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Liberal Democrats Announce Help To Rent Scheme

Liberal Democrats Announce Help To Rent Scheme

Help To Rent Scheme To Support Young Workers 

Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg has announced plans for a new ‘Help to Rent’ scheme should his party get elected to power in May. The scheme is intended to support young workers who want to move out of their parents homes and rent their first property in the private rental sector (PRS).

According to some of the latest research it is thought that around two million young working adults still live with their parents because they cannot afford to move into a property of their own, either purchased or rented.

The proposals for the Help To Rent scheme will include a government loan of up to £2,000 (GBP) in London, and £1500 (GBP) in other UK regions to cover the cost of tenancy deposits, with loan repayments staged over 12 or 24 months.

To be eligible for the proposed Help To Rent scheme and secure a loan for a deposit, tenants would need to be in paid employment, aged between 18 to 30 and not be property owners or seeking a tenancy in social housing provided by local authorities. 

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RLA Hit Back At Rent Control Calls

RLA Hit Back At Rent Control Calls

Rent Controls Are Not The Answer
To The UK Housing Shortage

The Residential Landlords Association (RLA) have hit back at politicians and housing and homeless pressure groups who are openly calling for rent controls in the UK’s private sector by claiming that private sector rents are falling in real terms following analysis of the official English Housing Survey (EHS).

The English Housing Survey (EHS) results are taken from a continuous survey conducted by the Department of Communities and Local Government (CLG) and show that average private sector rents increased by just £10 from £153 to £163 (GBP) per week in 2014, representing a rise of 6.5%.

In contrast, average weekly rents in the UK’s social sector increased by more, with weekly rental prices increasing 25.4%, rising by £18 from £71 to £89 (GBP).

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Help-To-Buy scheme Is The Deal Of The Century For The Government Government Say Help-To-Buy Scheme Is Creating

 75 New Homeowners A Day

The Prime Minister, David Cameron has been defending the controversial Help-To-Buy scheme, stating publicly that the scheme is creating up to 75 new homeowners a day.

Over 2,000 first-time buyers have made offers on properties using the scheme and the Prime Minister is rubbing his hands with glee because there is a dark secret behind the incentive.

More than £369 Million (GBP) has been lent to new home owners, making the loan figures average £155,000 (GBP) per person. Wages will likely rise with inflation and so will mortgage rates, doing little for the financial security of working homeowners who will be trying hard to pay off the percentage stake in their property that is owed to the Government.

Mr Cameron insisted that the state-backed loans are helping hard working responsible people purchase residential property to live in, and he also dismissed fears over a new housing bubble and taxpayers helping the wealthy middle-classes as nonsense.

What he did not say was what the prospects are likely to be, for people buying property now using the Help-To-Buy scheme, in a few years time.

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Property repossessions In the North of England are higher than national average

Property repossessions In the North of England are higher than national average. Property
May Be Cheaper But It Is More Likely To Be Repossessed

4 Of Top 10 Property Repossession Areas
Are In North West of England

A new study by e.surv chartered surveyors has revealed the top 10 hotspots for property repossessions in the UK, and the results show that property owners in the North are less able to keep up with mortgage repayments than property owners in the South.

e.surv’s researchers analysed Ministry of Justice figures for court-ordered repossessions for the 12 months up to 30th June 2013, plus the company’s own data, and found the largest North-South divide since the onset of the financial crisis, with 3.2 repossessions per 1,000 households in the North of England, compared with 2.4 per 1,000 in the South of England.

Four of the UK’s top five “repossession hotspots” are in North-West of England according to the data with Chester, Blackpool, Oldham and Wigan among top five property repossession hotspots.

These areas are among those with the highest proportion of property owners who are struggling to keep up with mortgage repayments.

The data revealed that even despite all the media coverage about surging property prices in and around the capital, two areas within Greater London – Romford (3rd highest number of property repossessions per thousand households) and Croydon came in joint 7th on the repossession hotspot top ten.

Chester is the top UK city for property repossessions by a substantial margin, THREE times the national average!

The rest of the North-West of England does not fair much better with 8 out of 10 towns having above the national UK average number of property repossessions per thousand households.

This news presents an excellent opportunity for new, amateur and seasoned property investors to grab some property bargains as mortgage lenders and banks will be looking to offload these repossessed properties quickly so that they can get their money back, they are not looking to profit!

Lancaster, Liverpool and Carlisle in the North of England showed a lower than the average number of property repossessions, according to the data. However, despite being below the national average, Carlisle had seen a 37% increase in the rate of property repossessions in the 12 months to June 2013.

Other UK regions that also showed huge increases in the volume of property repossessions over 12 months, but remained below the national average are:

  • Taunton in Somerset – 34% increase in property repossessions up to 30th June 2013
  • Brighton – 30% increase in property repossessions up to 30th June 2013
  • Reading – 27% increase in property repossessions up to 30th June 2013

e.surv Director, Richard Sexton, said: “Residential property prices may be high in the capital, and employment prospects may be stronger, but in such densely populated areas, there remain property owners who are struggling with mortgage payments. Many borrowers have seen their finances slowly eroded by high inflation and increasing living costs. This has been particularly potent in London, where less affluent borrowers, by that I mean those who could only just afford to buy, have been badly affected. On a national level repossession numbers are falling as mortgages become cheaper, wages are slowly picking up and the employment market has more vitality. For the UK as a whole, repossessions fell 17% during the 12 month period, with 66,544 repossession orders granted in 2012-13, as opposed to 77,856 in 2011-12. As a region, the north has traditionally depended on public sector jobs, but a squeeze in public sector funding has led to loss of jobs for many, and very slow pay increases for others. Pay increases that are consistently below the rate of inflation have further tightened household budgets, and caused many to fall behind on mortgage repayments. There is still a long way to go before the northern property market returns to its pre-recession health, and all the while the north is still playing catch-up, and falling further and further behind the south.”

Top 10 Property Repossession Areas

 

UK Town / Region

Property Repossessions Per Thousand Households

Total Number Of Property Repossessions In 12 Months To 30th June 2013

1

Chester – North West

8.4

961

2

Blackpool – North West

4.5

570

3

Romford – Greater London

4.4

936

4

Oldham – North West

4.3

829

5

Wigan – North West

4.2

541

=5

Luton – Bedfordshire

4.2

565

7

Bradford – Yorkshire

4.1

1002

=7

Doncaster – Yorkshire

4.1

1356

=7

Croydon – Greater London

4.1

644

10

Northampton – Northamptonshire

3.8

966

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Source: e.surv 

So what are you waiting for?

There will never be a better time to purchase repossessed properties, there are a great number of deals to be had from the areas listed in the table above.

Think of the table as a treasure map, with 10 UK locations offering repossession property deals direct from the banks and mortgage lenders.

 

Top Economist Warns Of Fresh House Price Crash

Top Economist Warns Of Fresh House Price Crash

Disastrous House Price Crash Could Be Caused By
Government’s Funding for Lending Scheme

One of the UK’s leading economists has warned of a potentially disastrous house price crash and points the finger at the Government home buying scheme for being the cause of another unsustainable property bubble.

Chief Economist at the Institute of Directors (IoD), Graeme Leach, said the introduction of the new Help-To-Buy scheme, under which UK taxpayers are underwriting thousands of new mortgages for property purchases, means the world must have gone mad.

Mr Leach said “The Funding for Lending scheme is very dangerous because it will drive up property prices at a time when it seems likely that (property) prices are already over-valued.”

The scheme is one of Chancellor George Osborne’s financial initiatives where the Government will underwrite mortgage loans allowing new and first time borrowers up to 20% of a property’s value as part of their deposit, effectively giving the Government a proportionate stake in the value of the mortgaged property.

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Is There A Dark Side To The Help-To-Buy Scheme?

Is There A Dark Side To The Help-To-Buy Scheme?

Is There A Dark Side To The Help-To-Buy Scheme?

The Government’s Help-To-Buy Scheme was intended to allow first time buyers to get on the property ladder with the hope that this would kick start the UK property market and it appears to be having the desired effect with increasing property transactions and the slow rise in property prices.

However, the Government intervention in the UK residential property market could have disastrous consequences for property owners and could even cause another property bubble.

The Government are spending huge amounts of money to aid first time buyers to get on the property ladder by offering low deposit, high loan to value, mortgages that are underwritten by the Government, effectively giving them a second charge on the property for a period allowing the owners to repay at a set rate per year.

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Interest Only Mortgages Are A Ticking Time Bomb

Interest Only Mortgages Are A Ticking Time Bomb

Over 1 million landlords and homeowners with interest only mortgages could face financial difficulties when reach the end of their tenure and they have to pay them off, according to the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

The FCA estimates that around half of the 2.6 million or so UK property owners with interest only mortgages, which represents about a third of all UK mortgage holders, will not have savings or other funds to cover the final bill.

With these mortgage holders only paying enough to cover the monthly mortgage interest on the amount borrowed, the average shortfall is £71,000 (GBP) per person, according to FCA research.

The FCA, the successor of the Financial Services Authority (FSA) as the sector’s watchdog, commissioned research to give a clear indication of what borrowers face when mortgages mature between now and the year 2041.

Market research firm GfK NOP questioned 1,103 interest only mortgage borrowers to consider how prepared they were to repay their loans.

The study found that 37% of borrowers with an interest only mortgage faced a shortfall in their plans to pay back the lump sum of the home loan, based on their own calculations.

But the FCA believes that many people have seriously underestimated the severity of the financial problem and believe the true percentage to be around 48% of all residential property owners with interest only mortgages will face a shortfall.

The vast majority of interest only mortgages were taken out by property investors and residential homebuyers before the financial crash, according to Martin Wheatley, Chief Executive of the FCA, who stated: “It’s just that people were optimistic about the future. My advice to borrowers is not to bury their head in the sand. This report is a call to action.”

The interest-only mortgage time bomb is a serious problem for property investors without an exit strategy and potentially terrifying for homeowners who have no means in place to repay the capital of the original loan.

The media have already stirred up a fervour of anguish with overemphasised coverage on the negative aspects of taking out an interest only mortgage, almost as if they are acting in the interests of the mainstream mortgage lenders attempting to get property owners to switch to repayment mortgages immediately.

The media coverage suggests that interest-only mortgages are a disaster waiting to happen for property investors and residential homeowners with at least 60,000 borrowers facing capital repayments by 2020 without any means of being able to pay back the loan and another 260,000 facing the same financial crunch over the next 30 years.

Graham Lock of House Network said that the FCA is guilty of scaremongering, stating: “People use interest-only mortgages to get on the ladder and they can choose to switch to a repayment option at any time once it becomes affordable. Wage inflation will take care of most of this added with the fact that most of us will work until we’re 70 means there is plenty of time to switch to repayment in the future.”

Executive Director of the Intermediary Mortgage Lenders Association (IMLA), Peter Williams, added: “By confirming that nine in every ten interest-only (IO) mortgage borrowers have a repayment strategy in place, the FCA’s research should put an end to misguided reports of a mis-selling scandal when the market boomed between 2002 and 2007. Having said that, as both the Experian report for the FCA and the GfK report shows, there are issues for the industry to deal with.”

Hype surrounds 2013 Mortgage Figures

Hype surrounds 2013 Mortgage Figures

2013 started with claims that the UK had recorded the best lending on mortgage figures in five years, but these claims by the UK Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) are being disputed.

According to the CML, a total of 38,300 loans were advanced for residential property purchases in January, the highest for the month since 2008 when 47,800 loans were advanced. The January performance came despite a marked drop from December 2012 when 45,900 mortgage loans were advanced.

Now critics have suggested that the CML’s mortgage figures were pure hype and speculation as mortgage approvals, and not actual monetary advances, were actually down in January this year, and no figures were released for the UK Buy To Let mortgage market for the same time frame.

Mortgage figures for approvals on residential property purchases appeared to be up 11% compared with January 2012 when there were 34,600 mortgage loans approved for residential property purchases and activity by first-time buyers and home movers both increased.

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UK property repossessions increase

UK Property Repossessions are forecast to increase 22% in 2012

UK Property Repossessions are forecast to increase 22% in 2012

Economists expect the recession and rising unemployment to squeeze the already stretched household finances of thousands of struggling families this year and are warning UK homeowners and landlords of a sharp rise in residential property repossessions.

Record low Bank of England (BoE) interest rates and lower than expected unemployment figures kept property repossessions to relatively small numbers through the worst days of the first half of the recession and they eased again as the country struggled into a tepid recovery.

However, with a double dip recession inevitably looming, workers incomes failing to cover spiralling household costs, the Government’s economic cutbacks and welfare reforms starting to bite whilst the beleaguered private sector fails to replace jobs lost in the public sector, economists are fearing the worst.

The Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) had already forecast a 22% rise in UK property repossessions for 2012 increasing the annual property repossession figures to around 45,000.

The property repossession figures include private residential properties where mortgage payments have lapsed and Buy-To-Let properties where landlords did not have <a title=”Landlord Insurance” href=”http://www.legal4landlords.com/rent-guarantee/” target=”_blank”>Rent Guarantee Insurance</a> and have been unable to keep up with their buy-to-let mortgage repayments due to their tenants not paying the rent.

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Mortgage Payments Top £5.8 Billion

£5.8 Billion (GBP) of mortgage payments

During the pre 2007 economic boom with house prices rising, equity withdrawal saw many consumers use their homes like cash machines, with a significant amount of equity money being used to boost consumer spending.

The credit crunch sharply reversed this trend as overstretched consumers looked to pay down debt levels, particularly mortgages.

The latest Bank of England (BoE) figures show that £5.8 billion was paid off against UK housing debt in the first quarter of 2011, meaning equitable figures have now been negative for 12 quarters.

The Bank’s latest figures for housing equity withdrawals showed borrowers had injected the equivalent of 2.3% of their post tax incomes into their homes in the first quarter of the year.

This follows a record repayment of £7 billion, (2.8%) of post tax income in the final quarter of 2010.
Since the beginning of 2008 home owners have invested a total of £63.7 billion into paying off mortgage debt.

Prior to the bursting of the property bubble in the middle of 2008, the previous 11 years had seen significant amounts of property equity withdrawn, (including a record £13.4 billion in the first quarter of 2007).

Between July 1998 and March 2008 home owners borrowed £328 billion against the rising value of their homes.

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