• Mortgages & home

    I retired last year and need to get a new mortgage but my lender is being very difficult, what should I do?

    I’m 68 and retired from my full-time job last year. I have just taken advantage of the pension freedoms, drawing down the tax-free lump sum of my pension in cash, which I have reinvested into the stock market and funds to give me a bit more flexibility.Now I’m due to remortgage and my lender is being difficult about my income – it won’t accept all of the income I earn from my investments and says only half counts towards my mortgage payments.  Remortgage woes: a specialist mortgage broker can help borrowers with complicated affairs  I really don't want to have to ...

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  • Mortgages & home

    New Zealand bans foreigners from buying existing homes in bid to cool soaring house prices

    New Zealand will ban overseas buyers from buying existing homes in the country in a bid to stop house prices from soaring.Labour prime minister-elect Jacinda Ardern said the ban, only applicable to non-residents, will be introduced by Christmas.It comes as increasingly unaffordable house prices have priced many locals out of the domestic property market. Property boom: Auckland, the largest city in the country, hasForeign ownership, as well as a limited supply of homes and low interest rates have driven house prices higher in New Zealand – a similar scenario to the UK’s.That and curbs to immigration, the renegotiation of trade ...

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  • Mortgages & home

    The key to a happy place? It's in the water... Spa towns and waterside locations dominate league table of the UK's most content places to live

    It seems that proximity to water is the key to a happy town, if the latest quality of life survey is accurate.Spa towns and ones by rivers and the sea dominate the top spots in a new happiness league table, as rated by residents.The survey of 17,000 households conducted by property website Rightmove found that Leamington Spa was the most content place to live in the UK - scoring on 12 criteria, including local amenities and community spirit. Rightmove said Royal Leamington Spa scored highly for friendly neighbours, a strong sense of belonging, a place where locals feel they can ...

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  • Mortgages & home

    Has the property boom missed your town? Map shows gulf in house prices across the country with space in Kensington worth 25 times as much as Blaenau Gwent

    Property in the priciest area of England and Wales cost a huge 25 times as much as in the cheapest spot, according to a new interactive map from the Office for National Statistics.It shows that one square metre of floor space, an area about the size of a red telephone box, costs £19,439 in the salubrious London borough of Kensington and Chelsea.However, in the valley town of Blaenau Gwent, South Wales, the same amount of space costs just £777.Use the interactive map below to see how much a square metre of property costs in your local area and how it ...

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  • Mortgages & home

    Shocking cost of downsizing revealed: Older homeowners stand to lose 29k in fees moving to a smaller home (and stamp duty's only the half of it!)

    Older homeowners who decide to downsize to a smaller property lose 29,000 on average to moving costs, Money Mail can reveal.The crippling sum is made up of a long list of bills, which include stamp duty, estate agency fees, surveys, legal costs, removal fees and refurbishment costs.The sum eats into capital that they had hoped to use to help make ends meet or fund a more comfortable retirement.Downsizing is an increasingly appealing prospect for older homeowners, who turn to money tied up in their property to boost their retirement income. Older homeowners who decide to downsize to a smaller property ...

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  • Mortgages & home

    House prices are up 10k since the Brexit vote with the East of England seeing the biggest gains, official data shows

    Property prices increased 4.9 per cent in the year to June to reach 223,000 - 10,000 higher than the same month last year and 2,000 more than May.It means annual house price inflation has slowed since mid-2016, but has remained broadly around five per cent during 2017, Office for National Statistics data shows.The index a year after Brexit paints a rosier picture of property values than a slew of data from July. The ONS figures lag a month behind other indexes. Rosier: ONS data shows that house price growth remains stable a year on from Brexit voteFor example, Halifax reported ...

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  • Mortgages & home

    I'm 85 and still have a mortgage, should I pay off that interest-only loan using equity release?

    I m 85 and have an interest-only mortgage I took out on a lifetime tracker rate 23 years ago. My bank has written to me asking me to tell them how I plan to pay off the balance in 18 months when the deal ends - but they didn't ask me that when I took the mortgage and I don't get enough income from my pension to pay it off in one go. I'm not sure what my options are but a friend has told me to do equity release - but I thought this was really expensive? Should I ...

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  • Mortgages & home

    Scrap stamp duty for first time buyers and bring back the 100% mortgage - or we risk a big city brain drain, says boss of estate agent Haart

    Scrap stamp duty for first time buyers and bring back 100 per cent mortgages. Those are the radical proposals from one of Britain's leading estate agents for solving the housing crisis.Paul Smith, owner and chief executive of Haart, the UK's biggest independent estate agent, warns that London will see a brain drain of young workers without drastic action. Politicians are too concerned about the amount of tax they can collect, he argues, and he takes a very dim view of the stamp duty increases introduced by George Osborne in April 2016. Paul Smith, owner and chief executive of Haart, the ...

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  • Mortgages & home

    Have we reached property market peak? House price growth stalls with many owners offering reductions to sell, say surveyors

    The majority of homes valued beyond 500,000 are having their asking price shaved before being sold as the property market stalls, latest Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors data shows.A net balance of just one per cent of surveyors reported prices increasing rather than decreasing in July, down from seven per cent in June - the weakest reading since March 2013.The two areas with the largest number of surveyors registering price falls are London and the South East, followed by a smaller number in East Anglia and the North. Stalled market: Next month could mark the first time the Rics survey ...

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  • Mortgages & home

    Why it could be last chance to grab a cheap mortgage: Race to lock into a bargain deal as Bank warns era of low rates is ending

    Homeowners face a race to lock into a cheap mortgage after the Bank of England warned the era of low rates is ending.Mortgage rates have been at a record low since official interest rates were slashed to 0.25 per cent last summer.But last week Mark Carney, Governor of the Bank, signalled that the base rate could rise to 0.5 per cent by next summer before reaching 1 per cent or higher by mid-2020.A hike could mean a sudden increase in monthly repayments for millions of homeowners on variable rate mortgages. Mortgage rates have been at a record low since official ...

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  • Mortgages & home

    House prices up almost 5,000 in the year since the Brexit vote, but property market slows as buyers struggle

    House prices are up almost 5,000 in the year since the Brexit vote, figures revealed today.A combination of record low mortgage rates and a lack of homes for sale has bolstered the property market, but the pace of house price rises has slowed considerably, according to the Halifax house price index.House prices rose by another 0.4 per cent in July, to take the average home s cost up a further 789 to 219,266 2.1 per cent higher than a year ago. House prices have continued to rise in the year since the Brexit vote at the end of June 2016, ...

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  • Mortgages & home

    Mortgage threat as Bank ends 115bn loan scheme: Householders to face higher costs even without official rate rise

    Homeowners are facing a rise in mortgage costs even without an increase in the official interest rate after the Bank of England pulled the plug on a scheme that has pumped tens of billions of pounds into banks to help fuel lending.The Bank said last week its Term Funding Scheme would end in February. About 78 billion has already been lent and the figure is poised to soar to 115 billion by the time the TFS is terminated.The scheme slashed the cost of funding for banks, meaning interest rates for a 75 per cent loan-to-value fixed rate mortgage have dropped ...

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  • Mortgages & home

    Best chance to save on your mortgage in FIVE YEARS: Homeowners could save thousands switching to cheaper deals as 35bn of loans mature

    More than 35billion worth of mortgages are due to mature in the next two months, the biggest period of home loan maturities in five years according to specialist data firm CACI.Approximately 17billion worth of mortgages are due to mature in September and 18billion in October and borrowers are being warned not to slip onto the standard variable rate through inertia.Homeowners could save hundreds of pounds a month by remortgaging thanks to reduced rates and increased house prices pumping up their mortgage loan-to-value, analysis by Yorkshire Building Society shows. Remortgaging: Research suggests that a bumper number of mortgages are set to ...

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  • Mortgages & home

    Hundred residents in Edinburgh block of flats face shock 600k bill for crumbling wall

    Owners of new-build homes face being charged thousands of pounds if walls or roads near their properties need repairing, an alarming case has revealed.More than 100 residents in a block of flats in Edinburgh have been hit with a 600,000 bill to replace a crumbling wall they were never told was their responsibility. The Blandfield development in the Scottish capital is home to many elderly and disabled people, who are now being chased for around 6,000 each.Last month, residents were given 28 days to find the cash or face debt recovery action even though some can t afford to pay. ...

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  • Mortgages & home

    Sluggish house prices 'will deliver a buyers' market' as Nationwide tips growth of just 2% this year

    House prices will rise by just 2 per cent this year to fall behind inflation and deliver a buyers' market, building society Nationwide forecast today.In a further sign of the sluggish property market, Nationwide said that while house prices had continued to grow throughout 2017, it had been at a slower pace than in previous years, with prices up just 2.9 per cent on a year ago in July. Robert Gardner, chief economist at Nationwide suggested that a buyers market could be around the corner though a lack of homes for sale is helping prop up current house price growth. ...

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