June 2011 Archive

Thursday, June 30, 2011

One Hyde Park - Most expensive ghost town in the world

Telegraph: One Hyde Park - Most expensive ghost town in the world

Mostly empty and some unit cost just £1400 on council tax

Posted by easybetman @ 11:59 AM 5 Comments

Bank of England says mortgage defaults are on the rise - and that's before a rate rise.

WSJ.com: Bank of England Warns of Rising Loan Defaults

U.K. lenders expect defaults on loans to homeowners and small businesses to rise in the third quarter of 2011, the Bank of England said Thursday.In its quarterly credit-conditions survey, the U.K. central bank said lenders reported that their losses from defaults on home loans rose in the second quarter and the rate of default is expected to increase in the third quarter. Losses on unsecured loans, like credit cards, are also expected to increase in the third quarter, lenders said. Britons are facing an unprecedented squeeze on their finances from a combination of stagnant wages, higher taxes and high inflation. The BOE said lenders had expected the cost of home loans to decrease in the second quarter compared with the first and the availability of loans to rise. In the end, that didn't

Posted by pbahra @ 10:30 AM 1 Comments

Landlords from Hell

Landlords from Hell: Channel 4: Dispathces

Looks interesting, but I doubt it will enlighten us HPCers on this den of crooks who have been allowed to operate in a de-regulated "industry" for far too long, AND have been allowed to enjoy generous tax breaks. How convenient. Of course, we've all forgotten all the MPs who made a packet on flipping to avoid CGT.

Posted by doomwatch @ 09:49 AM 19 Comments

UAE makes second homes more attractive with longer visas

ArabianMoney: UAE to extend property residency visas from six months to three years

The UAE government is to extend residency visas granted to foreign property owners in the emirates from six month to three years, although the terms and conditions to be attached have not yet been published.

Posted by david smith @ 09:45 AM 2 Comments

What to do, Sir King

Telegraph: Fresh inflation threat to weak UK economy

The strains on the UK economy have been laid bare by new data showing that inflation expectations are rising to dangerous levels at the same time as growth is slipping and consumer confidence evaporating.

Posted by dill @ 08:53 AM 5 Comments

Nationwide cling to

BBC News: Property market 'moving sideways', says Nationwide

The housing market has "moved sideways" in the past six months, the Nationwide has said, as house prices remained unchanged in June. The value of the typical home was the same in June as in the previous month, but 1.1% lower than in June 2010, the building society said.

Posted by caparn @ 07:21 AM 1 Comments

0% MoM, -1.1% YoY

Nationwide: June Index


Posted by phdinbubbles @ 07:04 AM 11 Comments

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Snake oil salesman trashes the pound and your savings

Mail: No interest rate rises until unemployment drops and the economy grows, says Mervyn King

''The Governor of the Bank of England Sir Mervyn King has suggested that interest rates would not rise until it was certain the economy was growing and there had been a drop in unemployment. He was giving evidence to MPs at the Treasury Select Committee along with other members of the bank. Sir Mervyn also indicated yesterday that a large cash injection directly into the economy to boost asset prices and spending was possible.''

Posted by hpwatcher @ 05:46 PM 25 Comments

Lunchtime bear nibbles for from the beeb

BBC News: Mortgage approvals still subdued, Bank of England says

The UK property market is set to remain subdued in the coming months, figures from the Bank of England suggest.

Posted by richy richless @ 12:28 PM 9 Comments

Is there enough time? & What then?

Wall Street Journal: Ailing Greece Tries National Tag Sale

ATHENS—Debt-strapped Greece is about to hold an epic yard sale. For the taking: four wide-body Airbus jets, a state lottery, a state horse-racing concession and sports book, stakes in a casino, several ports, a national post office, two water companies, a nickel miner and smelter, a munitions maker, electricity and gas monopolies, a telecommunications operator, shares in a half dozen banks, hundreds of miles of roads, a defunct airport, old Olympic venues and thousands of acres of land, including magnificent stretches of Greece's famed coast.

Posted by rental john @ 10:18 AM 0 Comments

Releasing the value of business land to locals?

BBC: Business rates 'to be localised'

Councils in England will be allowed to keep the business rates they collect rather than paying them into Treasury coffers, under new government plans.

Posted by ontheotherhand @ 07:34 AM 10 Comments

Coded uttering from King

Guardian: Bank of England governor warns of sluggish consumer spending

"Beleaguered Britons are likely to keep their hands in their pockets for at least the next year as high inflation eats into their living standards, the Bank of England governor, Mervyn King, has warned." So King says that high inflation is repressing economic growth. Yet highly inflated living costs might be at least partly attributed to ZIRP. Can you spot the circularity? Interestingly, King also "rejected the claim this week that the a tsunami of house repossessions would hit the UK if interest rates were to rise significantly. He said it was unlikely mortgage lenders would raise interest rates in line with rises in the base rate set by the Bank of England." Was that a hint to mortgage lenders?

Posted by quiet guy @ 01:16 AM 4 Comments

Zombies rising

Reuters: The unbelievable mercy of UK banks

UK banks accused of sweeping insolvencies under the carpet... in the hope something will turn up.

Posted by stuartking @ 12:06 AM 6 Comments

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

ONS fingers inflation as the cause of falling levels of saving

This is Money: Families left with just pennies to save in 'household recession', official data shows

After typical monthly outgoings, the amount of cash households have left to stash into a savings account or pension has fallen dramatically since January with the Office for National Statistics' savings ratio (the money left after consumption), falling from 5.1 per cent to 4.6 per cent between January and March. The ONS (producers of infamous statistics) blamed high inflation that has forced families to dig deep just to maintain living standards.

Posted by enuii @ 09:16 PM 3 Comments

Greece bailout no longer certain

BBC: Greece protest against austerity package turns violent

Police have fired tear gas in running battles with stone-throwing youths in Athens, where a 48-hour general strike is being held against a parliamentary vote on tough austerity measures. Thousands of protesters have gathered outside parliament in the capital where public transport has ground to a halt. PM George Papandreou has said that only his 28bn-euro (£25bn) austerity plan would get Greece back on its feet. If the package is not approved, Greece could run out of money within weeks. Without a new plan in place, the EU and IMF say they will withhold 12bn euros of loans which Greece needs to repay debts due in mid-July.

Posted by blinktoofast @ 08:16 PM 8 Comments


CNN: China's debt bomb

As the world watches the Greek credit crisis unfold, a Sino-debt disaster is brewing halfway around the world. Jim Chanos, the hedge fund manager who is famously shorting China, told Fortune late last year that the country was "embarking on something unprecedented." He was referring to the massive construction boom that has been underway for years, and that was supercharged by a 2008 stimulus package that pumped four trillion yuan ($586 billion) into the economy. In his opinion, the speculative bubble in real estate would end in a big pop, empty buildings, and pain for the country's broader economy.

Posted by mark @ 04:50 PM 7 Comments

Article from last week - but worth a read.

New Statesman: Greeks bearing debts. The euro was a bad idea in 1999, and it's a disaster now.

The ERM fiasco of Black Wednesday is well-rehearsed. Less commented on is that we had all lived through what happened in the north of the UK in the 1980s, when an interest rate was necessarily set to control inflation in the south. If it's hard enough to make one rate suitable for a single state, it beggars belief that anyone imagined that a single rate could suit economies stretching from Dublin to Athens via Berlin.

Posted by rental john @ 03:21 PM 0 Comments

All in a days pay!!

Manchester evening news: Phil Neville slashes price of Beetham Tower apartment by £250,000

Former United star Phil Neville has dropped the price of his city centre flat by a whopping £250,000 – after failing to find a buyer. The footballer put his Beetham Tower home up for sale for a whopping £4m last year. It is believed the property – in Europe’s highest residential apartment block – is the most expensive flat ever to be put on the market in Manchester.

Posted by mark @ 02:55 PM 4 Comments

Revealing snapshot

Hay Group: PayNet UK Salary Tracker

Hay Group's quarterly PayNet UK Salary Tracker looks at how employees' pay compares with a range of economic indicators to reveal the true picture of pay in the UK. It's based on data from the Hay Group PayNet UK database, which includes reward information for more than one million employees across all industries. The latest edition (June 2011) compares salaries to house prices and time taken to save for a deposit to reveal affordability by region. It also covers salaries compared with house prices and mortgages by employee level since 2000.

Posted by dill @ 01:46 PM 6 Comments

Lies, dammed lies and debts.

Not technically bankrupt but economically bankrupt: Prag Cap

The Bellwether thesis is that the whole US/UK debt problem/insolvency/inflation issue is now the mainstream and mostly wrong. That does not mean it is not starting to get a grip as per the attached re the debt ceiling in the US. There seem to be 2 threads to this. Continued at post 1.

Posted by bellwether @ 12:56 PM 16 Comments

BBC's take on things

BBC News: House prices continue to fall in England and Wales

House prices in England and Wales are continuing to fall, according to the Land Registry. Its latest monthly survey, for May, shows that prices dropped by 0.4% that month, to push them 2.2% lower than a year ago. The fall in prices means the average property in England and Wales is now worth £161,823. Only in London have prices risen in the past year, by 2.9%, with the average home in the capital costing £344,819. "The divergence in price change between London and the rest of the country continues to grow," the Land Registry said. Prices across England and Wales have now fallen in seven of the past nine months, taking them back to where they were at the end of 2009.

Posted by khards @ 12:32 PM 6 Comments

Spring bounce

Land Registry: May house prices down 0.4 per cent since April: average house price in England and Wales now £161,823

The May data from Land Registry's flagship House Price Index shows an annual price decrease of -2.2 per cent which takes the average property value in England and Wales to £161,823. The monthly change from April to May is a decrease of -0.4 per cent. The only region in England and Wales to experience an increase in its average property value over the last 12 months is London with a movement of 2.9 per cent. The East Midlands experienced the greatest monthly rise with a movement of 0.4 per cent. The North East again experienced the greatest annual price fall with a decrease of -6.9 per cent. Wales is the region which experienced the most significant monthly price fall with a movement of -3.5 per cent.

Posted by khards @ 10:59 AM 5 Comments

Rip off Britain

This is money: Orange and Vodafone users hit as mobile call charges soar 66 per cent

Millions of users signed to Orange and Vodafone will be hit with inflation-busting increases in contract and pay-as-you-go tariffs. The squeeze is on, but what would happen if we all turned off our phones for a day?

Posted by will @ 10:12 AM 12 Comments

Grade II listed town hall for sale on ebay

Planet Property: Grade II listed town hall for sale on ebay

Sign of the times, I guess ... Warminster Old Town Hall, which is now for sale on ebay with an asking price of £200,000.

Posted by the planet @ 09:54 AM 0 Comments

Banks need low rates

This is money: Surge in home repossessions if interest rates rise

Britain is facing a raft of home repossessions as soon as interest rates start to rise, one of the country's leading bankers has warned.

Posted by will @ 09:13 AM 1 Comments


Reuters: Britain facing raft of home repossessions - "bad bank" chief

Britain is facing a raft of home repossessions as soon as interest rates start to rise, the chief executive of the bad bank managing the toxic assets that brought down Northern Rock told The Guardian newspaper in an interview.

Posted by paranoia blue @ 06:26 AM 4 Comments

Monday, June 27, 2011

Daily Mail says house price falls are good, but only when celebrities are buying

Daily Mail: Way under the odds: TV racing presenter Emma Spencer has snapped up this £2.95m Newmarket home – previously on the market for £7m

Emma has just bought a luxurious 11,000 sq ft house in Newmarket for £2.95million. The house featured in The Mail on Sunday last year. ‘I remembered seeing it when it was on the market three years ago for £7million,’ says Emma. ‘So when I saw the price had been radically reduced, I had to have a look.‘ Emma's salary is not enough to buy her new home by herself. Instead she has persuaded her wealthy brother, who lives in London, to buy a share in the property as an investment. The former owners claimed they had nearly sold the house for £5million just before the property crash, were then forced to reduce the asking price to £3.95million and again last year to £2.95million.

Posted by drewster @ 11:52 PM 3 Comments

Quote of the day: "Nobody can afford market rates!"

BBC News: Cambridge's affordable housing plans in disarray

A government proposal that new social housing tenants should pay 80% of market rents in Cambridge has been condemned by the city council. Currently the city's council tenants pay 40% of the market rent, while its social housing tenants pay 60%. "80% of a market rent for a two-bedroom house is over £700 a month," said John Marais, who represents council tenants. "It's completely deceitful and dishonest even to pretend that 80% of that is affordable," said Mr Marais, who is also a member of Defend Council Housing's national committee.

Posted by drewster @ 11:41 PM 12 Comments

More private sector jobs threatened

Guardian: 5,000 jobs at risk in latest retail failures

After Habitat, Jane Morgan and Homeform, TJ Hughes expects to go into administration, putting 4,000 more jobs at risk in 57 department stores across the UK. Potentially more lost tax revenues and increased benefits spending. Yet another example of how Gideon Osborne's "austerity leads to prosperity" policies are not working.

Posted by stuartking @ 10:36 PM 9 Comments

The end is nigh

Guardian: Bank chief warns of wave of home repossessions if rates rise

Tsunami of repossessions on the horizon. BTLs and self-certs among those most likely to be handing keys back, says Richard Banks, the chief executive of UK Asset Resolution (UKAR), the body that runs the £80bn of mortgages bailed out by the taxpayer during the banking crisis... and forebearance is only making matters worse in the long-run

Posted by stuartking @ 10:29 PM 0 Comments

For those who skip the Express...

This is MONEY: Surge in homes for sale puts pressure on house prices Read more: http://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/mortgageshome/article-2008685/Hometrack-house-prices-Surge-homes-sale-puts-pressure-property-market.html#ixzz1QVqLKdow

Hometrack's director of research, Richard Donnell, said that the property market had been less weak so far this year than he had expected. 'Low transaction volumes, low mortgage rates and forbearance by lenders limiting the number of forced sales have all played their part. While average prices have slipped back by one per cent, sales volumes have increased off the back of higher demand and greater realism over achievable prices,' he said.

Posted by sureseam @ 10:06 PM 3 Comments

More dominos to fall

Barrons via yahoo finance: The Next Mortgage Bombshell

The private insurers that cover $700 billion of U.S. mortgages are facing an onslaught of foreclosures. The big three—MGIC, Radian, PMI—are at risk. Just some of the other dominos to fall. This is bigger than Greece twice over and just few of ther issues in US. This kind of issues don't get reported in the mass media, BBC never this is beyond their scope.

Posted by deepak @ 09:44 PM 0 Comments

A bit of bear food: Houses now -30% off peak.

Telegraph: A little-noticed milestone: This week, house prices will have fallen over 30 per cent in real terms

"Unless something odd happens, this week is likely to see an interesting but under-announced milestone: falls in house prices, in real terms, from their 2007 peak, exceeding 30 per cent (on the well-known Halifax measure)."

Posted by jonathan @ 08:27 PM 0 Comments

Second home owners under fire

Kingsbridge Gazette: Second home owners’ council tax discount now tops £700,000

MPs and councillors attack discount afforded to second home owners

Posted by stuartking @ 06:42 PM 3 Comments

Local governments had amassed $1.65 trillion of debt

La times: Local government debt in China raises risk

The first-of-its-kind review highlights one of the biggest risks to China’s economy, which is bracing for a slowdown this year as it battles its highest inflation in nearly three years. About half the outstanding debt was incurred after 2009 when Beijing allowed banks to issue a record amount of new credit to stimulate the economy. Provincial, county and city level governments borrowed willingly to fend off the effects of the global financial crisis.

Posted by mark @ 03:22 PM 8 Comments

Absolutely bizarre...


... in the other article I posted this morning, The Daily Express said that "A property-owning middle class has been one of the foundations on which our economic success over the past 30 years has been built" so how do they square this with their advice to go into buy to let? Or do they have a vision of the "middle classes" owning all the housing and the "working class" all renting? That doesn't sound very democratic to me.

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 02:04 PM 5 Comments

So how many jobs have been lost in a week while express thinks a boom is starting

Manchester evening news: Breaking: 600 civilian jobs axed in latest cuts by Greater Manchester Police

Crime scene investigatiors, forensic scientists and call handlers are among 600 civilian staff to lose their jobs in the latest round of cost-cutting by Greater Manchester Police.

Posted by mark @ 01:03 PM 0 Comments

The banks may have delayed their losses.

BBC Business News: Have banks been hiding their losses?

'The Bank of England estimates that up to 12% of UK residential mortgages could be receiving some kind of forbearance or special help from banks at present.' Robert Peston makes some interesting observations. Link borrowed from Figgy in the forum.

Posted by will @ 12:45 PM 2 Comments

Is the US in denial over its $14 T Debt


Where a seconds thought makes it obvious that China does not fund US spending (in any way whatsover), the idea that it does seems very deeply embedded in main stream thought - eg this article "Because of course Chinese bankers, if they withdrew their support for the US economy and their willingness to finance America's spending, could have an almost overnight impact on every American life, forcing interest rates to sky high levels and torpedoing the world's largest economy."

Posted by bellwether @ 12:08 PM 12 Comments

Lets hope realism comes before falls

Daily Telegraph: House prices fall as sellers become more realistic

Correcting Alan faux-pas of earlier on... ;-) Is this the start of the squeeze in the UK economy (wages/jobs/inflation) being felt?

Posted by growler @ 11:53 AM 1 Comments

Daily Express on tip top comedy form


"REASONS to be cheerful: the sun’s shining, Andy Murray’s still in with a shout at Wimbledon and the housing market is springing back to life. An 11 per cent increase in sales reflects the enormous benefits to the economy of our record low interest rates, a point that should not be lost on the Bank of England. A property-owning middle class has been one of the foundations on which our economic success over the past 30 years has been built." But... but... under A Georgist system, EVERYBODY would be a "property owner" AS OF RIGHT (by getting his Citizen's Dividend out of publicly collected land rents). Whether each citizen then chooses to buy or to rent makes little difference. So which system is better - Home-Owner-Ism or Georgism?

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 11:24 AM 6 Comments

Cheap home loans won't help this

Yahoo: Jane Norman Is Latest High Street Casualty

Fashion chain Jane Norman has closed its 90 stores and gone into administration, becoming the latest victim of tough retail conditions. Accountancy firm Zolfo Cooper is now seeking a buyer for the company, which employs 1,600 people.

Posted by mark @ 11:16 AM 1 Comments

Entrant for creativity prize of the month.


Front Page from the No1 price ramper. (Last week the front page was an airbrush impression of Diana at 50).

Posted by alan @ 10:07 AM 9 Comments

Alice Wonderland

City Wire: BIS: central banks must hike rates to avert new crisis

The central banks [FED, BOE, etc] are clinging to low interest rates and cajoling us that it is a sensible policy. Meanwhile the BIS (central banker to the central banks) lets the cat out of the bag. Who would Adam and Eve it?

Posted by sureseam @ 09:25 AM 1 Comments

Nice if you can afford a second home

South Hams Gazette: Wealthy second home owners’ council tax discount now tops £700,000

More than 4,000 second home owners are claiming over £700,000 in council tax discount. MPs and councillors call for the discount to be scrapped

Posted by stuartking @ 09:19 AM 0 Comments

Yes please, time for a clear out

BBC NEWS: Interest rates must rise worldwide, says BIS

The Bank for International Settlements (BIS) has warned that low interest rates across the globe are a threat to world financial stability.

Posted by mr cobblepot @ 08:31 AM 0 Comments

YoY 3.9%, MoM 0.1%

Reuters: House prices edge lower in June - Hometrack

"House prices in England and Wales have edged lower this month to show their biggest annual fall since October 2009, a monthly survey from property data company Hometrack showed on Monday".

Posted by alan @ 07:56 AM 13 Comments

Hair-cuts all round!

Irish Times: Rivate sector debt default inevitable, say analysts

According to analysts at Citi Economics, it is not only inevitable that Greece will default but the debt burden on Portugal and Ireland is also unsustainable and they will have to default too. In Ireland the 'hair-cuts' will have to accept will be around £105bn, on today's numbers - that's around 45 per cent of what's owed

Posted by stuartking @ 01:40 AM 0 Comments

Grim oop North

The Scotsman: Families engulfed by negative equity

80 percent of homes in Scotland bought since 2006 are in negative equity. Lloyds says it estimates 150,000 of its customers are similarly placed

Posted by stuartking @ 01:17 AM 2 Comments

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Greece should default

Michael Hudson: Whither Greece

Michael Hudson, professor of economics at University of Missouri, adviser to governments, including the US, Canada, Mexico, Latvia and Iceland, on why the Greeks should default, cancel all debt and impose a land tax. Quite long but very readable.

Posted by stuartking @ 10:56 PM 1 Comments

Is Tesco the 'Safest' Bank in Britain

Market Oracle: UK Safe Retail Banks List

The following table lists Britain's major retail banking groups (separate licences) in terms of the percentage probability that deposits above the UK compensation limit of £85k would be secure in the event of a series of euro-zone debt defaults starting with Greece and that the crisis is contained to these smaller peripheral euro-zone countries i.e. Greece, Portugal and Ireland, if Spain comes under real risk of default then that would require a revaluation of this list as banks such as Santander would come under far greater pressure given exposure to Spanish government debt.

Posted by enuii @ 07:59 PM 7 Comments

No gain without pain

Guardian: International banking regulator calls for rates to be raised worldwide

Central banks around the world must raise interest rates soon to bring inflation under control, international regulators have warned. The Bank for International Settlements (BIS) – the central bank for central bankers – said, in its annual report published on Sunday, that the era of loose monetary policy must end.

Posted by dill @ 07:50 PM 5 Comments

This will cost most than 1000 times Greece

File on 4: PFI Profits

This was the Labour initiative. Where we pay 20% returns for 30-40 years for investments on Private sector funded Govt projects. The conservative outgoing for coming 30-40 years is almost equal to pensions outlay. We neither have money to pay pensions. Not even this. Note none of the above future payments are on govt. books. Labour did more damage to public finances in 14 years what successive govts. have done on pensions in more than 60 years.

Posted by deepak @ 05:02 PM 12 Comments

Isn't it 83% Government Owned?

Reuters: RBS close to offloading toxic property loans: report

"Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS.L) is close to reaching a deal to offload 1.6 billion pounds of toxic property loans, The Sunday Times said in an unsourced report. The report added RBS would join with either Blackstone (BX.N) or Lone Star private equity firms to manage the portfolio." (Nice bonus payments to staff, recently - bravo, you did a great job)!

Posted by alan @ 04:32 PM 1 Comments

Dubai villas show big price increases

ArabianMoney: Bahrain and Egypt exodus drives up Dubai villa prices

Dubai villa prices seem to be on the way up with properties now selling at close to asking prices in prime districts and agents texting owners on a daily basis to ask them if they are selling because there is a shortage of supply.

Posted by david smith @ 02:10 PM 0 Comments

Debts growing, part 3

Guardian/Observer: David Willetts in secret talks with banks on funding of student loans

Students loans to be effectively privatised to the banks, no doubt with Government guarantees that taxpayers will cover any loses

Posted by stuartking @ 01:15 AM 28 Comments

Debts growing, part 2

Guardian/Observer: Treasury urges British banks to take big losses to help Greece avoid meltdown

British banks, ie taxpayers, are being asked to take a hit on Greek debt

Posted by stuartking @ 01:12 AM 3 Comments

Debts growing, part 1

Daily Telegraph: Profligate Britain risks suffering its own Greek tragedy

Despite increased tax revenues, Government deficit is growing... dangerously

Posted by stuartking @ 01:09 AM 4 Comments

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Priced Out of housing

New York Times: For Many in Britain, Being a Homeowner Is a Fading Dream

LONDON — For a large number of young adults in Britain, homeownership has become increasingly difficult to achieve, viewed as a distant goal attainable only later in life, if at all. That is a significant shift for a country where owning a home remains deeply rooted in the culture. Owners occupy a higher percentage of homes in Britain than in the United States, France or Germany.

Posted by anon @ 04:15 PM 0 Comments

Cash-rich foreigners buying up prime coastal USA

The Daily Reckoning: How to Benefit from Depressed Housing and a Declining Dollar

[Skip down a half-page] The Fed’s monetary manipulations – which are both weakening the dollar and suppressing short-term interest rates – are drawing growing numbers of all-cash buyers into the housing market. Foreign all-cash buyers, in particular, are becoming a conspicuously large presence in several regional markets like South Florida. In dollar terms, for example, the US median single-family home price has dropped nearly 30% since mid-2005. But in terms of the Brazilian real, the median in US single-family home price has tumbled more than 50%. That’s a big reason why Brazilians are combing the streets of South Beach looking for properties to buy. But understand that while this might cause Miami real estate to appreciate, Milwaukee real estate will not.

Posted by drewster @ 02:18 PM 2 Comments


FT: Alfred Hitchcock’s ‘The Bankers’

"The characteristics that make for good traders and investment bankers are pretty much the same as those that define psychopaths..." Not a new idea, but backed up with some personality studies.

Posted by letthemfall @ 01:02 PM 1 Comments

Perhaps more ZIRP

Telegraph: The real cost of the Greek crisis

'But it isn't all bad news for borrowers. The unfolding Greek drama means it is less likely that the Bank of England will raise interest rates in the near future, meaning that many home owners with an equity cushion will continue to enjoy low mortgage rates. Mark Harris of SPF Private Clients explained: "When Lehman Brothers collapsed the Bank of England rapidly reduced interest rates from 5pc to 0.5pc. Earlier this year, there had been speculation that rates might start to rise this spring. Then the consensus was that, with weaker economic growth, it would be later this year. Now, with the turmoil in Greece, most economists don't expect rates to rise until next year at the earliest, and possibly not until 2013."'

Posted by quiet guy @ 10:56 AM 0 Comments

Friday, June 24, 2011

In the opposite of pass the parcel who will be left holding the can?

Guardian: Credit default swap insurance against Greece may be worthless

Credit default swap insurance taken out by UK banks to hedge their exposure to sovereign debt defaults may prove worthless. Erik Britton, a former Bank of England economist and director of financial market consultancy Fathom states: "Looking across the eurozone periphery as a whole, the total for the US is €193bn and the UK is €74bn. Core European banks' indirect exposure stands at only at €35bn. So the majority of the [insurance] guaranteeing periphery debt appears to have been underwritten by UK and US banks."

Posted by enuii @ 08:56 PM 30 Comments

Boat house where Led Zeppelin formed is for sale

Planet Property: Boat house where Led Zeppelin formed is for sale

If you thought Led Zeppelin emerged from the lower depths of hell, after the Devil handed Robert Plant a mic and a pair of unfeasibly tight leather trousers, think again. Nope. Led Zep were born in Pangbourne, in rundown 19th century boathouse owned by guitarist Jimmy Page.

Posted by the planet @ 06:22 PM 0 Comments

War ... huh what is it good for.....

Sky News: Petrol Price War After Oil Stockpile Released

The deflation rekindled???!?!?

Posted by techieman @ 04:56 PM 19 Comments

We could buy the whole of greece soon

Rightmove: Richard Branson has Necker… so why not buy your own Island?

Well, your dream could be a lot closer than you think; with a recent Times article revealing a handful of small islands across the globe on sale for as little as £51,000! Check out our ten favourite islands still up for grabs and make your dream a reality!

Posted by mark @ 04:27 PM 2 Comments

The Poor Widow Bogey played too late

Daily Mail: Lib Dems resurrect mansion supertax: Their price for agreeing to scrap 50p top rate

"A 'supertax' on thousands of homes is being demanded by the Liberal Democrats as the price of agreeing to scrap the 50p top rate of income tax... The Lib Dems are thought to be proposing that capital gains tax – which is currently paid only on profits from the sale of second homes – should be levied on profits from first homes that are worth more than £1million... Around 250,000 homes would be above the £1million threshold, though some are occupied by families without a high income, including pensioners." Yeah right, a low income family or pensioner with over a million quid in the bank, no way would they be able to afford it, eh?

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 04:23 PM 17 Comments

Oops we spent it partying

CNN: Ron Paul worries Fort Knox gold is gone

Paul, a Texas Republican who wants to convert the U.S. monetary system to one based on the gold standard, called a hearing on Thursday to grill federal officials about whether all the U.S.-owned gold is safe. (Ron Paul: Bernanke's biggest critic) "This is one of the few legitimate functions of government: To check our ownership and be fiscally responsible and find out just what we own and whether it's really there," said Paul, who is among those running in the Republican primary for president.

Posted by mark @ 04:20 PM 7 Comments

Clear the lots for next time?

Big Projectme: Dubai’s dilapidated buildings rules changed

Dubai Municipality has issued an amendment to Decision No 61 of 2011 on unlicensed, dilapidated and abandoned buildings to control and supervise the industry.

Posted by rental john @ 03:49 PM 0 Comments

The interdependence within the EU is not always obvious...

Wall Street Journal: Dixons Takes Write-Down On Greece And Spain

The economic troubles besetting the Eurozone periphery spread to U.K. electricals group Dixons Retail PLC (DXNS.LN) Thursday, as a GBP309 million write down on parts of its business exposed to Greece and Spain pushed it to a full-year loss.

Posted by rental john @ 03:45 PM 0 Comments

Revealed: England’s repossession hotspots

Planet Property: Revealed: England’s repossession hotspots

Research by Shelter has revealed the places in England with the highest proportion of homeowners who are at serious risk of repossession.

Posted by the planet @ 03:15 PM 0 Comments

Does anyone have links like this to other parts of the world?

Vegas inc: Abandoned projects leave lasting reminder of economic crash

Check out the slide show below article, I know this is only the tip of the large iceberg.

Posted by mark @ 02:34 PM 3 Comments

Don't reduce wages... increase 'em!!

Keiser report: Guest Steve Keen on ponzi economics (23Jun11)

Keeno on form... extrapolates US to Greece. Worth a watch. Austerity is NOT the answer, the private debt burden has to be reduced.

Posted by techieman @ 02:01 PM 12 Comments

Forbearance and lack of transparency

Bank of England: Financial Stability Report

Box 2 (Page 24) of the report is dedicated to the issue of Lender forbearance. Implications and assumptions abound as to the size of the problem and the risk it now poses, which the FPC seems determined to clarify. The dam may now have to break if future lending isn't to be compromised anymore than it is now.

Posted by dill @ 11:54 AM 6 Comments

But I thought the debt didn't exist - must be in our imaginations!

BBC: Bank of England calls for audit of eurozone crisis risk

'The Bank of England's new financial policy committee (FPC) has called for an audit of UK banks' exposure to the eurozone debt crisis. The Bank's governor Sir Mervyn King said the debt problems of Greece and other countries posed "the most serious and immediate risk" to UK banks.'

Posted by hpwatcher @ 11:48 AM 1 Comments

Let's not rush into things

Council of Mortgage Lenders: CML welcomes delayed publication of crucial FSA mortgage consultation paper

"The Council of Mortgage Lenders welcomes today's announcement by the Financial Services Authority (FSA) that it will delay until early autumn publication of its next mortgage market review consultation paper." More at Independent: Watchdog delays controversial reforms of mortgage market . I'm beginning to wonder who is regulating who.

Posted by quiet guy @ 10:40 AM 6 Comments

...the Greece situation may be quite good:-)

G Pytel: Greeks' upper hand

Interesting. Greece may be in the situation of unloading their debt onto the rest of the world. Really? CDS' is the answer.

Posted by ant @ 08:46 AM 11 Comments


Inside Housing: Get on our land

Launching today, Get on our land is a new Inside Housing campaign. Its aim is simple: to free up land on which to build homes.

Posted by dill @ 08:25 AM 7 Comments

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Looks like Greece has bought a 12 month reprieve

Reuters: Greece seals deal with EU,IMF on austerity plan - sources

Tell you what, here's the deal, if we increase the tax on heating oil and cut the tax threshold to E8000pa and impose a little one off tax levy will you extend our credit.

Posted by enuii @ 08:47 PM 9 Comments

Not sure i would call it home improvement

Yahoo: Home Improvement Firm 'On The Brink'

1,300 jobs are at risk at the home improvement firm behind Moben Kitchens, Dolphin Bathrooms, Sharps Bedrooms and KitchensDirect, as it prepares to appoint administrators.

Posted by mark @ 06:00 PM 14 Comments

"We won't give them away, we'll sell them."

Zero Hedge: Irish Finance Ministry To Sell "Ireland Is Not Greece" T-Shirts

Irish Finance Minister, Michael Noonan, writes the Daily Mash's copy for them.

Posted by general congreve @ 04:50 PM 5 Comments

In December the Chins government ceased publishing national price index.

The Economist: Chinese property: Popping the question

BUBBLES are supposed to burst with an audible pop. But in the snap and crackle of the Chinese housing market, it is hard to hear anything clearly. On June 9th the Wall Street Journal put its ear to the ground and declared that “the great property bubble of China may be popping”.

Posted by rental john @ 04:09 PM 0 Comments

It's bank, not Greek default risk we should worry about

Index Universe: Forget Greece - Watch Out For The Banks

The mainstream press is focusing on Greek sovereign debt default. But the tense standoff over bank bonds may matter more.

Posted by paul amery @ 03:42 PM 0 Comments

Pop cotton

Business Standard: Cotton prices fall 37%

Actually we saw another 13% drop today so from a peak of $220 per bale 2 months ago we hit $125 a bale today. A minor detail in one sense, but decent evidence that the recent commodity spike that drove inflation higher was based on speculation (as I have stated a few times) and had next to nothing to do with currency collapse, or interest rates levels or other such Schifferian nonsense. Appreciate this is no longer the house view, sadly the house view ultimately falls to those who have all day to print posts like Weimar Papiermarks.

Posted by bellwether @ 03:30 PM 79 Comments

Only 10% yeh right

Yahoo: House prices to fall 10pc

According to their survey, the majority of homes (80pc) bought in the last five years are now worth less than they were purchased for. But this average disguises strong regional difference, with 93pc of home bought in the North East now worth less than their asking price, compared to less than one in two in London.

Posted by mark @ 03:06 PM 1 Comments

Release bubble gentle - ish???

Telegraph: House prices to fall 10pc

The latest housing data, which indicates a big drop in remortgage activity, and only sluggish growth in the number of mortgage approvals is likely to further depress prices in many parts of the country, according to leading economist.

Posted by keep walking @ 02:33 PM 0 Comments

Prepare for 15 years of slow decline - like Japan.

City AM: Why interest rates won’t be going up

IF you owe a lot of money to your bank, it’s time to rejoice... Savers are even bigger losers and are directly paying for the gains being made by those with large debts...

Posted by shiningliao @ 01:20 PM 0 Comments

Only 20! Wonder what will happen in UK then

Vegas Inc: More than 20 years until home prices reach pre-bust levels, Moody’s says

The struggle of the housing market, in part, is why Moody’s Analytics forecasts the economic recovery will stay slow in Southern Nevada. Nevada will remain in a recession through summer, and it won’t be until 2015 that jobs pared during the downturn will be restored.

Posted by mark @ 11:56 AM 3 Comments

Greece's Last Card

Leicester Exchanges: Greece's Last Card

This may sound surprising to many: last week’s events have strengthened Greece’s bargaining position.

Posted by hubert @ 11:54 AM 0 Comments

Comparing German and UK's market

Macro Business: How Germany achieved stable & affordable housing

A few months ago, [...] that I would undertake an analysis of the German housing system, which is regarded as amongst the most affordable and liberal in Europe. In my findings presented below, I have compared and contrasted the German housing system with that of the United Kingdom (UK), which is considered amongst the most unaffordable and supply-constrained markets in the world. You will see that German and UK housing policies are polar opposites, with the former providing highly responsive housing supply, significant rental controls, and tighter credit regulations compared with the latter.

Posted by vlade @ 09:08 AM 0 Comments

Valuer had no duty of care to buy-to-let borrower

LettingAgentToday: Valuer had no duty of care to buy-to-let borrower

Caveat Emptor and so now surveyor can put down anything they like for BTL valuation... Marie-Louise Gobbi, the solicitor at Walker Morris who represented Colleys, said: “The Court of Appeal’s judgment clarifies the extent of the duty owed by valuers in buy-to-let situations. The decision is good news for surveyors, and provides a clear basis for resolving similar claims brought in the buy-to-let sector. “Buy-to-let investors are not in the same position as ordinary domestic purchasers, and cannot assume they will automatically have the same rights and remedies. The case also provides crucial guidance on the calculation of damages in rental over-valuation cases.”

Posted by easybetman @ 09:02 AM 11 Comments

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Inflation Ahoy!

Reuters: Sterling trade-weighted index drops to 8-mth low

"Sterling fell to its lowest in eight months against a currency basket on Wednesday, as the UK currency fell broadly after Bank of England minutes showed policymakers were concerned about the growth outlook and some believed more monetary stimulus may be needed". Sterling even fell against the Euro today ...This time next year, Rodney!

Posted by alan @ 06:44 PM 48 Comments

Surely not US and UK

The Trumpet: Greece Defaults—Guess Who Pays?

Next time your favourite "Euro"sceptic MP waffles on about default and market forces - ask them about US (and UK) insurance against Greek default.

Posted by mken @ 03:39 PM 4 Comments

Buy to let is a social disaster

Residential landlords association: Rla recommends giving notice day tenant moves in

if this is the advice of the rla then all hope is lost.private rented sector at present does nothing but offer TOTAL INSECURITY.Imagine being given notice the day you move in to a property on a 6 month lease...how can you have quiet enjoyment....total farce

Posted by taffee @ 03:28 PM 4 Comments

John Heron speaking at the Comedy of mortgage lenders BTL conference

Mortgagestrategy: Paragon calls for government to support private rented sector

......."The private rented sector makes a great contribution to the UK economy – it facilitates labour mobility and flexibility, provides an income to thousands of small businesses, supports a number of associated industries, such as letting agents and maintenance companies, oils the wheels of the housing market and makes a great contribution to the public purse. “Buy-to-let has played a major role in this, providing the vital finance needed to fund the improvement in choice and standards. Buy-to-let is not just about a balance sheet – it has had a clear and tangible beneficial impact on the lives of millions of renters.”

Posted by jack c @ 02:42 PM 8 Comments

Dealers demand that junkies get another fix.

Estate Agent Today: Mortgage lenders accused of 'sitting on their hands'

Gross mortgage lending totalled an estimated £11.3bn in May, according to the Council of Mortgage Lenders, boosted by a flurry of remortgaging. The figure represented a 12% increase on the £10.1bn lent in April and was 1% higher than in May 2010. David Whittaker, managing director of Mortgages For Business, said: “Lenders must do more than sitting on their hands hoping for the best and it’s great to see innovative ideas being tabled by the likes of Sir Callum McCarthy. “This is exactly the sort of thinking needed to help push the market forward and pick up the slack left by falling remortgaging, and I hope others feel inspired enough to think about ways of helping the market rather than simply existing in it.”

Posted by sibley's b'stard child @ 01:09 PM 6 Comments

'Balance' Swung Back

BBC: New Bank of England member votes to keep rates on hold

Former Goldman Sachs economist Ben Broadbent voted with the majority of the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC). It means he has broken with the voting record of his more hawkish predecessor, Andrew Sentance, who had been backing a half-point rate rise since February. Mr Broadbent was an "unknown quantity" when he was appointed, according to BBC economics editor Stephanie Flanders, with much speculation over which way he would vote. But with his hand now revealed, the balance of the committee has swung back towards the doves.

Posted by ontheotherhand @ 12:09 PM 15 Comments

Long historical view of Bank base rate

Church House: The Bank Rate 1700-2011

The chart on p3 shows how extraordinary the current 0.5% base rate is when viewed from a long historical context. Base rate has been between 3% and 5% for almost all of the Bank of England's 300 year history. It must surely move back there, if not higher, within a very few years. This chart would I think be a good addition to the 'Graphs' section of this web site - how about it, moderators?

Posted by monty032 @ 11:05 AM 3 Comments

Good news

Telegraph: House prices: four in five homes worth less than five years ago

The majority of homes bought in Britain are worth less now than they were five years ago, new research suggests. Some 3.5 million properties, or 80pc, bought since 2006 are said to be "underwater", or worth less than their purchase price, according to a study by Zoopla.co.uk. But many owners are unwilling to lose money on their original purchases and are setting unrealistic asking prices, the property website said, resulting in them being "stuck" with their homes. People who bought at the peak of the market between 2007 and 2008 are the worst affected, with 93.2pc and 88.9pc respectively of homes bought during this period worth less now. However, London has proved more resilient, with fewer than half (46pc) of homes in the capital worth less now than in 2006.

Posted by drewster @ 08:52 AM 19 Comments

Interest rates could go up? Who would've thunk it?

BBC News: Which? warns over standard variable rate mortgages

Consumer group Which? is accusing banks and building societies of putting the squeeze on homeowners who have standard variable rate mortgages. Which? warns that thousands will be pushed into financial difficulty when interest rates go up. More than 40% of mortgage borrowers are now on standard variable rates, which kick in after cheap introductory mortgage deals expire.

Posted by little professor @ 04:59 AM 5 Comments

Two year super-low fix, then the shock


A FRESH round of mortgage cuts was predicted last night after Barclays offered home buyers a new, fixed-rate deal of just 2.78 per cent. This is its fifth rate reduction in a row. Barclays’ two-year fixed rate has now been cut from 2.98 per cent to 2.78 per cent for up to 70% LTV. However, there are fears about the potential impact of any increase in interest rates, with two-thirds of mortgages now on variable rates. Paul Diggle, of Capital Economics, said: “It could have serious ramifications when rates do eventually rise.”

Posted by drewster @ 01:13 AM 1 Comments

Tenants and lodgers are left at mercy of burglars, says PM

Daily Fail: Owners will be able to fight off burglars without fear of prosecution

Homeowners and shopkeepers are to be given the right to protect themselves against burglars and robbers. They will now be allowed to use reasonable force if they perceive a threat to their property. Previously they could act only when they feared for their lives. David Cameron said: “My mission is to make sure that families can feel safe in their homes. The system today is failing and badly needs reform.” The Prime Minister said: “The public have rightly been outraged by some prosecutions of home owners defending their property from criminals. So we will put beyond doubt that home owners and small shopkeepers who use reasonable force to defend themselves or their properties will not be prosecuted.”

Posted by drewster @ 01:09 AM 15 Comments

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

House price differences in England

MoneyWeek: A warning from Blackpool about London house prices

One side effect of QE has been to prop up house prices in expensive areas while those in poorer areas decline. Just look at this chart showing the gap between price growth in Kensington and Blackpool. The only question now, says Merryn Somerset Webb, is what will close that gap?

Posted by martingreen @ 05:14 PM 3 Comments

Round 2 or is it 3 starting

Cnn: Existing home sales drop 3.8%

Sales of existing homes fell in May, as severe weather and high gas prices weighed on the shaky housing market. Home sales fell 3.8% to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.81 million, down from a revised rate of 5 million in April, the National Association of Realtors said Tuesday.

Posted by mark @ 04:42 PM 0 Comments

"House prices are NOT going to fall".....now repeat "House prices...."

Telegraph: BoE policymaker Paul Fisher: 'More QE could be needed'

Speaking a day ahead of the release of minutes from the Bank of England Monetary Policy Committee’s June meeting, Mr Fisher said, "If we get stuck in a deflationary rut it's not clear we have sufficient ability to get out of that quickly. "I've said in the past it [QE] is still very much on the table as one of our potential policy actions, and it's certainly not ruled out and people need to be aware of that."

Posted by hpwatcher @ 03:33 PM 10 Comments

Dull and boring article, posted for completeness

BBC: Property sales 'subdued in May'

Property sales in the UK remained at a relatively low level in May and lower than the same month a year ago, new figures show. Some 68,000 homes were sold in May, down 2,000 on the revised total of a month earlier, according to HM Revenue and Customs data. The total was also 3,000 down on the same month a year ago. Lenders say there is little chance of a rebound in the coming months, judging by mortgage data.

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 02:37 PM 2 Comments

The UK government's job is to try and minimise the contagion ...

City A.M.: Greece: bad news whatever happens

IT was cruel but brutally effective. In 1487, John Morton, the Lord Chancellor, devised a new way of collecting taxes. If he spotted somebody who was living in luxury, he assumed he had enough wealth to spare some for his King, Henry VII, and hit him with higher taxes. If he encountered somebody living modestly, he assumed that he was a prudent individual quietly building up vast savings, and also hit him with higher taxes. We face a similarly depressing Morton’s Fork with Greece: whatever we do, whether we bail it out or not, we will be hit.

Posted by warren1066 @ 12:25 PM 0 Comments

FSA Data - Repossessions up 17% in Q1

Moneymarketing: Repossessions up 17% in Q1

The number of new repossessions in the first quarter increased 17 per cent from 8,246 in the fourth quarter of 2010 to 9,613 in the first quarter of 2011. According to new data from the FSA, the number of new arrears cases in Q1 was 35,600, 8 per cent lower than Q4 2010 and 12 per cent lower than the 40,500 new cases in Q1 2010................................Lending for house purchase accounted for 54 per cent of new advances and 52 per cent of new commitments.

Posted by jack c @ 12:19 PM 16 Comments

Stating the obvious...?

The Guardian: Repossession hotspots revealed

More than 60 areas have been dubbed "repossession hotspots" in a report by housing charity Shelter, with Corby in the east Midlands named the place with the highest proportion of homeowners at serious risk of losing the roof over their head.

Posted by rental john @ 12:10 PM 0 Comments

Maybe HPC needs to start a €uroPC site?

The Guardian: Treasury minister's faith in euro falters amid Greek debt crisis

You couldn't write this stuff....... A British Treasury minister refused to say the euro would survive the Greek debt crisis, as a former foreign secretary said the government should accept the currency was dying and that it would be better for it to die quickly.

Posted by rental john @ 11:48 AM 0 Comments

Excellent commentary

FT - Comment: Political union cannot fix the euro

"A single currency that was meant to bring Europeans together is instead driving them apart"

Posted by uncle tom @ 10:22 AM 11 Comments

Fancy buying a house in Germany? Institutional and retail investors are flooding back to a market.

Wsj.com: Germany's Property Renaissance

House prices have soared in some of the biggest cities. Berlin prime residential property prices are up 17% since October; in Frankfurt, 15%. But investors should be wary: This is a highly localized market. In theory, the case for German residential property is compelling: Although the population is shrinking, household formation is rising. Construction activity is weak, leading to shortages of supply. Building permits for single-family homes have fallen 37% since 2006. In Berlin, rents have risen 8% over the past two years.

Posted by pbahra @ 08:36 AM 0 Comments

Written two years ago but more up to date than ever

G Pytel: The largest heist in history

"It is typically characterised by strong, compelling, logic. I loosely use the term 'pyramid selling' to describe the activities of the City but you explain in crystal clear terms why this is so." - Dr Vincent Cable MP The article demonstrates that: - the financial system was turned into a pyramid scheme in a technical, legal sense (not just proverbial); - the current crisis was easily predictable (without any benefit of hindsight) by any competent financier, i.e. with rudimentary knowledge of mathematics, hence avoidable. It is up to the readers to draw their own conclusions, e.g. that this crisis is a result of a conspiracy to defraud taxpayers or massive negligence, or both. Or it was just a misfortune.

Posted by ant @ 08:35 AM 5 Comments

Charge up the Ponzi scheme defibrillators

Telegraph: Housebuilders sign up to help first-time buyers

Around 100 housebuilders have signed up to a Government-backed scheme to help first-time buyers onto the property ladder.

Posted by happy mondays @ 08:23 AM 0 Comments

Monday, June 20, 2011

The only way out is default

Steve Keen's Debtwatch: Dude! Where's my recovery

Steve Keen, Associate Professor of Economics and Finance at the University of Western Sydney, author of the Debunking Economics and who predicted the current financial crash in December 2005, argues that "accelerating debt should lead change in output in a well-functioning economy; we unfortunately live in a Ponzi economy where accelerating debt leads to asset price bubbles". He suggests "the only sure road to recovery is debt abolition—but that will require defeating the political power of the finance sector..."

Posted by stuartking @ 10:47 PM 4 Comments

Fallacy of growth in emerging countries

BBC News: Shares in scandal-hit Chilean chain La Polar fall 65%

As I've mentioned so many times about the growth in the far east, middle east, South America and even Australia is a fallacy. These countries are full of accounting flaws, it is how business works there. In India inflation is 20% RPI and growth 8% so in total you loose 12% each year. If you think House Price are high in UK, Australia is even worse, then India and China is 4-5 times the bubble of UK. Wait for all these to come.

Posted by deepak @ 09:39 PM 4 Comments

How to rip off the government

Bloomberg: RBS Drops on Greek Default Concern, Employee Share Sales

1) Wait until the dopey government pumps in enough money to become a majority shareholder. 2) Fund your own bonuses by freely selling newly issued shares, translating a government share holding loss into your dramatic well deserved bonus.

Posted by stillthinking @ 08:20 PM 1 Comments

Hosueholds in poor financial health

Telegraph: UK household finances suffer steepest decline since recession as more borrow to pay bills

According to the Telegraph, the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) has predicted that "households will borrow more to maintain their living standards – £500bn more within four years, or £20,000 per family." Personally, I find these figures astonishing. If the average household is really that stretched then it's no wonder that the MPC are scared to raise interest rates. Does anybody know if we've ever been in a situation with so much household debt before?

Posted by quiet guy @ 08:11 PM 7 Comments

More of the populus romping away from reality.

SKY News: House Prices 'Fall in Late 2011'

Average property asking prices are set to fall from a record high in June as the growing number of unsold properties on the market forces sellers to become more realistic, according to a report today. The average price at which a home is put on the market rose 0.6%, or £1,520, to £240,394 between May and June, said property website Rightmove, with prices in London reaching fresh peaks. Prices have risen every month so far in 2011 and are now up 8.1%, or £17,984, in the year as sellers' expectations have "romped away from reality".

Posted by khards @ 04:44 PM 7 Comments

But what about fundamental things such as general level of maintenance?

The Guardian: Energy bill: landlords could be forced to refurbish energy-inefficient homes

Landlords will be forced to refurbish hundreds of thousands of the UK's most draughty and energy-inefficient homes or find themselves blocked from renting them out, under proposals unveiled on Tuesday.

Posted by rental john @ 02:07 PM 0 Comments

Locking-in, or locked-out? Depends on which side of he mortgage fence you are on.

The Guardian: Rise in mortgage lending 'fuelled by remortgaging'

However, the rise should not be regarded as an increase in the strength of the property market or an improvement in the number of first-time buyers: the CML says the increase was fuelled by remortgaging rather than house purchase, and adds that this is likely to dwindle going forward as expectations of an increase in interest rates recede.

Posted by rental john @ 02:02 PM 0 Comments

“FirstBuy – a government-backed schemeto offer a valuable alternative to the Bank of Mum and Dad"

Mortgagestrategy: Shapps launches FirstBuy scheme

Housing minister Grant Shapps has launched the government’s FirstBuy scheme and confirmed that over 100 housebuilders will be taking part. The scheme was announced in this year’s Budget and aims to help first-time buyers get on the housing ladder by providing a 20% equity loan from the government and a housebuilder, which together with a 5% deposit from the borrower will allow them to take out a 75% LTV mortgage. Loans will be repaid on resale of the property, with the government’s share available for reinvestment in more affordable housing. The first homes are expected to come on stream in September this year.

Posted by jack c @ 01:37 PM 23 Comments

“I want to create a self-build revolution"

Mortgagestrategy: Shapps urges mortgage lenders to fund self-build market

Grant Shapps, the housing minister, is calling on the UK’s biggest mortgage lenders to back a self-build revolution by lending more to those who aspire to build their own home. In a letter sent to key players in the mortgage market, he says he wants self-build housing to become much more common in order to generate more supply of affordable homes. Shapps wants lenders to make more specialist mortgage products available for self builders in order to make this happen. He says lenders perceive self-build as a risky market but high interest rates on such products make it attractive to lenders and it is an opportunity for them to tap into a new market.....“I want to create a self-build revolution where building your own home is not just the preserve of the privileged few...."

Posted by jack c @ 01:29 PM 10 Comments

Are we the ones who are deluded?

Ifaonline: House price rises to ebb away in second half

Rightmove has changed its forecast 2011 will end with house price falls and now expects an increase of 2% for the year as a whole. Rightmove's index revealed the average property asking price grew for the sixth consecutive month by 0.6% in June to £240,394 - the highest price ever recorded by Rightmove for June.

Posted by khards @ 12:51 PM 4 Comments

Robert Peston back to his old self

BBC: Greece crisis: Not Europe's Lehman (it could be worse)

"However, if this eurozone brinkmanship nudges the Greek parliament to reject the further budget squeeze, we'll be closer than is remotely prudent or sensible to a 1930s-style financial and economic disaster. "

Posted by voiceofreason @ 10:50 AM 11 Comments

Just to put the previous article into context

Reuters: Gross mortgage lending down 2 pct in May [2008]

Gross mortgage lending in May [2008] fell 2 percent on the month to 25.5 billion pounds, the Council of Mortgage Lenders said on Thursday. That left lending 19 percent down from the 31.5 billion pounds high reached in May 2007. "The next few months will remain very weak for house purchase activity for the funding reasons which are now well rehearsed," said CML director general Michael Coogan. "We still await first signs of the Bank of England's Special Liquidity Scheme indirectly helping to ease the current logjam."

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 10:44 AM 0 Comments

Still going strong that well used line of Royal Weddings and Easter Holidays

Mortgagestrategy: Gross mortgage lending up 12% in May

Gross mortgage lending increased by 12% in May compared to the previous month, Council of Mortgage Lenders’ figures show. Gross lending totalled an estimated £11.3bn in May, up from £10.1bn lent in April and 1% higher than in May 2010. The increase represents a bounce back after a 14% drop in April blamed on the Royal Wedding and Easter holidays.The data includes lending for both house purchase and remortgage. Despite a modest pick-up in overall lending activity during May, lending for house purchase is running below year earlier levels – as April Bank of England approvals data indicate.

Posted by jack c @ 10:32 AM 3 Comments

Vendors "romp away from reality". Brilliant.

Estate Agent Today: Asking prices rise yet again to new June record

'Altogether, asking prices for properties coming on to the market have risen 8.1% or an average of £17,984 this year.' The delusion index is looking more and more robust each month; I do wonder if there's an inverse correlation between levels of delusion and the parlous state of the publics' finances?

Posted by sibley's b'stard child @ 10:21 AM 4 Comments

Time bankers took their medicine ?

Telegraph: Financial markets slide over Greek bail-out delays

It's time ..... for default. Now, will this cause credit crunch 2 and therefore a further squeeze on house prices ? Though we don't really have a housing market in the UK any more to price into. 38K sales per month. That's just deaths 'n divorces !

Posted by voiceofreason @ 10:07 AM 0 Comments

Since 2008, house prices have fallen, on average, by almost a quarter in the ten local areas with th

FTAdviser: Weakest areas see 25% drop in house prices

New research shows that ten economically weakest areas in UK see twice the drop as ten strongest since 2008. Advertising Research by Halifax has found that house prices in the ten areas that have experienced the sharpest drop in economic activity since 2008 have fallen at a far faster rate than those in the ten strongest areas.

Posted by khards @ 09:04 AM 1 Comments

Tories still pushing discredited Shared Appreciation Mortgages


EX-cabinet minister John Gummer is among the directors of a new investment and mortgage business promising “to breathe new life into the housing market”. Newly formed Castle Trust will offer investors the chance to make returns based on house prices. Funds raised will provide householders with loans known as a “partnership mortgage” of 20 per cent of their home’s value. They will not make monthly repayments but after a set period must repay the loan plus 40 per cent of any rise in value.

Posted by little professor @ 12:37 AM 17 Comments

Sunday, June 19, 2011

UK running


UK still running a massive fiscal deficit. Check out the numbers on this IMF report (table one). The deficit was over 10 percent in 2010, and projected to fall to only 8.5 percent in 2011. The debt ratio will hit 83 percent of GDP this year. Ugly stuff.

Posted by inflationwatch @ 10:04 PM 0 Comments

..and House Prices are too high

Reuters: Trichet warns of widening global imbalances

"....the lessons to be drawn from the present situation are pushing us in the direction of bold changes in governance," he said. Trichet did not explain what these changes could be, saying it is "work in progress." Meanwhile...PM George Papandreou, appealed to Greeks on Sunday to support deeply unpopular austerity reforms and avoid a catastrophic bankruptcy. (Time to buy shares in a printing company?).

Posted by alan @ 07:06 PM 6 Comments

On the other end

DM: At £60,000: Smallest beach hut in upmarket seaside town goes on the market

It's believed that the hut has resided on the seafront at Southwold, Suffolk for over 100 years. I wonder if it is a listed hut?

Posted by peter_2008 @ 03:54 PM 7 Comments

Exit wound

Telegraph: UK banks abandon eurozone over Greek default fears

"UK banks have pulled billions of pounds of funding from the eurozone as fears grow about the impact of a “Lehman-style” event connected to a Greek default". "Moves by stronger banks to cut back their lending to weaker banks is reminiscent of the build-up to the financial crisis in 2008, when the refusal of banks to lend to one another led to a seizing-up of the markets that eventually led to the collapse of several major banks and taxpayer bail-outs of many more".

Posted by alan @ 12:44 PM 7 Comments

The luxury £1bn central London flats sold which all remain empty... Despite an oligarch paying £136m

Daily Mail: The luxury £1bn central London flats sold which all remain empty... Despite an oligarch paying £136m for a penthouse

Flats worth £1billion have been sold in London’s most famous block – but nobody has moved in. The developers of One Hyde Park in Knightsbridge have sold 48 out of the 86 apartments since January. The sales include a triplex penthouse, bought for a world record £136 million by a Ukrainian oligarch. When people move into a property, they are liable for council tax. But a Westminster Council spokesman said: ‘No one is paying council tax at the One Hyde Park building. How the heck could we solve issues like this ?? Let me think..

Posted by khards @ 12:30 PM 9 Comments

Any cash rich greater fools here?

Daily Mail: No mod cons! Buyers rush for £250,000 house almost untouched in 100 years... with no bathroom, toile

It doesn't have a bathroom, heating, drains or even a toilet, but that has not put off scores of interested buyers. Even though the house has been virtually untouched in 100 years they reckon its a bargain at £250,000. Its stunning location in the Yorkshire Dales, near Sedbergh, means the house is probably worth £1.5 million when it is renovated. Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2005482/House-untouched-100-years-bathroom-toilet-drains-heating-sale-250-000.html#ixzz1PihkWkax

Posted by khards @ 12:25 PM 1 Comments

Taxpayers are getting shafted. Again.

G Pytel: Greece: there is a method in this madness

Not sure whether I published this yet: but this is more up to date than ever

Posted by ant @ 08:32 AM 13 Comments

Saturday, June 18, 2011

The price of the "I want it and I want it now" culture

Love Money: The Home Counties: the home of debt

Where would you find the highest average amount of personal debt? If you polled the general public they’d tend to say the inner-cities. Yes, they tend to get hit hardest by debt, but for the most indebted, we need to look closer to home. We need to look at the leafy suburbs of London and the South East.

Posted by mr g @ 05:36 PM 13 Comments

Those who get out first don't get burned

Associated Free Press: Merkel urges 'substantial' bank aid for Greek debt

German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Saturday urged "substantial" aid from private creditors in resolving Greece's debt woes, as the Eurogroup warned the crisis could spread like a firestorm through other EU economies.

Posted by enuii @ 02:30 PM 5 Comments

Another one for you-know-who

Sky News: Govt Calls For Self-Build Housing Boom

Mortgage providers should lend more money to people who want to build their own homes and spark a "self-build revolution", the Government says. Housing minister Grant Shapps says he also wants to change the image of self-building as the preserve of the country rich. Around 15,000 self-build homes are constructed in Britain each year - but the industry in the UK is still one of the smallest in Europe. The National Self-Build Association (NaSBA) says it costs around £150,000 to self-build an average four-bedroom house. It is probably worth £250,000 as soon as it's finished. But some financial experts remain unconvinced. "There's no way you can go to places like London or Surrey and build an affordable home if you can't afford the land in the first place, and this will not change anything."

Posted by drewster @ 11:15 AM 22 Comments

Biggest squeeze since the 1870s

This is money: Families need extra £900 to stand still

The last time earnings had risen less than prices for four years in a row was the 1870s. Bank of England Governor Mervyn King has already suggested the squeeze is the worst since the 1920s.

Posted by will @ 10:33 AM 7 Comments

Friday, June 17, 2011

Homeowners could plummet by two million (but have no fear Yorkshire BS has a plan)

Mortgagestrategy: Number of homeowners could plummet by two million

The number of homeowners is set to plummet by almost two million people by 2025, says a report by the Smith Institute. The think-tank says if the current state of decline continues, only 15.5 million households will be in owner occupation. It warns that allowing house prices to fall to combat the downward trend would lead to a dramatic increase in negative equity. The study finds that a range of factors are eroding potential homebuyers’ ability to own a home. As a result of the banking crisis borrowers face much tougher requirements, further moving mortgage finance out of reach.

Posted by jack c @ 06:06 PM 17 Comments

This MUST affect house prices

Reuters: IMF cuts U.S. growth forecast, warns of crisis

"The International Monetary Fund cut its forecast for U.S. economic growth on Friday and warned Washington and debt-ridden European countries that they are "playing with fire" unless they take immediate steps to reduce their budget deficits". "We have now entered very clearly into a new phase of the (global) crisis, which is, I would say, the political phase of the crisis," Jose Vinals said in an interview in Sao Paulo, where the updates to the IMF's World Economic Outlook and Global Financial Stability Report were published" (Gold is up so he could be right)!

Posted by alan @ 05:03 PM 8 Comments

In depth take on the US property market

Bloomberg: Brownstein Says More Stimulus Needed to Boost Economy

Don Brownstein, chief executive officer of Structured Portfolio Management LLC, discusses the U.S. housing market and outlook for the economy. Brownstein speaks with Erik Schatzker on Bloomberg Television's "InsideTrack.

Posted by sureseam @ 02:13 PM 4 Comments

Inflation: U.S. Consumer Price Index to drop in June

Investment Postcards: Inflation: U.S. Consumer Price Index to drop in June

The US consumer price index rose significantly to 3.44% in May from a year ago and 0.2% from its April level. The increase was bang on target with my estimate. However, Prieur du Plessis believes that May’s figure on a year-ago basis approached a plateau in the current cycle...

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

One for you-know-who.

Independent: David Prosser: A VAT cut is worth it – even for those who worry about the deficit

For those who believe the deficit is the absolute priority for economic policymakers, the call by Ed Balls yesterday for a temporary cut in VAT was never going to play well. Predictably enough, within hours both David Cameron and Nick Clegg were rubbishing the proposal in terms with which we are all now familiar – "maxing out the nation's credit card" and so on. That's a pity because the thing about cutting VAT is that we know it works – and it will not cost anywhere near the theoretical £12.5bn price tag of a 2.5 percentage point reduction in the standard rate.

Posted by sibley's b'stard child @ 12:29 PM 4 Comments

EAs talk up BTL

BBC Free Advert Section: Gazumping 'pushing up rent costs for tenants'

"Gazumping is pushing up rents in England and Wales as the average cost to tenants reached £696 in May, according to a survey."

Posted by phdinbubbles @ 09:28 AM 30 Comments

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Greedy developers wait for the next boom in 30 years time

Daily Mail: Ireland’s prettiest ghost estate: Quaint £700,000 thatched cottages sit empty

No one can afford these monstrosities. Perhaps the fact that they started at an asking price of 820,000 euros (£700,000) each, when auctioneers say they are now worth just 200,000 euros (£175,000), is the reason they lie empty. The developer of the estate says he 'missed the market' at its peak by a matter of months.

Posted by miken @ 09:38 PM 27 Comments

And capitulation will replace fear.

Telegraph: House prices 'more affordable' but buyers strike continues

Fear has replaced greed as the dominant sentiment in the housing market, now lower prices and improved affordability are proving insufficient to tempt buyers back.

Posted by stickleback @ 04:13 PM 0 Comments

European Central Bank Called for "strong vigilance". That's code for a rate rise next month

Wsj.com: ECB: 'Strong Vigilance' Warranted

The European Central Bank reaffirmed its call for "strong vigilance" in the fight against inflation risks, leading many to believe that a rate rise is in the offing at the bank's next meeting. The language, as is often the case, matched ECB President Jean-Claude Trichet's opening statement at the bank's last press conference. The phrase "strong vigilance" is generally understood to be a cue that the bank will raise rates at its next policy-setting meeting July 7.

Posted by pbahra @ 01:05 PM 0 Comments

He means lean years for YOU, not HIM

Mail: We're only halfway through seven lean years, warns Governor of the Bank of England

"In a stern lecture at London’s Mansion House, he warned that the failures during ‘seven years of plenty’ before 2007 would threaten the economy until 2014". "But to the relief of consumers, he made clear that he is in no hurry to raise interest rates from the present 0.5 per cent to combat rampant inflation". (but Ed Balls wants a VAT cut).

Posted by alan @ 12:20 PM 19 Comments

Two bank holidays, decent enough weather, what's the excuse for this?

BBC News: UK retail sales fall 1.4% in May

UK retail sales fell 1.4% in May, official figures have shown, reversing the rise seen in April when sales were boosted by the royal wedding.

Posted by watchman @ 12:03 PM 11 Comments

Banks buy up at 10 cents to the dollar

Bloomberg: Europe’s $103 Billion Yard Sale May Come Up Short as Buyers Seek Bargains

See what's happening? First the banks loan out money countries can't afford to repay, next they raise interest rates, then as countries default they buy in cheap. Simples. What's the chance of this happening to UK property?

Posted by alan @ 07:49 AM 3 Comments

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Pressure is building....

BBC News: Greek state starting to lose grip on functions of state

Final paragraph - A lighbulb above Mason's head flickures... And I will repeat the point about hostility to the media: it's not a problem for me and my colleagues to be hounded off demos as "representatives of big capital", "Zionists", "scum and police informers" etc. But to get this reaction from almost every demographic - from balaclava kids to pensioners - should be a warning sign to the policymaking elite. The "mainstream" - whether it's the media, politicians or business people - is beginning to seem illegitimate to large numbers of people.

Posted by tom101 @ 10:59 PM 44 Comments

Who wants Marriott?

Bloomberg: RBS Takes Control of 42 Marriott-Branded Hotels in UK

"RBS has assumed control of the 1 billion-pound ($1.64 billion) property portfolio after failing to obtain a debt-for- equity restructuring of one of its largest real estate loans completed in the property boom", "The properties were acquired from the bank for about 1.1 billion pounds in 2007, and RBS owns about 700 million pounds of the debt that was used to finance the acquisition in a syndicated loan structure".

Posted by alan @ 06:23 PM 1 Comments

Who wants the crock?

BBC: Northern Rock will be sold to a single buyer

"Osborne will also say in his Mansion House speech he is to force banks to ring-fence retail from investment banking". "However, shadow chancellor Ed Balls called for Northern Rock to be mutualised rather than sold off, and accused George of "failing to give the option serious consideration". (if Ed and Gordo were doing their job properly the CC wouldn't have happened).

Posted by alan @ 05:50 PM 3 Comments

Oh! No problems in Greece, just a small blip..

AlJazeera: Greek PM offers to quit amid protests

"George Papandreou, the Greek prime minister, has offered to step down to facilitate the formation of a unity government to pass austerity measures, state TV reported. His offer on Wednesday came hours after protesters angry over sweeping spending cuts clashed with riot police in the capital Athens".

Posted by alan @ 05:37 PM 8 Comments

Wobble, wobble

Reuters: ECB says debt crisis risks destabilising banks

"The Euro zone debt crisis risks sparking a destabilising chain reaction through the bloc's financial sector, the European Central Bank said on Wednesday". The new joiners to the Euro must be wondering what they've let themselves in for!

Posted by alan @ 05:33 PM 2 Comments

Mid week at the comedy club

Mortgagestrategy: Non-homeowners have no freedom, claims Gummer

John Gummer, the former Conservative MP for Suffolk Coastal and the chairman of the Association of Mortgage Intermediaries has claimed non-homeowners have no freedom. Speaking at the AMI annual dinner last night he said home ownership has been one of the main strengths of Britain. He told the audience: “Home ownership is the basis of freedom, people who do not own their own home do not have independence.” .He went on to say: “AMI is a proper representation of a great profession, which is crucial to the property owning democracy in the UK and as such makes a bigger contribution to freedom than perhaps any other profession.” Gummer claimed people who dealt with him throughout his time in parliament could be much tougher with him if they owned their own home.

Posted by jack c @ 03:40 PM 18 Comments

How high can rents go?

Planet Property: How high can rents go?

Rents are booming, but how high can they go, and are they close to their peak?

Posted by the planet @ 10:53 AM 4 Comments

U.K. posts strong jobs data but benefit claimants still go up

WSJ.com: U.K. Posts Strong Jobs Data

The number of unemployed people in the U.K. fell by the largest figure in more than 10 years in the three months to April. And in a sign that the private sector is generating enough jobs to offset job cuts in the public sector, employment in the private sector increased by 104,000 to 23 million in the first quarter of 2011, while employment in the public sector fell by 24,000 to 6.2 million. However, the ONS said the more up-to-date measure of the number of people claiming the Jobseeker's Allowance jobless benefit increased by 19,600 in May—the biggest increase since July 2009.

Posted by pbahra @ 09:56 AM 0 Comments

Index only confusing when showing drops ?

Estateagenttoday.co.uk: Another confusing 'official' house price survey muddies the waters

"Another thoroughly muddling house price index – from Communities and Local Government – claims that the average UK house price stood at £204,439 in April." "The index says that seasonally adjusted house prices decreased by 1.1% compared with March."

Posted by doomwatch @ 09:44 AM 8 Comments

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

31% fall in Great Depression 33% so far and still going

CNBC via Yahoo: US Housing Crisis Is Now Worse Than Great Depression

Prices have fallen some 33 percent since the market began its collapse, greater than the 31 percent fall that began in the late 1920s and culminated in the early 1930s, according to Case-Shiller data. Case-Shiller index is for major cities, so these are the best fall rates. In other rural and suburbs things would be worse/

Posted by deepak @ 08:56 PM 0 Comments

More 'data'

DCLG: House Price Index - April 2011

In April UK house prices decreased by 0.3 per cent over the year and decreased by 1.1 per cent over the month (seasonally adjusted).

Posted by dill @ 11:38 AM 5 Comments

Just set Greece free..

Bloomberg: Euro Finance Chiefs Race to Avert Greek Default

Surely everyone knows that if Greece stays in the eurozone AND is deemed to have defaulted, the cost of sovereign debt funding will rise right across the eurozone for years to come. Moreover, the default won't solve Greece's fundamental problems. So let them leave the eurozone - now..!

Posted by uncle tom @ 11:18 AM 11 Comments

"the Bank’s game of Russian roulette with the economy continues"

Moneymarketing: UK inflation stays at 4.5 per cent

The consumer prices index of annual inflation remained unchanged at 4.5 per cent in May, according to figures from the Office for National Statistics. The retail prices index - the measure of inflation which takes account of mortgage interest payments - also remained unchanged at 5.2 per cent...........In King’s letter to the Chancellor, King said inflation would “probably” be below the Government’s inflation target of 2 per cent if it was not or increases in VAT, energy prices and import prices.

Posted by jack c @ 11:05 AM 14 Comments

France moves towards LVT?

Independent: Sarkozy's plan to tax holiday homes alarms 'les rosbifs'

Under the new law, the taxman would charge 20% of the theoretical annual "rental value" of a second home. Some reports have generated anger and alarm among British owners by implying that the new tax will apply to the "true", or market, rental value. On a villa in the South of France or a large home in the Dordogne, this would mean a tax bill running into thousands of euros. However in reality, the 20% annual charge will apply only to a theoretical rental value – or "valeur locative cadastrale" (VLC) – which is fixed by the local tax office. VLC rates fluctuate widely in France, for no obvious reason, but are always a fraction of the "real" rental value of a house.

Posted by drewster @ 11:05 AM 4 Comments

126 Apartments for sale - start bidding at $671,000

US Dept of Housing & Urban Development: Burton Towers Apartments

On Saturday, posted a link to a block of 9 studio & one bedroomed flats in Cambridge, UK for £1.2 Million plus VAT (i.e. £160,000 per flat). I thought this might be an illuminating contrast, 126 apartments in Newburgh, New York, USA, 68 miles north of Wall Street for auction with the bidding starting at $671,000 (i.e. £3,254 per flat). I acknowledge that there are restrictions on who is eligible to bid, but thought that the illustration might be informative in any case.

Posted by tuckie @ 11:01 AM 5 Comments

Worth a mention

Financial Risks Today: UK banks pay back 80% of liquidity scheme

UK banks and building societies have repaid 80% of Special Liquidity Scheme (SLS) loans according to the latest Bank of England quarterly report. According to the figures, banks have repaid £148bn to SLS by end of May, out of £185bn of UK Treasury Bills that have been lent since drawdown closed at the end of January 2009. In Q1 2011, £94bn had been paid back. The scheme was set up in April 2008 to improve the liquidity position of the banking system by allowing banks and building societies to swap their high-quality mortgage-backed and other securities for UK Treasury Bills for up to three years. In order to prevent a refinancing ‘cliff’, the Bank has held bilateral discussions with all users of the Scheme to ensure that there are plans in place to reduce their use of the Scheme...

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 10:14 AM 4 Comments

Can the BOW do what they are supposed to?

BBC: Can the BOE prevent the next crash?

Its Interesting that one of the mandates of the FPC is to prevent excessive mortgage lending, yet the the base rate is set by the MPC??? I'm sure Merv now gets two salaries instead of one, for doing nothing However, will it mean lower house prices?

Posted by mark goodman @ 10:03 AM 0 Comments

"National price balance deteriorates"

RICS: Housing Market Survey UK

The headline price net balance deteriorated in May, from -21 to -28. This was the first such fall in the price balance since last October. New buyer enquiries slipped this month, with the net balance edging down from 0 to -2. New instructions continued to increase in April, although at a slower pace, with the net balance slipping from 18 to 15. The average number of properties on surveyors’ books rose from 66 to 71.3, the highest level since December 2008. The sales-to-stock ratio declined this month, falling from 23.1 to 20.6.

Posted by dill @ 07:54 AM 0 Comments

Spring bounce cancelled!

Daily Mail: Estate agents sell just one home a week on average as property market struggles

'Estate agents are selling an average of only one property a week as the housing slump worsens, a report says today. The number of homes coming on to the market has surged but the number that are selling has fallen, according to the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.Between March and May, the average estate agency managed to sell only 14.7 properties, the equivalent of just over one per week.'

Posted by hpwatcher @ 07:16 AM 20 Comments

Monday, June 13, 2011

It'll be all right now we're in the recovery, won't it?

R3: Personal Financial Problems Rise

Research suggests six million struggle with bills.

Posted by novice pete @ 10:05 PM 5 Comments

Into the nose-dive - who is next?

Reuters: S&P downgrades Greece, says default likely

"Standard & Poor's on Monday cut Greece's credit ratings by three notches, saying the country is increasingly likely to restructure its debt in a way the ratings agency would consider a default".

Posted by alan @ 06:18 PM 20 Comments

Road bypasses boost home values by 15-30%

Planet Property: « Mortgage broker goes bonkers over house price statistics Road bypasses boost home values by 15-30%

Want the value of your house to increase? Then start lobbying your local council to build a bypass. According to research by Savills this will add 15% on average to the value of a property in the town or village that benefits, and boost local house prices by as much as 30%.

Posted by the planet @ 04:32 PM 0 Comments


BBC News: House price changes 'predicted' by web search data

Web search data can provide an early signal of house price changes in the UK, a study has suggested.

Posted by watchman @ 02:37 PM 10 Comments

There's a country out there somewhere

CRESC: City State against National Settlement: UK Economic Policy and Politics after the Financial Crisis

This paper argues that the City of London has power like that of a City State in a country like the UK where financial elites dominate and competition of elites has failed. This is now a serious problem because expenditure cuts after the crisis are undermining the redistributive settlement of benefits and publicly funded jobs which were the life support of the ex-industrial areas under Thatcher and Blair. The only credible response is radical new economic policies which can usefully be launched through local and regional initiative.

Posted by dill @ 01:51 PM 1 Comments

Mortgage broker goes bonkers over house price stati

Planet Property: Mortgage broker goes bonkers over house price statistics

Ray Boulger, the widely quoted mortgage adviser for John Charcol, has had a right old rant about house price statistics. In a press release littered with exclamation marks – and even double exclamation marks!! – Boulger has lashed out at the Nationwide and Halifax for seasonally adjusting their house price indices. Mind you, he might just have a point ....

Posted by the planet @ 12:45 PM 1 Comments

Re-hashed news but welcome nonetheless.

Estate Agent Today: Taxpayer-funded Lloyds to suffer most if house prices drop

'Investment bank Morgan Stanley is expecting UK house prices to drop 10% by the end of next year.' That is all.

Posted by sibley's b'stard child @ 11:35 AM 4 Comments

"Prices Stall as Buyers Harder to Find"

Home: Asking Price Index June 2011

The mix-adjusted average Asking Price for homes on the market in England and Wales remains unchanged since May. Home prices fell 0.2% in Greater London over the second quarter. The number of properties reduced in price last month surged to 88,815, 34% more than in May 2010. Typical time on market has increased 2 days to 109 days (median) since May and is now 16% longer than in June 2010. Supply of new properties to market fell back ca. 5,000 to 129,726 in June, 2% less than in June 2010. Annual change in asking prices: -0.8% 6-month change in asking prices: 0.4%

Posted by dill @ 10:49 AM 6 Comments

No surprises there then


PUBLIC satisfaction with the Bank of England has declined in the last year, as inflation tightens its squeeze on Britons’ finances. The net balance of people satisfied with the Bank’s performance has dropped from nearly 30 per cent early in 2010 to below 20 per cent this year, the Bank admitted today. “Households with higher inflation perceptions tend to be more likely to report that they are dissatisfied with the Bank,” it said in its latest Quarterly Report. The decline in the Bank’s popularity is “perhaps in part reflecting a rise in households’ perceptions of inflation over that period,” the report suggested. Long term inflationary expectations “remain anchored,” the Bank believes, despite expectations that inflation will remain close to double the target level..

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 10:17 AM 4 Comments

House of cards falling down ?

Independent: Growth - it ain't happening

I think that this just about covers everything that has been talked about here for the last three years, though I'd be interested to see everyones thoughts ..........

Posted by tudorian @ 09:30 AM 5 Comments

We are looking for a reason not to put up rates next month

Reuters: Inflation expectations are key concern - Bank's Dale

"Inflation expectations are a key concern for the Bank of England, and policymakers cannot be totally sure that they remain well-anchored, the central bank's chief economist Spencer Dale said Monday.In a foreword to the Bank's quarterly bulletin, Dale said that long-term inflation expectations appeared stable but that the latest research was less clear on whether shorter-term measures were still consistent with the Bank's 2 percent inflation target" (= usual mid-month doublespeak). I thought we reduced the rates for a crisis - isn't it over yet?.

Posted by alan @ 08:08 AM 6 Comments

Roubini too optimistic about 2013 perfect storm

ArabianMoney: Nouriel Roubini predicts a ‘perfect storm’ for 2013 but will it be earlier?

Dr Doom Nouriel Roubini, who correctly predicted the US subprime crisis in 2006 is making waves again by predicting a ‘perfect storm’ for the global economy in 2013. ArabianMoney wonders if his analysis is correct but the date a little distant. Things may come to a head more quickly than that as they did between 2006 and 2007. This is not good news for UK house prices!

Posted by david smith @ 05:32 AM 2 Comments

Sunday, June 12, 2011

More on debt

Chrismartenson.com: Death by Debt

"The world does not face a crisis of liquidity, nor a crisis of insufficient debt, but one of entirely too much debt ... There are no historical examples of any country ever digging itself out from so deep a hole, and yet we find that the entire developed world has bravely pushed itself deep into unknown territory, seemingly without any serious discussions about whether or not this made sense". The article contains a couple of useful graphs, one of which is lifted from the New York Times.

Posted by greenmind @ 10:14 PM 20 Comments

Bank of England conducts survey to see what they can get away with

My Finances: B of E survey reveals public's expectations for inflation

The Bank of England has released a survey asking the public about their attitudes and expectations towards inflation and interest rates, GfK/NOP interviewed 2,045 people across the UK in May, data suggests that more people are happy with the Bank of England’s policy over interest rates and inflation than was the case three months ago.

Posted by enuii @ 09:12 PM 3 Comments

First Greece, then panic

Observer: Greece pays a heavy price as eurozone strives to protect its reckless banks

Good overview of the precariousness of Greece, the financial abuse of populations, and the likely result.

Posted by letthemfall @ 02:43 PM 11 Comments

Estate Agents and Property owners asked if house prices will go up in next 12 months

Mirror: Full of hope on house prices and home buying

Confidence in the housing market is growing, with 32 per cent of people quizzed in a poll saying they expect prices to rise in the next year. Half think the next three months will be a good time to buy, while just 14 per cent say it is the time to sell.

Posted by cornishtinmine @ 01:43 PM 0 Comments

What? You mean there is risk involved in investing?

Bbc news: UK investors in bonds battle

Its just not cricket is it? Double digit returns since the early 90s on these bonds, but now its all over and the free market capitalists want bailing out by the tax payer. Post democracy neo-capitalism at its most extraordinary best. I don't know who what laugh loudest, Smith, or Marx.

Posted by tick tock @ 10:35 AM 5 Comments

"..the need to break the risk-taking loop"

Guardian: Our brief is simple, but critical: keep the system strong and stable

Britain cannot afford another credit crunch. The new financial policy committee has been created to break a vicious cycle.

Posted by dill @ 09:00 AM 11 Comments

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Non-Diana headline for a change!

Daily Express: Cheaper Home Loans To Stay

HOME owners were given a tonic last night as experts said rock-bottom interest rates should stay for up to three years. Pressure on the Bank of England to raise rates eased after manufacturing costs last month rose less than expected. Economists expect the boost will soon filter through to consumers, leading to an overall drop in inflation.

Posted by general congreve @ 04:13 PM 6 Comments

Knighthoods all round then chaps

FT: Please respect FT.com's ts&cs and copyright policy which allow you to: share links; copy content for personal use; & redistribute limited extracts. Email ftsales.support@ft.com to buy additional rights or use this link to reference the article - http://ww

MSW analyses the banks' dodgy state: "However, Pierce chucks an interesting number into the mix. If things are getting so much better, he says, “why are there £110bn more interest-only mortgages today than in 2007, despite lower rates and tighter new lending criteria?” The obvious answer is that, to avoid having to take losses on them, banks are converting the repayment mortgages of homeowners in trouble into interest-only mortgages. That cuts their payments and makes it less likely they will default in the short term. It also means their loans can still be counted as “good” loans."

Posted by letthemfall @ 01:45 PM 10 Comments

Black Monday looms for stocks

ArabianMoney: Black Monday looms for stock markets, sell, sell, sell!

If the prospect for the US is at best low growth for the next 10 years as one commentator suggested yesterday then stock prices have to be reset. Indeed, it does not have to be that dramatic, just properly discounting the high unemployment and falling house prices of today would be enough to require stocks to trade at a much lower level.

Posted by david smith @ 01:23 PM 0 Comments

66% trapped in homes

Sky News: Majority Of Homeowners 'Have Mortgage Fears'

'Only a third of homeowners wanting to move or remortgage are confident they would be able to during the coming 12 months, a survey has suggested.' 'The other two-thirds of respondents say they are worried they would fall foul of banks' tough lending criteria on mortgages.' The removal of interest only mortgages will cause most pain, even for those who currently have it.

Posted by will @ 10:23 AM 0 Comments


Telegraph: Bank of England Governor Mervyn King gets knighthood in Birthday Honours list

The boss of the central bank has been honoured for efforts to stabilise and rebuild Britain's economy - despite being accused of being "asleep at the wheel" at the onslaught of the financial crisis.

Posted by dill @ 08:19 AM 19 Comments

Friday, June 10, 2011

That works out at £9,391.44 per square yard, just for the bare land!!

FT: Barracks’ sale tests London property market

"The land originally formed part of a farm purchased in 1750 by the current owners, the Eyre Estate. The estate, a private family trust, has asked for offers of more than £225m, although Knight Frank, the agent handling the sale, expects the bidding to exceed £250m. The barracks site has planning permission for 117 new homes that could have a total sale value of more than £1bn. The 5.5 acre (2.2 hectare) site is located in exclusive St John’s Wood near Regent’s Park and Primrose Hill. St John’s Wood is one of London’s so-called golden postcodes."

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 08:01 PM 3 Comments

On cue: Mainstrean confirmation

Guardian: Homelessness on the rise as recession and cuts bite

Homelessness is rising dramatically for the first time in years in the UK as the effects of the recession are felt, with recent increases in some areas of more than 50% in the numbers of people declaring themselves in need of housing, government figures find.

Posted by dill @ 07:58 PM 11 Comments

Some Friday trivia from the Maul (ideal MP second home or footballer's love den?)

Daily Mail: The most expensive rent bill in London: the 'billionaire bling' penthouse that will set you back £40,000 a WEEK

It is a figure that many of us can only dream of as an annual salary. But £40,000 is what someone will need to find every week if they want to live here. This six-bedroom central London penthouse has been put on the rental market with what is thought to be the highest rent ever sought in the capital.

Posted by rental john @ 05:47 PM 0 Comments

Establishment against the political lightweaights now running this country, or voice of the people?

New Statesman: The government needs to know how afraid people are

I realise not true HPC article, but still relavent to ConDem's effects on us all...but well worth a read, especally the level and quantity/quality of article comments generated. Leader article by Rowan Williams: We are being committed to radical, long-term policies for which no one voted.

Posted by rental john @ 05:32 PM 0 Comments

No more slack?

Telegraph: We’ve used up all our options, so what next for Britain's economy?

In Britain, it’s the other way around. Already taxed to the gunnels, the UK simply cannot afford another fiscal stimulus, even if George Osborne could be persuaded of its economic merits. Supply-side reform, in the shape of reducing the tax and regulatory burden on business, is very much something to aspire to, but its short-term impact in circumstances where the main problem is lack of aggregate demand is going to be marginal. Policymakers have run out of road. The belief that they could somehow magic away a crisis caused by an excess of debt was always based on a false premise – namely that the authorities are more powerful, if they do the right things, than the markets.

Posted by sibley's b'stard child @ 12:07 PM 34 Comments

Readying the stage?

Bloomberg: Trichet Rejects ECB Participation in Greece Bailout

Read Trichet's words, and ask yourself "If you ran the ECB, and knew the Greece was about to break away, what would you say and do to protect your reputation?" There was also a ticker line on Bloomberg TV this morning reporting that Greek banks are running out of deposits as people are moving their savings, but I havn't seen a full article for the story.

Posted by uncle tom @ 10:48 AM 6 Comments

This could be the scenario in the uk

Cnbc: US houseprices could fall for 20 years

uk houseprices are almost certain to follow other market with large falls.remember they say there is a shortage of property but 800,000 empty homes exist and 1.3 million buy to lets and 1 in 7 own a second/holiday home as prices fall more people will sell

Posted by taffee @ 09:56 AM 12 Comments

Indices methodology called into question when prices are falling.

Estate Agent Today: Boulger lays into 'farce' of house price surveys

Legendary mortgage broker Ray Boulger has hit out at the ‘farce’ of seasonally adjusted house prices in surveys from the likes of Nationwide and Halifax. Boulger, of John Charcol, said the Nationwide and Halifax reports distort the market through the ‘nonsense’ of being seasonally adjusted. He hit out just before the latest survey was published this morning – the LSL Academetrics report, which says it is “derived from Land Registry house price data, seasonally and mix adjusted by property type … The prices are smoothed to show underlying trends.” But Boulger said: “The way providers of house price indices seasonally adjust their figures is a farce (or, seasonally adjusted, a comedy).

Posted by sibley's b'stard child @ 09:52 AM 11 Comments

Rising asking prices due to estate agents demand for new stock

Market oracle: UK Property Sellers Inflated Asking Prices Risks Chasing After House Prices Downward Spiral

''...most sellers are making the same mistake today that was made during the housing market crash of 2007-2009 in that asking prices for houses for sale are far above the market valuations for their properties, the result of this is for home owners to effectively chase house prices lower as they are forced to cut prices in response to falling house prices and thus in the end delaying sales as well as receiving far less than they would have originally sold their properties for if they had attached more realistic values in the first place.''

Posted by hpwatcher @ 07:27 AM 2 Comments

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Watch this space, give or take a year or so...

Macleans: The real problem with Vancouver real estate prices

This is slightly off track being Vancouver, but it shows Blighty isn't the only area teetering and tottering to housing oblivion. Some valid points in the article that point to key technology workers here already being priced out of an artificially inflated market.

Posted by edbell222 @ 10:11 PM 0 Comments

Saver alert - 24% if you're brave enough

Reuters: EURO GOVT-Two-year Greek yield extends fall on bailout hope

A great opportunity for those insiders whose know if the bailout will really happen. Personally I'd prefer to back a nag in the 3:30 at Newmarket.

Posted by sureseam @ 09:24 PM 4 Comments

Tenants unaffected by fuel price hikes

Daily Mail: Relief for homeowners facing utilities bills price hike as interest rates are kept at 0.5%

Interest rates have been held at their record low of 0.5 per cent, providing relief for home owners who face rising utilities bills. The Bank of England kept rates at their lowest ever level for the 27th month in a row - and economists expect an increase to be delayed because of poor growth in the economy. It comes after Scottish Power announced an average hike of nearly £200 in annual power bills earlier this week.

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 04:36 PM 17 Comments

Build them and they shall come.

Houseladder: New-build houses proving less popular?

Fewer people may be interested in new-build housing than previously thought. New-build houses may be less attractive to buyers than they were previously, figures suggest. According to findings from the Office for National Statistics, the total volume of all new construction orders during the first quarter (Q1) of the year dropped by 23 per cent, in comparison with Q4 of 2010. And the volume of private housing orders at the same time fell by 13 per cent.

Posted by sibley's b'stard child @ 03:25 PM 5 Comments

'Fun' website gets another, albeit, veiled reference.

Agent's Diary: Open To Interpretation

'Awkward silence over, the discussion continues, mostly without F. There’s a belief in some circles the market is indeed going through a once in a lifetime sea change. Where property ownership reverts to a Victorian-style privilege few can aspire to without a death in the family. Another less expounded theory, enthusiastically endorsed on some of the gloomier forums, is that property still needs to fall dramatically.'

Posted by sibley's b'stard child @ 03:23 PM 3 Comments

This may give King the push he needs - Bravo!

Reuters: ECB's Trichet sets up July interest rate rise

"The European Central Bank is strongly vigilant over inflation pressures, President Jean-Claude Trichet said on Thursday, signalling an interest rate rise is probably only a month away". Now, what does that say about the MPC? The ECB confirmed ""continued upward pressure on overall inflation mainly owing to commodity and energy prices."

Posted by alan @ 02:42 PM 0 Comments

BOE sticks with record low 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. Recent data has underlined worries about the UK's economic recovery, which analysts took as a sign that the Bank would leave rates unchanged. This is despite the annual rate of inflation rising to 4.5% in April, up from 4% in March, and well above the Bank's 2% target. The MPC did not reveal any new quantitative easing measures.

Posted by jack c @ 12:06 PM 31 Comments

Is it just me or does this not make sense?

Grauniad: Rising rents price tenants out

Because people can't get mortgages to buy overpriced houses thanks to the collapse of the Ponzi scheme credit bubble there is a shortage of rental property driving up rents. [So maybe you had better buy an overpriced house by any means possible fair or foul!? But surely if less people can buy houses they can rent the ones they would otherwise have bought, unless the sellers enjoy keeping them empty and losing money by foregoing the rental income. The RICS survey this reports on says that "an increasing number of renters are priced out of the market". So are they priced out of both mortage and rental markets..? I haven't noticed a marked increase in homelessness, a la cardboard city in Japan...]

Posted by nickb @ 10:57 AM 53 Comments

The basics of banking explained….for the benefit of bankers

The Slog: At the End of the Day

More banker b*llocks. Adopt the motto: "Bankers are W*nkers"

Posted by mr g @ 12:43 AM 1 Comments

Retrospective Financial Advice

Telegraph: Homeowners lose thousands on long-term fixed-rate mortgages

Fixing her mortgage rate has cost prudence dearly, if she had taken out a two-year fixed-rate £150,000 mortgage in 2007 at around 5.5pc instead of the Nationwide home loan her friend Gordon the financial advisor recommended, she would have paid £83 less every month. After the first two years, the fixed rate would have dropped to a standard variable rate of 2.5pc, meaning her 10-year fixed rate mortgage is now costing her £324 a month more than her less risk-averse neighbours with the shiny beemer on the drive.

Posted by enuii @ 12:03 AM 7 Comments

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Adding insult to injury

Sky: RBS Bonuses 'Paid With Taxpayer Cash'

This really p*sses me off. Bankers are wa**ers and barstewards!

Posted by mr g @ 07:10 PM 10 Comments

Free government properdee subsidy

Bloomberg: Ireland Seeks to Entice Homebuyers

Ireland is considering desperate measures to revive what remains of the country’s real estate industry. The National Asset Management Agency, set up by the government 18 months ago to acquire risky assets, is trying to lure buyers back into one of the region’s worst-performing property markets. Irish house prices have fallen every month since December 2007. NAMA holds €70bn of risky property loans. One option would be for NAMA to ask the buyer for 80 percent of the purchase price at the time of the transaction and only collect the remaining 20 percent if the market value remained the same or increased by a certain amount.

Posted by little professor @ 04:28 PM 5 Comments

Acropolis Now...

BBC News: Greek Bail-out II - the backlash

'Almost no-one believes Greece's debt can be managed' - so why lend them more?

Posted by uncle tom @ 12:09 PM 21 Comments

Bit players in the ponzi scheme.

Estate Agent Today: Senior surveyor 'over-valued' houses in £10m property scam

A senior surveyor married to a police officer is said to have taken part in a £10m mortgage scam in exchange for cars and money. Mary-Jane Rathie, on trial at the Old Bailey, allegedly overvalued a string of five upmarket London properties in return for gifts of more than £1m from a woman known as Joanne Pier. Pier used the valuations to secure mortgages from the Bank of Scotland. Altogether, Pier – who has since vanished – obtained £10m of mortgages, of which £9.5m relied on Rathie’s valuations. In return, Rathie, 43, was said to have received £900,000 in cheques and money transfers plus a Bentley Continental and a Range Rover Sport. The vehicles, together worth nearly £200,000, were both registered in the name of her husband David, 47, a Metropolitan Police officer.

Posted by sibley's b'stard child @ 09:17 AM 0 Comments

Deja vu from the early 90s as UK house prices slump

ArabianMoney: Britons feel a sense of deja vu with the early 90s as house prices fall

Britain’s biggest building society the Halifax has reported a five per cent fall in house prices in the year to May. But this is probably only the start for a serious correction in UK house prices in a repeat of a squeeze not seen since the recession of the early 90s.

Posted by david smith @ 05:43 AM 0 Comments

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

So many problems

BBC: EU Commission issues first economy reports to members

"....The UK was also was told to reform its housing market, planning system and mortgage market, as well as to tackle youth unemployment and skills shortages."

Posted by dill @ 08:34 PM 30 Comments

So wrong

Cnn: Walk away from your mortgage? Time to get 'ruthless'

He stopped making mortgage payments on two homes in October 2009, a condo purchased for $140,000 in 2005, and a house he bought two years later for $265,000. He had occupied the condo until he bought the house, and then rented it out. "I would have kept up the payments, but the condo was appraised for $54,000 and the house, $135,000," said Horton. To keep paying off the homes didn't add up. He could rent a nice three-bedroom home in town for about $1,000 a month, less than half what he was paying for his mortgages, even after rental income.

Posted by mark @ 06:59 PM 13 Comments

Lib Cons adopt one of Uncle Tom's proposals...

BBC: Plans for public land sell-offs for housing development

"Proposals to sell-off large tracts of publicly owned land for housing have been announced by the government. Ministers said the plans could create up to 100,000 homes and 25,000 jobs during the next four years. Already available are a former hospital at Fairmile, Oxfordshire, New Covent Garden Market, south London, and three Ministry of Defence sites in Bath." Obviously, 25,000 extra homes a year is a drop in the ocean and may merely reduce the number built elsewhere, but I liked the reference to "MoD sites".

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 05:13 PM 13 Comments

Cash sums in titles cause panic.....

Daily Telegraph: House prices drop £7,000 amid fragile economy

Comment "Dead cats bouncing all over the place I'd say but if you need to look at the script for these crashes just read the property press after the last big crash in 1993. Not a month went by without one newspaper or other telling how the corner had been turned - that went on for a further 5 years. The British are stupid and do denial better than anyone else." Which one of you was it? Also some linking in the comments to this upbeat site. Enough to drive any homeowner off a cliff....!

Posted by tom101 @ 05:10 PM 2 Comments

Tabloids begin to get the gist of it as it is

Daily Mail: More bad news for homeowners as house prices tumble 4.2% in a year

The average price of a home in Britain has plunged by nearly £130 every week for the last 12 months, an alarming report revealed today.

Posted by dill @ 04:43 PM 11 Comments

Broadsheets see it as it is

Daily Telegraph: UK house prices post biggest yearly fall in 19 months

Nice to see newspapers seeing it as it is. Maybe the slow decline we're all assuming could become a bit steeper once more pain is felt in the economy?

Posted by growler @ 02:42 PM 7 Comments

Another VI who aims to keep the price high

Mortgagestrategy: HMRC investigating property valuations

HM Revenues and Customs is targeting increased numbers of inheritance tax property valuations, according to an accountancy firm. UHY Hacker Young says HMRC has launched 9,368 investigations into inheritance tax valuations over the last year and is actively targeting estates and beneficiaries. It says that according to HMRC’s figures, £70m worth of additional tax was raised as a result of HMRC challenging the valuations of properties included in the estate of a deceased person in 2010. .In cases where additional tax was payable, this averaged £24,600 per case.

Posted by jack c @ 12:21 PM 11 Comments


New Statesman: Osborne's rhetorical shift

"There is flexibility built into the plan that I announced a year ago... We're talking about the structural deficit, so in other words we allow the automatic stabilisers to operate, which means that the economy can move up and down with the cycle, the government spending can move up and down with the cycle....."

Posted by rental john @ 11:47 AM 0 Comments

Back paddling as you go over the waterfall?

New Statesman: The IMF has no credibility in forecasting the UK economy

The IMF yesterday cut its growth forecast for 2011 for the UK to 1.5 per cent but said the government's economic policy was going along swimmingly. The Chancellor seemed to be really pleased about their endorsement. But Slasher didn't seem to notice that the IMF argued that the risks to their forecasts were "significant".

Posted by rental john @ 11:44 AM 0 Comments

House prices - a bit like lettuce

BBC: House prices 'wilted in spring' says Halifax

House prices have been falling in spring, according to the Halifax, but the lender is expecting a stabilisation in prices later in the year. The value of the average home rose by 0.1% from April to May, to £160,519. But prices were 4.2% lower than the same period a year ago - the biggest annual drop since October 2009. The Halifax, now part of Lloyds Banking Group, said a moderate improvement in the economy and low interest rates would help the market. In London, prices were up 5% in the year to April, according to the Land Registry, whereas prices in the north-east of England fell by 8% over the same period.

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 11:12 AM 13 Comments

Prime London tipped to break £10,000 sq ft barrier

Planet Property: Prime London tipped to break £10,000 sq ft barrier

Well, they will, says Knight Frank, if you leave aside problems like "sovereign debt in the West, asset bubbles and hot money in the East" ...!!

Posted by the planet @ 10:36 AM 0 Comments

Surprise early release

LBG: Halifax House Price Index

Annual change -4.2% Quarterly change -1.2% Monthly change 0.1% Average Price £160,519

Posted by dill @ 08:22 AM 31 Comments

Larry Elliott wonders if the US can recover

Guardian: Decline and fall of the American empire

America clocked up a record last week. The latest drop in house prices meant that the cost of real estate has fallen by 33% since the peak – even bigger than the 31% slide seen when John Steinbeck was writing The Grapes of Wrath.

Posted by mken @ 07:16 AM 3 Comments

Gordon Brown's part in the whole financial crisis becomes clear....

FT: Geithner warns on light-touch oversight

'Tim Geithner, Treasury secretary, warned overseas regulators against undercutting US financial regulations, citing the “tragic” example that the UK set in light-touch oversight.'

Posted by hpwatcher @ 05:53 AM 7 Comments

Monday, June 6, 2011

Guaranteed to impact house prices and everything else

Reuters: Inflation Alert: The Dragon Breathes Again

Good video, from a responsible source this time, - inflation triggering alarm bells worldwide, led by China. Meanwhile the west is drowning in debt.

Posted by alan @ 11:18 PM 0 Comments

Will the MPC follow on IRs? I suspect not.

Reuters: ECB expected to signal July rate increase

"The European Central Bank is likely to signal a July interest rate rise on Thursday while continuing to provide banks with unlimited amounts of cash to help weaker lenders hit by the euro zone debt crisis".

Posted by alan @ 11:08 PM 0 Comments

Buying to let in the UK now is no less dangerous than doing so in Spain

MoneyWeek: Why Britain's property market is as dangerous as Spain's

On the surface, Britain's property market - while in a bad way - looks nowhere near as bad as Spain's. But take a closer look, says Merryn Somerset Webb, and things are just as dangerous - especially for buy to let.

Posted by martingreen @ 05:12 PM 1 Comments

NLA - "landlords sitting with their calculators"

Mortgagestrategy: Soaring demand could see renters priced out

A potential housing crisis is brewing which could lead to renters being priced out of the market, John Heron, managing director of Paragon Mortgages, has warned. A shrinking owner-occupier sector, lack of new homes and fewer homes in the social rented sector means tenant demand is at an all-time high. Heron says: “It’s clear we have a potential housing crisis brewing. The issue we have is much broader than the mortgage market but is a housing issue. .“Pressure is being put on the private rental sector and we are in need of a proper co-ordinated housing policy to expand the supply of housing and that’s only going to come from the government.” He says we are in the midst of a major socio-economic change regarding how the country views housing which is not a temporary blip.

Posted by jack c @ 02:31 PM 21 Comments

From The Department of the Bleedin' Obvious

BBC: Housing worries hitting under-25s, says Citizens Advice

The charity dealt with 700,000 problems from young adults in the year to the end of March - a similar level to the previous year. But there has been a rise in the number raising concerns over renting a home. A separate survey suggested that young workers were more stressed that their older colleagues.

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 02:04 PM 5 Comments

Waiting for Godot

Independent: Inflation fears have vanished – suddenly it's all about growth

"You might think that the continuation of very low interest rates for a while longer might be a good thing. It isn't. A healthy economy full of vitality and the joys of risk-taking should have relatively high interest rates. Only those economies unable to stand on their own two feet experience continuously very low interest rates. Low interest rates today are not a sign of future strength but, instead, of ongoing current weakness. There is little credit supply, even less credit demand, insipid money supply growth and miserable fiscal austerity. Housing markets, meanwhile, are no longer able to deliver the turbo-charged recoveries of old."

Posted by dill @ 01:15 PM 3 Comments

A bleak outklook for US property prices

MoneyWeek: Housing double-dip dents growth in the US

Continued economic pessimism in the US as consumer confidence is hit by lowering house prices, high unemployment and tight credit. Manufacturing slows and the government cuts back on spending, while questions are asked whether political infighting in Congress this summer could cause a US debt default

Posted by martin @ 11:04 AM 0 Comments

Council relieved to sell cliff-top public lavatory for 3 times guide price

Planet Property: Council relieved to sell cliff-top public lavatory for 3 times guide price

A former public lavatory on the promenade in Sheringham, Norfolk has sold at auction for £104,000, three times the guide price of £30,000. Buyers to convert to holiday home. Great view, but will they ever get rid of the smell?!

Posted by the planet @ 10:37 AM 0 Comments

Real wages have fallen for most for decades

BBC News: TUC: Wage stagnation over decades as income gap widens

Many people in middle and low income jobs have barely seen any improvement in their incomes over the past 30 years, a report from the TUC says. But house prices trebled over the last ten.

Posted by will @ 09:38 AM 7 Comments

Credibility ! My sides are splitting, stop it, your killing me ;-)

Telegraph: Raising interest rates now 'would destroy Bank of England's credibility

The Bank of England would destroy the "last vestiges" of its credibility if it raised interest rates this week, according to new analysis which counters suggestions that rising prices will force policy-makers to act soon.

Posted by happy mondays @ 08:44 AM 14 Comments

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Let the Greeks go bust

G Pytel: Greece: there is a method in this madness

"Saving" Greece is not in fact saving it, but a money transfer machine from taxpayers pockets to the bankers' coffers. Glad our government refused to join this scheme. (But City may still twist the arms of the Chancellor to change his mind.)

Posted by ant @ 02:14 PM 6 Comments

Yet another article about building

Dail Mail: Why Britain has to launch a land war

"The market for development land has been operated like a cartel, which maximises the price. This cartel is maintained by the local authorities and the Government. There have been some assurances that this system would be reformed by the Coalition, but the reforms have not yet been detailed or adopted. The Government appears to be deterred from taking action due to fears that the new measures might cause house prices to fall. Yet the damage has probably already been done to people aged 20 to 45."

Posted by quiet guy @ 11:52 AM 6 Comments

Why we should build more

Guardian: Thatcher's dream becomes a nightmare for a jilted generation

"There is one simple reason why so many people can no longer afford to buy. Property is incredibly expensive. A bolder policy solution would be to use the tax system to force down prices. The Treasury forgoes billions in revenues because people don't pay capital gains tax when they sell their main residence. Are you up for abolishing that exemption, Mr Cameron? Nope, thought not. You'd be lynched by your party. What about you, Mr Miliband? Your beloved "next generation", the younger ranks of your "squeezed middle", would be the net beneficiaries of a fall in house prices – so how about it? The Labour leader shakes his head for, like his rivals, he doesn't think that a declaration of war on the propertied middle classes would enhance his chances of winning an election."

Posted by quiet guy @ 11:39 AM 7 Comments

Keep the bonfire going for a while longer

BBC News online: Greece to get next tranche of money, IMF and EU say

International officials have said Greece will receive the next instalment of its bail-out funding following a month-long inspection. European authorities and the IMF said the next tranche of their 110bn euro ($159bn; £97bn) bail-out package would be paid, most likely in July.

Posted by rental john @ 11:22 AM 0 Comments

What about employing more people in house building

Guardian: George Osborne plan isn't working, say top UK economists

Some of Britain's leading economists are warning the chancellor, George Osborne, that the economy is too fragile to withstand his drastic spending cuts and that he must draw up a plan B. Experts, including two former Whitehall advisers and two signatories of last year's high-profile letter backing the Tories' cuts, have told the Observer that they have profound concerns about the direction of Treasury policy.

Posted by quiet guy @ 09:56 AM 12 Comments

Investment advice from the Mail

Daily Mail: Rent generation fuels a buy-to-let bonanza

"Rising rents, cheaper mortgage deals and positive house price forecasts are behind a huge resurgence of interest in buying property to let. Mortgage lenders, brokers and estate agents are reporting a sharp upturn in business as investors take note of Britain’s growing army of tenants. The appeal is clear – rental returns of ten per cent or more are not uncommon, even before hoped-for price increases." I am seriously beginning to wonder what it will take to stop our media from promoting property speculation.

Posted by quiet guy @ 09:30 AM 15 Comments

Saturday, June 4, 2011

No growth no IR rises

Independent.co.uk: UK economic recovery on the verge of collapse

"The prospect of Britain's economy moving decisively into recovery mode were dealt another blow yesterday, with two new reports highlighting mounting difficulties ... Until relatively recently, the MPC had been expected to begin raisinginterest rates from their record low of 0.5 per cent last month, but the lack of any sustained economic recovery has stayed its hand. Market professionals do not now expect a rise before November at the earliest." I've noticed the FTSE 100 has been stagnant all year. So the future looks... (well not orange!)

Posted by dude @ 09:09 PM 25 Comments

Looks uncannily similar to one that went on sale years ago

Dailymailonline: A very big house in the country: Most expensive UK home outside London goes on sale for £75 MILLION

Says a lot about asking prices (this one appears to have gone up by £5 million).

Posted by greenshootsandleaves @ 03:10 PM 4 Comments

Tax them to the hilt!

The Guardian: Generation rent - the winners

They've only got 122 BTL proprerties, and they want more. And no, they're not sorry for pricing out first time buyers.

Posted by beesknees @ 01:16 PM 0 Comments


Telegraph: Rich to lose their 'subsidised' council homes

Bob Crow, the militant leader of the RMT union, chooses to live in a council house in London despite his pay and perks package as union general secretary totalling more than £140,000. The rent is estimated to be around £150 a week – a figure that would be much higher in the private sector. His spokesman recently said that Mr Crow makes “no apology” for living in social housing.

Posted by happy mondays @ 08:16 AM 53 Comments

Friday, June 3, 2011

Bemused by this story in the FT

MoneyWeek: The FSA should limit risky mortgages before a new housing bubble forms

The Financial Services Authority (FSA) wants to limit risky mortgages by imposing regulations on lenders. But will this simply limit consumers' options by persuading the banks not to lend in a period of general lending restraint?

Posted by martin @ 04:42 PM 0 Comments

Kate Middleton's former home sells below reserve.

BBC News: Duchess of Cambridge's former home sells for £485,000

He added that an oligarch had expressed interest but he was unable to get his affairs in order in time and failed to attend the auction. Sounds like the agent was using the old trick of; 'there is, of course, someone else interested in the property'.

Posted by will @ 04:24 PM 11 Comments

Extend and pretend applied to entire housing market

Reuters: Beware generous UK banks

So, the UK housing market is populated by people who are likely to have lied about their income and are increasingly likely to have been given pie-in-the-sky, interest-only loans as a way of papering over that very lack of income. What could possibly go wrong?

Posted by appolonius @ 02:50 PM 0 Comments

ArabianMoney sees big UK house price falls

ArabianMoney.Net: Big price falls for UK housing still look inevitable

For those who have most of their life’s savings in property this is going to be particularly painful, and that is the majority of the UK population. We have not changed our view that UK house prices will fall sharply over the next three years.

Posted by david smith @ 01:24 PM 1 Comments

Let me arrange loans to those I know can't afford it and then sell it on

The New York Times: Advocates and Bankers Join to Fight Loan Rules

Unusual alliances have sprung up in opposition to tighter lending standards (homowner-ists). "For the uncommon alliance, the first point of attack is on a proposal that would require sellers of mortgage-backed securities to retain part of the risk should a package of loans go sour. The sellers would have to keep on their books at least 5 percent of the value of any baskets of loans they purchase from lenders and then resell to investors" So they will have 'skin in the game' and will have every incentive to check that someone they arrange a loan to can actually afford to repay. What's not sensible about that?

Posted by ontheotherhand @ 12:29 PM 1 Comments

Down down, deeper & down

Estateagenttoday.co.uk: Transactions set to drop further this year

“The underlying position remains challenging. Under such conditions, lenders will continue to have only a modest risk appetite, and this will limit lending at high loan-to-value ratios. Lenders’ caution is understandable in the uncertain economic environment."

Posted by doomwatch @ 10:25 AM 11 Comments

UK housing market ‘abnormal’since 2005

Planet Property: UK housing market ‘abnormal’since 2005

So says Jennet Siebrits Head of Residential Research at CB Richard Ellis. In a new report she notes (and this is an estate agent speaking!): The housing market is far from fully functioning with activity well below 'normal' levels .. and is showing further signs of weakening.

Posted by the planet @ 10:23 AM 2 Comments

Because House Prices are Falling

The Daily Telegraph: Britons' economic gloom among worst in world

The survey of 24 of the world's biggest economies placed Britain among the most negative countries, ranking alongside Italy and just above France and debt-laden Spain.

Posted by ontheotherhand @ 10:00 AM 1 Comments

Planning permissions for new homes plummet

Planet Property: Planning permissions for new homes plummet

Housing planning permissions granted in the first quarter of 2011 show a year-on-year fall and are now at around half the level of five years ago.

Posted by the planet @ 09:26 AM 5 Comments

"The U.K.'s housing bubble put the U.S.'s in the shade"

WSJ: U.K. Housing Sits on Aspic, Not Firmer Foundations

Little more than a year ago, Jeremy Grantham, co-founder of asset-management firm GMO, said U.K. residential real estate was one of the two bubbles to survive the financial crisis intact. Fourteen months later, ballpark estimates suggest British residential property is still about a third over-valued.

Posted by dill @ 08:06 AM 12 Comments

Thursday, June 2, 2011

No! Just bury your heads..

Mail: Don't put up interest rates until household spending rises urges Bank of England expert By ALEX BRUMMER Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1393287/British-economy-Dont-rates-consumption-rises.html#ixzz1O8IOxRLD

Mr Fisher, who was operationally in charge of Britain’s programme of pumping £200billion of extra money into the economy through ‘quantitative easing’ remains ready to do some more if it becomes necessary although he notes it is at present an eight-one majority against. Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1393287/British-economy-Dont-rates-consumption-rises.html#ixzz1O8J2Xixw

Posted by happy mondays @ 04:30 PM 7 Comments

The land of the free, live the dream!

Mail: Dow Jones drops again after 'awful' jobless figures follow year's biggest fall and analyst's 'Great Depression' warning By MARK DUELL Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1393237/US-economy-Were-verge-great-great-depression.html#ixzz1O8HCDi2

A market strategist gave the dire prediction that ‘we’re on the verge of a great, great depression’ as the economy suffered a triple blow yesterday. Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1393237/US-economy-Were-verge-great-great-depression.html#ixzz1O8HeuRL5

Posted by happy mondays @ 04:24 PM 0 Comments

Black swan?

BBC News: E. coli outbreak is a new strain

The human race is too large, and moves around too much - and we're still very bad at dealing quickly with contagious new bugs - AIDS - SARS - MRSA and now this (- possibly..?) Sooner or later one of these microbial bullets will take out a significant percentage of the global population before its brought under control.. - Anyone want a spare house?

Posted by uncle tom @ 03:50 PM 26 Comments

The British property market is in for a gloomy summer

MoneyWeek: The British property market is in for a gloomy summer

The number of new mortgages approved for house purchases has dropped to a four-month low, according to the latest figures from the Bank of England. That can only be bad news for Britain's house prices, says David Stevenson.

Posted by martin @ 03:07 PM 3 Comments

EAs becoming more and more bearish.

Estate Agent Today: House prices will have to be chopped as sales drop

*From comments* "London isnt the gold mine the press/articles want you to believe. Its very tough here and I dont know 1 agent who is having a good time. Average sale is 5.9 weeks!!! Rubbish. Last summer I agreed the sale of a house @ £440K after this time scale however fell through as the buyer lost his purchaser. The property has been on the market for 6 months and 45 viewings later...not an offer in sight!"

Posted by sibley's b'stard child @ 01:06 PM 10 Comments

No let up on the horizon for UK plc

Telegraph (via Yahoo): UK slowdown teaches valuable lesson of supply and demand

Nice fluffy little piece underlining why the economy isn't about to bounce back... "Without demand, suppliers won’t produce. As suppliers cut back, jobs are lost. As jobs are lost, demand falls further. A demand failure can trigger a dangerous downward spiral. " So, cheaper houses on the way then. Just have to keep on waiting.

Posted by voiceofreason @ 12:43 PM 0 Comments

Death of interest only mortgages.

This is money.: Banks say prove you can repay interest-only

' interest-only mortgages shot up as house prices boomed from 2002 to 2007, from 13% of those taken out to 33%. It added that: 'the vast majority had no repayment vehicle specified'. ' Proceeds from the sale of a business, mortgaged property or an inheritance are also not accepted by the banks.'

Posted by will @ 12:24 PM 8 Comments

Bear Nibbles from the usual suspects

Money Week: UK house prices are heading for another double-digit fall

"We wrote yesterday about one good way of gauging future house prices – the number of new mortgages approved for house purchases. Changes in this number tend to be reflected in house price indices about four months later. In April, the number of new loans fell to 45,166. That's a four-month low, and 8% down on the year. And it's miles below the peak of 129,168 approvals seen in November 2006. The number of remortgages is also falling. They were down 10% compared to March... The late Easter and then the royal wedding might have distorted the figures. But many borrowers have reportedly been switching to variable-rate mortages to cash in on current low rates. If this refinancing has been propping the market up so far, it looks as though it's drying up."

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 10:54 AM 28 Comments

Falling prices mean selling your home may not be enough to fund care

Planet Property: Falling prices mean selling your home may not be enough to fund care

Despite Kirstie Allsopp's strenuous claims on Newsnight that homeownership will pay for all of us in old age, a new report suggests otherwise ....

Posted by the planet @ 10:40 AM 3 Comments

Ride the house market rollercoster

Zerohedge: The Vancouver Real Estate Market Rollercoaster

An interesting way to represent a house price graph. Needs to be inflation adjusted or you'll just spend most of the time going up.

Posted by refusetobuy @ 10:23 AM 0 Comments

Reform and regulate the Private Rental Sector

Citywire: Could we become a 'nation of renters'?

Becoming a 'nation of renters' could be a better alternative to spinning the housing roulette wheel once again and obsessing over home ownership, writes Linton Chiswick.

Posted by dill @ 09:13 AM 3 Comments

There's more to life than houses

Independent: This generation has to learn that there's no God-given right to a home

Members of "Generation Rent" are correct to think that the easy money to be made from home ownership is a thing of the past, but the fact that so many of them "aspire" to own their own place suggests they have not yet capitulated to this emerging reality. This generation will just have to get used to the idea that there is no God-given right to home ownership or, more pertinently, the large capital gains that accrued from it in the past.

Posted by dill @ 08:46 AM 32 Comments

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

The Con men feed the Con men :-(

Telegraph: Banks buy bulk of £39.8bn of new gilts

The increase in UK bank purchases of gilts has offset the fall in demand among overseas investors.

Posted by happy mondays @ 07:58 PM 27 Comments

Will we follow?

Independent: US house price fall 'beats Great Depression slide'

"The ailing US housing market passed a grim milestone in the first quarter of this year, posting a further deterioration that means the fall in house prices is now greater than that suffered during the Great Depression".

Posted by alan @ 07:33 PM 6 Comments

....excessive income inequality in society leads to economic instability

New Statesman: Gilbey on Film: drama out of a crisis

Is there anything left for a documentary film to say about the financial crisis after Inside Job, Capitalism: a Love Story and Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room? David Sington's The Flaw proves that there is. { http://theflawmovie.com/ }.

Posted by rental john @ 07:29 PM 0 Comments

Should be 4 pieces of bad news: Confidence drops in government's ability to do anything about it.

New Statesman: Three pieces of bad news for George Osborne

Manufacturing growth slows, confidence slumps and mortgage approvals hit a new low.

Posted by rental john @ 07:22 PM 0 Comments

This sort of estate agent practise should be illegal

Daily mail: The stunning £3.6m Art Deco mansion featuring a room with a view (but the estate agent 'forgot' to mention the gasworks and scrap yard)

On first glance it seems like a property too good to be true. A beautiful Art Deco-style, gleaming white mansion with plush interiors boasting 'stunning countryside views'. Described by estate agents as a 'lifestyle mansion', Tindale Towers is four storeys high, boasts three reception rooms, five bedrooms, an indoor pool and leisure suite along with a jacuzzi, a garage with space for six cars and a sports court. Not surprisingly, the house comes with a £3.6 million price tag to match its high-end, high-spec design. Yet, curiously, the property has failed to attract a single offer from prospective buyers.

Posted by mark @ 06:10 PM 4 Comments

QE3 discussion begins on likely impacts

Bloomberg: QE3 Would Be ‘Excessively Bearish’: Belski

"“QE3 is a short-term event, which will cause the market to go higher because investors over the last 10 years have become so reliant on cheap money and low interest rates,” said Belski, who recommends investors sell into any rally in stocks if QE3 occurs". "“The inevitability, folks, is that the next longer-term move in our collective careers is higher interest rates,” Belski said. “So all of the short-term events going back into bonds is just prolonging the inevitability of higher interest rates and better economies and higher inflation.” ...on Bloomberg TV, too.

Posted by alan @ 06:03 PM 3 Comments

No lottery jackpot unless you are a banker

Bloomberg: ECB Said to Favor Greek Bond Rollover

"The European Central Bank may back a plan encouraging investors to buy new Greek bonds to replace maturing securities, said two officials familiar with the situation, softening the ECB’s opposition to any restructuring to fix the country’s debt crisis". " European leaders are trying to prevent the euro area’s first sovereign default. Last year’s 110 billion-euro ($159 billion) rescue failed to prevent an investor exodus from Greece, which has been saddled with Europe’s highest debt load amid a three-year economic slump".

Posted by alan @ 05:42 PM 0 Comments

Morgan Stanley say 10% falls by 2012, Lloyds in dumpster

CityWire: Lloyds 'most exposed' to further house price falls

Noting that 54% of Lloyds’ loan book is in UK mortgages (£341 billion at 10 December), Morgan Stanley's analysts forecasted that 27% (£90 billion) of these loans would be in negative equity by December next year. When most news outlets seem to suddenly be saying that the worst is behind us, at least there are still some bears out there.

Posted by notyethomeless @ 04:15 PM 3 Comments

Housing market "fragile"; sales near record low

BBC 5 Live: Victoria Derbyshire: State of the UK housing market

Anecdotal evidence that vendors aren't selling. Can't think why. As usual Henry Prior is wheeled out. Tells vendors to "be realistic".

Posted by doomwatch @ 03:23 PM 1 Comments

More 'analysis'

FT Alphaville: UK house price gloom

Via Morgan Stanley, which thinks prices will fall 10 per cent on a two-year view and leave Lloyds with a negative equity headache. [based on 150 basis point rise in bank rate]

Posted by dill @ 02:30 PM 1 Comments

Interesting comment: interest only mortgage is the same as renting, but with extra costs

BBC Radio 4 (iplayer): 8.10 .. debating interest-only mortgages

BBC Radio 4 Today programme: at 08:10 The dangers of interest-only mortgages.

Posted by rental john @ 01:35 PM 0 Comments

Barclays pre-empts rate rises in the short term, perhaps not.

FT Adviser: Barclays reduces mortgage rates

The new rates include a two-year fixed rate deal at 2.98 per cent with a maximum 70 per cent loan-to-value (LTV) and a lifetime tracker at 2.38 per cent more than the base rate with a maximum 75 per cent LTV. We have been continually cutting rates since early April in response to falling swap rates and the competition in the market, with some rates having decreased by up to 52 percentage points since then.

Posted by karma4all @ 01:16 PM 2 Comments

One of the most farcical property debates ever

BBC: Newsnight 30/05/2011

Jeremy Paxman is joined by HPC favourate Kirsty Allsop and some architect/writer called Owen Hatterly to debate yesterday's "Generation Rent" story. Brainlessness ensues. Allsop's main arguement is that people need to invest in their own home in order to save for their retirement. Don't know what Hatterly was doing there as he didn't set out any coherent counterarguements.

Posted by greenmind @ 12:40 PM 12 Comments

Global housing markets take a turn for the worse

Planet Property: Global housing markets take a turn for the worse

The bottom line: price declines in 27 of 39 countries. "Housing markets globally are generally over-valued, and this excess valuation still needs to be unwound."

Posted by the planet @ 11:48 AM 0 Comments

Pesky Royal Wedding

BBC: Mortgage approvals hit new low, Bank of England reports

"The raft of bank holidays and the royal wedding inevitably skewed the April data, so an overall drop in the number of loan approvals and remortgages comes as no surprise," Presumably these mortgage approvals that were delayed by all the bank holidays will now show up in the May figures so remember this in a month.

Posted by ontheotherhand @ 11:39 AM 4 Comments

Sound advice

Telegraph: Beware of house builders bearing gifts

First time buyers should beware builders bearing gifts in the form of nearly £1bn subsidies for shared equity schemes. These will support house prices today but may not be reflected in sales achieved in future. New figures from the House Builders Federation figures make sense from the point of view of housing stock providers but could prove a dangerous case of market manipulation and an expensive mistake for buyers at current prices.

Posted by dill @ 11:23 AM 0 Comments

"Right thing" for certain banks at certain times

BBC Today Programme: Interest-only mortgages 'deluded'

Terry Smith of the a fund management company Fundsmith said that people are "deluding themselves" with interest-only mortgages, thinking that they own their house while in effect only renting it. Deanne Julius, former member of the Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee disagrees. Interest-only mortgages "are the right thing for certain people at certain times of their life" is her complacent line. Interview fails to ask whether the banks are doing this to avoid crystallising their losses. "Right thing" for certain banks at certain times.

Posted by mken @ 10:58 AM 5 Comments

Mroe extend and pretend fun by the home builders

Telegraph: Housebuilders spend £1bn on shared-equity schemes to help first-time buyers

Companies including Taylor Wimpey, Persimmon and Barratt have injected huge sums into the market in the form of shared-equity schemes to help customers get on the property ladder... it emerged the Council of Mortgage Lenders is coming under pressure to ease the supply of finance to first-time buyers by reintroducing 95pc mortgages. Figures from the Home Builders Federation (HBF) reveal that £835m of shared equity loans were made available between January 2008 and February this year, resulting in 28,000 sales. Under the schemes, housebuilders help customers get together a deposit to buy homes. The Government has also supported the market with it own shared-equity schemes including HomeBuy Direct and FirstBuy.

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 10:30 AM 7 Comments

Loans for house purchase down 9%

Planet Property: Loans for house purchase down 9%

Mortgage ,ending still very low, says Bank of England data ...

Posted by the planet @ 10:24 AM 0 Comments

Cure and prevent

New Statesman: Why we must end the UK's addiction to property

There is nothing aspirational or equitable about courting another recession.

Posted by dill @ 10:16 AM 14 Comments

He tried to shut the stable door before the...

SKY: Bank Of England 'Risks Losing Credibility'

"The Bank of England is in danger losing its credibility, the outgoing Monetary Policy Committee member Andrew Sentance has told Sky News". "I think is that there is a big risk now emerging to credibility of the Bank," he said. "The worry I have is that if that doesn't happen, we will face a situation where interest rates must move much more sharply - and there'll be a bigger threat to growth in the future," he said.

Posted by alan @ 07:51 AM 6 Comments

Honest Banking :-o

Telegraph: Banks accused of using mortgage debt leniency to flatter numbers

"Banks should be making much larger provisions because the current status is artificial," Danny Gabay, a Fathom director, said. "We have lower foreclosure rates than during the boom. It's just not plausible." UK banks are currently holding about £1.6bn in provisions against the country's total £1.2 trillion mortgage book.

Posted by happy mondays @ 07:11 AM 6 Comments

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