With the latest Nationwide HPI Data pointing to a slowing property market and today’s Halifax HPI Data suggesting a similar trend the mortgage and property market continues to be a turbulent place.
The uncertainty and discomfort that brokers and advisers have had to deal with in the last 12 month alone has created numerous problems when dealing with the market and dealing with clients.
At IFA Magazine we asked mortgage and property experts what the single biggest challenge for them is when trying to place mortgage or remortgage business at the moment.
Ranald Mitchell, Director at Charwin Private Clients: “The buying and selling market may be slowing but it is only a blip. With the demand for housing very strong, coupled with a chronic shortage of supply, this will only go one way. Purchase activity is double-edged, with slightly lower prices on the market but vastly increased costs of a mortgage, means you win one way and lose the other.
“Remortgage activity will be largely unaffected by what is going on. The average loan-to-value is very low, so anyone remortgaging will not be short of options. It is all about affordability for them, and always have product switches with their existing lender to rely on.”
Joe Stallard, Director and Advisor at House and Holiday Home Mortgages: “With people coming off lower rates in the majority of circumstances, the biggest challenge currently is working through people’s figures and helping ensure things are still affordable. Right now brokers need to spend more time than ever helping people consider exactly what they need to know to make the right decision.
“With fluctuations and rapid changes, there’s a lot to take in. So, explaining all available, relevant options as we help people navigate the new landscape is a battle we’re determined to win. And as much as possible, we try to start conversations early, at least 6 months before rate expiry.”
Kundan Bhaduri, Property Developer and Portfolio Landlord at The Kushman Group: “As a portfolio landlord and developer, getting mortgages through in the current economic landscape poses its own set of challenges. The favourable decrease in house prices is indeed something many have wished for over the years. This will directly benefit investors and first-time buyers by easing their entry into the market, however, as affordability has dipped and stress tests have gone up, borrowers now require higher deposits to make a deal work.
“The current state of the market necessitates a proactive approach from the Treasury, considering how mortgage products have become prohibitively costly, and many lenders now price gouging consumers with absolutely crazy product fees. Where these fees used to typically range from £995 to 2% of borrowing only a year ago on a BTL mortgage, there are now products with nearly £50,000 in fees.
“The Treasury and CMA need to smell the coffee and act fast on these price-gouging techniques with the FCA coming down heavy on firms that don’t comply.”
Paul Welch, Founder and CEO at Large Mortgage Loans:“Clients believing that rates will come back down”
Darryl Dhoffer, Mortgage Expert at The Mortgage Expert: “The biggest challenge I think we are all facing is – Confidence – from sellers and buyers alike. With consecutive Bank Of England, rate rises, the cost of living increases, and now house price reductions in some areas of the country, the biggest challenge for any seller or buyer currently, and burning questions being asked are – Should I sell now? Should I buy it now? When will rates stabilise?
“There is an appetite from clients, but a growing trend of no confidence. Until we get a stabilising of interest rates and also house prices, can we then see confidence come back to the market”