Once again, the weekend press focused on the ongoing credit crunch and the issues facing first-time buyers and existing homeowners. The set-up costs involved in first-time house purchase were top of the agenda, hinting that now is not the time to buy unless you really have to. The Mail on Sunday stated that uncertainty over house prices and higher mortgage costs are forcing first-time buyers and movers to wait. It advised potential investors to think carefully about any purchase and about the type of mortgage product they require. Those with concerns over the outlook for the economy and interest rates should consider fixed-rate loans over at least five years. Similarly, the Daily Telegraph ran a well-researched piece on getting on to the property ladder. The article recommended a number of high-interest saving accounts and ISAs, to help potential buyers save that all-important deposit. Other ideas include moving back in with parents, buying with friends and cutting back on non-essential items. The Sunday Times looked at remortgaging and urged homeowners to shop around for the best deal, choose a suitable product and act quickly, to avoid falling on to the standard variable rate. One in five existing borrowers admit they are worried about falling behind with mortgage payments. But despite these concerns, a quarter of these homeowners admit that they have no plans in place to ensure they continue to meet their monthly repayments. The Times came up with some short-term solutions such as extending the mortgage term, moving to interest-only and making overpayments, in a bid to keep monthly costs down.
What the papers say - 8th and 9th March 2008