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Gross Mortgage lending for December 2019

Gross mortgage lending for December 2019 stands at £22.2 billion

According to the latest Household Finance Update from UK Finance, Gross mortgage lending across the residential market in December 2019 was £22.2 billion. The annual total for 2019 to £265.8 billion. Although annually 1.1 per cent lower than in 2018, the last two years have broadly reflected the continuation of a stronger long term lending trend over recent years.

  • An annual total of 982,286 mortgages were approved by the main high street banks during 2019, 7.4 per cent more than in 2018
  • The full year number of mortgages approved for home purchases were 8.0 per cent higher, remortgage approvals were 7.9 per cent higher and approvals for other secured borrowing were 3.0 per cent higher than in 2018


The Office of National Statistics reported that the Consumer Prices Index, including owner occupiers’ housing costs (CPIH) 12-month inflation rate was 1.4% in December 2019, down from 1.5% in November 2019.

The Consumer Prices Index (CPI) 12-month rate was 1.3% in December 2019, down from 1.5% in November 2019.


There was an annual house price growth of 1.4% in 2019 according to Nationwide figures:

  • Prices rose 0.1% in December, after taking account of seasonal factors
  • Annual price declines persist in London and the Outer South East
  • The average house price in December (not seasonally adjusted) was £215,282
  • Raising a deposit remains key challenge for prospective first time buyers

Commenting on the figures, Robert Gardner, Nationwide’s Chief Economist, said:

“Looking ahead, economic developments will remain the key driver of housing market trends and house prices. Much will continue to depend on how quickly uncertainty about the UK’s future trading relationships lifts as well as the outlook for global growth. Overall, we expect the economy to continue to expand at a modest pace in 2020, with house prices remaining broadly flat over the next twelve months.”

The FCA in their statistics on mortgage lending December 2019 edition, released the following key findings in relation to Q3:

  • The outstanding value of all residential mortgage loans was £1,486 billion in 2019 Q3, 3.9% higher than a year earlier.
  • The value of gross mortgage advances was £73.3 billion, broadly unchanged in comparison to 2018 Q3.
  • The value of new mortgage commitments (lending agreed to be advanced in the coming months) was 1.1% higher than a year earlier, at £73.8 billion.
  • The share of gross mortgage lending for buy-to-let purposes (covering house purchase, remortgage and further advance) was 12.3%, consistent with 2018 Q3.

Help to Buy Isa applications close for start of December

The final providers of the Help to Buy Isa – aimed at saving for a first home deposit – closed the window for new applications on 1st December 2019. The product, which has been available since December 2015, allowed potential first-time buyers aged 16 or over to save, with the income free from tax.

This was then topped up with a government bonus of up to £3,000. Nearly 260,000 properties have been bought using the Isa across the UK, Treasury figures show. The data also revealed that 339,747 bonuses have been paid through the scheme, with an average value of £943. The biggest proportion was in the North West of England. Whilst the scheme officially closed to new accounts, account holders can keep on saving until autumn 2029, with bonuses needing to be claimed by 1 December 2030.

The Equity Release Council

Membership of the Council has almost doubled in two years. Membership has increased from 219 to 431 firms since December 2017 – reflecting the increasing role of property wealth in later life financial planning with more firms signing up to the organisation’s best practice standards.

David Burrowes, Chairman of the Equity Release Council, commented:

“The option of accessing property wealth increasingly registers on people’s radar when planning for later life. The Council’s growing membership means more people can access the highest level of consumer protection for any property-based loan when exploring whether equity release or alternative products can help to meet their needs”

Henry Knight, Managing Director of Springtide Capital commented:

‘Due to many factors including the UK population living longer, equity release products have become more in demand. They have also become more accessible and competitive within the market and schemes ensuring advisors adequately meet the needs of their customers is crucial.’



Autumn Budget 2018

Housing highlights from the Autumn Budget 2018

The Government delivered it’s Autumn Budget and the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond, reaffirmed his commitment to the UK housing market with a series of announcements:

  • A new Help to Buy scheme from April 2021
  • Stamp Duty relief extended to first-time buyers buying shared ownership properties
  • Affordable Homes Programme progresses
  • Further grant funding in London announced
  • Housing Revenue Account Cap abolished

Help to Buy extended

The government was under significant pressure to revise the Help to Buy initiative and continue the scheme beyond its 2021 deadline. The Autumn budget delivered the following:

  • A revised scheme that is restricted to first-time buyers will be launched in April 2021.
  • It includes regional property price caps to ensure it is more targeted to people who need it most. Prices will be capped at 1.5 times the current forecasted average first-time buyer price in each region – with a maximum of £600,000 set in London.
  • The government says it has no plans to continue offering Help to Buy equity loans beyond March 2023.

Stamp Duty

  • The Budget extended relief to all first-time buyers of shared ownership properties worth up to £500,000.
  • This change is retrospective, meaning that first-time buyers who bought a shared ownership property with a price up to £500,000, since 22 November 2017, can claim a refund.
  • Phillip Hammond stated that the recent Stamp Duty changes have so far helped 121,500 buyers placing first-time buyers in a more positive position within the UK housing market.

Affordable Homes Funding Boost

  • Nine housing associations were allocated £653 million from the Affordable Homes Programme, to deliver over 13,000 additional affordable housing starts by March 2022.
  • £1 billion of new guarantees to support small and medium sized builders was implemented by the British Business Bank.

Grant Funding in London’s Docklands

  • Grant funding of £291 million for vital infrastructure on the Docklands Light Railway in East London has been announced.
  • The release of pressure on existing services in the area has the potential to unlock over 18,000 homes.

Non-resident stamp duty consultation

The government will publish a consultation in January 2019 on introducing a 1% stamp duty surcharge for non-residents buying a home in England and Northern Ireland.

Housing Revenue Account Cap is abolished

The Housing Revenue Account cap has been abolished in the Autumn Budget, allowing councils to increase house-building to around 10,000 homes a year. The Housing Revenue Account cap was considered the biggest obstacle to councils initiating the building of new homes.

Consultation of Planning Reforms

In the Autumn statement the government announced that they plan to build on existing planning reforms to make it easier to extend existing buildings upwards to create new homes and support the regeneration of high streets. A consultation on the proposed planning reform aims to simplify and speed up the planning system allowing more effective use of land and, ultimately, deliver more homes.

Henry Knight, Managing Director, Springtide Capital commented: “Springtide Capital welcomes the steps taken in the budget, which provides a number of opportunities to bring momentum into the housing market. The announcement that the Help to Buy scheme in particular is extending beyond its initial 2021 deadline will help more people to get on the property ladder and is positive news for first-time buyers.”





Half of mortgage holders have no life cover


Springtide Capital have been helping mortgage holders to protect themselves and their families with life assurance and critical illness cover for many years. However, no matter how great the benefit and peace of mind, our experience tells us that any additional expense reduces willingness to take out insurance policies.

 This has recently been reflected in research from Scottish Widows, stating that “50% of the UK’s mortgage holders have no life cover in place, meaning that 8.2 million people are leaving themselves and their families financially exposed if the unforeseen were to happen.”

It’s critical

The research also revealed that “only a fifth (20%) of the UK’s mortgage holders have a critical illness policy, leaving many more millions at risk of financial hardship or losing their home if they were to become seriously ill.”

When you purchase a life and critical illness policy, you’re actually buying peace of mind so that mortgage payments will be met, which is often the last thing you or your family would like to manage when illness strikes or worse.

Springtide Capital have two dedicated and experienced Protection Consultants, Andrew and Jackie.

They will take the time to understand your circumstances, ask any relevant health questions and provide a quotation, which is tailored to your needs – ensuring that you and your family are protected.

Jackie, Protection Consultant at Springtide Capital, commented: “I consider life and critical illness extremely important when you take out a mortgage or other loans. Although it isn’t a condition of a mortgage application, lenders do like to understand that you have considered the consequences of not taking one out. It really is better to be safe than sorry.”

Living on a single income

33% of respondents admitted “that if they or their partner were unable to work for six months or longer due to ill health or personal injury, they’d be unable to live on a single income.

“And more than two-fifths (43%) of those who couldn’t cope with a single wage say they would resort to dipping into their savings in order to survive. Yet 43% say their savings would last for no more than a couple of months and 15% don’t even know how much they have, meaning they could be relying on backup which doesn’t actually exist.”

Three months and counting

In addition, “just under a quarter (23%) could only afford to pay household bills for a maximum of three months if they or their partner were unable to work, and 23% could make a maximum of just three monthly mortgage payments. Another 15% admit they’re not actually sure how long they’d be able to cope with their mortgage payments.

“Welfare reforms make the case for financial protection all the more pressing. A quarter (25%) of mortgage holders who say they’d be unable to live on a single income if their partner were unable to work also admit that they’d rely on state benefits to ensure they could manage financially.”

Henry Knight, director at Springtide Capital, added: “I’d urge mortgage holders to seek advice on protecting themselves should the worst happen. A quote can be produced very quickly and tailored to the budget level of the client. Cover becomes priceless when it’s required.”

To find out how we can help you with your mortgage protection needs simply call 020 3040 4400.

SOURCE: Scottish Widows Research June 2016


Six secret steps to mortgage success for the self-employed


For some, obtaining a mortgage when you’re self-employed, may seem like walking up the down escalator – fruitless. We’re sharing our experience with you, to give you a smoother ride to success – your mortgage isn’t a dream, it’s a spreadsheet and SA302 form away from reality.

Why is it so tough?

It boils down to two things: the mortgage market review (MMR) which made all borrowing rules tougher (to protect you) and proving your income.

When you’re salaried, it’s easier for banks, as you represent less of a risk, with a steady income each month – if you’re self-employed, this is often not the case, with busier and quieter income periods. The banks will also be looking at how quickly people pay you, forecasted income and how much profit you make.

It’s responsible to ensure you can afford a mortgage

On a positive note, it’s good that a lender or bank ensures that you can afford the mortgage in the first place, it’s no different to an employed person in that respect – the rules are there to protect you.

We submit many successful mortgages for self-employed people, it’s all in the preparation and choosing the right lender for your circumstances, which may or may not be a mainstream bank.

In order to allay the worst fears of self-starters everywhere, we’ve put together the following checklist for self-employed mortgage applicants.

  1. Get your SA302 form


We’ve written about the SA302 form before. This is the one page tax calculation document you get from HMRC after you’ve submitted your tax return each year. You can also find out how to access it by visiting the HMRC’s website.

It’s common for lenders to request SA302 forms dating back three years in some cases. The good news is, if you submit your return online, you can usually print off what you need quickly. If you still submit via post, you may need to wait a few weeks for it to arrive after requesting it.

  1. Get your income figures ready

You’ll no doubt be asked to go through a mortgage interview: a process of discussing your income and personal outgoings and talking through the details of the mortgage. Our biggest tip is to get your figures ready before the call, it will save both you and the interviewer a great deal of time, do the work before hand to make it painless.

Ensure you have your accounts to hand, with profit and tax for the last three years. You’ll also need details of any other income such as a partner freely available. The majority of lenders will require accounts and personal tax returns to be within the last 18 months, so do not delay if you are thinking of arranging a mortgage.

  1. Stress test yourself

Don’t just base all your calculations on the here and now. The drum beat for interest rate rises at the Bank of England grows louder by the day and most of the indicators point to a gradual increase in rates which takes place over a number of years.

Which means you could be facing higher base rates when you come to the end of any fixed rate period.

Use a mortgage repayment calculator to model such a scenario based on your projected income and check that you’ll be able to handle the extra interest burden.

  1. Gather your documents

Lenders will want to see proof not only of your recent income but might also want to see evidence of your future income, so be prepared to present formal offers or signed contracts for future work. And remember your SA302!

  1. Survey your outgoings

The new guidelines require that mortgage advisers assess the affordability of a particular product based not only on your income but on your outgoings too.

While this is a much more thorough method for checking affordability than the old income multiple calculation, this financial probing can get down to quite a granular level.

The questions can vary depending on lender, you’ll definitely need details of household bills, savings, personal expenditure, existing loans, pensions – basically any money that goes in or out of your bank account/s.

This is no time for back of the envelope scribbling – this kind of financial planning calls for a spreadsheet. Our advice then is to note down all your expenditure in great detail in advance, the better prepared you are, the quicker it’ll be over.

    6. Talk to a mortgage broker

With the introduction of the new rules, banks are scrambling around to recruit sufficient mortgage advisers to handle the demand. This has lead to long waiting times for appointments with banks and the length of the application process itself.

Fortunately, mortgage advisers at banks aren’t the only ones who can perform these new checks: FCA authorised mortgage brokers can do it too. So, by making use of a broker you’ll not only receive help on gathering the figures together, you’re also maximising your chances of a successful application and cutting down the amount of time it takes to apply.

To speak to a specialist mortgage broker at Springtide Capital, get in touch today.


New buy-to-let changes may stem the market



It seems that Mr Osborne’s introduction of a three percent surcharge on Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) has gone down like a proverbial ‘lead balloon’ with investors.

In the Autumn Statement, the chancellor announced that people purchasing a buy-to-let or second home will be subject to a three percent surcharge on SDLT, which will come into effect from April 2016.

It’s no surprise that many existing and potential landlords consider this SDLT hike as a serious blow – especially in view of the recent announcement to limit buy-to-let tax relief on mortgage interest.

Mr Osborne said: “People buying a home to let should not be squeezing out families who can’t afford a home to buy.”

Henry Knight commented: “It seems my hope for incentives within housing policies were, as predicted, hopeless and instead another blow to investors has been delivered. An increase to the SDLT will considerably increase the purchase costs for landlords.

“Has Mr Osborne considered the impact this will have on the market? It might open the door for first-time buyers and potentially slow down the increasing buy-to-let market, but by how much? People need to rent and I can foresee a reduction in the number of landlords following next April. It’s also in favour of professional, large-portfolio landlords as opposed to a family owning an investment property to fund retirement. Where some say it will slow pricing – it’s my feeling that buyers will expect sellers to shoulder the increase, and it could cause a pre-increase buying stampede from investors.”

The new rates don’t apply to some types of investment such as caravans, mobile homes and houseboats. Those companies who own more than 15 residential properties may also be exempt subject to consultation – with a view to incentivising large-scale investment in housing.

Like the majority of these new changes, we must wait and see how this is to be administered and more importantly what impact it will have on the buy-to-let market.


Mortgages for barristers are no cut and dried affair…


Mortgages for highly skilled professionals, like barristers, form a vital part of the work that mortgage brokers carry out.

There is one reason – barristers simply don’t have time.

This is due to the highly specialised nature of the work they do and the unique circumstances under which chambers operate. The assistance of broker advice on mortgage product selection, and how to present earnings as part of a mortgage application, is invaluable to them.

Barrister mortgage applications are not always simple.

Not simple, but achievable, if you’re a broker who understands what mortgage providers are looking for. One of the main hurdles for a barrister mortgage application is presenting earnings accurately.

Sounds easy? Not really, lenders must be satisfied that an applicant can afford their mortgage – the remuneration of barristers in private practice is rarely a cut and dried affair. A barrister’s cash flow is often restricted by lengthy cases, debt owed by solicitors, the costs of chambers themselves as well as travel expenses and legal subscriptions.

All these act to cause significant underestimation of the net worth and earnings potential of a barrister, and can cause mortgage applications to be rejected.

Of course, if barristers had the time to thoroughly look into lenders’ requirements and preferences, to craft their mortgage applications accordingly, and then to follow up their applications with further responses to lenders’ concerns, then none of this would be a problem.

But long working hours, and heavy caseloads, often means that seeking expert advice and help from a qualified mortgage broker is a much more convenient option.

How can a mortgage broker help a barrister?

A qualified mortgage broker can help a barrister with their mortgage application in three main ways:

  • By recommending suitable mortgage products and advising on the likelihood that the barrister’s application for a particular product will be approved;
  • Presenting the barrister’s mortgage application to the lender in a way that emphasises the barrister’s true earnings;
  • Advocating on the barrister’s behalf in cases where the lender requires further evidence.

Because of their unique method of remuneration, barristers’ making mortgage applications by themselves are not adequately catered for by large financial institutions. A call centre operative at a bank for instance may not be familiar with the extra measures a barrister needs to take when presenting their application.

Mortgage brokers who have experience in mortgages for barristers on the other hand will have existing relationships with such organisations, will know how each lender likes to be presented with evidence of earnings, where each draws the line between an accepted and rejected application and how much room for negotiation there is.




Self-employed mortgage checklist

The self-employed have always faced significant hurdles when it comes to obtaining a mortgage. With the introduction of new rules for mortgage applications under the MMR, it seems that sentiment among self-employed people looking for mortgages is currently running at its lowest ebb. Stories of 3 hour grillings from bank staff who pick over every aspect of one’s financial life have been making headlines everywhere.

But we don’t think this negative outlook on the part of self-employed homebuyers is quite justified.

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5 top tips for applying for large mortgages

High street lenders shied away from offering large mortgage loans in the wake of the financial crisis. Lending a large sum to a single individual is seen as more risky than spreading the risk over several smaller loans. Recently though, buoyant property prices have coaxed these lenders back into the large loan market and buyers looking to apply for mortgages of £1m plus are finding themselves with more choice than ever.

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Golden Oldies: The Over 60s guide to getting a mortgage


If you are one of the many UK homeowners at retirement age and thinking of applying for a new mortgage, you will be forgiven for assuming that you have little chance of obtaining an affordable offer. . Until quite recently, lenders viewed  the over 60s as high risk borrowers which meant  options were historically very limited.

However, many banks and building societies have now started to recognise that the general population live longer (and work !) longer and have started to be more flexible by offering a wider range of products to older borrowers.

That said, getting a mortgage when you are of a certain age is still more complicated than for younger applicants. Therefore before you embark on the process, you may like to read our helpful 5 step  guide to give you the best possible start.

Step 1: Do your homework – what size mortgage do you need?

Look at how much you want to borrow and what loan-to-value (LTV) you will need. This is likely to be based on the value of equity in your own home, unless you have funds elsewhere for a deposit.

Step 2: Consider your options – what mortgage products are out there for older borrowers?

Read up on the different products available for older borrowers. A regular income is still a necessity for a classic mortgage, so if you don’t have this, you may need to consider options such as equity release e, a lifetime mortgage, home income plan or home reversion plan. .


Step 3: Dig out your mortgage documentation – prove your income

By this we mean pay slips or tax returns, pension statements, cash savings account statements, investment portfolio statements, buy-to-let tenancy agreements and healthy monthly bank statements, amongst others. If you have a reasonable level of assets outside of your home, then you may be considered by some of the private banks, who are traditionally more flexible on income assessment for individuals with complicated income scenarios.

Step 4: Pick up the phone – speak to a mortgage adviser

Once armed with a solid idea of what you want and what you can demonstrate on paper, it’s time to make that call to the expert, who will be able to discuss your requirements and source the most suitable product from their vast panel of reputable lenders. Brokers have to hand the age limits, income minimums, product varieties and documentation requirements of hundreds of lenders, so let them do the hard work for you and whittle down the selection to the top few who offer you the highest chances of a successful application.

Step 5: Game on – apply for a mortgage product that best suits your situation

If you are over 60 and interested in speaking with an  adviser about your mortgage options, give Springtide Capital a call today on020 3040 4400. .



After the storm: the mortgage market outlook post MMR

In the months leading up to the implementation of the Mortgage Market Review (MMR), it was commonly known that the new rules would initially dampen the growth of the mortgage market. This was largely due to the immense time and investment required to update crucial business processes systems in line with the new regulations.   . However, our view at Springtide Capital has always remained optimistic. We never expected MMR to have a lasting negative effect on the increased appetite for lending that has been recorded over recent months.  We also didn’t expect these changes to hinder overall market growth for 2014. Encouragingly, and following recent positive conversations with a number of building societies and several major high street lenders we think we might be right.

Record mortgage growth predicted for 2014

In spite of the regulatory changes brought in by the MMR, we predict that the mortgage market will be worth approximately £220bn GBP by the end of this year. This is a large increase on last year’s £175bn, as reported by the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) at the end of the fourth quarter of 2013.

Mortgage lending surge to start in third quarter

Lenders have indicated that their desire for lending remains strong. MMR preparation brought with it the additional strain on internal resources, new IT systems and processes.

However, we believe that by the end of summer, these teething problems will be finalised and the situation will improve dramatically, with the biggest surge in mortgage lending looking likely to begin from the start of the third quarter and into the New Year.

If you are concerned about how the MMR could affect your mortgage application call us today on 020 3040 4400 to speak to an expert mortgage adviser.