Alternatively for rental values and advice please contact Alex Giraldin on 020 7619 6590 or email

Alternatively I would be delighted to hear from you myself. 020 7619 6584 or by email 

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+44 (0)20 7609 1111


Hot Property News - January 2018

Here is a summary of the key changes and news in the mortgage and housing market for the month of January 2018.

Not surprisingly no talk of a rise in interest rates since the .25% increase in November and the majority of lenders have been relatively quiet, one imagines taking stock of the market conditions and then developing appropriate strategies, but I did come across these innovations from some of the leading lenders which I thought I should bring to your notice.

Santander have announced a change in lending policy with the launch of a “follow-on” rate. This means that when a borrower comes off their fixed rate it will not necessarily automatically revert to the higher variable rate but onto a new rate of 3.25 + Base Rate. This seems like it would not have any effect on new borrowers, however, with lenders having to stress test all mortgages lending by 3% plus their own Reversionary Rate, (please don’t ask me to explain) Santander have possibly made new lending affordability easier by starting from a lower point. It will be interesting to see if this means more clients getting higher income multiples with the bank which is always an area that concerns me but I think the principle is a good one.


Bank of Ireland have announced a positive change to their lending policy by now allowing First Time Buyers to have a “sponsor” on the mortgage. This effectively means that the bank will allow Joint mortgage sole title applications for FTBs. Read “Bank of Mum & Dad”.


The Newcastle Building Society have recently launched a new two year fixed rate “exclusive” to self-employed clients. You have to welcome this move because it is often harder for the self-employed to borrow at competitive rates. With the rate at 2.20% up to 60% loan to value. Newcastle will assess each client who has less than two years self-employment on a case by case basis. Dependent on the company structure they will request accounts, personal tax returns or an accountants reference.


I have mentioned it before but if you would like to speak to someone about mortgages let me know and I will introduce you to our resident expert. He really is as dull as ditch water but he knows his stuff. Arm yourself with strong black coffee.


Moving on to the market, Halifax have confirmed that the number of First Time Buyers has gone up 6% in the last 12mths. Approximately 359,000 “FTBs” bought in 2017 with average deposit levels nearly doubling from £17,740 to £33,392. This is the highest that we have seen in ten years, coupled with the changes in Stamp Duty for first time buyers we would hope that this number will increase in 2018. With the combination of low mortgage rates and high levels of employment, there is a possibility that there is good chance that the housing will be stimulated.

This news was reinforced when data was released by UK Finance which confirmed Gross Mortgage Lending has increased by 1.2% year on year in December. A total of £20.2bn was lent in a month which is normally quiet but the December figures bucked a trend in the last quarter of 2017 where lending had been declining.


I predicted a quiet start to the year with the market not really getting too active until Easter but to my surprise there are more buyers registering onto our database than in the preceding 12 months and although prospective tenant numbers have reduced we are at exactly the same volume of business as we were at this time last year. Our conversion ratio from viewings to successful offers is significantly lower which obviously means although there are fewer people looking but those that are are serious.


As is usually the case, well presented homes marketed at the right price find buyers or tenants but in a price sensitive market the agents expertise is to identify the right marketing price. This is achieved by a combination of experience, market awareness, historic evidence and prayer.


As always I extend my invitation to receive an updated market valuation for your property by contacting our Sales Manager Nigel Richards by calling 020 7619 6589 or by email

Alternatively for rental values and advice please contact Alex Giraldin on 020 7619 6590 or email

Alternatively I would be delighted to hear from you myself. 020 7619 6584 or by email 

02.02.18 - Selling
By Graham McKee
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