Property news: New mortgages and raised mortgage rates
First-time buyer mortgage lending rose 74% before stamp duty axe
The end of the stamp duty holiday on homes costing between £125,000 and £250,000 led to a surge in activity in the mortgage market in March, according to figures from the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML).
The number of mortgages advanced to first-time buyers leapt by 74% during the month to 24,000 as they raced to complete on purchases before the 24 March deadline. This was 57% higher than in March 2011 and, at £3bn, 67% higher in value. Read more on this story
Santander becomes fifth NewBuy mortgage lender
Santander has become the fifth lender to sign up to the government’s NewBuy scheme to guarantee the mortgages of people buying new-build homes.
The bank has launched a range of NewBuy mortgages via intermediaries for buyers of homes built by Barratt, Berkeley, Bovis and Persimmon. Read more on this story
SVR warning as Halifax raises mortgage rates
Halifax, the biggest mortgage lender in the UK, has raised its standard variable rate by 0.3 percentage points – ironically it chose to do this at the point when the Bank of England said it would keep rates at a record low of 0.5% for the 38th month running.
This will be painful for Halifax customers, but why is this happening, and what does it mean for borrowers generally? Read more on this story