Too slow to catch a cold


May 12, 2014

Godfrey Blight is a director at Crown Mortgage Management

Bizarre as it may seem, is it possible that soon using a mortgage to purchase a property could be putting buyers at a massive disadvantage and it will only be those with access to cash that will succeed.

Extreme I know, but with a booming property market in the south of the country and other areas catching up fast, we now see prices running away. We now have far too many potential buyers and not nearly enough properties to meet the demand. We are currently seeing open days, sealed bids, offers over the asking price and gazumping. It is all starting to sound far too familiar. I have heard tales of 60 – 70 viewings of a flat in London over one weekend and have personally seen numerous couples viewing the upstairs of a property while others are viewing downstairs at the same time. Then cue the rush for the mobile to get an offer in to the estate agent before the other viewers – fastest finger first!

Now in such a market when you find the home of your dreams you need to move quickly and efficiently! See your bank or building society, get the right advice on the product that is best for you, make an application, instruct your solicitor, get a survey done (to confirm you have overpaid), exchange contacts, get everything working towards completion and…oh no its taken so long that you have been out gunned by a last minute cash investor who has snapped up your perfect home in front of your very eyes!

So the mortgage market has responded with, the long awaited introduction of, the MMR.

The MMR has introduced exhaustive form filling, income expenditure questions and subsequent analysis extending the application process by as much as three weeks, some people are saying.

Mortgage products are becoming slightly less competitive to ease us gently into the new regime as the new processes find their feet.

There don’t seem to be enough advisers across the retailer banks so we hear of weeks to get an appointment for that essential advice. Go to a broker I hear you say.

Surveyors as rare as rocking horse stuff, so allow not days but weeks to get your mortgage valuation done and a little longer if you sensibly want a home buyers report.

Yes that’s about it I am afraid…it’s called progress?

From a market where the consumer should be king, service paramount and technological capability high we seem to be unable to meet the needs of our consumers.

We are struggling in our ability to deliver the correct product to the right customer quickly and efficiently in a compliant manner so they can succeed with their potential house purchase transaction, the biggest they will ever undertake in their lives.

Very frustrating that mortgage customers should be suffering such delivery when we see this week many of our favourite financial services brands investing heavily in PAYM a mobile app so that you can send your mate the tenner you owe them instantly!

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