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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.
Years of ‘brainwashing’ have acted to stifle demand from borrowers for interest-only mortgages, even though product numbers have jumped sharply, according to brokers. JC's Nick Morrey agreed, arguing that borrowers had been “brainwashed” into believing they were not allowed to do “true interest-only”.
The West Brom Building Society has reduced rates and increased the maximum loan size on its high loan to value products to attract first-time buyers. Commenting on West Brom’s move, JC's Nicholas Morrey said: "Anything that gives the public more and better options we welcome."
John Charcol signs exclusive partnership with the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self-Employed in continuation of its growth strategy.
Advisers have accused the Financial Conduct Authority of doing a ‘complete 180’ regarding its stance on mortgage advice. JC's Nick Morrey said many banks and lenders started training people to give advice following the MMR due to the requirements laid out within it.
Family Building Society has launched three retirement interest-only mortgage products, including a flexible RIO that allows customers to make overpayments, underpayments, payment holidays and has a borrow back facility. JC's Ray Boulger said: “It’s a good flexible product. I would say this is the second flexible RIO product after Vernon Building Society’s offset RIO it launched a few weeks ago."
Older borrowers stuck on interest-only mortgages have been offered what could become a lifeline by Britain's biggest building society Nationwide. JC's Nick Morrey said: 'There is still work to be done in this market as older borrowers can often have complicated scenarios and income streams that underwriters and policies need to be able to accommodate.
Product innovation will start to play an even bigger role in the market, with low margins and lenders struggling to compete on rate. This week JC's Ray Boulger joined the Mortgage Solutions panel, offering his opinion on what is missing in the mortgage market and what products brokers want to see in the next coming months.
Increasing numbers of homeowners are choosing to release cash from their properties to carry out improvements rather than move house. But the number of borrowers taking loans to move home remained flat year-on-year. JC's Ray Boulger said: 'Stamp duty rates have increased to such a level the tax is depressing the numbers who want to move to a bigger home.'
People struggling to get a foot on the property ladder are being targeted in a low-deposit mortgage boom. JC's Ray Boulger said: 'The higher your loan compared to the value of your property, the more risk there is of negative equity. I certainly wouldn't recommend anyone buying a property unless they are planning to stay there for at least three years.'
New measures to help some of Britain’s 140,000 mortgage prisoners access cheaper deals have received a cautious welcome from the industry, but many questions remain over how effective the reforms will prove to be. JC's Ray Boulger says the FCA’s consultation could have gone further in trying to help mortgage prisoners who are trying to move home, as well as those looking to remortgage and stay in their existing property.
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