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Land Registry Data Show Property Values Not Rising As Fast As PredictedLand Registry Data Show Property Values
Not Rising As Fast As Predicted

Data from the Land Registry’s House Price Index (HPI) in March 2014, shows that overall annual UK property values have increased by just 5.6%, taking the average UK property value to £169,124 (GBP).

The monthly change from February to March 2014 actually shows a property value decrease of 0.4%, however London saw property values increase by 12.4%, while the Eastern and North East regions experienced their greatest monthly rise, with property values rising by 1.1%.

Wales was the only UK region to experience an annual price drop of 1.6% and was also the only region that showed the most significant monthly price fall with values down 4.2%.

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Mortgage Market Review Hits UK Property Market

Mortgage Market Review Hits UK Property Market

Mortgage Market Review Affected Housing Market Before Launch

The new regime for the approval of mortgages came into force over the weekend (26th April 2014) but even before it was officially launched it was having a dramatic effect on applications, with loan offers being carefully scrutinised and the impending process had lenders asking even more questions before approving any mortgage offer.

I experienced the vagaries of the system myself, when taking a call from a lender the day before funds were due to be released, I was asked to provide even more details than ever before on a loan application, culminating in further delay to purchasing, and the details I had to provide and verify could have been done weeks before.

The lender said the additional information was in order to comply with MMR and this was before the official launch date. The property I was purchasing should have completed last week, before the MMR introduction date, but the delays caused by the lender requesting verification of the additional information required to process my loan meant that the loan process was delayed and resulted in dragging things out, until 9am today, when my solicitor called me to say that the purchased had finally completed.

The additional requirements of the MMR will result in the death of quick purchasing by property investors, however, I now know that in order for loans to be agreed that I have to provide extremely detailed accounts, financial projections, and provide verified proof of everything I have ever done in order to prove affordability.

The personal finance industry publication Mortgage Strategy says 7 out of 10 mortgage brokers reckon that it will be harder and slower for prospective purchasers to get a mortgage loan under the new MMR regulations.

For all new mortgage applicants it means not only providing evidence to the lender of all income and earnings including payslips or audited and verified accounts for the self-employed, but also requires providing details of all spending, too.

Mortgage applicants must itemise and cost spending on things they cannot do without, as set out in a list provided by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), including food, household cleaning and laundry, all heating costs, water bills, telephone, essential travel and existing property charges such as council tax, buildings insurance, ground rent and service charges for leasehold apartments.

Applicants must also disclose discretionary spending on clothes, household goods, personal goods such as toiletries or leisure activities.

The FCA says mortgage applicants must itemise other debts such as credit card bills, outstanding loans, child maintenance and alimony payments.

Mortgage lenders and finance providers must consider how interest rates are predicted to change over the next five years, to gauge the affect on borrower’s mortgage repayments. If payments are likely to go up then the lender will check that the borrower can afford it based on disclosed financial commitments.

And if mortgage terms extend into a borrower’s retirement, the lender has to check on pension income predictions too, in order to judge continued affordability.

Mortgage Lenders Worried Help-To-Buy Will Distort UK Property Market

Mortgage Lenders Worried Help-To-Buy Will Distort UK Property Market

Help-To-Buy Controversy Continues

The latest figures released by the popular property finding portal, Rightmove.co.uk coincide with the news that UK based mortgage lenders are worried that the second phase of the Government’s Help-To-Buy scheme risks distorting the true health of the UK property market.

The British Bankers Association (BBA) is a governing body that represents all the banks that are currently participating in the scheme including those who are planning to participate in it in the future, has called for Government clarification on the proposed exit strategy from the Help-To-Buy scheme, according to a report in the Daily Telegraph.The news comes just 2 weeks before the Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne’s Autumn Statement on 5th December.

In a submission to HM Treasury, the BBA said, “Some members of the BBA are participating in the Government’s Help-To-Buy scheme, but further clarification is needed on exit strategies.”

Mortgage applications worth £365 Million (GBP) have been received since the second phase of the Help-To-Buy scheme was launched on 1st October 2013, to help aspiring home buyers get a foot on the property ladder.

The Royal Bank of Scotland, NatWest, Halifax and Bank of Scotland started offering residential mortgages under the umbrella of the Help-To-Buy scheme last month and mortgage lenders representing most of the UK mortgage market have confirmed they will eventually come on board, in order to capture a share of the market.

The Government initiative makes it easier for mainstream mortgage lenders to offer higher value mortgages with deposits as low as 5% by removing some of the risk they would face if the borrower defaults on repayments, because the mortgage products are underwritten by the Government as Spotlight has previously reported.

The Government are very happy to be underwriting Help-To-Buy mortgages because they are listed as a second charge on the mortgage, increasing the Governments property assets, allowing them to borrow money against their portion of the residential properties purchased under the Help-To-Buy scheme.

At least property investors enter the property market with an exit strategy in mind, but the Government have yet to reveal how they intend to exit from the property market when the scheme ends. No wonder mortgage companies are worried!

The Bank of England said that successful mortgage approvals have dropped below the six-month average, according to new data.

The previous six-month mortgage approval average was 53,000 leading up to April 2012 but the figures only amounted to 51,823 successful mortgage applications being recorded, despite lending approvals being up by 1.5% from March to April of this year.

The stamp duty exemption that ended on March 24th 2012 is thought to have boosted the UK residential property sales market with many First-Time Buyers (FTBs) keen to snap up residential property and reap the benefits before the deadline date.

Figures also showed that more people remortgaged their homes in April 2012 with over 30,000 successful applications going through, which is above the recent average.

However, the UK property sales market is now expected to slow again, as banks become more reluctant to approve residential property mortgages and many have increased the criteria required for a successful mortgage application.

This has been put down to the difficult position the banks find themselves in amidst the current Eurozone crisis, the unstable UK and global economy and further regulations for the banks when it comes to lending.

The Financial Services Authority (FSA), are urging people seeking mortgage advice to ensure they obtain the correct type of mortgage product for their residential property purchase.

The FSA have said that Buy to Let Mortgage applications are rising, but a growing number of applications are fraudulent.

Would be homeowners and borrowers who, for whatever reason are unable to meet the strict lending criteria now demanded for a UK residential mortgage, are attempting to fraudulently use Buy To Let (BTL) mortgages as a means to purchase property, despite having no intention of being a landlord or ever renting the property out to tenants.

Buy to let mortgages are not regulated in the same way as residential mortgages and the borrowing criteria are more relaxed.

This means that buyers who fail to meet the income and credit check requirements of a residential mortgage can still get approval for a similar sized buy to let mortgage.

The FSA believe that intermediaries and financial advisors are involved in the fraudulent applications.

When asked about the rising levels of deception an FSA spokesman commented: “We are seeing anecdotal evidence of unregulated buy-to-let mortgages being used fraudulently as a replacement for regulated residential mortgage contracts, as borrowers and intermediaries seek to circumvent more stringent income and affordability checks.”

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