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Mortgage market review May 2017

Mortgage market update for May 2017

MACRO NEWS AND DRIVERS

Supply of available houses hits record low for March
Estate agents reported an average of just 39 houses on their books in March, down from 44 in February - the lowest figure since records began in September 2002, according to NAEA Propertymark (National Association of Estate Agents).
http://www.cityam.com/263693/housing-supply-has-hit-lowest-march-level-since-2003        

Iress and Mortgage Brain deny ditching desktop versions
Leading providers of mortgage-sourcing software have denied they are scrapping desktop versions of their products and moving to wholly cloud-based systems.
https://www.ftadviser.com/mortgages/2017/04/28/iress-and-mortgage-brain-deny-ditching-desktop-versions/        

House prices in regional cities hit 12-year high
House price growth has reached 12-year highs in Manchester, Birmingham and Newcastle as demand continues to climb outside the south of England. Manchester has held on to the top spot in the latest Hometrack UK Cities house price index with an annual growth rate of 8.8 per cent, while Birmingham has surged into second place with year-on-year growth of 8 per cent.
http://www.cityam.com/263704/london-now-one-five-cities-lowest-house-price-growth-uk   

Only tough choices ahead on housing, says IFS chief
Politicians need to make difficult choices to tackle the housing crisis and other factors holding back social mobility, according to the director of the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS).
https://www.ftadviser.com/mortgages/2017/04/24/only-tough-choices-ahead-on-housing-says-ifs-chief/       

Mortgage lending shows stamp duty surge falling back
Gross mortgage lending dropped by almost 20 per cent year-on-year in March, according to the latest estimate from the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML).
https://www.propertyinvestortoday.co.uk/breaking-news/2017/4/gross-mortgage-lending-in-neutral-gear?source=othernews 

Percentage-based fees now buy-to-let standard
Some 44 per cent of all buy to let mortgage products carried a percentage-based fee in the first quarter of 2017, overtaking flat fees (41 per cent) for the first time in four years, according to the latest Buy to Let Mortgage Costs Index from Mortgages for Business.
http://www.mortgageintroducer.com/percentage-based-buy-let-fees-now-popular/#.WQiZ4_nyuUk

REGULATION AND LEGISLATION

FCA to investigate interest-only mortgages
The FCA is to investigate lenders with interest-only mortgage books to make sure customers are being treated fairly.
https://www.moneymarketing.co.uk/fca-investigate-interest-mortgages/       
 
Equity release body wants government to push 'safe' product
The Equity Release Council said the government should establish a dedicated policy team committed to promoting equity release as a safe product that should be on all homeowners' retirement planning checklist as they approach later life.
https://www.ftadviser.com/mortgages/2017/05/02/equity-release-body-wants-government-to-push-safe-product/      
 
Mortgage compensation owed to hundreds of thousands
Lenders have been told to compensate a total of around 750,000 customers who may have been unfairly charged on their mortgage repayments.
https://www.fca.org.uk/news/press-releases/fca-consult-mortgage-payment-shortfall-remediation-guidance
 
MP backs keeping stamp duty under review
The communities secretary has said it is sensible to keep the stamp duty rate under review amid concerns it could be contributing to housing supply problems.
https://www.ftadviser.com/mortgages/2017/04/20/mp-backs-keeping-stamp-duty-under-review/

PRODUCT DEVELOPMENTS AND INNOVATION

Scottish Widows launches lowest-ever remortgage rates
Scottish Widows has cut rates on its flexible remortgage products to as low as 1.19 per cent, with all products featuring the option to offset.
https://www.ftadviser.com/mortgages/2017/05/02/scottish-widows-launches-lowest-ever-remortgage-rates/        
 
Vida Homeloans adds free legals for remortgages
Vida Homeloans is now offering free legals for residential remortgages and has increased the maximum loan-to-value (LTVs) available on certain products.
http://www.financialreporter.co.uk/mortgages/vida-offers-free-legals-for-residential-remortgages.html       
 
Accord revamps buy-to-let rental calculation rules
Accord has altered its rental calculation requirements in a bid to ease the burden on struggling buy-to-let (BTL) landlords. The lender will now take into consideration whether a property is a freehold or leasehold and differentiate where a landlord is looking to remortgage their existing property where no additional capital raising is required.
https://www.mortgagestrategy.co.uk/accord-brings-145-leasehold-remortgage-tier/       
 
Leeds launches fixed rate buy-to-let deal
Leeds Building Society has launched a five-year fixed rate buy-to-let mortgage at a rate of 3.10 per cent. The deal comes with a £199 fee and also has a free valuation while fees assisted legal services are available for standard remortgages.
https://www.mortgagestrategy.co.uk/leeds-launches-3-10-five-year-btl-fixed-rate/       
 
Nationwide cuts rates to historic lows
Nationwide Building Society is cutting rates on some two- and five-year fixed and two-year tracker rate mortgage products by up to 0.1 per cent. The 75 per cent loan-to-value two-year fixed rate product now starts at 1.34 per cent with a £999 fee and 1.74 per cent with no fee.
http://www.nationwide.co.uk/about/media-centre-and-specialist-areas/media-centre/press-releases/archive/2017/4/26-tracker-rate-mortgage-cuts       
 
Paragon to pay proc fee on switch products
Paragon Mortgages is to pay procuration fees of 0.25 per cent across its full range of switch products. The specialist buy-to-let lender said the fee is "in recognition of the work intermediaries do to deliver good outcomes for existing buy-to-let customers".
https://www.ftadviser.com/mortgages/2017/04/25/paragon-to-pay-proc-fee-on-switch-products/       
 
Santander launches new BTL range and cuts rates
Santander has launched a new range of buy-to-let mortgages and cut rates by up to 0.3 per cent on existing fixed-rate products.
https://www.landlordtoday.co.uk/breaking-news/2017/4/santander-launches-new-market-leading-remortgage-rates?source=newsticker

CONSUMER TRENDS

Confidence in housing market is stable
Confidence in the housing market has now stabilised following a record decline after the European Union referendum, according to a survey by Halifax. The lender revealed nearly six out of 10 (58 per cent) people expect the average property price to increase in the next 12 months, compared with just one out of 10 (14 per cent) who expect prices to fall.
http://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-britain-economy-housing-idUKKBN17M2ZC

EXPERTS CORNER

Will the latest FCA review hit interest-only mortgages?
The FCA launched its third review into the sector in just five years last week. It unveiled the latest thematic review in its 2017/18 business plan.
https://www.moneymarketing.co.uk/will-latest-fca-review-hit-interest-mortgages/

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