The directors of Anderson Harris are regularly asked for expert commentary in the national press. Below are some of their most recent mentions.
If you are a journalist and require comment, please contact Melanie Bien at Bien Media on 07875 175357 or email@example.com.
Jonathan Harris of Anderson Harris advises a Times reader who wants to buy a house. ‘Thomas is tempted by an investment property, but it is difficult for a first-time buyer to get a buy-to-let mortgage. Only a few lenders allow this and they have increased stress tests on income, and a bigger deposit is required.
‘If Thomas has a parent who may be able to help, he should explore options such as Barclays’ Family Springboard mortgage. A parent puts the equivalent of 10 per cent of the purchase price into a savings account with Barclays, enabling Thomas to borrow up to 100 per cent of the property value (Barclays allows up to 5.5 times income). After three years the parent gets their money back.
‘Shared ownership is another option; Thomas would buy a share in the property and pay rent on the remainder so a smaller deposit is required. As his income increases, he could ‘staircase’ up to owning 100 per cent of the property. Shared ownership can be a better option than the equity loan because it has been around for longer so there are more of these properties for sale. There are rules and criteria that need to be met, which could restrict the area he could buy in.’
The Times2 September 2017
Specialist lender Retirement Advantage has launched equity release for landlords. Older borrowers may struggle to qualify for ordinary buy-to-let so for landlords in this position, equity release could be an alternative. Adrian Anderson of Anderson Harris, says: ‘The minimum age for applicants is 55-years-old which is low, but the lender will only lend around 9 per cent loan-to-value to someone that age as interest would potentially compound over a very long period otherwise.
‘Older borrowers can borrow higher LTVs; a 70-year-old can borrow around 24 per cent while an 80-year-old can borrow around 34 per cent.
‘We believe this product will be targeted at those in their seventies and beyond as this is where conventional buy-to-let lenders do not tend to accept new applicants. The maximum age of a borrower is 90 – again, most buy-to-let lenders would not contemplate lending to someone this old.’
This is Money31 August 2017
Growing numbers of homeowners are building upwards or digging downwards to create more space and taking out a second charge loan to pay for it. Jonathan Harris at Anderson Harris says the increased loan is very likely to be offset by the extra value that the extension/conversion etc should add to the property. He adds: ‘Even if you have sufficient cash reserves, there is an argument for borrowing the money when mortgage rates are at record lows, and hanging on to your savings.’
Most borrowers initially approach their existing lender to see if it will stump up the funds but, says Harris, in the current climate of record low rates it may pay to shop around and see if you could benefit by remortgaging on to a cheaper product for your whole mortgage.
The Guardian26 August 2017
It can be more advantageous to apply for a mortgage in a couple than as a singleton. Jonathan Harris of Anderson Harris, said: ‘Most lenders will consider all household income so a joint application where both applicants are earning is usually more advantageous than a sole application.
‘Some lenders will consider five times joint income which will generally secure higher loan sizes than a sole application.’
Mail Online25 August 2017
Such is the struggle to get on the housing ladder that unmarried couples are pooling their resources to do so. Adrian Anderson of Anderson Harris warns that there are potential pitfalls. ‘What happens when one of you wants your money back and one of you does not? It is highly likely that you needed both incomes to support the mortgage, so one of you leaving will likely require a sale, at which point you may be back where you started.’
The Times12 August 2017
The number of mortgages in arrears dropped by 88,200 in the second quarter of 2017, according to UK Finance. Jonathan Harris of Anderson Harris, said: ‘It is vital that borrowers keep their lender in the loop if they are struggling with their mortgage. The data shows that lenders are being flexible and showing forbearances but it is much easier and less stressful to come up with solutions early on than further down the line when the options may be much more limited.’
The Daily Express10 August 2017
Concern has been expressed at the length of mortgages being taken out now, with 35-year terms accounting for more than 15 per cent of new loans in the first three months of this year, which means homeowners are saddled with more debt for longer. Jonathan Harris of Anderson Harris says greater stress testing means those who borrow high multiples of their income will only be able to do so ‘if everything else stacks up’.
The Observer8 August 2017
While mortgage pricing has remained unchanged since January for those with a large amount of equity, for those with 5 per cent deposits, the situation has worsened. Jonathan Harris of Anderson Harris, says: ‘Lenders should try to keep their pricing consistent across all LTV bands and allow first-time buyers to benefit from the cheapest mortgage environment we have ever had.’
The Times5 August 2017
What can you do if you don’t have a plan to repay your interest-only mortgage? Adrian Anderson of Anderson Harris says that you could consider overpaying each month: ‘Speak to your lender to see whether this is possible if you feel that you can afford the repayments into retirement. If your lender refuses, seek advice; another lender may consider it.’
The Times5 August 2017
One in six borrowers are now taking out a mortgage lasting 35 years or more, according to the Bank of England. Jonathan Harris, director of Anderson Harris, said the traditional 25-year mortgage was a ‘thing of the past’.
The Daily Mail31 July 2017