View more on these topics

School plan could hit prices

Plans to revise the way school places are allocated have led to fears of house price slumps in catchment areas.

In 2008, Brighton & Hove will become the first local council to scrap catchment areas around oversubscribed schools. Instead it will adopt a postcode lottery system for places. Several councils in the south of England are tipped to follow suit.

The move has outraged parents who bought properties in certain areas to ensure their children’s acceptance into the schools of their choice.

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors is now warning that house values around popular schools could plummet.

Its research shows parents would pay 8% over the odds for properties in desirable school catchment areas.

A spokesman for RICS says: “A secondary school with a good reputation can cause mayhem in the local property market. Buyers with children of school age will do and pay anything to get their kids places.”

But Frank Butler, founder of Mortgages PLC and a Brighton-based property in-vestor, says: “It’s more likely that house price changes will come from upward movements in interest rates, job losses and property affordability in relation to prices and incomes.

“The type of property, its size, proximity to parks, the sea and transport links will also be important.”

Pat Hawkes, chairman of Brighton & Hove council’s schools committee, says: “No school admission system can make 100% of people happy, but I believe this new system will be more fair to more people.”


Borrowers demand to be kept in the loop

Mortgage customers would like to be kept better informed about how their applications are progressing, research from reveals.Results from the online mortgage companys survey into lender service levels show that borrowers feel this is the weakest part of the mortgage process, as it received a 67.6% satisfaction score, the lowest out of 16 service […]

Mortgage Brain to hold packager forum on March 23

Mortgage Brain and the Mortgage Trading Exchange, in association with Mortgage Strategy, are to hold a packager forum in London on March 23.The event will discuss the key issues facing mortgage packagers in 2007. It will also be used to announce a new and exclusive packager proposition.Earlier this year at the Mortgage Strategy Packagers Summit, […]

UK customers shop around

Customers in the UK are the most likely to shop around for financial bargains in the EU, says Datamonitor. UK branch managers at banks and societies say customers shop around for financial services more than they used to.

Two big networks plan to double in size this year

Two of the industry’s biggest networks are gearing up for recruitment drives, fuelling talk of consolidation in the sector. Pink Home Loans and The Mortgage Times Group have unveiled plans to double in size by the end of the year. Pink’s strategy is to expand by acquiring rival networks while MT aims to recruit appointed […]

A question of service

Roy Armitage, head of credit, LendInvest Selling a loan is the part of a lender’s workload most visible to brokers and borrowers. Just as crucial – but less frequently observed – is how that lender services that loan. A commitment to quality servicing is one that’s front and centre for us at LendInvest and it’s […]


News and expert analysis straight to your inbox

Sign up