31 January 2020

Press Coverage

There is much speculation whether mortgage rates will go up after Brexit but Mark Harris of SPF Private Clients does not expect to see major changes: ‘It is highly unlikely that mortgage rates will alter a great deal after Brexit, at least in the short term. What is more likely to happen is a ‘Boris bounce’ boosting the market, with those buyers and sellers who have been deferring decisions now prepared to make them,’ he said. The Daily Telegraph, 30 January 2020

London house prices fell by 1.8 per cent in 2019, according to Nationwide, making it the weakest performing region in the country. Mark Harris said: ‘Being able to afford a mortgage in London remains the biggest challenge, despite the softening of prices there, while outside the capital it is the deposit which continues to be the issue.’ The Financial Times, 7 January 2020

Mortgage approvals are at their highest level in a decade, according to UK Finance, and that’s not necessarily the end of it, said Mark Harris: ‘With transactional levels low, many lenders didn’t do as much lending as they would have liked [last year], which means there is plenty of cash left in the pot for this year.’ Sky News, 27 January 2020

Explaining the UK Finance figures further to The Metro, Mark Harris said: ‘Last year turned out to be a strong year for the mortgage market, even with disruptive headwinds caused by Brexit and a General Election. Lenders remained keen to lend and offered the rock-bottom deals to prove it.’ The Metro, 27 January 2020

Lenders take different approaches to considering bonuses when it comes to a mortgage so it is worth taking advice. Mark Harris said: ‘Lenders that allow you to declare 100 per cent of a bonus will look at the average you have received over the past two years. Those that let you declare 60 per cent tend to look at that year’s bonus alone. Which could mean that you get a better deal if you had a large pay out this year.’ The Times, 18 January 2020

The Office for National Statistics reported that property prices started to creep up again in the year to November. Mark Harris said that while November’s figures are interesting, experts really want to see what happened in December. ‘The election has given the market the kick-start it needed with more positivity and confidence in all quarters. Talk is no longer of Brexit and while it still needs resolving, it is refreshing for attention to finally turn to other matters. The year to November saw average property values rise again, supported by limited stock.’ This is Money, 15 January 2020