To say that 2020 has been a bad year for the UK would be an understatement. In fact I just heard that the Ethiopians are putting together a Band Aid single for us…
That said, doing what we do for a living, it is always about the numbers, so we look back at some key stats from our perspective which may reflect a slightly more positive year than it felt at times. The reality is that there are more positives than negatives in life, there just are. Sometimes, however, you have to dig a little deeper to find them and never was that truer than this year.
I do fully appreciate that everyone’s memory of 2020 will be coloured by their own experiences, which will wildly differ. In the mortgage/property world, it’s been OK, so I am very thankful for that. We all kept our jobs and we have been blessed by the support of our clients and business partners. Even more so, I am very grateful that all my friends and family are safe and well. As William DeVaughan rightly said “Be thankful for what you got” (which has essentially been my soundtrack of 2020!)
So whatever 2020 held for you, we reset the clock for 2021 shortly and go again! We look forward to picking up with you all then.
UK House Prices up 7.6%
This was the surprise stat of the year. No-one predicted such huge growth back in March! (or even January for that matter) Halifax believe that prices rose by 7.6% in the 12 months to November. That was 1.2% up on last month alone and 3.8% up in the quarter.
This is showing quite an upward trajectory which is not likely to ease up until well after the stamp duty deadline comes to an end on 31st March 2021.
Will it carry on after that? The huge variables of Brexit and the vaccine roll out will be the determining factors, but assuming both go ‘OK’, prices are very unlikely to fall back, but it is just too hard to predict what may happen until these points are resolved.
14% Increase In First Time Buyers
In a period of flat overall homeowner numbers (65% of all households are now homeowners, which is around 15.4m of 23.8m total homes), an increase in First Time Buyers is welcome news as more people are getting on the housing ladder.
The average age of a First Time Buyer also fell to 32 from 33 the year previous (also down to age 34 from 37 in London).
That is further evidence of credit policy relaxing, making it more achievable for people to buy.
Rental Income Increased by 1.4%
ONS (Office for National Statistics) figures showed that rental income rose by 1.4% in the year to November for the whole UK. Rents grew by 1.4% in England, 1.6% in Wales and 0.6% in Scotland.
In England, the South West saw the biggest growth of 2.3% while the South East saw the lowest growth of 0.9% and London was 1.1% up.
If you are a property investor, seeing both asset and income rises is a very rare treat based on what has happened the last few years.
2,782 Mortgage Products Available
Data from MoneyFacts also confirmed that this is an increase of 378 on just the month previous. That is the largest monthly increase since November 2014, and further good news that the increase was mostly felt in the area of 85% and 90% lending (so offering mortgages to those with a 15% and 10% deposit respectively.
There is no getting away from the fact that is still 44% less mortgage products available than this time last year, however the recovery is well underway as lenders loosen the purse strings.
Market Rates all up last week but that only really reverse the falls we saw the week previous, keeping the overall theme being very flat.
The best mortgage rates continue to creep up, so we still feel keeping your mortgage options short term will save you the money in the long run.
In the last week:
3 Month Sterling Libor = down by 0.001% to 0.037%
2 Year SWAP = up by 0.023% to 0.069%
5 Year SWAP = up by 0.044% to 0.242%
Bank of England Base Rate = Held at 0.10%
2 Year Variable from 1.19%
2 Year Fixed Rates from 1.04%
5 Year Fixed Rates from 1.29%
BTL Rates from 1.19%
The actual rate you will be offered will be dependent on your personal circumstance and deposit level. Please speak to one of our advisers so that they can guide you through this process
Source: Twenty7Tec December 2020
If you would like to talk to any of our advisers about the mortgage market and how credit conditions are easing, they will be more than happy to answer any questions you may have and you can find them all here. Meet the team