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Please see attached our updated Privacy Policy which came into effect on 25th May 2018.

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The economy grew more than expected during the last quarter of 2014 the Office for National Statistics reveals today (31 March).  Growth was 0.6% for the last three months of the year as opposed to the 0.5% prediction.  The annual growth was therefore revised up from 2.6% to 2.8%.

Strong growth and low inflation are here to stay says the Institute of Fiscal Studies with oil price drops a further shot in the arm (5th Feb).  The IFS says that the economy is on course to grow at its fastest rate this year since 2006. It predicts that low inflation and rising wages will drive the fastest increase in household spending for more than a decade.

The Halifax says that house prices rose 2% in January, the biggest rise in six years (5th Feb).  The annual rate was 8.5% - up from 7.8% in December 2014.  The quarterly rise across the UK was 1.9% in the three months to the end of January 2015.

Almost 327,000 people bought their own home in 2014, a seven year high and an increase of 22% on the previous year.  The research from the Halifax (6th January 2015) cites the improving economy, better job prospects and low interest rates for the boost.

98% of home buyers will benefit from the Chancellor's revamp of stamp duty announced in his Autumn Statement on 3rd December although rates will increase for those buying property over £1m.  Chancellor George Osborne is also planning a reform of business rates.

Today's Daily Telegraph (17 July) looks at the increasing numbers of people in the UK who are getting involved with buy to let as a profession.  Writer Richard Dyson states: "Fortunes can be made in a short time and ordinary lives transformed."  Rising house prices and a shortage in accommodation make a compelling investment proposition he says, provided that you have the right knowledge and expertise.

Research by the Bank of England (24 June) shows the UK's largest lenders expect mortgage approvals to fall significantly in the next quarter as banks cut risky lending.

Business Secretary Vince Cable has today (19 June) urged the Bank of England not to increase increase rates fearing such action would damage the economy's recovery.  It is thought that rates will rise before the end of the year.

Figures from the Office for National Statistics show that the average house costs ten times the average worker's salary (18 June).  The average price was £260,000 in April with the average full time salary at just under £27,000.  The London ratio is even more extreme at 14 times the salary with the average property costing £485,000.