By and large, 2011 was a pretty good year for the industry. Lending volumes stabilised after the carnage of the previous few years, dual pricing was pretty much behind us and most of the best deals were once again available via the broker market.
Here are a few of the things I’d like to see in the coming year.
1. We need a swift resolution to the eurozone debt crisis and an improvement in the wider global macroeconomic situation. If this can be resolved in a relatively swift and orderly fashion, then hopefully the UK can avoid another recession or, even worse for brokers, another credit crunch.
2. A steady and sustainable increase in house prices.
3. Gross lending volumes across the industry to rise further.
4. Lenders to focus even more on the broker market, eliminating dual pricing altogether (or tilting this in favour of brokers) and investing more in online systems and processing for brokers.
5. Increased provision of high LTV mortgages and higher lending multiples where appropriate.
6. New lenders in the mortgage market, increasing product innovation and competition.
7. Relaxation of criteria on new build mortgages, boosting constrained lending levels.
8. Increased competition and innovation in buy-to-let, with higher LTV products and a return to fixed arrangement fees. Santander has finally made its entry into this market so hopefully other lenders will follow.