View more on these topics

Equity withdrawal fuels home improvement spending

A record level of mortgage equity withdrawal is fuelling increased spending on home improvements, research by FPDSavills reveals.

Figures show that the average household is spending around £6,400 per annum modernising and repairing their home. This equates to a spend of over £300,000 over the 50 years of owning a property &#45 double the average price of a house in the UK.

But the study shows less than a fifth of the equity withdrawn from housing is spent on major home improvements like loft conversions, extensions and cellar refurbishment, even though latest research shows the key to adding value to a property comes is by expanding space rather than giving the home a cosmetic makeover.

Simon Jones, director at Savills Private Finance, says: &#39&#39Most of what is spent goes into updating the internal cosmetics of the dwelling on items such as new kitchens, bathrooms and general redecoration.

“The chances are that you will sell your current property for a much higher value if you have spent money on expanding space rather than just redecorating in a style that may not appeal to others. We suggest that those who are remortgaging for home improvement purposes should think carefully before they go ahead and spend.&#39&#39


Customers will pay the price of FSA regulation

From Peter BarwickI have read the letter from Brian Humphries of 1to1 Mortgages Limited (Mortgage Strategy September 29), and can only agree with his comments. I am beginning to wonder if FSA regulation is going to go the same way as the life assurance industry, where compliance was introduced in 1987. Life assurance companies were […]

Rhetoric takes over as networks abandon accuracy

From Gary DixonFor some time now the jockeying for position by networks for mortgage brokers has been intensifying to such a degree that they are now forgoing accuracy for advertising-style rhetoric. Take for example Richard Griffiths&#39 comments about fees (Mortgage Strategy October 13). His assertion that “a firm needs to buy the FSA handbook for […]

Portman unveils remortgage deal

Portman has launched a flexible two-year stepped discount remortgage product at 2.99%. Borrowers also have the option of switching to the security of a fixed rate in the first year without incurring any early repayment fees. The latest deal offers a discount of 2.41% below its SVR (currently 5.40%) in the first year, followed by […]

Keys to the door

Many first-time buyers might be being priced out of the housing market but one group has won more public and government sympathy than the rest – key workers. They even have their own £250m government-funded scheme, the Starter Home Initiative, which aims to help around 9,000 public service employees get a foot on the housing […]

Simon Fletcher

Auto-enrolment: pay attention or pay the price

By Simon Fletcher

As a chief executive officer of a business in the financial services sector, I have been dealing with the introduction of auto-enrolment for our clients for some time, but I can also speak from an employer’s point of view, having to go through the process ourselves.


News and expert analysis straight to your inbox

Sign up