The National Housing Federation and charity Shelter examined 86,000 online adverts for rental properties. They found that one in 10 of those adverts requested "No DSS" or "No Housing Benefit". While it is not unlawful to refuse people on benefits, Shelter said it was likely to contravene the Equality Act. The Act protects disabled people and women - who make up the majority of private sector tenants on benefits in England.
A recent softening in new buyer demand is now causing house prices to fall nationally, according to the latest RICS residential market survey. However the regional picture remains highly varied, with some parts of the UK still seeing fairly strong price growth and much of the weakness continuing to stem from London and the South East. East Anglia, the South West and the North East also returned negative readings. Respondents said a sustained softening in demand over recent months has likely driven the weaker price trends in parts of the country.
The housing market has stalled in the past few months, with buyers holding off amid Brexit uncertainty. House prices are currently rising at their lowest annual rate in five years, according to the latest release from the Office for National Statistics, while in London prices are falling. Some economists, including the Governor of the Bank of England, have said house prices will plunge by as much as a third if the UK leaves the EU on 29 March 2019 without a deal. Buyers are therefore reluctant to put their hands in their pocket if there’s a chance they could be trapped in negative equity in the coming years. It’s this fear that has caused the market to slow, along with other changes such as higher taxes for landlords.
Each year the British public pays insurers an astonishing £78 billion worth of premiums. More than four people in five have at least one policy - with car and home insurance the most common - according to figures from the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). There's just one problem - the tactics insurance firms use could well be unfair and that's causing us harm. FCA’s Chief Executive Andrew Bailey said the watchdog has "identified a number of areas of potential consumer harm". As a result, it's launching new study - and considering forcing firms to play fair if they don't agree to on their own. “We want to make sure that general insurance markets deliver competitive and fair prices for all consumers," he said. The FCA is concerned about "loyalty pricing" - where existing customers may be charged higher prices than new customers - as well as firms potentially charging different prices to different consumers based solely on how "price sensitive" customers are.
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.