How to Drive Down Utility Costs on Business Premises

Within the UK economy, a lack of competition has spiked a hike in prices. A period of stagnancy has inspired a scandal in the utility costs, plunging many British businesses into jeopardy. Overall, UK businesses are paying far over the average price for their energy, especially when compared with their EU counterparts. If the government won’t help cut costs for businesses, then it’s time for the owners to take matters into their own hands. The wise business owner tries to cut costs wherever they can. You can allocate the money you save into more productive aspects of your business.  Consequently, driving down your utility costs is in your best interests if you own commercial property. Here’s how to do it. Conduct Regular Audits If you’re not keeping track of your expenses, then you can’t expect to learn any lessons. It might be tempting to briefly look into the books before...
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Construction PMI continues to shows expansion

The construction PMI update today showed that house building activity has grown for a 15th straight month.
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Good news - inflation falls for the third month

There was some good news this week from the Office of National Statistics (ONS); CPI (Consumer Price Index) inflation, or to put it another way the price of a lot of the things we buy, has fallen for the third month in a row.
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Bank of England Maintains Bank Rate

The Bank of England Monetary Policy Committee has just announced that it will hold the UK interest rates at their record low of 0.5% for yet another month. The committee also voted to maintain the size of the quantitative easing programme at £375bn. This stimulus programme is a bond-buying programme financed by the issuance of central bank reserves. It was not expected that the Bank of England would do anything but leave the interest rates and bond-buying at their current levels, although recent signs are pointing to a continued recovery on the UK economy. At present most economists do not expect the Bank of England to change interest rates at least until the first half of next year and the recent fall in inflation rate has reduced the pressure on the Bank to increase rates sooner rather than later. Investec chief economist Philip Shaw said: "For now, with the economy growing...
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Confidence is Key!

At last there is a feeling of hopefulness returning to the UK economy generally and more specifically the UK property market, and the economy at large. After years in the doldrums property is once again a hot topic. Gone are the downbeat messages of negative equity and repossessions, instead the papers are filled with positive headlines. We are instead more likely to read about increasing house prices and growing availability of finance with many speculating that we are now heading into a more prosperous period. This looks set to become a growing trend and we will see an increasing number of these news stories in the media over the forthcoming months.
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Bank of England maintians Bank Rate at 0.5%

The Bank of Englands Monetary Policy Committee voted to maintain the official Bank Rate in August at the long term historical low of 0.5%. This low was introduced back in March 2009 and there has been varied speculation at times that this would increase as the economy improved. Yet many commentators predict that this will remain lower for 2013 and perhaps beyond. The Bank may increase rates marginally but they are unlikely to rise massively while the UK economy continues with only minimal growth. The Bank also decided to maintain the level of stock asset purchase that it is financing by the issuance of central bank reserves. This level is now £375 billion having been initiated in March 2009 and increased back in July 2013.
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Could Universal Credit Lead To Higher Rent Arrears?

  Could Universal Credit Lead To Higher Rent Arrears?   Landlords need to protect their interests as Universal Credit comes into force.   Patrick Butler pointed out in a recent Guardian article, Under the new system, tenants in receipt of housing benefit will have their money paid directly to them, rather than, as now, (with vulnerable tenants) direct to the landlord... Southwark council, which is one of six areas piloting the change, says that arrears have soared since it started testing direct payments.   Every savvy landlord knows that people who have difficulty managing money wont change just because Government wants them too.   Rising rates of rent arrears makes it even more important that landlords follow the rules under the Assured Shorthold Tenancy Scheme. If they take a deposit from tenants, it is a legal requirement to secure it in a special account until the end of the tenancy and, to be able...
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2nd HPI also shows 2013 gets off to a good start

House prices in the three months to January were 1.9% higher than in the previous three months according to the latest Halifax house Price Index. Key facts House prices in the latest three months (November 2012-January 2013) were 1.9% higher than in the preceding three months (August 2012-October 2012). This was the second successive increase in prices on this measure of the underlying trend and the biggest rise for three years since January 2010 (2.9%). Prices in the three months to January were 1.3% higher than in the same three months a year ago. This was the first rise in this annual measure since October 2010 (1.2%). House prices fell by 0.2% in January. This followed successive rises in November and December. Activity at its highest for five years. Home sales increased by 5% in 2012 to 932,000; the highest annual total since 2007 (1,619,000). Sales in the final three...
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House Prices start 2013 with a steady increase

Nationwide House Price Index for January 2013 has shown a steady start to the year with the following key facts: Price of a typical home rose by 0.5% in January, but was unchanged compared with January 2012 The typical UK home is now worth £162,245 Commenting on the figures, Robert Gardner, Nationwides Chief Economist, said: “UK house prices increased by 0.5% in January, though prices were unchanged compared with January 2012.  While activity in the housing market remains muted by historic standards, there have been tentative signs of a pick up in activity in recent months.  The Funding for Lending Scheme has achieved some success in bringing down mortgage rates, with some signs of a pick up in lending activity. “Hopefully, the momentum will continue to build in the months ahead, though much will depend on whether the wider economic environment improves.  Progress is likely to be relatively slow on...
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Ex-dragon targets property sector growth

-PROPERTY AND CONSTRUCTION PROFESSIONAL BILL PHELPS JOINS JAMES CAAN TO HELP STIMULATE GROWTH IN THE SECTOR -PROPERTY PROFESSIONAL AND SERIAL ENTREPRENEUR TEAM TARGET SMEs AS THE FUTURE  OF ECONOMIC GROWTH Chartered surveyor, successful property manager, reputable construction consultant, and now partner to James Caan. Bill Phelps joins Hamilton Bradshaw Venture Partners, James Caan’s advisory and consultancy agency—assisting business owners in rapidly growing and realising the value of their companies. The firm acknowledges Bill’s expertise in property and construction and will support him as he advises SMEs in these sectors. The sector clearly needs it, as the Office of National Statistics  recently reported shockingly little growth in property— with the Home Price Index increasing by a mere 1.4 per cent over the period in the 12 months to April 2012. Even more worrying for businesses in the industry: “the total volume of construction output in April 2012 is estimated to have...
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House prices continue to fall

The July Nationwide House Price Index (HPI) shows that the average house price is continuing to fall and was down -0.7% over the month. The UK average house price is therefore £164,389
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Bank of England votes to Pump more money into the economy

[caption id="attachment_4688" align="alignright" width="267" caption="Bank of England Pumps more money into the economy."][/caption] The Bank of England (BoE) today voted to maintain the Bank rate at 0.5%, continuing the long running record low. This was contrary to some speculation, albeit small, that the Bank may reduce the bank rate further. The Banks response to this is that lowering rates further would not have the desired impact, of course this remains an option to them over the medium term. Indeed the European Central Bank did cut its rate today from 1% to 0.75%. However the Banks Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) did vote to increase the level of the asset purchase programme, known as Quantitative Easing by £50bn. This extra £50bn being pumped into the economy raises the total amount within the QE stimulus to £375bn. Without this increase the Bank sees a danger that the UK Inflation will fall below its target...
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UK House prices Edge up further

The average house price in the UK increased by a small 0.4% in November. However in does continue the gradual increase in prices seen by Nationwide recently. Further the typical home is now 1.6% higher than 1 year ago, with an average house price of £165,798. Commenting on the figures, Robert Gardner, Nationwides Chief Economist, said: “House prices have remained surprisingly resilient in recent months, despite the deterioration in the economic outlook. But, with the UK economic recovery expected to remain sluggish well into 2012, house price growth is likely to remain soft, with prices moving sideways or drifting modestly lower over the next twelve months.” Resilient Property Market It would seem that the demand for property in the UK still remains subdued, and is in fact reducing over the past few month. “… many of the factors that underpin the demand for homes have deteriorated further in recent months....
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0.5% remains for Interest Rates, £75bn more for the Economy

The Bank of England today took the decision to inject a further £75bn into the UK Economy via its programme of quantitaive easing (QE). This is in addition to the £200bn it has already pupmed into back in 2009. The Bank was widely expected to take some form of action either this month or next month after further economic data was released. However it looks like the data for the UK economony, showing that it grew by 0.1% - less than previously thought, caused a decision this month. Bank of England injects further £75bn into economy "In the United Kingdom, the path of output has been affected by a number of temporary factors, but the available indicators suggest that the underlying rate of growth has also moderated," the Bank said in a statement. Interest Rates The Bank also decided that it would keep the historic low interest rates at 0.5%, something at...
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