We’ve seen another week of market movement and increased competition as lenders lower rates and loosen criteria. There is a lot more positive activity from the lenders, however we are also seeing an increase in service times and underwriting responses resulting from increased volumes. A few are even reporting backlogs of over a week just to look at a case! In addition, if they then need further information in respect of the application, once received, this can then join the back of the queue again to be looked at! Be aware of these timescales if you are in a hurry to complete.
House prices rose in March by 0.2% compared to February according to the Halifax House Price Index with the average price now sitting just below £164k.
Our good friends at the Saffron Building Society have launched a superb product aimed at First Time Buyers. The lender is offering a 95% mortgage with no credit scoring, to those who have never owned a property. Customers will still be credit searched but cases are reviewed on a manual assessment, rather than a computer making the decision. There are no early redemption penalties and the arrangement fee is just £495. This is not just aimed at New Build properties either! Obviously terms/conditions and other fees may apply, but this kind of innovation is exactly what the mortgage market needs!
Although not household names, specialist lenders like Saffron have money to lend and a desire to create products to assist gaps in the mortgage market. For instance, the usual requirement on the self employed is 2 or 3 years accounts and possibly the SA302 returns from the Inland Revenue. Some specialist lenders, for the right deposit, will allow just 1 years accounts to prove income, normally with an accountant projection for the second full year and probably up to six months personal and business bank statements.
This is the beauty of using a mortgage broker. They will have access to many lenders that you have probably never heard of and products that are not usually visible to the public eye. On average, a good mortgage broker will have access to over 6,000 mortgage products, from a huge number of lenders. As with everything you purchase, it’s always worth shopping around as although you might think you have a great deal with your current provider, there may be better products out there that you are missing out on.