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Culture boon for Liverpool prices

House prices in Liverpool have rocketed by 76% since the city was named European Capital of Culture five years ago, a title it took up this year.

Research from Halifax Estate Agents based on Land Registry figures tracked house price performance in the city from June 2003 when it was named Capital of Culture until March 2008.

Halifax says the 76% hike outstripped the average 50% growth seen in England over the same period.

In cash terms, it means that the average property price in Liverpool has risen from £79,886 to £140,842.

The L5 postal district covering Anfield, Everton and Kirkdale recorded the fastest rise with average prices increasing from £24,142 in 2003 to £76,403 in 2008, a 216% jump.

Liverpool has outperformed the other five UK cities shortlisted for Capital of Culture status. House prices in Newcastle and Gateshead grew by 64% over the same period, while prices in Birmingham rose by 46%. Oxford reported the smallest increase of 35%.

Martin Ellis, chief economist at Halifax, says: “Since Liverpool was designated the European Capital of Culture, property prices in the city have risen sharply.

“They have also been boosted by the regeneration in Liverpool’s infrastructure. Demand for good quality afford-able housing has remained high due to its close proximity to other key cities.”


Lowest house sales since 1978

Estate agents are reporting less than one sale a week, says the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.

RICS reports the lowest level of transactions since its survey began in 1978 – 12.7 over the past three months.

Some good news from the US at last!

Freddie Mac reported today that the average rate for 30 year fixed rate mortgages fell further this week to stand at 5.78%, down from 6.35%just prior to the Fannie & Freddie nationalisation and the lowest rate since Feb 14. It said this was fuelling a boom in remortgaging, with remortgage applications up 58% from the […]

Barclays confirms Lehman talks

Barclays has confirmed it is in negotiations with Lehman Brothers to take on portions of the business that are attractive to Barclays shareholders.Areas that Barclays is thought to be considering include the Lehman Brother broker-dealer offering.The acquisition of this area could see up to 10,000 employees transferring to Barclays.Barclays says: “There can be no assurance […]

Darling has over-egged the pudding

Chancellor Alistair Darling’s recent media outburst in which he stated that the UK faces the worst economic outlook in 60 years was nonsense. In the 1940s Britons faced petrol, clothing and food rationing and in the 1970s we suffered the three-day week and inflation hit more than 25%.

Apple: a stellar technology story

By Ali Unwin, head of technology sector research

Apple recently announced the highest-ever recorded quarterly net profit ($18bn), with the sale of 74.4 million iPhones helping the company deliver $74.6bn of revenue for the quarter ending December 2014. These sales were largely driven by strong demand for the new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. Highlights included Chinese iPhone sales doubling year-on-year and unit growth of 44% in the US — supposedly a well-penetrated market. Apple ended the quarter with $178bn in cash on its balance sheet, having generated a staggering $30bn in free cash flow during the quarter.

At Neptune, we have been long-term believers in the Apple story, and continue to hold the stock in a number of our portfolios based on the company’s long-term growth prospects. This is predicated on our belief that Apple has proved thus far that it can — unusually for a consumer electronics company — maintain high margins for a sustained period of time, even as adoption of new technology slows down and competitors produce similar-specification products.


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