September 2011 Archive

Friday, September 30, 2011

Tory MP takes first tentative step over to The Dark Side...

FT: It sounds bonkers but we should embrace a land tax

"... there is a version of the Land Value Tax that works – and it is in operation in New South Wales in Australia. Crucially, farmland and people’s main homes are wholly exempt so it does not strike at hard-pressed farmers or elderly people on low incomes living in houses that have become very valuable, which would be hit by the Liberal Democrats’ preferred mansion tax. Instead, the tax bears down on vacant land, holiday homes, investment properties and commercial properties... the tax would deter speculative land banks and would encourage property owners to develop brownfield sites and put rundown areas of inner cities back to good use. Over the longer term, it would lower the price of development land and help us get off that quintessentially British rollercoaster of house"

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 01:37 PM 12 Comments

Sounds like a fire sale to me

Ny times: Cash-Short, U.S. Weighs Asset Sales

Like Americans trying to raise quick cash by unloading their unwanted goods, the federal government is considering a novel way to reduce the deficit: holding the equivalent of a garage sale.

Posted by mark @ 11:33 AM 2 Comments

Estate agents selling up.

Moneyweek: More bad news for house prices: insiders are selling out

So when we see estate agents – the people on the inside track – trying to bail out in droves, the conclusion is clear. They wouldn't be doing it if they were bullish – in fact, they're freaking about the future for the housing market. And that has to be a very bad sign for UK property prices.

Posted by will @ 11:17 AM 3 Comments

Asking price of £350K for

Northampton Chronicle and Echo: House of murdered Wootton family put up for sale

Sold in 2008 for £210,000...multiple murder then takes place...so EA bangs it bang on the market for £350K Go figure.

Posted by thecountofnowhere @ 11:05 AM 2 Comments

We’ll start to see more of an impact from the strong yen and slowing growth in the U.S

Bloomberg: It’s 1987 Without Bubble in Japan as Job Losses Spur Hollowing-Out Concern

Japan’s labor force shrank last month to its smallest size since October 1987, when the nation’s stock-market benchmark was 185 percent higher and land prices were 85 percent greater than today.

Posted by mark @ 11:03 AM 1 Comments

Top 10 Unusual Mortgages

Quick Move Now: Top 10 Unusual Mortgages

An article about the mortgages that deviate from the normal repayment mortgage in the UK e.g. Muslim or Self-Cert mortgages.

Posted by kevin morley @ 10:20 AM 7 Comments

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Will this bring back the magical "growth"

Reuters: CBI calls for measures to help home buyers

"The government should back measures to help home buyers and boost infrastructure spending to get the British economy moving, business lobby the CBI said on Thursday. The comments come ahead of the ruling Conservative party conference next week when finance minister George Osborne will face pressure to spell out how he plans to boost faltering economic growth". "It will help unlock some of the 60 billion pounds of potential investment currently on company balance sheets and could create new jobs into the bargain," he said.

Posted by alan @ 08:49 PM 29 Comments

Flippin rents

Cnn: 'I can't flip this house'

according to Tanya Marchiol of Team Investments, which buys homes for individual investors, "Everything is buy and hold -- I tell my clients 'You have to look at this as a five-year hold, at least.'" In the Boston area, "The rental economics make more sense than flipping,"

Posted by mark @ 01:44 PM 1 Comments

Affordable 'service', or simple exploitation?

Telegraph: Buy to let: rising rents cause problems for tenants

Rents have increased for the third consecutive quarter, according to research by Paragon, the buy to let lender. But rising rents appear to be causing problems for many tenants. According to new research from the Money Advice Trust, the number of calls it receives about rent arrears has risen by 84pc in recent years.

Posted by dill @ 12:21 PM 7 Comments

East London borough re-casts itself as hotbed of property innovation

FT: Newham seeks to set up rented housing fund

Newham borough council is looking to set up a special purpose vehicle to buy up existing housing stock in the area and build a large portfolio of private rental properties. “We would be able to improve the housing stock in the borough and offer [private] tenants a longer and more secure tenure,” said Sir Robin Wales, Mayor of Newham. “We can borrow at a very good rate, so would be able to buy up a lot of houses.” A target of 4,000 homes is suggested: 10% of the 40,000 privately rented homes in the borough. For legal reasons, the local authority would need to find a partner as it unable to write private sector tenancy agreements. A number of large private institutions, such as Aviva, the insurance group, have looked into the possibility of launching residential rental funds.

Posted by drewster @ 10:53 AM 12 Comments

The beginning of something worthwhile?

Grauniad: Newham landlords face first mandatory licensing scheme

Landlords who rent out properties privately in a borough in east London could be the first in the country to face mandatory licensing under new proposals.

Posted by fancypants @ 10:35 AM 1 Comments

Busy going nowhere?

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

RT sticks the boot into Krusty and Pill's empire

Radio Times: Location, Location, Location: from boomtime to bust

Apparently it's up to series 14! In giving a rundown of said current series of LLL, the author instead embarks on some character assassination and comes out with some decidedly buyer-side bias. Then proposes a new format for the show. All of which is perfectly fine by me!

Posted by sburden @ 06:30 PM 3 Comments

Seems Alessio is quite the trendsetter

Zerohedge: Step Aside BBC "Trader": Head Of UniCredit Securities Predicts Imminent End Of The Eurozone And A Global Financial Apocalypse

Among the stunning allegations (stunning in that an actual banker dares to tell the truth) are the following: "the euro is “practically dead” and Europe faces a financial earthquake from a Greek default"... “The euro is beyond rescue”... “The only remaining question is how many days the hopeless rearguard action of European governments and the European Central Bank can keep up Greece’s spirits.”...."A Greek default will trigger an immediate “magnitude 10” earthquake across Europe."..."Holders of Greek government bonds will have to write off their entire investment, the southern European nation will stop paying salaries and pensions and automated teller machines in the country will empty “within minutes.” In other words: welcome to the Apocalypse...

Posted by general congreve @ 04:33 PM 12 Comments

Is buying a property really cheaper than renting? Don’t be so sure

MoneyWeek: Is buying a property really cheaper than renting? Don’t be so sure

Contrary to popular belief, buying property in the UK is not necessarily cheaper than renting - at least not in the long run. Here's why.

Posted by martingreen @ 04:08 PM 1 Comments

** Farm land bubble popping? **

Agrimoney: Farmland prices dip in UK amid 'overheating' fears

Farmland price have fallen in England at their steepest since the depths of the global financial crisis, and are set for further declines, amid fears amongst buyers – and banks – of market "overheating". The price of average farmland in England, which accounts for the vast majority of UK agricultural output, eased to £6,094 an acre in the July-to-September quarter, Knight Frank said. The decline, while of 1.0%, was the biggest since the first quarter of 2009, the nadir of the global recession, and depressed the annual rate of price growth to 4.8% - down from 17.0% a year before.

Posted by khards @ 03:12 PM 1 Comments

Bleat, wail, moan

Daily Mail: New era of the 'hippies': Millions of over-50s relying on home to be pension

"Oops, we forgot to save, so we'll fund our pensions and healthcare out of taxes paid by the young folk, and just to top things up, we'll keep house prices as high as possible so that we can MEW the lot and leave our children with nothing"

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 02:08 PM 6 Comments

Re-hash of yesterday's Evening Standard article

Estate Agent Today: More agents will close, Winkworth boss warns

Fair enough, Winkworth are obviously positioning themselves accordingly but Rant and I have been banging this drum for months over at EAT. My particular favourite is an obvious BTLer under the pseudonym 'Concerned of Tunbridge Wells'; he maintains that falling prices will curtail transactions further. In any event, the majority seem unwilling or unable to grasp the concept that until prices reflect the new reality, transactions will continue to splutter ergo inevitable EA closures.

Posted by sibley's b'stard child @ 11:25 AM 7 Comments

Could it be true that policy makers are not gods?

Bondvigilantes.com: If this is part 2 of the Great Recession, what were the 10 recent policy errors that got us here?

"When it was all academic, I enjoyed reading about the causes of the Wall Street Crash, the Great Depression and the German hyper-inflation. Policy errors abounded. The UK going back on to the Gold Standard in the middle of the crisis and sending the economy down in to a deflationary spiral. Andrew Mellon, US Treasury Secretary, saying “liquidate labor, liquidate stocks, liquidate farmers, liquidate real estate…it will purge the rottenness out of the system” (and letting the banks go bust). France demanding punitive war reparations from a desperately weak Germany, causing money printing and social unrest." Remember this article is from the bond market -- interesting views.

Posted by dude @ 11:20 AM 3 Comments

Banks need to throw caution to the wind to keep debt (ahem credit) flowing to prop up house prices

The Guardian: * Business * Financial policy committee Financial markets face 'severe strains', warns Bank of England

Banks need to run down their reserves to keep lending going, say the wise men at the FPC. But at the same time they should naturally take any opportunity to strengthen their balance sheets.

Posted by nickb @ 11:15 AM 1 Comments

-0.3%MoM, -2.6% YoY

Land Registry [pdf]: House prices down 0.3% in August

The August data shows a return to negative monthly price change. The rate of annual change of -2.6 per cent is on a similar level to the past four months. London house prices are up 2.1% year on year while Wales is down 5.5%

Posted by little professor @ 11:11 AM 17 Comments

Finally--evidence that repossessions are not put on the market

Estateagencytoday: Ex savills boss joins rbs

finally evidende for the discussion talked about here that repossessions are not coming on the market and that banks are hiding these losses and property in subsidiary companies

Posted by taffee @ 10:14 AM 18 Comments

More of this sorta thing

Bloomberg: Irish Property Crash Helps Homeless as Charity Buys Apartments

The bursting of Ireland’s property bubble may benefit some of the poorer members of society, as apartments built in the boom years are sold to social housing projects. Cluid Housing Association, which rents flats for as little as €10 a week, is buying 58 apartments from Ireland’s National Asset Management Agency. The flats are in a Dublin development, originally marketed as a “high end retail, residential, office and hotel quarter.” NAMA, which bought €72bn of bad loans from Irish banks in 2009, is accelerating the sale of properties of indebted investors. “There is a perception that there isn’t any housing need because we have all these empty homes everywhere,” said Neil Bolton. “But a lot of people are struggling so the housing need is as strong now as ever."

Posted by little professor @ 10:07 AM 0 Comments

Is this a bad thing !

Mail: House prices 'will be driven down by Government's planning reforms' claim council officials Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2042688/House-prices-driven-Governments-planning-reforms-claim-council-officials.html#ixzz1ZEQgfmHi

House prices will be driven down by Government planning reforms as properties are 'blighted' by the prospect of new nearby developments, council officials warned today...

Posted by happy mondays @ 08:59 AM 7 Comments

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

You've been had..!

Telegraph: BBC financial expert Alessio Rastani: 'I'm an attention seeker not a trader'

Hate to say this guys, but this clown's hoax comments generated a thread with 69 comments yesterday... - Oh dear...!

Posted by uncle tom @ 09:01 PM 17 Comments

EA Mockumentary

House Price Crash: Wisdom of Crowds or Digital Maoism?

Mindful Money: House Price Crash: Wisdom of Crowds or Digital Maoism?

Last week Mindful Money published an opinion piece critical of the online community House Price Crash. The response was immediate and vehement. We looked at the comments to make sense of the debate. Here’s what happened:

Posted by mindfulmoneym @ 02:45 PM 4 Comments

Rip-roaring laugh-a-minute stuff

Evening Standard: Estate agents opt to sell out as property market stagnates

"Growing numbers of estate agents are giving up on a sluggish property market and putting themselves up for sale, the chief executive of Winkworth said today. Dominic Agace - whose agency has 57 branches in London and 80 overall - has fielded approaches from 35 rivals this year."

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 02:12 PM 11 Comments

Xmas slump coming?

Yahoo: September retail sales weaken at fastest in 16 months

sales weakened at their fastest pace in 16 months in September and stores expect little improvement in October as struggling consumers clamp down on spending, a survey by the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) showed on Tuesday

Posted by mark @ 12:45 PM 1 Comments

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha

La times: U.S. to lower the size of mortgage it will guarantee

"This is just going to kill us," said Beth L. Peerce, president of the California Assn. of Realtors. "You don't want the real estate market to get any worse than it is, and it surprises me that our congressmen and senators don't understand that."

Posted by mark @ 11:50 AM 11 Comments

The usual guff courtesy of RM, LSL & Knight Frank.

Independent: London is a property hotspot – but it's not immune to UK's woes

Despite this, London is not immune to the problems affecting the rest of the UK. "The biggest problem for London is the affordability issue," says Mr Montlake. "People are struggling to raise deposits and so more people are renting. Rents are strengthening because there is shortage of properties – but there has to be a cut-off point eventually," says Mr Montlake.

Posted by sibley's b'stard child @ 09:59 AM 1 Comments

Sigh

Express: HOUSE PRICES SURGE BY 68%

HOUSE prices have rocketed in the past decade, with values rising by up to £118 a week, according to Halifax. Terraced homes have seen their values soar by an average 68.4%, from £89,843 in 2001 to £151,332 now, underlining the enduring resilience of the property market. Home owners will be reassured by the research that shows their biggest investment remains rock solid. Property expert Henry Pryor said: “Property remains one of the most attractive investments. It is one of the few investments you can leverage to borrow on again and again. "

Posted by little professor @ 12:16 AM 14 Comments

Monday, September 26, 2011

5-point plan

Channel 4 News: Ed Balls sets out Labour plan

Ed Balls sets out his plans to help The Recovery(TM). This includes the idea of taxing banks to fund house building. Funny how being out of government for a year or so can bring a new perspective to your views. He'll be pushing LVT next - well he is still four years from the next election.

Posted by crash bandicoot @ 10:28 PM 7 Comments

Housebuilders accused of bribery & corruption

Truth slips out on the BBC

ZeroHedge/BBC: BBC Speechless As Trader Tells Truth:

In an interview on BBC News this morning that left the hosts gob-smacked, Alessio Rastani outlines in a mere three-and-a-half-minutes what we all know and most ignore. While the whole interview is worth watching, the money shot for us was "This economic crisis is like a cancer, if you just wait and wait hoping it is going to go away, just like a cancer it is going to grow and it will be too late!". While he dreams of recessions, sees Goldman ruling the world, and urges people to prepare, it is hard to disagree with much (or actually anything) of what he says and obviously interventions and machinations means we will have days like this, there is only one endgame here and we hope there is less hopeful euphoria (and more preparedness) as we pull back the curtain further and further.

Posted by general congreve @ 05:49 PM 57 Comments

The eight-year bear market in property

MoneyWeek: The eight-year bear market in property

With times tough in the stock markets, investors may be tempted to dip their toes back in to property. But with Britain's house prices still only half way through an eight-year slump, that would be a mistake, says Bengt Saelensminde. Here, he gives four reasons why you should continue to steer clear of UK property.

Posted by martingreen @ 05:02 PM 1 Comments

I am going out to build houses in grrenbelt on land i dont own

Daily mail: Travellers win reprieve from Dale Farm eviction as judge rules council cannot throw them out yet

A judge ruled that residents of Dale Farm, near Basildon, in Essex were entitled to an extension of an injunction stopping their evictions until the courts have ruled on the legality of their proposed removal.

Posted by mark @ 03:43 PM 9 Comments

I bet banner sales have shot up

Cnn: New-home sales slide in August

New-home sales fell once again in August, the fourth straight month of declining sales for the beleaguered home building market. New homes sold at a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 295,000 last month, a 2.3% drop from a revised rate of 302,000 homes sold in July, the Census Bureau said Monday.

Posted by mark @ 03:33 PM 0 Comments

More job losses ahead?

Telegraph / Yahoo: Many retailers 'could go bust before Christmas'

A wave of high-street retailers could hit the wall before Christmas as they struggle to meet their next quarterly rental payment, due this week, experts have warned.

Posted by mr g @ 01:49 PM 10 Comments

Monday afternoon fun

Ifaonline: Under Offer Trailer One

A spoof documentary showing estate agents as obnoxious, arrogant and sleazy workers has quickly become an internet sensation. The short film, which stars genuine property vendors from London firm Douglas & Gordon, is called Under Offer and was initially meant for industry insiders only.However, it has already been watched thousands of times on video sharing site YouTube to mixed reviews. The firm’s director, Ed Mead told the Daily Mail: “No one expected the film to have the reaction it has had. It has all got completely out of hand.”

Posted by jack c @ 01:20 PM 2 Comments

Income needed to get lower quartile home

Hometrack: Cost of accessing the property ladder 42% higher in rural areas compared to urban

“Those working in the countryside, frequently find themselves competing for homes with commuters working in nearby urban areas, retired households and second home owners, all of whom are less reliant on mortgage finance. Add to this a relative under-supply of smaller sized properties and lower turnover levels and it is easy to see how the scarcity of housing is keeping prices relatively high and out of the reach of many first-time buyers.”

Posted by ontheotherhand @ 12:15 PM 3 Comments

The bank of mum and dad open as usual

Halifax: The North offers the best chance for young buyers to get on the housing ladder [PDF]

While the average age of a first-time buyer in the UK is 29, there is almost a decade’s difference between some areas of the country, according to new research from Halifax. The youngest first-time buyers (aged 25) are in Selby in North Yorkshire; the oldest first-time buyers (34) are in Harrow in London. 84% of FTBs under 30 had help with their deposit in 2010 compared with only 38% in 2005.

Posted by drewster @ 11:40 AM 16 Comments

'I will stop at nothing, say the right things when electioneering'

Guardian: Ed Balls: I'm sorry for Labour failures on bank regulation

Ed Balls, the shadow chancellor, has sought to restore Labour's battered credentials on the economy as he expressed profound regret for the party's failures which contributed to the banking crisis in 2008. Warning that the current economic situation was "the most dangerous time in the economy in my lifetime", Balls refused to make promises about reversing tax rises and spending cuts, while he tried to rebuild public trust in Labour. "The banking crisis was a disaster," he said. "All around the world the banks behaved irresponsibly, but regulation wasn't tough enough. We were part of that. I'm sorry for that mistake, I deeply, deeply regret it."

Posted by sibley's b'stard child @ 11:33 AM 9 Comments

Sunday, September 25, 2011

When they got there, the cupboard was bare

BBC: IMF warns on funding levels if crisis worsens

"The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has warned it may not have enough money to bail out larger eurozone countries if the debt crisis were to spread. IMF chief Christine Lagarde says the global lender can meet its current obligations but this could change if the crisis worsens". "This week will see EU and IMF officials return to Athens to monitor the country's progress on its deficit reduction plans. Greece is still receiving money from an initial rescue, agreed in May last year, although it will not receive the next tranche if inspectors rule that it is not keeping up with its spending cut targets".

Posted by alan @ 09:15 PM 17 Comments

The motivations of The Telegraph's campaign are made clear for all to see

Telegraph: Government plans could cut a third or more off thousands of house prices

Thousands of house prices could fall by a third or more if Coalition Government proposals to change planning rules in favour of developers become law, knocking hundreds of thousands of pounds off some of the most desirable homes in the green belt ... Charles Ellingworth, founder of home search agents, Property Vision, said: “If you have a good house that has its view ruined, you would be looking at a 30pc to 40pc devaluation. But I don’t think England is going to disappear under a sea of concrete. It will not be like Ireland, where there is a little bungalow every half a mile along the road. The Government is proposing to loosen the reins on planning consent; not remove them altogether.”

Posted by wanderinman @ 08:48 PM 11 Comments

Buy-to-let hits a wall

Daily Mail: Banks pull plug on the buy-to-let loans boom after a fload of applications from landlords

Banks have pulled the plug on dozens of cheap buy-to-let mortgages after a flood of applications from landlords. More than 50 deals have disappeared recently at a time when investors are seeking to cash in on the strong demand for rented property.

Posted by wanderinman @ 08:20 PM 1 Comments

The start of a planning free-for-all?

BBC News: Dale Farm: Travellers' neighbours plan protest march

The controversy at Dale Farm centres on 51 illegal plots which were built without planning permission. Travellers argue that because they own the land, which was formerly a scrapyard, and have nowhere else to go they should be allowed to stay. But villagers living near the site said they were frustrated by the delays and would take action unless the eviction began soon. One of the tactics they were considering was submitting their own planning applications to Basildon Council. "We have just about had enough of this now," said a neighbour. "We are looking into putting in our own planning applications to build things in our back gardens for our children to live in - all the sort of things the travellers want to do."

Posted by drewster @ 04:46 PM 5 Comments

Let them eat cake!

Bloomberg: Congress at Impasse Over Spending, Disaster Aid That Threatens Shutdown

"Congress is at an impasse over a federal spending bill amid a partisan dispute on funding for disaster assistance, escalating a fight that threatens a shutdown of government operations by month’s end. The Senate yesterday rejected, 59-36, a House-passed stopgap measure to fund the government until Nov. 18 and provide $3.65 billion in aid to victims of Hurricane Irene, tornadoes, flooding and other natural disasters". (another day, another collapse threatened...fear, fear)

Posted by alan @ 08:41 AM 0 Comments

The largest heist in history continues

The Daily Telegraph: £1.75 trillion deal to save the euro

At the end of 2008, Pytel wrote an analysis for the House of Commons, Treasury Committee. As it is clear the financial crisis proceeds as expected, i.e. the largest heist in history continues. "Governments became the ultimate customers of pyramid purveyors with the hope that when they offer their custom it would somehow stop the giant pyramid scheme from collapsing. This is extremely naive and very dangerous. The incredibly fast growth to infinity of pyramid schemes, which is only accelerating, will ensure that the government will not stand a chance to sustain it, unless this massive pyramid scheme is brought to a halt and liquidated. But there is no sign of governments contemplating doing that yet."

Posted by ant @ 08:11 AM 7 Comments

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Why cant we get 30 year loans at 3.75% in UK?

LA Times: Mortgage rates drop to once unthinkable lows at less than 4%

The Federal Reserve's latest effort to prop up the economy has dropped mortgages into once unthinkable territory, with 30-year fixed-rate loans available for less than 4% — a record low. For people lucky enough to still have their credit ratings, bank accounts and home equity in good shape, the change means the opportunity to refinance at rates that once seemed unimaginable.

Posted by wardpsych @ 06:32 PM 0 Comments

Complex under the counter deal hatched to shore up the Eurozone

Telegraph: Multi-trillion grand plan to save the eurozone is being prepared

EU officials are devising a grand plan to restore confidence in the single currency area involving massive bank recapitalisation, upping the EFSF bail-out fund to several trillion euros, and a possible Greek haicut. They are aiming to leverage the EFSF without having to go back to national parliaments for approval, which in a number of (democratic) eurozone countries would prove highly problematic.

Posted by enuii @ 05:50 PM 18 Comments

Meanwhile...

BBC: Cameron says 'build more homes'

The Prime Minister David Cameron has told BBC Oxford that more homes need to be built to address the lack of supply in the county.

Posted by dill @ 04:36 PM 2 Comments

Oh dear a call for more of the same old lending preactices

Mortgagestrategy: How I would sort out the UK's housing market if I was the chancellor for the day

I (Nigel Stockton) was recently asked what I would do to help the property market if I was chancellor. I hadn’t thought about it before as it’s not something I am usually asked, but I guess I should not have been surprised as I am known for my political correctness. But as the Treasury has asked lenders and commentators for input on how to kick-start the first-time buyer sector, I thought about what I’d do if I were housing minister...........I’d probably kick off with three telephone calls to our nationalised and part-nationalised lenders. I would insist that they lend £500m each at 95% LTV to first-time buyers.

Posted by jack c @ 02:28 PM 10 Comments

Get building!

Daily Telegraph: Government plans could cut a third or more off thousands of house prices

Author raises 'fears' house prices will tumble if the government pushes ahead with changes that will favour developers. Part of the DT's 'Hands of our Land' campaign

Posted by stuartking @ 11:58 AM 0 Comments

Reality setting in!!

Save the Banks!

Reuters: Europe hastens to build up debt crisis defences

"Concern now appeared to be turning towards safeguarding the banking system more than rescuing Greece, as international lenders were increasingly losing patience with Athens consistently missing fiscal and reform targets". "Greek Finance Minister Evangelos Venizelos was quoted by two newspapers as saying an orderly default with a 50 percent haircut for bondholders was one way to resolve the heavily indebted euro zone nation's cash crunch."

Posted by alan @ 10:54 AM 0 Comments

Summary by Sherlock Holmes

Telegraph: Trichet ~ Eurozone is epicentre of global crisis

""We have in front of us a global crisis of sovereign risk and we [the eurozone] are the epicenter of this global crisis," he said. He added that the current situation was more precarious than when Lehman Brothers collapsed and sent the economy into a global tailspin in late 2008, as there was no longer the belief in markets that key countries would not default on their debts. "Signs of stress are evident in many European government bond markets". he added (Gasp! - a revelation for us all).

Posted by alan @ 09:07 AM 0 Comments

Political pampering

Guardian: In this financial war, homeowners are the biggest draft dodgers

Osborne knows to please middle-income mortgage payers. Conveniently, austerity measures give them low interest rates.

Posted by dill @ 07:32 AM 10 Comments

Friday, September 23, 2011

Usual s-c-a-r-y stuff from JD.

BBC London: Financial Planner talks to Ms Feltz

JD on from 38:48. Love him or hate him, he is Mr Passion.

Posted by techieman @ 09:17 PM 28 Comments

Not as surreal as the title intimates, but still totally bogus

Daily Express: Food prices slashed by 30%

The number of promotions and multi-buy offers will be cut. And the store is dropping its double Clubcard points scheme at the end of October. Mr Brasher said he was confident the cuts would not affect profit margins as the investment for the campaign would come from money saved through efficiency measures as well as the scrapping of double points. Sainsbury’s is also trialling a price-matching scheme in Northern Ireland. A Sainsbury’s spokeswoman said: “This is classic smoke and mirrors from Tesco, giving with one hand and taking with the other.

Posted by general congreve @ 08:15 PM 4 Comments

Tick, tick, tick

Reuters: Greek default talk gathers pace, G20 underwhelms

"Talk of a possible Greek default gained pace on Friday while a pledge by the world's major economies to prevent Europe's debt crisis from undermining banks and the global economy failed to lift financial markets for long". The government approved a raft of more draconian austerity measures this week, including putting 30,000 public employees on a path to redundancy, cutting pensions and raising taxes, in an effort to secure the next 8 billion euro loan instalment.

Posted by alan @ 07:56 PM 2 Comments

What crash?

FT Advisor: Mortgage approvals climb on BTL boost

Comeback of buy-to-let market contributes to 15-month record mortgage approval levels, according to the British Banking Association

Posted by stuartking @ 07:20 PM 3 Comments

Absolute bargain

The Negotiator: Pay half price for Kirstie and Phil iPhone app

"To assist you with getting the most from the app, the pair have compiled their “top tips” for buyers to find their perfect home." The application has a long list of features but these two are my favourites: "7.If faced with dark corners or cupboards you want to inspect more closely the app has a torch feature to get a really thorough viewing of the property. 8.Shake your phone to get a tip from Kirstie or Phil – useful to keep you focussed on the task at hand"

Posted by quiet guy @ 06:43 PM 5 Comments

Just when markets were focused on the risks of a Greek default and the possibility of contagion

Ny times: Spain’s Banking Mess

to other countries, Spain’s central bank reported this week that things were getting worse for that country’s banks said that Spanish land prices had fallen about 30 percent from the 2007 peak, adjusted for inflation, and that home prices were off about 22 percent. “In both cases, we expect further corrections in the years to come,”

Posted by mark @ 02:53 PM 0 Comments

Buy my sandwiches! Desperate caterer advertises on side of HOUSE.

Daily Mail: Buy my house! Desperate home-owner takes on property slump by advertising sale on SANDWICH BOARD

"Inventive Tim Mason, 61, has taken to traipsing the streets of Bristol on his two days off each week - bearing a placard that reads: 'Buy my house! 3 bed Vic - St Andrew's £390/week. No mortgage.' He hit upon the idea after failing to find a buyer for his £350,000 Victorian three-bedroom terrace for six months..."

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 01:45 PM 30 Comments

Shame RBS didnt predict they would run out of cash

Yahoo: Eurozone heading for 'full blown' recession, RBS predicts

n accelerating crisis in financial markets and worsening economic outlook will push the eurozone into recession, City economists have forecast. Economists at Royal Bank of Scotland (LSE: RBS.L - news) said in a note they had revised down their economic forecasts for the region and "now expect a full blown recession".

Posted by mark @ 01:08 PM 3 Comments

Now that's a Fall.. :) In UK we are fools :(

Edwardian scotland: £13m knockdown price for house that cost £50m in 2005

IRELAND'S most expensive house, sold for €58 million (£50m) during the country's property boom just six years ago, has been put up for sale for a mere €15m (£13m), representing a fall in value of almost three-quarters.

Posted by happy mondays @ 11:52 AM 3 Comments

The only way is down......

Reuters: House prices to fall 4 percent before stabilising - Reuters poll

The only way is down for houseprices 4% drop predicted.

Posted by realtime @ 11:51 AM 2 Comments

An unloved small-cap property company

MoneyWeek: An unloved small-cap property company

As an investment idea, owning UK property shares is on the contrarian side. But this small-cap property company is making a healthy return on its investments and has good prospects for the fufture, says Tom Bulford.

Posted by martingreen @ 11:28 AM 1 Comments

Ever Wondered Why Houses Got So Expensive?

YouTube: Fiat Money Animation

Despite every effort by governments, the gap between rich and poor continues to grow. It is now the biggest it has even been in history. All sorts of reasons for this have been proffered, but few, however, seem to realise that is a simple, inevitable consequence of our system of money and credit. This video explains ...

Posted by frizzers @ 11:26 AM 1 Comments

London rents highest in the world

Planet Property: London rents highest in the world

Yep, one more reason to love the UK housing market ...

Posted by the planet @ 11:16 AM 0 Comments

How panic in Europe could hurt UK house prices

MoneyWeek: How panic in Europe could hurt UK house prices

David Stevenson explains why now could be the time to fix your mortgage rate.

Posted by martingreen @ 10:52 AM 0 Comments

Councils have a lot to answer for in the destruction of UK society

Daily mail: Sorry, but that shed is a home: Council bans NHS worker from living in her parents' garden while she saves up mortgage deposit

Miss Campbell said: 'My dream is to live in a three-bedroom home with Bill and start a family but it is so difficult to get on the property ladder these days.

Posted by mark @ 10:42 AM 8 Comments

More grist to the mill.

Independent: Threat of double-dip recession grows as global share prices fall

£64bn was wiped off the value of Britain's leading shares yesterday as panic about the prospect of a double-dip recession gripped global markets. Every share in the FTSE 100 index of top companies fell as alarm over stagnating European output and a slowdown in China was piled on top of grim news for the ailing US economy. The tumbling share prices spell dire news for Britain's pension funds and are evidence of collapsing economic confidence. The prospect of a second severe recession threatens British families with job cuts, falling living standards and renewed falls in house prices.

Posted by sibley's b'stard child @ 09:17 AM 5 Comments

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Hands up all those that touted the Swiss Franc as a better hedge than gold

Zerohedge: Financial Warfare

Beware the central planners and their financial war against you! Mike Krieger submits the latest piece, this one on a topic much discussed recently on Zero Hedge: the full blown escalation in financial warfare. To wit: "You have to hand it to these guys. The move was a stroke of central planning genius. Not only did they destroy people with major long Franc positions versus virtually any other currency (the Franc went down 25% versus the dollar in a one month period and 20% versus the Euro.

Posted by general congreve @ 11:42 PM 16 Comments

House prices can only ever go up etc.

The Renegade Economist: The Dirty Big Secret of the Home Ownership Delusion

Looks at Scotland but in short states - We need an end to the heroic delusions of a property-owning democracy that is based entirely on the 'little platoons' of owner-occupiers.

Posted by neo-serf @ 05:34 PM 6 Comments

Another highpoint for the language

City Wire: A deal-killer stalks the housing market

Why, asks Linton Chiswick, are so many home sellers walking away from buyers in such a tough market? Possibly because a third of the population are two sandwiches short of a picnic.

Posted by sureseam @ 04:21 PM 1 Comments

Property department colluded with building contractors

BBC News: Corruption claims against Edinburgh council officials

BBC Scotland has uncovered evidence of possible fraud and serious wrongdoing in building works overseen by Edinburgh City Council. There are calls for a review of recent work carried out under the statutory notice system, which allows the council to order repairs to private homes. The BBC heard claims of bribes being offered by contractors, overcharging, unnecessary and poor quality work. Under the statutory notice system, which is unique to Edinburgh, the council can intervene to organise repair work for private properties when the owners cannot reach agreement. Experts commissioned by BBC Scotland found that the residents had been over-charged, and that some of the repairs were unnecessary, of poor quality and may actually have made the buildings worse.

Posted by drewster @ 03:29 PM 8 Comments

Correct answers shown after you submit your answers

Guardian: What are tenants' rights? – quiz

With would-be homebuyers struggling for mortgage finance, demand for rental properties is on the up. So make sure you know your rights … and responsibilities. 1. My local lettings agent wants to charge me a fee before it will provide me with details of the properties it rents. Is that legal? 2. I have an excellent credit rating but my letting agent tells me I have to pay to get a credit check done before I move into a property. Is that legal? 3. I'm about to move into an assured shorthold tenancy property where the landlord says he won't be putting my deposit into a Tenancy Deposit Protection Scheme. Can he legally do that? (Total of 10 questions.)

Posted by drewster @ 03:22 PM 7 Comments

Where have all the buyers gone?

BBC News: Property sales fell in August, says HMRC

The number of properties sold in the UK fell to 78,000 in August, figures from the tax authority show. This was 6,000 fewer sales than in July - which had seen the highest total for a year - although a drop is often recorded in August during what is traditionally a quieter holiday month. However, the figure was down 3,000 compared with August 2010, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) said. At the height of the property boom in July 2007, 151,000 homes were sold. Since 2007, sales have been weighed down by the continued rationing of mortgages and the reluctance of sellers to drop their asking prices.

Posted by drewster @ 03:18 PM 0 Comments

Another hit for this fine economy

Mail: FTSE 100 plunges 4% as U.S. emergency stimulus and bank downgrades spook investors

The UK's top shares and other leading global stock markets have plummeted following the U.S.'s announcement of a £250billion rescue operation to prop up its feeble economy.

Posted by happy mondays @ 12:02 PM 22 Comments

Hee hee

Mindful Money (?): Inside the 'House Price Crash' community

Basically contributors appear to be frustrated would-be first-time buyers who resent renting and are hoping prices will "crash" so they can cash in. Presumably if any of these people eventually buy a property they abandon the site and look for one that talks up the property market. In response to an article in The Daily Telegraph about the London property bubble being about to burst, The Masked Tulip wrote: "It is a great article - excellent news indeed. London falling will be a huge bearish sentiment for prices." The posts and subsequent replies to them are written with little empathy for the sellers who are likely to be selling at a loss or struggling to keep a roof over their heads.

Posted by little professor @ 10:40 AM 31 Comments

Great news - Whoop Whoop!

Wigan today: House prices on the rise

HOUSE prices in Wigan rose one per cent in the last month according to new figures. The Rightmove House Price Index showed that between August and September, the average house price in Wigan rose from £125,686 to £126,925. Across the North West as a whole, the average price also rose by one per cent from £162,301 to £163,988. Andrew Regan, senior partner of Regan & Hallworth estate agents, said: “The news is obviously positive but we are not out of the woods yet.

Posted by khards @ 09:42 AM 9 Comments

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The super-rich keep getting super-richer

Telegraph: Billionaires boost London house prices to fourth most expensive in the world

Billionaires’ homes in London now change hands for an average of more than £3,000 per square foot and our capital has the fourth most expensive house prices in the world, according to new analysis by international estate agents Savills. Yolande Barnes, a director of Savills said: “London, Paris and New York are now beginning to look good value for the global super rich, as they offer the relative price stability associated with more mature ‘old world’ markets, coupled with political stability.” The trickle-down effect of these incoming billions may be welcomed by many owners of more modest properties in the capital – but not by younger people keen to see prices fall so they can buy their first home.

Posted by drewster @ 11:56 PM 3 Comments

Bernanke's 'Operation Twist' aims to drive US cost of borrowing down

Bloomberg: Fed to Shift Treasury Holdings to Longer-Term Securities in Stimulus Step

Feral Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke 'put downward pressure on longer-term interest rates and help make broader financial conditions more accommodative'. The central bank will buy $400 billion of bonds with maturities of six to 30 years through June while selling an equal amount of debt maturing in three years or less in an effort to further lower interest rates, stocks and 10-year Treasury yields declined in response to the plan, dubbed “Operation Twist”.

Posted by enuii @ 09:59 PM 25 Comments

Cost of borrowing set to go up atleast in US

AP via yahoo finance: Moody's cuts BofA, Wells Fargo and Citi ratings

Three of the nation's top banks are likely to start paying more to borrow money. Moody's Investors Service on Wednesday lowered its debt ratings for Bank of America, Wells Fargo and Citigroup. The ratings agency said it has become less likely that the U.S. government would step in and prevent the three lenders from failing in a crisis With almost 26% of single family homes under water, the cost of re-finance is going to rise.

Posted by deepak @ 09:44 PM 0 Comments

UK Landlords Paying the Price for Neglecting Maintenance

Simply Business: Landlords neglecting maintenance - and paying the price

According to new research from Simply Business, insurance claims for avoidable incidents such as leaks, burst pipes, frost damage and wear and tear have increased by some five per cent since 2008. It appears that Landlords across the UK are avoiding vital property maintenance tasks – and being left with a hefty bill as a result.

Posted by hannah @ 05:27 PM 0 Comments

IMF

Sky News: IMF: Financial Stability Deteriorating Again

See comments about bank of England and interest rates.

Posted by clive @ 03:48 PM 0 Comments

History Repeating

BBC News: Classic cars rev up their investment credentials

This article suggests that the eighties revival is continuing. Based upon this news the next bubble will be in football shares followed closely by tech stocks. Luckily as the eighties continues onwards, 1991 will be upon us soon.

Posted by crash bandicoot @ 02:30 PM 5 Comments

Italian lodgers

BBC News: Italian parents turn to law to evict adult son

"An Italian couple have sought legal help to persuade their 41-year-old son to fly the nest, Italian media reported." .

Posted by thecountofnowhere @ 02:13 PM 2 Comments

Sorry guv, can't build those, we bought at the top of the bubble.

Independent: House building for UK growth? Or 'ripping the lungs out of England'?

This stagnation is why the huge numbers of homes promised won't actually be built. As a result of restrictions placed on development in the past 20 years, the market has been dominated by half a dozen developers who make their money from high profit margins on the sale of a limited number of homes; builders such as Barratt, Persimmon, Bovis, Redrow, Taylor Wimpey and Berkeley Homes. When prices were rising, the model worked by developers buying land and waiting for prices to go up. Now the music has stopped, house prices are flat, and developers are left with planning permission sufficient for nearly 300,000 units – but on land bought at the top of the market. Until prices rise, they can't realise their assets. The business model developers have relied on for decades is broken.

Posted by sibley's b'stard child @ 12:42 PM 8 Comments

'A bubble is a bull market in which you don't have a position'.

Money Week: The most dangerous bubble of all

There's nothing so frustrating as seeing someone of undoubtedly inferior intelligence earn fortunes while you're sat on the sidelines. So you declare his market a bubble. The UK and US government bond markets are both, very much, 'bull markets in which I don't have a position'. But are developed government bond markets in a bubble? Let's use King, Smith, Williams and Van Boening's 1993 definition: a bubble is "trade in high volumes at prices that are considerably at variance with intrinsic values".

Posted by general congreve @ 12:28 PM 4 Comments

And it is going to get rougher

CNN Money: A rough 10 years for the middle class

It's official. The first decade of the 21st century will go down in the history books as a step back for the American middle class. Last week, the government made gloomy headlines when it released the latest census report showing the poverty rate rose to a 17-year high. A whopping 46.2 million people (or 15.1% of the U.S. population) live in poverty and 49.9 million live without health insurance.

Posted by mark @ 12:16 PM 0 Comments

At last someone speaks the truth

North wales daily post: £2m knocked off auction guide price for Kinmel Hall

On the drop in value, Mr Riggall added: “It’s to do with the fall in projected values from the height of the property market to today’s reality. The property market is exactly the same as the rest of the economy – it has been very badly hit.

Posted by mark @ 10:48 AM 16 Comments

IMF and Greece talking again....I wonder why?

BBC News: Greece bailout: Cabinet meets to discuss faster cuts

I heard it trumpetted on the BBC/State sponsored propaganda channel news last night that the IMF and Greece are again talking. From this BBC headline is sounds like they are talking because Greece have accepted the need for bigger cuts. One would hope that the other countries ( i.e. the UK ) will learn from this now.

Posted by thecountofnowhere @ 10:46 AM 1 Comments

The elephant in the room

Daily mail: 1 in 4 pay 50% of income on credit cards and loans

don't worry though despite everything we are still in a housing buuble...so all is safe and warm

Posted by taffee @ 10:34 AM 14 Comments

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Down under housing view

Who crashed the economy: Are economist blinded by our housing bubble

In promoting his book, Mr Dent has told AAP, he believes the world will enter a deeper downturn early to middle next year, originating from Europe and spreading to the U.S., China and eventually Australia. At the centre of the world wide debt crisis is, off course, Real Estate. This should sound quite familiar with readers here.

Posted by happy mondays @ 02:14 PM 48 Comments

Spanish banks can't go on like this

El Pais via Google Translate: La morosidad del sector inmobiliario con la banca alcanza un récord con un 17,7% Late payment of real estate to banking to reach a record 17.7%

More than three years after the bursting of the housing bubble, banks have yet to digest the glut of building that was in the boom years. In fact, instead of improving, assets linked to this sector are deteriorating by leaps and bounds. As reported today by the Bank of Spain, delinquencies in the housing sector have risen in the second quarter by more than two percentage points to 17.8% of total mortgage debt. Widening the focus, loans more than three months in arrears have increased again in July for the fifth consecutive month. Arrears rose from 5.48% to 6.93% in June compared to the same month in 2010, which in money equals a total of 124,700 million euros.

Posted by drewster @ 12:55 PM 3 Comments

Reasonably balanced piece giving weight to both sides

Independent: To buy or not to buy?, that is the question for today's home hunters

Lauren Allchurch is facing the same dilemma as thousands of would-be home owners across the country: Should she stretch her finances and move to a cheaper area just to own a property or is it more sensible to continue renting until the global economy settles down?

Posted by sibley's b'stard child @ 12:09 PM 10 Comments

Ups and downs

ShareCast: UK mortgage lending hits 25-month high

Mortgage lending has risen but forecast for house prices down

Posted by stuartking @ 12:06 PM 1 Comments

Monday, September 19, 2011

Cash-poor widows trotted out again

Telegraph: Mansion tax looks doomed as £1m plus house prices 'become the norm' in 41 towns

New evidence that house prices of £1m or more have become commonplace in many parts of the home counties suggests that Liberal Democrat plans for a ‘mansion tax’ could prove electoral suicide in comfortable constituencies which felt too cool to vote red or blue at the last General Election. 13pc of London properties sell for seven figures while the national average is 3.5pc. Few people in more modestly-priced properties will feel much sympathy for those in £1m plus homes. In the unlikely event that LibDem plans for a mansion tax become reality, how long will it be before the first property-rich but cash-poor widow is evicted from the family home to pay her tax bill?

Posted by drewster @ 07:32 PM 22 Comments

Overall spending higher due to 20% devalued currency

BBC: Bank of England quantitative easing 'boosted GDP'

The Bank of England's purchase of £200bn of assets has been "economically significant", boosting GDP by as much as 2%, according to the Bank's Quarterly Bulletin. Of the £1400 billion we spend each year £200 billion (+ the multiplier affect) we got an extra 2% growth. So we all paid for this and still are due to high inflation. I can't see the positive here. Please help

Posted by deepak @ 07:28 PM 7 Comments

Merv has marked his own homework and he got A++

Citywire: Chart of the Day: how the Bank of England saved us

"The Bank of England has graded itself on its efforts to pull the economy out of recession and it comes up trumps." We need to stop being so tough on the BoE - they are obviously doing a great job (or is that a sterling job?)!

Posted by timmy t @ 02:37 PM 27 Comments

We guessed as much...

Rightmove: Did you know that only half of the properties put on the market last year sold?

"Whilst we can’t do anything about the facts, we can offer you some valuable advice that can help set your home apart from the rest and give it the best possible chance of being in the half that DO sell fast in 2011. Rightmove’s Director Miles Shipside is someone who sees what makes the difference between a sale and a no sale every day. His short video outlines 3 essential tips for selling success and explains how working in partnership with your estate agent can increase your odds of attracting your buyer. Miles’ tips are geared to help give you the edge over similar properties in your area – after all, this is a market and your neighbours could be your competition!...

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 01:45 PM 8 Comments

Mail turns bullish on 'asking' prices thanks to ''new research''

Mail: What downturn? House prices rise by £100 each WEEK as confidence returns to property market

''The cost of homes in Britain has soared since the start of this year by approximately £100 a week, new research has revealed. Property experts analysed more than a million homes and found that in almost every part of the UK prices have risen by an average of 1.7 per cent or £3,667 since January. The positive news will come as a relief to homeowners, many of whom have been left in negative equity as the value of their properties collapsed since the recession.'' ''Samantha Baden, analyst at FindaProperty, which carried out the latest research, said: 'The rise in house prices shows confidence in the property market remains steady as a result of homeowners realising the old adage is true – in times of trouble invest in bricks and mortar.''

Posted by hpwatcher @ 11:05 AM 10 Comments

.

Mortgage Financial Gazette: Work together to help mortgage borrowers in difficulty

The Building Societies Association has published a report urging Government, the industry and consumer groups to work together to help prevent home repossessions.

Posted by paranoia blue @ 10:31 AM 0 Comments

Rightmove September Property index rises

Rightmove: Act now to move before Christmas

The Rightmove index shows a monthly rise of 0.7% and a yearly rise of 1.5%, if house prices remain static most indices will show year on year rises in the next two months.

Posted by valiant dickson @ 09:51 AM 0 Comments

Shipside's monster refuses to die.

Estate Agent Today: New rise in asking prices baffles Rightmove

Miles Shipside, director of Rightmove, said: “Many buyers hope to move in before the Christmas break and enjoy their turkey in their new abode. With less than 100 days left before Christmas there’s an opportunity for some deadline-focused movers to do their bit to get some action into a market that is still pretty moribund three years after the financial fiascos that precipitated the downturn.” Rightmove said that one reason why the market lacks momentum is that prospective buyers do not feel any urgency to make an offer and conclude a purchase.

Posted by sibley's b'stard child @ 09:21 AM 8 Comments

From over-60s with capital, to under-40s struggling to buy a home and to pay down debts

North wales daily post: Millions risk poverty in old age - not enough people are saving

Simon Rose, at Save Our Savers, adds: “Everybody feels poorer and savers – who far outnumber borrowers – are losing more than £50 billion a year to inflation.

Posted by mark @ 09:12 AM 3 Comments

We're being primed for more QE

Telegraph: QE saved Britain from double-dip recession, says Bank of England

Calculating the impact of QE on the economy for the first time, the Bank said the stimulus programme had a peak effect of boosting output by up to 2pc. As growth in 2010 was 1.4pc and is expected to be just 1.3pc this year, the calculations show the UK would have suffered a deeper slump or a double-dip without the unorthodox money-printing programme. Even after QE, the economy is still 2.8pc smaller than it was before the recession. At the same time, QE increased UK household wealth by about 16pc – principally by lifting share prices, according to the paper published in the Bank's Quarterly Bulletin.

Posted by quiet guy @ 08:10 AM 8 Comments

Last 3 paragraphs make sense

Bestadvice.net: New sellers raise asking prices

Hometrack has reported that new sellers made up some of the ’holiday quarter’s’ lost ground by increasing their average asking price by 0.7%, equating to £1,596

Posted by paranoia blue @ 07:54 AM 0 Comments

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Inflation will rise as we print losts more money, wont it?

Reuters: Bank's Posen sees UK inflation down by summer 2012

"Bank of England policymaker Adam Posen said on Sunday he expected Britain's inflation rate to fall by the summer of 2012, and that interest rates would remain at a record low level. Posen, who repeated his long-standing call for more asset purchases, also warned a failure to solve the debt crisis in the euro zone would hit Britain hard, and that the Bank was working to assess any impact". "He added Europe's debt problem was solvable and the rich countries of central Europe should take the loss to alleviate the fear across markets."Is that entirely fair? No, but it's not as unfair as people think.." (Wot?)

Posted by alan @ 06:23 PM 14 Comments

End game for ZIRP?

The Spectator: This is going to hurt: The worldwide bond bubble will burst, and Britain is not prepared

'The truth is that the economies of rich countries, including the UK, are being kept alive by another and astonishingly under-reported bull market — in government debt. This is the bond bubble; and when it bursts, as it surely will, the result will be a recession far deeper than the crash from which we are trying to recover. '

Posted by montesquieu @ 01:18 PM 15 Comments

High government spending in poor regions (a little off-topic)

New York Times: Austere Italy? Check the Traffic

COMITINI, Italy — With only 960 residents and a handful of roads, this tiny hilltop village in the arid, sulfurous hills of southern Sicily does not appear to have major traffic problems. But that does not prevent it from having one full-time traffic officer and eight auxiliaries. The mayor is proud that he has used public money to create jobs. “I know that 60 people in a town of 1,000 is a good number, it’s a lot,” the mayor said of his city’s employees. “But the city doesn’t pay them. The state and the region do.” Indeed, Comitini’s city employees are paid 90% by the regional government and only 10% by the town. But what may be saving Comitini’s economy is precisely what is strangling Italy’s. Public spending has driven up the public debt to 120% of GDP.

Posted by drewster @ 11:55 AM 1 Comments

Capitulation-WHEN?

Arabian Money: Awaiting the capitulation event as stimulus no longer works

You can hand a heavily indebted person a credit card and let them go off spending for another few months. You could even be kind and foolish and do this again. But you eventually reach the end of the road where their bad credit is a danger to your own financial position, and then you would have to stop.

Posted by keep walking @ 11:16 AM 0 Comments

Just when you thought Euroland was the problem

Telegraph: China 'faces subprime credit bubble crisis'

"Monetary tightening in China threatens to pop the $1.7 trillion (£1.07 trillion) credit bubble in local government finance and expose the country's simmering "subprime" crisis, according to the Communist Party's economic guru" (Can't we sell them Gordon Brown?).

Posted by alan @ 09:37 AM 9 Comments

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Rubbish mortgage lending threat

FT Adviser: Genworth warning on risk of high LTV mortgages

The return of 100 per cent loan-to-value mortgages offers false hope for first-time buyers and risks undermining the entire mortgage market, a European mortgage specialist has said. In desperate bid to keep house prices inflated more risky deals are being offered. When will the Government pass a law to prevent this sort of thing happening? Never, I guess, as it has a crazy addition to high house prices, despite the damage they do the economy.

Posted by stuartking @ 12:36 PM 5 Comments

More insane lending

IPIN Global: How The Buy to Let Market Is Manipulated

"Apparently the number of Buy to Let mortgage products has risen by 35% over the last quarter, an astonishing number given the state of the UK economy at the moment and the virtual stagnation of the property market. "For me, it begs the question "are these new products actually going to help the property market or property investors/buyers?" Crash in BTL seems to be on the way... summing up: "...lending money to someone in an unstable finance market, with the intent that they invest that loan into an unstable asset market, is just pure insanity."

Posted by stuartking @ 11:35 AM 8 Comments

Value of your investment can go up as well as down

Trustnet: Ensures savings outperform house prices

"Anyone with a 20 per cent deposit towards a house can apply to Castle Trust for a further 20 per cent of the property’s value, meaning their bank or building society can offer them a cheaper mortgage. "This 20 per cent is interest free and has no annual charges; instead, when the house is eventually sold, Castle Trust will reclaim their original investment plus 40 per cent of any increase in the value of the property. If the property is sold at a loss the company will reclaim its original investment minus 20 per cent of any loss." Looks like another desperate attempt to keep house prices inflated

Posted by stuartking @ 11:05 AM 5 Comments

How can Mervyn keep making low inflation forecasts?

Reuters: Bank policymakers push door to QE wide open

"Bank of England policymakers have pushed the door wide open to more quantitative easing to support the faltering economy, and some say they could take their next step in October or November".

Posted by alan @ 10:45 AM 11 Comments

Mr 'House Price Inflation' Brown on how to save the planet

ArabianMoney: Gordon Brown’s plan to save the world from another Great Depression

Asking the former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown how to fix the world economy is a bit like taking advice from Nick Leeson, the man who bankrupted Barings Back with fraudulent trading. He should know. He was the person who loaded up the UK economy with the highest debt in the world and drove house prices up and up to become Prime Minister.

Posted by david smith @ 08:30 AM 0 Comments

Big numbers. Big risk.

Telegraph: Housing deposits rise tenfold

The average deposit required to buy a house in the UK has increased tenfold to almost £66,000 since 1990, new research shows.

Posted by dill @ 07:20 AM 0 Comments

What did one alcoholic say to another?

Daily Telegraph: Europe must act over debt, says US Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner

European leaders are failing to deal with the “catastrophic” financial risks posed by the eurozone’s debt crisis, the United States has warned. Mr Geithner said that divisions among European leaders over strategy are “very damaging”. “Governments and central banks need to take out the catastrophic risk to markets.” His outspoken warnings offended many European ministers and the two sides rejected each other’s suggestions for action. Bit rich USA lecturing Europe. It was only last month that congress was behaving like a two year old child. Anyway it is listening to Americans that got us in to this mess. Most Americans don't have a clue as to how the world works. Most don't even have a passport and thus have never left the USA.

Posted by who stole my pension? @ 12:06 AM 0 Comments

Friday, September 16, 2011

Did it ever leave us?

Telegraph: Spectre of credit crunch returns

The spectre of a second credit crunch was raised yesterday after central banks were forced to intervene to stop the international financial system from freezing again.

Posted by sibley's b'stard child @ 09:14 PM 2 Comments

Whittlebury Hall goes into administration following cashflow problems

Northampton Chronicle and Echo: A popular place for SPA treatments

"THE owners of Whittlebury Hall have confirmed the hotel and conference venue has gone into administration" Sign of the times, their profits have been whittled away....

Posted by thecountofnowhere @ 04:06 PM 0 Comments

This guy told us we are all prudent and dont have debt issues, sold gold at low price etc

Yahoo: Gordon Brown fears euro crisis worse than Lehman as 1930s beckon

"The euro can't survive in its present form and will have to be reformed drastically," he told a mostly-Chinese audience at the World Economic Forum in Dalian.

Posted by mark @ 02:37 PM 15 Comments

The only comments worth reading are in the "Worst rated" section

Daily Mail: Lib Dems aim to hit millions with homes tax (and they'll allow councils to charge as much as they like)

For example: "If you put up tax on property (unearned wealth gained through house price inflation) and cut taxes on income (money earned through hard work) then Britain would be a more enterprising, competitive society. John, Dartford, 16/9/2011 9:58"

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 01:24 PM 12 Comments

Flat road to cliff

Yahoo: UK mortgage lending flat in July - BBA

Mortgage lending by Britain's biggest banks was flat last month as demand for borrowing remained subdued amid a sluggish economy. Gross mortgage lending remained at £7.6bn in July, equal to the previous month's lending, according to the British Bankers' Association (BBA). This followed an 11pc fall between May and June.

Posted by mark @ 12:21 PM 4 Comments

I should think so!!

FT.com: UBS bankers face zero bonuses

Hundreds of UBS bankers could receive zero bonuses this year following the revelation that a 31-year-old trader at the Swiss group is suspected of losing $2bn through unauthorised trades.

Posted by watchman @ 11:16 AM 10 Comments

The effect of unsustainable rent inflation.

Estate Agent Today: Councils overwhelmed by 26% rise in homeless people

New Government figures on homelessness in England show that the number of people applying to councils for help with housing has increased by 14% over the last year. The statistics also show a 26% increase in the number of people who have been accepted as homeless but for whom no accommodation has been offered by local authorities. Jenny Edwards, chief executive of Homeless Link, the umbrella body for 500 homeless charities, said: “The number of homeless people going to councils for help continues to rise. This news underlines the need for urgent action to address the chronic shortage of affordable housing in our cities and our countryside.

Posted by sibley's b'stard child @ 11:15 AM 2 Comments

Onwards and upwards

BBC News: Rent rise is fastest for a year, says LSL

The cost of renting a home rose at its fastest rate in a year - with the average tenant paying £713 a month, a survey has said. Tenants paid 1.2% more on average to rent a property in the UK in August than they did in July, according to LSL Property Services. The cost rose quickest in Wales and the South East of England in the last month. The survey from lettings agent LSL, which owns Your Move and Reeds Rains, suggested that London had seen the biggest rent rises in England and Wales in the last year, rising by 6.6%, followed by a 6% rise in the West Midlands and a 4.3% increase in the North East of England.

Posted by drewster @ 02:04 AM 16 Comments

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Does the future have a Euro? Long article, but well worth a read.

The New York Review of Books: Does the Euro Have a Future? by George Soros

Angela Merkel then declared that the guarantee should be exercised by each European state individually, not by the European Union or the eurozone acting as a whole. This sowed the seeds of the euro crisis because it revealed and activated a hidden weakness in the construction of the euro: the lack of a common treasury.

Posted by rental john @ 04:59 PM 1 Comments

Doors of empty stables to be firmly bolted...that will stop them getting out again!

Bangkok Post: EU to punish deficit sinners

Shame you have to look to the press outside EU to find such an article: The European Union moved closer on Thursday to toughening budget rules to punish overspenders after the EU Parliament and governments reached a compromise to prevent future debt crises.

Posted by rental john @ 04:55 PM 0 Comments

More money please sir

NY times: E.C.B. Moves to Provide Extra Liquidity

The European Central Bank said it would allow banks to borrow dollars for up to three months, instead of just for one week as before. The E.C.B. said it was acting in coordination with the with the United States Federal Reserve, the Bank of England, the Bank of Japan and the Swiss National Bank.

Posted by mark @ 03:15 PM 17 Comments

Common sense

Evening Standard: The Government must build its way out of this slump

".....The Government should look at how building hundreds of thousands of new houses saved this country from the worst impacts of the 1930s depression. It should seek to repeat the trick....." Anthony Hilton.

Posted by dill @ 02:24 PM 14 Comments

They don't like it up 'em

CityWire Money: Property rich? Watch out! The mansion tax is coming

A veritable feast of Homey special pleading, they don't just play the "Poor Widow Bogey", they play the "Poor High Earner Who Bought Last Year Bogey". This is how contorted their logic is. The high earner will be delighted if they get rid of the 50p top rate, he'll save far more from that tax being scrapped (and rightly so IHMBO) than he'll ever pay extra in Mansion Tax. And they insist on describing land values as "wealth", it's not "wealth" any more than the entitlement of poor people to welfare is "wealth". Neither land rental values nor a welfare entitlement is "wealth", they are "entitlements", which can only exist if others are paying in or being made poorer somehow (via tax system or via land market or both).

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 12:19 PM 8 Comments

Remind me again why a "talent" exodus would be a bad thing...

BBC: Man arrested in London after UBS unauthorised trading

Police in London have arrested a 31-year-old man in connection with allegations of unauthorised trading which has cost Swiss banking group UBS an estimated $2bn (£1.3bn). Pah - I remember the days when a billion quid was a lot of money.

Posted by timmy t @ 10:53 AM 12 Comments

VIs vs VIs, who will win?

Telegraph: Hands Off Our Land: the 300,000 new homes already 'in the bank'

Campaigners say that the “land banks” are enough for more than two years of house building, meaning there is no need to water down current planning laws. The Coalition wants to create a new legal “presumption in favour of sustainable development”, a change that critics say will lead to unrestrained building in rural areas. Ministers insist that reforms are needed to increase the number of new houses built every year, thereby cutting prices. David Cameron defended the draft National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), telling MPs it would free up land. “We need to build more houses, to help more young people to get on the housing ladder,” the Prime Minister said.

Posted by sibley's b'stard child @ 10:40 AM 12 Comments

Another Red arrow for the HPC chart!

Home.co.uk: Home Prices Take a Seasonal Dip

Heading in the right direction, and we still have the winter months to come.

Posted by markj69 str05 @ 12:21 AM 16 Comments

High house prices kill (meaningful development)

Reuters: High house prices kill

The global effect in microcosm

Posted by welshy @ 12:07 AM 2 Comments

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Lose, lose for house prices

Adam Smith Institute: Inflation's impact on housing

"Most people might imagine that house prices have fallen a tiny bit. In fact – as surveyor James Wyatt of estate agents John D Wood told a meeting of the Economic Research Council this week – house prices have fallen 22% in real terms over the last three years. Indeed they have fallen more in many parts of the country." And they are set to fall further, as negative real interest rates, currently around minus 4.5 per cent, means "the supply of people willing to lend money has dried up". What it doesn't say is that if interest rates do go, even if it increases the supply of credit, the effect that will have on households struggling at the moment could lead to many more forced sales... which will also push house prices down. Very much a lose, lose situation.

Posted by stuartking @ 11:03 PM 8 Comments

Doom unless West changes tack

Roubini Global Economics: A Radical Policy Response to the Rising Risks of a Depression and Financial Crisis

Nouriel Roubini analyses what's going wrong in the West and the upshot of front-loaded austerity programmes such as the one implemented by Gideon Osborne and his coalition pals. It makes very grim reading for anyone hoping for an end to slow/no growth, predicting unless we and our economic partners change tack we're headed for a depression with "increased income and wealth inequality, populism, poverty and social desperation; and finally, social and political instability that paved the way for authoritarian and aggressive regimes (from Germany to Italy, Spain and Japan) and eventually led to World War II. The risks of a repeat of the 1930s cannot now be underestimated." A bit more than a house price cash. You need to register to read the full article but it's free at the moment

Posted by stuartking @ 10:16 PM 0 Comments

Oh Really!

Bloomberg: Sarkozy, Merkel ‘Convinced’ Greece to Remain in Euro Area

"French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel are “convinced” Greece will remain in the euro area, according to a statement issued by Sarkozy after they spoke to Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou by telephone today". (Gadaffi urged his followers to "fight on" in other main news)

Posted by alan @ 07:36 PM 5 Comments

Will this affect our economy?

Al Jazeera: China buys gold, challenges US dollar

"WikiLeaks cables allege that China is buying gold to weaken the US dollar's supremacy as the world's reserve currency". ""No one in 1979 would have predicted that China would become the United States' most important relationship in thirty years," the cable stated. "No one today can predict with certainty where our relations with Beijing will be thirty years hence."

Posted by alan @ 06:54 PM 1 Comments

Slow train crash speeds up...

The Economist: The euro crisis. Time is running out

WHEN Russia worries publicly about the financial stability of the European Union, as opposed to the other way around, you know the euro is in real trouble. There is a sense in Brussels that the defenders of the euro zone have run out of ammunition and out of ideas.

Posted by rental john @ 06:33 PM 0 Comments

FT Opinion again calling for % based property tax - the idea spreading

FT and IFS: FT opinion calling for % based property tax

The taxation of housing, for example, is inequitable and inefficient. Council tax is still based on 1991 valuations and is deliberately regressive relative to the value of the property, while stamp duty, a tax on transactions that rises in steps, is particularly inefficient, creating distortions in the housing market. The latter should be abolished, while council tax should be replaced with a housing services tax proportional to property value. also related: www.ifs.org.uk/publications/5674 (Mirrlees review)

Posted by easybetman @ 04:28 PM 4 Comments

More on Barratts amazing year!

Bbc 'news': Barratt Developments hails 'year of recovery'

Turns out, if it wasn't for the £54.2 million loss, sorry, I mean £52.2 million exceptional charge, Barratts would have made at £42.7 million proffit. It can only mean one thing, Quick, to the Estate agents!

Posted by tick tock @ 03:46 PM 2 Comments

House prices look fragile – but Barratt looks cheap

MoneyWeek: House prices look fragile – but Barratt looks cheap

While the UK's housing market still looks sticky, Barratt - the country's biggest housebuilder - is looking healthier than you might expect, says David Stevenson. So should you buy in?

Posted by martingreen @ 03:04 PM 2 Comments

Any pick up in house prices may not last very long

MoneyWeek: Bad news on house prices - but the cost of living is surging

The latest RICS housing market survey may hold some crumbs of comfort for Britain's homeowners. But beware. Any pick up in house prices may not last very long. David Stevenson explains why.

Posted by martingreen @ 11:06 AM 1 Comments

More bad news...

BBC News: UK unemployment total rises sharply to 2.51 million

The number of people unemployed in the UK rose by 80,000 to 2.51 million in the three months to July, official figures have shown.

Posted by watchman @ 10:48 AM 2 Comments

Some of the suggestions sound great, one is just plain madness

Daily mail: Economists call for end of stamp duty and savings tax in radical redrawing of tax rules

Mr Johnson said: ‘It is time for the Government to grow up and map out a rational course for tax policy.’ Last night a Treasury spokesman said: ‘The Government has embarked on a programme of ambitious reforms of the tax system to address the instability of recent years.

Posted by mark @ 10:18 AM 27 Comments

Newbuilds Meet Just 77% Of Recommended Living Space

BBC News: Architects Attack Shoebox Homes

Many new houses in the UK are "shameful shoebox homes" which are too small for family life, the Royal Institute of British Architects (Riba) has said.

Posted by rantnrave @ 09:55 AM 8 Comments

Where will the investment come from?

Telegraph: UK has lost 2m jobs since recession

Reducing corporate tax rates and the creation of new enterprise zones to boost job creation are an "inadequate response" to the ongoing jobs crisis, according to the report by the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR). Ahead of fresh unemployment figures on Wednesday, the analysis warns there is "little evidence" the private sector will pick up the slack from public sector job losses in the next four years. But the report calculates that between 1.5m and 2m jobs need to be generated to return the UK to its pre-recession employment rate of 73pc. The current level is 70.7pc.

Posted by sibley's b'stard child @ 09:52 AM 1 Comments

Coalition embraces Keynesian economics

MSN Money: Clegg warns on economy, vows supply side boost

Nick Clegg as always gets the job of announcing the bad (from the Tory point of view) news - the Coalition is to echo Roosevelt's New Deal with investment in infrastructure projects in an attempt to boost the economy.

Posted by we're all in this together @ 09:24 AM 1 Comments

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Forget airport expansion and sort out the capital’s roads, Londoners tell mayoral candidates

LondonLovesBusiness: Forget airport expansion and sort out the capital’s roads, Londoners tell mayoral candidates

The next mayor of London should ignore calls for airport expansion and make tackling roadworks disruption his top transport priority, according to a new ComRes survey commissioned by LondonlovesBusiness.com. More than 60 per cent of Londoners, and 57 per cent of the capital’s business leaders, said reducing disruption from roadworks should be a main transport priority for the next Mayor.

Posted by londonlovesbusiness @ 02:00 PM 0 Comments

August - that indicative month of the year

Money News: Housing market continues to falter, claims Rics

According to its 2011 UK Housing Market Survey, Rics found the number of sales per surveyor fell slightly to an average of 14, meaning transaction levels fell back to June 2009 levels.

Posted by sureseam @ 12:24 PM 4 Comments

Why wait it will only be worth even less next year

Dailymail: Summer slide in house prices pushing sellers to put off until Autumn, surveyors report

'However, the risk is that the worsening economic picture will gradually begin to have a more material impact on sentiment and discourage potential house purchasers even where mortgage finance is available.'

Posted by mark @ 12:07 PM 16 Comments

Whoosh! Catch us if you can.

Estate Agent Today: Prices in central London set to rocket, says Knight Frank

Grainne Gilmore, Knight Frank’s head of research, insisted: “London is really seen as a safe haven for global money. We ran some figures showing how prime property is doing in terms of asset classes. It beat the FTSE 100 tracker over the last ten years by quite a long margin and certainly gives gold a run for its money. As a result, Knight Frank is forecasting that prices in this area and in the nearby City are set to rise 118% by the end of 2015, second only to the Vauxhall area in south London, where prices are forecast to jump 140% thanks to the redevelopment of Battersea Power Station along with the new US embassy to be built nearby.

Posted by sibley's b'stard child @ 11:44 AM 14 Comments

House prices slip in August

City AM: House prices slip in August

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors' seasonally adjusted house price balance inched down to -23 from -22 in July, in line with the median forecast in a Reuters poll. Economic uncertainty, a lack of home loans and expectations that prices have further to fall have combined to create a sluggish market, the trade body said.

Posted by warren @ 11:16 AM 0 Comments

Remarkable growth rate

Telegraph: UK growth slowing at fastest pace in more than a year, says OECD

According to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), activity in the UK fell for a sixth straight month in July and at its steepest rate since June 2010. The contraction, from 100.9 to 100.4 – a level not seen since the UK entered recession in 2009 - indicated the country is in a "slowdown". Of the G7, Canada, France and Italy are currently deeper into "slowdown" territory than the UK.

Posted by general congreve @ 10:35 AM 3 Comments

Obesity cure found by Mervyn King

Daily Mail: Inflation rises again following massive hikes in utility bills and soaring food prices

Inflation today climbed to a three-year high thanks to a huge rise in the cost of utility bills. The consumer prices index (CPI) measure of inflation for August rose to 4.5 per cent, up from 4.4 per cent in July, according to the Office of National Statistics. This is the highest rate since September 2008, when the financial crash pushed inflation to 5.2 per cent. The broader Retail Price Index has risen to 5.3 per cent, from five per cent in July. Housing, water, electricity and gas prices increased by 5.1 per cent year-on-year, the ONS said - the highest annual increase since July 2009.

Posted by khards @ 10:06 AM 48 Comments

How 'unexpected' will it be?

Sky News: Inflation Expected To Hit Three-Year High

The rising cost of utility bills is expected to push the official rate of inflation to a three-year high when figures are released later. Economists predict the consumer prices index (CPI) measure of inflation for August will rise to 4.6%, up from 4.4% the previous month. It would be its highest level since September 2008 when it hit 5.2%. Scottish Power and British Gas raised their gas tariffs in the month, by 19% and 18%,respectively, alongside big increases for electricity.

Posted by little professor @ 08:51 AM 3 Comments

Another broken part of the system

Telegraph: Council tenants 'cost taxpayer £2bn a year' by illegally subletting homes

Almost 160,000 council homes are being illegally sublet by tenants in a racket that is costing the taxpayer more than £2billion a year, according to Experian. The information services company examined the number of social housing tenants not currently occupying their tenancy address and found living at another property. They also examined credit activity by other adults who were using the council or housing association property as their address. It concluded that at least three per cent of Britain's five million social housing properties were unlawfully sublet.

Posted by drewster @ 01:17 AM 10 Comments

Bear nibbles from Auntie Beeb....

BBC News: Sellers' gloom over property market inactivity

Fourteen homes were sold per UK estate agent in the three months to August - the lowest total for more than two years, a survey has found

Posted by amadeus @ 12:25 AM 0 Comments

Supply up, demand down

Reuters: UK house prices inch lower in August - RICS

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors' seasonally adjusted house price balance inched down to -23 from -22 in July, levels last seen during the recession in 2009. The average number of sales per surveyor fell by 1.4%, new buyer inquiries fell while new instructions from sellers increased. The price expectations balance for the next three months fell to -23 in August from -13 in July, suggesting more surveyors expect UK property prices to keep slipping. Those questioned were also asked to identify the biggest problems weighing on the housing market. The top answer was economic uncertainty (78 percent) followed by a lack of mortgage availability (66 percent).

Posted by little professor @ 12:18 AM 3 Comments

Monday, September 12, 2011

Ten ways of wasting £100K

MSN Mooney: Ten homes for £100k

You must ignore the inconvenient truth that in these areas, people on average only earn about £12k to £15k a year.

Posted by peter_2008 @ 10:23 PM 0 Comments

Common sense for BTLers

WSJ: Six Mistakes Housing Investors Make

Before you start scouring for deals, keep in mind that owning rental properties is time-consuming, expensive and fraught with challenges, and many investors lose money. You will want to avoid falling into one of these common traps.

Posted by sureseam @ 10:23 PM 0 Comments

Bumping along the bottom

CML: July house purchase lending highest since August 2010

Number of loans 12% down on July last year. Commenting on the data, CML director general Paul Smee said: "The UK mortgage market is currently holding steady. But August saw global financial turmoil and unrest closer to home and recent Bank of England approvals figures do not necessarily suggest a continuing upturn in lending.... Eh? Come again?

Posted by ontheotherhand @ 04:45 PM 1 Comments

The catalyst for HPC?

Yahoo: Pain of British slump to 'last a decade'

The worst pain of Britain's austerity measures will be felt in the 10 years to come, amid some of the worst falls in living standards since World War II, the IFS (SES: E1:I49.SI - news) economic research institute said Monday.

Posted by mr g @ 11:55 AM 10 Comments

Pure greed buying up plots - makes it harder for self builders

North wales daily post: Redrow reports £25.3m pre-tax profit

By the end of June Redrow owned 11,190 plots, about 4.5 years of supply.

Posted by mark @ 11:12 AM 2 Comments

Foaming at the mouth NIMBYism

Daily Mail: How could the Tories - of all people - let developers rip out the lungs of England?

I do wonder whether Melanie Phillips lives in a house, or what other arrangements she might have made to minimise the amount of England's lungs she has ripped out. At well over 90% of England's surface area, there seem to be plenty of lungs left to me.

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 11:08 AM 6 Comments

'Your low asking price is putting buyers off; you should raise it to attract the right calibre'

Estate Agent Today: Phil Spencer set to become TV 'estate agent'

Could Phil Spencer be about to take an instruction off you – and if so, would you mind? The genial Phil (what, no Kirstie?) is joining Channel 4’s daytime line-up in a new programme, ‘Phil Spencer: Secret Agent’, in which he comes to the aid of home owners trapped in properties that refuse to sell. Says the C4 blurb: “After years of property boom, the housing market across the country has been stagnant and estate agents have seen the biggest rise in unsold houses since 2007. “With deposit requirements up and mortgage approvals down, it’s harder than ever to sell a house. “Enter Phil Spencer, who will take on the role of secret agent and work with sellers and buyers to help get the market moving again

Posted by sibley's b'stard child @ 10:39 AM 11 Comments

Extreme but then so is the bubble

Cnbc: Dow to hit 3000 by 2013

japan dropped 75% over 20 years so anything is possible.analysts point to earnings,but realistically how can earnings be so good during 'the worst recession since 1930's'.Earnings were good in 2007,then collapsed.The common theme coming through is that you cannot solve a debt problem with more of the same.

Posted by taffee @ 10:25 AM 8 Comments

Sunday, September 11, 2011

A tax on pwopertee - Oh No!

Guardian: Greece imposes property tax in bid to avoid default

"Greece took desperate measures to calm fears that it is on the brink of default by announcing a new property tax to plug budget shortfalls".....And be collected via electricity bills said Evangelos Venizelos, the Greek finance minister! "He rejected suggestions that Greece could leave the eurozone".

Posted by alan @ 08:54 PM 7 Comments

Make seven times your money in 3-4 years

Yahoo finance: Randgold Resources, Ltd. (RRS.L)

Was 11 pounds in 2007, 70 pounds now! Look at the share price of this company, does it look like a bubble? Would love to know techiman's ideas here. Does anything which does not return any income, rises in price so sharply sounds to me of a bubble. Neatly bring it to house prices, you can repeat the story here. Will a crash of gold price do any harm? Then why is there is different reason for asset bubble in house prices?

Posted by deepak @ 05:48 PM 26 Comments

Sensible call for nothing less than a new Glass-Steagall

The Telegraph: Nothing less than the total separation of retail and investment banks will do

On Monday, the "Independent Commission on Banking" will publish its final report, recommending that retail and investment banking should be "ring-fenced", while staying in the same institution. An elegant political compromise, "ring-fencing" will solve nothing.

Posted by tick tock @ 01:15 PM 3 Comments

Its just the same down under in Oz

News.com.au: Young people are banking on the family home to get a foot on the property ladder

Aussie Carnegie mortgage broker Mark Daly said family equity loans were becoming more popular with younger cash-strapped buyers. Many had used their savings on flashy cars and big-screen TVs but weren't willing to compromise on location or lifestyle for a home. "They want everything now and suddenly discover they've got no cash," he said. "The reason these options are popular is because people don't have the savings." "They have either spent it or the house they want is so expensive they need a bigger deposit." RAMS Home Loans and Bank of Melbourne also allow applicants to use rental payments as proof of an ability to save. JPP Buyer Advocates' Catherine Cashmore young buyers had grown up with what were once considered luxuries, but now regarded them as essential.

Posted by enuii @ 11:55 AM 1 Comments

Would You give Osborne an A+ ?

Independent: Osborne signals U-turn on economy with growth plan

"In what has been described in government circles as Plan A+, cabinet ministers have been told to identify big-ticket infrastructure projects that can be speeded up to jump-start growth".Some ministers are pressing for the Chancellor to go further and introduce tax cuts for businesses, including cutting VAT on home repairs from 20 per cent to 5 per cent." (The rumour mill continues....)

Posted by alan @ 09:25 AM 5 Comments

Quick, prop up house prices

Telegraph: Rising inflation is 'no barrier to more quantitative easing'

"Despite rising inflation, Investec expects the MPC to restart QE as soon as October because the risks to growth are so severe. It has already spent £200bn of newly created money on buying assets, mainly Government bonds".

Posted by alan @ 09:15 AM 3 Comments

Saturday, September 10, 2011

"properties are so reasonably priced"

Mortgagestrategy: House prices down 2.2% year-on-year in August, says LSL

House prices increased by 0.3% in August compared to the previous month, but fell by 2.2% year-on-year, according to the latest LSL/Acadametrics House Price Index. The research also shows that housing transactions increased by 1.5% compared to July. Richard Sexton, business development director at e.surv, says: “The property market bounced back this summer, with consecutive months of price rises following falls between April and June. Prices in London rose most, thanks to all the cash buyers pushing up demand....He says that mortgage finance is very cheap at the moment and the fact that properties are so reasonably priced is also helping to allay lenders’ fears about borrowers’ ability to repay their loans.

Posted by jack c @ 10:58 AM 6 Comments

"Nationwide’s £150,000 threshold policy appears to create a distinct North-South divide"

Mortgagestrategy: Do interest-only restrictions create North-South divide?

Mortgage Strategy was surprised to learn this week that certain existing borrowers are banned from making even a temporary move onto interest-only repayments - because their house isn’t worth enough money. Mortgage Strategy was contacted by one Nationwide borrower on a capital repayment mortgage who wished to make a temporary switch to interest only in order to carry out some repairs on his home. But he was told by the lender that he could only do so if he had an LTV of 66% or lower and at least £150,000 of equity in the property. The borrower satisfied the first criteria but failed on the second - because his Lancashire home is worth less than £150,000.

Posted by jack c @ 10:51 AM 2 Comments

Any thoughts on this please?

FT.com: ECB resignation hits global markets

World financial markets have been thrown into fresh turmoil after the abrupt resignation of Germany’s member of the European Central Bank’s board exposed the deepening divisions over the bank's handling of the eurozone debt crisis

Posted by watchman @ 10:24 AM 4 Comments

Friday, September 9, 2011

Why banking sector reform is long overdue

IndexUniverse.eu: Triage For Banks

The banks argue that ring-fencing is unnecessary and that they can be trusted to manage their own risks. But there's glaring evidence that they don't trust each other.

Posted by paul amery @ 10:31 PM 0 Comments

One for GC and B/weathr to continue their discussion

Economist: Currency comparisons, to go

PPP via a beefed up Big Mac index. Beefonomics.

Posted by techieman @ 01:27 PM 2 Comments

Smaller tin/cadbury sweets/soup - same price

BBC Watchdog: Smaller tin/cadbury sweets/soup - same price

At 18min 30 sec. The trend that has already been highlighted on the main forum - less content, same price. Cadbury blaming higher commodity prices.

Posted by easybetman @ 01:09 PM 7 Comments

House prices are not really a safe investment

City AM: Why buying property is no panacea

ANYBODY interested in the housing market and in trying to preserve their wealth in these uncertain times should take a look at a fascinating new book. Safe as Houses: a Historical Analysis of Property Prices is full of useful facts – and a stark reminder that investing in residential property isn’t as sure a bet as most people believe. Author Neil Monnery has studied house prices over the long term around the world and confirms that – globally – they tend to grow at one per cent above the rate of inflation over very long periods of time.

Posted by warren @ 12:49 PM 2 Comments

Finally london housing bubble is ending

Estate agency today: London housing bubble is bursting

god help any first time buyers buying shoeboxes in the last year for 10 times their salary

Posted by taffee @ 12:42 PM 6 Comments

Cracks appearing in big society

Metro: Homelessness rises by 20%

I think things are very very bad in uk and it won't be long before we have some serious social unrest.We need to get back to some basics.shelter,food,hobbies/socialisation.We're not all 'investors' and potential millionaires and nor should we want to be. I think that this is going to pan out in economic disaster

Posted by taffee @ 10:42 AM 15 Comments

Property tax - the angrily paid tax which is good for democracy

Gurdian: Property tax : Let's find progressive ways to tax the winners in our trickle-up economy

Partly Guardian let's tax more left wing rant but there are some good bits in the article: "The decline of local property taxes from 12% of total revenue in the 1980s to under 5% today – largely replaced by VAT – has been so stark that some councils, such as Westminster, now get more revenue from the owners of cars (in parking and in fines) than they get from buildings. The banded council tax has degenerated to being almost the poll tax that it replaced, since there is only a one-to-three ratio between band A and band H. " Property taxes cannot be evaded, and properly imposed are a fair generator of government revenue. Better, they are traditionally paid in anger. Any tax paid in anger is a good tax – the opposite of a stealth tax, because the payer demands to know how it is sped

Posted by easybetman @ 10:40 AM 3 Comments

So much for the independence of the BoE

Sky News: Osborne: Low interest rates key to economy

Nothing would be more damaging to Britain's recovery right now than an interest rate rise, the Chancellor has said. "Nothing would be more damaging for Britain at this fragile moment for the world's economy than an increase in mortgage rates for families and an increase in the cost of borrowing for businesses." [isn't the MPC's primary remit to keep inflation on target, not protect overextended homedebtors?]

Posted by little professor @ 10:22 AM 11 Comments

US housing regulator sues the banks

MoneyWeek: US housing regulator sues the banks

The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) is suing 17 banks in America over alleged mis-sold mortgage-backed securities. But is the US housing regulator right to put the recovery of the banks in jeopardy?

Posted by martingreen @ 09:48 AM 1 Comments

More than a nimby

North wales daily post: Plan for new homes in Conwy will harm language say protestors

BUILDING up to an extra 7,900 homes in one county is too many and could ruin the local culture. That’s the view of councillors who are taking a historic stand to protect the Welsh language, culture and environment in Conwy. A crunch meeting was held yesterday, after angry public protests against a blueprint that would see between 6,800 and 7,900 new homes built across the county in the next 15 years.

Posted by mark @ 09:31 AM 12 Comments

A much more effective stimulus than QE

BBC NEWS: US jobs plan: Barack Obama unveils $450bn package

Our infrastructure is slightly more up to date than theirs, so what could we do to emulate this plan? Perhaps we could build a million new houses?

Posted by flashman @ 08:57 AM 3 Comments

Come on councils we need more houses stop being petty on the small people

Daily mail: Couple who spent year building £250,000 home ordered to pull it down... for being 15ft to the right

Council planners, housing regulation officers and architects failed to noticed the house was being built in the wrong place Original planning permission had been granted on an out-of-date map

Posted by mark @ 08:53 AM 1 Comments

London £5m+ Property. Where Next?

Commodity Watch: London Property Market

Podcast about high end London property for any of you with a spare £5 million. http://commoditywatch.podbean.com/2011/09/08/the-london-property-market/

Posted by frizzers @ 08:18 AM 0 Comments

Jesus wept. Please add to sad headline images

Daily Express: TRIPLE SHOT IN THE ARM FOR UK’S HOME-BUYERS

The usual, property's soaring, etc.

Posted by imminent_plunge @ 07:21 AM 1 Comments

Thursday, September 8, 2011

What's up doc?

Bloomberg: U.S. Mortgage Rates Fall to Lowest on Record

"Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac’s larger rival, found in a survey that 78 percent of Americans said the economy is on the wrong track in August, up from 70 percent the previous month. Twenty- two percent of respondents said they expect their financial condition to worsen in the next year, up from 20 percent in July, according to a report released today by the mortgage- finance company".

Posted by alan @ 10:20 PM 0 Comments

Deliberately sabotaged lifeboats warning

Money Week: What Switzerland's shock currency move means for you

There goes another way to defend your money against inflation. Yesterday, National Savings & Investments pulled its index-linked savings certificates (and the rest of them) from sale. It means that the best way for savers on any tax band to protect themselves from inflation has now gone. But it's not just savers who are seeing their 'safe havens' closing down. Earlier this week, investors who'd seen the Swiss franc as a sure-fire way to protect their wealth got a nasty shock. The Swiss National Bank pegged its currency to the euro earlier this week, saying that it wouldn't allow the Swissie to go below 1.20 Swiss francs to the euro. In other words, it doesn't want the currency to strengthen. It will also add to global inflationary pressure.

Posted by general congreve @ 04:48 PM 37 Comments

IS this what high house prices do?

Manchester evening news: Businessman driven to suicide as he faced losing £5m family home in Cheshire

Mr Oakes, 63, had started his own company after the family business was sold, but began to struggle. An inquest heard he was faced with the repossession of Grade II-listed Old Hall, in Nether Alderley, Cheshire. The historic house, which has its own lake, tennis courts and paddocks in its 22 acre plot, is described as "one of the finest country houses in Cheshire and the whole of England" in an international estate agent's listing earlier this year which valued it at £4,950,000.

Posted by mark @ 02:08 PM 9 Comments

No room for complacency

CNBC: UK Should Be Rated A+, Not AAA: Danske Bank

The United Kingdom should lose its AAA credit rating and be cut by four notches to A+, according to analysts at Danske Bank in Copenhagen. Having reviewed the UK's fiscal health using the same methodology as that employed by Standard & Poor's, Danske said Thursday, it is now predicting Britain will lose its AAA rating in 2012.

Posted by dill @ 12:59 PM 4 Comments

BOE leaves rate unchanged

BBC: UK interest rates stay on hold at 0.5%

UK interest rates have been held at a record low of 0.5% by the Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee (MPC). Concerns about the strength of the economic recovery meant economists had expected rates to remain unchanged. The Bank also said it would not be extending its £200bn programme of quantitative easing. Earlier, Bank figures showed that savers have missed out on £43bn due to low interest rates. However, mortgage borrowers have gained £51bn.

Posted by jack c @ 12:08 PM 18 Comments

News That Might Actually Be 'Unexpected'

BBC News: Engineering graduates 'taking unskilled jobs'

Nearly a quarter of UK engineering graduates are working in non-graduate jobs or unskilled work such as waiting and shop work, a report suggests.

Posted by rantnrave @ 11:35 AM 26 Comments

Well stitched up

Telegraph: Savers miss out on £43bn in interest since March 2008

Figures from the Bank of England suggest that savers have lost more than £43bn since Bank Rate was cut to just 0.5pc two and a half years ago. But borrowers have benefited to the tune of more than £51bn, as they have paid less in interest on their loans during the same period. Mortgages rates have fallen to record lows.

Posted by quiet guy @ 11:30 AM 3 Comments

House prices plunge by £65 a day in August

Mirror: The headline that we have been looking for.

HOUSE prices plunged by £65 a day in August, a grim report revealed yesterday. The 1.2% fall was the biggest since April according to the Halifax, Britain’s biggest mortgage lender. It took the average price to £161,743, wiping out all the gains of the previous two months. That is also more than £6,600, or 2.6%, below the average 12 months ago, it found. The bank’s chief economist Martin Ellis said he believed the slump was exaggerated by the low number of homes changing hands. He pointed out that prices in the past three months were still 1% higher than in the previous quarter. And he said that he expected prices to stabilise over the coming few months, supported by recent reductions in some mortgage rates.

Posted by khards @ 09:00 AM 19 Comments

The UK is built around high house prices.

Bloomberg: The pound weakened for a second day against the euro even as Halifax said U.K. house prices fell in August.

The pound weakened for a second day against the euro even as Halifax said U.K. house prices fell in August. Prices dropped 1.2 percent from July, the mortgage unit of Lloyds Banking Group Plc said in London. From a year earlier, they decreased 3.9 percent. “Sterling will remain fragile for the foreseeable future,” said Harry Adams, a currency trader at Schneider Foreign Exchange in London. “Any negative data, such as this morning, will increase speculation of further quantitative easing, which will result in sterling coming down even further.” The pound has depreciated 7 percent in the past 12 months against a basket of nine major peers, making it the second-worst performer after the dollar, according to Bloomberg Correlation- Weighted Currency Indexes.

Posted by khards @ 08:58 AM 3 Comments

Chapelton of Elsick application for 9,000 home new town

BBC News: Chapelton of Elsick application for 9,000 home new town

An application has been submitted for a massive new town development in Aberdeenshire. Developers want to build 9,000 homes at Chapelton of Elsick, about 10 miles south of Aberdeen, as well as school provision and retail space. It would be situated at a 2,000-acre area of farmland near Newtonhill. The application, by the Elsick Development Company (EDC), has gone to Aberdeenshire Council for consideration. The land is owned by the Duke of Fife and the project is being managed by his son David Southesk.

Posted by octonaut @ 07:32 AM 2 Comments

Grant Shapps not ramping for a change

Bloomberg: Homeowners Shouldn’t Count on Capital Gains, Minister Says

“Gone are the days where you buy a house for capital appreciation,” housing minister Grants Shapps said. “House prices can still go up, but they need to go up in line with or less than increases in average earnings for the long term.” “We need a greater supply of homes in this country,” Shapps said. “We have an unacceptable situation where people cannot afford to have a roof over their head.” “You cannot have a marketplace whereby the single most important commodity in peoples’ lives is simply unobtainable for much of the population.”

Posted by little professor @ 01:05 AM 11 Comments

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

The crash word twice in the first six lines

FTAdviser.com: Negative equity cases could hit 1.7m

Financial outsourcer HML warns a further drop in house prices could get the nation close to the record 1.8m negative equity cases seen during the crash of the early 1990s. HML has calculated if house prices fall by a further 10 per cent the number of households plunged into negative equity could double to 1.7m, just short of the peak that was witnessed during the recessions in the 1990s. Currently 827,321 homeowners - 7.3 per cent of all households with a mortgage - have a debt that is greater than the value of their property. If house prices fall by 10 per cent that number will double to 1.67m - 14.8 per cent - which is close to the record 1.8m negative equity cases seen in the house price crash of the early 1990s.

Posted by jack c @ 04:48 PM 24 Comments

Citywire take on Halifax numbers

Citywire Money: House prices fell 1.2% in August, says Halifax

UK house prices dropped by 1.2% in August, according to Halifax, marking an annual fall of 2.6%. The mortgage lender, part of Lloyds Banking Group, emphasised that while there had been a monthly decline, comparing the latest three months compared with the preceding three months showed a modest improvement in house prices. ‘The current low volume of sales tends to make house prices volatile from month to month,’ said Martin Ellis, housing economist at Halifax. Of the last ten months, half have shown declines in prices, while half have shown rises or no change.

Posted by dohousescrashinthewoods @ 04:21 PM 3 Comments

We can only hope!

Torygraph: London property bubble 'about to burst'

The London property bubble could be about to burst, with the number of "distressed" sellers in the capital rising for the first time, according to one property company.

Posted by fancypants @ 03:06 PM 4 Comments

Shirley Significant?

BBC News: German court rejects challenge to eurozone bailouts

Germany's highest court has rejected a challenge to the country bailing out other nations in the eurozone. The Constitutional Court was responding to a challenge brought by six prominent German Eurosceptics. But the court did say the government must seek the approval of the German parliament before providing future assistance. This could further hinder Europe's response to the debt crisis, already criticised as too slow.

Posted by rantnrave @ 12:15 PM 8 Comments

House prices must go down for the world economy to restart

Daily mail: Osborne warns of 'Great Contraction' as Britain faces slow growth... but he's sticking with austerity plans

The Chancellor is facing a tricky autumn, with most City experts believing the economy – which has grown by just 0.2 per cent in the nine months to June – will grow at barely more than one per cent this year.

Posted by mark @ 11:24 AM 2 Comments

We can now defend our properties 2 cases won in manchester so far

Manchester evening news: Shopkeeper, 72, will not be prosecuted for stabbing intruder to death

Nazir Afzal, Chief Crown Prosecutor for the North West Area said that he was satisfied after considering all the statements and other evidence gathered by Greater Manchester Police that Mr Coley was acting in reasonable self-defence at the time

Posted by mark @ 10:59 AM 0 Comments

Another blow to risk averse savers

NS&I: NS&I WITHDRAWS SAVINGS CERTIFICATES FROM SALE

Changes to balance the interests of NS&I’s savers, taxpayers and the wider financial services market. NS&I today (7 September 2011) announced that its Savings Certificates, both Fixed Interest Savings Certificates and Index-linked Savings Certificates, have been withdrawn from general sale.The new Issues of Savings Certificates have been on sale for almost four months (since 12 May 2011) and have been very popular during this time. At the outset NS&I forecast strong sales and the original expectations have now been met. By taking action to withdraw the current Issue, NS&I will ensure that the Net Financing target set by the Chancellor for 2011-12 should not be exceeded.

Posted by jack c @ 10:28 AM 11 Comments

Your grandparents fought and died to prevent you living in a nice house (Part 2)

Telegraph: Hands off our land: The Eden that is England's countryside

"I grew up in the Second World War... In reality the majority of soldiers would return to factory and office work in the cities and towns where some 80 per cent of the population of England now live. But that’s not what they fought for. They may have lived in inner-city tenements or in suburbia but that’s not how they saw the country in their imagination. In their mind’s eye England was a country of villages and hamlets, old churches and cottages, gentle rolling wooded hills and ancient manor houses. It was a peaceful, romantic and tranquil vision... Of course, the ideal and the reality of England have always been different things. But the key is to strike the right balance between preservation and providing habitation – especially for the young... "

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 10:14 AM 9 Comments

Making Japan's mistake

FT: We must listen to what bond markets are telling us

Sound arguments against "austerity"

Posted by letthemfall @ 09:53 AM 7 Comments

Not bad -1.2% MoM -2.6% YoY

Halifax: August 2011 House Price Index

Commenting, Martin Ellis, housing economist, tried to spoil the good news by pointing out that: "The underlying trend, as measured by the latest three months compared with the preceding three months, showed a modest improvement in house prices for the second consecutive month in August. Prices in the three months to August were 1.0% higher than in the previous three months."

Posted by quiet guy @ 08:26 AM 24 Comments

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

When America sneezes...

The Atlantic: The Tyranny of Zombie Economics in America

This last bubble - in housing - has been particularly devastating. It is directly responsible for literally trillions of dollars in output lost forever, for lives lastingly disrupted through millions of foreclosures, for lifetime earnings trajectories that will likely be permanently altered downward, for hundreds of millions of lost hours of work. Although talking about the US, it could equally be talking about here. Problem is, our housing bubble has yet to fully burst, it's just letting a little air out

Posted by stuartking @ 10:02 PM 0 Comments

Don't buy a house

The Guardian: European share crisis: the perils of financial turbulence are growing

Three personal finance experts answer questions that should help savers decide what best to do with their money. Question 1: I'm buying a house. Should I go ahead with the deal? Answer: Probably not if you're a first-time buyer and are thinking it is a first step to climbing the property ladder.

Posted by stuartking @ 09:49 PM 4 Comments

What about Hobbit holes? Would that keep everyone happy?

The Daily Mash: Ministers to tackle greenbelt backlash with 4m Hobbit holes

MINISTER are to tackle rising anger over new planning laws by pledging to dig more than 4m new Hobbit holes over the next 10 years.Countryside campaigners have teamed up with people who think the world was made just for them to oppose government plans to make sure there are houses and stuff.

Posted by tick tock @ 06:59 PM 3 Comments

Property as a gold hedge

MoneyWeek: Property as a gold hedge

Gold investors are getting scared, says Bill Bonner. So should they buy property instead?

Posted by martingreen @ 04:59 PM 4 Comments

Which is duller, there or here?

Dullest Blog: Dullest Blog

We have a little bit of fun with Kirstie Allsop (so it IS relevant to HPC) and then the topic is wiped. One might say this is becoming a very boring forum. I'm sure you will wipe this too but you need to take note if you want to keep your subscribers!

Posted by watchman @ 02:31 PM 8 Comments

I never knew that the British working classes all went off to fight for the Kaiser or for Hitler!

FT: Rural memo to Cameron: you are missing the point again

"Planning has always been a thorny issue for the Tories. Look at a political map of Britain and (outside Scotland) most of the more scenic parts are blue. The rank and file view Constable-like scenes of rural tranquillity as the England for which they fought two world wars." Whereas the children and grandchildren of the working class scum who fought for Germany are to be punished by living in Victorian tenements, one assumes...

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 02:06 PM 5 Comments

Rabbit Rabbit Rabbit yak yak

Bloomberg: Bloomberg TV's Margaret Brennan talks to Nouriel Roubini

Dr Doom chats about the state of the US and what he thinks will happen if and when QE3 hits. Ok so no monetary stimulus but what about fiscal loosening? Its all about politics innit.

Posted by techieman @ 01:48 PM 7 Comments

Probably just leave their kids with debts instead

La times: Many baby boomers don't plan to leave their children an inheritance

In a survey of millionaire boomers by investment firm U.S. Trust, only 49% said it was important to leave money to their children when they die. The low rate was a big surprise for a company that for decades has advised wealthy people how to leave money to their heirs.

Posted by mark @ 01:40 PM 2 Comments

Currency debasement spreads further

Guardian: Swiss bid to peg 'safe haven' franc to the euro stuns currency traders

Move – which effectively devalues the Swiss franc in an attempt to protect the economy – sparks fears of new currency war

Posted by fancypants @ 12:35 PM 2 Comments

NO they are not they are lazy scroungers with no respect

Daily mail: 'Squatters aren't criminals and can be GOOD for society': Judge orders council to publish list of empty homes in its area

Squatters should be encouraged because they bring empty homes back into use, a judge said yesterday. Fiona Henderson ruled they were not criminals and there was no evidence they carried out more anti-social behaviour than rent-paying tenants. Her judgment is a blow to the thousands every year who see their homes invaded – and struggle through the courts to win them back.

Posted by mark @ 08:40 AM 23 Comments

Monday, September 5, 2011

Tents and bivouvacs: the homes of the future

Estate agent today: Councils told to house homeless people in boats and caravans

Government tells local authorities housing the homeless in caravans and boats it okay (that should ease the pressure on the 'green belt).

Posted by stuartking @ 08:13 PM 24 Comments

House of cards wobbles again

Bloomberg: Bank, Sovereign Bond Risk Surge to Records as European Debt Crisis Deepens

"The cost of insuring against default on European sovereign and financial debt surged to records on concern the region’s debt crisis is worsening".

Posted by alan @ 07:01 PM 3 Comments

Hey, chin up, its not all doom & gloom

BBC NEWS: Bosses' bonuses up by 187% since 2002, report suggests

Average bonuses for directors of FTSE 350 companies have risen by 187% since 2002, without a corresponding rise in share prices, new research suggests.............The study also found that total pay packages for company executives in the wider FTSE 350 had gone up by 700% since 2002 - while the index had risen by only 21%.........Pay levels for the average worker in Britain have risen by 27% over the past decade.

Posted by tick tock @ 05:34 PM 6 Comments

25% to go..

CityWire Money: UK house prices still 25% overvalued, says Fitch

House prices are still overvalued by around 25%, according to Fitch Ratings. A new housing price model created by the international ratings agency indicates that house prices in the UK were significantly overvalued during the first half of the 2000s, reaching an overvaluation peak of 33% in 2007.

Posted by dohousescrashinthewoods @ 05:15 PM 1 Comments

Here's a hot potato, catch!

Estate Agent Today: Countrywide sells Bairstow Eves business to Hunters

In a surprise move, Countrywide has sold all of its Bairstow Eves franchised branches to Yorkshire independent Hunters. A total of 90 offices are in the sale, announced at noon today and whose value has not been disclosed. All the Bairstow Eves offices will now be under Hunters’ ownership and all of the offices will rebrand to Hunters over the next six months. The Countrywide Franchise management team, led by Andrew Grant, will also be joining the Hunters team and continue to have responsibility for the offices. The deal means that Hunters more than doubles in size, taking it to almost 200 operations, and turns Hunters into a national force, with 21 of the Bairstow Eves offices in London

Posted by sibley's b'stard child @ 03:17 PM 8 Comments

(not really)

This Is Money: The 100% mortgage is back: Aldermore launches no deposit mortgage

Aldermore Bank has launched a 100 per cent mortgage deal which will allow homebuyers to borrow the full amount of a property’s value, without putting down a cash deposit. But to obtain the loan, potential homebuyers will need to secure a guarantor such as a parent or grandparent. 25 per cent of the mortgage will be secured through a charge on the guarantor's own property. If the borrower’s property was repossessed they would be liable for any shortfall.

Posted by little professor @ 12:35 PM 8 Comments

This is our opportunity to unlock the new investment and new jobs the country needs

BBC: Osborne and Pickles defend planning system changes

Chancellor George Osborne has defended the government's controversial plans to change the planning system in England. No-one should underestimate our determination to win this battle. We will fight for jobs, prosperity and the right protection for our countryside. Reforming a slow and inefficient planning system will be good news for the small business looking to expand; for the young family hoping for more affordable house prices; and for the community wanting to decide on their own future.

Posted by karma4all @ 12:16 PM 15 Comments

What next for UK housing?

FT: Services surveys point to slowdown

''Activity in the UK service sector appeared to slow sharply in August, suggesting the economy’s problems have become broader and more acute over the summer. The Markit/CIPS services purchasing managers’ index fell from 55.4 in July to 51.1 in August, a bigger monthly drop than at any time during the last recession. Economists had expected a much smaller decline. The services sector, which includes transport, financial services and hotels and restaurants, accounts for the vast majority of gross domestic product in the UK.''

Posted by hpwatcher @ 11:55 AM 3 Comments

Smoke and mirrors

Various sources: Secretly goldman bets on economic collapse

scary thing is they are normally right.!Its clear from action on bank shares that something scary is being prices in.The reality is very simple..YOU CANNOT SOLVE A DEBT PROBLEM WITH MORE DEBT

Posted by taffee @ 10:37 AM 61 Comments

The view from the bond markets -- to default or not?

Bondvigilantes.com: Ireland (austerity) vs Iceland (default) – who’s winning?

Latest news in from the bond markets: "The IMF has declared [Iceland’s exit from its IMF programme] successful, and Krugman claims that Iceland is back in the capital markets and has its 'society intact'. It will be interesting to see which approach to national indebtedness proves most successful over the longer term – I’ve always said that I thought that an early default against bondholders by the peripheral Europeans was the best outcome for those populations."

Posted by dude @ 09:46 AM 0 Comments

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Subprime vampire returns to draw more blood

Mail: US lawsuits could cost UK banks £5bn over subprime mortgages

"British banks could be forced to pay out more than £5billion in damages related to the subprime mortgage scandal. Regulators in the US have filed lawsuits against 17 banks including Royal Bank of Scotland, Barclays and HSBC".

Posted by alan @ 10:18 PM 1 Comments

How will a destabilised Europe assist a HPC

Telegraph: German endgame for EMU draws ever nearer

"The IMF must know from its errors in Argentina a decade ago that Greece needs a 40pc devaluation and 50pc debt forgiveness to claw back to viability"....... "Needless to say, battered banks, insurance companies, and pension fund will not wait for further rounds of punishment. They know that Italy must redeem €14.6bn of debt this week and €62bn by the end of September, the highest ever in a single month. It must roll over €170bn by December"...."and..."

Posted by alan @ 09:55 PM 5 Comments

Banking crisis hits the South West

FT: Second-home owners forced to cut prices

Opps. Bankers bonuses are not as generous, and with pressure on banking staff the amount of money to shaft the locals in the SW is decreasing. "Price reductions are becoming an increasingly common occurrence in the popular second-home market of the South West, as sellers find themselves forced to cut asking prices to achieve a sale, according to property agents. New figures from Savills, the property agent, reveal that 75 per cent of the properties on its books in Devon have had their prices cut at least once this year, with the average reduction being 15 per cent."

Posted by dude @ 04:07 PM 7 Comments

Destroying your own currency is as effective as self harm

BBC: Andrew Sentance says value of pound 'downplayed' by MPC

Andrew Sentence left the Bank's monetary policy committee just three months ago after five years service. He is now free to speak his mind about the arguments that continue to rage, both in the UK and overseas, about the best way to deliver those elusive qualities - stability and growth.

Posted by peter_2008 @ 02:39 PM 5 Comments

Gold price interest means recession imminent

ArabianMoney: Gold price interest confirms recession outlook says The Economist

The latest issue of the extremely popular magazine The Economist drums up a long-list of unlikely recession indicators. But the most curious was a correlation between searches on Google for the gold price and past recessions.

Posted by david smith @ 11:15 AM 0 Comments

The truth is coming out

G Pytel: Darling's memoirs: idiots or crooks?

Politician and bankers: idiots or criminals? Take your pick. And none better than the other.

Posted by ant @ 10:18 AM 7 Comments

Big Society will "take power away from politicians and give it to the people." Cameron, 2010

Telegraph: David Cameron in push to dilute ICB ring-fence reforms

David Cameron wants to see a significant watering down of any proposals from the Independent Commission on Banking (ICB) to ring-fence the UK's retail banks. The Prime Minister has told senior officials that he wants to move the banking debate on and that any proposals from the ICB to split retail and investment banks and increase capital requirements need to be reviewed. His views are in stark contrast to those of the Business Secretary, Vince Cable, who last week dismissed protests from the City over further regulatory change as "special pleading". Senior Whitehall sources have revealed that the Prime Minister believes he will now have to "take over" the banking debate and explain why he believes economic growth should come ahead of more regulatory upheaval.

Posted by blinktoofast @ 10:06 AM 4 Comments

Why home owners won't help the young get a home of their own.

HouseingExpert.net: Why home owners don't want to help.

Great explanation by Henry Pryor of why the countries 20 million homeowners won't actually want the Government to help the 'lost generation' of young people who want somewhere to live. As he says, there's more chance of Col. Gadaffi winning a Nobel Peace Prize than of home owners wanting to help out. Impressively argued.

Posted by charles lister @ 09:39 AM 0 Comments

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Self-build fairness for families, and a promise not to sell-out to future generations

The Telegraph (a slightly jealous Telegraph): How you can afford a home in Rock, Cornwall

A low-cost self-build scheme that allows people to afford a home in Rock, Cornwall... they are obliged by a covenant to set an asking price no more than one third of the market value of the property, so while it may appreciate in the long term, their home will remain much cheaper than others in Rock. ......... WHY DO I CYNICALLY FEEL THAT THIS "COVENANT" WILL BE OVERRULED AT SOME POINT TO ACHIEVE "UNREALISED GAINS"?!?!?!

Posted by mick rupert @ 03:06 PM 1 Comments

A pro-building voice in the Torygraph?

Telegraph: For the good of rural life, we must build houses in the English countryside

People often speak of landscape as “natural”, but it very rarely is. Its appearance is the result of human engagement with the land – mainly agricultural, but also, for many centuries now, industrial. Shops, churches, bridges, roads, mills and potteries, forges and barns. In 1733, someone built Flatford Mill in Suffolk. The artist John Constable used it as the inspiration for the great paintings which, more than any other, encapsulate our view of rural England. I bet the mill would not have got past the planners if such things had existed in 1733. I bet the National Trust would have accused this “industrial unit” of being “out of keeping” with the rural scene. Someone would have slapped a noise abatement order on the hay wain as it creaked and splashed through the ford.

Posted by drewster @ 01:12 PM 14 Comments

Friday, September 2, 2011

Macgooneconomics..

Steve Keen: You tube channel

Well you will have to wait until the end to find out what that means. In any case lots of debunking going on fro the prof. 1. population growth stimulates house prices or 2. ok if not that then it MUST be density thats the driver.

Posted by techieman @ 11:38 PM 8 Comments

Ugly Time for Banks?

Bloomberg: Barclays, BofA, JPMorgan Sued by FHFA

Bank of America Corp. (BAC), Citigroup Inc. (C) and JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) were among the 17 lenders sued by the Federal Housing Finance Agency for allegedly misleading Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac about billions of dollars of residential mortgage-backed securities.

Posted by novice pete @ 11:17 PM 2 Comments

Making the most of things

YouTube: A Tiny Apartment Transforms Into 24 Rooms

Just over a month ago, there was a posting about a truly hideous advert for an apartment in Hong Kong. In the absence of a proper HPC, some blog readers may have to make some serious compromises about the size of their property if they decide to buy. This video shows a truly inspiring effort by a Hong Kong architect to make the most of his small flat.

Posted by quiet guy @ 06:49 PM 6 Comments

Nail in the coffin of self-cert

Contractor UK: Taxman to cross-check mortgage claims

Seems like a big one to me. Nice to see HMRC getting paid for something worthwhile too :D Do you think this will affect those coming to end of terms and looking to remortgage as well?

Posted by chubba @ 11:07 AM 21 Comments

NIMBYs on the warpath

Daily Mail: Warning over rural planning law shake-up which will allow developers to 'concrete over the countryside'

I left the following comment: "The simple fact is, even if we allowed 250,000 houses to be built every year for the next twenty-five years, it would use up less than 1% of the surface area of the UK (or less than one-tenth of land currently designated Hallowed Green Belt). So the lives of the under-40s are being ruined in order to keep house prices as high as possible, using the foul excuse that this is being done to protect a relatively tiny sliver of land. And anybody who knows about economics and agriculture knows that 'food security' is not an issue, we are in fact more or less self-sufficient in food and could easily produce a surplus."

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 10:45 AM 25 Comments

Comment on Taxing Property

Radio 4: Conservatives: A 'party for the rich'?

MPs wondering whether taxing the rich more effectively might help. 2.47 in 50% tax rate is raising little revenue yet a foreigner can buy a house for £20 million in London and they only tax they pay is £25 a week council tax.

Posted by ontheotherhand @ 10:42 AM 2 Comments

Interesting underlying trend

Citywire: Why are landlords selling?

amazing they 'don't know why landlords are selling'...could be they are getting out of a property bubble....this boom has gone on so long people have become delusional imo

Posted by taffee @ 10:00 AM 5 Comments

Good analysis from Rory Gillen

Irish Times: Gold is like Irish housing in 2003 - overpriced, rising and a risky bet

With house prices, that anchor of value is average incomes – what people can afford. It is a pity we forgot that. The gold price is now a long way above the price it would be had it simply increased in line with its long-term anchor, inflation. Gold is no longer a cheap asset. Nonetheless, the lack of value in an asset does not halt a bull market, and Chart B is a reminder of the potential for an explosive price rise ahead. It compares the blow-offs that occurred in the 1970s gold and 1990s technology bull markets. Both lasted on average 10 to 12 years and ended in price acceleration.

Posted by khards @ 09:39 AM 19 Comments

Our role in modern banking

Telegraph: Banks 'still expect taxpayer to pay for their failure'

A key Bank of England policymaker has contradicted the public statements of senior bankers by revealing that some privately expect the taxpayer to pick up the tab in the event of another financial crisis. In a paper published yesterday, Paul Fisher, the Bank's executive director for markets, disclosed that "some banks have told us that they think they should not be required to hold capital and liquidity to deal with such extreme tail events – leaving the public sector to be the capital provider of last resort". His comments clash with the public statements of bankers who claim lenders should not be a burden on the taxpayer.

Posted by quiet guy @ 09:01 AM 3 Comments

Financial centres move

Bloomberg: London Loses Out as Banks Consider Booking Trades Overseas

As Jim Rogers points out, financial centres move. Not just from this article but from many others you can't help but get the impression that the financial centre of London is evacuating.

Posted by stillthinking @ 08:37 AM 7 Comments

Are landlords seeing the light?

Citywire: Why are landlords selling when rents are high?

‘surveyors report that where tenancies are coming up for renewal, some landlords – particularly those in London and the South East – are now choosing to put their properties on the sales market, leaving fewer rental properties available.’ 'Given that rents are rising in the face of increased demand this is surprising. ' The article goes on to mention lack of capital gain/good mortgage deals etc.

Posted by a saver @ 08:15 AM 3 Comments

Going down

Myfinances.co.uk: Will house prices fall during the rest of 2011?

Despite some dithering from some vested interests, the general consensus is house prices have further to fall, though sellers are reluctant to accept this.

Posted by stuartking @ 12:18 AM 3 Comments

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Calls for mortgage debt forgiveness in Ireland and how stats. compare to UK

Ronan Lyons: Top Ten Facts in Relation to Ireland’s Mortgage Debt & Arrears

The last two weeks have seen an immense public hue and cry about mortgage debt forgiveness in Ireland. Will that come to the UK too if our prices comply with gravity eventually? Interesting how the repossession rate is 15 times higher in the UK even though our prices are still high and most homeowners here assume they will not fall, so worth holding on if possible. I assume they have different laws and more stretched bank extend-and-pretend forebearance.

Posted by ontheotherhand @ 03:15 PM 1 Comments

This in no way offsets the margin of error-sized growth in the service sector from the other week

Telegraph: UK manufacturing contracts as exports slide

Waiter, there's a fly in my recovery! British manufacturing activity shrank at its fastest pace in over two years in August, hurt by a sharp drop in demand for exports and a further sign that Britain's economic recovery is stalling. The August PMI manufacturing figure is the weakest since June 2009 and the second straight month below the 50 line separating contraction from expansion.

Posted by general congreve @ 02:34 PM 1 Comments

Basically, it is all going pear shaped

Guardian: * Comment is free The notion of Britain as a property-owning democracy is in tatters

Homelessness up, housing benefit claimants up, home ownership declining. top income deciles get richer, while the lowest ones get more deprives. Bodes well for a HPC, but ... ugly.

Posted by nickb @ 01:25 PM 10 Comments

We still run the world on 18th Century software

The Renegade Economist: Time for an Upgrade

While unearned wealth is both a symptom and a driver of economic injustice, the objective of transformative social change is not to soak the rich, but to create an environment in which economic opportunities are more widely distributed among the population.

Posted by neo-serf @ 10:45 AM 0 Comments

Reader's Letter Of The Day

FT: So, where will the homes for today's under-45s be located?

Sir, If we were to build 250,000 homes a year for the next 25 years, we would largely solve England’s housing supply crisis, help make housing more affordable and generate local economic activity and jobs in the process. Yet even if a much higher proportion of these homes were built on greenfield land than over the last decade, after 25 years they would cover only 1 per cent of England’s land area. The anti-development CPRE and National Trust put protecting every blade of grass ahead of providing decent homes and our economic well-being. John Stewart, Director of Economic Affairs, Home Builders Federation

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 10:09 AM 1 Comments

The banking (housing) crisis...

Telegraph: 'Prickly' Sir Mervyn King was nearly sacked by Labour government

''The "prickly" relationship between Sir Mervyn King, the Governor of the Bank of England, and Lord Turner, chairman of the Financial Services Authority (FSA), was one reason regulators' failed to prevent the banking crisis, Alistair Darling reveals in his memoirs.''

Posted by hpwatcher @ 09:31 AM 10 Comments

BBC Goes Bear

BBC News: House prices see summer dip, says Nationwide

Rehash of the Natiowide report, but lovely way to finish the article!

Posted by rantnrave @ 08:21 AM 0 Comments

"House prices fall by 0.6% in August"

Nationwide: House Price Index August 2011

Monthly Index 328.9 Monthly Change -0.6% Annual Change -0.4% Average Price (not seasonally adjusted) £165,914

Posted by dill @ 07:12 AM 28 Comments

Low growth and low interest rates

Reuters: Rates on hold until fourth quarter 2012 - Reuters poll

This time last year economists were expecting rates would have risen to 1.0 percent by the end of September and rise 25 basis points per quarter to reach 1.75 percent by end-June 2012 but the successive rounds of disappointing growth numbers have pushed back expectations. Rates are not seen rising until the final quarter of 2012, and then to 0.75 percent compared to a rise to 1.0 percent in an August 17 poll. Markets have not priced in any hike until 2013 at the earliest. None of the economists polled said the bank would raise them on September 8 -- or indeed before the end of the year. In a poll taken ahead of August's meeting 14 of 62 saw a rise by year-end and one of them now sees a cut to 0.25 percent next quarter.

Posted by quiet guy @ 06:56 AM 1 Comments

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