View more on these topics

Chancellor shuns calls to raise Stamp Duty threshold

The industry has slammed chancellor Gordon Brown for ignoring calls to raise the lower Stamp Duty threshold from 60,000 to at least 150,000 in his pre-Budget statement last week.

Instead the chancellor praised his party’s work, telling parliament that mortgage rates since 1997 had averaged 6.1%, almost half the 11.4% average from 1979 to 1997 and that Britain had 1.2 million more homeowners since Labour came to power.

Brown also pledged that the government will take forward the Barker Review and pilot mixed communities in deprived estates and provide further support for first-time buyers.
He failed to mention the Miles review of longer fixed rate mortgages which many think is confirmation that the report is dead in the water.

Matthew Wyles, group development director at Portman, says: “It is mystifying that the Treasury has failed to follow through on Professor David Miles’ report. There were some ideas that were worthy of consideration.”

In particular, he says Miles’ ideas on reforming the current dual system whereby different rates are offered to existing and new clients, was worthy of merit and would lead to less churn.

Brown’s refusal to tackle Stamp Duty goes against industry opinion, with 543 already signed up to Mortgage Strategy’s campaign to Step Up Stamp Duty – by raising the threshold to 150,000 – in its first two weeks.

And the pre-Budget report did not rule out a potential housing market crash.

It states: “There is potential confusion in comparing the current ratio of house prices with earnings in order to ascertain the extent of disequilibrium regarding the sustainability of house prices.

“Indicators now unambiguously suggest activity is slowing down and it does not rule out a potential market crash.”


TMB installs TheMortgageWeb

The Mortgage Business has installed TheMortgageWeb interfacing package from SDS Applications.The software will initially be configured to allow TMB to communicate electronically with packagers. This will help alleviate the need for re-keying cases and reduce errors by connecting TMB with one of its main sources of business.Based on industry standard XML, TheMortgageWeb allows a lender […]

enable join AMI

The Association of Mortgage Intermediaries has revealed that enable has become its latest network member.Richard Verdin, sales and marketing director at enable, says: “AMI has established itself as the trusted trade body for all professional mortgage intermediaries and it makes sense for us to give them our support and offer their membership benefits to appointed […]

Fee-free remortgage conveyancing has changed

?G?$annual conference, held on Tuesday December 7, marked a change in remortgage conveyancing with the launch of Exigo Legal.

Exigo, which was founded by Lawcomm Solicitors, is a select group of experienced conveyancing solicitors who are situate…

SPML joins IFAP as sponsor

IFA Promotion has confirmed that Southern Pacific Mortgages as its latest sponsor, demonstrating continued support for the mortgage sector, post Mortgage Day.IFAP is now sponsored by 30 companies, with a growing number of mortgage sponsors being among the most recent to sign up.These include London Mortgage Company, Mortgage Express and GMAC Residential Funding, all highlighting […]

Don’t play chicken with the Bank of Japan

By Josh Ausden, Head of Client Investment Strategy, Neptune Short-term yen strength has hurt the Neptune Japan Opportunities Fund but recent events have only added weight to our conviction that the Bank of Japan will act to ease policy, boosting multinationals’ profits and weakening the yen. In recent weeks the performance of the Japanese stockmarket […]


News and expert analysis straight to your inbox

Sign up