On behalf of all here at Mortgage Strategy, we would like to wish you a Happy New Year and hope you were suitably fed over the Christmas break.
The next 12 months promise to be another strong year and the broker market is in a confident mood, with the turbulence of a few years ago consigned to the history books.
At the back end of last year, the Council of Mortgage Lenders forecast that gross lending would increase by 7 per cent to £222bn this year.
If this proves the case, it would mean the mortgage market will have grown at a significantly slower rate than in the previous two years – but it will have grown nevertheless.
Moreover, competition among lenders is rife and some of the rates on offer at the moment are mind-blowing, the obvious example being Barclays’ new 2.99 per cent 10-year fixed rate. If competition trickles over into longer-term fixed rates, the popularity of these products could soar.
But it would be remiss of us to ignore the potential risks to the market on the horizon.
As Precise Mortgages managing director Alan Cleary notes in his Thinking Cleary column this week, falling house prices may not necessarily be a good thing for the mortgage market. He argues that the fall-out from the price cuts could be a rise in swaps, which would push up fixed rates.
Moreover, the result of the upcoming general election could have a significant effect on the market, especially with all the major parties taking a keen interest in the housing sector.
However, these risks should not detract from the fact that 2015 looks set to be another good year for brokers in which they should see their share of the market grow even further.