The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) announced this week that it’s launching a Call for Evidence on how the Support for Mortgage Interest (SMI) scheme could be improved in the future.
But while Ben Wilkie, editor at What Mortgage, thinks the principles behind the SMI are good, the scheme must ensure funds are used directly to help struggling homeowners keep their property – rather than to pay off other debts.
He says: “The whole point of Support for Mortgage Interest is that people don’t lose their homes, but having the money paid directly to the claimant could increase the number of people who do”.
However, Mr Wilkie also notes the SMI could be changed to include a charge on any homeowners who use the scheme and later benefit from property price rises.
In other landlord insurance news doing the rounds today, it’s being reasoned that buy-to-let lending looks set to make up a larger percentage of the mortgage market next year.
David Whittaker is managing director at Mortgages for Business, and he thinks the current “soft” state of the UK mortgage market suggests the share of buy-to-let lending could increase this quarter and throughout 2012.
He says: “Historically, [buy-to-let lending] ran at about 13 per cent of the market, but dropped as low as eight and a half or nine per cent of the market in 2009, so you could say that all it is doing is re-establishing its status quo relationship with the residential mortgage market as a whole.”
The comments follow the announcement that Paragon Mortgages has won the ‘best buy-to-let portfolio lender’ title at the Your Mortgage 2011-12 Awards.
And despite all the hype, it seems the promise of the Olympics has had no effect at all on the London rental market from the point of view of any buy to let insurance holder.
discountletting.co.uk is an online letting agent, providing letting agent services to 31,829 landlords across the UK.
Daniel Burgess is managing director of discountletting.co.uk, and he says: “The Olympics is the last thing on the minds of landlords or tenants. Getting through the next three to six months is what people are thinking about.
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