A mortgage stress test designed to stop borrowers overstretching themselves will be scrapped, it was revealed this week. The mortgage industry has long bemoaned this supposedly unrealistic test that makes lenders check if borrowers can afford their repayments at a level higher than the fix or tracker deal they may be taking, their lender's standard variable rate plus 3%. Yet, isn't a bit of an odd time to finally get rid of this, just as interest rates are finally rising and the base rate has jumped from 0.1% to 1.25% in six months? What's more, it's forecast by some to keep rising and go as high as 3% by the end of the year: meaning almost that entire 3% rise which the stress test uses. Georgie Frost, Simon Lambert and Lee Boyce discuss why the Bank of England is doing this and whether it is the right move, or could lead to risky lending and even higher house prices? Also, the team discuss inflation and how to (at least) try to do something to combat it with your savings - and also, why investors are finding it so hard to buy the dip and be greedy when others are fearful in the inflation storm. The renewed fervour for offering bumper deals on current accounts also goes under the microscope, but is a bung to join, an interest rate on your balance, or the ability to categorise your spending the best readon to switch? And finally, you live in an end of terrace house, someone wants to build next door using your wall and making your home a mid-terrace: surely that couldn't be allowed? Or would it? Listen to the end to find out.
The pandemic house price boom caught almost everyone by surprise and has continued to run for longer that most expected, but is it now about to end. Rising interest rates and the cost of living crunch are putting a serious squeeze on how much buyers can borrow - and that means they can't keep paying ever higher prices for homes. Meanwhile, stories are emerging of banks and building societies getting cold feet on some of the offers that ambitious buyers have had accepted and the lenders are down-valuing properties. What's a down-valuation? When the bank or building society says, 'we're sorry, but that property isn't worth what you have agreed to pay'. Combine that with the best mortgage rates having more than doubled and you might finally have the recipe for the property market running out of steam. Georgie Frost and Simon Lambert discuss whether house prices can defy gravity once more. Also — should you sign up to a savings platform to manage your cash in one place and hopefully get a boost on rates? Plus, what should investors do as a slow motion crash hits stock markets and sends the price of many shares and popular funds and trusts sinking? And finally, fed up of being told to cancel your subscriptions to save money? We look at ways to keep your favourite shows and music, but cut back on costs.
More than 40 years after Margaret Thatcher introduced Right to Buy, the current Prime Minister is considering plans to revamp the scheme. Could it unleash a home buying revolution and help give a much needed boost to the Government, or is it a bad idea rehashing an old scheme? This week, Simon Lambert, Lee Boyce and Georgie Frost discuss the plans, how it could work and why it may be unleashed in the near future. Would it be unfair to private renters? With ever increasing property prices, would people be able to purchase them? And what are the current Right to Buy rules? It's safe to say that green bonds, launched by National Savings and Investments last year, have been a damp squib. Rates on them are low, and a three-year fix is a relatively niche product. Just how far have they missed the mark and could the rate head higher again to make them more attractive? On the other hand, Premium Bonds continue to be an incredibly popular way to save. The two jackpot winners this month had huge sums held in them – is that the only chance you have of winning a £1million, maxing out the holdings? There are calls to claim your pension credit – nearly one million people are missing out on extra cash and 'the door to more,' by not taking advantage. Could you, or someone you know, benefit? The Bank of England celebrates 25 years of independence – we ask whether New Labour's gamble of making it independent has paid off, just as it hikes base rate to a 13-year high of 1%. Meanwhile, Lee reveals details of a new This is Money columnist signing – businessman Dave Fishwick is ready to take your business and careers questions – find out how you can contact him.
For many homeowners it's been the case for some years that each time they remortgage, their rate comes down. But with the Bank of England liftng base rate three times in a matter of months, inflation soaring to 7%, and banks and building societies hiking mortgage rates, that is no longer the case. It must be said that mortgage rates are still low by historic standards, but whereas borrowers with the biggest deposits or equity could fix for under 1% last year, now they will be paying 2%. Not much compared to the sky high rates of the past, but many homeowners can't bag these super cheap deals and will pay rates above 3%. Again, these are low but rising and people may find the same mortgage now sets them back £100 a month more. What can borrowers do, will rates keep rising and how does inflation fit into all of this? Georgie Frost and Simon Lambert look at the mortgage market and what's going on. Also, is buy-to-let having a mini resurgence? Could you search out a social broadband tariff and save money? And finally, what makes a good home or car insurer, and does anybody ever check up before taking out policies?
House prices have soared in the pandemic boom – with the average home an astonishing £44,000 more expensive at £260,000, according to Nationwide. But mortgage rates are rising, the cost of living crunch is hitting hard, and the idea of a post pandemic Roaring Twenties seems very distant right now, so is a reckoning for Britain’s property market on the way? Georgie Frost, Lee Boyce and Simon Lambert dive into the housing market to look at why homes are now the most expensive they have ever been when compared to wages – and what could send them even higher or tip them into decline. They also look at the mortgage market, where the best bargain basement fixed rate deals have long vanished and rates have been rising rapidly. But while they might be going up, mortgage rates are still very cheap and the Bank of England is weighing up loosening some lending rules, so where does that take us next? Simon also has some advice for anyone whose mortgage fix is up for renewal this year. Spoiler alert: it’s to start looking into a new fixed mortgage now. And a reader question – and yes, this was a genuine one – of whether taking $1 million-plus in payment for a property in the Caribbean in crypto is a good idea? And finally, credit cards are dead: it’s all about buy now, pay later… or is it? There’s a new Avios-earning Barclaycard out and Lee’s excited. Find out why by listening to the end.
Among its many surprises, the coronavirus pandemic has delivered a property boom. In pretty much the exact opposite of what all the experts thought was going to happen the property market has hit fever pitch over the past year and a bit, with more people moving and house prices soaring. But amid all the fuss, which property tribe are you in? Are you a mover – for whom the grass always looks a bit greener, perhaps in a house with extra space, more bedrooms, a bigger garden, or with a slice of the country life or even a prime location in the city? Or would you choose to be a flipper, happy to buy and sell regularly to try to make some money and climb the ladder quicker – maybe doing places up and turning ugly ducklings into swans as you go along? Or is your chief desire to be a forever-homeowner, the kind of person who wants to either stay put where you are forever, or find the one place you can do that and then stop moving. Georgie Frost, Helen Crane and Simon Lambert take a look at the property market tribes and how they are driving the market, from those who love to move, to those chasing a quick buck, and those whose sole desire is to find the perfect place to stay put. Also, the team discuss how to learn from your investing mistakes rather than beat yourself up over them. And take a look at both sustainable banking and investing and what that means, and why the new greener E10 petrol is causing a kerfuffle
Life is tough for first-time buyers. House prices were already expensive before the coronavirus lockdowns and defying all logic a mini-boom has sent the average house price up £20,000 further over the past year. At the same time mortgage lenders have indulged in a flight to safety, canning the vast majority of 95% loan-to-value mortgages and bumping up the gap between rates on 90 per cent mortgages and those for borrowers with more equity. 'Once more into the breach' has stepped the Government, with taxpayer aid for banks and building societies to offer more 5% deposit mortgages. But is this a wise move? Should we stop meddling in the mortgage and property market, as short-term assistance ends up meaning long-term pain as more credit is extended and house prices climb ever higher? And could it be that while the 95% mortgage push is the wrong move at the national economic level, on a personal level taking one might prove a good move for some, who could end up paying less than they do in rent? Georgie Frost, Lee Boyce and Simon Lambert discuss the 95% mortgages, the rise in house prices and whether buy-to-let is still a good investment. Also this week, the lowdown on the Barclaycard customer service meltdown as long-standing customers see their credit limits slashed. And finally, you want a shed-office (aka a shoffice) to work in down the bottom of the garden, but can you power it with solar panels?
Britain is in the grip of a mysterious property mini-boom. Talk of a property market more buoyant than it’s been in years, of viewings and offers flooding in and family homes in hot demand, doesn’t seem to just be the usual estate agent puff. Evidence from mortgage reports, surveyors and data on estate agent activity, appears to bear this out. The stamp duty holiday and lockdown itchy feet have combine to make parts of the market a sellers’ one, so as a buyer what can you do to get a decent offer accepted and avoid overpaying? On this week’s podcast, Simon Lambert, Georgie Frost and Lee Boyce talk buying homes. They discuss what’s going on, whether all parts of the market are flying (not quite), why some homes go to above asking price offers but others linger, and how as a buyer you can get a good deal, while as a seller you can also try to go under offer swiftly at a decent price. Also, on this week’s show, the team discuss the rise of the lockdown trader and why more people – and younger ones at that – are buying shares. They look at inflation and how many savings account beat it. And finally, why has the Royal Mint said it probably won’t need to make anymore 2p pieces or £2 coins for a very long time?
Georgie Frost and Editor Simon Lambert are joined by reporter Will Kirkman to talk property, getting in and moving on; living to 100 and whether your pension will last as long as you; Simon ‘shares’ his top tips that could bag you big and the trio don their flares and go back to the 70s.
Much is made of the difficulties faced by first-time buyers to get onto the property ladder, but less talked about is the problem facing second steppers and those looking to downsize. As growing families struggle to afford to move up the property ladder could intergenerational house-swaps be the answer? That's the question editor Simon Lambert, assistant editor Lee Boyce and host Georgie Frost tackle this week. What are the potential stamp duty and inheritance tax traps to look out for, and is it a good idea? Meanwhile, we talk about the plans to protect physical cash, as usage continues to dwindle – that, despite a launch of a new set of Peter Pan 50p capturing the public imagination.
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