25 July 2018

Press Coverage

Mortgage lenders are offering hundreds of pounds in cashback to entice borrowers. Mark Harris of SPF Private Clients says: ‘Most lenders are not where they want to be in terms of mortgages lent and market share so far this year. These cashback deals are a way of gaining more business.’ However, he added that borrowers ought not to be swayed by cashback offers, but look at the full cost of the mortgage: ‘Do not pick a product with a gimmick. You need to put the cashback into your calculations and work out if the mortgage rate is better than another product without cashback,’ he warns. The Times, 14 July 2018

First-time buyers are leaving £7bn of government funding unclaimed because they don’t understand what schemes are available and how they work. Mark Harris of SPF Private Clients, says: ‘There are several government schemes which can assist you in getting on the housing ladder and which are worth exploring but trying to get your head around what is available can be tricky. Many people don’t know whether they are eligible or not, and don’t know where to go to find out whether they are. While it is a confusing area, if you are eligible, and don’t realise, you could be throwing away free money.’ The Daily Telegraph, 11 July 2018

The presence of Japanese knotweed can threaten a home’s foundations and make it possible to sell or remortgage. However, Mark Harris of SPF Private Clients, says some lenders are taking a more lenient approach: ‘Attitudes depend on its proximity to you and your neighbours’ properties and whether there is a planned eradication programme.’ He adds that buyers should confirm work has been carried out: ‘It must have an insurance-backed guarantee that will transfer with the ownership of the property. This should run for at least 10 years.’ The Daily Express, 18 July 2018

Two of the biggest lenders have launched 10-year fixed mortgages aimed at homeowners staying in their properties for the long haul. Mark Harris of SPF Private Clients, says traditionally the take-up of 10-year fixes has been limited because they cost much more than two or five-year products. ‘However, with the pricing of 10-year fixes falling, particularly as more lenders offer such products, it can be appealing to get that level of uncertainty at such a competitive price, at a time when it looks as though interest rates will rise.’ But he warns against tying yourself in for too long. ‘While a 10-year fix may make sense for a young family who have already moved up the property ladder, have enough space and are unlikely to move for some time, it makes less sense for a first-time buyer purchasing with a friend, as much could change in that person’s life over the next decade,’ he adds. The Mirror, 19 July 2018

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