What the papers say – 12th – 13th May 2012

The Times took another look at lender criteria this weekend with critics claiming that some, including Northern Rock and Santander, have gone too far with their questioning to establish affordability, requiring such detail as how much a borrower spends on holidays, Christmas, and even their pets. With the market as uncertain as it is this is perhaps not a surprise, but many experts feel that such stringent questioning will push would-be First Time Buyers even further out of the market. There was good news in other parts of the market however, with the Sunday Times reporting that, in stark contrast to the rest of the market, Buy-to-Let lending is set to remain strong, and lenders including Coventry BS and Platform Homeloans cut rates last week in a bit to secure more business from landlords. The Sunday Express looked at incentives offered by lenders such as Halifax, who are currently offering to pay 50% of stamp duty for First Time Buyers on properties worth up to £250,000. There are also tempting deals for those looking to remortgage, but brokers urged borrowers to check the total cost of a deal before signing up. Elsewhere the Independent on Sunday discussed Mortgage Payment Protection and Income Protection policies, and the Sunday Times revealed that Santander has become the latest lender to join the NewBuy scheme.

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