The mortgage price war claimed a high profile victim this week as Tesco Bank scrapped lending. Tesco Bank will continue with its other products, but why has it ditched mortgages, why have a string of other smaller players shut their doors in recent months, and why did building society behemoth Nationwide issue its own caution on home loans this week? On this week’s podcast, Simon Lambert, Sarah Davidson and Georgie Frost dive into what is currently a weird world of mortgages: where a greater supply of money to lend than demand to borrow it means there are some very cheap deals on offer. Also on this week’s show, the team look at a reader’s problem with a neighbour upstairs, who has stripped the floor back to floorboards and is creating noise issues, despite a lease that says there must be carpets. How do you enforce that? Thomas Cook’s troubles and what they mean for holidaymakers are under the spotlight too. And finally, ever wondered why sometimes drivers get a ticket but at others escape with just a warning, or what really drives police officers mad behind the wheel?
Georgie Frost is joined by editor Simon Lambert to talk property: why now might be a good time to think about building your own home; whether pensioners should get a stamp duty break for downsizing; and can you sell your home for knockdown price to avoid care costs?Also: 'Time will prove me right' says Neil Woodford - Simon explains why he’s not deserted the beleaguered fund manager. And the SUV penalty: how much picking a 4x4 will really cost you at the pumps.
This is Money in partnership with NS&I, with Georgie Frost, Assistant editor Lee Boyce and reporter George Nixon. In this week's episode, the team brings us some good news for victims of bank fraud, for renters chucked out for no good reason and savers struggling to save. However, Amazon shoppers, London house sellers and procrastinators haven't been so lucky themselves. Stay tune for the latest, breaking money news.
Child benefit and state pension - It’s not the most obvious link. But if you are a parent who is looking after a child instead of working, you need to register for child benefit in order to build up your entitlement in retirement age. Austerity swept away the universal child benefit and those households where one parent earns more than £50,000 have to start giving it back until it is removed altogether above £60,000. Unsurprisingly, many who fall into this bracket simply opt not to take it and see no point in registering. Unfortunately, mums and dads who stopped work to look after children are now finding they’ve missed building up their state pension. It should be easy to fix, but HMRC and the government have been stalling parents affected. That’s why This is Money has started a campaign to get this mess fixed, before it gets any worse.
On this week’s podcast, Simon Lambert, Lee Boyce and Georgie Frost discuss how this all happened and why it matters to not just those affected. And finally, can you really have a weekend away in Europe, flights and a decent hotel for £57? Yes you can, thanks to a very clever new website we tracked down.
As banks went kaput a decade ago, the safety of our savings was thrust into the limelight. Most had never considered that cash in the bank was at risk and knew little about the Financial Services Compensation Scheme. When Icesave blew up a year after the Northern Rock collapse things changed dramatically. We should all be up to speed now, but how safe are your savings? On this week’s podcast, Simon Lambert, Tanya Jefferies and Georgie Frost we look at savings protection but also how you could end up losing money by sticking with cash. Ironically, worries about banks a decade ago triggered a flight to safety and more people stashing money in savings accounts rather than investing. But had people invested as Lehman Brothers collapsed they would have more than doubled their money by now.
Taking the risk as the world appeared to be falling apart would have been the right move. Yet, at that point the stock market was already down 20% and fell by that again before it hit the bottom, so how many would have been brave enough? Also on this week’s show, we discuss how easy it might be to hit the £1million pension lifetime allowance sand whether your car might fail its next MOT.
Another month and another set of mixed messages about the state of the housing market is revealed. First-time buyers who have a deposit and home movers in the North are doing fine. But London is on the ropes and second and third movers are staying put, bringing the market to a standstill.
In this week’s This is Money podcast, editor Simon Lambert, assistant editor Rachel Rickard Straus and money broadcaster Georgie Frost get into the aural attic to unbox the facts. The villain of the piece, they agree, is stamp duty. It used to be a 1% tax on purchases but it got tweaked into a giant cash cow for the Treasury by successive Chancellors. Stamp duty is stalling the market and needs to change but how? Also on the show: Paddington Bear 50p Gate.
High house prices mean that the biggest barrier to buying a home in Britain is raising a deposit. With mortgage interest rates at near record low levels, many would-be homeowners could afford monthly payments - but saving the average £30,000 deposit would take years. For a lot of first-time buyers that means a trip to the Bank of Mum and Dad, but what if that's not an option? It is possible to buy a home without raising tens of thousands of pounds, if you take a 95% mortgage. With one of these deals, a first-time buyer able to pass mortgage affordability tests could put down a 5% deposit of £10,000 and buy a £200,000 home. But is that a good idea? Didn't small deposit mortgages crash the economy a decade ago? Are they not leaving themselves heavily overexposed to falling house prices?
In this week's podcast, Simon Lambert and Georgie Frost dig into the world of buying a home with a small deposit mortgage, busting the myths and considering the benefits and the risks.
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