28 February 2017

Press Coverage

Analysis by Savills for The Times reveals that the average London homebuyer is borrowing four times their income, compared with 3.46 times five years ago. However, Mark Harris of SPF Private Clients argues that loan-to-income figures ‘can be mis-leading as it is not clear whether lenders are basing the figures on the total income of the borrower, or only that element used to apply for the loan’. The Times, 24 February 2017

The Co-operative bank has put itself up for sale, which begs the question: what does this mean for its mortgage customers? Mark Harris of SPF Private Clients, said: ‘Borrowers have no need to panic, as the terms of their contract will be honoured by any lender acquiring the bank. Most borrowers should not notice any difference, apart from when they come to the end of their current deal, when they may find the new owner has a higher SVR. In this case they should be able to remortgage elsewhere, assuming they show they can afford to service the mortgage.’ The Sunday Times, 19 February 2017

Mortgage lending is at its highest level since January 2008, according to the Council of Mortgage Lenders, leading some to question whether a fresh credit boom is on the cards. Mark Harris of SPF Private Clients, said: ‘Lenders remain keen to lend, with some competing on rates while others tweak criteria. This is likely to continue throughout the spring and we expect products to remain keenly priced.’ The Daily Mail, 23 February 2017

Meanwhile, The Express reported that £18.9-billion worth of mortgages were handed out in January. Mark Harris of SPF Private Clients, said: ‘Traditionally, January tends to be a quieter month than December but this year has been busy with first-time buyer numbers holding up well. Lenders have stepped into the breach with a wide choice of high loan-to-value products at competitive rates. Meanwhile, super low mortgage rates mean it is a great time to remortgage. With uncertainty surrounding the triggering of Article 50, borrowers can at least ensure that their mortgage payments are fixed and at very competitive pricing, buying them some security.’ The Daily Express, 23 February 2017

The number of home movers in London has fallen to its lowest level in 25 years, according to the Council of Mortgage Lenders, but remortgage activity jumped 21 per cent. Mark Harris of SPF Private Clients, said: ‘Remortgaging numbers are exceptionally strong, a result of just how cheap mortgage rates have become rather than any real concern that interest rates are going to start rising anytime soon.’ What Mortgage, 22 February 2017

Homeownership remains an aspiration for many, yet it’s getting more and more difficult for some of the UK’s most valued professionals to take the first step onto the ladder. Mark Harris of SPF Private Clients said: ‘Experienced key workers are essential to the smooth running of society, so if they are completely priced out of areas because the gap between house prices and income is so great, this is bad news for everyone.’ The Daily Mirror, 22 February 2017

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