The share prices of the U.K.’s big five banks are down an average of 5% over the past year. Britain’s biggest building society, Nationwide, by definition has no share price. But if it did, it would probably be soaring. One reason is simple enough – Nationwide’s business is doing rather well. It is benefiting from banks’ ongoing weakness, as they struggle to repair damaged balance sheets, firefight smouldering scandals and sweat to convince customers they can be trusted again. It even seems to be off the hook with regulators, who in the middle of last year slapped it with aggressive new capital requirements but are now setting leverage demands lower than expected. Clearly there are risks. The overheated southeast of England property market could suffer a tumble in prices, especially once interest rates start to rise. The issue could be exacerbated in interest-only mortgages ahead of a glut of maturities in the next five to 10 years. But Nationwide may be better insulated than most. Only 30% of its mortgages are interest-only, compared with the typical market-wide ratio of 40-50%. It also has the benefit of not being egged on by shareholders to ramp up risk and returns. It can retreat from a market if it feels in danger of getting carried away.
Brownfield land could make way for 1 million homes: England has enough brownfield land to build more than 1 million new homes, with a quarter of it in public hands, according to a leading property consultancy that urges councils to make sites cheaper for house builders to buy.
LONDON, Nov 25 (Reuters) - The services sector that forms the bulk of Britain's economy grew steadily in the three months to November, but companies are growing less optimistic about the outlook, a survey published on Tuesday showed.
The Confederation of British Industry's quarterly survey revealed continued growth in profits and increased employment. It also showed expenditure on staff training at its highest level in 15 years, possibly reflecting skill shortages ahead.
Britain's economy looks set to slow in the fourth quarter of 2014, but the pace of growth is expected to remain robust.
"Growth across the services sector is expected to continue into the New Year," said Rain Newton-Smith, director for economics at the CBI.
Debut £250 million bond to create 2,800 homes: The company behind Glasgow Housing Association (GHA) has become the first organisation of its kind to tap into the bond market in a move aimed at creating some 2,800 affordable homes across central Scotland.
Value of private U.K. housing passes £5 trillion: The total value of the U.K.’s private housing stock has passed the £5 trillion mark this year as the property market recovery has taken off, a report has found.
Americans line up £1 billion London homes spree: A club of American businessmen has struck a deal to build £1 billion of flats and houses in London with the capital’s second-biggest developer, Galliard Homes.
LONDON (Alliance News) - The house prices sentiment index continued to remain positive in November, though it was at the lowest level in twelve months, results of the household property prices sentiment survey from Markit Economics showed Friday.
The house prices sentiment index, or HPSI, came in at 58.4 in November. This marked the twentieth consecutive month of rise in prices.
A reading above 50 indicates price rise.
However, the latest reading was less than the 60.7 score recorded in October and also marked the lowest reading in twelve months.
The future HPSI, a measure of expectations of households regarding property value, rose to 71.1 in November from 70.8 in the previous month.
"As we head into the winter, short-term factors dampening UK house price sentiment include the less favourable economic newsflow, stretched affordability amid weak underlying pay trends and, at the upper end of the market, a degree of hesitancy ahead of next year's General Election, " Tim Moore, senior economist at Markit, said.
UK house price index advanced more than expected in September
In September, on a YoY basis, the ONS house price index in the UK recorded a rise of 12.10%, compared to a rise of 11.70% in the earlier month. Markets were anticipating the house price index to climb 11.20%.
Datafeed and UK data supplied by NBTrader and Digital Look.
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