NO COUNTRY FOR YOUNG MEN

The expected hike in train fares by as much as 11% will deter young families from making the traditional move from town to country suggests County Homesearch.

With some London commuter’s fares expected to consume 20% of their income, it is likely to put a brake on the move to the country of young couples with children as they will consider spending the money on suburban homes.

Jonathan Haward, Chairman of the County Homesearch Company comments:

“We seriously believe that if rail fares continue to be charged at 3% above inflation for the next few years it will price out the young blood that the countryside so desperately needs.

“As it is, the country has an ageing population and if commuter fares soar so high the county will become a ghetto for the elderly rich, gleefully waving their walking sticks in the air as the young town families cram into unsuitably small urban apartments with their children.”

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News headlines for 15th August 2012

Economics
In the papers today, the Financial Times has Greece on the front page after it had to go cap in hand to the ECB to seek a two-year extension to its austerity handouts.  This comes as Greece struggles to squeeze another £11.5bn of spending cuts from the carcass of its economy, part of a tough programme imposed by the EU and IMF under the terms of its bailout.  Greece branded the deficit reduction demands as ‘excessive’.

Personal Finance
The Daily Mail’s James Coney claims Sir David Walker’s recent comments on free banking suggests the incoming Barclays’ chairman blames bank customers for mis-selling.  Tim Wallace, writing in City AM also looks at the popular free banking current accounts model.  He says FSA boss Lord Turner favours charging customers for current accounts but that consumer groups warn customers could be badly ripped off if free banking is scrapped.

Property
The Times looks at news from e.surv chartered surveyors who say that there were 9 per cent more Scottish house sales in the first half of this year compared with the same period last year, as the market begins to recover.

Recruitment & Employment
And new unemployment statistics will come out today.  Last month’s figures showed that unemployment fell by 65,000 in the three months to May to 2.58 million, with the unemployment rate at 8.1pc.  The number of unemployed 16 to 24-year-olds fell slightly, to 1.02 million.  The Olympics should have a positive impact on jobs.

Scottish house sales 9% higher than 2011 as market takes first steps towards recovery

  • 2,674 more house sales in first half of 2012 compared to equivalent period last year
  • Prices in Midlothian rise £20,000 in last year
  • Prices in Edinburgh up almost £13,000 over last 12 months

House Price

Index

Monthly Change %

Annual Change %

£146,093

198.1

0.0

-0.1

Richard Sexton, director of e.surv chartered surveyors, part of LSL, comments: “The Scottish housing market is climbing the ladder to recovery rung by rung. Despite the impact of the Jubilee bank holidays, house sales so far this year are 9% higher than in the equivalent period last year. The fact activity has increased during a year when the economy has been weak bodes well for the future, and is testament to the underlying strength of the housing market and pent up demand.

Although bank lending is still in the doldrums, evidently more buyers have been able to access mortgages than in 2011. More buyers have rolled up their sleeves and built the big deposits banks require to access affordable loans, which has eased the gridlock in the market and jump-started activity. An air of cautious optimism surrounds the Scottish housing market at the moment. Slowly but surely the building blocks of recovery are being put in place.

But there is still a long way to before the market drags itself out the hole dug for it by the financial crisis. Sales are still at half they level they were before 2008. Recoveries from recessions caused by debt are always fragile, and a severe downturn in the eurozone or a sharp squeeze on the credit available to banks could still shatter much of the progress the market has made. Despite the deposits being saved, the lack of loans to first time buyers is a huge roadblock to a complete recovery.

Prices are erratic on a regional basis. Areas like Edinburgh and other parts of Midlothian, which have pockets of wealthier buyers, have seen prices rise considerably over the past year. These areas are full of buyers with more equity, so more people are finding it easier to get a mortgage. This is pushing demand above supply and causing prices to rise. On the flip side, less affluent areas with high unemployment have seen activity drop away, which has dragged down prices.”