The right blend of quality and quantity

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There are a number of scenarios where size isn’t everything.

Bigger isn’t always better and in the mortgage world we can often get too absorbed by the numbers game.

But when bigger = more choice and flexibility for borrowers then it’s difficult to get away from the fact that this is actually the preferred scenario.

However on the flip side bigger can also mean more complex and more confusing.

So does this mean it’s not necessarily better after all? Well, yes and no. Anyway, that’s enough talking in riddles.

According to recent figures from the Mortgage Advice Bureau the average number of mortgage products available in July exceeded 10,000 for the first time in nearly five years.

July’s average of 10,262 products was said to be 33% higher than the 7,736 on offer last July, 97 per cent up on the 5,208 products on offer three years ago and a massive 198 per cent up on the 3,442 products on offer in July 2009.

Better? Most certainly. More lending, more products and more choice can only be a good thing.

And it’s choice that is the most important component in this particular numbers equation. Increased competition is great but if it’s only the same band of borrowers that benefit then the bigger = better equation falls a little flat.

This is where innovation and diversity work to best support volume. Now back to the complexity issue. When all these factors come into play it does inevitably add a layer of complexity for borrowers but this isn’t a bad thing either, especially for the intermediary market. It only serves to underline the importance of the advice process in uncovering the best available deal.

And because of the amount of available good quality advice consumers certainly don’t have to be weighed down by any potential confusion, thus ensuring that a sensible mix of quality and quantity can go a long way in helping the market to meet a variety of borrowing requirements.