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It estimates that over one million renters in the UK currently receive help with housing costs.

Letting to people who are dependent on benefits has never been easy for landlords but the recent changes to housing benefit seem to have been a step too far for many. Read more

An Improvement in First Time Buyer Numbers!

An Improvement in First Time Buyer Numbers!

The number of first time buyers able to get themselves a footing on the property ladder has been something of a sore point in recent times, with the fall of the market in 2007 and 2008 building a hurdle that many have struggled to battle over ever since.

However a recent survey of lenders  found that their ‘risk appetite’ is returning and they are planning to make mortgages more readily available and hand out more low deposit deals in the coming months.  Read more

High Loan to Value Loans are on the up……

High Loan to Value Loans are on the up……

The boom years have been and gone and most consumers are glad to see the back of crazy deals such as Northern Rock’s 125 per cent ‘Together mortgage.’

But the demise of high loan to value deal of 90 per cent or 95 per cent has hit first time buyers hard along with a boom in house prices lifting the cost of deposit to new height. Read more

Equity Release Hits a High.

Equity Release Hits a High.

It seems that as a nation we are becoming more aware of the shortfalls in pension income, with an increasing number of people finding they are unable to save sufficient funds for the duration of their retirement.

The fact is that the growing cost of day to day living shows no sign of leveling out or subsiding anytime soon. Read more

Are House Prices on the Way Back to Pre Crisis levels?

Are House Prices on the Way Back to Pre Crisis levels?

Recent analysis shows that the number of houses up for sale is the highest since the start of the financial crisis.

According to Rightmove, the property search website, the number of new houses coming on the market is up 22 per cent to more than 11,000 a week.

It appears that Sellers’ asking prices have risen every month this year and current figures reveal that many new sellers are asking around 4.8 per cent more for their homes than they just a year ago.

“Buyers are far, far more confident than they have been for a number of years,” says Karen Eccles, manager of the Beeston estate agency branch of the Nottingham building society.

Current research suggests that Prices rose by 0.3 per cent month on month in July this year to reach a new peak of £253,658 on average.

House prices are rising at their fastest annual rate for nearly three years, according to Halifax one of the UK’s biggest mortgage lenders.

It seems that soaring house prices have added nearly £12,000 to the value of the average home, according to Britain’s biggest online estate agent.

Martin Ellis, Halifax’s chief economist said “Improved confidence in both the housing market and the economy, combined with a shortage of properties available for sale, appear to be pushing up house prices.”

This newfound sense of optimism seems to have come about on the back of the funding for lending scheme which has prompted lenders to respond with bargain borrowing deals.

However, these latest figures will no doubt will fuel concerns that Government efforts to kick start the housing market could lead to a “property bubble”, with mortgage borrowers trying to stretch their finances too far.

Average prices this year are expected to edge up thus marking a 0.8 per cent increase compared with 2012, according to the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR).

The Ernst & Young Item Club is also anticipating a steady improvement in home prices over the next two years with a modest 0.2 per cent increase this year followed by 2.1 per cent next year and 5 per cent in 2015 helped by economic recovery and the jobs outlook.

Simon Rubinsohn, chief economist at the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), whose latest survey showed a marked improvement, says: “If you look at the underlying trend, it certainly suggests that things are picking up in certain parts of the country.”

Therefore, this has all lead to some economists believing that the current recovery in the UK property market is gathering pace, with house prices on track to surpass their pre-financial crisis peak for the first time.

In conclusion all these figures and research are good news for home owners and it appears that there is no sign of the momentum slowing while mortgage approvals are already running at their highest level for more than three and a half years.

The Royal Bank of Scotland’s Lending!

The Royal Bank of Scotland’s Lending!

The Royal bank of Scotland (RBS) required a £45.5 billion public funded bailout back in October 2008, meaning that the government now own 84 per cent of the bank.

In recent months it seems that the current strategy for returning RBS to the private sector has failed and many MP’s therefore believe that the government should consider the possibility of splitting the lender into a good and bad bank. Read more

Buy To Let Fees Remain High.

Buy To Let Fees Remain High.

It appears that the market is skewed towards landlords at the moment as first time buyers are still struggling to get on the property ladder, therefore meaning that more people are being forced to continue as tenants, dubbed by some as ‘generation rent’.

According to the latest Census figures, the proportion of British households renting has increased in the past decade from 31 per cent to 36 per cent. Read more

Remortgaging at Low Levels.

Remortgaging at Low Levels.

Before the credit crunch borrowers were actively encouraged to switch to a better deal every few years, but the tide turned during the recession.

Many borrowers were content to sit on their lender’s cheap standard variable rate (SVR), especially after they plummeted as a result of cuts to the Bank of England’s Base Rate.

However, it now seems that home owners choosing to remortgage currently are able to take advantage of some excellent rates from lenders thanks to the government’s Funding for Lending Scheme which has encouraged competition in the remortgage market.

Therefore some experts expect to see more home owners taking advantage of this over the coming months.

There are now dozens of new deals available at less than 3 per cent interest, which is significantly lower than the average standard variable rate of 4.86 per cent. So while it may not have been worth switching a mortgage a year or so ago, it’s certainly worth checking out the deals on offer now.

Figures from the British Bankers’ Association (BBA), the industry’s trade body, showed that just 13,696 remortgages were approved during January 2013

Although in April this year new figures showed that remortgage lending volumes increased by up to 17 per cent which is up from the £2.9 billion recorded in March to reach £3.3 billion and represent the highest proportion of total lending since October 2012,  according to property services company LMS.

Data has also reveals that two thirds of home owners remortgaging their property did so in order to take advantage of better rates.

Total equity withdrawal from remortgaging stood at £454.5 million in April, up £20.2 million on the £434.3 million figure for March 2013.

However, according to recent figures from the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) remortgaging levels remain muted as last year saw the lowest number of borrowers choosing to refinance since 1997.

In 2012, remortgaging accounted for 316,000 loans worth £41 billion while in 1997 there were 293,000 loans worth £14 billion.

These figures suggest then that remortgaging is at a 15 year low.

This analysis comes despite a flurry of record breaking low mortgage rates and signs that lenders are becoming increasingly willing to grant mortgages.

David Hollingworth of mortgage broker London & Country said “banks were still offering many of the best remortgage deals, so the figures were likely to be a fair reflection of home owners’ appetite for switching loans”.

Mark Harris, chief executive of mortgage broker SPF Private Clients, added “It may

be that some home owners are holding off waiting for rates to fall further before taking the plunge. However, rates should be looked at in a historical context: two year fixes for less than 2 per cent and five year fixes for less than 3 per cent are by far the best rates we have ever seen.”

In conclusion it appears that these particular figures reflect just how dependent the high street lenders are on government support.

Abbey Launches New Mortgage Deals.

Abbey Launches New Mortgage Deals.

Following the success of the funding for lending scheme abbey is the latest lender to cut its rates on a range of mortgage products.

In may this year Abbey for Intermediaries is launched a 1.94 per cent two year fixed rate which was available up to 60 per cent loan to value (LTV) and had a £1,495 fee.  Although this deal was only available for just seven days. Read more

Older Home Owners Raid Savings to pay Their Mortgage.

Older Home Owners Raid Savings to pay Their Mortgage.

Interest only mortgages previously helped millions of people on to the housing ladder but they have more recently become the subject of a regulatory clampdown.

With an interest only mortgage, the borrower agrees to pay off the interest each month but none of the capital, and is expected to make sure he or she has an investment plan in place to pay off the debt at the end of the term. Read more

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