The Big Property List
We have decided to add a free listing option to our online UK property auctions directory!
If you wish to promote your property auction to our xx,xxx monthly visitors please register and submit your free listing details here.
- List your business information, description
- List your auction venues including address and telephone numbers
- You input and manage your listing - We will not update your listing with auction dates/ changes etc (but you can do this)
Enhanced Listing (£49 p.a.)
The enhanced listing includes:
- The above plus:
- A link to your website
- Upload your company logo
- Constantly updated details on upcoming auction dates & venues
- We manage your listing
If you are not sure of the benefit to your business of this online advertising opportunity please forward this page to your IT/ Marketing Manager or Website Advisor.
If you have any questions or requests please contact us using this form.
If you would like to know about further options for promoting your auction property online then please get in touch – we have a range of options including the featured properties section on our website (it may be less expensive than you think!)
If the UK economy improves later in 2011 it could lead the Bank of England to rising interest rates suddenly. Experts are warning that this could cause potential problems for the property market. It’s not come as much surprise that the bank’s Monetary Policy Committee has made the decision to leave interest rates at their record low rate of 0.5%.
However, this could mean trouble for those looking for larger mortgages or starting out on the property ladder. ‘There are still serious concerns about consumer spending and the full effects of the fiscal tightening measures that were implemented in April are not yet fully known. However, if the economy turns a corner the MPC could be forced to make a series of sudden rate rises which could unbalance the housing market,’ said Jennet Siebrits, head of residential research at consultants CB Richard Ellis.
Nick Hopkinson, Directory of property company PPR Estates, however, doesn’t seem to think interest rates will rise this year. ‘The Bank of England is clearly not going to be able to increase interest rates this year, even though inflation is running away from it. UK PLC is still very weak and any increase in borrowing costs would almost certainly tip the scales back into recession,’ he said.
‘The Government’s austerity cuts continue to bite, unemployment continues to move upwards and household incomes and cash flows will continue to come under increasing pressure for the remainder of 2011,’ he added.
Whatever does happen in 2011, the effect on the property market isn’t going to be promising. ‘The house sale market has virtually ground to a halt this spring with transaction volumes falling back to the lowest levels seen since the credit crunch outside London recently. I therefore expect house prices to fall by 5% this year, even if base lending rates remain artificially low,’ said Hopkinson.
‘If interest rates are forced up due to the MPC needing to retain credibility on its inflation management brief, then things will get a lot worse for many struggling sellers,’ he added.
According to Neil Chegwidden, director of residential research at Jones Lang LaSalle, the decision will do little to lift the mood in the national housing market but will help it to tread water.
‘The UK housing market has weakened since last autumn but has probably proved a little more resilient than many had expected during the first few months of 2011. London is bucking the national trend in prices but all regions of the UK are suffering from an even further decline in transactions,’ he said.
‘The key mood enhancing trends that the housing industry will be watching for are a pick-up in transactions, a rise in mortgage lending and a boost in first time buyers. News that visitor numbers at new homes sales sites have increased during the first few months of 2011 is one positive sign, but whether these other indicators can follow suit is more questionable,’ he added.
An estimated 3.5 million people in the UK (that’s around one in three homeowners) may be a prisoner to their mortgage, unable to escape to a new home or cheaper rate.
Those experiencing the most difficulties are more mature borrowers who have been paying off their mortgage for a number of years. Many of these borrowers are nearing the end of their mortgage deals only to find their path obstructed by strict new lending regulations imposed by mortgage lenders. This situation isn’t expected to get any better, as house prices continue to plummet.
Many homeowners hoping to move house in the future find their way blocked as they are not even permitted to transfer their current deal to a new property.
Those facing difficulties include:
Middle-aged borrowers on interest-only mortgage deals
Homeowners whose property has decreased in value so much they are in negative equity and not able to raise a 10% deposit in order to move
Those who have experienced drops in income since they first took out their home loan
Anyone with even one missed payment on a credit or store card – you will be refused for any adverse credit these days as mortgage lenders are more wary of risk
Self-employed people who need to prove their income in the form of audited accounts
The Financial Services Authority (FSA) has imposed a number of changes in the way mortgage lenders approve mortgages. This means homeowners and first-time buyers are going to face more detailed checks to analyse risk and whether they can meet the repayments each month.
These changes are plain to see if you have recently applied for a mortgage. Whereas you could have a mortgage offer in the post the next day a few years ago, you will have to wait longer whilst checks are made and in many cases potential borrowers are turned down for the smallest reason.
Trade body the Council of Mortgage Lenders estimates 3.2 million of the six million people who took out a mortgage since 2005 would not be able to get a new deal because of these changes.
Many of these borrowers are being barred from taking advantage of the lowest interest rates ever recorded.
If that didn’t sound bad enough, those trapped in their mortgages or blocked from getting a mortgage, are having an adverse effect on the economy on a wider scale. Because fewer people are able to get a mortgage, less homes are being sold causing the housing market and house prices to stagnate. And because fewer people are moving, fewer are spending out on high value items such as new furniture, electrical items and kitchens.
Ray Boulger, senior manager at mortgage broker John Charcol, says: ‘Many people are struggling to find the mortgage deal they want. They are shocked when they find they no longer qualify for the mortgage they have already got.’
There are no up-todate estimates of the numbers of homeowners who may be in negative equity, though Lloyds Banking Group recently admitted it had 150,000 customers in that situation.
With the digital age in full swing, it’s surprising to learn that many letting agents are still not embracing the digital technology at their disposal. When you consider how many consumers now search for goods, services, and indeed property online this seems like commercial suicide.
According to new research, many UK letting agents have admitted they knew that technology would help them to provide a better service, but were resistant to making the necessary changes and learning the necessary skills.
More than 78% of letting agents said they believed that other agents embracing digital technology would be more successful and over 90% said this technology would improve their services.
The survey conducted by Imfuna Let also found that 77% of agents believe it would speed up the letting process and improve general productivity. However, only 11% of these agents were planning on investing in digital technology in the near future.
Well over half of those surveyed, 67% in fact, admitted they do not use smart phones or tablet computers even though the majority of UK business is now using these modern devices. What this survey has highlighted is a very real danger that letting agents are falling behind the times and therefore not getting the best from their business.
Jax Kneppers, founder of Imfuna Let, said “We commissioned this research to better understand the views of letting agents to technology. What is surprising is that whilst there is a noticeable acceptance of the importance of technology there is a real lack of adoption. For example 77% said they had never considered dedicated inventory software.”
Approximately 43% of those surveyed also said they believed landlords are more likely to put in a claim against their tenants right now. This highlights the need for better inventory and check in/check out reporting and improvements to how inventories are managed, updated and stored.
Kneppers went on to say, “The inventory process has remained largely the same over the last 20 years but there is technology available today that can make this process simpler, more efficient and ultimately improve any letting business. For example, with Imfuna Let we have taken the core skills of an inventory clerk and applied them using current technology. The result is an inventory process that is faster, simpler and more cost effective.”
Telephones still prove to be the primary means of communication with many letting agents although the use of text messages and emails is steadily growing. Email for example has increased from 29% to 75% in the last 5 years alone.
It also found that 84% think tenants do a lot of their own research through the internet when looking for a property to rent, 73% believe tenants are more informed and 64% more likely to know exactly what they want.
It’s hard to get a mortgage these days. You only need to drop into a few consumer forums such as Money Saving Expert to see how much first time buyers and homeowners are struggling to secure a mortgage offer. Since the credit crunch, mortgage lenders have reviewed their products, tightened their security checks, and made it impossible for a lot of people to step onto the property ladder.
However, a UK ‘thinktank’ has recommended that the banks keep their tough lending criteria in place to prevent another house price bubble building in the near future.
It’s been suggested by the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) that mortgages should be capped at 90% and that customers should also be prevented from borrowing sums that are more than 3.5 times their annual income.
The Institute said there had been 4 separate occurrences of these ‘housing bubbles’ in the last 40 years and that each had caused damage to the economy on a wide scale.
The most recent house price boom, when property values trebled between 1996 and 2006, has been blamed and more specifically the loose lending criteria being used during that time. In fact, prior to the credit crunch, the UK had the highest LTV (loan to value) ratio out of all OECD countries, except for the Netherlands.
The UK has the highest level of mortgage lending compared with the USA and the rest of Western Europe. The group said that even though the UK had a deficiency in housing, the availability of cheap credit could cause the property market to become more volatile.
The IPPR has approached the Government and City regulator, the Financial Services Authority, asking them not to bow down to lobbying by the banking industry. Instead, they want to see caps put on mortgage lending. It also asked for mortgage deposits to be increased for buy-to-let properties to ensure that rental income was sufficient to pay mortgage repayments.
Nick Pearce, IPPR director, said: “Britain has suffered four housing bubbles in the last 40 years, each of which contributed to major economic and social problems. We must learn the lessons from this economic history.
“A central plank of economic policy should be to target moderate increases in house prices, rather than allowing runaway house price inflation which is always damaging in the long run.
“The Housing Minister, Grant Shapps, has tentatively floated the idea of aiming for house price stability but he and (Chancellor) George Osborne should go further and make it an explicit policy objective.”
What do you think? Time to toughen up even more and risk locking some first-time buyers out of the housing game for years to come, or time to loosen up a little? Our previous article suggests things may be looking up and that the IPPR’s fears may be ignored.
If you’re one of the struggling first time buyers trying to get on the property ladder, help could soon be at hand. Many of Britain’s largest mortgage lenders and house-builders are starting to consider products offering a 95% mortgage to first time buyers.
It’s been reported that secret talks are being held by senior executives from a number of FTSE-listed companies, leading lenders and the Council of Mortgage Lenders. The aim of these meetings is to find a way to make mortgage lending easier and more accessible to those trying to buy their first home.
It’s also been claimed that the attendee list of these meetings has included Lloyds, Santander, and some of the major housebuilders in the country including Taylor Wimpey, Persimmon and Barratt. It’s understood that one proposal on the agenda was to create a fund that would be ‘ring-fenced’ for each housebuilder and then utilised by banks to underwrite mortgages for up to 95% of the value of the property.
However, any such proposals need to be handled with great care. After all, it was these high-risk mortgages that were thought to have contributed to the recent recession. Moving too soon on this proposal could cause a backlash against banks and the mortgage lending industry. However, the fund put in place would assist banks in meeting ‘increase capital ratio’ requirements in which they have to set aside capital for mortgages with low deposits. This will help to reduce the risk should customers default on their loans.
As a result, house builders would gain decreased credit risk ratings from mortgage lenders and banks.
A potential stumbling block however might arise when deciding the amount of money that should be deposited to such a fund. With suggestions that interest rates could quadruple within a year, some careful planning is going to be needed when implementing the fund.
Analysts also released a warning last week that new home owners would spend over half of their take-home salary on their mortgage payments once interest rates start to increase again.
Short-term mortgages. Many of us have one and have been attracted by the appealing rates and the security of fixed monthly payments, but are they all they are cracked up to be?
Ray Boulger is the senior technical manager at John Charcol, one of the top mortgage brokers in the country. He says that borrowers should ignore the two –year fixed deals being offered by mortgage lenders and to instead consider a variable rate mortgage such as a tracker or a discount off the standard variable rate. This will allow borrowers to take full advantage of the lower rates currently on offer with these products.
He went on to say “So far this year we have sold twice as many five-year fixed rates as two-year ones, although lenders generally have been putting most of their fixed rate promotional activity on the two year market – presumably because the headline rates are more eye-catching.
“The rationale for taking a longer-term view is that for clients who want the security of a fixed rate, two year fixes only offer security during the period when it is least needed, and if rates rise during that period it is inly likely to be possible to re-fix at a higher rate after two years.”
According to the John Charcol mortgage index, the popularity of fixed rate products is waning. Only 41% of customers chose a fixed rate in April a figure which is down from 50.5% in March and 56.1% in February.
John Charcol expects the decreasing popularity for fixed-rate mortgages to result in the cheapest five-year fixed rate mortgage to fall below 4% – “this will reduce the premium over variable rates to a more acceptable level.”
There are some great deals out there right now for those looking for a five-year fixed rate with rates as low as 3.99% for loans up to 75% loan to value (LTV). It’s prudent to shop around and to get the lowdown on the market as much as possible. The Big Property List will bring you the market news as it happens helping you to make an informed decision.
Whilst the availability of credit might be improving on the high street, people are still nervous about committing to a mortgage. Research is suggesting that over 6 million Brits have given up on finding a mortgage and have decided to rent or stay at their current property until the market improves.
Unfortunately, it’s a catch 22 situation. The market needs confidence from buyers in order to recover and buyers need confidence in the market. Mortgage rates are steadily falling and the number of mortgage products being offered are on the increase. However, these products are focused at the high end of the market and are therefore only accessible to those homebuyers with significant equity available.
According to a report released by moneysupermarket, those looking for a house now expect to buy their first home at around 38 years old and only 5% of those planning on buying a house in the future actually have a deposit saved.
However, the number of products aimed at first time buyers has risen by almost 200 which still offers some hope for those wanting to purchase their first property. The average loan to value (LTV) for first time buyer products is around 77% which means that first time buyers still need that all important deposit. Whilst house prices may have dropped, the cost of living has continued to rise, and less people have the spare funds to commit to saving for a deposit.
For those with a deposit of 10% the market is still limited when it comes to mortgage products and any products have rates that are significantly higher than the most competitive mortgage rates. This makes the monthly payments for first time buyers much higher than those with larger deposits.
The latest figures from the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) say the UK buy-to-let market grew by 7% in value terms to £10.4 billion. The total number of buy to let mortgage loans grew 10% to 102,000.
Interestingly the number of defaulted loans in the buy to let sector is now on a par with owner occupied mortgages in percentage terms where this had previously been running a a higher rate. This is though to have been balanced by low interest rates which have a much more powerful impact on the buy to let sector due to the prevalance of interest only mortgages.
The CML have stated in a press release that they expect ‘strong rental demand to remain, driven not least by the continuing deposit constraints to entry to the owner-occupier market’.
The Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) today commented on on the Treasury’s announcement of a package of measures to enhance consumer protection in the mortgage market.
CML director general Michael Coogan said:
“With yet more mortgage activities to become regulated, as well as the Mortgage Market Review to finalise, it is more important than ever to focus on the key outcomes that regulation needs to deliver…’