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Mortgage market review - February 2016

Mortgage market update for February 2016

Macro news and trends

Flood checks set to be standard for property purchases.
Environmental searches to identify risk of flooding when purchasing a house are set to become standard, reveals SearchFlow, conveyancing search provider.        

Help to buy: ISAs opened every 30 seconds.
A quarter of a million first time buyers, more than half of whom are aged 30 and under, have opened a Help to Buy: ISA since the government's landmark scheme launched on 1 December 2015. This is equivalent to 1 person opening an account every 30 seconds, or over 3,000 a day.        

House prices more than 500,000 in a majority of London areas.
Average property prices have broken the £500,000 barrier across more than half of the postcode districts in London, new figures have revealed.        

Average UK house prices rise 9.7% in 2015.
House prices rose 9.7% in the year to January, up from December's figure of 9.5%, new figures from Halifax have revealed. The annual rate of growth has between 8% and 10% since the start of 2015.        


Regulation and legislation

Labour launches review to combat house ownership decline.
The Labour Party has announced a review of the supply of homes to be headed by Peter Redfern, the chief executive of builder Taylor Wimpey.        

CML urges the Government to review stamp duty proposals.
The trade body for the mortgage industry has urged the government to reform it plans to increase stamp duty by 3% on second properties to reduce the potentially negative impacts on the housing market.        

FCA warns on self-cert mortgages.
The FCA is warning consumers of the risks of self-certification mortgages after the launch of a new lender earlier this month. The lender,, is based in Prague and is passporting into the UK using the Electronic Commerce Directive. (log-in required)       


Product developments and innovation

Yorkshire Building Society offers £500 cashback to first-time buyers.
Yorkshire Building Society is offering selected first-time buyers an extra £500 cashback when they complete on a mortgage with the Society, on top of any other offers they are entitled to.       

Leeds reveals details of help to buy London range.
The range, which launches on 1 February, contains a 1.79 per cent two-year fixed rate with a £799 fee and a 2.45 per cent five-year fixed rate with a £199 fee. Both come with a free valuation.

Keystone simplifies classic range and slashes rates.
Keystone Buy to Let Mortgages has simplified its Classic range and has cut rates by up to 50 basis points.        

New lender launches into mortgage market.
New Street Mortgages has launched into the UK market as a new mass-market lending brand under the Northview Group.        

Fleet Mortgages changes buy-to-let criteria.
Fleet Mortgages has made criteria changes across its new build and recent conversions lending, and for multiple occupation properties (HMO).         

Santander to introduce two-tiered B2L affordability tests.
Santander is introducing a new two-tier buy-to-let affordability calculation as the Government's tax shake up is expected to increase costs for landlords.          


Consumer trends

Deposits still greatest barrier to buying a home.
The latest quarterly Halifax Housing Market Confidence Tracker shows that in the final quarter of 2015, 58% of people chose this as the biggest barrier to buying a property, up one point from the last quarter.        

Drawdown growth drives equity release market to new highs.
Those aged 55 plus unlocked a record amount of housing wealth via drawdown lifetime mortgages in the final quarter of 2015, pushing annual equity release lending to a new high of £1.61bn, according to the Equity Release Counl.        

First-time buyer activity grew in 2015.
The number of home buyers taking their first step onto the property ladder dropped by 1,300 between November and December, according to a new report.        


Experts corner 

Stamp duty surcharge - your questions answered.
Stephen Barratt, private client tax director at accountants and business advisers James Cowper Kreston, answers your questions on the forthcoming stamp duty changes.        


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