Comments: Ketchup

I've never had such a year for greenhouse tomatoes, nor one where every tomato has ripened - no green tomato chutney this year. The outside ones are somewhat blighty now, but they've cropped well too. I suppose we had a little less humidity at a vital time than you did.

It's fortunate that most of my capital is invested in property, if I were reliant on interest, I'd be an a poor way by now.

Posted by Z on 1 October, 2016 at 5:47 PM

I had forgotten they were called "Smith Periods" but did know about the blight conditions...but always good to have a new reference so thanks for this.

I think the other key is, perversely maybe given the humidity factor, LACK of watering the plants for a couple of days as this stresses them... that's I'm sure what finally enabled the blight did for a large proportion of ours this year.

In the end not a bad crop considering our main efforts were elsewhere. Still many ripening here too.

Whilst I agree with many of Corbyn's beliefs I find his total belief in them worrying. One needs to know when to compromise and I don't think he does. He also appears to have a very short temper when they are questioned.

Yes, shame about the comments box thing...I've now forgotten which post I wanted!

Posted by NiC on 3 October, 2016 at 11:06 AM

Z - do you not feel that people holding property that they do not personally require to live in is contributing to the current housing crisis?

NiC - I've read that about lack of watering; but, all ours are on an auto-watering system, so I'm unconvinced.

Posted by Blue Witch on 3 October, 2016 at 9:34 PM

Two very small London flats and some lock-up garages - not in this case, no. The flats are ideal for single people with a good disposable income; at a time when they wanted to settle down and buy, they could get a larger place further out for the same money - these are obvious rental properties.

As for the wider issue, it's certainly the case that some people build up large rental portfolios, which may well tend to put the prices up overall. However, whilst owning a second home contributes to a lack of accommodation overall, how does renting out a house do that? - it's lived in, not empty.

Posted by Z on 3 October, 2016 at 11:44 PM

Ah but Z, the unavailability of small flats (because BTL'ers are accumulating them for their personal gain) is what is causing people who used to be able to buy/get on the bottom of the property ladder to no longer be able to so do.

In almost every case renting costs more than buying. Many people could get on the property ladder with a guarantor (parent/grandparent/employer), if only the small properties weren't being held by greedy people.

It's impossible for most parents to buy a flat for their kids to use while they are at university these days, because all the parents who bought near universtiies in previous years now hold on to them as they can see what a good gravy train they are.

Round here, most blocks of new-build by small country stations are now only for sale for renting out.

It's not fair, and it's got to stop.

I'm glad that many of the BTL allowances have been cut. I think there is more that should be done to force the release of low-cost starter homes from BTL for genuine first-time buyers.

Otherwise, with more pension pots being plundered at 55 to provide £25K multiples for each deposit on a BTL (which is all you need these days) there will soon be no small properties for anyone to buy. Developers don't like building small units as there is less profit to be made on them.

The other big problem in many areas are early-settled Eastern Europeans (ie those who came here within the first year of so of their countries joining the EU and our borders being opened when other EU countries' weren't) - around here, many of the first wave now own a dozen or more properties which they rent out to their fellow-countrymen - often unofficially, and without all the proper safety checks and tenant rights.

Posted by Blue Witch on 4 October, 2016 at 9:42 AM

Sadly I don;'t think even a perfect watering regime will save you if all else is right (or wrong) but I'm sure a poor watering regime makes getting blight easier. Like many things it's a mix of the factors.

Posted by NiC on 4 October, 2016 at 7:01 PM