January 2015 Archive

Friday, January 30, 2015

Crazy Libertas is not so crazy any more.

Zerohedge: In Denmark You Are Now Paid To Take Out A Mortgage

just earlier today we, rhetorically, asked a logical - in as much as nothing is logical in the new normal - question: "Who will offer the first negative rate mortgage". Little did we know that just minutes after our tweet, we would learn that at least one place is already paying homeowners to take out a mortgage. That's right - the negative rate mortgage is now a reality. Thanks of Mario Draghi's generosity with "other generations' slavery", and following 3 consecutive rate cuts by the Danish Central Bank, a local bank - Nordea Credit - is now offering a mortgage with a negative interest rate!

Posted by libertas @ 09:11 PM 21 Comments

The real world economy

Dailt Telegraph: Commodity Prices collapse to lowest levels for 12 years

What does this tell us about the real world economy as opposed to the spin that is being fed by central banks and governments. And in another article by Reuters the other bellweather indicator of economic activity the Baltic Dry Sea index is at its lowest level of 29 years http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/01/29/baltic-index-idUSL6N0V868M20150129. If you don't believe in the vested interests sanitised propaganda, we could be in for frightening times.

Posted by britishblue @ 10:40 AM 3 Comments

Nationwide says annual rate of price inflation fell in January for fifth month running

Guardian: UK house price growth continues to slow

""British Bankers Association showing that mortgage approvals for house purchases fell to a 20-month low in December dependent on banks responding to the rise in demand by increasing their lending volumes. If that part of the puzzle is missing, house prices are likely to struggle over the next year or so.” Nationwide said the average price of a UK home now stands at £188,446 – 2.4% above its pre-crisis level."" Is this slowdown in the rate of increase significant or just a pause for breath before another rampant year?

Posted by debtserf @ 08:41 AM 3 Comments

Are we on the verge of massive recession?

Dailymail: New recession remembered for 100 years

Bulls think we are off to the races bears think we are on the verge of a massive recession

Posted by taffee @ 08:26 AM 2 Comments

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Boris stumps up

Taxjournal.com: London Mayor settles US tax bill

Why anyone in their right mind would want dual US nationality is beyond me. It is a bit like herpes.

Posted by vinrouge @ 05:17 PM 0 Comments

QE's dismal track record

Kylos Productions: Eurozone QE reignites global currency war

Shows the track record of QE in the UK, US and Japan in failing to generate growth, jobs and incomes or to prevent deflation and succeeding in inflating asset bubbles and capital income - mentions London property - and in aggravating global inequality and currency wars. In fact the QE effect on growth is negative since it redirects investment into financial speculation. It has led also to currency wars as others respond to the currency-weakening effect of QE (Switzerland's response catered for global investors using it as a tax haven and money-laundering shop). The dearth of real investment means that these wars are about countries stealing each other's growth/export trade when the pie itself is shrinking (including de facto devaluation within the €zone by cutting costs, i.e. wages).

Posted by icarus @ 12:56 PM 7 Comments

The dangers of pricing London as if it's a landlocked peninsula like Manhattan, Hong Kong etc.

FT: Londkn faces surfeit of expensive new homes

Most of the new homes being built are two-bedroom apartments in high-rise towers and many are being sold to “unsophisticated” foreign investors, said Charlie Ellingworth, the founder of Property Vision. “It is unlikely that investors are going to see the sort of yields that they have been led to expect,” Mr Ellingworth warned. “The pool of buyers may extend to the whole of China, but the pool of tenants is pretty static.” The owner of a £1m, two-bed flat would need to charge £30,000 to £40,000 a year in rent in order to make a gross return on their money of 3 to 4 per cent, Mr Ellingworth said. “There are not many people in London who can afford that.”

Posted by sneaker @ 11:44 AM 2 Comments

Tuesday, January 27, 2015


Bloomberg: Mortgage Battle Flares as U.K. Homebuying Loses Allure

Stricter affordability tests and loan-to-income restrictions are weighing on the U.K. housing market. In London, where house values have risen 50 percent in five years, prices are now falling.

Posted by cornishman @ 12:16 PM 0 Comments

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Cost to build: 10m Sale price: 3.4m - the real face of deflation?

Mail: Scotland’s most expensive modern home that backs on to Gleneagles is up for sale for £3.4million

The property had originally cost £10million to build and is thought to be Scotland's most expensive modern home Built in 2007, it boasts a gymnasium, cinema, spa, a two-bedroom house, billiards room and a man-made lake Its previous owner is former Rangers FC shareholder Graham Gillespie who went bankrupt in 2012

Posted by hpwatcher @ 07:01 PM 5 Comments

On The Market opens tomorrow

Guardian: New property portal challenges duopoly of Rightmove and Zoopla

Homeowners who want to sell their properties are being warned that from tomorrow they could miss out on potential buyers, as thousands of estate agents will stop listing homes on either Rightmove or Zoopla. A serious challenger to the two sites, onthemarket.com, goes live on Monday and agents who sign up to it will do so on the condition that they stop listing on one of the other two property portals. Between them Rightmove and Zoopla get 100m hits a month. How will this site impact the current market?

Posted by debtserf @ 12:13 PM 9 Comments

Saturday, January 24, 2015

What is in store when we follow suit, as promised by Carney

Comparis.ch: Mortgage interest rates: new historic all-time low

Interest rates on the Swiss mortgage market continue to drop. The year 2014 started out with a surprise: in the first quarter of the year, the interest rates for fixed-rate mortgages sank again – after an interim high in the previous year. - 10-year fixed-rate mortgages started at 2.7 percent in January 2014 and reached a new, historic low of 1.8 percent by the end of the year. - 5-year fixed-rate mortgages exhibited a similar curve. Their interest rates were at 1.8 percent at the beginning of the year and likewise dropped to an all-time low of 1.3 percent at the end of December. They currently are at the same level as 1-year fixed-rate mortgages.

Posted by libertas @ 06:34 PM 0 Comments

Mark Carney opens window for rate cut + QE

Telegraph: Mark Carney warns of liquidity storm as global currency system turns upside down

Quote: The Governor vowed to bring inflation back to its 2pc target after it dropped to 0.5pc in December, and may soon go negative by some estimates. "We have a very low inflation environment right now, largely caused by commodity prices," he said. Mr Carney said the Bank will "look through" the latest dip but do WHATEVER IT TAKES to meet its mandate over the next two years. "WE HAVE THE MEANS, AND THE WILL, and the responsibility (Moral high horse) to do it, and WE WILL DO IT. People can rely on that," he said. And for all those of you banking on rate rise and house price crash, it ain't gonna happen for a good few years yet. 1992 & 2008 only happen every 17yrs or so.

Posted by libertas @ 06:25 PM 7 Comments

Friday, January 23, 2015

The great rotation becomes exponential

Uk.investing: US Dollar Index spikes to 95. 120 next? Dow 25,000 here we come

The Swiss set it off. Now EU QE has set the tone for the next move. It is however clear that €1tn will not solve Europe's dissipative forces, demonstrating that further easing is on the way, and Euro weakness has a way to go. Some say it needs €3tn, but is that figure not exponential without Eurozone wide debt pooling that Germany will never agree to? And so this spike in the US Dollar index, soaring Sterling, Krona, Swissie & stocks have a way to go, with Eurozone bond holders continuing to position themselves for Eurozone collapse by investing in the bonds of stronger EU economies. London property, from Euroland, looks a great investment for wealthy Europeans who require an EU base & relatively low taxes, with values rising a few percent a day now for them as the Euro plummets.

Posted by libertas @ 01:23 PM 21 Comments

The Great Unwinding

MoneyWeek: UK house prices could fall 50%

"We’ve seen price falls in the housing market in the past in the early ‘90s and they went down 50%, and I think that we’re at the start of that kind of decline now – as I think, indeed, fairly soon we will be at the start of that in the stock market as well. As I say, I’m not depressed about this, because it’s just something that we have to go through to get to reality." Bold prediction, but we deported reality from these shores a long time ago, and I'm not sure she will ever be allowed back in.

Posted by debtserf @ 12:07 PM 13 Comments

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Journalist forgets to take his medication

Telegraph: The Tories need to make a fantastic offer to win the election - here's a suggestion

"Sometimes, the best ideas are the oldest, or at least turbo-charged versions of Eighties policies. The Tories should pledge to launch a great council house giveaway – not a mere sale – if they are elected. Anyone who lives in social housing, including those owned by local associations, and who has been in work for the past year should be gifted their council home ... Admittedly, in some ways the policy would be grotesquely unfair. Most people have had to work terribly hard for their homes; yet millions would suddenly be given one for free. It would not directly help the growing number of poor, private renters on housing benefit – but then Help to Buy was equally “unfair”, yet was a huge success. The advantages of a housing giveaway far outweigh the downsides."

Posted by quiet guy @ 09:27 PM 8 Comments

Landlord taking the mick


Daily Mail: Lender accused of rip-off over buy-to-let deals: Building society accused of raising rates on a 'whim' to boost its coffers

A building society illegally ramped up interest rates for thousands of its buy-to-let customers on a ‘whim’ to boost its coffers, a court heard yesterday. West Bromwich Building Society is accused of ripping off landlords with tracker mortgages by increasing their rates by two percentage points without warning. Tracker mortgages are supposed to follow the Bank of England’s base rate, which has remained at an historic low of 0.5 per cent for almost six years. But the building society shocked customers when they ramped up their rates in December 2013, pushing some from 1.99 per cent above the base rate to 3.99 per cent.

Posted by khards @ 07:59 AM 4 Comments

I am waiting for the 15-20yr fix (Its coming)

This is Money: Nationwide BS launches cheapest ever ten-year fixed rate mortgage at just 2.84%

People here completely fail to understand how profound these low rates are. People are buying homes and paying maybe 30% less than rental on deals like this, with half their payments being re-payments. Plus, the fix means rates do not rise, yet rent rises each yr. Meanwhile debtserf sits on the sidelines paying somebody else's mortgage, supporting buy to let, but he could fix payments for 15yrs, after which time he would own probably 60% of his home. But for those thinking about taking the plunge, variable rates are absolutely plunging. Ours is 1.3% plus base rate. Soon as mortgage providers realise that the next BOE move is DOWN to 0.25% or lower if there is a panic, we will start seeing total flattening of the yield curve and fixed rates better than this, fixed for 15, 20 and even 30yr

Posted by libertas @ 06:50 AM 19 Comments

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Lack of volume is the precursor to price falls.

Telegraph: Why I won't be buying a property'

The biggest barrier remains getting a deposit with 61pc unable to source the money needed, up from 57pc before. Effective demand for houses at these insane prices has ground to a halt.Weak transaction volume in recent months suggests these prices are unsustainable

Posted by debtserf @ 09:48 PM 11 Comments

First dollar peg to fall following breakdown of the Swiss Euro peg

Zero Hedge: Oil Producers Currency Collapse Continues, Nigeria's Naira Crashes To Record Low Against Dollar

"Having proclaimed it is not Zimbabwe, Nigeria's currency is starting to look a lot like a hyper-inflating mess. After devaluing to a 168 peg in November, the Naira has crashed to 200 / USD today - smashing above the upper peg band of 176 as it appears Nigeria is losing control." It appears that we are moving to a new world order determined by global capital flows rather than central bank manipulation.

Posted by libertas @ 02:58 PM 0 Comments

UK yields collapse below base rate. Cuts to follow.

BBC News: Bank of England MPC unanimous on holding interest rates

Expectations are now of a rise in 2015, but Gilt yields have collapsed to 0.35% on 2yr notes indicating market expectations moving towards a rate cut. I expect a cut to 0.25% as inflation drops to zero or a panic 0.5% cut to 0% with deflation, Danish ERM collapse and ECB QE causing a stampede into Sterling.

Posted by libertas @ 01:40 PM 1 Comments

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

The MMR Effect

Mortgage Strategy: Slow ahead

"Tighter lending criteria, which came as a result of the Mortgage Market Review, may also play a part in stifling the lending boom. In fact, one of the reasons for rock-bottom rates late last year was not just that expectations of a Bank of England base rate rise were put back but also because lenders were behind on their targets, which led to a price war to drive business." MMR is a nostalgic return to the lending criteria of the '70s. Way back when average prices were 3xEarnings. Forget supply and demand, the real driver of prices is, and always has been, easy credit, and MMR has placed firm limits on it.

Posted by debtserf @ 03:53 PM 8 Comments

Watch the Fed RAISE interest rates

Reuters: Petrodollars leave world markets for the first time in 18 years

Low oil prices mean that petrodollars are no longer being recycled (oil producers are even sucking money out) into western/US financial assets. Global liquidity will fall, leading to higher borrowing costs, and the Fed will have to look for new support for stock /bond/ asset markets and for the dollar's reserve status. The only tool available to it is higher short-term IRs despite the weakness of the economy (deflation, slow growth, stagnant wages, falling lab force participation). The Fed has made loud noises in this direction lately, and the reduction in US current account deficit gives it some leeway for a rise. Good for US assets, G Sucks and JPM, very bad for the emerging markets (remember 1997) with big dollar-denominated debts and more capital flight.

Posted by icarus @ 03:24 PM 11 Comments

... at the taxpayer's expense!

Torygraph: How to get rich quick from Crossrail

H/T Mark Wadsworth. Don't really know what to say - I wish my salary was subject to 0% taxation like this is!

Posted by mombers @ 01:37 PM 6 Comments

10 years of a bull market, 5 years of intensive support - time for deflation to hit housing?

Telegraph: Gazundering to return to the housing market as buyers get the upper hand

Inertia has hit the UK housing market as sellers await the outcome of the general election and stricter mortgage regulation suppresses buyer demand, according to property website Rightmove. The number of homes registered for sale per estate agent fell to its lowest level for five years in December, with available stock 10pc lower than in the same month a year earlier.

Posted by hpwatcher @ 10:50 AM 4 Comments

Monday, January 19, 2015

Could 2015 beat 2014 for house prices?

City AM: UK house prices rise unexpectedly: Stamp duty to the rescue?

After a muted end to 2014, London house prices grew 0.9 per cent in January, compared to just 0.2 per cent in the first month of 2014. Possibly the bull market has only just taken off, with Switzerland demonstrating a desire for capital to flee the Eurozone. Many ploughed in last year to grab fixed rates that now look expensive, and so this year we may see the less prudent bunch snapping up properties on uber cheap variable rates that just keep getting cheaper, with buying now often far cheaper than renting due to incredible rate cuts.

Posted by libertas @ 10:58 PM 10 Comments

We are seeing the Eurozone transform real time

Zero Hedge: Denmark Goes NIRP-er; Slashes Rates To -20bps Amid Currency Peg Fears

Another buyer of Euros will disappear if Denmark breaks its Euro peg. I doubt it can survive QE. Basically, ECB has lost Switzerland and possibly Denmark, to gain, Greece? Chump change?! Terrible investment!

Posted by libertas @ 03:31 PM 5 Comments

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Actually, its a tug of war between a rising Dollar, falling Euro & collapsing currency pegs

Armstrong Economics: The Dollar Pegs are Next

"The next crisis will be the currency pegs against the dollar. Here we have pegs from Hong Kong to the Middle East. We will have the same problem for as the dollar is driven higher, thanks to the implosion in the Euroland, these nations will import DEFLATION from a rising dollar. This will break their backs and force pegs to collapse around the world." Armstrong points towards the dollar reaching a strength that breaks its pegs around August 2015. He says this would lead to an awful depression. I doubt it. I think that free market economics come alive with floating pegs, providing multiple buffers to spontaneously regulate capital flows and absorb imbalances. However, adjustment could be painful.

Posted by libertas @ 10:16 PM 8 Comments

To make the impossible possible. To rise, and rise”

Guardian: Buying a home in Britain should not be an impossible dream

Only way to resolve it is to make sure the UK citizens can get a piece of it in preference to non-UK citizens, and to make sure that no UK citizen can get too much of it at the expense of other UK citizens.

Posted by debtserf @ 02:29 PM 1 Comments

Britain was only only 2 hours away from social collapse

This is money: ALISTAIR DARLING INTERVIEW: Britain was two hours away from total social collapse - Former Chancellor on the crisis that erupted FIVE years ago this week

This is an old article from September 2013. But the events of the last week with the SNB show that the financial system is far from mended and one could argue that for all those that argue that house prices will keep going up in a straight line there is a equally good argument that we are going to have a major financial crash that reverses this line. There must be very strong reasons why for the first time in recent history the SNB or any central bank changed a policy that it was committed too, knowing full well it would destroy many of their exporting companies.

Posted by britishblue @ 11:49 AM 2 Comments

Friday, January 16, 2015

Austria could be the next Eurozone shoe to drop

Zero Hedge: What The Soaring Swiss Franc Means For AUSTRIAN, Hungarian And Polish Mortgages

"Spoiler alert: nothing good" Looks like Austria is in deep doo. 9% of its mortgages and 20% of retail lending is in Swissie. Highly deflationary. Not as bad as Hungary or Poland, but the size of the Austrian economy makes this a greater headache for the EU. Bear in mind that the Swiss currency is likely to retrace the earlier 40% currency appreciation over the next year or so. GBP has appreciated about 30% the last three years against Euro, but not in one day, and we take out mortgages in our own currency. What IDIOT allowed the EU's "free trade" rules to allow citizens to take out mortgages in foreign currencies, on the hope that pegs don't break?! This is totally irresponsible. At least Hungary facilitated conversion into local currency after 2008. Poland and Austria have not.

Posted by libertas @ 10:36 PM 0 Comments

A chill is blowing through the economy

Yahoo: Broker Alpari UK declares insolvency after Swiss franc losses

urrency broker Alpari UK declared insolvency Friday after clients' losses linked to the sharp rise in the Swiss franc were passed on to the company. The news, revealed in a statement, follows a similar announcement by Global Brokers NZ in New Zealand

Posted by mark @ 12:49 PM 4 Comments

Netherlands is the next Eurozone shoe to drop

Uk.investing: Netherlands 2-Year Bond Yield Overview

Reading the FT today, they suggest that the Dutch Euro peg is the next to break with the Guilder breaking out to the upside, with the Czech Koruna breaking afterwards to the downside. Dutch yields are collapsing into negative and as with Switzerland, there comes a point when purchasing Euros to sustain a peg makes the central bank balance sheet unsustainable. These pegs are providing support for the Euro because they involve massive purchases. Once over, the Euro will weaken. This precipitates the yet unforeseen issue of Germany, because a progressively weak Euro makes Germany's membership less sustainable, as German yields collapse into extreme negative territory with beg breaking & ECB QE breaking Germany. This is like the breakdown of Bretton Woods, a cascade.

Posted by libertas @ 12:19 PM 11 Comments

Thursday, January 15, 2015

How 40 years of financialisation enriched the few and made debt-serfs of the many

Counterpunch: 40 years of economic policy in one chart

Lots of charts from the US over the past 40 years showing how government policies (QE AND other policies) have enriched the 1% and made debt-serfs of most of the rest. Obama's record in this regard is worse than GWB's. No wonder FTB age is increasing. (NB - The chart 'The wealthy own most financial assets' isn't properly labelled - it shows the proportion of shares owned by each wealth quintile (dunno why the bottom quintile owned so much in 1989).

Posted by icarus @ 03:09 PM 5 Comments

What can i say

Yahoo: Polish zloty tumbles 20% against Swiss franc over mortgage fears

It also soared nearly 20 percent against the Polish zloty, which is bad news for some 700,000 Polish households that hold mortgage loans in Swiss francs

Posted by mark @ 02:34 PM 21 Comments

Get down Shep!

Daily Mail: House price growth stalls to lowest level for 19 months with property values in London falling for the first time

Big variations across the UK as some areas are still recording increases London house prices are the main contributor to slower rates of growth Weakest pace of house price growth recorded by Rics since May 2013

Posted by hpwatcher @ 01:35 PM 1 Comments

Oh dear, how sad, never mind....

This is money: House price growth stalls to lowest level for 19 months with property values in London falling for the first time

The pace of house price growth fell to its weakest level in more than a year and-a-half in December with values in London falling for the first time since 2009, according to the latest national property report. Property experts reported huge variations across the country, with Northern Ireland, Scotland and the North West of England seeing the strongest growth in property values, while London was the only region where prices were seen falling more than rising.

Posted by hpwatcher @ 09:45 AM 0 Comments

Defying the forces of a world depression?

Telegraph: London house prices to fall up to 5pc as sellers abandon the market

Estate agents expect house prices in London to drop by as much as 5pc this year with the cost of larger family homes falling the most, an industry survey has revealed.

Posted by hpwatcher @ 08:28 AM 7 Comments

Wednesday, January 14, 2015


Quartz.com: Beijing goes hunting for overseas real estate bought with dirty money

China’s corrupt officials and crooked businessmen have smuggled billions of dollars overseas, much of which has ended up in real estate in the United States, Canada, Australia and the United Kingdom. Now the Chinese government is embarking on a worldwide hunt to seize the properties with help from foreign governments, according to asset recovery and anti-corruption specialists. Who's gonna pick up the Chinese hot money slack now?

Posted by debtserf @ 04:53 PM 2 Comments

Whilst people bet on the next rate rise, others are cashing in on rate cuts

Mortgage Introducer: Nationwide cuts 10-year fixes (Again)

Sweet, I save another £20 a month, after saving £88 a month on the mortgage last month. Second re-mortgaging since October. Don't you love these zero fee, no early repayment charge tracker loans?! Never did my rent ever fall, not once.

Posted by libertas @ 12:12 AM 18 Comments

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

How landlords benefit from the rest of us

FT: Landlords make £177bn from rising house prices over 5 years

The value of the stock of privately rented property in place in 2009 has increased by £177bn, and there's a further increase of £247bn in the value of the stock that's newly rented since 2009 (that includes stuff that's only recently been rented and valued). The value of all privately rented property has increased by 57% during the period while owner occupiers have seen rises of just 20% (those without a mortgage) or 5% (those with a mortgage). All thanks to low house building and high prices for would-be FTBs forced to rent - and to HB payments to private landlords (up from £3.4bn in 1998 to £9.3bn in 2014). Generation Rent's man says " despite these huge returns (to landlords) private sector tenants get the worst living conditions, the worst security of tenure".

Posted by icarus @ 03:02 PM 8 Comments

Oil crash a flash in the pan? Dr copper says not.

Uk.investing: Copper Futures - Mar 15 (HGH5)

For those who say that oil prices are down due to manipulation and not supply and demand, pray tell, who is "manipulating" copper down at the exact same time, for what reasons? Is somebody going to suggest that this is an attack on Mexico? Of course not. A collapsing commodities complex plus collapsing shipping costs and falls in all fuel types cannot be precipitated by any market player. This deflation is structural. Rates are destined to go negative.

Posted by libertas @ 02:48 PM 10 Comments

Deflation and negative rates become a certainty

Financial Times: UK inflation falls to lowest in 15 years

Will folk please write below when they predict the rate cut to 0.25% will occur? My bets are on for June. Oil prices are still falling, with only some of the fall fed through to prices.

Posted by libertas @ 02:42 PM 9 Comments

Good summary IMO

BBC News: Why can't the UK build 240,000 houses a year?

In 2007 the Labour government set a target for 240,000 homes to be built a year by 2016. The UK is nowhere near that. Why? For decades after World War Two the UK used to build more than 300,000 new homes a year. Recently it's managed about half that. The country is facing up to a housebuilding crisis. A decade ago, the Barker Review of Housing Supply noted that about 250,000 homes needed to be built every year to prevent spiralling house prices and a shortage of affordable homes.

Posted by reticent @ 12:47 PM 5 Comments

Monday, January 12, 2015

The only way is DOWN baby, to 0.25% then negative, oh, the only way is down.

Telegraph: Rejoice; inflation is sub 1pc. This is what Mark said to George

It appears that 1980's pop got it wrong in direction as well as style, as UK interest rate expectations begin to collapse.

Posted by libertas @ 08:17 PM 15 Comments

A hint, this will look expensive soon.

This Is Money: Worried about rates going up? Then fix your mortgage for 10 YEARS for as low as 2.99%

With oil hitting the $46 handle today, 2yr bonds falling below 0.4% the stars are aligning now for negative interest rates creating government surpluses, combined with weak growth (due to low investment), leading to the next big trend. TAX CUTS. Like, 75% of fuel costs are now tax. With stimulus opportunities disappearing by the minute this will become the new trendy way to boost the economy, because the fundamental reason for weakness is higher taxes and regulations. We may also finally see a backlash against regulations as corporations discover that subsidies, bailouts, etc. just are not working any more.

Posted by libertas @ 04:32 PM 15 Comments

FT columnist Martin Wolf on housing problem

Reddit: Britain’s self-perpetuating property racket

If you don't have an FT subscription: In international discussions of economic policy, the British government likes to boast of the flexibility of its economy...But every country has its sacred cows, and Britain’s is housing. In planning, the UK persists with an approach that might be described as Stalinist. The difference is that, whereas Stalin wanted to make things happen, the UK’s land-use system is designed to do the opposite. It is spectacularly successful. If it had been in effect in the 19th century, none of the great British cities would now exist.

Posted by mountain goat @ 01:08 PM 3 Comments

And then

Torygraph: Less than half of workers will get full 'flat rate' state pension

The denouement that pensions turn out to be worth nothing, and that people have been grossly mislead about the value of their property with no working life left to make alternative arrangements. As the globe ages, I wonder if even at a loss, cash is worth holding onto (not UK cash) because there is not the population available for credit expansions of the past.

Posted by stillthinking @ 10:22 AM 1 Comments

Saturday, January 10, 2015

It scares me how little has been learnt in the years since the financial crash

Guardian: The mortgage that allows students to buy their own homes

At the age of 20 he was granted a 100%, £183,000 mortgage, to be repaid on an interest-only basis, by Bath Building Society to buy a three-bed home in Chelmsford, Essex, where he has been studying architecture and technology at Anglia Ruskin University. He turned the lounge into a bedroom for his own use, and rented the three bedrooms to other students at his college. Pearson does not pretend to be a financial whizz-kid. “To be honest, my mother had been dealing with a financial adviser, who told her about this scheme when he knew I was going through university."

Posted by wanderinman @ 12:43 PM 6 Comments

Friday, January 9, 2015

Bear Fodder

Telegraph: Fears of a weak housing market in 2015 knock shares across the property sector

A leading analyst has signaled the end of a year of bumper profits for house builders and estate agents by downgrading the entire residential property sector. A new note from stock broker Jefferies has forecast a weak year ahead for the sector, wiping out the buy recommendations it previously held, and warning that London and the South East could experience house price falls.

Posted by wdbeast @ 08:56 PM 0 Comments

Some Economic Sense - But the rent is still To Damn High

Money Week: Rent controls are an awful solution to the high cost of renting

The rent is too damn High - but what should we do about - Tax Land Value of course....,

Posted by pete green @ 02:11 PM 3 Comments

No money for NHS, but 42 billions in FLS to keep UK house prices high to allow Tory win in 2015

BBC News: A&E waits in England 'getting worse'

Waiting times in A&E units in England have got even worse in the New Year, figures show. The last three months of 2014 saw performance drop to its lowest level for a decade with just 92.6% of patients seen in four hours. The data for the week up to Sunday saw 86.7% of patients seen in four hours. The target is 95%.

Posted by hpwatcher @ 09:43 AM 26 Comments

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Expect more props?

This is money: House prices 'to drop 0.6% this year' as London property reverses due to mansion tax fears and Russian money woes

House prices in Britain will drop by 0.6 per cent this year as the London property market slows markedly, according to a new forecast. Property values in the capital were up 16.8 per cent last year helping the national average house price rise 8.8 per cent – the largest since the recession. But the Centre for Economics and Business Research expects London to have the opposite effect this year, forecasting falls of 3.3 per cent in the city. As a result, it believes house price growth nationally will be stronger when London is excluded from the figures for the first time since 2010.

Posted by hpwatcher @ 02:55 PM 1 Comments

House prices: Affordability ceiling and 'deluded' sellers stall the property market

Telegraph: UK Housing - more 'props' than United Artists Pictures

House price rises are slowing after hitting an affordability ceiling for many parts of the UK, according to new figures from Halifax - but sellers are still "delusional" about the valuations they can demand. Values in the last three months of 2014 were 0.3% higher than in the previous three months, making December the fifth consecutive month in which the quarterly rate of increase declined.

Posted by hpwatcher @ 01:54 PM 0 Comments

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Gordon Brown MK II

BBC: David Cameron: I can fix EU 'problem'

David Cameron has said he is "convinced" he can "fix the problems" in Britain's relationship with Europe that the British public find "very frustrating". Speaking at a press conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, the prime minister said he "profoundly" believed the EU needed to be reformed.

Posted by khards @ 07:21 PM 13 Comments

London will see the first marked falls for more than five years,

Guardian: House prices will drop across the UK in 2015, says CEBR

“Leading indicators such as fewer new buyer inquiries and properties taking longer to sell already point to falling prices,” said the CEBR. “Even after May, when the elements of political and taxation uncertainty are less of a factor, the CEBR does not expect a strong post-election bounce back.”

Posted by debtserf @ 11:32 AM 12 Comments

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Interest rate rise would put many more in trouble, with almost 60% saying they are already strugglin

Guardian: Millions fear missing January’s rent or mortgage payments, says Shelter

Britain is booming again - almost 60% of people say they are struggling to meet their housing costs. One in nine fear they will be unable to meet January’s payments, as families struggle to balance their budgets after Christmas. Great start to 2015. Even if rates do not rise this year, it is clear that everyone is tapped out. Where do we go from here?

Posted by debtserf @ 01:37 PM 8 Comments

Tory plans mean education will have to be cut by a quarter

Daily Wail: Schools budget could be slashed after the general election, secret Tory briefing note reveals Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2898786/Schools-budget-slashed-general-election-secret-Tory-briefing-note-reveals.html

The mask slips on idealogical hate of the nasty party. If their establishment chums weren't coining it in off cheap imports, they'd have British kids back in the mines and mills.

Posted by doomwatch @ 01:08 PM 4 Comments

Monday, January 5, 2015

...but housing situation is a bigger threat

FT: UK hostility to migrants threatens London, says report

A London First report says London faces growing threats from alternative financial and business centres. The UK's anti-immigrant stance is flagged up as one of the threats but bigger threats comes from the strain on infrastructure, broadband speeds, quality of life, cost of living, public transport and especially housing - 'housing crisis has a significant impact on businesses'. Each year 52,000 households are formed but only 20,000 housing units built. The report suggests more tax-and-spend powers for Boris, especially taxing increases in property prices that result from transport improvements.

Posted by icarus @ 08:00 PM 1 Comments

Makes the rubbish assumption that landlords have ever been able to pass on interest rate rises

Torygraph: Rent controls would spell disaster for thousands of buy-to-let investors

There's no correlation between interest rates and rents -if there was, renters would have seen huge rent cuts over the last few years, and huge rises during the early 90s. The only problem with Civitas' proposal is that increases should be limited to wage growth, not inflation, as wages are ultimately what set rents.

Posted by mombers @ 12:07 PM 2 Comments

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Pensions could become last gasp cash machines

BBC: Minister: Retired 'could be given right to sell pension'

Existing pensioners could be given the right to sell their pensions under plans floated by the pensions minister. From April, working people will be able to cash in their pension savings for a lump sum when they retire. Liberal Democrat Steve Webb told the Sunday Telegraph he wanted to extend the scheme to existing pensioners.

Posted by enuii @ 10:11 AM 6 Comments

Friday, January 2, 2015

5Y German bonds just traded at -0.1bp yield (below Japan's 3bp 5Y yield)...

Zero Hedge: Japanisation: 5Y German Bond Yield Goes Negative For First Time Ever

Tracking the trend towards lower rates, here you go. To update Zero Hedge, its traded at -0.005. Link in the thread. 10yrs are trading at all time lows under 0.5%. UK bonds are also collapsing with Sterling at a 17month low against USD with it clear now that rates are not going up. For some, they are dawning that 0.25% down is the next move possibly of many. For those being sucker punched into long term rates, this is a mis-selling scandal on a global level where Central Banks are playing down deflation and colluding with lenders to promote what will be very expensive long term fixed mortgages. Fixed rates will have their time, but not now. Meanwhile, Sterling, is about to break out to the upside against the Euro, suggesting that capital flight to UK housing from Eurozone will accellerate.

Posted by libertas @ 06:07 PM 16 Comments

Chances of this happening any time soon sqrt(naff all) but some good points

Torygraph: Buy-to-let tenants should be able to 'rent for life'

"Think tank Civitas argues tenants need the same level of security as owner-occupier, meaning the ability to stay in their property as long as they wish" A fair regulation would be along the lines of local water water monopolies, i.e. cost plus normal profit. Land has no cost of production so only amortised construction, maintenance, marketing and insurance plus maybe max 20% profit. Housing is an essential for life, it should not be subject to price gouging. Alternatively the right to build should be granted to all private renters on any public land - absolute chaos would ensue but at least the monopoly would be weakened.

Posted by mombers @ 10:40 AM 21 Comments

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