Mortgage and Insurance Blog

Date - 26th March 2024 

Written by Richard Johnson  


Hello again readers,  

I hope you find the following post informative and please do get in touch if you need any assistance with your mortgage finance or insurance needs, please feel free to email or call and I will be happy to help.


In interest rate news, the trend continues with some lenders raising rates and others cutting rates – all really dependent on what level of business they wish to attract

We had a promising headline inflation reading released on Wednesday last, although core inflation is remaining stubborn. That led to an 8-1 Monetary Policy Committee member vote on Thursday with the base rate remaining at 5.25%, with no MPC members voting for an increase to the rate. 


In criteria news, Halifax has reduced the maximum age you can apply for a mortgage for some applicants. The high street bank is reducing the maximum age it will consider earned income for mortgage applicants from 75 years to 70 years old. The move to cut the applicable working age will reduce the amount of time someone can borrow by five years.


West Bromwich announce  a number of changes including flats converted from commercial/office blocks are acceptable subject to valuation.


Metro Bank has increased its maximum loan sizes for residential properties.

The changes mean that loans up to 90% loan-to-value (LTV) will have a maximum loan amount of £1.25m, and loans up to 85% LTV will have a maximum loan amount of £2m.


TMW have announced changes and have reducing some of their Interest cover ratio’s, which will enable lager loans for some applicants



In wider news,  a note from Handlesbanken confirming we have seen further evidence of stabilisation in the UK housing market. The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) has released its February survey and its measure of house prices improved from -18 in January to -10 in February. While still negative, it is the highest reading since October 2022 partly driven by easing high inflation and lower interest rates. RICS has also reported a rise in new instructions to sell. Property surveyors did report some caution as uncertainty over the Bank of England’s interest rates path could temper demand.


And a separate ONS report out  confirms that the trend of increased rental costs continues.  Rental costs across the whole of the UK jumped a record 9% in February, with London seeing a rise of 10.6%. The London borough of Brent, where Wembley Stadium is located, saw a 20% increase in rents. Tenants in Islington, Greenwich, Sutton and Westminster all suffered double-digit increases.

In Insurance news, Paymentshield have made a number of positive changes to their Buildings and Contents plans including -  


  • Increased standard Buildings Insurance cover limit from £500,000 to £1,000,000
  • Increased standard Contents Insurance cover limit from £50,000 to £75,000
  • Increased Contents Insurance Plus cover limit from £75,000 to £100,000
  • Trace and access limit increased from £5,000 to £10,000


If you need help looking into the wordings and definitions of a new insurance plan, be it buildings and contents cover or perhaps life insurance, income protection or family income benefit or just want us to review the cover you have in place, please feel free to get in touch and we’ll be happy to help

And just a reminder that many of the insurance plans we arrange have additional benefits including a funeral pledge, 24/7 GP services, second opinion services and remote psychological services are available.


All the very best,


Richard Johnson

Cert CII (MP), CeCM, AdvCemap, CeRGI

Mortgage and Insurance Consultant.

Mobile Phone ; 07881802962

Office : 0208 245 8464 direct dial

Email :








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