Intermediaries predict 2010 will be positive

Nia Williams

February 1, 2010

Two thirds of intermediaries (66%) believe that business will be better this year, in comparison to 2009, buoyed by the general belief (74%) of the sector that house prices will rise by up to 5% in 2010.

The majority of intermediaries (74%) believe that interest rates will rise by a maximum of 0.5 percentage points to 1% by the end of the year.

However intermediaries continue to have concerns. Despite their otherwise optimistic outlook, the survey has revealed that 50% of intermediaries continue to be worried about the availability of funds in 2010, whilst 39% believe that unfair dual pricing will continue to be a major challenge for the sector.

The FSA’s Mortgage Market Review Paper is also causing some concern amongst intermediaries with 12% believing that the challenges caused by the paper will be great. Over three quarters (80%) of brokers also believe that despite months of consultation with the industry the FSA’s recommendations will only be slightly different to its original plans.

Platform, the intermediary lender of The Co-operative Financial Services, launched the Intermediary Outlook Survey to give intermediaries the opportunity to voice their predictions for the year ahead.

David Tweedy, director of Platform, said: “The research has shown that intermediaries are confident that the next 12 months will be positive for the market and that the sector is ready to do business.

“As a lender that listens to the sector we are committed to regularly engaging with the market to seek its views and concerns. We believe that the Platform Intermediary Outlook Survey, which will be regularly revisited, not only gives the industry a good indication of what the year may bring, but it gives mortgage providers an unrivalled opportunity to reassess their proposition and service practices by accurately gauging the position of the market.

“As this is the first survey that we have commissioned we hope to expand the survey going forwards and welcome any suggestions from the intermediary sector.”

Dual pricing continues to be a major issue for the sector with nearly a third (64%) of intermediaries wanting to see it abolished in 2010. Whilst 22% believe the service levels of providers need to be improved.

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