15 March 2017

Press Coverage

Borrowers worried about the potential effect of Brexit and the Trump administration can lock in to decent mortgage rates to see them securely through the next decade. But Mark Harris of SPF Private Clients said the biggest issue was the lengthy lock-in period on a ten-year fixed-rate mortgage. ‘Circumstances change – a decade is a long time to know for certain what you will be doing,’ he explained. ‘Most 10-year fixes have early redemption charges for the entire length of the fix so it can be expensive to get out of the mortgage early.’ The Daily Telegraph, 4 March 2017

Meanwhile, the Bank of England has tweaked an obscure rule which could make it easier for applicants to borrow more than four-and-a-half times their annual income. Mark Harris of SPF Private Clients, said: ‘The change reduces the likelihood of lenders ‘pulling down the shutters’ in panic when they get close to the reporting limits, which should make for a smoother, more manageable process.’ This is Money, 27 February 2017

Buy-to-let has come under attack in recent months with the stamp duty surcharge now payable on investment properties, the reduction of mortgage interest tax relief from next month and tougher mortgage criteria. Even so, Mark Harris of SPF Private Clients says with savings paying near zero interest, many investors will continue to favour bricks and mortar. ‘Those who bought some years ago and have reduced their mortgage debt should still be able to turn a profit.’ The Sunday Express, 5 March 2017

With interest rates at record lows, it may make sense to use ‘spare’ cash to overpay on your mortgage and pay it back more quickly rather than leave it languishing in a savings account. Mark Harris of SPF Private Clients, said: ‘Most lenders will let you overpay on your mortgage by up to 10 per cent of the mortgage amount per annum without charging you a redemption penalty for doing so, but this can differ from lender to lender so it is worth checking before making any overpayments. This is a standard offering to all customers so does not depend on your individual circumstances such as your credit rating.’ Your Money, 10 March 2017

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