Following last week’s Government White Paper on Britain’s housing market; the weekend’s financial press looked at the possible implications for homeowners and potential buyers.
The Guardian revealed that the UK has the smallest new-build properties in Europe, but the recent paper contained a proposal to review the current guidelines on minimum space standards. Critics expressed concerns that new, smaller properties could well be unfit for purpose.
There was some good news for buyers, in the form of a promised consultation on the leasehold system. The Telegraph reported that buyers are often subjected to increasing costs for buying the freehold, rocketing ground rents and unreasonable service charges, which can affect the value of a property. Reforms to the system will therefore be welcomed.
Elsewhere the Times heralded the return of interest only mortgages, as another high street bank announces it will be relaxing its criteria. Lenders generally have fairly strict rules surrounding interest only – many have an age limit, or require a large amount of equity in the property, so the relaxing of this criteria should help some of the struggling ‘mortgage prisoners’.
What the papers said about our broken housing market and lender criteria