News & Insight

Our expert views and commentary on what’s happening in the world of mortgages and sometimes beyond, along with our regular summary of what the papers say.

What are your mortgage resolutions?

Your mortgage is likely to be your biggest monthly outgoing, so it’s a great place to start if you’re looking to cut costs. Here’s our rundown of some of the mortgage resolutions you might want to consider making. ...

New long-term fixes available for landlords

Landlords who are concerned about higher mortgage costs if interest rates rise have a wider range of fixed rate options to choose from following the launch of a new range of 10-year fixes. ...

New ‘Help to Own’ scheme proposed

Landlords should be incentivised to sell to tenants at a discount under a new scheme proposed by conservative think-tank the Centre for Policy Studies. ...

What will the Budget mean for the property market?

The Chancellor Philip Hammond will unveil his Autumn Budget on October 29th, with many speculating that he could announce a range of measures affecting the property market. ...

Get set for Gas Safety Week

This year’s Gas Safety Week, which runs from September 17-23, aims to raise awareness of the dangers of poorly maintained gas appliances, which can cause fires, explosions, gas leaks and carbon monoxide poisoning. ...

Growing popularity of holiday lets

Short-term holiday lets are becoming increasingly popular as a way for landlords to generate an income, but it’s important to weigh up the pros and cons carefully first. ...

Remortgages up by a third in April

More than 40,000 homeowners remortgaged in April, according to latest figures from trade body UK Finance, up 36% compared to the same month last year. ...

One in five landlords plan to sell up

Around 380,000 landlords (19%) plan to sell their rental properties in the coming year, according to research by the National Landlords Association. ...

Greater mortgage choice for buy to let landlords

Two lenders, Sainsbury’s Bank and The Mortgage Lender, have entered the buy to let market this for the first time, widening the range of mortgage options available to landlords. ...

What would a rate rise mean for you?

Expectations of a base rate rise in May were dampened following comments from the Bank of England governor Mark Carney, but it’s still vital for homeowners to consider the impact of higher rates. ...

What are your mortgage resolutions?

Many people put sorting out their finances at the top of their list of New Year financial resolutions, and reviewing your mortgage can be a great place to start. ...

Portfolio lending rules now in place

Landlords with four or more mortgaged buy-to-let properties can now expect greater scrutiny of their entire portfolio when trying to buy a new property. ...

Guide to negotiating the price of a property

You’ve found the property you want to buy, but now you need to get it for the right price. We understand that haggling on the property price can be tricky... So here are our top tips to help you buy a property at the best possible price. ...

What buy-to-let landlords need to plan for

Buying a property to let out is very different to buying a property to live in, so if you’re planning to become a landlord, it’s really important to plan properly. ...

More changes on the way for landlords

More changes on the way for landlords.. Landlords who own four or more mortgaged buy-to-let properties can soon expect lenders to look across their whole portfolio if they want to apply for a mortgage on a new property....

What the papers say about the new Buy-to-Let rules, New Build and Critical Illness Cover

The Times focused on the new Buy to Let rules from the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) that will come into force this October. They will affect ‘portfolio landlords’ (those with 4 or more mortgaged properties). Previously, lenders might assess a new mortgage in isolation but will now have to undertake a review of all the client’s assets, liability, tax position, business plan and exit strategy. Buy to Let Mortgage lenders are beginning to announce how they will implement these changes,...

What is let to buy?

Let to buy can be an option for those who want to purchase a new home whilst keeping hold of their current property and letting it out. As someone looking to buy a new property, it can allow you to release some equity from your current home and put it down as a deposit on your new one.It’s a popular choice for couples who move in together later in life, perhaps once they both already have their own properties. In this case, you’d both move into o...

How to get a mortgage if you’re self-employed

Applying for a mortgage can be tricky, but if you’re a self-employed worker, freelancer or contractor, you could face extra challenges. Here's what you'll need to get a mortgage as a self-employed person... ...

2016 Review and Outlook

Last year isn’t one any of us are likely to forget in a hurry thanks to Brexit, but amidst all the political turmoil, homebuyers and owners enjoyed some of the lowest mortgage rates ever recorded. ...

Santander tightens buy-to-let lending policy

Santander has announced it will tighten the rental calculation for landlords from 23rd November. This makes them the first major lender to declare policy changes since the Prudential Regulatory Authority published new requirements in September....

How to help your mortgage affordability

When you apply for a mortgage, lenders will look to your bank statements to help them decide how much you can afford to borrow. Follow these simple steps to boost your mortgage affordability...

What the new tax rules mean for landlords

As announced in the Budget, mortgage interest rate relief is going to be limited to the basic 20% income tax rate: higher and top rate tax payers no longer get full relief.The government has now published the detail of how the change will be phased in here which says in 2017 to 2018 the deduction from property income (as is currently allowed) will be restricted to 75% of finance costs, with the remaining 25% being available as a basic rate ta...

Buy to let tips

Buy to let applicants are subject to different criteria than someone looking for a residential mortgage. For example, you may need a larger deposit and a higher annual salary, and that’s just the beginning.However for those who find the right mix of property, finance and tenant a buy to let property can provide you with a steady source of income. The average UK rent yield is over 5%, which makes buy to let appear an attractive options with saving...

Kensington launches 85% Buy to Let Mortgage

Kensington mortgages last week announced the launch of a new range of Buy to Let mortgages offering rates up to a maximum of 85% of the property value.  This marks a move into new ground for the post-crunch mortgage market.Buy to Let mortgages were hit hard by the credit crisis and a number of specialist lenders that had offered Buy to Let mortgages fell away, including the biggest Buy to Let player of them all, Bradford & Bingley. As criteri...

Top tips for interest only borrowers

This week has seen more research from the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) into the FSA’s proposed plans to encourage more responsible mortgage lending.  The trade body said that if the FSA’s proposals had been in effect from 2005, “around 3.8million “good” loans would potentially not have been granted”.  In total, around half of all 8 million loans taken out between 2005 and 2009 would not have been approved if the tighter lending criteria had ...

What the papers say - 17th June 2009

The midweek mortgage news was short and sweet, with the theme of rising interest rates continuing from the weekend press. The Daily Mail and Daily Express both discussed the increase in lenders Standard Variable Rates, with the average now running at 4.66% above the Bank of England Base Rate, compared with 1.9% above this time last year. The Telegraph looked at the popularity of longer term fixed rates, due mainly to a widespread feeling that the...

What the papers say - 13th May 2009

The Daily Mail this week revealed that thousands of First Time Buyers who applied for help through the MyChoice Homebuy scheme have been told that there is no more money available. The scheme allowed housing associations to supply a low cost loan with the buyer funding the rest with a deposit and mortgage. The Government allocation for the 2008-09 tax year was quickly used up however, and many housing associations made promises to applicants base...

Bradford and Bingley update and Q and A

On the 29th September, the UK Government announced that it was to nationalise Bradford & Bingley.  The Government will take control of the bank’s mortgage business, but its savings division and branch network has been bought by Banco Santander, the owner of Abbey.If you have a mortgage with Bradford & Bingley, or are in the process of applying for one, this Q&A should help (this also applies to Mortgage Express, B&B’s specialist a...

What the papers say - 25th June 2008

The Daily Mail, Financial Times and Daily Mirror have all reported today on Chancellor Alistair Darling’s comments expressing concern over the high set up fees charged by many lenders. The Council of Mortgage Lenders have said that although some products do carry high fees they are normally associated with lower interest rates and fees free products are still available.The Daily Express carries a question and answer section in which they ask if t...

The Buy to Let Market

Market OverviewRecent figures from the Council of Mortgage Lenders showed that mortgage borrowing on buy to let properties increased 18% for 2007 and grew stronger as the year progressed.In total, mortgage lenders lent over £45 billion on buy to lets last year, with new purchases accounting for just over 50% of the total, indicating that it remains an attractive investment for UK’s landlords. This assumption is supported by London & Country’s...

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