Newsletter July 2015

Self-Employed Mortgages: A Wake up Call for the Industry?

Recent figures reveal that 40% of the UK’s self-employed workforce believes their status has significantly reduced their chances of securing a homeloan. According to specialist lender Precise Mortgages, only 5% of self-employed individuals are confident that their chances of getting a mortgage have improved significantly. There is some positive news to be had; the stance towards the self employed market is beginning to change, where it has the trappings to become a potential battleground in the years to come.

94,000 Buyers Benefit from Help to Buy

More than 94,000 people have used the Help to Buy schemes since its launch in 2013. This includes Help to Buy equity loan, mortgage guarantee and New Buy schemes, with first time buyers making up four out of five purchasers. The average value of properties under the scheme stands at £213,954, significantly below the UK  average of £271,000, where 94% of the sales came from outside the London area. This is extremely encouraging news and clearly demonstrates Help to Buy is benefiting those individuals it is clearly designed to help get onto the property ladder.

L&G Mortgage Club launch New Build Proposition

As a member of the Legal and General Mortgage Club, we are happy to learn of the news that a New Build division has been set up to provide a dedicated resource to this growing sector, supporting and adding value to specialist brokers, builders and lender partners. Through raising the profile of this important area, it will support the wider Legal & General Group housing strategy, growing the business’ footprint and related insurance business by recruitment and business development. This in turn will help brokers write more business in this sector and also enables customers, builders and lenders to benefit.

Company News

Last month saw an East v West contest as two First Mortgage teams battled it out in an Apprentice style challenge for Marie Curie Cancer Care. Both teams opted for a themed event day with the East team, led by regional sales manager David Livingstone, opting for an 80’s style fund raising day and the West, lead by sales manager Kevin Gardiner, going for a Pirates of the Caribbean look!
The figures for the money raised at the time of going to press are £401 to the East team and £279 for the West team. This was an excellent effort and it was great to see the First Mortgage team pledging their support to such a good cause. A big well done to everyone involved!

Meet the Advisor

In this month’s edition its a slightly different slant. We caught up with Craig Hall from Legal and General who gave us an insight into a typical working day and the key challenges which lie ahead. Read on to find out more about the man himself!
You came into new build 22 months ago, what have been the key learning points for you?Where do I start! The last 22 months has been a steep learning curve, my previous dealings with the new build sector were very ‘light touch’ compared with now (takes up about 95% of my time). The key learns have to be:

– Just how much work there is to do to create and maintain a healthy housing market.

– The lack of new homes currently being built particularly compared with historic production seeing a record high of 425,800 units completed in 1968 (226,100 private sector)!

– Many lenders still risk averse to new build, in particular; high LTV’s, incentives, ‘new build premium’ and site exposure – BUT we are making progress!

– The stand out success of the Help to Buy scheme.

– Affordable Housing and the various schemes.

What does a normal week look like, or is there no such thing?

No one week is the same, the majority my time is spent in meetings with:

– Lenders (New Build and Affordable Housing proposition development, activity planning)

– New & existing brokers (support & business development)

– L&G colleagues regarding group wide initiatives and proposition development

In recent weeks, a significant amount of time has been spent planning both the L&G New Build Forum and the Custom Build Conference which took place on 20th March, bringing together lenders, surveyors, developers, BSA and  National Custom & Self Build Association.

What parts of your job do you enjoy most?

I am very much a ‘people person’ therefore I enjoy most aspects to my job but I particularly enjoy engaging with our business/lender partners – adding value and creating that ‘light bulb’ moment.

What do you see as the biggest opportunities and challenges in new homes for 2015?


– An improving new build mortgage market –  I do believe 2015 will see more lenders seriously enter the New Build sector, through marked improvements with their policy, service, product and support.

– The expanding Custom Build sector – a extending customer choice and improving affordability.

– 2014 saw around 200,000 permissions granted – impact on 2015 completions?

– Interest rates likely to remain at record lows until 2016/7 and House Price Inflation has slowed – both improving customer affordability

– Starter Home Scheme – when full details confirmed and lenders on board.

Key Challenges

– Build, Build, Build – The UK still requires a massive expansion of house building, in order to achieve a minimum of 250,000 homes per year.

– Slow & steady growth from larger developers – SME’s ‘to pick up the slack’?

– Planning timescales – around 150,000 plots stuck!

– Lack of skilled labour and raw materials.

Have you got any secret talents?

I like to think I’m quite good at impressions and speaking in different accents – much to the annoyance of my wife and kids!

What did you want to be when you were a kid?

A jet pilot, I have always had a fascination with aircraft!

What 3 items would you take on a desert island? (i.e. you couldn’t do without)

Swiss army knife


I think that just about covers everything!
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