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Scotland’s House Prices to Rise by 14% by 2022

According to the recent PwC Economic Outlook, the average house price in Scotland are expected to grow by 14% between 2018 and 2022 to hit £170,000 – if no deal Brexit is avoided. The research also found that Scotland is one of the most affordable places in the UK to privately rent a home.

Economic growth in Scotland is predicted to rise by 1.6% this year making it the second fastest growing region within the UK. However, it is predicted that this growth will drop back to 1.3% in line with the rest of the UK next year.

Based on the assumption of a No Deal Brexit, the average value of a home in Scotland will grow by 1.7% next year, 2.4% in 2020 and 4.7% in 2021 through to 2022.  This will result in the average house price in Scotland rising to £170,00 from today’s figure of £149,000.

The growth rate in Scotland at present is moderate with the average house price in the UK rising by 1.4% in value from April 2018 to April 2019.

The news that house price growth in Scotland remaining steady over the next four years is welcome news for homeowners looking to move and hoping to achieve a higher selling price to help to secure the best mortgage rate. However, this does pose a challenge for first time buyers looking to get onto the property ladder and whom are most likely saving for a deposit. That said, Scotland is still one of the most affordable parts of the UK in which to rent a property with an affordability ratio of gross income spent on rent standing between 15% and 22% for key positions. Conventionally, the benchmark is that renting should cost less than 30% of gross income to be considered affordable.

It is predicted that UK growth will be more balanced across the regions as we move into 2020 with London no longer growing significantly faster than the UK average. This is partly due to Brexit uncertainty and growing constraints on London in terms of housing affordability and transport capacity.

If you are considering purchasing your first home, contact us today at The Mortgag Hub – were here to help.

The Mortgage Hub is an independent mortgage advisor serving the greater Glasgow area. Whether you are planning to buy your very first home and need the right first time buyer mortgage, or are looking to re-mortgage due to a house move or to growing family – we understand your journey is so much more than a financial process, it’s a journey to achieve your dreams, improve your lifestyle and achieve your true potential.

A Surge in Scottish House Prices Predicted

According to the recent PwC Economic Outlook, the average house price in Scotland is expected to grow by 14% between 2018 and 2022 to hit £170,000 – if no deal Brexit is avoided. The research also found that Scotland is one of the most affordable places in the UK to privately rent a home.

Economic growth in Scotland is predicted to rise by 1.6% this year making it the second fastest growing region within the UK. However, it is predicted that this growth will drop back to 1.3% in line with the rest of the UK next year.

Based on the assumption of a No Deal Brexit, the average value of a home in Scotland will grow by 1.7% next year, 2.4% in 2020 and 4.7% in 2021 through to 2022.  This will result in the average house price in Scotland rising to £170,00 from today’s figure of £149,000.

The growth rate in Scotland at present is moderate with the average house price in the UK rising by 1.4% in value from April 2018 to April 2019.

The news that house price growth in Scotland remaining steady over the next four years is welcome news for homeowners looking to move and hoping to achieve a higher selling price to help to secure the best mortgage rate. However, this does pose a challenge for first time buyers looking to get onto the property ladder and whom are most likely saving for a deposit. That said, Scotland is still one of the most affordable parts of the UK in which to rent a property with an affordability ratio of gross income spent on rent standing between 15% and 22% for key positions. Conventionally, the benchmark is that renting should cost less than 30% of gross income to be considered affordable.

It is predicted that UK growth will be more balanced across the regions as we move into 2020 with London no longer growing significantly faster than the UK average. This is partly due to Brexit uncertainty and growing constraints on London in terms of housing affordability and transport capacity.

If you are considering purchasing your first home, contact us today at The Mortgage Hub – were here to help.

The Mortgage Hub is an independent mortgage advisor serving the greater Glasgow area. Whether you are planning to buy your very first home and need the right first time buyer mortgage, or are looking to re-mortgage due to a house move or to growing family – we understand your journey is so much more than a financial process, it’s a journey to achieve your dreams, improve your lifestyle and achieve your true potential.

How to Improve Your Credit Score

If you’re planning to get a new mortgage or remortgage, it’s worth starting to manage your credit file at least a year in advance of any applications. The world of credit scoring and lending can be a confusing one, so it makes sense to get your head around what lenders are looking for first. In short, think about your credit file vs a set credit score – which doesn’t really exist as each lender has a different means of ‘scoring’ you. Same goes for making the distinction between being ‘wealthy’ (not needing credit) and being a responsible borrower. Try to see your financial position through the eyes of a lender – they want proof that you can borrow responsibly and, ultimately, make them some money. Here are a few tips below to help improve your credit score.

Regularly check files

Make a habit of doing this annually and most definitely before any lending applications. You’re looking for errors on your file that may severely and unfairly impact on the success of your application. The credit reference companies to check are Equifax, Experian and TransUnion and since the new GDPR rules came in, it’s now always free to make these checks and receive the financial information held on you.

Register to vote

You need to be on the electoral roll so that lenders can check and trust you are who you say you are. Make sure you register as soon as possible. If you’re worried about your personal information, you can always opt-out of the open register, which can be used for marketing. If you aren’t eligible to vote in the UK, send all three credit reference agencies proof of residency via utility bills or driving license.

Make timely payments

Setting up direct debits for utility bills, mobile phone contracts and credit cards can help make sure regular monthly payments are made on time. You want to avoid missed payments at all cost as these can give a very negative impact when it comes time to borrow, particularly missed payments in the last 12 months. If you are in difficulty, contact your lender who will hopefully try to help manage your repayment schedule.

Keep finances separate

The credit file of those who you are linked with financially – via a joint mortgage, joint loan, joint bank account, even joint utility bills – can impact on your own file too. If your partner has had trouble in the past, it might make sense to keep finances separate until back on track. If your relationship ends, make sure to close joint accounts and write to credit agencies for a notice of disassociation.

Consistency and stability when it comes to applications

For example, it’ll be easier as a homeowner vs a renter, employed vs self-employed, to gain credit – the more stable your circumstances, the more stable your financial position. However, there are other simple ways to make yourself appear more consistent, such as using the same job title and phone number, can minimise the potential for you to be flagged up by fraud scoring.

Time applications carefully

Every time you apply for credit, it leaves a footprint on your file for a year and too many in succession can leave you looking like an undesirable applicant, desperate for credit. It makes sense to prioritise credit applications ie. the mortgage application before a new credit card. Same goes for waiting until old marks on your file will have clearer ie. 6 years post-bankruptcy or applying before a major life-change that will put strain on your finances such as having a child and going on maternity leave.

Clean up old accounts

Make sure to cancel any old store cards, even if they are unused, as too much available credit can be a negative on your file. Old utility and mobile phone contracts with previous addresses on them, that are still active despite you not using them, can be a nightmare as they throw a spanner in the works when it comes to verifying your ID, so make sure to tidy up old business.

Credit card management

Even though you feel responsible, having never had a credit card and never having to borrow money, for lenders this only means you are a too much of a mystery to trust! A better idea is to build up a credit history, responsibly, by making regular payments on a credit card. If you’re in a cath-22 where you struggle to gain a credit card in the first place, there are credit rebuild cards available, albeit with sky-high interest rates, that can help you build up a decent credit history if well-managed. Avoid withdrawing cash on credit cards – a major red flag to lenders!

Avoid payday loans & credit repair companies

These are bad news, as they are a direct example to lenders that you have poor money management. People can find themselves in a desperate financial state at times but there are better ways to manage this, for example by approaching a non-profit debt counselling agency, for example.

After a rejection…

Avoid a vicious cycle of application and rejection by trying to understand as best possible why you might have been rejected by checking your credit file again for clues. Any errors you can try and dispute with the bank or utility company directly. If you don’t get anywhere with this approach, time usually heals the damage done, so make sure you wait the appropriate length of time according to the offence before making another, hopefully successful, application.

At The Mortgage Hub we can help you with your mortgage application and advise you on what to do if your credit score isn’t as high as lenders’ requirements. We’re here to help.

The Mortgage Hub is an independent mortgage advisor serving the greater Glasgow area. Whether you are planning to buy your very first home and need the right first time buyer mortgage, or are looking to re-mortgage due to a house move or to growing family – we understand your journey is so much more than a financial process, it’s a journey to achieve your dreams, improve your lifestyle and achieve your true potential.

House Prices and Letting – Glasgow Bucks the Trend!

Homeowner confidence

Despite the uncertainty surrounding Brexit, according to Zoopla confidence in the housing market remains high with property owners expecting prices to rise by 4.8% during the rest of 2019. In addition, 81% of people think that the value of property in their area will increase.

However, it appears that there is significant regional variation with homeowners in the northern regions feeling the most optimistic with over 90% of homeowners in Scotland expecting house prices to increase. In contrast, those in southern regions were much more pessimistic and expected a downturn in prices.

In addition, home owners in Scotland were expecting the biggest gains on 5.5% over the next six months. This is followed by homeowners in the North East and the Midlands.

The least pessimistic homeowners are in London, where just 32.8% believed that house price rises would stop in the next six months and actually fall by 6.7% with people in the south east also feeling very downbeat.

Letting

In other news announced this week, rents in the private rented sector (PRS) rose in Q1 of this year despite other sectors being impacted by Brexit uncertainty. The average property to rent in Scotland rose by 1.7% and in Glasgow, although tenants have been shopping around before renting a property, rents are up 2.9% with three bed properties rising 8.6% compared to last year. The demand for one and two bedroom properties posted strong growth at 5.3% and over half of all of Glasgow’s properties were let within just one month.

House prices

Glasgow posted the strongest gains in the UK with property values rising by 5.1% during the last year. Compared to the rest of the UK, house prices growth has fallen to its lowest level in seven year with the average property selling for 3.9% under the asking price, according to Zoopla.

In London homes are selling for 5.7% less than the asking price, but in Glasgow and Edinburgh homes are still being sold for more than the original asking price.

Talk to us at The Mortgage Hub if you would like independent advice on the best mortgage product for your needs.

The Mortgage Hub is an independent mortgage advisor serving the greater Glasgow area. Whether you are planning to buy your very first home and need the right first time buyer mortgage, or are looking to re-mortgage due to a house move or to growing family – we understand your journey is so much more than a financial process, it’s a journey to achieve your dreams, improve your lifestyle and achieve your true potential.

Protect Your Online Accounts

According to the UK’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) which analysed the passwords of accounts that have been hacked into, 123456 was the most commonly used password. In fact, it was used to hack into the accounts held by over 23 million people. The second most used password on hacked accounts was 12345678 followed by 111111.

Website users are also using their own names and the name of their sports teams or their children. Other popular passwords were Michael, Daniel, Jessica and Charlie, while Liverpool was used by 270,000 people whose account had later been hacked. Some websites have technology in place to recognise this and alert users to the fact that they need a stronger password. Names and favourite teams are often easy to find out online on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

It’s easy to see why people use these types of passwords – with seemingly everything done online, we all have so many passwords to remember and it can be easy to get locked out of bank accounts and email accounts.

Along with easy-to-hack passwords, security firm Norton has revealed that many people also use the same password across all of their accounts.

With this in mind, here’s how to choose a strong password:

  • Don’t use personal information that is easily to discover on your social network.
  • Don’t use a consecutive string of numbers. Use a random phrase or word with a mixture of uppercase and lowercase letters and symbols.
  • Don’t use the same password across all your sites.
  • Never share your passwords.
  • Consider using an encrypted online password vault that will store all your passwords and allow you to access them from your devices. These are highly secure and it means you can choose complex passwords and only need to remember one to get into the vault. It will also autofill your websites once logged in, give complex password suggestions and alert you if you’ve used an easy to guess password, or something that contains personal information. It will also alert you if you have used the same password on another site. Try Lastpass, One Log In or The Vault.

If your account is hacked

If you think your account has been hacked, change your password immediately and if possible, see when the site was accessed and from where. Finally, make sure you protect tablets, smartphones and computers with a password, pin code or fingerprint so that if they are lost or stolen, whoever finds them can’t access your personal details and use these to guess your passwords.

Buying a Fixer Upper? What You Need to Consider

As we reported recently, if you purchase a second home that is uninhabitable you can avoid the LBTT surcharge. Not only can you avoid this additional tax payment, you could also maximise your return on investment.

According to recent research from Rightmove, over 90% of people would consider buying a property in a state of disrepair. If you’re among them and decide to purchase a property in need of renovation, what should you consider?

Get the right advice

The first step is to get the right advice from the off. Talk to architects, builders and your local council to find out what you need to be aware of and what the common pitfalls are. Also talk to your local estate agent and find out how much value certain projects will add to your property as this is very much dependent on the area in which you’re buying. For example, spending money on a driveway in a rural area may not add any value whereas a driveway in an urban area where there are parking charges could make a huge difference. Talk to us at The Mortgage Hub about how you can get the best mortgage deal as soon as you see a property you are interested in buying – getting the right mortgage deal can make a huge difference to your budget and return on investment. There are many factors to consider so talk to the experts.

Work out your budget

Work out your purchase price, cost of all associated fees and get a clear picture of how much you have to spend on the renovation. Don’t work your way up – work your way down starting with the must-haves and finishing with the would-likes. Don’t forget to include a buffer as renovation projects often go over budget. Don’t try to stretch your budget by cutting corners and if you do need to cut costs apply this to your decorating and décor rather than building work. You won’t get your value for money by skimping on quality building.

Consider the type of property

It’s important to consider whether the property is located on a World Heritage Site or is a listed building. This will greatly impact the renovations that you can undertake. There could be stipulations that some original features need to remain intact, you may not be able to change the layout and any works may need to be in keeping with the design of the home. Don’t forget the outside – are there any protected trees in your garden that are at odds with your plans for landscaping? If you do opt for an older property it may be worth paying extra for a structural survey – we can advise you on this.

Don’t forget the garden

There’s no point in spending all your time and money on the inside of your property if you have no kerb appeal! Make sure you consider the outside of the property and factor in any costs to get this area up to scratch. Research has shown that outside space can add up to £22,000 to your home (Zoopla 2018) so it could be well worth the extra investment.

Work out what buyers want

Buyers want to see lots of space, plenty of natural light and a well-considered internal layout with plenty of storage to put clutter out of sight. A renovation that delivers sparkling clean kitchens and bathrooms with a hint of luxury will be a winner.

Talk to us at The Mortgage Hub about purchasing a second home or a property that needs renovating.

A Good Start to the Year as Property Sales Increased

Official data shows that residential property sales in the UK were positive at the beginning of the year, with a rise of 0.8% between December and January. Figures suggest that despite Brexit uncertainty, the housing market is actually quite stable and this could be set to improve once those who are ‘sitting tight’ over Brexit fears begin to look at moving after March 29th.

In the UK, residential sales increased by 0.9% year on year, and there were 101,170 residential sales which is a rise of 1.3% compared to January 2018 according to figures from HMRC.

More surprisingly, figures show that non-residential property transactions increased by 0.2% between December and January and were 2.4% higher than the same time last year. Year on year they increased by 3%.

Up until the middle of 2006 transaction counts had slowly risen, but this slumped following the financial crisis of 2007. This triggered a fall in non-residential transactions. There was a peak in 2009 following the end of the stamp duty holiday during which the lower tax threshold was raised to £175,000. There was also a peak in March 2016 which can be attributed to the introduction of higher rates on additional properties in April of that year.

Since then, there has been a general rising trend in property transactions. There is usually a non-residential pattern at the start of the calendar year, and another peak at the end of March when the financial year ends.

There are expected to be around 1.2 million home sales in 2019, as there have been in every year since 2013. This level of activity is consistent with a steady market, which is neither crashing nor booming. It is predicted that house prices should continue to rise slowly during the year in line with wage increases.

Political uncertainty and financial barriers such as stamp duty are still influencing some home owners to stay put and instead improve or extend their existing home.

If you are considering moving and would like to discuss your options, talk to us at the Mortgage Hub.

The Mortgage Hub is an independent mortgage advisor serving the greater Glasgow area. Whether you are planning to buy your very first home and need the right first time buyer mortgage, or are looking to re-mortgage due to a house move or to growing family – we understand your journey is so much more than a financial process, it’s a journey to achieve your dreams, improve your lifestyle and achieve your true potential.

Scotland has the Strongest Housing Market in the UK

Although house price growth in the UK’s major cities fell to a six year low in November, with London property values dropping by 0.1% over the last 12 months, growth remains much stronger in norther cities with Edinburgh recording an annual price rise of 6.6% and Glasgow 5.3% according to Hometrack.

The headline figure for house price growth is being dragged down by falls in London and a sustained slowdown across cities in southern England and this slowdown is being driven by stretched affordability following years of property price rises outstripping earnings growth.

Hometrack expects prices in the UK’s major cities to rise by 2% in 2019, as above average growth in the UK’s regional cities helps to offset falls in London. It has predicted that a further price slide in the capital, with the typical cost of a home dropping by 2% during the year, reducing the house price to earnings ratio to 12.8, a level last recorded in mid-2015.

In Glasgow, property remains much more affordable and it is expected that in 2019 we can expect property values to increase by 5% with Edinburgh seeing another strong year as property in regional markets appears to be shrugging off any uncertainty, with the following six UK cities posting year-on-year growth figures over 6%:

  • Leicester (7.7%)
  • Edinburgh (7.4%)
  • Manchester (6.3%)
  • Birmingham (6.2%)
  • Nottingham (6.1%)
  • Liverpool (6.0%)

Hometrack also found that the discount between asking and achieved house prices continued to narrow across regional cities. This has fallen below 2% in Manchester and reached a five-year low in Liverpool. In addition, sales volumes kept the pace with new supply in regional cities, supporting price growth.

Since the vote to leave the European Union in 2016 Birmingham, Edinburgh and Manchester have all registered house price growth of 15%, almost three times the growth in average earnings.

The Mortgage Hub is an independent mortgage advisor serving the greater Glasgow area. Whether you are planning to buy your very first home and need the right first time buyer mortgage, or are looking to re-mortgage due to a house move or to growing family – we understand your journey is so much more than a financial process, it’s a journey to achieve your dreams, improve your lifestyle and achieve your true potential.

How to save money on your household bills

During the more quiet summer months might be a good time to rethink your family budget, re-negotiate contracts and look at your overall household budget. After all, we could all benefit from the savings – either to make advance payments to the mortgage and build more equity in ur house, finance home improvement – or why not – travel more. Continue reading How to save money on your household bills

Securing a Mortgage if You Are a Business Owner

Securing a mortgage if you are a business owner, director or self-employed may not be as difficult as you think, provided you have the right documents. 
Continue reading Securing a Mortgage if You Are a Business Owner