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… Read the article
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… Read the article
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… Read the article
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… Read the article
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… Read the article
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… Read the article
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… Read the article
US data released last week showed that US house prices fell by 14.4% in the year to the end of March (this is the S&P/Case-Shiller Composite-20 Index, which the market tends to focus more on – the S&P/Case-Shiller Composite-10 Index was down 15.3%). The track record of these indices is not very long though – the composite-20 index goes back to 2000, while the composite-10 index began in 1987. S… Read the article
One of our favourite economic lead indicators was released yesterday – the rate of new mortgage approvals in the UK. Readers will probably be familiar with this by now as we discussed mortgage approvals in October
. Mortgage approvals are an excellent house price predictor because they show the amount of new money entering the housing market. Mortgage approvals drive the ho… Read the article
At the beginning of October last year, Richard asked “Is the UK housing market on the brink?” (read article here
). Conclusion – little danger of collapse in the short term, but any dropping away of mortgage approvals would change this view. By the end of November, mortgage approvals had indeed started to fall sharply, and Richard said the UK housing market was “over the edge” (see article
). Mor… Read the article