Sunday, April 30, 2006 

The beginning of the end for cheap money? 

Telegraph - Global tightening will rein in the bulls

China raised interest rates last week. Indeed, around the world, rates and bond yields have been rising. Is this the beginning of the end of the global splurge of liquidity? If so, what are the implications for financial markets?
posted by Uncle Chris  @ 12:24 PM 12 comments

The debt crisis deepens 

Telegraph - Bankruptcies soar to new peak

A potent combination of Britain's £1 trillion debt mountain and a relaxation of the bankruptcy laws is forecast to drive a record 100,000 people to go insolvent this year. Mark Sands, the head of personal insolvency at KPMG, said: "Bankruptcy is becoming a lifestyle option for many people to escape their debts."
posted by Uncle Chris  @ 12:17 PM 0 comments

Why are banks sneaking up the cost of a mortgage? 

This is Money - The great mortgage gamble

Over the past month, many lenders have begun to ratchet two and three-year fixed rates up again slightly, as their cost of borrowing on the money markets rises
posted by Uncle Chris  @ 12:04 PM 0 comments

Will oil pass the $100 a barrel mark 

Observer - New oil shock ahead as $100 spike looms

The growing international crisis over Iran's nuclear programme could trigger a catastrophic oil price spike, sending crude prices over $100 a barrel, senior Wall Street analysts are warning.
posted by Uncle Chris  @ 11:56 AM 4 comments

Vote of confidence in Barclays mortgages 

Times - Barclays bosses take out mortgages with rivals

John Varley, the bank's chief executive, mortgaged his London town house with HSBC last year, shortly after being promoted to the top job at Barclays. The bank's finance director and deputy chairman have also chosen against taking out mortgages with Barclays, in favour of home loans from Royal Bank of Scotland and Lloyds TSB.
posted by Uncle Chris  @ 11:33 AM 0 comments

Saturday, April 29, 2006 

Are FTBs too deep in debt? 

Independent - First-timers are deep in debt even before they buy a home

Nearly half of first-time buyers owe at least £8,000 by the time they start looking for a property, according to a new report from one of the UK's biggest mortgage lenders published today.
posted by Uncle Chris  @ 10:39 AM 2 comments

Buyers close in on Estonia! 

Independent - Estonia becomes the world's housing hotspot

Housing markets across the world have gone through a slowdown over the past year that has seen fringe countries overtake their bigger neighbours in the global league table, new figures showed today.
posted by Uncle Chris  @ 10:30 AM 3 comments

Fancy living near a pylon ... think again. 

Telegraph - Pylon cancer fears put £7bn blight on house prices

Up to £7 billion will be wiped off property values if the Government accepts the advice of experts that homes should no longer be built near overhead power lines because of possible links with childhood leukaemia.
posted by Uncle Chris  @ 10:23 AM 2 comments

Is FTB aid scheme effective? 

Times - Questions raised over £1bn scheme to help buyers

A survey of first-time buyers has raised doubts about the effectiveness of a government scheme to help young people buy their first home.
posted by Uncle Chris  @ 10:15 AM 10 comments

Friday, April 28, 2006 

Fife - 36% annual increase in average house price 

Guardian: Scottish property sizzles

The town of Cupar in Fife has been the UK's property hotspot over the past year, with average property prices rising by 36%, figures showed today.
posted by Webmaster  @ 3:39 PM 4 comments

New Zealand keeps rates on hold at 7.25% 

Reserve Bank of New Zealand: OCR unchanged at 7.25 per cent

Reserve Bank Governor Alan Bollard said: "Data since our March Monetary Policy Statement (MPS) indicate that, while the economy has weakened faster than expected, short-term inflation pressures have intensified."
posted by Webmaster  @ 3:36 PM 0 comments

GDP figures in US point to more rate rises 

BBC News: Big growth spurt for US economy

The US economy roared ahead in the first quarter of 2006, growing at its fastest rate in two and a half years, according to the Commerce Department.
posted by Webmaster  @ 3:28 PM 0 comments

Surprise rate hike by BoE next week? 

Interactive Investor: BoE should consider preemptive rate hike next week - NIESR

There is a "strong case" for the Bank of England's Monetary Policy Committee to surprise the market with a preemptive interest rate hike when it meets next week in order to counter rising inflation expectations, a leading UK think-tank said.
posted by Webmaster  @ 11:04 AM 6 comments

Affordable Housing 'A Human Right' 

Sky News: Cheap Homes 'A Right'

Affordable housing should be a basic human right for everyone in the European Union, an all-party report of MEPs believes.
posted by Webmaster  @ 11:01 AM 1 comments

Dollar falls after Bernanke speech Bernanke hint on US rate pause dents dollar

The dollar fell to seven-month lows against the euro on Thursday after Ben Bernanke, chairman of the Federal Reserve, prepared the markets for a halt in the US rate-tightening cycle that began in June 2004.
posted by Webmaster  @ 10:14 AM 2 comments

Bernanke to pause on rate rises...but not for long 

BBC News: Inflation fears cloud US growth

US economic growth should slow to a more sustainable pace this year, but high energy prices still threaten inflation, the US Fed chief has said.
posted by Webmaster  @ 10:13 AM 0 comments

Japan to raise interest rate? 

BBC News: Japan boosted by consumer data

Japan is showing signs of economic recovery that could pave the way for an interest rate hike in coming months.
posted by Webmaster  @ 9:43 AM 0 comments

Thursday, April 27, 2006 

German growth expected to increase 

BBC News: German economy 'to grow by 1.8%'

Leading German economists have upped their prediction for German growth for 2006 to 1.8% from their previous 1.2%.
posted by Webmaster  @ 5:39 PM 0 comments

Mortgages go through the roof 

This is Money: Mortgages to break £1 trillion barrier

The value of homeloans in the UK will burst through the £1 trillion barrier early next month.
posted by Webmaster  @ 3:53 PM 4 comments

Lending rate raised in China 

Yahoo! News: China raises lending rate to slow booming economy

China raised interest rates on Thursday for the first time in 18 months in what economists said was an attempt to slow a boom in credit and investment growth.
posted by Webmaster  @ 12:08 PM 22 comments

Interest rate cut in UK not on the cards 

Reuters: Bank's Barker - No pressing need for rate cut

There does not seem to be a pressing need for the Bank of England to cut interest rates, Monetary Policy Committee member Kate Barker was quoted as saying on Thursday.
posted by Webmaster  @ 12:07 PM 1 comments

What are the real reasons behind high oil prices? 

Guardian: Fuelling the uncertainty

An interesting article which questions the reasons that we are given for current record high oil prices.
posted by Webmaster  @ 10:34 AM 4 comments

FX market reacts to bleak house price data 

Reuters: Sterling hits 3-wk low vs euro after housing data

Sterling hit a 3-week low against a strong euro and held steady against the dollar after data showed British house prices barely budged in April following a jump in March.
posted by Webmaster  @ 10:29 AM 6 comments

Housing market grew by just 0.1% in April 

Times: Housing market recovery stalls
Money extra: April showers cool house prices
Sky News: Property Prices Static
BBC News: Growth in UK house prices 'cools'
Reuters: House prices barely budge in April

Hopes for a sustained recovery in the housing market have suffered a setback after one of the country's top mortgage lenders gave warning that price growth slowed sharply in April and annual property price inflation is now back below 5 per cent.
posted by Webmaster  @ 9:30 AM 8 comments

Beginning of the end for estate agents? 

BBC News: Asda set to start selling houses

People choosing to sell their homes through Asda will pay lower than average estate agency fees and receive a free Home Information Pack (HIP).
posted by Webmaster  @ 9:20 AM 5 comments

Wednesday, April 26, 2006 

Average cost for diesel is now 98.71 

Sky News: Diesel Petrol Price Hits All-Time High

The cost of a litre of diesel has hit an all-time high. The average cost of a litre of diesel is 98.71 against 98.6 on September 14, 2005, according to the AA Motoring Trust's figures.
posted by Webmaster  @ 5:43 PM 6 comments

Pru jobs go to India 

BBC News: Jobs at risk in Prudential revamp

Prudential has announced that it is to close its sites in Belfast, Bristol and Holborn Bars in London.
posted by Webmaster  @ 3:13 PM 3 comments

Motley Fool educates the masses about interest rates 

Motley Fool: Mortgage Interest Rates

Interest rates are probably the most important part about buying a house. After all, your aim is borrow the money you need for the least possible cost, so you need to assess which type of interest rate is best for your particular circumstances.
posted by Webmaster  @ 10:45 AM 2 comments

Bank of Canada raises interest rates to 4% Bank of Canada hikes interest rates again

The Bank of Canada has increased interest rates for the 3rd time this year and economists expect another two increases to bring them to 4.5%
posted by Webmaster  @ 10:38 AM 0 comments

Retirement house builder sees fall in profits 

Independent: McCarthy & Stone profits fall 20%

McCarthy & Stone, the retirement home builder, unveiled a 20 per cent drop in first-half profits yesterday, blaming a rise in building costs and land prices for its poor performance.
posted by Webmaster  @ 10:35 AM 0 comments

Buy to let still strong 

Mortgage Introducer: Paragon reveals healthy BTL market

Paragon Mortgages Buy-to-Let (BTL) Index has revealed the market remains strong, despite a drop in property prices paid by landlords during March.
posted by Webmaster  @ 10:31 AM 9 comments

Credit card spending set to double 

Moneyextra: Credit card spending to soar on DIY spring fever

Overall credit card spending is set to double from £645 to £1,225 over the next three months with spending on the home and car likely to fuel this increase, according to the latest figures from the Morgan Stanley Card Index.
posted by Webmaster  @ 10:26 AM 2 comments

Cost of fixed rate mortgages on the rise 

Telegraph: Fixed-rate home loans are going up

Mortgage lenders are increasing the cost of fixed-rate mortgages following a rise in "swap" rates - the price at which they buy funds in the money market to underpin the deals.
posted by Webmaster  @ 10:25 AM 6 comments

Annual rate of growth up to 2.2% 

BBC News: UK economy records strong growth
Reuters: UK growth steady in Q1 as expected

Gross domestic product (GDP) grew by 0.6% a steady in the first three months of the year, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said.
posted by Webmaster  @ 10:23 AM 0 comments

Better off renting 

MSN Money: When renting is a better idea

The continuing positive propaganda about buying a home can be so incessant that it can be hard to accept there are times when renting a property is a better option than buying one.
posted by Webmaster  @ 10:15 AM 1 comments

Tuesday, April 25, 2006 

HIPs will be bad for mortgage industry 

IFAonline: Hips will lead mortgage industry into decline - IMLA

Almost half of brokers believe that, even after the initial distortion caused by the introduction of Home information packs (Hip) wears off, there will be a long-term decline in property transactions, research from the Intermediary Mortgage Lenders Association (IMLA) states
posted by Webmaster  @ 4:56 PM 10 comments

Bush on the oil offensive 

BBC News: Bush plans to tackle petrol price

US President George W Bush has unveiled plans, including an inquiry into price fixing, to lower the cost of oil and cut climbing petrol prices.
posted by Webmaster  @ 4:54 PM 1 comments

Price of oil to remain above $75 for next 5 years Security of oil supply raises fears of long-term contango

The last time oil prices rose to record levels, it was only short-term prices that moved higher. This time it is different: not only are deliveries for June priced at their highest level ever - about $75 a barrel - but the market is suggesting prices for the next five years will remain above $70 a barrel.
posted by Webmaster  @ 1:34 PM 2 comments

Second home ownership now at record levels 

This is Money: 600,000 Brits own second home

There are as many as 350,000 in England, according to a survey. And there are another 260,000 second homes abroad owned by Britons.
posted by Webmaster  @ 12:38 PM 16 comments

Adverts on BBC website? 

BBC News BBC polls users on online adverts

BBC looks at the possibility of serving adverts on certain parts of its website. This article isn't on-topic but is likely to provoke some lively discussion.
posted by Webmaster  @ 12:25 PM 2 comments

Capital Economics dispute NAEA forecast 

Money extra: Estate Agents' house price forecast disputed

Economists at Capital Economics are disputing claims by the National Association of Estate Agents that house prices will double over the next decade. It may well be in the NAEA's interests to talk up housing but is the forecast realistic?
posted by Webmaster  @ 11:16 AM 15 comments

South Korean economy set to grow by 5% in 2006 

BBC News: South Korean growth slowing down

South Korea's economy grew 6.2% year on year in the first quarter, the nation's central bank said, pointing to gains in private consumption and exports.
posted by Webmaster  @ 11:10 AM 0 comments

Poor Stay Poor As Rich Get Richer 

Sky News: Little Chance For Poor

People brought up in poverty are at least twice as likely to be poor as those from better-off homes, new research shows. One in five teenagers from poor households in the 1970s are no better off than their parents were.
posted by Webmaster  @ 9:59 AM 0 comments

Oil price dips slightly 

Reuters: Oil dips on OPEC promise

Oil prices dipped on Tuesday as OPEC's promise to keep pumping at near full capacity triggered profit taking from record highs struck late last week.
posted by Webmaster  @ 8:01 AM 0 comments

TVR to shut up shop in Blackpool 

Sky News: Jobs Lost As Car Firm Shuts Factory

TVR is to close its UK factory in Blackpool with the loss of 260 jobs. Britain's biggest independent car maker will cease production at the plant in six months.
posted by Webmaster  @ 7:49 AM 0 comments

Monday, April 24, 2006 

Bad news for BTL's 

Reuters: Buy-to-let rental yields fallBuy-to-let rental yields are rising in Scotland but falling elsewhere, according to Landlord Mortgages, the largest buy-to-let broker in the UK.
posted by Webmaster  @ 1:45 PM 4 comments

Most expensive petrol station in the UK? 

Daily Mail: Petrol hits £1.19 a litre

Scare headline from the Daily Mail. When you actually read the story you find that it's a disreputable Texaco petrol station in Sloane Square!
posted by Webmaster  @ 12:50 PM 0 comments

Housing market on the slide? 

Money Week: Is the housing market finally slipping?

"Back in the late 1980s before the housing market collapsed, groups of young people joined together to buy properties. Clearly we don't learn from the lessons of history because this week in the FT it was reported that homebuyers are flocking to a joint-purchase website"
posted by Webmaster  @ 11:25 AM 6 comments

Lenders tighten up on mortgage switching 

This is Money: Cost of mortgage switch soars
Homebuyers are being forced to pay more than £1,000 to change mortgages as lenders raise their charges by up to 125%.
posted by Uncle Chris  @ 10:29 AM 0 comments

Tesco to restructure property portfolio 

Guardian: Tesco to cash in on land holdings

Supermarket group Tesco will tomorrow outline plans to release cash from its multibillion-pound property portfolio, which could allow a substantial return to shareholders.
posted by Webmaster  @ 10:08 AM 1 comments

Mortgage lending remains strong 

Reuters: Mortgage lending growth near 2-year high

Underlying mortgage lending growth jumped in March to its highest in nearly two years, the British Bankers' Association said on Monday, in data that suggested the housing market remains buoyant.
posted by Webmaster  @ 10:03 AM 3 comments

UK Retail Sales revised down for February 

National Statistics: Retail sales down in first quarter (PDF)
Reuters: March UK retail sales up more than expected

British retail sales rose faster than expected last month but February's rise was revised down, official figures showed on Monday.
posted by Webmaster  @ 9:52 AM 1 comments

Banks go low to woo borrowers 

Independent: The personal loan bursts into blossom

After a period of hibernation, the personal loans market has burst into life again with rates as low as 5.6 per cent.
posted by Webmaster  @ 9:41 AM 0 comments

Sunday, April 23, 2006 

Base rate is artificially low due to migrants 

Scotsman: EU incomers 'keeping interest rates down'
Times: Migrants 'have kept interest rates down'

The Ernst & Young Item club argues that if we didn't have EU migrants then interest rates would be 0.5% higher. With increased migration this will subdue the base rate by up to 1% in the coming months.
posted by Webmaster  @ 3:12 PM 8 comments

Buy for Uni mortgage 

Independent: Make the grade, and you'll pass directly to home ownership

A new mortgage launched by Bath building society similar to a buy to let mortgage but specifically for students at university...but with several strings attached!
posted by Webmaster  @ 11:28 AM 3 comments

Saturday, April 22, 2006 

Did someone mention the R word? 

icWales: Troubled times - even recession - ahead

Our level headed friends at Moneyweek believe, amongst other things, that house price surveys from Nationwide and Halifax are misleading...couldn't agree more!
posted by Webmaster  @ 6:28 PM 7 comments

Petrol prices to remain high until September Petrol prices 'may soar': 'When do we see some respite from all this? At the end of August into September. Unless we have another violent hurricane season like last year, I would expect prices to come down.'
posted by Webmaster  @ 6:25 PM 0 comments

Who wants to be a millionaire? 

Sky News: More And More Property Millionaires

A feelgood news story for homeowners, after reading this article they should probably pat themselves on the back for making such wise and calculated decisions!
posted by Webmaster  @ 6:23 PM 0 comments

Friday, April 21, 2006 

Has the penny dropped? 

The Gallup Poll: Seven in 10 Consumers Expect Housing Bubble to Burst

However, only about 4 in 10 expect housing prices in their areas to remain the same or decline.
posted by Webmaster  @ 4:49 PM 3 comments

Analysing the recent oil price rises 

Reuters: How high is too high for world oil price?

The $70-a-barrel mark for oil, decisively breached this week, is seen by many analysts as a danger level. But some argue sustained prices of well over $60 have inflicted surprisingly little pain and done some good.
posted by Webmaster  @ 4:11 PM 0 comments

Mammoth loss for Ford 

BBC NEWS: US problems fuel huge Ford loss

Ford has reported a $1.19bn (£629m) loss for the past three months after incurring huge costs from its planned series of job cuts and plant closures.
posted by Webmaster  @ 3:53 PM 0 comments

FTB's dig deep 

Guardian: Costs hit first-time home buyers hard

While first-time buyers in 2000 needed an average of £4,698 to cover stamp duty, solicitors' bills and mortgage fees, in 2006 the average is £9,113, according to research by mortgage lender Woolwich.
posted by Webmaster  @ 1:52 PM 2 comments

Buy-to-let sector sees reduction in yields 

In2perspective: Buy-to-let investors squeezed as yields fall

Rental yields in England have fallen from 6.15% to 5.91% between the last quarter of the last year and the beginning of 2006. London yields have fallen by an even greater margin - from 6.58% to 6.07%.
posted by Webmaster  @ 1:48 PM 9 comments

Will the BoE be forced to raise interest rates? 

The Scotsman: Caution over rates despite fall in CPI

This article argues that the recent inflation figure does not take into account the latest rises in energy bills and oil prices.
posted by Webmaster  @ 1:45 PM 1 comments

Interest rates to dampen demand for property 

Reuters: Higher rates may hit surging property demand

Based on the twice-yearly RICS survey the findings are that further interest rate rise globally would probably take some steam out of the market.
posted by Webmaster  @ 1:43 PM 3 comments

Thursday, April 20, 2006 

Has Gordon Brown pushed the UK consumer too far? 

Independent: Hamish McRae - How the consumer slowdown could squeeze Brown where it hurts

How long can the British consumer keep it up? The boost from the public sector is waning and company investment remains depressed.
posted by Webmaster  @ 9:38 PM 5 comments

Record month for mortgage lending 

Guardian: Mortgage lending hits new high

The council of Mortgage Lenders have today announced that £28.31bn was lent in March which was the highest figure on record. So, is this the last spurt for the housing market?
posted by Webmaster  @ 1:51 PM 2 comments

Inflation rate catches economists out 

Times: Surprise fall in inflation
Telegraph: Inflation slowest in over a year

Economists had predicted the annual rate of inflation to remain at 2% or drop to 1.9% but instead it has slowed to 1.8%
posted by Webmaster  @ 1:46 PM 4 comments

Wednesday, April 19, 2006 

Yet more record highs for oil! Oil hits new high over $73
BBC News: US jitters fuel fresh oil highs

London Brent crude hit's a record high of $74 whilst US light crude jumped to another record high of $72.40. Do I see any bidders for $80....yes thank you sir the man at the back with the brightly coloured jacket!
posted by Webmaster  @ 11:02 PM 15 comments

Debt? What debt? 

Guardian: Borrowers undaunted by debt

As consumer borrowing nears the £1.2 trillion mark, a survey by CreditExpert shows that most debtors are confident that they can meet repayments on mortgages, loans and credit cards.
posted by Webmaster  @ 3:06 PM 4 comments

FTSE breaks through 6100 barrier 

Sky News: FTSE Hits 5-Year High

The FTSE continues to break into territory that it has not seen in 5 years. The recent rise is mainly due to the Fed's minutes indicating that the current trend of rate increases may soon be taking a breather even though oil prices continue to rise.
posted by Webmaster  @ 3:01 PM 0 comments

Oil prices show no sign of receding 

BBC News: Oil price lingers near record $71
Sky News: Fuel prices on the rise

Oil prices are still hovering at record levels. BA have increased their fuel levy from £30 to £35 for a one-way trip and motorists are told that £1 per litre of diesel will become the norm this summer.
posted by Webmaster  @ 12:33 PM 0 comments

Bank voted 7-1 to hold UK rates 

BBC News: Bank of England voted 7-1 to hold UK rates
BBC News: Fed hints at end to US rate rises

Minutes released today show that the MPC are holding tight for now but are aware of rising energy cost affecting inflation. All eyes are now on the Fed to see if ftey are going to continue raising interest rates and on the Bank of Japan to see when they are going to start raising them.
posted by Webmaster  @ 12:26 PM 1 comments

China's currency revaluation could lead to higher global inflation 

Will China's next big export be inflation? - Analysis - Times Online

If China were to submit to pressure from the US to revalue its currency against the dollar, this would increase the price of Chinese exports which would produce an immediate (and perhaps sharp) inflationary effect on the rest of the world.
posted by Paul  @ 11:19 AM 0 comments

Inflation expectations rise 

Guardian Unlimited Business | | Inflation expectation increases to 2.7%

According to the latest NOP poll conducted for the Bank of England, inflation expectations rose to 2.7% in March, which is the highest they have been since the survey began in 1999.
posted by Paul  @ 11:09 AM 2 comments

Tuesday, April 18, 2006 

Peugot pulls the plug on Coventry with the loss of 2,300 jobs 

Peugot is to close it's Coventry factory in 2 phases with production stopping completely in mid-2007.
BBC NEWS: 2,300 jobs go in Peugeot closure.
posted by Webmaster  @ 4:34 PM 30 comments

RICS talks up the market 

The RICS survey for April attempts to get some momentum going for the yearly spring bounce which, although most agents rely on it happening, failed to appear last year. Times: House prices rise for fifth consecutive month RICS spokesman Ian Perry, said: "People traditionally put houses on the market in the new year and sales pick up around Easter. Agents are clearly expecting this year to be no exception, and our figures are showing a lot of optimism in the industry."
posted by Webmaster  @ 3:25 PM 8 comments

Second home owners - council tax increases 

Guardian: Second home owners may face new tax The government is now mulling over proposals to tax second home owners higher than the rate of first homes. To be able to implement this effectively a national register of second homes would also have to be implemented.
posted by Webmaster  @ 10:25 AM 6 comments

Principality supports home information packs 

icWales - Principality backs home packs

Despite a survey last week that showed the majority of mortgage lenders were against HIPS, the Principality Building Society has outlined their support for the packs. They believe they will save buyers from paying for a survey and reduce or negate the costs of the lenders valuation. They also think they will increase transparency in the housing market and speed up the buying process.
posted by Paul  @ 10:11 AM 1 comments

Price of haircuts rising at 4 times inflation 

Haircuts aren't a snip, even with low inflation - Sunday Times - Times Online

Although official figures put inflation at about 2%, prices for many goods and services from energy and transport to hair cuts seem to be climbing by much more than that.
posted by Paul  @ 9:57 AM 8 comments

Oil price at record levels...again! 

Oil prices are hovering around record highs amid international tensions over Iran's nuclear programme and disruptions to supplies from Nigeria. Sky News: Crude Oil Prices Are Soaring Again Light sweet crude closed at $70.40 a barrel in New York and the price rose to record levels in London where the cost of Brent crude hit $71.86 a barrel.
posted by Webmaster  @ 9:30 AM 0 comments

Monday, April 17, 2006 

Times Online: Mini house price boom 'is slowing': THE 'mini boom' in the property market appears to be easing as new sellers enter the market, two reports suggest today.
posted by Buffer Bear  @ 11:33 PM 4 comments

Telegraph - Money - High street has a quiet holiday
Retailers have been deprived of an early bank holiday boost as the number of people visiting the high street fell on Good Friday, according to the first analysis of the key weekend's trends. The number of shoppers venturing out across the UK continued to slide on Friday, dropping 4.3pc compared with the same day last year.
posted by Uncle Chris  @ 7:44 PM 0 comments

Daily Mail - News - Millions living in the red
Almost two million people owe more than £10,000 on credit cards, overdrafts and loans, new research reveals. Around a quarter of them have amassed unsecured debts of more than £20,000, according to debt solutions company One Advice.
posted by Uncle Chris  @ 10:55 AM 2 comments

Guardian Unlimited - Money - Super rich make UK their home
For the ultra-rich few, this country is now a virtual tax haven, which is why more and more princes, tycoons and oligarchs are making it their home.
posted by Uncle Chris  @ 10:44 AM 0 comments

Times Online - Britain - Tax rise threat to second homes
Second homeowners in Britain's favourite beauty spots face a new 'absenteeism' tax under plans before the Government.
posted by Uncle Chris  @ 10:32 AM 6 comments

Sunday, April 16, 2006 

Long-term rates break out, set to hit 5% - Apr. 6, 2006 

Long-term rates break out, set to hit 5% - Apr. 6, 2006 :10-year Treasury yield seen hitting 5%It took more than a year but long-term bond market rates are finally rising. The question now is how far will they go.

posted by Buffer Bear  @ 9:48 PM 5 comments

Telegraph | Money | Chelsea house prices take off as City challenges New York Chelsea and other fashionable areas of London are at the centre of an astonishing property boom fuelled by foreign billionaires, hefty City bonuses and the strong performance of the stock market.
posted by Uncle Chris  @ 5:04 PM 1 comments

Bubble builds in commercial property 

It has estimated that average rental yields on commerical properties have fallen from 8.5% in 2001 to 6% now, substantially reducing the margin over interest rates. In some cases yields are much lower, with the freehold on a Barclays branch in Stansted recently selling to an investor at a rental yield of just 3.4%

One of Britain's best known property entrepenuers, Nick Leslau, now thinks the market is overheated. He turned bearish just over a year ago, selling the majority of the properties his company owned apart from £1.3 billion worth of pubs, Travelodge hotels and nursing homes.
posted by Paul  @ 11:12 AM 1 comments

Saturday, April 15, 2006 

FED worries about US property 

The Fed is looking for housing to slow at a moderate pace this year. If the market looks headed for an outright collapse, it could bring a quick end to Fed tightening. But it's unlikely the Fed would react to any one month's housing numbers, especially considering the rampant skepticism at the Fed that even falling home prices would curb consumer spending. MarketWatch: Inflation, housing are main risks to Fed policy
posted by Webmaster  @ 10:14 PM 2 comments

US counts cost of Treasury yields 

Yields on 10-year US Treasuries have risen above 5pc for the first time since 2002 on heavy selling by big institutions, sending tremors through the US mortgage and corporate credit markets.Telegraph: US counts cost of Treasury yields
posted by Webmaster  @ 4:34 PM 3 comments Living - TV & Radio - Ann makes everything rosy in the home 

Interview with Ann Maurice, the Amercian home stager behind the popular 'House Doctor' TV series. Ann makes everything rosy in the home. Even though we all know now to de-clutter, de-personalise and neutralise in order to sell a home quickly and for the best price, it still amazes me to see that people don't even do the basics and think that having a deep purple bedroom will appeal to buyers!
posted by Webmaster  @ 12:00 PM 0 comments

No sign of soft-landing for housing market 

According to a new survey that collects price data from a variety of Internet property sites, asking prices actually fell 2.5% over the last 12 months (4.4% in real terms), with a 0.4% drop this month.
posted by Paul  @ 11:16 AM 13 comments

Commodity prices add to inflation concerns 

Commodity prices are on the up, which is adding to inflationary concerns and it seems that bond yields are finally responding to such pressures. A consensus is forming that a strengthening global economy will cause central banks to raise interest rates, and this resulted in US treasury yields breaching 5% this week for the first time since 2002.
posted by Paul  @ 11:00 AM 2 comments

Friday, April 14, 2006 

House prices rise 281% over past decade in East London 

House prices rise 281% over past decade in East London Four of the six London boroughs with the strongest house price increases since 1996 are in East London - Newham, Waltham Forest, Lewisham and Hackney. Newham has seen the strongest house price performance in London over the past ten years with a 281% rise.
posted by Buffer Bear  @ 11:28 PM 1 comments

Survey says that HIPS will be 'Bad for sales' 

According to a survey for the Intermediary Mortgage Lenders Association, two-thirds of mortgage lenders think that HIPS will have a negative impact on house sales. Also more than half of lenders said that they thought HIPS would make do difference in speeding up the buying process.
posted by Webmaster  @ 4:08 PM 0 comments

Fuel prices head for £1 per litre 

Motorists are likely to have an expensive fuel bill this Easter weekend as the average price of Diesel and Super closes in on £1 per litre, with regular Unleaded not far behind. However all is not lost, and you could save up to 7p a litre off the average by shopping around according to figures from local fuel price monitoring website,
posted by Paul  @ 12:12 PM 3 comments

HIPS could ruin the property market! 

So say Phil and Kirsty in an open letter they have written to home buyers and sellers. Of course they neglect to mention any of the possible benefits of these new packs, or the problems they will address, such as the huge fact that for far too long home buyers have had to rely on scant information from estate agents to make a decision about the most expensive product they are ever going to buy.
posted by Paul  @ 11:51 AM 5 comments

Unemployment may hit 1 million by summer 

The number of people claiming benefits for unemployment has risen by 12,600 to it's highest level since 2003 and is on course to exceed 1 million by the summer. The unemployment count has now risen for 13 out of the last 14 months.
posted by Paul  @ 11:43 AM 1 comments

Thursday, April 13, 2006 / Your money - Don't lose cents on your holiday home While the UK property market shows signs of a modest rebound, our ardour for buying holiday homes abroad is undiminished. Latest estimates suggest around 1.5m people in the UK now own a place overseas.
posted by Uncle Chris  @ 8:54 PM 0 comments

Warning on commerical property auctions 

Private investors are being warned not to rush into to commercial property auctions as they risk getting their fingers burnt. With weakening retail sales, commerical property could be the first to feel the effect of a slow down.
posted by Paul  @ 11:02 AM 0 comments

Telegraph: UK alone among G7 to see rise in jobless Unemployment is rising faster in the UK than in any other major developed country, it has emerged, as Britain's jobless total rose to the highest level in two and a half years.
posted by Webmaster  @ 9:35 AM 3 comments Women hardest hit as labour markt deteriorates Women have been hardest hit by the loss of jobs as the labour market has deteriorated, official figures showed, writes Andrew Taylor.
posted by Webmaster  @ 9:33 AM 0 comments

Guardian: Claimant count is wake-up call The engines of jobs growth have stalled. Let's get things in perspective. Britain's claimant count measure of unemployment is only 3% - a level once seen as synonymous with full employment.
posted by Webmaster  @ 9:32 AM 3 comments

Sky News: No Win, No Fee Firms To Be Cut The number companies chasing clients to pursue 'no win, no fee' accident claims is set to fall sharply when the Compensation Bill is introduced later this year, a report has predicted.
posted by Webmaster  @ 9:30 AM 0 comments

Guardian: Move to tackle mortgage fraud An initiative to reduce the number of fraudulent mortgage applications being made through brokers was launched today.
posted by Webmaster  @ 9:27 AM 2 comments

Wednesday, April 12, 2006 

Citywire: Rising house prices fuel dangerous debt levels A slew of property data has highlighted the growing strain that the resurgent housing market is placing on first-time buyers and the wider economy.
posted by Paul  @ 10:28 AM 1 comments The NHS ase 100,000 100,000 staff to go in health service shake-up, says report: NHS reforms will lead to more than 100,000 job losses and severe unemployment among medical staff, a report claims today. It predicts up to 10 per cent of the 1.3 million workforce will go over the next decade.
posted by Webmaster  @ 9:00 AM 4 comments

icNewcastle: Outlook is bright for investment property A shortage of property to sell rather than a lack of demand has been blamed for the slight dip in the level of commercial property transactions in the North-East in 2005.
posted by Webmaster  @ 8:59 AM 2 comments

Independent: Safeguard your mortgage Could you still afford your loan if you lost your job? The rise in house prices over the past few years has doubtless left more homebuyers finding that their finances are stretched at the end of every month.
posted by Webmaster  @ 8:59 AM 0 comments

Tuesday, April 11, 2006 

icSurreyOnline: Trees put house prices up The more trees in a street - the higher the value of houses in it, a report has found. And it is one reason why Epsom and Ewell council is anxious to add to the 6,000 trees already in the borough with a commitment to plant 225 trees a year worth £5,000.
posted by Webmaster  @ 5:34 PM 3 comments

Guardian: Oil prices hit all-time UK high Oil prices hit record levels in London today amid concerns that Iran's nuclear stand-off and violence in Nigeria could hurt supplies.
posted by Webmaster  @ 5:23 PM 2 comments

Sky News: Oil Prices At Record High The price of Brent North Sea crude oil reached an all-time high point of $69.59 at one point on Tuesday.
posted by Webmaster  @ 3:31 PM 0 comments

National Statistics: UK Trade Deficit widened to £4.8 bn in Feb 2006 The UK's deficit on trade in goods and services was £4.8 billion in February, compared with £4.6 billion in January. The surplus on trade in services was £1.7 billion in February, £0.3 billion lower than in January.
posted by Webmaster  @ 11:14 AM 2 comments Feb trade gap wider than expected The goods trade deficit with the rest of the world was much wider than expected in February, only slightly below a new record marked in January owing to revisions, official data showed on Tuesday.
posted by Webmaster  @ 11:13 AM 0 comments

The Move Channel: ODPM house index shows price falls The house price index produced by the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister on an experimental basis shows house price inflation across the UK slowed slightly in the year to February.
posted by Webmaster  @ 11:11 AM 0 comments

BBC NEWS | Business | Japan leaves rates close to zero The Bank of Japan has left its interest rates at close to zero, as it tries to keep the economic recovery on course.
posted by Webmaster  @ 11:09 AM 1 comments

BBC NEWS | Business | Oil tops $69 amid Iran tensions Crude oil prices have hit record levels in London amid heightening concerns of a conflict between the US and Iran.
posted by Webmaster  @ 11:08 AM 0 comments

Monday, April 10, 2006 

This is Money: Home sales are ready to roll The experts may disagree about the numbers, but virtually all agree on the trend - the housing market is back on track after two years in the doldrums.
posted by Webmaster  @ 8:11 AM 11 comments

This is Money: Smoothing the way to faster house sales? The house-buying process will get easier and faster next year with the introduction of Home Information Packs - known as Hips. At least, that is what the Government hopes.
posted by Webmaster  @ 8:10 AM 0 comments

Telegraph: VAT on house sales packs will net £111m Families will be hit by a £111 million stealth tax from next year when they try to sell their homes, the Conservatives have warned.
posted by Webmaster  @ 8:08 AM 2 comments (US): Homebuyers feel pinch of rising mortgage rates Consumers squeezed as adjustable-rate mortgages expire. Vicki Nious joined a nonprofit agency last year to help low-income Americans buy and fix up homes. Instead, with interest rates rising, she's seeing more clients struggling to pay their mortgage and hang onto their house.
posted by Webmaster  @ 8:07 AM 0 comments

Telegraph: Family size shrinking due to cost of children Late motherhood, the price of housing and the spiralling cost of raising children is causing the British family to shrink.
posted by Webmaster  @ 8:04 AM 10 comments

BBC NEWS | UK | NHS job cuts 'set to quadruple' Hospital job cuts could reach 24,000 - four times the number of job losses announced in recent weeks - the Liberal Democrats have claimed.
posted by Webmaster  @ 8:03 AM 0 comments

Telegraph: Milburn hints at carrying Blairite standard against Brown Alan Milburn, the former health secretary, has reignited tensions between No 10 and the Treasury by hinting he is prepared to stand against Gordon Brown for the Labour leadership.
posted by Webmaster  @ 8:02 AM 0 comments

Sunday, April 09, 2006 - News - Article - More than 500 hospital staff facing axe Hundreds of workers were today facing the axe at a hospital in south Shropshire. A total of 720 positions are being lost in a bid to balance the books at Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust.
posted by Uncle Chris  @ 6:49 PM 3 comments

Guardian: House price inflation picks up as UK average passes £175,000 mark House prices rose strongly again last month, the Halifax said yesterday as the Bank of England left interest rates steady at 4.5% for the eighth month running.
posted by Webmaster  @ 10:16 AM 3 comments

Sky News: House Price Rises 'Bad For Borrowers' A fresh surge in house price inflation bodes ill for borrowing costs, according to the Financial Times.
posted by Webmaster  @ 10:13 AM 1 comments

This is Money: Crash cost us £20,000 and our home The housing market may be looking better generally, but the picture is not rosy everywhere - as Adele and Travis Cowgill discovered to their cost.
posted by Webmaster  @ 10:12 AM 11 comments

My Finances: The end is nigh for 0% credit cards Zero per cent credit card deals are under threat after new rules on how much card providers can charge were announced.
posted by Webmaster  @ 10:10 AM 0 comments

The Observer: Banks vow to fight back as credit card fees are capped at £12 People who are late making repayments on their credit cards are set to see fees fall by around 50 per cent, following a ruling by the Office of Fair Trading.
posted by Webmaster  @ 10:08 AM 0 comments

Surging London house prices point to possible rate rise (FT) What the effect may be of the 7.2 percent rise of London house prices between November and February (FT).
posted by Jake  @ 2:24 AM 4 comments

Saturday, April 08, 2006 

Sky News: House Price Rises 'Bad For Borrowers' A fresh surge in house price inflation bodes ill for borrowing costs, according to the Financial Times.
posted by Webmaster  @ 8:57 PM 0 comments

Friday, April 07, 2006 

Guardian: Banks threaten end to era of free current accounts Britain's big banks are threatening to impose charges on current account customers in retaliation for being forced to slash fees for late credit card payments. This would bring to an end the era of free banking in Britain, which is one of the few remaining countries in the world where customers are not routinely charged for operating current accounts.
posted by Johnny  @ 8:19 AM 7 comments

FT.Com: Treasury faces £7bn claim for tax rebates UK-based multinational companies are on course to claw back billions of pounds in rebates from the Treasury after winning the first round in a European court battle over their claim that the government over-taxed dividends from foreign subsidiaries.
posted by Johnny  @ 8:17 AM 0 comments

Thursday, April 06, 2006 

ThisisMoney: Which? warns over loans scam CONSUMER watchdog Which? has urged people who have taken out loans with North London Securities to check their contracts immediately. The group is concerned that people could be in far deeper debts than they realise because of dirty tricks employed by the company. North London Securities made the headlines in 2004 when a judge wiped off the £400,000 debt of a Liverpool couple that had originally taken out a £5,750 loan.
posted by Johnny  @ 9:26 PM 0 comments

ThisisMoney: Average house price breaches £175,000 HOUSE prices increased slightly in March, pushing the average price above the £175,000 level for the first time. According to the Halifax House Price Index, prices rose by 0.9% during the month and by 1.6% during the first quarter of the year.
posted by Johnny  @ 9:24 PM 1 comments

ThisisMoney: Bad debt hits Co-op credit cards A rising tide of credit card debt hit Co-operative Financial Services today after it reported a 16% slump in profits at its banking arm for last year. The slowdown at the Co-operative Bank offset a much improved performance from insurance business CIS, which doubled profits to £37.1m after a modernisation drive announced in the summer of 2004. Overall, CFS profits rose 3.8% to £135.7m in the year to January 14, as it presented integrated results for its banking and insurance operations for the first time.
posted by Johnny  @ 9:22 PM 0 comments

TimesOnline: Autumn may see more than leaves fall For an eighth month, the intensive deliberations of the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee have produced a verdict of "no change". For the Bank’s Governor, Mervyn King, and his colleagues on the MPC, masterly inactivity remains the order of the day. For homebuyers, borrowers and businesses around the country, the big questions are will this last? And for how long?
posted by Johnny  @ 9:18 PM 3 comments

BBC NEWS | England | Hereford/Worcs | Debt-hit NHS trust axes 720 jobs Hundreds of jobs are to go at NHS hospitals in Worcestershire. The 720 positions are being axed in an attempt to balance the books at Worcestershire Acute Hospitals NHS Trust, which needs to save £30m
posted by Johnny  @ 9:01 PM 0 comments

BBC NEWS | Business | BAE Systems to sell Airbus stake UK defence and aerospace group BAE Systems is to sell its 20% stake in European aircraft maker Airbus. It is expected to be bought by EADS, the Franco-German group that owns the rest of Airbus, the BBC has learned.
posted by Johnny  @ 8:53 PM 0 comments

BBC NEWS | Business | Government pays for debt advisers The government is handing out £45m to employ 500 independent debt advisers over the next two years. The money will be used to help thousands of people gain personal advice in England and Wales on how to cope with their debts.
posted by Johnny  @ 5:19 PM 2 comments

BBC NEWS | Northern Ireland | Job losses as hosiery firm closes A Northern Ireland textile company is to close its County Tyrone base with the loss of 140 jobs. The Strabane-based hosiery company, Adria, said on Thursday that harsh trading conditions led to the decision.
posted by Johnny  @ 12:53 PM 0 comments

BBC NEWS | England | Norfolk | Hospital sheds jobs to save £4m A major hospital plans to shed 100 jobs in a bid to reduce its budget for the coming year by £4m. The James Paget Hospital at Gorleston hopes to avoid staff redundancies by not filling vacant posts or replacing people when they leave or retire.
posted by Johnny  @ 12:51 PM 0 comments

BBC NEWS | England | Norfolk | Jobs fears as storage firm closes More than 150 jobs could be lost after a cold storage and distribution company announced plans to close two sites. Celsius First called in the receivers last month after a slump in business which it blamed on a fall in demand for frozen food storage, and a price war.
posted by Johnny  @ 12:50 PM 0 comments

BBC NEWS | England | Somerset | Hospital trust latest to axe jobs The Royal United Hospital (RUH) in Bath is to axe up to 300 posts in the latest round of NHS job cuts. The 650-bed hospital, which employs 3,500 staff, must make £13.2m savings.
posted by Johnny  @ 12:49 PM 0 comments

BBC NEWS | Scotland | Firm collapse means 350 jobs lost A construction firm has gone into receivership with the loss of almost 350 jobs, it has been announced. Receivers KPMG moved in at Peter Walker Group, which is based in Loanhead, Midlothian, on Tuesday.
posted by Johnny  @ 12:48 PM 0 comments

BBC NEWS | Business | Bird flu may 'trigger recession' A human flu pandemic in Asia could trigger the first global recession in nearly 25 years, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) has warned. If bird flu mutates to humans, it could cut Asia's economic output by as much as $300bn (£170bn), the Bank said.
posted by Johnny  @ 12:47 PM 1 comments

Reuters: Bank holds rates steady The Bank of England kept interest rates steady for the eighth month running on Thursday and many economists say borrowing costs could remain pegged at 4.5 percent for the rest of the year. All 42 analysts polled by Reuters last week had predicted no change at this month's Monetary Policy Committee meeting. News earlier in the day of another big jump in house prices had only cemented that view as policymakers have expressed concern that a repeat of August 2005's rate cut risked stimulating the market too much.
posted by Johnny  @ 12:42 PM 1 comments

Guardian: There's no need to fear a house price bubble There have been many dire warnings about a house price bubble in the past two years, many of them from impeccable sources like the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the IMF. If the bubble bursts, the crash in housing prices would ruin many families, as well as end Gordon Brown's reputation for economic competence.
posted by Johnny  @ 8:48 AM 6 comments

Reuters: Bank set to leave interest rates unchanged The Bank of England looks set to hold interest rates for the eighth month running this week and perhaps for the rest of the year. All 42 analysts polled by Reuters predicted the central bank's Monetary Policy Committee would keep borrowing costs at 4.5 percent at the end of its two-day meeting on Thursday. That is where unanimity ends though. Just over half of those polled said the BoE's next move in rates will be down, even if that does not happen until next year. Many others say it will be up.
posted by Johnny  @ 8:43 AM 1 comments

ThisisMoney: New trust fund tax hits 'millions' LAWYERS have stopped writing wills and leading insurers frozen sales of life policies in the wake of a Budget clampdown on trust funds. It emerged today that Gordon Brown's surprise decision to levy tax on trusts has triggered a last-ditch attempt to stop the changes which are due to be introduced this Friday.
posted by Johnny  @ 8:41 AM 0 comments

Independent: Economy hit by job losses and manufacturing decline The outlook for the UK business sector suffered a triple blow yesterday as a tyre maker announced it was shutting a factory with more than 600 job losses, manufacturing output fell and growth in services slowed. The pound hit a 15-month low against the euro as traders bet the Bank of England would be forced to cut interest rates by the end of the year.
posted by Johnny  @ 8:37 AM 0 comments

Independent: OFT cracks down on 'illegal' penalty fees on credit cards Credit card lenders have been illegally taking more than £300m a year from customers in late payment charges and other penalty fees, the Office of Fair Trading ruled yesterday. The regulator gave the industry until the end of next month to respond to its proposal to limit all such charges to a maximum of £12, less than a third of the penalties currently levied by many leading lenders.
posted by Johnny  @ 8:36 AM 0 comments

TimesOnline: HSBC to put aside $1bn to buy debt of failed ventures HSBC plans to boost its distressed debt funds by $1 billion (£570 million), joining the growing ranks of banks and venture capitalists seeking to take advantage of companies in financial difficulty. The UK’s biggest bank said that it already had about $150 million invested in distressed assets, but believed there was a real opportunity to grow the business over the next 12 to 18 months as companies overloaded with debt ran into trouble.
posted by Johnny  @ 8:35 AM 0 comments

TimesOnline: Industry relapse sends pound to two-year lows THE pound tumbled yesterday, with its overall value hitting two-year lows, after a surprise relapse in UK manufacturing highlighted its divergent performance with the eurozone’s resurgent industrial sector. Sterling slipped by almost a fifth of a penny against the euro, which climbed through the 70p barrier for the first time in 15 months, and also shed 0.6 cents against the dollar, to close at $1.7493.
posted by Johnny  @ 8:33 AM 0 comments

BBC NEWS | Business | House prices show March increase House price inflation has continued to rise in March, according to the latest survey from the Halifax bank. It says prices rose by 0.9% during the month, pushing up the annual rate of house price inflation to 6.2%.
posted by Johnny  @ 8:32 AM 1 comments

Wednesday, April 05, 2006 

Guardian: BBC sends out redundancy notices The BBC is facing the threat of industrial action after sending out compulsory redundancy notices to staff. Broadcasting unions Bectu, the National Union of Journalists and Amicus last week gave the corporation a four-week deadline to halt compulsory redundancies. But their demand has been ignored and 23 notices were issued last Friday.
posted by Johnny  @ 12:49 PM 0 comments

MotleyFool: Should You Buy Or Rent? First of all, there's absolutely nothing wrong with renting if your circumstances require it. You may not be able to afford to buy, for one thing, if you don't have enough money for a deposit, other buying expenses, furniture and so on. Or you may have moved into a new area and you want a little time to get to know it, so you don't make the mistake of buying a property that turns out to be in the 'wrong' part of town. Or you may want to retain some flexibility because you are not sure if you will need a property in that exact area for very long. These are all valid reasons for renting.
posted by Johnny  @ 12:46 PM 5 comments

Firstrung: Is the US housing bubble close to collapse? The US economy is struggling under the weight of its massive twin deficits. The housing bubble is on the verge of collapse, just at the point when its heavily-indebted consumers are spending more than they earn for the first time since the Depression era. But how did it get into this state? It's time to take the opportunity to remind ourselves of just how big a mess ex-Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan has left behind for Ben Bernanke...
posted by Johnny  @ 12:44 PM 0 comments

ThisisMoney: Sell-off plan for Network Rail THE publicly-owned company which runs Britain's railway infrastructure is considering plans for a controversial part-privatisation. Network Rail has called in an investment bank to advise on selling shares to City investors.
posted by Johnny  @ 12:42 PM 2 comments

TimesOnline: Industrial recovery falters as service sector slows A batch of weaker-than-expected economic data released today has cast fresh doubts over the strength of the economy, increasing the likelihood of a cut in the cost of borrowing before the end of the summer.
posted by Johnny  @ 12:40 PM 0 comments

BBC NEWS | England | Wear | Goodyear to cut 585 factory jobs Tyre-maker Goodyear Dunlop has announced it is ending production at its Wearside factory, with the loss of 585 jobs.
The company said it could no longer compete effectively with competitors in Eastern Europe and the Far East. Tyres have been produced at the Washington site since 1968, with Goodyear Dunlop taking control in 2004. The company said meetings with union officials representing staff at the plant were ongoing.
posted by Johnny  @ 12:39 PM 0 comments

BBC NEWS | Business | Surprise fall in UK manufacturing UK manufacturing output fell by 0.2% in February as production by chemical firms slipped, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) has said. The fall confounded forecasts of a 0.2% rise for the period, and followed three consecutive monthly rises.
posted by Johnny  @ 12:38 PM 1 comments

BBC NEWS | World | Dixons to leave UK's High Streets Dixons, Europe's largest electrical retailing group, will remove its name from the UK High Street. The company said it will switch its focus to selling its products over the internet, and will rebrand its Dixons stores under the Currys name.
posted by Johnny  @ 8:38 AM 1 comments

Reuters: Bank set to leave rates on hold The Bank of England looks set to hold interest rates for the eighth month running this week and perhaps for the rest of the year. All 42 analysts polled by Reuters predicted the central bank's Monetary Policy Committee would keep borrowing costs at 4.5 percent at the end of its two-day meeting on Thursday. Economists said policymakers would have to balance concerns that consumer spending is slowing again against fears that another rate cut could boost the housing market too much and that wages might pick up in response to soaring energy prices.
posted by Johnny  @ 8:35 AM 4 comments

ThisisMoney: Homes cost us £10,000 a year THE cost of keeping a roof over our heads has raced ahead of inflation to top £10,000 a year for the first time, a study has found. Rising council tax and utility bills, along with soaring mortgage repayments, mean the average householder is now paying 16 per cent more than two years ago.
posted by Johnny  @ 8:34 AM 3 comments

Tuesday, April 04, 2006 

BBC NEWS | England | Southern Counties | Hundreds of health jobs to be cut A healthcare trust has said it expects around 400 jobs will go as it attempts to wipe out a £2m monthly overspend. Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust, announced the cuts as part of a two-year plan aimed at eliminating its £41.2m debt.
posted by Johnny  @ 5:17 PM 0 comments

Reuters: Home equity withdrawal highest in a year Britons extracted the most amount of equity from their homes in more than a year in the last three months of 2005, perhaps encouraged by a housing market recovery. The Bank of England said on Tuesday mortgage equity withdrawal rose to 11.806 billion pounds, or 5.6 percent of post-tax income, over the quarter.
posted by Johnny  @ 12:38 PM 9 comments

Reuters: Bellway sees improving market Low-cost home builder Bellway (BWY.L: Quote, Profile, Research) posted a 2.1 percent fall in first half profit on Tuesday, but said it was encouraged by signs of improvement in housing markets in east London and Scotland. Bellway, which builds around two-thirds of its homes on "brownfield" or former industrial sites, said it sold 2,958 homes in the six months to end-January, broadly flat compared with a year ago, while the average selling price of houses in the six months fell to 166,600 pounds from 167,000.
posted by Johnny  @ 12:37 PM 0 comments

Reuters: Construction activity at six-month high Construction activity growth picked up to a six-month high in March as house-building grew at its fastest pace in more than two years, a survey showed on Tuesday. The Chartered Institute for Purchasing and Supply said its seasonally adjusted index for construction rose to 54.7 in March, the highest since 57.2 in September 2005, from 51.9 in February. The housing component jumped to 59.6, the highest since December 2003, from 52.9 in February. It was well above the 50.0 level that divides expansion from contraction.
posted by Johnny  @ 12:36 PM 6 comments

ThisisMoney: Taxes 'must rise to fund pensions' TAXES will have to rise if people want to retire on a decent state pension, the chair of Labour's pension commission warned today. Lord Turner said unless the government carried out his reforms then millions of Britons could expect a 'derisory' hand-out on retirement.
posted by Johnny  @ 8:00 AM 5 comments

Telegraph: Housing market on the move Mortgage lenders have indicated that the housing market slowdown may have come to an end, with first-time buyers and buy-to-let landlords starting to return to the market. However, the prospects for the housing market remain cloudy, with many economists predicting either more price falls or sluggish rises for the coming decades.
posted by Johnny  @ 7:59 AM 8 comments

Telegraph: UK output indicator hits eight-month low Britain's manufacturing sector has lost yet more ground to the rest of Europe, according to newly published statistics. A key measure of the industrial sector's performance shows that British manufacturing output dropped to an eight-month low in March while the eurozone's corresponding measure soared to a seven-year high.
posted by Johnny  @ 7:58 AM 0 comments

Independent: Rise in bankruptcies and repossessions dents Northern Rock More bankruptcies and repossessions took the shine off an otherwise acceptable trading update from the mortgage bank Northern Rock yesterday. While the arrears among its customers remain below half the industry average, the Newcastle-based bank is writing off more bad debts than before. It will not be setting aside extra cash to cover this, however, because earlier provisions are yet to be used.
posted by Johnny  @ 7:56 AM 1 comments

TimesOnline: Activity in Britain's manufacturing sector still falling ACTIVITY in Britain’s still-struggling manufacturing sector fell in March to its lowest for seven months as growth in orders and output dropped to the worst levels since last autumn, a key industry survey showed. The worse than expected figures in the CIPS/RBS purchasing managers’ survey marked the second successive month of deteriorating conditions in the sector and came despite a buoyant manufacturing environment in the eurozone and the US.
posted by Johnny  @ 7:54 AM 0 comments

BBC NEWS | Business | Oil tips beyond $67 per barrel The price of oil has tipped beyond $67 per barrel amid concerns Iran will limit oil supplies, due to its ongoing nuclear dispute with the US. Light crude for May rose as high as $67.90 a barrel in the US on Monday, before settling 11 cents up at $66.74.
posted by Johnny  @ 7:53 AM 1 comments

FT: Interest rate fears hit government bonds Eurozone government bonds came under heavy pressure on Monday after another set of strong economic data heightened fears of aggressive interest rate rises by the European Central Bank.
posted by DavidG  @ 12:03 AM 0 comments

FT: Landlords have to dig deeper for a licence ...The National Landlords Association estimates that the rules could affect around 100,000 landlords in the UK. It fears the legislation will trigger an exodus of buy-to-let investors from the HMO market, which has traditionally been attractive as it offers high rental yields.
posted by DavidG  @ 12:00 AM 2 comments

Monday, April 03, 2006 

BBC NEWS | England | Kent | Hospital trust to lose 160 jobs Up to 160 jobs are to go at a Kent hospital in a move to save £11m in the next financial year. Medway NHS Trust has confirmed it is shedding 160 posts. Some are already vacant and other jobs will be shed by not replacing staff who leave.
posted by Johnny  @ 8:50 PM 0 comments

BBC NEWS | England | Cornwall | Fears that jobs could go to India Staff at the Royal Cornwall Hospital have said they fear administrative work is going to be sent abroad.
It could mean some secretarial jobs such as typing could be done in India. Last month the trust announced 300 job cuts because of an £8.1m budget shortfall. Some wards and operating theatres may also be closed.
posted by Johnny  @ 8:47 PM 0 comments

FT.Com: Property break for pensions Investors who thought the government had stamped out any opportunity to hold residential property in their pension schemes may have a second chance under new rules proposed by the Treasury. The small print of legislation published just days ahead of the launch of “A-day” on April 6, says that pension investors can include residential property in their self-invested personal pensions provided they club together with other individuals.
posted by Johnny  @ 1:22 PM 5 comments

FT.Com: UK manufacturers turn in muted performance UK manufacturing activity in March was at its most subdued in seven months, but producers are having more success passing on price rises, according to an industry report released on Monday.The CIPS/RBS Purchasing Managers’ Index registered a worse than expected 50.8 last month, compared with a downwardly revised figure of 51.5 in February. A reading above 50 indicates expansion, below 50 a contraction.
posted by Johnny  @ 1:18 PM 1 comments

BBC NEWS | Health | NHS Direct faces 100s of job cuts Hundreds of jobs could go at NHS Direct as part of a restructuring of the organisation. Unions warn up to 1,000 positions could be cut, but firm proposals will not be put forward until next month.
posted by Johnny  @ 1:01 PM 1 comments

This is Money: Northern Rock hails a boom as first-timers return THE return of the first-time buyer to the housing market in recent months should drive the UK mortgage market to a record £300bn this year, lender Northern Rock forecast today. The former building society also signalled that - barring any unexpected disaster - Britain's High Street banks are also on course for another record year of profits having made a combined £35bn plus in 2005.
posted by Johnny  @ 12:54 PM 2 comments

Telegraph | Money | Housing showing recovery: "Housing showing recovery"Further signs of a recovery in the housing market came this morning from mortgage bank Northern Rock, which revealed its net lending jumped 26pc in the first three months of the year.
posted by Johnny  @ 12:45 PM 0 comments

BBC NEWS | Business | Probe begins into debt insurance An investigation into the £5bn payment protection insurance (PPI) market has been launched. In a wide ranging probe, the Office for Fair Trading (OFT) will look at whether PPI providers are making excessive profits and treating customers fairly.
posted by Johnny  @ 12:43 PM 0 comments

Firstrung: The UK House Price Bubble Illusion Bubble? What bubble? The last Economic Outlook from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development argues that UK house prices are overvalued by 30%, or even more. It also warns of the danger of a protracted period of house price falls, with dire implications for consumer spending. The OECD is not alone. But these pessimists are wrong.
posted by Johnny  @ 8:37 AM 17 comments

BBC NEWS | Business | Energy costs 'to drive inflation' Higher energy bills will push inflation up to 2.3% between April and June as firms are forced to absorb the hikes by increasing their prices, a report says. The figure, in a survey by accountants BDO Stoy Hayward, is above the 2% target set by Bank of England for consumer price index (CPI) inflation.
posted by Johnny  @ 8:32 AM 1 comments

BBC NEWS | Business | Housing boost for Northern Rock UK bank Northern Rock has said it has seen a "gentle trend" of first-time buyers returning to the housing market in late 2005 and early 2006. The former building society said its net residential lending during the first three months of 2006 was 14% higher than at the same time in 2005.
posted by Johnny  @ 8:31 AM 4 comments

Sunday, April 02, 2006 

ThisisMoney: Foxtons faces big US fines ONATHAN Hunt created the Foxtons estate agency empire in his own image - ruthless, single-minded and highly successful. And the rewards have been substantial. His £350m fortune has enabled him to buy Heveningham Hall, a gigantic mansion in Suffolk, and a house in Kensington Palace Gardens, London's most exclusive street.
posted by Johnny  @ 5:19 PM 0 comments

ThisisMoney: Crisis-hit Northern Foods in sell off CRISIS-hit Northern Foods is close to selling its transport operation in an effort to cope with a profits squeeze. Northern, the leading supplier of own-label foods to major supermarket groups, warned last month that profits for the 12 months just ending would be about £45m, a drop of almost 28 per cent.
posted by Johnny  @ 5:16 PM 1 comments

ThisisMoney: Lenders drawn into fraud scare BANKS and building societies have been warned by the City's watchdog about a suspected major commercial fraud involving false valuations on property that could result in losses of hundreds of millionss of pounds. The Financial Services Authority has contacted the chiefs of the British Bankers' Association and the Building Societies Association to tell them that a suspected fraud that cost Cheshire Building Society about £10m - and which is now being investigated by the Serious Fraud Office - was probably not a one-off. Lenders as big as Nationwide building society now appear to be embroiled.
posted by Johnny  @ 5:13 PM 0 comments

Leeds Today: Bid to safeguard Silverscreen jobs TALKS were taking place today to safeguard about 550 jobs after specialist DVD retailer Silverscreen was forced into administration.
posted by Johnny  @ 5:06 PM 1 comments

Observer: In debt? No pension? You're in club 18-40 The most potent divide in British society is determined by when you first bought your house. If you're over 40 the chances are that anguished debates about insecurity, debt and the pensions crisis wash over you; after a 20-year house-price boom there is enough equity in your property to see you through. Under 40 and the story is different. Your role is to envelop yourself in debt to prop up the house prices and security of your elders.
posted by Johnny  @ 11:21 AM 9 comments

Scotsman: BoE will eat its words as slump bites HAS anyone noticed the collapsing consumer? I ask because two surveys in the past week have put the most searching question mark over hopes for a consumer-led recovery in the course of this year. Regular readers of Bank of England economic forecasts will be particularly puzzled, because in just five months its predictions for economic growth for 2006 underwent a strange and worrying switch.
posted by Johnny  @ 11:14 AM 0 comments

Firstrung: Nationwide UK house price index, is it seriously flawed? Each month several reliable providers of UK house prices data proudly reveal their figures insisting they are the most reliable. Most of us only look at the headline figure and fail to read the small print in relation to the compilation of the data.
posted by Johnny  @ 11:02 AM 5 comments

ThisisMoney: Eastern property bubble at risk A Last year 19 property companies joined London's junior Aim market - the largest number for seven years. Of these 17 raised a record £1.16bn of new money to buy up both built and unfinished schemes in east European countries from Poland and Hungary to Bulgaria and Romania.FLOTATION bubble that saw £1bn of east European property firms come to the stock market last year is in danger of bursting.
posted by Johnny  @ 11:01 AM 0 comments

TimesOnline: Why it could all go wrong for Rightmove SHARES in Rightmove, the property website, may have slipped slightly last week, but the company is still trading on a price-earnings ratio of more than 100. Even judged against the excesses of the dotcom boom that is an impressive rating. Much of the “hope” value in the share price stems from the belief that Rightmove will profit from government plans to simplify the house-buying process.
posted by Johnny  @ 10:53 AM 0 comments

Reuters: Sterling falls to 8-mth low vs euro on rate view Sterling hit an 8-month low against the euro and fell half a percent against the dollar on Friday as investors weighed the possibility of a rate cut in Britain against the chances of rate rises in the euro zone and United States. Weak data on mortgage lending and the current account deficit this week have kept speculation alive of a cut in British rates from the current 4.50 percent, though most traders see steady rates.
posted by Johnny  @ 10:48 AM 4 comments

Saturday, April 01, 2006 

TimesOnline: UK stocks experience best growth for 8 years INVESTORS enjoyed the best growth in British equities since 1997 as the stock market benefited from the surge in takeover activity over the past financial year. As the financial year ended yesterday, figures from Thomson Financial, the equity data provider, showed that the FTSE 100 index grew more than 21 per cent between April 1 last year and yesterday. This was on top of an increase of almost 11 per cent in the previous year and 19 per cent the year before.
posted by Johnny  @ 3:49 PM 3 comments

BBC NEWS | Scotland | Bills 'deter first-time buyers' Council tax increases and record energy price rises have been putting off first-time house buyers, it is claimed. A survey of 400 newcomers to the housing market in Scotland found many based their decisions on council tax charges and how properties were heated.
posted by Johnny  @ 3:48 PM 0 comments

ThisisMoney: Find an agent you can trust WHEN it comes to polls on which professions people trust, estate agents are always near the bottom of the pile. And the property salesmen and women will not be climbing any further up the trustworthy tree following a recent expose of estate agents' sharp practice.
posted by Johnny  @ 3:34 PM 1 comments

Telegraph: Brown's £44bn gap breaks EC rules again Gordon Brown is likely to come under further fire from the European Commission after it emerged that the UK's budget deficit ballooned to 3.6pc of gross domestic product last year. The figures mean the government's borrowing exceed--ed the limit imposed on members of the European Union and will spark another round of criticism from the Chancellor's European counterparts at a finance meeting next week.
posted by Johnny  @ 3:17 PM 4 comments

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