Bonjour Madame…

In June 2014, Christine Lagarde, head of the International Monetary Fund, praised the handling and performance of Britain’s economy. She reiterated the sentiment this week in Washington when she was quoted as saying, ” It’s obvious what’s happening in the UK has worked”. Ten months ago she did though voice concern that the housing market in the UK, in particular the help-to-buy scheme had the potential to derail our economic recovery. This was seized upon with glee by Ed, Ed and Vince. In fact, quite the opposite has happened; so brownie points to George and his nom-dom friend Mark. The acknowledgement from Madame Lagarde and her team was greeted rather sniffily by the Shadow Chancellor who commented, “…it is not the IMF’s job to arbitrate…between a country’s political parties”. I wasn’t aware that anyone had asked for arbitration…
As we have long trumpeted here at Cheshire and Co, nobody wants to go back to the days of 125% loan to value and 18 x income that were the norm pre-crash, (when it must be noted, Ed and Ed had their fingers on the button of the nation’s calculator). I was intrigued by a headline on Friday that proclaimed the “Best Fixed Mortgage Rate Ever” Daily Mail Friday 18 April 2015 As always, the headline is not wholly candid; it is possibly the best fixed rate mortgage rate for those people that meet the qualifying criteria. As I continually remind my adoring fanbase, ‘the large print giveth and the small print taketh away’. If a potential purchaser can afford the 40% deposit and £1500 set-up fee, (both of which are wholly reasonable), then yes, the HSBC mortgage that launched on Monday is a very attractive proposition and will be a superb deal for some people. I would also bet a not insubstantial amount that when someone applies for one of these loans and gets rejected, there will be a host of “not so competitive deals” available, by which stage the prospective borrower will be half committed to that lender away. In conclusion, the article stated that the HSBC rate offer was likely to be on the market for, “at least a week…depending on demand”. Well aint that the truth. If there is a £100 million available to lend, it will be gone when it has gone; I don’t see HSBC refilling the coffers. So a week where optimism is justified but reality should not be kicked out of bed just yet.