Blog Archives

Easter house hunting: how to make it easier to get a mortgage

21.04.2014

Easter is traditionally one of the busiest times of the year for the housing market so if you are house hunting this weekend, it’s worth doing some groundwork beforehand. Property prices are steadily rising, especially in and around London, as there is little stock on the market. This means it is very competitive out there.

There is also growing concern among buyers that the Mortgage Market Review will may make it harder to get your mortgage approved. However, there are some things you can do to help yourself:

1) Get your finances in order:

  • Lenders are now thoroughly checking your expenditure versus your income.
  • Preferably at least three months before starting an application you should rein in your spending.
  • Lenders will be looking to see whether you can still afford your mortgage when interest rates rise.

 

2) Credit check yourself:

  • Check your credit rating with Equifax and Experian, as a poor credit rating can severely dampen your mortgage plans.
  • If there are any mistakes, you can get them corrected.
  • Knowing the full extent of any problems in advance can help brokers tailor their advice accordingly.

 

3) Pay off outstanding debts:

  • Pay off any outstanding debts if you can, as this will maximise the amount you can borrow.

 

4)  Act as though you already have the mortgage:

  • Banks are more concerned with your spending history as opposed to what you say you’ll do in the future.
  • Most lenders will require your past three months pay slips and bank statements to check up on the information you provide.

 

An independent mortgage broker can help with all of these. In our experience, the sooner we speak to a client, the sooner we can give them advice that is tailored to their particular circumstances. While banks offer in-house ‘advisers’, they can only offer you the bank’s products, whereas Anderson Harris can go through all the options.

Adrian Anderson
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Adrian Anderson

New mortgage rules imminent but no need to panic

11.04.2014

The Mortgage Market Review (MMR) is nearly upon us, with the new rules being introduced in a little over a fortnight. However, Anderson Harris has been preparing for these changes and our advisory process already fully complies with the new regulations.

The key difference under the new rules is that lenders will no longer be allowed to lend on a non-advised basis. So whether you go direct to a bank to get a mortgage or via an independent broker, they must adhere to the advisory process set out by the regulator. What hasn’t changed is that banks’ in-house advisers will still only be able to advise on their own limited range of products, so independent advice is vital.

One major concern is that it will take longer to get a mortgage as lenders pore over applications in much greater detail than in the past. The level of supporting documentation will be greater and banks will take a more holistic and rigorous look at affordability. Many banks are already up to speed with these changes and we have successfully guided many clients through the new process already. But if you are in a contract race and need your finance arranged quickly, you will need assistance from a broker to steer the application through in a timely fashion.

The good news is that lending criteria in general remain unchanged across the majority of the market. This means that good applicants have nothing to fear from MMR but getting advice is the most prudent and efficient way of securing the best outcome.

Please get in touch if you have any queries about the new rules or to discuss your mortgage requirements.

Jonathan Harris
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Jonathan Harris

House prices fell in March, but mortgage demand still strong

04.04.2014

House prices dipped by 1.1 per cent in March, according to the latest Halifax House Price Index. However,  this is not presumed to be a sustained decline, with a lack of stock and general volatility thought to be behind the dip.

Monthly house prices figures can be volatile so it would be premature to read too much into this fall in prices in March. Over three months, prices continued to rise so this could well be just a blip.

Lenders still expect a rise in demand in the second quarter of this year, according to the Bank of England credit conditions survey. Although the Mortgage Market Review (MMR) will be introduced later this month, most are already compliant with the new rules so this shouldn’t be too much of an upheaval.

Most lenders are preparing to do more lending this year than last, which suggests that any dip in lending now is not the beginning of a sustained decline.

Halifax believes rising house prices will enable homeowners to move up the property ladder as they take advantage of greater equity, freeing up their homes and creating more movement in the market.

The lack of stock coming to the market is the real issue slowing everything down, with buyers competing at frenzied  open houses and on sealed bids. New homes are being built but they simply can’t be built quickly enough.

Adrian Anderson
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Adrian Anderson