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Mortgage demand moderating

April lending figures from the British Bankers’ Association show mortgage demand is moderating in the face of rising rates. April’s gross mortgage lending of £17.3bn was 12% up on April 2006, reflecting a 10% annual growth in house prices and strong remortgaging activity.

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Prices up, says Land Registry

Land Registry data reveals the average house price for England and Wales rose by 0.6% in April to £179,935, while average London house prices hit £333,785. The annual change was 9.1%.

Estate agents will be pack leaders

The delay in the introduction of HIPs means providers’ pricing models have been disrupted but estate agents that offer them free are still likely to dominate the market, says Frank Eve

Product ideas must start with clients

Residential lending is heading into choppy waters. For this reason, lenders that want sensible, risk-adjusted returns should be thoughtful in their approach.

Abbey confirms 100% launch

Abbey has confirmed that it will be returning to high LTV lending with the launch of a 100% product.The lender has not been in this sector of the market since the early 1990s, and says the launch is “significant”. The product, which is available to intermediaries and in Abbey branches from June 13, has no […]

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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