7 May 2019

press coverage

Lenders are cutting their mortgage rates as they try to attract new borrowers. Mark Harris of SPF Private Clients, said: ‘A subdued housing market is making for a very competitive lending market. With supply outstripping demand, this is keeping a lid on any mortgage rate increases as lenders compete with each other to attract business.’ The Daily Telegraph, 6 May 2019

The housing market suffered a fifth month of subdued growth in the face of continued Brexit uncertainty, according to Nationwide. Mark Harris of SPF Private Clients, said that while the housing market might be subdued, ‘the lending side is incredibly competitive. First-time buyers are in [lenders’] sights as they are the lifeblood of the market.’ The Daily Telegraph, 1 May 2019

The attack on the buy-to-let sector has left many landlords considering their future and exploring holiday lets instead. Mark Harris of SPF Private Clients, said: ‘Generally, holiday let mortgages aren’t as widespread, or as keenly priced, as standard buy-to-let deals. Regional building societies and specialist buy-to-let providers are happiest with holiday lets, but often the terms are more strict.’ The Daily Telegraph, 29 April 2019

Some building societies are coming up with initiatives to help first-time buyers. Cambridge building society has launched the Rent a Home initiative where the lender rents flats to tenants for £825 a month for three years; after that, the tenant gets 70% of the rent paid over the course of the tenancy to use as a deposit. At the moment there are only two flats available. Mark Harris of SPF Private Clients, said: ‘It seems a lot of work for the society only to get two potential mortgage borrowers in three years’ time.’ The Times, 20 April 2019

Property prices have grown by more than 5% in Liverpool, Leicester and Manchester in the past year, according to Zoopla. Mark Harris of SPF Private Clients, said: ‘When it comes to property prices, regional differences can be significant. London and the south of England have seen considerable property price rises to the extent that many first-time buyers are struggling to buy, particularly if they don’t have assistance from the Bank of Mum and Dad. Other parts of the country look to be more attainable from a property ownership point of view, with thriving cities such as Liverpool and Glasgow attracting those priced out of the south. These cities have subsequently seen greater price growth recently but because it is coming off a lower base, they are still relatively affordable.’ The Daily Mail, 25 April 2019

House prices rose by 2.6% year-on-year in March but fell 1.6% in the month from February, according to the Halifax. Mark Harris of SPF Private Clients, said: ‘Activity in the property market has been significantly dampened as Brexit uncertainty takes its toll, but lenders remain keen to grab what business there is out there. A handful have responded with rate cuts, with TSB, Halifax, NatWest, Barclays and Kensington reducing pricing on residential and buy-to-let mortgages. This is good news for those borrowers who are brave enough to take the plunge, or who have simply had enough of waiting and just want to get on with their lives.’ What Mortgage, 8 April 2019

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