Tag Archives: buying a property

Home-buying in 2017

Home-buying in 2017

Buying a new home can feel like a rollercoaster ride, with plenty of highs but also a few lows.

Almost a year on from the EU referendum, and with a General Election on the immediate horizon, how confident is the UK’s housing market – and what does it mean for home buyers?

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How confident is the housing market?

March 2017 saw 48,178 loans approved for house purchase, according to the British Bankers Association (BBA), no change year-on-year, while the average approved loan rose to £186,800. House prices fell by 0.4% in April 2017, though were up 2.6% on a year ago.

However, the same month, consumer confidence in the housing market dipped to 37%, the lowest since July 2013, after widespread prediction of a surge in inflation and a fall in consumer spending this year.

This comes even as overall consumer confidence remained on the up, with a sixth consecutive month of spending increases.

What do the experts predict for the UK housing market?

Some experts suggest that a time of such economic uncertainty is bound to have an impact on the housing market.

Zoopla CEO Alex Chesterman is cautious about seeing growth in the property market in 2017, and said: “Buying a home is one of the biggest and longest term decisions that people make so they tend to hold off making such important decisions in times of heightened uncertainty.”

According to John Perry, of 2017 UK Housing Review,  more houses need to be built regardless of any changes in immigration policy after Brexit – the current target, set before the referendum, is 227,000 homes a year up to 2024. He also suggests that most non-British EU citizens tend to rent in the private sector, so that it is the area that is most likely to be hit.

It’s arguable that the fewer houses being built, the more the chance that those in-demand properties will be more expensive, especially for first-time buyers.

Nationwide’s chief economist Robert Gardner agreed that uncertainty makes it hard to predict the prospects for house prices, but added: “Low interest rates are expected to help underpin demand while a shortage of homes on the market will continue to provide support for house prices.

Will house prices go up or down?

Uncertainty about the next 12 months, and the effects on the economy, could cause the market to slow down as buyers and sellers mull over what to do next.

The economy is the major factor on the housing market, so if the pound continues to struggle in 2017, it may affect house prices negatively but if things start to improve, house prices could rise.

Investing in property to make a profit – rather than just to have a long-term place to live –  is always a risk. So, it’s important to make sure that you don’t borrow more than you can afford, and try to find the right mortgage with the best rate.

What to do before applying for a mortgage

Whether you’re planning on buying your first home, stepping up to a bigger home or remortgaging, Experian’s tips can help you feel financially prepared & confident ahead of your mortgage application.

  • Check your Experian Credit Score to help you understand how lenders may view you
  • Try not to miss credit payments
  • Try not to apply for other credit in the six months before you apply for your mortgage
  • Manage credit accounts well
  • Register to vote at your current address

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†Experian acts as a credit broker and not a lender in the provision of its credit cards and personal, car finance and guarantor loans matching services, meaning it will show you products offered by lenders and other brokers.

Experian acts independently and although CreditMatcher shows products for a range of lenders and other brokers it does not cover the whole of the market, meaning other products may be available to you. CreditMatcher services are provided free however we will receive commission payments from lenders or brokers we introduce you to. For information about the commission we receive from brokers for mortgages and secured loans click here.

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A guide to remortgaging

Remortgaging is on the up! It now accounts for about a third of all home loans.

When you remortgage, you take out a new loan with either your existing lender or another lender. According to the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML), there were 34,700 loans for remortgage in December 2016, worth a total £5.8bn – that’s an increase of 13% in volume and 14% in value – while Paragon reported they now account for 39% of all mortgages handled by advisers.

Remortgaging could help you free up money for something you really want, help you pay your mortgage off quicker by moving to a lower rate, or help you better manage your monthly household outgoings. TSB found that homeowners could save an average of £96 a month by remortgaging to a lower fixed rate deal.

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7 tips for moving in to your new home

You’ve sealed the deal, inked the contract and are about to move into your new home at last. But before you take a breather, there’s still plenty to do – some of it is the fun part (furnishings) and some of it is necessary administration tasks. Each of those can be done in a finance-friendly way though.

Here are our top tips for moving in to your new home, and how you could make the most of your finances.

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7 tips for first time home buyers

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Buying your first home can seem at times like climbing a particularly steep hill – daunting, confusing and with several pitfalls along the way.  Prices are still rising, with the average UK first-time buyer home now costing £184,973, 7% up on that of a year ago1.

And finding the money for a deposit without help from the Bank Of Mum And Dad can be a real challenge – the typical first-time buyer deposit is now £33,222 – that’s 133% of an average salary1. The average first-time buyer borrowed 3.49 times their income, and the average first-time buyer loan was an estimated £136,0001.

But with a few simple steps to prepare yourself financially, and make lenders see you in a positive light, you could approach buying your first home with a lot more confidence.

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14 new Garden Villages to be built across the UK

Garden Villages to be builtWe now know where the 14 new ‘Garden Villages’  – new towns to help solve the housing crisis – will be. Their locations range from Cumbria to Cornwall.

Government ministers have backed plans for a brand new wave of ‘garden villages’ with between 1,500 and 10,000 new homes, in an effort to confront the growing lack of good housing stock.

Here’s where they are:

Long Marston (Stratford-on-Avon)
Oxfordshire Cotswold (west Oxfordshire)
Deenethorpe (east Northamptonshire)
Culm  (Devon)
Welborne (Hampshire)
West Carclaze (Cornwall)
Dunton Hills (Essex)
Spitalgate Heath (Lincolnshire)
Halsnead (Merseyside)
Longcross (Runnymede and Surrey Heath)
Bailrigg (Lancaster)
Infinity Garden Village (south Derbyshire)
St Cuthberts (near Carlisle)
North Cheshire (Cheshire)

Each village will include green spaces, good links to public transport and a wide mix of house prices, including affordable homes. Continue reading

How to make your dream home a reality

Britain has enjoyed a number of property booms over the past 20 years. And despite the fact that property prices have also tumbled on a number of occasions, the average house price has risen significantly. 

According to the Nationwide House Price Index, the average UK house price went up from £54,008 at the end of Q3 1996 to £206,346 at the end of Q3 2016 – a whopping 282 per cent increase.

Unfortunately, rising house prices has meant that it has become harder for first-time buyers to get a foot onto the property ladder. Using the average house price as a guide, even if a mortgage has a 95 per cent loan-to-value, buyers would still need to find a deposit of over £10,000. Add in solicitor and estate agent fees and the initial layout can seem daunting.

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Brexit: What’s the latest, and how does the interest rate cut affect homeowners?

brexit-interest-rate2After the political whirlwind of the last couple of months, it appears the country’s immediate future may be becoming a little clearer.

Now that Theresa May has taken office as Prime Minister, she will agree the government’s negotiating position before she triggers Article 50, and officially starts the clock on the UK’s exit from the EU.

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How could the Spending Review affect you?

budget-family-350The Chancellor today (25 Nov) announced his Autumn Statement and Spending Review, and many of us are likely to be affected in different ways, from tax to benefits, from housing to local amenities.

Some of the headlines are:

Tax Credits/Welfare –  The planned £4.4bn cuts to working tax credits as part of plans to reduce the welfare bill by £12billion, has now been abandoned and tax credits will now remain unchanged.

The Chancellor said the £12bn of welfare savings will be “delivered in a way that helps families as we make the progression to a national living wage

The Chancellor also says that “more than a million” more jobs will be created over the next five years.

Council Tax – It’s been confirmed that local councils have the freedom to increase council tax bills by more than 2 per cent, to help pay for social care funding.

Childcare – 30 hours free childcare for 3 and 4-year-olds from 2017, to parents working more than 16 hours and earning less than £100,000.

Pensions – The basic state pension will increase by £3.35 a week next year, taking the weekly ‘single tier’ total up to £155.65 for new pensioners.

Housing –  £2bn has been set aside for more than 400,000 “affordable homes” to be built in England, to buy and to rent. Stamp duty for Buy To Let homes will be 3% higher than for regular stamp duty.

Right-to-buy is being extended to housing association tenants starting with a new pilot in five housing associations from midnight.

Help To Buy will be a shared ownership venture aimed at allowing people to get equity loans to help buy a home. London Help to Buy gives a 40% interest-free loan to first-time buyers.

Find out more about the Help to Buy ISA here

Arts & sport: Arts Council funding will be increased so as to keep free museum entry. UK sport budget will increase by 29% “so we go for gold in Rio and in Tokyo”.

Could the Help to Buy ISA help with property dreams?

what is help to buy ISA

The home ownership dream can seem just that for many of us – a dream. New mortgage affordability rules – where mortgage lenders require more current financial information as well as examining your ability to pay in the future – have made the home-buying process more complicated. Add to this, booming house prices and it means that many hopeful homeowners have to find larger deposits than before. 

According to the Nationwide House Price Index, the average UK property price in October 2015 was £196,807 – up from £173,678 in October 2013 (a rise of 13.3 per cent). On a mortgage that offers 90 per cent loan-to-value (LTV), this means finding a deposit of nearly £20,000, with estate agent and legal fees on top of that too.

On 1 December 2015, as trailed in the Chancellor’s March 2015 budget, the Help to Buy ISA will be launched, in which the government will make a contribution towards the deposit on a house purchase.

The scheme allows first-time or existing buyers to get onto, or move up, the housing ladder with as little as a 5 per cent deposit. Depending on your circumstances and the property you are trying to buy, such as a new build, the Help to Buy scheme can help you with an equity loan or mortgage guarantee.

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What to do when buying a home with a partner

Buying your first home with a partner, and getting a mortgage together, can mean there’s a lot you’ll need to agree on – from furnishings to finances and more.

Compromise will inevitably have to be reached regarding the area you choose, the layout, the size, how long you intend to be there and several other factors. Do you need to be near a good school? Is it important to be close to a train station? Buying together is likely to mean an element of give and take in many departments like this.

Making sure that you’re financially able is important too – would buying a property stretch your budget to breaking point? Not only is there a mortgage to think about, but also one-off costs like solicitor’s fees, as well as regular bills & maintenance costs.

Your credit rating can be an important factor here.  In general, the higher your credit score, the better your chances are of getting your mortgage, lower interest rates, and better deals.

If you’re applying to have a joint mortgage, bear in mind that credit reports only become linked if two people have actually applied for credit together (eg: a joint bank account, a mortgage with two names on it) or they tell Experian or a lender that they are financially connected.

By checking your Experian Credit Report you can see if and how you are financially linked, it can also help you understand if you need a little work to tidy up your credit history before a joint mortgage application is made.

For more helpful information on mortgages, visit www.experian.co.uk/mortgages, with useful hints, tips and features.