1,100 jobs to go at Pizza Express
Just in: Pizza Express’s creditors have approved a restructuring deal which will see around 1,100 workers lose their jobs.
Nearly 90% of the pizza chain’s creditors have approved its proposed company voluntary arrangement. The CVA will allow Pizza Express to cut its rent bills and stop operating from 73 restaurants.
The CVA is part of a wider restructuring that could save around 9,000 jobs across the business, whose debts had hit £1bn even before the pandemic. Under this plan, current owner Hony Capital would hand control of the firm to its bond holders, unless a better offer comes along…
The current strengthening in the UK housing market is ‘unsustainable’, reckons economist Howard Archer of EY Item Club.
He predicts that prices will have fallen by around 3% by early 2021, once the furlough scheme has wrapped up and many more people lose their jobs.
“Many people have already lost their jobs, despite the supportive Government measures, while others will be concerned that they may still end up losing their job once the furlough scheme ends. Additionally, many incomes have been affected. Consumer confidence is currently still low compared to long-term norms and many people are likely to remain cautious for some time to come when making major spending decisions such as buying or moving house.
“The EY ITEM Club suspects that the housing market is likely to come under pressure over the final months of 2020 when there is likely to be a significant rise in unemployment as the furlough scheme draws to a close in October. This will not only adversely affect the fundamentals for house buyers, but also likely fuel caution on committing to buying a house. There is also likely to be a fading of the pent-up demand effect on activity. Consequently, the EY ITEM Club predicts that the housing market could struggle late on in 2020 with house prices coming under downward pressure.
House prices jump: what the experts say
Mark Harris, chief executive of mortgage broker SPF Private Clients, says a ‘perfect storm’ of factors drove UK house prices to record levels last month.
‘Just as Nationwide recorded last week, Halifax’s house price index also shows prices hitting a record high in August. The perfect storm of pent-up demand, lockdown prompting a desire for bigger homes and the cut to stamp duty has created a strong surge in market activity, which has carried on into this month.
Miles Robinson, head of mortgages at online mortgage broker Trussle, points out that it’s getting harder to jump on to the housing ladder:
Large numbers of