Mortgage sales hit problemsWritten by Richard Green
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These figures are disappointing when viewed against backdrop of initiatives by Gordon Brown to help first-time buyers, through increase in zero rate stamp duty threshold announced during budget, and introduction of shared ownership schemes with purchasers owning between 50% and 75% of their home and paying rent on remainder. Recent reductions in cost of loans for first-time buyers has also occurred, and many experts believe that base rate may fall further, creating a spark for further reductions in cost of monthly mortgage payments. These should all be seen as good news, but new buyers still do not appear to be convinced that now is right time to buy. “There are other important influences affecting this group other than straight affordability issue”, GMAC’s, executive chairman, Stephen Knight, reported, “Buying property is seen as ‘settling down’ among 71% of those questioned….More than half of people studied felt comfortable with delaying buying a property until they are over 30. This matches with current average age of a first-time buyer, 34.” Stephen Knight also stated that an increasing problem for those who go on to higher education is that, “many graduates, especially those who leave college with large student debts, are unwilling to take on additional financial commitments.”
According to research from Moneynet, first time buyers during May were looking for an average mortgage amount of £135,966 for an average property value of £205,284 on an average salary of £39,027. With average single UK salary around £24-25k, current house purchases are therefore generally requiring combined funds available from dual incomes, combined with many young families being worried about job security, Stephen Knight believes there are clearly social and financial issues that need to be addressed.
The greatest worry for a quarter of would-be buyers according to Edinburgh Solicitors Property Centre is that they feel that if they don’t get on to property ladder soon, they never will.
References: Moneynet (http://www.moneynet.co.uk/mortgage-research/index.shtml) Edinburgh Solicitors Property Centre (http://www.espc.co.uk/) GMAC (http://www.gmacfs.com/) Sunday Herald (http://www.sundayherald.com)
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Smart Art Investments - More Than Just a Pretty Picture!Written by Sian Whitehall
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Rules number two, if you are serious about buying investment art read up on various styles and art forms. Perhaps you have always been attracted to impressionism but you didn't know it was called 'impressionism'. This can help you when searching for a certain style. Rule number three; consider calibre of artist you are going to investment in. Emerging or relatively unknown artists can be very profitable investments but hold more risk. It’s wise to learn as much as you can about artist before you purchase. This is where internet can be a very helpful tool. All kinds of information is available at click of mouse. Rule number four - buy what you love! Can you see yourself enjoying it for years to come? This is an important consideration when you are buying art or anything else for that matter. Whether it becomes a priceless work or not, you will have satisfaction of having chosen and enjoyed something you really like. Most importantly, you can become a successful art collector and investor. Don't stand still! Don't procrastinate! Go out and start searching for art that is right for you. Everyone has to start somewhere! I can speak from experience and say that learning about art and investing is rewarding intellectually, aesthetically and financially.
Sian Whitehall Smart Art Investments
Sian Whitehall is the co-founder of Smart Art Investments an online Australian Art Investment website. She designed the website for people who are new at looking at art, who would like to learn about art, collect or invest in art, or who want to buy art at some time in their lives.