Buy-to-letDevelopmentEstate agencyFinancial PR agencyHouse pricesMortgagesProperty finderProperty softwareRemovalsUncategorized



1.99 per cent25-year fixA-level resultsaccidental landlordsaffordabilityAnderson HarrisAnthony Ward ThomasArchbishop of CanterburyArlaAusPodAussie Man & VanAutumn Statementavoidable mistakesBank of EnglandbanksBarclaysbase ratebase-rate trackersBathBBC BreakfastBBC Radio Four Money Box LiveBien MediaBien Media clientBlog writingborrowersBrexitBristolBudgetBudget 2013buy-to-letbuyersChancellor of the ExchequerCharles Rickardscheap creditcheap mortgagesCMLCo-operative BankCouncil of Mortgage LendersCovent Gardencredit crunchcredit scoringcriteriacyclingDaily Telegraphdepositdepositsdiscretionary investment servicedouble-dip recessionearly redemption chargeEaton PlaceequityEric PicklesErnst & Young ITEM Clubestate agentestate agentsexpensive letting agentsFairbairn Private Bankfamily homesfamily-friendly tenanciesfinancial PRfinancial PR agencyFinancial Services AuthorityFinancial Timesfirst-time buyerFirst-time buyersfive-year fixesfixed-rate mortgagesflat out like a lizard drinkingforbearancefront page of the TimesFTSBEFTSEfunding for lendingGabby Adlergeneral electionGovernmentGross Mortgage LendingGuy MeacockHalifaxHalifax house price indexHelp to BuyHelp to Buy 2Help to Buy Isahigh loan-to-valuehigh-value homeshigher funding costsHome FusionhomeownerHouse Beautifulhouse priceshouse saleshousing boomhousing ladderhousing marketHPIIMFInflationING Directinterest ratesinterest-only mortgagesJeremy LeafJeremy Leaf & CoJonathan AdamsJonathan Harrislandlordslenderslendingletting agent feesletting agentslettings agentlettings agents' feesLibor fixingloan-to-valueloan-to-valuesLondonLondon house pricesLondon Rock Capitallonger-term fixesLouise ReynoldsLTVsman and vanman and van removalsManchester Building SocietyMark CarneyMark HarrisMark ProutMayfairmedia relationsMelanie BienMIGMMRmodest depositsMonetary Policy CommitteeMoney BoxMoney Box Livemortgagemortgage and property PR agencymortgage brokermortgage brokersmortgage financemortgage lendingMortgage Market Reviewmortgage prisonersmortgage ratesMortgagesmulti-million pound propertiesMy first millionNapier WattNationwideNationwide House Price Indexnationwide removals serviceNedbank Private Wealthnew buildnew clientnew homesnew purchasesNewBuy GuaranteeNewBuy mortgagesNewcastle building societyNicholas AyreOffice for National StatisticsOffice of National StatisticsOlympicsONS house pricesportingpositive outlookPRPR companyPR Consultancypress coverageprime central LondonPrime Central London estate agencyPrime Purchaseprivate bankingpropertiespropertyproperty finance specialistproperty finderproperty marketproperty techquantitative easingQueen's SpeechRadio 4Radio Four Money BoxReferendumrelocatingremortgagesRemortgagingremovalsRentifyrentsrepayment strategyrepayment vehiclerepossessionsresidential propertyretirementRichmond-upon-ThamesRICsRightmovesaversschool catchment areassecond stepperssecuritisationself-storagesocial media presenceSPF Private ClientsStamp Dutystart-upstressfulstrong rental yieldsStudent Removals servicesummerSVRSwap ratesTescotrackertwo-year fixed rateundergraduatesVanHanWall Street JournalWhite PaperWigwammYorkshire Building Society
27 Thursday Apr 2017

Front page coverage for Bien Media client in The Times Posted by:

With interest rates at all-time lows, lenders continue to cut mortgage rates. But what caught the imagination of journalists was Yorkshire Building Society’s decision to launch the cheapest mortgage rate ever – a two-year discounted rate at just 0.89 per cent. While mortgage rates are cheap, a rate this low was unheard of and The Times reported it as the lead story or ‘splash’ on its front page.

Bien Media client Mark Harris, chief executive of mortgage broker SPF Private Clients, was subsequently quoted on the front page of The Times, providing insight as to why the lender was launching this rate at this particular time: ‘The debt market is oversupplied and when supply outstrips demand the simple economics is that mortgages become cheaper. If the [general] election means people put decisions to buy on hold then we could see even more competitive deals in an effort to attract borrowers,’ he said.

He added that this may not be the last we have seen of the cheapest rates: ‘The message is the same from all lenders – none of them are overly happy with the volume of business they are doing and want to do more. It’s great news for borrowers.’

To read the article in full, click on the link (subscription required):

07 Tuesday Feb 2017

Jeremy Leaf, former RICS chairman, discusses the housing White Paper Posted by:

Bien Media client Jeremy Leaf, a former RICS residential chairman and a north London estate agent with 25-plus years experience in land and new homes, discusses the housing White Paper which was released today:

‘The proposals in the White Paper sound great but we have heard it all before. Talking is all well and good but what about action – what will it actually mean for the builders, the planners, the architects, the local authorities and of course the buyers in the near future?

‘The first issue when dealing with any problem is to recognise it – and we welcome the fact that the government has done that. But we now want to see a strict, verifiable timetable for delivery on all fronts. Whether it is the issues with lettings or supply or infrastructure, delivery or planning – we want to see what is going to make a difference.

‘What would be refreshing and of immense value would be to see a cross-party political agreement so we don’t see the booms and busts and stops and starts that have dogged housing policy in the past. A measure of agreement across the political divide would be welcome so that we can move forward not just in this parliament but in future parliaments. A coherent, respected, long-term policy which involves building more houses and keeping prices in check would go a long way to solving the broken housing market.’

03 Tuesday Jan 2017

Housing forecasts for 2017 Posted by:

There is much speculation flying about as to what 2017 has in store for the housing market. Zoopla asked Melanie for her opinion on the market as an independent commentator:

Melanie Bien, property expert and commentator
House prices: up 2%
Rents: up 2%

“The housing market is likely to be largely flat. All the indicators suggest that Brexit negotiations will drag on which will have an impact on people’s confidence. The shortage of properties for sale will support prices to an extent but we are a long way off the double-digit house price growth seen in the past.

“With people on the whole choosing not to move, rental property is likely to continue to be in strong demand. With changes to mortgage interest tax relief coming in from April, putting a squeeze on landlords’ profits, and letting agents forced at some point to stop charging tenants fees, it looks as though the only way for rents is upwards.”

Read more

18 Thursday Aug 2016

Moving tips for university-bound students from Aussie Man & Van Posted by:

With A-level results published this week, it won’t be long before thousands of fresh-faced undergraduates move into halls of residence and student accommodation. With many leaving home for the first time, Bien Media client Aussie Man & Van, which offers a Student Removals service, has come up with top tips to make the move as stress-free as possible: 
  1. Make a list and be ruthless. Charles Rickards, director of Aussie Man & Van, says: ‘There is no point lugging every item you own up to your halls of residence. With many universities insisting you move out for the holidays, you’ll only have to take it home again in a few months’ time. Think about what you need to take and leave the clutter at home.’
  2. Pack carefully. Use packing boxes and label them so you know what’s in them. Mr Rickards cautions: ‘It may be tempting to chuck everything in the back of the car at the last minute rather than pack properly but this will be haphazard and you’re more likely to forget or break something. It will also take longer.’
  3. Leave plenty of time to do your packing. Leave it until the last minute and you will forget vital items, which will then need to be sent on to you, or if they’re bulky, you may have to do without them. If you are packing with an eye on the clock, the process will be far more stressful than it needs to be.
  4. Pay attention to valuables. Use bubble wrap to protect them although it’s worth considering how many valuables you really want to take with you.
  5. Back up your computer so you can access your data via someone else’s computer, if necessary.
  6. Wash clothes and clean all items. The last thing you want to be doing when you unpack is have to clean and launder items. Get it all done in advance before you do your packing.
  7. While you’re going through your items, check your insurance. Many students are covered on their parents’ household insurance but it’s worth checking and taking out some specialist student insurance if you’re not.
  8. Book a removals firm if you need one. Many students rely on parents to help them move but this may not be possible. Charles Rickards explains: ‘A good removals firm will be experienced at moving students, know where to drop your bags on campus and give advice on packing and moving. Give as much notice as possible as they can get booked up.’


Notes to editors:

Aussie Man & Van ( is a man and van removals business based in south London. It handles more than 200 moves a week, from individuals to large companies. It offers a Student Removals service, which includes:

  • Top quality packing boxes, labels and tape.
  • Checklists and plentiful advice to help with the move.
  • Complete service, including expert packing of your goods or door-to-door transport of your belongings if you prefer to do your own packing.
  • Full insurance to make sure all your belongings are safe in any event.
  • Delivery to the correct area on a particular campus – the last thing you want is to find that your bags are waiting at the wrong hall of residence.
29 Wednesday Jun 2016

Brexit press coverage for Bien Media clients Posted by:

While the outcome of the Referendum may have sent the FTSE plummeting along with the value of the pound, it presented an opportunity for Bien Media clients. Journalists were keen for considered analysis as to how the outcome would affect the property market, and what it would mean for people’s mortgages.

Estate agent Jeremy Leaf ( commented on the housing market and what it would mean for prices. On the day the result was announced, Jeremy was quoted in six publications from City AM to What Mortgage, Moneywise and The Mirror. He said that the ‘only certainty was uncertainty’ and that a pause in decision-making would likely affect property prices.

On the mortgage side, Mark Harris of broker SPF Private Clients (, stressed that it would be business as usual on the lending front, at least in the short term. He was quoted in 12 publications/websites, including BBC News, ITV News, the Financial Times, Times and Guardian.

He told the Times: ‘In the short term not a great deal will change. Mortgage availability is good, banks still want to lend and interest rates are at an all-time low. Swap rates are falling on the back of the outcome, which could put downwards pressure on mortgage rates, and it’s likely to have put back any potential interest rate rise. The remortgage market is likely to continue to be aggressive with some competitive deals to attract borrowers.’