Marketwatch - June 2012
My colleague Andrew Montlake is taking a well deserved holiday this week.
It has been another week of people saying: “The euro is going to cause the end of the world as we know it,” only for it all to settle down the very next day.
I’ll let other commentators wax lyrical on macro economic issues over which we have no control.
On issues closer to home, and much closer to my heart, we have seen quite a few lenders start to decrease their rates - NatWest, Skipton, Northern Rock and the Nottingham have all shared the love this week.
More should follow as we have seen some big moves downwards in the money markets:
Three-month LIBOR is down 0.06 at 0.93%.
1-year money is down 0.21 at 0.735% 2-year money is down 0.29 at 0.90% 3-year money is down 0.33 at 0.90% 5-year money is down 0.33 at 1.115%
It was a shame to see Bank of China move its market-leading tracker up to 2.48% over Bank base rate, but it still remains a sensational product.
There have been some positive noises coming out of the Shepshed Building Society this week, giving access to 95% LTV products up to £200,000, 90% LTV products up to £250,000, and it will even do interest-only up to 80% LTV.
The society manually underwrites all cases and has no credit score, all of which is refreshing to hear. Yet another building society proving good old-fashioned lending is certainly the way forward.
If you are not using new or lesser-known lenders, I implore you to do so.
Finding non high-street solutions for your clients will be the difference between getting deals away or not at the moment.
On that point, as part of my job I spend a huge amount of time on the road visiting our introducers.
There is a message that comes back loud and clear from them - deals are taking too long to get through.
Twelve weeks from offer accepted to exchange seems to be the norm now, which leads to more falling through due to nervousness from buyers and sellers. This is mainly caused by buyers using their bank directly or HSBC, although poor conveyancing solicitors also play a role in messing deals up.
As brokers, our biggest frustration is losing clients to direct products but I can see a way out of this.
If we engage with our introducers and educate them that we can get an offer out in weeks, not months, then liaise with them and the solicitor to see the deal through, that can make all the difference and can remove our biggest headaches.
No matter where pricing is for our products, that service is invaluable at any time, but now it is needed more than ever.
Heroes & Villains
Hero of the week
Hero of the week is Platform. Its annual football five-a-side tournament last week once again got some of London’s finest brokers raising money for charity. This sort of interaction with other brokers is invaluable.
Villain of the week
Villains of the week are bad conveyancers. We have had three complaints from clients about poor conveyancing this week alone. When will they get paid for performance and not just for their time?