The next seaside property hotspot

Historically reliant on tourism, Bournemouth’s reputation is changing along with its demographics. No longer labelled as a sleepy town for senior residents, the town is now sought after by young professionals.

Two expanding universities and a host of financial headquarters have attracted a large number of former London employees to Bournemouth. Easy to travel to and from London if necessary, the town does not only attract young professionals but retired or self-employed individuals who may still need to take the infrequent trip up to London. Bournemouth airport also makes it easy for locals to travel with Ryan Air and Thomas Cook.

A sure sign that the seaside town is on the path to regeneration is the brand new leisure complex consisting of 13 restaurants, a 10-screen cinema and 175 parking spaces. Also, a pier with a zip line to the beach, vertical drop slide, a climbing wall and aerial assault course built to please the younger generation. Bournemouth is not short in amenities either, with plenty of shops, restaurants, bars and nightlife, the town is lively and budding with millennials.

Fortitudo currently has a multitude of developments available in and around Bournemouth. Statum in Wootton Mount proves to be popular for young professionals with its central location and modern interiors. The apartments are all available with Help to Buy, allowing first-time buyers to take advantage of the government-funded scheme.

To view Fortitudo’s developments visit www.fortitudoproperty.com.

Millennials reject the city and move to peaceful suburbs

With just 11% of millennials planning to take out a mortgage next year and most reliant on the bank of mum and dad, millennials are opting to live life outside of the city and purchase in quieter, more affordable locations. Currently, 26% of millennials are living at home with parents and 12% are living rent-free with mum, dad, friends or family when this generation is supposedly most likely to be using this time in their lives to live with friends or housemates.

Data has discovered that 64% of this generation believe that you get a better quality of life in the country and are believers in purchasing a property where there is a strong sense of community. There are now 20% more homes for sale in the capital due to this change in mindset. People have realised there are more meaningful things to life than earning money.

Fortitudo builds many developments in the suburbs Poole and Bournemouth, a peaceful location not only next to the seaside and the country but host to excellent transport links to London. Perfect if millennials wished to opt for rural life but still wanted to commute. All apartments can be bought in conjunction with Help to Buy, to take the pressure of having a large deposit. The government scheme will give you 20% of the purchase price, providing you have a 5% deposit.

To view Fortitudo’s developments visit www.fortitudoproperty.com.

Increase in seniors looking for homes

The number of people aged over 65 is set to increase by 20% in the next 8 years and it’s no surprise that seniors want to be in a central location with great transport links whilst close to friends and family!

Being old today does not have the same connotations as before, and rather than moving into care homes, seniors are thinking sensibly and are looking to downsize. Not only does a smaller property such as an apartment require less upkeep and allow more free time but if seniors were to purchase a new-build apartment with a fixed warranty, it takes the stress out of much-needed renovations.

Beyond downsizing, moving into an apartment can also prepare seniors for assisted living, an independent living facility, or even make room for a carer. Living in a block of apartments surrounded by others may also feel safer than being in a big home alone.

All of Fortitudo’s apartments are built in prime locations with convenient amenities nearby and plentiful travel connections. They also come with high specification interiors and a fixed ICW 10 year building warranty.

To view Fortitudo’s developments visit www.fortitudoproperty.com.

Single? It is possible to purchase alone!

Many millennial’s are coupling up in order to purchase their first property and are under the impression that they cannot do it alone.

A third of Brits believe that in order to get onto the property ladder they will need the added benefit of another person’s salary and are therefore coupling up with partners, friends or family members to fulfil their dream of owning a property. It’s also reasonable to consider that by doing this, they will reduce their monthly outgoings by half but getting onto the ladder may outweigh this benefit for some.

A Help to Buy equity loan can turn singletons lives around, without the waiting or excessive saving. When it comes to taking the plunge, women are less confident than men, with women waiting 5.31 years and men waiting 4.51 years. Buying a new development associated with the scheme is a simple application process and if accepted, the government will lend you 20% of the purchase price providing you also have a 5% deposit.

At Fortitudo, we offer Help to Buy on all of our developments. We pride ourselves on giving first-time buyers the opportunity to purchase luxury homes. If buyers are already renting it also makes it possible for them to get out of the renting rut, as a monthly mortgage is most probably cheaper than renting costs.

To view Fortitudo’s developments visit www.fortitudoproperty.com.

High renting costs halting career growth

The astronomical cost of renting in the UK is stopping millennial’s from relocating in order to develop their skills and find new jobs. They simply cannot afford to move to areas where they would be better paid and able to live a better quality of life.

Private rents have risen fastest in higher paying areas of the country, so youngsters are staying put in stable and satisfactory income jobs. Young people are often stereotyped as being quick-to-change within the job market, constantly moving around for new job opportunities however this has become less frequent. Although this is partly good news for the country, as employment gaps have fallen and citizens are able to get jobs locally, it also prohibits workers from personal growth and the ability to gain new skills. Firms are also now finding it hard to fill skilled roles.

At Fortitudo, we are making it possible for millennial’s to move to top locations with plenty of job opportunities by giving them the chance to use the governments Help to Buy scheme to purchase a luxury and modern development. Their monthly mortgage fee is most likely to be much less per month than renting costs and they can call a brand-new living space with excellent specification their own.

To view Fortitudo’s developments visit www.fortitudoproperty.com.

Bounce in property sales as people get tired or Brexit

The UK property market is maintaining performance and buyers have stopped putting their lives on hold despite Brexit uncertainty. People’s reasons for moving are still as relevant now as they ever were and buyers in the market still need to up-size, downsize, move locations, move into school catchments and so on. We are seeing that they are now returning to the marketplace as they realise that they can’t keep putting life on hold.

Buyers had shown previous interest on properties but had refrained from committing, they have now started to secure sales. The uplift in people moving homes is over a broad range of price points and property types. Government schemes, such as the Help To Buy equity loan, have helped support the increase in first-time buyer numbers.

Families, often second-steppers are outgrowing their first property and cannot postpone a move. Rightmove said family homes with three and four bedrooms are in high demand and are currently holding their value particularly well. We realise this at Fortitudo and have started construction on 8 family homes each with three and four-bedrooms in Kingsworthy, the popular suburb of Winchester.

It’s one of the most sensitive markets that we’ve seen for years, buyers are understandably looking for value and extra quality.

All of Fortitudo’s developments offer a high specification and cleverly designed space in sought after locations. To view our latest sites, click here.

Update: Help to buy Scheme latest sales results

The Government has just released the results of 2018 for its Help to Buy Scheme Since April 2013, some 210,964properties were bought with an equity loan. This means that there was a equivalent of 143 homes sold per day, that’s 1000 properties selling every week!

Help to Buy has now been operating over a six year period, first time buyers represent 81% of those buyers who have been helped onto the housing ladder by the Help to Buy Equity scheme. The Government scheme accounts for a total loan value of £11.7 billion since being set up by the government in April 2013. The overall value of properties sold through the initiative stands at a massive £54.48 billion and rising! 

London’s lead the equity loan value rising by 20% since 2016. Under the scheme the mean equity loan was £55,498 and the mean purchase price of a property bought was £258,223. From February 2016, in London the equity loan rose from 20% to 40%, which is great news for all of you first time buyers. From February 2016 until the end of 2018, there was a 12,511 property transactions in London and 10,635 were made with an equity loan higher than 20%. During the first quarter of 2019, HMRC transaction statistics potentially suggested that Help to Buy fuelled sales are still performing consistently, continuing the trend of the last 12 months. 

Did you know, that one in seven first time buyers benefits from the Help to Buy scheme. The Government scheme was highly successful in 2018, and will. Continue to stimulate the bottom of the housing ladder and indirectly support the whole of the UK’s property sector throughout the year. It is likely that the scheme will remain invaluable in supporting home buyers over the remining years of the scheme and will play a crucial role in helping to keep the housing market on an even page, during a period of uncertainty as a result of Brexit. 

Unfortunately the Government has made it clear that the Help to Buy will come to an end in 2023 and that it is looking to lenders and developers to come up with alternative products for first time buyers and second movers. It is vital that the Government and industry works together to ensure these buyers remain supported, it is likely that we could see private schemes coming to the market to help the market. There is good opportunity to buy now, renters should not hold back, as you can put down a deposit as little as 5%. To see what developments we have to offer, associated with Help to Buy, please visit our website (Hyperlink). 

Top tips for securing a mortgage

With the UK property market now entering its busiest period of the year, leading property finance specialists, we have put together some top tips for homebuyers when it comes to securing the best deal on a mortgage. While the affordability of mortgage products remains at almost record lows, there are still plenty of ways to make your mortgage even more cost-effective, although your broker might not always disclose these methods. While some tips will save you money, it really is a case of spending money to make money with some of the others. When combined they should place you in the best position when buying in the current market.

Deposit thresholds

More often than not, increasing your deposit by just a small amount can boost you into the next Loan to Value band, meaning a better rate and even potentially less onerous credit scores with lenders. Always work on 5% increments as these are where the best deals are for your price band.

Seek a no-fee mortgage broker

Pretty simple but many of us fail to do it. All brokers are paid commission on the product they sell you, but around 80% will also charge an additional fee – typically £500. May seem minute in the grand scheme of buying a house, but it all adds up.

Life cover

With the cost required to get on the ladder, many of us can be forgiven for skipping the add ons a broker may suggest. If there’s one cost you don’t want to skip on, it’s life cover. Understandably, many of us today can only get on the ladder with the help of our partners as a joint income is required. However, if the worst were to happen and illness or even death strikes, the lack of any form of protection cover can result in the whole deck of cards coming crashing down immediately. This is the last thing you need in this situation, so make sure your life cover is in place and up to date.

Don’t restrict your options

It’s common knowledge that your bank isn’t the best place to start as they only offer their rates and products. But you would be surprised as to how many brokers and advisers can only offer products from a restricted panel of lenders. As a customer, this means you are missing out on potentially the best deal for you so make sure your broker has access to the entire marketplace.

Get your personal details in order

Such a simple one, but if you’ve failed to update documents to your married name, or you aren’t registered to your current home address, the lender’s computer will literally say no as it won’t be able to find you. This is a shortcut route to having your application declined.

Electoral roll

Once your details are correctly registered, register for the electoral roll. You might not know it, but this has a huge bearing on the scoring system of lenders credit. If you aren’t registered it’s another minor little detail that can see you fall at the first hurdle of a mortgage application.

Forward your post

The £60 it costs to have your mail forwarded for a year will be the best money you’ve ever spent without even realising it. This doesn’t necessarily apply to your mortgage but it will save you money. All too often a client moves house and ended up with a default notice on their phone bill or credit card as they’ve not received the reminder and forgot to pay it.

Overpayments

Again, sounds obvious right? But many of us plod along without even considering it. If your mortgage product allows overpayments – make them! You would be surprised at how much even a small overpayment can make on a monthly basis when it comes to the total interest over the lifetime term of your mortgage.

Lock it in

We’re currently in the middle of an artificially low, interest rate cycle and mortgage product affordability is close to record lows. Great news but make sure you lock in on a fixed rate mortgage to make the best of the current climate. A longer term of a fixed five-year rate is probably the best option however a three year fixed might be a happy middle ground for many between a two and five-year product. However, be aware of any 10 year plus fixed rate products. The fee might be great but over the years we’ve seen best-laid plans fall by the wayside and clients are then hit with huge early exit fees if they need to move or pay their mortgage early.

Working overtime

Any overtime worked can be beneficial towards mortgage eligibility but try and ensure that this overtime is consistent as possible. If there are drastic swings in the hours worked, lenders will often work from the lowest figure when deciding your position in the market.

Credit score

If you’re looking to buy right now and your credit score is no good, then you’ve probably already had a few lenders say no. Your credit score is everything to a lender in this day and age and poor payment history or a low score will put you at a severe disadvantage from the offset. Do all you can to cultivate a healthy score starting now and as most lenders base their judgement on Experian, it’s worth the small investment.

95% mortgage rates plummet: is now the time to apply?

If you are struggling to build up a home deposit, then why not try the 95% mortgage scheme. The cost difference between 95% and 90% loan-to-value mortgages is shrinking. But is it wise to lock into a 95% mortgage deal or should you keep saving up for a larger deposit?

New data from Moneyfacts shows the gap between rates charged for two-year fixed 95% and 90% loan-to-value mortgages is falling, and is now at its narrowest since February 2013. Mortgage rates have become increasingly low, and with so many to choose from, now is definetly the time to buy. 

This is despite borrowers with the smallest deposits often being seen as more risky and recent reports suggesting uncertainties relating to the economy and Brexit are having an impact on the housing market. Currently in the market is a mortgage price war to attract first-time buyers with deposit as low as 5%, providers are minimising their rates to The narrowing rate gap has been driven by “healthy competition” by providers looking to attract people with a 5% deposit. 

The mortgage rate gap on 95% and 90% two-year fixed-rate mortgages was 0.65% in February 2019, down from 0.77% in January 2017, according to the latest Moneyfacts data. This is both because 95% mortgages are getting cheaper and 90% mortgages are growing more expensive. The average mortgage rate for 95% loan to value mortgages fell by 0.95% to 3.3% from October 2017 until today, while 90% loan to value mortgages rose 0.03% to 2.65% over the same period. Generally speaking, the higher the loan to value and therefore the smaller your deposit, the higher your interest rate will be. With a minimal deposit, the lender faces a greater risk if you default on your mortgage.

The counter-trend towards cheaper 95% deals may be explained by providers trying to compete in the first-time buyer market, to try and secure more loans from these customers. This is fantastic news for potential first-time buyers who are looking to find their first step onto the housing ladder. 

Top Ten 95% mortgages for first time buyers

 Maximum LTVInitial RateSubsequent Rate (SVR)Overall Cost for Comparison
Monmouthshire95% 2.54% fixed for 2 years5.24% Variable 4.9% APRC
Newcastle Building Society95% 5.54% Unit5.99% Variable5.1% APRC
Lloyds Bank95%2.65% fixed until 31 July 20214.24% Variable4.0% APRC
Barclays95%2.75% fixed until 30 April 20223.45% Variable3.2% APRC
HSBC95%2.89% fixed until 31 July 20214.19% Variable4.0% APRC
Halifax 95% 2.93% fixed until 31 May 20214.24% Variable 4.2% APRC
Post Office Money95%2.98% fixed until 31 May 20214.74% Variable 4.5% APRC
NatWest 95%3.08% fixed until 30 June 20214.34% Variable4.2% APRC
Halifax95% 3.09% fixed until 31 Jul 20214.24% Variable4.1% APRC
Lloyds Bank95%3.09% fixed until 21 Jul 20244.24% Variable3.7% APRC

Unlock the door to a home of your own with a Help to Buy ISA

The Help to Buy scheme continues to grab the headlines, with its success rate for getting first-time buyers onto the property ladder. A recent study from the Ministry of Housing, shows that almost half a million completions have taken place since 2013, with 430,000 of these completions made by the first-time buyer market.

There was a total of 494,108 completions, which have taken place using one or more of the governments Help to Buy schemes, over 93% of which took place outside of London. The average house price purchased through the schemes, was around the £200,000 mark. First-time buyers have now opened 1.4 million Help to Buy: ISAs offering government bonuses of up to £3,000 on top of their savings.

These figures highlight how invaluable the Help to Buy scheme has become, and how it will continue to support home buyers into the next decade. It has also helped prop up the new build sector and provided housebuilders with a solid target plan for the delivery of new homes. Demand will continue to grow for new build homes even though some questions arise around the price, value and borrowing requirements and affordability. Build quality and energy efficiency standards attached to new build properties continue to be a primary focus for the property developer sector. Help to Buy has certainly created a positive pathway for the growing numbers for first time buyers, housebuilders, lenders.

So how does it actually work?

Launched on April 1st, 2013 and available until 2023, help to buy is an equity loan scheme. Under the scheme, the buyer is only required to find 5% of the property value for a deposit. The government then lends you up to 20% of the value of the property in the form of an ‘equity loan’. The remaining balance can then be topped up through a mortgage. There’s no interest to pay on the equity loan for the first 5 years, after that the interest kicks in at 1.75%.

It’s open to both first-time buyers and home movers, but it is restricted to new build homes. From April 2021 onwards only first-time buyers will be able to apply. When you come to sell your home, the government will take back its 20% share. If you don’t sell, the money is due back after 25 years. The idea with the help to Buy equity loan is that, because you’re theoretically only borrowing 75% from the mortgage lender, payments will be lower than if you had used a 95% mortgage. Help to Buy is a great route to get onto the housing ladder, or to even upsize your house if you are wanting to start now. But you must be quick, as its not going to go on forever!