Advisers ‘supportive’ of Mortgage Market Review

Data from Mortgage Achilles 2013, a yearly research project by London-based consultancy BDRC Continental, revealed that advisers “were fully aware and generally supportive” of the new rules that come into force in April, said director Tony Wornell.

The project – which polled 200 mortgage intermediaries, 1000 mortgage holders, 1000 young unmortgaged people, and 400 of their parents during November 2013 – also revealed that while awareness of the MMR was low among mortgage holders, sentiment was generally positive regarding its aims.

Just 16 per cent were aware of the review, however of that figure, 44 per cent were aware that lenders must assess affordability on mortgage applications, with 52 per cent believing it to be a positive development, and just 6 per cent against it.

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While only 26 per cent were aware that interest-only mortgages must have a credible repayment strategy under the new rules, 42 per cent believed this was positive, against 10 per cent who thought it was not.

Meanwhile, data from the Office for National Statistics has revealed a rise in excess of 11 per cent for the average home in London.

According to the latest data, this is more than double the average price rise for the rest of the UK, with November’s average up 5.4 per cent from November 2012.

Although many parts of the country have reported an increase – with the West Midlands showing a year-on-year rise of 4.4 per cent – Stephen Smith, director of the Mortgage Club and Housing at Legal & General, said it was important to consider the overall picture when looking at house prices.

He said: “The government must continue considering how to sustain the housing market without sparking a bubble in the south while preventing other parts of the country from falling too far behind.”

But he claimed it was still too difficult a balancing act given the UK’s economic situation, although a fresh supply of housing stock would help meet the renewed upturn in demand.

Adviser view

Adrian Anderson, director of London-based mortgage broker Anderson Harris, said: “The latest November ONS data shows no real surprise, as London has such strong international status, with overseas money coming into London. However, the regions are becoming more buoyant and we are seeing a flow of buyers, particularly UK-based buyers, being ousted from the London property market and having to look further out, providing a halo effect on prices.”