Property news: Right-to-buy scheme relaunched by Cameron
Halifax reveals March spike in house prices
Average house prices in Britain rose more rapidly in March than at any time for three years, jumping by 2.2% over the month, according to figures from Halifax, but the lender played down the prospects of another property boom.
The spike in prices, the biggest monthly rise since May 2009, was fuelled by first-time buyers rushing to beat the expiry of the stamp duty holiday at the end of March, said Halifax. It pointed to the quarter-on-quarter figures, which showed a fall of 0.1%, as a better guide to the underlying trend in house prices. Read more on this story
Cameron rejuvenates right-to-buy scheme
David Cameron is today re-launching the right-to-buy, a policy considered to be one of the major legacies of Margaret Thatcher.
Since 1980 some 2 million council homes have been bought under the scheme, although those purchases have slowed down in recent years as discounts dwindled. Read more on this story
Interest-only loans: how to defuse your mortgage time bomb
Britain’s “ticking time bomb” of interest-only mortgages could lead to hundreds of thousands of people in their fifties being forced to sell their homes because they are caught in a lending squeeze, experts have said.
Ray Boulger of John Charcol, the mortgage broker, said it was becoming a “common problem” that those coming up to retirement age with an interest-only mortgage would not be able to get an extension to their home loan. This is because lenders have changed their criteria for the minimum equity needed for interest-only mortgages and brought their maximum ages for lending down at the same time. Read more on this story