Mortgages

  • Britons with second home in Paris could face a steep council tax rise

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    A proposal to free up properties in Paris was approved at the beginning of July 2017 and could result in a major increase in council tax payments for UK residents with second homes in the French capital. The changes would result in an average payment increase of over €2,000 (around £1,750), a hike surely likely to prompt some to think about selling...
  • Average price for first home reaches record high

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    A recent study has found that the average deposit first-time buyers need to pay on a home has now risen to nearly £33,000. This is thanks to the average price of a first home now climbing to a record figure of £207,693. The Halifax First-Time Buyer Review discovered that almost half (47%) of all house purchases with a mortgage made during the first...
  • Falling house prices in the UK for the third month in a row

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    Recent figures have shown that house prices in the UK fell again in May this year, making it the third month in a row which has seen prices go down. Nationwide, the UK’s biggest building society which carried out the research, stated that this is the first time house prices have fallen in three consecutive months since 2009. Following the drop of 0...
  • What does the current political climate mean for your savings and investments?

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    Whilst the country takes in the latest developments in the ongoing saga that is contemporary British politics, one question that many will be looking for answers to, is how the result of the general election is likely to affect them financially. It’s inevitable that savings and shares will be impacted upon in some way by Theresa May’s failure to co...
  • What is the ‘real rate of inflation’?

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    The current projected figures for 2017 see inflation set to grow by between 2.5% and 3%, but there are already reports surfacing that this figure is misleading, with most families set to experience much higher increases than this, thanks to the ‘real rate of inflation’. But what does that actually mean and why is the real rate so different to the p...
  • House prices to slump in 2017?

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    Recent figures suggest that house prices are set to slow during 2017. Property prices grew by 5.7% in the year to the end of January, slower than the annual growth of 6.5% in the previous month. In January, the average UK home was valued at £220,260. Whilst prices in the three months to the end of January were higher than in the previous three mont...
  • Slow start to housing market predicted for 2017

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    The housing market is set for a slow start in the new year due to a shortage of homes for sale, according to a survey by the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS). Although property transactions may increase at the beginning of 2017 after slowing since the spring, the survey suggests that any acceleration is likely to be modest at best. The...
  • Taking out a mortgage when retired: what happens if you end up in care?

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    Downsizing during your retirement years is something many people consider. Moving to a smaller property can cut down on maintenance and utility costs and if your new home is cheaper than your current property, you can even raise some cash to save or spend as you like. However, if you’re relocating to a more expensive area then you may need to take...
  • Does buy-to-let still pay?

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    The popularity of investing in property to fund retirement remains prevalent, in spite of the government’s attempts to make buy-to-let less and less attractive. But is buy-to-let investment really a viable alternative to a pension pot, for example? A recent study has investigated the numbers behind each option. The research looked at how £100,000 w...
  • Would you be happy renting in retirement?

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    A major goal for many during their retirement will be to enjoy their home after finishing paying off their mortgage. Depending on when you purchased your house however, and with house prices seeing a rise of 30% in the past decade, owning outright is becoming more difficult to achieve for some. Renting during retirement is therefore becoming more a...
  • Does buy-to-let still pay?

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    The popularity of investing in property to fund retirement remains prevalent, in spite of the government’s attempts to make buy-to-let less and less attractive. But is buy-to-let investment really a viable alternative to a pension pot, for example? A recent study has investigated the numbers behind each option. The research looked at how £100,000 w...
  • The value of mortgage advice

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    Mortgage advice might not be for everyone, but for those clients who seek it out it can be an invaluable service in helping them to strike a better deal than they could have achieved on their own. The role of a mortgage adviser is to work with a buyer in order to find them the best option for their circumstances. The main way in which a mortgage ad...
  • The ‘money-gap’ generation

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    A recent survey has revealed that employees from all across the age spectrum have considerable gaps in their financial knowledge. Out of over 500 respondents, more than seven in ten of people from the generation X and millennials age groups did not have an understanding of pension investments. Additionally, 49% of those surveyed said that their pre...
  • Don’t worry: there will be no stamp duty rise on your ‘granny flat’ after all

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    November 2015 saw Chancellor George Osborne announce a significant rise in the amount of stamp duty for second home and buy-to-let properties. The new level, which came into effect in April this year, is higher than that on residential property by three percentage points. What this means is that buying a second home for £200,000, will now have £6,3...
  • Alexander Beard Group’s EU Referendum summary and viewpoint

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    Britain Takes Back Control. Or Does It? This somewhat, necessarily, lengthy note covers the likely consequences of Britain’ historic decision. It our attempt to give you an overview of how things currently stand following the Leave campaign victory; but you will appreciate that events are moving very quickly. ‘I declare that the total votes cast f...
  • The unexpected financial influence of “The Bank of Mum and Dad”

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    Recently released data suggests that “The Bank of Mum and Dad” will lend out £5 billion this year to children looking to get on the UK property ladder. Parents will therefore be assisting in financing one in four of all UK mortgage transactions in 2016. The average loan amount will be £17,500, around 7% of the average purchase price, and parents ar...
  • Squeeze on property market starting to slow London boom?

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    Sales of luxury property in London have seen a considerable slump following Chancellor George Osborne’s sharp increase to stamp duty. Property industry observers have given warnings that the situation is becoming more and more harmful to the property market. Douglas & Gordon, an estate agency with particular expertise when it comes to property...
  • CML urges restraint on Stamp Duty proposals

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    Responding to the HM Treasury consultation on the 3% surcharge on Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) proposals for second properties, the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) urges reform of the implementation plans to mitigate potentially negative impacts on the housing market as a whole. The CML view is that even without the new surcharge, the forthcoming...
  • Stamp Duty Hike

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    Mike Shakespeare, Financial Planning Associate - Chester branch For those of us who feel a property portfolio is a valuable part of our financial planning the coming year will include some added costs. People buying additional property, including buy-to-let or second homes, will face a 3 percentage point surcharge on stamp duty rates from April 20...
  • Tax Relief changes for individuals who are landlords

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    According to HM Revenue & Customs’ (HMRC) policy paper, ‘Restricting Financial Cost Relief for Individual Landlords’ it’s not just mortgage interest to which the change in tax relief applies. As well as mortgage interest, finance costs include interest on loans to buy furnishings and fees incurred when taking out or repaying mortgages or loans....
  • Interest rate warning from our in-house mortgage expert Mike Shakespeare

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    The possibility on an interest rate raise has been a hot topic this week with the vote by the Bank Of England Monetary Policy Committee being 8:1 for holding rates. This became greater news when it became apparent that another member has seriously considered voting for a rise. Clearly this is of little consequence if you are considering, or on a t...
  • The Summer Budget implications for ‘Buy-to-Let’ housing

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    A major shake-up of the buy-to-let housing market could be about to take place, after the Chancellor announced plans to change mortgage tax relief for landlords. In his Summer Budget speech, the chancellor said that the relief will be cut to 20%, from 40-45%, in an effort to “level the playing field” between buy-to-let landlords and ordinary house...
  • “Short-term fixed mortgage rates continue to fall as price war goes on”

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    What next for mortgage rates? Fixed rates tumble to as low as 1.18% as lenders keep on cutting Mike Shakespeare - Financial Planning Consultant (pictured left) As we all know the fact that interest rates have been at historic lows has not meant the consumer has always benefited from rates you might associate with a 0.5% BOE base rate over the last...
  • 10 New Year’s Resolutions for your Financial Planning

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    With recent reports from the Autumn Statement suggesting most of the UK economic indicators are moving in the right direction, it doesn’t mean we can suddenly afford to ignore our personal financial planning. So in the best traditions of New Year here are ten financial planning resolutions that will hopefully help make 2015 a prosperous and secure...
  • New home permissions are back to 2008 level

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    Figures released recently in the Home Builders Federation’s (HBF) latest Housing Pipeline report show that planning permissions for 56,647 homes were granted in England in Q2 of this year – the highest number for over six years. The figure maintains the steady increase in total permissions granted in recent quarters and raises the Moving Annual Tot...
  • Video: How to find the best mortgage for you

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    Settling on the perfect mortgage for you and your family can be a difficult task. How do you decide on which of the current offers will benefit you the most? If you go for the lowest interest rate, will you be hit by a raft of expensive fees? In this video we discuss how we help clients to find their perfect mortgage; from identifying the best deal...
  • Don’t wait for a rate rise before you take action

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    Responding to the 2nd October 2014 message to consumers from the Money Advice Service (MAS) to plan ahead for future rises in interest rates, the Council of Mortgage Lenders suggests some practical steps that consumers can take now to help prepare for future rises in interest rates. While the MAS research suggests that many people have not yet take...
  • House purchase lending in August down 3% on July

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    New Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) data published on the 9th October, on the characteristics of lending in August, show that lending declined slightly compared to July, the first month-on-month drop in house purchase lending volume since February this year. Total gross lending in August was £18.1 billion. This was 8% lower than July (£19.7 billi...
  • The changing mortgage interest rate future

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    Legal & General’s latest quarterly Mortgage Mood survey has revealed that 68% of homeowners surveyed fear a mortgage rate rise in the next 12 months, but the majority of that group (45%) believe that rates won’t increase by more than 1%. Looking forward two years, over half of the homeowners (52%) feel that rates still won’t increase by more th...
  • House buyers count the cost of quick viewings

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    People looking to buy a house in a highly competitive market are spending less time on property viewings and potentially missing out on signs of maintenance issues that could cause them financial pain down the line, according to new research from Aviva. Home buyers in the past year spent on average just over half an hour in total looking round a pr...
  • Announcing the Complete Property Investment

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    Alexander Beard Group are today delighted to announce a new service designed specifically for UK expatriates who want an easy way to invest in property back in the UK. Our specially designed Complete Property Investment Service contains all of the elements required to make investing in a property in the UK as simple as possible, so you can get on w...
  • Pension changes won’t prevent interest only mortgage crisis

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    Access to pension pots announced in this years’ Budget will not stem the looming interest-only mortgage crisis, Age UK is warning. From 2017, 40,000 interest only mortgages owned by borrowers aged 65 and over will mature every year. Interest only mortgage borrowers believe their average shortfall will be just over £22,000. But the latest estimate b...
  • Will the new mortgage rules affect what can be borrowed?

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    Under new changes to the mortgage market, lenders will have to ask you, as the borrower, detailed questions about your spending. They will take into account any expenditure to which you are already committed and will need to know about credit card and loan repayments, hire purchase agreements and child maintenance or alimony payments. You will be...
  • Why aren’t we re-mortgaging?

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    The latest Legal & General ‘Mortgage Mood’ survey reveals that two thirds of consumers (65%) are not financially preparing for an interest rate rise in the next two years. At the same time, only 7% of those polled are considering re-mortgaging their home in the next 12 months. The Mortgage Mood survey is a quarterly study, which looks at the a...
  • Budget 2014 Overview

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    Whether you are a client based in the UK or abroad, we are sure you will be interested in learning how the UK Government’s 2014 Budget might affect you and your finances. George Osborne delivered the Budget to Parliament on 19th March and we have put together the following analysis and summary, which details all of Mr Osborne’s major announcements,...