May 2011 Archive

Monday, May 30, 2011

The Decline of the Property Supplement The Changing Face of Property Journalism

There was a time when property supplements of heavyweight newspapers would have imposing lead articles on the housing market. These articles still exist but you now rarely find them in property supplements - perhaps with the exception of Bricks and Mortar. Instead they are more likely to be found in the personal finance or money supplements of those same papers.

Posted by wanderinman @ 11:15 PM 0 Comments

Increase in Interest-Only Mortgages due to bank "forebearance" on struggling home-owners.

Telegraph: Cash-strapped families switch £60bn-worth of mortgages to interest-only

Up to 300,000 cash-strapped households have switched more than £60bn of mortgage debt from repayment into risky interest-only deals over the past three years to help cover their living costs.

Posted by wanderinman @ 11:08 PM 3 Comments

Must be doing a good job

FT: Increase in UK Executive Pay Sparks Anger

Chief executives of FTSE 100 companies saw their median earnings soar 32 percent to £3.5 million last year, prompting complaints that rewards are out of line with share prices and employees’ pay.

Posted by mken @ 05:55 PM 7 Comments

Armageddon Day?

DM: Rates will increase in August, says the British Chambers of Commerce

Households will be clobbered by an interest rate rise this summer despite weaker than expected economic growth, business leaders warn today. The Bank of England will raise rates for the first time in four years in August in a desperate effort to tame rampant inflation, the British Chambers of Commerce says in a report.

Posted by peter_2008 @ 04:53 PM 16 Comments

Don't worry plebs.....we're all in it together

Guardian: British bosses' pay rose by 45% last year. But don't ask the Institute of Directors for a rise

....Should help the top end sustain their demand - no crash on the horizon yet

Posted by braindeed @ 01:35 PM 0 Comments

Caused by holidays?

Reuters: House prices fall sharply in May - Hometrack

"House prices in England and Wales dropped at their fastest annual pace in over 1-1/2 years in May as demand fell for the first time since January, a survey showed on Monday".

Posted by alan @ 10:11 AM 5 Comments

Where has all the growth gone?

Broker Tullett Prebon: No Way Out

I may have come across this strategy note via an HPC post, so apologies if you have already seen it. Real estate, finance, health, education, construction and public administration account for 58% of UK output. But none of those sectors is going to be showing any growth for the foreseeable future. George Osborne is hoping that sustained 3% growth, not spending cuts, to balance the books in 2016. But looking at it from a sectoral point of view it is impossible to see where the growth is going to come from. Much is relevant to HPC: "With real disposable incomes now falling, interest rates poised to rise and the spreads on mortgage lending far higher now than they were before the crisis, a bet on property price recovery would require courage bordering on foolhardiness."

Posted by monty032 @ 09:49 AM 21 Comments

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Didn't someone post this a few weeks back :)

Reuters: Ireland may need more EU/IMF cash - minister

"Ireland may have to ask for another loan from the European Union and International Monetary Fund because it will struggle to return to debt markets to raise funds next year, a government minister said on Sunday". "It would mean a second programme (of loans from the EU/IMF)," he said. "Either an extension of the existing programme or a second programme. I think that would generally be most people's view."

Posted by alan @ 08:21 PM 2 Comments

The leveraged buyout of Greece

Counterpunch: Break-up of the Eurozone?

Politics is financialised, economies are privatised and economic policy is centralised in the hands of financial mangers, as under Mussolini's 'corporatism'. In essence, you borrow in order to asset-strip a country, take the money and run. Here's how it's done. It can't last, but what does that matter if you're the one with the money?

Posted by icarus @ 01:30 PM 21 Comments

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Cable tell it how it is

BBC Radio 4: Question Time

In the last question Cable sets out the economic reality. This includes his opinions about the price of property. A very interesting listen. Eddie Mair presents a discussion about politics and news from Saffron Walden Town Hall in Essex with Business Secretary, Vince Cable; Shadow Business minister, Chuka Umunna; novelist and screenwriter, Anthony Horowitz; and LBC broadcaster Julia Hartley-Brewer.

Posted by gone-to-colombia @ 03:45 PM 12 Comments

Friday, May 27, 2011

Someone explain to me why our economy is different..

Guardian: After the Crash

Charts the continuing HP slump in the US and the general economic misery of much of the great unwashed over there. Views the situation as deliberate impoverishment of the masses by the managerial class and elite. Meanwhile the Mexican standoff between buyers and sellers continues in the UK housing market, though similar labour market misery beckons...

Posted by nickb @ 07:44 PM 30 Comments

Hardly the basis for a "summer bounce" either

Reuters: UK growth outlook "bleak" in near term - Bank's Dale

"Britain's economy is headed for a difficult few years with a strong chance that growth will stay weak and price pressures heavy, Bank of England chief economist Spencer Dale told the BBC". "Dale has been in a minority of three on the nine-member Monetary Policy Committee calling for higher interest rates over the past four months".

Posted by alan @ 06:51 PM 5 Comments

Fall in pound drives Asian interest

Planet Property: 60% of new-build property in central London now bought by Asian buyers

60% of new-build property in central London now bought by Asian buyers, says Knight Frank - mainly due to 25% fall in sterling

Posted by the planet @ 04:25 PM 0 Comments

BBC AND S4C Spend millions on private healthcare

TPA: BBC AND S4C Spend millions on private healthcare

NHS is clearly not good enough for BBC staff and of course the money comes from our license fees.

Posted by easybetman @ 01:24 PM 14 Comments

The curious case of high living costs eating-up disposable income.

Citywire: We are nowhere near rich enough for retirement

Like all pension surveys it concludes that here in the UK we are not saving enough – but that those who plan for their retirement usually end up better off than those who bury their heads in the sand. Average retirement savings are £53,000, but those who had made a plan averaged £123,000. In the UK only 40% of households have planned financially for their future and nearly one in five people do not know what their main source of retirement income will be. This latter fact is particularly shocking and illustrates widespread apathy towards retirement planning. For example, only 42% of UK respondents had heard of the new National Employment Savings Trust (NEST) which will be introduced from 2012.

Posted by sibley's b'stard child @ 11:01 AM 12 Comments

Here's the actual report, for completeness

Nationwide: May House Price Index

• House prices rose by 0.3% in May • On the three month on three month measure, prices rose by 0.6% • Price of a typical home in May is 1.2% lower than one year ago

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 09:20 AM 8 Comments

Prices in the UK rose marginally, taking the average to £167,208

Guardian: House prices up by 0.3% in May

UK house prices rose very slightly by 0.3% in May, reversing the previous month's fall, according to the UK's biggest building society. The figures, which still cover the month even though they have come out a few days before the end of May, took house prices to an average of £167,208, compared with £165,609 in April, but they remain 1.2% down over the year. Robert Gardner, Nationwide's chief economist, pointed out that the three-month measure of house prices, up 0.6%, was very similar to the 0.7% measured last month, and added: "Overall, the modest pace of house price growth in May suggests that the property market is continuing to mirror the lacklustre trends evident in the wider economy."

Posted by khards @ 07:16 AM 28 Comments

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Bucks in the bank preventing 'boots on the ground'?

New York Times: Qaddafi Reportedly Stashes Billions in Western Institutions

Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, HSBC Holdings and Société Générale are among the major banks that have helped the strongman to invest some of the Libyan sovereign wealth fund’s $53 billion, according to the document, which was published on the Web by Global Witness.

Posted by rental john @ 06:25 PM 1 Comments

Debt matters

FT Alphaville: Why the British economy is in very deep trouble

Analysis from Dr Tim Morgan (global head of research at Tullett Prebon) "who reckons the likelihood of mortgage borrowing increasing materially is close to zero until property prices return to a reasonable level, which he puts at 22 per cent below their 2010 average."

Posted by dill @ 05:56 PM 30 Comments

Cash in king, as market fragments into leaders and laggers, says Savills:

Planet Property: Cash in king, as market fragments into leaders and laggers, says Savills

Some areas won't recover for at least ten years, says Savills, but prime markets awash with cash will soar....

Posted by the planet @ 03:57 PM 0 Comments

Let's go into free fall :-)

Mail: Mortgage approvals fall to a new low... and economists warn it could get worse Read more:

Just 29,355 house purchase loans were granted last month – 18 per cent fewer than the same month last year. This equates to 950 granted each day, compared with nearly 2,800 during the housing boom. Read more:

Posted by happy mondays @ 02:48 PM 4 Comments


Shelter: First time buyers back tougher rules

Three quarters (75 per cent) of first time buyers believe banks must lend responsibly despite the fact it will stop some people getting a mortgage, a new survey by Shelter reveals today. The exclusive YouGov poll reveals just how much the majority of people wanting to get their first step on the housing ladder support stronger mortgage regulation. Shelter is currently calling on the Financial Services Authority to implement reforms set out in the Mortgage Market Review and for the government to support this.

Posted by dill @ 01:19 PM 7 Comments

Ray Boulger in common sense shocker

Guardian: Ignore short-term fixed mortgages, says sector expert

'Borrowers should ignore lenders' efforts to tempt them into buying two-year fixed-rate mortgages, a leading mortgage adviser has warned. Ray Boulger, senior technical manager at mortgage brokers John Charcol, says that although economic uncertainty has encouraged many borrowers to opt for five-year fixed-rate mortgages, lenders are concentrating their marketing efforts on two-year fixes which are of limited, if any, benefit. "So far this year we have sold twice as many five-year fixed rates as two-year ones, although lenders generally have been putting most of their fixed rate promotional activity on the two-year market – presumably because the headline rates are more eye-catching," he said.'

Posted by sibley's b'stard child @ 12:29 PM 10 Comments

A stark contrast

BBC NEWS: UK service sector sees mixed fortunes, CBI says

The contrast described in this article is probably indicative of our future economic path. There is a rebalancing going on and it will not favour large portions of our population. UK consumers and almost everyone who serves them are starting to suffer, while at the same time, UK businesses that trade globally are doing well. I’m not sure how this divergence will play out. Usually, in a recovery, the good sectors pull up the bad sectors but I have doubts about the long-term viability of the UK domestic consumer. It’s hard to imagine them achieving previous levels of disposable income, for the foreseeable future

Posted by flashman @ 11:55 AM 0 Comments

Money prepared to emigrate in search of affordable property

Bloomberg: Asian Buyers Dominate London Homes Market

Asian buyers accounted for the majority of new home purchases in central London for the first time as they took advantage of the pound’s weakness and avoided rising prices at home ...

Posted by karma4all @ 10:11 AM 11 Comments

IR forward looking comments

CNBC: UK Mortgage Rates Could Top 8%: Economist

"Mortgage payments could hit 42 percent of take-home pay according to Paul Diggle". "Home owners could be in for a nasty surprise as borrowing costs return to normal over the medium term, say Capital Economics". (but realistically, highly unlikely to get a 0.25% rise from MPC in June/July, I think).

Posted by alan @ 09:31 AM 2 Comments

It's those Rotten Royals fault ;-)

Mail: Number of home buyers plummets 'as people were distracted by Royal Wedding and Easter'

The BBA partly blamed the drop on the Easter and Royal Wedding bank holiday weekends in April, which distracted people from the property market as they made the most of the time off work. Read more:

Posted by happy mondays @ 09:23 AM 13 Comments

Mr Cable said it was a “serious mistake” to promise not to raise tuition fees.

Independent: Vince Cable warns of second financial emergency

Vince Cable, the Business Secretary, faces a new confrontation with Chancellor George Osborne today after warning that Britain could face the “bomb” of a second financial emergency. The Liberal Democrat Cabinet minister insisted that the country had not faced up to the full extent of the turmoil of the 2008 credit crunch – and said it was impossible to rule out a fresh crisis hitting the economy.

Posted by khards @ 09:16 AM 1 Comments

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Surpise, surprise, well I never, who'd have thought that!

Guardian: Slump in household spending raises fears for economic recovery

Britain's shimmering mirage of a recovery was dealt a severe blow of reality on Wednesday after figures exposed a slump in household spending that will knock the government's debt reduction plans off course. Coupled with a 7% collapse in business investment in the first three months of the year several economists responded by speculating that there was unlikely to be an interest rate rise until at least November and possibly not even next year. Danny Gabay of Fathom Consulting added that the UK was really already back in recession if exceptional items were stripped out of the Office for National Statistics' revised GDP figures.

Posted by enuii @ 10:04 PM 8 Comments

... and about half as many in 2007, I hasten to add

BBC: Property sales stay low, Revenue figures show

"Property sales in the UK are still lower than a year ago, according to HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC). Just 66,000 homes were sold in April, 1,000 fewer than in March and 6,000 fewer than in April last year. Sales in the first four months of the year have been 5% lower than in the same period of 2010.."

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 03:48 PM 5 Comments


City Wire: House Price Bust: surveyors feel the heat

"Four years after the property bubble burst, the spotlight is being turned on the surveyors. It was greedy, reckless bankers... there were the borrowers, too... Mortgage brokers have been held to account, in droves...But let’s not underestimate the role of the surveyor, who was there at every stage, providing a helpful tick of the biro to ease the flow of bad money. Now… they’re being sued. And by the hands that once fed them."

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 01:58 PM 9 Comments

Focus next to go down the pan as asset strippers come unstuck

BBC News: Up to 3,000 Focus DIY jobs at risk as stores close

... earlier this month, DIY retailer B&Q bought 31 Focus stores and rival Wickes purchased 13. Geoff Cooper, chief executive of Wickes' parent company Travis Perkins, warned that the DIY sector was "over-supplied". Private equity-owned Focus called in the administrators after defaulting on its credit facility, blaming the difficult economic environment and a weak housing market.

Posted by montesquieu @ 01:09 PM 7 Comments

Global house prices looking ‘quite scary’

Planet Property: Global house prices looking ‘quite scary’

So says the latest from Global Property Guide, which detects a downward trend in world prices and little chance of the market improving ...

Posted by the planet @ 01:09 PM 0 Comments

This month approvals have dropped 18% YoY

Britisk #@nkers association: April 2011 figures for the main high street banks

"Individuals and businesses continue to save more, pay off debt and borrow less as uncertainty about the economy has entrenched a 'wait and see' attitude. However, banks are still able to meet the need for home loans even though demand remains weak. Businesses - SMEs in particular - are using cashflow and deposits to fund expenditure rather than taking on more borrowing.” Net changes in non seasonally adjusted amounts outstanding down to £26m the lowest amount on record ever!

Posted by khards @ 10:47 AM 5 Comments

King is a Joker.

Guardian: Interest rates must be raised this year, OECD warns

The west's leading economic thinktank warned the Bank of England on Wednesday that it would have to start raising interest rates this year to prevent inflation taking hold in the UK. In a downbeat assessment of the prospects for the economy, the Paris-based OECD said Threadneedle Street would have to steadily increase borrowing costs over the next 18 months despite the weakness of growth. And it said a full-break up of Britain's banks should remain an option even though the Independent Commission on Banking set up by the coalition has so far backed only more limited reform of the financial system.

Posted by sibley's b'stard child @ 10:11 AM 55 Comments


Property Talk Live: Homeowners expect price rises over next 5 years

Almost 80% of homeowners still expect prices to rise in the next 5 years and only 11% believe prices are set to decline over the same period according to research from Your Move. 60% of homeowners believe house prices will recover in the next 2 years, but the size of this increase has fallen to 1.8% (down from 3.2% in August and significantly less than the prediction of an increase of 5.4% a year ago). In other news 85% of people believe Barack Obama ir from Kenya

Posted by khards @ 07:55 AM 15 Comments

Take a look at the comments

Mail Online: Rising rents and falling house prices are creating opportunities, but should you join buy-to-let set

Buy-to-let investments are enjoying a mini boom. Rents are rising because many young people can’t afford to buy. But should investors be piling in when house prices are falling and interest rates are set to rise? Here, Lauren Thompson explains everything a buy-to-let landlord needs to know...

Posted by khards @ 07:53 AM 10 Comments

I for one am shocked

BBC News: Mortgage rescue 'missed targets', says Audit Office

A scheme aimed at preventing people losing their homes in England proved to be below target but above budget, a report has concluded.

Posted by ian @ 12:47 AM 4 Comments

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Gold hits a peak in GBP

WSJ: China Ratings Agency Downgrades UK Sovereign Credit Ratings

"Chinese ratings provider Dagong Global Credit Rating Co. said Tuesday it downgraded the local and foreign currency sovereign credit rating of the U.K. from AA- to A+ with a negative outlook".

Posted by alan @ 05:22 PM 48 Comments


Money Week: Don't believe this dangerous myth about house prices

Today I want to debunk the myth that our 'little island' can sustain higher house prices just because land is in limited supply.

Posted by will @ 04:36 PM 0 Comments

Miliband accuses Con-Dems of being soft on Homeownerism.

Houseladder: Govt 'making it harder to provide homes'

Ed Miliband has claimed the actions of the government are making it harder to provide homes. The actions of the government are making it increasingly difficult to provide homes in the UK, it has been claimed. The politician backed up his argument by pointing to cuts in investment, the removal of the requirement on local authorities to allow new homes and the "botching" of the planning system. He stated this generation of politicians needs to act now in order to prevent people having to wait until they are in their 40s before they can afford to buy their first home. "A task I have set for our policy review is that we must seek to stop the inexorable rise in the average age of home ownership," Mr Miliband added.

Posted by sibley's b'stard child @ 04:01 PM 9 Comments

Perceptions - Borrowing

Reuters: Public finances disappoint at start of fiscal year

"Britain's public finances made a disappointing start to the fiscal year as weaker tax receipts and higher spending led to the worst borrowing tally for a month of April on record". The BBC will say "higher than expected".

Posted by alan @ 12:30 PM 22 Comments

Ah, that mythical trend of 5% IRs...

Telegraph: Home buyers to spend half of take-home pay on mortgage

“Yet the additional interest rate risk that variable rates expose borrowers to can be overstated. The fact that most fixed rate periods in the UK are just two or three years long means that even most borrowers on fixed rates are exposed to a high degree of interest rate risk.” “If that happens, it would no doubt add to the pressures on mortgage borrowers, but the house price correction that we expect over the coming years will be driven largely by the deteriorating labour market and the sheer unaffordability of housing,” he said. It comes amid a rise in the number of people being evicted from their homes as lenders warn they will not be as tolerant about borrowers failing to keep up with their mortgage payments.

Posted by sibley's b'stard child @ 11:09 AM 5 Comments

More financial pressure :-(

Mail: Homeowners' water bills to DOUBLE in summer amid drought fears... as Britain faces hottest spring for a century Read more:

Water companies are laying blueprints for the so-called seasonal tariffs which could see household water bills rise by up to £200, the Times reported. Read more:

Posted by happy mondays @ 08:41 AM 21 Comments

Wakey, wakey time

SKY: Banks Credit Rating Under Review

"Banks including Lloyds and RBS could have their credit rating downgraded, it was announced this morning". Credit ratings agency Moody's has announced it is considering 14 UK financial insititutions for possible downgrade". OOops... these include Lloyds Banking Group, RBS, Santander, Nottingham Building Society and Coventry Building Society.

Posted by alan @ 07:52 AM 4 Comments

The other extreme: when rent controls go bad

Bloomberg: Portugal's Towns Crumble as Century-Old Rent Controls Strangle Investment

A seven-storey office building in Lisbon’s business district generates just €1,100 a month in rent. The six tenants, including law firms and a hostel, have had their rents frozen for years or simply don’t pay any more because they don’t fear eviction. Most landlords are coping with contracts that never expire and rent-controlled rates that are frozen or limited to inflation adjustments. Even death isn’t enough to break a lease because tenants can pass on a contract to their children, spouses or parents. Some of these contracts date back to the 60s and pay as little as €5 per month for a four-bedroom apartment in the capital. The lack of incentives to invest in renovation has caused a chronic shortage of rental accommodation. That has forced people to buy property instead....

Posted by drewster @ 01:44 AM 1 Comments

Monday, May 23, 2011

Euro problems mount

Market Oracle: Eurozone Debt Crisis Deepens - Euro Lower and Gold to Record EUR 1,080/oz

"The euro has fallen against all currencies and is now at a record low against gold at EUR 1,080.21/oz". This is becoming uncomfortable and could have a big impact on the pound.

Posted by alan @ 11:16 PM 4 Comments

..And they all rolled over and one fell out

Bloomberg: Belgium’s Debt Outlook Revised to Negative by Fitch

"Belgium had the outlook on its debt rating lowered to negative at Fitch Ratings, which joined Standard & Poor’s in saying that political deadlock complicates efforts to cut the euro area’s third-highest debt load". The extra yield investors demand to hold Belgian 10-year bonds instead of German equivalents widened to as much as 127 127 basis points earlier today, the highest level in more than four months (a bad sign).

Posted by alan @ 10:51 PM 3 Comments

And crushed by the unloving elite

All Watched Over by Machines of Loving Grace: BBC TV

A fine title though somewhat obscure. Discusses the reasons behind financial instability around the world and how the financial elite saves their gold-leafed skins at the expense of everyone else. Shows the BBC can still do excellent programming.

Posted by letthemfall @ 10:24 PM 14 Comments

Living in "Rip-off Britain"

SKY: Interest On Small Loans Highest for 10 Years

"The rates charged on small loans have reached their highest level for more than a decade despite interest rates being at a record low, new figures show". "Banks and other providers are charging average interest of 12.7% on a £5,000 loan, up from 8.6% before the credit crunch and the highest level since May 2000, according to financial information group". "A nice little earner" said Arthur Daley!

Posted by alan @ 08:09 PM 3 Comments

Unpopular - oh really?

Reuters: Euro zone debtors under pressure over new risks

"Financial markets piled pressure on heavily indebted euro zone countries on Monday as investors worried about heightened risks in Spain and Greece and ratings agencies stoked new concerns over Italy and Belgium". The unpopularity of rescuing euro zone debtors was reflected in another disastrous regional poll result for German Chancellor Angela Merkel's centre-right coalition on Sunday.

Posted by alan @ 07:55 PM 2 Comments

Don't forget to sell the gold!

BBC: Greece to start selling domestic assets to ease debts

Greece is sitting on 112 tonnes of gold, worth about $5.5bn. Ireland is sitting on a paltry 6 tonnes, worth nearly $300 million; but Portugal has 383 tonnes, worth over $18bn. Italy has nearly 2,500 tonnes...

Posted by uncle tom @ 07:36 PM 8 Comments

A small fine, but no prosecutions will result

Bloomberg: JPMorgan, UBS, Deutsche Bank Said to Be Added to New York’s Mortgage Probe

"JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM), UBS AG (UBSN) and Deutsche Bank AG (DBK) are being probed in an expanded investigation by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman into mortgage securitization, according to a person familiar with the matter".

Posted by alan @ 07:29 PM 1 Comments

Why we should stop worrying about deficits

Levy Institute: Deficit Hysteria Redux

In response to Uncle Tom's early post. The conventional wisdom is that Govt debt matters. The conventional wisdom is, as is so often the case, wrong. The same authors have an excellent article debunking much of "This Time Is Different”, Reinhart and Rogoff. Government debt creates a credit balance/asset in the private sector.

Posted by bellwether @ 06:39 PM 11 Comments

Just when you thought it was safe to cross the water

Mail: Britons with holiday homes in France face £700-a-year tax as Sarkozy looks to raise cash

"Around 200,000 Britons who have holiday homes in France could be charged a new tax, adding thousands to their bills. Struggling president Nicholas Sarkozy has proposed the levy in a desperate bid to raise revenues and improve his falling poll ratings. It would see a typical holiday homeowner with a £350,000 house pay £700-a-year".

Posted by alan @ 06:15 PM 5 Comments

A well scripted broadside..

Telegraph: The Bank of England is failing this country

"we are stuck in the never never land of wishful thinking as a proxy for monetary policy..."

Posted by uncle tom @ 04:42 PM 4 Comments

First it was snow, and now its the sun! Blame ANYTHING but don't accept they're crashing!

Guardian: Housing Slump? Blame the Weather

The housing market is bracing itself for more price falls after an unexpected slump in sales this spring thanks to economic uncertainty, prolonged good weather and the glut of Bank Holidays. Miles Shipside, commercial director of Britain's largest property website Rightmove, says the "distraction" of successive long weekends, the holiday atmosphere surrounding the royal wedding plus good weather across much of the country, have sharply cut demand.

Posted by matt @ 04:12 PM 5 Comments

Now, there's a thing...

Focal News Point: Welsh Council Sets Up An Estate Agency

A Welsh council has infuriated private businesses as it has become the first local authority in the UK to launch its own estate agency.

Posted by rental john @ 03:53 PM 0 Comments

Reader's comments at the bottom of article are most telling....

Estate Agent Today: Harry Hill bounces back with new conveyancing service

Harry Hill, legendary former boss of Countrywide and the founder of Rightmove, scored a PR hit in yesterday’s papers by announcing his latest venture, an online conveyancing service. The Mail on Sunday hailed the new venture, saying the multi-millionaire estate agent was back at work, ‘shaking up his trade again’.

Posted by rental john @ 03:47 PM 1 Comments

The recovery continues

Northampton Chronicle and echo: Northampton General Hospital to axe 310 jobs as part of £30m spending cuts

"THE MULTI-MILLION pound cuts scheme at Northampton General Hospital will involve the loss of 310 posts, including about 150 full-time staff, health bosses have announced today" Here come the cuts...hold onto your over-priced hat.

Posted by thecountofnowhere @ 12:28 PM 5 Comments

British Land asset value rises

City AM: British Land asset value rises

British Land posted a 12.5 per cent increase in its net asset value per share and said it expected strong demand for prime office and retail property to continue.

Posted by warren @ 10:12 AM 4 Comments

Gordon could have "saved the world" again!

Mail: Gordon Brown never told us he wanted the IMF job, says Hague

"William Hague yesterday blamed Gordon Brown for failing to put himself forward as a candidate to lead the International Monetary Fund after Britain instead backed a Frenchwoman for the post". "George Osborne put the final nail in the coffin of Mr Brown’s hopes by formally supporting French finance minister Christine Lagarde". "‘She has a very strong record in bringing about deficit reduction, in countries living within their means" said George.... but Nigel Farage added: ‘By supporting Mme Lagarde, a very clear message is being sent from this government. That is that we want to continue to support, with British money, the EU’s doomed attempt to shore up the failing bailouts of Greece, Portugal and Ireland.

Posted by alan @ 08:30 AM 12 Comments

The land Bubble is unraveling

BBC: Land 'scams' techniques revealed

The strategies used by a landbanking brokerage to sell strips of land to unwary investors have been outlined to the BBC by a former employee.

Posted by the number cruncher @ 07:09 AM 0 Comments


Telegraph: Housing market hit by rise in writs against surveyors

The foundations of the housing market are being chipped away at by a flood of disputes between mortgage lenders and surveyors being fought out in the High Court.

Posted by dill @ 07:05 AM 5 Comments

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Yes - and we will all feel hear it go bang...

Washington Post Blog: Is China’s real estate bubble about to burst?

Charles Lane - just back from China, where everyone is speculating about, well, speculation. The hottest question in Beijing is whether the country’s real estate boom is really a bubble, and if so, when it might burst. Given the possible impact of a China property meltdown on the world economy, this is a pretty fateful issue.

Posted by rental john @ 02:04 PM 1 Comments

Another snapshot of the 'green and pleasant' land

Independent: Unhappy families: UK is third worst in Europe for home life

Britain is one of the worst countries in Europe for families, according to a study released today by the Relationships Foundation. High levels of debt and poverty, coupled with long and unsocial working hours, are major contributing factors, the report, Family Pressure Gauge, reveals.

Posted by dill @ 01:07 PM 49 Comments

Credibility eroded HAhahahahahahahaha

Mail: Start planning now for interest rate rises, top economist warns British families

'I don't take lightly the impact this could have on some families,' he added. "But I think the cost to our economy as a whole - were inflation to persist for longer and our credibility start eroded be - would be even worse.

Posted by happy mondays @ 08:05 AM 10 Comments

Case studies

Observer: Why the 'squeezed middle' is here to stay

[Important point]"These societal shifts are being met with a near total absence of candour across the political spectrum: there is no response to the crying need to build new family accommodation to rent, with secure tenancies, for people on low-to-middle incomes who are as unlikely to get to the top of the social-housing list as they are to ever buy their own home." Unless.......

Posted by dill @ 07:27 AM 4 Comments

Who's the boss?

Telegraph: Another IMF leader from Western Europe would be a historic mistake

Appointing the next IMF boss from Western Europe would be a mistake of historic proportions – not least given the extent to which the centre of economic gravity has now shifted to the emerging markets of the east.

Posted by dill @ 06:48 AM 3 Comments

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Now its Italy's turn

Reuters: S&P cuts credit outlook for Italy to negative

"Standard & Poor's cut its rating outlook for Italy to negative from stable, citing weak growth prospects and increased risks it would fail to slash its debt mountain". " of the world's largest public debts". - maybe they can inflate it away...its been tried before :)

Posted by alan @ 10:03 PM 5 Comments

Spanish youth uprising goes largely unreported

Bbc news: Spanish kids defy rally ban

controlled media here haven't said much about this have they?at least they are doing something about it.what is really scary is that they have already had a crash but still cannot buy in to society as prices are still said to be 40% overpriced. Just how controlled is the youth here?...very imo as they are scared to put their heads above the parapit for fear of their lives being trawled through

Posted by taffee @ 11:39 AM 17 Comments

Showing Concern, but will they increase the rates. Families face budget squeeze for 'some time', Bank of England chief economist says

Families will face tough times for “the next year or so”, a senior Bank of England official, Spencer Dale, warned as he signalled an imminent rise in interest rates. The central Bank’s chief economist , braced households of significant financial pressures “for some time”, bringing further pain for families.

Posted by house @ 10:59 AM 6 Comments

...meanwhile Cable sends the real message

Guardian: Vince Cable: People do not understand how bad the economy is

Vince Cable has warned that the political class has not yet prepared the public for the scale of the underlying problems facing the UK economy and the coming squeeze on living standards. In a frank interview with the Guardian the business secretary repeatedly referred to the time and pain that will be needed to restructure what he regards as a broken economic model.

Posted by dill @ 07:39 AM 19 Comments

The bête noire. Self destruction or social regression?

Guardian: Protecting the housing market means a lost generation of buyers

Too many people have too much to lose from a falling housing market, but it means excluding a generation.

Posted by dill @ 07:25 AM 12 Comments

Friday, May 20, 2011

Everyone in deep debt - Spain next in line?

Reuters: IMF approves 26 billion euro funding for Portugal

"The International Monetary Fund on Friday approved a 26 billion euro (22.7 billion pound) loan for Portugal and said it would immediately disburse 6.1 billion euros of the money to the euro zone member country to ease investor concerns over its debts". (note: Greek debt is now junk status).

Posted by alan @ 10:15 PM 0 Comments

Towards a gold backed currency

Commodity Online: Zimbabwe may sell diamonds to launch gold-backed currency

"Zimbabwe may sell diamonds for gold, so that it can have a gold-backed currency, according to a recent proposal from the governor of Zimbabwe’s central bank". "But the central bank of Zimbabwe—Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ)—believes that the US dollar is no longer stable". "The events of the 2008 Global Financial Crisis demand a new approach to self reliance and a stable mineral-backed currency and to me, Gold has proven over the years that it is a stable and most desired precious metal,” the RBZ Chief was quoted by as saying". Maybe one for the MPC to consider?

Posted by alan @ 10:09 PM 1 Comments

"the ultimate bubble"

The Telegraph: George Soros sells his gold

George Soros, the hedge fund investor who called gold "the ultimate bubble", has sold almost his entire holding of the precious metal, leading to fears that the price is about to fall.

Posted by cheeckie charlie @ 07:49 PM 0 Comments

A nice story for the weekend

The Westmorland Gazette: Lake District couple throw village party to say 'thanks'

A couple who struggled to get their feet on the property ladder are throwing a village party when they tie the knot at the weekend. Carly-Jade Bath and Stephen Holland have invited more than 300 villagers to their wedding in Sunday to say thank-you for helping them to set up home in the village they both love. Carly said: “I put a notice in the shop for unwanted furniture but we never expected the response we got. We thought we might egt some cutlery but we were inundated with people offering to give us furniture and offering to help.

Posted by enuii @ 06:59 PM 5 Comments

Cut out the banksters and see the economy boom

Web of Debt: What a public bank could mean for California

The theory is that a state/county/large city creates its own bank using its own property/assets as its capital base. State/county revenues are deposited in the bank and and payroll also goes thro' it, creating more deposits - all guaranteed by the state. Enough credit is created to meet short-term budget needs, to buy back the state's compounding debt and to stimulate the local economy (e.g. loans for income-generating infrastructure and housing - repaid from the resulting profits or refinanced), thereby augmenting the tax base. It can partner with other local banks and backstop them ( a local central bank, as in North Dakota). The new credit is non-inflationary since it finances real projects. This theory is in the process of being put into practice in 12 US states.

Posted by icarus @ 03:29 PM 19 Comments

You see your Firstbuy Scheme? I tell you where you can shove it...

Estate Agent Today: Thumbs down to Firstbuy scheme

More than half of first-time buyers say they are not interested in the Government’s £250,000 Firstbuy scheme. A survey of 3,000 potential first-time buyers by Rightmove found that 34.1% said the scheme would make no difference to them because they don’t want a new property, and 21.8% said it would make no difference because they do not find the scheme attractive. The Rightmove survey found 16.4% of first-time buyers think the scheme makes them ‘much more likely’ to buy a home, and 21.7% said it would make them a ‘bit more likely’

Posted by sibley's b'stard child @ 02:01 PM 4 Comments

No effective protection for deposits following Court of Appeal decision

The Negotiator: Tenancy deposit protection bites the dust

Given the large number of renters here, this is of importance. The article is by a lawyer, interpreting the effect of a Court of Appeal decision on the previous government's tenancy deposit protection scheme. Essentially, the court has ruled that the penalties cannot be applied if the tenancy has finished (which kind of defeats the purpose), so landlords can do what they wish (again).

Posted by notyethomeless @ 01:19 PM 9 Comments

News of buyer's strike finally makes The Daily Mail

Dail Mail: British first-time buyers fear they won't get on the property ladder until they are 40 - and a third have given up trying

"Britons do not think they will be able to afford to buy their first home until they are nearly 40 while nearly one third have given up trying to get on the property ladder. And new research shows that first-time buyers are also putting down average deposits of 23 per cent of their home's value, meaning someone buying a £160,000 property would have to save £36,800 for a deposit. The average person who does not yet own a home expects to have to wait until they are 38 before they can afford to buy, with that figure rising to 43 in London..."

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 11:46 AM 21 Comments

Revealed: London’s most expensive postcode

Planet Property: Revealed: London’s most expensive postcode

Research by Investec Specialist Private Bank reveals the most expensive postcode in London.

Posted by the planet @ 11:45 AM 1 Comments

Rule book rip up.

This is Money: Bank of England drops inflation target for now Read more:

The Bank of England was last night accused of risking its credibility after a top official admitted it has quietly dropped the 2% inflation target to bolster economic growth. They won't regulate the banks or the economy.

Posted by will @ 11:44 AM 10 Comments

Can someone help them out "CML says it is difficult to gauge underlying trends with any certainty"

Mortgagestrategy: Gross mortgage lending drops 14% in April

Gross mortgage lending declined to an estimated £9.8bn in April, down 14% from £11.4bn in March and 5% from £10.3bn in April 2010, show the latest figures from the Council of Mortgage Lenders. The trade body says a slight seasonal decline was expected as Easter fell in April this year. Coupled with the extra bank holiday for the royal wedding, the CML says it is difficult to gauge underlying trends with any certainty. Bob Pannell, chief economist at the CML, says: “Statistical noise, associated with extended holidays around Easter and the royal wedding, makes it harder to read the immediate market situation.

Posted by jack c @ 10:30 AM 5 Comments

Food For Thought - Is It Bear Food?

Estate Agent Today: Report sets out reforms of housing market

The report admits that curtailing mortgage credit would be controversial, but says that credit controls such as restricting maximum loan to value ratios would have an effective direct impact on the housing market and reduce volatility. It also calls for a reform of stamp duty, so that higher rates are only applied once thresholds have been passed on the ‘extra’, and not on the entire value of the property. It suggests that council tax should be replaced by a new national property tax...

Posted by rantnrave @ 09:25 AM 5 Comments

Not this again

BBC 'News': Guide to buying a home with friends

Some first-time buyers, faced with demands for large deposits from lenders, are choosing to buy their first property with friends. "As long as you think through those situations, and find the correct information on how to go about it, I would highly recommend it." "At a time when a lack of mortgage finance is hindering first-time buyers, opting to buy with a friend or relative can represent a sensible way of getting into the market" Joint ownership has allowed them to step onto the first rung of the housing ladder together.

Posted by little professor @ 08:32 AM 12 Comments

"The calendar was one key reason for these late payments"

BBC: Rents reached record high in April, survey says

The average rent paid by tenants in England and Wales matched a record monthly high of £692 in April, according to a survey. Rents rose by 0.8% compared with the previous month and were 4.4% higher than a year earlier, letting agency network LSL Property Services said. Landlords were facing a decline in property values, and the proportion of tenants in arrears leapt, with 11.8% of all UK rent unpaid or paid late by the end of April.

Posted by khards @ 08:02 AM 5 Comments

“In London, the story is very different."

The Telegraph: How Osama bin Laden helped push up prime UK house prices

One for MW, Tragic events in New York a decade ago have had several unexpected consequences on this side of the Atlantic but surely the least likely to have been foreseen is an increase in prime residential property prices. Charles Ellingworth, a director of Cadogan Estates and founder of the HSBC subsidiary Property Vision, told me: “Wealthy Arabs don’t feel welcome in America any more and so they have bought the top end of the British market instead. “The effect has been quite dramatic. Walk around Sloane Square at night and all the lights are off. The owners don’t live there any more, they just visit for a couple of weeks a year.”

Posted by khards @ 07:42 AM 3 Comments

Some sound advice

Independent online: House Doctor: 'Can we get our lender to change its mind over a low valuation?'

"Whatever you decide, it won't be worth taking on punitive extra debt to buy the property – better to walk away than suffer financial misery."

Posted by bystander @ 07:35 AM 2 Comments

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Temporary has a nasty habit of becoming more permanent

Daily Mail: Old Lady retreats on inflation target to support the economic recovery

The MPC plays with fire as Bean admits the monetary policy committee’s ‘chosen approach has been to accept a temporary period of above target inflation’ to support the recovery. Bean’s comments represent the clearest acknowledgement yet that the MPC is more interested in attempting to prop up a fragile economy than controlling rampant inflation irrespective of the long term domestic cost.

Posted by enuii @ 11:06 PM 7 Comments

Yet to breach the sub-100k mark but they're working on it.

Independent: Housing industry 'rebound' observed

Simon Rubinsohn, chief economist at the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, said: "Data released this morning shows a welcome rebound in housing starts in the first quarter of the year, but this increase largely reflects a recovery from the weather-induced weak reading for the final three months of last year. "Even allowing for this improvement, the underlying picture still remains a cause for some concern. The trend rate in delivery for housing starts is currently running at little more than 100,000 per annum, against estimates of new household formation running at more than double this figure."

Posted by sibley's b'stard child @ 10:55 PM 15 Comments

Money is tax, not debt or gold - interesting

Positive Money: Positive Money Podcast – Professor Mary Mellor

A very interesting podcast on the history and future of money on the basis that money is the a reflection of the ability to tax. Mary is Emeritus Professor of Sociology at Northumbria University, and is the author of “The Future of Money, From Financial Crisis to Public Resource”,

Posted by the number cruncher @ 07:45 PM 3 Comments

Article suggests long term inflation

Wall street pitt: Inflation: Why There’s No Escaping it This Time

Not so sure I agree but I thought a good article because suggests that there may be no flight to cash i.e. everything is overvalued, the government won't allow writedowns, the money supply will not adjust, but that does not mean necessarily that investors first out leave the indebted behind and look to treasuries of some government variety. They might just run for it. Literally years ago I posted some article about a central banks response to credit deflation, which was basically credibly promise to allow inflation to run riot, even though they won't, which was the fix. Of course, if they truly succeed then they could get in the position that they could not realistically tighten sufficiently later i.e. blow the whole thing up.

Posted by stillthinking @ 07:26 PM 2 Comments

No schadenfreuden, just plain sad.

Guardian: At my wits' end over £130,000 savings in suspended Arch Cru funds

My financial adviser told me in 2008 that it was a good idea to cash in my Peps and Isas and put all my money, £130,000, into Arch Cru funds, which I did. Then in March 2009, he told me the funds had been suspended. I kept telephoning him but he was not in his office. I realised something had gone very wrong. The financial ombudsman said it cannot deal with my complaint because my adviser is no longer in business. I am at my wits' end because it doesn't look as if I will get my money back. NS, Norwich

Posted by sibley's b'stard child @ 02:12 PM 15 Comments

Rising rents killing off the 'love nest'

Planet Property: Rising rents killing off the ‘love nest’

The booming rental market is pushing many young couples into shared accommodation, a trend which is killing off the ‘love nest’, says flat-sharing website,

Posted by the planet @ 10:28 AM 20 Comments

HPC gets another nudge in the right direction.

Telegraph: Real-term wages to fall 3pc for rest of year

According to the Bank of England’s central projection, published on Wednesday, inflation will average just under 5pc for the final six months of the year. By comparison, the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) – the Treasury’s official forecaster – expects “average earnings growth” of only 2pc. Mervyn King, Governor of the Bank, had previously conceded “there is a good chance ... inflation will reach 5pc” but did not reveal that the Bank expects prices to rise at that level for the remainder of the year – at an average of 4.96pc in the third quarter and 4.93pc in the final three months. Inflation in April was 4.5pc.

Posted by sibley's b'stard child @ 10:05 AM 5 Comments

Caution in. Overpriced houses out.

Guardian: Job and wage fears hit consumer confidence

Consumer confidence fell during April as people continued to worry about the state of the economy and the lack of jobs, research has indicated. Nationwide's consumer confidence index fell by two points during the month to stand at 43, just four points above the record low it sank to in February this year.

Posted by dill @ 09:20 AM 4 Comments

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Kicking the can

Market Oracle: The Federal Debt Default Tornado Is Coming

"Our problem today is that the most obvious source of a major crisis today is the debt structure of Western governments, central banks, and commercial banks. Because governments are the problem, there will not be a solution provided by politicians. The same is true of central banks".

Posted by alan @ 08:26 PM 4 Comments

Can we organise a viral buyers strike here? First Home Buyers Strike

The current price of land is grossly overvalued compared to take-home earnings. I undertake not to buy property until prices moderate. I will use this time to save a larger deposit to free myself earlier from mortgage finance and gain my economic independence.

Posted by ontheotherhand @ 04:52 PM 32 Comments

Some interesting Stats for the US Housing

No way will these muppets remove the housing prop.

Reuters: Bank still firmly split on rate rise in May

"Former Goldman Sachs economist Ben Broadbent will replace Sentance from next month". Goldman in charge of the UK - no surprises where he'll get his instructions from....and all in the best interests of the UK population too!

Posted by alan @ 12:12 PM 7 Comments

Inflation compared to MPC forecast a year earlier Chart du jour, zen and the art of inflation-targeting

If a 2 per cent inflation target is hardly ever reached, does it still exist? Oommmm:

Posted by ontheotherhand @ 12:04 PM 0 Comments

New-build prices up 10%

Planet Property: New-build prices up 10%

Interesting to see that figures from CLG show new-builds up 10% y-o-y: market now showing strong variations across different sectors.

Posted by the planet @ 11:53 AM 0 Comments

Looking to beat inflation? Don't - I repeat, don't - invest in property

MoneyWeek: Looking to beat inflation? Don't - I repeat, don't - invest in property

Things might be looking up in the buy to let market, but if you think the answer to low interest rates and high inflation is to invest in a buy-to-let property, you're crazy.

Posted by damien @ 11:46 AM 0 Comments

LR vs CLG, who will win?

Estate Agent Today: Official statisticians at sixes and sevens over housing market

A baffling report issued by the Government yesterday (Tuesday) showed that its own official statisticians are completely at odds over the direction of the housing market and are working to entirely different figures. The Communities and Local Government data showed that in March, UK house prices increased by 0.9% over the year and by 1.2% over the month. The CLG report put the average UK house price at £205,565 in March. The report is at total odds with the other official report into house prices, released by the Land Registry.

Posted by sibley's b'stard child @ 11:22 AM 1 Comments

First-time buyers: higher loan-to-values the answer, says CML

Planet Property: First-time buyers: higher loan-to-values the answer, says CML

And am I the only one who finds it just a wee bit ironic that bankers (!) feel free to lecture us all on the need to take our share of the financial risks in a falling market ...??

Posted by the planet @ 11:09 AM 1 Comments

Another desperate failed LL

Daily Mail: Landlord blocks £1m home with 10 skips to stop tenants leaving 'without paying him thousands'

A landlord has blocked off his plush £1m home with ten skips to stop his tenants from leaving without paying the £15,000 he claims they owe him. "I have blockaded the exits so they cannot go until I get the money. Every time the payments were late the mortgage company charged us. It is not fair what they are doing to us, they are single-handedly bringing down everything we have worked hard for and I am not going to stand by and let that happen." He is also fending off the building society as a court hearing on May 6 at Harrogate County Court recorded that the property, which he has owned for 22 years, will be repossessed in 56 days.

Posted by little professor @ 03:21 AM 53 Comments

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Locked-out or priced out?

Guardian: Home ownership - an entire generation without a key to the front door

Only one in four young adults will be able to afford a home of their own in the future, warns a Rowntree Foundation, which says that Britain is turning into a "rotten borough" where a whole generation will be locked out of the property-owning democracy.

Posted by alan @ 11:27 PM 2 Comments

Time to sell???

Money cnn: George Soros dumps $800 million gold stake

Billionaire hedge fund manager George Soros sold nearly $800 million of gold during the first quarter, as the precious metal surged to record highs. While gold made up a relatively small slice of the Soros Fund Management's $8.4 billion portfolio, the sale suggests that Soros does not expect prices to continue much higher.

Posted by mark @ 07:24 PM 18 Comments

King virtually asks for wage restraint as inflation figures approach tipping point

Telegraph: Inflation could go higher if workers demand pay increases, Mervyn King warns

I imagine the cat will be out of the bag if inflation figures of 5% (RPI or CPI) or over are seen next month. The man with thick glasses comes up with some good quotes in the article like, 'resistance to the erosion of real take-home pay', and 'volatility in energy and commodity prices makes it difficult to be sure when inflation will return to the target'. Chuck in the comment at the end about any interest rate rises being 'the straw that breaks the camel's back' and it must be obvious to all that there is only one way this will go.

Posted by enuii @ 06:48 PM 8 Comments

For the first time in most of our lifetimes, the key element to achieving the American Dream—owning

Vegas inc: Is renting the new American Dream?

When someone wants to know if you’ll pay $385,000 for a one-bedroom unit that’s built as an apartment when new homes are selling for a median price of less than $300,000, what are they smoking? On a loan of that amount, the monthly payment would have surpassed $2,500 before association fees and taxes.

Posted by mark @ 05:26 PM 2 Comments

Mutually Assured Destruction?

New Statesman: The next financial crisis

Political leaders across the world seem already to be treating the Global Financial Crisis as a one-off event. We were unlucky. Yes, we may have been driving at 100mph through a densely populated neighbourhood. There was an accident, but we'll keep hold of the wheel next time and improve the brakes. How quickly we forget.

Posted by rental john @ 04:44 PM 0 Comments

Same old.. typical of a market that is trading sideways..

The Independent: House prices rise 1.2% in March

House prices rose by 1.2% during March as the property market remained volatile, figures showed today. The increase left the average home costing £205,565, slightly lower than it started the year, after prices fell by 1.4% in January and remained unchanged in February, according to the Department for Communities and Local Government (CLG). The current pattern of house prices rising in some months and falling in others is typical of a market that is trading sideways, with low transaction volumes.

Posted by khards @ 02:11 PM 10 Comments

Rich really are getting richer

Guardian: Pay gap widening to Victorian levels

Interesting article and a data set to go with it. Around 1990 the top 1% earners' share of income began to rise in the UK, along with the US. But not in Sweden.

Posted by letthemfall @ 02:05 PM 24 Comments

Ireland down 40% from peak

PropertyWire: Irish property prices down almost 12% in last year, new index shows

Residential property prices in Ireland have fallen by 11.9% in the year to the end of March, according to the new national real estate index from the Central Statistics Office. In Dublin residential property prices fell by 1.8% in March and were 13% lower than a year ago. House prices in Dublin are now some 45% lower than at their highest level in early 2007. Apartments in Dublin are 52% lower than they were in February 2007. The fall in the price of residential properties in the rest of Ireland is somewhat lower at just over 35%. Overall, the national index is almost 40% lower than its highest level in 2007.

Posted by drewster @ 11:16 AM 0 Comments

Tax reform mooted, but not LVT

Inside Housing: Urgent reform needed to stop boom and bust

Urgent action is needed to tackle housing market volatility to prevent another cycle of boom and bust, according to the Joseph Rowntree Foundation taskforce report "Tackling housing market volatility in the UK".

Posted by greenmind @ 11:00 AM 40 Comments

High Inflation due to Easter Bunny

BBC News: UK inflation rate rises to 4.5% in April

The UK Consumer Prices Index (CPI) annual rate of inflation rose to 4.5% in April, up from 4% in March. The rise in CPI was bigger than analysts had forecast and follows a surprise fall in the index last month. CPI is now at its highest level since October 2008. It said the fact that Easter was in April this year but in March last year partly explained the jump in prices. (The Bank of England) still expects inflation to fall back towards the Bank's target rate of 2% towards the end of next year.

Posted by orcusmaximus @ 10:55 AM 8 Comments


ONS: CPI Statistical Bulletin

CPI 4.5% yoy Index value 119.3 from 118.1 RPI 5.2% yoy Index value 234.4 from 232.5 Core CPI 3.7% yoy This is the highest level since this series began in 1997.

Posted by dill @ 09:52 AM 1 Comments

Coming Soon

Independent: Figures to show inflation rising

"Inflation figures out today are expected to show another increase in the cost of living, as surging oil prices continue to reduce household spending power. The consumer prices index rate of inflation is forecast to have increased to 4.1% last month after it unexpectedly slowed to 4% in March". And the MPC will respond by doing...(?)

Posted by alan @ 08:02 AM 16 Comments

Monday, May 16, 2011

"Crash, Aha, Saviour of the Universe"

Daily Mail: Gordon Brown warns banking collapse may be the 'trailer' to a series of financial crises

Former Prime Minister Gordon Brown has warned the global financial collapse of 2008 may just be the 'trailer' to a series of devastating international crises.He warned that the financial system remains 'perilously unregulated' three years after the collapse sent Britain plunging into recession... you cant make this up.

Posted by cat and canary @ 09:47 PM 28 Comments

Reality vs 'Duct tape' - there can be only one winner

The Daily Reckoning: The Great Correction's being 'gagged'

"The real story is that we’re in a Great Correction. But it is one that is having a hard time expressing itself. Every time it opens its mouth, the feds come along with duct tape."

Posted by the number cruncher @ 07:39 PM 0 Comments

But not in the UK

Reuters: Euro zone core inflation rise signals higher ECB rates

"Energy costs pushed up euro zone inflation in April, but core prices jumped as well, confirming ECB concerns about rising inflationary risks and adding to the case for more interest rate hikes".

Posted by alan @ 04:47 PM 2 Comments

Now, if there were only some way to increase the amount of disposable income...

Telegraph: Consumer spending 'to remain subdued for another nine years'

Real household disposable incomes are expected to fall by 0.1pc this year after a 0.8pc fall last year, according to Ernst & Young's Item Club. The two years of decline represent the first back-to-back falls in household disposable income since 1976 and 1977. The decline equates to a drop in income per person of £195 in 2010 and £101 in 2011. Meanwhile, household finances will remain under "severe pressure" due to high inflation, weak earnings growth and families' focus on the "lengthy battle" of paying down their personal debts, according to the report into the consumer economy. Increased caution over finances in general and a possible interest rate rise in the months ahead are expected to put an extra brake on growth.

Posted by sibley's b'stard child @ 04:30 PM 3 Comments

Ricardo's Law of Rent in the real world

Daily Mail: Why it's great up north

The DM quote research which Barclays do every year, looking at regional net incomes after housing costs. They conclude (as they do every year) that even though there is a huge variation in average wages in different parts of the country, that house prices adjust up or down accordingly, so net of housing costs (or notional housing costs, in the case of older occupiers), net incomes are pretty much the same wherever you go. This is exactly as predicted by Ricardo, Henry George et al; as labour is mobile but houses aren't, higher wages will be competed away slightly and what residual differences remain are soaked up (or compensated for) by higher (or lower) house prices and rents.

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 04:25 PM 33 Comments

Sadly I am...

ThisIsMoney: Are you living in a property hotspot?

Each month a mountain of house price information is published by banks, building societies, Government agencies and other organisations. But getting an accurate snapshot of the market is hard, especially when – as now – there are vast differences between regions and property types.

Posted by roost @ 01:57 PM 0 Comments

We need self cert and 125% mortgages is the cry

Mortgagestrategy: Immature FSA ruining the market, warns MP

Labour MP George Mudie has dubbed the Financial Services Authority insecure and immature and claimed its Mortgage Market Review is damaging the housing market. The Treasury Select Committee member and Leeds East MP told delegates at last week’s Strategy Summit, held at Luton Hoo hotel in Bedfordshire, that the MMR is having a disgraceful impact on would-be first-time buyers struggling for a deposit and called on the FSA to be democratically accountable for its actions. Mudie says: “Regulators cannot work in a vacuum. They have to be aware of the wider social and economic consequences of their decisions. How can it make sense to stifle lending when you look at the state of the housing market?”

Posted by jack c @ 01:26 PM 10 Comments

The tax that dare not speak its name

The Canberra Times: Taxing debate we should have, but our greed prevents us

"Yet, sadly, our politicians are entirely closed to discussing such an obviously beneficial tax " the problem is the greedy and corrupt forces that prevent its implementation.

Posted by the number cruncher @ 01:09 PM 27 Comments

House of cards set to collapse

Construct Ireland: Ireland's Inevitable Default

Analyses the Irish Government's interest obligations on the current bailouts. Author is a renowned economist and financial journalist. Suggests that all the bailouts are doing is buying time for financial institutions to reduce their exposure to Irish default. European taxpayers will be the ones exposed instead. What are the implications for the housing market? Not sure. What do you reckon?

Posted by nickb @ 11:31 AM 6 Comments

The sound of the market's death-rattle...

Estate Agent Today: House purchase mortgages down 26% in a year

Mortgages for house purchase in the first quarter of this year sank 26% by volume and 27% by value compared with the last quarter of last year. This was despite a big rise between February and March, when mortgages for house purchase rose 24% in number to 37,800, and by 26% in terms of value. The number of house purchase mortgages to both first-time buyers and home movers fell on a quarterly basis. First-time buyers fell 23% and home movers 28%.

Posted by sibley's b'stard child @ 10:11 AM 2 Comments

Highest level of unsold stock for May EVER

Rightmove: May Asking Price Index

"Average unsold stock rises further from 74 to 76 properties per branch, reaching highest ever level for May..." Record Unsold stock level = price crash ahead.

Posted by doomwatch @ 09:54 AM 9 Comments

Girls, Girls, Girls

Reuters: Euro slumps to 7-week low as IMF chief arrested

"The shocking news on Strauss-Kahn, who had been seen as a front runner to be France's next president, soured investor risk appetite, which had already been strained by a rout in various commodities and falls in share prices in the past two weeks" says Reuters. It just shows how important confidence can be...Now, if applied to house prices...

Posted by alan @ 08:39 AM 2 Comments

Another day, another debt crisis

SKY: US Set To Reach $14.3 Trillion 'Debt Ceiling'

"America is set to reach its $14.3 trillion 'debt ceiling' - the amount it is legally allowed to borrow. If the US Congress fails to vote to increase the debt limit, the White House has warned that the country would default on its debt and spark a new financial crisis". America's deficit for this year is expected to be a record-breaking $1.5 trillion.The total debt increases by nearly $3m every minute and, if divided up among the country's 300 million people, would leave everyone owing more than $45,000!!

Posted by alan @ 01:04 AM 2 Comments

Rightmove: +1.3%MoM


HOUSE asking prices have risen to their highest level for nearly three years, with some owners demanding unrealistic amounts. The average asking price rose to £238,874 in May, up 1.3 per cent on April. It is at its highest level since June 2008, according to Rightmove. The hike comes as the number of houses going on the market fell 30%, leading some agents to agree to market homes at unrealistic prices as they competed for scarcer new listings.

Posted by little professor @ 12:53 AM 11 Comments

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Council housing fraud

Independent: Only a 'big bang' will excise corruption in council housing

Whether it is high personal debt, resentment against immigrants, or children with nowhere quiet to do their homework, many of Britain's social ills can be traced back to a shortage of housing. Which is why almost nothing raises passions so much as the allocation of council housing. In many cities, as well as in some rural areas, securing a council tenancy is little short of a long-term win on the lottery. You pay a rent which, in areas of high-priced housing, is far below what you would have to pay for equivalent accommodation in the private sector. Your repairs and maintenance are looked after and, however your personal fortunes develop, you have tenure for life. The huge public-private rent disparity in many areas makes for a profoundly distorted market infested with fraud.

Posted by drewster @ 06:42 PM 23 Comments

Article from 29th April...but just spotted it.

The Economist: Acropolis now

THERE comes a moment in many debt crises when events spiral out of control. As panic sets in, bond yields lurch sickeningly upwards and fear spreads to shares and currencies. In September 2008 the failure of once-stellar Lehman Brothers almost brought down the world’s banking system.

Posted by rental john @ 02:58 PM 0 Comments

Saturday, May 14, 2011

The follow on Spain link is worth a look also

Business Insider: REFRESHER: Here's Who Gets Slammed If Greece Restructures

The latest news on Greece is that it may be considering a euro exit, with German leaders suggesting the country will need a debt restructuring either way. Germany may be trying to expedite a debt restructuring for Greece by planting the story, but it does seem we are moving with great speed toward that reality. The countries, banks, and firms exposed a Greek debt restructuring are numerous. It's time you got up to speed. Read more:

Posted by novice pete @ 09:57 PM 6 Comments

Banks are furious that NS&I's inflation-busting bonds have returned because they 'can't compete'

This is money: Banks' anger at NS&I return is disgraceful

Can you ruddy believe it? The incredulity? The downright cheek? Banks and building societies are up in arms about the return of NS&I's inflation-linked certificates because they 'just can't compete' with its promises. They've been dreading this day ever since George Osborne gave the green light for National Savings & Investments – the Government's savings arm – to raise a net £2bn from savers during the 2011 to 2012 tax year. Read more: Thanks George that should reduce the net mortgage lending nicely until April next year gently pulling down prices.

Posted by khards @ 08:43 PM 15 Comments

Inventive ways to tell porkies - its a semi not a cottage

Rightmove: Three Bed Cottage Style Property

they could also say only 50 miles from wayne roonys house or within commuting distance of virgin galactic only a short flight away

Posted by mark @ 05:53 PM 5 Comments


Shelter: Evict Rogue Landlords

Renting a home can be a risky business. Rogue landlords still operate in the UK and continue to get away with harassing tenants and letting out homes in an appalling condition. Complaints to Shelter advice services about landlords have increased by 23 per cent in the last year. Just 2.2 per cent of landlords belong to a professional body. Almost 1 million Britons have been the victim of a scam involving a private tenancy or landlord in the last three years*.

Posted by dill @ 11:31 AM 8 Comments

How long will London house prices grow?

BBC Stephanomics: Growth - Comparing the UK with Europe

"As GDP figures confirm, the economies of Europe are now running on very different tracks, and a debate has started about which track Britain is heading down".

Posted by alan @ 10:19 AM 3 Comments

Your pension? Sorry mate, not part of the package.

Telegraph: Regulator investigates pension loophole

The Pensions Regulator and the Pension Protection Fund (PPF) raised the concerns following HIG Capital’s acquisition of Silentnight, the UK’s largest bed manufacturer.HIG, which owned Silentnight’s debt via its subsidiary Bayside Capital, called in the administrator after the PPF refused to accept a deal from the private equity firm to the pay the Silentnight pension scheme at a rate of 6p in the pound compared to 65p offered to trade creditors.

Posted by sibley's b'stard child @ 09:32 AM 1 Comments

Friday, May 13, 2011

Coming soon here?

AP: New Irish index shows extent of property crash

The collapse of the Irish property price bubble has seen values plunge by up to 52 percent since a 2007 peak, a new government index showed on Friday. The first results from the new Central Statistics Office (CSO) index show that, nationwide, prices of residential property are down almost 40% on 2007 -- and they are still falling. Dublin apartments have been hardest hit, with prices falling 52% from peak. The monthly rate of decline increased in March this year to the fastest level since July 2009

Posted by little professor @ 08:26 PM 8 Comments

Take your time prices have a long way down to go

Latimes: April home sales in Southern California hit three-year low for the month

In the boom years, buyers rushed to make deals before prices pushed higher. Today, buyers are taking their time. Robert and Charli Kugler of Carson have been scoping out homes for six to eight months, but say they won't put money down until they find the one that's just right for them. "We don't want to rush into something that we are going to regret," Robert Kugler said.

Posted by mark @ 06:08 PM 0 Comments

Same sh1t different debt...

Sydney Morning Herald: Every euro-zone crisis is different

THE present crisis in the euro zone is known around the world as the "euro sovereign-debt crisis". But the crisis is really about foreign debt, not sovereign debt.

Posted by rental john @ 04:59 PM 0 Comments

Or - can UK ('English') tax payers afford Salmond's pledges!

New Statesman: Alex Salmond may be cheering, but his cash crisis has only just begun

The SNP swept to victory in Holyrood on the back of popular policies such as maintaining free university education and free prescriptions. Now the celebrations are over, can Scotland realistically afford Salmond’s pledges?

Posted by rental john @ 04:35 PM 0 Comments

Not HPC related... but 'dotcom bubble II' anyone?

The Economist: The new tech bubble

So is history indeed about to repeat itself? Those who think not point out that the tech landscape has changed dramatically since the late 1990s. Back then few people were plugged into the internet; today there are 2 billion netizens, many of them in huge new wired markets such as China.

Posted by rental john @ 04:23 PM 0 Comments

We don't we get stories like this in the UK

Nzherald: UK house 'double dip' forecast

The latest Halifax house price index shows that average prices fell by 1.4 per cent, taking the overall drop in house values from their peak in 2007 to about 20 per cent, and the annual decline to 3.7 per cent. The average house price of £160,395 ($331,871) remains 20 per cent below its August 2007 peak of £199,612. Adding inflation the real-terms fall in house prices since 2007 has been closer to 30 per cent - with a further 5 to 7 per cent fall forecast.

Posted by mc @ 03:19 PM 0 Comments

Rather desperately, it would appear...

BBC: Homeowners looking to remortgage, CML says

"Expectations of interest rate increases led to larger numbers of homeowners remortgaging in March, UK lenders say. There were 33,900 remortgage loans advanced during the month - up 16% compared with the previous month, the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) said. The figure is 17% higher than the same month a year ago." Of course, we cynics know that there won't be any interest rate rises for ages, but the banks are quite happy for people to labour under this illusion, because that way the banks can stampede people into locking in to higher, fixed interest rates.

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 02:55 PM 1 Comments

Ian Cowie has grasp of economics...

Daily Telegraph: House prices: New threat for buy-to-let landlords

"Thousands of buy to let landlords could find themselves among unexpected victims of rising tuition fees as more students decide to stay at home, causing a sharp drop in demand for flats in university towns... But it’s an ill wind that blows no good. Falling property prices might be welcomed by many graduates who are currently priced out of home ownership. A reduction of 10pc or 20pc in starter home prices might more than outweigh the increase in graduate debt which higher tuition fees are likely to cause."

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 02:49 PM 15 Comments

Seeing red

Guardian: Pro-cuts activists to rally against debt

Hundreds of pro-cuts activists are expected to descend on Westminster on Saturday to "rally against debt", in the first sign of a radical Tea Party-style mass movement to challenge the anti-cuts lobby. The protest will be attended by an alliance of rightwing and libertarian activists including members of the TaxPayers' Alliance (TPA), the anti-Europe UK Independence party and the Freedom Association, a libertarian pressure group set up by Norris McWhirter, better known for co-founding the Guinness Book of Records.

Posted by dill @ 01:05 PM 17 Comments

Fun with Fractions Again - Remortgage Ratio means "Stronger"!

CML: Remortgaging became stronger in first quarter of 2011

House purchase lending activity is still below the levels seen at the same time last year – down 17% in volume and 16% in value. BUT "Looking ahead to lending figures in the coming months, the Easter, royal wedding and May bank holidays will impact on the level of activity, timing and spread of completions in the second quarter meaning that any one month’s data should not be interpreted as a reflection of a trend. It may take until publication of the second quarter's activity to get a full understanding of how the market has reacted to the squeeze on household incomes.”

Posted by ontheotherhand @ 12:16 PM 1 Comments

Lorna Bourke reverts to Home-Owner-Ist mode

CityWire: Rising rents mean happy days for buy to let investors

"Buy to let is doing well, with rents rising faster than house prices presenting investors with more opportunities to increase their portfolios on the back of better yields" Don't forget people - your pension is your children's penury!

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 12:16 PM 1 Comments

Holidays anyone?

Ekathimerini: Home prices falling at faster rate

The pace at which housing prices are falling picked up in the first quarter of the year, dropping 5 percent on an annual basis, with the property market in Thessaloniki in a deep slump.

Posted by adam mouli @ 11:52 AM 0 Comments

Revealed: the top 20 university cities for investment

Planet Property: Revealed: the top 20 university cities for investment

Interesting new report from Knight Frank on investment in student property. The see a strong market and provide a list of 20 key cities for investors. But are they too optimistic about student numbers holding up?

Posted by the planet @ 11:31 AM 0 Comments

Investing in unproductive assets causes poor economic performance

Guardian: UK left behind as French and German economies surge

Germany grew by 1.5% and France by 1% in the first quarter – compared to Britain's 0.5% Growth in the German and French economies has surged thanks to strong business investment and consumer spending, in the latest sign that the UK is failing to keep pace with other developed countries. Germany, Europe's largest economy, grew by 1.5% in the first three months of the year, smashing all analysts' forecasts, while France, Europe's second-biggest economy, expanded by 1%, also better than expected. This compares with UK growth of just 0.5%, following a drop of the same size in the fourth quarter of 2010, which prompted a warning from government statisticians that underlying growth was broadly flat.

Posted by khards @ 10:18 AM 4 Comments

Shortage of property?don't think so

Sky news: 13% of nhs property is unused/empty

the 13% was on sky news just now.Its not directly related to residential housing,but come on how much of this stuff could be converted to affordable housing...just how much empty property is in the uk?There are 800,000 empty flats/houses and only 6% of uk land is developed where are all the repossessions...they are not on the market imo

Posted by taffee @ 08:25 AM 19 Comments

Houses so cheap they're literally giving them away

Chicago Sun-Times: Bank of America gives city 150-plus vacant homes

Bank of America Corp. will deliver to the city of Chicago ownership of 150 abandoned and foreclosed homes. "Unfortunately," BofA said in a statement, "many homeowners faced with unemployment, underemployment and other economic hardships have transitioned to alternative housing situations, and in many cases, have walked away from their homes, leaving behind vacant and deteriorating properties that can cause neighborhood blight." The bank will also donate 26 vacant condos [blocks of flats] to get the homes back into use as affordable apartments.

Posted by drewster @ 01:30 AM 2 Comments

Asking prices up 0.9%!. Pahh - Pipe dreams! Asking Price Index

The mix-adjusted average Asking Price for homes on the market in England and Wales has rallied by a further 0.9% since April, the largest monthly rise for two years. The number of properties reduced in price increased during the month of April to 77,510, 29% more than in April 2010. Typical time on market has fallen sharply by 26 days to 107 days (median), but remains 12 days more than in May 2010. Supply of new properties to market increased to 134,704 in April, 14% more than in April 2010. Annual change in asking prices: 0.1% 6-month change in asking prices: 0.4%

Posted by markj69 str05 @ 12:09 AM 3 Comments

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Fred's New Video

Fred Harrison - Geophilos: The Bridge

Western economies need capital investment in infrastructure if they are to recover from the depression. But there will be losers: low-income taxpayers. Here's how.

Posted by the number cruncher @ 11:39 PM 29 Comments

Goes like a rocket

Guardian: House repossessions up by 15%

Bear food becoming more substantial: "The number of UK homes repossessed by mortgage lenders rocketed by 15% to 9,100 in the first quarter of 2011, according to latest figures from the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML)."

Posted by letthemfall @ 03:53 PM 3 Comments


Adam Smith Institute: Time to let the housing bubble burst

Explains the terrible effect of NIMBYism and heavy subsidies on house prices. I left teh inevitable comment.

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 01:37 PM 12 Comments

Lo and behold, to answer Greemind's question...

MyIntroducer: CML reports stable first quarter in BTL market

As at the end of March, the 3-month arrears rate stood at 1.62% on buy-to-let loans where no receiver of rent was in place, and 2.24% on buy-to-let loans if receiver of rent cases were included. This compares with a 3-month arrears rate of 2.15% in the owner-occupier sector. The repossession rate on buy-to-let mortgages remained higher than in the mainstream market (0.13% of buy-to-let loans were subject to repossession in the first quarter, compared with 0.07% of owner-occupied loans), as has been the case for a substantial period, primarily reflecting the additional forbearance efforts in the owner-occupier sector to keep borrowers in their homes (as opposed to landlords whose properties may be empty, for example).

Posted by sibley's b'stard child @ 11:41 AM 14 Comments

End of the beginning or beginning of the End

BBC News: Home repossessions rise 15%, CML says

A total of 9,100 homes were repossessed in the UK in the first three months of 2011, up 15% on the previous quarter, lenders say.

Posted by mr cobblepot @ 11:21 AM 0 Comments

Had to happen sooner or later...

Dash 24: Sharp rise in number of home repossessions

Repossession numbers began to rise again during the early part of 2011, jumping by 15% following five consecutive quarters during which levels had declined, figures showed today. A total of 9,100 properties were taken over by lenders during the three months to the end of March, the first increase since the third quarter of 2009, according to the Council of Mortgage Lenders.

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 10:51 AM 6 Comments

He did em proud Waving the flag for estate agents – Apprentice who likes being unpopular

Oh no, here we go again. A new series of The Apprentice starts tomorrow night. Contestants include a London estate agent who reckons: “If you are successful, you are unpopular, so unpopularity is a good thing.”

Posted by doomwatch @ 09:37 AM 46 Comments

Better than nothing, but not much... [Index-linked] Savings Certificates on sale now

We are pleased to announce that new 5-year Issues of NS&I Index-linked Savings Certificates and NS&I Fixed Interest Savings Certificates are now available. We expect both Issues to remain on sale for a sustained period. You can invest from £100 to £15,000 in each 5-year Issue. At the end of the term you can choose to continue the investment without affecting your investment limit for any new Issues of Savings Certificates that may be available at the time.

Posted by hpwatcher @ 08:26 AM 6 Comments

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Decided not to buy the 200 in 3d led tv i bought btl instead

Yahoo: Comet Axing Ten Stores and 150 Staff

The retailer, which has 248 outlets in the UK, will also shut one of its three warehouses and axe 12 of its 14 regional service centres, which are used as a base by its engineers who repair and service its products. With Comet closing between five and 10 stores this year, Kesa said it expects to make 150 redundancies in the UK, including 40 recent job cuts at Comet's head offices in Hull and Rickmansworth, in Hertfordshire.

Posted by mark @ 04:41 PM 15 Comments

Will HSBC's focus on emerging markets mean less for UK mortgages?

BBC: HSBC plans up to £2bn in savings as it cuts retail arm

The bank said it would be directing investment into fast-growing national economies including Mexico and Turkey, and to certain wider regions, such as Asia and the Middle East.

Posted by hpwatcher @ 03:57 PM 2 Comments

When will mass repossessions start? Third of buy-to-lets 'headed for negative equity'

Standard & Poor's (S&P) said that while 30% of investors were expected to be in negative equity by the end of next year, only 17% of owner-occupiers were predicted to be in the same situation, despite levels being similar at the end of 2010.

Posted by ontheotherhand @ 03:46 PM 15 Comments

Sellers are chopping their asking prices by increasing amounts House sellers cutting more off their asking prices

They're not happy campers over at EAT. The comments section makes interesting reading; EAs are becoming very frustrated with vendors who are unable to accept we are no longer in November 2007.

Posted by doomwatch @ 02:28 PM 7 Comments

"Buy-to-let is coming back because land and houses are cheap"

Bloomberg: Buy-to-Let Surges in Britain as Property Beats Stocks

“Buy-to-let is coming back because land and houses are cheap, and bricks and mortar won’t go to the wall like shares.”

Posted by allillanchoo @ 12:21 PM 7 Comments

Lower Growth = Lower House Prices

Independent: Bank cuts growth forecast

The Bank of England today cut its growth forecast for the UK as it warned the squeeze on household incomes and Government austerity measures will continue to weigh on the economy. A continued surge in energy prices - including the cost of crude oil and soaring utility bills - will hit growth and increase the cost of living in 2011 and 2012, the Bank warned. Related articles The rate of inflation, currently at 4%, is now expected to hit 5% this year and remain above the Government target throughout 2012 before falling back in 2013 - but only if interest rates rise in line with market expectations from the third quarter of this year.

Posted by khards @ 12:18 PM 9 Comments

How the other half live! Sales of £1m+ homes 'only' down 50%

Seems like the rich are weathering the housing market better than the rest as sales of millionaire homes fall by 'only' 50% from the peak volumes in 2007 compared to 70% for homes in general. Great summary by housing expert Henry Pryor - the BBC's familiar talking head.

Posted by charles lister @ 12:07 PM 0 Comments

La La La (Fingers in ears)

BBC News: Higher energy bills threaten to push inflation rate up

Whole story "The governor of the Bank of England, Mervyn King, has warned that higher utility bills could push inflation to 5% later this year. Publishing the bank's latest Inflation Report, he said there remained strong downward pressures on economic growth and upward pressures on inflation. However, he said that the "big picture" had not changed much since the last report in February. The Bank still expects inflation to fall back in 2012 and 2013."

Posted by wdbeast @ 10:54 AM 5 Comments


Counterpunch: Countdown to default

Thanks to bank bailouts the US is hitting the limit ($14.3 trillion) of what it can borrow without congressional approval. It has bought 10 weeks' time by ensuring payment to bondholders for that period. The two parties are far apart in hammering out a budget deal and if they don't do so by early August the US will default. This may be unlikely but the uncertainty is unsettling markets. What is more likely is that by the time the budget deal is brokered the damage - movement out of US Treasuries and all that entails - will have been done. US funding costs could rise, dominoes could start to fall, there could be more deleveraging and financial & economic turmoil. Investors are looking for permanent alternatives to UST. The future of the dollar's special status is at stake.

Posted by icarus @ 10:38 AM 9 Comments

It's the Spring Slump.

Estate Agent Today: House purchase mortgage applications plummet 21% in a month

Mortgage applications for house purchase were down an astonishing 20.9% in April, compared with March. Remortgage applications also plummeted, down by 26.7%. Despite the steep monthly falls, figures for house purchase loan applications were back to where they were a year ago, showing that the housing market has really been a case of one step forward, one step back. According to the latest National Mortgage Index compiled by the Mortgage Advice Bureau, which largely operates from estate agency branches, and London brokers Coreco Group, mortgage applications in April were just 0.1% down on April 2010. The average loan size on mortgage applications in April was £124,328 compared to £127,546 in March, a decrease of 2.5%.

Posted by sibley's b'stard child @ 09:29 AM 20 Comments

The Hare and the Tortoise

WSJ: Osborne Must Move Fast on Housing .

George Osborne may not care for the comparison, but there is one aspect in which the U.K. Chancellor's economic strategy resembles that of his Labour predecessor Gordon Brown: the extent to which it hinges on the vagaries of the U.K. housing market. Where Mr. Brown needed to keep inflating the housing bubble to ensure the booming economy generated enough tax revenues to fund his public spending splurge, Mr. Osborne needs to find ways to stop the housing market imploding to ensure that the U.K. doesn't sink into an economic slump that would see its sovereign debt position rapidly head in the direction of Ireland and Portugal.

Posted by dill @ 08:14 AM 45 Comments

Property Prices Plunge

Mail Online: If Property Prices Plunge, could you be facing negative equity?

If property prices plunge, could you be facing negative equity?

Posted by ozymandias @ 01:22 AM 0 Comments

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Rigsby won't like this

Telegraph: Huhne announces crackdown to force landlords to install green measures

Landlords who are already struggling with rising costs, negative equity and potential rate rises will face fines if they fail to install insulation under new legislation. The Association of Residential Letting Agents voiced concerns and added that some landlords will just not let property, rather than carry out refurbishhment and would rather leave them empty.

Posted by enuii @ 11:20 PM 7 Comments

It couldn't happen here

Financial Times: Germany: The Engine of Success

I say, those Germans don't play fair, do they? Investing in research and development, making things that people want, paying decent wages, training people. It's just not cricket, old boy.

Posted by we're all in this together @ 04:53 PM 0 Comments

Boom of the bust....

Moneyweek: Britain's housing market is an unexploded economic bomb

.... house prices remain unaffordable on historic measures. As Allister Heath in City AM points out, the average house now costs around 4.4 times the average income, still well above the "post-1983 average of 4.0 times". After the early 1990s crash, "prices fell to 3.1 times earnings".

Posted by rental john @ 04:48 PM 0 Comments

Now a case of not if but when Greece defaults & drops Euro

Speigel Online: 'Greece Needs a Kind of Marshall Plan'

What is the euro zone planning to do about Greece? A host of theories, denials and accusations have dominated the headlines this week, but no clear path has yet emerged. German commentators say that Athens needs more than aid -- it needs massive European investment.

Posted by rental john @ 04:35 PM 9 Comments

Hometrack report May 2011

Hometrack: Reversal in housing market conditions set for 2011 H2

*Shameless selective editing*House prices were unchanged this month. This is the first time for nine months (since June 2010) that the survey has recorded no price fall. London continues to put a gloss on the headline figures. Prices here rose by 0.3% over April offsetting small falls of up to -0.3% across all other regions. There have been three distinct phases of the recent downturn. The second half of 2011 looks set to be the start of another phase where rising supply constrains any further improvement in pricing levels. The increase in demand for housing is unlikely to be sustained over the rest of the year as consumer confidence weakens and household incomes remain under pressure. Together with rising supply this will put house prices under renewed downward pressure.

Posted by sibley's b'stard child @ 04:12 PM 0 Comments

Where America leads?

Yahoo! Finance: Housing Crash is Getting Worse

The Yanks efforts to prop up house prices don't seem to be working, the consequences for banks and home "owners" of tumbling prices are pretty dire, probably even more so here where housing and banking are the mainstay of our economy.

Posted by we're all in this together @ 04:06 PM 1 Comments

Bear Nibbles

Telegraph: Home sellers reduce asking prices by £20,000

"Home sellers are being forced to reduce their asking prices by almost £20,000 to secure a sale, new research suggests. It found the asking price of properties for sale being reduced by £19,000 on average, which is £2,500 more than a year ago. It suggests buyers are offering 7 per cent less than the asking price, according to property website Zoopla. A third of properties are also being discounted more than once, with Doncaster being among the worst hit, seeing half of all homes reduced in price at least once."

Posted by wdbeast @ 03:56 PM 5 Comments

Latter-day Rachmans scuppered.

Residential Landlords Association: Article 4 Directions

Apologies, this isn't new (it is to me) although i'm not sure how well-known this is? From what I can tell, a number of city councils (ostensibly those with large numbers of HMOs) are clamping down on landlords renting out properties as HMOs and instead now have to apply for planning permission. This won't effect exisiting shared houses/flats.

Posted by sibley's b'stard child @ 03:26 PM 2 Comments

Fred's very interesting Take on the Grauniad Article

The Fred Harrison Blog: Who’s Asking the Right Questions?

"Something worse than financial instability afflicts the West. It is a crisis of the intellect and morality. "

Posted by the number cruncher @ 01:34 PM 9 Comments

Grand Designs homes on the market

Find a Property: Star homes: Ditch the dust with a ready made Grand Design

Lots of GD homes on market featured here ... enjoy!

Posted by the planet @ 01:25 PM 0 Comments

BTL bananna skins

Mortgagestrategy: Buy-to-let borrowers at greater risk of negative equity

Even mild declines in house prices over the next two years could place over 30% of buy-to-let borrowers in negative equity, Standard & Poor’s has warned. A report by the credit agency says if house prices fell by 5% in 2011 and a further 5% in 2012, 30% of buy-to-let loan balances would be in negative equity, compared to 17% for owner-occupier loans, which it says would reduce buy-to-let borrowers’ financial flexibility and therefore risk a rise in arrears. Standard & Poor’s puts the difference between the two sectors down to the higher average LTV ratio among buy-to-let loans in the sample it used and the fact that buy-to-let LTV ratios are concentrated in a relatively narrow range.

Posted by jack c @ 01:08 PM 14 Comments

A heart warming tale of greed and incompetence...

Evening Standard: Loans crisis may force Winterson to sell her £2.2m home

Writer Jeanette Winterson has fallen victim to Britain's mortgage crisis and may be forced to sell her £2.2million Georgian home in London. The award-winning author of Oranges Are Not The Only Fruit and Sexing The Cherry revealed she needs to refinance expensive short-term loans taken on to restore a pair of neighbouring houses in Spitalfields. But she said: "I can't seem to get anyone to lend me money so I may have to sell sooner than I would like." The novelist, 51, bought the former silk weavers' houses with friends and has spent a year renovating them...

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 12:04 PM 9 Comments

Hardly a bullish article

Money Week: Britain's housing market is an unexploded economic bomb

John Stepek suggests house prices are on a downgrade whatever happens. and this could be steeper than some people expect.

Posted by peter @ 11:15 AM 4 Comments

Bear Nibbles

This Is Money: Rush to sell puts pressure on house prices

"House prices are due to come under more pressure, as the latest RICS report shows a fresh influx of sellers adding to the number of homes on the market. The rise in the number of homes being put up for sale continued to substantially outstrip any increase in demand from potential buyers, according to the Royal Institution of Chartered surveyors. House prices are already on the way down, according to RICS members, with 21% more reporting falling prices than rising prices. And the rush of homes being put up for sale is likely to weigh heavily on a tough market." Hmmm, tasty!

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 10:43 AM 11 Comments

More house viewings from a low level

BBC News: Sunny weather 'encourages house buyers' says Rics

Good weather in April led to an increased number of viewings from potential UK house buyers, according to surveyors. But this was only from a relatively low base, according to Rics housing spokesman Michael Newey.

Posted by will @ 09:29 AM 22 Comments

Savers trashed, house speculators triumphed

Telegraph: Cavalier finance industry has killed the incentive to save

"The causes of Britain's poor savings rate are doubtless many and varied, but right up there at the top of the list has to be an age old problem – why would anyone want to save with a financial services industry whose modus operandi seems to be to feast on the gullible and fleece the ignorant? " (BTW - I think this approach will eventually screw the UK economy).

Posted by alan @ 09:22 AM 13 Comments

House prices slide despite more activity

City AM: House prices slide despite more activity

HOUSE prices continued their decline last month despite increasing signs of the market stabilising, two separate surveys have shown. Prices were down 1.4 per cent in April, the Halifax announced yesterday, while this morning the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) revealed that 29 per cent of surveyors are still reporting falling prices, compared to just 12 per cent that found rising prices. The negative balance, -16 per cent, is a modest improvement on the previous month (-20 per cent) with the survey revealing improvements in both supply and demand.

Posted by warren @ 09:22 AM 0 Comments

Banks heading into another financial crisis

ArabianMoney: European banks head into crisis 80 years after Credit Anstaldt bankruptcy

European banks are sleep walking into a crisis that could be every bit as serious for the global economy as the bankruptcy of the Credit Anstaldt bank in Austria 80 years ago tomorrow.

Posted by david smith @ 08:44 AM 0 Comments

Banks sensible approach to lending has desired outcome

Telegraph: Banks' 'refusal to lend' leads to house price decline

The latest housing survey from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors found that 18 per cent more estate agents expect house prices to fall rather than rise in the next three months. It comes as Halifax reported yesterday that house prices would continue to see a “modest decline”. Average values dropped 1.4 per cent in April to £160,000, a drop of £40,000 since the beginning of the credit crisis in August 2007, it said.

Posted by khards @ 08:27 AM 6 Comments

Sterling a risk for foreign home buyers in the UK

ArabianMoney: UK and US house prices heading downwards again

Arabian buyers driving up prices in the top areas ought to remember that buying sterling assets in a country that so obviously needs to devalue will be an expensive mistake in their own currency whatever happens to UK prices.

Posted by david smith @ 05:55 AM 0 Comments

Double dip predicted for housing market

The Independent: Double dip predicted for housing market

Double dip predicted for housing market

Posted by ozymandias @ 01:25 AM 0 Comments

Monday, May 9, 2011

Know your place serfs.

Citywire: Generation Y are in for a nasty shock

'The majority of young people have an overly optimistic – and sadly very unrealistic – view of their financial future, according to some new rather frightening figures. Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) surveyed 12,000 young people, asking them how much debt they think they will be in when they leave university, how old they think they will be when they buy their first home and how much they think they will be earning later in life. Here’s how the teenage dream differs from the harsh reality.'

Posted by sibley's b'stard child @ 09:50 PM 10 Comments

Crunch 2. Be afraid

Mail Online: Monday View: why we have not yet come to the crunch

The sombre truth is that the public authorities - not just here in the UK, but across the West, are hiding the truth from themselves and from the public... credit crunch two is coming, and it's going to be the big one.

Posted by mrpleasant @ 08:54 PM 0 Comments

TV property porn is out of synch

Guardian: TV property porn is out of synch

I for one am sick of these 'property' shows constantly being rolled out for our 'viewing pleasure'... with their trite voice-overs and fairyland prices.

Posted by rental john @ 04:35 PM 0 Comments

Even The Mail is struggling to put a positive spin on this

Daily Mail: House prices tumble to a two-year low as fears grow that slump will continue until 2015

"Property values are now just four per cent above the low they hit April 2009, while they are 20 per cent below the peak they reached in August 2007, before the credit crunch struck. House prices have been highly volatile during the past year, dropping in seven months, rising in four and remaining unchanged in one month, as the market continues to be unsettled. The quarter-on-quarter change, often seen as a smoother indicator of market trends, also pointed to an acceleration in the rate at which prices were falling..."

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 04:19 PM 6 Comments

When does 'reluctant participant' mean 'braces caught on the anchour chain'?

BBC News: UK should not help any second Greece bailout - Osborne

Chancellor George Osborne has said he does not want to see the UK be part of any further bailout of Greece. It comes after ministers from five eurozone countries met on Friday to discuss the financial situation of Greece, Portugal and Ireland.

Posted by rental john @ 04:13 PM 4 Comments

New elastic Housing Supply

BBC: The Shed Hunters

The rising number of gardens being used to house people in so-called "sheds with beds" is causing concern among officials. Slough Council in Berkshire said a number of garden structures were being rented out unlawfully

Posted by the number cruncher @ 03:32 PM 14 Comments

For the sake of balance...


House prices fell at their fastest annual rate for 18 months during April as weak consumer confidence caused potential buyers to stay away from the property market, new figures have shown. The average cost of a home dived by 1.4% during the month to stand at £160,395, the lowest level since July 2009, according to Halifax.

Posted by rantnrave @ 11:48 AM 21 Comments

Beeb tells it how it is sans spin.

BBC: House prices 'fell 1.4% in April' the Halifax says

Weak household confidence led UK house prices to fall by 1.4% in April compared with March, the Halifax has said. The lender, now part of Lloyds Banking Group, said the latest figures showed that property values were continuing a trend of "modest decline". Prices fell by 3.7% compared with a year ago, with the average home now costing £160,395. In the three months to April, prices were 1.2% down on the previous quarter.

Posted by sibley's b'stard child @ 10:01 AM 2 Comments

-1.4% MoM -3.7% YoY

Halifax: April Index

Commenting, Martin Ellis, housing economist, said: "The latest figures show that the underlying trend in house prices continues to be one of modest decline. Prices in the three months to April were 1.2% lower than in the previous three months. There was a 1.4% fall in prices in April following no change in March."

Posted by phdinbubbles @ 08:10 AM 28 Comments

Vince is on the loose, they must have forgotten to lock the door again.

Telegraph: Vince Cable revisits mansion tax as Lib Dem 'price'

Wealthy home owners could be taxed more as the price of keeping the Liberal Democrats happy within the Coalition. Vince Cable, the Lib Dem Business Secretary, yesterday said he wanted to look again at how such taxes could make it "fairer" for everyone. The Lib Dems are reeling from disastrous local election results in the first proper test of public opinion since the Conservative–Lib Dem coalition was formed a year ago. Mr Cable and Nick Clegg, the Lib Dem leader, yesterday gave television interviews attempting to set out what the party needed in order to remain willing partners.

Posted by khards @ 07:58 AM 20 Comments

What a wonderful world

Wall Street Journal: BOE Still Accentuating the Negative

"intentional or not, the Bank of England's policy has been to effect a massive transfer of wealth from prudent savers into the pockets of those same bankers who so heavily contributed to the financial crisis."

Posted by quiet guy @ 12:13 AM 2 Comments

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Ireland's Future Depends on Breaking Free from Bailout

Irish Times: Ireland's Future Depends on Breaking Free from Bailout

"Back when the euro was being planned in the mid-1990s, it never occurred to anyone that cautious, stodgy banks like AIB and Bank of Ireland, run by faintly dim former rugby players, could ever borrow tens of billions overseas, and lose it all on dodgy property loans. Had the collapse been limited to Irish banks, some sort of rescue deal might have been cobbled together; but a suspicion lingers that many Spanish banks – which inflated a property bubble almost as exuberant as Ireland’s, but in the world’s ninth largest economy – are hiding losses as large as those that sank their Irish counterparts."

Posted by nathan @ 06:53 PM 15 Comments

But will they return? Can they afford to return?

Daily Mail: Spain looks to tempt British ex-pats once more with promises of holiday home reform

Housing minister Jose Blanco opened the Spanish Property Roadshow in London, claiming that now was an ideal time time to buy in Spain due to low prices and new legislation to protect investors. Property prices in Spain have dropped by around 24pc in most regions, with Marbella prices plunging 40pc and Ibiza properties valued at 29pc less in the last two years. However, Mr Blanco said the Spanish economy is showing some signs of recovery, something Andy Bridge from A Place in the Sun magazine has also noted. 'We have seen the market coming back fractionally. Our property show was bigger this year than in 2010 with more advertisers and we are starting to receive more enquiries from potential buyers.'

Posted by drewster @ 02:20 PM 5 Comments

The public gets what the public wants.

Guardian: No to AV ... Yes to a whole new constitutional conflict

In a rejection of the Liberal Democrats' 90-year quest for electoral reform and Nick Clegg's supposed big prize of the coalition, the yes camp won only 11 of the 440 voting areas and not a single region in the AV referendum. Clegg accepted the result without complaint. "When you have such a overwhelmingly clear answer you just have to accept it and move on. This is a bitter blow for all those people who believe in the need for political reform, but the answer is clear and the wider job of the government, and the Liberal Democrats in government will continue, to repair the economy, to restore prosperity and jobs and a sense of optimism in the country. That is the job we started and we will see it though. We will dust ourselves off and move on."

Posted by sibley's b'stard child @ 09:30 AM 22 Comments

Reporter shocked by entirely predictable human nature

BBC iPlayer: Panorama: Council Houses: Cheats and Victims

With nearly five million people on a waiting list for social housing that most of them will not receive, Panorama reveals the compelling stories of families who struggle to get by in overcrowded or hazardous homes, or who have no option but to rent properties they simply cannot afford. Reporter Richard Bilton goes undercover to confront the cheats who make money unlawfully from badly-needed council flats or offer cash rewards for tenancies.

Posted by drewster @ 12:16 AM 2 Comments

Friday, May 6, 2011

Number One Way to fix Everthing - Land Value Tax

Guardian: Land tax is fair, and it's not just a fringe issue

Fairly standard article. One of the commenters (with whom Physiocrat is still doing battle) came up with a new killer argument against LVT - he reckoned replacing taxes on income with LVT would make him better off. So we agreed that most people would be better off, if he's one of them, so what? He insists that this makes it a bad tax. Weird.

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 11:52 PM 30 Comments

Number one way to fix the Housing market - Land Value Tax

Yahoo Fianace: Four ways to fix the housing market

I am speechless - the truth has been spoken in the (unfortunately not so mainstream) media! (link from last post)

Posted by the number cruncher @ 11:25 PM 12 Comments

An official familiar with the situation said...

Bloomberg: Euro Tumbles Most in a Year After Report Greece May Drop Common Currency

"European finance officials are gathering in Luxembourg today for an unscheduled meeting that may discuss proposals for restructuring Greek debt, said two European officials familiar with the situation. A German official said the discussions would include a German paper on options for confronting Greece’s growing debt load, which has spurred speculation by investors that a restructuring was a likely outcome".

Posted by alan @ 10:38 PM 5 Comments

Surprising bearish news from the MSM

Yahoo Finance: Worst house price slump for a generation

MSM plagiarise HPC!

Posted by general congreve @ 08:23 PM 8 Comments

I thought i'd heard it all until this article

Bloomberg: People not paying mortgages boosts spending!

great news!!!...apparently people not paying their mortgages is good for the us economy 'cos it means they can spend spend spend on other things.......I give up

Posted by taffee @ 04:12 PM 5 Comments

The best way to spread bet on UK property prices

MoneyWeek: The best way to spread bet on UK property prices

With UK house prices under pressure once more, you might be tempted to take a punt on further falls using a property spread bet. But that's easier said than done. Tim Bennett explains the best way.

Posted by damien @ 03:59 PM 3 Comments

Stop being such a bean counter

Telegraph: Royal Bank of Scotland investigation: the full story of how the 'world's biggest bank' went bust

The Telegraph's own account of the RBS taxpayer bailout in October 2008. My title is the response by Fred Goodwin when being challenged about the state of the ABN AMRO bank shortly before RBS purchased it. Later, the report reads "“Once you started to look around ABN’s trading books you realised that a lot of their businesses, particularly what you would call model businesses where valuations were based on assumptions, were based on forecasts that were super aggressive,” said one senior former RBS trader. For Cameron and GBM chief executive Brian Crowe, sitting in their adjoining offices, every day brought fresh horrors as staff reported back on what they were finding in the ABN books."

Posted by quiet guy @ 02:51 PM 1 Comments

Hawk's lacklustre swan song.

Guardian: Andrew Sentance loses last battle over interest rates

'Bank governor Mervyn King and his fellow doves on the committee have conducted a lively public debate with Sentance in recent months. King has argued that a one-off rate rise to salvage the MPC's reputation would be a "futile gesture", warning of the potential impact of higher borrowing costs on the still-fragile economy.' "For the second time in as many months the majority of economists have yet again put back by a further three months their expectation as to when Bank Rate will increase," said Ray Boulger, of mortgage broker John Charcol. "November now appears to be the majority view, but with an increasing number acknowledging the year may end with rate still at 0.5%."

Posted by sibley's b'stard child @ 02:38 PM 9 Comments

American press on UK economy

Wsj: U.K. Private Sector Slows Sharply

LONDON—Growth in the U.K.'s private sector slowed sharply in April, suggesting the economy lost momentum as it moved into the second quarter of the year and reducing the likelihood of a near-term rise in interest rates. Financial information company Markit's purchasing-managers indexes showed sharply lower growth in the services, manufacturing and construction sectors. "The three April U.K. PMI surveys collectively indicated the largest loss of growth momentum seen since just after the collapse of [U.S. investment bank Lehman Brothers] in late 2008,"

Posted by si @ 02:09 PM 0 Comments

Speculating snake-oil spivs scuppered.

Estate Agent Today: City watchdog takes land bank firms to court

The FSA has launched legal proceedings against six land-banking operations accused of duping investors into parting with £45m. The FSA says that people were persuaded to buy plots of land that they were told had development potential, but which in reality would never have been given planning permission. Examples included a site with no access, one on a 45-degree hill and another that was a site of special scientific interest. Jonathan Phelan, head of retail enforcement at the FSA, declined to comment on individual cases, but said: “Certain land banks are becoming more and more criminal in the way that they operate.”

Posted by sibley's b'stard child @ 10:46 AM 11 Comments

Sneak Peak

This Is Money: 150,000 in negative equity at Lloyds alone

Around 150,000 homeowners who have a mortgage with Lloyds Banking Group are in negative equity, the banking giant has admitted.

Posted by richy richless @ 08:44 AM 18 Comments

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Is this the kind of bubble burst property should expect?

Guardian: Oil plunge hints at end of commodities boom

Price slump of nearly $10 a barrel (oil) drags down precious metals, lead and tin as Glencore float looks like top of the market Or is this just a buying opportunity?

Posted by wdbeast @ 09:47 PM 45 Comments

The dead cats have stopped bouncing across the pond as well

CNBC: National Home Prices Double Dip

"The last time home prices fell at this rate, three years ago, they were then boosted by government stimulus in the form of a home buyer tax credit. The last time no incentives were in place and distressed inventories were this high, home prices fell sharply,"

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

Election-day tongue in cheek but with a serious point

Dairy Torygraph: Ian Cowie - A tax-based alternative to the Alternative Vote

“A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy.”

Posted by montesquieu @ 02:49 PM 7 Comments

Sounds Good...

Bloomberg: U.K. House Prices May Drop as Much as 20% Over Next Five Years, Niesr Says

U.K. house prices adjusted for inflation may drop as much as 20 percent in the next five years as the Bank of England raises interest rates and regulators toughen lending rules, the National Institute for Economic and Social Research said. “The prospects for the housing market are very weak indeed over the next five years,” Ray Barrell, director of macroeconomic research and forecasting at Niesr, said at a press briefing in London yesterday. “That will significantly weaken the U.K.’s growth rate.”

Posted by hosh @ 01:20 PM 0 Comments

Surprise news!

Daily Telegraph: Bank of England holds interest rates

And guess what. The more it holds rates down, the more damage will be done...

Posted by peter @ 12:45 PM 11 Comments

Why house price slump could pick up speed

Guardian: Why house price slump could pick up speed

Low interest rates and a relatively low rise in unemployment have helped the property market make a soft landing - but George Osborne could spoil all that

Posted by becky @ 12:29 PM 17 Comments

No change to UK base rate

BBC: UK interest rates kept on hold at 0.5%

UK interest rates have been kept at the record low of 0.5% again by the Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee. Data this week pointed to a slowdown in growth in manufacturing, construction and services, which economists took as a sign that the Bank would not change rates with the recovery still weak. This is despite the fact that inflation is currently at 4%, double the Bank's target rate. The MPC did not reveal any new quantitative easing measures either.

Posted by jack c @ 12:08 PM 2 Comments

Today's bear nibbles

City AM: House prices to fall for five years, warns think tank

"REAL house prices could drop by a fifth over the next five years, a leading economic forecaster warned today. Despite prices falling since the credit crunch, houses remain overvalued by around ten per cent, the National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR) claimed. Additional regulations on banks could knock a further ten per cent off prices, after inflation, NIESR has estimated." PS, the former boss of NIESR is Martin Weale, a moderate land value taxer and now on the BoE's MPC.

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 11:31 AM 2 Comments

HPC in Hong Kong

Zero Hedge: Hong Kong Real Estate Transactions Plunge

A month ago, Zero Hedge observed the collapse in March real estate prices and number of transactions in Beijing (here and here), speculating that this could be the beginning of the end of the Chinese real estate bubble. Today, courtesy of the Hong Kong land registry service, we find that the drubbing has shifted from mainland China to Hong Kong. "The number of sale and purchase agreements for all building units received for registration in April was 10,386 (-23.1% compared with March and -27.4% compared with April 2010). Among the sale and purchase agreements, 7,635 were for residential units (-27% compared with March and -37.6% compared with April 2010)."

Posted by rob @ 10:46 AM 0 Comments

The UK's disgusting recent record with social housing

BBC Panorama: Tracking down England's council house sublet cheats

A shocking insight into the current state of the UK's social housing. Another questionable policy started by Thatcher's "right to buy" scam and persisted by the shoddy governments to the present day. "Nearly five million people are on waiting lists for social housing in England because of a shortage of council homes - a wait made worse by council properties being unlawfully sublet at a cost to taxpayers of £1bn."

Posted by doomwatch @ 10:13 AM 11 Comments

Brow field building land created by youths

DailySnail: Led away in handcuffs: Suspected young HPC's arrested yards from just one of the new brown field sites across the UK

As towering flames rip through tinder-dry bracken, a suspected HPCer is handcuffed and led away in this extraordinary picture. This blaze, which ravaged more than two acres of clifftop at a seaside beauty spot, is one of thousands of wildfires which have spread across Britain in the last few days. Firemen say many were started deliberately to create more space for desperately needed housing. The forest and heathland a traditional NIMBY breeding ground has been cleared with fires across the countryside.This has been aided by one of the driest springs in decades.

Posted by khards @ 08:37 AM 6 Comments

That's a crash...

Guardian: Osama bin Laden hideout 'worth far less than US claimed'

Osama bin Laden's house, described by the US government as a $1m (£605,000) mansion, is in fact worth no more than $250,000 say property professionals in Abbottabad, the town where he was killed. The revelation is the latest of several erroneous descriptions about the nature of Bin Laden's hideout – and the manner of his death – which have dogged the White House in recent days.

Posted by dazedandconfused @ 08:19 AM 0 Comments

5 YearSlump?

Mail: House prices 'to fall for the next five years' in longest property slump for a lifetime

"House prices in Britain will fall for the next five years in the longest slump for at least half a century, leading economists warn today. Property values in the UK are set to fall 4.5 per cent this year and 10.5 per cent by the end of 2015, according to the National Institute of Economic and Social Research".

Posted by alan @ 02:07 AM 28 Comments

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Another one bites the dust

BBC News: Focus DIY seeking administration

The Focus DIY chain has said it intends to go into administration. "We're seeing consumers adjusting their behaviour to take account of having less money and less job security," said Richard Hyman, strategic advisor to Deloitte. "Six or seven years ago, DIY was the sector in the fast lane, but now it is in the slow lane because people are not moving house."

Posted by little professor @ 06:31 PM 9 Comments

Rewarding savers "is an inconvenience"

Telegraph: Why Bank of England policymakers don't want to raise interest rates

"A manufacturing sector struggling to keep its growth momentum going and a high street falling back into recession have given doves on the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) compelling evidence for keeping rates on hold", but "We are importing inflation from our biggest trading bloc, Europe, from where exporters are raising prices for the British market to compensate for revenue lost to a weak pound".

Posted by alan @ 05:09 PM 4 Comments

Blaenau Gwent, prices were down nearly 20% over the year

BBC: Land Registry survey shows sharp Wales house price drop

Latest figures from the Land Registry shows Wales suffered the biggest drop in prices compared with England. In Blaenau Gwent, prices were down nearly 20% over the year.

Posted by khards @ 04:52 PM 3 Comments

There fighting back lads! Mortgage approvals highest in five months

New mortgage approvals rose to their highest levels in five months in March, according to new data from the Bank of England, while consumer credit continues to be sluggish. The number of mortgages approved for house purchases rose to 47,557, higher than the 46,283 average in the previous six months . The slight pick up in mortgage lending comes as a closely-watched survey showed house prices slipped back. WOW! an extra 1,274 mortgages per 23.6 million households. Now that is a slight pick-up.

Posted by khards @ 02:08 PM 4 Comments

Nationwide or Hometrack: who’s right about the housing market?

Planet Property: Nationwide or Hometrack: who’s right about the housing market?

A very interesting report from Hometrack suggests that the current rally in the housing market (though it’s very much limited to London and the South East) is a temporary blip, and will reverse later in the year as prices fall again. Nationwide, however, seem to disagree and argue that “there is still little evidence to suggest that price declines will accelerate in the months ahead.” Who’s right? Here’s the way they see it.

Posted by the planet @ 02:00 PM 0 Comments

Official Figures Show Double Dip

Planet Property: Official figures show double dip

Latest Land Reg data show clear sign of a double dip. The question is not whether it’s happening, but how far the lines will head south.

Posted by the planet @ 01:41 PM 0 Comments

For March 2011

Land Registry: House Price Index

Monthly: Down 1.1% Annual: Down 2.3%

Posted by dill @ 11:13 AM 15 Comments

Unexpected bout of bearishness from purveyor of pap

Houseladder: Renting property 'the most sensible option'

People may want to consider renting, rather than buying, following the comments of one expert. Renting could prove a more sensible option than buying property for many in the UK at present, if the comments of one expert are anything to go by. Tim Lambert, head of consulting at Ducalian, said this could be the best route to take due to the current economic climate. The industry figure explained that rents are likely to stay the same month-in, month-out, while mortgages have the potential to increase significantly across the next few years.

Posted by sibley's b'stard child @ 09:15 AM 4 Comments

Blessing or curse?

Guardian: Nationwide opens door for first-time buyers with 5% deposit

"Building society's new Save to Buy account will enable first-time home buyers to apply for 95% loan-to-value mortgages"

Posted by alan @ 09:00 AM 8 Comments

The BBC spin machine

BBC News: UK house prices remaining static, Nationwide says

"UK house prices fell by 0.2% in April compared with March but values are showing little momentum in either direction, according to the Nationwide." "A strong rebound in the market remains unlikely as the recovery is still expected to remain modest by historic standards," "In our view, the most likely outcome is that house prices will continue to move sideways or drift modestly lower through 2011." "Despite the stagnation of prices, other recent evidence has pointed to a modest pick up in sales, In March, according to HM Revenue and Customs, there was a jump of 10,000 in the number of homes sold."

Posted by wdbeast @ 08:50 AM 4 Comments

-0.2%MoM, -1.3% YoY

Nationwide [pdf]: House prices fall by 0.2% in April

"The price of a typical house fell by 0.2% in April, which left prices 1.3% lower than the same period of 2010. The three month on three month measure of house prices, a better measure of the underlying trend, showed a modest rise of 0.6%." Prices actually up 0.5% on the month before the seasonal adjustment

Posted by little professor @ 08:19 AM 9 Comments

First the good news: A drop of 3.2 per cent year-on-year in house prices A mixed March

AMONG the batch of monthly housing surveys, Hometrack stands out as one of the more authoritative as it takes in details from 5,100 agents and surveyors across England and Wales. Their survey of March shows the familiar good and bad news in these stuttering times.

Posted by khards @ 07:50 AM 2 Comments

House prices 'unexpectedly' fell in April. House prices are now 1.3 percent lower than a year ago

Reuters: Nationwide-House prices fell 0.2 percent in April

(Reuters) - House prices unexpectedly fell in April after two months of strong growth, pointing to a trend of stagnant prices as household spending remains under pressure, mortgage lender Nationwide said on Wednesday. Nationwide said house prices dropped by 0.2 percent last month after a 0.5 percent rise in March, the biggest seasonally adjusted fall since November last year and one that means average house prices are now 1.3 percent lower than a year ago.

Posted by khards @ 07:43 AM 0 Comments

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

No Criminal Charges “Not every lie is a crime,”

Bloomberg: Deutsche Bank Faces $1 Billion Claim From U.S. in Mortgage-Fraud Lawsuit

"Deutsche Bank AG, Germany’s biggest bank, was sued for more than $1 billion by the U.S. for allegedly lying “repeatedly” to qualify thousands of risky mortgages for a government insurance program". “I wouldn’t be surprised if they were looking at other banks,” David H. Stevens (of Mortgage Brokers Assoc) said today at a conference held by the trade group in New York. {Hey - No kidding, Dave!}.

Posted by alan @ 11:06 PM 5 Comments

Jose Socrates just announced the 3yr loan

BBC: Portugal reaches deal on EU and IMF bail-out

Peston said "Just at the time that Portgual hopes loans from the EU and IMF will be enough to tide it over, investors are increasingly of the view that a similar rescue of Greece hasn't worked and that Greece will have to write off portions of its huge government borrowings”

Posted by alan @ 10:34 PM 3 Comments

Back to basics

Guardian: The uncomfortable truth about the housing market

Without easy credit, we see the real state of the market – we don't need clever financing, we need more houses

Posted by dill @ 08:35 PM 8 Comments

India Raises Interest Rates to Battle Inflation

New York Times: India Raises Interest Rates to Battle Inflation

In a bid to rein in persistently high inflation, India’s central bank raised interest rates Tuesday more than analysts had expected and signaled that it would be willing to raise borrowing costs even further.

Posted by 234sale @ 04:13 PM 0 Comments

The inevitable slow motion train wreck continues...

Independant: Households face the worse year for finances since 1977

Roger Bootle, a former government adviser said: "I think this year will see falling real earnings, falling real house prices and rising unemployment."

Posted by the number cruncher @ 11:00 AM 14 Comments

Both in price and volume

BBC: Big fall in Scottish house sales

House prices have dropped and the number of homes being sold has decreased, according to figures from the Registers of Scotland. The average cost of a house fell by more than 7% in the first three months of this year compared with the end of 2010. The number of homes changing hands fell by 35% in the same period. The total value of the sales across Scotland dropped by 40%, with Stirling seeing the biggest fall of 57%

Posted by khards @ 10:55 AM 17 Comments

A big hint ahead of Thursdays MPC release

Fundweb: Mervyn King warns against raising interest rates

Mervyn King, the governor of the Bank of England, has warned of the “severe” consequences of raising interest rates. Speaking at the European Parliament in Brussels yesterday, King said rate rises would be dangerous given the high debt levels across Europe. King said: “The economic consequences of high-level indebtedness now would become more severe if rates were to rise.” The Monetary Policy Committee meets this Thursday to decide whether to keep the bank rate at its historic low of 0.5%.

Posted by jack c @ 10:15 AM 23 Comments

Monday, May 2, 2011

Words can't begin to describe the horrors

BBC iPlayer: Young, Rich and House Hunting - Episode 1

Up and down the country, super rich teens and twenty-somethings are spending shedloads on their dream properties. Unless you've got a trust fund or are being bankrolled by mum and dad, the average first-time buyer is now a whopping 38 years old. As Britain's youth are in danger of becoming a generation who can't afford to buy their own homes, this series follows some of the UK's most affluent young people as they hunt for their perfect pads and go on a serious spending spree. Twenty-five-year-old playboy Luke has up to £800,000 to spend on a new home. He currently lives rent-free in his godfather's £2m gated home in Essex. But will he ever find anywhere as good to match? Nineteen-year-old Milly from Cheshire has been entrusted with nearly half a million pounds....

Posted by drewster @ 11:13 PM 14 Comments

We should be able to get these figures from somewhere

Right move: 29% fall in prices in two years

Looking at the local paper, having a house sale for the following property. Have a look at the following website and look for Braunston Manor has price of was £1.68 million, now £1.49 million At right move above has a price of £1,185,000. This is also a guided price not an exact price. This is 29% fall in the initial asking price to guided price. Real value could be different. Surely this is the took track of the property market and we should be able to get these figures from somewhere?

Posted by deepak @ 02:33 PM 5 Comments

If only our productivity was rising as quickly

Daily Mail: Britain has 185,000 property millionaires - and rising fast

"the research, from the banking giant Lloyds, reveals the number of people able to fork out £1million or more on a home is rocketing. Last year, 7,185 people spent this amount on a property, equal to around 20 people every day, including weekends. This is more than 50 per cent higher than the previous year and the fastest rise in four years, a sign of the resilience of the property market during a recession and a fragile recovery."

Posted by quiet guy @ 02:23 PM 9 Comments

Getting the message across, Mark ;-)

Guardian: Tax property, not people, for a fairer society

Mark Wadsworth is an economist, blogger, sometime Tory Bow Group adviser and campaigner for land value taxes. He recently told Economic Voice website: "I'm an economist not a politician, and I can only repeat what all the great economists have said down the centuries: taxes on land values are the least bad taxes because they do not depress or distort economic activity, ie wealth creation. Land value tax is easy to assess, cheap to collect and impossible to evade.

Posted by happy mondays @ 08:46 AM 118 Comments

It's Bin Ladens fault !

Arabian money: Why the Bin Laden death likely marks a stock market top

Osama bin Laden’s death could soon be remembered as the trigger for a stock market event rather more devastating for the United States than his appalling terrorist attacks almost a decade ago.

Posted by happy mondays @ 08:22 AM 16 Comments

Slow death

Yahoo: UK April house price fall biggest y/y in 18 mths-

"The second half of 2011 is likely to emerge as a new phase where rising supply will constrain any further improvement in pricing levels," said Hometrack research director Richard Donnell. "Weaker consumer confidence could result in a slowdown in demand which would exacerbate the pressure on prices."

Posted by happy mondays @ 07:29 AM 4 Comments

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Move along, no inflation here in the UK

Mail: BT’s price rise prompts call for review of tariffs

"BT’s shock decision to impose inflation-busting price increases for a second successive year has sparked calls for telecom firms to simplify their bewildering tariffs". The row erupted following BT’s decision last week to push up call charges by nine per cent.

Posted by alan @ 04:23 PM 0 Comments

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