13 December 2018

Thank you for voting us 'Bridging broker of the year!' - have a fantastic Christmas!

Wow, another year gone!  Time is flying by and it’s certainly a case of ‘blink and you’ll miss it’!

2018 has been pretty flat with a predicted overall mortgage volume of circa £260bn, slightly up on 2017.   Next year is predicted to be much the same, but with the current shenanigans around Brexit, who knows what will happen…  

Technology was due to take over the mortgage market and ‘Robo Advice’ predicted to be at the front of the customer experience.  Despite millions being spent, this couldn’t be further from the truth and has no defined future on the immediate horizon.  72% of all mortgages generated are via brokers/intermediaries and I can’t see this changing.  You’re entering in to the biggest debt of your life and questions need answering.  You just can’t beat the human touch!

Many lenders have yet to evolve with the digital era and those who will win will be the ones offering quality technology, but also the human impact for those who prefer or need it.

On a personal note, I really appreciate you reading my column!  Mortgages can be a dull subject and I’ve tried to provide an unbiased insight to what happens in the mortgage world, with a little bit of humour along the way!

A huge thank you to everyone who has instructed AToM to source and arrange their mortgage during the past twelve months. It has been a fantastic year and we have enjoyed substantial growth in volume, completions and headcount in the AToM team located between our two Horsham offices.  We have a fantastic team and they are a truly hardworking and knowledgeable group of people.

Finally, we were delighted to win ‘Bridging Broker of the Year’ at last weeks Mortgage Introducer Awards 2018!  We really are grateful to all who voted for us.

On behalf of all the staff and directors at AToM, we wish you and your families a very Happy Christmas and a Relaxing and Prosperous New Year!  Roll on 2019!

06 December 2018

Coming to the end of your product term? Be wary....

As I have said before and with the run up to year end, lenders have been actively looking at their offerings and loosening their criteria, positively. Some rates have even been reduced and nearly all re-mortgage deals now come with a contribution to valuations and legal fees to keep the cost of changing lenders to a minimum.  There’s no excuse to be sitting on a high rate when you don’t need to be!

Also, BEWARE, that some lenders are sending out letters to those coming to the end of their product term offering them new rates, but giving them a deadline in which to switch.  We had one customer recently who was four months out from their current rate changing from a fixed rate and moving on to the lenders Standard Variable rate.  They were offered some great new rates to stay with the lender, but had a deadline of just two weeks in which to accept, even though the product wasn’t changing for four months!  This is not acceptable, no one should be pressured to accept a deal and we have passed this example on to the industry trade body to take on.  However, some customers might accept this and go with the deal.  What if rates decrease in the next three months?  You’d be annoyed.  Read the small print, do not panic and get expert advice. 

And finally, do you look at your financial budgets frequently?  A report from a well known credit referencing agency has suggested that over 78% of mortgage people surveyed are not currently budgeting for a rate rise.  We all know rates will rise at some point, probably after Brexit now, but nobody knows when this will happen!  Many people asked did not know how much a rate rise would cost them on a monthly basis, despite many respondents believing rates would rise over the next twelve months! A 1% rise on a £100,000 mortgage can increase the monthly payment by as much as £83.  As we go in to some months of uncertainty, and especially with regards to the cost of funding within the mortgage market, do make sure you are ready for all eventualities.