Stamp Duty Hopes

Posted on November 20th, 2017

With just days to go until Chancellor Philip Hammond unveils his Budget speculation is mounting that a Stamp Duty holiday may be on the cards. The Chancellor is under pressure to cut the tax for first time buyers in order to help more borrowers get on the property ladder. And several recent studies have shown just how much of an obstacle Stamp Duty actually is.

A report by the Centre for Economics and Business Research revealed Stamp Duty is preventing a staggering number of house purchases a year.  The study claimed an extra 146,000 sales could have taken place over the past five years had buyers not been deterred by the tax.

Meanwhile a study by the specialist bank Aldermore found one in five people who have bought a house within the last three years would be willing to buy again if Stamp Duty was cut. House movers are essential for the success of the housing market because, as people move up the property ladder, they free up more first time buyer friendly homes for new buyers. If Stamp Duty is making people stay put this will be having a huge impact on the market.

All eyes are on you Mr Hammond. We watch with baited breath!

A mortgage is a loan secured against your home or property. Your home or property may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage.


What’s happening with larger landlords?

Posted on November 16th, 2017

There have been plenty of changes in the buy to let world over the last few years and for landlords the market is now very different to what it once was. Perhaps the biggest change to the sector came in last year when the roll out of a new system for tax relief came into effect which essentially limited the amount of relief a landlord could claim on the money paid as interest on their mortgage. That, coupled with the 3% surcharge in Stamp Duty on investment properties and second homes hit the sector hard, financially. But the latest round of regulation in the sector could cause problems in other areas – namely time.

The property investment world moves quickly and as such landlords often need fast decisions on finance applications. However, the latest rules to come into play from the Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) have meant the application process for landlords with large portfolios can be quite cumbersome.

Under the new rules lenders must obtain the financial details of every property in a landlord’s portfolio when he or she applies for a new mortgages and doing so can take some time.

If you’re a landlord and you’re looking to increase your portfolio or remortgage your current properties call in and see us at We Know Mortgages and we’ll help you navigate the changes with as little disruption as possible.

A mortgage is a loan secured against your home or property. Your home or property may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage.

Information is based on our current understanding of taxation legislation and regulations. Any levels and bases of, and reliefs from taxation, are subject to change.

The Financial Conduct Authority does not regulate most forms of buy to let mortgage.


Interest rates rise

Posted on November 7th, 2017

For the first time in 10 years, the Bank of England base rate has risen and, understandably, consumers are feeling a little concerned. So what does it mean for you?

Well, that all depends on what type of mortgage you have.
If you have a fixed rate mortgage you won’t see any change. As the name suggests fixed rate mortgages are set at a certain rate for a fixed period of time and are therefore unaffected by the rate rise. Once that term expires however you’ll revert to your lender’s Standard Variable Rate (SVR).

SVRs and tracker rate mortgages are affected by the Bank of England base rate. When the base rate rises so too do mortgage rates and when it falls mortgage rates fall too. The rate rise means anyone on their lender’s SVR or tracker mortgage could see their mortgage repayments increase. You may have already been contacted by your bank to let you know of any changes.

Despite the rise there are still some very attractive mortgage rates on offer so if you’re concerned about your mortgage now would be a great time to contact an experienced broker, like the team at We Know Mortgages, to find out if you could be on a better deal.

A mortgage is a loan secured against your home. Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage.


Race to remortgage

Posted on October 20th, 2017

If you’re a mortgage holder you may well have been been enjoying a fantastic rate in recent years. Interest rates have been at a record lows since 2009 and those borrowers on their lender’s Standard Variable Rate (SVR) have certainly felt the benefit. SVRs tend to move in line with Bank of England base rate so a low interest rate at the Bank means a low mortgage rate for the borrower!

However, all of this could be about to change. Mark Carney, the governor of the Bank of England has made it clear that interest rates will be rising in the very near future. Indeed, most experts are predicting we could see the first hike as soon as November.

This shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise. Inflation – which is the rate at which the price of general goods rise – has been higher than the government’s target for some time and one way to counter this is to raise interest rates. Furthermore Michael Saunders – an external member of the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee which is responsible for setting interest rates – had been pretty vocal about the need to increase rates.

So where does that leave you? Well, if you’re approaching the end of your mortgage deal or you’re currently on your lender’s SVR now is the time to remortgage. There are still some fantastic deals on offer that you can lock into before rates start to move and we can help you find the most suitable one for you. Call in and see us today to find out more.

You may have to pay an early repayment charge to your existing lender if you remortgage. 

A mortgage is a loan secured against your home. Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage.


Figuring out fees

Posted on July 21st, 2017

When you’re looking for a new mortgage what’s the most important thing to you? For most people the answer will be rates. The mortgage rate determines how much you’ll repay on the loan and is obviously a key consideration! But are you ignoring another important factor? And are you losing a considerable amount of money as a result? I’m talking, of course, about fees.

According to new research by Moneyfacts average mortgage fees are now at their highest ever level. Currently buyers will pay an average of £1,018 – not a small amount by anyone’s standards.

However, just like focusing too heavily on rates is a dangerous tactic so too is making your decision on whether or not the product has a large fee or a small one. Really, what you need to be focusing on is the APRC rate, or Annual Percentage Rate of Charge. This figure will help you understand the whole cost of the mortgage, including fees, should you stick with it for the whole 25 year term.

The APRC makes it easier for borrowers to understand exactly how much the mortgage will cost but taking on such a huge financial commitment can still be worrying. Here at We Know Mortgages we’ll help you to find the best rate and deal for your circumstances and we’ll take away all of the stress and worry by explaining things every step of the way.

Call in and see us today to find out how we can help you.

A mortgage is a loan secured against your home. Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage.


Manchester housing market

Posted on April 3rd, 2017

We’ve known it all along but now it’s official – Manchester is leading the way when it comes to property. According to the latest figures from property data firm Hometrack prices in Manchester are rising faster than in any other city in the UK. The UK Cities House Price Index reveals prices soared in the city by 8.8% within 12 months. And an increase in prices means only one thing – demand is soaring. It’s clear investors and homebuyers alike are looking to Manchester to snap up property.

Property prices here are still relatively low compared to other areas. The average price of a home in Manchester is just under £152,000 – compared to almost £490,000 in the capital. But with the city experiencing the fastest price growth rate that may soon change.

If you’re thinking of getting on the property ladder then now might be the time to do it. There are some fantastic mortgage rates on offer, interest rates are still at record lows and the property market here in Manchester is hotter than ever. Call in to our office on Piccadilly or give us a call to find out how we can help you make the move into home ownership.

A mortgage is a loan secured against your home. Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage.


The Autumn Statement and the Housing Market

Posted on December 2nd, 2016

Last week Chancellor Philip Hammond delivered his first – and last! – Autumn Statement. Mr Hammond declared there to be no need for two economic statements each year and, as such, as of next year the Budget will be delivered in the autumn and the spring statement will be scrapped.

Housing, as expected, was a feature in this year’s statement with a pledge made to invest £23bn to build more houses in high demand areas.

There was little, however, in the way of help for buyers. Lack of housing availability is not the only reason buyers are struggling to get on or move up the housing ladder. Affordability is a much bigger issue so it was disappointing to see no changes to Stamp Duty, for example, which would help many buyers.

The increase in Insurance Premium Tax (IPT) will also come as a blow to many buyers and homeowners. Home insurance costs will rise once again thanks to the hike – the third increase in IPT in less than two years. Home insurance – including contents cover – is a crucial product for homeowners – as we saw only too clearly this time last year when floods devastated Yorkshire. Let’s hope the increase in prices doesn’t deter consumers from seeking good quality policies.

Finally of course the headline news for the housing market surrounded the rental sector as Mr Hammond announced letting agent fees for tenants would be banned. This is an issue that has been the subject of debate for some time and I’m sure renters will welcome the move. Let’s hope we don’t see an increase in rents however if agents hike the fees their landlords must pay and landlords, in turn, look for somewhere to recoup their losses.

If you’re looking to buy a property and you’d like some advice on where things stand in the market right now, come and visit us at We Know Mortgages on Ducie Street, Manchester Piccadilly today.

A mortgage is a loan secured against your home. Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage or any other debt secured on it.


Is now a good time to buy a property?

Posted on November 6th, 2016

If you’re planning to buy a property you’re no doubt feeling somewhat uncertain right now. 2016 has not gone the way anybody expected. A decision to leave the EU. a new Prime Minister and Cabinet. The second labour leadership contest in a year. It’s safe to say the last 12 months have been unprecedented.

It’s understandable therefore those would-be buyers don’t know what to do for the best. It’s a question we’re asked regularly at the moment – is now a good time to buy or should we hang fire?

The fact is now is actually a very good time to get on or move up the property ladder. The market has been quieter over the last few months – a combination of the summer lull and the uncertainty from the period of political madness from June onwards. As a result buyers are now in the driving seat. House prices haven’t risen in many areas so it’s possible to get a good deal.

Furthermore of course mortgage rates are at record lows. Fixed rates are very attractive right now with rates on two year fixes particularly low.

Market commentators are predicting this to change over the next few years, despite the recent cut to Bank Base Rate. Swap Rates, the rates at which banks borrow money, are rising so mortgage rates could follow suit.

Furthermore we may see house prices creep up as some sort of stability returns to the market.

So if you’re ready to buy a property now don’t be put off by the chaos of the last few months. Come see us at We Know Mortgages and we’ll help you find the right deal for your next move.


Should I remortgage?

Posted on August 24th, 2016

With interest rates now at the record low of 0.25% if you’re coming to the end of a fixed rate deal you may be starting to think about what to do next. When you come to the end of your mortgage deal you have three options, you can stay on your lender’s standard variable rate (SVR), you can move onto another of your lender’s mortgage products or you can switch providers. This option is called remortgaging and can help you to find the right mortgage deal for you.

Remortgaging allows you to apply for mortgages that may not have been available to you or on offer when you first applied for a mortgage. Just as it’s a good idea to shop around when it comes to your gas and electricity supplier, shopping around for your next mortgage, rather than just settling for your lender’s default rate helps to ensure you don’t miss out on any good deals. However, it may be more cost effective to stay with your existing lender who may also have new rates available.

And there are some fantastic deals on the market at present. Indeed, with interest rates so low it may be a good time to lock into a fixed rate with even some five or ten year fixed rate products on offer at rates below 3%.

Obviously remortgaging does come at a cost so it’s important to weigh up the fees you will pay against any potential saving but here at We Know Mortgages we can help you to work out whether the time is right to remortgage and how to find the most suitable deal for you.

A mortgage is a loan secured against your home. Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage.

THINK CAREFULLY BEFORE SECURING OTHER DEBTS AGAINST YOUR HOME. YOUR HOME MAY BE REPOSSESSED IF YOU DO NOT KEEP UP REPAYMENTS ON YOUR MORTGAGE. SECURING SHORT TERM DEBTS AGAINST YOUR HOME COULD INCREASE THE TERM OVER WHICH THEY ARE PAID AND THEREFORE INCREASE THE OVERALL AMOUNT PAYABLE. YOU MAY HAVE TO PAY AN EARLY REPAYMENT CHARGE TO YOUR EXISTING LENDER IF YOU REMORTGAGE.


Can I move my mortgage to a new house?

Posted on July 31st, 2016

If you have an existing mortgage and are looking to move to a new property you have a couple of options. You can remortgage to a new lender or you can move your mortgage from your current property to the property you wish to buy. This is called porting.

Most lenders allow mortgages to be transferred to a new property these days but there are a couple of things to bear in mind. Firstly, your lender will need to check your eligibly and affordability and also the property’s suitability, just as if you were applying for a new mortgage. This may mean that you will need to have a valuation carried out on the new property at your cost. Secondly, you may have to pay a fee to transfer the mortgage. This could be a couple hundred pounds depending on the lender. It is also worth pointing out that you may need to pay additional fees if you need to borrow more as part of your move and any additional borrowing could be at a different rate of interest and terms depending on product availability at the time.

Porting is a relatively fuss free way of moving house however it could mean you miss out on the chance to get a better mortgage deal. It is worth looking around at the remortgage options available to you before deciding whether or not you’d like to transfer your current product. However, this could be the cheaper option if an Early Repayment Charge is applicable.

If you’re out of your original mortgage deal (for example if you had a two-year fixed rate and those two years have now expired, leaving you on your lender’s Standard Variable Rate)  you won’t have to pay any early repayment charges. However you could still face an exit fee of a few hundred pounds. Whether or not it’s worth doing this depends on how good a deal you could get by switching.

It’s worth bearing in mind however that in the last few years we’ve seen lenders tighten their criteria, particularly as a result of new regulation following the Mortgage Market Review and legislation from the EU. This means you may face tougher eligibility requirements when applying for a mortgage with a new lender. What’s more, you may have to pay an arrangement fee to the new lender.

If you’re thinking of moving home and you’re unsure of the most appropriate option for you and your mortgage call in and see us today at We Know Mortgages Ltd. Our expert team can ensure you find the most cost efficient and most appropriate option.

A mortgage is a loan secured against your home. Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage.