UK housing to become much more afforable for all

Panic begins to grip UK housing market as one of the largest house price inflation bubbles pops.

House prices have lost touch with the first time buyer market and are out of reach for those crucial first timers. In short, the house price to income multiple is far too high.

Indeed, the house price to income ratio is twice its long term average. For it to revert to this long term level requires either a doubling of salaries or a halving of house prices. It is not hard to see which option is the more likely in the current age of austerity.

But this is going to be a major shock to the UK national psyche. The bubble has been forming so long it has become accepted as a new reality. Few younger property owners remember the 1990-3 house price crash. Corrections can and do happen even in a market where supply is as tight as in the UK housing market.

40 a day 2 year old quits smoking

A 2-year-old Indonesian boy who attracted international attention for smoking 40 cigarettes a day has quit the habit after a month of therapy, a child-protection agency said Thursday.

Ardi Rizal started consuming cigarettes when he was 18 months old, and images of him smoking have been shown on international television.

“He has stopped smoking and doesn’t ask for cigarettes anymore,” said Arist Merdeka Sirait, chairman of theNational Commission on Child Protection.

Sirait said heavy smoking appeared to have caused brain shrinkage in the boy and could pose health risks for him at a later age.

“He needs to be in a smoking-free environment so that he doesn’t start smoking again,” he said.

The commission put the boy under its care in June after videos showing him smoking circulated on the Internet.

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Nearly one-third of Indonesia’s 230 million people and more than 60 per cent of its male population smokes, according to the Demographic Institute at the University of Indonesia.