Brian Murphy, head of lending at Mortgage Advice Bureau, says:
“Total mortgage activity in July bounced back after the dip in June and much of this is due to the performance of the mutual sector. While lending by banks in July was lower than this time last year, mutuals have demonstrated a commitment to carry on lending and have seen a year on year increase of 44%.
“Our National Mortgage Index shows total mortgage activity has been inconsistent this year, but mutuals have consistently offered some of the best rates available. As such its no surprise that lending from mutuals now represents almost a quarter of all mortgage lending.
“As an example, the 90% LTV is one of the areas most starved of funding at the moment, but more than two thirds of the top 30 two-year fixed rate products available are currently funded by the mutual sector.
“Looking forward, we are yet to see what impact the two new lending schemes announced by the Chancellor and the BoE will have, and with Santander raising its SVR last week it will be interesting to see which lenders follow suit in the next month.”
George Osborne flatly rejected Nick Clegg’s call for an ‘emergency tax’ on the rich, arguing it could damage the UK economy in the long term. The Chancellor reiterated his belief the UK cannot afford to drive away wealth creators that will be key to the economic recovery. Clegg told the Guardian the wealthy should pay a ‘fairer share’ to ensure fiscal austerity is achieved ‘progressively’. The Deputy Prime Minister failed to make a specific suggestion on how the tax would be implemented.
LSL Property Services reports over half of all landlords think now is a good time to invest in property. Less than 1% felt it was a bad time. David Newnes of LSL explained landlords are being seduced by a combination of historically low house prices and a proliferation in tenant demand. LSL also found two-fifths of landlords are planning to raise rents in the coming year as they look to take advantage of the sky-high demand for rental property.
Employment and recruitment
The number of ‘jobless households’ has fallen for the second year in a row. The number of households where no 16 to 64 year old is in employment fell 153,000 to 3.7 million, giving encouragement to the coalition in its attempts to reduce welfare dependency. North-east England has the highest number of jobless households at 24.5%, while the south-east has the lowest – 14.1%.
Separately, a study by think tank Ipsos Mori found only 42% of employees feel secure in their job.
The Independent reports almost half the population thinks that politicians don’t understand don’t understand the financial pressures facing ordinary people. The Resolution Foundation think tank found that 43% of people felt politicians were out of touch with daily personal finances. The figure was highest among those on low and middle incomes. A separate survey by Ipsos Mori found 36% of adults felt ‘financially squeezed’.