Rat and Mouse
Entries in November 2011
Wed
30
Nov

According to Bank of England figures, UK homeowners paid back £9.15bn more than they've withdrew on mortgages in the three months to the end of June. it's a record, ladies and gentleman, the largest amount since the Bank began keeping records in 1970.

Economists pointed out that while the record figure was bad for the economy, the money was being used to pay back mortgages – a sensible move for many indebted families on an individual level, a sign of how nervous they were about the future. Though it was painful for the economy in the short-term, it ultimately was a necessary part of reducing household debts.

Technorati Tags: ,

More in this Category - _Other

The exemption for first-time buyers and homes costing less than £250,000 will end on March 24 2012. The Chancellor claimed that research proved it had been ineffective. But the Council of Mortgage Lenders has responded, saying it expects first-time buyer purchases to bunch up in the New Year as its abolition approaches.

Technorati Tags: ,

More in this Category - _Other
Tue
29
Nov

Against the grain, the Nationwide index shows positive growth in November (0.4%, the same as in October) and across the last twelve months (1.6%). There's little cheer in the press release, though, with only poor supply holding up prices, activity way down and serious concerns about the outlook as we head into 2012.

Many of the factors that underpin the demand for homes have deteriorated further in recent months. For example, the UK economy lost almost 200,000 jobs in the three months to September – similar to the pace of job losses seen during the depths of the 2008 recession. At the same time, wage growth slowed to 1.7% - less than half the pace of inflation over the same period.

Download your own pdf of the actual report here.

Technorati Tags: ,

More in this Category - Linkage
Mon
28
Nov

October figures by the Land Registry show prices down 0.9% on the month, leaving them down 3.2% on the year. London's still clinging obstinately to the black, up 0.3% on the year, but took a serious monthly hit, down 1.7%. More here.

Technorati Tags: ,

More in this Category - House prices

Hometrack report a 0.2% fall in November, leaving the index 2.3% down on the year. On its own, it's a statistically insignificant monthly move, but in the context of seven consecutive monthly falls it's another sign of an ailing UK property market. More here.

Technorati Tags: ,

More in this Category - House prices

Irish property bargains [Independent on Sunday]
Spiteful tenant almost ordered to hand over Red Bull and Doritos in compensation [Property Hawk]
One Hyde Park: nine pay council tax [Guardian]
Candy brothers go east [Reuters]
Olympic effect spreads to south coast [Remortgage.com]

The Rat and Mouse - London's property blog

Technorati Tags: ,

More in this Category - Linkage
Fri
25
Nov

This time... a house that was being renovated, until the owner ran out of money, and a bunch of Polish squatters. The Telegraph takes exception with one squatter's comment that they couldn't afford the rent in Highgate, so just "moved in".

Technorati Tags: ,

More in this Category - N6

The Centre for Economics and Business Research is predicting rising house prices in the coming years - 1.6% in 2012, 2.2% in 2013, 2.6% in 2014, 3.2% in 2015 and 4.2% in 2016 - as increasingly constricted supply results in competition for available property. Four and five years is a long time in economics. Very few, in 2004, saw 2008 coming.

Technorati Tags: ,

More in this Category - House prices
Thu
24
Nov

In light of current developments, we now think it prudent to look again at the feasibility and potential for the BPS site to be developed for a football stadium.

But don't hold your breath. Currently, the club can't sell up, because they don't own the freehold at Stamford Bridge, and Real Estate Opportunities, notional owners of the Battersea site, is £300m in debt and could lose the keys to the power station at any time.

Battersea Power Station - there's a "latest" [November 12, 2010]
Battersea Power Station saga latest [June 24, 2010]

Technorati Tags: ,

More in this Category - SW8

According to a YouGov survey carried out for Financial Planning Week, 29pc of people say the lottery represents their best hope of a better bank balance.

The survey coincides nicely with Financial Planning Week.

Technorati Tags: ,

More in this Category - _Other

A must-read article of the week... this thoughtful response to this week's housing policy announcement by Cameron and Clegg.

Aspiration is something all politicians want to encourage. But frustrated aspiration is a dangerous thing. Dangling the promise of wealth-giving homeownership in front of those paying through the nose for unstable private rented homes may not look so smart in a few years time. Backbench MPs worried about their seats would do well to ask when the number of frustrated renters will overtake the mortgaged homeowners in their patch. On current trends, it may not be long.

Technorati Tags: ,

More in this Category - _Other

According to research by Easyroommate.co.uk, UK average rents of £360 a month put the country right at the top of the scale, with France second (£342) and Italy third (£282... and already 22% off UK levels). More here.

Technorati Tags: ,

More in this Category - Letting
Wed
23
Nov

When did "social" turn into "affordable"? [Guardian]
Hollywood love nest in London [Film-News.co.uk]
Poles head home for better life [Google News]
Ultra-rich still prefer London [Campden]
Property hotspots have most free schools [Relocate Magazine]

The Rat and Mouse - it's about your house

Technorati Tags: ,

More in this Category - Linkage

20111123ebay

OR MAY PART  EXCHANGE  ONE OR THE FOLLOWING CARS MITSUBISHI EVO X, SUBARU IMPREZA 22B STI LIMITED EDITION ONE OF 400 RANGE , NISSAN SKYLINE R34 GT-R VSPEC 450 BHP 1 OF 250 RANGE, NISSAN GTR R35 , FERRARI 360 MANUAL , PORSCHE 911 C4S CARRERA TIP , PORSCHE CAYMAN, FORD FOCUS RS500, SUBARU STI COSWORTH, ASTON MARTIN DB7, ASTON MARTIN DB9, ASTON MARTIN V8 VANTAGE,  ESCORT COSWORTH LUX , SIERRA COSWORTH RS 500, SIERRA 3DR RS COSWORTH, MITSUBISHI EVO 6 7 8 9

Technorati Tags: ,

More in this Category - _Other

The Daily Mail is on the lenders' cases.

Woolwich, part of Barclays, increased its three-year fixed-rate for those with a 10 per cent deposit by 0.4 percentage points to 5.39 per cent. This would add £1,296 to the cost over three years for someone borrowing a typical £150,000.

Other lenders asking for more last week include ING Direct, Halifax and Santander. Now, all eyes are on SVRs, as the Euro crisis pushes up the cost of interbank lending. Four million homeowners are currently on standard variable rate mortgages.

Technorati Tags: ,

More in this Category - _Other

Nicely timed to coincide with the Government's latest initiative to help first-time buyers onto the property ladder with 95% loans, the Bank of England's own David Miles is quoted in the Telegraph suggesting house prices are unlikely to ever return to 2007 prices, and that renting might be the choice of the future. Don't shed a tear, though, he says, it might be the healthiest outcome for all of us. More here.

Technorati Tags: ,

More in this Category - House prices
Tue
22
Nov

Robert Elms, over at the BBC:

We told the council what we had done, paid rates and electricity, made the place habitable, and eventually got it registered as short-life housing, which it remains to this day. The bath was in the kitchen, the toilet on the balcony and winters were almost unbearably cold, especially when the outside toilet froze over and we literally did not have a pot to pee in.

Sounds like an interesting feature... on Radio 4, tonight at 8pm, and on Sunday at 5pm.

Technorati Tags: ,

More in this Category - _Other

According to data from Knight Frank, they've dropped for the first time since June 2009, down 0.1% on the month. That leaves them up 27% in two years. Accompanying comment doesn't suggest fears of a fall, just moderation in their rate of inflation.

Technorati Tags: ,

More in this Category - Letting
Mon
21
Nov

The historical significance of Sex Pistols graffiti [Yorkshire Post]
Regents Park home sold for £120m? [Times of India]
St Paul's protestors accused of "defecation" [Guardian]
City promotion... Knight Frank reveals the new prime [CPI Financial]

The Rat and Mouse - it's about your house

Technorati Tags: ,

More in this Category - Linkage

Rightmove's monthly survey of asking prices shows a serious monthly fall of 3.1% - the biggest drop since December 2007 - with the number of new listings also way down, by 13%. Accompanying comment singles out the bad news coming out of the Eurozone, and blames it for potential vendors taking a wait-and-see approach and those forced to move now having to offer discounts. Download your own copy here.

Technorati Tags: ,

More in this Category - House prices
Fri
18
Nov

20111118dress desk

Hammersmith & Fulham Council's shared ownership scheme success [24dash]
Barratt reports rising new-build prices [Yorkshire Post]
Tenants gone bad [Daily Mail]
The dress that doubles as a desk [Curbed]

The Rat and Mouse - London's property blog

Technorati Tags: ,

More in this Category - Linkage

There are rumours knocking about that before the month's out the Chancellor will have announced a Government-backed  mortgage indemnity guarantee scheme for first-time buyers, in an attempt to encourage banks to lend at more favourable rates to first-time buyers with smaller deposits. While sympathy for frustrated buyers is entirely deserved, it's astonishing how every suggested solution is in some way a disguised attempt to reinstate the kind of risky lending that got the global economy into this position in the first place. We can bail out the banks when they're in trouble because they're holding assets of diminishing value after borrowers have defaulted. Or we can bail them out on a case-by-case basis before the losses have a chance to hit the balance sheet. Apparently.

Technorati Tags: ,

More in this Category - _Other
Thu
17
Nov

What do they want? A banana?

The factoid comes courtesy of an Ipsos MORI report commissioned by The Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings.

SPAB was particularly interested to see that when it came to the value of their homes, people rated "fun" household spending on desirable interior features like decor and sparkling new kitchens and bathrooms significantly lower than "boring" (but essential) maintenance - 26% vs 58%. This cautious, good-sense approach was emphasised by the fact that half of the homeowners questioned (49%) disagreed with the statement: "I often buy or do things I probably shouldn't, just to treat myself." In fact, over a quarter (26%) of all those questioned said that they have made a deposit into a regular savings account in the past month, and nearly a third of those who have done so (31%) say they are saving for "rainy day" expenses such as house repairs.

Interestingly, in 2011 more people had spent money on the external appearance of their property than on their own (gym visits/beauty treatments).

Technorati Tags: ,

More in this Category - _Other

Patricia Jones' Supreme Court appeal against a court of appeal ruling that her ex-partner, Leonard Kernott, receive 50% of the value of their former home, even though he hadn't lived in it for 14 years and hadn't contributed to the mortgage in that time either, failed on the grounds that there was no indication that the couple - who'd originally bought the property in joint names - had intended to change ownership arrangements.

Colin Parkin, director of Lincolnshire-based Ample Financial Services, said: “How can this ruling be fair? The madness employed by judges makes you wonder who trains them.”

I don't know. She'd had eight years to think about the fact that the deeds were in both their names...

Technorati Tags: ,

More in this Category - _Other
Wed
16
Nov

20111116hendon 1

Don't expect this one to hang around.

Technorati Tags: ,

More in this Category - NW4

In London, the answer is £87k, according to the National Housing Federation. The average London home costs £408,384. £87,511 gets you a 75% mortgage. You'll need to find £100,000 for the deposit. Of course, that's treating the average house as a starter house... most people looking at this kind of property are trading up, with some equity already in bricks and mortar. Now, this isn't - for a single moment - the Rat and Mouse suggesting there's anything sane about those figures. Other insanity in the NHF report (entitled Home Truths):

  • Only Barking & Dagenham, Bexley, Newham and Waltham Forest have average properties that cost under a quarter of a million pounds.
  • To even buy a property in the bottom 25% of values, buyers need an average salary of £46k.
  • Private sector rents are up 30% on 2008 levels.
  • The average price to earnings ratio in the London property market is 15:1. Unaffordable? I think it's safe to say that.

Download your own copy of the report here.

Technorati Tags: ,

More in this Category - House prices

Amy Winehouse haunts Pete Doherty's London home [ContactMusic]
London residential to hit £10,000 per square foot in four years [LondonLovesBusiness]
Rents to continue outstripping prices [Property Wire]
90% would move abroad for better prospects [Yahoo News]
Market report: Government figures show prices falling outside London [BBC]

The Rat and Mouse - London's property blog, since 2005

Technorati Tags: ,

More in this Category - Linkage
Tue
15
Nov

20111115italian flag

This comes from London property consultancy AE Shaw, who claim Italian buyers made up the largest single group of foreign investors in the year to September, with the rush happening somewhat late... more than two-thirds completing in the third quarter. FYI:

Following on from the Italian purchasers in the international league table were purchasers from Hong Kong at 14% Russia at 6% and China at 3%. UK buyers made up 44% of purchasers.

Technorati Tags: ,

More in this Category - _Other

20111115phyllis dixey

Back on the subject of plaques - a blue one, this time - there's controversy over English Heritage plans to honour London's first stripper Phyllis Dixey, at her St Mark's Hill, Surbiton former home. The controversy isn't regarding the plaque, but the text. EH would like to call her a "striptease artiste". Residents aren't sure. Some are suggesting "burlesque dancer". Does it matter? If it walks like a duck...quacks like a duck. Ms Dixey didn't walk like a duck, she was - apparently - much more elegant. But the point still stands. More here.

Technorati Tags: ,

More in this Category - Celebrity homes
Mon
14
Nov

Property. According to this, her well-connected father-in-law (Francois Pinault, founder of PPR) has just paid £20m for Uncle Monty's pad, a two-bedroom property with famous triple-heigh ceilings (in case Hayek needs to lie down) in Glebe House, Glebe Place, Chelsea.

Technorati Tags: ,

More in this Category - SW3

20111114gary barlow

This strikes the Rat and Mouse as a good idea. Property search and valuation website Zoopla is introducing purple plaques for properties with a celebrity connection (unlike the blue plaques, the celebrity can still be drawing breath). Former homes of David Cameron, Gary Barlow, Liz Hurley, Lewis Hamilton and Chris Evans are among the properties already honoured, with more to come. At first, we thought the plaques were going to be virtual-only. But, no. They appear to be actual physical objects you can claim from the website if you own a home with celebrity connections. Is it shallow? Of course. Will it drive visitors to Zoopla? You bet. (Not sure I'd want one on my house, though.) More here.

Technorati Tags: ,

More in this Category - Celebrity homes

20111114pont street 1

A different perspective on UK property from the New York Times. In an article highlighting the widening gulf between the top end of the property market - prime London - and the rest, the NYT looks at two properties for sale. One is on Pont Street, Knightsbridge... a triplex conversion in a terraced house, expected to fetch something like £6.15m (particulars here). The other is on Pont Street, Ashington (Northumberland), another terraced house, this one with an asking price of£49,950 (particulars here). There's some bitter irony:

The Northumberland town of about 28,000 residents still basks in the reflected glory of producing some of the country’s greatest soccer players, notably Jack and Bobby Charlton of England’s victorious 1966 World Cup team, and being the home of the Ashington Group, a group of miners who took up art with such success that their lives have been celebrated in “The Pitmen Painters,” a play now running in London’s West End.

20111114pont street 2

Read it here.

Technorati Tags: ,

More in this Category - _Other

It contains zero content but I'm linking to the post anyway just because it's worth seeing for its extraordinary irritation factor. The thrust of the piece? Celebrities live in London. The style of the piece? Sacha Baron Cohen as Bruno. Edited by Gok Wan. Is this - actually - for real?

Looking for the best real estate? The best life in general? Here’s a tip. Get out of the cornfield, and hope a flight to Heathrow, stat. Cheerio…

Technorati Tags: ,

More in this Category - Celebrity homes
Fri
11
Nov

Stand out from the crowd with night photography listings [The Modern Estate Agent]
Nutty landlord fries tenant with 240v boobytrap [Daily Mail] 
Nano House [Fast Co Design]
Demand for ads up on Rightmove [ShareCast]
"Prices rise, activity falls": Acadametrics [Bloomberg]

The Rat and Mouse - it's about your house

Technorati Tags: ,

More in this Category - Linkage

"Falling Water", Llandudno... "a true Frank Lloyd Wright original, transplanted from its native home to Wales", no less, with a £30m price tag, and stunning modern architecture:

20111111falling water1

Other photos include a waterfall ("recreated with no expense spared"), two pictures of a dodgy-looking Land Rover in the rain and this spooky image:

20111111falling water2

Thanks to the Rat and Mouse reader who drew my attention to the listing. Since then, it's mysteriously vanished from the Savills website, but it's still showing up in the Primelocation archive here. Anyone know how this happened?

Technorati Tags: ,

More in this Category - _Other
Thu
10
Nov

In an interesting report by Savills published today, the agency forecasts

- house prices failing to keep up with inflation over the next five years.

- transactions to remain low.

- prime central London to continue to prosper as safe-haven.

- London as a whole, however, is forecast price falls in 2012, recovering however across the next five years.

- in the north, the pain looks like lingering.

20111110savills

More in this Category - House prices

Eighty people apparently through themselves in front of trains in 2010. Ten years earlier, the figure was 46. An Evening Standard piece attempts to link the increase to economic problems, pointing out the increase between 2007 (61) and 2008 (82). Personally, I'm not sure such a small data set can really be relied upon for this kind of theorising, but it's an interesting piece. Read it here.

Technorati Tags: ,

More in this Category - _Other

Since September 2009, the three-month sterling Libor has almost doubled, and it’s been rising steadily since the beginning of September 2011, from 0.90% to 0.99%, lifting the all-important gap between inter-bank lending and the base rate to 49 basis points – 10 to 20 is considered normal. As a result, tracker rates from all the major lenders began climbing in October by significant amounts: Woolwich has pushed through increases of as much as 1.5%. According to many analysts, banks’ purse strings are likely to tighten further in the coming weeks, as a 2008-style credit crunch seems less and less fanciful.

Our publisher looks at how the Eurozone debt crisis is likely to affect the UK property market, in his guest column for Citywire.

Technorati Tags: ,

More in this Category - House prices
Wed
09
Nov

It's got bad. So bad, according to the Independent, that tenants fighting for London lets are resorting to sending in CVs to try to swing things in their favour. That's not all. According to a Ludlow Thompson agent:

One tenant even offered to bake a potential landlord a cake to clinch a deal.

It's seems just like yesterday that developers were offering first-time buyers free wide-screen TVs with their new build apartments. Now frustrated first-time buyers are offering Battenbergs to landlords.

Technorati Tags: ,

More in this Category - Letting

London home values and the shrinking City [Property Talk Live]
In China: buy a house, get a BMW thrown in for free [FT]
Builders praise FirstBuy [Telegraph]
Steve Jobs property legacy [Zillow Blog]

The Rat and Mouse - property blog

Technorati Tags: ,

More in this Category - Linkage
Tue
08
Nov

Based on the valuation of DTZ derived from proposals received to date, and given the level of debt within DTZ, there is minimal value, if any, that may be attributed to the ordinary shares of DTZ, although the exact value is uncertain.

"If any"... holy moly! DTZ is the troubled property consultancy currently seeking a bidder. Its shares recently slumped 90%. The latest, however, is that they've regained 33% after the announcement of a preferred bidder, Australia's UGL. More here, including - interestingly - the companies own insistence that - despite - UGL's interest, they're still pretty much, well, worthless.

The valuation of DTZ derived from the UGL proposal, however, means that, given the level of debt within DTZ, there is minimal value, if any, that may be attributed to the ordinary shares of DTZ.

This is a weird one.

Technorati Tags: ,

More in this Category - _Other

It's all about monthly volatility but a slow, long-term decline over at Halifax. The index is up 1.2% on the month, but down 0.3% over the quarter and down 1.8% over the year. Effectively, 2011 has brought about little change. However, bring inflation into the picture and house prices are faring a little worse. Get your own copy of the report here.

Technorati Tags: ,

More in this Category - House prices
Mon
07
Nov

It's an interview you'll either love or hate in the Sunday Telegraph, in which she talks about family, investment theory and her plans for "the Kirstie brand". The reader comments afterwards are probably more entertaining, though. Apparently everybody in Brighton loves Kirstie. But what about this:

I think knowing the importance of manners in every aspect of your life pays dividends, as you'll get respect if you give it. That's why I'm a great writer of thank you letters and why my kids know how to do introductions with proper eye contact and genuine smiles.

Very nice. Just one word. Twitter.

Technorati Tags: ,

More in this Category - Property TV

Village for sale: yours for £6.5m [Sunday Telegraph]
GoogleEarth's London... 1909 [Daily Mail]
Don't feel sorry for the estate agents [Guardian]
The battle for rentals [Daily Mail]
Marsh & Parsons is changing owners [Irish Times]

The Rat and Mouse - it's about your house

Technorati Tags: ,

More in this Category - Linkage
Fri
04
Nov

Jones Lang LaSalle , the world's second-largest property consultancy, plans to start marketing London homes in Greece in coming weeks at prices from 250,000 pounds ($398,940), below the price bracket of the wealthy, many of whom have already moved money into London property.

It's normally the top end of the London market that we see being artificially stimulated by foreign money. It will be interesting to see what this does to the starter end.

Technorati Tags: ,

More in this Category - _Other

For a £2bn, 1.5m square foot development including more than a thousand apartments, plus offices and shops. Private equity giant Carlyle is behind the project, and according to this, they're using PLP Architects.

20111104tatemodern

Technorati Tags: ,

More in this Category - SE1

Top estate agent quits NAEA in protest [Estate Agent Today]
Complete by Christmas [Telegraph]
Arsonist hits Essex estate agency, goes on the run [The Negotiator]
GoogleMaps fees from January [Daily Mail]

The Rat and Mouse - London's property blog, since 2005

Technorati Tags: ,

More in this Category - Linkage
Thu
03
Nov

20111103smiler

Bizarre Hugh Grant property purchase for girlfriend and baby [Daily Mail]
Prime Manchester outpaces Prime London [Primelocation blog]
Foster's Thames Estuary Airport plans [Londonist]
It's a smiler [Rightmove, pictured]

Technorati Tags: ,

More in this Category - Linkage

Government figures show that less than 120,000 new homes were built last year, the lowest level since records began. The drop was at its worst in London, where the number of new property built fell by 27% on the previous year. Interestingly, that 120,000 is only marginally above the amount the homes deficit rises each year. The shortfall is currently estimated at one million. More here.

Technorati Tags: ,

More in this Category - _Other
Wed
02
Nov

Why - asks Merryn Somerset Webb - the assumption that the current slump in house prices will end in the next five, ten, even fifteen years? Look at Japan.

Japanese prices didn’t fall all at once. It was a long horrible drawn out process. Sure residential land prices ended up down, going on 70%. But they didn’t reach that point until 2005, over 20 years after I took my first job in Japan under the sadly mistaken impression that the crisis was all but over. So if it took that long in Japan for the bubble to be utterly purged, why might you think that asset price falls are over here?

Technorati Tags: ,

More in this Category - House prices

Last month, BuildStore held an exhibition at their Swindon headquarters for small developers and lenders. The emphasis was on the small-scale developer rather than the individual project, but the message was clear: the days of relaying on volume housebuilding to meet the country’s needs are over.

Our publisher looks at a joint campaign by the Government and leading self-build pressure group to revitalise the sector's image and double its activity, in his guest column for Citywire.

Technorati Tags: ,

More in this Category - _Other

William John Saunderson-Smith was found dead in his Dewhurst Road, west Kensington home back in October, now police believe the £100,000 in cash that he had knocking around his flat might have been a motive, although what isn't clear is exactly how the police know about the money if it's been taken. Saunderson-Smith apparently owned a large number of residential properties throughout the south east (including these flats in Wimbledon).

Technorati Tags: ,

More in this Category - _Other
Tue
01
Nov

That's according to the Nationwide house price index, which is up 0.4% in October putting the annual move into the black (0.8%) for the first time in six months. The accompanying comment identifies a pattern emerging of activity rising in more wealthy areas (the ACORN system likes to call the residents "wealthy achievers") and a decrease in more deprived areas. The exception is "Urban Prosperity" (city-living professionals), who haven't been shifting houses as quickly as their posh mates. The classification system's hilarious, so we bring you this:

20111101nationwide

For more graphs and charts, get your own copy of the Nationwide report here.

Technorati Tags: ,

More in this Category - House prices

 


POSTCODES
THANKS TO
ENTRIES BY MONTH
ABOUT
UK PROPERTY RESOURCES
US / INTERNATIONAL PROPERTY BLOGS
LONDON BLOGS
CREDITS
Publisher Editor Technical and Design Hosting Software