This week we took a look back to see how well our crystal balls were functioning a year ago: how close were we with our predictions for house price growth in 2014?
Well, you’ll have to listen to the episode to find out. But this also touched on an interesting question – how do we know how much house prices have changed? We ended up taking an average of the figures from Nationwide and the Land Registry, but it’s worth reading this article which compares the various indices to better understand what the media is really talking about when different reports are being quoted.
News this week
An absolutely massive news story came completely out of the blue just a few days before this episode was recorded, and we’re not talking about the birth of Rob Bence’s daughter: George Osbourne announced a complete overhaul of the Stamp Duty system in England and Wales!
The headline is that rather than being a “slab” system, it functions more like income tax where different parts of the property’s value fall within different bands. The result is supposed to be lower Stamp Duty for 98% of purchases, with you only coming out worse if you buy a house above £937,000.
For most of us, this is a good news story – and even if it affects you negatively, it’s hard to argue that it’s not a fairer system. This BBC article lists the bands in full, and does a good job of explaining what’s changed and what the implications are.
Resource of the week
Rob D and his wife wrote a book called Protect Your Tech, which sets out to scare you silly about all the risks you don’t even know you’re exposing to then give you quick and easy ways to solve them.
And fixes don’t come much quicker or easier than HTTPS Everywhere – a browser extension which automatically re-routes you to the secure version of popular websites, so nobody spying on your connection can see the data (including financial data) that’s passing between you and the website.
Install it once, forget about it, and it’ll keep on making you safer. You can’t say fairer than that.
This week’s mentions
We’ve announced another Property Hub Meetup!
We’ll all be getting together on Sunday 4th January in King’s Cross, London, between 5.30pm and 7.30pm. Come along to celebrate the last day of the holidays and get 2015 off to the best possible start in the company of friendly and intelligent property obsessives just like you.
Join the conversation
Have you been surprised by what happened to house prices in 2014?
Is there any part of the picture that you think we missed?
We’d love to know, so join the discussion in The Property Hub!
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