recommended. Britain is considering such measures as part of the so-called "macro-prudential toolkit" the regulator will wield to deflate a housing bubble before it bursts. The move would prevent lenders offering 125pc loans, as Northern Rock infamously did before its collapse. "Higher LTV ratios are associated with higher house price and credit growth over time," the report said.

Posted by drewster @ 06:00 PM 17 Comments

JD on Sky

Sky News: House Price Rise Fails To Boost Year Forecast

The Sky presenter [as last time] appears overly aggressive and vexatious from the start . Maybe he is TTRTR [remember him] or smugdog [remember him] ?

Posted by doomwatch @ 03:13 PM 23 Comments

Debt is health!

BBC News: Shopping 'may improve health'

Shopping prolongs life, at least for the over 65s in Taiwan, according to research. Even after adjusting for factors like physical and mental infirmity, men and women who shopped daily lived longer than those who shunned retail therapy, say scientists.

Posted by montesquieu @ 02:38 PM 3 Comments

The next big driver of gold's bull market – China's middle classes

MoneyWeek: The next big driver of gold's bull market – China's middle classes

The main drivers of gold's remarkable bull run are about to be joined by a major new source of demand - the appetite of China's middle classes. Dominic Frisby looks at the effect this is likely have on the price of gold.

Posted by damien @ 02:16 PM 17 Comments

ECB Raises Rates

FT: ECB raises rates for first time since 2008

Eurozone official interest rates have risen for the first time in three years as the European Central Bank reacted to accelerating inflation by tightening policy.

Posted by peter rocker @ 01:00 PM 12 Comments

No change on UK Base rate

BBC: UK interest rates held at record low of 0.5%

The Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee has kept UK interest rates once more at a record low of 0.5%. There has been no change to the Bank rate for 25 months, despite the fact that inflation is currently more than twice the Bank's 2% target rate. No new quantitative easing measures were unveiled. Last month, three MPC members again voted for a rise, and it was revealed that consumer prices inflation rose again in February, to 4.4%.

Posted by jack c @ 12:04 PM 10 Comments

Its Italy, then

Reuters: Spain says won't be next to fall in euro crisis

"Spain will not follow ailing neighbour Portugal in seeking a European bailout, Spain's Economy Minister said on Thursday, hoping Lisbon's move will draw a line under Europe's debt crisis". "Spanish banks are seen as among the most vulnerable in Europe to a series of ECB rate hikes. Although one round of higher rates will not cause problems, further hikes will squeeze profit at banks and push already-stretched borrowers into arrears, analysts said". ""The impact of a small rise in rates is very slow. Mortgages (in Spain) are only revised once a year and so the transmission (of a rate rise) is not immediate," (so holiday homes not under the hammer, yet)

Posted by alan @ 11:58 AM 10 Comments

The anger starts

Daily post: A55 go-slow planned to protest against fuel prices

A DOUBLE A55 fuel protest is planned next month after the price of diesel smashed through the £1.50 a litre barrier. Some filling stations are now selling diesel at nearly £1.52 with petrol being sold at a top price of around £1.42 across North Wales according to a fuel watchdog website.

Posted by mark @ 11:01 AM 4 Comments

House prices continue to drop in the first-quarter

City AM: House prices continue to drop in the first-quarter

THE cost of housing fell by 0.6 per cent during the first-quarter of 2011, marking the property market’s fourth consecutive quarterly decrease in prices.

Posted by warren @ 10:56 AM 0 Comments

Does this mean the cost of borrowing goes up?

City AM: 18 British banks face debt rating blow

Up to 18 British banks could see their senior debt ratings cut several notches by Moody's over coming months as the rating agency assesses how they would fare without implicit government support. The banks more immediately vulnerable to a downgrade are smaller institutions, including many building societies, rather than larger banks still heavily supported by the state, Moody's said. It said it was reviewing systemic support assumptions incorporated into the senior debt ratings of these banks as they were unlikely to be deemed systemic in the medium term, and would instead be judged as standalone credits.

Posted by sibley's b'stard child @ 10:40 AM 9 Comments

House sales slump by half

Www.mortgagestrategy.co.uk: House sales fall 47% in 3 years

There is growing evidence that vendors are having to slash their expectations and ambitious asking prices just to get savvy buyers to a viewing, let alone an offer.

Posted by doomwatch @ 09:46 AM 8 Comments

I Wonder if Supreme Court Justices Own Property in the Country

BBC: Couple lose fight to live in Hertfordshire luxury barn

"From the outside, the property looks like any other hay barn with a curved roof, no windows and surrounded by farmyard machinery." So does it matter to some distant neighbour or a plane going overhead what happens inside? If a tree falls in the forest and nobody is there to hear it, does it make a sound?

Posted by ontheotherhand @ 09:39 AM 3 Comments

Game over?

Market Oracle: Deflationists Blind to the Inflation Storm

My forecast has been for a powerful Inflationary Recession to occur, a consistently laid out analysis, delivered during the last year or more in clear terms. That has been my call, and continues to be my call. The Deflationist camp is making more noises. They do not know their limitations, which are obstructed by a blind eye toward the monetary inflation. They do not understand it, so they ignore it,

Posted by hpwatcher @ 06:22 AM 12 Comments

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Easy to rack up those debts in a keep up with the jones's attitude...

Telegraph: Home owners with £30,000 credit card debts face 'losing their homes'

"More than one hundred thousand home owners face losing their homes because of £30,000 worth of credit card and other debts excluding their mortgage, charities warned today."

Posted by tom101 @ 11:28 PM 7 Comments

Portugal throws in the towel

BBC News: Portugal calls for EU financial bail-out

Portugal's caretaker Prime Minister Jose Socrates has asked the European Union for financial assistance and said that the country was "at too much risk that it shouldn't be exposed to".

Posted by enuii @ 09:53 PM 23 Comments

More like heart failure than stress...

The Economist: Ireland’s banking stress tests - The muck of the Irish.

The stress-tests results unveiled today by Ireland’s central bank require that four banks—Allied Irish Banks, Bank of Ireland, EBS Building Society and Irish Life & Permanent—must raise an extra €24 billion of capital to meet a minimum core Tier-1 capital ratio of 6% under the tests’ worst-case assumptions.

Posted by rental john @ 04:02 PM 0 Comments

Tax is for the little people

CityWhine: Britain's housing market, distorted

"Just in case, during the last couple of weeks, the property well-endowed needed reminding that things could be worse on the tax front, the permanently off-message Vince Cable managed to drag the subject of a “mansion tax” back into the headlines before the budget had even been digested. Surely he couldn’t be serious. Anyone with even a casual experience of the property market knows that – particularly when volume’s so low, and especially at the posh end of the market where property prices depend on the right tycoon walking through the door on the right day – the valuation process contains too much hocus pocus to make it a fair basis for annual taxation."

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 01:12 PM 37 Comments

And the next day....

Guardian: Sterling hit by surprise fall in UK industrial output

A surprise fall in industrial production wiped half a cent off the value of the pound on Wednesday morning, as the chances of an early interest rate rise receded further. British industrial output was down by 1.2% in February, figures from the Office for National Statistics showed. The fall was prompted by a big drop in oil and gas production due to maintenance work. The index of manufacturing was also flat month on month, the latest sign that growth has stalled.

Posted by dill @ 01:09 PM 0 Comments

A good first quarter?

BBC NEWS: Pound stronger as services survey shows faster growth

Some quotes from the article: "the UK service sector grew at its fastest pace in more than a year in March." "When you look at where the Bank of England has typically raised interest rates in the past, the average level of the PMI is not that much different to where it stands right now, so it is consistent with higher rates," "Together with more positive recent data from the manufacturing sector, he said the latest PMI services data suggested overall economic growth of 0.8% in the first quarter of this year."

Posted by flashman @ 12:22 PM 24 Comments

A worldwide economy working as one does not work

Dailymail: Toyota will shut down ALL U.S. factories after Japanese earthquake

Toyota is to shut down all of its U.S. factories because of parts shortages caused by the Japanese earthquake. The shut-downs are likely to take place later this month, affecting 25,000 workers Toyota has about 500 companies supplying parts in North America, but many of them get components from Japan that might not be available.

Posted by mark @ 11:11 AM 7 Comments

People rushing out & buying when the scrap scheme was running dont need new cars now

Yahoo: New car sales tumble as 11-plate fails to draw buyers

Sales in March, with new 11-plate cars available, totalled 366,101 - a 7.9pc drop on the March 2010 figure, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) said.

Posted by mark @ 11:06 AM 3 Comments

Oh Dear

WSJ: U.K. Industrial Production Slumps

LONDON—U.K. industrial production suffered its biggest fall in 18 months in February, official data showed Wednesday, denting hopes the sector has made a strong contribution to economic growth in the first quarter. The Office for National Statistics said industrial production, which includes sectors such as mining and energy supply, fell 1.2% in February from January—its steepest fall since August 2009. On an annual basis, industrial production increased by 2.4%. Moreover, the figures for January were revised to show an increase of just 0.3% month-to-month and 4.2% on a yearly basis, lower than the initial estimate. February's figures were weaker than expected. Economists had tipped production to rise 0.5% from January and 4.4% from a year earlier.

Posted by rob @ 10:37 AM 0 Comments

Wonder if this will effect the UK?

Cnn: Shutdown: What you need to know

If Congress fails to approve a spending bill by Friday, the federal government will shut down. And boy, things aren't looking good.

Posted by mark @ 10:16 AM 9 Comments

Build now, pay later..

Builders merchants journal: Housing minister launches scheme to boost housebuilding

Up to 40% per cent of land suitable for housing development - is "sitting idle" in public sector land banks, according to Shapps. It is estimated that making this land available owned by central Government alone could help developers build more than 60,000 new homes over 10 years.

Posted by uncle tom @ 09:54 AM 8 Comments

Improvement in rate of decline

Sky News: House prices show 0.1% improvement

House prices edged 0.1% higher during March, helping improve the quarterly rate of decline in Britain's faltering property market, figures show.

Posted by cyril @ 09:48 AM 1 Comments

A lacklustre FTB scheme receieves a lacklustre response.

Estate Agent Today: Developers have second thoughts on first-time buyer scheme

Developers appear to be back-tracking fast on the new FirstBuy scheme, which they put together with the Government.The Home Builders Federation conceded: “In an ideal world, you wouldn’t offer shared equity. But we are not in an ideal world.” This morning's Halifax survey shows that in this less than ideal world, house prices remain stubbornly unaffordable at nearly seven times average FTB earnings, with signs of only a very slow downward shift. The much-trumpeted FirstBuy scheme will allow 10,000 first-time buyers to get on the home ownership ladder by chipping in just 5% deposit on a new-build house. The Government and the developer would each contribute 10%. However, developers are now worried that their share of the £250m that the industry will collectively pump into the sch

Posted by sibley's b'stard child @ 09:31 AM 3 Comments

Property investors are delusional: house prices will fall

MoneyWeek: Property investors are delusional: house prices will fall

House prices are being propped up by delusional investors clinging to the old property boom. But they'll be in for a surprise if they don't wake up soon, says Tom Bulford.

Posted by damien @ 09:31 AM 9 Comments

+0.1% in March -2.9% for the year

Lloyds Bank: Halifax House Price Index

Commenting, Martin Ellis, housing economist, said: "House prices continue to fall at a modest pace as measured by the quarterly rate of change, the best measure of the underlying trend in price movements. Prices in the first quarter of 2011 were 0.6% lower than in the fourth quarter of 2010. There was a 0.1% rise in prices in March and prices were a similar amount above those at the end of 2010." So that's an IR rise off the agenda I think.

Posted by quiet guy @ 08:47 AM 7 Comments

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Fascinating video on over-construction in China

SBS Australia: China's Ghost Cities (video)

[Partial transcript] It's 11am on a Thursday morning and Zhengzhou's centre is deserted, shops unoccupied, hundreds of apartments uninhabited. Prices for apartments here range from $70,000 to $100,000 - a fortune in a country where the average worker's annual wage is around $6,000. But units here are selling - the vast majority as investment properties whose owners live in other parts of China. The agent bundled this prospective buyer away before we could talk to her. "Do you imagine that any of these apartments will be occupied in five years?" "I think that the occupancy rate in five years will still be around 25%." Millions of expensive empty homes and millions of Chinese who can't afford to live in them.

Posted by drewster @ 11:28 PM 15 Comments

Inflation may not force IR rises

Reuters: Gold hits record, oil tops $122 a barrel

"Prices of spot gold notched a record high on Tuesday as a downgrade of Portugal's debt stirred a bid for safety, while Brent crude ended above $122 a barrel, at a 2-1/2 year high". "Rating agency Moody's cut Portugal's sovereign debt by one notch, saying the incoming government would urgently need to seek financial aid from the European Union. Portuguese bond yields rose to euro lifetime highs". (it seems to me that the MPC will do anything to keep house prices high, and that includes ignoring inflation in the UK). ""What it shows is that big money continues to believe gold will go higher ... because Bernanke wants to grow at any cost," said Axel Merk, manager of Merk Mutual Funds"

Posted by alan @ 09:57 PM 9 Comments

Expectations of a rate rise rise

Reuters: Sterling soars to 2-wk high on UK data, firm on euro

Pressure building on the MPC to follow China, Poland, and next the ECB, probably. Question is how long can they hold out? Are they really bothered about credibility? OK that's two questions. Answers, please.

Posted by tel @ 09:34 PM 0 Comments

The fight to win business starts

CNN: GOP takes big swipe at federal budget

Cut spending by $6 trillion over the next decade. Lower the highest tax rate to 25% The House GOP plan would reform the tax code without raising more money than the current system. It would reduce the number of income tax brackets, lower the top rate for individuals and corporations to 25% and eliminate many tax breaks

Posted by mark @ 07:49 PM 2 Comments

There is only one way for house prices

BBC: Mega squeeze and Income squeeze

The first is Pestons Picks, the second Steph Flanders which is here:- http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/stephanieflanders/2011/03/which_will_crack_first_-_wages.html Both writers with almost the same heading.

Posted by growler @ 01:51 PM 3 Comments

Perpetuating the TBTF mindset

Director of Finance Online: Interest rates were cut to save house prices – and banks

An unknown blogger makes the case that we must prop up house prices to save the financial system. This is one of the clearest examples of house price spin I've ever seen.

Posted by quiet guy @ 01:02 PM 7 Comments

Rising prices of renting is a 'silver lining'

Yahoo finance: Landlords benefitting from our economic woes

Over the last year rental demand has shot through the roof, with Government figures showing that nearly 300,000 extra households moved into privately rented accommodation in England alone. Tenant demand hit record levels at the end of 2010 — and it remains high this year.

Posted by frustrated gardener @ 12:59 PM 0 Comments

Recipe for a stagnant market

Telegraph: House prices to rise, say homeowners

According to the latest Zoopla.co.uk Housing Market Sentiment Survey, confidence in the market outlook has strengthened from its record low at the end of last year when just over half of home owners expected prices to rise. Home owners are also more optimistic about the amount by which they expect house prices to rise in the coming months, estimated to increase by an average of 2.8pc over the next six months. The research indicates that home owners are more optimistic about the value of their own properties rather then their neighbours, predicting the price of their own home to grow by 3.2pc over the next six months while they expect overall prices for property in their area to rise by only 2.8pc.

Posted by quiet guy @ 12:56 PM 11 Comments

Portugal gets another downgrade while china ups rates

Reuters: China ups rates 4th time since October

China's central bank increased interest rates on Tuesday for the fourth time since October, raising suspicions that data next week may show inflation rose more than expected in March.

Posted by mark @ 12:54 PM 4 Comments

Ambrose Evans-Pritchard offers his predictions on the global economy next year

Yahoo: Overheating East to falter before the bankrupt West recovers

The East-West trade and capital imbalances that lay behind the Great Recession are as toxic as ever. Surplus states are still exporting excess capacity with rigged currencies -- the yuan-dollar peg for China and, more subtly, the D-Mark-Latin peg within EMU for Germany. Dangerously high budget deficits of 6pc, 8pc, or 10pc of GDP in countries with dangerously high public debts near 100pc may have prevented an acute depression, but they have not prevented the weakest rebound since World War Two, and they cannot continue, whatever the assurances of New Keynesians and pied pipers of debt.

Posted by mark @ 12:31 PM 11 Comments

Uneasy money

FT: Nationwide restricts interest-only lending

Over the past year, high street lenders have been tightening their lending criteria on interest-only mortgages in reaction to the Financial Services Authority’s (FSA) probe into the sector.

Posted by letthemfall @ 12:26 PM 5 Comments

Tenants unaffected by oil price rises: Shock

Daily Mail: Oil prices hit all-time high in Britain (and that means bad news for motorists - and possibly for homeowners)

More Homey DoubleThink, and they're missing no opportunity to turn the screws: "Paul Horsnell, head of commodities research at Barclays Capital in London, says British drivers have to cope with the the weakening pound, the rising cost of oil and higher petrol taxes: 'All together, it is a very large impact.' The record prices will fuel the debate at the MPC's rate-setting meeting this week. There have been a growing number of MPC members voting for a rise in rates over recent months in light of rising inflation." "

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 12:19 PM 2 Comments

Pro-cuts rally - interesting comments after article

Guardian: Pro-cuts activists to stage 'polite' demonstration

The British political right is preparing to fight back against anti-cuts protests by staging its first pro-cuts demonstration, in central London next month, in a move that has provoked comparisons to the US Tea Party movement. The Rally Against Debt, on 14 May, is being organised by activists including the Taxpayers' Alliance group, which is backed by Tory donors. Hundreds, if not thousands, of supporters of the cuts programme are expected to turn out at Westminster in a rare show of force by what organisers believe is "a quiet majority".

Posted by micasasucasa @ 12:18 PM 3 Comments

Raaaats. They are starting to notice price rises no matter what lies I tell...

Bloomberg: King Soothes BOE Staff With Canteen Cost Pledge After Pay Freeze

Bank of England Governor Mervyn King pledged a range of measures for staff from curbing canteen food prices to offering dry cleaning. The pledge to freeze food costs comes after record commodity prices helped push U.K. inflation to 4.4 percent in February, more than double the bank’s 2 percent target. It contrasts with a promise made by Prime Minister David Cameron in September 2009, when he was in opposition, to “cut the cost of politics” by removing subsidies at canteens in Parliament.

Posted by ontheotherhand @ 11:54 AM 2 Comments

More Debt to Beat Debt Problem?

The Daily Telegraph: Households Sink Under A Sea Of Debt

UK households are already the most indebted in the world. Dig down into the detail of the OBR forecasts and things look pretty frightening. Overall household debt rises from £1.62 trillion last year to £2.13 trillion in 2015, or from 160pc of income to an astonishing 175pc. In other words, consumption growth, a key part of the OBR's overall forecast for growth, is only maintained by taking on more debt.

Posted by ontheotherhand @ 11:23 AM 10 Comments

Same old Tories

Sky News: Oliver Letwin Warned Over Sheffield Gaffe

The mask keeps slipping

Posted by doomwatch @ 11:03 AM 7 Comments

Spin me round and round and round spin me......

Manchester evening news: Cranes are back in Manchester city centre, says Deloitte report

However, costs are expected to rise. Paul Spratt, director of DTZ’s landlord and tenant team, said: “Our research suggests that occupancy costs in Manchester will rise by 1.86 per cent per annum between 2011 and 2015 and, although occupiers in regional cities such as Manchester and Liverpool can continue to benefit from financial incentives from landlords in most markets, the window of opportunity is closing

Posted by mark @ 10:50 AM 2 Comments

Inflation seems to be setting in

Manchester evening news: Parking meter charges in Manchester go up 20 per cent to 'reduce congestion'

The rises are up to 20 per cent in some areas. The hike completes a triple-whammy for city centre motorists. They were told earlier this year that Manchester council planned to introduce charges for on-street parking on Sundays for the first time. And the hours during which on-street charges apply are also being extended – to 7am-7pm.

Posted by mark @ 10:44 AM 7 Comments

Free advertising for Skipton Building Society (and subsidiary)

Independent: Lettings rise in Midlands and North

*Posted principally for this breathtaking piece of Doublethink* Kris Brewster, the head of products at Skipton, said: "Buy-to-let is a key component of a successful housing market providing a vital first stepping stone towards homeownership for tomorrow's first-time buyers – the oil that keeps the housing market machine moving."

Posted by sibley's b'stard child @ 10:25 AM 6 Comments

IR rise prospects being talked down

MSN Money: Interest rates rise delay expected

There seem to be plenty of economic commentators who want to squash the idea of an IR rise. MSN money say "Experts predict a deepening consumer spending slump will see rate setters remain in 'wait and see' mode until August at the earliest."

Posted by quiet guy @ 08:44 AM 9 Comments

Monday, April 4, 2011

How much would a mansion tax make house prices fall?

FT: Letters: Do Lib Dems want the high-end housing market to fall?

Sir, Some cautionary economics for the Liberal Democrats. If you impose a 1 per cent tax on houses worth more than £2m, either through council tax or a wealth tax, the discounted value of the liability is around £285,000 (assuming a 7 per cent discount rate). Do the Lib Dems really want the “high-end” housing market, which includes much of the London market, to fall by 14 per cent? The unintended consequences could be much more profound than they might imagine.

Posted by drewster @ 10:53 PM 5 Comments

Buddy can you spare a dime? (actually make that a $ trillion)

Bloomberg: Geithner Says U.S. To Reach Debt Limit No Later Than May 16

The U.S. will reach its $14.29 trillion legal debt limit no later than May 16 unless Congress acts before then, Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner said today, and he warned of “severe hardship” for Americans if lawmakers fail to act...........Congress needs to raise the limit to maintain vital services and avoid “questions about our ability to defend our national security interests,” Geithner said. The U.S. would face sharply higher interest rates and would have to stop or delay payments to the military, retirees and others, he said. “Default would cause a financial crisis potentially more severe than the crisis from which we are only now starting to recover,” Geithner said. “For these reasons, default by the United States is unthinkable

Posted by jack c @ 10:26 PM 5 Comments

No pressure guys, we have portfolios of flats too

Independent: Industry pleads with Bank of England not to raise rates this week

"Industry is urging the Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) to leave rates on hold at Thursday's decision-making meeting". "Lee Hopley, the EEF chief economist, said: "The full extent of fiscal tightening has yet to make its mark and growth is dependent on a pick-up in private sector contributions from trade and investment". The European Central Bank is also due to decide on rates this week and a hike there is thought likely.

Posted by alan @ 10:01 PM 2 Comments

The Punchable One on top form

Metro: Bob Crow gets taxpayers' help with rent - despite earning £145k a year

"Mr Crow and his partner Nicola Hoarau have lived in the north-east London [council house] since 2001 and saved an estimated £78,000 on renting costs. Housing minister Grant Shapps said: ‘With nearly 5million vulnerable people languishing on housing waiting lists, I would have thought a highly paid union baron would feel somewhat awkward taking advantage of publicly subsidised housing.’ Lies. he's not "saved" £78,000, he's paid the taxpayer £78,000. And it's up to Shappsy to scrap HB for private landlords and spend that money on building another 200,000 units of social housing if he so wishes.

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 04:29 PM 10 Comments

Bear Nibbles anyone?

Money Morning Australia: Why Inflated Markets Must Crash

"House prices are falling. And falling big. Already Queensland is seeing Florida-style price falls. " "No one with an ounce of common sense would support people investing more money with Bernie Madoff’s Ponzi scheme, just to prevent the Ponzi scheme from collapse. And so by the same token there’s no reason to support the gradual deflation of house prices."

Posted by the number cruncher @ 03:35 PM 8 Comments

Grant Shapps supports scheme aimed at getting more suckers onto the Ponzi scheme

Mortgage Strategy: Grant Shapps supports rent-to-buy scheme

Shapps expressed his department’s support for private sector solutions that address current challenges in the housing market. The website is the brainchild of property entrepreneur David Riley and is aimed at homeowners who are unable to sell their house as well as purchasers unable to obtain a mortgage. .It matches potential renters and future buyers across the UK, claiming rent to buy is a solution that bridges the gap between renting and homeownership. Monthly rental payments and the option to purchase price are agreed up front by the two parties, and a proportion of the rent can be used to offset the final purchase price.

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 03:27 PM 3 Comments

Preparing for hard times ahead.

BBC Business: Mortgage pay-off at a new record

Mortgage borrowers paid back more than £24bn to lenders in 2010, the highest since records began in 1970. They returned £7bn in the final three months of the year, a record amount during any quarter since the Bank started collecting the figures. The latest figures show that households spent the equivalent of 2.7% of their post-tax income on reducing their mortgages. During the boom times, equity withdrawal was providing homeowners with the equivalent of a 9% post-tax boost to their incomes.

Posted by ontheotherhand @ 03:02 PM 5 Comments

House price indices … does size really matter?

Planet Property: House price indices … does size really matter?

The chaps over at the The Digital Property Group research department (primelocation.com and findaproperty.com) have been boasting about the size of their enormous sample, which, they claim, is far, far bigger, than all of the other house price indices. But does sample size really matter? And how big does it need to be?!

Posted by the planet @ 01:21 PM 1 Comments

A political manifesto for HPC?

Geolibertarian society: Are you a Real Libertarian, or a ROYAL Libertarian?

Dan Sullivan, founder, geolibertarian society sets out the historic and political basis of Land Rents "The widow is gathering nettles for her children's dinner; a perfumed seigneur, delicately lounging in the Oeil de Boeuf, hath an alchemy whereby he will extract the third nettle and call it rent." --Carlyle

Posted by the number cruncher @ 12:55 PM 10 Comments

700 a month for 90sqft

Dailymail: Is this America's smallest apartment? Woman describes life in 90 sq ft home

Felice Cohen has squeezed her life into a 90 square ft flat even though it has no kitchen and a bed whose ceiling is 23 inches from her face. The bathroom is so small that she has to sit sideways to go to the toilet and on her first night there she suffered a panic attack because it is so cramped.

Posted by mark @ 10:55 AM 4 Comments

Rearranging deckchairs on the Titanic.

Estate Agent Today: Bank calls for stamp duty to be paid by sellers, not buyers

A new and permanent reform of stamp duty would mean that the tax would be paid by sellers and not buyers. The call for reform has come from HSBC which found that 85% of non home-owning young adults (18 to 34-years-old) want to own their own home, but only 19% of the 85% expect to be able to do so within the next five years. And almost half – 45% of aspiring home-owners – do not ever expect to be able to purchase. In its report, First Time Buyers: Roadblocks and Ways Forward, HSBC found that the younger, 18 to 24-year-old age group was the more optimistic.

Posted by sibley's b'stard child @ 10:49 AM 34 Comments

Bear Nibbles for our Staffordshire readers

This Is Business: House prices tumble by 9%

Latest data from the Land Registry shows the average home in the city cost £72,157 in February, down 1.6 per cent from January and 8.7 per cent from £79,054 in February 2010. Across Staffordshire as a whole, prices have held up much better. The average home cost £135,628 in February, down 0.1 per cent from January and up 0.5 per cent compared with February last year. In Cheshire East, which includes Congleton, Crewe and Nantwich, the average price was £154,594 in February, down 0.7 per cent from the month before and 0.6 per cent from £155,604 in February 2010. Across England and Wales the average house cost £162,215 in February, a drop of 0.8 per cent compared with January and 1.7 per cent compared with February last year.

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 10:31 AM 1 Comments

Vacation vacation vacation

Guardian: Spain's property crash casts a long shadow over a place in the sun

Spanish prices have fallen much further than this index suggests ... If you want to know what's going on in the residential property market, a much more revealing figure is the collapse in planning approvals, down by 90% since 2006".

Posted by happy mondays @ 09:27 AM 3 Comments

Probably have to, to pay of the mortgage!

Mail: 'Most of us WANT to work past 65': Astonishing claim by IDS as he unveils overhaul which could push retirement age beyond 70

‘Perhaps if you are a hedge fund manager you do not have the same level of exhaustion as a panel beater, but most people have had enough after 40-odd years.’

Posted by happy mondays @ 09:23 AM 7 Comments

Sunday, April 3, 2011

FSA performs spectacular U-turn

Scotland On Sunday: Watchdog to back down on mortgages

The Financial Services Authority has been conducting a mortgage market review which threatened to restrict home loans to gold-plated applicants only, turning the clock back nearly half a century. Initially, the watchdog stood firm in the face of criticism that its plans would cause enormous hardship for millions of borrowers who would be trapped in homes they could not escape from. Repossessions might have surged as interest rates climbed, and borrowers on expensive deals were unable to remortgage. However, in its recently published business plan for 2011/12, the FSA finally appeared not only to be backtracking, but reproached the mortgage industry for taking the conclusions of its review for granted.

Posted by drewster @ 11:58 PM 12 Comments

Curiouser and curiouser

Telegraph: Cuts? What cuts? Spending is rising

From the way the news talk about those dreadful "cuts", you would never guess that not only is our public spending continuing to spiral upwards, but that it is still outrunning government income by nearly £3 billion a week. According to the Office for Budget Responsibility, total managed expenditure for the financial year ending this week has been £694 billion. Current receipts are just £548 billion. This leaves a gap of £148 billion, or almost £3 billion a week. Next year, the OBR projects that spending will rise to £710 billion while receipts will be £588 billion. The fact that Mr Osborne predicts that annual spending is due to rise over the next four years by £50 billion and our national debt by another £300 billion seems to be one of the best-kept secrets in British politics.

Posted by drewster @ 04:30 PM 17 Comments

Seriously cheap prices just across the Irish sea

Observer: Irish property is going for a song as investors pay price of building boom

Located in Dublin's main tourist drag, Temple Bar, it would have fetched up to €250,000 at the height of the "Celtic Tiger" boom. But a studio flat in one of the busiest and best-known parts of the city is now on the market for just €80,000 – a staggering fall in value that encapsulates the dramatic collapse of Ireland's property market. The vacant €80,000 Temple Bar flat will go on sale at an auction later this month in what has become a buyers' market. Other apartments in Dublin 1, the prime central location of the capital, are also up for grabs for between €100,000 to €180,000, all of them described in the auction's promotion material as "investment" flats and properties. At least one in ten Irish citizens now owns at least one property abroad.

Posted by drewster @ 04:24 PM 4 Comments

Poor landlords

BBC News: Housing benefit cuts deter landlords from letting

Some landlords are no longer willing to let properties to people on housing benefits as new lower rates take effect. The government says they do not expect many landlords to leave the housing benefit market. But landlords say they could suffer if interest rates and mortgage payments go up as income from rent falls. Colin Bryan, a Sheffield-based landlord, who rents 35 properties to benefit recipients told the BBC that "the sums no longer add up." "If we don't do something now, in 18 months time I am likely to be bankrupt because we can't afford to continue with the cuts that are coming," he said. The changes are expected to create most problems in London. Camden council says it will no longer place any housing benefit recipient in central London.

Posted by drewster @ 04:21 PM 9 Comments

Nom nom nom.... bear food

Independent: Ailing housing market needs shot of new blood

The most authoritative survey of UK house prices – compiled by the Land Registry – paints a pretty stark picture. House prices have been falling for the past five months and now sit lower than they did a year ago. What's more, the number of sales is at a level last seen during the depths of the financial crisis of 2008. Restrictive mortgage lending (Lloyds lowered the loan to value – LTV – ratio on many of its mortgage products last Wednesday) and economic uncertainty all play their part in the continuing house price slide. A report from HSBC last week concluded that house prices would have to fall 43 per cent to restore the same price to earnings ratio as was prevalent in 2000.

Posted by drewster @ 04:16 PM 3 Comments

Luxury developers feeling the squeeze

Telegraph: Candy brothers' property losses stack up

Candy and Candy Holdings has moved further into losses as sales slowed at their property empire over the last year. The brothers are perhaps best known for the luxury One Hyde Park apartment development. Sales have slumped by more than 50pc – from £18.9m to £8.6m – as the result of a “lack of liquidity in the construction finance market”.

Posted by drewster @ 04:14 PM 4 Comments

Volatile monthy figures, tabloid spin

The Sun: Property prices up £115-a-day

HOUSE prices rose by £115 a DAY last month in fresh signs Britain's property market is picking up. Average prices were 0.5 per cent higher than February to £164,751 — meaning they are up 0.1 per cent in the past year. Carlisle is the town with the biggest jump in the past 12 months — up four per cent. Belfast has seen the biggest slump — 11 per cent. Yorks and Humber is the strongest region — but Nationwide warn the north-south divide is getting bigger. Nationwide chief economist Robert Gardner said: "Prices have now increased, albeit modestly, in three of the past four months." He insisted the past month was "unlikely to mark the beginning of a strong upturn in prices". But some experts have been predicting a crash this year as homeowners battle rising costs.

Posted by drewster @ 04:11 PM 1 Comments

Taxes are the issue

RT Today: The Real Tea Party

Just as tax cuts for the non productive parts of our economy have caused our House price bubble, so tax cuts for the powerful causes the Boston Tea Party Many HPC'ers will find this bit of history about the real Boston Tea Party fascinating especially for the libertarians on this site.

Posted by the number cruncher @ 11:05 AM 2 Comments

We subsidise the banks

G Pytel: Bankers having free lunch

Bankers get hundreds of billions of pounds from taxpayers.

Posted by ant @ 09:17 AM 1 Comments

UK - not joining in the rise yet?

Independent: If the ECB raises rates, how will it affect us?

"Assuming that the European Central Bank does indeed increase rates, and accepting of course that is not certain, there will be a squawk of protest. It will be seen not just as a blow to Ireland, Greece and Portugal, the three weakest members of the eurozone, but also as increasing the headwinds for the region's business community. Since the main pressure on inflation comes from abroad – from higher energy, food and raw-material prices – is a rise in interest rates really the right response? ".

Posted by alan @ 02:20 AM 2 Comments

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Peasants required to borrow more over the next 4 years

Guardian: Ministers admit family debt burden is set to soar

The Office for Budget Responsibility has raised its forecast of total household debt in 2015 by a staggering £303bn since late last year, in the belief that families and individuals will respond to straitened times by extra borrowing. To balance the books and shift debt from the government to the private sector requires every household on average to increase it's debt level by £11018 over the next 4 years whilst real personal disposable incomes are forecast to increase by a meagre 1.3%.

Posted by enuii @ 10:07 PM 11 Comments

This should have been the course of action

Reuters: Bank of Ireland eyes €1 billion in debt-equity swap - report

"Bank of Ireland (BKIR.I) hopes to raise more than a quarter of the 4.2 billion euros (3.7 billion pounds) of capital it needs to find by June through a debt for equity swap, the Irish Independent said on Saturday without citing any sources". "The bank believes it can boost its capital by more than 1 billion euros by offering investors who hold 2.6 billion euros of junior bonds the opportunity to swap them for equity".

Posted by alan @ 05:36 PM 1 Comments

Enigma variations

Guardian: Housing market's north-south divide 'worsening'

The north-south housing divide is widening, with property sales in the south down by 42% over the past three years compared with 51% in the north, according to the Halifax. Across Britain, home sales dropped 47% since 2007, with 649,957 homes sold in England and Wales in 2010 compared with 1,222,402 the year before.

Posted by dill @ 12:44 PM 6 Comments

Double Dip recession claims 34DDs

Telegraph: Daily Sport goes bust

"In a statement to the City, Sport Media Group said it had ceased trading with immediate effect as it was unable to pay its Debts".

Posted by alan @ 12:40 PM 4 Comments

Sounds lie like he told the truth then got told to be quiet.

The telegraph: Country was facing 'national crisis' before budget, admits Oliver Letwin

Oliver Letwin, the Prime Minister’s key policy adviser, revealed that last week’s Budget was thrashed out in reaction to the problem with growth and jobs. Labour seized on the comments and claimed Mr Letwin had “let the cat out of the bag.” Mr Letwin told the environmental audit select committee: “Leading up to the recent Budget, we took the view collectively in Cabinet that we faced an immediate national crisis in the form of less growth and jobs than we needed. And we were determined collectively to try to increase that growth and those jobs.”

Posted by timmy22 @ 10:38 AM 0 Comments

Don't you step on my blue suede shoes.

Telegraph: Ed Miliband: we could allow a rise in council tax

Grant Shapps, the local authority minister, said: “Ed Miliband’s let the cat out of the bag. Labour’s opposition to a council tax freeze, which would save families £72 a year, shows their disdain for hard-working families. I understand that might not be a lot of money to Ed Miliband but it will be a help to families up and down the country.” Reminds me of the song "You can tax my job, tax my car, tax the liquor in the old fruit jar, tax anything you wanna do, but aha honey don't tax my house"

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 09:23 AM 10 Comments

Speculator's delight turns into a tax mule

Irish Independent: Property tax on way within year

I'm honestly not sure what to make of this but if the story is even half correct, it appears that property owners in Ireland are about to be squeezed for revenue. If this is the start of trend, the consequences for property speculators in the EU could be quite 'interesting'.

Posted by quiet guy @ 02:47 AM 3 Comments

Friday, April 1, 2011

A bit of light-hearted Home-Owner-Ist propaganda for a Friday afternoon

Evening Standard: Stamp Duty giveaway to ease house shortage

David Newnes, managing director of Your Move and Reeds Rains owner LSL Property Services, said: "With the public kitty empty and unable to fund much needed new housing in the social sector, the only alternative is to stimulate investment in the private rented sector." The Government also plans to simplify rules on setting up tax-efficient real estate investment trusts.

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 03:54 PM 7 Comments

Property can be a sensible investment - but only at the right price

MoneyWeek: Property can be a sensible investment - but only at the right price

If a property is cheap enough and the buyer can afford it, it can make a sensible investment. But without either one of these conditions, it's a rubbish investment.

Posted by damien @ 02:58 PM 1 Comments

Surprisingly non-VI article in the usually Home-Owner-Ist CityWire

City Wire: The incentives disguising the real state of the property market

"... Ultimately, the madness is in the message: that an affordability problem can be solved by lending at a more generous loan-to-value ratio than banks are prepared to admit, whether that’s disguised as a Government scheme or a vendor gift. In the long run, a fit and functioning property market’s in everyone’s interest, and it’s very hard to beat clarity."

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 01:47 PM 1 Comments

The New Ghost Towns of Europe

Fred Harrison: Geophilos: Goust Town Spain & Ireland

Fred Harrison describes how the reckless activities of bankers and property developers have left Ireland and spain in a state of economic collapse with no hope of recovery.

Posted by the number cruncher @ 01:47 PM 24 Comments

Sleeping in car is cheaper than lodging; new findings reveal.

Houseladder: Lodging 'is cheaper than renting'

Renting a shared flat is more expensive than lodging, it has been found. Lodging is proving a cheaper option than renting a shared flat, it has been shown. New research from Easyroommate has found this to be the case in 82 per cent of the largest towns and cities in the UK - as increasing house prices result in more homeowners choosing to let rooms. The trend is particularly prevalent in London, where lodgers claimed they could save an average of £6,036 a year compared to living in shared accommodation with a friend.

Posted by sibley's b'stard child @ 10:45 AM 3 Comments

Banks weak and strong from all over the world flocked to the Fed's discount window during the financ

Fortune: Fed lent to all comers in crisis

Among two of the biggest emergency borrowers were Germany's Depfa and Belgium's Dexia, with loans totaling $51 billion at the end of October 2008. U.S. banks hit up the window as well, with Washington Mutual borrowing billions in the week before its collapse

Posted by mark @ 10:31 AM 0 Comments

Without any snow too

Yahoo: March factory growth slows more than expected

Manufacturing activity growth weakened more than expected in March after the inflow of orders slowed sharply, but firms still ramped up prices at a record rate to cover rising costs, a survey showed on Friday.

Posted by mark @ 10:09 AM 2 Comments

House prices remain strong

BBC News: House prices remain buoyant

UK house prices are up 7.3% from the same time last year, according to the latest survey from mortgage bank Halifax. The bank's figures, showed the year-on-year rate of increase at its highest level since last September.

Posted by khards @ 10:06 AM 13 Comments

Prices up, defaults up, mortgage availability up; jolly good.

Telegraph: Mortgage availability set to increase, says Bank of England

Lenders were at their most positive in two years about the prospects for mortgage availability, which they put down to their market share targets and the improving cost and availability of their funds. Those polled in the central bank's quarterly survey were also more willing to lend to those with a small deposit, reporting that they have increased access to loans for buyers with deposits of less than 25pc. However, the picture was marred by the Bank's survey revealing an "unexpected" jump in the number of households defaulting – the first rise reported in almost two years. Lenders expected the default rate to climb, amid "concerns" over the impact of possible higher interest rates, which would push up mortgage repayments for many.

Posted by sibley's b'stard child @ 09:43 AM 2 Comments

Lies, damned lies, and economics

Johann Hari's blog: The biggest lie in British politics

"David Cameron claims that, despite these facts, they need to cut our deficit by slashing our spending because the bond markets demand it. If they do not obey, then our national credit rating will be downgraded, and we will have to pay much higher interest on our loans. ... That’s not what the bond markets say. Not at all. Professor Paul Krugman ... says Cameron is conjuring up “invisible bond vigilantes” who “don’t exist.” Who is the bond market really punishing? It’s the countries that cut too fast, and so kill their economic growth. The last two nations to be down-graded were Ireland and Spain, who followed Cameron’s script to the letter.."

Posted by dude @ 01:59 AM 29 Comments

Risk-free speculation, courtesy of the Irish taxpayer

Irish Times: Bondholders escape as €24bn put into banks

The Irish government has agreed to a €24 billion recapitalisation of the main Irish banks without attempting to force senior bondholders to share the burden. It will be the fifth bailout of the banks since 2008 and brings the total State support to €70 billion. Taoiseach Enda Kenny said last night it would not be “reasonable or logical” to go after the bondholders in “live banks” which depended on the markets for funding.

Posted by little professor @ 01:14 AM 7 Comments

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