Catch up on Mortgage Strategy’s most popular stories this week. Others likely to follow NatWest and HSBC on rate cuts and Skipton expands Track Record criteria after market feedback. Read more below:

Others likely to follow NatWest and HSBC on rate cuts?

NatWest has unveiled a set of rate reductions in both its residential and buy-to-let mortgage offerings. Starting September 5th, residential purchase products will see decreases of up to 35 basis points (bps), while tracker rates will drop by up to 55 bps. For remortgage options, fixed rates will be reduced by up to 8 bps, and tracker rates will see up to 46 bps reductions.

Skipton expands Track Record criteria after market feedback

Tenants who can demonstrate mortgage affordability, maintain a solid history of rental payments, and have not owned a home in the past three years are now eligible to borrow up to 100% of a property’s value through Skipton. This expansion of the Track Record mortgage criteria comes after Skipton’s trial and post-launch product review. It aims to assist tenants in reentering the property market.

BM Solutions launches top slicing for BTL applications

BM Solutions has introduced top slicing for buy-to-let (BTL) applications. This new feature allows customers to use a portion of their earned income to cover a lending shortfall when the rental income from the BTL property doesn’t meet the standard rental cover ratio (RCR) calculation.

House prices suffer largest fall in 14 years: Halifax   

In August, average house prices saw a significant 4.6% annual decline, the largest since 2009, according to data from Halifax. This drop is attributed to the impact of “higher mortgage costs on house prices.” On a monthly basis, prices experienced a 1.9% decrease, reaching £279,569. This marks the fifth consecutive monthly decline and the most substantial monthly drop since November of the previous year, as reported in the lender’s latest House Price Index.

Market Watch: A few promising signs

Mortgage rates have dipped in recent weeks, but rising inflation and the cost of living could weigh on the housing market. The Bank of England has warned that the economy could slow down in the coming months, and this could lead to a decline in house prices.

Chancellor sets 22 November for Autumn Statement  

Chancellor Jeremy Hunt is set to present what is widely anticipated as the final Autumn Statement before the upcoming general election on November 22nd. Additionally, the Treasury has tasked the Office for Budget Responsibility, the spending watchdog, with preparing an economic forecast for parliament. This forecast will be published alongside the fiscal statement.

Mortgage-related fraud up by a third over past year

Analysis conducted by Apex Bridging, specialists in bridging finance, shows that mortgage-related fraud in England and Wales surged by 32.8% over the past year. Mortgage fraud is a form of property fraud where criminals attempt to illicitly obtain funds from financial institutions or private lenders during the mortgage process.

Newcastle enhances shared ownership proposition

Newcastle Intermediaries has expanded its shared ownership offerings by introducing re-mortgage and staircasing products to its lineup. This enhancement enables current shared ownership borrowers to remortgage with Newcastle Building Society.

Virgin Money eases criteria for self-employed, studio flats  

The Virgin Money group has eased several of its criteria standards for property and self-employed customers. Notably, Virgin Money has revised its policy to accept applications for studio flats with an internal floor area of 30 square meters or more.

Rents hit record £1,261 a month in August: HomeLet 

In August, monthly rents in the UK reached a new record high, averaging £1,261, which reflects a 1.4% increase from the previous month, according to data from HomeLet. This surge is attributed to the ongoing scarcity of available housing stock, which continues to push prices upward. In London, tenant housing costs also reached an all-time high, rising 1.7% over the same period to £2,145 per month, as reported in the latest rental index from the lettings services firm.

The post Mortgage Strategy’s Top 10 Stories: 04 Sept to 08 Sept appeared first on Mortgage Strategy.