David Treharne

As record low interest rates continue, should you get onto the property ladder sooner rather than later?

We are now familiar with the headline ‘Bank of England keeps interest rates at record low of 0.5%’, in fact it’s been the same story since March 2009, some 68 months ago. But with this news comes a greater responsibility for the buyer.

Here the UK’s leading independent mortgage broker, Mortgage Advice Bureau, explores how the prolonged interest rates could mean that sooner could be a better time to buy than later.

In a survey by the Money Advice Service, 69% of people said that they did not have a plan for when interest rates do eventually rise despite 84% thinking that an increase would have an impact on their finances. But right now, homeowners and prospective buyers have other things on their minds as they have been presented with an opportunity to obtain some extremely cheap mortgages as a result of the Bank of England’s decision to delay the rate rise.

“The new lower rates come as a result of the UK’s low inflation levels, the stagnation of the Eurozone and the slowing of the national housing market. The aftermath of the introduction of the Mortgage Market Review (MMR) also seems to have calmed as lenders begin to try and meet their yearly targets – hence the wave of lower rates – with some deals falling as low as 1.49%,” said David Treharne from Mortgage Advice Bureau.

Existing homeowners who do decide to take advantage of the current low rates need to consider the penalties that come with exiting their current deal. Many lenders will enforce fees and charges. Under the newer mortgage rules, application timescales are also longer than before, so homeowners will need to ensure that they are financially prepared for a lengthier process.

“Deciding when to take out a mortgage is always going to be a risk. The low rates that are with us at the moment may stay with us for a while, but there is a greater chance of them disappearing as quickly as they appeared. With the rise of interest rates being a popular topic for debate and opinions frequently changing, it is important to get advice from a professional mortgage adviser when discussing your next steps,” concluded David.

For further information please contact David on 07501 720320 or email davidtr@mab.org.uk. Alternatively, please visit www.dawsonsproperty.co.uk

 

We are now familiar with the headline ‘Bank of England keeps interest rates at record low of 0.5%’, in fact it’s been the same story since March 2009, some 68 months ago. But with this news comes a greater responsibility for the buyer.

Here the UK’s leading independent mortgage broker, Mortgage Advice Bureau, explores how the prolonged interest rates could mean that sooner could be a better time to buy than later.

In a survey by the Money Advice Service, 69% of people said that they did not have a plan for when interest rates do eventually rise despite 84% thinking that an increase would have an impact on their finances. But right now, homeowners and prospective buyers have other things on their minds as they have been presented with an opportunity to obtain some extremely cheap mortgages as a result of the Bank of England’s decision to delay the rate rise.

“The new lower rates come as a result of the UK’s low inflation levels, the stagnation of the Eurozone and the slowing of the national housing market. The aftermath of the introduction of the Mortgage Market Review (MMR) also seems to have calmed as lenders begin to try and meet their yearly targets – hence the wave of lower rates – with some deals falling as low as 1.49%,” said David Treharne from Mortgage Advice Bureau.

Existing homeowners who do decide to take advantage of the current low rates need to consider the penalties that come with exiting their current deal. Many lenders will enforce fees and charges. Under the newer mortgage rules, application timescales are also longer than before, so homeowners will need to ensure that they are financially prepared for a lengthier process.

“Deciding when to take out a mortgage is always going to be a risk. The low rates that are with us at the moment may stay with us for a while, but there is a greater chance of them disappearing as quickly as they appeared. With the rise of interest rates being a popular topic for debate and opinions frequently changing, it is important to get advice from a professional mortgage adviser when discussing your next steps,” concluded David.

For further information please contact David on 07501 720320 or email davidtr@mab.org.uk. Alternatively, please visit www.dawsonsproperty.co.uk

 

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Gowerton property goes through major renovation

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The hall before and after renovation, and  Richard Stait and Jason Applin in the plush new kitchen)

It is a property transformation which would look perfectly at home on the BBC’s popular Homes Under The Hammer programme.

Number 12, Victoria Road in Gowerton – sold at auction by Dawsons Property and now on the market again with the same estate agents – has gone through an impressive make-over from run down, uninhabitable shell to a sought-after family home which has been renovated to an impressively high spec.

When developers John Stait and Co bid successfully for the end-of-terrace house at Dawson’s auction they paid £70,000. To the untrained eye, the sellers looked like they may have achieved a good sale price because the three bedroom property was in a state of disrepair.

The wall was coming down in the master bedroom, the kitchen was literally under the stairs and the garden and drive were overrun by eight feet high brambles.

Jason Applin, the project manager at Number 12, a seasoned developer, admitted it was one of his more challenging projects.

“It had to be gutted; taken right back to the bones – it needed a total rewire, the plumbing need a complete overhaul and the rendering and plastering had to be redone,” he said.

“Not only were some of the walls unstable but there were other things we had to overcome. For instance you had to go through the third bedroom to get to the bathroom.

“It was challenging project but I’m extremely happy with the outcome – it has exceeded expectations.”

So much so that Dawsons have put the house on the market for £145,000.

“When you take on a property like Victoria Road you have to have a real vision for the renovation and we pride ourselves in turning around properties such as this one,” explained Richard Stait, director of John Stait and Co.

“A lot of credit has to go to Jason for his ability to produce impressive renovations like Victoria Road.”

Richard says that the process in the case of Number 12 has been helped by their relationship with Dawsons from auctioneer through to vendor.

“During the auction process Dawsons were extremely helpful and when it came to putting the house on the market they seemed the most impressive of the agents we contacted.”

Dawsons have noticed a continuing trend towards buying at auction both from professional and amateur developers.

“Buying and selling at the Dawson’s auction has become more and more popular over the last couple of years. It has become a real growth market,” said Julie Lawry Auction Manager at Dawsons.

“We have noticed a trend where the typical purchaser is now an amateur investor looking for an initial ‘buy to let’ property to finance a long term pension scheme. These purchasers are now competing with the professional investors creating competitive prices in the auction room.

“The unsuccessful professional bidders at the auction are often utilised as project managers because of their in depth experience of renovation and development, this can be invaluable to the new investor.”

From left to right: Laura Waite, Lorraine Evans, Branch Manager, Felicity Curtis, Angie Bastin, Charlie Williams

Estate agents in bedtime charity appeal

From left to right: Laura Waite, Lorraine Evans, Branch Manager, Felicity Curtis, Angie Bastin, Charlie Williams

CHARITABLE staff at Dawsons Estate Agents in Llanelli have raised more than £150 for Children in Need by coming to work in their pyjamas.

The office staff greeted clients wearing onesies and night wear.

Dawsons had looked to make £150 from the day but exceeded expectations by raising £182.35.

Lorraine Evans, Dawsons Branch Manager said: ‘’Dawsons are proud to support BBC Children in Need.

“The team came up with the idea of holding a pyjama day only two days before and managed to pull everything together.

‘’It was a great day and the whole team made a huge effort for a worthy cause. We’d like to thank everyone who donated and we are delighted to have exceeded our target.’’

David Treharne

How will the new EU regulations affect ‘accidental’ landlords in the UK

With many homeowners being left a property in an inheritance or forced to take out a mortgage to buy a second home because they are unable sell their original property, becoming a landlord accidentally is easily done.

Here the UK’s leading independent mortgage broker, Mortgage Advice Bureau, explores how the new EU regulations will affect ‘accidental landlords’ in the UK.

Accidental landlords have in recent years formed a significant proportion of the Private Rental Sector (PRS). Forced into the market since the 2008 recession, a higher than expected percentage now remain through choice.

Ricky Purdy, Director of Lettings at Swansea’s leading estate agent Dawsons, adds: “Financial restraints and commitments in recent years have in these cases eased, with financial benefits and returns from these properties meaning the continued letting is now the preferred option. Accidental landlords are now in many cases purposeful landlords within the PRS.”

Despite their transition from accidental to purposeful landlords, new EU regulations could reinstate pressures felt some years earlier.

“Those who find themselves inadvertently becoming landlords will have to pass new affordability tests – similar to those faced when applying for a residential mortgage. The changes are to be instigated by March 2016, and, similarly to the Mortgage Market Review (MMR), the new rules will see lenders assess both borrowers’ incomes and expenditure in much greater detail to ensure that they can afford a loan,” said David Treharne from Mortgage Advice Bureau.

As accidental landlords do not make a business decision to let their properties out and do it as a result of circumstance, the Government feels that borrowers should still be seen as consumers and need to be covered by an ‘appropriate framework’.

Out of the 1.6 million buy-to-let mortgages currently in existence, a fifth are accounted for by accidental landlords and last year 151,000 buy-to-let mortgages were taken out.

“Under current rules, buy-to-let mortgages do not follow the same regulations as residential mortgages and most are calculated in relation to the amount of rental income that is to be made from the property,” added David.

The EU laws were not originally going to affect the British mortgage market, however, the plans will now form part of the Mortgage Credit Directive (MCD) – a scheme that will be brought in at the same time as the EU regulations in March to regulate other loans that have homeowners’ properties as security.

“Under the new EU rules, affordability will be assessed and it could also mean that older homeowners may not be able to take out a buy-to-let mortgage as lenders often require borrowers to repay the whole loan back before they retire. It is important for those looking to move into the buy-to-let sector as landlords to seek advice from an independent adviser,” concluded David.

Oliver Adair MAB

How will the new loan-to-income cap affect first time buyers?

Increasing house prices, restrictive lending and rising deposits have all been problems faced by first-time buyers in recent years. So, with the new loan-to-income cap now in place, how are newcomers to the market going to be affected?

Here the UK’s leading independent mortgage broker, Mortgage Advice Bureau, reveals how the cap will impact on the currently thriving first time buyer market.

“Recent figures released by the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) showed that first-time buyer numbers were at a six-year high, showing that a once impossible market has rebuilt itself to become a competitive arena once again,” said Oliver Adair from Mortgage Advice Bureau.

“Now, thanks to the Mortgage Market Review (MMR), responsible lending is at the forefront of the industry and each lender has been monitoring their affordability limits closely in light of the recovery of the sector.”

Enforced at the beginning of October, the loan-to-income (LTI) cap began when the Bank of England stated that loans over 4.5 times the income of the buyer must account for no more than 15% of a lender’s new lending total.

“Affordability remains the most important factor when assessing a potential borrower and every lender will have its own procedures to carry out to determine how the caps are implemented,” added Oliver.

Despite the added regulatory changes, the number of first time buyers rose by 27% in the first half of this year, and with the Help to Buy scheme, increasing employment levels and growth in higher loan-to-value lending, the confidence in the market may potentially overpower any effects the LTI cap will have in the coming months.

“The effect of the cap on the market and on the first-time buyer arena in particular will continue to be a topic of discussion until the cap has settled and we can see what difference, if any, it will have made,” concluded Oliver.

For further information please contact Oliver on 07917 146 430 or email olivera@mab.org.uk. Alternatively, please visit www.dawsonsproperty.co.uk

Estate agents raises dough for breast cancer charity

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It was an event that The Great British Bake Off’s Mary Berry would have been proud of.

Independent estate agents Dawsons held a pink bake sale and champagne bar to raise funds for the Breast Cancer Care campaign.

The event was held at Dawsons’ Mumbles branch in aid of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

There were plenty of delicious homemade cupcakes and glasses of bubbly on offer in exchange for a suggested donation.

Pastel pink balloons and bras were displayed in the window to mark the occasion. The staff also visited shops in the Mumbles area to spread the word and raise extra funds.

Breast Cancer Awareness Month exists to help women become better aware of the common symptoms and seek help as early as possible, which increases their chance of survival.

Dawsons representative Julie Elliot said: “We enjoy supporting the Breast Cancer Care campaign. It’s such an easy activity to get involved with and one that we all love to do.

“This year, all the staff are wearing pink as well as selling pink cupcakes and champagne.

“The girls here have even hung their pink bras in the window to raise awareness. They’re all brilliant ways to raise money and have fun at the same time. We’re proud to support such a worthy charity.”

Matthew Hall, Site Manager Hale Construction

Construction company’s award winning Site Manager finishes runner-up at prestigious LABC Awards

Swansea’s largest independent estate agent Dawsons has even more reason to be delighted to act as Preferred Agent for Hale Homes, who have an award winner in their team. Matthew Hall, Site Manager at Hale Construction, finished runner-up at the prestigious LABC Warranty National Site Manager Awards 2014.

Matthew was announced Regional Winner of the LABC (Local Authority Building Control) Awards for Wales, and recently attended the grand finals held on 11th November in London. The latest development managed by Matthew is Bethany Lane, situated just off Mumbles Road.

This site is testament to his great work for Hale Construction, a family-run company that now delivers major construction projects not only for themselves, but also on behalf of companies such as Bluestone National Park Resort, Jehu Group and Waterstone Homes. They also build for various housing associations across the south west Wales region including Grŵp Gwalia, United Welsh Housing Association, Coastal Housing Group and Melin Homes.

“I’m very pleased to have won the regional award and finishing runner-up in the finals is an excellent achievement too! Attending the finals in London was a great honour, and I am very proud to be part of the team at Hale Construction,” said Matthew, who recently ran a 10k race which coincidentally went past the Bethany Lane site. Matthew raised £350 for Crohn’s & Colitis UK and The Brain Tumour Charity.

Bethany Lane consists of 10 individually designed, detached homes of exceptional quality and unrivalled specification. The development has certainly caught the attention of local home buyers as only two five-bedroom properties remain on its first phase release with prices from £625,000. The second phase is due for release in early 2015, which will compriseof a further four individual homes with a bespoke internal build available, depending on build stage at reservation. With easy access to the promenade and just a short stroll from Mumbles, the development occupies an ideal setting.

Matthewwon the award for Hale’s prestigious Harbour View development. Located in the SA1 area of Swansea, the development comprises of 30 three and four-bedroom townhouses, which are all now sold. Poplars Drive in Skewen is another current Hale development. The first phase consists of a range of three and four bedroom houses along with two and three bedroom bungalows. Prices start at £179,950.

Dawsons’ Partner Tim Kostromin commented: “This award is well deserved by Matthew and it is of little surprise knowing the way in which Hale Construction works that this has been awarded to a member of their team.”

To arrange a viewing at Bethany Lane please call Dawsons on 01792 653100 or Ruth Jones from Hale Homes on 01792 462877.

Oliver Adair MAB

How will the new loan-to-income cap affect first time buyers?

Increasing house prices, restrictive lending and rising deposits have all been problems faced by first-time buyers in recent years. So, with the new loan-to-income cap now in place, how are newcomers to the market going to be affected?
Here the UK’s leading independent mortgage broker, Mortgage Advice Bureau, reveals how the cap will impact on the currently thriving first time buyer market.
“Recent figures released by the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) showed that first-time buyer numbers were at a six-year high, showing that a once impossible market has rebuilt itself to become a competitive arena once again,” said Oliver Adair from Mortgage Advice Bureau.
“Now, thanks to the Mortgage Market Review (MMR), responsible lending is at the forefront of the industry and each lender has been monitoring their affordability limits closely in light of the recovery of the sector.”
Enforced at the beginning of October, the loan-to-income (LTI) cap began when the Bank of England stated that loans over 4.5 times the income of the buyer must account for no more than 15% of a lender’s new lending total.
“Affordability remains the most important factor when assessing a potential borrower and every lender will have its own procedures to carry out to determine how the caps are implemented,” added Oliver.
Despite the added regulatory changes, the number of first time buyers rose by 27% in the first half of this year, and with the Help to Buy scheme, increasing employment levels and growth in higher loan-to-value lending, the confidence in the market may potentially overpower any effects the LTI cap will have in the coming months.
“The effect of the cap on the market and on the first-time buyer arena in particular will continue to be a topic of discussion until the cap has settled and we can see what difference, if any, it will have made,” concluded Oliver.
For further information please contact Oliver on 07917 146 430 or email olivera@mab.org.uk. Alternatively, please visit www.dawsonsproperty.co.uk

 

Chris Hope, Dawsons Senior Director

Nationwide survey settles the debate on buying versus renting

According to a recent estate agency survey, with interest rates still at an all-time low at the moment, buying a property is still cheaper than renting one.

Conducted by Relocation Agent Network, of which independent agent Dawsons is a member, the survey revealed that not only is it cheaper to buy, but you could make significant savings. Relocation Agent Network, a national network of independent estate agents, asked its members whether it was cheaper to buy or rent a property over the course of a calendar year. 87.5% said that it was cheaper to buy.

Christopher Hope, Property Partner from Swansea Relocation Agent Network member Dawsons, said, “This survey shows us that buying really is the preferred option when it comes to making cost savings.”

The national survey also looked at the possible savings you could make when buying a property instead of renting.

Based on a three-bedroom house, members were asked what they estimated the annual saving was from buying a property instead of renting. Over a third (33.85%) stated that it was possible to save up to £1,500 a year by purchasing a three-bedroom house instead of renting.

“At Dawsons, we understand that some people are renting because it’s their favoured method. Whilst others simply can’t get onto the property ladder – the so called ‘trapped tenants’ – but we’re here to help and actively guide all our clients through the buying process. Contact us today to discuss your options.”

Are you prepared for the interest rate rise on your mortgage?

David Treharne
David Treharne

For the first time in five years, industry experts have admitted that there is a growing chance that we will see a base rate rise within the next six months. And, after the vote was declared ‘no’ for Scottish independence, some have suggested that there could even be a rise before the end of this year, though this remains unlikely.

Here the UK’s leading independent mortgage broker, Mortgage Advice Bureau, answers the all-important questions on every homeowner and prospective buyer’s lips, giving you the facts you need to decide what to do with your mortgage before interest rates rise.

With these mixed messages surrounding the rise, borrowers are left wondering what would happen if they were to buy a house or remortgage before the end of the year. Considering whether now is the time to fix or remortgage is a question that many are asking in the midst of current market conditions and with rumours of interest rate rises certain to become a reality.

“The obvious answer to that question depends on your individual circumstances and you should always seek advice from a professional adviser when deciding,” said David Treharne from Mortgage Advice Bureau.

“If you are currently running on tight funds and are on a variable rate, then you may find it difficult to manage with any increased monthly payments when rates rise. Remortgaging to a fixed rate will give you the reliability and peace of mind of having to make the same payment each month.”

Those with a low variable rate however, should consider staying with their current mortgage deal if they are able to afford the effect of some of the rate rises to come.

According to a survey carried out by Principality Building Society, only 48% of homeowners in England and Wales know what interest rate they are paying on their current mortgage.

“Taking this into consideration, it is imperative that you prepare in advance when making the choice on what to do. Find out what mortgage deal you are currently on and what interest rate you are currently paying over how many years. Start this process approximately six months ahead of when you are looking at the possibility of changing, rather than leaving it until the last minute when rates have already increased,” concluded David.

For further information please contact David on 07501 720320 or email davidtr@mab.org.uk. Alternatively, please visit www.dawsonsproperty.co.uk

There will be a fee for mortgage advice, which is dependent on your circumstances. The fee is up to 1%, but a typical fee is 0.3% of the amount borrowed.

Swansea & south Wales estate agents blog