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Government trial of HIPs starts today

The governments trial of Home Information Packs has started today, across six areas in the country.

The government in partnership with the industry, is piloting the packs in Bath, Cambridge, Huddersfield, Newcastle, Northampton and Southampton.

The trial is designed to test both the HIPs and full Home Condition Reports, however as part of the trail, sellers will not have to pay for the packs.

In September 2006, the Department for Communities and Local Government pledged 4m of funding to support the six area trials.

Under the present home-buying process, a lot of the information needed by a buyer only becomes available after an offer has been accepted. This means that any problems with the property may only come to light, once buyers and sellers have incurred costs. This can then cause the terms to be re-negotiated, delays in the exchange of contracts, and even result in transactions failing altogether.

From June 1, 2007, it will be compulsory for sellers to make a HIP available to a potential buyer that contains information they need about the property. It will include information such as terms of sale, title deeds, local searches, warranties, and an Energy Performance Certificate.


Heatwave boosts subsidence fears

The British Insurance Brokers’ Association has warned that the number of properties that suffer from subsidence may dramatically increase this year thanks to the recording-breaking temperatures experienced in the summer.

UK consumer debt slows

Consumer debt is growing at its slowest rate for the last 13 years, according to the latest Borrowing Monitor from Alliance & Leicester. The latest figures for consumer borrowing, borrowing other than for the family mortgage, is reversing the growth shown in recent years.Borrowing has slowed to just 1.4% a year compared to the level […]

One in four parents can’t afford their own home

Alliance & Leicester has revealed that nearly a quarter of parents in the UK cannot afford to buy their own property, and rely on renting or living with their children’s grandparents.Out of these parents, only 3% are currently seeking their own home, while over half are not even attempting to look for property thanks to […]

Beacon says 2.40% discount product popular

Beacon Homeloans’ says its 2.40% one-year discount mortgage is proving popular amongst its panel of packaging partners and their supporting intermediaries. Clive Willson, head of sales for Beacon Homeloans, says: “Our new one-year discount compliments the competitive two- and three-year fixed rates we also have on the market. “We have listened to our packagers request […]

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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