In June 2017, The Grenfell fire tragedy shook the country, 72 people died, and hundreds affected. Suddenly, fire safety issues impacting thousands of blocks of flats were exposed. Building controls have been slack for decades and light was shed upon the construction sector who have a history of building cheaply and quickly for maximum profit margins.
The building was covered in flammable cladding causing the fire to spread quickly and easily. Since Grenfell Mortgage Lenders have proceeded with caution when considering lending on flats in tower blocks, especially when the block has cladding. Their concerns directly led to the introduction of the EWS1 (External Wall Survey) in December 2019. The EWS1 was initially recommended for residential blocks of seven stories and above and was meant to assess whether a block has been built using combustible materials for insulation or cladding. Once the survey has been completed an EWS1 form may be issued assuming the building is safe.
EWS1 – Problems
In short, the EWS1 sounds like a great idea. It does however come with it’s own set of issues and stumbling blocks. Mortgage lenders are generally refusing to lend without seeing the EWS1 Form. Leaseholders who want to move or re-mortgage are finding it incredibly difficult to get the freeholders to pay for the inspection to happen. The inspections themselves can be very costly and often are unaffordable for the freeholder to carry out. Even when a freeholder has been in a position to carry out the inspection, they often take a long time to arrange and leave leaseholders in an effective state of limbo.
There is also a significant lack of surveyors qualified to carry out an EWS1 inspection, with only a reported 291 fire engineers qualified to inspect a building. Peabody Housing Association has even told leaseholders it could be 10 years before all it’s blocks have been surveyed.
Since January 2020 safety advice was tightened by the Government causing lenders to ask for evidence of safety for almost every modern flat applied for. Even if there is a hint of cladding such as weatherboarding in a small area evidence is asked for.
Most leaseholders are still not aware of what work if any the building their flats are in need work, or how much this would cost them. The EWS1 situation is really one with no reasonable solution or end in sight. Without the EWS1 Form a property has essentially become un-mortgageable and un-saleable.
The human cost of these cladding issues are not to be forgotten either. Those leaseholders who are trying to sell their properties but are not able to due to the cladding and EWS1 are reporting more mental health issues as you would expect. Plans such as marriage, children and many other situations are basically on hold until further notice.
We work with sportsmen and women throughout the entirety of their careers. Whatever sport you play professionally, whether you are a footballer, athlete, Rugby player or professional coach, getting a mortgage can be a little more complicated than you might expect.
Our mortgage team can help you find the best mortgages for sport professionals and get you the property loan you require. Specialising in sports professionals’ mortgages means knowing how sports players income is made up, from short term contracts to appearance bonuses and win bonuses as well as subsidiary income from advertising and TV work.
We work with players receiving theorist professional contract through to clients nearing sports retirement age that may be moving into other sports related occupations such as paid TV or coaching work.
Mortgages for sports professionals include homes for you and your family to live in, second homes you will stay in occasionally or property investment mortgages (Buy to Let) for property you will rent out. As your career develops there may be additional sources of income that can be used when applying for a loan as well as future plans that you may wish to consider.
Professional athletes, despite their potential high net worth, are often viewed as a lending risk. This is often because of the short-term fixed contracts most clubs will offer. Depending on the nature of their sport, some professionals can be highly susceptible to injury that may cut their sporting career short or impact the amount or nature of remuneration they receive.
Sporting careers tend to have a shorter shelf life than others. Many sport professionals retire in their 30’s or 40’s, or even earlier in some cases. Some mortgage lenders may be willing to lend to sport professionals based on their age at the time of applying for the mortgage and their predicted retirement age.
Many sportspeople also receive additional sporadic income from factors such as bonuses, sponsorship and appearance fees. This can also prove difficult for a standard mortgage lender to assess.
When you are looking for a mortgage as a sports professional, lenders are likely to consider the following points:
How long you have been playing professionally?
Many lenders will want to see that you have been a sport professional in your chosen field for at least two years. This allows them to assess income over time. However, some lenders many offer you a mortgage deal based on anticipated income if you have just been signed by a new club or sponsor.
Many sportspeople travel regularly as part of their role, moving around nationally or internationally. Therefore, the portability of a potential mortgage deal is something that could be important, flexibility is key if you may need to relocate.
If you are an overseas citizen and have moved to the UK to play professional sport, you could initially face difficulty getting as UK mortgage deal as you may not have any UK credit history.
If you or a family member is a professional sports person, it really is imperative you take advice from an experienced Mortgage Broker. We have built up a wealth of experience across the UK within a wide variety of Sports and stages of career. Whatever Sport you are involved with please do not hesitate to get in touch to see how we can help you.
Tomorrow, we will have been operating for three weeks. In this time I can say that I have experienced mixed emotions. There’s been doubt and frustration as well as joy and satisfaction but overall I can genuinely say that the process so far has been extremely rewarding in more ways than one.
Leaving the security of a large company with a set salary and well paid commission as well as all the additional perks like the company car and private health care was scary enough but leaving it behind to set up a new business with all the financial commitment and personal risk involved could of been nothing short of terrifying.
On the day I left I received comments like “You’re brave” and “Is now really the right time to be doing this?”. For a second I maybe questioned what I was actually doing but it was literally a second.
I knew that the effort that both myself and Frances had put in to creating our brand, the website, the software the marketing campaign would pay off and sure enough on the first day before we had even put up our first “Now Open” board the phone rang with a homeowner asking us to visit their property that had been on the market with another agent for 3 months with no offers. That property is now under offer through Mockford & Hunt to a buyer who is also under offer through Mockford & Hunt!
Sellers and buyers just want helpful, proactive service and if you take the time to listen to people it makes the job far easier. It’s not about estate agency, its simply about the best parts human nature, listening, understanding and actually caring about their move.
Market Watch Series
Find out the latest news, views and top tips from industry experts. Up-to-date news and developments from the UK property industry, as well as insights into the ever changing market trends from Estate Agency insiders.
Mortgage interest rates are on the rise. It is imperative to act now to make sure you are not paying more interest than necessary. Understanding the impact increased rates will have on monthly mortgage payments and your budget is very important and should not be ignored.
The last four months have seen mortgage rates increase month on month. The average Two Year fixed rate for borrowers at 85% now sits at over 3% (3.12% according to the latest data from Moneyfacts UK).
This is an increase of 1.01% since July 2020 (when the average was 2.11%) The 5 Year Fixed rate deals have also been impacted with rate rises and are sitting at an average of 3.25% up from 2.34% in July 2020.
The situation for buyers with a 10% deposit has also seen increases to the interest rates as well as a significantly reduced pool of lenders offering 90% products. If you have a 10% deposit you are now looking at an average interest rate of 3.76% for a 2 Year Fixed Rate and 3.98% average for a 5 Year Fixed Rate.
There is no sign that the rates have reached their peak. As we have not seen the conclusion of the external factors assisting the property market. Once we move into 2021 we will know more about how the housing market will react and therefore will either see lenders be open to lending at higher loan to values or not as well as where the interest rate levels will be.
There are many factors contributing to these rate rises but in essence Mortgage Lenders are concerned about the level of risk they are undertaking at higher LTV (Loan to Value) mortgages. Ultimately the lenders are protecting themselves and their customers from fluctuations in the market and mitigating risk against a situation when a customer could find themselves in negative equity. No lender wants to repossess properties from their clients who have found themselves in circumstances meaning they are unable to pay their mortgage.
Concerns over unemployment is one of the main points lenders are worried about. Most lenders will not include furlough income in affordability calculations already. There will undoubtedly be an increase in job loses when the furlough scheme comes to an end and the lenders need to lend responsibly and make sure they are not putting their customers in bad financial situations.
The current Stamp Duty holiday (due to end in March 2021) could also have an impact on property prices and be propping up the high prices we are still seeing across the UK. Lenders will be worried that when this comes to an end housing prices may be affected negatively and therefore houses selling for less.
If you are planning on getting onto the property ladder then now is a great time, before we see rates go up any higher. Take advice, discuss what your options are and take advice to find out what is best for you.