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Viewing entries posted in 2016

GDP growth "unaffected" by Brexit with 0.5% Q3 rise

Posted by MMB Finance Swindon and Gloucester on 27 October 2016


GDP rose by 0.5% in Q3 compared with growth of 0.7% in Q2, according to the first ONS release to cover a full quarter of data following the EU referendum. GDP was 2.3% higher in Q3 compared with the same quarter a year ago. The ONS says the "pattern of growth continues to be broadly unaffected following the EU referendum", with a strong performance in the services industries offsetting falls in other industrial groups. In Q3, the services industries increased by 0.8%. In contrast, output decreased in the other 3 main industrial groups with construction decreasing by 1.4%, agriculture decreasing by 0.7% and production decreasing by 0.4%, within which manufacturing decreased by 1.0%.

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Online estate agents begin to squeeze

Posted by MMB Finance Swindon and Gloucester on 24 October 2016

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A growing number of people are being attracted by the cut-price fees of online estate agents in Britain. Mindful of the impact web-based start-ups have had on industries like gambling, taxi services and banking, traditional high-street agents are beefing up their own digital businesses, cutting fees and costs and cherry-picking the competition. Fees from residential home sales in the UK are worth about 4 billion pounds a year, according to government data. Online agents' fees of between 500-1,000 pounds have pushed traditional estate agent commissions down to around 1.3 percent of the value of a sale from about 1.8 percent five years ago, according to analysts at UBS. They see fees falling further, to 1 percent.

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Property rentals to outstrip sales for first time since 1930s

Posted by MMB Finance Swindon and Gloucester on 22 October 2016

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The property rental market is booming at the expense of the sales market, making it look as if house-buying will be outstripped for the first time in eight decades next year, as home-buyers face a continued struggle to find properties they can afford. Activity in the sales market has cooled since June’s Brexit vote and a lack of property for sale combined with rising prices are set to lead to more new lets than purchases. Brexit-induced uncertainty has continued to boost the rental market September saw record activity, with increasing numbers of lets agreed and tenants choosing to renew their contracts. On current trends 2017 could be the first time since the 1930s that more homes are let than sold.

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Is there a perfect storm for retirement planning on the horizon?

Posted by MMB Finance Swindon and Gloucester on 21 October 2016

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A new report compiled by the Centre for Economic and Social Research reveals that defined benefit pensions – based on final salaries and years worked - are fast disappearing in the private sector. Instead employees are being offered defined contributions (DC) pensions, in which savings contributions are invested to build up a retirement ‘pot’ to turn into an income. According to the report ‘The Future of Pensions’, the total number of active DC pension members is expected to overtake the number of DB pension members by 2018. Active members of DB private sector pension schemes fell by two million (56% of total) between 2004 and 2014, while the number of members of defined contribution private sector pension schemes increased by two million (167%) from 1.2 million to 3.2 million. And of the 2.5 million entrants into private sector occupational pension schemes in 2014, 2.4 million (94%) invested in defined contribution pensions.

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Government scraps plans for secondary annuity market

Posted by MMB Finance Swindon and Gloucester on 19 October 2016

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The Government has announced that it will not proceed with plans to introduce a secondary annuity market, stating that it "has become clear that creating the conditions to allow a competitive market to emerge could not be balanced with sufficient consumer protections". In a statement, the government said that after engaging with industry, financial regulators and consumer groups, it became increasingly clear that creating the conditions to allow a "vibrant and competitive market to emerge", with multiple buyers and sellers of annuities, could not be balanced with sufficient consumer protections. It added that while many firms have shown they are willing to allow customers to sell their annuities, there will be insufficient purchasers to create a competitive market. 

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