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Back on track after a dodgy summer


It feels like we have just sailed through a brief and unexpected lull in lending activity, with some conflicting indicators about the likely direction of travel. 

Whilst the industry is well used to a summer down turn, in August this year it seemed there was a more noticeable fall away. 

Dependent on which set of figures you use, purchase, buy-to-let and remortgage lending were all estimated to be down between 15-20 per cent. There is anecdotal evidence that perversely, as the general economy is an improved one, more people felt confident enough to take a holiday than in previous years.  That sounds feasible but can the cooling be attributed to that effect alone?

MMR has also been cited as an anchor but then lenders are also commenting publically and privately that they are largely over that particular road bump. 

Were we all transfixed by Wimbledon and the Scottish referendum perhaps? 

In any regard, with the UK back to work, early September appears to be showing some signs of increased activity with agency and financial adviser friends sounding more positive than for a few weeks.  Lenders themselves seem to have been surprised by the slowing and with a limited amount of time to claw back towards annual target run rates, we have seen a flurry of new products and rates, indicating the lenders are serious about securing their market share and targets.  The CML are meanwhile predicting ‘a gentle slowing of lending activity’.

The good news is that on any longer scale, all trends in lending are positive and the market is in better shape in terms of regulation and good practice that it has been for years. The fundamentals are strong.


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Shares dip for six biggest lenders

The UK’s six biggest mortgage lenders saw their share of lending dip for the fourth consecutive year in 2013, according to the Council of Mortgage Lenders. Data published last week by the CML shows the top six lenders’ share of gross lending increased from 61 per cent in 2006 to a peak of 86 per […]

London prices rise over twice as fast as rest of England and Wales

London house prices grew at over twice the rate of the rest of England and Wales in August, according to the Land Registry. The figures show house prices in London grew at 21.6 per cent year-on-year, from £386,008 to £467,070, in August. Prices in England and Wales grew 8.4 per cent year-on-year, from £164,116 to […]


Media Spotlight: The Road to Recovery – Andrew Smithers

Not many outside the world of finance will have heard of Andrew Smithers, but those who have will know that he is one of the most controversial voices in the industry. A former investment banker with S G Warburg and now financial commentator, Smithers sparks debate and very often ire with his views and especially […]

Andrew Doyle cropped for comment

Capita appoints Ward as non-executive chairman

Capita Mortgage Services has appointed Home Funding chief executive Tony Ward to the role of non-executive chairman. Ward joined the board of Capita Mortgage Services, formerly known as Crown Mortgage Management, on 11 September. He previously served as chief executive at both Britannic Money and Mortgage Trust between 1990 and 2003, while prior to that […]

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In Focus — February 2015

Jelf Employee Benefits looks at the issue of paying anaesthetist fees when the patient had no chance to discuss or agree to them prior to care; and provides recommendations for avoiding this scenario.


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