Liz Syms

How important is the right solicitor in getting the mortgage completed?

The pandemic has highlighted the cumbersome and slow process often found in the mortgage market. As a result, it has been great to see advisers and mortgage lenders adopt innovations such as electronic ID and desktop valuations to improve this.

However, with the stamp duty deadlines, the services from solicitors have been impacted. This spotlight has shown up some of the slow and archaic procedures in the legal part of the transaction.

KM Webinar: COVID-19 One year on: The impact on the mortgage market

It’s lockdown day 365 – and I still can’t quite get my head around the fact that we’ve been living through this pandemic for a whole year. In March 2020, our worlds were turned upside down by the arrival of Covid-19: a virus that, at the time, we knew so little about, forcing us to stay at home and protect lives.

First Time Buyer Index – Results Aldermore Insights

We asked people who are looking to buy, or have recently bought their first home about their experiences of the process. Our latest First Time Buyer Index surveyed 1,000 prospective first-time buyers and 250 buyers who had bought their first home since March 2020.

Industry Insight – 2021: Another year of the staycation summer?

It seems like yesterday we were discussing last year’s burgeoning holiday lets market and now we’re experiencing the same trends for 2021. Deterred by the thought of quarantine hotels, country restrictions and the likelihood of catching the coronavirus itself, Brits are once again preparing for a summer of staycations.

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.