Property

Secure Trust Bank Mortgages partners with Optima Legal

Secure Trust Bank Mortgages partners with Optima Legal

We are delighted to announce that the Mortgage division of Secure Trust Bank has agreed a strategic partnership with Optima Legal, as the firm looks to make headway in the ‘fee assisted’ remortgage market.

Optima’s Andy Gray contributes to the Redfern Review as a member of its advisory panel

Optima’s Andy Gray contributes to the Redfern Review as a member of its advisory panel

Published on the 16 November 2016, the Redfern Review is an independent report, led by Pete Redfern, Chief Executive of Taylor Wimpey and commissioned by Shadow Secretary of State for Housing, John Healey MP. Supported by a four person advisory panel, including Optima’s Andy Gray (non executive director), it is the first major review into home ownership and the wider housing market in over a decade.  

A lot can happen in three months - What next for the Housing & Mortgage Markets?

A lot can happen in three months - What next for the Housing & Mortgage Markets?

It is now just over three months since one of the most momentous days in British politics and arguably one of the most significant days in the UK’s modern history. But reflecting on the immediate period after the referendum and more recent times, including Teresa May’s announcement to commence the formal Brexit negotiation process by the end of March 2017, what next for the UK Housing and Mortgage Markets?

Care needed when discharging charges for borrowers with multiple accounts

Care needed when discharging charges for borrowers with multiple accounts

Secured lenders must take great care when discharging their security for borrowers with more than one loan account.  If they do not have adequate systems in place to ensure that outstanding liability across all accounts is picked up, a lender could inadvertently turn itself from a secured to unsecured creditor through an administrative error. The lender could then have great difficulty in remedying its mistake. These were the lessons from a recent High Court case, NRAM plc v Evans.

Legal risk outlook still a concern

Legal risk outlook still a concern

The risk outlook issued by the Solicitors' Regulation Authority (“SRA”) identified financial instability as a continuing worry for legal practices and a recent Conveyancers’ Association Conference encouraged conveyancers in particular to recognise the huge risk to consumers of losing money and/or confidential information as a result of criminal activity. The report also highlighted the fact that many legal practices had weak prevention systems, and as a result may fail to identify rogue individuals with criminal intent. 

The Stamp Duty debate

The Stamp Duty debate

There is a growing campaign to reform the current stamp duty tax system as evidenced by increasing newspaper publications and even a discussion in Parliament. Many property experts and MPs are asserting that the £1 billion per month raised through stamp duty is holding back further growth in the economy and a rise in the thresholds could boost the housing market and, in particular, give a helping hand to buyers at the lower end of the scale.

Remortgages set for resurgence

Remortgages set for resurgence

The remortgage market switched off in recent years plummeting from 1.2m cases in 2007 to a low of 350,000 in 2010, followed by a very slow recovery. Many people have been stuck with negative equity whilst others have been trapped by lack of employment. Although 2m borrowers have been able to switch in the last 5 years many have seen no need to do so as their current rates offered no incentive to move from pre-2008 tracker deals. When these silent prisoners wake up it will lead to a remortgage resurgence of some magnitude.

Where is the Boundary?

Where is the Boundary?

A policy paper has recently been released by the Land Registry and the Ordnance Survey to outline the role each plays in displaying and identifying ownership of boundaries between properties.

From the outset it is important to distinguish between a physical boundary (such as a wall or fence ) and the legal boundary which identifies the precise separation of ownership of land. These "boundaries" may not necessarily be the same.

The Physical Boundary

House Building Optimism

House Building Optimism

Figures from Countrywide suggest that over the last nine years the UK built just one home for every 2.5 new people living in the UK. Of all the countries in Europe only Luxembourg and Switzerland built fewer homes which is a startling statistic when we are faced with an increasing population.

Land Registry plans to become sole registering authority

Land Registry plans to become sole registering authority

The Land Registry plans to become the sole registering authority for local land charges ("local searches") in 2015. The intention is to replace the current system whereby details of such charges are provided by each of the 348 local authorities.

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