In this month’s Buzz Money feature we have teamed up with Bright Advice and tapped into their expertise in the mortgage markets to bring you the very latest news.
Bright Advice is a local firm that offers all of its customers a personal service but, as part of a larger network, they have access to exclusive mortgage rates not available on the High Street. Advice is tailored to the individual client resulting in the most suitable guidance regardless of whether you are a first-time buyer, looking to get a better rate on your existing mortgage or buying an additional property as an investment.
Applying for mortgages is probably tougher than ever at the moment so Bright Advice are there to take the strain and guide you through the process.
Buzz Money caught up with Bright’s managing director Andrew Perryman for his take on the top trends in the mortgage markets.
STAMP DUTY HOLIDAY
Andrew: ‘The UK government recently announced a stamp duty holiday in order to inject life into the housing market. Buyers would ordinarily pay stamp duty when buying a property over £125,000. The threshold on paying the duty has now been increased to properties over £500,000 meaning that there are great savings to be made. The scheme is due to run until March 2021 so the best time to act is now!
Andrew: ‘There has been a marked increase in interest-only mortgages recently. Interest-only deals could be a viable option for borrowers who’ve suffered financially as a result of COVID-19. Interest-only mortgages allow you to reduce your monthly expenses.
FIXING WITH FLEXIBILITY
Andrew: ‘Longer-term fixed-rate mortgages have grown in popularity over the past few years, but high early repayment charges (ERCs) of up to 5% of the balance are a big caveat. However, some banks have started to offer a five-year fix with no ERCs after the first three years. Five-year deals allow you to lock in a great rate for longer but take the time to consider your plans before tying yourself into such a long-term fix.’
ENERGY EFFICIENCY DISCOUNTS
Andrew: ‘With the government pushing forward its energy-efficiency policies, we could see more lenders begin to offer ‘green’ mortgages. These schemes offer lower rates for people who make energy-efficient improvements to their homes and are set to become more common.’
EASIER ACCESS FOR THE SELF-EMPLOYED
Andrew: ‘Self-employed homebuyers and remortgagers might be concerned about their options in the wake of COVID-19, but there are signs that lenders are looking to help. If you’re self-employed and are considering applying for a mortgage, you may find that smaller building societies that adopt a more ‘case by case’ assessment could be your best bet.