Thursday 5th April 2007

Top money stories - 2 - 5 April 2007

Top Tip: Getting your foot on the property ladder

If you’re keen to get your foot on the property ladder but home ownership is just out of reach, then there may be help at hand from two Government supported schemes.

Shared ownership schemes offer those wishing to purchase property owned by a housing association the chance to buy without having to stump up (or borrow), the purchase price outright. Instead, the prospective buyer need only buy a share in the house and then pay a subsidised rent on the rest, retaining the option, but not the obligation to buy the rest of the house at a later date.

Through a shared equity scheme, a buyer wishing to purchase a house worth up to £200,000 need only pay 75% up front, retaining the option to buy the rest at a later date, and with no obligation to pay rent in the meantime.

Interested? If you live in the South East see www.homebuy.co.uk for more information.

Monday 2nd April: Rate rises fail to dampen Mortgage Market

Mortgage lending in the UK is up on last year, according to figures released by Northern Rock, Britain’s 5th biggest mortgage lender. The current unholy alliance of high interest rates (making mortgage repayments more expensive), and rising unemployment (meaning more people who might not be able to afford a mortgage) would be expected to generate a fall in mortgage lending.

However Northern Rock reported on Monday that mortgage lending over the first three months of 2007 has increased 34% from a year ago.

Global Growth Good for UK Manufacturing

Critics of globalisation have often claimed that increasing trade between the UK and the rest of the world would be bad news for the manufacturing industry in the UK, who would be unable to compete against the lower raw material and labour costs available to manufacturers in less developed countries. However a new report released on Monday indicated that the UK manufacturing industry has grown for the 20th month in a row, largely thanks to foreign demand for goods manufactured in the UK. Indeed, exports rose at the fastest rate since January 2004.

Good news for those in the manufacturing industry!

Tuesday 3rd April Over half of Britons’ wealth tied up in property

Figures from Prudential show that over half of the wealth of the average person in Britain today is tied up in their property. This is a rise of 10% on the figure just 10 years ago. With rising house prices this is a trend that looks set to continue however it could be a cause for concern. If people don’t have security from other assets such as savings and pensions then any downturn in the property market could hit extremely hard. It is wise to make sure your financial future isn’t all cemented in bricks and mortar. Click here for more information on savings and investments.

Thursday 5th April Interest rates stay at 5.25%...for now

The Bank of England has held interest rates steady at 5.25% for the third straight month. However inflation continues to be high, property prices show no signs of abating and mortgage lending continues to soar so it now looks very likely that the Bank will raise interest rates to 5.5% in May.

Prepared for MoneyBasics by Adela Read