June 2012 Archive

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Dash for populism or a preparation for the inevitable?

Telegraph: EU ~ New Tory battlelines drawn

"David Cameron has opened the door to a historic referendum on Britain’s future relationship with the European Union — declaring that voters need a “real choice”". BBC & SKY are carrying this already (and the article isn't even printed, yet). The developments come in the wake of last week’s Brussels summit in which leaders of the eurozone countries took the first steps toward a "rescue plan" for the single currency. At the same time, approximately 100 Conservative MPs wrote a letter to the PM calling on him to legislate for a referendum on Britain’s relationship with the EU to be held in future years. Many of Mr Cameron’s most senior aides have been urging him to take such a step for several months (results will surely impact economics in the UK, going forward).

Posted by alan @ 10:01 PM 9 Comments

Yes, but what will the impact be on property prices?

Daily Mail: Father, 31, charged with murder of gifted PhD student girlfriend, 28, at their £250,000 Georgian home in Bath Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2165054/Paul-Keene-accused-murdering-PhD-student-girlfriend-luxury-flat-baby-screamed-nearby.

Keene - who lives just yards from a row of renowned multimillion-pound apartments - was remanded in custody to appear before Bristol Crown Court on July 10. Police were called to a disturbance at the couple's home just after midnight on Sunday. They discovered Ms Miron-Buchacra's body at the attractive terraced property, which is split into five flats worth around £250,000 each...The address is two doors down from the former home of Admiral Phillip, the first governor of Australia, who lived there between 1806 and 1814. It lies opposite The Assembly Rooms, a magnificent 18th century building, which is now used as a museum and exclusive wedding venue. The Circus, a world famous John Wood development and one of the UK’s most prestigious addresses, also lies just 150 yards away...

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 11:02 AM 5 Comments

Many a true word spoken in jest

Telegraph: The emails that reveal how King and Osborne fixed the gilts market

OK, so I know that Barclays has been a very bad boy indeed, but when it comes to fixing the market, Bob Diamond's dudes have got nothing on Sir Mervyn King and George Osborne

Posted by dill @ 09:15 AM 2 Comments

Friday, June 29, 2012

Its the poorest areas

Daily Mail: Repossession Hot Spot Map Reveals Worst UK Areas

Shock, poorest people can't pay back their loans.

Posted by voiceofreason @ 08:22 PM 3 Comments

Separation of retail and casino banks back on the table?

Daily Telegraph: Mervyn King calls for 'break-up' of banks after rates swap scandal

Mervyn King, the Governor of the Bank of England, urged the separation of lenders' retail businesses from their "casino banking" arms and a "real change in culture" at British banks. Will never happen, but would definitely affect house prices through restricted lending.

Posted by micasasucasa @ 12:58 PM 14 Comments

UK no longer a "safe haven"?

Telegraph: Germany caves in over bond buying, bank aid after Italy and Spain threaten to block 'everything'

"Germany has today caved into demands made by Italy and Spain for immediate eurozone aid to bring down their soaring borrowing costs".

Posted by alan @ 08:50 AM 14 Comments

The limitations of ZIRP

Mindful Money: Shaun Richards: What has happened to the UK’s housing, mortgage and banking markets?

Shaun Richards discusses Libor and recent trends in mortgage lending. Note that Richards regards a booming property market as a good thing - he is no HPCer. Regarding mortgage lending trends, Richards observes that if the trend of capital repayments exceeding borrowing in the mortgage market continues while we have ZIRP then we're entering new territory: "This development drives a possible stake into the heart of another economic orthodoxy. This is the one that says that reducing interest-rates always leads to net increases in factors such as borrowing which lead to a stimulus to the economy. My argument is that as we approach zero for interest-rates the relationship changes and that the stimulus declines and can go negative."

Posted by quiet guy @ 08:41 AM 1 Comments

Couple give up trying to buy or rent

Daily Mail: Property developer spends £11,000 turning double-decker bus into his new home after being priced out of housing market Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2166028/Property-developer-spends-11-000-turning-double-decker-bus-new-home-priced-h

A young couple were unable to afford a deposit and found it almost impossible to get a mortgage. So they spent four gruelling months turning a neglected bus into a two bedroom mobile home. With an impending crash this is the most financially sensible thing they could have done.

Posted by miken @ 07:40 AM 4 Comments

Another fraud case settled out of court

Estateagenttoday.co.uk: Huge fraud case settled out of court

personally I feel we need these cases to go to court,otherwise its just another cover up....we seem happy to stick people in jail for stealing a bottle of water or ranting on the tube but fraud is almost accepted as non criminal

Posted by taffee @ 07:08 AM 4 Comments

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Year of the Weasel

Counterpunch: China embraces Ponzi-bonds

China's rulers and bankers are undertaking all the Ponzi schemes that brought weatern economies to their knees. Why? Because it's good for the top 1%.

Posted by icarus @ 05:13 PM 2 Comments

This on top of LIBOR

Sky News: Banks Braced For New Mis-selling Scandal

Barclays will tomorrow be drawn into another huge City mis-selling scandal that threatens to intensify the pressure on Bob Diamond, its under-fire chief executive. I can reveal that the Financial Services Authority (FSA) is preparing a statement revealing it has uncovered evidence that many small business customers (SMEs) were the victims of inappropriate selling of interest rate swap products and that the major high street banks will write to every customer who was sold them. The City regulator is in talks today with the major banks about its proposed statement, which is being scheduled for tomorrow morning. It could lead to another compensation bill for the country’s biggest banks running potentially to hundreds of millions or even billions of pounds.

Posted by charlie brooker @ 03:06 PM 4 Comments

One trade could cost JPM $9 BILLION

Cnbc: Jpmorgan trading losses could hit $9 bilion

nothing learned and nothing changed...I say bring back nick leeson,from a risk management point of view...he did 5.5 years in jail these people get promoted...feel something big is going to happen or snap

Posted by taffee @ 02:03 PM 5 Comments

Last year 58,000 evictions in Spain, 22% rise

Sky: Spain: Violent Clashes As Police Evict Family

"A protest to stop the eviction of an Ecuadorian family from their Spanish apartment escalated into a mass riot amid clashes with police".

Posted by alan @ 12:12 PM 4 Comments

Land Built On: England 2.3%, Scotland 0.4%, Wales 0.9%

BBC: The great myth of urban Britain

The 80% of us who live in towns and cities spend an inordinate amount of time staring at tarmac and brick. On most urban roads, one can be tricked into thinking that the ribbon of grey we see reflects the land use for miles around. But when you look out of a plane window as you buckle-up ahead of landing at a UK airport, the revelation is how green the country appears. Until recently, conflicting definitions have made the calculation tricky but fortunately, a huge piece of mapping work was completed last summer - the UK National Ecosystem Assessment (NEA).

Posted by ontheotherhand @ 12:02 PM 13 Comments

UK house prices slip back in June

Nationwide: June House Price Index

MOM = minus 0.6%, YOY = minus 1.5%. Both looking reliable :-)

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 10:00 AM 14 Comments

House prices fall again

Myfinances.co.uk: House prices down 0.6% in June, says Nationwide

The Nationwide house price index for June shows a 0.6 per cent fall in property prices, with the average home now costing £165,738.

Posted by ben @ 09:52 AM 0 Comments

Price falls under way even with 0.5% interest rates

Daily mail: Houseprices fall at swiftest rate for 3 years

even with everything thrown at it the housing bubble is beginning to burst and nothing can stop it.

Posted by taffee @ 09:45 AM 6 Comments

...this is where you end up with "top talent"

G Pytel: Curbing City pay will give it competitive advantage

"Interest rate was rigged by Barclays": this is really not news. The kind of "top talented" people that City attracts at the moment are unable to make money in a free market economy. So practices as reported yesterday are simply a modus operandi of the current financial industry. The linked article shows that the current financial industry attracts the "top talent": but not of a criminal kind.

Posted by ant @ 09:39 AM 2 Comments

HPI cheerleaders

Bloomberg: BOE's Goodhart says UK homes are a good buy

Former Bank of England policy maker Charles Goodhart said now is an “excellent time” to buy a home in Britain if you can afford it because the nation’s housing shortage will keep pushing up prices. “If you can get hold of the money, I think it’s already a very good buy,” Goodhart said in an interview yesterday in London. “If you can get the down payment together, then the affordability of housing and its likely future price increase is such that now would be an excellent time to buy.”

Posted by little professor @ 08:11 AM 13 Comments

Nice...

Independent: 'Few signs' of house price rebound, says Nationwide

Prices slipped 1.5% year-on-year in June to £165,738 on average, the biggest fall since August 2009, according to the building society's latest house price index.

Posted by happy mondays @ 08:03 AM 0 Comments

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

A tour of the seat of power

City of London Festival: Bank of England Open Day 30th June 2012

Join a 30-minute guided tour of parts of the Bank usually inaccessible to the public. Tour highlights include the Garden Court (weather permitting), the Governor's office, the Court Room and the Committee Room, where the Bank's Monetary Policy Committee meets monthly to set the Bank Rate! Last entry 4.00pm. The Bank's Museum will also be open. Admission Free, advanced booking not required

Posted by drewster @ 06:22 PM 0 Comments

Banksters!

BBC - Peston Critique: Barclays 'attempted to manipulate interest rates'

"In its £290m settlement with the Financial Services Authority in the UK, and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission and Department of Justice in the US, Barclays has owned up to something very simple and - many would say - profoundly shocking: for four years between 2005 and 2009, it lied about the interest rate it was having to pay to borrow".

Posted by alan @ 05:12 PM 5 Comments

Get caught rigging the game and get a slap on the wrist

Daily Telegraph: Bob Diamond forgoes bonus as Barclays fined for Libor manipulation

Barclays had attempted to manipulate a key borrowing rate for years, meaning that home owners could have paid millions more in mortgage payments. Poor old Bob Diamond - no bonus this year. Wonder how much he paid for his "Get Out of Jail Free" card?

Posted by micasasucasa @ 05:11 PM 1 Comments

Sqeeeeeze..

Reuters: Net mortgage loans post first fall since 199: BBA

(Reuters) - Mortgage approvals by Britain's high street banks fell to their lowest level in over a year in May and households continued to pay down debt, the British Bankers' Association said, in a sign that the housing market remains in the doldrums.

Posted by happy mondays @ 02:42 PM 4 Comments

They own land! Give them money! In future!

City AM: UK heading for time bomb over housing benefit

LOWER rates of home ownership are set to cost the government an extra £8bn a year in housing benefit, a think-tank said this morning. Once today’s generation of renters retire, there will be 3.45m pensioners claiming housing benefit by 2060, the Strategic Society Centre (SSC) has calculated. In today’s prices, these claimants will cost the state £13.45bn a year – around two and a half times the size of the current £5.32bn bill for housing benefit.

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 11:18 AM 6 Comments

"Do you ever think you're incompetent ?"

BBC: Newsnight 26 Jun 2012

15:30 in. Nice to see Paxo's been given his teeth back.

Posted by doomwatch @ 09:14 AM 7 Comments

Land values rising

Reuters: British farms a better bet than gold

"The price of British farms will rise higher than any other class of real estate in Europe over the next four years driven by investors buying farmland to capitalise on growth in global demand for food and also to shield wealth and pay less tax". "Farmland values will rise 37 percent by 2016, beating forecast growth for gold, oil, ten-year British government bonds and homes in London's most exclusive neighbourhoods..."

Posted by alan @ 08:55 AM 8 Comments

Very significant move FOR the people

Letting agent today: Newham council licenses ALL private rents

hope this is rolled out throughout the uk...private tenants need at least someone to turn to and expect good practice

Posted by taffee @ 08:03 AM 7 Comments

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Prepare for more "cuts"

The Sun: Government borrowing soars to £17.9bn

A FALL in tax revenue and a soaring benefits bill has created a larger-than-expected surge in public borrowing — pushing it to £17.9billion. Public sector net borrowing — excluding financial interventions such as bank bailouts — has rocketed by nearly £3billion year on year. It is up from £15.2billion the previous year, the Office for National Statistics said. As the government completely loses control of the economy, how much longer before it slides into abyss, taking house prices with it?

Posted by stuartking @ 06:21 PM 9 Comments

At last someone is realising what is happening

Bloomberg: Borg Bashes Banks In Sweden Shielding Housing Bubble: Mortgages

Swedish property prices have already risen too much, according to the National Housing Credit Guarantee Board, or BKN, which advises the government on housing finance. The group said residential properties are 20 percent overvalued after years of crisis policies kept interest rates low. Reducing mortgage rates further would spur credit growth and increase the risk of insolvencies if borrowing costs start to rise, BKN said.

Posted by mark @ 03:33 PM 9 Comments

Queen's bank predicts HPC

AOL Money: Coutts says house prices will fall 11%

Coutts hasn't just stuck its finger in the wind (that sort of thing is frowned upon by analysts). Instead Henry Lancaster, Senior Investment Analyst at Coutts, weighs up five factors – economic activity, valuation, liquidity, risk and momentum. He says that at the moment: "the negatives outweigh the positive investment drivers for UK residential property. Economic activity is negative. With the economy in recession, unemployment rising and wage growth sluggish, the domestic economic environment is unsupportive for house buyers."

Posted by general congreve @ 01:14 PM 8 Comments

The property market is a parasite that feeds on economic growth

AOL Money: The secret ingredient to rising house prices

New research from Halifax has revealed the secret to booming house prices at a time when all around you are going nowhere or falling through the floor. It looked at the ten areas with the most flourishing economies and discovered they were home to phenomenal house price growth too.

Posted by quiet guy @ 12:59 PM 0 Comments

House prices up by £11k a year in boom locations

Myfinances.co.uk: House prices in boom locations soar by £110k in 10 years

House prices in areas with the strongest economies have climbed by £110,000 in the past decade, new research indicates.

Posted by ben @ 11:57 AM 0 Comments

Get ready to have those smug grins wiped right off!

Telegraph: Pensioner incomes rise fastest

Pensioners have enjoyed the fastest-rising incomes over the past decade and will shoulder less of the burden of the coalition Government's tax and benefit changes than working age people, according to research published today. The respected Institute for Fiscal Studies found that pensioner incomes have risen by 29.4pc since 1999 while those of non-pensioners have risen by just 26pc. More than 40pc of pensioners are in the top half of the income scale now - 20 years ago, only 25pc were in that category.

Posted by general congreve @ 11:51 AM 3 Comments

Brighton prices soar - but is it due to commuters escaping London market?

Planet Property Blog: Brighton Tops House Price Hike

New research from the Halifax shows house prices in areas with the strongest economies have increased by a third more than the average, and have remained the most resilient since the downturn.

Posted by property addict @ 11:32 AM 0 Comments

Don't have children if you want to own a house

Torygraph: Nursery fees overtaking mortgages as families’ biggest bills

You need two incomes to 'get on the ladder' so best not reproduce if you want to be part of the 'property owning democracy'

Posted by mombers @ 09:55 AM 12 Comments

The obvious is increasingly acceptable?

Arabian Money: David Rosenberg says US already in a modern day depression

Three years into the aftermath of the worst recession since the 1930s, the global economy still cannot manage to expand organically — that is, without the need for ongoing life support from central banks and governments.

Posted by keep walking @ 06:53 AM 0 Comments

Monday, June 25, 2012

It seemed to them like a good idea at the time

Independent: Shared ownership dreams shattered

Tens of thousands of Britons who bought their homes through shared ownership arrangements are struggling to sell them, leaving them in limbo as they are unable to move for work or family reasons. "The experience of those in shared ownership should be a lesson to those looking at New Build and other schemes which try to buck the market through clever engineering," says Trevor Kent, a Hertfordshire-based estate agent and former head of the National Association of Estate Agents. "You are at greater risk of negative equity and having additional regulations thrust upon you. I do wonder if our approach to first-time buyers is like sending lambs to the slaughter.".

Posted by wanderinman @ 10:46 PM 13 Comments

France Next?

BBC: Cyprus to ask for bailout from eurozone partners

"The BBC's chief economics correspondent Hugh Pym described Cyprus' problems as "classic contagion"". France must find up to €10bn (£8bn) of savings to bring its budget deficit under control this year, finance minister Pierre Moscovici has said. How long before Pierre follows the Greek Finance Minister and resigns? More bank dirty linen to come from France? Hollande is now really anxious about Euro banking - he must have a clue how bad it all is. Bluster and denial will only go so far, as Rajoy found out to his cost. Another Summit on Thursday... what's on the menu this week, I wonder?

Posted by alan @ 10:15 PM 6 Comments

The £705,000 'affordable' home

The Guardian: The £705,000 'affordable' home

Some housing associations are stretching the meaning of 'affordable home' to the limit

Posted by alex @ 08:58 PM 1 Comments

V-shaped recession?

Guardian: Irish house prices rise for first month in five years

Irish house prices posted their first monthly rise since 2007 in May, data showed on Monday, in the latest sign that the market is stabilising after the bursting of an epic property bubble devastated the economy. A stabilisation would ease pressure on the country's banks, whose mortgage portfolios have been devastated by the price collapse. One in seven Irish home loans were not being fully repaid in the first three months of the year. Irish property prices, which have suffered peak-to-trough falls of 50%, increased 0.2% in May, their first month-on-month rise since September 2007, data from the central statistics office showed. Property prices continue to fall on an annualised basis, down 15.3% in the year to May, but the rate of decline is easing.

Posted by drewster @ 08:51 PM 3 Comments

Nice little house price bubble you've got going here, a shame if anything were to happen to it...

Express: SCOTS FACE £1BN HOME LOANS HIT

Danny Alexander, the Chief Secretary to the Treasury, predicted that Scotland may not inherit the UK's coveted AAA credit rating, which determines the cost of borrowing on the international money markets. That could force up interest rates for Scottish banks*, leading to bigger repayments for hundreds of thousands of mortgage-holders and small businesses.... However, Finance Secretary John Swinney described the claims as "economic illiteracy" and said it was "deeply worrying" that a senior Coalition minister did not know the difference between the interest rates paid on government bonds and private bank lending." And of course, even if interest rates went up, savers would benefit by an equal and opposite amount. * HBOS, RBS?

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 01:30 PM 5 Comments

More bad debt on its way

Reuters: Bankers board shipping

Not housing but nevertheless more about the massive write-offs that are in the system. Also an admission that the banks were waiting for the economy to improve and now recognise it will not.

Posted by chrisch @ 11:34 AM 3 Comments

Some advice for Mervyn

Mail: Printing money stores up trouble for the for future, B of E told

"The Bank of England’s controversial stimulus plan could be storing up huge problems for the economy, according to one of the world’s leading financial watchdogs. Quantitative easing – when the Bank prints money and keeps interest rates at a historic low – has been widely criticised for unfairly hitting savers and slashing pensions for millions of people approaching retirement the Bank for International Settlements said"

Posted by alan @ 09:38 AM 3 Comments

More stimulus please..

Telegraph: UK economy: double dip recession squeezes consumers

Glimmers of optimism among Britain’s cash-strapped consumers are likely to be overshadowed this week by confirmation of a double-dip recession and deteriorating public finances.

Posted by happy mondays @ 08:14 AM 0 Comments

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Stop Pretending

The Telegraph: Bank of England's money printing is putting UK economy at risk

The Bank of England may be putting the economy at risk by persisting with low interest rates and money printing, according to the world's central banking supervisor.

Posted by keep walking @ 10:49 PM 1 Comments

They don't own land! Don't give them money!

Daily Mail: Cameron to axe housing benefits for feckless under 25s as he declares war on welfare culture

"Radical new welfare cuts targeting feckless couples who have children and expect to live on state handouts will be proposed by David Cameron tomorrow. His bold reforms could also lead to 380,000 people under 25 being stripped of housing benefits and forced to join the growing number of young adults who still live with their parents. In a keynote speech likely to inflame tensions with his deputy Nick Clegg, the Prime Minister will call for a debate on the welfare state, focusing on reforms to ‘working-age benefits’." Great, that's another two million people likely to vote YPP!

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 08:12 PM 25 Comments

After the oversupply is stripped out

Reuters: World may face aluminum deficit in 2013

Deflation from oversupply, that is when there is an excess, causes a slump in prices that lasts as long as the excess inventory. Eventually though, the excess inventory is gone, the excess capacity is closed, which is good. However, at that point pricing power returns because excess inventory can go in a fire sale as production costs are sunk. There is no advantage producing additional oversupply at a loss though.

Posted by stillthinking @ 03:57 PM 0 Comments

Cameron aims for tory heartlands with housing benefit rhetoric

Myfinances.co.uk: Cameron calls for housing benefit for under 25's to be cut

The Prime Minister David Cameron has risked the wrath of his Liberal Democrat coalition partners by calling for a cut in housing benefit to people under the age of 25.

Posted by ben @ 01:29 PM 0 Comments

Prescient report from insurance industry rag

Insurance Age: CII report warns on climate change inertia

Living in a flood zone is going to cost you heavily insurance wise, as the incidence of flooding has increased as part of global environmental change. CLL predict that cover may be withdrawn entirely from dwellings that fail to adapt. (Cue "climate sceptic" comments, but do you have a better source than NASA? http://climate.nasa.gov/keyIndicators/)

Posted by nickb @ 09:36 AM 9 Comments

Euro will fail

Telegraph: Eurozone nations are stuck in a "doom loop"

Liam Halligan pointing out the bleedin obvious. Eurozone political union can't and won't happen. Euro will fail. Bankers in the West still way too close to politicians.

Posted by voiceofreason @ 09:07 AM 1 Comments

Software change on bank transfers

Independent: Natwest to open after IT fault

Also affected other affected banks in the RBS group. Mainly though this affected transfers not existing balances, so the fact that so many customers actually freaked out busted, means that these customers are living without any financial spare cushion at all, and must be at the edge of the borrowing limit.

Posted by stillthinking @ 01:44 AM 2 Comments

Friday, June 22, 2012

Straight out of the Northern Rock Playbook!

Press Association: Bank could relax liquidity rules

The Bank of England is expected to launch the latest plank in its strategy to kickstart lending next week with a move to free up billions of pounds held by banks. Experts believe the Bank's Financial Policy Committee (FPC) will recommend plans next Friday to relax rules requiring banks to hold large amounts of cash as a buffer. Members of the committee, which oversees financial stability, have already signalled the move as the Bank looks at ways to get the flow of credit moving. It would be the next step in the Bank's battle to ward off a tightening credit squeeze, following the announcement last week of a £100 billion-plus scheme to boost bank lending.

Posted by general congreve @ 07:26 PM 11 Comments

Vampire Squid closing in on Threadneedle St?

Fundweb: Goldman Sachs chairman would consider Bank of England role

Goldman Sachs Asset Management chairman Jim O’Neill says he would consider the Bank of England governor’s role if approached. O’Neill, who has been touted as Mervyn King’s successor, says there has been “increasing intensity” linking him to the role, in an interview with Bloomberg TV.

Posted by jack c @ 04:31 PM 11 Comments

"people are being priced out of swathes of London by rent rises.”

London Evening subStandard: ‘Families suffering’ as London rents rise to a new high

London rents have soared to a new all-time high, figures out today reveal. The average monthly rent in the capital is up by 4.2 per cent over the year to May to hit £1,038, topping the previous high set in November. David Newnes, director of LSL Property Services, which compiles the figures, said competition among tenants unable to afford deposits for a home is pushing up rents.

Posted by jack c @ 01:31 PM 12 Comments

And the rest

Telegraph: House prices could fall by 11pc, predicts Coutts

House prices could fall by 11pc, predicts Coutts – the Queen’s bank – as it turns bearish about the property market. “Our conclusion is that UK residential property appears unattractive as an investment. Prices appear to have been bid up by investors seeking ‘safe havens’ to preserve their wealth given record low interest rates. However, the UK residential property market is far from risk-free.”

Posted by little professor @ 08:50 AM 13 Comments

Even HSBC down a notch

Reuters: Moody's cuts ratings of 15 banks

"Ratings agency Moody's downgraded 15 of the world's biggest banks on Thursday, lowering credit ratings by one to three notches to reflect the risk of losses they face from volatile capital markets activities".

Posted by alan @ 07:11 AM 7 Comments

Think Tank says...

IPPR: Together at home

Think tank IPPR's final report concerning how to tackle the housing crisis. First, increase housing supply to make homeownership a more realistic prospect for more people by reforming housing finance, the development industry, planning policy and credit control. Second, a better deal for renters. This would mean reasonable regulation of privately rented property, matched by greater flexibility in social housing.Third, a new form of progressive localism in housing, through a system of affordable housing grants. This report was covered on BBC Radio 4 this morning with the main talking point being the transfer of the £20+ billion annual budget for housing benefit from central to local government in order for it to be spent more effectively.

Posted by greenmind @ 12:14 AM 0 Comments

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Spanish Banks only need €62bn.....as long as they make make €65bn in profits

Zerohedge: What Oliver Wyman Really Said About Spain's Banks

Zerohedge pulls apart latest "independent audit" of Spanish banks in about two seconds. Oliver Wyman's assumptions appear rose tinted at best - €65bn in profits over 3 yrs? Remember these are the same Spanish banks that passed several rounds of EU stress test already with flying colours!!

Posted by bankster @ 11:30 PM 3 Comments

Enough is enough.

Guardian: Housing is hanging off its hinges. Could Labour fix it?

It's no good leaving it to the market – regulation is urgently required to banish the culture of house-price gambling.

Posted by dill @ 10:09 PM 6 Comments

Who will pay for this...

Telegraph: Moody's poised to downgrade UK banks

The ratings agency Moody's is expected to downgrade some of Britain's biggest banks as early as this evening.

Posted by happy mondays @ 02:28 PM 3 Comments

"A source close to the operation said.."

Telegraph: Moody's poised to downgrade UK banks

"It is thought that British banks including Barclays, HSBC and Royal Bank of Scotland are facing a cut in their ratings by as much as two notches, reflecting the continued impact of the eurozone crisis on the global banking system". (see also Reuters & financial blogs).

Posted by alan @ 02:27 PM 6 Comments

HOUSE PRICE CRASH (in Denmark)

Bloomberg: Danish House Prices Slump to Seven-Year Low as Market Stalls

Danish house prices plunged in the first quarter to a seven-year low after sellers slashed values to unload properties that had been on the market for a record- high number of days. The average price per square meter fell to 10,897 kroner ($1,857) in the first three months, down 7.4 percent from 11,769 kroner a year earlier, according to data released today by the Copenhagen-based Association of Danish Mortgage Banks and the Mortgage Bankers Federation. The average time on the market before a sale reached 230 days, the highest since the association began collecting the data in 2004.

Posted by general congreve @ 12:35 PM 25 Comments

Mortgage lending rises after dismal April

Myfinances.co.uk: Mortgage lending up 24% in May, says CML

The Council of Mortgage Lenders reports that mortgage lending increased by 13 per cent year-on-year after a poor April that was affected by the end of the Stamp Duty holiday.

Posted by ben @ 12:10 PM 0 Comments

Errr - this isn't looking good

Yahoo: Gage rates set to tumble as banks' borrowing rates fall to a record low

Wholesale mortgage rates that banks use to underpin mortgage deals have dropped below 1pc for the first time. The two-year swap rate is currently 0.91pc, having fallen from 1.19pc a week ago. Three-year rates are now 0.92pc, down from 1.22pc, while the five-year rate has fallen from 1.42pc a week ago to 1.14pc now. The 10-year swap rate is 1.99pc, down from 2.11pc.

Posted by crash n burn @ 10:26 AM 2 Comments

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

A few of these should solve Britain's housing crisis

BoingBoing: Worlds tallest building will be built in China, over 90 days

Broad Sustainable Building (BSB) is an innovative Chinese architectural firm. They are planning to build the world's tallest building, the Sky City Tower in Changsha, Hunan, whose 220 storeys will be erected in 90 days. The timelapse video above shows another BSB project, a 30-storey hotel that went up in 15 days. The company claims its designs are extremely seismically robust and environmentally efficient. [There's a nice video too. The whole thing sounds like a property bubble to me.]

Posted by drewster @ 10:26 PM 5 Comments

Chinese now bailing out Euro property

Independent: IMF reserves pumped up by Chinese pledges

"The size of the International Monetary emergency fund to rescue bankrupt economies will rise to $456bn, thanks to a $43bn pledge from China at the G20 summit in Los Cabos, Mexico, this week". "It now appears virtually inevitable that Spain will require a sovereign bail-out – possibly very soon" said Jonathan Loynes of Capital Economics. Spain's banks have been laid low by a property crash leaving them with almost €200 billion in "problematic" loans, according to the Bank of Spain. A detailed audit of Spain's banks has been delayed until September to gather more information on lenders' loan books, although an initial estimate of how much extra capital the bank ing system needs will be published this week. (my guess is €325bn - anyone else guessing?).

Posted by alan @ 07:47 PM 2 Comments

Hurry! The banks, inflation and gold, sorry, the economy needs this stimulus!

Reuters: New money boost close after knife-edge BoE vote

Minutes of the BoE's last policy meeting showed officials split 5-4 against launching a new round of monetary stimulus by buying government bonds, a form of quantitative easing, significantly with Governor Mervyn King in favour. A Reuters poll taken after the minutes came out showed that economists now see a 80 percent chance of another round of QE next month."The vote in June was much closer than many had been expecting," said Citi economist Michael Saunders. "It's clear the MPC are heading for further QE soon in large scale and I think it's highly important that the governor has switched his vote on that."

Posted by general congreve @ 07:18 PM 0 Comments

Homeowners/housing now top of Dave's list

BBC: David Cameron denies UK is in 1930s-style slump

David Cameron has denied the UK is in a 1930s-style slump, but said more will done to get the economy moving. He told BBC News the government would use its "financial strength" to help homeowners and businesses get low interest rates. Infrastructure projects and more housing will help boost the UK economy, the prime minister said. Speaking in Mexico at the G20 summit, Mr Cameron promised an "active, sleeve-rolled up government". In an interview with BBC Political Editor Nick Robinson, Mr Cameron dismissed suggestions by Business Secretary Vince Cable that the UK was in a slump like the 1930s.

Posted by jack c @ 06:54 PM 5 Comments

Ee, in my day we used to sacrifice our first born; kids don't know they're born these days

Rightmove: Do first-time buyers need to be more realistic about getting on the housing ladder?

Do first-time buyers need to be more realistic about getting on the housing ladder? Likewise, mortgages do exist that would make decent home ownership affordable to a young couple on a joint income of say, £30,000. Lenders are willing to go up to 90 per cent for the credit-worthy. It is just that the couple might not be able to go on foreign holidays for a couple of years in order to afford the repayments. But it is perhaps no surprise that parents, who scrimped and saved, going without such things for months to afford their first home, do not think today’s generation of FTBs are willing enough. Although they are happy to dip into the bank of Mum and Dad, and perhaps, because they know their parents’ coffers are full, they are less likely to muster the willpower to save their own.

Posted by sibley's b'stard child @ 03:45 PM 13 Comments

Beatle's house saved, but rest of the area still to be victim of developer's deal

Planet Property Blog: Ringo Starr's House saved

Legal action by SAVE Britain’s Heritage and the Empty Homes Charity has resulted in a victory for Beatles fans, but dismay for campaigners hoping to preserve Liverpool’s remaining Victorian homes. Ringo Starr’s birthplace and a handful of other homes on Madryn Street in Liverpool have been reprieved, though the 500 terraced houses in the city’s Welsh Streets area are still facing demolition.

Posted by property addict @ 12:25 PM 0 Comments

Here's why they 'keep on making the same mistakes'.

Counterpunch: Greed and the pain in Spain

Well, why do they make these 'mistakes' - sado-monetarism and bailouts - which 'aren't working'? It's because they work very well for some.

Posted by icarus @ 11:09 AM 4 Comments

UK house prices up by 1.4 per cent

Myfinances.co.uk: ONS house price data reveals London prices hide regional falls

UK house prices are up by 1.4 per cent overall in the year to April 2012, but they are being shored up by London and hide falls in Wales, Scotland, the north of England, and, most alarmingly of all, an 8.1 per cent fall in the value of homes in Northern Ireland.

Posted by ben @ 10:28 AM 0 Comments

UK's terrible reality

Hinde Capital: Eyes wide shut

Linked to with some comments here; http://ftalphaville.ft.com/blog/2012/06/19/1050451/britain-doomed-apparently/ There is also another report by Trubon something which is similar. Basically points out that the required cuts, are impossible, realistically no government is ever going to achieve that level, and aside from that, the cuts would themselves collapse UK growth. So possibly time to stop dreaming of some cunning plan and realistically get prepared.

Posted by stillthinking @ 03:13 AM 2 Comments

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Phew, at last!

Daily Express: House prices on the rise at last

The Daily Express reveals the news we've all been hoping for, house prices are rising by £1,250... Bit puzzled though by the headline, 'House prices on the rise.... at last" - I seem to remember they were rising last month, and the month before and each of the months before that for the past 30-plus years.

Posted by stuartking @ 11:46 PM 7 Comments

Here we go again

Telegraph: Debt crisis: Spain and Italy to be bailed out in £600bn deal

The two European rescue funds EFSF & ESM are to be combined and used to purchase the debts of the troubled economies on the financial markets. It is hoped the new plan will drive down the cost of Spanish and Italian bonds.

Posted by enuii @ 10:29 PM 4 Comments

They did a pretty terrible job anyway

Huffington Post: If EU Bans Ratings Agencies From Evaluating Bailout Countries, Who Will Investors Turn To For Terrible Advice?

There are many that think this is a desperate measure to allow states to mark their own homework but in all seriousness, getting rid of these snake oil salesmen seems like a good start to sorting this mess out.

Posted by paul @ 10:27 PM 1 Comments

New-build homes rise the most – up 5.1%

Guardian: UK house prices rise 1.4% but London increase hides regional falls

"House prices in the UK increased by 1.1% in April, ending the month 1.4% up on the same period in 2011, figures from the Office for National Statistics showed. However, while prices in London rose by 4.9% over the year, there was an 8.1% decline in Northern Ireland, and Wales and Scotland experienced falls of 1.1% and 0.3% respectively".

Posted by alan @ 04:13 PM 1 Comments

Shamelessluy stolen from the main forum - Spot on

Uncyclopedia: Buy to Let

The prudent people, who knew a pile of bricks in the middle of Hull could never be worth 30 years of debt slavery were laughed at as hopelessly naive. After the credit bubble burst and the neoliberal economic meltdown kicked in, it is the sensible people (the kind who restricted themselves to the purchase of only as many houses as they needed and could afford to pay for and then put their cash into savings accounts and pension contribultions) who are being made to bail out reckless speculators like buy-to-let parasites and financial sector morons via virtually zero percent interest o their savings, government attacks on their pension and the devaluation of their assets due to the stagflationary effect of the Bank of England's barmy quantitative easing money printing scams.

Posted by general congreve @ 03:09 PM 8 Comments

Fear not citizens, we have a new five-year plan for greatly improving tractor production!

Washington Post: G-20 leaders in Mexico to unite behind coordinated plan for global job creation

The leaders of the world's largest economies will portray themselves on Tuesday as united behind efforts to boost growth and job creation in order to repair a fragile global economy roiled by fears over the European financial crisis, according to a draft of the statement to be released at the end of the Group of 20 annual meeting. A bailout for Spain's €1.1 trillion ($1.39 trillion) economy would likely outstrip the current global ability to bail it out, even after the International Monetary Fund announced late Monday that a round of contributions had increased its lending capacity to $456 billion, exceeding a round of pledges made in April.

Posted by general congreve @ 12:17 PM 6 Comments

Down to 2.8%

Sky: Falling Fuel Costs Ease Inflation

"The CPI dropped to an annual rate of 2.8% in May from 3% the previous month meaning it now stands at its lowest level for two-and-a-half years".

Posted by alan @ 09:55 AM 7 Comments

I'm in! you can't go wrong with bricks & mortar

Mail: Property asking prices hit record high, but sporting summer and rush of homes for sale may disappoint sellers

The national average asking price rose one per cent in the month to mid-June to £246,235, as sellers added an extra £2,476.

Posted by happy mondays @ 08:09 AM 16 Comments

Monday, June 18, 2012

Roubini at his best

Today online: A global perfect storm is brewing

Roubini argues that the whole world is tipping into the abyss. Its difficult to knock down any of his arguments. Maybe this will be the silver bullet that takes down the housing market.

Posted by britishblue @ 11:14 PM 11 Comments

Take That!

Reuters: European Union readies 2.3 billion euros bond

"The putative bond, which will contribute towards the aid package for Ireland, will be followed by another 3 billion euros fund raising in September. Portugal will receive 2 billion euros from the second debt offering, while Ireland will receive 1 billion euros", the EU said. (yes, but is it enough? Build a bigger and higher firewall, you hopeless politicians).

Posted by alan @ 05:57 PM 7 Comments

Wonder if we can ask estate agents for keys to empty houses?

Daily mail: Gypsies ask police to open up field so they can reverse their caravans - and then park up and stay put

Police have been labelled 'naive' after a group of gypsies seized the opportunity set up camp in a field officers had opened up to allow their caravans to turn around. The officers asked for height restriction barriers to be removed at the entrance to some playing fields in Fareham, Hampshire, to allow the group to manoeuvre after they were blocking a street. But the group simply drove in and pitched up and now they're refusing to move.

Posted by mark @ 03:17 PM 2 Comments

Renters are losers

The Sun: Owning your own pad is £194k cheaper than renting

The average rent bill over 50 years was found to be £623,000. But over a similar period a typical mortgage plus the cost of maintaining a property works out at £429,000. A bonus once the home loan is paid off is that buyers are left sitting on an asset worth an average of £595,000, according to research by Barclays.

Posted by sibley's b'stard child @ 01:07 PM 8 Comments

Haha! Serves her right!

Evening Standard (MBVNIF): Kirstie Allsopp goes to war with Kensington neighbours over basement conversions

Miss Allsopp said: “Everyone is digging down right now to make extra space where they are. It’s happening in my street and it is incredibly annoying as there is so much noise and disruption. At the top end, where the (stamp duty) rate is now at seven per cent, it leaves people with little option but to dig if they want more space. As well as the noise and disruption, it is making the market stagnant.”

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 11:57 AM 5 Comments

Got sterling, got gold?! Devaluation announced, Argentina style.

Bullionvault News: Central Banks "Should Start Easing Soon", BoE Calls For "Large Sterling Depreciation", Greek Vote "Should Support" Gold Bullion

Well here we have it. Petrol prices fell nicely, but BOE wants to use that to pay of the structural deficit so will massively devalue your currency to pay off the national debt. This comment, also indicates what will occur as Eurozone debts are downgraded, as BOE prints to backstop losses. This part of the banking problem is largely a problem of government. They force banks to put a percentage of their capital in Sovereign debt. This is what creates the moral hazard because governments, not having to compete for borrowing sap it from the private sector without justification and, put cash in risky places. If banks had a choice where to put their capital they would no doubt start asking government questions about their investment decisions and the crisis would never have occurred.

Posted by libertas @ 11:06 AM 5 Comments

Rejoice!

Daily Mail: House asking prices reach a new record high of £246,000

"The average house asking price has risen to a new record high - but remains well below the 2007 peak once inflation is taken into account, a study said today. The price of a home coming to market rose by 1 per cent month-on-month in June to reach £246,235 on average, but London is the only region where prices have outpaced inflation over the past five years, the Rightmove house price index found. Nearly 30,000 new sellers a week came to market in the three weeks before the Diamond Jubilee weekend, the highest rate of new listings for nearly two years, suggesting asking price increases will slow down as seller competition intensifies, the study said." 30,000 per week = 1.5 million a year. That's a heck of a lot.

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 10:28 AM 3 Comments

Banks claims buying better than renting non-shokka

Guardian: Home ownership £200,000 cheaper than lifetime of renting, study finds

Young people locked out of home ownership will spend nearly £200,000 extra over a lifetime of renting rather than buying a house, according to research. Barclays' calculations show that the costs of buying, paying the mortgage on and maintaining an average home valued at about £160,000 today will total £429,000 over 50 years. A tenant would typically pay £623,000 in rent for a similar property over that time.

Posted by b0yc0tt @ 09:59 AM 0 Comments

No but the mortgage companies will....

Independent: Will business take up the £80 Bn loans?

The devil is in the detail. The ConDems are parading the SME money but I noticed this little gem in the Indie article: "Let's suppose the scheme is wildly successful – that the banks really do feel able to make £80bn worth of loans to the private sector that they would not otherwise have been prepared to offer (not all of the money is for SMEs, note, as the intention is also to provide relief in the mortgage market). " So the money is being used to prop up property prices as well as feed a non-existent credit starvation to SMEs.

Posted by chrisch @ 09:39 AM 3 Comments

Boris waxing apocalyptic this morning, a good read as always though

Torygraph: Dithering Europe is heading for the democratic dark ages

On the contrary: history teaches us that the tide can suddenly and inexplicably go out, and that things can lurch backwards into darkness and squalor and appalling violence. The Romans gave us roads and aqueducts and glass and sanitation and all the other benefits famously listed by Monty Python; indeed, they were probably on the verge of discovering the wheely-suitcase when they went into decline and fall in the fifth century AD. Whichever way you look at it, this was a catastrophe for the human race. People in Britain could no longer read or write. Life-expectancy plummeted to about 32, and the population fell. The very cattle shrunk at the withers. The secret of the hypocaust was forgotten, and chilblain-ridden swineherds built sluttish huts in the ruins of the villas.

Posted by montesquieu @ 09:21 AM 10 Comments

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Niall Freguson's view on debt, unfunded liabilities and the difficulties of political reform

BBC: Why the young should welcome austerity

The critics of Western democracy are right to discern that something is amiss with our political institutions. The most obvious symptom of the malaise is the huge debts we have managed to accumulate in recent decades, which - unlike in the past - cannot largely be blamed on wars. Now, often these debts get discussed as if they themselves are the problem, and the result is a rather sterile argument between proponents of "austerity" and "stimulus". I want to suggest that they are a consequence of a more profound malfunction.

Posted by general congreve @ 12:20 PM 23 Comments

One rule for them

Telegraph: Is William helping Kate's parents to buy a house?

Since the Telegraph disclosed last month that the Middletons were interested in buying a Georgian manor house in their Berkshire village, speculation has grown about how the Duchess of Cambridge's parents could afford the £4.7 million cost of moving up the property ladder. The solution to the mystery may be close at hand. The Duke of Cambridge, who inherits £10 million when he turns 30 on Thursday, is said to be assisting the Middletons with the purchase. Mr Middleton, a former British Airways flight dispatcher, and his wife, who was an air hostess when flying was still glamorous, were reported last week to be close to completing the purchase of the Grade II-listed, seven bedroom property in Bucklebury. They have not put their current, smaller house in the same village on the market.

Posted by drewster @ 12:02 PM 1 Comments

Cheap for a reason

Independent: Look before you leap into a cheap Spanish property deal

Spanish banks are now the country's biggest but most reluctant estate agents and although investing in the the property market today may seem foolhardy, with a backlog to shift, prices have crashed. The Spanish know we're suckers for a bargain and with grey skies all around the UK, you'd be forgiven for jumping in head first. Discounts are impressive on the banks' dedicated real estate websites, which have been translated into English to entice foreign buyers. On Santander's Altamira website, for example, prices are as low as €15,000 for a three-bed flat in Calahorra, La Rioja, and €10,000 for a three-bed in La Trinidad, Valencia, although both are in dire need of attention. With bargain basement prices on offer, heads will turn, but is it really a good time to buy in España?

Posted by drewster @ 11:45 AM 1 Comments

Private-sector tenants never have to move home

Guardian: Social housing tenants 'will face poverty' from benefits shake-up

Cost-cutting welfare reforms that will result in social housing tenants being moved into smaller properties have run into a major obstacle: an acute shortage of alternative homes. From next April tens of thousands of people living in social housing will have to find more money to pay for their accommodation or leave their homes. Tenants will have their housing benefit cut by £40 a month if they have a spare room and by £70 if they have two spare rooms. Alternatively, they can opt to be rehoused if they cannot afford to make up the shortfall from their own pockets or decline to do so. However, many housing associations warn they have a dearth of suitable homes to rehouse the near 100,000 tenants who have received letters informing them that they may have to switch to smaller properties.

Posted by drewster @ 11:41 AM 3 Comments

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Morals (or lack of) of an estate agent

The Daily Echo: Dozy Parker Gets £530 bill

Our local paper, Your Move estate agent fined for fraud for faking parking tickets to avoid £8 a day charges. He had already racked up £1000 in parking fines. Tried to blame it on an imaginary friend. Wonder if he takes his morals to work with him.

Posted by voiceofreason @ 09:43 PM 8 Comments

Osborne is helping banks and super rich

Nutmeg: There is a method in this madness

There is no limit in "innovative" ways of helping the banks and the super rich. This time it has been primitively disguised as help for consumers and small and medium size businesses. And printing money as a way of solving financial problems? It is idiotic. We, not Osborne, will pay for this lunacy.

Posted by ant @ 03:32 PM 0 Comments

What about the 140 BILLION you've just received

Daily mail: Lloyds hammers cash strapped customers

I assume now you got all this free money,you'll be reversing this activity,otherwise it would be bizarre that tax payers are giving you money to lend back to them at 19.94%...we must be MUGS

Posted by taffee @ 03:14 PM 1 Comments

Gordon Brown read some book and a newspaper

BBC News: Gordon Brown says France and Italy may need bailout

The former PM said, in a blog for Reuters, that "we are in a downward spiral that shows no sign of ending."

Posted by stillthinking @ 01:41 PM 6 Comments

Throwing more good money after bad

The Daily Telegraph: £140bn emergency lending scheme 'will do little to kick-start growth'

Graeme Leach, chief economist at the Institute of Directors, said: "Facing a bombardment from the eurozone ... defensive measures need to be put in place and they're making sure everyone knows they've done it. But the core problem remains. Companies alarmed by the euro crisis will not be eager to borrow regardless of the cost."

Posted by stuartking @ 12:31 PM 4 Comments

Mervyn King and George Osborne are incredibly dangerous men...

Renegade Economist: How to solve the debt crisis? – Create more debt

The King / Osborne latest plan is to throw more money at the banks in another attempt to shore up the existing unsustainable bubble in asset prices. They must think that the biggest credit bubble in human history is actually an optimum market condition.

Posted by neo-serf @ 12:08 PM 2 Comments

Can it get any worse?

Daily Telegraph: Debt crisis: UK recovery hopes dealt export blow

With Britain posting the worst balance of payments deficit since the consumer-led import boom of 2005 - and the second worst balance of payments deficit in history - it appears Cameron and Osborne's hopes of an "export-led" recovery are pie-in-the-sky. "The deficit on trade in goods with non-EU countries widened by £1bn to £5.2bn in April, as exports fell by £1.4bn to £11.8bn. By comparison, the deficit on trade in goods with EU countries increased by just £300m to £4.9bn as exports fell by £900m to £12bn. " "Separate construction data released by the ONS appeared to confirm fears that the recession continued for another three months in the quarter to June. Output in the construction industry fell 13.2pc in April." And signs are it's only going to get worse.

Posted by stuartking @ 11:51 AM 0 Comments

On their bikes

Evening Standard: Housing benefit cuts drive a rise in jobseekers

Housing benefit cuts are driving thousands of Londoners to seek work, a study reveals today. More than a third of new tenants affected by housing benefit caps tried to find a job to meet a shortfall in their rent. Another 20 per cent looked for a better job. One in seven have increased their hours at work and seven per cent sought a second or third job to make ends meet. The independent analysis by academics at Sheffield Hallam University suggests that fears that thousands of London families could be forced to move because of the new limits of £400 a week for a four-bedroom and £250 for a one-bedroom property may be unfounded. [Note that many HB recipients are actually in work, part-time, but still eligible for HB.]

Posted by drewster @ 09:58 AM 3 Comments

Does anybody understand the problem?

Dan Hannan: Debt is the problem, not the solution

So we're going to 'inject £140 billion into the economy,' are we? Wow. Who knew it was that easy? Why not inject £280 billion and be twice as rich? Why not a trillion?

Posted by gold bug @ 09:15 AM 0 Comments

Friday, June 15, 2012

IMF takes a stab at fire fighting

Reuters: IMF says Ireland needs more help from Europe

"The International Monetary Fund on Friday urged Europe to help Ireland refinance its crippling bank bailout and consider taking equity in state-owned banks to help Dublin return to bond markets and avoid a second bailout next year". "One avenue would be for Europe to soften the terms of Ireland's bank bailout by replacing 30 billion euros of high-interest IOUs given mainly to the former Anglo Irish Bank with another instrument that would lengthen their maturity and cut their interest rate". (Lots of UK banks have a large exposure to Ireland. Property, Duh! ).

Posted by alan @ 06:54 PM 2 Comments

Refusal to allow asset prices to clear

WSJ: The Bank of England’s Zombie Economy

Based on the gloomy, yet extremely believable, views of Keen. Article suggests the market is frozen until the market clears but the BoE will never allow this and is unsuccessfully attempting to inflate away the losses of those suckered in during the New Labour years.

Posted by stillthinking @ 04:24 PM 4 Comments

A faulty parachute?

Estate Agent Today: What would you give to see an agent fall out of a plane?

How much would you pay for 12 estate agents to chuck themselves out of a plane? Good luck to Paramount Properties, based in West Hampstead, London, who are sending a team to the skies this weekend, hopefully to raise an ambitious £10,000 for the Estate Agency Foundation. The daring dozen will be facing their fears and jumping from 13,000 feet

Posted by sibley's b'stard child @ 01:37 PM 8 Comments

Rich Greeks in London face tax investigation at home

Telegraph: Rich Greeks in London face tax investigation at home

Treasury and Land registry records being cross-checked.

Posted by alex @ 01:35 PM 0 Comments

Another desperate effort by VIs using paid news

Telegraph: Why buy-to-let homes are a worthy investment

Buy-to-let properties are an attractive source of income for expat investors and looking in your home country is a particularly alluring prospect. A home back home provides a safety net for Britons abroad, and a diverse portfolio can also form part of your pension.

Posted by oye_rg @ 10:59 AM 0 Comments

Steve and Chris chew the cud?

Chris Martenson.com: Steve Keen: Why 2012 is Shaping Up to be a Particularly Ugly Year

32mins in ... "I can see England going into a credit crunch this year..."

Posted by techieman @ 09:59 AM 16 Comments

Unfortunately for the rest of us, he didn't read it

Telegraph: Mansion House speech: George Osborne presented with GCSE maths book

But the bloke who really needed this was just behind the Chancellor of course.

Posted by paul @ 08:11 AM 0 Comments

Thursday, June 14, 2012

A bad dream

Daily Telegraph: Funding lifeline for the banks highlights how deep the crisis is

Last night's announcement of £140bn in cheap funding for banks is fundamentally an acknowledgment of the storm to come ahead of a deepening eurozone crisis. This is a lifeboat worth nearly 10pc of GDP. Things really are that bad. "Will it work? Of course, like a dream. Assuming someone out there wants to borrow another £80bn in the midst of a global financial crisis. "

Posted by stuartking @ 11:52 PM 5 Comments

Must keep house prices up at all costs

Telegraph: £140bn to kickstart stagnant economy

The Bank of England is to offer loads of money to high-street banks to keep house prices up and keep small companies from going bust.

Posted by enuii @ 09:22 PM 15 Comments

Now that's Ironic!

Torygraph: BBC Rogue Traders' presenter Dan Penteado charged with benefit fraud

" overpaid £24,077.60 in housing and council tax benefit that he would not have been entitled to if he declared his BBC work."

Posted by techieman @ 09:13 PM 2 Comments

Broke ~ 300 Staff to go.

Politics Home: Debt cuts, Labour stylee

Here's their letter in full:

Posted by alan @ 05:10 PM 3 Comments

Why £20m really is too much to pay for a London house

MoneyWeek: Why £20m really is too much to pay for a London house

George Osborne's plans to close the tax loop-hole on buying houses through companies is long overdue - and should give non-resident owners of prime property something to think about.

Posted by martingreen @ 03:27 PM 2 Comments

What a get-out clause

AboutProperty: Shapps hints at fresh grant for affordable homes

Speaking at the Chartered Institute of Housing conference in Manchester, housing minister Grant Shapps has given a strong hint that there will be more government funding for new affordable homes. However, Shapps said: “No one can predict the future but it’s looking like there will be a second round of affordable rent post-2015.”

Posted by phil @ 01:45 PM 0 Comments

This time next month Rodders.

Letting Agent Today: Olympics lettings market is 'tumbleweed' – claim

But she admitted that the market as a whole had been ‘a bubble within a bubble’. She said landlords who had got rid of long-term tenants to try to take advantage of the perceived Olympics market would have been ‘crazy’. She said: “Our view was that this was never going to be a lettings-by-numbers project. It was all about offering an opportunity.”

Posted by sibley's b'stard child @ 01:02 PM 6 Comments

Consequences or escape from debt?

Huffington post: Westlife singer declared bankrupt

18 mill debts?...wow...even with the best advisors and business plan,anything can happen if you invest in an over heated market. I suspect if hmg hadn't propped things up in the UK,there would be more stories like this

Posted by taffee @ 12:50 PM 2 Comments

CML report massive drop in lending to FTB's

Myfinances.co.uk: CML data shows 30% drop in mortgage lending in April

The Council of Mortgage Lenders reports that mortgage lending fell by 30 per cent in April as first-time buyers shied away from the market following the end of the stamp duty holiday deadline.

Posted by ben @ 12:23 PM 0 Comments

Home-Owner-Ists at their most vindictive

Metro: Council tenants on high salaries told by government: pay up or be evicted

Shappsy says "These high-income tenants are not only blocking homes that could benefit those in greater housing need, they’re also relying on poorer taxpayers to subsidise their lifestyle.’ The average subsidy for such tenants is worth £3,600 a year, the DCLG says. This just does not compute, does it? If somebody earns £60,000 then they're paying £30,000-odd in tax and not receiving any other cash benefits, if they get a purely notional subsidy of £3.600 (the cash rent paid far exceeds the cash costs of maintaining a council house), then how about taking a closer look at the notional subsidy which all owners of residential land enjoy? If there's not enough council housing, don't blame it on the handful of people who never bothered to "get on the property ladder", just build more!

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 12:22 PM 3 Comments

VI's go from from Bull to Bear

BBC: Mortgage lending slumped in April, lenders say

Mortgage lending slumped in April, after the end of the stamp duty concession for first-time buyers, lenders have said. Figures from the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) show that the number of loans to home buyers fell by 30% between March and April to 36,000. The biggest fall was among first-time buyers, with loans to this group down by 48% in the month, to just 12,600. WheThe CML said it was unlikely the market would recover soon.

Posted by jack c @ 11:38 AM 12 Comments

I shouldn't laugh..but

BBC News: Westlife singer Shane Filan is declared bankrupt

Easy money this property malarky isn't it..

Posted by richy richless @ 08:50 AM 13 Comments

Bailouts make things worse

Telegraph: The more eurozone bailouts there are, the worse it will get

Because bailout funds are preferred creditors, if a sovereign is bailed out, then any private debt holder foolish enough to stay involved has to take a more concentrated share of the loss. This pushes up borrowing costs effectively the bailout has made the situation worse.

Posted by stillthinking @ 03:08 AM 3 Comments

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

2.3 Trillion to spend in the last chance saloon

Telegraph: Debt crisis: Germany signals shift on €2.3 trillion redemption fund for Europe

The Euro will inevitably drive its population down to the lowest common denominator, once the first 2.3 Trillion Euros has been poured into the current European economic holes, more will be required. Germany stands alone as the sole European country with enough spare bunce but it's economic might is waning as Asian economies chomp at it's heels as their ever rising quality and diversity of products eats into the core of German manufacturing. If this proposal comes to fruition it might buy the EU 2 further years but at great ultimate expense to its population and democracy.

Posted by enuii @ 10:36 PM 5 Comments

Farage tells the EU

YouTube: Not enough Lifeboats for the Euro

Posted today. Up to date analysis of the looming bust. Sad to say many Eurocrats were killing themselves laughing as he spoke!

Posted by alan @ 03:05 PM 16 Comments

Race for pension funds

Emigrate.co.uk: Low annuity making emigrant retirees pull pensions out of UK

Yes pensions do enormously impact on house prices. Article points out that as an expatriate you have the luxury of pulling the lot out into a recognised foreign pension scheme. Many have begun to do this, and the those that did so a few years back are undoubtedly extremely glad to have held onto their capital (against the double whammy of sterling collapse against strong currencies + repression of annuity rates). As there are insufficient funds in pension schemes now, this is tantamount to a run on the schemes, particularly as the whole whack is pulled rather than being dribbled out over decades allowing much can kicking.

Posted by stillthinking @ 02:29 PM 0 Comments

Blind optimism

AboutProperty: Most still aspire to own despite economic crisis

Three-quarters (74 per cent) of British adults hope to be home owners within two years despite the economic situation, according to new research by the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML). Bob Pannell, chief economist of the CML, said: "The results clearly show that the British love affair with home-ownership is far from over."

Posted by phil @ 10:24 AM 0 Comments

They own land! Give them money!

Jospeh Rowntree Foundation: Housing options and solutions for young people in 2020

"More stable private rented tenancies might be achieved through smarter incentives for landlords. International evidence suggests that these could include tax breaks in return for more stable, longerterm tenancies for vulnerable or lower income tenants and/or other benefits such as lower rent levels." A bit like Housing Benefit, then?

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 09:48 AM 10 Comments

Facts and figures

BBC: Housing crisis deepens

The desperate shortage of affordable homes in England appears to be worsening, following Tuesday's publication of national housing statistics. The Homes and Communities Agency has announced that the number of "affordable housing starts" for 2011-2012 was just 15,698 - a 68% fall on the previous year.

Posted by dill @ 09:32 AM 3 Comments

Sharps - supporting developers - rather than FTBs

Guardian: 'First-time homebuyers have been cast aside' Despite having a good job and a £35,000 deposit, civil servant Gabby Crane still can't afford to buy a suitable London home

"Buy-to-let investors have bought up all the property and there just isn't enough housing stock. I think first-time buyers have been cast aside. Yes, the coalition has introduced some housing initiatives, but they all seem to favour housing developers, not first-time buyers.

Posted by bankside @ 07:58 AM 0 Comments

The future is here

Guardian: UK housing shortage turning under-30s into 'generation rent'

More than 1 million young people will be "locked out" of home ownership in eight years' time, making up a generation that is "increasingly marginalised" and renting due to the lack of houses, a study warns. The Joseph Rowntree Foundation says that by 2020 the number of home owners under the age of 30 will fall from 2.4 million to 1.3 million, a drop of 46%. The foundation also predicts that by then 400,000 vulnerable young people could be "excluded completely", unable to afford either to rent or buy accommodation. Signalling a widening intergenerational gap, the report warns that many young people who today might expect to get on to the housing ladder will in future find they cannot buy a home.

Posted by drewster @ 12:17 AM 19 Comments

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Calling on BOMAD for the second rung too

Independent: Bank of mum and dad still important in Scotland

Almost one in six of second steppers in Scotland is considering asking their family to help finance their next step up on the housing ladder. The research from Bank of Scotland suggests that one of the main challenges facing prospective buyers is a shortfall or lack of a deposit – nearly a third (31%) of those questioned said that this was preventing them from taking the second step on the property ladder. It follows a recent report from the bank suggesting that over two thirds (65 per cent) of second steppers in Scotland have wanted to climb up the ladder in the last year but have been unable to do so.

Posted by drewster @ 10:20 PM 0 Comments

Ponzi

Reuters: Pension deficits +95 billion pounds in May alone!!

Property is my pension all that..The aggregate deficit of the 6,432 defined benefit schemes in the country increased by 95 billion pounds in May alone, to total 312 billion pounds, the Pension Protection Fund (PPF) calculates.The Bank of England's 325 billion pounds of quantitative easing....

Posted by khards @ 10:03 PM 3 Comments

I thought Portugal was next for to get a splash of cash?

Reuters: Austrian minister says Italy too may need bailout

"Raising the stakes in Europe's debt crisis, Austria's finance minister said Italy may need a financial rescue because of its high borrowing costs..."

Posted by alan @ 05:19 PM 3 Comments

Very good summary of the problem. Note the bid about the drinkbonds and pensions.

Webcompact: Dummies guide to what went wrong in Europe

Helga is the proprietor of a bar. She realizes that virtually all of her customers are unemployed alcoholics and, as such, can no longer afford to patronize her bar. To solve this problem she comes up with a new marketing plan that allows her customers to drink now, but pay later.

Posted by general congreve @ 02:48 PM 3 Comments

Ponzi participants realise there's no-one behind them

Estate Agent Today: First-time buyers staying stuck on the initial rung

Young adults who make it on to the housing ladder are increasingly getting stuck on the first rung, with over half unable to fund their next deposit. One in six home owners looking to trade up for the first time may have to ask their family for financial support to make the move. The price difference between a typical first-time buyer property such as a flat, and a subsequent home such as a semi, is on average £41,000, and in Greater London nearly £98,000. Over half (52%) of ‘second steppers’ believe they will not be able to afford the deposit for their next property. The additional capital needed by second steppers to trade up is an almost 200% increase on the £14,000 that was required to plug the gap ten years ago.

Posted by sibley's b'stard child @ 01:10 PM 13 Comments

More house price news from the daily fail

Daily Mail: Home sales have plunged by 40% since credit crunch began as banks hobble buyers

Property sales have collapsed by almost 40% Since the credit crunch began because buyers cannot get affordable mortgages and are worried about job security.

Posted by kayla @ 09:49 AM 0 Comments

Peter Bolton King, housing spokesperson for Rics, said...

FTAdviser: House sales down 40% in five years

House sales per surveyor across the UK are almost 40 per cent less than five years ago at the peak of the boom, latest Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (Rics) survey shows. During May, the average number of completed sales per surveyor was 15.6 - 40 per cent less than in May 2007 when it was 25.4.

Posted by jack c @ 09:45 AM 9 Comments

Renters are worst-affected

Telegraph: Cases of council tax arrears up 30pc

Debt charities report that they have seen a 27pc increase in the number of people contacting it for help with council tax arrears. In 2010 the Consumer Credit Counselling Service (CCCS) had just over 13,000 cases, which rose to almost 17,000 cases the following year. Over the period the size of money owed to the council rose from £675 to £717. CCCS said much of this rise had been fuelled by the worsening financial position of renters. For the first time the charity said it had more queries from those in rented accommodation that from those that own their own home. While many homeowners have been cushioned by low interest rates, which have helped keep mortgage repayments manageable, those who rent have faced steep increases in their outgoings.

Posted by drewster @ 01:28 AM 5 Comments

Monday, June 11, 2012

This Spanish Omlette fixes nothing

Telegraph: This latest Euro fix will come apart in less than a month

"Another day, another sticking plaster solution from beleaguered eurozone policymakers". "Mr Rajoy has attempted to snatch victory from the jaws of humiliation by proclaiming the €100bn of aid an unparalleled triumph. Don Quixote himself would have struggled to see such majesty in all too self evident defeat". "Also stressed to virtual breaking point, Italy, becomes liable for some 17.9pc of the cross guarantees, raising the absurd spectacle of Italy borrowing at 5pc to lend to the Spanish banking system at 3pc. European solidarity may be a noble cause, but there must be limits".

Posted by alan @ 11:21 PM 5 Comments

Everybody should be a bank

Telegraph: Central banks should buy assets other than government bonds, says Bank of England's Adam Posen

Central banks should buy other assets other than bonds because,..., because they can. Is the fact that Marks and Spencers deciding to be a bank a positive step for the UK? Why bother with apparel after all. Should Tesco's bother with the irritating business of selling food when they can more than match the profits with Tesco bank?

Posted by stillthinking @ 04:22 PM 2 Comments

Don't buy your dream home in the sun

MoneyWeek: Don't buy your dream home in the sun

Sun-baked villas on the Mediterranean are cheap. But don't be tempted to buy, says Merryn Somerset Webb. Here, she explains why you're better off renting.

Posted by martingreen @ 03:45 PM 1 Comments

No sh*t, Sherlock!

Mortgage Solutions: Buy-to-let market 'vulnerable' to large scale fraud

The buy-to-let market is vulnerable to large scale mortgage fraud, according to an industry expert. Writing for Mortgage Solutions, Stephen Gilchrist, head of regulatory law at Saunders Law, said that the mortgage fraud process for buy-to-let properties usually occurred in a variety of ways. Further reading Buy-to-let: The fraudster's honeypot Examples of property fraud include nominating fictitious purchasers and borrowers, inflating the property value deliberately then seeking to borrow the full inflated valuation, followed by late or unpaid mortgage payments with the property allowed to fall into a state of disrepair.

Posted by stuartking @ 01:36 PM 0 Comments

New BTL mortgage range announced by Leeds BS

Myfinances.co.uk: Leeds BS unveils new buy to let mortgage deals

Leeds Building Society has announced new buy to let mortgages with a choice of fee-paying and fees-assisted versions.

Posted by ben @ 12:39 PM 0 Comments

Families with children

AboutProperty: Renting set for new surge in stagnant economy

A report commissioned by the Resolution Foundation and the Shelter says that if current economic trends continue only 27 per cent of households will have a mortgage by 2025 while 22 per cent will be private tenants. The research by Cambridge University also projects that more families with children will be renting than ever before.

Posted by phil @ 11:46 AM 0 Comments

Lloyds TSB tracks house price changes in 32 areas of outstanding natural beauty in England

FTAdviser: Picturesque house prices up £110k in last decade

Homeowners in some of the most picturesque locations in England have seen their property value increaise by more than £900 a month over the last 10 years, according to Lloyds TSB. The average house price in postal districts within the 32 areas of outstanding natural beauty in England surveyed have risen by 87 per cent (£109,355) over the last decade from £125,860 in 2002 to £235,215 in 2012. This is equivalent to a monthly increase of £911.

Posted by jack c @ 11:13 AM 1 Comments

Not fit for office

Daily Mirror: Minister for empty promises: Grant Shapps accused of spin blitz to hide his housing and homelessness failures

Housing Minister Grant Shapps has been accused of using spin and misleading figures to hide his failure to build homes and tackle homelessness.

Posted by dill @ 11:10 AM 2 Comments

Big rise in house prices in areas of outstanding natural beauty

Myfinances.co.uk: Homes in picturesque settings rise by £110,000 in past decade

Homes in idyllic areas of the UK have risen by an average of £11,000 per year since 2002, according to a new report by Lloyds TSB.

Posted by ben @ 10:56 AM 0 Comments

Rodents pay the price for Eurocrisis

Irish Independent: The wheel turns but the hamster is dead

Interesting view of the eurocrisis from Ireland. Particularly like his comments that "being in favour of growth is like being in favour of worl peace"

Posted by matt c @ 10:51 AM 0 Comments

How many hours to buy a house?

Yahoo: How much do you really make an hour?

Once you factor in taxes, commuting costs and a load of other work-related expenses, how much are you actually getting for your hour’s hard graft?

Posted by mark @ 10:48 AM 0 Comments

Areas of natural beauty see property price rise

Nest Finance: Picturesque villages see property prices almost double

Families living in picturesque postcard towns and villages have seen their property rise in value by £900 a month over the last decade.

Posted by keithfinance @ 08:46 AM 0 Comments

Ricardo's law of rent strikes again

Telegraph: Landlords in Mary Portas town 'cash in'

Landlords have been accused of trying to cash in on a town’s status as a “Mary Portas pilot” by increasing the sale price of vacant shops. The mayor of Liskeard in Cornwall said it was greedy and insensitive to attempt to force up property prices at a time when small retailers are already struggling to pay high rents. Liskeard was one of 12 English towns named last month as the recipients of £100,000 to regenerate their tired high streets under a project fronted by Ms Portas, the television presenter and Government “High Street Tsar”. Since the announcement, the sellers of two empty shops in the Cornish town that have been on the market for some time have increased the asking price for their properties, in one case from £275,000 to £300,000.

Posted by drewster @ 12:23 AM 3 Comments

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Possible house price crash in local village!

Cambridge News: Anger after holiday caravan park gets planning go-ahead

Villagers worry about potential travellers camp!

Posted by markj69 str05 @ 11:02 PM 4 Comments

Another nail in the coffin of neo-classical economics

BBC: Is mainstream economics bunk?

Newsnight Economics Editor Paul Mason interviews the controversial economist Steve Keen before an audience at the London School of Economics. Keen was one of a small number of economists who predicted there would be a major financial crisis before the 2008 crash. He argues that if we keep the "parasitic banking sector" alive the economy dies, and says that conventional economics provides an unwitting cover for "the greatest ponzi schemes in history". Those in the audience agree with Keen that the emporor has no clothes.

Posted by greenmind @ 09:52 PM 7 Comments

Won't somebody think of the children?

Guardian: Renting to be 'way of life' for young UK families

Millions of young families are entering an era of insecurity in which renting becomes the norm, according to a report that warns of steep increases in the number of parents unable to buy their own homes. The Cambridge University study, obtained by the Observer, says that if the British economy remains stagnant, just over one in four people – 27% – will be in "mortgaged home ownership" by 2025, compared with 43% in 1993-94 and 35% now. Most alarmingly, it finds that it is no longer just young, single people who are locked out of the property market and forced into an under-regulated rental sector due to rising house prices, falling real wages and banks that are unwilling to lend. The same difficulties are now besetting families with children....

Posted by drewster @ 07:38 PM 3 Comments

Incoming credit crunch for the UK

Zerohedge: Why 2012 Is Shaping Up To Be A Particularly Ugly Year

Keen has an idea of a debt jubilee where you just give money to everybody, but if they have debt they have to pay this down. Of course this would be impossible to accomplish fairly. QE, in the sense that this funds government workers who otherwise would not be paid, seems to me the equivalent of this, just the principal beneficiaries (not unusually) being those attached to the teat of state.

Posted by stillthinking @ 03:43 AM 11 Comments

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Potentially good profit for doing nothing.

This Is Somerset: Osbourne's flat rocks

He purchased his London home for £370,000 in 2006, but now dad-to-be reality TV host Jack Osbourne is hoping to walk away with a tidy profit after he put his smart, but petite house on the market. While the only son of Black Sabbath frontman Ozzy and TV host Sharon recently splashed out £1.7 million on a family home in Los Angeles ahead of the birth of his first child, it seems the 26-year-old is trying to recoup some cash by putting his bachelor pad on the market for £610,000. If he sells the freehold home at asking price, the host of Adrenaline Junkie will be in line to make a £240,000 profit on the sale.

Posted by khards @ 08:37 PM 0 Comments

Landlords too rich to bother collecting rent

Telegraph: Squatting rises as eurozone crisis drives migrants into London

A surge in foreign billionaires seeking homes in desirable postcodes - Belgravia, Knightsbridge, Notting Hill - has seen numerous properties sold but left vacant, allowing squatters to move in. There has been a string of high profile cases in recent years including the occupation of houses worth up to £33 million in Belgravia, one of which was thought to have belonged to Chelsea FC owner Roman Abramovich’s ex-wife. New legislation is expected to be introduced later this year which will criminalise squatting in residential properties, with offenders facing up to a year in jail or a £5,000 fine.

Posted by drewster @ 11:20 AM 7 Comments

Le krach immobilier

Guardian: France's property downturn is good news for British bargain hunters

With the euro plummeting to new lows against the pound, property prices have fallen in French areas popular with British buyers. Just four years ago, the plunging pound forced thousands of Brits to abandon their dream of a new life in France. But with the euro falling to new lows against the pound, and the French property market showing signs of recession, the tide is turning. Rarely do the main players in the property market agree on predictions, but 2012 will see a downturn even if they can't all agree to what extent. The association of estate agents, FNAIM, predicts a fall of 5% on average, and the French notary association sees a drop of between 5%-10%, while Crédit Agricole, one of France's largest banks, puts the falls at 5%-6%.

Posted by drewster @ 11:15 AM 1 Comments

Friday, June 8, 2012

Meanwhile, over the pond

Reuters: U.S. cities struggle with blighted bank-owned homes

Across America, bank-owned, blighted houses sit untouched, sometimes for years, disfiguring neighbourhoods. The problem is particularly acute in minority areas and many cities do not have the resources, the will or the power to force banks to maintain their properties. Some Los Angeles neighbourhoods offer a case in point and of roughly 400 bank-owned homes surveyed in the area, half are in a state of blight, with a third "seriously blighted".

Posted by enuii @ 09:01 PM 5 Comments

More people waking up

Garden Grabbing taken to extremes

Daily Mail: Couple returned from holiday to find 93ft of their garden had been ‘STOLEN’...

"A horrified couple have spoken of the shocking moment they returned home from a holiday to discover a property developer had allegedly stolen 93ft of their garden. Devastated health and safety worker, Mike Gibb, 60, and his wife Susan Bates, 59, found the 8.5ft wall of their five-bedroom Victorian home in Harpenden, Hertfordshire, had been demolished and a smaller wooden fence put up 3ft into their back garden. Century-old pollarded Lime trees and flower beds were also ripped up as the builders marched onto the couple’s beloved backyard haven on May 24. Ms Bates, a freelance researcher for charities, today condemned the company claiming they acted like 'bullies'." It's always nice to be able to sit on the sidelines and watch two landowners fighting it out between themselves :-)

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 02:16 PM 12 Comments

They own land; give them financial incentives.

Houseladder: Thousands of homes 'to be brought back into use'

Thousands of properties in England are to be brought back into use thanks to a new government cash injection. Communities minister Andrew Stunell revealed £145 million will be used to help tackle the empty homes problem, with 20 successful councils to share £60 million to help make the dwellings liveable and occupied. In addition, more than £25 million will be handed to voluntary and community groups across the country to enable them to bring families into the abodes once again. It is hoped the move will result in around 5,600 empty homes coming back into use - but Mr Stunell noted there is plenty more work to do before the issue is fully resolved and the crisis over.

Posted by sibley's b'stard child @ 09:11 AM 8 Comments

Walls of Jericho

Daily Mail: Homeowners faced with hikes in mortgage repayments as credit downgrade threatens UK banks

Millions of homeowners and small businesses could face brutal hikes in their mortgages and loan repayments as three of the biggest high street banks brace themselves for a humiliating downgrade by credit ratings agency Moody’s.

Posted by dill @ 07:37 AM 8 Comments

Thursday, June 7, 2012

I see trouble ahead...

Telegraph: David Cameron: We won't take part in EU banking union - it's not our currency

David Cameron insisted today that he would not ask British taxpayers to underwrite the debts of ailing banks in Greece and Spain, saying: "It is not our currency." Britain's financial services industry was already "making a proper contribution" to helping get the national deficit under control, through taxes such as the banking levy, said the Prime Minister. "In Britain, we have taxed them with a bank levy and said they have to have a proper separation between retail banks and investment banks and that they have to have strict rules on disclosure of pay.

Posted by khards @ 06:37 PM 5 Comments

Would you Adam and Eve it ?

Moneymarketing: Buy-to-let set to escape EC's mortgage credit directive

The buy-to-let sector has been given a reprieve after a committee scrutinising the European Commission’s mortgage credit directive voted to allow the UK to exclude these types of loans from the new rules. Buy-to-let experts have warned that the sector would be stifled it were captured by the proposals, which say lenders must take into account affordability when they advance a home loan. They argue buy-to-let loans are fundamentally different as landlords use rental income to meet the monthly repayments in most cases.

Posted by jack c @ 03:37 PM 12 Comments

Bearish view from Ian Cowie (and a mention for us)

Telegraph: House prices fell by more than £3,000 in April – more than most owners earned that month

House prices fell by 2.4pc in April, according to Halifax, Britain’s biggest mortgage lender, meaning many homes lost more than £3,000 of value – or more than owners on national average earnings got paid that month.

Posted by wdbeast @ 02:35 PM 1 Comments

Steady as she goes

BBC: UK interest rates left unchanged

The Bank of England has once again left UK interest rates unchanged at 0.5% and announced no expansion to its quantitative easing (QE) programme. QE is the Bank's scheme which aims to boost the economy by buying bonds. The stimulus currently stands at £325bn. The Bank's Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) have held rates at its current record low for more than three years.

Posted by jack c @ 12:51 PM 3 Comments

House prices rise after fluctuations caused by stamp duty holiday deadline

Myfinances.co.uk: Halifax: House prices up by 0.5% in May in "broadly stable" market

Halifax reports a 0.5% increase in UK house prices in May and says that the market is "broadly stable."

Posted by ben @ 09:32 AM 0 Comments

Lunatics took over asylum

Daily Mail: Bankers and politicians 'showed same group mania and symptoms as mental health patients' in lead up to credit crunch

Bankers and politicians displayed the same symptoms as patients with mental health problems in the run up to the devastating credit crunch, scientists have revealed. In the years before the crisis, scientists claim bankers, economists and politicians shared the characteristics of denial, omnipotence and triumphalism. The same symptoms are prevalent in psychologically disturbed individuals according to Professor Mark Stein, from Leicester University’s school of management.In a paper published today in The Sage Journal, he said the shared 'manic culture' caused world leaders to 'throw caution to the wind' which led to the financial disaster.

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 08:37 AM 8 Comments

For May 2012 (pdf)

LBG: Halifax House Price Index

Annual change -0.1% Quarterly change +0.8% Monthly change +0.5% Average Price £160,941

Posted by dill @ 08:26 AM 10 Comments

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Why everyone wants to exit the dollar - quietly

Counterpunch: The economy comes unglued

The US floods the bond markets with a new $1.5 trillion each year when the IR on the bonds is less than the rate of inflation. But for now investors are fleeing the euro and European sovereign debt and equities, dominated by high-frequency-trading spivs, and are going in "safe" USTs. By means of interest-rate swaps the big US banks are keeping IRs low to enable the US to service its debt - and to enable themselves to obtain 0% dollars for their incredibly leveraged derivative transactions, of which those IR swaps are a large part. The banks also help the dollar by naked shorting of gold and silver to halt moves from dollars into those metals. How long can these manipulations continue? When will the proverbial hit the fan? The dollar is very vulnerable - read why.

Posted by icarus @ 06:28 PM 14 Comments

Low rates help young homeowners, says debt charity

BBC: Bank of Mum and Dad leads to comfortable living

"Low interest rates are easing the debt concerns of young homeowners, a charity has suggested. The Consumer Credit Counselling Service (CCCS) said that the number of homeowners aged in their 20s seeking help from the charity had fallen sharply." It's been very hard to get a low LTV mortgage in the last few years, so not surprising that those who did are doing OK.

Posted by mombers @ 03:42 PM 1 Comments

Always safe with pwopertee

City am: Lloyds offloads $1.2bn loans portfolio

"Lloyds Banking Group sold an £809m ($1.2bn) portfolio of non-performing loans on distressed property in Australia to Morgan Stanley and Blackstone, as part of the UK lender's plans to wind down non-core assets". (an earlier post identified UK banks with non-performing assets).

Posted by alan @ 12:04 PM 1 Comments

Rest of UK suddenly becomes enthusiastic about LVT

Evening Standard (MBVNIF): London property prices: City’s property worth £1,000,000,000,000

"...the South East holds the greatest property wealth, accounting for nearly a third (30%) of the UK's total property fortune. Its homes are worth £1.65 trillion... London comes in second in the regional listing with just over £1 trillion, while the South West completes the top three with property wealth amounting to more than £488 billion." Yup, that means three regions out of eleven account for 57% of total value land-plus-buildings. Strip out the buildings, and it's probably more like 75% of land rents i.e. 75% of LVT payments.

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 11:41 AM 1 Comments

Construction PMI slips from 55.8 in May to 54.4

Myfinances.co.uk: Construction sector growth slows on recession fears

Activity in the construction sector stalled in April and business confidence fell as concerns over the economy dominated the outlook.

Posted by ben @ 10:30 AM 0 Comments

"However, home ownership can be miserable."

Guardian: Is there a proven link between housing and happiness?

Academic research in the UK has failed to analyse whether housing makes a difference to general wellbeing, but international studies suggest it is essential.

Posted by dill @ 09:50 AM 2 Comments

Don't trust the banks, trust Osborne...

The Independent: Osborne's latest plan: ask Britain's savers for money

The Chancellor has told Treasury officials to find ways to persuade savers to transfer billions of pounds held in bank accounts, building societies and investment funds to new government "growth bonds". If successful, the withdrawal of funds from banks and building society's could make it interesting for anyone wanting a mortgage.

Posted by stuartking @ 12:13 AM 16 Comments

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Another bail-out on the way?

Daily Telegraph: UK banks sitting on £40bn of undeclared losses

Dividends and bonuses still being paid out by banks that are still sitting on massive undeclared, according to PIRC, the shareholder advisory group. Royal Bank of Scotland was in the worst condition, PIRC found, with £18bn of undeclared losses that would wipe out more than a third of its capital buffer and potentially force the 82pc state-owned lender back to the taxpayer for another rescue. HSBC had £10bn in undeclared losses, Barclays £6.7bn, Standard Chartered £3.6bn and Lloyds Banking Group £3.6bn. PIRC presented its numbers to all the banks and none disputed them.

Posted by stuartking @ 11:27 PM 5 Comments

Frothy frothy

Daily Mail: Islington council houses family on benefits in £1.8 MILLION property

Anger as cash-strapped council house family on benefits moved into £1.8 MILLION property... with access to private basketball court. If rented privately the council-owned property could earn around £2,000 a week but when the family move in they will be paying less than £1,000 a month. The Indian couple, believed to be in their 30s, with four children and another on the way, are said to be amazed by their luck. One neighbour, Kelly Gladwell, 40, said: 'It's disgusting. The council should sell it off privately and build several homes for people who really need them.' Another resident, Dolores Murphy, 63, added: 'We were all surprised the council was giving a family the whole house. I have four daughters, all born in Islington, who had to move out of London to afford rent. It's so unfair.'

Posted by drewster @ 06:51 PM 8 Comments

Euro crash could produce a 50% fall in prime London house prices

Planet Property: Euro crash could produce a 50% fall in prime London house prices

Why? because sterling would appreciate against the newly formed currencies, global equity markets would tumble and London's safe-haven factor would diminish

Posted by the planet @ 04:34 PM 0 Comments

Why the politicians cannot fix the euro

WSJ: A fiscal union won't fix the euro crisis

The eurozone lacks all the safety valves that could prevent dangerous imbalances from destroying the union. The US federal government uses the subsidy method - poorer states receiving more from the government than they put in. The European won't do this and every other solution is a political no-no.

Posted by icarus @ 03:03 PM 6 Comments

Great idea ! Bring in the wooden horse, what can go wrong!

Mail: Foreign buyers to drive London house prices up amid eurozone crisis, says Cebr

International demand for London property during the eurozone crisis will see a sharp widening of the north-south divide for house prices in 2012, says economic consultancy Cebr.

Posted by happy mondays @ 08:43 AM 18 Comments

Monday, June 4, 2012

There is no recession

Washington Post: A blot on Britain’s jubilee

One puzzle is that even as economic growth, as measured by GDP, seems to have stalled and the government begins to shrink, the private sector has continued to create jobs. Indeed, there is a suspicion that at least some of the downturn here is a statistical mirage caused by the necessary adjustment to wages and prices following the bursting of that financial bubble. If the financial sector boom was just inflated salaries and bonuses, then at least some of the decline in GDP may merely reflect a healthy repricing of labour rather than a worrisome loss of output.

Posted by drewster @ 11:30 PM 4 Comments

Why the Irish Banks need another bail-out

Der Spiegel: Ireland Still Long Way from Overcoming Debt Crisis

"Over 10 percent of all real estate loans are plagued by irregular payments. Central banker Gerlach admits that an even greater number of loan agreements may be affected by delays in payment. "These arrears are one of the greatest national problems," he says. When the borrowers can no longer pay, the properties end up in state hands via the nationalized banks". "A new personal bankruptcy law aims to help individuals free themselves from the debt trap. The idea is sound enough. But analysts at Deutsche Bank are already warning of the billions in write-downs that this will entail".

Posted by alan @ 10:06 PM 0 Comments

..and another one bites and another one bites..

Telegraph: Portugal props up banks with €6.6bn

"Portugal is to inject up to €6.65bn (£5.4bn) into three of its biggest banks to meet an EU deadline for higher capital ratios by the end of this month". The funding will come from a recapitalsation credit under the country's €78bn bail-out from the EU-IMF "Troika".

Posted by alan @ 09:27 PM 0 Comments

Now that's a decent crash

Bloomberg: Danish Housing Crisis Spells Pain for Banks, Moody’s Says

Denmark’s housing crisis is set to deepen as private debt burdens remain high, property values sink and the job market struggles, Moody’s Investors Service said. House prices, which have plunged 25 percent since their peak in 2007, will probably fall another 5.5 percent this year, the government said last month. Property values sank an annual 8.6 percent in March, Statistics Denmark said May 31. Unemployment will rise to 7.6 percent this year from 7.4 percent in 2011 [in the UK it's 8.2%], the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development said last month. The weak property market and its fallout for lenders is creating a vicious circle for the economy, as a “negative feedback” loop hampers recovery prospects, Moody’s said.

Posted by drewster @ 10:20 AM 15 Comments

No more capital growth, but great yields

Yorkshire Post: Renting creates a golden age of property investment

Yolande Barnes, head of residential research at Savills, says that rather than looking at bricks and mortar as a capital asset and relying on house price growth to fuel a profit, investors are now happy to derive an income from rents. Research shows average gross income yield is 5.8% nationally and much higher on smaller properties, where owner-occupier demand has been hardest hit by the squeeze on mortgage lending. Income yields on one-bedroom properties average 6.7%. After accounting for costs and void periods, the average net yield for typical private landlords comes in at around 4.1%. Renters may think of it as “dead money” but it may be cheaper than buying if they take the cost of repairs and maintenance into account. Home ownership costs £1,300 more than renting over one year.

Posted by drewster @ 10:10 AM 4 Comments

HPC cancelled again (in London at least)

Bloomberg: London City Job Vacancies Rose 25% Last Month, Recruiter Says

Job vacancies at London’s financial- services companies increased 25 percent last month as banks hired in areas such as foreign exchange and derivatives, recruitment firm Astbury Marsden said. New vacancies in the British capital’s City and Canary Wharf financial districts rose to 4,320 in May from 3,455 in April, the London-based recruiter said in a statement today. The number of jobs created in May is the highest since August 2011. “The threat to the euro is now seen as a risk that businesses need to consider hedging against. That has created a lot of activity.”

Posted by drewster @ 09:58 AM 4 Comments

Yorkshire village for sale for £39,500

Planet Property: Yorkshire village for sale for £39,500

Signs that the market is in trouble in Yorkshire?!

Posted by the planet @ 09:46 AM 0 Comments

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Another nail in the bulletproof coffin of high value London property?

Out-Law: Government consults on annual charge for company-owned high value properties

It is currently consulting on measures aimed at ensuring people who purchase high value residential properties in the name of a company or partnership pay their "fair share" of tax. The proposals were announced as part of the 2012 Budget.

Posted by paul @ 10:44 PM 6 Comments

Horror story or Hyperbole?

Steve Keen Debtwatch blog: The End of the Communist Dynasty

Craig Tindale argues that "the Chinese propaganda machine has captured an unquestioning Western media." Furthermore, China is heading for a massive crash that will make it hard for the Communist party to maintain its current status. Large capital flight as the monied elite try to escape is also predicted (and what's a popular 'safe' asset class for rich foreigners?) The gist of Tindale's theory is that economic stimulus such as infrastructure is being financed by loans that cannot possibly be repaid. In the West, loans are given with an expectation of repayment. In China, Tindale argues, loans are given because communist party officials 'encourage' loans by banks that cannot be foreclosed on due to political influences.

Posted by quiet guy @ 09:17 PM 0 Comments

Blackmail ("chantaje" in Spanish)

Telegraph: The week that Europe stopped pretending

"Switzerland is threatening capital controls to repel bank flight from Euroland. The Swiss two-year note has fallen to -0.32pc, not that it seems to make any difference". "Brazil wilted in the first quarter. India grew at the slowest pace in nine years. China’s HSBC manufacturing index fell further into contraction in May, with new orders dropping sharply and inventories rising. We face the grim possibility that all key engines of the global system will sputter together, this time with interest rates already near zero in the West and average public debt in the OECD club already at a record 106pc of GDP". Rajoy hopes Germany will blink first. (so do Greece, Italy, Portugal and Cyprus...its all unravelling)

Posted by alan @ 08:58 PM 0 Comments

Right on cue. Global collusion to fight deflation continues.

Telegraph: Bank of England to consider £50bn stimulus for economy

Bank of England policymakers may opt to inject a further £50bn of stimulus into Britain’s ailing economy this week, according to leading economists. "Up until now we had been arguing the Bank would sanction no more QE after ending the previous programme last month. But conditions have worsened." "The MPC cannot ignore this weaker news and we have thus changed our call for £50bn more quantitative easing to be announced at the June 7 policy meeting," he said. Michael Saunders of Citigroup was of the same view. “On balance, we forecast the MPC will expand QE by another £50bn at the June meeting,” he said.

Posted by khards @ 11:21 AM 6 Comments

Saturday, June 2, 2012

London, the gated community.

Guardian: London property offers stable investment for wealthy Europeans

"As the eurozone lurches from crisis to crisis and Greece teeters on the brink of default and exit from the euro, the number of wealthy European property buyers in London has surged. Greeks, Italians, Spaniards and even the French are desperate to convert their euros into bricks and mortar in the capital."

Posted by rumble @ 02:27 PM 11 Comments

Risk in the prime property market

Fathom Consulting: Prime Central London: In a Class of its own?

Fathom Consulting have published a short presentation on prime London property prices with some pretty bearish conclusions. Essentially, Fathom think that prime London property has been bought primarily for investment purposes for the last decade and the factors that made London prime property attractive are at risk of reversing - particularly problems with the Euro. Noting that their hypothesis "may seem counterintuitive at first", fathom suggest that a messy Euro breakup would create a banking crisis that would hurt global equity markets (the main source of wealth for most rich people) and raise Sterling thus reducing the factors that make prime London attractive as an investment. There are a lot of if's in this but a prime crash might depress the national HPI indices.

Posted by quiet guy @ 12:42 PM 3 Comments

Yet another thread to the Eurozone Farce

Bloomberg: Cyprus Seen Close to a Request for Bailout

"Cyprus looks increasingly set to become the fourth euro-zone country to seek financial aid under Europe's temporary bailout fund, as early as this month, as it scrambles to protect its banking system from Greece's widening financial crisis that is threatening to engulf its tiny island neighbor". "Late last year, the country negotiated a €2.5 billion ($3.1 billion) bilateral loan from Russia. Now, Cyprus is in talks with China for another bilateral loan, of an undisclosed amount, that looks unlikely to materialize in time". ( I know the answer: lets give lots of money to their banks for zombie mortgages). "Cyprus is facing a "race against the clock," said ex-president Mr. Vassiliou. (yeah, whatever...).

Posted by alan @ 12:39 PM 1 Comments

Krugman gives neo-liberals a bloody nose

BBC: Newsnight

Jeremy Paxman is joined by Nobel Prize winning economist Paul Krugman, venture capitalist Jon Moulton and Conservative MP Andrea Leadsom to discuss whether austerity is always the best method for resolving a country's national debt problem. Neo liberal ideologues take a pasting seldom seen!

Posted by greenmind @ 12:38 PM 20 Comments

What's a fair rent?

Guardian: Fair rent tenants are still sitting comfortably

The 100,000 tenants still on regulated tenancies who are being charged well below unfair market levels

Posted by justinh @ 11:16 AM 0 Comments

An average house in 1952 cost £2,200

Myfinances.co.uk: Average UK house cost £2,200 at start of Queen's reign in 1952

Research shows that house prices have increased dramatically in the 60 years since Queen Elizabeth came to the throne.

Posted by ben @ 10:32 AM 0 Comments

Intergenerational living. We own land tax us less.

DailyFail: 'Granny flat' tax break considered as government looks at plan to scrap council tax for live-in annexes

Ministers believe the move could help to increase housing supply. Labour says occupied 'granny flats' are already council tax exempt 'We are keen to remove tax and other regulatory obstacles to families having a live-in annexe for immediate relations,' he told the Daily Telegraph. 'We should support home owners who want to improve their properties and standard of living. 'These reforms should also play a role in increasing the housing supply.” At present, granny flats are treated as separate dwellings and, as such, can be charged full rates of council tax by local authorities, which often exceed £1,000 a year. Government officials believe the change could benefit as many as 300,000 households in England.

Posted by khards @ 10:05 AM 6 Comments

Friday, June 1, 2012

How housing luck depends on when you were born

Jules Birch Blog: Jubilee Generations

From the Diamond Generation who bought when houses were cheap as chips to the Golden, Silver and Bronze Generations who cashed in on house price inflation and buy to let, to the Tin and Lead Generations who paid through the nose and were priced out into extortionate renting, how have the last 60 years been for you?

Posted by justinh @ 06:11 PM 0 Comments

Surely house prices cant stay high for much longer

CNN: Eurozone unemployment at record high 11%

The 17-nation eurozone's unemployment rate reached the highest level since the creation of the common currency 13 years ago, climbing to 11% in April

Posted by mark @ 01:25 PM 3 Comments

I think i might a 100 quids worth lol

Manchester evening news: Manchester council sells land worth £120k for just £1 in move to kick-start house building

Town hall bosses are to sell off a piece of land worth £120,000 – for just £1. Six new family homes will be built on the plot in south Manchester which is being handed over for the nominal sum by the city council. The land, in Chapel Street, Levenshulme, has stood empty for six years. Selling it at low-cost will help the city to fill a housing shortage.

Posted by mark @ 01:05 PM 9 Comments

Next stop for the UK is hyperinflation as we print to infinity and beyond to support the deficit..

Sky News: EU Leaders Sign Fiscal Treaty Rejected By UK

The UK is the odd country out. Will this be another u-turn Dave? .....EU leaders - except those from the UK and Czech Republic - have signed a new fiscal treaty to enforce tougher economic scrutiny. The Treaty for Stability, Co-ordination and Governance was signed by 25 of the bloc's 27 leaders at an EU summit in Brussels. The deal is the culmination of months of effort to demonstrate tighter financial discipline and calm market fears about the euro. It was forged after UK Prime Minister David Cameron dramatically vetoed plans for a 27-nation treaty change to beef up eurozone rules. The resulting accord sees him sitting - contentedly - on the sidelines with only his Czech counterpart for company.

Posted by khards @ 01:03 PM 4 Comments

VIs moan that other VIs receive preferential treatment

Estate Agent Today: RICS warns ministers that NewBuy scheme could hurt whole housing market

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors has delivered a stinging attack on the Government’s NewBuy mortgage scheme, suggesting it could wreck the entire housing market. In a brand new set of big-hitting housing policies, the RICS also calls for the regulation of letting agents, and the introduction of a single, industry-wide regulation and redress scheme to be set up within three years. The RICS says that NewBuy, which offers purchasers of new-build property 95% mortgages underwritten by taxpayers and developers, could reduce demand for ‘second-hand’ property and play havoc with lenders’ affordability calculations. It says: “Without stimulating the second-hand market as well as new-build, chains and overall transaction levels will stagnate.”

Posted by sibley's b'stard child @ 11:42 AM 2 Comments

Key drivers of house prices

Mortgagestrategy: A snapshot of 60 years of the housing and mortgage markets

The Nationwide House Price Index is the only UK house price index going back as far as 1952. It was with much foresight that what was then called the Co-operative Permanent Building Society, prior to its name change in 1970, started its house price index in the year Queen Elizabeth came to the throne. There was little change in prices from 1952 until the mid 1950s, although prices fell slightly in 1953 and 1954. In Q4 1959 the annual increase reached 5% for the first time and despite some small falls on a quarterly basis there was then an unbroken run of increases in every single 12 month period from Q1 1955 to Q2 1990 and by the time Only Fools and Horses hit maximum popularity on our screens everyone in the UK who owned a property was a millionaire.

Posted by jack c @ 11:05 AM 1 Comments

Hip hip hoorah!

Daily Telegraph: Sixty happy and glorious years of soaring house prices!

As the nation prepares to celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, bricks and mortar have beaten stock market investments and cash on deposit at the bank or building society into a cocked hat. ...and it's free money right? Guilt-free wealth creation magic!

Posted by micasasucasa @ 08:17 AM 27 Comments

Will the German's hit PRINT? Or is this it?

Telegraph: Spain in a state of 'total emergency'

Spain is in a state of 'total emergency', the country’s former prime minister has warned, with Madrid facing punitive borrowing costs and the prospect of needing a Greek-style bail-out. Felipe González, the country’s elder statesman, said: “We’re in a situation of total emergency, the worst crisis we have ever lived through.” On Tuesday night, Miguel Ángel Fernández Ordóñez, Spain’s central bank governor, resigned abruptly, before testifying to the senate that he had been muzzled to avoid inflaming events. Andrew Roberts, credit chief at RBS, said Spain was caught in a classic deflationary vice: a rising debt burden on a shrinking economic base. “Once you get into such a negative feedback loop, you can move beyond the point of no return quickly,” he said.

Posted by general congreve @ 12:29 AM 23 Comments

Main Blog | Archive | Add Article | Blog Policies