3 October 2017

Press Coverage

It is a crucial moment for homeowners to review their mortgage as competition between lenders mean rates are keener than ever, while base rate is also expected to rise in November. But not everyone is convinced rates will rise sharply so there is no need to panic. Mark Harris of mortgage broker SPF Private Clients, says: ‘Even if rates do go up, they won’t do so very quickly.’ The Daily Telegraph, 26 September 2017

Graduates trying to get on the housing ladder are hampered by student debt and a lack of a deposit. Should they use government schemes to buy an investment property in a cheaper area? Eve Morgan of SPF Private Clients, says: ‘Help to Buy is designed to assist first-time buyers buy a main residence, rather than an investment property so [a first-time buyer] could not use it for buy-to-let. The other limitation of Help to Buy is the borrowing cap of 4.5 times income.’ The Times, 2 September 2017

Student accommodation is now an investment opportunity. Mark Harris of SPF Private Clients says: ‘Financing is available for up to 100 per cent of the property purchase, as long as close relatives provide security. With such mortgages, the idea is that the rental income from letting other rooms to tenants covers the loan repayments.’ The Mail on Sunday, 9 September 2017

Many mortgage prisoners face huge borrowing costs thanks to the legacy of a seismic shift in lending criteria rules that followed the credit crunch. Mark Harris of SPF Private Clients, says: ‘The borrowers with the biggest challenges are those mortgaged to lenders who are no longer actively lending and are trying to run their book down. There is no reason for them to offer a competitive retention product – they want people to remortgage. It is getting easier – there are a number of residential lenders who will consider remortgages for customers who have demonstrated an ability to service debt at a higher rate providing they are reassured that it is a debt they can continue to service. It is not always about having three pay slips and a P60 and a multiple of 4.5 times income. More flexibility is being shown, particularly by those lenders adopting a manual underwriting process.’ The Independent, 13 September 2017

Tougher times for Britain’s small army of landlords have seen the UK tumble down the rankings of the best places to invest in property in Europe. Mark Harris of SPF Private Clients, says: ‘Buy-to-let has certainly become more challenging in the UK with changes to mortgage interest tax relief, higher stamp duty for landlords and tighter mortgage criteria. Research is more crucial than ever but while making a profit out of buy-to-let is tougher than in the past and rental yields softer, it’s a big jump for the majority of landlords to head abroad.’ This is Money, 19 September 2017

A Times reader moving back to the UK from France want to know if they should buy a three-bedroom house for cash or keep some back for emergencies. Salini Bundhoo of SPF Private Clients, advises: ‘As the couple don’t have emergency savings they should consider putting aside up to six months’ worth of expenditure in an easy-access account to cover unexpected outgoings. If they buy a home outright, this will achieve security and mean lower ongoing expenses. However, it could be worth keeping some money back as they face lots of changes in their circumstances, and need to plan for their long-term future. Another advantage of taking out a mortgage is that rates are so cheap so they should talk to an independent mortgage broker.’ The Times, 9 September 2017

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