Mortgage guarantee scheme helps more than 30,000 buy a home

Mortgage guarantee scheme helps more than 30,000 buy a home

The scheme launched in April 2021 and by 30 September 2022 had been used to support 30,398 mortgages, according to the Treasury.

First-time buyers made up 85 per cent of the purchases with the total value of loans supported by the scheme coming in at £5.6bn.

Buyers in the South East, North West and Scotland were most likely to have used the guarantee scheme, with those in London and Northern Ireland least likely.


Properties bought far below UK average price

The average property bought through the scheme was worth £194,300 – significantly less than the national average of £294,559.

The scheme is not available for buy-to-let mortgages or second homes and the property value must be £600,000 or less.

The government launched the scheme to help support borrowers with smaller deposits in the aftermath of the Covid crisis.

It is designed to encourage lenders to provider high loan to value mortgages of up to 95 per cent by guaranteeing a portion of the risk.

However, experts said the numbers show the initiative appears to have had a slow take up.


Closure at end of 2023

The scheme was initially due to finish at the end of last year but has now been extended until the end of 2023.

Karen Noye, mortgage expert at Quilter, said: “The 95 per cent mortgage guarantee scheme still remains a relatively unpopular scheme given this economic backdrop.

“Since the scheme’s launch in September 2022 only just over 30,000 mortgages have completed using the scheme.

“Some of the reasons for this include that some lenders have been reluctant to participate in the scheme, leading to limited options for potential borrowers.

“As such, borrowers have opted for 95 per cent deals outside of the scheme that might offer more competitive prices.

“95 per cent mortgages are also very expensive so many people may try and hold out until they can afford a slightly larger deposit.

“However, with inflation causing significant strain on finances for those desperate to get on the housing ladder these types of schemes may end up gaining momentum in the next year.”

Hampshire Trust cuts rates and launches two-year fixes

Hampshire Trust cuts rates and launches two-year fixes

Rates on five-year landlord mortgages have fallen by to 130 basis points to start from 5.99 per cent.

And the new two-year fixed rates start from 5.69 per cent.

At the same time, the bank has simplified loan size bandings into three levels: £100k – £1m; £1m – £5m and, £5m and above.

The recently launched ‘ERC Plus’ and ‘ERC Lite’ options have also been extended across both the two-year and five-year fixed rate specialist buy-to-let, HMO and MUFB and semi-commercial ranges.

HTB provides professional investors with specialist residential loans up to £25m for limited companies, offshore entities, expats and foreign nationals, as well as mixed use portfolios and semi-commercial properties.


HTB: ‘Highlighting our appetite for business from portfolio landlords’

Chris Daly (pictured), managing director, specialist mortgages at Hampshire Trust Bank, said: “These positive changes to our specialist investment loan proposition highlight our appetite for business from portfolio landlords and professional investors, with our £1m-£5m band being particularly competitively priced.

“These reductions put our fixed rates firmly in a sweet spot for investors, and with our service back at SLA levels, we are ready to manage demand for these attractively priced products.

“As illustrated with our recent ERC product launches, we do not believe high fees/lower rate products meet the needs of landlords; rather, we think it is prudent to offer options for brokers to recommend the best product to meet their clients’ requirements for leverage and affordability, as demonstrated with today’s changes.”

Newcastle Intermediaries enhances large loan mortgage range

Newcastle Intermediaries enhances large loan mortgage range

The lender said property price growth in recent years had resulted in more higher loan sizes.

Newcastle now offers a two-year discounted rate at 4.29 per cent up to 65 per cent LTV for loans of between £1.5m and £2m.

And a five-year fixed rate at 5.30 per cent is available at a maximum LTV of 80 per cent for loans between £1m and £1.5m.

The deals come with a fee of £1,499 while income multiples up to 5.5 and interest only are available.

Franco Di Pietro (pictured), head of intermediary mortgages, said: “These discounted rates across our large loans range reflect our ambition to constantly strive to make our product range more attractive to brokers and their clients, while our flexible approach to lending and overall proposition offers higher earning borrowers a compelling option.”

Together cuts rate on first charge and bridging deals

Together cuts rate on first charge and bridging deals


The specialist lender is cutting rates on its fixed first charge mortgage range by up to 25bps and its monthly regulated bridging rates by 14bps.

First charge two-year fixed products now start from 8.20 per cent, and five year fixes from 7.95 per cent.

Regulated bridging loan rates start from 0.85 per cent a month.

Ryan Etchells, director of product and distribution at Together said: “We’re pleased to be able to reduce our rates across our mortgage and regulated bridging ranges, to meet the needs of customers who have likely been underserved by mainstream lenders.

“In addition to offering fair value and better customer outcomes, we want to offer our broker partners a more competitive product range. These changes are also designed to demonstrate our commitment to remaining a leading lender in the regulated bridging market.

“At Together, we always apply our common-sense approach and flexibility to lending, taking into account our customer’s individual circumstances, and providing the right finance to realise their ambitions.”

Virgin Money launches sub-four per cent mortgages

Virgin Money launches sub-four per cent mortgages

The lender is now offering a 95 per cent loan to value (LTV) five-year fix fee-saver at 5.09 per cent, as well as a 10-year equivalent at 5.59 per cent.

At the same time, Virgin has cut fixed rates between 65 and 85 per cent LTV by up to 0.19 per cent on its core range.

Exclusive rates between 75 and 90 per cent LTV on five-year fixes with £995 fee have been cut by up to 0.12 per cent to start from 4.22 per cent.

And exclusive purchase five-year deals with a £1,495 fee have been reduced by up to 0.18 per cent with rates now starting from 3.99 per cent.

Exclusive remortgages deals with cashback have also seen rate reductions, as well as product transfers.

Richard Walker, head of intermediary sales at Virgin Money (pictured), said: “Many borrowers, including first time buyers, are looking for a longer term product which guarantees a fixed rate and a consistent payment for the term of the product.

“These new five and 10- year fixed rates at 95 per cent LTV offer exactly that, and mean more aspiring home owners can get their foot on the housing ladder and get the keys to their first property.

“We’ve also refreshed our range of intermediary exclusives, including competitive five-year fixed rates starting from 3.95 per cent, as we continue to support many types of customers with their mortgage needs.”

Loughborough Building Society joins Advise Wise panel

Loughborough Building Society joins Advise Wise panel

The lender is one of four currently on the later life lending panel.

Advise Wise is a platform to source equity release plans alongside an integrated Mortgage Club.

Loughborough has no maximum age limit on its mortgage products and allows terms of up to 35 years.

Mortgages can be interest only, repayment or part and part, with applicants able to use the sale of their property as a repayment strategy.


Borrowing past retirement age more ‘commonplace’

Ashley Pearson, national business development manager at The Loughborough said: “Advise Wise is a lending in retirement specialist and being one of a limited number of lenders on its panel is testament to how we approach and support this increasingly vital sector of the mortgage market.

“There are a host of reasons why someone in or approaching retirement would choose to take out a mortgage and it’s important that advisers have access to a range of options from lenders who have the ability to assess each application on its individual merits.

“For many people, retirement is a process and does not always mean stopping work completely. This means that borrowing past what is traditionally deemed ‘retirement age’ is not only becoming more acceptable, but also more commonplace”.

Craig Faulkiner, head of distribution at Advise Wise, added: “Advise Wise is thrilled to partner with the Loughborough Building Society. This collaboration allows us to provide our members with even more options for later life lending, as well as access to the building society’s outstanding reputation for customer service and ethical lending practices.”

Rising energy bills drives demand for green mortgages – Legal & General

Rising energy bills drives demand for green mortgages – Legal & General

Green mortgages were among the most popular mortgage criteria searches in December 2022, according to Legal & General (L&G), as deals that consider the home’s energy performance certificate (ECP) climbed by more than a fifth.

Growing demand for eco-friendly homes was also reflected in separate research by L&G, which showed sustainable features are as important as the size of a property for home hunters.

December also saw a 30 per cent jump in searches for interest-only mortgages, as borrowers appeared to look for solutions to maximise their borrowing potential, according to L&G’s SmartrFit platform.

Joint borrower sole proprietor mortgages were also the second most searched criteria in December, as borrowers seek help from family and friends to buy.

The most criteria searches were for applicants with a visa, underlining the belief that UK housing is a safe haven in economic uncertainty.


Customer needs changing

Jodie White, head of mortgage products and transformation, Legal & General Technology, said: “2022 certainly wasn’t without its challenges, but it is encouraging to see that, as customers’ needs changed in response to the surging cost of living and rising energy bills, the UK’s mortgage market was able to meet this demand with clear advice and innovative products.

“Affordability has naturally come under pressure in recent months, but our data shows that advisers are stepping up to meet this challenge and helping their customers find alternative solutions. This responsiveness is a positive sign for the health of our mortgage market.

“Whether it’s navigating interest-only products, or exploring the plethora of green mortgages appearing on the market, advisers play a vital role in helping borrowers review their circumstances and establish which will be the most appropriate option as part of their advice.

“Taking on high volumes of complex work is difficult, but new technology is here to help deal with the administrative burden. As we start a new and busy year for the market, brokers can lean on the various digital tools at their disposal so they can focus on what they do best – giving high-quality advice.”

Property demand drops as buyers wait for house prices to fall – Zoopla

Property demand drops as buyers wait for house prices to fall – Zoopla

Demand in January has been in line with pre-pandemic levels but is down on more recent years, according to property site Zoopla.

At the same time, supply is picking up. The average estate agent has 23 properties for sale up from lows of 14 homes this time last year.

This gives buyers more choice and reduces pressure on prices and, as a result, sellers must make sure their home is competitively priced to secure a sale, Zoopla added.


Flat demand up, family homes down

First-time buyers have been more impacted by higher mortgage rates and have shifted towards flats, with demand up five per cent compared to a year ago.

In comparison, the share of demand for three-bedroom houses has fallen by the same amount, according to Zoopla’s data.

Outside London, the average two-bed flat listed for sale at £196,000, almost £100,000 cheaper than an average three-bed home.

The property site has predicted that buyers will remain cautious in the next few weeks before demand picks up after Easter when a clearer picture of the market emerges.

The economic outlook, the strength of the labour market and inflation will impact confidence, Zoopla added.


‘Demand to improve in coming weeks’

Richard Donnell, executive director at Zoopla, said: “The first few weeks of the year have got off to a stronger start than might have been expected given how market activity stalled at the end of 2022.

“There has been a clear shift towards flats as the early buyers focus on value for money and adjust expectations, given the hit to buying power from higher mortgage rates.

“A proportion of existing homeowners are holding back waiting to see if sizable price falls materialise and how far mortgage rates fall back before entering the market.

“We believe demand for homes has room to improve further in the coming weeks. Anyone serious about selling needs to be realistic on the asking price and needs to ensure this is in line with what buyers are prepared to pay.”


A buyers’ market emerging

Sarah Coles, senior personal finance analyst, Hargreaves Lansdown, added: “Wait-and-see buyers will force sellers to wake up, smell the coffee, and cut their prices. After the 50 per cent collapse in demand at the end of the year, it recovered a little in January. However, buyers are trimming their expectations, and turning their attention to flats.

“Sellers are more resistant. It’s going to take a few weeks of quiet desperation and a dearth of viewings before they’re prepared to accept reality, so Zoopla is expecting more price cuts for properties that are already on the market in the first three months of the year – and into the spring.”

HSBC cuts rates in first-time buyer, homemover and remortgage ranges

HSBC cuts rates in first-time buyer, homemover and remortgage ranges


The lender has also trimmed select remortgage and buy-to-let rates.

At the same time, the bank has raised its Standard Variable Rate (SVR) for both residential and buy to let.

The revert rate for residential deals is rising from 6.29 to 6.79 per cent and from 5.85 to 6.35 per cent for buy to let.

Rates for first-time buyers have fallen on the two-year fixed fee saver between 60 and 70 per cent loan to value (LTV) to start at 4.94 per cent.

Two and five-year fixed standard rates are down across LTVs up to 90 per cent, now starting from 4.34 per cent.

Five-year fixed fee saver rates up to 95 per cent LTV have also fallen.

Two-year tracker standard deals has also seen rates fall across LTVs up to 90 per cent, starting at 0.29 per cent plus the Bank of England base rate.

Homemover rates are down on two-year fixed deals with fees between 60 and 75 per cent LTV.

Costs have fallen across LTVs up to 90 per cent on the two and five-year fixed standard deals and up to 95 per cent LTV for its five-year fixed fee saver product.

Rates for two-year trackers 90 per cent LTV have also gone down.

The existing customers switching range has seen rates fall across LTVs up to 85 per cent LTV on two and five-year deals, and up to 90 per cent on three-year equivalents.

Cost have also reduced for existing customers borrowing more.

Remortgage deals have seen cuts across two and five-year fixed fee saver ranges, as well as the equivalent fixed standard products.

Select buy-to-let rates have been trimmed for existing customers switching and borrowing more. Select purchase and remortgage products have also been reduced.

The changes take effect from today.

LiveMore seals £250m funding facility from Citi

LiveMore seals £250m funding facility from Citi

The latest cash injection takes total funding raised by the later life specialist lender to nearly £600m since its inception.

LiveMore aims to use the new financing to increase loan originations and grow its portfolio.

This credit facility will support existing products, as well as the soon to be launched equity release.

Leon Diamond, chief executive of LiveMore (pictured), said: “We are thrilled to receive this credit facility from Citi, which will support our growth and expanded product offering, so we can continue to serve the often forgotten 50 to 90-plus segment of the market.

“As a result, we can help mobilise the industry around our mission to help 50 to 90-plus year-old customers have genuine control of their financial lives.

“LiveMore is on track to deliver over £1bn of mortgage lending to the 50 to 90-plus age demographic in the coming years.

“We have listened to the regulators and our customers, and with the support of this credit facility, we can continue to provide options for later life borrowers underserved by high street lenders.”