31 October 2019

Press Coverage

There has been an increase in number of first-time buyers getting on the housing ladder in August, according to estate agent Hamptons. Mark Harris of SPF Private Clients, said: ‘Far from a housing market on its knees, new first-time buyer mortgages for August were at their highest level since the same month in 2007 showing real resilience. It also demonstrates the lengths lenders are going to in attracting first-time buyers with competitive mortgages at high loan-to-values and innovation on family lending products where families can help offspring onto the housing ladder.’ The Evening Standard, 15 October 2019

The buy-to-let market is showing some signs that it is starting to recover after being hit with severe tax and regulatory changes. Mark Harris of SPF Private Clients, said low mortgage rates were attracting landlords back to the sector: ‘Rates are cheap so landlords extending their portfolios or remortgaging can still get a good deal, even if the new rules are making it harder to make money.’ The Daily Telegraph, 13 October 2019

A Times reader wants to help his friend to get on the housing ladder. Elena Todorova of SPF Private Clients, said: ‘It’s wonderful to see friends supporting each other and luckily there are a number of options they can consider. As he would like to protect his interest, giving his friend the option to buy him out in the future, they might want to consider a joint borrower, single proprietor mortgage, which allows someone to be jointly named on a mortgage to help to increase the amount that can be borrowed, but still allows the property to be in the sole name of the owner, potentially avoiding stamp duty and capital gains tax issues. This allows him to keep control of the loan because his friend will not be able to sell or remortgage without his consent. They both should consider independent legal advice.’ The Times, 5 October 2019

House prices grew at their slowest annual rate in six years in September, according to the Halifax. Mark Harris said low levels of activity was forcing mortgage lenders to ‘work incredibly hard to generate business and stand out from the competition. This is excellent news for borrowers and once buyers return to the market, when the uncertainty is removed from the equation, there are some extremely competitive products for them to take advantage of.’ City AM, 7 October 2019 

Explaining the Halifax data in even more detail, Mark Harris added: ‘Because transaction levels are so low, this means even further cutting of fixed-rate mortgages, while those lenders who can’t compete on price are having to tweak criteria and be more flexible than perhaps they might have been in the past.’ The Evening Standard, 7 October 2019