Martin Lewis often helps a wide range of people who write in to his Money Show for assistance, and during this time, he has provided invaluable help on a number of concerns. Mortgages were on this list of issues Britons have been forced to reckon with recently, and Martin used his ITV show to provide advice. One person wrote to the show to ask the Money Saving Expert his opinion on putting a deposit down for a property, and securing a mortgage at this time.
Martin first made reference to the decision of Nationwide to lower the ceiling for mortgage lending for new customers, tripling the minimum deposit for first time buyers.
This is, the building society said, as a result of “unprecedented times and an uncertain mortgage market”.
Martin said: “One of the dangers is that you will be priced out, another is that you will be priced in, that house prices will drop and that you could be left in horrible negative equity.
“Some of the lenders are doing this and there is a move to bigger deposits. I have always pushed people to have bigger deposits, at least 10 percent, because the rates at five percent are awful.
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“There is a bit of sense in this. If house prices do drop, and we don’t know, then you don’t want to be trapped for 10 or 15 years in a property with negative equity.
“A bigger deposit is good but it does price you out. If you’ve found somewhere to live and it’s a good long term place for you, then I would go to speak to a mortgage broker.
“Do think, do go through the pros and cons. This isn’t a no brainer. Buying a first time property at this moment with a small deposit isn’t a no brainer. It’s not necessarily wrong, but it isn’t necessarily right either.”
The property market is beginning to get back on its feet in England, and there are tentative moves and plans to make this the case throughout the rest of the UK also.
Estate agents can now open and conduct viewings, with conveyancers also permitted to restart their operations.
However, it is worth noting this all must take place through social distancing and health and safety rules imposed by the government.
Mortgages have suffered a shaky restart after many products were pulled from the market in March. Deposit rates have undergone change in some places, with buyers and lenders adjusting to a new normal.
Nonetheless, the government states restarting the property market is a positive sign of a world post-COVID-19.
Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick said of the decision: “Our clear plan will enable people to move home safely, covering each aspect of the sales and letting process, from viewings to removals.
“This critical industry can now safely move forward, and those waiting patiently to move can now do so.”
Martin Lewis is the Founder and Chair of MoneySavingExpert.com. To join the 13 million people who get his free Money Tips weekly email, go to www.moneysavingexpert.com/latesttip