February 2012 Archive

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

The only way interest rates are going is UP

Dailymail: Halifax delivers shock interest rate rise

reading this article simply shows what a basket case the whole mortgage lending market has become.what was ever wrong with 3 x income and repayment only mortgages!

Posted by taffee @ 07:53 PM 13 Comments

The man of gestures orates again - pension pending

Telegraph: Sir Mervyn King launches fierce attack of self-serving banks and weak Labour after accusation of complacency

The Governor was angered by a comment from Andrew Love, a Labour MP on the Treasury Select Committee, who accused him of being “relaxed” about the current economic situation. In a remarkable outburst in front of the committee he said he was "far from relaxed or complacent". "I am actually rather concerned about it. I want to see something that makes sense economically, not something which is just a gesture."

Posted by dill @ 05:21 PM 8 Comments

Up north house prices are continuing to fall

News & Star: House prices are continuing to fall

"There is a shortage of buyers and a shortage of vendors with a true idea of what their property is worth. Too many vendors have high expectations, based on what they paid four or five years ago, and purchasers are sitting waiting for prices to fall.” In Manchester this can be seen quite clearly too. For average houses there are two groups up for sale; those priced to sell in the next 6 months and those priced in dream land. Will the first group look like dream-land prices in months to come as well? Tempting, but best not try catch a falling knife.

Posted by mountain goat @ 12:54 PM 4 Comments

21 or bust?

BBC News: ECB provides 530bn euros of cheap loans for banks

The European Central Bank (ECB) has provided a further 530bn euros ($713bn; £448bn) of low-interest loans to 800 banks across the European Union. Is this going to bring down the euro entirely, and precipitate a crash?

Posted by cynicalsoothsayer @ 11:29 AM 9 Comments

Stamp duty holiday deadline drives mortgage lending

Myfinances.co.uk: Bank of England reports mortgage lending reaches 25-month high

The Bank of England has announced that mortgage lending reached a 25-month high as new buyers rush to beat next months deadline on the stamp duty holiday.

Posted by ben @ 10:32 AM 0 Comments

Land Registry reports UK house prices up by 1,1%

Myfinances.co.uk: House prices up 1.1% in January, says Land Registry

The Land Registry reports an increase in UK house prices in January of 1.1 per cent. The average house in the UK is now worth £161,545.

Posted by ben @ 09:34 AM 0 Comments

Why you should avoid property spread bets

MoneyWeek: Why you should avoid property spread bets

Spread betting might sound like a good idea if you want to make money from the property market without buying and selling houses. But for most retail investors, it isn't, says Tim Bennett.

Posted by martingreen @ 09:20 AM 0 Comments

Meanwhile....

FT Alphaville: Isda decides to decide on Greek credit event

ISDA Determinations Committee Accepts Question Related to a Potential Hellenic Republic Credit Event LONDON, February 28, 2012 – The International Swaps and Derivatives Association, Inc. (ISDA), as secretary to the Determinations Committees (the DCs), today announced that a question relating to a potential credit event with respect to the Hellenic Republic has been submitted to, and subsequently accepted for consideration by, the EMEA Determinations Committee. In accordance with the Determinations Committee Rules, a meeting will be held at 11AM GMT on Thursday, March 1 to determine whether a credit event has occurred.

Posted by dill @ 07:32 AM 8 Comments

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Tsk typical ramping but, wait, what's this...

Evening Sub-Standard: London house prices hit record high of £351,305 as buyers besiege market

However, some property specialists warned that the rise was storing up problems. Tracy Kellett, of BDI Home Finders, said: "The January Land Registry data is yet more proof of how house prices are continuing to defy logic. In an economic climate that could have been dreamt up by Hieronymus Bosch prices are rising. "Long term, house price rises like this are not sustainable. They are being propped up by an extreme lack of stock and historically low interest rates. "What's happening is that only the best properties are selling right now. This is naturally skewing the figures. One problem is that sellers see price rises like this and mark up their own properties accordingly, which accentuates the paralysis in the market as a whole."

Posted by sibley's b'stard child @ 10:40 PM 7 Comments

Housing markets suffer across Europe

BBC News: Europe in housing market 'agony', says Rics

'Europe is in the midst of "prolonged agony" of housing market decline with no obvious end in sight, a report by surveyors has claimed.' So not strictly an HPC, but I think we all here saw it coming.

Posted by will @ 08:47 PM 3 Comments

Wall Street ups the oil price

McClachy Newspapers: Once again, speculators behind rising oil and gasoline prices

Why are oil/petrol prices surging? It's not QE - otherwise other commodity prices would be rising. It's not panic buying because of fears over Iranian oil or war. It's not Chinese demand, or any other demand-supply factor (the US is producing more, consuming less, becoming a net exporter and currently has high oil inventories). Producers and end users used to make up 70% of oil trading in commodity markets, speculators the other 30%. Now those percentages have almost reversed. There's your explanation. Oil traders put the speculation premium at around $15 - $20 a barrel.

Posted by icarus @ 07:11 PM 2 Comments

House crash part 2 USA

Las vegas sun: If Congress doesn’t act, distressed homeowners could take another hit

A law that has waived homeowners’ tax liability for any mortgage debt that was forgiven through modified loans, short sales or foreclosures is expiring at the end of 2012. If Congress doesn’t vote for an extension this year, forgiven debt will again be taxed as regular income In the past four years, the law has waived the tax liability for tens of billions of dollars in forgiven mortgage debt

Posted by mark @ 06:39 PM 1 Comments

Goldman Sachs rips off Brits via IMF bailouts

Bloomberg: Greek 1yr Interest Rates hit almost 850%

Last time I posted, Greek 1yr bonds were yielding about 400%. Interest rates are now edging towards 1000%, which explains why Greece has been cut from junk status to selective default. Of course, absent bailouts, Greece would have defaulted by now. Greek government could have then put money back into services, paid for tax cuts, returned to a devalued Drachma and tourism and manufacturing would begin to boom again. Instead, Brits are now paying 4.5% of these 800+% loan shark rates directly to Goldman Sachs and friends who on the record cooked Greece's books to force them into the Eurozone. Could it be that they foresaw this and planned to use Greece to milk wealth from the IMF fund? And then use the EU framework to foreclose on Greece's islands, assets and 100 tons of gold?

Posted by libertas @ 04:44 PM 7 Comments

"Will it be a lost decade for house prices?"

This is Money: UK property market 'is one of worst in Europe' as average home sees a THIRD wiped off its real value since 2007

House prices in the UK have taken the biggest real hit since the peak of the boom among a dozen major European property markets, thanks to our persistently high inflation, according to a new report. A third has been wiped off the real value of the average UK home since the peak of the market in 2007, once inflation is taken into account, according to the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) European Housing Review. Without inflation included, the report's 2011 house price league was bookended by Ireland and Spain posting the biggest falls, while surprise winner Iceland joined Norway and France in the top risers.

Posted by jack c @ 03:29 PM 10 Comments

We Own Land!

Persimmon Homes: Persimmon Final Results

"The Group now owns and controls c. 63,300 plots of land which represents over six and a half years of supply. Persimmon has a well established record of delivering significant value through working with local planning authorities, landowners and local communities over the long term to achieve residential planning consents on high quality strategic land...A key element of the Persimmon business model over many years has been to secure interests in land which we promote through the planning system over the long term."

Posted by ontheotherhand @ 12:21 PM 2 Comments

Council tax freeze for most English homes

Myfinances.co.uk: Most of England set for Council Tax freeze

The majority of councils will freeze Council Tax this year in line with government recommendations.

Posted by ben @ 11:56 AM 0 Comments

Data for January 2012

Land Registry: House Price Index (pdf)

Index 259.1 Average price £161,545 Monthly change +1.1% Annual change -1.0%

Posted by dill @ 11:35 AM 5 Comments

House prices increase Twice Inflation

The Advisory: House Price Rises Beat Inflation

House prices increased by twice as much as inflation over the last decade, boosting the average homeowner’s wealth by £68,500 each according to new research from the Halifax building society.

Posted by james davis @ 11:07 AM 0 Comments

Growth only way out of debt 'trap'

Standard: Bust

The UK cannot currently cover existing debts, to put this another way.

Posted by stillthinking @ 12:24 AM 6 Comments

Monday, February 27, 2012

NIMBYs strike at the heart of British commerce

Evening Standard: New flats threaten City's future, MPs told

City chiefs warned that the Square Mile's success as a financial centre is threatened by an explosion in the number of offices being converted into homes. They attacked government plans to scrap the need for planning consent to change commercial premises into residences. They fear that up to a fifth of the total office stock in the Square Mile could be turned into flats in the next five years. "Housing offers the immediate prospect of higher returns than offices on many sites," the City of London Corporation told MPs. If more flats were interspersed among office blocks, just a few homeowners could stymy "large-scale and valuable" new schemes by objecting to them on issues such as the impact on light.

Posted by drewster @ 10:08 PM 10 Comments

No surprise

AboutProperty: Olympic house price hike

Suren Thiru, housing economist, Lloyds TSB, said: "Some areas close to the main site for the 2012 London Games have experienced a sharp rise in property prices."

Posted by phil @ 11:48 AM 5 Comments

Hometrack surge in buyers a may be a blip

Planet Property: Hometrack surge in buyers a may be a blip

A good month, but not a significant change in the market dynamics

Posted by the planet @ 11:20 AM 1 Comments

Estate agent near me is marketing a semi as a detached!

Daily mail: For sale, one idyllic rural home with 'superb country and coastal views' (what the estate agent failed to mention was the 350ft TV mast looming over the property)

The estate agent brags of the home's 'commanding superb country and coastal views' - but all is not what it seems with this rural cottage up for sale. Because even though the views out the front are indeed a spectacular vision of Welsh beauty, the views out the back tell a different story - the most striking being a 350ft high TV mast and sub-station standing just yards away from the back garden. In fact the three bedroom Welsh bungalow sits directly in the shadow of the Llanddona transmitting station which was built by the BBC in 1958 to provide a TV service for North Wales.

Posted by mark @ 10:48 AM 1 Comments

It's a new paradigm!

Letting Agent Today: Build to rent is 'next big thing', says Grainger boss

Developers are to be encouraged to build new housing estates where all the properties will be for rent, not sale. The idea, currently being explored by the Government, could mean the introduction of a separate planning class for new-build residential property that will be rented out, and would mark a fundamental shift in the structure of the UK housing market. Institutions and property companies would own, and trade, these ‘build to rent’ developments. Asset management company Schroders believes that this buying and selling activity between profit-chasing corporates would mean that property prices in this particular sector would be highly competitive – possibly resulting either in more competitive rents on ‘build to rent’ estates or in a higher specification of facilities

Posted by sibley's b'stard child @ 10:47 AM 11 Comments

Please hug these "victims"

Bloomberg: Buffett Says Banks Victimized by Evicted Homeowners Who Emerged as Winners

"Warren Buffett, who controls the biggest shareholding of the No. 1 U.S. mortgage lender, said banks were victimized by some homeowners who refinanced their loans before getting evicted." “Large numbers of people who have ‘lost’ their house through foreclosure have actually realized a profit because they carried out refinancings earlier that gave them cash in excess of their cost” . “In these cases, the evicted homeowner was the winner, and the victim was the lender.”

Posted by alan @ 10:40 AM 5 Comments

Wonder how many struggle with mortgages

North wales daily post: More than a million in Wales struggle with the cost of running their car

In assuming that everyone has easy access to a car, we have forced thousands into ownership that they simply can’t afford. Or, worse still, we’ve left them stranded. “If Wales is serious about tackling poverty, we must make sure that people can access the jobs and services they need, regardless of where they live.

Posted by mark @ 10:25 AM 0 Comments

I thought buy to let was a license to print money!

Dailymail: Buy to let timebomb

all that with interest rates at 0.5% and historically high forebearance...

Posted by taffee @ 10:22 AM 10 Comments

The highest increase was in Bolton

Manchester evening news: Evictions soar as Greater Manchester tenants struggle to pay their rent

The number of people facing eviction for not being able to pay their rent has soared in parts of Greater Manchester. More than 1,500 eviction orders were made in the region between October and December last year – eight per cent more this time than last year

Posted by mark @ 10:14 AM 0 Comments

Homebuyer demand undermined by lack of properties on the market

Myfinances.co.uk: Homebuyer demand at five year high but house prices static

Hometrack reports that buyer interest has hit its highest level for five years.

Posted by ben @ 09:29 AM 0 Comments

Should be ! Gullible return in record numbers!

Telegraph: House buyers return in record numbers

The number of buyers registering with estate agents grew by 18pc in February, the highest figure since a 23pc rise in February 2007, Hometrack said.

Posted by happy mondays @ 07:42 AM 12 Comments

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Next a euro2trn firewall !

Telegraph: It may well turn out that we are watching not a Greek but a euro tragedy

"Another week, another euro "solution". According to last week's plan, by 2020 the ratio of Greek national debt to GDP will be down to 120.5pc. You don't really need to know much more to see that we are in cloud cuckoo land"...... "It is all very well building firewalls to stop financial contagion, but how do you build firewalls around the voters?" (Are we due a Valencia Spring?)

Posted by alan @ 09:42 PM 2 Comments

UK to avoid double-dip recession

Myfinances.co.uk: Feb PMI data will confirm likelihood that UK will avoid recession

The UK economy is expected to grow in the first quarter of 2012 and therefore avoid falling into a double-dip recession. Activity levels for February in manufacturing, construction and the services sector out in the next week will support this view.

Posted by ben @ 11:32 AM 0 Comments

Because they are bust

Independent: It's appalling that banks are delaying over PPI payouts

UK banks not only can't honour payment protection insurance, and have had to be allowed to return the purchase money, but they don't even have the purchase money.

Posted by stillthinking @ 10:50 AM 2 Comments

"we have entered into a time of property have and have-nots"

Independent: Those born after 1979 could be stuck being a lifelong renter, so we need more tenant rights

Being born before or after 1979 is apparently key to whether you're able to afford to own your own home or not. Older than 33 and you're likely to be already on the ladder, having bought a few years ago and seen values rise in the main. Younger than 33 and it's a massive struggle to put enough of a deposit together and to earn enough to secure a sufficiently large mortgage to get on the ladder.

Posted by jack c @ 09:56 AM 14 Comments

Saturday, February 25, 2012

More on the mythical 'ladder' and sense of entitlement

BBC: Second home 'bottleneck' in housing market, BoS survey shows

Homeowners who are unable to buy their second home are causing a "bottleneck" in the housing market, the Bank of Scotland has warned. Research suggests that two-thirds (65%) of those looking to move up the property ladder in the past year were unable to do so.

Posted by dill @ 05:00 PM 7 Comments

"The interest-only time bomb is a significant issue, which still needs resolving"

Mortgagestrategy: Why lenders are curbing interest-only

So what’s to be made of the recent furore over interest-only loans - are they all bad and if not then why are lenders running away from them? There seems to be much comment in the market following Lloyds Banking Group’s decision to bring in changes to interest-only mortgage criteria after Santander cut its interest-only LTV from 75% to 50%.Last week, Accord announced the withdrawal of their 75% and 85% LTV products following an uplift in interest-only applications blamed partly on the recent decisions taken by Santander and Lloyds. Leeds is the latest lender to announce cuts in criteria.

Posted by jack c @ 10:46 AM 6 Comments

Friday, February 24, 2012

Plain speaking on pent-up demand

Telegraph: Redrow dismisses ‘lost decade’ housing claim

Steve Morgan, the chairman of housebuilder Redrow, says there is a “tidal wave” of first-time buyers trying to get into the housing market and dismissed City research questioning whether the UK has a housing shortgage as a “load of b*****ks”. In a note published on Wednesday, Collins Stewart analyst Alastair Stewart said the housing market could face a “lost decade” and that warnings the UK needs 240,000 new homes a year are based on “bunkum” projections. However, Mr Morgan said: “What is he smoking? It is a bit like saying it is not going to get dark tonight.” He said Redrow has had over 6,000 people inquire about the government's "NewBuy" mortgage indemnity scheme, which will encourage lenders to offer 95pc loan-to-value mortgages by underwriting potential losses.

Posted by drewster @ 11:27 PM 6 Comments

More support for LVT

FT: Tax England’s green and pleasant land

Another voice in support of a Land Value Tax, this time from the right of centre. I like this bit: "...A land tax is one of those subjects – basic income is another – which divides commentators into a great majority who never mention it, and a minority who talk of nothing else. The result is to give supporters a cranky appearance, while the eyes of chancellors of either main party glaze over if you as much as mention the subject..."

Posted by greenmind @ 12:17 PM 24 Comments

Good news - until...

AboutProperty: Welsh first-time buyers buck national trend

Seems like good news (for the Welsh at least)... but then you get to this bit: "On average Welsh first-time buyers borrowed a higher percentage of their home's value than in the UK as a whole." Oh dear.

Posted by phil @ 11:14 AM 0 Comments

Allagents reveals best and worst 500 estatge agents

Planet Property: Allagents reveals best and worst 500 estatge agents

Makes for interesting reading - small companies do better than big chains

Posted by the planet @ 10:26 AM 0 Comments

Can this kind of dominance be healthy?

AboutProperty: Rightmove traffic soars in 2011

"Rightmove is a long way ahead of its online competitors, holding an 84 per cent share of all the page view traffic of the UK's top four property websites"

Posted by phil @ 10:15 AM 0 Comments

Uk economy confirmed as contracting in final quarter of 2011

Myfinances.co.uk: ONS confirms UK GDP fell by 0.2% in 2011 Q4

The Office for National Statistics confirmed that the UK economy contracted by 0.2 per cent in the final quarter of 2011, adding to the possibility that we could be heading for a double-dip recession.

Posted by ben @ 10:12 AM 0 Comments

The decision covers 1.6m local government employees

North wales daily post: Welsh council workers face third year without pay rise

The ‘unprecedented’ move – affecting about 25,000 staff in North Wales – was blamed on rising costs and shrinking funding for council services. Council chiefs insisted that pay increases would cause more job losses and further cuts to essential services.

Posted by mark @ 10:08 AM 0 Comments

Reverse nimbys (not in my work back yard)

Manchester evening news: Scientists fear new homes near Jodrell Bank will interfere with radio telescopes

Developers say they will fix reflective foil on to the sides of new houses they want to build near Jodrell Bank to stop them creating havoc with instruments at the landmark observatory. A housing group wants to build 13 new homes in the village of Twemlow, less than two miles from Jodrell Bank.

Posted by mark @ 10:05 AM 8 Comments

More money for the banks, please

Sky: Lloyds Bank Reports £3.54bn Loss

"Lloyds Banking Group, which is 41% owned by the British taxpayer, has reported a loss of £3.54bn for 2011".

Posted by alan @ 09:18 AM 3 Comments

The China Bubble

The Bubble Bubble: The China Bubble

All bubbles start out as legitimate growth booms. The U.S.’s Roaring Twenties bubble started as a boom based on the commercialization of radio, automobiles and mass production. Japan’s 1980s bubble grew out of their economic miracle that was spurred by advances in electronics and manufacturing. The fact that these booms started out legitimately didn’t prevent them from developing into dangerous bubbles in the end. China's bubble is no exception, starting as a boom based on economic reforms and modernization, while eventually devolving into an orgy of real estate speculation and materialism mania. Even if China’s long-term growth thesis remains intact, the same was also true of the U.S. in 1929; China could experience a Great Depression of its very own when its bubble pops.

Posted by jesse colombo @ 07:56 AM 0 Comments

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Hubble, Bubble, Toil and Trouble?

Guardian: House prices bubble swells in London

"It beggars belief that with unemployment at 2.7 million and nearly a quarter of 16- to 24-year-olds on the dole, economic growth close to zero and real incomes falling, and after the banks suffered a near-death experience, that any part of the country could be experiencing a property boom. Alas, it is happening". "In Herne Hill, the "pristine pad in a perfect locale" was a tenanted flat in ropey condition, with damp on the walls and a broken pipe spewing grey washing machine water over the garden. The agents were marketing it as perfect for an investor to let out straightaway. Sometimes buy-to-let really makes you want to vomit".

Posted by alan @ 10:56 PM 7 Comments

From lax lending to Gestapo interrogation on affordabilty

Moneymarketing: Abbey to include birthdays and Christmas in affordability checks

Abbey for Intermediaries will now require customers to account for one-off costs such as Christmas in their expenditure assessments.The lender has changed its expenditure assessment to require all customers to fill out regular and non-regular monthly costs.Examples given of regular expenditure include utilities, council tax and clothing, while non-regular expenditure covers religious festivals, birthdays, holidays and miscellaneous goods and services. Abbey says that realistic information must be entered into these boxes and that entering zeros in these fields will lead to a decline decision.

Posted by jack c @ 08:20 PM 6 Comments

Mortgage approvals hit two year high ahead of stamp duty holiday deadline

Myfinances.co.uk: BBA: Homebuyer mortgage approvals hit two year high

The British Bankers Association (BBA) reports that mortgage approvals reached a two year high in January.

Posted by ben @ 11:54 AM 0 Comments

Giant pyramid selling scheme ALWAYS comes to an end

Daily mail: Stuck in a rent trap

wonder just how many of these are around..borrowing money to fund a lifestyle until it all ends in tears. what was ever wrong with paying off the mortgage and making do?

Posted by taffee @ 10:35 AM 18 Comments

Stamp duty holiday to be extended by Bovis Homes

Myfinances.co.uk: Bovis extends stamp duty holiday for all buyers

The stamp duty holiday deadline ends on March 24th but one UK company plans to extend it for a further three months.

Posted by ben @ 10:14 AM 0 Comments

Too broke to maintain your house? The AA says buy an insurance policy

Planet Property Blog: Don't move, and don't improve either

Nearly four in ten of us are putting off those maintenance jobs to save money… News from the AA’s Home Emergency Resource centre is that British homeowners are trying to save money by not repairing their homes, or by fixing things themselves.

Posted by property addict @ 10:03 AM 1 Comments

Check the chart

Sky: Don't Rule Out Even More Money-Printing

"The chart in question is of the pound’s exchange rate against the dollar, and it shows how, suddenly, the cost of a pound dropped from $1.581 to $1.569. Why? Because suddenly the prospect of more quantitative easing looks a whole lot more likely."

Posted by alan @ 08:58 AM 1 Comments

Bankers!

Reuters: RBS pays £985 million in bonuses despite 2 billion loss

"State-owned Royal Bank of Scotland posted a fourth quarter loss of nearly 2 billion pounds, hurt by writedowns on assets and restructuring costs..."

Posted by alan @ 08:50 AM 2 Comments

The Post-2009 Northern & Western European Housing Bubble

The Bubble Bubble: The Post-2009 Northern & Western European Housing Bubble

Could Sweden or Finland be the scene of the next European financial crisis? It is actually far likelier than most people realize. While the world has been laser-focused on the woes of the heavily-indebted PIIGS nations for the last couple of years, property markets in Northern and Western European countries have been bubbling up to dizzying new heights in a repeat performance of the very property bubbles that caused the global financial crisis in the first place. With their overheated economies and ballooning property bubbles, today’s safe-haven European countries may very well be tomorrow’s Greeces and Italys.

Posted by jesse colombo @ 04:42 AM 0 Comments

When the two most indebted governments...

FT: UK and Japan warn Volcker rule poses threat to recovery

When the two most indebted governments -both- complain, something must be up. For the UK and Japan, whether you put your money in a pension fund, a current account or a deposit account, there is a fair chance that your real saving, ie your deferred consumption, is immediately disbursed by your government to some lucky state recipient, and another IOU is recorded. There has never been any net repayment so at this point even holding the level of debt steady is an effective tax increase. This move secures US bank holdings for the sole use of the US government, which would force the UK and Japan to follow suit, given the loss of US money, domestic banks would also have to be restricted to domestic government lending.

Posted by stillthinking @ 04:32 AM 5 Comments

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

One giant game of monopoly for them

FT: Mideast money pours into London property

Middle East investment in newly built homes in London almost doubled during the past year as political instability in the region forced investors to seek havens for their funds, according to Jones Lang LaSalle, the property consultants. “They’re seeing it as a safe haven for their money,” says Ben Stroud, associate director at JLL in London. Mr Stroud says Middle East interest in London property increased as uprisings gained pace across the region, toppling leaders in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya. Buyers from the region have usurped Europeans to represent the second-largest investor base for newly built London homes, says Mr Stroud. However, Asian buyers remain the largest pool of capital.

Posted by drewster @ 11:49 PM 0 Comments

Future of House Prices?

Telegraph: UK housing market heading for 'lost decade', warns Collins Stewart

"Britain’s housing market is heading for a “lost decade” and Government aid to support the industry is based on “bunkum” projections of a property shortage in the UK".

Posted by alan @ 07:39 PM 8 Comments

Bumper profits for UK land speculators

The Daily Telegraph: Bumper profits from UK house builders

Much of the improvement in margins came from Barratt selling an increasing amount of homes that have been built on land bought in 2009 or more recently. This land was bought at far lower prices than before the housing market crash of 2008 and therefore these houses generate far higher margins.

Posted by ontheotherhand @ 04:46 PM 1 Comments

What the new lending crackdown means for UK house prices

MoneyWeek: What the new lending crackdown means for UK house prices

Banks are beginning to tighten up their policies on mortgage lending as new rules come into force. John Stepek looks at what their harder-line approach will mean for Britain's property market.

Posted by martingreen @ 11:54 AM 16 Comments

First time buyer mortgage advances rise as FTBs rush to beat stamp duty deadline

Myfinances.co.uk: Quarter of homebuyers are FTBs as stamp duty deadline looms

First time buyer mortgages in the UK have increased for the third successive month as new homeowners rush to beat the deadline on the stamp duty holiday on March 24th.

Posted by ben @ 11:21 AM 0 Comments

Predictable and artificial boom in transactions.

Estate Agent Today: Taxman confirms FTB uplift as Stamp Duty concentrates the mind

These are the HMRC figures on the total number of transactions in January: Jan 2006: 100,000 Jan 2007: 115,000 Jan 2008: 79,000 Jan 2009: 41,000 Jan 2010: 50,000 Jan 2011: 52,000 Jan 2012: 64,000

Posted by sibley's b'stard child @ 09:17 AM 3 Comments

Bread basket of ..

Telegraph: Farmers warn food prices could go up because of drought

South East and Anglia are the bread basket of the UK, unfortunately that only reminds me of Zimbabwe the bread basket of Africa. Some observations about the futility of doing business in the UK, and a prediction of price increases. Taxation on food in the UK is pretty vile, fresh produce is tax free, but the poor in society don't have the cooking facilities to take advantage, but are forced onto soups and reclaimed meat in tins that can be heated up taxed at 20%. If there is a dramatic rise in food prices the government can reduce the tax. But of course they won't.

Posted by stillthinking @ 09:05 AM 3 Comments

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Long live the Euro?

Mail: Britain will pour billions of pounds into shattered Greek economy

"Britain is to pour billions of pounds into propping up the shattered Greek economy – despite warnings the latest bailout will fail".

Posted by alan @ 06:24 PM 24 Comments

Informative - Full Demographia Affordability Survey PDF

Demographia: 8th Annual Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey

- as cited by MoneyWeek below. Click on the row of houses at the top of page; read pdf; feel blood boiling.

Posted by mechos @ 02:31 PM 3 Comments

A map of the world's dearest houses

MoneyWeek: MoneyWeek map: the world's dearest houses

Where is the most expensive place on Earth to buy a house? And where is the cheapest? MoneyWeek's map of global property prices shows the cost of buying a house relative to income around the world.

Posted by martingreen @ 11:28 AM 12 Comments

Landowners extract economic rent without lifting a finger

Metro: Tenants priced out of their homes by Olympics as landlords cash in

The government would never ration the supply of say, milk, during the Olympics, handing a fat unearned profit to milk suppliers and a fat bill to milk consumers. Unfortunately the same does not apply to housing. If the government taxed land value to pay for the Olympics, people whose rents or house purchase prices are being raised would at least not have had to pay for it twice, once through income tax/NI/VAT/etc and again through rent increases. Either that or get rid of rationing and most public provision of services and let the market supply more housing and privatised services when price signals indicate it's a good idea to do so.

Posted by mombers @ 09:28 AM 14 Comments

Green shoots & Elvis Presley lives next door to me!

Telegraph: House prices ‘green shoots of recovery’ as mortgage demand jumps by 25pc

House prices are still falling, expressed in terms of national averages, but signs of recovery in the housing market include a 25pc increase in mortgage applications over the last year while asking prices increased by more than they have done in a decade.

Posted by happy mondays @ 09:03 AM 4 Comments

Mortgage Advice Bureau reports mortgage applications up 26% on last year

Myfinances.co.uk: Mortgage applications up 26% on last year

The Mortgage Advice Bureau says mortgage applications are up by 26% on last year as a result of buyers requiring smaller deposits and lenders relaxing lending criteria.

Posted by ben @ 08:42 AM 0 Comments

Monday, February 20, 2012

Not just London any more

Manchester Evening News: Rental boom triggers bidding wars for Manchester city centre flats

Flat hunters in Manchester city centre are getting locked in bidding wars as rentals go through the roof. Occupancy has reached 96 per cent – and demand is now so high that desperate flat-hunters are signing up to tenancies without even viewing their new homes for fear of missing out. A flat in Deansgate’s landmark Beetham Tower had been pushed up from £1,250 to £1,550 following an over-the-phone bidding battle between a student in India and one in China. The Chinese customer secured the deal after offering two years of rent upfront. "We’re letting twice what we would normally let in February. I think it’s safe to say demand for rentals is better than ever." Growing numbers of people are being forced to rent as it remains difficult to get a mortgage. Soaring petrol prices......

Posted by drewster @ 10:02 PM 9 Comments

A lot of people are expecting good things this year...

Mail: House asking prices up 4.1% in a month as rising seller confidence results in a strong spring bounce

An upswing in seller confidence meant the housing market saw a 'surprisingly strong' spring bounce last month, with sellers hiking asking prices by the highest monthly amount for 10 years. Last month, the average property asking price was £233,252, compared to £224,060 in January, according to figures from the Rightmove House Price Survey. This month-on-month leap is the largest price change seen in the second month of the year since 2002.

Posted by hpwatcher @ 05:27 PM 14 Comments

Awesome "branding" exercise

Property News: Thames Valley introduces Fizzy Living for young professionals

Thames Valley Housing Association (TVHA), one of the largest affordable homes providers in the South East, has launched Fizzy Living, a new residential rental business which will provide apartments for young professionals. TVHA's new initiative offers a long-term solution to providing private rental accommodation on a large scale. With a new subsidiary called Fizzy Living, TVHA intends to create a portfolio of more than 1,000 new homes aimed at young professionals in London and the South East. TVHA appointed branding agency Heavenly, after a competitive tender, to help create the Fizzy brand, ensuring it appeals to a core audience of 25-34 year old self-styled "rentysomethings".

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 04:30 PM 2 Comments

Collapse into deflation postponed

Telegraph: Drought declared in the south east of England

This drought can prevent our collapse into deflation, once fed into food prices. Every little helps. A drought is even better than QE because a drought doesn't suffer from the risk of money hoarding and lack of lending.

Posted by stillthinking @ 03:27 PM 27 Comments

Interest only bomb ticks ever louder

Mortgagestrategy: Interest-only the new dodo

With Lloyds Banking Group’s clampdown last week and Santander’s LTV restrictions the week before, interest-only is definitely on the endangered list. For 10 years, interest-only has been used to help borrowers meet high house prices and then take advantage of their property’s growing value. The Council of Mortgage Lenders’ monthly data on how borrowers repay their mortgages shows why the regulator might now see interest-only as a problem.......In January 2007, 75,500 purchase deals were taken out, but out of this 24,100 were interest-only - a massive 32% of the overall market

Posted by jack c @ 03:16 PM 6 Comments

Debt forgiveness, will it happen here?

Bloomberg: Icelandic Anger Bringing Record Debt Relief in Best Crisis Recovery Story

Massive amounts of private debt has been written down, helping those in debt. The article doesn't mention savers and domestic creditors once. How did they fair, have they received any "help". I guess if you don't own a house you dont count.

Posted by nod2glod @ 12:22 PM 7 Comments

The North-South divide?

The Telegraph: House prices: just two regions have seen values rise since 2007

Rochford in Essex and South Lakeland in Cumbria are the only areas which have seen a rise, and at 1% and 0.1% respectively, even these increases are "marginal". . .

Posted by 9swampy @ 10:54 AM 0 Comments

How much gold does it cost to buy a home in Britain?

MoneyWeek: How much gold does it cost to buy a home in Britain?

Our debased paper money is increasingly unable to measure the real value of anything. So how can we arrive at the true price of property in Britain? By using gold, says Dominic Frisby. Here, he looks at where Britain's housing market really stands.

Posted by martingreen @ 09:53 AM 21 Comments

Rightmove reports biggest single monthly rise in UK house prices for ten years

Myfinances.co.uk: UK houses in biggest monthly asking price jump for a decade

Rightmove reports a 4.1 per cent increase in asking prices for UK homes.

Posted by ben @ 09:18 AM 0 Comments

Lloyds Bank claws back banker bonuses from senior executives

Myfinances.co.uk: Lloyds Bank claws back bonuses from top staff who mis-sold PPI

Llloyds Bank has announced that senior staff awarded bonuses who were responsible for promoting payment protection insurance (PPI) will have to repay part of their bonuses awarded in previous years. Lloyds had to make provision of £3.2 billion in its accounts this year and is expected to announce a loss on Friday when it announces its 2011 financial results. This is the first time a UK bank has clawed back elements of bonuses already paid to executives.

Posted by ben @ 08:57 AM 0 Comments

Discount no problem !

Telegraph: House prices: sellers up their asking prices

The interesting thing about specifically London prices for property, is the emergence of a money substitute for foreign buyers in the same way as gold. Except the truly generous stipend provided by housing benefit supporting valuations, to whatever degree. Also this is a successful although limited export market ! For the rest of the UK the buyers strike continues.

Posted by stillthinking @ 07:52 AM 4 Comments

Lack of UK investment

Financial news: Huge plunge in demand for UK investments

The announcements of large one off investments are possibly occurring against a background of collapsing UK investment generally. As has been pointed out, the tax regime is not favourable to business and there are considerable existing government debts which basically come out of the economy. It is not necessarily clear why you would ever invest to export, I mean if your target consumer is in China then invest directly in China. The only reason otherwise would be substantially lower costs elsewhere. The UK does not offer substantially lower costs. I worry that from 2007 to now, actually there has been no steps taken to improve the outlook for the UK at all, and all we have done is borrow more time. In which case our real fate of discovering how poor we are is surely not long off.

Posted by stillthinking @ 04:42 AM 1 Comments

Inflation control?

Independent: We can't survive on our pension thanks to QE and a change in the law

Pension payments have been hit hard. This directly takes demand out of the economy, which is supposedly demand deficit. The restrictions are deliberate, as this fairly clued up pensioner points out, there are double the returns out there. So I wonder if as a policy tool pensions are now explicitly considered an inflation control, and are used as a demand control similar to interest rates i.e. lower pensions==higher interest rates. In which case government announcements of demand deficiency are purely propaganda, and we currently have no output gap possibly due to lack of investment in the means of production. Also by implication, there can be no stimulus now which is not ineffective and inflationary, so any stimulus argument is moot. So the only path out is tight belts and investment.

Posted by stillthinking @ 03:32 AM 5 Comments

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Financial advice for people in their 20s

Telegraph: How to get on the property ladder before you hit 30

Financial advisors give counsel to young adults about finance. Getting on the property ladder is a given: "When it comes to buying their first home, Mr Penny said that although the couple aimed for a deposit of 15pc, Anna and John could consider buying sooner and with a smaller deposit." and "Toby should work out his exact spending every month and monitor it. Once calculated, he can work out an appropriate weekly amount and withdraw it each week," said Ms Gee." This is a great way to control spending when you need to start saving significant sums to buy a property." To be honest, I'm reluctant to say that the advice is wrong, considering what we've seen over the last few years, but there is no mention of short term risks such as negative equity or interest rate rises.

Posted by quiet guy @ 11:46 AM 3 Comments

Give us more money...

Daily Telegraph: Rising number of landlords making a loss on their buy-to-let property

The latest findings from the BDRC Continental quarterly Landlords Panel research reveals the biggest rise in the number of portfolio landlords making a loss since the Landlords Panel began in 2006. The research shows that in the fourth quarter of 2011, the number of ‘portfolio landlords’ – those with 20 or more properties – who reported making a loss rose from just 1pc in the third quarter of 2011, to 8pc in the last quarter of the year. Some hilarious comments.

Posted by stuartking @ 11:25 AM 5 Comments

Archetypal 'Penniless widow in mansion' story

Daily Mail: She devoted her life to others. Now, aged 93, this eminent ex-teacher faces ruin over £5,000 care bill

A £650k mansion in fact. The Wail can't help but mention that, but it does so more discreetly than usual in the article after listing her main life achievement which was erm ... becoming a teacher.

Posted by paul @ 10:55 AM 9 Comments

Why a greece default is inevitable

Simon Thorpe Blog Spot: 4.25% of Eurozone GDP disappears in interest payments to the banks!

The figures are totally incredible. I just took the latest figures for Government debt across the EU, and the Interest rates that the markets are charging for the debt (using the latest figures here), to generate the following table that shows just how much money is being sucked out of the economy every year by the banking sector. To understand a little what is expected of Greece imagine, if the UK had to pay the same interest as part of GDP. Currently the UK is around 3% interest of GDP, Greece is 25.96%. What position would the UK be in if its debt interest rose to this amount?

Posted by britishblue @ 09:49 AM 2 Comments

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Right to buy programme revamped

FTAdviser: Hometrack casts doubt on Right to Buy success

Restrictions on mortgage finance and the lack of employment among tenants will limit the success of the government’s reforms to the Right to Buy scheme, analysis from Hometrack has claimed.A four-page report, Right to Buy: Can It Work?, claimed only a small number of the millions of council tenants the government wants to help purchase their own home would benefit from the scheme.Richard Donnell, director of research for Hometrack, said proper affordability assessments and financial advice would be required to make the scheme a success. He said the average discount required to make Right to Buy affordable to existing tenants was 40 per cent, or £50,800 higher than the current average of 25 per cent, and also more than the government’s proposed cap of £50,000 on discounts.

Posted by jack c @ 06:24 PM 2 Comments

Equity release on the rise

FTAdviser.com: Retired homeowners lose £1236 a month: index

Retired homeowners are turning to equity release to unlock property wealth worth £749.45bn in total, according to Key Retirement Solutions. Dean Mirfin, group director for the equity release specialist, said retired homeowners have lost £7.185bn in the past three months alone because of ongoing housing market volatility. The firm’s Pensioner Property Equity Index showed that this is equivalent to a quarterly loss of £1236 for every retired homeowner in the UK. “While we have seen a decline in the value of equity held, the over-65s own considerable property wealth that represents a massive investment success"

Posted by jack c @ 06:19 PM 1 Comments

What on earth?!?!

Telegraph: Council’s prayers are answered as court ban on worship overturned

"Last week, Bideford Town Council was ordered to cease holding prayers during official proceedings after an atheist former councillor objected that the tradition overlooked non-believers." Am I from this country? I just can't believe what has happened, really !, this article represents actual events?

Posted by stillthinking @ 03:26 PM 6 Comments

Not enough!

Bbc: House price slump highlighted by Halifax survey

Martin Ellis, housing economist at the Halifax, said: "The whole UK has been hit hard by the economic downturn of the last few years.

Posted by happy mondays @ 02:51 PM 0 Comments

Returns smaller than ever but ...

FT: Buy-to-let investment appeal surges

"He says an investor buying a property for £400,000 with a mortgage of £240,000, and earning a rental income at a 4.5 per cent yield, could make an annual profit of £2,484 after the various property related costs had been taken." Well knock me down with a calculator and check my sums, but that looks like a return of 0.6% to me. I know interest on savings accounts is low but that looks a poor deal to me. It's what they're not talking about at dinner parties. I'll have a bottle of Blue Nun with my T-bone and lobster please garson.

Posted by letthemfall @ 02:40 PM 2 Comments

Iceland moving on

Daily Telegraph: Iceland's Viking Victory

Iceland showing the way for Greece. What I really don't understand is why so many high ranking politicians are still breathing?

Posted by tom101 @ 10:33 AM 4 Comments

UK house prices fall by an average of 24% since 2007

Myfinances.co.uk: Halifax: UK house prices down 24% since 2007

New research by the Halifax shows the average house has fallen in price by 24 per cent since the market peak in 2007 and that just two regions have seen minimal growth. Additionally the North:South divide in UK house prices is increasing.

Posted by ben @ 10:18 AM 0 Comments

What's sauce for the goose

Evening Standard (much better value now it's free): Let's bring in a bedroom tax on everybody

Man talks sense. The lefties want "bedroom tax" on owner-occupiers, the right wingers want "bedroom tax" on council tenants. Why not be consistent and have it on everybody? Sorted.

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 09:23 AM 16 Comments

Friday, February 17, 2012

Prime London? Whatever next?

Property Wire: Poor jobs outlook affecting property rents in prime central London

Signs that the weakness in the City of London jobs market, where new employment vacancies are currently down 51% year on year is beginning to feed through to the rental sector.

Posted by neil e dunne @ 05:33 PM 0 Comments

The interest-only mortgage squeeze

MoneyWeek: The interest-only mortgage squeeze

James McKeigue reports on how borrowers on interest-only mortgages are facing a tough time, plus a round-up of the rest of the week's personal finance news

Posted by martingreen @ 05:07 PM 11 Comments

Crackdown

Ham&High: Westminster launches battle against housing benefit fraud

With an ever-increasing population and a finite number of properties in the borough, Westminster’s housing supply is having to cope with a demand that is rising every day. At the same time, hundreds if not thousands of residents are abusing the housing and benefit systems at the expense of families in need. A recent raid on one Paddington housing block revealed a massive 75 per cent of housing benefit claimants were not living in their registered properties and were illegally subletting them for thousands of pounds a week.

Posted by hpcer @ 03:09 PM 0 Comments

Some good sense here

AboutProperty: TV's George Clarke on the UK 'housing crisis'

George Clarke: "All that it comes down to is supply and demand. We're a small island with a lot of people living here that want houses. "We're in the position where the value of property is massively overinflated in Britain. You've got to build more homes to get the unit value down per property."

Posted by phil @ 02:21 PM 0 Comments

An Idea Goes Mainstream

The Guardian: The true value of money – or why you can't fart a crashing plane back into the sky

Charlie Brooker having a moment of revelation about the perceived value of paper currencies and the value of those perceptions. Money is broken, and until we admit that, any attempts to fix the economy seem doomed to fail. We're like passengers on a nosediving plane thinking if we all fart hard enough, we can lift it back into the sky. So should we be storming the cockpit or hunting for parachutes instead?

Posted by fubar @ 02:09 PM 4 Comments

Thanks to me, you're worse off. But at least I bagged £1.4m out of it.

BBC News: Gordon Brown earns £1.4m since leaving Number 10

Nice to see how Gordon's poor economic decisions have left him feeling the pinch.

Posted by photomoose @ 12:48 PM 0 Comments

It comes as he AA says UK diesel prices have risen to 142.8p

North wales daily post: Diesel prices near record high in North Wales

AVERAGE diesel prices have hit record levels in parts North Wales and are edging close across the rest of the region. A snapshot Daily Post survey found prices of between 154.9p and 139.7p being charged for diesel within five miles of Conwy town. And in Connah’s Quay diesel prices registered at between 147.9p and 139.7p. It comes as he AA says UK diesel prices have risen to 142.8p, which is a fifth of a penny short of the record of 143.04p set in May last year. Petrol is also near record levels.

Posted by mark @ 10:29 AM 22 Comments

Damien Hirst becomes housebuilder

AboutProperty: Damien Hirst reveals his vision for eco-homes

Those are going to be some crazy houses.

Posted by phil @ 10:17 AM 0 Comments

Desperate to live in zone 1

Guardian: Housing benefit cap forces families to leave central London or be homeless

Jo lives in an emergency hostel with her three children since she was evicted by her landlord last October, when housing benefit reductions meant she could no longer afford the rent. The family was offered alternative accommodation seven miles away in Enfield, on the north-eastern edge of London, but refused it, because it would have meant moving both younger children into new schools. Although the hostel is crowded, and the squabbling over food in the communal kitchen is exhausting, she would rather remain here than move to the outskirts of London. "I've never been there before. I would have been so secluded up there," she said. "I am trying to be happy and make the most of what we've got. I would rather live in this emergency hostel for 10 years than move to Enfield."

Posted by drewster @ 08:03 AM 22 Comments

Following two months of declines, the average monthly rent in England and Wales rose 0.1% in January

CityWire: Rents resume upward march

Rents in England & Wales are up 0.1% month-on-month, 4.3% year-on-year. The average yield stayed steady at 5.3%, and is expected to remain strong, though with property prices weakening in January total annual returns (rent + capital growth) dipped to 2.6%. Tenant arrears, meanwhile, also remained high, with 10.7% of all rent in January – some £300.3 million – paid late or not at all. Last week figures from Countrywide showed a record rise in the number of new tenants in 2011, up 24% compared with 2010. The letting agent warned that a shortage of supply could cause rents to soar throughout 2012.

Posted by drewster @ 07:50 AM 2 Comments

Thursday, February 16, 2012

The Co-op launches lifetime tracker mortgages

Myfinances.co.uk: The Co-operative Bank launches lifetime tracker mortgages

The Co-operative Bank has launched a range of lifetime tracker mortgages.

Posted by ben @ 04:07 PM 0 Comments

It's really tough to get in on the Pyramid Scheme

Metro: Man Chooses to Sleep Rough to Avoid Unaffordable Housing Costs

This unsociable man is unreasonably withholding his income from owners of land. The state should step in and stop this behaviour, either by making it illegal, or by buying up the spare supply of properties created by such selfish rough sleeping and giving it to them free (or get private philanthropists known as Buy-to-Let landlords do this and pay then the state pay them rent)

Posted by ontheotherhand @ 12:53 PM 3 Comments

Time for the BoE and ECB to splash the cash?

Telegraph: Moody's puts 114 European banks on downgrade review

"Moody's warned last night that it may cut the credit ratings of 17 global and 114 European financial institutions in another sign that the eurozone debt crisis is spreading throughout the global financial system". (lots of UK household names got a "thumbs down"). "The falling value of the debt puts pressure on banks, which in turn weighs on lending and economic activity, making it tougher to sustain the growth that governments badly need to shore up their finances".

Posted by alan @ 12:17 PM 19 Comments

NIMBYism at its best

AboutProperty: Watership Down author fights new homes plan

Fiction is threatening to become reality as planners earmark the countryside that inspired Watership Down as a site for new housing. Classic NIMBYism.

Posted by phil @ 11:02 AM 0 Comments

HOLIDAY operator Thomson Airways plans to axe 600 cabin crew

North wales daily post: Airline to scrap 600 cabin crew

HOLIDAY operator Thomson Airways plans to axe 600 cabin crew

Posted by mark @ 09:56 AM 3 Comments

RIP Interest only mortgages

Telegraph: Interest-only mortgages: Lloyds and Halifax tighten lending criteria

As they point out in the forum, brokers like Ray Boulger are up in arms. Thanks for coming to the party lads, but erm ... you'd best be on your way now.

Posted by paul @ 07:20 AM 11 Comments

ZIRP is not special help for debtors apparently

Telegraph: Mervyn King: helping savers would push Britain back into recession

“I have deep sympathy with those who are totally unconnected with the origins of the financial crisis who suddenly find that the returns on their savings have reached negligible levels,” he told a press conference. "These are consequences of the painful adjustment prompted by the financial crisis and the need to rebalance our economy." The Bank could respond by increasing Bank rate from its current level of 0.5 per cent to 4 or 5 per cent, he said. But that would push up the exchange rate, depress investment and consumer spending “and we would go back into a recession.” “All groups in society are suffering from the financial crisis,” Sir Mervyn said, insisting that there can be no special help for particular groups.

Posted by quiet guy @ 12:11 AM 11 Comments

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

London ~ A Safe Haven?

Reuters (vid): Global Greeks bet on property and prayers

"Buy a London property, bank your cash somewhere safe, or just say a prayer: Greek overseas communities are finding different ways to prepare for the worst.." (unless East London flat prices tank after the Olympics).

Posted by alan @ 10:03 PM 0 Comments

Lets Have a Reality Check!!

Spanish Propery Bulletin: Spain Puts Pressure on Banks To Lower Prices

Economic Answer "World Governments Take Note Bring Down Property Prices World Wide And Give Us A Level Playing Field !

Posted by gtibruce @ 02:40 PM 0 Comments

Minister feigns surprise when people accept offer of free money...

Department for Communities & Local Government: Grant Shapps welcomes overwhelming demand to Get Britain Building

A Government scheme to get builders back on stalled sites and work restarted on homes has had an overwhelming response and is three times oversubscribed, Housing Minister Grant Shapps has today revealed. The £420million Get Britain Building fund is a key tenet of the Housing Strategy. Launched just two months ago, the Get Britain Building fund has seen a total of 176 expressions of interest - meaning the programme is now three times oversubscribed. Mr Shapps argued that the short, simple and straightforward application process has made it easier for smaller building companies, as well as larger developers, to bid for funding.

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 02:15 PM 6 Comments

Merv's quarterly Comedy Club

Bank of England: Inflation Report Feb 2012

CPI inflation has fallen sharply from its peak of 5.2% in September. It is likely to fall further in the near term as the contribution of past rises in energy and import prices diminishes. Chart 3 of the Report shows the Committee's best collective judgement of the outlook for CPI inflation. It is similar to that in our November Report, although inflation is now expected to be a little higher throughout, reflecting the looser stance of monetary policy and some increase in oil and commodity prices. The story that inflation would be high in the near term but eventually fall back has been a feature of the past six Inflation Reports. We can take some reassurance from the fact that inflation *is* now falling.

Posted by little professor @ 01:19 PM 6 Comments

Hmm what is the real rate?

Bbc: UK unemployment continues to climb

UK unemployment rose by 48,000 to 2.67 million in the three months to December, official figures have shown. The unemployment rate was 8.4%, the Office for National Statistics said.

Posted by mark @ 10:23 AM 4 Comments

Over-pricing castigated as ‘a recipe for disaster’

Planet Property: Over-pricing castigated as ‘a recipe for disaster’

The foundations of a healthy housing market are deteriorating, says property website

Posted by the planet @ 09:16 AM 0 Comments

Wait & see!

Mail: Thousands face interest-only mortgage crunch due to tough lending checks

The big attraction of these mortgages is that the monthly payments are cheaper than with a repayment loan. On a £150,000 mortgage at 5 per cent, monthly payments on interest-only would be £625, but £877 on full repayment.

Posted by happy mondays @ 09:02 AM 4 Comments

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

An Excellent Article

Corporatewatch: The Neoliberal Project, Privatisation and the Housing Crisis

Stuart Hodkinson, an activist and housing academic at Leeds University, focuses on the housing crisis and argues that the problems we face can be traced back to the neoliberal assault on our housing system that began in the 1970s and continues unabashed today.........

Posted by milton @ 07:04 PM 5 Comments

The onward march of Home-Owner-Ism

BBC: Home ownership in England continues gradual decline

It seems like UK government's drive to concentrate land ownership in as few hands as possible under the guise of Home-Owner-ism is really paying off! Owner-occupation levels are down from 71% to only 66% in a mere nine years, and those that do own have bigger mortgages than they used to. If they keep going at this rate, they'll lose their natural electoral majority!!

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 01:25 PM 36 Comments

The pay cut will amount to an average of £4,050 per person

BBC: Printers vote for 13.5% pay cut

The staff at plants in Bicester and Banbury voted by 4-1 in favour of the cut, on a turnout of 83.5% of the 550 employees.

Posted by mark @ 01:23 PM 21 Comments

Is the solution that we all live underground?

AboutProperty: Property of the week: The Slide House

Might not be the money for us all to have a pad like this though.

Posted by phil @ 11:38 AM 0 Comments

"I tell you we'll all leave if you ask us to take a pay cut", says top City banker

CNBC: Asia Banker Pay Down Upto 40% as Slowdown Hits

The grass isn't always greener, spivs.

Posted by bystander @ 11:11 AM 9 Comments

Moody’s Investors Service has given the UK’s triple-A credit rating a negative outlook

Fundweb: UK outlook cut as Moody’s takes action on Europe

Moody’s Investors Service has given the UK’s triple-A credit rating a negative outlook and downgraded Italy, Portugal and Spain in light of the continued risks in Europe.The moves, which affect a total of nine European countries, were carried out to reflect the “growing financial and macroeconomic risks” coming out of the eurozone debt crisis and the funding pressures they create for European sovereigns. The ratings agency says the continued uncertainty over the institutional reform of the eurozone’s fiscal and macroeconomic framework, as well as concerns about the resources that will be made available to combat the crisis, are reasons behind the actions.

Posted by jack c @ 10:34 AM 6 Comments

BBC link property sales activity to climate change

BBC: 14 February 2012 Last updated at 00:57 Share this pageEmail Print Share this page

Surveyors expect sales of homes in England and Wales to rise in the final weeks of a stamp duty holiday. Sales expectations for the next three months, recorded in the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors' (Rics) January survey, were at their highest level since May 2010. Fewer surveyors expect prices to fall over the same period, although a greater proportion still expect prices to go down than increase. A mild winter has also aided activity. The 1% stamp duty rate for first-time buyers, on properties worth between £125,000 and £250,000, is being reintroduced on 24 March.

Posted by jack c @ 10:28 AM 1 Comments

Cash in as yet another housing bubble bursts

MoneyWeek: Cash in as yet another housing bubble bursts

Despite breezing through the Great Recession, Canada didn't escape the global house price mania. Now its property bubble may be about to burst. And that presents opportunities for canny investors to profit. David Stevenson explains how.

Posted by martingreen @ 10:25 AM 3 Comments

UK inflation latest

BBC: UK inflation rate falls to 3.6% in January

Inflation fell sharply in January as the impact of last year's VAT rise was no longer shown in the figures. Consumer Prices Index (CPI) inflation in the UK fell to 3.6% in January, down from 4.2% in December, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS). Retail Prices Index (RPI) inflation - including mortgage interest payments - fell to 3.9% from 4.8%. VAT went up from 17.5% to 20% in January 2011, pushing up inflation that year. The drop brings CPI inflation to a 14-month low. However, the rate remains well above the Bank of England's 2% target. The government said it expected the inflation rate to continue to fall this year.

Posted by jack c @ 10:22 AM 2 Comments

House sales rise as first-time buyers rush to beat stamp duty holiday deadline

Myfinances.co.uk: Sales up as first time buyers rush to beat stamp duty break

UK sales for first-time buyers increased in January as new home owners rushed to beat the deadline for the end of the holiday on stamp duty on March 24th.

Posted by ben @ 09:49 AM 2 Comments

Monday, February 13, 2012

Time for a laugh

Telegraph: Believe it or not, Britain is still a hugely wealthy nation

According to Jeremy Britains household debt may be £1.6trillion but net worth of all that Bricks 'n' Mortar is £6.8trillion so the debt doesn't look that bad. So despite eye-popping levels of household debt, the UK remains an exceptionally wealthy nation if we sold everything. Comments are a must.

Posted by enuii @ 08:56 PM 20 Comments

Priorities

Red Brick Blog: Tenants don’t count says Shapps

A week ago, the "Red Brick" blog highlighted Grant Shapps response to a Metro article about people being evicted from their homes due to mortgage or rental arrears. Basically, the overall number of people being kicked out of their accommodation is increasing. Shapps responded: "by lumping together statistics on the evictions of homeowners, social tenants and private tenants your article (March of the Bailiffs, Monday 30 January) painted an inaccurate and misleading representation, which overlooks how Government action is ensuring struggling households get the support they need." then went on talk about mortgages. As for renters? Shapps had nothing to say.

Posted by quiet guy @ 08:50 PM 0 Comments

CML reports a rise in first-time buyers before stamp duty holiday ends

Myfinances.co.uk: CML: Rise in first-time buyers before stamp duty holiday ends

The Council of Mortgage Lenders has reported an increase in first-time buyers in December as new homeowners try and beat the stamp duty holiday deadline that ends on March 24th 2012.

Posted by ben @ 01:24 PM 5 Comments

Unsustainable rise in house prices Vs unwanted house price deflation

Mortgagestrategy: Lenders may be forced to cap LTVs, says Osborne

Chancellor George Osborne says the Bank of England’s Financial Policy Committee will have the power to curb high LTVs in order to prevent an unsustainable rise in house prices. During a House of Commons debate on the Finance Bill, Osborne also said the FPC would be able to do the reverse, should the UK face unwanted house price deflation. He told the Commons: “The FPC will be able to alter the maximum LTV ratios in mortgage lending in order to curb an unsustainable rise in house prices. “It will also be able to do the reverse, should we face unwanted house price deflation. It will also, potentially, be able to alter capital requirements for banks, in a counter-cyclical way.

Posted by jack c @ 12:13 PM 31 Comments

Comet breaking up

Lancashire Evening Post: Tip of the iceberg fear as jobs go in store axe

A major retailer has announced that it will be closing down in a Lancashire town. The Comet store on the Highfield Industrial Estate in North Street, Chorley will close on February 25. It is not known how many jobs will go. “On the back of this, there is also news that 400 engineers across Lancashire are losing their jobs.

Posted by mark @ 10:29 AM 0 Comments

UK's first amphibious house to be built

Planet Property: UK's first amphibious house to be built

The perfect property, surely, for a sinking market …

Posted by the planet @ 10:16 AM 3 Comments

Bad news 2

Bloomberg: Toronto Bubble Risk Topping New York in Market for Condominiums: Mortgages

Toronto has more skyscrapers and high-rises under construction than any North American city -- almost three times as many as New York -- stoking debate on whether the condominium market in Canada’s largest city is headed for a U.S.-style correction as prices rise and household borrowing hits a record. Canadian lenders including Toronto-Dominion Bank last week raised mortgage rates to cool off the housing market.

Posted by mark @ 09:52 AM 2 Comments

Bad news 1

Bloomberg: Norway Faces Severe Credit Shock as Household Debt Swells, FSA Chief Warns

Norway’s credit and property markets continue to show signs of overheating five months after the regulator asked banks to tighten lending standards. Robert Shiller, the co-creator of the S&P/Case-Shiller (SPCS20) home-price index, said in January Norway is in the grip of a house price bubble, while the International Monetary Fund on Feb. 2 warned of real estate and credit market risks in Norway.

Posted by mark @ 09:51 AM 1 Comments

Would the last Ponzi scheme entrants please exit stage right.

Estate Agent Today: Mortgages now funding just 46% of housing transactions

'The Financial Services Authority wants mortgages only to be lent where they can be repaid without borrowers having to rely on house prices going up.'

Posted by sibley's b'stard child @ 09:13 AM 1 Comments

Government to become annuity provider.

Telegraph: Pensions have been destroyed

Suggestion that the government enter the annuity market because of market place failure, which is reflected in the high fees and low annuity rates provided to private pensioners. So firstly the obvious answer would be to address the lack of competition and aside from that one of the reasons for poor returns (aside from undoubted excess fees) is the artificially low returns on the gilts that the pension funds are forced to buy! Also as we know these government schemes are always unfunded. So you could view this that the government is becoming so desperate for cash that they propose to receive in entirety the life savings of the private sector population, which they will have spent by the next day, and then fund these ongoing commitments from additional entrants... sheesh.

Posted by stillthinking @ 07:28 AM 9 Comments

The elephant in the room..

BBC: Japan economy contracts amid strong yen and Thai floods

Try to create a prognosis for Japan - look at their massive govt debt, their 8% budget deficit (despite only paying 1% on the 10yr debt) look at their projections for population decline, and the growing needs of an increasingly aged population, and look at the likely impact of China on their export markets... Conclusion - Japan doesn't have a snowballs' chance in hell of getting the economic growth necessary to reduce their debt pile - and when the markets wake up to that, and their borrowing costs spiral, all hell will let loose, not just in Japan, but across the developed world - it could happen very suddenly...

Posted by uncle tom @ 07:16 AM 6 Comments

Land of opportunity

BBC Panorama: America's homeless resort to tent cities

Tent cities have sprung up in and around at least 55 American cities. 47 million Americans now live below the poverty line - the most in half a century - fuelled by several years of high unemployment. These tent cities - and this level of poverty - are images that many Americans associate with the Great Depression.The stark reality is that many of them are people who very recently lived comfortable middle-class lives.

Posted by little professor @ 01:59 AM 2 Comments

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Another Failure of the System

Telegraph: Greek protestors greet bailout vote with fire-bombs

"Fire-bombs and tear gas greeted negotiations at Greek Parliament on Sunday over the contraversial loan and austerity package to avoid the country facing financial meltdown and being thrown out of the euro-zone". (Even with a bail-out, many commentators think that Greece is doomed). "Contingency plans for a return to the Drachma have been drawn up in Athens, Berlin and Brussels". (There are no lack of views on how this will play out, economically, in the UK).

Posted by alan @ 10:24 PM 4 Comments

A failure of the system - NOT the individual

Independent: Total denied full-time work hits 4.5 million

More than 4.5 million Britons have fallen victim to a jobs crisis far deeper than unemployment figures suggest, according to a new analysis of government data. A record 1.9 million people are "underemployed" – in temporary or part-time jobs – because they can't find permanent full-time work. The figure is the highest since records began in 1992, according to the new research by the Trades Union Congress.

Posted by dill @ 04:58 PM 5 Comments

First-time buyers warned over stamp duty holiday deadline

Myfinances.co.uk: Stamp duty holiday warning for first-time buyers

First-time buyers have been warned that the benefits of beating the stamp duty holiday deadline of March 24th 2012 could be wiped out by the fall in value of their properties in the coming months.

Posted by ben @ 11:16 AM 0 Comments

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Easy come, easy go...

Fox Business: UK Housing Rises 84% In Value Since 2001 - Halifax Read more: http://www.foxbusiness.com/news/2012/02/10/uk-housing-rises-84-in-value-since-2001-halifax/#ixzz1m5ZImTry

"U.K. homeowners have seen the value of their property rise 84% on average in the past decade, despite a fall back since 2007, research by U.K. lender Halifax... the total value of U.K. residential housing stock held by owner occupiers and buy-to-let investors was GBP3.9 trillion in 2011. That's up from GBP2.1 trillion in 2001... However, on the back of recent falls in house prices, the total value dropped from GBP4.0 trillion in 2010, and was also down from a recent peak of GBP4.1 trillion in 2007." Oh dear! Those hard working owners managed to amass £2 trillion of imaginary wealth between 2001 and 2007, clearly, so they must have all retired since 2007, because in the mean time £0.2 trillion of that imaginary wealth has evaporated again. I wonder where it went?

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 03:52 PM 8 Comments

UK homeowners face a dilemma over the timing of when to track and when to fix their mortgage deal

Myfinances.co.uk: To track or to fix: How base rate affects your mortgage

Low interest rates make tracker mortgage deals very cheap, but also provide some excellent value fixed rate deals. base rate is unlikely to change in the next 18 months but when it does the best fixed rate deals will be gone. Homeowners need to get the timing right to benefit from the best of both types of mortgage deals.

Posted by ben @ 11:33 AM 0 Comments

The Spectre of House Price Deflation Looms

BBC: New deals for buyers as stamp duty holiday ends

Why buy today when you can buy tomorrow at a lower price. The problem is that tomorrow you will feel the same, and the day after and the day after that.

Posted by wdbeast @ 09:29 AM 4 Comments

Crazy numbers

AboutProperty: Homes see £1.8tn increase in last 10 years

"The increase is the equivalent of £68,500 per household and happened at twice the rate of consumer price inflation."

Posted by phil @ 12:09 AM 0 Comments

Friday, February 10, 2012

The comments are great

Daily mail: Giant 40ft gypsy ‘caravan’ given police escort through village to ILLEGAL travellers’ site… after council forces residents to move their cars

Villagers were ordered move their cars to allow a 40ft long gypsy caravan to make its way to an illegal travellers' site - with a police escort. Furious residents lined the streets to watch the huge 15ft-wide house squeeze through the picturesque village of South Harting in West Sussex with many refusing to remove their vehicles. Notes apparently written by police were placed on cars asking owners to move them to make way for the 'abnormally large' mobile home which was on its way to the nearby Three-Cornered Piece travellers' site about a mile from the village.

Posted by mark @ 04:34 PM 3 Comments

Getting real?

Reuters: Pressure mounts on banks to shed bad property loans

Banks have never fully recognised the true fall in value of property in the wake of the financial crisis... Although sub-prime real estate lending caused the global crash, banks have adopted a so-called policy of "extend and pretend" in the hope values will recover rather than undertake a mass disposal programme at below book value that would hurt already under-pressure balance sheets. That position is now becoming untenable.

Posted by stuartking @ 04:21 PM 2 Comments

Ticking time bomb

Creditman.co.uk: “Calm before the storm”, warns The Debt Advisor as repossessions continue to fall

Bev Budsworth, MD of debt management company, The Debt Advisor, says with 58 per cent of mortgages interest-only and lenders trying to wean borrowers off them: “I see huge problems for people on interest-only mortgages who have not made adequate additional savings plans and who are being squeezed by their lender to move to a repayment mortgage. As interest rates rise, pressure will increase. Add to this continued volatility in the economy, high prices at the tills and the less than rosy prospects in the job market and I think we have a ticking time bomb on our hands."

Posted by stuartking @ 03:31 PM 1 Comments

Robert Shiller: US houses are going down

MoneyWeek: Robert Shiller: US houses are going down

Robert Shiller created the Case-Shiller index to track house-price trends. So, what does the Yale professor see in store for US property prices?

Posted by martingreen @ 03:08 PM 3 Comments

Farrar Predict 5% Growth In K&C In 2012

Farrar & Co: What is our prediction for property values in Kensington & Chelsea for 2012?

From 2009 to the end of 2011, we have witnessed a surge in capital values throughout the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea. There are very few estate agents that have been able to forecast how quickly property values have adjusted to the realisation that London is now considered to be THE safe haven for foreign investment.

Posted by matt @ 02:53 PM 0 Comments

Free money for all - who were not prudent

LA times: Mortgage settlement is too little, too late for many

Guzman, 61, bought the home in 2001 for $211,000. When he added a room several years later, he took out a risky, adjustable-rate loan, which he quickly realized was "a balloon that was going to explode." But he was locked in. By mid-2009, he was running behind on payments. Wells Fargo Co. rejected his loan modification application five times, he said. Guzman said he tried to pay off some of his $500,000 debt with a Treasury bill, which he said Wells Fargo declined.

Posted by mark @ 02:19 PM 1 Comments

Thatcher out, Thatcher out

BBC 5 Live Radio: Did Margaret Thatcher put the great into Britain or did she break it?

From 6 mins in. "...she created a form of greed ...." Most problems with the current day [lack of] social housing stock began with this monster's policies.

Posted by doomwatch @ 01:44 PM 11 Comments

Comments.........

North wales daily post: Over 1,000 North Wales families faced eviction threat

MORE than 1,000 North Wales households were threatened with losing their home last year as cash-strapped families struggled to survive. New figures released yesterday show 1,035 claims were issued across North Wales – the first stage in taking back a property – in 2011. There were big increases over 2010 in some parts, with the number up 27% in Denbighshire, to 160, 19% in Wrexham, to 215, and 19% in Gwynedd, to 150.

Posted by mark @ 11:56 AM 5 Comments

"Let them eat cake"

Telegraph: Elderly told: go back to work and downsize

"Elderly people should be encouraged to go back to work and move into smaller homes, one of David Cameron’s key advisers said last night."."Evidence is now emerging of the dangers associated with elderly people becoming lonely and isolated after retiring" (how convenient - more social engineering to come, methinks).

Posted by alan @ 11:50 AM 14 Comments

The Bank of England comes under fire over quantitative easing

Myfinances.co.uk: Savers and pensioners lose out as Bank extends QE programme

Savers and pensioners will lose out as annuity rates drop after the Bank of England decided to extend its programme of quantitative easing with its decision to pump a further £50 billion into the UK economy.

Posted by ben @ 11:05 AM 0 Comments

They own land! Give them money!

Telegraph: Tax breaks for hiring a cleaner could save middle class thousands

"David Cameron plans to investigate whether the Swedish “maid credit” system could be transferred to Britain... Mr Cameron told delegates that he was keen to explore Sweden’s experience of “encouraging and helping women go out to work”... Specific services eligible for the tax breaks under the Swedish model include cooking, cleaning, gardening and child care. " What's most likely to get women into work is if their husbands are working. The welfare system is a prisoners' dilemma because if a couple is on benefits and one of them gets a job, they are no better off, they are only better off if they both get jobs. So there are plenty of no-earner and two-earner housesholds, but very few single earner households.

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 10:01 AM 12 Comments

Property booming again, landlords sucking up all available properties.....

Daily Mail: Buy-to-let boom shows no signs of stopping as landlords snap up property worth £160bn

''Britain is in the grip of a buy-to-let boom, with landlords snapping up property worth £160billion. The Council of Mortgage Lenders yesterday revealed that there are a record 1.4 million ‘landlord loans’ currently being invested into properties, as older Britons cash in on soaring rental demand from young people who cannot afford to buy their own home. With low interest rates wiping out income from savings but making mortgage repayments cheap, a buy-to-let property, boosted by rents close to all-time highs across the country, can prove an easy moneyspinner for both amateur and professional landlords.''

Posted by hpwatcher @ 07:22 AM 11 Comments

Thursday, February 9, 2012

BOE to keep interest rates on hold for next 300 years

BBC: Bank of England injects another £50bn into UK economy

The Bank of England has agreed to extend its quantitative easing (QE) programme by £50bn to give a further boost to the UK economy. When completed, it will bring the total amount of QE stimulus to £325bn. The Bank started its QE programme, through which it buys mainly government-issued bonds from banks freeing up cash for lending, in 2009. The Bank's Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) also said it would keep interest rates at their record low of 0.5%.

Posted by jack c @ 12:51 PM 48 Comments

Facing repossession? Ask a kid for help...

Planet Property Blog: 12-year-old boy pays grandma's mortgage arrears

In an age when most 12 year olds (and we speak from experience) are reluctant to leave the Playstation to put out the bin, Noah LaMaide deserves to have his pocket money bumped up. In just a month he raised $10,000 to save his grandmother's home from foreclosure.

Posted by property addict @ 12:46 PM 0 Comments

Bank of England resumes quantitative easing policy with £50 billion boost

Myfinances.co.uk: Bank resumes with extra £50bn boost

The Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee has decided to pump a further £50 billion into the UK economy to help kick start the economy. There has been no change in interest rates with base rate remaining at 0.50% for a 35th consecutive month.

Posted by ben @ 12:14 PM 0 Comments

A lot then.

AboutProperty: Total value of UK homes now £4.3tn

The total value of the UK's housing stock is now £4.3tn (£4,300,000,000,000) say Savills.

Posted by phil @ 11:28 AM 0 Comments

Buy to let mortgages increase by 84,000 in UK in 2011

Myfinances.co.uk: Buy to let properties up by 84,000 in 2011, says CML

The number of buy to let mortgages taken out in the UK in 2011 increased by 84,000 in 2011, according to new data published by the Council for Mortgage Lending. This has caused commentators to speculate that the buy to let boom that took place in 2006 and 2007 before the credit crunch took place could be on the way back.

Posted by ben @ 11:20 AM 0 Comments

...

Mortgage Financial Gazette: Borrowers using pawn brokers to pay off debts and mortgage

The Society of Professional for Mortgage Arrears Counsellors says people in arrears are increasingly turning to pawn brokers to pay off debts.

Posted by paranoia blue @ 10:03 AM 0 Comments

Source of hard facts on housing in England

Department for Communities and Local Government: English Housing Survey 20110/11 Headline Report

DCLG (Housing Ministry) release of the headline report of the English Housing Survey covering the period 2010/11. Available for download. The report included the following highlights: - 63% of households in the social rented sector were in receipt of Housing Benefit, compared with 25% in the private rented sector. - The long term upward trend in the proportion of households experiencing overcrowding in both rented sectors appeared to continue (7% for social renters and 6% for private renters in 2010-11), but there was no appreciable change in the proportion of owner occupiers living in overcrowded conditions.

Posted by greenmind @ 10:02 AM 1 Comments

Data

DCLG: English Housing Survey: Headline Report 2010-11

In 2010-11, 66% of households were owner occupiers. This appears to continue the gradual downward trend observed from 2007. The social rented sector accounted for 17.5% of households and the private rented sector accounted for 16.5% of households.

Posted by dill @ 09:55 AM 6 Comments

Vast shortage of properties leads to rental boom

AboutProperty: Private rental registrations up by a quarter

Nick Dunning, commercial director at Countrywide, said that there was a "vast shortage" of properties available across the UK and predicted a potential "steady rise" in rent prices through 2012. He added: "We are in the midst of a rental boom as renting has become the new norm. Despite gradual improvements in property levels, it is not enough to satisfy the ever-increasing levels of demand."

Posted by phil @ 09:00 AM 0 Comments

Our loss is housebuilders' gain at taxpayers' expense

Thisismoney: Ministers break first-time buyer promises as buyers are trapped in shared-ownership schemes

This is a Channel 4 Dispatches investigation waiting to be made. Who made the money and what was in it for politicians? No wonder Grant Shapps' First Time Buyers' Summit didn't have any first time buyers present. And these schemes are still being peddled like snakeoil by the current government.

Posted by paul @ 07:14 AM 6 Comments

Borrowing costs

Telegraph: Trigger-happy central banks spark bond euphoria

Ambrose says: "Corporate bonds have enjoyed a spectacular rally over the last month as central banks flood the world with liquidity, and cash-rich companies bask in glory as gilt-edged assets". "The risk is this could back-fire if banks over-indulge at the next ECB tender, borrowing a further €1 trillion or more. For now the party is in full swing".

Posted by alan @ 06:49 AM 3 Comments

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Bank of England expected to announce £50 billion more QE but no base rate change

Myfinances.co.uk: Bank of England's MPC likely to pull trigger on more QE

The bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee concludes its monthly rate-setting meeting tomorrow and is likely to resume its programme of quantitative easing by injecting £50bn or £75bn into the UK economy. It is almost certain that base rate will remain at 0.5 per cent for a 35th consecutive month.

Posted by ben @ 05:06 PM 0 Comments

Rising prices + falling sales = HPC!

AboutProperty: Central London property price boom continues

"The price of an average flat ended at £797,806 in the City of Westminster, and £1,014,497 in the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea. "Sales were at their lowest levels across both boroughs, with 5,551 transactions over the course of the year, 40 per cent lower than in 1996." Isn't there an obvious solution to this?

Posted by phil @ 03:57 PM 0 Comments

Radical!!! Whos pension pot?

Manchester evening news: The Manchester mortgage: 250 new homes plus loans for first-time buyers in bid to tackle housing crisis

Council chiefs have unveiled radical plans to help the housing crisis by launching a ‘Manchester mortgage’ for first-time buyers – and £25m of pension cash is to be used to build new homes. Bosses have identified five sites on which it aims to build nearly 250 properties for sale or rent as part of a pilot scheme.

Posted by mark @ 03:04 PM 13 Comments

Ireland’s cheapest house? Two-bed cottage on the market for £6,200

Planet Property: Ireland’s cheapest house? Two-bed cottage on the market for £6,200

A sign of just how bad things are in Ireland: this cottage, plus a hotel reduced by 89%!!

Posted by the planet @ 11:33 AM 13 Comments

Why the world’s biggest property bear may be buying a house

MoneyWeek: Why the world’s biggest property bear may be buying a house

Dominic Frisby has been bearish on the property market for years. His view on house prices hasn't changed, but now he is seriously considering buying a home. Why?

Posted by martingreen @ 11:28 AM 18 Comments

No work, no money, no mortgage

Mortgage Introducer: Jobless youth storing up problems

How youth unemployment is likely to have a knock-on effect people's ability to pay too much for overpriced rabbit hutches

Posted by stuartking @ 11:24 AM 0 Comments

Bear snacks

Estate Agent Today: Home sellers cut asking prices by record amounts

Over a third (36.7%) of UK properties currently for sale have been reduced in price at least once since first coming on to the market. The average discount off the original asking price being offered by sellers across the UK on these homes now stands at £19,580 (7.5%) according to property search website Zoopla. The average discount on price-reduced properties on offer today is over £1,000 more than this time last year when it stood at £18,475 (7%). Home owners have slashed huge sums from their original asking prices in an attempt to attract buyers. The total amount reduced from the asking prices of all properties currently for sale across the country stands at £2.5bn, Zoopla estimates.

Posted by sibley's b'stard child @ 10:41 AM 6 Comments

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

But the EA said I could get a 2007 price

Zoopla: Competitive pricing 'hugely important' when selling a home

2012; the year of embracing price reality. "In general, anyone wishing to secure a quick sale should not only pitch their property at a realistic price, but also show a willingness to negotiate on that price with any prospective buyer, Ms Paterson recommended." mmm, I'm guessing Ms Paterson hasn't tried to negotiate with greedy baby boomers with unrealisitic expectations. They really must have their cake, eat it, and sh1t it all over everybody else.

Posted by doomwatch @ 10:39 PM 7 Comments

House where Dickens lived while writing David Copperfield

Planet Property: I lived here... Charles Dickens

To mark the bicentenary of Charles Dickens: the house he lived in while writing David Copperfield is for sale

Posted by the planet @ 02:10 PM 0 Comments

Bailed out banks forge signatures

Cnbc: Banks do deal on robo signing

bailed out us banks forge signatures and get away with is by paying money. here in the UK banks have been fined for forging signatures too one reason to never bail anyone out...they think they are untouchable

Posted by taffee @ 01:17 PM 5 Comments

Norwich & Peterborough Building Society has withdrawn its ten-year fixed rate mortgage product

Myfinances.co.uk: N&P pull cheapest ever ten-year fixed rate mortgage deal

N&P have withdrawn the cheapest ever ten-year fixed rate mortgage deal at just 3.99 per cent from the market due to high levels of demand.

Posted by ben @ 12:57 PM 0 Comments

NIMBYs lose touch with reality.

Daily Mail: More than half the British countryside at risk of 'urban sprawl' if planning laws are relaxed, campaigners warn

If we were indeed to "concrete over" half the "British Countryside", that would equate to around 300 million new homes, i.e. comfortably enough to accommodate the population of the whole of Europe. The DM reproduces the CPRE map, which shows quite clearly how little land we've "concreted over" so far, but as usual, it's the immigrants and so on to blame.

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 11:47 AM 11 Comments

And this is a surprise because?

This Is Money: First-time buyers struggle to get on property ladder due to lack of 'first-time sellers'

Ponzy scheme continues to grind to halt as First Time Sellers realise the cupboard is bare..

Posted by richy richless @ 11:36 AM 3 Comments

Sounds better than it is.

Mail: Osborne to allow curbs on size of mortgages Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2097495/Osborne-allow-curbs-size-mortgages-prevent-housing-bubble.html#ixzz1leTEKs98

Interest rates control inflation by causing demand for loans to shrink. If you are in control of the banks, and also in a position to prevent bank competition, you can control inflation by simply not extending loans. If you are deliberately inflating at the same time however, then this is financially redistributive in the sense that you artificially lower the interest rate paid by the first group through the mechanism of refusing to extend loans to the second. E.g. in a world where house prices were rising this transfer/privilege would be apparent but it is still true when prices are in decline.

Posted by stillthinking @ 12:41 AM 13 Comments

Monday, February 6, 2012

Forbearance and Low interest rates key in keeping down repossessions

Moneymarketing: Goldilocks and the forbears

Paul Thomas reports that a combination of low interest rates and a change of attitude by lenders means borrowers are faring better than in previous recessions. Rating agency Moody’s says borrowers are weathering the downturn much better than they did in the early 1990s but experts warn some of the factors that have helped them so far might weaken in the coming year. In a report published this month, Moody’s says borrower performance has been better than during the 1990-93 downturn despite the UK being in the midst of the worst economic downturn since the 1930s.

Posted by jack c @ 03:48 PM 5 Comments

Halifax reports 0.6% January rise in UK house prices

Myfinances.co.uk: Halifax reports 0.6% rise in house prices

Halifax reports that UK house prices increased by 0.6 per cent in January and are now back at the same level they were eight months ago. The average price of a house in the UK is now £160,907.

Posted by ben @ 10:09 AM 0 Comments

Two estate agents make it into Sunday Times fastest growing list

+0.6% MoM, -1.8% YoY

Halifax: January INdex

Well, at least the quarterly and yearly figures look more reliable!

Posted by phdinbubbles @ 08:58 AM 21 Comments

Sunday, February 5, 2012

How to cut the UK deficit. Simples!

Telegraph: India tells Britain: We don't want your aid

"India’s Finance Minister has said that his country “does not require” British aid, describing it as “peanuts”. "DFID has sent more than £1 billion of UK taxpayers’ money to India in the last five years and is planning to spend a further £600 million on Indian aid by 2015". (OK~ over to you, what should we spend the cash on?).

Posted by alan @ 04:54 PM 19 Comments

More Britons expect house prices to rise than fall in 2012

Myfinances.co.uk: More Britons expect house prices to rise than fall in 2012

Halifax has released research which shows that more people in Britain expect house prices to rise than fall in 2012 but that the difficulty in raising a deposit and fears over job security are the main obstacles to buying a property.

Posted by ben @ 02:00 PM 0 Comments

As one commenter puts it "there are plenty of billionaires in Zimbabwe"

Telegraph: Meet the Isa millionaires

"One such couple, John Housden and his wife, Judith, from Kent, have accrued a combined pot of £1.3m having invested around £190,000 each since the first year of Peps in 1988.". Ummmm ....

Posted by paul @ 12:34 PM 5 Comments

The dark side of those subprime mortgages

Economic Policy Institute: A good credit score did not protect Latino and black borrowers

At the height of the US housing boom over half of subprime mortgages went to the CREDITWORTHY as brokers emphasised easy/fast approvals and hid the back-end costs. Big bonuses went to brokers who sold loans with IRs greater than those for which the borrower could have qualified. Creditworthy blacks and Latinos were far more likely than creditworthy whites to take on such mortgages. (A recent case US v Countrywide showed that the targetting of minorities was systematic, and cases against Wells Fargo show that it sent black salesmen into black churches to peddle subprime to creditworthy worshippers - with no corresponding effort in predominantly white churches.) The creditworthy then lost their homes as the punitive conditions kicked in, and minorities were hardest hit when the bubble burst.

Posted by icarus @ 11:59 AM 0 Comments

Q: How does this relate to HPC? A: It will keep asset prices high

Telegraph: Bank of England to print further £50 billion

''The Bank's Monetary Policy Committee is set to announce on Thursday that it is expanding its Quantitative Easing programme from £275bn to £325bn. Several members of MPC signalled at their January meeting that they would vote for a further round of QE this month.''

Posted by hpwatcher @ 10:39 AM 21 Comments

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Let's hope that avarice means that landlords end up with empty properties post Olympics.

The Guardian: Tenants being priced out to make way for Olympic lets

Tenants in London are being priced out of their homes because their landlords are hiking up their rent during the Olympics and Paralympics. Properties are being advertised for rent for as much as £100,000 a week over the Olympic period in some well-heeled parts of west London, while tenants closer to the Games sites are finding their rents increasing up to fourfold. One tenant living in east London said a clause had been added to his rental contract last year that said there would be "a minimum increase of 4.0x multiple of the current weekly rent during the Olympics and 2.0x multiple of current weekly rent during the Paralympics".

Posted by rental john @ 04:35 PM 0 Comments

Unemployment to rise

Acountancy Live: 2011: Personal insolvencies down, firms going bust up

The Insolvency Service said there were 119,850 people declared insolvent over the year, a fall of 11.3% on the 2010’s record high. However, Ian Gould, head of corporate recovery and insolvency at PKF, said: 'The most important message coming from today’s figures is that the surge in corporate insolvencies hasn’t hit yet. Although the number of compulsory liquidations and creditors’ voluntary liquidations is the highest since the final quarter of 2009, it’s still modest in historical terms and does not accurately reflect the pain being felt by the corporate sector at the moment.'

Posted by stuartking @ 12:29 PM 1 Comments

US Unemployment - outrageous distortion in an election year

Market-ticker.org: Employment Report: Blatant And Outrageous Lies

"Not in labor force" numbers leaped upward on an annualized basis (seasonally adjusted the "right way") and what's worse on a raw basis 1.572 million people exited the labor force last month.....[this report] documents an actual and ongoing collapse in the US labor force, despite the crooning on the mainstream media disinformation channels!

Posted by hpwatcher @ 09:26 AM 15 Comments

Moral decision, perhaps - he still took the profit.

Guardian: Why I've quit buy-to-let

Landlord Patrick Osborne profited from rising rents, generous tax breaks and easy capital gains – so why did he get out?

Posted by crashpope @ 12:23 AM 0 Comments

Friday, February 3, 2012

FSA notch a noteworthy success to protect people from themselves.

BBC: 'Sale and rent back' sector closed down by FSA

I remember these 'sell and rent back' schemes were big in the immediate aftermath of the 07/09 crash. Distressed homeowners unable to meet their mortgage repayments would sell their homes to these firms, obviously BMV, and rent it back to them. Of course the danger was no security of tenure or guarantee that these companies wouldn't rachet-up the rent after a year. So, fair play to the FSA for kicking this lot in to touch, although of course these sharks are simply symptoms of the problem.

Posted by sibley's b'stard child @ 03:43 PM 15 Comments

Convenient whipping boy

Independent: Don't be distracted by Goodwin's dishonour

Having shown its impotence over Hester's bonus (its face saved by his waiving it) the government went for popularity by stripping an already discredited banker of his gong. Will this lead to an exodus of talent? Martin Taylor, former CEO of Barclays, said they pay themselves from imaginary profits - spreads on credit taking no account of default possibilities (done on a much bigger scale in recent years), unrealised profits on illiquid instruments on the trading book and calculating the net present value of non-existent future income streams. On the last two there's no income, merely 'booked revenues'. (Main link leads to the full Taylor quote.) Then of course they measure return on equity, which can be high when there's little equity and dangerously high leverage.

Posted by icarus @ 11:02 AM 3 Comments

London and Leeds risk areas for burglary in the UK

Myfinances.co.uk: London and Leeds top UK burglary insurance claims list

London and Leeds are the parts of England that see the highest amount of home insurance claims for burglary.

Posted by ben @ 10:59 AM 0 Comments

Whats the point, so many tax fiddles and too high taxes

Liverpool daily post: More than £25m of council tax went uncollected by Merseyside councils over the last year

New figures reveal Liverpool was the fourth worst authority in the North West for non-collection, witrh more than £7.3m left outstanding in 2010/11. Sefton was the second worst offending council on Merseyside, failing to collect £5.4m, while Knowsley had the lowest non-collection rate of all six authorities, failing to bring in £1.4m. The worst performing authority in the North West for failure to collect council tax and non-domestic rates was Manchester, waiving more than £18.4m in the previous financial year.

Posted by mark @ 10:10 AM 23 Comments

The world is defo in a depression things are getting worse daily

Liverpool daily post: Pilkington to shed 150 jobs

UP TO 150 jobs will be lost at glassmaker Pilkington, it was announced yesterday. The St Helens firm’s parent company, Nippon Glass Sheet Group (NSG), plans to stop manufacturing at two sites in the town by the end of April.

Posted by mark @ 10:08 AM 0 Comments

£1000 to ger onto my laand

Planet Property: £1000 to ger onto my laand

Landowners and occupiers affected by the High Speed Two rail line are to be offered a £1,000 to allow contractors onto their land

Posted by the planet @ 08:42 AM 0 Comments

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Institute for Fiscal Studies talks sense on tax!

Guardian: IFS backs land value tax

"The idea is to cut income and business taxes while introducing a land value tax to end our obsession with property and to encourage paid work". Inevitably, some Home-Owner-Ist wades in with the usual Poor Widow Bogey nonsense: "When a government imposes a land value tax, aka "property tax" the government becomes the real owner of the land with the "owner" who bought the land becoming the equivalent of a renter, and the tax represents their rent payment to the government. If the tax is not paid, the "owner" is evicted by the government... which has become the REAL owner of the land. Imposition of property / LVT is confiscation of wealth without compensation. In addition, imposing an LVT takes away land as a secure investment option for the lower classes. {blah blah blah]"

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 04:55 PM 39 Comments

All change?

AboutProperty: Plea to turn failing High Streets into homes

Mr Wrigley said: "Unlike Mary Portas, I don't think we can continue to try to muddle through supporting the traditional high street model." He said deserted High Streets were victims of an irreversible trend to shopping malls, supermarkets and internet retailing and the government should relax planning laws instead to allow the mass conversion of failing town centres into housing.

Posted by phil @ 12:28 PM 9 Comments

Astra Zeneca are getting rid of 7000 people

Manchester evening news: Young and old hit and 400 jobs to go in £24m Salford council cuts

Salford council is slashing 400 jobs as part of a £24m cuts package that will hit the young, old and vulnerable. Town hall chiefs have been forced into a second year of huge savings after the government reduced its grant by a total of 19.6 per cent.

Posted by mark @ 09:47 AM 8 Comments

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

We own land, give us money!

Telegraph: Landowners to get £1,000 each to allow high speed rail contractors onto property

Landowners and farmers are to be paid £1,000 each to allow contractors involved in the high speed rail project onto their property. The payment will be to allow the company to carry out environmental surveys along the route. [So there'll be another, bigger whack of money when they actually come to build the thing.] If further inspections are needed additional payments will be made. [Of course.] In the case of tenant farmers, the money will be shared with the owner of the land. In addition HS2 will pay for any damage caused to the land as a result of the survey work. [It's beyond a joke now.]

Posted by drewster @ 11:40 PM 28 Comments

But what about the Vampire squid?

Reuters: Ex-Credit Suisse traders charged in subprime case

"Several former Credit Suisse traders manipulated the books on mortgage-backed securities when the U.S. real estate market slumped in 2007 and 2008, two of the former traders at the investment bank said in court on Wednesday". ""While the residential housing market was in free fall and shock waves were reverberating throughout the economy, these defendants decided they were above the rules of the market and above the law. As alleged, they papered over more than a half billion dollars in subprime mortgage-related losses to secure for themselves a big payday at the same time that many people were losing their homes and their jobs." (and what about all the others?)

Posted by alan @ 10:23 PM 2 Comments

Middlesbrough Council get in on the act...

Evening Gazette: More 'help for FTBs

So disappointing...I never even read the content

Posted by dazbo1983 @ 10:20 PM 1 Comments

[US] house prices that is ...

Guardian: House prices continue to fall despite broader signs economic improvement

Despite an improving economy prices fall... We've a long way to go before we see an improving economy so what do you make of that? maybe the ease in which US home owners can 'hand back the keys' is the fundemental difference that marks the markets out and we can't really compare them

Posted by jonathan @ 06:30 PM 0 Comments

They own land! Give them money!

Guardian: Shapps unveils NewBuy mortgage guarantee scheme

"The pattern of the past has been to produce endless policies and initiatives that simply gather dust on Whitehall shelves and lead to inaction and inertia," [Grant Shapps] said. "But with the prime minister putting housing centre stage on the road to economic recovery, I am determined we shall not repeat these mistakes of the past."

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 04:52 PM 6 Comments

"Shapps also announced details for ending the tax on tenants”

Mortgagestrategy: Shapps in talks with Royal Mail and BBC to find unused land

Housing Minister Grant Shapps says he is working with organisations including the BBC, Network Rail and the Royal Mail, to identify unused land and buildings that could be released for house-building. In a speech today, Shapps claimed he has already identified enough government land to build 80,000 homes and is on course to release enough land for 100,000 homes by 2015. The Ministry of Justice, HM Treasury, the Home Office and the Department for Energy and Climate Change are also looking at their land holdings.

Posted by jack c @ 03:20 PM 7 Comments

Averages, mean, mode, median

FT: Prime areas prop up London prices

More than half of the city’s postcodes are still as much as 20 per cent below their 2007 peaks. In fact, the so-called “London effect”, whereby residential properties in the nation’s capital defy weakness elsewhere, is down to strongly rising prices in a handful of areas. In Knightsbridge, the West End and Belgravia/Pimlico prices are now 20-30 per cent above their 2007 high point. At the end of last year, of 243 areas in Greater London, 193 have average prices lower today than the 2007 peak.

Posted by ontheotherhand @ 03:09 PM 3 Comments

A market notsomuch in free-fall as putrification.

Estate Agent Today: House sales nudge down, says Land Registry

Just a cobbled-together rehash of the LR & NW reports. Only worth a brief scan for the lulzworthy EA comment at the end of the article.

Posted by sibley's b'stard child @ 02:44 PM 0 Comments

European debt crisis in pictures

Demonocracy: PIIGS debt

These info-graphics shows how much banks borrowed to Portugal, Ireland, Italy, Greece & Spain (PIIGS). Europe is in a deep crisis, and this shows how much must be repaid. Cor blimey! We best get another couple of printers eh?

Posted by ken m @ 01:46 PM 0 Comments

Irish artist makes house from 1 billion shredded Euro notes

Planet Property: Irish artist makes house from 1 billion shredded Euro notes

The ultimate comment on the housing collapse in Ireland ...

Posted by the planet @ 11:36 AM 0 Comments

Rent Ulrika Jonsson’s Berkshire home

Planet Property: Rent Ulrika Jonsson’s Berkshire home

Only £4,950 a month…!

Posted by the planet @ 10:57 AM 0 Comments

Nationwide says house prices in England and Wales fell by 0.2% in January

Myfinances.co.uk: Nationwide reports slight January dip in house prices

Nationwide has reported a small decline of 0.2 per cent in UK house prices for January. This means the average UK home is worth £162,228 and the rate of growth since this time last year has been just 0.6 per cent.

Posted by ben @ 10:52 AM 0 Comments

Comments.........

Manchester evening news: Top Bury councillors held in planning application 'bribes' probe

The two senior Tory councillors - including a former town hall boss - arrested on suspicion of accepting bribes in relation to a planning application, can be revealed today. Coun Bob Bibby, the former leader of Bury council, and Coun Jim Taylor were held after officers held a series of raids. Both men were arrested on suspicion of corruption in a public office. It follows a long-running police investigation into alleged corruption in relation to a planning application. The inquiry relates to a single planning application, believed to be for a housing development

Posted by mark @ 09:50 AM 2 Comments

Just for comedy value

BBC News: High hedge bill brought by MSP Mark MacDonald

Nimbyism as it's greatest?

Posted by richy richless @ 09:39 AM 3 Comments

Rehash of what PhD posted a few minutes ago

BBC Politics Show: House prices record winter freeze, says Nationwide

House prices started the new year with a slight decline - falling by 0.2% in January compared with the previous month, according to the Nationwide. The building society, the first to report on January's prices, valued the average home at £162,228. The annual rate of house price growth slowed to 0.6% in January, from 1% in December, it added.

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 07:55 AM 0 Comments

-0.2% MoM, +0.6% YoY

Nationwide: January Index

Commenting on the figures, Robert Gardner, Nationwide's Chief Economist, said: “Given the challenging conditions prevailing in late 2011, with the UK economy contracting in the final three months of the year, it’s not surprising that house price growth softened at the start of 2012. The price of a typical house fell by 0.2% in January, taking the annual rate of house inflation down to 0.6% from 1% in December. "

Posted by phdinbubbles @ 07:49 AM 28 Comments

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