Welcome to another exciting week!
The good news is that leads continue to hold up nicely despite the headwinds that continue to blow around the wider economy. With Boris yet again re-visiting his idea around long-term fixed rates, it is clear that the housing market and people’s ability to get onto the housing ladder are at the forefront of Government plans.
What this will be is yet to be seen!
Valuations have been in the news as well quite a bit it seems, with some reporting a rise in the number of “down valuations” occurring of late. Although mostly this seems to be where remortgages are concerned, there does seem to be a lot of talk around valuers getting more conservative.
Much depends on how well agents and applicants prepare for the valuer. For agents, having some comparable evidence ready for the valuer seems to really assist and it is when they are unable to find comparables that issues often occur.
This does seem to be out of kilter with the latest Rightmove report that asking prices, (note asking, not sold prices) are now 5.5% higher than they were a year ago. The average asking price they say is now £323,530. In fact, they reckon that house price growth will hit 7% this year. It seems to be evident that the pent up demand that was released when the housing market re-opened earlier in the year has been fuelled by the combustible liquid that is the Stamp Duty Holiday.
Transaction Times Increase
All of this demand is also causing a backlog of transactions as mortgage lenders and conveyencers struggle to deal with capacity, so the length of time taken for a transaction to go through is getting longer, cuasing angst and frustration. This situation will become even more pronounced as we go into next year and the end of the stamp duty holiday looms ever closer.
Coreco were all over the press last week in everything from The Sunday Times and the Telegraph to The Daily Mail, Express, City AM and Sky News, (yes we love to get around), talking about the latest back and forth, or rather up and down, where rates are concerned.
It is concerning that lenders are still increasing rates, especially at higher Loan-to-Values to try to manage their business levels and we are trying to ensure that good borrowers do not get left behind.
We also saw Accord, one of the few lenders still lending up to 5 times income, reduce their income multiples to 4.49 times.
This tough mortgage environment is set to be around for some time yet, but it will start to return to normal next year.
This gives some measure of confidence that when the Stamp Duty holiday ends, lenders will be keen to pick up lending again and we will no doubt see the return of the First Time Buyer once more, with more choice in the market.
In other news, Coreco were delighted to follow last year’s win in the Best UK Mortgage Broker category at the prestigious Mortgage Strategy Awards with a Highly Commended this year. A rarity two years running.
Coreco’s MD Andrew Montlake won Mortgage Personality of the Year, only the second person ever to have received this honour twice! Insert your own joke here around “personality” and “mortgages”!
Best Mortgage Rates
In terms of mortgage rates, for standard residential mortgages, borrowers can obtain 2-year fixes at 1.20%, (3.30% APRC) and 5-year fixes from 1.43%, (2.90% APRC) whilst variable tracker rates are around from 1.69%, (3.40% APRC).
Those looking at Buy-To-Let can now obtain products from 1.22%, (4.80% APRC) for 2-year fixed or 5-year fixes are available from 1.62% (3.77% APRC).