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Stricter regulations – but mortgage numbers rise

There have been concerns raised in the press recently following changes to the Financial Conduct Authority rules relating to mortgage lending, with house buyers facing more stringent affordability tests from mortgage lenders.  But according to the Bank of England, figures for May 2014 show a 6% increase in the amount of money being obtained from mortgages.

The total gross lend in June was £17.9 billion – a huge 20% increase on the previous year.   However, the average house price for a property in the UK is now just a shade over £270,000, a slight increase in July of 0.1% across the UK, but growing at the slowest pace since April 2013.

The Council of Mortgage Lenders has confirmed a 25% rise in property transactions in the first half of 2014. This, together with the rise in mortgage lending, confirms that the housing market is still showing signs of growth and not simply going through the motions.

If you have been waiting for the right time to put your home on the market then this could be a good time for you, as demand from first time buyers is starting to rise again.  The Help to Buy mortgage guarantee scheme now includes existing older houses and not just new builds.  Covering house prices up to £600,000 and with a deposit as low as 5% of the total price, this is giving more people an opportunity to buy their first home.  Mortgage finance is seemingly more readily available now than it has been for some time and Help to Buy is helping to get people that all important foot on the property ladder – which then helps to kick-start property chains.

If you are considering buying your first home or planning to put your home on the market, talk to a member of our team of legal property specialists who can answer your questions and help you get started on the house buying journey as quickly as possible.