Another report this morning adds fuel to the concerns triggered by yesterday's interest rate rise. The Times is worried and a leader in the The Telegraph writes:
"The outlook is darkening. While some economists believe British rates have peaked, London's financial markets are pricing money two years hence at 6.3 per cent. That is the rate expected by the forces of supply and demand, which, I'm afraid to say, have a habit of being right far more often than City pundits.
Such an outcome would devastate many over-stretched home owners. According to Experian, the research company, were interest rates to hit 6.25 per cent by the end of the year and stay there, house repossessions would top 55,000 in 2009, "well on the way to the bad years of the early 1990s".
Apparently, more women than men have debt problems: 54 per cent of callers to National Debtline are female. A survey by uSwitch, an online financial adviser, identified 750,000 British women as "shopaholics" who need a weekly fix, irrespective of their finances. The typical female shopaholic has £11,000 of unsecured debt, more than double the average."
It will be interesting to see whether the rise in interest rates has any impact on profits at Westwood Cross. Remember that the average annual wage in Thanet is £1,000 lower than elsewhere in the south-east and 25% of the population float on income support. When the economy starts to bite the real pain is likely to be felt here more than elsewhere.