For mine, I thought I’d focus on the year ahead, and specifically what I’d like to see. It makes sense to look forward rather than back.
With industry standards in mind, a major request on my 2013 wish list would be for the FSA to reveal its plans for the regulation of secured loans, so we can begin to make the necessary preparations.
I’d also like to see more product innovation within the second charge market. Prices are OK at present but there’s definitely room for more creative product design.
I’d particularly like to see a lender thrown down the LTV gauntlet in the New Year.
On the subject of lenders, there’s certainly a lot more room in the secured loans market not just for new lenders to enter but existing ones to put their foot down and be more aggressive.
Demand is incredibly strong but the market remains fundamentally underserved.
More participants will drive competition, product diversity and market growth, which is what the market needs to fully recover from the dark days of 2008 and 2009.
Within the bridging sector, product innovation and criteria enhancement will definitely be preferable to reduced pricing in 2013, as the market is already cheap enough. Criteria and ease of finance are key.
At a macro level, I would love to see a continued rise in standards across the short-term lending sector. It has already improved immeasurably over the past couple of years and it should continue along this path.
The short-term finance industry has a chance to establish itself once and for all as a viable alternative finance channel. It shouldn’t squander that chance.
Let’s keep it all legitimate, transparent, professional and above-board.
Oh, and one last thing. It would be fantastic if forecasts from the Office for Budget Responsibility, predicting a 20 per cent rise in property transactions and prices to exceed inflation in 2013, proved accurate.