Day: January 5, 2021

Mortgage lending surges to 13-year high as buyers bid to beat return of stamp duty

UK lenders approved more than 100,000 mortgages in November, the most in 13 years.

House purchases dropped in April and May as pandemic restrictions took hold.

But a stamp duty holiday, which expires in March, sparked a flurry of homebuying activity and helped buoy home prices.

House buying and a recovering stock market contrast with rising unemployment and an ailing UK economy.

Figures last week from building society Nationwide showed house prices in December were up 7.3%.

“The good news is that the banks are increasingly eager to lend and we have started to see major institutions return to lending to buyers with small deposits, in a boost for first time buyers,” said Hina Bhudia, a partner at Knight Frank Finance.

“The bad news is that many banks still haven’t worked through a backlog of applications that built up during the lockdown and subsequent surge in activity during 2020, and

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Bloomberg reporter Saul moves to renewable energy team

Josh Saul

Bloomberg News reporter Josh Saul has moved to the renewable energy and climate change team.

He had been covering distressed debt and bankruptcies.

Saul joined Bloomberg in April 2018 after working at Newsweek magazine for more than two years as a senior writer. He also worked as a crime reporter for the New York Post and as a staff writer for the Alaska Dispatch.

He’s a graduate of Cornell University.

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Covid vaccines could make restaurants boom again in 2021

The release of coronavirus vaccines will lead to a boom in Britain’s hospitality industry similar to the “Roaring Twenties” but not before the economy suffers from the latest lockdown restrictions, a think tank has forecast.

The economy could be 6 per cent smaller by Easter than the government’s independent budget watchdog estimated last month, according to the Resolution Foundation.

This is likely to be followed, though, by a surge in spending in restaurants, bars and hotels later in 2021.

Torsten Bell, chief executive of the think tank, said: “2021 offers light at the end of the tunnel, but it’s going to be a bumpy ride getting there. The return of a ‘Roaring Twenties’ feel to hospitality does not mean the whole economy will automatically return to full health. Rising unemployment means household incomes may actually fall even as GDP recovers.”

Boris Johnson has raised hopes that life will start to

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