Tag Archives: Mortgage Advice

Oliver Adair MAB

Mortgage prices are at record lows – is now the time to take one out?

Analysts have announced that there may never be a better time to take out a mortgage, with figures showing that rates have nearly halved over the past 12 months.

With lenders in an ongoing mortgage price war as they try and persuade people to choose their mortgage deals over their competitors’, the UK’s leading independent mortgage broker, Mortgage Advice Bureau, looks at how potential borrowers could use the next six months to their advantage when buying a property.

“Swap rates can directly influence the interest rate that you pay on your mortgage, and last year the general consensus was that the Bank of England was going to increase the Bank Rate from its record low of 0.5%, which caused swap rates to increase in preparation. However, this increase never happened which has caused swap rates to tumble back down, thus providing lower interest rates for mortgage deals,” said Oliver Adair from Mortgage Advice Bureau.

“With the market finally beginning to catch-up on the slowed activity from last year and house prices continuing to increase, there is an air of confidence around lenders, hence the raft of cuts.”

Banks and building societies are also finding that they have surplus money due to the Funding for Lending Scheme. Launched in 2012, the Funding for Lending Scheme originally allowed banks and building societies to borrow cheaply from the Bank of England on the condition that they then use some of the money to offer mortgages to homebuyers, though it is now focused on funding lending to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).

“With the current low level of inflation and the Bank of England concerned that lifting the Bank Rate would destabilise Britain’s ongoing recovery, it is looking increasingly more likely that interest rates will not increase until sometime in 2016,” explains Oliver. “This leaves lenders to fight amongst themselves in a thriving market full of previously struggling homebuyers hoping to take advantage of the low rates.”

The war will continue and fixed-rate deals may well stay at their record low rates for the coming months, alongside typical variable rates that have halved over the past 12 months, and five-year fixes that could go below 2%.

Oliver added, “The rate war is showing no sign of dwindling any time soon and with various new lenders entering the market, competition is heating up. Over the next few weeks, rates could reach levels that may not be seen again for an extremely long time. But the question is – what’s next for interest rates?”

We currently sit at 0% inflation – teetering on the edge of deflation. Bank of England Governor, Mark Carney, announced at a conference in Frankfurt last week that the next move for interest rates will be up, but chief UK economist at IHS Global Insight added that a likely rate increase won’t occur before the early months of 2016.

“Whilst it is looking like low rates may be around for the next few months at least, they could vanish as quickly as they appeared so it is important that you seek the advice of a professional mortgage adviser who can give you advice specific to your circumstances,” concluded Oliver.

Treherne

What does a Conservative government mean for housing?

So, the Conservatives have won the majority vote in Parliament and David Cameron is set to return to Downing Street as Prime Minister once again. But after this

somewhat surprising victory, how will homeowners, prospective buyers and landlords stand to benefit from the refreshed government?

Amid all of the parties’ manifestos, first-time buyers found themselves at the helm of attention. Labour pledged to give first-time buyers priority on new homes built for a period of two months and the Liberal Democrats proposed a ‘Rent to Own’ scheme where first-time buyers built up shares in their homes through renting.

The party that matters though is the Conservatives. David Treharne of Mortgage Advice Bureau looks at what the Tories plan on bringing to the table.

What have they proposed?

Their flagship policy, albeit a controversial one in the industry, is the expansion of the Right to Buy scheme which will see tenants of housing association properties receive huge discounts, allowing them to consider purchasing their homes.

1.3 million tenants could qualify for discounts of 35 per cent up to a maximum of 70 per cent up to a maximum of £102,700 in London and £77,000 across the rest of the country.

Help to Buy ISA

Announced in the Budget in March, come the autumn, hopeful and prospective homeowners will receive a Help to Buy “savings account” that will see the government top up £50 for every £200 saved towards a deposit, up to a maximum of £3,000.

Aspiring homeowners under a Conservative government would have access to a Help to Buy Isa, which would top up £50 for every £200 saved towards a deposit, up to a maximum top-up of £3,000. This was announced in the March Budget.

Only available for the next four years and being introduced in the autumn, the new savings account will only be available to consumers who are yet to buy their first home and will have no limit to how long people can use the accounts for.

First-time buyers based in London will be able to use the savings to buy properties worth up to £450,000, whilst the rest of the UK will see a ceiling of £250,000.

Discount homes for first-time buyers

David Cameron has pledged to offer up to 100,000 new homes to first-time buyers under the age of 40 at a discount of 20 per cent.

The ‘starter homes’ initiative has been created to encourage home ownership among young buyers and to boost construction of new homes by building on brownfield land – land previously used for commercial uses or industrial purposes.

While this means that, if you qualify, you will be able to afford a property that you would have previously struggled to, it should be noted that you will not be able to sell the home at full market price for five years after you purchase it.

A London Land Commission will also help release brownfield land owned by the public sector in the capital for building by promising a £1bn brownfield regeneration fund to unlock sites for around 400,000 homes.

With the general election now over and done with, new policies from the Conservatives will be coming through thick and fast which is why it is important to speak to a professional mortgage adviser who will have the latest information to help you through the mortgage process.

Treherne

First-time buyers to receive help with deposit for first home

In light of the 2015 Budget, David Treharne of Mortgage Advice Bureau discusses the new Help to Buy savings accounts announced by Chancellor George Osborne.

First-time buyers will get £50 for every £200 they save towards a deposit for their first home.

Announced in the budget, first-time buyers are to receive a new ‘Help to Buy ISA’, which will see the government add £50 to every £200 buyers manage to save towards a deposit.

Only available for the next four years and being introduced in the autumn, the new savings account will only be available to consumers who are yet to buy their first home and will have no limit to how long people can use the accounts for.

The account will also be available per person rather than per home, which means that couples looking to buy their first home will receive double the amount.

The accounts will come with no minimum monthly payment, though it should be noted that a maximum of £200 can only be saved in a month. The government has also capped the bonus they will pay in at £3,000.

First-time buyers based in London will be able to use the savings to buy properties worth up £450,000, whilst the rest of the UK will see a ceiling of £250,000.

An example of how the scheme could work was given by the chancellor George Osborne delivering his Budget: “A 10 per cent deposit on the average first home costs £15,000, so if you put in up to £12,000 – we’ll put in up to £3,000 more.

“A 25 per cent top-up is equivalent to saving for a deposit from your pre-tax income – it’s effectively a tax cut for first time buyers. We’ll work with industry so it’s ready for this autumn and we’ll make sure you can start saving for it right now.”

Head of lending at Mortgage Advice Bureau, Brian Murphy, believes that the Help to Buy ISA is a: “crowd-pleasing move and another sign of greater commitment to improving accessibility in the housing market.

“First time buyers will welcome the measure. But in many cases, their next step will be to ask which of the many schemes and incentives on offer is the best suited to their needs?

“Offering the savings bonus on purchases worth up to £250,000 outside London or £450,000 in the capital looks far more sensible than the maximum £600,000 limit that currently applies to house purchases through the Help to Buy equity loan or mortgage guarantee.

“The £600,000 cap has proved unnecessary for the vast majority of homebuyers using either scheme to secure a mortgage. The new ISA is a welcome innovation – but the fact that different rules and timescales exist for the various elements of Help to Buy has the potential to cause confusion, and first-time buyers will want to understand how they work in tandem.

“We are sure to see more pre-election policy ideas to support first time buyers, and politicians must work closely with industry to ensure new measures are as clear and accessible to first time buyers as possible.

“Anyone confronting the array of choices is likely to find that expert advice is essential to make headway and ease their path towards homeownership.”

David Treharne is from Mortgage Advice Bureau – for further information call: 07501 720320 E mail: davidtr@mab.org.uk or visit: www.dawsonsproperty.co.uk

David Treharne

As the government introduces 100,000 new homes, could the Starter Home initiative be your ticket to an affordable first time buy?

Since the credit crunch of 2008, housebuilding has notoriously wilted. It is no secret that, whilst the number of new homes in construction has slowly improved since then, the market is still some way off where it really needs to be.

Here the UK’s leading independent mortgage broker, Mortgage Advice Bureau, explores how the new government scheme will help first-time buyers in the New Year.

“Although there are no quick fixes, increasing the supply of homes on the market needs to be a focus in 2015 if conditions are to improve, specifically for first-time buyers. This is why the new Starter Home initiative announced by the Prime Minister on the 15th December should be welcomed with open arms,” said David Treharne from Mortgage Advice Bureau.

As part of the push to help people onto the property ladder, the Starter Home scheme will offer new homes with 20% discounts to 100,000 first-time buyers. New home builders currently face an average bill of £15,000 in Section 106 affordable housing contributions and tariffs when building properties, often adding tens of thousands to the final cost of a property.

However, under the scheme, which starts early this year, the properties will be built on under-used land, which will allow developers to build the homes free from any planning costs or levies thus lowering the price.

David added, “The homes will not be able to be resold at full market value for a fixed period of time which means that the savings should then be passed onto the next home buyers. The scheme is exclusive to first-time buyers who are under the age of 40. Prospective homeowners who are interested in the initiative will be asked to register from the beginning of this month – six months earlier than originally planned.”

Increasing the supply of housing is not a simple process, but by bringing forward more available land whilst assisting first-time buyers at the same time, the scheme is certainly another positive move by the government in an attempt to combat the shortage.

Saying this, the initiative will not solve the housing crisis on its own. The initiative should be viewed as another short-term solution that has been brought in to bring brownfield land back into use in a way that will provide an almost instant relief to the market by increasing the number of available homes, something that is so desperately needed.

“What the next government plan to do to attempt to end the crisis is yet to be seen, but in the current climate this scheme should be seen as a helping hand in what is currently a severe problem throughout the UK market,” concluded David.

To find out more information about the Starter Home initiative is it advised that you seek independent mortgage advice from a professional financial adviser.

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

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

 

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

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.