It has been an astonishing year in mortgage, advice and housing market news – with the Chancellor making life hard for buy-to-let investors, lenders preparing for the Mortgage Credit Directive (MCD), and the Bank of England’s failure to raise rates to just name a few.
In case you missed the stories with the most website hits, we’ve compiled a list of Mortgage Solutions’ 20 most popular stories in the last 12 months.
Let the countdown begin…
20. Wealthy landlords flock to Barclays after buy-to-let shake up
Wealthy property investors took advantage of Barclays’ changes to its buy-to-let criteria, allowing borrowers to use disposable income to bolster the rent calculation.
19. Ex-BDM delivers harsh market realities – Star Letter
One of the most read Star Letters included a comment from an ex-BDM on the relationship between the BDM and the underwriter.
18. Pros and cons of using limited companies for buy-to-let – Marketwatch
Mortgage Solutions’ panel of experts gave their views on the pros and cons of using limited companies for buy-to-let to ease the burden of income tax.
17. Self-employed evidence must be bolstered – Santander
Graham Sellar, head of business development for mortgages at Santander, explained why more lenders require all self-employed mortgage applicants provide SA302s as evidence of income to also provide a tax year overview.
16. Mayor of London announces two first-time buyer schemes
The Greater London Authority announced its intention to fund two new schemes targeted to help Londoners into affordable home ownership and accelerate the delivery of new properties.
15. Rozario fires back at Which? in defence of equity release
Andrea Rozario, chief corporate officer at Bower Retirement Services, commented on Which?’s comparison of equity release products to what they considered as alternatives.
14. Kensington buyers Blackstone and TSSP agree Acenden acquisition
The private equity firms behind the Kensington buyout agreed to purchase Acenden Mortgage Servicing Solutions from the administrators of Lehman Brothers.
13. Lenders prepare ‘attack’ on broker market share
Lenders are preparing a salvo on intermediary market share through developments in technology, expected to hit the market in 2017.
12. Nationwide to launch lowest 10-year fixed rate on market
Nationwide introduced the market’s lowest 10-year fixed rate mortgage available at up to 60% LTV at 2.84% for existing customers and 2.94% for new customers.
11. Openwork axes 10 lenders from mortgage panel re-tender
Openwork refreshed its mortgage panel for the year cutting 10 lenders.
10. The impact of a Bank Base Rate cut on mortgage pricing – Marketwatch
As inflation hit 0.3%, the Bank of England’s Mark Carney mooted the suggestion of a cut to the 0.5% Bank Base Rate.
9. 8 things brokers need to know about TSB’s mortgage range
TSB unveiled a widely-anticipated service and product range for brokers, and Mortgage Solutions complied the key information intermediaries needed to know about the service.
8. Natwest to re-enter interest only market
This exclusive story revealed Natwest was to re-launch a range of interest only mortgages after scrapping the products in 2012.
7. Mortgage broker sentenced after evading £115,000 in tax
A London broker was handed a two-year suspended prison sentence and ordered to carry out 240 hours of community service for evading almost £115,000 in corporation tax. He used the money to fund a property in Dubai, overpay on his mortgage and buy land as an investment.
6. Enjoy the winners’ photos from the 2015 British Mortgage Awards
The photos from this year’s British Mortgage Awards, held at the Westminster Park Plaza, proved popular.
5. Nationwide issues broker warning over consumer buy-to-let
Nationwide warned brokers to apply for the correct permissions to carry out consumer buy-to-let business or it will refuse to deal with them after the Mortgage Credit Directive deadline on 21 March.
4. Court reverses Northern Rock Together mortgage compensation decision
The Court of Appeal reversed a decision that would have led to compensation being paid to 41,000 Together mortgage borrowers with the former bank Northern Rock, which could have totalled £258m in refunded interest.
3. HSBC cuts rates and strikes new broker deal
HSBC cut rates across its range and secured its second mortgage broker partnership with London & Country.
2. Barclays to drop Woolwich brand
This exclusive story explained how Barclays would scrap the Woolwich brand from its intermediary mortgage lending business and planned a rebrand to Barclays Mortgages.
1. Help to Buy: ISA will leave first-time buyers short
Despite being offered help through the Help to Buy: ISA, first-time buyers will still be left with £14,000 less than the average deposit of £29,218.