John Fitzsimons

Planning changes laid out to boost rural housing numbers

The Government has announced changes to planning laws to make it easier for rural communities to convert agricultural buildings into residential properties. Under current permitted development rights, a maximum of three new homes can be created from existing agricultural buildings on a farm. This cap is to raised to five small homes, so long as […]


NatWest revamps buy-to-let rules

NatWest is to increase its cap on the total number of buy-to-let properties a landlord borrower can own from four to ten. The cap increase is one of a host of buy-to-let policy changes to be introduced on 14th March. The maximum allowed aggregate customer borrowing is also to be increase from £2m to £3.5m. […]


Brokers back calls to focus on downsizer properties

Calls for the housebuilding industry to concentrate their efforts on homes which will appeal to older homeowners looking to downsize have won favour from intermediaries. Grosvenor Group, a private property firm, suggests that ground floor flats on new housing developments should be set aside for older people in a bid to encourage them to downsize. […]


Selling-up landlords pocket £87k: Countrywide

The average landlord who sold a rental property in 2017 made a profit of almost £87,000, new research from Countrywide reveals. Sellers in London enjoyed the largest gains, receiving £253,981 more than they paid for the property on average. That’s four times more than more than those selling outside the capital. One in four London […]

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L&C launches new TV advert

L&C has launched its latest TV advertising campaign, voiced by TV personality David Mitchell. The advert is designed to demonstrate how the broker can help those looking for a new home or mortgage. The advert shows a swan, contrasting the seemingly calm exterior with furious paddling below the surface. The first 30-second spot airs today, with […]


RLA unveils rebrand

The Residential Landlords Association has undergone a rebrand, which it says reflects the changing landscape of the private rented sector. The trade body celebrates its 20th birthday this year. RLA chairman Alan Ward says the RLA is a very different organisation from the one launched two decades ago, and argues the new logo reflects the […]

Furness BS added to Buy to Let Club panel

Buy to Let Club has added Furness Building Society to its panel of lenders. The club points out that Furness is viewed as a flexible lender by intermediaries, because of the way it focuses on affordability when assessing buy-to-let cases. Buy to Let Club managing director Ying Tan says the “flexible and individual approach” to […]


Five-year BTL rates drop to record lows: Moneyfacts

The average rate on a five-year fixed rate buy-to-let mortgage has fallen to 3.43 per cent, a joint-record low, according to Moneyfacts. This average rate was last seen in October 2017. Rates have fallen from an average of 3.77 per cent last March. It is nearly two years since the stamp duty surcharge was introduced […]


Planning system to be overhauled to boost housebuilding

The Government has launched an overhaul of the National Planning Policy Framework in a bid to improve the rate at which new homes are built. Local authorities will have a new housing delivery test, which will focus on pushing up the number of homes actually delivered in their area, while the Government promises developers will […]