May 2012 Archive

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Assets to be pledged for debt?

Telegraph: Europe’s debtors must pawn their assets for Eurobond Redemption

Southern Europe’s debtor states must pledge their reserves and national treasure as collateral under a €2.3 trillion stabilisation plan gaining momentum in Germany. The German scheme — known as the European Redemption Pact — offers a form of “Eurobonds Lite” that can be squared with the German constitution and breaks the political logjam. It is a highly creative way out of the debt crisis, but is not a soft option for Italy, Spain, Portugal, and other states in trouble.

Posted by general congreve @ 09:56 PM 8 Comments

Forever blowing bubbles

Bloomberg: Iceland Property Bubble Grows With Currency Controls

Iceland’s crisis-management policies are creating the island’s next property bubble less than four years after its banking meltdown threw the economy into its worst recession. Prices for new homes touched a record last quarter, having surged 40.1 percent since the final three months of 2010, according to estimates by the National Registry of Iceland in Reykjavik. Average house prices have risen 11.3 percent since the market bottomed at the end of 2009, according to central bank data at the end of the first quarter.

Posted by wanderinman @ 09:32 PM 3 Comments

O Rly?

Daily Mail: High house prices and mortgage debt is destabilising UK economy, says European Commission

High house prices and mortgage debt are destabilising the UK economy, a European Commission report warned today. And it added that highly indebted households are 'vulnerable to rises in interest rates or in unemployment, with potentially destabilising effects on the economy at large'.

Posted by little professor @ 06:03 PM 19 Comments

Don't we all know it.

Daily Mail: Illiterate school-leavers and workless households are destabilising UK economy, says European Commission

"High house prices and mortgage debt are destabilising the UK economy, a European Commission report warned today. The 'insufficient and rigid' housing supply in the UK is also highlighted as cause for concern by a report on the performance of EU member states. It says: 'The high levels of household debt accumulated over the past decade are linked closely"

Posted by tim @ 05:42 PM 0 Comments

Nation paying off mortgage with credit card, doorstep lenders and payday loan.

Independent: Millions face financial woe as debt levels soar

Not including mortgages, average debt levels have soared 58 per cent over the past 12 months to £9,314. A year ago the average family owed just £5,878. With average outstanding mortgage around £75K and the current low mortgage rate around say 3%. The increase looks sus

Posted by peter_2008 @ 05:40 PM 3 Comments

MPs want central bank to have more powers over mortgage lending

Myfinances.co.uk: Bank of England reluctant to control mortgage lending rules

A Treasury committee is to investigate why the Bank of England is reluctant to take on powers to control mortgage lending.

Posted by ben @ 04:10 PM 0 Comments

Boris the Builder (can he fix it?)

Moneymarketing: Mayor of London pledges to expand shared equity scheme

Mayor of London Boris Johnson has pledged to expand a shared equity scheme helping first-time buyers in London. Visiting the offices of the Coreco Group this morning to discuss apprenticeships, Johnson pledged his support for home ownership.

Posted by jack c @ 02:55 PM 4 Comments

Oh, what do we do with a drunken sailor...

Estate Agent Today: 'Drunk' housing market being propped up by BTL and wealthy

Property prices in England and Wales dipped by 0.3% between March and April to stand at £160,417 – 1% lower than last year, according to the Land Registry. However, the price dip would have been steeper had it not been for an annual rise in London house prices of 5.1%. In Hammersmith and Fulham, between March and April, house prices bounced by 3%, and in Kensington and Chelsea they shot up 3.6%. The average price of a property in the capital is now £360,721. By contrast, house prices fell in most regions, with a monthly fall of 2.7% in the West Midlands and 2.4% in Yorkshire & the Humber.

Posted by sibley's b'stard child @ 01:16 PM 0 Comments

BBC caught being classist about the housing choices of a low paid woman

New Statesman: How Newsnight humiliated single mother Shanene Thorpe

Newsnight journalist Allegra Stratton demands to know why single mother Shanene Thorpe has chosen to move out of her mother’s two-bedroom flat, since she required housing benefit to do so. She misrepresents the single mother as being unemployed when Thorpe works but doesnt earn enough to afford market rents.

Posted by greenmind @ 12:47 PM 10 Comments

Asian cities cool as money moves back to old world markets

Planet Property: Asian cities cool as money moves back to old world markets

Cooling measures in Asia and the threat of a double dip global recession has led to a slowdown in many housing markets in ‘new world’ economies. Meanwhile, the money is moving to the old world havens of London, New York and Paris, where markets are more stable

Posted by the planet @ 11:02 AM 1 Comments

Rents continue to rise as proportion of net income

Myfinances.co.uk: 1 in 3 tenants spend more than half their wages on rent

A new survey by Rightmove shows that one in three tenants spend over 50 per cent of their net income on rent.

Posted by ben @ 10:25 AM 1 Comments

Stop the Ponzi scheme! I want to get off!

Metro: Rising rents force 10,000 tenants into arrears

"Thousands of people are falling behind on their rent as prices rocket and salaries stay the same. More than 10,000 tenants contacted the Consumer Credit Counselling Service in the last 12 months – a rise of 27 per cent on the previous year. On average, tenants were £760 in arrears and regularly left with a disposable income of just £35 a month after paying all their bills."

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 10:10 AM 7 Comments

The decline continues

LA times: U.S. home prices fall 2.6% in March, S&P/Case-Shiller index shows

Home prices in 20 major cities fell 2.6% in March compared with the same month a year earlier, according to the Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller index. The gauge is down about 35% from its peak before the housing bubble burst in 2006.

Posted by mark @ 09:53 AM 2 Comments

Low transaction levels exaggerate monthly changes

Myfinances.co.uk: House prices still falling, says Land Registry

The Land Registry reports that house prices slipped for the 16th consecutive month but regional changes each month are being exaggerated by low transaction levels.

Posted by ben @ 09:13 AM 0 Comments

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

UK economy's last pillar of support looks increasingly wobbly

Evening Standard: Not even London property prices are safe as houses now...

London house prices are an absurd bubble that must go pop. I don't mean a vague wobble here, a one-month 0.3% slide. I mean a crash. For at least the past 10 years, house prices in the capital have been sharply driven by City bonuses, which had a ratcheting effect all the way down, even for homes in which no banker would be seen dead. There just aren't many bonuses now. Indeed, business in the Square Mile is so slack there will probably be another cull of expensive brokers and traders. It’s not just the juniors who will be axed. City firms aren't really hiring graduates, so there are fewer ambitious types at the bottom of the ladder willing to stretch themselves for a starter flat in contemptible Clapham. Many London homeowners live precariously....

Posted by drewster @ 10:26 PM 11 Comments

9000% rise

AboutProperty: What is Buckingham Palace worth?

Robert Gardner, Nationwide's chief economist said: "Nationwide’s House Price Index has been going since 1952, and has therefore run for the Queen’s entire reign. During the Queen’s reign the average UK house price has increased from £1,891 to £162,722." That means Buckingham Palace, valued at £11m back in the fifties, could now be worth in excess of £1bn.

Posted by phil @ 12:44 PM 5 Comments

“Property ownership is a pipe dream for the majority of today’s young adults"

Mortgagestrategy: Half a million more 20-34 year olds now live with parents

In 2011 nearly 3 million adults aged between 20 and 34 were living with their parents, an increase of almost half a million, or 20%, since 1997.This is despite the number of people in this age group being largely the same in 1997 and 2011........The increase in the number of young adults living with parents over the past decade coincides with an increase in the average house price paid by first-time buyers, which rose by 40% between 2002 and 2011......Nicholas Ayre, director of Home Fusion, says: “A 20% rise in the number of 20 to 34 year-olds living with their parents says all you need to know about the property market and economy - they’re broken.

Posted by jack c @ 11:47 AM 6 Comments

For April 2012 (pdf)

Land Registry: House Price Index

Index 257.5 (1995=100) Average price £160,417 Monthly change -0.3% Annual change -1.0%

Posted by dill @ 11:20 AM 1 Comments

-0.3% MoM, -1.0% YoY

Land Registry: April Index

"The April data from Land Registry's flagship House Price Index shows an annual price decrease of 1.0 per cent which takes the average property value in England and Wales to £160,417. The monthly change from March to April is a decrease of 0.3 per cent."

Posted by phdinbubbles @ 11:17 AM 13 Comments

Lenders turning up their noses at 'free' solar panels

Planet Property Blog: Warning on rent-a-roof solar panels

Which? says ‘free’ solar panels can restrict saleability and remortgaging… Consumer watchdog Which? has long been wary of rent-a-roof schemes, and, following research with the top 10 mortgage lenders, it has issued a warning to consumers considering getting ‘free’ solar panels installed.

Posted by property addict @ 10:58 AM 0 Comments

You're never too old to get into the rentierism game

Guardian: How can my mother best share her rental property and income?

Q My father recently died and my mother is in the process of downsizing. She is in her mid-70s and in good health. With the money from the sale of their house (£625,000) she plans to buy two flats. One for her to live in, costing £350,000, and one for her to rent out, costing £275,000. She has been told she can expect a rent of about £1,100-£1,200 a month on the rental property.

Posted by sibley's b'stard child @ 10:52 AM 3 Comments

Barclays lowers fixed rate mortgage deals

Myfinances.co.uk: Barclays cuts fixed rate mortgages by up to 0.2 per cent

Barclays has reduced the majority of its two year fixed rate mortgages by up to 0.2 per cent as part of its "Great Escape" mortgage packages.

Posted by ben @ 09:33 AM 0 Comments

Not the article but the comments are the part to read

Manchester evening news: Two injured as factory explosions spark huge fire in Littleborough

“Explosions just kept erupting and the smoke was thousands of feet high.” next door to housing

Posted by mark @ 09:15 AM 6 Comments

A re-run of Ireland?

Bloomberg: Spain Delays and Prays That Zombies Repay Debt; Mortgages

"Spanish banks are masking their full exposure to soured property loans while they continue to prop up insolvent “zombie” developers, leading to credit-rating downgrades and plummeting share prices". "Echavarren’s Irea brokered the refinancing of a 200 million-euro loan two years ago for a developer. After two more rounds of refinancing, there is about 180 million euros left on the loan and it’s classified as performing, he said, without identifying the company". “The probability that this loan will be paid when it comes due is zero,” Echavarren said. “There are dozens of similar cases.”

Posted by alan @ 08:51 AM 4 Comments

UK house prices are falling (just not in the right places)

Belfasttelegraph: Northern Ireland house prices 'still falling'

House prices in Northern Ireland are still heading downwards, University of Ulster research shows. Fewer than 1,000 sales during the start of this year reflects a lack of confidence from the poor performance of the UK economy, with buyers deferring decisions because of economic uncertainty, rising bills and concerns about job security, the report's authors said. The number of deals in the first three months of this year was slightly down on the last three months of last year. The overall average price of a house for the first quarter was £134,560, representing an annual decline of 10%.

Posted by khards @ 08:34 AM 2 Comments

Well, this throws die katze amongst the olives

Le Monde: The President Of The Bundesbank Lashes Out

“Being in favor of growth is like being in favor of peace in the world,” Weidmann said about the raging debate of growth vs. austerity. “The real debate is which path leads to sustainable growth,” he said. And the answer was clear: “structural reforms.” Debt-fueled spending would just create an “economic straw fire.” And then he added, “In fact, I’m asking myself what these discussions are hiding.”

Posted by general congreve @ 12:08 AM 30 Comments

Monday, May 28, 2012

Pass the sweets, Mervyn

Telegraph: Banks received 'implicit' taxpayer of subsidy of up to £220bn, Bank of England says

"Taxpayers may have provided Britain’s biggest lenders with a combined “implicit subsidy” of up to £220bn in 2009 and 2010, according to the Bank of England".

Posted by alan @ 06:04 PM 8 Comments

Hobson's choice

Telegraph: Spain runs out of money

El Mundo reports that the country can no longer resist the bond markets as 10-year yields flirt with 6.5pc again, and the spread over Bunds – or `prima de riesgo' — hits a fresh record each day.

Posted by dill @ 06:03 PM 6 Comments

Look into my eye's 3,2,1, it's gone! Magic..

Mail: 'Keep calm, your cash is safe': Banks ordered to display details of savings protection to head of bank runs

Banks will be required to display notices in branch and on websites that tell customers how much of their savings are protected if the bank goes bust, the Financial Services Authority (FSA) said today.

Posted by happy mondays @ 12:41 PM 15 Comments

Is this healthy?

AboutProperty: Go South West, young professionals

18 of the top 20 areas for young professionals are in London, with the other two being Brighton and Hove.

Posted by phil @ 12:13 PM 0 Comments

Another jubilee house price report

AboutProperty: The Queen's diamond jubilee - how has housing changed?

Martin Ellis, housing economist at Halifax, said: "Today, the typical UK household is very different compared with the 1950s following the substantial growth in home ownership and the shift towards single occupancy households." Single occupancy households have increased from 19 per cent in 1971 to 33 per cent in 2011 and are expected to overtake married households at some stage within the next decade.

Posted by phil @ 11:40 AM 0 Comments

Food for thought

Reuters: With or without euro, Europe must raise its game

The opening last week in northeastern Spain of a 37-million-euro stretch of motorway to nowhere is an irresistible metaphor for the euro, an ambitious project conceived in better times that is now seemingly running out of road.

Posted by mr g @ 11:32 AM 3 Comments

It's all about the interest rates

Telegraph: Embattled British high street will struggle with effects of recession until 2020

"The economists expect Bank of England interest rates, the foundation for mortage costs, to climb to 4-5pc by 2015, leading to a quadrupling in the percentage of household disposable income going towards debt interest payments to 3.2pc."

Posted by wdbeast @ 11:04 AM 7 Comments

Another re-hash of pointless Hometrack report but with uber-bearish headline

Estate Agent Today: House buyers lose interest, says Hometrack

Insert statistical analysis of dubious validity here.

Posted by sibley's b'stard child @ 10:08 AM 13 Comments

Familiar story?

Guardian: House prices edge up in London and south-east – but not elsewhere

"House prices rose overall by 0.2% in May, according to Hometrack, but construction sector continues in doldrums".

Posted by alan @ 09:47 AM 2 Comments

Hometrack data shows house prices buoyed by London

Myfinances.co.uk: UK house prices pushed up by London market

House prices across the UK rose by an average of 0.2 per cent, mainly boosted by London data which revealed a 0.6 per cent growth in prices, Hometrack said today.

Posted by ben @ 09:02 AM 0 Comments

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Not Such a clever dickie?

Telegraph: Economy needs growth plan says Richard Branson

CONTRAST: "In February 2010 Sir Richard boosted the Tories by calling for public spending cuts to start that year. The high-profile entrepreneur said the UK's huge borrowing was a "serious risk" to the UK economy and action could not be put off." George Osborne, then shadow chancellor, said .."As Britain's best known entrepreneur, he knows more about creating jobs and building an economic recovery than the entire Labour Cabinet put together," WITH: "He suggested politicians look at policies including a national insurance holiday on hiring people for the first two years and introduce school lessons on "basic business and money-management skills" to create a new generation of business owners." AND THE W[H]INNER IS.....?

Posted by techieman @ 11:34 AM 11 Comments

Something is better than nothing

Independent: Second homes to be hit with £420m tax hike

Empty flats and houses will also be targeted in move aimed at ending property 'madness'.

Posted by dill @ 09:07 AM 13 Comments

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Government borrowing

Reuters: UK Plc faces 100 billion pound pension bill

This 100 billion is over the next 3 years to cover shortfalls. The government mandates pension holdings correspond to the funds liabilities, even though they also mandate that pension funds buy gilts, and this purchase of gilts specifically creates the shortfall (this is aside from the immediate government spending of such pension contributions by the next working day). As a consequence there is another 100 billion directed into gilts, holding down yields and maintaining pension shortfalls. Additionally these companies will have to redirect monies to the government and away from investment. Its interesting because these rules effectively stabilise gilts as long as the underlying companies can generate enough revenue to continue, any gilt collapse is immediately met by additional transfers.

Posted by stillthinking @ 02:31 PM 3 Comments

More cuts? No, more spending?

Daily Telegraph: Daily Telegraph

Taxpayers paying more mortgages as thousands of civilians sacked by the Ministry of Defence have been re-employed as consultants at “dreadful cost to the taxpayer”, MPs have found. While the department is in the process of cutting almost 30,000 civil servants, it has rehired many to carry out work as private contractors, according to a report by the public accounts committee. This has led to the bill for outside consultancy to spiral from £6 million in 2007 to £270 million last year. The report said that the extra cost of re-employing staff as consultants represented “dreadful value for the taxpayer”.

Posted by stuartking @ 10:15 AM 2 Comments

Cuts? What cuts?

Daily Telegraph: Government spending prevents worse double dip recession

Economists have warned of a fresh threat to the recovery after official figures showed that the country is being propped up by “unsustainable” Government spending, which hit record levels in the three months to March in spite of the austerity drive, rising by 1.6pc to £81.5bn and delivering 0.4 percentage points of overall economic growth. And, of course, this spending is propping up house prices...

Posted by stuartking @ 10:11 AM 5 Comments

Izzy, wizzy, let's get busy

Sky: Exclusive: Nationwide Nears Capital Deal

Nationwide, Britain's biggest building society, is closing in on a landmark deal with regulators that will ease concerns about a balance sheet squeeze that could affect its capacity to lend to homebuyers and business customers.

Posted by dill @ 05:45 AM 3 Comments

Friday, May 25, 2012

We'll stop 'em at the border ... oh wait .. olympics did you say?

Torygraph: Theresa May: we'll stop migrants if euro collapses

'The Government is drawing up plans for emergency immigration controls to curb an influx of Greeks and other European Union residents if the euro collapses, the Home Secretary discloses today.' Theresa May's Comedy Club routine goes down a storm.

Posted by montesquieu @ 11:59 PM 9 Comments

Reason why House Price Indices moves so little.

Estate Agent Today: NAEA calls for FTB Stamp Duty break to be reinstated

It's this bit caught my eye “Stamp Duty netted a 22% increase from 2010…despite an ailing property market." This is clear evidence that high-end price properties are skewing the statistics. When transaction and price index is flat, but tax revenue increases by 22%, this implies that the “Mr average property” sold had to be the type of house that was 22% more expensive than previous “Mr average UK ” to make the equation work. So the reason the “average house price index” appears changes little is because the said “average house” sold in today’s market is not a 3 bed semi but a 4 bed detached (or many many 1 bed flats in London). The true price is down 22%.

Posted by peter_2008 @ 03:04 PM 3 Comments

The net closes in on Merv and Co.

Sky: Police Seize Record Haul Of Counterfeit Coins

Detective Inspector Bruce South said: "This seizure is a significant blow to the network behind it - individuals clearly intent on undermining the UK monetary system by producing counterfeit currency on an industrial scale. "It is yet another example of the work this team is carrying out on a daily basis to tackle organised criminal networks."

Posted by general congreve @ 11:42 AM 9 Comments

Sub-prime? It's good for you says VI in property.

Estate Agent Today: Stop playing it so safe, lenders are told

Wriglesworth added: “Lenders can’t lend in the right way to get the market going. Unless 100% mortgages and sub-prime comes back, then you’re not going to see a healthy market. There is nothing wrong with 100% or cashback mortgages as long as lenders price for risk.”

Posted by sibley's b'stard child @ 11:01 AM 7 Comments

Tip Of The Iceberg?

Huffington post: Former head of fraud at lloyds banking charged with fraud!

blind leading the blind...always thought lloyds/hbos ended up as one massive snouts in trough...only surpised is she has been prosecuted and not given a luxury payout after signing confidentiality contract

Posted by taffee @ 10:47 AM 1 Comments

The old Irish pound or punt is back!

BBC: Bringing back the punt -

The old Irish pound or punt is back in the shops of an Ulster town. In Clones, County Monaghan, in the Republic of Ireland, more than 40 businesses are accepting the old notes which were replaced by the euro 10 years ago. While it is no longer legal tender, notes and coins can still be exchanged at Dublin's Central Bank.

Posted by khards @ 10:15 AM 3 Comments

They own overpriced land! Give them money!

The Move Channel: Mortgage tax relief makes Spanish property more affordable

Mortgage tax relief may be making Spanish property more affordable, according to the Bank of Spain's latest figures. The Bank's report shows that, at the end of the first quarter of 2012, the cost of mortgage repayment accounted for 29 per cent of the average household income, slightly lower than last year. With homeowners recommended to spend less than one-third of their take-home wage on repayments, the data could suggest that houses are becoming more affordable thanks to mortgage tax relief introduced by the government. Remove the tax relief and repayments jump back up to 36 per cent of the average income.

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 10:07 AM 3 Comments

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Greece , spain who next?

Daily mail: We can't cope much longer, says Spain, as borrowing costs cripple Europe's sick economies

Spain's prime minister warned yesterday that the country ‘cannot go on like this’ much longer with its current high borrowing rates. Mariano Rajoy also urged a joint European response to keep the region’s debt problems from getting worse.

Posted by mark @ 02:26 PM 17 Comments

Delays to QE3 printing rumoured to be responsible

Press Association: HP issues British job cuts warning

Hewlett Packard has warned of cuts in its UK operation in a global purge that will see it axe 27,000 workers. The US technology company plans to make the cuts, which amount to 8% of its global workforce of almost 350,000 people. A spokeswoman said: "We do expect the workforce reduction to impact just about every business and region."

Posted by general congreve @ 01:12 PM 0 Comments

How do you fund a deficit when there's no-one left to borrow from?

Torygraph: World edges closer to deflationary slump as money contracts in China

Narrow M1 data for April is the weakest since modern records began. Real M1 deposits – a leading indicator of economic growth six months or so ahead – have contracted since November. They are shrinking faster that at any time during the 2008-2009 crisis, and faster than in Spain right now, according to Simon Ward at Henderson Global Investors. If China were a normal country, it would be hurtling into a brick wall. A "hard-landing" later this year would already be baked into the pie. Whether this hybrid system of market Leninism – with banks run by Party bosses – conforms to Western monetary theory is a hotly contested point. The issue will be settled one way or the other soon.

Posted by montesquieu @ 12:18 PM 13 Comments

Banks to be forced to steal from savers

BBC News: Free banking a dangerous myth, says bank official

The future head of the FSA, according to Pravda, believes that problems in the banking system are down to the fact that you get your current account for free. To avoid this dreadful failure of the free market, the drums are beating for the introduction of a law (yes, a law) to make free current accounts illegal! Banks will be legally required to steal your money. It's not enough that banks can make thousands of percent profit on mortgages that cost them almost nothing to issue, but when they are in a state of collapse thanks to a combination of greed and systemic overshoot the government legislates to force them to eat into your savings. You could not make it up. Where is my pitch fork?

Posted by nickb @ 11:48 AM 0 Comments

More next year?

AboutProperty: Stamp duty windfall tops £1bn

Wendy Evans-Scott, president of the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA), said: "The government’s latest figures show it has received a windfall of £1bn on property transactions in the UK, at the same time as thousands of consumers are struggling to afford even the deposit for a home. "Clearly, the chancellor can afford to reinstate the first time buyer ‘holiday’ and help boost this vital part of the market, instead of taking the 22 per cent increase in income from this unfair tax."

Posted by phil @ 11:48 AM 0 Comments

French house prices are 47% too high

This is Money: Is property in France and Spain really that 'cheap' after the euro's dive?

One analyst is predicting a 20% fall in French house prices - after they rise a little further. And it references the Economist's measure that French property is 47% over-priced and Spain is still 27% too high. Yet house prices in bits of France appear dirt cheap compared to here.

Posted by v.idiot @ 11:42 AM 0 Comments

Thinly-veiled dig at HPC; not too wide off the mark, mind.

Agents Diary: Blame Game

I’m not big business you shaggy-haired wastrel, I think angrily, as I try to keep the neutral expression pasted on my face, something I struggle more an more with as time and tossers wear me down. I’m just trying to keep a roof over my head like anyone else. A roof I’ve bothered to get without whining about it in agents’ offices, or on some self-aggrandising web forum peopled by jobless men in their pyjamas bitching about prices. Men – and it’s usually men - who should just look at some porn instead of pursuing lengthy threads arguing with other bed-sit dwellers all sporting chipped shoulders and erections.

Posted by sibley's b'stard child @ 11:38 AM 11 Comments

"Mervyn King has warned that the Queen's Diamond Jubilee could reduce output"

BBC: UK economy shrank more than thought

The UK economy shrank by 0.3% in the first three months of the year, more than previously thought, revised figures have shown. Last month's initial estimate from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) showed a contraction of 0.2%. The downward revision was due to a bigger contraction in construction output than previously estimated. Over the last year and a half, the economy has fluctuated between quarters of growth and contraction. In the final three months of last year, the economy also shrank by 0.3%, meaning the UK is back in recession.

Posted by jack c @ 10:18 AM 4 Comments

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Abracadabra

Guardian: Nationwide grabs bigger share of mortgage market

Nationwide Building Society has written a third of all the new mortgages taken out this year as traditional lenders scaled back in the moribund housing market.

Posted by dill @ 09:52 PM 6 Comments

L-shaped recovery

Telegraph: Zero interest rate: can Britain's consumers learn from Japan?

Japan invented quantitative easing. And the kind of pork-barrel projects we're about to see kick off. Never did them any good.

Posted by paul @ 07:37 PM 6 Comments

London property collapsing.

London Evening Standard: Will Self flees with his children after roof of £1million Georgian Stockwell townhouse collapses

The writer Will Self told today how he led his children to safety after the roof of their home and three neighbouring £1 million Victorian townhouses came crashing down with a “tremendous roar”.

Posted by will @ 04:16 PM 18 Comments

For the long term gain maybe?

Nest Finance: Nationwide increase mortgage lending 44 per cent

Nationwide have increased their mortgage lending by 44 per cent, so what's in it for them?

Posted by keithfinance @ 11:48 AM 0 Comments

Buy or rent: which is cheaper?

Planet Property: Buy or rent: which is cheaper?

Buying looks cheaper ... until you take account of the hidden costs of buying...

Posted by the planet @ 09:47 AM 0 Comments

The jokes write themselves

Estate Agent Today: FTBs' scramble to save 1% Stamp Duty puts their prices up

First-time buyers paid 2.8% more for their homes in March as they tried to make savings of 1% in Stamp Duty etc etc etc

Posted by sibley's b'stard child @ 09:37 AM 11 Comments

Banks will take your uk assets

Dailymail: Fleeing the costa catastrophe

copy of best rated comment:Just because you hand over the keys and head back to the UK does not clear the debt under an agreement with the UK Spain can pursue you through the UK courts and put attachment of earnings on your pay or pension or indeed charge over your UK property to recover their money. You have been warned.

Posted by taffee @ 06:57 AM 4 Comments

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

If it is just London keeping prices up then why is Cornwall so expensive?

Independent: Northern Ireland house prices slump by 10%

House prices have slumped more than 10% in Northern Ireland over the last year and "lack any movement" in the rest of the UK, official figures showed today. Prices stood at £225,283 on average in March across the UK, a 0.4% decrease on the same month last year, following a 1% annual increase in February, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said. Analysts put the sharp 10.7% drop in Northern Ireland, taking average prices to £134,128, down to the market "normalising" following a period of rocketing prices before the financial crisis. Ed Stansfield, chief property economist at Capital Economics, said: "During the 2000s house prices in Northern Ireland absolutely soared. This is the process of normalising."

Posted by khards @ 10:02 PM 1 Comments

Handelsblatt says another bailout coming

Reuters: Irish Banks Need Billions in Second Bailout

"Ireland’s banks may need a second bailout of between 2 billion euros ($2.6 billion) and 4 billion euros in the coming years, Handelsblatt reported, citing a study by Deutsche Bank AG analysts" (guess they will vote for all those nice Euro policies if they are getting another wedge?).

Posted by alan @ 08:31 PM 4 Comments

Coventry BS launches new btl capped tracker mortgage

Myfinances.co.uk: Coventry BS launches buy-to-let capped tracker

The Coventry Building Society has launched a new buy to let capped tracker mortgage.

Posted by ben @ 04:51 PM 0 Comments

Bear picnic

Evening Standard (MBVNIF): London property prices: The first cracks?

House prices in London have fallen for the first time in 30 months, figures reveal today. The drop comes after Britain slid into a double dip recession and wipes hundreds of pounds off the average home — now worth just under £370,000. It coincides with a series of warnings that British families face more pain ahead and that things could get far worse if the European single currency breaks up.

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 04:46 PM 10 Comments

Provisional estimates for current month

ONS: Public Sector Finances, April 2012

•a current budget deficit excluding the temporary effects of financial interventions of £12.4 billion in April 2012 •net borrowing excluding the temporary effects of financial interventions of -£16.5 billion (a surplus) in April 2012 •net debt excluding the temporary effects of financial interventions was £1006.3 billion, equivalent to 64.8 per cent of GDP •this month's figures include a large one-off transfer to Government of £28 billion, as part of the transfer of the Royal Mail Pension Plan

Posted by dill @ 02:18 PM 2 Comments

Fitch downgrades Japan

Cnn: Fitch downgrades Japan

Fitch Ratings cut Japan's sovereign credit rating Tuesday, citing the nation's rising debt and credit risk. The rating agency downgraded Japan's long-term foreign and local currency issuer default ratings to A+ from AA and AA-, respectively, with negative outlooks for both.

Posted by mark @ 01:17 PM 5 Comments

Shappsy Says

Bloomberg: Britain May Never Fix Residential Property Shortage

"Britain needs to build around 245,000 residential properties annually in the decade through 2023 to meet demand, according to the Department for Communities and Local Government. That would leave a shortfall of at least 43,000 homes a year for the next five, Savills Plc estimates". “There isn’t one thing you can do to solve this,” Shapps said in an interview yesterday. "Prime Minister David Cameron is overhauling Britain’s housing market........." (and employment law and the NHS).

Posted by alan @ 01:10 PM 8 Comments

Do It, You Lovely Useful Idiots!!!

BBC: IMF tells UK to consider rate cut to boost growth

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has said the UK's continuing economic weakness means authorities should consider more Quantitative Easing (QE) and even cutting interest rates. Its annual look at the UK economy endorsed the government's deficit cutting plan, saying it was essential. It said monetary stimulus had helped the economy, but it remained flat. The IMF said the Bank of England should "reassess the efficacy" of cutting rates below 0.5%. The report said that monetary stimulus could be provided via further QE and possibly cutting the policy rate. It said the Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee (MPC), which sets interest rates and authorises other monetary boosts, such as QE, should look at loosening the purse-strings.

Posted by general congreve @ 12:38 PM 7 Comments

For March 2012

ONS: House Price Index

•UK house prices in March 2012 were 0.4 per cent lower than a year earlier. Despite the slight decline, house prices continue to lack any real movement with the current UK average price little changed from where it was at the beginning of 2011. This is with the exception of Northern Ireland, which has experienced strong falls in house prices since 2008. •Seasonally adjusted UK house prices decreased by 0.6 per cent over the month.

Posted by dill @ 11:31 AM 4 Comments

ONS says slight decline in UK house prices

Myfinances.co.uk: UK house prices slide 0.4% in the past year

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) says that UK house prices have fallen by 0.4 per cent in the past 12 months.

Posted by ben @ 10:36 AM 0 Comments

But the price of toothpaste in my local shop's gone up 20%, etc

BBC: UK inflation rate drops to 3% in April, says ONS

"Inflation in the UK slowed last month owing to a fall in transport prices, taking the Consumer Prices Index measure to 3%. The CPI rate - measuring the rise in the cost of living in the UK - fell from 3.5% in March, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said. The Retail Prices Index (RPI) measure fell to 3.5% from 3.6% in March."

Posted by phdinbubbles @ 09:47 AM 13 Comments

The Pendulum swings

Guardian: Mortgage lending crashes 20% in March

Mark Harris, chief executive of mortgage broker SPF Private Clients, said: "Not only are we far from a sustained recovery in the housing market, there is now an even bigger problem on the horizon in the shape of the eurozone crisis. The cross-border nature of banking means UK banks cannot remain immune to what happens in the eurozone."

Posted by happy mondays @ 07:33 AM 0 Comments

This might be interesting

Telegraph: Sir Mervyn King scrutinised as Bank of England orders review

Sir Mervyn King, the Bank of England governor, has been forced to bow to pressure and agree to a review of the Bank’s actions during the crisis. The Court of the Bank of England said it had commissioned three independent reviews to ensure it is “best equipped to carry out its responsibilities in the future”. It came as a surprise after Sir Mervyn has repeatedly resisted calls for an inquiry, claiming that it would only be appropriate if it covered the role of all-three tripartite institutions together - the Bank, the Treasury and the Financial Services Authority. Both the Treasury and the FSA have published a review of their roles and responses, highlighting shortcomings.

Posted by quiet guy @ 12:20 AM 4 Comments

Monday, May 21, 2012

Global bubble poster boy goes pop!

Guardian: Facebook shares tumble as underwriters desert stock

Shares in Facebook fell by more than 10% within minutes of the markets opening on Monday as underwriters deserted the stock and questions continued to be asked about how Nasdaq, the second largest US stock exchange, handled the flotation. Pre-market trading had seen heavy selling of the stock, which was supported just above its $38 listing price on Friday by the leading banks who bought shares ahead of the initial public offering (IPO). Within minutes of the shares going on sale again they were in freefall, and were soon trading close to $33 before recovering to end the day at $34.03, 10.4% below their flotation price on Friday.

Posted by general congreve @ 10:33 PM 8 Comments

Oh dear...

Guardian: Wales to licence private LL

Private landlords would have to obtain a licence before letting out homes under reforms being proposed by the Welsh government. The Labour-controlled government claims an accreditation scheme would help protect the growing number of private tenants from poor or exploitative landlords.

Posted by chrisch @ 04:48 PM 2 Comments

Are the Euro problems spreading?

Telegraph: Cracks are appearing in Europe's state-backed lenders

"In France, the authorities are racing to avoid having to rescue Caisse Centrale du Credit Immobilier (3CIF) after Moody’s downgraded the mortgage lender last week, warning it could become totally reliant on taxpayer support within months.The lender is one of France’s largest mortgage providers and is owned by a collection of local authorities and mutuals, giving it implicit government support".

Posted by alan @ 01:42 PM 13 Comments

If you want to have your Housing Ponzi you'll have to eat your Pension Ponzi

Telegraph: Pensions savings hit 8-year low

Pension savings have hit an 8 year-low as the number of people putting money aside for their retirement has fallen by an “alarming” five per cent in just a year, a new report has found. An annual report into Britons' pension habits by Scottish Widows has found that only 46 per cent of workers are saving enough for their retirement. This is down from over half of all people last year and a fall of 8 per cent from 2009 levels. Scottish Widows also found that three in four people have stopped paying into a pension pot because they are prioritising other financial commitments, such as mortgages, above saving for their retirement.

Posted by general congreve @ 12:37 PM 13 Comments

Buckingham Palace worth a few bob

AboutProperty: House prices 86 times higher than at coronation

The average price of a home in the UK is 86 times higher than when the Queen came to the throne in 1952, according to an analysis by HSBC. In contrast, retail prices have risen by 25 times over the same period.

Posted by phil @ 12:36 PM 0 Comments

All right for some...

Evening Standard: Londoners in a rush to buy up council homes

The number of Londoners buying their council homes has increased dramatically since discounts were quadrupled under a new right to buy scheme, figures revealed today. Town halls have seen a huge surge in applications since the start of April when the discount was increased to a maximum of £75,000 as part of a bid to revive Margaret Thatcher’s Eighties home ownership scheme. But some boroughs have warned the soaring interest will strip them of their best properties at a time when 350,000 families are on social housing waiting lists.

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 12:08 PM 3 Comments

Cable blasts Tory ‘zealots’ : He attacks plan to axe workers' rights

The Sun: Tories planning to change UK employment laws; why ?!!

BUSINESS Secretary Vince Cable is set to stoke a Coalition row by blasting Tory “zealots” who want to axe workers’ rights. ... “Some people think that if labour rights were stripped down, employers would start hiring and the economy would soar again. This is complete nonsense. British workers are an asset, not just a cost.

Posted by doomwatch @ 11:29 AM 10 Comments

Bear brunch

Moneymarketing: Gross mortgage lending plunges 19% in April

Gross mortgage lending fell by 19 per cent in April from £12.6bn in March to an estimated £10.2bn according to the Council of Mortgage Lenders’ latest figures. The trade body says that the sharp decline in lending is likely to have been down to the stampede of first-time buyers who brought forward their transactions in March to beat the end of the Stamp Duty holiday for properties under £250,000................... “Eurozone developments are highly uncertain and have the potential to undermine UK economic prospects and conditions in our housing and mortgage markets. The underlying picture is likely to be one of easing momentum in the housing market, but with potential for a sharper downwards correction on bad eurozone news.”

Posted by jack c @ 11:27 AM 7 Comments

The idiots are out again

Lancashire Evening Post: Property prices on the increase across county

House prices across Preston have risen by nearly 15% in the last year, according to new figures.

Posted by mark @ 11:25 AM 0 Comments

CML reports post stamp duty holiday deadline drop in mortgage lending

Myfinances.co.uk: Mortgage lending down 19 per cent in April

The Council of Mortgage Lenders has reported a 19 per cent drop in mortgage lending in April.

Posted by ben @ 11:02 AM 0 Comments

Uk house prices stall due to lack of new blood

Myfinances.co.uk: House prices static as downsizers dominate property market

Rightmove reports that UK house prices stalled as the market is dominated by downsizers.

Posted by ben @ 09:57 AM 0 Comments

And if you can't afford it...

AboutProperty: Bank of Mum and Dad now worth £39,000

Almost two-thirds of the parents surveyed by the property website said they had helped with their kids’ move and the average contribution amounted to a quarter of the cost of the average first-time buyer property. And a lucky 11 per cent of children who left home did so with more than £100,000 from the Bank of Mum and Dad.

Posted by phil @ 09:14 AM 0 Comments

Markit HFI falls at fastest rate since January

Myfinances.co.uk: Mortgage holders feel the pinch in May

The Markit Household Finance Index has fallen to 36.6 in May down from 37, with 35 per cent of households saying their finances have got worse in the last month and just eight per cent saying they have seen an improvement.

Posted by ben @ 09:06 AM 0 Comments

Rightmove: +0.0%MoM, +2%YoY

Bloomberg: UK house sellers hold asking prices amid crisis

Asking prices for U.K. homes were unchanged in May as the crisis in Europe and the end of a tax break for first-time buyers damped demand, Rightmove Plc said. It was the first time since the survey began in 2002 that asking prices failed to rise in May, when sellers usually try to take advantage of a spring pickup in house hunting. Spring supply numbers stalled too, with properties coming to market down 10% on April

Posted by little professor @ 08:37 AM 12 Comments

May the Lord help us all through this 'crisis' but especially estate agents

Bloomberg: London Home Prices May Reach New Record on Haven Status: Economy

Rightmove said “it is a cause for concern” that the market has lost its momentum. So I'm wearing my concerned face, as instructed in the article.

Posted by paul @ 06:41 AM 0 Comments

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Land + Planning Permission + £4K and No Bankers & Builders Profit

Independant: How I built my house for £4,000

The total cost: £4,000. "Actually, you could make it for less than that," James says. "I'd cut the wood myself next time instead of going to the sawmill. That would knock off a thousand." He finds the whole concept of mortgages quite amusing. No mention of where he got the land and planning permission from though.

Posted by enuii @ 08:45 PM 10 Comments

This might explain a few things

Reuters: Far East buyers beware in London property rush

When Hong Kong businessman Mr. He paid a £35,000 deposit on a four-bedroom apartment in Britain, he believed it was a 40-minute walk from central London. In fact it was a 40-minute journey by high-speed train. His experience shows the potential pitfalls facing a growing number of Far Eastern people buying British homes unseen as developers target places such as Hong Kong, Shanghai and Singapore because British buyers are struggling to get mortgages. Major developers including Barratt, Taylor Wimpey and Berkeley have stepped up efforts to court cash-rich Far Eastern buyers. The number of Chinese and Pacific Asian buyers of the best quality newly built London homes jumped from 4% in 2009 to 37% in 2010, data from property consultancy Savills showed.

Posted by drewster @ 08:45 PM 7 Comments

Watching the Footie while Rome Burns

Telegraph: Don't mention the score: Angela Merkel looks stony-faced as David Cameron celebrates Chelsea victory

So the Prime Minister could be forgiven for not being quite so humble in victory when Chelsea beat Bayern Munich to take the Champions League title last night. Mrs Merkel looked less than impressed as Didier Drogba hurtled his penalty past Manuel Neuer to seal the match while Mr Cameron threw his hands in the air in double fist pump. Barack Obama, who was standing diplomatically between the two, also appeared engrossed in the game although he kept his hands firmly clasped behind his back. The three world leaders watched the match during the G8 summit in where Mr Cameron has called for world leaders to draw up "strong contingency plans" for the break-up of the euro after discussing the European debt crisis with Barack Obama.

Posted by general congreve @ 12:34 PM 12 Comments

Squeezing out the last drops of blood

CityWire: Rents rise again despite more tenants falling into the red

Nearly 10% of rent in England and Wales was unpaid in April, but rents still rose 0.5%. In April 9.9% of all rent, equal to £306 million, was late or unpaid at the end of the month, up from 8.7%, or £267 million, in March.

Posted by stuartking @ 11:58 AM 8 Comments

Look out for CPIH

Telegraph: CPI housing costs

In the printed edition of the Telegraph: "The UK Statistics Authority is to create a new measure of inflation on the Consumer Price Index which will include housing costs. the new measure, CPIH, will be published alongside the CPI from March 2013. How to measure housing costs in the index is currently out for consultation, and will be decided in September." I cannot find any trace of this online so I'll put a photo in the comments instead. During the biggest hosuing boom in history, the government ignored property prices and now that the market is looking a bit fragile ... they start to pay attention. Inflation? What inflation? Just look at the CPIH numbers.

Posted by quiet guy @ 11:39 AM 8 Comments

"..there is no value in UK government stock. It's a rigged market."

Independent: UK warned of credit downgrade

The UK will lose its prized triple-A credit rating next year as a result of the recession and the euro crisis, according to one of the City's most respected bond fund managers.

Posted by dill @ 10:10 AM 5 Comments

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Journalist notices something wrong

Independent: Owen Jones: I can afford to pay the rent – most people can't

"Looking for a modest two-bedroom place in London's Zone 2 – with a housemate who, appropriately enough, works for a housing charity – I found that a standard monthly individual rent was £800, even £900. One estate agent asked what our maximum budget was: when I suggested £700 each a month, he spluttered down the phone. How many can actually afford – and I mean "have sufficient money left over to have a decent existence after paying the landlord" – these sorts of rents?"

Posted by drewster @ 11:41 PM 5 Comments

Housing shortage?

Yahoo: Wealthy tenants face crackdown

Ministers are looking to clamp down on wealthy families who benefit from tens of millions of pounds of subsidies for social housing.

Posted by mr g @ 10:29 AM 22 Comments

We own land, give us money

Dash: Council won’t compensate residents whose home was devalued by £30,000

Disgraceful state of affairs whereby a resident claims a new waste site near their home has devalued it. One council has given them money, another is refusing. What happens to all those people whose homes will increase in value here in Devon because a new bypass is being built. Should the council be able to sue them for the increase in value of their homes?

Posted by stuartking @ 10:22 AM 0 Comments

No way back

Telegraph: Mortgage market freezes up as Santander scales back on lending

A mortgage drought is pushing Britain's housing market deep into crisis, driven by one major bank, Santander, significantly reducing its lending to home buyers. It is estimated that the Spanish bank's share of lending through brokers has dropped from 25pc to 14pc in recent months, and could fall further as the crisis in the eurozone intensifies.

Posted by dill @ 09:49 AM 4 Comments

Friday, May 18, 2012

No worries, just get a loan or remortgage!

Mail: More than 100,000 people could lose their homes if mortgage payments rise by just £20 a month

The Bank of England has warned that as UK lenders are hit by higher borrowing costs families should prepare to pay more as the increase is passed down to consumers.

Posted by happy mondays @ 05:01 PM 7 Comments

VAT on emergency housing

BBC news: MPs in last-minute plea on planned caravan tax rise

VAT at 20% to be added to static caravan purchases. Suggestion that this will affect sales.

Posted by stillthinking @ 04:46 PM 2 Comments

Vaguest downward prediction ever from the OBR

Guardian: Greek euro exit could throw UK 'into long-term recession'

This must rank as one of the vaguest articles I have ever read as the Chair for the Office for Budget Responsibility says Greek Euro exit would result in deflation, soaring unemployment and rise in state debt. To me this 'deflation' also infers drastically lower house prices and lower standards of living for 90% of the population. "It could be as bad as the recession caused by the credit crunch and there would be a possibility that "you go down and you never quite get back up to where you started"

Posted by enuii @ 04:33 PM 6 Comments

They want to own land! All together now... what do we give them?

Egov monitor: FIRST-TIME BUYERS starting to get on the ladder THANKS TO HASTINGS Borough COUNCIL and lloyds tsb

"In January this year, Lloyds TSB and Hastings Borough Council launched Local Lend a Hand, a new initiative that helps first-time buyers get on the property ladder. Over the past five months, over 25 first-time buyers in Hastings have applied for the scheme; £700,000 of the £1 million worth of funding put down by the council has been allocated; over £3 million has been lent to first-time buyers in new mortgages, and the first customers have already picked up their keys and moved into their homes."

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 04:27 PM 0 Comments

Ireland - Into the nose dive?

Bloomberg: "Irish Banks May Tip State Into Bailout 2, Deutsche Bank Says

Deutsche: “Although resilient during 2009 and 2010, mortgage arrears have risen sharply over the past year, house prices are continuing to fall, market liquidity is limited, and over half of customers are now in negative equity,” the analysts said. “We fear the size of negative equity balances for some mortgage holders may greatly reduce their incentive to cooperate, pushing them towards default.”

Posted by alan @ 04:16 PM 2 Comments

Land Value Tax will sort them out

BBC: Ambanis give first view inside 'world’s priciest house’ in Mumbai

The first pictures have been released showing the inside of what is believed to be the world's most expensive house. Built by India's richest man Mukesh Ambani, the 27-storey building towers over swanky Altamount Road in Mumbai. Named Antilia, after a mythical island, it cost more than $1bn, reports say

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 03:27 PM 1 Comments

Meanwhile there is a queue outside santander near me

Wall street journal: Barclays Global Research Head: Greek Euro Exit Likely

Greece is likely to leave the euro zone by the new year after Europe crafts a plan for an orderly exit, Barclays PLC's (BCS) global head of research predicted Thursday. Speaking at a Bretton Woods Committee conference, Larry Kantor said Barclays couldn't develop a scenario on paper for Greece to return to fiscal sustainability and so it is "inevitable Greece will have to exit the euro zone."

Posted by mark @ 09:34 AM 33 Comments

Public accounts committee report on Northern Rock debacle

Myfinances.co.uk: Taxpayers "fortunate" to escape with £2bn loss

A report by the National Audit Office concludes that the sale of Northern Rock to Virgin Money minimised losses to the taxpayer and estimates that total losses will be in the region of £2bn.

Posted by ben @ 09:14 AM 0 Comments

Nationwide cuts fixed rate deals including Newbuy

Myfinances.co.uk: Nationwide BS cuts two and five year fixed mortgage rates

The Nationwide Building Society has cut rates on its five yr fix for those with 70% LTV to 3.89 and NewBuy 5 yr fix at 5.99%

Posted by ben @ 09:10 AM 0 Comments

Article about ballooning economic & property bubbles in emerging market countries

The Bubble Bubble: The Emerging Markets Bubble (aka The “BRIC” Bubble)

Global investors, seeking to diversify away from the post-bubble heavily-indebted Western world, have inadvertently created a massive “hot-money” bubble in emerging market nations, causing overheated economies and property bubbles everywhere from Brazil to Israel to the Philippines. Soaring asset prices and easy money is creating “luxury fever” as emerging market nations copy the spendthrift ways that led to the West’s downfall just a few years earlier. In its essence, the emerging markets bubble is a derivative of the commodities and China bubbles and is highly vulnerable to their inevitable popping.

Posted by jesse colombo @ 06:16 AM 0 Comments

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Keep out of my personal public space

Oxford Times: Groups fall out over Trap Grounds entry

A pleasant patch of land in Oxford has been granted "Town Green" status which means, among other things, it cannot be developed. Now the local paper reports that "It was saved from bulldozers by residents arguing it should be an open space for residents to enjoy. But now people living near the Trap Grounds in North Oxford are fighting a move to make it more accessible to the public. The battle to get the area designated as a town green – and save it from housing development – went all the way to the House of Lords six years ago. But a new plan to make it easier for people to get into the six-acre site has caused uproar." I know it's a very small story but I think it's a neat and amusing example of Nimbyism.

Posted by quiet guy @ 11:07 PM 4 Comments

Step it up

AboutProperty: Government urged to do more on housing crisis

Grainia Long, chief executive of the Chartered Institute of Housing, said: "With the economy now in double dip recession, the pressures on the housing system will only increase and the government needs to step up its efforts in response and be more ambitious in its strategy to boost housing supply and activity in the wider housing sector. "Addressing the housing crisis in this way would also be a much-needed and powerful stimulus to economic growth."

Posted by phil @ 02:31 PM 0 Comments

House Price Bumps in the middle of the night

The Sun (yes sorry!): Mum and baby son forced out of their house by ghosts

"She is still shackled with the mortgage on the £147,000 two-bed cottage" She really is spooked by falls in prices...

Posted by techieman @ 01:46 PM 10 Comments

Limp response to shortage shocks 'all'

BBC News: New housing starts in England fall back

So much spin it makes me feel dizzy reading it..

Posted by richy richless @ 11:58 AM 3 Comments

Revised BTL mortgage range unveiled by Skipton BS

Myfinances.co.uk: Skipton BS beefs up buy-to-let mortgage range

The Skipton Building Society has beefed up its buy-to-let mortgage range for loans between 60-75 per cent of LTV

Posted by ben @ 11:39 AM 0 Comments

Governor King warns external pressures affecting lending

Myfinances.co.uk: Eurozone crisis pushing up mortgage rates, Bank warns

Presenting the Bank of England's Quarterly Inflation Report yesterday, Governor King warned that the eurozone crisis will push up mortgage rates for UK residential borrowers.

Posted by ben @ 11:24 AM 0 Comments

UK property market broken

Halfway across the world, a butterfly flaps its wings

Mish's: Real estate crash under way in China

In China: Year-on-year sales in Q1, for all real estate, were down 14.6%. Residential property sales were down 17.5% Office sales were down -10.2%  Sales in January-February were a disaster, falling 20.9% overall, compared to the first two months of 2011, -24.7% for residential. Total amount of floor space “for sale” was up 35.5%, compared to the same date last year Floor space of residential units “for sale” grew 47.4%.

Posted by drewster @ 09:06 AM 1 Comments

Turned the corner?

Mail: Get ready for sharp rise in mortgage rates, warns Bank of England as experts predict homeowners will pay thousands more a year

''Homeowners should brace themselves for sharp increases in the cost of their mortgages, the Bank of England warned yesterday. It is a bitter blow for Britain’s 11.2million mortgage holders and comes as a direct result of the chaos in the eurozone. The crisis is driving up the cost of borrowing for high street lenders in this country – and they aim to ‘restore’ their profit margins by passing on that cost.''

Posted by hpwatcher @ 06:19 AM 19 Comments

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

We can't be far away now from some serious action, at last!

Chrismartenson.com: Get Ready: We’re About To Have Another 2008-Style Crisis

Well, my hat is off to the global central planners for averting the next stage of the unfolding financial crisis for as long as they have. I guess there’s some solace in having had a nice break between the events of 2008/09 and today, which afforded us all the opportunity to attend to our various preparations and enjoy our lives. Alas, all good things come to an end, and a crisis rooted in ‘too much debt’ with a nice undercurrent of ‘persistently high and rising energy costs’ was never going to be solved by providing cheap liquidity to the largest and most reckless financial institutions. And it has not.

Posted by general congreve @ 11:04 PM 24 Comments

Politicians shifting positicians before the blame game starts

Guardian: Cost of Greek exit from euro put at $1tn

Anyone else noticed the subtle changes emerging amongst Europes politicians as they position themselves for the end game, Hollande is a particularly canny one, and ours are preparing the ground to make themselves look better than their european counterparts as we enter the tipping point. If you are a first time buyer thinking about buying a house don't.

Posted by enuii @ 10:37 PM 12 Comments

Why you can't afford a house

Top Documenary Films: Real estate 4 Ransom

About Australia, but equally applicable here. Why a land value tax would set economies free from the dead hand of other taxes... at the expense of the do-nothing wealthy and speculators. Reckoning that a 6 per cent LVT would be enough to wipe out income tax and VAT plus other pernicious taxes on enterprenuership.

Posted by stuartking @ 07:59 PM 2 Comments

Squeeze on living standards (vid)

BBC: Economy - 'National pay' cut hitting UK says Heath

"Britain has been going through a "national pay cut" with most people not having a rise in two years, the City AM editor said". (house price falls mentioned).

Posted by alan @ 07:19 PM 0 Comments

Why deficit spending won't dig us out of this mess

Counterpunch: Paul Krugman's economic blunders

"Austerian" economics isn't working, but neither will increased deficit spending or easier credit. If these demand-management 'tools' are unaccompanied by other changes they will merely subsidise existing financial and tax structures - leaving debts intact, carrying on with regressive taxes on income and consumption, leaving the wealthy to benefit from low-taxed rises in asset prices stemming from public infrastructure and providing bailout money for banks. None of which will revive the economy. Without debt writedowns and a big turnaround in the tax system keynesian demand management will achieve nothing.

Posted by icarus @ 06:16 PM 5 Comments

Novel theory

Boston Globw: Deluded buyers to blame?

A new paper from the Boston Federal Reserve takes aim at those who try to pin the blame for the housing bubble on a few greedy Wall Street types. Instead, the Fed suggests it was the average buyer, borrowing to the hilt and beyond to grab a house in the belief that prices would just keep on going up, who drove the runaway prices of the bubble years. And if the the problem was not misaligned market incentives, but rather mistaken optimism on part of average home buyers, then economists and policy makers will need to refocus their efforts, the paper suggest. It's certainly a provocative theory.

Posted by little professor @ 05:50 PM 5 Comments

London's immune system under attack

Homes and Property: London’s epidemic of discounting

A combination of greedy sellers, nervous buyers and unscrupulous estate agents who promise sky-high prices in order to tempt clients, is being blamed for an epidemic of discounting in the London property market, where a third of all homes for sale have had their original asking price slashed

Posted by sibley's b'stard child @ 04:40 PM 3 Comments

Oooh noooo

Reuters: Judge to lead Greece to fateful June 17 election

Greeks have been withdrawing hundreds of millions of euros (dollars) from banks in recent days as the prospect of the country being forced out of the European Union's common currency zone

Posted by mark @ 01:36 PM 3 Comments

Hard!

BBC: How hard is it to get a 95% mortgage?

According to the financial information service Moneyfacts, there are 58 deals around at the moment, from 22 lenders. That compares with 29 deals a year ago and just 19 at the start of 2010. But the reality is that very few people are being granted a home loan with just a 5% deposit.

Posted by mapp1066 @ 12:07 PM 2 Comments

Not a clue!

Mail: Bank admits inflation will overshoot for 'a year or so' as it warns of eurozone threat to UK growth

The Bank of England moved the goalposts for inflation once more today as it admitted the headline rate would run above target for another 'year or so'.

Posted by happy mondays @ 12:06 PM 4 Comments

Average asking price reductions now stand at £19,012

Planet Property: Average asking price reductions now stand at £19,012

One third (34%) of properties currently for sale have been reduced in price since first coming onto the market ...top 50 areas revealed.

Posted by the planet @ 11:55 AM 0 Comments

CML: Loans up

AboutProperty: Stamp duty effect boosts mortgage lending

CML director general Paul Smee said: "We expected this significant increase in borrowing for March because of the stamp duty holiday. "However, if lending follows the same pattern as after previous stamp duty concessions, we will likely see a drop in activity in the next few months. It will take some time before we can judge whether other initiatives such as the NewBuy scheme and the reinvigorated right to buy will compensate for this effect."

Posted by phil @ 11:53 AM 0 Comments

Comments.........

Lancashire Evening Post: New village for preston

A new village of up to 2,500 homes will spring up across the north of Preston in the next 15 years, according to plans unveiled today. Preston Council has revealed it has pinpointed farmland across the north west of the city, including Higher Bartle and a 140-acre spot overlooking a motorway junction. It has also identified other sites across the city, where it will allow house-builders to develop nearly 8,500 new homes.

Posted by mark @ 11:49 AM 0 Comments

Search me Guv"

BofE: Summary of May Inflation Report

"The single biggest threat to the recovery stems from the challenges within the euro area, in particular the need to reduce the indebtedness and improve the competitiveness of some member countries. ...As was the case in past Reports, the MPC sees no meaningful way to quantify the size and likelihood of the most extreme possibilities associated with developments in the euro area, and they are therefore excluded from the fan charts. But the threat of these more extreme outcomes is likely to affect economic activity over the forecast period, for example through its effect on asset prices, including the exchange rate, bank funding costs, and confidence; such effects are captured in the MPC’s projections."

Posted by techieman @ 11:43 AM 3 Comments

Stamp duty holiday end causes mortgage lending to soar

Myfinances.co.uk: Mortgage lending surged in March, says CML

The stamp duty holiday deadline helped to boost mortgage lending in March, says the Council of Mortgage Lenders.

Posted by ben @ 11:43 AM 0 Comments

Scary Housing Infographic

The Daily Capitalist: Scary Housing Infographic

An good infographic on Americas property market

Posted by martingreen @ 11:28 AM 0 Comments

Not so much with a bang as a whimper - enjoy!

Telegraph: Builders report paltry sales under NewBuy

In total, six revealed their figures. Together, they sell 30,000 properties a year - but said they have so far completed sales on only FIVE* homes under the NewBuy scheme. *My emphasis

Posted by sibley's b'stard child @ 10:43 AM 3 Comments

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

They won't pay - and why would they?

Ftalphaville: Greece: when the lights go out

The desperate/cunning scheme to get Greeks to pay property taxes by bundling them with electricity bills didn’t last long. You guessed it, people stopped paying their electricity bills and now it looks like the power company – which had to be bailed out last month – has stopped even trying to collect the levy.

Posted by dill @ 06:13 PM 9 Comments

So the South bleeds the North again

Telegraph: Water providers must help drought-hit areas, says Ofwat

Water providers with plentiful supplies have been told by the industry regulator to help drought-stricken areas.

Posted by dill @ 04:55 PM 2 Comments

Property tax as a means to dampen bubbles

The Economist: Time for a property tax (China)

Interesting that the graph showing property tax revenue as a % of local tax revenue does not show what the figure for the UK is. I'm guessing it's pretty low even taking into account Business Rates. MW, I'm sure you can enlighten me?

Posted by mombers @ 04:45 PM 20 Comments

No wonder he can't sell it

AboutProperty: Property of the week: Phil Neville's apartment

"The Everton full-back bought the flat back in 2006, just after making the switch from Manchester United. His asking price of £3.75m represents a significant step up from the £1m he paid, although a lot of work has gone in to bring the three separate apartments he initially purchased into a stunning triplex:"

Posted by phil @ 04:34 PM 0 Comments

Not quite HPC but one for MW nonetheless

Guardian: For whom the toll bills – less traffic hurts M6 toll road owner

The M6 toll road was supposed to be a very British romance. A marriage of public infrastructure and private investment, it was consummated by 2.5m Mills & Boon novels that were pulped and then blended into its tarmac. But that is the closest this project has come to a happy ending. The owner of the flagship toll road – the Australian Macquarie group – has slashed the value of its investment in a move that does not bode well for David Cameron's ambitions for a private sector-backed infrastructure spree. For all the hope invested in it, the toll is a relatively modest stretch of the UK's 2,211-mile motorway network: a 27-mile route that runs from the National Exhibition Centre in the south-east of Birmingham to Cannock in Staffordshire.

Posted by sibley's b'stard child @ 01:15 PM 11 Comments

Start of bank run?

Daily mail: Santander UK insists British savers' money is safe after Kent county council pulls overnight deposit account

Santander UK has laid out the safety measures it has in place to prevent potential difficulties at its Spanish parent spreading to its British customers. The bank moved to reassure UK customers after Kent County Council said it would no longer use the bank for overnight deposits after the Spanish government was forced to take measures to ensure the country's banks are safe from collapse.

Posted by mark @ 12:34 PM 2 Comments

Monday, May 14, 2012

The UK's Sub-Prime?

Telegraph: Low-income households led debt binge

"Britain's pre-crisis boom was fuelled by an unsustainable debt binge among lower and middle income households, new research shows". "The consumer-led economic miracle of the Labour years was underpinned by borrowing, with all households increasing spending faster than wage rises in the decade from 1997, according to a report from think tanks the Resolution Foundation and National Institute for Economic & Social Research". "Worst affected were the poorest 10pc of society, who outspent their income by 40pc in 2007".

Posted by alan @ 11:03 PM 12 Comments

Weaker banks = lower house prices

BBC: Peston: Could the euro survive a Greek exit?

Pesto makes an interesting point about how the way central banks work mean the Bundesbank will be owed a quarter of German GDP by Greek's central bank if they do a "Grexit". He then points out that this may dent the German's enthusiasm for the Euro somewhat. All this should weaken our banks enough to sink our housing market - at least in the areas outside of the London City-State.

Posted by voiceofreason @ 09:54 PM 6 Comments

Much easier to just repeatedly hit PRINT!

Reuters: Halt to easing could be tough sell for BoE's King

Governor Mervyn King looks set to leave the door open to more support for the struggling economy when he presents the Bank of England's new economic outlook on Wednesday, which is likely to show a tricky mix of lower growth and higher inflation ahead. King faces a grilling over the Bank's decision last week to halt the money printing press, as worries over high inflation trumped concerns about an economy which has slipped back into recession and faces new threats from the euro zone crisis.

Posted by general congreve @ 08:43 PM 3 Comments

House prices have grown by over 100 times since the Queen's Coronation

Nest Finance: Average house prices have 'increased 105 fold' in 60 years

Average UK property prices have increased over 100 times since the Queen’s Coronation in 1952, according to research released today.

Posted by keith hodges @ 12:11 PM 7 Comments

Santander launches Newbuy first time buyer mortgages

Myfinances.co.uk: Santander launches Newbuy mortgages

Santander has launched a range of mortgages with low fees, some of which only require a five per cent deposit

Posted by ben @ 11:56 AM 0 Comments

Former home of Irish PM Charles Haughey for sale ... at 83% less than its last price

Planet Property: Former home of Irish PM Charles Haughey for sale ... at 83% less than its last price

Abbeville, the Kinsealy-based home of disgraced former Irish PM Charles J Haughey, has been put on the market with a guide price of €7.5m ... it fetched €45m in 2003.

Posted by the planet @ 11:31 AM 0 Comments

Homeowner argues that high house prices are good thing shocker

This is Cornwall: WMN opinion: Strong property market is a good thing for the West

Yet in some circles the news that the average price of a home in Salcombe, South Devon, is close on half a million pounds or that Padstow has seen some of the most dramatic price increases will be seized on as a negative. The fact that properties in towns from Wadebridge to Minehead have all seen healthy increases in their value since 2002 will be used, in some circles, to bolster the view that something radical needs to be done to bring down the price of property in general. Yet that would be disastrous for many hard-working people whose biggest asset is their house and who want to be able to either use the money tied up in it at some time or leave it to their family.

Posted by sibley's b'stard child @ 11:27 AM 11 Comments

House Price Crash Pales Into Insignificance?

The Market Oracle: Greece Exit, Euro-Zone Collapse, Spain and Portugal Will Follow Within 6 Months

Is this possible/probable? I realise the some of you have some negative opinions about Mr Walayat and I don't agree with everything either however, he has been reasonably accurate over the last 5 years when it comes to the world economy/market trends and the powers that be rarely tell us whats really going on! I would welcome your opinions and have my stab vest on in preparation for some flack!

Posted by magnaman @ 10:54 AM 4 Comments

Underwater in Hartlepool

Bloomberg: Cameron’s Cuts Widening North-South U.K. Wealth Rift - Mortgages

"Underwater mortgages and missed home- loan payments were almost unheard of when Joe Michna started listening to the troubles of residents in the northern English town of Hartlepool. Now, 26 years later, one in seven coming to him for help are worried about losing their home".

Posted by alan @ 08:48 AM 3 Comments

At the top end of the scale

Reuters: Europe's woes hit global demand for luxury homes

"Demand for the world's priciest houses is likely to cool this year after two years of strong growth, as concerns over Europe's debt crisis, the health of the global economy and governments price cooling measures in Asia dissuade buyers, research showed"

Posted by alan @ 08:25 AM 2 Comments

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Buy-to-letters turn into Zombies

Jules Birch blog: Return of the undead

The credit crunch was meant to have killed off buy to let, with even the teacher couple who bought up 700 houses in the boom saying that it was 'ABSOLUTELY DEAD AND WILL NEVER RETURN'. Instead it's UP 30 PER CENT IN THE LAST YEAR. This interesting blog looks at what will happen if the trend seen since the start of the credit crunch continues. The conclusion: 2 million BTL mortgages by 2016 and a continuing fall in conventional home ownership. COULD EVEN THAT BE AN UNDER-STATEMENT AS THE BTL ZOMBIES EAT THE HOUSING MARKET?

Posted by justinh @ 04:14 PM 0 Comments

The king is naked

Prof Mary Beard: "politicians do not have a clue"

When it comes to the current financial mess, I feel really, really worried too!

Posted by ant @ 01:51 PM 10 Comments

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Do we really believe these politicians?

Telegraph: Broken banking system is keeping growth at bay

"In reality, though, "growth versus austerity" is a false and dangerous dichotomy, a misleading policy choice that has been formulated and fed to electorates in Britain and elsewhere by opportunistic politicians and their pet intellectuals".

Posted by alan @ 09:29 PM 13 Comments

Will Europe's leaders maintain the austerity drive?

Reuters: Pressures intensify on European leaders

"Confidence is already in short supply in financial markets and could evaporate further in the coming week if investors judge that Europe's often fractious political leaders aren't mapping out a sustainable path through the current crisis". (all back on line now!)

Posted by alan @ 09:25 PM 0 Comments

Brilliant...

BBC News: House market back in the doldrums

The brief flurry of activity in the property market has come to an end, says the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (Rics). Its monthly survey of members who work as estate agents shows that sales fell in April, for the first time since last September. Rics said this was due to the end of the stamp duty holiday for first-time buyers. The survey also found that house prices continue to fall, except in London.

Posted by frank @ 06:44 PM 0 Comments

Propping up the builders

Daily Mail: Buy a £500,000 home with just FIVE PER CENT deposit! PM hopes new scheme will get first-time buyers back on the property ladder

£1bn of taxpayers' cash to be used to guarantee loans for new-build homes Barclays, Nationwide and NatWest to offer 95% mortgages under scheme But MPs fear NewBuy deal, which is open to ALL buyers, could spark another credit crisis And deal is derided as gimmick that will only help construction industry

Posted by stuartking @ 11:07 AM 4 Comments

7,000 years to pay off its debts

Telegraph: Spain's most indebted village pays the price of its profligacy

Banners promising the property deal of a lifetime are fraying round the edges, weeds are growing in the patios. This village east of Madrid is one of 2,000 councils applying for help to the government.

Posted by justinh @ 08:40 AM 0 Comments

It's Shagged !

Mail: Founder Lord Harris of Peckham calls it a day at Carpetright

Carpetright, which has issued seven profits warnings over the past year, has been a victim of the downturn – the stagnant housing market has meant fewer people are moving home and changing their flooring.

Posted by happy mondays @ 07:36 AM 2 Comments

Friday, May 11, 2012

100% certified HPC relevance or your money back

Dalton Financial News: London Gold Market Report 11/05/2012

WHOLESALE MARKET gold prices touched their lowest level since the first week of January Friday, hitting $1574 an ounce before recovering some ground, while stocks and commodities fell and US Treasury bonds gained, with dealers in major gold buying countries reporting continued limited demand for precious metals. Silver prices fell to $28.54 an ounce – also a four-month low, and 6.1% down on last Friday's close. Heading into the weekend, spot market gold prices looked set for a 3.7% weekly loss by Friday lunchtime in London. Based on PM London Fix Gold prices, the week ended 2 March was the last time gold fell further in a single week.

Posted by sibley's b'stard child @ 04:01 PM 16 Comments

"The Southampton scheme, which could total around £1m, would not be limited to newbuilds"

Moneymarketing: Council looks at 20% Mig deal for FTBs

Southampton City Council is the latest to look at launching a mortgage indemnity scheme to help first-time buyers with small deposits. Under the scheme, Southampton council will underwrite up to 20 per cent of the mortgage through an indemnity as long as the borrower has a 5 per cent deposit. In theory, this means borrowers will be able to get a 95 per cent mortgage on similar terms to a 75 per cent mortgage.

Posted by jack c @ 02:37 PM 9 Comments

The onward march downwards

Finance Blog: Home Ownership Rates UK

In 1953, the proportion of owner-occupiers in England was 32 per cent. In 1961 this was 43% In 1918 the home ownership level was at 23%, In 1953 the rate of home ownership was 32% In 1961 rate of home ownership this was 43% In 1971 the rate of home ownership was 51%. In 1981 the rate of home ownership was 57.2% Home-ownership rates were to peak at 70% in 2003. In 2010, home ownership rates had fallen 67.4% *As of 2011 = 66% http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-17026462

Posted by sibley's b'stard child @ 12:21 PM 8 Comments

....

Property118: 1-in-5-mortgage applications are for buy to let

Buy to let mortgage applications make up one in five of all home loan applications, according to one of the UK’s largest estate agents.

Posted by paranoia blue @ 10:08 AM 0 Comments

You give nothing, but take what you can!

Mail: Halifax raises mortgage rate again adding £27 a month to a £150,000 home loan repayment

The bank increased mortgage rates by up to 0.3 percentage points, adding £27 a month to a typical £150,000 loan.

Posted by happy mondays @ 09:11 AM 10 Comments

House price optimism on the up, says Rightmove

Myfinances.co.uk: House price optimism on the up, says Rightmove

More than a third of homebuyers expect to see house price rising over the next 12 months.

Posted by ben @ 09:03 AM 0 Comments

Squeeze!

This is Money: Mortgage giant Halifax raises rates, as borrowers face a leap in costs despite the BoE's base rate freeze

Halifax, Britain’s biggest mortgage lender, yesterday increased its rates, despite the Bank of England keeping the base rate at 0.5 per cent for the 38th month in a row. The bank increased mortgage rates by up to 0.3 percentage points, adding £27 a month to a typical £150,000 loan. Yorkshire, the second biggest building society, is expected to announce similar increases today

Posted by rob @ 08:21 AM 0 Comments

Finding cash to invest in housing looking difficult

Parliment.uk: Financing of new housing supply

This is a rather long read which makes it difficult to summarise but it seems to be that the Communities and Local Government Committee want to encourage more participation by private sector landlords, new funding methods for housing associations and more investments from pension funds among other things. I see lots of words but little promise. Part 3 of the report is not without entertainment. In this section, the Residential landlords Association suggest that 'those landlords who had invested during "the boom" now realised that the capital appreciation upon which the sector's business model had been based had been "a mirage"'.

Posted by quiet guy @ 07:03 AM 1 Comments

...

Yorkshire Post: House sales put a spring in the step of Barratt

Barratt Developments provided much-needed cheer for the housebuilding market yesterday when it revealed that it had enjoyed its best spring selling season for five years.

Posted by paranoia blue @ 06:57 AM 0 Comments

Companies across the world face a "perfect storm"

Telegraph: Companies must raise £28 trillion to finance 'wall' of debt

"The consequences of this are already being felt in the rising cost of borrowing faced by everyone from the largest banks to homebuyers when taking on new debt or refinancing existing loans". "On Thursday night the CBI echoed the warning and said central banks and governments needed to beware the problems brewing in credit markets". S&P said this is likely to only be the start of a wider credit crisis as national austerity programmes and sovereign debt fears combine to put "refinancing needs in jeopardy".

Posted by alan @ 01:44 AM 4 Comments

Bliar's bonus in danger?

Telegraph: JPMorgan shares slump 6.5pc after chief Jamie Dimon reveals $2bn trading loss

"Jamie Dimon has shocked Wall Street by disclosing the bank racked up $2bn (£1.2bn) of trading losses in the past six weeks and warned they could get worse". They are big enough to duck the regulations or ignore them altogether. Make no mistake - its the little people who will pay!

Posted by alan @ 01:29 AM 2 Comments

Thursday, May 10, 2012

It's a no brainer

Liberal Democrat Voice: Opinion: Land Value Tax – an old idea with lots of modern supporters

Politic support for LVT to replace council tax: How much money can it raise? Levied at a flat rate of between 0.5 per cent or 0.6 per cent it has the potential, based on the current value of land in the United Kingdom, which accounts for 38 per cent of our wealth, to raise between £30 billion and £35 billion. That’s enough to replace the council tax while also giving a tax cut to all those living in properties worth less than £350,000-£400,000.

Posted by stuartking @ 09:13 PM 20 Comments

Politician does U-turn on election promises

Reuters: France's Hollande may roll back spending promises

Well, it didn't take long for Hollande to listen to the 'markets' after the 'populist' spending programme he outlined during his campaign. "Hollande may use a summer audit of state finances to water down his generous campaign promises rather than risk a backlash from financial markets against stubbornly high deficits and rising debt".

Posted by icarus @ 07:16 PM 4 Comments

More distressed sales

The Independent: Nearly 10,000 homes repossessed in first three months of 2012

A total of 9,600 homes were repossessed in the first three months of 2012, the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) said today. This was identical to the same period of 2011, but up ten per cent on the previous quarter.

Posted by stuartking @ 06:55 PM 1 Comments

Wheels coming off bandwagon?

Daily Telegraph: Fall in lending to buy-to-let property market blamed on weak UK economy

The likely cause is that "investor demand has not proved immune to the renewed recession, tightening credit conditions and declining sentiment about the potential for further sharp gains in rents", said analysts at Capital Economics.

Posted by stuartking @ 06:53 PM 1 Comments

To buy stuff with yen...

Business Insider: The Japanese Are Dumping Their Gold

Creditor nation selling their gold. Net exports up to 135 tonnes in 2011.

Posted by stillthinking @ 03:41 PM 9 Comments

BTL is not dead (yet)

Press Association: Buy-to-let mortgage loans 'up 32%'

New buy-to-let mortgage lending has increased by nearly a third year-on-year, lenders have said.

Posted by papabear @ 03:14 PM 0 Comments

Mortgage arrears down - but don't throw a street party just yet

Planet Property Blog: Repossessions stable, and mortgage arrears falling

The latest figures from the Council of Mortgage Lenders show that while the number of UK repos remains stable, there is good news in terms of mortgage arrears. But for how long?

Posted by property addict @ 12:57 PM 0 Comments

More ZIRP

BBC News: UK interest rates held at 0.5%

The Bank of England has continued to hold UK interest rates at a record low of 0.5% and is not extending its quantitative easing programme (QE). QE is the Bank's scheme to boost the economy by buying bonds. In February, the Bank's Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) boosted the stimulus to £325bn. Rates have been at 0.5% for three years, despite persistent inflation.

Posted by quiet guy @ 12:50 PM 11 Comments

No change in Bank of England's monetary policy

Myfinances.co.uk: Bank holds rates at 0.50% and keeps QE at £325 billion

The Bank of England has held the QE programme at £325 billion for now and kept base rate at 0.50 per cent for the 39th month in a row.

Posted by ben @ 12:13 PM 0 Comments

Stored for another day

AboutProperty: Repossessions stable as arrears fall slightly

Mark Blackwell, managing director of xit2, the property and mortgage data specialist, said: "Mortgage lenders are being unsustainably tolerant of borrowers in arrears. "Unemployment is increasing, and personal finances are being squeezed by the rising cost of living, which suggests repossessions should be higher, but they are being kept artificially low by lenders generous forbearance packages. Their generosity is camouflaging serious problems in borrower finances."

Posted by phil @ 11:25 AM 0 Comments

Why housing bubbles are worse than all other bubbles

MoneyWeek: Why housing bubbles are worse than all other bubbles

House price bubbles cause real harm in a way that most others don’t. With other bubbles, we at least we get to enjoy some beneficial side effects.

Posted by martingreen @ 10:44 AM 2 Comments

Even in a murder trial, the value of the home in which the crime was committed is very relevant

Daily Mail: He then stormed out of the room at his parents' 350,000 pounds home

A wealthy jeweller's son accused of strangling his model girlfriend today told a court he held her neck for 'five or six seconds' during a violent argument before she died. Elliot Turner, 20, confessed to grabbing Emily Longley, 17, 'quite hard' round the neck and pushing her onto his bed before pressing down above her collar bone with his right hand. He said he then stormed out of the room at his parents' 350,000 pounds home 'disgusted' with himself before writing a letter to his mother and putting it under her door asking her forgiveness.

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 10:06 AM 18 Comments

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Caused by a property boom gone wrong

Telegraph: Spain nationalises Bankia as euro crisis escalates

"The forced rescue was ordered by premier Mariano Rajoy after auditors Deloitte refused to sign off the bank's books, amid allegations of €3.5bn (£2.8bn) of inflated assets". (says it all really, but a good piece from Ambrose anyway).

Posted by alan @ 09:30 PM 9 Comments

Irish govt still desperately trying to prop up housebuilders

BBC News: NAMA scheme to beat fear of negative equity

The National Asset Management Agency (NAMA) has launched a scheme to boost the housing market by protecting buyers against negative equity. Under the 80:20 Deferred Payment Initiative, buyers will initially pay only 80% of the price of the property. The outstanding 20 percent is then borrowed in a second loan 5 years down the line. If the value of the property falls over this five year period, the buyer will get a discount on the 20 per cent still due, depending on how much the value has fallen by, with NAMA bearing the losses. The scheme allows buyers who are worried about house prices falling further to buy now, with the knowledge that they will not lose out even if house prices fall another 20%.

Posted by little professor @ 07:58 PM 4 Comments

Wise words from adviser to client

FTAdviser.com: Property, safe as houses? Not quite

Fuerteventura boasts amazing beaches and remains relatively unspoiled. Yet, after the property bubble burst, there are now many modern ghost villages and half completed concrete shells blighting the landscape. This got me thinking about a chat with a new client who, up until now, simply cannot see past UK buy-to-let and residential property as being the only investment solution. I have suggested that he should never own so much of one asset that he can make a killing from - or be killed by, and that diversification is a friend. I emailed the list below – which is by no means exhaustive – but seeks to point out that property (whether home or abroad) is not the be all and end all it is cracked up to be............

Posted by jack c @ 05:09 PM 6 Comments

Ouch !

Mail: The cost of renting flats surges 7% to all-time high as young are priced out of buying

Research by Findaproperty suggested that tenants are now spending an average 38 per cent of the typical £27,000 take-home salary on rent - but the figure soars to 71 per cent for London.

Posted by happy mondays @ 03:02 PM 4 Comments

A good news story from Ireland

Planet Property: A good news story from Ireland

Ireland has become synonymous with ghost estates and plummeting prices, but an eco village in Tipperary is breaking new ground …

Posted by the planet @ 11:58 AM 0 Comments

Why House Price crashes are painful

Reuters: Spain wants banks to find an extra 35 billion euros (-sources)

Reuters leak says: "Spain will demand banks set aside another 35 billion euros (27.8 billion pounds) against loans to builders, financial sources said, as it battles to rebuild confidence in a sector where huge losses have raised fears the country may need an international bailout. Lenders are already writing off 54 billion euros on soured property assets dating from a 2008 real estate crash and the requirement to find more money to cover loans that are currently sound, but could sour as the economy deteriorates, will pile further pressure on banks as they battle to find extra capital".

Posted by alan @ 11:21 AM 2 Comments

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Going in the right direction but for how long?

The Progress Report: Free Public Transit in Tallin!

Free public transport to be paid for in Estonia's capital city through the Land Value Tax that has helped make Estonia the best-performing country of the old Soviet bloc. However, politics is in danger of messing up their LVT which has underpined their prosperity.

Posted by stuartking @ 09:55 PM 14 Comments

It's still bonkers!

MoneyExtra: Housing market 'insane' for those not on the ladder already

"I was always an advocate that we need a really intense, short, sharp drop in prices in order to create some kind of equilibrium, but now you look at an average price being £160,000 and the average wage being £25,000, so it is six times the average salary," said Paul Holmes, the chief executive officer of Firstrung. "It is still pretty insane out there for most people who aren't already on the ladder." And there's better to come: When the housing market begins to fall, it is unlikely lenders will begin to offer FTBs smaller deposits. The opposite will probably occur, with deposits growing and lenders putting up their mortgage rates as well.

Posted by stuartking @ 09:21 PM 0 Comments

Neighbours, everybody needs good neighbours...

This Is Money: How having nice neighbours can boost your house price by £15,000

We have long been willing to pay a premium for ‘location, location, location’. But these days, house hunters would be just as happy to fork out a little extra for a good next-door neighbour. Four in ten of us would gladly pay more for a home if someone ‘trustworthy and quiet’ was living next door, a survey has found. The average premium we would be prepared to shoulder is 7 per cent – £15,321 on a typical home. But one in 30 would pay an extra 20 per cent – nearly £44,000.

Posted by sibley's b'stard child @ 02:02 PM 9 Comments

Halifax launches a "one stop shop" for house hunters

Myfinances.co.uk: Halifax launches Home Finder app

The Halifax has launched a mortgage and property application that combines property search facilities via Findaproperty.com, mortgage affordability calculators, local area information and homebuyer guides.

Posted by ben @ 10:57 AM 0 Comments

Stamp duty deadline and bad weather cause sharp drop in house prices

Myfinances.co.uk: UK house prices fall to six-month low, says RICS

The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) reports that its house price index fell from -11 to -19 in April.

Posted by ben @ 09:33 AM 0 Comments

Property bubble takes bank down

CNN: Spain to spend billions on bank rescue

"Spain is planning a state bail-out of Bankia, the country's third biggest bank by assets, in a move likely to involve the injection of billions of euros of public money into the troubled lender. The bursting of Spain's property bubble has seen the level of bad loans as a proportion of total lending rise to the highest level in 18 years, leaving banks managing vast portfolios of repossessed and unsold real estate, and choking off credit to an economy that is suffering its second recession in three years"

Posted by alan @ 08:44 AM 5 Comments

Rebound runs out of steam, except London

Guardian: House prices falling steeply, says RICS

"Downward slide evidence of faltering economic confidence, says group, but London house prices experiencing a 'mini-boom'"

Posted by alan @ 08:05 AM 14 Comments

Supply not demand shock

Telegraph: Bank of England could be hurting recovery with QE

Probably many don't agree that QE is helpful, but article outlines idea that the UK is suffering from an adverse supply shock -not- a collapse in demand. "wages have collapsed but prices haven’t. Where’s the competition?" is kind of interesting. You can easily see recent supply side problems. When, for example, did factory jobs begin to become uncompetitive against benefits? I think you could argue that this occurred relatively recently with spiralling housing costs, which were matched and exceeded by the benefits system, but not the factory wage. Education reforms churning out illiteracy and skills shortages i.e. by 2008 a supply shock was baked in to UK labour. Interesting idea.

Posted by stillthinking @ 07:07 AM 2 Comments

The usual bla bla noises made by policy wonks

CLG Committee: Report on New Housing Supply

The Government must employ a basket of measures, covering all tenures of housing, if sufficient finance is ever to be available to tackle the country's housing crisis, says the Communities and Local Government (CLG) Committee in a report examining the financing of new housing supply.

Posted by greenmind @ 12:49 AM 3 Comments

Easy money is this property game

Daily Fail: £20k bill after tenants turn house into cannabis farm

A husband and wife who let their house to a ‘respectable’ Chinese couple returned to find it had been turned into a drug factory. Shaun and Katie Thomas found hundreds of cannabis plants, eight tons of soil stored in the attic, and a new ventilation system. Their bedroom was filled with the illegal foliage as well as specialist lighting to help the crop grow.

Posted by montesquieu @ 12:30 AM 4 Comments

Monday, May 7, 2012

Greece & German by-elections twist the knife

Mail: Britain is shackled to the corpse of Europe

"Europe's economic problems are about to get a whole lot worse. For the past three years, governments have tried, however ineffectually, to tackle the debt crisis. Now, though, in country after country, voters are demanding precisely the high-tax and high-spend policies which caused the recession in the first place". "Not since we joined the EEC 40 years ago have the Continent’s prospects looked so dark. Nor, by contrast, has the rest of the English-speaking world looked so bright: as Europe dwindles, the Old Commonwealth is flourishing. We thought we were joining a growing and prosperous market all those years ago when we signed up to Europe. In fact, we were shackling ourselves to a corpse".

Posted by alan @ 08:05 PM 20 Comments

Zero Carbon Homes Policy to keep prices high

Telegraph: Green building rules could 'strangle' property market

"The regulations would require higher efficiency standards on new homes from next year and are a step toward the government’s plan to make new homes ‘zero carbon’ from 2016. Linden Homes, the UK’s fifth-largest residential developer, said the 2016 proposals risk “strangling the building industry with massively increased costs” of up to £30,000 more on each new home".

Posted by alan @ 07:49 PM 7 Comments

Wish we had some over supply....

BBC: Irish recession: inside an 'empty' town

"How's business?" I ask. "Slow," she admits. Today's price list has four-bedroom townhouses starting at €215,000 (£175,000). A similar property would have cost €500,000 (£405,000) before the collapse.

Posted by mapp1066 @ 11:31 AM 6 Comments

Madness!

BBC: Living in the ghost streets

With demolition imminent, she is yet to agree an offer from the council and faces a hunt for a new property that she believes will double her outgoings either through increased mortgage repayments or rent.

Posted by mapp1066 @ 11:25 AM 5 Comments

Will UK and French house prices follow the US?

The Economist: The great divide

I came across this from last week; doesn't have an answer but poses interesting questions. "Many people think that owning a house is a certain moneymaker, but this is not the historical experience..." "It is hard to find an explanation for price movements that applies across markets. Some cite low real interest rates as the main reason that prices have held up in Europe. But real rates have fallen sharply in America as well..." "So perhaps the difference is institutional. American banks had poorer lending standards and have been quicker to foreclose on properties; borrowers have been readier to walk away from their homes. In European countries, owners have been able to sit tight in the hope that prices will recover. European markets are certainly a lot less liquid..."

Posted by dude @ 10:46 AM 2 Comments

Figures show average house prices in some hamlets are almost 11 times people’s income.

Telegraph: Britain's prettiest villages becoming 'rich people’s ghettoes'

According to Mark Squires, the local headmaster, none of the parents of the 39 pupils at the village school or any of the teachers is able to afford to buy a home in the catchment area.

Posted by mapp1066 @ 08:38 AM 6 Comments

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Central London housing bubble ahead?

Telegraph: Francois Hollande has ten weeks to avert a French bond crisis

"They absolutely must cut public spending and control the debt,” said Marc Touati from Global Equities in Paris. “It will soon be clear that we are in deep recession. If they don’t act fast, interest rates will shoot up and we will have a catastrophe by September,” he said". "Watch the French debt auctions on May 3 and May 16 carefully, says Sophie van Straelen from the French hedge fund consultancy Asterias", and Louise Cooper (BGC Partners) said “London property is like German Bunds - somewhere safe to park cash,” . Mr Hollande has pledged to spend €20bn (£16.2bn), lower the retirement age, and raise taxes on business and the rich. So that’s spending not austerity, retrenchment not reform and anti-capitalist to boot (wow)!

Posted by alan @ 09:02 PM 11 Comments

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Above

Guardian Money Blog: The Overdue Death of Interest Only Mortgages

articel about interest only mortgages fuelling property prices.

Posted by porkpharm @ 11:26 PM 0 Comments

A follow-up to Friday's Telegraph piece

Independent: It was British banks, not British borrowers, that crashed our economy

Our largest banks got into trouble in 2008 because of their bad loans made to the rest of the world, not their UK lending. 75% of the banks’ losses were from their non-UK lending books. The major UK banks were hit 15 times harder by losses on non-UK mortgages than duff UK home loans. Bad loans made to British households were a minor part of their total losses. The banks did not go bust because ordinary Britons borrowed too much.

Posted by drewster @ 08:22 PM 9 Comments

Psychological £160K Theshold Breached

Daily Mail: More homeowner misery as its revealed house prices plunged by £130 EVERY day last month

Apparently its 'worrying' that house prices dropped by over £900 a week last month. The Daily Mail reveals that the Halifax Hosue Price Index has fallen below £160K with the average home now costing £159,883, down 2.4% per cent from £163,796 in March - the same level as in 2004.

Posted by enuii @ 04:16 PM 13 Comments

But borrowers increasingly opt for 'DROs'

Mail: Bankruptcies up 5% in first rise in a year

"Official figures revealed a rise in the number of personal bankruptcies - the first increase in a year". "The number of bankruptcies was up 5 per cent in the first few months of 2012 compared with the end of last year".

Posted by alan @ 02:44 PM 0 Comments

Drought turns to flood

CNN: French, Greek elections a boom for London property

As French and Greek voters head to the polls this weekend, some property owners across the Channel will be rubbing their hands with glee. The reason: a robust real estate market in London's most exclusive areas which have become a safe haven for eurozone investors keen to preserve family fortunes and avoid tightening tax regimes back home. A favorite to win France's presidential elections on Sunday, Socialist Party leader François Hollande once quipped that he didn't like "the rich." Among his key policies: a 75% income tax band for the wealthiest citizens, which experts say will exacerbate an exodus already underway.

Posted by drewster @ 10:49 AM 7 Comments

Boris win property reaction

AboutProperty: Boris Johnson re-election: Reactions from the property world

Reactions to Boris' election win - does he have the power to really influence housing in the capital?

Posted by phil @ 02:05 AM 0 Comments

Friday, May 4, 2012

But we all have to pay for it except the banks

Telegraph: Families must accept share of blame for Britain's woes

“People say to me, 'it was the banks’. I say, 'hang on, the banks had to lend to someone’,” he said. “People feel in a sense that someone else is responsible for the decisions they made. Of course, if banks don’t offer credit, people can’t take it. [But] there were two consenting adults in all these transactions, a borrower and a lender, and they may both have made wrong calls. Some people are unwilling to accept responsibility for the consequences of their own choices.” ... Mr Hammond was a successful businessman before entering politics, amassing a multi-million-pound fortune from interests including property development. But he insisted it was right to highlight the role played by household borrowing, including mortgages.

Posted by quiet guy @ 05:25 PM 14 Comments

This is not a repayment

Reuters: RBS eyes recovery as repayment of state loans looms

This -nominal- repayment by RBS is not an actual repayment. The government has transferred around 40 billion to exculpate at a profit the shareholders which is still out there, but even thats not it. If you borrow below inflation you give money back that is worth less on the date of repayment i.e. you do not fully repay. During the period that this loan has been outstanding RBS has received -share- of UK domestic (and US) production commensurate with the losses of that period of production by savers and consumers of both countries.

Posted by stillthinking @ 03:19 PM 0 Comments

"Nobody saw it coming"

Belfast Telegraph: Former BoE Governor Eddie George: " Bank of England deliberately stoked the consumer boom"

The Bank of England deliberately stoked the consumer boom that has led to record house prices and personal debt in order to avert a recession, the former Bank Governor Eddie George admitted yesterday. Lord George said he and his colleagues on the Monetary Policy Committee " did not have much of a choice" as they battled to prevent the UK being dragged into a worldwide economic slump by slashing interest rates. And he said his legacy to the current MPC was to "sort out" the problems he had caused.

Posted by sneaker @ 01:45 PM 10 Comments

The cheek of it! They should be taken out an shot!

CityWire: Buy-to-let at risk as tenants demand to see mortgage permission

"Tenants are increasingly asking to see the landlord’s permission from the mortgage lender to allow a residential property to be let. This is a particular problem for ‘amateur’ landlords – for example, those who choose to let their property until they can find a buyer – many of whom do not ask the lender’s permission to let, as this would almost certainly involve an increase in their mortgage costs." Eeh, when I were a lad, we tugged our forelocks and respected an Englishman's castles and paid over whatever rent he demanded without question. Whatever next? Will these layabouts be asking for repairs to be carried out promptly? Their deposits back? Why do we even allow non-freeholders to vote? That's why this country is going to the dogs.

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 11:44 AM 3 Comments

House price crash not actually happening: official

BBC: House prices fluctuating widely, Halifax says

House prices in the UK fell sharply in April after the end of the stamp-duty holiday for first-time buyers, the Halifax has said. It said the 2.4% drop last month was partly due to sales falling back, after they had risen briefly before the end of the tax concession on 24 March. The lender said this had caused monthly price changes to "fluctuate widely". Last month's dip took the cost of the average home down to £159,883, which was 0.5% lower than a year ago. Despite this, the lender said the underlying trend showed prices still rising slightly.

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 10:53 AM 5 Comments

So what do you mean that the 1% I just saved has been wiped out.

Bloomberg: U.K. Home Prices Drop the Most in 1 1/2 Years as Recession Bites

All those FTB suckered in have just seen their 1% saving wiped out and lost another 1.4% on top. So it begins. Just let the Olympics work its way through and we'll start to see some really falls.

Posted by hairybear @ 10:20 AM 0 Comments

Gotta shoot 'em in the head, it's the only way to be sure.

This Is Money: £787bn hit to family wealth has created 800,000 'zombie' households that only survive thanks to cheap mortgages

The £787billion assault on household wealth is close to the £1,000billion of taxpayers’ money that was used to prop up the banks at the worst point of the financial crisis. The report – by the National Institute of Economic and Social Research – warns that the punishing squeeze on finances could lead to a sharp rise in the number of zombie households. The term is used for those who are struggling to meet their mortgage repayments but stay in their homes only thanks to low interest rates and leeway from their lenders. H/T to RnR

Posted by sibley's b'stard child @ 10:15 AM 11 Comments

Danny Blanchflower says something profound: shock

City AM: Is Mervyn King justified in saying that he was powerless to stop the financial crisis?

"Mervyn King argued that “there seemed no reason to expect the worst recession since the 1930s” and nobody saw it coming because “no-one believed it would happen.” Actually many people in the City did. They spotted that house price to earnings ratios had reached unsustainably high levels and the only way was down. Of course, banking crises are old as the hills; plus the 1929 Great Crash started in the Florida housing market." Yup. House price bubble (actually land price bubble) = credit bubble. All bubbles pop = financial crises. Land prices are probably the most important single indicator that things are going wrong or are about to go wrong.

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 09:58 AM 1 Comments

For April 2012 (seasonally adjusted)

LBG: Halifax House Price Index

Annual change -0.5% Quarterly change +0.3% Monthly change -2.4% Average Price £159,883

Posted by dill @ 08:54 AM 24 Comments

Thursday, May 3, 2012

An excellent short piece by Ron Paul

FT: Our central bankers are intellectually bankrupt

The financial crisis has fully exposed the intellectual bankruptcy of the world’s central bankers. Today’s central bank governors behave as if the height of the credit bubble is the status quo to which we need to return. This confuses money with wealth, and reflects the idea that prosperity stems from high asset prices and large amounts of money and credit. True prosperity requires sound money, increased productivity, and increased savings and investment. The so-called capitalists have forgotten that capital cannot be created by government fiat.

Posted by drewster @ 11:11 PM 5 Comments

Intergenerational transfer of wealth self-reinforces

Jules Birch: Disenfranchised by the housing system

Millions of people seem set to be locked out of the electoral system just as they are already priced out of the housing system. You do not have to be young or a private renter to be worried about the implications of this for public engagement in our political system or involved in housing to be concerned about the way this will reduce still further its profile as a political issue.

Posted by wanderinman @ 09:49 PM 4 Comments

Angleterre Beware

Telegraph: France faces 40pc house price slump

France faces a property slump of Anglo-Saxon proportions as the frothiest boom in French history finally tips over, threatening the country with an economic shock just as austerity hits.

Posted by dill @ 08:29 PM 7 Comments

The squeeze tightens on the UK housing market

MoneyWeek: The squeeze tightens on the UK housing market

As banks tighten up on their lending, mortgages are getting more expensive and harder to come by. That's bad news for the housing market. John Stepek explains what's going on, and what it means for house prices.

Posted by martingreen @ 03:39 PM 5 Comments

Britain being sold to China

Northampton Chronicle and Echo: Chinese firm to buy Northamptonshire cereal giant Weetabix

"Northamptonshire based cereal producer Weetabix is to come under Chinese ownership after a deal involving the Asian country’s biggest overseas food takeover." This really does take the weeta-biscuit.

Posted by thecountofnowhere @ 03:23 PM 0 Comments

"The nation is collapsing in on London" Like a black hole...

Next Leg ?

Mail: UK property market slide continues with four of last five months showing house price falls

The report said: 'Housing market activity is also likely to remain subdued, with prices showing little growth or moving modestly lower over the next 12 months.'

Posted by happy mondays @ 10:46 AM 0 Comments

Hardworking landlords hammered by new menace in the PRS

Houseladder: Rental payments snubbed by ungrateful tenants

Hardworking, philanthropical land barons are being deliberately deprived of their rightful livelihood by ungrateful tenants who are using such spurious reasons as inability to pay rent as a vehicle to haggling. Haggling is simply not British. Unless you're using you financial acumen to get the cheapest mortgage deal in which case that's the more patriotic 'savviness'. ARLA are lobbying the government to enact policy whereby and arbitrary hike in rents should be legally met by the tenants regardless of ability to pay. Arr you British, are you right-minded? Let's work together and stamp this menace out. Now.

Posted by sibley's b'stard child @ 09:48 AM 12 Comments

Halifax extends stamp duty offer on properties valued up to £250k

Myfinances.co.uk: Halifax to pay 50% of homebuyers' stamp duty costs

The Halifax has extended its offer to pay half of the stamp duty bill on properties valued up to £250,000.

Posted by ben @ 09:11 AM 0 Comments

House prices edge down slightly, continuing neutral trend

Myfinances.co.uk: House prices down 0.2% in April, says Nationwide

The Nationwide house price index says that house prices in the UK fell by 0.2 per cent in April and that the average house now costs £164,134.

Posted by ben @ 09:07 AM 0 Comments

Banks~Doncha luv 'em

Mail: Customers facing historic high overdraft fees despite record low base rate

"Banks are charging customers the highest overdraft rates since records began. The average authorised overdraft rate is 19.52 per cent – nearly 40 times the base rate which has been kept at a historic low of 0.5 per cent for three years".

Posted by alan @ 08:37 AM 1 Comments

Yup, reliable

Nationwide: House prices edged down by 0.2% in April

YoY down 0.9%, MoM down 0.2%.

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 07:43 AM 6 Comments

Nationwide index starting to look reliable

BBC: House prices fell again in April, Nationwide says

"House prices are in gentle decline, new figures from the Nationwide building society suggest. Its latest monthly survey says prices dropped by 0.2% in April, leaving them 0.9% down on a year ago."

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 07:41 AM 3 Comments

Interview concerning Europe problems

Zero Hedge: You Can't Make Up How Bad It Is

Opinions on Europe.

Posted by stillthinking @ 03:33 AM 4 Comments

Because...

Independent: Governor tells Osborne: you must act now to tame the City

Concerning investment bank regulations, "It's vital that Parliament legislates to enact these proposals sooner rather than later,". Really, because the only reason that would be the case would be if some event that depended on the proposals happened between sooner and later. At the same time over on zerohedge there is Hugh Hendry pointing out the mother of all market clearing events is happening in Europe despite and irrespective of incapable politicians, with a single digit year. So I think a reasonable presumption is that King understands the UK financial sector to be still exposed to heavy losses.

Posted by stillthinking @ 02:57 AM 1 Comments

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Another hit ...Pssssss

Mail: Co-op pulls the plug on interest-only mortgages and warns borrowers can't just rely on house prices rising

'Lenders are massively risk-averse right now. This is the latest example of that fear translating into reduced mortgage availability for UK borrowers.'

Posted by happy mondays @ 03:29 PM 8 Comments

What a Hunt

Telegraph: Jeremy Hunt avoided £100,000 tax bill in deal just days before rate rise

"Jeremy Hunt avoided more than £100,000 in tax in a £1.8 million property deal weeks before the 2010 election, The Daily Telegraph can disclose."

Posted by doomwatch @ 02:39 PM 2 Comments

Greenspan's words of wisdom.

Bloomberg: Greenspan Says U.S. Stocks ‘Very Cheap,’ Likely to Rise

Will make your blood boil when he talks about the housing market. I never heard him say this three years ago, this must be a sell signal.

Posted by will @ 02:21 PM 2 Comments

Dig for victory

Guardian: Buying British: how to spend our way out of recession

Might we, as consumers, be able to bring the country out of recession? Howard Archer, chief UK and European economist at IHS Global Insight, says: "It's a fact that if we bought more British goods, we'd limit the imports and that would help the economy. However, it would have to happen on a significant scale for it to make a difference, and only the people who can still afford to spend, without getting into further debt, should be spending."

Posted by sibley's b'stard child @ 01:41 PM 11 Comments

Questions to which the answer is "yes"

Daily Mail: Is this the world's most terrifying bathroom?

It amazes me that people will pay extra for all that wasted space, but hey. Whoever uses that loo will never need laxatives as they will have cr-pped themselves long before they get near it.

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 12:18 PM 19 Comments

Bank of England reports slip in mortgage lending

Myfinances.co.uk: Mortgage lending recovery fades as stamp duty break ends

The flurry of mortgage lending activity witnessed in the housing market at the start of the year could be on the decline again now that the stamp duty holiday has ended, latest figures suggest.

Posted by ben @ 11:40 AM 0 Comments

Housing propaganda - the new job of BOE.

Telegraph: Surprise rise in mortgage approvals

Approvals for home loans in Britain rose unexpectedly in March, suggesting the housing market continued to recover despite the end of a tax exemption for first-time buyers, Bank of England data showed on Wednesday. The central bank said mortgage approvals climbed to 49,860 in March from 49,029 in February, confounding analysts' forecasts for a fall to 48,000. Economists had expected approvals to dip after the expiry of a tax exemption for first-time buyers at the end of March, which had boosted mortgage approvals and house prices earlier this year.

Posted by hpwatcher @ 10:55 AM 3 Comments

Bear nibble

City AM: Funding costs drive Lloyds to slash loan book

"Lloyds unveiled an eight per cent drop in its need for wholesale funding in the first quarter, which now stands at £231bn and meets its targeted loan-to-deposit ratio of 130 per cent. The progress was so rapid that Horta-Osório set a new target of 120 per cent for this time next year.... The change was fuelled by a five per cent cut in lending to retail customers during the first quarter of this year, with retail assets reduced to £538bn, and a slight increase in customer deposits to £412bn... ...many analysts were disappointed by a drop in the bank’s net interest margins – the average margin it makes on lending – which was down by two basis points to 1.95 per cent due to increased funding costs, a key reason why the bank is deleveraging so quickly."

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 09:40 AM 0 Comments

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

30 year fixed rate mortgages currently averaging 3.69% in the US

Wall St Journal: US 30-Year Mortgage Rates Fall A Second Week In A Row

For a country where jingle mail is such a regular occurance how come 30 year fixed rate mortgages are so cheap compared to the UK. Is this another example of Rip-Off Britain.

Posted by enuii @ 08:29 PM 8 Comments

Causes of HPC in US & Oz and why the UK is WORSE

ProfSteveKeen - Youtube: Just Banking Presentation Edinburgh 2012

The latest from Steve Keen, who briefly examines some dynamics of the banking system and analyses the debt bubble situation in different countries. The UK comes out worst because of our massive overhang of household debt (ie mortgages taken out to gamble on house prices). Since debt comes out as a component of aggregate demand in Keene's analysis, the current contraction in bank lending signals continued recession over here, and his metrics suggest the credit bubble over here has been much worse than in the US. So we are in for a bigger correction. "good news" for buying a house if you survive the crash with your income intact, but... from a broader perspective, disturbing stuff.

Posted by nickb @ 02:14 PM 26 Comments

Omg

Telegraph: One in five 'couldn't afford food' if mortgage payments rose

One in seven home owners struggles to pay the mortgage and 20pc would not have enough for essentials such as food if their repayments rose by £100 a month.

Posted by mark @ 01:25 PM 18 Comments

Tide turning against London?

AboutProperty: London housing market feels the chill in March

Nicholas Leeming, business development director at Zoopla.co.uk, said: "A number of London’s sellers decided to drop prices in February and March in order to keep buyers interested as the prospect grew of either a mansion tax or a new stamp duty threshold being announced in the budget. "As a result, the month-on-month fall in average prices in London is likely to be a temporary blip, however, the fall will put pressure on annual price growth in London over the coming months. The overall trend of average price falls demonstrates there is still some nervousness among buyers and this is putting downward pressure on prices."

Posted by phil @ 12:45 PM 0 Comments

*Sips morning coffee*

Mail: One million homeowners hit by £660 a year mortgage rate rise today

Homeowners will be hit by rises of up to £660 a year today as Britain's biggest mortgage lender blamed the European financial crisis for a hike in rates. Halifax is raising its rate of borrowing by 0.49 of a per cent, meaning 850,000 borrowers will have to find up to an additional £55 a month on a typical £200,000 property. Three other lenders, Co-operative, Clydesdale/Yorkshire and One Account will also raise interest rates today by between 0.25 and 0.5 of a per cent which will hit a further 184,000 borrowers in the pocket. The Bank of Ireland is due to increase its rate by 1.5 per cent in the coming months.

Posted by hpwatcher @ 11:55 AM 9 Comments

For March 2012

Land Registry: House Price Index

Index 257.3 Average price £160,372 Monthly change -0.6% Annual change -0.6%

Posted by dill @ 11:23 AM 11 Comments

SVR increase means many would struggle

Myfinances.co.uk: Borrowers face £300m SVR mortgage payment rise

Research from consumer group Which? has found that an increase in mortgage payments of £100 a month would see 20 per cent of homeowners struggle to pay for basics.

Posted by ben @ 09:15 AM 0 Comments

He who laughs last.....???

Keeno's Debtwatch: Australian House Prices down 10% from Peak

I posted this because i saw the article below posted by Alan.. Keenos comments are very similar to those you see on here. "The motive force behind Australia’s bubble was the same as in the USA and Japan: accelerating debt drove rising house prices during the boom. Now in both those countries, decelerating debt is driving house prices down. The same pattern applies in Australia". In the comments he says he is in a rush and off to sky news. I would like to see that interview.

Posted by techieman @ 08:44 AM 6 Comments

End of term report

Telegraph: King a 'disaster' as Bank Governor, says Standard Life

"David Cumming, head of equities at Standard Life and one of the most influential figures in the City, said the Treasury must improve on Sir Mervyn when his second term expires in June 2013". "Sir Mervyn has not ingratiated himself with the City since the financial crisis – at one point even expressing surprise that the public was not more angry with bankers". (Is this fair?).

Posted by alan @ 08:19 AM 3 Comments

Quick, Slash Interest Rates - get prices UP

Bloomberg: Australian House Prices Fall for Fifth Straight Quarter

"Australian house prices declined in the three months through March in the longest losing streak in at least a decade as the central bank maintained the highest borrowing costs among major developed nations".

Posted by alan @ 07:59 AM 3 Comments

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