We are very wary of random statistics predicting annual market outturns, especially at the start of a year, but the early 2020 signs indicate that pent-up demand might finally be released. So why are we feeling positive at this time?
Firstly, in respect of lending, UK Finance has reported that December 2019 lending saw an uplift across all sectors. The number of re-mortgage loans where borrowers sought additional borrowing was up 5.9% compared to a year earlier, lending to movers was up 3.2%, the number of mortgages for landlords purchasing properties increased by 3.6% and there was a marginal uplift in lending to first-time buyers.
Secondly, the level of UK employment has increased to a record high of 32.9m people.
Thirdly, the ONS has announced that real weekly earnings have beaten their pre-financial crisis peak for the first time since 2008.
At the same time, lenders are fighting for mortgage business and as a result rates/margins are being slashed and credit risk appetites expanded.
Even considering the challenges that remain around the lack of housing stock, overall we see the housing market looking buoyant, hence our positivity.
Despite this positive position, mortgage intermediaries are worried – they have seen this all before. They reluctantly expect that as volumes increase customer service levels decline – it’s predictable; they say. But it doesn’t have to be that way.
We have also seen it before – that is why we have built our ‘staffing services’ team. We know lenders cannot staff to a level to manage their highest predicted volume, because of the additional fixed costs involved. Equally they don’t want to lose hard fought intermediary partners by not delivering service level expectations. That is where we come in – lenders utilise our trained and skilled workforce to help manage peak flows and/or staffing shortages. Our team of industry experts can assist with all aspects of mortgage processing including underwriting, collections, customer engagement and QC across all product types.
Give us a call to see how we can help you manage your business flow through the 2020 peaks.