Newsletter March 2015

First Time Buyer Numbers Continue to Gather Pace

Figures released from Halifax reveal the number of first time buyers rose by 22% to 326,500 in 2014, which followed a 23% rise in 2013. The average cost of a home bought by a first time buyer increased by 9% to £171,870.This increase takes the amount of first time property buyers to its highest level since the financial crisis of 2007. Furthermore, with more higher loan to value mortgages being launched, the number of products on offer is steadily rising. This, coupled with Government schemes such as Help to Buy, means conditions are looking favourable for those thinking about buying their first property.

Mortgage Price War Continues to Intensify

The current mortgage price war shows no signs of abating and with many new market entrants, the competition amongst lenders is set to intensify over the coming months.It is widely predicted, rates could  go even lower during the next six months, with fixed rate deals looking likely to fall below one per cent in the coming weeks. Recent data provided by the Bank of England illustrates the average two year fixed rate has fallen from 2.37% to 2.01% over the past year.

In addition to this, current market conditions are leading to an increase in longer term deals, as we recently covered in our blog post linked to below.

First Mortgage on Money Box Live

Our Sales Manager Kevin Gardiner recently appeared as an expert guest, joining Ruth Alexander on BBC Radio4’s Money Box Live. She was also joined by Melanie Bien, Mortgage and Property Finance Expert and Ray Boulger, Senior Technical Manager, John Charcol.The session lasted for approximately 30 minutes, where questions for the experts had been submitted by the public. There was a wide variety of topics discussed, ranging from the first time buyer market, low rates, the strict lending criteria and the value of speaking to a good impartial mortgage advisor.

With many excellent questions put forward, we took the opportunity to cover the main highlights on our blog.

Company News

We are delighted to announce we achieved our Investors in People and Investors in Young People accreditations, demonstrating our commitment and support to our employees, as part of our core values. We are particularly proud of this and it shows just how we, as a company, are growing in stature.Following hot on the heels of the Oscars, we have recently submitted our entry for the “Best Supporting Company” in the Homes for Scotland Awards 2015 and are looking forward to the result in great anticipation.

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Meet the Advisor

This month we meet Mobeen Akram, National Key Account Manager at First Mortgage, who gives us an insight into her typical day, the challenges for the mortgage industry and much more!
Tell us about your job and what’s involved on a typical day?On a typical day I wake up at 6 and into the office for 8am, I catch up with my team and administrator, client meetings all day and I usually finish around 6 and head to the gym. Dinner at 7 with my family, finally catch up on emails and bed for around 11pm.

What previous roles and experiences led you to your present position?

I had a Legal background in England however I decided to pursue a career in finance on relocation to Scotland and was lucky enough to secure employment at the downturn of the market and since then have never looked back.

What do you like most about this company?

That I am not simply a small cog in a large wheel and being part of the tremendous growth so far, and massive expansion plans on the agenda.

What do you consider the key challenges for the mortgage industry this year?

Lenders placing cap on income multiples for first time buyer’s and further tightening of affordability rules. At a more local level, the withdrawal of Help To Buy in Scotland with no funding guaranteed after 2015.

What are the most important personal satisfactions connected with your job?

I am the most satisfied on securing new business whether it’s a private client or a new account for the firm.

Who is your role model and why?

My role model is Hilary Clinton, she’s incredibly inspiring with her success in entering a male dominated political arena together with her feminist views and preference of boardroom to kitchen!

If you could take back one career decision, what would it be?

None, I never look back and always focus on the future.

If we were to ask your work colleagues about you, what would they say and why?

They would say I am demanding and lack in patience!

If you could take three other people to dinner with you, who would it be and why?

  • President Bush, because I want to see him choke on a pretzel and post the video on YouTube.
  • Victoria Beckham for gossip on New York fashion week and entrepreneurial hints/skills she used to put her brand on a global platform and ultimately steal the limelight from David.
  • Finally, Nicola Sturgeon to discuss how Scotland plans to support first time buyers once HTB 1 funds are exhausted and the schemes, if any, they intend to implement.

Salad or chips? 

Chips with cheese any day!

What are your hobbies?

Keeping fit and horse riding.

What is your favourite film?

It changes all the time but American Sniper just now.

What is your favourite book?

Very embarrassing to admit but Fifty Shades of Grey…

Who is your current mortgage with?



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