Saturday, June 11, 2005

Is your property your pension?

Only three per cent of investors are willing to rely on their pension for security, instead favouring their property to provide future wealth...
Despite what Nationwide recently described as a flat housing market, buy-to-let investors' confidence is high with 75 per cent intending to gain their financial security from their investments and 12 per cent relying on their own home.
When questioned about the property market, almost 50 per cent of serious investors said they believed it would remain stable over the next twelve months, with 22 per cent predicting a moderate rise.
Encouraging news for anyone interested in buying-to-let, especially with next year's legal changes regarding Self-Invested Personal Pensions, which will make it possible to invest pension funds in buy-to-let property both here and overseas.
The above research was commissioned by The Property Investor and Homebuyer Show North which is taking place at G-MEX in Manchester from the 24 - 26 June, and will feature exhibitors specialising in buy-to-let.
Nick Clark, Managing Director of the show, says: "The results may surprise many who have recently heard negative stories regarding residential buy-to-let.
"However it highlights how serious investors still strongly believe in the future returns of property both commercial and residential, compared with other forms of investments."
A Surge AheadStuart Law, Managing Director of property investment specialists Assetz who will be exhibiting at the show, comments: "Bricks and mortar is seen by the majority as a favourable alternative to pensions and shares, which have proved a risky option in recent years when heavy losses have been suffered on the stock market.
"Freedom to purchase residential property as part of a self-invest pension is likely to have a direct effect on the property market in advance of 'A' Day. We expect to see a surge in buy-to-let investments, and are already witnessing an increase in investment in commercial property which is ripe for conversion to residential, in time for the rule changes."

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Suffolk property market holds firm

The Suffolk property market received a boost today when the Bank of England announced interest rates would be held once more, adding more fuel to the lower interest rates by the end of the year suggestions.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Lending for House Purchase Up; Consumer Credit Down

The Bank of England's figures for April reveal that overall lending to individuals was weaker than in March, although net lending on dwellings was stronger...
The total increase in net lending for April was £8.6 billion, less than March's £8.8 billion, and down from the previous six month average (also £8.8 billion).
Within this total, however, there was a potential indication of a strengthening in the housing market. The increase in net lending secured on dwellings was £7.3 billion, greater than in March and the previous six month average which were both £7.0 billion, although the annual growth rate slid from 11.7 per cent in March to 11.3 per cent in April.
In terms of approvals secured on dwellings, the Bank of England's figures also showed a rise, both in value and in number. The value jumped from March's £10.8 billion to £12.1 billion and the amount increased from 92,000 to 95,000. the previous six month averages were £9.8 billion and 85,000.
So, some good news on the housing front, but consumer credit simultaneously decreased. The increase, £1.3 billion (0.7 per cent), was the lowest since December 2003 when it stood at £1.1 billion.
Within this figure, net credit card lending, at £316 billion, was at its weakest since June 2001's total of £272 billion. Net other loans, meanwhile, remained broadly in line with the previous six month average.

Inconsiderate hedge owners to be cut down to size under new legislation

Homeowners will no longer need to suffer the misery caused by high hedges under new government legislation which came into effect on 1 June.
The new powers mean neighbours who cannot resolve their disputes over high hedges can now ask local authorities to intervene. Local authorities, who have previously been powerless to act in such disputes, can step in to decide if the height of the hedge is unreasonable and spell out exactly what action must be taken.
Welcoming the new powers, Jim Fitzpatrick, minister at the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister, said: "This legislation offers a light at the end of the tunnel for people whose lives have been made a misery from high hedges. Out of control hedges can block out the daylight from neighbours' homes and gardens, becoming a real drain on their quality of life.
"This new legislation is yet another example that the government will take action against those who continually show a lack of consideration for others.
"Involving the local authority should only be a last resort and I urge people to talk to one another to resolve disputes before it goes too far. However, when all other avenues have failed, it is good news that people will now have somewhere to turn for a fair decision."
Under the Anti-social Behaviour Act 2003, local authorities have the power to intervene in disputes once a complaint has been made. The authority will decide whether the hedge is stopping someone's reasonable enjoyment of their home or garden, striking a balance between the complainant's and hedge owner's interests.
Where it is needed, the local authority will be able to serve a remedial notice to the hedge owner to identify what they must do to sort the problem out. If they fail to comply with the notice, they could be fined up to £1000.
The complainant must show they have tried to resolve the matter with the hedge owner. Complaints will only be considered where the hedge is evergreen, over two metres high and blocking out light, access or reasonable enjoyment of neighbours' property. If this is the case, local authorities will take a range of factors into account to reach a balanced decision on whether the hedge is a problem.
A fee to cover the costs will be charged by the council to the complainant at their discretion.