Property Prices Continue to Rise as Lenders Ease Criteria

The average property price has risen by more than £15,000 since June, according to the latest index from the UK’s biggest lender, Halifax. The price of a home leapt by 1.2 per cent in November to £253,243, an annual increase of 7.6 per cent compared with the same month last year.

The stamp duty holiday is behind the surge in interest from buyers keen to save up to £15,000 if they complete on their property purchase before the end of March. With delays to local searches, conveyancing and valuations, plus Christmas around the corner, some buyers are panicking about getting their deals done in time.

Thankfully, lenders remain keen to lend, with more choice available at higher loan-to-values (LTVs). Halifax is returning to the 90 per cent LTV space this week, making life easier for first-time buyers with modest deposits. However, the lender will not lend on new-build properties and has a maximum loan size of £500,000.

Meanwhile, Saffron building society said it would allow ‘some flexibility’ when considering applications from self-employed borrowers, offering manually-reviewed applications on a case-by-case basis and a more common sense approach to lending. In addition, contractors will only need to have been contracted for three months, with no minimum income requirement as the application will be based on affordability.

Advice remains more important than ever, particularly if you need to get a mortgage arranged quickly to take advantage of the stamp duty holiday, or you have complex income streams so can’t get what you need from a high-street lender. This is where AWS can help – we are a whole-of-market broker who can help arrange the right mortgage for your circumstances. Please get in touch for more information.
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