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John Charcol regularly contributes to all forms of media and our lead spokesperson, Ray Boulger, is widely regarded as the guru of the mortgage market. Ray is a regular on BBC Television, BBC Radio, ITV and Sky News. As well as broadcast media, he is a regular in the Financial Times, Sunday Times, Sunday Telegraph and other leading newspapers.
Here is a selection of the latest developments at John Charcol.
Mortgage brokers could benefit from a recent regulatory change, which has removed some of the obstacles to selling mortgages to older borrowers. JC's Ray Boulger says: “This FCA announcement on the new RIO mortgage category is very significant for the later life sector, and will result in the number of interest-only options steadily increasing over the next few years.”
The Mortgage Lender has launched its buy-to-let mortgages to be made available through 11 exclusive distribution partners including John Charcol.
One of Britain's biggest mortgage brokers, John Charcol, has seen the number of so-called down valuations — where a lender values a property at less than a buyer believes it is worth — double over the past year. JC's Nick Morrey says that staff are dealing with 20 to 30 cases of down valuations each month, with lenders stating that houses are worth up to £100,000 less than their owners believed.
Knight Frank, Just Mortgages (the financial advisory business of Spicerhaart), Alexander Hall, Andrews and John Charcol have all started using iPipeline to sell protection alongside mortgages. SolutionBuilder is a quote and apply solution enabling advisers to review multi-benefit and single-benefit solutions.
Danske Bank has launched a ‘Helping Hand’ offer for customers who remortgage from another lender, giving free standard legals, a free valuation, £250 cashback and reduced rates on the bank’s standard fixed rates. However JC's Ray Boulger thought that this offer wasn’t anything special.
Coventry for intermediaries has launched 2-year and 5-year fixed rate residential mortgages, offering £500 cashback for home movers and first-time buyers on some mortgages. JC's Ray Boulger said: “Coventry has improved its product range, not only by introducing four new mortgages with a £500 cashback but also by cutting the rates on its 2 and 5-year fixed rates by 10 basis points."
Brokers may be readying themselves for a busy period as Help to Buy borrowers start enquiring about paying off the loan and interest. However JC's Ray Boulger predicts there may not be the deluge of enquiries that some advisers are expecting.
There are a few options for Help to Buy equity loan borrowers who now have to pay interest on the government's portion of the loan. JC's Ray Boulger says “Anyone who bought a property using the Help to Buy scheme with a five-year fixed rate mortgage in 2013 would now be able to remortgage at a significantly lower rate than was available then."
Buckinghamshire Building Society has launched a family assist mortgage available to first-time buyers who are finding it difficult to raise a deposit. JC's Ray Boulger reckoned it’s a better value product than a similar offering from the Post Office but worse than Barclays’ Springboard mortgage.
Anne and Carl Winter thought their bank, Santander, would have no problem allowing them to transfer their home loan to the new house but, much to their bewilderment, the bank used lending rules to throw out their application. JC's Ray Boulger said: 'This is a classic example of a couple doing something sensible and being thwarted by the system. How is this treating customers fairly?'