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Continuing uncertainty in residential property market

Get yourself mortgage ready

The latest Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) UK Residential Market Survey, has reported a decline in home listings coming onto the housing market, with the net balance for new instructions slipping to its weakest point for more than three years at -37%.

This follows the more stable trend seen over the last three months, as ongoing political and economic uncertainty continues to dissuade vendors. As a result, estate agents’ books remain at near record low levels.

The near-term outlook suggests that sales will remain subdued over the next three months and price expectations will see a modest decline UK-wide over this period. However, sales volumes are expected to stabilise over 12 months and more respondents to the survey expect prices to rise, rather than fall over the coming year.

A mixed picture continues to be seen across the UK, with price gains in Scotland, the North West and Northern Ireland, whereas London and the South East retains negative momentum.

If you’re looking to buy a property soon, it’s probably time to initiate some tactical financial changes to boost your chances of securing a loan and ultimately help realise your home-owning dreams.

Save, save, save

A great way to improve the chances of being offered a mortgage on favourable terms is to save as much as you can towards a deposit. Opening a dedicated savings account and squirrelling away spare cash is therefore a good idea. And, for first time buyers, there are even specially designed ISAs which provide, within limits, a 25% bonus on top of what you manage to save.

Check your credit score

No-one will secure a home loan if their credit rating is dire and, the better it is, the better the mortgage terms you can hope to be offered. It’s therefore imperative to check your credit score. If it does need improving, then paying utility bills on time, paying off credit card balances in full each month and ensuring you’re on the electoral register are all ways to boost your rating.

Sort out your finances

Prospective lenders will assess the state of your finances, including any debts, and the way you manage your financial affairs. It’s essential to keep your current account in credit and try to keep incomings and outgoings as ‘regular’ as possible. You should also try to curb frivolous spending and, if you can afford to, pay down any loans and credit card balances too.

Ask an expert

Taking on a mortgage is a big financial commitment and it’s essential to seek advice in order to ensure you find a loan that fits your individual circumstances. Don’t worry; we’ll be here to help you navigate the mortgage maze.