10 July 2017

Press Coverage

House prices in the UK rebounded in June, according to Nationwide building society. Mark Harris, chief executive of mortgage broker SPF Private Clients, said: ‘With prices in London spiralling out of control and the market now entering a period of correction, buyers are looking outside the capital either for investment properties or to live and commute from.’ The Times, 28 June 2017

Expanding on these comments, Mark Harris told the Daily Mail: ‘A city such as Birmingham is just over an hour away, for example – with people prepared to commute for that long if it means a more affordable property. Debate is starting to grow over whether interest rates need to rise but while the monetary policy committee was split at the last meeting, the majority still feel that the recovery is too tentative to justify a rise at this stage. With Brexit negotiations likely to be long and complex, it may be that an interest rate rise will be delayed as long as possible.’ The Daily Mail, 28 June 2017

While London’s property market is slowing, elsewhere it is full steam ahead, according to Hometrack. Discussing the Manchester property market, Russell Hall of SPF Private Clients, said: ‘While the market is strong, much of it is being fuelled by foreign investment, particularly the Asian market, with a premium being paid of between 3 and 5 per cent. Foreign investors are snapping up city centre flats for cash, so no surveys are done and no mortgages applied for.’ The Times, 30 June 2017

 Homeowners in their forties and fifties can easily become trapped with expensive mortgages if they are refused a new deal because of their age. Part of the problem is that lenders often don’t use commonsense, says Mark Harris of SPF Private Clients: ‘It is not inconceivable that a consultant, for example, could work into their eighties. A commonsense approach is required, something readily adopted by smaller building societies but not so much by the larger volume players.’ The Evening Standard, 7th July 2017

Borrowers lured by record low mortgage rates would be wise to check the fees. Mark Harris of SPF Private Clients, said: ‘The bigger the mortgage, the less important the fee and the more important the rate. Remember you can always add the fee onto the mortgage if you don’t have the cash to pay upfront but you will pay more in the long run because you will be charged interest on top.’ The Sun, 3rd July 2017

This is Money also followed up on the Moneyfacts research, which shows that cheap deals often come with a sting in the tail in the form of higher fees. Mark Harris of SPF Private Clients said: ‘Generally speaking, lenders offering rock-bottom rates may charge a higher fee in order to make the pricing commercially viable. However, that doesn’t mean you should always avoid high fees because you may get a very cheap rate.’ This is Money, 6th July 2017

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