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Weekly News Round up.

Friday, December 3rd, 2010

Residential Mortgages

Figures released from Esurv are showing that Mortgage approvals are up in November, this is a new high since May this year and reflecst the same trend we have found at Rest Assured Mortgages.

The figures Esurv have released also show that the loan to values have risen against this time last year proving that lenders are in fact easing their Criteria to attract more new business.

Unfortunately most lenders are still trying to attract only the cream and we have evidence via our Estate agents that some banks are still saying yes to everyone, but at head office level declining cases if the clients have even the slightest hint of a blemish. Fortunatly some other Banks and lenders are really hungry for new business and now are considering clients with minor adverse information such as historic CCJ’s and or Arrears.

Buy to let Mortgages.

On the Buy to Let mortgage side signs are not as good as on the Mortgage side however this news should hopefully stimulate landlords into action.

The surveyor trade body have just published figures saying rents were pushed up over the three months to October by rising numbers of people looking to rent while the supply of new property onto the rental market dwindled.

RICS have this down to the difficulty people were having securing mortgage finance and the high deposits required by lenders.

Its member surveyors said the rental market remains buoyant, with properties being let very quickly and landlords experiencing very few voids.

The research showed houses are slightly more popular than flats with 33% more surveyors reporting a rise in demand than a fall, the fastest increase in demand since 2008.

With forecasts indicating properties will increase a little during 2011 now is a good time to either expand or start a property portfolio.

O how the other half live.

Petra is a first time buyer and has bought her first property in Chelsea for £66,500,000 according to the daily mail.

This lucky 22yr old girl has a slightly bigger budget than your average First Time Buyer as she is the daughter of F1 boss Bernie Ecclestone, Petra apparently needs 14 bedrooms, 10 bathrooms and 6 reception rooms to look after her dogs and boyfriend, lucky them!

Even this story comes with an interesting twist. The seller Sir Anthony Bamford the JCB Tycoon had to drop the price £12,500,000 (yes 12.5 Million) to agree the deal. Ooch she obviously has her dad’s business head.

For more information on Mortgages please feel free to Call 01202 577718 or complete the enquiry form and we will call you.

More good news for Landlords

Wednesday, December 1st, 2010


Although the Financial Press are doing their best to find a doom and gloom stories about falling house prices and Mortgage lenders refusing to part with our cash, if you wade through the negativity there is actually some positive news stories as well. For example My introducers article that starts with House prices down last month actually reveals that from last year in most areas house prices are up. It also goes on to reveal that compared to the House Price crash in the 90’s this Drop has been minor.

I also found this article below from Mortgage introducer following on from our Buy to Let Blog post from Last week. I guess it’s not good news if your renting but as none of our clients are renting properties and a good percentage are landlords this is good news for us.

Over to the Mortgage introducers article.

The surveyor trade body said rents were pushed up over the three months to October by rising numbers of people looking to rent while the supply of new property onto the rental market dwindled.

RICS put this down to the difficulty people were having securing mortgage finance and the high deposits required by lenders.

Its member surveyors said the rental market remains buoyant, with properties being let very quickly and landlords experiencing very few voids.

The research showed houses are slightly more popular than flats with 33% more surveyors reporting a rise in demand than a fall, the fastest increase in demand since 2008.

New landlord instructions – a good indication of supply to the market – slipped further, marking five consecutive quarters of falling instructions. And respondents reported that difficulty in securing Buy-to-let mortgages is holding back many would-be landlords, and a fresh supply of property entering the market.

Meanwhile, renewed falls in the sales market saw fewer existing landlords choosing to sell their property at the end of a tenancy agreement. The proportion intending to do so declined from 4.1% in the three months to July to 2.5%, well below the survey average of 4.4%.

Across the UK, London saw the biggest increase in rental prices, with a net balance of +86 – the highest number in the series history. A turnaround occurred in the North, where the net balance improved from -3 to +23 but all regions are now recording positive readings.

Looking ahead, the outlook for rents over the next three months remains very firm. 34% more surveyors expect rents to rise than fall, with the expectation that rents for houses will increase at a slightly faster rate than for flats.

RICS spokesman, Jeremy Leaf, said: “The lettings sector has become increasingly strong over the past nine months, in contrast to the housing market which continues to slow. Many have turned to the rental market because they fear further price reductions in the housing market, or because they cannot obtain the necessary finance to buy.

“As a result, rents continue to rise with supply failing to keep up with demand. However, there are increasing indications that more landlords are recognising these benefits and looking to add to their portfolios – especially as there has been a rise in the number of providers willing to offer investment mortgages in recent months.”

As I said its all good news for landlords – Cheers Rob AR

Rob AR can be contacted on 01202 577718 0r complete the enquiry form.

Poor Credit Mortgages.

Tuesday, November 30th, 2010

Bad Credit MortgagesIt was only 3 years ago when lenders were happy to take on clients with less than perfect credit ratings. Today those days seem a distant happy memory and we are reading that many home owners are trapped in their homes unable to move due to their tarnished credit ratings, or are they?

Over the last few months our brokers at Rest Assured Mortgages tell us that they have seen 2 new mortgage lenders enter the market as well as a loosening of the lending criteria some existing lenders have meaning they are now managing to help some of the enquiries they are getting so we have asked Rob Ashley to explain a little more for us, over to Rob;

At a recent review of criteria I have noticed that many Lenders including Abbey or rather Santander as they are now called, Leeds and Skipton all advertise that they will consider clients that have had CCJ’s. We have tested this and certainly Abbey will consider historical (over 2 years ago) satisfied CCJ’s and Leeds and Skipton seem to take a view depending what other problems there are.

This is great news for all as it means that lenders like Platform, I Group and Kensington all who used to lend in the subprime market but recently would only do what is called Near Prime now need to start looking at Sub Prime again or not do any new business.  

On top of the slight loosening of criteria on the high street we have also recently seen the appearance of a few new lenders who are old subprime lenders reborn. The one that is standing out most at present is Aldermore Mortgages who have come into the market with very aggressive products and no Credit scoring! We at Rest Assured have used Aldermore and so far have been very impressed as they have a “can do” attitude not a “computer says no” approach of most high street lenders.

So in summary, if you are looking for a mortgage and think you won’t get one due to your credit history don’t just leave it. At the we have worked in the subprime market for many years and will always listen to what you are looking for, and offer advice on the best route possible.

Feel free to call on 01202-577718 or complete an online enquiry form and we will call you.

Cheers Rob

To Buy or not to Buy?

Monday, November 29th, 2010

Today’s press releases are more confusing than how Wagna lasted such a long time in the X Factor.

Hometrack are forecasting house prices will continue to fall by 2% next year but Nationwide and Halifax valuers are saying house prices have risen overall this year, although they are not forecasting massive price rises they are expecting slight growth next year.

On the lending front we hear reports that lending is down and dropping as no one can borrow money, but the Bank of England have released Octobers figures showing lending is up and has been every month this year bar 1.

To try and get to the truth we have asked Rob Ashley-Roche our Mortgage Advisor for comments as he covers the whole of the UK so he will have a good feeling of what is really going on. Rob says that unfortunately when it come to house prices their does appear to be a bit of a North South divide. He has found that many areas there are very high demand for properties either being purchased or rented. In the areas of high rental need many landlords have started to expand their portfolios which is starting to push property prices up and in others there is just a lack of new homes coming on the market meaning the ones that are selling often have more than one person bidding for it. As a rule this is typical of most areas in the south but also some in the North of England in areas of good employment.

As far as Lending is concerned demand for mortgages is increasing month on month but the biggest demand has come in the Remortgage area with clients looking to either fix a rate now or consolidate loans and cards to reduce their outgoings.

Rob’s own views are that he does not see a boom in property prices for a very long time if ever! The lessons learnt from previous boom bust times have had a great effect on us all and hopefully we should see a very slow growth in 2011 and a steady growth thereafter.  Lending will continue to increase as lenders are now more confident about the future, and new lenders are coming to the markets so competition is increasing which is good for the customer.

Rob also says that he feels the press are partly responsible for the country taking longer to emerge from the recession that it should. The mixed messages spread by the press like today will confuse potential borrowers and cause people to sit and do nothing when they would rather move to a new home or remortgage to a better rate to improve their lifestyles.

We really believe we have seen the worst, and the best thing to do is ignore the press and get on with our lives.

If you want to chat with Rob at Rest Assured Mortgages his direct line is 01202 577718

Good time to look at a Remortgage

Tuesday, November 23rd, 2010

In the last 2 years we have seen mortgage variable rates reduce to less than 4%, and with most Tracker deals having expensive fees plus fixed rates being fixed at more than 5% most Mortgage advisers have been suggesting clients stay with their current variable deals. 

Howver this is a trend that has stopped in the last few months says Rob Ashley of Rest Assured Mortgages. Recently I attended an awards evening in Birmingham and 2 weeks later a seminar in London, at both these events we had talks from the top boys from the big High street banks and they all agreed on one thing, rates will go up next year. They also agreed they can’t wait for it because they are losing too many savers that are putting their money into other investments which Banks don’t like so need to ramp up their interest rates quickly.

The good news is that some lenders have decided to really drive the Mortgage market forward and make money from attracting good quality mortgage customers to pay their savers that way. As a result of this Woolwich has released a Great Escape package with a tracker at 2.18 above the Bank’s base rate of .5% currently. This deal comes with free legals and Survey and a new incentive of a £300 cash-back to cover the cost of the other lenders Exit Fees. Woolwich also have a swap and lock option meaning if a client on a tracker gets nervous and decided they prefer a fixed rate they can swap to whatever Woolwich fixed rate deal is available at the time.  

On the fixed rate front the old RBS now Nat west are offering a fantastic 3.75 5 year fixed rate or a 3.99 5 year fixed with no arrangement fee.

Both lenders are keen to lend and as of today’s date other than the odd admin delay that we expect from Lenders now who have cut staffing levels to a minimum we have not had difficulty of getting mortgage offers for our clients.

More Details of the Woolwich/Barclays deal click here.

For more details or to chat more about what remortgage deals are available to you call Rob Ashley at Rest Assured Mortgage or complete an enquiry on the Mortgage Finder web site and add a note you want to speak with him.

Mixed Messages from Mortgage Lenders

Monday, November 22nd, 2010

With the amount of Mortgage products available to borrowers almost doubling since the start of the year to over 4400 today, signs of a recovery are good. We have also seen the appearance of new lenders like Aldermore bank who have made quite an impression already specialising in BTL and almost prime lending and today a new lender appears called Precise Mortgage looking to offer an alternative to the high street with a capped rate range of Products.

Unfortunately amongst the good news many of the high-street lenders are also doing their best to put off new borrowers, at Rest Assured Mortgages our Estate Agents are still calling us to help out when their clients have been declined by lenders who had previously agreed to lend for “no apparent reason”. Although this is good for Rest Assured Mortgages it is bad for the market as yes we can save these deals by placing the business elsewhere but the time delays puts a strain on the property chain and in some cases the chain will break.

We have recently read that the Financial Services Authority will soon be insisting that banks advise their clients that they should seek independent Mortgage advice from Whole of Market Advisers before agreeing to take out a Direct Bank Mortgage. This comes as welcome news to the Adviser market and possibly is a sign that even the FSA has recognised the rapid rise in complaints against the banks and the value of whole of market advisers to the mortgage industry. Clive Wilkin’s of Rest Assured Mortgages commented that he has advised clients to go direct to a bank for a mortgage as on occasion they have some great products particularly in the 90% Mortgage bracket but at the same time he has warned of lenders that have a reputation for messing clients about and therefore has offered an alternate product better suited to them.

We feel it’s going to be well into 2011 before the market really starts to get going again and lenders start to feel happy to lend freely. In the mean time it’s important to speak to a Mortgage Adviser who can give you a full free market appraisal made make sure you are making the correct decisions.

Many thanks

Rob Ashley-Roche

Buy to Let Mortgages on the increase.

Friday, November 19th, 2010

According to the latest Buy to Let Index from LSL Property Services, which owns a lettings agent network including national chains Your Move and Reeds Rains as well as several Mortgage Broker Networks.

In October, UK rents rose by 0.4% to £691 per month – surpassing September’s record high of £689. The annual inflation in the average UK rent has grown to 4.5%. If rent inflation continues at the same pace, the average rent will hit £722 pcm this time next year.

The average yield remained stable at 4.9% in October, as steady rent rises were matched by modest growth in the prices of rental properties.

David Brown, commercial director of LSL, commented: “Rents have been creeping upwards, month in, month out for the last year, and now stand just a few pounds shy of £700 per month. The recent increases are likely to steady slightly in the run up to Christmas – traditionally a slower time for the market. But a strong underlying growth will remain, as the key market dynamics are geared towards further rises.

The Mortgage Finder has found via its Brokers at Rest Assured Mortgages that many new landlords have either come back or entered the market  as returns on savings are very low so purchasing a property as an investment has become far more attractive.

Principal Rob Ashley-Roche commented that this year has seen the highest percentage of BTL mortgages sold against standard residential mortgages since starting Rest Assured Mortgages in 2006. He also commented that most of his landlords put down a deposit of 25-30% of the purchase price and find that the rental income is at least 125% of the mortgage payment so offering a good return.

If you’re interested in more information on BTL mortgages and wish to speak to a Mortgage Advisor from Rest Assured Mortgages they can be contacted on 0845 500 3332.