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first_imgThe residential property market continued to slow in December, as lower demand led to the slowest rate of property price growth since the start of 2014.The annual rate of growth slowed to 7.8 per cent, which is 2.4 per cent lower than the high witnessed in July, and the lowest since the 7.3 per cent of January 2014, the latest data from mortgage lender Halifax reveals.The quarterly rate of growth has now fallen for five months in a row, with prices in the three months to December just 0.3 per cent higher than in the previous quarter, the lowest rate of quarter-on-quarter growth since November 2012.Halifax’s figures act as a further indication that the housing market may be far more muted in 2015.Halifax estimates that house prices will rise this year by between 3 and 5 per cent, which would be around half the rate of growth seen in 2014.“The deterioration in housing affordability as a result of rising house prices, earnings growth that has been consistently below consumer price inflation until very recently, and speculation of an interest rate rise, have combined to temper housing demand since the summer,” said Martin Ellis (left), Halifax housing economist.Although the declining rate of property price increases at the end of 2014 might suggest we are en-route to greater market stability, this should not disguise the need for “ground-breaking action on housing policy” in the upcoming election, according to Peter Williams (right), Executive Director of the Intermediary Mortgage Lenders Association (IMLA).He said: “Declining affordability has tempered demand and the housing market in its present state is still a long way from supporting the nation’s home-owning ambitions.“Housing policy is in need of fundamental reform rather than short term voter appeasement that has brought a host of temporary measures and tinkering at the edges without a long-term plan. Successive Governments have failed to address changing housing needs and left us on a downwards trajectory that will see owner-occupation drop to 59 per cent by 2020 if current trends continue.”Williams wants to see the next Government address a managed withdrawal of temporary support measures, a long-term mortgage indemnity guarantee to permanently revive first-time buyer lending, and a review of lending into retirement and the impact of regulatory reforms that have resulted in a far more conservative mortgage market.Equally, he also wants to see house building levels rise sharply to help fix the existing housing supply shortage, which Williams describes as the “tumour behind many issues in the market”.Brian Murphy (left), Head of Lending at Mortgage Advice Bureau (MAB), agrees that decreased availability of mortgage finance did have a knock-on effect in terms of declining consumer demand in the final quarter of 2014. However, this is likely to have been exacerbated by seasonal variations as the housing market wound down before Christmas. He believes that demand will rise again in Q1 2015, and current conditions support this view.“The mortgage rate war continues to rage on, with consumers benefiting from record low rates as lenders vie for business,” he said.housing affordability residential property market first-time buyer lending January 21, 2015The NegotiatorWhat’s your opinion? Cancel replyYou must be logged in to post a comment.Please note: This is a site for professional discussion. Comments will carry your full name and company.This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.Related articles BREAKING: Evictions paperwork must now include ‘breathing space’ scheme details30th April 2021 City dwellers most satisfied with where they live30th April 2021 Hong Kong remains most expensive city to rent with London in 4th place30th April 2021 Home » News » Housing Market » Housing market continues to cool previous nextHousing MarketHousing market continues to cool21st January 20150596 Viewslast_img read more


first_imgIt’s officially 2017 and devoted runners are plotting out their race calendar for the coming year.  Runners spend hours dwelling about which races fit their schedule, and dreaming about bucket list events like Boston, Big Sur or the Blue Ridge Marathon.  When selecting spring marathons you also have to battle that nagging nay-sayer in the back of your head asking if you really want to spend your weekends on a long run in the dark…in freezing rain…in the middle of January. Below are lazy-bashing tips to help you tackle winter running and prepare for events like the Foot Levelers Blue Ridge Marathon, Half & Anthem Star 10k which takes place April 22, 2017. Make a Plan & Stick to It (sort of):  When it’s yucky out, it can be really easy to go get donuts with your friends instead of sticking to your workout plan.  Find a training program that is realistic for the amount of time you have until race day and your current fitness level, and get it done no excuses.  The “sort of” part comes in when you miss a day.  Don’t panic!  If it’s freezing rain outside do your Plan B (see below) and call it good.  The routine of doing SOMETHING is better than just totally skipping.Have a Plan B:  Getting your heartrate up to that critical zone of 125-145 bpm is a suitable replacement for some of your training runs.  Cross country skiing, cycling, an elliptical or even Zumba are all appropriate replacements.  Just make sure to pound the pavement two days a week minimum.  Check the weather at the beginning of each week to plan your long days, and which days you can brave the elements.Have Appropriate Gear:  Reflective safety gear, ear warmers, soft shell gloves, neck gaiters, tights, quick dry socks (in case they get wet), NO COTTON ANYWHERE and extra tread on your shoes will make all the difference in the world when it’s cold outside.  That being said, never run when it’s icy out and keep exposure to extreme weather to less than 45 minutes.Set a Mini Goal:  Nothing holds you accountable quite like a looming race.  Choose a Frozen Toe 5k during the coldest months and a 10k or half in early March to keep your training on track.Vitamin D & Staying Healthy:  During cold and flu season it can be tricky to stay healthy. Add running in freezing temperatures for long periods of time and it can be truly hazardous (think pneumonia).  Taking supplements like Vitamin D or Cod Liver Oil can be beneficial.  Also just because its cold doesn’t mean you reduce your fluid intake.  A good rule of thumb is three to six ounces every 15-20 minutes.Need a little extra motivation?  Check out our virtual training programs with interactive coaching and a private social media group to keep you on track.  last_img read more


first_img In a statement published on West Brom’s official website on Friday, Peace – chairman since 2002 – said: “For a club of our resources, it was always going to be difficult to repeat our highest Premier League finish of eighth in the previous season. “However, it was not the campaign we hoped for or expected and, as chairman of the football club, the buck stops with me.” Few of the players signed by West Brom last term produced much in the way of success, and Peace emphasised Albion are particularly focusing on their recruitment policy. He said: “The squad we assembled during the summer transfer window – regarded in some outside quarters at the time as our strongest for more than three decades – has not performed as consistently or as well as we would have hoped. “We have been taking a long, hard look as to why this has proved to be the case, especially in terms of our player recruitment. “Of course, there is often a thin line between success and failure and some of the fine margins that appeared to go our way in previous campaigns did not this time around. “The Financial Fair Play rules mean there is now very little to choose between the teams below the top six whilst the influx of money from the new media rights deal has resulted in the league becoming more competitive than ever. “We recorded far too many draws and a run of key match decisions going against us during the season, which never seemed to even out, did not help. Albion’s 2013/14 Barclays Premier League campaign finished with them having slumped to 17th place in the table, just three points clear of the relegation zone – a year after achieving a record-high final position of eighth. The club parted company with their head coach Pepe Mel, who was brought in as a replacement for the sacked Steve Clarke in January, by mutual consent last week. West Brom chairman Jeremy Peace has stressed lessons have been learned from what he rates as his toughest season in the job, admitting: “The buck stops with me.” Press Association “However, these are only contributory factors to, and not excuses for, the fact we finished 17th. “With our search for a new head coach now under way, we’ve been addressing the areas within the club that need strengthening.” And Peace conceded that the club’s first aim for next season will be to finish above the bottom three. “With what is at stake, this has undoubtedly been the toughest season I can remember,” he added. “But the most important thing is that we can attempt to correct the mistakes that have been made whilst still a top-flight club. “For a club of our size, this has, and always will be, our number one objective and we hope that we can achieve this in a less fraught manner in future seasons. “Terry (Burton, who is coming in as technical director on June 1) will provide more footballing knowledge and experience at the highest level of the club. “The structure we have had in place for the past six or so years has generally worked well and been a key factor in the club returning to the Premier League and staying there. We are certainly not going to rip it up and start from scratch after one poor season. “However, there is no doubt that the structure needs strengthening and this process is underway. “Although we have signed several talented players over the past few years, we have always sought to improve our recruitment methodology and last season has underlined the strides we still need to make. “We are also endeavouring to put more processes in place that de-risk the signing of new players. “We continue to run the club on a proven business model and that will not change. “But we face another big summer. Decisions that are made over the next few months will have a huge impact on our fortunes next season. “I recognise the frustration many of our supporters have been feeling this season. I would like to thank them personally for the way they rallied behind the team, especially in the closing weeks of the season, which proved pivotal in getting the club over the line.” last_img read more

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