First time buyers at a seven-year high

Thursday, 8th January, 2015

First time buyers were up by 22 per cent in 2014 – the highest since 2007 – according to a recent report by Halifax.

And when you consider that this equates to 326,500 properties, it’s clear that we’re moving further away from the property market’s nadir of 2007/8 and that the entry barriers to property ownership are getting smaller and smaller.

This freer movement also comes in the wake of a 9 per cent increase in the average cost of property bought by first time buyers (currently £171,870), which points to the fact that the key driver behind this ‘first time buyer boom’ is better access to mortgages.

However, with property values expected to increase by a further 5 per cent in 2015, we would advise those who are looking to find a mortgage to move now before the gap between mortgage availability and property prices increases even further.

As a whole of market independent mortgage adviser, Complete Mortgages welcomes the growth of first time buyers. After all, having the opportunity to enter the realms of home ownership is important for most people.

So, if you’re a first time buyer and need mortgage advice, then we’ve prepared a brief guide on what to think about if you’re thinking of seeing in the New Year with a New Home.

1. Credit cards aren’t necessarily as bad as you think

Credit cards are often the source of negative debate – but they are a useful tool when it comes to securing a mortgage, as long as you pay them back. Not only that, but also buying on credit and demonstrating that you can pay it back only strengthens your overall credit score.

2. Run your own credit check

Running a simple check to ensure you fit the criteria and are made aware of anything that could affect your mortgage application six months prior to house hunting isn’t a bad thing. It’s much better to know where you stand and have the opportunity to fix any issues in advance of starting the buying process than finding out when you’ve already invested time, energy and emotion in finding your first property. You can access your credit file for free at

3. Be ready for estate agents

Let’s face it; nobody wants to have their time wasted. Estate agents need buyers who are ready to go and know what they want. So, before you enter an estate agent’s door, try and get confirmation that the finance is in place and establish exactly what it is you’re looking for. These are things that can be done well in advance and are down to you and not the estate agent. By doing this, you’ll make sure that you’re the first port of call when a new property comes on to the market.

4.  Moving can be expensive – make sure you factor everything in

When establishing your budget you need to factor in EVERYTHING. Whilst the property itself will be the highest cost, don’t forget to factor in stamp duty, legal checks and surveys. Your solicitor (another cost) will handle this for you but make sure you’ve budgeted for all the costs before you get too far down line only to realise that what you thought was affordable no longer is. We can give you guidance on these costs to make the whole process simpler for you.

5. Find a reputable mortgage broker

Mortgage broker advice is invaluable – particularly advice from a whole of market mortgage brokerage. Firstly, their advice is impartial as they have access to every lender and every deal on the market. Secondly, it’s their job! As a result, they know what they’re doing and this means that they are likely to find a mortgage that ticks all your boxes quicker than you can. Our only advice when it comes to mortgage brokers (although hopefully you’ll choose to work with us) is to make sure that they are FCA regulated and on the FCA register, which Complete Mortgages is.

If you’re a first time buyer planning to apply for a mortgage, get in touch with a member of the Complete Mortgages team to find out how we can help get you on the property ladder as quickly and as seamlessly as possible.

Call 01483 238280 or email for more information.

Mortgage market moves in Surrey with strong performance from Guildford

Friday, 26th December, 2014

UK property prices will have increased by 8% by the end of 2014, according to industry sources, with property values in Surrey up by 13.6%.Land Registry data suggests that every country in the UK experienced value increases when compared to the same point last year, with the South East experiencing the strongest increase outside of London at 11.4%.

A Knight Frank report has also revealed that the number of properties worth more than £1m outside of London has increased by more than a third over the last year, with the largest increases being seen in Elmbridge, Windsor and Maidenhead and Guildford.

Mark Finnegan, Director at Complete Mortgages, comments: “We’re currently seeing a high number of mortgage applications from Surrey homeowners, which is down to two reasons. Firstly, people are looking to secure a mortgage before the value of the property they wish to buy increases to a point where it becomes unachievable. With such strong growth in the South East it doesn’t take long for that to become an issue. Secondly, homeowners are already looking ahead to 2015. With all signs pointing towards future growth I would urge those who are considering arranging a mortgage in the New Year do it sooner rather than later in order to reduce the risk of being priced out.”

Complete Mortgages is a Guildford-based mortgage and insurance brokerage providing access to a full suite of mortgage products including first-time buyer mortgages, mortgages for contractors and mortgages for teachers.

For more information contact Complete Mortgages on 01483 238280 or email

Online estate agent report suggests Bournemouth is one to watch

Wednesday, 12th November, 2014

The property market is moving in one of the UK’s most popular coastal towns according to a report by online estate agent, which reveals how Bournemouth is one of the top 10 UK destinations to have the highest number of properties for sale as a proportion of the population.

Bournemouth featured alongside nine other destinations including Newcastle, Manchester and Liverpool, all of which represent three modern, thriving cities.

The report is announced as many mortgage lenders are reducing their rates in order to attract potential applicants before the end of 2014.

Jo Frankowski, who manages Bournemouth mortgage and insurance broker, Complete Mortgages, comments: “Activity within the Bournemouth property market is increasing whilst mortgage rates are decreasing. It’s a perfect combination and one that will no doubt be welcomed by those looking to either move into the area, purchase a holiday home or arrange a buy to let mortgage. Bournemouth has huge appeal and this, combined with a market that’s more accessible than ever and has a vast selection of properties on offer, means that Bournemouth itself is currently hot property.”

The announcement follows a recent report by Hampton’s International that saw Bournemouth ranked second in a table of top 20 downsizing destinations.

For more information on applying for a mortgage or to speak with Jo contact 01202 049661 or email

Guildford property clinic to ‘treat’ Surrey house hunters

Thursday, 5th September, 2013

Getting the right professional advice for every stage of buying a property can be time-consuming, which is why Guildford Mortgage broker, Complete Mortgages, has brought together a selection of Surrey’s finest to launch a free drop-in Property Clinic – a one-stop-shop for those looking to move, invest or remortgage.

Complete Mortgages has formed an alliance with Seymours estate agents, solicitors Lyons and Company and Wilkins Kennedy, chartered accounts, who will all be on hand to discuss individual requirements from mortgages and finance through to estate agency and legal advice.

The property panel will be in the main hall at the QE Park Centre on Railton Road between 5.30pm and 8pm on Tuesday 17 September.

Mark Finnegan, Founder of Complete Mortgages, comments: “There’s a general consensus that the property market is picking up however the prospect of multiple visits to multiple professionals can often be overwhelming. Our Property Clinic is an ideal one-stop-shop service that will enable people to leave with a clear understanding of what they need to do and how they need to go about doing it.”

Potential movers, investors and those looking to remortgage are welcome to attend the free event, where they can grab a bite to eat and discuss their individual requirements over a glass of wine.

Simon Kelso, Director at Seymours in Worplesdon and one of the expert panellists, adds: “We’re currently witnessing a turnaround in the property market yet the economy remains fragile. Not only is this a great way for the Surrey community to get face-to-face advice with professionals but also it’s great that local businesses are working together to provide a comprehensive service for property hunters throughout the county.”

The housing market – getting back on track

Monday, 2nd September, 2013

After a number of years in a turbulent economic climate, we are starting to see signs of recovery in the housing and mortgage market. According to figures from the Council of Mortgage Lenders, total mortgage lending in July this year has increased by 29% compared to the same period last year. This is great news, showing signs that the market is strengthening.

One particular area which has seen large growth is mortgage loans to first time buyers. This has reached a 5 and a half year high this year, hitting 25,000 mortgages to those buying their first home in May. This was a 42% increase on the year before.

What does this all mean for you? As the market continues to grow, home owners and landlords are reaping the benefits. Mortgages currently have competitive interest rates, so if you are looking to change your mortgage or buy a new home, you could save money on your mortgage payments. A recent survey from Halifax has shown that mortgage repayments are the most affordable they have been for 14 years. Mortgage payments now represent 27% of the average income compared to 48% in 2007.

The number of mortgage products available has also increased to over 10,000 for the first time in 5 years. This means there is much more choice. We can take the hassle out of finding a mortgage and can help find the best deal for you. We are able to provide a full advice service and guide you through all the options available. There are many things to take into consideration when taking out a mortgage such as general insurance and protection; thankfully we all offer a full service in insurance and protection so why not contact us today?

If you are looking to buy or invest in property in the near future, why not come along to our FREE property clinic which is being held at the QE Park Centre (opposite our offices) on Tuesday 17th September.  Full details are available here.

Your home may be repossessed if you do not keep up repayments on your mortgage.

We typically charge a fee of £299.00, payable on application.

Landlords – are your properties properly protected?

Wednesday, 2nd January, 2013

According to the Association of Residential Letting Agents rental demand will continue to outstrip supply in 2013.  If rental property prices continue as they have been for the last 3 months, the average investor in England and Wales could expect to make a total annual return of 2.7% per property over the next 12 months – equivalent to £4,451 per property*.  With rents high and the buy-to-let market thriving, the risk on rent arrears also continues to be high.

A survey earlier in this quarter by Law of Property Act receivers estimated that there are 99,000 tenants two or more months in arrears.  This problem is due to worsen as the tough economic climate continues and the number of people renting increases.

If you are a landlord or are looking to invest in property, you should carefully consider landlords insurance and ensure you are properly protected.  Landlord insurance can protect your property by providing cover against fire, floods, accidental damage, theft, unpaid rent, malicious damage by tenants to buildings or contents and much more.  Not all policies are the same and some elements may not be covered as standard and instead may be optional extras.

Some insurers offer additional benefits.  For example, Legal & General provide a free legal helpline giving you expert advice on any legal problems that may arise 24 hours a day 365 days a year.  Other optional benefits include home emergency cover which can provide 24 hour call-outs, including cover for labour costs and materials to make your home safe after an emergency such as a burst pipe or break in.

There are many options available, thankfully here at Complete Mortgages we can offer landlords cover through a number of insurers.  This means that we can fully guide you through the benefits of different policies and assist you by recommending the most appropriate policy to meet your requirements and budget.  Even if you already have a policy in place it is still worth reviewing this with us as we can ensure that the cover you have is still relevant to your situation.  Contact us today on 01483 233014 to discuss the options available and to ensure that you are protected against the unexpected.

*Source: Figures from Mortgage Introducer