Data is king. It is all around us, especially in the mortgage sector, and is a key factor in most high-level decision-making.
So a grasp of data is important, which is why I was asked by Mortgage Strategy to write this new monthly column. For those of you who have not heard, we run a newly launched mortgage club, MCI Club, and a CRM system called MortgageKeeper. This gives us access to data from about 2,000 intermediaries. In the past 12 months, 35,000 mortgages were completed by the UK’s FCA directly authorised community using MortgageKeeper, with total lending of more than £6bn.
In this column, we aim to provide a regular market snapshot. We will use the data to isolate and identify emerging trends, including lending volumes, average loan sizes and average times from application to completion.
Of course, these figures do not cover the whole market but they provide insight and can be considered statistically relevant, given the large sample size. And while other data sources are available, rarely are they pulled together in one place as here.
On to the figures for December – as you would expect, average monthly completions among DAs using MortgageKeeper fell by a whopping 17 per cent from £500m to £367m. The month also saw Nationwide jump above Halifax into the number one spot with 18 per cent of completed business (although Halifax takes top spot when we look at the whole of 2014). It remains to be seen whether Nationwide will continue in this vein but this demonstrates the intense competition among lenders.
Service issues have been a concern since the MMR came in and our figures show a 13-day gap in completion times among the high-street giants. As this is an increasingly important factor for brokers, lenders need to address it if they want to win business.
This is a taste of what will follow in the coming months when we dig deeper into The Data Vault.