Money Links For 15th Nov 2006

  • North-western house prices set to soar
    House prices in the north-west are to rise by almost a quarter of a million pounds over the next five years, a National Housing Federation report suggests.
  • Forget the carrot, first direct is all stick
    1,500 a month incoming or maintain an average balance of that amount.
  • Leeds Building Society ten-year fixed-rate mortgage launched
    Leeds Building Society has launched its new ten-year fixed-rate mortgage aimed at first-time buyers who may be struggling to get a foot onto the property ladder.
  • Unpopular performers cry out for an invitation to the ball
    Are UK small-caps the Cinderella sector of investment trusts? Like the fairy tale heroine, they have attractive qualities but are suffering from unpopularity.
  • How to make a big hit in one tax year
    The new pension rules significantly lifted the bar on contribution thresholds. But a small group of high-flying executives and City workers are taking advantage of a loophole that allows them to pay even more into their schemes, at least for one tax year.
  • Alternative routes when Treasury splits heirs
    The Treasury’s threatened clamp-down on Alternatively Secured Pensions is leading to a search by pensions savers and their advisers for other ways of obtaining comparable tax breaks.
  • Treasury may heed calls to raise ISA investing limit
    Investors saving through Individual Savings Accounts (Isas) would be able to put in much larger sums of money than presently allowed, if industry proposals are taken up by the Treasury.
  • Negative equity holds no fear for many
    Graduates and young professionals are increasingly taking out mortgages in excess of the value of their property so they can get on to the housing ladder without having to pay the deposit or moving costs from their own pockets.
  • Shanghai proves alluring for buy-to-let investors
    A scheme which offers the opportunity to invest in Shanghai has attracted the attention of hundreds of City bankers, analysts and traders.
  • Reduced tax perks puncture investor demand
    The season to invest in new shares of venture capital trusts is almost upon us. However, demand for these tax-privileged investment funds is likely to slump this winter because of a reduction in their tax perks, a survey by a top tax advisory group indica
  • Social forces change the very fabric of house market
    Bubbling below the financial credentials of a buoyant economy are a wealth of social and demographic factors which are also providing significant support for house prices.
  • Parents will be able to roll Child Trust Funds into Isas
    Parents will be able to start building up Individual Savings Accounts (Isas) for their children from birth following an announcement by the government this week that it will soon be possible to roll Child Trust Fund accounts into Isas.
  • Tractor test shows rural commitment
    In 21st century Britain, country estates are snapped up by City bankers and other wealthy urbanites. A high-profile example is Marc Jonas, the founder of Punch Taverns and now a private equity executive, who this summer bought a 4,000-acre estate in Wilts
  • A hands off approach to absolute returns
    Investors who want exposure to spread bets and CFDs but do not want to shoulder the responsibility for the investment decisions can hand over their money to investment managers.
  • Buy-to-let beauties show their ugly side
    Large numbers of buy-to-let investors are having their properties repossessed and sold off at auction as growing numbers of property investors are unable to meet interest repayments.
  • Borrowers urged to prepare for another rise
    The Bank of England took no-one by surprise when it raised interest rates by a quarter point to 5 per cent this week. But banks may still not be quick off the mark to pass the rate rise on to savers.
  • Off-piste perils of owning a home in the snow
    Whether they fancy the thrill of racing down a black run themselves or just want to rake in a healthy rental yield, UK investors are piling into property in ski resorts across Europe and the US.
  • Industry draws up reforms to ward off annuity U-turn
    The pensions industry is lobbying the Treasury in a last-ditch effort to persuade the government not to axe Alternatively Secured Pensions, the new vehicles which allow investors to avoid purchasing an annuity at retirement.

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