The number of commercial property loans in default has soared 400% in just 12 months, according to a report due to be published today, The Telegraph reports.
The study of bank lending to the commercial property industry shows that while the amount lent continued to rise in 2007, nearly 400 loans slipped into default, up from fewer than 80 in 2006.
Although the combined value of the loans - at £250m - is relatively small, it suggests that a growing number of smaller property investors and developers are failing due to the current financial crisis.
NATIONWIDE BUILDING SOCIETY, Britain’s second largest mortgage provider, will scale back lending for a second consecutive year if the wholesale markets do not come back to life in the next few months, again according to The Telegraph.
The building society’s plans will deal another blow to homeowners already struggling to secure mortgages amid the lending drought. Economists have blamed the supply shortfall for the slump in house prices, which fell 1.1% last month according to Nationwide’s own index.
Chief executive Graham Beale said the trend would continue for the rest of the year, though falls will remain “within single digits”. Nationwide lent just £6.7bn to homeowners for the year to April 4, a 37% fall from the £11.2bn advanced in 2006.
THERE ARE NO quick fixes to the food price inflation sweeping across the high street, Alistair Darling was warned yesterday, as a top-level report said that prices could remain at record levels for the next decade, The Guardian reports.
An agricultural outlook compiled by the United Nations and the OECD said that prices for cereals, rice and oilseeds were forecast to be between 10% to 35% higher by 2017. It called for a co-ordinated relief effort to help developing countries and a review of the growing use of biofuels.
The UN said that the global food import bill could rise by $215bn (£109bn) this year to a record $1trn. “Food is no longer the cheap commodity it was,” the report said.IFAonline
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