Update on Help to Buy


The Home Builders Federation claims that huge demand in the first two months of the Government’s Help to Buy scheme has already boosted the construction industry. Around 4,000 people so far have reserved a new home using the Help to Buy scheme. The second part of Help to Buy is due to kick in next January, and will offer mortgage guarantees to those with only a 5%…

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Mortgage lending on the rise


The Council of Mortgage Lenders has estimated that gross mortgage lending was up by 21% in May – an unexpected leap that could, perhaps, indicate an improving UK economy. This is the highest monthly lending estimate since October 2008. The increase may have something to do with the growing availability of low-cost fixed-rate mortgages coming to the market. The average cost of a five-year fixed-rate mortgage is…

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Endowment policies fall woefully short


In the 1980s and 1990s, endowment policies were widely regarded as the best way to repay your mortgage.  At the time, there was no reason to think otherwise.  How things change in a couple of decades.  High charges and plummeting stock market returns mean that such mortgage savings schemes have, in many cases, become practically worthless. Now, both Scottish Widows and Legal & General have announced that…

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Picture remains mixed for the housing market


According to Halifax, house prices rose modestly in February by 0.5%, contributing to a total increase of 1.9% over the last quarter. The average price of a house in the UK now stands at £163,000.  In addition, a battle of fresh interest rates cuts by lenders over recent weeks means that mortgage rates are now at their lowest level in 24 years.  Borrowers can now access the…

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Property Ombudsman survey praises East of Exe


A recent survey by the governments Ombudsman for property sales has had some excellent feedback from clients of East of Exe. The survey undertaken by an independent market research company contacted recent vendors and purchasers who had used East of Exe to gauge overall levels of client satisfaction. In the results to date the agency had scored over 96% satisfaction with many clients expressing their complete satisfaction…

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Rightmove in UK’s top 10 websites


Independent traffic auditor, Experian Hitwise, has recently compiled a list of the UK’s top 10 busiest websites and property portal Rightmove comes in at number 6, behind Facebook, Google, YouTube, eBay and Amazon – but ahead of the BBC News website. Rightmove continues to dominate as the UK’s favourite property portal with its closest rival, Zoopla, only at number 48 in the list. Traffic to the Rightmove…

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Off-set mortgages – a better way of saving?


The outlook for savers in 2013 is pretty bleak with interest rates at an all-time low.  This is partly due to the Funding for Lending Scheme through which banks have been provided with cheap funds to encourage lending to house buyers and businesses.  Consequently, they have had less need to attract savers’ money. It’s perhaps not surprising then that off-set mortgages are increasingly seen as a way…

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Could the Green Deal cost you a sale?


As from 27 January 2013, homeowners are being encouraged to sign up to the government’s ‘Green Deal’ – an energy efficiency savings scheme. The scheme allows homeowners to pay for energy improvements – such as new boilers and loft insulation – through a loan of repaid over a period of up to 25 years through their electricity bill. Homeowners will first be visited by an assessor, who…

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Greenbelt up for grabs


Following on from NHBC’s revelation that the scale of house building is well down on figures for 2011, Planning Minister Nick Boles has ruffled a few feathers by calling for the amount of land to be made available for new homes to be increased by a third.  This equates to 1,500 square miles of open countryside – or, in other words, a plot the size of the…

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Lending to first time buyers


It seems the government’s Funding for Lending scheme is beginning to have a positive impact. The Nationwide has announced it has doubled lending to first-time buyers.  It has also cut the rates on some of its first-time buyer mortgages by 0.70 per cent. Other lenders are likely to follow suit.

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