Don’t give up
TSB have been looking at our New Year’s resolutions and reveal that Brits spend an average of £187 on those that they later give up. The findings show that last New Year nearly one in three people (31%) had given up at least half of their resolutions by the end of January. By the end of March, more than four in ten (46%) had given up their resolutions.
These included activities such as joining a gym or a slimming club, buying new workout clothes, buying fitness DVDs, and buying a bike. There were plans to change diets which meant buying a blender or a juicer, purchasing the latest health food craze, and buying protein shakes. For others it was learning a new skill or hobby.
A quarter (25%) said their resolutions at the start of 2017 cost them more than they had anticipated. The high costs associated with these resolutions mean that nearly a fifth (18%) of Brits think they may end up relying on credit to fund their ‘new year, new you’ ambitions for this year.
Yet, over a third of people (31%) say they want to make a finance-related New Year’s resolution and more than half (58%) said they want to start managing their money better in 2018.
According to the latest figures from the Nationwide Building Society, annual house price growth ended the year at 2.6%, within the 2-4% range that prevailed throughout 2017. This was in line with their expectations and broadly consistent with the 3-4% annual rate of increase which the Building Society expects to prevail over the long term which aligns with their estimate for earnings growth over the coming years.
This figure though marked a modest slowdown from the 4-6% rates of house price growth recorded in 2016. Low mortgage rates and healthy employment growth continued to support demand in 2017, while supply constraints provided support for house prices. However, this was offset by mounting pressure on household incomes, which exerted an increasing drag on consumer confidence as the year progressed.
For Buy to Let the impact of previous policy changes such as additional stamp duty on second homes, changes to tax deductibility of landlord expenses and tighter lending criteria meant that demand from investors remained subdued in 2017.
Rates of house price growth in the south of England has moderated towards those prevailing in the rest of the country with London demonstrating a particularly marked slowdown. Prices in the capital fell in annual terms for the first time in eight years, albeit by a modest 0.5%. London ended the year the weakest performing region for the first time since 2004.
Research from the Halifax suggests that more than one in three of us in the UK received at least one Christmas gift they didn’t like but three quarters (76%) say that they would never tell the person who gave it to them. Scots are the most reluctant to speak up with 82% saying they wouldn’t let on, but one third (33%) of those in North East England would say something. The over 55s are also more likely to hold their tongue (84%) than 18-34 year olds (64%).
And only one in fifteen (7%) Brits return or exchange Christmas presents they didn’t want with almost a third (31%) preferring to store them, 28% gifting them to a charity shop or jumble sale and 23% re-gifting to someone else. Embarrassingly, one in seven (15%) have actually been re-gifted a present from the person they originally gave it to.
When it comes to the sales, many are also taking the opportunity to prepare for Christmas 2018. More than one-third (36%) say they will buy next year’s Christmas cards in this year’s sales, with a third (33%) looking to pick up discount wrapping paper and almost a third (32%) even picking up presents to put under the tree in 2018.
And with the growth of Christmas jumper days in workplaces all over the country, one in seven (15%) will buy a Christmas jumper now for next year, with more than a quarter of 18-34s (28%) leading the way. 27% of those in the North East said they’d buy a Christmas jumper now for next year, but only 8% of Scots and 9% in the East Midlands said the same.
A Liverpool car park fire is likely to result in claims worth £20 million being paid out to motor insurance customers, the Association of British Insurers (ABI) estimated today. Payments have already been made to some of the hundreds of people who lost their vehicles in the blaze on New Year’s Eve, with a number of insurers bringing in extra staff to ensure claims are dealt with as swiftly as possible. Emergency claims lines were open on New Year’s Day.
As well as getting the money to replace their vehicles, customers have also been making claims for the value of belongings which were inside them. Depending on the cover they had, some people will also be able to get money back for other transport costs.
The motor insurance industry paid out £33 million in claims every single day in 2016 but it is highly unusual to have so many vehicles destroyed at the same time at a single location.