Of the 250,000 mortgage prisoners identified by the FCA, just 170,000 are up-to-date with payments and would be eligible to switch under new regulatory rules, its latest data shows. The new rules allow lenders to assess affordability based on a borrower’s track record of making mortgage payments.
Bank of England Governor Mark Carney dropped a clear hint on Thursday that the central bank could cut interest rates if it looks like weakness in the economy will persist. His comments sent sterling to a near two-week low against the dollar as he outlined a debate on the Monetary Policy Committee about whether interest rates needed to be cut now.
Research from Royal London has shown that savers could potentially risk throwing away thousands of pounds if they choose to cash in their pension to purchase a second property. The mutual insurer found that 15% of people aged over 55 would consider investing in a buy-to-let property to fund their retirement. However, for those approaching the age at which they can access their pension (45-54) the figure almost doubles to 29%. Royal London suggests that savers should think twice before raiding their pension as not only would they have to pay income tax on any pension withdrawal; they would also incur costs such as stamp duty. These taxes can bite huge chunks out of the initial sum meaning people may need to radically rethink what type of property they can afford.
The High Court has dismissed a challenge against the government’s handling of the rise in women’s state pension age. The State pension age rose to 65 for women between 2010 and 2018, in line with men, and is due to rise to 66 by 2020. The Claimants were women born in the 1950s who have been affected by the legislation equalising the state pension age. They argued that the changes left them with inadequate time to prepare for their retirement and discriminated on the grounds of age and/or sex. They also sought judicial review of the government’s alleged failure to inform them of the changes.
Nationwide's Chief Economist, Robert Gardner, shares his views on the outlook for the UK economy, housing and mortgage market and interest rates, in this latest economic update video.