February 2014 Archive

Friday, February 28, 2014

A gentle reminder that property isnt always a one way investment

The Guardian: Home ownership in Greece 'a sick joke' as property market collapses

Basement flats are selling for £4150 in the less salubrious parts of Athens, home ownership – at nearly 87% the highest in the EU – has become cause for black humour. "The joke now doing the rounds is: if you want to punish your child, you threaten to pass on property to them," he said. "Greeks traditionally have always regarded property as a secure investment.

Posted by britishblue @ 11:18 PM 1 Comments

Accelerating growth in UK private debt

BBC News: House prices rising at fastest rate for four years

House prices rose by 0.6% in February, a 9.4% increase on the same month in 2013, according to the Nationwide Building Society. The annual rate of growth is the fastest for almost four years. It puts the average price of a UK home at £177,846, which is still almost 5% below the 2007 peak. The Nationwide said record low interest rates and growing consumer confidence were driving demand, with housing supply unable to keep up.

Posted by hpwatcher @ 09:03 AM 5 Comments

New BOE forward guidance expect 2.5% Rate Hike

Guardian: BOE identifies need to shelter homeowners from interest spike

The Bank of England's base rate would peak close to 3% to protect mortgage payers from a big increase in monthly interest payments, a senior Bank of England official said . David Miles, a member of the central bank's interest rate setting committee, said base rates would remain lower than the long run average to keep mortgage rates affordable. Banks would need to maintain a healthy margin between the cost of money charged by the Bank and the rates they charge customers unlike their policy in the boom years when lending margins could be wafer thin, he said.

Posted by hyrax @ 12:32 AM 2 Comments

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Has anyone told him Rome is virtually BANKRUPT

Reuters: ECB's Draghi says euro zone clearly not in deflation

Draghi also defended the ECB's flagship crisis-fighting tool, the Outright Monetary Transactions (OMT) programme, after Germany's Constitutional Court asserted earlier this month that it exceeded the bank's mandate. However, Matteo Renzi, the Italian prime minister, came under pressure today as the city of Rome verged towards bankruptcy after parliament threw out a bill that would have injected fresh funding. The newly-elected mayor of Rome faces a budget deficit of 816 million euros ($1.1 billion) and the city could be placed under administration if he does not manage to close the gap with measures such as cutting public services. Maybe they should have a word with Cameron, who has just offered to lend £1bn to Kiev, while running up the largest UK debt in history!

Posted by alan @ 10:03 PM 4 Comments

They Want Houses - Let's blame someone

Telegraph: Net migration soars over 200,000 despite David Cameron's pledge

"Official figures show a net flow of 212,000 migrants to Britain, up nearly 60,000 year-on-year, with a surge in arrivals from Romania and Bulgaria". Blame the BtL brigade, Theresa May, Old Crusty Homeowners or the lack of foresight by previous governments. Take your pick. Personally I think that they have been drawn to the East End of London as a result of West Ham's resurgence in the Premier League - Sam for Manager of the Month :-)

Posted by alan @ 04:35 PM 4 Comments

Zombie Banks - Could Clegg be right?

SKY: RBS Confirms £8.2bn Loss And New Revival Plan

Supporting housing and property speculation has not gone well for RBS. Deputy prime minister Nick Clegg told Sky News that RBS was a “loss-making bank” on a "life support system funded by the general public." Ross McEwan, RBS chief executive, said the loss was "sobering" and "huge" and promised reform would turn around not only its financial fortunes but also its treatment of the customer". - so Max Keiser was spot on!

Posted by alan @ 10:03 AM 4 Comments

Property price information across Berkshire, Hampshire and Surrey

Romans: Property values in Berkshire, Hampshire and Surrey

House prices across Berkshire, Hampshire and Surrey are slowly but surely showing signs of recovery. There are still significant regional differences across the UK when looking at property valuations. While London has completely recovered its 2007 peak, other parts of the UK are still as much as 25% below their pre crash value. Using data from over the past few years, Romans analyse the situation of the property market, particularly across the South East and offers some insights as to what may be in store for 2014.

Posted by blake cole @ 09:47 AM 0 Comments

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

The DCLG wants to speed up the eviction process for private landlords

Channel 4 News: Government plans to make evicting tenants easier

Best quotes from landlord, “landlords aren’t fat cats with thousands of properties – they usually have one or two properties that they rent out, with their life savings invested in the property that they rent out to hopefully make a little bit of money.” Best quote from tenant "private rented places where you literally feel like a battery chicken – you’re being farmed for the landlord’s benefit.”

Posted by enuii @ 09:30 PM 21 Comments

Whhhheeeeeeeee.... POP!

Reuters: In China, property promotions add to price correction

Developers are offering price promotions like free car park spaces and renovation options that translate into discounts of 5-10 percent even in developments on the edge of the capital, Beijing, according to real estate firm Knight Frank. The comments follow recent reports that developers have cut prices in some smaller cities in eastern China, about an hour from the commercial capital Shanghai, while one bank said it had cut back on some lending to developers. The combination of these comments has sent the Shanghai Property Index .SSEP down more than 7 percent since Monday, its biggest three-day drop in eight months, as rattled investors eyed the prospect of a possible burst property bubble.

Posted by khards @ 03:34 PM 2 Comments

From a nation of Shop keepers to a nation of Rigsby's

Moneymarketing: Private renting overtakes social housing for first time

More people are living in private rented accommodation than social housing for the first time since records began in 1980. The Government-commissioned English Housing Survey reports the significant shift took place in 2012/13. In 2012/13 the private rented sector accounted for four million or 18 per cent of households.Social housing accounted for 17 per cent 3.7 million households after years of decline since the Right to Buy programme in the 1980s. The report shows private tenants accounted for around 10 per cent of housing stock through the 1980s and 1990s but have since grown rapidly.

Posted by jack c @ 02:07 PM 2 Comments

Forget about the future, just buy UK property at an all time high

Telegraph: Borrowers warned of £600 'drastic scenario' mortgage repayments rise in 2015

Home owners could see their mortgage payments rise by £252 a year on average by the end of next year if interest rates start rising at a moderate pace, a report forecasts. It also forecast that a "drastic scenario" of Bank Rate at 1.75pc by the end of 2015, which it deemed feasible, would push up typical annual repayments by £576, or by £48 a month.

Posted by hpwatcher @ 01:22 PM 11 Comments

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Let them build

BBC: UK visas should be auctioned, migration advisers say

##At present migrants can gain entry by investing £1m or more in the UK. But the Migration Advisory Committee says ordinary British citizens gain little from this. It recommends doubling the minimum investment to £2m and auctioning slots with a reserve price of £2.5m - with any surplus going to good causes in a scheme similar to the National Lottery## surplus should go to building houses I recon

Posted by mountain goat @ 04:36 PM 2 Comments

Don't just stand there - Speculate!

Reuters: UK home prices to rise 7 percent this year as London leaps

British house prices are expected to surge this year as a supply shortage and strong demand from overseas investors drive up the already-high prices of the London property market says Reuters. This is on the back of continuing QE in the US and China (even with tapering, billions is flowing into assets, creating bubbles everywhere). With Building Society interest rates sadly at 0.1%, how do you protect savings from food inflation at nearly 7%? (Check out Zero Hedge and the associated blogs - we are being ripped off).

Posted by alan @ 04:00 PM 9 Comments

House purchase approvals up 57% yoy, but no bubble says BOE

BBA: High Street Banking - January 2014

BBA statistics director, David Dooks said: “Following on from last month, mortgage borrowing continues to rise compared to a year earlier as mortgage assistance schemes help first time buyers and housing chains more generally. Approvals for new purchases have climbed quite significantly and are now at their highest point since September 2007. “Credit card spending is also on the rise, showing that consumer confidence in the economy continues to improve.”

Posted by khards @ 12:01 PM 2 Comments

Another step in the right direction.

Architects Journal: Self-build set to boom after CIL tax is dropped

More than 3,000 mothballed self-build homes could re-start as a result of dropping the community infrastructure levy (CIL) From today (24 February) self-builders will be exempt from the contentious CIL tax, which allows councils to raise funds from developers building in their area, a scheme originally mooted in a consultation back in April. The scrapping of the tax formed part of measures aimed at opening up self-build to lower income households. The levy added a considerable uplift in the cost of building a home – a 4-bedroom house could pay around £15,000 in taxes. ‘By boosting the numbers of people building their own home we can help increase the number of new houses built each year in this country and support local businesses. There are too many levies and charges on housing.

Posted by khards @ 11:47 AM 0 Comments

UK economy - rewarding hard work and talent

Monday, February 24, 2014

Cameron, housing bubbles and food banks.

Max Keiser: Keiser Report: Zero-Sum World

We discuss the new game called the Hunger Gains. In a financialized zero sum world, Housing Gains plus Hunger Pains equals The Hunger Gains. This game is sponsored by China, however, and if they withdraw their sponsorship by dumping their trillion in US Treasuries, a new game called working may have to happen. In the second half, Max interviews Alasdair MacLeod of Goldmoney.com about the redemption of emerging market currencies into the US dollar mirroring pre-WW1 bank runs, except on a global scale. With this ongoing global bank run happening, it is China that is buying up all the gold.

Posted by khards @ 09:29 PM 0 Comments

An economically unbalanced europe compounds an unhinged housing market

Guardian: Scandal of Europe's 11m empty homes

More than 11m homes lie empty across Europe – enough to house all of the continent's homeless twice over. Spain 3.4m, Italy 2.7m, France 2m, Germany 1.8m, Portugal 0.735m, UK 0.7m, plus lots more in smaller countries including Poland, Romania, Ireland and Greece etc.

Posted by enuii @ 06:48 PM 1 Comments

Migration to fuel further house price rises

Daily Mail: Two cities the size of Leeds needed to house influx of new migrants as officials fear migration will drive up house prices

Two cities the size of Leeds will be needed to accommodate the influx of immigrants over the next decade, official figures suggest. A study of figures has found that during the next ten years, migrants will be responsible for 629,000 new households, equivalent to one in three formed in England. The wave of people coming to the UK has prompted fears that they will drive up house prices in an already overcrowded market

Posted by david20040_0 @ 10:25 AM 2 Comments

Looks like a good move.

Architects Journal: More Homes: Lib Dems want call-in powers slashed

The Liberal Democrats have resolved to further reform the planning system in order to meet their goal of building 300,000 new homes each year The party’s plans include restricting the planning inspectorate’s and secretary of state’s powers to call in schemes and to improve design quality by keeping some parcels of land away from the ‘stanglehold’ of major housebuilders. Poor standards of residential design and performance have been ‘fostered by the stranglehold of the large housebuilders. The solution would be to reserve land for use by smaller developers and self-builders, promoting greater competition in the housebuilding market

Posted by khards @ 09:46 AM 0 Comments

How do we spend those Bedroom Tax savings - Kiev or Somerset

Telegraph: Britain offers cash to Kiev as the world waits on Putin

"Amid fears Russia could send troops into Ukraine and mystery over its ousted president, George Osborne says Britain will be ready 'with a chequebook' to help 'rebuild' country". (OK, we can't stimulate British industry, we have the Bedroom Tax and doctors are referring patients to foodbanks, but we CAN "fix" Kiev - a neighboring country on our doorstep). “We are here ready to help just as soon as there is someone at the end of the telephone,” Mr Osborne said. He added: “We should be there with a chequebook to help the people of Ukraine rebuild their country.” (Could the EU be preparing itself to print more money "to save the world from Communism"). Maybe the UK needs a revolution?

Posted by alan @ 07:57 AM 2 Comments

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Countryside blight

Ivybridge & South Brent Gazette: Second home owners are ‘sucking the life out of communities’

A SOUTH Hams MP has accused second home owners of sucking the life out of communities. In a series of hard-hitting tweets, MP Dr Sarah Wollaston declared the district does not need any more second homes which she claimed can turn local communities into ‘ghost towns and villages’. And she pointed out that too many young people cannot even afford to rent a home in the area let alone buy one. She warned that the level of second home ownership across the district is ‘now making life miserable for young people in South Devon’. Now the MP has asked constituents for ideas on how to provide ‘genuinely’ affordable housing for young people.

Posted by stuartking @ 09:13 AM 13 Comments

Friday, February 21, 2014

London's dirty little secret - rents have fallen for the last 21 months!

Knight Frank: Rental yields dropped below ‘risk-free’ government bond yield at end of 2013

Rents for London’s best residential properties rose 0.2% in January, which was the highest monthly increase since September 2011. Rents fell 2% versus January 2013, which was the lowest annual decline since August 2012. Prime central London rental GROSS yields fell in January to 2.86%, the result of falling rents and strong investor demand. The full extent of this demand was demonstrated in December, when yields fell to 2.88%, dropping below the benchmark 10-year UK government bond yield of 3.02% recorded at the end of the month. Good job BOE can't see any bubbles.

Posted by khards @ 02:56 PM 5 Comments

The UK economy doomed and Scotland had better get out!

Scottish Times: UK economy faces Lehman-type crisis, says Steve Keen

Professor Steve Keen, forecasts that the UK is heading for a "credit crunch similar to Lehman Brothers" and that Scotland breaking away from the "political domination" of the UK Government is "probably a good idea". He warns that the UK is heading into a major economic contraction because the "level of debt that England [UK] is in is astronomical even compared to the American level of debt". Mr Keen said: "you've deindustrialised by sending manufacturing jobs to the third world. "If you had a bubble like this and you hadn't shifted your production offshore then there would be no innate threat to the strength of the currency but if you've deindustrialised to the scale you have, then when you stop pretending you are getting rich by selling second-hand pieces of paper to each other....

Posted by khards @ 09:24 AM 12 Comments

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Housesalescrash a plelude to housepricecrash?

Counterpunch: Hot markets gone cold

Whitney shows why house sales in the hottest US markets have crashed and asks whether this is a prelude to hpc.

Posted by icarus @ 02:33 PM 2 Comments

Curve up or curve down though ?

Daily Mail: Five ways to spot an up-and-coming area: The secrets of buying a property ahead of the house price curve

WTF: “The one bedroom flat was on the market for £400,000. In his time at the property, it had approximately 20 parties through the door in 40 minutes. In the end, it went to a cash buyer for £445,000.”

Posted by doomwatch @ 02:07 PM 3 Comments

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Nice one Bryony - a cracking good and dryly humorous article to read

Telegraph: Buying a house is like a game of Monopoly, where the young always lose

Depressed that I seemed to have attended one of my mother’s drinks parties – the kind that she and my father threw back in the Nineties, because they had loadsamoney from buying a four-bedroom terraced property in 1979 for £55,000, one that was now worth approximately as much as, say, Buckingham Palace – I went to the bar to get another drink. There, I overheard a customer sniffily joking to the bartender that the exceptionally large bottle of champagne behind the bar “probably cost as much as a house in Preston”

Posted by enuii @ 10:58 PM 0 Comments

Bliar was PM when the housing bubble grew

SKY: Blair 'Offered Advice To Brooks'

Bliar has been rumoured to have given Osborne some "help" on how to create another housing bubble. This conspiacy theory is gaining ground and may feature in the film by George Galloway MP denouncing "Our Tony" (titled: The Killing of Tony Blair). Check out "Sputnik" George's weekly programme on RT

Posted by alan @ 06:20 PM 2 Comments

Glyn Mabey, regional chairman of Persimmon Homes Gives His View

Wales Online: 'Negative attitude' to housebuilders affecting the market in Wales

Speaking shortly before the Welsh Government at length introduced its own version of the homebuyer’s incentive scheme Help to Buy, Mr Mabey said: “The English market has picked up very significantly. In Wales we haven’t seen that, largely because we haven’t had Help to Buy. He added that, while the south east of England has seen significant house price inflation, the price rise nationally has not been so high. “We saw in England a 20% to 30% increase in activity almost straightaway, within four to six weeks of Help to Buy coming in." “What I notice in Wales is a negative attitude towards housebuilders. We are not treated in the same way as factory owners" House building, he points out, is “an economic lever you can turn on very quickly.” --> Here that Dave?

Posted by khards @ 05:40 PM 1 Comments

Find the best 5 year fixed rate mortgage

TurnKey Mortgages: 5 year fixed rate mortgage

Why are mortgage rates rising? A look at the long-term fixed rate market and a showcase of some of the best 5 year fixed mortgage rates still available.

Posted by ben @ 02:54 PM 0 Comments

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

See the sun go down on Galway Bay

Michael Hudson: Monopoly's poster children

MH says the purpose of Ireland's low corporate tax was to make it a Hong Kong, a place for corporation to park their cash. But HK used the money to invest in real estate and it made money on it. Ireland attracted foreign capital by low taxes and by offering London money managers high rates of return if they put their money in a few ambitious banks. But they simply turned the money over to crooks and then, instead of letting the speculators and bondholders take the loss – after all their risk was rewarded by low taxes and high returns - Irish politicians obeyed the ECB/IMF, which told them to let taxpayers absorb the losses, since "the bondholders etc. produce your jobs" Without LVT rental income was free to go to banks, which lent it to crooks, who stole it. More on housing bubbles etc.

Posted by icarus @ 02:43 PM 4 Comments

Monday, February 17, 2014

David Miles said "I see no bubbles"

Reuters: UK housing not overheating, rates not at lows forever - BoE's Miles

Britain's housing market is not overheating but interest rates will not remain at record lows indefinitely, Bank of England policymaker David Miles said in an interview on Monday. Miles, a member of the Bank's Monetary Policy Committee, told Bloomberg Television the amount of slack in Britain's economy means there is no case for tightening monetary policy right now and that "overheating" was not a good word to describe the concerns about the rapid rise of the housing market prompted the Bank to announce in November that it would scrap the part of its Funding-for-Lending Scheme that supports mortgage lending. But the market is still underpinned by low interest rates and the government's Help-to-Buy mortgage guarantee program. He said the amount of slack is around 1.5% of GDP.

Posted by khards @ 09:05 PM 18 Comments

It must be the recovery - Duh!

Telegraph: House prices rise above £250,000 stamp duty threshold

"Rightmove said that asking prices have risen to £251,964 on average in England and Wales, pushing them into the 3pc stamp duty bracket. While in London an 11.2pc increase means that sellers are typically looking to make £541,313 from their properties". Yippee! everyone is well off - What's not to like? says Dave

Posted by alan @ 10:00 AM 2 Comments

Sunday, February 16, 2014

But no help for renters, so buy! buy! buy!

Telegraph: Carney offers 'comfort' to struggling homeowners

Mark Carney said he wants to give "comfort" to homeowners struggling to cope with the cost of living. But they would also put pressure on borrowers, including mortgageholders, just as ministers try to boost home ownership before the next election. Mr Carney yesterday added three new conditions to any rise in interest rates: > The "sustainable growth" of jobs, wages and spending levels. "What we're saying though is there are some very big forces that are operating now and won't persist - the weakness in Europe, repair of public balance sheets, the finishing off of repairing the banking system, all of those forces conspire collectively to keep that level of interest rates down."

Posted by khards @ 03:32 PM 4 Comments

(music) "Here come the Clowns"

Telegraph: Flood-hit areas earmarked for more homes

"Councils have issued plans to build hundreds of new homes in some of the areas worst affected by the country's flooding crisis". Why are we paying these lunatics?

Posted by alan @ 01:40 PM 1 Comments

Girls no hair pulling!

Telegraph: The Debate: Is there an inflation bubble?

Liam Halligan and Tim Congdon debate UK inflation vs deflation. For whats its worth, I wouldn't save in sterling and I used to be extremely convinced by the deflation argument. Sterling halves in value every ten years.

Posted by stillthinking @ 03:25 AM 2 Comments

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Is London property still "safe" given the floods?

The National (UAE): Tokyo, Sydney, Dubai and London are the property stars

Excerpt:- "In countries like the United States and the United Kingdom [rates] only really have one way to go and the yield gap between perceived risk-free income and property initial yields is starting to narrow [we saw a marked softening in government bonds in 2013], as is the spread between the total cost of debt and the running yield, both elements potentially affecting values. However, the differentials of both these metrics are currently higher than historic averages and therefore can withstand further contraction. Interest rates also generally rise when economies start to return to long-term trend growth and therefore at a time when we have historically seen rent." And what value a three-story dig-under extension in, say, river-side Chelsea if it could get flooded?

Posted by sneaker @ 11:58 AM 0 Comments


Counterpunch: Foreclosure filings jump as investors eye exits

US house prices have no support from 'fundamentals'. They depend on (1) ZIRP/QE (2) inventory suppression / little movement on foreclosures (3) govt support for those with mortgage payment difficulties and (4) speculation by PE firms and other investors. Tapering' puts (1) under threat and weakens supports (2) and (4) as banks and speculators look to cash out while they can.

Posted by icarus @ 09:37 AM 0 Comments

Stunning level of negative gearing in London.

Henry Pryor: Yield is a guide to a properties value

You can use ‘yield‘ as a way to compare different classes of assets so that you can decide which to invest in and how one is performing against another.A bank will give you up to 3% if you put your money in their deposit account. The Post Office are offering 2.25% gross and up to £1m is protected by the Government. Last year VodaPhone paid 5.78%. When it comes to residential property shrewd investors look for 6%+. This gives some reward for the risk of falling values, of the costs associated with letting (agent fees, management fees, dilapidation’s, voids, interest…). Assuming that a market rent is being used in the calculation a property which shows a yield of 2% (net let alone gross) in my opinion is clearly over-priced.

Posted by khards @ 08:52 AM 8 Comments

Could mortgage stress tests undo HTB's good work?

Mortgage Strategy: Fears of mass declines emerge due to MMR stress tests

Amazing to see mortgage advisors thinking about responsible lending, but the comments show there are at least a couple

Posted by hechnical titch @ 08:32 AM 0 Comments

Friday, February 14, 2014

Broken window fallacy

Reuters: Britain's economy could take a brief hit from floods across England

"rs is that you get a hit to GDP (gross domestic product) as it's going on and then you get a recovery; you get that back later on with the repair". Nice to know the BoE's opinion. So the -GDP from flooding is offset by the +GDP of the repair. Thank god that number is OK! The UK insurance sector hold 289 billion of gilts as a buffer for claims. Perhaps the consequence of the repair bill is that borrowing costs must increase as insurance companies raise funds from gilt sales .

Posted by stillthinking @ 04:27 AM 2 Comments

Thursday, February 13, 2014

High Risk areas

BBC: Living with contaminated flood water

Ah well, chickens are coming home to roost for Baroness Young as the "smoking gun" is traced back to her "a limpet mine put on every pumping station" and "instant wildlife, just add water" speeches and articles to the Lords and the Commons. However, I'm sure magpies of the RSPB will continue to vote for her. As for the Enviroment Agency, many of the folk earning over £100,000 a year may be pressed into service expaining how we can waste even more money supporting EU policies. None of which helps the unfortunate folk on the recieving end, right now. One thing for sure - their house prices won't go up this year!

Posted by alan @ 10:54 AM 2 Comments

Life is good in the public sector

Telegraph: Lloyds chief to get £1.7m bonus

What other public sector employees get bonuses like this? How about surgeons that successfully save lives or teachers that make a success of our kids? If the argument is that you need to pay well to attract top talent, presumably it's considered more important to attract top talent into government departments which provide financial services than it is to attract top talent into hospitals or schools which also have to compete with the private sector. I'm leaving this country - it's just not where I want to live any more.

Posted by timmy t @ 09:38 AM 0 Comments

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Should you opt for a 35-year mortgage?

TurnKey Mortgages: The 35 year mortgage

An article about the growing popularity of longer mortgage terms, and the pros and cons of a 35-year mortgage.

Posted by ben @ 01:36 PM 0 Comments

Best BTL fixed rate mortgages

TurnKey Landlords: Best buy to let fixed rate mortgages

The best buy to let fixed rate deals currently on the market, hand-picked by the head of sales at TurnKey Landlords.

Posted by ben @ 01:23 PM 3 Comments

Forward Guidance 2.0

BBC News: Mark Carney adjusts Bank interest rate policy

Bank of England governor Mark Carney has overhauled the Bank's interest rate policy to reflect falling unemployment and the economic recovery... Outlining the Bank's revised forward guidance policy, the governor said the Bank would now be looking at a wider range of indicators, including wages and productivity.

Posted by joshy @ 12:37 PM 11 Comments

Unearned and tax-free income

Guardian: How to calculate capital gains tax when selling a home you no longer live in

A neat illustration of how the property market is driven by speculation and how property based gains are considered culturally acceptable. Needless to say, all gains are at the expense of the next buyer. Unless the incentive for speculation is reduced/removed, this will continue to be the world we live in.

Posted by nightfollowsday @ 11:38 AM 0 Comments

Bedroom tax pushes 72,000 into rent arrears

BBC News: Housing benefit changes 'unworkable'

Two-thirds - 66% - of social sector tenants affected by benefit cuts for those with extra bedrooms were behind with rent after six months, a National Housing Federation survey suggests. And it said 38% were in debt because of the "unfair, unworkable" policy change - dubbed the "bedroom tax" by critics. ... The NHF said the equivalent of 72,00 housing association tenants were in rent arrears because of the policy. It said that, by October 2013, 15% of household affected by the cuts had received letters warning them they were in danger of being evicted.

Posted by avidfan @ 08:16 AM 1 Comments

High enough up to avoid floods :O) But no room to swing a cat !

Yahoo Finance: Britain's Smallest £1 million home

£1 million home equivalent size of a large living room in a typical family home and smaller than a tube carriage on the London underground

Posted by kat @ 01:04 AM 0 Comments

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

How Safe Is Your Area?

CIA Insurance Services LTD: How Safe Is Your Area?

Whether you have lived in the same place for a number of years and intend to stay put, or are looking to up sticks to somewhere new it is always a good idea to get informed about the area in question. Making yourself aware of the crime rates could determine future decisions or simply give you a realistic view of certain areas, as the saying ‘ignorance is bliss’ doesn’t always apply.Throughout England and Wales crime rates are decreasing year on year and recent figures confirm that once again they have dropped. However, rates are still fairly high with up to 102 crimes per 1,000 of the population being committed in certain regions between 2012 and 2013.

Posted by chanelle @ 10:20 AM 1 Comments

He cribbed it from the Keiser Report!

Telegraph: Lord Turner: UK economy is like 90s Japan

"City regulator during the 2007/8 crisis says that the UK has not rebalanced its economy, and risks further shocks as a result". All about Banks & Real Estate....

Posted by alan @ 09:48 AM 22 Comments

Monday, February 10, 2014

Don't worry, Cameron will help you into owner occupation

Independent: Working poor trapped in unbreakable cycle of poverty turn to food banks in their lunch breaks

"Dr John Sentamu, says low pay is a “scourge on our society” and challenges David Cameron to back up his “warm words” with action to boost the incomes of the working poor. An independent commission chaired by the Archbishop says the economic recovery will make no difference to the lives of the five million lowest-paid workers unless they paid the so-called “living wage”. ,,,All you get from Cameron & Boris Johnson is advice on speculation. Meanwhile everything is rigged...FX etc., etc.

Posted by alan @ 02:28 PM 2 Comments

Fake landlords are the new scourge of property market as con artists fleece hopeful tenants

ThisIsMoney.co.uk: Fake landlords are the new scourge of property market as con artists fleece hopeful tenants

Fake landlords are rapidly becoming the new scourge of the property market, with con artists fleecing hopeful tenants out of huge sums in a range of scams. In some cases, victims hand over deposit money or pay rent up front then find their ‘landlord’ didn’t own the property and has disappeared. In other ploys, tenants fall prey to identity theft after handing over passports and other personal and financial details as part of a ‘reference check’. ‘Tenants may feel they need to move fast to secure the right home – but they shouldn’t overlook warning signs and should part with cash only after a landlord or agent has proved they are genuine,’ says Graham Bates, boss of estate agent Eddisons in Leeds. ../

Posted by avidfan @ 11:00 AM 0 Comments

Mark Carney to 'stress test' banks to find if they could cope with a house price crash

ThisisMoney.co.uk: Bank of England boss Mark Carney to 'stress test' banks to find if they could cope with a house price crash

The Bank of England is to test whether banks and building societies would go bust if house prices crash. A ‘stress test’ will examine whether banks will need bailing out if prices plunge. It is being drawn up by the Bank’s Financial Policy Committee, whose members include Governor Mark Carney. A Nationwide Building Society survey just out showed house prices had risen by 8.8 per cent in January over the same month last year. The high-profile examination by the Bank could highlight the gulf between Carney and Chancellor George Osborne over the housing market. Bank officials are keen to use whatever tools they can to prevent a price bubble, with Carney drawing attention last year to the relatively small number of new homes built. ../

Posted by avidfan @ 10:48 AM 9 Comments

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Rising property prices don't count as inflation

Mindful Money: Shaun Richards: UK house price rises are a building problem for our economy

[Regarding the London property market] So there is a problem with asset price inflation in the UK and as so often we find ourselves looking at house prices. We do now have an inflation measure that is supposed to cover it but it was neutered -against my arguments and protests- by the various Quangoes and official bodies in this area. So if you want a Matrix blue pill to take whilst you sing along to Bobby McFerrin here it is. CPIH grew by 1.9% in the year to December 2013, unchanged from November For the rest of us house price inflation at 7.3% (Halifax) should add to not reduce a consumer inflation rate of 2%. It is a matter of national shame that the official response is to try to tell us this.

Posted by quiet guy @ 12:52 PM 1 Comments

Its all Maggies and ozzies fault!

Independent: Britain is suffering from a housing crisis - who is to blame and how can we fix it?

No reputable independent economist looks favourably on Help to Buy. And despite the claims of the Government that it is spurring house building, there is little sign of it yet. Mr Osborne argues that he is helping first-time buyers. But this is belied by the fact that there is a second element of the scheme which guarantees mortgages up to £600,000 and which is open to all. The one defence of the Chancellor is that he is not responsible for the entire crisis; he is merely making it worse.

Posted by waitingtobuy @ 11:54 AM 0 Comments

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Crash this party

Reuters: Next wave of super-rich heading for London as new crises bite

"Political and financial upheaval in some of the world's largest emerging economies is driving a new wave of rich migrants to London's supercharged property market as a place to park their wealth"

Posted by rumble @ 08:48 PM 10 Comments

Probably a bit premature but ...

Financial Times: Rate fears prompt rush to fix mortgages

The cost of fixed rate 5 year mortgages is creeping up in response to rising expectations that the Bank of England will raise rates in mid 2015. The article states that Clydesdale, Nationwide, RBS, Santander, Tesco and Yorkshire Building Society have all raised their 5 year fixed rates recently. Personally, I don't expect a modest rate rise to trigger a crash but this should be interesting to watch if the cheap credit era finally dies.

Posted by quiet guy @ 06:58 PM 1 Comments

Why is house value in this article

Daily mail: Social workers swoop on couple who refused to let son have HIV test because they feared he might have infected a nurse

However, the next day the hospital repeatedly called the couple at their semi-detached £550,000 home in Walton-on-Thames, asking them to bring Jean in for further tests. Mr Celliers said: ‘I couldn’t see why we should, Jean was happy and playing. They said he could have meningitis, which was obviously not the case as the tests were clear and he had no symptoms.

Posted by mark @ 09:43 AM 2 Comments

Friday, February 7, 2014

Could solar panels be a better investment than an annuity?

TurnKey Mortgages: Solar panel installation

Energy minister Greg Barker claims that some households can achieve better returns than pension annuities by selling solar energy. FInd out how to install solar panels on your home and earn a passive income with an export tariff.

Posted by ben @ 05:59 PM 0 Comments

Protect your tenants - install flood defences in your BTL property

TurnKey Landlords: Installing flood defences in your BTL property

Are you in a high-flood risk area? If so, you might want to consider installing flood defences in your buy to let property:

Posted by ben @ 05:36 PM 0 Comments

Parasite Street

The Independent: I set up Parasite Street to balance the benefits debate

"Subsidies to the rich cost us much more than benefit fraud." "We have to talk about too-big-to-fail banks that continued to be subsidised by the state to the tune of £38bn per year. About tax avoidance by corporations and rich individuals that costs us £25bn per year year. About the scandal of landlords renting former council homes back to councils at an average premium of £3,000 per year. And we have to talk about poverty pay by rich companies that leaves millions dependent on in-work benefits and tax credits at a cost of at least £1bn per year." "Parasite Street is an indication that people would be angrier about subsidies to the rich, if only they knew."

Posted by doomwatch @ 01:46 PM 8 Comments

“Oh no, I don’t want to go to the Lords yet,” he said.

Telegraph: John Major forecasts a 'prepubescent’ prime minister

Tip from the top. Perhaps -Sir- John can read the writing on the wall better than most, and anticipating a New Labour victory feels a timely reminder is in order to the incumbent. He is, after all, so old that he can remember real rates of interest.

Posted by stillthinking @ 03:10 AM 1 Comments

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Nice chandeliers......

Evening Standard: The Bishops Avenue resident: 'It's great homes here are empty, it's so peaceful'

A resident of “Billionaires’ Row” today said it is “great” that a third of all properties in the area lie empty because it gives locals peace and quiet. Plenty of streets in London like this. Certainly not an empty housing shortage....

Posted by tom101 @ 06:54 PM 3 Comments

Gone are the days when this monthly post attracted 3000 plus hits

BBC: UK interest rates remain on hold

UK interest rates have been kept unchanged at their record low of 0.5% by the Bank of England. The Bank's Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) also left the £375bn quantitative easing stimulus programme unchanged. Analysts now hope that the Bank will use next week's inflation report to signal changes to its policy of forward guidance. There had been speculation that the Bank would issue a statement alongside the latest interest rate decision. However, in announcing the hold in rates and quantitative easing, the MPC said it, "reached its decisions in the context of the monetary policy guidance announced alongside the publication of the August 2013 Inflation Report".

Posted by jack c @ 01:53 PM 15 Comments

Not a few....25%

The money advice service: A quarter of over 50s fear losing their home

One in four people aged over 50 are concerned they may be forced out of their homes because they won't be able to pay their rent or mortgage.

Posted by thecountofnowhere @ 07:29 AM 0 Comments

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Jenny fron the Telegraph gets it, as do the commenters

Telegraph: Working families are being pushed into nasty rented property. That's the 'property boom' for you

George Osborne has warned that the UK property boom will last for a decade, due to the mismatch between demand and supply. Oh dear. This time round, there aren’t so many people cheering. Good comments section as well.

Posted by enuii @ 07:21 PM 6 Comments

"That's the owners' perogative"

The Guardian: 'Billionaires Row': inside Hampstead palaces left empty for decades

Sixteen mansions on the most expensive stretch of the second most expensive street in the country are empty except for the pigeons that have taken over. Outside there are padlocked gates, windows shuttered by steel grilles and overgrown grounds patrolled by guard dogs and security guards. But that doesn't prevent their value from rising. Asked whether leaving homes vacant for decades was acceptable a Conservative councillor replied: "That's (the owners') prerogative. It is difficult to imagine what one would put in place to force things to be different to how they are." MW was not asked to comment on that remark. (Article's a few days old but wasn't posted here).

Posted by icarus @ 03:18 PM 5 Comments

Rare Bear Feast !

Citywire: Safe as houses? Why a recovery built on housing will crumble

A couple of articles in Asset Allocation 360° quarterly publication

Posted by jack c @ 01:41 PM 1 Comments

A good bubble.

Telegraph: Ten more years of rising house prices, predicts Osborne

"He insisted that the pick up in house prices did not amount to a dangerous bubble, and said it will be 2020 before house prices return to their pre–recession peak in real terms."

Posted by rumble @ 11:49 AM 3 Comments

New Property Portal To Launch

Better Price Paid Blog: Competitor Set To Launch Against Rightmove And Zoopla

UK estate agent’s in their masses have joined forces in rebellion to the ever increasing costs of advertising on Rightmove and Zoopla, with a plan to create a new online platform to advertise their stock.

Posted by david sessford @ 09:53 AM 2 Comments

George Osborne rejects calls to alienate Tory voters

Telegraph: George Osborne rejects calls for Help to Buy pricing cap

George Osborne has rejected calls for the pricing cap on the Government's controversial Help to Get Re-Elected scheme to be lowered. Amid widespread concern that Help to Get Re-Elected - which offers taxpayer-backed subsidies to voters with small deposits - is pushing prices up to unsustainable levels, the Chancellor claimed the scheme was helping to stimulate his chances of re-election despite creating a bubble.

Posted by timmy t @ 09:31 AM 0 Comments

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Great value HMO deal at 85% LTV

TurnKey Landlords: 04-02-14 85% LTV HMO

A potentially game-changing HMO (House of Multiple Occupation) mortgage is fresh to the market, available to HMO and student landlords and limited companies. Most importantly, the lender has lowered their minimum property value requirement from £250,000 to just £75,000.

Posted by ben @ 10:09 AM 0 Comments

Camerons bedroom tax against the right to adequate housing and general wellbeing of the vulnerable

RT: UK ministers brand UN report on social housing ‘Marxist diatribe’

A United Nations report on UK social housing conditions, which called for a suspension of the bedroom tax, has been dismissed by the government as a “misleading Marxist diatribe.” Rolnik repeated her call to scrap the bedroom tax because it negatively “impacts on the right to adequate housing and general wellbeing of many vulnerable individuals and households.” The study also highlighted a lack of investment in UK housing over many decades. It said that Britain now faces a crisis of housing availability and affordability and that tenants in the rapidly growing private rented sector find themselves with “few rights and little security.”

Posted by khards @ 10:08 AM 10 Comments

Monday, February 3, 2014

Behind on the mortgage? Don't worry!

Reuters: European banks have $3 trillion of exposure to emerging markets

"European banks have loaned in excess of $3 trillion (1.83 trillion pounds) to emerging markets, more than four times U.S. lenders and putting them at greater risk if financial market turmoil in countries such as Turkey, Brazil, India and South Africa intensifies. The risk is most acute for six European banks - BBVA, Erste Bank, HSBC, Santander, Standard Chartered, and UniCredit - according to analysts".

Posted by alan @ 06:44 PM 4 Comments

Forget the seat belts. Get the parachutes.

Counterpunch: Prelude to a crash

Record margin debt on the NYSE, swollen P/E ratios, near-record stock buy-backs, a bubble in junk bonds as investors search desperately for yield and a bubble in housing (Fed's massive MBS purchases, high prices despite low rates of FTBs and homeownership), all point to another financial crash. We've just seen the havoc in emerging markets as QE pushed hot money their way and then QE tapering pulled it out. So how do you taper without sending overleveraged investors to the exits? All the Fed can say is that it will deflate bubbles and reduce price distortions, continue tapering and rely on supervision, regulation and 'macro-prudential' policies (like ordering lower LTV ratios) in order to stabilise the economy without raising interest rates or crashing the stockmarket. Right.

Posted by icarus @ 03:10 PM 1 Comments

The one that already exists? Or bubble on bubble?

BBC News: Housing bubble forming in London, warns Ernst and Young

"It says the average price in the capital is expected to reach around £600,000 by 2018, 3.3 times the price in the north-east of England." So another 200k on the average cost of a London house? What new gov scheme are we going to get to allow this? I guess rates won't be going up then.

Posted by daz @ 08:39 AM 0 Comments

Sunday, February 2, 2014

'Real wage' growth has been trending down since Carry-On films fell out of fashion in 1974

Guardian: Official data shows longest fall in living standards for 50 years

Living standards in Britain have suffered their most prolonged decline for at least half a century, draw a mental trendline on the graph and there has been a constant decline since about 1974. Statisticians put the deterioration down to several factors such as a change in the number of hours people work as well as a fall in productivity, but statisticians were unanimous in concluding that real wages (for the bulk of the population) – which take into account the impact of inflation – had been falling on almost all measures.

Posted by enuii @ 10:18 AM 4 Comments

Saturday, February 1, 2014

70s house by Tim Tomlinson Associates for sale

Planet Property: 70s house by Tim Tomlinson Associates for sale

Not exactly a looker from the outside, but this 70s terrace has a surprisingly attractive interior ... contemporary rather than retro (so no shag pile, brown and orange furniture etc ... shame!).

Posted by the planet @ 01:31 PM 0 Comments

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