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Bank of England continued its freeze on interest rates

  The Bank of England continued its freeze on interest rates today with its last monetary policy decision of what has been a tumultuous year for the UK economy.Policymakers were widely expected to hold at 0.25 per cent, with signs of economic resilience undermining calls for another cut and uncertainty over the Brexit effect prevailing against a rise.Financial markets reckon there is a 50% chance of a rate rise by December this year, although many economists now think it could be much later.   Property Expert and eMoov CEO, Russell Quirk, comments on today’s rate freeze: “Today’s decision is great news and will no doubt boost both UK buyers and sellers, as well as the wider economy. It also acts as validation that the over-all market stability seen throughout 2016 should carry on well into 2017, with the UK property market remaining in good health. With interest rates remaining as...
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The Perfect Fit

Moving into a retirement community is a decision that demands a great deal of careful consideration.There are plenty of reasons to think about downsizing. Perhaps your children have flown the nest, you’re approaching retirement, or your spouse has recently died. But whatever the motivation, it can still be difficult to leave somewhere that’s been your home for many years.Fortunately, the choice of purpose-built accommodation for retirees is expanding and becoming more flexible as well as more appealing, helping residents to live independent and fulfilling lives for as long as possible.In recent years, there has been a surge in the numbers of retirement villages under construction in the UK, many of which provide luxury accommodation to people over the age 55 who are looking to downsize without compromising their standard of living.“What we hear most commonly from our clients, once they have settled into their new home, is that they wish...
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Landlords Embrace Second Charge Borrowing as HMO Appeal Intensifies

  The past couple of years have been somewhat unkind to buy-to-let landlords, bringing a raft of stricter underwriting standards and significant tax changes into the equation. Just as the changes have resulted in many buy-to-let being driven out of business, thousands more are being forced to rethink their strategies and portfolios. One specific area that seems to have become a key consideration for landlords up and down the country is the conversion of properties into houses in multiple occupation (HMO). In the simplest of terms, this is where a standard dwelling is converted in a manner whereby it enables multiple tenants to reside within the same property who are not part of the same group or family. As a means by which to deal with tax increases and make improvements to rental income, HMO is proving to be an effective and appealing option for a growing number of buy-to-let...
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Why does the UK pay the highest rate of property tax in the world?

Did you know that the UK has the highest property taxes in the developed world? The government is squeezing home owners and businesses and showing no signs of relenting. New data has come to light which shows Britain is paying the highest rate of taxes on property purchases. OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) show that when purchasing a property, taxes made up 12.7% of the total burden in 2014, the latest year for which data is available. Since 2014, taxes have only increased with the likes of Stamp Duty changes in April 2016. This equates to taxes levied on property as a share of total taxation is higher in the UK than anywhere else in the developed world. The average tax burden across the 35 OECD members is more than half the UK figure. Since 1965 the average has fallen from 8% to 5.6% meanwhile the UK has...
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The great divide

  HMRC figures show that many savers are still at risk of wasting the tax benefits of their ISA allowance.There is no doubt that ISAs have been a big success in helping foster the UK’s savings habit. A new report from HMRC¹ reveals that the market value of all ISA holdings is now around £518 billion, a testament to the popularity of the scheme, which is estimated to have cost the Exchequer £2.6 billion in tax relief last tax year.Encouraged by the government’s move to raise the annual ISA allowance by nearly 50% over the last five years, the average subscription in the 2015/16 tax year rose to a record high of £6,338. Overall, around £80 billion was subscribed to ISAs last year, an increase of £1 billion on 2014/15.Yet the figures also reveal that the majority of ISA savers are not making the most of the long-term tax-saving and...
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