Patrick Hosking’s column in The Times examines whether house price rises are a good thing, with values predicted to rise 3.5% by the end of 2013. He argues boosting sales is “commendable” because it unleashes “mouthwatering multiplier effects” on the rest of the economy, but that price inflation is not because it puts homes further out of reach for first-time buyers. He also suggests Detroit’s bankruptcy should serve as a warning to the UK on chronic overspending, and warns monthly data can disguise more portentous long-term trends.
Writing in FT Weekend, John McDermott echoes Hosking’s warnings on the health of the public finances. He argues public spending cuts have not been savage – pointing to the ring-fencing of education and healthcare budgets – and that worse will have to come. He argues our ageing population will put an increased strain on public finance sin the forms of pensions and healthcare spending. He sums up the situation in a beautifully written phrase: “some portray Britain as Dorian Gray, living in ephemeral, costly debauchery before it must finally confront it’s ageing reality”.
Chris Giles, also writing in FT Weekend, confirms public sector debt is rising despite the nascent economic recovery.
Mark Bridge examines alternative investments that are getting people excited. Among other things, he looks at peer-to-peer lending. These small lenders are too small to access the AIM market, and don’t attract interest from venture capital firms because they are more of interest to the younger generations. He argues it is a good option for investors who are looking for generous and quick returns.
Recruitment, employment, HR
Sectarian violence in Northern Ireland threatens the health it’s labour market, that’s according to Theresa Villiers, secretary of state for Northern Ireland. She stresses that violence will discourage foreign investment and could lead to an exodus of jobs as firms become worried by the lack of stability in the country.
Fiona Govan, writing in The Daily Telegraph’s property section, suggests Spain’s chronic oversupply of housing and it’s weak economy makes property in the country a bargain for British buyers. She argues the decade long “frenzy” of Spain’s construction industry and a lack of native buyers have lowered prices by up to 85% – reflecting the extent to which prices were overinflated during the boom years.