In financial services at Post Office, we spend a lot of time speaking with consumers to understand their needs. When it comes to first-time homebuyers, in the past we’ve spoken with them when they were well into their journey. Yet we’ve recently learned that a typical ‘FTB’ in Britain will spend up to four years saving for that all-important deposit, and making many sacrifices along the way. With the average deposit for a FTB home currently circa £50,000 – ranging from £22,000 in Blackpool to £173,000 in some parts of London – this is no easy feat, especially for younger buyers.
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When a bank or financial services provider offers a customer a loan, it’s understood that there will be small print. The terms and conditions under which the loan is offered and accepted are put in place to make the agreement as clear as possible and to protect both parties. What would happen if these agreements weren’t formalised in such a way? Consider for a moment, that one of the UK’s biggest lenders does not require a compulsory loan agreement. In some cases, that lender does not even discuss repayment at all. It would appear to be quite a risky strategy, don’t you think?
As the largest small business retail network in the UK, to mark Small Business Saturday, we’ve spoken to the some of the many entrepreneurial postmasters within our 11,500 strong network for their top tips for small business success.
I’m constantly inspired by the postmasters that are running successful small businesses in diverse locations across the country. All of them are using the Post Office, particularly the footfall it brings in to their shops, to make the businesses more profitable and sustainable.
The ‘Bank of Mum and Dad’ has become such a feature of the first-time buyer experience that we almost assume that most people taking their first tentative steps on the property ladder will have some form of financial support from their parents. However, Post Office Money has recently been investigating this assumed intergenerational support and our findings led us to ask a number of questions, specifically – how much does it really factor into the reality of most people’s buying experience and is it a sustainable model for the future?
Upon Googling ‘up and coming areas’, the first page of search results was overwhelmingly London-focused; the top places to invest in the capital, 2017 property hotspots, and where to look beyond this year. It’s not surprising; after all, for years London was the go-to place for young professionals.