Money Insider: First-time buyers boost for flagging mortgage market

 

A surge in new mortgages to first-time buyers was the only bright spot among the latest official mortgage figures released this week. The Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) numbers for June were nothing to get excited about, with total lending down 6 per cent on last month at £11.7bn and 7 per cent lower than last June.

It was no surprise when loans to first timers fell sharply in April this year as the stamp duty holiday came to an end, but they have since rebounded and jumped by 9.1 per cent in June where the £2.4bn lent represents the strongest performance for nearly two years.

While this increase is welcomed and a trend lenders and the housing market would like to see continue, it is thought the figures for May could have been distorted by the additional bank holidays for the Diamond Jubilee.

With house prices still edging downwards, and some very competitive rates available to 90 per cent loan-to-value, the conditions for first timers is looking healthier than they have done for some time.

Yorkshire Building Society currently has a two-year fix at 4.84 per cent with £495 fee and First Direct a very attractive 4.99 per cent with no fee fixed for five years, both available with just a 10 per cent deposit. However, the low value of remortgage transactions is responsible for taking the shine off the mortgage figures , down by 18 per cent on the May 2012 figures and by the same amount compared with June last year.

This isn't altogether surprising with the Government's Funding for Lending scheme well underway and most commentators predicting that rates are unlikely to rise in the near future.

A number of banks have cut mortgage rates in recent weeks and it's meant that some borrowers are delaying their remortgage decison, currently sitting tight and holding out for an even better deal.

Use new technology to avoid incurring charges

Anyone who's accidentally slipped into the red on their current account or exceeded their agreed overdraft limit will never forget the £20 or £30 rap on the knuckles from their bank for their financial indiscretion.

With many people leading increasingly busy lives, there are often more pressing matters than checking whether their bank account is in order.

While there have been endless arguments as to whether the level of unauthorised bank charges are justifiable, banks are actually embracing new technology to give customers a better chance of avoiding these fees. Most offer a text alert service which sends a message to your phone showing a weekly mini-statement or when a large debit or credit appears on your account.

Lloyds TSB and Barclays offer this service for free, as part of their mobile-banking applications where you can also set up free text alerts for high balances, low balances and also when you are getting close to your limit.

If you've got a smartphone, you'll find that all the main banks offer a mobile-banking option for your iPhone or BlackBerry. As long as you are already registered for online banking on your PC, you will be able to opt for banking on your phone too.

Barclays, NatWest, Lloyds TSB, First Direct and Santander all offer this service. You can see the last few transactions on your account and make payments and transfers when you're on the move, and there's no charge from the bank for these services.

With your bank account at your fingertips, you can take a look at your balance or a make a transfer during some of your daily "dead" time – maybe in a spare five minutes between meetings or perhaps on the train journey to or from work.

Last year, Lloyds TSB launched its online service, Money Manager, which is aimed at helping online customers take much better control of their money, providing them with a deep level of detail on where their money goes each month by categorising their spending into groups.

It includes online calendar option so you can see at a glance what payments are due to be made over the coming days or weeks – something that should prove a big help for those who often struggle to keep on top of their finances.

Even if you only use the services on the odd occasion, it's worth signing up for – at least it's another way of helping you avoid being hit in the pocket with unwanted bank charges.

moneycomms@gmail.com

Arts and Entertainment
The first film introduced Daniel Radcliffe to our screens, pictured here as he prepares to board the train to Hogwarts for the first time.
booksHow reading Harry Potter helps children grow up to be gay-friendly
Sport
Frank Lampard will pass Billy Wright and equal Bobby Charton’s caps tally of 106 caps against
sportFormer Chelsea midfielder in Etihad stopgap before New York contract
Arts and Entertainment
A scene from Aladdin is performed at the Tony Awards in New York in June
theatreBrit producer Lythgoe makes kids' musical comedy a Los Angeles hit
Sport
Usain Bolt of Jamaica smiles and shakes hands with a competitor after Jamaica won their first heat in the men's 4x100m relay
sport
PROMOTED VIDEO
News
Chancellor George Osborne, along with the Prime Minister, have been 'complacently claiming the economy is now fixed', according to shadow Chancellor Ed Balls
i100... which is awkward, because he is their boss, after all
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Adèle Exarchopoulos and Léa Seydoux play teeneage lovers in the French erotic drama 'Blue Is The Warmest Colour' - The survey found four times as many women admitting to same-sex experiences than 20 years ago
filmBlue Is The Warmest Colour, Bojack Horseman and Hobbit on the way
News
Kenny Ireland, pictured in 2010.
peopleBenidorm actor was just 68
Arts and Entertainment
Preparations begin for Edinburgh Festival 2014
Edinburgh festivalAll the best shows to see at Edinburgh this year
Finacial products from our partners
Property search
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Money & Business

    Financial Analyst - Forecasting - Yorkshire

    £300 - £350 per day: Orgtel: Financial Analyst, Forecasting, Halifax, Banking,...

    Business Architect - Bristol - £500 per day

    £500 per day: Orgtel: Business Architect - Banking - Bristol - £500 per day A...

    Regulatory Reporting-MI-Bank-Cardiff-£300/day

    £200 - £500 per day + competitive: Orgtel: I am currently working on a large p...

    Trainee Recruitment Consultant - Birmingham - Real Staffing

    £18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: Real Staffing are currently lo...

    Day In a Page

    Dress the Gaza situation up all you like, but the truth hurts

    Robert Fisk on Gaza conflict

    Dress the situation up all you like, but the truth hurts
    Save the tiger: Tiger, tiger burning less brightly as numbers plummet

    Tiger, tiger burning less brightly

    When William Blake wrote his famous poem there were probably more than 100,000 tigers in the wild. These days they probably number around 3,200
    5 News's Andy Bell retraces his grandfather's steps on the First World War battlefields

    In grandfather's footsteps

    5 News's political editor Andy Bell only knows his grandfather from the compelling diary he kept during WWI. But when he returned to the killing fields where Edwin Vaughan suffered so much, his ancestor came to life
    Lifestyle guru Martha Stewart reveals she has flying robot ... to take photos of her farm

    Martha Stewart has flying robot

    The lifestyle guru used the drone to get a bird's eye view her 153-acre farm in Bedford, New York
    Former Labour minister Meg Hillier has demanded 'pootling lanes' for women cyclists

    Do women cyclists need 'pootling lanes'?

    Simon Usborne (who's more of a hurtler) explains why winning the space race is key to happy riding
    A tale of two presidents: George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story

    A tale of two presidents

    George W Bush downs his paintbrush to pen father’s life story
    Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover

    The dining car makes a comeback

    Restaurateur Mitch Tonks has given the Great Western Pullman dining car a makeover
    Gallery rage: How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?

    Gallery rage

    How are institutions tackling the discomfort of overcrowding this summer?
    Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players

    Eye on the prize

    Louis van Gaal has £500,000 video surveillance system installed to monitor Manchester United players
    Women's rugby: Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup

    Women's rugby

    Tamara Taylor adds fuel to the ire in quest to land World Cup
    Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

    The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

    With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
    Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

    How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

    As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
    We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

    We will remember them

    Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
    Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

    Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

    Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
    Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

    Acting in video games gets a makeover

    David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices