March 2013 Archive

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Banks and Bankers

Mail: Gran 'betrayed by her bank': Widow, 80, faces losing home after being handed a £470,000 mortgage

"Just seven months before the credit crunch struck, Irene Rose Hearn, then 74, was allowed to take out a £470,000 interest-only five-year mortgage by the Abbey National". Guess what... Santander are expecting her to pay up! (Meanwhile, in Cyprus, during the run up to the recent bank troubles, millions of euros were written off in "debt forgiveness" to MPs, several Political parties and other friends). If you are buying a propery in the "spring bounce", just remember PRICES ALWAYS GO UP! :(

Posted by alan @ 03:51 PM 5 Comments

The Irish lead the way New law will allow banks to repossess homes by summer

BANKS will be free to repossess homes and investment properties by the summer after the Government published new legislation to address the loophole caused by the so-called "Dunne Judgment".

Posted by greenmind @ 01:23 PM 1 Comments

Common sense makes an appearance!

Telegraph: Bank capital push could hamper Help to Buy

“This could effectively kill the scheme before it has even been launched — Osborne must be furious,” said one senior banks analyst.

Posted by happy mondays @ 01:00 PM 0 Comments

This is not new. Its been going on for decades now

BBC News: CPRE says second homes 'gutting' rural communities

The tax system should put countryside second homes beyond the reach of more people, according to the head of the Campaign to Protect Rural England.

Posted by tom101 @ 10:49 AM 0 Comments

Friday, March 29, 2013

Precedent is set for 'special conditions' clause

Financial Times: ‘No action’ against B of I

If the link via google gets you past the paywall you will see that the Financial Services Authority (FSA) has said it has no plans to take action against Bank of Ireland over its decision to raise interest rates for 13,500 UK buy-to-let and residential customers.The B of I will therefore be more than doubling the mortgage interest rates of its tracker rate deals by triggering a generic “special condition” clause in its mortgage agreements which if you bother to read small print is actually in most other lenders terms as well.

Posted by enuii @ 09:35 PM 1 Comments

Renters take 25 years to save deposit

Planet Property: Renters take 25 years to save deposit

The average private renter saved £2,180 in the last year, meaning that it would take 23 years to accumulate the average deposit of £50,845. Even the average deposit for a first time buyer, at £27,984, would take almost 13 years to save.

Posted by the planet @ 05:14 PM 0 Comments

Fears for the safety of junior reporter 'not on message'

Daily Mail on line: Property prices tumble across UK

I'm shocked beyond words (by the source, not by the suggestion that the market may be anything but flat).

Posted by greenshootsandleaves @ 12:43 PM 1 Comments

I'm out! Duncan Bannaytne’s house for sale

Planet Property: I'm out! Duncan Bannaytne’s house for sale

For some reason, not quite what we expected: stark, clean-lined with an American/Californian vibe. £850k ... good luck haggling on the price!

Posted by the planet @ 12:40 PM 2 Comments

Demand for flatshares continues to increase

Planet Property: Demand for flatshares continues to increase

There are 5 potential tenants chasing every room available for rent, says new research ... welcome to lodger Britain.

Posted by the planet @ 12:05 PM 0 Comments

Could it catch on?

BBC: Devon tenant Brian Kiddell sells landlord's home online for £90,000

Kiddell had been renting the house for four months when the owner happened, purely by chance, to be driving past and noticed there was a For Sale sign outside the address. "He contacted his own letting agent and the estate agent and found that it was being sold." By the time he raised the alarm, Kiddell had completed the sale and made off with the money.

Posted by stuartking @ 08:20 AM 2 Comments

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Debt Plague comes closer

Japan Times: Slovenia next in line to face debt woe

"As soon as policymakers averted a crisis in Cyprus, another appears to be brewing. The latest country to provoke concern is Slovenia. The small former Yugoslav republic took a beating, with long-term bond yields spiking to 5.4 percent amid fears the country would need a bailout. Those aren’t crisis-level rates — Cyprus’ yields are around 7 percent, for comparison — but it’s certainly in the danger zone. How did Slovenia get here, and why... (Reuters are also posting a webpage). Italy faces a possible debt downgrade (FX-MM) after a poor debt sale today. I'm sure that gullible investors in the UK will take Cameron's advice and BUY THAT HOUSE now, taking on lots of lovely debt! Go visit an EA this Easter :(

Posted by alan @ 07:10 PM 10 Comments

Good, keep it that way!

Telegraph: UK house prices flat in March

However, he said there was a worry that sellers were becoming overly confident and overestimating the value of their home

Posted by happy mondays @ 11:13 AM 5 Comments

Worryingly grim stats from Shelter as a majority of families in difficulty

Planet Property Blog: 40% of families skimp on food to pay for housing

Shelter’s poll paints grim picture of a nation struggling with housing costs. According to Shelter’s YouGov poll 64% of families with children struggled to pay their rent or mortgage last year.

Posted by property addict @ 10:12 AM 3 Comments

UK house prices flat in march, up 0.8% in last year UK house prices up by 0.8% in last year, says Nationwide

UK house prices were flat over the last month but are up by 0.8 per cent over the past year, according to the latest Nationwide house price index. This is the first annual increase for 13 months and means the average UK home is now worth £164,630.

Posted by ben @ 09:51 AM 0 Comments

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Don't trust banks with your cash

Project Syndicate: European Bank Accounting Is A Joke

Christopher Mahoney, a former Vice Chairman of Moody’s, says: "If you don’t believe that insolvent banks lie about their condition, read the annual report for any one of the banks which have had to be bailed out in the past few years. Not one of them said that they were insolvent, or that their loan portfolio was full of holes, or that their CDOs were mismarked, or that they were becoming illiquid." He adds: "They certainly lied to me when I was in the business."

Posted by stuartking @ 07:18 PM 3 Comments

Yorkshire BS unveil fee-free options for first-time buyers Yorkshire BS offer five-year fix at 2.59% and cut FTB rates

The Yorkshire Building Society has launched its cheapest ever five-year fixed rate mortgage deal. For borrowers with a 60 per cent loan-to-value (LTV) ratio, the product offers a rate of 2.59 per cent with a fee of £1,345. The Yorkshire also have a two-year fixed rate deal available for 60 per cent LTV borrowers at 2.19 per cent with a £345 fee.

Posted by ben @ 05:47 PM 0 Comments

Second home owners unwitting test pilots for LVT

Estate Agent Today: Big changes to Council Tax kick in within days

For example, Southwark Council in London is allowing empty, unfurnished properties to be exempt for two months, after which the full charge is applied. However, there is no exemption at all for empty, furnished rental properties. On properties empty for two years or more, it will charge a ‘premium’ of 50%. Spelthorne Council is giving a one-month exemption to empty, unfurnished rental properties, and then giving a 50% discount in month two, followed by a 25% discount in month three, followed by no discount. It, too, will be charging 150% Council Tax on properties empty for over two years.

Posted by sibley's b'stard child @ 02:44 PM 9 Comments

Low interest rates benefit the government - NOT the banks 'Savers have been ignored completely': Budget did nothing for savers - if anything their plight is worse

Savers were offered nothing in the Budget. If anything, their plight looks set to worsen. The Government said it would allow further printing of money to stimulate growth. It also said it would consider providing yet more cheap money to banks through the controversial Funding for Lending Scheme, which has had the effect of reducing the rates banks pay to savers. It also said interest rates in general would remain low. Inflation is set to continue to float above interest rates paid on savings accounts, which means in real terms savers lose money.

Posted by hpwatcher @ 01:08 PM 4 Comments

Easy come easy go ...

Sky News (via Yahoo): Cyprus: British Expats Facing Cash 'Nightmare'

"Terry, who spent most of his career working for the British Army, told Sky News: "It's disgusting, it is my money, fair enough if you want to tax money people have earned in Cyprus but this is mine." Really ? I bet most of 'your' money came from sitting on a pile of bricks for 40 years....

Posted by voiceofreason @ 11:29 AM 10 Comments

Infographic: strangest things found when moving into a new home

Planet Property: Infographic: strangest things found when moving into a new home

Velvet codpieces, a live hand grenade, and an abandoned donkey ... some of the weird stuff people leave behind

Posted by the planet @ 10:49 AM 0 Comments

Hong Kong tops 2012 global house price table

Planet Property: Hong Kong tops 2012 global house price table

Asian and S American markets booming; Europe still on the slide ...

Posted by the planet @ 10:12 AM 0 Comments

Audit Office slams delivery of New Homes Bonus

Planet Property: Audit Office slams delivery of New Homes Bonus

Eric Pickles gets a slap from the National Audit Office. The New Homes Bonus, which aims to deliver 140,000 new homes over the next ten years, is, they said, not being properly monitored. Even worse, it set up using dodgy statistics. Ouch!

Posted by the planet @ 09:45 AM 0 Comments

Osborne ~ No HPC on my watch

Telegraph: Osborne denies mortgage efforts will create housing bubble

"George Osborne defended his controversial plans to help Britons onto the property ladder after his independent forecaster warned they threatened to create a new housing bubble". "Steve Nickell, a senior OBR official, told the the Treasury select committee: “The key issue is, is it just going to drive up house prices? By and large, in the short run the answer to that is yes" (Greed). "He denied that achieving the “wealth effect” offered by rising house prices was an objective for the Government, instead citing factors such as the “social problem” when people afford to buy. George went on to say "While a rating downgrade meant “a difficult day for me in the Commons”, if he were to lose market confidence “every household pays the price for that” via higher costs (Threats).

Posted by alan @ 09:31 AM 9 Comments


Guardian: That's rich: new Bank chief's wife condemned for London rents moan

London's sky-high house prices have been the subject of dinner party laments for years. Now even the wife of the incoming governor of the Bank of England, who has a near-£5,000 a week housing allowance, has been fretting about finding a home in the capital's overvalued market.

Posted by dill @ 09:27 AM 0 Comments

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

So what happened to free market, and no national boundaries?

Daily Mail: Huge fines await British expats who fail to declare overseas properties and savings as Spanish deadline looms

The deadline is looming for thousands of British expats living in Spain to declare savings, shares or properties held overseas under a major tax evasion crackdown by the Spanish authorities. Residents have until April 30 to declare all assets worth more than €50,000 euros and were held outside the country as of 31 December 2012. If they fail to do so, they face massive fines.

Posted by rental john @ 08:31 PM 0 Comments

Osborne defends budget flagship scheme before MPs OBR: Main impact of 'Help To Buy' will be higher house prices

The Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) has told MPs that the major impact of the ‘Help to Buy’ scheme unveiled in the budget will be to push up house prices. George Osborne was forced to defend the scheme which aims to make it easier for people to get onto the property ladder.

Posted by ben @ 07:33 PM 0 Comments

Two-year fix at 2.49% and five-year deal at 2.49%, arrangement fee of £999 cut for some borrowers Clydesdale and Yorkshire Banks cut fees on new fixed rate mortgages

The Clydesdale and Yorkshire Banks have announced new low rate two and five-year fixed rate mortgages. For borrowers who have a 60 per cent loan-to-value (LTV) ratio, a two-year fix at 2.49 per cent is available and a five-year deal at 2.99 per cent is on offer.

Posted by ben @ 02:30 PM 0 Comments

Prices to fall in Spain.

Bloomberg: Spain's zombie developers are finally about to die.

Badiani estimates the jobless rate could climb to more than 27 percent this year and house prices will fall at least 50 percent from the peak by 2015.

Posted by will @ 02:13 PM 7 Comments

Property insiders express doubts about Osborne's Help To Buy

Planet Property: Property insiders express doubts about Osborne's Help To Buy

Leading mortgage advisor questions the sense and efficacy of Osborne's big idea ....

Posted by the planet @ 10:25 AM 0 Comments

"Privatised Keynesianism"

The Guardian: George Osborne is using Britons as economic cannon fodder

"Osborne may think he's found an update of right-to-buy, but it looks more like right-to-be-repossessed." It's depressing how rarely the Guardian makes an objection to coalition policy that Labour should have and actually pulls them up on it.

Posted by reticent @ 10:16 AM 0 Comments

Bleak prospects for HPC?

Telegraph: Economic reality confounds the gloomsters

“Something strange is happening in Britain. It was so unexpected that it has gone largely unmentioned among the commentariat lest entrenched positions be disturbed. Retail sales are up, manufacturing is improving, car sales are up, house prices are up, share prices are up and employment is at a record high. But, as in a Conan Doyle mystery, activity is passing without noise; the watchdogs aren’t barking.” So what do you think the odds are for a serious correction in the next few years are folks? It seems possible that money fleeing the Eurozone haircut debacle and the recently announced five year interest free loans in the budget could support property prices for years to come.

Posted by quiet guy @ 10:08 AM 9 Comments

The same old story: cold weather is blamed again for the recession

The guardian: Cold weather makes triple-dip recession more likely, economists fear

Heavy snow may be crucial factor in whether economy expands or contracts in first three months of 2013

Posted by statistician @ 10:01 AM 0 Comments

Help for Home anyone !

Mail: Nearly 4m homes 'at risk' as interest-only mortgage borrowers face payment demands they can't meet

Nearly four million homeowners could be facing a nightmare scenario similar to the collapse of the mortgage endowment market and negative equity trap of the 1990s as the capital on their interest-only mortgages become due for repayment.

Posted by happy mondays @ 07:55 AM 5 Comments

Monday, March 25, 2013

The new economic sport in China. It’s called buy-to-let.

Fred Harrison Blog: China: Rent-seeking in the Making

Fred Harrison blogs on the buy to let disaster that has befallen China & their political capture by the Home-owner-ists & BTL brigade. One quote I really liked and shows the fundamental issues we face in tackling high house prices for the UK & China, is by their New Premier Li Keqiang: in that it is “harder to tackle vested interests than to touch a person’s soul”.

Posted by pete green @ 06:05 PM 1 Comments

UK - The people bank

Moneyweek: George Osborne goes ‘all in’

We already knew that we were bank guarantors, pretty soon we’ll be guarantors on sub-prime housing too. All I can say is long live zero interest rates… because without them, we’ll be asked to make good on those guarantees!

Posted by happy mondays @ 02:50 PM 13 Comments

Troika loan sharks now want better terms

Bus Insider: OFFICIAL: Banks In Europe May Now Seize Deposits To Cover Their Gambling Losses

"As expected, Cyprus and the EU reached a new late-night bailout deal last night that will reduce the chance that Cyprus's financial system and economy will completely implode". (Wow, another cliff-hanger finale from the Troika). Peston on BBC says this will not be a good deal for the Cyprus people - but who cares? A question: who is next?... Slovenia? - who cares about them either?

Posted by alan @ 01:02 PM 5 Comments

Foreign factor together with tax payer funded government support for UK housing

Mail: Biggest rise in house prices for three years: Overseas buyers see Britain as 'safe haven' from eurozone crisis

Property prices in Britain rose by 0.3 per cent and by 0.7 per cent in London Crisis in Cyprus means more cash will be flowing to UK in coming months

Posted by hpwatcher @ 10:39 AM 6 Comments

House prices post biggest monthly rise for three years House prices up by 0.3 per cent in March, driven by the capital

House prices in England and Wales rose by the largest monthly amount for three years in March. Prices in London powered the rise, going up by 0.7 per cent, the highest increase in the capital since February 2010, as prices in the property market in the rest of England and Wales helped overall prices rise by 0.3 per cent.

Posted by ben @ 08:53 AM 0 Comments

Sunday, March 24, 2013

What lies beneath

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Homes for Brits first!

Express: Tougher tests for social housing

"Immigrant families will be kept off council house waiting lists for up to five years under a crackdown being unveiled by David Cameron". ( his latest attempt to win over Labour voters). The PM is to set out a tougher approach on housing and benefits, promising to tackle the culture of "something for nothing", in a keynote speech on immigration on Monday". (more on tomorrow's front page: Sunday Express)

Posted by alan @ 10:40 PM 5 Comments

How the west was lost

Ian Fraser: Michael Hudson: how finance capitalism leads to debt servitude

Good analysis by Michael Hudson, research professor of economics at University of Missouri, of the cowboy economics that led to housing boom and subsequent bust and how nothing that has happened since should give anyone cause to think things will be okay in future

Posted by stuartking @ 11:54 AM 14 Comments

The debt will max out

NY Times: Fitch Puts British Debt on Review for Downgrade

What I think is ignored is that dealing with government debt requires a cross-party consensus. There is no point for the Tories to make any attempt to deal with a debt overhang while the opposition loudly state their desire to increase borrowing. Due to this, I believe that the UK government debt is going straight to maximum at zero interest, and that any interest rates due to inflation will fall on private borrowing. There is a certain ideological battle going on. When the UK governments ability to increase debt is gone, there is no purpose to the Labour party. They simply don't have anything else to offer.

Posted by stillthinking @ 08:09 AM 7 Comments

The floating Titanic

Mail: Do Foxtons' owners think the London property market has peaked? Speculation rife estate agent will float

A float could also be a classic market watchers' sign that London's property price boom may be about to slow – famously when the group was sold for £360million in May 2007 by founder Jon Hunt, house prices fell dramatically soon after.

Posted by happy mondays @ 07:55 AM 2 Comments

Friday, March 22, 2013

Our welfare system

Telegraph: Budget 2013: Wealthy house-buyers look to take advantage of mortgage aid

Under the “Help to Buy” programme, buyers will only have to save up a 5 per cent deposit, with the Government underwriting a further 15 per cent of the value as long as the property is worth no more than £600,000. George Osborne, the Chancellor, said the initiative would help families who “cannot begin to afford” the large deposits currently needed to get a mortgage at a good interest rate. However, there is nothing to stop high earners from using the multi-billion pound scheme and early anecdotal evidence suggests that it is likely to benefit large numbers of relatively wealthy people. High-end estate agents reported yesterday that they had already received interest from well-off clients looking to take advantage of the Government’s support to buy houses costing over £500,000.

Posted by quiet guy @ 11:23 PM 13 Comments

No, a Spanish bank run next!

Bloomberg: Spain Values Bankia Shares at 1 Euro-Cent as Debt Swap Looms

"Spain cut the nominal value of Bankia SA shares to 1 euro-cent from 2 euros in a debt swap that will practically wipe out existing stockholders in the nationalized lender. The holding company BFA will own about 70 percent of Bankia following a 15.5 billion-euro recapitalization approved by the Frob rescue fund today, an official from the fund said. Investors who bought subordinated debt or preferred shares will end up with about 30 percent of the bank’s stock". "Catalunya Banc’s preferred shareholders face an average 61 percent haircut while perpetual subordinated debt holders face a 40 percent haircut. NCG Banco preferred shareholders’ haircut will be 43 percent on average and owners of perpetual bonds will lose 41 percent. (Grab your cash quickly!).

Posted by alan @ 10:10 PM 1 Comments

Italian bank-run next?

Cyprus Mail: Laiki CEO: bank move will be a disaster for the economy

CEO of second biggest Cypriot bank warns economy there heading for ruin... throwaway comment from bank employee near the end is more interesting (or worrying, perhaps).... “They are testing the model for the next country that will need a bailout. Italy will be next, everyone knows that, and then France. Italy has two trillion euro worth of loans. Do you think Germany has money to save it with a bailout? So, they are testing the bail-in. Merkel’s adviser estimates that a 25 per cent bail-in on deposits will save Italy,” he said, adding, “I believe the whole euro system will collapse soon”.

Posted by stuartking @ 09:24 PM 4 Comments

They got land, give them money - yet again

Channel 4: Of zombie budgets and mortgage subsidies

Fisal Islam deconstructs Osborne's Budget - "To effectively direct scarce bank capital towards extra mortgage lending, and at the same time present a list of unfunded yet crucially needed infrastructure projects, makes no sense."

Posted by stuartking @ 09:05 PM 2 Comments

Now it's a "hot potato"

Sky: Spainish Eviction Orders Top 75,000 In 2012

"More than a quarter of a million eviction orders for homeowners and renters have been launched in Spain since the 2008 meltdown". (hardening resistance and protest have a political impact...a bit late in the case of Spain).

Posted by alan @ 04:49 PM 0 Comments

What's this!

Telegraph: Home truths about the housing market

The final home truth is that throughout most of human history, the price of a house was roughly what it cost to build. A family house in England should cost around £80,000. A really nice one would be perhaps £120,000.

Posted by happy mondays @ 01:11 PM 4 Comments

Get off "my" land

They own land! Give them money!

City AM: Remortgage fall prompts calls to extend funding for lending

"REMORTGAGE lender LMS called for an extension to the funding for lending scheme (FLS) yesterday after February showed a deep drop in remortgage lending. Households drew £2.6bn of equity out of their houses in February, LMS figures showed, down 11.3 per cent compared to January, falling faster than overall mortgage lending. The number of loans fell even further, by 12.4 per cent, from 20,332 in January to 17,812 last month. This meant there were 7.9 per cent fewer remortgage loans than in February 2012, together worth 1.8 per cent less."

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 11:09 AM 3 Comments

Because builders like to "bring prices down" HCA insists housing stimulus won't hike prices

The Homes and Communities Agency’s acting chief executive Richard Hill has denied that measures worth more than £15bn to support housing in yesterday’s Budget could simply end up boosting house prices. Richard Hill, who is also executive director of programmes at the HCA, said that the new version of FirstBuy announced yesterday by chancellor George Osborne, worth £3.5bn, would promote the construction of more new homes ... Asked if the move could fuel house price inflation, he said: “Because this is a three year announcement housebuilders can mitigate any impact this might have on increasing prices because they should be able to build more homes which acts to bring prices down.”

Posted by quiet guy @ 08:45 AM 8 Comments

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Popular Bank to close? (BBC Rumour)

Economist: Just when you thought it was safe…

"Bailing out Cyprus was always going to be tricky. But it didn’t have to be like this". "The euro-zone economy is stagnant. Protest parties are gaining popularity. The euro was supposed to be the manifestation of a grand political project. It feels more like a loveless marriage, in which the cost of breaking up is the only thing keeping the partners together". (is this THE BIG Euro crisis?)

Posted by alan @ 06:02 PM 6 Comments

Bad policy - bad results.

Reuters: UK unleashes the dogs of subprime.

Not that you people need to be told this, but...Help to buy is a huge transfer to banks and a disaster for the country.

Posted by james saft @ 05:56 PM 1 Comments

HSBC and Yorkshire follow Nationwide and Co-op HSBC and Yorkshire BS pull out of interest-only mortgages

Two of the UK’s biggest lenders, HSBC and the Yorkshire Building Society have announced that they are pulling out of the interest-only residential mortgage market.

Posted by ben @ 05:16 PM 1 Comments

Bubbles have a tendency to burst

AboutProperty: Comment: We're just inflating another housing bubble

The coalition government has no handle on simple economics. The housing market, and indeed, every other industry, works off the basic principle of supply and demand...

Posted by phil @ 04:07 PM 1 Comments

They own land!! Give them... land!!

BBC: Ministers deny 'second home subsidy'

Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls said the Help to Buy scheme amounts to a "spare homes subsidy" for the better-off.

Posted by timmy t @ 03:41 PM 8 Comments

More disaster to come

CIty AM: Osborne's gambled on wrong policy

If the chancellor’s inability to tackle our fiscal crisis is frightening, his attempt at trying to recreate a private sector housing bubble is truly terrifying.

Posted by stuartking @ 01:38 PM 1 Comments

Peston infers this might not be sensible

BBC News: Should the Treasury take housing risk?

It is an intriguing policy for a number of reasons, not least because some would say it is counter-intuitive to tackle the problem of housing that's too expensive for young people by stimulating prices.

Posted by mrb @ 01:26 PM 1 Comments

7 reasons why Osborne's housing subsidy is a really bad idea

Planet Property: 7 reasons why Osborne's housing subsidy is a really bad idea

Osborne's solution to a failed economic strategy reads like a political move: gamble the next election on rising house prices

Posted by the planet @ 12:21 PM 1 Comments

A salutary tale for high fliers

Planet Property Blog: R Kelly takes 81% hit on home

The I Believe I can Fly singer will have felt the ground firmly beneath his feet this week as he saw his 22,000 sq ft Chicago mansion sold at auction for a fraction of the $3.5 million mortgage he took out to fund it.

Posted by property addict @ 11:45 AM 0 Comments

What does the March budget update mean for the property market?

Quick Move Now: March budget update – what does it mean for the property market?

The biggest news for the property sector from the March budget statement was the announcement of ‘Help to buy’ – a big investment in schemes designed to get the housing market moving. George Osborne stated that the aims of the new initiatives, extensions of the current ‘NewBuy’ scheme, are to undo past setbacks to social mobility and assist home builders in a dramatic way.

Posted by donna houguez @ 11:25 AM 0 Comments

Britain’s obsession with house prices will ruin us all

MoneyWeek: Britain’s obsession with house prices will ruin us all

The government's latest wheeze to boost house building and mortgage lending is putting everyone's money at risk, says John Stepek. Here's why.

Posted by martingreen @ 11:09 AM 5 Comments

A handy infographic explaining...

Quantitative Politics (blog): Help To Buy

"In the Budget today George Osborne announced a new scheme to 'help' house buyers. Here is the flyer (or infographic as they call it), which I have annotated for clarity."

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 10:22 AM 4 Comments

Student Rentals - not as easy as it looks!

Construction news: All fall down at Opal Group

"Several Opal companies, including Ocon Construction, went into administration earlier this month. More have now followed. David Crawshaw and Rob Croxen, restructuring partners KPMG, have now been appointed joint administrators to six companies which own four student accommodation buildings, a private rental building and a land asset that are located in Sheffield, Nottingham, Liverpool, Manchester and Wrexham".

Posted by alan @ 09:59 AM 2 Comments

Oooh noo the rent pays for something !

Daily mail: Landlord's fury after police trash house while raiding tenants' £400k drugs operation

A landlord who rented out a family home only to discover it had been turned into a cannabis farm by the tenants today accused police of trashing the property when they raided the premises. Gary Bond, 53, and his wife Rebecca claim the house was cleaner when the cannabis factory was still up.

Posted by mark @ 09:39 AM 1 Comments

Roll up, roll up, UK Government takes on your sub prime risk

A true word said in jest...

Daily Mash: This housing boom will be perfect

GEORGE Osborne has reassured Britain that the new housing boom he is trying to create will never, ever end.

Posted by qzdave @ 08:25 AM 0 Comments

A Europe-wide contagion on its way?

Bloomberg: Denmark Races to Prevent Foreclosures as Home Prices Sink

Quite grim reading (depending on your perspective), especially since largely they seem to have a less-damaged economy than the UK. A lot of the current problems blamed on 'interest-only' mortgages

Posted by stuartking @ 01:11 AM 2 Comments

Osborne digs deeper hole

Wall St Journal: U.K. Gambles on Yet More Debt

Osborne "is banking on growth recovering to 2.3% in 2015 and 2.7% in 2016, driven by a robust recovery in business investment to 8.6% by 2015 from 1.9% this year, and a startling turnaround in residential investment from minus-5.4% last year to 8.9% by 2015. "This looks highly optimistic. "

Posted by stuartking @ 12:38 AM 4 Comments

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Ian Cowie gives us a mention...

Telegraph: Budget 2013: Homeowners big winners but even estate agents worry about house price bubble

"Spare a thought, though, for devotees. They have been waiting and wishing for house prices to plunge for years now and their reaction is probably unprintable in a family newspaper but no doubt there will be plenty to view below the line here soon."

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 07:21 PM 21 Comments

A mixed bag

They own land! Give them a billion quid!

Inside Housing: Private rented fund increased to £1bn

The fund provides equity or loan finance to developers building homes to privately rent, and was launched in response to last year’s Montague report into investment in the sector. The initial £200 million opened for bids in December and was heavily oversubscribed, with some of the UK’s largest housing associations applying for funding. Allocations are expected to be announced this month. Ian Fletcher, director of policy at the British Property Federation, said: ‘It’s encouraging the government’s confidence in build to rent has been reciprocated and we are delighted to see that the equity funding was heavily oversubscribed. Working in partnership with government the sector should deliver an exciting and quality array of homes for renters.’

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 03:52 PM 4 Comments

Thin ice

Reuters: Bank of England remit tweak may hasten sterling fall

Sterling is set to resume its fall against the dollar, options market prices indicate, with a possible change in the Bank of England's policy remit in this week's budget likely to hasten a drop to four-year lows.

Posted by dill @ 02:57 PM 0 Comments

Lovely announcement - but will it happen? The Gordon Brown school of big announcements!

BBC: Mr Osborne announces help to buy homes. He proposes two components: £3.5bn in capital spending over three years to shared equity loans; and a loan of up to 20% of a home's value to be offered to people looking to move up the ladder.

Mr Osborne announces help to buy homes. He proposes two components: £3.5bn in capital spending over three years to shared equity loans; and a loan of up to 20% of a home's value to be offered to people looking to move up the ladder.

Posted by hpwatcher @ 01:26 PM 24 Comments

End game for Cypriot Banks?

BBC News: Cyprus holds crisis talks after bailout rejection

Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades is meeting party leaders to hammer out a Plan B after a one-off tax on savings failed to get the support of any MPs. Germany says banks in Cyprus may never reopen if a bailout is not agreed.

Posted by rental john @ 01:00 PM 0 Comments

I hope so!

Zerohedge: Is the Buy to Rent Party over?

BTL investment strategy is one of the biggest disasters waiting to happen within the U.S. economy... private equity clowns were crowding into these markets with reckless abandon and that this would ultimately crush their business model as there’s no way rents can rise enough to keep yields attractive in a country where most people are struggling to meet their daily expenses. Day of reckoning could be near... U.S. article, but could be the future here in the U.K. too. Great comments!

Posted by greenmind @ 11:23 AM 2 Comments


The Telegraph: UK house prices fall 0.7pc in January

"House prices in Britain fell in January from the previous month, suggesting the property market remained "vulnerable to relapses", analysts warned, as they urged the Chancellor to use tomorrow's Budget to help first-time buyers." How about dropping the prices? That'll be of enormous help!

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 10:06 AM 0 Comments

Osborne urged to invest in "shovel ready" housing Budget 2013: What will the chancellor announce?

The Chancellor, George Osborne presents his budget on Wednesday against an alarming economic and political backdrop. The UK lost its AAA rating from one of the three main credit agencies, Moody’s earlier this year and the other two, Fitch and Standard & Poor’s are likely to follow suit very soon.

Posted by ben @ 09:07 AM 0 Comments

Where's my £100k?

The Londeon Evening Standard: Budget 2013: £100,000 off right-to-buy a London home

Thousands of Londoners will get a chance to own their homes under a major extension of the Right-to-Buy in tomorrow’s Budget, the Evening Standard reveals today. George Osborne will raise to £100,000 the maximum discount for tenants in London who want to take ownership of their home.

Posted by greenmind @ 08:09 AM 10 Comments

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Mr Bean to lead Troika in new Cyprus rescue

SKY: Cyprus Bailout ~ Savings Tax Rejected By MPs

"Cypriot lawmakers have voted overwhelmingly against a deeply unpopular plan to tax bank deposits, putting an international bailout in jeopardy. The 56-seat parliament buried the bill with 36 votes against and 19 abstentions" "Earlier, a plane left Britain for Cyprus with one million euros onboard to ensure soldiers have access to cash during the crisis". (...alternatively, please post your favourite clips from the "Carry On" series).

Posted by alan @ 06:43 PM 2 Comments

YES at long last

Daily mail: Housing Association advises tenants to give up 'Sky TV, cigarettes and bingo' if they want to keep their homes

A housing association has been forced to apologise after telling tenants to ditch Sky TV, cigarettes, bingo and drinking if they wanted to keep their homes. Don't apologise ! i give up things when i cant afford it !!!

Posted by mark @ 04:39 PM 11 Comments

Crossrail to boost house prices by up to 40% over five years

Planet Property: Crossrail to boost house prices by up to 40% over five years

New research suggests prices will soar along some parts of the new train line

Posted by the planet @ 12:53 PM 5 Comments

February CPI

BBC: UK inflation rate nudged up to 2.8% by rising fuel costs

"UK consumer price inflation rose to 2.8% in February, thanks to in part to rising energy prices, according to official figures from the ONS". Outlook: "Vicky Redwood of Capital Economics predicted CPI would rise to 3.5% this summer, with food and petrol costs expected to rise further: "While it should ease back thereafter, the rise in import prices likely to result from the recent fall in the pound could slow that fall."

Posted by alan @ 12:41 PM 0 Comments

Price of London's most expensive home cut by £35m

Planet Property: Price of London's most expensive home cut by £35m

Heath Hall, a 14-bed period pile on the uber-expensive Bishop's Avenue, was once owned by sugar magnates Tate & Lyle. It was on the market for £100 million. Now a mere £65 million ... form an orderly queue.

Posted by the planet @ 12:34 PM 0 Comments

They own land! Give them money!

BBC: House prices rise for first-time buyers, says ONS

"While homeowners will welcome higher house prices, those struggling to get on the housing ladder for the first time are unlikely to feel the same. First-time buyers still need a 20% deposit on average, but with more mortgages available to those with 10% deposits, it is getting easier to get funding." "However, if house prices continue to edge up, this is not going to help the situation. It is essential that the chancellor uses the Budget to assist first-time buyers further as this would help boost the housing market as a whole."

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 11:41 AM 1 Comments

Turning points and new worlds for the brave

Guardian: Are we back to the 1930s again? Here's why we shouldn't panic

Five years after the tsunami of the financial crisis, the world still doesn't know what to do next. When the crisis hit, economists and governments were taken by surprise, their assumptions blown to smithereens. Now, as their economies bump along in a desultory way, they still don't know what to do.

Posted by dill @ 11:35 AM 1 Comments

BtL as a pension

Telegraph: Tamzin Outhwaite: 'My EastEnders money went into property'

"Try not to keep bailing people out around you. If you keep helping people you are giving them a reason to not sort themselves out. And it can ruin your relationships with those people because it becomes about money". (maybe good advice for EU politicians).

Posted by alan @ 10:23 AM 1 Comments

Boo hoo! Ah diddums!

The Telegraph: Older homeowners face raiding savings to pay mortgage

According to analysis by ratings agency Moody’s, there are about 52,000 borrowers aged over 60 in the UK on interest-only mortgages that mature before 2016 and who have less than 20pc equity in their homes. With the regulators cracking down on interest-only deals and rates expected to rise in the next two years, the group is unlikely to be offered equivalent terms to those they are on, Moody’s warned. “Older borrowers with interest only loans face refinancing risk,” it said. Annabel Schaafsma, a manager in Moody’s structured finance group, said: “The most at-risk group are those with deposits of less than 20pc. Some will have to use their savings to repay the mortgage. Others will have to downsize.”

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 09:56 AM 3 Comments

Cyprus take note: this is the professional way to steal savings

Reuters: Osborne readies Bank of England remit change

When George Osborne stands up in parliament to deliver his annual budget next week, a usually routine passage will grab most of the attention: his marching orders for the Bank of England. New instructions to the central bank for the first time in nearly a decade - if they give room to loosen monetary policy further - may be the best response the chancellor has to a crescendo of calls to do more for an economy that could already be in recession again ... Osborne might seek - possibly after a review - to drop words in the bank's remit that prioritise price stability over growth and employment, which is a secondary goal. "It's not a minor change because it really does materially raise the risk of higher inflation," said Willem Buiter, a former BoE policymaker

Posted by quiet guy @ 08:01 AM 1 Comments

Bull Sh!t bingo brigade mobilised again.

BBC: Cyprus bailout: Savers in UK banks 'well protected'

"The head of the UK's deposit safety net has said he is "emphatic" that savings in the UK are well protected, despite the problems in Cyprus." Oh no we're in the deep stuff.

Posted by cheekie charlie @ 12:18 AM 1 Comments

Monday, March 18, 2013

How do they work that out?

BBC: Empty home owner's council tax shock

Landlords too will find their costs go up. At the moment they get six months free of council tax between lettings of unfurnished property. But from April that will end. Adrian Thompson, Director of the Guild of Residential Landlords rents many properties out in the North of England. He says rents will have to rise. "I can see no choice in the matter, Returns are very low anyway. I can't see any choice." ?? There will be more homes on the market to rent, empty homes will be nudged into use etc, and he reckons rents will go up?

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 10:12 AM 12 Comments

Asking prices up by 1.7% in March Rightmove: "Spring bounce" puts house prices at 5-yr March high

A new survey of the UK property market shows that sellers are increasingly able to enter the market with confidence as a “spring bounce” in the market pushes asking prices up to the highest level ever recorded in the month of March.

Posted by ben @ 10:02 AM 6 Comments

Sunday, March 17, 2013

How Cypriots, our ex-pats and others see things

Cyprus Mail: Our View: The ‘rescue package’ designed to destroy the economy

Worth a read and no doubt the comments will get better, many British ex-pats thinking of getting out but many are realising that they won't be able to sell their houses. Others are starting to ask how many government officials had already moved their cash out of the Cypriot banking system in the previous few weeks!

Posted by enuii @ 11:12 PM 9 Comments

The real endgame of the IMF bailout: Slavery

The Guardian - Gregory Palast: IMF's four steps to damnation

With reference to the Cypriot & other IMF bailouts, Joseph Stieglitz (Nobel Prize winning IMF Chief) released documents showing how the IMF intentionally bankrupted third world countries to put them under control? Well, they have run out of third world countries and are now raping Europe & USA. He revealed 4 stages: 1) PRIVATIZATION: Have tax funded infrastructure sold, at duress, at pennies to the pound to insiders (this happened in Britain with our IMF bailout). 2) CAPITAL MARKET LIBERALIZATION: Hot money printed for bailouts flees the country, interest rates then spike, asset prices collapse, yet more cheap infrastructure for insiders. 3) "THE IMF RIOT": stir them up, martial law, squeeze out the last pennies 4) FREE TRADE:, i.e old style mercantilism, debt slavery & share cropping.

Posted by libertas @ 05:12 AM 7 Comments

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Watch Out!

BBC News: Shock in Cyprus as savers face bailout levy

People in Cyprus have reacted with shock to news of a one-off levy of up to 10% on savings as part of a 10bn-euro bailout agreed in Brussels. Funds to pay the levy were frozen in accounts immediately, ECB Member Joerg Asmussen said. The levy will be assessed before Cypriot banks reopen on March 19. "I'm extremely angry. I worked years and years to get it together and now I am losing it on the say-so of the Dutch and the Germans," said British-Cypriot Andy Georgiou, 54, who returned to Cyprus in mid-2012 with his savings. "This is theft, pure and simple."

Posted by little professor @ 07:43 PM 13 Comments

Most people with ISAs have very little in them

Telegraph: Only 15pc of Isa customers have used their whole allowance

Savers aged 25 to 34 have an average balance of £2,712, which is less than half of the current annual cash Isa allowance of £5,640.With the average balance increasing to £4,389 for those aged between 35 and 44 and rises again to £7,330 for customers between 45 and 54. So we roughly put in £1500 on average for every 10 years of our age which is very roughly £100/year with accumulated interest. Quite sad really.

Posted by enuii @ 10:12 AM 2 Comments

Beware your bank account is at risk!

BBC: Eurozone and IMF agree 10bn-euro Cyprus bailout deal

"The deal also involves a levy on bank deposits intended to ensure investors contribute to the bailout", the BBC's Andrew Walker in Brussels reports. "The Cypriot economy accounts for barely 0.2% of the eurozone's overall output". (However, Mme Lagarde has set a precedent for Euroland with a cash raid on deposits - it's like a tax, isn't it?).

Posted by alan @ 09:05 AM 21 Comments

Friday, March 15, 2013

Five-year fix from just 2.64 per cent First Direct launch three new best-buy fixed rate mortgages

First Direct are launching three new market-leading mortgages on Friday March 15th 2013. The lender, recent winner of the Consumer Moneyfacts Remortgage Buyers' Choice award will unveil a new set of fixed rate and tracker mortgages for borrowers with a 35 per cent deposit.

Posted by ben @ 09:05 AM 7 Comments

Chelsea BS cut mortgage costs for 75% LTV borrowers Chelsea BS reduce rate and fees on 2-year fix to 2.54%

Chelsea Building Society is cutting the rate on its two-year fixed rate mortgage down to 2.54 per cent from 2.64 per cent. The lender will also cut the fee down to £745.

Posted by ben @ 09:03 AM 6 Comments

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Another €40 billion, please, I "bet big"

WSJ-E: EU Court Rules Against Spanish Mortgage Laws

"A ruling from the European Union's top court will force Spain to make it easier for mortgage holders to escape foreclosure by challenging onerous mortgage terms in court. Today's decision from the EU Court of Justice could open the door for thousands of Spaniards to renegotiate tough mortgages, but risks hurting Spain's efforts to fix a broken banking sector. Madrid has already asked other euro-zone countries for some €40 billion in loans to prop up local lenders that had bet big on real estate during a decadelong economic boom. The number of court-sanctioned evictions in Spain has climbed steadily since 2008 when real-estate prices began plummeting. Rising unemployment, now at about 26%, is making it even more difficult for homeowners to meet mortgage payments"

Posted by alan @ 06:43 PM 1 Comments

House prices being kept artificially high being to enter the public consciousness

BBC: HP kept artificially high - discussed on Today

Problem with ageing population and high house prices - in at 1:36:00

Posted by hpwatcher @ 02:51 PM 3 Comments

Come along to stand up to the homeownerists!

Evening Standard: London Housing Debate

6.45pm - 8:00pm, Wednesday 20 March, Emmanuel Centre, Westminster Doors open at 6pm. Admission strictly by ticket only.

Posted by mombers @ 01:02 PM 3 Comments

Paying over the odds for a neighbour with tidy gutters is money down the drain

Planet Property Blog: Brits willing to pay for good neighbours

It's impossible to know whether or not you'll get on with your neighbours when you buy a new home. So we rely on visual clues, and this comes at a price. According to research by Churchill Insurers the vast majority of estate agents think a well maintained home next door will increase the sale value of a property by an average of 12%.

Posted by property addict @ 12:22 PM 0 Comments

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Running headlong into a train crash

Reuters: Britain’s fiscal failure

How the Cameron's confusion over and misunderstanding of basic economics is leading us down the proverbial pan as he does all he can to protect the property market. Cameron boasts in the speech that “it is now possible to buy a new home anywhere in the country with only a 5% deposit, and at very low interest rates,” and worries that “even just a 1 per cent rise in mortgage interest rates would cost the average family £1,000 in extra debt service payments”. As the prime minister himself notes, “we had over-indebted households borrowing from over-indebted banks”. So why does he expect monetary policy to achieve much? He evidently thinks people should borrow less…

Posted by stuartking @ 09:09 PM 8 Comments


AboutProperty: Should Boris stop rampant London house price growth?

Boris Johnson should research the potentially corrosive impact of overseas investment on London's housing market, the London assembly say. Caroline Pidgeon warned of the risk caused by an "artificial housing bubble" being inflated beyond the means of ordinary Londoners, in a motion put before the assembly.

Posted by phil @ 04:59 PM 0 Comments

Hard working, hard pressed landowners

Evening Standard (MBVNIF): Rents rocket in Soho, new hotspot for chefs

Property rents are rocketing in Soho as top chefs and restaurant chains battle for prime spots. Kurt Zdesar, the man behind successful dim sum restaurant Ping Pong, has recently paid more than £1 million to open an outlet in Frith Street and other sites are subject to bidding wars. Experts say business is out-stripping levels from the last boom a decade ago with the completion of Crossrail instrumental in attracting investment.

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 03:39 PM 3 Comments

Five tips for rent seeking

Torygraph: Five tips for buy-to-let investors

Frist step 1. Identify future hot spots Estate agents and property developers are always keen to identify the next "hot spot" that will buck market trends and report double-digit growth. In London, for example, Knight Frank has identified Nine Elms in Battersea, Earls Court and Paddington as ripe for big price rises, thanks to development plans. But being in inner London, properties in these areas will already command a large price tag. There may be more attractive opportunities outside the capital. Keep an eye on transport and regeneration plans, as well as any employment initiatives, as these can boost house prices. In other words, get someone else to build something for you at their expense, then charge people for its use. Effort-free returns!

Posted by mombers @ 02:02 PM 5 Comments

London house sells for record-breaking £80 million

Planet Property: London house sells for record-breaking £80 million

One Cornwall Terrace - advertised for £100m - has sold for a mere £80m to property tycoon Marcus Cooper. Stamp duty: £12m!

Posted by the planet @ 12:14 PM 5 Comments

Vatican owns building with Europe's biggest gay sauna

Planet Property: Vatican owns building with Europe's biggest gay sauna

The Catholic church owns a £21 million share of an apartment block in Rome which is home to the biggest gay sauna in Europe. It's also home to a Cardinal and 18 priests ...

Posted by the planet @ 11:54 AM 1 Comments

Because a mortgage is the only cost of ownership...

Torygraph: Buying vs renting: Five cities where renting is still cheaper

Buying is cheaper because homeowners don't have to get a repayment mortgage, spend anything on maintenance, insurance or stamp duty, and get 0% on their deposit if it were in the bank instead of in home equity. Absolutely useless homeownerist comparison

Posted by mombers @ 10:01 AM 4 Comments

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Government scheme to get over indebted-households to borrow more and to transfer wealth to bankers

Grauniad: NewBuy mortgage scheme for first-time buyers to expand to 'second-steppers'

The government is planning to underwrite mortgages to "second steppers" in a bid to throw more money at the banks and encourage those in or on the verge of negative equity to take on *more* debt, cunningly exacerbating one venal iniquity and one social catastrophe with a single deft measure. The Grauniad compliantly states that the main problem is that "second steppers" can't secure enough of a deposit currently to take on a bigger debt. Clearly lower prices would be no help whatsoever!!

Posted by nickb @ 11:01 PM 8 Comments

Govt to help increase voids in BTL

BBC News: Tenants' rent arrears soar in pilot benefit scheme

"Rent arrears among tenants on a government pilot project that pays housing benefit directly to recipients have seen a big increase, figures show... Paying housing benefit directly to recipients, rather than their landlords, will form a key part of the planned new Universal Credit... Figures obtained by BBC News show that arrears among tenants of Wakefield and District Housing in West Yorkshire have increased from an average of 2% to 11% on the pilot projects... One tenant failing to cope is Margaret Tonks, a single mother from Broseley, Shropshire... 'By them paying the money directly to me it created temptation to use it for other things which has resulted in me being in arrears and possibly being evicted.'"

Posted by dude @ 05:14 PM 5 Comments

How much longer can Whitehall afford to interest rates artificially low?

Telegraph: UK on track for triple dip - NIESR

Britain is on track for a triple-dip recession, one of the nation’s leading forecasters has signalled, as new figures on the UK’s manufacturing industry dealt a blow to recovery hopes and sent sterling crashing to a fresh two-and-a-half year low. The economy shrank by 0.1pc in the three months to February, the National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR) estimated, which followed a 0.3pc decline in the final quarter of last year. If figures show the economy contracted in the three months to March, the UK will officially be declared to be suffering its third recession since the financial crisis of 2008.

Posted by hpwatcher @ 04:11 PM 2 Comments

No need to be unemployed. Head off (excuse the pun) to Saudi to save for your home deposit

Huffington Post: Saudi Arabia May Abolish Beheadings Due To Shortage Of Swordsmen

Off topic I agree, but worth a read - especially if you are looking for a job or fancy a career change.

Posted by crash n burn @ 01:06 PM 5 Comments

More jobs for Polish and Bulgarian builders at low rates

Telegraph: With £100bn of quantitative easing cash we could rebuild Britain brick by brick

"The idea is simple: to commit £100bn from the existing quantitative easing programme to building new council and housing association homes over the next five to seven years. Based on accepted industry ratios, this would create an extra million homes in the UK and generate 500,000 ongoing jobs".

Posted by alan @ 08:54 AM 32 Comments

RICS surveyors optimistic about property market in 2013 RICS reports house sales at highest level since June 2010

The latest survey by the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) shows that house sales have reached a two-and-a-half year high. The data for February shows that chartered surveyors sold an average of 17 homes in the three months to the end of February, the highest sales level since June 2010.

Posted by ben @ 08:35 AM 3 Comments

Monday, March 11, 2013

More trouble on the way?

The Atlantic Cities: The Great Senior Sell-Off Could Cause the Next Housing Crisis

US report looks at the demographics of home ownership and suggests there will be too few people with the sort of income or lifestyle to be able or want to buy their homes. Interesting if the same logic can be applied to our housing situation here

Posted by stuartking @ 10:16 PM 3 Comments

London balance of power shifts to tenants as stock levels rise

Planet Property: London balance of power shifts to tenants as stock levels rise

The supply of rental property in central London - boosted by buy-to-let and overseas investors - is outstripping demand and putting pressure on rents ...

Posted by the planet @ 02:02 PM 4 Comments

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Medicate the housing market and save the economy

Telegraph: Pill to live to 150

Sign on the dotted line for your 50-75-100 year mortgage and work till your 100+ and the house of your dreams will be supplied along with your medication, failure to take your medication will breach the terms of your mortgage and result in repossession. Once upon a time newspapers used to be full of actual news.

Posted by enuii @ 08:08 PM 3 Comments

No Ref, I didn't dive!

Telegraph: IMF faces losing second French boss

"She is facing accusations of “complicity in embezzlement” of public funds for instigating an arbitration process that awarded £348m to Bernard Tapie, a businessman who claimed to have been defrauded by a state-owned bank in the 1990s". "Lagarde’s lawyer called it “absurd” to imagine her diverting public funds for the profit of the businessman and Lagarde said recently: “Do I look like a friend of Bernard Tapie?”. (Ignore the facts, just judge my looks).

Posted by alan @ 02:38 PM 0 Comments

Saturday, March 9, 2013

'Second Steppers' find life grim on the bottom rung after 4 years or so

This is money: 'Second-steppers' struggle to climb the property ladder thanks to a lack of first time buyers and high deposit demands

Statistically rich article that basically points out that 61% of 'second steppers' can't make it and are stuck in their FTB properties with around 40% having lost all the value of their original deposit on their existing home. Biggest reason for moving 53% was unsurprisingly that their current home was too small for various reasons.

Posted by enuii @ 10:58 AM 16 Comments

Not just FTBers priced out

Telegraph: UK housing market is stuck on the second step

Higher property prices mean getting up "the ladder" is more expensive - duh! Naturally, the solution is to provide more "support" to people who want to borrow more money: Stephen Noakes, Lloyds TSB mortgage director, said: "If second steppers get stuck on the first rung, movement at the bottom half of the ladder comes to a standstill, and this bottleneck will not only restrict the supply of starter properties but will have a knock-on effect across the whole of the housing market. "It is vital that this group of home movers receives more support and attention, as they play an intrinsic role in getting the housing market moving again."

Posted by quiet guy @ 10:55 AM 4 Comments

Tide in thought beginning to turn?

The Specator: Vince Cable: Tory ‘ideologues’ waging ‘jihad’ against public spending

Vince Cable managed to hit all the Lib Dem spots last night with his fringe speech at the Lib Dem spring conference. He didn’t just mention the words ‘land value tax’, which set many Lib Dem heads nodding away with approval, but also managed to say ‘there’s no such thing as a free lunch’ in Swahili, and accuse right-wing Conservatives of waging ‘jihad’ against public spending and public services.

Posted by stuartking @ 10:53 AM 1 Comments

Reap what you sow

Guardian: Britain: a nation in decay

The UK's problems go far deeper than the cuts agenda. It simply can't produce enough to revive its ailing economy.

Posted by dill @ 09:58 AM 1 Comments

They own property, give them money

Guardian: A year on, who receives government subsidy for housing now?

Analysis of favourable tax treatment to home buyers and BTL brigade by John Perry, policy adviser to the Chartered Institute of Housing. The total annual subsidy to the BTL sector has now reached £8.6bn, or 40% of the benefit bill. Hidden tax reliefs to owner occupiers now worth an estimated net £14bn Favourable tax treatment is a factor in house prices being so high , and in effect is a subsidy to existing owners at the expense of those who want to own but can't.

Posted by stuartking @ 09:27 AM 2 Comments

Taxpayers subsidise BTL landlords

Daily Wail: Crackdown on housing benefit has seen a 75% fall on those receiving over £30,000

Fall in number of households claiming more than £30,000 per year housing benefit, but a rise in the number of households claiming the benefit - of course, what the Wail doesn't explain to its intellectually challenged readers is that billions of pounds of what's paid out annually goes straight into the pockets of BTL landlords

Posted by stuartking @ 09:15 AM 0 Comments

How to make light of a crisis

Times: And we’re off... late

Why will real valuations in the UK collapse, perhaps this random piece explains with their opening lines "More than two years after a new tram network was scheduled to open in Edinburgh, a vehicle finally ran along a short length of track yesterday,"

Posted by stillthinking @ 02:25 AM 5 Comments

Friday, March 8, 2013

Synchronised Swimming (..backwards in treacle)

Reuters: ECB should cut rates, allow higher inflation - Lagarde

"The euro zone may need higher inflation in countries like Germany and lower interest rates across the bloc to ensure a sustained economic recovery brings palpable benefits, the head of the IMF said on Friday, speaking during a visit to bailed-out Ireland".

Posted by alan @ 02:06 PM 4 Comments

“There are plenty of mortgage prisoners who will have no choice but to pay the increased rates"

Moneymarketing: Brokers slam 'utterly repugnant' BoI rate hike

Brokers have slammed Bank of Ireland’s move to hike tracker rates for residential and buy-to-let borrowers as “utterly repugnant”.Last week it emerged the bank is writing to 13,500 buy-to-let and residential customers on tracker mortgages informing them it is more than doubling the base-rate differential it charges.Those on buy-to-let mortgages will see the rate jump from Bank of England base rate plus 1.75 per cent to base plus 4.49 per cent from 1 May.

Posted by jack c @ 10:31 AM 23 Comments

Spring Bounce comes early House prices climb £1,355 in February

Richard Sexton, director of e.surv comments: “February’s figures paint a much warmer picture for the housing market. Values have climbed £8,154 in the past twelve months and the 0.6% monthly increase in February is one of the biggest monthly increases seen in the past fifteen months. “The housing market is beginning to change gears and pick up some momentum. February sales leapt up by 15%: that’s five times the usual seasonal rise thanks to improved mortgage availability and cheaper funding. The Funding for Lending scheme is allowing lenders to reduce mortgage rates and this has led to a mini-revival in the first time buyer market. High LTV lending is forming a bigger overall share of lending and credit scoring is easing."

Posted by doomwatch @ 09:00 AM 3 Comments

Ready for the buck pass, guys?

Telegraph: Osborne's growth plan: Over to the Bank

"If the runes are being read correctly, the next big push for growth will come not in the Budget later this month, but on July 1 — the day Mark Carney starts at the Bank of England". (or...the latest moves for keeping house prices high).

Posted by alan @ 08:07 AM 4 Comments

Chelsea outdo HSBC on cheapest two-year fix Chelsea BS launch two-year fixed rate mortgage at 1.74%

The Chelsea Building Society has launched a new two-year fixed rate mortgage at a rate of just 1.74 per cent. The new product is available to borrowers with a 60 per cent loan-to-value (LTV) ratio and comes with a fee of £1,695.

Posted by ben @ 08:05 AM 0 Comments

The whispers are getting louder

Telegraph: Euro Group head says UK at risk of 'sterling crisis'

The pound’s recent slide could be the start of “a new sterling crisis” sparked by concerns about the state of the public finances, according to the Euro Group’s new president.

Posted by dill @ 04:21 AM 1 Comments

Thursday, March 7, 2013

We own land... oh hang on, no we don't, so just give us some for free and then give us money!

Chartered Institute of Housing: Take radical decisions on public land to help tackle housing shortage

“One example of public land being used successfully is the London Olympics so it can happen – we need to make it happen again.” Grainia Long was taking part in a panel discussion on getting Britain building again, chaired by BBC home affairs editor Mark Easton. Her point was echoed by fellow panellist Peter Quinn, business development director at Lovell Partnerships. He said: “Rather than a subsidy government could release land for free for social and private homes.” Grainia Long added: “If we are going to build the homes we need to deal with our housing crisis we need a building programme on the scale of which we haven’t seen for decades.

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 12:47 PM 19 Comments

Winners and losers of four years of record low base rate The verdict on 4 years of Bank of England record low base rate

The Bank of England base rate has been at a record low of 0.50 per cent for four years now and in that time some people have benefitted and some have lost out.

Posted by ben @ 12:24 PM 5 Comments

Bank maintains QE programme at £375bn and base rate at 0.50% Bank holds fire on QE as it appears King outvoted again

The Bank of England has decided to keep base rate at 0.50 per cent and to maintain the asset purchase programme of quantitative easing at £375 billion.

Posted by ben @ 12:22 PM 2 Comments

If the people want the heads of the Bankers, the Generals are ok with that.

New Statesman: Greece: A promise from the army has been obtained to not intervene against a civil uprising

'Greece' as a nation, no longer exists . The politicians chose to sign away everything, the parthenon, the acroplois, their very lives and labour, when they were 'bailed out' Nothing in Greece is owned by Greeks. But the people were not asked. The worlds oldest democracy only exists today as a red entry on a balance sheet. Greece is not a sovereign nation.

Posted by andy thomas @ 10:17 AM 6 Comments

Out with the old (corruption) and in with the new (values)

Guardian: Let's build more homes – who wouldn't vote for that?

Politicians are trying to dodge it, but the way to heal our warped housing market is to invest for the public benefit again.

Posted by dill @ 09:43 AM 3 Comments

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

£1bn economic payday...

AboutProperty: Housebuilding 'can save' UK economy

Building 100,000 new homes could add as much as £1bn to the UK's GDP, industry experts estimate. The country's stuttering economic performance could be boosted by such a move claim the experts, making a correlation between the low levels of housebuilding and continuing financial mire.

Posted by phil @ 03:45 PM 0 Comments

More political support for LVT

Liberal Democrat Voice: Lo-Tax for the Lib-Dems

Lib-Democrats debate Lo-Tax, aka Land Value Tax. One of the comments begins: "A very welcome proposal that is one of the most significant policy initiative the Lib Dems have ever made."

Posted by stuartking @ 03:28 PM 5 Comments

Pity the poor Bankers

The Standard: Bankers on Wonga

An article inviting sympathy for the well heeled who have to resort to using payday loans to struggle through the month. A mix of £1000 handbags, gambling, cocaine and not being very good with money (given the state of the economy didn't we already know that?). I almost ran out of tissues.

Posted by johnycoldears @ 02:12 PM 1 Comments

FLS - definitely a factor!

Telegraph: House prices post largest annual rise in two years

At £163,600 on average, prices were 1.9pc higher than a year earlier and the lender said it expects to see a national increase in house prices over the course of 2013. The annual increase was the highest recorded since September 2010, and prices were also up by 0.5pc on a month-on-month basis. That follows a 0.3pc fall in house prices in January, according to Halifax. Various studies have reported improvements to the housing market since the Government started a scheme last August to boost lending.

Posted by hpwatcher @ 10:58 AM 16 Comments

House prices rise by 0.5 per cent in February Halifax reports UK house prices up by 1.9% in last quarter

The latest Halifax house price index shows that house prices went up by 0.5 per cent in February and by 1.9 per cent in the three months to February, compared with the previous three months.

Posted by ben @ 09:34 AM 0 Comments

MWs already onto it in the comments ...

New Statesman: Through the keyhole

Introducing a week of stories on the state of housing in the UK. "The whole of British housing policy can be seen as an effort to reduce the cost of housing without affecting house prices ... and that's a doomed attempt from the start."

Posted by greenmind @ 08:44 AM 3 Comments


Mail: 'Ticking timebomb' endowment shortfalls will leave over 400,000 facing home sale

Payouts on the top policies have tumbled from their peak of £100,000-plus in previous years to barely £35,000 today. Some are paying out as little as £24,600.

Posted by happy mondays @ 07:12 AM 4 Comments

Rewards for success and rewards for failure

Mindful Money: Shaun Richards: On every measure the Bank of England not only has failed but is failing

This week is a crucial one for the UK economy as the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meets on Wednesday before announcing the results of its deliberations on Thursday. If we add some recent poor economic data to an MPC of which 3 members out of 9 voted for an extra £25 billion of Quantitative Easing (QE) last time around then we have to start to wonder if the 3 will grow to the necessary 5 to enact such a policy. Added to the mix was the data yesterday about the Bank of England’s prized Funding for Lending Scheme which is turned out has provided some £14 billion of cheap funding to our banks so that they can lend some £2.4 billion less. Yes less is the new more!

Posted by quiet guy @ 12:55 AM 0 Comments

Let us build homes!

Bloomberg: Britain’s Missing Infrastructure Billions Blamed on Government

The UK’s biggest investors, insurance companies and pension funds, want to put billions of pounds into British infrastructure, including housing, creating jobs and growth in an economy that is still smaller than it was in 2009. The government is preventing them, they say.

Posted by stuartking @ 12:45 AM 4 Comments

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Landlord’s claiming possession hits five year high

Planet Property: Landlord’s claiming possession hits five year high

Nothing going on but the rent .... but tenants struggling to pay. The number of landlords seeking possession via court orders continue to rise, according to the Government’s latest Court statistics ...

Posted by the planet @ 04:06 PM 1 Comments

When is another bank bailout not a bailout?... I wish there was a funny punchline.

Guardian: Bank lending falls by £2.7bn in final quarter of 2012, says Bank of England

Proof (if any where required) that the much trumpeted funding for lending scheme is an epic White Elephant and has only benefited (some) homeys remortgaging and the obvioulsy the banks balance sheets, not least because they have just sat on the money forwarded to them (and earnt interest on it) and secondly because they have ripped off savers as they dont need their deposit money anymore (it seems) Another bailout, another betrayal of the country by overpaid halfwits and those purported to be putting us back on track (after screwing up big time pre 2007)

Posted by ajax23 @ 10:48 AM 3 Comments

A nation of renters

Dailiy Mirror: Great Tory housing shame: Third of ex-council homes now owned by rich landlords

The multi-millionaire son of a Tory minister who presided over the controversial “right-to -buy” scheme is a buy-to-let landlord owning scores of former council flats. A Daily Mirror investigation found a third of ex-council homes sold in the 1980s under Margaret Thatcher were now owned by private landlords. In one London borough almost half of ex-council properties are now sub-let to tenants. Tycoon Charles Gow and his wife own at least 40 ex-council flats on one South London estate. His father Ian Gow was one of Mrs Thatcher’s top aides and was Housing Minister during the peak years of right-to-buy.

Posted by stuartking @ 10:14 AM 8 Comments

Chin up, at least your assets have retained their value

Citywire: Savers vs borrowers: what an unfair fight

Champion of the wrinklies, Ros Altmann bemoans the effect of ZIRP on savers. Of course, her VI is the pensioners but a worthwhile argument nonetheless.

Posted by sibley's b'stard child @ 09:31 AM 3 Comments


Telegraph: HMRC targets second home sales

HM Revenue & Customs is launching a campaign today targeting people who sold second homes without declaring any profits made to the taxman.

Posted by dill @ 07:23 AM 4 Comments

Monday, March 4, 2013

Tax? That's not for us...

The Atlantic: Corporate Profits Are Eating the Economy

Corporate profits have soared, in the last decade especially, particularly because of three things: Globalization has pushed down the cost of labor available to multinational corporations; technology has allowed companies to make more with fewer workers, in general; and Big Finance has gobbled up the economy, as the banks' share of total corporate profits has tripled to about one-third since the middle of the last century, according to Evan Soltas. No wonder the gap between the top one per cent and the rest in widening, year on year. What happened to Maggie Thatcher's "trickle down effect"?

Posted by stuartking @ 08:42 PM 15 Comments

Virgin Money cuts mortgage rates Virgin Money cut rates across entire mortgage range

Virgin Money has unveiled further rate reductions of up to 0.1 per cent across its entire residential mortgage range.

Posted by ben @ 05:52 PM 0 Comments

Bill for private renters up by £7.7 bn since 2008

Planet Property: Bill for private renters up by £7.7 bn since 2008

Private renters in England paid a total of £7.7 billion more in 2012 than in 2008 .... yep, £7.7 bn.

Posted by the planet @ 11:36 AM 0 Comments

Nationwide reverse ban on loans to landlords with tenants on benefits

Planet Property: Nationwide reverse ban on loans to landlords with tenants on benefits

A very swift u-turn by The Mortgage Works (Nationwide's buy to let arm) after last week's decision to stop lending to landlords with tenants on benefits

Posted by the planet @ 11:26 AM 0 Comments

Generational betrayal...

AboutProperty: Young people 'denied opportunities' by elders

Young people are being denied the opportunities enjoyed by their parents and grandparents, a study by the Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) suggests. Just 43 per cent of 25 to 34-year-olds owned their own home in 2012, down from 67 per cent in 1992. ...but the over 65s are the biggest winners with their home ownership up from 60 per cent to 76 per cent.

Posted by phil @ 10:54 AM 0 Comments


Guardian: House price divide widens

London shows seasonal upturn alongside slight decreases in the north, according to monthly national housing survey.

Posted by dill @ 09:59 AM 0 Comments

Taxpayers Allinace condemsn Bank Bailouts

Telegraph: Taxpayers got a terrible deal out of Bank Bailouts.

Regulators and politicians need to be held to account for using taxpayers money to bail out banks. There is no prospect of getting any of the cash back.

Posted by andy @ 08:54 AM 6 Comments

Cool the reactor or face the fallout

Guardian: Leading economies must shakeup tax regimes to combat next recession

OECD argues that western economies that rely on income and transaction taxes must switch to wealth and consumption taxes.

Posted by dill @ 08:21 AM 6 Comments

Game Changing collapse of GBP vs USD

Yahoo Finance: USD to GBP Chart

Well, check out the chart above, and you will see that the recent drop in Sterling looks like a break out from the more stable pattern that has characterized Sterling's stability against the USD to circa 1.55 USD to the pound since its COLLAPSE in 2008 from 2-USD to the pound to 1.4. Looks like our trade surplus with America and the rest of the world is about to increase and maybe our deficit with the EU is about ti reduce, but hold your hat for significant internal inflation and a sudden drop in Sterling. This correction is the medicine, but remember that loose monetary policy made it necessary in the first place. Got gold?

Posted by libertas @ 06:45 AM 6 Comments

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Tax is only for the little man

Daily Mail: Revealed: One in four of the UK's top companies pay no tax while we give THEM millions in credits

While households are being squeezed by cuts, almost a quarter of top UK companies pay no tax at all. Another good reason for a Land Value Tax - companies won't be able to hide from it

Posted by stuartking @ 08:21 PM 17 Comments

Even the dead can't afford somewhere to live!

Exeter Express & Echo: More than 100 people buried at public expense in Exeter

Growing number of relative who can't afford to bury their loved ones - however, two of them left estates valued at £500,000-plus. Oxfam says: A spokesman for poverty charity Oxfam said: “It is very sad to see the poorest in our society hardest hit. “We need to see income being distributed more fairly if we are to make any impact on reducing levels of poverty. “If we carry on down this path the UK will return to inequality not seen since Victorian times.” We are already there aren't we... or at least soon will be.

Posted by stuartking @ 02:01 PM 15 Comments

Friday, March 1, 2013

Draw your own conclusions

Land Registry: House Price (beta)

H/T to noyk (on the forum) for this flag.

Posted by dill @ 07:27 PM 5 Comments

Bear nibbles for the Weekend sir?

Reuters: UK heads for triple dip as factories slump, mortgage lending slides

unexpected drop in mortgage approvals, first time since the FFL scheme was introduced, Mortgage approvals fell to 54,719 in January from 55,632 in December, short of analysts' forecasts for a rise to 56,500

Posted by pete green @ 02:43 PM 5 Comments

"...the result of over-inflated prices at point of the initial sale"

Telegraph: Almost 90pc of repossessed homes sold on at loss

In Fitch's Residential Property Value Analysis report. it said 87pc of homes that have been repossessed since the start of the financial crisis have been sold at a loss. This means properties are being sold at a price below the balance of the remaining mortgage.

Posted by dill @ 01:30 PM 2 Comments

Bankers rubbing our noses in it

Daily Mail: Rise in value of a London flat enough to buy a house in the North

House prices in Britain’s most exclusive neighbourhood have soared by a record-breaking £120,000 in the past year – while values have stalled or fallen in most of the country. It means homeowners in Kensington and Chelsea, West London, saw the worth of their properties rise by enough to pay for an entire house in many UK regions. And some experts say one of the main factors fuelling the ever-growing north-south property divide is the huge bonuses paid to bankers and other City workers.

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 11:10 AM 2 Comments

Hous prices falling, as measured by inflation

Reuters: UK house prices inch up in February, as forecast - Nationwide

British house prices ticked up in February compared to January as expected but registered little change from a year earlier, data from mortgage lender Nationwide showed on Friday.

Posted by dohousescrashinthewoods @ 07:27 AM 14 Comments

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