The recent fund of £200bn to help banks lend announced by the Bank of England needs to be targeted well to succeed. One area that could do with greater finance is the buy-to-let market. Investors have been flocking to buy empty and run down properties to rent out due to the housing demand. However, buy-to-let mortgages are still hard to come by, especially for properties that need renovation. Recent studies have shown there may be more than 250,000 houses empty and in need of refurbishment. These properties can be improved by private buy-to-let investors and returned to the housing stock, thus improving supply. This in turn will meet the demand.. read more →

House sales are almost 40% lower than five years ago at the peak of the boom, says the latest housing market survey from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) During May, the average number of completed sales per surveyor was 15.6. This represents almost a 40% drop from May 2007’s figure of 25.4 and goes some way to illustrating the extent to which market activity has fallen in recent years. For example, the lowest two-year fixed rate mortgage is from HSBC at 2.64%, however adding the combined booking and arrangement fee of £1,999 means the total amount to be paid back over the two years for someone borrowing £150,000.. read more →

Fees for fixed and tracker mortgage products have increased by over 20% since September 2009, according to The comparison site says products with the lowest headline rates are not necessarily the best value over the term of the deal as once fees are factored in, a product with a slightly higher rate but lower set-up costs may actually prove cheaper. For example, the lowest two-year fixed rate mortgage is from HSBC at 2.64%, however adding the combined booking and arrangement fee of £1,999 means the total amount to be paid back over the two years for someone borrowing £150,000 is £18,404.20. The same amount borrowed over two years with.. read more →

Lending to the buy-to-let property market took a hit in the first three months of this year, with the first fall in mortgage loans to the sector for five quarters blamed on the faltering UK economy. The total number of buy-to-let mortgages now stands at just over 1.4m, worth some £160bn. New buy-to-let lending in the first quarter of this year totaled £3.7bn, representing some 32,300 loans, according to the Council of Mortgage Lenders. The figure was 5pc lower than that for the fourth quarter of 2011. The likely cause is that “investor demand has not proved immune to the renewed recession, tightening credit conditions and declining sentiment about the.. read more →

13 Jun 2012
June 13, 2012

Rents to keep rising says RICS

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Rents in buy-to-let investments rose further in the three months to April, with 13% more chartered surveyors reporting rises rather than falls in the three months to April. The latest survey from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors shows the growth was largely driven by increasing demand for privately rented properties. For prospective buy-to-let landlords, rental demand is greater for houses than for flats. Looking ahead, surveyors remain positive that the market will remain buoyant over the next three months, with 13% more predicting rents will rise rather than fall. Across the UK, all areas expect rents to continue to increase with the exception of Scotland where expectations entered negative.. read more →

Research from the National Landlords Association has shown that almost three-quarters – 74%, of landlords agree that the buy-to-let market needs greater innovation. While an overwhelming proportion, 89%, also believe it would benefit from more lenders or greater competition. However, although many landlords were dissatisfied with the current range of buy-to-let products on the market, the research found that property acquisition is in fact on the rise with one-in-ten landlords having added buy-to-let properties to their portfolios over the last three months and one-in-five expecting to do so in the next year. Furthermore, more than half of landlords surveyed do not believe that access to buy-to-let mortgages is getting any.. read more →

The latest Nationwide survey shows house prices rose by 0.3% in May, but are still 0.7% lower than a year ago. The price of a typical home is now £166,022. There is evidence that the strong performance of the buy-to let market has supported house prices from further erosion. Investors looking to find returns that are better than from a bank and less volatile than the stock market, are seeking buy-to-let investments as their preferred alternative. Robert Gardner, chief economist at Nationwide, says: “Prices were up by a modest 0.3% over the month, and were just 0.7% lower than May last year, even though the UK economy dipped back into.. read more →

New figures from the debt charity, the Consumer Credit Counselling service (CCCS) say that the number of homeowners who have mortgage arrears in their 20’s has practically halved. Further, the numbers seeking help from this group has also fallen from 4,489 in 2009 to 3,008 in 2011. There has also been a dramatic improvement in the household budgets of CCCS’s homeowning clients in their twenties. They have gone from having a budget deficit of £15.02 in 2009 to having a budget surplus of £63.42 in 2011. The charity attributes this improving situation to low interest rates which have seen average monthly mortgage payments for its homeowning clients in their twenties.. read more →

01 Jun 2012
June 1, 2012

The New Mortgage Rules

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By next year the new mortgage rules as devised by the Financial Services Authority (FSA) will be fully in force. These are designed to stop the reckless lending of the past and enforce a much closer scrutiny on what borrowers can afford to pay. Loans worth more than the current value of the property will now be outlawed outright and when considering people’s ability to pay, Lenders will assume that interest rates are higher than they are at present. The FSA are concerned that as money returns to the market, firms will come under increasing pressure to consider riskier lending and will focus more on market share than maintaining lending.. read more →

23 Dec 2011
December 23, 2011

A Thank you from us to you

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Following a very difficult 2010, we’ve had a much more successful 2011. In times when obtaining a mortgage can be extremely difficult, the Consultants at Express Mortgages are passionate about making the case for our clients. This is often evident in the office when I hear a Consultant or Case Manager debating heatedly with an underwriter on the telephone as to why they should agree to accept certain mortgage applications. We have worked extremely hard in understanding the way the lenders work, knowing how long they take to deliver a mortgage offer and all of the 1543 different pieces of lending criteria they insist upon. The proof of this was.. read more →