April 2013 Archive

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Property Auctions are the best way for a quick house sale

Iam-sold Property Auctions: Property auction sales hit six-year high

Success in property auction rooms up and down the country is increasing for buyers and sellers alike. Companies like iam-sold are leading the way with intelligent modern auction methods with less risk to everyone involved.

Posted by daniel @ 08:12 PM 0 Comments

Who needs stability anyway?

Telegraph: George Osborne tells FPC to focus on short-term growth

"The Chancellor has instructed the Bank of England to prioritise short term growth over financial stability even if it means letting banks take bigger risks".

Posted by alan @ 06:27 PM 6 Comments

Halifax offers to pay stamp duty for FTB's until July 7th

Myfinances.co.uk: Halifax to cover stamp duty for first-time buyers

The Halifax has announced that it will pay cashback to first-time buyers to cover the cost of their stamp duty bill. It will allow first-time buyers to reclaim the full one per cent tax bill on property purchases valued between £125,000 and £250,000.

Posted by ben @ 04:41 PM 0 Comments

Dr Doom - "emerging bubbles"

Fundweb: Dr Doom: Markets heading for bubbles as Fed commits ‘massive fraud’

The loose monetary policy being pursued by the US Federal Reserve is increasing the risk of bubbles emerging in equity and credit markets in the short term, Nouriel Roubini warns. Writing on Project Syndicate, the New York University economics professor points out that the Fed is likely to maintain its third, indefinate bout of quantitative easing for the foreseeable future owing to the weak economic growth, high unemployment and below-target inflation blighting the world’s largest economy. The Fed unveiled QE3 on 13 September 2012, initially pledging to buy $40bn in agency mortgage-backed securities a month and later increasing this to $85bn a month. This bout of QE followed two earlier rounds that pumped about $1.75trn and then $600bn into the financial system.

Posted by jack c @ 02:40 PM 17 Comments

Quality of the organic veg, milfs etc supports high house prices

Daily Mashfastic: Waitrose top for organic vegetables, customer service and milfs

As researchers claim that a Waitrose branch can increase local house prices by 50%, customers praised the store’s tasty organic fare, knowledgeable staff and the way it is teeming with smoking hot, sexually confident mums. Well, this explains everything...........

Posted by chazza @ 01:24 PM 0 Comments

Mortgage approvals jump in March but lending to small firms falls

Myfinances.co.uk: Mortgage approvals jump in March as FLS boosts supply of credit

The Bank of England has published its latest review of lending to individuals and businesses. The data shows that lending for mortgages rose in March, up by £0.43 billion as mortgage approvals rose from 51,947 in February to 53,504 in March, higher than expected.

Posted by ben @ 01:05 PM 0 Comments

Is this the start of some common sense? Build, build, build!

Guardian: Labour's golden policy key? Build, build and build more

But if Miliband needs a golden policy key, housebuilding looks set to be it. Build a million homes to cut housing benefit waste, employ hundreds of thousands, create apprenticeships, breathe life into the real economy, stop house price bubbles, replace those right-to-buy social homes. Building is not just good policy, but the best symbol for optimism

Posted by bankside @ 12:30 PM 4 Comments

Retail account managers told to consider house prices in demand forecasts

KAM news: The Waitrose effect on house-values: a 'chicken or egg' issue?

Savills Estate Agents have examined how the cost of homes with a Waitrose in the same postcode compares to those in the rest of the same county. The verdict was that the typical price of properties with a nearby branch was 25.3 per cent higher.

Posted by joshy @ 11:41 AM 5 Comments

They don't build on school playing fields anymore do they?

Planet Property Blog: Gove attempts land grab for free school

Tempers are fraying in the Hove V Gove showdown as a disputed five-acre field used by a school, a sixth form college, and hundreds of local residents every day, is snatched by the government as a site for a new C of E free school. Using new legislation ‘the greenest government ever’ has the right to determine how land that has been used for educational purposes in the past should be used in future. And they don’t have to pay a penny for it.

Posted by property addict @ 10:54 AM 0 Comments

But aren't house price booms supposed to be a good thing?

Telegraph: One in five over-55s wants to downsize

"more than three-quarters of pensioners now own homes, compared with little more than half two decades ago. Conversely, the past decade has seen a “dramatic fall” in home ownership among under-45s. For all this pain for younger households, high house prices are bringing little benefit to older people since so few are unlocking their housing wealth during their own lifetimes," So who are the big winners from the housing boom if it's not pensioners or young families?

Posted by quiet guy @ 12:19 AM 19 Comments

Monday, April 29, 2013

House prices predicted to further crash around Europe

Daiky telegraph: S&P sees deepening house slump in Spain, France and Holland

Article describing how Spainish prices are likely to fall by 13 percent this year as the banks dump property on the market and what's also happening in Holland,France and ireland. How long is it going to be before UK and especially London prices are going to look stupidly out of sink with Europe? Also if any of these countries break free from the Euro and go back to their old currency property in Europe could look comparably very cheap for international investors

Posted by britishblue @ 08:12 PM 4 Comments

Oh, come on. Do have another loan!

Bloomberg: Danes as Most-Indebted in World Resist Credit

"After the real estate bubble burst in 2008, house prices plunged more than 20 percent, wiping out more than 12 banks and driving the economy into a recession that lasted into 2009". "Danes, the most indebted people in the world, are losing their appetite for credit. After amassing personal debt equal to almost three times income, mortgage borrowing grew at the slowest pace last quarter since 2000, the Assoc of Danish Mortgage Banks said this month. Bank lending at Nordea Bank Denmark A/S, the country’s second-largest lender, fell to its lowest in more than a year. The government of Helle Thorning-Schmidt has extended tax rebates for Danes refurbishing their homes in an effort to encourage spending. Stimulus measures total 75 billion kroner ($13 billion)" (Cameron take note).

Posted by alan @ 05:50 PM 2 Comments

All Spanish property for sale or rent from June 2013 requires EPC

Expatica: Understanding EPC housing regulations in Spain

From this June, every domestic property for sale in Spain will require an energy performance certificate (EPC) which is regulated by the EC directive 2002/91/EC. This article looks at what this means to both owners and buyers of property in Spain and how to obtain an EPC.

Posted by mark shaw @ 05:18 PM 1 Comments

UK most expensive in Europe for renters

Planet Property: UK most expensive in Europe for renters

Be proud, Britain, be proud: it costs more to share a flat here than anywhere in Western Europe

Posted by the planet @ 04:35 PM 0 Comments

Under the hood

Guardian: Virgin undervalued my house by £50,000

Estate Agent says one thing, qualified Surveyor says another.

Posted by dill @ 02:37 PM 4 Comments

12 per cent increase over five years, compared to nine per cent for other properties

Myfinances.co.uk: Halifax reveals New Build properties rise in value quicker

New research from the Halifax reveals that the average price of a new-build house has gone up by 12 per cent over the past five years to £233,822. This is three per cent higher than the average UK house price including all properties.

Posted by ben @ 02:10 PM 1 Comments

Land Registry HPI shows wide regional variations in house prices

Myfinances.co.uk: Land Registry reports house prices up by 0.1% in March

House prices in England and Wales went up by 0.1 per cent in March, according to the latest House Price Index published by the Land Registry. It means the average property is now valued at £161,793 in the UK and prices have risen by a total of 0.9 per cent over the past year.

Posted by ben @ 01:00 PM 1 Comments

Are new-build prices really outpacing rest of market?

Planet Property: Are new-build prices really outpacing rest of market?

Halifax says yes, but as we all know there are lies, damned lies and statistics ... except in this case, the statistics leave a lot to be desired

Posted by the planet @ 11:28 AM 0 Comments

Property prices in the capital rose 0.7 percent in April

Reuters: London property being snapped up as quickly as before 2007 crisis

House prices in London have been supported by international demand, with the market seen as a safe haven at a time of uncertainty in the euro area - say Reuters. "Property in London is being snapped more quickly than at any time since October 2007 when the market hit its peak before the financial crisis", according to figures from real estate data firm Hometrack. (Ultra low returns from savings and fear of higher inflation underlies sentiments).

Posted by alan @ 10:00 AM 0 Comments

UK house prices up 0.3% in April, according to Hometrack

Myfinances.co.uk: UK house prices rise for 3rd month in a row helped by London

Hometrack believe that the fundamental indicators of a healthy property market are back in place in London with the capital driving the overall rise in house prices. Its latest monthly survey shows that house prices rose by 0.3 per cent on a monthly basis in April. Price increases have been influenced by a lack of new homes coming onto the market.

Posted by ben @ 09:24 AM 0 Comments

Sunday, April 28, 2013

GDP and Construction

The Economist: Britain’s economy: Just better than nothing

Interesting article about how construction is still a drag on the economy but is expected to turn around soon with the FLS allowing small builders to build again. Whenever I read pieces like this, it seems obvious to me that the economy will not grow until the companies have more confidence in the economy. That confidence will not return until the zombie banks, households and companies all face the reckoning that the many props to the housing market are postponing. It's a vicious cycle of stagnation.

Posted by reticent @ 09:50 PM 7 Comments

He owes money on land - give hime money.

Limerick Leader: West Limerick farmer’s protest reaches 250 day mark

Seamus Sherlock has now spent more than 250 days living behind a barricade to the entrance of his home in Feohanagh, which he erected after he was served with a repossession notice over an unpaid €400,000 loan from Bank of Scotland. ..... Neighbours and supporters have continued their constant guard at the entrance to Mr Sherlock’s 50 acre farm, and sleep in a donated log cabin equipped with beds, mattresses and heating. The father-of-five said his solicitor is still dealing with Bank of Scotland and remains hopeful that an agreement can be reached on the €400,000 loan, which has risen to approximately €430,000 including interest.

Posted by khards @ 09:37 AM 14 Comments

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Goldman Sachs reckons that Spanish house prices are still overpriced

Telegraph: Spanish house prices need to fall further, Goldman warns

Goldman Sachs reckons that Spanish house prices need to fall another 10pc, posing fresh problems for the country’s troubled banking sector, whilst the articles public comments are straight onto the fact that the UK especially London are exactly the same.

Posted by enuii @ 02:47 PM 6 Comments

Not sustainable

Tom Winnifrith: Why Uk house prices must crash

Moreover there are clear inflationary pressures in the system. At some stage base rates will have to increase and – assuming that the banks do not take a margin hit, a safe enough bet – that means sharply higher mortgage costs.

Posted by happy mondays @ 11:13 AM 44 Comments

We've got food, let them starve

Dartmouth Chronicle: Foodbank ‘will ruin our tourist industry’

Some people in Dartmouth were so opposed to the launch of a charity foodbank to help the poorest people in the town that they warned it would ruin the tourist trade. Others claimed they would just be helping the workshy spend their money on booze. And volunteers were warned they would have ‘down and outs’ banging on their doors at midnight.

Posted by stuartking @ 01:09 AM 16 Comments

Friday, April 26, 2013

One for the deflationists...

BBC News: Ten-fold rise in fivers from ATMs

"Cash is the payment method that best helps the British public budget, and a greater spread of smaller denominations like fivers helps us keep an even closer eye on our spending," said Ron Delnevo, managing director of Bank Machine.

Posted by reticent @ 10:03 PM 6 Comments

This is what happens when property bubbles go pop!

RT: Protesters clash with police amid unrest in Spain, Portugal

"The number of unemployed is now 6.2 million as the Spanish economy finds it impossible to climb out of the burst property bubble of 2008" says RT. "The Iberian Peninsula has once again been engulfed in protest, as police used brute force to disperse thousands in front of the Spanish Parliament in Madrid while in Portugal citizens climbed on top of a tank to make themselves heard". "Earlier in the day five people, including one minor, were arrested for allegedly plotting to set fire to a bank". (too late guys, the banksters took the profits and "forgave " their mates the loans - and you won't see this angle from the BBC). Interesting pictures.

Posted by alan @ 09:01 PM 6 Comments

Metro Bank deal comes with no fees

Myfinances.co.uk: Metro Bank cuts rates on two-year fix and tracker mortgages

Metro Bank has announced cuts in rates of up to 0.50 per cent on products in its residential mortgage range.

Posted by ben @ 02:11 PM 0 Comments

Shoe Boxes to be used next?

BBC: Brighton homeless to be housed in shipping containers

"Dozens of homeless people in Brighton are to be offered accommodation in converted shipping containers to help ease the city's acute housing need". "Planning permission has been granted for five years, with the contaminated land not considered suitable for permanent housing".

Posted by alan @ 01:03 PM 5 Comments

Money money money

AboutProperty: Are cash sweeteners in planning just 'legal bribery'?

"The fact remains that the council were apparently happy to allow one of Central London’s most beautiful buildings, one that dated back to the 1750s with several historic associations, fall into ruin for the want of a cash sweetener."

Posted by phil @ 12:22 PM 0 Comments

Hold the Front Page !

Express: House prices to rise £10,000: Biggest increase for 3 years

"CONFIDENCE in the housing market has soared to its highest level in three years with prices forecast to rise by £10,000 this summer". (I thought Cameron wanted to encourage a balanced economy exporting to the world, not debt slavery).

Posted by alan @ 09:17 AM 9 Comments

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Government tries to stimulate property market

Daily Mail: Buy-to-let landlords will be main beneficiaries of £80bn Bank of England lending boost

The Bank of England will expand an £80billion scheme to increase the flow of cheap loans to households and businesses - and buy-to-let landlords are set to benefit. Under Funding for Lending, every pound of additional net lending to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) will entitle banks to £10 of super-cheap Bank of England loans. Now these SMEs will be allowed to lend the money on to property investors

Posted by little professor @ 09:45 PM 16 Comments

Virgin Money cuts BTL rates by up to 0.54 per cent

Myfinances.co.uk: Virgin Money cuts residential and buy-to-let mortgage rates

Virgin Money has issued new updated competitive rates to its residential mortgage range. Top new deals include a two-year fixed rate mortgage deal at 2.19 per cent which is available exclusively through intermediaries with a Virgin money national account.

Posted by ben @ 04:39 PM 0 Comments

Houses are pretty nice things to own

Mail: Nigella sells luxury flat at a £21m

The value of this house is 840 years of untaxed without living costs for the average UK worker. Seems a tad odd? To me yes. This is the same as 46 people on 45K a year, for a decade. Could they achieve more than this house? 46 people worth 45K working for a decade. More than the house or less than the house...In the UK umm...no house is better. The reason I post this is not just to point out how insane this is, but because I was thinking of starting some small endeavour, and the harsh impossibility of even getting 100K hammered into my mind. When in the UK the people who replot bin routes get that. Something funny? Did she call the top?

Posted by stillthinking @ 03:10 PM 7 Comments

A sentiment not shared by would be buyers

Mail: HP predicted to rise 4.5% in 6 months by UK homeowners as confidence returns

"Three quarters of homeowners are predicting house prices to rise this year, and by an average of 4.5 per cent over the next six months. In a sign of confidence returning to the market, it is the biggest predicted price increase by UK homeowners in over three years". Where is the cash (in terms of pay rises)?

Posted by alan @ 01:22 PM 13 Comments

Entire Irish housing estate for sale at knockdown price

Planet Property: Entire Irish housing estate for sale at knockdown price

Moneenagesiha Court in the City of Galway ...25 properties for €2,250,000 ... that includes 16 houses.

Posted by the planet @ 12:21 PM 0 Comments

Scottish renters clobbered by rent rises

Planet Property Blog: Scottish rents soar

Three of the top four spots in the latest SpareRoom.co.uk Rental Index go to cities above the border. While the average annual rise across the UK for Q1 in 2013 was 6.8%, Dundee, the fourth largest city in Scotland, saw a double digit room rent rise in the past 12 months, with average monthly rents increasing by 12.9%.

Posted by property addict @ 11:17 AM 3 Comments

0.3% ~ Phew!

SKY: UK Economy Just Avoids Triple-Dip Recession

The UK economy returned to meagre growth in the first quarter of 2013, averting the prospect of a triple-dip recession.

Posted by alan @ 09:36 AM 8 Comments

Wednesday, April 24, 2013


Channel 4 News Faisal Islam blog: Is souped-up scheme a shot in the arm for lending?

“On steroids” was the description applied by Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg to the new souped-up “supercharged” Bank of England Funding for Lending Scheme (FLS) ... Even more intriguing is something I discovered and confirmed with the Bank of England. One of the extensions announced today will be the incorporation into the scheme of previously barred “specialist lenders” in the mortgage market. This is a euphemism for specialist buy-to-let (BTL) and high loan-to-value lending units of banks, but also stand-alone companies. I presume this means that companies such as Paragon and Precise will now be in receipt of central bank subsidised funding to lend to landlords. H/T to oldsport.

Posted by quiet guy @ 10:56 PM 4 Comments

Did i miss this! On main forum..

Mail: Take cover! The housing market is heading for a bloody and protracted crash

That dip will be protracted, bloody – and furiously resisted by the banks who will demand further bailouts to protect their business models. (Read: protect their bonuses.) When Hometrack comments that the market isn’t ‘firing on all cylinders’, the best response is a cynical laugh. The market will fire again, when prices are sane. For now, stand well back and take cover.

Posted by happy mondays @ 10:07 PM 16 Comments

Even the Germans may end up voting for Farage :)

Telegraph: Euro may only last five years, says senior German government advisor

"The euro has a “limited chance of survival” and may only endure another five years, Kai Konrad, one of the German government’s closest economic advisers, has claimed". Meanwhile, Mr Schaeuble said in an interview for the economic weekly Wirtschaftswoche: “We are dealing with almost an economic schizophrenia. Everyone says we have deficits that are too large and a high level of liquidity would make everything more dangerous. And then some say, but we have too little growth, and so we need more liquidity.”

Posted by alan @ 07:08 PM 1 Comments

Tiny tiny houses

AboutProperty: "Give us some space!" says Kevin McCloud

Kevin McCloud is fronting a new campaign about space in our homes - and urging the government to do more to set minimum standards. The UK has some of the smallest new home sizes in Western Europe, leaving many in cramped stressful conditions.

Posted by phil @ 02:17 PM 1 Comments

Norwich & Peterborough launch best buy 3-year fix

Myfinances.co.uk: N&P unveil 3-year fix at 2.49% with low fee of £295

The Norwich & Peterborough Building Society (N&P( is launching a new three-year fixed rate mortgage at a rate of just 2.49 per cent for borrowers with a loan-to-value (LTV) ratio of 60 per cent.

Posted by ben @ 01:22 PM 5 Comments

Banks to be able to borrow more for every £1 lent to SMEs

Myfinances.co.uk: FLS to be extended until 2015 "heavily skewed towards SMEs"

The Bank of England has announced plans to extend the Funding for Lending Scheme (FLS). The scheme is designed to increase the flow of credit to businesses and individuals.

Posted by ben @ 12:46 PM 0 Comments

The last Hurrah?

Uk reuters: Britain's ills on display in rising car sales

PPI was meant to protect borrowers against sickness or redundancy but was often sold to people who didn't want or need it or who were ineligible to claim. Given the lack of return from savings, this has proved to be a windfall for car sellers. "What do I do with that money?" said SMMT's Lewis. "Do I put it in the bank and get nothing on it? Is it enough for me to move house with or build an extension to my current property? "No. The options are to go on holiday or to replace a car."

Posted by pedro2706 @ 12:20 PM 0 Comments

BBA says FLS is making mortgage market more competitive

Myfinances.co.uk: BBA reports mortgage approvals down in March

There was a modest increase in the number of mortgage approvals in March, according to the latest figures from the British Bankers Association (BBA).

Posted by ben @ 11:22 AM 2 Comments

Vladimir defaults on his 1 bedroom Moscow flat

RT: Russian CB ready to provide $60 billion to support domestic banks

"The Russian Central Bank says it’s ready to make available between 1.5 and 2 trillion roubles ($47.2- $62 billion) to domestic financial institutions if the situation in the banking sector worsens". Please don't panic, traktor production is up.

Posted by alan @ 10:44 AM 1 Comments

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Local council thumbs its nose at what the EU just said...

Inside Housing: Council plans own mortgage scheme

... and sticks to the tried and tested "They own land! Give them money!" policy so beloved of UK governments. "A Gloucestershire council is developing its own mortgage scheme to help first-time buyers onto the housing ladder. Cotswold Council plans to guarantee 20 per cent of the buyers’ deposit so they will only need to raise 5 per cent to buy their first home."

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 03:25 PM 4 Comments

Who knows?

BBC: Tighter rules for mortgage lending agreed by EU

New rules will mean that borrowers across the European Union (EU) will be refused a mortgage if they fail a standard affordability assessment. The European Commission said its new mortgages directive would prevent any repeat of reckless home loan lending of the past.

Posted by hpwatcher @ 03:15 PM 4 Comments

The Economist calls a spade a spade

The Economist: Property of the state: housing policy

"Socialism is a dirty word in many parts of the US. After all, America is a global symbol of free markets, muscular capitalism and the small state. Yet somehow the government has turned its mortgage market into a giant nationalised enterprise on a par with China’s Red Army or Britain’s National Health Service." The chorus of condemnation of the 'Help to Buy/Prop up Prices' is getting deafening

Posted by mombers @ 02:10 PM 5 Comments

They couldn't do any worse than some of our architects...

Planet Property Blog: Micro homes designed by prisoners

Well, it beats sewing mail bags… If anyone knows about living in confined spaces, it has to be prisoners. Which is why Italian firm Cibic recruited the incarcerated at one of Italy’s high security prisons in Spoleto as consultants on the ironically named Freedom Room project.

Posted by property addict @ 02:03 PM 0 Comments

London UP....Everywhere else????

BBC: Stoke-on-Trent £1 houses: Hundreds express buying interest

A view of what can happen to a run down area with high unemployment and/or lots of low paid jobs....Not for BTL's

Posted by keith @ 01:41 PM 0 Comments

Shocking stats on lack of light and space in new-builds

Planet Property Blog: Britain's new-builds are smallest in Western Europer

In 2011 RIBA called our newbuilds shameful shoeboxes, and things aren’t getting any better as as stats show that, due to shrinking space and light, the average buyer is dissatisfied with their new home after only two years. Our homes, which RIBA has declared, ‘too small for family life’, are now just 76m², having 4.8 rooms, with an average area of 15.8m² per room This has reduced from 85m², 5.2 rooms, and an average area of 16.3m² per room.

Posted by property addict @ 11:40 AM 2 Comments


Daily Mail: Raise taxes on pensioners as 'old age is no longer a proxy for poverty', says think-tank

Pensioners' taxes should increase, their benefits be cut, and a tax on property wealth should be introduced in order to share the pain of austerity with today's hard-up workers, a think-tank said today.

Posted by dill @ 11:16 AM 5 Comments

Austerity Is still the answer, Says Goldman Sachs boss

BBC News: Goldman Sachs boss says UK has no choice but austerity

Global investors will not invest in the UK if they do not see austerity.

Posted by jonathanr @ 10:26 AM 2 Comments

Another budget soundbite?

IFAonline.co.uk: SIPPclub launches residential property campaign

In his recent budget, George Osborne announced “the Government will explore with interested parties whether the conversion of unused space in commercial properties in high streets and town centres to residential use could be allowed within pension schemes”. This sounds like a great idea for two major reasons: 1. It will improve our high streets, which in many formerly beautiful areas of the country have been reduced to ‘no go’ areas. 2. It’ll encourage more people to save in pensions, which will reduce the burden on the State, given the State Pension is being diminished in real value as the years pass by.

Posted by renelapp @ 09:15 AM 0 Comments

Monday, April 22, 2013

Let's spend more says the EU

WSJ: Austerity Is No Longer the Answer, Says Barroso

Barroso's comments are the latest in a series of public statements that indicate a shift in European economic policy is under way - note! Right on cue, Spanish Finance Minister Luis de Guindos said on Sunday that his new budget plans to be presented later this week will emphasize economic growth and reduce the stress of spending cuts. "What we are going to do now is strike a better balance between deficit reduction and economic growth," Mr. de Guindos said. (Barroso, the head bureaucrat, is gagging to release more of other people's money, increase the eurocrats waste and justify his budget - doh!). Therefore more pressure on Osborne (or someone more docile) to go the same calamitous route.

Posted by alan @ 11:11 PM 15 Comments

Low annuity rates - How unexpected

BBC Website: Low annuity rates must prompt pensions rethink

Although this article points out annuity rates have collapsed it doesn't mention why. Good old Aunty.

Posted by mr x @ 09:43 PM 0 Comments

Accelerating asset price crash..

Sky News: Urenco: UK Government Confirms Stake Sale

If I was in charge of a country facing a deflationary asset price crash I am not sure I would sell off the prime assets at bargain bucket prices just to ensure things steamed ahead even faster. Fortunately in this case the UK government will be ultimately liable for any costs arriving from decommissioning the plant, as the owners of a limited liability company can just throw their hands up at any point. This may be more likely for cleaning up 4 square km nuclear plants. I don't know. However, the government will doubtless print some cash in the future or our fantastic growth will be so fantastic nobody will care or notice. So some cash now. Bingo!. Then more cash spent later on the clean up (literally). Boo. Plus don't go near there.

Posted by stillthinking @ 02:06 PM 2 Comments

What a world we live in.

France 24 - International News: Cyprus haircut also hits charities, private schools

What with maniacs blowing up runners and their families in the belief that they are, in some way, doing God’s work, things like Cyprus’s predicament have rather fallen out of the news. The issue has not, however, gone away. According to the article cited here, even charities are going to suffer a ‘haircut’. There is, quite justifiably, outrage and cries of “how could anyone stoop so low” when some scumbag steals a Poppy Appeal collection box or similar but a government can do the same and all that will be said is, “oh well, needs must”.

Posted by grumpybob @ 01:06 PM 5 Comments

Some light relief...

AboutProperty: Model village awarded listed status

A model village has been handed Grade II listed status for the first time, in recognition of the quality craftsmanship on show. Bourton-on-the-Water model village is a direct copy of the pretty Cotswold town and was completed in 1936. And now, 77 years later, English Heritage have decided that the miniature replica so beautifully showcases the Cotswold style, creating a record for future generations, that it is worthy of the listed status.

Posted by phil @ 12:29 PM 2 Comments

Industry insiders question health of market

Planet Property: Industry insiders question health of market

The health of the mortgage market and the predicted number of transactions in 2013 have been questioned by leading housing market insiders

Posted by the planet @ 11:10 AM 0 Comments

Sunday, April 21, 2013

What are they building in there?

Planet Ponzi: Numbers Never Lie — Central Bankers, Politicians and Lawyers Do — Is the Fed Conspiring Against Us?

Tenuous link to UK house prices for some, I know, so sorry about that, but I'm sure that many will appreciate the (potential) relevance

Posted by tick tock @ 06:57 PM 2 Comments

Compares UK structure of housing market with Ze Germans

Naked capitalism: How Germany Achieved Stable and Affordable Housing

The contrast between the German and UK housing markets couldn’t be more stark. Unlike Germany, the UK housing market is essentially a bubble factory. Wheras Germany’s highly responsive supply ensures that extra demand manifests itself in rising new home construction rather than increased prices, the opposite is the case under the UK’s restrictive land-use policies. The UK’s deregulated rental market and lack of tenure has also ensured that renting is a second rate option, thereby encouraging residents to strive (and borrow big) for owner occupancy. And of course the UK’s lax financial system has been only too happy to oblige, providing households with no deposit mortgages during the boom followed by rationed credit during the bust.

Posted by techieman @ 09:14 AM 8 Comments

"There is no other way" say EU politicians

Telegraph: Greece's great fire sale

"Back in Afandou, Vassilis Anastasiou, the manager of the golf course for the last 30 years, looks out every day on concrete proof of the "stupidity" of previous government programmes. A grand breeze block clubhouse looms over the golf course; completed in 1973 and, strangled by bureaucracy, empty ever since". Time for some to buy a Greek island or attractive stretch of coast with all that undeclared taxable income, anyone?

Posted by alan @ 08:17 AM 0 Comments

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Deep down everyone knows it doesn't make sense

Telegraph: Taxpayer risks 'large losses' over housing push, MPs warn George Osborne

The British taxpayer risks “large losses” over the Government’s commitment of billions of pounds to get the housing market moving, the Treasury Committee warned, the Committee stated that the Government will find it “extremely difficult” to price the fee charged to participating lenders in a way that sharply cuts the risk to the Treasury and there are worries that the Treasury now has a “financial interest” in keeping house prices from falling, in order to limit losses to the taxpayer. As ever the comments are the star attraction.

Posted by enuii @ 05:09 PM 9 Comments

Households’ optimism on property prices jumps as Help to Buy mortgage scheme is launched

Planet Property: Households’ optimism on property prices jumps as Help to Buy mortgage scheme is launched

Homeowner confidence in the future value of their homes has jumped thanks to the announcement of the Help to Buy Scheme ... so says Knight Frank ... but much will depend on what happens with the much criticised scheme.

Posted by the planet @ 03:16 PM 0 Comments

Treasury Select Committee Damns Osborne’s Help To Buy Scheme

Planet Property: Treasury Select Committee Damns Osborne’s Help To Buy Scheme

Ouch! The Treasury Select Committee has produced a withering assessment of the chancellor’s Help To Buy Scheme, announced in the Budget - full text of 19 'Outstanding questions arising from Help to Buy'

Posted by the planet @ 02:58 PM 0 Comments

Thinking caps on

Guardian: Capitalism needs rethinking but what are the options?

Building financial wealth on unsustainable or unjust use of human, social or natural capital must change.

Posted by dill @ 11:31 AM 9 Comments

Someone is awake! Back of the net..

Bbc: George Osborne warned by MPs over mortgage guarantee risks

"We will only tackle the housing crisis and help first time buyers if we have a major programme of affordable house building, which Labour called for as part of our jobs and growth plan but the Budget totally failed to deliver," said shadow Treasury minister Cathy Jamieson.

Posted by happy mondays @ 07:15 AM 8 Comments

But aren't we...

Telegraph: Debunking austerity claims makes no difference to Europe's monks and zealots

Evans-Pritchard, who is a good read, piles in against austerity in the Eurozone and by implication in the UK. However, as is so often pointed out, and then immediately forgotten, there is no austerity in the UK. We are borrowing like mad monkeys.

Posted by stillthinking @ 06:21 AM 2 Comments

Friday, April 19, 2013

Learn to cope.

BBC: A life lived in tiny flats

"spend a lot of time in the park."

Posted by rumble @ 11:28 PM 3 Comments

Democratic shift

Independent: Proportion of home-owning Britons falls to 30-year low

When the majority of British people rent then housing will be available at construction cost. To those that come after come the reward!

Posted by stillthinking @ 05:57 PM 4 Comments

Artificial pricing

This is money: Credit squeeze on businesses tightens as Bank lending falls by £5bn in three months Read more: http://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/news/article-2311679/Bank-England-Business-lending-falls-5bn-months.html#ixzz2QvaBT4b1 Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | D

Business lending is down. Probably in a down-turn you would expect asset prices to fall. The UK has taken a different tack, ie. to hold them up and even boost them. The result is that it is not cost effective to take over loss making assets in the UK. So we just spiral down. Mervyn thinks this is some blip, just ignore. The market needs to clear and pushing us into the zero bound is of no benefit to the UK.

Posted by stillthinking @ 05:38 PM 0 Comments

Merryn's not convinced by all the 'good news'

FT: How the UK’s house price bubble might deflate

Nothing new here really, but nice to see that not everybody has given up on the idea of real mean reversion.......eventually. 'House prices should still be lower than they are, relative to incomes, and one day they will be. They can get to the “right” price in three ways. Real incomes can shoot up – unlikely. Prices could fall fast when interest rates normalise'

Posted by tick tock @ 05:36 PM 1 Comments

The Story of the Pound

MoneySupermarket: The Story of the Pound

This Sunday (21st April, 2013) marks the 30th anniversary of the launch of the £1 coin. To celebrate, MoneySupermarket has launched ‘The Story of the Pound Coin’, looking back at the history of the coin and comparing the buying power of £1 now, compared to 1983.

Posted by nathan bennett @ 05:19 PM 0 Comments

Tou've never had it so good.

Barratt Homes (via Rightmove): Don’t miss this incredible chance to move with a 4% deposit

Got this as an email from Barratt Homes (via Rightmove): You’ve never had so much Help to Buy. Help to Buy is the brand new Government-backed scheme, launched in the recent budget. Whether you’re a first time buyer or an existing homeowner, you only need a 4% deposit and a 76% mortgage to buy any award-winning Barratt home up to £600,000 in England. This is not a shared ownership scheme – you’ll own 100% of your home. WORKED EXAMPLE BASED ON A £120,000 PURCHASE PRICE: You arrange mortgage (76%) £91,200 Deposit (4%) £4,800 Government equity loan (20%) £24,000 Total purchase price £120,000 Now is the perfect time to start your move, so don’t miss out. Visit one of our Sales Centres or our website for more.

Posted by grumpybob @ 02:22 PM 5 Comments

Will robot builders revolutionise housing (and house prices)?

Broken Capitalism: Robot builders To Revolutionise House Building (and House Prices)

Robots are revolutionising traditional manufacturing, driving down price (with the loss of many traditional jobs) - but house building is a resolutely 19th Century activity- one of the last common thing that's not mass produced. The primary cost is labour - but what if robots could also build houses? Swiss researchers have created a brick-laying robot as a proof of concept - but will this revolution have the same effect on new house prices as similar robotics in other areas?

Posted by james @ 12:51 PM 0 Comments

Gross mortgage lending down £1bn on a quarterly basis

Myfinances.co.uk: Gross mortgage lending up £1billion in March

The Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) reports that gross mortgage lending went up by £1 billion in March. Gross mortgage lending reached £11.6 billion, up from £10.6 billion in February, an increase of nine per cent.

Posted by ben @ 11:55 AM 0 Comments

Rise in taking advantage of panicked sellers by "shift your house fast" companies

BBC News: Consumers being misled over quick house sales, OFT warns

Consumers who want to sell their houses via so-called "quick sale" companies are in danger of being misled, according to the Office of Fair Trading (OFT). Quick house sale providers offer to buy houses in as little as seven days, but at a discount to the full market value.

Posted by at0z @ 08:31 AM 0 Comments

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Less methadone - more cold turkey

Guardian: Mark Carney: UK is a 'crisis country' along with the eurozone and Japan

Bank of England's next governor downplays hopes of boost to growth but hints at US Fed-style guidance on interest rates.

Posted by dill @ 08:54 PM 2 Comments

Quick ~ issue some paper!

DWN: Miscalculation ~ Cyprus rescue must be reopened

"The German Bundestag has the Cyprus "rescue" approved with 478 votes in favor and 102 votes against. Well, it turns out: Someone miscalculated. Cyprus needs 23 billion euros. Tens of billions are not enough". (Via Google translate). On Wednesday, EU Commissioner Oli Rehn spoke in the European Parliament, "the Commission wants to achieve more 'gradual adjustment' for Cyprus". (Now I see what's behind it!). As for me, I'm buying gold. This house of cards will fall over soon ~ even the Germans know it! The Germans are "poorer" than the Italians, as only 44% of Germans own their own homes. Why should the Germans pick up the bills?.... that's why they want property confiscation, like in communism.

Posted by alan @ 07:37 PM 2 Comments

Another Grand Designs on the market at, ahem, surprising price

Planet Property Blog: Grand Designs Kennington Water Tower hits the market

Less than six months after the show aired… Will Grand Designs ever tire of towers? Probably not, and that’s because it’s such good fun shaking our heads and sucking air through our teeth at the sight of excited young couples trying to turn something designed for water storage into a home.

Posted by property addict @ 02:04 PM 0 Comments

Quelle Surprise

AboutProperty: Quick sales "concerning" say OFT

Quick home sale companies could be exploiting vulnerable homeowners, warns the Office of Fair Trading (OFT). The watchdog has asked people to contact them about their experiences with such companies, amid fears that desperate sellers are being ripped off.

Posted by phil @ 01:31 PM 0 Comments

House prices to soar etc

Daily Mail: Salary increases have plunged to only 1%: Workers forced to accept small rises as cost of living goes up by 2.8%

Britain's bosses are crippling their workers with the worst-ever pay rises, official figures revealed yesterday. The Office for National Statistics said the average worker is getting a pay rise of just one per cent, the lowest pay rise since its records began in 2001. With the cost of living rising at 2.8 per cent, it means a worker’s pay is barely rising while their bills are rising at a rate which is nearly three times higher.

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 09:57 AM 11 Comments

Fee-free options available and cuts to fixed-rate deals

Myfinances.co.uk: Co-op cuts fixed rate mortgage costs and offers low fees

The Co-operative Bank has launched a range of new fixed-rate mortgages for new and existing customers. It has a range of fee-free options for its products as it tries to buck the trend of higher fees as rates continue to fall.

Posted by ben @ 09:15 AM 0 Comments

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Flexx rate for term from 2.65% for 65% LTV borrowers

Myfinances.co.uk: Coventry Intermediaries launch Flexx and offset mortgage range

Coventry Intermediaries has unveiled a new range of competitive offset and Flexx residential mortgages.

Posted by ben @ 05:49 PM 0 Comments

Not news, but very interesting article.

AOL.COM: As Many as 90% of Foreclosed Properties Held Off the Market, Estimates Suggest

As many as 90 percent of repossessions are withheld from sale, according to estimates recently provided to AOL Real Estate by two analytics firms. It's a testament to lenders' fears that flooding the market with foreclosed homes could wreak havoc on their balance sheets and present a danger to the housing market as a whole. Online foreclosure marketplace RealtyTrac recently found that just 15 percent of repossessions in the Washington, D.C., area were for sale, a statistic that is representative of nationwide numbers, the company said.

Posted by khards @ 03:27 PM 9 Comments

London house prices: this could finally be it

MoneyWeek: London house prices: this could finally be it

House prices in central London have so far stubbonly refused to bow to the pressures of the financial crisis. But that could all be about to change.

Posted by martingreen @ 03:20 PM 20 Comments

Nearing Flashman's threshold

BBC News: UK unemployment rises to 2.56 mil

The lack of unemployment throughout the crisis has always been rather strange. I've never really heard a convincing explanation for it. If the trend were suddenly to end, this otherwise all-but-over HPC would start to look more like the early 90s...

Posted by reticent @ 02:10 PM 8 Comments

If pictures of cancerous organs don't put you off, then perhaps this will...

Canada Newswire: Smoking in the home can lower resale value by tens of thousands

It is well-known that smokers lose money due to the expense of cigarettes - but the cost of smoking may be higher than they think. A recent survey of Ontario real estate agents and brokers, sponsored by Pfizer Canada, found that smoking in the home could lower the value of your property by up to 29 per cent;1 with an average house price of $369,000 in Ontario2 this may mean a loss of up to $107,010. "Smoking has a profound impact on how appealing a home is to a prospective buyer," says [a] top real estate agent in Southern Ontario. "It stains walls and carpets, and leaves a smell that can be hard to eliminate. Many prospective buyers are really put off by homes that have been smoked in, and they can be very challenging to sell."

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 01:29 PM 1 Comments

Buyer Beware: Massive discrepancies in agents' calculation of square feet

Planet Property: Buyer Beware: Massive discrepancies in agents' calculation of square feet

Estate agents in London can't measure, it seems ... research finds that the difference between two floorplans of same place varied by as much as 300 sq ft --- prices run to £6k per sq ft in posher parts, so that amounts to an awful lot of money

Posted by the planet @ 10:35 AM 0 Comments

A lone voice of reason?

Reuters UK: Dear Mark-just say no

For all the talk of bubbles past and present, the most damaging bubble of all has been in the market for central bankers. The first real superstar was Alan Greenspan, and his bubble burst spectacularly. Yet here we go again, expecting Bernanke and Draghi and Kuroda to save the world economy by wrecking its money.

Posted by pedro2706 @ 08:58 AM 3 Comments

"Whatever it takes" - the reality

Telegraph: ECB 'can't do everything for everyone', says Mario Draghi

"You turn if you want to" - somebody famous said that. Who was it? (for 20 marks) and is it significant today? (80 marks).

Posted by alan @ 08:00 AM 1 Comments

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

CPI for March

BBC: UK inflation rate held steady at 2.8% in March

UK consumer price inflation held steady at 2.8% in March, at its highest level since May last year, the Office for National Statistics said.

Posted by alan @ 06:35 PM 2 Comments

The UK economy will impact house prices

SKY: IMF Inflicts 'Double Blow' On George Osborne

In another interview Mme Legarde said that Italy's economy was "on course". I was shocked - I didn't know it was going to implode! IMHO the IMF is both bankrupt and too closely linked to the powerful political Vested Interests in Europe. This article seems to me to be a clear attempt to destabilise the UK economy and get it into deeper debt, and at the mercy of the EU.

Posted by alan @ 06:09 PM 8 Comments


Guardian: When Britain stops blaming itself, it can overthrow the existing order

A depressed, introverted 'look after No 1' mentality has ruled for 30 years. But a poll shows we may be ready for radical change.

Posted by dill @ 05:27 PM 6 Comments

"Tidal wave of guff"

BBC Politics: Galloway anger at Thatcher funeral and cancelling PMQs

Which sanctimonious creature sanctioned £10m [and the rest no doubt] when they're arguably stealing child benefit from stay at home mothers.

Posted by doomwatch @ 12:16 PM 9 Comments

House prices to soar, says Daily Mail (2)

Council of Mortgage Lenders: Lending to first-time buyers increases in February

The number of first-time buyers increased by 3% in February, marking the best start to a year since 2008, according to new data released today by the Council of Mortgage Lenders. Activity in the first-time buyer sector was 17% stronger in February than in February last year, and combined with January reached the largest number of first-time buyers in the first two months of the year since 2008. Lending to home movers fell - contributing to an overall dip in house purchase lending - while remortgage lending also eased.

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 10:01 AM 3 Comments

House price indexes – which is the best?

Quick Move Now: House price indexes – which is the best?

Here is a quick overview of the four main index providers, along with some handy notes for how to interpret their data.

Posted by donna houguez @ 09:33 AM 2 Comments

System faults and failures

Guardian: Underemployment can be as corrosive as unemployment – and it's on the rise

Lots of people are wondering why the employment figures aren't worse, since we're in such a slump. Well, if you measure them properly, they are.

Posted by dill @ 06:27 AM 1 Comments

As good as gold

Telegraph: Estimating property supply and demand is a dangerous game

The bulls are lining up to predict better times ahead for UK house prices. Japan's history holds a warning, says Andrew Oxlade.

Posted by dill @ 05:46 AM 2 Comments

Monday, April 15, 2013

House prices explode, says Daily Mail

Estate agent today: Another fall in house purchase lending forecast by LSL firm

Osborne's attempts to increase private debt failing - perhaps the general public have taken the hint from our mixed-message government about maxing out on their credit cards

Posted by stuartking @ 10:28 PM 3 Comments

CML data points to FTB's fuelling property market

Myfinances.co.uk: CML: First-time buyer sales highest since credit crunch in 2008

The start of 2013 has seen more first-time buyers getting on to the housing ladder than at any time since 2008, according to the latest data from the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML).

Posted by ben @ 05:23 PM 0 Comments

Daily Mash continues to meld into real life

Grauniad: Did coked up bankers cause the crash?

Coked-up bankers caused the credit crunch, according to the former drug tsar David Nutt. One former City worker can well believe it

Posted by montesquieu @ 04:07 PM 2 Comments

Asking prices up by £5k in a month

Myfinances.co.uk: Rightmve says asking prices will reach record high next month

The average asking price for a home in the UK increased by 2.1 per cent in April to £244,706, according to a new survey of the UK property market by estate agents Rightmove.

Posted by ben @ 04:06 PM 0 Comments

Wonder that General C makes of this

Fin Viz: A bear market in sure things.

The collapse in you know what has been spectacular over the past few months. We officially entered bear market territory (20% from peak) last week and lost another 5.33% today. General if you're reading this, your views would be most welcome.

Posted by bellwether @ 01:50 PM 36 Comments

A third of Right to Buy properties in Wamdsworth now owned by landlords

Planet Property: A third of Right to Buy properties in Wandsworth now owned by landlords

In the London borough of Wandsworth more than a third of former council homes bought by their tenants are now in the hands of private landlords ... this being a Tory flagship, thought it might be more, bit still very thought-provoking stats ....

Posted by the planet @ 11:45 AM 1 Comments

Succinct analysis of Thatcher's economic policies

The Real News.com: Thatcher Gave More Power to Finance

Michael Hudson provides a brief overview of some of the main Thatcherite economic policies, namely the ones of primary concern to this website. He focusses on deregulation of the banking sector and its relationship to privatisation of the major utilities, the housing bubble and deindustrialisation. Who in the UK media (or academia, where we seem to lack any credible public intellectuals) achieves such an incisive take?

Posted by nickb @ 10:31 AM 13 Comments

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Germans propose tax on property and assets in bailout countries

Telegraph: Wealth tax to pay for EU bail-outs

German economists argue that people in many southern countries are actually wealthier than their German counterparts with a recent study by the European Central Bank showing that the people in bailed-out countries are often better-off than those in Germany where less than half of Germans own their own home, lower than the rate in many southern eurozone members. The ECB study also found that the “median” wealth in Cyprus is €267,000 (£227,600), Spain €183,000, Italy €102,000, Greece €102,000 and €75,000 for Portugal compared to just €51,000 in Germany.

Posted by enuii @ 11:00 PM 12 Comments

Can't go wrong with bricks and mortar

Daily Mail: Premier League stars face massive losses in £200m Moroccan villa nightmare

England footballers Rio Ferdinand and John Terry are among hundreds of Britons who face losing millions of pounds after investing in a holiday villa project in Morocco. They and other star players, including Joe Cole, Michael Carrick and football pundit Gary Neville, ploughed money into the £200million project believing they would now have the keys to stylish beachside homes – but nothing has been built at the site for four years. Manchester United defender Ferdinand, who appears in a sales brochure photo alongside Neville and Terry, paid deposits on a three-bedroom townhouse and three villas worth a total of £2million.

Posted by little professor @ 09:42 PM 1 Comments

Osbourne throws in the towl and admits Extend & Pretend is the only goal

Grauniad: George Osborne's housing boost 'will stave off triple-dip' recession

Homeownerist doublethink reported in the Gruaniad.. Some of the quotes are amazingly stupid, as if high house prices help labour mobility. A least Osbourne is honest enough to admit he has given up hope for his sated policy to move "away from debt-fuelled growth and towards exports"

Posted by pete green @ 10:08 AM 17 Comments

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Thousands March against property tax.

Irish Times: Rally hears campaign against property tax to intensify in coming weeks

Anti-austerity and property tax protesters have claimed the campaign against household charges is set to become more determined and militant in the coming weeks. Many of the estimated crowd of 5,000 people who marched in the rain from Parnell Square to Dublin Castle this afternoon claimed there was growing resistance to the new property tax. "He also urged people across the State to get together to organise and event in their town or village for a national day of civil disobedience to be held on May 1st." "Terry Brennan, from Navan, Co Meath, said people were being asked to pay additional taxes, "not for development, but for the banks".

Posted by khards @ 05:06 PM 3 Comments

Friday, April 12, 2013

Which PM is top of the pile for House Prince Inflation

Knight Frank Blog: House prices by Prime Minister: from Eden to Cameron

As terms vary the only fair indication is average annual change although you can argue that the longer term PMs did more damage. You will have to look at the chart to find out more as I won't spoil it here.

Posted by enuii @ 08:32 PM 2 Comments

Well ..

Evening Standard: Profits leap 33% at JPMorgan

It is a point that is made very often, that QE just pushes up asset prices while destroying the low income group who are defenceless against inflation on basics. Mervyn must be very proud of himself. So all that wealth accrued to JP Morgan, but JP Morgan doesn't actually produce anything, wait, therefore, all that profit must have come from the productive workforce but there was no direct payment. Ummm. Wait. So that must mean that there is some kind of invisible tax that enables some kind of transfer of purchasing power even as the economy collapses in real terms. If I were more energetic I would be making a stand at this point, unfortunately, the people who are losing out are, basically, the cause of it all because they want their state bribes so much.

Posted by stillthinking @ 04:13 PM 2 Comments

Bond markets, pensions what ever next!!!

Mail: Quantitative easing and low interest rates have damaging side effects, warns IMF

‘Policymakers should be alert to the possibility, however, that financial stability risks may be shifting to other parts of the financial system, such as shadow banks, pension funds and insurance companies.

Posted by happy mondays @ 03:06 PM 2 Comments

The Daily Mirror already covered this, but here's more evidence...

FT: Private landlords snap up council homes

"Of the 15,874 Wandsworth council flats that have been bought by their occupants, 6,180 are now owned by private landlords, the researchers found. The [GMB] union used Land Registry records to track the properties’ owners and found that 977 landlords owned more than one of the former council properties; one landlord owned 93, and another 16 owned 10 or more. Some of the registered owners were offshore companies. This week, one of the first homes sold through the right-to-buy scheme was resold for more than 20 times its original value." Ah, Thatcherism - turning public costs into private profit, the perfect template for New Labour.

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 02:55 PM 4 Comments


Independent: Owen Jones: Thatcherism was a national catastrophe that still poisons us

"Five million people now languish on social housing waiting lists, while billions of pounds of housing benefit line the pockets of private landlords charging rip-off rents. The scarcity of housing turns communities against each other, as immigrants or anyone deemed less deserving are scapegoated. But the guilt really lies with the Thatcherite policy of right-to-buy and failure to replace the stock that was sold off."

Posted by doomwatch @ 01:22 PM 21 Comments

More opium for the masses (UK prices fell 0.1 percent on the month!)

Bloomberg: U.K. House Prices Reach Five-Year High as London’s Lead Widens

I am seeing lots of reductions in my area but.... "London’s property market powered a seventh month of increases in U.K. house prices in March as values reached a five-year high, according to Acadametrics Ltd. The average cost of a home in England and Wales rose 0.2 percent on the month to reach 230,078 pounds ($354,000), Acadametrics and LSL Property Services Plc (LSL) said in a monthly report published in London today. Excluding the capital, prices fell 0.1 percent on the month. The Bank of England introduced a program to boost lending last summer, and today’s report signals that access to mortgages may be easing. It also adds to evidence of the regional disparity in the U.K. property market, with London prices rising at three times the pace of the national average."

Posted by hpwatcher @ 09:10 AM 9 Comments


Zero hedge: No doubt our pensions are screwed

What this article fails to explain is that the government wants to devalue out of -government- debt. Which it can do by pushing interest rates out into private sector. It is not quite the grand general saver to debtor transfer. The gov. locks in at 2% for 15 years with central bank assistance, the private sector picks up the actual interest rate costs. Probably there will be a mix of savers losing pensions and debtors facing increased repayment costs. When the wealth of a country turns out to ephemeral, there aren't so many different ways to slice it.

Posted by stillthinking @ 05:28 AM 1 Comments

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Never mind, it could be worse!

OECD: Housing - Better Life Index

Living in satisfactory housing conditions is one of the most important aspects of people’s lives. Housing is essential to meet basic needs, such as shelter, but it is not just a question of four walls and a roof. Housing should offer a place to sleep and rest where people feel safe and have privacy and personal space; somewhere they can raise a family. All of these elements help make a house a home. And of course there is the question whether people can afford adequate housing.

Posted by khards @ 08:57 PM 0 Comments

1 in 3 a pay cheque away from losing home

Planet Property: 1 in 3 a pay cheque away from losing home

One in three people could not pay their rent or mortgage for more than a month if they lost their job, new figures from Shelter show today.

Posted by the planet @ 07:15 PM 1 Comments

The sad story of the first Right to Buy owners

Planet Property: The sad story of the first Right to Buy owners

It was sold for £8,350 with a £5 deposit and Margaret Thatcher handed over the keys ...but what happened after that? A revealing history of the British property market in the story of one Essex house....

Posted by the planet @ 07:08 PM 1 Comments

Nice bit of free advertising

Leicester Mercury: 'Buy our bungalow and we'll give you 10,000 chances to win the lottery!'

or they could have just dropped the price by £10,000

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 01:59 PM 6 Comments

Gold Price Crash coming soon

BBC News: Cyprus to sell gold reserves to help fund bailout

Cyprus is to sell off much of its gold reserves to help finance part of its bailout. An assessment by the European Commission says Cyprus must sell 10.36 tonnes (about 400m euros worth) of gold. Cyprus's total bullion reserves stood at 13.9 tonnes at the end of February. It will be the biggest bullion sale by a eurozone central bank since France sold 17.4 tonnes in the first half of 2009.

Posted by little professor @ 01:28 PM 8 Comments

Euro-Zone House Prices Keep Falling

The Wall Street Journal: Euro-Zone House Prices Fall

It may not come as a particular surprise that house prices in large parts of the euro zone fell in the fourth quarter of 2012 but given that they have been declining for some time it's still surprising to see just how much they have continued to fall. House prices in Spain were 12.8% lower than in the fourth quarter of 2011, while in Portugal prices were down 6% and in Italy they were down 4.6%. And the latest hotspot for house price crashes? Slovenia - which already has a troubled banking sector.

Posted by pbahra @ 01:18 PM 0 Comments

Government appropriation jumps another 35bn

Telegraph: Final salary pension deficits jump by £35bn in a month

These companies are supposed to drive the economy.. anyway, so they now have to hand over ANOTHER 35 bn to the government ( one thousand pounds per UK worker) which will spend it immediately and give them an IOU. Possibly this is due to the astonishing level of Japan QE but even so. Next year Osbourne covered himself (not the UK) by dropping gilt requirements 8% due to transferring the interest payments back from the BoE(the cash supposed to cover future gilt losses..). 2015 who knows? Pensioners in the UK never seem to consider that in the future people might not want to support their grandiose self-signed pension agreements.

Posted by stillthinking @ 05:04 AM 6 Comments

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Muppet attempts UK economic recovery

Evening Standard: More women on board or else

Historians often wondered why just prior to the collapse of the UK economy, why so many wives and daughters of existing board members were invited to make company policy. Some speculated that this was merely an empty cynical populist message because of an otherwise completely empty head.

Posted by stillthinking @ 02:50 PM 0 Comments

Soros has it nailed

Grauniad: How to save the EU -There is a strong case for Germany to make a definitive choice whether to accept eurobonds or to leave the euro

The euro crisis has already transformed the European Union from a voluntary association of equal states into a creditor-debtor relationship from which there is no easy escape. The creditors stand to lose large sums should a member state exit the union, yet debtors are subjected to policies that deepen their depression, aggravate their debt burden and perpetuate their subordinate position. As a result, the crisis is now threatening to destroy the European Union. That would be a tragedy of historic proportions which can only be prevented with German leadership.

Posted by montesquieu @ 02:34 PM 1 Comments

Sounds just like Britain

Irish Central: The Irish property tax problem - everyone wants to own some and no one wants to be taxed on it

One Irish quirk seems to be property: it's an obsession. Maybe it's some national collective memory dating back to the evictions and the famine, etc. Maybe it's just that most people are only two generations removed from subsistence farming. I don't know. Whatever the cause, the Irish are obsessed with property. So now, possibly in a bid to correct this quirk, we now have a residential property tax. The people aren't pleased. Even the Socialist Party is opposed to the property tax. Let me say that again, but read it slower: The Socialist Party is opposed to the property tax. I mean, a property tax is basically a tax on wealth and the Socialist Party is opposed to it. Ireland's socialists have to be the only socialists on the planet opposed to the property tax. Amuses me no end.

Posted by drewster @ 01:11 PM 3 Comments

£20,000 a piece, but it is cheaper than building new homes

BBC News: 'Cash incentive' for Harrow Council tenants moving abroad

Council tenants in a north-west London borough could be offered cash incentives to move abroad. Harrow Council said offers of up to £20,000 could be made to those who were "already considering moving abroad" and it would be "entirely their choice". It was one of the ideas presented to tenants and leaseholders at a meeting looking into freeing up housing stock. Moving tenants into smaller homes and into private accommodation were other options being considered.

Posted by drewster @ 12:48 PM 3 Comments

Fees cut, cheaper rates for existing customers

Myfinances.co.uk: Nationwide unveils its cheapest ever fixed rate mortgage deals

Homeowners with plenty of equity can benefit from some of the lowest ever fixed rate mortgages from Nationwide. Its new deals include lower fees for first-time buyers, reduced fees and extra discounts for existing mortgage customers.

Posted by ben @ 12:01 PM 1 Comments

French Price Crash

Independent: An Englishman's home is his chateau: Potential bargains for Brits as bottom falls out of French second home market

The bottom has fallen out of the market for second homes in France. The price of property in some beautiful rural areas – such as Creuse and Périgord in the south west or Morvan in northern Burgundy – has fallen by up to half in the last five years. The days are disappearing when several generations of a French family would gather in the country home for a holiday or weekend. The high divorce rate, the reluctance of teenage children to leave their computers or friends in town, and the cost of maintenance are all factors in undermining the market for the estimated 3,000,000 second homes in France. €27,000 Croze, in Creuse in south-western France: A nicely converted old three-bedroom house with a small garden in a pretty village in one of the most beautiful, and empty, départements.

Posted by drewster @ 01:02 AM 3 Comments

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Ian Cowie has a pop at hpc.co.uk

Telegraph: Winners and whingers as house prices prepare for take-off

“The fact that the Government is supporting £130bn of mortgages over three years is excellent news. This is a massive boost to house builders as well, which is good for the economy.” But for every winner there is a whinger. Spare a thought for Housepricecrash.co.uk devotees who have been waiting and wishing for house prices to plunge for years now. Their reaction is probably unprintable in a family newspaper but no doubt there will be plenty to view below the line here soon. Check the comments below for how the readers feel!

Posted by wdbeast @ 07:49 PM 27 Comments

The number of households in England is projected to grow by 2.2 million by 2021

Planet Property: The number of households in England is projected to grow by 2.2 million by 2021

That amounts to 221,000 additional households per year and will push the total number of households up to 24.3 million (a 10% rise) So says the DCLG's interim projections, anyway.

Posted by the planet @ 01:38 PM 0 Comments

London has most billionaires

Planet Property: London has most billionaires

Where do the world's super-rich like to live? London tops the table with 118 billionaires, followed by New York (102), Hong Kong (70) and the coalition cabinet ...

Posted by the planet @ 01:20 PM 0 Comments

London car park space priced at £275,000

Planet Property: London car park space priced at £275,000

"Could easily accommodate a Rolls Royce or two medium-sized cars" .. £275,000 is, by the way, a guide price. Nice touch that.

Posted by the planet @ 12:40 PM 3 Comments

Rics reports house sales at 3-year high

Myfinances.co.uk: Property sales reach 3-year high as Rics says prices on the up

The number of homes sold in the UK reached a three-year high in March, according to the latest data from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (Rics).

Posted by ben @ 10:38 AM 0 Comments

Or... they could always try just demanding a realistic rent and getting the tenant to pay the tax..?

City AM: Rates on empty properties cost landlords £1bn

LANDLORDS were forced to fork out a massive £1.1bn in business rates on empty buildings in 2012, a hike of 19 per cent on the amount collected in the previous tax year... Matthew Sinclair, chief executive of the TPA, said empty property rates were placing an unfair burden on landlords struggling to find tenants in the economic downturn and also prompting hundreds of properties to be demolished to avoid paying rates. He added: “There are elderly people who invested in a small commercial or industrial unit in the reasonable expectation that the rent would top up their pension. This new tax is ruining them.”

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 10:10 AM 6 Comments

The pyramid selling continues

Metro: Middle-class mortgage lies: More professionals fib to get home loan

The total number of [fraud] cases rose by nine per cent from 2011 to 2012 but the biggest rise in those fiddling their applications was among those labelled as ‘suburban mindsets’. This group, defined as ‘predominantly middle-aged, middle and skilled working-class individuals’ accounted for 15 per cent of ‘first party’ mortgage fraud cases, according to the Experian Fraud Index. Typically applicants lied about their employment status, financial information and, most commonly, a poor credit history.

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 07:43 AM 0 Comments

Monday, April 8, 2013

The End

Not far enough!

Guardian: Interest-only mortgage crackdown may have gone too far, regulator warns

Nevertheless, the CML estimates there are around 3.8m interest-only homeowner mortgages outstanding. Most are in the hands of older borrowers – credit ratings agency Moody's recently revealed that three-quarters are aged over 60, warning that some could still be making repayments until they die.

Posted by happy mondays @ 09:14 AM 4 Comments

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Ok then, who has a Portuguese bank account?

Daily Telegraph: Portugese government collapse set to endanger Eurozone

Next country due a democratic and economic castration. This feels like a queue to me.

Posted by tom101 @ 04:45 PM 4 Comments

Dazed & Confused

Financial times: UK house price data send mixed messages

UK homeowners could be forgiven for feeling completely confused about house prices. According to some indices, the boom is back. Others show a slump that staggers on.

Posted by happy mondays @ 07:31 AM 1 Comments

Saturday, April 6, 2013

It's hard to hide property assets

Independent: £1,000 debt could force you to sell your home

"Whether they know it or not, more than 700,000 households in England and Wales are at risk of losing their homes over debts as small as £1,000. New rules come into effect today governing the way that creditors can force the sale of property in order to repay outstanding sums on payday loans, credit cards and other forms of consumer debt." This seeme like a nasty bit of law to me; charging unsecured interest rates then changing the rules if a loan goes bad. I cannot see any reason why any homeowner should used unsecured credit for loans greater than £1000 now. H/T to Shotoflight on the forums

Posted by quiet guy @ 01:43 PM 4 Comments

Dollar vs Gold

Counterpunch: The assault on gold

Central and other banks colluded in shaving Libor in order to lower IRs and inflate prices of bonds and other securities. This plus QE supports bank balance sheets and lowers the cost of new govt debt that govts need to pay off their old debts. But debt and its monetisation and printing money for bond purchases undermine currencies, and to undermine of the dollar is to undermine the American empire. So the Fed and its banker friends have been manipulating bullion prices downward in order to support the USD. How long can this go on?

Posted by icarus @ 11:11 AM 13 Comments

Friday, April 5, 2013

Yeah !

Telegraph: A house price warning for first time buyers

House price vastly over priced ! No Sh*t ! Need to subscribe to read article but no money as saving for house!

Posted by happy mondays @ 08:40 PM 16 Comments

We are not alone..

It's the week-end again! Wanna Buya Bank?

Reuters: No sign of deposit withdrawals in Slovenia

"Slovenian banks have not seen major deposit withdrawals in recent days, ECB policymaker Marko Kranjec said on Friday". But.."Slovenian banks are sitting on some 7 billion euros (5.8 billion pounds) of bad loans, equal to 20 percent of annual economic output, prompting speculation that the country may be the next in the euro zone to need an international bailout. The yield investors demand to hold the Slovenian benchmark bond which expires in 2021 reached 6.25 percent on Friday versus 6.06 percent a week ago, Reuters data showed". "The new government of PM Alenka Bratusek, who took over on March 20, plans to cut the public sector wage bill and set up a 'bad bank' by September to take over the bad loans of state banks, enabling their privatisation". (Familiar story?)

Posted by alan @ 02:46 PM 2 Comments

Are you a sycophant?

LBG: Halifax House Price Index

Once again they tell you that you can't have a life simply because you weren't born early enough! Details: Annual change +1.1% Quarterly change +1.2% Monthly change +0.2% Average Price £163,943 Do you really want to work for them?

Posted by dill @ 02:23 PM 16 Comments

Thursday, April 4, 2013


Standard: Southwark seizes 300 council homes from cheating tenants

"More than 300 council homes that were illegally sublet or occupied by fraudsters have been seized back in a new campaign against cheating tenants in a London borough. Southwark council says it has discovered widespread abuse by tenants who are breaking the law by secretly moving elsewhere so they can make money from renting out their local authority home"."Seven people have already been convicted of fraud, including one estimated to have cheated the council of £144,000, and another 12 are facing prosecution". "Southwark is also investigating fraudulent purchases made under the “right to buy” scheme, which allows council tenants to acquire their homes at discounted prices. At least three purchases have been halted so far".

Posted by alan @ 06:37 PM 8 Comments

If the UK is bankrupt, here are the folk to help out

Guardian: Leaks reveal secrets of the rich who hide cash offshore

"The British Virgin Islands, the world's leading offshore haven used by an array of government officials and rich families to hide their wealth. The leak of 2m emails and other documents, mainly from the offshore haven of the British Virgin Islands (BVI), has the potential to cause a seismic shock worldwide to the booming offshore trade, with a former chief economist at McKinsey estimating that wealthy individuals may have as much as £21tn stashed in overseas havens". Is European growth a dead duck with governments fighting to impose ever more taxes and restrictions? Would you risk your cash in the stock market casino at the moment? Hows about a buy to let portfolio in East London?

Posted by alan @ 02:04 PM 15 Comments

4 million UK adults are in gas, electricity or water bill arrears

Planet Property: 4 million UK adults are in gas, electricity or water bill arrears

No surprise really, given rising prices, that some are struggling, but the scale of the problem is a real eye-opener .

Posted by the planet @ 01:31 PM 1 Comments

Knightsbridge church converted into £50m home

Planet Property: Knightsbridge church converted into £50m home

Knightsbridge church converted into £50m home ... but a quarter of the building retained by church for worship and community activities ... shared ownership, SW3 style .... developers better start praying!

Posted by the planet @ 01:07 PM 0 Comments

Waiting for Carney?

SKY: Bank Holds QE And Interest Rate Firm

"Just hours after Japan announces a huge quantitative easing programme, the Bank of England holds its money boost scheme at £375bn".

Posted by alan @ 12:48 PM 0 Comments

Quality paper and excellent ink make for a debased currency

Telegraph: Helicopter QE will never be reversed

"Readers of the DT were right all along. Quantitative easing will never be reversed. It is not liquidity management as claimed so vehemently at the outset. It really is the same as printing money". "If stock markets tell the truth, the world economy is already healing itself" says Ambrose - but there are doubters. Insight from "Columbia Professor Michael Woodford, the world's most closely followed monetary theorist". [ But, if you fancy somethig different and you don't like to speculate on house bubbles or silver, why not try Bitcoin? ]

Posted by alan @ 12:44 PM 3 Comments

Tenant arrears edging up

Planet Property: Tenant arrears edging up

The number of tenants in severe arrears rose by 5% in the first quarter of 2013 and is pushing towards the record high reached in 2012

Posted by the planet @ 12:38 PM 0 Comments

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Buy a house, lose your social life!

BBC News: The Great British class calculator

According to this 'scientific' BBC research, if I spend my savings on a house, I immediately go from 'Emergent service worker' who is relatively poor but with a social life, all the way up to to 'Technical middle class'. I know my place!

Posted by ferret @ 10:17 PM 4 Comments

Now 90% of the entire economy, ONS reveals

Mail: Britain's debt mountain reaches £1.39TRILLION

Just look at the graph ~ it's a wake-up call!

Posted by alan @ 05:18 PM 14 Comments

Some good ideas here!

The Mash: The Mash Guide to Making Money From Your Spare Bedroom

A SPARE bedroom could cost you £22 a week, so there’s no excuse for letting it lie fallow...

Posted by greenmind @ 11:25 AM 0 Comments

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

How banking should work

TRNN: Public Banking Needed to Stop "Cannibalization" of the Economy

Micheal Hudson on top form again.

Posted by pete green @ 10:02 PM 1 Comments

The Insiders list

RT: 132 companies pull out over $900mn in deposits

"One hundred and thirty-two companies reportedly had inside knowledge of Cyprus’ impending levy tax as they withdrew deposits worth US$916 million in the run-up to the bailout deal". "Cyprus's finance minister resigned today after concluding a 10 billion euro bailout deal with international lenders in which the country slashed its dominant banking sector and hit depositors with losses" says Reuters. The integrity of the Eurozone politicians & bankers is now toast! Sarris was previously chairman of Laiki (means Popular), I guess he still is popular with his chums on the Insiders list?

Posted by alan @ 07:09 PM 0 Comments

Netherlands property ~ underwater

SPIEGEL: The Netherlands Falls Prey to Economic Crisis

"The Netherlands, Berlin's most important ally in pushing for greater budgetary discipline in Europe, has fallen into an economic crisis itself. The once exemplary economy is suffering from huge debts and a burst real estate bubble, which has stalled growth and endangered jobs". Can't see the benefit to UK PLC of inflating our property bubble - do we really want this situation? Osborne NOoooo!

Posted by alan @ 06:52 PM 3 Comments

12% arrears, no evictions

Quartz: Welcome to Ireland, where mortgage payments are apparently optional

Over 12% of Irish mortgages are in arrears, massively more than anywhere else in the EU. But virtually no evictions because of Ireland's historic laws. Also virtually no new borrowing AT ALL now. Really is afoo bar'd economy.

Posted by voiceofreason @ 03:40 PM 4 Comments

Prime London rents cool

Planet Property: Prime London rents cool

Prices sliding by as much as 12% in some areas as tighter corporate budgets hit rental values.

Posted by the planet @ 12:57 PM 0 Comments

Meanwhile, behind all the hype...

Telegraph: Mortgage approvals continue to fall in February

The number of homebuyers granted a mortgage fell sharply in February, accelerating a decline which began at the start of the year. Mortgage approvals dropped 4.7pc to 51,653 in February, following a 2pc fall in January, according to statistics from the Bank of England. Last month marked the first drop in mortgage approvals after a five month streak of rises, peaking in December, following the launch of the government's Funding for Lending scheme, which aims to boost borrowing by providing banks with cheap finance.

Posted by hpwatcher @ 12:42 PM 2 Comments

Mortgage approvals fall to lowest level since September

Planet Property: Mortgage approvals fall to lowest level since September

Mortgage approvals numbered 51,653 in February, the lowest figure since September of last year, says the Bank of England data

Posted by the planet @ 11:44 AM 0 Comments

Debt Bomb

BBC: Stockton becomes most populous bankrupt US city

Coutts, the high-end private bank, has warned its clients against exposing their fortunes to a potential collapse of the high-yield debt market amid growing concerns of a new global credit bubble - so why encourage the UK folk to get into more debt on house purchases, George? BBC says Stockton City, of 290,000 people is 90 miles east of San Francisco, saw its tax base plummet in the US housing market crash. Beware!

Posted by alan @ 07:52 AM 1 Comments

Monday, April 1, 2013

Laughing all the way from the bank!

Irish Times: Developer Seán Dunne says he could be debt-free in six months

"Property developer estimates banks will be repaid at most 2% of the €390 million he says he owes them". The Ulster bank " was the lead lender on his biggest project, the redevelopment of the Jurys hotel sites in Ballsbridge, which faltered at planning and was doomed by the property crash". (wonder who took a big bonus on that one?). April Fool banks!

Posted by alan @ 10:34 PM 3 Comments

Pru plans foray into UK rented housing

F.T,: Pru plans foray into UK rented housing

The Prudential is to become the first UK institutional investor to enter the UK rented housing market in recent times, paving the way for the growth of a corporate-backed letting market at a time of acute housing shortage

Posted by tick tock @ 03:44 PM 2 Comments

Is this a 1st of April thing

Mail online: House prices 'will overtake pre-crisis peak by next year thanks to government's new help-to-buy scheme' Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2302056/House-prices-overtake-pre-crisis-peak-year-thanks-governments-new-help-buy-scheme.html#ixzz2

The cost of the average home will jump by nearly £50,000 over the next five years, partly fueled by the Government’s mortgage lending scheme, a report reveals today, and then drop like a brick when funding stops.

Posted by sosoon @ 07:54 AM 10 Comments

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