Saturday, January 03, 2009

Jobs, Stocks and Real estate - A tale of two Valley's

Many comments to my previous post pointed out to the worsening job market with layoffs and hiring freezes the order of the day in the US and India. Its no suprise then that stocks markets in both places have taken a beating anticipating a downturn and restricted credit availability due to lack of credit worthiness. Why will a bank lend 300k to someone whose job in on shaky ground ? Over the holidays I met few friends and we discussed this issues and I heard horror story after horry story on how Indian Hi-Tech engineers who have purchased housing over the past 3 years are well under 200k of their purchase price. Now many of the folks are getting laid of and it is not a pretty sight.

I met another friend of mine who is a manager in a top networking company. He said all across the company they are retrenching contractors and he has lost 50% of this contract staff over the last month. No guesses for figuring out the name of this offshoring company - Infosys. When we add up the loss of revenue for all the retrenched onsite Infosys employees who are billed at $115k but paid between 60-80k, the final number is pretty omnious. Add to that the loss of offshore resources which are retrenched who will swell the bench strength to levels not seen ever. It doesn't take a genius to figure out that the guidance from management going forward will be poor. Based on the drops in marigns I expect we can easily see a drop of 50% in the Infy stock price. Buying an April 09 put at $15.00 for 0.75 cents is probably a worthwhile risk taking play. If one is more risk averse maybe the 20$ put works better.

Its a nobrainer that the stock market in India will take a beating once these numbers are announced. All the suckers who have bought the market thinking the RBI stimulus will boost the economy will again get massacared.

The loss of jobs, leading to the decline of the stock market will logically lead to a drop in real estate. All the RBI rhetoric to lower rates will yield no effect if the job situation is dismal. We have to realise that the Indian bubble was fuelled on the legs of a strong job market and low credit rates. Now the market has lost one of its legs. As the author of the world is flat argued, A housewife in Japan is saving more then average and financing the housing boom in the US which in turn financed the tech industry which financed the offshoring contract shops. With the US housing turning on its back, there is an upheaveal to be felt by all the downstream interconnected companies which in turn has to effect jobs in India and subsequently housing.

All the decoupling morons have been proven wrong and this anecdote vindicates the simplicty with which markets can operate without all the bumbo jumbo math of CDO's

Thanks to anon for posting this video


Barons article on the Indian stock market. Says wait for 15 months. They definitely have a crystal ball

http://online.barrons.com/article_print/SB123094654808750783.html?mod=9_0031_b_this_weeks_magazine_main

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Why India Won’t Rebound Soon
By VEN RAM

India’s stock market may look attractive after its massive slide, but there’s probably more pain to come. A host of economic and political challenges could keep a new bull market at bay for more than a year.
FOR THOSE TEMPTED TO WADE INTO THE INDIAN STOCK MARKET with a view to making a quick killing after its massive slide, consider the advice that Punch magazine once gave a person who was about to marry: Don’t.

Although India’s benchmark Sensex has fallen about 55% from its peak a year ago, the market is still not attractive as a short-term investment. November’s terror attacks in Mumbai aren’t even the half of it: The Indian economy, valuation issues and broad political uncertainty all argue for real caution…

“Even as absolute valuations have corrected, India’s relative valuations remain rich,” says Ridham Desai, India Strategist at Morgan Stanley. The market’s price-to-earnings multiple, based on expected earnings for the next 12 months, is 60% higher than that of emerging markets as a group. And its price-to-book ratio is a whopping 72% higher.

India fares no better on the dividend-yield front. The roughly 2% dividend yield on the Sensex pales in comparison to what is available in some of the more advanced economies. The dividend yield for the Australian market, for example, is an eye-popping 6.5%, while most other regional markets offer yields well north of 5%.

Seshadri Sen, Associate Director, Research and India strategist at Macquarie Capital Securities, says that even though the Indian markets are trading at just nine times forward earnings, investors need to exercise caution in interpreting that multiple.

“With all the earnings cuts that we have seen from companies, what appears cheap may not be so,” he says. “We are seeing a fairly sharp slowdown in the economy, but it remains to be seen whether the markets have discounted all the bad news that is in store.”

The Bottom Line:

A new bull market in India may be at least 15 months away, thanks to a host of economic and political challenges.



Here is an article on a AAA rated housing loan which was sold at 10 cents on the dollar

TheHouse.pngMichael Phillips of the Wall Street Journal tells the story of a shack in Arizona owned by a woman who hasn't worked in 13 years that was valued at $130,000 two years ago by a crooked appraiser and mortgaged by a broker who was paid $10,000 in fees and took no loan risk.

Then Phillips tracks the loan through Wells Fargo to HSBC, where it was packed into a mortgage-backed security, rated Triple-A by Moody's and S&P, and sold to, among others, the Oklahoma Teachers pension plan and PIMCO.



31 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thanks Vik for posting your experiences.

I think 2009 is going to get really ugly. I was listening on NPR that under Bush Govt. the sub-contracting by Federal Govt. was $400 billion annually which was only 20billion under Reagan times and under $100 billion under Clinton. I think this money was being spent to all contractors and there was a spillover affect all over. Then Defense spending was on top of it.

Anyway, at least 50% of sub contracts will vanish, companies will have to layoff workers.

It would be really bad for consultants and sub-contractors both private and Govt. The party going on around Bush times is over.

And the new stimulus plan Obama is coming with has stipulated in it that each and every dollar will be spent in US for benefit of US and US workers.

Vik said...

I agree Obama will support and fund industries which will create American jobs. We will see downstream jobs for Indian IT shops after the locals get their due.
The Obama spending spree will spur the stock market to rally in the US and emerging markets with resource stocks. IMO India will not see a sustained rally due to the dependence on the tech industry.

Anonymous said...

U.S. could be facing debt 'time bomb' this year

By Lori Montgomery

updated 12:29 a.m. ET, Sat., Jan. 3, 2009
"WASHINGTON - With President-elect Barack Obama and congressional Democrats considering a massive spending package aimed at pulling the nation out of recession, the national debt is projected to jump by as much as $2 trillion this year, an unprecedented increase that could test the world's appetite for financing U.S. government spending....."


After 20th Jan 2009, we will see the historic DAED CAT BOUNCE in the global markets. Thereafter all the frenzy in the current bear market rallies will fizzle out. We hope that will put all the infantile talks of 10-15% increase in India IT businesses to an end.

Anonymous said...

The person who predicted the India and US Housing Bubbles way back in 2005

Saturday, Jun 18, 2005

Beware housing bubble: Mr Deepak Parekh, Chairman, HDFC


THERE is a need to make sure that all the stakeholders in the housing sector - development authorities, regulators, housing finance companies, banks and developers - work together to check the speculative angle in rising residential property prices, Mr Deepak Parekh, Chairman, HDFC, has said.

Writing in the company's 2004-2005 annual report, he noted that it was probably for the first time in history that so many countries across the world were simultaneously witnessing a housing boom. "In this scenario I cannot help but be reminded of what Stephen Roach, Chief Economist, Morgan Stanley, said recently, "Housing is an asset class as prone to excess as stocks, bonds, currencies and commodities. If it feels like a bubble, acts like a bubble and looks like a bubble, it probably is one."

"At the risk of sounding overcautious, I would like to draw your attention to pointers that support the idea that housing markets could be more prone to bubbles than stock markets. One of the reasons is imperfect information. No two homes are alike nor are there exchanges where prices are recorded. There are no organized futures or options markets for properties, so it is a market with no place for short selling.

"Moreover, rising property prices encourage banks and financial institutions to lend more, since collateral values increase. But when prices fall, banks pull out, amplifying the bust."

He said that today, warning signs are flashing in many global housing markets. Property market surveys have revealed that the ratio of housing prices to average disposable incomes is touching unsustainable levels.

In the US, house price inflation has been at double-digit rates since the past year. Another country feeling the pressure to curb speculation and keep the property market healthy is China.

"In India, residential property prices in some areas have recorded a growth of about 15 to 20 per cent in the last two years. This has raised concerns, and one of the questions being repeatedly highlighted is whether the escalation in demand and the resultant uptrend in prices have been driven purely by low interest rates and rising levels of affluence, or whether the success story has a speculative angle attached to it." This, Mr Parekh said, required all stakeholders in the sector to work together and introduce sufficient checks and balances to addresses the speculative angle.

Anonymous said...

I think this would happen:
--Sensex to touch 6500 in 2009.
--Govt. in India will lower rates even further which will have no affect on buying RE.
--80% buyers were speculators and will be out of the market soon.
--Those who buy in 2009 will be catching a falling knife as the bottom in RE would be around 2011.

Other Economy:
--At least 40% job losses in India. Majority in IT, banking and consulting.
--Due to layoffs, many houses will be abandoned by owners and will bring down the market.
--Builders will keep bribing the Govt. and will keep making more new homes which will bring inventory of unsold homes even higher. This will further put pressure on prices.
--It would be very hard to get loans even if interest rates are low and very less people will qualify.
--The credit card bubble in India will burst.
--High salaries bubble will deflate.
--Middle class will feel poorer.

Macro-economic:
--If there is a war, it will be catastrophic for the region.
--Indians in US will be returning to India full loads the way they came in full loads.
--Indians returning would have very less money as they have lost quite a bit in housing in US and stocks.

Overall, it will be pain all over and by mid 2009 Indians will get out of denial mode to understanding the truth and excepting that party is really over.

This time it is not a U or V shaped recovery, but it will be L shaped fall. No recovery for at least a decade.

Anonymous said...

Anybody wants to see the Second wave of mortgage crisis to come.....

http://in.youtube.com/watch?v=t69-aqa3boQ

Good luck with that!!!!

Anonymous said...

Anybody wants to see the Second wave of mortgage crisis to come.....

http://in.youtube.com/watch?v=t69-aqa3boQ

Good luck with that!!!!

Anonymous said...

Thanks Vik for posting that video on the main page, It was me who posted the video.

regards,
jayaram

Anonymous said...

Vik,

You got a new name "Negative Narayanan". Its very apt for you.

I read the Barrons article. I did not find information on 15 months. has the article changed since you posted??

One of the comments Jhunjhun made is the earnings of other emerging markets did not rise like india... So dont expect india to fall like other emerging markets.. Any thoughts on this?

I am not sure whether outsourcing will reduce in this downturn... For that to happen obama needs to cut taxes for "insourcing corporates drastically"... The billing rate for a better skill set in india is at 30 % of US billing rate...

For example for a indian resource client does not need to pay expenses, compensatory taxes which they pay for US based companies such as IBM, SAP etc... Dont try to tell me their skill set is good... The information is true for a fresher... The fresher i am speaking is from a top 3 school from USA :-)

You can also listen to the analyst call of leading MNCs... They say new clients are coming to the table with outsourcing....

So if the predictions are true i dont think it will hit outsourcing.....

Anonymous said...

Anon above:
You are crazy to think that outsourcing will not be hit. Are you smarter than than the CEOs of the major IT players in India who are laying off people.

Moreover, 50% of the projects will be terminated. And financial sector is already screwed enough to distrubute money to Indians. Look at the price of ADRs at NYSE, most of them are single digits.

Except the reality that shit is going to hit the fan.

Anonymous said...

The consultants would be hit hard. Just completing a one month course in SAP or Oracle Financials was rewarding to a lot of people in the past few years but not any more.

Vik said...

I think I'd rather be prudent then sorry. Firstly Jhunjun is no stock market god. If you had seen his interview during Diwali trading 2007, you would be led to believe that the market will head to 30,000. Also how can you trust these analysts who have been wrong over and over again. I have an Analyst friend who recommended IGATE almost at the peak. He said fundamentals matter, macro economic picture doesnt. Guess what happened to fundamentals when the macro picture changed.
I have first hand information coming out of the US where there are so many folks who got laid off from Yahoo recently. The company I work for is a financial heavyweight and they are terminating contractors regularly. How can sentiment improve as the bad news keeps getting worse.

VMWare stock price is 1/6 of the peak. Google is down to 300 from 700. A friend of mine who bought a house in the valley at 650k 5 years ago is unable to get a buyer at 650k.
and Actually Im not bearish of the US stock market anymore. I think the bottom is in and every 1000 point decline will be supported. The question is whether the India outsourcing industy will see job cuts and layoffs and I'm of the belief that due to contraction projects, people will get retrenched. There is no other way out.

If you feel otherwise, please go and buy some housing. I have my dad's apt to sell in Mumbai for 80L in case you are interested.

Anonymous said...

Vik and Anon at 9:14 AM and 9:17 am -


You did not answer my question on how will companies like IBM and SAP will fair in this environment... If you work in IBM, SAP or other american companies you will know the bill rates of them and the expenses they charge to the client... Client need not have to shutdown the projects... The expenses paid to a american MNC will be equal to the fee of an indian IT resource (Blended rate- Onshore + Offshore) Please listen to American MNC's (IT Service provider) CEOs Conference calls on outsourcing future...

Please dont give me explanation on the skill set... They dont have anything significant to command a high billing rate...

I did not support high prices of flats... My arguement is Indian outsourcing industry will not fair very bad... Dont need to offer me a flat...

In case you guys dont know the information the variable pay in companies liky Infy 30 - 70 %... They have a big lever to control costs...

If you want to have a better logic you can possibly say new recruitments halted which applied sudden breaks to RE.

Anonymous said...

My dear Anon above,
Everyone including IBM, SAP, Delloitte, E&Y, Accenture etc. will be cutting billing rates. There is going to more scrutiny of projects and if they are greedy, they will lose. There is going to be tough competiotion getting contracts in future and billing rates have to be competitive.

As regards to Infy/TCS/Wipro, their bodyshopping business will be trimmed down quite substantially.

You can think of any excuse for outsourcing to be hot, but politically democrats don't like it and there will be a major downsizing.

Even IBM and SAP and the big consulting companies would laying off people in thousands coming June.

Clients are the ones who are running out of money and shutting down the projects.

Anonymous said...

No matter what excuse someone comes up with to convince oneself, but this time Indian economy is toast bigtime:
---Major layoffs.
---Sensex down to 6500.
---RE prices to be down 30% in 2009, additional 25% in 2010 and another 15% in 2011 of their peak prices.
---Very high unemployment rate in India.
---Very high crime rate in India.
---Unfortunately, India back from Indian shining to India dooming.

Maybe by 2016, India will start seeing some upswing and Sensex will hit back 7000 in 2016.

Anonymous said...

Anon:
For you to think US people don't have the skill set, you are mistaken.

People in US are good at what they do and they don't falsify resumes.
Moreover, they have an advantage of language, cultural understanding and honest performance at job.

Anonymous said...

Anon at 1:14 and the rest who are hell bent on discussing IT workers, resumes,sambar, cultural diferrences and all other unecessary stuff.

What would it take for you MORONS to understand this is RE blog, stick to the subject or please leave...

Vik said...

layoff, job cuts, pay cuts, hiring and firing of tech workers has an impact on the micro-economy which is influencing real estate markets like Bangalore, Pune, Hyderabad and Chennai. These discussions are fair game. However to discuss whether an H1-b is better or worse than American's is an absolute waste of time.

We all agree IBM and SAP will lower rates but they have staffed in India big time too. The problem with Indian contract shops is that they are one trick ponies. When the tech downturn hits, they will not be required as much as before.

I have another friend in Infosys who has said that all non billable resources are recalled to India, including account managers.

So being negative is not without reason.

My debate is not to discuss which company is better but to discuss the overall impact it has on job growth in Bangalore etc which has led to the housing boom.

Anonymous said...

Anon @3:59:
Please read Vik's comment above. All the posts are a part of discussion in this thread.

Layoffs are greatly going to impact the RE market and the whole economy. Currently macro economic issues like wars may also lower the RE market alongwith all micro economic concerns.

All the topics are inter-related. Resumes get jobs, which in turn gets money to workers and then the money has spillover affect on the overall economy. Primarily driven by consumer spending.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the video, the Peter in video works for Condo Vulture Realty.

The new recruitment in IT/ITs is already halted. As far as skill set is consider, industry don’t require some rocket scientist, they need skilled labor who is willing to work very hard at lower salary.[In S/W life cycle, maintenance& support is the biggest phase.]
--In Nov-2008 contract renewal, in the existing contract either billing rates were slashed or teams were downsized.
--As the biggest financial industry & Automobile giants are still in trouble, it’s only retrenchment no more expansion.

Will the new accounts compensate for the looses from existing contracts?
--It depends on how big will be the size of new accounts. Considering the economic crisis, the new accounts will not show expansion in short term.

I hope IT companies have enough experience from 2001 dot com bubble, so by using variable pay component they will try to avoid the massive layoffs in short term.

Anyway, my RE friends has laid down another trap, that prices has bottomed down buy it in next 3 months, else prices will go up.
http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/Markets/
Real_Estate/articlelist/quickieslist/
3933406.cmsin

For this news TOI was behind this blog. On New Year comments, lot of RE friends already told us the same story. So no need to tell who advertised this article in TOI.

The RE associations by charging hefty fees(hafta) misguiding the RE companies about the economic upturn & govt. stimulus.
Here is the serious concern, even after this govt. bailout if the buyers will not come then what to do? To pursue the buyers for home buying will become the toughest task. In US even at 5% interest rate, housing prices at 50%, still no one wants to buy house.
Today no one knows the solution for housing price stability.
I will repeat my last solution, longer they will hold, deeper will be the correction.

So guys let it fall then only buy, minimum 50% price cut is guaranty.

Vulture.

Anonymous said...

Vulture:
Let TOI and builder lobby do whatever they want. The current buyers would be knife catchers. There is no shortage of greedy fools in our esteemed country.

It would be interesting to see if the knife catchers would get any loans. The banks would be very stupid to give out loans at this stage without a 50-60% downpayment.

If I were you, I would not tell anyone to buy or not to buy. If someone says it is a good time to buy, please say buy maybe 2 or 3. Just make sure your relatives don't get into this mess. And then wait and watch how this whole stupidity of piling up properties unfolds.

People need to look forward at the would be prices and not base prices on what they were at the peak. Exactly like stock market, people have to look at the future and not what the stocks were valued in 2007.

Anonymous said...

Solution to whole RE problem:

Let the prices fall to affordable levels. Put in jail all the people who are trying to falsify information.

All issues will be solved both in US and India and all around the world.

What is affordable level:
120X, where X is the monthly rent of any property. 120X should be the selling price i.e. 10 years of rent. Affordability can be extended to 12 years of rent in case someone is really tempted.

Otherwise there is no financial sense in buying any property. Indians have to get out of the mentality that housing always goes up and is a good investment. Any good investment has to make financial sense.

Anonymous said...

I think the western countries are trying to enslave developing nations again by controlling their lifestyle. Now people eat in western fast food chains in India, wear more western stuff and crave for a western lifestyle.

In the meantime, they slaughtered the stock market and took out big profits back home. Lot of Indians lost money. Similarly the corporates screwed Indians by easy money phenomenon in RE.

India this time needs to get out of this mess alive and focus more on innovation rather than body shopping for Western corporates.

Anonymous said...

Planning a home buy? Do it in first 3 months of 2009


4 Jan 2009, 1401 hrs IST, Raja Awasthi & Aman Dhall, ET Bureau


NEW DELHI: If you had been flip-flopping over buying a home in 2008, then your best chance to get one at an attractive price is in the first three Real estate: A good hedge
Home office
US crisis & Indian realty
Home gadgets
months of 2009. Here’s why.

Firstly, experts feel that residential prices are likely to stabilise from April onwards with fears of deflation looming large over the Indian economy. Moreover, the persistent decrease in the general price level of goods and services is likely to bring down interest rates to affordable levels, which will mean that the pendulum will shift from a buyers’ market to a sellers’ market, from April.

With real estate developers expected to further cut prices over the next three months, experts feel that this is the best time to let their indecisiveness work to your advantage.

Says Anuj Puri, chairman and country head of Jones Lang Lasalle Meghraj, “2009 will open up opportunities for investment in real estate as property prices have corrected by around 15-20% in 2008. I expect a further correction of 10% over the next three months. Price stability should arrive by March 2009 and will not climb quickly. The first three months of the new year is going to witness a surge in residential sales
With the government trying to kickstart the slowing economy, many in the industry feel that now both the end user and the investor will return to the market. In fact, the investor behaviour too is likely to witness a change. What happened in 2008 will come as a learning and investors will do their due diligence on any investment plans in any area and go with the long-term investment horizon of three to five years.

Arvind Mahajan, executive director of KPMG India, believes that as a buyer if you have good negotiation skills and can avoid brokers, you might even avail an extra discount.

“Owing to cash crunch, developers are under immense pressure and are looking for ways of funding their future projects. Prices have already dipped 15-20% and interest rates are also coming down. The amount of real estate inventory that we have now makes it undoubtedly a buyer’s market,” he says.

The easing of external commercial borrowings (ECB) norms by the government in the new year has already come as a big boost for the realty sector.

Says Sachin Sandhir, MD & country head, Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) India; “Three months from now, prices will start stabilising. It is really just a matter of time until the market becomes positive again. With fears already looming large over the Indian economy slipping into deflation, interest rates are expected to come further down into an affordable zone. If you venture out now you will have a much easier time finding exactly what you want and there is a better chance of getting it at the price you want, too.”

So there’s no time like now to move into top gear with your house hunt and seek out the best deals.

http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/Features/Buy_a_home_in_first_3_months_of_2009/articleshow/3932884.cms?in_showcase

Anonymous said...

Vik,

Jhujun never sounded like market would touch 30,000. He was the one who was pessimistic about the market in Nov 2007. Anyway I am pasting the link of samvat 2064. Interesting listening to this now!

http://video.tv18online.com/cnbctv18/news_videos/2007Nov/samvat_fullvideo_09nov.flv

Your blog is an excellent platform for discussing RE. Surprisingly your new year article was published by Ravi Karandeekar(RE sales guy from Pune) in his blog.

- RK

M said...

Vik, this is a commendable effort from you and i congratulate you for this blog.

However, i wish to caution you towards the extreme negativity here. It seems everyone is waiting, like a Pakistani to go to war, a war which they shall have started if they could!

I have expressed similarsentiments in the aftermath of 26/11 where comments suggested that 'terrorism' will definitely bring down the RE sector! Looks like we are baying for '50-70 % guaranty' over someone's blood if need arises by linking RE market with fall in prices due to terrorism.

Here, any voice that runs contrary to the general opinion is drowned without paying any attention to the message. Talk about shooting the messenger!

I feel those who talk of '50-70 % guaranty' are failing to appreciate the nuances of the Indian RE.

Here, we have the builder who is NOT a central authority!
The land is obtained thanks to being close to powerful politicians.Next, the babudom chose their cut. After this is the turn of the famed bhai-behen who 'promise' to not to touch you for small gift. Finally, the politico's profit share is a part of the price.

When we are paying 'Black' money , arent we subsidising these behind--the--scenes elements? Do you think any of these will 'reduce' their share due to recession!

I cant imagine paan chewing hi-fi babu saying "Theek hai theek hai , 10% ke badle 5% hi de do"

When people say '50-70 % guaranty', they do not consider one thing.
What if this '50-70 % guaranty' causes the actual cost price to be more than selling price ?

Will anyone sell at a lower price only to generate liquid assets?
Wouldnt they then leave it to the financial institutions to do the dirtyy work?

Well, i think have written much. Next in some other post! Over to you and the folks here :)

M said...

..And lest i forget, those who are baying for the blood of the RE sector do not seem to appreciate that it would happen only after the recession fully and trully hits the information and knowledge sector in India causing even more p-slips!

After that the large companies will completely turn off from future expenses and the commercial and office ventures of RE will be truly dead.

In effect, folks here want to ''bring an end'' to the RE not realising that it will be only after their jobs abd homes have been cooked, simply because the RE sector does not respond to direct American crises, but their effects on Indians and Indian companies!

Outta here :) Pls . to try and answer!

Anonymous said...

Mr.M,
Real estate can fall even without major layoffs. Its all about affordability. Btw 2001 and 2007, people had access to easy money and rising property prices made them believe that this was a good investment. People turned a blind eye to ROI just from renting because the appreciation more than made up for the low rental return. When people start to realise that there may not be significant appreciation, they will start looking at fundamentals again. That is exactly what has happened now. Even if the government brings down interest rate, only genuine buyers will buy if the price is right.
Infact, reducing RE prices will bring in more business from outside. If you were to setup some backoffice, you would not set it up in Mumbai or Newyork because of the RE cost. You would pick some suburb.
Other thing that bothers me is that builders are cheating public big time. We all know that the cost to build common area is not the same as other areas. However you still end up paying the same price. If you buy a 3BHK apt measuring 1500 sqft at Rs3000 sqft, you would be paying 45 lakhs. But your carpet area is probably 1125 sqft which means you are actually paying Rs.4000/sqft. Plus 2 lakhs for carpark. You can buy a 30x40 site and build a duplex with the same money and you'll save maintenance cost for life.
People who say that RE is bouyant or should be have a vested interest in keeping prices artifically high. Builders were quick to increase prices because of raw materials cost increase. Now that the raw materials are down, have we heard anything from them regarding bringdown price. Its all about greed my friend. We are just looking for a place to spend the rest of our lives without becoming slaves to banks and builders.
-Observer2406

Observer said...

Observer2406:

First a small request. I usually post under the id Observer, so if you would be kind enough to choose another, it would prevent confusion.

Now, I agree with your sentiments expressed above. Mr. M does not realize that people *will* sell at a loss if they need to raise cash. For example, if a real estate investor wants to exit his investment because he is no longer able to make payment on the property.

There are estimates that almost 30% of flats were bought not for end-use, but for "investment" purposes. What happens if the investment no longer appears attractive? In any case, there is no major bull market on the horizon for real estate prices to start climbing again sharply. They may stay flat, so it might be wise to wait and see what happens before jumping in.

Anonymous said...

Check out joke of the day / month from lovely desperate RE lobby published (or sponsored?)! ha..ha.

planning home? do it in first 3 months


Not rock bottom for property buyers

This clearly shows how desperate lobby is becoming...lets wait to be part of their final rituals :)

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