Interest rates have increased again, 100% mortgages have been relaunched, and there’s welcome news for renters. Read on to find out the latest on all this and more.
Interest Rates Rise Again
The Bank of England has raised interest rates to 4.5%. This is the 12th rise in a row and the highest since 2008. The rise marks a 0.25% increase from the previous base rate as the bank looks to slow down inflation. The headline rate has recently fallen from 10.1% to 8.7%, taking it into single digits for the first time in months.
Their latest forecast indicates that inflation is expected to remain higher for longer than previously thought, with predictions that it will be above 5% by the end of the year. This is still way down on the current rate of 8.7% but more than double the bank’s target of 2%.
Renters’ Reform Bill Published
The Government has finally published its renters’ reform bill, which should make renting safer and fairer for tenants.
Some of the key benefits to come out of the bill for renters include:
- A ban on Section 21 ‘no fault’ evictions, meaning landlords won’t be able to evict renters without a reason. It’s hoped this change will allow renters to challenge bad landlords without fear of losing their homes.
- An increase to two months’ notice for rent increases. Renters can also challenge their new rent level via a tribunal if they deem it above the market rate.
- Renters will have a legal right to request a pet in their home. Landlords will have to consider the request and cannot unreasonably refuse it, although they can require renters to take out pet insurance for potential property damage.
- It will be illegal for landlords to have a blanket ban on renting to tenants with children or people who are receiving benefits.
- A Private Rented Sector Ombudsman will be set up, and landlords will be required to join it. This is intended to resolve disputes quickly, and it will have the legal power to make landlords take remedial action and pay compensation.
- The Decent Homes Standard will be introduced to the private rented sector for the first time. This will mean that landlords are forced to ensure their properties meet minimum standards to be fit for occupation.
As for landlords, the new bill will make it easier for them to evict nuisance tenants and reclaim their properties in instances of antisocial behaviour, while the two-month notice period for renters can be reduced for irresponsible renters who breach their tenancy agreement or damage the property.
Deposit-Free Mortgage Relaunched
Skipton Building Society has launched the UK’s first 100% no-deposit mortgage since 2008, in a move that is specifically targeted at renters.
The new initiative will mean that renters won’t require a deposit or a guarantor, but they must show that they’ve been paying rent on time for the past 12 months. They must also meet the lender’s credit score and affordability criteria.
Skipton’s new Track Record Mortgage is currently offered at a fixed interest rate of 5.49% for five years, which is slightly higher than the average five-year fixed rate mortgage deals for buyers with a deposit who can secure a rate of around 5%.
10 UK Towns Where House Prices Are Rising
With house prices dipping slightly in the first few months of the year, data from the Land Registry has revealed the towns where prices are still rising.
Top of the list is Guildford in Surrey. Prices increased by 11.54% between February and March, with the average price climbing from £518,526 to £578,450.
Sevenoaks in Kent was second on the list with a smaller jump of 6.93%, with prices going up from £595,136 to £636,437, while Cheltenham in Gloucestershire was third on the list. Prices there jumped 5.56%, from £327,104 to £345,257.
One of the most striking findings from the data was the wide geographical spread of the towns, with Salford, Rochdale, Harrogate, Truro, Torquay, Swindon and Wirral completing the top 10.
Your Chance to Own a Piece of TV History
Fans of the hit BBC sitcom Gavin and Stacey now have the opportunity to own one of the houses featured in the show, which has recently come to market for £212,000.
The 3-bedroom terraced house on Trinity Street in Barry was used as the home of Uncle Bryn throughout the show’s three seasons between 2007 and 2010, as well as its reappearance in the 2019 Christmas special.
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