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Analysis: Positive new year for intermediaries

Adams Richard MS blog 150

The year may be only days old but, in the mortgage market at least, we have already seen some themes emerging that should make for an interesting and, hopefully, profitable 12 months for advisers.

Last week, I saw the first use of the phrase ‘rate war’ in relation to the price cuts already announced by lenders. It appears the focus is still on low-LTV pricing and, for borrowers fortunate enough to have 40 per cent equity/deposits, there are some highly competitive deals available.

Barclays is the latest to make a splash with its 2.99 per cent 10-year fix, clearly trying to tempt those who want long-term certainty and do not wish to have their payments fluctuating as rates rise.

There have also been lenders moving two-year fixes from the start of the year and cutting tracker prices. ‘Rate war’ may be an exaggeration but the pressure on pricing remains downwards and we should expect more lenders to move in the same direction.

Further increases in proc fees have been announced by some lenders, of which the latest is Leeds Building Society. Again, this shows the greater importance placed on securing intermediary business and the fact that the intermediary share of the market is likely to grow. Lenders are acutely aware of this and, for those who have been behind in terms of their proc fees, now is the time to play catch-up.

All in all, the mortgage market has kicked off very promisingly for advisers and we are likely to see a far more intermediary-focused lending community over the next 12 months and beyond.

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  • Chris Hulme 21st January 2015 at 5:36 pm

    In a mortgage market estimated to be £215bn to £226bn in 2015 where circa 8000 or so brokers should process 70% or more of mortgage lending, brokers have an absolute right to feel buoyant and in confident mood.
    I’d still like to see more of a “criteria war” than a “rate war” and I would challenge lenders to be more willing to use the FCA transitional arrangements in line with MMR when considering existing borrowers needs.