4 FEBRUARY 2008
Deja vu on landlord tax?
This is a headline we have found ourselves repeating several times over the past decade, albeit in varying contexts. The years may come and go but government interference in landlord taxation appears to be relentless. This particular headline reflected annoyance that buy-to-let investors had been exempted from a new 10 per cent capital gains tax.
4 FEBRUARY 2008
13% slump in house prices
February 2008 was a pivotal month for UK property prices. House values had already fallen by 5 per cent from the 2007 peak and the market was pondering what would happen next. Hats off to Deloitte for correctly predicting a 13 per cent slump during 2008–09. Hats firmly on heads for Nationwide, which thought property prices would be flat. You can’t win ‘em all.
11 FEBRUARY 2008
Black and white, but not read all over
Talking of not winning them all, here’s an example from Mortgage Strategy itself. We had just broken the news that major sub-prime broker Black and White had gone into administration and its chief executive had resigned. However, we forgot to alter the script for our annual awards, held the very next day, at which the firm was named ‘Best mortgage broker’. Oops.
18 FEBRUARY 2008
When long-term relationships mattered
In today’s market it seems consumers are hooked on two- and five-year fixed rates, with longer-term fixes largely snubbed. Ten years ago, however, longer fixes were common, as this piece reminds us. Perhaps we will see those days again some time – although many brokers, probably, would rather not, from a proc fee point of view.
25 FEBRUARY 2008
Supersized loans were superceded
This month in 2008 also saw the end of 100 per cent-plus mortgages. Once upon a time, deals for up to 125 per cent LTV were offered by many household-name lenders, include Abbey, Alliance & Leicester and, of course, Northern Rock, the firm people tend to associate most with these products. It is hard to foresee such loans ever returning to the marketplace, although the case for 100 per cent deals is growing.