Let’s be patience, it’s a matter of time

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What is the first thing people do after moving into a new home?

Moving into your first property can be a long, complex and emotional process. For some, it can take a while to finally settle into their new home.

According to a recent Zoopla survey, the majority of people need from one week to a month after they’ve moved in to feel like they’re in a place they can call home:

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First things first

When it comes to settling into their new homes, people divide their time between the practical and the fun.

More than a third of respondents (37%) gave their property a deep clean on the day they moved in, while a fifth (19%) decided to set up council tax and utilities. Impressive organisational skills.

However, it’s not all work and no play. One in five respondents (20%) skipped cooking and ordered takeaway on their first day and another one in four (25%) got intimate with their partners:

Zoopla asked over 2,000 people, both existing homeowners and first-time buyers, to find out

What do people do on move-in day? 

  • Give the property a deep clean – 37%
  • Get intimate with a partner – 25%
  • Order a takeaway – 20%
  • Set-up council tax or utilities – 19%
  • Have your first argument – 10%
  • Entertain family – 7%
  • Make home improvements – 7%
  • Entertain friends – 4%

Source: Zoopla Property News

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What does UK business want from PM Boris Johnson

With an 80-seat majority, there is little doubt that PM Johnson will be able to get his party policies and campaign promises through the UK parliament without delays. This might be good or bad for UK businesses, time will tell.

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The major concern now for business is;

  • Get Brexit done

Getting Brexit Withdrawal Agreement through UK Parliament, paving the way for the UK to leave the European Union and negotiate a trade deal which will be the focus for businesses.

The prospect of an end to three years of to and fro over the issue is welcomed by the deputy director general of the CBI, Josh Hardie.

“Just the fact that we have a government with a strong majority and a mandate actually provides the opportunity to bring a bit more certainty,” he said.

But as the prime minister’s opponents were at pains to point out during the election campaign, the UK could still leave the EU without a trade deal at the end of next year unless a trade deal with the EU can be struck in record time.

Mr Hardie said British businesses would like see maximum alignment with the bloc, describing a relationship of frictionless trade very similar to EU membership, but the new government has promised an arms length arrangement, with the UK outside both the EU single market and the customs union.

Mike Cherry, the national chairman of the Federation of Small Businesses, said Brexit could provide an opportunity for British firms to expand into other overseas markets such as the US, Canada and Australia. But the UK’s relationship with the EU remains the first item on the agenda.

  • Improving Infrastructure and investment

Mr Johnson welcomed the election result with a promise to “repay the trust” of voters in the north of England who swung behind the Conservatives, many for the first time in their lives.

There is an expectation that the previous Conservative government’s Northern Powerhouse plans will get further backing. The Times has suggested the prime minister could be planning to pump as much as £80bn into projects in key northern seats in a bid to cement his new voters’ support.

“The Conservative manifesto recognised the role for vital infrastructure in supporting the economy, from Northern Powerhouse Rail to gigabit broadband.See the source image

“The Government now should go further and give clear backing to HS2 and Crossrail 2, as well as reaffirming support for airport expansion at London’s airports, putting in place the key building blocks needed to enable our regions to grow together.”

That kind of spending may help boost the UK’s flagging growth rates, says Yael Selfin, chief economist at accountancy firm KPMG.

She says “public spending will need to do the heavy lifting” when it comes to dispelling the cloud of uncertainty around an EU deal but it will take more than that.

“The new government must also turn its attention to some of the longer standing challenges facing the UK, such as poor productivity and declining regional opportunities, to help secure a better long term future, while addressing the challenges and opportunities presented by new technology and climate change.

 

  • Effective Immigration policy

Mr Johnson has pledged to introduce a points-based immigration system that would sort migrant workers into three categories.

The first tier, entrepreneurs, investors and people who have won awards in certain fields, would receive fast-track entry under the system.

Meanwhile, skilled workers, such as doctors, nurses and other health professionals, who have a confirmed job offer, would be placed in another category, with those eligible for an NHS visa also receiving fast-track entry and reduced fees.

For low-skilled or unskilled workers, sector-specific rules would be put in place, enabling British firms to fill gaps where UK workers cannot be found.

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But the plans have come under fire from business leaders who have said the proposed policy is too vague and would affect their ability to plan for the future.

The CBI’s Mr Hardie said while a points-based system could work if designed to respond to the needs of the economy, but more detail would be welcome.

Catherine McGuinness, policy chair at the City of London Corporation, the governing body of London’s financial district, said Mr Johnson should bear in mind that services were “the lifeblood” of the UK economy but relied on “attracting, retaining and developing high quality talent”

  • Reform of Business rates

Boris Johnson has pledged to reform business rates, which have been blamed for tough times on the High Street, with well-known chains shutting stores across the country over the past few years.

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But that could take time, according to Mr Cherry from the Federation of Small Businesses. Just a review of rates could take up to five years, he said.

At present, business rates are based on the size of a firm’s property as well as revenues, in most cases.

 

But Mr Cherry said the tax was charged “before you even turn over your first pound, let alone make any profit”.

Mr Hardie from the CBI said the business rates system was “fundamentally broken” and urged “radical reform”.

For many firms, especially in the retail sector, reform of business rates, which they have been calling for for several years, remains the top priority.

Source: BBC News

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Greta Thunberg named the youngest ‘Person of the Year’ by Time magazine

Greta Thunberg, the Swedish schoolgirl who inspired a global movement to fight climate change, has been named Time magazine’s Person of the Year for 2019.

The 16-year-old is the youngest person to be chosen by the magazine in a tradition that started in 1927.

Time magazine cover with Greta Thunberg

Speaking at a UN climate change summit in Madrid before the announcement, she urged world leaders to stop using “creative PR” to avoid real action.

The next decade would define the planet’s future, she said.

Last year, the teenager started an environmental strike by missing lessons most Fridays to protest outside the Swedish parliament building. It sparked a worldwide movement that became popular with the hashtag #FridaysForFuture.

Since then, she has become a strong voice for action on climate change, inspiring millions of students to join protests around the world. Earlier this year, she was nominated as a candidate for the Nobel Peace Prize.

Source: BBC News

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UK annual house prices increase below 5% on average

Annual house price growth across the UK’s major cities increased to 2.9% in October as southern markets showed signs of recovery.

Property values in London rose by 1% in the past year, the strongest pace of growth for two years and reversing the 1.1% dip recorded during the previous 12 months.

There was also evidence of firmer pricing in cities across southern England, according to the latest Zoopla Cities House Price Index for October.

But it was not all good news, with the rate at which house prices are rising slowing to below 5% in the most buoyant cities for the first time since November 2012.

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The housing market is currently at an interesting crossroads. During the past two years, the market has been characterised by subdued or falling prices in London and southern regions, where affordability has become increasingly stretched, and rising property values in cheaper northern markets.

But there are signs the situation is now changing. House prices in London registered their strongest gains in two years, while less than a quarter of London postcodes suffered falls in October, compared with 85% a year ago.

The shift in house price momentum in the capital has been driven by a decrease in the number of new properties for sale, which has restricted supply.

At the same time, there are signs that demand is picking up, which, combined with the falling supply, is pushing prices higher.

By contrast, although growth in property values is still strongest in northern cities, there are signs that the pace of gains is beginning to slow, with no city posting annual house price inflation of above 5%.

Meanwhile, the announcement of the General Election on December 12 is expected to bring forward the traditional seasonal slowdown seen in the run up to Christmas
Source: Zoopla Property News

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UK biggest property investment firm M&G suspends fund withdrawals

Investors in the UK’s biggest commercial property fund – worth £2.5bn – have been temporarily prevented from taking out their money.

Investment firm M&G said withdrawals from its property portfolio fund had been suspended after investors consistently withdrew their savings.

The firm blamed “Brexit-related political uncertainty” and difficulties in the retail sector for the situation.

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The fund has shrunk by £1.1bn so far this year.

“Given these circumstances, we have now reached a point where M&G believes it will best protect the interests of the funds’ customers by applying a temporary suspension in dealing,” M&G said in a statement.

It has waived 30% of its annual charge to investors, as they were unable to access their money, although some have called for action from the regulator on such charges.

The M&G Property Portfolio has invested in 91 UK commercial properties across shopping centres, other retail, industrial and office sectors on behalf of UK investors.

The same fund was suspended in July 2016 for four months following the UK’s EU referendum when money flooded out of such funds.

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Investors range from armchair, retail investors to institutional investors, dealing with millions of pounds.

M&G has been unable to sell properties fast enough, particularly given its concentration on the retail sector, to meet the demands of investors who wanted to cash out.

The decision to suspend the fund, and its feeder fund, was taken by its official monitor – its authorised corporate director – and the City watchdog has been informed.

“The FCA is working closely with the firms involved to ensure that timely actions are undertaken in the best interests of all the fund’s investors,” a spokesman for the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) said.

M&G said the suspension would be monitored daily, formally reviewed every 28 days, and would only continue “as long as it is in the best interests of our customers”.

This will allow assets to be sold over time, rather than as a fire sale, in order to meet investors’ withdrawal demands. The firm has written to investors to explain the current situation.

Source: BBC News

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10 practical ways to find time to plan

Time is the one resource that we can’t buy, but we often waste it or use it ineffectively. we’re all busy people one way or the other and finding time to plan for that dream project or investment can be a challenge. Remember that what you need to do mostly is to think and you can do that almost anywhere. Here are ten ways you can find the time to plan.

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  1. Daydream – Let your imagination go wide and your thoughts take you through the journey to places you want your project or investment to be.
  2. Family time – Parents, partners and even children have the knack of knowing us better than we think. Discussing your plans and seeking their opinion might be invaluable in making and perfecting your decision.
  3. Keep a diary – Planning takes time and keeping a diary is very important to keep track on your plans and thoughts for reference when making decision.
  4. Ask for help – In today’s digital world, information and knowledge is on our fingertips. All you need to do is ask for help and research it from places and persons with the right competency, experience and skills.
  5. Walk the dog – Fresh air is good for creative thinking and waking up in the morning to walk the dog or jog will test your commitment and willingness.
  6. Indulge your partner – Book that dream activity holiday and then while you’re sat at the bar reflecting, planning and thinking, your partner can be enjoying their time and warming to the idea
  7. Take a break – If possible take a break from work to have time to plan the project or investment.
  8. Relax bath – Instead of the hurried shower, soak in the bath and let your mind wander.
  9. Lose the phone – Try travelling or having a break with your switch off, and use the freedom from distraction to explore your project or investment ideas
  10. Paint the house – Minor domestic home improvement like painting or decoration will give you more time confined to one room , free of cerebral distraction to think and plan.

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Help to Buy: First time buyers overpaying an average of 10%

Thinking of using the Help to Buy scheme? Be sure to weigh up the pros and cons – and check you’re not overpaying – before taking the plunge.

First-time buyers could be paying a premium of up to 22% if they use the government’s Help to Buy scheme to purchase a home, a study has found.

It showed that the average person taking their first step on the property ladder using the Help to Buy equity loan initiative paid £303,450 for their home – 10.3% more than those who bought without using the scheme.

The premium paid by first-time buyers using Help to Buy was more than double this level in Yorkshire and the West Midlands at more than 20%, according to Reallymoving.

Its chief executive, Rob Houghton said many first-time buyers find it difficult to raise a deposit and, as a consequence, are turning to Help to Buy – a scheme which operates only under the new-build sector where homes can command higher prices.

He adds that this is in addition to a premium applied for buying under Help to Buy.

“In many cases, first-time buyers simply don’t have the deposit required to explore other options, such as buying a second-hand home, which may offer considerably better value,” he said.

Source: Zoopla Property News

 

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First time buyers on a 12 year high

First-time buyer numbers have soared to a 12-year high, reaching a level last seen before the financial crisis struck.

A total of 35,010 mortgages were advanced to people buying their first home in August – the highest monthly total since August 2007, according to UK Finance.

The typical first-time buyer borrowed £175,361, the equivalent of 80% of their property’s value.

Although the sum was an average of 3.52 times their pay, close to record-low interest rates meant monthly mortgage payments accounted for just 17.1% of their total household income.

The data from UK Finance supports Zoopla research which found that more than a third (36%) of all property purchases in 2018 were made by first-time buyers and that numbers were up by a huge 85% since 2010.

Buying a home for the first time can be daunting and expensive, which is why it’s important to get fully up to speed before you start your property search. Once your name is on the property deeds, you’ll benefit from potential equity gains, you can decorate how you like and of course you’ll always have something to call your own.

Source: Zoopla property News

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Dennis Bebo – MSC, BSC, DEA, CeMAP

TA DenEco Consultancy – www.deneco.co.uk