More evidence, were it needed, that Britain, and London especially, is heading for the mother of all property busts.
Was talking with a relative in UK recently who assured me that London is still a one way bet, parrotting the line that lots of Middle Easterns have been ploughing money into property there as a safe haven from turmoil in their own countries.
Which sounds perfectly plausible, and maybe they are, but all you are ending up with is supply of properties to let massively exceeding demand.
Take a look at any of the property websites in the UK and see just in London even how many bog standard flats there are, looking for 300-400 plus per week - there are thousands of em, tens of thousands even, and how many jobs are being created in a city big though London is to to pull in the people to fill those apartments, never mind can they afford them.
Don’t forget even though London has seen massive migration in recent years a very high percentage has been into the low wage economy, so even a couple each earning 10 pounds an hour after tax will be spending half their income on one of the mentioned above flats, and that’s BEFORE they pay, council tax, gas, electricity, water, management charges etc.
To summarise, never in its long history has London had so many empty properties of all shapes and sizes chasing so few tenants. The bust is staring millions of buy to let investors in the face and they still won’t see it. And it’s not going to be any old bust. As sure as eggs is eggs, the coming bust is going to be mother, father, and grandparents of a bust, which is why gambling folk should figure out NOW how to short the UK and London property markets and then pile all their chips into that gamble.
Because that really is the only one way bet in town.
But the factors that will ultimately drive house prices up again are the loose monetary policy that will accompany the Government’s deficit reduction and the ability of banks to lend again on consumer-friendly terms as their own underlying financial position improves.
“This should not be confused with boom and bust. We are forecasting a gradual four-year recovery at an annual rate of about 4 per cent.” After the global economic downturn following the crash of 2008, house prices have been hit hard across the UK, with the number of mortgages granted to hopeful homeowners slashed.
The CEBR calculates the average cost of a property today is £175,000. By 2015 that will be £205,643. The 4 per cent year-on-year surge is predicted to start at the end of 2011 and carry on until 2015. It would see the average UK house price rise to above the 2007 high of £191,340.
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Mortgage approvals dropped to lows of £69.238billion in 2008 as high street lenders floundered after the global banking crisis. That figure is set to double to £142.11billion by 2015 as the economy picks up.
Mr McWilliams added: “We still believe house prices will fall this year, although there are signs prices will stabilise over the sl be completely different from the lending situation before the credit crunch, with tighter controls. It’s welcome news for the market but it is really down to what happens in the economy.”
Internet property giant Rightmove said: “We are seeing a loosening over mortgage lending and lending criteria. The pre-crash market was too hot. People are going to have to raise large deposits but at the moment the lending criteria is too restrictive.
“We have some hurdles to overcome as some parts of the country struggle with mass unemployment. In other more affluent areas there is a shortage of houses pushing up prices.”
The recovery will not continue at the same pace across the country, Mr McWilliams warned.
London will enjoy a yearly rise of 2 per cent faster than the rest of the country, making the capital see 6 per cent year-on-year gains.
However, areas blighted by Government cuts will see local housing markets stagnate.
Property consultant and blogger Henry Pryor warned: “We have yet to see the bottom of the market. The vast majority of the population are priced out of the market. I would urge caution over the figures but banks will be lending more and competing with each other.”
The predictions came as separate research showed half of people think Britain will become a nation of renters within a generation as young people give up on the dream of home ownership. Around 77 per cent of people who have not yet got on the property ladder still aspire to buying their own home, a study suggested today. But 64 per cent think they have no prospect of this, according to high street bank Halifax.
Instead, 46 per cent of 20 to 45-year-olds said they thought the country was becoming more like Europe, where renting is seen as the norm, and Britain would be a nation of renters within a generation.
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Our children will never be able to afford their own homes, yet they will still be expected to pay their taxes toward those pensioners who do own their home.
Be under no illusion. This is ABSOLUTELY NOT sustainable.
• Posted by: nixy • Report Comment
16% IN 4 YEARS
Further down in the article it says this rise will be over 4 years, so 4% a year, hardly soaring,only just about ln line with inflation.I certainly wouldn’t buy now unless I had to, prices have further to drop.
• Posted by: gibbos23 • Report Comment
Of course there’s the possibility that the few houses that sell will do so at higher prices particularly in hotspots, the problem is the majority of properties that come to the market won’t sell because potential buyers just can’t afford them. so most of the dreamers will have a long long frustrating wait to sell.
• Posted by: David16 • Report Comment
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This news has certainly made my day. For some long we have endured negative renters trying to talk down the price of our homes. I’m glad home owners stuck to their guns and did not allow prices to fall. The government did the right thing in supporting the hard workers. We could not allow prices to fall. The UK would have been in a hell of a state. With mortgages becoming easier to get I hope we can see a return to the good times. Free up some equity and have a spend up. Be great to see a few new 4x4’s around.
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To be fair London is Different, its just not different at any price…
Its a typical error in any bubble to just focus on the appeal of an asset and forget what you are paying for it.
Hong Kong was different in 1990 and still is…yet prices are still below where they were before the previous bust
.com did revolutionise the world (beyond most peoples expectations) but if you bought the Nasdaq at almost 5,000 you are still down 50%
The housing stock in London has not increased massively in the last 10 years. In fact relative to the population increase it has decreased.
The average rental yield on property in the greater London area is 3.5% and this represents approximately 30% of the peoples net income.
The 3.5% and 30% figures are at the lower end of European Averages!
In addition people earning low incomes typically spend in excess of 45% of their income on rent. There is nothing unusually about this!
Personally I do believe London is overvalued but only by approximately 10-15% (Applying European long term rental yields as a percentage of net take home pay).
Housing prices are declining right now, ever so slightly. But there is no great bubble from which to fall. Prices over the UK as a whole have been creeping upwards very slowing for the past 10 years, inflation plus a little bit.
I don’t believe either the ‘soar’ or ‘bust’. Minor fluctuations either way more likely.
House prices in many parts of the SE of the UK are still going nuts but I really do feel (after a decade of bearishness) that we are running out of steam.
Real incomes are falling.
Best case scenario for the economy is 5-10 years of bumping along bottom; the more likely scenario is another recession IMHO.
Private sector indebtedness is a massive potential problem and low interest rates are only providing a temporary reprieve. Ireland is going through credit withdrawal cold-turkey - the UK cannot even admit that it is still addicted to credit.
Inflation is a serious problem for the poorer sections of society, the low interest rate policy of the BoE really favours the middle (indebted) classes.
Too many people over here think that London property is pretty much recession proof.