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The Woolwich confident housing market will pick-up in the spring

Housing market is set to bloom in the spring according to The Woolwich.

With the Bank of England freezing interest rates for another month, The Woolwich index shown 45 per cent of homeowners believe their property will continue to increase in value compared to 40 per cent in January.

While still lower than the three-year average for February of 57 per cent, this increase in confidence signals people believe the UK housing market has turned a corner.
But the only area with lower confidence is in the south west, down from 39 per cent in January to 37 per cent in February thinking the value of their house would increase over the next twelve months.
In London, confidence rose by 4 per cent to 40 per cent.

Barclays and Woolwich head of mortgages Andy Gray says: “Potential buyers have been waiting for the market to stabilise before they buy and now would seem to be the time when their confidence is starting to return, as interest rates have remained unchanged for seven months in a row. The next few months are traditionally a time of increasing buying and selling in the housing market, as people shake off the winter blues.”

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England vs Australia: pensions

Well, the cricket season is here, and England and Australia are stepping up to the wicket. Although we compete with each other in the sporting world, when it comes to pensions, Australia’s pension programme is held up as a model for our auto-enrolment initiative. Auto-enrolment was introduced because people weren’t saving enough into their pensions, and it is still early days but signs are positive. However, in Australia, saving into a pension is compulsory, and in fact employers are the ones who have to pay in. Employees in Australia can make additional contributions into their pensions, but they don’t have to. Should the onus be on the employer or employee to save? Well in the UK we think it’s both, but to get ‘adequate’ savings for retirement it’s the employee who has to pay more in.

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