View more on these topics

Housing market cools as buyers&#39 confidence ebbs

The housing market is cooling off as consumers lose confidence, according

to Nationwide&#39s latest house price index.

But Nationwide says although the underlying demand for houses may have

slackened in May and the increasein prices was weaker than expected for the

time of year, there is no reason to believe the market is heading for a

significant downturn.

Figures show the average house price rose by just £113 in May,

bringing the average price to £81,006 compared with £1,500 in

April. House prices are 16 per cent higher than a year ago although, when

seasonally adjusted, prices fell last month by 0.4 per cent compared with

an increase of 1.6 per cent in April.

Nationwide also says recent economic growth is moderately slower, meaning

the number of houses sold is lower as consumer confidence is undermined.

Nationwide divisional director (planning) David Parry says: “It is likely

the modest slowing in national house prices this month has been influenced

by the South-east. While there is scant evidence of a weakening of this

region&#39s economy, confidence may have been affected by stockmarket jitters,

the withdrawal of Miras and fears of higher interest rates.”

Nationwide is revamping its income protection plan to allow individuals to

get up to 60 per cent of their gross earnings as a tax-free income in

addition to state benefits if they are unable to work.

Nationwide Life managing director Bill Tonks says: “Long-term incapacity

benefit paid by the Government in the event of illness will not enable many

people to maintain their normal lifestyle. It is therefore important to

make provision to ensure your income is not heavily reduced in the event of

accident or illness.”

Recommended

Woolwich and Halifax in clash on interest deals

Woolwich and Halifax are going head to head by only charging interest onthe difference between customers&#39 borrowings and savings.Woolwich has just set up the Open Plan “offset mortgage”, which it saysbuilds a virtual link between a customer&#39s secured borrowing and savings.This is one of the core propositions of Halifax&#39s new venture, IntelligentFinance, which starts next […]

Widows&#39 windfall is delayed again

Scottish Widows is warning its 1.6 million policyholders they must wait afurther two months before receiving their windfalls from its £6.7bntakeover by Lloyds TSB.Widows blames the delay on the sheer scale of the task. It says it hasprovided additional options for members to receive their windfalls.The original options were either a cheque or loan note […]

All the right movies

The subject of this week&#39s column is a software package that is, in fact,one of the most widely used tools in the IFA market. However, there areprobably comparatively few people in the industry who would realise this.Macromedia&#39s Director package is used extensively to create simple orcomplex high-quality active graphic presentations for websites, CDs andDVDs. The […]

Solo record set by Arctic balloonist

The Britannic Challenge balloon has successfully landed after arecord-breaking journey, making David Hempleman-Adams the first man to flysolo from Spitsbergen to the North Pole and back.In the early hours of Saturday morning, the balloon began its descent overSpitsbergen. It was a difficult landing, with the balloon draggingHempleman-Adams along the ground and the basket filling with […]

Newsletter

News and expert analysis straight to your inbox

Sign up

Comments

    Leave a comment