mortgageforce: We’ve all turned a corner
At past conferences Kevin Duffy, managing director, had urged brokers to grit their teeth and battle through but this year’s audience heard more reassuring words.
He said: “Over the past five years the mortgage market has been a tough place but I now believe that we have all turned a corner. New lenders are entering the market creating more competition and a steady momentum of new business which points to a sustained recovery.”
Joining Duffy for an “ask the expert” question and answer session with mortgageforce brokers were Roger Morris, Precise Mortgages, David Copland, LSL, Rob Barnard, Aldermore and Paul Howard of Castle Trust.
Following a prediction earlier in the month from Stephen Noakes, home and lifestyle director, retail consumer products for Lloyds Banking Group, that gross mortgage lending market could hit £190bn in 2014 Duffy threw the question open to panellists to gauge the industry’s reaction.
Copland and Barnard thought £190bn was a realistic figure with the government’s Help to Buy Scheme driving up loan sizes due to the accessibility of higher loan to value mortgages.
But Morris had concerns that this figure could be held back by a lack of resource in the surveying sector.
He said: “I think £180bn to £185bn are is more realistic but the biggest obstacle to achieving this will come from the shortage of valuers.
“Unless the industry starts using more AVMs (Automated Valuation Models) we could struggle to hit those figures.”
Howard did not share the same doubts and went one step further with a gross lending prediction of £200bn.
He said: “The market can push towards £200bn I’m sure of it. I have faith in the recovering economy and I think the growth will be sustainable.”
Duffy added: “Whilst I am emboldened by Lloyds Banking Group’s prediction for a £190bn market next year even if it is £180bn that would be a landmark number and a full £50bn up from the market nadir.”