Here is a summary of the key changes and news in the mortgage and housing market for the month of September 2018.
I delayed writing September’s newsletter to see if either Labour or Conservative party conferences would have any impact on the housing market. I’m trying very hard to justify my decision but on reflection I think we have two good reasons for some optimism.
There was no obvious market reaction after the Labour party conference in Liverpool so after many sections of the property press recently reported that people were (to paraphrase) “sitting on the fence due to Brexit uncertainty” it was great to see the £Sterling rising against the Euro following Theresa May’s speech at the Conservative Party conference on Wednesday 3rd October. A degree of confidence may (no pun intended) return to the housing market but let’s not get carried away.
The Prime Minister revealed a proposal for an 'all-UK customs union', this newest plan suggests negotiating a new deal with the EU as it would avoid a hard border with Ireland by having the UK and EU participate in a customs union together, the Prime Minister would be agreeing to have Northern Ireland remain a part of the single market regulatory area of the EU. Let’s see what the EU make of that.
In 2017 Philip Hammond increased the cap on how much councils could borrow against their housing revenue account to £1bn. At the time local authorities welcomed the move but universally said it didn’t go far enough, calling for the cap to be scrapped in its entirety and arguing that it would free them up to build tens of thousands affordable homes to meet the government’s target of building 300,000 new homes a year. At the conference Mrs May confirmed that the cap would be scrapped. I sincerely hope that the local authorities develop strategies to deliver these much-needed homes in the volumes required to start meeting the obvious need. Hopeful but not necessarily confident…………
No change in interest rates from the Bank of England following the .25% interest rate rise in August, voting to keep Base Rate at 0.75%. The Monetary Policy Committee also voted to maintain Quantitative Easing at the same levels but is still looking at a tightening of policy in order to achieve the 2% inflation target sought by Philip Hammond.
Data from nationwide Surveyors E-Surv show mortgage approvals rose by 2.7% on August compared to the previous month but showed a slight drop of 0.7% from August 2017. With 66,543 mortgages approved, the data showed an increase in clients with smaller deposits, which included First Time Buyers.
I couldn’t see any new mortgage deals to get excited about but Clydesdale Bank cut rates to their range on both Residential and Buy to Let mortgages. Clydesdale are starting to combine competitive rates with some useful lending criteria.
Following the lead of several other lenders, Kensington Mortgages have announced new 10 year fixed rate mortgages for residential customers which may be worth investigating if you are seeking longer term stability, with rates starting at 4.34% for up to 75% loan to value.
Please let me know if you would like to speak to our independent financial advisor, he is also a perfect cure for insomnia if you have recently been suffering from sleep disorders.
September was a bumper month for Stadium Residential, the busiest we have been for some time with good sales and lettings enquiries. We really could do with some new properties for both buyers and tenants – demand is elevated at the moment and I do recommend discussing your selling plans in the strictest confidence with our experienced Sales Manager Nigel Richards by calling 020 7619 6589 or by email NR@stadiumresidential.com
If you would like an idea regarding rental values and good practical sound advice please contact our long-standing Lettings Manager Alex Giraldin on 020 7619 6590 or email AG@stadiumresidential.com
Alternatively I would be delighted to hear from you myself. 020 7619 6584 or by email GM@stadsiumresidential.com.