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Property prices up 1.1% in March

House prices increased by 1.1% in March, partly offsetting February’s 1.6% fall, the latest Halifax price index shows.

This rise was the eighth in the past nine months, taking the average price to £168,521 – 9.1% above the low point seen last April.
Prices in the first three months of 2010 were 0.6% higher than in Q4 2009.

This was less than the 3.6% rise seen between Q3 and Q4 2009, suggesting a slowdown in house price growth.

Martin Ellis, housing economist at Halifax, says the end of the Stamp Duty holiday in December affected demand at the end of last year and into early 2010.

He says: “Bad weather also had an impact on demand at the start of this year. There are signs that an increase in the number of properties available for sale is beginning to reduce the imbalance between supply and demand.

“This increase should help constrain the upward pressure on house prices.”


Bank keeps base rate at 0.5%

The Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee has decided to keep the base rate on hold at 0.5%, while maintaining its quantitative easing programme at £200bn.


IT can bring clients and advisers closer

In the past few years I have met many mortgage brokers and IFAs, each with their own attitude towards the benefits of using technology. Everyone has an opinion on IT, ranging from those using pens and paper to those who embrace the paperless office and own every gadget known to man. But in the past […]

Nationwide may axe four service centres to streamline processing

Nationwide Building Society may become the latest lender to opt for the super-site approach to mortgage processing as it considers closing four of its six service centres. The lender is thinking about closing centres in Birmingham, Chester, Doncaster and Newcastle and transferring work to two centres in Glasgow and Northampton. As a result 145 staff […]

Japan Economic Insight

James Dowey, Chief Economist, and Paul Caruana-Galizia, Economist

The conventional wisdom is that following a roughly 50 per cent rise in the stock market in 2013 in Yen terms, the Japan trade is over and done*. So the story goes, those big gains were due to a one-off boost from quantitative easing (QE) and a depreciation of the Yen — policies that one should think of as a palliative to Japan’s economic weakness, but not a cure. Rather the cure, and by implication the necessary condition for a longer-term investment case, is deep structural reforms — a painstaking re-weaving of Japan’s economic and social fabric, no less. The story continues: this is a much tougher test than launching a blast of QE, and one that prime minister Shinzo Abe, although well intentioned and well supported by the public thus far, is likely to fail. Stick a fork in Japan, it’s done…continue reading


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