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mortgage prisoners

FCA’s new rules will free mortgage prisoners

Barriers that stop “mortgage prisoners” moving on to a better deal are to be removed. The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) is introducing new rules to allow lenders to apply a different affordability assessment for customers. Stricter affordability criteria Tighter rules around affordable borrowing were introduced after the 2008 financial crash. As a result, some homeowners whose financial circumstances have changed are stuck paying a much higher rate of interest on their home loan. The FCA’s latest move to free up mortgage prisoners will mean those who meet certain criteria can move on to a better deal with lower repayments. The Read more…

Young renters still optimistic over home ownership

People living in rented accommodation are not optimistic home ownership, according to a new study from Halifax and YouGov. Their research revealed that three out of every 10 private renters thinks they’ll be renting for life. But more than half of those in the 18-24-year-old age group are more optimistic about their chances of buying a property than those aged between 35 and 44. More women dream of buying than men Meanwhile, a study of first-time buyers by specialist lender Aldermore has revealed that women dream of home ownership more than men. However, the female of the species is less Read more…

home ownership
national parks price premium

£128k price premium on national park living

Be prepared to pay a hefty price premium to live in a national park. Research by Lloyds Bank has revealed that a home inside a national park in England or Wales will cost on average 11 times local earnings. That equates to an extra £127,839 you’d have to be willing to pay to buy a home in a national park compared to one nearby. Park homes’ value on the up According to Lloyds, the value of homes in a national park have risen by 4 percent in the last year alone. The Lloyds data has an average home in England Read more…

Over 55s missing out on advice on securing best mortgage deals

Older homeowners are potentially paying too much on their mortgage repayments because they’re not getting advice on better deals. The Legal & General Mortgage Club has revealed that 94 percent of those over the age of 55 with a mortgage haven’t switched their loan in the last five years. And with more than half (52 percent) on a variable product rather than a competitive fixed-rate deal, they could be paying well over the odds for their mortgage. Advisers can identify best mortgage deals The Legal & General Mortgage Club has been running for more than 25 years and is now Read more…

mortgage deals
reservation agreement

Home reservation agreement aims to end gazumping

Home reservation agreements are to be trialled in England early next year in a bid to end the practices of gazumping and gazundering. The Government wants to make it harder for buyers and sellers to pull out of a deal to buy a property. Harder for both parties to pull out No property transaction is secure in England until contracts are exchanged. The buyer can withdraw their offer or the seller can change their mind about what’s on the table. That can often leave a deal on a knife edge and open the door to gazumping or gazundering. Gazumping happens Read more…

Think-tank calls for stamp duty reform to kickstart housing market

Radical reform of stamp duty can help revitalise the housing market and encourage developers to build more homes. That’s the view of a new report from the think-tank, the Centre for Policy Studies (CPS). The report has been written by CPS head of policy Alex Morton, a former adviser to David Cameron. In it, he suggests raising the threshold for Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) to £500,000 would have “dynamic effects” on revenue and new homes. Stamp duty reform hot political topic SDLT currently raises around £5.1 billion every year from property and land sales in England, the duty being Read more…

stamp duty cost
equity release

Equity release growing choice for single homeowners

The UK’s ageing homeowners are increasingly turning to equity release to access the wealth in their property. The latest market report from the Equity Release Council reveals a 6 percent annual rise in equity release customers. Couples are frequently more likely to use financial products to access their property’s worth. But, interestingly, a rising number of single people are now going down the same route. Ageing homeowners access property wealth According to the council’s figures, 64 percent of owner-occupiers in the UK are now aged 65-plus. The figures show the nation’s homeowners are ageing. And, as a result, more owner-occupiers Read more…

Government wants digital revolution in property sector

A digital revolution could be on its way to the property technology (PropTech) sector. Housing Minister Esther McVey says PropTech companies will be able to access local data to help improve the way property and land is bought and sold. These firms are developing tools to change how developers and builders find and access land. And they are also exploring new ways to involve local communities in planning new homes. Transforming how we buy and sell a home Ms McVey hosted a roundtable discussion of more than 700 participants from the sector this week. She told them: “We’ve had revolutions Read more…

Property technology sector
broadband speed

Speedy broadband more essential to house hunters than cupboards

We all have different priorities when it comes to looking for a new home. For some, it’s all about location. For others, price is king. Now new research has revealed what UK home buyers really want when they go property hunting – and a fast broadband connection and a good local pub are high on the list of wants. Broadband a priority Broadband provider Hyperoptic asked home movers their priorities when looking for a new place to live. More bedrooms was the biggest priority along with that speedy internet connection and being close to a decent pub. Having a bigger Read more…

Reservation agreement could improve property buying process

Home buyers in England may soon have to sign a reservation agreement when a seller accepts their offer on a property. In the current system, an offer can be withdrawn until contracts are exchanged. That puts transactions at risk of collapsing, which happens to a third of all sales in England and Wales every year. End risk of transaction collapsing Introducing a reservation agreement would end that risk. It would also put a stop to the practices of gazumping and gazundering. In gazumping, a seller accepts a higher bid close to completion that cuts out the one who made the Read more…

reservation agreement
Solar panels on new-build homes

New-build homes to meet higher green standards

New-build homes in England will have to meet rigorous new green standards as part of a Government pledge to tackle climate change. The Future Homes Standard will outlaw the installation of gas boilers in new-build homes from 2025. Heating systems will instead use the latest generation of clean technology such as air source heat pumps and solar panels. Planning system overhaul for new-build homes A consultation on a new blueprint for overhauling the planning system will also be launched. Its aim is to produce a simpler, fairer system that benefits everyone involved, from homeowners to developers. And the Government announced Read more…

£4.5k penalty for failing to switch mortgage

Failing to switch at the end of a fixed-rate mortgage deal costs UK homeowners almost £4,500 a year, but remortgaging could save thousands. The increased repayments add up to an extraordinary extra £9 billion paid unnecessarily. Homeowners often don’t move to another fixed-rate deal but instead go on to their lender’s standard variable rate (SVR). 1 in 4 paying high price Online mortgage broker Trussle looked into the high financial costs of not switching. Its research revealed one in four borrowers goes on to the standard variable rate after a fixed-rate deal lapses. A 60 percent loan on a loan Read more…

cash
stamp duty cost

Stamp duty reform can kick-start property market

Stamp duty reform could bring another 130,000 homes on to the property market every year. Raising the threshold at which the tax – officially known as Stamp Duty Land Tax – is paid would also boost the UK economy by around £6 billion, according to online estate agent Purplebricks. Purplebricks has called on Prime Minister Boris Johnson to implement the changes to stamp duty that he floated during his run to becoming leader of the Conservative Party this summer. Changes would increase activity Mr Johnson had suggested raising the stamp duty threshold from its current lowest level of £125,000 to Read more…

stamp duty

Mortgage lifeline for zero hours workers

Those who work on zero hours contracts have been offered a mortgage lifeline by HSBC. The banking giant has reviewed its mortgage and remortgage documentation and relaxed certain conditions that will benefit those who work without the safety of a fixed contract. Freelancers and zero hours workers are among those who have found it tougher when applying for a mortgage or remortgage, particularly since UK lenders toughened up their lending criteria. Making it easier to move up housing ladder HSBC’s review of its criteria aims to make it easier for those who don’t have permanent employment to get on or Read more…

Bank of England keeps interest rates low

Interest rates are expected to stay low thanks to continued uncertainty over Brexit. The knock-on effect of that is mortgage interest rates will also stay low. The Bank of England’s monetary policy committee met on September 19 and agreed to keep the base rate at 0.75 percent, maintaining the historically low rates that have now been the norm for more than a decade. Good news for home movers That’s good news for those intending to move home who have secured their mortgage and are now looking for conveyancing quotes. The committee did warn that interest rates may have to rise Read more…

fees
mortgage finder

Revealed: best places for newbuild home buyers

Buyers looking to purchase a newbuild property in the UK will take almost 15 months to save for the 10 percent deposit required. New research shows that the average newbuild costs £295,950. Based on an average take-home monthly salary of £1,993, buyers would need 14.9 months to put away the minimum 10 percent deposit of £29,595. Durham takes top spot Stone Real Estate, which sells new homes, looked at the cost of buying a brand-new home in 50 UK cities. The results reveal that Durham is the place where buyers would need the shortest time to pull a deposit together. Read more…

Digital signatures could speed up conveyancing

Buying and selling property could be speeded up with the use of electronic signatures. The Law Commission has confirmed that electronic signatures on contracts are as valid as a handwritten signature. That means conveyancing solicitors could use digital technology to make the process of buying and selling property more efficient and potentially faster for those involved in the transaction. Confidence in technology A report from the Law Commission aims to dispel any myths that digital marks are not legally valid so both legal personnel and their clients can be confident in using electronic signatures to complete a property sale or Read more…

sign
compare conveyancing quotes

Halifax’s Family Boost mortgage aims to help more 1st-time buyers

First-time buyer deposits have risen by an extraordinary 52 percent in the last decade. That means newcomers to home ownership will have to find the biggest deposit since 2009. However, despite the rising cost of becoming a homeowner, the number of newbies purchasing their first home has more than doubled in the same time period. Average deposit doubles in decade New data from the Halifax revealed there have been more than 170,000 first-time buyers in 2019, more than double the 72,180 first-time buyers in 2009. According to the lender, the average deposit for a first-time buyer is now £41,099, up Read more…

Commuters spend 492 days over lifetime travelling to work

British commuters spend the equivalent of a year and a half of their lives travelling to and from work. And the cost of all that travel is a hefty £37,399. Almost half of all commuters actually enjoy the journey into work with one in 20 telling Lloyds Bank’s How Britain Lives study that they love the daily commute. East Midlands best region for travelling The study, carried out with YouGov, quizzed those who have to travel to work on their daily journey, the time it takes and its cost, revealing British workers spend more than 10 days (251 hours) travelling Read more…