Former Prime Minister Harold Wilson is believed to have said the phrase, ‘A week is a long time in politics’, back in 1964. The fact that when he asked years later about it he couldn’t remember saying those words is quite handily forgotten.
Perhaps it shows that while a week is a long time, a year is an eternity and not only can things change dramatically but memories can fade quite quickly.
Certainly with all the positive noises emanating from the housing and mortgage markets at present it would be easy to forget how long we have been bumping along the bottom for. While it is gratifying to see the market picking itself up off the floor we should not forget the recent past, neither should we repeat the mistakes that got us into the mess in the first place.
We recently celebrated the one-year anniversary of launching our broker-focused business and even as recently as summer 2012 the green shoots of any housing/mortgage market recovery were hard to distinguish. Back then transaction levels were far removed from what we have seen in recent months and it was initially a struggle to get brokers to see the value of taking control of the conveyancing process for their clients.
However that value has been shown and brokers continue to register and use our portal not just for the added income it brings or the competitive pricing for clients but also the fact that in a more active market it pays to be using solicitors who have the resource to get the case through to exchange.
I read recently that the increase in mortgage activity is already having an impact on the delivery of protection advice as brokers concentrate more on core business. To my mind, this is a huge mistake.
Brokers have successfully diversified over the past few years and this allowed them to brave the economic storm; to step back to a world where the mortgage becomes the be all and end all would certainly be a mistake and no one should want to see history repeating itself in this regard.