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Mortgage Mole: May 2019

Intrepid Mole, digging up the stories behind the news

A question of stats

The past few months have not been good in terms of numeric rigour. Just before Christmas, a sheepish UK Finance had to revise its product transfer figures downwards for Q1 and Q2 of 2018 due to a reporting error. It followed this up towards the end of March when it reported that the fewest mortgages had been approved in February for six years, when it actually meant three months.

Not wanting to miss out on the fun, Halifax promptly put out a report in April saying house prices had risen 3.2 per cent in the first quarter of 2019, when the true figure was 2.6 per cent. Apparently this was IHS Markit’s fault, but either way, as a regular writer of numbers, Mole sympathises!

All in the name

The Collins Dictionary defines ‘nominative determinism’ as ‘a jocular theory which suggests that people end up doing jobs that suit their surname’. Now, Mole knew where his life was heading as soon as his parents granted him the first name ‘Mortgage’, but what about housing ministers Kit Malthouse or James Brokenshire? And the Bank of England’s David Rule? And the mortgage industry PR agents Conor Shilling and Martin Ring? Does free will really exist? In a world where David Beckham was born in Whipps Cross University Hospital, Mortgage Mole suspects not.

Let me be your fantasy

Have you ever wanted to build a rental empire of two-up two-downs in Solihull and its surrounding area? If so, mobile phone game Property Magnate might be for you.

Mole received a rather breathless communiqué from a company that promises to allow you to virtually trade and invest in properties in a sort of fantasy football manner, using actual properties from Zoopla. Mole would get involved, but none of the current batch of smartphones recognise his claw print.

Giant protest held in London

Mole is curious to know if anybody saw the big protest that took place in mid-April. Under its angry presence, London came to a stop, commuters and tourists alike faced travel uncertainty, while those responsible marched under their banners and demanded action with one voice.

Yeah, yeah, something else involving glue and Jeremy Corbyn’s garden fence was going on while either employees of Trussle or students picking up an easy but rather embarrassing £20 demonstrated outside the Bank of England, but frankly Mole does not care about either of those things – he just cannot stop looking at the Monopoly man come to life.

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