PROPTECH-X ‘Proptech & Property News’: Shock Halifax mortgage lending rate rise | Fine & Country celebrates ‘Dare to be Iconic’ International Conference

Andrew Stanton’s daily PROPTECH-X ‘Proptech & Property News’ in association with Estate Agent Networking and News Now.

Halifax unexpectedly raises rates, average two-year fixed mortgage today is 5.78%, five-year fix is 5.35%.

Despite the rate of inflation dropping and the rates given for savers, mortgage lenders are once again turning the screw with Halifax announcing an increase in its lending rates to mortgage consumers. This means that four of the ‘big six’ have now upped the cost of borrowing which will directly impact the housing and re-mortgage market.

The Bank of England has indicated a tough stance on the base rate, and so it is unlikely that there will be any downward pressure until the autumn of 2024 at the earliest, this will also knock the fragile housing market.

The cost of cash to finance the next purchase, is clearly opening up a divide in the marketplace, with four bedroom detached homes languishing as buyers can not afford the extra £200,000 new mortgage borrowing on top of their existing lending, the burden is just to high.

Many who are not moving have seen their mortgages rise, having come off a fixed rate by as much as 35%, or £450/£600 a month, add in the other inflationary costs, utilities, food, council tax uplifts, and it would seem that the housing market of 2024 is in for a rough ride.    

Halifax’s increase will begin mid-week with rates for first time buyers (fixed), large loan to value, and affordable housing mortgages going up by 0.2 percentage points. In a surprising move the  Co-Op Bank, pushed its lending rates up by a full percent, clearly showing that they feel the economic outlook is not going to improve rapidly.

At the tail end of 2023, many lending pundits were being bullish about lending rates coming down, following the Chancellor’s lacklustre Spring Budge the grim reality that the country is in a dark place, with a government unable to deliver any meaningful policy prior to a November election, means that getting a mortgage will remain an expensive proposition for many.  

Fine & Country celebrates ‘Dare to be Iconic’ International Conference and Awards Gala

Premium estate agency, Fine & Country recently concluded its highly anticipated International Annual Conference and Awards Gala titled ‘Dare to be Iconic’. Held at The Brewery in London on 8th March 2024, the event showcased remarkable achievements within the Fine & Country network, while providing invaluable insights on the property sector and vision for the brand during 2024.

Nicky Stevenson, Managing Director of Fine & Country, expressed her excitement about the event, highlighting its significance in bringing together professionals from across the globe. “The Fine & Country Conference and Awards Gala serves as a focal point for our global network of delegates, providing unparalleled opportunities for networking, learning, and celebration,” she said.

The conference featured an impressive line-up of speakers and industry experts, including keynote speaker David Abbott, a renowned expert on pricing strategies. Abbott’s session titled ‘Dare to be Expensive: How to Price your Platypus’ offered invaluable insights into driving revenue growth through effective pricing strategies.

Other notable presentations included discussions on the integration of AI in businesses by Ben Sellers, Co-founder of Starberry, and a success story shared by Jonathan Handford and Vanessa Bradford from Fine & Country Droitwich Spa, who achieved remarkable growth in their market. International speakers such as Bruce Hawker and Zoie Hawker from Fine & Country Algarve provided insights into the nuances of local markets, enriching the conference with diverse perspectives from around the world.

The highlight of the event was the Awards Gala, which recognised outstanding achievements by licensees and associates within the Fine & Country network. Winners were acknowledged across various categories, including Marketing and Exposure, Property Presentation, Customer Service, and more.

“While the past year has had its share of hurdles, many within the network have risen above the challenges faced and managed to achieve some remarkable results. Our award gala is a celebration of their success and an opportunity to acknowledge their efforts,” Stevenson comments.

Several agents and offices walked away winners at the event. The full list of winners announced at the conference:

Marketing and Exposure – Fine & Country Marlborough, Devizes and Newbury

Property Presentation – Fine & Country Cardiff and Fine & Country French Riviera

Customer Service – Fine & Country Colchester

Best Referring Location – Fine & Country Woodbridge

Best Referring Individual – Emilia Robinson

Best Newcomer – Fine & Country Cyprus

PR – Fine & Country North Cumbria

Social Media – Fine & Country Algarve

Fine & Country Foundation – Fine & Country Droitwich Spa

Park Lane Associate Award – Fine & Country Chichester

Outstanding Contribution to Fine & Country – Jonathan Handford

Napoleon Wilcox Award – Nicola Wright

Regional Awards:

North West – Fine & Country Ribble Valley

North East – Fine & Country Newcastle and Northumberland

Wales – Fine & Country Cardiff

Midlands – Fine & Country Leamington Spa, Warwick and Kenilworth

East Anglia – Fine & Country South Norfolk and North Suffolk

South West – Fine & Country Christchurch

South East – Fine & Country Banbury and Buckingham

London – Fine & Country Fulham

Best Operator UK – Fine & Country Leamington Spa, Warwick and Kenilworth

Best European Operator – Fine & Country Leamington Spa, Warwick and Kenilworth

Africa – Fine & Country Helderberg

Best International Operator – Fine & Country Leamington Spa, Warwick and Kenilworth

Stevenson congratulated the winners, stating, “We are extremely proud of the exceptional performance of the brand throughout 2023, and we are delighted to acknowledge the outstanding efforts of our network.”

Andrew Stanton’s PROPTECH-X ‘Proptech & Property News’ in association with Estate Agent Networking & News Now publications. #proptech #property #realestate #digitaltransformation #startups

Andrew Stanton is the founder and CEO of Proptech-PR, a consultancy for Founders of Proptechs looking to grow and exit, using his influence from decades of industry experience. Separately he is a consultant to some of the biggest names in global real estate, advising on sales and acquisitions, market positioning, and operations. He is also the founder and editor of Proptech-X Proptech & Property News, where his insights, connections and detailed analysis and commentary on proptech and real estate are second to none.

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