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Viewing entries posted in March 2016

Which areas are worst affected by stamp duty changes?

Posted by MMB Finance Swindon and Gloucester on 31 March 2016

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Research on the financial impact of the additional 3% Stamp Duty Land Tax, which is payable by all buyers of buy-to-let properties and second homes from Friday 1 April. Has found that landlords in 13% of England will pay stamp duty for the first time. Average house prices in 14 out of 105 postcode areas are under £125,000, meaning future buy-to-let purchases will be subject to up to £3,750 SDLT.

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Buy-To-Let Lenders To Face Tougher Checks

Posted by MMB Finance Swindon and Gloucester on 30 March 2016

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New Bank of England measures will put in place a "guardrail" against banks and building societies making dangerous loans. The Bank's Prudential Regulation Authority said it was putting in place a "guardrail" to prevent banks from making dangerous loans, warning that one in five lenders was not carrying out the right checks.

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Least affordable place to buy a house

Posted by MMB Finance Swindon and Gloucester on 28 March 2016


It's not your imagination - it hasn't been this difficult to buy a home for the best part of a decade. New figures have revealed that on average, homes cost around six times local earnings, but in some areas things are even worse - and in one city the price of property has hit 11 times local earnings. The figures, from Lloyds Bank, show that Oxford is the least affordable city in Britain. The average house price is almost 11 times average earnings in the city. This is not due to any particular wage issue - it's largely because Oxford house prices have been soaring - and now cost an average of £364,429.

The rest of the top five least affordable don't fare much better. Winchester is in second place, with houses costing 10.54 times earnings, London is third at 10.06 times, Cambridge fourth at 9.9 times and Bath fifth at 9.77 times.

Ten least affordable
Greater London
Brighton and Hove
St Albans

Many of these cities have earned their place in this list through rampant house price growth in recent years. Oxford, for example, has seen prices grow 39% in the past five years - pushed up both by local demand, and by the influx of London commuters. Winchester, meanwhile, has seen runaway house price growth over the past ten years - by an astonishing 79% - as it has increasingly been seen as a commuter city within reach of London.

Overall things look pretty bleak too. Home affordability has hit its worst level in eight years - as the average UK city house price has risen 8% to £211,880, taking the cost of property from 6.2 times earnings to 6.6 times. Things haven't looked this bad since the peak of the boom in 2008.

There's a significant North/South divide, with 17 of the 20 least affordable cities in southern England - and only Lichfield, Leicester and York make it from outside the South. At the other end of the spectrum, Londonderry has been named as the most affordable city. The average property price in the city is £113,302 - which is 3.8 times the gross average annual earnings. Londonderry - like the rest of the top five - gains its position from the fact that house prices are relatively low.

Stirling is second, with houses costing 4.11 times earnings, Bradford is third at 4.31 times, Belfast is fourth at 4.42 times, and Hereford fifth at 4.55 times.

Ten most affordable

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The government defers stamp duty increase for second homes

Posted by MMB Finance Swindon and Gloucester on 22 March 2016

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The government has extended the period before the higher stamp duty rate will apply to second homes, and the time in which homeowners can claim a refund, from 18 months to 36 months. This will give those who have an overlap between two properties or are "moving in difficult circumstances" longer to dispose of their main residence. In the Budget documents, the government confirmed that there will be no exemption from the higher rates for significant investors, and that higher rates will apply equally to purchases by individuals and corporate investors.

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Is the Lifetime ISA 'another barrier to pension savings

Posted by MMB Finance Swindon and Gloucester on 18 March 2016

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George Osborne announced the launch of a Lifetime ISA which allows under-40s to save for their first home or retirement. He confirmed that from April 2017, people can save up to £4,000 each year and receive a 25% additional bonus from the Government. However many in the pensions industry have raised concerns that the product could cause become a threat to auto-enrolment and even signal "the beginning of the end of traditional pensions".

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