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 the papers said about home improvements and school fees

Recent UK Finance figures revealed a significant increase in the number of people ‘staying put’ and remortgaging to release money from their property, many of whom are using the funds to carry out home improvements including extensions. ...

What the papers said about shared ownership and credit reports

Since its launch in 2013, the Help to Buy equity loan scheme has allowed thousands of struggling buyers to purchase a property. This will come to an end in March 2023, and experts in this weekend’s financial press predicted a subsequent increase in demand for shared-ownership properties. ...

What the papers said about 40-year terms and Buy-to-Let rates

The financial press took a look at the pros and cons of longer mortgage terms this weekend, following research produced by Santander that suggested almost half of buyers would consider taking a mortgage over a period of 40 years. ...

What the papers said about the right time to switch

The Times reported this weekend that around £22.3 billion worth of mortgage deals will come to an end in April, meaning that potentially thousands of homeowners could be about to move onto more expensive Standard Variable Rates (SVR). ...

What the papers said about rising rates

As expected, the weekend’s financial news focused primarily on last week’s decision by the Bank of England to increase the base rate for only the second time in a decade. ...

What the papers say about First Time Buyer Stamp Duty Relief

This weekend's Financial Times highlighted the main findings of our First time Buyer stamp duty research, namely: 18% of FTB are calibrating their purchases to take advantage of tax relief by buying beneath the exemption threshold. ...

What the papers said about borrowers young and old

Both ends of the lending spectrum were covered in this weekend’s financial press, and in particular the criteria that is enabling different generations to either get onto the property ladder, or stay on it. ...

What the papers said about first-time buyers

The Observer reported this weekend on the falling number of young home-owning families, as many of today’s millennials struggle in the face of higher property prices. ...

What the papers said about preparing for change

With suggestions of an interest rate rise, possibly as soon as next month, the financial press reported this weekend on the levels of increased activity in the mortgage market. ...

What the papers say about mortgage rates

'Join the race to remortgage' was the main theme of this weekend's papers, with the Times keen to point out that 25 lenders have increased their rates in the past 2 weeks, driving 2 year fixed rates to their highest level since September 2016. ...

What the papers said about rate changes and the Bank of Mum and Dad

The financial press reported this weekend on the increasing popularity of ‘Joint Borrower Sole Proprietor’ (JBSP) mortgages, which allow the income of family members – usually parents – to be taken into account, while the property title is held only in the child’s name. ...

Experian and L&C form pioneering new partnership

L&C is excited to announce that it is joining forces with global information services group Experian, in a pioneering move which aims to consolidate L&C’s position as the UK’s leading fee-free mortgage broker. ...

What the papers said about new lenders and rate rises

The anticipation of an upcoming rate rise was once again the focus in this weekend’s financial press. Over recent weeks, lenders have been increasing rates across all Loan-to-Value brackets, said the Mirror, although experts were keen to highlight tha...

What the papers said about ISA’s and remortgaging

The Guardian and Times both reported this weekend on newly released Government figures, which show that a million Help to Buy ISA accounts have been opened since December 2015. These accounts, they suggest, have helped struggling First-Time Buyers save £1.8bn. ...

What the papers say about the new Buy to Let rules and New Build

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,...

Interest-only market decreases

Less than 2m interest-only mortgages across the UK remain outstanding, according to the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML), down from 3.2m in 2012. There are currently 1.9m interest-only loans, with a third of these due to mature in the 2030s. With this type of mortgage, as the name suggests, you only repay the interest on the amount you’ve borrowed each month. The capital must be repaid when the mortgage term ends. Millions of borrowers took out this type of...

What the papers said about 99 months of low rates and taking action

May is the 99th month that the Bank of England has kept its base rate at or below 0.50%. Around 2.5 million people have bought their first property since then, according to the Council of Mortgage Lenders, and will not yet have witnessed base rate moving in the opposite direction. ...

Self-employed workers and Article 50

Around 1 in 5 people in the UK is either self-employed or on a fixed or zero hour contract, revealed the Telegraph this weekend. ...

Older borrowers

With the UK population living longer and working later in life, it comes as no surprise that our mortgage requirements are also beginning to change....

What the papers said about a New Year for mortgages

With a New Year comes a new raft of new mortgage deals, and a couple of high street lenders have kicked off 2016 by launching some ultra-low fixed rates to tempt those of us re-organising our finances. ...

What the papers said about maternity and mortgages

A combination of career and financial pressures have seen many women starting a family later in life, but as both the Guardian and the Observer reported this weekend, that decision carries its own financial issues. ...

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...

What the papers say – 6th – 7th June 2015

The Times, Independent and Sunday Times reported this weekend on the latest launch of headline grabbing rates, following the release by a high street lender of a 2 year tracker below 1%. Experts agreed that it was sure to attract attention, but before applying borrowers must consider other factors including set up fees and minimum payable rates (collars).The Independent on Sunday looked at the issues can arise when purchasing an ex-local authorit...

What the papers say – 16th and 17th May 2015

With the Help to Buy Mortgage Guarantee scheme making up a sizeable percentage of high Loan-to Value (LTV) lending, the Times reported this weekend on calls for the Government to explain how it intends to support this area of the market when the initiative comes to an end next year. Experts commented on the significant increase in the number of 95% LTV deals available on the market since the launch of the scheme, and there are hopes that it will ...

What the papers say – 17th to 18th January 2015

The financial press took a look at different aspects of the Buy-to-Let market this weekend. The Times reported on recent research which revealed that around 16% of those who will be cashing in their retirement pots following April’s ‘pension freedom’ reforms plan to invest in Buy-to-Let property. While this may be a way to generate income into retirement, experts warned that potential investors need to understand the implications regarding income...

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...

What the papers say – 18th and 19th October 2014

This weekend’s financial press focused heavily on new record-low discount mortgages launched by high street lenders, with mortgage experts in the Telegraph, Mail and Times suggesting that it is yet another sign of increased competition in the market. Other lenders are predicted to follow suit with further rate cuts and eye-catching deals. The catch with the very lowest rates however is often the set up costs, which can make them unsuitable for sm...

What the papers say – Week commencing 27th September

Potential changes are afoot in the Buy-to-Let market, which could see the ‘accidental landlord’ phenomenon become a thing of the past. The Times revealed this weekend that a new EU directive, due to be implemented in March 2016, could mean that lenders must make a distinction between deliberate investors and ‘consumer’ landlords – with the latter becoming a regulated part of the market. Critics argued that this would prove to be a complicated and...

What the papers say – 16th and 17th August 2014

There was good news for borrowers in this weekend’s press, with the Financial Times reporting on the Bank of England’s recent indication that an eventual base rate rise will be a gradual one, and unlikely to happen within the next few months. This news has pushed predictions back to the early part of next year, allowing further access to the competitive deals currently on the market. Brokers warned against inaction though, urging homeowners not t...

What the papers say – 26th and 27th July 2014

The Telegraph and Sunday Times both reported this weekend on the difficulties experienced by older borrowers when trying to secure a mortgage. Many of the high street lenders have reduced their maximum lending age, and increased regulation has also resulted in tougher criteria and harsher lending decisions. Brokers suggested those looking for a mortgage term which could take them past the age of 75 would be better off considering smaller building...

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...

What the papers say – 15th and 16th March 2014

The financial press looked this weekend at the impact of new affordability rules coming into force next month in response to the FCA’s Mortgage Market Review. Experts warn that stricter criteria could hamper borrowers’ chances of securing a mortgage, with the Financial Times revealing that some lenders are already reducing borrowing levels for those who have monthly commitments including pension and life assurance contributions. Evidence of payda...

What the papers say – 11th and 12th January 2014

The Observer reported this weekend that a tightening up of rules regarding affordability and the withdrawal of cheap lending will mean mortgages are harder to secure this year. The Mortgage Market Review comes into force in April, and brings with it stricter rules from the Financial Conduct Authority, meaning lenders will be forced to look at borrowers’ finances in greater detail. Homeowners will also be stress tested to see if they can afford th...

What the papers say – 2nd and 3rd November 2013

Lender criteria was the focus of mortgage news in the financial press this weekend, with the Telegraph revealing that lenders are cracking down on borrowers who fail to notify them that they are renting out their properties. Many accidental landlords are trying to avoid being transferred to higher Buy-to-Let rates, so lenders are checking electoral roll registers, social media websites and online letting agencies. The Sunday Times looked at crit...

What the papers say – 21st – 22nd April 2012

Lenders including the Co-Op Bank, Halifax and Clydesdale Bank are set to increase their Standard Variable Rates from next month, and thousands of borrowers will see their monthly payments rise as a result. The Times, Sunday Mirror and Observer all highlighted the importance for anyone on their lender’s SVR to review their options now and consider remortgaging to a better deal while they are still available. Experts suggested that many will want t...

What the papers say- 3rd and 4th December 2011

The financial press this weekend urged borrowers to prepare for a second credit crunch by reviewing their mortgage now while deals are still competitive. The Financial Times, Telegraph and Sunday Times all reported that many lenders have already increased rates, and analysts predict further rises next year as the Euro Zone crisis forces up the cost of wholesale funding. Experts recommended that anyone on a low Standard Variable Rate takes the opp...

What the papers say- 6th and 7th August 2011

The Times reported this weekend on the growing demand faced by parents to help their children get on to the property ladder, and the need for more products to allow them to act as guarantors or release equity from their own properties to help First Time Buyers. Lenders including Bath, Leeds and National Counties Building Societies, and the Mortgage Works currently offer guarantor products, but experts say there needs to be more choice available t...

What the papers say- 25th and 26th June 2011

There was widespread coverage in this weekend’s financial press of the new Government FirstBuy scheme, as well as another equity loan deal through Castle Trust. The Guardian looked at the FirstBuy deal, available to qualifying borrowers with a 5% deposit who will be eligible for an equity loan of up to 20% of the property value, with a 75% loan-to-value mortgage taken for the remainder. Experts stressed that First Time Buyer’s need to be fully aw...

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