View more on these topics

Embrace an easier selling environment

My local estate agent called me last week to discuss a valuation I’d had done on my property almost two years ago.

It took me by surprise as I’d had the valuation done for insurance purposes, but the reason for the estate agent’s call was something completely different.

It turns out that the housing market in my area is picking up, with demand outweighing supply.

The agent said that it’s a tough environment for them and the lack of houses for sale is a big issue that no amount of marketing or calling customers on file is going to solve.

In many respects I see this as a positive – finally we’re seeing consumer appetite and thus some confidence in the system again.

The recent announcement from Halifax that although house prices rose in October, they’re still 2.3% lower than at the end of 2009 only makes me think we could begin to see signs of recovery in the housing and mortgage market.

I can see opportunities for first-time buyers, who potentially have cleaner credit records and because the average house price now sits at just under £165,000.

This has a knock-on effect on other markets such as retail, especially outlets that are focussed on home improvements.

It’s been a tough year but maybe now is the time for advisers to see the beginnings of an easier selling environment, not just for mortgages but related protection insurance too.

Long may the good news continue, although I could really do without cold calls from estate agents.



Remortgage market to stage renaissance

The intermediary mortgage sector has waited a long time for signs of resurgence in lending activity. But until now it has had to subsist on a starvation diet of strictly controlled prime purchase business, with a small portion of remortgage business. Lending is still hugely restricted in its scope and attitude to risk, and uncertainty […]


Automated updates keep brokers happy

I think I speak for the majority of people when I say that going to the dentist is hardly a pleasurable experience. For one, it’s generally not comfortable and two, the smell makes me regress back to the scared child trapped inside me. But on the positive side at least the standards of service have […]


Social housing cuts will affect landlords

Despite plans to build 150,000 affordable homes over the next four years, the chancellor’s announcement that social housing funding will be cut by more than 60% and new tenants will have to pay higher rents is likely to impact landlords and residents. But the major banks are reluctant to lend on buy-to-let and the issue […]

2017 and the savings landscape…

Anyone who is involved in the world of workplace savings will recognise that the last few months have been rather interesting to say the least. At the start of the year both employers and the pensions industry were braced for major changes to UK pension tax reliefs in the March Budget. Yet shortly before the […]


News and expert analysis straight to your inbox

Sign up