Marketwatch: Election promises

It is sad to see the sudden electoral promises on housebuilding as this is a serious issue that demands a role at the centre of government 


It is all about the election at the moment, as you would expect. But the problem is that the current crop of politicians seem to be making up policies on the hoof, designed purely to get some kind of populous short-term support rather than any deep, passionate belief. If they do not look like they believe what they are saying, how can we?

I find it amusing but sad to see the sudden promises of building this or that number of houses when successive governments have got it so wrong in the past. One had 13 years to do something about it and the other seems too intent on selling off our social housing stock without replacing it. It is a serious issue and one that demands a role at the very centre of government.

Meanwhile, according to Halifax, house prices rose by 0.4 per cent in March, offsetting the previous month’s drop. The average house price is now at £192,970, with quarterly year-on-year prices up by 8.1 per cent.

Some surveyors are already worried that valuation delays will occur after the election if the market picks up again as expected. Many firms have worked hard to increase the numbers available and fight against an ageing workforce, but maybe more needs to be done.

In the markets, three-month Libor is still at 0.569 per cent while swap rates have withered in the hot air produced by the political ‘elite’.

2-year money is down 0.02 at 0.90%

3-year money is down 0.02 at 1.07%

5-year money is down 0.04 at 1.33%

10-year money is down 0.06 at 1.66%

Woolwich has reduced a variety of rates with two-year fixes at 65 per cent LTV down to 1.44 per cent. The 85 per cent LTV version is at 2.37 per cent and at 90 per cent LTV you can get 3.35 per cent. Its 90 per cent LTV five-year fix is now fee-free and comes in at 3.99 per cent.

Halifax has some new two-year trackers, with a 60 per cent LTV version from 1.09 per cent with a £1,499 fee. It has raised its maximum LTV for further advance applications from 80 to 85 per cent.

NatWest is looking at cutting rates, especially on buy-to-let, with its two-year fix falling to 3.04 per cent at 75 per cent LTV with no fee. Coventry now has a 1.99 per cent two-year fix, a 2.29 per cent three-year fix and a five-year fix at 2.65 per cent. These are up to 65 per cent LTV and have no product fees.

Accord has relaunched its buy-to-let fixes with rates from 2.74 per cent at 60 per cent LTV or 2.99 per cent up to 75 per cent LTV.

Kensington has a new range of buy-to-let products, which have been reduced by up to 0.6 per cent. Rates at 70 per cent LTV are available from 3.54 per cent or at 75 per cent LTV from 3.74 per cent.

India’s Axis Bank will launch into the buy-to-let arena on 27 April, covering individuals, limited companies, HMOs and expats.

Still on buy-to-let, the CML has published a statement of best practice for non-regulated business, with 90 per cent of members so far signed up.