Mortgage Strategy’s Top 10 Stories of the Week: 19 June to 23 June

Mortgage Strategy's Top 10 Stories of the Week: 19 June to 23 June

Mortgage Strategy’s Top 10 Stories of the Week 19 June to 23 June

This week, Mortgage Strategy has compiled the top 10 stories of the week from the mortgage industry. From the latest news on the Bank of England’s base rate to the impact of Brexit on the mortgage market, here are the top stories of the week.

1. Bank of England keeps base rate at 0.75%: The Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) voted unanimously to keep the base rate at 0.75% this week. The decision was widely expected, as the MPC had previously indicated that it was likely to keep rates on hold until at least August.

2. Brexit uncertainty continues to affect mortgage market: The ongoing uncertainty surrounding Brexit continues to have an impact on the mortgage market. According to research from Moneyfacts, the number of mortgages available for borrowers with a 10% deposit has fallen by more than a third since the start of the year.

3. Mortgage approvals fall in May: According to figures from UK Finance, mortgage approvals fell by 8.4% in May compared to April. This was the biggest monthly fall since December 2018 and suggests that the housing market is beginning to cool off.

4. Lenders launch new products: Despite the uncertain economic climate, lenders continue to launch new mortgage products. This week saw Nationwide Building Society launch a new range of 5-year fixed rate mortgages with rates starting from 1.99%.

5. FCA warns about unregulated mortgage brokers: The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has warned consumers about unregulated mortgage brokers who may be offering advice without proper qualifications or authorisation. The FCA has urged consumers to only use authorised brokers when seeking advice on mortgages and other financial products.

6. Buy-to-let market remains weak: According to research from Paragon Bank, the buy-to-let market remains weak despite recent tax changes. The research found that just one in five landlords plan to purchase a new property in the next 12 months, down from one in three in 2018.

7. Mortgage arrears rise: According to figures from UK Finance, mortgage arrears rose by 3% in the first quarter of 2019 compared to the same period last year. This was driven by an increase in arrears among buy-to-let landlords, which rose by 6%.

8. Lenders tighten affordability criteria: Lenders are continuing to tighten their affordability criteria in response to the uncertain economic climate. This week saw Santander announce that it is increasing its minimum income requirement for borrowers from £15,000 to £20,000.

9. Government announces new Help to Buy scheme: The government has announced a new Help to Buy scheme which will provide an additional £3 billion of funding for first-time buyers. The scheme is designed to help more people get onto the property ladder and will be available from 2021.

10. Mortgage rates remain low: Despite recent market volatility, mortgage rates remain low by historical standards. According to figures from Moneyfacts, the average two-year fixed rate mortgage is currently 2.63%, down from 3.02% a year ago.

Overall, this week saw a range of news stories from across the mortgage industry, with lenders continuing to launch new products and the government announcing a new Help to Buy scheme. However, uncertainty surrounding Brexit and tighter affordability criteria are likely to continue to have an impact on the market in the coming months.

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