23 May 2017

Press Coverage

House prices are rising faster than incomes but one way of keeping costs down is to consider building your own home. Mark Harris of SPF Private Clients, said: ‘Building your own home is another way of becoming a homeowner while keeping costs down. VAT refunds are available on building materials and services while self-builders tend to pay lower stamp duty because they pay on the plot rather than the finished property.’ Mail Online, 9 May 2017

A Times reader has £150,000 to invest and wants to know where he should put it. Salini Bundhoo of SPF Private Clients, advised: ‘Consider spreading the money across more than one bank account to benefit from the Financial Services Compensation Scheme limit of £85,000 per person should this bank be declared in default. It seems sensible to spread the money across easy access accounts and medium to long-term savings accounts. Unfortunately, interest rates tend to be low across most savings products, so gathering significant interest may not be a possibility. If he is looking for higher rates, he could consider the stock market although this would depend on his attitude to risk.’ The Times, 13 May 2017

Annual house price growth slowed to its weakest pace for three and a half years in March, according to the Office for National Statistics and the Land Registry. Mark Harris of SPF Private Clients, said the housing market in March ‘was bound to be quieter compared with a year ago’. Sky News, 16 May 2017

Expanding on these comments in This is Money, Mark Harris of SPF Private Clients added: ‘A year ago investors and second homeowners were rushing to purchase in order to beat the stamp duty hike at the beginning of April. This year there is no such impetus to focus the mind, with the market ticking along as usual. On the lending side, mortgage rates continue to be extremely competitive. The mortgage market is oversupplied in all areas – whether it is buy-to-let, owner-occupier, second charge or development finance – there is a lot of supply out there. When supply and demand are out of kilter, it affects pricing and that is what we are seeing.’  This is Money, 16 May 2017

Many homeowners have been overpaying on their mortgage in order to reduce the interest they pay. However, Mark Harris of SPF Private Clients advises clearing your most expensive debt first before overpaying on the mortgage: ‘There is little wisdom in overpaying when your mortgage rate is say three per cent if you have debt on your credit card which is charged at a rate approaching 20 per cent,’ he says. The Mail on Sunday, 22 May 2017

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