Friday, 24 August 2012

Bank Holiday Closure

We shall be closed on Monday, 27 August 2012 for the Summer Bank Holiday.

We shall be open again for business on Tuesday, 28 August 2012 as normal.

Sorry for the inconvenience.

The ABC Team.

Thursday, 9 August 2012

TESCO ENTERS THE MORTGAGE MARKET


A new and unexpected player has entered the mortgage market, as supermarket group Tesco announced recently that they would be offering mortgages via Tesco Bank.

Customers taking advantage of the deals on offer will have to put up at least a 20% deposit, but Tesco Clubcard holders are given the opportunity to earn loyalty card points as they make their monthly repayments.

 ‘Its opening rates would have been competitive a month ago,’ commented Ray Boulger of John Charcol mortgage brokers, who seemed unenthusiastic about the 3.19% to 5.09% interest rates on offer. By comparison, a number of lenders have begun offering less than 3% interest on their fixed-rate, long-term mortgages. 

Boulger went on to say that ‘Any hopes that the entry of Tesco would provide a significant increase in competition have been dashed, at least initially, by its opening rates, which seem designed more to avoid getting too much business than to ruffle the feathers of existing lenders.’

Andrew Montlake, of mortgage brokers Coreco, was more positive, noting that ‘The products themselves are priced sensibly, with the opportunity to repay 20% of the loan amount off each year without penalty a nice extra.’


Tuesday, 7 August 2012

WILL RENTING BECOME A ‘WAY OF LIFE’ FOR BRITISH FAMILIES?



A study from Cambridge University predicts that current economic stagnation will have long-term repercussions for the potential homeowners of the future.

If the economy remains flat, a mere 27% will be in ‘mortgaged home ownership’ by 2025. The figure is presently 35%, a substantial drop from the 43% seen in 1993-94. 

As a result, millions of young families throughout the UK are entering a market where renting is their only option. Falling wages and banks’ unwillingness to lend are impacting on families with children who have little or no money left at the end of each month to save for a deposit. 

This has meant that the number of families renting over the past five years has rocketed by 86%.

Based on the report, the outlook for the next ten years will see the trend towards renting and away from ownership continuing. 

Campbell Robb, chief executive of Shelter, the housing and homeless charity who co-commissioned the report, said that these findings highlight ‘what is fast becoming the new realities of our housing market in the current economic climate: home ownership continuing to fall while renting becomes a way of life for British families.

PROPERTY PRICES ‘FLUCTUATE’ THROUGHOUT 2012


Fluctuations in the property market are continuing throughout the middle of 2012.

Whereas May and June experienced an increase, house prices fell by 0.6% in July, according to the most recent Halifax House Price Index. This year has so far seen four monthly increases and three monthly drops, adding up to a flat and stagnant market.

‘Prices continue to fluctuate on a monthly basis’, said Martin Ellis, Halifax Housing Economist.
The outlook for the rest of the year remains uncertain at best, warned Halifax, citing reluctant sellers and cautious buyers as the potential cause of further stagnation.

‘Looking forward,’ said Ellis, ‘we expect little change in prices over the remainder of 2012 so long as the economic climate in the UK does not worsen substantially.’

Due to the high cost of moving house, many homeowners are staying where they are until they see concrete signs of economic improvement. 

The Chief UK and European Economist at IHS Global Insight, Howard Archer, commented on the Halifax’s findings, stating that ‘Limited activity, low and fragile consumer confidence, muted earnings  growth and relatively high unemployment’ mean that a drop in prices of at least 3% from current levels is expected over the rest of the year.

Halifax Data Shows UK Property Market Stagnant - myfinances.co.uk