Tag Archives: investing in property

As home prices hit record levels, negative equity looms

A statement from Halifax shares the “good” news: home prices paid by first-time buyers are the highest ever.

In the first half of this year, first-time buyers paid on average £207,693 for a home, the highest price on record. This is 4% higher than a year ago, and 50% higher than five years ago.

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Home price inflation keeps going, deepening inequality

The financial repression that central banks started after the global financial crisis of 2007-2009 does not seem to be close to an end. The central banks argue that inflation has not come back to their target of around 2%, but their definition of inflation is flawed.

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UK election has only one loser: the British people

The early UK election highlights the harm done by the Brexit vote, but also its short-term winner: the Conservative party. Hidden for now is the long-term loser: the British people.

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Air keeps coming out of the bond bubble

The air came out of the bond bubble last month, when bond funds recorded the highest five-week outflows in three years and a half, according to capital flows data analysed by Bank of America Merrill Lynch economists.

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Banning letting agency fees for tenants is just a PR stunt

The announcement by Chancellor Philip Hammond in his Autumn Statement that letting agency fees charged on tenants will be banned has been met with cries of outrage from estate agents.

Their rage is in part justified. Lately, they have been asked to do much more administrative tasks than simply running credit referencing checks. They are also supposed to check immigration papers as well, to ensure that prospective tenants have the right to be in the country in the first place.

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UK buy-to-let tax reform should not be reversed

The new chancellor of the UK, Philip Hammond, will present his first Autumn Statement on November 23. There are hopes in certain quarters that he will reverse a plan by the previous chancellor to stat phasing out tax relief on interest rates for buy-to-let mortgages.

If he does reverse it, he will make a big mistake with dire consequences down the line. The previous chancellor, with various governmental programs such as Help to Buy, had already blown up a real estate bubble — helped of course by loose monetary policy and a flood of cheap money from abroad.

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How a ‘hard Brexit’ could burst the London housing bubble

It looks like I was right when I said the UK was heading towards a hard Brexit. And after all, why not — it’s what’s people have voted for, even though few realise what this means.

The banks are already making plans to shift some jobs out of London into other EU capitals and the French government, usually considered anti-big business, is rolling out the red carpet.

There are some who say “good riddance” to a sector where all sorts of governance scandals have dominated the headlines since the crisis and into which UK taxpayers have had to pour billions to keep it afloat.

While it is true that bank bailouts have cost the taxpayer a lot, a diminished banking sector in the city of London would almost certainly trigger a crash in house prices, which in turn could start a recession.

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UK house prices will hurt the economy even if they keep rising

Another trick to keep UK house prices rising is taking center stage: the extra-large mortgage. It’s the mortgage lasting half a lifetime, or more, which allows you to buy a home even if, under normal circumstances, you would not afford it.

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Is housing endangering banks in the UK, Sweden and Australia?

The news that Wells Fargo, the US bank that is the world’s biggest lender by market value, targets millennials with its mortgage loans is seen as a sign that we’ve finally gotten over the crisis that nearly brought down the world economy in 2007-2009.

The Financial Times reported that the head of the bank’s home finance business said he was keen to lend more to first-time buyers, who, the paper said, have so far “put off settling down.”

But what is good for America is not necessarily good for the world. While in the US there has been some deleveraging and restructuring that allows the housing market to re-start from a cleaner basis, it is not the case in the rest of the world.

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David Cameron should eradicate corruption on his doorstep

In a recent speech, British Prime Minister David Cameron again slammed corruption and those who tolerate it, and called for global political leaders to talk more about the “cancer of corruption” and how to combat it.

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