Weekly News Bulletin - 04/10/2021
Can IFISA providers attract lockdown cash?
As interest rates remain at an all-time low - and with consumer savings having risen amid multiple lockdowns - peer-to-peer lending platforms have a big opportunity to attract Innovative Finance ISA (IFISA) money this tax year. P2P Finance News considers whether this will this spell a change in firms' marketing strategies. Neil Faulkner, managing director of P2P research firm 4th Way, said there is much to be said for targeting new investors outside of ISA season. “The off-season lasts nine months, so providers needn’t wait that long for their next burst of growth,” he said. Since the start of the pandemic, Faulkner adds that the threat of rising inflation is likely to lure more people away from savings accounts into IFISAs. P2P Finance News
Green investing: How your savings can fight climate change
Investing sustainably can be daunting. Many investment and savings providers make big claims about how climate-friendly their products are, but it can be hard to work out how much genuine impact they're likely to have. There are plenty of options, says Lisa Stanley, co-founder of the website Good with Money, which provides information to make ethical investing easier. • If you are sticking with cash, consider putting your money with a bank or provider that focuses on green issues • Take advantage of tax-free savings allowances, such as ISAs, but remember to keep a buffer - money you can access easily if you need to • Look for a 'climate-friendly' investment fund that matches your priorities, choosing the sustainable or ethical options on online platforms • Consider a fund that actively picks stocks that promote decarbonisation, like renewable energy, or one that works for change within polluting industries. This is known as "impact" investing • If you want to pick your own stocks, beware of social media 'hot tips'. Sustainable stocks carry risks just like any other investment • Check where your pension is invested • If you have larger sums to invest, consider hiring an independent financial advisor BBC News
Property prices hit record high amid soaring demand
Property prices and the demand for homes are at a record high, research from Rightmove has revealed. Industry experts say the average cost of a property nationwide is £338,462 while the demand for homes has more than doubled since before the pandemic. Wales, the East Midlands and the southwest, southeast and east of England are experiencing annual asking price growth of more than 8%. The average asking price for a home has increased by 0.3%, or £1,091, month-on-month in September. Experts say that buyers who are ready to move are "out-muscling" those who still need to sell their homes. The Times
First-time buyers make a comeback
Nearly 30% of home sales went to first-time buyers last month, the highest proportion in over a year, according to new data from various large estate agents. It marks the highest percentage since June 2020, when 29% sales went to people getting on the property ladder, according to Propertymark. It was the strongest August for sales to first-time buyers since 2016, when the figure was also 28%. There have been signs of the housing market becoming less frenzied after a stamp duty holiday in England and Northern Ireland was tapered from July. Many mortgage lenders have also reintroduced low-deposit mortgages in recent months, after many such deals disappeared last year in the uncertain economy. City A.M.
Bereaved families reminded to claim overpaid IHT
Fewer than 6,000 people claimed refunds on overpaid death duties last year, the Sunday Telegraph reports, because so few people know about HMRC’s refund facility. There is a 12-month window from the date of death of the deceased to make a claim for investments whose value may have fallen since the time of death, while a four-year window applies for homes. Sean McCann of advisers NFU Mutual says: "Rebates must be actively claimed - you can't just wait for HM Revenue and Customs to come along and do it for you, because they won't." Sunday Telegraph
Capital Gains Tax
Fired-up Rachel Reeves takes her axe to Corbyn’s ‘magic money tree’
The shadow chancellor has been outlining her party’s plans to show that they are fiscally responsible. Has she chopped down the “magic money tree”, which seemed to govern Labour’s economic policy under Jeremy Corbyn? “I don’t believe there is a magic money tree.” “If you want to pay for things, you’ve got to explain where that money is going to come from.” She says that she would abolish the 'anomaly' that means people pay capital gains tax at 28% rather than at the same rate as income tax. She used her speech at the party conference to outline what she calls a “fair tax system”. Labour has also pledged to close a tax "loophole" which allows private equity fund managers to pay a reduced rate of tax on their earnings. The party promised to introduce the measure if it won the next election, saying it could raise £440m a year. BBC News The Times