July 2011 Archive

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Not a NIMBY charter after all?

Guardian.co.uk: This localism bill will sacrifice our countryside to market forces

The government's 'sustainable' new planning policy invites corruption and will sink us in urban sprawl. The localism bill now before parliament is a straight developers' ramp. Drafted by the local government secretary, Eric Pickles, and the business secretary, Vince Cable, it stresses business and "national economic policy" over conservation at every turn. It is the outcome of intense lobbying by the construction industry.

Posted by greenmind @ 11:26 PM 15 Comments

Forced to compromise in a system that won't?

Guardian: Housing co-ops: one way to find an affordable home

Housing co-operatives are common in many parts of the world but have never really taken off in the UK. But is that about to change? Community co-operatives have rescued pubs, shops and other vital amenities. Now, with sky-high property prices in many parts of the UK, groups of like-minded people are coming together to form co-ops to buy a property to live in – something they would never be able to do individually.

Posted by dill @ 05:52 PM 3 Comments

Whats hot and whats not...

Thisislondon: Map that's hot property for house hunters

A new property "heat map" of London reveals, street by street, neighbourhoods where the market is sizzling and those stuck in the ice age. Areas with highest asking prices are coloured red with - in descending order - orange, yellow, green and blue representing the cheaper districts. Bring on the ice age. Here is a link to the heatmap: http://www.zoopla.co.uk/heatmaps/

Posted by ray123 @ 04:39 PM 0 Comments

Telegraph!: Senate stops GOP debt limit plan

Telegraph: Default fears worsen as US Senate blocks debt-ceiling bill

The Democrat-controlled US Senate has blocked a Republican debt-ceiling bill, just two hours after it was narrowly passed in the House of Representatives.

Posted by blinktoofast @ 09:28 AM 11 Comments

USA partisan political system laid bare for all to see.....

Time: All Eyes on the Senate: Can Two Veterans Deliver a Debt Deal?

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell are not chatty men by nature. Notoriously monosyllabic, either man could probably compete for a world record in shortest average phone conversation. But that doesn’t mean they’re not talking now. Although not fast friends, Reid and McConnell have one of the most functional professional relationships in a Congress that’s currently in the news for remarkable dysfunction.

Posted by rental john @ 09:20 AM 0 Comments

Yes I do work 24/7...

USA Today!: House passes GOP debt limit plan

Twenty-four hours later than planned — and only after a change to mollify conservative Republicans — House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, put together enough votes to rescue his debt limit fix Friday. The 218-210 vote, along party lines, came four days before President Obama says he'll run out of the borrowed money that keeps the federal government from paying its bills. The House vote kicks the issue once again to the slower-moving Senate, where rules make it all but impossible to vote out a plan before Monday. Big surprise.

Posted by khards @ 12:33 AM 8 Comments

Friday, July 29, 2011

MMMMMMMM Peanut butter

CNN: Safe havens? Gold, the yen and peanut butter

And one money manager said peanut butter

Posted by mark @ 07:46 PM 6 Comments

NW Re-Hash

ThisIsMoney: Nationwide: House prices up 4.7% this year but market listless as property sales stall

House prices are now up 4.7 per cent since the start of the year, after inching 0.2 per cent higher in July, but property transactions have slipped to their lowest level in two years, the Nationwide has reported. Inching up: Despite the listless market, average prices have climbed 4.7% since January, says Nationwide The building society said that the average house price rose to £168,731 in the month, up 0.2 per cent from June, but 0.4 per cent lower than this point last year. The average price is up more than £7,000 on January's figure of £161,211 - a rise of 4.7 per cent. But despite an uplift in mortgage approvals in June, according to the Bank of England, Nationwide's chief economist Robert Gardner said market activity remained stuck at a very low level.

Posted by roost @ 06:01 PM 0 Comments

Dodgy statistics or lies - you choose

Telegraph: US GDP growth disappoints as economy stagnates in first quarter

The US Commerce department stated that gross domestic product (GDP) rose at an annual rate of 1.3pc between April and June, far lower than the 1.8pc expected by economists. At the same time revising its initial estimate of 1.9pc growth in the first quarter to just 0.4pc, raising doubts about widespread forecasts of a 3pc-plus pace growth for the rest of the year. Then also revised data for the previous eight years down showing the US economy was worse than previously thought. Looks to me like some preemptive curve softening and the sort of news best tucked away for a last thing on friday.

Posted by enuii @ 05:00 PM 7 Comments

Get rich quick...

The Renegade Economist: Billion Dollar Bill

. . Off topic but it addresses the land question and it's Friday.

Posted by neo-serf @ 03:48 PM 0 Comments

Those pesky rating agencies are at it again!

Reuters: Moody's threatens Spain rating cut

"Rating agency Moody's put Spain on review for a possible downgrade on Friday, adding to concerns that a Greek rescue package has done little to halt the spread of Europe's debt crisis". (I wonder if they are picking on Europe to deflect criticism from Obama).

Posted by alan @ 03:33 PM 2 Comments

No matter how you tell it, the trend is still -ve.

The Guardian: House prices inch up 0.2% in July

House prices edged up by 0.2% in July, taking the annual shift in prices to -0.4%, a result of sluggish demand for homes combined with a gradual rise in the supply of available properties, according to Nationwide building society.

Posted by rental john @ 03:33 PM 0 Comments

Mortgage rates up for BTL ?

Guardian: Bradford & Bingley hit by interest rise from Treasury

Loans taken during banking crisis by B&B must now be repaid at rate of 5 percentage points above base rate, up from 1.5 The Treasury has raised the rate of interest on loans used to prop up Bradford & Bingley (B&B) during the banking crisis, in a move that will accelerate payments to the Exchequer. The increase in the interest payment – from 1.5 percentage points over base rates to five – was revealed as the taxpayer-backed company that owns B&B's mortgages and Northern Rock Asset Management (NRAM) – the "bad" part of the Newcastle-based lender – said it had paid back

Posted by khards @ 03:10 PM 1 Comments

Who will shout loudest?

BBC: The generation poorer than their parents

"Let's take my own house [which] I bought 16 years ago for £160,000. It's in south-east London. It's now worth about £1.15m. So I've gained a million pound windfall to which I do not feel entitled, and that windfall, at the moment, is tax-free. Were I to sell [the house], there's no tax on that gain. It may appear very lucky for me, but the reality is when I sell, it will probably be to a younger person who'll be getting a mortgage and spending most of their working life paying off that windfall which went to me. I don't think that's fair"

Posted by ontheotherhand @ 01:05 PM 11 Comments

Only global! we only wanted house prices to drop lol

Telegraph: Global slump warnings if US triggers 'insane' default

A chorus of global banks has warned that Washington risks triggering a global slump and may suffer permanent loss of credibility by flirting with default on America's $14.3 trillion (£8.8 trillion) federal debt

Posted by mark @ 12:22 PM 11 Comments

House prices moving sideways....

BBC News: Nationwide: Housing market stable

Nationwide has released new house price data for July showing an increase of 0.2% in value. This comes just a day after the Land Registry said house prices are falling. Robert Gardner, Chief Economist at Nationwide says that overall "It's a very stable picture in the housing market at the moment."

Posted by amadeus @ 11:46 AM 0 Comments

It's Friday and it's the end of an era at the comedy club

Mortgagstrategy: The highs, the lows and why I'm stepping down

It is said that ’an Englishman’s home is his castle’, and the dream of owning one’s own home has been at the centre of consumer aspiration from the early days of building societies in the 19th century. As I look forward to the end of my career at the Council of Mortgage Lenders later this week, I want to reflect in this article on some of the highs and lows, particularly in my period as director general of the CML, which has spanned an economic cycle – the last 14 years. It has been a privilege to serve an industry that has helped different generations of homeowners on to the housing ladder, provided financial support for different tenures delivering housing choice, and helped to instil freedom, security and a sense of community throughout the UK.

Posted by jack c @ 10:10 AM 9 Comments

" ...the default answer to development proposals is “yes”."

DCLG: National Planning Policy Framework

We [CLG] have published the draft National Planning Policy Framework for consultation. This is a key part of our reforms to make the planning system less complex and more accessible, and to promote sustainable growth. We are keen to hear views from all interested parties on the draft and how it might be improved. This consultation will close on 17 October 2011.

Posted by dill @ 09:32 AM 7 Comments

Disconnected

Nationwide: House Price Index

Monthly Change (seasonally adjusted) 0.2% Annual Change -0.4% Average Price (not seasonally adjusted) £168,731

Posted by dill @ 07:15 AM 27 Comments

House prices stabilising.....really?

BBC News: House prices are stabilising, says Nationwide

House prices are stabilising, according to the latest monthly report from the Nationwide building society. Prices across the UK rose by 0.2% in July, to £168,731, leaving them just 0.4% lower than a year ago.

Posted by amadeus @ 06:07 AM 0 Comments

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Buying a home for $16, and other ways to save money

Mortgage Sum: Man Purchases Home for $16; and Other Home-Buying Tips

One person’s abandoned home is another person’s … free place of residence? So it seems in Texas where a man is living, legally, in an abandoned home worth $300,000, more or less for free. Apparently there’s a law in that state called the “Law of Adverse Possession.” It allows a person to claim rights to a foreclosed home, provided they abide by certain rules, like living in the home and filing the correct paperwork. It’s unlikely that most of us will come across a deal such as this but there are ways that buyers in this market can get more for their money, whether purchasing in a depressed area, or one that has managed to retain much of its value.

Posted by brynn @ 09:05 PM 0 Comments

US debt in dollar denominated pictorials

Federal Reserve: WTFNOWAY

A picture is worth a thousand words.

Posted by general congreve @ 08:15 PM 20 Comments

Cost of borrowing up even after the bailout!!

BBC: Italy pays higher interest rate on latest bond sale

Even after the Greek et al. bailout. The cost of borrowing is still not coming down. An increase of 1.1% from a month ago. 4.8% for a three year debt for Italy.

Posted by deepak @ 07:58 PM 2 Comments

Balanced reporting from the BBC?

BBC News: House price moves varying by region, says Land Registry

House price changes in the different regions of England and Wales varied sharply in June, figures from Land Registry show. There was a 2.8% rise in prices in Wales from May to June, but a 2.1% fall in the same period in the north-east of England, the data showed.

Posted by rantnrave @ 04:42 PM 1 Comments

Thinking the unthinkable: Might there be no way out for Britain?

Tullett Prebon: Project Armageddon - The Final Report

A bear feast. George Osborne's Plan A is nonsense, because it depends on growth of 2.5%, 2.9%, 2.9% and 2.8% in 2012-15. Which sectors does Osborne think are going to grow exactly? Construction? Financial services? There were six major growth sectors in the 2000s, but they all depended on ever higher public or private borrowing. All are therefore now ex-growth. Since the electorate will not accept the necessary 20%+ cuts in state spending, we are inevitably going to follow Greece, Italy and the rest down the plughole. Large falls in property prices are forecast.

Posted by monty032 @ 02:04 PM 26 Comments

Bear nibbles!

My Finances: UK house prices fell by 2.5% in past year

Nicholas Ayre, director of UK buying agents Home Fusion, commented: "There's plenty here for the doomsayers to get their teeth stuck into. In June the national figure was totally flat, and even in the London bubble, average prices fell for a second month. "But just a quick health warning - the data can be fickle. Just as your car's fuel gauge becomes unreliable when the engine's running on empty, so these figures have less value when the number of sales is so low. "Outside London, demand has fallen off a cliff, and unsurprisingly, so have prices. Even within the London microcosm, we're seeing a big divergence between the prime market and the rest."

Posted by khards @ 12:26 PM 2 Comments

Flat!

Land Registry: Monthly 0.0% Annual -2.5%

London is the only region in England and Wales to experience an increase in its average property value over the last 12 months with a movement of 0.8 per cent. The North East experienced the greatest annual and monthly price falls, at -7.1 per cent and -2.1 per cent respectively

Posted by khards @ 11:00 AM 20 Comments

The agency paid €30.2bn for 11,500 loans belonging to 850 debtors

Rte news: NAMA reports €305m operating profit

The majority of the assets acquired (61%) are in Ireland, 32% are in the UK and Northern Ireland, and 7% in the rest of the world.

Posted by mark @ 10:39 AM 0 Comments

Want a cheap house? Rent one, upset the neighbours then buy their house

Daily Fail: A million move house after rowing with their neighbours about maintenance, noise and parking spaces

Neighbour disputes have forced almost one million people in Britain to move house, according to new research. Escalating tensions have led to one in 20 feuding families selling up or leaving the area. Arguments about home and garden maintenance topped the list of disputes between adjoining residents, with 27 per cent saying it was their number one irritant. Other common causes of disputes included excessive noise, 15 per cent, arguments over boundaries and stolen parking spaces, both 7 per cent, and trespassing children, 6 per cent.

Posted by khards @ 08:50 AM 1 Comments

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Bizarre double-think from the NAEA

MSN Money: Number of unsold homes at new high

Growing volume of unsold stock is due to 'increased confidence' enticing sellers into the market, says NAEA president Wendy Evans-Scott, but she conceded the problems of getting a mortgage, especially for first-time buyers, means demand remains subdued.

Posted by we're all in this together @ 08:08 PM 4 Comments

This House Crash uses a bulldozer

Bloomberg: BofA Donates Then Demolishes Houses to Cut Glut

More news from the land that "invented" Sub-Prime: "BofA, the biggest U.S. mortgage servicer will donate 100 foreclosed houses in the Cleveland area and in some cases contribute to their demolition in partnership with a local agency that manages blighted property. The bank has similar plans in Detroit and Chicago, with more cities to come, and Wells Fargo & Co., Citigroup Inc. , JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Fannie Mae are conducting or considering their own programs".

Posted by alan @ 06:13 PM 3 Comments

The 11th hour approaches. Will the goal posts get moved and in time?

The Economist: The US debt ceiling. What if the talks fail?

EVERYONE in the markets has known about the August 2nd debt ceiling deadline for a while but have tended to blithely assume that a deal will be done. Other crises, notably Europe's sovereign debt problems, have loomed larger in investors' minds. Only now, with a week to go before the deadline, are they starting to fret.

Posted by rental john @ 04:44 PM 4 Comments

House Price Crash included in the Top 50 Property Websites

Quick Move Now Resources: Top 50 Property Websites

The Top 50 is a useful resource for UK web users interested in property. It contains the top 50 property websites, split up into sections. House Price Crash features under the "House Prices" section of the resource.

Posted by kevin morley @ 04:17 PM 0 Comments

Rating Agencies targetting the EU?

BBC: Cyprus debt rating cut by Moody's

Cyprus may be the latest EU country to find it harder to borrow money after its credit rating was cut. Moody's said it had cut Cyprus's credit rating by two notches, from A2 to Baa1, and warned it may downgrade it further. It increases the chance that Cyprus may become the latest country to require an EU bailout. (hands up, who said it would be Belgium?). The downgrade comes after a number of parties accused the minority government of backtracking on planned financial reforms and austerity measures on Tuesday.

Posted by alan @ 04:00 PM 4 Comments

What would be the best measure for the health of the UK housing market?

RICS: How to get fodder for a loaded press release

The intended outcome of this survey; Exclusive to Newspapers Everywhere, "According to a RICS survey, increased mortgage availability is the most urgent measure called for by the public for a healthy housing market. On the eve of the meeting of the BofE interest rate committee, this RICS press release sends a clear message we need a lot more cheap money. Nobody asked in the poll suggested cheaper housing relative to incomes was needed."

Posted by ontheotherhand @ 02:52 PM 1 Comments

Shhhh - they'll never believe it’s this easy...

The Renegade Economist: Socialism for the Rich - Capitalism for Everyone Else

Few people question current arrangements for money issue, but allowing privately owned banks to create money is like putting a three year old in charge of a sweet shop.

Posted by neo-serf @ 02:17 PM 8 Comments

Wee Brother is watching you

Northampton Chronicle and echo: Law-abiding Northamptonshire residents have ‘Nothing to fear’ from new surveillance unit

The Guardian newspaper yesterday reported that police forces in Northamptonshire, Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire had set up a ‘regional surveillance unit with the power to carry out covert and intrusive investigations. Posting on websites, complaining about the status quo....you might well be watched.

Posted by thecountofnowhere @ 01:30 PM 1 Comments

Bear Nibbles

Reuters: Irish property price fall sharpest for two years

"The rate of decline in Irish house prices accelerated to 2.1 percent in June compared to a drop of 1.2 percent in May, the steepest monthly fall recorded in over two years, data on Wednesday showed. Last month's surprise 0.4 percent rise in property prices in Ireland's capital was short-lived as Dublin residential property prices fell by 2.4 percent in June. Prices have fallen for 43 straight months after years of reckless lending abruptly ended with the bursting of a property bubble and house prices are now 42 percent below their 2007 peak, according to the Central Statistics Office..."

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 01:30 PM 2 Comments

Global Chapter 11

G Pytel: A US way out?

The US may actually be on a way to do a comprehensive chapter 11 move on their creditors. They are not going to repay $14.4 trillion, are they? (This article is well over two years old. But more relevant than ever.)

Posted by ant @ 01:10 PM 2 Comments

Time for sellers to get real

AOL News: Number of unsold homes at new high

The stock of unsold properties on estate agents' books is at its highest level for more than two years, according to new research. A surge of new sellers pushed the average number of houses for sale at each branch to 74 properties in June, up from 68 in May, the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA) said.

Posted by mnorman @ 12:34 PM 0 Comments

Funny how this is bad for ozland but not for UK according to BBC

BBC: Australia's inflation accelerates on rising food prices

Australia's consumer prices rose more than forecast in the second quarter as high cost of food and fuel put pressure on inflation. Prices rose by 3.6% in the three months to the end of June from the same period last year

Posted by mark @ 10:41 AM 7 Comments

Olympic Dream Homes

Bloomberg: East London Olympic Revival Fizzles as Home Prices Drop a Year Until Games

"Residential property values near the 560-acre (227- hectacre) site in east London fell as much as 7 percent in the year through July, Zoopla.co.uk said yesterday. Homes near the Olympic Stadium have risen about 19 percent since the city won the right to host the 2012 Games five years ago, compared with a gain of 27 percent across the capital, the real-estate website said".

Posted by alan @ 10:27 AM 4 Comments

One for those on HPC who think UK debt isn't that bad.....

Telegraph: UK public sector debt estimated at £135,000 per household

''Mr Morgan puts the public sector debt – around £900bn or 60pc of GDP in official figures – close to £3.6 trillion when the effects of bailing out the banks, public sector pension commitments and PFI contracts are included. That represents some £135,000 debt for every household.''

Posted by hpwatcher @ 10:24 AM 5 Comments

Could Boris' idea stop the HPC or speed it up?

Telegraph: Boris Johnson tells George Osborne to cut National Insurance and 50p tax

"The Mayor of London said a cut in taxes, including the scrapping of the 50p higher income tax rate, was essential to encourage entrepreneurs" and “send a signal” that Britain was “open for business”. The higher rate, levied on those earning more than £150,000 a year, is blamed for pushing financiers and entrepreneurs abroad but is unlikely to be lifted until 2013 as ministers believe that scrapping it while public-sector pay is frozen would prove controversial (once growth kicks off, IRs will rise, won't they).

Posted by alan @ 10:10 AM 1 Comments

A disaster waiting to happen-nothing learned from 2007

Dailymail: Crackdown on holiday mortgages

assuming this is true,it seems people are still taking out huge loans based on artificially low interest rates...unless there is a new economics I haven't heard of I fear we are sleepwalking into a huge financial disaster..perhaps the real one the credit crunch warned us of?

Posted by taffee @ 10:10 AM 2 Comments

As per title

Telegraph: George Soros 'retires' as hedge fund manager, blaming US regulations

George Soros, the billionaire financier who famously made $1.1bn (£670m) betting against the pound on Black Wednesday, has been forced to close his funds to outside investors - because of changes to American regulations. Mr Soros' sons, Jonathan and Robert, who are co-deputy chairman of Soros Fund Management (SFM), have written a letter to investors to inform them the hedge fund will convert to a family office by the end of the year. Around $1bn is expected to be returned to investors in a move that will effectively mark the end of Mr Soros' 40-year career as a hedge fund manager.

Posted by sibley's b'stard child @ 09:33 AM 1 Comments

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

US Coming out of the nose dive soon?

Bloomberg: Home Prices in 20 U.S. Cities Fell 4.5% in Year

"The S&P/Case-Shiller index of property values in 20 cities fell 4.5 percent from May 2010, the group said today in New York. The decline matched the median forecast of 32 economists surveyed by Bloomberg News".

Posted by alan @ 03:17 PM 9 Comments

Better savings rates might help

Telegraph: Pensioners forced to release equity from their home to pay off debts

"Increasing numbers of older home owners are releasing equity from their property to deal with problem debts, according to Consumer Credit Counselling Service (CCCS)". "The charity says that increasing numbers of its older clients have released equity from their property as a way of clearing what they owe"

Posted by alan @ 11:33 AM 10 Comments

Dont think i will pay my credit card next month, why should I?

Bloomberg: Ireland Weighs Debt Forgiveness in Housing

Allied Irish Banks Plc (ALBK), the nation’s biggest mortgage lender, may use money from its taxpayer bailout to rescue homeowners unable to pay their mortgages, opening the door to debt forgiveness in Europe’s worst real-estate market.

Posted by mark @ 10:34 AM 5 Comments

India raised rates today

Reuters: Bank's Weale urges interest rate hike - report

"Raising interest rates would help the Bank of England reach its inflation target sooner and give it more flexibility in monetary policy, Bank policymaker Martin Weale told a German newspaper on Tuesday". For those who missed the article in Handelsblatt.

Posted by alan @ 09:54 AM 0 Comments

The [flimsy] case against extra bank holidays....

BBC: UK GDP figures show slower growth of 0.2%

''Growth in the UK economy slowed in the three months to 30 June, partly because of the extra bank holiday in April. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew by 0.2% in the second quarter, according to the Office for National Statistics.''

Posted by hpwatcher @ 09:49 AM 22 Comments

To add a bit of balance to the Express article below

Fundstrategy: Alarm clangs as worrying signs recur

Easy credit takes off, house prices soar and speculation about the price of gold hits new highs - just some of the phenomenon from before the financial crisis that are recurring today.......................... Average London house prices are back to £340,013, close to the peak of £351,096 that they reached in January 2008. Although median London salaries for full-time workers are £33,000 and higher than the national average of £26,000, this still leaves London prices looking richly valued at over 10 times income.

Posted by jack c @ 09:16 AM 0 Comments

Tuesday chuckle

Express: House prices surge again

"Britain's housing market is bouncing back with average prices rising by more than £5,000. According to the latest figures, prices have shot up by £30 a day in the first half of the year". Nicholas Leeming, business development director of property website Zoopla.co.uk, which published the data, said: “The property market is back on the right track with the majority of regions having clawed back some of the ground lost at the end of last year.” (This business director got a free front page ad in this stupid paper).

Posted by alan @ 07:32 AM 9 Comments

Monday, July 25, 2011

Are you feeling "better off"?

Telegraph: Osborne has allowed too many concessions in his spending cuts

Osborne holds the key to house prices. What impact for the rest of 2011 ? "he has presided over an unprecedented squeeze on household incomes, at a time when most people can see for themselves that taxes have gone up, pay rises and bonuses are almost non-existent, and prices continue to increase". "The first official estimate of gross domestic product growth is forecast to come in at 0.2 per cent, half the level predicted in the Budget". (Ooops!). The lynch mob awaits.... That's why Vince suggested starting the printing presses.

Posted by alan @ 09:01 PM 6 Comments

Yorkshire BS becoming a "serious player"

Guardian: Yorkshire building society to buy Egg's savings and mortgage accounts

"Owner Citigroup to sell two divisions for an undisclosed sum as 550,000 customer accounts will be transferred to the Yorkshire". " it sold Egg's credit card accounts to Barclays, recently..

Posted by alan @ 08:33 PM 0 Comments

Top quality Birmingham Bear Food

Birmingham Post: Lloyds TSB accused of intimidating investors who cannot pay

Just been reading Birmingham post and stumbled over this gem which I had to share. The Cube (development at the back of the Mailbox) looks like it has trapped some foolish investors... For example, some one bedroom flats sold for £212,000 each have an estimated value of around £115,000 today.

Posted by sumo_barry @ 07:26 PM 0 Comments

Is UK manufacturing too weakened and malnourished to respond?

The Economist: The faltering economy. Making do with less...Has Britain’s economic speed limit come down?

THE Murdoch scandal has pushed bad economic news off Britain’s front pages. But perhaps not for long. On July 26th the Office for National Statistics will release its first estimate of GDP growth in the second quarter of 2011. The figure is likely to be grim, showing an economy that grew barely, if at all.

Posted by rental john @ 07:04 PM 0 Comments

Debt ceiling time bomb tics towards 2nd August....here are the columns that could fall....

Congressional Quarterly (CQ.com): Who Holds the Federal Debt

Treasury securities are the most sought-after in the world because the assumption that United States would always be able to repay its debts has generally gone unquestioned. That is why officials are negotiating to increase the government’s borrowing limit and avoid a default. See main article at www.economist.com/blogs/dailychart/2011/07/federal-debt

Posted by rental john @ 06:59 PM 0 Comments

The sort of thing that I could almost have written

LabourLeft: Making the case for a Land Tax

"Executive summary: There is no great need to reinvent the wheel if we want to make housing affordable again, it just requires a bit of political will and for us to remember the lessons of the 1950s and 1960s (the longest period of low and stable house prices), all it needs is..."

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 03:00 PM 16 Comments

For the average person it would mean a massive destruction of wealth and a severe reduction in livin

Yahoo: What happens if the US defaults?

End of the world? Come on. Global credit flows underpin global capitalism. Without them, countries would re-erect protectionist barriers and globalisation would come to a crashing halt. Asset prices would tumble, prices for core goods would rise and the world would become a lot smaller. Almost without exception, for the average person it would mean a massive destruction of wealth and a severe reduction in living standards.

Posted by mark @ 12:58 PM 3 Comments

Bear Nibbles

Business Week: U.K. Home Prices Fall 0.1% in Downward Trend, Hometrack Says

"U.K. house prices fell for a third month in July and are likely to continue on a “downward trend,” property researcher Hometrack Ltd. said. The average cost of a home slipped 0.1 percent from June and was down 3.9 percent from a year earlier, the London-based firm said in an e-mailed report today. London prices increased 0.3 percent on the month. In a separate report, Rightmove Plc, the U.K.’s biggest property website, said a growing proportion of consumers expect prices to stabilize over the next 12 months."

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 12:23 PM 6 Comments

Comments.........

Daily mail: Families face a fall in living standards which will be 'as bad as the 1970s'

Families are facing a crash in living standards as severe as the 1970s, a leading economist has warned. A grim cocktail of soaring inflation, tax rises and stagnant wage growth will put a huge strain on household spending power, according to the Institute of Fiscal Studies.

Posted by mark @ 11:33 AM 3 Comments

A plea to patriotic savers

Guardian: Greece urges citizens to repatriate money held in foreign banks

After securing a second rescue package to prop up its debt-stricken economy, Greece has implored its citizens to honour the agreement by repatriating cash whisked abroad during the crisis ... [finance minister] Venizelos insisted that it was the patriotic duty of Greeks to pump their cash hoardings back into the economy. "All those who have also taken deposits [out of banks], who have perhaps taken them home because their savings are small, should for reasons of participation in the national effort [to revive the economy], return them to banks," he said. Greek money moved mostly to banks in Switzerland and Cyprus. Greeks eager to offload deposits have also been reported flying to the UK with "suitcases full of cash" used to snap up prime properties in central London.

Posted by quiet guy @ 02:01 AM 9 Comments

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Greece Contagion 101

BBC Iplayer: Shelagh Fogarty

How does the Greece default affect us. Carrying on from the previous article posted about Fitch calls Greek debt default.

Posted by deepak @ 07:33 PM 4 Comments

Reviewing the situation

BBC: House sales have fallen so why are prices still high?

Why are house prices apparently so resistant to the normal laws of supply and demand? It is one of life's great mysteries. Houses are still expensive, by anyone's reckoning.

Posted by dill @ 06:14 PM 25 Comments

More QE, says Vince

BBC: Vince Cable in attack on US 'right-wing nutters'

"Unless a deal on Capitol Hill is agreed before 2 August, the US Treasury could run out of money to pay its bills. Mr Cable said it presented a bigger risk to the global markets than the continuing debt woes in the eurozone". Vince called on the Bank of England to consider another round of QE to boost economic growth. (US politicians are vote catching, grandstanding and trying brinkmanship but its not that serious right now, I thought).

Posted by alan @ 04:05 PM 11 Comments

Friday, July 22, 2011

And it all starts again on Monday

Reuters: Fitch calls default, Greece pledges no let-up on debt

Default declared. Many investors will now not be able to hold Greek debt bonds. Compulsory sale price falls. More problems for investors have to take losses. One of the biggest holder of Greek bonds is the ECB. Could it take te losses?? Time will tell, or just have to pay more taxes for compensate.

Posted by deepak @ 08:12 PM 25 Comments

Housing crisis solved - £20,000 is all a family needs

The Sun: Trailer park UK

"TRAILER parks have traditionally been seen as home to the dirt-poor living on the poverty line in rundown American suburbs. In the UK, as families struggle in the recession, they are fast emerging as a cheap and cheerful alternative to bricks and mortar. More than 200,000 Britons - among them the parents of Chelsea star John Terry - now call static caravans home. And experts reckon the numbers are rising every year as more people see trailers as a high-value, low-cost route on to the property ladder.There are now more than 1,000 residential parks nationwide - many so popular they have long waiting lists. They can provide modern, comfortable accommodation - and a sense of real community - at a fraction of the price of traditional homes."

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 05:17 PM 23 Comments

Ian Cowie personal finance blog

Telegraph: Never mind the euro crisis; weak sterling pushes house prices out of reach for many Brits

Never mind the euro crisis; sterling’s weakness is closer to home and making British property a bargain for foreigners while pushing house prices out of reach for many Brits. International estate agents Savills report a “champagne tower effect” as billions invested in British property from abroad bolster prime property prices across the board – and continue to propel them upwards in the capital. True, Savills are scarcely the first to note the importance of foreign buyers in preventing the house price crash many predicted at the beginning of the credit crisis but which has stubbornly failed to materialise.

Posted by jack c @ 11:59 AM 11 Comments

Shipside learns the lost art of bubble deflating.

Estate Agent Today: Get real on house prices, Rightmove tells sellers

A new campaign has been launched by Rightmove, telling sellers to get real about house prices. It also encourages them to work with their agent to get their properties sold. Rightmove’s July House Price Index revealed that 70% of properties brought to market in the first six months of 2011 were still up for sale. Despite so many properties not selling, asking prices have risen all year until this month.

Posted by sibley's b'stard child @ 11:04 AM 12 Comments

Greece set to lead the eurozone's first-ever default as deal paves way for economic integration.

Daily Telegraph: Greece to default as eurozone agrees €159bn bailout

Nicolas Sarkozy, the French president, said the deal had pulled the eurozone back from the brink....“By the end of the summer, Angela Merkel and I will be making joint proposals on economic government in the eurozone. Our ambition is to seize the Greek crisis to make a quantum leap in eurozone government,” he said Can we panic now?

Posted by fubar @ 10:07 AM 27 Comments

No wasted land! perfect

Daily mail: Biggest ever rooftop solar plant in Britain will produce electricity for 500 homes

The UK's biggest rooftop solar plant - the size of two-and-a-half football pitches - has been unveiled. Costing £4million, the 7,000 panels have been installed at the Promens plastics plant near Beccles, Suffolk.

Posted by mark @ 10:06 AM 3 Comments

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Who is paying??

BBC: Blackstone income rockets to $703m

They are amazing company making good profits, hopefully not paper profits. They sold Southern Cross and made a good money on the deal. Let put this in prospective the most vibrant Indian IT outsourcing all put togeter, Infosys, Wipro and TCS with around 250,000+ people working for them would not have made this much money put together.

Posted by deepak @ 07:11 PM 12 Comments

Contagion Contagion Contagion

Euronews: Europe resigned to a partial Greek default

Though still unofficial, the bloc’s big guns, Germany’s Angela Merkel and France’s Nicholas Sarkozy, seem to have finally accepted a temporary Greek default is the only option.

Posted by rental john @ 06:44 PM 1 Comments

"how to make self-build a mainstream housing option"

Mortgagestrategy: Self-build industry delivers action plan to Grant Shapps

Housing Minister Grant Shapps has today welcomed an action plan put together by the self-build industry on how to make self-build a mainstream housing option. The National Self-Build Association and other industry experts have put together a report on the main challenges for the sector and 15 proposals for action to help self-builders. Its recommendations include that more land is made available for self-builders, that lenders are encouraged to offer more self-build mortgage products and that over-burdensome regulations be removed or simplified.

Posted by jack c @ 06:38 PM 0 Comments

Another 'incentive' is pulled from a stagnant market

Mortgagestrategy: Halifax to axe vendor gifted deposits from private sellers

From Monday, Halifax Intermediaries will no longer accept applications which contain an element of vendor gifted deposit from private sellers. The change will affect buyers who are receiving a cash incentive from a private vendor who is selling their property. There is no change for customers who are receiving gifted deposits to purchase new build properties from either a professional property developer or builder i.e. builder gifted deposit........Halifax says with a vendor offering a deposit as a gift, the true purchase price and valuation of the property may be distorted which results in the incorrect LTV being calculated, which in turn could result in customers being offered incorrect products.

Posted by jack c @ 06:25 PM 5 Comments

Laugh of the day

Daily mail: Keep off the grass: 'Brainless' council blasted for erecting bizarre sign on tiny scrap of land

You would barely get a picnic hamper on it, let alone a blanket to sit on, but one council has decided to put a 'keep of the grass' sign on it anyway. The two-foot square piece of land hardly matches the quality of Oxford's lawns, but Merton Council, which is looking at making £69m cuts, decided it needed to stop people from trampling on it.

Posted by mark @ 03:41 PM 12 Comments

“..If we do it, it won’t prove necessary. If we don’t, we’ll bescrambling like crazy...."

The Economist: Wall Street and the debt ceiling. Unthinkable? Contingency planning, sort of...

BEN BERNANKE reckons it would be “a huge financial calamity”. Bond markets remain sanguine about a possible failure to raise America’s debt ceiling by August 2nd, and the subsequent potential for a technical default. But it pays to plan ahead, just in case the politicians lose the last of their marbles.

Posted by rental john @ 03:30 PM 0 Comments

Tic-toc...

The Economist: The global debt clock

The clock is ticking. Every second, it seems, someone in the world takes on more debt. The idea of a debt clock for an individual nation is familiar to anyone who has been to Times Square in New York, where the American public shortfall is revealed. Our clock shows the global figure for all (or almost all) government debts in dollar terms.

Posted by rental john @ 03:25 PM 0 Comments

"base rate increase is looking less likely than before"

Mortgagesolutions: No base rate rise expected till 2014 “at the earliest”

Interest rates will not rise until 2014 “at the earliest,” experts have suggested, after the Bank of England said it is unlikely to change its monetary policy stance soon. The July minutes of the Bank’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) showed members voted seven to two to hold rates at 0.5%, with it saying that recent economic data makes it unlikely it will raise rates in the near term. The news came a day after Woolwich launched its cheapest mortgage deals for 15 years, reducing rates on a third of its fixed and tracker mortgages. Vicky Redwood, of analysts Capital Economics, told the Daily Express that a base rate increase is looking less likely than before.

Posted by jack c @ 02:39 PM 7 Comments

Mortgage "joy" To Last Three Years

Daily Express: MORTGAGE JOY TO LAST THREE YEARS

HOME loans could be cheaper for up to three years after the Bank of England signalled the base interest rate is to remain at a record low. Some experts believe there will now be no rate rises until 2014.

Posted by will @ 01:18 PM 0 Comments

34,000 UK Police jobs to go by 2015

Daily Mail: Crime will rise says police watchdog as 34,000 jobs will go by 2015 in Government cuts

About 34,000 police jobs will be lost as part of Government cuts, Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary said.

Posted by doomwatch @ 01:02 PM 6 Comments

Inflation again!

Yahoo: Scottish & Southern Bumps Up Gas Price By 18%

Customers of Scottish and Southern Energy are being warned to expect their highest bills ever after the company announced a price hike. Electricity prices are to go up by 11% and gas prices will increase by 18% from September 14.

Posted by mark @ 11:05 AM 1 Comments

More Bad News Coming Thick and Fast

Mail: Inflation 'could hit 20-year high' as banks warn of 5.5% rate amid rising power costs

Inflation could soon hit levels not seen for two decades, the Bank of England warned yesterday.Prices are already rising at a crippling 4.2 per cent, more than double the 2 per cent target the Bank is supposed to meet. But, in a report yesterday, it warned inflation is likely to surpass 5 per cent in the coming months.

Posted by sovietuk @ 10:54 AM 0 Comments

Those planners again

Daily post: Planners ‘hindering’ renewable schemes in Wales

EFFORTS to boost hydro and solar power, and other forms of renewable energy, are being hindered by archaic planning rules and petty conservation concerns, say rural experts. An estimated 200 hydro projects are in the pipeline in Wales but getting them built is like “wading through syrup,” said landowners group CLA Wales. One chartered surveyor reported that, of 38 hydro projects his company is handling, mostly in North Wales, only one has so far begun operating.

Posted by mark @ 10:49 AM 13 Comments

Taxing recommendations

Telegraph: House prices would be hit by 'revolutionary' property tax proposed by OECD

Cash-strapped governments have long wanted to grab a bigger share of the wealth we hold in housing, now the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) says Britain should adopt a Continental European-style property tax.

Posted by dill @ 09:57 AM 35 Comments

A good use of 35 acres?

BBC: Wilburton giant solar farm connected to National Grid

We may not be able to build property on land, but we can fill it with glass and metal of another kind. We will pay for 25 years index linked subsidies and have more expensive electricity. Perhaps if some bright spark made those panels a little bit taller and put some walls underneath them, we could sneak in a whole bunch of eco-positive bungalows?

Posted by ontheotherhand @ 09:35 AM 22 Comments

Quelle surprise

BBC NEWS: Germany and France in debt deal

This was little more than a failed game of brinkmanship. If things were really hanging in the balance, the Euro politicians and officials would have talked it up, not down

Posted by flashman @ 09:02 AM 5 Comments

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Not much longer to wait....

Telegraph: Britain's deleveraging nightmare threatens its triple A rating

''...taking all debt together, private, public and financial sector, Britain is the most indebted nation in the world...''

Posted by hpwatcher @ 09:37 PM 12 Comments

Would be lucky if any bank could pay this

Reuters: EU banks face fines if they fall short on capital

10% fine on turnover (not profits). I don't think many banks could pay this. For example Barclays market cap is 26.54bn Barclays Profits for 2011 were £6.5 billion. There turnover would be around in hundreds on billions of pounds. Please put figures if you can find them. This is a strong bank what will happen the ones with issues?

Posted by deepak @ 09:16 PM 3 Comments

Ben "bolsters the housing market"

Bloomberg: U.S. Treasury Weighs Plan to Help 1 Million Keep Their Homes

"The proposal is aimed at promoting modifications of delinquent or defaulted home loans, including writedowns of principal, by bringing fresh private capital into the market. It would apply to mortgages that are bundled into mortgage-backed securities not issued by government agencies". "Helping homeowners avoid foreclosure would bolster the housing market, which Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke called “one of the major sources of the slow recovery” in testimony to Congress last week". Of the residential mortgage-backed securities outstanding, about $1.3 trn are so-called private label notes that were issued by banks and other financial institutions, according to data from the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association. “That’s where a lot of the trouble is sitting,"

Posted by alan @ 07:45 PM 0 Comments

It always ends in tears...

The Renegade Economist: Speculate, Accumulate and Derail the Economy

Speculative investment is held up as a cornerstone of modern capitalism, but given the way it screws up the economy, Mark Braund is surprised it’s still legal.

Posted by neo-serf @ 05:26 PM 3 Comments

Is anyone serious about the survival of the euro now?

BBC News: A fork in the road for the euro?

Top rated comment: Let's be realistic - full fiscal union is the only route to ensuring the survival of the euro, and fiscal union - perpetually bailing out the PIIGS - is not in the interests of France & Germany. Nor can the legislation needed for fiscal union - a full blown european treaty, ratified by the all the participants - be engineered in the time available. It's time now to plan for the post-euro era

Posted by uncle tom @ 04:45 PM 16 Comments

More of the same

Mail: Bank of England warns on MORE price rises: 'Inflation peak will be higher than we expected'

"The Bank of England's rate-setting monetary policy committee (MPC) has admitted that inflation will rise higher and peak sooner than it had expected. But there remains little sign that the Bank will increase interest rates any time soon". "The minutes added: 'There appeared to be a significant degree of slack in the labour market and that was likely to bear down on earnings growth for some time.' ( = people are screwed trying to find work).

Posted by alan @ 04:18 PM 5 Comments

Shared 'ownership' in a falling market...

The Guardian: Can I afford to buy my ex-boyfriend's share of our flat?

Thought I'd post this - purely out of morbid interest, but wonder how many people are in similar situations?

Posted by rental john @ 04:06 PM 0 Comments

'Germany is not Greece' t-shirt..anyone?

Th Guardian: German nerves fray as bond yields jump

Panicky Germans look at the US and the UK and turn fearfully to their leaders with a message that says "avoid following these Anglo-Saxon risk-takers at all costs"...... The problem for the Germans is that much of their wealth is intangible and can suddenly be worth a fraction of its former value. Huge investments in Italy and Spain are now teetering on the brink of worthlessness.

Posted by rental john @ 03:53 PM 0 Comments

The economic Crisis Continues. Latest Issue of Lobster

Lobster - The journal of parapolitics: Summer 2011 Edition Issue 61

The summer edition of Lobster is out with an analysis on the financial crisis and the ongoing nature of the disaster. This is "slow news" analysis. i.e. written after the heat of an event has died down a little. For those who don't know about Lobster, The magazine's philosophy is: "If you generally accept the government line, that there is a "national interest", and believe what you read in the newspapers, then Lobster is probably not for you." The article in question begins on page 17, the whole thing is available as free pdf download and always a good read - even the more "fringe" stuff.

Posted by fubar @ 01:39 PM 0 Comments

Free money tree gets a pruning.

Estate Agent Today: Equity release firm warns on possibility of double dip house price falls

Peter Welch, head of sales and distribution at Bridgewater Equity Release, said: “I am consistently told by many equity release advisers that annual house price rises of 8% or 9% are the norm for the UK and therefore lifetime mortgages are generally the most suitable product for their equity release clients as the level of rolled-up interest debt will be less than the increase in house price. “This bullish assumption tends to be based on an analysis of the last 40 years which takes in the massive wage and retail price inflation rises seen in the 1970s. This period completely distorts the house price picture, and to suggest that prices are going to continue to rise by anything like the levels we saw immediately pre-credit crunch seems ludicrous to us"

Posted by sibley's b'stard child @ 12:40 PM 7 Comments

Don't think so, seeing food prices going up weekly, some are 10% higher than last week

Yahoo: Inflation spike looms closer but no rate rise, Bank minutes show

Seven members voted for rates to stay at their record low of 0.5pc, with Adam Posen also calling for more money to be pumped into the economy via an extra £50bn in quantitative easing (QE). Spencer Dale and Martin Weale kept calling for a quarter point rise in interest rates.

Posted by mark @ 12:36 PM 2 Comments

Wonder if uk gov could do same?

Ny times: U.S. to Close 800 Computer Data Centers

The savings, analysts say, will translate into billions of dollars a year and acres of freed-up real estate.

Posted by mark @ 11:44 AM 1 Comments

Planning double standards

Mirror: Sarah Beeny forgot to apply for planning permission for her restoration nightmare

"The TV presenter forgot to apply for proper planning permission on her mansion she renovated for a TV programme – for TEN years". "Councillor Matthew Grove said: “The ordinary man in the street has to jump through hoops to get even the smallest extension approved".

Posted by alan @ 10:49 AM 27 Comments

When will it end?

Latimes: Royal Bank of Scotland is sued by federal regulators over credit union losses

Federal regulators are seeking $629 million in damages from a Royal Bank of Scotland unit accused of selling riskier-than-advertised mortgage securities to Western Corporate Federal Credit Union, a San Dimas credit union that failed during the financial crisis.

Posted by mark @ 10:38 AM 0 Comments

Spot the extra

BBC: Mortgage lending continues to be subdued, lenders says

"Mortgage lending picked up in June but was still lower than a year ago, the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) said. Total lending to home owners was £12.9bn last month, up by 16% from May but 3% down on June last year. For the first six months of the year, total mortgage lending was only slightly down on last year's figure, at £63.7bn. The CML said the subdued state of lending reflected the poor state of the economy and household finances."The UK economy continues to experience disappointing economic growth, strong consumer price pressures, falling disposable incomes and an uncertain jobs market. Recent emotive headlines on repossession prospects appear overplayed, given that the state of our economy does not warrant large interest rate rise... " We're down to less than half 07 levels.

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 10:13 AM 3 Comments

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Banks prefer BTL

This is money: Landlords push out first-time buyers: Banks STILL refuse youngsters loans

A ‘perfect storm’ is sweeping the property market, putting homes out of the reach of first-time buyers and into the hands of buy-to-let investors. The tempting deals offered by banks have seen landlords cashing in and snapping up properties which would be ideal for first-time buyers. There was a 25 per cent increase in the number of mortgages (including remortgages) taken out by landlords between January and March this year, compared with the same period in 2010. Of this, there was a 15 per cent surge in the number of house purchases. At the same time, there was a 17 per cent fall in the number of first-time buyers taking out loans, according to figures by the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML).

Posted by quiet guy @ 09:35 PM 16 Comments

One step forward, two steps back

SKY: Greek Debt Solution 'Won't Happen Overnight'

"EU leaders will not be able to come up with an overnight solution for the Greek debt crisis when they meet this week in Brussels, the German Chancellor has warned". "Borrowing rates in larger eurozone members, such as Italy and Spain, have risen alarmingly in recent days".

Posted by alan @ 07:18 PM 0 Comments

How much unsavoury news is being buried? (....not so gladiatorial either)

The Telegraph: Let's not bury bad economic news by focusing on Murdoch

No doubt tomorrow's {today's} gladiatorial appearance of Rupert Murdoch, James Murdoch and Rebekah Brooks before a Commons select committee will once again overshadow any market turbulence caused by fears that European banks are about to be overwhelmed by the debts of Greece, Ireland, Portugal and Italy.

Posted by rental john @ 06:30 PM 0 Comments

An alternative view

Mindful of Money: Reasons to be cheerful about the UK housing market part one,two but sadly not three!

Shaun Richards, who describes himself as a 'freelance' economist looks at the prospects for the UK housing market. By the way, Richards is no bear, in fact he seems to think a property market resurgence would be a good thing. After noting recent poor performance, Richards suggests that low gilt yields and lender forebearance are bullish for the UK property market but the Bank of England has not been accomodative enough to ensure that the banks will have sufficient credit to meet mortgage demand. This is not a typical HPC fare but I suggest that it's worth a read to get an alternative view about the state of the housing market.

Posted by quiet guy @ 05:48 PM 1 Comments

The end is near

Zero Hedge: UK CDS Surge By 50% In Two Weeks.

As the for the UK, after trading at around 55 bps for months, the spread has jumped to nearly 80 bps. So as Sigma X indicated earlier that it may now be time to shift attention to the UK, have the vigilantes already succeeded in penetrating all the way to the very core of the Eurozone?

Posted by khards @ 01:04 PM 1 Comments

European idiocy at heart of crisis

City AM: European idiocy at heart of crisis

Once again, regulators have failed spectacularly. Gold hit £1,000 an ounce today for the first time, as equities fell, Club Med government bond yields jumped, spreads increased and the fear and loathing in the credit markets intensified – and all of that in response to the EU’s banking stress tests on Friday night, which were supposed to reassure investors that all was well. What a farce. The tests’ preposterous lack of credibility – they didn’t even envisage the possibility that a government could go bust – have been greeted with the contempt they deserved.

Posted by warren1066 @ 11:28 AM 0 Comments

Govt. wants 'a self build revolution'

BBC: Self-build: Should people build their own homes?

The government wants to double the number of people building their own homes

Posted by uncle tom @ 11:21 AM 7 Comments

UK default risk as NOTW scandal threatens Cameron

Zerohedge: As David Cameron Resignation Odds Surge From 100/1 To 8/1 In Hours, Is UK Default (And Contagion) Risk Set To Follow?

The bookies have taken a steady stream of bets on the PM leaving office with the odds dropping from 100/1 to 20/1 and now 8/1 in a matter of hours." In other words anyone who bet that the shuttering of the NOTW was merely the first step in the News Corp. scandal and that it would reach as high as the pinnacle of UK leadership, has made a return well over 10 times in the past several days. And yet, as the Economist chimes in with a late night piece, the departure of Cameron at this point is far from certain. Which is arguably a far worse state of affairs: if there is anything the markets hate, it is uncertainty.

Posted by general congreve @ 11:03 AM 5 Comments

Hooray! Now we can all get on the property ladder!

Daily Mail: Barclays sparks home loans price war after launching cheapest mortgage deal in 15 years

"One of Britain's biggest lenders has launched its cheapest deals in 15 years after reducing rates on a third of its fixed and tracker mortgages. Barclays is offering a two-year fixed deal at 2.49 per cent for existing Woolwich customers - a reduction of up to 0.50 percentage points. The bank's rate is 2.54 per cent for all other customers. The five-year fixed rate mortgage at 70 per cent loan-to-value (LTV) is now 3.88pc for Barclays Loyalty mortgages and 3.98pc for all other customers."

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 10:34 AM 8 Comments

Hold off on your property splurge

MoneyWeek: Tax advice of the week: Hold off on your property splurge

If you’re planning multiple purchases of residential property, wait for the Royal Assent to the Finance Act 2011. It could mean big savings in your Stamp Duty bill.

Posted by martingreen @ 09:42 AM 3 Comments

Thought this had gone ages ago??

Cnn: Borders liquidates: 10,700 jobs lost

Borders Group will liquidate its remaining assets after efforts to find a buyer fell through, the bookstore chain announced Monday. The nation's second largest book seller, which filed for bankruptcy protection earlier this year, currently operates 399 stores and employs approximately 10,700 workers.

Posted by mark @ 09:32 AM 1 Comments

Equity release advisers warned over house price predictions

Mortgage Strategy: Interesting ....

Equity release advisers making overly ambitious predictions on house price increases risk recommending unsuitable products to consumers, Bridgewater Equity Release has warned.

Posted by khards @ 07:38 AM 1 Comments

Monday, July 18, 2011

You heard it here first..

BBC News: The euro and the endgame

The notion that the euro is a terminally sick freak of nature has at last gone mainstream..

Posted by uncle tom @ 10:06 PM 24 Comments

That's OK then........isn't it?

Finance Markets: EU stress test results better than expected

Five Spanish banks failed – these were: Catalunya Caixa, Pastor, Unnim, Caja3 and CAM. Two state-managed Greek banks failed (ATEbank and EFG Eurobank) while one Austrian bank (Oestereichische Volksbank) also failed the test.

Posted by renatl john @ 06:32 PM 0 Comments

Nothing to do with house prices, but a warning if you live near a water main

Liverpool daily post: Flood mayhem in Huyton after water mains burst to add to torrential rain

Eyewitness reports said a high pressure jet of water was shooting through the air higher than houses

Posted by mark @ 04:41 PM 1 Comments

Costs of the crash in the US

Bloomberg: BofA Needs to Build $50 Billion Cushion for Housing Losses

"Bank of America Corp. (BAC) may have to build its capital cushion by $50 billion and renege again on Chief Executive Officer Brian T. Moynihan’s pledge to raise the firm’s dividend as mortgage losses drain funds. Expenses tied to soured home loans may total $20.4 billion in the second quarter, pulling the bank further from capital ratios demanded under new international standards". Future plans "may be stymied as Moynihan writes checks to settle disputes inherited from the 2008 takeover of subprime lender Countrywide Financial Corp., whose lax underwriting led to soaring defaults on mortgages and claims from investors who bought or insured them".

Posted by alan @ 02:56 PM 0 Comments

Ouse prices fall in London and UK

City AM: House prices fall in London and rest of UK

Prices fell 1.6 per cent across the UK in July, with even London’s houses experiencing a 1.4 per cent dip, the figures showed. In June, the average residential property in the capital hit an all time asking price high of £438,622. Yet this month almost £6,000 has been shed from the average asking price, as summer sellers are forced to attract the attention of “holiday-distracted” buyers. Despite the fall in July, London’s prices remain 5.8 per cent higher for the year so far.

Posted by warren @ 10:39 AM 0 Comments

What’s blocking the housing market?

Henry Pryor: A constipated housing market

Back in 2007 there were nearly 400,000 first time buyers but in 2010 there were less than 195,000. But here’s the main difference. In 2007 with 90% LTV’s the average deposit was just £12,700. Last year they had to find more than £31,000. That’s a rise from 37% of annual income four years ago to nearly 100% today. No wonder they aren’t buying houses any more!

Posted by ontheotherhand @ 09:49 AM 8 Comments

Tipping point ?

Mail: Sellers lower asking prices by almost £4,000 in a month as record number of homes go unsold Read more: http://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/mortgageshome/article-2015937/Sellers-lower-asking-prices-4-000-month-Rightmove-reports-record-number-homes-unsold.h

House sellers may finally be ready to lower prices in the stand-off with buyers after figures from property website Rightmove showed the first fall in asking prices this year.

Posted by happy mondays @ 09:09 AM 0 Comments

Reality is kicking in.

Independent: House asking prices fall for first time this year

House asking prices have fallen for the first time this year as the number of unsold properties on estate agents' books reaches record levels, a report revealed today. The average asking price for a home dropped 1.6%, or £3,797, to £236,597 in July, bringing to an end a run of six months of rises, according to property website Rightmove. Greater competition to attract buyers amid "muted demand" has prompted the largest July fall since 2008 when asking prices fell 1.8%. Seven in 10 properties put on the market so far this year have yet to find a buyer. This has helped push the average number of homes registered with estate agents up to 78 - the highest ever for the time of year. So many sellers are struggling to sell their homes partly because mortgage approvals are running at about....

Posted by khards @ 08:31 AM 21 Comments

Didn't Clegg want us to join the Euro?

Telegraph: Nick Clegg - 'I fear we're on the brink of another financial crisis'

"The Deputy Prime Minister said he was concerned the crisis in the eurozone could spread to Britain and have a “direct impact” on jobs".

Posted by alan @ 07:59 AM 5 Comments

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Average rents in London through £1,000 barrier; nationally over £700

BBC News: Private rents still rising, letting agents say

Strong demand for rented properties has pushed private sector rents to an average of £701 a month across England & Wales. LSL Property Services, which owns letting agencies around the country, said over the past year rents have gone up by 4.1%. LSL said there was no sign of a let-up in demand from tenants. "In London it's not unheard of for rental properties to be let within a day of coming on to the market." Rents are highest in London where they have gone up by 6.9% in the past year to an average of £1,006 a month. Meanwhile, LSL said tenants' arrears fell from 11.5% of all rents due to 9.3%. "With rents rising so quickly, many landlords are being less forbearing with tenants showing signs of payment difficulties, and are looking to replace them in expectation of higher rental income."

Posted by drewster @ 11:44 PM 2 Comments

Greek PM knows game is up for Greece. Game is also up for the rest of EU. Time to change the game.

Reuters: Greek PM says time for Europe to 'wake up'

Greece's Prime Minister said "...I've been continuously reiterating to our partners that we must collectively take brave decisions, not just for the future of Greece but of Europe as a whole. It is time for Europe to wake up." Papandreou said that several of the options that he had suggested and were rejected a year and a half ago, such as buying back debt, issuing common euro zone bonds and keeping credit rating agencies in check, were now on Europe's negotiating table." PM knows that it's not just Greece, but also the rest of the EU that is bankrupt. And if Europe can't keep those pesky ratings agencies in check, they'll ruin EVERYHTING. And we must 'buy back debt': what a great oxymoron - we are in debt therefore have no money, so we will 'buy back that debt' (with what exactly?)

Posted by doom&gloom @ 03:32 PM 18 Comments

This is the mindset that got us here...

Renegade Economist: Scott Carver - The World's Best Banker...

Scott Carver is The World's Best Banker...

Posted by neo-serf @ 12:14 PM 0 Comments

Bank stress tests ignore the lying elephant in the room

Telegraph: European Banking Authority was hobbled over stress tests

Analysts at Credit Suisse said on Friday they calculated that, using figures published by the banks taking part in the tests, 14 should have failed with a total capital shortfall of €45bn – some 18 times the amount that the EBA said the banks that failed needed to raise. Describing the process as "constrained", the EBA admitted that figures given by the banks in some cases "materially" changed after being challenged.

Posted by enuii @ 12:00 PM 0 Comments

Another interest rate prediction

Telegraph: Interest rates to rise in November as recovery strengthens

Interest rates will start to rise in November in anticipation of falling inflation in the new year and an increasingly strong recovery, according to predictions from the Ernst & Young ITEM Club ... Mr Spencer, a former Treasury adviser, has consistently argued that the Bank of England should "hold its nerve" and leave rates unchanged until there is compelling evidence that the country is coping with austerity, so his move is significant. The market is not pricing in a rate rise until August next year, but Mr Spencer said: "I think they will get a surprise."

Posted by quiet guy @ 11:06 AM 18 Comments

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Curious numbers

Financial Times: First time buyers still struggling

"unsecured borrowing, while available, is not cheap. Assuming the first time buyer borrowed the 20 per cent deposit, even at today’s low interest rates, the combined cost of the mortgage and repayment of the unsecured borrowing would lead to monthly repayments that are 20.2 per cent of monthly pre-tax income. If interest rates were to rise by, say, 2 percentage points, the cost would rise to 28.1 per cent of pay." Aside from the desperation of resorting to unsecured borrowing to put down a deposit, the suggestion that a mere 2% interest rate rise could push up repayments costs by 39% says a lot about how much borrowers are relying on ZIRP.

Posted by quiet guy @ 12:53 PM 15 Comments

The Loaded Dice

Business Insider: BEYOND FED TRANSFERS AND DEBT: 95% Of Americans Are Getting Poorer Every Year

Here's the Great Game: mask the nation's rising wealth inequality with Central State spending that keeps the debt-serfs passive--all funded by debt, of course.

Posted by novice pete @ 12:50 PM 2 Comments

Epiphany

Independent: The property ladder that threatens to become a snake

There are few more pernicious expressions in the English language than the "housing ladder". Its cultural specificity is illustrated by the difficulty of finding any exact translation in any of the more common European languages. The British, though, still seem hooked on getting a foot on that first rung, even though the warnings should be sounding loud and clear that in many places it is already rotting, to expose a slithery snake.

Posted by dill @ 06:57 AM 0 Comments

Friday, July 15, 2011

Vandals at the gate

The Economist: Italy and the euro. On the edge

For more than a year the euro zone’s debt drama has lurched from one nail-biting scene to another. First Greece took centre stage; then Ireland; then Portugal; then Greece again. Each time European policymakers reacted similarly: with denial and dithering, followed at the eleventh hour with a half-baked rescue plan to buy time.

Posted by rental john @ 05:10 PM 0 Comments

This is how we got here ma'am

The Renegade Economist: Land Rent - the Genesis of the British Class System

Land rent is one of several sources of unearned wealth that bestow privileges on a minority of citizens while biasing the economy against the interests of the majority.

Posted by neo-serf @ 05:09 PM 49 Comments

Lets borrow some more money or get into more debt

Bloomberg: House Plans Vote on $2.4 Trillion Debt Increase, Members Say

The U.S. House plans a vote next week on a measure that would raise the government’s debt limit by $2.4 trillion, cut spending, cap government expenditures and propose a balanced-budget constitutional amendment, Republican lawmakers Sean Duffy and Billy Long said.

Posted by mark @ 03:22 PM 6 Comments

Friday Bear Nibbles

Kent Homes: Realistic prices lead to increase in sales

There was a marked bounce back in the housing market in June, after a grim May. It was thanks in part to agents suggesting realistic prices to keep turnover ticking over, claims a new report. The latest analysis from Hometrack says the volume of sales agreed rose in June by 10.6 per cent - the highest monthly increase since March (12.6 per cent). Richard Donnell, Hometrack director of research, says: "With greater realism from sellers about achievable pricing levels, agents are keeping prices at a level where transactions can take place... However, sales volumes are only half the story and pricing levels remain under downward pressure.. "

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 02:54 PM 1 Comments

What If They Weren't Being Forced To Lend?

Estate Agent Today: Flurry of mortgage approvals as lenders rush to meet six-month targets

Mortgage approvals for house purchase rose 6.7% in June, as lenders rushed to meet their half-year lending targets. But first-time buyers suffered, as lenders continued to prefer wealthier buyers.

Posted by rantnrave @ 02:21 PM 1 Comments

This is going to be a long slow painful death for countries and people in debt

Bloomberg: Bank Delays May Push 1 Million U.S. Foreclosure Filings to 2012

Lender delays in processing home- loan defaults will push as many as 1 million U.S. foreclosure filings from this year to 2012 or beyond, casting an “ominous shadow” on the housing market, according to RealtyTrac Inc. The drop in filings is keeping home prices above where they should be, said Greg Hebner

Posted by mark @ 12:49 PM 0 Comments

Sellers aren't really prepared to sell their houses

MoneyWeek: There are fewer homes for sale in Britain than you think

Look in any estate agent's window and it there are plenty of homes to buy. But looks can be deceptive. Many of those properties may not be for sale at all.

Posted by martingreen @ 11:30 AM 4 Comments

Pulling out

Telegraph: One in three property purchases collapse

Figures from 1st Property Lawyers, the largest conveyancing firm in the UK, show that 29pc of property transactions fell through in the first half of the year – up from just 21pc three years ago.

Posted by dill @ 08:46 AM 1 Comments

Rightmove index becomes slightly more reliable

Bloomberg: U.K. Home Prices Fall for First Time This Year as Sellers Struggle to Sell

U.K. home sellers lowered asking prices in July for the first time this year as a mortgage squeeze deterred buyers, Rightmove Plc said. Asking prices dropped 1.6 percent from the previous month, when they had gained 0.6 percent, the U.K.’s biggest property website said in an e-mailed statement today. Seven out of 10 properties listed in 2011 are still available for sale, which Rightmove described as a “sobering reflection” of the market. “We expect further falls over the next few months as buyer momentum ebbs away due to a combination of seasonal factors and a continuing lack of both mortgage finance and buyer confidence,” Miles Shipside, commercial director of Rightmove, said in the statement.

Posted by quiet guy @ 08:02 AM 8 Comments

Thursday, July 14, 2011

At the top, but rather tasteless end of the market we have

Telegraph: The £70m mansion nobody wants

Who would live in a £70 million house like this? Well, David, let’s go through the CCTV-monitored keyhole and marvel at 50,000 sq ft of Surrey real estate: 250 tons of Italian marble, 27 bathrooms, a quarter of a mile of under-driveway heating, 58 acres of landscaped gardens, an underground squash court, a bowling alley, a panic room with its own ancillary air conditioning and two indoor swimming pools – both filled with green stagnant water and beginning to smell. Some nice comments as well.

Posted by enuii @ 09:27 PM 12 Comments

More cut asking price as market slides from summer peak

Planet Property: More cut asking price as market slides from summer peak

Asking prices are falling, properties are taking longer to sell, and “this summer’s price maximum has already been achieved,” says the latest house price report from Home.co.uk.

Posted by planetproperty @ 03:55 PM 2 Comments

Are we at the beginning of a house price crash?

BBC Radio 4's Money Box: Paul Lewis's newsletter: 16 July 2011

***IN MONEY BOX THIS WEEK*** This Money Box is a special programme devoted entirely to housing. It starts from the premise that there is not enough of it and that pushes up the cost of both buying and renting. Why are private developers not building more, given the prices they can charge for the finished item? Are we at the beginning of a house price crash? Will the banks step in to make homes more affordable, or at least buyable, for young people? Why is so little social housing (what we used to call council housing) being built? Will it help to restrict the security of tenure social housing tenants currently enjoy, as the Government plans? Or do we need to extend security of tenure to the private sector?

Posted by doomwatch @ 02:56 PM 16 Comments

Why growth, not austerity, is the solution to Europe's woes

Spiked Online: Phil Mullan on the Eurozone crisis

This article focuses on why 'financial' solutions to the debt crisis are doomed to fail, why the oft-touted and much-reviled notion of tighter Eurozone integration and political union is off the cards and why only growth and increased productivity can help propel these economies out of crisis.

Posted by utter @ 02:22 PM 1 Comments

Interesting statistic

MoneyExtra.com: Survey shows desire for home-ownership

"According to the English Housing Survey, only 11 per cent of those who own a house are under the age of 35." So call it two million under-35s out of about 12 million people aged 20 to 35 (prime FTB age in days of yore). I knew things were bad but that's outrageous. Give it a few more years and NOBODY under age 35 will own their own home, they'll all be tenants, at which stage they can all vote for the Land Value Tax party and get their awesome revenge!

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 12:51 PM 1 Comments

Gap between London prices and the rest at ten year high

Planet Property: Gap between London prices and the rest at ten year high

Yep, proof, if you need it, that London prices are bonkers ... though you may not argee with Savills that 800k for a four-bed house outside the capital is good value!

Posted by planetproperty @ 12:35 PM 0 Comments

Another step towards HPC?

Telegraph / Yahoo: Households in fuel poverty jump

More strain on household budgets leading to difficulties paying mortgages and less desire to borrow.

Posted by mr g @ 12:34 PM 6 Comments

Or they could just reduce the price by five per cent?

Sussex Express: Helping hand for first timers

"One of the biggest obstacles to owning a home is saving a big enough deposit, with the Council of Mortgage Lenders reporting that the average first-time buyer must save 15 percent of a property’s value, or £24,000 of the £160,000 average first home price it is no wonder that the number of people renting is increasing. However it is not all doom and gloom for young people wanting to buy their first home. Housebuilder, Bellway is offering a ‘Helping Hands’ scheme to get you on the housing ladder. The scheme allows your family or friends to pay your deposit and in return Bellway will reward them with a 12.5 percent per annum equivalent interest payment for two years." Twenty per cent deposit x 12.5% interest x two years = 5% of purchase price.

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 11:40 AM 6 Comments

Equity withdrawal coming to an end?

This Is Money: Extend don't move: More Britons borrowing to invest in home improvements

May be equity withdrawal has now run its course and personal unsecured lending is the last tool in the box of props?

Posted by richy richless @ 11:39 AM 1 Comments

N large parts of the U.S., you can just walk away from your home and your debt

Bloomberg: Flash Mobs Thwart Foreclosures in Spain

The number of foreclosed homes advertised by Idealista.com, Spain’s largest real-estate website, has risen 10-fold to 30,000 in three years. The properties are valued at about 4.6 billion euros and owned by 40 banks

Posted by mark @ 11:26 AM 1 Comments

I need a higher limit on my 15 trillion credit card

News.com.au: President Barack Obama storms out of US debt talks

Mr Obama said "I have reached the point where I say enough'' and added, "I've reached my limit. This may bring my presidency down, but I will not yield on this,'' according to the aide.

Posted by mark @ 10:44 AM 4 Comments

Interesting agreement with bank- shame they dont enforce the same on residential

Vegas Inc: Four associated Las Vegas companies file for bankruptcy

For instance, in the Horizon Village Square case, Nigro said the company was current on its payments but Wells Fargo demanded a $1.64 million payment to reduce the loan balance to $9.36 million to keep the ratio at less than 80 percent.

Posted by mark @ 10:23 AM 3 Comments

A vacation home, how big is his prime residence?

Cnn: Jerry Seinfeld selling Colorado mansion for $18 million

The comedian puts his 14,200-square foot Telluride, Colo. vacation home on the market

Posted by mark @ 10:05 AM 2 Comments

Eurozone continues to sink..

Telegraph: Italy money supply plunge flashes red warning signals

The Germans seem to have decided not to let themselves get dragged down - for now, at least. The eurocrats are doubtless trying to craft weasel words that will enable them to forge a fiscal union with the pooling of sovereign debt - but without admitting as much. Italy's 'austerity package' is so feeble, it's unlikely to make good the increase in interest charges. The rats are leaving - the ship is sinking..

Posted by uncle tom @ 09:45 AM 1 Comments

Affordability reduced in coming years

Mail: Taxes to rise by 12p to repay Britain's debt... and we'll be suffering for 50 years

"Taxes may have to go up by as much as 12p in the pound for the next 50 years simply to keep Britain from going bust, an independent watchdog warned yesterday. The burden of extra levies will fall upon the public for half a century to cope with the aftermath of the credit crunch and the impact of our ageing population".

Posted by alan @ 03:19 AM 27 Comments

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Capitulation; reality bites

Further evidence of financial distress...

Guardian: 'More than 3m households in financial difficulty'

Charity report paints grim picture of the pressures faced by about one tenth of the UK population

Posted by dazbo1983 @ 03:24 PM 0 Comments

Does this also apply to house prices?

Yahoo: The end of the age of excess

In a boom lasting from 1995 to 2007, we underwent the biggest borrowing binge in British history. Fuelled by steeply rising house prices, mortgage debt more than tripled from £390 billion in December 1995 to £1,189 billion in December 2007.

Posted by mr g @ 02:36 PM 4 Comments

Fed - more QE, now or later?

Reuters: Gold hits record high as euro crisis worsens

"Reflecting the heightened investor demand for metal, global holdings of gold in exchange-traded products witnessed their largest daily inflow since early April, driven by a hefty rise in holdings of metal in the SPDR Gold Trust, the world's largest gold-backed ETF". ""We'll know more about thinking on the U.S. when Bernanke testifies (today), but it was interesting that the Fed, according to the minutes of the June meeting, seemed to bring about more thinking about quantitative easing... those Fed minutes seem to have stoked the fires (for gold)." (..with UK debt hitting 100%GDP we could be printing money soon).

Posted by alan @ 02:21 PM 25 Comments

Peak Debt Caused By Peak Oil.

The Oil Drum: The Link Between Peak Oil and Peak Debt – Part 1

The economy is closely linked with the physical resources that underly it. Most economists assume debt can rise endlessly, just as they assume GDP can rise endlessly. But if there really is a limit that prevents oil supply from rising endlessly, it seems to me that there is also a corresponding limit that prevents debt from rising endlessly.

Posted by fubar @ 01:41 PM 2 Comments

Ouch

Yahoo: UK debt set to pass 100pc of GDP, says watchdog

Britain's public sector debt is still on an "unsustainable" upwards path, the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) has warned, meaning a massive £22bn tax rise would be needed on top of the current austerity push to shrink it to its pre-crisis level. The independent fiscal watchdog thinks that the Government is on track to have the public sector net debt falling in the medium-term, but that the burden will later swell again as spending soars to meet the needs of an aging population.

Posted by mark @ 01:00 PM 0 Comments

Home-Owner-Ism achieves important milestone

BBC: Rental properties in strong demand, landlords say

From the article: "It revealed that between 2005 and 2009-10 the number of people renting homes privately in England had risen by 1 million to 3.4 million - a rise of 40% in that time." if anybody thought that Home-Owner-Ism was about increasing the number of owner-occupiers, please think again - it's about increasing the amount of mortgage debt sloshing around (if you have a big mortgage, you don't really own it, you're just renting from the bank) and when all else fails, it's about increasing the number of tenants, i.e. reducing the number of owner-occupiers.

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 12:38 PM 4 Comments

Want credit, can't get credit

Sky News: Surge In Lower Middle Class Households Seeking Credit But Majority Get Turned Down, Says CEBR

A growing number of consumers are seeking credit as they prepare for tough economic conditions ahead. The Centre for Economic and Business Research (CEBR) said there had been a significant increase in lower middle-class households applying for credit in the past three months. But its report warns almost six out of 10 applications for short-term unsecured loans were rejected. That compares to fewer than a third of those for upper and middle-class people. The CEBR said as a result, many lower middle-class families have been left without access to credit, which is becoming "increasingly important" for everyday consumer spending.

Posted by drewster @ 10:57 AM 1 Comments

Treasury to announce £1.1trn public sector pension liabilities

Money Marketing: Treasury to announce £1.1trn public sector pension liabilities

The Treasury will today announce that public sector pension liabilities have risen from £770bn to £1.1trn in just two years

Posted by will @ 10:04 AM 1 Comments

Price drop of over 90% in 1 year

Independent: From £1.25m to £95,000: the island that's a drop in the ocean

The small and windswept Sully Island, 450m off the northern coast of the Bristol Channel, was advertised for £1.25m just last year. Nor did it sell at auction, where its guide price was £150,000 – suggesting it might not be the most watertight of investments as it failed to find a buyer.

Posted by europeanbear @ 08:41 AM 0 Comments

Inflation basket rigged.

CNN Money: ITards buying 61% more apps, paying 14% more per app

Lots of members complaining about Mervs inflation basket and the penny-farthing oil etc.. The average iOS device owner will download 83 apps in 2011 vs. 51 in 2010, a 61% increase year over year. "Smartphone users are showing an increasing appetite to use apps to add features to their phones," Munster writes, "and iOS has the leading app ecosystem." More expensive apps: The ASP (average selling price) per app is rebounding. ASPs are up 14% y/y in 20111 vs. an 18% decline in 2010. "After the initial race to the bottom in App Store pricing," says Munster, "we are seeing users pay up to add features and games to their iOS devices."

Posted by khards @ 08:31 AM 7 Comments

Concealment

Yorkshire Post: Householders fail to report crimes over property price fears

More than one in eight Yorkshire homeowners have not reported crimes since online crime maps were introduced for fear of putting off prospective buyers or tenants, a survey suggests today.

Posted by dill @ 07:58 AM 7 Comments

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

The Empire Strikes Back

BBC: Moody's cuts Irish debt rating to junk status

"Moody's said its decision was based on the "growing possibility" that Ireland would need a second bail-out before it can return to capital markets". Yesterday, Viviane Reding, the EU Justice Commissioner, said the authorities must "smash the cartel of the three US rating agencies" (Telegraph quote). I submit that Britain, the EU and the US are all trying to deflect attention away from their defecit problems.

Posted by alan @ 10:52 PM 9 Comments

Blame everything else but the economy

Independant: Thomas Cook in third profit warning

After blaming aircraft disruption and awkward bargain hunting customers last year Thomas Cook adds pesky Arabs as its latest excuse for falling profits rather than looking closer to home where customers with ever shrinking disposable income look to cut-price all inclusive deals in a last ditch attempt to retain their foreign holiday.

Posted by enuii @ 05:25 PM 3 Comments

But will they be any more affordable by then?

The Telegraph: House prices 'won't recover until 2020'

Real house prices, accounting for inflation, will still be 12pc below their 2007 high in 2015, PwC said. By 2020, there is just a 53pc chance that house prices will have risen 1pc, the firm said in its UK economic outlook.

Posted by rental john @ 04:28 PM 0 Comments

I can't imagine anyone wanting to buy yet, but look at the sheeple at auction house

Daily mail: House prices slashed as Ireland's knockdown properties go under the hammer

Property bargain hunters have been out in force as Ireland’s troubled banks auction off repossessed properties at knockdown prices. The Republic’s latest distressed property auction generated €23m in revenue, with many of the properties going for as little as 60 per cent of the prices they would have fetched at the peak of the housing bubble back in 2007. remember 2007 prices were never of real value, just over inflated prices so how can one compare and say they are cheap now? There is a lot worse to come in Eire

Posted by mark @ 03:41 PM 4 Comments

Merryn SW on last week's ludicrous suggestion from Grant Shapps

MoneyWeek: The government's latest ludicrous idea to boost house prices

The government's latest crackpot idea to get young people on the housing 'ladder' is for lenders to offer 'mates' mortgages'. A ludicrous suggestion that could leave you with no money, no home, and one mate less than you started out with.

Posted by martingreen @ 02:00 PM 11 Comments

Take cover - it's going to blow...

BBC News: Stock markets fall on fears eurozone debts may spread

The market begins to realise that Europe is insolvent.

Posted by doom&gloom @ 01:27 PM 10 Comments

China? no way it is a boom country built on honest finances lol

Cnn: Concerns about China, Italy batter global stocks

World stock markets tumbled Tuesday, after a report stoked concerns about the finances of more than five dozen Chinese companies

Posted by mark @ 01:08 PM 5 Comments

Probably

Yahoo: A financial Armageddon?

"We are now living through the devastating effects of the crippling amounts of spending that the Western governments have adopted, with many economies facing serious challenges to their sovereignty if they are unable to get their house in order," says FX strategist William Poole of FC Currencies

Posted by mark @ 10:58 AM 3 Comments

Still more than double the target

BBC News: UK CPI inflation in surprise fall to 4.2% in June

CPI 4.2%, RPI 5%, food costs continued to rise sharply, jumping 0.9% in the month

Posted by cynicalsoothsayer @ 10:16 AM 13 Comments

Not only news of world hacking, but local councils are hacking now

Daily post: North Wales councillor furious over 'email hacking'

Councillor Bernie Attridge has submitted a formal complaint to North Wales Police after he discovered his email account had been accessed without his permission or knowledge by Flintshire Council monitoring officer Barry Davies

Posted by mark @ 09:57 AM 6 Comments

Down

DCLG: House Price Index

In May UK house prices decreased by 1.6 per cent over the year and decreased by 0.5 per cent over the month (seasonally adjusted).

Posted by dill @ 09:49 AM 8 Comments

Oh dear the patient is not longer responding to treatment.

Home.co.uk: London Leading Home Prices Lower

Overall the mix-adjusted average Asking Price for homes on the market in England and Wales remains unchanged since June. Home prices fell 0.5% in Greater London during the last 3 months. The number of properties reduced in price June fell slightly since May to 85,104, which is 15% more than in June 2010.

Posted by tinecu @ 09:27 AM 0 Comments

Do you believe King's forecast?

Independent: Inflation will fall back: BoE's King

"The Bank of England's Governor yesterday reiterated his view that inflation will fall back towards its target of 2 per cent target during the next couple of years". (...a major impact on house prices).

Posted by alan @ 08:42 AM 8 Comments

The dam is finally breaking

The Daily Telegraph: German 'Nein' leaves Italy and Spain in turmoil

This is the real news story of the week, not the closure of the News of the World. Spain and Italy have already crossed the debt event horizon and are now spiralling inevitably down to the financial singularity of default. It is highly relevant to house prices because mortgage interest rates depend largely on bond rates, not the Bank of England's Alice in Wonderland 0.5% base rate.

Posted by monty032 @ 07:09 AM 24 Comments

Only if you take into account inflation

Independent: House prices in the red until 2020, warns PwC

Housing prices are unlikely to recover to their peak levels until 2020, according to PricewaterhouseCoopers. Even then, the analysis suggests there is just a 50% chance of a real house price rise relative to 2007, when prices reached their peak. The median projection over the period until 2015 is for a 12% real decline. [They don't say what will happen to nominal house prices; and since mortgages aren't inflation-linked, most people only care about nominal prices, not "real" prices.]

Posted by drewster @ 01:08 AM 3 Comments

RICS June 2011 balance -27

Citywire: House prices fall as property market hits stalemate

House prices continued to fall in June, as demand failed to pick up and the supply of new property fell back, pushing the market into a state of stalemate, according to the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (Rics).

Posted by dill @ 12:50 AM 1 Comments

Monday, July 11, 2011

London = FTB free zone?

The Guardian: 'First-time homebuyers have been cast aside'

Despite having a good job and a £35,000 deposit, civil servant Gabby Crane still can't afford to buy a suitable London home.

Posted by rental john @ 06:04 PM 0 Comments

He couldnt run the countries finances let alone protect his own!!!

Yahoo: British ex-PM Brown was hacking victim: report

Brown is to announce that private investigators working for News International hacked his phone and accessed his personal bank account, The Independent reported, without naming the newspaper involved. The BBC later reported that The Sunday Times had targeted Brown when he was finance minister, obtaining private financial and property details.

Posted by mark @ 04:39 PM 2 Comments

60% Fewer house sales.

This is money: The home moving crash: house purchases stuck at 60% below pre-slump levels

The property market remains stuck in the doldrums with the traditional spring bounce failing to lift homebuyers to even half the level seen before the slump hit, mortgage figures show.

Posted by will @ 04:13 PM 7 Comments

Endgame?

Reuters: Greece, Italy top agenda at EU finance chiefs meeting

"EU finance officials will discuss a range of options for Greece's intractable debt crisis on Monday, galvanised by the growing threat of contagion to Italy, the euro zone's third-largest economy". (I think its time to split Europe. I'm sure some clever German lawyers are working through the details right now. Propping up failures whether house prices or a sovereign state can't last forever).

Posted by alan @ 02:44 PM 10 Comments

Global house price comparison

The Economist: Rooms with a view

The economist have published a table giving their version of how much a country's housing stock is over/under priced using long-run average of price-to-rents ratio. The UK doesn't come out of this as badly as you might expect but is still reckoned to be 27.8% too high. Hat tipped to 'Durch' on the forums.

Posted by quiet guy @ 12:58 PM 2 Comments

The leeches are back

Telegraph: 'Wild West' buy-to-let investors 'force first-time buyers off the housing ladder'

First-time buyers are finding it difficult to get on the housing ladder because of the return of “Wild West” buy-to-let investors, according to the housing minister and leading estate agents. The buy-to-let market has shown signs of returning, according to industry figures, with nearly one-in-10 of all mortgages advanced in the first three months of this year going to investors looking to rent out their properties, an increase of 42 per cent in the last 12 months. During the depths of the housing crash, buy-to-let purchasers almost disappeared with just 5.4 per cent of all mortgages going to investors.

Posted by drewster @ 11:52 AM 9 Comments

London's commercial property

City AM: The big picture: London property

IT'S a game of two halves for central London's commercial property market: an early trip to the showers for the office sector, while the retail sector is playing into extra time. Across London’s core office pitches, from the financial zones of Canary Wharf and the City, to the media and head office blocks of the West End, via Midtown (Holborn) the story is similar: while the investment market is still humming with overseas investors looking for a bargain, property professionals report that occupational activity has dropped off ahead of the usual summer school holiday lull much earlier than normal.

Posted by warren1066 @ 11:35 AM 0 Comments

Corrupt councils still at it

Liverpool daily post: Liverpool Council corporate hospitality cover-up scandal revealed after Daily Post FOI investigation

Cllr Anderson said: “It is a scandal that FOI requests were treated in such a way. “It is no wonder the public have not got confidence in local government when it behaves in this way.

Posted by mark @ 11:07 AM 0 Comments

Slo mo train crash gathers pace..

Telegraph: Italy debt contagion fears hit markets as top EU officials meet

Is it so hard to understand that the Italians will always focus on the lowest common denominator - that if Greece, Ireland or Portugal get any measure of special treatment, any forgiveness of their debts, then Italy will expect the same? Trouble is, Italy is the problem child no-one can afford to educate..

Posted by uncle tom @ 09:19 AM 2 Comments

Definition of Poverty in the UK.

Daily Mail: The new north-south divide: Two families 300 miles apart earn 50k but one struggles and the other lives in luxury Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2013278/The-new-north-south-divide-Two-families-300-miles-apart-earn-50k-struggles-lives

The Sewell family are getting used to making sacrifices [...]Meanwhile, 300 miles north, the Salloway family are fortunate enough to be living in rather more affluent circumstances [...] Right. So the Sewell family spend 40% of their 'meagre GBP50,000' income to service a mortgage because they chose to live in posh Surrey. It is not their fault if they are struggling. The Salloway family live in a more modest house and only spend 10% of their 'huge GBP50,000' on servicing the mortgage. They are SO lucky......... At least it made me laugh....

Posted by fjcruiser @ 09:16 AM 7 Comments

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Roundup of latest house price predictions

Daily Mail: House prices - what to expect

NIESR predict a 4.5% fall this year; Rightmove -5%, Howard Archer -10% (from mid 2010), RICS -2%, Hometrack -2%, Halifax and Nationwide 0%

Posted by little professor @ 11:25 PM 2 Comments

Allowing conversions of commercial property to residential use without need of planning permission

Daily Telegraph: Government has managed to mess up its own great property conversion plan

"If the proposal to be able to convert without planning permission goes through, we should see the number of conversions rise, putting upward pressure on commercial property prices and downward pressure on residential prices. Meanwhile, the money spent in doing the conversions would boost activity in the construction sector. There is a snag, though. The Government's proposal does not apply to retail property...."

Posted by tom101 @ 10:06 PM 9 Comments

Too late.....

The Telegraph: Italy and Spain must pray for a miracle

Once again Europe's debt crisis has metastasized, and once again the financial authorities face systemic contagion unless they take immediate and dramatic action...

Posted by fjcruiser @ 07:37 PM 7 Comments

Updown Court owner defaults on mortgage

Why not go for broke? It will happen soon, anyway

Observer: Defaulting rescued Argentina. It could work for Athens too

"Struggling under an impossible burden after its IMF bailouts, Buenos Aires knew its one hope was to stop paying its debts and become a pariah – and so it proved". Argentina, stuck in a recession since 1998, had done everything the IMF had told it to do. After several bailouts, the government imposed wave after wave of eye-watering austerity measures, as prescribed by the "Washington consensus", and sought a voluntary restructuring with its private sector creditors, all of which will sound familiar to the Greeks. Like Greece, Buenos Aires had swallowed the textbook analysis – backed by the IMF and the consensus of academic economists and domestic politicians – which said its problem was not an overvalued currency and unsustainable debts, but too much public spending...

Posted by alan @ 03:20 PM 9 Comments

Why we need to clear out bad debts

Steve Keen Debtwatch: On The Edge with Max Keiser

Quite a long video interview with Max Keiser and Steve Keen. Keen does most of the talking and covers a wide range of subjects including the role of bankers in asset bubbles, shadow banking debt, credit default swaps, inflation and deflation, money creation and ponzi schemes. Unfortunately, the focus is on America rather than the UK but it's worth a look if you have 25 minutes to spare.

Posted by quiet guy @ 01:52 PM 6 Comments

Brighter future (For Whom prey tell!)

Mail: House price trend takes upward turn as official figures paint a brighter picture By DAN ATKINSON Read more: http://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/news/article-2012937/House-price-trend-takes-upward-turn-official-figures-paint-brighter-picture.html#ixzz1RhFh7

The six-month mini-slump in house prices could be coming to an end, according to figures due out on Tuesday. Householders who have seen the value of their properties slide may be in line for some overdue good news. Read more: http://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/news/article-2012937/House-price-trend-takes-upward-turn-official-figures-paint-brighter-picture.html#ixzz1RhFy1mDb

Posted by happy mondays @ 11:23 AM 8 Comments

More than meets the eye: Rebound in U.S. employment in the offing?

Investment Postcards: More than meets the eye: Rebound in U.S. employment in the offing?

Stock prices tumbled while the yield on the U.S. 10-year note fell to its lowest level in a month as the U.S. Bureau of Labor Services (BLS) June employment report shocked the market with a paltry gain of 18 000 jobs in payroll employment compared to a consensus forecast of 88 000. However, a bit of analysis shows that the picture is not entirely bleak.

Posted by prieur du plessis @ 10:55 AM 0 Comments

Nowhere Land

Independent: Middle classes are Britain's new homeless: State safety nets are gone

Britain faces an "unprecedented and escalating" housing crisis, charities warned yesterday, with middle-class families at greater risk of homelessness than at any point in the past century.

Posted by dill @ 09:13 AM 14 Comments

Proles struggle to get from A to B

Mail: Fuel sales fall by a BILLION litres

Service stations in the UK sold 835 million fewer litres of petrol and 247 million fewer litres of diesel in January to March 2011 compared to the same period three years earlier.The 15 per cent dip in petrol sales and the 6 per cent fall in diesel sales were caused by higher fuel costs and consumers tightening their belts

Posted by sovietuk @ 08:05 AM 4 Comments

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Young People Benefitted by Falling Houseprices

Telegraph: Old People Hit by Falling House Prices

Usual home-ownerist slant...

Posted by voiceofreason @ 10:46 PM 5 Comments

How wrong can an "expert" be!

Deutsche Bank: Deutsche Bank release strong Spanish economy report

As regards the property sector, the exceptional growth has been due to the factors mentioned above and other important features such as the low mortgage rate. Although the growth can not be expected to continue, the report suggests that the slow down is no different to the property sectors in the other European economies. The report argues that a major adjustment is neither likely nor necessary due to strong fundamentals. 12.10.07.

Posted by waitingtobuy @ 09:35 PM 2 Comments

MIBY Hysteria! We're all going to bake to death in a concrete Hell!

Daily Telegraph: Battle lines for the Green Belt

"We all desperately need planners to defend the privileges of existing homeowners and as a nation, we rather like the results of their handiwork. We are proud of the Green Belts and other controls that have stopped, for example, people from moving to the south-east of England where all the job opportunities are, and have conserved acres of unproductive farmland - so unproductive that it needs heavy taxpayer subsidies to stay viable - so that as few people as possible can live or work there."

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 09:29 PM 8 Comments

Spot the idiot and he calls himself an economist

Cnn: Pork prices drive Chinese inflation

Chinese person's monthly expenses, rose 14.4% year-over-year. Meat and poultry prices were the worst culprit in that category, surging a whopping 32.3%. Pork prices rose 57.1%. As for Chinese exports to the United States, Weinberg says not to worry -- rapidly rising food prices are not likely to have a major impact on export prices. SO civil unrest leading to higher wages because of high food prices won't leak into the inflation figures then?

Posted by mark @ 11:44 AM 1 Comments

Your home may have risen in value – on paper. But factor in inflation and the picture is bleaker.

Daily Telegraph: House prices: inflation wipes thousands off property values

Houses as pensions.... yeah right...traps more like

Posted by tom101 @ 11:10 AM 10 Comments

Mervyn's keeping low whilst waiting for his retirement.

This is money: Bank of England is hit by triple blow in fight to rein in inflation

The Bank of England has been hit by a triple-whammy of bad news on inflation and economic growth. Official figures showed the price of goods leaving British factories rose at its fastest pace for two and a half years in June, fuelling inflationary fears. King recently warned rising household energy bills will push inflation above 5pc but added that rates should not rise until the economy is growing strongly. (ANOTHER 10 YEARS OF ZIRP THEN..)

Posted by khards @ 10:29 AM 10 Comments

Builders analysts say it's OK to put up interest rates

CityWire Money: No 'mortgage time bomb' so buy builders, say analysts

Fears that an interest rate rise could detonate a 'mortgage time bomb' are being overplayed, say analysts, who are almost unanimous on which house builders investors should back: Barratt (BDEV.L), Taylor Wimpey (TW.L) and Galliford Try (GFRD.L).

Posted by blinktoofast @ 09:36 AM 5 Comments

Time to start planning for the post-euro era..

BBC: Euro debt market jitters worsen

"Italy has seen a sharp rise in its 10-year cost of borrowing over the last week, rising from 4.85% to 5.3% - suggesting markets now view the country as almost as risky as recession-hit Spain, which must pay 5.65%."

Posted by uncle tom @ 08:37 AM 1 Comments

Friday, July 8, 2011

Wonder if they will put prices up too

Liverpool daily post: Energy giant SSE to shed 900 jobs

Up to 900 jobs will be axed at Scottish and Southern Energy (SSE) after the company announced it is immediately suspending all its doorsteps sales. The decision to abandon old-fashioned door-to-door selling follows a breakdown in confidence in the practice among consumers, said the energy giant. It also comes two months after the company was found guilty of using doorstep salesmen to mislead potential customers in a case brought against it by Surrey County Council.

Posted by mark @ 04:33 PM 5 Comments

An article on the Housing Market

Guardian: House prices surveys: mixed messages paint a clear picture

Halifax says house prices are rising, based on mortgage approvals; LSL/Acadametrics says they are falling, based on actual transactions. But there is no ignoring the overall trend

Posted by dill @ 03:23 PM 0 Comments

Gold article of the day

Ny times: As More Investors Seek Shelter in Gold, Russia Is Only Too Happy to Sell

Russia was the fourth-largest gold producer globally last year, following China, Australia and the United States. (China in 2010 mined 351 metric tons of gold; Australia 261 tons and the United States 234 tons. Russia mined 203.)

Posted by mark @ 01:03 PM 6 Comments

MP spots pachyderm on sofa

Lib Dem Voice: Stephen Gilbert MP writes: UK housing policy in crisis

Not really news as such, but I thought he might appreciate some opinions from HPCers.

Posted by phdinbubbles @ 12:25 PM 11 Comments

Purgatory

WSJ: House Prices on Road to Nowhere

Where are house prices going?

Posted by dill @ 11:59 AM 3 Comments

Tax advice of the week: Buy student digs

MoneyWeek: Tax-free capital growth on your childrens student property

If you have a child aged 18 or over going to university this September, don’t miss out on the 'enormous potential' to enjoy tax-free capital growth on the property they live in.

Posted by martingreen @ 11:29 AM 6 Comments

Inflation inflation inflation a new TV show starring Meryvn King and Kirsty

Yahoo: British Gas puts prices up by 18pc

British Gas customers will pay an extra £200 a year after the energy giant became the latest to raise its energy prices. British Gas is putting its prices up by an average of 18pc or £121 for gas and 16pc or £71 for electricity from August 18. It means that the average household bill for a dual fuel British Gas customer will now go up from £1,096 to £1,288 an increase of £192 or 17.5pc.

Posted by mark @ 10:54 AM 14 Comments

Churches See The Light

Christian Today: Rural communities feeling the squeeze of second home ownership

Representatives of church denominations across East Anglia were warned about the impact of second home ownership during the Faith in Affordable Housing (FIAH) conference at Norwich Cathedral today. Housing Justice deputy director Alastair Murray said that high property prices, caused in part by the growth of second home ownership, was leading to a breakdown of the very rural communities these home owners wanted to spend their weekends and retirement in.

Posted by rantnrave @ 09:42 AM 17 Comments

Cashing in on people saving for a house?

Mail: Capital betrayal - Shame of the banks that fail to pass on low rates

"Simon Rose, from the campaign group Save Our Savers, said people’s savings are being ‘massively eroded.’ He said: ‘The thrifty and responsible are effectively subsidising the profligate and foolish.’ Mr Rose has written to the Bank of England to raise the plight of savers. He added: ‘A country without savings is a country without a future".

Posted by alan @ 08:59 AM 10 Comments

LSL Acadametrics: -0.8%MoM, -1.4% YoY

Bloomberg: U.K. House Prices Decline to Lowest Level in 17 Months

I've always thought Acadametrics was the most accurate index :p

Posted by little professor @ 08:33 AM 3 Comments

Investment outlook for UK property pooe

ArabianMoney: Why the basics look so bad for investment in UK property

Still historically high house prices, very low rental returns and interest rates that are so low that they cannot last. This is the toxic cocktail facing would be investors in UK housing this summer.

Posted by david smith @ 03:13 AM 0 Comments

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Deficit Reduction 101

Center for Economic and Policy Research: Central Banks and Budget Deficits

Ron Paul says that the solution to the impasse over the deficit ceiling is for the Fed to burn the $1.6 trillion of US government bonds it holds. The only function of these bonds is their sale by the Fed, when the economy recovers, in order to pull reserves out of the banking system and thus to limit lending and dampen inflation. But the Fed could achieve this aim by raising the reserve requirement - and the government would not have to pay interest on the disappeared bonds. This may not be what RP had in mind but this solution would enable the government to continue deficit spending in order to support output and employment while private sector spending/demand cannot provide such support.

Posted by icarus @ 06:34 PM 4 Comments

Price gouging continues

Guardian: London rents '50% higher than national average'

Tenants in London pay 50% more in rent than the national average, according to the HomeLet Rental Index. The survey, which collects data from 3,000 letting agents around the UK, found the average rent increased slightly by 0.4% in June to £750, but rents in Greater London rose by 0.54% to the record average level of £1,125. Rent in London has risen by 12% in the year to the end of June.

Posted by dill @ 04:18 PM 7 Comments

Rents in London increase

City AM: House prices bounce back, Halifax says

In the East of City rents rose by 11.6 per cent in the past year, and by two per cent in the past three months... Islington and Hampstead have risen 11.3 per cent over the past 12 months, though their varied client base and more limited stock levels mean that rents are now 15.2 per cent above peak.

Posted by warren @ 02:44 PM 0 Comments

Clever people in the ECB react to inflation as per remit of BOE

Cnn: ECB hikes interest rates

The European Central Bank raised its key interest rate Thursday, shrugging off concerns about the euro zone's debt crisis to focus instead on fighting inflation. The ECB's key interest rate is now 1.50%, up from the previous 1.25% rate set in April.

Posted by mark @ 01:00 PM 5 Comments

Good news!

BBC News: World food prices near record high, says UN agency

Global food prices rose sharply in June, according to the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), after a steep increase in the price of sugar. Savvy investors are urged to pile into food as there is a huge amount of pent up demand especially for sought-after items such as bread and milk. Yields upward of 10%. You know it makes sense.

Posted by papabear @ 12:34 PM 0 Comments

Boring and predictable from the zoo bank of england

Yahoo: BoE Makes Interest Rate Decision

the monkey policy committee have made their banana decision

Posted by mark @ 12:20 PM 25 Comments

Lucky Londoners

PropertyWire: Surge in Middle East buyers seeking trophy property assets in London

Middle Eastern buyers account for 20% of overall investment in property in London as they seek safe havens to put their money during a time of turbulence in their region, according to a new report. There has been a 100% growth compared with 2010 with 60% of investment coming from the United Arab Emirates and 40% from Asia Pacific. London offers the kind of trophy assets traditionally required by the Middle Eastern investor and that is another reason that overseas property investors now account for 48% of all prime central London property purchases. Another appealing factor is that Central London rents are currently at an all time high, and investors can expect an approximate rental yield of 4 to 6%.

Posted by drewster @ 11:16 AM 3 Comments

A bit off-topic, but shows how we're all being shafted by financial shenanigans

Telegraph: Bombardier 'had little chance' on Thameslink because of contract terms

Bombardier had virtually no chance of winning the controversial £1.5bn contract for Thameslink trains because of its relatively higher financing costs, senior Government sources have disclosed. The tender called for bidders to build, maintain and, crucially, finance 1,200 new carriages over 30 years. The financing element gave Siemens of Germany a big advantage over the three other bidders because of its higher credit rating – one vastly superior to Bombardier's, which is below investment grade. If the project had been financed in the traditional way, through government borrowing, then Siemens and Bombardier would have competed purely on technical merit. However because the government was keen to keep the debt off its books via PFI, the financial structure won it for Siemens.

Posted by drewster @ 10:02 AM 15 Comments

Comic petulence..

Telegraph: Europe declares war on rating agencies

"" Jose Manuel Barroso, the European Commission president, questioned Moody's motives and said it had fanned the flames of "speculation" with an unwarranted downgrade. "It seems strange there is not a single rating agency coming from Europe. It shows there may be some bias in the markets when it comes to the evaluation of the specific issues of Europe," he said, seemingly unaware that Fitch Ratings is French-owned. ""

Posted by uncle tom @ 09:34 AM 5 Comments

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

$15bn - just for the record

Bloomberg: Goldman Took Biggest Loan in Fed Program

"Goldman Sachs & Co. borrowed $15 billion from the U.S. Federal Reserve on Dec. 9, 2008 -- the biggest single loan from a program whose details have been secret until today". The info was released in response to a Freedom of Information Act request by Bloomberg News. I reckon they have a few places on the MPC too. Whaddya think?

Posted by alan @ 06:21 PM 5 Comments

Are you dissing me? Cause I ain't booved!

BBC: Ratings agencies criticised by European Commission

he European Commission has strongly criticised international credit ratings agencies following the downgrade of Portugal by Moody's.

Posted by peter_2008 @ 01:13 PM 10 Comments

Anyone fancy owing a small prison lol

Williams: Bill Clayton Detention Center

thought it was worth posting not something you see for sale often

Posted by mark @ 01:11 PM 1 Comments

I was amazed to see this in the Daily Mail

Daily Mail: A green and pleasant land: Map reveals more than half of Britain is countryside

"Forget the urban sprawl - a new map of Britain has shown that we are dominated by countryside. The land cover map showed half [53%] the land was used for crops or pasture and just 6 per cent for more built up areas.... Mountains, heaths and bogs account for 16 per cent, 'semi-natural grasslands' are found across 13 per cent of the country while urban areas, coniferous woodland and broad-leaf woods each make up 6 per cent."

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 12:51 PM 33 Comments

When will britain follow ?

Cnn: China raises key interest rates

China's central bank announced Wednesday that it has raised its benchmark interest rates by a quarter percentage point.

Posted by mark @ 12:27 PM 5 Comments

Why don't they try sailing with the wind rather than against it?

BBC: UK housing market 'facing headwinds', says Halifax

Yo ho ho and a bottle of pent up demand.

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 10:58 AM 1 Comments

Stock up on sterling, so you can afford higher prices

Sky: Shop Price Inflation Hits 32-Month Peak

A sharp rise in the cost of food has seen shop price inflation leap to its highest rate since October 2008, according to the British Retail Consortium. The new research suggests higher petrol and commodity prices lifted the rate to 2.9% in June from 2.3% in May. Food inflation rose to 5.7% from 4.9% - the biggest rise since May 2009 - while non-food inflation rose to 1.3% from 0.8%. Shop price inflation is lower than overall CPI, which currently stands at 4.5%.

Posted by general congreve @ 10:52 AM 6 Comments

Why high house prices are bad for the future of the country

Huffington Post UK: Why A House Price Crash Would Be A 'Good' Thing

Hi chaps, I've been a regular on this site for years and posted the odd article and read an awful lot of comments although never been quite brave enough to leave my own. Anyway, I'm not a regular writer but I got the opportunity to blog for Huffington Post UK for its launch today and hope you appreciate the sentiments of this blog - part personal, part hard facts. You regulars have been an inspiration. I'm still holding off buying but it's getting more difficult to wait and wait and wait...

Posted by melinda rogers @ 10:18 AM 15 Comments

Like a swamp ! ;)

Telegraph: House price indices show markets remain stagnant

They go on to predict that asking prices are "likely to fall by up to 7pc" in this year's second half, which could improve buyers' bargaining power.

Posted by happy mondays @ 09:31 AM 3 Comments

+1.1% MoM, -3.5% YoY

Halifax: Jun Index

Commenting, Martin Ellis, housing economist, said: "House prices in the three months to June were 0.5% lower than in the previous quarter. This was the smallest quarterly fall in prices since the second quarter of 2010. There was a 1.2% rise in prices in June."

Posted by phdinbubbles @ 08:07 AM 13 Comments

Junk! It's all a SHAM!

Telegraph: Moody's downgrades Portuguese debt to junk

Portugal's debt has been relegated to junk status after Moody's Investor Services warned that the country's prospects had been damaged by the international efforts to rescue Greece.

Posted by happy mondays @ 08:05 AM 1 Comments

Affordability

Scotman: Only when property prices become genuinely affordable will the market get moving again

MILLIONS of us have exposure to property so we're bound to have a vested interest in believing that house prices will rise.

Posted by paranoia blue @ 06:06 AM 0 Comments

Bleating BTLers

Daily Mail: Buy-to-let victims of Inside Track plan joint legal challenge for mis-sold homes

Almost 1,000 investors in failed property firms Inside Track Seminars and Instant Access Properties are on the verge of launching a classaction lawsuit, alleging that the company mis-sold buy-to-let flats and houses. Former vet Tamsin Barks, 51 claims to have lost £400,000 after buying seven homes in Manchester, Spain and Florida.

Posted by little professor @ 01:06 AM 8 Comments

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

After Greece, who is next in line for some dough

Bloomberg: Portugal Government-Bond Ratings Cut to Junk by Moody’s

"The reductions stem partly from “the growing risk that Portugal will require a second round of official financing before it can return to the private market,” Moody’s said today in a statement. There is also “the increasing possibility that private sector creditor participation will be required as a pre-condition,” the ratings company said". ( I wonder if they will downgrade US debt when the Fed raises the defecit ceiling?)

Posted by alan @ 07:56 PM 4 Comments

There are several for

Daily Mail: Is this the cheapest house in Britain? Two-bedroom terrace sells for £10,000 - a third LESS than the asking price

When it first went on the market six months ago even the estate agents thought the £15,000 asking price was too much. And it appears that they were right, after the 'cheapest house in Britain', a two-bedroom terraced property in Burnley described as being in need of 'comprehensive repair and renovation', finally sold for £10,000.

Posted by rental john @ 06:17 PM 0 Comments

Thumbs down to debt and overpriced housing

Guardian: Soaring private rentals reflect pressure on first-time buyers

English housing survey finds private tenancies have risen 55% in six years as attitudes to homeownership change.

Posted by dill @ 04:46 PM 5 Comments

Houses are cheap, apparently...

Guardian: Persimmon builds fewer homes in the first half

Chief executive Mike Farley reiterated: "It's not affordability, that's the issue, it's the fact that [first-time buyers] haven't got deposits. People have been used to finding a 5% deposit. We're just trying to get back to the status quo situation … People have also been used to a 5% base rate but presumably you don't want that bit of the status quo?

Posted by timmy t @ 01:40 PM 9 Comments

New Partnership Mortgage from Castle Trust

MoneyWeek: A promising new mortgage product

With the housing market in the doldrums and mortgage lending languishing too, news of a new mortgage product was always going to cause excitement. So it was last week when the newly launched Castle Trust said that from September it would offer a new Partnership Mortgage. But what exactly is the deal and is it worthy of the attention it is getting? Ruth Jackson explains.

Posted by martingreen @ 09:52 AM 9 Comments

Prices are now at a record high, 2% higher than their previous peak in March 2008

Investor Today: House prices soar for prime London property

Central London house prices have risen 34% since March 2009 - and are set to climb further, according to the latest Prime Central London Index from Knight Frank. It also found that: * Prices of prime London property rose 0.9% in June 2011, contributing to annual growth of 8.3%; * Prices have risen 34% since their recent post-credit crunch low in March 2009; * Prices are now at a record high, 2% higher than their previous peak in March 2008; * Demand is holding steady as new supply looks set to surge – prices will continue to grow, albeit at a slower pace in the second half of 2011;

Posted by khards @ 08:37 AM 6 Comments

Running on empty

Mail: The great mortgage payback slows as Britons feel the austerity squeeze Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2011062/The-great-mortgage-payback-slows-Britons-feel-austerity-pinch.html#ixzz1RDHv86I6

The Bank of England figures showed Britons pumped £5.832billion of equity into their homes in the first three months of this year, the smallest injection in a year.

Posted by happy mondays @ 08:24 AM 3 Comments

More clutching at straws

Daily Mail: Banks should offer 'mates mortgages' so friends can buy together, says housing minister

Mortgage experts [euphamistically] question practicality of MP's proposal.

Posted by dill @ 08:10 AM 15 Comments

Monday, July 4, 2011

Another government land hand-out for the privileged

Telegraph: GPs pocket millions from secret taxpayer-funded scheme

Doctors are permitted to buy buildings for their surgeries which are then “rented” back to the Department of Health, often for far more than the mortgage repayments. GPs have boasted that they have made six or even seven figure windfalls from the system – the costs of which have soared by more than 70 percent in just six years. A typical surgery may have been bought for £150,000 a decade ago. The GP then could then claim tens of thousands of pounds in “notional rent” annually which is used to clear the mortgage. They could then sell the property today for more than £500,000, and often substantially more, and keep the profit.

Posted by drewster @ 11:16 PM 8 Comments

What will happen to the £

Reuters: ECB to hike rates, remain unflinching on Greece

The European Central Bank is set to hike euro zone interest rates to 1.5 percent on Thursday and is expected to show no sign of softening its hard-line stance that Greece must not be allowed to default on its debts. (...so where does this leave the UK where the MPC is actively encouraging inflation and propping up of house prices?).

Posted by alan @ 10:50 PM 9 Comments

Housing boom kicks off - or does it?

Bloomberg: London Has $34B of Luxury-Homes in Pipeline

"London has a pipeline of luxury-home developments valued at about 21 billion pounds ($34 bn) as a shortage of properties helped push prices to a record and spurred new projects, according to EC Harris LLP. Investors and developers plan to build 9,000 prime apartments and houses by the end of the decade that they’re aiming to sell for more than 1,000 pounds a square foot, according to a study released today by the London-based consulting firm". (Where else are they building? Has Cameron sold off the Royal parks thru the back door?).

Posted by alan @ 06:11 PM 1 Comments

Hilarious

Youtube: Stewart Lee's Comedy Vehicle: Global Financial Crisis (S01 E04)

Gets onto the housing mess 4 mins in.

Posted by doomwatch @ 04:15 PM 3 Comments

IR rise not on the menu

Independent: Bank may start printing money again as fears for economy spread

"The possibility of a further huge injection of money to underpin the economy will be discussed by policymakers at the Bank of England this week, pushing back until deep into next year the prospect of any rise in interest rates from their all-time low of 0.5 per cent. A further £50 billion in "quantitative easing", colloquially termed "QE" or "printing money", could be announced by the Bank as early as this week, though many commentators think they will postpone a move until the picture becomes clearer still. The Bank has already pumped £200bn into the financial system. A second round – dubbed "QE2" – is now on the cards." The comments are almost all hostile so far.

Posted by quiet guy @ 04:11 PM 4 Comments

The inevitable Greek default....

The Economist: Europe's banks and Greece's debt. Facilitating a default

Days after the circulation of a plan drafted by French banks to roll over much of the Greek debt that they hold, German banks said that they would do much the same.

Posted by rental john @ 03:58 PM 0 Comments

The job losses continue to mount in the meantime house prices are still too high

Yahoo: Bombardier 'To Announce 2,000 Job Losses'

It is reported that Bombardier will announce the cuts at a news conference it has called for tomorrow. Such a move would result in two thirds of the workforce at its UK plant in Derby losing their jobs.

Posted by mark @ 01:10 PM 1 Comments

Bearish comments

Grauniad: Mortgage lenders serve up cheapest deals in 23 years

Nothing new or revolutionary but worth sharing for the bearish comments on the article and Joe Public sees straight through some of PR junk that pushed out from the VIs

Posted by richy richless @ 12:37 PM 1 Comments

Soft focus photos

Rightmove: 4 bedroom semi-detached house for sale in soft focus

Has anyone noticed how houses recently being listed on the web now have soft focus or other photo effects on the pics to make them look more desirable example on this link.. it is amazing the lengths estate agents will go to sell rather than ask vendor to DROP THE PRICES

Posted by mark @ 11:29 AM 10 Comments

The mos sensible way out of nequity

BBC: Housing equity injection goes on

"From July 1998 to March 2008 homeowners borrowed an extra £328bn against the rising value of their homes. This is known as housing equity withdrawal. Homeowners cashed in on the increasing value of their homes to buy cars and holidays. But since March 2008, this has gone into reverse, with an injection - rather than a withdrawal - of equity into homes." By all accounts, that average £33 billion a year "equity withdrawal" (i.e. additional borrowing) added about 7% to people's disposable post-tax incomes - otherwise known as "feel good factor".

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 10:25 AM 1 Comments

One for GC - 600,000 tons of gold on the seabed

BBC News: Japan finds rare earths in Pacific seabed

6 ppm x 100bn tons of mud = four times the gold every mined (and as the gold will be a by-product, the price of gold will have little effect on the viability of extraction)

Posted by uncle tom @ 10:19 AM 31 Comments

Keep walking, nothing to see here!

Mail: Bank of England set to keep interest rates on hold this week and many economists now do not expect a rise until 2012 Read more: http://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/news/article-2010795/Bank-England-set-rates-hold-Thursday-economists-expect-rise-2012.html#i

Howard Archer, chief economist at IHS Global Insight, said: ‘We now expect the Bank to hold off from raising interest rates until the second quarter of 2012

Posted by happy mondays @ 08:30 AM 7 Comments

Dumping rubbish

Independent: Lloyds speeds up sale of toxic loans

Banks, including Lloyds and RBS, selling off their toxic loans to private equity companies -possibly a good deal if property prices continue to slide. In Lloyds' case, of £78bn of property loans on its books, one third, £26bn, are considered 'bad' One wonders if the private equity firms will as 'forbearing' over deferred payments as the state-backed bank. I suspect not. But, the discount the private equity firms will buy the loans at will, if they've done their sums right, allow them to foreclose that much quicker and without any government interferance. Expect more big name firms to close or downsize significantly, along with it the resultant redundancies, and a greater number of repossessions soon.

Posted by stuartking @ 12:33 AM 8 Comments

Cheap labour and homes oop North

Daily Telegraph: New Call Telecom shifts from Mumbai to Burnley

Call centre in reverse out-sourcing from India to Lancashire, as it's cheaper to rent property there and the wages are lower. Plus, you can buy a home for £32,400. Perhaps the mills will brought back into production before long and, given the decline of newspapers in this internet age, maybe the delivery boys and girls can find some work cleaning chimneys. As for the rest of those whose livelihoods has been sacrificed to save the bankers, perhaps the workhouse will make a comeback too. Who was who said they'd like to see the UK return to Victorian values?

Posted by stuartking @ 12:09 AM 4 Comments

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Done repeatedly here, but a good summary

London review of books: Once greece goes ..........

The economic crisis in Greece is the most consequential thing to have happened in Europe since the Balkan wars. That isn’t because Greece is economically central to the European order: at barely 3 per cent of Eurozone GDP, the Greek economy could vanish without trace and scarcely be missed by anyone else. The dangers posed by the imminent Greek default are all to do with how it happens.

Posted by tudorian @ 05:00 PM 4 Comments

Could be a 7/8 bedroom

RightMove: 5 bedroom house or is it!!

Could be a 5 bedroom property or a 7/8 bedroom 7/8 bedroom depends on how much stiched you want to get.

Posted by deepak @ 01:49 PM 5 Comments

Deflation

BBC: Late payments still a problem for small firms, says FSB

56% said they had written off invoices worth between £1 and £9,999 because of non-payment. These write off reduces the total circulation of money hence deflation. SImilar losses at the bank reduces the money they can lend and every thing comes tumbling down. Asset price deflation.

Posted by deepak @ 01:23 PM 0 Comments

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Look deeper and they all are ....

BBC: Russia rescues Bank of Moscow in record bail-out

Look in to the books and they all are bankrupt. the banks is what I mean.

Posted by deepak @ 10:40 PM 6 Comments

Tory government practises 'economic cleansing' on inner London

Guardian (blogs): Housing benefit cuts: Tory flagship prepares to give 5,000 households their marching orders

"Over 5,000 Westminster households will be affected by the changes [in Housing Benefit] and for the majority their current rents will be unaffordable. Many of these households will need to leave Westminster when the caps affect current claimants during 2012." - This is outrageous! Won't somebody think of the children? There could be as many as 4,000 children affected, including 50 on the Child Protection Register! Children can't adapt to new situations, they must always stay in the same place. There are exactly 313 elderly people (aged 60+) affected by this, and 61 disabled people too. I can't believe a Tory(LibDem) government would be so cruel to the elderly. What kind of monstrous society are we creating for ourselves? You should all hang your heads in shame.

Posted by drewster @ 11:56 AM 30 Comments

So Labour lied again

Daily Telegraph: Osborne asked Darling to opt out of EU Bailout agreement

So labour lied again over the EU bailout by saying that Conservatives agreed with it, it has just been proved

Posted by daddybear @ 08:27 AM 0 Comments

Friday, July 1, 2011

Holland Changes Fiscal Policy

Bloomberg: Dutch Banks Said to Be Taxed $435 Million to Cut Duty on House Purchases

"The Netherlands will levy a special tax on its banks to raise 300 million euros ($435 million), enabling it to cut the duty on house transactions in an effort to revive the housing market". "While the Amsterdam-based Dutch association of banks NVB criticized the planned tax and said it may hurt mortgage lending and the domestic economy, realtors welcomed it" (no surprises there, then)!

Posted by alan @ 04:52 PM 16 Comments

A perfect recipe for further GDP contraction..

BBC: Greek government austerity measures

Much of the detail is crazy - 15% of Greek GDP is tourism, which has been decamping to Turkey because Greece is too expensive - so what do they do? Increase restaurant bills by 10% and tax pools.. There's nothing in this package that will help Greece's crippling unemployment problem, and plenty to make it worse. - Buy shares in tear gas companies!

Posted by uncle tom @ 04:36 PM 9 Comments

Is the link that a house is an investment, rather than a home, starting to break?

Time: Homeownership: Still Popular But Not Seen as a Smart Investment

Americans have long overindexed on the value they place on owning a home when compared with people in other western countries. That white picket fence in the age-old imagery of the American Dream?

Posted by rental john @ 03:38 PM 0 Comments

The start of things to come?

Cnn: Minnesota government shuts down

Visitors won't be able to go to the state parks or the zoo, and travelers will find the highway rest stops shuttered. Road construction projects will cease, as will licensing for teachers and businesses. Many social service agencies will lose their funding, cutting state support for programs such as job training and homelessness prevention. Those that don't have reserves will likely close their doors. And up to 23,000 state workers are scheduled to be laid off

Posted by mark @ 01:24 PM 8 Comments

Private sector taking up Public sector slack Mr Osbourne?

Portfolio Adviser: UK manufacturing index closes in on two-year low

Sterling has fallen to a 15-month low against the euro after latest UK manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index showed orders down to their lowest level since September 2009.The PMI is down from 52 in May to 51.3 in June, its lowest level for 21 months. This also represents a further fall since the index reached a series-record high at the beginning of this year when Q1 finished at 59.8.This latest fall is a reflection of both subdued domestic markets as well as slower, but still growing, export orders. Production posted a modest increase, according to the Markit/CIPS UK Manufacturing PMI figures, in June thanks to new product launches, being able to catch up on backlogs as well as the lack of Bank Holidays compared to earlier int he quarter. Jobs growth also slowed, with the rate of in

Posted by jack c @ 01:11 PM 13 Comments

Purchase restrictions and tight mortgage supply have muted demand

Bloomberg: China’s June Home Prices Ease in Eight of 10 Biggest Cities

Home prices in cities including Beijing and Shanghai either posted slower gains or declines from May, SouFun said in an e- mailed statement today. Hangzhou and Tianjin are the only two among the 10 biggest cities that reported gains following a drop in May, the nation’s largest real-estate website owner said.

Posted by mark @ 01:05 PM 0 Comments

This is an isolated incident and the London property market still offers fantastic value for money

BBC: Surveyor Mary-Jane Rathie guilty of London mortgage scam

A senior surveyor who took gifts worth £1m for her part in a £10m mortgage scam for London properties has been convicted of fraud at the Old Bailey..............David Durose, prosecuting, told the court that the surveyor, who worked with Ashdown Lyons, provided "dishonestly-inflated" valuations for a woman, who used them to secure mortgages from the Bank of Scotland. The offences relate to a riverside property in Chelsea; a flat in Belgravia, near Sloane Square and another at Chester Mews, at the back of Buckingham Palace, the jury heard. A fourth property was in the Docklands, east London, and a fifth in Pimlico, central London.

Posted by jack c @ 12:29 PM 0 Comments

Some great pics

Mainstreet: The Ugliest Real Estate Photos

A listing picture of a disgustingly dirty toilet is never in good taste and always a punishable real estate crime of the highest magnitude.

Posted by mark @ 12:24 PM 0 Comments

Prisoners in their own homes! Why doesn't the government do anything to help these poor people?

City Wire: Fears for property market as lenders restrict mortgage mobility

"The mortgage market is in real danger of stagnating because of lenders' restrictive affordability requirements and their desire to get rid of unprofitable business. Homebuyers are finding it increasingly difficult to ‘port’ their mortgages to new properties as banks and building societies tighten their lending criteria. In some cases the requirements are so tight that homeowners just give up trying to move, which means that the market is in serious danger of stagnating. Some of the worst hit are those homebuyers on interest-only deals and older borrowers, many of whom do not want to increase the size of their mortgages, but are being refused permission to transfer an existing mortgage to a new home on the grounds that the loan, which they have often been paying for years, is no longe"

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 12:23 PM 7 Comments

Overpriced just like house prices

Guardian: Kirstie and Phil's House Hunter – consumer app of the week

Kirstie Allsopp and Phil Spencer are best known for their property programmes Location, Location, Location and Relocation, Relocation. Allsopp had previously worked in magazines and interior design before launching a home search company in 1996, while Spencer founded a property search company in 1996, though it was subsequently hit by the downturn in the property market.

Posted by mark @ 11:46 AM 18 Comments

The state of the (buyer's) market

Henry Pryor: The Greek effect

The number of homes selling remains extremely low with just 2,194 selling across the UK every day (Source - HMRC). The long term average is 3,474 with 5,333 selling each day in February 2007. 5,115 new properties came onto the market every day last month, not too far short of the 5,244 that do normally although 8,210 were put on every day in May 2006. The number of months of unsold inventory (used as a guide to the ratio of homes for sale and the rate at which they are selling) over the last decade has averaged 12 months with a low of 7.6 months in December 2006. Today we have 15.4 months of stock.

Posted by dill @ 10:39 AM 6 Comments

When Wall St comes to Main St it's time to get out..

Telegraph: UK unveils first ATM for gold

Roll up..! roll up..! - buy 1g gold bars for £41 - a mere 35% above the current bullion price..

Posted by uncle tom @ 10:18 AM 38 Comments

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