The housing market in Iran

This is a guest blog post covering some topics on Iranian housing, it was contributed by MNA.

House Prices: The norm in Iran for valuing any real estate is by location and meterage of that location so for any individual trying to see what the market is for buying or renting, all you need is to look at any particular area and there are plenty of ways of cross checking and seeing if the price is right.

Looking at pricing via advertisements helps, as does speaking with the local estate agents who will tell you  the going rate before you start your search so that you would have a good idea of what you can afford and where you can live.

The Local currency is very volatile and everyone is worried of that, but in reality all the trading is conducted with USD or Euro so no matter what happens, when you are trying to price an item it is always reflected on the FX rate, as all expensive ticket items would have an important role in the economy. …

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RTE Drivetime: Talking Money on ‘Gold’, 11th May 2015

We were discussing the reasons behind having an allocation in gold or precious metals in a diversified portfolio this week on ‘Talking Money’. Jill Kerby raised interesting points about the benefits while Karl said that it’s a good hedge but also one that has lost a lot of value in recent years.

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Turning points? Back into recession methinks…

I hope you enjoyed the first round of economic history from 2008 to 2011, I think it is time for round 2.

Alan Greenspan was on CNBC last week and his interview is a very interesting take on Europe – which happens to be the first thing he looks at every day (European Bond Markets). Meanwhile Lloyds are reporting that the risk of a 2nd recession in the UK are higher at c. 25-30%.

Greece is the crisis that just keeps giving, The Telegraph has the usual Eurosceptic line but it isn’t about being smug any more. The Greek referendum call of recent days came out of left field and while it may never actually occur the political optics show that the Aegean issues are far from solved, along with the replacement of military officials (the interpretation being the fear of a coup).

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Recent Irish bond yields explained in plain English.

We are not issuing bonds, so the cost of servicing our debt has not magically risen to ‘7%’ because we are not borrowing at that rate, what is happening is all in the secondary market.

What that means: The primary market is when the bond is first issued at par (100) and with a coupon (for instance 3%). When a bond is issued the main concern of a bond buyer is getting your capital back (that par value of 100) and it trumps the yield in terms of importance, so you regularly see people buy debt at very low rates from those most likely to pay it back, Microsoft recently issued a bond at 0.8%!

That is where the Ireland story gets interesting, our bond yield is not 7% because we issued it at that yield or interest rate, it is 7% because people are sacrificing their capital to get out of the trade. That means they don’t believe they will get their money back at the end and …

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Bond Bubble Looming, where does it end?

We have been talking about this for a while (28/01/09, 11/03/09, 23/04/09), it was a popular topic on this blog in 2009 but well covered and for that reason we have not revisited it much, but the alignment of the stars warrants a look at the symptoms of the disease because now they are ever more present than before. At this point we can see a clearer path; which is still leading to a bond bust destination.

It has also becoming a mainstream topic, recently it showed up in an article titled ‘Currency, the weapon of choice in a world of lower demand‘.

If something can’t happen it won’t, and what can’t happen is a world in which we see century bonds (bonds with 100yr terms) becoming commonplace, they will probably be (as is the benefit with all hindsight) the poster-boy of the …

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Gold: Trading over $1,300

“Contradictions do not exist. Whenever you think that you are facing a contradiction, check your premises. You will find that one of them is wrong”, Francisco D’Anconia to Dagny Taggart in ‘Atlas Shrugged’.

I see it as one of two possibilities, either the dollar is in secular decline in value or gold is a bubble. Either opinion has valid arguments, what are your thoughts?

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Gold prices, very much a dollar story (for now)

While we are bullish on precious metals (in particular silver) it is important to remember that many commodities are dollar denominated assets and for that reason they will often appreciate if the dollar weakens, this happens with oil, and it is currently happening in gold (see chart below).

The recent gains in gold are at least in part due to dollar weakness, price gold in euro or loonie and it looks relatively flat for the last seven months in which historic nominal highs were tested. Low carry costs and future inflation risks are in that mix as well, however, in the respect of an inflation hedge gold is still the master metal and silver has good upside potential as well. That doesn’t mean caution can be thrown to the wind in expectation of gains, although physical demand is up a reverse in financial gold plays could happen swiftly and undo much of the current range in a …

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