Living close to one of the top 30 state schools in England costs homebuyers a premium of £21,000, according to data published by Lloyds Banking Group. The average house price in the surrounding areas of the schools on the list is £268,098, with the top five locations commanding a premium in excess of £115,000.
Mortgage lenders, building societies and banks continue to bring new products to the market. Whether to gain new customers or to offer existing mortgage holders looking for a keen deal at the end of their fixed-rate period, lenders are offering a range of incentives for homebuyers and remortgagers.
If good service and good advice matter to you as much as an excellent mortgage rate then it's vital for you to know about new data from the Financial Conduct Authority. The FCA has published information on which mortgage lenders attract most complaints and which banks and building societies uphold most of these grievances.
Here, we reveal the UK's five worst lenders in terms of mortgage complaints.
A number of lenders are offering special deals to entice buyers to borrow from them. Among them, Lloyds Bank is now offering to refund two months' worth of interest on mortgage borrowing for qualifying home movers, up to a value of £1,000.
As the family moves on, many homeowners look to downsize their home to reduce costs. One factor when looking at new or pre-owned properties will be stamp duty land tax (SDLT, or more commonly ‘stamp duty'), currently 1% on homes purchased for between £125,001 and £250,000, rising threefold to 3% on homes at £250,001 to £500,000. Keeping below that £250,000 threshold can save those moving house many thousands of pounds.
Despite lenders reporting year-on-year increases in business, and the buy-to-let market buoyant, the cost of mortgage continues to fall, with reductions in fixed-rate and tracker mortgages announced this week.
The number of first-time buyers continued to increase in 2013, according to the annual Halifax First Time Buyer Review. Last year the number of first-time buyers grew by an estimated 22% to 265,000; the largest annual rise since 2001. This was the second consecutive annual increase following a 13% rise to 218,000 in 2012.
Martin Ellis, housing economist at Halifax, says: "Low interest rates, improvements in consumer confidence and government schemes, such as Help to Buy, all appear to have contributed to the rise in the number of first-time buyers."
With deposits hard to find for many first-time buyers two types of mortgage are gaining popularity, each allowing parents to guarantee mortgages for their children making a first purchase. The guarantees, either in cash or as a charge against the parents' own home, serve as a deposit, typically 25% of the value of the child's new home.
Developer Kier have purchased Lloyds Bank's stake in jointly owned property assets, including land for the construction of more new homes, for £91m.
Under terms of the agreement, the developer will make an initial payment of £35m, with a further £30m to be paid in October 2012, followed by a final installment of £26m in 2013.