Leeds Property Network

News Archive - April 2009

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Property News Archive for April 2009


Week-Ending
24th April 2009

 

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UK house price drop slows
A national housing market survey by Hometrack shows prices fell at the lowest monthly rate for a year in April and sales were up by 70% over the last three months. Read more of this story here >>>

Income Tax Rise may slow recovery
A rise in the highest rate of income tax risks stamping out the first green shoots of recovery in the prime property market, which has suffered a sharp fall in prices...
Read more of this story here >>>


FT's Summary of the Budget
The FT has very kindly provided an in-depth analysis and reaction to last week's budget...look out for the Security-Backed Mortgages that the government will now be taking on...this should provide an interesting period for both lenders and borrowers and could be the kick-start that first-time buyers and borrowers generally, have been seeking.  Of course this will mean a more competitive market-place for us all!  
See the full analysis here >>>


Fed study suggest US Rates should be -5%!!!
A US Federal Reserve study has suggested that under the current climate the ideal interest rate should be -5% (yes, you did read that correctly, minus 5%!!!).  So the US government should be paying every lender who borrows at the bank rate...a bit like a tax rebate or bonus for having a mortgage!  It would kick-start the economy, however, the largest economy in the world may soon become bankrupt if this strategy was implemented. 
Read the full article here >>>













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Week-Ending
17th April 2009

 

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UK's Annual Budget
On Wednesday it is the annual jamboree which is the UK's Budget, delivered for the second time by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Alastair Darling. So what's in store for you and I...? Well the FT have kindly collated a whole host of predictions from both their personal finance teams and the many city financial institutions...too much to summarise here - read the full store here >>>

House Prices Fall Faster for First-Time Buyers
It was reported last week that house prices in February had fallen more sharply for First-Time buyers (FTBs) than for those who were already owner-occupiers, compared to February 2008 data. There is no obvious reason for this, but it is clear that it is much harder for FTBs due to lower mortgage Loan-to-Values (around 75%) from the peaks of 90 and 95% LTV, and more stringent criteria form the lenders, all combining to make FTBs a scarce commodity.
Read more of this story here >>>


Slight Increase in February's Mortgage Lending...
The Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) saw lending increase slightly from January to February, providing some signs that lending may be starting to stabilise. Clearly, this is early days and March and April's figures will be the true test of such stability.
Read more of this story here >>>


Good news for the US banks?
It was reported this week that Citigroup and JP Morgan both saw huge swings in their profits. Citigroup returned to profits although the markets were not convinced that this was sustainable given their requirement to sell-off 36% to the authorities. More on Citigroup >>> Also, JP Morgan Chase saw income increase amid claims by its head that it could repay the US Government's $25bn cash injection without raising fresh capital, and claimed JP Morgan Chase would not participate in the US Government's $1,000bn Toxic assets plan.
Read more of this story here >>>


















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Week-Ending
10th April 2009

 

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Bank of England held Base Rate at 0.5%
As widely predicted, the Bank of England kept interest rates at 0.5% - the first "no change" since the bank made its first major reduction from 5.0% in October 2008. If you like maths and percentages...that's a 90% reduction over the last 6 months! And for those of you on tracker/discount products you've no need to update your cashflow forecasts this month!

More mortgages as banks relax criteria
On Sunday the FT reported that borrowers who have been frozen out of the mortgage market for many months are beginning to see the landscape thaw, as banks ease criteria and display a renewed appetite for lending. This could see the return of 15 and 10% deposits (for residential borrowers), although criteria will still be tight and BTL will inevitably lag behind the residential market. Read more of this story here >>>

Bizarre Tory Policy
For those of you who do not follow politics or if you were too busy thinking about what to do for Easter, there was a strange policy coming out the Tory Party HQ last week. Claimed to be radical by the Shadow Housing Minister, the Tories are proposing to allow social housing tenants the "Right to Move" anywhere in the country, and the tenant could demand the Landlord to sell the house and, using the proceeds, buy a house for the tenant somewhere else in the country. To me this does appear to be somewhat mad, particularly for the economies of scale and local services provide by the social landlord...e.g. maintenance activities, local choice, relationships with local authorities, etc. If this was published a week earlier I would have thought it an April Fool!
Read more of this story here >>>

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Week-Ending
3rd April 2009

 

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Reversal with US Toxic Assets
On the news wires last week was the bizarre or perhaps astonishing story that many of those US Banks that were bailed out by the US Taxpayer (Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, JP Morgan Chase) are now eying-up the "Toxic Assets" that are to be sold under the US Treasury's $1,000bn revival plan. What makes this bizarre is that troubled institutions have the potential to collude with each other to inflate the prices of their "toxic assets" by using US tax payers dollars! Clearly, those in power will deny this will ever happen...but what happens in the US... "invariable crosses the pond".
Read more of this story here >>>


Eurozone Lowers Central Bank Rate
Those planning trips to the Euro Zone in the next few weeks will be keenly monitoring the Euro-Sterling exchange rate. You may well have seen the Euro strengthen last week, and this was mainly down to the "less than expected" drop in the Euro Zone interest rate: down from 1.5% to 1.25%, it's lowest since World War 2.
Read more of this story here >>>
 











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