It had been widely expected that the Bank of England would introduce an increase to Base Rate last month but when this didn’t happen, the expectation from the financial markets was that it was simply going to be deferred by a month or possibly longer.
At the end of October, four of Britain’s largest mortgage providers raised their UK mortgage rates in the wake of the Chancellor’s Budget, and in anticipation of the rumoured rise to Base Rate.
At its meeting on 4th November however, the Bank of England decided that for the time being, Base Rate would be held at the current 0.10%. This decision came as a big surprise and resulted in a storm of criticism from many market commentators, who were already committed to an increase, although borrowers can breathe a sigh of relief, even if it is only temporary.
The return to work after the summer holiday break, combined with a lack of new instructions to estate agents has slowed the Jersey market noticeably, although people remain keen to sell and to buy, so transactions will likely continue regardless.
Summer holidays usually offer respite for everybody in the property market in Jersey, although transactions at all levels have continued to keep estate agents, lenders, valuers and lawyers busy, despite the short supply of property across the whole range.
The rumblings about how the Bank of England is going to handle galloping inflation continue to grow louder, although the Bank is convinced that this will be only short term and that inflation will fall back again in 2022, without the need to increase Base Rate.
The Bank of England warns that post pandemic growth in the UK economy may be responsible for a sharp increase in inflation, taking it past the 2% target, which would normally trigger an increase in Base Rate. Forecasts, however, suggest that the surge will be short lived and that there would be no reason why an increase from the current record low of 0.10% should be considered. This is still worrying, as we can only assume that Base Rate will have to rise, if inflation does not fall as predicted.
When we first opened The Mortgage Shop in 1990, our advisers would recommend the best mortgage product and lender for our clients, as well as organising the essential life assurance that all lenders stipulated had to be in place at the time of purchase.
Property that is for sale in the Island continues to fly off the shelves, fuelled by the lowest mortgage rates ever, it will likely continue to do so.
The Bank of England continues to hold Base Rate at 0.10% and all indications are that there will be no increases in the immediate future, although a move to a negative rate later this year cannot be ruled out.
Mortgage lenders exist to provide a service for their customers, although with the current rock bottom interest rates and the nominal return these provide to the lenders, their decision makers are keen to ensure that any element of risk is reduced to the minimum.
At its monthly review of the economy, on 4th February, the Policy Committee of the Bank of England announced that it would start preparing for the introduction of negative interest rates within six months, although somewhat ambiguously it went on to stress that this was not a sign that it thought such a move was necessary.
In January each year, we all tend to look at the next chapter in the book of our lives with a mixture of excitement and trepidation, although emotions this January have probably been dampened by the never-ending media coverage of two key uncertainties.
This year will go down in history as being the one that most of us will want to forget, although for many it will be memorable for the way in which we have fallen back in love with our Island.
The very high level of activity in the Jersey property market, attributable principally to the buoyant finance sector, has dampened somewhat. Not a bad thing, as it was starting to move too fast for comfort. No doubt the poor weather has had an impact, although the never-ending bad news about Covid-19, is probably equally responsible.
The Jersey property market remains buoyant, with sales taking place at all levels, although higher value transactions and the mortgages to which they are linked, have increased noticeably since the beginning of the year.
Since the Island started to emerge from lockdown less than two months ago, our team at The Mortgage Shop has been exceptionally busy, keeping up with the unexpectedly high level of demand for mortgage advice
2020 has got off to a flying start, and it is likely that we will see a lot of change in the Jersey property and lending markets this year. House prices are on the rise, mortgage interest rates are falling, lenders are modifying their lending criteria and income multiples and the impact of Coronavirus, on the economy could result in the Bank of England having to review Base Rate downwards.
In the most talked about decision in recent months, the Bank of England decided, at its meeting at the end of January, to hold base rate at 0.75%, a level at which it has remained since August 2018.
Ten years ago, mortgage lending and property values were on everybody’s minds after the Financial Crisis, triggered by risky lending worldwide, plunged the country into the worst Economic Downturn since the Great Depression.
At its September meeting, the Monetary Policy Committee of the Bank of England signalled that prolonged Brexit uncertainty will keep interest rates lower for longer, and that the UK would avoid falling into recession this year, but that Brexit and trade worries were weighing on the economy
Nothing much is likely to happen to the Bank of England’s Base Rate until a decision is made about Brexit, although don’t be too surprised if it falls back to 0.50% before the end of the year.Nothing much is likely to happen to the Bank of England’s Base Rate until a decision is made about Brexit, although don’t be too surprised if it falls back to 0.50% before the end of the year.
The Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee meets on the first Thursday of each month to discuss amongst other issues, the level at which Base Rate will be set. This decision then impact upon the interest rates, that mortgage lenders charge for their products.
The local market fluctuates from one week to the next, with weeks of intense activity interspersed with short lulls and this could be the pattern for the rest of the summer, as people focus on enjoying the good weather, rather than thinking about buying a house or flat.
Despite the uncertainty of Brexit, activity in the local market is brisk again after slowing down for the Bank holidays and half term
After several weeks of reduced activity in the Jersey property market, things are picking up speed again at most levels although
The first quarter of the year is now behind us and the market seems to have cooled down a little, which is no bad thing, as the level of activity we have witnessed since the first week in January was unsustainable.
There appears to be no let-up in the local housing market, as even more estate agencies spring up to cope with the demand, from a population hungry to get on to the property ladder, or to trade up somewhere larger.
60% of the leading rates in our Best Rates chart have changed this month, with six of these nudging up whilst two have fallen.
There have been five changes in our Best Rates chart this month, with only two nudging up by a few basis points, whilst three have been marginally reduced.
We expect things to return to normal during September, and it will be interesting to see whether the market will continue to be very active as we move into autumn.
After months of deliberation and much media comment, the Bank of England finally increased Base Rate to 0.75% at the beginning of August, a rise of 0.25%.
The market is now predicting the Bank of England will raise its Base Rate to 0.75% later in 2018, possibly as soon as August after weak economic data and falling inflation caused delays in the anticipated interest rate rise in May. The Bank of England’s own forecast suggests that there will still be at least three interest rate rises between now and 2021, although it must be remembered that virtually every forecast in relation to Base Rate has been incorrect for the last 10 years!
The increase in Base Rate that was predicated to happen in May – didn’t! Last month, the Bank of England’s Monetary Policy Committee decided to keep interest rates on hold at 0.50%...
There have been more changes in our Best Rates chart this month, with four product rates reducing and two increasing – in all cases the changes have been in the range of one to twenty basis points, which suggests that lenders are making adjustments to achieve a competitive edge rather than for any reason associated with Bank of England base rate rises.
Last month it looked as though lenders had decided to put a review of their mortgage interest rates on hold in the light of the predicted rise in base rate in May. This month, there have been five modest changes in our list of Best Rates, with two of the fixed rates increasing, whilst two fixed rates and a tracker have been reduced. This looks to be good news for borrowers as it suggests that the lending market remains stable for the time being as the UK struggles to find its feet on the new path that it has chosen towards Brexit.
Activity has picked up again since the half term break, although the Easter holidays are likely to divert the attention of many possible purchasers for a week on either side. This window offers a great opportunity for buyers to browse the market with less chance of being out-bid or gazumped.
Everybody tells us that there is very little choice of available property, from one and two bedroom flats, up to two and three bedroom houses – a situation which is likely to continue until more property is placed on the market by existing owners.
There has been something of a shake up with Jersey lenders this month, where keen jockeying for position has resulted in a much narrower band of choice when comparing the market-leading mortgage rates with the also rans.
It is too early into the New Year to judge how the market will move, as there is always a flush of new activity in January, and this is likely to continue if Estate Agents receive more instructions from existing property owners, than has been the case in recent months.
The pace in the market seems to have slowed, although demand remains quite high.
The market seems to have cooled slightly after the summer recess, although agents tell us that they are still busy...
The summer holiday break in Jersey seems to have lasted a long time this year.
There has been a general slowdown in recent weeks, as the holiday season comes into full swing.
There has been no change in the interest rates available from the leading lenders this month.
There is evidence that the high level of activity that we saw at the beginning of the year and indeed throughout the first quarter has slowed down since Easter...
The level of activity in the local housing market hasn’t fallen away except for the normal and expected reduction...
For the first time in many months, there has been no change in any of our best rates...
Mortgage interest rates remain stable, although economists will always warn of possible rate rises as the economy gets back on its feet.
With the Brexit vote behind us, and with little apparent impact on the Island’s economy, the local property market has become much busier than is the norm for this time of the year.
All eyes have been focused on the Bank of England, its reaction to the Brexit vote and the possible shift in base rate, which has been pegged at 0.50% since April 2009. At the July 14th meeting of the MPC the Bank announced that base rate, for the time being anyway, would remain at 0.50%. Despite this decision, it is possible that the cost of borrowing will fall during the next few weeks and there will be much for borrowers to take advantage of.
The British economy has been lack lustre in the lead up to the Brexit referendum, and the latest Cost of Living figure at 0.30% alarming, so economists have been busy making many projections as to what will happen depending upon the direction the country will have to take after the vote.
The Jersey property market is steady, with little indication of price rises and with agents finally seeing properties going under offer that have been stagnant for the past twelve months. There appears to be a shortage of property in some categories, particularly the flats and houses that are mainly bought by First Time Buyers. Whilst this sector of the market has been much more active in the past eighteen months, First Time Buyers are now finding they have to compete with investors, some buying with funds from cash deposits that would otherwise be earning very little if left in the bank.
Interest rates continue to fall and with over 180 different mortgage options available to Jersey borrowers there is plenty of choice.
More reductions have been announced by Jersey lenders in the past few weeks, so making 2016 the year in which mortgage rates fell to the lowest that we have ever seen.
As the year progresses, we should see a slightly more relaxed attitude being shown by lenders who for the past two year have been severely restricted by newly introduced regulations and this means that mortgages could soon become available to more borrowers than at present.
January is usually a busy month in the Jersey property market, as people return to work and start thinking of putting in place the plans they have discussed during the long Christmas break. Judging by our fully booked appointment diary since reopening in January, the footfall through the doors of The Mortgage Shop suggests we should be optimistic that 2016 is going to be very busy.
Recent weeks have seen a high level of media comment on the UK economy, although there has been little or no guidance in respect of how families throughout the British Isles should plan for their financial future.
Mortgage lenders now have to follow a strict code of conduct, where affordability criteria governs how much can be advanced to borrowers. Whilst some lenders have found that they are restricted by the new rules, it is still possible to obtain mortgages that are roughly equivalent to gross income multiples that will range between four and a half times income up to somewhere in the region of six times.
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