While there are many very interesting facts associated with the ongoing prosperity of the UK real estate market the growth in the number of £1 million plus mortgages has caught the eye of many. When you bear in mind the number of properties valued in excess of £1 million it seems obvious that the mortgage numbers would increase but by what rate?
Who is doing the business?
The likes of Royal Bank of Scotland, Nationwide and many of the private wealth banks have released figures suggesting the number of £1 million plus mortgages in the UK has increased by just under 20% this year compared to 2014. The like-for-like figures for the Nationwide are 269 as opposed to 167 at the same time last year with Royal Bank of Scotland so far granting 207 mortgages against 233 for the whole of last year (the full year figure is expected to show an increase of 18% compared to 2014). While we do not have detailed figures it is known that the likes of UBS, HSBC, Credit Suisse, Barclays, Coutts and JP Morgan also figure prominently in the million pound plus mortgage sector.
Is this just a form of cheap credit?
For many people it is rather bizarre to find out that those living in multi-million pound houses are taking out mortgages or indeed remortgaging their properties. Very often we are fed the perception that these properties are bought with cash and those acquiring them are swimming in money. The reality is that the superrich are often awash with assets but maybe some of them are tied up and they require short to medium term assistance.
It seems that many multi-million pound property owners are remortgaging their properties as a means of taking advantage of current UK interest rates. Indeed there are suggestions that some are actually using these funds to acquire the likes of yachts, planes, etc which feeds the public perception of their lifestyle. It is also worth noting that even those with multi-million pound assets are still required to go through the same affordability checks as everyone else in the UK. There are some rather bizarre stories with one individual questioned about his “travel expenses” only to reply that they had no idea because they “have a plane”.
Who is behind these multi-million pound property deals?
When we say that bankers and footballers are commonplace in the world of multi-million pound mortgages this will probably come as no surprise. Many of the top stars in the Premier League command weekly wages in excess of £100,000 and even those towards the lower end of the Premiership are still counting their weekly wage in the tens of thousands. While the life of a footballer may be relatively short lived it seems that many are able to build up significant assets and wealth for their future.
The idea of bankers also figuring prominently in the world of multi-million pound mortgages will not go down well especially in the current political environment. While many in the UK continue to struggle it seems as though the banking profession and the UK financial markets in general appear to be back to their pre-financial crisis excesses.