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.

UK house prices shrug off Brexit worries

House price growth in the UK remains resilient despite ongoing Brexit uncertainty according to Halifax, with prices rising at their fastest annual rate since early 2017. ...

First-time buyers bypass flats

The average price of a flat in England has fallen by 2.1% over the year to an average of £220,146, according to the UK House Price Index for April, whereas all other types of property have increased in value. ...

IKEA to build low cost homes

Fancy a flat-pack home? Up to 162 new factory-built homes could soon be constructed in Worthing if a deal between the council and an affordable housing developer co-owned by IKEA goes ahead. ...

First-time buyer numbers continue to rise

The number of first-time buyers getting onto the property ladder is on the up, helped by low mortgage rates which make owning a home more affordable. ...

House price growth remains sluggish in March

UK house prices edged higher in March, according to Nationwide, rising by a modest 0.2% during the month as ongoing Brexit uncertainty continues to take its toll. ...

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. ...

House price growth steady in September

Halifax’s latest house price index showed that the quarterly rate of growth held steady in September, although the month-on-month change revealed a drop. ...

Mortgage lending up in July

Gross mortgage lending reached £24.6bn in July, according to latest figures from trade body UK Finance, its highest level since March 2016. ...

House prices see biggest monthly fall since 2012

UK house prices fell at their sharpest rate for six years in August, according to Nationwide’s latest monthly House Price Index, bringing the average cost of a home to £214,745....

House prices pick up in July

House prices picked up last month, according to Nationwide’s latest house price index, with annual growth up from 2% in June to 2.5% in July. ...

Millennials join forces to buy property

More than half of millennials – those aged between 18 and 35 - are considering buying a home with friends or family to achieve their aim of getting on the property ladder. ...

House prices reach record high in March

House prices rose by 1.5% in March, according to Halifax, bringing the average cost of a property in the UK to a record high of £227,871. ...

House price growth slows

House prices are growing at their slowest rate for five years, according to Halifax’s latest monthly House Price Index. ...

House price growth slows in January

Average house prices dropped by 0.6% in January, according to Halifax’s latest monthly House Price Index, with strained household finances contributing to the fall. ...

Mortgage terms are getting longer

First-time buyers are increasingly taking out mortgages with terms much longer than the usual 25 years to help make their monthly payments more affordable. ...

House prices reach new record high

The average house price in the UK reached a record high of £225,109 in September, according to Halifax’s latest house price index, with prices supported by a shortage of properties for sale and low unemployment. ...

Limited supply supports house prices

Low mortgage rates and a continuing shortage of properties helped push house prices up by 1.1% between July and August....

Property prices show signs of cooling

The traditional spring bounce in the housing market failed to materialise this year, according to Halifax’s latest house price index, which showed prices have fallen for the third quarter running....

Up or down? Where next for house prices

Homeowners may be wondering which way to turn after two of Britain’s biggest lenders produced conflicting views on which way house prices are going. ...

Demand for property slows in May

Political uncertainty may have led to many property buyers and sellers sitting tight in May, according to the latest UK Residential Market Survey from the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyers (RICS) ...

Annual house price growth slows

The latest Nationwide House Price Index highlights a fall in property prices of 0.3% in March, the first drop since June 2015. ...

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...

Tips to add value to your home

If you’re looking to bump up the value of your property, perhaps with a view to selling it, then the good news is that lots of improvements can be made without breaking the bank. Here are our top tips on how to add value to your home....

Why do we pay Stamp Duty?

Stamp Duty Land Tax is a controversial issue for some. Originally introduced as a historic tax in 1694, it is something that is unavoidable if you are buying a house.You must pay this tax by the official moving-in date (or possession date) of your new home.The stamp duty that we recognize today was first introduced in 2003, and has just undergone the biggest change since it was introduced. How does stamp duty work? If involved in the purchase p...

What the papers say – 6th and 7th December 2014

The Chancellor’s recent announcement regarding changes to the stamp duty system featured heavily in this weekend’s financial press, although opinion on the potential benefits remained divided. The reforms will see stamp duty charged in a similar way to income tax, with different percentage rates charged to each portion of the price. The changes were generally welcomed, but critics in the Financial Times claimed that a major overhaul is still need...

10 Point Checklist for First Time Buyers in 2014

There have been so many changes to the property market within the last few years, that for first time buyers coming into the market right now, it’s like a whirlwind. Knowing the right places to look; the appropriate checks to ensure you do; and the changes in mortgage rates and house prices; it’s almost like you need a degree to understand everything involved in the process of buying a house.So here’s a quick guide to the most important things yo...

What the papers say – 14th and 15th June 2014

With the Council of Mortgage Lenders reporting that around 67% of mortgage are currently on lender Standard Variable Rates, and Bank of England Governor Mark Carney’s recent comments regarding the potential for rates to increase earlier than expected, brokers are anticipating a busy period for remortgaging. Experts in the Sunday Times predicted a spike in fixed rates and urged borrowers to act now to protect themselves, perhaps by considering a l...

New house prices

Figures released by the Halifax today suggest that new build properties have increased in price by 12% in the last five years, now costing on average almost £234,000.In contrast Halifax’s house price index suggests the average overall price in January ’08 was £191,000 compared to £162,000 at the end of 2012 – a drop of around 15%. So it would appear new builds have been significantly outperforming the general market. This may not be a huge surpri...

Housing equity withdrawal remains in negative territory

Bank of England data released today shows that home owners are continuing to favour paying down their mortgages rather than borrowing more against the value of their homes.  Housing Equity Withdrawal (HEW) for quarter two of this year was again a negative figure of more than £9.1bn.  This compared to -£8.9bn in Q1 – another sign of the difficult conditions for the housing market.There is undoubtedly a reticence among borrowers to increase the siz...

Fewer vendors put their homes up for sale in September

The RICS (Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors) UK Housing Market survey for September revealed a fall in the number of new homes being put up for sale during the month as a result of the uncertain economic outlook. 5% more surveyors than the previous month reported that the supply of property fell rather than rose.Despite the reduction in supply there was an increase in new buyer enquiries with 3% more chartered surveyors reporting an increase...

House prices fall, but property and mortgage affordability is improving

UK house prices fell by 0.5% in September according Halifax’s latest monthly house price index, taking the average house price to £161,132.  Prices for the third quarter (July to September) were up 01% on the previous quarter – the first quarterly rise since the beginning of 2010 and on an annual basis, house prices are 2.3% lower than a year ago which is a slight improvement on last month. These figures follow Nationwide’s latest index, released...

Nationwide latest house price index shows fall

Nationwide, the UKs largest building society, announced this morning that house prices dropped by 0.6% in August and have dropped by 0.4% over the past year.House prices now stand at an average of £165,914.Nationwide expects the sluggish market to persist and the period of stability seen over the last 12 months to continue to the year end. Demand for homes is still subdued and it is only the gradual rise in the supply of available properties seen...

Interest free mortgage?

A new proposition was unveiled this week by Castle Trust, a firm that hopes to bring a new type of mortgage to the market and investments that are linked to house price movement. The new ‘mortgage’ will be for 20% of the property value and will not charge any interest or require any monthly repayments.  Instead the borrower must pay back the loan when the property is sold, along with 40% of any growth in the property value. Take an example of som...

What the papers say- 21st and 22nd May 2011

The Mail on Sunday and Sunday Telegraph both reported this weekend on recent figures released by the FSA revealing that, since the credit crunch began, almost 300,000 borrowers have switched their mortgage from Repayment to Interest only due to arrears or other financial problems. Lenders have tightened up on criteria for interest-only mortgages in recent months, with many now limiting borrowing to 75% loan-to-value, a change which could leave ma...

Nationwide says house prices up in May

Despite not even reaching the end of May the figures from Nationwide’s house price index are already out.  It indicates that house prices have risen marginally month on month by 0.3%.  Clearly that’s not a large movement especially considering the fact that prices were down 0.2% in April. Nationwide itself points to the fact that the movement is not significant stating, “Overall, the modest pace of house price growth in May suggests that the pro...

Sellers return to housing market say estate agents

The number of people putting their house up for sale jumped in February, according to new figures from the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA).Available stock in the UK housing market saw a 25% year-on-year rise last month with an average of 70 properties available for sale per estate agent branch – up from 56 properties per branch in February 2010.Property sales also increased in February – rising to an average of 8 per branch from 6 pe...

Mortgage affordability at its best for 10 years says Barclays

Mortgage affordability has hit its best level for 10 years, according to new research from Barclays.Having analysed more than one million customer accounts it found that people are currently paying 15.4% of their take home pay to cover their monthly mortgage payment – the lowest level since Barclays began the regular analysis ten years ago.The improved affordability was attributed largely to the current low interest rate environment – the UK has ...

The National Statistician Calls for a Single House Price Index

The National Statistician has this week called on the Government to introduce a single House Price Index for the UK.  There are currently two sets of official figures - one compiled by The Land Registry and the other by the Department of Communities and Local Government – and there are concerns that this can confuse the public.Jill Matheson, the Government's chief adviser on official statistics, says the two providers of official house price indi...

What the papers say- 11th and 12th December 2010

The Sunday Times reported this weekend on the Council of Mortgage Lenders recent estimation that 850,000 First Time Buyers have been unable to secure a loan since the credit crunch began. Experts say the solution now largely depends on the ‘Bank of Mum and Dad’, whether that be with a family offset mortgage, a gifted deposit or by acting as a guarantor – although this is harder in the current market as parents must be able to prove affordability ...

UK House prices rise by 1.8% in October

Just what is going on with house prices at the moment?  According to Halifax, the UK’s largest mortgage lender, house prices rose 1.8% in October – this news contrasts sharply with Nationwide’s figures for the month which showed a drop in prices of 0.7%.The 1.8% fall reported by Halifax needs to be taken in the context of the record 3.6% drop that it announced in September (later revised down to -3.7%) , but such a huge swing from one month to th...

Nationwide reports tiny rise in house prices

Nationwide’s house price index for September indicated that house prices rose by just 0.1% in September.  This put the annual rate of inflation at 3.1%, down from 3.9% in August .  The three month rate of change turned negative at -0.9%, the first time since May 2009. Nationwide suggested that this is not something of immediate concern and does not necessarily herald a significant decline in prices.  It did however concede that the market favours...

New deals on offer for struggling first time buyers

Figures released by the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) this week showed that first time buyers’ share of the mortgage market fell in July to its lowest level for 3 years.  The number of mortgages taken out by First Time Buyers in July stood at 19,400 – down from 19,700 in June and from 20,100 July 2009. CML’s figures also show that buyers of their first home are, on average, putting down a deposit of 24% – this equates to around £40,000 depend...

What the papers say- 3rd and 4th July 2010

It was time to dust off the crystal ball this weekend, as talk once again turned to future interest rates. Opinions varied as to the extent of any potential changes in rates and house prices, with some experts predicting a double dip over the next couple of years due in part to a lack of available mortgage credit. Others agreed that the market is certainly set to cool down but had a more positive outlook, suggesting that low interest rates will c...

House Prices Rise Again

Nationwide’s house price index for June has pointed to a slight rise in house prices again and the average house price breached the £170,000 mark.  According to the lender, prices have risen over the first half of the year by a cumulative 3%.However it is important to put the figures into context and the tone of Nationwide’s data is generally more cautious.  The monthly change for June was just 0.10% and the annual rate of house price inflation f...

House Price Recovery Falters.

According to Nationwide’s House Price Index, UK house prices fell by 1% in February, bringing to a halt their 9 month run of increases.Nationwide’s chief economist, Martin Gahbauer, commented “There is evidence from a range of indicators that the market may have lost momentum in early 2010 as the stamp duty holiday ended and house hunters were obstructed by the icy weather,”He also cautioned that “At this stage, it is difficult to gauge how much ...

House Prices Continue To Climb.

Both major house price indices recorded rising prices last month, clawing back most if not all of the previous 12 months losses. Halifax recorded a rise of 1.4% in November, their fifth consecutive rise. However, prices still have a long way to go to reach pre credit crunch levels, as the recent gains only account for around a third of the overall loss.  Martin Ellis, Halifax’s housing economist, said: "The recovery in house prices since the sp...

Which way is up?

What do you think about the housing market right now? Do you think things are looking better?  Are prices climbing? Is the recovery sustainable, not sure, not interested, all of the above? If it’s all of the above, then I suspect you’re in the majority, and is it any wonder? Have a look at this selection of headlines, all from articles published within a week of each other. “House prices rise for third consecutive month, says Halifax.” “Housing m...

Land Registry data shows little change in house prices.

Based on all residential sales completed in August, the latest release shows a small dip in house prices of -0.1%. The annual rate of change has fallen to -9.4%, down from the February peak of 16.3%, setting the average house price in England and Wales at £155,968. House prices in London and the West Midlands experienced the biggest rise (still only 0.8%), which pushed the average property price in the capital to £310,640. Unsurprisingly all 1...

More Homes for Sale.

The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) reported a rise in the number of houses being put up for sale for the first time since May 2007, as more homeowners are tempted to try the market while demand increases and prices start to stabilize. While the figures are encouraging the margin of surveyors who point towards more property coming to market rather than less was only 2%, so the market remains fragile. Feedback from RICS members als...

Is This The Beginning Of The End – Update

In my blog of 30th June, on house price indices, I mentioned that the June index from Nationwide found the average property value had increased by 0.9%, but warned against spending it as the Halifax report would be out soon. Well the Halifax report is out now and I just thought I’d let you know that house prices fell in June by 0.5%, according to them. Glad that’s cleared that up. On the subject of houses, another report just published said that...

How much is your home worth?

In our newsletter this month, we revealed our new house price calculator – to help you keep tabs on the value of your home. We take data from both the Halifax and Nationwide House price indices to give you an average value, based on the region you live in. Why not give it a try? ...

Responsible mortgage lending or overly cautious?

New research from the National Association of Estate Agents suggests that almost one in four people can’t get a mortgage due to stricter lending criteria from mortgage lenders.Of the 1,800 people surveyed, 56% believed that more relaxed criteria would improve their chances of being able to buy a property.  In fact 58% said that more lending by banks by crucial if the UK is to pull out of the current property slump.These results, released yesterda...

Is This The Beginning of The End?

Does that sound a bit ominous? It’s not supposed to be, as there’s good news…….at least I think it’s good news. Nationwide released their latest house price index today which showed prices grew on average by 0.9% in June. There, that’s it, good news. But even better, the three month change, which is regarded as a more reliable indicator of what’s really happening, turned positive (went up to you and I), for the first time since December 2007. Br...

Cost of Borrowing Unchanged

Last week the Bank of England announced that it would hold interest rates at 0.5% for the third consecutive month, but stopped short of extending its quantitative easing program. With last months’ injection of £50bn into the plan, industry had hoped for the remaining £25 billion to be thrown in, but it appears that for the moment at least, this is being held in reserve.It could be that the Bank cautiously thinks the economy is showing some signs ...

More positive signs in the housing market

The debate continues over whether we are genuinely seeing some green shoots of recovery in the housing market.  The latest house price figures from Halifax reported a fall of 1.7% in April, but the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) has this month reported that enquiries and sales are continuing to pick up.It found that enquiries increased for the sixth month in a row in April and sales also edged up, albeit from historically low level...

House Prices Continue Downward Trend

As we have come to expect, both Nationwide and Halifax reported house prices falling further in April, but by differing amounts.Nationwide reported a drop of 0.4% to an average price of £151,861, and Halifax a much larger drop of 1.7% to £154,716, giving annual reductions of 15% and 17.7% respectively.Nationwide welcomed the extension to the stamp duty holiday announced in the budget. Before the initial stamp duty announcement last September, onl...

Time to Fix Your Mortgage?

In April, for the first time in 7 months bank rate was held. Although this was largely expected, it has prompted many borrowers to think about, the next stage in the cycle, that of rising interest rates. While it is only a matter of time before mortgage rates started rising, it’s always difficult to spot the bottom of the cycle. It may still be some time before the Bank of England see the need to raise interest rates, but with the cost of fundin...

News Roundup

BorrowingThe Bank of England (BoE) has reported that mortgage approvals for house purchase in February reached their highest point since May last year. At just under 38,000 approvals for £4.5 billion the transaction numbers were up 19% from January in another good indicator for the housing market. The Bank of England data for February showed an increase in net lending of £1.3bn, higher than the January increase but below the six month average. T...

Has spring sprung in the housing market?

In its latest housing market survey, the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) has noted that "Buyer interest is starting to gain real momentum”, although it admits that the market is “still in a fragile state”. Its figures for March showed that new enquiries increased for the fifth consecutive month and the key sales to stocks ratio rose for the third consecutive month.Meanwhile, Nationwide’s latest House Price Index reported a surprise ...

What the papers say – 25th March 2009

Today’s Daily Mail noted that lenders are now passing on the recent base rate cuts and suggests that, with economists predicting interest rate rises next year, borrowers may want to consider a five year fixed rate deal to ensure longer term stability. Homeowners hanging on for further reductions run the risk of paying higher rates if house prices continue to drop, giving them less equity in their property. The Daily Express looked at the upcoming...

Mortgage News - February 2009 Update

House Prices The Nationwide House Price Index reported an average fall of 1.8% for February, increasing the annual decline to 17.6%.Commenting on the report, Fionnuala Earley, Nationwide's Chief Economist, said: “Sharp cuts in interest rates have helped affordability, but have not yet affected confidence sufficiently to boost the levels of new transaction activity or slow the pace of house price falls. Early signs of increased interest in housin...

Halifax House Price Index

The Halifax House Price Index for January has caused a stir, as it reported prices up 1.9% on December. However it warned that one month's figures did not indicate an end to the downward trend, which has reached 17.2% in the past year. Martin Ellis, chief economist at the Halifax, said “It is always important not to place too much weight on any one month's figures. Historically, house prices have not moved in the same direction month after month ...

House prices in for rough ride

The Centre for Economics and Business Research forecast that house prices could suffer their largest annual fall since the end of the Second World War unless government action to boost lending starts to pay dividends....

What the papers say - 1st February 2009

Money sections this weekend looked at the ongoing issues with loan-to-value, the benefits of tracker deals and the importance of making overpayments towards a mortgage. The Observer revealed that despite falling house prices, hefty mortgage downpayments on new homes are freezing first-time buyers out of the property market. Only a handful of lenders now consider new-builds and those that do may ask for borrowers to put down a deposit totalling a...

Nationwide Reports Further Falls in House Prices for January

Nationwide released their January house price index this week, showing the average property value fell by 1.3% for the month, and bringing the annual fall to 16.6%.With the average value now given as £150,501 and according to the Council of Mortgage Lenders the average mortgage around £100,000, this set of numbers would exclude you from obtaining almost all of the most competitive mortgage deals currently on offer.The 3 month average, regarded as...

December House Price News

The steep decline in house prices continues as both Halifax and Nationwide report a fall of over 2% for December.Following the gulf in November’s results, the two lenders moved much closer in December, with Halifax quoting a drop of 2.2% for the month, and Nationwide 2.5%. Both lenders also quoted the annual decrease at around 16%.Liberal Democrat Shadow Chancellor Vince Cable was just as pessimistic about the future and forecast that house price...

Mortgage Approvals for House Purchase down by 60%

The British Bankers Association monthly statistics for November revealed a 60% drop in the number of mortgages approved for house purchases.  There was also a sharp monthly drop in remortgage approvals. The figures confirm that the property market is extremely slow and looks set to remain so, with the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors stating their expectation of further house price falls in 2009.  They voiced concern over the continued lack...

House Price Latest - December 2018

There was a brief period of optimism around the end of November as on the 27th Nationwide published their monthly house price index showing a greatly reduced fall of 0.4% for the month. As it turned out this optimism was very short lived as Halifax published their version 1 week later, showing November prices as having the biggest fall this year at 2.6%.The two lenders often report different figures which highlights that neither are reflective of...

CML forecast a sharp rise in repossessions, but Government initiatives hope to minimise those affected.

Following one of the toughest years ever for homeowners in 2008, the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML), is forecasting even tougher times as the recession bites deeper.While mortgages for borrowers on variable rate deals have become progressively cheaper this year, there is concern for those whose scheme comes to an end in 2009. Falling house prices have eroded many borrowers equity to the point where they could miss out on the best deals as lend...

New Year Resolutions

The New Year is always a good time to set some new goals for the forthcoming year and 2009 is likely to be another tough one for the economy and the mortgage market. With that in mind what action can borrowers take to put themselves in the best position as far as their mortgage is concerned?Review EarlyThose that are coming to the end of an existing deal in 2009 should start their search for a new deal sooner rather than later.  Lenders continue ...

Mortgage News - November 2008 Update

The startling cut of 1.5% in the Bank of England base rate this month, prompted some major changes in the mortgage market, which for most borrowers resulted in good news.Most lenders who have made an announcement following the base rate cut gave a welcome boost to borrowers by passing on the full 1.5% to their Standard Variable Rate (SVR). This is great news for those borrowers on a discounted deal or for any still on the SVR.Those borrowers on b...

What the papers say - 12th November 2008

The midweek mortgage-related press was relatively quiet following last weekend’s extensive rate cut coverage. The Times noted that three of Britain’s biggest mortgage lenders have relaunched the first new tracker loans since the exodus from the market last week, but have failed to pass on the 1.5 per cent reduction to the base rate. Abbey, Lloyds TSB and Alliance & Leicester have all introduced new tracker deals in the past few days, but they...

House Prices Continue Slide.

UK house prices continued to fall in October, with Nationwide reporting an average fall of 1.4% for the month.While this was a slightly smaller fall than the preceding three months, it is the twelfth consecutive month that prices have come down.The average price is now 14.6% lower than a year ago at £158,872, a fall of nearly £30,000, with the continued slump being blamed on the lowest number of sales for 34 years.With Hometrack quoting the avera...

What the papers say - 29th October 2008

Today’s Daily Express revealed how new legal guidelines, coming into force on November 19th, state that lenders must explore options to help people stay in their homes. These may include extending the loan term, changing the type of mortgage by perhaps switching to an interest-only deal, deferring payment of interest, or adding arrears to the overall loan. If a case reaches court, lenders must reveal how they complied with the protocol. The Time...

What the papers say - 25th and 26th October 2008

Tracker mortgages were top of the agenda in the weekend money pages and the overall conclusion was that they don’t live up to their name. The Financial Times reported that in spite of predictions from analysts that the Bank of England could reduce the base rate from 4.5per cent to as low as 3 per cent or 2.5 per cent, banks are not expected to reflect the decrease in significantly lower mortgage rates before the end of the year. The Observer note...

What the papers say - 20th and 21st September 2008

The weekend money pages were packed with advice for worried consumers following last week’s momentous events on the markets with the collapse of The Lehman Brothers and the merging of HBOS and Lloyds TSB.  The Guardian produced a helpful guide answering 100 credit crunch questions, including a range of mortgage and property-related issues such as interest rates, house prices and lending criteria. The Daily Telegraph noted that with the banking s...

What the papers say - 13th and 14th September 2008

Money journalists wrote with a refreshing, optimistic tone again this weekend, following improved swap rates and improved mortgage lending. The Observer reported that after months of agony for homeowners and buyers, mortgage rates are falling-and even cheaper deals could be on the horizon. In the past few weeks interest rates on the very cheapest fixed rate deals have fallen below 5 per cent. And, as of last week, for the first time this year rat...

What the papers say - 10th September 2008

The midweek mortgage press was full of optimism after several lenders made further reductions to their rates this week.  The Daily Mail reported that HSBC, Abbey, Cheltenham & Gloucester and the Yorkshire Building Society all trimmed some of their fixed-rate mortgages. Furthermore, today Halifax launches a rate guard to its tracker mortgages so borrowers can move to a fixed rate without penalties. The paper also listed falling house prices an...

August House Price Movements

Both Nationwide and Halifax reported similar falls in their house price indices for August, as the downward trend gathered pace. Nationwide reported an average fall of 1.9% in August and Halifax 1.8%, with both lenders now quoting the annual rate of decline in double figures for the first time in at least 18 years.While different, the average price given by both lenders is now below the new stamp duty threshold of £175,000 announced by the Chance...

What the papers say - 27th August 2008

The Times today reported that the number of new mortgages agreed by leading banks edged higher last month, raising hopes that the worst of the drought in the home-loans market may have passed. A total of 22,448 loans for house purchase, rather than remortgaging, were approved by banks during July, up slightly from June. In addition, the Financial Times noted that the monthly increase in net lending was steady at £4.3billion , while the average v...

What the papers say - 23rd and 24th August 2008

There were mixed reviews on the recent rate cuts in the weekend money pages, alongside some topical features on lender’s profits and consumer attitudes. The Mail on Sunday reported that Abbey, Nationwide, Britannia, Cheltenham & Gloucester, Leeds and Yorkshire building societies made cuts to their fixed-rate mortgages last week. The Observer agreed that this was a welcome boost to homebuyers and anyone remortgaging with a decent deposit, but...

House Prices

The Halifax House Price Index for July showed a drop of 1.7%, mirroring the findings of the Nationwide Index last week. The report cites pressure on household income and constraints on mortgage funds as the reasons consumers are reluctant to enter the housing market, and this in turn is driving prices down. This latest drop brings the annual fall to just under 9%, and puts the average house price at £177,351, equal to the June 2006 figure....

House Price and Mortgage Latest

House PricesNationwide today released the first set of figures on house prices for July, and the pace of decline has picked up. After falling 0.9% in June, the fall in July almost doubled to 1.7%, and leaves the annual change down over 8%.   Even with the average house price now £15,000 lower than this time last year, the number of house purchases continues to fall, reaching only 36,000 in June, a third of the level this time last year. This is...

What the papers say - 12th and 13th July 2008

The cost of borrowing was still high on the agenda in mortgage-related articles this weekend. The Financial Times, Sunday Times and Independent on Sunday all looked at the cost of remortgaging and assessed both interest rates and fees. Reportedly, the average fee for a two-year fixed rate is now £968, up from £514 in June 2006. The average fee for a variable-rate mortgage is now £1,023, compared with £823 six months ago.The Sunday Times wrote tha...

House Price News

Nationwide have released their house price index for June, which shows a surprising slowdown in the rate of decline. According to the index, the average house price fell by 0.9% in June compared with 2.5% in May. This leaves prices over 6% lower than this time last year, but still 4% higher than 2 years ago, with the average price now standing at £172,415.Despite what you may have read, mortgages are still readily available for the majority of bo...

What the papers say - 2nd July 2008

The hot topic in the midweek press was the launch of MarketGuard; a new insurance policy which pays out a monthly sum if mortgage rates rise by a specific amount. According to the Daily Mirror, MarketGuard has spent two years developing the product and it has the unspoken support of ministers, mortgage brokers and lenders. To insure a £100,000 repayment mortgage for a 20-year term against rises of more than 1% will cost the equivalent of £43 a mo...

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