As you know we love to have guest bloggers on our site from time to time and we always try to keep them relevent. Here is a brilliant insight into the mortgage market by renowned Hampshire based financial adviser, Stuart Gregory. He is regularly asked for his expert opinion on shows such as Radio 5, and is very active on social media so make sure you follow him if you are on Twitter! Here are his thoughts on the year so far and his predictions for 2014.
2014 – what will it bring?
It seems odd to think that 2013 is almost over – how these months have flown by!
In the mortgage world, it has felt like a year of progression, with the Government’s Funding for
Lending Scheme leading the way in the increase of competition between lenders.
Fixed rates have never been cheaper – time will tell how long they stay this low, as confidence
returns to the market, and lenders get busier. One way the lenders control their business levels is by
managing the rates they offer the public, so be warned!
Help to Buy was launched – well, in April, Stage One anyway. Stage Two was….launched. Then, not
really. Not until January at least whilst some lenders do the sensible thing and get their ‘systems’ in
place before the original planned launch date. Those that did launch have seen an influx of
I’m still in the ‘not sure’ camp regarding the scheme overall – yes it has benefitted the new build
housing market, but there maybe a limit to that benefit.
Some new build developments have been placed on hold whilst they wait for more materials to be
available. This is an issue caused by increasing confidence and desire from buyers – probably from
the Help to Buy scheme.
It does leave you wondering whether the Government departments actually thought about the
impact on the housing suppliers – some of which who are now waiting 14 weeks for bricks…and
You couldn’t make it up could you?
Housing is an industry waking from its recession led slumber – instead of waking it up slowly and
lovingly with a cup of tea in bed, Mr Cameron et al have used the bucket of cold water option.
Which is fine – but you may not get the reaction you’d hoped for.
So, demand for housing is up – but do we need to beware of bubbles? Well, more in London
apparently. Recent Land Registry statistics showed that year on year, prices had risen only 1.3% in
England & Wales, whilst rising over 7% in London.
What we’re seeing now are ‘supply and demand’ issues – improved underwriting procedures and the
forthcoming Mortgage Market Review in April 2014 will ensure that lending doesn’t get carried
As we look ahead to 2014 I see it as potentially the year of the remortgage – as many borrowers
consider their options. It certainly could be a year of opportunity, as we enter the potential final
year of the Funding for Lending Scheme.
The scheme is currently designed to end in January 2015, when the funding of mortgages is likely to
go back to the volatility of the money markets.
If someone would have predicted that we’d see 5 year fixed rates under 3% two years ago – we may
well have laughed.
The opportunity is now there for borrowers, whether moving home or improving their situation.
Stuart Gregory is Managing Director of Lentune Mortgage Consultancy – www.lentunegroup.com
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Stuart can also be followed on Twitter – @Mortgage_Stu