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 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 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, 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 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 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 – 24th to 25th January 2015

What the papers say – 24th to 25th January 2015The Observer reported this weekend on recent figures from the Office of National Statistics, which revealed that 45% of 25-34 year olds currently own their own home – a sizeable drop from 1991 when the figure stood at 65%. The news is not all bad however, as brokers pointed out that rate cuts over the last few months have widened to include those with small deposits rather than being limited to those...

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...

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...

What the papers say- 9th and 10th March 2011

With interest rates remaining low and little incentive to save, for the time being at least, the Guardian reported this weekend that more borrowers than ever are overpaying on their mortgage. Experts pointed out that, not only does this reduce the term of the mortgage and the overall amount of interest paid, it can also increase the amount of equity available and give homeowners access to better rates. With a rate rise likely in the next couple o...

What the papers say- 26th and 27th February 2011

The financial press looked kindly on smaller lenders this weekend, with experts in the Financial Times and the Sunday Times reporting that the bigger banks currently only provide 29% of the top 500 deals. Building societies such as Monmouthshire and Leek United are offering some of the most competitive rates, and brokers say that smaller lenders are forward-thinking in their approach to product development. A more personalised service can also be...

What the papers say- 19th and 20th February 2011

This weekend’s financial press focused once again on the anticipated rise in interest rates. Mortgage brokers in the Independent, Sunday Express and Sunday Times reported that a lot of borrowers are now looking to secure a fixed rate to limit their exposure to increases, but many warned that they may have already missed the bottom of the market. Fixing is not for everyone of course, and as the gap between fixed and variable rates widens, many may...

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 ...

What the papers say- 27th and 28th November 2010

The Financial Times reported this weekend on the increasingly attractive mortgages deals being offered by lenders such as Woolwich and Skipton, and borrowers were urged to consider their options now, particularly as some deals will be designed to increase year end business and therefore won’t be around for long. Choosing the right deal can be a difficult decision, so the Times looked at alternative options including products that allow you to sw...

What the papers say- 6th October 2010

The midweek financial press today heralded the return of Paragon to the Buy-to-Let market, with experts in both the Daily Mail and Express calling the announcement ‘a good sign of improvement’, particularly in this, a restricted and expensive market. At the height of the boom Paragon was the third biggest buy-to-let lender, and also one of the more cautious, so many feel that that this move could signify a growth in confidence. The Express also ...

What the papers say- 2nd and 3rd October 2010

The Bank of England last week warned that major lenders were planning to impose even stricter criteria on mortgage lending, and this weekend’s financial press considered the impact this could have on both current and future homeowners. The Telegraph revealed that First Time Buyers are already paying thousands of pounds more to borrow the same amount of money as other borrowers, with interest rates as much as 2% higher for a 90% loan to value mort...

What the papers say- 21st and 22nd August 2010

There were further and more alarming forecasts in the Sunday Telegraph this weekend, with the chief economist at the Policy Exchange think tank warning that rates could rise to 8% within the next 2 years to combat soaring inflation. Mortgage lenders have continued to cut rates over the last week however, making it a good time for borrowers to consider locking in now and protecting themselves against rates rises over the next couple of years. Expe...

What the papers say- 4th August 2010

The debate surrounding interest rate predictions continued today, with two former policymakers warning that base rate could rise to as much as 3% by this time next year, following a period of economic stability.  As pointed out in both the Times and the Telegraph, this differs greatly from the majority of forecasts for a longer period of low rates, and will come as a shock to many homeowners.  Rather fortuitously then, the Daily Mail reported th...

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...

What the papers say - 19th and 20th June 2010

Interest only mortgages are not quite extinct but they are certainly becoming harder to find, as discussed in the Times this weekend. Scottish Widows has become the latest lender to restrict interest only lending to loans below £500,000, bringing it in line with other parts of the Lloyds Banking Group. Lenders including HSBC and Santander now limit the LTV to 75%, while others have tightened up on their list of suitable repayment vehicles. Expert...

What the papers say- 5th and 6th June 2010

The tightening up of interest only lending was big news in this weekend’s financial press, following the announcement by Northern Rock that they will no longer accept future inheritance, dividends, capital repayments or bonuses as suitable repayment vehicles. The Lloyds Group has also recently introduced higher rates for interest only customers, whilst other lenders including Abbey and Coventry have restricted the loan to value to 75%. Experts in...

What the papers say- 17th and 18th April 2010

There was support in this weekend’s financial press for Labour’s plan to turn Northern Rock back into a building society if they win the election, with the Telegraph and Independent on Sunday looking at the benefits of the mutual in terms of both the products and service they offer. Some of the most competitive rates are offered by building societies such as Hanley Economic and Nationwide, although experts pointed out that this is not always the ...

What the papers say- 6th and 7th March 2010

Borrowers who rush to secure a fixed rate when the base rate starts to rise could end up paying over the odds, warned experts in the Observer this weekend. Despite some lenders dropping their rates recently, brokers are still advising homeowners to consider a tracker mortgage unless they are particularly nervous about increasing payments. Those who are taking advantage of low rates are urged to overpay now and reduce the shock of future rate rise...

What the papers say- 3rd March 2010

The Daily Express reported today on recent research by the Post Office, which revealed that at least 3 million borrowers in the UK do not know what interest rate they are currently paying. Thousands of homeowners assume that Standard Variable Rate is the best deal for them, but with many variable rates now above 4%, experts urged people to review their options and consider a medium term fixed rate to protect against future rate rises.  An increa...

What the papers say- 27th and 28th February 2010

There was further bad news for First Time Buyers this weekend, with the Times and Telegraph revealing that Halifax is shortly to withdraw from the guarantor market. This type of mortgage is an important option for those looking to get onto the property ladder for the first time, and the good news is that lenders such as RBS, Co-Op and Nationwide continue to offer these deals. Experts advised however that criteria is tight, with lenders looking to...

What the papers say- 20th and 21st February 2010

Recent improvements in fixed and tracker rates once again grabbed some of the headlines in this weekend’s financial press, with the Telegraph and Mail on Sunday sounding the alarm for borrowers who reverted to Standard Variable Rate in the last 18 months and have seen their payments increase over the last few weeks. Whilst experts previously advised people to stay on low variable rates, it would seem that anyone who doesn’t consider changing now ...

What the papers say- 6th and 7th February 2010

With more lenders increasing their Standard Variable Rates over the last week, the Sunday Times looked at whether it is now time for borrowers to move their mortgage. As a general rule experts suggested that homeowners with more than 20% equity and on a Standard Variable Rate above 3.5% should consider switching now. Economists expect rates to double to 1% by the end of the year, rising to 2.50% by 2011, so the coming weeks appear to be a good ti...

What the papers say- 26th and 27th January 2010

State backed banks came under fire this week, with an investigation by the Daily Mail focusing on the products and services offered by Northern Rock, RBS and the Lloyds Group. All 3 banks have a Government guarantee that savers’ money will be protected and are therefore able to offer headline-grabbing savings and mortgage deals, dominating best buy tables and leaving smaller building societies struggling to compete. In terms of criteria however, ...

What the papers say- 23rd and 24th January 2010

Last week’s announcement by Skipton Building Society of their intention to increase their Standard Variable Rate from 3.50% to 4.95% led unsurprisingly to widespread coverage in this weekend’s financial press. The Society had previously maintained a ‘mortgage promise’, guaranteeing that their variable rate would be no more than 3% above the Bank of England Base Rate, but has removed this ceiling in response to ‘exceptional market conditions’. Exp...

What the papers say- 9th and 10th January 2010

The ‘January sales’ have hit the mortgage market over the last couple of weeks, with banks such as HSBC offering discounted rates and reduced fees in a bit to attract customers. The Financial Times and Sunday Times warned borrowers that these products may still not be the best deals available, and experts advised consumers to search the whole market before signing up. Standard Variable Rates were a hot topic in this weekend’s press, with the Inde...

What the papers say- 21st and 22nd November 2009

High loan-to-value mortgages featured heavily in this weekend’s financial press, with the Sunday Telegraph discussing recent figures from the Council of Mortgage Lenders which show that today’s First Time Buyers are required to deposit twice as much as 3 years ago in order to obtain a good deal. Industry experts pointed out in the Mail on Sunday that the gap between 60% and 90% deals has never been wider, and many borrowers have chosen to stick w...

What the papers say- 17th and 18th October 2009

This weekend’s mortgage news focused on the recent Centre for Economics and Business Research forecast that interest rates will remain low for at least 2 years, with the Daily Telegraph, the Guardian and the Observer all discussing the impact this will have on a borrower’s decision over what rate to take. Experts suggest that lifetime trackers and some standard variable rates are very competitive at the moment depending on the amount of equity in...

What the papers say- 10th and 11th October 2009

First-time buyers suffered another blow this week, with the announcement by Britannia that it will no longer lend above 85% of property value. As both the Sunday Express and Mail on Sunday reported, this leaves just a handful of mortgages available to those with a deposit of 10% or less and with Britannia removing most of the more competitive deals, rates now stand at a minimum of 5.99%. For those lucky borrowers with higher deposits there was go...

What the papers say- 26th – 27th September 2009

Alternative methods of purchasing a property were the order of the day this weekend, with The Guardian reporting on the return of the 100% mortgage, albeit in the form of a shared ownership scheme. The Mansfield Building Society has teamed up with the South Yorkshire Housing Association to offer the product, allowing buyers to purchase 60% of a property without a deposit, whilst paying rent on the remaining 40%. The Independent looked at lenders ...

What the papers say- 2nd September 2009

The financial midweek press took a more positive turn this week, with the release of Bank of England figures showing that £400 million more has been paid off UK mortgage debt than has been borrowed. The Daily Mail reported that £2.2 billion was withdrawn from building societies in June, suggesting that customers are diverting their funds from low paying savings accounts and using the money to repay credit cards and loans.  The Daily Express disc...

What the papers say- 22nd – 23rd August 2009

Mortgage news was brief but varied in this weekend’s financial press. The Daily Mail reported on the thousands of borrowers who took interest only mortgages in 2006 and 2007, many of whom stated at the time that they had no method of repaying the loan at the end of their mortgage term. With a decrease in property prices since then, a large number of homeowners have found themselves in negative equity and unable to sell their homes. Experts urged ...

What the papers say- 12th August 2009

New figures released by the Council of Mortgage Lenders was the main focus of the midweek financial press, and in particular the continuing struggle faced by First Time Buyers at a time of strict lending criteria and fierce competition for property. The Daily Mail reported that the average deposit paid by someone buying a property for the first time is now £31,875; more than double that of September 2007, while the average age of a new buyer who ...

What the papers say- 8th – 9th August 2009

With the Bank of England holding the base rate at 0.50% for another month, and a general belief that interest rates will remain stable for the foreseeable future, the financial press this weekend reported on borrowers switching their preference back to tracker rates. Experts in The Times predicted however that the recent decision to pump an additional £50 billion into the UK economy could result in lenders reducing their fixed rates again.  On a ...

What the papers say- 5th August 2009

Northern Rock hit the headlines again this week following news of a reported £725 million loss during the first 6 months of this year. Concerns have been raised over when the state-backed lender would be ready to sell back to the private sector, with the Financial Times suggesting that Alistair Darling will delay the sale until after the election. It also emerged that 1 in 10 Northern Rock borrowers are currently in negative equity, mainly due to...

What the papers say- 1st-2nd August 2009

The dilemma of deciding between fixed and tracker rates continued in the financial press this weekend, with experts in the Mail on Sunday predicting that the base rate will remain low for the foreseeable future. Borrowers were urged to act quickly whichever type of deal they decide on, as deals are currently changing on a weekly basis. Homeowners may be tempted to sit on a cheap standard variable rate until rates start to increase, claimed the Su...

What the papers say- 22nd July 2009

The midweek financial news was short and sweet, with a warning to borrowers not to be drawn in by enticing offers and cheap headline rates. The Daily Express and Daily Mirror both looked at the new Lloyds ‘Easy Step’ mortgage – which has a fixed rate of 2.59% until Feb 2010 followed by a considerably higher rate of 5.59% until October 2012. Experts agreed that while this scheme offers low monthly payments in the first year, the subsequent jump in...

What the papers say- 18th and 19th July 2009

Mortgage lenders were accused of holding back economic recovery in the financial press this weekend, with recent figures revealing that banks are operating on the highest profit margin for 20 years. The Mail on Sunday reported that that the average 2 year tracker is now 3.27% above the Bank of England base rate – a significant rise from the average margin of 1.51% this time last year – and there appears to be little sign of margins narrowing. Exp...

What the papers say- 11th and 12th July 2009

The spotlight was once again on high loan to value mortgages this weekend, with news that Nationwide has launched two new deals available up to 125% of the property value. This does not, however, signal a return to pre-credit crunch times, as these deals are only available to existing Nationwide customers looking to move home, and even then, as experts in the Independent on Sunday suggest, only a small number of borrowers will qualify. The FSA ha...

What the papers say- 27th and 28th June 2009

This weekend’s financial press contained a wide variety of articles ranging from the obstacles faced by members of the armed forces through to the seasonal increase in subsidence, but the main focus once again was securing that much talked about good value fixed rate before they disappear. The Mail on Sunday suggested that time is running out for borrowers, with 2 yr fixed rates now at an average of 4.9%, an increase of 0.16% since last week, whi...

What the papers say- 3rd June 2009

With experts predicting a sharp increase in interest rates later this year, much of today’s financial press looked at securing a good mortgage deal at the right time. The Mirror suggested that, as many mortgage offers are valid for 3 to 6 months, borrowers are able to review their mortgage requirements well in advance of their current deal expiring, therefore giving them the opportunity to reserve a new rate while they are still competitive.The E...

What the papers say - 23rd and 24th May 2009

Several of the articles in this weekend’s financial press looked at the difficulties faced by both potential and existing borrowers in the current climate. The Guardian reported on the lack of availability of shared ownership mortgages to anyone who doesn’t have a perfect credit score, while the Independent and the Times both discussed the increasing fear of repossession. On a more positive note, the new Lloyds TSB ‘Lend a Hand’ mortgage featured...

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