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A two-minute read.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced yesterday that he would make the dream of buying a first home a more achievable reality for first-time buyers.

The news came in a speech to the virtual Conservative conference.

The PM claimed his Government would introduce fixed-rate long term mortgages which would see as many as 2 million first time buyers being able to borrow 95% of the value of the property they want to buy.

The move is intended to help younger buyers afford a home of their own as large deposits of up to 10-15 % are often the stumbling block to their home-owning ambitions.

A two-minute read.

Sometimes we all must talk about things we feel uncomfortable discussing.

It could be with a neighbour whose parking is driving you to distraction.

Or your colleague who doesn’t know the meaning of leaving the work kitchen as they’d like to find it.

Maybe it’s the sweat-inducing chat about the birds and the bees with your growing children.

Whatever it is that makes you fidget in your seat at the thought of, rest assured at Cook Residential we feel your discomfort… as we are about to discuss Christmas.

Before you douse us with the last of your summer wine or lecture us about it being the middle of September, please let us explain.

In this three-minute read, we look at seven things you can do to ease the back-to-school nerves children may be facing ahead of the new academic year.

The lockdown and ongoing fallout of the Covid-19 pandemic have been tough for everyone.

But it’s been especially hard for school-aged children.

They’ve gone months without seeing a lot of their friends, have had their routine turned upside down and now face new worries as the schools head back in September.

It’s going to be a challenging time for parents and kids, but these seven ideas from the University of Calgary in Canada can help ease any Covid-19 concerns that going back to school may bring.

In this two-minute read, we look at the return of 90% loan to value mortgages (LTV) and the flurry of activity in the housing market.

The property market has received a shot in the arm with some lenders including Nationwide reintroducing 90% LTV mortgages for first-time buyers.

As Nationwide is Britain’s second-biggest lender, the decision is another piece of good news for the sector which has roared back into action in recent weeks.

Metro Bank, Coventry for Intermediaries and Platform, the intermediary arm of the Co-operative Bank, have also brought back 90% LTV products.

Why are 90% LTV mortgages such a big deal?

For many first-time buyers, the most significant barrier to purchasing their own place is getting the deposit together.

With their 10% deposit requirement, 90% LTV mortgages are the most accessible option for those striving to buy their first home.

So, when lenders pulled their 90% LTV deals in June due to uncertainty over the economy, first-time buyers felt the squeeze. This was a broader concern for the industry because if property newbies can’t enter the market, it affects all the other players in the property chain.

A 2-minute read.

The Chancellor Rishi Sunak has announced sweeping changes this afternoon around Stamp Duty which is excellent news for anyone thinking of buying a home.

Stamp Duty is a tax applied when you buy a property and the announcement that there will be a payment holiday starting immediately means homebuyers will save thousands of pounds.

What's Changing?

The Government has raised the stamp duty threshold to £500,000 for all buyers until March 31st, 2021.

That means property purchases below £500,000 will not need to pay ANY stamp duty.

On average that will save homebuyers at least £4500 according to the Chancellor, also meaning 9 out of 10 people will pay no Stamp Duty whatsoever while the holiday lasts.

The move has been welcomed by home buyers and across the property industry. It is being seen as a step on the path to getting Cheltenham and the UK's economy firing on all cylinders again.

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