PERSONAL FINANCE NEWS

LANDLORDS LACKING IN CONFIDENCE
Confidence among landlords has dipped for the first time in almost two years. The latest National Landlord Association Optimism Index shows a drop from 51 to 47 points between the first and second quarter. The drop is believed to have been caused by falling house prices and cuts to housing benefits, announced in the emergency budget. Despite this, landlords are bullish about the future, 54 per cent rating their prospects for the next three months as “good” or “very good”. They predict that people will hold off buying due to the uncertainty in the housing market at the moment and continue to rent.

BUNGALOWS RESISTANT TO DOWNTURN
House prices might be falling nationally, but bungalow owners will be cheered by the fact that the average price of a bungalow has risen by more than any other property type over the past year. According to the Bank of Scotland, owners of bungalows have seen the value of their property rise by 8 per cent this year, rising from £166,018 last year to £178,701, exceeding the UK average. Detached properties come a close second, adding 7 per cent to their value. Flats are still the most popular purchase choice this year, but their value has stayed flat. Terraced and semi-detached houses have fared badly, suffering a 5 per cent and 1 per cent drop respectively.

TD WATERHOUSE AND AJ BELL OFFER SIPP
Britain’s largest execution-only broker TD Waterhouse has teamed up with UK?Sipp administrator AJ Bell to launch an improved online Sipp product to meet client demand. The Sipp has no initial set-up fees and provides a function to trade across 15 international exchanges and the ability to trade and hold cash in multiple currencies. But investors should remember that trading on foreign exchanges leaves them open to currency fluctuations. The administration fee is charged twice a year at 0.25 per cent of the Sipp plus VAT. Customers will also get access to the TD Waterhouse Funds Supermarket, which offers over 1,300 discounted funds.