Marijana No Comments

Mortgage approvals made to home buyers jumps to nine-month high

THE number of mortgage approvals made to home buyers in the UK jumped to a nine-month high in March, figures from a trade association show.

There were 39,980 approvals for house purchase, marking the highest total since June 2018, according to UK Finance.

Meanwhile 29,448 re-mortgage loans got the green light in March – the highest figure since August 2018.

UK Finance said personal deposits grew by 0.4 per cent in the year to March, with savers’ money held in instant access accounts growing at a faster annual rate, of 2 per cent.

This reflects consumers’ preference to keep cash close at hand amid ongoing economic uncertainty, UK Finance said.

Howard Archer, chief economic adviser at EY ITEM Club said: “UK Finance reported mortgage approvals for house purchases somewhat surprisingly edged up to a nine-month high of 39,980 in March.

“The housing market has been constrained for an extended period by overall challenging conditions – relatively limited consumer purchasing power, despite recent improvement, after an extended squeeze and fragile consumer confidence.

“It should be noted that the overall national picture has been dragged down by the particularly poor performance in London and parts of the South East.”

Samuel Tombs, chief UK economist at Pantheon Macroeconomics, said looking ahead, mortgage lending is likely to continue to “flatline”.

“Mortgage rates look set to hold steady, keeping the proportion of home buyers’ incomes absorbed by loan payments at historically low levels,” he said.

“Nonetheless, households’ overall confidence still is low and surveys show a marked deterioration in households’ view that housing is a good investment, which only will have been strengthened by the recent slowdown in house price growth.

“It’s hard to see lending returning to 2013-to-15 levels any time soon.”

Jeremy Leaf, a north London estate agent and a former residential chairman of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (Rics), said:

“It is still tough to find common ground between even realistic buyers and sellers, and sales are certainly taking considerably longer, not least because as we are finding, buy-to-let investors have not been replaced completely by first-time buyers.

“The picture is very patchy and can vary considerably between areas which are quite close together and between London and elsewhere.”

Andrew Montlake, director of mortgage broker, Coreco believes there has been a “marked improvement” in the property market in the past month or so.

“Something has changed, and this week in particular has seen a huge surge in mortgage inquiries,” he said.

“There’s always a surge in activity levels during the spring but this year it has been accentuated by the pent-up demand caused by Brexit.

“Those who aren’t buying are re-mortgaging in order to improve their homes, and many are picking up an even more competitive rate as they do so,” he added.

Source: Irish News

Marijana No Comments

The gap between buyer-seller expectations in the property market

According to a report in The Guardian, the UK’s property market is stalling during a period that usually marks the midst of the house-selling season.

The Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) had predicted that Brexit would impact both house sales and prices and this seems to have borne out.

What is more, the gap between the asking price and selling price of houses is now around 96%, equating to a difference of more than £10,000 on the average UK house price of £305,000.

So, as house price growth slows, sellers are noticing that when their property lands on the market, the true price realised in the sale is significantly less than they expected.

There are reasons other than Brexit that may be attributed to this pricing gap.

Martin Ellis from the Halifax stated to The Financial Times that the rapid growth in house prices between 2014 and 2016 made houses less affordable, which had a knock-on effect on demand.

In addition, buyers are becoming more comfortable with challenging prices: this confidence is based on a number of factors, including slowing house price growth and rising transaction costs.

Ultimately however, the gap between a seller’s hope of a high return and a buyer’s expectations of a substantial discount, is a reflection on the fact that in general, many houses have been over-priced.

So the message is: those in the property market need to be more realistic.

Sellers – some advice

  • Go for the agent who definitely wants to sell your property. It has happened that sellers become locked into contracts with agents who are not adequately working for them.
  • An overvaluation can detrimentally impact on the saleability of your home so don’t be tempted by inflated estimates.
  • Try to agree on a price that raises the maximum amount of interest from buyers – admittedly a difficult call to make.
  • Question the agent more. Find out what properties the agent sold within the previous six months and what actual discount was levied on those properties.

And for potential buyers…

  • Many homeowners who would otherwise want to take advantage of rising prices are now holding off putting their house on the market. This is leading to a general lack of affordable housing. So, if you find a property that is suitable for you, move quickly.
  • Be open-minded and flexible with your wish-list. You may not get everything you want in a property, so you may have to make compromises in order to get on the property ladder.
  • Bear in mind when applying for a mortgage that interest rate rises are expected before 2020.
  • Gazumping, where sellers pull out of an accepted offer because they have received a higher price from someone else, is more likely if your offer is relatively low. With gazumping you run the risk of losing money that you have already invested in the transaction for example professional and valuation fees. So, be mindful of this possibility when making an offer and agreeing on a price.

Source: Mortgage Introducer

Marijana No Comments

London home buyers receive more help from parents than in any other region

More buyers in London receive help from their parents to buy a home than in any other region, with residents of the capital also having the highest parental contributions – almost £31,000 per transaction on average.

Young people across the UK are set to increase their reliance on their parents to buy house, with the the “Bank of Mum and Dad” set to reach nearly £6bn this year, according to research released by Legal & General and the Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr).

The so-called Bank of Mum and Dad will be the equivalent of a £5.7bn mortgage lender in 2018, according to the research.

Family-supported lending remains a major force in the UK housing market, the firm said, with 27 per cent of buyers set to receive help from friends or family in 2018, up from 25 per cent in 2017.

This year, the Bank of Mum and Dad will help 316,600 relatives buy a home – up from 298,300 in 2017.

The value of Bank of Mum and Dad-supported property purchases in 2018 will rise to £81.7bn, according to the research, representing a five per cent increase since 2016.

However, parents are providing smaller sums, with the average contribution declining from £21,600 in 2017 to £18,000 in 2018.

Nigel Wilson, group chief executive at Legal & General, said: “The fact that in 2018, 1 in 4 housing transactions in the UK will be dependent on the Bank of Mum and Dad, while hard-pressed parents are finding it more difficult to provide the funds to help their family with deposits, will further exacerbate the UK’s housing crisis.

“We need more homes for the young, old and families alike.”

Under 35s are the most likely to receive parental assistance, with nearly 3 in 5 receiving money from family and friends to buy a property, according to the research.

By comparison, just eight per cent of over 55s receiving family assistance to buy a home. However, 20 per cent of homeowners aged between 45 and 55 are now relying on family help to buy a home.

“The volume of transactions depending on Bank of Mum and Dad funding keeps on growing, even as parents find it harder to provide as much money for the deposit,” said Wilson.

“Bank of Mum and Dad funding is a vital plank in the housing market, but this year the supply of funds is being squeezed.”

Source: City A.M.