Investment & Business News Headlines

House price inflation - only in Spain has it grown faster.

Over the last five years, house price inflation in the UK was 90 per cent. In Spain the inflation rate was 100 per cent, but everywhere else in the Eurozone, and in North America and Australia, it was lower – or so says the Halifax.

France enjoyed the third-highest house price inflation rate – says the Halifax – 73 per cent over the last five years, and Ireland saw 71 per cent. The Eurozone average was 40 per cent, and in Germany house prices fell by 5 per cent.

Meanwhile, down under,...Read More

But some runes point to a housing disaster in the making

And yet there are plenty of reasons to believe that the market is not quite as solid as so many of these experts are telling us.

For one thing, Land Registry figures recently published said that average house prices rose by just 0.1 per cent in July. In the West Midlands,...Read More

Posted Aug 31, 2007

House price inflation - only in Spain has it grown faster.

Over the last five years, house price inflation in the UK was 90 per cent. In Spain the inflation rate was 100 per cent, but everywhere else in the Eurozone, and in North America and Australia, it was lower – or so says the Halifax.

France enjoyed the third-highest house price...Read More

Posted Aug 31, 2007

Mortgage approvals and economic fundamentals set to save the day

Better ordnance was given to the property bulls camp when the Bank of England released its latest report on mortgage approvals yesterday. 115,000 mortgages for house purchases were approved in July. The last time the monthly figure was higher than that was back in February.

The likes of the Halifax and...Read More

Posted Aug 31, 2007

Paragon celebrates buy-to-let’s growing profits

Paragon Mortgages released its latest report on the state of the rental market earlier this week. It was very positive, but then Paragon only seems to do bullish reports.

“With strong rental demand landlords are able to raise rents to cover their increased mortgage repayments. Rents rose by an average of...Read More

Posted Aug 31, 2007

Are UK houses about to go the way of the US?

It’s difficult to imagine a bigger split on opinion. The last few days have seen a rush of new reports on the property market, and a glut of opinions ranging from woe to celebration.

At one extreme you have Paragon exclaiming how profitable buy-to-let investing is, and Halifax pooh-poohing fears that...Read More

Posted Aug 31, 2007

Barclays ABN and the share price that fell to Earth

You may recall yesterday we told how shares in Barclays fell after a report suggested the bank might have got itself into difficulty with something called SIV-lites.

The current liquidity crisis seems to rotate around horrible jargon and acronyms.

Sub-prime is bad enough; it refers to mortgages for people with poor...Read More

Posted Aug 30, 2007

It is deja vu Banking crisis has hallmark of 1998

1998 was a bad year for the banks. This was the year that Russia defaulted on its debts, and the hedge fund Long Term Capital Management collapsed. In the wake of the year’s turbulence banks’ profits plummeted, with investment banking and trading revenue down 31 percent in the second half,...Read More

Posted Aug 30, 2007

Mortgages No sign of an implosion yet

Mortgage demand remained remarkably robust in July. Sure, when compared to July 2006, house purchase approvals were down 1 per cent by number but they were up 12 per cent by value; re-mortgaging approvals were up 12 per cent by number and up 26 per cent by value; approvals for...Read More

Posted Aug 29, 2007

Is British business paying enough tax?

Tax has hit the headlines again. This time it was a report from the National Audit Office that got the blood boiling. Analysis of the figures showed that of the 700 largest companies in the UK, just 270 firms paid corporation tax in excess of £10 million. And 220 of...Read More

Posted Aug 29, 2007

Barclays denies rumours but the ground is like tinder

When the heat is on, fire can break out so easily. Not only has this been proven true in Greece, this week it was borne out in the financial markets.
The FT broke the news, the casualty was Barclays and its rival in the battle for control of ABN...Read More

Posted Aug 29, 2007

Mortgage approvals and economic fundamentals set to save the day

Better ordnance was given to the property bulls camp when the Bank of England released its latest report on mortgage approvals yesterday. 115,000 mortgages for house purchases were approved in July. The last time the monthly figure was higher than that was back in February.

The likes of the Halifax and...Read More

Posted Aug 31, 2007

But some runes point to a housing disaster in the making

And yet there are plenty of reasons to believe that the market is not quite as solid as so many of these experts are telling us.

For one thing, Land Registry figures recently published said that average house prices rose by just 0.1 per cent in July. In the West Midlands,...Read More

Posted Aug 31, 2007

Paragon celebrates buy-to-let’s growing profits

Paragon Mortgages released its latest report on the state of the rental market earlier this week. It was very positive, but then Paragon only seems to do bullish reports.

“With strong rental demand landlords are able to raise rents to cover their increased mortgage repayments. Rents rose by an average of...Read More

Posted Aug 31, 2007

Are UK houses about to go the way of the US?

It’s difficult to imagine a bigger split on opinion. The last few days have seen a rush of new reports on the property market, and a glut of opinions ranging from woe to celebration.

At one extreme you have Paragon exclaiming how profitable buy-to-let investing is, and Halifax pooh-poohing fears that...Read More

Posted Aug 31, 2007

Markets claw back losses as another Hedge fund prepares to bite the dust

Wednesday saw the Dow soar by 247 points: only 33 points short of making up for Tuesday’s falls. You may recall, yesterday we said there was no good reason for the sell-off in shares seen on Tuesday. And, today, we say that on Wednesday, there seems to have been no...Read More

Posted Aug 30, 2007

BAA set to fly out cost cuts

Douglas Adams once wrote that “It can hardly be a coincidence that no language on Earth has ever produced the phrase, ‘as pretty as an airport’.” We don’t like airports: they are noisy chaotic beasts. But, if there is one group of airports that seem to take the biscuit it’s...Read More

Posted Aug 30, 2007

Markets panic over lack of good news

Not much happened yesterday, so markets panicked.

Sure, there were reasons for the panic. It’s just that under different circumstances yesterday’s news might not have led to a fall in share prices at all.

First of all there was the Fed. It seemed somehow irrelevant. The minutes for the last regular meeting...Read More

Posted Aug 29, 2007

Will US sub prime crisis spread here

During the point of maximum market turmoil earlier this month, the Daily Mail reassured us all. The UK property market is not like the US market: there has been no boom in building and so there will be no UK property market crisis, it suggested.

And yet many, including the Read More

Posted Aug 28, 2007

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