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Property prices ‘to rise 25%’
Property prices will rise by 25% over the next five years, the National Housing Federation has predicted. Despite the global economic slowdown and the impact on the housing market in the UK, the social housing organisations predicted demand for housing would once again exceed supply once financial institutions are willing to lend money again. ... more

Poor to get best energy deals
Energy regulator Ofgem has instructed gas and electricity companies to ensure their poorest customers are on the cheapest deals they offer. Currently the cheapest offers are often reserved for internet customers, ruling out those customers who cannot afford or gain access to the internet. ... more

Big drop in mortgage approvals
The amount of new mortgage approvals fell 23% in June as the housing market slowdown continued, figures from the British Banking Association (BBA) revealed. The BBA figures showed just 21,118 new loans were approved in June, some 67% lower than 12 months previous. ... more

London world’s third priciest city
London is now only the third most expensive city for expatriates in which to live, slipping back from the second spot it held last year, according to research by HR consultancy Mercer. The most expensive city was Moscow – for the third year running – while Tokyo came second with Olso fourth. ... more

Parliament ratifies Crossrail project
The Crossrail project has successfully completed its path through Parliament, paving the way for work to start on the largest civil engineering project in Europe. The line will run from Maidenhead and Heathrow in the West to Shenfield and Abbey Wood in the east. ... more

Big jump in struggling firms
The number of companies experiencing ‘critical problems’ – those with county court judgements totalling over £5,000 or winding-up petition-related actions – in the second quarter of 2008 increased by 30% from the first. According to data released by business recovery company Begbies Traynor, there was also a seven-fold increase in the amount of companies experiencing such problems in ... more

Energy efficiency ‘main priority’
Reducing energy wastage is the main priority for UK businesses looking to lessen the impact of the economic slowdown, according to research by the Carbon Trust. The research found that energy efficiency scored higher than recruitment freezes, redundancies, salary freezes or giving below-inflation pay rises as a potential cost-saving measure. ... more

Google is top consumer brand
Search engine Google has become the UK’s top brand for the first time, beating Microsoft and Mercedes Benz into second and third place respectively. The survey of consumers, conducted by YouGov, follows a similar poll earlier in the year of marketing professionals, which also listed Google as number one. ... more

Business confidence at 12-year low
Confidence among employers has fallen to its lowest level since 1996, according to the Institute of Directors. Taken in conjunction with a report by the Ernst & Young Item Club, which forecast growth of just 1% in 2009, the news is gloomy reading for business owners hoping to avoid recession. ... more

Call for Equitable Life payout
The government should compensate Equitable Life policyholders who were hit by the pension provider’s near-collapse in 2000, which left thousands of people with reduced savings for retirement. The Parliamentary Ombudsman accused various government regulators of failing to use the powers that were available to them to safeguard the assets of policyholders. ... more

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