Sunday, July 31, 2005
BBC NEWS | Business | Ex-ECB chief found dead in pool
Wim Duisenberg, the former head of the European Central Bank, has been found dead in a pool at his villa in south-east France, French police say.
Independent: So you think you can turn your home into cash ...
Equity-release schemes let you free the value locked up in your bricks and mortar and enjoy a comfortable retirement. Or so they say.
Independent: Critics pick holes in the big hope for housing
Laura Brady asks if Home Information Packs will really make buyers' lives easier, speed up the chain and cut out gazumping
Independent: 'Home reversion makes me shudder'
Wage; the older you are, the more a lender will offer, but it won't usually be above 40 per cent of the home's value.
Telegraph: Confidence weak in housing market
Perhaps it was Natasha Kaplinsky's taste in internal décor, perhaps it was cold feet about the economy.
BBC NEWS | England | Town loses 1,100 British Gas jobs
Most of the jobs cut at British Gas will be lost from its Solihull base.
Times Online: Base rate vote too close to call as retail gloom persists
This week's crucial decision on interest rates appears too close to call after the “shadow” monetary policy committee — a group of nine leading independent economists — delivered a split verdict.
Saturday, July 30, 2005
BBC NEWS | Business | Refinery fires drive up oil price
Oil prices have soared back above $61 a barrel after fires at two US oil refineries and a North Sea rig.
BBC NEWS | Business | US economic growth remains robust
The US economy has racked up another quarter of robust growth, despite fears rising fuel costs may limit expansion.
The Guardian: Bad debts force Lloyds TSB to raise cover
Customers of Lloyds TSB have been having difficulty repaying their loans, forcing the high street bank group to sharply increase its provisions for bad debts in the first half of the year.
This is Money: Mortgage lending drops £500m
Growth in mortgage lending and consumer credit slowed last month, according to the Bank of England's latest figures.
The Times: One way or another, we all pay
How does a loan of £5,750 turn into a crushing debt of £384,000? First, you borrow from a firm that specialises in lending to those with a poor credit history and charges interest of 34.9 per cent.
BBC NEWS | England | Lincolnshire | Job cuts to follow firms' merger
The merger of two Lincolnshire companies is expected to result in a number of job losses.
Times Online: Rural first-time buyers suffer
First-time buyers are finding it more difficult to buy a property in rural than in urban areas, the Halifax has reported.
The Motley Fool UK: Avoid Losing Your Home!
According to the latest data from the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML), mortgage repossessions and arrears rose sharply in the first half of this year.
FT.com: Buy-to-let investors avoiding deposit rule
Thousands of property investors have been circumventing the tight rules on buy-to-let lending by counting discounts on new flats as deposits, the Financial Times has learnt. Banks however refuse to admit such practices take place.
Friday, July 29, 2005
FT.com: New FT data confirm UK housing slowdown
The housing market has slowed down dramatically since last year and prices have been stagnant in 2005, according to the new and improved FT House Price index — the most accurate guide to the real trends in residential property prices.
Reuters: Consumer credit rise weaker than expected
Consumer credit rose at its weakest annual pace in nearly four years in June, in another sign that people are reining back on their borrowing after five interest rate hikes since November 2003.
Reuters: Lloyds TSB profit up, retail bad debts rise
Lloyds TSB Group's first-half profit rose 7 percent, boosted by growth in corporate banking, but retail banking customers are struggling to repay loans, the bank said on Friday, sending its shares down.
The Guardian: RSA move cuts deficit by £180m
Royal & SunAlliance has become the latest company to move its employees from pension funds based on final salaries as part of an effort to cut costs.
The Guardian: MPs call for transparency in Olympic venue deals
The government is under pressure to guarantee "complete transparency" in deals between the public and private sector which involve the multibillion pound development of the 2012 London Olympics campus.
The Guardian: House price rise lowest for 9 years
House prices in Britain last month rose at the slowest rate for nine years, the Nationwide said yesterday.
Times Online: Think-tank says Brown will have to raise £10bn in extra tax
Gordon Brown will be forced to raise taxes by at least £10 billion to tackle a persistent deterioration in the public finances, according to a leading forecasting institute.
This is Money: Surge in companies ready to go bust
The number of British companies on the edge of insolvency has soared as slower economic growth and higher interest rates inflict pain on thousands of businesses.
Your Country: Buy To Let Warning - RICS South East
Residential landlords are enjoying the first rise in rental yields for five years, according to the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), but many are suffering.
BBC NEWS | Wales | Fears over future energy sources
There are calls for the Welsh assembly and UK governments to start planning future energy needs now, or face power cuts and job losses.
BBC News: Jobs threat as nut firm is sold
More than 160 jobs are under threat in East Yorkshire after the takeover of a fruit and nut company.
Thursday, July 28, 2005
Argus: House prices hike disputed
A survey claiming house prices have rocketed in a coastal town have been rubbished by estate agents.
Motley Fool: Find out what your bank thinks abot you
HSBC, one of the UK's biggest banks, has announced that it will share its customers' full credit history with other regulated financial services firms.
Guardian: Repossessions and arrears on the rise again
The number of properties seized by lenders has increased by more than half over the last six months.
Times: Confidence slide bolsters case for interest rate cut
Business demands for a cut in interest rates were reinforced by the CBI yesterday as its latest snapshot of manufacturing showed confidence in the battered sector continuing to slide, despite glimmers of hope for a recovery.
BBC News: Junior doctors face unemployment
Unemployment has become a serious threat to junior doctors, the British Medical Association has warned.
BBC News: Housing market 'gently softening'
UK house prices rose slightly in July but "the overall picture remains one of a gently softening market", according to the latest survey by Nationwide.
Times: Increase in repossessed homes hits 13-year high
House repossessions increased at the fastest rate for more than a decade over the past six months, raising fears about the fallout from the downturn in the property market.
Independent: The beach hut with a £200,000 view
It may not be the most desirable of residences but a wooden beach home without electricity, roads or a proper water supply is commanding an astounding price.
This is Money: 'House prices stalemate is over'
House prices bounced back in June as the stalemate between buyers and sellers came to an end and liquidity returned to the market, Britain's biggest building society said today.
Reuters: House price inflation at 9-year low in July
House price inflation slipped to its lowest in more than nine years in July, the Nationwide building society said on Thursday, predicting continued a gradual softening in the property market.
Independent: UK airship maker flies into money troubles
Britain's top airship company, Advanced Technologies Group, has run out of money and gone into administration.
BBC News: Up to 200 jobs to go at council
Up to 200 jobs could be lost at Plymouth City Council as the authority struggles to meet its budget for this financial year.
Reuters: Mortgage repossession actions surge
The number of court actions entered to repossess homes for mortgage arrears soared by 52 percent on the year, official figures showed on Wednesday, as higher interest rates took their toll on borrowers.
Times: House prices inch higher in July
House prices recovered very slightly in July after falling in June, according to the latest survey of the stuttering housing market.
Wednesday, July 27, 2005
Yahoo! Finance: Fears of US property bust revive on record new-home sales
Sales of new homes in the United States surged 4.0 percent in June to a new annualized high of 1.37 million, the government said, reviving fears of a damaging property bubble.
Reuters.co.uk: Credit card clampdown could backfire, expert warns
The Office of Fair Trading's move to force credit card firms to cut their late payment fees could lead to a rise in other, hidden charges, one expert warned.
Sky News: PC firm axes 1,500 staff
The maker of Time and Tiny computers, Granville Technology Group, is to cut 1,500 jobs after collapsing into administration.
Times: Lending rise hints at recovery in house prices
Further indication of a fledgeling recovery in the housing market appeared today with the first monthly increase in the number of mortgage approvals this year.
SKY News: Huge debt not enforced
A couple whose £5,740 loan ballooned to £384,000 have fought off an attempt by the loan company to make them pay the money.
BBC News: Credit card business drives Egg
A strong performance from internet bank Egg's credit card business has helped to move the bank into profit during the first half of 2005.
This is Money: 8,000% interest loan shark jailed
A loan shark who preyed on sick, poor and vulnerable members of society, sometimes charging them up to 8,000% in interest, was jailed for nearly four years today.
This is Money: Housing market on road to recovery
The housing market continued its slow return to health in June with the number of loan approvals for home purchases hitting an 11-month high.
Listen to the Radio 5 Slot (MP3)
with Reinhard (Bubble Pricker) on the Stephen Nolan show. Harvey Williams from RICS was on the show and various callers.
BBC NEWS | Business | Computer firm's future in doubt
There is uncertainty over the future of the UK's largest computer manufacturer, Granville Technology Group.
icBirmingham: Building society forced to cancel £30m debts
West Bromwich Building Society may be forced to write off an estimated £30 million in debts from mortgage borrowers whose homes were repossessed in the early 1990s property crash, it was claimed last night.
News.com.au (AUS): Houses overvalued - survey
A WHOPPING 80 per cent of Australians believe houses are overvalued and more than half expect prices to drop over the next quarter, according to a survey.
Telegraph: House prices will drop 2pc, warns the Halifax
Britain's biggest mortgage lender, the Halifax, yesterday repeated that house prices will fall by 2pc this year, while Morgan Stanley, the investment bank, said they would drop by 5pc.
Tuesday, July 26, 2005
BBC NEWS | England | Nottinghamshire | Hoarders blamed for home deficit
TV programmes and speculators are being blamed for a rise in the number of empty homes in the East Midlands.
Independent: Value of UK plc rises to £100,000 for each man, woman and child
The total value of the United Kingdom has risen to £5.8 trillion - equivalent to £100,000 for each man, woman and child - official figures showed yesterday.
Times: Pensions savers to pour £10bn into house markets
Savers will pour £8.5 billion into Britain’s housing market from next April, when new rules that allow people to spend their pensions on homes are introduced.
BBC News: AA workers protest over job cuts
Workers at an AA call centre in Kent are holding a demonstration to protest against plans to close the site.
Times: HSBC set to share credit data with rivals
HSBC, Britain’s biggest bank, will reveal the full credit record of its personal banking customers to other financial services companies in an effort to keep a closer watch on consumer debt.
BBC New: Job fears over council's budget
A council is due to discuss a financial review which could lead to job losses among its workers.
Times: Cyclical trickery only buys time
Until last week, a question had been nagging away at me. Politically, another big rise in taxes was always a no-no for Gordon Brown, as I wrote immediately after the March budget.
This is Money: Sellers' packs to cost £700
Home owners will have to spend up to £700 on information packs for prospective buyers, ministers confirmed last night.
BBC News: China's yuan gains against dollar
China's yuan has gained against the US dollar in its second session of trading after currency limits were relaxed for the first time in a decade last week.
Telegraph: Home sales pack in force by 2007
The controversial Home Information Pack, which could cost every home seller £1,000, is on track for its mandatory introduction in "early 2007", the Government said yesterday.
Sky News: More Cities Facing Congestion Charge
Some of Britain's busiest cities could see congestion charging by 2011.
Telegraph: £5.8 trillion ... or £97,000 for every person. That's how much Britain is worth
If Britain were up for sale, it would fetch £5.84 trillion, according to figures released yesterday. That is equivalent to nearly £97,000 for every man, woman and child in the country.
Monday, July 25, 2005
BBC NEWS | Business | House prices 'to fall 5% by 2007'
UK house prices are set to slide in the coming months but fears of a crash have been overdone, according to the Centre for Economic and Business Research.
The Guardian: Homes in Scotland are 30% cheaper than UK average
Despite prices rises of up to 44% in some areas of the country, houses in Scotland cost one third less than houses in the UK as a whole, new research shows.
BBC News: Shares in airline firm suspended
The future of budget airline EUjet could be in doubt after shares in its parent company were suspended.
Times: Economic slowdown 'could lead to £18 billion shortfall'
Britain's economic slowdown will result in an £18 billion shortfall in the public finances over the next two years, a report out today claims.
Guardian: Manufacturing trade winds are blowing Asia's way, but what's wrong with that?
So manufacturing is back in recession again. These days, that kind of news raises few eyebrows in Britain. How things have changed since the 1970s.
Guardian: Corporate cash-saving equals economic strangulation
Corporations around the world are undermining the raison d'etre of business life. Instead of investing in their companies, they are holding on to their cash and saving rather than spending.
SKY News: Woolworths sales slip
Woolworths has revealed that its like-for-like sales fell by 4.4% in the first 24 weeks of the financial year.
SKY News: Tax hikes may be put back
Income tax rises may have to be delayed until 2007 as Chancellor Gordon Brown takes pity on cash-strapped Britons, an influential forecasting group has claimed.
FT.com: Bubble bursts for Brown
Until about a year ago, the British were almost euphoric about the performance of their economy. After more than 10 years of uninterrupted growth, the UK had managed to achieve full employment, combined with a high degree of macroeconomic stability.
BBC News: Tax rises 'unlikely before 2007'
The UK economy is facing a bleak outlook with growth set to fall to just 2.1% this year, a study has said.
This is Money: House prices 'to fall by 5%'
Fears of a collapse in the property market are dismissed today by a report which admits that houses are overvalued - but only by 5%.
The Guardian: House prices continue to slide
House prices dropped by 0.2% in July, the 13th monthly fall in a row, research group Hometrack says today. It forecasts prices will end this year 5% lower than in 2004.
Reuters.co.uk: House price fall sharpest since 2001-UK's Hometrack
House prices in England and Wales fell for the 13th straight month in July, taking annual deflation to its sharpest in at least four years, a survey said on Monday.
Independent: House prices fall for 13th month in a row
The housing market is showing no signs of recovery, a leading property website said yesterday as it published figures showing prices fell again last month.
Sunday, July 24, 2005
Independent: Will those high-rise bank profits come tumbling down?
Thanks to soaring house prices and a strong economy, the lenders have kept getting richer, writes Ben Schneiders. But now the outlook is bleaker as consumer debts turn sour.
Independent: Savers suffer pre-emptive strike on rates
Amid feverish speculation that the Bank of England will drop the base rate next month, more providers of savings accounts have cut the interest offered to their customers.
This is Money: 'Wheels are coming off economy'
Gordon Brown's miracle economy will start to come apart during the second half of this year, says a leading independent forecaster.
Independent: Slowdown in growth to leave Brown 'boxed in' on tax rises
Chancellor Gordon Brown will be forced to delay any income tax hikes until 2007 due to the worsening economic situation, according to independent economic forecasters.
Scotsman.com: Brown's golden rule shift gives sinking feeling
One of the UK's most influential economic think tanks has slashed its growth estimates for 2005 and warned that Gordon Brown's new version of his golden rule will do nothing more than "move the deckchairs on the Titanic".
Scotsman.com: Making the most of a rate cut
The minutes of the July meeting of the Bank of England Monetary Policy Committee have fuelled speculation among economists that interest rates will be cut by a quarter percentage in August.
BBC NEWS | Business | Hopes and fears after revaluation
China's currency has weakened slightly one day after the government in Beijing announced an unexpected revaluation.
Saturday, July 23, 2005
BBC NEWS | Wales | North East Wales | Fears over 200 trailer firm jobs
Two hundred jobs may be lost in Wrexham after a vehicle components company announced plans to shut its factory.
Times Online: Website to keep credit in check
A website has been launched by the banks to demystify credit cards and give customers tips on how to borrow responsibly and find a way out of financial difficulties.
The Guardian: HSBC to axe 100 jobs in Chester
HSBC is planning to make 100 staff redundant at the financial services arm of Marks & Spencer it bought last November, which is based in Chester.
Times Online: UK growth slows to 12-year low
The economy grew at its slowest annual pace for 12 years during the past quarter, renewing expectations that interest rates will be cut next month and highlighting concerns over the deterioration in the public finances.
The Guardian: Sales slip at John Lewis
John Lewis, the department store chain, suffered steep declines in sales across the country in the second week of July.
The Guardian | Regional house prices close gap with London
The difference between house prices in London and the rest of the country is at the lowest for eight years, a survey by the Halifax showed yesterday.
BBC NEWS | England | Kent | Drugs firm Pfizer to cut 110 jobs
Drugs firm Pfizer is to cut 110 jobs from its research and development plant in Kent, it announced on Friday.
BBC NEWS | Business | Kleenex maker to shed 6,000 jobs
Kleenex tissues maker Kimberly-Clark is to axe 6,000 jobs and close or sell 20 plants as it seeks to save around $300m-$350m (£200m) a year until 2009.
This is Money: National Savings cuts rates
National Savings & Investments has reduced the interest paid on the majority of its fixed-rate savings products, and may pay the price as customer chase better rates elsewhere.
The Times: Should the landlords call time?
Robert Day sometimes forgets that he is a landlord. The 36-year-old, who married two years ago, says that letting his old bachelor pad in Glasgow has been relatively stress-free.
Times Online: EU halts Chinese knitwear imports
A £500 million pile of jumpers has piled up on ships and aircraft outside the European Union after regulators barred any further such imports from China this year.
The Guardian | Industry sinks back into recession
The British economy suffered its weakest annual growth in more than 12 years in the second quarter of the year as the hard-pressed manufacturing sector sank once more into a recession.
Independent: Why council tax bills just don't add up
Here's some welcome news you may not have been expecting. Your council tax bill is more likely to fall than it is to rise in April 2007, when the government completes its re-banding of every property in England.
Sky News: North-South Property Price Gap Narrows
The price gap between London and the rest of Britain is at its lowest level for eight years, says new research.
Independent: Lenders tighten the rules on ex-local authority properties
Getting a mortgage to buy an ex-local authority property has become increasingly difficult in recent months, as banks and building societies tighten their lending criteria after the recent housing boom and subsequent slowdown.
BBC NEWS | Business | London losing house price crown
The gap between house prices in London and the rest of the UK has shrunk to its lowest level in nearly eight years, research from Halifax bank has shown.
Friday, July 22, 2005
Economist.com: Greenspan’s last words?
Alan Greenspan, the chairman of America’s Federal Reserve, has given what may be the last of his twice-yearly speeches to Congress on monetary policy before his expected retirement.
Money Week - West loses its global lead - US, prices, bubble
"Unbuilt homes selling like crazy," says a headline in USA Today.
Reuters: Economic growth slows to weakest rate in 12yrs
The economy grew at its weakest annual pace in more than 12 years in the second quarter of 2005 as manufacturing fell into recession, reinforcing expectations of an interest rate cut next month.
BBC News: Base saved but 480 MoD jobs lost
Workers at the Ministry of Defence base in Telford are coming to terms with the news that almost 500 people there are to lose their jobs by 2009.
BBC News: Furniture plants to lose 238 jobs
Workers at two furniture factories have been told that that 238 jobs are to be lost at the Christie Tyler group in Bridgend.
Guardian: Nokia profit falls short of forecasts
The world's largest mobile phone manufacturer Nokia sent investors reeling yesterday as it warned on profits after announcing weaker than expected second-quarter earnings.
Sky News: Boots Sales Look Sickly
Trade at Boots has fallen yet again - and the company says it can see no light at the end of the tunnel.
BBC News: Consumer slowdown hits UK growth
The UK economy put in its worst performance in more than a decade as High Street slowdown put the brakes on growth, official figures show.
BBC News: 480 jobs to go as factory closes
An electronics factory is shutting down on Friday with the loss of 480 jobs.
Guardian: This won't cure a huge trade deficit
China's long-awaited but small revaluation of its currency probably heralds the start of a series of revaluations but on its own will make little difference to the huge American trade deficit.
Telegraph: Reid is accused of 'sneaking out' news of defence job cuts
John Reid, the Defence Secretary, was accused yesterday of attempting to "sneak out" the announcement of thousands of job cuts in the Armed Forces.
BBC News: Credit card advice site launched
The credit card industry has launched its own website to help people choose which card is right for them and avoid building up excessive debt.
SKY News: Stuck in the money trap
One in 20 couples are staying together because they claim they cannot afford to break up, research shows.
SKY News: Powergen hikes bills
Powergen has revealed that its gas prices are to rise by 11.9% and its electricity bills by 7.2%.
BBC NEWS | Business | 'Euromortgage' plan for borrowers
Homebuyers could be able to shop across Europe for the best mortgage deal, under plans being considered by the European Commission.
Thursday, July 21, 2005
BBC News: US greets China currency shake-up
China's revaluation of the yuan for the first time in a decade has been hailed by the US, its top critic on the issue.
BBC News: Retail sales highest since 2003
UK High Street sales grew at their fastest pace for one-and-a-half years in June, calling into question recent evidence of a spending slowdown.
BBC News: Greenspan warns on rising rates
US rates are likely to go on rising amid expectations of further solid economic growth, US Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan has said.
BBC News: Kodak to slash 10,000 extra jobs
Eastman Kodak is cutting up to 10,000 more jobs than previously announced as its traditional film business continues to struggle in the digital world.
BBC News: Cumbria calls for Whitehall jobs
A Cumbrian town, which has seen big job losses in recent years, should benefit from government plans to move Whitehall jobs to the regions, academics say.
Sky News: Retail Sales Set For Another Dive
The worst retail sales figures in almost 10 years are expected to be published this morning.
Telegraph: Euro waits in wings for a turn as belle of the currency ball
There's nothing like the prospect of a few forced sellers to bring a smile to the faces of the currency traders.
Wednesday, July 20, 2005
NEW FEATURE: Comments have now been enabled on the blog. Feel free to add you comments to the news stories that are published.
Telegraph: Not so fast
Within minutes of the Olympics decision, estate agents were predicting huge price rises for the East End. But, says Ross Clark, buyers would be wise to look before they leap
Building Societies Association: Highest June Savings Inflows since 1997
In the savings market, building societies had net inflows of £993 million in June 2005, up from £554 million in June 2004.
Yahoo! Finance: GM posts unexpected quarterly loss
General Motors posted an unexpected quarterly loss on Wednesday as stubbornly high costs for everything from materials to worker health care to consumer incentives outweighed strong results from its finance arm.
Yahoo! Finance: June retail data may show growth near 10-yr low
Retail sales are expected to have picked up slightly in June, helped by early summer discounting and hot weather, but data on Thursday may still show the lowest annual growth rate in almost a decade.
BBC News: Budget woes deepen for chancellor
Government borrowing in the UK has risen to its highest June level to date, putting more pressure on the Chancellor's spending plans.
Bloomberg: Bank of England MPC Voted 5-4 to Hold Interest Rate
The Bank of England's rate-setting committee voted 5-4 to leave its benchmark interest rate unchanged at 4.75 percent this month, underscoring the divisions on the committee about how to respond to signs of slowing growth.
Telegraph: Brown postpones spending review 'to give himself a clean sheet before move to No 10'
Speculation that Tony Blair plans to hand over to Gordon Brown in two years - having served 10 years as Prime Minister - mounted yesterday when the Chancellor postponed the next spending review until spring 2007.
Independent: Play the waiting game at your cost
Holding out for a better rate when your mortgage deal ends can be expensive, says Stephen Pritchard
Bloomberg.com: China 2nd-Qtr Growth Unexpectedly Accelerates to 9.5%
China's economic growth unexpectedly picked up in the second quarter as exports surged and investment in power plants, mines and factories gathered pace. Stocks rose and traders increased bets the yuan will be revalued.
SMH (AUS): House prices tipped to fall 15% over three years
NSW house prices will fall by 15 per cent in real terms over the next three years but the state's borrowers are more cautious than most other Australians, research shows.
Tuesday, July 19, 2005
BBC News: UK financial exports hit record
The value of UK financial services exports such as insurance broking and investment banking hit a record $19bn in 2004, a study has shown.
BBC News: Brown rejigs rules to help budget
Chancellor Gordon Brown is planning to change the definition of the economic cycle to ensure avoiding breaching his "Golden Rule" on balancing the budget.
Yahoo (USA): Are Real Estate Prices Ready to Fall?
Soaring home prices have led to the emergence of a generation of wet-behind-the-ears real estate investors, and rampant speculation is raising concern that the boom is turning into a bubble that may burst.
Times: RICS calls for rate cut as house prices fall
The trade body for property surveyors has thrown its weight behind calls for a cut in interest rates, as it reported that the housing market was still subdued and that property prices nationwide continue to fall.
BBC News: HP plans to cut one in ten jobs
Hewlett-Packard is to lay off about one in ten of its workers as part of its long-awaited restructuring.
SKY News: Surveyors see price falls
More evidence of the depressed state of the housing market comes from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.
ING Direct:Reduction in ING Direct savings rate
As of 1 August the ING Direct savings rate will be 4.75% AER.
The Advertiser (AUS): More rate rises to hit homes
House prices could fall over the next 12 months with the central bank likely to raise interest rates again, a report has forecast.
Telegraph: Countryside 'is under threat' from Prescott's homes plan
Plans to force councils to release more land for housing in areas where house prices are high or rising were unveiled yesterday.
My Finances: Good schools see house prices rocket
A good state school can double the increase in your house price, according to new data.
Sky News: Asylum Targets Are Not Being Met, Report
Ministers are being urged to review the immigration system after it was revealed around 283,500 failed asylum seekers may still be in the UK.
Telegraph: Housebuyers perk up on promise of cheaper rates
The number of people looking to buy a house has increased for the first time since January.
Monday, July 18, 2005
FT.com: Foolhardy strategies
Such strategies worked fine when property inflation was running at 20 per cent or more a year. In an iffy market they look foolhardy.
FT.com: Putting a different perspective on investment
Prices had gone up so fast for so long that he simply could not imagine things any other way.
BBC NEWS | Business | Debenhams loses landmark VAT case
UK retailers will have to pay hundreds of millions of pounds in value added tax (VAT) after the government won a landmark court case against Debenhams.
David Smith's EconomicsUK.com: Spending less and saving more
It has been a hell of a party. We’ve enjoyed ourselves for years. But now it is the time to count the cost. That, it seems, is going to be the story of the next few years.
Reuters.co.uk: House price inflation at 10-year low
House prices rose at their weakest annual rate in 10 years in July as homeowners desperate to move dropped their asking prices, a survey showed on Monday.
David Smith's EconomicsUK.com: Slowdown turning the screw
The more you look at the anatomy of the slowdown under way in Britain’s economy, the more multifaceted it appears. What is also becoming clear is that, while lower interest rates will help, they will not quickly restore economic growth to the kind of rude health it enjoyed as recently as last year.
ABC Money: House prices are falling
House prices in the U.K. have fallen in July for the first time in the last six months.
BBC News: Sellers move to cut house prices
House prices fell 1% during the four weeks to 9 July in the sharpest downwards move since last November, property website Rightmove has said.
This is Money: Owners' awareness sees house prices drop
House prices fell by 1% during the early summer as homeowners finally became more realistic about how much their property was worth, figures showed today.
Independent: Summer homes sale as prices tumble 1% in June
Homeowners have slashed almost £2,000 off the average asking prices of property on the market in the past month, according to figures published today.
Sunday, July 17, 2005
Yahoo! Finance: Iraq's oil exports suspended by strike
Iraq's oil exports were suspended for 24 hours because of a strike by 15,000 employees of the South Oil Company, a company official said.
Yahoo! Finance: Company profit warnings rise 52 pct
British listed companies issued 97 profit warnings in the second quarter of 2005, up 52 percent from Q2 2004, accountants Ernst & Young said on Sunday.
The Guardian: Scores of jobs to go at troubled B&Q
Troubled DIY chain B&Q, the subject of bid rumours, is looking at scores of job cuts across its 28,000 workforce.
The Observer: Worst year for housing market since 1995
The British housing market will record zero growth this year, according to data out this week. That would make it the worst performance since 1995 and reignite fears of a prolonged slowdown.
Independent: No property boom, no inflation, no rate rises: you've never seen anything like it in your life
The slowdown and the forthcoming interest rate cut. There is a simple story, which we all understand, and a more complicated one, which is more of a struggle to grasp.
Telegraph: British homeowners 'take most risk'
UK households take on more uncertainty about the levels of their mortgage payments than borrowers in almost any other country in the world - and are significantly worse off for it, according to a study by an influential adviser to the Treasury.
The Observer: Don't look now, but housing's on a cliff edge
The whole housing industry - builders, lenders, estate agents and sector analysts - refuses to admit that the market is heading for jagged rocks.
The Observer: Key workers still locked out
Government schemes to help a million people get into the property market by 2010 face problems and may prove ineffective.
Tim Worstall: House Prices
The British housing market will record zero growth this year, according to data out this week. That would make it the worst performance since 1995 and reignite fears of a prolonged slowdown.
Sunday Herald: Banks under scrutiny over lending as bad debts edge towards £11bn:
Britain's big banks could find themselves in the dock over their lending practices in the next few weeks, as they admit to a surge in their bad debt experience in the early months of this year.
Times Online: One year on, still stuck for a sale:
With buyers thin on the ground, many sellers find themselves unable to move unless they can make drastic price cuts
Saturday, July 16, 2005
Telegraph | Money | Brickmaker hit by falling house sales
The slump in house sales claimed its third industry scalp in a week yesterday as reduced demand for bricks forced Baggeridge Brick to push out a profits warning.
The Guardian: Council tax band revaluation will hit south-west hardest
Households in the south-west of England are likely to be the biggest losers from the revaluation of council tax bands, according to research published today, although a small town north of Newcastle could see the steepest rise in bills.
BBC NEWS | Scotland | Owners predict house value rise
More than half of all homeowners in Scotland expect their property to increase in value over the next year, according to a survey.
Telegraph: The £8m gap in the property market
Complaints about the property market are usually concentrated on high prices and cramped flats in bad locations. But a new breed of whinger has just arrived - the £8 million buyer.
Friday, July 15, 2005
Guardian: Bovis sees house prices drop 10%
Bovis Homes has become the latest builder to feel the effects of the sluggish housing market after reporting a 16% drop in sales and a 10% drop in prices in the first half of 2005.
Cumberland News: Buy-to-let market is safe bet for the future
Forget about a pension scheme - an investment property is the best was to secure your financial future...
BBC News: British Gas to cut 2,000 UK jobs
British Gas has confirmed that it is to cut 2,000 jobs at sites in Manchester, Oldham and Solihull.
FT.com: An uphill stretch for the economy
Are the wheels about to come off the British "economic miracle"? The economy has enjoyed 51 successive quarters of growth since the second quarter of 1992, at an annual rate of 3 per cent a year.
Motley Fool: Ten Frightening Financial Facts!
Anyone should be able to see that persistently spending 110% of your income eventually will lead to financial ruin.
Money Week: UK house prices resumed their fall
The housing market took a turn for the worse this week. The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors announced that 49% more estate agents reported that house prices had fallen over the past three months than said prices were rising, the worst reading for more than 12 years.
Yahoo Finance: Slow second-hand market frustrates builder Bovis
Bovis Homes warned on Thursday that buyers were having such trouble selling their old houses that sales of its most profitable properties had nearly halved and were threatening its full-year expectations.
Thursday, July 14, 2005
This is Money: Economy 'on brink' as pound braces for fall
Sterling could be on the brink of a dramatic slide, threatening the economy's stability if it falls too far too fast, a leading economist has warned.
SKY News: Builder sees sales slide
Bovis is expecting full-year margins to be down around 2% as the property market takes a turn for the worse
IT Vibe: Virus exploits London bombings
Opportunistic (and sick) virus writers are using the London bombings to spread malicious viruses.
This is Money: Jobless rises match Nineties slump
The number of Britons out of work and claiming unemployment benefits rose for the fifth month running in June - the longest stretch of increases since the economic slump of 1992.
BBC NEWS | Business | Bush predicts budget gap closing
US President George W Bush has said that the nation's large budget deficit will be $94bn (£53bn) less in 2005 than originally projected.
Interactive Investor: China central bank official says slim chance of rate hike in near future
China's central bank said it is unlikely to raise interest rates in the near future, the official China Securities Journal reported.
Wednesday, July 13, 2005
In2perspective: East London wins this decade
Newham, Hackney and Tower Hamlets lead the league table of London boroughs with the highest price rises over the last 10 years, according to new research.
BBC News: Oil sits above $61 as storm nears
The price of crude oil climbed above $61 on Wednesday amid concerns that a new storm headed for the Gulf of Mexico would disrupt production.
BBC News: UK labour market 'is softening'
The number of jobless people in the UK is continuing to fall, yet more people claim unemployment benefits, Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures show.
Socialist Worker: Brown’s ‘miracle’ runs into trouble
The first in a new series asks if the bubble is going to burst — with dire consequences
Telegraph: Prices at seven-year high 'will not prevent rate cut'
Inflation rose to a seven-year high of 2pc in June - and may rise further this month - but economists said it would not stand in the way of an anticipated cut in interest rates.
The Advertiser (AUS): Rate-cut hopes hit by rising prices
Burgeoning price pressures in the Australian economy could derail a cut in official interest rates for Australia's home owners in the new year.
Independent: Come on in, the house is open to everyone
With sales slowing this summer, estate agents are trying to generate extra interest by holding multiple viewings.
BBC NEWS | Business | Oil fuelled by fresh storm fears
The price of oil shot back above $60 a barrel on Tuesday on fears that a new tropical storm in the Gulf of Mexico could halt production.
In2perspective: Housing market’s 'summer boom'
House prices increased by 1.9% in June, the second consecutive month of positive price growth after consistent decreases since November 2004, according to SmartNewHomes.com.
Tuesday, July 12, 2005
Yahoo! Finance: Builder McCarthy sees profit below forecasts
The country's biggest retirement home builder McCarthy & Stone expects annual profit to miss analysts' consensus forecast, the firm said on Tuesday, sending its shares down almost 5 percent at one point.
Guardian Unlimited: Bush Said to Be Monitoring Housing Boom
The Bush administration is closely watching the housing boom, though so far the surge appears to be driven mostly by basic market forces and not speculation that could lead to instability, Ben Bernanke, the president's top economist, said Tuesday.
BBC News: Consumer inflation climbs to 2%
UK consumer price inflation(CPI) hit 2% in June, the first time it has touched that figure since the new preferred measure was adopted in December 2003.
Sky News: Inflation To Rise To Seven-Year High
Food prices are thought to have helped drive inflation to its highest level since 1998 last month.
WSWS.org: Household debt soars in Spain
Household debt rose above disposable income for the first time in 2004, up from just over half in 1997.
Find a Property: Cut Rates Now, Says B&B
At the end of the second quarter of 2005, how does the future look for the housing market? Bradford & Bingley draws some conclusions...
Telegraph: Average price of a home tops £180,000
House prices rose by an annual rate of 6pc in May, the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister said yesterday.
Monday, July 11, 2005
BBC News: UK house prices slowing slightly
Annual house price inflation slowed in May, according to the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (ODPM).
NEWS.com.au: Home lending plummets
The value of housing loans dropped 2.6 per cent in May despite official interest rates remaining on hold, figures released today show.
Guardian Unlimited | The Guardian | Confidence at lowest point since 2001
Business confidence among British firms has slumped to its lowest level for four and a half years, according to a report published today.
BBC NEWS | Business | Retailers monitoring London trade
Retail bosses will closely study sales in their central London stores in the next few days to gauge what effect the bomb attacks have on business.
Sunday, July 10, 2005
Independent: Retailers stand to lose billions as shoppers stay away from capital
London's retailers, already enduring a slump in consumer spending, could end up suffering "potentially billions" in lost sales as a result of last week's terrorist outrages.
ABC Money: MPC's rate cuts is a question of when, not if
Last week's chaos and carnage on the streets of London did not influence the Monetary Policy Committee to chop the interest rates which have stood steady at 4.75 percent for the 11th month running.
Sunday Times: American Account; Goldilocks puts those prowling bears to flight
We were told at the beginning of the year that the American economy was in trouble.
The Observer: When that affordable house is not so cheap
House builders are racing to produce low-cost homes that meet government targets on price, location and design - but will they be good value?
Saturday, July 09, 2005
ABC Money: Mortgage equity withdrawals crash as housing market remains flat
With property prices refusing to surface from the doldrums, it was revealed that the amount of mortgage equity withdrawals in the first quarter fell so much so that the equity release touched its lowest ever level in a period of four years.
icWales: Manicured lawn can add value to your home
Everybody loves a lawn. So declares Dr DG Hessayon in his gardening bible, The Lawn Expert, the world's best-selling book on lawn care. Britain, he says, is the home of the beautiful lawn.
Friday, July 08, 2005
This is Money: Mortgages offered to everyone
Soaring numbers of mortgages are being granted to customers with a poor credit history, a report has revealed
Scotsman: Rates held but blasts could yet see them cut
The Bank of England kept interest rates on hold yesterday at 4.75 per cent for the 11th month on the trot.
Reuters: Blasts will hurt UK economy in short term
The British economy is likely to suffer in months ahead as shoppers and tourists shun central London, analysts said, after four deadly blasts killed at least 37 people and wounded more than 700 in the capital on Thursday.
Thursday, July 07, 2005
BBC News: UK rates left unchanged at 4.75%
The Bank of England has left interest rates unchanged at 4.75% at the end of its two-day Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting.
BBC News: Multiple blasts paralyse London
Several people have been injured after explosions on the Underground network and a double-decker bus in London.
BBC News: Growth in house prices 'static'
House prices rose 0.1% in June, according to the Halifax, and prices have been "static" so far in 2005.
BBC NEWS | Business | London 'set for house price boom'
London house prices could be set for bumper rises following the announcement that the city will host the Olympics in 2012, the Halifax has said.
BBC NEWS | Business | Bank of England mulls rate move
The latest decision on UK interest rates will be unveiled by the Bank of England later on Thursday, with rising pressure on the Bank for a rate cut.
Wednesday, July 06, 2005
Times: Young opt to rent rather than buy
The proportion of people buying their first home before the age of 25 has dropped to its lowest level in 20 years, as rising prices and changing lifestyles alter young people’s spending habits, a study has found.
This is London: Mortgage payments 'stable'
The level of income people are spending on their mortgage remained stable during June as a result of the cooling housing market, figures showed.
BBC News: Storm forces oil price above $60
The cost of crude oil has headed back above $60 a barrel on the threat of disruption to US output from a tropical storm in the Gulf of Mexico.
BBC News: Pressure mounts for UK rate cut
The Bank of England starts its two-day interest rate meeting on Wednesday amid increasing calls from business leaders for lower borrowing costs.
Times Online: Wimpey slides on profits shortfall
Shares in George Wimpey, the housebuilder, fell more than 2 per cent this morning after it warned that profits for the first half would be "well below" the £450.7 million it made last year.
The Guardian: Young home buyers at lowest for 20 years
: The number of people who buy their first home before they are 25 has slumped to its lowest level for at least 20 years, according to figures released yesterday.
Tuesday, July 05, 2005
Reuters.co.uk: Mowlem warns on profits
Building company Mowlem warned on Tuesday that full year profits would be about 20 million pounds lower than expected, knocking its shares.
Council of Mortgage Lenders: When is a first-time buyer not a first-time buyer?
The number of first-time buyers is likely to be at the upper end of a range of 360,000 to 430,000 a year for the next few years, according to new research from the Council of Mortgage Lenders.
IFAonline: FTB affordability constraints have been understated says CML
Affordability constraints on first-time buyers have probably been underestimated as around 20% of FTBs have previously purchased a property, research from the Council of Mortgage Lenders reveals today.
Bloomberg.com:Wimpey Says 1st-Half Profit to Drop as Sales Falter
George Wimpey Plc, Britain's biggest homebuilder by volume, said first-half profit declined for the first time in four years after higher U.K. borrowing costs brought an end to a house-price boom.
Reuters.co.uk - Asda to cut 1,400 management jobs
Retailers across the country are suffering as debt-laden consumers rein back on spending following a series of interest rate rises and amid stagnating house prices.
This is Money: Car discounts rise as sales fall
: "MOTOR dealers are offering huge discounts in an attempt to entice disappearing customers into showrooms. As doubts grow over the state of the economy, sales of new vehicles are plummeting. "
MARKET BOOM IS OVER
: "The Grimsby area housing market was plunged into gloom today as one estate agent closed down and another announced it may have to cut jobs."
BBC News: Asda planning to shed 1,000 jobs
Asda has said that it expects to cut 1,000 jobs as part of a review of its staffing levels.
Guardian: Services output rise stymies rate cut hopes
The prospect of an interest rate cut this week faded yesterday as an important report on the country's dominant services sector came in stronger than expected and showed parts of the economy remain in good health.
Times: Sunny June fails to halt retail sales slide
A sunny June and a rash of bargain-basement clearances failed to stop retail sales sliding again last month, according to the latest gloomy survey of conditions on Britain's high street.
Telegraph: A special mortgage for when breaking up is hard to do
Yorkshire Building Society has launched the first mortgage aimed at the 150,000 couples who get divorced each year.
Monday, July 04, 2005
Telegraph: Official figures reveal UK economy in deep trouble
The weakness of the economy has been deeper and more prolonged than previously thought, the Office for National Statistics revealed yesterday.
BBC NEWS | Business | Dollar gains on rate rise hopes
The dollar has made fresh gains against the euro amid expectations that the US Federal Reserve will continue a steady policy of raising interest rates.
Credit Action: July Debt Statistics (PDF)
Less than half of population are saving each month. This has fallen from 55% last year to 48% this year as households across the country feel the impact of soaring debts.
This is Money: Water bills set to soar
Millions of families face higher water bills following the worst drought since 1976, it emerged yesterday. To avert shortages, several water companies are believed to be poised to invoke emergency powers to install compulsory meters in every home.
BBC News: Fresh calls for interest rate cut
The UK economy is continuing to show signs of slowdown, a report suggests.
EconomicsUK.com: Shadow MPC divides on rates
The results of the latest Shadow Monetary Policy Committee (SMPC) monthly e-mail poll for the Sunday Times are set out below.
The Herald: Shares market may be answer as Bank prepares to cut rates
The Bank of England may well decide to cut interest rates next week following the slowdown in the UK property market and consumer spending.
Bloomberg: ECB, Bank of England May Hold Rates, Surveys Show
The European Central Bank and the Bank of England will probably leave their benchmark interest rates unchanged this week as they wait for more evidence that economic growth is slowing across Europe, separate surveys showed.
SKY News: Economy slows further
The UK economy is continuing to show signs of slowing down as business confidence falters.
Sunday, July 03, 2005
Times: Gloomy outlook puts base rate in balance
This week’s interest-rate decision by the Bank of England’s monetary policy committee (MPC) is on a knife-edge, amid further evidence that the economy is weakening.
Money Week: British debt bulge threatens banks
We have written time and time again in MoneyWeek about the dangers inherent inthe record levels of personal debt held by the British.
Moneyweek's Roundtable: Can Government spending shore up the UK property market?
Is a property crash now inevitable? Or could interest-rate and Government intervention engineer a soft-landing? MoneyWeek invited six experts to dinner and asked what they thought…
The Observer: Fixed-rate home loans fall again
Fixed-rate mortgages continue to get cheaper, with a number of lenders cutting their rates.
The Observer: The £50bn time bomb
Mortgage endowment policyholders who are being told that they are no longer eligible to claim compensation for mis-selling could still claim payments worth billions of pounds by going through the courts.
Saturday, July 02, 2005
Finance24 : UK house sales stagnate
: "The number of unsold houses on the market in Britain is increasing as a once-galloping market cools, the Nationwide Building Society said on Thursday"
Property finance news - Don't believe the hype - house prices are falling
Leading property research firm Hometrack has rubbished reports that claim the UK property market is still rising.
Friday, July 01, 2005
BBC NEWS | Business | US Fed increases rates to 3.25%
The US Federal Reserve has maintained its "measured" pace of interest rate rises, raising the cost of borrowing by 25 basis points to 3.25%.
Assetz News: Foreign property investors should beware of currency fluctuations
UK house prices cooled in June, reducing annual price inflation to its lowest level in nine years, according to figures published today by Nationwide building society.