Last Thursday’s announcement that the prime ministers of the UK and Ireland had found a potential “pathway” to a Brexit deal was a big surprise.
Despite mounting uncertainty surround Brexit, Britain is on track to avoid a recession in 2019, according to the latest figures from the Office of National Statistics (ONS).
Both sterling and the UK stockmarket could be in for steeper declines should the UK opt to leave the European Union without a deal, according to a “stress test” study by the MSCI, the index provider.
Optimism is hard to find in investment circles at present, but as the late Sir John Templeton famously said: “The time of maximum pessimism is the best time to buy”. That brings us to the UK, which has for a couple of years now been among the most loathed of regions, by both domestic and international investors.
UK house price growth is at its lowest since January as buyers and sellers remain cautious amid Brexit uncertainty.
House prices rose just 0.2% in September, according to data from the Nationwide House Price Index, the 10th month in a row in which annual price growth has been below 1%.
On a monthly basis, house price growth fell by 0.2%, taking the average UK house price to £215,352.
Whether the UK will leave the European Union is uncertain, nor is it clear whether any exit will be on the basis of a negotiated withdrawal bill with the EU.
However, anyone who thinks that leaving with some sort of a deal is a possibility should look at investment trusts with exposure to UK smaller and mid-cap companies, says Stifel.
The “seemingly never-ending Brexit saga” is continuing to bring property prices down, with sales expected to fall even more in the coming months, according to surveyors.
The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) says that Brexit uncertainty is having a significant effect on sales, causing hesitation for buyers and sellers.
RICS’s residential market survey found a net balance of 24% of surveyors expect prices to drop in the next three months.
If painful experience has taught us to take politicians’ pre-election promises with a pinch of salt, what do we make of the pledges made by party leadership candidates, which aren’t even recorded for posterity in a manifesto we can scrutinise later on? Bear that thought in mind this autumn as you ponder what impact prime minister Boris Johnson might have on your finances.
BMO UK Property has become the latest open-ended property fund to switch its pricing, as fears over a no-deal Brexit intensify.
The open-ended fund joins several others that made similar moves earlier this year, including property funds run by Kames Capital and Columbia Threadneedle. Such pricing adjustments are essentially a markdown on the value of the underlying properties in the fund, penalising investors who cash in their holdings.
The Consumer Price Index (CPI) measure of inflation rose to 2.1% in July, up from 2% according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
The ONS’s alternative measure, CPIH, which includes housing costs, stood at exactly 2% for July.
The stats body says that the biggest contributor to the CPIH measure of inflation in the past nine months has been housing and household services, rising by 1.9% on average. Chiefly to blame are gas and electric bills and council tax rate increases adding to household bills. See the graph below.