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Average house prices up 3,000

Average house prices rose by over 3,000 in August, according to Government figures. The average house price in the UK in August stood at 197,631 compared with 194,454 in July.

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With-profits values could rise by 3%

With-profits shareholders could see an increase in values of up to 3 per cent under amendments to the policyholder/shareholder split of assets announced by the FSA.

Revenue clears the way for IHT advice

Skandia believes the latest HM Revenue & Customs clarification on the Finance Act changes to inheritance tax and trusts should give advisers the confidence to recommend the products again. Head of tax and financial planning Colin Jelley says advisers need to be aware of the latest developments to ensure they are offering cli- ents best […]

Standard issue

The recent news that Mortgage Trading Exchange has opened the standard interfaces it has developed with lenders so they can be adopted by other users paves the way for some welcome pragmatism to break out in the mortgage industry.

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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