It’s been a year where we were supposedly out of recession but certainly not into full
recovery! Business volumes remained constant throughout the year, yet the smaller Building societies/mutuals were, apparently, the only ones actively crying out for more! Bank of England Base rate remained at 0.5% for the year with speculation constantly evaluating when it may rise (currently estimated to be late 2012/early 2013). The emergence of Short Term lenders (Bridging Finance) was highly noticeable and this area flourished. First Time Buyers were given a ‘boost’ with the launch of the Governments FirstBuy scheme yet there was no change to the decision to end the Stamp Duty holiday in March 2012. The State Bank of India launched in the UK, Abbey for Intermediaries (Santander) launched in to the Buy to Let market and Virgin Money bid for Northern Rock. AToM turned 20 years young! Social media and technology appears to have taken over day to day attention and let’s not forget the Royal Wedding! European issues continue to make the headlines. Finally, just a few days before Christmas, the FSA has issued a 400 page consultation paper on the Mortgage Market Review (MMR) – new rules and regulations for the industry due for implementation in 2013. I will cover this in detail in the New Year….
So what for 2012? Many have predicted a stable market with no sign of growth in lending volumes compared to 2011. Total mortgage lending is estimated to remain around the £136-£140bn mark. House prices are predicted to remain the same in the south and who can guess what will happen to BBR? We know it will rise, but no one knows when! MMR will cause a stir when implementation is announced later in the year. Lenders haven’t made it easy for borrowers in 2011, don’t expect that to change in 2012. All the more reason to use a whole of market independent mortgage brokerage (AToM!). Last plug of the year!
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The directors and staff at AToM wish you and your families a very Merry Christmas and a relaxing and prosperous New Year. We look forward to being of assistance to you during 2012.