Friday newspaper round-up: Rental demand, Gieves & Hawkes, Atom Bank

By Michele Maatouk

Demand for rental homes across the UK has jumped by nearly a quarter in a year, research has found, piling more pressure on an oversubscribed market and pushing record private rents even higher. The number of people enquiring about homes to rent is up 23% on this time last year, according to the property website Rightmove, driven in part by some would-be buyers putting their plans on hold in the hope that mortgage rates will drop in the new year. – Guardian
Mike Ashley’s Frasers Group has bought Gieves & Hawkes, one of London’s oldest bespoke tailors. Frasers, which already owns Sports Direct, House of Fraser, and the Flannels designer casual wear chain, is understood to have taken on the Gieves & Hawkes brand and five UK stores, including the flagship in the tailoring heartland of Savile Row, London. It is not clear how many jobs have been saved under the deal. – Guardian

Hundreds of first-time buyers are at risk of missing out on support from the Government’s Help to Buy scheme because of a deadline imposed on developers to finish building qualifying properties by the end of 2022. Buyers using the taxpayer-backed loan programme to get on the property ladder must complete new-build compliance checks before the new year according to rules set by the Housing Department – even though the scheme itself is not being wound up until March. – Telegraph

Car factory production rose in October but the industry fears it may be case of one step forward, two steps back amid the growing prospect of a recession. Latest figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders, the industry trade body, show 69,524 vehicles rolled off assembly lines last month, a rise of nearly 4,800, or 7 per cent, on the same month last year. That increase brings the total for the year to 721,000, down 10 per cent year-on-year. – The Times

Atom Bank has pushed back its flotation by at least two years after tapping backers for another £30 million, giving it a post-deal valuation of £460 million. The fast-growing, Durham-based online lender is now aiming for a “liquidity event” in 2024 or 2025, having previously pencilled in 2022 or 2023. A liquidity event could be an initial public offering on the stock market or a trade sale. – The Times

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