Author Archives: Paul

Urged to insure

A study from Sainsbury’s Bank reveals that renters are significantly less likely to have life insurance or critical illness cover, with just 26% of renters taking out a policy in comparison to 41% of homeowners. In the past 10 years, the number of households renting privately with children has risen by almost 800,000 to nearly 1.6 million. Renters are being urged to consider what their partner or family would do if they unexpectedly needed to cover housing costs such as rent and factoring contributions and other monthly out goings if the unthinkable was to happen.

Based on the average monthly household expenditure in the UK (£572.60) the calculator suggests that the average UK family which rents, should allocate £687,000 worth of life cover (25 years) as a financial safety net. Despite being less likely to have life insurance or critical illness cover, 54% of renters are more concerned than homeowners (48%) about the financial implications should they pass away before old age. Also 21% of renters living in private accommodation worry about this situation on a weekly basis compared to 16% of homeowners.

The survey found the top reason renters do not have life insurance is they believe they don’t have enough equity or money to have a life insurance policy (29%), in comparison to homeowners (11%). Important life events are the top reasons people decide to financially protect themselves. Buying a house is the main reason people chose to purchase life insurance (34%), followed by other memorable life stages, such as having a child (17%) and getting married (12%). Unfortunate experiences, such as becoming ill (9%) also prompt people to take out a policy.

Little Dipper

According to the Halifax, average house prices dipped marginally in June, falling by 0.3%, to stand at £237,110. This extends the largely flat trend the lender has been tracking over recent months.  However, more generally the housing market is displaying a reasonable degree of resilience in the face of political and economic uncertainty. Recent industry figures show demand looking slightly more stable, with mortgage approvals ticking along just above the long-term average.

One of the major restraining factors on the volume of transactions in the market continues to be the very low level of stock for sale. Halifax highlight that, with the ongoing lack of clarity around Brexit, people will be looking for more certainty in the coming months, both to encourage them to list their property and to create the confidence needed to encourage buyers.

Supporting the analysis is the Bank of England industry-wide figures that show the number of mortgages approved to finance house purchases – a leading indicator of completed house sales – have fallen by 636 from April to 65,409 in May. The May rate is now just below the 5 year average monthly approval rate of 66,138 and 46 above the previous 12 month average of 65,363. (Source: Bank of England, seasonally-adjusted figures)  The RICS UK Residential Market Survey saw a slightly more stable picture coming through during May. The sales to stock ratio increased slightly to 31.5%. Agreed sales fell for the tenth successive month, but less so than previously. Near term expectations remain subdued but sentiment on the longer term outlook for sales and prices signals modest recovery further out. (Source: Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors’ (RICS) monthly report)

First time buyer form on desk

Power House

 

According to statistics from UK Finance figures released by UK Finance show that the North of England has a strong and dynamic mortgage market, with lenders helping thousands of first-time buyers onto the housing ladder. This is combined with a steady increase in homemovers, making it easier for buyers to find a property that suits their needs Meanwhile, attractive rental yields in many Northern cities have driven growth in buy-to-let lending, bucking the national trend.

Mortgage lenders helped 84,900 first-time buyers in the North of England onto the housing ladder in 2018, up three per cent compared to the previous year and the highest level since 2006.  Overall, the North of England saw greater growth in first-time buyers than anywhere else in England outside the Midlands. This reflects better affordability in regions of the North, with average deposits and income multiples lower than elsewhere in England, particularly London and other English cities.

The figures also show there were 80,400 homemovers in the North of England in 2018, an increase of 1.1 per cent on the previous year and the highest level since 2007. This contrasts with an overall decline in homemovers across the UK in 2018. Meanwhile, the Northern Powerhouse cities of Newcastle, Liverpool and Hull all saw strong growth in buy-to-let lending, bucking the national trend. This has been driven by lower house prices coupled with a healthy labour market and strong rental demand, meaning that landlords can achieve higher yields than the UK average. Hull saw particularly strong growth of 12.8 per cent in buy-to-let lending, along with a steady increase in first-time buyers and homemovers.