What the papers say – 7th – 8th March 2015

The financial press reported this weekend on Government plans to launch a ‘Starter Homes Initiative’ – aimed at helping First Time Buyers aged under 40 onto the property ladder, by allowing them to purchase a New Build property at a 20% discount and with a 5% deposit. Experts in the Times expressed concern however that there will not be enough high Loan-to-Value mortgages available to support the initiative , particularly as most are currently provided using the Help-to-Buy Mortgage Guarantee scheme, which is due to end in December 2016.

The Sunday Telegraph highlighted the ongoing problem experienced by thousands of borrowers attempting to move, or ‘port’ their mortgage to a new property. Following last year’s Mortgage Market Review, tougher affordability rules were introduced, but the FCA also introduced ‘transitional arrangements’ for existing borrowers who wanted to move their mortgage without changing their terms, or were even looking to downsize – thereby reducing their debt. With lenders largely ignoring these arrangements and using current affordability rules to assess - and in many cases reject - borrowers, critics are now calling for the FCA to make their transitional ‘guidelines’ more binding.

Elsewhere, the Telegraph revealed that Britain has shown the greatest growth in house prices across Europe over the last 18 years, but comes second to Sweden in terms of overall profitability, due to higher mortgage costs here.

YOUR HOME OR PROPERTY MAY BE REPOSSESSED IF YOU DO NOT KEEP UP REPAYMENTS ON YOUR MORTGAGE

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