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Green Party Leader Blames Landlords For UK Housing Crisis

Green Party Leader Blames Landlords For UK Housing Crisis

Green Party Leader Under Attack For Demonising
Private Rented Sector Landlords

The leader of the Green Party, Natalie Bennett has attracted a great deal of criticism after she attacked buy-to-let landlords operating in the private rented sector (PRS) blaming them for helping to cause the UK’s housing crisis.

Ms Bennett cited extremely high rental returns for landlords with property in the UK private rental sector in the recent television debate between the opposition leaders.

She referred to a report published by the Wriglesworth Consultancy and lenders Landbay stating that there had been a 1,400% return for buy-to-let landlords since 1996.

But the report’s authors suggested that the calculations and methodology involved were far more complex than the Green Party leader had portrayed.

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Increase In Mortgage Lending Reported By CML

Increase In Mortgage Lending Reported By CML

Property Market Remains Healthy As Gross Mortgage Lending Rise Reported By UK Council Of Mortgage Lenders

There are plenty of media reports suggesting that the UK property market may have stalled and some economists have even gone so far as to predict another property price crash may be on the cards.

However new figures published by the CML show that these statements are far from true as there has been a considerable rise in the value of gross mortgage lending recorded in the UK over the last month.

Figures published by the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) highlight a significant rise in mortgage lending volume during October 2014, with gross mortgage borrowing increasing by 5% from September this year to £19 Billion (GBP) making the total gross lending value 8% higher than during October 2013.

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Does House Price Index Data Provide A Clearer Picture Than The Newspaper Headlines Suggest?

Does House Price Index Data Provide A Clearer Picture Than The Newspaper Headlines Suggest?

Does House Price Index Data Provide A Clearer Picture Than The Newspaper Headlines Suggest?

There can be a great deal of contradiction with the rising number of published House Price Indices, (HPI), that attempt to show the general public what is happening in the UK residential property sales market.

Many Spotlight subscribers are already aware that some of the published House Price Index data provided by mortgage lenders only relate to residential property sales, whilst others relate only to property asking prices.

However, property purchasers are often told to use the official published Land Registry data as a true guide to property prices rather than rely on any house price index data, but Land Registry data is a few months out of date because the Land Registry only record actual completed residential property sales.

Consumers need to know if all the HPI data is anywhere near accurate before they decide to part with cash to purchase a property, and with some degree of disparity between different indices the information provided can be confusing.

However, one thing is becoming very clear – UK property price growth is slowing!

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Are Property Price Rises Slowing?

Are Property Price Rises Slowing?

Is The UK Property Market Just Experiencing
A Seasonal Slowdown Or Is It Something Worse?

There are a lot of reports in the media attempting to suggest that the UK property market is doomed to failure, with the latest House Price Indices (HPI) published by mortgage lenders suggesting that the UK property market is slowing, however there are fears that it might be in more serious trouble.

Halifax latest figures show that property prices in the three months prior to September 2014 were 2.7% higher than in the preceding quarter but there was an average 0.6% property price rise across the UK during September, resulting in an average property price of £187,188 (GBP).

Halifax say that this is the second successive decline in the quarterly rate and predict that the annual house price growth rate has already peaked at 10% and future growth will be at a considerably slower pace. 

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Tenants Fighting Each Other Over Rental Properties As Supply Drops And Demand Increases

Tenants Fighting Each Other Over Rental Properties As Supply Drops And Demand Increases

Tenants Fighting Each Other Over Rental Properties
As Supply Drops And Demand Increases

Tenants looking to rent in the UK’s private rented sector face competition from other would be tenants as demand increases and supply contracts, according the Association of Residential Letting Agents (ARLA).

ARLA’s latest report has discovered that 68% of landlords surveyed reported more interested tenants than available rental properties.

This is the largest successive increase in tenant demand in the last 12 months, with tenant demand figures up from 46% in Q3 2013, 54% in Q1 2014, 59% in Q2 2014; meaning an increase of 9% between the second and third quarters of the year to date.

The tenant demand data is reinforced by the fact that supply of suitable rental properties in the private rental sector has decreased in the last quarter, with ARLA letting agent members recording a 6% drop in the average number of managed Buy To Let properties on their books, down from 143 to 135 per member agency.

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Is The Mortgage Market Review Slowing The UK Property Market?

Is The Mortgage Market Review Slowing The UK Property Market?

Is The Mortgage Market Review Slowing The UK Property Market?

The number of new mortgages being approved by lenders dropped to an 11 month low in May 2014 as the new affordability rules brought in by the Mortgage Market Review (MMR) caused borrowers to be put off and delayed hundreds of existing mortgage applications.

The Mortgage Market Review brought in on the 26th April 2014 requires all UK based mortgage lenders to carry out rigorous affordability checks on the financial status of borrowers.

These stringent affordability checks include stress tests designed to determine if a borrower could continue to repay their loan if interest rates rise significantly.

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 Avoid Committing Mortgage Fraud

Avoid Committing Mortgage Fraud

How To Guard Against Mortgage Fraud

Following fresh warnings from the National Fraud Authority about the rising level of mortgage fraud in the UK, lenders want more done to protect their interests.

Mortgage fraud was a widespread problem before the financial meltdown and collapse of the property market back in 2007/8 due to the availability of self- certification mortgages with buyers, brokers and mortgage advisers able to ‘self-declare’ earnings with little, if any, proof required by an industry too busy to carry out proper rules and checks on applicants.

Mortgage fraud costs the industry around £1 Billion (GBP) a year, leading the Financial Conduct Authority to want to instruct mortgage lenders to better acquaint themselves with the solicitors they work with.

The new stricter mortgage rules introduced in the Mortgage Market Review in April 2014 are intended to reduce the number of people who attempt to make false claims and self-certification mortgages are now a thing of the past.

However, this won’t stop mortgage fraud or prevent homeowners and property investors from being a victim of identity or registration fraud.

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Mortgage Market Review Already Causing Delays For Borrowers

Mortgage Market Review Already Causing Delays For Borrowers

Mortgage Market Review Already Causing Delays For Borrowers

Would be residential property buyers are dismayed about the change of the rules on residential mortgages, with strict lending criteria tightened following the introduction of the Mortgage Market Review (MMR).

Since 26th April 2014, mortgage lenders have been required to carry out much more detailed checks of a borrower’s financial situation to be sure that they can truly afford to purchase and continue to afford the property, both now and in the future.

The introduction of the MMR is supposed to help regulate the residential property purchase market and does not yet apply to buy to let mortgages, but that could happen in time.

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Help-To-Buy Scheme Could Threaten UK Housing Market

Help-To-Buy Scheme Could Threaten UK Housing Market

The Help To Buy Scheme Could Be Scaled Back Amid Concerns That The UK Property Market Could Be Heading
For Another Property Bubble

George Osborne, the Chancellor of the Exchequer has said that the Bank of England are being vigilant on UK house price rises and they would intervene if the situation becomes necessary.

The Chancellor’s comments come after the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) warned that the booming UK property market could threaten the economic recovery of the country.

Possible action could include reigning back the Government’s Help-To-Buy scheme, which enables people with only a small deposit to take out a mortgage.

In a report the OECD said that “The UK should introduce measures to address the risks of excessive house price inflation, as property values now significantly exceed long-term averages relative to rents and household incomes. Access to the Help to Buy scheme should be tightened, and buyers should be required to put down bigger deposits for mortgages”.

In response to the report, Mr Osborne said: “I’ve said we should be vigilant about the housing market and this Government has given the Bank of England the power and the tools to do what they felt needed to be done to help to contribute to building a resilient economy in an independent way”.

The Help to Buy scheme enables the Government to place a second charge on properties purchased under the scheme, allowing them to have some degree of profitability and allow them a small degree of control over the UK property market.

People buying property worth up to £600,000 (GBP) using a deposit of just 5% may be grateful of the Government’s help but many fail to realise the full implications of the scheme, or spot the Government tactic of controlling properties.

The Government either top up the purchasers 5% deposit with 20% of the property’s value or it will underwrite a portion of the debt allowing lenders to advance purchasers with high loan-to-value mortgages that the Government guarantee.

The £600,000 (GBP) upper limit of the Help-To-Buy scheme has been widely criticised for being too high, however, recent figures show that the average cost of a property bought using the scheme was just £148,000 (GBP).

Concerns are rife that another property bubble may be formed in the UK property market following a continuing run of positive house price trends.

Mortgage lender, Nationwide recently reported that property values had risen by 10.9% during the last 12 months, the first time annual house price inflation has reached double figures since April 2010.

Data from the Land Registry also shows that average property prices in London have already surpassed the previous 2007 peak.

Recent property price increases have caused the typical average cost of residential property in the UK to rise to £262,770 (GBP), according to Zoopla.

New regulations to control borrowing were introduced at the end of April 2014 to ensure prospective property owners are not risking taking on too much debt.

Under the Mortgage Market Review, lenders are required to carry out stringent affordability checks, including making sure borrowers can continue to meet the mortgage repayments if and when interest rates rise.

However, data on the number of mortgage approvals for residential property purchases appear to suggest that the market may be moderating, with the Bank of England reporting a dip in loan approvals for the second consecutive month during March 2014.

Banks To Be Stress Tested On 35% Drop In House Prices

Banks To Be Stress Tested On 35% Drop In House Prices

Banks Stress Tested On 35% Drop In House Prices
And 5% Rise In Interest Rates

UK and Continental banks are to be stress tested using a worst case scenario in an effort to assess if they could cope with a house price slump of 35% or a sudden spike in interest rates to more than 5%, the exercise will be monitored by the Bank of England.

Sky News broke the story on Monday ahead of an official announcement on Tuesday by the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA), after learning that banks would be subjected to an armageddon style scenario to see if they have sufficient capital to withstand another economic slump.

A series of commercial real estate losses is expected to be applied to the banks’ balance sheets as part of the tests, but it’s not certain whether or not the interest rate hike will be quantified as part of the tests, but the 35% slump in property prices could reveal if banks and building societies would need to raise billions of pounds of fresh capital to survive, unless they can demonstrate their ability to withstand such a huge slump.

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