It was time once again for experts in this weekend’s financial press to dust off their crystal ball and reveal their predictions for 2011. The Times and Sunday Telegraph both looked at the likelihood that there will be no real improvement in mortgage lending this year, and with house prices expected to drop, homeowners could soon find their choice of mortgage deal adversely affected. With an interest rate rise on the horizon as well, anyone who is able to consider their mortgage options are strongly advised to do so now.
The Mail on Sunday revealed that the average First Time Buyer must now raise a deposit of at least 20% to stand a chance of getting onto that elusive property ladder, a change which has frozen almost 1 million buyers out of the market over the last 3 years. Many must now look at alternatives including Shared Ownership, although experts urged buyers to make sure they fully understand the implications of when and how such a loan is repayable.
Lender criteria continues to cause problems for borrowers across the board, and the Sunday Times looked at the wide variety of reasons used by lenders to reject applications, including not having a landline telephone number, taking out cash on a credit card, or changing jobs. Experts suggested that in some situations a human underwriter at a smaller mutual is likely to be more reasonable than an automated system if there are discrepancies.
Elsewhere the Sunday Express gave tips for the accidental or first-time landlord, the Independent on Sunday looked at the rise in the number of residential properties being sold at auction, and the Observer discussed self-build properties.