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CML Figures

The Council of Mortgage Lenders’ gross lending figures for February, showing a decline of 7% on January to around £24bn, weren’t as bad as some had expected but are a good reflection of what’s happening in the mortgage market at present.

The stories about how much more difficult it is to get a mortgage and how nervous lenders are aren’t hype, they’re a hard fact. Increasingly, we’re seeing lenders look longer and harder at borrowers who only a year ago would have been given a loan at the drop of a hat.

It’s like the clocks have been turned back 15 years to a time when a mortgage wasn’t a gimme, but a very serious home loan – and which in fact may be no bad thing. But the danger is the vicious circle this toughening of mortgage criteria results in. As it becomes harder for people to take out mortgages, so the number of buyers dwindles, which, inevitably, will have a knock on effect on property prices and consumer confidence, further depressing spending and sentiment.

The minutes of this month’s Monetary Policy Committee meeting showed that seven members voted to maintain rates at 5.25%, while two were in favour of a quarter percent cut. Let’s hope for a big swing in April and a further rate reduction to give the mortgage and property markets – and general consumer sentiment – a much needed boost.


What would you like to have heard in last week’s Budget speech?

Chancellor Alistair Darling’s first Budget speech last week was delivered amid rising criticism of his handling of the Northern Rock fiasco, Capital Gains Tax reforms and tax breaks for non-domiciles. His pledge to focus on long-term fixed rate mortgages has done little to reassure his critics. So, this week Mortgage Strategy asks…What would you like […]

Optoma to make redundancies

Optoma Broker Solutions will be making a number of redundancies as a result of efforts to consolidate offices.The firm will move the remainder of its Leatherhead packaging operation to its Huntingdon office at the end of March 2008.Optoma recently entered into a period of consultation with staff to discuss possible alternatives to moving the operation […]

Packagers should consider opportunities in FSA paper

In recent weeks there has been much debate in Mortgage Strategy about the role of packagers but little comment on the hidden opportunities that lurk within the Financial Services Authority’s Consultation Paper 07/23.

Money Partners to axe jobs

Money Partners is locked in negotiations over the number of jobs it will have to axe due to harsh market conditions.As Mortgage Strategy exclusively revealed last week, the lender, which was acquired by Goldman Sachs from Kensington Group in January, has informed staff that a number of jobs will be placed under review in the […]


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