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Mortgage market review - March 2016

Mortgage market update for March 2016

Macro news and drivers

Think-tank calls for stamp duty reduction on energy efficient homes
A think-tank has called for a reduction in stamp duty along with improved mortgage affordability tests to help encourage more energy efficient homes.

Uk house price growth accelerates
Annual house price growth accelerated in February as investors snapped up properties ahead of the stamp duty hike in April. According to Nationwide, average house prices were £196,930 last month, up 4.8% from the same time last year.

Mortgage borrowing surges 38%
According to the British Bankers' Association, gross mortgage borrowing was £13.6 billion in January, a 38% jump from the same month last year.

Bank of Scotland tops FOS mortgage complaints list
Bank of Scotland was the most complained-about mortgage firm in the second half of 2015, according to the Financial Ombudsman Service.

Regulation and legislation

FCA investigating product access for older borrowers
The FCA is seeking to find out whether there are any barriers stopping older people from accessing financial services products - including mortgages.

How would a Brexit affect the mortgage market?
A Brexit from the European Union is unlikely to hit the UK mortgage market hard, according to economists and trade bodies. A vote on whether the UK stays in the EU will be held on 23 June, Prime Minister David Cameron announced last weekend.

Brokers at just 3 major networks can call themselves 'independent' post-MCD
Swathes of brokers will be unable to describe themselves as 'independent' from next month as major networks look to stop their intermediaries from advising on second charge loans.

Product developments and innovation

Virgin tweaks interest-only criteria
Virgin Money has revamped its interest-only criteria. In a note to brokers, the lender said it had reduced its minimum income requirement from £100,000 to £50,000. This is based on total gross income, including 100 per cent of bonuses and overtime.

Kent reliance loosens its self-employed criteria
Kent Reliance has loosened its criteria for 'professional' self-employed borrowers by accepting those who have been trading for just 12 months.

Accord mortgages offers range of five-year fixes
Accord Mortgages has launched a new range of five-year fixed rate residential loans for borrowers with a 25 per cent deposit or less.

Natwest to begin instructing valuer on Day 1
NatWest Intermediary Solutions is looking to speed up its mortgage process by instructing the valuer as soon as it receives the application.

Halifax makes remortgage cashback offer
Halifax has offered customers looking to remortgage direct with the bank a £250 cashback on completion of their mortgage.

Consumer trends

Average London worker needs a 266% pay rise to buy a homes
According to the National Housing Federation's Home Truths report, the average London home now costs £526,000 - 16 times the average Londoner's salary of £33,000 a year.

Tenants have paid over £40,000 in rent since 2010
The average UK tenant has spent on average over £40,000 on rent in the last five years, the equivalent of paying a 20% deposit on a first-time buyer home, according to housing charity Shelter.

Average homebuyer has to wait three years to buy
According to Mortgages, high property prices in the area they want to buy (22%), getting enough money together for a deposit (18%) and the associated costs of buying a property and moving (11%) are the biggest obstacles to their plans.

Just one in five think mortgage rates will increase
Data published by conveyancer LMS showed the proportion of remortgagers who believe interest rates will rise has decreased by three percentage points from 25% in December 2015 to 22 per cent in January.

Experts corner

Quarterly lender survey: has anyone found the right mix of rates and service?
In Mortgage Strategy's first quarterly lender survey of 2016, has anybody achieved the perfect combination of good rates and excellent service that is the key to all brokers' hearts?


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