September 2012 Archive

Sunday, September 30, 2012

London tipping point?

BBC News: Runaway London house prices stall, says Land Registry

(First post from a long-time lurker) Land Registry says London house prices didn't go up for a whole month! Whoop-dee-doo. Just a brief hiatus to be blamed on the Olympics, or a real turning point?

Posted by delibes @ 11:51 PM 0 Comments

London property prices to crash next?

New York Times: Greece Seeks Taxes From Wealthy With Cash Havens in London

At the request of the Athens government, the British financial authorities recently handed over a detailed list of about 400 Greek individuals who have bought and sold London properties since 2009. The list, closely guarded, has not been publicly disclosed. But Greek officials are examining it to determine whether the people named — who they say include prominent businessmen, bankers, shipping tycoons and professional athletes — have deceived the tax authorities by understating their wealth.

Posted by stuartking @ 05:39 PM 7 Comments


Guardian: First-time buyers increasingly rely on the bank of mum and dad

I suppose I did see this and post, but the bank of mum and dad .... too too much. Even the Guardian readership are not so dullwitted. Or are they ! Yes they are. etc..

Posted by stillthinking @ 05:02 PM 4 Comments

Bargain of the century!!

Mail: Smallest flat in London goes on sale for £90,000

Smaller than a snooker table.

Posted by peter_2008 @ 01:26 PM 4 Comments

Mortgage originators and bondholders coining it in.

Reuters: Housing regulators loosen rules, but at what cost?

The US housing regulator is enabling banks to make bad loans with little risk to those banks. New rules make it a lot more difficult for Fannie/Freddie to hold to account mortgage originators who saddle them with bad loans. See also alan's post on 26th @ 12.49PM which showed that the Fed's purchase of MBSs increased lenders' margins (yields on packaged bonds falling much faster than mortgage rates) and that Fannie securities traded @ 106 cents on the $ .i.e., lender gets 106% of loan principal on a sale (+ annual income stream) while hedge funds using the usual 20x leverage and betting on the 'performance' of those securities can make a lot more.

Posted by icarus @ 11:55 AM 0 Comments

FTB's: How the mortgage landscape has changed since the credit crunch First-time-buyers rely on bank of mum and dad to get a mortgage

A new report suggest that 20 per cent of new homes bought by first-time buyers in 2011 would not have gone ahead if parents had not helped their children secure the necessary financial backing to enable them to get the mortgage or save up enough for the deposit.

Posted by ben @ 11:53 AM 0 Comments

Break up the banks!

Greg Pytel: Leader of the Opposition: sort out this mess, plese

Ed Miliband proposes to ring-fence retail banking from investment banking and ultimately break up the banks. It is too little too late and starting from the wrong end. The use of retail deposits in investment banking is ultimately a result of dishonest practices of the financial industry. Only possible since the government, we the taxpayers, are underwriting this cassino practice. But break up the banks nevertheless.

Posted by ant @ 10:37 AM 0 Comments

Saturday, September 29, 2012


Independent: Give us your Duchy: demand for Charles' £728m Cornish estate

Anti-royalists will descend on Cornwall today to rally support for a campaign to abolish the Duchy of Cornwall, Prince Charles' £728m land and property portfolio. Campaigners want the 53,000-hectare estate, most of which lies in the south-west, to be handed over to local people to boost the rural economy.

Posted by dill @ 11:50 AM 4 Comments

Average detached house price up by £642pm over last ten years Halifax: Terraced homes show biggest price drop as FTB's suffer

Detached homes in the UK have increased in value by an average of £642 a month in the last ten years, according to new research by the Halifax.

Posted by ben @ 11:44 AM 0 Comments

Debt Bomb

Guardian: Fitch warns UK's AAA credit rating at risk of downgrade

"The ratings agency pointed out that the UK had a debt mountain second only to the US among those countries with a AAA rating and was nearing the upper limit the agency set for the most creditworthy countries".

Posted by alan @ 09:34 AM 0 Comments

We are saved !!!!!!!!

Mail: Recession is now 'all but over' after a powerful rebound in the services sector

Recession is now 'all but over' after a powerful rebound in the services sector

Posted by happy mondays @ 07:46 AM 6 Comments

Unsafe as houses

Independent: Now climate experts warn that every house in the country is at risk of flooding

The flood waters may finally be receding across parts of Britain lashed this week by the worst autumn storm in 30 years.But as home and business owners begin the long, demoralising task of clearing up the filth left in their wake, it has emerged that increasing numbers of flood victims are completely unaware that they were ever at risk from rising water levels.

Posted by dill @ 07:43 AM 5 Comments

Friday, September 28, 2012

Rich land owners are trousering all the loot

New Statesman: How we pay for our richest landowners

From £2.7m for Serco to £750,000 to the Duke of Westminster, an NS investigation shows just how much our biggest landowners receive each year in state handouts; 69 per cent of British acreage is owned by less than 1 per cent of the population, or 158,000 families; 90 per cent of the population lives on just 5 per cent of the land ...

Posted by greenmind @ 10:36 PM 4 Comments

After the unrealistic Spanish budget...

Telegraph: Spanish banks need €60bn, independent auditors say

"Battered by a deep recession, mass unemployment, indebted regions and crippled banks after a decade-long boom fuelled by a property bubble ended abruptly in 2007, the country secured the €100bn European lifeline for the banks in June, and has since then quietly laid the ground for a state bailout. Capital needs for state-rescued lender Bankia increased by €6bn to €25bn. This does not include an earlier public cash injection of €4.5bn". "The EU has recommended that Spain review the solvency of its pension system, opening the door to the government overturning a law that indexes pensions to inflation every year, and accelerating the phasing in of an older retirement age". (Yes, it's BAIL OUT time).

Posted by alan @ 06:37 PM 6 Comments

Pension abandonment

What Investment: 'Betrayed' pensioners moving money overseas

Apparently you can't scam the next batch of pensioners as well as the current one, who would have guessed? Sort of more of the loss of faith in the UK pension industry, which is completely hamstrung by the borrowing requirements of government. Article is about getting out of the obligation to buy an annuity. I read somewhere else you need a 100K pension pot to buy a 20 pound increase over what you would get from the government's old age social security net. I think the backlash against pension repression is going to have an ever increasing and implacable impact against government finance going forward. Its such a boring topic though and I think a lot of people secretly wonder if they are going to get to the state retirement age anyway, binge drink Britain etc

Posted by stillthinking @ 04:31 PM 1 Comments

Oh noes! This can't be happening!

Zerohedge: Euro And Swiss Franc Fall To New Record Lows Against Gold

Gold prices are up on Friday, as the new austerity budget from Spain was received favourably and it increased the appetite for higher risk assets, sending bullion, commodities – brent crude oil at $112, the euro and equities to rise. Gold prices in euros held near the prior session's all time record high of EUR 1,380/oz, hit after rising spot prices coincided with a weaker euro on Thursday. Euro-priced gold was up 1.1% at EUR 1,375.48/oz.

Posted by general congreve @ 03:16 PM 3 Comments

Super fast broadband please.

HomePurchaser: Call for broadband speed in property particulars

Available broadband speeds should be included in property particulars, a third of house hunters believe. A good broadband connection is increasingly important to people buying a new house and one in ten claim to have walked away from a deal due to a poor internet connection.

Posted by phil @ 11:33 AM 2 Comments

For August 2012

Land Registry: House Price Index

Index 262.2 Average price £163,376 Monthly change 0.0% Annual change 0.7%

Posted by dill @ 11:19 AM 11 Comments


AboutProperty: NAEA: Property market in 'urgent' need of rejuvenation

Urgent action must be taken to rejuvenate the property market, say the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA). The latest report from the NAEA shows a fall in activity during August, impacting upon an already stagnant property market.

Posted by phil @ 10:28 AM 3 Comments

High accommodation costs make us poorer

LSE blog: Peter Jeffreys: High rents are holding back the recovery

LSE blogger Peter Jeffreys argues that our property market is disrupting economic recovery: "Many economists say that we face a demand crisis. There simply isn’t enough spending in shops and on British products to get people back into work. Given that there are 8.5 million renters in England (including 1 in 4 Londoners) and in the capital renters pay on average between 42 and 46% of their wage in rent, there is a strong case that a lot of potential consumer spending is being lost. But doesn’t the rent we pay go back into the economy anyway? There is a strong argument that a lot of it doesn’t." (H/T to Democorruptcy on the forums)

Posted by quiet guy @ 10:14 AM 8 Comments

Thursday, September 27, 2012

LVT in Ireland

RTE The Frontline: The Frontline looks at the contentious issue of property tax

LVT & House Prices debated in Ireland, not a great debate but at least the issue is in the media

Posted by pete green @ 10:16 PM 5 Comments

Will house prices look different outside the EU?

BBC: David Cameron considers a referendum on Europe

The prime minister is considering making a major speech about Britain's future relationship with Europe before December's EU leaders summit. The speech would set out his vision of how the UK will respond to the recent call from the European Commission President, Jose Manuel Barroso, for a new EU Treaty creating "a democratic federation of nation states". (Cameron will probably put off a referendum to the next parliament - my view).

Posted by alan @ 10:05 PM 2 Comments

Mervyn says it's dropping to 2%

Telegraph: Inflation could near double digits says Jupiter's Chatfeild-Roberts

"Inflation could near double digits over the next five years according to Jupiter Asset Management's chief investment officer".

Posted by alan @ 05:56 PM 6 Comments

Construction industry reviews its party political donations

DCLG: NewBuy Guarantee scheme

'By 30 June 2012 250 home purchases had been completed under the NewBuy Guarantee scheme.' Looks like the scheme - as all others before it - has hardly set the building industry alight. Still, at least it shows that gov are 'doing something' which is all that counts.

Posted by sibley's b'stard child @ 02:10 PM 2 Comments

One for Khards

Housefund: .Irish house prices see largest gain in 5 years

"House prices in the Republic of Ireland rose by 0.5% in August – the biggest gain since 2007, the Central Statistics Office (CSO) reports. In the year to August, residential property prices fell by 11.8% at a national level. However, the figures show that residential property prices in Dublin fell by 0.5% in August from July. They are 13.8% lower than the same time a year ago." And GBP has strengthened a bit against the Euro to 1.25, now's a good a time as any to buy in Ireland, I guess (famous last words).

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 12:16 PM 5 Comments

Quick, print more

Guardian: Britain in the red by record £20.8bn

"Welcome news that UK's GDP shrank slightly less than expected in second quarter offset by abysmal current account figures".

Posted by alan @ 12:13 PM 2 Comments

Universal credit - downside?

BuyToNet: Rental arrears concern over universal credit switch

The switch to universal credit due in October 2013 is likely to negatively affect landlords as tenants struggle to keep up with rental payments. Landlord Assist is warning that the new style of benefit payment will leave many tenants in debt to their landlords and could see an increase in evictions.

Posted by phil @ 10:08 AM 0 Comments

Fisher waxes lyrical on FLS BoE's Fisher says inflation to stay at 2.5% until 2015

Bank of England policymaker, Paul Fisher, a member of the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) warned this week that he expects inflation to stay at around 2.5 per cent until 2015.

Posted by ben @ 09:50 AM 0 Comments

Bank of England credit conditions survey Bank of England reports mortgage availability at best since 2007

There were encouraging signs that the Bank of England’s Funding for Lending Scheme (FLS) is injecting life into the mortgage market as the bank’s latest quarterly credit conditions survey was released yesterday.

Posted by ben @ 09:48 AM 0 Comments

Property; a one way bet to penury

Guardian: Should my debt-laden mother sell or remortgage her house?

Q My 70-year-old mum lives in the UK and has no income other than rent from her house. She receives £500 a month, of which £300 goes on the interest-only mortgage. The rest goes to service a £6,000 bank loan and a £3,000 credit card debt (currently at 0% interest). The mortgage is due to end in 2017 with a £30,000 principal still outstanding.

Posted by sibley's b'stard child @ 09:31 AM 9 Comments

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

How to keep the bubble inflated and enslave even more people...

Telegraph: Banks 'significantly' increase mortgage lending

Banks and building societies increased mortgage lending “significantly” in the three months to September and plan another big rise in the final quarter, paving the way for a much-needed improvement in the housing market, according to a survey by the Bank of England.

Posted by hpwatcher @ 08:06 PM 11 Comments

Catalonia calls snap election for November

Bloomberg Business Week: The Spanish Crisis Deepens

Spain has entered a constitutional crisis. The decision of Catalonia’s nationalist government to call a snap election in November – which in practice will amount to a referendum on independence – has opened the way to Catalan secession.

Posted by enuii @ 07:38 PM 2 Comments

Banksters laughing at us as we try to help

Telegraph: RBS traders boasted of Libor 'cartel'

"Royal Bank of Scotland traders boasted about operating a “cartel” to rig Libor just weeks before the bank was rescued at a cost of more than £40bn by the taxpayer". In one exchange in April 2008, Tan Chi Min, a former Singapore-based trader at RBS, messaged traders saying “Our six-month fixing moved the entire fixing, hahahah”.

Posted by alan @ 07:09 PM 3 Comments


Bank of England: Credit Conditions Survey Q3 2012 (pdf)

Overall demand for secured lending for house purchase increased a little over the past quarter (Chart 2). This was driven by demand for prime lending, while demand for buy-to-let had fallen slightly. In contrast to the increase in demand for secured lending for house purchase, demand for remortgaging fell in Q3. Lenders expected overall demand for secured credit for house purchase to rise slightly further in Q4, especially in the buy-to-let sector, while demand for remortgaging was expected to remain unchanged.

Posted by dill @ 04:36 PM 0 Comments

Bank of England expects mortgage lending “to increase significantly’ in next quarter”

Planet Property: Bank of England expects mortgage lending “to increase significantly’ in next quarter”

The Bank of England expects mortgage lending “to increase significantly over the next three months, to borrowers spread across LTV ratios”. Lenders seen less certain ...

Posted by the planet @ 01:00 PM 0 Comments

So, what were you expecting?

Bloomberg: Fed Helps Lenders’ Profit More Than Homebuyers re:Mortgages

"The Federal Reserve’s latest mortgage bond purchases so far are helping profit margins at lenders including Wells Fargo & Co. (WFC) and JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) more than homebuyers and property owners looking to refinance". (..and who pays for the politicians to get elected?)

Posted by alan @ 12:49 PM 0 Comments

New global regulator to take over managing Libor BBA poised to give up managing Libor interbank rate

The British Bankers Association (BBA) has been stripped of its role as setting the position and administrating over the interbank lending rate Libor.

Posted by ben @ 11:31 AM 0 Comments

Bigger house shares

BuyToNet: Rental pressure swells house shares

House shares are getting progressively bigger as landlords react to increased demand for lower rents. SpareRoom report a 59 per cent surge in house shares with six or more bedrooms, a 51 per cent rise for the five-bedroom category and a 43 per cent spike in four-bedroom properties.

Posted by phil @ 11:09 AM 0 Comments

Setting up for a fall?

AboutProperty: Homes remain pension pot despite tough market

A quarter of working homeowners over-50 plan to use the equity in their home to fund retirement, despite turbulent the property market. Retirement specialist LV= found that 1.9 million people consider their home to be a part of their pension plans.

Posted by phil @ 10:23 AM 0 Comments

A wealth tax on the value of property is a bad idea

MoneyWeek: A wealth tax on the value of property is a bad idea

The government would raise a multitude of problems if it were to introduce any new wealth or property taxes on top of the taxes we already have. Here's why.

Posted by martingreen @ 10:21 AM 3 Comments

A feeling among many?

What Is Money: Bankers 'should be prosecuted'

Members of the British parliament are set to hear the damming view that banking customers have of banks today, amid calls for big changes in how the banking industry works.

Posted by keith hodges @ 09:30 AM 0 Comments


Daily Mirror: Debts hit home: Cash-strapped Brits are paying off debts rather than buying houses

Cash-strapped householders are paying off debts rather than buying homes – which is depressing market values.

Posted by dill @ 08:30 AM 0 Comments

I predict an Economic Riot!

Mail: Demonstrators riot in Spain

Thousands of demonstrators Saturday poured into Barcelona ahead of a planned mass anti-globalization rally as European leaders wrapped a summit on economic reforms.

Posted by happy mondays @ 08:15 AM 4 Comments

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

"Given up" or kicked out?

SKY: BBA Votes To Give Up Libor Role

"The council of the British Bankers’ Association (BBA) has formally voted to give up its responsibility for setting the interbank borrowing rate Libor following the fixing scandal that engulfed the industry three months ago". As we know, the Libor benchmark is critical to trillions of pounds/dollars in derivatives contracts which affect mortgage and other consumer interest rates.

Posted by alan @ 05:09 PM 1 Comments


FTAlphaville: A scarred market and a Funding for Lending update

"To summarise my assessment of markets at this point I would no longer say that they are healing. Rather, markets are scarring over – adapting and evolving to the new environment." Bank of England's Paul Fisher.

Posted by dill @ 04:59 PM 0 Comments

Bankster Government Ennit?

Telegraph: Barclays told to stop fundraising for Mitt Romney

"Barclays has been accused of fundraising for political candidates instead of working to rebuild the public's trust in banks following the Libor-setting scandal". (Is anything not rigged, right now?).

Posted by alan @ 04:30 PM 2 Comments

Mortgage approvals down 13% year-on-year BBA reports UK consumers continue to pay down debt

The latest borrowing figures published by the British Bankers Association (BBA) show that consumers are still trying to pay down debt than take out new borrowings.

Posted by ben salisbury @ 12:42 PM 17 Comments

Leeds BS launch new ten-year best buy fix Leeds BS launch ten-year fixed rate mortgage at just 4.59%

Leeds Building Society has launched a ten-year fixed rate mortgage that charges just 4.58 per cent for homeowners who have a loan-to-value (LTV) ratio of 75 per cent.

Posted by ben salisbury @ 11:42 AM 1 Comments

Jeremy Warner on message!

Daily Telegraph: Smash and grab raid on middle class wealth is a recipe for disaster

"Taxing land value, in other words, is the equivalent of taxing an economic rent – it does not discourage any socially desirable form of wealth creation. Moreover, in a world where both income and capital are increasingly mobile, there are obvious advantages in taxing the physical; it is less easily avoided. So in an ideal world, you might indeed want to tax land more, while reducing income and other forms of capital taxes to compensate. Yet I’m quite sure that’s not what the Liberal Democrats have in mind."

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 11:00 AM 13 Comments


Telegraph: House prices could plunge if 200,000 ‘serious flood risk’ properties become uninsurable

Torrential rain should focus minds on the risk that hundreds of thousands of homes could become uninsurable and thus unmortgageable – causing house prices to plunge – in less than one year’s time, housing and insurance experts claim.

Posted by phil @ 09:04 AM 14 Comments

Pension fund losses

Reuters: British pension lifeboat freezes levy, warns hikes to follow

The damage to UK pensions is not immediately apparent, warns of hikes in the future. PPF has 12 billion under management. I don't want to look because I can guess these are all IOUs from the government...

Posted by stillthinking @ 05:18 AM 0 Comments

Monday, September 24, 2012

The British Dream: now with added sunshine

Telegraph (blogs): House prices 70pc plunge prompts Brits to go ‘schadenfreude shopping’ for second homes in eurozone

Plunging house prices in some parts of the eurozone are prompting rising numbers of Brits to go ‘schadenfreude shopping’ for second homes on the continent. Spain is the main bargain area, the Costa del Sol in particular. Portugal has held up better than Spain and while Greece and Italy now offer some good opportunities, not nearly as much property is available as resorts were not as overbuilt as in Spain. “Buyers can borrow up to 90pc of the purchase price and achieve very substantial returns. We recently sold a property, originally valued at £5m, for just £1.2m and with a stabilised rental return of 19pc net,” said an estate agent.

Posted by drewster @ 10:19 PM 5 Comments

Make £35m in banking and you're evil; but make it on property and you're living the British Dream

Express: Crimewatch star Nick Ross's house is a steal at £35m

FORMER Crimewatch presenter Nick Ross has sold his London home for an incredible £35million – making a profit of almost 4,000 per cent. The 65-year-old broadcaster paid £950,000 for the house in Notting Hill, west London, during the property slump in 1993. He is understood to have sold it for almost 400 times that amount to Khaled Said, the 37-year-old son of Saudi billionaire Wafic Said.

Posted by drewster @ 05:30 PM 5 Comments

"You are trespassing scum"

Telegraph: Former HMRC head Dave Hartnett awarded by protesters

An after-dinner speech by the former head of HMRC, Dave Hartnett, was interrupted by protesters who awarded the retired official with a "lifetime achievement award to corporate tax planning".

Posted by dill @ 04:49 PM 1 Comments

Can we learn from the Americans?

BuyToNet: Five-year private rental boom set to continue

The comparison with the US property market is an interesting one, where the 'multi-family' model has been integrated into the housing system. Large single blocks have been created, which help offer high-quality specifically built accommodation for tenants and efficiencies for managing companies.

Posted by phil @ 12:32 PM 0 Comments

This crackpot scheme proves that British houses are too expensive

MoneyWeek: This crackpot scheme proves that British houses are too expensive

Nick Clegg's idea that the elderly should gamble their pensions away on the housing market is the coalition's worst one yet. John Stepek explains why.

Posted by martingreen @ 10:50 AM 7 Comments

Beginner's guide to mortgages

MoneyWeek: Beginner's guide to mortgages

A property mortgage is the biggest debt most of us will ever take on. So choosing the right one is vital. Tim Bennett explains the basics of mortgages and highlights the main pitfalls to avoid.

Posted by martingreen @ 09:39 AM 3 Comments

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Another wacky Lib Dem idea

BBC News: Simon Hughes: Inner London second homes should be banned

Second home owners should be banned from buying inner London property, Liberal Democrat MP Simon Hughes says. Mr Hughes, MP for Bermondsey and Old Southwark, argues inner London second homes are a serious problem, pushing up property prices and forcing locals out. He wants his party to adopt a policy that would give councils the powers to make certain properties off limits for second home owners. But only one council [Lewisham] has expressed an interest in using the powers. A Southwark Council spokesman said: "How do you go about policing it? What about the foreign investor, or someone who uses a front man? How are people going to be prosecuted? It is madness."

Posted by drewster @ 07:01 PM 11 Comments

Don't worry, General, you can make a good set of darts out of tungsten

ZeroHedge: Gold Counterfeiting Goes Viral many as 10 fake gold bars — made up mostly of relatively worthless tungsten — were sold recently to unsuspecting dealers in Manhattan’s Midtown Diamond District. How's that for dodgy currency?

Posted by stuartking @ 05:33 PM 6 Comments

97.3% House Price Increase in South Cambridgeshire

BBC News: UK house prices: April to June 2012

South Cambridgeshire Average house price £562,922 Detached £829,152 Semi-detached £358,125 Terrace £413,421 Flat £315,616 Annual change in house price +97.3% Quarterly change +119.2% Total number of sales: 180

Posted by alex @ 04:04 PM 0 Comments

Daftest housing proposal ever?

Independent: Pensions could boost home ownership, says Nick Clegg

Parents and grandparents will be allowed to draw on their pension pots to secure deposits for young family members in a bid to boost home ownership, Nick Clegg said. The Deputy Prime Minister said detailed proposals were being drawn up by Liberal Democrat ministers as part of efforts to make the economy "fairer". [Yes, there's nothing fairer than allowing parents with fat pensions to give their kids a hand-out, while kids without fat-pensioned parents are shafted.]

Posted by drewster @ 12:06 PM 24 Comments

....words fail me... but i have another song ... I DISagree with Nick

Saturday, September 22, 2012

...Basically a greedy generation....

Mail: Majority of homeowners in UK to be mortgage-free within THREE years

Most homeowners in Britain will not have a mortgage on their property within three years, a ground-breaking report revealed yesterday. With few young couples able to take mortgages out, the profile of homeowners has changed dramatically. By 2015, more than 50 per cent of homeowners will be older ‘mortgage-free’ households with a home that they own outright.

Posted by hpwatcher @ 07:45 AM 35 Comments

Then as now.

Youtube: Behind The Rent Stike 1970's FULL

See if you can spot the similarities with the situation today.

Posted by novice pete @ 01:13 AM 3 Comments

Friday, September 21, 2012


FTAlphaville: Property porn, as it’s known in the trade

A chart from Jones Lang LaSalle about who’s investing in London property. [Also includes a video with further analysis and charts]

Posted by dill @ 02:59 PM 0 Comments

Flexibility over stability

BuyToNet: Majority of renters oppose long-term contracts

An overwhelming 82 per cent of flat and house-sharers are opposed to any move towards longer tenancy contracts. The research by pours cold water on the idea that tenants favour being tied to homes for longer and instead suggests that flexibility is still the key factor for renters.

Posted by phil @ 02:02 PM 0 Comments

Feed me...

Telegraph: Rents rise for fifth month in a row

Private rents have soared for the fifth month in a row to reach a new high as pressure on the sector continues to be ramped up, a study has found. Typical monthly rents increased by 2.9pc year-on-year to reach £734 in August, surpassing a previous peak of £725 recorded in July, according to lettings network LSL Property Services, which owns chains including Your Move and Reeds Rains.

Posted by dill @ 11:40 AM 7 Comments

Cheap vote winner?

AboutProperty: Comment: Osborne's stamp duty hike hurts taxpayer

Naomi Heaton, CEO of London Central Portfolio, said: "The government have failed to recognise that the central London private rented sector is a bona fide global business and if the finances don’t work, people will go elsewhere. And if they go elsewhere, jobs will suffer. Whilst turning foreigners and investors away may be a vote winner, it is quite morally corrupt to canvas votes at the expense of jobs and a reduced exchequer tax take."

Posted by phil @ 11:19 AM 0 Comments

Governor gives first ever TV interview Mervyn King says UK set to return to economic growth

The governor of the Bank of England, Sir Mervyn King has given the government the green light to change economic course and add to the countries debt in the search for economic growth.

Posted by ben @ 09:44 AM 2 Comments

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Mervyn wants to be remembered in Economic History lessons

Telegraph: Mervyn King gives green light for George Osborne to miss UK debt target

"The Governor of the Bank of England suggested that it would acceptable for George Osborne to break his pledge on debt reduction due to the state of the world economy". Note: In his first Budget, Mr Osborne set himself two targets by which he wanted the markets to judge the Government’s commitment to stronger public finances. The first was to eliminate the structural deficit on a rolling basis over five years, and the second was to have overall national debt falling as a proportion of GDP by the 2015/2016 financial year. He said at the time that the second goal was needed “to place our fiscal credibility beyond doubt”. The Treasury is surely preparing to concede that it will miss the debt target when the Office for Budget Responsibility updates its official forecasts on December 5?

Posted by alan @ 10:32 PM 18 Comments

Tory council says extension plans will leave ‘neighbours powerless’

Planet Property: Tory council says extension plans will leave ‘neighbours powerless’

Richmond council describe the extension plans as "very foolish" and point out that the move is at odds with the localism bill ... another policy triumph!

Posted by the planet @ 05:40 PM 2 Comments

Who owns the view?

Telegraph blogs, James Delingpole: Wind industry big lies no. 2: your property values will not be affected…

Funny that property values is used as the trump argument on both sides of the debate about windfarms! Nevertheless, the article obliquely raises some interesting LVT issues. If a landowner gets a big financial gain from subsidies to put in windfarms, but it is to the detriment of nearby homeowners, who should pay? If the council controlled both, and saw its LVT go up markedly from the windfall land, but go down even more from each of the nearby properties, the council would decide that a windfarm was not the best use of resources.

Posted by ontheotherhand @ 04:10 PM 7 Comments

Heads up

Channel 4: Bank of England governor live on Channel 4 News

On Thursday of this week (20 September), a remarkable moment on Channel 4 News. The Governor of the Bank of England Sir Mervyn King will give his first ever live extended television interview.

Posted by dill @ 02:52 PM 4 Comments

Interesting watch

Youtube: Why UK will have economic depression

Sorry cannot put up, but here it is -

Posted by happy mondays @ 12:26 PM 7 Comments

Mortgage lending drops slightly in August CML hopes FLS will boost mortgage lending

The Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) reports that gross mortgage lending dipped slightly in August, down from £12.7 billion in July to £12.6 billion in August. This is a four per cent drop from 12 months ago when in August 2011 mortgage lending was £13.1 billion.

Posted by ben @ 10:46 AM 0 Comments

No lending.

AboutProperty: Gross mortgage lending drop

Gross mortgage lending is one per cent down on July and shows a four per cent annual fall say the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML). Lending figures totalled £12.6bn for August, compared to £12.7bn for July and £13.1bn August 2011.

Posted by phil @ 10:35 AM 0 Comments

Convinced yet?

What Is Money: NewBuy 'gaining momentum'

First time buyers have seen an ‘increase’ in available properties since the stamp duty exemption closed and the NewBuy scheme was launched.

Posted by keithhodges @ 09:10 AM 6 Comments

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Why are House Prices So High?

Positive Money: Positive Money Video

Thought it was because there's too many people and not enough houses? This 2 minute video explains why house prices are really so high...

Posted by quentin_bc @ 07:39 PM 1 Comments

No manure, Sherlock

Independent: Dr Doom predicts HPC

Come on 'fess up which of you guys is Gibson?

Posted by chrisch @ 05:27 PM 5 Comments

Says the property ombudsman

AboutProperty: Buying property as risky as buying a car

The government is leaving homebuyers without any protection, making property transactions like buying a car privately says Christopher Hamer the property ombudsman.

Posted by phil @ 04:35 PM 0 Comments

Buy-to-let 'tax avoiders' shackle first-time buyers

Metro: They own land, give them more land and a tax subsidy

Financial experts advise homeowners to switch mortgage debt from their main homes to rental properties to boost tax savings. Buy-to-let mortgage tax relief is worth £2 billion a year

Posted by ontheotherhand @ 12:51 PM 3 Comments

Base rate on hold for 43rd consecutive month Bank of England votes unanimously to keep QE at £375b

The minutes of the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee’s (MPC) September rate-setting meeting show that the medium-term outlook for inflation has got worse since the bank's last inflation report in August.

Posted by ben @ 11:04 AM 0 Comments

UK house prices “set to collapse”

Planet Property: UK house prices “set to collapse”

Unnaturally low interest rates, salaries outpaced by prices, and an interest-only ‘time bomb’: just some of the factors that will eventually knock a further 25%-30% off home values...

Posted by the planet @ 10:28 AM 1 Comments

Houses 'Drop £11,000 In Three Months'

Yahoo: Houses 'Drop £11,000 In Three Months'

House prices have continued to fall with sellers asking some £11,000 less than three months ago, according to new research.

Posted by mark @ 10:00 AM 7 Comments

How about they just drop the rents on smaller homes accordingly?

The Press And Journal: Bedroom tax ‘will force many into rent arrears’

"Many people on benefits in the Highlands will be unable to pay their rent when the UK Government’s new “bedroom tax” is introduced next year, a housing association warned yesterday. Under new rules targeting working-age tenants, housing benefit will be slashed by 14% if the claimant has one extra empty bedroom and by 25% if their home has two or more extra bedrooms from April 2013. Albyn Housing Society, which has around 2,700 properties across the Highlands, said that a lack of smaller properties in the region means tenants do not have the option of downsizing, so they could be penalised unfairly." And why doesn't the housing association just get on with building such smaller homes, if there is demand?

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 09:00 AM 4 Comments

Monetary keepy uppy

BBC News: Bank of Japan increases asset purchase programme

"The Bank of Japan (BoJ) has extended its asset purchasing programme by 10 trillion yen ($126bn; £78bn), following similar moves by the Federal Reserve and the European Central Bank. The move, aimed at boosting the economy, increases the overall size of the stimulus programme to 80tn yen. Though the increase had been widely anticipated, some analysts were surprised by the size of it." BoE next?

Posted by quiet guy @ 08:29 AM 5 Comments

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

London house prices don't seem very sustainable to me

This is Money: High London and South East house prices bump up average by 25%, as capital nears £400k mark

High house prices in London and the South East bump up the average cost of a British property by £46,000, new ONS figures revealing the gulf in property values across Britain show.

Posted by alex @ 09:35 PM 0 Comments

Inflation is too high so we need to change how RPI is calculated

Reuters: Pension returns at risk as UK mulls inflation change

RPI is a bit of a nuisance for the government and has typically run 0.5-1.0 percent higher than CPI, which the Bank of England uses for its inflation target, and much of this difference reflects different calculation methods used rather than any difference in the goods and services being sampled. The ONS continually adjusts how Britain's economic data is calculated and is increasingly concerned about inflation caused by statistical effects and the inconvenient gap between RPI and CPI, adjusting the calculations could save Osborne around 3 billion pounds a year.

Posted by enuii @ 06:12 PM 9 Comments

ONS Inflation

Sky: Inflation Eases As Oil Edges Higher

"The ONS said the year-on-year consumer prices index (CPI) stood at 2.5% in August, down 0.1% from a month earlier". But "pressure from oil prices nudging a four-month high".

Posted by alan @ 12:16 PM 3 Comments

Wider economic effects

BuyToNet: Student rent growth slows

Student rent growth is slowing in comparison to the wider flatshare market as university tuition fees and a fall in admissions begins to bite.

Posted by phil @ 11:39 AM 0 Comments

Inflation falls to 2.5 per cent in August Inflation down in August but expected to rise over winter

Inflation fell slightly in August, according to official figures released today by the Office for National Statistics (ONS). The consumer prices index (CPI) measure of inflation fell to 2.5 per cent from 2.6 per cent in July. Meanwhile, the retail prices index (RPI) fell from 3.2 per cent to 2.9 per cent.

Posted by ben @ 10:22 AM 0 Comments

Britain's house prices are slowly sinking

MoneyWeek: Britain's house prices are slowly sinking

A lot of people still believe that Britain's housing market is 'treading water'. It's not, says Merryn Somerset Webb. House prices have been sinking for years. Only London is keeping them above water, and that could be about to change.

Posted by martingreen @ 09:34 AM 2 Comments

Benefits could be linked to ave earnings rather than inflation Government considers end to inflation and benefits link

The government is considering ending the link between inflation and benefits, that sees benefit payments increase in line with the retail prices index (RPI) measure of inflation. According to BBC reports, the government needs to make further savings in spending and this policy would have saved £14 billion over the last four years.

Posted by ben @ 09:07 AM 0 Comments

What is the answer?

AboutProperty: Comment: Leave our green belt alone

"I am struggling to understand why government is so intent on building new houses and relaxing the planning laws which are there to protect our green belt. I am a firm believer that developing the green belt is not the answer to the housing shortage."

Posted by phil @ 08:47 AM 0 Comments

Monday, September 17, 2012

When America sneezes...

ZeroHedge: Are You Seeing What I'm Seeing?

"A few powerful men have hijacked our economic, financial and political structure. They aren’t socialists or capitalists. They’re criminals. They created the culture of materialism, greed and debt, sustained by prodigious levels of media propaganda. Our culture has been led to believe that debt financed consumption over morality and justice is the path to success. In reality, we’ve condemned ourselves to a slow painful death spiral of debasement and despair." Long and depressing read about US middle class... forewarning of what's on its way here.

Posted by stuartking @ 08:35 PM 3 Comments

New currency introduced

Telegraph: GCSEs axed in favour of 'English Baccalaureate Certificate'

After diminishing the value of GCSE to zero, a new educational currency has had to be introduced with the usual stable money apologies. With a better name, I am sure we would all have high hopes of the "Baccalaureate". Which cynic of the UK education system decided the spelling !!! !!

Posted by stillthinking @ 04:49 PM 4 Comments

Down we go

Mortgage Strategy: New seller drop asking

Quick. You'll miss the boat!

Posted by chrisch @ 04:14 PM 0 Comments

Ok Shappsy's gone from housing but under the spotlight he's been sussed out

Daily Fail: How Labour want to probe Grant Shapps' family business over potential fraud claims Read more:

It was revealed that Mr Shapps had been masquerading as a self-help guru under the fictional name of Michael Green to write material for a highly successful internet marketing company that he founded, HowToCorp. In 2010, this Mr Green wrote an extraordinary guide entitled How To Bounce Back From The Recession, with such bizarre tips as splashing out on Jet Skis, taking up knitting or fishing, and using the low interest rates to buy a house or car or go on holiday.

Posted by montesquieu @ 02:38 PM 2 Comments

Is it really cheaper to buy than rent?

Planet Property: Is it really cheaper to buy than rent?

Research from Halifax says it’s cheaper to buy than rent … but that depends on how the numbers are crunched …

Posted by the planet @ 02:03 PM 0 Comments

Growing stress on household finances

BBC News: Wonga profits triple on strong loan demand

Money lender Wonga has announced a sharp jump in profits, thanks to strong demand for credit during the downturn. Net profit more than trebled to £45.8m in 2011, from £12.4m in 2010. Revenue grew at a similar rate, to £185m. The number of loans made by the company quadrupled to almost 2.5 million, taking the total number of loans made since launch in 2007 to six million.

Posted by richy richless @ 10:18 AM 2 Comments

Winners and losers

AboutProperty: Northern Rock - Five years on

Perhaps most striking are the problems for down-traders, older people at the upper levels of the housing ladder, who no longer enjoy an endless supply of trade-uppers when they come to try and free up equity for retirement by downsizing. Shipside added: "Down-traders became accustomed to seeing their equity and potential retirement pot grow, and the current outlook is less rosy."

Posted by phil @ 10:04 AM 0 Comments

"sticks, not carrots"

Guardian: Could we build a better future on a land value tax?

A levy on the value of land regardless of what is on it would encourage efficient use of land within planning permission rules.

Posted by dill @ 08:28 AM 15 Comments

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Putting the Bootle in

Telegraph: We can have affordable housing if we have the political will to change

Following the Government’s recent measures to stimulate the building trade, controversy has been bubbling about them, and about what more can be done.

Posted by dill @ 08:07 PM 1 Comments

TV Interview on Q3 and US debt

Bloomberg: Ron Paul ~ We're Creating New Money Out of Thin Air

Lots of talk on housing - "a rigged economy". Investors - buy bum debt or bum stocks? Hey electorate, don't look at the defecit - just get me elected say both major parties.

Posted by alan @ 05:35 PM 17 Comments

Yorkshire cuts rates on mortgage range Yorkshire BS cut tracker mortgage rates

Yorkshire Building Society has announced that it will reduce rates on some of its tracker mortgages from Friday 14th September.

Posted by ben salisbury @ 12:19 PM 0 Comments

Halifax research shows how things have changed since credit crunch Buying a home is £132 a month cheaper than renting

The Halifax has published its latest review into the costs of renting against buying a property. The review looks at the cost of renting and buying a three bedroom property with an average cost of £157,400 in different parts of the UK and shows that buying is now almost 20 per cent cheaper than renting.

Posted by ben salisbury @ 12:18 PM 0 Comments

Saturday, September 15, 2012

The New Deal lives on

Reuters: Well-to-do get mortgage help from Uncle Sam

I assumed that the American property bubble had pretty much bottomed by now but it seems that there still may be scope for further substantial falls. This article asserts that the Government Sponsored Enterprises known as Fannie may and Freddie Mac are still subsidising large amounts of US mortgages to the extent that "the government guaranteed 89 percent of U.S. mortgages taken out in the first half of 2012, up from 85 percent in 2011 and 30 percent in 2006." These subsidised loans can be given for up to $729,750. What would the American property market look like without this subsidy?

Posted by quiet guy @ 12:19 PM 12 Comments

Friday, September 14, 2012

Your Government is ripping you off - twice

Independent: Figures show rich homeowners avoiding billions in stamp duty

The Treasury faced demands last night to examine the extent of tax avoidance by the country's wealthiest homeowners who have transferred £25bn worth of property into corporate hands.

Posted by dill @ 07:49 PM 0 Comments

Be nice if there was some difference in the two products! Halifax and Lloyds go head-to-head on 7-year fix for FTB's

Lloyds TSB and Halifax are going head-to-head with the launch of seven-year fixed rate mortgages for first-time buyers. Looking at the two products, there is very little to choose between them.

Posted by ben @ 01:32 PM 0 Comments

(-14.4%,YoY) Sounds like a crash!

Bloomberg: Spanish Home Prices Fall Most on Record as Economy Shrinks

"The average price of houses and apartments declined 14.4 percent from a year earlier, the most since the measurement began in 2008, the National Statistics Institute in Madrid said today in an e-mailed statement. Prices fell 3.3 percent from the previous quarter"...... did someone say "BAIL OUT"? Note: "House prices more than doubled in the decade through 2007, before turning negative in the first quarter of 2008 and have since fallen by about 23 percent, data from the Ministry of Public Works show".

Posted by alan @ 11:35 AM 16 Comments

Book launch on site value tax

FEASTA: Smart Taxes Book “The Fair Tax” to be launched soon

campaign group based in rep of Ireland are campaigning for a version of land value tax and launching this book. From their website they exclude non-zoned land, including agricultural land. Not sure why and probably this creates some distortions. However, it seems clear that an SVT would raise massive revenue and allow other less efficient taxes to be displaced.

Posted by nickb @ 11:26 AM 6 Comments

Most expensive British home in history comes on the market

Planet Property: Most expensive British home in history comes on the market

It's £300,000,000 and comes with bullet proof windows...

Posted by the planet @ 10:56 AM 0 Comments

2% of Green Belt could create eight million homes

Planet Property: 2% of Green Belt could create eight million homes

The tricky bit, of course, will be which 2% ... Policy Exchange report with middle class homeowners very much in mind ....

Posted by the planet @ 10:35 AM 0 Comments

OFT published guidance on property sales

Planet Property: OFT published guidance on property sales

Guidance includes "not putting undue pressure on consumers to act quickly, for example to put in an offer, raise their price, skip the survey or exchange contracts." Not sure this is a big problem at the moment!

Posted by the planet @ 10:34 AM 0 Comments

Aren’t paying their mortgage so they can buy groceries and gas

Bloomberg: Nevada Desert Drowning as Underwater Loans Hurt Schools, Police

Harris, 38, stopped paying her mortgage three years ago after her accounting business lost its biggest client and her home’s value plummeted 52 percent. Some neighbors are also delinquent on their mortgages.

Posted by mark @ 09:31 AM 2 Comments

Down we go.............

Sky News: Mortgages Slump as Double-Dip Recession Bites

The UK's mortgage market has slumped to levels last seen more than two years ago as the effects of a double-dip recession take hold, according to new research. House purchase loans fell 8% year-on-year last month to 48,913 - the third worst August for almost 20 years, chartered surveyors e.surv found. There was a sharp fall in lending to borrowers with a deposit of less than 15% - often first-time buyers - the survey showed, as banks toughened their lending criteria. Just one in 10 of all mortgages were to those with a low deposit in August, compared to almost one in seven in January. E.surv's Richard Sexton said the data show the market is slipping towards the "dismal" levels last seen in 2010.

Posted by jack c @ 08:05 AM 3 Comments

Good thing you didn't buy that FTB house a few years ago!

Independent: Second-time buyers face worst "bottleneck" conditions for 25 years

Homeowners planning to take their second step on the property ladder are facing the worst market conditions for a quarter of a century, according to the latest figures from Lloyds TSB. Their research shows that: * Home affordability for second steppers is worse than for first-time buyers * Second steppers’ equity position accounts for just 5 per cent of the price of a typical second stepper home compared with 44% in 2005

Posted by drewster @ 12:30 AM 4 Comments

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Here it is, never ending QE - Loving dat paper! :)

Zerohedge: Fed Folds: Will Do Open-Ended MBS Buying, Extends Operation Twist

*FED to keep stimulative policy for 'considerable' time *FED will add to purchases if labor market doesn;t improve *FED does not say when MBS purchase program to end *FED to buy $40B MBS monthly, continue 'Operation Twist' *FED to buy MBS, EXTENDS ZERO-RATE POLICY INTO 2015

Posted by general congreve @ 06:01 PM 32 Comments

The best current deals for FTB's to 60% LTV's The top ten fixed rate mortgage deals for 2012

In this feature we take a look at the top ten fixed rate mortgage deals for borrowers with different levels of equity over varying terms, 2-5 years.

Posted by ben @ 04:54 PM 0 Comments

Bear Nibbles (2)

OPP Connect: Property prices drop globally

"Property values have fallen across the world in Q2 2012, according to the latest survey of global property prices. The Global Property Guide survey looked at property values in 38 countries, and found that prices fell in 24 and increased in 13. Europe’s property prices were especially poor: values fell in 15 out of the 22 countries surveyed. Ireland’s housing market maintained its position as the weakest in the world – prices fell 16.85% in the last year. This was closely followed by Spain, dropping by 12.49%, and Greece, which fell by 11.92%."

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 04:21 PM 5 Comments

Bear nibbles (1)

Money Expert: UK prime property prices fall by 1.3% over summer

"As with the overall picture for the UK’s housing market, prime property in the UK has also taken a downward turn with the latest figures revealing that prices in this sector have fallen by 1.3%. The latest Prime Property Index from has shown that the value of homes in the top 25% of the UK market by asking price dipped by £6,234 over the summer months. In London the decline was even more marked, with prime property prices in the capital falling by £13,997 over the same two month period. This is the second consecutive month that prices of the UK's most expensive homes have plummeted, according to the index."

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 04:19 PM 0 Comments

Join the queue for another Debt Fix

WSJ: IMF Official: Greece Will Need Third Bailout

"Greece will need a third bailout package from the euro zone, and the country's European creditors will have to find the money for it, according to a senior IMF official. "Greece will require additional financing, which may take the form either of official-sector involvement or of additional loans, hopefully on more favorable terms," Thanos Catsambas, an IMF alternate executive director, who represents Greece at the Fund's board, said in an interview. Mr. Catsambas is an IMF veteran with experience of Fund programs in Europe, Asia, Latin America etc..

Posted by alan @ 03:42 PM 1 Comments

Property Bubble with sauce and fried rice

Bloomberg: Shadow Bankers Vanishing Leave China Victims Seeing Scams

"China’s slowest economic growth in three years and a slumping property market, where many so-called shadow-banking investments are parked, are squeezing millions of Chinese who have invested the money of friends and acquaintances chasing higher yields to honor those payments".

Posted by alan @ 02:50 PM 2 Comments


AboutProperty: Rogue estate agent risk for consumers

Consumers could be at risk from "rogue operators" following the government amendments to the Estate Agent Act, warn the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).

Posted by phil @ 12:52 PM 3 Comments

They own land...

Telegraph: 'Pay residents to accept building on green belt’ country developments’

Home owners living in the countryside should be given payments worth thousands of pounds to encourage them to accept major new developments on green belt land, a report recommends.

Posted by dill @ 11:56 AM 6 Comments

Build build build

AboutProperty: New planning laws allow tallest residential tower

A new £500m development which will include the tallest residential tower in Western Europe has been given the go ahead under the new more-relaxed planning laws.

Posted by phil @ 11:23 AM 0 Comments

An English MP That Gets It

Frisby's Bulls And Bears: An English MP That Gets It: Douglas Carswell

30 minute podcast interview with Tory MP, Douglas Carswell, recorded at Portcullis House. At least somebody on the inside gets it ...

Posted by frizzers @ 09:13 AM 1 Comments

MPs want to sell their BTLs tax free

BBC News: Liam Fox calls for tax cuts to boost economy

"He wants to see capital gains tax - a levy on the profits from asset sales - suspended for three years. Mr Fox told the Times this would "ricochet around the world" - and signal that Britain was open for business."

Posted by cornishman @ 07:30 AM 12 Comments

Low unemployment mystery

Scotsman: Promising firms starved of cash

Apparently not because people find life destroying redundancies too difficult to dish out... but because banks don't want to realise the losses on failing companies so they keep extending loans, unfortunately by diverting cash away from viable companies that would be capable of expanding. So if the recession ever does occur these zombie companies collapse, banks take a loss, unemployment spikes and the viable companies start growing. As unemployment is 8.1% at the moment that's a government change I guess if unemployment goes over 10%. I read somewhere else that the only way to control our trade deficit is to accept structural unemployment of 10%. Maybe thats where the UK is heading.

Posted by stillthinking @ 04:04 AM 1 Comments

This free property developer advert is brought to you by MSM

Telegraph: Good News Britain: We are seeing the effects of Government efforts to kickstart UK's housing sector

I carelessly scanned the article then choked a bit on this: "We have also announced plans to resume dividend payments in 2013 and to reduce our debt still further. The quality, design and energy efficiency of the homes we build are all at record levels. We are consulting with local communities more and more and we are building homes where people want to live." Shareholders rejoice! This passes for news these days apparently.

Posted by quiet guy @ 12:33 AM 0 Comments

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

A look at how the mortgage landscape has changed for FTB's since the credit crunch First-time buyer mortgages: How have they changed since 2007?

Mortgages are the cheapest they have been for 15 years, but only if you can get one.

Posted by ben @ 06:06 PM 0 Comments

It's a gettho. Oh, no it's not, because there are homeowners on the estate.

Daily Mail: Horrified locals say BBC deliberately made their council estate look like an episode of Shameless

Mrs Critchley insisted that while the area was deprived, the crime rate had fallen for three consecutive years and feared the Panorama programme could impact house prices, local investment and community morale.

Posted by peter_2008 @ 06:03 PM 6 Comments

At last!

From a Christian non-conformist think-tank...

Ekklesia: Support for a land value tax

"For Christians, and all people of faith, there could hardly be a fairer tax than a land tax. If we believe that the earth was created for everybody to share equally, it is hard to justify a small elite benefiting exclusively from large parts of it. In the UK, land ownership is more heavily concentrated in the hands of a wealthy few than it is in many developing countries. 69 per cent of Britain’s land is owned by less than one per cent of the population. Much of that 69 per cent is in the hands of the aristocracy, which means the current owners have inherited it: ownership is not a result of their own endeavours."

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 03:55 PM 3 Comments

I wonder

FT: UK employment defies gravity in slowdown

I wonder if this is because people working in the UK have been under such a sustained attack over the years, that a sense of solidarity has emerged, and there is a collective refusal to dump people when there isn't any alternative employment. If you are carrying a mortgage, private debt and attempting to support a family, getting made redundant is a life destroyer. Probably pretty awkward to do. Or maybe it is just a drop in productivity.

Posted by stillthinking @ 02:56 PM 8 Comments

£31bn slush fund sits untouched amid austerity carnage

Neil Wilson's blog: The UK government's rainy day fund

What happens to the redeemed value of bonds purchased by the BofE's asset purchase fund company under QE? You'd have thought the money gets paid to HM treasury and is put to use on schools, hospitals and so on. But apparently £31bn is sitting in an account at the Bank of England, accounted "owed to HM Treasury" and is just sitting there, doing nothing, while the economy goes down the drain. Follow the links to the BofE report and see it with your own eyes... Is the easiest place to hide something ... in plain view?!

Posted by nickb @ 02:44 PM 8 Comments

Lower house prices work...

AboutProperty: Landlords targeting North for strong rental yields

Rightmove director Miles Shipside said: "Lower entry costs further north also mean an investor can buy more property units, spreading the risk rather than perhaps having all their eggs in one basket with a higher value single investment further south”.

Posted by phil @ 01:20 PM 0 Comments

Crooks or fools?

EFT Daily News: The Canadian Housing Bubble nears Implosion

When housing bubbles popped all around them Canadian politicians and bankers saw this as something to be emulated rather than avoided.Their Fannie/Freddie equivalent, CMHC (its 10 members include 3 developers, a realestate broker and a boss of a house renovation company) guaranteed more and more subprime trash at a time of low IRs, thus giving bankers, speculators etc. a green light to gorge. Now all the metrics and signs of a crash are in place, e.g. debt-to-disposable-income is at 154% (higher than US peak), prices shot up while wages stagnated, sales are falling. Next comes equity wipe-out, unemployment/slump, budget deficits 'necessitating' cuts in social services etc. Given that this all started after all the evidence was in, what can they blame this time?

Posted by icarus @ 12:00 PM 4 Comments

Shared Ownership - Hope For First Time BUyers

TH Services: Hope For First Time Buyers

There is no denying that the affordable options for first-time buyers have hit an all time low. August’s report from the National Housing Federation painted a shocking outline of the plight faced by many first-time buyers with the costs of home ownership soaring by more than three times the average annual salary over 10 years. Now that the costs of renting are also reported widely to be soaring, buyers are looking increasingly towards the new government supported shared ownership schemes for help. The shared ownership scheme offers help for individuals that want to buy a home but can’t yet afford to do so as they have been shut out of the property market

Posted by christoph goulds @ 10:54 AM 0 Comments

Jobs figures continue to defy wider economy Unemployment falls by 7000 to 2.59 million

Unemployment fell by 7,000 in the three months to July and now stands at 2.59 million, according to the latest data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS).

Posted by ben @ 10:25 AM 0 Comments

"Successive governments have prioritised owner occupation, but it is now in decline.."

24dash: Extend security of tenure to help fix 'broken' housing market - report

Security of tenure in the private rented sector should be extended from six months to 24, according to a new report, which says much of England is becoming increasingly reliant, by default, on the private rented sector.

Posted by dill @ 10:10 AM 3 Comments

Governor job to be advertised for the first time! What does it take to be the new governor of the Bank of England?

Do you fancy becoming the next Governor of the Bank of England? The job is being advertised for the first time in preparation for when the current incumbent, Sir Mervyn King steps down next June. The post has been described as a “near impossible job.”

Posted by ben @ 09:08 AM 3 Comments

Preview of latest UK unemployment data Can unemployment continue to defy the wider economy?

The headline unemployment figures out today could continue the trend of defying the wider economic performance.

Posted by ben @ 09:03 AM 0 Comments

Great news. So then they won't be needing any more taxpayers money to 'revitalise' housebuilding

Sky News: Housebuilder Barratt Sees Big Boost To Profits

And people like Grant Sharps will have more time to spend 'brushing up' their online resume.

Posted by paul @ 08:01 AM 1 Comments

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Debt, Debt and more debt

Telegraph: America's hold on AAA rating risks collapse next year

"America's hold on a AAA rating will collapse next year unless Washington takes measures to rein in the government's debt, Moody's has warned". (Say what you like about rating agencies, most commentators agree that we are up to our necks in it). Nice one, Obama!

Posted by alan @ 10:36 PM 0 Comments

Shared Ownership - A Scheme for First Time Buyers


The housing ladder is considered out of reach by many, despite the recent dip in average house prices (down 2.6%). However it's not all doom and gloom as there are now some fantastic opportunities available through shared ownership schemes. Instead of buying the whole of a property, buyers only buy a percentage

Posted by christoph goulds @ 04:38 PM 1 Comments

Home-Owner-Ist go into paroxyms over sensible proposals from JRF

Telegraph: House prices and older homeowners would be hit by tax hike

"House prices would be hit and many older people forced to sell family homes by an increase in council tax to “fix the broken housing market”, as proposed by an influential think tank today. Many homeowners might question in what sense the housing market is “broken”, when property is one of the few assets that has delivered decent returns in a dismal decade or more for stock markets, pensions and other stores of value*. Alternatively, rising numbers of younger people excluded from homeownership and trapped in ‘generation rent’, may feel that anything which tends to cause house prices to fall must be a good thing." * House prices are not a HEDGE against inflation, they are the CAUSE of inflation.

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 10:47 AM 11 Comments

Fun With Numbers

Mortgage Introducer: Buying cheaper than renting in 9 out of 10 towns

The cost of servicing an interest-only mortgage is lower than the cost of renting the equivalent property in 44 of the 50 largest towns and cities across Britain, latest research from property website reveals... Lawrence Hall of, said: “Whilst buying is clearly the better option than renting at the moment based on our research, the difficulty in saving for a deposit and the tight lending conditions are preventing huge swathes of would-be buyers from taking advantage of the current lower cost of owning a home. And with more potential buyers being forced into the rental market, rents are rising based on the higher demand.”

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 10:41 AM 12 Comments

RICS says Olympics did not impact on sales RICS: London only region to record house price rise in August

The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) says that there was little change in the UK property market in August.

Posted by ben @ 09:18 AM 0 Comments

Pick your headline

RICS: RICS survey still negative

Was the housing market 'hit by Olympics' as the PA fed the wires, or did the "Housing market shrugs off 'Olympic effect'" as Builders' Merchant News reported off the same press release. Perhaps we should just read what the foreign news sources have to say - NASDAQ, "UK House Prices Continue to Fall in August"

Posted by ontheotherhand @ 09:14 AM 3 Comments

More first time buyer woe

What Is Money: First time buyers 'wait until 35'

First time buyers will have to wait until they’re 35 before joining the housing ladder, according to research released today.

Posted by keithhodges @ 08:52 AM 1 Comments

Monday, September 10, 2012

Nothing new, but some good links in Auther's article

F.T,: Mean reversion awaits London property

Reversion to the mean is one of the most reliable concepts in finance. Paradigm shifts are rare. Usually when prices move out of kilter with their long-term trend, they eventually revert to their mean.

Posted by tick tock @ 04:49 PM 7 Comments

Ultimate riches to rags tale of property greed

Planet Property Blog: Queen of Versailles documentary opens here

The Queen of Versailles, a documentary following a billionaire’s attempt to build the biggest house in America, opens in London today. Designed to look like the Palace of Versailles, the 90,000ft, Florida mansion was to be the home for time-share mogul David Siegel, his wife Jackie, and their eight kids.

Posted by property addict @ 12:54 PM 5 Comments

NewBuy Scheme progresses slowly

Money Marketing: NewBuy 'gaining momentum' as it hits 1,300 deals

"The Home Builders Federation says the Government’s NewBuy scheme is”gaining momentum” as it hit 1,300 reservations since its launch six months ago. The take-up rate has increased slightly since the 600 reservations made for the first three months of the scheme".

Posted by alan @ 12:44 PM 2 Comments

The cost of a 'free' education

Cash Compass: Top schools 'cost £34,000'

Brits looking to live near state schools will have to spend an extra £34,000 on their property, according to research released by Lloyds TSB.

Posted by keithhodges @ 08:54 AM 3 Comments

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Luxury homes unbalance housing price stats?

Bloomberg: Wealthy Unmoved by U.K. Tax Hike

"The British government’s plan to raise a tax on luxury-home purchases sparked a last-minute dash by real-estate brokers to wrap up deals before the deadline hit in March. They needn’t have bothered. Sales of homes valued at 2 million pounds ($3.2 million) more than doubled in May from a year earlier, according to the most recent data available from the Land Registry. After a 40 percent decline in April, sales rebounded as investors from mainland Europe and the Middle East took advantage of the U.K.’s status as a haven from economic and political turmoil". "Money is leaving the euro zone and being spent on a safe asset,” Matthew Pointon, an economist at researcher Capital Economics, said. “Safe-haven flows outweigh the increase in the stamp duty.”

Posted by alan @ 09:01 PM 8 Comments

Mortgage Refused - Go Away

This is Money: Banks refuse mortgages for older borrowers

"Growing numbers of older borrowers are struggling to remortgage as lenders have become increasingly risk averse since the credit crunch. Brokers are reporting banks refusing to lend to some borrowers in their 60s and even in their 50s if the loan stretches beyond traditional retirement age". "To pile further misery on hard-pressed borrowers last week it was revealed that average mortgage arrangement fees on fixed and tracker-rate deals have rocketed to an all-time high of £1,514, according to data compiler Moneyfacts".

Posted by alan @ 08:49 PM 5 Comments

What could possibly go wrong

Guardian: Property investment: take a bet on house prices – from £1,000

Castle Trust says its new investments, called HouSAs, will unlock the UK housing market for people with £1,000 or more to put away, and could provide substantially better returns than a savings account – and they qualify as a tax-free Isa. They go on sale on 1 October but – and it is a sizeable but – they are for people with an appetite for some risk, as you are making a big bet on the housing market. If you invest in the Growth HouSA and house prices fall over the period, you will lose money. So if you are not comfortable with potentially getting back less than you originally invested, you should stay away.

Posted by quiet guy @ 04:30 PM 4 Comments

Uneven inflation

Yorkshire Post: Bacon shortage predicted as hard-up pig farmers quit job

One unfortunate side effect of uneven inflation, is that some endeavour that is otherwise profitable, may find that their input costs are inflated first while their output prices are marketed against as yet un-inflated purchasers. Supply must meet demand so of necessity some of these producers are either going to get out or take a loss. This article points out that the UK pork industry is currently selling herds i.e. getting out of an unprofitable market. On the other hand, some endeavours must benefit by virtue of being the other way around. Mervyn King is painting with very broad strokes so we had better hope in the UK that all the criticisms of central planning are misplaced.

Posted by stillthinking @ 05:10 AM 13 Comments

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Merryn pours on cold water

FT: Property treading water? Sinking, more like

Slide will gather pace. [Search title in google to view.]

Posted by letthemfall @ 10:48 AM 10 Comments

Friday, September 7, 2012

Santander cuts rates by up to 0.35% on more than 30 products Santander cuts mortgage rates and extends availability

Santander has announced that it is to cut rates on some mortgage products by up to 0.35 per cent and make some of its best deals available to homeowners with less equity.

Posted by ben @ 05:41 PM 0 Comments

Make hosing market more efficient

Guardian: Don't blame the countryside for our lack of housing

Britain is desperately inefficient in its land use, and there are still no measures to bring empty property back on the market

Posted by mken @ 12:23 PM 14 Comments

They own land! Give them money!

City AM: Affordable housing rules dropped to boost builders

"Under existing rules builders are required to designate a set percentage of every development either for housing associations or available at a reduced price. The coalition says this requirement can be too onerous and will allow developers an opt-out if they can prove that it economically unviable to develop a site." It is of course nearly always economically viable to develop a site, you take £30,000's worth of bricks and timber and roof tiles etc and turn it into a house worth at least £80,000, the £50,000 is earned fair and square by architects, bricklayers, roofers, plumbers etc. What they are actually talking about is protecting the land-bankers' super-profits, i.e. the land value element.

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 10:37 AM 6 Comments

Its gonna cost ya!

Telegraph: Mortgage fees soar by 70pc

"Banks have been accused of profiteering as the average mortgage fee rises to more than £1,500".

Posted by alan @ 09:23 AM 6 Comments

Coventry BS - no application fees & just £199 booking fee Coventry BS launch low-fee mortgage range

The Coventry Building Society has launched a new range of low-fee mortgages.Rates start at just 3.10 per cent for its two-year tracker. This deal is available to those with a 35 per cent deposit and the booking fee is just £199 with no arrangement fee. It charges the bank of England base rate plus 2.60 per cent.

Posted by ben @ 09:16 AM 1 Comments

Tesco Bank cuts rates after just one month Tesco Bank slashes mortgage rates

Tesco Bank is to cut interest rates across its range of mortgages just a month after offering mortgage products for the first time.

Posted by ben @ 09:12 AM 3 Comments

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Wow, is this really news?

BBC: Bank of England holds interest rates at 0.5%

"The Bank of England has kept interest rates at 0.5% and held off from more stimulus measures. Its rate-setting Monetary Policy Committee has voted to maintain rates at this historic low for three years".

Posted by alan @ 02:38 PM 3 Comments

Why it won't make any difference

Planet Property Blog: Police act on new squatting law

Police in Brighton and Somerset have this week tried out the new squatting legislation, which criminalises entering a residential property with the intention of squatting, punishable by up to six months in jail and/or a fine of £5,000. And while some are relieved, and others fear that the changes will increase homelessness, many people thing it’s pretty much business as usual.

Posted by property addict @ 02:15 PM 2 Comments

Reaction to and brief on new relaxed planning regulations Cameron’s house of bricks

Prime Minister David Cameron has moved to relax planning regulations in order to get the country building. The new plans to encourage house building are set to deliver about 70,000 new homes and 140,000 jobs in the construction industry.The reaction from the development and construction industry shows a mixed bag. Comments/reaction being refreshed as they are released.

Posted by jessbrown @ 01:35 PM 1 Comments

Families stuck between a rock and a hard place Families stuck in the middle of house price battle

There is no good news for families looking to make headway on the property market. House prices have reportedly dropped by 0.4 per cent in August and for those families living close to a school it seems the GCSE results could have just as much of an impact on house prices as the economic climate. Falling standards at a school, to the point it loses its precious Ofsted rating, could have a negative effect on prices.

Posted by jessbrown @ 01:29 PM 4 Comments

Batteries not included

Sky News: OECD Slashes UK Growth Forecast For Next Year

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development has slashed its forecast for UK growth more than for any other major country in its latest economic forecasts.

Posted by dill @ 10:22 AM 0 Comments

City or rural area? Which would you choose?

Cash Compass: Rural dwellers 'much happier'

Moving to rural areas could have a huge impact on being happy with where you live, according to research released today.

Posted by keithhodges @ 09:35 AM 3 Comments

Halifax reports house prices fell by 0.4% in August Halifax: Average house price is £160,256, same as 3 years ago

Halifax has reported little change in house prices for August and says that the underlying trend is that they continue to “tread water.”

Posted by ben @ 09:16 AM 2 Comments

Disjointed account of major new govt policy

BBC: Planning rules on extensions to be relaxed 'to boost economy'

Mr Cameron will say: "This government means business in delivering plans to help people build new homes and kick-start the economy. "We're determined to cut through the bureaucracy that holds us back. That starts with getting the planners off our backs, getting behind the businesses that have the ambition to expand and meeting the aspirations of families that want to buy or improve a home."

Posted by greenmind @ 09:14 AM 20 Comments

Not even the least bit daft.

City wire: Why aren't propeties selling

What’s going on in the property market? I've had my house in Dorset (pictured) on the market since the beginning of May, and in spite of around 10 viewings, mostly in May and June, nobody has made even a ‘daft’ offer of, say, 10% below the asking price.

Posted by paranoia blue @ 09:12 AM 5 Comments

-0.4% MoM -0.9% YoY

Halifax: House Price Index

Nothing to get excited about: "Nationally, house prices continue to tread water, as measured by the underlying trend. Prices in the three months to August were fractionally lower (-0.3%) compared with the previous three months. House prices fell by 0.4% in August with the declines in the past two months largely offsetting the gains in the preceding two months. Overall, there has been little change in house prices so far this year with the UK average price in August at a very similar level to the end of 2011. A gradual upward trend in spending power, aided by lower inflation, should help to support housing demand in the coming months. Nonetheless, house prices are likely to remain flat over the remainder of 2012 and into next year."

Posted by quiet guy @ 08:37 AM 11 Comments

A bazooka or a water pistol?

Guardian: Euro rises on report of ECB plan to buy unlimited debt

Mario Draghi expected to announce plan to buy unlimited quantities of government debt from troubled eurozone members.(Gold over $1700)

Posted by alan @ 07:37 AM 1 Comments

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

What fresh hell is this?

BBC News: First-time buyer shared equity scheme extended

A scheme to help people get on the housing ladder is being extended to all first-time buyers, following a cash boost from the Scottish government. Funding of the Open Market Shared Equity Scheme has been doubled to more than £20m. Until now, only priority groups such as people who rent from a council or housing association and war veterans have been eligible. The extra cash means applications will be accepted from all first-time buyers. The scheme lets people pay for between 60% and 90% of their home.

Posted by laura @ 10:39 PM 0 Comments

The BTL dream - a big portfolio and an 8% return

Counterpunch: Obama's secret plan to prop up housing prices

We know about keeping housing inventory off the market in order to prop up prices. The other way to achieve this is the kindred one of bulk sales at knock-down prices - keeping that bulk out of the house-price stats. Private Equity firms are making these bulk purchases courtesy of cheap government financing and steep discounts (since the houses involved are mostly owned or guaranteed by the government via Fannie/Freddie). And of course the repossessed home 'owners' will supply a ready rental market. The PE firms can look forward to a better return than that generated by institutional-quality apartments. And there's a big pipeline of repossessions to ensure a future of fat returns. So. voila! - you look after the PE firms and the banks' housing portfolios at the same time.

Posted by icarus @ 08:05 PM 2 Comments

Landlords face longer waits for claims work

BBC: Direct Line to cut 900 jobs to save costs

"Insurance company Direct Line Group, which is being demerged by parent company RBS, has said it will shed 900 jobs in a bid to save costs". "That includes the closure of a site in Stockton-on-Tees, which will affect about 500 jobs". "Direct Line has reported a 7% rise in operating profits for the six months to the end of June".

Posted by alan @ 05:51 PM 0 Comments

Of course you're a sitting duck if you're not a member of the property owning democracy...

Graniad: A quarter of people feel ripped-off by lettings agents, Shelter says

A very simple solution would be Scotland's law that bans charging a tenant anything except rent and a deposit, so any price advertised is completely transparent

Posted by mombers @ 03:00 PM 0 Comments

Any different?

AboutProperty: Reactions: Mark Prisk new housing minister

Grainia Long, Chartered Institute of Housing chief executive, said: "We are delighted to welcome Mark Prisk to housing. He has joined the industry at a time which could not be more important - housing as we have seen already this week is a fundamental driver of economic growth and we hope he will ensure that housing is upfront and central to government and economic policy. "We face a housing crisis that needs urgent action and the role of the housing minister is crucial in addressing it."

Posted by phil @ 12:23 PM 0 Comments

But it is OK for house prices to keep going up

Yahoo: UN Raises Alarm Over Global Food Prices

World leaders must take swift and co-ordinated action to ensure that food price shocks do not turn into a catastrophe in the coming months, the United Nations has warned.

Posted by mark @ 11:23 AM 6 Comments

All is tickety boo, say compliant academics

ESRC: Mortgage struggles less bad than predicted

Fear not, all is well with housing market... er ... projections. Academics it seems are keen to lend support to the homeownerist bandwagon even as it is blindingly self-evidently coming off its wheels. There is some useful information nonetheless buried in the unseemly haste to speak unto power what power wants to hear. Reposessions estimated to be 23% below what they would have been thanks to various policy interventions to prop up the house of cards.

Posted by nickb @ 10:21 AM 1 Comments

FSA's Wheatley concludes commission leads to mis-selling FSA head Wheatley vows to protect customers from mis-selling

The Financial Services Authority (FSA) is to recommend that most financial sales that use commission as a form of rewarding sales should be banned.

Posted by ben @ 09:58 AM 0 Comments

In search of alternatives

Independent: How you can bring our ailing democracy back to life

Yesterday, Andreas Whittam Smith, founder of The Independent, announced a bold plan for a new political movement to restore British democracy. Here he unveils an initial manifesto for Democracy 2015 – and explains how you can get involved.

Posted by dill @ 09:56 AM 10 Comments

"prices exceeding levels that can be 'justified by fundamental factors.'"

Bloomberg: SNB’s Danthine Says Economy Facing Risks of Defaults, Correction

Swiss National Bank (SNBN) Vice Chairman Jean-Pierre Danthine said Switzerland is facing an increasing risk of defaults in the mortgage market as well as a “sizable correction” in property prices.

Posted by dill @ 08:33 AM 2 Comments

Bailout blues - we ONLY wanted another €300bn

Telegraph: Brinkmanship as Spain warns over bail-out terms

"It emerged today that Spain’s social security system has raided a rainy-day fund to cover state pensions for the first time as deepening recession erodes contributions" (property bubbles hurt when they burst). In an escalating game of brinkmanship, Spanish finance minister Luis de Guindos said his country is not yet willing to sign a Memorandum giving up fiscal sovereignty to EU inspectors (you can see why, can't you?).

Posted by alan @ 07:51 AM 3 Comments

Not really

Telegraph: Surprise contraction in UK construction

Surprise contraction in something that is already very contracted. The last builder in the UK, Barry Bogs, was truly surprised and stopped working on his garden shed at once (4 beds and outhouse lav).

Posted by stillthinking @ 05:15 AM 0 Comments

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Is there anything banks won't do to make a fast buck?

Guardian: Barclays accused of misusing taxpayer-backed small business lending scheme

Barclays Bank has been accused of using a taxpayer-backed scheme – designed to get finance to budding entrepreneurs – to provide a safety net for its risky lending.

Posted by stuartking @ 10:46 PM 4 Comments

House Prices will still slowly drop.

Reuters: Cameron keeps Osborne in shuffle of ministers

"Prime Minister David Cameron kept unpopular Chancellor George Osborne in place on Tuesday in a reshuffle he hopes will revive the Conservative-led government's fortunes halfway through a term dominated by recession and austerity" (Can't sack old chums, can we?).

Posted by alan @ 09:32 PM 2 Comments

Not In My Back Yard

Herfordshire Mercury: Published: 29/09/2010 10:17 - Updated: 29/09/2010 10:28 MP Prisk confirms support for Stop Harlow North

The new Housing Minister trumpeting the Localism Act - the Nimbys charter - in his battle against developers wanting to build 8,500 new homes near Stansted (where he also fought against the airport's expansion). I thought Cameron said at the weekend he'd had enough of Nimbys stopping developments... seems like weasel words now he's promoted one.

Posted by stuartking @ 06:56 PM 0 Comments

And from the rabid right-wing free-market think tank...

Insitute for Economic Affairs: The case for a land-value tax

"Relaxing planning restrictions would lead to a rebalancing of land designations towards their most profitable use, namely residential housing and business. This would lead to a fall in house and business property prices as supply increased, and windfall gains to land owners. A concurrent LVT would capture some of those gains. As the tax base is observable and fixed, neither avoidance nor evasion is possible, making collection cheaper. Substituted for other distortionary and inequitable taxes such as council tax and business rates, LVT could also increase efficiency. Paired with an overhaul of the antiquated system of land-use planning, it would boost growth and ease budgetary woes."

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 04:18 PM 12 Comments

Housebuilding in decline

Press Association: Weak demand hits building sector

Residential building was the worst performing area, while there was a decline in commercial construction, albeit marginally, for the first time in two and a half years.

Posted by chrisch @ 03:52 PM 0 Comments

Roll up roll up

AboutProperty: Shapps leaves housing minister role

Who is next in the housing hotseat?

Posted by phil @ 02:49 PM 0 Comments

What goes for London goes for Manchester goes for Sofia...

The Move Channel: Sofia's new metro system keeps Bulgarian capital house prices up

"[House] Prices in Sofia have been declining in recent months, with values 2.5 per cent lower than last year in July August, but the areas around the new metro line have remained stable - and, in some places, actually increased." The Home-Owner-Ists refer to this as "location location location", I refer to it as "Ricardo's Law of Rent", it's more or less exactly the same thing, it's only the conclusions we draw are diametrically opposite.

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 01:18 PM 1 Comments

New orders and confidence falls in August Construction sector contracts in August as new orders shrink

Activity in the UK construction sector declined in August, down from a reading of 50.9 to 49.0. Any reading below 50.0 indicates contraction in the sector.

Posted by ben @ 09:50 AM 0 Comments

Shelter say fees are unfair

AboutProperty: Letting agents "rip off" one in four

Kay Boycott, Shelter’s director of campaigns, accused letting agents of "scandalous" behaviour. She continued: "Some letting agents are creaming off huge profits from the boom in private renting, by charging both tenants and landlords fees that are totally out of proportion to the service they provide. "With costs like these, on top of the sky-high rents that families already face, it’s no surprise that many dread the day they have to look for a new place to rent."

Posted by phil @ 09:40 AM 0 Comments

Olympics keep shoppers away from High Street BRC: Olympic feelgood factor failed to ignite retail sales

The Olympic Games dented retail sales in August in the UK, according to the British Retail Consortium (BRC).

Posted by ben @ 08:45 AM 0 Comments

Don't you just love em

Mail: More than one million mortgage borrowers will benefit from any cut in the Bank of England base rate – as long as banks and building societies keep promises

Graham Beale, chief executive of Nationwide Building Society, says: ‘I am very concerned at the impact that a base rate reduction would have on the UK’s savers.

Posted by happy mondays @ 07:34 AM 6 Comments

Monday, September 3, 2012

Cost of the burst bubble - ctd. Who picks up the losses?

Bloomberg: Lloyds Planning to Sell $2.5 Billion of Mainly Irish Loans

"Lloyds plans to sell about 2 billion euros of mainly Irish real-estate loans, the latest phase in extricating itself from Western Europe’s biggest property crash, according to a person with knowledge of the transaction. The U.K.’s second-biggest government-aided bank will probably have to take discounts on the sale, said the person, who declined to be identified because details of the sale are private. Lloyds, based in London, moved in 2010 to close and run down the Irish unit it acquired two years earlier as part of its takeover of HBOS Plc. The bank has taken 11.8 billion pounds of impairment charges on Irish loans since the nation’s real-estate market collapsed four years ago".

Posted by alan @ 07:11 PM 0 Comments

Shapps' software company alleged to breach Google code

Planet Property: Shapps' software company alleged to breach Google code

Trust a politician to be (allegedly) associated with a software package designed for "spinning and scraping" ...

Posted by the planet @ 05:16 PM 0 Comments

Estate agent fees the biggest cost when moving

Planet Property: Estate agent fees the biggest cost when moving

Who knew? ... estate agents’ fees are 80% higher than Stamp Duty for the majority of home movers.

Posted by the planet @ 04:54 PM 0 Comments

Latest Rightmove first-time buyers report

AboutProperty: Non-graduates losing home ownership race

Thirty per cent of all first-time buyers have a degree and 39 per cent are qualified to postgraduate level. Despite the impact of student debt the average age of a graduate looking to buy is 30 compared to 32 for a non graduate.

Posted by phil @ 04:39 PM 0 Comments

Home-Owner-Ist Hysterics From Home

Independent (Ireland): Shane Ross: Choke property tax at birth

Spotted by Titanic Captain: "None of that softly softly local government enforcement stuff that floundered in the case of the household charges debacle. This time it is the jackboot method. The taxman can cut off the family home tax at source. You will never have to send it to them because it will be snatched from your pay packet. They will do it this way because they know you cannot afford to pay the tax." ??? So if they'd increased income tax slightly to collect the same revenue from paypackets that would be any different? And why does land value tax affect "hard working homeowners" more than income tax? Quite clearly the answer is: it doesn't. In relative terms, LVT affects "lazy" home owners far less than "hard working" ones.

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 03:54 PM 12 Comments

Not enough 100% mortgages apparently

Daily Telegraph: Graduates to drive return of first-time buyers

"The first-time buyer share of the housing market could increase over the next year, driven by a wave of university graduates trying to get on the property ladder with their parents' help, a study by Rightmove has suggested"

Posted by micasasucasa @ 12:57 PM 0 Comments

But it's still going up.

AboutProperty: Prime central London price growth slows

Prime central London property price growth is slowing, with the Knight Frank index recording a rise of just 0.5 per cent in August. That takes annual growth to 9.9 per cent and overall growth to 49.9 per cent since the credit crunch low in March 2009.

Posted by phil @ 11:14 AM 0 Comments

Cameron and Osborne clash over buy one get one free initiative

Mortgagestrategy: Govt set to unveil fresh plans to boost housing market

Prime minister David Cameron will announce plans to boost the housing market on Thursday, with a particular emphasis placed on first-time buyers. Ideas are still being thrashed out, according to a report in the Mail on Sunday, although it is thought one idea is to extend the NewBuy scheme, where the state underwrites some of the risk of the purchase, by introducing a “buyers’ bond”.

Posted by jack c @ 11:09 AM 4 Comments

Hubble Bubble Toil and BTL Trouble

Mortgagestrategy: In my opinion: Bursting buy-to-let’s fragile bubble

Fuelled in part by poor and incomplete advice to naive investors, buy-to-let is seen by many as a way to make a fast buck but my profitability index shows this is not the case. Mortgage Strategy published a story in July on a buy-to-let index that I had come up with as part of the organisation that I have formed called The Model Works. I had found problems with published buy-to-let data as it only paints part of the picture. I argued that most of the indices, such as the BM Solutions and LSL Property Services data, looked at rental yield but need to consider capital gain and loss as well. The key difference between my index and others was that mine included house prices, capital losses and cash flow issues as well as factoring in all sorts of issues that others don’t consider.

Posted by jack c @ 10:59 AM 2 Comments

Yeah baby yeah! The Emperor's palace didn't stay more valuable than the whole of California for long

Reuters: London luxury home market risks price crash

Developers rushing to build top-quality London homes to cash in on strong overseas demand are in danger of being stung by a price crash as they flood the market, property consultancy EC Harris said. Over 15,000 homes in developments worth more than 38 billion pounds are due for completion in London's most expensive neighbourhoods in the next ten years, a 70 percent jump on last year, an EC Harris report said on Monday. The total floor area covers almost 20 million square feet - equivalent to the size of the London Olympic park - and includes properties in upmarket Mayfair, the City of London financial district and the south bank of the river Thames.

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 10:20 AM 0 Comments

Denmark's (AAA rated) housing slump

Bloomberg: Danish Housing Slump in End Phase as Excesses Die Out

"Home prices have plunged about 25 percent since a 2007 peak and declines this year will average 3.5 percent, the government estimates" . “Should interest rates rise sharply, that is potentially the most painful economic shock to Denmark.” S&P's Tornqvist said.

Posted by alan @ 10:18 AM 0 Comments

“A land value tax is ultimately where many in our party would like to go"

Moneymarketing: LibDems to push for property tax

Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg’s plans for a wealth tax are likely to involve a new annual property tax, according to reports. The Telegraph says the proposal is set to be debated at the LibDem conference in Brighton later this month alongside a proposal to limit the tax relief on Isas and pensions. The report says some Lib Dems are pushing for the annual charge to be levied at up to 1.5 per cent of a property’s value on homes worth over a certain size. Others believe the tax should be based on a site’s rental value. The tax is being promoted by a Lib Dem pressure group called Action for Land Taxation and Economic Reform, of which Clegg and Cable are vice presidents.

Posted by jack c @ 10:12 AM 14 Comments

Student debt? Not an issue with the bank of mum and dad.

AboutProperty: Graduates ahead in home-ownership race

The financial benefits appear to go further than the associated earning potential of being a graduate, thirty per cent receive family contributions towards the cost of buying, whereas just 24 per cent of non-graduates are assisted.

Posted by phil @ 10:08 AM 0 Comments

When did Hackney’s backyard become trendy?

London Loves Business: Postcode En Vogue: Is Clapton really worth investment?

The average house prices have increased by 10% in the last year alone. The price of one bed period conversion with no outdoor space is between £200,000 and 210,000.

Posted by sandra @ 10:04 AM 0 Comments

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Can we have a bit more please

Telegraph: Debt crisis: ECB should launch 'unlimited' bond buying, says OECD

Spanish leader Mariano Rajoy said he would consider asking for extra aid on top of the country's €100bn (£79bn) bank bail-out but would wait to see what conditions were attached to any rescue package. "If I believe it is good for Europe as a whole, for the euro, and for Spain, I will do it, and if not, not,"

Posted by enuii @ 08:05 PM 5 Comments

Ooh la la

Guardian: France seeks EU approval for bank rescue

The French government has been forced to rescue a distressed domestic mortgage lender Crédit Immobilier de France, the latest example of a European state stepping in to prop up a bank brought to its knees by the financial crisis. France will seek approval from the European Commission for this bailout which follows the €90bn joint rescue with the Belgian and Luxembourg governments of Dexia.

Posted by enuii @ 04:45 PM 8 Comments

A house by the sea from just 36,700 euros

Yahoo (AFP): Spanish banks saddled with repos

What everybody on here knows already.

Posted by chrisch @ 10:46 AM 5 Comments


Mail: New Barclays chief Antony Jenkins fears interest-only scandal

New Barclays chief Antony Jenkins fears interest-only scandal

Posted by happy mondays @ 07:53 AM 5 Comments

Saturday, September 1, 2012

More Casino Culture from the Banksters

Independent: Barclays makes £500m betting on food crisis

Barclays has made as much as half a billion pounds in two years from speculating on food staples such as wheat and soya, prompting allegations that banks are profiting handsomely from the global food crisis. Barclays is the UK bank with the greatest involvement in food commodity trading and is one of the three biggest global players, along with the US banking giants Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley, research from the World Development Movement points out. Last week the trading giant Glencore was attacked for describing the global food crisis and price rises as a "good" business opportunity. (Don't write to your MP, they are too busy sucking up to them).

Posted by alan @ 05:36 PM 5 Comments

Test Case

Guardian: Law criminalising squatting to be challenged in court by cottage dweller

Irene Gardiner bringing case against Crown Prosecution Service and police over law change that could make her homeless.

Posted by dill @ 03:23 PM 1 Comments

Too late, Greece and Spain got all the cash

Telegraph: Japan plans to cut state spending, could run out of money in a month

"The government running out of money is not a story made up. It's a real threat," Finance Minister Jun Azumi told a news conference, making a last-ditch appeal for cooperation by opposition parties to pass the bill". "Failing to pass the bill will give markets the impression that Japan's fiscal management rests on shaky ground," he said. (Can't they just print some more? Everyone else is doing it)

Posted by alan @ 01:29 PM 4 Comments



HOUSE prices shot up last month, recording the biggest rise for two-and-a-half years. Figures released yesterday by Nationwide, Britain’s biggest building society, show prices were up by 1.4 per cent. The surprise increase, despite the continuing recession, is good news for homeowners.

Posted by hpwatcher @ 09:29 AM 14 Comments

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