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Property is still seen as safe haven

Property is still the most popular refuge for the nation&#39s savings despite a reduction in spending as a result of the Iraq war, says Yorkshire Bank in its latest housebuyers&#39 survey.

The survey found that one in 10 homeowners are now considering their spending much more carefully, with the current situation in the Middle East causing many to feel less secure over their jobs.

Property is still leading the way as the safest place for saving, with one in six choosing to put their money into property rather than risking their cash the stockmarket.

The lowest interest rates in years on top of a belief that interest rates will decrease still further means that the property market is looking lively, with 27 per cent of people hoping to move during the forthcoming year.

However, the research from Yorkshire Banks does reveal that there are distinct signs of a slowdown approaching. It says the number of people who feel that the value of their home will actually drop over the next 12 months has doubled to 50 per cent since January. Yorkshire says rises in council tax, coupled with an increase in NI will also have an effect on homebuyers.

Chief operating officer Geoff Greer believes that flexibility is very important at the moment, as people deal with changing circumstances and possible financial security worries.

He says: “Twenty-two per cent of people would now choose to opt for current account, offset or flexible mortgages if they were buying a house. This enables them to make the most of their money and perhaps avoid being too rigid in monthly payments should times get harder.”


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Absence management systems gone AWOL from UK’s SMEs, reports Jelf

A quarter (23 per cent)* of the UK’s small to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) do not have an absence management system in place, according to new research from Jelf Employee Benefits. Despite 69 per cent* of organisations having a system in place, three-quarters (75 per cent) report that it is not providing them with sufficiently empowering absence or health data to inform an effective wellbeing programme.


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