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. ...

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. ...

Is your self-employed paperwork up to date?

The number of self-employed people in the UK continues to grow, but getting a mortgage if you work for yourself isn’t always straightforward. ...

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. ...

Borrowers fix for longer

Longer term 5 and 10-year fixed rate mortgages are becoming increasingly popular, as borrowers seek to protect themselves from further interest rate rises. ...

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. ...

SVR Watch - August 2018

The Bank of England has increased base rate by 0.25% to 0.75%. Here’s our rundown of how lenders are reacting to the rise, so you can see whether yours has increased its Standard Variable Rate. ...

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. ...

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. ...

Bank of England raises interest rates

The Bank of England has raised the base rate to 0.75%, meaning higher monthly mortgage costs for millions of homeowners on variable rate deals. ...

Securing a fixed rate to protect against rising interest rates

Fixed mortgage rates remain at historic lows, with five-year rates available below 2% in May 2018. You don’t have to fix your rate for five years though to benefit from a low rate. Deals usually range from two years up to 10 years or longer, so you can pick a term to suit your needs. ...

Difference between SVRs and fixed rates grows

The gap between the best fixed rate mortgage deals and lenders’ standard variable rates has widened substantially over the past nine years, according to the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA). ...

Options improve for 95% remortgage deals

Homeowners with only a limited amount of equity now have a greater choice of remortgage options, with lenders including Virgin Money, Tesco and Atom Bank improving their offerings at this end of the market. ...

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. ...

Brexit could delay rate rises

Interest rates could be kept on hold for longer in the event of a “disorderly” Brexit, according to the Governor of the Bank of England....

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 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 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 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. ...

House price growth slows

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

Make sure you use your paper £10 notes before 1st March!

There are just a few days to go before around 211 million paper £10 notes featuring Charles Darwin cease to become legal tender. That’s enough cash to pay off more than 14,000 mortgages of £150,000 each! ...

Interest-only borrowers warned to take action

Homeowners with interest-only mortgages who could face a shortfall in their repayment plans should take action or contact their lender as soon as possible to discuss their options. ...

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. ...

M&S introduces first mortgage range

M&S Bank has launched its first mortgage range, which includes fixed and tracker deals for those moving home or remortgaging, as well as for first-time buyers. ...

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. ...

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. ...

First-time buyers continue to buoy mortgage market

First-time buyers and those remortaging continue to drive lending activity, according to the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML), whilst the number of home movers and buy to let borrowers is falling. The number of buy to let purchases is nearly half what it was a year ago, the CML said, averaging around 6,000 purchases a month over the last 12 months. Buy to let figures have fallen dramatically following the introduction of the second home stamp...

Interest rates held at 0.25%

The Bank of England left the base rate unchanged at 0.25% in it’s May meeting, but warned that rising living costs and falling wages will mean “challenging” times for many households this year. ...

Leasehold Vs Freehold

Understanding the difference between leasehold and freehold is vital when buying a home. Find out more with L&C Mortgages....

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....

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...

4 tips for mortgage money saving

A mortgage is one of the most expensive commitments many of us will ever take out, but even some of the savviest households fail to consider cutting the costs of their mortgage. ...

What the papers say – 15th and 16th August 2015

With an interest rate increase on the horizon, it seems that borrowers are beginning to act. The Independent reported this weekend on recent figures from the Council of Mortgage Lenders, which reveal a 30% increase in remortgage activity in June.The Financial Times suggested that February 2016 is currently the most popular prediction for the first increase to happen. While rates have begun to edge up in anticipation, lenders are still keen for bu...

What the papers say – 1st and 2nd August 2015

There was a great deal of speculation once again in this weekend’s press regarding the future of interest rates. The Times, Mail on Sunday and Sunday Telegraph all looked at rate increases from a number of lenders over the last week, suggesting that the bottom of the market has been hit. Brokers reported most of their remortgage clients are opting for fixed rates now to protect themselves from future increases, and advised against waiting too lon...

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...

Can late payments affect a mortgage application?

Whilst some lenders are more lenient than others, late payments will always affect your mortgage application to some degree.If you miss a payment on any form of credit, it stays on your credit file for six years regardless of how quickly you have caught up. The likelihood is that this will have a negative impact on your credit rating, especially during the first few years.Still, it all depends on you and your individual circumstances as to how di...

Can you get a mortgage on a temporary work contract?

The good news is that being on a temporary work contract won’t necessarily stop you getting a mortgage, providing you have at least 12 months’ history in that current line of work and have not had any breaks in employment. What’s the issue with ‘temp’ contracts and mortgages? Most lenders don’t like short term contracts because they suggest the applicant’s income isn’t guaranteed for any significant period of time.If you’re on a temporary contr...

Adding partners or spouses onto an existing mortgage

If you and your partner have been living together, there may come a point where you want to put your partners name onto the mortgage alongside yours.If your partner is helping to pay off the mortgage or contributing to the bills, and especially where children are involved, it can be a sensible move to get them added to the property deeds and the mortgage. However, it’s not just a case of changing the names on the mortgage with your lender....

Do payday loans affect getting a mortgage?

Payday loans won’t directly affect your mortgage or remortgage application, but if you’ve taken one out in the last six years, then lenders may become warier of you and this could lead towards your mortgage application being rejected.Here’s how it works… The effect of a payday loan on your credit rating Evidence of your payday loan will stay on your credit file for six years, which is one reason why the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has cal...

Divorce and Mortgages

If you are going through a divorce one of the most important steps is sorting out the finances. It is often the case that one of the main parts of the settlement is who will get to keep the house.So how is that decision reached? What happens with the remaining mortgage payments? And once it has been determined by all parties involved and that reconciliation is irretrievable, what happens to the mortgage? Who is liable for the mortgage? If you ...

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 – 13th and 14th July 2013

Niche mortgage deals were the focus of this weekend’s financial press, following the launch of the Leeds Building Society 0% mortgage. This deal offers a range of 3 and 5 year fixed rates where the payable rate is 0% for the first 3 or 6 months. Brokers in the Guardian and the Financial Times welcomed the new deal, suggesting that it could benefit First Time Buyers by giving them some breathing space after having used the bulk of their savings on...

Mortgage market on the up

The mortgage market is one that has been light on good news ever since the credit crisis hit, changing its face almost overnight.  The tightening of criteria and tougher deposit requirements meant that there was little of cheer for those looking for a new mortgage.However there has been something of a turnaround in market conditions with lenders now fighting tooth and nail to attract mortgage borrowers.  Hardly a day passes without a lender makin...

Funding for Lending helps improve mortgage rates

Hardly a day goes by without a mortgage lender announcing an improvement to its mortgage rates.  This increased level of competition has on occasion seen some 2 year fixed deals drop just below 2% and 5 year deals below 3%.This improvement in lender appetite has certainly been assisted by the Funding for Lending Scheme (FLS).  The FLS was announced by the Bank of England in July and launched in August to provide a source of cheap funding for lend...

What the papers say – 7th and 8th July 2012

Last week’s announcement that ING will be increasing their Standard Variable Rate from 1st August prompted further discussion in this weekend’s financial press about increasing rates. Experts in the Sunday Express and Sunday Times suggested that many borrowers have been sitting happily on SVR for some time now, but recent movements such as this should act as a catalyst for homeowners to review their deal and consider remortgaging now. For those ...

Halifax Gives its SVR Cap More Headroom

Halifax has announced that it will increase the cap that applies to its standard variable rate (SVR) for some borrowers.  The cap will increase from 3% above Bank of England Base Rate to as much as 3.75% above Base Rate.That may not come as a big surprise to some as this isn’t the first time that Halifax has increased the cap on its SVR.   Although there has not yet been any increase in the SVR it would seem a fair bet that this will only lay the...

What the papers say - 15th-16th October 2011

With 319 different offset schemes now available both the Financial Times and Independent encourage borrowers to explore whether their savings will give a better return if they are used to offset their mortgage debt.  As the Sunday Times indicates the housing market recovery has stalled although some lenders are launching new products to try and help first time buyers return to the market.  The Times looked at whether it is time to switch mortgag...

CML Data Reveals Improvements in Mortgage lending

CML (Council of Mortgage Lenders) data released yesterday showed overall lending for house purchase in July increased both in volume and value versus June, and was at its highest level since August 2010. There were a total of 48,800 home purchase loans with a value of £7.3billion.In addition lending to first-time buyers was at its highest level in a year at 18,200 loans with a value of £2.3billion and remortgages too showed a marked improvement, ...

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...

What the papers say - 1st December 2010

With interest rates at rock bottom the only way is up, and the Daily Mirror today looked at what homeowners can do to minimise the pain of paying a higher rate now in order to save in the long term. Several lenders allow borrowers to split their mortgage between a fixed and variable rate for example, and others are offering competitive deals to help homeowners make that difficult decision. Barclays have recently launched a range of ‘Great Escape’...

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 - 10th and 11th January 2009

Trackers were still a major topic in various weekend mortgage articles, following a further cut to the Bank base rate on Thursday. The Mail on Sunday noted that trackers are ‘safe as houses’ and that borrowers due to remortgage and first-time buyers are being urged to shun fixed rate deals in their favour, as interest rates look set to stay low and could fall even further. However, the Daily Telegraph revealed that in many cases homeowners have ...

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...

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

The weekend money pages were packed with finance-themed Christmas present ideas and there was plenty of advice for worried savers and analysis of the current mortgage market. The Mail on Sunday noted that although several leading building societies have won points with the Government for cutting mortgage rates swiftly in the wake of the latest base rate cut, not all have been as generous as they seem. Much to the anger of many borrowers, the gap...

Mortgage News

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 - 1st and 2nd November 2008

The Guardian on Saturday revealed that some of Britain’s biggest lenders have small print terms which allow them not to pass on rate cuts, even if the contract says the loan is tied to the Bank of England base rate. Reportedly, several banks and building societies impose a ‘collar’ on their tracker mortgages that limits how low a borrower’s pay rate can fall, irrespective of any base rate cuts. There was similar gloom in the Sunday Times, which ...

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 - 9th and 10th August 2008

Several articles in the weekend money pages marketed long-term fixed and tracker rate mortgages as financially desirable, due to their competitive interest rates and fees. The Sunday Express looked at that increasing numbers of borrowers opting for these types of mortgage because you don’t have to remortgage as often, which lessens the impact of arrangement fees by spreading them over a longer period. Despite the competitiveness of some of these ...

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...

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