Network purchases bode well for market

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GARY WATTS, DIRECTOR, WHICH NETWORK

The ink is just drying on Countrywide’s cheque for the Mortgage Intelligence and Mortgage Next networks, but it seems the firm is determined to penetrate the market further.

It recently announced that it is launching a high net worth brokerage with Mortgage Advice Bureau.

It remains to be seen how successful this venture will be and while I wish them the best of luck, some are beginning to wonder if the trend of consolidation is good for the industry.

LSL Property Services is another estate agency which has made a push into the mortgage market with the purchase of Home of Choice and Pink Home Loans.

It can safely be assumed that both Countrywide and LSL have grown to their current status because their boards contain a wealth of business acumen and experience.

It would then follow that their confidence in the mortgage industry flourishing again is the result of considerable research and bodes well for the industry.

And the fact that firms are purchasing networks, some but not all of which were ailing, has got to be preferable to seeing these businesses go to the wall.

It seems that neither Countrywide nor LSL is in a hurry to implement sweeping changes without first getting to know the market and their acquisitions.

Overall, it’s got to be a thumbs up. Now if only we could see some of the expected growth in the market.