Lunchtime news 19 July 2023

Halifax, the UK’s biggest mortgage lender, has raised its house price inflation forecast for the year from 4 per cent to 6 per cent, despite higher interest rates. The bank made the change after house prices rose faster in the first six months of the year than it had expected because of a stronger economy and shortage of new home construction.

Research suggests a third of UK homeowners now have difficulties with their finances. The housing charity HHSE has been contacted by 10,000 people so far this year asking for advice on repossession.

The Consumers Association magazine, Which?, says some banks are charging up to four times the originally-agreed amount to close down a home loan.

A National Audit Office report shows six million Britons are living in households where nobody works – costing the taxpayer almost £13 billion a year in benefits alone.