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WealthCare webinar: turning home-based dreams into reality

5 June 2020: The latest ICAEW COVID-19 WealthCare webinar will explore how the COVID-19 crisis has affected the UK residential property market, with industry experts offering guidance on how to make those home-based dreams a reality.

Hosted by John Gaskell, ICAEW Head of Personal Financial Planning, the “Stepping-on and stepping-up the property ladder” session on 9 June 2020 will see property analyst Kate Faulkner and real estate finance specialist Jatin Patel impart their deep knowledge on the current state of the UK market. They will share their top tips and next steps that participants need to be thinking about, and making, before committing on their property journey.

Both experts will cover the core concerns and issues facing first-time buyers as they ponder the whys and wherefores of taking those tentative first steps into the market, as well as “second steppers” who may have a property to sell and want to move up the ladder as their family or work commitments change.

The team will also touch on whether now is the right time to think about trading-down – a large and important sector, given some 50% of all British households now own their homes without a mortgage.

Myth shattering

Kate Faulkner is keen to shatter some of the media myths surrounding the property market as the country begins to emerge from lockdown and the market embarks on a return to something approaching a new normal.

One recently propagated myth is something she dubs “meaningless headlines” about property prices having their largest fall in 11 years. 

“Monthly changes in the market indices are particularly bad,” says Faulkner. “I don't use them as they are so inaccurate and misleading and cover too short a timeframe, not to mention the fact that the UK is a series of micro-markets.”

Faulkner adds that of the 373,000 or so households frozen in ‘a moving stasis’ by the lockdown, anecdotal early indications point to at least 75% now going through as planned.

Appetite to lend

Meanwhile, Patel, a chartered accountant and founding partner at Kinnison Private Finance, will offer his “service-driven” take on all things financial with an update on what’s been happening in the last two months of COVID-19 and where we are today.

“The good news is interest rates are the lowest they have ever been, and banks are very keen to lend because they are so strongly capitalised at the moment,” says Patel. 

The lending community is also being more flexible and fully recognises that the difficulties borrowers are going through are through no fault of their own and are trying to be a bit more flexible in their product platform to accommodate that. 

“A willingness to offer more interest-only products and consider longer mortgage terms are other signs of this positive lender sentiment”, adds Patel.

To sign up for the webinar on 9 June at 12pm, click here.

The second part of the series Mortgages unwrapped for second steppers, self-employed/partners and retirement takes place on 17 June 2020, while the third, aimed at landlords and renters, takes place on 1 July.