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March figures signal that it may be too early to panic and sign into fixed mortgages

[ Posted April 22nd, 2011 ]

Fixed mortgages saw their product purchases drop back down to 49.9% over the month of March following the February peak of 56% according to a new index survey conducted by John Charcol.  Also revealed in the survey is the fact that 17% of all mortgage applicants and clients choose to sign into a fixed rate mortgage during March of 2010 and this proportion has been steadily increasing as mortgage owners and new potential mortgage owners are all in fear of the supposed base rate hike which caused the amount of those seeking fixed rate mortgages to jump up to 32.3% in December and then farther up to 56% in February.

One of the reasons that fixed mortgages may have started to decline in popularity during last month according to Ray Boulger, the John Charcol senior technical manager, is due to the fact that many borrowers are leery of the high prices attached to them.  Although the base rate is still a threat to anyone seeking out a commercial mortgage, residential mortgage, or any other type of mortgage as the impending predictions have not yet come true some mortgage purchasers are beginning to think that the risk may be worth it.

Ray Boulger continued to explain that the small decrease in the March consumer price index helped to take some of the pressure off of the Bank of England to increase their base rate and with the economic growth continuing to progress at a slow rate there may be more signs that tracker mortgages are not such a large risk.  He added that one of the influential factors in the base rate decision will be the estimates of the first quarter GDP and whether or not they reveal any growth or if the numbers continue to negative.

If the GDP still shows a negative number signalling that the economy has not recovered as much as some analysts believe, then the base rate may sit at .5% for a bit longer keeping the mortgage rates at bay as well.  In fact, some mortgage lenders are even dropping their fixed mortgages down a bit in order to encourage mortgage holders to continue to come in and switch to the more expensive but safer route.  Boulger mentioned however that in this one case the housing market may be running ahead of itself getting into a panic before warranted.

Risk of high interest rates hurting the residential and commercial mortgage market

[ Posted April 15th, 2011 ]

The continual risk of interest rates rising is hurting both the residential and commercial mortgage market as many are afraid to sign into a new mortgage due to the threat that it soon may balloon outside of their budget.  It seems that no sooner had the Mortgage Backed Securities industry adjusted to its credit losses that it was hit with the potential for the a large hike in the interest rates which was an equally damaging blow for banks that depend on mortgages to help keep their numbers balanced.

An example of the realized threat can be found by looking at an unhedged Fannie Mae mortgage backed security which when based on a 30 year fixed rate would typically have a 3.5% pass through chance and cost the average loss of about 9% in price over the following months in terms of market value of the investment.

However, before the crisis hit this same MBS would only carry .25% risk in losses which makes the risk s of lending even more noticeable and dangerous to banking investments throughout the country even in terms of fixed mortgages. The would only get riskier when borrowers are unable to refinance their mortgages and are left hanging in the lurch with variable mortgages that they are forced to default on.

In order to counter this risk, most MBS investors are expected to start asking for larger yields on their investments in order to make up for the threat of the higher interest rate which will mean that mortgage rates will jump once again leading more new homeowners to be left out in the cold in terms of the affordability of owning their own home.  As the scenario loops back around, this will mean less mortgages for the banks to invest in as a result causing the mortgage rates to once again heighten leading to one large loop that is likely to end in a housing depression where everybody gets hurt.

Unfortunately, as the average mortgage holder cannot manage to the new terms with the cost of living increasing, inflation on the rise, and wages staying steady and the banks cannot afford not to increase rates an easy solution to the eventual housing collapse once again does not seem to be in sight.

Commercial mortgage rates looking great for London office development firms

[ Posted February 18th, 2011 ]

Many construction firms and developers will be pleased to hear that as 2011 opens the commercial property market within London is starting to perform very well with commercial mortgage rates staying stable and the pricing for the office market starting to increase.

During the third quarter of 2010 RICS (Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors) commercial property market survey revealed that over the quarter the amount of London office space that was available for purchase or hire fell dramatically.  The effect of the availability of office space helped to boost the general prices for office space making the development of construction of new office areas a profitable venture once again.

Therefore, it is only reasonable to believe that in the midst of reasonable commercial mortgage lending and a demand or new offices that construction firms will soon be back at work for developers that are taking advantage of the need for more offices in London.

Chief Economist for the RICS, Simon Rubinsohn, stated that prime London offices have always helped to hold up the property market and they will continue to be one of the best development markets as office development always seems to bounce back first.  He added that every week new projects are being spearheaded within London, especially when compared with other development outside of the capital city in the UK which will help to boost the construction and property development sector greatly.

Also noted in the Global Commercial Property Survey was the fact that over the last quarter of 2010 there was strong commercial growth and reasonable mortgage rates outside of the UK in countries such as Asia and Latin America.  It added that the commercial sectors of these countries have demonstrated great buoyancy that is being reflected within the London market and is something that property investors would do good to note.

House of Frasier Looking to Expand

[ Posted September 18th, 2010 ]

Typically only associated with well-developed downtown areas, retail chain House of Frasier is reportedly beginning to turn its gaze towards more rural settings instead of maintaining its urban traditions. This is being seen as a result of the poor commercial sector developments in many areas, including those in London in some districts, as less and less prime real estate is becoming available for their company’s utilization.

Focusing more on shopping center developments in smaller cities and less central establishments, House of Frasier is joining many other department store chains that have expanded to other zones over the past few decades in order to attempt and capitalize upon more effective commercial mortgages overall reduced costs over what they can typically find available in more metropolitan environments. This has become particularly poignant in recent months as an increased number of overseas investors have turned their focus to what they view as the most viable options for their own purposes and have been vying for development zones in places such as London and subsequently driving up base prices substantially.

Other cities and even counties in general throughout the country have thus far been able to avoid this large influx of foreign capital due to the fact that the majority of foreign investors simply are unfamiliar with more rural environments, helping to protect some key development zones that are showing high promise to many while at the same time allowing developers such as House of Frasier to consider them for expansion.

Marks and Spencer is another chain that has explored this business option since 1989 and has leveraged it to great success in many aspects, allowing it to expand into a variety of venues and catch a greater market share than it ever would have seen otherwise should it have maintained its old standards akin to House of Frasier.

As of yet no definitive location for the next “non-central” House of Frasier location has been set, though rumors indicate that DTZ is actively assisting them in locating the next area for their usage.

Nelson Industrial Park Placed in Receivership

[ Posted August 27th, 2010 ]

Recent reports tracking industrial developments throughout the UK have noted that Profile Park, a substantial 150,000 square foot development comprising of a mixture of commercial sites in Nelson, has recently been shifted to the hands of LPA (Law of Property Act) receivers LPA Direct. This move would effectively cause all interests related to the park located on Junction Street to move focus to the new agency in the near future and potentially new regulations being established for many tenants located in the development zone.

The move for the Park to shift hands comes primarily as a result of the fact that the area is currently operating well below expected levels for commercial developments and a number of improvements are seen as needing to be made to bring about greater profitability for all involved. In fact only around one third of all available areas within the Park are currently leased at present, with a combination of poorly performing bad credit mortgages and other economic factors leading to high levels of loan arrears developing within the zone.

The move of the Park’s management to LPA Direct is seen by many as a positive move to help increase rental revenue while improving the value of the buildings located within the zone and establish a more sustainable local economy than what has been seen in recent times. The primary focus for LPA Direct will be in the currently empty buildings within the area while at the same time developing an effective marketing campaign to encourage further investment in the local offerings in order to foster new businesses and employment, further diversifying the income potential for individuals and improving the overall appeal of both work and commercial interest throughout Profile Park.

Tenant demand for commercial property falls for first time in a year

[ Posted August 2nd, 2010 ]

According to figures from the newest Commercial Property Survey from the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, tenant demand in Britain-particularly in London-has dropped for the first time in four quarters – bad news for the buy-to-let market, even with continued positive mortgage rates and favourable fixed-mortgage rates.

It appears that demand fell away especially in the commercial property sector, in which 7% more chartered surveyors recorded a fall rather than a rise in tenant demands during quarter 2. The figure was down from a positive 6%, and represents the first negative figure since 2009’s opening quarter, according to the report.

The demand among tenants for offices fell in all regions, although London witnesses the largest fall in sentiment. Some 38% more chartered surveyors recorded a fall rather than a rise in demand for office. The figure is a fall from the positive figure of 32% seen during the first quarter of this year.

Surveyors have indicated that the uncertainty fuelled by possible budget cuts have adversely affected a range of investment decisions. The industrial and retail markets also saw falling demand across most regions, although it appears that the north is the exception to this trend, with the demand for both industrial and retail properties still strong.

The confidence in the outlook for lettings has dropped for the first time since the second quarter of last year, and the confidence in the future of the letting of industrial and office properties in London dropped also. Confidence in the retail lettings sector, despite staying subdued overall, was up in Central and Greater London, with surveyor confidence rising from -58 to -7.

Oliver Gilmartin, senior economist at the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, has indicated that budget uncertainty as well as a fragile recovery generally are impacting on a variety of sectors.

‘Surveyors have indicated that uncertainty as to the detail of budget cuts are weighing on firms’ investment decisions with respect to their property requirements. As a result, the rental recovery is stalling in its tracks on waning demand. It seems difficult however to reconcile the turnaround in the London market purely on domestic concerns,’ Mr Gilmartin stated.
‘Indeed, falling stock markets, worries over both the Euro zone debt crisis and the sustainability of the recovery appear to be weighing on occupational demand from large multinational occupiers. Investment demand has also fallen back for the first time in a year with some indication that prices are declining again outside the Central London office and retail sectors,’ he concluded.

Commercial Property Still Feeling Effect of Recession

[ Posted December 28th, 2009 ]

The British Property Federation has recently declared that commercial property throughout the UK is still feeling some of the effects of the recession, as director of policy Ian Fletcher states that commercial lots were late to feel the effects however will also be late in recovering from them. As a result many retail occupiers of commercial space are beginning to go out of business, adding additional strain to the commercial property sector as the rest of the economy is just beginning to recover from record lows earlier this year.

This trend is paralleled by virtually all commercial property throughout Europe, as investment revenue has dropped approximately 40% over 2008 numbers for both the continent and the isles. For many owners and investors this has meant bad news since October 2007 when the economic recession first hit full-swing, however this could also mean potential opportunities for those looking at the other end of the spectrum.

With prices continuing to fluctuate across the UK commercial property board this could open up many doors for new ventures as older businesses that once held key commercial space are closing down permanently. Given a condition such as now where the UK’s commercial property investments are the top in Europe – accounting for nearly 38% of all direct investments in commercial land with a grand total of 25 billion Euros in 2008 – and many investors are overly focused on some particular main available locations the current trend may open up new investment doors that may not have been available just a few short months previously.

Along with the fluctuating markets also anticipate banks to be offering better mortgage rates to investors in order to stimulate the economy and encourage a positive trend in 2010, especially in the commercial real estate sector in order to allow for businesses to maintain some strength as the economy is beginning to recover. Be on the lookout for beneficial fixed mortgages as well, as these may be quite positive in the early 2010.

First Time Applying For a Mortgage?

[ Posted August 25th, 2009 ]

Quick Starting Tips to Make Your First Mortgage Simple.

There are thousands of questions that come to mind for those seeking their first mortgage.  So to take a little of the stress off, we are going to give you all the questions you need to ask.  Don’t worry.  With all these questions will come many of the answers.  That way you are not left wandering throughout your days trying answers endless questions.

What is a mortgage?

A mortgage is a loan specifically designed for those who are wanting to buy property.  This includes both commercial and residential properties.  There is a loan for everything these days, from auto loans to personal loans, so why not have a loan that is specifically for those wanting to buy property right?


What things should be considered in choosing a mortgage type?

The basics questions you need to answer are the following:

1.What are you buying the property for?

For each type of property, the is a different type of mortgage that offers different benefits.  With this being your first mortgage, there are often special offers for first-time home buyers.  However, if you are buying commercial property you might want to check into commercial mortgages as well.  Often the difference in first time mortgages are in regards to interest rates.

2. Which fits your financial budget most comfortably?

This part is often in reference to interest rate options.  The two primary choices you have here are fixed rate and variable rate mortgages.  A fixed rate will guarantee the same interest rate being applied to the balance of the loan.  This means that you will make payments of the same amount every single month until the debt paid off. When it comes to variable interest rates, the are often compounding interest.  The rate has the potential to change.  The good news is, that it typically has a pre-disclosed range.  In regards to the compounding interest, since you could have equal monthly payments you may not always pay off all the interest.  If that is the case then you will be charged interest on the accumulated interest.  Getting complicated?  Basically have them run the figures for you rather than simply going off suggestion.  You can see which really works out best for you, as all our financial situations are a little different.

3. What extra options are important?

You want to look for things such as early payoff benefits (or penalties), mortgage insurance (just in case money gets a little tight for unexpected reasons, and remortgage options in case of lowered future interest rates.

Is it really this simple?

We would love to say this really is all there is to it, but you want to make sure you really take time to look into your options.  That is what we truly want to stress here.  It does not have to be hard or distressing, but it does require research.  This information will help you get started off on the right foot and make things run a little smoother.

UK Unemployment At Highest

[ Posted August 12th, 2009 ]

The recession is certainly taking a hit on all facets of UK living from the amount that mortgage rates are currently offered to the price houses, which seem to be falling.

One of the other areas that seems to be hit the hardest is the unemployment rate which seems to be at its worst since 1995.

According to the Office for National Statistics, in the second quarter of this year, they have finally reported that some 2.43 million are unemployed which is an increase of approximately 220-thousand individuals.

According to the Office, the unemployment rate was 7.8% for the three months up into June of 2009. That’s a jump of around 0.7% from the previous quarter. Vacancy rates are not included with this count however that means that there are quite a few additional jobs which aren’t being filled.

The Office also says that average earnings, without bonuses, has fallen from the previous quarter. When you included the bonuses, however, the rate has increased.

Statistics also show that the employment rate for individuals of a working age is around 73% for the three months leading to June of 2009, which has been a decline of almost 1% from the previous quarter and 2% when you include the whole year.

The statistics also show that some 28.9-million individuals have applied for unemployment benefits over the quarter ending June 2009 but not all of them are on the roles as of yet. The annual growth rate, excluding bonuses, is the lowest since the Office has been collecting the information which began in 2001.

The next update for the Office for National Statistics to update their information will be when the quarter ends in late September 2009 and that should give a better direction of where unemployment is heading in the country even though we receive monthly figures in between.

Mortgage Brain, New Source For Mortgage Information

[ Posted August 10th, 2009 ]

A string of companies including Ingard, Exclusive Connections, SimplyBiz, The Mortgage Alliance, Stirling & Law and Genesis Home Loans, as well as Mortgage 2000 ‘Encore’ users, have contributed to the rapid growth by selecting Mortgage Brain as their preferred solution for mortgage sourcing. Mark Lofthouse, CEO of Mortgage Brain, comments, “With this announcement we want the mortgage industry to know that we’re the only sourcing company prepared to offer guaranteed mortgage product details with the launch of Mortgage Brain Premier Plus+. With its release, we’ve seen a huge increase in the number of companies and mortgage advisers exclusively selecting our products and services.”

He continued by saying,“Intermediaries have been asking for guaranteed product data and we’re delighted to be the first and only sourcing system to deliver it, ensuring they have the confidence in the system they use is of paramount importance and a huge deciding factor when choosing software solutions to help manage their businesses.”

He finished by saying, “Quite simply, mortgage advisers are turning to Mortgage Brain as they see us as the best and most reliable sourcing system on the market and one in which they can confidently place their trust.”

Premier Plus+ is Mortgage Brain’s new and innovative mortgage sourcing system, which guarantees product data to give intermediaries complete confidence in the advice they give their client.

  aims to provide every client with cheap, affordable and best mortgage loans in the UK market, however the actual mortgage rate available will depend on client's financial circumstances and credit history. Although, has made every effort to ensure that the mortgage rates listed are correct, it bears no responsibility in case of an error. 
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