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Weakening rental sector sparks house price fears

Private sector rental inflation was just 4 per cent in the year up to September 2003, according to the first official figures published for the sector.

Although rents have risen overall by 22 per cent in the last three years, there is concern that weakening of the rental market could hit property prices as the buy-to-let sector has buoyed the housing market.

Figures from the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister show that rents rose by an average of 1 per cent a quarter. Until now, there has been no official published index of private rental sector rents. The ODPM&#39s survey, published last week, is described as “experimental” and will be available quarterly.

Savills Private Finance Mark Harris says: “Rentals have fallen in certain parts of the country, not everywhere. This will not pose a huge threat but it has refocused some clients in London to focus their portfolios on other locations.”


Small group of life and pension firms leading e-business drive

An increase in e-business activity is being led by a small group of life and pension providers which are surging ahead of the rest of the market, according to research from technology provider Focus Solutions Group. Focus questioned companies representing around 70 per cent of the life and pension marketplace on their electronic trading activity […]

Watchdog seeks MPs&#39 views on inquiry

The Parliamentary Ombudsman has written to MPs to ask whether they feel she should reopen her inquiry into Equitable Life. They have until May 21 to respond. Ombudsman Ann Abraham&#39s report into Equitable published in July last year concluded the FSA had no responsibility for the debacle. Liberal Democrat MP Norman Lamb is tabling an […]

Govett funds to be merged into Gartmore

Gartmore is proposing to merge the majority of Gartmore Govett funds into Gartmore UK retail funds after its acquisition of the fund manager from Allied Irish Banks last November. Gartmore head of UK retail Paul Feeney says: “Since the acquisition last year we have been clear about our intentions to merge a number of the […]

Forum wants fund firms to follow electronic trail

The Adviser Forum is turning its sights on fund managers with a project aimed at motivating fund firms to transact more electronic business with IFAs to save time and cost. The forum, which has had significant success in targeting the life and pension industry, is urging IFAs and fund managers to set up systems enabling […]


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