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Mortgage News & Updates

We have put together a collection of snippets and brief news reports for the latest updates and happenings in the mortgage industry in the UK for December:

Halifax Reintroduces the 90% FTB Mortgage Scheme

Good news for first time buyers is that Halifax will shortly be offering a 90% loan to value mortgage, however this is only available to first time buyers.  The scheme will not be available on new builds also. Maximum loan amount will be set to £500,000. An enhanced credit score will be required by applicants.

Mortgage Demands At a 13 Year High

Despite the pandemic of 2020 UK mortgage approvals are at an all time high for the past 13 years. 97,500 loans were approved in October alone, the most since 2007.  Approvals have increased ten fold since May.

Stamp Duty Holiday Drives UK Mortgage Market

The reduced stamp duty offer in the UK has resulted in an increase of activity in the mortgage industry.  This stamp duty holiday ends in March 2021 so the trend is expected to continue until the 9 month holiday ends.

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Lockdown Causes Mortgage Disruption

Approximately 130,000 mortgage purchase applications didn’t take place between April and September in 2020 due to the pandemic. The collapse of the 2nd quarters activity has recovered with Q3 applications jumping up considerably.

Homeowner Mortgage Arrears Remain Low

Mortgage arrears for homeowners remains at a low figure in Q3 of 2020. Buy to let arrears rose slightly. UK finance has stated that the level of homeowner arrears this year was historically low compared to the last 3 years.

Santander Changes Mortgage Criteria Ahead of Brexit

From 6th December any borrowers who are citizens of the European Economic Area (EEA) who apply for a mortgage over 75% loan to value will be required to prove their permanent right to reside in the UK with the lender. The rule does exclude anyone from the Republic of Ireland.

New Government Help to Buy Scheme Launches

First-time buyers interested in new-build homes can apply for the new Help to Buy: Equity Loan scheme. Homes England has announced that first-time buyers interested in new-build homes can apply for the new Help to Buy: Equity Loan scheme from Wednesday 16 December 2020.

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With a Help to Buy: Equity Loan, the government lends homebuyers up to 20% (40% in London) of the cost of a newly built home. Customers pay a deposit of 5% or more and arrange a mortgage of 25% or more to make up the rest. The equity loan is interest-free for the first five years.

Metro Bank Increases Flexible Mortgage Range

Mortgage arrangements are often complex, but potential new homeowners are likely to be excited by news of an improved offering by Metro Bank to help people amid the ongoing pandemic. New schemes are available particularly in the Buy to Let market to aid the growing market of landlords.

Building Society Wins Hat-Trick of Awards

Leek United a building society from Staffordshire has won the same award for the 3rd year running at a national ceremony. Voted top variable rate mortgage lender for the 3rd year running.

Mortgage Broker Fined for Sending 174,000 Illegal Text Messages

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MortgageKey , a trading name of OSL Financial Consultancy Limited has been fined £50,000 for illegally sending over 174,000 nuisance text messages and failing to follow electronic marketing rules. The ICO received dozens of complaints about spam texts and investigated the company finding major breaches in ICO protocol had bene made.

127,000 Mortgage Payment Holidays Still In Place

Around 127,000 payment holidays for mortgages were still in place in November.  A massive reduction from the 1.8 million that were in place at the pandemics peak in June according to UK Finance.

Virgin Money Launches First Time Buyer 90% LTV Mortgage

Virgin Money has launched a five-year mortgage for buyers with a 10 per cent deposit. The scheme is only for first-time buyers and will be available from 4th December 2020. The mortgage interest rates begin at 3.69 per cent and it comes with a fee free or £995 fee options. Virgin Money is also increasing select 90 and 95 per cent product transfer rates by up to 0.40 per cent.

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