6 April 2018

Press Coverage

Barclays has become the first lender to offer a new type of green mortgage for energy-efficient households. Mark Harris of SPF Private Clients, said: ‘Offering deals according to a property’s EPC rating in theory sounds like a good idea because it could encourage homeowners to improve the energy rating of their home. However, indirectly it may cause borrowers to end up with more expensive mortgages if lenders penalise lower ratings.’ The Times, 31 March 2018

If you are buying property in Europe, the best way to finance it may be to get a mortgage, even if you don’t really need one, as it can mitigate tax bills and help hedge your losses on buying on the Continent while sterling is weak. Use a specialist UK-based broker such as SPF Private Clients. The Sunday Times, 25 February 2018

Annual house price growth fell to a seven-month low in March, according to Nationwide building society. Mark Harris of SPF Private Clients, said: ‘Thankfully, mortgage rates are still relatively cheaply priced [providing some support to the market] as lenders compete for business but if a rate rise is on the cards, they are unlikely to stay this low forever.’ The Daily Mail, 29 March 2018

First-time buyers should ensure that they save as much of a deposit as possible. ‘Maximise your deposit,’ says Mark Harris of SPF Private Clients. ‘You can negotiate at mortgage in principle from a lender before you start your property search, to show agents and sellers that you are serious.’ The Times, 23 March 2018

There has been a drop in the number of would-be landlords entering the buy-to-let market. ‘This is more likely to be would-be novice landlords having second thoughts about investing in property as we are seeing experienced investors remain committed to the sector, with a significant proportion incorporating,’ says Mark Harris at SPF Private Clients. ‘Lenders are increasingly offering products aimed at this group, so rates are competitive.’ The Daily Telegraph, 13 March 2018

However, there is good news for landlords looking for a new mortgage deal with lenders loosening the purse strings, arguing that tax reforms, restraints on lending and the introduction of landlord licensing in some local authorities have acted to professionalise the private rented sector. Mark Harris of SPF Private Clients, says: ‘While the buy-to-let sector has been hit hard by tax regulatory changes, companies remain keen to lend to landlords. With novice landlords in particular being put off investing, there are fewer landlords to go after so lenders have to be as flexible as possible and competitive on rates.’ The Times, 17 March 2018

Residential lending fell in the last quarter of 2017, according to Bank of England data. Mark Harris of SPF Private Clients, says: ‘This may be down to a traditionally quieter period of the year for the housing market, lack of stock, continued uncertainty over Brexit and fears regarding potential future interest rate rises.’ The Times, 16 March 2018

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