September 2010

Consumer Saving Dives Amid Expected Interest Increases

Research conducted by the Spanish bank Santander has revealed that saving in the UK has fallen by a fifth since the beginning of 2010, with consumers now on average saving £102 a month, in comparison to £130 in February of this year. However, there were encouraging signs that this trend could soon be reversed with 25% of those surveyed saying they planned to increase the amount they save each month.

Property Prices Trend Suggests Shift To Buyers Market

A recent survey conducted by property information company Hometrack has revealed a growing disparity in the supply and demand of residential property. Whilst housing supply increased over the quarter to September by 7.3%, new registrations of prospective purchasers actually fell 6.5%, further depressing house prices. The fall in new registrations is being attributed to an increased reluctance by consumers to take on additional debt given the uncertain economic outlook and looming public sector job cuts.

Jobseekers Become Increasingly Flexible

A recent study conducted by Gumtree has revealed almost half of jobseekers are willing to agree a pay cut and more than a third prepared to take a more junior role to get back into employment as worries about how people are going to continue servicing their personal debts mount. The survey also revealed that increasing numbers of public sector workers are desperately trying to migrate across to the private sector before the planned redundancies hit.

FSA Plan To Rein In Excessive Lending

According to the Council of Mortgage Lenders, house prices are likely to fall considerably if the Financial Services Authority’s plan to restrict ‘excessive’ lending is approved. The FSA are proposing, amongst other measures, to restrict lending to those who cannot provide any evidence that they can afford to repay the debt, which it believes continues to pose a serious risk to long-term economic stability, pointing to the first 3 months of 2010, which saw non-verified loans make up 43% of all approved mortgages.

£1.5bn Unpaid Tax Predicted To Be Written Off?

The BBC has revealed that £1.5bn tax would not be perused on cases dating back more than 2 years as they would be open to legal challenge from taxpayers. HMRC has a backlog of 7.5 million under and overpayment cases, of which £3bn relates to overpayment cases. The Government has made no decision on whether or not the more recent underpayment cases will be perused although it has said the £3bn owing to the overpayment cases will be returned.

One in Five Consumers Live In The Red

A recent survey from discount website has revealed desperate consumers are increasingly living beyond their means and in their overdraft. A staggering 18% of those surveyed said the were constantly in the red, whilst 24% claimed that they could not manage without their overdraft facility. Perhaps most staggeringly, 34% believed that an overdraft was not a form of debt to be worried about and 38% did not know how much interest they were being charged.

New Government Scheme To Target Those At Risk From Loan sharks

A new Government scheme called My Home Finance is to offer affordable loans to consumers in a bid to prevent vulnerable and at-risk groups borrowing from loan sharks. The loans will have a typical APR of just 29.9% initially, which compares favourably with many door-to-door products, which often have APRs well over 200%. The announcement will be welcome news for those already struggling with high interest doorstop loans to restructure existing commitments and bring their debt repayments back under control.

Treasury Claims Rise In Public Sector Borrowing Supports Need For Cut-backs

Recent figures released by the Office of National Statistics (ONS) have revealed new public sector borrowing reached a historic high figure of £15.9bn in August, which also saw interest payments treble on the same month last year to £3.8bn. The rise has been put down to higher inflation leading to a rise in interest payments on index-linked government bonds.

Homeowner Loans Decline Despite Fall in Property Prices

A Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) report has revealed that mortgage lending has fallen for the second month in a row. In response to the fall, average house prices have decreased for the third month in a row and the BoE base rate has remained stable at its historic low of half a percent, although these have seemingly done little to stir the market.

Students Expected To Work For Studies

The National Association for Student Employment Services has found that around two thirds of students require part-time jobs to pay for their university studies. The NatWest student living index also reveleade that 28% of students recieved less fincnail help now than they would have in previous years and 46% received none at all.