Smart Money Guides
The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Jeremy Hunt, unveiled his 2023 Autumn Statement on Wednesday 22 November, alongside an updated economic forecast from the Office for Budget Responsibility.
The Statement was centred around ‘growth’, with Mr Hunt leveraging increased tax receipts from a stronger-than-anticipated economy to fund 110 growth-promoting initiatives. Mr Hunt said the government had taken difficult decisions to put the economy back on track and halve inflation, but ‘the work is not done’. He said his priorities are to avoid big government spending and high taxes and instead cut taxes and ‘reward hard work’.
Among the highlights were significant changes aimed at enhancing earnings. Mr Hunt’s drive to ‘make work pay’ materialised through reductions to National Insurance for both employees and the self-employed, coupled with an uplift in the National Living Wage.
Additionally, Mr Hunt announced the permanent establishment of the ‘full expensing’ capital allowance, reforms to the R&D tax credit and increased business rates support for smaller enterprises. These measures are expected to bolster innovation and provide much-needed relief for small businesses.
What does the Autumn Statement 2023 mean for you?
Our detailed Guide to Autumn Statement 2023 looks at these key announcements. If you require further information or want to discuss how the announced measures could affect your finances or business, please contact us for more details.
Welcome to our November/December 2023 edition.
As you sail into your 50s, it becomes pivotal to consider your financial strategy. Life has likely found a steady rhythm by now. Children have probably taken flight, becoming financially self-sufficient, and the idea of reducing work hours or even retiring completely starts to surface. Each person’s life journey is unique and has different resources and challenges. However, there are shared goals and steps that one can take during this stage. On page 09, we consider how knowing where to begin can be daunting, whether you aim to maximise your earnings or lay down a robust financial plan.
In the investing world, the allure of quick profits and instant gratification often tempts some investors to employ a ‘market timing’ strategy. This method involves making decisions about buying or selling financial instruments based on predictions of future market price movements. Market timing is an active investment strategy aiming to beat the traditional buy-and-hold strategy. It involves moving in and out of the market or switching between asset classes based on predictive methods such as technical indicators or economic data. Read the full article on page 10.
The mantra ‘Cash is king’ has echoed through the investment world for years. Cash forms the backbone of our society. As long as money spins the globe, many will uphold cash as the reigning monarch. However, this crown has been slipping as of late. The culprit? Rampant inflation, rapidly eroding the purchasing power of cash. Even the most competitive rates on the high street typically lag behind inflation. On page 28, we raise a question – is it wise to lock into a rate that incurs losses in real terms merely to avoid the short-term volatility of financial markets?
As we approach the end of the year, taxpayers should begin assessing their tax obligations. This is not a task to be left to the eleventh hour, especially considering tax changes coming into effect in 2024. This is also particularly true for 2023, a year already marked by several tax changes that impact higher rate taxpayers. By understanding your tax obligations early on, you could avoid unwelcome surprises. On page 05, we consider how understanding these tax changes allows you to plan and strategise effectively to meet your tax obligations without unnecessary stress or last-minute surprises.
A complete list of the articles featured in this issue appears on pages 02 and 03.
Welcome to the Autumn 2023 quarterly issue of The Mortgage & Property Magazine.
If you’re currently on your mortgage lender’s Standard Variable Rate (SVR), you will have noticed a considerable increase in your monthly repayments due to numerous interest rate hikes by the Bank of England in recent times. According to data, 27% of homeowners with a mortgage are still on their lender’s SVR. Given the current economic climate, one in ten homeowners on an SVR were concerned about lenders scrutinising their finances. They didn’t realise getting a more competitive mortgage deal could be possible. Read the full article on page 31.
According to data, the housing market has witnessed a surge in first-time buyers, with mortgage searches for this group rising by over 20%. On page 30, we consider how this trend suggests that first-time buyers are capitalising on the current slowdown in the housing market to make their initial foray into homeownership.
On page 49, we see how the journey to selling your home in Britain now has an average price of £5,413. This latest figure is primarily driven by estate agency fees, which comprise 81% of the total cost, approximately £4,400. Another significant amount comes from conveyancing, accounting for 14% and costing sellers around £776. The remaining costs are split between disbursements and Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs).
As we grappled with the pandemic, a new housing trend emerged – the ‘quest for space’. This trend saw many UK homeowners re-evaluating their living conditions under lockdown and opting for larger residences, typically with larger outdoor spaces. While some of these trends may have slightly reversed post-pandemic, the ‘quest for space’ remains crucial if you consider enhancing your home instead of relocating. Read the article on page 78.
A complete list of the articles appears on pages 03 to 05.
Navigating the world of mortgages and property can often seem daunting. However, achieving your homeownership or property investment dreams should be an exciting journey armed with the right information and guidance. We hope our magazine gives you the insights you need to make informed decisions. To learn more about how we can help you with expert professional advice, please get in touch with us to discuss your requirements – we look forward to hearing from you.