By Keval Nagaria on Monday, September 6th, 2021

According to the Nationwide annual house price growth increased to 11% in August, from 10.5% in July. Prices rose 2.1% in month-on-month terms, after taking account of seasonal effects. House prices are now around 13% higher than when the pandemic began.

According to the Lender, the bounce back in August is surprising because it seemed more likely that the tapering of stamp duty relief in England at the end of June would take some of the heat out of the market. Moreover, the monthly price increase was substantial – at 2.1%, it was the second largest monthly gain in 15 years (after the 2.3% monthly rise recorded in April this year).

The strength may reflect strong demand from those buying a property priced between £125,000 and £250,000 who are looking to take advantage of the stamp duty relief in place until the end of September, though the maximum savings are substantially lower (£2,500 compared to a maximum saving of £15,000 on a property valued at £500,000 before the stamp duty relief in England tapered).

Lack of supply is also likely to be a key factor behind August’s price increase, with estate agents reporting low numbers of properties on their books. The Nationwide concluded by stating that underlying demand is likely to remain solid in the near term.

Consumer confidence has rebounded in recent months while borrowing costs remain low. This, combined with the lack of supply on the market, suggests continued support for house prices.


By Keval Nagaria on Tuesday, August 31st, 2021

According to Zoopla, Liverpool continues to lead the way for price growth among the UK’s largest cities, with average home values rising by 9.4%. This has led to an average price uplift of £11,731, taking the average local house price to £136,721. There has also been strong price growth in Manchester and Belfast, at 7.7% and 7.5% respectively. 

London is still trailing in terms of growth, with an annual 2.5% rise, although this marks a rise from 1.9% growth in March this year.

To read the report, go to: https://advantage.zpg.co.uk/house-price-index-report/?member=true


By Keval Nagaria on Friday, July 16th, 2021

Previously, a surviving parent could only claim the financial support if they had been married or in a civil partnership at the time of their spouse or civil partner’s death. Under these plans, Widowed Parent’s Allowance and Bereavement Support Payments will be extended to surviving cohabiting partners with children who were living with their partner at the time of death.

It’s estimated that more than 22,000 families will now be able to claim this vital help, totalling an additional £320 million in support for bereaved children over the next five years. Once approved by Parliament, the changes will apply retrospectively from 30 August 2018, with any backdated payments being made as lump sums.


By Keval Nagaria on Friday, June 18th, 2021

This week the world has been celebrating Men’s Health Week. This is a time to bring awareness to health issues that affect men disproportionately and focuses on getting men to become aware of problems they may have or could develop, and gain the courage to do something about it. 

Last year the focus was on Diabetes in men. This is a disease that becomes present in men much more than women, and can develop complications in male bodies at a higher rate than in females. This means men are more likely to have to have amputations and in the worst cases, die in higher numbers than women. While much work has been done in the diagnosis and fight against Diabetes, awareness is the most important thing. The more people are aware of it, the more likely they are to make healthy changes and stop or delay the onset of diabetes. 

Each year Men’s Health Week becomes bigger and more well-known, so if you’re a man that wants to do more, or a woman that wants to inform a man you love about it, then get spreading the word! The more well-known the week becomes, the more men will feel like it’s OK to talk about their health issues and not just push them to the side and ignore health problems away!


By Keval Nagaria on Friday, June 11th, 2021

According to the Halifax, house prices reached another record high in May, with the average property adding more than £3,000 (+1.3%) to its value in the last month alone. A year on from the first easing of national lockdown restrictions, and the gradual reopening of the housing market, annual growth increased to 9.5%, meaning the average UK home has increased in value by more than £22,000 over the past 12 months. The Halifax have suggested that as we head into the traditionally busy summer period, market activity continues to be boosted by the government’s stamp duty holiday, with prospective buyers racing to complete purchases in time to benefit from the maximum tax break ahead of June’s deadline, after which there will be a phased return to full rates. For some homebuyers, lockdown restrictions have also resulted in an unexpected build-up of savings, which can now be deployed to fund bigger deposits for bigger properties, potentially pushing property prices even higher. It appears that there is a greater demand for larger properties with more space which might in turn warrant an increased willingness to spend a higher proportion of income on housing. These trends, coupled with growing confidence in a more rapid recovery in economic activity if restrictions continue to be eased, are likely to support house prices for some time to come, particularly given the continued shortage of properties for sale.


By Keval Nagaria on Tuesday, June 1st, 2021

On the 2nd June NatWest Intermediary Solutions are launching their new Mortgage Guarantee Scheme products for Intermediaries. The new scheme allows first time buyers and those wanting to move home a chance to do so, using just a 5% deposit. The new Mortgage Guarantee scheme will offer both 2 and 5 year fixed rates at 95% LTV. The maximum purchase price of the properties will be £600,000 and cannot be repaid on an Interest only basis. 

For the mortgage to be eligible for the new scheme, it will need to be a residential mortgage, not a second home and not buy-to-let, not be a new build property – which is any property built, first occupied in its current state, or significantly modernised, refurbished or altered within the last 2 years or be taken out by an individual or individuals rather than an incorporated company. The customers will also need to pass NatWest standard risk assessments e.g. affordability and credit checks.


By admin on Wednesday, June 26th, 2019

New figures released by the Association of British Insurers (ABI) and Group Risk Development (GRiD) show that the insurance industry paid out more than £5.3 billion in protection claims in 2018 – a £200 million increase year-on-year.

The numbers also revealed that the number of claims paid surpassed 200,000 for the first time ever and nearly every claim made was paid (97.6%). The average life insurance pay-outs reached £81,000, the highest average on record and more than 35,000 families/beneficiaries were supported following an unexpected bereavement, to the tune of £.29 billion. Pay-outs now equal £14.5 million paid every single day.

The ABI recently launched a calculator to help consumers better understand their financial exposure to income shocks caused by being left unable to work after falling ill or injured.

Percy The Protection Calculator can be found on the ABI’s website at: www.abi.org.uk/percy


By admin on Wednesday, June 26th, 2019

The Nationwide Building Society has published its latest review of the housing market which suggests that UK house price growth has remained subdued in April, with prices just 0.9% higher than the same month last year. Indicators of housing market activity, such as the number of property transactions and the number of mortgages approved for house purchase, have remained broadly stable in recent months, even though survey data suggests that sentiment has softened.

The Lender suggested that measures of consumer confidence had weakened around the turn of the year with surveyors reporting that new buyer enquiries have remained subdued. While the number of properties coming onto the market has also slowed, this doesn’t appear to have been enough to prevent a modest shift in the balance of supply and demand in favour of buyers in recent months. April marks the fifth month in a row in which annual house price growth has been below 1%. 

While the ongoing economic uncertainties have clearly been weighing on consumer sentiment, this hasn’t prevented further steady gains in the number of first time buyers entering the housing market in recent quarters. Indeed, the number of mortgages being taken out by first time buyers has continued to approach pre-financial crisis levels in recent months supported by the strength of labour market conditions, with both employment rising at a healthy rate, and earnings growth slowly gathering momentum.

While house prices remain high relative to average earnings, low mortgage rates have helped to support mortgage affordability. Indeed, raising a deposit appears to be the major barrier for prospective first time buyers, since the cost of servicing the typical mortgage remains in line with or below long-run averages as a share of take home pay in most regions of the UK.


By admin on Wednesday, June 5th, 2019

The Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) at its meeting ending on 1 May 2019, voted unanimously to maintain Bank Rate at 0.75%.

The Committee’s updated projections for activity and inflation were conditioned on a path for Bank Rate that rises to around 1% by the end of the forecast period, lower than in the February Report. As with UK financial conditions more generally, the path has been heavily influenced by recent global developments, with forward interest rates in the United States and the euro area falling markedly.  The MPC also noted previously that UK data could be unusually volatile in the near term, due to shifting expectations about Brexit in financial markets and among households and businesses.

It was highlighted in the report that ongoing Brexit uncertainties were having a particularly pronounced impact on business investment, which has been falling for a year. The MPC judges that there is currently a small margin of excess supply in the economy.

CPI inflation was 1.9% in March and is expected to be slightly further below the MPC’s 2% target during the first half of the forecast period, largely reflecting lower expected retail energy prices. The labour market remains tight, with the unemployment rate projected to decline to 3½% by the end of the forecast period. Annual pay growth has remained around 3½% and unit labour cost growth has strengthened to rates that are above historical averages.

The economic outlook will continue to depend significantly on the nature and timing of EU withdrawal, in particular: the new trading arrangements between the European Union and the United Kingdom; whether the transition to them is abrupt or smooth; and how households, businesses and financial markets respond. The monetary policy response to Brexit, whatever form it takes, will not be automatic and could be in either direction.


By admin on Sunday, May 26th, 2019

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has launched a call for input asking for feedback on its proposed approach to reviewing the Retail Distribution Review (RDR) which examined investment advice and the Financial Advice Market Review (FAMR).

The FCA’s review will consider whether these initiatives have been successful in achieving their objectives. The review will look at what consumers want from the market and how the market works to deliver this. It will also consider how new market trends and developments might affect the future development of advice and guidance services.

The Regulator highlighted that millions of people look for help and support in making financial decisions every year, with the aim of the RDR and FAMR to help the market develop the right advice or guidance and service to help consumers make the right decisions. According to the FCA Consumers and the market are changing rapidly, as technology, employment patterns and inter-generational challenges change the way consumers interact with financial services. As well as looking at how the market has evolved since RDR and FAMR, the FCA believe its work needs to look ahead to see how they ensure that this important sector works well in the future. Their goal is for the market to deliver a range of good quality, affordable advice and guidance services that meet changing consumer needs.

The FCA is seeking initial feedback to the Call for Input by the 3 June 2019 and will collect further data through consumer research and surveying a sample of firms. It intends to publish its final report in 2020.


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KN Mortgage Management, KN Mortgages and knmortgages are trading styles of Keval Nagaria, who is an Appointed Representative of HL Partnership Limited, which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. A fee maybe payable. The guidance and/or information contained within this website is subject to the UK regulatory regime and is therefore targeted at consumers based in the UK.