Mortgage Advice Bureau (MAB) is one of the UK’s leading network of mortgage brokers and sits on North Stoneham Park’s approved panel of experts who offer independent mortgage advice and financial solutions to Highwood’s homebuyers. MAB’s Mortgage and Protection Adviser, Simon Aston, explains why we have reason to be optimistic.

‘The mood of the market is generally really positive,’ reveals Simon. ‘Anyone who was holding back from making a house move until after December’s General Election is now pushing ahead. Viewing levels for North Stoneham Park’s agents, Charters, for example, have been nothing short of incredible. In terms of lending, mortgage approvals rose 1.4% in November year-on-year, according to the Bank of England, with gross lending of £22.4 billion representing the highest November total since 2007.

First-time buyers hit a 12-year high in 2019

‘First-time buyers hit a 12-year high in 2019, according to research by the Yorkshire Building Society, accounting for 51% of all home purchases with a mortgage over 2019, compared to just 38% in 2008. Borrowers are still benefitting from some great rates as they become increasingly competitive, particularly those requiring just a 5% deposit – many lenders are now offering rates of less than 3% and that’s a considerable improvement on 2019’s figures. Santander is offering a two-year fixed rate at just 1.39% right now for first-time buyers and there’s no evidence that any rate rises will be announced in the short term.

‘As we look ahead, momentum is expected to pick up across the market this spring and sales volumes for vendors are expected to reveal an uptick over 2020. This is very encouraging for anyone planning to make a move and we’re all looking forward to more positive news following Brexit and into the summer.’

This news will come as a welcome boost indeed for this year’s homeowners and comes on the back of some welcome property industry headlines – here’s a snapshot of what has been reported going into 2020:

  • RICS Housing Forecast: ‘House prices are predicted to rise by 2% by year end.’
  • Real Homes: ‘A stable but low rate of house price increases in the last quarter of 2019 is also boding well both for those looking to sell and buy a home. The once-feared sharp fall in house prices is now highly unlikely, but house price growth remains at below the rate of average wage growth – very good news for potential homeowners.’
  • Estate Agent Today: ‘The first annual increase above one percent in as long as a year is certainly something to toast to. The cost of borrowing also remains at very favourable levels enabling more of us to secure a realistic financial foot on the ladder.’
  • com: ‘…a number of estate agents and housing market experts have made more optimistic predictions for 2020, ranging from a 1% rise in house prices up to a 3% increase over the coming year.’
  • Property Master: ‘The cost of fixed rate Brexit buy-to-let mortgages are set to fall now the Conservatives have been elected.’

As it stands, headlines such as these and anecdotal evidence suggest the post-Brexit era has the potential to spur on activity across the property industry that has, until now, been placed on hold. Time will tell if expectations remain as buoyant as the market is now beginning to feel.