08 April 2011

Increasing Frequency Of Financial Worries May Be Linked To Rising Number Of Cases Of Depression

A number of indicators are revealing a possible link between worrying about money and depression.

Over the past four years the number of prescriptions issued for Prozac has risen by 40.0%. GPs have said that more and more people are contacting them citing debt or job fears as the cause of problems ranging from anxiety to full blown depression.

One commentator said that GPs expected mental health problems to become more common in times of economic difficulty.

One problem is that medicating a patient may help deal with the symptoms of depression but it does not tackle the root of the problem. If people are suffering from depression due to their financial circumstances then they need help with that too.

The government needs a two pronged approach to these kinds of issues: The NHS can treat the patient and the social services should advise people on financial issues.

All First Choice Holidays To Become All “Inclusive”

As of summer 2012, all First Choice holidays will be “all inclusive”. In a bid to save customers money, they will now pay a flat rate that covers transport, accommodation, food and drink. This style of travelling harks of past decades, until recently the trend for organising your own holiday and finding deals on the internet was popular.

A package holiday is a good option for anyone who does not want costs to build up. In the current economic climate it would not be a surprise to see a resurgence in the popularity of package holidays.

There are critics of package holidays who have been branded “travel snobs”: Some people argue that a package holidays removes any of the spontaneity of travel and only provides revenue for the holiday company, not the local economy.

There may be vocal critics of package holidays but that did not stop 17.9 million people booking one last year.

05 April 2011

£7 Billion Of Mortgage Debt Paid Off In Fourth Quarter of 2010

According to the Bank of England’s (BoE) records homeowners have paid off their mortgages at a record rate. £7 billion of debt was paid off in the final quarter of 2010.

The performance in the fourth quarter of 2010 built on an already solid performance earlier in the year. 2010 saw the largest input of equity ever recorded.

Due to interest rates being maintained at a record low, homeowners have been more inclined to pay back larger slices of their mortgage than they are required to each month. Low interest rates have been married to low savings rates therefore giving an extra incentive to reduce mortgages rather than save money.

One knock on effect of high spending on mortgage repayment is lower spending on other goods: Consumer spending is at a low as people are more inclined to pay off debts rather than spend on material goods.

04 April 2011

House Prices Rose by 0.5% In March

A survey by Nationwide building society found that house prices rose by 0.5% in March. In reality this news should not be too awful for first-time buyers: House prices have only increased by 0.1% on last year.

Although prices have gone up a little, this should not be taken to be the new trend in the housing market. Nationwide’s chief economist, Robert Gardener made it clear that the outlook for the housing market remains uncertain.

One key problem for the housing market is that first time buyers are not being approved for mortgages; therefore many people can neither buy nor sell their property. There is very little movement in the property market.

A recent report by the Bank of England has found that the number of households defaulting on mortgages rose in the first quartile of 2011. If people default they risk losing their house which may add some dynamism to the market.