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Moodys reports commercial mortgage repayment rates down

[ Posted August 30th, 2011 ]

According to Moody’s Investors, the repayment rate of companies on their commercial mortgage are falling 33.8% defaulting on their repayments due to the fact that the borrowers are having a hard time meeting their lender’s tough criteria to refinance their mortgage.  Therefore, even though the company’s may be making an honest effort to refinance their loans so that they can meet their payment schedules, many banks are not willing to work with them in Europe causing even larger problems overall in the market.

In fact, according to new figures from London real estate analyst Lisa Macedo, when compared to 2010 the commercial real estate repayment rate has decreased by almost 47%, and when compared to 2009 the repayment rate has fallen by a full 65%.  Compounding the problem for banks and the commercial mortgage market in general is the fact that during the first half of 2011 37% of all borrowers were currently in default which is an increase over the 21% that were in default in the first half of 2010 based on the CRW data compiled by Moody.

Macedo stated that refinancing is not looking great for most of the CRE loans and as a result it is only more likely that more borrowers are going to default as they cannot meet the terms of their loans any longer with the economy continuing to stay down.  She added that funding that in the past has been available for investment in CRE has also dropped significantly since the credit crunch began and even though commercial mortgage rates may appear down, there has not been any type of meaningful recovery which means that the market is still in the same disarray, if not more, than it was back in 2007.

Most lenders are making it hard for commercial borrowers to even consider refinancing the terms of their loans to help with repayment due to the fact that they require loan to value levels that are set at anywhere from 60-65% which is too much for most borrowers to afford most loans that are within the CRE market are also not backed with any equity making it harder to even attempt to match the LTV with other properties to make the refinancing even an option.

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TBMC drops buy to let mortgage rates

[ Posted August 26th, 2011 ]

TBMC one of the leading commercial mortgage and buy to let mortgage companies in the UK has announced that they will now be able to offer two great buy to let mortgage rates to interested consumers as part of a partnership with Hinckley & Rugby Building Society.  Chief executive for TBMC, Andy Young, announced the rates stating that they are happy to be able to make the buy to let market a bit more affordable to investors with the new products that are now open with aid from exclusive intermediaries Hinckley & Rugby.

The first product is aimed at those who want a buy to let loan with fixed mortgages attached, and comes with a 2.99% rate that sits somewhere within the 60% loan to value bracket. Attached to the loan is a £2495 completion fee.  Young stated that this product should be very helpful for landlords that want to be able to budget their costs and have equity to balance against the purchase making it even easier to secure.   He added that there is not any ERC attached to the product making it a great way for property investors that are worried about the increase in the interest rate to still get out there and make a solid investment.

The second product is a two year 2.99% discounted mortgage rate that can be up to a 60% loan to value ratio depending on equity and credit and only comes attached with the lower £1249 for qualified candidates.  Both loans have £250 booking fees and there is no concern about early repayment as there are no penalties attached should an investor decide to do so which is another reason why Young mentioned that they are designed for investors that want to increase their portfolios.

Intermediary development manager for Hinckley & Rugby Gill Vernau stated that the company is hopeful that they will be able to develop new products specifically designed to tempt buy to let mortgage applicants that will meet their needs and offer more options to them.  He added that they are very flexible packages and are priced to be cost saving in the short term making it possible for companies with extra funds to insure their products.  Vernau also said that he hoped this will be the first step towards a long relationship with TBMC.

Low mortgage rates not great for everyone

[ Posted August 25th, 2011 ]

Despite the fact that every week it seems analysts are warning the public that mortgage rates will start to increase, they are continuing to fall making it seem as if the housing market should be recovering from all of the renewed interest.  However, even if the low rates may seem like great news, for some people including the frenzied mortgage market the fact that rates have stayed low is not great news, and may be a sign of a future shakeup as it is still not enough to get houses moving again reviving the stagnant market.

As most mortgage rates continue to fall down below the 4% mark, with some even going lower than 3% it would seem that the market is doing.  However, even though buyers that have the credit may benefit from the low rates now everyone is able too, because as often happens, it seems only the rich and secure are able to take advantage of the deals that the working class desperately needs access to.  High deposits and the credit crunch are simply making it hard for anyone else to get their feet into the market.

The low rates that are offered come attached with credit requirements often, which means that only those that have flawless credit and a large stable source of income are able to take advantage of them.  Even if they were to get approved for a mortgage, you can bet that their mortgage rates will work out to be much larger than what is being billed meaning that they are not actually able to get onto the property market the way that lenders would like the general public to believe.  Those who have average credit and an average income most likely will never be able to secure a great rate.

For this reason, even though the rates attached to any kind of mortgage continue to fall, new mortgage loans are falling in record numbers as well because the only people who can take advantage of the rates are current homeowners with equity to refinance their homes or those who are financially secure.  Thus, even though the mortgage rate may be lower than it has been in the last three years, most people are finding the news has little effect on their lives.

Fixed mortgages at a low, but still not affordable for first time home buyers

[ Posted August 23rd, 2011 ]

Even though fixed mortgages are lower than they have ever been in the past, many first time home buyers are still not able to take advantage of the fact, due to the high credit requirements or because their budgets are just too squeezed.  Most experts have been expecting that the mortgage rates would hit rock bottom and reach a point where they stop until the base rate causes them to increase, but for another consecutive week they have fallen once again.

The only problem is that middle and low income borrowers who need the security of a low mortgage rate are still not able to take advantage of the low rates as they are discovering that they cannot get approved due to strict lending criteria.  In fact, in the face of the lowered mortgage rates, approvals for these borrowers are also falling leaving the market open only to those who would not necessarily need a low mortgage rate in order to purchase a home and those who are looking at the property market as an investment opportunity that is too good to pass up on.

According to e.surv which provides residential valuation for homebuyers and seller in Britain, even in the face of the reduced fixed mortgages about 90% of all deals are for those that are simply looking to refinance their homes.  Thus, the low rates are mostly benefiting those who are already homeowners, while first time home owners are left out in the dark.  They also found that the only bracket in which lenders were easily lending money were for homes that were priced upwards of £750,000 where it can be assumed potential buyers are not quite as cash strapped to begin with.

A large problem outside of credit that has been preventing many first time home buyers from taking advantage of any of the current mortgage offers available on the market is the fact that deposits have become very demanding with high loan to value limits.  In July, the average homeowner had to be able to make a deposit of 33% as a first time buyer which on a £150,000 average home would work out to be £50,000- a very daunting number for those simply struggling to get by on a salary that is almost equivalent.

FirstBuy scheme offers low mortgage rates to teachers

[ Posted August 22nd, 2011 ]

In an effort to support the FirstBuy equity loan scheme, the Teachers Building Society has introduced a new three year fixed mortgage product specifically for teachers.  The new fixed mortgages will offer an 80% loan with an interest rate that starts as low as 5.79% and will then drop down to 4.99% for the rest of the mortgage term once applicants are accepted into the FirstBuy scheme.  Attached to the new offer is a £800 product arrangement fee which should also be factored into the final discount, but the low deposit is aimed at making it possible for teachers to get into the property market as first time home buyers.

Head of marketing and sales for the Teachers Building Society, Alan Gravatt, stated that the company has a history of supporting home buying initiatives from the Government and that they hope that the new mortgage packages, complete with the best mortgage rates, will help provide a solution for those that need some help to get their first home.  The announcement of the new package comes just a few weeks after the news that the Teachers Building Society will once again participate in the mortgage intermediary market.

Financial planning director Alistair Cunningham, for Wingate Financial Planning, stated that although teachers may be drawn towards the low loan to value ratio and the promise of the low deposit, they should also be wary of the fixed rates as it is high compared to many of the mortgage rates that other lenders are offering right now.  He added though that it is uncertain just how high the rates will climb over the next few years, although it would appear to be unlikely that they are going to rise quite up to this level for those who can plan and budget for fluctuations in payments.

Some other banking agents, such as Nationwide, have their fixed mortgages set as low as 3.5% for those with excellent credit, but they also require large loan to value ratios which may not be affordable for many who just attempting to get onto the property ladder.  Therefore, consideration of whether you would be approved without the aid of a Government scheme should be considered before jumping into one of these deals as you will want to compare all possible scenarios before signing into any mortgage contract.

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Which? survey proves that homeowners are worrying about mortgage rates

[ Posted August 18th, 2011 ]

According to a new survey published this week from the watchdog group Which?, about seven out of every ten people in the UK are worried that their mortgage rates will increase, leaving them in a position that may lead to foreclosure.  Analysts have long predicted that if the base rate increases too sharply many homeowners on a tight monthly budget will not be able to afford their variable mortgage monthly payments, and will fall into default and possibly foreclosure before the end of next year, causing the property market to take another sharp fall.

The Which? survey asked almost 1,300 UK citizens what their concerns were about mortgage packages and property ownership and found that out of those surveyed, about 35% were already struggling to make their monthly payments and have been forced to ask their lenders for aid.  Some were able to get a ‘payment holiday’ from the bank allowing them to get their finances in order while others were helped by the banks to get a new mortgage deal.  Right now, many homeowners are anxiously applying for fixed mortgages in an effort to get out of potentially lethal variable mortgage deals.

Out of those that sought help from their mortgage lenders, about three quarters stated that they did receive some type of aid, but the watchdog group is worried that there is still a large group of lenders that will not reach out enough to help customers that need it.  At the top of their concern is the fact that some lenders will not work with mortgage customers at all, even though it would be more beneficial for the banks and the mortgage holders if the loan did not default.

Which? estimates that about three quarters of those that responded to the survey would be negatively affected if the base rate increases, causing mortgage rates to increase as well. Even the people who rely on interest only mortgage rates to keep their payments down are worried.  According to the consumer group, most of these households would suffer if the average monthly mortgage payment were to increase by just £50 each month.  Executive director for the group, Richard Lloyd, stated that homeowners that are suffering should first turn to their lender for help and, given the fact that it is not in anyone’s interests for a mortgage loan to default, lenders should do their best to help find a solution.

Bank of England expects inflation to rise

[ Posted August 17th, 2011 ]

For those that have not yet considered changing their tracker mortgages to fixed rate mortgages the news that the Bank of England expects to see inflation rise by five percent may not be welcome.  According to the BoE, the inflation rate will cap out by 5% before the end of 2011 which will cause mortgage rates to increase sharply for those that are currently on tracker mortgages.  This will mean an end to the low mortgage payments that many homeowners have been taking advantage of since the housing slump of 2007.

Mervyn King, the Bank of England governor, stated that the inflation hike is the result of a rise in the costs of imports, energy, and also VAT.  Lenders that responded to the news have stated that this will not change the way they make secured credit available over the next quarter as they are still quite restrictive following the economic shutdown and the financial crisis of 2007.  The presence of tight credit has led to a low overall sense of activity within the housing market and it’s likely that with the mortgage rates set to increase the activity will remain restrained.

In fact, according to a report from the Credit Conditions Survey and the Bank of England, if credit stays as restrictive as it has been over the last three years, then combined with the increase in mortgage rates, it is likely that the private housing market will take almost double the amount of time to turn over than it did just ten years ago.  For lending agents that make their money from mortgage lending this may be dire news, although those who invest after doing a compare buy to let mortgages will find the news uplifting as it is likely that the rental market will stay strong.

King also stated in the report that the mood within the housing market has really taken a downturn with much concern about debt and sustainability within the general euro area.  He added that the world economy potential for growth is also looking dismal and as a result growth at home is also looking disappointing.  According to the governor, the leading risks for market growth come from within the area of the euro, and the fact that several banking systems are struggling in member countries does not help to build a sense of stability for any of the regions within the EU.

Nationwide slashes their mortgage rates again

[ Posted August 16th, 2011 ]

First time buyers or home owners that are looking for the best mortgage deals available will be delighted to hear that Nationwide has slashed their rates again and will soon be offering lower rates on fixed mortgages that are set for five year terms.  All of the five year fixed mortgage packages will be cut by .1% while those who prefer variable mortgages will also see two year terms slashed by .15%.  Therefore, this is the time to refinance a home or consider getting a leg up on the property ladder for those that are able and want a longstanding banking firm as their mortgage backer.

Martyn Dawson, the head of Nationwide mortgages, stated that five year fixed mortgages are excellent choices for customers that feel much more comfortable with predictable mortgage payments, and the banks decision to slash their rates on fixed products was geared towards these consumers specially.  The fixed rate deals start at 3.79% with attached fees of about £900, and in order to qualify for this type of rate applicants will need to be able to handle a loan to value ratio of 70% or more.

Over the last year mortgage rates have been dropping consistently as banks are attempting to lure consumers back through their doors and into the mortgage market.  The property market has been down since 2007 and by dropping mortgage rates many firms have been hoping that first time home buyers and those with the money to invest in property will start to think about taking out a home mortgage again.  The news is also great for those who want to refinance their home and get out of a tracker mortgage package before the VAT rate increases, thereby increasing monthly home payments.

The Bank of England has been expected to increase the base rate for the past few months, but speculation that the rate will be increased soon is rising as most experts predict it will jump by .5% by the close of the year.  An increase of just .5% would mean about £70 more every month for the average mortgage of £150,000 which adds £840 to the yearly budget for the average variable mortgage package.  Therefore, in order to avoid this unexpected event, homeowners that can meet credit criteria have been encouraged to look into fixed mortgage packages.

Base rate Increase Could Cause Mortgage Payments to Increase by £500 or more

[ Posted August 11th, 2011 ]

According to a new report from the National Institute of Economic and Social Research, if the base rate were to increase by just the small amount of 0.5% over the next year then mortgage payers could expect to pay as much as £500 more per year.  This is due to the fact that mortgage rates are set alongside the base interest rate so if it increases so will mortgage rates for those that have variable mortgages which could upset a great deal of household budgets.

While many experts have been advising that people take advantage of the best mortgage rates that have been popping up while the interest rate is low, others are warning that now is not actually the best time to purchase a variable mortgage as the risk is too high.  The safe advice over the last few months has been to sign into a low fixed rate mortgage while rates are down for added security that you can continue to make your monthly mortgage payments, but there are still some advisers that believe it will be another six months or so before the interest rate jumps.

Despite which panel of experts you decide to listen to or the actual time frame that it takes for the base rate to increase, the facts remain that if there is a .5% rise in the base rate taking it up to a total of 1% then the average family with a £150,000 mortgage could expect to pay about £516 more per every year with each monthly payment costing about £75 more.  For those on strict household budgets, this sharp jump could cause foreclosure or bankruptcy to occur which in turn could destroy the housing market once again.

An economist for NIESR, Simon Kirby, stated that given the fact that disposable incomes are virtually gone now any change in the base rate that affects mortgage rates will hurt many household budgets as wages have not grown to match the rate of taxes or inflation meaning people simply do not have the money to keep up with higher mortgages floating around.  In fact, NIESR has already lowered its economic growth prediction down from 1.4% to the lower 1.3% which is much lower than the optimistic 1.7% that the Treasury would like to see occur.

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Buy to let mortgage rates on the rise

[ Posted August 10th, 2011 ]

New research that has been released by the NLA (National Landlords Association) has created fear that if buy to let mortgage rates increase then most private landlords will be affected.  In survey results released just this week a total of 662 NLA members are concerned that if the interest rate jumped by two a small two percent on BLL mortgages then most private landlords would be negatively affected.  The survey was conducted in light of the fact that it the base interest rate is expected to be increased by the Bank of England in the near future.

Out of those included in the survey most felt that if the interest rate goes up then about 90% of all private landlords would be affected with another half stating that the impact on their lives would be devastating as well as the impact on their rental profits.  Another 8% of those in the survey admitted that if the mortgage rates increase by 2% or more than they will have to step back and think about whether they should continue viewing property rentals as an alternative income.

Out of the members of the NLA, 6% also revealed that if buy to let mortgages best buys increase then they will have to at the very least reduce the size of their property portfolios and seriously consider selling off their private rentals altogether as they would no longer be able to turn a profit on their properties.  This news is very disconcerting due to the fact that with property rates so low many people have actually been moving towards the rental market.  Also concerning is the fact that many first time buyers are forced to rent instead of own due to the credit crisis, so a shortage in property rentals would cause renters to pay extremely high premiums.

Out of the landlords that participated in the study about a quarter held at least one mortgage with over half of those surveyed reported that they held at least five BTL mortgages if not more.  Over the last few months many private landlords have taken on new properties as rental demand continues to increase and the mortgage rates have been low, but a sudden interest rate jump could change the ballpark and ruin plenty of investors’ portfolios.

 
 
 
 
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