The directors of Anderson Harris are regularly asked for expert commentary in the national press. Below are some of their most recent mentions.
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Growing numbers of homeowners are set to lose their homes if they don’t take action to repay their debts, according to the UK financial regulator. Ideally you would switch to a repayment mortgage but if that is unaffordable, you may want to consider overpaying instead, says Adrian Anderson of Anderson Harris: ‘Most lenders will let you overpay by up to 10 per cent of your mortgage per annum without penalty so set up a direct debit to overpay every month and chip away at the balance.
‘Another option may be to extend your mortgage term, giving you longer to pay the capital back. Speak to your lender to see whether this is possible if you feel you can still afford the monthly payments into retirement. If your lender refuses, seek independent advice to see whether another lender will consider a longer term.
‘Note that another lender will only consider the mortgage if it’s affordable and you have a repayment strategy that it is comfortable with.’
The Independent1st February 2018
Should lenders be doing more to help interest-only borrowers? Jonathan Harris of Anderson Harris, said: ‘Lenders need to give borrowers time and methodology to find a solution to the interest-only problem. Banks don’t want to be foreclosing on clients, especially those past retirement age who will be deemed vulnerable borrowers.
‘Ideally, lenders should be doing more to make proper contact with borrowers but based on volumes, this might not be practical. There is now greater emphasis by lenders to channel advice through mortgage brokers and an attentive and knowledgeable broker will be able to bridge the gap between customer and lender.’
This is Money30th January 2018
Specialist mortgages are thriving, according to Adrian Anderson of Anderson Harris. He said: ‘A professional person such as a solicitor may benefit from one of these mortgages rather than a standard deal because they may get higher loan-to-values and more lenient requirements.’
The Sunday Times28th January 2018
Some lenders are not treating customers well when they are most in need, after a cancer diagnosis, for example. Jonathan Harris of Anderson Harris said: ‘There’s an obligation for providers to be reasonable, responsible and compassionate but each will take a different approach to vulnerable customers.’
The Daily Telegraph16th January 2018
Homeowners aged 55 or over withdrew an estimated £3bn equity from their properties in 2017, the largest annual borrowing ever recorded, according to Key Retirement. However, some lenders have introduced a new policy of charging higher fixed rates to borrowers in certain regions, namely London and the south east, where property prices are higher. Adrian Anderson of Anderson Harris, said: ‘Some companies may feel that London or the south east is quite overheated and there’s more potential for value in other areas of the country. This is all about lenders managing their risk, and this is just one factor they will use to set pricing.
‘But it is frustrating for consumers and I think some will see it as unfair. Lenders have got to be careful the difference doesn’t become too large.’
The Daily Telegraph11th January 2018
House prices rose by just 2.6 per cent last year, according to Nationwide. Jonathan Harris of Anderson Harris, said: ‘The majority of first-time buyers who come to us have some sort of financial assistance from the Bank of Mum and Dad. Getting the deposit together is the biggest challenge for most first-time buyers and even a slowdown in property price growth is not enough to make the difference between being able to get on the property ladder or not, particularly in London.
‘With Nationwide calculating that it would take the typical buyer around eight years to save for a deposit in most regions, rising to nearly a decade in London, that is a lot of saving that needs to be done. and may seem insurmountable for those also juggling higher living costs, poor savings rates and limited salary increases.’
This is Money4th January 2018
More people of retirement age are seeking mortgages, say lenders and brokers, but many are being turned away. Yet Jonathan Harris of Anderson Harris says that with interest rates so low, having a mortgage when you are over 65 is no longer seen as foolish. ‘I have clients in their mid-sixties, which is a bit like being in your mid-fifties a few decades ago, with a property worth £1.5 million and a £500,000 mortgage. They could easily downsize because they have sufficient equity, but aren’t yet ready to. A lot of these people – who have always made their mortgage payments – want to stay in their family homes longer, but they are coming towards the end of their traditional mortgage terms. The banks are saying to them that they need to repay the mortgage. They are not allowing them to extend their mortgages, by say five years.’
The Times30th December 2017
An engaged couple in their twenties ask for advice on whether to overpay their mortgage or keep their spare cash in savings. Jonathan Harris of Anderson Harris, says: ‘Overpaying on the mortgage is a prudent strategy if they can afford it, but one that might be better suited to older borrowers. While it is tempting to overpay in the low-rate climate, Dexter and Maria are young and just starting out. They might be better off keeping their investments within reach and putting them aside for future plans in case they want to move to a bigger, more expensive property or have children. That cash would come in useful.’
The Times16th December 2017
A certain type of mortgage, known as ‘joint mortgage sole proprietor’ allows buyers to borrow together but have only one name on the title deed. Adrian Anderson of Anderson Harris says: ‘This sort of arrangement has been really popular since George Osborne made the changes to the surcharge last year. For first-time buyers, what used to happen a long time ago was banks would just say we’ll use your parents as guarantors. They signed the form, but the banks found it really hard to go after the guarantors, so they began saying your parents needed to be on the mortgage.
‘The parents don’t want to be on the title deed anyway for reasons of capital gains tax, and it’s their child’s first house, so this arrangement could work very well.’
The Daily Telegraph5th December 2017
Are fee-free mortgages worth a look? Adrian Anderson of Anderson Harris says much depends on the size of your mortgage: as a rule of thumb there is a tipping point around the £225,000 mark for a loan-to-value mortgage of 75 per cent on a two-year fix. Longer fixes and other variables may demand a different formula, but the lesson is clear: one cannot draw conclusions about the value of a fee-free deal without comparing it with the overall cost of a cheaper fee-based loan.
The Financial Times1st December 2017