Some good could come out of this. First-time buyers may be able to snap up reasonably priced properties put on the market by buy-to-let landlords, who had planned to put these investments into their Sipps to gain tax benefits.But it was the government’s 11th hour timing that left a lot to be desired, putting advisers in the awkward position of having to go back on advice given to clients who had decided buy-to-let was the ideal way to save for a pension. But the buy-to-let market is still on the up, with the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors reporting that in the three months to October, tenant demand was the strongest since the start of 2004. As a result, it says, rents are rising. While this might be the national picture, it is unclear whether it is the case in London. My own experience is that the capital is experiencing a buy-to-let slowdown. I’ve been trying to let a one-bedroom flat in north London for more than two months without joy. One of London’s biggest estate agency chains, Foxtons, tells me there’s a lack of demand. And Loot, which advertises property-to-let in the capital, has cut its advertising rates because of the lack of tenant responses. I also heard of someone having to let a one-bed flat with a roof garden in Clapham for just 500 a month to get tenants. Turning back to the MPC, most of the industry is hoping for a rate cut early in 2006 to sustain the optimism that has emerged around the housing market in the last few months. The Council of Mortgage Lenders says the number of loans approved for house purchase in the three months to October was 12% higher than in the previous three months. It predicts that strong market trends will remain in place for the foreseeable future. Next year, the industry will be forced to look beyond British shores as Europe will have an increasingly important role to play. The European Commission is looking at measures to make it easier to do business across member states and to harmonise consumer protection. There are many differences the EC must tackle to enable lenders to deal across borders. These include huge variations in access to borrowers’ credit data; land registration systems; and mechanisms to take possession of property. Rather than taking an ostrich approach and seeing the opening up of European frontiers as a threat, UK lenders and advisers should be trying to get in there early to make the most of what could be a lucrative business opportunity.
Specialist lenders have hit back at reports that regulation has resulted in them losing out to more traditional lenders, whether or not they offer better products.
Significant risks remain with the continuing accumulation of debt by many borrowers and an aggressive search for yield, says the Bank of England.The Bank has published its latest Financial Stability Review, which contains the Banks regular half-yearly review of risks to financial stability and measures taken to strengthen the financial infrastructure.The Bank says that the […]
Mortgage Strategy‘s weekly guide to what’s hot and what’s not on the web. Kevin Paterson takes a look at lender websites, working his way from A to Z
Following action by the Office of Fair Trading, two directors and one former manager of Countrywide North, the Scottish subsidiary of Countrywide, have been required to change their conduct and be more transparent in their dealings with consumers. Mairi Eckford, managing director, Michael Miller, sales director, and Stuart Black, ex-area manager have given undertakings to […]
What does a well-diversifed portfolio look like? What were the quarterly trends in model portfolios in Q4 2015? The Portfolio Barometer highlights trends uncovered by analysis of 210 model risk-rated portfolios managed by UK financial adviser and wealth management firms in the three months from October to December 2015. The model portfolios under review were […]
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