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Are the Brits out of their mind?

UK and horrible prices!

   
3:09 pm on Mar 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I just returned from the UK, middle of nowhere, Northhamptonshire. I was on company expenses, but I had to pay for my own dinner on Monday night. The meal at the hotel cost me 23.50 (~34 , ~44 US$) - and it was just plain convenience food (soup, grilled chicken breast, 1 beer). A beer at the bar was 3.50 (~5 , ~6.60 US$).

Isn't that outrageous?

2:41 pm on Mar 28, 2005 (gmt 0)

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How about this.

<snip>

1 hour from prague, a castle with 10,000m2 of land over 1000m2 of living space. 230,000 GBP. Needs a paint job though. Similar in th UK would go into millions.

[edited by: lawman at 3:15 am (utc) on Mar. 29, 2005]
[edit reason] Sorry English Only Allowed On Boards :) [/edit]

6:26 pm on Mar 28, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member essex_boy is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



Im putting the for sale board up now!
9:55 pm on Mar 28, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I always thought that house prices are pretty low in the UK, given that it is "normal" to own a house, and sell it again if you move

The point about this operation is that you only have to pay the difference in price between the two properties - or, more commonly, increase your mortgage by the difference in price between the two.

The question that probably immediately springs to your mind is: how does anyone afford their first house? And the answer is, with difficulty. This is a major political question in the UK, and has been for many years.

BTW, there's a whole mess of building regulations in the UK as well, including "Green Belt" legislation, which restricts how far out of town houses can be built. This helps force up house prices, although it isn't the only factor.

The reason why people prefer not to rent (although a lot have to) is that rents rise faster than mortgage repayments. At least, that's why I bought my first house. And of course, once I bought a house it would have been economically stupid to move back into rented accomodation.

9:36 am on Mar 29, 2005 (gmt 0)

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[edited by: lawman at 3:15 am (utc) on Mar. 29, 2005]
[edit reason] Sorry English Only Allowed On Boards :) [/edit]

Well, I guess you will have to ask Essex_boy then. Unbeleiveable value for money

2:01 pm on Mar 29, 2005 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



It's good to live in the Midwestern US. A 4 bedroom house of about 2500 sq ft in a nice area on an average lot will run about $130k - $150K USD. For $350K you can get about 4000+ sq ft with lots of amenities in a real nice part of town.
4:41 pm on Mar 29, 2005 (gmt 0)

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A topic very close to my pocket.

I am/was looking to buy this summer. I have lived in rented accomodation since university in 2000 and have not been able to afford anything on a graduate wage till recently. Then the house market went bloomin mental and I have absolutely no chance of getting affordable housing unless I shell out for a 1 bed flat next to a noise-mongers.

It's a nightmare for first timers, and now is possibly the worst time to buy in decades.

So more money 'up the wall' till something gives :(

With regard to food and cost of living I'd say the the North is about 20% cheaper. I lived in Kent for most of my youth and I still visit regularly for family events. For the same money you spend on a day out you'd probably have enough left over for a slap up breakfast in the north. I can get really great food at comparebly good prices whispers.... that's Leeds' secret, you get paid almost as much as the South with 20% more to spend on living... still can't afford my own house though...

7:45 pm on Mar 29, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member essex_boy is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



Its cheap up north cos no one wants to live there. Its quite simple
8:32 pm on Mar 29, 2005 (gmt 0)

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It's cheaper up north because people want to earn a living, and London is where the high-paid jobs are. The number of high-paid jobs in London, particularly in the finance sector, has risen dramatically in the last fifteen years.

Already pushed up due to increased demand, prices in the South-East are thus driven up further because of the resulting greater money supply.

10:26 am on Mar 30, 2005 (gmt 0)

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>> Its cheap up north cos no one wants to live there. Its quite simple

Give it time and all you southern shandy drinkers will be fighting to come up north!

Karl

11:31 am on Mar 30, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Mercer's 2004 survey of the most expensive cities around the world as reported via CNN [money.cnn.com]

Syzygy

11:48 am on Mar 30, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Thanks for the Mercer list Syzygy.

Most of the usual suspects there, with London sitting proudly at 2.

What suprised me was Warsaw's listing in the top 100.

I'm going to be over there on business for a month or two, and thought it would be a place where you could live like a King on peanuts....Guess I was wrong.

1:03 pm on Mar 30, 2005 (gmt 0)

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"Give it time and all you southern shandy drinkers will be fighting to come up north!" - Well said, Karl!
:-)

Judging by the rate at which they are building (and selling)new houses up here (Durham), I should say that PLENTY of people want to live in the north.

As I have said previously, you can have a very good standard of living, large house, garden etc. for a very reasonable price, which leaves plenty of your hard-earned cash left over to do other things. For example I paid off my mortgage on a 4-bedroomed detached house 9 years ago, and not having a mortgage allows me to spend a five-figure sum on exotic foreign holidays every year, including luxury cruises, flights on Concorde, F1 Grand Prix, and cover all six of the seven continents (and I'm booked to go to Antarctica in January 2006).

Not meaning to boast or anything, but what would YOU rather spend your money on - a poxy overpriced 1-bedroomed flat in the south, or a big house and loads of holidays living in the North?

I know which I'd rather have.

2:44 pm on Mar 30, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Far be it for me to sound like a little englander, but...britain exists in a global marketplace, if ya don't like it go somewhere else.

I think it's expensive too, but if you squeeze 60+ million people into a very small place things are gonna cost.

In 20 years, all but the wealthy will live in flats. I haven't a hope of buying a house anywhere near somewhere I actually want to live & work.

3:30 pm on Mar 30, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I think the housing problem could be drastically cut with one simple move: scrap social housing for unemployed people (sorry, essexboy, I know it's dear to your heart). But, seriously, if the govt only provided social housing for pensioners, certain categories of invalids and orphans under 16, and let the rest - including the pregnant 16 year olds - find their own caravan accomodation to live the wild and free "traveller life" the amount of housing stock that would come on the market would bring the prices down enough for "hard working families" to afford accomodation. ;)

At present you can't afford a house because you're competing in a housing market with the same government you pay taxes to... and they're using your taxes to compete against you. :)

4:25 pm on Mar 30, 2005 (gmt 0)

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the amount of housing stock that would come on the market would bring the prices down enough for "hard working families" to afford accomodation.

Right. Because property speculators who already own ten properties wouldn't rush in and compete with each other and drive the prices of that suddenly available housing through the roof, would they?

I understand that in Denmark you have to have a damn good reason to be allowed to own more than one property. Which sounds eminently sensible.

4:57 pm on Mar 30, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member essex_boy is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



ODDSOD - Yeah I know what your saying I do to an extent feel the same way. Yes they do get preggers just to get a house, as hard as that is to belive.

It makes me mad to see some of teh people we house who basically dont really deserve it i.e they have done NOTHING at all with their lives.

Personally id tighten up the allocation rules, If I had my way.

However, Id rather house them than have Rackman style landlords...... Who do still exist.

We are now housing people earning 30K ish so things are swinging back in teh right direction.

5:10 pm on Mar 30, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Yes, most brits are out of their minds. Hence why I am moving to the USA to get a nice sized house with pool compared to the shoebox I can only afford here.
5:27 pm on Mar 30, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Location is still a big deal in the US.

Nice 5 Bedroom house with swimming pool,

In New York City, 10 million+

In Seattle, 1 million+

In Marysville, about 50 miles from Seattle, $350,000

In Spokane, about 300 miles from Seattle, $200,000

Montana, just guessing, 7-8 bucks, but you have to allow the cows to use the pool

6:09 pm on Mar 30, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Because property speculators who already own ten properties wouldn't rush in

Supply and demand rules. Demand doesn't change because more stock is available. Besides, why would they want to increase their investment in property during a period of falling prices (and rents)? They would actually start selling - reducing their property portfolio - preeeety pronto. And that will cause a further fall in prices.

This is all academic, of course. I can't see politicians from any party having the testicles to put this in their manifesto.

twist, LOL

7:16 pm on Mar 30, 2005 (gmt 0)

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oddsod, people have been saying that house prices are going to fall significantly for a while now. They haven't.

Why should three people with ten houses each, each eager to buy an eleventh be in the position to dictate to someone who doesn't even have one house that they will never be in a position to afford one?

I don't agree with your premise that personal wealth equals moral worth. Everyone deserves their own house, regardless of what they do or don't do.

I am more frustrated than I can say that I am not in the position to even consider buying a house. Meanwhile, people who already have a property portfolio continue to buy-to-let, meaning that house prices are rapidly disappearing over the horizon.

The demand for housing from buy-to-let entrepreneurs might be significantly lessened by a progressive, accumulative tax on multiple properties. Heavy enough to act as a major disincentive to buy more than a handful of properties. (Let's face it, there are lots of other ways to make money and every house or flat in a property portfolio is one more which doesn't belong to a couple or a family who would like to buy their own house).

Before house-buying speculation is allowed, at least every individual, couple or family with a steady income should be in a position to buy their own property.

7:46 pm on Mar 30, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Ronin, I made no connection between personal wealth and moral worth. Going there is muddying the water. Housing stock shouldn't be allocated on an abstract subjective like moral worth; that's pleading for political corruption.

I strongly disagree with your claim that "everyone deserves their own house". There is too much of this "I deserve" around. I'd never see why a bone idle 16 yr old drunken lout and habitual petty thief deserves his own house. If you have to house him bung him into a correctional facility, a hostel, or a prison. Ignore his "moral worth", what's wrong with people earning their way? (see my exceptions for invalids, pensioners etc)

I own one property only but I fully support an open market. I think your angst against property "investors" is misplaced. They are not the root of the problem, nor are they the solution. Put accumulative taxes on and you are creating an ideal scenario for off-shore companies to get into buying UK property as they will be exempt from these taxes.

Predictions of house price rises/falls are worthless. Demand and supply are all that matter and are the only elements that determine price. The fact that demand is complicated by external factors like stamp duty and interest rates is what makes the prediciton of price movement difficult and what makes relying on demand flaky. If you can't control demand then you manipulate supply. To a large extent green belts, planning application delays, conservation areas, English heritage, the National Trust etc currently constrict supply (I'm not arguing that they shouldn't; I'm just pointing out a fact). With the current restrictions on new builds the only way to affect supply substantially is for the biggest holders/users of residential property units to release some stock. Even if they release just the properties that have been lying empty for the last twelve months they'll be bringing a few hundred thousand flats and houses onto the market - a big enough chunk to drop prices by 20-30% across the country.

The government, central and local, are your problem.

8:21 pm on Mar 30, 2005 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member essex_boy is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



Interesting point about hostels, I worked in one around 2 years ago for young mums just out of prison.

They were allowed to stay for two years, providing they behaviour was perfect, after that they had to find their own place, however during that two years in the hostel we were able to teach basic skills. Kind of thing parents are supposed to teach their kids.

We had some remarkable success with women that had been considered a waste of space since they were born, 60% didnt reoffend and went on to live stable lives. Thats a remarkable figure.

My point is, please dont slate hostel IF they are well run they do have a place in society.

Just like social housing.

house prices in Colchester and Chelmsford are dropping, I know of one developer thats offering around 10% off teh price and still cant shift the things.

9:20 pm on Mar 30, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I made no connection between personal wealth and moral worth.

I apologise for that, oddsod, I concede that was probably going too far. I was referring to your comment "...and let the rest - including the pregnant 16 year olds - find their own caravan accomodation".

I strongly disagree with your claim that "everyone deserves their own house".

I thought you would. >;->

But, does everything have to be a commodity? Can't we see some things as deserved social provision?
Why can't someone's own home be more than just another financial asset (if you believe it is an asset - I understand that there is a rather persuasive argument that it is in fact a liability).

Why does the bone idle lout - assuming he can't live with his parents - deserve his own affordable house that he can (potentially) work to pay off the mortgage for? Because it's part of creating universal social inclusion. And by having that chance open to him, even if he's too ignorant to see it for years and years, means that if he ever wakes up and decides to, he'll have a goal to work towards.

Is it possible that a society where everyone has a chance of eventually owning a house is likely to see higher productivity and lower crime than a society where some people can never buy a house, no matter how long and how hard they work?

House prices seem to be out of control at the moment - I imagine it crushes a lot of people's aspirations to one day be homeowners.

I fully support an open market too, once basic social needs are met.

The government is not my problem: the government's lack of efficiency, competence and - more than anything - vision is my problem.

10:36 pm on Mar 30, 2005 (gmt 0)

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if he ever wakes up and decides to, he'll have a goal to work towards

And if he doesn't he gets a free house that people like you and I have to work for? I still think he'd be better served by being bunged up in some correctional facility.

where everyone has a chance of eventually owning a house is likely to see higher productivity and lower crime than a society ...

I'm with you there. 100% in that everyone should have a chance. But they should take a chance. Not automatically get a house simply because they, er, exist. I don't believe people go into crime because they can't afford to buy their own property.

I fully support an open market too, once basic social needs are met.

We disagree only on the definition of basic social needs :)

I've been unemployed, I've been homeless for many years, I've suffered starvation but ....

universal social inclusion

... is a kind of terminology that makes me shudder more than any of those "deprivations". I picked myself up, got over depression, and now own my home. We are doing people a disservice by giving them for free what they should be earning.
12:06 am on Mar 31, 2005 (gmt 0)

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But they should take a chance.

Yes, ultimately they should. That's how people change their lives for the better. But returning to the topic of this thread - the preposterous costs of some things in the UK - the situation with house prices is so far beyond reasonable, most people can't see any chance there.

I estimate that I make several times the national average salary and I know that I can't even consider buying a house. If I can't, how can most other people?

It looks to me like most people who buy a house first get themselves a partner, then buy the house as a couple and then both partners collectively pay the mortgage off over a period of twenty or twenty five years, if not more.

The worrying thing is, most people would argue this is reasonable.

11:39 am on Mar 31, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I estimate that I make several times the national average salary

The average is 21K, the median is 17K. Even assuming median and a multiple of 3 that gives 51K as your minimum annual earnings based on your post above. A reasonable bank would advance 3x on a 90% mortgage. That leaves you with a house buying budget of 170K. Except for London and city centres elsewhere... 170K will still buy you a very decent property. You can have a three bedroom detached in Cornwall. You could buy a five bedroom, two reception room luxury detached in parts of Scotland. There are people a lot worse off :)

1:59 pm on Mar 31, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Believe me, if I was prepared to leave London and to borrow 170,000 pounds, I'd buy a villa in Croatia or Turkey or something >;->

But the whole concept of borrowing nearly a fifth of a million pounds to buy a property is just senseless.

7:57 pm on Mar 31, 2005 (gmt 0)

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"...A reasonable bank would advance 3x on a 90% mortgage. That leaves you with a house buying budget of 170K....."

Not if you're self employed, you need proof of at least three years accountancy books. One month you earn 2k and the next 8, banks don't like to see that when they lend money, they like to see predictable financial stability.

When you think of how much of 60,000 pounds goes back to the government, in income tax and national insurance (stealth tax), and VAT, then you factor in the scandalous cost of living, and house prices, makes you realise that being a internet entrepreneur in the uk is not the best choice.

Just can't bring myself to uproot and move to Jersey or Belize, but every month I'm tempted more and more, I spent 4 months out of the country in the last tax year.....Making it permanent though is a different matter, perhaps I'd miss the premier league too much :)

12:57 pm on Apr 1, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Announced this morning. The biggest drop in UK house prices in 10 years.

Thank god that happened. Feel sorry for any punter that just got a 100% mortgage. Here comes negative equity again!

1:00 pm on Apr 1, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Crush, do you have the source? I would be very interested to read more

Thanks

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