Author Archive: Gill Montia

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Base rate held at 0.5%

Base rate held at 0.5%

The Bank of England has announced that the base rate will remain on hold at 0.5% in January. Low interest rates are to continue despite the Consumer Prices Index measure of inflation increasing to 3.3% in November, well above the Bank’s 2% target, and likely to increase further with today’s rising commodity prices and January’s […]

January 13, 2011 More
Over 65s free to work on from April

Over 65s free to work on from April

The Government has confirmed that the Default Retirement Age (DRA) is to be phased out this year, the BBC has reported. The move will allow the over 65s “the freedom to work for longer”, while at the same time providing a boost to the UK economy. The change means that from 6th April 2011, employers […]

Barratt homebuying scheme allows parents to borrow on behalf of kids

Barratt homebuying scheme allows parents to borrow on behalf of kids

Barratt Developments has announced a tie-up with Hitachi Capital (UK) that will allow parents to borrow money to help their children onto the property ladder. The developer claims the scheme is unique in the market, having been specifically designed to address current mortgage restrictions on loan-to-value ratios. Barratt sold 4,832 homes during the second half […]

UK exporters: emerging markets or join “slow lane of history”

UK exporters: emerging markets or join “slow lane of history”

A new report from PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) is urging UK companies to focus on emerging markets, or join the “slow lane of history” by continuing to focus on markets in North America and Western Europe. In PwC’s latest “World in 2050″ series, the firm’s head of macroeconomics, John Hawksworth, comments: a�?Rapid growth in consumer markets in […]

January 7, 2011 More
New car sales up 1.8%

New car sales up 1.8%

Sales of new cars in the UK rose by 1.8% in 2010, The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) has reported, although volumes were still at their second-lowest in the past decade and almost 375,000 units short of 2007 levels. At 2,030,846 units, total sales were up by 35,847 on 2009, with the fleet […]

Demand for house purchase mortgages plummets

Demand for house purchase mortgages plummets

Demand for house purchase mortgages fell “markedly” in the three months to December, lenders have reported, with the trend expected to continue over the current quarter. According to the Bank of England’s latest Credit Conditions Survey, the decline reflected “a recent fall in house prices, a general weakening of sentiment towards the housing market and […]

January 6, 2011 More
Mortgage lending to remain “stable but small”

Mortgage lending to remain “stable but small”

New mortgage lending showed a month-on-month fall of 4% in October, with 46,000 loans for house purchases advanced, according to the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML). At A?6.7 billion, the value of the advances was down 6% on September and 12% on October 2009, although last year’s figure was bolstered by buyers taking advantage of […]

December 10, 2010 More
Four million Britons living in fear of redundancy

Four million Britons living in fear of redundancy

Over four million working Britons are living in fear of being made redundant, according to the latest personal debt tracker survey by R3, the trade body for insolvency and turnaround professionals. The figure has risen 50% over the last three months, with those aged between 25 and 34 the most worried about their employment prospects. […]

Finance Bill promises more control over pension funds

Finance Bill promises more control over pension funds

New legislation to be introduced in the Finance Bill 2011 will remove pension tax rules that currently mean members of defined contribution pension schemes are forced to buy an annuity by the age of 75. The new rules, which will take effect from 6th April 2011, allow the decision to be deferred indefinitely and also […]

Official: annual house price inflation 5.2%

Official: annual house price inflation 5.2%

The Land Registry has reported annual house price growth of 5.2% across England and Wales in September, marking the eleventh consecutive month in which annual property price inflation has remained above zero. However, the value of the typical home was at its lowest since December 2009 and the monthly change of -0.2% was the first […]

October 29, 2010 More
House sales fall in September

House sales fall in September

Latest figures from HM Revenue & Customs show house sales across the UK falling to 78,000 in September, compared with 82,000 in August. Completed transactions on homes worth over A?40,000 fell for the second consecutive month, with the total also down slightly on a year earlier, marking the first annual decline recorded by HMRC in […]

October 22, 2010 More
Tesco mortgage offering delayed

Tesco mortgage offering delayed

Tesco may have to delay its entrance into the UK mortgage market because the Financial Services Authority (FSA) is still mulling over its application for regulatory approval. According to reports, the FSA’s more stringent approach to mortgage lenders is likely to mean that the Tesco home loan will not be available this year, as planned. […]

October 4, 2010 More
Halifax names property hotspots

Halifax names property hotspots

Ilford in Essex is the leading property sales hotspot in England and Wales, with an 85% rise in the number of homes sold in the first half of 2010, compared with the same period of 2009. Research from Halifax has identified Croydon and Maidenhead as the runners up, with sales rising 73% and 71% respectively. […]

October 3, 2010 More
Support for Mortgage Interest scheme sees 40% rate cut

Support for Mortgage Interest scheme sees 40% rate cut

Homeowners who qualify for the Government’s Support for Mortgage Interest (SMI) scheme have seen a 40% cut in the rate at which the benefit is paid. The scheme allows some borrowers in financial difficulties to defer part of their mortgage repayments until their circumstances have improved, and the SMI rate was frozen at a generous […]

October 2, 2010 More
Interest-only mortgages under threat

Interest-only mortgages under threat

The Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) is warning that new measures proposed by the Financial Services Authority (FSA) could result in the demise of the interest-only mortgage. The FSA is currently consulting with lenders and other interested parties on the future regulation of the UK mortgage market, and the CML claims that interest-only home loans […]

October 1, 2010 More
Tighter lending criteria for mortgage borrowers

Tighter lending criteria for mortgage borrowers

In its latest Credit Conditions Survey, the Bank of England has reported that demand for house purchase mortgages fell slightly in the three months to early September. In addition, lending criteria tightened slightly for the second consecutive quarter, with the trend expected to continue over the coming quarter. Some lenders commented that the changes reflected […]

September 30, 2010 More
Nationwide: house prices steady in September

Nationwide: house prices steady in September

Nationwide has reported a 0.1% rise in the average UK house price in September (compared to August), taking the value of the typical home to A?166,757. The movement left the annual rate of gain at 3.1%, down from 3.9% in August and 6.6% in July. Meanwhile, the three-month-on-three-month rate of change, which is a more […]

House purchase lending slumps again

House purchase lending slumps again

New data from the Bank of England show the number of loans approved for house purchases falling in August, marking the fourth consecutive monthly drop. Mortgages were secured by 47,372 homemovers and first-time buyers, down from 48,346 in July and below the previous six-month average of 48,619, although it should be noted that August is […]

September 29, 2010 More
Land Registry: house prices up 0.3%

Land Registry: house prices up 0.3%

The Land Registry’s latest house price index shows the average cost of a home in England and Wales rising by 0.3% in August. Having seen the fifth consecutive monthly increase, the value of the average home stood at A?167,423, although on an annual basis the typical house price gain fell slightly compared with July, to […]

September 28, 2010 More
House prices slip 0.4%

House prices slip 0.4%

Hometrack recorded a 0.4% fall in house prices across England and Wales in September, as buyer demand slid by 2.9%. The average amount of time needed to sell a property increased to 9.3 weeks, up from 8.9 weeks in August. The South West posted the largest monthly decline, at 0.6%, followed by -0.5% in the […]