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First-time buyers with 95% LTV mortgage

The first lender to offer 95% loan-to-value mortgages since the start of the pandemic is launching a new deal.

Accord Mortgages has announced its new product will be exclusively available to first-time buyers and that they are not using the government’s mortgage guarantee scheme for this deal, which was announced in the Budget earlier this month.

And the good news is, as an independent mortgage broker, Co-Navigate can offer this deal to qualifying first-time buyers.

Along with the government’s scheme, introducing the 95% LTV mortgages helps first-time buyers get a foot on the property ladder.

What is a 95% LTV mortgage?

A mortgage described as 95% LTV means that the loan is 95% of a property’s price, or value. For example, if you were buying a house worth £200,000 with such a mortgage, you would put down £10,000 of your own money as a deposit and borrow the remaining £190,000.

When the first lockdown of the pandemic was announced almost a year ago, lenders withdrew 95% LTV mortgages. Prior to lockdown there were more than 390 of these mortgage deals available, according to data from Moneyfacts.

If you are a first-time buyer looking for a mortgage, then contact us for a consultation. Although based in Newcastle, we can meet you online no matter where you are, so get in touch today.

Stamp Duty Holiday concept

The current Stamp Duty Holiday comes to an end in a little over two months. And there is a growing call from across the property industry for the Chancellor to extend it.

Removing the property tax from homes under £500,000 has been a shot in the arm for the market. While Covid-19 brought a sudden halt last March, the market was already slowing down ahead of it.

For many people, staying put before the holiday was the only option as the tax over-stretched their finances. Whilst they could afford the mortgage on their new home, and even covering the cost moving, finding the extra cash for Stamp Duty was a stretch too far.

Prior to the holiday, anyone buying a new home over £125,000 had to find funds to pay the treasury to cover the price of moving. The percentage increases at the next threshold of £250,000). Of course, there was a higher threshold for first-time buyers, but it still often put off next-time movers.

The average house price in the UK is £256,000 and these are not exactly vast mansions, but everyday homes for average-sized families. So, the Stamp Duty Holiday gave many of those who were outgrowing their home the chance to move. It is no surprise, therefore, that the market picked up the way it did at the end of 2020.

But with the deadline looming and delays due to Covid-19 and further lockdowns, it means many could miss out! Even if someone has had their mortgage approved and started the buying process in the past few weeks, there is a chance the deal will not meet the deadline.

Throw in the fact that anyone in the chain (including solicitors, surveyors, etc.) may have to self-isolate, it could lead to unexpected delays. As a result, a buyer will have to find extra cash to pay the tax through no fault of their own.

Stamp Duty ‘chaos’?

As TV property expert Phil Spencer said last week, the finite deadline could release ‘chaos’ and ‘mayhem’. With everyone working to the date, he believes it will create major issues if sales are not completed in time.

He said in a radio interview, “It’s great to keep people motivated towards that day. But actually, if they haven’t completed their deals on that date, the chances are that deals will be collapsing left right and centre. It will just be bedlam.”

The last thing anyone wants is to see deals collapse because the knock-on effect in the chain will be devastating. From the first-time buyers at the bottom of the chain to those downsizing at the top.

Sold STC

To help reduce the risk of the market being thrown into chaos, extending the Stamp Duty Holiday for those who have started the buying process would help.

Research by property magazine Property Reporter says there is an ‘overwhelming demand’ and mounting pressure on the government to do this. We would certainly agree!

So many buyers will spend money on legal advice, searches, surveys and arrangement fees over the next couple of months only to find they can’t complete in time. A house currently Sold Subject to Contact (STC) could then end up back on the market on 1 April! That will be emotionally devastating for both buyer and vendor; but the buyer will also end up with less money to spend in future as they have already paid fees.

Buyers are already beginning to retreat, and house builder Persimmon is reporting a slowdown in sales as the deadline gets nearer.

Extension call

A petition calling on the Government to extend the holiday has surpassed the 100,000 signatures. This means the issue will be considered for debate in Parliament.

We would add our support to the debate because we believe an extension is necessary to keep the market moving. Certainly, allowing those who have had offers accepted should qualify for the tax break at the very least.

Like Phil Spencer, we agree that a clear deadline and strict cut-off date is not the answer.

We recognise that this tax adds coffers to the public purse, but it is unfair on all those who are so close to completing having to rethink due to circumstances outside their control.

If you want to talk about your mortgage, contact the mortgage team today.

This year has been like no other and the mortgage market, as expected, has been impacted by the Covid pandemic.

Although house prices climbed to record highs during 2020, the volume of mortgage transactions fell. Lenders also became more risk averse and fewer borrowers withdrew equity from their homes.

So, what are the main changes for the mortgage market?

Fewer mortgages

There was an unprecedented decline in the range of mortgage products available during the lengthy first UK lockdown. Such low numbers have not been seen since the financial crisis of 2007.

In February 2020, deals with a loan to value above 90% represented 10% of the UK’s residential mortgage market. By June, these had fallen to fewer than two per cent. Buyers became sceptical, nervous and unsure about their futures. Unemployment has become a real threat for lots of people and this had an impact on the mortgage market.

Fewer borrowers

The number of mortgages agreed fell significantly during the lockdown crisis; but it is now edging slowly back up. In January this year, the number of people securing a mortgage was 16% higher than in January 2019. But by April, figures were 54% down on the previous month a year earlier. It was picking back up again in June, but still below the trend of previous years.

It is thought that the rebound was due to the increase in demand at the end of lockdown, as the market almost completely froze in the early stages. The lockdown has meant many out-of-town homes with more outside space have become very popular as people worry about future lockdowns. City dwellers appear to be heading out into suburbs and smaller towns and villages.

Remortgaging

The remortgage market wasn’t hit quite as hard as the rest of the mortgage market. The pace of remortgaging certainly took a hit, but figures remain fairly consistent with the patterns of the last five years.

Those remortgaging are typically established homeowners with lots of equity in their properties. This suggests that the market was much kinder to the older generation, but the younger first-time buyers still had a mountain to climb.

What’s next?

There are signs that the market is bouncing back and starting to recover. The second lockdown restrictions are easing a little, and people are regaining some confidence to mix with others. There’s also more economic stability, although many industries and sectors are still at risk of mass job losses. This will become more apparent once the furlough scheme finally ends next year.

Mortgage products have reduced, and costs have continued to rise, so first-time buyers and those with limited savings have fewer options than they did prior to lockdown.

While house prices continue to rise, it remains to be seen what the next six months look like for the mortgage market. Many are expecting to see a boom as restrictions continue to ease, especially in light of news about three potential vaccines becoming available.

Either way, the mortgage market is a fluid landscape at the moment. The mortgage and housing market is always subject to change, but we always scrutinise what is happening so we can give the best advice.

If you need help with your mortgage or remortgage, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Dan Bullen from Newcastle Financial Adviser firm Co-Navigate

Name

Dan Bullen

What is your position at Co-Navigate?

Financial Planning Assistant

When did you start work at Co-Navigate?

July 2017

What was your experience before working here?

I moved to Co-Navigate straight after school after completing my A-levels at Berwick Academy and heard about the job. I started working with Lyndsey in the mortgage side of the business. 

What attracted you to Co-Navigate?

At the time it seemed like the right place. As I was living in Berwick and when you’re from there you can either go to Edinburgh or Newcastle for work as they’re about an hour away. I was looking for an apprenticeship and I met the directors and they seemed really nice.

What do you enjoy about your job?

I get to work with some very interesting people both as colleagues and as clients. You get to hear about all sorts of things: where they have been, what they want to do in the future and being part of that is a fantastic.

Favourite colour

Green

Favourite music

I tend to listen to radio. I usually listen to Radio 1, although I’m a fan of Coldplay.

Hobbies and interests

My big hobby is golf. I’m a 3 handicap and at the moment I play about 5 times a week. It’s pretty much what I do outside of work. I have won 3 times this year, since lockdown. I play in individual events and have been playing for a while. But I have only been playing competitively for just over a year. This summer I was going to start playing in team events and leagues, but because of lockdown that hasn’t happened yet. I’m also a big football fan and support Glasgow Celtic. I used to play but I don’t do that anymore.

If you would like to read about our other team check out our news page. Contact us today and you might even get to talk to Dan.

Lyndsey Stephenson Mortgage Adviser Co-Navigate Newcastle

In our last blog, we met Andy Mathers. Now, we introduce our Mortgage & Protection Adviser, Lyndsey, and discover how helping her Dad as a teenager helped her put her foot on the career ladder of financial services…

Name

Lyndsey Stephenson

What is your position at Co-Navigate?

Mortgage & Protection Adviser and Director

Why did you choose a career in financial services?

My Dad was a Financial Adviser and I grew up knowing finance as a natural part of life. I started at a young age helping out my dad in his business with basic office tasks, etc.  I then went on to help a few other financial advisers in their businesses. By going into a shared office from my teenage years and doing admin tasks for pocket money, such as filing and shredding, I got to know about what goes on behind the scenes in finance. When I went to college, I started working for another adviser as his main administrator part-time. I got used to chasing mortgages and speaking to advisers and everything that goes on, basically everything except advising. Leaving University, it seemed an obvious choice to go into financial services as I already had the background and experience.  

What is your experience?

I became an adviser in 2004 and ultimately, I’d say 5 or 6 years prior to that I was working in the field doing admin work.

What do you enjoy about your job?

The best thing for me is I get to be part of a really important part of people’s lives – their home.  I get to help people move into their dream home and that’s a really powerful thing to be part of. The fun bit is helping people get to where they want to be.  And I get to meet such lovely people every day. 

What key advice would you offer to a potential client to Co-Navigate?

Look at everything with an open mind. A lot of people have a pre-conceived idea about what a financial adviser is or should be. At Co-Navigate, we’re very different to other financial advisers; we want to build relationships with people and help them get to where they want to be rather than being transaction focused.

Favourite colour

Navy blue.

Favourite music

I’m a big fan of 80s music and could listen to it all day long. And I also like 90s pop and rock when I am running. I’m a big fan of easy listening at the weekend.

Hobbies and interests

I am a big fan of keeping fit. My husband is a qualified fitness instructor, so exercise is a big thing for us as a family. I do a lot of running, circuit training and cycling. I love spending time with family and friends, and I have really missed it during lockdown.

Couple remortgaging for captial to build house extension

Remortgaging is not only something to consider when your current mortgage term is coming to an end (to prevent reverting to Standard Variable Rate), it can also be a very useful way to raise capital.

Using equity tied up in your home can pay for improvements to your house – whether that is an extension, a loft conversion or for adding a home office. The coronavirus lockdown has meant millions of people experienced WFH (working from home), and many have discovered their homes fail to offer adequate space.

According to ONS figures, 20 million people relocated to their home to work during the pandemic. That is almost 10 times the number that normally do. A survey also reports that 45% of people believe they will work from home more often when the lockdown ends.

Building an extension for a purpose-built home office could be high on your list of priorities as a result. Maybe you feel an extra room for your little ones is going to be necessary after being in the same space with your family for 12 weeks or more.

So, releasing equity by remortgaging could give you the cash you need to fund those plans. And it is likely to be cheaper than searching for a new house!

What is equity?

When you take out a mortgage on your home, the company providing it owns a large percentage of your property. For example, first-time buyers who take out a mortgage with 90% loan-to-value (LTV) effectively own 10% ‘equity’ in the property.

Over time you increase the amount of the property you own as you pay your mortgage. In our example, the buyers’ LTV may be around 88% a year later, so their equity rises and becomes 12%.

This is not the only way to increase the value of your equity, it rises if the property’s value goes up. This means any equity you have can be released to pay for home improvements, but terms and conditions and lending limits apply.

How remortgaging for capital works

If your property was worth £250,000 and you took out a repayment mortgage of £200,000 five years ago, the amount you owe will have fallen. Let’s say for example it is now at £180,000. If the property’s value has also increased to £300,000, it means the equity you own has increased from £50,000 when purchased to £120,000 today.

If you were simply remortgaging at the end of your current deal, your mortgage would be for £180,000. The loan-to-value would now be 60%, a significant fall from the 80% LTV you originally borrowed.

But you could, assuming you have the income to support it, remortgage for a larger amount and release some equity to spend on your home office or house extension. In our example, we may remortgage for £200,000, releasing £20,000 to spend.

Beware early repayment charges

If you remortgage during the initial fixed or tracker period of your mortgage you are likely to incur an early repayment charge. This would then reduce the amount of equity you can release. If your initial mortgage period has ended and you have moved over to the lender’s standard variable rate, you are unlikely to face an early repayment charge.

The best thing to do before changing is to contact our mortgage experts. Our independent mortgage advisers have access to more mortgage deals than the high street or via comparison sites. We have helped many people in the North East and beyond release equity for home improvements and other reasons when it is right for them.

If you are interested in finding out more, you can contact our mortgage team by emailing enquiries@co-navigate.co.uk

Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up the repayments on your mortgage