Archive for the ‘Banks’ Category

House Prices Lowest In 16 Months

A new survey from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors indicates that House prices in England and Wales experienced their largest fall in September since May 2009.

The RICS house price index dropped to -36 in the three months to September from -32 in the three months to August, a drop that the RICS has blamed on supply pressures as homeowners’ rush to sell before public spending cuts kick in next year. (more…)

Why Credit Card Statement Checking Is A Must

Credit Statement

The credit card statement may not be a welcome piece of mail in most homes, but if it is not checked correctly or thoroughly credit card holders could be incurring more costs than they realize.

At first glance the credit card statement can be confusing, but once you know what to look for you can save yourself money and even protect yourself against fraud.

First you’ll want to ensure that you look over the “purchases or new charges” section to review what you purchased over the previous period. Ideally you should keep your charge receipts for all purchases so that when you receive your statement you can check those charge slips against the charges listed on your statement. (more…)

Home Loan Approvals Are Up

Home Loans

Home loan approvals rose a little in March, after a slight drop in February, almost 20% up on the year. Mortgage lending has eased off as homeowners paid off debt.

Approved loans for house purchases rose to 34,905 in March from 33,360 in February and up from 29,212 in March 2009 according to The British Bankers’ Association.

The BBA said the figures indicated the effect of the reversal of a temporary increase in the property tax threshold at the start of the year. This had impacted the demand for home loans in February. (more…)

UK Home Owners Inject £4 Billion Equity

Home Equity

UK home owners injected more than £4 billion of equity into their homes in the 4th quarter of 2009 as record low interest rates encouraged home owners to pay down their debt.

Figures release by the Bank of England on Tuesday show home owners added £4.038 billion of housing equity between October and December, the equivalent of 1.6% of post-tax income. (more…)

House Prices May Dip Again

House Prices May Dip

The housing market may take another dip as potential buyers struggle to get mortgages according to Bank of England policy maker Kate Barker.

The global credit crisis saw house prices in the UK drop by 20% at the lowest point as banks wary of risking new lending withdrew from the market and confidence was dented.

The market has however come back strongly since hitting bottom.

Barker, who has penned reviews of Britain’s housing supply and planning for the government and helps to set the interest rate said she had been surprised by the rebound.

“It seems more likely than not to me that mortgage finance is clearly not going to be available going forward on the terms it used to be,” Barker told MPs. (more…)

First Time Buyers Push To Beat Stamp Duty

Stamp Duty

First time buyers are going to find making that first leap on to the property ladder an almost impossible feat as prices continue to rise, demand outstrips supply and lenders remain strict in their lending.

Considering the cash deposit that is expected by most banks for a mortgage it will be very difficult for many first time buyers to attain that first step on the property ladder.

Thousands of property buyers are trying to benefit from the stamp duty holiday before it ends on 31st December. (more…)

Credit Card Fees On The Rise

Interest Rate Rise

As lenders continue to fight rising bad debts, consumers will eventually carry the cost through a rise in rates and fees. Funding constrictions and the lack of borrowing is also having an impact on lender costs.

The rise in regulations and government scrutiny is shaking up the market to the point were by the current fee-free model on credit cards may be unsustainable.

“Lenders will be unable or unwilling to increase supply sufficiently to match demand. This will leave consumers surprised at both the cost of credit and the difficulty in gaining access to it,” PricewaterhouseCoopers partner Richard Thompson said. (more…)

New Bank Funding And Asset Sales

Lloyds And RBS Banks

Lloyds Banking Group and Royal Bank of Scotland will get another £31 billion from the government and have both agreed to sell hundreds of businesses and branches to appease the EU competition concerns over state aid.

The deal announced yesterday allows the UK to reduce it’s holdings in Lloyds and RBS which are a potentially critical tying up of funds as Britain struggles with a budget deficit.

Months of uncertainty were ended as Lloyds revealed that they would drop out of the government insurance scheme for bad debts by raising £13.5 billion in the world’s greatest ever rights issue, as part of a capital raising plan aimed at sourcing £21 billion. (more…)