London rents surged to their highest ever level in March, according to the front page of the Evening Standard. After a 1.3 per cent rise from February, they hit a record of an average £1,106 per month, LSL Property Services figures showed, 7.9 per cent higher than they were a year earlier. Agents said demand for flats and houses was still massively outstripping supply. Peter Rollings, managing director of agents Marsh & Parsons, said, “In places like Clapham and Wandsworth they are still going like a steam train.” But CityAM says investors are having trouble getting the finance needed via traditional methods, according to separate figures from peer-to-peer lender West One Loans. According to its research 36 per cent of mortgage brokers cite buy-to-let as the most popular driver of bridging loans, up from 23 per cent last August.
The Guardian reports warnings we face a major economic crisis because of a ‘carbon bubble’ on the stock markets – the result of an over-valuation of oil, gas and coal reserves held by energy companies. According to economists at least two-thirds of these reserves will have to remain unexploited if the world is to meet agreed targets to avoid the threshold for dangerous climate change. If the agreements are honoured, the reserves will be worthless, leading to huge market losses.
The Independent’s Andrew Grice says Ed Miliband and Ed Balls are set to fight the 2015 election on a bold pledge to spend more than the Conservatives, rejecting the more cautious approach adopted by Tony Blair in 1997 of sticking to the government’s spending limits. Miliband and Balls favour a ‘new economic settlement’ for Britain.
Recruitment, Employment & HR
The Times says Legal & General’s annual report reveals former CEO Tim Breedon left the company with £9.4m in pay, bonuses and share awards, throwing bumper deals for bosses back into the spotlight. Writing in Independent, Ben Chu also looks at remuneration. He says Rich Ricci’s pay at Barclays illustrates that the remunerations system in big banks is unfair for shareholders. Chu notes that Barclays’ ‘long-term incentive plan’ translates to 3 years, and argues that the interests of bankers and shareholders are only aligned up to the moment the banker gets paid.
The Guardian runs a blog piece on the benefits of “bootstrapping” – starting your business without external funding.