A really busy January – is this the storm before the calm?

Like a good few brokers I had a strong start to the year. January was my 2nd best month ever. All this positive start heartily encouraged both me and my colleagues, this is all the sweeter when you take account of the naysayers predicting a market that was at the very best going to be half of the lower end of next to nothing.

But recent times have taught me to be cautious, so I thought it is working out what all this means. I know for instance that there are several lenders led by the big boys with significant fixed rates volumes finishing in the first few months of this year; this can only buoy volume, but only in the shorter term so here is the hurry up to myself – make the most of it.

On top of that we have the first rates finishing where the revert to rates are the post credit crunch SVRs – no more reverting to BBR+0.5%, that means these customers are more likely to want a new deal rather than stick with a fabulous variable rate that means 2 years ago admittedly meagre volumes will add to this years .

The base rate seems stuck for a decent while longer, however these rates will move and cause a stir when they do and that market is an unknown, but should be a decent fillip when it comes.

All in all it seems very much that you know the market, it is like  last year and you seemed to survive that, so get on with it and the above will give you a little more to chew on.

So what of the storm clouds predicted? Well the gross lending figure is as stuck as the base rate, so if you are going to get more customers they need to come from somewhere or put more succinctly someone else. These can be from either direct lenders (who in my experience don’t have much experience behind the desk – try mystery shopping them honestly after some calls I don’t know if I should laugh or cry) or other broker’s be they ex-broker or not looking after their existing customers, any growth achieved is not driven by the market it is driven by me/you.

There is talk in the market about an appetite or lack of it to lend and this will hold down volume, but if this is true why are more and more lenders looking for niches? 80% BtL & 90%+ (even 100%) lending are all areas that have hit the trade press news in recent times. Lenders chase niches looking for profitable lending which means the other areas are too competitive – not the sign of a market with a lack of lending even if some are not really pulling their weight.

All that said nothing is going to pull up stumps and create business that simply runs through the door and throws itself at you, however it feels like it is easier to find right now than previous years and I don’t see why it should change……pardon, oh Greece default you say…..hmm not that could cause a storm but I don’t have time to talk about that, far too many apps to write. TTFN.

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