16 December 2011

A lot of Mortgage activity in the run up to Christmas

There has been substantial mortgage activity happening across the country as we roll
towards the Christmas break and festivities. This is slightly unusual for this time of year, but then nothing surprises us any more in the current climate! I certainly shall not complain at being very busy!

As mentioned last week, Abbey for Intermediaries (part of Santander) has launched
into the buy-to-let market with a range of products for non-professional
landlords. The products are available exclusively through mortgage brokers/intermediaries and require a minimum purchase price of £100,000. The launch products are by no means market leading, but appear to be more of a ‘dipping toes in the water’ exercise and getting systems set up. I suspect Abbey for Intermediaries will be a major player in the Buy to Let sector in the coming months and, from a market perspective, having another lending giant in this arena is great news.

Halifax have forecast that House Prices will remain stable next year. Despite many others suggesting a large property price decrease, the lender’s housing market outlook for 2012 predicts little change in property values over the next 12 months, with price movements of
between -2% and +2% expected.

The low interest rate environment has made monthly mortgage payments for first-time
buyers the most affordable for nearly eight years, according to figures
released from the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML). Although first-time buyers’ deposit
requirements have remained stable in recent months at an average of 20%, their
monthly interest payments have continued to fall and now typically consume
12.3% of income, the lowest level since January 2004. Don’t forget that the stamp duty exemption for First Time Buyers up to £250,000 ends on 24 March 2012.

Finally, the CML have also estimated that there are some £8bn worth of mortgages due for
renewal in January 2012. Many reverting from long term fixed rates, or discounted products. If you’re one of those whose product period is ending, it’s definitely worth a review over the festive period and even a conversation to see what other options are available to you. It could be very beneficial!

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