Liz Syms

Industry Insight – High Street demise creates housing opportunity

As we head towards the anniversary of the first lockdown it’s hard to escape the ongoing social and economic impact of Covid-19. From a commercial perspective you only have to step outside to see real life examples. The empty, non-viable retail units now lining our high streets are a case in point.

Are you ready for the next phase of Help to Buy?

From 1st April, the existing Help to Buy Equity Loan Scheme (2013-2021) will be replaced with the new Help to Buy Equity Loan Scheme (2021-2023) and will only be available to first-time buyers purchasing a new build property. Also on that date, regional property price caps will be introduced, with each area of the country having a maximum property value that will be eligible for the scheme.

Industry Insight – New housing options post Covid-19

With New Year resolutions made, many in the UK will be looking ahead having firmly shut the door on 2020. Despite a particularly difficult year generally, and with our current lockdown status in force; on a social and an economic level, those serving the mortgage industry can still look to the future with optimism.


Extending the stamp duty holiday could be fiscally positive for the UK treasury, according to research commissioned by Kensington Mortgages. Retaining the threshold for paying Stamp Duty Land Tax (SDLT) at its current level of £500,000 would provide new tax revenues – generated by higher transaction volumes, increased property prices, household consumption, and housing market activity – ranging between £2.3 and £4.1 billion. According to analysis by the Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr), in the upper bound estimate this would lead to a fiscal surplus of £139 million.

Shawbrook Bank – Bridging Market Snapshot

The bridging market remains strong, despite the clear challenges presented by 2020. Savvy investors – and their brokers – should be confident about the outlook as we head towards the New Year. We saw an understandable drop off in activity in Q2, but as the property market has rebounded, so too has bridging.

Why brokers should be hosting webinars

Have you attended a webinar this year? Studies show that you probably have and that higher attendance rates will likely extend beyond this year. A webinar is a web-based seminar or lecture on a particular topic, often hosted live and with the ability for attendees to ask questions at the end. So why should brokers be hopping on the webinar train?

Mythbusting with Morris: Why historic adverse credit doesn’t mean the end of first-time buyers’ dreams

Imagine you’re approached by a young couple in their late twenties who’re looking for a mortgage so they can start their journey together, settle down and raise a family. They’ve been saving for years to get a large enough deposit together, they’ve seen the home of their dreams and they think they’ve found the right lender…only to be turned down because they missed a credit card payment or mobile phone bill so long ago that they’d almost forgotten about it.

Industry Insight – Summer houses – an option for ‘year round’ homeworking

With COVID-19 restrictions continuing to be part of everyday life, thousands of employees have remained working from home. During the first lockdown back in March many of us were operating from a corner of the living room, the kitchen table or the spare bedroom but as restrictions have continued, home working has become increasingly sophisticated. With more people looking to create a dedicated workspace at home, building a ‘summer house’ separate from the main residence is becoming a popular option. So what opportunities does this create for mortgage intermediaries?