Tag Archives: London house prices

The UK government must tackle housing, not Brexit in 2018

This year, the UK government must come up with solutions to the main crises that eat away at some ordinary Britons’ well-being. One of these is the housing crisis, which continues unabated despite the billions of pounds thrown at the problem.

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Central banks have bad news for property investors

As the major central banks are slowly retreating from their policy of asset purchases, we will probably witness some of the side effects of this withdrawal.

Warren Buffett famously said that “Only when the tide goes out do you discover who’s been swimming naked.” The tide is going out only slowly, but we are beginning to see, at least in the UK, the damage the ultra loose monetary policy has done.

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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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Brexit voters blame the wrong foreigners for the London housing crisis

One of the main complaints of some of the “Leave” voters was that Britain is a “small island” and it is “full up.” Immigration “puts pressure” on local services such as hospitals and schools, but, most importantly, on local housing.

Even Prime Minister Theresa May, when she was Home Secretary, said immigration was putting pressure on the housing sector.

Intriguingly, however, it seems the kind of foreigner whom the UK government welcomes is the foreigner who buys homes but never lives in them – the foreign investor.

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Brexit masks London’s status as safe haven for corrupt money

The Brexit vote must be manna from heaven for those seeking to hide their illicit gains in London. Busy with all their posturing and negotiations, politicians will have no time to curtail the criminals’ activities.

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The UK’s own shaky currency union could give lessons to the eurozone

Among the analysts and politicians criticising the single European currency, perhaps the most numerous (and vocal) come from Britain.

This should be no surprise: the UK itself is a currency union, and those working within it should know a thing or two about why such a regime does not really work.

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Theresa May indicates she is unwilling to solve the housing crisis

Many people hope that the UK Prime Minister’s rhetoric calling for a fairer society means she will address what is by far the biggest inequality in today’s Britain: the housing crisis. But a recent speech, in which she outlined her plan for Brexit, seems to indicate that she is unwilling to really tackle the issue.

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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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