Mortgages and home buying increase

In June 34,300 first time buyers took out mortgages, an increase of 17% on June 2015. Total mortgages were up 12% on June 2015, despite a big drop in Buy to let. The BTL fall was  in response to higher Stamp duties and government discouragement. So we now know the run up to the vote and the uncertainty  it was said to cause did not put people off buying a home, nor did the result published with a week to go for the month’s figures.


Today comes news that surveyors have revised up their expectations about house prices, with them now forecasting increases everwhere save London and East Anglia. Thats quite a change from Mr Osbornes referendum forecast.

Many people are quite happy to buy things now, despite all the negative mood music in parts of the media.  The largest cost in my annual budget is the cost of government. My tax bill well exceeds my food bill, or  my clothing bill, or my home costs or  my car running costs. Indeed, my tax bills  exceed all of those together.  It’s the one bill I can’t control.

Helping keep three governments, EU, national and local is an expensive business. I welcome the fact that we have recently voted to discontinue one of the three. Saving the money we send to the EU or spending it on our priorities will help.

I was hoping that as some businesses and forecasters are pessimistic there would be a few bargains around. When I came to buy a UK car to replace my older one, I found myself on a waiting list as they had no surplus stock or early production capacity available. When I wanted to buy a UK made  replacement window to improve the heat insulation of my home I too was told there was a long delay before they can fit in making  the one I needed. There were no special bargains on fears of the referendum. I will wait for the deliveries , as they are good products.

So how is your consumer confidence? Have any of you cancelled or deferred purchases recently, or do you think now is  a good time to buy?



    August 11, 2016

    It is a good time to buy home brewing equipment and ingredients. It may be time to start growing tobacco plants which can survive in a warmer UK climate.

    The tax on alcohol has closed many community pubs. It has led to landlords getting up to the neck in debt hoping to continue with their business and home ; then, going bankrupt.

    Massive loss of full-time and part-time staff has resulted in hardship in the lowest paid families. A medium sized pub , unbeknown to many, could provide tens of jobs. The local pubs left old people with no community centre at all in some cases: the cost to local councils in providing a non-profit replacement with disabled access and entertainment and snacks proved prohibitive.

    The banning of smoking in pubs..even though Germany was able to continue within the EU and provide smoking-pubs, again dissuaded many people from entering a pub. Even landlords personally against smoking tried with all their might to stop the anti-smoking hysteria but The EU was blamed for the ban by cowardly politicians both national and local.

    Local based pub teams of darts, football, rugby, cricket and others were destroyed and local amenities already provided by the tax-payer fell into disuse. Money gone to waste.

    So it is time to buy those homebrew commodities where wild strawberries, elderberries and blackberries can be used to make reasonable wine and, young nettles can form the basis of our historic beer. It must be added that hops and their use in ale was only started as a preservative for the long journey of ale sent to our troops in India. They did not care about the awful bitterness… and it was awful, but actually grew to like it. But ale does not require hops at all. True ale does not use hops. And, it is Christmas soon. We should spend more time and money drinking our own craft beers and homemade wines and cordials and alcoholic herbal drinks than buying increasingly expensive European dregs.

  2. Jerry
    August 11, 2016

    “In June 34,300 first time buyers took out mortgages, an increase of 17% on June 2015. [..//..] Today comes news that surveyors have revised up their expectations about house prices, with them now forecasting increases everwhere save London and East Anglia.”

    The bubble continues to inflate then…

    1. APL
      August 11, 2016

      Jerry: “The bubble continues to inflate then…”

      The bubble continues to be inflated.

      By the government. Who then try to ameliorate the effects of the bipartisan policy of housing inflation, by putting forward stupid initiatives such as the ‘affordable home ownership’ scheme.

      The real goal of such schemes is to perpetuate housing inflation.

      Meanwhile, holding down wages by means of its mass immigration policy.

    2. Edward2
      August 11, 2016

      Always the doomsday predictor Jerry.
      How many decades have you been saying the market will crash now?
      A growing population needs accommodation.
      Still many homes available for less than £100k and with borrowing rates at record lows these mortgages cost less than renting.
      Don’t judge the whole UK market by London.

      1. Jerry
        August 11, 2016

        @Edward2; Always the doomsday predictor Jerry. How many decades have you been saying the market will crash now?”

        Silly comment Edward, considering that the market did crash in the 1970s, 80s, 90s, and during the first decade of the current century…

        “A growing population needs accommodation.”

        Indeed, but many (given their available income and other circumstances) would be better served by true social housing.

        “Still many homes available for less than £100k and with borrowing rates at record lows these mortgages cost less than renting.”

        Assuming that is were the persons work is, or within easy and cost effective commuting. Also interest rates will not always be at close to zero, what happens when they start increasing – people finding they are trapped in early 1990s negative equity, that is what…

        “Don’t judge the whole UK market by London.”

        I’m not, nor any other metropolitan area, unlike you I suspect.

        1. Edward2
          August 11, 2016

          The property market has never really crashed as you put it.
          It’s been the best investment over the decades.

          What’s “true social housing”
          Council houses cost nearly as much to rent as from private landlords.
          There are lots of cities where there are jobs where properties are available and affordable
          You need to check ba few property websites before you give us another of your daily gloomy predictions.

          1. StevenL
            August 11, 2016

            The property market has never really crashed as you put it.
            It’s been the best investment over the decades.

            I’d beg to differ with that one. Try measuring 2007 UK house prices against 2016 UK house prices in US dollars or Euros.

            And the S&P 500 has risen 10 fold since 1986. My old man’s house (purchased 1984) certainly hasn’t gone up that much.

            And had I been smart enough to buy shares in Apple the first time someone showed me an iPod in 2002, every pound I’d invested would be over £100 as I type.

            Houses have barely kept pace with gold.

            Reply It all depends which base date you choose, which shares or properties you highlight etc. Comparing Apple shares – one of the most successful stocks of all time – with the average of all homes in the UK is scarcely a fair comparison. If you had bought a bit of agricultural land that suddenly got planning permission you would have got elevated returns, but very few do that, just as very few Uk people bought Apple early and held on.

          2. Jerry
            August 11, 2016

            Edward2; “The property market has never really crashed as you put it.”

            Best you tell that to those left in negative equity in the early 1990s, when they could no longer afford the repayments due to hikes in interest rates and even if they could sell the property they could not raise enough equity to repay the mortgage due to the bottom dropping out of the market – many lost their homes…

            “[Property has] been the best investment (my emphasis) over the decades.”

            That is the problem, and why credit bubbles form. Amongst the many problems it causes, first time buyers to often need to over reach themselves just to get on the ladder, perhaps at the top of market, and then prey that interest rates to not rise more than one or two percent. They do not do this as some misguided investment (like one might ignorantly buy stocks a few days before the company reports massive losses) but simply as a place to call “home”.

            “What’s “true social housing”

            Not for profit, and probably with an assured tenancy.

            “Council houses cost nearly as much to rent as from private landlords.”

            Yes because councils have to charge a market rate, otherwise the private sector would be under subscribed and social housing would be over subscribed – but we know which sector would be screaming about that, just as they were in the 1970s.

            “There are lots of cities where there are jobs where properties are available and affordable”

            Tell that to an agricultural engineer or any number of other essential occupations that have no place in most modern Cities!

            “You need to check ba few property websites before you give us another of your daily gloomy predictions.”

            Feel free to take you own advice, and stop being so metropolitan centric too.

            Don’t get me wrong, I have no problem in people buying their own property, I just do not think that our economy, our society, our governments of late have done enough for those unable to buy, or for whom it is not the right option. A domestic property is primarily a home, and if we did not have to spend so much of our post-tax income on simply furnishing the repayments on mortgage loan we would have more spare money to either invest in other ways, create employment from buying UK manufactured good, never mind that many more might also be far more willing to take the risk to start their own -or fund someone else’s- start-up business.

          3. Edward2
            August 12, 2016

            Easy to pick one year v another to prove a point.
            But if you look long term property had been a good home for your money.
            You have to live somewhere so either buy or rent.
            If settled then buy.
            You can’t live in gold.
            Did you invest your money back then when Apple were a risky company investment and the S n P 500 was not doing well?
            It’s easy to back winning stocks looking back.

          4. Jerry
            August 13, 2016

            @Edward2 (reply to StevenL); Just as it is easy for you and others to make ‘broad brush’ comments that attempt to diminish the historical facts that you find uncomfortable – accusing others of being ‘to specific’!

          5. Edward2
            August 13, 2016

            I stated some general facts which countered a gloomy post.
            It plainly excited you sufficiently to come up with yet another post.
            Are there any specifics you disagree with or is it just because they were my opinions?

          6. Jerry
            August 15, 2016

            Edward2; “I stated some general facts which countered a gloomy post. [..//..] Are there any specifics you disagree with or is it just because they were my opinions?”

            How can I disagree with specifics when you have offered non, in your own words, just ‘some general facts’ that even Karl Marx might not be able to find fault with!

          7. Edward2
            August 15, 2016

            Specifically I said:-
            Over the decades housing has been a good investment
            Social housing rents are nearly the same as private landlords
            I also said that you can cherry pick certain years and compare them to paint a gloomy picture of the housing market.
            And I also explained that you can pick certain years and then pick certain shares or gold and show how they perform well
            But I specifically said you cannot live in gold
            Neither can you live in shares
            In conclusion and to be specific
            We have had market corrections to property prices post war to date but not crashes.
            Unless you are lucky to inheit a mortgage free property you need to get a roof over your head.
            You can buy or rent.
            Still best long term to buy.
            I see very little chance of a crash.
            Your comment about inflating bubbles is wrong.
            But I realise you always take the negative view.

    3. Jerry
      August 11, 2016

      “When I came to buy a UK car to replace my older one, I found myself on a waiting list as they had no surplus stock or early production capacity available.”

      I believe all such “UK cars” are now only built to order, hardly surprising you might have to wait… I suspect what you actually mean is that you were looking to buy a UK assembled car, made by a non UK owned or based company where the profits and IP rights are banked and held outside of the UK or at least investment decisions are made outside the UK.

      “When I wanted to buy a UK made replacement window to improve the heat insulation of my home I too was told there was a long delay before they can fit in making the one I needed. There were no special bargains on fears of the referendum.”

      Strange that no one couldn’t just make replacement glazing units in energy saving glass, so I assume you need(ed) to replace the uPVC frame as well, if so -as I seem to recall being told that much of the raw uPVC framing stock is made in Germany- with the suspected (now proven) fluctuation in the GBP to EUR FX rate I can quite understand why some companies decided to take a gamble and hold on to as much existing stock as they could, now they can charge out that stock at the new higher (replacement stock) price.

      Reply Yes, cars are built to order, but they could not start to build on order. The window is metal.

      1. Ian Wragg
        August 11, 2016

        Jerry. One of the largest manufacturers of extruded window and door frame is about 2 miles from me withe an enormous international distribution warehouse nearby

        The aluminium facto is Swedish owned and been there since before we joined the EU.
        My car is being built to order with most components UK manufactured. You really should get out more.
        We still make a remarkably diverse product line.

        1. Jerry
          August 11, 2016

          @Ian Wragg; “We still make a remarkably diverse product line.”

          I never said we didn’t, the problem is that so much is no longer owned by or rum from the UK, the UK is just an assembly shop or worse, just a warehouse. I note that you did not say that the company, or the component suppliers, are UK owned…

          At one time a UK manufactured car would have come out of a factory owned and run by a British company, would have been designed here in the UK, the iron and steel would have come from UK mined ore, processed here in the UK, the leather would have come from UK breed and raised cattle etc. all giving work to thousands, if not millions, what is more we exported them all over the world too.

          The only thing the UK is now world class in is knowing the value of everything but the worth of nothing.

          Not so many years ago we could even build our own nuclear power stations, but of course back then the government wasn’t always trying to hide such national strategic planning expenditure off the balance sheet, so to speak – just what is the difference in consumers and businesses paying a surcharge on their utility bills or paying x% more on income tax or what ever, other than political smoke and mirrors?

          1. libertarian
            August 12, 2016


            I’ve asked you this a few times now.

            Please define what a British owned company means. All the big car builders of the past were not in private hands so they are listed on the stock exchange , anyone from anywhere can hold the shares .

            You are as usual totally wrong about business (a subject at which you are woefully ignorant) . The UK is indeed world class at designing and manufacturing medical devices , 75% of all mobile and tablet components are manufactured here. We are a world class Maritime centre, Creative industries especially music, film and TV, architecture and fashion. As well as of course being the number one financial centre. Remember Jerry I broke the news to you a while ago, its no longer 1948. Things have moved on, industry has moved on, manufacturing techniques have changed. Oh and we currently have the highest peace time employment ever at 32 million

          2. Edward2
            August 12, 2016

            Totally agree Libertarian

          3. Jerry
            August 12, 2016

            libertarian; “Please define what a British owned company means”<

            I have, many times. Sorry but I can't help it if you do not like the answer, or facts.

            “All the big car builders of the past were not in private hands so they are listed on the stock exchange”

            But shareholders do not make day-to-day decisions, whilst many will have simply noded-through what ever the boards recommendation were, if they bothered voting at all, thus you point is largely irrelevant.

            Austin, Morris (then BMC), Jaguar, Rover, Triumph (then, all collectivity, BMH) & the Roots group for example were all accepted internationally, and listed, as UK owned and run companies. Meaning that investment decisions etc. were being made by their respective boards here in the UK, often with the same boards making decisions in relation to their subsidiary companies located elsewhere in the world, for example the Authi car company of Spain, or the other BMC subsidises in Australia and South Africa etc.

            “You are as usual totally wrong about business (a subject at which you are woefully ignorant)”

            A greasy pot trying to call the kettle dusty!

            “75% of all mobile and tablet components are manufactured here”

            No one is saying that in some very specialised areas the UK leads, but even that is now under threat if the likes of the ARM Holdings take-over get repeated to many times, but that is not were the bulk of any countries employment can come from. Not everyone can be a medical devices specialist or Integrated Circuit design engineer or what ever the speciality is.

            Oh and we currently have the highest peace time employment ever at 32 million

            We also have the highest peace time working age population (as those who go on about immigration keep reminding us)… Whilst many who are employed are in low or NMW paid jobs, some so lowly paid that the government has to pay tax credits etc…

            Reply Ford and Vauxhall were exceptionally popular marques sold in the UK, with Ford the market leader for a long time. Both were US owned and directed.

          4. Jerry
            August 13, 2016

            @JR reply; Indeed, and two car companies that the UK government (of what ever shade) couldn’t get their hands on and interfere with, both parent companies being big enough to stand up to politicos, hence why they survive to this day in the UK – even though both suffered from all the same industrial relations and supply side issues as the UK companies listed above.

          5. libertarian
            August 14, 2016


            So once again for all your pointless blather about 1950’s car companies you STILL can’t answer the question . ( You have NEVER supplied an answer for the simple reason there isn’t one.)

            The 2 most popular car makers in the UK for most of the late 20th century were American owned. Ford & Vauxhall

            The British car industry was “protected” by the government in the 1970’s under the British Leyland Banner so that WAS a “British Company” Remind me how well that went Jerry

            There is NO SUCH THING as a British company unless its a nationalised industry . Countries dont own companies ( unless nationalised) shareholders do. Companies that are listed on the London stock exchange are the nearest thing and lots of foreign subsidiaries have listings there too.

            ARM was not a British company in that it was originally founded and owned by an Austrian

            You categorically stated we have no world class industries. You’re wrong.. As usual.

            I gave you a list. There fastest growing at the moment is the creative industries . The UK’s creative industries are now worth a record £84.1 billion to the UK economy employing 2.8 million people

            92% of the UK workforce earn ABOVE the living wage and the average earnings of UK workers is now over £28,000 per annum …..So wrong again Jerry

            The management of a company ( the board) are appointed to act on behalf of the owners ( shareholders) your opinion of how engaged the shareholders are is irrelevant . Most businesses exist to make a return for the owners. So called British companies such as Unilever, Shell, BaE, BHP,BP and Vodafone have bought out 100’s of “foreign companies” in the last few years do you also object to that?

        2. acorn
          August 11, 2016

          Your car will be built with 63% of its components imported from outside the UK, two thirds of those imported components, will be sourced from within the EU.

          Also, German manufacturers are importing components from factories they have set up in Eastern European countries with labour costs considerably less than western European rates.

          Get in touch with a dealer who will get a share of the “executive rental” cars when they come off contract. There were a lot last year as firms were collapsing. I picked up, for the wife, a seven month old Civic HX/E spec, with few miles and £7,000 off the new list price.

          Reply I am amazed at your precision knowledge of the component base of the vehicle I am buying when I haven’t named the model!

          1. acorn
            August 12, 2016

            Not yours JR, Ian is buying a Honda Civic if I remember correctly.

      2. ferinand
        August 11, 2016

        A car built in the UK is just as British as any other car designed and built in the UK. If you are referring to the ownership of the company building the car then that is a question tax – on profits.

      3. Edward2
        August 11, 2016

        You are showing a great lack of knowledge of the way the UK car market works and even less knowledge of the double glazing industry Jerry.
        Currently domestic demand for many models of UK made cars is high enough to create waiting lists.
        And the UK double glazing and conservatory industry is also booming.
        Again your gloomy predictions for the UK is found wanting.

        1. fedupsoutherner
          August 11, 2016

          Edward2 Yes, 6 months for the Range Rover Evoque

          1. Jerry
            August 12, 2016

            @fedupsoutherner; A Range Rover Evoque these days being a poor man’s Rolls Royce or Bentley, thus not really a typical example of the motor industry…

          2. Edward2
            August 12, 2016

            Desperate cynical stuff Jerry
            What is a “typical example of the motor industry” other than vehicles which consumers want to purchase.

          3. Jerry
            August 13, 2016

            @Edward2; No, just the unspun facts!

            How long is the waiting list for a UK built base (standard spec) model from say Vauxhall or Ford, not a brand or model that has a list as long as the average adults arm for factory fitted options, meaning that the vehicle is all but custom built.

          4. Edward2
            August 13, 2016

            Why don’t you phone up and ask them if it interests you so much Jerry.

          5. Jerry
            August 13, 2016

            @Edward2; Err, no perhaps you should, you are the one trying to argue!…

        2. Jerry
          August 11, 2016

          @Edward2; Carry on replying to what you think I have said, all you do is show yourself up, as for the UK car industry, I have no problem accepting that demand is high but all that does is give employment, it does not create wealth, nor innovation, that remain in the UK.

          1. Edward2
            August 11, 2016

            Where would you like the companies to be situated?
            Plainly wealth and taxes are created by UK situated companies for this nation.
            Only the other day another of your gloomy posts was moaning about the dangers of them relocating and the economic problems that would cause.
            Make your mind up.

          2. Jerry
            August 12, 2016

            @Edward2; Unlike you I do not want the UK to just be some other countries home grown and owned industries off-shore factory or warehouse, sending innovation and post tax profits back to the Mother company. And to think you accuse me of doing the UK down….

          3. Edward2
            August 12, 2016

            But you want the UK to trade in other nations in the world and be able to open branches of their businesses in those countries.
            And you want UK companies to be able to invest in and purchase outright, foreign companies.
            Yet you object to the reverse of this freedom for foreigners.
            Have a little think how this can work.

          4. Jerry
            August 13, 2016

            @Edward2; Other countries manage to do what I suggest, whilst staying the correct side of WTO rules etc, why not the UK?

            It is not I who believes the UK Plc glass is always half empty, it is people like you and your defeatist 1980s thinking that the UK can’t compete any more, so best we either sell it off or close it down.

          5. libertarian
            August 13, 2016


            Exactly, but its no good telling Jerry this. He doesn’t understand business or trade.

            Jerry is still living in a past where a Buy British campaign meant something . The whole globalisation thing seems to have passed him by. Oh and I am an advocate of local trade too where its appropriate… i.e. based on customer need

          6. Edward2
            August 13, 2016

            What other countries ban other nations businesses from trading or opening branches or buying companies?
            Other than non democratic kingdoms and socialist diasters.Jerry?

          7. Jerry
            August 13, 2016

            @libertarian; @Edwards2; Carry on chatting between yourselves, commenting on things you think I have said. Anyway, why should people not argue that people here in the UK should support the UK economy by buying UK made goods!

          8. Edward2
            August 13, 2016

            The goods to buy are those which offer the best price quality reliability and design combination.
            I try to favour UK companies and local businesses but only if they are good.
            Trade is a world wide process.
            We need to allow access to our markets so we can gain access to their market
            It is an essential modern world freedom.
            Protectionism leads to poverty and decline.

          9. Jerry
            August 15, 2016

            @Edward2; I don’t subscribe to manufacturing defeatism that you seem to, I also understand the worth of things, not just their value and would be happy to pay more to “Buy British”.

            “Trade is a world wide process.”

            Yes, if it is on equal terms, have you checked our balance of trade lately….

            “Protectionism leads to poverty and decline.”

            Who mentioned Protectionism, although at times what you are offering in the way of economic policies is a form of reverse protectionism.

          10. Edward2
            August 15, 2016

            You are confusing balance of trade with our ability to trade freely in the wider world
            Two very different things.

            Your policies if implemented would amount to protectionism as you would restrict imports in favour of home produced goods.
            Then other nations annoyed by your restrictions would respond by putting their own restrictions on our exporters with damaging repercussions.
            I sometimes search out UK made goods even if a little more expensive and we have to act on obvious cases of dumping but in todays small world the UK needs to maintain free trade relationships for economic success.
            Your ideas are very 1950s Jerry

      4. Martyn G
        August 11, 2016

        In the light of the huge drive for more homes, UK brick and other building material manufacturers are running flat out to meet the demand. An acquaintance of mine, needing 2000 slabs for inner wall of a new construction had a devil of a job to source them as suppliers couldn’t keep up with the demand. Not quite so dreary a picture as you paint, at least in the UK construction industry….

        1. Jerry
          August 12, 2016

          @Martyn G; “Not quite so dreary a picture as you paint, at least in the UK construction industry….”

          Builders and brick-makers etc. could be running flat out building council houses, it would make no difference to them, work is work – just as they were in the 1950 & 60s, what is more many an entrepreneurs made their fortunes that way, not only in the core building industries either.

          1. Edward2
            August 12, 2016

            Missed the point Jerry
            It is another example of an industry currently busy and doing well contrary to your continual gloomy posts.

          2. Jerry
            August 12, 2016

            @Edwards2; “contrary to your continual gloomy posts.”

            Unlike you @Edward I want the UK to do even better, not just be the idling engine of that multi-engined ship called the G20. Idle an engine for to long and you risk it stalling…

            Why build just a few hundred thousand homes pa. when the private building industry could be contracted to build ‘X’ million of new council houses pa. for the next ‘Y’ number of years, perhaps along with those often talked about new towns, that would make your so called current building boom look like a vicarage tea party by comparison. What is more some economists believe that something like this would be a better use of QE, because it puts money directly into, and stimulates, the economy -being in effect a form of “helicopter money” theory, rather than just propping up the City, the current “trickle-down” theory having been a failure, except for the few.

            What is more, these new council houses could even be rented out under some such scheme that allows long term tenants in say 20 years time to convert (pro-rata) their previous rental payments into a down payment on both a discount & mortgage for the balance of the property value should they wish to exercise their right-to-buy.

          3. Edward2
            August 12, 2016

            If you see an unsatisfied demand with huge profits to be made then start your own business or invest your life savings in someone else’s company.

          4. Jerry
            August 13, 2016

            @Edward2; You really didn’t understand a word I said… 🙁

          5. libertarian
            August 13, 2016


            Give it up fella, you are clueless

            Where I live planning permission has been granted for the first new town for 50 odd years & Ebbsfleet Garden City is already under construction.


            New home construction is at a 7 year high . The town of Ashford in Kent has seen its population grow from 72,000 in 2000 to 122,000 in 2015 all due to new home building . Every single town in Kent is currently experiencing large numbers of new home builds. Including building on what was previously greenbelt land. Now to your Baldrick like cunning plan to build millions of new homes.

            Heres the thing Jerry , the homes whether old style council houses, social housing, shared ownership or outright sale are ALL needed in the same geographic locations. There are areas of the country where existing houses are still cheap and unsold. If you can tell me where other than Hyde Park, Regents Park, Wimbledon common, Hampstead Heath that 1 million council houses could be built in London then good luck with that. Jerry you need to learn to think these things through pragmatically

          6. Jerry
            August 13, 2016

            @libertarian; Once again you reply to just about everything I have not said…

            What do you not understand, I want even more building projects, nor just housing but core infrastructure projects, such as a FTTH data link to every property within urban conurbations and FTTC elsewhere as one example. If Ebbsfleet Garden City is actually getting built then great, just a pity that it is in the now in wrong place now – there being less need for frequent use of the CTRL and by the look of it no new Thames Gate-way ‘hub’ airport either! Nor will it solve the housing problems in the UK on its own, so where are the all the other “Ebbsfleet Garden Cities” that are needed, Stevenage was the first post war New Town, but others soon followed…

            In this day and age there is no reason people still have to crowd around London or any of the other already over crowded metropolitan areas [1], electronic data doesn’t mind were it originates from or were it end up, this is the idea behind private and public VPNs and Cloud Computing after all. Also if a company can off-shore a factory producing a physical object that then needs transporting across the seven seas back to were it will be sold surely such companies can have a ‘satellite factory’ elsewhere in the UK just as it can have one halfway across the world.

            You should really take your own (rather rude) advice @libertarian, either that or get out and about more, the “Garden of England” is not typical, nor are we still living in your beloved 1980s, both society and technology has moved on – as you should know, after all I though you said you were a telecoms expert?!….

            [1] this is why the rational behind HS2 is so out of date and half-baked, business doesn’t need, it whilst locals want it because it’s become a virility symbol

            Reply Large cities like London work because they concentrate footfall, spending power and talent, giving business greater opportunity and providing every resident a wider range of services

        2. getahead
          August 12, 2016

          And yet reported by Sky News today, 12/08/16,
          “The UK construction sector has fallen into recession for the first time in four years, official figures confirmed – adding to fears of a wider economic downturn.”
          So who knows what?

          1. Edward2
            August 13, 2016

            The UK construction industry is not in recession.
            I’ve no idea how Sky comes to that conclusion.
            Last story I saw on Sky recently they were running a pro immigration piece saying we need more young skilled immigrant construction workers as growth in the industry was being held back by skilled labor shortages.

          2. libertarian
            August 13, 2016


            Its an odd one that. I read that report while I was having lunch with the CEO of a local construction company. I asked him about it and he was nonplussed. He said personally they’ve never been busier and in my region there are some huge construction projects being started right now and planned for the next decade. These include the first new garden city in 50 years at Ebbsfleet, Paramount Park, the third Dartford Crossing and Crossrail II. I interviewed a financier on my radio show this week and he told me that he is busy raining lots of new finance on commercial property projects. I admit that it may just be my region that is doing well offset by cutbacks in the rest of the UK but that report came as a shock, especially as the construction job market is very buoyant at the moment too.

          3. Jerry
            August 13, 2016

            @Edward2; “I’ve no idea how Sky comes to that conclusion.”

            Its not a conclusion that Sky came to (nor any of the other media outlets that carried the same item), they were simply reporting others findings, and had you actually bother to read the (Sky news) article it clearly states were the data comes from!

            @libertarian; Some people did not see, and refused to accept, the arrival of the Great Depression either, being ‘nonplussed’ until their own rose gardens withered beyond saving. But as I’ve said to you elsewhere, Kent is not a typical area of the UK and thus it is not a bellwether county to take economic trends from, Kent could still Boom when others areas are suffering from a Bust.

          4. libertarian
            August 14, 2016


            As I pointed out myself in this very thread that your housing post was drivel for the very reason you’ve now just agreed with. i.e. there are massive regional variations. The reason my CEO was nonplussed is because he has a full order book and is struggling to recruit skilled trades people. Your analogy with the great depression is silly . Still at least you’ve now agreed that your own post on housing is nonsense

          5. Edward2
            August 14, 2016

            It’s that the survey seems wrong.
            So yes Jerry I do realise where sky got its story from thanks.
            As you recently said..some surveys have been incorrect.
            All building company shares are doing well
            Building company reported profits look good
            Articles in the press say shortages of skilled labour are holding back ambitious projects.
            Every city I go to is filled with building sites and cranes
            Very odd

  3. Mark B
    August 11, 2016

    Good morning.

    I hope when talking about the taxation he included the VAT (an EU tax) on the fuel for his new car, plus all the extra taxes like Road Tax on that ? not to mention the tax on his clothes heating (thanks to the Climate Change Act) and so on.

    The housing market is slowing down a little. Investors and developers are looking at their business models and are reassessing their plans. There is still much work in the construction industry and orders are still coming in. Time will tell if things are going to be rough, I think most people have realised that the referendum result is just that, a result, and not exit. So it is business as usual.

    I read yesterday that the government had problems selling bonds. It was from the FT and they are pro-EU, so pinch of salt needed there I think. But one thing it did mention, and it is the reason why so many went into BTL, is that the pension funds have little money to spend. This is not surprising given the history of past Chancellors of raiding their funds looking for easy cash because they lack the political balls to raise taxes and / or cut spending. Chicken coming home to roost me thinks.

    How we handle BREXIT is very important. We all have differing views on what we want and how we are going to get it. One thing that those who are better informed on is, that we will not get everything we want, it will not be easy but, long term, the UK is in a far better position than most (eg France, Greece, Spain and Italy). And for that we have the likes of, Sir James Goldsmith to thank.

    If we joined the Euro many of those who stated that their lives have been blighted by BREXIT, would already had their lives ruined, like those in many parts of the EU. There are, for me, many in this continuing story who are the true unsung heroes and I hope that history will remember them.

    We also need to take into account QUANGO’s when it comes to how we are administered. These too need to be rained in. Salaries, pension and other perks need to be capped. We need a better more transparent pay structure for ALL levels of administration and no one in should ever earn more than the PM. We need root and branch reform.

    1. Mark B
      August 11, 2016

      Oops ! ” . . clothes and heating . . . “

    2. Denis Cooper
      August 11, 2016

      I’ve only read that the Bank of England had problems buying gilts, not that the Treasury had problems selling them; do you have a link for the latter?

      The Bank’s problem was minor, just a 5% shortfall on what it offered to buy in its second reverse auction on Tuesday, while the third yesterday was nearly five times oversubscribed:

      Of course that doesn’t stop the media blowing it up as yet another post-Brexit disaster, in fact on the Sky press review last night the presenter happily said that since the Brexit vote there have been global falls in the interest rates being paid by governments, without any hint of surprise that a referendum vote in the small and unimportant UK could have such large effects worldwide.

      Reply Quite right. The Bank’s policy is wrong, but a further fall in interest rates it has triggered is the very opposite of the Treasury forecasts of higher mortgages etc pre Ref,

      1. Gary
        August 11, 2016

        Seems the risk free bond specs are getting greedy. They are hanging onto supply knowing full well that the bank will be forced to buy at virtually any price. This is the problem with a rigged market, eventually it bites you where you sit.

        1. Denis Cooper
          August 12, 2016

          The Treasury could always issue more of whichever gilts may be in especially high demand, and I expect it could be arranged that they would become available for the Bank to purchase.

    3. a-tracy
      August 11, 2016

      Yes the Prime Ministers wage is far too low compared to disc jockeys, tv anchors; and other public sector leaders: NHS Managers, NHS consultants,and many many other people who make big decisions with the nation’s money. But look at the rewards after they leave office, Tony Blair is a multi-millionaire, and those from more humble roots like John Prescott and John Major have been reported to have amassed massive personal fortunes.

  4. John Robertson
    August 11, 2016

    On my way to work there is a large train siding depot.
    When there is a slowdown it starts to fill with empty freight train trailers and car carrying trailers. No empty ones appearing so far.

  5. Ex-expat Colin
    August 11, 2016

    Figures….ah yes: (the fools on show)

    “BBC let Emma Thompson get away with ‘inaccurate’ climate change claims, watchdog finds”

    Just tells me to continue ignoring most anything shoved out by …all of them

    1. agricola
      August 11, 2016

      On clicking on your link to find out what Emma Thompson has been pontificating about of late I find that the Telegraph expects me to pay for the privalege of reading what they publish on line. I refuse to pay to read the opinions of others under whatever banner. If they cannot get advertising to cover their costs it is not for me. The opinions of Emma Thompson on climate change have about the same wwight as mine on stage makeup.

  6. Lifelogic
    August 11, 2016

    You correctly say:- “The BTL fall was in response to higher Stamp duties and government discouragement”. But what on earth is the justification for this absurd attack on BTL lenders, landlords & tenants? Why does the government what to decrease the supply of rented houses and flats they are badly needed, encourage job mobility and increase supply of housing? What on earth was absurd Osborne thinking of? Under lady thatcher there was even tax incentives to encourage provision of rented housing. What has Osborne got against people who rent? The tax system should be neutral on whether people buy or rent. There is after all no point in buying for the short term given the absurd stamp duty rates.

    You also correctly say:- “My tax bills exceed all of those together. It’s the one bill I can’t control”. The absurd costs of government are indeed the main problem. A government that delivers so little of any real value to the public.

    It is however not quite true you can do nothing about it. Despite Osborne’s endless attempts to prevent this particularly in pensions, tax rate increases all over the place and buy to let restrictions. We do still have the generous EIS scheme and the Seed EIS scheme and other schemes which can limits tax due.

    Osborne’s absurd rates of stamp duty can often mean that if you move house you may end up paying well over 100% of your income to the government in that year. Perhaps even more than 300%. It makes even Dennis Healey’s 98% income tax look relatively sensible.

    The government need to undo almost everything the foolish Osborne did what are they waiting for. But please keep his EIS and SEIS (though simplifying the 30% maximum ownership limit rule would be good). Just get the government out of the way and watch the economy grow. The government is as usual the problem and not the solution.

  7. Cheshire Girl
    August 11, 2016

    This may be slightly off topic, but the Tax I hate most is VAT. We are taking a very short trip to London next week to see relatives. We have booked in to a ‘budget’ hotel. VAT on that. We are going down by train, economy class. VAT on that. The thing I think is most unfair, is that VAT is levied on essential repairs ie: leaky radiators, pipes etc. roofs and other repairs that need to be done.
    In my opinion, the rate of VAT should be vastly reduced and taken off household fuel altogether. It’s not going to happen, as its such a nice little earner for Governments.

    Also, dont get me started on income tax bills for those who have worked hard for a lifetime, and are now long retired!

    1. a-tracy
      August 11, 2016

      Ah yes, but have some sympathy for the next generations they are getting much more royally stuffed than your generation. They won’t stop paying National Insurance at the age of 60 and 65 for men even if they continue working, the women can’t get their state pension at 60 they’ve been upped to 67 years of age and 70 is proposed for the future and it won’t stop there. The English graduates are paying effectively a 9% graduate tax, 15% if they go on to do a Master’s and their parents can’t pay the fees for them. Would you really prefer the tax burden be put completely on them for our largess in social security benefits and housing benefits.

      Personally I think we need to sort out housing benefits as a priority, if the Country is providing free accommodation it should only be providing the size that is required and we must build more retirement one bedrooms to remove the arguments. We also need to buy more student type accommodation for the young that are kicked out when the benefits stop for their parents, why should students spend 3-4 years in a bedroom when other people not studying or working are given flats? We must hold private landlords to account for providing unfit high rent accommodation that we keep reading about it the City it is the taxpayer paying for most of this and for some of these unscrupulous buy-to-let landlords to get rich from their moldy, leaking, asthma creating hovels.

      Reply I see nothing wrong with the retirement age increasing as average longevity increases – we either have to work more years or pay a bigger proportion in to keep pension schemes solvent, including the pay as you go state one. There is a crucial problem of housing for many younger people which the new government is going to tackle.

      1. getahead
        August 12, 2016

        JR, longevity may increase but mobility, which is required for manual and to a lesser extent, other jobs, does not.

      2. a-tracy
        August 12, 2016

        The problems I see with retirement age increasing are:

        1) for people in work that require high levels of strength and fitness, some over 65’s can achieve this but not all and there is no plan for them.
        2) you have to work towards dismissing someone that is falling down on productivity this takes a long time, is damaging to business and destroys morale because the worker can no longer access their state pension and retire as they would have wished.
        3) I know people working in their mid 70’s my own parents are still working part-time in their 70’s because my mother worked part-time whilst we were young and didn’t keep up a full stamp. I also know the problems this causes them and their health and general well-being.

        I don’t think its the smaller state pensions that are the problem I think it is the much larger public sector pensions pots that were promises without being saved for that is the pension time bomb and everyone outside of the public sector gets to suffer because they don’t have such generous insolvent final salary promises.

    2. Lifelogic
      August 11, 2016

      No vat on train/plane/bus journeys is there yet? They are zero rated I think.
      Just cars and trucks have the VAT discrimination against them (for no rational reason).

      1. rose
        August 11, 2016

        And no VAT on new houses and house building, just discrimination against old houses’ repairs and extensions.

        1. Lifelogic
          August 11, 2016

          Indeed taxes should generally be simple, low and fiscally neutral. The opposite of Osborne’s idiocy in general.

          His sugar tax, landlord muggings, pension grab and his IHT botch/ratting being excellent examples of fiscal lunacy.

      2. Cheshire Girl
        August 11, 2016

        It appears that there is no VAT chargeable on Train tickets, and I apologise for making such an assumption. I stand corrected. I dont excuse myself for stating an incorrect fact, but it sometimes feels that there is VAT on everything that moves. I once thought that VAT ( formerly called Purchase Tax) was only levied on ‘luxuries’ but my brief stay in a ‘budget’ hotel is assumed to be a luxury. I must remind myself to enjoy it!

    3. StevenL
      August 11, 2016

      Well you’re on the wrong blog. The tories love VAT, it’s their favourite tax. They started raising it from single figures under Thatcher and Cameron just continued, all the way up to 20%. The tax they hate the most is land value tax (hence they scrapped domestic rates and introduced the poll tax).

  8. Antisthenes
    August 11, 2016

    Mark Wadsworth a blogger picked up on the fact that every bit of news is followed by either despite Brexit or because of Brexit. The former when it is good news and the latter when it is bad. So I monitored the BBC news and a few others and yes he was absolutely right. It leads me to believe that many pundits are arrogant, self serving and unprincipled. None of the events that are being reported can be directly linked to any one factor other than that it is probably the reporting itself that was the greatest influence. Perhaps despite and because should be followed by the word scaremongering not Brexit.

    1. Beecee
      August 11, 2016

      At least it is a change from ‘despite Climate Change’ or ‘because of Climate Change’!

      Ready made excuses are essential in today’s world.

    2. DaveM
      August 11, 2016

      You’re not the only one to notice that. Although I’m surprised they can find time to write those articles in between tooth-combing every word uttered by Trump in order to find ways to brand him one thing or another. I wonder if the BBC’s support for Clinton will be as successful as its support for Milliband and Remain and Corbyn.

    3. James Munroe
      August 11, 2016

      Perhaps the BBC, ITV, Sky etc, should change the job titles of their ‘EU or Europe correspondents’, to ‘Brexit correspondents’, in light of the massive importance of Brexit to the UK and Europe.

      With a suitable pay rise and a career move stretching out indefinitely into the future, the “self-serving reporters” may be more positive in their reporting…

    4. A different Simon
      August 11, 2016

      Mark Wadsworth is tremendous .

      I wish people would listen to him (and what Churchill and Jefferson said about LVT) and acquaint themselves with LVT (location/land value tax) .

      Unfortunately , many of the posters here have an ideological aversion to anything with the word “tax” in it and prefer to live in ignorance .

      People on here say there is no answer to unaffordable house prices yet refuse to acquaint themselves with LVT .

    5. Denis Cooper
      August 11, 2016

      I think for many journalists it’s just laziness. They have to produce copy and they need news stories, a lot come from press agencies where the staff are under similar pressures, and hanging trivial stories on Brexit is an easy option.

      But in other cases it’s more systematic; the editors have decided to switch from Project Fear to Project Regret, hoping that if they can get enough people feeling miserable and guilty about their reckless folly in voting to leave the EU they will swallow it more quietly when we don’t actually leave.

      I note that one editor has just been awarded the Legion d’Honneur for the positive role of his newspaper in the European debate.

      1. Stephen Henry
        August 11, 2016

        Yet another honour for yet another failure!!

    August 11, 2016

    I have not noticed any UK based Budget Airlines going into panic mode and offering 50% off their flights and associated holidays. Surely their CEOs must now believe the British need an incentive to spend money after their “leap into the dark”? No airline giving up its landing spots either.
    I heard one airline…a cheapo one…went to talk to some people in Germany about the possibility of moving. But I bet they’ve decided not to. No doubt it was generally good craic over there but experience tells me the Guinness gets more and more watered down directly proportional to its distance from Dublin. Not worth getting the extra Airmiles really.

    1. acorn
      August 11, 2016

      Most Airlines and other major corporates hedged there foreign currency costs forward by at least a year, if not more. That was based on pre-Brexit UK economic forecasts. Those hedges will yield a bonus on the basis of post Brexit Sterling currency rates.

      The smart ones will be paying for their US and EU holidays this year and next year, with currency they bought a year back, when Sterling bought $1.50 and €1.40. It was no secret. Mr Osborne was virtually telling you what to do last summer!

  10. Ian Wragg
    August 11, 2016

    According to the BBC this morning house prices are tumbling. My online estate agent neighbour tells me he sold 3 houses again this week at significantly higher prices like for like than last year.
    Ordered my new Honda Civic yesterday for delivery 4th September with bespoke spec.
    Get down there John.

    1. Lifelogic
      August 11, 2016

      I just take the green option and keep running my ancient Volvos and the ancient Golf convertible.

      I can never quite bring myself to buy a new car that will halve in value in no time at all. I prefer to buy things that go up in value. Also the older ones come with proper spare wheels, decent sized engines and without the many other irritations that bleep at you, force you to service them or nag at you. Often simpler and more reliable too.

      1. alan jutson
        August 11, 2016


        Agree, usually purchase 2-3 year old models at half price and then run them out, usually last about 12-15 years before they become un economic to repair.

        Last new purchase was my double cab pick up, now in its 16th year and still going strong, do not do many miles in it now as retired, but always useful to take stuff to the tip, carry about tools and materials when working on both daughters houses, or indeed our own, also occasional use as our second means of transport.

        Simply cannot afford the depreciation of a new car, would sooner spend the money going on nice holidays.

    2. Nigel
      August 11, 2016

      It should now be known as the Anti British Broadcasting Corporation.

  11. The Active Citizen
    August 11, 2016

    “Have any of you cancelled or deferred purchases recently, or do you think now is a good time to buy?”

    Later today I’ll choose between the two remaining competing suppliers for a £75,000 commercial project. Both suppliers are British, one in your constituency I believe JR.

    I could have narrowed things down to some EU and other international suppliers but I chose the two UK suppliers based on their expertise and professionalism. In this instance, geographical proximity to my UK company is irrelevant, so I could have chosen far more widely.

    The company which is buying is currently based in the UK, but I could easily move it to another EU or RoW country at any time, as its customer base is across all EU countries and across 100 more countries around the World. Following the Brexit vote I chose to retain the company base in the UK, for the prestige this bestows and the reassurance of all international customers that English law applies to all their purchases.

    Okay, this isn’t a massive buying decision but it involves real money. It isn’t simply part of a ‘business confidence survey’ which we all read about. It’s real and will impact the UK’s economy, albeit in a small way. Mr Barber’s Japanese-owned and fiercely pro-EU propaganda paper called the Financial Times, will doubtless be totally uninterested in real, everyday, post-Brexit buying decisions like mine.

    If Mrs May would just do something to show we’re really leaving the EU, (invoking Article 50 would be a start), I would be much happier and would make even more buying decisions.

    Reply Thanks – good news.

    1. Lifelogic
      August 11, 2016

      “If Mrs May would just do something to show we’re really leaving the EU” or indeed anything much other than witter on about company board composition.

      Also if she did something to indicate we are going for lower simpler taxes, no longer ratting on IHT, going for cheap energy, a bonfire or red tape, scrapping HS2 and undoing the huge damage that the tax borrow and piss down the drain Osborne did.

    August 11, 2016

    A number of celebrities, exclusively male for some reason, said before the Referendum that if Vote Leave were to win then they would emigrate. We should club together and charter the last flight of Ryanair ( it IS happening isn’t it? ) and wave them Ta ra and make sure we gift each of them with one of those double decker red London model buses on sale at Heathrow airport full of humbug.

    1. Cheshire Girl
      August 11, 2016

      What a great idea! In my opinion the opinions of so called ‘celebrities’ should be ignored. I can never understand why Politicians give so much credence to them. They have their own agenda, and its always all about them!

      1. getahead
        August 12, 2016

        In your opinion and everyone else’s opinion!

    2. Mitchel
      August 12, 2016

      Or they could all get back on board that boat Bob Geldof used to confront the Brexit armada and sail off into the sunset never to be heard from again.

  13. JimS
    August 11, 2016

    Once we have got rid of the EU let’s get rid of Blair’s ‘national’ assemblies too! They just create mischief and real boundaries to what should be one nation, (bus pass holders are confined to their local ‘nation’, for instance).

  14. Iain Moore
    August 11, 2016

    This morning the BBC’s today program was desperately trying to find the bad news in the Chartered Surveyors report which came out this morning in order for them to pin it on Brexit. Unfortunately for them a flatish market following the earlier boost, the result of buy to lets trying beat the tax changes, wasn’t very helpful to anti Brexit cause.

  15. Graham
    August 11, 2016

    We save on EU taxes when we leave.

    Really beginning to wonder if we will leave – or was the vote in a parallel universe.

    JR any update from May when our wheels will creak into motion?

    1. Denis Cooper
      August 11, 2016

      The most recent suggestion from the pro-EU procrastinators is late 2017 for the government to serve the Article 50 notice to get the wheels into motion:

      Yes, that’s late 2017, not late 2016; but you see once the French and Germans have had their elections their new leaders will much more amenable than their present leaders and will readily agree to what we want, apparently, so it would be wise to hold back. Then another spurious reason can be found for further delay.

      1. Mick
        August 11, 2016

        There is also this Denis
        If Westminster try and stitch us up there’ll be riots on the streets never seen before in my time, we up north sent a message to the bubble that surrounds London that we want out, nothing else will do and if the southerners don’t like it put a bloody big wall up at the Watford gap and stay down there because the outers won and you lost so except it

        1. Denis Cooper
          August 12, 2016

          Article 50 makes no provision for a country which has said that it intends to leave the EU to later revoke its notice. On the other hand while the article does not grant a state a unilateral right to do that nor does it include any express prohibition. However as one of those two lawyers pointed out there would be political consequences. I doubt that it would even get as far as asking the judges on the ECJ to provide a definitive interpretation of the article, the other member states would take an ad hoc decision how they would react. In that scenario it is easy to imagine that if they had devoted a lot of time and effort to negotiating new arrangements with a withdrawing state, and also sorting out they would adapt their organisation after it had left, then they would not be particularly pleased if it turned round and said that it had changed its mind and wanted to stay in after all. They could conceivably agree to that and rejoice that the state would not be leaving, or they could decide that it would have to complete the process of withdrawal and then if it wanted apply to rejoin, or in between they could agree that the state could stay in but at a price, such as surrendering all its treaty opt-outs.

    2. fedupsoutherner
      August 11, 2016

      Graham It would see from the fact you have no reply or anyone else for that matter that the issue of whether we are actually leaving is unknown to nearly everyone. What is the big secret and wouldn’t it be better to let the public know what is going on behind the scenes or is it going to be that bad??

      Reply Yes we are leaving. The government is not planning to ignore the vote. No there is as yet no agreed timetable for repeal of the 1972 Act which is the main thing we need to do. The government will probably consider papers on this next month when the civil service has finished its study and Ministers are all back from holidays.

  16. alan jutson
    August 11, 2016

    Hi John, yes will be continuing with our bathroom refurbishment project, all products made in the UK, high end spec (whirlpool, bespoke spec design) as are all the taps and fittings.
    Tiles maybe from EU, all English labour being used as well as my own.

    Just out of interest see enclosed for feedback of Government online petition about free movement.


    1. Denis Cooper
      August 11, 2016

      “Not to allow freedom of movement as part of any deal with the EU after Brexit”

      “The vast majority of those who voted leave did so because of the lack of control over immigration and free movement within Europe putting a strain on our resources. Any negotiations with the EU should not allow free movement of people. Politicians are backtracking on promises. Don’t let them.”

      Thanks, I’ve now signed that and also this:

      “Invoke Article 50 of The Lisbon Treaty immediately.”

      “The British people have spoken. We have voted to leave the EU. We want article 50 of the Lisbon treaty to be invoked immediately. We still have two years to discuss our exit from the EU, but we do not wish to delay it any further.”

      That’s got to the point where it will be considered for a Commons debate; not that MPs should even be debating it given that Cameron promised:

      “It will be your decision whether to remain in the EU on the basis of the reforms we secure, or whether we leave. Your decision. Nobody else’s. Not politicians’. Not parliament’s. Not lobby groups’. Not mine. Just you. You, the British people, will decide. At that moment, you will hold this country’s destiny in your hands.”

    2. SecretPeople
      August 11, 2016

      Thanks for this – I found this url worked:

  17. oldtimer
    August 11, 2016

    Measured by my current spending, my confidence must be high. I have just completed some significant house improvement and maintenance, bought a new (imported) TV before the devalued £ pushed prices up, and seen my investments reach their highest level this year (again partly boosted by sterling devaluation).

    I live in a relatively properous area (south Bucks); there are no obvious signs of spending decline in these parts. At public events I have attended recently – notably the Silverstone Classic weekend – there was extremely high attendance and absolutely no sign of post Brexit gloom. Roads are very busy, usually a useful indicator of economic activity.

    No doubt some businesses contemplating significant investment will adopt a wait and see position; but for many, whose markets are global rather then EU centric. devaluation will have provided a welcome boost. The potential for them, considering the prospect of escape from the single market and the greater flexibility if offers for a new government regulatory and tax policy, is positive rather than negative provided they and the government adapt to the opportunities that will be on offer.

  18. formula57
    August 11, 2016

    The Brexit result directly caused a noticeable weaking of my financial position although there was a compensating benefit to my champagne supplier. Beyond that, Brexit has thus far had no impact although I continue to restrict spending against the background of the scarsity of safe assets and the meagre interest rates on offer.

    Reply How did it weaken your finances? Your comment implies you have savings. Most people with investments benefitted from the rise in bond prices and the fall in sterling enhancing the sterling value of any overseas holdings. UK shares overall are also higher today than before the vote.

    1. Roy Grainger
      August 11, 2016

      My (paper) losses in commercial property funds were offset by equivalent or bigger gains (on paper) in overseas and commodities funds priced largely in $. Overall the Brexit impact on my entire portfolio was at worst neutral and at best a little positive. I am not that happy at BoE inflating the bond market even more though, the eventual correction there could be large, but for the moment things are fine.

    2. formula57
      August 11, 2016

      The weakening in finances arose from an outflow of funds (to my champagne supplier): I did benefit from a matching value inflow of champagne assets but Brexit celebrations meant that was very temporary. 🙂 I should have been more clear: sorry!

  19. Roy Grainger
    August 11, 2016

    I see Mrs May is on holiday in Switzerland. So am I. Good for her. I hope she will resist the clamour to return to London if some minor crisis arises while she is away – we need less hands-on government.

    I suppose now people see Osborne’s punishment budget with income tax rises for all was a big lie they are more confident about spending the money on something else.

    1. rose
      August 11, 2016

      And I hope she will resist the clamour for an early election. She may have been appointed in effect by the media, but she still has a mandate from 17 million plus people to lead us out of the EU. She should deliver on that before even thinking about an election.

  20. a-tracy
    August 11, 2016

    I hope you’re also planning in a holiday – you need a break before Parliament returns and the fun and games really begin again!

    We were going to drive over to France for a short break but after all of the shenanigans down there and threats from Eurostar staff we’ve decided not to bother, we’re supposed to be getting a heat wave if the met office is correct.

    I need a new tarmac drive and some garden landscaping trying to get a decent landscape gardener at the moment is near impossible they are booked up solid for a year.

    We’ve just bought new vans (French) there is no British choice, however, we have replaced company cars (Japanese) much improved fuel consumption.

    Reply I have just got back from holiday. I pre wrote daily blogs, so all I had to do was find a little time to read the contributors pieces.

    1. Mark Watson
      August 11, 2016

      I run a garden design and landscaping business and we’ve never been busier.
      Stopped buying French wine, now buy mostly Aussie or NZ

      1. rose
        August 11, 2016

        We are looking forward to being able to buy Chilean wine without 32% EU duty slapped on it. And the media and luvvies still keep on referring to “the Free Market.”

  21. DaveM
    August 11, 2016

    Regarding the saving of taxes due to one less layer of government:

    1. When exactly is that going to happen?

    2. Any savings made in that respect will not be passed on to taxpayers – the wasteful govt and civil service will merely find another way to throw it away. Probably down the NHS black hole.

  22. DaveM
    August 11, 2016

    I was glad to hear that Theresa May wants to establish a plan for industry that goes beyond Osborne’s vague concept of a northern powerhouse. Not really hearing much about anything at the minute though. This is a pivotal time for the UK. I genuinely hope there are plans being made to overhaul everything from the HoL down – constitution, energy plans, industry, border security, the NHS, local government, transport networks, airports, fishing and agricultural policy, a revision of EVEL to make it genuine EVEL. Not to mention a simplification of tax laws, a coherent foreign and defence policy, and restoration of proper powers to the police.

    Is this likely Mr R? Is the lack of news regarding all these things just down to it being the ‘silly season’ and the fact that MPs need a respite following all the shenanighans this year? Or is it because they don’t know where to start?

    Reply A lot of MPs and Ministers are on holiday. I have just got back from my very pleasant break in Cornwall. The Brexit departments are I am told busy working on the options and approach they will adopt. As we saw in the papers, Mrs May has chaired her first Industrial strategy committee, which doubtless gave directions on work plans for subsequent meetings and actions.

  23. StevenL
    August 11, 2016

    I ordered a new Ford Fiesta ST post 23rd June through a UK-based car broker. So this is made in Germany by a US domiciled parent. I need to replace my car in the autumn, so this purchase would have happened regardless. I made up my mind and decided against a Peugeot 208 or 308 gti when French politicians started bad-mouthing us after the vote.

    The discount (about 15% over and above the standard manufacturer discounts) was the same prior to and after the referendum, despite a steep fall in sterling. Provided you aren’t daft enough to walk into a dealership and become a ‘cold line’ sales lead (where they treat you like you have more money than sense) most makes/models of cars are still available with 10%-20% off the advertised prices through one of half a dozen or so car brokers.

    ‘Brexit’ does not appear to have affected car prices yet. But I note some Japanese cameras have recently been hiked in price. But I think this applies throughout Europe.

  24. Bert Young
    August 11, 2016

    I’m in the same boat as John ( if I overlook the cost of my daughter’s education ); Government is a large chunk out of everyone’s budget and , as he points out , something we do not have control over . The pruning that could be undertaken has few boundaries and is a priority to be taken under control .

    At one stage there was an Audit Office that did not pull punches in its criticisms of Civil Service functions ; the inevitable happened when one Permanent Secretary voiced ” It has got too big for its boots “. Its boss – an ex McKinsey man , went on to lead one of the country’s largest organisations increasing its profitability and rationalising its organisation . I kept a close eye on his success having recruited him into McKinsey in the first place .

    Of course the public is not in a position to be consulted in day to day watch-dogging , however , election manifestos ought to specify what government expenditure should and should not be . When the votes are made the policies that ensue should enforce the conditions with suitable explanations in the happenings of the House . The public are then in a position to react via their MPs .

  25. Denis Cooper
    August 11, 2016

    Off-topic, an interesting little article here:

    in which NFU Scotland chief executive Scott Walker urges the UK government to follow the French by introducing clear country of origin labelling even if that would seem to be contrary to EU law.

    “He said that time and time again the union had pressed Scottish and UK politicians to introduce clear country of origin labelling: “Of the many reasons given as to why it can’t be done, the most oft used is that EU rules don’t allow it,” he said “Well that’s not an excuse they will be able to use for much longer!”

  26. bigneil
    August 11, 2016

    Totally off topic – -why has the electoral commission website got a list of elections for 2017/8/9 – – which includes the European parliament in 2019? Presumably Mrs May’s reason’s for not triggering article 50 are becoming clear.

  27. Dr James Thompson
    August 11, 2016

    Excellent post. The costs of local government are extraordinary, particularly when their one visible service, rubbish collection, is now being cut back in many councils. Time for a proper evaluation of what they do with the large revenues they receive

  28. James Munroe
    August 11, 2016

    In my part of the woods (Surrey/Hants/West Sussex borders), life has continued unaffected by Brexit.

    Lots of ‘For Sale’ signs, and ‘Sold’ signs, – buoyant local sales, never enough properties for sale, according to Estate Agents.

    Our life after Brexit is the same as ever – still akin to living on a building site.

    Too many people, with far too much money, who let any Brexit ‘worries’, pass them by.

    In our small ‘Close’, of 35 properties, we have this activity, post Brexit:-

    1 x House having a complete new roof,
    1 x New house being built on an empty plot,
    1 x Major extension well underway,
    1 x Neighbour, just started 6 weeks work, on various windows, bi-fold doors, new porch, log burner etc,
    1 x New application for a large extension.

    All work appears to be carried out by local builders and tradesmen.

    What ‘Brexit Shock’?

    I am currently looking for a UK manufacturer of some new ear defenders…

    1. James Munroe
      August 11, 2016


      In my part of the woods (Surrey/Hants/West Sussex borders), life has continued unaffected by the vote for Brexit.

      Lots of ‘For Sale’ signs, and ‘Sold’ signs, – buoyant local sales, never enough properties for sale, according to Estate Agents.

      Our life after the Brexit vote, is the same as ever – still akin to living on a building site.

      Too many people, with far too much money, who let any Brexit ‘worries’, pass them by.

      In our small ‘Close’, of 35 properties, we have this activity, post the Brexit vote:-

      1 x House having a complete new roof,
      1 x New house being built on an empty plot,
      1 x Major extension well underway,
      1 x Neighbour, just started 6 weeks work, on various windows, bi-fold doors, new porch, log burner etc,
      1 x New application for a large extension.

      All work appears to be carried out by local builders and tradesmen.

      What ‘Brexit Shock’?

      I am currently looking for a UK manufacturer of some new ear defenders…

      Reply Sounds familiar. My neighbour is building a great new house to replace the one on his plot, and two other neighbours have done so recently. I am the poor relation, keeping an older home.

  29. bigneil
    August 11, 2016

    I haven’t cancelled or deferred any orders because I can’t afford anything. ( reasons have been explained in previous posts ). If I had just arrived in this country and paid nothing in tax, with very little chance of ever doing so, I could expect, and get, more than the people who’d paid in for 40+ yrs. What is the govt going to do when the tax of the contributors cannot even begin to match the financial demands of those who have come purely to take.

  30. rick hamilton
    August 11, 2016

    Long ago in the old and much-maligned South Africa the treasury actually refunded part of personal income tax if the budget wasn’t spent in the year. Imagine such an idea in the UK – impossible isn’t it ?

    Every price tag should show by law the amount of tax levied. Especially highly taxed items like petrol. If people really knew what they were paying to support government they might start asking MPs exactly where all their money went and why.

  31. Ken Moore
    August 11, 2016

    JR When I came to buy a UK car to replace my older one, I found myself on a waiting list as they had no surplus stock or early production capacity available.

    Why buy a new £60,000 Range Rover etc. that’s going to lose half it’s value over 3 years.
    Cars are much better built but most people still think they are getting worn out after a few years or 100,000 miles. Greg Knight runs a Rover P6…petrol bills must be high but are dwarfed by the savings in depreciation.
    Why not run an older model and put a private plate on and enjoy cheaper insurance – the evolution of the motor car is to such an extent that the latest model is only going to yield marginal benefits in terms of comfort, safety and refinement …but larger liabilities because of increased complexity.

    People agonise over getting a good deal on insurance etc. then happily throw away thousands and get into debt just to impress the neighbours it’s crazy..

    Reply I don’t spend anything like £60 000 on a new vehicle, and the older one keeps its value reasonably well for trade in.

    1. Ken Moore
      August 11, 2016

      Reply I don’t spend anything like £60 000 on a new vehicle, and the older one keeps its value reasonably well for trade in.

      I don’t think anyone would mind if you did spend £60,000 on a new car – those that work hard are entitled to the rewards . Can’t really turn up for meetings etc. in a Datsun Cherry. A Rolls Royce might look a tad ostentatious though.

      Oof trade in ?…there would be a queue of eager private buyers for your current vehicle with the cache of having the member of parliament for Wokingham on the log book and no doubt a full main dealer service history in the glovebox.
      I hope your garage threw in car mats, a tank of petrol and offered a discount on the new vehicle..

      I’d never buy a new car with a waiting list…it just means the car will be put together in a hurry and the manufacturer wont have had the time to iron out the faults (unless it’s a Honda) …Rather wait a few months and pick up a demonstrator with a few hundred miles on the clock…

      1. ChrisS
        August 12, 2016

        Last September I was looking at replacing my Audi A5 for a new one, a Jaguar XF or a used BMW 6 series. When I looked at the cost to change ( £30,000 minimum ), most of which would disappear in depreciation over just three years, I decided to go green.

        Instead I kept the Audi and spent just a little more on a 1999 Rolls Royce, values of which are at least static and probably slightly on the increase.
        Yes, it is a tad ostentatious but it looks good for its age and as a result receives admiring glances where ever we go. Other motorists are invariably courteous and many give a wave or smile.

        It will only do around 5,000 miles a year and, like an old Jeep or Land Rover, if might burn extra fuel but it is still the greener option because the extra fuel will be offset by the fact that it will probably still be around for at least another 30 years +. Overall that will mean a lifespan five times that of a typical modern car.

        The bonus is that it was was beautifully handbuilt in Crewe and there was nothing better for cruising down the French Autoroutes last week.

        Even the French love it !

    2. zorro
      August 12, 2016

      Buy at 2, sell at 5…. Or run it into the ground.


  32. A different Simon
    August 11, 2016

    The West has the lowest interest rates on record in 3,000 years .

    Wage inflation is negative .

    People are borrowing around 10X of their post employment tax earnings for little more than a dog kennel in a mediocre location .

    We have legal , taxation and benefits system which enshrine farming of the masses for the benefit of landowners and moneylenders .

    People in the middle are plundered to pay the housing benefit of people in the middle to people at the top .

    The lions share of the next generations payroll money will be going straight to the mortgage lenders / landlords because the current generation have failed to provide them with cheap , quality , energy efficient housing .

    This will end in tears and I fully expect HM Govt to bail out the banks and owner occupier mortgage holders .

    How is the next generation supposed to pay our state pensions (let alone build up their own pensions) and all the other pay-as-you-go liabilities when so much of their income is going to fund a roof over their head ?

    1. getahead
      August 12, 2016

      “(let alone build up their own pensions) ”
      Well, of course, their own children will do that.

      “Big fleas have little fleas,
      Upon their backs to bite ’em,
      And little fleas have lesser fleas,
      and so, ad infinitum.”

      With apologies.

  33. A realist
    August 11, 2016

    So interest rates drop even further and negative sentiment from the MPC continues, even though there is no evidence of any downturn.

    In the real economy interest rates and what companies pay to borrow is very seldom a factor in deciding to invest in a new project, product development or to enter a new market. I have instigated many such ‘investments’ over the years varying from a few hundred thousand pounds for new equipment up to many millions for the building of new factories or the launch of new product lines. The interest rate was never a factor as projects had to demonstrate a far greater return than a few percent here or there. Speculators probably do take minor interest rate movements into account and I can see how it might make a difference to them but it begs the question – who do central banks work for?

    What we did not like in our long range planning was currency volatility and pronouncements by politicians and central banks that effect consumer confidence. Boring was good. There is definitely a tendency to overreact to slight problems these days and that causes instability which is what companies hate. Central banks need to retreat once again to the shadows they used to live in and return to something that used to pass for normality and drop the negative sentiments.

    1. getahead
      August 12, 2016

      “There is definitely a tendency to overreact to slight problems these days and that causes instability which is what companies hate. ”

      That would be our media, realist, who always see a crisis in a hiccup.

  34. ian
    August 11, 2016

    All i want to know about is how many friends of labour will be voted out in the labour party if the new labour leader win the labour party leadership election and how many of the new labour MPs coming in to parliament if he winners will be voting for out of the EU.

  35. Dunedin
    August 11, 2016

    How is my consumer confidence? Good question – let me tell you about my pension fund. Last week I received the annual statement for my defined contribution pension showing the value of the fund at 31 March 2016 and an estimated annual pension payment. This year’s payment estimate (calculated using pre-Brexit yield levels) is 20% lower than 2015 (in fact the payout is about the same as in 2010 although the fund has benefited from the bull market). An index-linked annuity would pay out 2.45% of the underlying fund, so I will stay invested and draw down the yield – currently somewhere in the 3-4% range. I am fortunate to have another pension (DB) and investments, but employees with only a DC pension are facing a huge adjustment to their retirement plans and will have to save more to make up for the lower expected payouts.

    Very low interest rates are also exacerbating problems for defined benefit pension funds – the deficit for UK DB pension schemes has reached £950 billion (Hymans Robertson 10 August). Corporates plugging large pension holes are going to have less cash to invest in their businesses. I’m wondering how all this fits into Mr Carney’s forecasting?

    On the subject of taxation – like you, paying for government in all its forms is my biggest expense. Here in Scotland we have four governments to pay for – local council, Holyrood, Westminster, and the EU – and all enjoying tax-payer funded pensions. Most of the taxes we pay – council tax, VAT, road tax, fuel tax, VAT on fuel tax, and all the rest – are paid out of money which has already been subject to income tax and national insurance. Have a look at how much you had to earn gross in order to pay your council tax!

    Reply Yes, the pension deficits as measured by Actuaries have got a lot bigger thanks to Carney’s decision to drive bond yields down to zero or below. In practice many pension funds which have gone up in value thanks to the soaring prices of bonds and the rise in share values will be able to pay out pensions from a mixture of income and capital on fund assets. In due course bond yields may rise, which will diminish the apparent deficits as conventionally measured.

  36. Denis Cooper
    August 11, 2016

    Here’s an idea – an EU wide ID card which could be handed out to however many tens or hundreds of millions of people who may claim to be refugees:

    “In a pilot, the EU-Nansen passport could be handed out to people, for instance to Syrians, preventing them from being forced to cross the sea.

    Offices in the main refugee camps of the UNHCR in this area could be established to hand out these passports to Syrians.”

    1. zorro
      August 12, 2016

      Er….. No!


  37. Ken Moore
    August 11, 2016

    Buying what I would call ‘tangible assets’ seems like a good idea. Vintage wines, home improvements, classic cars…hard US dollars..anything the government can’t get it’s paws on..Perhaps also stock up on candles, corned beef, soup etc. ..I really don’t trust May or May not to keep the lights on…

    Money is being undermined and manipulated in my view by government. There is the possibility of the abolition of cash, low or potentially negative interest rates, the possible insolvency of a big bank on the horizon.

    All this is just to cover the collapse of globally marketable output of the British economy which is being run on tick to fund a lifestyle we do not deserve.

    I’m concerned that money as a store of wealth is being steadily eroded and a correction could be just around the corner. All Ponzi schemes eventually crash. – I think people are sensing this and are converting cash into assets. It’s not Brexit we need to fear it’s the lunatics in the treasury and BOE running the system.

  38. Anonymous
    August 11, 2016

    The BBC seems to have an obligatory Brexit is Bad item on every single news bulletin.

    The nation is being softened up for a second referendum or reneging on the PM’s Brexit promises.

    We are not leaving the EU.

    1. getahead
      August 12, 2016

      “We are not leaving the EU.”

      Don’t think that would work Anymouse.

  39. BobE
    August 11, 2016

    I really wish we would ban non residents from buying our houses. Many other countries do this. Houses should be for our citizens.

  40. David Lister
    August 11, 2016

    Hi John,

    Do you believe we can obtain sufficient access to the Single Market without paying something similar to the EU as to what we pay now? After all, services are something like 80% of our economy: we can’t afford to undermine this activity by restricting access to the EU.

    On your numbers, approx. £10bln per annum net is spent on EU membership. But of the £750bln per annum of UK spending this is a relatively small sum. Pensions alone cost nearly £150bln: why not address the completely unsustainable triple lock first?

    I find your article misleading as it suggests there are very significant savings to be made with avoidance of EU costs whereas it is not certain that these savings are real, or in any case hugely significant.

    Reply Yes, I think the rest of the EU will want good access to our market so we will have similar access to theirs. I regard £10bn as a lot of money and think it is the first priority to spend on ourselves, saving a big chunk of the balance of payments deficit. I stood on a Manifesto which promised a better deal for UK pensioners, who spend most of the money here at home, and wish to keep my promise to them. This government will not remove the triple lock.

  41. Margaret
    August 12, 2016

    After working all day, I didn’t feel like cooking at home so called in at a local restaurant ordered a lass of wine only to be told that the license of the new owners had been revoked due to previous owners problems.. That is due to agencies who are behind with paperwork.

    I am awaiting a home extension as I want to remain closer to work but have enough space for my growing family to get together and can get all the products I need but paperwork and council meetings are holding the process up.

    I am going for a visit to Spain late in the season to see a little sun before winter. The daily phone calls where I have to be 20th in a queue before I speak to someone and the volumes of paper work which I have to print off myself from a network which keeps disconnecting has been so stressful I will need a holiday to recover from arranging it. There is so little communication between departments that many would have given up and not bothered spending their money on a holiday. Paperwork!

  42. Malcolm Lidierth
    August 12, 2016

    Quality of British economic journalism dire. Yesterday’s Independent article confusing price drop and slowed growth in prices.
    Mistakes repeated without thought by VoteLeaveWatch.

  43. James Munroe
    August 12, 2016

    No sign of a lull in the housing market in my area (Surrey/West Sussex borders), where there are never enough properties for sale.

    Activity on house improvements continues unabated, post the Brexit vote.

    In our Close of 35 properties we have the following going on:-

    1 x New house build,
    1 x Large extension – well under way,
    1 x Planning application for extension,
    1 x New roof,
    1 x Windows/doors/and other major alterations.

  44. Gareth
    August 14, 2016

    “When I came to buy a UK car to replace my older one, I found myself on a waiting list as they had no surplus stock or early production capacity available. When I wanted to buy a UK made replacement window to improve the heat insulation of my home I too was told there was a long delay before they can fit in making the one I needed.”

    Could it be the abundance of low interest credit and the change from save before you buy to max out on all forms of credit thinking that accounts fir this.

    I even heard the other day that the used car market is enjoying a boom. Why? The expansion of low interest to this market too!

    It’s not rocket science.

    If you make money so cheap and freely available, people will spend it!

    And so the credit mountain continues ever upwards with no thought for its eventual repayment.

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