Sunday 29 August 2021

Your occasional reminder that Jacob Rees-Mogg is a twat

Mirror editorials are usually wide of the mark (to the left, of course), but they've nailed it this time:

Labour blasted top Tory Jacob Rees-Mogg today after he suggested any "ambitious, driven” Brits should stop working from home. The Commons Leader, whose £5m house is a five-minute walk from Parliament, reignited the row over Tory ministers demanding employees get back to their desks...

So far so stupid...

Labour's deputy leader Angela Rayner, the Shadow Future of Work Secretary, said:

“This is an insult to the millions of working people who have worked effectively from home throughout this pandemic. Jacob Rees-Mogg should check the manifesto that he was elected on in 2019 which committed the Government to flexible working."

This 'digital hermit' applauds Ms Rayner.

Saturday 28 August 2021

"This is your paradise"

This week I have been busy writing, rehearsing and recording my new hit song:
It was difficult getting the lead guitar right, so I ended up playing and recording it twice, the one on the left is with a phaser and the quieter one on the right is with chorus. The drums are a drum machine (Roland R5), the rest (guitars, bass, lead and harmony vocals) is all me.

Monday 23 August 2021

Something else for LVT Man to sort out

Over in the USA, a head of steam is building up under Airbnb.

To be clear, renting out spare rooms, attics, basements, and backyards in owner-occupied properties isn’t the problem. It’s when an investor outbids a family for a second property and turns it into a full-time Airbnb. Or worse, when a holiday rental company does so. Or worse, when a highly-leveraged hedge fund buys a swath of holiday rental companies. Or worse, when a sovereign wealth fund buys a portfolio of hedge funds. It’s why the average house will cost $10+ million within 50 years.

Of course, the last sentence is alarmist nonsense, but the problem is a real one. It's the same problem as the "second home" problem in the more scenic parts of the UK: the incomers have more money to spend and so push the prices up.

In the UK, there is an easy solution which is already being applied in the case of full-time holiday lets, but being applied backwards, as one comes to expect with anything to do with land in this country. If you have a property that is a full-time holiday let, you have to pay business rates on it. However, this is welcomed by most FHL owners, because business rates are much lower than Council Tax, often zero as they fall under small business rate relief.

If second homes were a different use class to main residences, the additional buying power of the second home owner or the FHL owner could be reflected in a higher rate of LVT, levelling up the playing field for local residents, whose buying power is set by local wages.

Even without LVT, the same technique could be used to impose higher business rates or council tax on houses owned by non-residents. Unfortunately, where there isn't a will, there is seldom a way.

Who do you think you are kidding, Mrs Merkel?

From the BBC:

Mr Zelensky [Ukraine's president] opposes the pipeline, which he says threatens Ukraine's security. It will run under the Baltic Sea and double Russian gas exports to Germany...

Mrs Merkel, who is standing down as Germany's chancellor this autumn after 16 years in office, said Berlin agreed with Washington that Nord Stream 2 should not be used against Ukraine. She said sanctions could be used against Moscow under an agreement between Germany and the US, if gas was "used as a weapon".

Mr Zelensky said he was concerned about what would happen in three years when the contract to deliver Russian gas through Ukrainian pipelines runs out. The loss of billions of dollars in transit fees would hit Ukraine's economy hard. Mrs Merkel, who held talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday, promised to provide more than a billion dollars to help expand Ukraine's renewable energy sector.

Russia already supplies about 40% of the EU's gas - just ahead of Norway, which is not in the EU but takes part in its single market. The new pipeline will increase the amount of gas going under the Baltic to 55 billion cubic metres per year.

Mrs Merkel has tried to assure Central and Eastern European states that the pipeline would not make Germany reliant on Russia for energy.

Where do you start? A few facts which must be patently obvious to everybody else:

1. Russia IS using its oil and gas as economic 'weapons', always has done, always will. Same as the Saudis.

2. Russia has every incentive to build its own pipeline under the Baltic. They won't have to pay Ukraine 'billons of dollars' and Ukraine won't be able to (threaten to} just turn off the taps.

3. Putin is quite happy for Ukraine to go bankrupt, that's a bonus as far as he's concerned.

4. The money which Germany is offering to pay Ukraine to help it 'expand its renewable energy sector' will have zero effect on anything.

5. Germany IS completely reliant on Russian gas for energy. They shut down their coal fired plants (having been bamboozled by the wrong explanation for the Greenhouse Effect) and started phasing out their nuclear plants after the Fukushima disaster (even though Germany isn't an earthquake zone).

6. IIRC, Germany has been reliant on Russian gas for decades. The Russians even gave former the previous Chancellor a (no doubt very well-paid) psuedo-job with Nord Stream, the organisation running the new pipeline.

7. Germany is not going to impose proper harsh sanctions on Russia, as Putin could simply cut off the gas supplies. He can hold out longer than Germany can. The impact of sanctions is slow, drip-drip. The impact of having your electricity sector shut down is immediate.

Saturday 21 August 2021

Killer Arguments Against LVT, Not (489)

Emailed in by Benj from The Library of Economics and Liberty [sic]:

The author picks up on this pro-LVT argument:

Solution: A land tax. The first person to find some unused land gets to claim it, but also, the person who owns a particular piece of land at any given time has to pay a tax approximately equal to the intrinsic value of that land (the value not due to human labour). The tax money should then be distributed evenly among society.

That's a very hypothetical example, but hey. Note the key words "the intrinsic value of that land (the value not due to human labour)". The author is clearly thick and twists it round to the opposite.

Here's the KLN:

To put this in the form of a common-sense moral dialogue:
A: Welcome to the island!
B: Thanks. Now hand over half the surplus value of your land. You owe it to me.
A: This is my land. I’m the one who farmed it. I was going to give you some to help you out, but you’re scaring me.

Who says it's his land? Land ownership can only really exist under the umbrella of a government, i.e. consensus backed up by force. Or just force. What if they were both washed up at the same time but one of them managed to save a revolver and bullets from the ship wreck? Who do you think gets to own the land?

B: You’re entitled to your value-added, sure. But you have to share the raw productivity of nature with me.

This bit is actually correct. But the author is wilfully blind as to what the "raw productivity of nature" means...

A: Seems unfair.
B: Well, let me point out that you seem to have an inborn knack for farming.
A: True, I’ve always had a green thumb.
B: Interesting. I wasn’t born with this talent, so you also owe me half the value of your inborn green thumb. I think I’m going to like this island!

Exactly not. The point about Georgism is not taxing the value of individual skill and effort. No way is the newcomer entitled to half the total value of the output. He is - ultimately - only entitled to half of what he himself would be prepared to pay in rent/tax.

If the land is incredibly difficult to farm and/or the newcomer is absolutely rubbish at farming, the land is of no value to the newcomer and the "intrinsic value of that land" is zero as far as the newcomer is concerned.

If, on the other hand, farming on that island is really easy because there are a load of pre-existing edible plants, fruit-bearing trees and incredibly tame animals, only a small fraction of value of the food is due to individual skill and effort (somebody has to go out and collect it and bring it back) and most of the value is a freebie, like sunshine or rain.

Friday 20 August 2021

The apparent decline in vaccine effectiveness might be just a statistical thing.

The anti-vaxxers are bound to jump on stories like this (headline about declining vaccine effectiveness chosen at random - but no blog post is complete without a hyperlink).

But how bad is it really? Let's crack open a spreadsheet...

Simplified assumptions

1. In the unvaccinated population, ten per cent of the population will catch XYZ disease each month (about twice as much as for Covid-19).
2. You either recover and are immune for several years, or you die.
3. The vaccine is "60% effective", i.e. in the vaccinated population, only four per cent will catch it each month.

So the sensible decision for any individual ex ante is to get vaccinated.

(It appears that in real life, the Covid-19 vaccines are only about "60% effective" against infection, but about "75% effective" against having a severe case and about "90% effective" against dying, but that then makes comparisons more complicated, so let's just use the simplified assumptions and look at total cases.)

Worked example, first 24 months of the epidemic

Country A and Country B both have a population of one million.
Country A doesn't do vaccinations; Country B (miraculously) vaccinates its whole population on Day One.
So in month 1, there are 100,000 cases in Country A and 40,000 cases in Country B.
That's a clear win for Country B.

As time goes on, it becomes less clear who's winning...

By month 15, there will be about 23,000 cases in each country, there being ever fewer people in Country A who haven't had it and aren't immune.
After that, there will be more cases in Country B, there being still plenty of people who haven't caught it yet.
By month 24, there will have been 920,000 cases in Country A (nearly everybody has had it) and in Country B there will have been 625,000 cases.
So if we calculate vaccine effectiveness after 24 months, looking at total figures, the vaccine was only 32% effective.

After five or ten years, even in Country B, total cases are heading towards 100%, it's just that Country A gets there a lot quicker. If we calculate again after five or ten years, it would look as if the vaccine had little effect whatsoever apart from 'flattening the curve' (itself A Very Good Thing).

But it was still a good decision (for you as an individual) to get the vaccine ex ante, even if ex post it doesn't seem to have made that much of a difference (on the level of the whole population). Even if the worst happens, you have at least gained another few months or years of healthy life.

Thursday 19 August 2021

"Woman in her 30s is airlifted to hospital after being attacked by a COW"

Spotted by TBH in The Daily Mail:

South Wales Police read [sic]: 'At around 3pm yesterday, emergency services were called to a farm in Southgate, Swansea, where a woman, reportedly in her 30s, had been struck by a cow. She was airlifted to University Hospital of Wales where she is being treated for her injuries.'

It is not known what happened to the cow, though there are some unconfirmed reports that it was shot.

That's not much of a sanction, given what happens to most cattle.

The Gower commons are traditionally grazed by local commoners' animals. It is legal in the area and considered to be an essential part of the farm economy of the Gower Peninsula area, as well as being helpful to maintain natural habitats.

That's true! We were on holiday there a few years ago. They don't seem to bother with fences and some sheep sauntered off their field and lay down in the middle of the road, luckily they moved on after a minute or two.

And now, some sensible advice they should print on the back of every tin of dog food:

Pennard Community Council warns on its website that people in the area should 'be aware' of grazing farm animals on the commons and should follow these precautions:
Keep dogs on a leash whenever near grazing animals, unless animals chase the dog, then just let go of the dog;
Keep young children under close parental control;
Do not come between cows and their calves;
Observe the presence of a bull (or bulls) and do not go between them and the cows;
Do not approach within 5m of grazing cattle;
Do not walk between closely assembled grazing animals.

Wednesday 18 August 2021

Bus 1: Tesla 0

Excellent bit of footage from @cyclinglawLDN.

UPDATE the person filming this appears to have been standing opposite the Holland & Barrett on Chase Side, see Google Maps. The zoom in as the Tesla moves past is skilfully done - the BP petrol station is about 100 yards down the road.

Tuesday 17 August 2021

NHS reverts to type

I have often sung the praises of the UK's vaccination programme - the wife and I got both our jabs without a hitch - but now they are winding it all down (instead of doing a final push to the finish line of around 90% double-jabbed, there is a hard core of refuseniks of say 10%) and the NHS don't seem to care any more.

The Lad went along with some mates to get his first jab at one of the drop-in sessions at Arsenal's football ground (or something like that) and dutifully kept the card they gave him with the date and batch number. He got the email (or text message or whatever they send you) with the date and time for his second jab, which should have been the week before last. He turned up on time, rolled up his sleeve and had his card ready for cross-referencing.

"Sorry, sir" said the admin person opposite the nurse, "It appears you haven't had your first jab yet, so we can't give you your second jab. Please ask your GP to update your records so that we can see it on our system. Then book another appointment."

In a sane world, they could have just pretended to give him a first jab (the doses are identical AFAIAA). If in doubt, just jab people! There might be a few nutcases who end up being vaccinated half a dozen times, but so what?. He has just set off for his fourth attempt at persuading the GP surgery to update his records, having been fobbed off with the usual excuses the previous three times.

I'm keeping my fingers crossed for him, but it wouldn't surprise me if they think up yet another excuse for not doing what they are paid to do. I do wonder why they are happy to waste so much of our time and theirs to get out of doing something that would be quicker than endlessly fobbing us off. Or maybe they'll say they'll do it and then simply not do it. Or maybe they'll do it and it still won't show up on the system.

Ah well.

Update. He just came back. The GP surgery took his card last week so that they could 'update the system' but they admitted they'd lost it ("We got a lot of those cards last week.") and gave him a bit of paper with the same info on it instead.

Monday 16 August 2021

They own land! Give them money!

Spotted by Lola in Money Age:

Payment deferrals keep mortgage arrears at historic low levels

... Commenting on the data, PRIMIS Mortgage Network proposition director, Vikki Jefferies, said: “Today’s continued low levels of arrears reflects the fact that the industry has managed to protect those customers who have been most affected by the pandemic. There is no doubt that government schemes such as furlough and the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS), combined with payment deferrals from lenders, have supported customers and the market during this difficult time.

“As these support schemes come to an end, however, it will be vital to provide proactive and sustained support for brokers. The housing market has been a driving force behind the UK’s economic recovery from the coronavirus crisis, but it’s important to note that the long-term impact of the pandemic may not yet be visible and there remain a number of borrowers who faced financial difficulty pre-pandemic who have continued to build up arrears through the crisis.”

"supported customers and the market" means "kept house prices high and rising", of course. I'm not sure why "brokers are worthy of support, if they chucked all these subsidies in the bin, there'd still be enough for them to do.

Pensioners show us how it's done.

From The Express:

OLDER voters are considering withholding support from the Tories if Chancellor Rishi Sunak ditches the Government's pledge to hike the state pension in line with average earnings, a survey warns today...

In a series of interviews last month, Mr Sunak refused to say whether the Triple Lock guarantee would be honoured this year.

“The Triple Lock is the government’s policy but I very much recognise people’s concerns,” he said in response to concerns about the potential cost. I think they are completely legitimate and fair concerns to raise. We want to make sure the decisions we make and the systems we have are fair, both for pensioners and for taxpayers,” the Chancellor added.

Whatever the rights and wrongs of an issue, the lesson is that if you want something, you just have to vote for it ('green' measures, Brexit, high pensions etc). Voter turnout among pensioners is very high, with corresponding results, so all parties have to be at least as 'generous' as the others.

And if you want the government to collect taxes from land values instead of from wages and ouput, just vote for it. If you're in Scotland, vote for the Scottish Greens; if you're in Yorkshire, vote for the Yorkshire Party and everywhere else, you have to get on the ballot paper for Young People's Party (we are still waiting to hear from El Comm on the name change).

Friday 13 August 2021

An inconvenient truth

I have spent the last year and a half reading up on AGW theory. One after another, I have managed to iron out most of the contradictions, half-truths and flawed explanations for correct observations. Each one is a bit of an intellectual effort to overcome because it's all things that most people - Alarmists, sceptics, weather forecasters and the man in the street (i.e. me) - just take for granted.

I have spent most of that year and a half kicking myself for being sent off in the wrong direction for not having noticed something sooner, going back, rethinking and redoing my workings (and regretting many of my posts based on false - but widely held - assumptions). I hope that I have now got the bottom of it all and overcome the final false assumption, which had been nagging me for months...
The 'inconvenient truth' is that the entire Greenhouse Effect is due to clouds (and their altitude)!

All the Alarmist pictures and diagrams just show the sunlight hitting the surface and being reflected back down by Greenhouse Gases. Clouds - when they appear at all - merely serve to reflect even more radiation back down and 'warm' (i.e. slow down the cooling of) the surface (which they clearly do during the night time).

To get back to reality, you have to draw in the cloud cover (accepted as two-thirds of the surface, so we might as well round that up to 'all of it') on all their pictures and diagrams and realise that most sunlight hits clouds first - that is the layer that absorbs sunlight. The temperature of their upper surface is determined by sunlight, and that in turn dictates the temperature of land and oceans via the gravito-thermal effect (the Greenhouse Effect = cloud altitude x lapse rate).

When you draw in the missing clouds, you realise what's causing the 'back radiation' and what's blocking terrestrial radiation from all getting to space and being measured by satellites. They are big white things that can be miles thick. They reflect sunlight, so we have to assume they reflect all EM radiation to the same extent (arguably more). It appears to be widely accepted that higher clouds mean a warmer surface than lower clouds, this is a correct observation and ties in with all this.

Another smoking gun is that on Venus and Earth, the upper surface of clouds is at the 'average emitting altitude' aka 'effective radiating layer'. This is not a coincidence - to all intents and purposes, they are the 'effective radiating layer'.

Clouds are also the 'effective absorbing layer' as far as incoming sunlight is concerned. Remember that they calculate a planet's 'effective temperature' based on 'what the sunlight hits first'. The 'effective temperature' calculation gives reliable answers, and so unsurprisingly, a planet's 'effective temperature' is pretty much the same as the actual temperature of what the sunlight hits first - namely the upper layer of clouds.

Unless a planet or satellite has no clouds (Mars, Moon) in which case the 'effective temperature' is a good approximation of the actual surface temperature. (The maths is trickier with the Moon because it revolves so slowly.)
To sum up - there is a Greenhouse Effect warming the surface. Clouds (if high enough) mean that the surface is warmer than it otherwise would be. Nothing to do with Greenhouse Gases.

"What?" shouts the audience, "Have you gone completely, stark staring mad?
A. Don't most people say that clouds have a small overall cooling effect?
B. Doesn't it get a bit cooler when clouds pass between you and the sun?"

A. Maybe they do, but it's not true. They don't. Do the interplanetary comparison:

Venus - completely covered with very thick clouds at a very high altitude (50 km to 80 km). Hard surface gets very little sunlight, and only indirect sunlight at that. Huge Greenhouse Effect, about 500 degrees.

Mars/Moon - no clouds. Hard surface gets all the sunlight you'd expect. No Greenhouse Effect - even though the Martian atmosphere has about thirty times as much CO2 as Earth.

Earth - two-thirds moderately thick cloud cover at a few km altitude. Moderate Greenhouse Effect, accepted as 33 degrees.

Conclusion - the higher and thicker the clouds, the larger the Greenhouse Effect.

Caveat - clouds have a higher albedo (reflect more sunlight) than land or oceans, so they have to be at a certain minimum altitude for there to be net warming (so that the lapse rate effect trumps the missing sunlight). When I say 'net warming' I am comparing a hypothetical planet with and without clouds - NOT a cloudy and cloud-free area on the same planet. That minimum altitude is two-to-three km above the Earth's surface as far as I can make out, and on the whole they are much higher than that.

B. Yes, but you have to compare like-with-like.

i. Higher clouds warm the atmosphere, but it is not a local effect. The atmosphere tries to equalize temperatures around the globe (a phenomenon we refer to as 'the weather') and does a fairly good job under difficult circumstances (freezing poles, sweltering deserts). The oceans do the same thing, but that is way more complicated and poorly understood.

ii. Most of the temperature you feel - and all of the official temperature measurements - is the air temperature with no direct sunlight. Direct sunshine just gives a bit of a boost - on a hot, sunny day, it's still very warm in the shade with no direct sunlight. On a freezing cold winter day, it's still very cold even when standing in full-on direct sunlight hitting you at 90 degrees.

iii. So if you want maximum daytime temperature, you have to be a cloud-NIMBY - clouds everywhere else to warm the air (benefitting you as well as 'them'), but clear sky where you are to get the extra few degrees caused by the direct sunshine (only benefitting you and your immmediate neighbours).

iv. How many hours direct sunshine does a typical patch of land or ocean get in 24 hours? About four? Are those few hours really enough to keep the surface warm for the other twenty? Clearly not.

v. While you do feel warmer when there are no clouds between you and the sun, nearly everybody accepts that clouds tend to slow down cooling in the night time. The net effect is an overall win for clouds.

vi. If there are very low clouds (fog or mist) of course they have a direct cooling effect. That has partly to do with them blocking sunlight, partly with them being at a low altitude, but primarily because they make things damp and so the surface (and you) lose thermal energy because of the latent heat of evaporation.

vii. It is also the case that clouds often mean rain. We notice that rain cools the surface but we don't notice that this indirectly warms the atmosphere higher up - it's because of the latent heat of evaporation. So we automatically associate 'clouds' with 'cooler', not realising that most are 'high and dry'. There are clouds directly above you two-thirds of the time, but it's not raining two-thirds of the time, even in Wales or Norway.
There. I've said it. Sue me.
The icing on the cake is that some Alarmists say that warmer temperatures will evaporate the clouds = more direct sunlight on the surface = higher temperatures. The opposite is true! Less cloud cover would mean a) less Greenhouse Effect and b) more direct radiation from surface to space, especially at night = lower temperatures again, so entirely self-regulating = stable temperatures.

Sunday 8 August 2021

"Let's just ignore the most important thing, as that would blow all our theories out of the water."

From Pseudoscience of Doom:

We are still looking at how radiation travels and interacts with the atmosphere before anything changes.

There is a lot of fascination in the subject of the “average height of emission” of terrestrial radiation to space. If we take a very simple view, as the atmosphere gets more opaque to radiation (with more “greenhouse” gases) the emission to space must take place from a higher altitude. And higher altitudes are colder, so the magnitude of radiation emitted will be a lesser value. And so the earth emits less radiation and so warms up.

This “average height of emission” is often supplied as a mental model and it’s a good initial starting point.

Here is the result of the atmospheric model created with a surface temperature of 288K (15°C), 80% humidity in the boundary layer and 40% humidity above that (the “free troposphere).

This is a cloud-free sample – clouds are very common, but really make life complicated and we are trying to provide a small level of enlightenment. Simple stuff first.

There follows a tortuous series of calculations based on certain arbitrary assumptions which inevitably prove their point.
Q. Why do they always ignore clouds, which cover average two-thirds of the Earth at any one time? They are more than "very common". They are the norm.

A. It is because clouds actually explain pretty much the whole of the so-called 'greenhouse effect'...

1. The "average height of emission" concept is actually very useful in mathematical terms, although they are applying it to the wrong thing and in the wrong direction.

2. If we are going to simplify things, it makes more sense to round up that 'two-thirds of the surface' to 'all of the surface' instead of rounding it down to zero. The upper surface of clouds is on average 5 km above the surface. Earth and its clouds have an average albedo of 0.3, so let's assume these clouds have an albedo of 0.3.

3. As far as incoming solar radiation and 'effective temperature' are concerned, the 'effective surface' is the upper surface of clouds. When you calculate the 'effective temperature' you are in fact calculating/estimating the temperature of the upper surface of clouds. Unsurprisingly, a planet's 'effective temperature' is, in real life, very close to the actual observed temperature of the upper surface of clouds. Except on Mars, where there aren't any clouds, so the 'effective surface' and the hard surface are the same thing.

4. The temperature at the hard surface (land or ocean) is simply the temperature of the upper surface of clouds, plus their altitude x the lapse rate (the 'gravito-thermal effect' which is dictated by basic maths, GCSE level physics and a bit of common sense).

5. The simple approach from 4. neatly explains the hard surface temperature of...
a) Venus. 'Effective temp' and actual temperature of upper surface of clouds = 232K. Upper surface of clouds altitude (call it) 63 km. Lapse rate 7.9 K/km. Hard surface temperature = 232 + (63 x 7.9) = 733K.
b) Earth. 'Effective' and actual temperature of upper surface of clouds = 255K. Upper surface of clouds altitude = 5 km. Lapse rate 6.5 km. Hard surface temperature = 255 + (5 x 6.5) = 288K.
c) Mars. 'Effective' and actual temperature of hard surface (no clouds) approx. 215 K, no 'greenhouse effect'. Even though there is about thirty times as much CO2 above every m2 of Mars than there is on Earth!

6. There's always the question of cause-and-effect. What seems more plausible:
a) The "average height of emission" dictated by 'greenhouse gases' and the clouds just happen to form with their upper surface at the same altitude? Or,
b) The clouds have their own rules, they form where they form, and their upper surface is, in practice, the "average height of emission", because they are the only surface that can emit radiation directly to space? Or indeed absorb radiation directly from space?

7. Then *drumroll* there's the 'trapped radiation' myth. The hard surface is 288K and emits, mathematically, 390 W/m2. Measured from space, Earth emits 240 W/m2. The myth is that one-third of radiation emitted from by the hard surface is 'trapped' by 'greenhouse gases'. Nope. When you measure from space, you are measuring the radiation emitted by the upper surface of clouds, which are colder and emit 240 W/m2, the same as what they absorb from the Sun.

(8. There is a completely separate system going on between the hard surface and the lower surface of clouds, it's the clouds that do the 'trapping', they get radiation from the hard surface, absorb some and reflect some back down again. Let's not go there for now.)

Wednesday 4 August 2021

How to fix a garden hosepipe that was full of twists and kinks

I assume that lots of people already know how to do this, but I had to work it out for myself.

All you do is wait for a sunny day or two, lay out the hosepipe in the garden as straight as you can; remove twists and kinks by hand; stretch the bent bits; pin it down with stones if necessary etc.

Then just leave it for a day or two, hey presto, not 'good as new' but certainly much better and much easier to roll back into a coil.

Monday 2 August 2021

Savills have copied my workings.

From City AM:

House prices are expected to surge another £50,000 over the next five years, further reducing affordability in the UK property market, according to new forecasts published today. Estate agent Savills predicts house prices will jump nine per cent this year, driven by the extended stamp duty holiday and prospective buyers rushing to purchase larger homes with gardens...

This explanation is pretty feeble - the SDLT breaks are being phased out and more demand for large gardens means less demand for small or no gardens, so should cancel out.

They then let the cat out of the bag - it's just a credit bubble:

Lower interest rates, an increase in the supply of high loan-to-value mortgages as lenders return to riskier sections of the market and high levels of savings built up during the pandemic are expected to keep demand elevated, Savills said.

Which is exactly what I said here. Going by the previous two 18-year cycles, a further increase of £50,000 before it all *pops* again is on the lower side of expectations.