Paradigm reveals move to protection diversification

The latest Protection survey results from Paradigm Mortgage Services, the mortgage partnership proposition, have revealed its members are embracing business diversification opportunities and actively cross-selling protection products to their clients.

The survey was designed to provide Paradigm with information on the areas in which members were active and highlight those sectors where Paradigm could provide further support and greater product choice.

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Savills responds to latest bank base rate cut

Savills has responded to the latest Bank of England interest rate cut which saw base rates drop to 1.5% - the lowest rate ever.

"This further rate cut is unlikely to have an immediate positive impact on the mainstream housing market, either on activity levels or capital values," said Yolande Barnes, Head of Savills Residential Research.

"For months now we have been stating that the fundamental downward pressure on the UK residential market is the lack of mortgage availability, not the cost of mortgages or the affordability of homes.

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February burst of activity expected as sellers face reality

The property market is expected to benefit from a noticeable increase in activity in February and March, as homeowners face up to the market now Christmas has passed, Cluttons has predicted.

Many homeowners who need to sell have sat tight over recent months, waiting for the Christmas holidays to pass before making a decision over whether to try and ride out the slump, or sell at a much reduced price.

Cluttons expects that many will now face selling, with little hope of a radical improvement in the market during the first half of 2009.

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£18m deal approved to buy new homes for affordable housing

An £18m deal to provide more affordable housing and help support industry has been announced as part of the Government's programme of action to tackle current difficulties in the housing market.

The deal has been done through the Government's National Clearing House with Bovis Homes, which enables housebuilders to sell their unsold stock to Housing Associations for use as affordable housing, either for rent or low-cost home ownership.

This is the largest deal so far agreed with a major housebuilder through the Clearing House Programme.

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Tenancy Deposit Protection withdrawn from unregulated agents

At the insistence of their insurers, The Tenancy Deposit Scheme will only provide deposit protection and alternative dispute resolution to letting agents who are members of recognised professional bodies.

From 6 April 2009, only regulated letting agents and corporate and individual landlords will be covered by the Tenancy Deposit Scheme and cover will be withdrawn from unregulated agents. Tenants are advised to ensure their landlords have made alternative arrangements to safeguard deposits as soon as possible.

The Scheme advises landlords and tenants to be certain either that their lettings agents are members of either the Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA), The National Approved Lettings Scheme (NALS), the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA), or the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS); or that deposits are protected under one of the other Government-authorised deposit protection schemes: Tenancy Deposit Solutions (trading as or The Deposit Protection Service.

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Subsidy proposed for home-buyers

Telford and Wrekin Council is looking into a plan to offer home-buyers financial help in an attempt to kick-start the housing market.

It wants to secure Government cash to offer subsidies to home-buyers, according to the BBC 

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Bank of England cuts interest rate by 0.5% to 1.5%

The Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee has today reduced the official rate of interest by 0.5% to 1.5%.

It is the fourth cut in as many months and the new rate is now officially the lowest in the Bank's 315-year history.

The Bank said that the world economy appeared to be undergoing an unusually sharp and synchronised downturn. Measures of business and consumer confidence had fallen markedly. World trade growth this year was likely to be the weakest for some considerable time.

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Credit crunch has silver lining – rural housing provider

The Peak District, one of the most scenic areas of Britain, has failed to escape the effects of the credit crunch.

Repossessions are rising as workers living in the area feel the pinch, according to a recent report by the Commission for Rural Communities.

"Economic inactivity" levels have increased by 40,000 in rural areas compared to 3000 in urban areas during the 12-month period ending in September 2008.

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