Amongst all the headlines, reports and endless predictions around what will happen to the property and mortgage markets it is important to always take stock and take a look around at what is actually happening at ground level.
Despite Brexit, high prices and rates starting to rise activity and enquiry levels are at an extremely high level, with people determined to make 2018 a year that they actually do something.
With the highest number of First Time Buyers for 10 years and remortgage enquiries coming thick and fast, the main piece of the jigsaw missing is the next-time movers. Historically people would move around 5-7 times in their lifetime, but this is now reduced due to hassle, high prices and of course Stamp Duty costs.
However, the underlying fundamentals of why people move are still there; moving out of home, new partner, start a family, schools, divorce and the like which keeps the market ticking along, especially in the high demand areas.
Perhaps the biggest change is around the reduction in the number of Buy to Let purchases we are seeing, due to the recent tax changes, but perhaps surprisingly we are still seeing professional landlords who understand the changes looking to expand their portfolios. Landlords need to be properly educated around what the market looks like for them, rather than just believing the press speculation.
Amongst all of this, lenders still want to lend, in fact more so than for many years and the targets they have set themselves mean that competition is going to remain fierce for the rest of the year.
At present, 2-year fixes are available at 1.19%, (4.86% APRC) and 5-year fixes from 1.71%, 3.16% APRC) whilst variable tracker rates are around from 1.24%, (3.57% APRC).
Those looking at a Buy-To-Let can still obtain products from just 1.34%, (4.66% APRC) for a 2-year fix.