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Successful FTB applications soar in Q1: IMLA

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More than two-thirds of first-time buyers’ mortgage applications made through brokers resulted in completions in Q1 2017, according to the Intermediary Mortgage Lenders Association.

The latest IMLA mortgage market tracker found 67 per cent of such applications were successful in the period, 19 per cent higher than Q1 2016, when just 48 per cent were completed.

IMLA says would-be first-time buyers are making more enquiries and applications than they were a year ago.

The average number of such enquiries to brokers rose from 55 in Q1 2016 to 60 in Q1 2017.

The proportion of enquiries leading to applications in principle also increased from 51 per cent to 57 per cent.

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FTB activity at five-year high in February, says Connells

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Clydesdale waives valuation fees for FTBs

Clydesdale is waiving its valuation fee on first-time buyer products for a limited time. The lender has also cut rates across its residential and buy-to-let mortgage ranges by up to 0.50 per cent. From today, Clydesdale’s first-time buyer products include: ·         Two-year fixed to 95 per cent LTV reducing from 3.69 per cent to 3.59 […]

Strong dollar can be a powerful driver of UK dividend growth in 2015

By Robin Geffen, fund manager and CEO 

This year threatens to be a challenging one for UK dividend hunters. Last year saw an all-time record amount paid out in UK dividends — some £97.4bn, according to research from Capita Dividend Monitor. Yet as Capita also pointed out, out the biggest single factor driving the growth in the fourth quarter of last year was easy to identify: the rising US dollar. 

In our view, this trend is much more than simply a one-quarter phenomenon. It is actually the most profound issue to get right as a UK equity income investor in 2015. We believe that the US dollar will continue to strengthen significantly from its current level. This is due more to the US economy’s demonstrable de-coupling from the rest of the world than to a view on the UK. The US has a strong chance of tightening monetary conditions this year without jeopardising growth or de-stabilising its housing market. The same can unfortunately not be said about the UK.

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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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