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Workers, renting, pensioners and scams

7 December 2016

9:42 AM

7 December 2016

9:42 AM

More than 7 million Britons, including 2.6 million children, are living in poverty despite being part of working households, according to a report commissioned by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation.

The study says that deprivation is increasingly connected to the high cost and insecurity of private rented accommodation. The Guardian reports that ‘disability is increasingly linked to the changing nature of poverty. If the costs of disability are taken into account, half of those in poverty are either disabled or living with a disabled person.’

Renting

The Telegraph reports that the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (Rics) wants the Government to set up its own database of renters as an alternative to credit checks.

Under the proposals by Rics, ‘the database would hold the details and history of 10 million households in social and private rented sectors, and said it should be included in the forthcoming white paper on housing that will be presented in the new year. The data would only be accessed with the tenant’s consent.’

Lettings agencies are already feeling the pinch: the Chancellor announced in the Autumn Statement that the Government was cutting letting fees.

Property

A higher proportion of remortgage applications resulted in lender offers in Q3 2016, despite the fallout from the Brexit vote, according to the Intermediary Mortgage Lenders Association’s latest Mortgage Market Tracker.


The tracker revealed that 80 per cent of remortgage applications resulted in an offer in Q3 2016 – up from 77 per cent in Q2 2016. The proportion of offers that subsequently resulted in a completion also increased to 83 per cent in Q3, from 77 per cent in Q2.

In other housing news, the Halifax reports that UK house price growth slowed in November to 0.2 per cent, according to City A.M. It said that ‘prices had increased by 1.5 per cent in October, which helped drive the annual rate of growth to 6 per cent, up from 5.2 per cent in the year recorded last month, according to the Halifax house price index. The average price of a house is now £218,002.’

Rob Weaver, director of investments at Property Partner, said: ‘We’re seeing positive signs that house prices are stabilising despite a softening in annual growth due to concerns over affordability and demand from investors. The dominant narrative for the housing market is still Brexit-related uncertainty but the past three months have shown steady upward movements.’

Pensioners

Nearly two out of five pensioners – the equivalent of 4.4 million people – are worried about running out of money in retirement as they don’t have enough guaranteed income, new research from MetLife suggests.

Its study found that 38 per cent of pensioners worry that their guaranteed retirement income is not sufficient for their needs. The launch of pension freedoms has removed the need to guarantee any income in retirement but the research shows retirement savers increasingly recognise the need to have the majority of their retirement income guaranteed for life.

Scams

More than 50,000 homeowners have signed up to receive fraud alerts, Thisismoney reports.

The property alerts comprise a free service offered by the Land Registry. It helps people to identify fraudulent activity on their property by sending them email alerts when, for example, a mortgage is taken out against it. There are increasing worries that scammers are stealing large amounts of money by taking out fraudulent homeloans against people’s properties.

Christmas

People whose delivery is late, turns up damaged or doesn’t arrive at all spend on average two and a half hours sorting out the problem, according to Citizens Advice.

With the busiest shopping period of the year in full swing the national charity’s latest consumer advice trends report reveals people experienced 4.8 million delivery problems in 2015/16.

Not only did consumers have to deal with the consequences of items arriving damaged or going missing, they also spent 11.8 million hours trying to resolve the problem – equivalent to just under two and a half hours per delivery. And customers who didn’t manage to get compensation were left £148 million out of pocket – £30 per parcel – due to damaged/loss of goods, hours wasted and time away from work.

Finally…

Almost half of UK companies will not be entering into the festive spirit this month as staff are forced to pay for their own parties, a survey of 1,000 businesses has revealed.

The survey, conducted by 3gem on behalf of BE Offices, showed that nearly half of all those interviewed said that they had to pay for their own Christmas party, even if it was a company organised event. Of that total 22 per cent had to make their own arrangements while 16 per cent reported that they have to pay for company organised celebrations. Only 30 per cent of respondents said their companies fully funded the Christmas parties.

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