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State of the Market

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    Originally posted by SueEllen View Post

    The only thing you ignoring is age.

    Unfortunately some people posting on this board were children or weren't alive to take advantage of cheaper house prices.

    This is where all the moaning comes from.
    Yes, those of us who are older (I'm in my mid-50s) were able to buy in an era where the ratio of house prices to earnings was lower. But high cost of housing isn't just a recent phenomenon. In the mid-80s, London prices were double the North's, relative to earnings.

    The London market has lost all touch with earnings (and reality) since about 2005/6 and much of this has been driven by foreign buyers.

    Even nationally, since WW2, there have been peaks of expensive house prices in the late 40s, mid-70s and late-80s. Each time, prices reverted back to a long term average of around 4-5x earnings. The last 15 years has totally bucked this trend.
    Last edited by edison; 15 May 2023, 15:15.


      Originally posted by edison View Post

      Up until the early 2000s there was a little known way to buy affordable property by central London standards and that was buying in an ex-council block. You had to really do detailed research to find these gems but many of these single blocks (as opposed to estates) had a high percentage of private owners, often elderly.

      I managed to buy a 2 double bedroom flat in Belgravia SW1, arguably London's most prestigious postcode, for about £300k in today's money. Just 300 yards from me were houses that today are worth £50m.

      Once more people discovered this route, prices started rising sharply. I left London in the mid-2000s and sold my flat which in hindsight was a mistake. As an illustration of how expensive central London property became, that flat ended up being worth more than my four storey Victorian house just 20 miles north in Hertfordshire.

      I grew up in a real dump in southeast London, an area that has traditionally had practically the cheapest housing in any London borough. Even there, a very ordinary three bed semi is approaching £500k now.
      I started working in London at the turn of the century and you didn't have to walk far east of the city to find relatively rundown areas that certainly wouldn't have been cheap but were probably still attainable to people on a good wage. Do the same walk now and it is largely gentrified.


        It always brings a wry smile to think that a place I could've afforded (and was actually quite affordable) in King's Cross in the mid 1990s, when I was living nearby, would go for £5m+ now Still, King's Cross was a bit of a tulipfest at the time.


          ripple effects for people buying property now.

          Billionaires buy in Chelsea / Mayfair / Kensington (premium zone 1)
          The merely rich (CEOs) buy in Marylebone / Bloomsbury / Angel (cheaper zone 1)
          The well off buy in Clapham / Battersea / Camden (zone 2)
          Professionals doing decent are looking at zone 3+
          There are a few anomalies like Hampstead Garden Suburb, Totteridge which are far out but pricey
          Everyone else is renting if they are lucky, or faces a long commute


            Well been looking around and there are contracts out there but they are far and few between. Thankfully i have been extended to the end of June so no immediate concern for me but still... wouldn't mind grabbing something longer term soon as possible.

            I even caved and did a technical test the other day. God knows why, I am not that desperate yet :P


              Was chatting to a mate yesterday who works mostly in security and governance risk and compliance roles. He's barely had a break between contracts for at least 10 years but the number of contract roles he's seeing is quite low, at lower rates than before and and majority now inside IR35.

              Most people I know in security always seem to be very busy so if he's struggling then that doesn't bode well.


                Originally posted by edison View Post
                He's barely had a break between contracts for at least 10 years but the number of contract roles he's seeing is quite low, at lower rates than before and and majority now inside IR35.

                Most people I know in security always seem to be very busy so if he's struggling then that doesn't bode well.
                Warren Buffet, who is hardly ever gloomy, recently said it has been an incredible period for the economy but that’s coming to an end.

                And his best mate, Charlie Munger said “Get used to making less”

                Looking back there was clearly a boom between 2010 and 2022 due to almost zero interest rates and QE.When Covid hit they cut rates even more and printed more money.
                But now the piper has to be paid, increased interest rates as well as increased corporation tax. Companies have less budget to start new projects and hire contractors.

                The number of contractors must have increased significantly over that time. So now there will be an oversupply and that is pushing contract rates down. While perm salaries are at record highs because they received 10% pay raises. And those big pay raises would have squeezed budgets even more.
                Last edited by Fraidycat; 16 May 2023, 09:06.


                  In 13 years I've never seen it as bad as this.


                    Not looking good

                    LinkedIn approaches gone completely dead. Normally would be a couple a week at least


                      Originally posted by NorthWestPerm2Contr View Post
                      In 13 years I've never seen it as bad as this.
                      Hi [suityou01]

                      How are you getting on?

                      Disclaimer: I just had a permanent job offer come through last night. I am going to accept it, because I have been out for nearly four months now, even though I opened my search up also to contracting (inside IR35) middle of March. Like you, I thought contracting would be easier path to return to income. My goodness, how wrong was I? I had more perm interviews and the odd contract interest. The agent would call and then I would send my CV down, and then nothing happened. At least five different Home Office/Croydon / London - e.g. MASTEK, Alexandar Mann - I sent my CV down 1 month ago, then nothing. I have active SC by the way.

                      This may or may not apply. This morning, I was watching the BBC Breakfast. The Director of StepChange charity was on TV, he said that more than 10 million adults are struggling to pay bills, credit cards and loans. It is reported a rise of 40% adults are in crisis since 2022.

                      1. Talk to the bank, mortgage lender, creditor, utilities (they have regulatory requirement FCA to help those who are struggling).
                      2. Examine (Re-examine) your budget (income -> outgoing) - now it is time to cut Sky, Netflix, Paramount, Disney subs to minimum, keep Netflix with adverts for example. If you are on Ultrafast Broadband, cut it to Superfast Broadband. Same with Mobile Phone plans, are you out of contract? Yes then why you are not getting a cheaper monthly deal? Like today. Etcetera etcetera etcetera.
                      3. Get help from Debt Change, Business Debt Change and other charities

                      This is the general public advice above ^^^

                      4. Contractors please consider perm, if you haven't already
                      5. Try the supposedly agent-free (or agent-less?) online hiring websites (Hired.com, Cord, Otto) - I found them much of a muchness, but if you are young, free and single and luckily have a big sex organ, it might work for you. ***
                      6. Keep pushing, remember sometimes the work economy resembles a Queue System Theory; one person has to leave a slot in order to free up a vacancy.
                      7. Just keep positive, ALWAYS show a happy face on Teams, Zoom, Meet, SMILE and Make the Slot and see bullet 6
                      8. Sometimes you lose, consider in 2023 that there are many teams, people in companies that are completely toxic, they are also under mental stress and pressure. Think of a rejection as a bullet dodged. Perhaps you would have hated working with those idiots and forget about it. Move on the next pending interview. Keep plugging away.
                      9. Find out exactly what is going wrong. The bastards ( and the bitches ) hate giving candidate feedback, we know this is true - so how can you improve? Or how do you fix the ONE THING that blocks success? Keep fighting for feedback. INSIST ON IT.
                      10. Fix your CV, recycle, shorten and refactor it, constantly experiment with your style until you start landing those first stage interviews. Find your formula that works for you.

                      ***my perm offer didn't come from these new type of online work recruitment sites. Although a Scala engineer, a colleague of a colleague claimed that they got a perm gig with ITVX initially using Hired.com. Plus they only had perm jobs. I don't know of an online website that specifially caters for contracting (outside of Upwork, which is a bag of .....).

                      Good luck all and keep us posted.
                      Last edited by rocktronAMP; 17 May 2023, 09:44.