Rat and Mouse
Entries in March 2012
Fri
30
Mar

It was given to the agents to pass on to prospective buyers, and it's a great read. Our favourite bits...

20120330instructions1

and...

VIEWING INSTRUCTIONS PDF  page 2 of 2

and finally…

VIEWING INSTRUCTIONS PDF  page 2 of 2 1

Blimey, and they say it's a buyer's market. According to Strutt & Parker, they sold the place, too.

Technorati Tags: ,

More in this Category - Estate agents

Dalston's Kingsland Estate is on borrowed time, and due for demolition this year. Before it goes, Egyptian-born artist Nazir Tanbouli is, with the housing association's blessing, populating it with strange creatures by means of a series of expert murals. He intends to continue right up to demolition. There's an interesting piece by Londonist here, plus the artist's own blog, The King's Land, here.

Drawing: The King's Land trailer 1 from GILLIAN MCIVER on Vimeo.

Technorati Tags: ,

More in this Category - E8

Living a Georgian life in Hastings [Daily Telegraph]
Demanding access to London's skyscrapers [Daily Telegraph]
Font fandom in London [Independent]
Young couple's kitchen collapses, 24 hours after moving into "dream home" [Daily Mail] 
Nationwide index shows 1% drop in March, after stamp duty holiday ends [Guardian]

The Rat and Mouse - London's property blog

Technorati Tags: ,

More in this Category - Linkage
Thu
29
Mar

Can a tenant order up a water meter? [Property Hawk]
Bank of England's financial policy committee fumbles anti-boom/bust regulation [Guardian]
In the US: man graffitis own home, neighbours unhappy [Kens5.com]

The Rat and Mouse - it's about your house

Technorati Tags: ,

More in this Category - Linkage

The annual income necessary to be able to affordably rent a two-bedroom flat in London? £52,000, according to Shelter, in its London Rent Watch survey. And rents (red) are rising at twice the speed of wages (blue).

20120328shelter

Demand is behind the rising rents, with the proportion of Londoners renting from a private landlord rising by 70% in just two years. Get your own copy of the Shelter report  here.

Technorati Tags: ,

More in this Category - Letting
Wed
28
Mar

World property hotspots [Yahoo!]
A guide to Olympic letting [Independent]
DIY doesn't affect house prices [This Is Money]
But immigration, apparently, does [Daily Express]

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

Technorati Tags: ,

More in this Category - Linkage

According to the Daily Mail as many as 360,000 homeowners could see their endowment policies fail to pay off their loans when they mature this year.

In many cases, these homeowners are seeing endowments fall £100,000 short of what they were promised. Many who have saved loyally for 25 years will get a payout of little more than £25,000 — far short of the capital they owe on their home.

Before we all rush out into the street and start beating the pavement, let's remember that the capital appreciation of most properties over the same period should deal with the shortfall, except… those who've already stripped their properties of that value by excessive equity release might be in a different position, and even if they didn't - the Mail's main point - they may need to sell up to pay off their loans. More here.

Technorati Tags: ,

More in this Category - _Other

Yesterday saw Planning Minister Greg Clark - eight months after the Government made its intention to radically reform the planning system known - made a statement to the Commons. And it was received as good news by the (largely Tory in nature) campaigners who have busy making their fears of a concreting over of the green belt widely known. The new document puts the emphasis on urban renewal and reinstates the principle of local planning, while promising to speed up the process for developers. However, the document appears big on slogans, short on specifics. Read it for yourself here.

Technorati Tags: ,

More in this Category - _Other
Tue
27
Mar

New figures by Lloyds buy-to-let brand BM Solutions show rents up 4.8% in 2011, but yields down 0.1% (to 6.1%), as flat property prices remove capital appreciation from the equation. More here.

But it's still too much for the Guardian's Philip Inman, who (understandably) regrets the repeated return to property's "spiv culture"… a boom-and-bust pattern in which "the only winners are landowners and landlords". (Presumably "landowners" includes pretty much an entire baby boomer generation, who got property rich at the expense of their children.) He calls for an annual land tax, to replace transaction taxes, as a way of keeping prices in check. Except… don't illiquid assets like property only really become wealth at the point of transaction? Ever since Vince Cable launched his mansion tax campaign, it's been fascinating to watch everyone dance around the issue of Capital Gains Tax, as applied to principle properties… why wouldn't a Government seeking fairness jump on a way to genuinely and accurately tax the "unearned" wealth that follows a property boom? (Perhaps because they fear the reality of poor returns during the long periods of flat and falling prices.) So instead, how about the inequity of pushing struggling families out of homes because employment circumstances or interest rates have become unfavourable and they can no longer afford to service their own "wealth"? What about the effect on rents, when landlords have one more tax to pay?

Technorati Tags: ,

More in this Category - _Other

Unapologetically bearish on property and entirely unconvinced by the recent reports suggesting a pickup in activity, Money Week's Phil Oakley highlights the hidden crisis "rotting [the property market] from within".

According to the FSA, 5-8% of all mortgages are subject to some form of forbearance. This means that borrowers who are finding it hard to make their monthly mortgage payments are given some help.

In its recent report on mortgage lending, the FSA looked at the performance of loans in arrears. It showed that the payments received as a percentage of normal payments due were down to 58.3% (eg,  £583 paid when the normal monthly payment should have been £1,000).

Add the "mortgage prisoners" unable to remortgage and the interest-only borrowers clinging onto their properties with no sensible plans to repay their loans to the mix and the result is a market that's healthy on the outside but in a right state below the surface. The big crumble, he argues, is only a matter of time.

Technorati Tags: ,

More in this Category - _Other
Mon
26
Mar

Earl Cadogan  Wikipedia the free encyclopedia

An interesting piece in Reuters looks at how Olympic developers are looking back at the aristocratic developers of the past for clues to building the new Grosvenors and Cadogans. "Custodianship", "maintenance" and "placemaking" appear to be the key words… with one developer even bringing in a former Cadogan Estate boss (not pictured) for help. More here. (The image is the 1st Earl Cadogan, by the way.)

Technorati Tags: ,

More in this Category -

Detached house with solar panels jpg 416×288 pixels

An interesting piece in Friday's Guardian looks at some lenders' responses to solar leases… in which homeowners "lease" their roofs to companies who install solar panels for free, allow the homeowners free electricity from the installations but pocket the proceeds of anything fed back into the grid. One couple recall checking with their mortgage provider before going ahead with the installation and being told everything would be fine, but they're now running into problems with various other lenders while looking to remortgage. The concern must be that what initially looked like a house price + at the time might turn into a house price -. More here.

Technorati Tags: ,

More in this Category - _Other

Tenant evicted for living like a pig [Daily Telegraph]
John Bercow's property profit, with your help [Sunday Telegraph]
The school-property price relationship [Evening Standard]
The battle for West Kensington and Gibbs Green estates [Guardian]

The Rat and Mouse - it's about your house

Technorati Tags: ,

More in this Category - Linkage
Fri
23
Mar

HPIReport120309 pdf  page 2 of 16

London, however, continues to surge ahead, with a monthly house price rise of 1.4% in February, up 4.2% on the year, leaving the average London property worth £354,300, compared to an average of £161,588 across England and Wales. Interestingly, the greatest monthly increase, however, was experienced in Wales (2%), the biggest monthly fall in the north east (-2.6%).

Technorati Tags: ,

More in this Category - House prices

20120323tax

Really?! Holy Moly! That sounds bad.

Except it's really just about payment-on-account… the (rather unfair, I personally believe) self-assessment income tax system that forces the self-employed to bass what next year's earning will be on this year's and pay it in advance, in two instalments. All very well if your profits are fairly stable. If they go up and down, you can either get tasty refunds (although you might have been better banking and earning interest on that money), or nasty bills if you suddenly shift from loss to profit (say, for instance, the cost of lending comes down). According to the Telegraph's Ian Cowie, a large number of landlords are just coming into profit and so facing two years' of tax liabilities. If it's a big portfolio, it might mean a lot of money and - according to one accountant - it's resulted in some landlords letting go of properties.

It's hardly a new rule, though, is it? As a self-employed worker coping with the ups-and-downs of a career in the media, I've been dealing with this my entire working life. It's also not insurmountable. If you've a genuine to believe the following year's profit will be much lower, you can negotiate a lower payment-on-account with the HMRC. I'm not entirely sure what all the fuss is about.

Technorati Tags: ,

More in this Category - Letting
Thu
22
Mar

20120322stacks

‘House over £2m just got 2% cheaper’, says James Greenwood of Stacks Property Search. ‘As buying agents, we will be asking vendors to settle the difference in Stamp Duty on behalf of our buyers by taking a reduction in price.’

He goes on to describe the 7% rate as "a knee-jerk alternative to the Mansion Tax" that will make properties in the £2m to £2.5m effectively impossible to market. The high-end London property sector… it's not happy with the Tory Government.

Ed Mead's forthright comment on today's Budget - London market already "in meltdown" [March 21, 2012]
Confirmation of stamp duty changes in the Budget [March 21, 2012]

Technorati Tags: ,

More in this Category - _Other

Aimed at those who missed the stamp duty holiday deadline, it's a mortgage that will also pay 50% of the stamp duty bill, up to a maximum of £1250. (If the buyer also happens to be a Halifax saver, they'll get a £150 gift on completion, too.) More here.

Technorati Tags: ,

More in this Category - _Other
Wed
21
Mar

There's been discontent and unhappiness from a number of estate agents since the Budget, mainly focussing on properties barely above the £2m mark. They will - according to some - become unsellable.

This - however - from Douglas & Gordon's Ed Mead ratchets the rhetoric up to a new place altogether:

It has been less than 7 hours since the chancellor delivered the budget and the prime central London property market has gone into meltdown. I don’t think anyone has quite clicked that many of the properties at this price level are bought by a company through personal choice rather than a way to avoid stamp duty taxation. Most property companies buy for development through companies and they’re pulling out too.

There have been fall-throughs seen across London by several estate agents with company buyers unwilling to pay this absurd 15% Tax.  A few buyers have tried to off-set this additional cost by decreasing their sales price by as much as 10% which has caused vendors to pull out of a sale. The repercussions of these fall-throughs has caused widespread chaos, with property chains being broken and deals that have only a few days to complete falling through

Why are we slamming doors in the faces of international buyers who have built London into what it is spending billions whilst here? The main source of aggro was the avoidance SDLT by the use of overseas company special purpose vehicles, but this budget does NOTHING to address that as it can still go on. Instead a sledgehammer has been used to crack a nut in the form of UK company purchases being used in SDLT mitigation schemes. They might but at what cost.”

Many sellers will not now sell at over £2m as they can’t afford to move continuing supply decline and pushing prices further. This falling away of volumes in a very important market that uniquely is driven from the top down may well be catastrophic.

Technorati Tags: ,

More in this Category - _Other

It is fair when money is tight, and so many families could do with help, that those buying the most expensive homes contribute more.

George Osborne's words earlier today.

To which we'd like to reply with a question.

Why?

Exactly how is that fairer on any philosophical level than taxing the wealthiest people at source with a higher rate of income tax?

In any case, the details are… a 7% rate of stamp duty on properties purchases for more than £2m; plus a 15% rate for companies buying properties worth more than £2m, aimed at halting a popular method for avoiding the tax.

Expect some interesting jostling for guide price position among vendors selling at around the £2m mark.

Technorati Tags: ,

More in this Category - _Other

Wasn't there a time when we used to have to wait for the speech? Anyway, there seems to be a common belief, this morning, that Osborne's given some ground to Vince Cable. It's not a mansion tax, in that it's not an annual levy on illiquid, theoretical, impossible-to-value-scientifically "wealth"; but it is a tax on big expensive houses which might just sate an emotional/political dislike of people in £2m+ properties. The magic number appears to be 7%, and Robert Peston, writing here, makes the astute point that 7%, translated over 10 years of ownership, is 0.7% annually, not far off the 1% in Cable's proposal. (Peston doesn't, however, account for the way the figure's likely to fall, in percentage terms, year on year as the value of the property rises. Nor was it ever clear whether Cable's vision of a mansion tax would be imposed above and beyond existing stamp duty charges.)

All well and good, but can Osborne actually force overseas buyers to hand the money over. The budget is likely to include measures to close mansion tax loopholes, but Peston sounds sceptical regarding their practicality.

Technorati Tags: ,

More in this Category - _Other
Tue
20
Mar

It's a Section 30 Dispersal Order, covering a number of streets in the village of Silverton, aimed at ridding the place of trouble-making yoofs, after reported "incidents" trebled in a year. But what the residents didn't foresee was that their countryside idyll would become known locally as "the ASBO village". Now - it seems - they'd prefer the yoofs back, as they pack into the local pub and discuss the effects on house prices. More here.

Technorati Tags: ,

More in this Category - _Other

Bank of England rate-setter predicts property shortage, rising prices [Daily Telegraph]
Mortgage-starved youth could take to the streets [Mortgage Solutions]
America's "Manliest" homes [Men's Health]
All rise for Ms Beeny [This is Hull and East Riding]
Lawyers scam family out of home [Daily Mail]

The Rat and Mouse - it's about your house

Technorati Tags: ,

More in this Category - House prices
Mon
19
Mar

If it's a spring bounce it's reflecting buyer confidence rather than actual economics, but Rightmove reports asking prices up 4.9% across the first three months of the year, the biggest Jan-March "bounce" since 2004. London asking prices are up 7.3% on the year, with average asking prices in Kensington & Chelsea breaking through £2m for the first time. Across England and Wales, prices are up 2.2% over 12 months. More here.

Technorati Tags: ,

More in this Category - House prices

In Ireland: this is what a house price crash looks like [Irish Independent]
Osborne to get aggressive on stamp duty avoidance [BBC]
Heywards Heath residents fear for house prices after opening of 99p store {this Is Money]
The Syrian conflict played out in London [Independent]
Prince Charles likes recycled house [Google News]

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

Technorati Tags: ,

More in this Category - Linkage
Fri
16
Mar

There's something about the value we attach to our homes that seems to generate an especially strong emotional response when the words "tax"and "property" are used together.

You reckon? Well… it's the biggest single investment most people ever make (by a country mile), we spend a third of our lives paying for it, we live in it/have kids/die in it, we watch other peoples' homes being used as weird porn on the television and we can still lose it, easily, should circumstances turn against us. We pay for it with money taxed, hard, at source, and we pay direct tax on it when we buy it, annual tax on it to local government and further tax every time we maintain it.

Not enough.

The New Statesman champions extending and improving (making fairer) the council tax system so that it becomes a kind of mansion tax for everybody. A people's mansion tax. Apparently it's fair. "Unearned wealth" needs taxing.

Anyone who bought their property in 1994 didn't earn that 250 per cent increase in the value of their home between 1994 and 2008.

Nor, unless they sold it in 2008, did their wealth increase as a result of it in any meaningful way.

Mindful of criticism that property taxes raise money from the most illiquid notion of wealth, and that simply owning a house that has gained in value doesn't necessarily mean a homeowner's in a position to find the funds to pay a new tax, the New Statesman has a solution:

To deal with any hardship faced by the asset rich but income poor [in other words, the poor], taxes could be deferred until the property was sold, or we could have a rebate system as we do now for those who can't afford to pay their council tax bills.

So, plough all your wealth into your house, and you won't even have to pay the tax. Alternatively, pay at the end… and exactly how is that different to capital gains tax, which actually could be calculated fairly and accurately on an individual basis?

Technorati Tags: ,

More in this Category - _Other

London prices have boomed while country property prices have remained stagnant… the recipe, according to Savills' finance director Simon Shaw, for a trend which will see rich Londoners selling up in Fulham, Wandsworth, Clapham etc and taking advantage of the full potential of their money to buy out in the sticks. There's a ticking clock (the market won't remain so lopsided for ever), he points out, and Savills has seen this before. More here.

Technorati Tags: ,

More in this Category - Estate agents
Thu
15
Mar

UK tax laws favour foreign property buyers [Daily Telegraph]
In the US, agent breaks into, tries to sell unlisted home [Curbed]
Drunk property developer drowns trying to swim across the Thames [Daily Mail]
Avoiding stamp duty… not just for the super-rich [Daily Telegraph]

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

Technorati Tags: ,

More in this Category - Linkage

FT Advisor picks up on CML data showing rents beginning to fall back and predictions by YouGov's head of financial services that the UK would be a "nation of renters" by 2020. The piece - filmy but interesting - points out increasing buy-to-let lending, too, and identifies a new trend among landlords… with rental properties seen as pension investments rather than the basis for larger professional landlord portfolios. More here.

Technorati Tags: ,

More in this Category - Letting

It's a rumour, but a published one, that Foxtons founder Jon Hunt - who proved he had a gift for timing when he sold the estate agency chain on the very eve of a property market crash - recently turned down an offer on his Kensington Palace Gardens property from neighbour Lakshmi Mittal. The value of the offer? £300m. Reason for the negative response? No point in selling at the bottom of the market. And we've no reason to doubt his wisdom.

Foxtons founder in record car sale [February 9, 2012]

Technorati Tags: ,

More in this Category - Estate agents
Wed
14
Mar

According to the Financial Services Authority, buy-to-let mortgage brokers are being targeted by would-be borrowers unable, under new lending criteria, to get a conventional residential mortgage.

"We are seeing anecdotal evidence of unregulated buy-to-let mortgages being used fraudulently as a replacement for regulated residential mortgage contracts, as borrowers and intermediaries seek to circumvent more stringent income and affordability checks."

The organisation also warned of a problem waiting in the wings… as a generation of interest-only mortgages mature in the next eight years, with a significant proportion of borrowers likely to be unable to repay the loan.

Technorati Tags: ,

More in this Category - _Other

Portobello: hot [Homes & Property]
Fascinating European home ownership map [Money Week]
NewBuy will push up prices [Daily Telegraph]
Free banking "outmoded concept" [Guardian]

The Rat and Mouse - it's about your house

Technorati Tags: ,

More in this Category - Linkage
Tue
13
Mar

This one does mean something, but the price you pay is that it takes a while to compile, and so reflects January movements. The headlines:

  • house prices up 0.2% on the year
  • house prices down 0.7% on the month
  • house prices up 0.2% in the quarter to January.
  • outside of England, the other regions are all in the red across 12 months (Wales -0.5%, Scotland -1.7%, NI -7.6%)
  • prices paid by fibs are up 0.8% on the year
  • new-build prices are up 8.8% on the year, compared to 0.4% for pre-owned properties.

Download your own copy of the report by clicking here.

Technorati Tags: ,

More in this Category - House prices

It's the most flawed index out there - a small sampling of opinions by agents - but for what it's worth the February survey shows average sales by agency up smidgeon (truly a smidgeon, from 15.7 to 16), but prices achieved down over the last three months (except in London). The most extraordinary element of the survey, though, is agent confidence. How about this:

This is the first time since May 2010 that respondents have not been predicting further price declines,

There you go. It's official. Back to business as usual.

Technorati Tags: ,

More in this Category - House prices
Mon
12
Mar

It's quite an ugly story. First, her mum sells the houses and makes a packet during the boom. Then she specialises in selling them again during the bust, when they're foreclosures. Her daughter comes along for the ride, and starts making wedge loads of money by auctioning off the abandoned contents. Next, she buys her own first property… for $12,000. The plan is to rent it out. Say hello to your new landlady:

"I am Willow Tufano," she says. "I am 14, and I own a MacBook Air, a paddleboard, a long board, a PlayStation 3, four ferrets, and I own a house."

Technorati Tags: ,

More in this Category - _Other

Pictures - 30 years of the Barbican [Guardian]
The relationship between btw and ftb [This Is Money]
The Italians buying in London [Daily Telegraph]
Likely increases for right-to-buy discounts [BBC]
The launch of NewBuy [Sunday Telegraph]

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

Technorati Tags: ,

More in this Category - Linkage
Fri
09
Mar

Acadametrics has also seen evidence of the rush by first-time buyers to do a deal before the end of the stamp duty holiday on March 24, with a (surprisingly modest?) 0.2% rise in February and a 21% rise in the number of transactions. Over 12 months, prices are still down 1.8%. More here.

Technorati Tags: ,

More in this Category - House prices

The list - so far - who've lived or are living in Princess Park Manor, Friern Barnet.

One Direction
JLS
The Wanted
Girls Aloud
Ashley Cole

Fantastic stuff. Imagine the late night discussions... which is the best Proust translation, the classic Moncrieff or the more faithful Lydia Davis? Vicious Tractatarian debate... who has the best handle on early Wittgenstein... Cheryl Cole or Aston Merrygold?

There's a feature, here, about the former lunatic asylum's celebrity status. If you think you could keep up with the free-thinkers, there are a range of properties still available, from £400,000, here.

20120309princessparkmanor 1

Princess Park Manor and One Direction [January 6, 2012]

Technorati Tags: ,

More in this Category - Celebrity homes
Thu
08
Mar

Battersea Power Station: is the answer in Abu Dhabi? [The National]
Husband killed over family home [Google News]
Research shows 84% don't expect big movements in house prices over 12 months [Property Wire]
Christian Candy, hard negotiator [Bloomberg]
Ponzi con artist to the stars [Yahoo News]

The Rat and Mouse - it's about your house

Technorati Tags: ,

More in this Category - Linkage

Another MPC meeting, another decision to stick with the record-low 0.5% bass rate for another month. That makes three years, now. More here.

Technorati Tags: ,

More in this Category - _Other

It's not an insignificant rise... it's from 2.99% to 4.49%.

Bank of Ireland has announced the massive rise in its standard variable rate will arrive in two stages. First a hike from 2.99 per cent to 3.99 per cent will arrive in June and then a further move upwards to 4.49 per cent from September.

This epidemic of SVR rises involving a number of lenders has the potential to cause real pain, as falling house prices and new rules effectively outlawing interest-only mortgages will make it harder for many to re-mortgage at a more competitive rate. Of course, the banks blame LIBOR rates, but the three-monthy LIBOR sterling rate is currently falling (gently) and has been since the beginning of the year.

Technorati Tags: ,

More in this Category - _Other
Wed
07
Mar

Just when I was complaining that they don't make headlines like they used to...

20120307headline

She was a clerk in the customer services department at the Land Registry, and she served her customers by stealing their deeds and signatures and supplying them to a criminal gang, who targeted empty homes, stole the identity of the owners and sold the properties from under their noses. Fraud Granny (Surjeet Chana) got three years, nine months, a conveyancing solicitor (Charles Spiropoulos) got four years and a Barclays bank manager (who, for reasons I don't understand) can't be identified) got four years. More here.

Technorati Tags: ,

More in this Category - _Other

Analysis prepared exclusively for Homes & Property by property consultancy Jones Lang LaSalle suggests the price of homes near stations along the route will increase by up to 57 per cent between now and 2018, outperforming the rest of the housing market.

So where are the new stations planned? Paddington, Bond Street, Tottenham Court Road, Farringdon, Liverpool Street, Whitechapel, Isle of Dogs and Woolwich.

Technorati Tags: ,

More in this Category - _Other
Tue
06
Mar

Following yesterday's "location tax" discussion... today's news is all about much-rubbished, still-mooted mansion tax. A summary of today's key points:

Vince Cable - the evil sorcerer and zealot-in-chief of the said tax - has spotted a weakness on the Conservative side of the coalition. According to rumours, he's realised the LibDems hold the key to Tory plans to remove the 50% rate of income tax for top earners, and is working on a deal... 10% off an affordable income tax in return for a new unaffordable property tax. For, as pretty much everyone continues to point out, owning a house doesn't make you wealthy. It's the most illiquid form of wealth there is. (More on that here, courtesy of our publisher.)

Think I'm exaggerating? Here's the lovely Joan Bakewell, asking:

20120306bakewell

She lives in Primrose Hill, in a do-er upp-er she bought before the area turned trendy. But not - if the evil sorcerer gets his way - for much longer:

Like many older people, I am what is called “capital rich and cash poor”. Many of us have big houses but an income which, at any level of earning, declines as you get older. I balk at the word “poor”: it in no way reflects my modest income, my small pension and my comfortable lifestyle. What comes as a shock is the prospect that I may have to move house… not in my own good time, but at the whim of Government policy.

It's enough to send a Thatcherite think tank and the Daily Mail loopy.

20120306dailymail

We have a feeling this is going to run and run.

Technorati Tags: ,

More in this Category - _Other

And after all the excitement of last week's Nationwide index, Halifax comes along and leaves little more than soggy ashes, steam and a suspicious smell.

20120306halifax

February's 0.5% fall comes after a 0.6% gain in January. Not much is happening, but the outlook - says the accompanying comment - is better than it might have been, with inflation falling and the prospects of a recession less likely. The Rat and Mouse, however, is more concerned with the trailing indicator that is unemployment, and what the unemployment data will look like towards the autumn. If you want your own special copy of the report, click this.

Technorati Tags: ,

More in this Category - House prices
Mon
05
Mar

An interesting piece in today's Guardian, by Green party London Assembly member Jenny Jones. She takes on... tenants like the flexibility, costs are driven up by benefits and institutional investors will save the day. I don't agree with every point, but I suspect number 6 is the best hope for the future. Read it here.

Technorati Tags: ,

More in this Category - Letting

Earlier today, it was all about Will.i.am, now it's Rihanna. Just in case you give a monkeys, she's reported here to be considering a London move to get away from here ex.

Technorati Tags: ,

More in this Category - Celebrity homes

Merryn Somerset Webb - as always, unafraid of ruffling feathers over at Money Week - writes in favour of a "location tax" (a property tax with land values predominant in the method of calculation), not as a new tax,  but a tax replacing some existing ones. Her argument? it's ethically right...

When a bypass is built around a town, residential property values in that town will rise by an average of 15% as a direct result. This 15% uplift in capital values - which is effectively a 15% rise in the location value of the properties - accrues instantly to private property owners in the town. But given that the bypass will have been paid for by everyone’s taxes, why does it make sense that one group of people (freehold property owners) should make money out of it when everyone else does not?

And it's practical, too...

A recent report out from the OECD (Tax Policy Reform and Economic Growth) made the point that, of all the four categories of tax (property taxes, consumption taxes, personal income tax, corporate income tax), property taxes are the least harmful to an economy.

Property taxes have never appealed to me as either ethical or practical, but I have to admit Merryn's made the arguments more convincing than I've ever seen them before. But I'm still not convinced shifting the taxation burden away from income and onto the single most illiquid form of personal wealth will do anything, in a practical sense, to unburden the economy. Nor do I accept the first argument. Some freehold property owners profit financially from the building of a new facility... a bypass, for instance. But most (all, in fact, who buy after it's been built) have to spend more for the privilege of living near it. In any case... do we ever want to be in a position in which the Government is primarily reliant on high land/property values, rather than high incomes/standard of living, when it comes to raising money?

Technorati Tags: ,

More in this Category - _Other

20120305cole

Cheryl Cole turns property finder for Will.i.am [Daily Mirror]
Landlord in court for tenant's clicky heels [Daily Mail]
Primelocation reveals overseas buyer search data [MyIntroducer.com]
Boris Johnson attacks stamp duty loophole [Daily Telegraph]
Tale of two markets... that old chestnut [Observer]

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

Technorati Tags: ,

More in this Category - Linkage
Fri
02
Mar

20120301trinitystreet

Zoe's father, he was an American actor/director and the man feted as largely responsible for the re-building of the Globe Theatre, founding a trust in 1970, fighting for planning permission and helping to fund the project out of his own pocket. He lived nearby in the former Surrey Dispensary on Trinity Street. The original building had a charitable purpose (distributing medicines to the poor) and still features the large outdoor vaults. It's with Hampton's, guide price £2.95m, particulars here.

Trinity2

If these walls could talk... Vincent Van Gogh edition [February 29, 2012]

Technorati Tags: ,

More in this Category - Celebrity homes

Figures compiled for the Home Builders' Federation suggest that approvals for homes in developments of 10 or more have hit a five-year low of 115,412.

What isn't clear, however, is whether approvals as a proportion are down or applications are down. But the figures have been greeted by the industry as further evidence that the Government needs to stand firm and push through legislation making the process quicker and easier. Meanwhile, controversy continues to surround the draft National Planning Policy Framework, with critics split between those predicting the concreting over of the green belt and those criticising it as a NIMBY's charter.

Technorati Tags: ,

More in this Category - _Other

It's a £20m property belonging, although this is disputed, to disgraced banker George Urumov, who's accused of fraud by the Otkritie brokerage. The bank's lawyers have claimed the house was bought using "ill-gotten gains", and the judge has said the bank could seize the property, after the holding company on the deeds failed to respond to correspondence. Urumov disputes owning the place. It all now depends on the larger fraud case. More here.

Technorati Tags: ,

More in this Category - NW9
Thu
01
Mar

20120301esher

Graham Norwood takes Telegraph readers on a tour of some of the best 60s architecture/interiors on the international market.

Technorati Tags: ,

More in this Category - Design

A 0.6% rise in February, up 0.9% on the year, is the headline from Nationwide, but the accompanying comment throws cold water on any associated excitement. A rush to catch the last few weeks of the first-time buyer stamp duty holiday explains the rise, and we should expect the market to cool by the summer. More here.

Technorati Tags: ,

More in this Category - House prices

Blocks of public housing projects, known as council estates, are bisected by business streets lined with discount liquor stores, betting shops and fast-food outlets. Residents say improvements in Stratford are making it worse for the other parts of Newham by drawing people away.

An interesting piece in Bloomberg highlights Newham's poor property performance in spite of generally positive house price movements in London and particularly high hopes for the Olympic region. The west of Newham is more likely to benefit, according to a local agent, but poor facilities need to be improved in central and eastern areas (West Ham, Plaistow) if demand is to rise.

Technorati Tags: ,

More in this Category - E16

Jose Mourinho has been snapped with London estate agents, and friends have apparently confirmed a move to London is a possibility. The talk is about replacing Harry Redknapp at Spurs, if Redknapp gets the England job. More here.

Technorati Tags: ,

More in this Category - Celebrity homes

 


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