View more on these topics

We need more 90% choices

I will start my column by apologising for the drop in quality from my regular articles. My professional ghost writer, Melanie Bien, is awaiting the arrival of her first child and the tried and tested method of my ideas and her words is on hold for three months. For now, you will have to make do with my ideas and my words.

Over the last few weeks, I have noticed an increase in appetite from the main five lenders for higher loan to value business.

Previously, the supply chain focused on ultra-safe sub-60 per cent business, the ultra-safe benchmark has now moved to between 70 per cent and 75 per cent, with new product ranges from Woolwich and Abbey reflecting this.

This suggests that credit and risk departments are more com- fortable with the outlook for the housing market despite the material differences between the house price indices from Nationwide and Halifax.

However, 75 per cent mortgages remain out of reach for a large number of homeovers and first-time buyers. I have no desire to see the return of 100 per cent-plus mortgages but we clearly need more choice in the 90 per cent area.

Purchasing a property with a 10 per cent deposit requires a significant borrower commitment and should be viewed positively. Abbey stands out as the only main lender providing a solution, albeit a five-year fixed rate at 7.09 per cent. The recent increase in demand for mortgages is at risk of stalling unless more lenders enter this market.

I will sign off with a comment on dual-pricing, which appears to be raising its ugly head once again.

The lenders I talk to blame each other, citing the need to maintain a competitive branch offering. Despite this, one or two have continued to operate fairly and with clarity, in particular, Nationwide, which has maintained a consistent approach throughout.

Even in the turmoil of the current market, the intermediary sector will deliver well over 50 per cent of the market and, as better times return, I hope we all have long enough memories to remember those that showed their full support.

Mark Harris is managing director of Savills Private Finance


Public confused by wide choice

FSA chairman Lord Turner may have signalled a change of direction in conduct of business regulation last week when he questioned whether consumers have too much investment choice.

Choose life…

Sarah Scott  – Marketing Consultant, Royal London  This month sees the return of Renton, Sickboy, Begbie and Spud in the sequel to the film Trainspotting. Just over 20 years later, we return to see exactly how life treated the characters whose lifestyle was less than ideal back in 1996. Did they choose a job, choose […]


News and expert analysis straight to your inbox

Sign up


    Leave a comment


    Why register with Money Marketing ?

    Providing trusted insight for professional advisers.  Since 1985 Money Marketing has helped promote and analyse the financial adviser community in the UK and continues to be the trusted industry brand for independent insight and advice.

    News & analysis delivered directly to your inbox
    Register today to receive our range of news alerts including daily and weekly briefings

    Money Marketing Events
    Be the first to hear about our industry leading conferences, awards, roundtables and more.

    Research and insight
    Take part in and see the results of Money Marketing's flagship investigations into industry trends.

    Have your say
    Only registered users can post comments. As the voice of the adviser community, our content generates robust debate. Sign up today and make your voice heard.

    Register now

    Having problems?

    Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3712

    Lines are open Monday to Friday 9:00am -5.00pm