House price inflation at three year high
House prices are continuing to rise steadily according the latest figures from Halifax which suggest prices between April and June were 2.1% higher than in the previous three months, meaning that the annual rate is at its highest for nearly three years. Prices in the last three months were 3.7% higher than for the same period last year.
“Improved confidence in both the housing market and the economy, combined with a shortage of properties available for sale, appear to be pushing up house prices,” said Martin Ellis, housing economist at Halifax. “The Funding for Lending Scheme is also likely to be boosting the market by helping to reduce mortgage rates. There are also early indications that the Help to Buy equity loan scheme may be stimulating demand.”
Good weather boosts property prices
A study by Lonres suggests that decent weather improves sales and prices. Apparently longer, warmer and sunnier days have a much more positive effect on buyers than rainy ones.
Property a top priority for young people
A poll of more than 2,000 18-30 year olds commissioned by the BBC for its Cherry Healey’s Property Virgins programme on BBC3 tonight shows 61% rank getting their own home it as their first priority, well ahead of getting married, going to university or buying a car.
New measures to tackle flood risk don’t go far enough, warn MPs
Government action on flooding is welcome but funding increases announced in this month’s Spending Round do not meet the rising flood risk, MPs on the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee said today.
Committee Chair, Anne McIntosh MP, said: “Record rainfall in the past two years has led to extensive flooding, cost the economy millions and caused disruption and distress to householders and communities across the UK. Additional capital funding for flood defences is welcome since every £1 spent on flood defences to protect communities spurs growth and delivers economic benefits worth £8.
“But spending on flood defences has not kept pace with rising risks from more frequent severe weather. The Chancellor must ensure that investment increases by £20 million year on year. We need that money over the next 25 years to protect homes and businesses better. Maintenance of these defences and effective dredging of watercourses must be a priority.”
The Committee welcomed proposals for the new ‘Flood Re’ insurance scheme, to be funded by a small levy of around £10 a year on all household insurance customers but the report:
* criticises the Government for failing to secure significant private sector funding for new flood defences
* warns that current funding allocations fail to protect agricultural land adequately, posing a risk to the security of UK food production;
* recommends that central government provides funds for local authorities to repair flood damage to roads and other infrastructure
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