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Savings accounts benefit from the rate rises

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05/03/2007

Recent interest rate rises have prompted more people to compare savings accounts, with investors’ confidence in the property market dented, according to a survey. 

Insurer Standard Life said that interest rate rises introduced by the Monetary Policy Committee at the Bank of England have led people questioning the wisdom of investing in property rather than putting their spare cash into a saving and investment product.

The survey found that people’s enthusiasm for investing in buy-to-let or residential property for themselves had gone back to the level recorded in January 2006.

The survey asked a sample of 1,523 people if now was a good time or a bad time to invest in their own home or buy-to-let, and there was a significant proportion who said it was a bad or “very bad” time to dabble in property.

More were inclined to compare savings accounts and look for safer havens for their money while the interest rate environment remained uncertain. There was also concern that the rising costs of buy-to-let mortgages meant that investors would not cover their outgoings by rental payments on their properties.

However, the Council of Mortgage Lenders said that 330,000 buy-to-let mortgages were taken out in 2006, the highest annual figure recorded in the 10 years that buy-to-let in its current form has been running.

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