First-time buyers have a potential opportunity to negotiate a favourable deal this autumn - as house-sellers' asking prices have seen a smaller "autumn bounce" than usual. The average price tag on fresh property coming to market increased by 1% or £3,184 this month - the smallest rise for this time of year since 2010 - Rightmove said.
Nicky Morgan, chair of the Treasury Committee, has asked the FCA and the Bank of England to publish their analyses into the impact of a Brexit withdrawal agreement "in good time before Parliament comes to vote on the Brexit deal". Morgan has today written to the Bank and FCA to further clarify the Committee’s expectations about the timing and content of the analysis. In her letters, she said the Committee expects the organisations to take into account the potential for a 'no-deal' scenario, as well as a third scenario in which the UK leaves the EU with no trade agreement at the end of a transition period. The Committee has appointed Professor Stephen Nickell, former OBR committee member, as a specialist advisor to work on its Brexit inquiry, and specifically to advise on the economic impact of the Withdrawal Agreement. Morgan has written to the Chancellor to request that Treasury officials will be allowed to engage with Professor Nickell as part of his work. She has also asked Mark Carney to provide public clarity on the briefing he gave to Cabinet last month, which was reported as containing a forecast that house prices would fall by a third in a ‘no deal’ scenario.
The chief executive of UK Finance, Stephen Jones, has proposed that consumers pay a levy on all payments to compensate victims of fraud, rather than banks footing the bill. Speaking to the Treasury Select Committee, Jones said he was in favour of a “tiny levy on each payment” so that "customers will pay if the banks have to pay. He added: "There’s no such thing as a free lunch here. It’s a question of how can the cost be fairly distributed across the system.” Jones believes a requirement for banks to compensate victims would “attract more fraud into the system” by giving criminals “very perverse incentives” to commit fraud. Recent figures from UK Finance show that in the first half of 2018, financial providers returned £30.9 million of the £145.4 million lost to authorised push payment scams, despite having no legal requirement to cover consumers for these losses. However many consumer groups and technology firms have criticised Jones' remarks, stating that the fault lies with banks' systems and that consumers should not be blamed.
It is unlikely that the record low mortgage rates seen in October 2017 will return anytime soon as rates continue to creep up, according to the latest research from Moneyfacts. This time last year, Moneyfacts recorded the lowest ever average rates for two, three and five-year fixed rate mortgages, however the firm believes these rates are "now part of the history books.