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.

More changes on the way for landlords

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

What the 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...

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...

Who is responsible for a mortgage after death?

Dealing with the death of a loved one is difficult enough, and trying to get your head around the financial side of things (like their mortgage) can make things even more complicated.I’ve published this post to help you understand how the mortgage may be handled following the death of a partner or spouse. Even so, it’s important to note that there are lots of other things to consider and every situation is different....

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...

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...

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...

Is it harder to get a mortgage if you are self-employed?

The simple answer is no, provided that you have your accounts up to date.Whilst the perception amongst borrowers might be that getting a mortgage if you are self employed is trickier, the truth is that as long as you have proof of income in the forms of signed accounts or tax returns then it should not be any harder than someone who is employed. What will I need to provide As standard most lenders will ask for 3 years accounts, whether you are ...

What can you expect to be asked at a mortgage meeting?

Applying for a mortgage can be a somewhat daunting and stressful experience. The following article will give you some idea of what to expect and explain how a good broker can help with the process. Why have things changed recently? The credit crunch has made lenders approach mortgages with much more caution than they did previously. This means they look at your income and expenditure in more depth than before, and especially whether you could a...

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....

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 – 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- 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...

BSA report calls for Northern Rock to be remutalised.

A new report published for the Building Societies Association has put the case for returning Northern Rock to a mutual status, once the home for all building societies. The report suggests three key economic reasons why a stronger mutual sector would be beneficial to the financial system. Bio-diversity – A stronger mutual sector would help to counterbalance the now plc dominated financial system, while helping spread the wealth and welfare from...

Why we are paying more for our mortgages.

With bank rate remaining unchanged since March and the cost to lenders of funding mortgages so low, you would be forgiven for wondering why mortgages are becoming more expensive. In the face of mounting criticism for increasing mortgage rates, the lenders position has been laid out in the latest “News & Views” from the Council of Mortgage Lenders and it makes interesting reading. Lenders are less able to vary the rate they charge existing c...

Budget Summary

Here are the main points of the budget delivered yesterday by Alistair DarlingHousing & MortgagesThe temporary increase in the nil rate stamp duty threshold to £175,000 will be extended to the end of the year. This means around 60% of all house purchases will be exempt.£500 million will be provided to enable stalled housing developments to be completed£100 million will be given to local government to build energy efficient housing.£50 million...

Government Announces New Measures to Support Banks and Free up Funds for Lending

The Government has announced a second round of packages aimed at stabilising UK banks and encouraging lending. The measures will see billions of pounds of taxpayer’s money pumped into the effort to free up funds, which it is hoped with be lent to both homeowners and businesses. In the original round of measures last October, the Government committed £37 billion, but this round could go much further.The package of measures includes an Asset Protec...

Yorkshire and Barnsley Building Societies to merge.

The Yorkshire and Barnsley building societies are to merge by the end of the year as the Barnsley seeks protection against the possible loss of up to £10m, deposited with two Icelandic banks.The Barnsley along with some local authorities and charities had more than a billion pounds between them on deposit with Icelandic banks, which are not covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme. The Barnsley said it had reserves large enough to ab...

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