Before 2007, the surveying industry would usually benefit from a year-end peak in demand that would run until Christmas.
We concluded that this was driven by last minute rushes to get into homes before the big day, but also by those using secured lending to fund Christmas expenses – presumably in the hope that Santa would deliver a rise in equity the following year to allow the whole thing to start again.
On more than one occasion I recall assisting deals to conclusion on Christmas Eve or to facilitate fund release. Januarys were also busier than you might expect with consumers reacting to the tidal wave of bills by refinancing.
Post credit-crunch these situations have all but disappeared but interestingly, we have seen something that looks similar this year, with November demand exceeding expectations for many firms.
This time around, the drivers appear different -an easing of LTVs has allowed some of the pent-up demand for mortgage finance to be serviced.
My guess is that this is driven by lenders aiming for their year-end targets and these attractive deals may therefore be short-lived. With growing
speculation around interest rate movement, some people also appear to securing what they feel are decent fixed rates.
Whatever the reason, some good cheer at the end of the year is welcome. Compliments of the season to all.