Monthly Archives: July 2014

Britain’s biggest building society turns screws on mortgages

images[10]Britain’s biggest building society Nationwide has tightened up on its lending criteria – with a clampdown on loan to income multiples that appears to go considerably further than Bank of England guidelines.

It has also tightened its stress testing, as warnings mount on impending rises in interest rates.

As of yesterday, it capped all of its new lending to 4.75 times income. It had previously applied caps on individual cases but the new ceiling is to be applied across the board.

The Bank of England has said that only 15% of all new lending should be at 4.5 times income or higher from October, suggesting that most new loans should be at no more than 3.5 times annual income.

However, Nationwide’s new limit suggests that it is being far more cautious.

The move follows limits placed by RBS and Lloyds, which have imposed 4 times income on loans where the property is worth £500,000 or more.

The mutual has also, as of yesterday, raised its stress test, meaning that new borrowers will have to prove they can repay mortgages if interest rates go to 6.99%.

A spokesperson said: ”Nationwide is increasing its stress rate as a result of the recommendations made by the Financial Policy Committee and our approach to affordability is subject to continual review.

“We have previously operated an income multiple cap. This is one element of its affordability calculation.

”Previously the cap has varied depending on the circumstances of the individual application but we are now applying the new criteria to all forms of residential lending.”

Written by: Rosalind Renshaw | July 23, 2014|Property Industry Eye

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The importance of kerb appeal

imagesCAT4EVBJFrom the moment they arrive at a property, a potential buyer is asking themselves, ‘Could I live here?’ When it comes to buying a house, judging a book by its cover is a phrase that all sellers should be mindful of. Don’t lose the sale before the viewing has even begun!

In a recent survey by estate agent network, Relocation Agent Network, 98% of respondents (including us), recommend that sellers ensure outside areas are well presented. From painting the front door to mowing the lawn or planting flowers, according to the majority* of survey respondents, over 60% of sellers do ensure a property’s outside areas are well presented before entering the market. After all, why put your property at a disadvantage for the sake of a cracked gnome or broken fence?

But what’s the most important jobs to complete before selling your property? Network respondents rated the following in order of importance…**

1. Mowing the lawn. Sounds obvious, but a 10-minute job like mowing the lawn can really improve your property’s kerb appeal.
2. Painting the front door. It’s the first thing a buyer will look at, so make sure your door is looking its best.
3. Cleaning windows. It not only improves the property exterior, but also ensures clear views from the inside.
4. Painting the shed. A tired shed at the bottom of the garden is easily improved with a lick of paint.
5. Planting flowers. Flowers can really lift the outside appearance, for small gardens, consider window boxes.

Thinking of selling in 2014?
As a selected member of Relocation Agent Network, we’ve already proven that our customer service is deemed to be the best in Wellingborough & Irthlingborough (in the Network’s opinion). But if that isn’t enough, through our membership, we can offer sellers a completely unique channel of buyer that no other estate agent in either Wellingborough or Irthlingborough can provide. Visit www.relocation-agent-network.co.uk/how-we-can-help-you.aspx to find out more.

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