This needs to be told.

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  • #56005
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    Anonymous
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    I dislike continual negative comments about the Spanish housing market, but sometimes a story is horrendous enough to be told:

    http://www.coastrider.net/component/content/article/46-headline/10375-british-couple-face-fine-nightmare

    It’s only from a free newspaper and only touches on the edge of a much larger problem covering a much larger area. I think it’s horrendous.

  • #101756
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    did they buy in good faith or with a good lawyer???

  • #101759
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    Anonymous
    Participant

    I think this is awful and cannot believe this is happening to people. But I do wonder why people don’t purchase homes in spain and use lawyers like we do in the uk. I moved 4 times in spain and always had a laywer as I would do in the uk. But for some reason people tend to think that the notario is enough! My lawyer told me she can’t believe the amount of people who purchase in Spain, including Spaniards! who don’t bother getting a laywer, but we would not dream of doing this in the uk. And if these people did use a laywer then they should take him to the cleaners!

  • #101762
    Profile photo of rt21
    rt21
    Participant

    @ethnatkev wrote:

    I think this is awful and cannot believe this is happening to people. But I do wonder why people don’t purchase homes in spain and use lawyers like we do in the uk. I moved 4 times in spain and always had a laywer as I would do in the uk. But for some reason people tend to think that the notario is enough! My lawyer told me she can’t believe the amount of people who purchase in Spain, including Spaniards! who don’t bother getting a laywer, but we would not dream of doing this in the uk. And if these people did use a laywer then they should take him to the cleaners!

    I know many people in the Almeria province that have used lawyers only to find that they ended up buying illegal properties with very little chance of any compensation. My own experience of using a Spanish lawyer about 5 years ago was also pretty bad. I’m not saying that you should not use a lawyer simply making the point that using a Spanish lawyer does not mean that you will avoid the legal pitfalls of buying a property.

    I would have significantly more confidence in using a UK lawyer to buy a UK propery than I would in using a Spanish lawyer to buy a Spanish property.

    Richard

  • #101764
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Oh, see I used a british laywer who has offices in uk and spain. So this is why I probably had no problems. Yeah I can see your point. Not being awful but from personal experience any laywer or gestor I have used in spain has been useless. My gestor/ accountant made so many mistakes on my tax return every year, I am still getting queries now 4 years later! I don’t think I would have contemplated using a spanish laywer to do a big transaction like buying a property. Saying that, I don’t think I would do that in any country other than in the uk. At least here you can take them to the cleaners! but as you say, in Spain they make up the laws as they go along…

  • #101766
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    Anonymous
    Participant

    Purely by chance I watched ‘a place in the sun’ on Channel Four this afternoon. The innocent English couple were shown three properties including one on the outskirts of Valencia which they said they were going to buy.

    The TV presenter did point out to them that the new villa had been built on rustic land, which didn’t mean anything to the hapless couple who were prepared to start the buying process there and then.

    Surely the TV people should have tried a bit harder to explain that buying an illegal house, especially in Valencia, is not a good idea?

  • #101767
    Profile photo of DrRobert
    DrRobert
    Participant

    As trips to the Notary aren’t free, and their job is to see that everything is legally in order when purchasing a property, isn’t it their responsibility for not spotting that the property was illegal?

  • #101771
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Anonymous
    Participant

    Dr Robert,
    very well spotted.
    i thought of this some time ago that they should be responsible, so maybe they should be challenged.

  • #101772
    Profile photo of rt21
    rt21
    Participant

    I’m not sure what a Notary’s responsibility is but I would very surprised if it involved checking such things as whether a property had been built on rustico land etc. If it did then they would need an army of people to administer the system.

    My impression is that they are there to ensure that the terms of the document are legally set out and are unambiguous. They may also act as an official witness to the transaction thus giving it some additional legal status.

    Richard

  • #101774
    Profile photo of adiep
    adiep
    Participant

    Rocker, why do you dislike continual negative comments about the Spanish housing market? Its hardly The Garden of Eden, is it?

  • #101776
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    Anonymous
    Participant

    @adiep wrote:

    Rocker, why do you dislike continual negative comments about the Spanish housing market? Its hardly The Garden of Eden, is it?

    I agree, but there is some positive news which doesn’t get much of an airing.

    Having just said that, I’m sitting here scratching my head!

    OK then, for the price of an ordinary semi in the UK, currently covered in snow and not within walking distance of a shop with empty shelves, at say £300K, you can buy a decent legal villa with at least four bedrooms, a swimming pool and large garden, bathed in sunshine for most of the year in Spain.

    Phew, that was hard, honestly.

  • #87431
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    Anonymous
    Participant

    @Rocker wrote:

    …… you can buy a decent legal villa with at least four bedrooms, a swimming pool and large garden, bathed in sunshine for most of the year in Spain.

    But no job within 500km

  • #101779
    Profile photo of adiep
    adiep
    Participant

    @jp1 wrote:

    @Rocker wrote:

    …… you can buy a decent legal villa with at least four bedrooms, a swimming pool and large garden, bathed in sunshine for most of the year in Spain.

    But no job within 500km

    Ha ! Quite true. 300k in the UK will buy you a splendid place outside of London, in areas where professionals can readily earn over £50k a year.

    The harsh reality is, the Spanish property market is in an abysmal state. Terrible build quality, crumbling infrastructure, those that are not new builds are generally of poor design and unsuitable for modern living. Lack of liquidity in the market, very high initial buying costs (taxes), very high selling costs (taxes). Very real risks that can leave you bankrupt. An overhand of 2m unsold properties. A crash waiting to happen. Chance of a collapsing currency. High chance of social disorder (halting of long term unemployment payments).

    Rocker, out of interest, do you work in the property business?

  • #101780
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    Anonymous
    Participant

    @adiep wrote:

    @jp1 wrote:
    @Rocker wrote:

    …… you can buy a decent legal villa with at least four bedrooms, a swimming pool and large garden, bathed in sunshine for most of the year in Spain.

    But no job within 500km

    Ha ! Quite true. 300k in the UK will buy you a splendid place outside of London, in areas where professionals can readily earn over £50k a year.

    The harsh reality is, the Spanish property market is in an abysmal state. Terrible build quality, crumbling infrastructure, those that are not new builds are generally of poor design and unsuitable for modern living. Lack of liquidity in the market, very high initial buying costs (taxes), very high selling costs (taxes). Very real risks that can leave you bankrupt. An overhand of 2m unsold properties. A crash waiting to happen. Chance of a collapsing currency. High chance of social disorder (halting of long term unemployment payments).

    Rocker, out of interest, do you work in the property business?

    No, I don’t work in the property industry, but I work from home and can operate anywhere with internet access. My interest in property, especially in Spain, stems from my ownership of a property here and a smaller property in the UK.

    I agree with your analysis of the Spanish property market, you even missed out on what I consider the most negative factor, the horrible corruption that is involved at every level of the industry in Spain.

    But the point I was making, which I couldn’t easily think of, was that, if you’re really careful, you can still get far more for your money in Spain, taking onboard the fact that jobs are extremely hard to find – if you need one.

    If you’ve carefully researched all your options, and perhaps tested the waters by renting first, you could find a suitable home in Spain that will cost a lot less than in the UK, and I readily admit that my main reason for coming to Spain was the climate and the cheapness, in that order, with the guest-friendliness of Spanish people coming a close third.

    And the UK is only two hours away, with dozens of flights every day.

  • #98219
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    Anonymous
    Participant

    I have to say I do agree with Rocker in that all the negativity doesn’t help matters. It is not helping people who are trying to sell. Not all properties in spain have been built illegaly and are of poor construction. I have a property I am trying to sell and it is of good build, in a good location and not illegal. But all the negative news is putting everyones property in spain in the same basket. BUT I suppose good news for headlines means no newspaper sales, hence all the constant negativity. I appreciate it is not all rosy, but some good news sometimes would help to stimulate the market…I am in contact with estate agents on a nearly daily basis (one of them a trustworthy source) and they are selling, slowly but gradually… There are even people doing viewings for the larger properties, so people are starting to buy in Spain (In Cataluña). But you don’t get to hear about that…Of course few of those are British, mainly Spanish or other europeans buying the properties.
    Things are very slow but people are gradually starting to buy again, in my area anyway. British people just need to make sure they have a good british laywer who has offices in both countries. But I would hold no hope at all in selling my property to someone from the UK. But I do understand a LOT of brits are very bitter about the spanish property industry as some have lost everything, so I think that is awful and yes, we should get to hear about that side of things, but only to warn others that you need to get a good lawyer involved and thoroughly do your homework. I can only speak for Catalonia, I don’t know how the rest of Spain is performing. And of course, this is just information I get to hear from people I have known for years…One of the estate agents actually told me that they love the fact that it is negativity all the time as they want all sellers to drop their prices so they can sell more quickly and sellers panick and drop their prices…she said as soon as people start talking positively about the spanish market, the sellers will start feeling more confident and the estate agents won’t be able to get them to drop their prices for a quick sale, I wouldnt be surprised if a lot of this negativity is from potential buyers who are waiting to buy that dream villa for 50.000euros.… So I would do my own research and judge for myself really…

  • #101784
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    Anonymous
    Participant

    Ethnakev,

    Whilst you may not like it as someone who is has been trying to sell a house on and off for a couple of years now, there is very good reason why there is so much negativity around.

    Even if we do leave aside Spains miserable track record in enforcing planning laws and protecting property rights. Even if we do say that despite many town hall corruption scandals and reports of corrupt lawyers the vast majority of people experience no problems. There is still one fundamental factor at work.

    Prices have been falling steadily for three years and look set to do so for at least a year to come, probably a lot longer.

    Yes, Spain is a beautiful country. Yes, it had a much nicer climate than Northern Europe. Yes, you can buy much more for your money in Spain than in, say, SE England.

    That said, almost everyone who owns Spanish property now or who buys within the forseeable future will lose money. Despite your anecdotal evidence which is, I have to say, no different to what I have been told on and off over the past few years, the fundamentals all say that.

  • #101785
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    Anonymous
    Participant

    I know what you mean, I suppose sellers want it to bottom out asap and buyers don’t… I suppose only time will tell as realistically no one really knows…all I am saying is if all the headlines read, “now is a good time to start looking in spain” it would help stimulate the market as opposed to constant negative news…adiep and brianc li are you buyers or a sellers?

  • #101352
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    Anonymous
    Participant

    Positive press will not stimulate the market. Goodness knows enough people have tried that over the past few years. The only thing that will do so is it finding a bottom. By almost all independent measures that is still quite some way off.

  • #101343
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    Anonymous
    Participant

    brianc_li – when a bottom is reached?? only fools and liars get the tops and bottoms of markets !! most people buying on the costas now are getting 40 – 60% off 2004 prices and must be quite pleased -also, don’t forget retirees in their 50’s, 60’s don’t/can’t wait –

    The Spanish property market will come back quickly when it turns – I’m talking about good areas – central Madrid, Barcelona etc – good parts of the Costas – prime suburbs etc – chicken hatch land will stay stagnant for ten years – SO; prepare for an upswing in good areas and if you’re buying stay centrally located!!!!!!

    ps Adiep – where do live surrounded by such horrendous quality??????????????

  • #101344
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    Anonymous
    Participant

    so are you a buyer or a seller? I mean I assume that 99% of people on this site are either buying, selling, or estate agents. Or else, I doubt anyone would even bother coming onto a website about the property market in spain unless they had some kind of vetted interest in the property market in Spain. This question if for brianc li and adiep. It is just out of interest that is all. I am selling by the way…

  • #101340
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    Anonymous
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    All the best indicators and economic experts have one thing in common, they all fail spectacularly with devastating results on a regular basis. The last historic example was Lehmans, three years ago.

    Our best economic brains now have more information available than ever before, from every possible source, and bang, we have another crash. Where did that come from?

    Sir Fred the Shred has just been cleared of any wrongdoing, he did all the right things, he listened to the experts and followed the indicators and bang, out he went (with a decent pension).

    All the indicators are pointing to a further reduction in Spanish house prices, could they be wrong, again?

  • #101341
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    Anonymous
    Participant

    I’m a cash buyer looking to buy. Have been for some two years now and have thus far chosen, correctly as it happens, to hold back. I can’t see my position changing for at least a year.

    To me the underlying factors are:
    – Glut of unsold properties, particularly on the costas where I am looking to buy. Nobody really knows how many but most estimates in excess of 1 million.
    – Economy in a mess. Not just in Spain buy in much of Europe. Scandinavian and Russian buyers will never make up the shortfall left by the British.
    – Ireland, which had a similar boom, has seen falls recorded around 50% and prices there are still falling. Spain is thus far showing prices at 25% off peak. The banks have been supporting the market thus far but they are running out of money.
    – Bank of Spain are tightening up rules on bank property valuations. This will force them to discount more heavily to dispose of properties.
    – Ageing population in an uncompetitive economy. Unit labour costs are higher than in Germany. Lack of any political will to address the issues.

    Now people can tell me ‘Now is the time to buy’, ‘You’ll never get a better deal’, ‘Prices have bottomed’, etc, etc. They have been doing so for the past couple of years. Given the above I simply don’t believe them. From what I can see and I really do try to look at things objectively, this market still has some way to fall.

  • #101786
    Profile photo of rt21
    rt21
    Participant

    Unfortunately very few if any so called experts can predict when the bottom of any market has been reached. Normally it can only be determined when prices start rising.

    Richard

  • #101791
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    Anonymous
    Participant

    well, brianc-li – it all depends where you want to buy – if it’s a third rate area on some coastal town (eg Roquetas del Mar/ Manilva) well you’d be right – wait ten years – but then you’ll be ten years older – no point as we only have a certain of good years left-

    focus on your area – choose best street, area, etc and you’ll find prices are firming up/ have firmed up and even that there is not much on the market ……………

  • #101792
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    Anonymous
    Participant
    brianc_li wrote:
    Ethnakev,

    …Spains miserable track record in enforcing planning laws and protecting property rights. Even if we do say that despite many town hall corruption scandals and reports of corrupt lawyers…quote]

    …Well these points must not bother you as are you are planning on buying in Spain, so can’t be that bad!!!
    Hence me pointing out that a lot of people being negative on these sites is because it is in THEIR interest for the prices to drop as low a possible so they can grab a bargain. I am not accusing here at all, just merely pointing out the obvious…
    Ultimately, nearly every one trying to sell in Spain reads forums like these and panics, when really we are listening to buyers who are out to grab a bargain… I hope you find the property you are looking for at a price that suits you, but to be honest, Spanish are probably the most stubborn people I have met when it comes to selling a property, and they would rather hang in there, rent and wait for the market to pick up…so you may have a long wait…Unless it is british sellers you are trying to convince…
    As the previous poster said, in most places prices have already dropped by up to 60%. Do you want it for free??!!
    All buyers trying to sway sellers the other way won’t work, as we were not born yesterday. You know sellers are on here every day reading these posts. I do not know whether adiep is a buyer or seller, but I would hazard a guess to say he is waiting to buy… if not, apologies in advance…
    The truth of the matter is no one knows for sure, when it is going to start improving….
    And with regards to positive headlines not working, that is why we lost out on hosting the world cup… due to British negative media coverage…..the same goes for the Spanish property market headlines in the UK…
    Sorry if anyone has taken my comments personally, it is not a personal attack, but I have been following these posts and other sites for months now, and this is what I can read in between the lines…my opinion only….
    From my sources of information. After Christmas, there will be a steady increase in interest in spanish property, as you say, in the good areas, but that is a great start, the rest will follow steadily, but this will be from Spanish and other european buyers, not UK buyers yet, until they regain their confidence in Spain but by then all the good ones might have been snatched up… I have not had a viewing on my property for months and I have 2 viewings this weekend. My property is not at the cheaper end but, this means there are people out there starting to look, even with a budget as high as the price I am selling mine for. Not saying it will sell, but that gives me an optimistic view for 2011. After all it only takes 1 buyer… Good luck to all the sellers and let us know how you get on and if you start getting more viewings… Maybe we should start a positive thread from the sellers and try to be more optimistic for 2011.

  • #101793
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    adiep
    Participant

    @UBEDA wrote:

    well, brianc-li – it all depends where you want to buy – if it’s a third rate area on some coastal town (eg Roquetas del Mar/ Manilva) well you’d be right – wait ten years – but then you’ll be ten years older – no point as we only have a certain of good years left-

    So better saddle yourself with a huge debt to buy an overpriced house. 🙂

    Im in La Linea. The housing stock here is junk, to say the least.

  • #101794
    Profile photo of adiep
    adiep
    Participant

    I’ve been renting for 5 years. When one looks at the cost of renting and the cost of the properties that are being rented, the yields if you wanted to buy and then rent yourself are around 2%.

    If I had purchased (because my life is running out as pointed out above) the place I live in now, 5 years ago, I’d have have a debt of about 200k and needed to spend 80k of my own money on deposit and costs. Since then, they are priced at 225k now — which is still about 75k over-valued in my opinion — I would have lost serious amounts of cash if i wanted to sell now.

    As it stands, Ive done very well on the stock markets with my deposit and can up-stumps and move whenever I feel like it.

    IMO… Renting makes sense in Spain.

  • #101795
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    Anonymous
    Participant

    I don’t want to take sides and I don’t need to. I was going to sell in Spain or the UK this year to reconsider, depending on the achievable prices in either place.

    I gave up at the end of the summer in both places and intend to leave things as they are. Both markets have fallen, admittedly more so in Spain, but the future of both property markets is equally uncertain.

    I don’t know how long I’ll have to wait and maybe I shouldn’t wait at all, but I’m staying put until things are a bit more transparent.

  • #101797
    Profile photo of adiep
    adiep
    Participant

    @Rocker wrote:

    I don’t want to take sides and I don’t need to. I was going to sell in Spain or the UK this year to reconsider, depending on the achievable prices in either place.

    I gave up at the end of the summer in both places and intend to leave things as they are. Both markets have fallen, admittedly more so in Spain, but the future of both property markets is equally uncertain.

    I don’t know how long I’ll have to wait and maybe I shouldn’t wait at all, but I’m staying put until things are a bit more transparent.

    My own crystal ball says that house prices in Spain have hit a historical high which wont be seen again for at least 10 years. The reason I think this to be the case is numerous, but the main drivers of lower prices are Basel III and the impact of the FSA’s mortgage review http://www.moneysupermarket.com/c/news/what-will-the-fsa-s-mortgage-review-mean-for-you/0006820/ and of course the near destruction of our banking system (you dont get one of those every ten years).

    For the credit levels needed to prop up today’s house prices, the banks and governments would need to put themselves in the same position which caused the crisis – liar loans, sub-prime, 10 x salary on 40 years, 110% LTV, MBS madness, etc.. That’s just not going to happen.

    The availability of credit fuelled house price rises but without that credit its going to be tough for first time buyers to get into the market, without those first time buyers the chains just wont happen. So prices are inevitably going to have to fall.

    So at the moment were in that phase where vendors have something that they think is worth X, but most buyers cant borrow anything like X to purchase, so inevitably something has to shift.

    Will it be more easily available mortgages or will it be vendors lowering prices?

    For a hint on which way it will go, the banks that lent so readily are now broke or nationalised, the knock on effect causing national governments to seek bailouts from the IMF and implement austerity measures on their populations which will undoubtedly will be a cause of popular unrest in the not too distant future. This lending will likely cause the demise of the Euro (Ireland & Spain yet to come).

    If you purchased in 2007 and can get anything like the same you paid for it now, youre in really good shape and my opinion would be to sell.

    Apologies for being so negative, its just my view, I could be totally wrong.

  • #101799
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    Anonymous
    Participant

    On ‘official’ figures, those supplied by the likes of the land registry and government agencies, over the past three years prices have fallen by around 15% in the UK and 25% in Spain. I don’t regard those figures as very accurate.

    Other figures point to 50% falls in the US and 40% falls in Spain – in the expat regions.

    All of it is pretty meaningless on an individual basis. But sticking with the last three years, interest rates have fallen to their lowest levels ever. Money has been printed like fury and thrown at the markets; but lending, for the individual, is almost non-available.

    In Spain and Ireland, the building has stopped, and there is a large overhang of unsold houses on the market. The UK is different, there is not enough building going on to house an ever-growing population.

    All European countries now have severe austerity measures in place to stop us sliding into a depression, while the US has turned to the opposite.

    I’m sitting tight until I see those green shoots again and might wait until they grow into trees before doing anything.

  • #101801
    Profile photo of adiep
    adiep
    Participant

    @Rocker wrote:

    On ‘official’ figures, those supplied by the likes of the land registry and government agencies, over the past three years prices have fallen by around 15% in the UK and 25% in Spain. I don’t regard those figures as very accurate.

    Other figures point to 50% falls in the US and 40% falls in Spain – in the expat regions.

    All of it is pretty meaningless on an individual basis. But sticking with the last three years, interest rates have fallen to their lowest levels ever. Money has been printed like fury and thrown at the markets; but lending, for the individual, is almost non-available.

    In Spain and Ireland, the building has stopped, and there is a large overhang of unsold houses on the market. The UK is different, there is not enough building going on to house an ever-growing population.

    All European countries now have severe austerity measures in place to stop us sliding into a depression, while the US has turned to the opposite.

    I’m sitting tight until I see those green shoots again and might wait until they grow into trees before doing anything.

    I think the money printing had to be done, trillions was removed from the worlds economy, literally wiped out. The printing is helping to prop up asset values which of course include houses. As it is, asset values have still fallen (in most cases) but the printing has helped to stabilise demand. I dont think it will cause inflation, too much was lost and the amount put back in doesnt cover it – hence Ireland et al still need bailing.

    For me, UK housing market offers better value for money. Spain’s economy is a dead man walking and prices still seem ludicrous in my eyes. Maybe in certain areas of Almeria they have dropped significantly, but around here they still want silly money.

    By silly money, I’m thinking of those places priced 150-200k for a 2-3 bedroom apartment around 80-100m2. These should range from 70-110k to be affordable for Spanish families. When you look at rental yields, that price range would be about right, 100k invested should return about 600 euros in rent, yet 200k properties are only yielding 600 euros pcm. Just another example of why the housing market is still over-valued.

    Where are you based Rocker?

  • #101802
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    Anonymous
    Participant

    I’m currently based to the south of Alicante. There are a lot of Brits around, mostly quite happy. The older people have bought for cash and settled in, but many younger ones with mortgages and not much in the way of employment are struggling and have thrown in the towel and returned to the UK with their children, leaving properties behind that they couldn’t sell, at any price.

    But, I must admit I’ve seen some improvement in the market of late, buyers are still arriving including many from Germany and Russia. There are also some unwise Brits buying repossessed properties from the banks with 100% mortgages from the same banks. I can’t see that working out, unless the markets pick up again and interest rates stay low – I wouldn’t bet on either.

  • #101805
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    Anonymous
    Participant

    i think the next 6 months will show us the way its going to play out with the banks having to off load their repo’s,the austerity measures taking hold public unrest and the truth of weather a bail out is needed or not.In my eyes its only just starting to get intresting people who have been in reciept of benifits since all this started are going to loose them thus losing their homes putting even more pressure on an already strained market and causing further headaches for the banks.I belive this time next year those who were holding off from buying like brain with cash ready will have a better idea of what to do and those dreaming of buying will find it hard to meet the requirements for a mortgage.I personally have bought a flat in the uk for just over 100k and have rented it out and i have a cash windfall coming in the summer next year and will probably end up buying 2 more uk properties to rent as i see this as a sound investment with the ever increasing british population

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