Leasehold and train battles continue

Two successes but we have to make sure we do not allow ourselves to go soft and stop fighting.   The Government has announced that it plans to ban builders from selling new houses as leasehold.  At Money Fight Club, in the Financial Times and on Share Radio I have long campaigned for the feudal leasehold system to be reformed.  The Leasehold Knowledge Partnership has also been brilliant. Sajid Javid late last night announced that the market was broken and was harming home buyers.  Builders and the companies that make fat profits from buying freeholds from property developers to inflate […]

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Feudal leasehold contracts trap buyers

Two leasehold triumphs today but there is still a long way to go.   Leasehold, a feudal form of tenure unique to England and Wales has been trapping home-buyers for decades with contracts that cost them dear. Today Taylor Wimpey, the builder, has said that it will no longer build new  leasehold houses with ground rents that can double every ten years. These leases have trapped buyers, who have been unable to sell on their properties. Last year 95% of all new properties sold in London were leasehold  and 670,000 of houses were leasehold in England and Wales, including 2,829 new […]

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Double charging the poorest borrowers

  It’s always the same. It’s the poor what gets the blame and are charged far more than they should be. At the end of September Wonga managed to charge customers twice leaving thousands without money to buy food or pay their rent over a weekend.   But that accident was resolved in days. When it comes to overcharging it is the establishment lenders that know how to double charge their poorest customers over many years and take their time to put their customers back. Poorest customers will be repaid The Financial Conduct Authority estimates that up to 750,000 mortgage customers, […]

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Smartening up your mortgage credit profile

It’s got even harder to get a mortgage because of changes brought it in under the Mortgage Market Review. So it’s worth making sure your mortgage credit profile is in the best possible shape. Lenders will want to take a close look at your spending and if you haven’t gone for a mortgage for a few years the added level of detail will come as a shock. Making sure bills are paid on time and being registered to vote are two of the basics but there is a lot more you can do, including checking there are no black marks […]

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Budget moves – watch out for fancy footwork

As well as the pension changes, the Budget also announced a new breed of tax-free Individual Savings Accounts, which will allow £15,000 in cash or shares, or a mix of the two, to be invested each year. They’ll be launched in July. Check that the charges on the investment ISAs do not outweigh the tax benefits. Remember there will be no tax to pay on gains up to £10,900 even outside an ISA wrapper. And if you want to play safe with a cash ISA remember that banks like to lure in savers with high rates for the first year […]

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40 year mortgage loans – it’s only lenders that win

Lenders have a new wheeze when it comes to lending money to home buyers. Now interest-only loans have been outlawed for all except buy-to-let borrowers they have moved to the next best thing (for lenders, that is, not borrowers) – 40 year mortgage loans. In particular, lenders are circling first time buyers who are back in the market. According to the mortgage statistics for last year, mortgage approvals rose by 122,000 to 734,969. First-time buyer numbers are well up. For example,they took out 27,000 loans in November, 2013, a rise of just 0.7% compared to October, but up 24% compared […]

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