Biggest turn-offs for potential purchasers


If you’ve had your house on the market for a long time without any sensible offers it could be that you’ve become blind to some of the biggest turn-offs for potential purchasers. When asked by The Guardian to provide the current top turn-offs, industry experts cited the following: dirty kitchens and bathrooms, bad smells, traffic noise, strange looking plants in the garden (some lenders are refusing to…

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Thirty year mortgages on the increase


The Office for National Statistics has revealed that mortgages with a 30 year term are on the increase with almost a quarter of all new mortgages spread over this period. Twenty-five year mortgages now account for only a third of all mortgages. The trend reflects the increased cost of mortgages as borrowers struggle to find ways in which they can make their repayments more affordable.

Planning proposals spark anxiety


David Cameron recently announced plans to introduce a year-long relaxation of planning rules which would enable homeowners and businesses to extend their properties by up to 8 metres without seeking prior permission. However, rather than the plans being met with the positive response he had hoped for, a poll commissioned by the Royal Institute of British Architects suggests that most people actually fear that such measures will…

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House deposit plans meet with cynicism


Conscious of the struggle faced by first-time buyers to raise enough capital for a deposit, Nick Clegg has unveiled his plans to allow pensioners to use their savings as a guarantee for a relative’s deposit, with the money only called upon if the borrower defaults on their mortgage repayments. However, Chief Executive of the National Association of Pension funds, Joanne Segars, said: “A pension can only be…

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New buy scheme a flop?


Only 250 homes were bought through the government’s NewBuy scheme in the first four months since its launch in March, according to government figures. According to The Guardian, the government had hoped it would help up to 100,000 people move by 2015 but the take-up has been extremely slow. The much-vaunted initiative allows first-time buyers the opportunity to get a 90-95% mortgage for a new-build home with…

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Tracker mortgages good bet


If, like the majority of financial pundits, you believe that the chances of an interest rate rise in the near future are remote, then a base-rate tracker mortgage is probably a good bet. City experts see no prospect of the Bank of England base rate being raised from its record low of 0.5% before the end of 2013 at the earliest. If they are right, and you…

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Whats a garage worth?


Has the world gone mad? A Knightsbridge estate agent is selling a freehold double garage, described as being ‘moments from Harrods’, for an asking price considerably above the £525,000 currently being paid for the average London home – or, in other words, about £1,500 per square foot. With parking at a premium in many of Britain’s congested towns and cities, it’s not unusual for garages to be…

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House prices fall by 0.6%


Land Registry figures show that house prices fell by 0.6% on both a monthly and annual basis in March.  Even London – where the property market has remained relatively strong – saw a 1.8% fall in house prices in March. It seems more than likely that these figures are related to the recent mortgage rate rises introduced by many of the banks as they struggle to balance…

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Housebuilders return to profit


Shares in Britain’s housebuilders are back in demand as all the listed housebuilding companies are in profit once more.  Taylor Wimpey nearly went out of business just three years ago but, last week, announced its first dividend since 2007. Persimmon and Bovis Homes are also in profit and have expressed optimism about their future security, albeit based on a significantly lower level of activity than in the…

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Changes in lending criteria


Stricter rules on lending criteria introduced by many of the UKs major high-street lenders have made it practically impossible for some borrowers with interest-only mortgages to move home and significantly reduced the options of those seeking a first mortgage. Many of the lenders, including the Lloyds Banking Group (which includes Halifax, Bank of Scotland, TSB and Cheltenham & Gloucester) will no longer accept cash savings, such as…

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