March 2012 Archive

Friday, March 30, 2012

Richard Duncann's Prognosis and 5 year outlook

Richard Duncan's Blog: Turning the Page: The Next Chapter in the Asian Economic Story

Richard Duncan, of Blackhorse Asset Management, discusses the outlook for Asia in light of the deepening global economic crisis. Asia’s Era of Export-Led growth is over. A much more difficult environment lies ahead. A sobering outlook. He believes "bad bad things" will happen in the 5 to 10 year range but until then expect a lot more QE. After that his message is get ready for wealth destruction. Or in the words of the song "arm yourselves because no one else here will save you."

Posted by fubar @ 08:44 PM 3 Comments

We are all saved - again!

Guardian: Eurozone ministers agree €500bn in new bailout funds

"Europe's 17 single currency governments agreed to deliver €500 bn in new bailout funds on Friday in the hope of erecting a firewall big enough to contain the sovereign debt crisis, placate the markets, and encourage non-eurozone International Monetary Fund members to commit a similar sum to emergency reserves".

Posted by alan @ 07:25 PM 3 Comments

The building's owners, the Bank of Scotland

Daily mail: Squatters who took over £4m ten-bedroom mansion face eviction after 'hitting golf balls' from the roof

The mansion was once Bristol’s most expensive property - on the market for a cool £4.2 million. The new tenants of the 10-bedroom property, which is now thought to be worth £2.9 million, moved in at the start of February.

Posted by mark @ 03:00 PM 4 Comments

Bad, very bad or critical..?

Telegraph: The pain in Spain may not be enough

Does anyone have a figure for the total value of real estate loans sitting on the balance sheets of Spain's books? I wouldn't be surprised if 50% of that never comes home, and that the Spanish govt will have to come to the rescue - but what's that in cash or GDP terms??

Posted by uncle tom @ 12:25 PM 25 Comments

Blame game - heard anything more stupid this week?

Telegraph: Treasury 'stretched' and 'did not see crisis coming' before recession hit

"The three Treasury workers responsible for the UK's financial stability had an average age of 32, were underpaid and at least one would have been looking for a new job at the time of the financial crisis (in 2008)". The Treasury admitted it was "stretched" and "did not see the crisis coming" in a damning indictment of its own operations at the time.

Posted by alan @ 11:44 AM 10 Comments

We own land! Give us cheap and subsidised labour!

24 Dash: Landlord pilots paid work scheme for young unemployed

A housing association has launched the UK’s first pilot for a new employment programme that will see landlords help unemployed young people get on the career ladder. Proving Talent, a scheme launched last week at the House of Commons and attended by Employment Minister Chris Grayling MP, will pay young people at least the minimum wage in jobs lasting between six months and a year. Radian – which manages around 18,000 homes in the South of England – has now launched the first pilot in the country, offering six places to young unemployed to fill before April.

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 10:54 AM 4 Comments

Pledging land for cheaper public housing

Reuters: Sun Hung Kai dives as billionaire Kwok brothers arrested

The arrests on Thursday come just days after Hong Kong elected Beijing-loyalist Leung Chun-ying as its next leader, pledging land for cheaper public housing, and as soaring property prices, the most expensive in the world, have stirred public discontent

Posted by mark @ 10:16 AM 3 Comments

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Anagram fun

News Thump: Taxing bakers is the closest we’ll get to taxing bankers, confirms government

The decision, which was announced in last week’s budget, has left pasty lovers distraught, but the government have claimed that the move is a compromise based on the strength of public opinion directed at bankers taking more responsibility for the current state of the economy. The prime minister told a press conference that the government had listened to the public’s concerns and had taken “decisive action to ensure that a profession that is only an ‘n’ away from being bankers pays the price.”

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 05:16 PM 5 Comments

Any lesser mortal, such as a mere tenant, would not doubt have died in the rubble.

Daily Mail: Huge gas explosion blasts roof off terraced home scattering debris 100 yards… but homeowner SURVIVED

"A home-owner was lucky to be alive today after a huge gas explosion blew the roof off a house. The bachelor living alone escaped with minor burns after the blast ripped through the terraced house - sending glass and tiles in a 100 yard radius. But miraculously the home owner was pulled alive from the ruins by his neighbours." I have to say, that looks like it was one Hell of a bang.

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 04:33 PM 19 Comments

As predicted - on this site

Guardian: Mortgage borrowers face triple whammy, warns Bank of England

"Lenders expect to reduce the amount of credit given to households, tighten lending criteria – and charge more for the loans, says Bank report".

Posted by alan @ 04:20 PM 6 Comments

Spring Bounce!

Telegraph: House prices fall as stamp duty holiday ends

House prices recorded a monthly fall of 1pc in March - its worst monthly fall in two years - as the stamp duty holiday for first-time buyers came to an end, the Nationwide reported.

Posted by hpwatcher @ 02:11 PM 5 Comments

House crash; literally

Politicians blame landlords for short tenancies - but don't know the facts

Planet Property Blog: Longer tenancies? No thanks say lenders

Calls for longer tenancies from the London Assembly and some London mayoral candidates have missed the point say private landlords. UK’s mortgage lenders do not allow landlords with buy to let mortgages to issue tenancies longer than 12 months in duration.

Posted by property addict @ 12:38 PM 0 Comments

Is £3500 of tax payers money worth it for a carving?

Daily mail: Bee in their bonnets: Beehive carving removed from park after complaints it was 'too rude'

The artwork was designed to stand next to a children's play area in a park but council staff were ordered to take it down just days after it was unveiled. Award-winning sculptor Thompson Dagnall - who was paid around £3,500 for the work - said a Tameside council boss

Posted by mark @ 10:53 AM 5 Comments

UK government to release strategic land reserves to defuse housing crisis

Torygraph: US, UK and France consider oil release to curb fuel prices

In a dream world: "Rents and house prices are rising fast and choking off economic growth. We have decided to relax government throttling of supply and also to levy a tax on all land with planning permission, so that our precious supplies are fully utilised"

Posted by mombers @ 10:23 AM 14 Comments

What about the 1000's of empty apartments built during "boom"

Liverpool daily post: Liverpool development plan calls for 41,000 new homes in next 15 years

The council wants 70% of the 40,950 new homes to be built in the city centre and urban core, with the remaining 30% in suburban areas.

Posted by mark @ 10:22 AM 3 Comments

Mortgage lenders don't like Newbuy

Telegraph: NewBuy mortage scheme in crisis as lenders fail to support it, claims Home Builders Federation

The flagship scheme designed to revitalise the housing market and kick-start the economy is in disarray, as mortgage lenders fail to support it. The NewBuy Guarantee, launched by David Cameron in a blaze of publicity, is "not at all what was envisaged", the head of the Home Builders Federation (HBF) said. Lenders have not embraced the scheme as was intended, the HBF's executive chairman Stewart Baseley wrote in a letter to home builders, acknowledging this is "incredibly frustrating and annoying". The Treasury has now been forced to urge UK lenders to back NewBuy after a "far from satisfactory launch", he told the industry, following crisis meetings with the HBF and the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML), which represents high street lenders.

Posted by quiet guy @ 08:30 AM 3 Comments

Good :)

Telegraph: NewBuy mortage scheme in crisis as lenders fail to support it, claims Home Builders Federation

The flagship scheme designed to revitalise the housing market and kick-start the economy is in disarray, as mortgage lenders fail to support it.

Posted by happy mondays @ 08:27 AM 1 Comments

It's all looking rather promising

Halliwide: UK house prices fell by 1% in March

“The price of a typical UK home fell by 1% in March, pushing the year on year rate of house price growth into negative territory for the first time in six months. House prices were 0.9% lower than March 2011. “A slowdown was to be expected, given the imminent expiry of the stamp duty holiday, which had provided a temporary boost to house prices in early 2012 as buyers brought forward purchases that would otherwise have taken place later in the year. “However, in our view the challenging economic backdrop is likely to continue to act as a drag, with house prices moving sideways or modestly lower over the next twelve months.”

Posted by khards @ 07:41 AM 3 Comments

The start of a trend?

Reuters: House prices suffer worst monthly fall in 2 years - Nationwide

LONDON (Reuters)- House prices suffered their sharpest monthly fall in more than two years in March, as first-time homebuyers braced for the removal of a purchase tax exemption, mortgage lender Nationwide said on Thursday. Nationwide reported a 1.0 percent seasonally adjusted fall in house prices on the month, the biggest since February 2010, and a sharp contrast to the 0.3 percent rise predicted in a Reuters poll of economists and February's 0.4 percent increase. An exemption from stamp duty land tax for first-time buyers of properties costing under 250,000 pounds expired on March 24. Nationwide's data is based on mortgages it approves, and it said that approvals in March would generally be too late for purchases to be finalised before the March 24 deadline.

Posted by khards @ 07:25 AM 9 Comments

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

More of the same

Guardian: Bank of England split on tackling next house price boom

Split on new financial policy committee will infuriate campaigners who want bank to take activist role to prevent another house price bubble

Posted by becky @ 11:05 PM 6 Comments

Revealed: hot spots for property investors

Planet Property: Revealed: hot spots for property investors

A new report from Savills and Rightmove reveals the hottest spots for total rental returns

Posted by the planet @ 01:40 PM 0 Comments

Quantitive Easing explained in 2 minutes

Youtube: Clarke and Dawe - Quantitative Easing

As per title. Video embedded in first comment.

Posted by general congreve @ 12:34 PM 4 Comments

1.1million rental homes needed by 2016

Planet Property: 1.1million rental homes needed by 2016

Home ownership will continue to decline, says a new report - and by 2016 demand for private rented accommodation could reach one in five households

Posted by the planet @ 12:30 PM 0 Comments

The sound of rattles exiting pram.

CIty AM: Ronson attacks politics of envy

PROPERTY tycoon Gerald Ronson launched a scathing attack on the political establishment yesterday, hitting out at the “hypocrisy and envy” that is driving public opinion. In one of the most outspoken public critiques yet from a senior British business figure, Ronson said that our society is being “fuelled by the continual negativity of envy” and lashed out at the “lynch mob attack” that deprived RBS chief Stephen Hester of his bonus. “We need top people to sort out the mess. If we are not careful, they won’t be around to do it,” warned Ronson. The City is a “massive political football that has been kicked very hard over the last few years and yet it is one of our greatest assets”, added Ronson, speaking at his company’s annual lunch at the Dorchester.

Posted by sibley's b'stard child @ 11:32 AM 12 Comments

Ticking time-bomb

AboutProperty: London rents unaffordable on less than £52,000

Renting a two-bed home in London is unaffordable for any family earning less than £52,000, according to Shelter. With almost one in four families in the capital now renting from a private landlord – an increase of 70 per cent in the last four years – the charity is calling for urgent action by the next mayor of London to address the crisis.

Posted by phil @ 11:27 AM 0 Comments

Know when to sell

Moneyweek: A warning to all gold investors – don’t fall in love

So this Money Morning is a kind of note to self, a warning. I have come to, I suppose, love gold - or at least the idea of it, and the glorious, free society it offers at the end of the rainbow. But I shouldn't. It's just an investment. So be warned and take note: should we ever see that exponential final euphoric bull market phase, then come back and read this, sober up and sell. Having a thrown a wet blanket over you all, I should say that my big picture view for gold is that the end of this bull market is still not within sight. All the main drivers - monetary stress, deficit spending, debt, currency debasement, ballooning money supply, negative real rates and so on - are still in place.

Posted by general congreve @ 11:13 AM 19 Comments

Another doomed attempt to avoid HPC?

CNN: Bank of America faces hurdles in renting

Bank of America is following the government's idea that rentals are the answer to a troubled housing market. It's offering underwater home'owners' the chance to hand back the deeds in exchange for staying put and renting (with possibly investors buying the properties - if they're sure the deeds are legally unassailable). But wait. One condition is that the would-be renters prove they can pay the monthly rent - not easy when they're already behind on mortgage payments. Another problem is that areas of high foreclosures aren't areas with a robust rental market - much of the overbuilding was outside urban areas and much of rental demand is within urban areas. Looks like the banks may have to think of something else.

Posted by icarus @ 11:03 AM 1 Comments

Wasted cash at taxpayers expense welcome to the gravy train

Liverpool daily post: Two Liverpool council executives driving Mercedes and BMW funded by the taxpayer

City council chief executive Ged Fitzgerald and director of regeneration Nick Kavanagh, are already two of the highest paid officials with salaries of £197,000 and between £120,000 and £140,000 respectively. But now it has been revealed they have been driving round the city in luxury vehicles paid for by the taxpayer – while the Labour-run council axed £140m from its budget over two years.

Posted by mark @ 10:09 AM 16 Comments

Updated Numbers

Reuters: Economy shrank more than expected in Q4

"The Office for National Statistics said the economy contracted by 0.3 percent between October and December last year, taking the annual rate of growth to 0.5 percent"

Posted by alan @ 09:56 AM 6 Comments

Buyer beware

Northampton Chronicle and Echo: Couple stunned as kitchen collapses 24 hours after moving into their Northampton home

"A COUPLE were left devastated after their kitchen floor collapsed, causing £24,000 of damage only 24 hours after they moved into their new Northampton home" “The kitchen was in perfect condition and it was one of the reasons we bought the house. The place didn’t need much work doing to it at all.” "The couple were left even more distraught when they found out that their insurance company, Direct Line, would not pay for repairs to the kitchen" Terrible story for the young couple, but it shows how fraught with danger buying a house can actually be.

Posted by thecountofnowhere @ 08:37 AM 1 Comments

NIMBYs see their 'luxury apartments' become council flats

Belfast Telegraph: Residents fight plans to turn luxury tower blocks into social housing

An emergency meeting has been held between politicians and the Housing Executive over proposals to sell off two apartment blocks in a luxury development for social housing. Residents are objecting to the plans, fearing their homes, many bought at the height of the boom and already in negative equity, could lose more value. “The empty houses will be sold off for a very small sum, probably less than half of what many existing residents paid,” said resident Ian Scott.

Posted by little professor @ 08:17 AM 10 Comments

Consequences of failing to burst a bubble

Daily Mail: Life begins at 40: How Brits are 19 YEARS behind on life goals to marry, own a home and start a family

The average adult is an astonishing 19 years behind schedule with their ‘life plan’, research revealed yesterday. It suggests millions of Britons are struggling to tick off significant milestones such as owning a house and starting a family. Most blame a low level of disposable income, high property prices and limited access to home loans for their lack of progress with their long-term goals.

Posted by quiet guy @ 08:08 AM 20 Comments

Under pressure..

Mail: Up to 360,000 families may be forced to sell homes this year as endowment policies fail to deliver

Up to 360,000 families may be forced to sell homes this year as endowment policies fail to deliver

Posted by happy mondays @ 07:48 AM 4 Comments

& So the cycle begins again!

Telegraph: Spain to slash spending as economy slumps back into recession

The Bank of Spain said the “contractionary dynamic” in the economy continued into early 2012 for the second quarter in a row, with an “intensifying” pace of job losses. It expects GDP to fall by 1.5pc this year.

Posted by happy mondays @ 07:40 AM 0 Comments

Talk to influence events

Telegraph: Elderly exaggerate QE effect on pensions, claims Bank of England Governor Sir Mervyn King

Always remember that Mervyn King and any governor of the BoE will only ever talk to the press to influence events on the cheap. Ask yourself why somebody would feel that it is necessary to state that UK pensioners are overstating their case.. He wants some heat off, the clamouring and shouting of the pensioners is getting louder, bit hard to block out. Widespread disillusionment with UK pension schemes dependent on fresh money to pay out existing claims. Inflation is not falling even as the currency deflates (prices are going up even as broad money holds stable/shrinks). Mervyn, if you want to take the argument that the pensioners are exaggerating when the whole world knows you stuffed your own into inflation linked then Bonne Chance mon ami!!

Posted by stillthinking @ 06:14 AM 4 Comments

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

A bubble waiting to burst

Independent: Sell up now before it's too late, expert says

Sell your artworks while you can. That is the stark warning from a senior museum figure to anyone who has bought an artwork by Damien Hirst, the self-styled enfant terrible of British art. Julian Spalding, who has headed some of Britain's foremost public galleries, predicts the bubble will soon burst for Hirst and fellow exponents of what he calls "con art" – a play on the term "conceptual art", the so-called art of ideas. He likens this bubble in the art world to the sub-prime mortgage crisis. It will crash, he says, when collectors realise how "seriously worthless" conceptual art is.

Posted by drewster @ 09:43 PM 4 Comments

Pay better bl**dy interest then!

Save Our Savers: Bank of England wakes up to fact we need to save more

We are well used to the Bank of England treating savers with disdain, the worst offender being our bête noire, Deputy Governor Charlie Bean, who has attacked savers more than once for daring to put money by instead of squandering it immediately.

Posted by mr g @ 05:51 PM 7 Comments

Depression on route

CNBC: The Yen's Looming Day of Reckoning

Japan is on an unsustainable path of a strong yen and deflation. The unprofitability of Japan's major exporters and emerging trade deficits suggest that the end of this path is in sight. The transition from a strong to weak yen will likely be abrupt, involving a sudden and big devaluation of 30 to 40 percent. It will be a big shock to Japan's neighbors and its distant competitors like Germany. The yen's devaluation in 1996 was a main factor in triggering the Asian Financial Crisis. Japan's neighbors must have a strong banking system to withstand a bigger devaluation of the yen

Posted by mark @ 05:16 PM 4 Comments

The best way to play UK commercial property

MoneyWeek: The best way to play UK commercial property

Commercial property has rallied since plunging from the highs of 2007. But the recovery is faltering - and now's not the time to be buying back in. David Stevenson explains why, and picks a much more attractive play on the sector.

Posted by martingreen @ 02:13 PM 3 Comments

Final document

DCLG: National Planning Policy Framework (pdf)

"The National Planning Policy Framework is a key part of our reforms to make the planning system less complex and more accessible, to protect the environment and to promote sustainable growth."

Posted by dill @ 01:43 PM 4 Comments

Responses to NPPF

AboutProperty: National Planning Policy Framework: Property industry reaction

Paul Smith, director of Apex Planning Consultants, warns that what may seem simple now is unlikely to stay that way: "The problem is that the definition of 'sustainable' is notoriously woolly, and different local authorities will inevitably interpret it in different ways. Once conflicting precedents are set, the waters will quickly be muddied."

Posted by phil @ 01:43 PM 0 Comments

Planning reforms live as it happens.

Telegraph: Planning reforms: latest

Follow live coverage of today's announcement of reforms to the planning system under a new National Planning Policy Framework. Planning Minister Greg Clark to make statement at 12.30. 12.18 Planning lawyer Sebastian Head, of Allen and Overy, said today's announcement could herald greater freedom for growth. He said: Quote This is the third much heralded attempt to revamp the planning system in the last decade, but this time the changes have the potential to bring about a real difference. The pendulum in planning has swung too far in the direction of protection and needs more than a gentle push the other way. The other role of the planning system (to enable orderly development to support our economic progress) is now being freed from the cumbersome shackles of the rules that have held ...

Posted by khards @ 12:26 PM 1 Comments

Some interesting/crazy figures

Yahoo News: The world's house price hotspots

Fancy a des res in Delhi or a mansion in Moscow? They may not be the first places you think of when you consider a holiday home location, but perhaps you should take a closer look. Because property prices in India and Russia have risen faster than anywhere else in the world, according to new research from Lloyds TSB. It says that house prices in India have soared by a whopping 284% in the last 10 years - the biggest jump recorded in its Global Housing Market Review. Homes in Russia have seen their value rocket by an enormous 209%, and third in the global hotspot list is South Africa, which experienced a rise in house prices of 161% between 2001 and 2011.

Posted by bargain_hunter @ 12:02 PM 1 Comments

Why can't we have falls like this? It's not fair! .lrish Property Prices fall by 17.8% in the year to February

"House prices in Dublin are 56% lower than at their highest level in early 2007. Apartments in Dublin are 62% lower than they were in February 2007. Residential property prices in Dublin are 57% lower than at their highest level in February 2007. The fall in the price of residential properties in the Rest of Ireland is somewhat lower at 45%. Overall, the national index is 49% lower than its highest level in 2007."

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 11:06 AM 0 Comments

Now we know how politicians will make economic decisions

Telegraph: MPs told to check William Hill to find out if euro will collapse

"Pushed to explain the probability of a collapse of monetary union, Mr Nickell said: “Occasionally I go and look at William Hill, they have the odds on these sorts of things. Last time I looked, the odds of Greece not using euro by the end of the year were the order of about 40pc, a bit lower after the latest Greek bail-out talks.” (anyone here want a high paid job at the OBR?)

Posted by alan @ 09:41 AM 16 Comments

New rules for "garden grabbing"!

BBC News: Planning system awaits overhaul in England

Changes to the planning system in England, which are expected to make it easier to gain consent for large-scale projects, are coming into force later. Ministers have suggested creating a "presumption in favour of sustainable development" to ensure more homes, offices and factories are built. But opponents say the scheme will weaken environmental protections.

Posted by amadeus @ 08:01 AM 0 Comments


Guardian: Rental property's gravy train needs derailing

A side-effect of the Bank of England's monetary policies over the last four years has been to protect property values. Some of that can be seen in figures from the estate agents Savills, which says the value of rented homes in Britain has soared by 42% to £840bn.

Posted by dill @ 06:32 AM 5 Comments

Monday, March 26, 2012

Evictions - Spanish style

Reuters: Spain's jobless immigrants take on banks over mortgages

"Every Tuesday evening dozens of homeowners who cannot pay their mortgages gather in a cramped community center near Madrid's main bullring to discuss strategy to fight their banks. Newcomers, many of them immigrants from South America, take turns speaking about how close they are to eviction. They tell of losing their jobs, defaulting on their loans and receiving court notice saying they will be kicked out". (stories of Spain's housing bubble).

Posted by alan @ 10:23 PM 0 Comments


BBC News: UK in talks to sell part of RBS stake to Abu Dhabi

'The Treasury bought the RBS shares at an average of 50p each, almost double the current share price. While no deal is imminent, the government hopes that one can be agreed before Christmas.' Perhaps Abu Dhabi will let us continue to live in our homes?

Posted by will @ 06:32 PM 5 Comments


Telegraph: Coutts fined £9m for failures in money laundering controls

The fine came after the City regulatory, the Financial Services Authority, found failings that were “serious, systemic and were allowed to persist for almost three years.” The watchdog said there was an unacceptable risk Coutts was handling the proceeds of crime.

Posted by dill @ 04:13 PM 0 Comments

Beech hut for sale for £145k

Planet Property: Beech hut for sale for £145k

The madness of the Mudeford Beach Hut market continues …

Posted by the planet @ 01:30 PM 8 Comments

They own land so give them back YOUR money..

Grauniad: How solar panels can dim mortgage prospects

Those who capitalised on the governments lucrative incentive packages for giving energy back to the national grid are may be not sitting as pretty as they thought they were.

Posted by richy richless @ 01:15 PM 2 Comments

Britain’s housing market is rotting from within

MoneyWeek: Britain’s housing market is rotting from within

With mortgage approvals at record highs since the crisis began, Britain's housing market appears to have turned a corner. But in fact, the worst is yet to come, says Phil Oakley.

Posted by martingreen @ 12:09 PM 6 Comments

House prices continue to be unaffordable albeit at a slower rate.

Estate Agent Today: House prices falling in real terms for another three years

The Office for Budget Responsibility released its data post-Budget, forecasting that house prices are set to dip 0.4% this year – a little greater than the 0.2% drop the OBR forecast last November. Next year, it expects house prices to go up by 0.1%, and by 2.5% in 2014. However, because inflation forecasts are set to be 2.3% next year and 2.5% the year after, in real terms house prices will fall. House price inflation is forecast to overtake general inflation in 2015, when house prices are forecast to grow 4.5% and general inflation is predicted to be 3.6%.

Posted by sibley's b'stard child @ 11:22 AM 5 Comments

Housing troubles in Hungary

Bloomberg: Hungarian Market Collapses

“I thought it’d be sold in the blink of an eye,” the 47- year-old geography teacher said. “I can see now how naïve I was. It feels like a cruel joke by fate.” Real-estate transactions fell to 90,000 in 2011 from 270,000 at the market’s peak in 2003. (-66%) What HPC?

Posted by will @ 10:39 AM 2 Comments

Community generated land values being appropriated by the vested interests

City AM: Homes near top schools cost an extra £90,000

"HOUSES located near top performing primary schools cost an average of 42 per cent more than homes in other areas, according to research published this morning. Parents concerned with securing their children a place at a well-regarded school can pay an average of £91,618 more for a property than they would have to cough up to live elsewhere." If people are prepared to pay £xxxx a year in higher mortgage payments while their children are school age, why not just allow the school to charge £xxxx per year in tuition fees, so that the school gets the money not the landowners? Or even better, collect that £xxxx via taxes on the rental value of land?

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 10:25 AM 7 Comments

The UK - A nation addicted to debt

Telegraph: Only by tackling spending will we ever tame the debt monster

"In four years’ time, the state will be 40 per cent deeper into the red than it is today, reports Jeff Randall". As Dr Tim Morgan, head of research at Tullett Prebon, a City broking house, notes: “No one has yet explained why the British state must spend £700 billion today, having managed perfectly well on £450 billion, at today’s values, 10 years ago.”

Posted by alan @ 09:39 AM 17 Comments

2,000 non-sub fitting jobs lost

BBC: £350m sub refit 'to secure 2,000 jobs

In fact I am not against submarine refitting, but the BBC falls into the same old line that the government provides the money. You spend or the government spends on your behalf, there is no money doubler. These jobs will cost over 150,000 each so I hope its not some make work scheme.

Posted by stillthinking @ 05:03 AM 0 Comments

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Living standards plummet for the young

FT: Rift grows between old and young

For the first time in 50 years, young Britons embarking on their careers cannot expect to be any better off than their parents while those approaching retirement have never had it so good. Real disposable household incomes of people in their 20s have stagnated over the past 10 years just as older households are capturing a much greater share of the nation’s income and wealth. Median living standards of people in their 20s have now slipped below those of people in their 60s, 70s and 80s. "You can’t honestly say to younger people any longer, you’ll do better than your father or mother’s generation," Alistair Darling, Labour’s former chancellor, said. "This trend has been developing over a number of years and politics as a whole has been lagging behind and has not focused on it."

Posted by drewster @ 11:23 PM 6 Comments

Build baby build

Daily Mail: 'New City' proposed for Midlands

A “new city” has been proposed for the English countryside as radical planning powers are to be unveiled by ministers. Up to 100,000 homes would be built on green belt in the Midlands near the controversial High Speed 2 rail route as part of a dramatic expansion of housing. Last week David Cameron said he wanted to see a series of new “garden cities”, together with increased airport capacity. He warned: “We urgently need to find places where we’re prepared to allow significant new growth to happen.” House-building has ground to a halt in recent years due to the reluctance of banks to lend and, ministers have claimed, Britain’s protracted planning system. Only 102,500 new homes were built in 2010, the lowest number since 1923.

Posted by drewster @ 06:19 PM 6 Comments

Dale farm - closing the loopholes

Telegraph: Ministers to unveil crackdown on illegal travellers' sites

"Ministers are to unveil a crackdown on illegal travellers' camps as part of the Government's controversial planning reforms". "The rules will ban new traveller settlements on greenbelt land and stop councils from issuing compulsory purchase orders of private land to create new sites for such groups". "Mr Pickles is said to believe that Labour gave all travellers a bad name by failing to clamp down on illegal sites. It is understood he will argue that Labour’s approach to the travelling community harmed community cohesion and undermined public confidence in the planning system".

Posted by alan @ 12:14 AM 1 Comments

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Yes, I know it's from Zerohedge and it's about the US however the theory still applies.

Zerohedge: How Housing Affordability Can Falter Even as House Prices Decline

How Housing Affordability Can Falter Even as House Prices Decline The assumption that lower home prices improves the affordability of houses ignores two critical inputs: interest rates and income. That the housing market is still in a post-bubble slump is no secret, as revealed by this chart courtesy of note that despite unprecedented intervention, including the complete socialization of the mortgage market and the socialization of subprime market for poor credit risks, this chart punctures the happy-talk illusions of a rebound in housing. Credit-asset class bubbles cannot be reinflated because they follow an S-curve. No matter how much taxpayer money the government throws into the housing market, it will not reinflate.

Posted by khards @ 08:16 PM 7 Comments

In your face !

Yahoo: Banker-buster bomb: Irish light the fuse!

Irish homeowners not paying tax bill... Fantastic..

Posted by happy mondays @ 12:16 PM 10 Comments

Anybody qualifies for housing benefit...

Telegraph: £10,000 bill after man kept pig in living room

The true perversity of housing benefit.

Posted by stillthinking @ 05:10 AM 8 Comments

Friday, March 23, 2012

MoM +0.1% YoY -0.6%

Land Registry: February 2012

Bloody hell, LR go and publish their report a week early so we've missed it. With thanks to the forum for flagging this up. Unreliable MoM, reliable YoY.

Posted by sibley's b'stard child @ 09:06 PM 18 Comments

Agent fury over stamp duty at odds with facts

Planet Property: Agent fury over stamp duty at odds with facts

Talk of a market meltdown are probably premature ...tings may not be quite as bad as some agents would have you believe

Posted by the planet @ 04:11 PM 0 Comments

Loads of examples of SDLT being economically borne by the vendor

Evening Standard (much better value now it's free): Families hit by collapse in house chains after stamp duty increase

The purchasers are threatening to either pull out or reduce the price following the SDLT increase. And by and large, vendors are dropping the price or not selling at all. So the SDLT doesn't affect purchasers - they can always walk away - it affects vendors, they end up with less money than they expected.

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 03:44 PM 17 Comments

Good news?

AboutProperty: Stamp duty comment: Chaos, panic and cash cows

Mark Pollack - "Of course, life goes on and London will continue to be a global 'destination', but going forward the government should be extremely cautious about treating the central London property market as a cash cow. We all know the story of 'The Goose That Laid The Golden Eggs'."

Posted by phil @ 12:40 PM 0 Comments


Reuters: BoE advises banks to raise more capital urgently

British banks need to raise fresh capital "as early as feasible" as the stability of the global financial system remains fragile, the Bank of England's new risk watchdog said on Friday. The Bank's Financial Policy Committee said that banks had gone as far as they could to raise capital by keeping down pay, dividends and share buybacks.

Posted by mark @ 12:40 PM 5 Comments

LDC reveals rise in empty shops in 2012 LDC reports shop vacancies reach record high

The Local Data Company has released figures that show the proportion of empty shops in the UK has reached a record high.

Posted by ben @ 09:39 AM 0 Comments

More Budget analysis for BtL

Telegraph: Buy-to-let landlords are sitting on a 'tax timebomb’

"Many will have to pay two years’ tax liabilities during the next six months, creating a cashflow crisis after years of lightly-taxed income and gains".

Posted by alan @ 08:09 AM 20 Comments

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Pressure to bend the rules?

Reuters: EU watchdog tells ratings agencies to make changes

"The rating agencies were blamed by policymakers for helping to sow the seeds of the financial crisis by giving high ratings to mortgage-backed securities linked to U.S. home loans that defaulted"."The EU is now approving its third set of rules in as many years for rating agencies". (Yes, but will it stop idiots borrowing beyond their means?)

Posted by alan @ 08:26 PM 1 Comments

"Come into my Parlour" said the Spider to the Fly

WSJ _ Europe: Turkey Targets Gold Stashes

"The Turkish government, facing a bloated current-account deficit that threatens to derail the country's rapid expansion, is trying to persuade Turks to transfer their vast personal holdings of gold into the country's banking system". "The moves come after the central bank in November announced that lenders could hold up to 10% of their local-currency reserves in gold, in part to tempt Turkey's gold hoarders to deposit their jewelry, coins or bullion at banks". "Last year, as the Turkish lira tumbled almost 20% against the dollar—the fastest fall of any currency in the world". (does anyone on here trust Mervyn with their gold?).

Posted by alan @ 05:33 PM 3 Comments

Tory think-tank comes over to The Dark Side

ResPublica: Principles for the Budget 2012

"A truly radical budget should therefore not only call for a revaluation of the property values unrevised since 1991 and introduce a [council] tax paid in proportion to the value of property; it should also introduce a land value tax to generate extra income. These wealth taxes would have added benefits of stimulating land and property markets, as well as addressing jarring social inequalities. In this context, it is worth being reminded that nearly 70% of the land in the UK is currently owned by 0.6% of population"

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 03:41 PM 19 Comments

It won't sell for that... but still pretty striking.

AboutProperty: £501 for what may be the UK's cheapest house

To put the cost of this house in the context of the wider market, Rightmove has a parking space in Notting Hill which is priced at £85,000, over eight times the reserve on this Ferryhill home.

Posted by phil @ 12:22 PM 0 Comments

London immunity is over-rated.

Estate Agent Today: London market hits meltdown within hours of Budget

The London property market plunged into meltdown yesterday. The effects were seen in the rapid wake of the Chancellor’s bombshell announcement that purchasers using companies as the buying vehicles of £2m-plus properties would be stung by 15% Stamp Duty as from midnight. In London, buying via company vehicles is extremely common. Within hours, London agents were reporting chaos, as deal after deal fell through. First to warn was Ben Everest, partner at LDG in the West End. He said that there had been a ‘dramatic’ effect, with deals in the region of £2m-£2.5m being urgently re-negotiated downwards.

Posted by sibley's b'stard child @ 11:55 AM 41 Comments

UK Stamp Duty Increase - the view from Asia

PropertyGuru Singapore: UK stamp duty hike "will not deter foreign buyers”

"This increased rate for properties worth over £2 million will be seem by the majority of purchasers as a better option than to pay some form of annual tax. For those who currently own houses this is a good result.” Singapore now has a foreign buyer stamp duty of 10% - UK still looks attractive to buyers from this region..

Posted by near-but-far @ 04:33 AM 8 Comments

Nice to see a date

This is Money: Savers born in Sixties warned of 2027 apocalypse Read more:

Usually when we are informed that a pension fund is in deficit, the actual day that payments won't be fulfilled is never mentioned. I doubt this year is very accurate but its easier to understand, in deficit sounds like some abstract state, but they won't be paid past 2027 is pretty easy to understand. Pro-housing I think, or at least pro-something other than pensions.

Posted by stillthinking @ 01:55 AM 11 Comments

Going down, down and down

Mortgage Strategy: Budget 2012: OBR forecasts 2.2% fall in property prices next year

The Office for Budget Responsibility is forecasting a 2.2% decline in residential property prices for 2013-14. In its Economic and fiscal outlook, the OBR predicts prices will continue to fall in 2014-15, by 1.1%, before remaining static in both 2015-16 and 2016-17. It expects prices to fall by 0.5% in 2012-13. Yet Gideon Osborne wants first-time buyers to overload themselves on new-build homes.

Posted by stuartking @ 12:25 AM 8 Comments

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Property developer gets carried away with his own importance

Yahoo news: Groom jailed for arson attack at own wedding.

'A bridegroom who set fire to his wedding reception venue after a row over the bar bill has been jailed for six years.' Six years? How did this arrogant muppet get off so lightly?

Posted by montesquieu @ 11:19 PM 0 Comments

Budget a good day to bury bad news?

Bloomberg: U.K. Budget Deficit Doubles as Taxes Fall, Spending Jumps

Philip Shaw, economist at Investec Securities in London: "The fact there has been a worsening on this scale is a big surprise.” Surprised I've heard nothing on the TV news channels about this. It seems to me that anything the upsets the current calm in European - inevitably something will - and we could be thrown into a downward economic tailspin. Then watch house prices fall

Posted by stuartking @ 11:04 PM 0 Comments

Will mugging pensioners help lower house prices?

Telegraph: Budget 2012: A budget to bash baby-boomers

"Pensioners will pay £3.3bn more tax by 2016 to fund the fiscal “simplicity” promised by Chancellor George Osborne in Budget 2012". ( ...and higher stamp duties will reduce the settlement prices of mansions).

Posted by alan @ 10:08 PM 19 Comments


Independent: Estate agents warn that stamp duty raid could hit all homeowners

Estate agents have warned a stamp duty raid on £2 million homes could hit all homeowners and buyers by triggering a slowdown in the areas of the property market which have been vital to supporting prices.

Posted by dill @ 04:03 PM 3 Comments

Is that a "POP" sound coming from London?

BBC News: Budget 2012: New stamp duty plans are outlined

Properties sold for more than £2m will be subject to a new 7% stamp duty charge, Chancellor George Osborne has confirmed. Mr Osborne also said that stamp duty on residential properties over £2m which were bought via a company would increase to 15%.

Posted by rantnrave @ 02:04 PM 8 Comments

Farmland prices cools

Planet Property: Farmland prices cools

Farmland prices fell in the last two quarters of 2011 but are still outpacing most asset classes

Posted by the planet @ 01:07 PM 0 Comments

No chance

AboutProperty: Budget 2012: Property industry reactions

David Newnes, director of LSL Property Services, predicts a heavy burden on both ends of the property market as a result of the stamp duty increase: "The proof will come in the next few months, but with growing barriers to entry, this decision will give the foreign investors who are driving forward the prime market pause for thought as they look to property as a way of protecting their assets rather than increasing their tax exposure."

Posted by phil @ 12:09 PM 0 Comments

IO an endangered species?

Money Marketing: Coventry reduces interest-only LTV to 50%

"A spokeswoman for Coventry says: “Following moves by a number of other lenders to restrict their criteria for interest-only lending the Coventry has also reduced the maximum LTV to 50 per cent where any aspect of the loan is interest-only".

Posted by alan @ 11:44 AM 0 Comments

A transaction tax will always be profitable to avoid at a high enough level

BBC: Is a 7% stamp duty a workable mansion tax?

Don't know how on earth they think they'll enforce this. The 5% SDLT on £1m+ is very rarely paid as £50k+ can get you a very good accountant. £140k+ will allow just about every £2m+ buyer to avoid it. Offshore companies can't be monitored for share ownership changes, so that's a non-starter. How you tell whether a domestic company is a 'wrapper' or not is going to be the subject of much litigation and wasteful collection expenses. Again, the government has not made this a tax on the amount over £2m, so there's a 'black hole' between £2m and £2.14m where no sales will occur, and of course at just above that level, cheaper avoidance measures are available. On a £2.05m spot, £50k are deemed as chattels and the SDLT is £100k instead of £143500.

Posted by mombers @ 10:14 AM 19 Comments

George Osborne to raise personal allowance to £9,205 Personal allowance set to increase to £9,205 in today's budget

The Chancellor, George Osborne is set to increase the personal allowance to £9,205 benefiting average earners by £305 a year.

Posted by ben @ 09:30 AM 0 Comments

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Political suicide?

Daily Mail: British people are committing suicide to escape poverty. Is this what the State wants?

While the Government is trying to whip up benefits hysteria and the need for even greater austerity, while at the same time doing its level best to protect house prices, whatever the cost, those who fall through the what's left of the safety net are dying. Surprising article from the Daily Mail... is the paper gaining a belated conscience?

Posted by stuartking @ 10:26 PM 10 Comments

Widows saved

Grauniad: Budget 2012: Lib Dems win stamp duty rise for scrapping of 50p rate of tax

LVT wasn't acceptable because the plebs would object, so it became a tax on mansions only. But they forgot to think about the poor widows, so it looks like it's now only a one-off tax on buying a mansion. Oh well.

Posted by phdinbubbles @ 09:37 PM 14 Comments

More calls for LVT

New Statesman: What Cameron and Clegg could learn from Churchill and Lloyd George

"In the lead up to Budget day, the government of a nation eviscerated by inequalities -- where 40 per cent of all the wealth is owned by 5 per cent of the population and 70 per cent of approximately 60 million acres of land owned by less than 1 per cent of the population -- should not exacerbate the perception of unfairness. Needless to say, the most effective way of tackling these perceptions would be to change the reality. In order to tackle inequality in a serious way, the coalition government need a set of policies as radical as those introduced in 1909 by the government under Lloyd George and Winston Churchill when they put forward a proposal for a land value tax." Of course, it was successfully opposed by the five per cent in the House of Lords

Posted by stuartking @ 07:31 PM 1 Comments

Only with 50% equity can you secure an interest-only mortgage

Guardian: Nationwide tightens up on interest-only mortgages

"Nationwide building society has slashed the maximum loan-to-value (LTV) ratio on its interest-only mortgages from 75% to 50%, leading to fears that interest-only deals will eventually disappear, and leaving thousands of "mortgage prisoners" unable to switch to new deals".

Posted by alan @ 05:50 PM 4 Comments

CML Lending Figures

Sky: Home Loans Up 14% On Same Time Last Year

"Mortgage lending has remained steady for the first two months of 2012, but is up significantly on the same time last year. According to the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML), February's gross mortgage lending was estimated at £10.7bn".

Posted by alan @ 05:34 PM 0 Comments

My debt for sale for £675k

DM: My idyllic seaside life for sale for £675k

Quote "two-bathroom fisherman's cottage, which he estimates would fetch £350,000 if sold alone" Just checked rightmove - the highest EVER sold price in his post code is £270k in 2006. More than just a bit optimism I guess.

Posted by peter_2008 @ 05:32 PM 1 Comments

The yoof sacrificed at the alter of Homeownerism

Guardian: Bank of England house prices paper is grim reading for first-time buyers

Interesting last sentence: 'An alternative, of course, would be a stiff land value tax' This would sort out high house prices and high income tax bills in a swoop. Not very useful to the 'grey vote', who benefit from the former and don't pay the latter

Posted by mombers @ 04:47 PM 3 Comments

They want to buy overpriced land, give them money!

Money Marketing: Labour: Extend mortgage indemnity scheme beyond new builds

Shadow housing minister Jack Dromey is calling for the Government’s mortgage indemnity scheme to be extended beyond new build houses... Speaking to Money Marketing ahead of Wednesday’s Budget, Dromey says ministers should consider extending the scheme beyond the 10 per cent of the mortgage market made up of new build purchases. He says: “The scheme is at least something from a Government doing virtually nothing to solve the largest housing crisis in a generation. Ministers should now look at extending the scheme because new build properties are only a small part of the market.”

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 04:12 PM 3 Comments

We own land, give us money! Or at least pay our insurance bills for us.

Continuity Insurance & Risk: BPF: Flood cover agreement urgent

"Businesses seeking flood insurance could be looking ahead at yet greater uncertainty and prohibitively expensive insurance premiums, according to the British Property Federation. The BPF has called for urgent action to create a new settlement between government and insurers, warning that the end of an agreement that guarantees near universal provision of flood cover could leave around 200,000 homes in high flood risk areas uninsurable and leave homeowners and thousands of businesses facing unaffordable bills."

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 04:08 PM 3 Comments

Welcome to the 74th Hunger Games. Cut taxes for the rich for good measure.

Guardian: Jobseekers who shunned voluntary scheme forced to do unpaid work

Young Men and Women forced to stack shelves so that supermarkets increase profit margins to be replaced by more young men and women to stack shelves so that supermarkets increase profit margins. The Young men and women incidentally learn sweeet FA during the work experience except how nice some job centre staff can be.

Posted by doomdog @ 12:53 PM 12 Comments

Hallowed homeowners deprived of unearned housing wealth by ASBO

Torygraph: Village 'tarred' by ASBO order

"Residents of Silverton, Devon have attacked an ASBO order slapped on half their village's streets claiming it will hit property prices and trade." Where do I go to get an ASBO slapped on my neighbourhood? My lease is coming up in June and would be delighted if it went down.

Posted by mombers @ 11:35 AM 6 Comments

Could this be the start of the next round?

Reuters: California cities scramble to avert insolvency

When the city of Stockton, California announced last month it would skip some bond payments and enter talks with its creditors, the municipal debt world shuddered.

Posted by mark @ 10:09 AM 8 Comments

Business Home

More Disinflation: BBC

"Inflation in the UK continued to fall in February, thanks largely to lower gas and electricity bills. Consumer Prices Index (CPI) inflation fell to 3.4% in February, down from 3.6% in January, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS). Retail Prices Index (RPI) inflation - including mortgage interest payments - fell to 3.7% from 3.9%. "

Posted by phdinbubbles @ 10:07 AM 5 Comments

Could Japan see a new property boom?

MoneyWeek: Could Japan see a new property boom?

Japanese property prices have been stagnant for 20 years. But that could soon change, giving a boost to Japan's economy and its stock markets. John Stepek explains why.

Posted by martingreen @ 09:59 AM 1 Comments

Don't throw gold in the dustbin, council says

Betfair: Gold is commercial waste

Gold is commercial waste and should be disposed of properly, according to one council. Is it run by Gordon Brown?

Posted by icarus @ 09:54 AM 5 Comments

CPI falls to 3.4% in Feb Inflation down to 3.4 per cent

Inflation fell again, according to the latest figures released today by the Office of National Statistics, down to 3.4 per cent.

Posted by ben @ 09:45 AM 0 Comments

A Hawkish View On London Property

1Percent: The Only Way is Up For London Property

This article explains all the base reasons why you would want to invest in London property. Its a short and to the point article lookign at everything from the composition of buyers to the nationality of them. It has a contrarian arguement but this isn't as elaborate.

Posted by jordan @ 07:41 AM 0 Comments

Monday, March 19, 2012

Revolting fear revolt

Your mortgage and remortgage: Financially excluded youth could revolt

Youngsters will cause big problems if they aren't allowed to borrow more than they can afford to buy houses that aren't worth the money, warns the Intermediary Mortgage Lender's Association, which seems to be wondering where its members future commissions will come from.

Posted by stuartking @ 09:38 PM 11 Comments

So interest rate rises are here to stay...

Bond Vigilantes: Markets start to think about inflation again

"Over the last few weeks we have witnessed a meaningful bounce in inflation breakevens in the UK, Europe and the US. When breakevens are rising, it is a signal that the fixed income market is anticipating higher inflation than has been priced in. It also means that index linked bonds are outperforming conventional bonds. In the UK, the linker gilt of 2016 has outperformed the conventional gilt by 45 to 50 basis points in yield terms since the start of this year. Why have the bond markets started to price in higher levels of inflation?..."

Posted by dude @ 09:04 PM 0 Comments

The actual musings of Miles

BoE: Mortgages, housing and monetary policy - what lies ahead? (pdf)

In a speech delivered to the Northern Housing Consortium, David Miles – External Member of the Monetary Policy Committee – discusses how the financial crisis has transformed the UK housing and mortgage markets.

Posted by dill @ 05:31 PM 5 Comments

You always thought they had a bad attitude - now you know!

Telegraph: House prices to rise for years, says BoE's David Miles

He said: “We should anticipate a rising trajectory for real house prices over the longer term". "However, a housing boom would be out of reach for first time buyers", he added, "because credit will remain in short supply. Before the financial crisis, buyers did not need a deposit to secure a mortgage. Since the recession, though, large deposits have become essential".

Posted by alan @ 05:23 PM 15 Comments

Foxtons founder turns down £300m for Kensington home

Planet Property: Foxtons founder turns down £300m for Kensington home

Apparently it's a bad time to sell ... even at a £286m profit!!

Posted by the planet @ 02:48 PM 0 Comments

At last some sanity in the world

Bbc: China home prices continue to slide for fifth month

Property prices in most Chinese cities have fallen for a fifth consecutive month, underpinning government success in curbing speculation in the market.

Posted by mark @ 02:46 PM 0 Comments

FTSE volatility cools rental growth in prime London

Planet Property: FTSE volatility cools rental growth in prime London

Savills research has identified a clear link between the fortunes of the FTSE and the cooling of rents in prime central London

Posted by the planet @ 02:20 PM 0 Comments

For Mark Wadsworth (funny vid)

You tube: Carry on up the kyber

Nigel say's it, how it is...

Posted by happy mondays @ 01:41 PM 2 Comments

How to recover from the financial crisis

G Pytel: Greeks take note: Iceland is recovering

Iceland was the first country to be hit by the financial crisis. But it is also the first one to have started recovering strong. It begs a question why MSM do not follow the Iceland financial troubles? Are they helping the banks by not suggesting to the Greeks to follow Icelanders example?

Posted by ant @ 12:57 PM 0 Comments

Down ever sell at the bottom of the cycle

Estateagenttoday: John hunt turns down 300 million

cheek of it...tried to steal the property at the bottom of the cycle....I'll have no of it!

Posted by taffee @ 11:32 AM 1 Comments

Crooked lawyers who would have thought it

Daily mail: Family forced out of dream home after lawyers run off with their £400,000 life savings they used to buy property

After finding their dream home, Gary Humphris and his family were delighted when their £400,000 cash offer was accepted. They moved into the four-bedroom property – complete with sauna, swimming pool and games room – straight away, and Mr Humphris set about spending the remaining £70,000 of their savings on renovations. But after six months of bliss, the family were told they did not own the house after all – and that it was being repossessed.

Posted by mark @ 09:45 AM 7 Comments

Consigning neo-classical economics to the dustbin

Steve Keen's Debtwatch: Economics without a blind-spot on debt

Neo-classical economics has a blind spot when they deny that private debt has any real economic effect. Steve keen succinctly points out this fallicy. Private debt has very real economic effects due to the way money is created. It leads to asset bubbles and crashes thus explaining boom and bust. He concludes by pointing out that UK's aggregate private debt is greater than USA and Australia.

Posted by greenmind @ 09:31 AM 1 Comments

Rightmove reports bounce in UK house prices Asking prices up by 1.6% in March, says Rightmove

Rightmove data suggests the UK property market is enjoying its best start to the year since 2004.

Posted by ben @ 08:52 AM 0 Comments

Hoo Rah

Telegraph: House prices record biggest 'spring bounce' in six years

House prices have recorded their biggest "spring bounce" in six years, fuelling hopes that the property market will be more robust in 2012 than last year, the Rightmove house price index shows.

Posted by happy mondays @ 08:44 AM 23 Comments

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Luvverly Jubberly Short Termism

Press Association: Pension windfall to reduce deficit

Apparently Osborne will use a £28 billion windfall from the transfer to the state of Royal Mail pensions to reduce the deficit and not to pay for anything else. Once transferred from the Royal Mail, Mr Osborne will be able to sell off the billions of pounds worth of shares, bonds and properties that have been accumulated among the fund's assets. The jolly decent accounting rules mean that the £37.5 billion of pension liabilities can then be absorbed by magic into the rest of the state pension system and so won't show on the Government books as debt.

Posted by enuii @ 11:01 PM 3 Comments

Germany's position

AboutProperty: India tops global league table for house prices

Overall, house prices in the 32 countries tracked have risen by an average of 56 per cent in real terms since 2001. The biggest falls came in Japan (30 per cent), Ireland (23 per cent) and Germany (17 per cent).

Posted by phil @ 09:48 PM 0 Comments

Another large charge coming our way - via IMF

Telegraph: Mohamed El-Erian expects 'second Greece’ in Portugal

"PIMCO’s chief executive, said Portugal will need a second rescue as the original package of €78bn (£65bn) falls short, setting off a political storm over EU rescue costs".“Unfortunately, that is how it will be. It will make the financial markets nervous because they are worried about a participation of the private sector,” he told Der Spiegel over the weekend. "Bridges built to go nowhere can collapse at any time,” Ambrose comments "If the Greek haircut formula is ultimately extended to Portugal, private creditors can expect to lose everything. The EU and the International Monetary Fund already own most of the debt, reducing everybody else to cannon fodder status".

Posted by alan @ 08:04 PM 4 Comments

Will this impact the London property bubble.....??

BBC: Budget: Osborne pledges 'aggressive' measures on stamp duty avoidance

"Chancellor George Osborne has confirmed he will be "coming after" stamp duty avoidance with "aggressive" new measures in this week's Budget."

Posted by tom101 @ 06:55 PM 6 Comments

Insider Dealing at The Bank of England

Save Our Savers: Inflation – the savings killer

Throughout this period we were being told by the bigwigs at the Bank of England that the danger was not inflation but deflation. As blogger Guido Fawkes points out, given the programme of Quantitative Easing instituted by the Bank, this virtually amounts to insider trading. I’m not holding my breath waiting for the Financial Services Authority to mount an investigation.

Posted by paul @ 02:29 PM 13 Comments

Negative Equity kills

Washington Post: Army sergeant accused of Afghan killings struggled to pay bills

Bales and his wife bought the Lake Tapps home in 2005, according to records, for $280,000; it was listed this week at $229,000.

Posted by peter_2008 @ 10:59 AM 13 Comments

You cannot regulate systemic financial risk

The Atlantic: Free the banks!

Interesting idea of fixing the banks through deregulation and personal liability of their owners repeated after a over year when Pytel suggested it first in his Stockopedia's article. This was a result of his risk analysis: and his blog (Edward Lucas, International Editor of The Economist, called it "brilliant" on his Twitter.)

Posted by ant @ 07:30 AM 6 Comments

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Why single-tax LVT would deliver prosperity

Real estate 4 ran$om: Why does land cost the earth?

A 40-min Australian film on land speculation and the tax laws favouring the speculators at the expense of everybody else. Churchill said land monopoly was the mother of all monopolies (and therefore of all economic rent) and the film argues that that's true. Hong Kong's rapid growth after WWII is attributed to its collecting land taxes and one estimate is that if Australia had captured half its land rent since 1972 its GDP would be double what it is now. 'The speculators are the new slavers, using high housing costs and low wages instead of whips and chains'.

Posted by icarus @ 06:06 PM 2 Comments

Empty dwellings

BBC: Ordos: The biggest ghost town in China

How long can China build empty properties and skyscrappers just to call it growth to GDP numbers. This is just loss of the value they create. I have heard (some Jonathan Amstrong's interview) they have 64 million empty dwellings. How long can this go on? How long can this price inflation of these raw materials used to produce this go on? Sooner or later this will also go bust.

Posted by deepak @ 05:35 PM 3 Comments

Budget could hide other vital financial indicators Its not just about the budget next week: Inflation preview

The budget will dominate the financial news next week but there are also important monthly annoucements on inflation, retail sales and the how Mr Osborne's deficit reduction programme is going. Oh, and also the latest Bank of England MPC minutes.

Posted by ben @ 02:11 PM 0 Comments

More common sense

New Statesman: An overlooked argument for property taxes

How more sensible taxation of property could reduce the problem of unaffordable house prices.

Posted by stuartking @ 11:20 AM 1 Comments

They've got land, give them money

Daily Telegraph: National pay rates will be scrapped in budget

Pay by postcode - public sector workers to be paid according to the price of their house under Osborne's latest plan. If you live in a poor area, you'll get a lower salary than if you live in a wealthy area.

Posted by stuartking @ 10:56 AM 12 Comments

Ninja Nimbys

Telegraph: Hands Off Our Land: The leaked letter from 45 MPs to David Cameron urging him to rethink planning reforms

"Dear Prime Minister, As the Government puts the finishing touches to the National Planning Policy Framework we wanted you to know how much importance we attach to a planning system that protects the countryside and wider environment from inappropriate development ..." There is nothing in this letter that doesn't sound reasonable if you don't look at it from the Georgist perspective. Anybody who thinks that LVT has a chance should contemplate this superbly drafted letter and consider the nature of those who signed it. H/T to 'Jimmy_James' on the forums.

Posted by quiet guy @ 10:24 AM 4 Comments


Telegraph: Budget 2012: Liberal Democrats demand new mansion tax ahead of Budget

Ed Davey, the Energy Secretary, broke the Coalition truce to make the case for taxing the “assets, land and property” of the wealthy more intensively just five days before the Chancellor’s statement.

Posted by dill @ 10:10 AM 1 Comments

English school place shortage in Hong Kong.

AFP: Hong Kong's school place shortage deters expats

English people are hardly likely to go to Hong Kong to make dim sum, this is the beginning of the financial sector relocation as suggested by the mighty Jim Rogers. Off they go to somewhere less cr*p. However, the British couple panicking because of their kids not having any place at all might be comforted by the fact that its the same problem back in the UK.

Posted by stillthinking @ 07:51 AM 5 Comments

Boomers crashing the country

Guardian: When protecting pensioners is no longer in the national interest

Unusual article from the Guardian querying whether pension obligations should be able to cripple companies. This, writ large, is the case for the UK generally. Whenever I read about the wealth of the boomers, I always think, what wealth? Pension contributions, if made at all, were directed to government debt specifically for immediate spending. There was no real saving. Look at rents and taxes. Consider how much of direct taxation is channelled to boomers through artificially high housing benefits, debt servicing costs. Government debt of this form is incredible, we accept that one group borrow to spend on themselves but another pays it back.

Posted by stillthinking @ 07:36 AM 10 Comments

Infrastructure shortage

BBC News: Primary schools to rise to 1,000 pupils in places shortag

"The rise of supersize primary schools reflects urgent efforts to find places for the surging numbers of pupils - with official figures showing that an extra 455,000 places will be needed in England by 2015." I hope this is an exaggeration because it seems unlikely the government has the wherewithal to add capacity. Curiously immigration is not mentioned in the article, the elephant in the room. So young families now have no house, and no school place.

Posted by stillthinking @ 03:40 AM 3 Comments

Friday, March 16, 2012

NIMBY heaven

This is Money: Opening of 99p store will bring down house prices, protest posh residents

A new 99p store is facing sneers from angry residents who claim their town is too posh for the discount shop. Shoppers in Haywards Heath, West Sussex, have claimed the bargain store will lower house prices in the area and have threatened to chain themselves to the railings to close the store down. The middle-class home-owners in the commuter town have taken to internet forums to air their disgust at the plans. The Jasper said: ‘I say we chain ourselves to the entrance and shout at the owners until they close it down. ’Doc Lynam expressed similar outrage: ‘This has really put a downer on my evening. Shocking, shocking news. Is there an MP we can write to?'

Posted by little professor @ 05:47 PM 6 Comments

Countrywide in profit warning subtext

Estate Agent Today: Countrywide boss calls on Chancellor for FTBs' tax breaks

Countrywide, the UK’s largest estate agent, has called on the Government to act now to boost the property market, saying that the current low level of house sales is ‘unsustainable’. The NAEA has also made representations to Chancellor George Osborne, asking for there to be no further property taxes but for Stamp Duty to be reformed. Countrywide is calling on Osborne to introduce mortgage relief for first-time buyers, set tough mortgage lending targets for banks, provide tax breaks for the private rented sector, and introduce incentives for development projects. Grenville Turner, group chief executive of Countrywide, said: “A recovery of the housing market is fundamental to economic recovery.”

Posted by sibley's b'stard child @ 03:18 PM 9 Comments

Paying rent on time could help tenants improve their credit score Experian rental scheme could help first-time buyers

Experian has announced a new voluntary rental scheme whereby tenants rental payments can be used to improve their credit score potentially opening the door to better mortgage deals.

Posted by ben @ 12:33 PM 0 Comments

Government commissioned fuel poverty report makes bleak reading Hills report: 8.5 million people to live in fuel poverty by 2016

Fuel poverty is expected to increase between now and 2016 and Professor Hills makes a direct link with increasing deaths as a result of winter weather and rising energy bills.

Posted by ben @ 10:03 AM 0 Comments

Want cheap housing? Go to Berlin

Wall Street Journal Europe: In Berlin, Apartments Are the Rage

Berlin has some catching up to do. Apartments in Berlin cost just 25% more in 2010 than in 1977, whereas prices in Hamburg and Munich—Germany's second- and third-largest cities—rose by 55% and 135%, respectively, over the same period. Last year, the average price paid in Berlin for apartments in prime locations was €1,700 a square meter, and in standard locations €1,300 a square meter. [In London zones 2-3, prices are between €4,000 and €8,000 per square meter.] Other reasons driving the demand for property are low mortgage rates, buyers' desire for protection against inflation and the need for security in times of financial market uncertainty.

Posted by drewster @ 10:02 AM 2 Comments

Ostrich , head, sand

Bloomberg: Norway Faces Housing Bubble as Krone Steals Policy Agenda

An overpriced housing market “is one worry that we have, but we have to balance different developments,” Olsen said in a March 14 interview in Oslo. The bank “is aware when we set interest rates of the impact on housing prices,” though there’s no sign of a bubble “in the classical sense,” he said.

Posted by mark @ 09:47 AM 0 Comments

"Rents dipped by 0.4% in London, only the second monthly fall in the capital in the past 14 months"

Mortgagestrategy: Rents dip in February as Stamp Duty effect eases competition

Average rents in England and Wales fell by 0.6% in February to reach £707 per month, as the rush of buyers to beat the end of the Stamp Duty holiday eased tenant competition, according to LSL Property Services. LSL’s latest buy-to-let index shows that while rents fell on a monthly basis, year-on-year rents were up by 3.5%, or £24 per month, in February. The biggest monthly falls were seen in the East Midlands, where rents dropped by 2.2%, and the West Midlands, where they declined by 1.8%. Rents dipped by 0.4% in London, only the second monthly fall in the capital in the past 14 months.

Posted by jack c @ 09:46 AM 0 Comments

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Adds up to a lot of debt

Mailonline: Interest-only Mortgage Timebomb

150,000 interest only mortgages to be paid up in each of the next ten years. Mostly in their late fifties (Boomers?) and 80% have no plans of how they will pay. Remortgages out of the question because of new rules being introduced.

Posted by nomad @ 11:21 PM 17 Comments

UK tax system 'helps foreign property buyers'

Telegraph: Do Russian bears poop in the New Forest?

Britain's tax system is encouraging the world's super-rich to pile into London property in such numbers that it is now acting as a reserve currency for the wealthy, according to a leading think-tank. The Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) said a major factor supporting the flow of overseas demand into London residential property is the UK's "highly favourable" regulatory and tax environment for foreign buyers. Overseas buyers looking for a safe-haven investment amid the global economic turmoil find themselves exempt from several UK property taxes and able to avoid others, it said. The IPPR urged the Government to act to change this in next week's Budget.

Posted by drewster @ 07:42 PM 6 Comments

We'll see

AboutProperty: Estate agents plead for no new property taxes

The National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA) is urging the chancellor to guarantee that there will be no new property taxes in this parliament ahead of next week's budget.

Posted by phil @ 04:55 PM 0 Comments

Good news!

ThisIsCornwall: Huge increase as house prices go through the roof

TRURO house prices have rocketed more than those of any other city in the country, according to a new report. The 550 per cent price increase over 25 years, compared to the 382 per cent national average, has been revealed as a St Mawes family home hit the market with a £3.75 million price tag According to the report, houses in this area have risen from an average of £37,237 in 1986 to £242,100 in 2011 – an increase of £204,863.

Posted by khards @ 02:38 PM 16 Comments


WSJ: Spanish House Prices Tumble .

MADRID—Spanish house prices tumbled at their fastest pace on record in the fourth quarter, a sign that a long-running property bust will continue to weigh on Spanish households and banks. House prices fell on average by 11.2% in the fourth quarter from the same period a year earlier, well below the 7.4% decline in the third quarter, while prices of used homes was down 13.7% in the period, the country's statistics agency INE said Thursday.

Posted by dill @ 01:40 PM 10 Comments

Comedy of Mortgage Lenders best ever gag (it's they way they tell 'em)

FTAdviser: Renting and buying face off in CML’s survey

"Buying a home is still cheaper than renting, but only if the deposit required to take out a mortgage is taken out of the equation", according to the Council of Mortgage Lenders.In an eight-page research paper, To Buy or Not to Buy, the CML calculated the costs of owning compared to renting, using data from the Valuations Office Agency and its own regulated mortgage survey. James Tatch, CML analytics manager and author of the research, said if the need for a hefty deposit is ignored, buying was cheaper than renting a similar property across all borrowing types, and across all regions of the UK. He said this was not surprising, considering that a typical deposit might be 25 per cent.

Posted by jack c @ 11:46 AM 8 Comments

Feelings of tenants are entirely irrelevant

"BTL is still rising" (as a pension prop)

FTAdviser: UK is on track to be a ‘nation of renters’

Rents have been trending downwards after rising throughout much of 2011, according to the Council for Mortgage Lenders, signifying the UK could become a nation of house renters.In the research paper, the CML said rents rose by 4 per cent in 2011, during which time house prices stayed relatively flat. Although now 3.5 per cent higher than the previous peak in August 2008 rents appeared to be trending downwards (notwithstanding a marginal increase in January 2012). But there were some exceptions. For example, the CML paper said would-be first-time buyers looking to purchase in inner London boroughs were among the only people likely to find buying their mortgage costs cheaper than renting. This follows comments from Adele Gritten, head of financial services for YouGov, who predicted las

Posted by jack c @ 11:37 AM 0 Comments

Stupidity at its best

Guardian: Would a reduced house price deter you from buying?

I am sure buyers will never discount a property purely because it has been discounted, but maybe they will opt to delay a purchase if lots of properties in the area have had prices chopped

Posted by mark @ 11:27 AM 2 Comments

Is to keep the gold price down when you can sell others gold on their behalf

BILD: 3401 Tonnes of German Gold in New York

According to the report he requested from IMAGE-Bundesbank President Jens Weidmann, the list of gold bullion. Missfelder told BILD: "I was shocked. First they said that there was no list. Then there were lists that are secret. Then I was told, demands endanger the trust between alliance bank and the Fed." Experiences as the Federal Bank of the IMAGE-searches on the German state gold, communications chief Michael Best is even trying to obstruct the visit of representatives and report to Bild: "Against this background, I ask for understanding that the Bundesbank your visit concerns (...) not supported. " Apologies for the English, this is google translated from the original BILD article.

Posted by general congreve @ 11:23 AM 8 Comments

Bugs in search of a windscreen

The Burning Platform: Extend and pretend coming to an end

Commercial floorspace in the US, especially retail, mushroomed until a couple of years ago. As house prices and the purchase of non-essentials dropped so retail vacancy rates rose. The government and banks colluded in a game of extend and pretend (E&P) in the hope that by 2012 shopping would take off again and developers would repay their loans. Well, it's here and they haven't. Banks say default rates are down, but that's easy when they don't require repayment or collateral. E&P reduced borrowers' distress for a while but now debt maturity is peaking, E&P is ending and the bugs have found their windscreen..

Posted by icarus @ 10:39 AM 4 Comments

Wonder when the shadow inventory will hit the market

BBC: Spanish home sales see sharp fall in fourth quarter

Spanish home sales fell in the last three months of 2011, hitting their lowest level since 2007, as the nation continues to struggle with recession. House prices fell at an annual rate of 11.2% of last year, the Instituto Nacional de Estadistica said, a drop of almost four percentage points more than the previous quarter.

Posted by mark @ 10:11 AM 1 Comments

One over on the authorities good for them

Daily mail: Family who built secret house in woods without telling planners can't be evicted because they've been living there for more than four years

A family that built a secret home in the woods - where they've lived for the last four years, have won their right to stay. Daniel and Jessica Brown, together with their three children, have been living in the house concealed behind the trees near the village of Westcott, Surrey, without the authorities knowing. Regulations state that The Browns, who moved into the woods off Logmore Lane in September 2007, cannot now be forced to move out given the length of their stay.

Posted by mark @ 09:58 AM 8 Comments

You are always safe with Bricks & Mortar

Reuters: Lloyds to sell $2.2 billion bad loans on distressed property

"Lloyds Banking Group has started the sale of A$2.1 billion (1.4 billion pounds) of non-performing loans on distressed property in Australia as the group seeks to wind down non-core assets, a source close to the deal said on Thursday"

Posted by alan @ 09:34 AM 0 Comments

Don't fall into the trap

The Frost Magazine: FIRST TIME BUYERS BEWARE: The Shared Equity Con

More from James Yardley, with examples, on the Government's attempts to keep house prices high and enslave the country in yet more debt

Posted by stuartking @ 12:01 AM 2 Comments

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

In a hole and still digging

Huffington Post: The Next Sub-Prime Mortgage Crisis - We Have Learnt Nothing

Good analysis of shared equity schemes and the damage the Government is inflicting on first-time buyers who are gullible enough to fall for them, by James Yardley, a fixed income futures trader and equity analyst

Posted by stuartking @ 11:59 PM 0 Comments

UK Housing Market Bullish

Market Oricle: Bank of England Losing Control of Mortgage Interest Rates

Nadeem Walayat who predicted the housing crash is now sugesting we 2012 could be the start of a UK housing bull run

Posted by nick emm @ 11:30 PM 0 Comments

Could this give Osborne Budget problems?

Telegraph: UK could lose coveted AAA rating, warns Fitch

"The credit ratings agency revised the outlook on the UK's rating to negative from stable, warning that the Government has "very limited fiscal space to absorb further adverse economic shocks".Fitch said the "risks and uncertainty" surrounding the Coalition's debt reduction plans were "material". "Fitch cited the eurozone crisis – which "is not resolved and could once more intensify" – and the backdrop "of a still large structural budget deficit and high and rising government debt" as the main drivers".

Posted by alan @ 10:29 PM 0 Comments

WTF can someone explain?

Guardian: George Osborne's 100-year bonds get short shrift from pension funds

Pension funds are the the most likely investors in such long-term assets but they were among the first to dismiss the idea

Posted by happy mondays @ 08:04 PM 8 Comments

The new sub prime

BBC: FSA warns on new buy-to-let fraud

The Financial Services Authority (FSA) is worried about the fraudulent use of buy-to-let mortgages by some people who cannot obtain an ordinary residential mortgage... "We are seeing anecdotal evidence of unregulated buy-to-let mortgages being used fraudulently as a replacement for regulated residential mortgage contracts, as borrowers and intermediaries seek to circumvent more stringent income and affordability checks," the FSA said. The regulator pointed out that this problem might grow because some potential borrowers had been shut out by the much greater restrictions now in place on risky mortgage lending.

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 03:11 PM 10 Comments

14 year old American buys a house for $12k

Planet Property: 14 year old American buys a house for $12k

“I just had like this thing, I was like, what if I bought a house? That’d be crazy,” says Willow Tufano a 14-year-old in Florida. A new low for the US housing market?

Posted by the planet @ 12:21 PM 0 Comments

Wonder how they will spin this

Bbc: UK unemployment rises by 28,000

The unemployment rate was 8.4%, up from 8.3% in the previous three month period. Youth unemployment, amongst 16-24 year olds, rose by 16,000 to 1.042 million, a rate of 22.5%.

Posted by mark @ 10:49 AM 17 Comments

Bronze medal table tennis Israel Olympics

NY Times: Why I Am Leaving Goldman Sachs

Apparently a former director of Goldman Sachs has announced to the world that the company runs on the basis of fleecing their clients, instead of providing advice. However, what made me fall off my bicycle was the casual reference "My proudest moments in life — getting a full scholarship to go from South Africa to Stanford University, being selected as a Rhodes Scholar national finalist, winning a bronze medal for table tennis at the Maccabiah Games .... ". I remember fleecing clients being the main point was a key theme of Liars Poker written in the 80s. Probably the motivation for this outburst is either setting up in competition and wanting to take customers, or Goldman about to blow up, IMO the first.

Posted by stillthinking @ 10:32 AM 5 Comments

Never repay any debts but screw the public

Bloomberg: U.K. May Revive Long Gilt First Used in South Sea Bubble

Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne will use his March 21 budget to announce a consultation on introducing government bonds of up to 100 years and reviving debt with no fixed maturity, a sort of bond first issued in the 19th century to put off repaying debt resulting from the South Sea Bubble.

Posted by mark @ 10:21 AM 1 Comments

Osborne budget initiative to take advantage of UK's low interest rates Budget plan for 100-year loans to save billions on government debt

George Osborne is planning on testing the water on 100-year loans to save billion on interest payments on UK debt as he plans to take advantage of low interest rates.

Posted by ben @ 09:53 AM 0 Comments

US house prices may be approaching the bottom

MoneyWeek: US house prices may be approaching the bottom

America's five-year long house price nightmare looks like it may be coming to an end. So does that mean the end of its wider financial crisis is approaching too?

Posted by martingreen @ 09:37 AM 3 Comments

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Reading between the line the title disguises the intent with this one

Guardian: Free banking is 'outmoded concept', senior regulator warns

This is an article in disguise as the content from half way down is far more interesting than the title suggests. The regulator (FSA) is "monitoring closely" the repayment of interest-only mortgages which are due be repaid over the next five to 15 years and will looking at the fair treatment of those customers whose mortgages mature but who cannot repay the capital. The graphs, Arrears and Repossessions and Mortgage Maturities are also interesting as is the regulators hint that bank customers should somehow (via account charges) subsidise bad mortgages and those in 'forbearance' who amount to some 8% of mortgage holders!

Posted by enuii @ 08:14 PM 3 Comments

Is the HPC dream over? Is it time to buy?

Telegraph: You can't buck the market: David Cameron's NewBuy scheme will push house prices up

''Hopes of lower house prices, as market forces require vendors to become more realistic, may be dashed by a new Government bid to make house prices more affordable....the Government mortgage guarantee may increase demand, propping up house prices and preventing them from becoming more affordable.''

Posted by hpwatcher @ 06:00 PM 22 Comments

Scrap stamp duty, replace it with an annual charge on the property

Telegraph: Stamp duty: it's not just the super wealthy who avoid paying property tax

Dozens of websites have sprung up boasting that they can save property purchasers tens of thousands of pounds in stamp duty – for a fee, of course. The main stamp duty land tax (SDLT) avoidance scheme involves transferring ownership of a property to an offshore company so, when it comes to be sold, the buyer purchases the company as a whole, assuming de facto ownership of the property. This can cut stamp duty from 5pc to just 0.5pc. It also allows the purchaser to avoid inheritance tax when they die. While the headlines tend to focus on Russian oligarchs and wealthy businessmen from the Middle East buying multi-million-pound houses in Belgravia, people buying more modest properties, albeit worth more than £500,000, are also trying to avoid paying stamp duty.

Posted by drewster @ 05:36 PM 5 Comments

MoneyWeek map: Where is home ownership the highest?

MoneyWeek: Interesting map showing European home ownership

Sixty-six percent of British people own their own homes. But which country in Europe can boast highest percentage of home ownership? MoneyWeek's map reveals all.

Posted by martingreen @ 05:29 PM 0 Comments

Free carpets!

RightMove: NewBuy - In Partnership with HM Government

Blimey, that didn’t take long! Following yesterday’s announcement of the government-backed 95% mortgage scheme, today I received an email from “Rightmove Partners ” ( re. a company called Bellway. Bellway seem to think the 95% mortgage scheme is a great idea and, if I act quickly, I won’t even be charged a reservation fee. And I’ll get free carpets! Wow! What could possibly go worng?:

Posted by grumpybob @ 05:10 PM 0 Comments

Mortgages and Repossessions

Libertarian Alliance: Mortgages and Repossessions

A blogpost arguing for a site valuation tax, as well as for other change in mortgage products to shift some of the risk to banks and hopefully lead to more cautious lending and lower house prices.

Posted by david webb @ 03:36 PM 0 Comments

Location, location, location

Daily Mail: HOW much? One-room beach hut with no electricity or running water put up for sale for £126,000

"A small beach hut with no running water, no toilet, or mains electricity, which measures just 13ft by 12ft, has been put on the market - for a staggering £126,000. But the one-room cabin on Mudeford Spit near Christchurch, Dorset, does boast some of the most stunning, uninterrupted views out to the Needles on to the Isle of Wight." Just remind me, how much of that "stunning uninterrupted view" did the vendor create? How much of that view is he responsible for? How much of it belongs to him or is his to sell?

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 03:19 PM 13 Comments

How to keep headline inflation down.

DailyMail: ONS rigs the inflation basket: takeaway chicken and iPads

Twilight, iPads and a takeaway meal of chicken and chips are in, step ladders and colour film are out. That's the snaphot of how we live provided by the basket of goods and services used to calculate inflation - altered and confirmed by the Office for National Statistics today. The popularity of teenage fiction, helped by Stephanie Meyer's series of Twilight novels, is also reflected and books aimed at adolescents, as opposed to adults or children, get their own entry for the first time. These items include a variety of toys and games, (including board games, model vehicles, dolls and soft toys, and some personal effects, namely umbrellas, handbags and costume jewellery. RPI includes 23.7% housing costs.

Posted by khards @ 03:05 PM 3 Comments

FSA Warning

Guardian: Mortgage repayment problems could get worse this year

"Setting out 15 high priority areas of 2012 in its Retail Conduct Risk Outlook, the City regulator noted that despite the historically low interest rates – at 0.5% for three years – a rise in repossessions in 2011 and the increase of mortgages with very high levels of arrears may signal that greater mortgage repayment difficulties may materialise in 2012".

Posted by alan @ 01:55 PM 5 Comments

Nature imitating Market. Market imitating Nature.

Telegraph: Drought: is your house at risk of subsidence?

Subsidence is the downward movement of a building caused by loss of support in the ground below the foundations, which is not solely due to the weight of the building on the ground.

Posted by dill @ 12:20 PM 3 Comments

"The national price balance turns less negative"

RICS: UK Housing Market Survey

Data for February 2012 (pdf)

Posted by dill @ 11:48 AM 1 Comments

So the Olympics aren't going to make us all rich after all...

Planet Property Blog: Olympics Fail to Boost East London Prices

Despite high expectations and new investment in London’s SE15 an analysis of the London housing markets has shown that the area around the Olympic site has actually under performed relative to the rest of London.

Posted by property addict @ 11:23 AM 0 Comments


DCLG: House Price Index - January 2012 (pdf)

In January UK house prices increased by 0.2 per cent over the year and decreased by 0.7 per cent over the month (seasonally adjusted). The average mix-adjusted UK house price was £206,523 (not seasonally adjusted).

Posted by dill @ 11:12 AM 1 Comments

Just convert them all to rabbit hutch apartments!!

Lancashire Evening Post: Land deal of the decade

Dozens of public buildings are facing a sell-off as the county council reviews £280m worth of its property. Lancashire County Council has revealed it is looking for property experts to regenerate its ageing portfolio of nearly 100 properties. Meanwhile, the authority has also approached 25 other bodies, including the University of Central Lancashire, Lancashire Police and local district councils, to capitalise on a string of properties worth £3.5bn.

Posted by mark @ 11:01 AM 0 Comments

I'm Spartacus!

Mail: House sales on the rise and price falls less widespread, estate agents report.

Estate agents have reported better news from the front line of the property market today with the number of sales rising and fewer agents reporting price falls in February.

Posted by happy mondays @ 10:52 AM 0 Comments

Northern Rock needs your cash

Telegraph: Richard Branson hikes cost of credit for Virgin Money card customers

If you thought the rise in SVR was steep..."Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Money, which recently bought Northern Rock, has increased interest rates on its credit cards by almost 50pc in the latest blow to consumers already hit by rising mortgage rates".

Posted by alan @ 10:01 AM 6 Comments

Stamp duty holiday boosts February property market House prices slip but sales are rising, says RICS

The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) reports that the stamp duty holiday deadline which ends next week helped boost sales in February.

Posted by ben @ 08:47 AM 0 Comments

I wonder what excuse will be used next.....

BBC: UK house sales picking up, surveyors say

UK property sales edged up slightly in February, according to the latest survey from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (Rics). A few more first-timers have been buying ahead of the reintroduction of 1% stamp duty on 24 March for homes under £250,000. As a result, average sales per estate agency branch in the survey rose from 15.7 to 16 last month.

Posted by hpwatcher @ 07:55 AM 4 Comments


Telegraph: BoE warns housebuyers face curbs in property booms

House buyers may face new restrictions in a future property boom under a range of “credit controls” planned by the Bank of England.

Posted by happy mondays @ 07:38 AM 11 Comments

Monday, March 12, 2012

Ireland puts in a bid for Euros before Spain

Reuters: Ireland in talks on EU-IMF deal to boost banks

"Ireland is lobbying its international creditors to allow it to shift the burden of loss-making mortgages from some of its banks" ("Tracker mortgages make up more than 50 percent of Irish banks' residential property loans and although performing, they are not earning due to a mismatch between high funding costs and the low ECB rate which the products track")."Analysts are divided as to whether Ireland's national debt, which is forecast to peak at 119 percent of GDP in 2013, is sustainable"

Posted by alan @ 08:19 PM 0 Comments

They own land, give them money

Henry Pryor: Tax payers to underwrite house prices

Shapps' latest wheeze storing up problems in years to come: "House builders set their prices. It is in their commercial interest to ration new homes to help maintain prices. In other capitalist markets if buyers find that prices have risen too high then said prices have to fall. By intervening the Government is propping up prices and putting off the inevitable adjustment that must come sooner or later."

Posted by stuartking @ 06:39 PM 3 Comments

It seems that no-one at all is taken in by Shappsy's bung to the housebuilders

The Spectator: Cameron's sub-prime thinking

'You’d think the American sub-prime crisis would have taught politicians the world over not to try to rig the housing market. But no, David Cameron is back on it today — about how to ‘unblock’ the system so the debt geyser starts to gush again.' Cameron has put his name to this tosh, just how out of touch is No.10 becoming since Coulson spinned his last?

Posted by montesquieu @ 05:23 PM 3 Comments

Location values are created by the community...

Evening Standard: A home near Crossrail could be your ticket to a 57 per cent profit

... and siphoned off by landowners, part 94.

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 03:54 PM 5 Comments

Albion fan offers to refund price of £1.4m house if the club get promoted

Planet Property: Albion fan offers to refund price of £1.4m house if the club get promoted

Desperate house sellers ... think this tells us all we need to know about the state of the market

Posted by the planet @ 03:53 PM 0 Comments

Home truths

Guardian: The newbuy scheme won't save the housing market

A fall in house prices, not support to purchase overpriced new homes, is the only sustainable way to help first-time buyers.

Posted by dill @ 03:07 PM 7 Comments

Fred Goodwin could face a £3 billion legal battle

Citywire: Ex-RBS boss Goodwin faces £3bn civil action from 'misled' investors

Former Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) boss Fred Goodwin could face a £3 billion legal battle from thousands of shareholders who say they were misled into investing billions of pounds shortly before the bank collapsed, according to reports. The Herald reported that former RBS chief executive Goodwin as well as RBS’s former chairman Sir Tom McKillop, its former head of investment banking Johnny Cameron and former finance director Guy Whittaker are being sent letters from 7,400 individual investors and 80 institutions who claim they were duped into investing £12 billion by Goodwin and his colleagues

Posted by jack c @ 02:35 PM 2 Comments

Toxic loan fund - every pension pot should have one

Citywire: FSA to allow banks to pass toxic loans to pension schemes

The Financial Services Authority (FSA) is set to allow banks to pass toxic loans to insurers and pension schemes though complex liquidity swaps, according to reports. The Sunday Times reported that the regulator has investigated the trades, where banks exchange portfolios of mortgages or corporate loans for government bonds, and concluded they were acceptable but banks must seek approval on a deal by deal basis. The FSA had been concerned that the liquidity swaps were a mechanism that allowed the risks of the banking system to spill over into the rest of the financial services sector.

Posted by jack c @ 02:25 PM 3 Comments

Actor realises these are on paper losses as property always goes up

Citywire: Hollywood star Colin Farrell loses £3m in Irish property crash

Hollywood actor Colin Farrell has lost over £3 million in the Irish property crash after buying 14 properties in Dublin, according to reports. The Sunday Times reported that Miami Vice star Farrell bought the properties between 2004 and 2007 for a combined price of more than £6.5 million, but they are now worth an estimated £3 million. The properties include three two-bedroom apartments marketed at £640,000 each and three one-bedroom apartments at £400,000 each, as well as two parking spaces at £33,000 each in a converted industrial building next to Google's Dublin headquarters.

Posted by jack c @ 02:14 PM 4 Comments

"Contrary it may be, but sometimes if something is broken, don’t fix it"

Mortgagestrategy: Government in cloud cuckoo land with NewBuy scheme

As we woke up this morning, the web was awash with articles on the government’s NewBuy Guarantee scheme, which is intended to get the property market moving again. NewBuy, housing minister Grant Shapps and co were telling us, is set to repair the ’broken’ first rung on the property ladder. This, of course, is a lot of old tosh. These types of schemes are great in theory, but amount to very little in practice. The bottom line is that the property market will come back when it is ready to come back — schemes like NewBuy are mere tinkering around the edges. If the government thinks this scheme will kickstart the property market then it is in cloud cuckoo land.

Posted by jack c @ 01:59 PM 2 Comments

Desperate strokes

Telegraph: Home-buying scheme dismissed as gimmick

A scheme to allow new-build properties to be purchased with deposits of as little as 5% has been dismissed by critics as a "gimmick" that will help the construction industry rather than hard-pressed home buyers.

Posted by dill @ 10:04 AM 10 Comments

Halifax reports average city home price has risen by 382 per cent. City house prices up 382 per cent in 25 years

Truro leads the way as it has seen house prices increase from an average of £35,209 to £169,707 in 2011, an increase of 550 per cent.

Posted by ben @ 09:16 AM 0 Comments

Government launches NewBuy scheme to help create more affordable housing Natwest leads the way on rates as lenders support NewBuy scheme

The government has launched a NewBuy scheme that means potential homeowners need less of a deposit as 5.5 per cent of it will be guaranteed by the taxpayer with builders putting up an additional 3.5 per cent.

Posted by ben @ 09:13 AM 0 Comments

"Banks failure to deal with financial crisis"

Reuters: Banks in denial over failures, says Mervyn King

"King criticized the banks for trying to stay outside market discipline, until they were forced to ask for bailouts as the economy began to tailspin". (... but isn't King staying outside the market discipline in keeping rates at an all time low?).

Posted by alan @ 08:01 AM 4 Comments

The G/ment will not stand by & watch a generation priced out of a house! BullSh8t!

Telegraph: £500,000 home loans backed by the taxpayer as NewBuy Guarantee scheme launched

Up to 100,000 people will get Government support to buy homes worth up to £500,000 in a Coalition move to revive the middle-class dream of home ownership, ministers will announce.

Posted by happy mondays @ 07:36 AM 30 Comments

They want to own land! Give them money!

BBC: Mortgage scheme offers buyers help up the property ladder

People in England are being offered help to climb onto or up the housing ladder as the government's new mortgage indemnity scheme launches. Under the scheme the construction industry and taxpayers will act as co-guarantors on new homes bought by existing or first-time buyers. The government hopes the NewBuy scheme will enable people to borrow up to 95% of the value of new homes.

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 07:35 AM 6 Comments

Sunday, March 11, 2012

More lenders could raise their SVRs and push up mortgage payments Homeowners urged to review mortgage deals in case of SVR rises

Following the announcement that five major lenders including RBS, Halifax and the Bank of Ireland are raising their standard variable rates, homeowners are being advised to review their mortgage deals.

Posted by ben @ 12:25 PM 0 Comments

Run of the mill actor ruminates over his run of the mill finances

Telegraph: Larry Lamb: My biggest regret? Paying into a pension

What's your biggest financial regret?Paying into my pension – everything's in turmoil nowadays. When I realised that the pension I'd been paying into religiously for years (because that's what was drummed into you) wasn't going to amount to anything, I wished I'd put those payments towards my mortgage instead.

Posted by enuii @ 10:54 AM 23 Comments

If "Plan A" doesn't work, move to "Plan A+"

BBC News: 'Right to buy' discount could be increased for tenants

"Social housing tenants could be offered discounts of up to £75,000 under plans to increase the numbers exercising the "right to buy" their home in England." This sounds like an excellent deal to me, could anyone explain how I might go about getting one of these.

Posted by wdbeast @ 10:03 AM 10 Comments

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water

Telegraph: Greece is likely to need third bail-out

"A third bail-out for Greece cannot be ruled out, a senior European Central Bank (ECB) official said, as the country's troika of lenders prepared to rubber-stamp its €130bn (£109bn) second financial rescue".... Even as ECB policymaker Ewald Nowotny hailed Greece's debt restructuring a "clear success", he today admitted a third aid package was a possibility. (Yes, Jaws is back for more of our money...)

Posted by alan @ 08:35 PM 13 Comments

3.95m makes a good buy to let :@?

Telegraph: Italians buy up London as recession bites

A lavishly presented, three-bedroom third-floor mansion flat in a portered building. It’s on a quiet street just minutes from Notting Hill, and would make an good buy-to-let option. £3.95m,...........?

Posted by bystander @ 06:38 PM 5 Comments

A lesson from America?

Bloomberg: States Hardest Hit by Housing Lead Jobs Recovery

Arizona, California, Florida and Nevada -- the states that were most hurt in the real estate collapse over the past five years -- are now leading the U.S. labor market expansion.

Posted by dill @ 02:50 PM 3 Comments

More support for LVT

The Rock River Times: Machesney voters should reject sales tax extension

An American village is about to vote on extending sales tax to pay for road improvements - an alternative is put forward that would benefit the economy - Land Value Tax

Posted by stuartking @ 11:49 AM 10 Comments

The Japanese option

Telegraph: Isn't it time the Bank cut interest rates to zero?

On the third anniversary [of 0.5% interest rates], economists are now beginning to question whether the Bank should be setting a new record again – by cutting rates right down to zero ... With mortgage lenders raising their standard variable rates, though, the topic has gone live once again. In the past week, Halifax and NatWest have raised their rates by as much as half a percentage point. Bristol & West, owned by Bank of Ireland, went even further – hiking its default mortgage rate by 50pc to 4.5pc. The resulting increase in borrowing costs for households threatens to jeopardise the consumer recovery that had begun to emerge. Coupled with rising oil prices, the effect on disposable incomes could undo all the benefits of falling inflation.

Posted by quiet guy @ 10:47 AM 15 Comments

More property news from up North

Ripon Gazette: Shocking truth about house prices

STARTLING new figures show the average value of a house in Harrogate has risen by more than £1,100 a month for the last decade. The investigation, by Lloyds TSB, shows that the value of the town’s property has increased far more sharply than many people realised. It found that the average house price has more than doubled since 2001, from £127,386 to £264,113. It means that Harrogate homes have gained, on average, an incredible £1,139 in value every month for the last 10 years. Chartered surveyor Andrew Kempston-Parkes said the area’s stability has played a big part in securing a strong housing market. “People want to live here because it’s beautiful, it’s green, it’s surrounded by the dales. Harrogate has remained particularly resilient.”

Posted by jack c @ 09:01 AM 11 Comments

Friday, March 9, 2012

Elderly lady tells estate agent to tell it as it is Roy Brooks style

Northumberland Journal: Morpeth house gets horribly honest description by estate agent

Vendor insists that local estate agent emulates the style of the legendary London Estate Agent Roy Brooks when describing her property. From cracks in the walls and floors, to crumbling steps, painted shut windows, taped up carpets all is described “The property itself has a rather shabby exterior which is compounded immediately upon entering the property by a matching disregard to what may be generally considered habitable, being untouched by the 21st Century, will require blood, sweat and tears to haul it anywhere back to modern tastes.” A little rooting on the web will find the full listing in all its glory or google '37213714-dacre'

Posted by enuii @ 11:20 PM 2 Comments

LSL/Acadametrics: +0.2%MoM, -1.8%YoY

Bloomberg: House prices rise as stamp duty rush boosts demand

U.K. house prices rose the most in four months in February as first-time buyers looked for homes with “urgency” before a property-tax exemption ends in March, Acadametrics said. Prices rose 0.2% from January. From a year ago, prices fell 1.8%, the quickest pace since July.

Posted by little professor @ 07:41 PM 8 Comments

Buy to Let Brigade won't be immune from interest rate rises

Mortgagestrategy: Skipton increases rates on B2L deals

Skipton Building Society has today launched a refreshed range of buy-to-let products, the majority of which carry higher rates. The lender is offering a two-year fix at 3.99% at 70% LTV, which is up from a previous rate of 3.89%. The deal carries a £245 application fee and £2,250 completion fee. It is also offering a three-year fix at 70% LTV with a rate of 4.59%, up from 4.29%, which comes with a £245 application fee and £1,050 completion fee. For the same 4.59% rate and application fee, borrowers can also fix for five years, but with a £2,250 completion fee.

Posted by jack c @ 05:00 PM 5 Comments

Onward march of the SVR

Money Marketing: Clydesdale and Yorkshire Banks to increase SVR

"Until July 31, the lenders will waive their exit fees so impacted customers can remortgage to another provider". (like who?)

Posted by alan @ 04:22 PM 9 Comments

Idiot estate agent totally contradicts self.

Property Wire: UK property industry does not support a mansion tax

"The case for a mansion tax is a weak one, according to Lucian Cook, director of Savills research.. it would be complex and inefficient, raising little revenue at great potential cost, and could hurt the asset rich, cash poor long term owners of high value property. In particular, he says, top end property owners already make a disproportionately high contribution to tax revenues ." Hang about here, the asset-rich, cash poor are making precisely zero tax contribution, while continuing to draw their taxpayer-funded old age pensions. Can he make up his tiny mind, please?

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 02:38 PM 6 Comments

Euthenasia of the Late Great Britain

Telegraph: Kingsnorth power plant to close in a year as EU rules hit

Of course, this is complete idiocy. Britain has probably 1000 years of provable coal reserves and we have not yet begun to explore the seabed or truly develop decentralised efficient energy production. This will shift jobs to China where, unlike here, they have coal power stations that emit toxic fumes. We have scrubbers on ours and they only emit CO2 and steam. Instead, we will shift to dangerous nuclear power, and more oil, which has toxic by-products that find their way into our food supply. Meanwhile, CO2 is measured in parts per million and is less potent a greenhouse gas than water vapor, which is 2% of the atmosphere and is primarily affected by, the sun, but gov't has no means to tax sunlight, yet! Worried about owning a home? Soon you will have no job or means to heat your home.

Posted by libertas @ 02:33 PM 3 Comments

Pricing locals out

Dartmouth Chronicle: Not 400 more holiday homes!

Concern in Dartmouth that a proposed 400-home estate on green fields on the outskirts of the town will just attract more second home owners.

Posted by stuartking @ 12:58 PM 0 Comments

Mortgage approvals to fall by 21% in February as stamp duty boost ends

Planet Property: Mortgage approvals to fall by 21% in February as stamp duty boost ends

In a nutshell: "The stampede of first time buyers rushing to beat the stamp duty deadline bloated the January figures out of all recognition and shouldn't be misconstrued as a sign the market is resuscitating in the long-term".

Posted by the planet @ 12:33 PM 0 Comments

Yet no-one complained about the giant distribution centre near chorley 1000's of wagons a week!!!

Lancashire Evening Post: Safety fears over new homes plans

Neighbours spoke of their fears over traffic chaos and pressure on services during an exhibition showcase 78 new homes planned for farmland.

Posted by mark @ 11:03 AM 2 Comments

Five hundred of the company's management consultants were sent an email

Daily mail: Accountancy staff at KPMG are told they are at risk of redundancy - by voicemail

Staff in the accountancy branch of consultancy firm KPMG have been told they could be at risk of redundancy - by voicemail. Hundreds of workers at the company - once hailed as one of the 'best big companies to work for' - learned via a pre-recorded message that their jobs could be at risk.

Posted by mark @ 11:00 AM 0 Comments


AboutProperty: Premature end for stamp duty bounce

Richard Sexton, director of e.surv, warned that "harder times" are lurking, with no real prospect of net lending being substantially increased. He added that current net lending figures are "painfully low" compared to the mid 2000s.

Posted by phil @ 10:00 AM 0 Comments

Once bitten, twice shy

Telegraph: Legal skull-duggery in Greece may doom Portugal

Europe has ring-fenced Greece's debt crisis for now but its escalating recourse to legal legerdemain has shattered the trust of global bond markets and may ultimately expose Portugal, Spain, and Italy to greater danger.

Posted by dill @ 08:21 AM 8 Comments

Abolish BoE

Mail: Bank of England base rate 'to stay at all-time low until 2015' as ANOTHER lender hikes mortgage costs

- Rates may be held at 0.5% for another THREE YEARS - £100bn sitting in savings accounts paying NO interest - Bank of Ireland increase mortgage costs by around £1,500 per year for their 100,000 customers

Posted by hpwatcher @ 07:17 AM 4 Comments

Thursday, March 8, 2012

More support for LVT

Internatonal Business Times: OECD to Northern Europe: Raise Your Property Taxes!

OECD economist Romain Duval said Britain's council tax regime was "highly regressive" and needed reform. "In England, the tax liability for properties over £320,000 is only twice the liability for properties of £70,000 and three times the liability for houses under £40,000. Low-income households are entitled to a council tax benefit. However, the takeup is only around 65%." Duval said the OECD advocated a replacement with "a property tax based on current market values or a land tax".

Posted by stuartking @ 10:44 PM 1 Comments

Why 'big government' is opposed to Land Value Tax

Forbes: Vodafone and the Bureau of Investigative Journalism

Looks at how Vodafone manages to avoid paying large amounts of tax by registering its profits in Switzerland and how the EU’s framework of laws within which companies are taxed are highly favourable to a certain sort of tax avoidance.

Posted by stuartking @ 10:35 PM 1 Comments

Tim Montgomerie of ConHome: The still small voice of reason

BBC Newsnight: Mansion Tax discussion

Ress-Mogg and Kirsty Allslop salivate at the thought of inheriting their £2 million mansions. Sick making. Tim Montgomerie talks sense. I wish he'd just asked her "But wouldn't you offer to pay the tax for your parents to allow them to remain in the family home, seeing as you're going to inherit it?"

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 09:54 PM 1 Comments

The world is saved!! And HPC avoided

FT: Nearly 80% support Greek debt swap

The Greek government was not expected to announce the results of its two-week campaign to win over private investors until Friday morning. But according to senior Greek officials and bankers briefed on the results, as of Thursday evening investors controlling almost 80 per cent of the country’s privately held debt had agreed to accept new bonds worth less than half of their original holdings.

Posted by peter_2008 @ 08:19 PM 5 Comments

Still better to be a borrower than a lender - but for how much longer?

The Spectator: The Wealth Transfer and where it's going

The last three years have been one big transfer of wealth from savers to borrowers. Thanks to record low interest rates, savers have gained little from tucking their money away in bank accounts, whereas borrowers have reaped the benefits. According to data from the Bank of England, mortgage holders paid interest of £1328 billion in the three years from 2008-2011, compared to £1897 billion in the preceding three years. That's a difference of £569 billion, or just over £50,000 for each of the UK's 11.2 million mortgage holders. Call it a stimulus if you like. But it's a stimulus that involves clobbering savers so that borrowers can buy a flatscreen TV at the end of the month.

Posted by montesquieu @ 05:20 PM 9 Comments

It’s time to shift the tax burden to the rental value of land

New Statesman: Leader: It’s time to shift the tax burden from income to wealth

Property taxes are fair, easy to collect and economically beneficial. In Britain, wealth is concentrated in even fewer hands than income. The fourfold increase in property prices since the early 1990s has enriched homeowners at the expense of younger generations. For decades, however, politicians have refused to tax this unearned windfall. Remarkably, the council tax bands even now are based on property valuations made when the levy was announced by the Major government in 1991..........the government should introduce a tax on and reduce subsidy for land, 69 per cent of which is owned by 0.6 per cent of the population

Posted by jack c @ 04:45 PM 6 Comments

More jobs to go, vauxhalls have also confirmed job cuts

Reuters: Allied Irish raises job cut target to 2,500

AIB, which has been effectively nationalised and saved from collapse by emergency European Central Bank funding, said on Thursday it would look to reduce its staff cost base by 170 million euros per year.

Posted by mark @ 01:13 PM 0 Comments

Ha! Told you so!

City Wire: Mortgage lenders discover the benefits of renting

To compound the exasperation felt by the many wannabe home owners who can’t yet afford to buy, they’re being told that renting is more expensive. Is this true? Past research has yielded different results. So the Council of Mortgage Lenders, which speaks for banks and building societies, has had a proper look at the figures... So assuming an LTV of 100% – ie, accounting for the deposit – for the sake of comparison, it concludes that mortgage costs are normally higher than rent, though the authors are rightly wary about making sweeping conclusions. On this basis, buying a house in the UK is on average £176 more expensive per month than renting one, with some significant regional variations.

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 12:30 PM 0 Comments

48,510 too many.

AboutProperty: Homelessness up 14 per cent and still rising

A total of 48,510 households were accepted as homeless by local authorities in 2011, up from 42,390 in 2010.

Posted by phil @ 12:10 PM 3 Comments

MPC: No change in base rate or QE Bank of England keeps base rate at 0.50% and QE at £325bn

The Bank of England has kept base rate at 0.50 per cent and QE at £325 billion as it waits and sees what the economy will do over the coming weeks.

Posted by ben @ 12:06 PM 1 Comments

No change

BBC: UK interest rates held at 0.5% for third year

UK interest rates have been held at 0.5% by the Bank of England, marking three years since rates were first cut to the record low. Many analysts expect rates to remain at that level for at least another year. The monetary policy committee (MPC) also decided to make no change to its quantitative easing (QE) programme. QE is the bank's scheme to boost the economy by buying bonds. Last month the bank boosted spending on it by £50bn, taking the total stimulus to £325bn. The BoE started its QE programme, through which it buys mainly government-issued bonds in an attempt to free-up cash for lending, in 2009.

Posted by jack c @ 12:05 PM 7 Comments

An awful lot of people stuck in unsuitable housing

Planet Property Blog: Up to 45% of us want to move

Research carried out by the Institute for Social and Economic Research at the University of Essex has shown us to be a nation with itchy feet. The study of 1600 people, from 2009 – 2010, showed the largest group of would-be movers to be living in the most deprived areas, where 45% would like to up sticks.

Posted by property addict @ 11:38 AM 1 Comments

As Cyril says, it's nice to see it in print.

City AM: Mortgage time-bomb UK’s top threat

Longer-term rates are determined by powerful market and regulatory forces that are largely independent of the official base rate; and they are already beginning to shoot up. Halifax (part of Lloyds) will increase its standard variable rate from 3.5 to 3.99 per cent on 1 May and the rate on two other products from 3.4 to 3.89 per cent. Royal Bank of Scotland has hiked the rate for new and existing customers on two products, including one from NatWest, from 3.75 per cent to 4 per cent. Santander has hiked the rate for new borrowers on four products by 0.1 per cent. Bank of Ireland yesterday announced a rise of 1.5 points to 4.49 per cent in two stages, affecting 100,000 customers in Britain. Around 850,000 existing borrowers will be hit by Halifax’s move and 200,000 by RBS.

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 09:54 AM 8 Comments

Loan rates no longer tied to BoE

Financial Times: Savings and loans rates no longer tied to BoE

I think we knew this already but nice to see it in print all the same.

Posted by cyril @ 08:20 AM 1 Comments

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

In the US, coastal cities (NYC, SF) are still too expensive

Slate: Matt Yglesias: The Rent Is Too Damn High

My new e-book "The Rent Is Too Damn High" is about the high cost of housing in America's coastal metropolises and downtowns. Even the so-called “college wage premium” largely vanishes when you correct for differences in the cost of living across metropolitan areas. It's because of rent. It’s Ricardo’s story about an increasingly unequal society in which the rewards of human labor are going to landowners rather than working people. [The e-book is not yet available outside the US, but it sounds very interesting.]

Posted by drewster @ 11:29 PM 1 Comments

Can't pay, won't pay

Shelter: Londoners driven out by housing costs

Almost a third (30%) of Londoners say they expect to be driven out of the capital by the high cost of housing. Shelter’s figures, published today, also show that the two thirds (65%) of Londoners who don’t own their own home don’t think that they will ever be able to afford to buy in their area of London.

Posted by dill @ 08:29 PM 23 Comments

Ouch !

Mail: Massive rate shock hits 100,000 MORE as Bank of Ireland and Bristol & West borrowers face 50% hike in their monthly payments Read more:

Bank of Ireland and Bristol & West borrowers are the latest to have been delivered a mortgage rate shock with a huge hike from 2.99 per cent to 4.49 per cent, despite believing they had escaped a hike by not being sold to Nationwide.

Posted by happy mondays @ 07:23 PM 23 Comments

More sad news

BBC wales: 272 Remploy jobs at risk in Wales as seven factories face closure

Seven of the nine Remploy factories in Wales have been earmarked for closure after a UK government review. The plans put 272 disabled workers in Wales at risk of redundancy. Remploy is proposing to close 36 of its 54 factories across the UK, with potential compulsory redundancies of more than 1,700 disabled workers

Posted by mark @ 01:34 PM 20 Comments

Punitive deficit slashing in action!

Yahoo: Efficiency drive 'increased costs'

A massive seven-year Government efficiency programme has backfired - by increasing the cost to the taxpayer by hundreds of millions of pounds, a public spending watchdog said. Whitehall departments have spent £1.4 billion over the last seven years in a bid to save £159 million by sharing "back-office" functions such as personnel and procurement.

Posted by general congreve @ 11:44 AM 2 Comments

Bear snacks, bear snacks; get yer bear snacks.

Estate Agent Today: House prices now £40,000 under peak, says Halifax

House prices fell 1.9% year-on-year in February, with a monthly decline of 0.5% largely reversing the 0.6% gain made in January, says Halifax. The average property price in February was £160,118 – 1.9% lower than February last year, and nearly 20% below Halifax’s average house price of around £200,000 at the height of the market in August 2007. The Halifax report is also in slight contrast to Nationwide’s for February, which gave a monthly rise in prices of 0.6% and an annual rise of 0.9%. However, with Nationwide putting the average house price at £162,712, both were close to what the Land Registry has been reporting

Posted by sibley's b'stard child @ 11:19 AM 6 Comments

Delayed confiscation

Telegraph: Trust in pensions at all-time low

The mandatory enrollment "pension reforms" proposed by the government, suffer from what would seem to be a well know fact i.e. that any saved contributory money would be spent to the very last penny by the end of the next working day if not sooner. The UK government pension schemes are nothing more than an idea of the moment about taxpayer confiscation 25 years hence. As its apparent that the UK is so badly run you cannot even rely on that, and unsurprisingly nobody wants to get involved. This is a biggie because 1) we need pension obligations to collapse down to only state level in order to not scare business and 2) this is the collapse of a ponzi, the government -has- to confiscate now to bribe fulfill the boomers, none of whom saved anything.

Posted by stillthinking @ 07:12 AM 15 Comments

UK reality

Independent: 300 workers lose jobs at Lynemouth metal plant

Aluminium smelter closes because UK energy is too expensive. The government spends 55% of GDP but expects private investment... Although its a long way down the UK will eventually get there.

Posted by stillthinking @ 05:04 AM 8 Comments

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

2012 version of the Simon & Garfunkel classic "Zero Bound" M&G’s Leaviss calls on Bank to cut interest rates

Head of fixed interest says cut in base rate would be more effective method than quantitative easing to slow bank delevering.The past year has seen a cacophony of calls for the Bank of England to increase interest rates from their record low levels to mitigate the deleterious effects of inflation, but according to M&G Investments’ head of fixed interest what the economy needs is lower, not higher rates. In a new post today (6 March) on the firm’s Bond Vigilantes blog, Jim Leaviss, head of retail fixed interest investments at the fund management group, calls for the Bank to cut rates back to close to zero when it meets later this week in order to slow the rate of banking sector delevering.

Posted by jack c @ 07:25 PM 3 Comments

"Lack of joined up thinking" says Vince

Telegraph: Britain lacks a coherent growth strategy

"market forces are insufficient for creating the long term industrial capacities we need" he said and despite the biggest currency devaluation since before the Second World War, "the improvement in the UK's trade balance has been disappointing"....and writes: "I sense however that there is still something important missing: a compelling vision of where the country is heading beyond sorting out the fiscal mess; and a clear and confident message about how we will earn our living in future. (or... how will we afford the high prices for houses in the future?)

Posted by alan @ 06:04 PM 7 Comments

Land scam exposed

BBC Panorama: The Money Farmers

As suspected for a while, public money been diverted to the "landed gentry". Although this programme exposes the scam, it's doubtful anything will be done [policy to prevent it] to prevent the abuse, as the officials interviewed appeared to be part of the head in sand brigade, apart from the EU guy, who'll probably to paid off to keep quiet. MW ?

Posted by doomwatch @ 03:24 PM 7 Comments

Good luck with that one

AboutProperty: New campaign launched on Homes for London

Ian Fletcher, director of policy at the British Property Federation, said: "We want candidates that focus on provision and policies that can deliver, rather than gimmicks that offer false hope."

Posted by phil @ 02:07 PM 1 Comments

The biggest threat to house prices – rising lending costs

MoneyWeek: The biggest threat to house prices – rising lending costs

After being stuck at rock bottom for years, mortgage interest rates are starting to rise. John Stepek looks at how this will affect Britain's housing market.

Posted by martingreen @ 12:25 PM 1 Comments

Comedy gold from the mail.

DailFail: Will the last £2million homeowner to leave Britain please turn out the light

How many times is it ethical to tax a house? Once, twice, 15 times? It might belong to a family who have owned it for generations, or a widow of modest means who does not want to move now that her husband has died and her children have moved out.

Posted by khards @ 11:40 AM 18 Comments

Things might be looking up.

Guardian: Vince Cable: Lib Dems are ready to cut a deal on 50p tax rate

The business secretary stepped up the pressure on Osborne as he became the first cabinet minister to confirm there was a "very broad understanding" in the coalition of a reciprocal deal that would see the tax shift from income to wealth. The Lib Dem minister also signalled that new higher rates of council tax bands could be the levy of choice. He said a possible tradeoff for ditching the top rate of tax was just one part of a "complex set of negotiations which my colleagues are conducting".

Posted by khards @ 10:57 AM 7 Comments

Should you buy US housebuilders?

MoneyWeek: Should you buy US housebuilders?

It looks like the worst may be over for the US property market. And housebuilders' share prices have risen sharply in the last few months. So should you buy in? Matthew Partridge investigates.

Posted by martingreen @ 10:44 AM 0 Comments

The faux recovery

Counterpunch: Mom and pop investors call it quits

The Dow Jones has doubled in the last 3 years owing to (a) QE/Fed balance sheet expansion, which provided cash for share buybacks by insiders and (b) earnings growth driven by cost cutting, especially on employees and capital investment. Perversely, when Bernanke says the economy is improving that is taken as "no more QE just yet", so stocks tank. Meanwhile trading in stocks is thin because retail investors, whose fingers have been burned before, feel the market is Fed-driven and QE-dependent - factors they can't analyse/predict, so they're always behind the curve, so they put their cash into chequing and savings accounts instead. And those short-term boosts to stocks are proving to be just that as earnings drop, retail investors stay out and QE fades.

Posted by icarus @ 10:41 AM 2 Comments

What has the local language got to do with housing????

North wales daily post: 7,600 homes planned for Gwynedd and Anglesey

She said: “This is yet another example of planning policy undermining efforts to regenerate the Welsh language in the north west of Wales. Who has assessed the local need for 7,600 houses? Young people have to move away because they can’t find jobs, so where will all these people moving to the area find work?

Posted by mark @ 10:25 AM 0 Comments

Redrow rabbit hutches annoy locals

Ellesmereportfirst: Ellesmere Port housing plan fight will go on

CAMPAIGNERS have vowed to battle on against plans for a major housing development despite growing fears they could lose the fight. Redrow Homes is expected to submit a planning application next month for up to 2,000 homes on greenfield agricultural land south of Ledsham Road, Little Sutton. Part of the 107 acre site has already been approved for housing as part of the council’s Local Plan and the remainder has been earmarked for development beyond 2011. But Ledsham and Manor Action Group, who are fighting the scheme, have already collected almost 200 signatures on an e-petition and aim to collect a total of 3,500 by the end of April, with the help of a door-to-door petition.

Posted by mark @ 10:22 AM 0 Comments

Housing market revival has only 20 days no more

Citywire: Chart of the Day - Housing market revival has only 20 days no more

In 20 days the exemption for first time buyers from stamp duty comes to an end. For two years, wannabe home-owners have been excluded from the tax for houses up to £250,000, but from March 25 the figure is due to be slashed in two, back to its old level. So the current uptick in mortgage approvals – now at its highest since December 2009 – will probably end, as it has done in the past after first time buyers’ incentive to buy is removed.

Posted by mc @ 09:44 AM 0 Comments

Halifax reports 0.5% fall in UK house prices Halifax: House prices slip by 0.5% in February

The latest Halifax house price index for February reveals a fall of 0.50 per cent in UK house prices.

Posted by ben @ 08:57 AM 0 Comments

-0.5% MoM, -1.9% YoY

Halifax: February Index

Commenting, Martin Ellis, housing economist, said: "House prices in the three months to February were 1.1% lower than in the previous three months. There was a 0.5% decline in prices in February, largely offsetting January's 0.6% rise. Overall, prices nationally are at broadly the same level as last spring. This stability in prices is explained by the fact that market conditions have changed very little over this period with demand supported by low interest rates and supply remaining tight."

Posted by phdinbubbles @ 08:19 AM 25 Comments

Monday, March 5, 2012

Nice article with some interesting statistics and dody use of the term 'historical standards' Santander follows Halifax and RBS and increases mortgage rates

Some quotes:- Halifax will raise it's SVR from the May 1st from 3.50 per cent to 3.99 per cent because of the higher cost of raising funds for mortgages from both savers and the financial markets. "The change acknowledges that the cost of funding a mortgage in today's market remains significantly higher than the longer term average." The Bank of England has released figures that reveal collectively UK homeowners have saved half a trillion pounds in mortgage interest payments in the last three years with the base rate at 0.5%, working out at £50,820 for each of the 11.2 million mortgages in the UK! The mortgage savings have subsidised households who are paying more for other essentials such as food, petrol, insurance and gas and electricity.

Posted by enuii @ 11:20 PM 3 Comments

Ah diddums!

Evening Standard: Thatcherite think-tank slams Housing Benefit cap plans

"Millions of Londoners in family homes would be unfairly penalised if George Osborne brings in a £400-a-week cap on Housing Benefit in this month’s Budget, a report claimed. In a hard-hitting report, the Centre for Policy Studies (CPS), Margaret Thatcher’s favourite think tank, said widows, savers and people with large families would be losers under the policy. It said some three in ten households affected had been claiming Housing Benefit for family homes in London for a decade or more, opening up the claimants to the threat of deductions from their other benefit income based more on rising rental values than how well off they are. Warning that very wealthy landlords could sell their homes in the capital while breadwinners on relatively modest incomes would lose out [etc]"

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 08:23 PM 11 Comments

The winners and losers of low interest rates Three years of base rate at 0.5%: Are you a winner or loser?

Savers have suffered to find a return that beats inflation in the three years that base rate has been at 0.50 per cent. Many homeowners have saved thousands of pounds in lower interest payments but the best deals have been reserved for borrowers with plenty of equity.

Posted by ben @ 08:09 PM 0 Comments

The only way is down

FT: House price rise not all it seems

Good analysis about where we are with house prices and why some of the headline figures trumpeted by the likes of the Daily Excess and Daily Wail are misleading

Posted by stuartking @ 07:59 PM 0 Comments

"Pensioners pay the price"

BBC: Interest rates at record low for three years

"When interest rates were cut to the lowest level on record, the head of the Building Societies Association called it a "kick in the teeth" for savers. Now, three years on, these same savers may feel they have suffered a full-blown financial assault". (Oh really?)

Posted by alan @ 02:57 PM 12 Comments

Withdrawals from Bank of Mum and Dad up by a third

Planet Property: Withdrawals from Bank of Mum and Dad up by a third

A sign of the times as lifestyles are squeezed: deposits, bills and debt are the main reasons

Posted by the planet @ 12:49 PM 0 Comments

The top 10 property portals in the UK

Planet Property: The top 10 property portals in the UK

The leader has close to 7m visitors a month - can anyone catch them?

Posted by the planet @ 12:12 PM 0 Comments

Same old excuses

AboutProperty: Conservative think-tank attacks mansion tax

"It would hit the income poor, equity rich. Some 31 per cent of £2m-plus homes have been in the same ownership for 15 years and 15 per cent for the last 20 years, a period when prices have risen 426 per cent. It would be difficult and expensive to value all the relevant properties and there could be legal disputes. It would undermine London’s position as a business centre and if only a handful of the international wealthy decided not to come, the revenue lost would be greater than the tax raised."

Posted by phil @ 12:00 PM 0 Comments

Santander launch new bank account offering cashback and interest New Santander 123 account pays interest and cashback

Santander has launched a new bank account that allows customers to receive cashback for paying everyday bills.

Posted by ben @ 11:31 AM 0 Comments

They own land! Give them money!

AOL Money: Rich landowners pocketing subsidies

"Some of the wealthiest landowners in the UK are receiving millions of pounds in EU subsidies, an investigation has revealed. The Panorama investigation showed that in 2010, 47 payments of over a million pounds were made to individuals and business - many already some of the richest in the country - across the UK under the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP)." That's reason # 4,731 to leave the EU.

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 11:19 AM 25 Comments

An alternative to Euro exit for the PIIGS?

Times of Malta: A devaluation option for southern Europe

There is a remarkably simple alternative that does not require southern Europe’s troubled economies to abandon the euro and devalue their exchange rates. It involves increasing the value-added tax while cutting payroll taxes. Our recent research demonstrates that such a “fiscal devaluation” has very similar effects on the economy in terms of its impact on GDP, consumption, employment, and inflation.

Posted by teddy bear @ 10:10 AM 0 Comments

Up and up and up

AboutProperty: Rent increase expectations now at record high

"Some 70 per cent of tenants say the current market favours landlords."

Posted by phil @ 09:43 AM 0 Comments

Support for Mortgage Interest data 2011/12

Dept for Work & Pensions: Support for Mortgage Interest Public Call for Evidence

Not sure if this would be of any interest to anyone but found this over the weekend. Some lovely jubbly hard data as to SMI expenditure for current financial year. More taxpayer-backed zombie supports coming soon.

Posted by sibley's b'stard child @ 09:20 AM 6 Comments

Not a crash but a slump

AOL / Halifax: The Two Towns that bucked the housing slump !

Some interesting statistics based on Halifax data. There are only two towns in the UK where prices are higher than they were in 2007. IMHO I reckon they will be reporting the same thing in five years time. The authorities seem determined to drag this out as long as possible (which I have to admit with £150 a month interest payments suits me)

Posted by tenyearstogetmymoneyback @ 08:10 AM 3 Comments

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Of course, landlords will just pass this on to their tenants...

Good things come to those who wait

The Telegraph: Halifax raises mortgage rates

More than three quarters of a million Halifax customers will find their mortgage rates shooting up in a few weeks' time after the bank announced that it was raising its standard variable rate by half a percentage point to 3.99pc in May.

Posted by a nobody @ 01:29 PM 0 Comments

Slowly grinding to a halt & reality sets in!

Mail: Bottom of the ladder: Stalled housing market means many owners don't have enough equity to move up

Those most at risk will have bought in the booming property market between 2005 and 2008. Falling prices since then in most parts of Britain have eroded, or even wiped out, the equity in their home.

Posted by happy mondays @ 09:28 AM 7 Comments

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Those Icelanders have learned quickly

Bloomberg: Chinese Billionaire Gets Second Chance in Iceland Land Purchase

Chinese billionaire Huang Nubo, whose attempt last year to buy Icelandic land for a golf resort was blocked by the government in Reykjavik, may get a second chance as local authorities explore a leasing deal. The government in November rejected Huang’s Beijing Zhongkun Investment Group Co. plan to buy 300 square kilometers of land, saying it would be “incompatible” with the law amid opposition to foreign ownership of property. “Our new idea is that we purchase the land and lease it back to him”, said the mayor. -- [If only Britain had a law opposing foreign ownership of property. Think of how much more revenue the government would collect by leasing land instead of selling it.]

Posted by drewster @ 09:12 PM 0 Comments

Merryn Somerset Webb finally comes over to The Dark Side

MoneyWeek: Want growth? Scrap income tax and introduce a location tax

"A house sitting on a piece of land might cost more or less the same to put up in Wales and London, and as a structure, be worth the same in both places. But the house in London still sells for 20 times the one in Wales because of the wealth of activity around the land on which it sits. The community, the infrastructure, the buses, the airports, the schools, the hospitals, the ease of doing business – the price you pay for the land is a function of all these social rather than private goods. As Nick puts it, “the mud beneath our feet is only worth what it is because of what goes on around it”.

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 08:06 PM 27 Comments

Spa town properties see £12k+ house price rises in last decade Spa town house prices up by £1,000 a month since 2001

Research from Lloyds TSB indicates that properties in UK spa towns have increased by an average of £1,000 a month since 2001.

Posted by ben @ 10:28 AM 0 Comments

Did we agree to ending development in places with 200yr risk of flood?

Communities and Local Government: Planning Policy Statement 25: Development and Flood Risk

In areas with a 1 in 100yr flood risk from rivers or, 1 in 200 year flood risk from sea. It is official government policy to have no additional residential development and RELOCATE EXISTING DEVELOPMENT to land in zones with a lower probability of flooding. Note, most of our medieval towns and many areas of our coastal cities are within such zones. If we'd had such health and safety nuts previously we'd never have had most of the towns that have lasted in some cases over a thousand years and would still be living on hill top iron age forts. Planning Policy doesn't even allow flood mitigation schemes such as raising residential above ground floor level in such areas. As said, often in areas that have been inhabited for hundreds or thousands of years, blighting many areas.

Posted by libertas @ 09:14 AM 12 Comments

Friday, March 2, 2012

Turning point?

Daily Mail: Mortgage rise to hit millions: Banks lining up to heap more misery on squeezed families

RBS-Natwest group pushing rates from 3.75% to 4% Halifax expected to follow suit with announcement due tomorrow Increases come despite the Bank of England holding base rates at 0.5% Hard-pressed families already hit by petrol price at all-time high

Posted by hpwatcher @ 11:55 PM 26 Comments

House prices could collapse ... anyway

Telegraph: House prices could collapse if thousands of homes become uninsurable and unmortgageable

Aren't riverside properties meant to be 'highly desirable' in the words of the nasal-voiced EA?

Posted by paul @ 09:30 PM 9 Comments

You can run, but you can't hide

Telegraph: Accidental landlords return as home owners struggle to sell their homes

According to the Co-operative Bank, a fifth of its recent buy-to-let business has come from ‘accidental landlords' – where home owners choose to rent their existing property instead of selling it when they are looking to move to a new home.

Posted by dill @ 05:08 PM 7 Comments

Only one way rates are ever going..UP!!!!

Dailymail: Mortgage rates on the rise

the US housing boom was created by unltra low interest rates....apparently we decided it was also the solution

Posted by taffee @ 03:46 PM 2 Comments

Looks like the rumour has some truth in it

Independent: Vince Cable begs US bosses not to shut UK car plant

The Government has made a last-minute appeal to the car-maker GM not to close its Vauxhall plant in Ellesmere Port, Cheshire, in an attempt to prevent the loss of the 2,100 jobs there.

Posted by mark @ 12:12 PM 1 Comments

Meanwhile, interest rates paid on 1yr Greek notes soars to ONE THOUSAND PERCENT

Telegraph: EU leaders formally sign new fiscal compact ensnrining common debt rules

Of course, the bailouts and compacts are what is driving the soaring rates. The debt is not being liquidated, the risk is being compounded and liquidity is rising. Therefore investors are demanding higher interest rates to stop them selling Greek bonds. As said, we are paying 1000% rates now on 1yr debt, via our traitorous membership of the IMF, whereby poor people in this country are taxed to hand cash to prop up the political class in Greece and maintain profit at Goldman Sach's and friends. Meanwhile, the crisis bought on by the European union is being used to expand the powers of the European Union. When the same institutions and logic that created the crisis are used to solve it, then you should know that you are in for a world of pain.

Posted by libertas @ 10:34 AM 23 Comments

Northern Rock and Bradford & Bingley mortgage arrears reduced Northern Rock Asset Management: Profits up and taxpayer repaid £2bn

Northern Rock Asset Management (NRAM) the company that looks after the UK taxpayer interests in the Northern Rock "bad bank" and Bradford & Bingley has announced a 145 per cent increase in profits and a repayment of £2 billion to the government. It also says that the number of mortgage arrears on its books has fallen from 38,515 to 33,216.

Posted by ben @ 09:38 AM 0 Comments

House prices keep rising...


THE housing market showed no sign of slowing down yesterday as prices recorded their strongest monthly increase in nearly two years. The 0.6 per cent rise in February was the highest since April 2010, according to Britain’s biggest building society...........Some analysts have suggested that prices have held up due to sellers’ reluctance to put their homes on the market as a result of the weak economy, leading to pent-up demand from buyers. Ray Boulger, mortgage adviser at brokers John Charcol, said: “Activity levels look like being better than we had anticipated. There clearly is pent-up demand.” - Can someone please do the honours and insert the Express front page!

Posted by jack c @ 09:02 AM 6 Comments

Those unaffected by Inflation

Mail: Cut your pay or go, furious Pickles tells town hall chiefs as it’s revealed some take pay rises of 13 per cent

"A furious Eric Pickles has called on town halls to consider scrapping the role of chief executive altogether after it emerged some were still taking pay hikes of up to 13 per cent". (not to worry, we can always put up parking fines and cut services).

Posted by alan @ 08:52 AM 0 Comments


Mail: Petrol hits an all-time high - AA warns cost of filling family car will top £96 today

"Petrol prices are expected to reach an all-time high today as unleaded prices accelerate towards the £100 fill-up. Unleaded has already climbed to within a fraction of the record 137.43p per litre set in May last year".

Posted by alan @ 08:47 AM 9 Comments

Your tax money at work

Telegraph: London 2012 Olympics: The Games are coming, so where is the housing boom?

This is one of the clearest descriptions of how rental values are influenced by external factors I've come across in the mainstream media . The real winner of the Olympics will be land owners.

Posted by quiet guy @ 08:29 AM 3 Comments

Spot the Elephant....

Mail: House price recovery continues but property chill could return after first-time buyer rush fades Read more:

However, these bright spots come against a backdrop of gloom, with unemployment , austerity measures being implemented and banks fearful as the Eurozone debt crisis rumbles on.

Posted by happy mondays @ 07:43 AM 2 Comments

Thursday, March 1, 2012

50% crash is here.

Yahoo: Pay just £15,000 for a detached three-bed home

He spent 18-months and £30,000 converting it into a home. Now sellig for £15,000

Posted by peter_2008 @ 05:00 PM 1 Comments

NIMBYs vs. Home Builder Federation

BBC News: Planning permission for new homes 'hits five-year low'

A drop in the number of homes getting planning permission in England shows why the government must "stand firm" on its planning overhaul, say developers

Posted by richy richless @ 04:56 PM 3 Comments

Not building enough

AboutProperty: Expert questions government housing policy

Kate Barker, who carried out the Barker Review in 2004, told the British Property Federation (BPF) she is "quite certain" that historically there has not been enough housebuilding and that the problem continues today.

Posted by phil @ 02:34 PM 0 Comments

Did anyone miss this yesterday?

Dailymail: Fuel shortage fears: 90% of petrol stations face delivery cuts as tanker drivers are balloted for strike action

Voting will start next week among 2,000 drivers, who account for 90 per cent of those supplying petrol to UK forecourts. Unite said there had been 'unrelenting attacks' on drivers’ terms and conditions, adding that it had been trying to establish a forum to agree industry-wide best practice on issues such as safety and training.

Posted by mark @ 01:20 PM 0 Comments

Not paying what you owe is not not paying what you owe

Sky News: Greece Has Not Defaulted On Its Debt

The latest deal to cut Greece's debt did not constitute a default, an official trading body has ruled. The International Swaps and Derivatives Association has ruled that the proposed 53% haircut by Greece's lenders, and the insertion of Collective Action Clauses (CAC) into Greek bonds, was not a credit event - essentially a default. It means payments of credit default swaps (CDS) totalling about 3.2bn euros (£2.7bn) have not been triggered. ISDA, which oversees complex forms of credit-related trading, was asked to determine if a Greek 'sovereign credit event' had occurred earlier in the week. The ISDA committee voted unanimously. (And is made up entirely of senior people from the world's biggest investment banks so can be trusted implicitly).

Posted by timmy t @ 01:10 PM 14 Comments

No problem house prices are still going up - all is ok

Bbc: Tata Steel workers in Port Talbot and Llanwern offered time off

Around 5,000 steelworkers in Wales are being invited to apply to take extra time off at half pay during March. Tata Steel said the offer to workers at Port Talbot and Llanwern was entirely voluntary and it does not have a set number in mind. It says the move is in response to tough market conditions.

Posted by mark @ 01:07 PM 3 Comments

Mortgage holders be worried very worried

Yahoo: Bank's Miles - More QE could speed return to normal rates

A bigger injection of monetary stimulus to boost Britain's economy now could enable the Bank of England to bring interest rates back to normal sooner than otherwise, Bank policymaker David Miles said on Thursday.

Posted by mark @ 12:58 PM 1 Comments

There's dirty money in them there walls

Telegraph: Extraordinary tales of fraud and failure in Whitehall

There are moments when even the most hardened cynics are made to gasp in disbelief at the scale of the incompetence, waste and dishonesty over which our ministers and mandarins preside. It is awesome. It would be unbelievable – except that, three weeks ago, the Cabinet Office slipped out a report giving chapter and verse on how we are losing £31 billion a year to tax cheats, benefit fraudsters and bungling officials.

Posted by dill @ 12:02 PM 5 Comments

Very unreliable

Nationwide: February Hosue Price Index

MoM plus 0.6%, YoY plus 0.9%. Where's PhD's chart?

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 09:49 AM 12 Comments

Nationwide reports 0.6% rise in house prices in Feb House prices up by 0.6% in February, says Nationwide

Three different reports in three days all point to a pick-up in the UK housing market. Nationwide reports a 0.6 per cent rise in February following positive data out from the Land Registry and the Bank of England which reported mortgage approvals reached a 25-month high in January.

Posted by ben @ 09:21 AM 0 Comments

Good news - spring bounce starts early!

Bbc: House price rise is temporary, says Nationwide

UK house prices rose slightly in February but the lift in values may not last through the summer, according to the Nationwide. The building society said that the value of homes went up by 0.6% in February compared with January. Prices were up by 0.9% compared with the same month a year earlier, making the average home worth £162,712.

Posted by hpwatcher @ 07:38 AM 2 Comments

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