It is extraordinary to think that we are in September already, with many people now having not been into their offices for 6 months! Hopefully, the return to school will see some return to normality, but for many, the world seems to have changed forever, especially where working patterns are concerned.
As we enter the traditional period in the property market where we start to hear the phrase “I’d like to be in by Christmas”, this high demand period is joined by a whole host of prospective buyers now looking for a second property or holiday home.
Enquiries for Holiday Homes have reached extraordinary levels as many look for their next “lock-down” pad whilst taking advantage of the stamp duty holiday. We expect this period to be even more feverish activity-wise, despite the obvious economic issues that some will undoubtedly face.
In fact, the next 4-6 weeks will prove to be the most crucial part of the year, not just for the housing market. Coreco were on LBC radio on Thursday (from 02:21:00) last week talking about this very point.
For mortgage lenders, life is still problematic due to their dual worries of struggling with too many applications and not enough staff back in the office, and the economic consequences of the end of Government support for those on furlough.
As such we are still seeing rates change quickly as lenders dip in and out of the market, raising rates suddenly once they have too many applications in. Processing times still vary dramatically with some lenders such as Halifax still managing to maintain good service levels whilst others struggle.
It was interesting to see reports from Zoopla that suggested that despite this, properties are selling 31% faster than this time last year, with the time to sell a property reducing by some two weeks. This is a testament to hard-working estate agents and brokers across the country and shows that buyers are serious about transacting.
There was more good news as Virgin Money tentatively returned to the 90% LTV market, albeit with only 7 year or 10-year fixed rate products, but there are some rumours of more good news from lenders this week. Watch this space!
One important note is that there are some fake External Wall Fire Review (EWS1) forms doing the rounds so be on guard. Link to the story here.
In terms of mortgage rates, for standard residential mortgages, borrowers can obtain 2-year fixes at 1.14%, (3.20% APRC) and 5-year fixes from 1.34%, (2.80% APRC) whilst variable tracker rates are around from 1.24%, (3.30% 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).
To speak to one of our friendly advisers please call 020 7220 5110 or click here.