You know that feeling when you are not doing something you should be, and you think that no one is noticing. Well, I have been rumbled! Customer Tom called me and said, “Mark I miss your posts, they are really helpful”. So, knowing I have at least one fan, I am back on the blog adventure.
I start this week by announcing to one and all that we are now three in number.
Lauren Poole joins Joe and I to help with our administration work. She is very experienced in the mortgage admin field and will probably add about 15 years to my own life expectancy. Welcome Lauren, you will discover we have some great customers!
So, what’s been happening in the Mortgage world during my writing sabbatical?
Firstly, it’s worth mentioning that rumours of the death of Buy to Let due to tax changes have been overstated.
There were 5,000 new and 14,000 remortgage BTL transactions alone in March according to UK Finance. They also predict that gross lending in the UK will rise by £10.5 billion from 2018 to £278 billion. (This despite all the gloom and doom and dreaded B word). Yes, you are keeping us busy.
There are, however, some real challenges in the mortgage world that do affect you the consumer.
The likes of Tesco bank, Magellan Homeloans and Secure Trust bank have all taken their mortgage footballs home with them for whatever reason. ‘Which Mortgage’ brokers are not offering help to new customers.
Put simply there is not the return needed for some lenders and firms. Margins have been squeezed. The Term Funding Scheme allowed lenders to borrow from the Bank of England for up to 4 years has now closed. It’s harder to find the money to lend you the customer.
Paradoxically, rates remain as good as ever and there lies the problem. Too much cheap money about means that many players are being squeezed on their margins.
But for mortgage customers it must be stressed there are many great deals in the marketplace.
In March, Moneyfacts told us that the average gap between 2- and 5-year fixed rates was at its smallest in six years. In 2009 the average 2-year Fixed rate was 4.79% now its nearer 2.49%. There are more cash back deals than I can remember and lenders, in the main, work hard to try and help us with your enquiries. Equity Release continues to grow with some excellent innovation in that market.
Some lenders have indeed left our space but my network for example still give me over 50 lenders to use.
Existing lenders have morphed in what they do. Hodge lifetime, an excellent later life lender now offers an attractive portfolio buy to let deal to all landlords who can meet their criteria.
I have recently done deals where there are small amounts of adverse credit with some of our biggest and most popular lenders. That would not have been possible 2 years ago.
Specialist lenders are coming into mainstream waters and, to a certain extent, mainstream lenders want to have a look in the choppy waters of specialist lending.
At House and Holiday home we continue to grow. We are keen to help house buyers, first time buyers, landlords and those who need to be remortgaged.
On the specialist side we are working with many holiday let customers and finding more and more that lenders want to pick our brains on criteria in this area.
We’re also now specialising in helping sports professionals too. This is an especially exciting area, but it certainly has its complexities. We really must know our lenders because many providers are concerned about affordability in the latter years for these borrowers. We do have options though!
Until next time enjoy the hot summer.