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Mortgage market review April 2017

Mortgage market update for April 2017

MACRO NEWS AND DRIVERS

House prices in cities rise but London drags on growth
House price inflation in cities rose 6.4 per cent in February year-on-year, compared to a 2016 average of 7.8 per cent, according to new figures from Hometrack.
https://www.moneymarketing.co.uk/house-prices-cities-rise-london-drags-growth/

House prices up £100k in areas that add most jobs
House prices have soared by almost £100,000 in areas that have seen the steepest declines in unemployment over the past decade. Price gains have been almost double the national average over the past ten years in the 20 parts of the country with the most dramatic drops in unemployment
https://www.ftadviser.com/mortgages/2017/03/31/house-prices-up-100k-in-areas-that-add-most-jobs/

House sales hit 10-year high but FTBsuffer
Figures from the National Association of Estate Agents (NAEA) Propertymark reveal the number of sales agreed rose to a 10-year high in February, to 11 per branch - the highest since September 2007.
http://www.cityam.com/262023/sales-uk-homes-have-reached-10-year-high

House price rises slow in March
The rate of growth in the British housing market shrank this month, as the number of people owning their own home dropped to its lowest level in more than three decades.
http://www.nationwide.co.uk/about/house-price-index/headlines

Waltham forest tops london FTB house price gains
Prices in the north-eastern London borough rocketed by 93 per cent from an average of £212,629 in 2012 to £409,491 in 2017, according to research by Lloyds Bank.
http://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/mortgageshome/article-2677612/Nationwide-House-prices-hit-peak-188-903-June.html

Mortgage approvals down in February
The total number of approvals dropped from 69,114 to 68,315 between January and February, although they remain well above the six-month running average of 66,000 according to latest data from the BoE.
https://www.ftadviser.com/mortgages/2017/03/29/mortgage-approvals-down-in-february/

REGULATION AND LEGISLATION

Government reveals help to buy ISA take-up figures
Nearly 260,000 people have bought a home using one of the Government's Help to Buy schemes and more than 868,000 have opened a Help to Buy Isa. 84 per cent of the Help to Buy completions are first-time buyers and that the average house price across the scheme is £192,854.
https://www.moneymarketing.co.uk/government-reveals-help-buy-isa-take-figures/

PRODUCT DEVELOPMENTS AND INNOVATION

Pru buys £12bn Bradford & Bingley buy-to-let loan book
The Government has agreed to sell its Bradley & Bingley loan book for £11.8bn to Prudential and to funds managed by US private equity firm Blackstone. The portfolio of mortgages was acquired by taxpayers during the financial crisis.
http://news.sky.com/story/bradford-bingley-asset-sale-raises-16312bn-for-taxpayers-10818885

Scottish widows takes axe to re-mortgage fees
Scottish Widows has cut fees by up to £500 on its re-mortgage range, including the option to offset. Fees on the bank's 2 and 5-year fixed rates have been reduced from £1,499 to £999, with rates as low as 1.29 per cent at 60 per cent loan-to-value.
http://www.mortgagesolutions.co.uk/news/2017/03/31/scottish-widows-cuts-remortgage-rates/

Coventry launches buy-to-let range
Coventry for intermediaries has launched a 50 per cent loan-to-value (LTV) buy-to-let range. The lender is offering a 2-year fix at 1.49 per cent and a 5-year fix at 2.59 per cent, both of which come with early repayment charges (ERCs) and a £1,999 product fee.
https://www.ftadviser.com/mortgages/2017/04/03/coventry-launches-buy-to-let-range/

Pepper launches fixed rate deals for L&G brokers
Pepper Homeloans has launched a range of two-year fixed rates starting from 2.4 per cent exclusively through Legal & General Mortgage Club. The new range is available for purchases or remortgages up to 85 per cent loan-to-value and is aimed at borrowers who may have been declined on credit score, but who haven't had any CCJs or defaults in the past 48 months.
http://www.mortgageintroducer.com/pepper-launches-2-year-fixes-via-lg/#.WOIP0W_yuUk

Nationwide allows families to help relatives buy homes
A mortgage that enables families to raise funds from their existing property to help relatives buy a home has been launched by Nationwide. Rates start at 1.15 per cent for the two-year tracker and 1.2 per cent for the two-year fixed rate, both with a £999 fee - a discount of 0.09 per cent on the core product range.
http://www.nationwide.co.uk/about/media-centre-and-specialist-areas/media-centre/press-releases/archive/2017/3/22-new-mortgage-product

Teachers launches online mortgage portal
Teachers Building Society has launched a new online end-to-end mortgage application portal for intermediaries. A dedicated intermediary team will also be available to deal with any questions.
https://www.ftadviser.com/mortgages/2017/03/28/teachers-launches-online-mortgage-portal/

West Brom offers cashback boost for first-time buyers
Building society the West Brom has doubled the amount of cashback for first-time buyers and cut product fees after a review of its incentives.
http://www.westbrom.co.uk/your-society/news/2017/3/24/cashback-boost-for-mortgage-borrowers

CONSUMER TRENDS

Affordability of local housing
New research from Cicero Research shows affordability is the single biggest housing issue in the UK with almost one-quarter (24%) of people claiming they cannot afford to buy any properties in their local area. With house prices increasing at twice the increase in wages, the research shows that a further two-thirds (65%) believe that all or most local housing is no longer affordable.
http://cicero-group.com/media-centre/reports/cicero-research-13-million-britons-believe-local-properties-are-unaffordable/

House price sentiment 'back to pre-referendum levels'
Consumer expectations about house prices have bounced back to pre-EU Referendum levels after a period of uncertainty following last year's vote to leave the EU.
https://www.bsa.org.uk/media-centre/press-releases/rising-house-prices-put-focus-on-affordability

Equity release on the increase
The amount of money unlocked using equity release has hit record highs, surpassing the £2bn mark for the first time in the sector's history.
https://www.ftadviser.com/mortgages/2017/03/29/equity-release-on-the-increase/ (subscription required)

One in four think they will never own a home
New research into 'Generation Rent' by Halifax revealed more evidence of the affordability problems facing aspiring homeowners, with one in four 18 to 34-year-olds thinking the only way they will manage to buy a house is by inheriting cash.
http://static.halifax.co.uk/assets/pdf/mortgages/pdf/170323%20Press%20Release%20Halifax%20generation%20rent_FINAL.pdf

First-time buyers relying on mum and dad at 'historic high'
The proportion of first-time buyers in England relying on the so-called "Bank of Mum and Dad" has reached more than 34 per cent, according to research for the government's Social Mobility Commission.
http://www.hl.co.uk/news/amp-newsroom?id=11739609

EXPERTS CORNER

Should the government scrap Right to Buy?
In a plan mirroring Margaret Thatcher's sale of council homes in the 1980s, the government has extended Right to Buy to housing association tenants. However, the scheme has come under fire from property experts who believe it will do little to tackle the housing crisis.
http://www.whatmortgage.co.uk/news/first-time-buyers/government-scrap-right-buy/

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