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John Malone: Future of the mortgage market is looking promising

In his final column before he steps down from PMS, John Malone gives his views on the future of the mortgage market.


It is that time of the year again when most businesses are doing their planning, budgets, sales targets and forecasts for the year ahead.

As this is my final Mortgage View column I thought it appropriate to share with you a few thoughts and predictions of my own before I exit the stage in December.

On the basis that this year’s gross mortgage completions will be approximately £160bn – give or take a billion – then it is not out of the question that we will see completions next year exceed £175bn, particularly with all of the various government schemes in place.

A slight slowdown is expected between mid-March and the end of May next year. This is due to the implementation of the Mortgage Market Review, which could have an impact on some lenders’ systems as the new procedures are tested.

On the upside, lenders such as Santander, NatWest Group and Skipton Building Society are already announcing that they intend to increase their lending volumes over the course of the next year, which makes the outlook for 2014 very promising.

Next year, could we also see all lenders paying the same procuration fees, regardless of the distribution between appointed representatives (AR) and directly authorised (DA) brokers

As we now know, with the lenders’ recently implemented metric systems, the quality for both channels is much the same, with some DA introducers and distribution better than some of the AR networks.

As this is my final column, I would also like to make a couple of light hearted predictions. Arsenal will win their first trophy for many years and Arsene Wenger decides to retire. The American owners of Manchester United bring in Ben Ainslie as United can only win one game in eight. Alex Salmond announces that if Glasgow Rangers win the Ramsden Cup, they will automatically qualify for the European competitions. Meanwhile, the Americans win the Ryder Cup and the ‘yes’ vote is blown!

As for me, well who knows? In December I leave PMS after 18 years. The business is in good hands and the difficult times for our industry are hopefully well behind us. Over this period I have met some incredible people, formed great friendships along the way, and have been well supported throughout by the product providers and, most of all, the intermediary community.

Finally, thanks to the many staff at Centaur for their invaluable support and coverage of the many industry issues that we have worked together on over the years.

I will continue to monitor industry developments with great interest, along with my predictions for the year ahead. Thanks to you all for the memories, best wishes for 2014 and beyond.

John Malone is executive chairman at PMS


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