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No housing market crash, says NAEA

Peter Bolton King, chief executive of the NAEA, says: “For a number of good reasons we believe the IMF is needlessly flying a kite and scaring homeowners. They cite increasing interest rates as a reason for precipitating a crash. But opinion is that if rates go up at all it will be by just 0.25% in November and that will be the peak.

“If the Bank of England puts rates up to 5% — the same level that it was at in September 2001 — it will not cause the roof to fall in on the housing market. It will merely continue the slowdown that our own survey this month picked out. From the start of the year the NAEA anticipated that rates would rise to this level.

“Long term interests rates which effect fixed rate mortgages have actually come down to 4.8% which means that the money markets believe inflation a year or two from now will be under control.

“We also believe the IMF has not taken into account the fact that there is a desperate shortage of new housing in the UK. Estimates vary but the industry is building 170,000 houses a year against an estimated demand for 250,000.

“Finally unemployment is at historically low levels and there is no sign of any significant numbers of people losing their jobs. The Washington-based IMF is probably right in suggesting that house prices are too high. But incomes in this country rise by 4.5% a year on average. If house prices remain pretty static over four years then house prices will come back in line with incomes &#45 and we believe this will happen.”


Personal Touch insurance reunites colleagues

Many of the IFAs, mortgage and insurance brokers who now form the mainstay of financial services probably started their careers and gained their experience in the large direct sales forces which once dominated this industry. Times have changed, however. Many of the companies which ran sales forces have been taken over or have rationalised their […]

Portman and The Mortgage Works choose xit2

The Valuation Exchange developed by xit2 is able to streamline the valuation instruction process, which can halve the time taken to instruct the valuation. This time saving is sustained throughout the process and offers a tangible benefit to intermediaries who regularly receive pressure from clients on items affecting the speed of the mortgage offer, which […]

Leeds restructures top team

Changes include the creation of three divisions within the society – finance, operations and development. Kim Rebecchi, general manager at L&H, has had her role extended to include responsibility for the intermediary sales force as well as branches and direct sales through the call centre. Rebecchi says: “We do 50% of our lending to intermediaries […]

Lighthouse Group announces interim results

The groups turnover is up by 36% to £12.9m and gross profit is up by 112% to £3.3m. Group operating loss – before exceptional item, depreciation and amortisation of goodwill – is £0.9m, up from £0.8m in 2003. Lighthouse has also recruited 34 advisers formerly authorised by Broadstone IFA. David Hickey, chairman of the Lighthouse […]


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