This is the time of year when we usually see excitable lenders grappling for position in order to both finish the year with a bang and build up a pipeline which will start to complete going into the New Year; 2015 is no exception.
Some expected there to be a cooling off due to lenders preparing for a new set of regulations coming in next year from our friends in Brussels, (more on that another time, but nothing to worry about), but this is patently not the case. Regulation has still had an effect however and is the reason why, in the aftermath of the Mortgage Market Review, some lenders are still playing catch up.
In fact, the only real reason for targets not to be hit this year is nothing to do with demand from borrowers, as most brokers would seem to testify, but with the fact that lenders criteria and affordability calculations have been tight. This has left them with a smaller pool of borrowers to aim at and we have been saying all year that reducing rates will only go so far in increasing business levels.
The key area where most of the uplift for lenders will come will be in criteria changes and this is where we are focussing our lender discussions.
We have already seen some changes in this regard, for example where interest only is concerned, more lenders improving self-employed and contractor offerings, but there is much more to be done. There are still too many potential borrowers feeling disenfranchised and I suspect we will see more changes over the course of the quarter and into next year.
Service would be another factor, but for some reason we have seen lenders also struggle with this over the past few months and those that get this right quickly will be the main winners in the end of year dash.
The good news however and the message we need to get out, is that there are mortgage products available for most borrowers and some pretty good options at that.