Opinion  

Mortgage market - happy days are here again?

Melanie Tringham

Attending the CML dinner last night was almost a heartwarming experience. There were over 1,000 people in attendance, and most of them looked reasonably happy and confident.

It has been a long time since the mortgage market could think so positively about the future. After several flat years and lack of funding making it impossible to get back strongly in the market, the sector is starting to think the good times could be in the process of returning.

But as Paul Smee, director general of the CML said: “It’s great to be in a market that’s growing, after so many flat years. Let’s be positive but let’s not get carried away.”

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It was not so long ago that the sub-prime lenders were heralding yet another new deal to sell off packaged loans, and the journalist giveaways would not stop coming. New mortgage products were announced every week and competition was fierce.

But we are in more sobre times now. House prices are shooting up in part due to lack of availability of properties. Despite the promising figures from the lenders on house prices, the industry is still held back by the lack of supply.

To finish with another Paul Smee quote, citing the Hill Street Blues: “Let’s roll, but hey, hey, let’s be careful out there.”