Sixty per cent of homeowners not interested in environmental issues

Only one in six home movers believe that the introduction of HIPs (Home Information Packs) will speed up the buying process and just one third believe they are a good idea, according to a new survey by thinkproperty.com, a major new, independent consumer property portal which offers estate agents an online sales and marketing channel to deliver better value, improved lead generation and excellence in customer service.

The survey, which had over 3,100 respondents, revealed that more than one third of home movers are confused about Home Information Packs and one third of home owners were not aware of their introduction in June. A third of respondents believe HIPs will slow down the property market, twenty per cent commented that HIPs will increase property prices (http://www.thinkproperty.com/soldhouseprices.htm), seventeen per cent believe HIPs will lower property prices and thirty per cent believe that the introduction of HIPs will not change how they buy property (http://www.thinkproperty.com/findanagent.htm).

In spite of home movers’ lack of support for HIPs, the vast majority would modify their property to make it ‘green’ if the Government incentivised this with offers of green mortgages and lower council tax. Over two thirds of home movers do not believe the Government is doing enough to build greener homes, and sixty per cent say the same of new home developers.

One hundred per cent of respondents agreed that the Government should help home owners to fund fuel efficient boilers to improve energy efficiency, followed by roof insulation (eighty per cent), double glazing (seventy per cent), solar panels (sixty one per cent) and wall insulation (forty seven per cent). Just seventeen per cent felt that the Government should financially help home owners with energy improving devices.

However, the results highlighted a general lack of interest in green properties, with sixty per cent claiming that they didn’t want more information on green property issues. In fact, less than two thirds of home movers claimed to be interested in the environment, with nearly sixty per cent commenting that ‘there are more important things to be worrying about’. The view from one in five respondents was that it is too expensive to switch to environmentally friendly products, with over one quarter of home movers commenting that ‘the only people that are interested in the environment are sandal-wearing hippies’.

Already, seventy per cent of home movers claim to have double glazing, sixty per cent have roof insulation, fifty seven per cent use low energy light bulbs and forty per cent run a fuel efficient boiler. Over two thirds of home movers claim to recycle and three quarters say they switch off all unused lights.

Low energy lighting should be compulsory for all new home builds according to over seventy per cent of respondents, followed by solar panels (fifty five per cent) and grey water systems (forty two per cent).

Mark Goddard, Managing Director of the property portal (http://www.thinkproperty.com/) comments: “Clearly the introduction of HIPs is not popular with home movers and many think that the Government should be doing more to help home owners improve the energy efficiency of their homes.”

About ThinkProperty
ThinkProperty.com (http://www.thinkproperty.com/) provides an accountable marketing channel to today’s modern property professional and already averages 400,000 property details available from around the UK every day.

ThinkProperty.com is owned by Trader Media Group which has an unrivalled reputation for bringing buyers and sellers together in huge numbers through its dealer software products and market leading consumer websites and magazines.

Via EPR Network
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Barclays Local Business reveals small business owners are in it for the long haul and plan to stay in business longer

It may not always be a match made in heaven, but UK bosses are in it for the long haul when it comes to running their own company, according to a survey of small business owners conducted by Barclays Local Business* research reveals that over a quarter (28%) expect to run their business for more than 25 years (longer than the average marriage in the UK at 24 years, or 11.6 years if it ends in divorce**) and one in five said they plan to keep working well into their seventies.

As well as being wedded to the job, UK small business bosses are forming long-term and loyal relationships with their staff. Despite the popular belief that a ‘job for life’ is a thing of the past, nearly a third (29%) of those questioned have an employee on the books who has worked for them for at least ten years and two thirds of respondents still employ their first ever recruit.

John Davis, marketing director for Barclays Local Business said: Starting your own business is a serious commitment and for most people it really is about a life long relationship that needs constant nurturing and attention. For every over night success there are thousands of business people who have spent years developing a successful business – but there are few things as satisfying as making it a success after all that effort.”

Given this propensity for long term commitment, it is no surprise that bosses are quite literally ‘married to the job’. Two fifths admit feeling personally connected to their business, and said its failure would cause emotions akin to a relationship ending.

Although women were more likely to be affected by ‘business bereavement’ when a company fails, the survey showed that when it comes to their staff, male entrepreneurs are more sentimental than their female counterparts. On average, male bosses employed their first recruit for approximately a year longer than female bosses, while their longest serving employees typically clocked up a year longer on the payroll.

The survey also revealed that entrepreneurs who value stability in their personal life are more likely to replicate it in the workplace. Respondents who had been in relationships for more than twenty years tended to employ their first recruits for nearly eight years – two and a half years longer than the national average. Their longest standing employees also remained employed for more than nine years – 50% longer that the national average of six and a half years.

Despite growing concern about an economic downturn, confidence among the small business community remains strong, as three quarters (74%) say they are keen to grow their business this year. Of those that felt growth was not an option, a quarter cited the risks currently posed by the economic climate while nearly one in five (19%) said they simply had no interest in making more money.

* Taken from online research carried out between 1 and 16 June 2008 by Ciao Surveys on behalf of Barclays Local Business Banking. Total sample size was 503 Small to Medium Enterprise (SME) owner-managers from across the UK, where an SME is defined as having up to 250 employees.
** National Statistics and the National Family and Parenting Institute.

About Barclays Local Business
Barclays supports businesses with:

1600 local business managers in 600 locations.
Start-ups get standard banking transactions free for up to 12 months.
Flexibility to bank when and how they want – online and telephone banking and a full counter service at 1600 branches nationwide.
In the longer term businesses can choose various banking packages which give a choice of free automated payments or in credit interest. These packages also include different levels of further support from online training to credit management facilities.

Via EPR Network
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Mortgage Application Xpress by Woolwich

Woolwich has announced the launch of a new mortgage sales tool ‘Mortgage Application Xpress’ (MAX) which gives a faster, simpler and more efficient way to do business online. The new tool allows brokers to be able to confirm mortgage decisions at point of sale, certify ID and proof of address online, leading to speedier mortgage offers.

The new MAX tool from Woolwich will save mortgage brokers time as it’s a one stop mortgage application process, it is also intuitive so helps removes duplication and the potential for errors as well as telling the broker exactly which documents are needed to submitted with the application.

David Finlay, Woolwich intermediary business director said: “This strengthens our promise to the intermediary market to build on our service. The latest online sales tool is a result of feedback from intermediaries to provide them with a single platform for all mortgage sales related activities.”

Key features of MAX:

  • Mortgage decision at point of sale – an instant decision to give brokers confidence we can meet their clients mortgage requirements
  • ID and proof of address can be certified online
  • Application Credit Check (ACC)
  • Intelligent fields (so you can look up things like post and sort codes)
  • Notification of all documentation requirements at ACC stage meaning you save time
  • Intelligent, pre-population of data across multiple forms such as declarations, direct debits, cover sheet etc.
  • Intuitive, simple to use application forms
  • Slicker documentation and tools for example documentation that can be e-mailed to the customer, ability to save and file online, new quick calculations
  • Quick quote, Offset Calculator, BTL Illustrator

MAX is available on woolwichintermediaries.co.uk, brokers can find out more by contacting their IBM, calling 0845 070 1567 or visiting the Woolwich website to try the online demo. Brokers who are already registered for Woolwich’s online application systems will automatically have access to MAX.

The new site has recently been piloted by Contractor Financials, Mortgage Find and Concordia.

Via EPR Network

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Welcome to EPR Financial News

Welcome to EPR Financial News.

EPR Financial News is a new blog, part of EPR Network, that is going to be focused on and will be covering the financial news and stories from press releases published on EPR Network.

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