11 January 2018

Press Coverage

Householders are rushing to tie in to low mortgage rates, according to Nationwide building society. However, Mark Harris of mortgage broker SPF Private Clients, notes the cost of borrowing for five years in the wholesale ‘swap’ market is just above 1 per cent – with the base rate at 0.5 per cent, this implies little increase in rates over the next five years. The Times, 2 December 2017

Remortgage approvals jumped to a nine-year high in October, according to the Bank of England. Mark Harris of SPF Private Clients, said: ‘Mortgage rates continue to be competitive despite the base rate rise earlier this month.’ The Metro, 30 November 2017

A couple who took out a ten-year fixed-rate mortgage via SPF Private Clients are featured in an article on fixing your mortgage for the long term. While they are delighted with their deal, Mark Harris of SPF Private Clients warns borrowers not to take portability of such a mortgage from one property to another for granted. ‘In theory, you should be able to port your mortgage if you need to move house within 10 years, but there is no guarantee this will be the case,’ he warns. ‘Make sure you don’t fix for longer than you are absolutely sure about, even if the rate is tempting. A first-time buyer clubbing together and buying with friends might be unwise to take out a 10-year fix. It might be more realistic for a family with a couple of children settled in school.’ The Sunday Times, 10 December 2017

Property prices are up 4.5 per cent annually, according to the Office for National Statistics. Mark Harris of SPF Private Clients, says: ‘House price growth continued to slow in October, according to this rather historic data, but as we near the end of 2017 it is clear that it has turned out to be a stronger-than-expected year for the housing market. Despite the uncertainty created by the Brexit negotiations, many people have got on with buying and selling property regardless.’ This is Money, 12 December 2017

House prices dipped by 0.5 per cent month-on-month in October according to the Land Registry, while many people are getting on with buying property despite the economic uncertainty. Mark Harris of SPF Private Clients, say: ‘Borrowers have been able to benefit from some of the cheapest fixed-rate mortgages ever seen, and as we move into 2018, we expect to see more of the same.’ The Daily Mirror, 14 December 2017

Despite the slowdown in price growth, getting on the property ladder has become even more of a struggle in most parts of the country as wages have failed to keep pace with house values. Mark Harris of SPF Private Clients, says: ‘With incomes failing to keep pace with property prices, many first-time buyers are struggling to get onto the housing ladder. For those with student debt to service and paying high rents, saving up a £20,000 deposit is well nigh impossible – and of course in places such as London, the amount required is far higher than that.’ The Daily Mail, 14 December 2017

An engaged couple in their twenties ask for advice on whether to overpay their mortgage or keep their spare cash in savings. Andrew Lawrence, a mortgage expert at SPF Private Clients, says: ‘Overpaying the mortgage is a great way to reduce the interest you owe and to ensure that you pay the loan back more quickly. Any overpayments in excess of 10 per cent of the outstanding mortgage amount may result in penalties, so they should consider putting any surplus cash into an Isa. It will attract interest and can always be used to make a lump sum overpayment on their mortgage once their deal ends.’ The Times, 16 December 2017

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