AMI predicts flat mortgage market in 2011

The Association of Mortgage Intermediaries is predicting a flat mortgage market for 2011 in its Quarterly Economic Bulletin.

The Bulletin predicts similar levels of housing transactions and lending levels for 2011 as 2010.

It also identifies that despite higher LTV mortgages being offered, the proportion of borrowers who were first time buyers fell in 2010.

It also suggests that restricted supply and strong tenant demand will improve buy-to-let finance and keep rents rising.

And it forecasts that remortgage figures will continue to rise.

But it says regional house price disparities will intensify as public spending cuts will hit the north hardest.

Robert Sinclair, director of AMI, expects the Q4 2010 GDP figures to be revised upwards from their 0.5% drop.

“Inflation will continue to increase pressure for a rise in interest rates. However, the Monetary Policy Committee will continue to balance the competing risks of driving the economy backwards against the need to minimise the damaging impacts of inflation.

“Broadly we expect housing transactions, house prices and lending levels to match last year. 

“This year could be a carbon copy of 2010. However the second half of the year still has potential for an upside if government decides it needs to encourage more support for first time buyers.

“The bright spots will be the buy-to-let sector and a pick up in re-mortgaging, for those who can meet lenders strict criteria and fear the risks of rate rises.”