Investments  

Morning papers: House prices ‘will not recover until 2021’

House prices will not return to their pre-crash peak until 2021 after taking into account the effects of inflation, accountants PricewaterhouseCoopers has warned, reports the Daily Telegraph.

Although the firm expects prices to rise 3 per cent to 4 per cent annually in the next four years and to be back at their 2007 high in cash terms at the end of 2014, households will have to wait a further seven years to make up the ground lost after factoring in inflation.

Shareholders’ group calls for overhaul of stock market flotations

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Fees paid to individual banks for handling stock market flotations should be disclosed, according to an influential body of shareholders, as part of a series of proposals to overhaul the way companies raise billions of pounds a year, reports the Guardian.

The Association of British Insurers (ABI) also wants companies attempting to float on the stock market to issue the detailed financial information about their business a week earlier than is currently the case to make it easier to price the shares.

PC shipments fall for fifth consecutive quarter

The global personal computer market suffered another setback in the second quarter as shipments fell for the fifth quarter in a row, the longest duration of decline in the history of the PC market, reports the Financial Times.

Shipments dropped to 76m units, a nearly 11 per cent decline for the second quarter compared to last year, as consumers turned to inexpensive tablets over desktop or laptop computers, especially in new markets, according to a report released on Wednesday by Gartner, the research company.

Families face debt timebomb

More than 800,000 households face the prospect of spending more than half of their income on debt repayments when interest rates rise, according to research that underlines the fragility of Britain’s economy, reports The Times.

The number of families using more than 50 per cent of their disposable income on mortgages and other debts will spiral, even if interest rates rise in line with market predictions to about 2 per cent by 2017.

UK income gap shrinks to narrowest margin for 25 years

Post-recession Britain has become a less unequal place than at any time for 25 years, with wages stagnating while benefits and tax credits have helped protect the incomes of the poorest, according to official figures, reports the Guardian.

In its annual analysis of the impact of taxes and benefits on consumers, the Office for National Statistics said that in 2011-12 the gap between rich and poor was at its narrowest since 1986, measured using the internationally recognised Gini index.