To speak to one of the media team email email@example.com with your request and we will get back to you. Alternatively you can call 0207 933 9609 to speak to the press office.
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.
There has been a flurry of affordability changes in recent weeks as lenders begin to step up competition on criteria. JC's Ray Boulger says: “I see that there is scope for a lot more change in criteria, particularly regarding later-life lending, which is still being dominated by smaller players.”
While five-year fixes have been rising in popularity recently, partly in response to Brexit uncertainty and potential rate rises, some lenders are offering 10-year fixes at historically low rates. 'The rates themselves are a disadvantage,' JC's Nick Morrey said. 'Halifax have launched the remortgage product from 2.69 per cent with a £999 fee. Barclays, Coventry, TSB and HSBC have a 10-year fixed at 2.49 per cent, with TSB and Barclays both carrying a £999 fee and HSBC with no fee, both with free valuation and free legal fees.
Buy-to-let landlords face more upheaval under a government plan to introduce mandatory minimum three-year tenancies, which could make it harder for them to finance their purchases. "We haven't got to the stage where [longer tenancies] are becoming the norm," said JC's Ray Boulger.
Criteria Hub, the ‘deep search’ criteria engine, has signed an agreement with national mortgage brokerage, John Charcol, to provide its DA and AR advisers with access to its platform. JC's Ray Boulger said: “Up to now our technical team has maintained a spread sheet for our advisers, showing key criteria details of different lenders. However, Criteria Hub takes the provision of this type of detailed criteria information to a whole new level."
Although early redemption penalties are rare with standard variable rate loans, you must find out if they are levied by your existing lender before you go down the remortgage path. These charges are a deterrent to remortgaging. JC's Ray Boulger says: ‘It is unlikely to be worth paying such a charge to switch to a new deal but if in doubt speak to an independent mortgage broker who can advise.’
Mortgage lenders and borrowers are being forced to take greater risks as property transactions slump because buyers cannot afford sky-high prices. The Bank of England recently warned lenders against taking greater risks but JC's Nick Morrey said they continue to ease criteria: “As borrowing slows, many could struggle to hit lending targets, which will show up in their results.”
A third runway at Heathrow would benefit the economy greatly but the government needs to make sure it compensates those affected by it, brokers argued. JC's Ray Boulger thought that although its been approved, its likely to be some time before the work actually starts and in the meantime people nearby need compensation.
Last week Virgin agreed a takeover from Clydesdale and Yorkshire Bank, in a deal that creates the sixth largest bank in the UK. JC's Ray Boulger said: “It will reduce consumer choice. The larger bank will be stronger, it will reduce competition. I think mergers like this are always a concern."
Vida Homeloans has launched a ‘helping hand’ product to assist parents in getting their children onto the housing ladder without being on the title deeds and jointly owning the property. JC's Ray Boulger said "It is great news to see Vida joining the select club of lenders adding this option to its criteria, thus providing more choice for brokers and their clients."
More lenders are relaxing affordability criteria to make it easier for borrowers to qualify for mortgages and larger loan amounts, brokers have suggested. Providers are under pressure to hit lending targets when house purchase transaction levels are falling, which is in part behind the criteria changes, according to JC's Nick Morrey.
Sign up to our Newsletter
Receive our monthly email newsletter and keep up to date on the current condition of the mortgage market alongside product news that may be of interest to you.