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Homeowners Opting for 5-Year Fixed Deals for Remortgages

Homeowners who are remortgaging are responding to economic uncertainty by locking in interest rates for up to five years on their new loans.

In July, 50% of remortgage borrowers choose five-year fixed rate products, the highest percentage ever recorded and up 4% from June.

Overall, there were 52,869 remortgages arranged in July, the latest LMS monthly remortgage snapshot report revealed. Of these, the vast majority (96%) were fixed rate deals. Just 3% of remortgage borrowers choose tracker or variable rate mortgages.

Two-year fixed rate deals were the second most popular, the choice of 34% of remortgage borrowers.

Nick Chadbourne, LMS chief executive officer, said: “We’ve seen five year fixes grow in popularity for some time now. This month saw the highest number recorded, with half of borrowers choosing to fix for this length of term. In previous years, two year fixes were the norm, but now only a third of borrowers choose this length as they opt for longer terms.

“This is likely to be a reflection of wider market uncertainty and borrowers wanting to take control of their mortgage payments for a longer period of time,” he added.

42% of remortgage borrowers in July increased their loan size, while 34% kept their mortgage balance the same and 24% reduced the amount borrowed. 44% saw their monthly mortgage payments rise, and 42% will enjoy lower bills in the future.

The number of remortgages was down 1% between June and July, but as the wider housing market contracts, remortgages are the one area showing health.

Figures from UK Finance showed that remortgages were up 8% in June, compared to the previous year, even as home mover, buy to let, and first time buyer mortgages slumped.

Strength in the remortgaging market indicates that homeowners, wary of the expense of buying a new property and a potential Brexit-driven crash in prices, are making do with their current homes. They’re borrowing more to fund their renovation, rather than upsizing.

Source: Money Expert

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Homeowners will be able to add two storeys to their property

Homeowners, buy-to-let landlords and property developers could be given the go-ahead to build upwards by two storeys to extend their property.

Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, Sajid Javid, said the government will make planning guidance more flexible in order to help fix the broken housing market and boost supply of housing stock.

The move could also ease pressure on the green belt if it becomes easier to build upwards in towns and cities.

Homeowners would still need planning permission to build two extra storeys under the proposals, but guidance to local authorities is likely to be changed, so they are encouraged to approve such applications.

Mark Hayward, chief executive of NAEA Propertymark, said he welcomed any move to create housing stock. “The market is in crisis with a severe lack of available properties, which is pushing prices up and pricing first-time-buyers (FTBs) out of the market.

“The fact that this will enable existing residential areas throughout the UK to expand is especially welcome, as it should increase stock in the areas which most need it, rather than being confined to more expensive urban areas.”

Paresh Raja, CEO of Market Financial Solutions (MFS), added that landlords and property developers could also take advantage of the more relaxed guidance, creating more rented accommodation, and benefitting tenants.

“In this sense, recent reforms to housing planning rules are a definite step in the right direction, and I believe this will have positive ramifications,” he said.

“Buy-to-let landlords can now consider adding additional storeys to their property, increasing the number of rental spaces on offer. At the same time, property developers can also look to build a further two storeys on existing developments, increasing the number of houses available on the market.

“Ultimately, this type of reform will only contribute to housing supply and will help alleviate current market demand.”

Source: Your Money