There has been a great deal of publicity, regarding the growth figures released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS). The announcement indicates that the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games served to increase Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by 0.2%. This increase, coupled with 1.1% growth in the production industries providing an additional 0.2% growth has served to accelerate the UK out of the second recession.
Overall the figures suggest that growth of 1% in the third quarter of this year, has dragged the UK out of a double dip . The reported improvement has well exceeded many economists' predictions and is very encouraging. Whilst the Olympics and Golden Jubilee have clearly had an impact on growth, the numbers point to significant acceleration and will give a boost of confidence to the UK economy, which has been on a downward trend.
However, Which? The consumer watchdog continues to report a fragile housing market which they say is dividing the nation. There is developing chasm developing between the more mature population , who are financially secure and the younger age groups aged 30-49 who have recently purchased their homes and are struggling.
They claim that a number of consumers in the 30-49 age group are 'mortgage prisoners' with limited mortgage options who are stuck on their current mortgage deal and unable to change lenders when rates increase. The report found that the group has the highest housing costs, spending £186 a week on average, compared with that nationally at £135.
Home ownership is increasingly out of reach for first-time buyers, given higher rents making it harder for people to save for the large deposits states the Quarterly Consumer Report. It found that over 50% of people under 30 who don't own their house are concerned about buying their first property. UK mortgage lenders appear to have also further increased mortgage arrangement fees, which according to the report have now risen 60% in the past 16 months. The average fee as of August 2012 being £1,472.