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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.

Find out more about Ray Boulger

Here is a selection of the latest developments at John Charcol.


Accord Mortgages has cut the rates on its high loan-to-value mortgages by up to 0.2 percentage points. JC's Ray Boulger said Accord's cuts were further evidence of competition driving down rates in the high LTV sector.


Amazon’s home assistant cannot deliver a home loan, but some experts suggest there may come a day when it will compete with brokers or lenders. “We should not leave computers completely unattended to make decisions,” warns JC's Nick Morrey.


The number of first-time buyers (FTBs) in 2018 reached its highest level since before the global financial crisis, UK Finance’s latest Mortgage Trends update has shown. JC's Ray Boulger said: "These figures confirm that virtually all the growth in mortgage lending in 2018 came from remortgaging and FTBs, with the lion’s share from remortgaging."


JC's Ray Boulger has called for The Prudential Regulation Authority to reassess stress testing whenever the base rate rises. He argued that not every rise in the bank rate indicates an upward trend and vice versa.


Lenders are more aggressive in retaining customers, offering product transfer deals much earlier and developing in-house technology to make it easier for customers to stay. JC's Nick Morrey is one of this week's Marketwatch panel explaining how brokers are going to protect their client base.


For a limited time Aldermore is offering free standard valuations on its high loan-to-value (LTV) purchase-only products, with no product fees. JC's Ray Boulger said: "No arrangement fee and a free valuation are always welcome and their benefits need to be factored in by brokers when assessing the competitiveness of particular deals."


An inheritance can be life-changing for those wanting to get on the property ladder or pay off a chunk of their mortgage. But be aware of your lender’s overpayment limits or you could incur an early redemption charge (ERC), says JC's Ray Boulger.


Shawbrook is implementing a ‘loan exposure ceiling’ to repeat borrowers, which is reviewed over time, though the appetite demonstrated is an indication rather than a commitment. JC's Ray Boulger said: “This is broadly quite positive."


Lenders who offer services such as flexibility to overpay, payment holidays or offset facilities are likely to be broker favourites, John Charcol has said. In the video, in association with NatWest, the broker firm noted that these and other flexibilities were becoming more important as customers increasingly take-on longer fixed rate deals.


Brokers are finding it difficult to get compliance departments on-board with recommending borrowers to pay for conveyancing despite poor free legal services. JC's Nick Morrey noted that it was a difficult situation for brokers as they were unable to put any pressure on conveyancers when things went wrong on free legals.

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