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Owner-occupation in England falls a record 83,000

The number of owner-occupiers in England fell by a record 83,000 in 2007, according to Communities and Local Government data. This raises serious questions about the government’s target to increase owner occupation to 75%.

The fall brings the number of owner-occupied homes down from 14.621 million in 2006 to 14.538 million in 2007. As a result, the rate of owner-occupancy has fallen during 2007 from 70.3% in 2006 to 69.8% – the lowest rate since 1998.

This fall was driven by a 2% (164,000) decline in the number of people buying a home with a mortgage. The number of those owning their home outright (having either bought with cash or paid off their mortgage) failed to increase sufficiently to offset this decline, rising by 1.3% (81,000).

The number of households renting privately, however, rose a further 107,000 in 2007 – no doubt stimulated by the buy-to-let market which continues to grow.

A new survey from the Council of Mortgage Lenders shows buy-to-let lending was £24.1bn in the second half of 2007, up from £21.2bn in the first half of the year and £20.8bn in the second half of 2006.

The number of loans (including remortgages) to buy-to-let landlords in the second half of the year was 179,100, up from 171,800 in the first half of the year and 177,200 in the second half of 2006.

The number of outstanding buy-to-let mortgages has now passed the million mark, to 1,038,000 at the end of 2007 – nearly 23% up on the 846,900 figure a year earlier.


Packagers will survive the downturn

The recent news that Bill Warren has been made redundant from the Regulatory Alliance of Mortgage Packagers and that Eddie Smith has left the Professional Mortgage Packagers Alliance is a sign of the times.

Immigrants may boost brokers’ B2L business

A number of recent re-ports have highlighted the fact that buy-to-let is now a mature sector and should perform relatively well in 2008, de-spite the expected economic downturn.

Life after nationalisation

David Smith, economics editor of the Sunday Times, looks at the mortgage market as it enters a new era with a nationalised mortgage lender and uncertainty the name of the game

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Absence management systems gone AWOL from UK’s SMEs, reports Jelf

A quarter (23 per cent)* of the UK’s small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) do not have an absence management system in place, according to new research from Jelf Employee Benefits. Despite 69 per cent* of organisations having a system in place, three-quarters (75 per cent) report that it is not providing them with sufficiently empowering absence or health data to inform an effective wellbeing programme.


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