High levels of debt can cripple an economy. And our cycle of property boom and bust means the most dangerous form of debt is the mortgage. John Stepek explains why.
Britain's house price bubble
UK house price indices
The Halifax and Nationwide indices are based on each lender's mortgage approvals, and exclude cash sales. Both are 'seasonally-adjusted' – the market is slower in winter and busier in spring. The Rightmove index is based on sellers' initial asking pricess, and the DCLG (Dept for Communities and Local Government) index is based on data including house prices, mortgages, transactions and land prices.
A property crash always unfolds in similar ways: credit runs dry, a priced-out majority stymies demand, confidence falters. Sound familiar? Then prepare for the bear, says Jonathan Compton.
In September, Dominic Frisby picked what he saw as the five worst investments you could make. Today he checks on his “dumb” investments to see how they have done.
The growth in house prices is slowing. That could be temporary. But there are two big vulnerabilities in the housing market that point to a significant slowdown, says John Stepek.
There’s a problem in London’s high-end property market – people just aren’t as keen on luxury property as they were a year ago.
Property developers are selling more and more new houses on a leasehold basis. It’s a terrible deal for homeowners, says Merryn Somerset Webb.
For anyone investing in or building property today, Birmingham is clearly a better place to be doing it than London, says Merryn Somerset Webb.
The problem in the UK housing market is not a shortage of housing but a surplus of speculation called by very low interest rates. Solve that, says Merryn Somerset Webb, and you solve the “housing crisis”.
The rise in stamp duty is having an effect on the London property market. But what about house prices in the rest of the country?
After the political upheavals of 2016, a period of profound social and economic change is upon us. John Stepek looks at the big trends investors must be ready for next year.
Stamp duty is one of the worst taxes we have, says Merryn Somerset Webb. Philip Hammond should replace it with an inflation-linked capital gains tax on primary homes.
Don't buy that house!
The positive climate surrounding the buy-to-let sector is unravelling – fast. A rash move now and you could pay a heavy price.
To avoid the time bomb at the heart of this sector you need to read our new investment report.
It’ll arm you with everyone you need to become a well-informed buy-to-let investor.
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