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House prices still increasing but at a slower rate

House price rises are continuing to ease, says Halifax&#39s monthly house price index, with a 1 per cent rise in November.

This is down from October&#39s increase of 1.4 per cent and November 2002&#39s increase of 1.9 per cent. Halifax says annual house price inflation now stands at 14.1 per cent, down from 16.7 per cent the previous month but still significantly above the long-term average of 8 per cent.

The index also reveals that the average homeowner is paying 13.6 per cent of their gross income in mortgage payments, significantly less than the 36 per cent peak reached in 1990 and the 20-year average of 21 per cent.

Halifax points out that for mortgage payments to rise again to equal the long-term average, the base rate would have to increase to 6.25 per cent, and to equal the peak of 36 per cent it would have to rise to 10 per cent.

Chief economist Martin Ellis says: “The gradual easing in house price growth reflects a market returning to average price rises after two years of exceptional increases.”


McCarthy warns unit trust sector against late trading

FSA chairman Callum McCarthy held a meeting with 25 chief executives from the largest unit trust managers to remind them of their responsibilities in relation to late trading and market timing. On the back of scandals in the US the regulator has surveyed UK fund managers but dound no signs so far that the &#39abuses&#39 […]

New trust from new company

New Scottish fund management company Edinburgh Partners has established the EP global opportunities trust, an investment trust that invests in undervalued companies around the world. Edinburgh Partners was founded earlier this year by Sandy Nairn and Graham Campbell, who previously worked together at Scottish Widows Investment Partnership. They will be the lead managers of the […]

ISIS welcomes VCT boost from Government

ISIS equity partners welcomed the Chancellor&#39s moves to boost VCT investment in his pre-Budget Speech. David Thorp, Investment Manager of the Baronsmead VCTs, said “We welcome the announcements, which are designed to increase the amount of money available for VCTs to invest in UK businesses with high growth potential.” Thorp, also Chairman of the VCT […]

&#39Pensions have inconsistent approach to managing risk&#39

An actuarial analysis has found little correlation between funding levels of company pension schemes and the level of equity investment. Consultancy Watson Wyatt analysed the schemes of companies in the FTSE 350 index and found only a weak correlation between high funding levels and the amount put into riskier investments. Watson Wyatt says it might […]

Is three a crowd?

The pension versus Isa debate has raged on and off for years. Les Cameron, head of technical at Prudential, asks if three’s a crowd.   I think the debate was arguably settled by pensions freedom when the biggest downside of pensions – limited access and poor death benefits – was fundamentally changed. Total access, albeit with […]


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