James Coney  

What is the future of property funds?

James Coney

James Coney

In case you missed it, Nationwide has announced it is capping any gift towards a deposit at 25 per cent of the deposit amount for lending above 85 per cent loan-to-value..

The logic is that the society wants to see some effort from the part of the borrower that they had the resolve to put money aside. In a small way, I can see the logic of this.

But on the other hand, what a load of absolute nonsense.

Gifted deposits have become a fundamental part of the home-buying process, with 60 per cent of first-time buyers needing one. There is no evidence to suggest those that have them are more or less feckless than those that do not.

Besides, would it not be just as likely that parents who help out children with a deposit are also more likely to help out if the borrower gets in to trouble?

Nationwide is very worried about house prices, that much is certain. But to make assumptions about borrowers who get deposits from their family is just a slap in the face.

Coin toss investment

As if we needed proof that value assessment reports work, the latest one came from Baillie Gifford. And guess what? It was a good one.

We would expect no less from this fund house though, would we? Over the past decade it has carved a role as the best in Britain.

Not every fund is a winner, but at least its success rate is closer to 80 per cent – and should we not expect every single investment fund to be a star?

That is better than the 50 per cent hit rate from other fund houses; that is as good as a coin toss.

James Coney is money editor of The Times and The Sunday Times