Trending Property News - Week 5

This weeks property news highlights in brief: Boris Johnson gets a party invite, economists question house price stats, a journalist complains and Vanilla Ice tells us about investing in US real estate...

Mayor Boris Johnson Invited to Large It Up

One of the UK’s most well known night clubs is making noise in the property industry after fears from its owner that local residential developments could force its eventual closure because of expected complaints if the developments go ahead. Ministry owner James Palumbo has taken the bold move of inviting Mayor of London Boris Johnson down to throw some shapes and large it up and show him what London could lose.

It’s not clear yet whether Boris has accepted the invite – but no doubt if he does some rather amusing dance scenes will likely ensue.

Ice, Ice Buy a House!

The news is rife with suggestions that the US housing market is recovering – whilst most of it comes from credible data houses both in and out of the US – we spotted this gem from Rob Van Winkle – better known outside the real estate industry as Vanilla Ice.

Mr Ice/Winkle was accosted with a few questions relating to his DIY reality show in the US and thought he’d throw in some house buying advice for good measure. If anyone has any questions about rapping, feel free to drop by my office...

Government Building Back-fires

Hong Kong has been battling with rising house prices for some time now, various government ploys have been rolled out, one of the main ones being to boost social housing volumes to bring down house prices (very similar to some calls being made right now in the UK).

Imagine the discussions behind the scenes in HK when news reports arise stating that whilst government backing has taken place – the release of the new units into the market has actually caused house prices to rise according to one of Hong Kong’s leading estate agencies.

Coalition Uses Opposition Ideas

As much as I have commented on the ever complex world of housing politics in the UK in the past, one surprise turnaround (or not depending on your views) is that the coalition have decided to extend NewBuy beyond the initial restrictions to just first time buyers.

Although it was something I ridiculed shadow housing minister Jack Dromey for at the time he suggested it last year – I guess wonders will never cease when it comes to housing politics.

Economist Questions Irish Official Stats

As regular readers will know, one of my pet peeves in the world of property is inaccurate data – turns out a senior economist in Ireland is taking a similar view when he questions the Irish Central Statistics Office on the validity of their house price stats.

TV Licence Fee Pushing Up House Prices

The BBC has taken credit for raising house prices in the North of England after land registry stats appear to show a marked increase in house price values coincidently after the corporation moved there. The red-top press were quick to point out that much of it is bound to be due to relocation allowances paid to staff are likely to be the cause of the 6.8% rise.

Financial Journalist Highlights Own Hypocrisy

Further fuelling my continual annoyance of average house prices being published every 5 minutes by the banks and lenders as advertorial “news”, one journalist has taken it upon himself to poke the hornets nest just that bit more by claiming the monthly Land Registry data is not correct and the more accurate quarterly should be free.

Whilst these are perhaps some valid points, there doesn’t seem to be any statements that suggest his publication will be refusing data from lenders or banks that pay to advertise with what he openly admits is questionable data.

Spain "Finds" €40 Billion

Spains official tax amnesty that closed in November has resulted in the government revealing a whopping €40 Billion in undeclared assets apparently. The FT covers the revelation citing €500 euro note, crime and the black market (the most common and easiest associations made when it comes to Spanish business) as the main causes of the finding when, in reality the Spanish financial system is just not that efficient. Nevertheless, the very thought of quite how big a sofa one would need to be in order to find €40 Billion euro under it is mind boggling to say the least!

- Thursday 31 January 2013

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