New lenders face a tough market, says Pink’s MD

Tony Jones, managing director of Pink Home Loans, has questioned whether now is the right time for new lenders to enter the market.

He says the uncertainty of the housing market and predictions of an increase in the number of repossessions will not make it easy for new entrants.

He adds: “There are a lot of new players entering the mortgage lending market and we have to question whether the timing is right. The Bank of England chose to increase the base rate by 0.25%, which would suggest that a slowdown in the housing market may follow.

“Launching a new lender isn’t easy and it will be even more challenging in an unsteady market.”

The Council of Mortgage Lenders has forecast an increase in arrears and repossessions. The number of mortgages in arrears of three months or more on monthly repayments by the end of 2007 is predicted to be 130,000 rather than 120,000. The number of repossessions in both 2006 and 2007 is forecast to be 15,000, up from the previous forecast of 12,000.

However, Martin Reynolds, director of corporate accounts at edeus, says lenders should be aware of market conditions when they launch, but it depends on what they have to offer.

He says: “There are always risks involved for any new lender entering the market. However, it depends what the lender is offering and we are confident about our proposition. We do take into account things such as the recent CML data, but there is still strong demand for housing.”

Jones warns that it will be a case of survival of the fittest when the lenders hit the market.

He says: “Whatever area of the market they enter, the sheer number of new entrants will make it an extremely competitive environment and only the fittest will survive.

“The new lenders will need to be backed by a well capitalised organisation to be as competitive as this market will require them to be. Existing lenders may also need to revise their pricing models to keep up with what may be quite a fast-paced pricing war.”