Sunday, 26 August 2012

How to Save on your Mortgage

As I’m sure you’re aware, for a lot of people, mortgages take up a big chunk of monthly bills. For the majority, family housing expenses occupy for than a quarter of their budget, so clearly saving money on your mortgage can only be a good thing.

Luckily, there are some actions that you can take to save money in this section of your family’s budget. Initially, double check the terms of your mortgage. It’s possible that you could qualify to refinance your mortgage at a lower interest rates, in the process saving hundreds a month.

Afterwards, review the mortgage note’s total payment term. You have to pay a greater amount of interest in the case of a longer payment term with smaller monthly payments. Discuss and make  the decision of whether or not saving monthly is a priority over saving money in the long term. Often families will choose a longer payment scheme so that more money is available on a monthly basis. Unless getting out of debt as quickly as possible is the goal, then a shorter mortgage note is often selected. Consider refinancing into a note with a longer or shorter term based on your decision. This can save you either hundreds every month, of thousands over the total length of the loan.

If you don’t think refinancing is the choice for you, there are still alternative ways to save. Look at how much monthly you are expected to pay into escrow. Often mortgage companies will overestimate expenses such as insurance and property taxes. Enquire about the possibility of an evaluation of the costs, which may then result in more monthly savings.

Research is key in saving money on your mortgage, but it is possible. So tread carefully and keep informed to maximise your chances of saving successfully.

If you have any further enquiries,  are interested in overseas mortgages or would like to take aout a mortgage abroad, get in touch with Conti - Mortages Overseas weither by exploring our website or via telephone 08009700985

Saturday, 25 August 2012

Global property market edges towards recovery

According to Jones Lang LaSalle’s latest report showed that the global property market is edging towards recovery. investment volumes climbed back up to $108 billion in the second quarter of 2012 after a dip in activity in the first quarter. This now means that capital markets are back on track to volumes of around $400 billion by the end of the year.

Global economic outlook weakened as euro strains re-emerged, while low growth in developed economies remains a drag on a strong real estate recovery. Corporate occupiers adopted a wait and see approach to expansion, with sale and leaseback activity increasing as corporate looked to release capital.

Leasing activity still remains lower than 2011 due to weak jobs growth despite having improved from the first quarter dip. As a result, gross leasing volumes across 2012 are expected to be 10% below 2011.
Global office vacancy rates are now the lowest since 2009 at 13.3%, while vacancy continues to decrease.

If you are tempted by the prospect of taking advantage of the overseas property market and are looking into investing in property overseas visit Conti Overseas Mortgages
OR if you are looking for a home in the UK and need conveyancing? visit us at for all your conveyancing solutions!!

Friday, 24 August 2012

Still a Large Demand for New Zealand Property

There’s still a huge amount of interest in Luxury New Zealand property (especially in Auckland) as demand continues to be larger than supply. At the beginning of August the quantity of available homes for sale in the high end sector was at it’s lowest amount for almost 7 years, a New Zealand estate agent has reported.

The agent’s average selling price was $591,444 over 998 individual house sales. They stated that the relatively small number of house sales is due to a large turnover instead of houses not being listed. There was a 23.3% increase in property listing in July, compared to the same month of last year, as well as a sales increase of 28.3% between the same time period.

For 5 consecutive months this estate agent has viewed falling house sale rates, helping to establish a market where people are eager to take action in as short a time as possible. When taking into account the stable house prices, the amount of house being sold is incredible.

The average sales price increased by just over $2,000 in July compared to June, and the overall price difference between May and July is around $9,000, an increase of less than 2%. Sales of properties costing in excess of $1 million are continuing to increase, as 82 properties were sold within this price range in July compared to 50 during the same month last year. Although higher value properties are proving to be extremely popular, around half of all sales are for homes costing less than $500,000.

If you are interested in the New Zealand property market, want to buy a house in New Zealand or if you want to take out a mortgage in New Zealand, get in touch with Conti - Mortgages Overseas either  by exploring our website or via telephone 08009700985

Thursday, 23 August 2012

How to be a Successful Overseas Property Buyer

How to be a Successful Overseas Property Buyer

Investing in property can sometimes be stressful and a bit of a hassle but as most will tell you, once you’ve achieved it you will feel a huge sense of satisfaction. Here are some helpful hints and tips to minimise the stress and to maximise the satisfaction.

Think ahead and make a decision on what questions you want to ask your possible estate agent. Enquire about essential information, facts and figures. For example; the quantity of houses they’ve sold in the past year, where they were in relation to the area you’re interested in etc. Decent agents will be more than happy to give you such information and talk you through it all. A not-so-decent agent will not, and this should ring alarm bells.

Get organised! It makes overseas property purchase a lot simpler. Get a notebook or a folder where you can keep any advice or information you gather. This will create an invaluable source of data that you can easily access for reference purposes.

Unfortunately, the reality is that you have to anticipate extra costs and fees when buying a property overseas. Most will consider relevant taxes, down payment, bank funds etc. when, in fact, costs such as improvement bonds, school taxes (if applicable) and other location specific charges may be included. Think logically and think laterally to best predict such additional fees.

To ensure that you’re in the best possible position before buying, ask your estate agent for a checklist. Many will have pre-made checklists specifically designed for buying a house. Getting your hands on multiple versions of checklists from a couple of different agents means that you’ll be covered for basically all possible scenarios.

If you are planning on investing in a foreclosed home, it’s important that you make arrangements for repairs to happen. In quite a lot of cases, homes that are foreclosed have been left empty for a while before hitting the market, so it’s likely that they’ve been neglected on the upkeep front. They are likely to require HVAC (Heating, Ventilation and Air-Conditioning) system installation and you should be aware of the possibility of pests.

Be prepared to be a bit flexible. You may fall in love with a house but the location may not be great, or vice versa, you need to be aware of your budget. So be ready to search in another area or maybe try looking at a different type of home.

Establish clear long term and short term goals for yourself. If these goals aren’t met, search for another property. After all this is an investment and if it doesn’t meet your objectives, the investment’s unlikely to pay off.

Don’t place your purchase solely on one factor e.g. the view. You may love it, but if it’s subjective, others may not agree with you so you may end up missing out if you decide to sell the house in future. Try to ensure the property has multiple good points rather than just one. If you love it, go for it but try not to pay too much.
I’m sure you’ve already heard this but... Location, location, location! Location should be very high up on your priorities list. E.g. if you are investing in overseas property to set up a shop, if the location isn’t right you won’t get the customers.

Consider the asking price of the house when deciding upon your initial offer. If you have an accommodating seller, it’ll be simple to determine a final purchasing price that you are content with.

Get ready for some remodelling and some repair work, this way you get the most value from your property. seeing your investment’s value increase is incredibly satisfying and if you do it right, its value could increase beyond what you originally invested in it!.

Hopefully this has given you a little bit of an insight into the fact that buying property overseas isn’t as complex as it initially seems. The research stage could get confusing, but it will be worth it in the long term.
If you have any questions about investing abroad, buying a property overseas or taking out a mortgage abroad, get in touch with Conti - Mortgages Overseas either by exploring our website ( or via telephone 08009700985

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Low house prices in Italy will stay low

Low house prices in Italy will stay low

According to one of the latest reports from Nomisma, Italian house prices are expected to drop again in 2012 due to the persistent recession and ongoing issues in the Eurozone. New Government plans are also predicted to help keep prices low for the foreseeable future.

The report expects the quantity of house sales to be at its lowest since 2000. It is thought that purchases may drop down to 529,306 (reduction of 12%). This estimate is based on the fact that the number of Italian property sales in the first quarter of this year dropped by about 20%. The same report demonstrates that the cost of a new house fell by 1.8% in the beginning of this year, and when compared to 2008, prices in the biggest Italian cities have fallen by 11%.

Nomisma has said.“The deteriorating economic context, coupled with more selective borrowing conditions and the widespread expectations of a wider depreciation than already recorded are the main reasons for the new halt to the real estate market.”

Bloomberg has predicted that the Italian economy may decrease by up to 2.4% this year, and that home sales are expected to fall further ‘amid rising unemployment and Prime Minister Mario Monti’s austerity measures weighing on consumer demand’

It was revealed by a Finance Ministry agency that, in June, the Italian property market posted its largest drop since the beginning of data collection in 2004  A new housing levy, marking the reappearance of tax on primary residences after four years, ‘won’t be an incentive for the market’ in coming months, stated the Agenzia del Territorio.

If you are interested in the Italian property market, would like to take advantage of Italy’s low housing prices or are interested in taking out an Italian mortgage, get in touch with Conti - Mortgages Overseas by exploring our website ( or via telephone 08009700985

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Cautious overseas property buyers stick to low risk countries

Cautious overseas property buyers stick to low risk countries

According to a property expert, the continuing economic situation is causing investors in overseas property to stick to nations viewed as ‘low-risk’ or ‘core-markets’ in an attempt to evade the ongoing Eurozone crisis.

Associate director of forecasting at DTZ, Matthew Hall has said that there are still  plenty of chances for potential  investors in property abroad regardless of the current state of the market.

Right now, a spectrum has evolved with polar ends. Those countries most and least affected by the economic crisis e.g. Nordic countries have experienced downward pressure on prices where the demand from investors is for ‘a very low risk, safe and stable type of asset’. People approach buying property in Spain with caution due to its recent Eurozone bailout and financial difficulties.

Mr Hall had this to say: "Core Europe and the safe haven markets have seen further downward pressure as investors flee the perceived risk in the most exposed European economies. The required rate of return as a result has been dragged down for property, so this has increased the attractiveness of core markets."

He then added that there is evidence that overseas property buyers are seeking out European countries that are likely to be a lower risk investment.  

Jones Lang LaSalle has recently shown that the British, German and French property markets have been increasingly dominant, together being accountable for 70% of European property investment in 2012 .  

Despite the persistent economic situation, several experts have agreed that the overseas property investment market is easily staying afloat

If you are interested in European property investment, buying a house abroad or in taking out an overseas mortgage, get in touch with Conti - Overseas Mortgages via our website ( ) or by telephone 08009700985

Monday, 20 August 2012

Plunging Prices of Portuguese Property

Plunging prices of Portuguese property

The latest numbers have shown that portuguese property prices are continuing to plunge.

Statistics Portugal’s most recent set of data has shown that prices of Portuguese property have plummeted by 8.9% in May 2012 in comparison to the same time the previous year. Global Property Guide has added that when taking inflation into account, the prices have in fact dropped by 11.3%.

In terms of quarters, value of property in May fell by 0.8% meaning that the new national average of Portuguese property is at 1,047 euros per square metre.

Apartment prices are falling at a faster rate than houses (10% drop compared to 7.2%) Suggesting that now may well be an ideal time to invest in Portuguese property as prices are so low.

If you have an interest in Portugal, buying a house in Portugal or taking out a Portuguese Mortgage, get in touch with Conti - Overseas Mortgages either by exploring the website ( ) or via telephone 08009700985

Sunday, 19 August 2012

Wealthy French residents flee leaving behind a fantastic choice of property in France

Wealthy French residents flee leaving behind a fantastic choice of property in France

The selection of luxurious high end homes in France has greatly increased due to the recent french presidential election. It has been reported by the Daily Telegraph that lots of french families are ‘fleeing a proposed new tax rate of 75 per cent on all earnings over one million euros’ (around £780,000).This means that quite a few fantastic french properties are now making their way onto the french property market, suggesting that now could be a good time to invest in high end french property.

One of the top overseas estate agents has revealed that its french sector has sold over 100 properties valued at at least 1.7 million euros within the past couple of months (A significant increase when compared to the same time period last year)

"The result of the presidential election has had a real impact on our sales. Now a large number of wealthy French families are leaving the country as a direct result of the proposals of the new government.” Says Alexander Kraft, head of Sotheby's Realty in France.

"These properties are then bought up by foreign investors looking for a stable real estate market like France to invest in.”

"It shows the high-end property market is holding up very well, even in these difficult times."

If you have an interest in the french property market, are interested in buying a house in France or would like to take out a french mortgage, please get in touch with Conti - Mortgages Overseas via our website ( ) or via telephone 08009700985.

Saturday, 18 August 2012

Invest in your happiness: Buy a house!

Invest in your happiness: Buy a house!

The Office of National Statistics has declared that owning a home makes you happier based upon its first national subjective well being report. Many of the entries are not surprising e.g. just under half of people not in employment scored themselves as less than 7 (almost twice the amount of people with work) whereas having a partner gave more scores of 9 or 10 when compared to those who are divorced, widowed or single.

80% of adults that owned a home ranked themselves with a medium to high level of happiness which is quite a lot more than the 68% that don’t. Suggesting that some forms of  happiness can be derived from getting involved with property, despite the recession.

This aspect of the report depicts a British desire to own a home as many Britons aspire to buy property, yet despite general belief, the world wide economic crisis may actually help achieve this dream.

In recent times the pound has steadily been growing in strength, so when compared with the euro this month, buyers interested in European property have been getting the more for their money then they have been for the past 4 years, especially in countries with prices that have drastically fallen e.g. Spain.

"These factors, together with historically low interest rates, are making it more affordable to buy in Spain right now," says Clare Nessling, Director of Conti - Overseas Mortgages, which has seen enquiries for Spanish mortgages increase by a third in May and June this year. "And signs that the market is improving are starting to lift the confidence of prospective buyers."

If you want to find out more about investing in overseas property or taking out an overseas mortgage, get in touch with Conti, via our website ( ) or by telephone 08009700985

Friday, 17 August 2012

Is it the ideal time to invest in Australia?

Is it the ideal time to invest in Australia?

Have you always fancied relocating down under? Has the prospect of purchasing a home in Australia crossed your mind on multiple occasions? Is there something about the idea of living in Oz that you find particularly appealing?

If so, a top news organisation has reported that, thanks to a combination of several  factors, the summer of 2012  is presenting ‘perfect conditions’ for investing in Australian property. has stated that, due to poor auction sales, a huge choice of available homes and reductions in interest rates, a larger proportion of Australia is transforming into a ‘buyer’s market’.

An increasing number of ‘bargain suburbs’ are appearing across Australia, the latest Commonwealth Bank Home Buyer Index (in conjunction with RP data) has revealed.

Tim Lawless, national research director for RP data has mentioned that there are more than 300,000 properties in Australia for sale and that, right now, the market is favouring buyers and investors in Australian mortgages. “It really does suggest there are a lot of properties that are for sale at the moment.  Stock levels remain high across each of the capital cities so prospective buyers have a good range of housing options to choose from.''

The Commonwealth bank - Australia’s most prominent home lender, provided information to calculate the index where the number of properties available for sale were compared to the demand for home loans.

Nick Marr of said “These figures show that it is now the perfect time to buy property in Australia.  There have been modest gains in house prices over the last quarter but with a wide choice of homes to choose from, buyers are increasingly in a position to drive a hard bargain.”

So if you are interested in investing in Australian property, buying a house in Australia or taking out an Australian mortgage, get in touch with Conti - Mortgages Overseas by exploring our  website (  or via telephone on 08009700985

Thursday, 16 August 2012

Jargon Buster, Conti - Mortgages Overseas

Entering the world of overseas mortgages can be a scary and daunting process, but not if you have a good source of helpful advice and a little bit of know-how. So here is an offering from Conti - Mortgages Overseas to help you navigate the realms of mortgages abroad with relative ease. 

Annual Percentage Rate (APR)

The measure of how much a loan will cost in interest per year. It takes into account all charges, such as valuation fees on a mortgage or any annual charges on a credit card, so it is the best measure of the total cost of a loan.

Arrangement Fee

Otherwise known as an application fee, it is a mortgage lender's charge that goes to cover the cost of processing a mortgage application. The fee will typically be a couple of hundred pounds and is usually non-refundable, even if your loan application is rejected. Thankfully, many mortgage lenders no longer charge arrangement fees.


Anyone who sells financial products. A stockbroker sells stock, an insurance broker sells insurance and so on.

Building Insurance

An insurance policy that covers the cost of rebuilding your home if it is destroyed. Most mortgage lenders demand that building insurance is taken out as a condition of your loan.


The final stage of the property buying process. The completion date, which must be agreed by banks and solicitors for both parties, is typically two weeks to a month after contracts have been exchanged. On this day the money will be deposited with the seller and then it is just a matter of picking up, or handing over the keys.

Cooling off period

The time given by the lender for the applicant to reflect on the arrangement and change their mind if necessary

Contents insurance

Cover for household possessions. As a rule it covers anything that can be moved, and often covers items when they are outside of the house, such as a camera you have taken on holiday.


The legal work carried out during the sale of a property. This should include a local authority search to check that there are no factors that will affect the future value of your home, such as subsidence or planned development.

Credit Reference Agency

A company which collects and stores information used by lenders to determine an individual's credit risk. You have the right to see this information, for a small fee.

Discount Mortgage

A mortgage that offers a short-term discount on its standard variable rate. These types of mortgages typically carry a penalty for early repayment.

Fixed Rate Mortgage

A mortgage that has an interest rate which does not move with market fluctuations. This means you can fix your monthly repayments in advance, helping you to plan your financial future. The fixed term can last anything from one year to 25 years. The downside is the mortgages often come with heavy fees and penalties. And, if interest rates fall, you could be locked into a high rate.

Flexible Mortgage

This is a mortgage that allows you to vary your monthly repayments. The advantage is that, if you have extra money, you can pay your mortgage off early and so reduce its cost. Also you can put payments on hold if times are lean. In exchange for this flexibility the loans usually charge more interest.


Income, such as interest, wages or dividends, before tax and other charges are removed.

Income Multipliers

When it comes to getting a mortgage, this is the most common way lenders work out how much you can borrow.


The amount charged by the lender for the borrowing of a certain amount of money. How much it is depends upon the credit risk of the borrower and the current inflation rate. It can also refer to the return upon an investment.

Interest-only Mortgage

This is where monthly payments cover only the interest on a mortgage. The outstanding balance remains the same, so the borrower needs to make additional investments to ensure the full amount can be repaid at the end of the mortgage period.

Loan to Value (LTV)

A mortgage term that describes the amount of money a lender will forward you as a percentage of your property's value. Banks and building societies tend to lend up to 95% of property value.


A loan where the borrower offers a property as security to a lender until the full amount is repaid.

Mortgage Broker

A person or company authorised to search the mortgage market for a deal that suits you. They can contact mortgage lenders on your behalf to make arrangements to complete a loan. They charge a fee for their services, though often this will be paid as commission from the lender to the broker.

Negative Equity

The moment your mortgage is worth more than your home you are said be in negative equity. It is never a good thing, but only becomes a real problem if you want to sell your home. Unless you can make up the deficit then your lender can block the sale.

Notaire or Notary

A public official who can witness legal documents, administer and take oaths

Redemption Penalty

This is an interest penalty levied by mortgage lenders on borrowers who pay back mortgages early. It is typically included on mortgages that offer some form of interest rate discount as a means of stopping borrowers leaving as soon as the discount period has run out. Increasingly redemption penalties only apply during the discount period of a mortgage.

Repayment Mortgage

This is a mortgage that requires the borrower to repay interest and a slice of the money borrowed at regular intervals. As long as the homeowner meets every payment, the loan will be fully repaid at the end of the mortgage term.


An inspection of the property to identify defects, faults and any necessary remedial work. This can then affect the valuation


The process of assigning a value to a property. Lenders will demand that a property you plan to buy has a valuation by a registered surveyor before they agree a mortgage.

Variable Rate Mortgage

A mortgage whose interest rate moves in line with changes in the Bank of England Base Rate. The mortgages are set at a premium to the Bank of England rate.

If you have any further questions about buying a property abroad, taking out an overseas mortgage or just need a little bit of a nudge in the right direction, please get in contact with Conti, either via our website ( or by telephone 08009700985