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

News
peopleMathematician John Nash inspired the film Beautiful Mind
News
Richard Blair is concerned the trenches are falling into disrepair
newsGeorge Orwell's son wants to save war site that inspired book
Life and Style
Audrey Hepburn with Hubert De Givenchy, whose well-cut black tuxedo is a 'timeless look'
fashionIt may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
Arts and Entertainment
The pair in their heyday in 1967
music
Life and Style
fashionFrom bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
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

    Guru Careers: Software Developer / C# Developer

    £40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...

    Neil Pavier: Management Accountant

    £45,000 - £55,000: Neil Pavier: Are you looking for your next opportunity for ...

    Sheridan Maine: Commercial Accountant

    £45,000 - £55,000: Sheridan Maine: Are you a newly qualified ACA/ACCA/ACMA qua...

    Laura Norton: Project Accountant

    £50,000 - £60,000: Laura Norton: Are you looking for an opportunity within a w...

    Day In a Page

    Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

    Abuse - and the hell that follows

    James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
    Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

    It's oh so quiet!

    The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
    'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

    'Timeless fashion'

    It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
    If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

    Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

    Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
    New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

    Evolution of swimwear

    From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
    Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

    Sun, sex and an anthropological study

    One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
    From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

    Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

    'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
    'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

    Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

    This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
    Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

    Songs from the bell jar

    Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
    How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

    One man's day in high heels

    ...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
    Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

    Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

    Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
    The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

    King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

    The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
    More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

    End of the Aussie brain drain

    More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
    Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

    Can meditation be bad for you?

    Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
    Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

    Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

    Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine