Number of mortgages for UK first time buyers doubles in three years

Published by Property Wire on Tuesday, 02 June 2015
houses02The number of mortgage products available to first time buyers in the UK has doubled in the last three years, while rates have dropped by 1%, new research shows.

Since 2012 the number of 95% mortgages available has increased by 448%, according to a study from online comparison site MoneySuperMarket.

But the firm says that first time buyers should always be mindful of the whole cost of a mortgage and not be lured by a headline rate.

The number of overall mortgage products …

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Update on mandatory licencing

Published by Landlord Today on Friday, 29 May 2015 by Emma Lunn
New information has come to light about the Government’s plans to licence landlords.

In a speech last week, Prime Minister David Cameron called for a new licensing scheme to tackle landlords who “cram” their houses full of illegal immigrants and powers to make it easier for landlords to evict tenants in private rented housing.

There was widespread concern that this meant that a new licensing scheme would be introduced for all landlords in England.

However, the National Landlords Association …

Co-op Bank offer lowest ever fixed rate mortgage

Published by Money Expert on Tuesday, 05 May 2015
Last Friday saw the lowest fixed rate mortgage ever offered in the UK go on sale. The deal offered a rate of 1.09% that is fixed for two years.

This new deal is the latest punch thrown in the mortgage price war that has been raging for some time. Back in April, HSBC started offering a fixed rate of 1.99% for five years – representing a landmark low for that length of an arrangement.

The director of mortgage broker Anderson Harris has said: …

General Election 2015: The property market is freaking out

Published by City A.M. on Tuesday, 05 May 2015 by Emma Haslett
The property market is terrified of Labour-led government, one of the UK’s largest property search websites has suggested, thanks to the prospect of falling house prices and rising interest rates.

According to Zoopla, Labour’s policies on the housing market, which include giving councils the power to double council tax on homes left empty for a year and giving first-time buyers priority access to new homes, will “make UK property a generally less attractive investment”.

Labour has also pledged to introduce a mansion tax on homes worth more than £2m, although it will also abolish stamp duty for first-time buyers.

But today Zoopla said …

Damp is number one turn off for UK house hunters

Published by Property Wire on Friday, 03 April 2015
A bit of Dump?Damp, poor maintenance and a lack of parking top the list of UK house hunters’ biggest turn-offs, according to new research which is published as the spring house season begins.

Damp patches staining walls and ceilings are the biggest problem for potential home buyers according to a new survey commissioned by Gocompare home insurance.

It found that 67% of people would be deterred from buying a property which showed signs of damp. Others include poor maintenance, wooden windows, no garden, stone cladding and nasty odours.

Some 60% would be put off by windows being rotten or in a poor state of repair, 55% by no parking, 54% by no garden, and 53% by smells caused by pets, damp, food and cigarettes. Some 53% would also be put off by unfinished building work.

Poor natural light and dark rooms …

Government backtracks on offices-to-homes plan

Published by Financial Times on Thursday, 26 March 2015 by Kate Allen, Property Correspondent
Plans to extend developers’ right to convert offices into homes have been abandoned by the government after a backlash led by central London boroughs, business leaders and London mayor …

UK commercial property rental value reaches highest growth since 2007

Published by Property Wire on Wednesday, 11 February 2015
UK commercial property markets have recorded their highest rental value growth since the third quarter of 2007, a new report from real estate firm CBRE shows.

Of 1,022 locations monitored, some 16% showed an increase in rental value but prime yields fell by an average of 8 basis points and the UK All Property average currently stands at 5.6%, with 35% of locations recording falling yields.

In 2014 total prime rental value growth was 3.8%, up from 2.8% in 2013, with the rate increasing steadily over the last 12 months. The average prime yield recorded a fall of 41 basis points over 2014, compared to 32 bps in 2013, and the combination of continued falls in yields and strengthening rental value growth resulted in capital value growth of 11.8% for 2014.

‘During 2014 we have seen …

Buy-to-let panel blasts Labour’s rental pledge

Published by Mortgage Introducer on Tuesday, 03 March 2015 by Ryan Bembridge
The panel at Paragon’s Great Buy-to-let Debate included David Whittaker, managing director of Mortgages for Business, and Paragon’s managing director John Heron.

Labour has pledged to ‘make rent increases more predictable’ by changing the law so three year tenancies are the norm, while the party also wants to place an ‘upper ceiling on any rent increase’ every year.

But Whittaker said: “It’s totally the wrong solution. It ignores the fact there is a direct linkage between the capital value of the property and the rental value.

“It interferes with certain …

Two cheers for Cameron’s housing speech

Published by Conservative Home on Monday, 02 March 2015 by Mark Wallace
terraceIn recent months, we’ve asked a number of times what the Conservatives are offering to young voters. In the ConHome manifesto the top priorities in policy terms are Homes, Jobs and Savings, but within each we urged policymakers to focus their attentions particularly on those who are worst off, with the most limited opportunities. Very often in modern Britain those people are the young, and we should address their needs.

It’s a healthy thing to do electorally, as well as socially. Two fallacies plague the debate about generational politics. First, simply pointing to low turnout rates among younger people as a justification for not doing much for them is a self-fulfilling prophecy. Inaction on the part of politicians is only going to reinforce the idea that there’s no point in voting, …

Read More …

Is buy-to-let regulation the answer to the housing crisis?

Published by The Economic Voice on Monday, 02 March 2015 by Ben Gosling
In October 2014, the Bank of England requested the power to place limits on both buy-to-let and residential mortgage lending. By using so-called ‘powers of direction’, the Bank’s Financial Policy Committee (FPC) hoped to be able to direct financial sector regulators to place limits on loan-to-value and debt-to-income / interest coverage ratios granted by lenders [1].

The government released proposals to grant the FPC this legally enforceable power with respect to the residential market, but said that it would “consult separately” on the buy-to-let market in 2015 [2]. This month, it emerged that this consultation would likely not take place until after the general election [3].

What is the case for limiting buy-to-let lending? …