Sunday Sunday, May 24, 2015 | RSS Feed

Friday Friday, May 22, 2015 News

Lewis refuses to regulate estate agents

Housing minister Brandon Lewis has allegedly ruled out regulation of estate agents, even after the NAEA pleaded with him to smarten up the industry.

Wellesley to launch broker portal

Peer-to-peer bridging and development finance lender Wellesley & Co is planning to launch a broker portal called Wellesley Finance in Q3 this year.

Social rent arrears fall

Housing Association rents arrears policies are working, research from Mobysoft shows.

Specialist lending workshops from TFC

TFC Homeloans has announced two free specialist lending workshops aimed at advisers who want to learn more about helping their clients and increasing their revenues.

Crowdfunded BTL funded in minutes

A property listed on residential crowdfunding platform Property Partner reached its funding target in a record 35 minutes with investments coming in at a rate of £6,000 a minute.

Yorkshire defends direct-only decision

Yorkshire building society has defended its decision not to offer its lowest ever mortgage rate of 1.07% through brokers.

Refer struggling borrowers to advisers

Lenders should encourage borrowers struggling with their mortgage payments to seek financial advice, a report commissioned by the Council of Mortgage Lenders has suggested.

Nationwide chief to retire as profits grow

Nationwide has announced that its chief executive Graham Beale will retire in July next year after the bank recorded strong annual profits.

YBS launches lowest ever rate at 1.07pc

Yorkshire building society has today launched the UK’s lowest ever fixed rate mortgage with a 1.07% initial rate available direct only.

FCA warning on poor SME claims handling

Insurers have been rapped on the knuckles for poor handlilng of insurance claims by small and medium sized businesses following a review by the regulator.

Government fails to promote housing wealth

The government has failed to promote the role of housing wealth in retirement funding said experts and financial professionals at the Great Retirement Money Debate hosted by the Equity Release Council.

Saffron launches transitional mortgage

Saffron building society has set out its stall to help mortgage prisoners remortgage under transitional rules allowing for a more flexible approach to affordability assessment.

BSA 2015: Financial firms are like North Korea

Regulators and firms have a dangerous culture of North Korean-style totalitarianism, "corporate philosopher" Roger Steare claimed at the Building Societies Association Conference 2015 in Harrogate yesterday.

House prices continue to rise

House prices across the Hometrack UK cities house price index grew by an average of 1.4% over the three months to April - higher than the same period in 2014 (1.2%) and the highest three month average rate of growth for a decade.


Thursday Thursday, May 21, 2015 News

BSA 2015: KPMG calls for unity against hackers

Firms should band together to stop hackers extracting money to fund more illegal activities, KPMG partner Stephen Bonner said at the Building Societies Association Conference in Harrogate today.

Teachers launches H2B remo

Teachers Building Society has widened the availability of its Help to Buy mortgage, making it available for remortgage as well as home purchase.

Rogue landlords raking in billions

Rogue landlords are raking in £5.6bn a year by letting out unsafe homes that fail to meet legal standards, research has claimed.

Cusp of recovery despite lending dip

Gross mortgage lending was estimated at £16bn in April, 1% down on the previous month and 4% lower than the £16.7bn a year ago, Council of Mortgage Lenders figures show.

Prestige launches BTL seconds range

Prestige Finance, the second charge loan specialist and part of OneSavings Bank, has launched a range of buy-to-let products for second charge lending.

Just 34,000 new homes built in Q1

There were around 34,040 completions in Q1 2015, up 10% on Q4 2014 and 21% above Q1 2014, the latest figures from the Department of Communities and Local Government show.

BSA elects Bath CEO as chairman

Dick Jenkins, chief executive of Bath building society, has been elected deputy chairman of the Building Societies Association.

BSA 2015: Don't demonise BTL

Buy-to-let shoudn’t be demonised as the quality of lending remains high, Bank of England deputy governor for prudential regulation and Prudential Regulation Authority chief executive Andrew Bailey has said.

FSE: Lack of building a national disgrace

The lack of new housing coming to market is “a national disgrace”, experts have warned.

BSA 2015: Lloyds anticipates 2015 rate rise

Interest rates could rise in late 2015 when deflation ends and oil prices increase, a Lloyds Bank economist predicted at the Building Societies Association Annual Conference 2015 in Harrogate yesterday.

NACFB announces Expo attendees

With less than one month to go until the NACFB’s sixth Commercial Finance Expo on 17 June, the NACFB has announced the presence of some big and influential names.

Nationwide cuts rates

Nationwide is making a series of rate reductions across its mortgage range, reducing selected fixed rate deals by up to 0.30%.

ING: Interest rates to hit 1pc in 2015

The Bank of England is likely to raise interest rates between 0.75% and 1% by the end of the year, ING’s senior economist has predicted.


Wednesday Wednesday, May 20, 2015 News

BSA 2015: Age UK urges caution on ER

Pensioners mustn’t take out equity release products too soon warned David Steele, Age UK’s policy adviser, financial services, at the Building Societies Association Annual Conference 2015.

Conveyancers need to get social

Conveyancers must stop resisting consumer demands for greater transparency, mobile access and social interaction online, Doug Crawford has claimed.

FCA: Disclose commissions you might have received

Advisers will be forced to list all of the commissions they could have received on all products they didn’t recommend to clients as well as those they did, the FCA has said.

AMI: More regulation in store

The mortgage market should brace itself for more regulation over the coming years, Robert Sinclair has said.

BSA 2015: Conservative majority a ‘nightmare’

Tory insiders are worried about achieving everything set out in their “wishlist” of a manifesto after winning a full majority in parliament, Sky News political correspondent Sophy Ridge revealed today at the Building Societies Association...

Barratt: UK will struggle to build 200k homes

The UK’s largest house builder Barratt has admitted that it will be a “struggle” to see how British builders could hope to meet political promises to build 200,000 homes a year.

Lenders must develop downsizer mortgages

Builders want to work with lenders to develop a stronger mortgage supply to people looking to downsize in order to justify building more appropriate homes.

BSA 2015: CEO calls for public building

The UK must build homes in both the private and public sectors and launch a 15-year cross party plan to manage housing, chief executive of the Building Societies Association Robin Fieth has warned.

LendInvest celebrates second birthday

LendInvest celebrates its second anniversary today and the milestone that it has already lent over £300m to British property entrepreneurs and investors.

GE cuts rates across range

GE Money Home Lending has reduced its two-year discount rate by 0.95% to give new customers a starting rate of 1.99%.

Openwork to relinquish membership of APFA

Openwork has announced that it is relinquishing its membership of the Association of Professional Financial Advisers.

Key Retirement appoints Kevin Stelfox

Key Retirement, the over 55s financial specialist, has appointed Kevin Stelfox as director of retirement options and wealth management.

MPC discusses rate rises

The minutes of the Monetary Policy Committee meeting held at the beginning of May show the Committee was unanimous in maintaining Base Rate at 0.5% although there were discussions over rates rising.

AMI opens doors to new IFA body

The Association of Mortgage Intermediaries has opened its doors to working with Libertatum, the new IFA trade body set up by Garry Heath last week.

SPECIAL FEATURE: Preparing for CCA permissions

With less than a year to go until the Consumer Credit Act comes into effect Lucy Hodge, director of Vantage Finance, says now is the time to get compliant.


Tuesday Tuesday, May 19, 2015 News

FOS reports more interest-only complaints

Complaints about interest-only mortgages are on the rise says the Financial Ombudsman Service.

London owners make £156,000 from extensions

London homeowners can make a whopping £156,000 if they invest in a 30 metre extension on their home, research from Barclays with Countrywide has revealed.

Call for end of Help to Buy

Nigel Terrington, chief executive of Paragon Group, has called on the government to wean the UK off Help to Buy, suggesting it has created an artificial market that encouraged the wrong behaviours.

UK’s deflation will be short-lived

Deflation of 0.1% between March and April will last just one month with inflation set to rise towards the end of the year, experts have warned.

Paragon lending rises 66pc

Paragon Group grew its mortgages and buy-to-let divisions 65.7% in the six months to March 2015 over the same period 12 months ago.

Market set for post-election surge

The housing market looks set for a post-election surge as new property instructions increased significantly after the Tories won a majority, haart’s Housing Market Monitor has revealed.

Boris's build-to-rent guidance praised

The British Property Federation has praised the Mayor of London’s new draft supplementary planning guidance on housing in London for supporting the city’s build-to-rent sector.

InterBay loosens criteria

InterBay has loosened its criteria by allowing its underwriters to waive the need for bank statements after receiving feedback from its key partners.

TUC: Gov fails to understand housing crisis

There is no sign the government “yet understands the challenge of ending the housing crisis”, Trades Union Congress general secretary Frances O’Grady has said.

Accord cuts BTL rates up to 60pc LTV

Accord has cut rates on its 2-year fixed rate buy-to-let mortgages by 0.15% for borrowers with a 40% deposit.

Foreign buyers are back in UK

International investors are back on the lookout for prime UK residential property with Largemortgageloans seeing a 51% rise in US-based inquiries since the general election.

Aldermore appoints Scottish relationship manager

Aldermore has appointed Craig Beattie as residential mortgages relationship manager for Scotland.

CML: Remortgage lending gains momentum

Remortgage lending rose year-on-year to March but lending to first-time buyers and homemovers both fell over the period.

Shawbrook hires senior loan manager

Shawbrook Bank has promoted Joylie Bates to senior loan manager within its commercial mortgages division.

UK slips into 0.1pc deflation

The UK has entered its first period of deflation for 55 years after prices slipped by 0.1% in the year to April, figures from the Office for National Statistics revealed this morning.

Marsh & Parson appoints affordable housing head

Marsh & Parsons appointed Matt Bird as head of affordable housing, a newly created role.

Near prime P2P lender set to launch

A new peer-to-peer lender offering retail investors returns of up to 10% on near prime buy-to-let and bridging loans is set to launch in the coming weeks.

Government should do more with empty homes

Young people want to see the government devolve more power to local authorities to tackle empty homes, refurbishing them and getting them back in use, Halifax research has claimed.

Leeds launches interest-only options

Leeds building society has launched a range of part interest-only part capital repayment mortgages up to 75% loan-to-value with a 50% LTV maximum on an interest-only basis.


Monday Monday, May 18, 2015 News

Nine in 10 say housing market held back

Nine out of 10 property professionals say the market is currently held back with 47% believing a shortage of properties is the cause, research from myhomemove has claimed.

Landlords buying tenanted properties

Landlords are increasingly looking to buy tenanted properties with over quarter of all purchases by landlords in London coming with a sitting tenant, up from 12% in 2008.

VitalityLife offers 5pc discount on life

VitalityLife is offering a 5% discount for new optimiser policies on new life cover policies taken until the end of June.

LV raises £3,000 for Seven Families

LV= has donated a further £3,000 to the Seven Families protection project following a pledge to donate 77p for every valid flexible income protection application it received in March and April.

Self-employed mortgage fraud rises

Sole traders locked out of the mortgage market by tighter affordability regulation are increasingly fraudulently claiming they’re an employee of a business rather than the owner-manager to secure a loan.

First-timers delaying house purchase

First-time buyers are having to wait longer than planned to take their first step onto the property ladder, research from Clydesdale and Yorkshire Banks claims.

Pensioners urged to get LPA

Applications for lasting powers of attorney are set to grow to more than 330,000 this year as retirement savers and their families wake up to the growing need for control over their finances.

Aegon and Zurich update CI

Aegon and Zurich have both announced additional definitions to their critical illness cover plans this morning with CI Expert founder Alan Lakey calling the upgrades “generally positive”.

Dragonfly ups LTC on development finance

Dragonfly has edged up the risk curve by raising its maximum acceptable loan-to-cost on development finance from 80% to 85%.

Fleet raises age restriction to 85

Fleet Mortgages has cut rates across its product range for individual landlords and raised its maximum acceptable age at the end of a term from 75 to 85.

Mansfield ups broker lending targets

The Mansfield building society has committed to doing more lending this year than originally planned and launched three new products to entice brokers.

Call for Scottish H2B clarity

The Scottish government must give clarity on what help will be offered to those looking to buy a home when Help to Buy comes to an end in March next year, Jim Mather has said.

Employment hotspots rocket £65,000

House prices have rocketed by £65,000 since 2009 in the best 20 areas of the UK in terms of low levels of unemployment, Lloyds Bank research has revealed.

Help to Buy 2 far off capacity

The Help to Buy mortgage guarantee is a long way off running at full capacity, Genworth analysis has found.


Friday Friday, May 15, 2015 News

Skipton raises new build LTVs

Skipton will raise its loan-to-values for new build flats from 75% to 85% on Monday as part of a comprehensive overhaul of its new build range.

Scot Wid nudges protection customers to stay

Scottish Widows has revealed plans to use behavioural economics techniques to improve retention of its protection customers.

Berkeley Alexander grows landlord panel

General insurance provider Berkeley Alexander has added Covéa to its landlord insurance provider panel, joining AXA, Zurich and Towergate.

Fleet reveals expansion plans

Fleet Mortgages, the new buy-to-let and specialist lender has announced further expansion plans for the business.

National Counties appoints Hughes chair

Rodger Hughes has been appointed chairman of National Counties Building Society.

No home for mortgage prisoners in bridging

Borrowers left stranded next year after the European Mortgage Credit Directive bans lenders from applying transitional rules will not find solace in the bridging market, experts have warned.

TFC and Lancashire complete 3 day bridge

TFC Homeloans and Lancashire Mortgage Corporation joined forces last month to ensure a client did not lose an auction property, by arranging bridging finance in just three days.

SPECIAL FEATURE: The path to a good life

Stuart Wilson, marketing director at more 2 life, says more people will come to realise that their home can provide a significant boost to their retirement finances.

South East beats London house price growth

House prices rose faster in the South East and East Anglia than in London in April with prices rising 0.2% on average across England and Wales.

MAB: My home is a cash point

Borrowers are taking advantage of low mortgage rates and property price rises with new evidence suggesting they are remortgaging to release cash from their homes.