Monthly Archives: May 2014

House price rises calm down as tighter mortgage rules kick in

Less than half of areas saw house prices rise in May, as further signs emerged that tougher new mortgage rules are putting the squeeze on borrowers and cooling the housing market. House prices continued to rise across the UK in May but there has been a slight slowdown in the rate of inflation compared to April, according to a survey by property analysts Hometrack. It found that house prices increased 0.5 per cent on the month in May, inching down from 0.6 per cent in April. But in a further indication that the property revival might be moderating, the proportion of areas that saw price increases over the month slipped from 50 per cent in March and April to 42 per cent in May. Full story via...
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More than 7,000 homes sold under guarantee scheme

Some 7,313 homes have been sold so far under the Help to Buy mortgage guarantee scheme, the Treasury says. The figures are the first comprehensive measure of the scheme since it was launched late last year. The numbers from the Treasury also show that 80% of the properties sold went to first-time buyers. The majority of sales were outside London, which will help the government to argue that Help to Buy has not had a major effect on house prices. Just 5% of sales under the mortgage guarantee scheme were in the capital, where prices have soared, and 14% in the South East. The mortgage guarantee scheme is separate from the equity loan part of Help to Buy, which began in England 13 months ago. Scotland and Wales have...
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Northern Ireland leads growth in Q1 house purchase lending

Gross lending in Northern Ireland for house purchases increased by 41% to £240m in quarter one year-on-year, statistics from the Council of Mortgage Lenders has shown. Growth in England was slightly behind with a 38% uplift in the value of lending for house purchases worth £21.35bn in quarter one, with lending in Greater London accounting for £5.6bn. Scotland and Wales both saw a 31% year-on-year rise in house purchase lending; with £1.47bn and £640m of loans advanced in Q1 respectively. England saw the biggest rise in first-time buyer lending in Q1 of £8.6bn with a 50% increase year-on-year. Scotland followed with £580m of lending representing a 45% increase, Northern Ireland with £130m of first-time buyer lending, a 44% rise and Wales with £260m, a 37% increase. Read the full article via Northern Ireland leads...
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Mortgage approvals for house purchases fell in April

UK mortgage approvals declined for the third straight month in April to an eight-month low, as lending for property purchases moderated, data from the British Bankers Association showed Tuesday. Mortgage approvals for house purchases fell to 42,173 in April from 45,045 in March. Approvals were below the expected level of 45,100. The latest figure was the lowest since last August, when approvals totalled 39,597. Mortgage assistance schemes helped first-time buyers and housing chains generally through the late months of last year. Since the turn of the year, approvals numbers have moderated. Howard Archer, chief UK economist at IHS Global Insight, said the data suggests that the introduction of new regulations under the Mortgage Market Review has at least temporarily taken some of the steam out of housing market activity. Article courtesy of   Read more

Dud ID scams hit property sales

Identity fraud has started to hit property owners, with properties being sold to unsuspecting buyers and without the real owners knowing about it. The Daily News in Durban has identified eight instances where properties have been sold, and in some the transfer had gone through the Deeds Office, without the knowledge of the true landowners. In one instance two brothers had paid R165 000 cash for a house, and had done R50 000 in renovations when the real owner returned from his rural home and found renovations in progress. Brothers Ngcebo and Sandile Ngcobo, of KwaMashu, said they had forked out more than R200 000 buying and renovating an “abandoned” house they had bought from a man who they have since learnt had used a bogus ID...
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NI house sales ‘strongest since 2007’

House sales were the strongest since the same period in 2007 Northern Ireland house prices are rising, according to new figures covering the first months of 2014. The Residential Property Price Index records growth of 7% on this time last year. For the time of year, sales - at 4,200 - were their strongest since 2007. According to the data compiled by the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency, the index calculates the average residential property price at £102,000. Prices grew by 3% between October 2013 and March 2014. via BBC News - NI house sales 'strongest since 2007'....
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£23,000 compensation for teacher who slipped in puddle

Chris McGovern, of pressure group Campaign for Real Education, said: ‘Look, people fall over. This money which has been paid out would be better spent on teaching children. ‘The whole culture of compensation – from staff, parents and children – has made school totally risk averse.’ Conservative MP for Monmouth David Davies added: ‘This does seem a ludicrous sum of money for an accident that frankly could have happened anywhere. Surely the money could have been better spent on teaching the children. ‘But sadly this appears to be another example of the ridiculous compensation culture that has taken grip in our country.’ A spokesman for the council said: ‘Where a claim is fully supported by evidence then a settlement will be considered so as to save incurring costs...
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Boating Accident Survivor Pushes Boating Safety

"This is where they put a rod in, obviously the one back here is where the blade cut across my arm," says April Wheeler, showing how much progress she's made over the last nine months. "Everyday I have to look at that and remember the choices you make and remember that day," she says. It was a sunny weekend in August of 2013 and Wheeler was riding in a boat with friends on Lake Hamilton when the operator pulled the throttle to make a sudden stop, throwing Wheeler overboard and into the path of the propeller . "The propeller struck me four times, broke all my ribs on my left side except three, broke my collar bone, shoulder blade, crushed my lung, ruptured my spleen and completely...
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How Google Glass Could Help Win Your Personal Injury Case

One way is to lend Google Glass to personal injury clients so that they can communicate with their lawyers via Glass to show how their daily lives are affected by their injury. A law firm in Phoenix, Arizona, is operating a pilot scheme with Google Glass, and is looking for ways of using these communications as evidence. Adams and Diaco purchased its Glass units through Google’s Explorer Program. They plan to use Glass to show jurors the difficult problems that injured clients have to face every day. One obstacle may be the widely reported “invasion of privacy” issues raised by Google Glass. It has been claimed that Google is concerned about the adverse publicity arising from the ways in which its product could be used,...
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Racehorse dies in freakish accident

A racehorse died Thursday at Churchill Downs after a freak fall that the trainer blamed on the sound of a starting gate bell blaring on the track's new sound system. The 5-year-old mare Never Tell Lynda was walking toward the paddock on the dirt track when she reared, twisted and fell, hitting her head, said her trainer, Kenneth Wirth. She died before the first race of the day at the track that's home to the Kentucky Derby. A heartbroken Wirth later said the horse was spooked by what Wirth thinks was the sound of a starting gate bell coming from a commercial on Churchill's massive new video board. The system includes 750 speakers. "We teach horses to break from that," he said. "And you've got it on a loud speaker that everybody in...
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