Adieu, summer. It’s been swell.
We’ve been treated to innumerable tabloid spreads of nubile beauties ‘cooling off’ in Bournemouth and Brighton. Ice-cream sales shot through the roof. Australia got trampled on in the rugby AND the cricket and there was more football transfer tittle-tattle than you could shake a linesman’s flag at. Meanwhile, “oooh, makes a change, this weather” small talk was at an all-time high.
If that wasn’t enough, it turns out that we’ve had something of an economic boom. Strewth!
Analysis from LSL Property Services reckons that there were a whopping 26,000 first-time buyer transactions in the housing market during July, a barely conceivable 45% increase on July the previous year.
“Mortgages are much more affordable for first-time buyers compared to last year, which has opened the door to thousands of would-be buyers who were shut out of the market,” opined David Newnes, director of LSL Property Services. “Economic confidence is returning, nudging many more buyers in the direction of property, and nudging lenders to offer more loans to buyers with smaller deposits."
As if that wasn’t enough, car sales have also gone through the proverbial roof. The Society of Motoring Manufacturers reported a positively trouser-bursting 10.9% rise in car registrations on the previous year.
But wait! Don’t think for a moment that it’s all good news. Enter the doom-mongers, who reckon that the surge in house sales, fuelled by George Osborne’s Help to Buy and Funding for Lending initiatives, is unsustainable because houses are in short supply. They’ve got a point, the Money Shot supposes.
Oh, and it turns out that the hot weather was also responsible for a surge in travel insurance fraud.
VFM Services, an outfit which works with some of the insurance game’s biggest hitters to ferret out fraud, believes that some holidaymakers have been claiming for illnesses or other injuries in order to 'cancel' holidays they booked and enjoy the weather at home. Honestly, some people.
For the record, this definitely wasn’t what Welsh football coach Chris ‘Cookie’ Coleman did when he ‘misplaced his passport‘ yesterday.
SHORT CHANGE – Money news in brief
The Royal Mint is to launch a £20 coin, which would be quite nice to find amongst your shrapnel.
Over 100 drivers were involved in a shocking pile-up on the Sheppey Bridge in Kent.
In news which surprised absolutely no-one, the Monetary Policy Committee of the Bank of England held the base rate of interest at 0.5%.
With Wonga announcing bumper profits, an AA report found that high petrol prices are forcing drivers to use payday lenders to keep their cars filled up.
ON COVERED MAG THIS WEEK
We sent Dan Bevis on an arduous mission to sip champagne, feast on lobster and gawp at rare cars in the sunshine at Salon Prive.
Graham Thomas (who spent much of Monday tracking the movements of Peter Odemwingie for Sky Sports News) chatted to a man who knows a thing or two about the transfer market to get the inside track on the Gareth Bale deal.
Sean Davies donned a pith helmet and ventured into the Welsh wilderness to report on lake monsters, land beasts and flying serpents.
Phil Huff drove the £30,000 dual-fuel Chevrolet Volt, and pondered whether it was worth the price tag.
Rachel England's mighty City vs. Countryside Showdown series rumbled to a conclusion.
Full marks to Talksport host Richard 'Smash It!' Keys for this prime slice of definitely-not-plugging on Twitter.
Just picked up this little baby. Need wheels when I'm back in London. Beautiful. Jaguar have done it again. pic.twitter.com/LpujEcG3Tk— Richard Keys (@richardajkeys) September 5, 2013
Now, to take the edge off with a delicious can of Sprunt.
Join us NEXT WEEK for another THRILLING instalment of THE MONEY SHOT.