Market Watch: Long way to go to make the public aware of what we do

We need more honest dialogue as we still have a long way to go to make the public aware of what we do and how we value our service 


I get the distinct impression, from both the plethora of swear words in our office and the grumblings of discontent on Twitter, that brokers are finding things tough at the moment. 

There are a number of issues, notably lender service, simple applications that end up feeling like pulling teeth, conveyancing inefficiency and valuers’ interpretations.

Meanwhile, we still have a long way to go to make the public aware of what we do and how we value our service. Things have to change.

The Council of Mortgage Lenders’ latest statistics show mortgage lending grew by 9 per cent in July, the highest monthly total for seven years. A busy final quarter is also forecast as lenders desperately try to hit their end-of-year targets.

Service is going to be tested once more and our relationships with clients and lenders need to be strong. There must be more honest dialogue, not just for the industry’s sake but also for borrowers, who find the market ever more confusing. There are still too many prospective borrowers finding the lending market tough, so further relaxation of criteria, which has come into play since the MMR, is needed.

As for transitional rules, we should not allow this idea to die predicated simply on what the Mortgage Credit Directive may say. Too many borrowers’ security is at risk to brush this under the carpet.

In the markets this week, three-month Libor is still at 0.59 per cent while swap rates have continued to enjoy their summer strolldown.

2-year money is down 0.04 at 1.06%

3-year money is down 0.05 at 1.28%

5-year money is down 0.07 at 1.59%

10-year money is down 0.08 at 1.94%

Halifax has introduced a nice £500 cashback offer on all first-time buyer products, while offering a combined product range for further advances and product transfers. Two-year fixes start at 1.69 per cent and four-year products from 2.44 per cent.

Santander, meanwhile, is kicking off its latest rate purge by reducing two-year fixes at 85 and 90 per cent LTV by up to 0.26 per cent. I believe it is looking to increase its residential business so more changes will likely follow.

Accord has reduced rates a smidgen while Saffron has a 90 per cent LTV professional mortgage priced at 3.99 per cent as a five-year discount. Fees are £1,550 with no penalties and borrowers can repay capital at any time, reducing their mortgage rate if they move into a lower LTV band.

The buy-to-let war goes on with an offensive from TMW, which is cutting rates by up to 50bps. Fixes start at 2.19 per cent and trackers at just 1.94 per cent. A new fee-free 65 per cent LTV two-year fix has also been introduced at 2.99 per cent.

Finally, Barclays has become the first lender to announce its MCD start date, phasing in changes from November. It is starting, folks: confusion and fun await.