Drop in lending rates praised

Those considering building a conservatory to boost value and buyer interest in their property may be encouraged by recent comments from MoneySupermarket.com head of mortgages Louise Cuming.

After two lenders reduced the cost of borrowing and made deals available at higher loan-to-values (LTV), the expert said it was encouraging news.

However, she added "two swallows do not make a summer", suggesting it may be too early to call the moves a trend.

"There have been some great deals on mortgages around recently, but by and large the eligibility criteria have restricted them to people looking to borrow at low LTV, which is of little help to many existing borrowers," Ms Cuming said.

She praised the positive steps taken by Barclays, Yorkshire and Clydesdale Banks, saying it was good to see some providers taking a lead in helping the market.

Meanwhile, council tax has taken over from fuel duty as the UKs most-hated payment, according to study from Unbiased.co.uk.