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Phoenix Nights & House Price Daze


Tuesday night was spent in the company of the great and the good of the mortgage industry at an awards do, and I must say it was really great to catch up with many a mortgage legend, or leg end by the end of the evening!

The overriding feeling was that most had had an optimistic and relatively successful June, but we have seen this before. A terrific month late last year was followed by the cliff fall that was the collapse of Lehman’s’ which is now seen as a massive faux pas by those who allowed this to happen.

The point is that the next few months, certainly over the traditionally quieter summer period, are going to be tough for many in the industry. Lenders are still battening down the hatches, see Abbeys ever-tightening criteria, and interest rates on products continue to edge upwards as lenders appetite to lend is still subdued at best.

The confusion around house prices continues as the latest Halifax property survey shows a decline in June, albeit a small one and following a large rise in May, of 0.5%.

With no one expecting any change in the Bank Base Rate this year the only real decision for the MPC is whether they will extend the policy of Quantitative Easing. I believe they will at least apply to use up the remaining amount initially set out, and may well look for a further extension of funds.

The positive news is that almost everyone seems to believe we have now reached the bottom, and whether or not we bump around the sea bed for a while, which is highly likely, a feeling that we have seen the worst is welcome.

I still believe the rest of this year remains tight, especially for mortgage brokers, as lenders continue to ignore pleas of sanctuary and split the market. To this end we all need to concentrate on getting our own houses in order.

It is interesting to hear that some commentators like to pass comments on things they clearly do not understand.

Like how a team of like minded managers, brokers and administrators, frustrated and ignored for a long time and with no controlling rights in their last company, form their own company without the majority of the previous owners and be mentioned as a Phoenix! Especially when some of them also belong to one of the biggest groups of creditors in the last business and are out of pocket.

Perhaps these people should concentrate on justifying their own independent advice to consumers and keeping their own staff happy.

We all need to concentrate on how we work together as an industry. As I mentioned on Twitter the other day, these events remind me that there are some great and wonderful people in our industry, who I thank for their continued messages of support.

Together we are strong and continue to stand up for the rights of the consumer.

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