Posts filed under ‘Finance’
Important Update: 29/09/2013
The second phase of the Help to Buy scheme is now being launched three months earlier than originally planned. For the most recent Help to Buy information please click here and see our most recent articles.
Applications for loans from the help to buy scheme’s second phase will now be brought forward to the week beginning 7 October but the loans will not be paid out until 1 January 2014.
Original article below:
Borrowers are enjoying the benefits of the Government’s Help to Buy Scheme as registrations for new homes rise 25 per cent in a year.
The scheme was introduced earlier this year and aims to help those with a small deposit buy a new home.
Latest figures show registrations for new homes climbed to almost 91,000 during the first eight months of this year, up from less than 73,000 during the same period a year earlier.
In particular, the three months from June this year – just two months after the scheme was introduced – saw a sharp increase compared to the previous year, up 15 per cent, according to insurers NHBC.
Richard Tamayo, NHBC’s commercial director, said: “Our latest statistics continue the pattern we have seen over the course of the year, with new home registration figures showing a noticeable improvement on recent years but still considerably down on pre-economic downturn figures.
“These figures are the highest for this period since 2007 which is obviously encouraging news, but illustrates the significant difference in the number of new homes being built six years ago and now.”
It follows the Government announcing measures to potentially rein in Help to Buy.
The scheme provides buyers with a low cost loan of up to 20 per cent of the purchase price on houses worth up to £600,000.
The Bank of England will be able to modify parts of the scheme to keep it in check. It will be allowed to review the scheme and could reduce the £600,000 cap, so fewer homes are affected.
Jeremy Blackburn, head of policy at the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, said: “The range of measures announced under the ‘Help to Buy’ scheme to kick start the housing market were much needed. However, RICS have cautioned that Phase 2 in particular, extending the scheme in January 2014 to include lending on second hand homes, could increase risk of a ‘bubble’ particularly in London and parts of the South East.
“Ultimately though, housing supply is crucial to a healthy market. We need a plan as to how government and industry are going to close the housing deficit – through boosting housing supply in all tenures – whether owner occupied, market rent, affordable rent, shared ownership schemes and of course a genuine institutional private rented sector.”
Location: Abingdon, Oxford
Some say it’s a property market with no foundations built on shifting sands but despite often having no running water and cramped living conditions, Britain’s beach huts are rapidly reaching castle-like prices.
Last month an 18ft wooden hut overlooking the Solent on Mudeford beach near Christchurch – the Knightsbridge of the beach hut world – fetched £170,000 after going on the market for two days. And this week an 11ft former fisherman’s hut with views of Lyme Bay and Chesil beach in Dorset (and the Olympic sailing area) was put up for sale at £75,000 through eBay.
But not all such beach retreats are so expensive. So here’s some of the more alluring but affordable if you have a yen for hitting the huts. All these properties, like almost all beach retreats in the UK, are available on year-long leases negotiated (usually) annually and not available for overnight use.
1. Price: £69,000.
Where: Wells-Next-The-Sea, Norfolk
What: Recently rebuilt beach hut (2010) at the end of Holkham beach where dogs are allowed.
2. Price: £60,000
Where: Wells-Next-The-Sea, Norfolk
What: Hut on a raised platform close to the beach car park west of the local Lifeboat Station.
3. Price: £57,500
Where: Wells-Next-The –Sea, Norfolk
What: Partly-refurbished cabin on the popular and dog-free Holkham end of Wells-Next-The-Sea beach.
4. Price: £33,500
Where: Portland Bill, Portland off Weymouth
What: Medium size hut that’s shabby chic on the outside, Cath Kidston inside.
5. Price: £25,000
Where: Old Hunstanton, West Norfolk
What: Cute, single room hut overlooking gorgeous sand dunes rebuilt in 2008.
6. Price: £22,500
Where: Tankerton, Whitstable, Kent
What: Large seafront raised hut 15 minutes by foot from central Whitstable along the town’s esplanade.
7. Price: £20,000
Where: Alum Chine, Bournemouth, Dorset
What: Extremely pretty 2010 built beach hut on a hillside overlooking a sandy beach in front of the shops and other amenities of a small village.
8. Price: £22,000
Where: Church Ope Cove, Portland, Dorset
What: Hut clinging to a hillside overlooking a rugged bay on the east coast of Portland isle.
9. Price: £17,500
Where: Whits End, Tankerton, Kent
What: Attractive powder blue furnished beach hut to the east of Whitstable a short walk from Chestfield & Swalecliffe railway station.
10. Price: £13,950
Where: Ferring Beach, West Sussex
What: Front row beach hut on the fashionable western side of Worthing on Ferring Beach, famous for its long-established foodie haven the Bluebird Cafe.
Before contemplating buying a property, it is vital to do as much research as you can. Try and gather as much information as possible on the locations(s) you’re thinking about buying in by reviewing recent sold prices, exploring current home value trends and use our AskMe! Q property community where you can get advice from locals and professionals who will know the area well.
Gathering all this information will help make the decision as to whether a long-term financial commitment of home-ownership is for you. In addition to the location element of buying a property, there are also a number of financial points that need to be taken into account. Here they are:
1. Credit history – before starting the buying process, look into your credit history to find out if all the facts are correct and if there are any problems which may reduce a lender’s willingness to offer you a mortgage or reduce the amount you can borrow.
2. Affordability – use a mortgage calculator to get an initial idea of what amount you may be able to borrow. Get advice from mortgage brokers or lenders in order to get an idea of exactly how much you may have to spend on a property. The next step would be to secure a mortgage approval in principle.
3. Deposit – the typical deposit requirement for first time buyers is currently 24% according to the Council of Mortgage Lenders (26% for all home buyers), which means a new buyer must currently find almost £34,000 on average as a down payment. Whether purchasing with financial assistance from family or not, this is a huge sum and will require serious consideration as to how it can be raised, perhaps using a monthly saving plan.
4. Choosing a mortgage – always give careful consideration and get advice when choosing a mortgage product. For instance, a fixed rate deal may be the best option for homeowners who want greater certainty in their monthly outgoings. Also, calculate how changing interest rates would affect your mortgage payments – the base rate is currently at a record low of 0.5%, but a change of even 1% may make a significant difference to your monthly payments.
5. Research, research, research – it pays to do extensive research on the property market in the area you are looking to buy before making an offer. Using the tools on Zoopla.co.uk such as the free, instant value estimates for any UK home, market value data, local information and community tools such as AskMe Q, can really help when you’re house-hunting.
6. Stamp duty – stamp duty rates vary from 0% for properties under £125,000, 1% for properties priced between £125,000 and £250,000, 3% for £250,000-£500,000 properties, 4% for properties over £500,000 and, from April 2011, 5% on properties priced at £1m or more. Currently, first time buyers are exempt from stamp duty on properties bought for less than £250,000.
7. Legal and estate agent fees – estate agents fees differ, but typically they vary between 1% to 3% of the purchase price. Expect solicitors’ fees to be around £500 to £1,000, with around £200 in search fees on top of this.
8. Moving costs – you may encounter costs when moving, such as removal company fees, van hire or storage costs, so make sure you factor those in to your budget.
9. Utility / insurance costs – Once you have moved into your new home, don’t forget the other costs you are likely to face – such as home and contents insurance; council tax; utility bills and potential ground rent / service charges.
10. Cosmetic / furnishing costs – depending on the condition of the property, there may also be the cost of redecorating, as well as buying furniture and appliances for instance.