It’s been an eventful week for the housing market — the latest in a turnaround in fortunes brought about by the slowdown in house price growth and the liquidity crisis sparked by the U.S. subprime woes. This side of the Atlantic, the fallout from the credit crunch has continued apace, and lenders’ PR machines have been working on overdrive.
First Direct has pulled the shutters down on new mortgage business. Albeit a temporary move, it is yet more unsettling news for scores of homeowners coming to the end of cheap deals. Such a move is unprecedented, but perhaps comes as little surprise, given that the lender has been market-leading for quite some time. With pricing more or less 0.5 percent below that of its nearest competitor, the influx of new business that has created a huge backlog is understandable.
Money matters are climbing the list of the talks parents feel they must have with their children: the subjects of debt and saving for the future are now deemed to be more important than educating our offspring on sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), racism or religion, research by Engage Mutual Assurance shows.