- There’s a neat summary of house price forecasts for 2014 from Hilary Osborne in The Guardian. The bulls: Rightmove and RICS (8 per cent). The bears: “the normally downbeat” Capital Economics (5 per cent). the consensus appears to be about 6.75 per cent. There’s also, an analysis of the accuracy of predictions for 2013. The booby prizes went to Knight Frank (who forecast a fall of 2 per cent and reported an increase of 7 per cent) and arch pessimists Capital Economics, who forecast Nationwide’s index would fall 5 per cent – the Nationwide HPI rose 6.5 per cent over the year. Closest call was RICS who forecast a rise of 2 per cent then reported a rise of 5 per cent.
- In an editorial piece in the Daily Express (beneath an expression of gratitude to our troops and above a rather toadying message to the Queen – “here’s to the next royal baby, Ma’am!) the paper highlights the importance of pensions (sparked by a report on a potential pensions disaster for the next generation). The Express says, “If half the population aren’t paying enough towards their pensions or are leaving it too late to join then there is a time bomb ticking that will cause immense hardship and worry. If youngsters won’t listen to the Government or experts then it is the duty of parents and grandparents to put them wise to one of the best investments anyone can make”
- Leader pieces in the Daily Mirror and the Daily Telegraph focus on flooding. In “Joy’s at a premium” the Daily Mirror argues that insurance companies should play fair and pay up promptly. “Instead of quibbling they should help put the lives of those affected back together rather than hindering them. Firms who happily pocket the monthly premiums have a moral duty to write a big cheque when a legitimate claim is made by a policy holder”. The Daily Telegraph, on the other hand, says should consider if we are doing all we can to ward against flooding. Earlier this year, the Coalition announced that it would spend more on flood defences, after cutting back when it came to power. But MPs warned this would still not keep pace with increasing risks: “a renewed focus on this issue will prevent the wreaking of similar devastation on more homes, and more lives, in the years to come.”
Recruitment and Employment
- The BBCs reports a survey by the recruitment organisation, Randstad, which shows that while the recession has led to a drop in the number of people commuting as people lost their jobs – there has been an increase in people travelling more three hours a day. The poll, which looked at the commuting patterns of 2,000 workers between 2008 and 2013, found that almost one in 10 respondents were now travelling for that period a day – compared with one in 20 previously.