The dream of getting a foot on the property ladder – one of life’s most momentous occasions – is actually one of life’s most stressful events, according to research from Which? Mortgage Advisers.
The process of buying a house topped the stress list at 91 per cent above other major milestones, including having a child at 81 per cent, changing jobs at 87 per cent and retiring from work at 43 per cent.
In spite of Government initiatives such as Help to Buy helping first-time buyers onto the property ladder, many are unprepared for how long the house-buying process will take. Moving day at 87 per cent and finding the right house at 80 per cent were identified as two of the most demanding moments, closely followed by securing the right mortgage, with three-quarters of people saying it is stressful.
Consumer trust in the mortgage industry is low with just a quarter at 25 per cent of people with mortgages saying they trust the industry to act in their best interests. Over-complicated language and terminology is also a problem for consumers, with over half saying they found all the language and terminology used in the process of arranging a mortgage confusing.
Seven in 10 people with a mortgage want to see the process of arranging a mortgage simplified, which is how a dedicated mortgage adviser can help.
Mike Lawton, managing director of Which? Mortgage Advisers, said: “Buying a house should be a happy occasion, but many people say it’s more stressful than having a child or changing jobs.”
With interest rates rises looming, it is tempting to believe that the only sensible course of action is to fix your mortgage – and preferably for as long as possible. But this may not be the right option, mortgage experts warn.
A five year fix is attractive in terms of guarding against future interest rate rises, but their recent increase in cost means they are beginning to look expensive, according to some experts.
And with some analysts predicting that the Bank of England will not increase interest rates until later than expected, are variable rates now coming back into the frame?
Ray Boulger, of mortgage brokers John Charcol, exclusively told Zoopla that if the cost of five year fixes rises much further, a two year tracker or other variable rate would be preferable.
But the deals would require no early redemption fees in order to look competitive or a droplock option so that fixing is an option during the term of the initial deal.
“This would offer the best of both worlds in that the borrower starts off with a very cheap rate, but buys time to decide if and when to switch to a fix,” he said.
He recommends a two year tracker at Bank Rate, plus 1.29 per cent, from Santander. The mortgage is available to those looking to borrow up to 60 per cent of the value of a property.
It follows the first anniversary this week of the Bank of England keeping the Bank Rate at 0.5 per cent.
Give your car the home it deserves…
1. Perfect for space saving in London – a double garage for your multiple sports cars.
5 bed in London, £11M – Hamptons
2. How would you like to live in the previous home of a car legend…Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson grew up here!
4 bed in Doncaster, £595K – Jackson-Stops & Staff
3. This unique home comes with a spectacular two-storey 13, 000 sq ft contemporary vintage car museum – what more could you want?
7 bed in West Yorkshire , £4.5M – Beadnall & Copley
4. The sheer size of this church conversion allows ample space for showcasing car and motorbike collections.
4 bed in Uxbridge, POA – Chewton Rose
5. This central London home includes a garage large enough for not one but four limousines. However, it is also the most expensive property on the market in the UK.
21 bed in London, £90M – Messila Residential
7. A garage your car deserves…and no walking in the rain to get to the house.
4 bed in London, £19.8M – Charles McDowell
8. Something more appropriate for the countryside…we love this open-bay double car port in Tunbridge Wells.
5 bed in Kent, £2.75M – Knight Frank
9. Every car fan deserves a driveway with a view and this truly grand house also offers an underground garage to keep your beloved safe.
12 bed in Aberdeenshire, £2M – Savills
10. A true luxury for your car…it’s very own home in the highly sought after area of Kensington.
Garage in Kensington, £300,000 – Foxtons
Fears are growing that the credit crisis is about to happen all over again after it was revealed borrowers are able to overstretch themselves financially due to the Help to Buy scheme.
The Help to Buy scheme was introduced too quickly by the Government last year and has been allowing buyers to purchase a property with a deposit of less than 5 per cent, the public spending watchdog has revealed.
The National Audit Office said “buyers are purchasing homes with a deposit contribution of less than 5 per cent” and is now calling on the Government to take further action.
It suggested buyers with a deposit of less than 5 per cent were still slipping through the net.
And it claimed that that the mortgage plus the 20 per cent equity loan available under the scheme was allowing almost a third of buyers to borrow five or more times their annual salary.
Experts warned it was laying the conditions for another credit crisis if households were allowed to borrow more than they could afford.
The financial collapse occurred after banks stopped lending money almost overnight in August 2007.
Home buyers who had previously been able to borrow more than the value of the property were suddenly left unable to meet their mortgage commitments and had no equity to repay their loan.
Jonathan Harris, director of mortgage broker Anderson Harris, says: “It is very important that buyers have an equity stake in a property; one of the indicators that the booming housing market had got out of hand was that people were borrowing more than the purchase price and not investing anything themselves.
“Prices can go down as well as up, and if you have little or nothing invested in your home, you are already in negative equity and will be trapped in the property, unable to move until prices recover.
“Having hardly any deposit is also a sign that a buyer is overstretched: it might make more sense to wait a while and save until you are in a stronger financial position before taking the plunge.”
The scheme has proved popular, with almost 13,000 buyers using it during the first nine months.
The average value of a home in England is just over £250,000, but what type of property does this amount of money buy in different corners of the country?
1. London: Studio flat in Maida Vale for £275,000
2. Torquay: Two bedroom flat for £250,000
3. Dover: Three bedroom detached house for £250,000
4. Isle of Mull: Five bedroom detached house for £265,000
5. Hartlepool: Eight bedroom detached house for offers over £250,000
6. North Yorkshire: Three bedroom terraced house for £275,000
7. Somerset: Three bedroom house for £250,000
8. Alnwick: Four bedroom detached house for £275,000
9. Romford: Two bedroom flat for £275,000
10. Isle of Wight: Two bedroom bungalow for £250,000