Get ready to step down a gear
Peter Williams is executive director of the Intermediary Mortgage Lenders Association
To end the first quarter of 2014 with gross mortgage lending up by 37% year-on-year would put us on track for an annual total around the £240bn mark if the same rate of increase continues for the rest of the year.
Of course, the market’s improving performance at the end of last year means we’re unlikely to see the same level of uplift through until December.
More importantly, we’re less than 10 days from the most significant recent change in mortgage market regulations, which will shift us down a gear as lenders and brokers adapt to new systems and processes underpinning affordability tests.
Brokers and lenders have been working hard to prepare and do their best to take the changes in their stride.
Beyond the inevitable dampening effect as the new regime takes effect, we are still looking at a strengthening recovery which puts IMLA’s forecast of £215bn gross lending for 2014 within reach.
Pent up demand from first time buyers is fuelling the chances of a long term, sustainable recovery, but these also hinge on efforts to tackle the woefully inadequate housing supply and calm housing inflation.