Mortgage market starts 2016 with a bang

With mortgage approvals and lending both up on their six monthly averages, it is clear that the mortgage market got off to a blistering start in 2016.


Bank of England statistics show that lending secured on houses increased by £3.7bn in January, compared with the average monthly increase of £3.4bn over the previous six months.

Meanwhile the number of loan approvals for house purchase was 74,581, compared with a six-monthly average of 70,221.

According to the statistics, January 2016 saw the highest number of total monthly approvals since the same month in 2014. Remortgaging did particularly well, with the number of loan approvals increasing by 33 per cent year-on-year and the value of remortgaging up by 45 per cent over the previous year.

Furthermore, approvals for house purchases grew by 22 per cent.

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Leading insurance broker appoints new Director

Ashleigh Poore

Sennocke International Insurance Services Limited is delighted to announce the appointment of Ashleigh Poore to the role of Director with effect from the 1st March 2016.

Ashleigh has cemented his position as one of the key personnel at Sennocke’s Structural Warranty division; Build-Zone.

Since joining the company in 2009, he has progressed through the departments and has effectively taken leadership over the development of Build-Zone over the last 12 months.

Paul Kempton, Managing Director of Sennocke International Insurance Services Ltd said:

Ashleigh has displayed great leadership and direction during his time at Build Zone and we are excited to announce his promotion to Director at Sennocke International Insurance Services. We look forward to the continued growth in the company’s performance with Ashleigh’s support and expertise as we expand our reach throughout the UK.”

He went on to say:

“Ashleigh has successfully advanced through the relevant Departments since he joined the Company in 2009 and has effectively been running Build-Zone for the last 12 months so this progression in his career is well deserved and the Board wish him every success in the future”.

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Healthy UK Housing and Mortgage market for 2016

According to a new report by Timetric, gross mortgage lending in the UK will be rising at a steady rate up to 2019, driven by improving economic conditions and low deflation as seen in April 2015.

Healthy UK Housing and Mortgage market for 2016

The Gross lending registered considerable growth during 2015, especially from June to October, increasing at an average monthly rate of 3.3% and increasing by 29.4% overall.

Monthly lending was recorded at GBP21.5 billion for October following a growth of 15.9% from September, as low inflation and low interest rates continued to drive the market. The substantial growth was also attributed to lenders cutting interests rates in a late attempt to hit targets before Christmas.

According to Timetric’s Analyst Ben Carey-Evans:

“The mortgage market stabilised earlier in 2015 due to greater employment and stamp duty reforms. These trends continued, and combined with record low interest rates and inflation were the driving force behind the surge in lending in the latter part of the year.”

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Structural warranty insurance for basement renovations

Since 2011, there has been a distinct rise in planning applications put forward each year for subterranean extensions. The trend has seen wealthy home owners dig downwards in order to create more space for their premises in which to fit saunas, swimming pools, gyms, cinemas and wine cellars within their properties.

Structural warranty insurance for basement renovations

A whopping 800 applications have been made for basement extensions in the Kensington and Chelsea areas alone, many of which have been passed without hesitation from planning officers.

It is not all plain sailing as far as basement extensions are concerned. The process comes with a degree of risk and in many cases, vast expense. Some cases prove to be more expensive than others. Earlier this year, a £3.5million London townhouse owned by Ex Phones4U boss collapsed after caving in whilst developers were part-way through works to create an extensive basement designed to accommodate a cinema, a wine room and gym.

The basement of the Georgian property in West London was in the process of being renovated when it collapsed causing the property to be reduced to rubble. Luckily no-one was injured during the building collapse.

Homeowners considering renovation projects and any form or self-build schemes need to ensure that they have the correct insurances in place to cover themselves to prepare for such an eventuality.

Whether you are building your ‘Dream Home’ or converting an existing building, Build-Zone’s 10 Year Structural Warranty is the best way to protect you against the effect that a major structural defect could have on what is possibly your largest investment.

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Are Self-Build Homes The Answer To London’s Housing Crisis?

Our city halls, like counterparts in other great cities, are grappling with the scale of globalisation and its demands.  They must deliver housing to satisfy the electorate, outsourcing flagship housing projects to developers to deliver results at scale. Are Self-Build Homes The Answer To London's Housing Crisis?

Developers argue that having taken the risk of readying the site, funded quality accommodation, and met regulations; there is limited scope for the affordable housing or community facilities that people crave.

As a result, London, like many cities, is lumbered with a system for controlling development rather than one that enables building. Demoralised planners operate in a quasi-legal environment, avoiding the opportunity to inspire physical building designs. Our councils are ignoring the exciting potential of both big developments and smaller brownfield locations to deliver viable, multi-purpose building sites.

Our leaders need not exercise this ‘command and control’ over housing. They’ve forgotten that housing was always delivered through the smallest units — a single street, terrace or building.  Communities were built this way over generations without a torrent of planning controls.

Local people will build again if essential conditions are put in place — common networks, agreed design approaches and incentives. These factors result in much wider physical uses for new buildings, a greater sense of place and more sustainable community growth and change.

But European cities haven’t forgotten the lesson of smallness: they’re successfully mixing ‘top down’ and ‘ground up’ approaches to urban renewal.

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