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According to the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML), mortgage lending hiked to £11.5bn last month, a 24% rise from February.
The figure also reflected a 3% rise compared to March 2009, when the market reached its nadir in the wake of the credit crunch.
The CML said that despite this rise in activity, the property market was still relatively subdued, pointing out that total mortgage lending in the first quarter of 2010 was still significantly lower than in the last quarter of 2009.
“Despite the increase in activity late last year and a subsequent fall early this year – due to the end of the stamp duty holiday – the underlying position looks to have barely changed,” said CML economist Paul Samter.
“But with the gradually improving economic backdrop and interest rates still low, we continue to expect a gentle improvement in market conditions later in the year,” he added.
The CML added that from next year, lenders would need to find around £300 billion in order to repay money borrowed from the government through emergency support schemes.
As a result, it said, the mortgage market would continue to be restricted.
In the last couple of years savers have been given a wake-up call: that even though their money is in the bank, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s safe. I’m not talking about your money being stolen in a bank robbery, but something far less obvious – banks failing.
The scare surfaced after Lehman Brothers – a global financial services firm, declared itself bankrupt in 2008 marking the largest bankruptcy in U.S. History.
Concerns were again raised after Icesave – an online savings brand owned and operated by Landsbanki – collapsed, affecting hundreds of thousands of customers and businesses. In the UK, Icesave’s marketing slogan was “clear difference”, offering its customers three types of savings accounts: an instant access savings account, a cash ISA, and a range of fixed rate bonds, paying interest rates of more than 6%. This was enough to attract over 300,000 accounts in the UK alone. Read More »
Those looking for a good home for their savings may be interested to hear about a new product launched by Egg.
The Egg savings account was launched today (June 26th), as its new Bonus Savings Account, allowing customers to open an account with an initial balance of at least £1 and is available to both new and existing Egg customers.
This savings account offers an interest rate of 2.8%, which includes a fixed savings rate bonus of 1.55 per cent for the first 12 months.
Furthermore, egg savings accounts do not come with any limits or charges on cash withdrawals.
Sharon Maguire, head of banking products for Egg, states: “During times of unprecedented low interest rates, customers need to have the peace of mind that their savings account is making their money stretch further.”
Those on the search for an online savings account may also wish to consider the second issue of the Principality e-Saver, launched earlier this month.
A survey carried out by department store John Lewis reveals that 18-24 year olds are the one of the most ‘house proud’ age groups, with almost a quarter of those that took part in the survey revealing that they are reluctant to entertain at home for fear of potential party accidents – close to three times those aged 65 and over, with just 8% worrying about damage, and more than double 55-64 year olds (10%).
The study, involving 2,014 adults from Greenbee Home Insurance (part of the John Lewis Partnership), also found that 26% of this age group ask guests to remove footwear before entering their homes, almost double that of those aged 65 and over (14%) who have been found to have a more relaxed attitude.
It has been suggested that this new age of thinking has been brought on by the credit crunch, as 14% of Brits said they could not afford to replace damaged or broken items based on their current financial situation.
These findings may come as a surprise, turning stereotypes on their head, with a new breed of CHAPS – Cautious Hosts Against Party Stress.
It appears that the Midlands is Britain’s most house-proud region, with an above-average concern in all areas. Over a fifth (21%) of Midlanders make their friends remove their shoes when visiting (compared to 15% of people in South East/London) and 16% prefer not to host house parties, fearing that a party could result in damages caused by party accidents (compared to just 10% of Scots).
These results confirm that the financial crisis has turned the Britain into a nation of paranoid party poopers, but this view can be seen as well justified, as 14% said they’re more worried about household accidents or breakages than ever before as in the current economic climate as they can’t afford to replace any damaged items – rising to one in five (20%) of 45-54 year olds and 17% of women (compared to 11% of men).
James Furse, managing director, greenbee.com said: “It’s no surprise that people, regardless of their age, are cautiously house-proud, particularly with financial concerns foremost in the thoughts of a significant proportion of people.
“While those without cover are understandably concerned about the cost of an unfortunate accident while entertaining, even those with home insurance may want to consider checking their policy small print to make sure they’re covered for all eventualities. Ensuring you have the right home cover in place may offer peace of mind, along with valuable protection.”
There are a number of insurance providers offering cover that will help to offer peace of mind when hosting such an event, so if you fit into the ‘concerned host’ group, be sure to check them out!
Principality has increased savings rates on its instant access e-Saver account from 1.65% to 2.85% .
This is a very significant change and is likely to cause similar reactions from competitors which is great news for savers. There are terms and conditions that apply and this rate only applies for a year after opening the account (as with most accounts).
Before Principality announced the increase, ING was at the top of the table, offering one of the best rates available at 2.75% on its ING Direct Savings Account, with the Sainsbury’s Internet Saver close behind at 2.60%.
Abbey Fixed Rate Bonds
Abbey has launched a new fixed rate bond offering very competitive rates of interest on one & two year terms. These great accounts allow you to calculate exactly how much interest you will earn from your investment, so you can sit back and watch your money grow.
The new Abbey fixed rate bonds have been designed to suit all types of savers, with the Abbey 1 year account offering savers a rate of 3.0% on balances of £1 up to £24,999 and 3.5% from £25,000 up to £2,000,000, and the 2 year account offering 4.01% on balances of £30,000 up to £2 million.
On maturity you can have your deposit plus the interest earned paid into an Abbey savings account or any other UK account held in a bank/building society.
These accounts are available to new and existing customers who plan to transfer or deposit funds that are not currently held within the Santander Group (Abbey, Alliance & Leicester, Bradford & Bingley, cahoot and Cater Allen)
You cannot make any further payments to your bond after the initial opening deposit, so make sure you put in the full amount you decide on at the start
This is a limited offer and subject to availability. Apply today as this product can be withdrawn at any time.