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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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Political Parties Focus On Housing In Attempt To Win General Election

Political Parties Focus On Housing In Attempt To Win General Election

Conservatives Want  Tenants To Have

Right To Buy Housing Association Properties

With the UK’s General Election called on the 7th May 2015 it is almost time to decide which of the political parties you will vote for.

Election campaigning usually sees a raft of ill thought out policy ideas being spouted by politicians in an attempt to win public support and publishing election manifesto’s that promise to deliver what each political party thinks the public want.

On the run up to the election Spotlight will examine some of the key statements and manifesto hype about the UK housing market and private rental sector used to influence public support.

It appears that all political parties will focus on these topics to win the hearts and minds of voters, regardless of whether the ideas are good or not.

In fact, housing will be one of the biggest issues facing the country at the General Election in May. Polling by Ipsos Mori suggests that the cost of housing is of growing importance to the UK public. In 2010 only 5% of those polled ranked it as their biggest concern but by 2014 this figure had almost trebled to 14%.

With this in mind, one of our reporters spotted this gem of an article in the Huffington Post written by David Orr, the Chief Executive of the National Housing Federation (NHF), entitled:

Seven Reasons Why Extending ‘Right to Buy’ to Housing Associations Is Plain Bad Policy

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Letting Agent Complaints On The Rise According To Property Redress Scheme

Letting Agent Complaints On The Rise According To Property Redress Scheme

Complaints About Lettings Agents  On The Rise
According To Property Redress Scheme

Due to the fact that more tenants and property owners are now aware of their consumer rights, especially the right to redress, there has been a month on month increase in the number of complaints being made against lettings agents, property management companies and estate agents.

The Property Redress Scheme, (PRS), is just one of three consumer redress schemes set up by the Government to provide fair and reasonable resolutions to disputes between the public and property agents.

From 1 October 2014 it became a legal requirement for all lettings agents, property managers and estate agents, as defined by legislation, in England to belong to one of the three Government approved redress schemes, which are:

The number of complaints raised with the PRS is increasing month on month. Of the complaints raised so far,

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Survey Shows UK Public Think Property Investment Is Best Way Forward

Survey Shows UK Public Think Property Investment Is Best Way Forward

Survey Shows UK Public Think
Property Investment Provides Best Returns

A new survey has discovered that 40% of UK residents would rather choose property investment over all other investment types.

The YouGov survey commissioned by InterTrader found that 40% of UK residents reckon that property investment is the best vehicle for generating a good Return On Investment (ROI).

In addition, over half of UK residents would consider a more active role in managing their own investment opportunities, with 38% of respondents saying they would not trust financial professionals to generate high enough positive returns with their hard earned savings.

The findings of the YouGov survey were published amid the concern that parts of the UK, especially London and the South East, are experiencing a localised and unsustainable property bubble.

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CML Say Help To Buy Is Not Creating Another Property Bubble

CML Say Help To Buy Is Not Creating Another Property Bubble

Help To Buy Only Accounts For 4% Of Annual Mortgage Approvals 

New analysis of the UK residential mortgage market by the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) has revealed that the impact of the government’s Help To Buy scheme on the UK property market has been fairly limited.

Property pessimists have tried to claim that the Help To Buy initiative is responsible for creating another property bubble, however, official figures show that HTB has had little impact on UK property sales.

The Help To Buy scheme accounts for just 1% of all residential mortgages taken out in the six month period to March 2014.

According figures from the CML, only 4% of all UK mortgage approvals between April 2013 and March 2014 were part of the Help To Buy scheme, but 85% of those taking part in the scheme were first-time buyers.

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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.

2014 UK Property Prices To Increase Further

2014 UK Property Prices To Increase Further

UK Property Prices Continue To Increase

There could be more good news for UK property investors over the coming months as projections for the rest of 2014 indicate that property prices are set to rise even more, providing the potential of greater Return On Investments (ROI).

Since the UK housing market crash in 2008, UK property prices slumped and were depressed for some time afterwards due to uncertainty in the economy, however, the end of 2013 saw the UK property market spring back to life.

According to data from the Halifax House Price Index (HPI), there were over 1 Million residential property transactions in 2013 for the first time since 2007, and residential property sales increased for the ninth month in a row in December 2013,  30% higher than in 2012.

The data from Halifax is great news for property owners and shows that the UK property market is well and truly back on its feet.  So, if you’re a property investor who is planning on investing in property in 2014, you can expect to see property prices continuing to rise.

2014 started with residential property prices on the increase and more people buying and selling. The introduction of the 2nd phase of the Government’s Help-To-Buy scheme in October 2013 allowed property purchasers to get 95% Loan-To-Value (LTV) mortgages, heralding the return of the first-time buyer to the UK property market. 

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Interest Rate Rises Could Stall UK Rental Property Market

Interest Rate Rises Could Stall UK Rental Property Market

Interest Rate Rises Could Decimate
UK Rental Property Market

The recent changes in the dynamics of the UK property market are forcing a number of mortgage lenders and property investment specialists to advise clients how they can better protect themselves.

The Governor of the Bank of England, Mark Carney, has claimed that the BoE has no immediate plans to increase the base interest rate, currently remaining at the 0.5% record low, however this situation could change within the next twelve months.

The UK property market remains in a fairly delicate state and affordable residential properties are being bought with amazing speed, as the UK economy continues to improve but property prices are predicted to rise considerably over the next few months.

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Mortgage Lending Up £1.7 Billion (GBP)

Mortgage Lending Up £1.7 Billion (GBP)

UK Mortgage Lending Up £1.7 Billion (GBP)

The latest mortgage lending figures released by the Bank of England show that lending secured on residential property increased by £1.7 Billion (GBP) in December 2013, compared to the average monthly increase of £1.1Billion (GBP) observed during the previous six months of the year.

The increase is generally being credited to the success of the Government’s Help-To-Buy scheme, with London leading the way on residential property price rises, but what is the real situation affecting the UK?

Director of e.surv chartered surveyors, Richard Sexton, explained: “Mortgage lending in the UK is improving at lightning-speed. Lending has hit a six year high, as banks continue to offer cheap loans and interest rates, and repayments remain low. Mortgage lenders have dramatically increased lending to borrowers with smaller deposits, which has encouraged more first-time buyers to the market. And the government’s Help-To-Buy scheme has given consumers a huge confidence boost, which has increased lending volumes further. But the heart of the market remains in London and the South East. In other areas of the country the recovery is far slower. House prices may be increasing quickly, particularly in the capital, but it’s important not to withdraw Help-To-Buy too soon. In London, buyers need the scheme to get on the ladder. In many other areas, wage growth has been comatose since the economic crash, would-be property buyers simply don’t have enough income to save for a deposit. Building more houses would be a far more prudent approach to capping price rises than trimming down the Help-To-Buy scheme prematurely.”

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Published UK Property Data For 2014 Suggests A Record Start To The Year

Published UK Property Data For 2014 Suggests A Record Start To The Year

Published UK Property Data For 2014 Suggests
A Record Start To The Year 

Confirmation that the UK’s residential property market has returned to health is the first data from Rightmove covering 2014 which suggests that the year ahead looks good for property!

The Rightmove House Price Index (HPI) of 2014 shows that property asking prices increased by 1% in January.

Property prices are traditionally subdued in the first month of the year, prices increased just 0.2% in January 2013 and have usually fallen by an average of 0.2% in the month of January over the last decade.

The number of properties coming to market and activity is also up as both estate agents and property vendors look to cash in on the increased confidence in the UK property market.

Year on year property asking prices are up 6.3%, the highest annual rate of increase since November 2007, before the onset of the UK’s credit crunch. 

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