December 2011 Archive

Friday, December 30, 2011

In the voice of brucie....

This is money: FTSE CLOSE: Flat finish to year but Footsie was down 5.5% in 2011

Jack C - looks like 2010 was your number 2011 was over to me (although to be fair the seasonals favour rises in 4q). So what about next year? The decider? HNY

Posted by techieman @ 09:45 PM 5 Comments

A Christmas Feast for the bears

The Motley Fool: Robert Shiller on Why Home Prices Could Fall for Several Decades

An interesting interview (3:23 mins) with Robert Shiller on where the US housing market goes from here. He suggests that house prices can decline over a medium to long term time frame. Interesting perhaps, less for knowledge to be gained and more for the assumptions being eroded.

Posted by sureseam @ 04:31 PM 2 Comments

50m purpose-built holiday village planned for Chinese tourists

Snail shuffles forward

Nationwide: Q4 2011 Report

Commenting on the figures, Robert Gardner, Nationwide's Chief Economist, said: “For the UK as a whole, prices were virtually unchanged in the third quarter, with a 0.1% seasonally adjusted fall. There was a slight improvement in the annual rate of change from -1.2% to -0.5%."

Posted by rantnrave @ 11:52 AM 0 Comments

For November 2011

Land Registry: House Price Index

Index 257.9 Average price £160,780 Monthly change 0.3% Annual change -1.9%

Posted by dill @ 11:31 AM 2 Comments

Moral hazard?

BBC News: New flood insurance deal needed, campaigners say

Government propping up the prices of houses on flood plains.

Posted by mombers @ 10:41 AM 5 Comments

Questions to which the answer is "No".

City Wire: First time house buyers: time to take the plunge?

"As always, the calculation is this: you have got to live somewhere and it’s probably better to take the plunge sooner rather than later, provided you don’t expect to have to move in the near future. The general consensus of opinion is that house prices may well fall during the course of 2012 – but not by much more than 5%." Heck knows if 5% is correct, but if it is, you would be insane to buy now, far better to take another year's rent on the chin. The rent you'll pay is approx equal to the smaller mortgage you will have to take out, but every £1 reduction in your mortgage is £2 less in capital and interest repayments in the next twenty years. And if you have enough cash to buy today, you are winning one year's interest on your savings, however paltry.

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 10:30 AM 4 Comments

-0.2% MoM, +1.0% YoY

Nationwide: December Index

-1.2% MoM non-seasonally adjusted

Posted by phdinbubbles @ 08:32 AM 11 Comments

Woe are they, happy are we!

Independent: A perfect storm: The forecast for the property market in 2012

Put on that Christmas jumper, zip that winter coat and turn up that collar. Next year's housing market forecasts are almost polar in their chilly bleakness.

Posted by gone-to-colombia @ 05:20 AM 1 Comments

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Indebted

Telegraph: Low interest rates save home owners from bankruptcy

Despite the tough economic times, fewer people hit the financial buffers in 2011 than in the previous four years, according to new figures from the accountants RSM Tenon.

Posted by dill @ 11:55 AM 2 Comments

Unbelievable!!!!

Daily Express: DECLINE IN HOUSES PRICES REVEALED

House prices fell in nearly 80% of postcodes across England and Wales over this year, but the strength of the London market boosted by demand from overseas buyers prevented the overall decline from being even worse, property analyst Hometrack has said.

Posted by jmzr @ 08:32 AM 0 Comments

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

O Rly?

Guardian: First-time buyers may be the losers in shared equity scheme

Thousands of homeowners may have overpaid for new flats bought using government shared equity schemes, according to a report by the Institute for Public Policy Research. IPPR says the biggest beneficiaries have been large housebuilders, which have used the scheme to sell an oversupply of properties, particularly city centre apartments, at a time when house prices have been falling. The result is that the government has in effect propped up weak housebuilders, with the cost burden falling primarily on the consumer in lower equity stakes. 50% of the £169m of 2011 government FirstBuy allocations go to the four largest builders, with Taylor Wimpey, Barratt Homes and Persimmon alone capturing over £80m of available funding.

Posted by little professor @ 07:23 PM 13 Comments

Greatest missed opportunity of the year...

Guardian: Andorra gets a taste of taxation

'Financial crisis and drop in tourism mean Andorrans must pay direct taxes for the first time' If they just introduce LVT, they could keep their low unemployment rate and high economic activity

Posted by mombers @ 11:54 AM 11 Comments

A straightforward report from the BBC

BBC News: House prices: Will they fall or rise in 2012?

The UK property market is likely to be even more depressed in 2012 than it was in 2011. Commentators and analysts expect sales to stay low - perhaps even lower than they have been in the past year. And prices are expected by most observers to fall a little - though some predict larger drops of up to 10% in the coming 12 months. But a new threat has emerged that could really upset the apple cart - the possibility that a partial or even complete collapse of the euro leads to a new all-singing, all-dancing banking crisis.

Posted by quiet guy @ 10:46 AM 7 Comments

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Bleak view of House Prices from across the pond

Bloomberg: U.S. Home Prices Fell More Than Forecast

"Residential real estate prices dropped more than forecast in the year ended October, showing a broad-based decline that indicates the U.S. housing market continues to be weighed down by foreclosures". "The real-estate market is bracing for another wave of foreclosures that may keep pressure on home prices, indicating any housing recovery will take time to develop".

Posted by alan @ 06:19 PM 0 Comments

Coming to a country near you soon...i hope

BBC: US house prices fall in October despite low rates

Looks like low interest rates does not solve the problem of a massive credit bubble.

Posted by thecountofnowhere @ 06:05 PM 0 Comments

Monday, December 26, 2011

New Year Message From The Chancellor

LVT Campaign: Xmas Cheer

The Chancellor gets it. Amazing, he has firm plans to turn the country's economy round. A a cleaner in the Treasury building has sent a copy of what, written in his own hand, looks like the Chancellor's draft Budget address to the House next March.

Posted by frizzers @ 10:08 PM 20 Comments

Halifax painting a sinking ship

Telegraph: Falling house prices fail to prevent first time buyer numbers from slumping to all-time low

Falling house prices failed to prevent first time buyer numbers slumping to an all-time low in 2011, despite home ownership becoming more affordable than it has been for eight years, according to Britain's biggest mortgage provider.

Posted by jack c @ 06:36 PM 4 Comments

Timing!

Telegraph: Number of first-time buyers plummets to lowest on record

The housing market is in DEFLATION.

Posted by keep walking @ 09:40 AM 0 Comments

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Kick the can further down the road, or else

Reuters: IMF's Lagarde warns global economy threatened

"The debt crisis, which continues into 2012 after a European Union summit on December 9 only temporarily calmed markets, "is a crisis of confidence in public debt and in the solidity of the financial system," she said. "The December 9 summit wasn't detailed enough on financial terms and too complicated on fundamental principles," said Lagarde. Lagarde added: "National parliaments grumble at using public money or the guarantee of their state to support other countries. Protectionism is in the debate, and everyone for themselves is winning ground." (maybe the UK doesn't want to sink with the Euro?).

Posted by alan @ 10:18 PM 4 Comments

Merry Christmas Mr G

Telegraph: Boomers should not feel guilty

The "We want it now" generation.

Posted by nomad @ 09:17 AM 21 Comments

Friday, December 23, 2011

BTL anyone?

Halifax Courier: £32,000 still buys you a semi

Unfortunately the area is a little "edgy"

Posted by mr g @ 11:30 PM 6 Comments

The UK's Property Tax Laws Are Discriminatory - Against Locals

Paul Amery's Blog: A Breach Of Human Rights

The UK's property tax laws are super easy for rich foreigners, but discriminatory against the locals, who have to pay Stamp Duty. In fact, the laws are illegal.

Posted by paul amery @ 08:50 PM 0 Comments

Remutualising Funds

Index Universe: Remutualising Funds

Amid the current focus on fund charges, the asset management business should remember its original focus on mutuality

Posted by paul amery @ 02:17 PM 0 Comments

There's new horses in town

Money Week: The search for safe havens for your money

With the eurozone in crisis and the Swiss franc being artificially weakened, Eoin Gleeson and Sean Keyes consider the best new havens for your money. Everyone knows that Europe is in trouble. That’s not news. The difficulty lies in knowing how to profit from it. Markets are swinging between bursts of optimism and troughs of deep despondency, without much logic to the swings. But by looking at what’s happened in the past when currency unions have collapsed, we can get a good idea of what might happen next – and invest accordingly.

Posted by general congreve @ 01:14 PM 26 Comments

The value of your investment and any income you take from it can go down...

Telegraph: House prices will fall again in 2012, surveyors say, as more homebuyers sue for negligence

While 2012 predictions may or may not come true, solicitors Irwin Mitchell claim there has been a 20pc increase in the number of people seeking to sue surveyors for negligent valuations which led to property being bought for more than it was worth in 2011. Most litigants were buy-to-let landlords.

Posted by khards @ 08:32 AM 8 Comments

LVT in Greece

BBC News: Greeks take a stand against unpopular property tax

The deadline is approaching for Greeks who have not yet paid a new property tax attached to their electricity bills. Many could lose their power supply by the end of the month; others have been given until January to pay up. One of those who cannot afford to pay the tax is 87-year-old Katerina who lives in a small apartment in north Athens. The property has been in their family for generations. "They are asking us to pay a tax that we paid when we bought the house and the constructor paid when he built the house." The tax ranges between €0.50 and €20 per square meter depending on the location of the property. The government says it has already collected 80% of the first wave of property taxes.

Posted by drewster @ 07:39 AM 11 Comments

LVT in Ireland

Irish Independent: Kenny (PM) reveals property tax will cost families an average of €300 per year

FAMILIES are facing the prospect of a property tax which will cost them around €300 each on average. It came as Taoiseach Enda Kenny revealed yesterday that the Government was aiming to bring in €500m in annual revenue from a property tax. This would result in an average tax of €312.50 for each of the 1.6 million households who currently pay just €100 flat rate household charge per year. But the property tax will vary for households, depending on the value of their property, their income, regional differences between property values and whether they paid first-time buyers' stamp duty during the property boom.

Posted by drewster @ 07:36 AM 2 Comments

Solidly heading for a distaster

G Pytel: Economy: "What a beautiful Catastrophe!"

The whole thing is falling apart. A half a billion Euro bailout by the European Central Bank of the European insolvent banks is simply a temporary reprieve. It will only make the eventual collapse even more spectacular.

Posted by ant @ 01:03 AM 4 Comments

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Shapps to give council houses for Christmas

MSN Money: New Right to Buy discounts proposed

Discounts offered to council tenants to buy their own homes will be increased to a maximum of £50,000 across England under plans to revitalise the Right to Buy scheme, the Government has said.

Posted by we're all in this together @ 09:13 PM 9 Comments

More access to right to buy says Shapps

AboutProperty: Consultation on right to buy discount rise

Grant Shapps - "For the first time, every additional home that is sold will be replaced by a new affordable home on a one-for-one basis. The new homes for affordable rent will help get the nation building again, and help councils meet housing need."

Posted by phil @ 04:34 PM 0 Comments

So many new houses we're knocking them down

Daily Mail: Housing giant bulldozes 24 brand new homes after building on land without planning permission

"Part of a brand new housing estate was bulldozed today after a housing giant was defeated by a band of residents in a landmark planning battle. "Developers Taylor Wimpey were forced to tear down 24 properties which were built on protected historic land following a tribunal. "Taylor Wimpey began building 124 homes on the site in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, after buying the land for £11.5million in 2006." Hooray for NIMBYISM. Right or wrong... that's 24 less houses for people to live in.

Posted by phil @ 04:31 PM 0 Comments

Cushion the banks, impoverish the people

The Economist: The ECB, eternal and infinite

THE European Central Bank has come under criticism for its failure to act as lender of last resort to embattled sovereigns. Yet when it comes to banks, the traditional recipients of central bank support, the ECB is lender of last resort on steroids. Today, it lent €489 billion to 523 banks at 1%, at its first three-year refinancing operation. It was its largest refinancing ever.

Posted by rental john @ 03:56 PM 0 Comments

Pension holders totally ripped off by city

Dailymail: Advisors tell treasury to bare all on pension rip off

seems crystal clear to me that the city have been fleecing the general public for decades making things complex and difficult to understand then charging higher fees than fund growth. funds are often worth less than money paid in.......wait 'til the middle classes go out on the street!

Posted by taffee @ 03:50 PM 23 Comments

Great Satire

Telegraph: Alex Cartoon

Very funny series of cartoons this week, you can click "Next" to view the series.

Posted by wdbeast @ 03:44 PM 2 Comments

Mother of all busts....

Business Insider: China's Housing Bust: A Potentially Devastating Blind Side In 2012

As the world’s attention focuses on the death of Kim Jong Il and shorts keep piling up in the Euro, China’s real estate bubble appears to have finally burst.

Posted by rental john @ 03:38 PM 0 Comments

The Cost of Accepting a Job in London

The Daily Telegraph: In pictures: The world's 20 most expensive cities to buy property

When does it become a competitive disadvantage to businesses thinking of locating in London how much they have to pay staff just to result in enough post tax to consume housing?

Posted by ontheotherhand @ 01:50 PM 5 Comments

Btl more expensive than building council houses

Public service: Cheaper to build council houses

quite a few articles on this if you google it.finally someone realises that private rental does NOT replace social housing effectively tell us something we don't know....buy to let is being crushed from all sides imo and is the next financial disaster to hit the UK

Posted by taffee @ 10:28 AM 6 Comments

Keeping rental demand high

Drewster: London is just the job for world's workers

Half all foreign professionals would consider London if they ever sought a job overseas, according to new research. The number was almost twice as many as the capital's nearest rival New York, on 28 per cent. Of other major cities, only three reached double figures - Singapore on 16 per cent, Paris 15 and Sydney 10. Its findings demonstrate that London and its top-class banking, legal and creative industries are still a major lure to workers from all over the world. They also partly explain why the capital's property market and the West End remain largely immune to the slowdown hitting most of the UK economy.

Posted by drewster @ 08:43 AM 5 Comments

The old law of 'supply and demand'?

Telegraph: House sales hit 16-month high

''Home sales hit their highest level of the year so far in November, figures from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) have showed. Some 85,000 homes were sold in the UK during the month, the highest monthly figure since July 2010 when 89,000 properties were sold.... the low level of supply should continue into the coming year, stabilising prices and preventing significant declines...''

Posted by hpwatcher @ 07:48 AM 7 Comments

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Safe as houses?

Property118: Homes Drop in Value by £131 Billion in Five Years

An eye-watering £131 billion has been wiped off the value of homes in the UK over the past five years, according to government statistics. Property wealth has tumbled by 3.7% to £3,375 billion since 2006, says the Office of National Statistics. The survey found that homeowners are in denial about the value of their properties, with many refusing to accept prices have fallen and continue to overvalue their homes and buy to let investments. Owners reckon their homes are worth an average 16% more than the true price.

Posted by stuartking @ 07:57 PM 1 Comments

Odd time of year for increase in sales...

BBC News: Property sales hit annual high, says HMRC

"Home sales hit their highest monthly level of the year so far in November, figures from HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) have shown. There were 85,000 property sales during the month, up from 79,000 in October, it said." Although I guess these figures are based on completions of sales which were probably agreed towards the end of the summer...

Posted by cornishtinmine @ 02:52 PM 3 Comments

"It's a deal, it's a steal, it's the Sale of the f**cking Century!"

Guardian: ECB loans highlight funding pressure on eurozone banks

The strains on the European financial system were exposedon Wednesday when more than 500 banks borrowed almost €500bn (£417bn) in cheap three-year loans from the European Central Bank (ECB)

Posted by techieman @ 01:55 PM 11 Comments

Wakey wakey

The Herald: Scots in 'denial over fall in house prices'

SCOTS are burying their heads in the sand over how much the crash in the housing market has wiped off the value of their homes, a survey has revealed.Fresh data from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) shows that most people believe their house is worth only £1000 less than it was on the eve of the economic downturn in 2006.But the reality is more than 10 times that amount has dropped off the value of the average home in Scotland.The ONS survey analysed the wealth of the nation, both in terms of property and the value of possessions, and also looked at householders' perceptions about the value of their assets.Statisticians found the average Scot believed their home was worth £150,000 last year, compared to £151,000 in 2006.

Posted by laura g @ 01:40 PM 4 Comments

Successful lobbying by the National Trust

Estate Agent Today: MPs tells government to rewrite its planning reforms

The Government should rewrite its proposals for planning reform, an influential group of MPs said this morning. In particular, the select committee said it should reinstate a policy of ‘brownfield first’ to ensure that brownfield land is used for new developments ahead of countryside. The MPs also called on the Government to amend its contentious proposal in favour of sustainable development, and to put economic growth lower down the order of priorities.

Posted by sibley's b'stard child @ 10:53 AM 6 Comments

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

So much for austerity, try printing for recovereh

Marketwatch: Irish house prices drop 1.5%, extending 4-yr slump

Irish house prices fell a further 1.5% in November, extending a four-year fall that leaves countrywide prices 46% below their 2007 peak, government figures showed Tuesday. Prices have now fallen on a national level by 15.6% from November last year, while those in Dublin are now down 54% from the peak reached in February 2007.

Posted by little professor @ 10:47 PM 6 Comments

One in eight people with a spare room let it out?

Telegraph: A simple way to turn a spare room into spare cash

Lodgers are back in fashion, offering a simple way to turn a spare room into spare cash. And while they are getting much-needed accommodation, the landlord is, in turn, getting much-needed extra income. According to a report by the Santander Bank, one in every eight people with a spare room in Britain, is now renting it out.

Posted by drewster @ 09:32 PM 9 Comments

Bring it on!

Mail: Osborne rocked by warning that Britain could be stripped of AAA credit rating despite our 'stable' outlook

''Leading ratings agency Moody’s said the UK’s coveted AAA score was safe for now with a ‘stable’ outlook – unlike many countries in the single currency bloc. But it said Britain faces ‘formidable and rising challenges’ and the top rating was ‘sensitive to future developments in the euro area’s debt crisis’.''

Posted by hpwatcher @ 09:11 PM 5 Comments

No where near enough :(

Telegraph: Average house price has fallen £9,000 since 2007

A survey of the UK’s “property wealth” found that house prices have reduced sharply due to the economic downturn and sluggish demand from buyers.

Posted by happy mondays @ 06:52 PM 7 Comments

Should you switch to a fixed-rate mortgage?

MoneyWeek: Should you switch to a fixed-rate mortgage?

Mortgage rates have been rising recently, despite the fact that the Bank of England (BoE) rate is still frozen at 0.5%. Why, and what should you do about it?

Posted by martingreen @ 02:25 PM 6 Comments

Meanwhile, in the real world

Evening Standard: Fear beyond the Westminster village is growing

There is a family with two small children, newly returned to London from two years abroad, who find that property prices are still so high they can't afford to rent or buy anything larger than the one-bedroom flat in Shepherd's Bush they left behind. All four of them are moving back in. The parents will sleep on a sofabe in the sitting room and the children will have the bed.

Posted by drewster @ 01:09 PM 5 Comments

Poll

Guardian: House prices in 2012 – expert predictions

It's been a tumultuous 2011 for house prices, and opinions are divided on how the housing market will fare in 2012.

Posted by dill @ 08:44 AM 17 Comments

Monday, December 19, 2011

More good news

Mortgage Strategy: Knight Frank forecasts 5% fall in house prices next year

Grainne Gilmore, head of UK residential research at Knight Frank, says ongoing economic strife is to blame for the expected 5% decline next year. She says: “The 5% drop in prices in 2012 will leave property values nearly 15% below their 2007 peak. In fact, even with the modest gains seen in later years, we forecast that average house prices will not hit 2007 levels again until 2018.” Factor inflation into that and the downside is even greater

Posted by stuartking @ 10:08 PM 4 Comments

Celebrating ZIRP and tax breaks

Telegraph: House prices create 27,000 more property millionaires in 2011

'Britain's two-tier housing market has been laid bare by figures showing that 27,000 new property millionaires were created in 2011 despite prices overall falling by 3pc. ... "strong demand" from overseas buyers has boosted prices for homes in the capital.' This is good news, right? I mean all that foreign cash snapping up houses in our country must be a positive thing since we seem to be so keen on this sort of thing judging by our tax sytem and monetary policy. Can't you fell life getting better as all those property millionaires keep popping up?

Posted by quiet guy @ 08:58 PM 1 Comments

Bernanke's attitude to debt

Reuters Blog: Bernanke and 87-year-olds with mortgages

Reuters columnist James Saft makes some observations about Ben Bernanke's personal financial arrangements and concludes: "The world we live in, in which housing and the means to finance it are used in essentially speculative ways, is one with far more risks and inherent instability. Housing tends to get ever more expensive, and people tend to take ever greater risks to obtain it, taking a personal and global toll. Bernanke did not create this world, but his policies helped to foster its growth. It’s unclear if or how the U.S. goes back to being a place where your typical 60-year-old is coming close to having paid off her house, but we can be sure that the forces that might make that happen will be opposed by almost everyone making economic policy now."

Posted by quiet guy @ 04:54 PM 7 Comments

How to turn owner occupiers into tenants

MoneyWeek: How to turn owner occupiers into tenants

Regulators are planning to tighten mortgage lending rules. But banks are already doing it themselves. And that’s likely to result in an increase in the number of people renting in the future.

Posted by martingreen @ 03:04 PM 0 Comments

Matt Griffiths (PricedOut) view

Guardian: The FSA's mortgage proposals are good for first-time buyers

People struggling to enter the housing market should applaud proposals to put the brakes on reckless mortgage lending

Posted by dill @ 12:29 PM 3 Comments

"2012 forecast: a fragmented and uncertain market"

Rightmove: House Price Index December 2011 (pdf)

Average Property Asking Price £225,766 % Change in Month -2.7% % Change in Past Year +1.5% Monthly Index (Jan 2002=100) 183.7

Posted by dill @ 08:57 AM 6 Comments

The story so far

FSA: CP11/31: Mortgage Market Review: Proposed package of reforms

The FSA's Consultation Paper CP11/31 is entitled 'Mortgage Market Review: Proposed package of reforms'. It was published in December 2011. Comments should reach us by 30 March 2012. [Note:- "Following consultation, the FSA Board will make a decision on the final form of rules in summer 2012, but implementation will not be before 2013."]

Posted by dill @ 08:49 AM 6 Comments

Too little, too late....

BBC News: New mortgage lending rules set out by FSA

The regulator's revised proposals still intend to bring in "common sense" standards that will stop home buyers borrowing more than they can afford. Lenders are being told they must better assess the affordability of loans. But some flexibility is being allowed for existing customers who might have been prevented from remortgaging.

Posted by amadeus @ 07:49 AM 0 Comments

If you have a large enough deposit

Zoopla: Buying beats renting in 94% of UK towns

Mortgage repayments are cheaper than rental bills but many first-time borrowers can't get a mortgage. To compare the cost of buying versus renting, Zoopla analysed the current asking prices and rents of over 78,000 two-bedroom flats currently on the market, comparing the rental cost to the cost of ownership based on servicing an interest-only mortgage at 5% p.a. In London, where the average asking price for 2-bedroom flats currently stands at £442,036, buying also trumps renting by a big margin. With average monthly rents in the capital at £2,416, renting is 31% more expensive than the cost of ownership, leaving renters paying an extra £6,888 annually compared to owners. “For those lucky enough to be in a position to get a mortgage, there may never have been a better time to buy.”

Posted by drewster @ 01:01 AM 29 Comments

Lots of little changes to mortgage rules

Telegraph: Mortgage curbs mean fewer loans for the over-50s

9.2% of mortgage-holders struggle to pay their monthly bill. 78% of all interest-only mortgages had no reported plan for repayment. Almost half of the borrowers who have taken out a mortgage since 2005 are “mortgage prisoners”. Up to 15 per cent of those who borrowed between 2005 and 2010 could be in negative equity, including up to 30 per cent of first-time buyers. Low interest rates are masking stresses in the mortgage system, but any increase could have dramatic effects. According to the FSA’s new proposals, mortgages and loans should only be advanced where there is a reasonable expectation that the borrower will be able to repay. The ability to repay must not be reliant on house prices rising. [Translation: house prices aren't expected to rise.]

Posted by drewster @ 12:49 AM 0 Comments

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Well, not soon enough then

BBC: Vickers report on banks to be accepted in full (by 2019)

The report, launched in the wake of the financial crisis, recommended separating banks' retail business from their investment business. Mr Cable said: "We are going to proceed with the separation of the banks." But by 2019, people wpould be so desparate for cheat money, they will vote Brown back in.

Posted by peter_2008 @ 02:11 PM 3 Comments

The worst? I doubt that.

FT: I’ve bought a house: my worst ever financial decision

W e’ve just bought a house. It is exactly the kind of house we have long wanted to live in, so we are thrilled. But I am also pretty sure that, while buying it might be a good thing for family stability, it will also be the worst financial decision we have ever made.

Posted by general congreve @ 11:27 AM 18 Comments

Better letterbox needed

The Independent: Overseas homeowners (sic) warned to check euro mortgage

How the eurozone debt crisis could spell financial doom for buyers of overseas property. If Greece were to exit and revert to the drachma mortgage, broker Dominik Lipnicki of Your Mortgage Decisions says the overnight fall in the value of people's homes would push "people to posting their keys through the letter box".

Posted by stuartking @ 10:22 AM 9 Comments

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Going down

Daily Telegraph: 'House prices will fall and mortgage rates will rise'

Howard Archer, an economist at IHS Global Insight, predicted falls of 5pc by mid-2012. But he added: "We believe there are serious downside risks to this forecast and that house prices could fall by more than 5pc given the deteriorating economic situation."

Posted by stuartking @ 11:21 AM 4 Comments

Better late than never

Telegraph: End to 'liar loans’ after lenders are ordered to tighten income checks

Self-certified mortgages, which allowed more than a million people to take out home loans without proving their income, are to be banned. Lenders will impose tougher tests on borrowers to ensure they can make their repayments, the Financial Services Authority is to announce on Monday. More than half of all new mortgages taken out between 2007 and the first quarter of 2010 were provided without a customer having to verify their income. During the property boom the so-called “liar loans”, where banks and building societies fail to make independent checks on a customer’s income, were at the centre of widespread fraud. However, the new rules will be relaxed for existing borrowers to ensure they do not become “mortgage prisoners” trapped in negative equity.

Posted by little professor @ 10:54 AM 8 Comments

Suddenly Sarkozy likes eating curry and fish 'n' chips

Telegraph: French seek to heal rift with Britain as suddenly they are the isolated ones

Nicolas Sarkozy was looking increasingly isolated last night as France faced losing its AAA credit rating and David Cameron held "positive" discussions with the German chancellor. François Fillon, the French prime minister, rang Nick Clegg, the Deputy Prime Minister, from Brazil in an attempt to stem the growing rift between France and Britain, which he himself helped trigger earlier this week. [Even complete with comments about how Wall Street, City, and American ratings agencies are fighting a war against the Euro due to Fitch's outlook downgrade of France - Brilliant! ]

Posted by blinktoofast @ 09:53 AM 6 Comments

Stuck on the shelf

Guardian: Second home affordability declines

Homeowners hoping to take their place on the second step of the property ladder face a "very tough challenge" as home affordability for so-called second-steppers is at its least favourable level for over 25 years.

Posted by dill @ 08:02 AM 3 Comments

Friday, December 16, 2011

Time for another "Downfall" clip on YouTube

Bloomberg: Euro Weakens After Fitch Downgrade Warnings

"The euro declined against the dollar after Fitch Ratings said it may downgrade Belgium, Spain, Slovenia, Italy, Ireland and Cyprus, adding to concern the region’s debt crisis hasn’t been contained"."Fitch said a “comprehensive solution” to the euro-zone crisis is “technically and politically beyond reach.”

Posted by alan @ 06:34 PM 5 Comments

But as long as London is OK...

Guardian: Housing crisis in the north of England deepens

The housing market renewal pathfinder projects have been abandoned, leaving many thousands of people surrounded by obsolete and boarded-up terraced properties that are effectively ghost towns. Elsewhere house prices are rising, but mortgages remain virtually unaffordable for first-time buyers, requiring minimum deposits of 25%.The decline of traditional industries has hit northern cities like Leeds and Hull. There has been mass migration out of Liverpool, which lost 330,000 people over the last 50 years. You've got the economy gone bust, house prices have gone through the roof and have increased particularly sharply in the north. A general rule of thumb is house prices are around three to four times the income — but we have house prices 16 times the average income.

Posted by little professor @ 11:39 AM 3 Comments

Rents on the slide

Planet Property: Rents on the slide

Further evidence that the rental market has peaked ...

Posted by the planet @ 11:09 AM 0 Comments

Spanish banks hiding real property price declines

FT Alphaville: Terminado del forebearance

Loan servicers and the originators (banks) have been pretty idiosyncratic about writing down real estate… and about the eventual destination of the distressed assets. Some banks are selling them on quickly. Others, interestingly, are still holding on to them or shuffling distressed loans around their balance sheet. [...] Fitch already notes that some Spanish banks are unlikely to have the capital on their own to absorb defaulted loans much longer. But if they accelerate foreclosures, the price decline is huge.

Posted by rich @ 09:25 AM 0 Comments

Thursday, December 15, 2011

More cuts to lending?

Bloomberg: BofA, Goldman, Barclays Have Credit Ratings Cut by Fitch

Barclays among European banks downgraded - won't do much for lending

Posted by stuartking @ 10:34 PM 31 Comments

But I thought London was immune..?

Reuters: London's $9 billion property sell-off risks price drops

Lukewarm demand for about 5.75 billion pounds of London offices on the market will likely force sellers to cut prices up to 15 percent, bringing them back to more realistic levels, property experts told Reuters. So far, offers are believed to have been made for about 1.7 billion pounds of the offices, which are in London's City financial zone and Canary Wharf business hub, global real estate consultancy CBRE said. It is not clear how many are under offer. "Realistic pricing remains the key if the 'under offer' is to become a 'sold'," CBRE executive director Mike Edwards said, noting the dearth of big deals in the last quarter of 2011..."

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 04:54 PM 5 Comments

Various ramblings...

Telegraph: What will 2012 mean for the housing market?

...from 'experts', apparently.

Posted by dill @ 04:20 PM 2 Comments

It's such a tragedy! If only they'd shot a couple in a tin shack instead!

Daily Mail: Elderly couple shot dead in their $1million home

"A wealthy couple who were shot dead at their million-dollar home has shocked residents of the suburban cul-de-sac who said there hasn't been a murder there in nine years*. Real estate developer John Magee, 69, and Geraldine Magee, 67, were found dead at their home by their daughter in Andover, Boston, shortly before 9.30am yesterday." * Wot? Three murders in nine years? And that counts as a peaceful neighbourhood?

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 03:18 PM 4 Comments

Portable Negative Equity

ThisisMoney: Rescue plan for 'mortgage prisoners': Banks told to help thousands caught in negative equity

Banks are to be told to rescue ‘mortgage prisoners’ by loosening lending restrictions to allow loans worth more than 100 per cent of a property's value for those trapped in negative equity. Because of falls in the value of their home, hundreds of thousands of hard-working people are unable to move to a new home. Businesses are struggling to recruit managers from other regions and the housing market is stagnant. But new mortgage application rules – to be announced next week by the Financial Services Authority – will give banks the green light to approve loans to trapped homeowners. This will apply to those whose loans amount to a very high proportion of their home’s value – and even those in negative equity.

Posted by general congreve @ 02:57 PM 16 Comments

Coming soon here

Wall Street Journal: Spanish house prices tumble

Spanish house prices fell at their fastest pace in two years in the third quarter, as the country's three-year property bust continues to take a toll. House prices decreased on average by 7.4% in the third quarter from the same period a year ago. This compares with a 6.8% fall in second-quarter house prices, and marks the third consecutive quarter of accelerated price drops after prices stabilized somewhat in late 2010.

Posted by little professor @ 12:41 PM 12 Comments

Mortgage repayments are not part of the cost of living - official.

BBC: House repossessions to rise in 2012, lenders say

But the CML's chief economist Bob Pannell said the prospects for mortgage lending and the housing market were "highly uncertain". "The household sector has been under financial pressure for some time, as a result of falling real incomes, and more recently higher unemployment," Mr Pannell said. "This is likely to unwind some of the improvement in mortgage arrears we have seen over the past two years and lead to a somewhat higher level of possessions in 2012."

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 12:33 PM 2 Comments

OOH NO - no more cheap money for property

Bloomberg: Chinese Cut Back on London Luxury Home Buying as Stock Market Losses Bite

Chinese investors’ share of prime London home purchases in the city’s most expensive neighborhoods fell by more than half in the third quarter as stock market declines hurt spending power, Hamptons International said. Buyers from the world’s second-largest economy accounted for 4.9 percent of sales in Chelsea, Kensington, Knightsbridge and Belgravia in the three months through September, down from 12.6 percent in the previous quarter, said Adam Challis, head of residential research the London-based property broker. They represented 10.6 percent of the purchases in the three months through March.

Posted by mark @ 10:22 AM 0 Comments

Why do they need this? whats wrong with a rental or a house in durham?

Reuters: American Airlines' $30 mln London town house

Buried deep in American Airlines' Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing is a striking asset -- a town house in one of London's most expensive residential streets that property experts say could be worth up to $30 million. The five-bedroom house in London's high-end Kensington district is a throwback to the airline's expansion two decades ago and stands a 10 minute walk from the former home of Princess Diana, with gentry and diplomats as neighbours.

Posted by mark @ 10:15 AM 2 Comments

Everything - and anything - to prevent HPC....but will it help?

Mail: Help for the middle class 'mortgage prisoners': Banks to be told to ease restrictions on the thousands caught in negative equity

''Banks are to be told to rescue middle-class ‘mortgage prisoners’ by loosening lending restrictions. Because they are locked in negative equity, hundreds of thousands of hard-working people are unable to move to a new home. Businesses are struggling to recruit managers from other regions and the housing market is stagnant.''

Posted by hpwatcher @ 07:33 AM 61 Comments

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Anywhere safe?

International Business Times: Household debt swells to record high

Household debt, including mortgages, is now worse in Canada than the USA and UK, according to the Bank of Canada. Adding: Household net worth fell by 2.1 percent in the third quarter, its second straight quarterly decline. Canadians held more assets in the form of real estate but the value of their stocks and pensions fell. The ratio of household credit-market debt, which includes mortgages, consumer credit and loans, to disposable income rose to 150.8 percent from 148.5 percent in the second quarter.

Posted by stuartking @ 08:50 PM 2 Comments

Estate Agent Today talks sense: shock

Estate Agent Today: Homes bought under MIG scheme 'could devalue overnight'

Properties sold to first-time buyers under the Government’s 95% mortgage indemnity guarantee scheme could instantly depreciate in value, the RICS has warned. The RICS says it is concerned that demand for homes within the scheme could artificially put up their prices. David Dalby, residential director at RICS, said valuers will need to look at properties outside the scheme and take their prices into account. He said: “There is a potential issue for lenders and buyers in that, as this scheme is only available for new-build property, any subsequent purchaser would not be able to take advantage of it. “Unless similar loans come on to the market for second-hand homes, there may be an instant depreciation in value the day after purchase.”

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 05:13 PM 6 Comments

More high paid jobs to go

Wall St Journal: Logica to Cut Staff Amid Weak Outlook

IT firm Logica in profits warning says it will cut 1,300 staff, hundreds in the UK. But, as these (many hi-tech and well-paid jobs) go, it's comforting to know that Morrisons plans to take on 7,000 mostly part-time staff at stores it's planning to open next year.

Posted by stuartking @ 05:03 PM 3 Comments

Banksy has a go at the property market

Planet Property Blog: Banksy comments on the housing market

Comments by the secretive artist Banksy, which appeared on the side of a half-finished development in Poplar, SE London this week, were quickly removed. The abandoned development, at 267 East India Dock Road, which should have contained seven units, has been left untouched for about three years

Posted by property addict @ 02:51 PM 0 Comments

The results of ever rising property prices in London

Grauniad: Thousands of households 'in danger of eviction'

"The risk of eviction is much higher in cities and other urban areas, particularly London – the 12 local authorities with the highest rates of eviction risk are all in London, partly because of high housing costs"

Posted by richy richless @ 12:47 PM 1 Comments

Tipping point?

BBC News: Unemployment increases to 2.64m

Are we nearing the Flashman tipping point?

Posted by cynicalsoothsayer @ 11:49 AM 23 Comments

They are falling like flies

Yahoo: La Senza Could Go Bust

Lingerie chain La Senza has become the latest retailer to hire management consultants to advise on restructuring. Sky's City Editor Mark Kleinman has revealed that the company is considering adminstration.

Posted by mark @ 11:11 AM 19 Comments

Realtor-listed sales numbers have become artificially inflated, said Yun.

CNN: Existing home sales to be revised lower

If you thought the U.S. housing market couldn't get much worse, think again. Far fewer homes have been sold over the past five years than previously estimated, the National Association of Realtors said Tuesday.

Posted by mark @ 10:50 AM 1 Comments

The lunatics have taken over the asylum

MSN Money: 'Trapped renters' may never buy

Housing Minister Grant Shapps said: "It's absolutely right to say that the doubling of house prices in the decade from 1997 blocked an entire generation from the housing ladder.That's why I've announced a new scheme that will mean rather than someone having to save £40,000 as a deposit, £10,000 will get them into their first home." That's right, Shapps, blame Labour and then do exactly the same thing with knobs on, the taxpayers will be happy to underwrite another load of dodgy loans from your banker chums.

Posted by we're all in this together @ 10:15 AM 6 Comments

High Street Goes Tits Up

Telegraph: Thomas Cook to close 200 stores, cut jobs as it posts loss

The travel agent Thomas Cook is to close up to 200 stores and potentially cut 1,000 jobs as it battles to turnaround its struggling UK business.The company, which warned last month that it needed to renegotiate its debt with lenders, confirmed the closures as it posted a pre-tax loss of £398m for the year to September 30.

Posted by doomdog @ 09:54 AM 4 Comments

Carpetwrong :(

Telegraph: Carpetright delivers worst performance since listing in 1993

Carpetright, the floorings group considered a bellwether for the economy, has suffered its worst six months of trading since it listed as a public company in 1993.

Posted by happy mondays @ 08:42 AM 11 Comments

Admission

Associated Press: Federal report: Home flipping drove housing bubble

LAS VEGAS (AP) — A new federal report shows that speculative real estate investors played a larger role than originally thought in driving the housing bubble that led to record foreclosures and sent economies plummeting in Nevada, California, Arizona, Florida and other states.

Posted by dill @ 07:01 AM 2 Comments

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

It would appear civil liberties are only for homeowners, according to the Tories

Conservative Home: Why is the Government opposing amendments in the House of Lords which would seek to protect homeowners?

Conservatives have led the debate to give people the protection to defend their property and in opposition led the calls to reduce the number of officials who had the right to enter your home without a warrant. So why is the Home Office opposing amendments in the House of Lords which would seek to protect homeowners and implement what was Conservative party policy?

Posted by montesquieu @ 10:55 PM 2 Comments

House price outside London have fallen by as much as 30% since the Crunch

Housing Expert: What do you think has happened to house prices?

First class piece by BBC housing expert Henry Pryor who reminds us that if you forget about London house prices for most are still below their peaks reached as Lehman Bros hit the buffers. Great use of official Land Registry data brings home the fact that prices in say Hartlepool are 30% off their Jan 2008 peak. Well worth following him on Twitter for his direct and honest insight - @HenryPryor

Posted by charles lister @ 06:37 PM 0 Comments

Some figures on Nimbyism

Dale&Co: Nimby Nation

There needs to be a wider sense that meeting community needs includes recognising the needs of those who are currently shut out of the housing market. But that brings us back to where we started. Because that requires people to look beyond their own circumstances and develop a better appreciation of the difficulties faced by others.

Posted by wanderinman @ 05:53 PM 7 Comments

Nearly a fifth of the department's 6,116 staff may lose their jobs

Yahoo: Move To Close DVLA Offices: Many Jobs At Risk

All the regional offices of the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency could be closed down - putting more than 1,200 jobs at risk - under government plans. The 39 local DVLA offices across England, Scotland and Wales carry out a range of duties like vehicle inspections and maintaining driver and vehicle records.

Posted by mark @ 02:24 PM 16 Comments

Laugh of day

IPF: Whats is instore for the French property and mortgage markets

2011 has undoubtedly been a turbulent year in the financial markets which have had an impact on many people’s decisions as to whether or not they will proceed with their dream purchase in France. However, uncertainty and austerity in the UK as well as low returns from saving accounts has also ensured that many people are deciding not to wait any longer before making a commitment.

Posted by mark @ 02:12 PM 1 Comments

Bailing out banks is all good

Dailymail: Natwest accused of forging signature

wonder just how much of this stuff goes on.....in my experience(and the financial ombudsman's)...banks have never had so many complaints.Just one of the downsides to bailing out anything

Posted by taffee @ 01:06 PM 0 Comments

Revealed: The world’s 8 most distressed property markets

Planet Property: Revealed: The world’s 8 most distressed property markets

And we don’t mean distressed in a ‘make look attractively antique’ kinda way...

Posted by the planet @ 11:29 AM 0 Comments

Empty homes 100k

AboutProperty: Great British Property Scandal empty homes campaign hits 100k

Proper commons debate on empty homes then?

Posted by phil @ 11:29 AM 0 Comments

Falling home values. Debt-strapped borrowers. Real estate woes dogging the economy

LA times: China's housing bubble is losing air

Home prices and sales plunge after China's government intentionally slams on the brakes. Some recent buyers stage demonstrations, destroy real estate offices and demand refunds of up to 40%.

Posted by mark @ 11:22 AM 13 Comments

London now the only region with price rises

Planet Property: London now the only region with price rises

Despite the positive spin from RICS about more buyers, the market looks fragile

Posted by the planet @ 10:56 AM 0 Comments

INflation latest

BBC: UK inflation rate falls to 4.8% in November

The rate of Consumer Prices Index (CPI) inflation in the UK fell to 4.8% during November, down from 5% the month before, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS). The rate still remains well above the Bank of England's target of 2%. Retail Prices Index (RPI) inflation - which includes mortgage interest payments - fell to 5.2% from 5.4%. The fall was partly due to a slowdown in the rise in food and non-alcoholic drink prices.

Posted by jack c @ 10:32 AM 16 Comments

Unbelievable

Yahoo: Slum Dwellers Priced Out As Shacks Sell For £50k

India's poor are being priced out of slum areas in Mumbai with some shacks being sold for more than £50,000.

Posted by mark @ 09:25 AM 2 Comments

It's a recession Jim, but not as we know it.....

Telegraph: RICS reports more house buying enquiries

'The number of people making enquiries about buying a home in the UK is rising at the most sustained rate since spring 2010 despite the eurozone debt crisis, according to estate agents.'

Posted by hpwatcher @ 08:41 AM 4 Comments

Professional horse whipper claims she can squeeze a couple more miles out of lame horse

Telegraph: Fears grow over the future of 5,500 high street shops

One of the UK's largest property companies has drawn up a confidential list of struggling retailers amid fears that more than 5,500 shops in Britain could be handed back to landlords or closed within months. The scenario highlights the troubles facing Britain's high streets on the eve of a Government-commissioned report by Mary Portas which will be released on Tuesday. Miss Portas issues a grave warning about the health of the high street when she unveils her report alongside the Prime Minister. She will suggest a series of remedies including a National Market Day to promote street markets, a loosening of regulations on night-time deliveries, and town centres providing more free car parking.

Posted by general congreve @ 01:14 AM 14 Comments

Monday, December 12, 2011

Real Estate Opportunities bites the dust

Guardian: Battersea Power Station pushes another developer into administration

Irish property firm Real Estate Opportunities fails to repay debts of £340m to Lloyds and Irelands NMAA and the site will be put up for sale after a high court judge placed four subsidiaries of Battersea's holding company into administration on Monday. REO's proposed £5.5bn revamp of the former power station that would have created 3,400 homes and some other stuff.

Posted by enuii @ 09:52 PM 0 Comments

What the hell is this?

RightMove: 4 bedroom detached house for sale. Shirebrook, Mansfield, Derbyshire

Detached Property 4 Bedrooms 2 Receptions & Office Family Kitchen & Pantry Double Glazed & Centrally Heated (Where Specified) Off Road Parking Detached Garage - Workshop Front & Rear Garden ____Potential For Roof Garden ____

Posted by khards @ 09:46 PM 16 Comments

Lol

MGF: Halifax: Housing market will be stable in 2012

Halifax is predicting little change in house price inflation for 2012 and will end the year somewhere between -2% to +2%.

Posted by paranoia blue @ 02:12 PM 29 Comments

UK Savers worst off in the world

Arabian Money: How much did your investments lose to inflation this year and what about 2012?

'Real interest rates in the UK stood at -4.5 per cent, that is to say interest paid adjusted for inflation. US investors were down 3.5 per cent and even the Chinese and Indians lost out'

Posted by hpwatcher @ 01:04 PM 31 Comments

Another page for SBC's cut-out-and-keep guide to the Home-Owner-Ist moral compass

Daily Mail: 1m empty rooms paid for by housing benefits... and it's costing the taxpayer £500m a year

Basically, if people in social housing have spare bedrooms, that is a heinous waste of space and money, but pointing out that existing owner-occupiers deliberately ration the supply of housing so that they have the spare bedrooms and suggesting that they either allow more new construction, pay LVT or trade down is an Attack On Wealth and on the older generation who Fought In Two World Wars and who don't want to see the Hallowed Green Belt being concreted over etc etc.

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 11:23 AM 19 Comments

Sing Along Day - The only way is down, baby

Yahoo: Eurozone crisis forces up mortgage rates for UK home owners

Mortgage rates have been creeping up in recent weeks and if the eurozone crisis implodes they could rise at a faster rate and be harder to get. Last week, Nationwide and ING both increased mortgage rates on selected deals. On Friday, Chelsea Building Society did likewise. For example, its two-year tracker rate increased from 1.69pc above Bank Rate to 1.89pc above Bank Rate.

Posted by mark @ 10:55 AM 7 Comments

Very Interesting research

Federal Reserve Bank Of New York: “Flip This House”: Investor Speculation and the Housing Bubble

Virtually everyone who buys a house is hoping for prices to rise, and most use leverage (debt)—in this case, a mortgage—to allow them to buy more housing than they can afford to pay for in cash. While the majority of borrowers have a consumption motive—as “owner-occupants,” they intend to live in the house—some borrowers own housing purely as an investment. As mortgage lenders have long known, investors are more likely than owner-occupants to walk away from an underwater property

Posted by mark @ 10:44 AM 1 Comments

Is it a global slowdown or start of a collapse ?

Bbc: India factory output falls 5.1%

Output from factories and mines tumbled by 5.1% compared with October 2010. A fall of about 0.5% had been expected.

Posted by mark @ 10:30 AM 0 Comments

Tasty bear food from the home of the bulls

Daily Mail: Rip up the rule book - it's all change in the property jungle

Forget everything. If you are selling your home now you need a new attitude. Choosing a price to go on the market? Set it lower than what you hope to achieve. There is the new phenomenon of 'gazanging', or dumping your buyer. If a seller has reduced his price to make a deal happen but cannot persuade another seller to do the same, he will simply gazang. We're in a falling market with potentially years of stagnation or price falls ahead. But one sales director suggests that it’s time for sellers to consider putting prices up. "I think we may well have reached the bottom of the market," he says. "Endless reducing of prices does not help - because people just think it will go lower and wait and see. Start to move the other way and buyers will begin to worry they could miss the boat."

Posted by drewster @ 12:36 AM 18 Comments

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Lenders loosen up

Telegraph: Housing sales surge but house prices remain ‘25pc too expensive’

The number of homes sold surged up by 4.5pc last month, helped by frozen interest rates and the "loosest mortgage lending conditions seen since the Lehman Brothers collapse" but Britain’s biggest building society warns that house prices remain 25pc more expensive than the historic norm. “The market is thus far showing resilience in the face of the eurozone crisis. More first time buyers are rolling up their sleeves and piecing together the bigger deposits required to access high loan-to-value mortgages. No doubt they are sick of paying astronomically high rents.”

Posted by drewster @ 10:31 PM 9 Comments

Cat's out of the bag

BBC News: Robert Peston hears 'our heads in sand over debt levels'

BBC Business Editor Robert Peston hears a pessimistic forecast from Terry Smith of money brokers Tullett Prebon over the true scale of the UK's debt burden. In the teeth of the worst financial crisis in living memory, Peston examines how the world got to this point and how the colossal imbalances in the global economy have left the UK in need of a radical economic overhaul.

Posted by dev @ 10:18 PM 0 Comments

Something alternative but tennant/landlord related to discuss

Guardian: Stars unite to save the falafels that fuelled theatreland

Gascoyne Holdings, landlord of the building where Elyahou has sold salad, salt beef, soup and falafels since 1965, hoping to sell to a corporate buyer, has been granted a planning application for its redevelopment as a chain restaurant. Owner Gaby Elyahou said; "What has upset me is that small businesses have no power to keep going. These big landlords know they could get you out tomorrow, yet if you go to Paris you see small shops and cafes of different kinds. As a result, these bistro chains have no chance there. But if I walk from Oxford Circus to my deli what do I see? Only big shops and chains all selling the same thing."

Posted by enuii @ 02:29 PM 4 Comments

Euro Agreement Is Illegal, Claim EU Lawyers

UK NEWS: Euro Agreement Is Illegal

Legal services experts working within the European Union believe the deal struck in Thursday's EU summit is illegal, according to a leading German newspaper.

Posted by halkewl @ 01:13 PM 0 Comments

All talk and no walk

Telegraph: Eurozone leaders deluded if they think this 'sticking plaster' treaty can solve the debt crisis

So, now we know what the latest euro-crisis summit has to offer. The fifth comprehensive effort to stabilise the eurozone in nineteen months, this latest Brussels gab-fest produced a slew of headlines and initiatives. But what did it really achieve?

Posted by dill @ 11:17 AM 11 Comments

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Same story every where

BBC: Mortgage misery in Australia

Mortgage misery Australian style. 25% of mortgage holders finding it difficult to pay their mortgage.

Posted by deepak @ 04:18 PM 6 Comments

But wait...

Daily Mail: The £10,000 debt burden of the average UK family

Families are approaching Christmas weighed down by average debts of more than £10,500. The huge sums – which come on top of mortgages – generate punishing interest and penalty charges at a time when people need every penny to cover essential bills. The average household debt figure – covering loans, credit cards, store cards, hire purchase and overdrafts – is put at £10,603.75 Aviva’s spokesman Paul Goodwin said: ‘Our research shows that the average UK family spends around a tenth of its income repaying debts.’ However, he said that most people do not seem concerned by this, which demonstrates what a normal part of budgeting debt has become.

Posted by little professor @ 03:00 AM 12 Comments

Mortgage debt is the key to wealth creation

Telegraph: UK households wealthier than Germany's, says UBS

'Analysts at UBS say British households have more housing and financial assets even after allowing for the higher levels of personal debt. In a note entitled Eine kleine bank balance UBS says: "Most UK household debt is mortgage related, and a typical household buys a home to secure a safe future for itself in retirement. Put differently, a homeowning household has protected itself from any mismatch between rental payments and pension income during retirement. "This can only happen if the household takes on a debt during its working life, so debt levels are high. That characterises UK households as prudent, not reckless.' --- This has to be the most depressing Telegraph article I've read in a while. Mr Dunkley proposes that leveraged property speculation will make the UK wealthy.

Posted by quiet guy @ 12:37 AM 9 Comments

Friday, December 9, 2011

Short informative video on bad UK debt situation

Max Keiser via RT: Which country's debt is 1000% of GDP?

I was unaware of the scale of the bad UK debt as indicated by this report - can someone put it into perspective or are things really this bad?

Posted by watchman @ 03:45 PM 14 Comments

CML Data

Guardian: First-time buyers desert mortgage market

Number of first-time buyer loans approved in October falls 10% on previous month to just 16,400, new figures show.

Posted by dill @ 02:35 PM 8 Comments

Go and get the D-Marks

Youtube: Hitler hears about the Eurozone Downgrade

The Eurozone gets the Downfall treatment:

Posted by general congreve @ 12:48 PM 3 Comments

There's no place like homeless

Guardian: Homeless households increase by 13%

According to an analysis by Homeless Link, the umbrella body for more than 500 charities, the number of households accepted as homeless by councils in England has increased by 13% to 35,680 in the first nine months of the year, compared with the same period in 2010.

Posted by dill @ 11:48 AM 5 Comments

UK consumers are spending less on Christmas shopping, in comparison with last year.

Britain Loans: Britons Spend Less On Christmas Shopping

According to Visa, biggest credit card company in UK, consumers are spending less on Christmas shopping, in comparison with last year. Credit and debit cards spending are 2.3% lower over the past four weeks than in 2010, says Visa.

Posted by valentine smith @ 11:42 AM 0 Comments

No

Daily mail: The world's eight most distressed property markets - could you grab a bargain home?

Below market value specialists IPS have compiled a shortlist of the world’s eight most distressed property markets and looked at what this means for property investors. Ireland tops the line-up, followed by the U.S. where the sub-prime market began. Europe features heavily with Hungary, Greece, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Spain and Portugal completing the list.

Posted by mark @ 11:24 AM 7 Comments

Well i never new public sector workers got so many perks

Lancashire Evening Post: Council staff given cheaper rail fares

The Evening Post revealed in 2009 that around 600 council staff were parking for free at the bus station and market car parks in the city, while the public had to pay.

Posted by mark @ 10:01 AM 13 Comments

Be warned - the ease with which exec's can steal your money

FT: Corzine ‘stunned’ by MF Global collapse

'Jon Corzine, the former chief executive of MF Global, told a congressional hearing on Thursday “I simply do not know where the money is”, when summoned to testify on the collapse of the broker-dealer and an estimated $1.2bn of missing customer funds. Passing up the chance to “plead the fifth” and use his right to silence, Mr Corzine told lawmakers he learnt that customer funds were missing just a day before MF Global’s October 31 bankruptcy and was “stunned”.'

Posted by hpwatcher @ 09:59 AM 3 Comments

Banks versus People Vol 5 ch 3

Guardian: EU summit: This emergency plan is great news - if you're a bank

The new EU deal seems to allow the ECB to lend to banks but not to fund government deficits. For governments, all fundraising has to go through the private banking system. Despite the massive debt overhang and, to put it mildly, unlikely prospect of growth. The puppet banking technocrats parachuted in to head governments in Italy and Greece have stitched everything up in to hold out for maximum gain to the private banking sector at the expense of ... well, everyone else. [Can it go on like this or is there a tipping point where people somehow fight back?]

Posted by nickb @ 09:09 AM 6 Comments

Don't tell the British Public anything!

Newsnight: Newsnight 7/12/2011

Newsnight from Wednesday night. From around 20 minutes is a good watch, it's a discussion on the debt crisis. One commentator saying that the government has no choice but to print money to bailout the banks, another saying that systemically important banks cannot be allowed to fail, also saying that even a partial bank failing that just affected shareholders would not be enough to resolve insolvency issues, so the government has to step in to support and keep the banks going. Killer quote from the female commentator at 22.10 - "I don't think we tell the British Public anything, not unless you want a run on the banks!".

Posted by general congreve @ 01:23 AM 22 Comments

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Higher Mortgage rates finally?

Well, it is Christmas!

Daily Mail: Gift-wrap your house for a perfect festive sale: How to showcase your home this Christmas

Estate agents, like Scrooge, don’t think much of Christmas. Traditionally, over the festive period, the number of homes on the market dwindles and sales virtually dry up. Yet it needn’t be a dead month. Some vendors, such as Claire and Gavin Colman who are selling their six-bedroom Georgian home in St Albans, Hertfordshire, believe they can make the sparkly season work in their favour.

Posted by rental john @ 08:22 PM 0 Comments

Will Merkozy freeze out Britain, and what then if Britain needs help?

The Economist: Those obstructive Brits

Mr Cameron has to balance aims that may be irreconcilable. In the short term he must avert the collapse of the euro zone and prevent a debilitating mutiny within his own party. This could push him into letting the euro zone go its own way in order to avoid a difficult British ratification. But his longer-term interests suggest he should moderate his bidding to allow treaty change at 27 and remain at the table. Why? To preserve the single market, promote British influence and act as a promoter of economic liberalism—for the sake of Britain and Europe.

Posted by rental john @ 07:59 PM 0 Comments

Some good news

This is money: Buying a home means saving for a deposit for 30 years.

'In 1993, a typical family had to save for eight years to raise a deposit for a mortgage to buy a house. Now they have to save for 31 years.' (assuming anyone will be bothered to save for that long)

Posted by will @ 06:51 PM 3 Comments

Inside Job; scum rule the world

BBC2: Inside Job

How financial institutions pretty much get to decide how the world is run; beware watching this is likely to leave you feeling utterly depressed, angry and feeling helpless and conned.

Posted by doomwatch @ 01:02 PM 13 Comments

Money for old rope on the MPC

BBC: UK interest rates kept on hold at record low of 0.5%

UK interest rates have been held at a record low of 0.5% by the Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee.Concerns about the strength of the economic recovery and the eurozone debt crisis meant that economists had expected rates to remain unchanged. Interest rates have been kept at 0.5% since March 2009.The Bank did not announce any increase in its policy of quantitative easing. In October, the Bank said it would pump another £75bn into the economy.The Bank had already pumped £200bn into the economy with asset purchases between March 2009 and February 2010.

Posted by jack c @ 12:32 PM 8 Comments

Never seen one!!!

BBC: Shoe firm Barratts enters administration again

High Street shoe chain Barratts Priceless Group has been placed into administration again, placing the jobs of 3,840 people at risk. The Bradford-based firm has 191 stores, under the Barratts and Priceless Shoes names, in the UK.

Posted by mark @ 12:26 PM 25 Comments

Office rentals in london not looking so rosy

Yahoo: Schroders pulls London office move on euro turmoil

The company had planned to occupy up to 250,000 square feet of offices in the Walbrook building near the Bank of England in London's City financial district, but the move failed to gain final top-level in-house approval in the last fortnight, one of the sources said.

Posted by mark @ 12:08 PM 2 Comments

Not a small figure

Yahoo: Mortgage fraud rises by 77pc

Mortgage fraud has risen by more than 75pc in the space of a year, figures show. Forty-nine in every 10,000 mortgage applications were found to be fraudulent in the third quarter of this year, a 77pc increase on the same period in 2010 and 53pc more than in the second quarter of this year, according to Experian, the credit agency.

Posted by mark @ 11:02 AM 6 Comments

Accountability

Resolution Foundation: Renting in the dark (pdf)

Tenants are being let down by an unregulated lettings market, with significant upfront costs, variable fees and a lack of transparency around charges. In a mystery shopping exercise of letting agents in three cities, the range and type of fees charged varied significantly; for example, administrative fees ranged from £95 to £375. Unlike estate agents, letting agents are unregulated and under no compulsion to hold membership of an ombudsman service, leaving dissatisfied tenants with no access to redress. The Resolution Foundation is calling for greater regulation to improve transparency and create a more competitive market.

Posted by dill @ 08:56 AM 9 Comments

Max goes overboard . 1st five mins funny... but then

" title="External Link" target="_blank">RT: Keiser Report: Cameron & Osborne on the Run

Osborne "submissive" villified. As i said funny at first but then has a serious message.[MF global mentioned].

Posted by techieman @ 08:46 AM 4 Comments

Keeno relatively in depth, but less technical

Institute of new economic thinking (INET): Steve Keen interview

Something for everyone what particularly struck me was him mentioning the ferocity of the attack by the property VIs. Even talks about engineers in the last section. 7 parts but quite short - starts with him promoting his book, but quickly gets into some bits of interest.

Posted by techieman @ 08:22 AM 2 Comments

Latest Reports

NHF: Home Truths

Download the latest Home truths reports, showing the true cost of housing in England.

Posted by dill @ 08:05 AM 2 Comments

If you have enough money to save ! :(

Mail: Saving for deposit on a home 'will take 31 years'... but in 1993 it only took eight  

Millions of families will have to save for more than 30 years to raise the deposit required to get on to the property ladder, a study reveals today.

Posted by happy mondays @ 07:59 AM 3 Comments

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

How fast will the buyer want to make a profit?

FT: Lloyds to sell £900m of property loans

'Lloyds Banking Group has entered exclusive talks with Lone Star, the US private equity group, over the sale of £900m of distressed property loans. The sale of the Project Royal portfolio is the largest loan disposal by a UK bank since the collapse of the property market in 2008 and could open the door to a flood of similar deals.'

Posted by hpwatcher @ 04:53 PM 9 Comments

The consequence of trying tax earned income

The Economist: Tax havens: Trouble island

UNDER intense international pressure to lift banking secrecy, the first and biggest of the world’s “tax havens”—places that charge low or no taxes to foreigners—is ceding some ground. In a deal signed on October 6th, Switzerland agreed to tax money held in its banks by British residents (it had already done a similar deal with Germany). These customers face a levy of up to 34% as well as, from 2013, a withholding tax.

Posted by mombers @ 04:05 PM 1 Comments

Portfolio theory - herd style

Citywire: Advice to young people: risk it all on one huge investment

Save like mad, perhaps even to the detriment of paying off the thousands of pounds you’ve likely build up in debts. Now stretch yourselves to the limit and take on, say, £165,000 worth of debt by bundling everything you have, and committing much of your future earnings, into one single, risky investment. It won’t earn you an income and of course like all investments, past performance is no guarantee of future returns. It's also illiquid. It’ll restrict you greatly, especially when the economy sinks as it tends to do every decade or so. Welcome to Britain’s home ownership dream.

Posted by sureseam @ 03:05 PM 1 Comments

Banks versus People

Charles Smith: It's Your Choice, Europe: Rebel Against the Banks or Accept Debt-Serfdom

Ok it's a blog, but cogent. Argues that Europeans have either to fight the vested interests in and stemming from the banking system or accept decades of debt slavery. There is no way that more debt can be heaped on the pile to bail out the Euro without economic and social rigor mortis. But that is what the Eurozone faces if debt writedown is not achieved. (I would add that it is not just the Eurozone countries, but the whole European Union, including Britain. That would mean lower house prices but also falling incomes and mass unemployment, so many of those who have saved patiently over the last couple of decades will still face a stark future.)

Posted by nickb @ 02:23 PM 9 Comments

Shocking personal debt figures

Yahoo Finance: Over-55s have a financial 'annus horribilis'

The average person over 55 has savings of £11,153 in the bank today, down more than £4,000 from £15,262 one year ago. (27% fall) The dramatic fall has occurred because people have been forced to dip into their savings to beat the effects of high inflation, which has pushed up the cost of living. ( linked in HPC Forum, thanks Ponzi Fighter Pilot )

Posted by will @ 12:45 PM 11 Comments

I assume that this doesn't apply to "mortgage help"?

Daily Mail: Britain turns to conservative values as recession bites: We want the State to stay out of our lives and sympathy for benefit claimants has evaporated

"More than half of us - 54% - think unemployment benefits are too high up from 35% in 1983. Workshy parents are to blame for child poverty, say 63%"

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 12:19 PM 33 Comments

Rental boom shows signs of cooling

Planet Property: Rental boom shows signs of cooling

not by much: but stock is up, demand is down and rental increases are easing as incomes are squeezed

Posted by the planet @ 11:13 AM 2 Comments

Another chain to go?

Dailymail: Blacks Leisure facing shares wipeout as it calls for buyer to rescue it from collapse

Blacks owns 208 Millets stores as well as 98 eponymous Blacks outlets. Its brands include Peter Storm and Eurohike

Posted by mark @ 11:10 AM 13 Comments

This will make some waves

Telegraph: Home buyers who need mortgage help may be forced repay state

"Home buyers who lose their job and need state help with mortgage interest may have to repay this or give up some or all of the proceeds of their property’s sale in future, if new rules being considered by the Government pass into law." From a moral perspective, this is just common sense - why should taxpayers pay somebody's mortgage interest? Politically, it's rather a hot potato and it should be interesting to see how it develops. As one of our contributors has noted in the past: when the property market was rising, mortgage borrowers would say 'look how much money I've made.' When the market tanked, mortgage borrowers revealed that they only wanted a home for their family. Note the last paragraph in particular - it's clear where the Telegraph stands on state mortgage subsidies.

Posted by quiet guy @ 10:28 AM 8 Comments

Fear and hype about Euro break-up doesn't square up with this historical evidence

Financial Times: Czechoslovakians set a fine example for breaking up a currency

[...] I once asserted, at a conference on the euro in December 1998, that currency unions were unbreakable because the costs to disentangling the accounts would be prohibitive. Vaclav Klaus was there, and replied: “Nonsense. When Czechoslovakia split in two, we separated the accounts in an afternoon.” Jeffrey Frankel, Harpel Professor, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, US

Posted by sneaker @ 10:22 AM 2 Comments

Scenarios - one of many

CNBC: How a Break-Up of the Euro Zone Could Crush the UK

The impact on asset markets of a total break-up of the euro zone would also be significant, even if policymakers respond quickly, according to [James] Knightley [senior economist at ING}. "Equity markets would plunge as investors sought safe havens during the period of dislocation and gilt yields would fall sharply. Asking prices for property would collapse, yet there would be no transactions happening given the lack of credit," he wrote.

Posted by dill @ 09:51 AM 3 Comments

Transparency: step in the right direction

The Daily Telegraph: US banks face pay disclosure in the UK

Wall Street banks could be forced to disclose compensation details for their highest paid London-based staff, according to new Treasury proposals.

Posted by ant @ 08:10 AM 0 Comments

The curse of wonga.com

BBC News: R3 insolvency group says millions turn to payday loans

Quite a saddening article with statements.. "45% of those questioned struggled to make it to pay day, rising to 62% for 24-44 year olds" I'm sure too much will be spent on crap thats not needed this christmas as usual..

Posted by richy richless @ 07:41 AM 0 Comments

Print n' Bail

Telegraph: Bank of England takes new steps to prevent credit crunch

The Extended Collateral Term Repo (ECTR) contingency plan unveiled on Tuesday came just days after the Bank joined other central banks to boost the global supply of dollar liquidity to help ease the pressures on lenders in the eurozone. Under the measures, the Bank will give lenders access to month-long sterling loans if current "exceptional stresses" on global financial markets caused by the eurozone's problems spread to Britain's interbank lending market. The Bank stressed: "There is currently no shortage of short-term sterling liquidity in the market. But should that position change, the new facility gives the Bank additional flexibility to offer sterling liquidity in an auction format against the widest range of collateral."

Posted by general congreve @ 12:12 AM 8 Comments

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Snow - Statistically speaking it's an economic miracle

Telegraph: Snow could avert double-dip recession

Sir Stephen Nickell, a Treasury forecaster has suggested that a good dose of snow before the end of year could skew economic activity in such a way that Britain does not experience two quarters of negative growth. “If you have a huge bout of heavy snow before Christmas that will probably rule out a double-dip recession because GDP will fall in the fourth quarter and bounce back in the first quarter,”. This potential statisical anomaly/blip/wheeze could save Britain and is creating qutie a stir at the Office for Budget Responsibility.

Posted by enuii @ 06:57 PM 19 Comments

Whatever. Olympics, X-factor, IPads, that's what's important.

Vancouver Sun: We've been down this path before

As civilizations mature, they tend to make the same mistakes. We are in the middle of one of those mistakes right now. If, as an investor, you are looking at the U.S. and Europe, and are con-fused by the barrage of sombre news relating to economic issues - such as stubbornly high unemployment, collapsing housing prices, soaring government-debt levels, waning consumer confidence and a precarious banking system - I don't blame you. As far as I can tell, so are the legions of experts, media and politicians, those we have traditionally trusted to explain such complex economic and financial matters to us. And why have all the herculean efforts to save us from these maladies failed so miserably, despite the fact that we seem to be drowning in remedies?

Posted by general congreve @ 02:48 PM 2 Comments

Lovely Meryn sticks the boot in

Moneyweek: The housing market's final props could soon collapse

This week, the scale of the forbearance in the market became clear. According to the Financial Services Authority, 5-8% of all UK mortgages would be in arrears if the banks weren't scrabbling around looking for ways to prevent it happening. But I can't see that number being allowed to go much higher. And what of mortgage rates? If forbearance is so huge at a time when rates are at their lowest for 300 years, what happens when the costs of a mortgage rise? If you were hoping that 2011 was the last year of falling house prices, I suspect you will find next year deeply disappointing.

Posted by general congreve @ 02:45 PM 4 Comments

Robin Smith of Real Reform Think Tank talks about LVT from Occupy London

Youtube: Interview about Tax Havens and LVT

I found this interview to be very thoughtful... this guy is obviously extremely intelligent and knowledgeable and makes some excellent points about economic rent, land value tax, tax havens and the problems with economic rent being taxed less than labour and capital. I'd say if these idea's are implemented house prices will become more affordable? :) Shame about the camera angle but you only need the sound...

Posted by peppersauce @ 02:22 PM 1 Comments

November 2011 down

LBG: Halifax House Price Index

Annual change -1.0% Quarterly change -0.6% Monthly change -0.9% Average Price £161,731

Posted by dill @ 08:23 AM 29 Comments

Monday, December 5, 2011

Not All Animals Are Equal

Yahoo! News: Police include Occupy movement on ‘terror’ list

City of London Police have sparked controversy by producing a brief in which the Occupy London movement is listed under domestic terrorism/extremism threats to City businesses.

Posted by budobear @ 11:40 PM 0 Comments

AAA's will get dragged down by the PIGS

Telegraph: Debt crisis: all 17 eurozone countries face losing AAA credit status

S&P warns that all 17 eurozone members, including France and Germany, could lose their AAA ratings as they attempt to share the same fiscal straight jacket.

Posted by enuii @ 10:48 PM 8 Comments

International labour mobility and the folly of income/corporate taxation

BBC News: Exodus: Movement of rich people - a life at home abroad

The only way to capture public revenue from highly educated people with highly educated tax accountants is LVT.

Posted by mombers @ 04:29 PM 10 Comments

Stupidity and greed?

Cnn: Two big housing risks that investors are ignoring

We've noticed a lot of investors getting positive on housing recently. In fact, housing is cited as the driver for the UBS economic team's rosy 2012 forecast. While we don't dispute that recent economic data has been better than feared, we take significant exception to the idea that housing is poised for smooth sailing. Here we present two risk factors looming large in our outlook but virtually unnoticed among investors

Posted by mark @ 04:06 PM 3 Comments

National Average Wage Infographic

Balckburn College: Going Further

Blackburn College has launched a new national average wage infographic that aims to give potential students an idea of how they could work towards a brighter future – by giving them a realistic idea of the salaries available in certain careers. The image shows a range of possible employment options that could be attained through study at the college, with details on how to find out more information through a new information hub knowyourway.co.uk. The launch of the infographic comes just weeks after a similar interactive design that showed all the fantastic activities available in the Blackburn area for around a fiver. This graphic used hi-tech QR codes, which allowed those with enabled smartphones to find out more about the great courses on offer at the college.

Posted by alex wade @ 03:48 PM 0 Comments

God forbid an economy slowing down - pump it full of money again

Yahoo: China slowdown spreading, HSBC services PMI shows

China's services sector cooled in November to its weakest growth in three months, an HSBC purchasing managers' index showed on Monday, the latest data portraying an economy slowing quickly and in need of policy support. "With price pressures easing further, Beijing can and should use policies that are targeted on small businesses and service sectors to keep GDP growth at above 8 percent for the coming year,"

Posted by mark @ 10:49 AM 2 Comments

The sentiment of homeowners...

Mail: Safe as houses? Despite the economic turmoil most of us believe the value of our homes will not fall

''Two-thirds of Britons refuse to believe house prices will drop next year, despite a raft of gloomy predictions from forecasters. Some 22 per cent expect a price rise in the next 12 months, while 41 per cent believe there will be no change. Just one third of the population have been convinced by the gloomy rhetoric and are expecting a fall, according to market analysts at Rightmove.''

Posted by hpwatcher @ 09:06 AM 16 Comments

Sunday, December 4, 2011

The stupidity of the British

Schiff Radio: Listener Questions 12/01/11 Preview

"The Bank of England has created £250 billion to buy assets in a 'quantitive easing' program. Under a fractional reserve banking system, won't this massively inflate the amount of 'money' in the system? Using a 20% ratio I believe the economy could be inflated by more than a trillion pounds. Correct?"

Posted by hpwatcher @ 10:38 PM 9 Comments

2003 Prices

USA Today: As home prices sink, home ownership heads to new lows

Home prices across the nation are right back where they were at the beginning of 2003. All that was gained is largely now lost, and the effect on home ownership could continue for decades.

Posted by oneworld @ 02:13 PM 0 Comments

Farage tells it how it is (vid)

BBC: Jacques Delors~Euro was flawed from beginning

"One of the main architects of the single European currency, Jacques Delors, has said the eurozone was flawed from the beginning (vid). He told Britain's Daily Telegraph that the lack of central powers to co-ordinate economic policies allowed some members to run up unsustainable debt. As head of the European Commission from 1985 to 1995, he played a key role in the process that launched the euro". A break-up will destabilise the whole UK~not just house prices

Posted by alan @ 01:58 PM 14 Comments

Nothing to do with me gov

Telegraph: RBS report won't examine role of Goodwin and McKillop in bank's collapse

The Financial Services Authority's report into the collapse of Royal Bank of Scotland will not examine in any detail the role played by Sir Fred Goodwin and Sir Tom McKillop, its two most senior directors. I'm no expert on corporate governance but I thought that the CEO of a major corporation is generally considered to have some responsibility for a company's performance. A minute with Google search suggests that there was no problem with associating Fred Goodwin with RBS before the credit crunch. The FSA are taking us for fools.

Posted by quiet guy @ 10:52 AM 15 Comments

But the Germans might pull a plug on it

G Pytel: The largest heist in history continues (as predicted)

This is what governments knew back in the beginning of 2009: "If governments do not liquidate the global pyramid scheme, the money they injected will be, in time, converted into toxic instruments (e.g. securities) and cashed in by organisers and privileged customers of these schemes (or in the case of Albania, gangsters and their customer friends). As the amount injected is around 200 times less than the notional value of toxic instruments, the economy will not even see a difference. It will be a step back to September 2008, only now with trillions of dollars of taxpayers’ money spent to sustain the pyramid scheme. It will be merely throwing good money after bad. But can governments afford to come up again with the same amount money and do it 200 times over or more?"

Posted by ant @ 09:17 AM 3 Comments

What has this got to do with house prices!

Aljazeera: Global rebellion: The coming chaos?

Global elites are confused, reactive, and sinking into the quagmire of their own making.

Posted by happy mondays @ 08:53 AM 1 Comments

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Poles show us how it's done!

Telegraph: Polish squatters 'move in' to affluent London area 'because rents are too high'

A group of Polish squatters have taken up residence in a £1m home in one of London's most affluent areas because "rents are too high" for them to afford to live in the area. The six squatters "moved in" to the Victorian home in Highgate, north London, a fortnight ago. The home is located a short distance from homes owned by Kate Moss, the model, and actor Jude Law. They even put a sign up in the window stating that they are claiming squatter's rights and do not intend to move until rents in the area fall. Figures show that rent for a five bed home costs about £5,000 a month. The £1m property is believed to be in the process of renovation. But locals say that builders downed tools after the owner told them he couldn't afford the work until the recession ends.

Posted by drewster @ 04:23 PM 3 Comments

Logic fail

Hartlepool Mail: House price slump wipes £20,000 off town home prices

Apparently, prices fell most in Hartlepool YoY according to the latest Land Registry index. Labour councillor Jonathan Brash, who represents the Burn Valley ward, said “to turn this around we need to make it easier to get a mortgage and ensure there are more affordable homes, particularly for first time buyers, so that we revitalise our housing market.” But what does the phrase "turn this around" mean here? I can only think that "turning around" price drops means price rises yet councillor Brash also wants "affordable homes" to be built as well. It's a politician's job to be popular so I suppose we shouldn't judge too harshly but the basic contradiction in bemoaning cheaper accomodation while praising affordable housing is absurd.

Posted by quiet guy @ 11:24 AM 8 Comments

Coming to these shores shortly. If you value your pension, cash it in.

Telegraph: Portugal raids pension funds to meet deficit targets

The cabinet agreed to transfer the assets from four of Portugal’s biggest banks to the state balance sheet. The assets will be used to bridge a gap needed to meet the fiscal deficit target of 5.9pc of GDP set by the terms of the country’s €78bn bail-out from around 10pc in 2010. "This measure is more than sufficient to meet the budget deficit goal in 2011," said Helder Rosalino, secretary of state for central administration, on Friday. Portugal said it had informed the EU and IMF and assured them it would be a “one-off”. However the 2010 budget was met by shifting three pension plans from Portugal Telecom on to the public social security system. The liabilities don’t count, yet.

Posted by general congreve @ 10:28 AM 10 Comments

If it sounds too good to be true...

Bloomberg: Has US learned the lesson of Enron 10 years later?

Analysis of how rotten much of the US financial system, including the housing con, has been over the past decade - much of it applicable here, just change a few names. Nice quotes too, including: "People were using their homes like automated teller machines," says David Rosenberg, chief economist at Gluskin Sheff & Associates and a big critic of lending during the boom. "At some point, people have to own up to their mistakes." And, of course, you are left with the impression the answer to the question on the headline is a resounding 'No'.

Posted by stuartking @ 12:26 AM 2 Comments

Friday, December 2, 2011

It was all a ruse after all

Guardian: A necessary euro crisis

Euro-lovin' twaddle claiming that the current crisis is good for Europe and that we have some more coming, too. And a picture of Merkel with a grin that can only come from drinking too much Babycham. "...these were words designed to get past the objections of electorates so they could get on with ... their aim, to get Europe to move to a proper union through a series of crises..." Would love to hear what Farage has to say about this.

Posted by blinktoofast @ 09:35 PM 1 Comments

Be thankful you're not a US citizen

Russia Today: Senate approves indefinite detention and torture of Americans

"The terrifying legislation that allows for Americans to be arrested, detained indefinitely, tortured and interrogated — without charge or trial — passed through the Senate on Thursday with an overwhelming support from 93 percent of lawmakers."

Posted by thecountofnowhere @ 05:20 PM 0 Comments

Double Dip

The Economist: Purchasing managers' index

Britain’s index fell to 47.6 (a figure below 50 indicates shrinking output), its lowest level since June 2009

Posted by richy richless @ 04:06 PM 1 Comments

Amazing how other papers put a spin on it

Yahoo: Period properties see value crash

Houses built before the First World War have dropped in value by almost a third since the start of the credit crisis in 2007, according to research by Halifax. The average price of a house built before 1919 is £188,500 today, down from £269,000 in 2007, Halifax said.

Posted by mark @ 02:08 PM 10 Comments

Can George Clark solve the housing crisis?

Planet Property: Can George Clark and C4 solve the housing problem by renovating empty homes?

George to the rescue with a campaign to renovate empty homes ... but the problem is tougher than he thinks....

Posted by the planet @ 12:43 PM 0 Comments

Big, draughty old Victorian houses rose most over 25 years, but have now fallen furthest

Planet Property Blog: Pre-1919 properties are on the money

Prices of Victorian and older property have seen biggest longterm gains. According to the Halifax Property Age Review pre-1919 properties have risen by 461% in 25 years, compared with an average house price increase of 357%.

Posted by property addict @ 12:40 PM 0 Comments

Ouch

Mirror: Debt levels head towards £30,000 for every adult

DEBT levels have risen again this month to stand at an average £55,808 per household. Figures from money education charity Credit Action show the average amount owed by every adult is heading towards £30,000.

Posted by mark @ 11:51 AM 20 Comments

Could europe collapse china

Reuters: "Axe sheets" grow as Credit Agricole, others dump Asia loans

The loans on offer in Asia are being sold at discounted prices by sellers who just want to get out. That's driving up prices of primary market loans, as bankers who play in both markets know they can get cheaper secondary loans. Loan bankers expect steeper discounts to come given that buyers are waiting for even better bargains. That in turn will push up prices in the primary market.

Posted by mark @ 10:29 AM 11 Comments

These numbers are crazy

AboutProperty: Pre-1919 homes see biggest house price rise

The bank said pre-1919 homes have risen in value by 461 per cent from an average of £33,619 in 1986 to £188,473 in 2011 - the equivalent of £516 a month. The average price of all homes has "only" gone up by 357 per cent.

Posted by phil @ 08:57 AM 0 Comments

HPC favourite serves up a little normality (again)

Toriegraph: Global house prices hit by credit crunch and eurozone crisis but the rich are OK

House prices could soon start to fall around the world as a result of the credit crunch and eurozone crisis, one of the biggest global estate agents has hinted.

Posted by richy richless @ 07:55 AM 0 Comments

Higher borrowing costs is the key

Daily Wail: Our whole system's in crisis: Mervyn King warns mortgage rates are likely to soar and tells banks to slash bonuses

Mortgage rates are set to soar as the Governor of the Bank of England warned the 'extraordinarily serious and threatening' crisis in the eurozone is damaging Britain. The Bank's financial policy committee said banks were facing higher borrowing rates and may try to pass this on within months – resulting in a 'significant increase' in lending rates.

Posted by hpwatcher @ 06:44 AM 13 Comments

Why mortgage finance will remain tight for a decade

Guardian: Voices of finance: quant

The guy that builds the mortgage finance risk systems says it straight: "No model is perfect and before the current crisis banks might allow for one in five decisions in residential mortgages to be potentially wrong, for example. In the crisis many got burned and the true extent of the losses that will be suffered by the banks will only become clear in perhaps five or 10 years' time, and now they might want the failure rate to be only one in 25. So you need to adjust the acceptance level of the model (same model, same predictors – irrespective of the economics) – but a risk that you might take on the margins before, you wouldn't take now – hence the relative closure of the residential mortgage market.

Posted by kullar @ 12:31 AM 0 Comments

His word is his (junk)bond.

Telegraph: Nicolas Sarkozy promises no eurozone member will default

Nicolas Sarkozy pledged that no other eurozone country will be allowed to default in a passionate speech aimed at shoring up Europe's shattered markets. The French president admitted that European infighting had led to markets and consumers being "paralysed by fear" and vowed to stop the bitter arguments with Germany to ensure the euro is properly supported. "It must be made clear that a debt of a euro member will be repaid," he said. "It's a question of confidence."

Posted by general congreve @ 12:18 AM 7 Comments

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Time for some new thinking

Telegraph: British banks could ask taxpayers for more cash

the Bank's Financial Stability Report, which warned that households and businesses face higher borrowing rates next year and revealed that mortgage lending is now unprofitable because of lenders' own rising funding costs. "To maintain profit margins, banks may try to pass on the increase in borrowing costs in their lending rates," it said. "[Experience from the last financial crisis] suggests it may be during 2012 that any significant increase in banks' lending rates occurs." ... The FSR also revealed how bank "forbearance" – leniency for struggling borrowers – is flattering their profits. Without it, another 45,000 households would be six months behind on mortgage payments and arrears rates would not be 1.2pc but 1.7pc – a level not seen since 1996

Posted by quiet guy @ 11:14 PM 3 Comments

Channel 4 Monday

You tube: The Great British Property Scandal

Exposing the truth..

Posted by happy mondays @ 07:56 PM 8 Comments

Good news for slumlords

Inside Housing: Cuts fail to halt £2bn rise in housing benefit costs

Housing benefit costs will rise by nearly £2 billion by 2016 despite government efforts to cut the bill, said the Office for Budget Responsibility yesterday. The OBR’s economic and fiscal outlook said: "This is mainly due to changes in the population eligible for housing benefit. Recent survey information suggests that the proportion of people likely to be eligible for housing benefit continues to grow and we have reflected this in our assumptions about caseload growth."

Posted by drewster @ 07:38 PM 4 Comments

Growth! - Ah-Ah - Saviour of the Ponziverse!

Markit: Markit/CIPS UK Manufacturing PMI® UK manufacturing output declines for second successive month in November

UK manufacturing output fell for the third time in the past four months in November, and at the sharpest pace for over two-and-a-half years. Consumer goods producers reported a marked rate of contraction that was the fastest since February 2009. Output also fell slightly in both the intermediate and investment goods sectors.

Posted by general congreve @ 04:59 PM 8 Comments

OMG what is with people and houses

Chester Chronicle: Kelsall residents angry at housing development plans

PLANS to build up to 24 new properties in Kelsall would be a mistake - say villagers. - Do you all want supermarkets instead?

Posted by mark @ 03:44 PM 8 Comments

Wow...and they've had a crash already

Cnbc: Average time to foreclosure sets new record

blimey....just how bad are things out there?...thought mervin king was pretty grim today,but I get the impression something nasty about to happen

Posted by taffee @ 03:29 PM 0 Comments

War for oil?

Reuters: Funds and refiners ponder oil Armageddon, war on Iran

Oil consuming nations, hedge funds and big oil refineries are quietly preparing for a Doomsday scenario: An attack on Iran that would halt oil supplies from OPEC's second-largest producer.

Posted by mark @ 02:21 PM 14 Comments

Supermarkets killed the high street (sing along)

Guardian: Campaign targets Yorkshire's unwanted role as 'UK capital of empty shops'

A campaign starts after Christmas to try to rid Yorkshire of its unwanted title as the UK capital of empty shops. Given the county's fame as a retail pioneer – Marks & Sparks, Burton's, Meadowhall's pioneering mall – it is out of character for so many city and town centres to be struggling to avoid the blight of empty premises. plus numerous supermarkets

Posted by mark @ 11:17 AM 1 Comments

Skilled jobs get cut / starbucks offers 5000 unskiled low pay jobs welcome to UK

Telegraph: 4,500 Carillion staff in job cut threat

The company's energy services division – created following the £306m acquisition of Eaga in April – yesterday warned all former Eaga staff they were at risk of redundancy and began a statutory 90-day consultation period.

Posted by mark @ 11:11 AM 2 Comments

The National Socialist Police State has arrived

Daily Mail: The tin blue line: Met unveil revolutionary police barrier to prevent anti-cuts demonstrators marching on the Houses of Parliament Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2068180/The-tin-blue-line-The-incredible-police-barrier-used-anti-cuts-de

After a summer of discontent that saw hundreds of rioters roam the streets of the capital, the Metropolitan Police needed to take action. And it appears that this imposing 10foot high steel structure is their answer to the problem. The police cordon was erected at the north end of Whitehall near Trafalgar Square this afternoon in an attempt to stop anti-cuts protesters heading towards Parliament. The Metropolitan Police say that the structure is put in place when a potential public order situation is likely to develop and they need a physical barrier to block cars and people. ___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Anyone believe that these structures, erected by the Murdoch Bent Met Police, are not permanent?

Posted by colin camper @ 12:52 AM 0 Comments

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