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Affordability now highest for 10 years

Mortgage affordability has hit its best level for 10 years, says Barclays.

In an analysis of more than one million customers’ accounts, it found that on average, people spent 15.4% of their take-home pay at the end of December 2010 to cover their monthly mortgage payment, the lowest level in 10 years.

Andy Gray, head of mortgages at Barclays, says: “It stands to reason that with interest rates so low, mortgage affordability is at its best in a decade, but it is crucial that home owners are not complacent.

“Those who are not already thinking about their mortgages certainly need to be, to ensure they have a contingency plan when interest rates start to increase.”


Richard Sexton

Royal wedding may spur feel-good sales

Whether royalist or republican, most people are at least looking forward to a day off when Kate Middleton and Prince William tie the knot. We don’t anticipate many people will want a surveyor poking around while they nibble on sausage rolls and raise a glass of Babycham, so our operations will close for the day. […]

Mike Lazenby calls it a day at OneSavings Bank

Mike Lazenby has stepped down as chief executive officer of OneSavings Bank. Lazenby was chief executive officer of Kent Reliance Building Society before JC Flowers bought a 49% stake in the society in return for a £50m capital injection – creating OneSavings Bank.

Paul Muolo

Killing Fannie and Freddie will be hard

Let’s not mince words. On February 11 the White House released its long-awaited plan to revamp US mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and the verdict was clear – don’t restructure these $5trillion behemoths, just pull the plug. And so it has come to pass. President Barack Obama, a Democrat – traditionally Democrats love […]

It’s wrong to treat underwriters as clerical positions

Perhaps I can shed some light on James Lindon-Travers’ star letter entitled ’Lack of underwriting expertise results in applications being denied by lenders’ in the February 21 issue of Mortgage Strategy. He commented on the fact that one lender said 75% of its underwriters had been in their post for less than a year. What […]

The curse of long-term cash

Trevor Greetham, Head of Multi Asset at Royal London Asset Management, reveals why clients should be seriously concerned when short-term holdings of cash turn into a long-term investment. There is nothing wrong with holding wealth in the form of cash on a short-term basis. For many people capital stability is important and access to ready cash […]


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