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Welcome to the End of Year (2019) Newsletter (Mortgage Direct)
What better way to start 2020 than knowing that life expectancy in Spain has gone up to 83 years making it the highest in the EU! With house prices still very low, mortgage costs at their lowest ever and mortgage borrowing so cheap (rates from 0.75% - 2.25% for non-residents), now couldn’t be a better time to buy into the Spanish lifestyle. There has been a 15% increase in mortgage enquires year-on-year and sales turnover up by around 25%. We are very confident about the year ahead and expect to see these figures rise further. Not enough time to complete and take out a mortgage? Since the introduction of the new mortgage law in the summer, the process of applying for a mortgage is taking longer than it was before, mainly due to the introduction of the new 2-week cooling-off period across all regions (previously only applied in Catalunya). There have even been cases where the clients are paying cash for the properties and then subsequently taking out a mortgage after the purchase has completed. We’ve been informed that, under Bank of Spain rules, clients may pay cash and then, once the new owners’ names are inscribed in the land registry, they have 6 weeks during which they can potentially sign a mortgage. The registry usually takes 7-10 days to be updated.

It's important to point out that it’s still best to start the mortgage process as soon as possible, as banks are not obliged to offer mortgages after an actual purchase takes place. Several are open to this, but they might not offer the best conditions or be the most appropriate lenders. UK general election and impact on mortgage borrowing. With the Conservative Party winning a clear majority in last week’s general election in the UK, Brexit is now certain to go ahead with the UK looking set to leave the EU as early as the end of next month.

We'll be keeping a close an eye on the GBP to EUR exchange rate over the coming weeks and months. During Friday’s trading the value of the Pound rose to just over 1.20 Euros and may rise further over the coming weeks. It promises to be a very interesting period, so while we can’t predict where the exchange rate will go, we can say that the banks are still willing to lend to Brits and we can still secure great deals. Perhaps those clients who have put their purchases on hold during the last few years waiting for the outcome of Brexit, will now purchase knowing there is more certainty in the market and that, generally speaking, when this happens, house prices may also increase. We may even see the reversal of some recent changes made by one of the main lenders in Spain, where they have reduced the maximum 
lending from 70% to 60% and the maximum debt-to-income ratio from 35% to 20% for all British applicants. Watch this space!

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