So this is my 3rd Market Watch now and apart from the fact that I am still waiting for a decent photo rather than the one glaring at you now, I have already had a taste of the difficulties of this column and how people, and by people I mean lenders, react to it.
More in a sec, but first the headlines: Swaps have continued on their slight downward trajectory with LIBOR again holding firm.
Three-month LIBOR is unchanged at 1.09%.
1-year money is down 0.09% at 0.985%
2-year money is down 0.08% at 1.23%
3-year money is down 0.09% at 1.26%
5-year money is down 0.10% at 1.485%
Now for a quick plea. In writing this column there will be times when lenders will be mentioned because perhaps they have missed a trick or done something which needs to be looked at again. I can assure everyone that the point is not to sensationalise, to pick on lenders or companies for the sake of it or to stab lenders in the back. From my conversations with many lenders I appreciate the difficulties in this challenging environment and the broker community is here to support you.
The point of obtaining feedback from Twitter and other mediums is to get more dialogue going with the many great brokers who perhaps feel that sometimes their voices are not heard and refer to it if and when relevant.
All we need is to ensure that there is more communication between lenders and intermediaries, which on the whole has improved immeasurably in recent times, as well as the need for intermediaries to also understand the issues that lenders face.
New media is a great way for lenders to communicate, know what is being said about them and get their message out quickly. HSBC and Virgin are two examples that I have seen of lenders who use Twitter and communication very well to head off issues and connect with their customers.
For our industry to work effectively the relationship between producer and distributer must be as water-tight as it is between broker and customer.
Now that’s out of the way, with mortgages at their most affordable for 14 years according to research from Halifax, new products have been hitting the shelves more often than a John Terry remortgage application.
Skipton have released a 5.99% 5 year fixed available up to 95% LTV whilst Abbey have streamlined their products and simplified their range. They have also enhanced their Buy-To-Let proposition by reducing rates by 0.20% and launching new 2 year Tracker options at 60% and 75% LTV.
Woolwich have tweaked their terms on their reserve limit which affects offsets as well, so it is worthwhile reading this carefully. However, they have also provided some excellent retention products up to 95% LTV and rather nicely, do pay procuration fees on retention business.
Now is a very good time to call the vast amount of clients whose rates are due to mature in the next 3 months.
Andrew Lees, Paragon Mortgages’ head of sales, who is set to retire in February after 23 years with the business. One of the industries good guys and we all wish you a great retirement.
Although fortunately few and far between now, any lender who is not willing to communicate with intermediaries effectively. We all have the same ultimate goal and we should be working together.