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Sellers&#39 packs overtaken, claims CML

The Council of Mortgage Lenders believes improvements to the housebuying process implemented in the last four years by lenders could render the Government&#39s proposals for sellers&#39 packs out of date.

Its figures show that the average time taken to make a mortgage offer has been cut from 22 days in 1998 to 15 now.

The CML&#39s research attributes this improvement, which has taken place in the four years since the Government put forward plans for sellers&#39 packs, to better use of technology by lenders. The improvements include online mortgage applications and improvements in credit assessment.

The CML says in a bid to introduce more certainty and cut waste in the system, the Government planned in the last Parliament to implement sellers&#39 packs but the CML warns that these proposals have shortcomings.

It believes the packs will be expensive to compile, the information contained will become outdated quickly and that improvements made by lenders could result in the evolution that the Government wants.

But it says there are still problems with the current system, including a tendency to delays, which cause stress and dissatisfaction among buyers and sellers. The CML wants lenders to continue to adopt new technology to improve the situation rather than wait for the Government to intervene.

Director general Michael Coogan says: “The Government is committed to legislate but does it need to? Lenders and other professionals in the homebuying process can implement changes to improve it.

“There is a real opportunity – and a responsibility – to embrace innovation and technology to bring about a better service for everyone based on the provision of more information for consumers earlier in the process.

“If the industry continues to take positive steps, the Government should not be in a hurry to intervene.”

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