What the papers say- 6th and 7th November 2010

The remortgage dilemma surfaced once again in this weekend’s financial press, following the launch of the lowest ever 5 year fixed rate through ING, and a reduction in rates from lenders such as Santander and Woolwich. The Telegraph suggested that borrowers face a difficult decision on whether they should remortgage from a cheaper Standard Variable Rate, and experts advised that anyone waiting too long could have fewer options in the months to come if rates rise and property prices fall. The Sunday Times also urged homeowners to review their options now and ‘stress-test’ their mortgage, following a recent report by Policis which focuses on the impact of new affordability criteria proposed by the FSA. With many lenders pre-empting these changes and implementing stricter criteria already, the report warns that millions of homeowners could be left trapped on their current rates and unable to remortgage if they fail to meet the new lending rules. The Mail on Sunday looked at the Buy-to-Let market, and in particular the impact of Government plans to change housing benefit. Recent research by the National Landlord Association estimated that about half of all landlords have exposure to tenants receiving State help for their rent, and may find to difficult to absorb any cutbacks. Elsewhere the Times revealed that wealthy borrowers are using expensive assets including art and antique collections as security for larger loans through private banks, and the Independent on Sunday reported on a new website which allows properties to be legally bought and sold online.

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