Inflation: Good Times?

Inflation: Are we looking at goods times or more bad times?
inflation sitting at it’s lowest in a decade and half (1.5% below the Bank of
England’s target of 2%) and now finally below wage increases; are we set to see
an end to the longest economic squeeze since Victorian times?  Lets examine the evidence:
are already seeing a significant fall in oil prices, now approaching their lowest
since records began in 1989, and in all likelihood inflation will probably
follow.  Capital Economics have suggested
that the average household is set to benefit around £455 per year just in the
fall of oil prices alone.
are also likely to see a “tax cut” in other areas over the next coming months
and with low inflation and rises in wages this means our pockets are going to
be a little fuller than they have been over the last couple of years.
low inflation and falling prices are only good in the short term.  Over the long term, Economists have concerns
that we may see ‘bad inflation’ similar to that witnessed in the US in the
1930s when inflation continued to fall with wages following shortly
afterwards.  This kind of ‘bad inflation’
last longer, has weaker growth and therefore takes longer for the economy to
are already concerns that this is already starting to evidence itself in Europe
(not including the fall in oil prices), particularly in Greece.  In an attempt to prevent this, European
Central Bank is set to begin quantitative easing in the coming months and with
this carries risk and unpredictability.
So whilst
in the short term we are expecting to see cheaper prices, increases to wages
and an overall improvement in the standard of living, in the long term,
however, things are still uncertain for the time being.

Payday Lenders

PAYDAY LENDERS – The bits they don’t tell you about
We all have times where there seems to be more month than cash but
before considering a payday loan, make sure you look at all the options…
Did you know that taking out a payday loan can have an adverse
effect on your credit score?
No? Well, lenders view payday loans negatively as an inability to responsibly
manage your finances and can imply all other forms of borrowing have been

Keep in mind, a payday loan remains on your credit score for up to
six years and will essentially limit your ability to borrow, and more
importantly your ability to get a mortgage.

Forces Help to Buy


According to the website GOV.UK there is a relatively low rate of home ownership in the armed forces.  To help and encourage service men and women to get on the property ladder, move home due to reposting or change their home as family needs demand, the Ministry of Defence have introduced the Forces Help to Buy (FHTB) Scheme.
The new scheme allows members of the armed forces to borrow up to 50% of their annual salary (maximum of £25,000), interest free, as a deposit for their purchase or remortgage.
The pilot scheme, which will run for the next three years, starting today, is not designed to reduce the amount of personnel in service accommodation, this is still an option if you wish, but to aid members of the armed forces in making that leap on to the property market.
Forces Help to Buy, your route to home ownershipChief of Defense Personnel, Lieutenant General Andrew Gregory, said:
“Through our work on the new employment model and the armed forces covenant we are continually striving to make improvements to those aspects of life outside of service which we know can be adversely affected by life in service.
“In particular we are keen to address the demand for greater stability, including access to home ownership, and an improved ability to exercise choice in the way our people live their lives.
“And so it is a hugely positive step forward that we are able to introduce the Forces Help To Buy scheme today, a year ahead of our original plan.”

So who is eligible?

  • You must have completed a pre-requisite length of service.
  • You must have more than six months remaining to serve
  • Meet the right medical categories, however, extenuating medical and personal circumstances will be considered.
There are a number of different lenders that will already stated that they will accept the Forces Help To Buy Scheme as a form of deposit without being punitive.  However,as always it is important to find a lender and product that suits your overall needs.  At DALES we will search the market to find the right deal for you. Why not contact us today on 01636 870 069 to discuss how we can help or why not look at our best buy tables Mortgage Best Buys.
Philip Dales Dip PFS Certs CII (MP & ER)
Philip Dales is principal at DALES Independent Financial Advisers, based in Newark and Nottingham. He has been an adviser for over 17 years helping many clients, including those in the forces with all aspects of financial planning, and retirement. For more information on this or any other aspect of financial advice contact t: 01636 870 069.

If you would like more information on this scheme and/or obtaining a mortgage, please contact us by email at or by telephone on 01636 870 069 for more information or have a look at our web site Please note that this article does not represent advice, and the Forces Help To Buy Scheme, may not be suitable for you. P N DALES Ltd is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

First Time Buyers & Stamp Duty Land Tax

More Innovation for First Time Buyers

Stamp Duty Paid Mortgages 

Would you like someone to pay your stamp duty, perhaps you’ve saved up just enough for that nice shiny new house, but now have to set aside even more than you’d bargained for, to pay the tax man. 
Currently the rate for Stamp Duty is 1% on Properties valued at £125,001 through to £250,000, it doesn’t end there if the purchase price is higher the percentage increases, but for now lets assume that your buying between £125,001 and £250,000 as a first time buyer. 
So need a hand with your Stamp Duty, well Halifax’s new products may just be for you!
On Tuesday the 30th April Halifax will launch an innovative product range, of Stamp Duty paid mortgages for First time Buyers. Halifax will pay 100% of the Stamp Duty Land Tax due on selected products for first time buyers that fall into the 1% bracket (Purchase price between £125,001 and £250,000). 
There is a choice of products available, across the core range, Affordable housing, Help to Buy/ First Buy, NewBuy and MI New Home products. 
In essence the Stamp Duty Land Tax will be paid via a cash back arrangement, where the cash back is equal to the stamp duty, this will be paid to the conveyancer on completion.

Halifax have a wide range of products to suit most client types, and generally their rates are well placed within the market, criteria is consistent with their main competitors, so this offers a real opportunity to first time buyers, particularly when you consider that this is available on their Affordable housing, Home Buy/ First Buy, New Buy and MI New Homes scheme and their core range.

Full details of the new products are not available until tomorrow, but in the mean time this looks like a very positive step forward for First time borrowers, maybe now is the time to start looking at buying your first house!

Philip Dales Dip PFS Certs CII (MP & ER)

For more information or advice on First Time Buyer Mortgages, Standard Purchases & Remortgages and other types of mortgages contact Philip Dales at DALES Independent Financial Advisers:, or go to our web site Nottingham office: 0115 832 0265 or Newark Office: 01636 87 00 69.

The information above is for information purposes only, it does not constitute advice, for advice suitable to your personal circumstances please contact us directly and we will be happy to help.

For mortgages, P N DALES Ltd do charge fees, a typical fee for mortgage advice and processing is £350. 

DALES Independent Financial Advisers, Nottingham (West Bridgford) & Newark. Authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority: 496107.

Mortgage Market Review & You


How will this affect you, the
As consumers you may or may
not be aware of the Financial Services Authority’s mortgage market review.  This was a review conducted by the FSA over
the last few years, of how the mortgage market conducts itself.  This review was heavily influenced by the
financial crash in 2008.  The FSA issued
the policy statement (PS12/16) and the final rules which will come into effect
on 26 April 2014.  However, in the
majority of cases, most lenders have anticipated these rule changes within
their criteria or have already put into force those items raised by these new regulations.  These new regulations fundamentally alter the
mortgage market for you as consumers. 
So, I would advise all consumers to make themselves familiar with some
of these new regulations.  The following
is an example of the type of changes and how it will affect you, but I would
suggest that the regulator is not regulating but defining the market.


An example of how these regulations
will affect you is a very lose term called responsible lending.  These terms are deliberately lose so that
each lender may interpret, and therefore be hung by, the regulations themselves.  So, how does it affect interest only?  The majority of lenders will now not accept
interest only in its strictest sense unless the loan to value is extremely
small and is backed up by investment products such as endowments.  Given the fiasco in the past over endowments
and miss-selling of endowments, in effect this kills the concept of an
endowment-linked interest only mortgage. 
Also these interpretations go further; in the past if you wanted an
interest only mortgage you would set up a repayment vehicle such as an
endowment or modern day an ISA at point of application.  However, these new changes preclude this as
the endowment or ISA needs to be existing prior to application.  This wasn’t even a requirement before the
endowment miss-selling scandal. 
Therefore again, killing new interest only, asset backed mortgage
applications.  Only those clients who have
been on interest only with asset baked provisions can obtain a new interest
only mortgage.  How about if you wanted
an interest only mortgage on the basis of selling your property to
downsize?  There are a handful of lenders
that will consider this but, of those, the majority will only accept the application
if you can prove that you either have 50% loan to value and/or sufficient
equity and capital resources to have over £150,000 at the end of the mortgage
term.  So, again, this kills the interest
only mortgage market.
But why is this a problem?  When comparing the financial benefits of a
repayment verses an asset backed interest only mortgage, or indeed resale of
property interest only mortgage, one should consider investment returns long
term versus interest rates and also house price increase on the basis of later
sale.  Right now, the Bank of England
base rate is ½% so I think most people would agree with me that we are in a low
interest period.  I think most people
would also agree that house prices are at an all-time low.  Also, one has to consider that if you were to
put £10,000 in a cash- based ISA you can achieve a return of 3 or 3½%.  One wold also suggest that if you were to put
your money in an equity based ISA whilst very volatile, again it would be fair
and reasonable to suggest that you would achieve 5% return in the medium to
long term.  So if these are compared,
clearly from a financial point of view it would be fair to suggest that an
asset based mortgage would be financially more astute than a repayment mortgage.  Classically, in a high interest rate period,
a repayment mortgage is better than as asset backed product on the basis that
one would have to achieve such high levels of growth to outperform the high
interest rate.  With this in mind I would
actually argue that, right now, interest only should not be being killed by the
regulator as it is a fully justifiable and potentially financially astute
repayment method, but if the only people that can have it are those detailed
above, ie those that have already had it, then the regulator is controlling the
market not regulating the market because, clearly, one should be allowed to
consider this type of arrangement.
If you would like more
information on how the mortgage market review may affect you or require
financial or mortgage advice please contact 01636 870 069 for your free
Philip Dales Dip PFS Certs
DALES Independent Financial
Advisors, are a whole of market mortgage broker and Independent Financial Advisors.
Authorised and Regulated by the Financial Services Authority.

Market Leading Buy to Let Rates

101: Things we DO like to talk about. 

Buy to Lets. 

The Buy to let market can be a little intimidating, not many people know all that much about it, but in the currently depressed housing market a buy to let can be picked up quite cheaply.

With first time buyers finding it difficult to get on the mortgage ladder and buy their first home there is an ever increasing need for rented housing.

Locally in Newark and Nottingham there is very strong demand for rental properties in and around employment centres, with strong rents from incoming migrant workers unable to get on the mortgage ladder, with little or no deposit.

Buy to Let mortgages come in two basic flavours:

The first is the more difficult to get hold of, where the lender basis the loan not on the property but on the person borrowing. These are not the mainstream of buy to lets, but are often the best deals.

The much more common is the standard buy to let mortgage, where the mortgage is based on the properties ability to wash its own face, or rather that the rental is sufficient to pay the mortgage plus a small amount. Usually the calculation used by the lenders is 125%, in other words the rental assed by the valuer must be at least 125% of the mortgage payment based on a an interest only loan.

After this basic criteria there really is not much more to it, there are nuances for each lender, for example, some lenders will not accept any applications from first time landlords, whereas others have special deals for such. The Maximum number of properties available under one particular lender can vary widely with some lenders only allowing 3 properties to some allowing any number up to a total value of £3,000,000 or more.

There are a few other things to consider, usually buy to lets are not regulated buy the Financial Services Authority unless special conditions apply, such as the property will be let to a relative, and therefore some lenders will not consider this type of buy to let. However, in most circumstances this should not affect the manor of the advice you receive.

Currently the Market leading 2 year buy to let mortgage is 3.39% fixed until 31.08.2014 with a maximum Loan to Value of 60%. Which has been launched today, by one of the mainstream buy to let lenders.

Usually the maximum loan to value is 75%, meaning that the lenders usually expect you to be able to deposit at least 25%. However, there are executions to most rules and this is no different, some lenders do offer some schemes with an 80% Loan to value maximum.

Beware of the fees: Buy to lets tend to be slightly more expensive than standard mortgages, recently the interest rates for buy to lets have been running at what appear to be quite low interest rates but beware the fees on buy to lets can be high with some lenders charging percentage based fees.

Most lenders do not expect you to instruct an agent to run the property, just an Assured Short-hold Tenancy agreement with the tenant, which can be downloaded from the net or picked up from your local WHSmiths. This is a very standard landlord and tenant agreement protecting both of you.

There is also the possibility of Let to Buy, this is where you let out your existing property to enable you to purchase a new home as your main residence. Most buy to let lenders have special criteria and deals available for this type of buy to let. The big benefit of this type of arrangement is the ability to brake the chain and not have to sell off your property, given the current market this is a very viable option for most people to consider.

If you would like more information on Buy to Lets, Let to Buy’s, the 2 year deal mentioned above or other financial or mortgage advice, please contact us on 01636 870 069 for your free consultation.

Philip Dales Cert PFS Certs CII (MP & ER)

DALES Independent Financial Advisors, are a whole of market mortgage broker and independent financial advisors. Authorised and Regulated by the Financial Services Authority.  The Financial Services authority do not usually regulate Buy to Let mortgages.

MORTGAGE BEST BUYS, 2 year deals

Mortgage Best Buys – 11th May 2011

Current 2 year best buys, based on a 65% Loan To Value.


TMW (The Mortgage Works) – 2.75% fixed until 31/07/13 – total fees of £1,036 (in valuation)

Woolwich – 3.08% with a 20 month Fixed rate – total fees of £948.93

L&G – Leeds Building Soc with a 4.69% fixed until 31/05/2013 – total fees of £559 (inc valuation)

Newcastle Building Soc with a 4.64% fixed until 30/06/2013, but the fees increase to £1,350 (inc valuation)


Coventry -2.29% – bank base +1.79% for 25 months – total fees of £1,012

Nationwide – 2.75% – Bank Base +2.25% for 5 years fees are very low at £124

These are just best buys, they are only shown as an example of the type of rates available, you should always seek advice when buying a mortgage. As Independent Financial Advisers, we are able to select and advise from the Whole of the Market.

The loans above are based on a 65% loan to value on a house costing £250,000.

You may not fit the criteria of the above lenders.

For Further information, or advice

phone: 01636 642 844 or 0115 832 0265.

PNDALES LTD are authorised and regulated by the Financial services authority. You home may be at risk if you fail to keep up payments on any loan secured against it. PNDALES Ltd a typical fee for mortgage advice is £350, the precise amount will depend upon your circumstances

Mortgage Update – New capped rate

Market leading Capped Rate Mortgage Launched

In these uncertain times, most people don’t seem to know which type of the mortgage deal is the best to select.
With Bank of England interest rate so low most people assume that interest rates will, sooner or later increase. However, the issue with a fixed rate product is that if the rate does not increase or only increases a little and then remains static. If you had chosen a fixed rate there is a possibility that you may be paying above what you need to. This has its advantages, the security of knowing what your payment will be may be worth the extra in payments.
With a Bank of England tracker mortgage your mortgage increases or decreases with the ups and downs of the Bank of England interest rate. Therefore, if as outlined above people feel that interest rates will increase, then the payment on this style of mortgage will increase. However, if you don’t feel that interest rates are going to increase straight-away or increase only a little and then stall, then this method would appeal. The only problem with this is that what if your wrong and interest rates just go up and up.
So both basic types of Fixed or Tracker rate products have their limitations:
The Third Way!
A Capped Rate:
This is a mixture of both products, it is a tracker mortgage, but it can not go above a specified rate – the cap. So you benefit while interest rates are low, and if they increase a little you are still generally speaking better off than a fixed rate (at the moment) but if the Bank Rate increases above the Cap you are in-effect on a fixed rate, during that period, because if the Bank rate falls you would also fall again. In my view this is the best of both worlds.
Limitations: Caps sometimes have collars, this is when the interest rate charged can not go below a specified interest rate, recently it has become more common for Cap mortgages to have collars, you should always check the Key Facts document for full details on any Collars.
New Deal Launched.
3.99% tracker (Bank of England + 2.49%) until 30.06.12 Capped at 3.99% until 30.06.12
Maximum Loan to Value – 65%
Incentives – One Free Valuation
Remortgage Transfer Service included
Early repayment charges – only during the benefit period (4% to 30/06/12)
This is only one Capped product, it does not suggest that it is the best product for your needs, DALES can review your circumstances and make a recommendation suited to your needs. For Mortgages DALES offer an advice and recommendation service, and recommend products from the Whole of the Market.
For more details of this or other mortgage products or to arrange a free consultation please contact tel: 01636 642 844 or email
Your Home is at risk if you fail to keep up payments on any mortgage or loan secured against it. P N Dales Ltd is Authorised and Regulated by the Financial Services Authority 496107.

Beware the “free” valuation

We are all taught to be wary of people offering us a free lunch, and why would this not be the case with a mortgage and the valuation.

Currently there are a number of lenders who are trying to tempt us with a “free” valuation service. However, we should be careful, these free valuations are often only for the lender, in most cases you would not even receive a copy of the report.

What this means is that you have no comeback against the valuer or surveyor who did the work.

Traditionally, when you purchased a house the lender would make you obtain a valuation, you could always buy a basic valuation or upgrade to a full homebuyers report or a structural survey. The surveyor would view the property, check for damp, movement and any problems such as wiring issues etc. You could then decided whether you wanted to continue with the sale, may be you could negotiate with the vender, but at least if you did go ahead you knew or had some sense of surety that you knew what was wrong with the house, even if you picked the basic valuation.

If something was found to be wrong with the house that the valuation should have picked up, you would be able to take the surveyor to task.

Not so with a free valuation: the free valuation is not instructed on your behalf, they are instructed on behalf of the lender and as such you would have no come back at all.

All the lenders do offer an enhanced valuation package, that is those that offer a “free” valuation, and therefore it would be wise to select that option. However, these cost about the same as a standard valuation offered by other non free valuation lenders. What this really shows is that the lender who says “free” valuation, is not really offering a cheeper deal, because when you add in the cost of a real survey there is little difference in cost.

Another cheeky thing these same “free” valuation lenders, will do is add a little to their arrangement fees. They can get away with this if the valuation is free, and still appear cheeper than the non free valuation deals, but when you add back in the cost of a real survey you now notice that they are in fact more expensive.

All this said, we live in a world of cheapest is best, and not many people scratch the surface to look a little deeper, so its unlikely that free valuations will disappear and its even more unlikely that people will not be attracted to them.

Philip Dales

Your home may be at risk if you fail to maintain repayments on any debt or mortgage secured against it.
PN Dales is authorized and regulated by the Financial services authority 496107.

For more advice on mortgages or other areas of your financial planing why not have a look at our web site or email

PNDales Ltd
Northgate Business Centre
38 Northgate Newark
Tel: 01636 642 844