2019 has certainly been a rollercoaster year, with the General Election taking it to the wire and providing little let-up for a Brexit-weary populace. The last key date in the calendar was the MPC’s final meeting of the year and, perhaps unsurprisingly, the committee decided to keep interest rates steady at 0.75%. Our advice would be to watch this space, as it can only be a matter of time before the rates are cut again.
We have all felt the impact Brexit has had on the UK, leading the credit rating agency Moody’s to reduce its outlook of the banking system from ‘stable’ to ‘negative’, saying Brexit uncertainty has eroded ‘the country’s growth prospects’ while low interest rates are hitting lenders’ profitability.
Larger lenders, such as Nationwide, have spoken of reigning in lending as margins come under increased pressure. However, that leaves more opportunity for the small and niche lenders with whom we often work and – in competitive times – they’re more inclined to take an open mind and flexible approach.
In the housing market, we’re seeing fledgling signs of recovery despite the continued uncertainty, but prices are still lower than we have seen for a long time. In fact, a report from Savills says that prices have been slashed by a fifth on properties worth more than £2.75 million over the last few years. The same report is predicting the first annual price rise for high-end London homes since 2014. In other words, the Prime Central London market has ‘bottomed out’ and lenders are offering incredibly competitive and flexible terms, which means there has never been a better time to invest.
If you are considering your financing or refinancing options across the large loan space, talk to us. We have a team of experts who specialise in all areas of lending, including commercial and development finance, overseas mortgages, later life lending, equity release and buy to let mortgages.