News Headlines – Tuesday 13th August 2013

Economics/Property
The Times leads with a piece on the “flood” of first-time buyers returning to the market, according to data released by the CML. The Financial Times says the government is facing calls to drop its controversial Help to Buy scheme to prevent another housing bubble as FTB lending rose to a post-2007 high. The number of mortgages advanced to FTBs reached 68,200 in the second quarter of this year, the largest quarterly total for five and a half years. There are warnings the government’s support risks putting house prices further out of reach of FTBs. Average house prices have already topped their previous 2008 peak, according to the LSL/Acadametrics Index. FT, p.2

Personal Finance
Annuity rates are now so bad that holders would have to live to 90 to get value for money according to government pensions adviser Dr Ros Altmann. Millions of pensioners face a gamble when turning their nest eggs into retirement income. Annuity rates are at an all-time low due to a combination of low interest rates, rising life expectancy and the government’s policy of quantitative easing. Pensioners who buy annuities at 65 would not get their money back unless they lived to 82 and would not get value for money unless they lived to 90. Daily Mail, p.1,4

Employment/recruitment
On the front page of the Telegraph, HSBC research suggests rising numbers of students are shunning arts degrees in favour of more practical degrees. Applications for engineering degrees rose 17% between 2007 and 2012. Telegraph, p.1; Daily Mail, p.12

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