May 2013 Archive

Thursday, May 30, 2013

It's the Boom & Bust cycle, stupid!

Bloomberg: Mortgage Rates in the U.S. Climb to Highest in a Year

"U.S. mortgage rates rose to their highest levels in a year as reports showed the housing market and economy strengthening, signaling to bond investors that the Federal Reserve may reduce efforts to push down borrowing costs". Hedge funds have cash ready to buy up the impending foreclosures (meanwhile contrarians see no end to QE).

Posted by alan @ 06:55 PM 12 Comments

Ho ho ho

The Daily Mash: London property market based on people pretending grim places are great

Professor Henry Brubaker of the Institute for Studies said: “Buying a place in London is a bit like organising a wedding – everything is absurdly expensive and not what you really want, but you just have to suck it up because it’s all so bloody brilliant.”

Posted by tick tock @ 06:16 PM 1 Comments

Tracker rates from base rate + 1.45%

Myfinances.co.uk: Tesco Bank launches new fixed rate mortgage deals from 1.74 per cent

Tesco Bank has today (May 30th) brought three new mortgages to the property market, with the launch of fixed rate products over two, three and five years at 60 per cent LTV. The rates are amongst some of the lowest available on the market.

Posted by ben @ 05:55 PM 0 Comments

Leeds BS review BTL mortgage rates as demand increases

Myfinances.co.uk: Leeds BS cut rates by up to 0.70% on buy-to-let mortgages

The Leeds Building Society has announced a reduction in the rates for a number of its buy-to-let mortgages. The lender says it is responding to increased demand for buy-to-let lending.

Posted by ben @ 05:54 PM 0 Comments

If this applied to working people too we would see a real reduction in rents and house prices

Evening Standard: Londoners support Government's £26,000 benefits cap

It's all fair and well to cap benefits for the unemployed but if you have a job you can still get much more than. It's much cheaper to forcibly remove all low paid non-homeowners from London and put them on the dole in grotty areas well outside the M25 instead. If Londoners don't want council housing built, they should not expect the taxpayer to pay over the odds for subsidised housing

Posted by mombers @ 05:41 PM 3 Comments

Sterling?

ES: Steep rise in house prices as mortgage constraints ease

Lesson that house prices would not correct in nominal terms, but that sterling would be devalued by an average of 25% against foreign currencies instead. Go further on and now the bubble is being forcefully blown, but this time after aggregate demand for 90% of the population has been killed by King's QE policy of flooding the market with easy money and deliberately pushing the UK into the zero bound. People do know that asset prices are being sustained as part of government policy, it is not a good time to invest. Then add in the need for a further devaluation of the pound against the dollar to 1.35 as the short term stimulus with long term costs. Then think of New Labour saying they will print more to invest in 2015 with a client state who surely bust one last fingers in till then bang

Posted by stillthinking @ 03:57 PM 0 Comments

Quick, destroy the evidence

Telegraph: British house prices are '31pc too high' - OECD

"The UK's property market is the eighth most over-valued, according to the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development".

Posted by alan @ 12:55 PM 5 Comments

Be prepared for more smug dinner party conversations

Planet Property Blog: Londoners think house prices will go up and up

Yesterday OECD economists warned that Chancellor George Osborne’s ‘Help to Buy’ mortgage scheme could inflate house prices. So brace yourselves for rocketing house prices to once again dominate London dinner party conversation. According to a new YouGov poll (77%) of people living in London think that the average house price will rise over the next 12 months, and an even greater proportion of Londoners (83%) think house prices will go up over the next five years.

Posted by property addict @ 12:36 PM 0 Comments

Nationwide reports "modest" improvement in property market

Myfinances.co.uk: Nationwide HPI: House prices up 0.4% in May

UK house prices went up by 0.4 per cent in May, according to the latest house price index (HPI) from Nationwide.

Posted by ben @ 10:25 AM 0 Comments

Effects of government support - NOT the market

BBC: UK house prices saw modest rise in May, Nationwide says

UK house prices recorded a "modest" rise in May, increasing by 0.4%, according to the latest survey from the Nationwide building society. It said the increase provided further support for "the view that the housing market is gradually gaining momentum". The annual rate of price growth rose to 1.1%, the fastest pace since November 2011.

Posted by hpwatcher @ 08:17 AM 4 Comments

Dickensian Britain

The Independent: Hungry Britain: More than 500,000 people forced to use food banks

Major charities have signalled their alarm over a dramatic rise in the nation's "hidden hungry" – families who are forced to ask for help to feed themselves – because of wage cuts, the squeeze on benefits and the continuing economic downturn. The numbers have trebled in the past year alone, according to a joint report by Oxfam and Church Action on Poverty. Talks about rising cost of food and energy bills but doesn't mention the increasing cost for many of keeping a rented roof over their heads.

Posted by stuartking @ 12:14 AM 4 Comments

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Another fine mess we are about to get into...

Daily Telegraph: No saviour in sight as world credit cycle rolls over

The HSBC index for the global business cycle hit a three-year high around Easter, and has since rolled over. "Any country [include the UK] that has failed to lock in a self-sustaining recovery by now must expect to pay the price for the failings of its policy establishment, and some risk a slide into outright deflation.

Posted by stuartking @ 10:13 PM 0 Comments

BTL For Dummies

Daily Mail: How to build a buy-to-let empire

Around £1 in every £7 lent on mortgages last year went to landlords — a total of £16.4 billion.

Posted by peter_2008 @ 09:44 PM 2 Comments

Get ready to duck!

Telegraph: New BoE chief Carney will devalue sterling, Pimco warns

"Mark Carney will try to devalue the pound by as much as 15pc after he takes over as Bank of England Governor in July in a last ditch attempt to cement the UK recovery, Pimco, the world’s largest bond house, has warned".

Posted by alan @ 06:12 PM 6 Comments

Estate agents accused of preferring buy-to-let purchasers

Planet Property: Estate agents accused of preferring buy-to-let purchasers

London agents, it's alleged, prefer to sell to buy-to-let landlords in the hopes that their letting branches will be given the rental business ... if true it's a significant breach of the law

Posted by the planet @ 12:21 PM 0 Comments

79% of people want to get on the property ladder

Myfinances.co.uk: First-time buyer aspirations rise across most parts of the UK

he Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) reports that the appetite for buying a home in the UK is strengthening.

Posted by ben @ 11:25 AM 0 Comments

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Looks like the only answer will be to hit Print

Reuters: Germany fears revolution if Europe scraps welfare model

With youth unemployment in the EU standing at nearly one in four, more than twice the adult rate, German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble warned on Tuesday that failure to win the battle against youth unemployment could tear Europe. If U.S. welfare standards were introduced in Europe, "we would have revolution, not tomorrow, but on the very same day," Schaeuble told a conference in Paris. At the end of the conference Mario Rajoy called for "some kind of common European debt" and said Europe should temporarily exclude social security subsidies for youth hiring from its calculation of member states' budget deficits, a proposal that will likely meet resistance.

Posted by enuii @ 09:06 PM 5 Comments

Nothing new, but a different spin

Telegraph: More people renting houses rather than owning them would be better for our economy

"It is not a good thing that the health of the British economy is so dependent on property prices – meaning they must always go up, never down"

Posted by wdbeast @ 07:19 PM 3 Comments

Low supply causing bubble but billionaire Lakshmi Mittal hasn't heard yet

Planet Property Blog: London Agents Taking Advantage of Low Supply

London heading for a burst bubble… The latest Hometrack report says that scarcity of homes on the market has pushed up prices in London by 0.9% in a month and the South East by 0.5%, while prices in the rest of the country have hardly changed, rising by only 0.1%. Demand has apparently grown in London by 15% over the last six months, while supply has shrunk by 0.6%.

Posted by property addict @ 05:02 PM 2 Comments

Five ways to market a property using social media

Quick Move Now: Five ways to market a property using social media

What is the most effective way of using social media that you can think of? Reconnecting with old friends? Keeping tabs on your favourite celebs? How about selling your house? In a world reliant on Facebook, Twitter and the like, more people are turning to social networks as a way of marketing their home to help drum up interest before a sale. Considering the economic climate and the difficult housing market, it’s understandable that people are exploring new ways to cut the costs of estate agents and make the most of the resources already available to them. Here are five ways to help your property get noticed online.

Posted by donna houguez @ 04:00 PM 1 Comments

Open Europe/ComRes poll (pdf)

Openeurope: Voting intentions and the UK’s relationship with the EU

In a General Election, Labour would win 37% of votes, followed by the Conservatives on 26%, UKIP on 20% and the Liberal Democrats on 9%. Under current constituency boundaries, Labour would win a majority of 110 seats with the Conservatives losing 102 seats. UKIP would not win any seats.

Posted by dill @ 02:58 PM 3 Comments

Can the UK wean itself off its property price addiction?

Pieria: Can the UK wean itself off its property price addiction?

Expectations of continuously rising property prices were one of the prominent features of pre-crisis Britain (and, of course, the US). While analyses of the origins of the crisis will undoubtedly point to this complacency as one of the factors that helped blind people to growing risks, I think we may be missing one of the major difficulties that the lack of rising property prices play in a world of private bank-created money.

Posted by m @ 02:02 PM 0 Comments

It's not rocket science...

AboutProperty: Build homes or risk return to 19th century says planning minister

The housing crisis is pushing the UK back to the 19th century, warns the planning minister Nick Boles. And it is green campaigners who are letting it happen he claims, with their refusal to accept that "new homes do more for human happiness than a few fields". In a move which is sure to enrage countryside dwellers the Conservative MP has spoken out about the UK's housing crisis and the mistake of prioritising the preservation of rural areas instead of helping to get people onto the housing ladder

Posted by phil @ 11:28 AM 25 Comments

Game keeper turns poacher

Guardian: Deloitte appoints official criticised over 'sweetheart' tax deals

The row over tax avoidance by multinational companies escalated on Monday night as it emerged that Dave Hartnett, until 10 months ago the country's leading tax official, has been appointed to a new position with a leading accountancy firm mired in the controversy. Hartnett will work one day a week with Deloitte, the auditors for Vodafone and Starbucks, which faced tax avoidance allegations during his time as head of HM Revenue & Customs. The appointment was approved by David Cameron and the advisory committee on business appointments last week, although Deloitte did not announce the high-profile signing.

Posted by doomwatch @ 10:39 AM 6 Comments

Monday, May 27, 2013

More special pleading

Daily Telegraph: Stamp duty 'traps families on rung of housing ladder’

Middle-class families are being trapped on the housing ladder because the rate of stamp duty has been “ramped up” by successive governments, according to the Homeowners Alliance [should that not be renamed 'Mortgaged up to the eyeballs Alliance?]

Posted by stuartking @ 11:02 PM 12 Comments

Aren't we so lucky, living in such a wonderful country?

Mail: House prices see sharpest rise in six years with some areas up 25%... but experts say it's because not enough homes are for sale

House prices have seen their sharpest rise in six years - with some areas up 25 per cent in just 12 months, it emerged today. Overall prices rose by 0.4 per cent month-on-month in May - marking the strongest uplift since the same month in 2007 - as a shortage of homes for sale boosted buyer competition, a report said. And Paul Markey, an estate agent for Haart in the gentrifying neighbourhood of Brixton, south London, said it was ‘boom time’ and he had seen prices rise by 25 per cent there in one year.

Posted by hpwatcher @ 08:52 PM 7 Comments

A nation of renters

Daily Telegraph: Landlords leap on cheap loans as first-time buyers falter

Number of 'benefit scroungers' set to grow as Tory Party seeks to further enrich its supporters. Pay the mortgage and profit of landlord out of your minimum wage, topped by taxpayers... Reality, of course, is the biggest 'benefit scroungers' are the BTL brigade.

Posted by stuartking @ 07:42 PM 1 Comments

A prescription for zombies

Monetary Policy Forum: Still time for TARP in the UK

After a brief description of the events leading to the financial crisis in 2007, this paper puts the boot into UK monetary policy: "it has created a nation of “Zombies” – economic agents suspended in the aspic of near-zero interest rates, unable to cope with the consequences of a return to more normal monetary conditions. We suspect that the Buy-to-Let sector (BTL) is a key part of the UK’s problem ... A fear that these Zombies will default once rates rise is discouraging banks from lending, and harming economic growth." The paper then goes onto describe a mechanism to deal with bad bank balance sheets that would have required less central bank intervention than current policy and produced higher economic growth and a relatively normal housing market.

Posted by quiet guy @ 01:40 PM 5 Comments

Brits Surprisingly Resilient to 'Spare Cash Strain'

Sky News: British Families Feeling Spare Cash 'Strain'

British families have suffered the worst deterioration in their spending power in 12 months because of a sharp decline in wage growth, a CEBR report has found that after paying essential bills, the average household now has just £155 left over in spare cash each week. With employment prospects weakening and average pay only rising by 0.8% over the year to April, the lowest rise since CEBR figures began in 2001 the figures in the article look quite rose tinted.

Posted by enuii @ 11:51 AM 2 Comments

House prices up by 0.4 per cent nationally

Myfinances.co.uk: UK house prices rise at fastest pace for six years

House prices have recorded the biggest single monthly increase for six years in May, helped by big price rises in London and the south-east.

Posted by ben @ 11:33 AM 0 Comments

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Discipline

Telegraph: EU threatens France over economic failings

The European Commission will use sweeping new powers backed by sanctions to impose controversial social and economic reforms on European countries later this week.

Posted by dill @ 07:19 AM 3 Comments

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Obsession and regret

Daily Mail: One in five homebuyers are plagued by regrets

Nearly one in five Britons say they made a mistake buying their house and aren’t happy with the deal they have ended up with, a report shows. From buying next to a noisy airfield to paying too much or getting the wrong mortgage, almost 20 per cent of us have a significant regret about our homes, according to consumer watchdog Which? Money. on Facebook

Posted by peter_2008 @ 11:44 PM 6 Comments

Radio Broadcast in Australia explaining the traumatised society that has been Created by hous price

3CR Radio - Renegade Economist: The Cheating Vulnerability

The Cheating Vulnerability: Fred Harrison, the economist to accurately predicted the last two recessions, discusses his new book The Traumatised Society, delving into how the burden of economic & environmental malaise is stripping society of its rationale through high house prices and how this has happened thoughout history

Posted by pete green @ 12:48 PM 4 Comments

Friday, May 24, 2013

When America sneezes..

Zero Hedge: The Housing Unrecovery Is Here: Lumber Enters Bear Market

Not looking good for proberdee investors in the US... Still, if things do start to look as though they'll move downwards, they could go back to the reckless lending of old, such as recommended by Osborne with his Help to Sell initiative.

Posted by stuartking @ 07:42 PM 3 Comments

Leeds offer 5-year fix at 3.19% if you have 20% deposit

Myfinances.co.uk: Leeds BS cuts rate on five-year fix to 3.19%

The Leeds Building Society has cut the rate on its five-year fixed rate mortgage for borrowers with a loan-to-value (LTV) ratio of between 70 and 80 per cent by 0.10 per cent to 3.19 per cent.

Posted by ben @ 04:16 PM 0 Comments

Time to sell your Rightmove shares?

Planet Property: Time to sell your Rightmove shares?

Pull up yer chairs - this should be fun! Estate agents are appealing to the spirit of co-operation in a bid to topple Rightzoopla. Apparently they don't like the fact that "70% of Rightmove’s income is profit" ... Viva La Revolution!!!

Posted by the planet @ 01:16 PM 3 Comments

Lots of Data from the BBA

BBA: April 2013 figures for the high street banks

Average Value of Loans £155,900 and many other interesting pieces of data. eg: Number of motgages offered MoM (dropped by 0.1%), New Household borrowing £16bn in April. Savings stats and a lot more. Offers a .pdf or Excel download.

Posted by alan @ 11:48 AM 2 Comments

Bank deposits rise as consumers opt to save

Myfinances.co.uk: BBA reports slight uptick in mortgage approvals for April

The British Bankers Association (BBA) reports that mortgage approvals went up in April helped by government schemes that aim to help more first-time buyers get onto the property ladder.

Posted by ben @ 11:25 AM 1 Comments

Thursday, May 23, 2013

They were trying to help QE for Britain!

BBC: Three men jailed over 'largest' fake £1 coin plot

"Three fraudsters have been jailed for what is believed to be the biggest ever plot to make fake pound coins - after 50,000 false coins were found". "Det Insp Bruce South said: "These three men are organised criminals who were intent on undermining the UK monetary system". Pity someone doesn't arrest the world's Central Bankers too.

Posted by alan @ 05:47 PM 4 Comments

Across the pond, a recovery in House Prices

Bloomberg: U.S. House Prices Rose 7.2% in Year Through March

"U.S. house prices rose 7.2 percent in the year through March, the biggest gain since May 2006, the Federal Housing Finance Agency said". "Prices jumped 16.1 percent from a year earlier in the Pacific area, which includes California, Washington and Oregon. In the Mountain region, including Arizona, Colorado and Nevada, the gain was 14.4 percent, the FHFA said. The Middle Atlantic area -- New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania -- had the smallest increase, at 1.6 percent".

Posted by alan @ 05:41 PM 4 Comments

When property details go wrong ... XXX master bedroom

Planet Property: When property details go wrong ... XXX master bedroom

We've seen some strange stuff on property details ... but is that what I think it is on the bedroom floor ... ??!! Yes. Yes. YES IT IS!!

Posted by the planet @ 01:18 PM 0 Comments

Property valuation isn't a science, but come on...

Planet Property Blog: Versace mansion drops price by $50 million

Yes, we did mean $50 million… Fashion designer Gianni Versace’s Miami Beach mansion has been on the market since June last year, but it seems that its 24-karat gold-lined swimming pool and numerous high-camp frescos and its own observatory have not been enough to entice a buyer at its original price of $125 million, or even its bargain-bucket reduction to $100 million

Posted by property addict @ 12:09 PM 0 Comments

The Chancellor’s manipulation of the housing market will lead to disaster

Spectator: George Osborne's property bubble will lead to disaster

Merryn Somerset Webb, editor in chief of MoneyWeek, has long predicted a collapse of the housing bubble. Here she looks at the growing number of government interventions in the UK housing market and the possible outcomes that are likely to end in disaster. (Or more affordable housing if you look at it another way).

Posted by james tennant @ 11:46 AM 8 Comments

Here's how fragile it all is. And the fabled UK housing "recovery"?

BBC: Global markets fell after weak Chinese data and worries that the US Federal Reserve may slow its monetary stimulus.

Global markets fell after weak Chinese data and worries that the US Federal Reserve may slow its monetary stimulus. In Asia, the fall was led by Japan's Nikkei index, which closed down 7.3%, having fallen as much as 10%. European markets also reversed recent rises, with London, Frankfurt and Paris opening almost 2% lower. It followed data showing a slowdown in Chinese manufacturing, and Fed chairman Ben Bernanke's hint that Quantitative Easing efforts may be scaled back.

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 11:42 AM 3 Comments

The message is slowly sinking in

Guardian: I am the beneficiary of the house-price boom. My children are its victims

[My kids] have never asked me for anything but it is obvious that, with their loans and high rents, even with jobs they will not be able to buy in the city they grew up in, without some help [from me].

Posted by drewster @ 12:26 AM 21 Comments

Changes in society driving up house prices

Daily Mail: Silver separation: Penelope Keith blames divorced middle-aged women for 'pushing up house prices'

Actress Penelope Keith has attacked women who get divorced later in life, saying they are to blame for pushing up house prices. The star of To the Manor Born has said she has no sympathy for women in their fifties who leave their husbands because they want ' their own space.' The 73-year-old said: 'If only we could educate people to go on living together for longer. It's all these single dwellings, all these women in their fifties and sixties, who suddenly want their town space, to be their own people.' 'I read about affordable houses that are £300,000. Sorry? Affordable housing for whom? It's a terribly knotty problem,' she said.

Posted by drewster @ 12:22 AM 0 Comments

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Behind the smoke and mirrors of weather excuses there are some interesting numbers

BBC: UK retail sales hit by bad weather again

Total food sales plunged 4.1% in April, their largest monthly fall in almost two years. So because the weather was a little cool we purchased less food. Or is it more like because of inflation we are wasting less and eating simpler in an attempt to restrain the spiraling cost of living.

Posted by enuii @ 10:35 PM 1 Comments

Nationwide's share of UK mortgage market reaches 15 per cent

Myfinances.co.uk: Nationwide's share of mortgage market rises to 15%

Nationwide, the UK’s largest building society has announced that its share of the mortgage market has reached a new record high. It now has a 15.1 per cent share of the mortgage market, up from 13 per cent, after seeing gross mortgage lending rise by 17 per cent in the year to April 4th 2013 to £21.5 billion.

Posted by ben @ 06:31 PM 0 Comments

The answer to peak debt is - A Bigger Peak!

Reuters: IMF urges Britain to do more to boost growth

"The International Monetary Fund called on Britain's government on Wednesday to do more to speed up slow economic recovery, hinting that the country might be able to afford to borrow more to fund investment". Meanwhile...Christine Lagarde jets back to Paris to be questioned over Tapie payout, you couldn't make it up! Maybe Christine is lining herself up for a job in the EU?

Posted by alan @ 12:50 PM 1 Comments

Help to Buy a big boost for Barratt Homes

Planet Property: Help to Buy a big boost for Barratt Homes

Barratt Homes already seeing the benefits of taxpayers money ... nice one George!

Posted by the planet @ 10:52 AM 0 Comments

Already made his mind up, regardless of whether the BoJ experiment actually works

Telegraph: Mark Carney says Europe could face a decade of stagnation unless it takes the kind of bold measures seen in Japan

'In words that will underline his status as a monetary activist and fuel speculation that he will try to relaunch quantitative easing (QE) when he arrives in the UK, Mr Carney applauded Japan’s “bold policy experiment” to boost dramatically its own QE programme. He said: “Europe can draw lessons from Japan on the dangers of half measures... Europe remains in recession. Deep challenges persist in its financial system. Without sustained and significant reforms, a decade of stagnation threatens.”'

Posted by hpwatcher @ 09:19 AM 15 Comments

Central banks and animal spirits

Telegraph: Schizophrenic investors expect slump: bet on boom

The latest poll of Morgan Stanley's top clients from across the world says it all … Just a quarter expect a return to trend growth. Some 57pc think there will be no escape from the "twilight" conditions afflicting the western world, and 20pc expect an full-blown global recession. That is a remarkably bearish set of views. Yet the same investors are overwhelmingly bullish on stocks and property. This schizophrenic exuberance seems entirely based on the assumption that QE and central bank largesse will keep the game going, flooding asset markets with liquidity. Indeed, 80pc think the ECB will cut rates again, and half think it will have to swallow its pride and join the QE club in the end.

Posted by quiet guy @ 07:50 AM 3 Comments

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Fresh help for landowners and bankers

The Scottish Government: Fresh help for buyers

People across Scotland are to be helped on to the housing ladder with a £120 million funding boost announced today by Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon. The funding will be available over the next two years to both first time buyers and existing homes owners who are buying a new build home. Buyers who successfully apply to use shared equity will be able to purchase a home by paying a majority share in it, while the Scottish Government pays the remaining amount under an agreement with the buyer. As well as helping house buyers the scheme will stimulate the construction industry, creating growth within the house building sector.

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 04:27 PM 4 Comments

Desperate seller throws in a Bentley

Planet Property Blog: House for sale with unique giveaway

Not content with the usual splash of Farrow and Ball and smell of coffee, a Stanmore homeowner has decided to offer an unusual enticement to potential buyers of his six bed house. The black Bentley GTC Mulliner-edition convertible, with 19,500 miles on the clock and a full service history, will be handed over to the buyer of the house, named The Bentley, which is located in Bentley Way and backs onto the Bentley Priory Nature Reserve. Can you see a bit of a theme emerging here?

Posted by property addict @ 11:40 AM 1 Comments

House price rise fuelled by London and the south-east

Myfinances.co.uk: ONS reports house prices went up by 2.7% in March

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) reports that UK house prices went up by 2.7 per cent in March. This follows a 1.9 per cent rise in February and reinforces the view borne out by recent housing market surveys that the property market is improving.

Posted by ben @ 11:31 AM 1 Comments

CML: April gross mortgage lending up 4.3% on March

Myfinances.co.uk: Mortgage lending in April at highest level for five years

The Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) reports that gross mortgage lending went up by 4.3 per cent in April to £12.1 billion.

Posted by ben @ 11:04 AM 1 Comments

Shopping basket inflation is around 8%

BBC: UK inflation rate falls to 2.4% in April

"The UK's inflation rate fell to 2.4% in April, according to the Office for National Statistics, down from 2.8% in March". "Inflation as measured by the retail prices index (RPI) fell to 2.9% in April, from 3.3% the month before". So far this month everything has been manipulated from horse race winners to oil prices.

Posted by alan @ 10:17 AM 3 Comments

Governments just can't stop themselves from using housing to stay in power

Mail: Average price of a home is now £250,000… that’s NINE times the typical salary

House prices have shot up so far that buyers must earn more than £62,000 - twice the UK's average salary - to afford the average asking price of quarter of a million pounds. New figures show that vendors are asking an average £249,841 - nine times the typical salary in the UK of £26,500. With mortgage firms typically lending a maximum of four times people's salary, borrowers on the UK's average wage could only obtain a mortgage of just over £106,000 - far below the new average asking price.

Posted by hpwatcher @ 08:18 AM 8 Comments

Monday, May 20, 2013

Playing with this CD could damage more than your ears

Reuters: Nationwide plans to issue new loss-absorbing debt

"Nationwide plans to issue a new form of so-called loss-absorbing debt in order to bolster its capital position". "Loss-absorbing debt is used by financial companies to protect themselves against a potential market downturn. Under certain circumstances, the debtholders would incur losses, thereby easing the burden on the issuer. Nationwide could raise between 300 million and 500 million pounds through the issue of so-called core capital deferred shares (CCDS), though a source close to the building society said the size and timing of the issue had not yet been finalised".

Posted by alan @ 07:02 PM 4 Comments

The price of immigration felt in Newham?

Guardian: UK spends £2bn housing homeless in B&Bs, hostels and shelters

"Rising private rents, lack of affordable housing, benefit cuts and low levels of home-building force costly short-term solution, investigation finds" says the article. However, tens of thousands live "under the radar" in Newham, many turning up with just the clothes on their backs and the address of the benefit office. Welcome to London!

Posted by alan @ 12:14 PM 5 Comments

How much does a penthouse cost in London?

Planet Property: How much does a penthouse cost in London?

In these penny-pinching times, a question we know you've all been pondering: how much does a penthouse cost in London? You know it's wrong; it makes you feel a bit grubby ... but you want to know.

Posted by the planet @ 11:19 AM 0 Comments

B&B Nation: Britain spends £2bn housing homeless in remporary accommodation

Planet Property: B&B Nation: Britain spends £2bn housing homeless in remporary accommodation

The UK has spent almost £2bn since 2009 housing vulnerable homeless families in short-term temporary accommodation: enough to build 72,000 homes in London. Genius!

Posted by the planet @ 10:33 AM 0 Comments

Rightmove

Mail: Asking prices hit new highs amid signs confidence is returning to the housing market

There has been a 2.1 per cent month-on-month rise which pushed average asking prices to £249,841 in May, Rightmove has revealed, with new record prices set in London, the South East, and East Anglia. It marks the strongest start to a year for asking prices since 2004, with average prices rising by more than £20,000 so far in 2013.

Posted by happy mondays @ 07:54 AM 9 Comments

Drinking in the last chance saloon

Snouts in the Trough: An idiot’s guide to the world financial crash – The story of Helga’s bar

How - despite the problems brought about by debt - debts are being ratcheted ever higher. Look at what's happening over here, with student loans and the latest Osborne wheeze with government-sponsored, taxpayer-backed mortgages

Posted by stuartking @ 12:24 AM 1 Comments

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Its not 'if' but 'when' this house of cards will come down

Daily Telegraph: Markets are on a crazy, sugar-fuelled journey

Excellent article by Liam Halligan, which although it doesn't mention it, should give you a good reason not to throw in the towel and buy a house. Its not about 'if' its about 'when' this house of cards will start falling down. for those of us who are questioning whether we got it all completely wrong and rising house prices are gold plated, this is a good reminder that the current world economies are living in an illusion and it can't go on forever.

Posted by britishblue @ 10:18 PM 4 Comments

Forecaster sees 50% fall in £ by 2015 against $.

Armstrong Economics: British Pound

If Armstrong is correct, we get our house price crash in 2015, albeit not benefiting anybody who earns or saves in Sterling. All the benefits will be had with those in foreign countries if a falling Sterling is what corrects our house prices. More analysis and links in the thread below.

Posted by libertas @ 11:04 AM 31 Comments

Help to sell - but not to people we don't like

The Soaraway Sun: Non-Brits get tax help to buy home

FOREIGNERS can cash in on a taxpayer-funded scheme to help hard-up families buy new homes, it was revealed last night. They will be able to claim thousands of pounds in subsidies for a deposit. It emerged that non-UK residents from Europe and the rest of the world will be able to buy their first pad here worth up to £600,000 using £130billion of public money. One furious critic branded the scheme “absurd”, and others warned it would boost the “pull factor” which has lured millions of immigrants to Britain.Mortgage brokers are already advising hundreds of foreigners who want to take advantage Sir Andrew Green, of MigrationWatch UK, said: “This is utterly absurd. We are trying to tackle mass immigration, yet at every point we roll out the red carpet.”

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 10:41 AM 6 Comments

Help to sell ( part 2 )

New statesmen: Help To Buy is in a mess - here's how Osborne can rescue it

To avoid a "second home subsidy", the government must limit the scheme to first-time buyers.

Posted by happy mondays @ 09:46 AM 3 Comments

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Sir Mervyn King Criticises Help To Buy Scheme

Sky News: Sir Mervyn King Criticises Help To Buy Scheme

The Bank of England governor says there is "no place in the long run" for George Osborne's plan to boost the housing market. The outgoing governor of the Bank of England has warned that George Osborne's plan to boost the housing market is "too close for comfort" to the US mortgage guarantee schemes that triggered the financial crisis. Speaking in an interview with Sky News' Dermot Murnaghan, Sir Mervyn King said the Help To Buy scheme must not be allowed to become permanent. My comment: what is the UK government (especially a Conservative-dominated government) doing interfering in the housing market anyway? I'm amazed that our government is in the business of using tax-payers money to give interest free loans to people so they can buy overpriced housing.

Posted by grumpybob @ 10:41 PM 5 Comments

Seeds of destruction

New York Post: Next home $ crisis

Former chief credit officer of Frannie Mae explains why seeds of next housing crash are being sown in US. Note similarities with what Osborne in his infinite stupidity is doing here

Posted by stuartking @ 12:24 PM 1 Comments

If you think the house market's manipulated here..

Counterpunch: Obama and the housing boondoggle

Any housing 'recovery' in the US is due to government-backed speculation (big players buying cheap job lots of property to rent out). With the 'recovery' of prices and some recapitalisation the banks are now confident enough to start repossessing properties they formerly kept off the market in order to support prices / balance sheets. (Strange that newer mortgages aren't defaulting much - could it be that banks have been more discriminating when they and not the govt are on the hook for losses?) And now banks are negotiating with the govt a plan to 'help' owners to move up, or get on, the 'ladder', i.e. to get the govt to back risky loans, e.g. "exercise more 'flexibility' in lending, with ablity to repay judged 'holistically' rather than by an 'inflexible' rule requiring a big deposit".

Posted by icarus @ 11:02 AM 0 Comments

Friday, May 17, 2013

Don't leave paying off that mortgage till retirement

Mail: Teachers and nurses will see a THIRD of their pension incomes wiped out under government reforms

"Doctors, nurses, teachers and local government staff will see the income from their 'gold-plated' public sector pensions slashed by more than a THIRD under the Government's reform plans. Some four million public sector workers will see their retirement income take a huge hit as the Government looks to cut its pension liabilities by a quarter by 2065". However, "those within 10 years of their pension age on April 1, 2012, will be able to take their pension under the current final salary conditions, rather than the new career average". Doesn't this make you want to rush out and sign up for George's new homebuying scheme that will prop up house prices?

Posted by alan @ 10:06 PM 0 Comments

Dying to get a sale

Mail: Lettings agent invited potential tenants to view home while dead previous occupant was still being laid out inside

"George Murton, 88, died peacefully at the bungalow he cherished in Rainham, Kent, on April 19. Within two hours of his death, his daughter Linda Preston, 65, notified Orbit Housing, who then posted details of the bungalow being available for rent on its website. Would-be tenants were allowed to visit the exterior of the property and even looked through the windows and the letter box as Mr Murton’s body was in his bedroom and the family was holding a wake".Yes, someone will be "reviewing procedures" ...

Posted by alan @ 04:27 PM 4 Comments

Despite falling wages...

AboutProperty: Rents going up and up and up everywhere

Rents have risen in every single region of England and Wales for the first time since 2011. Average rent is now 3.9 per cent higher than last April, following a 0.2 per cent monthly rise.

Posted by phil @ 11:17 AM 0 Comments

Fearful of France, French bankers stick to £3m houses in South Kensington

EFinancialCareers: Fearful of returning to France, French bankers sit it out in South Kensington

Life is hard for French bankers in London, but harder still for French bankers who have to return to Paris. Kensington Estate agents say French financiers still account for 15-25% of their sales. However, with the average house costing £3m, you need money to buy in South Kensington - leaving the local market vulnerable to redundancies in the finance industry.

Posted by sarah butcher @ 10:20 AM 0 Comments

Downwards pressure on wages

Investment and Business News: UK wages fall in the year to March

"Don’t misunderstand this point. Wages did not merely fall relative to inflation in the year to March; they fell outright by 0.7 per cent."

Posted by stillthinking @ 04:45 AM 11 Comments

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Antoher day, another bubble.

Financial Times: US farmland prices rise despite weak grain market

Farmland prices in the US corn belt have risen at double-digit clip this year despite weaker grain markets in a move that will intensify debate over whether loose monetary policy and congressional largesse are inflating a bubble. Agricultural land values increased 15 per cent on last year during the first quarter in a district that includes Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan and Wisconsin, the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago said on Thursday. The region’s farmland values have trebled in the past decade. Link

Posted by khards @ 10:19 PM 0 Comments

Criminals

RT: Saving Cyprus: IMF approves $1.3bn rescue package

"The IMF has approved a three-year, $1.3 billion loan to jump start recovery in Cyprus and restore financial credibility to its indebted banking industry". The banks get the cash (because they caused the problems and cancelled their friends' bad property loans) and the people get the bill (they may have problems paying due to national "austerity"). I wonder what sort of bung the IMF got for this one? Certainly enough to build your very own synchronised swimming pool on your newly acquired island? Now for the comic line "to revive the economic pulse of the debt-stricken nation". Yeah, right! The more debt the IMF owns, the more influence it has over policy. (be afraid, be very afraid).

Posted by alan @ 06:54 PM 0 Comments

Hollande warns austerity could tear Europe apart

Mail: Germany tells France and Italy to 'just work harder' to solve economic woes

"Michael Meister, a key figure in Merkel's Christian Democrats, said: 'Italy and France have structural problems to resolve and not economic problems. 'They can't wait any longer. More time won't relieve the problem. It'll only make it worse.'Mr Hollande told a news conference in Paris that the financial crisis is now 'behind us', but predicted that widespread austerity measures could push the continent into a fresh disaster. 'What is hitting Europe is a recession provoked by the austerity policy,' he said. IMHO what is wrong is that "austerity" (or the need to balance the books) is falling on the wrong people (just like in Greece and Cyprus). Who will be helped by the new lower interest rates in Europe - banks or the people?

Posted by alan @ 05:31 PM 0 Comments

Talking about property at a dinner party.

Nutmeg: Five dinner party conversations about the UK property market.

Five ways to start a conversation at a dinner party on UK property prices.

Posted by steven waite @ 05:31 PM 0 Comments

Small enough to fail - Totally!

Mail: Father dies in a fireball after being hounded by payday loan companies over £1,600 debt

This article (also in the Sun/Mirror) highlights the daily struggle with debt by workers trying to "get by". In this enviroment, I can't see many people wanting to splash out on a £200,000 house. It's about affordability IMHO. Not surprisingly Insurance Companies like AVIVA are being targetted by our Coalition to create new business: - to buy houses and issue investment bonds to pension funds and retirees with spare cash. In one paper, the debt chasers even phoned Mr Breeze's family (after he had died) to reclaim their money.

Posted by alan @ 01:56 PM 6 Comments

Generation Rent doesn't want the commitment

Planet Property Blog: One third of tenants like renting

Research has found many people just don’t want the commitment…. The last decade has seen the first rise in the percentage of households renting since 1918. And while it’s true that the majority of tenants would like to own their home, a survey from Leeds city living specialist Morgans has found that a third say they prefer to rent and have no intention of ever climbing the slippery property ladder.

Posted by property addict @ 12:07 PM 1 Comments

Sense from the Mail

Mail: SIMON LAMBERT: House prices could be about to take off again - that's the last thing we need

House prices in Britain are still too high. They are unaffordable on almost every measure ever used, except for those cooked up by using mortgage interest rates, which are currently at a record low and will one day rise. And then we'll really be in trouble.

Posted by happy mondays @ 09:22 AM 16 Comments

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Now where have I heard this before?

BBC News: Bank of England upgrades economic growth forecasts

The Bank of England has upgraded its economic growth forecast and said that inflation should fall faster than previously predicted. In his last inflation report as the Bank's governor, Sir Mervyn King said inflation should drop to its target of 2% within two years.

Posted by little professor @ 10:55 PM 5 Comments

Politics & House Prices

Telegraph: George Osborne is reinflating house prices - and we couldn't be happier

"We are, believe it or not, beginning to feel significantly happier about the state of the economy. Detailed consumer polling reveals that pessimism is in decline, employees are more confident about keeping their jobs and homeowners believe that the value of their properties are rising again". Sorry, DT, your comments section simply does not support this article.

Posted by alan @ 07:24 AM 19 Comments

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Prop house prices up with this

Telegraph: Households worse off than in 2005

Household wealth is lower than it was almost a decade ago, the ONS has estimated per capita wealth using a new measure, net national income per head, which it said provided the most accurate picture of economic status. On the NNI measure, average UK income per head was £19.344 in 2011. That was lower than the figure recorded for 2005. The ONS states that high inflation was largely to blame for the fall in Britons’ spending power relative to the citizens of other countries as Britain slipped from 5th to 12th in the disposable income league table.

Posted by enuii @ 11:03 PM 0 Comments

Apart from House Prices, what isn't rigged these days?

Guardian: BP and Shell raided in oil price-rigging investigation

"European commission carries out 'unannounced inspections' to investigate claims oil companies colluded to manipulate prices". "Lord Oakeshott, former Liberal Democrat Treasury spokesman, said the alleged rigging of oil prices was "as serious as rigging Libor" – which led to banks being fined hundreds of millions of pounds". Guys, they are just TOO BIG TO PROSECUTE. Maybe fine them a couple of million Euros and move on, it's only the punters that are suffering.

Posted by alan @ 10:45 PM 7 Comments

Ian Cowie really does think the market is turning - up

Telegraph: House prices: first-time buyers surge by 20pc despite predictions of doom

Ian Cowie thinks the government has actually achieved what we thought was impossible, further inflation in house prices, and he mentions HPC website again. Is he amongst us?

Posted by wdbeast @ 07:42 PM 2 Comments

Collapsing TBTF banks on the agenda for G8?

Bloomberg: Banks on Verge of Collapse in Denmark Win Time in FSA Review

"Danish banks in breach of the nation’s solvency rules will get more time to raise capital and avert failure as the regulator eases its resolution practices". "The laxer stance comes as Denmark discusses how to treat systemically important financial institutions. The government-appointed Sifi committee in March proposed designating the nation’s six largest banks, including Danske Bank and mortgage lender Nykredit A/S, as too big to fail". (I think German banks have big problems too, if you read some of the blogs which can't be posted here). Cameron hasn't any ideas, just look at RBS etc. Don't forget, nobody ever got fired for securing that loan on bricks and mortar :)

Posted by alan @ 01:37 PM 1 Comments

Another over-leveraged land price speculator bites the dust

Daily Mail: Dragons' Den star Duncan Bannatyne sees £430m health club fortune vanish as debts hit £122m

"But now not only has Duncan Bannatyne plummeted out of the Rich List altogether, he will have to use all of his Scottish charm to try to seek finance to pay off debts of up to £122 million, as Richard Kay revealed in his column today. The health club tycoon, who is the author of five self-help books including Anyone Can Do It and How To Be Smart With Your Money, has found himself in the position of having to raise the cash to pay back a loan from the collapsed Anglo Irish Bank. He used the money to buy 24 fitness clubs from the Hilton Group in 2006."

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 11:51 AM 11 Comments

Number of FTB's entering property market increased by 20 per cent in March

Myfinances.co.uk: CML reports first-time buyer floodgates opened in March

The number of first-time buyers entering the property market went up by 20 per cent in March, according to a new report published today by the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML).

Posted by ben @ 11:07 AM 0 Comments

Mortgage debt burden fell even as wages stagnated and inflation rose

Myfinances.co.uk: Mortgage debt burden fell after financial crash says ONS

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) reports that UK households’ ability to pay their mortgages increased following the financial crisis.

Posted by ben @ 10:00 AM 0 Comments

RICS reports rising prices and increased demand for new homes

Myfinances.co.uk: Help to Buy raising demand for new homes, says RICS

April saw the demand for UK property rise to a three-year high, according to the latest Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) residential market survey.

Posted by ben @ 09:20 AM 0 Comments

What a zombie housing market looks like -

Bloomberg: U.K. House-Price Gauge Rises to Highest in Almost Three Years

A U.K. house-price gauge rose to the highest in almost three years last month as government measures to support the housing market spurred demand, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors said. The index rose to 1 from minus 2 in March, the first reading above zero since June 2010, London-based RICS said in an e-mailed report today, citing a monthly poll of property surveyors. A positive number means more respondents saw values increase rather than decline. A measure of inquiries from new buyers rose to 25 from 13, the highest since November 2009.

Posted by hpwatcher @ 09:09 AM 6 Comments

Happy Birthday!

WSJ: Bank Bailout Blues Stall U.K. Recovery

"Five years after rescuing one of the world's biggest banks, the British government still hasn't figured out what to do with it—a sign of the country's struggle to put its banking woes behind it"... and Dave thinks he can advise Angela on Europe.?? (for the record, she already has a growing housing bubble in Germany as folk rush for physical assets).

Posted by alan @ 07:44 AM 0 Comments

Who is pulling the strings?

Independent: Dave releases EU referendum Bill in bid to quell Tory revolt on Europe as US President Barack Obama backs PM

I'm really glad that the UK referendum was sorted out over tea in the White House. I just wonder what else is settled there - way above the heads of us dumb voters. Banks, Interest Rates? Maybe Cameron even got advice on how to trigger a sub-prime housing crisis. This time it's in the UK, with taxpayer support.

Posted by alan @ 07:38 AM 3 Comments

Monday, May 13, 2013

£848bn!

Guardian: Total property debt of British households stands at £848bn

StepChange's director of external affairs, Delroy Corinaldi, said: "These findings show that debt is not purely a financial burden, but potentially a psychological burden that can have profound effects on people's mental wellbeing."

Posted by damo @ 07:32 PM 1 Comments

Bunch of Bankers

Telegraph: Co-op Bank capital hole may reach £1.8bn

"Co-op Bank may be facing a capital shortfall of as much as £1.8bn, which is almost twice previous estimates, it has emerged". The Co-op is already considering clawing back pay and bonuses from former executives of its banking arm following the surprise credit rating downgrade of the mutual last week". "Mr Richardson left the Co-op Bank in 2011 with a package worth £4.6m, including a £1.4m payment for “loss of office”, as well as £1.39m in “compensation” for leaving".... A taxpayer bail-out suggests helpful Moodys...

Posted by alan @ 06:20 PM 2 Comments

Forcing down interest rates doesn't help everyone

Reuters: Corporate pension scheme deficits top £100 billion in April

"Pension schemes run by some of Britain's biggest companies are sitting on a cumulative funding gap of more than 100 billion pounds, as low bond yields crimp returns and send liabilities to record highs, estimates from Mercer showed on Monday". "Repeated rounds of central bank easing have contributed to a sharp drop in the yield on British government gilts - a staple investment for pension funds - making it more expensive for funds to match income to liabilities unless they add riskier, higher-yielding assets to portfolios". "If annual returns from the investment portfolio devoted to funding staff retirements falls short of the sum they need to pay out, companies are obliged to make up the difference".

Posted by alan @ 06:00 PM 1 Comments

Mortgage deals available for 95% LTV FTB's

Myfinances.co.uk: Clydesdale and Yorkshire banks bring in lower mortgage rates

Clydesdale and Yorkshire Banks are today (May 13th) set to make things easier for first time home purchasers, with the introduction of a number of brand new fixed rate mortgage products.

Posted by ben @ 04:12 PM 0 Comments

Politics trumps economics

Telegraph: Borrowers shrug off rising mortgage debts

Years ago, I recall HPcers anticipating a sharp reversal in the price of property after the credit crunch. It is pretty clear now that we misjudged what the central banks and politicians were capable of when they felt threatened. The survey results by the ONS in this article suggest that mortgage borrowers are confident that the government is watching their back for them.

Posted by quiet guy @ 12:23 PM 15 Comments

Rightmove expecting great things from Help to Buy

Planet Property: Rightmove expecting great things from Help to Buy

The property portal says four in ten 'trapped' tenants could become first-time buyers with Help to Buy ... no mention, though, that this will encourage people to take on significant levels of debt; or that it amounts to an enormous sub to the property sector ....

Posted by the planet @ 12:09 PM 0 Comments

"Government keen to encourage institutions to become landlords"

Citywire: Aviva to follow Pru with rented housing push

Aviva is set to follow rival insurer the Prudential and enter the UK’s rented housing market, according to reports. The Financial Times reported Aviva was in talks with A2Dominion, one of the UK’s largest social housing providers, in a deal which could see the life company take control of thousands of homes in London and the South East. Under the proposals being discussed, Aviva would take control of a portion of the homes to provide seed funding for a private rented portfolio, according to the FT. See also http://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/markets/article-2302424/Prudential-poised-enter-rented-housing-market-in.html

Posted by jack c @ 12:03 PM 3 Comments

Interest-only mortgage holders have nothing to fear

MoneyWeek: Interest-only mortgage holders have nothing to fear

A shocking percentage of interest-only mortgage holders have no repayment plan in place. Fortunately for them, the government has rigged the game, says Merryn Somerset Webb.

Posted by martingreen @ 10:06 AM 2 Comments

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Home ownership is not good for employment

Independent: Be warned George Osborne: more home owners just really means higher unemployment

There is a strong correlation between home ownership and unemployment levels. The higher the % of population who owns their home, the higher the unemployment rate

Posted by europeanbear @ 07:18 PM 1 Comments

'We own land! Give us money!' 'No.'

Telegraph: HS2: hundreds of families denied compensation

Complete with Daily Mail style 'Wronged-face' pic. Although to be fair, at first flush their situation does seem unfortunate. "Three quarters of families applying for help after their homes were blighted by the Government’s planned high speed rail link have had their applications for hardship compensation turned down."

Posted by chris @ 06:48 PM 1 Comments

The "nothing for something" culture

Telegraph: Tenants work extra month to pay rent

Mortgage company Halifax has calculated that May 12, the 132nd day of the year, is the point at which the average tenant in the UK will have earned enough to pay off the annual cost of their rent.

Posted by dill @ 08:07 AM 7 Comments

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Following on from the previous post inflation anticipating property bubbles are inflating everywhere

Reuters: Analysis - To hedge inflation, property trusts are the new gold

With central banks printing cash to boost moribund economies, according to this article investors in Asia wanting to hedge against rising prices are dumping gold and doubling down on property. "I have been saying for the last two years that REITs are a good inflation hedge," said Charlie Chan, one of the best-known hedge fund managers in Asia, who made a killing by betting on them in 2012. "They are easier to value, you get what you see and you own the building and if there is inflation, the building price will just go up," added Chan. "Yield-hungry investors are increasingly being squeezed out of the sovereign bond markets by central bankers everywhere," said David Baran, co-founder of hedge fund Symphony Financial Partners in Tokyo. "REITs are an increasingly compelling asset class."

Posted by enuii @ 04:49 PM 2 Comments

Delhi house prices up 250% in four years - this doesn't look good

Capital Mind (India): Housing Prices Do Show Signs of a Bubble

Across India, house prices are up by 26% a year over the last four years. (Their data doesn't go back any further.) In some cities there are even greater extremes. Delhi seems to be in trouble. With prices up 47% from a year back and 250% from March 2009, you would expect heated activity. But transaction volumes are falling fast at -35% last quarter. The comments below provide local insight: apparently there's lots of dodgy money going into the market. Most purchases rely on bank lending though, and their balance sheets are expanding at a frightening pace. The killer sign of a bubble is that yields are pitifully low, barely 2% in Delhi and Mumbai.

Posted by drewster @ 10:58 AM 5 Comments

Exactly my feelings

Zerohedge: The New European Revolt

Open letter to the French president from a departing Frenchie "simply because I do not feel like working all my life to pay taxes, a large part of which will only service the 1.9 trillion Euros of debt that your generation has kindly left us.".

Posted by stillthinking @ 03:56 AM 2 Comments

Friday, May 10, 2013

Santander cuts arrangement and product fees

Myfinances.co.uk: Santander launches zero-fee mortgage range

Santander Mortgages has today (May 10th) unleashed a new range of products and a plethora of special offers, in a move that has the potential to shake up the financial market.

Posted by ben @ 05:16 PM 0 Comments

The rest of the UK gave up years ago.

Bloomberg: Foreigners Buying Half of London New Homes

Berkeley Group Holdings Plc, the U.K.’s third-largest homebuilder by market value, sells 40 percent of its properties to people living outside the U.K. The 99% of UK plc can only watch, unless UKIP or YPP make it illegal to sell to foreigners.

Posted by will @ 04:45 PM 12 Comments

London Increasingly Difficult for New Homeowners, but Sellers Rejoice

BuyToLet.com: London house prices rise as gap between supply and demand grows

House prices in London have continued to increase as demand for property in the capital way outstrips supply. According to the latest London Barometer from estate agents Douglas & Gordon (D&G), supply and demand were only equal in December 2012, before demand rocketed again in January and has remained relatively high ever since.

Posted by kevin grey @ 04:17 PM 0 Comments

Under pressure

CNBC: Canada's Housing Market: The Next Big Short?

Steve Eisman, the hedge fund manager who famously bet against mortgages in the United States in the run up to the 2008 financial crash, has recommended investors now bet against Canada's mortgage lenders and banks.

Posted by dill @ 02:33 PM 4 Comments

But but how safe are me stamps?

BBC: What does Moody's downgrade of Co-op bank mean?

"...But it makes four big points that the Co-op can't simply bat away: 1. The bank needs hundreds of millions of pounds of additional capital, to absorb potential future losses. 2. Regulators may force the bank to raise more than the £600m to £800m of capital it is set to obtain from its parent, the wider Co-op group, through the disposal of life insurance and general insurance operations. 3. The bank faces substantial further losses on poor quality loans it has made, especially property loans made by the Britannia Building Society, with which it merged in 2009. 4. In a low interest rate environment, prospects for substantial profits growth at Co-op bank are limited." number 3 does it for me....

Posted by techieman @ 01:27 PM 6 Comments

First Direct offers 5-year fix at 2.49%

Myfinances.co.uk: First Direct cuts rates on LTV mortgage range

Consumers in the market for a mortgage may be tempted by first direct's newly revised LTV mortgage range. Around 85 per cent of the products offered by the financial services provider have received dramatic rate cuts, with the majority of 65 per cent, 75 per cent and 90 per cent LTV mortgages being reduced by up to 50bps.

Posted by ben @ 10:51 AM 2 Comments

Coventry BS cuts rates on residential and buy-to-let mortgages

Myfinances.co.uk: Coventry Building Society introduces mortgage rate cuts

Coventry Building Society (CBS) has introduced tempting rate cuts across a number of its mortgage products, with changes made to its Residential, Offset and Buy-To-Let policies.

Posted by ben @ 09:49 AM 1 Comments

Start at the top - work your way down

Independent: Scandal: Just how corrupt is Britain?

Rotten banks, dodgy cops, MPs on the fiddle. A conference on public life has evidence to topple long-held assumptions.

Posted by dill @ 08:16 AM 0 Comments

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Money for Nothing from your House for Free

Telegraph: Twenty MPs pocket up to £180,000 each on taxpayer-funded second homes

MPs have jointly made more than £1 million by selling their second homes, and under parliamentary rules they are entitled to keep the money. Nick Clegg, the Deputy Prime Minister, handed all the profit he made on the sale of his second home to House of Commons authorities in 2011. Title inspired by Dire Straits "Money for Nothing" a hit track from their 1985 album Brothers in Arms.

Posted by enuii @ 10:49 PM 2 Comments

How the 'In land revenue' should work

Inside Housing: Land tax could trigger 'house-building revolution'

‘A land value tax, targeted at unproductive wealth and speculation, could help deliver the house building revolution – and the economic revival – our country desperately needs.’ here here...

Posted by pete green @ 08:32 PM 4 Comments

Can I interest you sir?

Sky: Banks Line Up To Show Foxtons To New Owners

"Foxtons, known for its fleet of aggressive sales staff and brash high street outlets, rode the property boom under its founder, Jon Hunt, before selling to BC for £375m in 2007 - a deal which catapulted him into the ranks of Britain's super-rich. The subsequent financial crisis and recession-hit UK economy, however, led to a sharp downturn in the property market, and left estate agents such as Foxtons unable to service their debts" :(

Posted by alan @ 07:09 PM 2 Comments

Poor Widows In Mansions

Buy-to-let performing well as many struggle to get on the housing ladder

BuytoLet.com: Buy-to-let sector ‘still growing’

The buy-to-let sector is continuing to grow, with £4.2bn worth of mortgage lending advanced in the first three months of the year.

Posted by kevin grey @ 02:22 PM 0 Comments

State of the Market - Are we surprised?

Telegraph: One in eight pounds lent to landlords

"One in every eight pounds of mortgage lending this year has been on buy-to-let, new figures have shown, amid concerns that the Bank of England’s cheap credit scheme is being used to line landlords’ pockets". "By the end of March, buy-to-let lending accounted for a record 13.4pc of the total £1.2 trillion of mortgages in the UK – up from 13pc in the final three months of last year, according to the CML"."When interest rates are at historic lows and people are still struggling, it does not bode well for when rates inevitably start their ascent".

Posted by alan @ 01:52 PM 5 Comments

No rush to post this, I notice!

Sky: No Bank Of England Stimulus For UK Economy

"The Bank of England keeps the base rate of interest and its QE programme on hold in May"..."the MPC kept the base rate of interest at its historic low of 0.5% - the level it has been at since March 2009". (Deprives thrifty savers - but who cares, the cronies are OK, and no need to educate the nation that savings fuel investment). Anyway, it seems like we might be borrowing money for the HS2 from China, says Jeff Randall.

Posted by alan @ 01:29 PM 4 Comments

A Step closer to Feudal Britain

BBC News: Buy to let mortgage lending hits record share

From the article: "However, the rise could mean that some potential new buyers find themselves competing for a home with investors".

Posted by magnifico @ 01:25 PM 0 Comments

Henry George vindicated - rent eats up the most money

BBC News: Living on a budget: Readers' stories

Various people on low incomes describe their budgets. As forecast by Henry George in "Progress and Poverty", their rent takes up the lions share.

Posted by orcusmaximus @ 01:01 PM 1 Comments

Fates of Nations hinge on whether it will be "good" or "bad" for house prices...

Daily Mail: Mortgage costs will soar if Scotland breaks away from UK, Treasury will warn...

Fewer than a third of Scots now back Alex Salmond’s dream of independence, with less than 18 months to go before his referendum. It comes as the Westminster government vows to step up its warnings about the threat posed to Scotland if it backs independence. They can take our lives, but they'll never take our house prices!

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 12:58 PM 2 Comments

Buy-to-let properties account for 20% of repossessions

Myfinances.co.uk: CML: Repossessions stable in Q1 helped by low mortgage interest rates

The Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) reports that the number of homes being repossessed in the first quarter of 2013 went up by 300 to 8,000 compared to the final three months of 2013.

Posted by ben @ 12:05 PM 0 Comments

Response to the Halifax April house price index

Quick Move Now: Response to the Halifax April house price index

n contrast to Nationwide’s latest house price index, which showed that house prices fell by 0.1% from March to April, figures released today by Halifax have shown that they rose by 1.1% during the same time period.

Posted by donna houguez @ 09:31 AM 0 Comments

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

If only they had to pay some kind of tax on those empty houses....

Guardian: Anfield: the victims, the anger and Liverpool's shameful truth

In the mid-90s Liverpool FC began buying houses around their Anfield ground and leaving them empty, with the intention of expanding the stadium. But nearly 20 years later many feel the policy has helped send the area into dreadful decline, leaving the few remaining residents angry and fighting attempts from the city council to force them out. These homeowners believe they should be paid enough not only to buy a new house but to compensate for the years of dereliction, stagnation and decline, and crime, fires, vandalism, even murders which have despoiled the area. In the 1970s and 80s, the club had spent over a decade waiting for two old ladies to move out in order to build a new stand, and they were keen to avoid repeating this mistake.

Posted by drewster @ 10:55 PM 6 Comments

Antipathy

Telegraph: Top economists attack George Osborne's Help-to-Buy scheme as a 'short-term political fix'

Rachel Lomax, now a non-executive director at HSBC, flatly opposed the Chancellor’s Help-to-Buy mortgage scheme, saying: “This is not going to help. This is a short term political fix.”

Posted by dill @ 05:05 PM 13 Comments

Buy now before it's too late ! House prices set to rocket as surveyors face extinction

Moneymarketing: Surveyors warn of buying delays as sector faces a numbers crisis

Surveyors have warned of big delays in the house buying process and increased use of less accurate desktop valuations if the sector is unable to attract new blood to match an expected increase in mortgage market activity. Experts say the profession is already underpopulated and warn a sharp increase in lending will result result in serious consequences for borrowers.

Posted by jack c @ 04:12 PM 0 Comments

Cheap pound driving London boom

Planet Property: Cheap pound driving London boom

Agents in prime London markets say the fall in sterling is driving the boom in prices - which may be why overseas buyers, accounted for 52% of all £2m+ homes sold in prime central London between March 2012 and March 2013

Posted by the planet @ 11:02 AM 0 Comments

Thought this bubble was deflating? + 1.1% monthly increase for April......

Telegraph: House prices highest since 2010, says Halifax

UK house prices rose to the highest level in almost three years in April, beating forecasts, as low mortgage repayments helped support demand, Halifax said. Prices in the three months to April were 2pc higher than in the same three months a year earlier, the highest rate of increase since September 2010 and the fourth consecutive rise in the annual rate of growth, according to the latest Halifax House Price index. The average price of a home in the UK is now £166,094. Prices increased 1.1pc on the month - the best growth since November - after an upwardly revised rise of 0.4pc in March. Analysts had expected monthly and yearly pick-ups of 0.1pc and 1.6pc respectively.

Posted by hpwatcher @ 10:38 AM 17 Comments

IMF say "No need to balance the books"

Independent: George Osborne braced for IMF challenge over austerity plans

"Critical verdict could leave Chancellor isolated as the global consensus appears to turn against austerity" says the Indy. Greasy Ed Balls wants George to plunge into inflation via lots of money printing, but won't say it directly, it's called Abenomics these days. However, the market is a bit wary of lots more paper (Italy is even thinking of linking sovereign bonds to gold).

Posted by alan @ 07:54 AM 0 Comments

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

More potential hassle for the BTL Brigade

Telegraph: Landlords told: vet migrant tenants

Best comment after 30mins; 'So the Govt with all the resources of the police, border protection and the public service can't (or won't) control migration but they think individual investors should be able to determine who should be here, good one Dave that Eton education must make you the best spoken Muppet in the show.' Like the way Landlords of the Slumlord variety which the article is principally about are called investors, I could think of a more appropriate term.

Posted by enuii @ 10:32 PM 5 Comments

Why should this be allowed- killing the high st & community

Daily mail: Enid v Goliath: Defiance of last resident who refuses to quit street that Tesco wants to bulldoze

These days it seems like there’s a Tesco on every corner. However, in one road, a determined woman is battling against the odds to stop the shopping giant’s relentless march. Enid Jones is the last remaining resident on a street that Tesco wants to bulldoze to make way for a new superstore. While the 58-year-old has seen all 11 of her neighbours agree to sell up and move out so that their homes can be demolished, she is making a lone stand and refusing. wonder if the council got backhanders ?

Posted by mark @ 10:27 AM 10 Comments

Its a good news day.

Daily Express: House prices to soar by 30%: Experts predict average value will hit £300,000

HOUSE prices are set to rocket thanks to a surge in new buyers helped on the property ladder by the Government, a report claims. Experts predict a 30 per cent rise over the next two years as home-hunters take advantage of the Help To Buy scheme. It would send the price of an average home to £300,000 by the end of 2015 – a huge leap from the current figure of £233,000. The scheme, announced in the March Budget, is designed to help people who ­cannot afford the large down payments ­demanded by commercial lenders to invest in property. Buyers will only need a five per cent deposit. Industry expert Dominik Lipnicki said the move was “very much good news”. He added: “There is no doubt this will help to push up house prices.

Posted by khards @ 07:53 AM 16 Comments

Monday, May 6, 2013

Bricks not benefits

Independent: A common sense policy to create jobs and combat what ails Britain

Argument why Britain should go on a public/social housing building spree

Posted by stuartking @ 10:25 PM 0 Comments

Spanish Property Woes Increase.

Zero Hedge: Of Spain's "Bad Bank" Foreclosed Properties, Only 6,000 Of 83,000 Units Have Tenants

"There is a reason why Spain's "Bad Bank" has that name (its official designation is far more jovial: SAREB) - because it is full to the brim with "assets", mostly residential loans, that no longer generate cash flows, and which are capitalized increasingly more with taxpayer cash". Reuters elaborated: "of its loans, only 22 percent are considered "normal"; 34 percent are rated "substandard" and 45 percent "doubtful" loans". Useful BoA chart, too.

Posted by alan @ 06:40 PM 0 Comments

Island that inspired The Wicker Man for sale for £2.5m

Planet Property: Island that inspired The Wicker Man for sale for £2.5m

Tanera Mor, the largest and only inhabited island in the Summer Isles archipelago, is on the market for £2.5m ... the pagan-cult island of Summerisle in movie The Wicker Man (filmed 1973) is thought by some film critics to be set here ... quite a selling point. Be afraid, be very afraid ...

Posted by the planet @ 02:12 PM 0 Comments

No ability to make a contract

The Register: T-Mobile UK punters break for freedom in inflation-busting bill row

This article is about T-Mobile making a mistake about the rate that they can increase their prices, which would have supposedly allowed customers to consider themselves free from their 24 month contracts. It is interesting because of the suggestion that price stability is so low now that telecom providers will not be able to offer 24 month contracts (because they need to adjust the prices on an ongoing basis due to inflation and cannot do so reliably). This in turn will hit the sales of mobile smartphones which are usually bundled with a 24 month contract, being fairly expensive. So UK inflation and monetary stability has started to bite. I agree though as mentioned that if they can't offer 24 month credit agreements that probably prices will fall.

Posted by stillthinking @ 11:46 AM 0 Comments

Help to buy - Good or bad? (survey)

Telegraph: Help to Buy 'bubble' could push house prices up by 30pc

Make sure you vote on this survey :)... Help to Buy is a reckless scheme that uses public money to incentivise the banks to lend precisely to those individuals who, absent the scheme, would not and should not be offered credit," said Andrew Brigden, a senior economist at Fathom. "Had we been asked to design a policy that would guarantee maximum damage to the UK’s long-term growth prospects and its fragile credit rating, this would be it.”

Posted by damo @ 08:31 AM 22 Comments

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Let them eat cake

BBC: Which? poll says many 'borrowing money for food'

Dave "hard-working families" Cameron is so intent on keeping the house price bubble afloat, that's he's forgotten people need to eat. Still, Cameron's Big Society appears to making some progress as foodbanks, Britain's biggest growth industry, are feeding an increasing number of his 'hard-working families'.

Posted by stuartking @ 03:41 PM 2 Comments

Peter Hitchens

Mail: Fruitcakes and closet racists? Cameron's talking about YOU!

It is now just a matter of time before the Tory Party dies. This is not a moment too soon.

Posted by dill @ 01:06 PM 9 Comments

Saturday, May 4, 2013

The brownfield delusion

Economist: The brownfield delusion

NIMBY favourite: why don’t we build more on brownfield land? Here’s why:

Posted by xlurker @ 10:22 PM 1 Comments

Prime London rental asking prices fell by 5% at end of 2012

Planet Property: Prime London rental asking prices fell by 5% at end of 2012

It’s a tenant’s market, according to upmarket agents Strutt & Parker, albeit one in which only 30% of the tenants are from the UK

Posted by the planet @ 12:40 PM 0 Comments

Friday, May 3, 2013

The top mortgage deals of all types for FTB's

Myfinances.co.uk: Mortgage best-buys: The top deals for first-time buyers

The prospects for first-time buyers have improved since the turn of the year helped by the Bank of England’s Funding for Lending Scheme (FLS) which has seen a rise in the number of mortgages available for first-time buyers.

Posted by ben @ 03:41 PM 0 Comments

They Own Property - Give Them Money

Daily Torygraph: House prices near Crossrail 'to rise by 40pc'

Cross rail does wonders for the rentiers. It's free market enterprise. Innit.

Posted by fubar @ 01:52 PM 14 Comments

The Camerons Property Developer Shares

The Independent: David Cameron criticised over failure to declare wife Samantha’s business stake

This is the Independent, quoting a Telegraph story. The Cabinet Office sees no conflict of interest between the Prime Minister benefiting financially from new land regulations his government want to create.

Posted by fubar @ 01:16 PM 6 Comments

RBS makes £826 Q1 profit

Myfinances.co.uk: RBS taxpayer share sale could start within 12 months

The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) has announced first quarter profits of £826 million providing the strongest indication yet that the bailed-out bank could soon be ready to sell part of the 81 per cent stake that the UK taxpayer has in it and return to the private sector.

Posted by ben @ 11:41 AM 0 Comments

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Welcome to Zombie land as ECB cuts IRs

BBC: ECB's Draghi 'ready to act if needed'

"The bank lowered its benchmark interest rate to 0.50% from 0.75%, the first cut in 10 months. Worries about eurozone persist, with data showing manufacturing activity across the 17-nation bloc shrank in April. The ECB also extended its cheap loans to banks until at least July 2014". "The key issue is whether the ECB's new lower rate translates through to lower borrowing costs for businesses. The evidence from economies such as Spain and Ireland, with damaged banking sectors, is that credit remains hard to come by....they are fed up with "austerity"...and the Euro dropped". (If you can work out what comes next, you are smarter than me....and I suspect even Draghi doesn't know the answer to that one! So, we await another crisis).

Posted by alan @ 06:22 PM 17 Comments

Financial Conduct Authority says 1.3m people won't be able to pay of all capital at end of term

Myfinances.co.uk: FCA warns on interest-only mortgage "ticking timebomb"

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is warning that homeowners with an interest-only mortgage face a huge shortfall when it comes to paying off the capital balance on their homes. The FCA says that almost half of the 2.6 million people who have an interest-only mortgage will not be able to pay off all of the money they owe at the end of their mortgage term with the average debt expected to be in the region of £72,000.

Posted by ben @ 11:38 AM 1 Comments

The peasants are revolting

Daily mail: Brixton Foxtons hires bouncers after protests from residents claiming they are priced out of the area by 'yuppies'

An estate agent has hired bouncers to keep out protesters demonstrating against the gentrification of their neighbourhood. Foxtons in Brixton, South London, has been the target of local residents worried about high rents and excessive agents' fees. And when activists tried to talk to staff at the branch, they responded by hiring private security guards to keep the demonstrators away.

Posted by mark @ 10:20 AM 10 Comments

Example of how london property has nothing to do with real value

Daily Telegraph: Russian Oligarch loses 40 Million House to Ex Wife

Russion Oligarch house bought in 2000 for 6 million now valued at 40 million. This is over a 600% rise in 13 years, give a few million for renovation. This can have very little to do with true values and more to do with investment values like the art world. I visit houses in the South West every day and there is an investment frenzy in housing in some parts. i vsited a 3 bed flat in Richmond last week which was on the market 7 months ago for 1.8 million. On the advice of local EA it has been put back on for 2.4 million. Local residents in Richmond upon Thames that are looking to buy between the 0.5 and 1 million mark are finding foregn buyers are buying properties without ever having visited them. They are from all over: Italy, France, Spain, etc.

Posted by britishblue @ 08:03 AM 9 Comments

The trap

BBC news: Shortfall fears for interest-only mortgage holders

"More than a million people with interest-only mortgages face a financial crunch when they have to pay them off, a watchdog is warning. Some 2.6 million UK householders have the mortgages but the Financial Conduct Authority says "estimates... suggest" nearly half will not have savings or other funds to cover the final bill. The average shortfall is £71,000, according to FCA research."

Posted by quiet guy @ 01:44 AM 11 Comments

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Huicheltaal 't misgaan met bakstenen en mortel

Telegraph: Debt-crippled Holland falls victim to EMU blunders as property slump deepens

"The eurozone’s slow suffocation is going Dutch. Each extra month of slump caused by Europe’s negligent authorities is pushing Holland closer to a debt-deflation trap". (Title trans: you can't go wrong with bricks and mortar). A familiar story: "Regulators let the average loan-to-value ratio of new mortgages soar to 120pc at the peak. Since mortgage interest is tax deductible, around 60pc of the entire stock of mortgages is interest-only". Abenomics anyone?

Posted by alan @ 10:22 PM 3 Comments

New BBC TV Series - "Bankers"

BBC TV: Bankers

New TV series starts 2100hrs 8 May 2013 on BBC2. "Can we ever trust bankers again? A three-part series looks at the disasters and scams that have brought the reputation of our financial institutions to an all-time low. The first programme focuses in particular on last summer’s Libor scandal — the interest-rate-rigging that went on for years and showed the system wasn’t just unsafe, a key part of it was corrupt, too." I'll be watching. I'm particularly curious to find out how banking went from being a respectable (and well-respected) profession to being infested with amoral money-grabbing bandits, gamblers and thieves.

Posted by grumpybob @ 02:03 PM 5 Comments

Volatile rental market damaging for children

Planet Property: Volatile rental market damaging for children

A new Shelter report reveals that families with children are bearing the brunt of the insecure tenancies, high rents, and constant moves that are standard in today’s market. They're calling for for five-year tenancies and rental controls ....

Posted by the planet @ 01:29 PM 1 Comments

In glorious technicolor...

Nationwide: "UK house prices little changed in April"

Something for people like me, Liitle Prof and Ana Lytics to muck about with. Interesting is the chart on mortgage interest rates, 2-year fixed down from 4% to 2.7% over the last three years, but this hasn't led to house prices changing at all, really. So that particular weapon is becoming ever blunter.

Posted by mark wadsworth @ 11:06 AM 14 Comments

£1.25m cut from asking price of John Lennon's Weybridge home

Planet Property: John Lennon's Weybridge home for sale

He bought it in 1964 for £20,000 (first-time buyer) ...It was last on the market in 2006 and it sold in 2007 for £5.8 million. Now for sale for £13,750,000 ... though when first advertised last year it was priced at £15m. Ho hum. Apparently Lennon buried an enormous stash of LSD in the garden when he packed in the acid for transcendental meditation ... some very happy flowers in these parts.

Posted by the planet @ 10:33 AM 3 Comments

House prices down 0.1% in April

Myfinances.co.uk: FTBs form highest proportion of buyers since 2005, says Nationwide

UK house prices fell for the first time in seven months, according to the latest Nationwide house price index for April. It says house prices fell by 0.1 per cent compared to March and the average UK home costs £165,586.

Posted by ben @ 09:04 AM 0 Comments

Reuters optimistic PRICES WILL RISE SOON

Reuters: UK house prices dip unexpectedly in April

"British house prices dipped unexpectedly in April from March but a recently extended credit scheme should buoy the market in coming months, mortgage lender Nationwide said on Wednesday".Nationwide said house prices inched down 0.1 percent on the month and were 0.9 percent higher than in April 2012.

Posted by alan @ 08:24 AM 10 Comments

Developers loans go sour

Bloomberg: Slovenia Bank Rescue at 20% GDP Means No Escaping EU Aid

"The EU aid package might have to be about 8 billion euros because the government needs to finance a widening budget deficit as well as bank restructuring, estimates Mai Doan, a London-based economist at Bank of America Merrill Lynch". (Buzzards circling already). Looks like Slovenia will follow Cyprus into the operating theatre - Angela is unlikely to go soft ahead of the election. Next stage in the slow motion train crash of the Euro coming up.

Posted by alan @ 08:19 AM 1 Comments

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