Blog Archives

The return of the first-time buyer


The latest house-price index from Nationwide building society reveals that annual growth is buoyant at 8.8 per cent, supported by a broader regional recovery. Crucially, first-time buyers accounted for 44 per cent of lending activity in January, which is vital to the health of the housing market as it means existing homeowners can move up the housing ladder.

Meanwhile, the Land Registry reports that the housing market is growing annually at a more muted rate of 4.4 per cent. Yet this data carries a time lag as it is based on a much bigger sample base of completed purchases, which can often be three months after the sale of the property.

The data shows that while the mortgage and housing markets are improving, it is a cautious recovery. First-time buyers are returning to the market but also putting down higher deposits, while more mortgages are being taken on a repayment basis and over a longer term. These developments are out of necessity as it is a much tougher mortgage market than it was before the credit crisis.

Many of these first-time buyers will be getting help from the Bank of Mum and Dad; others will be taking advantage of Help to Buy. It is essential to seek advice as to the best course of action: get in touch to see how we can help with independent mortgage advice.

Adrian Anderson
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Adrian Anderson

Mortgage market continues to grow, says Bank of England


Mortgage approvals for house purchases rose to a 70-month high in November, up 33 per cent from a year earlier, according to the latest Trends in Lending Survey from the Bank of England.

Our ability to source mortgages for our clients, whether that be for people who are staying put and remortgaging, or getting onto the housing ladder, continues to grow. 

Mortgage pricing is more competitive

Mortgage rates at 75 per cent loan-to-value fell significantly between June 2012 and early 2013, partly boosted by the Funding for Lending Scheme. While the plug has been pulled on this initiative with the money now to be directed towards small businesses rather than individuals, many banks have not lent all their funds so we expect to see a continuation of competitive mortgage rates.

Borrowers are not stressing out

The Bank of England also reported that mortgage arrears fell  slightly in 2013. The buy-to-let market is also looking resilient with little change to arrears, although fears remain this balance could shift when interest rates start to rise.

If you are are considering remortgaging, moving or getting on the housing ladder for the first time, get in touch for more advice as to the right deal for your circumstances.

Jonathan Harris
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Jonathan Harris

Navigating the property and mortgage maze in London and the South East


Anderson Harris was delighted to be quoted on the front page of the Evening Standard this week, discussing the fact that the price of homes in London is increasing at a faster pace than earnings.

London is witnessing growth of a whopping 11.6 per cent per annum, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), double the UK average growth rate. London continues to be the real driver of house prices. This is down to its international status, with overseas money coming into London, attracted by a relatively weak sterling. But London is also considered a safe haven with a steady political system at its core.

London is not just about oligarchs parking several millions of pounds in cash here, it is also about families wanting their offspring to attend London schools. The banking sector has also picked up and is providing a fillip to the market. In London, mortgage-seekers need to be able to move quickly to compete in this type of environment.

The regions are becoming more buoyant too. In the south east, there is a growing number of UK-based buyers who have been ousted from the London property market and have to look further afield. This provides a halo effect on prices.

First-time buyers are finding that house prices are rising faster for them than for homeowners who are moving up the ladder. This situation has been partly fuelled by more availability of higher loan-to-value mortgages for first-time buyers, enabling more of them to get onto the property ladder. This is creating greater levels of price competition. As house prices increase, lenders are matching this with higher loan to values. All this might tighten up a bit post 26th April when the Mortgage Market Review is introduced, but that will take a while to filter through to the mortgage market and we might see its effects more towards the end of 2014.

With the latest news on inflation falling in November, this means there is less pressure on a potential interest rate rise. However if you want help in understanding how to move quickly to secure a loan in London, or guidance on which lender is offering the best LTV mortgages to suit your circumstances, please get in touch.

Click here to read the Evening Standard article

Adrian Anderson
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Adrian Anderson

Why fixing your mortgage might be the best resolution you make


The economy is in recovery mode with unemployment falling faster than predicted and growing confidence in the housing market. But while welcome, this is leading to fears that interest rates will rise sooner rather than later.

The repositioning of Funding for Lending Scheme monies away from individual mortgages towards small businesses is also fuelling concerns that this will push up mortgage rates.

But it’s important not to panic. While we don’t expect interest rates to rise this year because the economic recovery is still extremely tentative, rock-bottom mortgage rates can only really move in one direction – upwards. However, a bit of forward planning and reviewing your finances – and when better to do this than at the start of a new year? – will ensure you don’t pay more than you need to.

Many of our clients are particularly interested in five-year fixed rates. These give security for the medium term but ensure borrowers don’t have to lock in for too onerous a period. There are some excellent fixes available, with rates starting from 2.69% (4.2% APR). Alternatively, if you prefer a base-rate tracker, rates start from 1.49% (3.6% APR).

It is important to chat through the options to ensure you get the right mortgage for your circumstances. Even if you have several months to go until the end of your current deal, it is not too early to start looking around. It may be possible to secure a rate several months before you need it, depending on the lender. If mortgage rates have risen by then you will be very glad you did so.

Contact us for more details.

Jonathan Harris
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Jonathan Harris