Happy New Year! I hope it is a successful and enjoyable one for you all.
Over the Christmas period, we have seen a number of rates drop as lenders seek to attract new business. One example is from the nice people at Virgin Money who have reduced rates on their first time buyer products to under 4.30% for a two year fixed rate. This is aimed at those with just a 5% deposit and includes a £1,500 cash back to help pay the stamp duty costs on a property up to a value of £200k. Positive thinking. Let’s hope others follow suit.
I do think we will see some fierce lender competition in the opening quarter of the year. Lenders are preparing for new regulations that will hit the market in late March, and with only a small amount of stock currently available to purchase, the remortgage market especially will be singled out as a quick source of business.
Sadly, with January often proving the biggest month of the year for divorces, re-mortgaging can be a key part of the separation process. It is a difficult time for all parties, especially when children are involved, but the need to pay the joint mortgage is imperative. If the payments are not made, you may find it difficult, if not impossible, to obtain a mortgage in sole names. For the newly single, many lenders will take in to account child maintenance, working tax credits and so on. Affordability is key and any lender will base their decision to lend around this.
The bank of Mum and Dad, or even Grandma and Grandad, can also be bought in to consideration. There are various ways in which the older generation are helping their children. Some are gifting deposits, to help them get onto the property ladder. With most products, the larger the deposit, the lower the interest rate. Others have agreed to the placement of a collateral charge on the parents or grandparents property. This gives a lender more security and maybe a better credit risk rational to the deal, than originally might have been the case.
Whichever way, always explore the options and have a conversation with a professional as there may just be an alternative way to do the deal.