We hope you have all had a good week and are looking forward to the weekend, I know we are. This week has been a very busy one and flown by.
It’s not long now until Boris Johnson delivers his roadmap leading us out of Lockdown 3.0. Hopefully, we have a clear and positive outlook after his announcement. We will be tuning in to it next week for sure.
Now, let’s take a look at the headlines that caught our attention this week, I always try to summarise the links to save you having to click through.
Property news this week
- Landlords back call for funds to help tenants with arrears – Well something must be in the air at the moment as this is the second positive landlord article that we have had recently. This time, landlords are backing a call by the Resolution Foundation think tank for tenant hardship loans for renters impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. I think this is a very good idea as banning repossessions is not fixing the problem, it is just temporarily plugging a hole. It is a problem that is effecting both landlords and renters. Landlords are not going to receive rent and potentially land themselves in financial difficulty and some tenants are going to end up without a roof over their head and bad credit scores. Resolution Foundation is calling for an urgent financial package to pay off arrears since lockdown measures started last year. Fingers crossed, this can get some traction to help the tenants in need.
- New lender EPC requirements could create ‘new cohort of mortgage prisoners’, IMLA warns – Sometimes, just sometimes, the government have ideas that make you think, do they have any idea what they are doing? A new government consultation has proposed that lenders should annually disclose the average EPC rating of all properties they lend against. The Government hopes that the measures could allow comparisons to be made between lenders and provide a picture of how energy performance could influence lending decisions. Without going into too much detail, in short, I don’t believe this will have the desired effect they are hoping for and would cause more issues than good. The Intermediary Mortgage Lenders Association (IMLA) say the proposals risk creating a “time-wasting paperchase” that will not achieve the desired results and could create a new cohort of mortgage prisoners trapped in less efficient homes. In its response to BEIS, IMLA said it was concerned that the compilation of an energy efficiency “league table” could cause lenders to base their lending decisions on a property’s energy efficiency, rather than on a borrower’s needs. Let’s hope the government sees sense in that idea and put it back in their box of ‘bad ideas’.
- This year the property market will once again confound the doubters – This article is a piece from Russell Quirk who is a quite well-known figure in the property industry and here he gives his opinion on what the property market may do this year. Last year, he was one of very few that said the housing market would not go down when the pandemic really took off in the UK (for the record, I also said the same). This year, he is backing the housing market again and he thinks that “Prices will continue to rise during February and March. The stamp duty holiday will ensure this and, if Rishi does indeed extend the relief by six weeks this will further sure-up values for longer. But when, ultimately, the tax is fully reinstated there will be a stumble in price growth and in transactions – quite obviously. But this will be very short-lived”. His reasons as to why a slight dip will be short-lived are very similar to what Nick and I have been saying. It is an interesting article so I recommend giving it a read and making your own conclusion and prediction. We love having these discussions so always feel free to reach out to us and let us know what you think.
- TSB and Vida slash buy-to-let rates – It is often a positive sign when lenders begin to start reducing their rates and becoming more competitive as it can give an indication that they are confident in the market. TSB have made multiple changes and reductions, for example, the two-year fixes in its 60% and 75% loan to value (LTV) tiers have been cut by 30bps. Vida has also reduced its Vida 1 range of buy-to-let products by up to 50bps with two-year fixes now at 2.99% for 70% LTV. This highlights confidence coming back to the market from lenders along with the fact that if you are due a remortgage or buying with a mortgage, it is a good time to shop around for good rates and offers.
That is all we have for you this week. If you have any comments or questions on this week’s news summary then please feel free to send us an email at [email protected] – if not, see you next week.