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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.
NatWest has revealed it has been considering raising the maximum lending age for its products but it wants to see how changes to pension and lifestyles affect customer behaviour before doing so. Also speaking in the debate, JC's Nick Morrey questioned whether brokers had the right support and knowledge to be advising on the whole range of later life products.
Experts have called for the Government to overhaul the Maternity Allowance for self-employed mums after a report found it's unfairly forcing them to return to work before they're ready. Mortgage broker John Charcol found that the average self-employed mother takes just 23 weeks off work as maternity leave, instead of the full 39 week period.
During the Noughties, landlords ploughed into property in the hope they could sit back, collect rent and watch house prices soar. But today, a deluge of taxes and an uncertain market has seen tens of thousands abandon the buy-to-let industry. Calculations by mortgage broker firm John Charcol suggest that the new rules mean an average landlord could be offered around £50,000 less per property.
Homeowners are facing a rise in mortgage costs even without an increase in the official interest rate after the Bank of England pulled the plug on a scheme that has pumped tens of billions of pounds into banks to help fuel lending. JC's Ray Boulger said the Term Funding Scheme has been keeping mortgage rates low. 'If you go back pre-credit crunch, the bank rate was the only significant weapon the Bank had,' he said. 'Now they have got a lot of other options.'
Brokers need more lenders offering Airbnb mortgages, following the growing demand from clients who wish to purchase on a holiday let basis, analysis conducted by Mortgage Solutions found. JC's Ray Boulger explained that if the whole property is being let, there will be a maximum period, typically three months, and expected rental income will be ignored in the affordability assessment.
Self-employed women take less maternity leave than their salaried sisters because they can’t afford the time off, research from John Charcol suggests.
Joint borrower sole proprietor mortgages allow parents and other relatives to club together with their children, using their combined earnings to secure a loan. JC's Nick Morrey says that the best deals for joint borrower sole proprietor mortgages are with Barclays.
The UK's financial watchdog has said it will take 'immediate action' to help tens of thousands of mortgage prisoners unable to switch to a cheaper deal. JC's Nick Morrey said: 'At least the FCA is trying to open the door that will encourage lenders to allow them to take them on. But you can’t force lenders to take on bad debt.'
A growing number of would-be homebuyers are choosing to rent while waiting for Britain’s exit from the EU to produce bargain property prices. JC's Ray Boulger said that many would-be buyers were holding off as Brexit enters its supposed end stage.
Brokers expect Secure Trust Bank to exit the mortgage market for the foreseeable future if the plan to stop originating new mortgages goes ahead. JC's Ray Boulger said: “Their statement suggests it could be short-term, but they may need to make redundancies or reallocate their origination department which means if they come back in they might have to hire them again."
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