Monthly Archives: February 2017

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Benefit claimants face poverty at hands of erratic sanctions system

Benefit claimants are subjected to an unacceptable “postcode lottery” that can determine whether or not they are driven into poverty by sanctions, MPs have said.

A report by the public accounts committee found that some Work Programme providers and jobcentres withhold payments to twice as many people as others in the same area.

Sanctions are a punishment applied to benefit claimants adjudged to have infringed jobcentre rules. If claimants fail to turn up for appointments or to apply for enough jobs, officials effectively fine them by stopping their benefit payments for a minimum of four weeks, equal to about £300 for a claimant over 25.

The report by parliament’s spending watchdog, published on Tuesday, urges the government to review the use of financial penalties, which it finds “have increased in severity in

By |February 23rd, 2017|Categories: Selling Your Property|0 Comments

A hard Brexit would risk deepening the UK housing crisis

It’s rare nowadays to read the news and feel anything other than abject horror. But occasionally something good appears, even in housing.

This week, Sovereign housing association announced it has secured £150m from the European Investment Bank (EIB) to build 4,500 homes. Which is good because we need new homes. The EIB is able to offer low-cost loans to fund infrastructure projects because borrowing is underpinned by the 28 EU member states.

However, hold the celebration. Because at this point, like a hangover, something may be niggling at the corner of your mind. Words like “EU” and “member states” may ring alarm bells, because very soon we won’t be part of the European project. With the advent of Brexit, we may well see much less funding for infrastructure in the UK. Werner

By |February 21st, 2017|Categories: Selling Your Property|0 Comments

Brexit: Lords to begin debating bill to trigger Article 50

Peers are to begin debating the bill paving the way for the start of Brexit.

MPs have already backed the proposed law authorising Theresa May to inform the EU of the UK’s intention to leave.

But the government does not have a majority in the House of Lords where a record 190 peers are due to speak, with the sitting extended to midnight.

Opposition and crossbench peers are seeking guarantees about the rights of EU citizens in Britain and the role of parliament in scrutinising the process.

Mrs May has said she wants to invoke Article 50 of the 2009 Lisbon Treaty – the formal two-year mechanism by which a state must leave the EU – by the end of March.

The government has set aside five days of debate in total for the various

By |February 21st, 2017|Categories: Selling Your Property|0 Comments

UK rents expected to rise faster than house prices in next five years

Rics survey heaps further misery on Britain’s growing army of renters, who will likely have fewer properties to choose from

UK rents are expected to rise faster than house prices over the next five years, bringing further misery to Britain’s growing army of renters, according to a survey. The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors has predicted that rents will increase by just over 25% in the coming years, while property values are set to grow by less than 20%.

In the three months to January, tenant demand for rental properties continued to go up. With landlords expected to scale back their portfolios in the next 12 months, tenants will have fewer properties to choose from, which is likely to push rents higher, the survey suggests.

Rics said there was a lack of new

By |February 9th, 2017|Categories: Selling Your Property|2 Comments

UK house prices fell 0.9% in January, Halifax says

UK House prices declined by 0.9% from a month earlier in January, a survey released by Halifax has shown.The change means the average price of a house in Britain is now £220,260 ($272,562).

House prices in the three months to January period were 5.7% higher than in the same period a year ago, down from the 6.5% growth recorded in December.Halifax said demand for housing is likely to remain strong through the coming year but listed weaker economic growth and an expected drop in spending power as downside risks.

“The quarterly and annual rates of house price growth remain robust even though they are lower than in spring 2016,” said Martin Ellis, housing economist at Halifax.”UK house prices continue to be supported by an ongoing shortage of property for sale, low levels of

By |February 8th, 2017|Categories: Property News|0 Comments

Research suggest renters in UK worse off in terms of financial planning

Millions of people in the UK who rent their homes from private landlords are putting themselves and their families at risk of eviction and financial hardship, it is claimed.

Many do not have a financial back-up plan and 30% of private renters admit they would not be financially secure if the main household income was lost, according to research from Scottish Widows. 

Just 16% have life cover in place and only 3% have critical illness insurance despite more than half, 56%, having children under the age of 16 who rely on them financially.

The research also found that 35% concede that if they or their partner were unable to work for six months or longer due to ill health or personal injury, they’d be unable

By |February 7th, 2017|Categories: Selling Your Property|0 Comments

UK house price growth has hit 14-month low, says Nationwide

Building society says there are early signs housing market will soften in 2017 as inflation squeezes households
UK house prices grew at their weakest annual rate in more than a year in January, in an early sign of the property market slowdown predicted for 2017. 

Annual growth edged down from 4.5% in December to 4.3%, according to the mortgage lender Nationwide. It was the weakest since November 2015. On a monthly basis, the average price of a UK home edged up 0.2%, to £205,240, following a 0.8% rise in December.

Robert Gardner, Nationwide’s chief economist, said there were indications the housing market would soften in 2017, as household budgets come under pressure from higher consumer inflation at a time of weaker jobs and wage growth.

By |February 2nd, 2017|Categories: Selling Your Property|0 Comments