Your Views: Property 118 deserves brokers’ support

Property 118 has saved brokers from being sued; it deserves your support

I think it is very much in the interests of the industry that Property 118 members are prepared to fight for their rights and hold mortgage lenders to account.

The actions of West Brom in raising its tracker rates without a rise in Bank rate caused a loss of faith in the mortgage industry. Hopefully the win at the Court of Appeal will help to restore that.

Being a retired broker, I would also like to point out that many people affected by the tracker rate hikes imposed by West Brom, and previously by Bank of Ireland, wanted to sue brokers for not advising them correctly.

They would have had a very good case if Property 118 had not got the Court of Appeal to overturn the FOS and the High Court rulings. Many customers started initial proceedings on exactly that basis but I talked them out of it and managed to redirect their anger to West Brom.

I hope to be able to do the same with the borrowers affected by similar examples at BoI, Skipton BS and Manchester BS.

It is very much in brokers’ interests to support these cases too. If they do not, and if sufficient money is not raised to take those lenders to court, the FOS rulings will stand and brokers’ PI policies will be at risk. The ambulance chasers will not stay parked forever.

Property 118 Action Group is crowdfunding to raise the money necessary to fight these legal battles. Please see: www.crowdfunder.co.uk/property118-action-group.
Mark Alexander
Founder, Property 118

As the new-build sector picks up, well-informed brokers will benefit

The inadequate supply line of new, and affordable, homes is a longstanding conundrum. Finding a solution remains a key priority for a flourishing housing market and, at a time when unavoidable uncertainty continues to cloud the economic horizon, it is good to see some positive statistics emerge within the housebuilding sector.

The recent Housebuilding Report 2016 from Knight Frank outlined that more than half of the housebuilders surveyed had said their businesses would be stepping up starts and completions over the next 12 months. Twenty-four per cent suggested their completions would rise by 10 per cent while a further 11 per cent expected a rise of up to 25 per cent.

The data appears to confirm the forward strides being made by the sector, largely on the back of a variety of government programmes and amid strong homebuyer demand.

The availability of land on which to build, the actual numbers being built plus the affordability and quality of these new homes remain a tough balancing act for the Government, housebuilders and developers to contend with.

For intermediaries, the steady growth of the new-build sector underlines the importance of ensuring that any affiliations within this marketplace are built on equally solid foundations.

It is also important that intermediaries prioritise the best interests of the customer buying a new-build home, in terms of product (and therefore lender) selection.

Opportunities will continue to present themselves and it will be those intermediaries who are best informed or have the most robust referral process in place whose business will also gain a significant boost from this important part of the housing market.
Tony Fullbrook
Head of mortgage purchases, Barclays Mortgages