August 2011 Archive

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Overpriced, overhyped

The Negotiator: Gap widens between asking and selling price

Prices continuing to fall but buyers are still expecting too much. Prices expected to fall further as demand at current asking prices weakens further

Posted by stuartking @ 09:14 PM 2 Comments

More lucid than the average talking head

Bloomberg: Robert Shiller on U.S. Housing, Economy, Stimulus

Robert Shiller, an economics professor at Yale University and co-creator of the S&P/Case-Shiller home-price index, talks about the U.S. housing market and economy, and his prescription for government action to boost growth and employment. Actually goes beyond housing and talks with insight.

Posted by sureseam @ 09:07 PM 0 Comments

Time to get out

Residential landlord: Buy to let property investment will be hit by rise in interest rates

Any small interest rate rises are forecast to hammer buy-to-let landlords and the same time as cuts to housing benefit are making many of them to look at ways to kick out tenants who can't entirely fund themselves. Quote: "31 percent of private landlords agree or strongly agree that they are worried about their ability to repay should buy to let mortgage rates begin to rise." The sooner BoE interest rates get back to something in the region of four-five per cent and mortgage rates around seven-eight per cent, the better. It'll shake out the Johnny-cum-lately greedies and maybe then house prices will have a better chance of returning to realistic levels

Posted by stuartking @ 08:20 PM 2 Comments

Beeb making the right noises. Finally...

BBC News: Q&A: What is wrong with the housing market?

Almost everything to do with the property market is a problem. New house building is at a post-war low, with just 134,000 new homes built in the UK in 2010, government figures show

Posted by amadeus @ 04:45 PM 0 Comments

Lenders have set up a formal arrangement with HMRC to cross-check borrowers income

BBC: Mortgage approvals start rising

Mortgage lending to house buyers is starting to pick up, according to the latest figures from the Bank of England. In July, a further 49,239 mortgages were approved, but not yet lent, to house buyers. That was the third monthly increase in a row and means approvals were 3% higher than in July last year.The figures suggest that sales may start to rise gently in the coming months.........Howard Archer, at IHS Global Insight, said activity in the housing market was still very low compared with "long-term norms". "With consumer confidence weak and the economic outlook currently looking pretty grim, we see little reason to change our view that modest falls in house prices are more likely than not over the coming months," he said.

Posted by jack c @ 04:20 PM 11 Comments

Soaring Swiss Franc crucifies "savy" UK investors

Financial Times: Homeowners hit by soaring Swiss franc

Thousands of British homeowners who were advised to out take foreign currency mortgages have been hit by the strong appreciation of the Swiss franc – and now owe far more on their loans than they did a few years ago.

Posted by european-bear @ 03:36 PM 0 Comments

Yeh... if the main bread-winner is a premier league footballer!

Estate Agent Today: Ordinary family homes in London now cost £1.5m, says Winkworth

Prices of family houses in all parts of London have shot up to average over £1m, Winkworth has reported.

Posted by rental john @ 03:26 PM 0 Comments

Debt debt debt

Yahoo: Britain In Debt 'Danger Zone'

Britain is the only major economy in the world to be comfortably beyond these danger points for all three of the major types of debt.

Posted by mark @ 12:54 PM 11 Comments

The number of property owners will drop to just 63.8%

Yahoo: Home Owners To Hit Lowest Level Since 80s

The National Housing Federation said the number of property owners will drop to just 63.8% as house prices soar, compared to 72.5% in 2001. The study says rising prices, the need for huge deposits and a tightening of lending criteria will force ownership numbers down.

Posted by mark @ 11:06 AM 2 Comments


North wales daily post: House prices fall as demand weakens across UK

The fall came as the number of new buyers registering with estate agents fell 1.2% in August, compared to 1.1% growth in July, as demand for new housing weakened, property analyst Hometrack said. Elsewhere, the survey showed the percentage of properties being sold for the asking price dropped from 92.7% in July to 92.5% in August, while sales agreed fell by 3.6% and the time properties were on the market increased to 9.5 weeks last month from 9.4 weeks in July.

Posted by mark @ 11:05 AM 4 Comments

Why housing WILL crash!

Mail Online: Why Britain is heading for a property crisis

In the UK housing slump of the early 1990s, the world situation wasn’t nearly so bleak as it is now, yet prices (in real terms) still fell by well over a third from peak to trough. These thoughts aren’t comfortable ones. Not for me, not for you, still less for George Osborne.

Posted by waitingfor hpc @ 08:55 AM 6 Comments


Daily Express: HOUSE PRICES TO SOAR BY 21%

HOUSE prices are set to soar by 21.3 per cent over the next five years, according to economists.In what is hailed as “fantastic” news for the property market, the average value of a home in England is expected to rise from the current £214,647 to £260,304 by 2016. Warning; Trying to find anything accurate in this article could result in you not doing much work today.

Posted by timmy t @ 08:06 AM 35 Comments

Build more homes

BBC News: Call for action on homes 'crisis'

The housing market will be plunged into "crisis"' without government action to address the "chronic under-supply of homes", a body representing housing associations in England has warned.

Posted by amadeus @ 04:07 AM 0 Comments

Monday, August 29, 2011

Land value tax makes the front page

Telegraph: Lib Dem tax plans target affluent areas

Front page of today'w Telegraph. "Vince Cable the business secretary yesterday hinted at a tax on land values that would hit big landlords." Woohoo! I just re-read a reply I got from Vince back in 2007 discussing general mishandling of house price inflation.

Posted by voiceofreason @ 09:43 PM 15 Comments

That's what I call a house price crash

Irish Journal: House prices continue to tumble

Irish house prices continued to fall last month, according to figures released by the Central Statistics Office. The average sale price fell 0.8% in July, putting the annual rate of decline at 12.5%. This was the 46th consecutive monthly drop in prices. House prices are now 47% below their peak, while apartments are 54% off their all-time high.

Posted by little professor @ 01:38 PM 4 Comments

Place your bets on ZIRP

Telegraph: Buying a house is cheaper than renting for first-time buyers

If interest rates were to rise by 1.5 per cent then buying would be level with renting again. Ms Thiru also said that the uncertain economy is putting many people off entering the property for the first time. “While these affordability gains are welcome, conditions in the housing market for those looking to get onto the property ladder remain challenging,” she said. Halifax's calculation of the monthly cost associated with buying a flat does not include the deposit, which averages £27,127 for first -time buyers. However the lender's calculation does include around £23 a month relating to interest that would be lost on that sum of money if it was saved in an interest bearing account rather than used as a deposit.

Posted by quiet guy @ 11:36 AM 5 Comments

Qe3 Is Now Due In September?

Zerohedge: Pavlov Rang the Bell

The sky is not going to fall in September He [Bernanke] said QE 3.0, without really saying it. The markets, seeing the enlarged schedule for the September meeting and interpreting the likelihood of heavy discussions, have gotten the message. Stocks threw off the daily mortal struggle that is life as Bank of America and bid for the QE future that is now September (good riddance to August apparently). Is it a good bet to buy into volatility now and sell after short terms gains in Sept? As the Americans certainly believe QE3 is just around the corner........

Posted by milton @ 10:27 AM 0 Comments

One for Mark Wadsworth

The Independent: Coalition divided over Cable's plan for land tax

It seems that the Land Value tax idea is getting some high level support, but mostly from the Left. Why don't more free-market right-wingers support it - because they or their friends or relations own lots of property? It would clearly reward hard work and innovation at the expense of the rentier class. The main drawback that I can see is that it would inevitably be imposed on top of income tax, NI, VAT and all the rest, not instead of them, just as all the environmental taxes have been.

Posted by monty032 @ 09:36 AM 18 Comments

YOY & MOM Negative for August

Reuters: House prices dip in August - Hometrack

Hometrack -house prices fell 0.1 percent on the month in August, leaving them 3.7 percent below the August 2010 level. "This is likely to accelerate the downward pressure on prices over the autumn."

Posted by enuii @ 12:40 AM 1 Comments

Sunday, August 28, 2011

"High house prices not necessarily a Good Thing" shocker

Guardian: Israeli activists squat empty buildings to protest over costly housing

Social justice activists have embarked on a series of lightning squats of unoccupied buildings as part of a six-week protest against rising rents and house prices in Israel. The protesters, who aim to "inspire a national squatting movement", unveiled Jerusalem's first "People's House" on Saturday night, occupying an abandoned state-owned building close to prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu's official residence. "We want those people who own apartments in Israel but only come to the country for two weeks a year to feel that if they leave their apartment empty, it'll be squatted, and so it's in everyone's interest if they rent them out instead."

Posted by little professor @ 04:07 PM 13 Comments

Bankers run out of cash for big bonus

Daily Telegraph: Christine Lagarde: EU banks must raise more cash

Christine Lagarde, the head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), has called for European banks to be forced to raise more cash as the world economy enters a "dangerous new phase" which could end in recession. More likely the bankers are starting to panic about the small size of there bonuses.

Posted by who stole my pension? @ 12:14 AM 7 Comments

Saturday, August 27, 2011

7 out of 10 are right!

Guardian: First-time property buyers caught between a mortgage deposit and a rental place

According to Rightmove, only 23% of people who intend to purchase a property in the next 12 months are first-time buyers, when 40% is considered normal for a healthy housing market. This drops to 17.6% in the south-west and Wales and is below 20% in five other regions across England and Wales: Scotland, the south-east, East Anglia, East Midlands, Yorkshire and Humberside. One of the chief reasons: "a worrying seven out of 10 prospective first-time buyers told Rightmove they feel property is over-priced in their area." I wouldn't say that was 'worrying', it's heartening that they are being fooled by the industry hype

Posted by stuartking @ 09:41 PM 7 Comments

An important battle for HPCers

Telegraph: National Trust accused of wilfully misleading public about Coalition plans

There has been a plethora of 'ministers v NT and CPRE' articles recently. If this gathers pace, it will be a very big step forward for HPCers. It will actually enable some commerce to take place in the 96% of England that is not urban. Otherwise, I think the rioters missed a trick, they should have been plying their trade in the country. Just like in the Weimar republic in about 1936.

Posted by voiceofreason @ 07:26 PM 8 Comments

Amazing what low rates can do

Telegraph: Mortgages at their most affordable since 1999

The proportion of our income going on mortgage payments is at its lowest level for 12 years. The typical mortgage payments for a new borrower both first-time buyers and home movers - at the historic average loan to value ratio stood at 28pc in the second quarter of 2011: according to research by Halifax, this is the lowest level since 1999 and down by almost half from a peak of 48pc of average disposable earnings in late 2007. Lower house prices and reduced mortgage rates - which have fallen since 2007 from an average of 5.84pc to 3.85pc - have been the main drivers behind the significant improvement in affordability. Also, the average deposit put down by buyers has increased over the same period from 20pc of the property value in 2007 to 25pc in 2011. Even London is more affordable

Posted by drewster @ 05:44 PM 7 Comments

Remember Norman (get on your bike) Tebitt now we have Grant (get on your boat) Shapps

BBC: Shapps urges councils to increase houseboat moorings

The government is offering councils financial incentives to allow more moorings for houseboats on waterways. Housing Minister Grant Shapps says new moorings could be eligible for the New Homes Bonus, which sees the government match council tax from new-build homes. He says houseboats could allow people to live in areas that otherwise might be out of their financial reach.

Posted by jack c @ 03:36 PM 7 Comments

Helicopter gone back to base. Is it a westland?

CNN: What Bernanke said in Jackson Hole

Here are his actual words. Reading and thinking abound.... ;). Here is an interpretation that seems (to me) to hit the nail on the head.

Posted by techieman @ 11:12 AM 6 Comments

Thought provoking article by ex-editor Charles Moore

Daily Telegraph: I'm starting to think that the Left might actually be right

"We are bust – both actually and morally." Amongst the hysteria some thoughtful words, all the more significant because of his right wing credentials. Mr Moore was on Newsnight last night, with Paul Mason and Danny Finkelstein, included was a meeting with The Guardian (and a BBC film crew). Apologies if this has already been posted - the original article is dated 22nd July. Question is, does it herald a return to one nation conservatism?

Posted by we're all in this together @ 10:58 AM 0 Comments

(Don't mention the 9% drop in the North East of England)


'BRITAIN’S property market has roared back to life with a triple dose of good news – rising prices, record low loan rates and mortgages at their most affordable for 12 years. House values in England and Wales rose by 1.3 per cent last month, the biggest monthly increase since January 2010. Nearly all regions of England and Wales saw prices rise, according to Land Registry figures. The biggest increase was 2.2 per cent in the South-west.'

Posted by hpwatcher @ 06:21 AM 11 Comments

Return of the 'canny' property buyer meme

Independent: New ways to get on the property ladder

First-time buyers are cannily pooling resources, asking for parental help and using part-buy schemes. Charlotte and Anna used help from their families to raise a deposit on a townhouse in Cardiff Bay. "We both knew we couldn't afford it on our own so it made sense to buy with someone who was in a similar position," explains Charlotte, 25. Housing minister Grant Shapps has urged lenders to further embrace the concept of so-called "mates mortgages."

Posted by little professor @ 02:28 AM 2 Comments

Friday, August 26, 2011

Can Ben REALLY do what he wants?

Bloomberg: Hoenig Says U.S. Should Focus on Fixing Finances, Fed Has Done All It Can

Three Dissenters Fisher was one of three regional bank presidents to dissent at the Fed’s most recent meeting this month, posing the most opposition on the FOMC in almost 19 years. The Dallas Fed head joined Charles Plosser of Philadelphia and Narayana Kocherlakota from Minneapolis in preferring to maintain a commitment to keep rates low for an unspecified “extended period.” Hoenig, who has led the Kansas City Fed since 1991, said he would probably oppose the idea of the Fed taking further action to stimulate the economy. He said he still continues to support the central bank’s dual mandate for achieving price stability and full employment. “The mandate is quite fine,” Hoenig said. “We need to follow the mandate.” This links to the

Posted by techieman @ 02:23 PM 16 Comments

Mr Weale from the B of E says says save more don't spend

This is money: Young face future of higher taxes to pay for parents who won't save, says BoE man

‘It does not make sense to plan for the future on the basis of the sort of returns generated only by a successful bet on an outsider winning the St Leger.’ He hinted that people needed to save an extra 10 percent of their income over a lifetime in order to have a reasonable retirement and should cut their consumption accordingly to fund it. IMO pumping such sums into Banks with interest rates at historic lows would also go a long way to propping up the banking sector and the city types it feeds.

Posted by enuii @ 01:59 PM 13 Comments

This time next year Merv, this time next year.

Daily Mail: Shops report worst trading for 40 years amid fears that fall in consumer spending will lead Britain back into recession

High Street stores are facing some of the worst trading conditions for 40 years – amid fears that the collapse in consumer spending could tip Britain back into recession. Optimism among retailers had slumped to its lowest level for two years following a dismal summer, said the Confederation of British Industry (CBI). Economists said the widespread riots also damaged confidence. And the boss of the Co-operative Group warned that trading conditions were the worst for decades.

Posted by general congreve @ 12:45 PM 3 Comments

Prices still up 1.3% in England and Wales in July though *smiley BBC face*

BBC News: North East leads house price fall says Land Registry

House prices in the North East of England fell by 8.8% in the year to July, as figures show that every region of England and Wales, except London, experienced an annual drop. Prices in the London have increased by 1.3% since July 2010, according to the figures from the Land Registry. Overall, the value of flats and maisonettes dropped most sharply. The average home in England and Wales cost £163,049 in July, up by 1.3% in the month but 2.1% down on a year ago. "This is the largest monthly movement since January 2010," the Land Registry said.

Posted by general congreve @ 12:13 PM 19 Comments

Are Investors Too Risk Averse? No. Are Investors Too Risk Averse?

Assets were priced to reflect a golden age that doesn’t exist. It was an illusion created by debt. But assets, equities and, in the U.K., residential real estate, are still considerably overpriced. It is absurd to say that everyone is overly risk averse when assets still cost too much and continue to be inflated by central bank policy above the levels economic fundamentals justify. Normality can’t return until asset prices reflect the real world; not the world central bankers would like to conjure up to prevent the pain of adjustment.

Posted by pbahra @ 12:00 PM 0 Comments


Land Registry: July House Price Data

The July data from Land Registry's flagship House Price Index shows an annual price decrease of 2.1 per cent which takes the average property value in England and Wales to £163,049. The monthly change from June to July is 1.3 per cent.

Posted by neil @ 11:54 AM 0 Comments

Are the political classes committed to recession?

Econospeak: It's the political economy, stupid

"there is no available mechanism to oust a political-economic elite whose interests have become incompatible with ours...the accretion of power by the rentiers has been systematic. It is...due to the transformation of corporations into tradable, recombinant portfolios of assets, increasing concentration of and returns to ownership. the pinnacle of longer think about production (or) the ultimate consumers; they take financial positions and demand policies that will see to it that these positions are profitable.The global restoration of profits post-2008 was not an accident...many of the profits, particularly in the financial sector...will later be found to be illusory. The institutions will be decimated, but those who owned, lent to or bet on them will be rich."

Posted by icarus @ 11:39 AM 19 Comments

Greece will face a desperate situation this autumn

Yahoo: Greek Church Warns Of 'Wave Of Poverty'

"We are at the beginning of the wave," he said. "At this moment, we just learnt that the tsunami is coming. In September we will see it, and next year we will see the results."

Posted by mark @ 11:26 AM 1 Comments

The playing field isn't level - but when has it been?

The Renegade Economist: Plutocracy - it’s Alien to me Sir

Unearned wealth and elite power are the foundations of minority privilege. The flip side is a vastly unequal society quite at odds with the aspirations of growing numbers of people for a more just and inclusive society.

Posted by neo-serf @ 11:18 AM 1 Comments

One for MW!

Moneyweek: Should we have a land value tax?

Land value tax has proponents from both the left and right wings of political thought. So should we implement it? Simon Wilson reports.

Posted by davethebox @ 10:23 AM 0 Comments

Thursday, August 25, 2011

More helicopter drops soon?

Reuters: BoE would do more QE if economy worsened - Weale

The Bank of England would engage in more quantitative easing should the economic situation deteriorate, MPC member Martin Weale said on Thursday. "The Bank of England remains concerned about inflation being off target but we do think, and I have changed my mind on this, that it can be brought back to target without an early increase in interest rates being desirable"

Posted by little professor @ 06:38 PM 9 Comments

For 'homeowner' read 'debt owner'.

This is Money: Low house prices trap a quarter of all mortgaged homeowners

A quarter of all mortgaged homeowners find it almost impossible to move house or take out a new deal. Figures from trade body the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) show that more than one in twelve borrowers — some 827,000 — are in negative equity, i.e. meaning they owe more on their mortgage than their house is worth.

Posted by rental john @ 03:55 PM 0 Comments

Will this achieve anything?

BBC: Tax deal with the Swiss defended by UK minister

From 2013, the account holders will also face an annual levy of between 27% and 48% on the income from their accounts, depending on whether it has arisen as capital gains, dividends or interest. However, critics have pointed out there is a chance in the next two years for people to move their money to tax havens to avoid tax. We are up to our ears in debt and need to increase tax revenues so what do we do, give people a couple of years to hide their stash somewhere else - brilliant! So presumably if there was a mass murderer on the run and the police knew where he was hiding, they would go on the news to say when they were going in to get him and be surprised when he wasn't there.

Posted by timmy t @ 02:28 PM 8 Comments

Profiting from commercial properties decline

MoneyWeek: Commercial property is in trouble, but here's how to profit

Britain's commercial property sector is struggling. David Stevenson explains why and tips a high-yielding share that should deliver profits, no matter how bad things get.

Posted by martingreen @ 12:00 PM 1 Comments

Inflation my ar&& - it is pure tax

Daily mail: Petrol at 2p a litre! But you have to go to Venezuela, as UK comes third in league of world's most expensive fuel

Drivers pay on average 135p a litre for petrol in the UK, but that's considerably less than the price faced by drivers in Norway's capital Oslo: at 164p a litre it has the most expensive petrol in the world.

Posted by mark @ 10:34 AM 6 Comments

Nothing Learned Whatsoever

Telegrapg: Market crash within weeks

more gearing,more debt,lower interest rates and higher bank bonuses.Things are not going back to 'normal' anytime soon..we need to realise we have to take the pain and start from scratch imo.We still are in a houseprice bubble...its gonna get very very nasty imo

Posted by taffee @ 10:14 AM 18 Comments

UK housing to fall 30% says Tullett-Prebon study

ArabianMoney: New Project Armageddon study forecasts 30% fall in UK house prices

A sweeping analysis of the outlook for the UK economy from Tullett-Prebon entitled ‘Project Armageddon’ predicts a ’slump of at least 30 per cent that would take the (price/income) multiple down to three times’. The 34-page strategy insight from the blue-chip brokers concludes that the government has made a critical error in projecting the maintenance of high rates of economic growth while cutting government expenditure. This will severely undermine efforts to tackle the highest debt mountain of any country, something hidden by the way official data is presented.

Posted by david smith @ 06:45 AM 0 Comments

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

HPC cancelled

Telegraph: Good news about hard-pressed homebuyers and house prices – from the bailiffs

Bailiffs say that thousands of British families are finally beginning to dig their way out of the debt crisis. The number of homebuyers in mortgage arrears who are repaying some of their debts is 43pc higher than it was two years ago. This suggests that the housing market will avoid repeating the 1990s crash. Adrian Coles, director general of the Building Societies Association, predicted a year ago that the 1990s housing slump would not be repeated. Plenty of people who dream of snapping up bargains after a house price crash [courteous link to HPC] accused him of wishful thinking at that time but events since then suggest they were the ones doing the wishing while he did the thinking. It is fair enough for those in rented accommodation to hope house prices will fall, but..... [read more]

Posted by drewster @ 06:08 PM 4 Comments

If you've got it - use it. Forget the debt - you're being had

Telegraph: Graduates now 'more likely to end up as cleaners', official figures show

Graduates are now more likely to work in low-skilled jobs as postal workers, hotel porters and cleaners compared to over a decade ago, official figures show.

Posted by dill @ 05:30 PM 3 Comments

As he loses grip on Libya... guess he must still find time to try to get back his property portfolio

CoStar UK: Gaddafi appoints lawyer to regain frozen UK commercial property

Colonel Gaddafi’s beleaguered regime has instructed Ilford legal firm Edwards Duthie to regain its frozen assets in the UK, thought to include an estimated £300m of London commercial property.

Posted by rental john @ 05:16 PM 0 Comments

Band Z Council Tax

Conservative Home: Re: Eric Pickles: A mansion tax would be a "big mistake"

There's a nice diagram showing taxes from worst to least bad, and the article concludes with this... "There are better ways of taxing wealth than the Liberal Democrats' original mansion tax. The FT (£) looked at one of those ideas earlier this week. Another simpler remedy might be a 'Z council tax band' for large properties."

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 04:34 PM 2 Comments

35 plus 25 year repayment mortage = retirement age

What Mortgage: Age at which buyers expect to buy first home: 35

"The average age of a first time buyer has been increasing steadily since the 1960s and new research from Post Office Mortgages has revealed that 35 is the average age that a prospective homebuyer now expects to be before joining the property ladder. The research tracked the average age of first time buyers since 1960, finding that those who bought their first home in the early 1960s were on average just 23 years old – significantly lower than today’s expected average age of 35. Women who do not yet own a property are slightly more optimistic than men, expecting to buy a home at 34, compared to the male expected average of 37 years old." Yup, that's fifteen years as a rent slave and then twenty five as a mortgage slave, then you can site on your high horse and berate young people.

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 03:25 PM 9 Comments

Contagion? More like a Financial Pandemic...

New Europe: A contagion of bad ideas

The Great Recession of 2008 has morphed into the North Atlantic Recession: it is mainly Europe and the United States, not the major emerging markets, that have become mired in slow growth and high unemployment.

Posted by rental john @ 03:18 PM 0 Comments

Debt advisor's clients in low-income/high-indebtedness shocker!

Houseladder: 'Many UK adults' failing to pay their mortgage

'Single middle-aged women on low incomes are finding it particularly hard to keep up with mortgage repayments, it has been shown.' In other news, Baker Street-dwelling detective in laxative requirement newsflash.

Posted by sibley's b'stard child @ 02:28 PM 6 Comments

Rejoice! Not only can we not afford to buy, we can't rent either

Telegraph: Rising rents force young people into flatshares

Young people priced out of buying a home are now finding rents unaffordable and are being forced to resort to sharing a flat.

Posted by crash n burn @ 02:14 PM 0 Comments

How dare the banks treat homeowners so unfairly!

Daily Fail: Can I rent out my house in secret and not tell my mortgage lender?

My bank just told me I have to pay an extra 1.5 per cent mortgage interest if I rent out my house. Do I have to tell it? Daily Mail replies: Yes. This seems pretty mean spirited.

Posted by drewster @ 02:14 PM 6 Comments

Zombie bank throws money around like confetti

Telegraph: RBS pay £2,000 per day for temp staff

RBS shouldn't even exist,yet they throw money around as if it didn't care...well guess what it doesn't care...if you bail people who are rubbish out,then they just do the same thing all over banned...bonuses still paid...why do we put up with it?

Posted by taffee @ 12:53 PM 12 Comments

Wealth destruction the new normal

City AM: Wealth destruction the new normal

WEALTH preservation is now the name of the game in the West. The challenge, for most people, is not to make more money: it is to try and preserve what they have. Declining equity and property prices, ultra-low interest rates, lowish pay rises, elevated inflation and increasing taxes are combining to squeeze nearly everybody. This shouldn’t come as a surprise: the UK economy shrank by about six per cent during the recession; and there has been far too much borrowing from future expected production to fund consumption today. A country that produces less (which is what it means to have a smaller economy) must consume less; the value of its land and companies will also be worth less.

Posted by teddy bear @ 12:24 PM 0 Comments

A Blast from the Past

Housing Finance: Home Ownership in Japan's Troubled Economy

Reviews the situation leading up to and the aftermath of Japan's big property crash in 1989-90. The astute reader may notice some apparent similarities to the UK's current situation. After 9 years housing and land prices had fallen by up to 69% in urban areas. Nequity totalled an estimated £7bn in Tokyo alone.

Posted by nickb @ 11:49 AM 8 Comments

The property ladder can be a trap

This is money: Low house prices trap a quarter of all mortgaged homeowners

A quarter of all mortgaged homeowners find it almost impossible to move house or take out a new deal. Figures from trade body the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) show that more than one in twelve borrowers — some 827,000 — are in negative equity, i.e. meaning they owe more on their mortgage than their house is worth. Yet a further 1.7 million, roughly 17 pc of mortgage holders, have less than 10 pc equity in their properties, according to Money Mail research. Many of these people took out mortgages with just a small deposit before the credit crunch, and are now trapped because their house price has fallen. Henry Pryor, an independent estate agent, says: ‘These people are prisoners in their own home and may be stuck on an expensive mortgage deal.’

Posted by quiet guy @ 08:34 AM 7 Comments

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Nimbies no more

Telegraph: Nobility cashes in on wind farm boom

This is the only online reference I've been able to find for an article in the printed edition of the Sunday Telegraph about the economic benefits available to landowners who build wind farms on their estates. Putting to one side the dubious economics of these constructions, isn't it remarkable that we are so reluctant to build housing in the sacred green belt but 410 feet high windmills are OK. The closing sentence is a corker: 'A spokesman for the Altyre estate said: "This wind farm will be built on a swathe of hill land which is otherwise redundant. Being able to put a wind farm on it... will enable [Sir Alastair] to maintain the estate for the benefit of the wider community."'

Posted by quiet guy @ 07:56 PM 12 Comments

No doubt tescos will replace the empty banks with more unwanted supermarkets

Daily mail: Banks close three branches a week:

The scale of bank branch closures was exposed yesterday when it was revealed that three are being axed each week. The big names – Santander, Barclays, HBOS, Northern Rock, Royal Bank of Scotland and NatWest – had 9,496 high-street outlets between them in 2009. But, according to a report from the British Bankers’ Association, 187 closed last year, cutting the total to 9,309.

Posted by mark @ 12:31 PM 27 Comments

Seems there are jobs being lost everywhere

Shropshire star: Shropshire dairy firm Uniq to shed 350 jobs

DAIRY FIRM Uniq is to shed 350 jobs at its Shropshire site, it announced today.

Posted by mark @ 12:15 PM 8 Comments

In an ominous sign for the housing market, the percentage of homeowners who have missed at least one

La times: Mortgage delinquencies rise for second quarter in a row

"It is clear that the downward trend we saw through most of 2010 has stopped," the mortgage bankers' chief economist, Jay Brinkmann, said after the report was released Monday. "Mortgage delinquencies are no longer improving and are now showing some signs of worsening."

Posted by mark @ 12:04 PM 4 Comments

Reality strikes

BBC News: UBS to cut 3,500 jobs worldwide

Swiss banking group UBS has announced it is to cut 3,500 jobs globally as part of its cost savings programme. Some 45% of the job losses will fall on its investment bank. No great loss to society I feel.

Posted by thecountofnowhere @ 12:00 PM 2 Comments

Pay more, for less.

Northampton Chronicle and Echo: Dozens of jobs to go at university of Northampton as restructuring leads to loss of post

"NEARLY 80 jobs are being axed at The University of Northampton, the Chronicle & Echo can reveal. Staff at the university were informed yesterday of the proposals which will see a string of redundancies triggered by the completion of the so-called Professional Services Review in June." Maybe they should re-brand as a poly.

Posted by thecountofnowhere @ 11:39 AM 0 Comments

"flat is fairly positive.”

Mortgagestrategy: Banks’ gross mortgage lending down 8% year-on-year

High street banks have reported gross mortgage lending of £7.6bn in July, 8% lower than the £8.3bn of lending in July 2010. On a monthly basis, gross mortgage lending remained largely stable compared to June. However, the number of remortgage approvals in July was higher than in June and 14% higher than July 2010. .The BBA says reports suggest that remortgaging may have been stimulated by some growth in the buy-to-let market. The BBC has a different approach to the BBA release

Posted by jack c @ 11:27 AM 4 Comments

What we need is more people in negative equity

Bloomberg: Persimmon Statement

“What we need to see is the 95 percent mortgage come back because first-time buyers are affected by that.” "The company has made provisions against further price declines of at least six percent" So he wants lending at 95% despite expecting falls of at least 6% - what could possibly go wrong?

Posted by timmy t @ 10:24 AM 25 Comments

Monday, August 22, 2011


Guardian: UK riots were product of consumerism and will hit economy, says City broker

The recent riots in London and other big cities were the product of consumerism and will have profound impacts on the economy, a leading City broker has said. Unusually for City analysts, the report by Tullett Prebon focuses on social and political rather than economic issues. It says: "The consumerist ethos, in which a materialist vision is both peddled and, for the vast majority, simultaneously ruled out by exclusion, has extremely damaging consequences, both social and economic."

Posted by dill @ 06:21 PM 9 Comments

Highly reliable data hot off the FT press New-build property prices plummet 21% in London

New data shows stark regional differences in new-build property prices. The average price of a new-build property fell in London by 21 per cent in the 12 months to July 2011 but average prices in England, Wales and Scotland rose by 1.4 per cent, monthly data from Smartnewhomes has shown. In London a new-build property would now cost £330,637 compared to £220,788 in Scotland, England and Wales. Annual average growth has fallen back from 3.4 per cent in May and June which is indicative of the summer lull in demand for property from buyers during the summer months and housebuilders incentivising sales Smartnewhomes claimed a drop in asking prices in July suggested homeowners were also taking a "more realistic" approach in a quieter market.

Posted by jack c @ 02:17 PM 8 Comments

If you pr*ck us, do we not bleed!

Guardian: Buy-to-let landlords: behind the bad image

I became a landlord when trading up the property ladder. Put simply, holding on to my one-bed flat (which I'd owned for six years), while purchasing a two-bed flat, made me chain-free and, therefore, a much more attractive buyer. Back in 2006, when the property market was going crazy, this was almost essential if I didn't want to get gazumped. I had to remortgage my one-bed flat to provide the deposit for my new place, so it has a pretty hefty mortgage on it. The rent covers the mortgage and the service charge (it's leasehold) but there's not much left over. I have friends who are landlords and none of them is loaded, either

Posted by sibley's b'stard child @ 01:01 PM 3 Comments

Having the impact that interest rate rises aren't?

BBC News: Home finances 'fell for 40% of households in August'

Almost 40% of households saw their finances deteriorate between July and August, according to a survey by the financial information company, Markit. The study, of 1,500 adults, showed finances worsened at their fastest pace since February 2009, in the middle of the last recession.

Posted by rantnrave @ 11:07 AM 16 Comments

Buy-to-let repossessions rose 12% in Q2 2011

Mortgagestragey: Dodgy clubs stoke rise in landlord repossessions

Rogue property clubs are fuelling a rise in buy-to-let repossessions, it has been claimed. Landlords who have purchased houses from property clubs advertising inflated rental yields are finding themselves unable to attract sufficient rental income to cover their mortgage payments. Data from the Council of Mortgage lenders shows the number of buy-to-let repossessions rose 12% to 1,900 in Q2 2011 ­ up from 1,700 in Q1. Ian Potter, operations manager at the Association of Residential Letting Agents, says that buy-to-let purchases made through unscrupulous firms are partly to blame for the increase in repossessions.

Posted by jack c @ 10:04 AM 3 Comments

That's more like it

BBC: Scottish house prices drop 3.7% in past three months

Scottish house prices fell by 3.7% in the past three months, according to Lloyds TSB Scotland. The bank's Scottish house price monitor reported the average Scottish house price was £152,565, almost the same level as early 2007. In the three months ending July 2011, the quarterly price index for the average domestic property in Scotland fell by 3.7%.

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 07:48 AM 2 Comments

Sunday, August 21, 2011

OMG - you couldn't make this up!

Telegraph: How can you afford that £8m home, Mandelson?

Lord Mandelson is poised to buy an £8 million home after taking up a lucrative post with an investment bank that is advising the Greek government on its financial crisis. While he has made money over the years with shrewd property investments, the source of much of Lord Mandelson’s wealth remains shrouded in secrecy.

Posted by enuii @ 11:11 PM 15 Comments

And how would you like these bonds rated, sir?

Counterpunch: The case against rating agencies

The dirty tricks used banks and their enforcers, the rating agencies, to force public bodies and utilities into debt and privatisation sell-offs in order to enable the banks and agencies to gorge on the public purse and on inflated user-fees. And why AAA mortgage ratings were given only to mortgages that were free of legal sanction against dishonest and inappropriate lending - leading to a junk mortgage and securitisation binge that blew up the financial system. Hudson says that debt, privatisation, austerity/recession and the erosion of social security, consumer rights and control of fraud are down to this parasitical duo.

Posted by icarus @ 01:15 PM 5 Comments

Your investment

Daily Mail: £40bn lost on the bailed-out banks, costing every family £1,500 after plunge in shares

The one-time banking giants were saved from collapse during the financial crisis with £65.8billion of public money. It was hoped the stakes would be sold for a healthy profit but shares in both banks have been hammered in the stock market turmoil of recent weeks. They are now worth just £26.6billion – meaning UK taxpayers are nursing a loss of £39.2billion, or £1,500 per household.

Posted by quiet guy @ 10:52 AM 11 Comments

Don't let house prices crash further

Irish Independent: Mortgage debt plan 'will save economy'

Call for mortgage debt write-downs or write-offs to reduce household debt... one leading economist describing the mortgage distress now being experienced by thousands of homeowners as the "biggest crisis the Irish economy is facing".

Posted by stuartking @ 10:45 AM 5 Comments

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Appeasing The Deluded

Daily Telegraph: House prices to rise 14pc to record highs by 2015

Rest assured folks, the Centre for Economics and Business Research has its finger on the pulse. All will be well. "The housing slump is over, according to the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR). The think tank has predicted that by 2015 house prices across the UK will have risen on average 14pc – to an all-time high."

Posted by finitegrowth @ 10:09 PM 0 Comments

"fools paradise"

Kent News: Low house prices lead to fewer repossessions

Chris Gardner, director of independent mortgage broker Obligo, said: “The current figures are being kept artificially low by two important factors – the interest rate is at a historic low and lenders have shown remarkable forbearance. “Together they have created a fool’s paradise, where people’s mortgage payments are comparatively low and lenders are being especially tolerant of late payers.

Posted by nuaulu @ 07:51 PM 0 Comments

Will prices be 40% less in 20 years time like Japan?

Telegraph: Bond markets signal DEFLATION

This is one scenario we people haven't even wanted to think about,but the japan lost two decades and deflation resulted in 75% drop in the stockmarket and 70% drop in property prices(now still 40% less)..some prime tokyo property fell 99%!..for me this is the only possible outcome to a massive credit bubble

Posted by taffee @ 04:42 PM 21 Comments

Stronger European rules on national deficits

Telegraph: Financial markets are overreacting, says EU president Van Rompuy

"Herman Van Rompuy, the President of the European Union, has warned investors against overreacting to the European debt crisis and US credit rating downgrade, and ruled out issuing eurobonds". "Speaking on Belgian radio station RTBF, Mr Van Rompuy ruled out issuing common eurobonds until what he described as “genuine budgetary convergence” within Europe". "Mr Van Rompuy said a six-part package of laws to strengthen European rules on national deficits is expected to be passed next month, with emphasis on an improved communications policy to boost investor confidence and dampen disagreements between governments".

Posted by alan @ 03:15 PM 0 Comments

In contrast to the Express front page - this is the local Journal front page

Newcastle Journal: Unrealistic homeowners forced to slash asking prices

HOMEOWNERS in the North East need to be more realistic when selling up after 40% were forced to slash prices by an average of £21,000. New figures show that the North-South divide continues to widen in the property market, with sellers in the region being forced to reduce valuations by much more than their southern counterparts.But estate agents say that with a cloud still hanging over the economy and banks reluctant to lend, even those cuts are not preventing a “backlog” in the region’s housing market. The figures make the grimmest reading for vendors in Newcastle where they have to knock an average of 8.2% off original values – the third highest nationally behind Bolton and Glasgow. Read More

Posted by jack c @ 01:50 PM 5 Comments

A Chance to Mingle with the Vested Interests

Southampton University: The European Conference on Banking and the Economy

29th Sept, £95 or free after 3:30pm, Winchester. "The role of banks has come under increasing scrutiny. The ongoing financial crisis has thrown a spotlight on their role as creators of credit and how their investment decisions determine how economies develop. This conference will explore the past, present and future role of banks and examine how the financial ‘operating system’ affects the economy, the labour market, asset prices and financial stability."

Posted by voiceofreason @ 11:52 AM 0 Comments

Pickles re-defines "middle-class" as living in a £2m house and earning over £150,000

Telegraph: Eric Pickles says no to higher property taxes for middle classes

n an interview with The Daily Telegraph, Eric Pickles, the Communities Secretary, states that hard-working home owners “put a lot into this country and don’t take a lot out”. He says that his Liberal Democrat Coalition partners have “got to understand” that introducing any form of so-called mansion tax would be a “big mistake”. He adds that the 50p higher rate of income tax should be scrapped so families can “keep more in their pockets”. His intervention will add to Coalition tensions ahead of the autumn conference season.

Posted by drewster @ 10:44 AM 13 Comments

Cable fails to convince cabinet colleague

Sky News: Pickles opposes mansion tax

"We as a Government have got to understand that middle-class families put a lot into this country and don't take a lot out," said Pickles.

Posted by greenmind @ 10:42 AM 2 Comments



'HOUSE prices will rise by 14 per cent over the next four years to reach a record high, economists have predicted in a shock report. In the strongest sign yet that the ­property downturn is over, they say the average British home will be worth more than £200,700 in 2015, up from the current value of £176,000.'

Posted by hpwatcher @ 06:17 AM 15 Comments

Financial Ice Age looms

A decade of economic winter: Business Spectator

Best-case scenario for Western economies is long-term austerity – a decade of Japanese-like economic winter. Don't contemplate worse cases. Perhaps it's time to re-evaluate those gloomy house price crash predictions.

Posted by stuartking @ 01:07 AM 1 Comments

Batten down the hatches

The Manufacturer: Weathering the storm

Advice to UK manufacturers from Mark Thompson, senior commercial dealer at Global Reach Partners, predicting a tightening of lending and worsening credit conditions. It ends with the wise words: "It is now more important than ever for manufacturers to protect margins and act defensively." So much for Gideon Osborne's much trumpeted 'manufacturing export-led recovery'. It doesn't look like we'll see much of that any time soon. Expect more bankruptcies, redundancies, short-time working etc, reduced spending power, more pressure on households trying to pay mortgages, more mortgage defaults and distressed selling of homes and more debt problems for banks. Still, the banks did manage to pay out massive bonuses again this year.. at least the recipients will be okay

Posted by stuartking @ 12:41 AM 0 Comments

Banking Crash II - as forecast here last night

Money Week: Another credit crunch looms

We can't afford another bank bail-out... so, should they be allowed to fail this time, get it over and done with? Quite what that will do to property prices, goodness knows, its uncharted territory, except on a small scale. One thing's sure, it ain't going to be pretty. As Roubini tweeted the other night - "When banks & deposits arent safe & govs are bankrupt time to buy canned food, spam, guns, ammo, gold bars & rush to your mountain log cabin"

Posted by stuartking @ 12:23 AM 1 Comments

Friday, August 19, 2011

Bring out your prejudices...

Daily Mail: Pensioner facing jail for refusing to pay full council tax' because she doesn't want to dip into her savings'

"The widow, who receives state and private pensions of around £9,000 a year, was brought to court for non-payment of council tax by South Norfolk District Council... Mrs Farrow who has no children and lives alone with her nine-year-old Alsation called Sheba vowed to continue only paying £25 a month as she did not think it was fair on her to pay more. Nita Eagle, the council's a debt recovery manager, said Mrs Farrow had been liable to pay a single payment of £95.21 and nine subsequent payment of £99 on her Band C property." Yup, she's happy taking £9,000 from the taxpayer each but she doesn't want to pay anything back into the pot. Look love, if you don't want to pay the Council Tax there are millions of young people who would be delighted to do so :-)

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 01:46 PM 17 Comments

Standard conveyancing searches – known as ‘Con29’

Telegraph: Buyer beware: thousands of house prices blighted

About 4,700 house prices will fall by a total of £97m if the proposed new high-speed railway between London and the West Midlands (HS2) goes ahead, experts claim, but many prospective buyers of these properties may be ignorant of the risks.Standard conveyancing searches – known as ‘Con29’ – only require local authorities to declare when a property is within 200 meters of the railway, although noise from trains could blight properties much further away than that.

Posted by jack c @ 01:22 PM 9 Comments said London was immune!

Estate Agent Today: Firm sold after collapse and administrators warn of other agents in trouble

The administration followed the failure of a Company Voluntary Arrangement. Following an extensive marketing campaign organised by independent agents Edward Symmons, a number of offers were received and a sale of the business and assets to Thamesview Estate Agents was achieved. Mick Sanders said: “The sale represents an excellent result for creditors and protects the jobs of 15 employees. Thamesview Estate Agency stood out as the ideal purchaser – knowledgeable, well-funded and able to move quickly. We wish them every success for the future. The sale also safeguards all client monies.” Sanders revealed that his firm is currently helping a number of estate agency businesses.

Posted by sibley's b'stard child @ 10:38 AM 7 Comments

Shortage of borrowers or lenders?

Daily Telegraph: New home lending in UK sinks further

The beleaguered housing market has taken another knock, with new lending to homebuyers 6pc lower in July than during the same period last month.

Posted by sureseam @ 08:06 AM 5 Comments

Tears of a clown...

Mail: UK house prices 'will hit all-time high by 2015' with average prices climbing by 14%

''Respected analysts the Centre for Economics and Business Research predict the typical home will be worth more than £200,000 by 2015, up from its current £176,000. Douglas McWilliams, CEBR chief executive, said the chronic lack of homes for sale is one of the main reasons that prices will start rising again. He said: ‘We do not expect a house price boom, but the housing shortage is likely to push prices gently upwards.’''

Posted by hpwatcher @ 07:10 AM 20 Comments

Some sense from the Guardian

Guardian: We've been warned: the system is ready to blow

For the past two centuries and more, life in Britain has been governed by a simple concept: tomorrow will be better than today. But this Black August has given us a glimpse of a dystopia, one in which the financial markets buckle and the cities burn. Like Scrooge, we have been shown what might come to pass unless we change our ways. Today marks the 40th anniversary of Richard Nixon's announcement that America was suspending the convertibility of the dollar into gold at $35 an ounce. A crisis that has been four decades in the making will not be solved overnight. The policies that will make decent wages in a full employment economy feasible are: capital controls, allowing strong trade unions, wage subsidies, and protectionism. There is strong ideological resistance to all of these.

Posted by drewster @ 02:36 AM 16 Comments

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Going down?

Zero Hedge: The Scariest Chart Ever: Philly Fed Versus Non-Farm Payrolls

Graph correlating the close relationship between non-farm payrolls (NFP) data and the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia Business Outlook Survey (OUTFGAF), suggesting a sharp downturn in business activity, which usually precedes a big increase in jobless. If the US goes back into recession, we'll surely follow. Tweeted by Robert Peston

Posted by stuartking @ 11:53 PM 0 Comments

Bank crash II looming?

Business Spectator: Lurching into a banking crisis

According to this article, and which is also mentioned by Bloomberg and Reuters, at least one of the major European banks is facing financing problems and could predicate another post-Lehman's-style freeze up of the interbank credit markets, with serious knock-on effects for, particularly, I guess, in the first instance, European and US economies. The author writes: 'I believe the fall in European and US markets overnight is the most serious setback the world has seen since the depths of the global financial crisis. There is a clear risk that the share market lows of that crisis will again be tested.' Can we afford to save broken banks again, without seriously damaging the economy further?

Posted by stuartking @ 10:32 PM 1 Comments

Despite strong rhetoric to the contrary, this has happened!

Sky: Markets Slump On Double-Dip Evidence

The slow recovery in world stock markets this week has been eroded over fears of double-dip recession. Germany shocked the markets on Tuesday when it reported growth of just 0.1% in its second quarter - lower than that of the UK. Analysts believe the knock-on effects of the Japanese tsunami in March hit the global supply chain harder than had been expected.

Posted by general congreve @ 04:13 PM 36 Comments

Bear Nibbles

FT Adviser: Mortgage market slumps in July

Gross mortgage lending for July falls six per cent compared to 2010 while mortgage applications fall by eight per cent on a monthly basis. Monthly mortgage lending data published today (18 August) by the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) show that lending for house purchases dropped by one per cent in July from June's figure of £12.7bn to £12.6bn. The drop means that July mortgage lending was some six per cent down compared to 2010, when the figure stood at £13.3bn...

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 10:41 AM 29 Comments

Qatar invests in slums of tomorrow.

Telegraph: London 2012 Olympics: Athletes' village sold to investment arm of Qatari ruling family

The joint deal, between real estate investment company Delancey and Qatari Diar, was worth £557m but latest budget figures show development of the village has cost £1.1 billion. The Olympic Delivery Authority, which sold the site, had already sold 1,379 of the village residences to Triathlon Homes for £268m back in 2009 with the intention of using them for affordable housing. However, insiders say this deal will ensure £324m of contingency monies are repaid, something that was in doubt for a while during the economic crisis. Delancey and Qatari Diar's plans for the site are to turn nearly all of their share of the 2,818 residences in the 11 blocks of the Olympic athletes' village into rental accommodation.

Posted by sibley's b'stard child @ 10:00 AM 11 Comments

Pressure in the boiler rises

Bloomberg: ECB Daren’t Blink First as It Stares Down Market Yields

"The European Central Bank needs to back up last week’s record purchases of government debt with further buying to prevent speculators from driving borrowing costs for Spain and Italy back up again". "The ECB may have spent around 12 billion euros in the second week of bond purchases, according to Harvinder Sian, an interest-rate strategist at RBS in London". (don't they need some 'elf and safety advice?). Robeco’s Penninga said “New investors need to be attracted. You are only going to attract them with higher yields".

Posted by alan @ 09:19 AM 9 Comments

Not again

The scotsman: Strathclyde is latest Scots victim of building slump

Unable to sell the over priced rubbish.

Posted by sosoon @ 07:50 AM 1 Comments

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Coalition destroys 200,000 jobs

New Statesmen: The Chancellor needs to get his facts straight

The increase in short-time and part-time working, means incomes and, therefore, spending is continuing to fall. Figures from the ONS show that nearly 200,000 full-time equivalent jobs have been lost over the past year, giving a lie to what Gideon Obsborne's quoted statement that "there is some good news, that employment, in other words people in work, that number is still going up. We are creating jobs in this economy as well as jobs being lost." And these workers are supposed to be saving up to buy a home, pay for a private pension and save for a rainy day, as well as cope with rampant inflation which is further destroying the value of the earnings.

Posted by stuartking @ 08:01 PM 13 Comments

Marx was partly right, says Nouriel Roubini

Project Syndicate: Is Capitalism Doomed?

Globalization, financial intermediation run amok, and redistribution of income and wealth from labour to capital are leading capitalism to self-destruct. Advanced economies need to invest in human capital, skills and social safety nets to increase productivity and enable workers to compete, be flexible and thrive in a globalized economy. The alternative is – like in the 1930s - unending stagnation, depression, currency and trade wars, capital controls, financial crisis, sovereign insolvencies, and massive social and political instability. This analysis of the Western world's economic ills can't do much for confidence in the housing market.

Posted by stuartking @ 06:55 PM 11 Comments

Too Bearish

Money Week: Are we too bearish on house prices?

It all adds up to an environment in which house prices are very unlikely to rise and very likely to fall. They may not fall fast in nominal terms from here – their fall is being held back by the low rates being paid by existing mortgage holders and by lender forbearance. But fall they will. How much?

Posted by keep walking @ 02:26 PM 1 Comments

Total lack of planning for human use

BBC: Why does regeneration create so many ugly buildings?

For better or worse, the buildings of the 1960s were designed from the inside out. Even the most reviled of blocks contain spacious apartments. Even the most alarming crumbling concrete hulks have residents who will say: "But they're lovely inside." The new blocks are designed from the outside in, irregular windows and brightly-coloured cladding hide the tiny, mean proportions and a total lack of planning for human use. Now the cladding materials are falling off and the debts on the buy-to-lets are being called in.

Posted by ontheotherhand @ 01:49 PM 4 Comments

"how the market has changed"

Mortgagestrategy: Economic Tracker - August 2011

MS monthly economic tracker provides data and commentary on the health of the housing market. Gross mortgage lending reached a height of around £363bn in 2007, before falling sharply to £143bn by 2009 as lenders’ access to credit shrunk and fewer mortgages were granted. By 2010, this had stabilised somewhat and lending fell only slightly to £136bn. The stabilisation seems to have continued into 2011 and in the first half of the year, lending totalled £63.7bn, which is similar to the £64.1bn figure for the first half of 2010. Lots of graphs, trends and numbers for regulars to get stuck into !

Posted by jack c @ 12:09 PM 4 Comments

Soaring prices for pork, vegetables and other staples have authorities worried about the potential

LA times: China feels after-effects of economic stimulus

Beijing's massive program to shield its economy from fallout from the financial crisis has fueled inflation. Many construction projects, including malls and office towers, sit nearly empty

Posted by mark @ 11:01 AM 12 Comments

Now who's going to buy all those over-priced houses?

BBC: UK unemployment total increases to 2.49 million

The number of unemployed people in the UK rose by 38,000 to 2.49 million in the three months to June, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) has said. The unemployment total is now at its highest level since February 2010, and the jobless rate has risen to 7.9%. The number of people claiming Jobseeker's Allowance rose by 37,100 in July to 1.56 million, its biggest increase since May 2009.

Posted by sibley's b'stard child @ 10:29 AM 19 Comments

Come back Sentance...

BBC: Bank of England MPC unanimous in holding interest rates

All nine of the Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) voted to keep interest rates on hold at its August meeting. Two members who had regularly voted for an increase to ward off rising inflation ditched their stance in the face of a weaker economic environment. The vote means interest rates are likely to stay at the current record low of 0.5% for the foreseeable future.

Posted by sibley's b'stard child @ 10:07 AM 4 Comments

Crisis - what crisis?

BBC: Franco-German call for 'true euro economic governance'

"Speaking at a joint news conference, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy urged much closer economic and fiscal policy in the eurozone. Ms Merkel said that further integration would be a "step-by-step" process."

Posted by uncle tom @ 09:25 AM 8 Comments

Oh dear

Mail Online: Burt Reynolds to lose his Florida mansion after falling £700,000 behind on his mortgage

Burt Reynolds, once one of Hollywood's highest-paid stars, faces eviction from his Florida home after failing to pay the mortgage.

Posted by paranoia blue @ 06:19 AM 2 Comments

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

It intends to “exit” the UK credit card market

Liverpool daily post: 4000 Bank of America jobs at risk in Chester after credit card plan announced

The news came as a shock to staff who were summoned to a company-wide meeting at the bank’s Chester Business Park European head office yesterday lunchtime.

Posted by mark @ 02:31 PM 6 Comments

Light at end of the tunnel for the Priced Out Generation

Daily Mail: Downsizing fears haunt the over-50s who fear they must sell to cover cost of living

"Millions of over-50s fear they will be forced to sell their family home to cope with the soaring cost of living, research reveals today. One in five worry they will have to ‘downsize’ to generate enough cash to pay the bills, according to a report from Saga. They fear that the rising price of everything from domestic energy to petrol and food, as well as higher taxes and rock-bottom savings rates will squeeze them to the point where they will have to sell up." Righty-ho. They'll not get much sympathy from me, as these are exactly the people who expect young people to pay all these costs, pay for bringing up children AND to vastly overpay for a house.

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 12:49 PM 22 Comments

NIMBY subsidy of the week

BBC: Rural broadband funding ready for England and Scotland

"We don't want to live in smelly towns with the little people, but we'd like them to cough up half a billion quid to boost the resale prices of our hosues by several thousand pounds"

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 11:35 AM 15 Comments

More debt needed to pay for everyone

Northampton Evening Telegraph: Providing care for young asylum seekers to cost county an extra £1.2m

Providing care for young asylum seekers to cost county an extra £1.2m. Great...can't afford my own kids but now I'm paying for other nationals children to come here to live.

Posted by thecountofnowhere @ 10:31 AM 0 Comments

"Mervyn King is writing another letter to the chancellor"

BBc: UK inflation accelerates in July

The UK government's targeted rate of inflation rose in July, figures show. The rate of Consumer Prices Index (CPI) inflation rose to 4.4% from 4.2% in June, although the Retail Prices Index (RPI) measure was unchanged at 5%. Bank of England governor Mervyn King is writing another letter to the chancellor to explain why CPI inflation remains well above the 2% target rate. The governor must write a letter every three months if CPI is more than one percentage point above the target. The Bank of England said last week that it remained confident that inflation would return to its target level in the next two years.

Posted by jack c @ 09:51 AM 25 Comments

Inflation CPI 4.4%, RPI 5.0%, BOE = 0.5%

ONS: Inflation report 16th August

CPI annual inflation – the Government’s target measure – was 4.4 per cent in July, up from 4.2 per cent in June. There was not one component that drove the increase in CPI annual inflation between June and July. Instead, upward pressures came from a number of different ‘areas’, the largest being: miscellaneous goods & services where the upward pressure came from a wide variety of goods and services but by far the largest contribution came from financial services where, overall, fees rose this year but fell a year ago, particularly for arranging mortgages housing & household services where the largest effect was due to increases in housing rent, particularly for social housing provided by registered social landlords

Posted by khards @ 09:48 AM 0 Comments

-2% over the year but increased by 0.6 per cent over the month (seasonally adjusted).

DCLG: House Price Index - June 2011

The key points from the release are: In June UK house prices decreased by 2 per cent over the year but increased by 0.6 per cent over the month (seasonally adjusted). The average mix-adjusted UK house price was £204,981 (not seasonally adjusted). Average house prices were 0.5 per cent lower over the quarter to June, unchanged from the quarter to March (seasonally adjusted). Average prices decreased during the year in all UK countries; England (-1.8 per cent), Wales (-5.6 per cent), Scotland (-2.3 per cent) and Northern Ireland (-8.1 per cent) Prices paid by first time buyers were 2.2 per cent lower on average than a year earlier and prices paid by former owner occupiers also decreased by 2 per cent. Prices for new properties were 3.2 per cent higher on average tha

Posted by khards @ 09:37 AM 3 Comments

Understanding an amateur landlord

Guardian: Diary of a tenant

He seems truly flummoxed. Friends who either are or have been landlords ask: doesn't he have landlord insurance; didn't he allow for gaps in occupancy, as tenants can do a runner, lose their jobs or even die? Buy-to-let involves risk; it's not a guaranteed money-making machine, they explain.

Posted by mountain goat @ 08:22 AM 7 Comments

You can't eat money (or Gold)

Natural news: Why is George Soros selling gold and buying farmland? Learn more:

That's because demand for food is accelerating even as radical climate changes, a loss of fossil water supplies, and the failure of genetically engineered crops is actually reducing food yields around the globe. Ceres Partners, which invests in farmland, has produced astonishing 16 percent annual returns since its launch in 2008. And this is during a depressed economy when most other industries are showing losses. Learn more:

Posted by happy mondays @ 07:43 AM 29 Comments

Down 17% since 2007

LSL Property Services and Acadametrics: With a further fall in July UK house prices are down 17% in real terms since 2007

Why are we still only down 17% in 4 long years? And a good 3 years of dispair before. It's a long haul waiting for the elusive HPC.

Posted by voiceofreason @ 06:18 AM 3 Comments

Monday, August 15, 2011

They don't like it up em!

Estate Agent Today: Gap between asking and selling prices finally starts to narrow

Bit of resistance from the usual suspects over Shipside merely reporting the numbers. Asking prices down a mere 4.1% since peak, completions in the gutter at a fraction of peak, draw the obvious conclusion (unless you're a VI).

Posted by montesquieu @ 08:30 PM 3 Comments

Land Value Tax shift

HM Govt: E-petitions

To introduce Land Value Taxation, an annual tax on the rental value of land, as the chief source of government revenue to replace existing sources of taxation including income tax, VAT and Council Tax.

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 06:27 PM 18 Comments

Protect-my-pile preservationists

Homebuilding and Renovatving: Planning Controversy

Comment on media hysteria about how the shake-up in planning laws will impact on the country.

Posted by ontheotherhand @ 04:20 PM 5 Comments

Non-English speaking family on benefits in Coventry move to West Hampstead

Telegraph: Family on benefits move into £2 million home

Taking advantage of housing benefit rules introduced by the last Labour Government, jobless Saeed Khaliif, 49, his wife Sayida and their children have been able to set up home in fashionable West Hampstead, an area beyond the reach of many well heeled house-hunters in the capital. The family, who had been living in a semi-detached house in Coventry, were able to move south and sign what is believed to be a £2,000 a week lease for the six bedroom property despite having no connection with their new area.

Posted by micasasucasa @ 12:44 PM 13 Comments

Only two in five? How about going to six in five?

This Is Money: Two in five home sellers forced to cut asking prices as reality bites

Two in five properties currently up for sale have had their asking prices cut at least once as home buyers play the waiting game. Buyers taking advantage of the continuing slump in home sales to test sellers’ resolve are seeing their strategy pay off – with the average price reduction of £18,500 shaving 7.1% off the original asking price. The 38.6% of properties sitting on estate agents’ books that have had their prices cut is up from 37% three months ago and 32% a year ago. The research by property listing website shows that even Millionaires’ Row is not immune from the buyers’ market – with 27% of all £1 million-plus homes on the market having had their asking price cut.This is up from the 25% three months ago and 22% a year ago that had seen cuts

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 12:14 PM 4 Comments

Another re-hash of the Rightmove press release

BBC: House sellers drop prices for the second month in a row

"Sales have been held back by the reality gap in the market, with asking prices rising for most of this year while selling prices have been flat. However, Rightmove says asking prices dropped by 2.1% this month after a 1.6% fall in July. The average asking price of £231,543 is now 14% higher than the average £203,528 selling price. That selling figure comes from the government's own monthly house price survey, produced by the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG). The gap between asking prices and selling prices is even wider if data from other house price surveys is used..."

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 10:19 AM 1 Comments

Austerity with growth ?

Mail: Bosses warn of a jobless timebomb: Unemployment 'will start to rise again this year' Read more:

If the number out of work starts to rise again, having steadily fallen over the last year, it will be a serious blow to the Government’s attempts to kickstart growth. Read more:

Posted by happy mondays @ 08:35 AM 2 Comments

Wishful thinking?

Express - hahahahah: MORTGAGE JOY FOR MILLIONS - interest rates to 0.25%

''HOMEOWNERS are set to enjoy a huge boost with mortgage costs plummeting under plans to take interest rates to a record low, experts said yesterday. Millions on tracker deals would see £600 slashed off their yearly repayments should the Bank of England take the rate down to 0.25per cent. And it would be good news for those on fixed-rate deals, with lenders forced into a price war to attract new customers.''

Posted by hpwatcher @ 07:32 AM 12 Comments

Rightmove: -2.1%MoM, -0.3%YoY

Bloomberg: London House Prices Plunge Most in a Year as Market Rout Hits Confidence

National asking prices were down 2.1% on the month, and down 0.3% from a year ago. In London, prices fell 3.4% on the month, but were up 3.2% from last year. Rightmove said "In London, prices probably won’t continue to fall at the same rate as in August as the market is seen internationally as a safe haven in times of financial upheaval.”

Posted by little professor @ 06:52 AM 7 Comments

Sunday, August 14, 2011

YoY Finally Negative!

Rightmove: Rightmove Asking Prices August 2011

August’s sellers drop average asking prices by 2.1% (£5,054), and year-on-year prices edge down for the first time since September 2009 (-0.3%).

Posted by rantnrave @ 11:30 PM 1 Comments

Highly consistent performance by the MPC

Telegraph: Bank of England Governor Sir Mervyn King to issue seventh inflation apology in a row

The quarterly correspondence between the Governor of the Bank of England and the Chancellor has become a regular event as inflation has been above target for most of the last three years. The Office for National Statistics is expected on Tuesday to reveal that the consumer prices index of inflation in July was 4.3pc, a slight increase on June's 4.2pc but more than double the Bank's 2pc target.

Posted by quiet guy @ 02:01 PM 6 Comments

Indian Banks taking over unperforming loans

Retuers: Debt-laden companies push Indian banks to limits

ICICI Bank's takeover of a stake in a debt-laden telecom tower firm is an ominous sign of things to come as India's slowing economy and slumping shares erode the value of collateral on loans that companies are struggling to repay. More interestingly, the shares are in these companies are set as collateral for other loans. So when the price falls, the other performing sector will also fall in the dominos affect.

Posted by deepak @ 01:10 PM 5 Comments

East is not going to save the world economy

Reuters: SBI posted a 46 percent drop in net profit

State Bank of India expects a stronger second quarter after provisions for sour loans coupled with treasury losses led to a second straight drop in quarterly profit for the country's top lender. As I have mentioned a few times now, if you think West has a bubble you have seen nothing yet. East has a bigger and more non performing assets

Posted by deepak @ 01:02 PM 1 Comments

Torries to pull Nations pants down to aid the plight of the well off have

Bbc news: George Osborne seeks Revenue check on 50p tax rate

George Osbourne seems set to support Borris Johnsons recent campaign to subsidise to well off with a generous tax break. Mr Osbourne said of the recent social problems affecting the huge and growing economic underclass of England, 'f*ck you, f&ck you all' and when asked to justify the urgency of cuts to social services for the poor in order fund the 'deficit' reduction plan, while supporting a tax cut for his chums,he replied, 'f*ck you'. Its funny, given that the 50p rate clearly brings in no revenue for the Government, that people would bother objecting to paying it. If nothing is brought in, surely nobody is having to pay it, and therefore what is the benefit of getting rid of it?

Posted by tick tock @ 11:55 AM 18 Comments

Government under pressure to deflate house bubble

CNN: Thousands of Israelis protest soaring house prices

Surprised this hasn't been covered on this blog. Tens of thousands of Israelis have been protesting for several weeks against high house prices, leading to the government announcing measures to try to deflate the housing bubble, including a massive building project and increased property taxes. Hard to imagine Britishers demanding the same - we seem to be programmed to view high house prices as a good thing, even though it means we get yoked to ever-higher mortgage debts just to get a roof over our head.

Posted by little professor @ 10:39 AM 18 Comments

Shut up Nimbys..

Daily Telegraph: 75,000 homes to be built on England's Green Belt

Countryside campaigners fear a controversial shake-up of the planning laws will be used to drive through proposals to build 75,000 new homes on protected Green Belt land. I personally fear it won't happen - if there's a need for property there's a need for property, bring the price of existing stock down, or build more to let it happen through supply and demand..

Posted by max_disillusioned @ 08:39 AM 0 Comments

Property soap drama

DM: Tycoon's drink-driving son killed wealthy couple

He had built up a small property portfolio which had suffered due to the economic downturn. This led to him being made bankrupt. Jonathan Knowles, 33, who had been drowning his sorrows a day after being made bankrupt, staggered into his mother’s £60,000 Mercedes sports car and ploughed into Alan and Rochelle Bernard. Yesterday Knowles, whose father John is an industrial property tycoon, was jailed for seven years.

Posted by peter_2008 @ 01:58 AM 7 Comments

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Does nobody check anything anymore or does this happen on purpose on a friday ONS error overstates construction growth five-fold

Strange how these errors happen on a friday and are then corrected just as everyone has gone home for the weekend. Anyway output in the second quarter grew by just 0.5% rather than the 2.3% stated this morningwith the net result that the government would be able to revise upwards the overall GDP for the second quarter by 0.1 percentage point. With regard to construction this now means that rather than registering year-on-year growth of 0.8%, the sector is now 1.6% down from a year ago. Apparently "The problem arose when the ONS used data in the wrong cells of its construction spreadsheet".

Posted by enuii @ 11:02 PM 1 Comments

Alvin not in touch with the new reality

BBC: Poorer Than Their Parents

The financial guru meets the son of a buy-to-let landlord who's been priced out of the market while his father is relying on his property portfolio to fund his retirement. But will he be able to sell them when would-be first-time buyers like his son are struggling to raise the necessary deposit? Alvin Hall also assesses whether a Government scheme to build homes for £60k helped make them more affordable to young people. He asks what lessons the initiative offers to future policy makers seeking to lend a hand to first-time buyers.

Posted by gone-to-colombia @ 02:30 PM 11 Comments

Friday, August 12, 2011

Caught In A Trap

Index Universe: Caught In A Trap

Are record low government bond yields in the UK really a cause for celebration, George Osborne? Debt management may be easier, but the government's liabilities for public sector pensions are ballooning out of control.

Posted by paul amery @ 05:19 PM 0 Comments

Going in the right direction..

BBC: Construction growth in UK stronger than thought

"Construction accounts for about 6% of economic output in the UK" - and that's only those directly involved - the trickle down is huge.. ..if we double the construction rate, and get our own unemployed on site (instead of armies of Poles..) the recession and deficit can be beaten..

Posted by uncle tom @ 12:03 PM 10 Comments

One rule for them...

BBC: Four EU nations ban short-selling on banking stocks

France, Italy, Spain and Belgium have banned short-selling of the shares of banks and other financial companies. Maybe my view on this is over-simplistic, but here it is... If Short selling is a legitimate business activity then it should be allowed. If it is open to abuse by traders which can bring companies down then it should be banned. Banning it for banks seems to imply the latter, in which case why is it only banks which are protected?

Posted by timmy t @ 09:25 AM 37 Comments

Building cost mystery solved

BBC: Low-cost housing plan for first-time home-buyers falls flat

My first post since becoming a VI. I had always wondered how much it cost to build a house. Now we know £85000 The estate agent reckoned the rebuilding cost of my bungalow would be about £70000. So over 2/3rd of the value is in the land.

Posted by tenyearstogetmymoneyback @ 08:46 AM 12 Comments

We are fleeced big time: left, right and centre

G Pytel: Credit ratings: wealth transfer mechanism from taxpayers to private corporations

City folks: read and cheer you up if you suffer from Friday blues tonight.

Posted by ant @ 08:21 AM 12 Comments

Acadametrics: -0.1%MoM, -2.6%YoY

Bloomberg: U.K. House Prices Fall to 19-Month Low as Loan Restrictions Deter Buyers

U.K. house prices fell to the lowest level in more than 1 1/2 years last month as banks’ requests for larger deposits deterred first-time buyers, Acadametrics Ltd. said. While transactions in July rose 5 percent to 60,000 from June, that is still only about 58 percent of the long-term average, they said. "There is little to suggest the market will change greatly in the next few months,” Williams said in the report. “Recent events continue to erode both confidence and the prospects for growth in house prices or indeed for the wider economy.”

Posted by little professor @ 03:53 AM 17 Comments

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Believe It When I See It!

Daily Mail: I'll beat forces of stagnation holding back economy, says Osborne

George Osborne will launch a crackdown on ‘the forces of stagnation’ holding back the economy this autumn after admitting the recovery will be longer and harder than he hoped. ‘There is much more we can do, much more that we must do if we are to create a new model of sustainable growth. We must rise to that challenge in the months ahead and confront the vested interests. They are the forces of stagnation that stand in the way of growth.’ That was an attack on the National Trust and the Campaign for the Protection of Rural England, which are opposing Coalition plans to relax the planning laws.

Posted by khards @ 10:19 PM 11 Comments

All right for some... How property millionaires are ripping us off by living in social housing

How one millionaire businessman, who owns eight other properties including a £2m home, and one London councillor, who owns 17 other properties, are living in social housing meant for the poorest sections of society. The story ends: 'How many more are out there? And I'm not talking about the low-level benefits scrounger trying to pull the wool over the council's eyes, I'm talking, wealthy individuals who are just plain greedy and ripping the rest of us off. Makes you laugh at the Government proclamations at a time of austerity that 'we're all in this together'. It's simply not true.'

Posted by stuartking @ 07:38 PM 4 Comments

No room at the social housing inn Shacked up in a slumdog future?

Report suggests families could soon finding themselves living in shanty towns, similar to many parts of the developing world, as squeeze on earnings, lack of jobs, rising costs of living and rents, lack of new social housing and falling housing benefits are set make even the so-called 'affordable' unaffordable for many

Posted by stuartking @ 07:28 PM 4 Comments

"..confront the vested interests.."

HM Treasury: Statement by the Chancellor of the Exchequer

"But these events did not come out of the blue. They all have the same root cause. Debt. In particular, a massive overhang of debt from a decade-long boom when economic growth was based on unsustainable household borrowing, unrealistic house prices, dangerously high banking leverage, and a failure of governments to put their public finances in order. Unfortunately, the UK was perhaps the most eager participant in this boom, with the most indebted households, the biggest housing bubble, the most over-leveraged banks and the largest budget deficit of them all."

Posted by dill @ 03:05 PM 6 Comments

+++ Tenants entirely unaffected by riots +++

BBC: David Cameron: Police admit they got riots wrong

"The police admitted they got their riot tactics wrong, the prime minister has said, as he announced measures to help homeowners and businesses."

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 01:53 PM 34 Comments

A few 1000 empty homes soon

Manchester evening news: We’ll kick rioters out of homes, say town halls

Housing associations have now been asked to stop the tenancies of anyone found with stolen goods.

Posted by mark @ 01:49 PM 7 Comments

Forced sellers? You're on notice..

Guardian: Home repossessions fall, but UK faces 'arrears timebomb'

Quote a good summary IMO although the bullish BTL comments grate a little..

Posted by richy richless @ 12:21 PM 3 Comments

At long last...

The Move Channel: The residential property market in Australia stood out like a safe beacon as those in the rest of the world slumped but now the real estate industry is suffering a slide.

The residential property market in Australia stood out like a safe beacon as those in the rest of the world slumped but now the real estate industry is suffering a slide. Property prices in state capitals have fallen for the sixth straight month in a row amid warnings rising interest rates could accelerate the slide further and financial market volatility could also affect prices. Nationally values fell 0.2% in June, according to the latest RP Data-Rismark Hedonic Home Value Index. This follows a fall of 0.3% in May, 0.4% in April and 0.5% in March. House prices in Australia are considered to be too high, having risen sharply over recent decades amid easy credit conditions. Global investors are keeping a close eye on what many perceive is the Achilles heel of the economy.

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 10:55 AM 1 Comments

King: Savers MUST pay - 'losses caused by vast debts to be "shared between creditors and debtors'

BBC: UK growth is now in China's hands

There should be no doubt in anyones mind about what Mervyn King is going to do '...only one way for the world to go, said the Bank's Governor Sir Mervyn King: for the pent-up losses caused by the vast debts amassed in the boom to be "shared between creditors and debtors". This, he said, meant "in the world economy between creditors in the East and debtors in the West, and within the euro-area between creditors in the North and debtors in the South". '

Posted by hpwatcher @ 08:14 AM 27 Comments

Borrowers still have the whip hand Average five-year fix falls below 5%

The average five-year fixed rate mortgage has dropped below 5% for the first time since Moneyfacts started recording rates in 1988, with further falls expected this year. Moneyfacts figures revealed today that the average five-year fixed rate mortgage stands at 4.99%, down from a recent high of 6.24% in September 2009 since base rate fell to 0.5%. In addition, average two-year fixed rates have fallen from 5.18% in September 2009 to 4.24% today, while the average three-year fixed rate has dropped from 5.61% to 4.74%. Moneyfacts highlighted that the cost of funding fixed rates through the swap rate market has dropped to an all-time low, leading to some of the lowest mortgage rates ever on offer.

Posted by quiet guy @ 12:48 AM 0 Comments

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Quite a busy day behind the rioting smokescreen

Telegraph: Worldwide markets tumble on French downgrade rumour

Mr Sarkozy has cut short his holiday to hold an emergency meeting with France's finance minister Francois Baroin amid speculation that the country's triple-A rating could be cut. Which will leave only 12 AAA rated countries plus the minnows Isle of Man, Singapore and Luxembourg.

Posted by enuii @ 10:13 PM 0 Comments

I think somebody tipped problems at this bank a while back on this blog...

Bbc news: Commerzbank profits hit by Greek debt writedown

Commerzbank, Germany's second largest bank, has seen its second quarter profits all but wiped out by a 760m-euro ($1.1bn; £676m) writedown of its Greek debt.

Posted by tick tock @ 08:36 PM 6 Comments

But will people buy houses as a hedge?

Bloomberg: Commodities Jump as Gold Tops $1,800 on Low Interest Rates

"“The race to debase currencies is on,” James Dailey, who manages $185 million at TEAM Financial Management LLC, said in a telephone interview from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. “Gold will continue to appreciate until there is a fundamental shift in the US government policies.” (at what point will people buy houses?)

Posted by alan @ 07:10 PM 22 Comments

Are rioters taking example of the establishment?

G Pytel: City thieving reached Inner City

The social breakdown started at the top. The riots in Britain show that it reached the botto,.

Posted by ant @ 04:29 PM 25 Comments

But this is what we wanted, isn't it?

Daily Mail: Three-quarters of homebuyers fear interest rate hike that could 'push them over the edge'

Isn't the whole point of Home-Owner-Ism to encourage people to borrow as much as humanly possible and beyond to keep the bankers rich and the illusion of wealth going? And if your house goes up, the correct procedure is to remortgage. So I really don't see what the fuss is about. The whole point of HO-ism is for every generation to enslave the next generation with even bigger debts so that wealth cascades UP the generations, from young to old, from productive economy to monopolists etc. If you ask me, the system has worked a treat.

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 03:10 PM 11 Comments

Re what Jack C posted, here's the BBC spin on it

BBC: Mortgage lending jumped in June, lenders say

"Mortgage lending jumped in June, albeit from a very low level, the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) has said. The total number of new home loans to house buyers rose by 22% from May, to 46,700. And those specifically to first-time buyers reached a 10-month high, up 24% from May to 18,100." Looks word for the word the same as the CML press release.

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 02:19 PM 1 Comments

The failure of neo-classical economics - but the mainstream media won't say that...

The Renegade Economist: London's Burning

. As I write, police helicopters are circling overhead; the smell of burning vehicles hangs in the air.

Posted by neo-serf @ 01:30 PM 16 Comments

BoE do nothing

Guardian: Bank of England takes interest rate rises off the agenda

The Bank of England signalled that interest rates would stay on hold for a long time to come as it cut its growth forecasts for the UK economy, blaming the weaker global economy.

Posted by richy richless @ 12:59 PM 1 Comments

Steady as she slows

Citywire: Bank of England downgrades UK growth forecast

The Bank of England has reduced its estimate for UK economic growth to about 1.5% for 2011, warning that the risks posed by the eurozone debt crisis could have a ‘significant impact’ on the ailing UK economy. In its quarterly inflation report the Bank reiterated that the squeeze in households’ real incomes is likely to continue to weigh on domestic demand. Consumer price inflation, currently more than double the Bank's target at 4.2%, is set to rise further in 2011, boosted by increases in energy bills, the Bank says.

Posted by jack c @ 12:11 PM 8 Comments

It's those pesky banks again stymying FTBs' dreams.

Guardian: House sales at two-year low, says Rics

Britain's housing market stuttered further during July as estate agents reported sales at a two-year low. Rics, the surveyors' trade body, said its estate agent members had managed to sell just 14.2 properties on average over the past three months, making it the quietest period for sales since June 2009. The majority of surveyors also reported that house prices fell rather than rose through July, and though the proportion fell slightly this figure has been in the red for more than a year. Rics spokesman Ian Perry said: "The UK housing market continued to stall during July; prices edged lower and sales levels remained subdued.

Posted by sibley's b'stard child @ 10:24 AM 16 Comments

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

From Euro To Neuro? From Euro To Neuro?

Is a split of the single currency into "Northern Euro" and "Euro" the only way to resolve current tensions?

Posted by paul amery @ 10:00 PM 0 Comments

Inflation & QE inbound - duck!

Bloomberg: Fed to Keep Rates at Record Lows at Least Through Mid-2013

"The Federal Reserve pledged for the first time to keep its benchmark interest rate at a record low at least through mid-2013 in a bid to revive the flagging recovery after a worldwide stock rout".

Posted by alan @ 07:46 PM 15 Comments

Seems like a step in the right direction

Financial Times: All UK banks told to draw up ‘living wills’

All UK deposit-takers and large investment firms will have to draw up “living wills” by the end of next year that would allow them to be wound down over a weekend and quickly return assets to clients, Six big UK banks are already working on such recovery and resolution plans, part of a broad effort to avoid another banking crisis. But the Financial Services Authority said in a consultation paper on Tuesday the requirement would be extended to more than 250 banks and building societies, as well as investment firms with more than £15bn in assets.

Posted by quiet guy @ 07:09 PM 1 Comments

This evenings entertainment - Live...

Guardian: London riots and UK unrest: day four live coverage

• Trouble in Manchester, Salford, West Bromwich, Wolverhampton • IPCC: no evidence that Mark Duggan shot at police • Shops and businesses shut early across capital • Interactive riot map: every verified incident, updated through the night • PM announces 16,000 police will be deployed in London tonight • First fatality as man shot in Croydon, south London, dies • Firearms officers may use non-lethal plastic bullets

Posted by khards @ 07:00 PM 25 Comments

Off a cliff maybe?

Cnn: Housing recovery slips out of sight

Any glimmer of hope that the housing market will stage a recovery in the upcoming months has vanished, thanks to the recent spate of bad economic news that has been making headlines over the past several weeks.

Posted by mark @ 05:14 PM 1 Comments

Think of QE as a laxative

Telegraph: European Central Bank must go nuclear to save Europe

"It needs to launch quantitative easing on a massive scale to head off a eurozone debacle, if necessary purchasing half the entire stock of Italian and Spanish debt, they argue. Stephen King, HSBC's chief economist, said the ECB should drop its ideological opposition to QE and embrace easy money in "exactly the same" way as the US Federal Reserve. (Nouriel agrees, but Frankfurt says NO). Ideas?

Posted by alan @ 03:50 PM 14 Comments

Blame a tsunami, blame the weather, blame the riots etc

Yahoo: London Riots 'Will Destroy Some Businesses'

Retailers have been particularly badly hit, with major companies such as Tesco (LSE: TSCO.L - news) , McDonald's and Ladbrokes (Frankfurt: A0JEHM - news) vandalised alongside smaller independent shops. Electronics chain Dixons said that 23 of their stores were affected Charles Dunstone, founder and chairman of Carphone Warehouse, told Sky's Mark Kleinman that a significant number of his shops had been destroyed and large numbers of mobile phones had been taken.

Posted by mark @ 01:28 PM 7 Comments

High house prices and unemployment being blamed for riots

La times: Riots spread in London

Some community leaders say the violence appears to also be a reaction to frustration over high unemployment and cutbacks in government services in mixed-race, low-income neighborhoods.

Posted by mark @ 10:56 AM 3 Comments

Another rate increase?

Bbc: China's inflation rate quickens in July as prices rise

Inflation in China was higher than expected in July, despite a series of efforts by the government to rein in prices. Consumer prices in July rose 6.5% compared with the same month last year, the National Bureau of Statistics said. The rise comes even as China's central bank has raised interest rates five times since October 2010 in a bid to control prices.

Posted by mark @ 10:50 AM 0 Comments

Meanwhile, back on the financial markets....

FT: Traders target $2,500 high for bullion

Gold touched a new nominal record of $1,716.19 a troy ounce on Monday [currently $1,770!] in the wake of the downgrade of the US government's credit rating by Standard & Poor's over the weekend. But strategists were already looking to the next milestone. JPMorgan encapsulated the bullish sentiment in the gold market, predicting that bullion could hit $2,500 by the end of the year. That would surpass gold's inflation-adjusted high, touched in 1980, which translates to just under $2,500 in today’s money. "Before the downgrade, our view was that cash gold could average $1,800 per ounce by year end," said Colin Fenton, JPMorgan's head of commodities research, in a note to clients. "This view will likely now prove to be too conservative: spot gold could drive to $2,500 per ounce or higher."

Posted by drewster @ 10:31 AM 23 Comments

Only 2 bloody p? Now there's a proper reason to riot

Metro: Petrol prices to fall by 2p a litre amid market turmoil

Last time oil fell this much, America experienced a bout of deflation. If this goes on much longer, Mervin will be looking for ways to bring inflation UP to target

Posted by flashman @ 10:29 AM 3 Comments

Sentiment continues to ebb

CityWire Money: House prices slip lower as surveyors remain pessimistic

House prices edged lower in July as the property market continued to stall, according to the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (Rics). (CityWire take on the story - also reported by the Beeb)

Posted by dohousescrashinthewoods @ 10:25 AM 1 Comments

Why did this happen in August 2011 ???

Guardian: Looting 'fuelled by social exclusion'

Young looters from poor estates have nothing to lose and no reason to obey social norms, say experts.

Posted by doomdog @ 09:51 AM 28 Comments

It's not a Riot..

Mail: The 830,000 homeowners in negative equity trap

One estate agent, from Farnham, Surrey, said it was ‘one of the slowest markets I can recall in over 40 years’ experience’. Read more:

Posted by happy mondays @ 07:56 AM 5 Comments

London Market Still 'Hot' Though (!)

BBC News: UK house prices: 'Pessimism' stalks market

Surveyors are "pessimistic" about UK house prices in the next three months following a slight fall in property values in July, a survey says. Some 13% more surveyors expect prices to fall rather than rise in the next quarter, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (Rics) said.

Posted by rantnrave @ 02:51 AM 1 Comments

Monday, August 8, 2011

London riots: the third night – live coverage

Guardian: Live coverage of this evenings riots. Get your popcorn...

Disturbances ongoing in Hackney, east London • Looting had spread to Enfield, Brixton and Walthamstow • Home secretary criticises "sheer criminality" • Blackberry messenger used to co-ordinate trouble • Acting Met chief promises 'robust' response 7.27pm: Peckham: The fire has spread through the the back of the building. Fire engines are slowly working their way towards the building, but it looks as if police are having to ensure the street is secure before the fire brigade can get in close. 7.30pm: Peckham: fire crews have now arrived and are attempting to put out the blaze.

Posted by khards @ 07:41 PM 62 Comments

Riots and house prices - causes and effects (open thread)

Russia Today: Anarchy in the UK: third day of riots in London

Foreign and international media have been showing the London riots in vivid HD glory. Switch on CNN, Al Jazeera, France24, Russia Today - they're all reporting riots in London. Not Tottenham, Brixton, etc.; but just London. How will this affect London's perceived desirability for foreign investors? Are they smart enough to distinguish between good and bad areas, given that there are few physical barriers between good and bad areas (unlike e.g. Manhattan)? Or will greed turn to fear, keeping buyers away? Comments welcome.

Posted by drewster @ 07:32 PM 8 Comments

Maybe we should have Ozzy Osborne running the country?

New Statesman: Osborne's economic delusions persist

George Osborne might be on holiday in California... but he has still found time to pen an article for the Telegraph. The key line, as the paper's own Benedict Brogan suggests, is the Chancellor's call for greater fiscal union in the EU to ensure greater economic stability. The Eurozone, Osborne writes, "needs to accept the remorseless logic of monetary union that leads from a single currency to greater fiscal integration."

Posted by rental john @ 04:46 PM 1 Comments

CML says that 827,000 households are in negative equity

Mortgagestrategy: 14% of mortgages originated since 2005 in negative equity

A quarter of those with mortgages originated since Q2 2005 have equity of less than 10% in their homes, according to research published today by the Council of Mortgage Lenders. In its report, Housing equity: a market update, the CML says that 14% of loans originated over the past six years that are still outstanding are in negative equity, while a quarter have either low levels of equity or are in negative equity.

Posted by jack c @ 04:14 PM 9 Comments

Buy my loan please .....

Yahoo: Barratt puts feelers out for loans sale

Housebuilder Barratt Developments said it is in early talks with investors to sell part of its shared equity mortgage book, a set of loans which might whet the appetites of private equity or banks.

Posted by mark @ 01:24 PM 2 Comments

Boo to the single-wage earner household says the Guardian.

Guardian: Childcare cuts spark rise of the stay-at-home mum

Women are being priced out of the job market because of deep government cuts in state funding for childcare, according to research published on Sunday. The study by the Institute of Public Policy Research (IPPR) thinktank challenges the claims made by ministers that their flagship welfare reforms will "make work pay" and encourage people off benefits and into work. Instead, the IPPR analysis highlights figures suggesting that the increased cost of childcare is persuading many mothers to stay at home to look after their children themselves. The research focuses on low- to middle-income families in the "squeezed middle", who are already suffering from declining real wages as pay is either frozen or increased at a lower rate than inflation.

Posted by sibley's b'stard child @ 12:05 PM 26 Comments

Brace up for more fleecing

G Pytel: The largest heist in history continues

It's just a polite reminder. The financial crisis continues according to its design. As a taxpayer, brace up for more fleecing by the financial institution. They really need you money.

Posted by ant @ 10:42 AM 3 Comments

40% needed, we have sub 20%

Telegraph: Sharp fall in number of first time buyers

On surface, Solutions are ; Build more houses. Reduce number of people in UK. In reality, it is the vested interests that must be tackled. E.g. look at the Nat Trust and CPRE actions against the reform of planning. No-one in HPC should ever be a member of these two NIMBY champions. I would also suggest looking at migrationwatchuk..... for more clues. Here employers are the VIs.

Posted by voiceofreason @ 07:07 AM 25 Comments

Sunday, August 7, 2011

There's a hole in my bucket, dear Liza

Reuters: ECB to buy Italian, Spanish bonds to stop contagion

"The European Central Bank will intervene decisively on markets to protect Italy and Spain from an accelerating debt crisis, a monetary source said on Sunday, indicating it would buy government bonds of the euro zone's third and fourth biggest economies" (just in time for the Asia markets to open).

Posted by alan @ 10:13 PM 2 Comments

What impact on house prices?

Great Lakes Forex: Shock & Awe ECB

Suggestions the G7 are going to sell gold to reduce indebtedness - it could stuff gold prices but what impact on house prices? Is this the trump card to free western economies from overbearing debts and spark growth?

Posted by stuartking @ 06:51 PM 23 Comments

Crusty Allsop, The fat bird pontificates again!

BBC: BBC Broadcasting House

Opinions from the clueless, worth a laugh on a Sunday.

Posted by gone-to-colombia @ 02:57 PM 1 Comments

Carol Wilcox of Labour Land Campaign gets some good coverage

Observer: Who owns our green and pleasant land?

"She got interested in land reform when she read Mervyn King's book on British tax. There seemed to be a glaring omission in it: land value tax. Rather than taxing income so heavily, or seeing aspiration to ownership taxed in the form of stamp duty, why not impose an annual tax on the productive value of land per acre (excluding occupied homes in the lower council tax bands), and thereby address the most glaring inequity in the country? This might allow tenants of all kinds to finally own a little patch, leading to the eventual disbursement, at fair price, of some of the millions of acres currently held in a few thousand hands. And it would mean the 40% of prime property currently being sold to often absent foreign investors would not look quite so attractive."

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 11:17 AM 4 Comments

This domino has a deflating impact on House Prices

Telegraph: Bank of England to cut UK growth rate again

"The Bank of England is this week set to slash its forecasts for the UK economy once more and signal that interest rates are going nowhere in an attempt to safeguard the fragile recovery in the wake of the continued shock to global markets following America's credit downgrade".

Posted by alan @ 08:48 AM 2 Comments

China calling for new world currency and limits on US dollar printing

IBN: China blasts US, urges new global reserve currencyl

Historical moment. Some commentators believe this crisis will be solved by creditors just writing off some of their debt and everyone will go home happy. This will not be the case.

Posted by doom&gloom @ 02:15 AM 3 Comments

China is 'waking up' to what the old timers on have known for years

Xinhua: After historic downgrade, U.S. must address its chronic debt problems

"International supervision over the issue of U.S. dollars should be introduced and a new, stable and secured global reserve currency may also be an option to avert a catastrophe caused by any single country."

Posted by doom&gloom @ 01:52 AM 0 Comments

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Stay cool, guys

Reuters: China tells US "good old days" of borrowing are over

"China bluntly criticised the United States, Saturday, one day after the superpower's credit rating was downgraded, saying the "good old days" of borrowing were over".

Posted by alan @ 04:30 PM 7 Comments

A blight on council renting to be removed

Independent: Sub-let fraudsters could be jailed

"New laws will target an estimated 50,000 people who rent out their council homes - often at a profit - while living elsewhere". Tenancy fraud is believed to cost around £5 billion a year and there are 1.8 million families waiting for a council home. (How come NuLabour did nothing about this - they knew)

Posted by alan @ 12:10 PM 4 Comments

A weekend of Doom

Telegraph: Rudderless eurozone on course for disaster

The eurozone is at “serious risk” of collapse and is lacking in political leadership as the debt crisis threatens to plunge Europe and the global economy into a recession. Oh Dear.

Posted by doomdog @ 09:38 AM 4 Comments

Bricks & mortar a safe bet !

Let's dance

The Daily Telegraph: US is stripped of its AAA credit rating for the first time

This is the biggest economic news that any of us born since WW2 has ever read. Many investment bodies such as pension funds are only allowed to buy AAA-rated bonds. US debt yields will rise, and with them the overall borrowing costs of all Western economies. Since mortgage interest rates depend on bond and swap rates, not the Bank of England's Mickey Mouse 0.5% base rate, house prices are sure to fall in proportion. Those of us who hold net liquid assets are about to find that we are very much in demand.

Posted by monty032 @ 06:59 AM 13 Comments

What a difference an A makes

Bloomberg: S&P Cuts U.S. Rating for First Time on Deficit Reduction Pact

Does this matter? The Fed says it doesn't. Thank goodness.

Posted by jackas @ 03:49 AM 11 Comments

Friday, August 5, 2011

Meanwhile back in recovery land.... Rise in construction companies going into administration

PwC’s analysis of today’s national corporate insolvency statistics found that construction’s increases in adminstrations of 23% made it one of the worst affected sectors, behind only wholesaling and retail.

Posted by novice pete @ 08:10 PM 7 Comments

More QE with your tea vicar?

FT: Bruised investors cherish QE3 hopes

“Although it is politically contentious, the probability of the Fed announcing QE3 is increasing,” says Robert Parker, senior investment adviser to Credit Suisse.

Posted by hpwatcher @ 07:10 PM 3 Comments

Robert Peston: "We're in a for a hair-raising few days."

BBC News: How close is Credit Crunch 2?

Editorial from Robert Peston on how growing sovereign debt crisis is affecting banks' profits. Interesting that RBS is taking a charge of 50% of its Greek sovereign lending, while the French banks are only taking charges of 21% for exposure to the same debt. Expect we'll see Peston much more regularly again on the 10 o'clock news as CC 2.0 gets underway.

Posted by doom&gloom @ 01:53 PM 4 Comments

Mainstream media won't publish this but it's worth reflecting on...

The Renegade Economist: MASSIVE PROFITS!!! But from where?

Land rent, returns on speculative investments, especially those that involve market manipulation, and the benefits enjoyed by some from the way money is created, all constitute unearned wealth. But are profits also unearned?

Posted by neo-serf @ 11:39 AM 1 Comments

0.3% mom -2.6% yoy

Halifax: Halifax July HPI

Commenting, Martin Ellis, housing economist, said: "House prices in the three months to July were 0.5% higher than in the previous three months. This was the first increase in this key measure of underlying price movements for 14 months. Prices rose for the third consecutive month, increasing by 0.3% in July.

Posted by blinktoofast @ 08:13 AM 19 Comments

Tomorrows markets ...up or down....

Daily Telegraph: The ECB throws Italy and Spain to the wolves

Place your bets please I say dooooooooown Bet it rockets....

Posted by tom101 @ 01:47 AM 27 Comments

Deflation Sets In Deflation Sets In

The move by US bank BNY Mellon to charge wholesale clients for depositing cash is a classic sign of deflation. Government and central bank attempts to stimulate economies have failed. A period of falling prices lies ahead.

Posted by paul amery @ 01:45 AM 0 Comments

Thatcher's sell-off legacy comes home to roost

Daily Telegraph: Hundreds of thousands cannot get on housing ladder

The only way is down for property prices... open market homes are unaffordable to many; and if more 'affordable homes' are built that will reduce pressure on the BLT market, resulting in falling rental values. Time to buy?

Posted by stuartking @ 12:27 AM 13 Comments

Who stood on the snail?

Mortage Introducer: UK housing market continues to slow

So, there we have it... too much snow in winter; an early Easter with a royal wedding'; too warm in spring; now it's holiday time... soon, of course, it'll be shorter days, darker evenings, leaves falling off trees, Christmas; and back to snow again... Can anyone think of any more lame duck excuses?

Posted by stuartking @ 12:00 AM 2 Comments

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Revulsion plans

Mortgage Introducer: Use of reversion plans for house purchase rising

So, oldies sell their house or part of it for 30-60 per cent of what's it's worth, to buy something at 100 per cent what it's allegedly worth... and the middlemen pick up the difference. Most grave diggers I've read about at least had the honesty to wait until the bodies had gone cold. Desperate times, desperate men.

Posted by stuartking @ 11:48 PM 1 Comments

Sherlock is on the case - no worries now!

SKY: EU President Warns Debt Crisis Is Spreading

"In a letter to European Union leaders, Jose Manuel Barroso said: "Whatever the factors behind the lack of success, it is clear that we are no longer managing a crisis just in the euro area periphery."

Posted by alan @ 04:36 PM 6 Comments

Sounds like a Spaghetti western

Itv: The Repossessed.

As more than 100 families a day lose their homes because they cannot afford the mortgage, one leading banker warns of a tsunami of repossessions when interest rates start to rise. Jonathan Maitland meets some of the families only just clinging on to their homes and examines what role the banks have played in this crisis.

Posted by happy mondays @ 03:24 PM 5 Comments

High-End London Property Defies Gloom High-End London Property Defies Gloom

London's prime real estate appears to have emerged strongly from the gloom that still envelops other property markets. The city's prime residential property prices have returned to their pre-recession peak, according to a survey, while demand for prime retail and office space continues to grow, driving up prices. Those trends are likely to continue as London next year hosts the Olympic Games and the queen's diamond-jubilee celebrations, events that will require the completion of several major public-construction projects and will attract millions of visitors to the city. Despite a recent rise in supply in London, prime residential prices climbed 8.3% year-to-year to June and were expected to continue to grow in the second half of 2011, albeit at a slower pace, said Knight Frank.

Posted by pbahra @ 03:20 PM 0 Comments


BBC: UK interest rates remain on hold at 0.5%

UK interest rates have been kept at a record low of 0.5% by the Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee (MPC). Economists had expected interest rates would remain unchanged due to the subdued economy. GDP figures for the second quarter showed growth of 0.2%. A majority of economists polled by the BBC expect interest rates to remain unchanged until next year. The Bank also kept its programme of quantitative easing at £200bn. The decision came as no surprise to economists. "Unchanged interest rates were always a nailed-on certainty", said Howard Archer, chief UK economist at IHS Global Insight.

Posted by sibley's b'stard child @ 12:53 PM 5 Comments

Big investors' fears over the federal debt-ceiling drama triggered a near-record outflow of cash

La times: Money market funds see $103-billion outflow amid debt drama

On a percentage basis, this week's decline was larger — amounting to 3.9% of total fund assets of $2.63 trillion. The 2008 outflow was 3.5% of assets at the time.

Posted by mark @ 10:22 AM 5 Comments

George Soros' 'reflexive markets' theory using house prices

MoneyWeek: What George Soros can teach you about gold and house prices

Legendary investor George Soros had no time for the received wisdom about how markets work. So he developed his 'reflexive markets' theory. Bengt Saelensminde explains how it applies to everything from gold to houses - and how to profit from it now.

Posted by martingreen @ 09:55 AM 21 Comments

It's not just me saying it..

BBC: Italy 'to default' but Spain may 'just' escape

"Realistically, Italy is bound to default, but Spain may just get away without having to do so," - Don't waste your effort trying to prove me wrong, Flashman, as I'm off to London now - I have a meeting at the Chinese embassy and am then having an exes paid lunch courtesy of my friends in Commerzbank..

Posted by uncle tom @ 09:20 AM 8 Comments

Petition to build more houses

Inside Housing: Get On Our Land

Pretty straightforward really!

Posted by voiceofreason @ 08:24 AM 7 Comments

QE by another name....

Telegraph: ECB to protect Europe by buying bonds

The European Central Bank is expected to signal it is stepping into the eurozone debt crisis on Thursday by reopening its purchases of government debt, amid fears the turmoil will claim the economy of a nation that is "too big to bail".

Posted by hpwatcher @ 06:56 AM 7 Comments

BoE knows best

BBC News: Interest rates unchanged until 2012, say economists

"A majority of leading economists polled by the BBC expect interest rates to remain unchanged until next year... More than half expected the Bank rate to rise from its record low of 0.5% to at least 1.5% by the end of 2012." But of course the current rate of inflation is only a blip -- it must be true because the bank's forecast says so.

Posted by dude @ 12:58 AM 11 Comments

The only way is not up

Daily Telegraph: Whatever George Osborne believes, Britain will spend years in the doldrums

'What almost everyone does agree on, however, is that, to thrive anew, the UK economy must structurally rebalance, away from undue reliance on consumption and towards exports and investment.' Argues 'it may be necessary to move quickly towards applying some of the policy tools used in command economies such as China – cheap loans, land and energy for publicly determined business and infrastructure investment.' Fails to mention high housing costs don't help... but hints at it, if you are minded to include 'consumption' and 'cheap land' and all that entails. Low interest rates, it would seem, are set to persist into the long foreseeable future Suspect the late Chairman Mao is laughing in his tomb

Posted by stuartking @ 12:31 AM 1 Comments

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Spend or save ?

BBC News: Keynes v Hayek

Interesting debate on BBC Radio 4, also summed up on the website.....which economic approach will work. A lot of amusing comparisons to the world economy being a drunk guy lying in the we give him more money, or let the hangover begin ? Bring on the hangover please !!

Posted by still renting :) @ 10:44 PM 4 Comments

Credit Crunch 2.0

FT: European Leaders Feel the Strain

Southern European inter bank financing is drying up. Just like in 2007, nobody knows who to trust again. Another logical progression towards sovereign default and In its wake further asset ( ie house) price deflation. Though currency deflation via QE could hold HPC back.

Posted by voiceofreason @ 09:08 PM 4 Comments

Spanish and Italian debt spiral

Press Europe: Spanish and Italian debt spiral

With each passing day, both countries are growing weaker on the markets. And the more it costs to finance their debt, the less chance they have of surviving the crisis. To date, no one has come up with a solution.

Posted by rental john @ 05:34 PM 0 Comments

While Berlustconi consults his lawyers

Reuters: EU says euro area's systemic capacity in doubt

"The EU voiced support for Italy and Spain under attack on financial markets but acknowledged that investors now doubt whether the euro zone can overcome its sovereign debt woes". "EC President Barroso said a surge in Italian and Spanish bond yields to 14-year highs was cause for deep concern and did not reflect the true state of the third and fourth largest economies in the currency area". "The Swiss National Bank cut its interest rate target and said it would very significantly increase its supply of liquidity to try to bring down the value of the Swiss franc, which it said has become massively overvalued"." Spanish and Italian 10-year yields stood respectively at 6.24 and 6.10 percent". (Merkel is on holiday in the Alps).

Posted by alan @ 05:15 PM 4 Comments

Accelerating from a low base but growth is growth

BBC NEWS: UK service sector growth accelerating, PMI survey says

The third quarter of 2011 was always going to be tricky but this report combined with other preliminary data suggests that we will once again see a modicum of growth. This service sector growth more than offsets any recent slowdown in the manufacturing sector. If we can also get through the fourth quarter unscathed, it'll be onwards and upwards. The negative part of this report relates to unemployment but the latest data suggests that, contrary to the impression given by the press, we are just about holding the line.

Posted by flashman @ 02:49 PM 8 Comments

The one that's too big to bail out..

BBC: Italy begins crisis talks with EU

In early trading on Wednesday, the yield on Italian 10-year bonds rose 0.19 percentage points to 6.21%, while the yield on Spanish 10-year bonds was at 6.34%, just below Tuesday's record of 6.45%. - Italy is now paying about 2.5% more on its sovereign debt than a year ago - that equates to 3% of GDP or about 7.5% of tax revenues, just to pay the extra interest..

Posted by uncle tom @ 11:05 AM 28 Comments

House prices in the UK are likely to remain stable say VI's

CNBC: UK House Prices Stable Says Country's Biggest Housebuilder

House prices in the UK are likely to remain stable for the rest of the year, barring any major economic shocks, Pete Redfern, chief executive of Taylor Wimpey, the UK's biggest housebuilder, told CNBC Wednesday morning. "We have seen very stable markets but stable means flat," Redfern said. "From our business's point of view, we are quite comfortable with that as it's quite a good opportunity for land investment." He said that he feels "reasonably positive" about the business. "We have seen some small improvements in mortgage availability for first-time buyers and we do have some sense of it (the mortgage market) starting to ease," he added.

Posted by khards @ 09:31 AM 6 Comments

According to Key Retirement Solutions:

Telegraph: Pensioners have mortgage-free wealth of £750bn

Homeowners aged over 65 gained a total of £863m in property wealth in the last three months as house prices stabilised, Key Retirement Solutions’ Pensioner Property Index shows. However, their total property wealth has still fallen by more than £17.5bn - or around £4,000 each - since the start of the year.

Posted by khards @ 09:25 AM 0 Comments

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Are we closing on tipping point?

Guardian: Repossessions by local authority

Midlands and the North East, plus parts of Wales and the London fringe, seeing an increase in repossessions. Figures from the Ministry of Justice

Posted by stuartking @ 10:07 PM 6 Comments

Hubble bubble toil etc

The Big Picture: US v Canada v Australia v UK the Realty Bubble

Didn't look to closely at the data but the UK bubble is deemed huge, the biggest of all - but can it really be 116% above trend.

Posted by bellwether @ 06:11 PM 3 Comments

True value?

BBC News: Spain PM postpones holiday as debt fears hit record

On Tuesday, the yield on Spanish bonds reached 4.04 percentage points more than German debt - a record since the euro was introduced in 1999, and the euro reached a record low against the Swiss franc.

Posted by cynicalsoothsayer @ 04:54 PM 9 Comments

To buy or NOT to buy ?

Mail: House prices: What next?

The UK's high house prices are a drag on its economy, they hamper movement, encourage boom and bust and leave it vulnerable to shocks. Narrowing the gap between property prices and wages and making buying a home less of a gamble, would be a good thing. Read more:

Posted by happy mondays @ 04:53 PM 1 Comments

Buy a small worthless plot for stupid money

Yahoo: Investors' £200m loss prompts land-banking warning

Investors have lost an estimated £200m after investing in plots of land that turned out to be worthless. The huge losses have prompted the Land Registry to warn the public about the risks involved in buying land forming part of a land-banking scheme. These are schemes where it is claimed that the plots of land have good investment value in the expectation of future development, but where there is little or no chance of land ever being developed. It has reprinted its guide, which now includes contact details for organisations that can recommend independent advisers to members of the public considering investing in a land-banking scheme.

Posted by mark @ 01:15 PM 2 Comments

IMF: UK housing 30% overvalued

BBC News: IMF details risks to UK economic growth

IMF says austerity plan is appropriate but growth could be jeopardised by "new economic problems such as falling house prices". Goes on to say "The report warned that the ratio of house prices compared to average earnings was still 30% above its historical average - meaning prices could fall, so limiting consumer spending.".

Posted by derbyjon @ 12:06 PM 1 Comments

Some are more in it than others

FT: It’s time to name and shame the corporate scroungers

"Pay levels are set by self-sustaining cartels."

Posted by letthemfall @ 12:01 PM 1 Comments

Short piece on UK house prices

MoneyWeek: Carpetright shares hint at more UK house price falls

Carpetright is Europe's leading specialist floor covering retailer, and also sells beds. So the firm's stock price is a good guide to UK housing market activity. It's also a handy predictor of future house price changes.

Posted by martingreen @ 12:00 PM 8 Comments

Bet they all have a tescos though

Daily post: One in five shops empty in some North Wales towns

UK government Communities Secretary Eric Pickles said the answer was to increase parking spaces in struggling town centres. He said the current “anti-car restrictions” drove motorists to park on pavements and led to “overzealous” enforcement. He added: “These parking restrictions have hit small shops the hardest, creating ‘ghost town’ high streets which can't compete with out-of-town supermarkets.

Posted by mark @ 10:31 AM 17 Comments

Sympathy for the Devil.

Telegraph: Bankers: how far can they fall?

Back in 2009, Lord Turner, the former Financial Services Authority chairman, controversially deemed some banking activities “socially useless”. He also claimed the City had grown “beyond a reasonable size”, accounting for too great a share of Britain’s output and attracting too many of our brightest graduates. “If you want to stop excessive pay in a swollen financial sector you have to reduce the size of that sector or apply special taxes to its pre-remuneration profit,” he said at the time.

Posted by sibley's b'stard child @ 10:28 AM 2 Comments

This will weaken our currency considerably, won't it?

Reuters: UK should cut taxes, expand QE if economy falters - IMF

"The government should cut taxes and the central bank take more steps to pump money into the economy if Britain looks to be heading into a long phase of weak growth, the International Monetary Fund said on Monday. In addition the Bank of England should expand its asset purchases. However, should growth turn out stronger than expected and inflation remain high, quicker interest rate rises may be necessary, the Fund said".

Posted by alan @ 07:30 AM 80 Comments

Monday, August 1, 2011

And low interest rates help the recovery?

Yorkshire Post: Worries as Yorkshire firms show most signs of distress

Yorkshire businesses are showing more signs of distress than those in other regions, according to new research.

Posted by mr g @ 11:34 PM 1 Comments

About Turn?

Channel 4: The Secret Life of Buildings

I've just watched this on C4. Considering this is the channel that brought us Location Location, Grand Designs and other property porn favourites I was surprised by the whole approach of this program. It was flaunting strange ideas such as a house should be a home and not an investment and we are being sold the smallest houses in europe by greedy house builders. I don't imagine this will be repeated on More 4 anytime soon.

Posted by crash bandicoot @ 09:06 PM 7 Comments

At least we won't be joining Cyprus in the Bail-out Queue

Sky: Govt Saves 'Staggering' £3.75bn In 10 Months

"The Government has saved £3.75bn in less than a year by cutting jobs, axing projects and reining in spending". "Reducing the size of the civil service by more than 17,000 posts saved £300m on 2010/2011 salary costs".

Posted by alan @ 05:57 PM 7 Comments


Telegraph / Yahoo: Low interest rates 'averted Depression' in UK

Keeping inflation on track in recent years could have created a slump rivalling the Great Depression of the 1930s, according to leading economists.

Posted by mr g @ 05:48 PM 6 Comments

HSBC set to slash 10,000 jobs

Daily Mail: HSBC set to slash 10,000 jobs after disappointing results

There has been much speculation about planned job losses, and last night it was reported that HSBC is to confirm it is cutting at least 10,000 staff as the results are made official.

Posted by doomwatch @ 01:15 PM 4 Comments

Three years of recovery speak - nothing delivered

Telegraph: UK recovery hopes hit by weak manufacturing

According to the closely-watched purchasing managers index (PMI), factory activity shrank for the first time in two years in July as domestic demand dropped sharply. The reading of 49.1, down from 51.4, was well beneath the consensus forecast of 51, where anything below 50 indicates contraction.

Posted by dill @ 12:35 PM 4 Comments

Go long on shotguns, divining rods and beans.

Telegraph: Can gold still be considered a safe haven?

First of all, oil prices are hovering at unsustainable levels close to $120 per barrel. Then there's the potential debt crises brewing, not in the private banks this time, but the central banks. US officials have been preparing for a possible, though unlikely, default, the dollar is near a record low. Inflation is climbing, while analysts are warning that slowing growth could hit commodity demand. With such a cocktail of uncertainty, is there any such thing as a safe haven anymore? The natural solution for many investors would seem to be to buy gold, which is hitting record highs day after day. We've covered gold quite a bit in this column recently, but its continuing march is the most striking news in the world of commodities today.

Posted by sibley's b'stard child @ 11:07 AM 34 Comments

Won't somebody please think of the children?

Guardian: 'Kidflation' leaves children counting the cost of rising prices

Children have been among the biggest losers in the economic recession because of a huge rise in the cost of items they buy and a reduction in pocket money. The rate of inflation on goods bought by children, "kidflation", has risen 68% more than retail price inflation over the past three years. While the retail prices index (RPI) has increased 8.5%, kidflation has gone up 14.3%, according to research by Santander and the educational charity Personal Finance Education Group (pfeg).

Posted by sibley's b'stard child @ 11:03 AM 9 Comments

It was slightly more than the expect 10,000 !!!

Sky News: HSBC Axes 30,000 Global Jobs To Save $3.5bn

High street bank HSBC is to axe tens of thousands of staff worldwide as it unveiled a multi-billion pound profit for the six months to June 30. - 30,000 less bankers in the world, good news then.

Posted by thecountofnowhere @ 10:27 AM 0 Comments

Quelle Surprise

CNN: Debt deal vote likely on Monday, party sources say

Sounds like a short squeeze to me.... "In the first stage, it includes $917 billion in spending cuts and other deficit reduction now, as well as a $900 billion increase in the debt ceiling. Because of the pending Tuesday deadline, Obama would have immediate authority to raise the debt ceiling by $400 billion, which will last through September, according to the White House document. For the other $500 billion of debt ceiling extension in the first stage, Congress can vote on resolutions of disapproval that, if passed, the president can then veto, the White House said.

Posted by techieman @ 07:29 AM 8 Comments

Main Blog | Archive | Add Article | Blog Policies