Rishi Sunak’s second Budget as Chancellor brought two pieces of welcome news for the property sector as the Government attempts to transform “Generation Rent” into “Generation Buy” to help stimulate the UK economy, namely the new 95% Mortgage Guarantee and an extension of the Stamp Duty Holiday.
The name of this scheme is misleading as not everyone that applies is guaranteed to be offered a mortgage, it is still subject to affordability and credit score. The “guarantee” itself is that the Government will ensure Lenders don’t stand a loss if they grant a 95% mortgage to a customer who then subsequently falls into arrears and is repossessed leaving behind negative equity.
This scheme should in theory give Lenders more confidence to lend even though the applicant only has a smaller deposit to put down. Of course, Lenders never want to repossess someone’s home unless it is the last resort, but if that happens then the new scheme would cover any shortfall.
Lenders have been worried about the prospect of home values decreasing so this measure should alleviate that concern although of course, the chances of negative equity occurring will naturally reduce should property prices increase as a result of these announcements!
The scheme is available to both 1st Time Buyers and Home Movers, it’s available on any property (not just new build) and will run until December 2022. Some major High Street Banks have already signed up to the scheme and it’s likely more will follow later on. It’s still a big challenge for Lenders to cope with the demand they are getting for mortgages due to the difficulties training and supervising staff working from home but they will want to offer as many of these mortgages as they can.
When the Stamp Duty Holiday was launched last year we all hoped life would be very much back to normal by the cut-off date of 31st March 2021 but things didn’t pan out that way as we know. Solicitors are struggling to keep up with the workload and if lots of chains had collapsed then it would have partly defeated the object of the exercise.
Therefore it was good to hear the scheme has been extended to 30th June for purchases up to £500,000 and 30th September for purchases up to £250,000.
The Government certainly sees the property sector as an area that can play a big part in our economic recovery and if you are looking to buy a home or remortgage this year please reach out and we will be happy to advise you.
Year after year, back to back, we see thousands of Interest-Only Mortgages in Nottingham reaching the end of their terms and customers unable to pay off their mortgage fully.
Here we will explain what they are, the situations people face and what to do if you have an Interest-Only Mortgage.
Residential Interest-Only Mortgages were the in thing back in the 1980s and 1990s. The concept was that you pay interest on the capital owed, then when you reach the end of the term, you pay a lump sum. Borrowers would get advised to set up an “Investment Vehicle” alongside their Interest-Only Mortgage.
These were low-cost assets offered by investment companies, to raise enough money to eventually pay off the lump sum at the end of the term. In some cases, these investments may even provide additional funds on top of paying off the mortgage. Investment Vehicles also acted as a means of providing life cover, should the customer ever unfortunately die.
When taking out their Interest-Only mortgages, many customers did not get informed about the risks involved. There was no guarantee that their investment would grow enough to pay off the mortgage, with some customers not even investing at all. There were many complaints, with thousands receiving compensation if they got mis-sold on their mortgage.
These days we find that Interest-Only Mortgages are mostly used in conjunction with Buy to Let Mortgages. In any case, this is because some landlords like to maximise their monthly profits as much as possible.
Endowment Mortgages haven’t been popular in some time. There may be people still using one of these and have not managed to get them switched into a Repayment Mortgage yet. If this is you, you may be understandably concerned about losing your property.
You can still get an Interest-Only Mortgage, but with stricter rules now in place, it is less likely to be seen or cause any trouble for customers. Not all lenders will offer interest-only and those that do have stringent criteria, such as an approved repayment vehicle in place and a bigger deposit.
At times some lenders have surprised the borrower by requesting full repayment of the balance. Though this would typically only occur if the lender had been a poor communicator. Lenders regularly write to the borrowers, to ensure they know they need to make their repayment plans.
If you realise you are unable to repay the capital when required, please communicate and be open with the lender. However, this will not be the first time they have encountered this situation. So make sure you keep them updated on your circumstances.
Lenders do not like repossessing properties from people who cannot payback. However, they need to make their money back somehow, so will do this if they have no alternative.
There are now a lot more Retirement Mortgage options available to borrowers directly than ever before. If you happen to qualify for one of these options. You may continue to pay interest as a means of protecting the equity currently present in the property.
On the flip side, if you are not worried about leaving an inheritance to your children. You can allow interest to roll up and flat out stop making any mortgage payments.
A significant problem with Equity Release Mortgages is usually the Loan to Value. To qualify for one of these, especially if you are in your 60’s. You need to have a decent amount of equity in your home.