09 May 2013

Halifax help First Time Buyers

A helping hand for First Time Buyers this week as Halifax for Intermediaries launched a promotion where they will pay the Stamp Duty for all properties with a value between £125k and £250k.  With products available to customers with a minimum 10% deposit, this is a nice move by the lender, especially as this is not restricted to just ‘new build’ properties.

Nationwide’s House Price Index suggested that the typical value of a house declined by 0.1% between March and April, with the typical UK home now being worth £165,586.  This is still 0.9% higher than April 2012.

With this in mind, lenders require a valuation to be carried out, by their approved valuers, on every mortgage.  This report is for the lender only and should not be relied upon when purchasing a property, as it does not go far enough.  It only responds to the questions lenders ask relating to the property being suitable security for mortgage purposes and an increasing number of these are now done by a ‘drive by’, so the valuer may not even enter the property!  They have no obligation to tell you what is in the report, or give you a copy!  Therefore you should always consider the benefit of an independent and more in depth survey on the property you are purchasing to ensure all defects are noted before signing contracts.  The extra few hundred pounds cost upfront could save you thousands later on.

Mortgage approvals were up 5 per cent in March, compared to February report the Bank of England.  House purchases rose 3 per cent to £8bn and remortgaging up 9 per cent to £4.1bn.  Positive signs and shows how attractive the current rates are in the market.  We are seeing a huge amount of long term fixed rates being snapped up.  Criteria is also being relaxed slightly as lenders target volume business.  If you don’t think you can get a mortgage, have a chat with a local independent mortgage brokerage as you may just be surprised with how they respond!

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