Tag Archives:

UK housing market

Three reasons we like UK residential mortgage backed securities

The residential mortgage backed securities (RMBS) market has had a good run of late, so is the sector still good value and is there room for it to rally further?

The short answer:  Yes.

The longer answer: There are a number of factors that should prove supportive for RMBS going forward, a few of which are discussed below.

  1. Structure

The Big Short has been available on Netflix for a couple of m…

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A vision of the future? Optimal currency areas within the United Kingdom

The year is 2020 and King Henry IX, the recently installed head of state of the United Kingdom of Northern England, Wales and Northern Ireland stands in a room overlooking the Trent River. Most of his subjects still refer to him simply as “Harry”. His popularity with the electorate is seen as a key factor behind the surprise victory for the monarchists in the recent constitutional referendum fo…

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Tough as Granite – an RMBS case study

This weekend the team were doing more than just our Christmas shopping, we were also saying a fond farewell to one of our favourite investments of recent times – our Granite Residential Mortgage Backed Securities (RMBS).

Granite was the name that Northern Rock gave to the vehicle it used to securitise the mortgages that it originated before blowing up in 2007 – when it was no longer able to fun…

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Mortgage intervention – the UK government’s unconventional attempt to ease monetary policy

Since we started writing these blogs almost 7 years ago we have spent an understandably great deal of time discussing Bank of England monetary policy in the UK, initially with regard to conventional interest rate policy and now in the context of the unconventional policies we see today.

The most recent unconventional twist for monetary policy is not emanating from the Bank of England itself, bu…

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Higher mortgage delinquencies not necessarily bad for all RMBS

Moody’s, the credit rating agency, published a report a few days ago on the asset backed securities market. One section of the report has attracted some media attention – it details the agency’s thoughts on UK interest-only residential mortgage-backed securities (RMBS).

Moody’s reaches the fairly unsurprising conclusion that when interest rates start rising in the UK delinquencies on interest-o…

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First home owner grants – a gift to new home buyers, or existing?

We aren’t the first to have a look at George Osborne’s “Help to Buy” scheme. It has been met by warnings far and wide. Sir Mervyn King stated that “there is no place in the long run for a scheme of this kind”, whilst Albert Edwards from Societe Generale was a little more blunt when he wrote that it was “a moronic policy”. Even the IMF and the OBR are getting in on the act, warning that the sche…

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A look at housing affordability in the US and UK

In recent months we have blogged about the recovery in the US housing market that is currently underway. This is in contrast to the UK experience, where the housing market appears to be stuck in the mud. We thought a quick look under the bonnet could reveal the dynamics at play in both countries.

In order to do this, we have constructed a housing affordability index that captures the three main…

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4 Housing Markets, One Country

The Eurozone has become a very extreme example of the dangers inherent of creating a single currency area populated with a myriad of different countries and regions. There is little doubt that the right monetary policy for Germany is not necessarily the correct one for Portugal given the underlying structural differences and lack of fiscal coordination.

However, closer to home, there could be a…

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UK housing market flashing amber

The July RICS survey continued the worrying trend of weaker UK data that has been in evidence since the preliminary UK Q2 GDP data release on July 23rd.  It seems that the economic slowdown that has been evident in the US in the past few months is no longer contained to the US alone. The survey showed that UK surveyors are on balance seeing house price falls rather than rises, the first time th…

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Free falling

Today’s mortgage approvals numbers came out at a record low (see this comment for why we love mortgage approvals so much). Weakening mortgage approvals is no surprise – the housing psychology is moving to a bear market from a buyers perspective, and the mortgage lenders are strapped for cash so the number of willing providers of finance is collapsing. But it’s the pace of the decline that is st…

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