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.

Good news for homeowners ?


Take it with a pinch of salt if you wish but, according to BNP Paribas Real Estate’s report on Housing and the Economy, property owners in the South West can expect the value of their homes to jump by up to 29% by 2016. The report was put together by Professor Patrick Minford who is Professor of Economics at Cardiff Business School.

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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