Monday, 23 February 2009

Making the Worst of It in the Interests of State Control

Responsibility for a share of maintaining a listed building means that if bits start falling off the outside there is a keen official and popular interest in what you are going to do about it. Which is why the Sovrintendenza delle Belle Arti, architects famous for renovating 16th century dwelling houses, and esoterically skilled building firms have come up with some big numbers.

The bank at the bottom of the hill hasn't blinked an eye. Loan? Certainly. But a mortgage might work out cheaper, and there are subventions for buildings like that, and tax relief. It 's a funny feeling after all the berating of the last six months, the denouncing of debt and easily obtained mortgages, to find that debt makes sense at current interest rates and motgages are offered 'at sight' so to speak.

Either it's much, much worse in England, or the country is being stampeded into political and economic policies that otherwise would be out of even New Labour's reach.


Sackerson said...

Cutting the rates has eased things for people here, especially those on interest-only mortgages. But there is still the loan-to-value issue. I talked to someone who was being crippled by a monster mortgage 18 months ago, and suggested she sell while she still had some equity left in her house. Now she's feeing much less pressured, but I don't think she's appreciated that she's almost certainly now in negative equity, wih the prospect of it getting worse. In effect she's a renter, but with a silently growing debt that does nothing to increase her enjoyment. I think that at some point, rents will come down, too, and then the truth of her relative situation will dawn.

hatfield girl said...

Yet the Guardian reports:

Labour can draw comfort from the fact that public alarm about the economic crisis has levelled out. Asked about their personal financial circumstances, 51% say they are fairly or very confident — up from 43% in December. Only 48% say they are not confident.

People really don't understand, S. And a lot of propaganda effort is being put into continuing to mislead them.

Nomad said...

51% of what/who? I bet they never asked any van makers lately. Or indeed investment bankers! I wonder how many of your readers have ever been asked to participate in any sort of survey. Not me, that's for sure.