Both HSBC and Yorkshire Building Society have distanced themselves from interest only this week. HSBC has decided that only ‘premier banking’ customers will be allowed the privilege of this option where as Yorkshire Building Society has withdrawn the option completely and all residential mortgages will be on a repayment basis moving forward. This does not affect Buy to Let mortgages via their brand Accord Mortgages as interest only will still be an available option.
These decisions were announced on the day of the Chancellor’s budget speech (possibly hoping that the budget would take all the headlines..!). I will not review the new Help to Buy scheme this week as some details still need to be fully understood within the sector, but it does appear that Government are putting a pretty big reliance on the housing market to get the economy back on to its feet and ensure some stability with their plans. Only time will tell.
Lending figures were down again in February as mortgage lending dropped 3% from January’s figures, according to the British Bankers Association. Approvals fell to £7.1bn from the previous months £7.3bn. The number of approvals also fell from 56,595 to 55,399.
I find these figures somewhat surprising as rates are incredibly low, there’s a large amount of activity across the whole sector and nearly every lender is reporting a huge volume of business with some experiencing service level issues as a result.
With this in mind, try not to give a lender any excuse not to lend to you. Keep your payments up to date where possible and this also includes utility bills (gas, mobiles, etc). There are a small amount of lenders who will assist those who have missed payments, or have had credit issues, but you will tend to find that the rates offered are at a premium as they will tend to ‘price according to risk’.
Finally, AToM is taking part in the Horsham Rotary’s ‘Great Easter Bunny Hunt’, along with a number of shops in the town. The idea is that children visit each shop, play the ‘find the carrot’ game, write down the bunny name next to the shop and once all completed enter their form for a chance to win £40! See the Rotary website for more information and terms, but most of all, have fun!