I can’t believe this is my last column of 2012! On the one hand, we could not have had a better year for sport and it makes you proud to be British with the fantastic achievements from our truly inspirational sports men and women. On the other hand, the retail and financial sectors have had another tough ride…
We have seen the demise of retail giants and household names such as Comet and JJB. Many others are under extreme pressure to make ends meet. The Northern Rock brand, the first major public crash of a lender in 07, will also soon just be a name in history, replaced now by Virgin Money .
We were all optimistic and hoping for a hugely more positive year, but the reality is that lending remained pretty static, despite the requests from ‘the powers that be’, and volumes will finish not much different from those in 2011.
Interest only mortgages seem to be on their last legs as more lenders are withdrawing this option. The ‘Funding for Lending Scheme’ has received good press and appears to have had a positive impact. It has huge potential for 2013 and I hope this is expanded to help the smaller lenders, not just the high street big six.
Finally, who can forget that we have had MMR (Mortgage Market Review) installed upon us. Yet more regulation for the mortgage market, due to impact us all in April 2014. Good for mortgage brokers and mortgage advice! This is a parting gift from the FSA, as they change name to the FCA (Financial Conduct Authority), same people, possibly different location….! Roll on next year.
Thank you for reading my column. I really appreciate it and thrive on it being mentioned on a visit to our offices (or whilst in the Pub!) and I’m always happy to discuss a mortgage or the state of the market! It’s been an interesting challenge this year remaining positive when markets have been so tough. I’ve always tried to say it as it is and hope that has been beneficial in your decision making, when it comes to finding the right mortgage/company/brokerage!
Please let me know if there are any specific issues or areas you would like me to cover in coming months. You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call me on the above number. I’d be delighted to discuss with you.
On behalf of everyone at AToM, we wish you and your families a very Happy Christmas and a relaxing and prosperous New Year. We look forward to being of assistance to you in 2013…