Self-employment at the UK has reached its highest level since records began with 15% of the workforce now working from themselves, up from just 8.7% in 1975.
New figures from the Office for National Statistics have revealed that there are 4.6m people working for themselves in the UK, the highest level since records began nearly forty years ago. And, of the 1.1m increase in the total number of workers in the UK between the first quarter of 2008 and the second quarter of 2014, 732,000 (just over two-thirds) were self-employed.
Lower mortgage interest rates mean that the cost of a first-time buyer owning a home in the UK is now £110 (14%) per month lower than renting, or £1,316 per year. According to research by Halifax, the average monthly mortgage costs associated with owning a three bedroom house for a typical first-time buyer in the UK stood at £677 in June 2014; £110 lower than the average monthly rent paid.
If you have a mortgage, is your home insurance with your lender? If it isn't, you could be saving hundreds of pounds over the term of your home loan by taking cheaper insurance with another provider.
If you're looking for a cheap mortgage then there remain plenty of excellent deals to choose from. While the very lowest fixed rates are not at the rock-bottom levels that they were a few months ago, lenders are continuing to reduce the cost of some of their best deals.
Two of the UK's largest lenders have recently cut their rates, meaning it's now even cheaper to get a new mortgage if you have a small deposit.
Mortgage arrears and repossessions continued to fall in the second quarter of 2014. According to the Council of Mortgage Lenders the number of mortgages in arrears stood at just 1.18% at the end of June, down from 1.24% three months earlier and 1.38% a year ago.
New figures have revealed that the UK mortgage market continues to grow, with lending in June up 6% on the previous month and a fifth higher than the same month in 2013. The number of first-time buyers also continues to increase with one in five loans now being granted to borrowers with a smaller deposit.
Many homeowners benefit from low-rate fixed-terms mortgage deals but can be penalised if they pay their loan back early through Early Repayment Charges (ECRs). Many lenders only allow borrowers to repay up to 10% of the outstanding balance each year, but Tesco Bank allows up to 20%, either in the form of regular or lump-sum overpayments.
Mortgage approvals in the UK rose for the first time in five months in June, suggesting that lenders have finally managed to get to grips with new regulations designed to make the industry more responsible.
Home loan approvals increased from 62,007 in May to 67,196 in June according to figures from the Bank of England. Experts were surprised by the sharp increase with most predictions suggesting only a modest upturn.
More than one in three (36%) mortgage brokers expect a rise in the Bank of England base rate before the year is out, according to new research by the Intermediary Mortgage Lenders Association (IMLA). The findings show opinion is divided in the mortgage industry on the widely anticipated rate rise, with just 17% of lenders anticipating a hike during 2014.
If you're looking to take out a buy-to-let mortgage then you now have the best choice of deals since 2008. According to new research from Moneyfacts, the choice of buy-to-let mortgage products has increased by over 40% in just one year, with over 650 deals now available.
Research has also found that investment returns from buy-to-let property have also reached their highest level in years. We look at the two reasons why now is a great time to invest in property.