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The mortgage world 2014 in 140 characters or less

The mortgage world 2014 in 140 characters or less

A Twitter snapshot of the mortgage market in 2014 from @henry_woodcock IRESS principal mortgage consultant.


January started looking back at 2013 and forward to the impact MMR changes and the continuing issues around housing, rents and the efficacy of government initiatives in 2014. Early warnings about Scotland leaving appeared.

As we wave goodbye to 2013, here are 14 important numbers that will have an impact on your finances in the new year

"Thousands of families face ticking time bomb of mortgage rate rises - 600,000 spend half of disposable income"

"Yet again a regulator has ticked boxes and avoided taking tough decisions" TSC take a swipe at the PRA

"Lenders predict surge in mortgage availability in Q1 - High hopes for the market this year"

"Bank of England claims buyers with small deposits will find it easier to get a home" Not if you live in London!

"1 in 5 in Scotland fear they won't afford to pay for home" Would leaving the UK help or exacerbate matters?

"Two out of five borrowers worry their mortgage application will be rejected" TSB Research

"Nearly one in five borrowed to pay rent or mortgage in 2013, says Shelter"

"James Moore: Housing market still needs support to build sales" North South divide still an issue

"First-time buyer numbers hit a 6 year high in November" But are most at risk to suffer from rising house prices

"Mortgage advisers agree on the need for a progressive stamp duty levy" But how best to reform the system?" ( Osborne bowed to pressure later in the year).

"Do you think the MMR will have a negative impact on mortgage lending in 2014?" Haresnape says difficult to tell.

"Govt scheme to deliver 165,000 affordable homes over 3 years" Will they be the right homes in the right places?



Do you know your monthly car (service, fuel, maintenance. etc.) or public transport costs? Personal grooming? February saw the tabloids and broadsheets taking lenders to task for asking personal details to secure a mortgage loan.

"Brokers shocked at “forensic” detail needed in Kensington MMR forms" A consequence of MMR, but a sledgehammer?

"What can lenders learn from the Boy Scouts?" Not how to light a fire, but about using the right technology.

"Is UK's housing-finance system broken?" Peston calculates leverages in long hand;  rehabilitates securitisation

"the reason consumers and lenders will finally embrace digital sales on an execution only basis is ... one of time"

"One of the first questions people ask ... is how much they can borrow." Time for a calculator and pencil.

"RBS offers flood victims three-month mortgage holiday" Thumbs up to @RBSGroup - other lenders?

"Now a bikini wax could cost you your HOUSE" Well a Daily Mail headline - but  is this level of detail appropriate?

"Lenders to ramp up buy-to-let lending as MMR hits"

"The Post Mortgage Market Review Landscape" The early impact analysis for  lenders

"'Triple lock' of regulation could subdue the mortgage market - IMLA" Leverage ratios, MMR & macro prudential regime

"Turning EU-wide mortgage rules into UK regulation is a new challenge for the FCA and the industry." who benefits?

"MMR - Will the end product be what the FCA envisaged?" Read the first part of my MMR analysis

"Complex and niche mortgages will be broker haven post-MMR".

"Nearly 1 in 10 firms to exit mortgage market ahead of MMR" FCA MMR readiness survey results



March showed the house prices increasing and mortgage approvals strengthening, but still problems ahead for first time buyers. The countdown to MMR flooded the papers and trade press alike.

"U.K. Mortgages Soar With House Prices as Economy Strengthens" and house prices up 0.7% in February

"mortgage approvals hit highest since November 2007, business lending down again" Houses safer than SMEs?

"Danny Dorling's examination of home ownership ... grim prospects for those stuck with high rents - shocking reading"

"UK renters are giving up on buying homes, warns charity" Over 60% of renters do not expect to buy within 5 years.

"Budget 2014: Enough already, Help to Buy must go" #Budget2014

"The mortgage market is in fine fettle at the moment....However, there are clouds on the horizon"

"Budget wishes the Chancellor should grant" No.1 Stamp Duty

"Gross mortgage lending up 43% on last year" Highest Feb since 2008. Will the #Budget2014 push the market forward?

"George, surely it's time to deliver stamp duty reform?" #reformstampduty campaign

Is wearable technology the new digital wallet? To find the answer, read my latest blog @Finextra

"Mortgage firms drop out ahead of MMR" Only 85% ready for April 26th deadline.

"The UK mortgage industry will see the largest change to regulation in a decade on 26 April 2014" Do consumers know?

RT @iressUK: Great News! Very proud to win #FSTechAwards14 Best Use of IT in Retail Banking with @NationwidePress

"Countdown to MMR is on" Will it be a cliff edge for consumers or a soft landing?  Mortgage Finance Gazette  #mortgage



It’s all about the MMR. the MMR, the MMR … to paraphrase the highly popular  tune.

"Mortgage computer says NO! " Scary headline, but it is the lender's policy that says no, the computer just a tool.

"Government super-charging demand via Help to Buy" Regulators v Government - who wins?

"Your mortgage must be affordable" - advice leaflet from the FCA to consumers in the run up to #MMR

"Brokers look on track to get through a sale in an hour, direct sales could .. take upwards of three hours"  #MMR

"Fairer stamp duty would free up the illiquid housing market"  @ThisIsMoney

"MMR... will make the application process longer and more intrusive for everybody"  @daily_express #MMR #mortgage

"Mortgage experts have confirmed they have already seen cases lasting three hours." A not unintended consequence.

"Steady as she goes”  the mortgage market navigates towards recovery" Free paper for mortgage brokers

"Need a mortgage? New rules mean you'll have to ditch all those little extras" Press MMR scares

"widespread transition to online channels" Peter Dockar predicts rise of on-line mortgages  @hsbc_uk_press

"Growth in mortgage lending to be hit by MMR"  @Moneywiseonline

"Nationwide Building Society to deploy remote bankers who will do your mortgage interview on screen 400 miles away"

New mortgage rules: Money Box Interview with Martin Wheatley FCA MD to explain #MMR #mortgage rules @paullewismoney

"Should mortgage lenders pry into your personal life? Well, yes"



Well the MMR song continues into May as the new rules bed in and some forget what the rules are about protecting consumers from excessive and unaffordable debt.

"Mortgage clampdown is too late and too harsh" Will #MMR lead to more mortgage prisoners?

"Considerable decrease in potential home buyers following new mortgage rules" Survey shows consumer mortgage worries

"The way banks and building societies interpret new rules for home loans may cause problems"

"The key thing to remember is that the MMR aims to protect people from debt." says Experian's Jonathan Westley  #MMR

"unlikely a single purchase or category of expenditure will make the difference between yes or no decisions"  #MMR

Six tips to beat the mortgage inquisition | The Times

Mortgage Lending Falls 17% in Three Months. MMR  top 8 lenders stress tests bite.

Alan Lakey: Why trust people with their pensions but not mortgage repayments? QI article by Lakey #MMR #mortgage

"Will online mortgages ever take off? Marketwatch"  @mortgagesols

"'Inappropriate' MMR questions will be reined in predicts AMI's Sinclair"

"Four ways the next government can solve the housing crisis in 100 days" Jan Crosby KPMG  #housing

"Fewer mortgages approved as tighter regulation begins to bite" Does the consumer understand?



The Bank of England starts to show its market management muscles to cool the housing market.

"Help to buy figures show most support for mortgages on cheapest homes" So a cap of £300,000 won't cool the market.

"Banks and building societies don’t have enough staff to cope with tighter mortgage lending rules"

"Mortgage approvals fall amid tough new tests for borrowers" But Q1 numbers boosted by MMR deadline.

"Help-to-Buy is like an iceberg, cancel it now" Says Rob Wood ex-BOE economist. Not likely in the run to elections.

"Intervention on home loans should be precise, argues Paul Smee" - laser beam not blunderbuss  @cmlpressoffice

"Hurry, hurry, hurry before the great mortgage clampdown: " FTB must act now claims This is Money  @ThisIsMoney

""Over-zealous" lenders are taking the Mortgage Market Review too far " says Rightmove  @rightmove

"Mark Carney: Bank 'will not hesitate' to cool UK housing boom" The question is what is the best tool?

"Is this the future of mortgages?" Polarised debate about online mortgages. It should be about consumer choice.

"The Mortgage Market Review and Technology “ Mutually Exclusive?" by @henry_woodcock on @LinkedIn

"BoE cannot control rising house prices, says Dale" So what action needs to take place?



Early signs of worry about the EU Mortgage Credit Directive surface while MMR is still bedding in.

"Renters are the main beneficiary of Help to Buy with 55% coming from the private rental sector,"

"as the dust settles on MMR, there still remains some uncertainty about what lies ahead"

"CML: MMR impact on customers minimised”" Not what the popular press thinks   #MMR #Mortgage

"MMR and Technology - Mutually exclusive?" read my latest blog on @Finextra  #technology #mortgages

"BBA: The era of bank branches is dead" But not when you have a problem - the answer is often visit the local branch!

"85% of brokers asked feel that it is more difficult to get mortgage cases accepted since .. MMR"

"Take steps to minimise European credit directive disruption, urges CML" Could be high costs otherwise.

"George Osborne is Dr Jekyll on pensions and Mr Hyde on stamp duty" Discuss!

"Europe tightens hold on lenders" Moving away from KFIs to ESISs sounds like just swapping one document for another..

Why Asking About Google Bank Is The Wrong Question - Is Oliwia right?  @OliwiaBerdak



MMR affordability issues continue to exercise applicants, brokers and lenders.

"Borrowers face “mass confusion” as MMR and LTI cap conflict"

"First-time buyers hit as Lloyds cuts Help to Buy lending" Time to focus this in the regions, not London?

Nationwide applauds talk of revolution (no, not devolution) - Innovate Finance takes off

"AMI and CML meet to discuss broker concerns on MMR - affordability requirements"

"mortgage affordability checks prove no 'hard brake' to lending" Length and complexity of the process bites though.

Nationwide: Housing market cooling may be short-lived - LSE

"How independent is the independent Bank of England?" Depends who asks.

"MMR aside ... the bigger issue plaguing the UK housing and mortgage market ...  the supply shortage"

"Silly war on homebuyers is doing the Treasury more harm than good" The Stamp Duty debate continues  @Telegraph

CML on EU MCD "The changes that are proposed to implement the directive may yet prove to be substantial."

"Russia: Bank offers 'free cat with every mortgage'" Is there a MMR for this?  #mortgage #freecat

"Nearly six in ten (57 per cent) mortgage advisers said they think MMR will be a success" What about the other 4?



The EU Mortgage Credit Directive starts to garner more coverage in the trade press and approvals start to slow.

Start of whole life loans? "First time buyers tempted by 35 and 40-year mortgages despite having to pay back double"

Our latest #MortgageEfficiencySurvey shows how the mortgage process has been slowed by the #MMR  @mortgagesols

"UK mortgage approvals fall as people endure three-hour interviews with their bank" Any rate hike will keep brakes on

"Major lenders set to use automated valuations to ease delays" Helps but not a permanent solution

"CML disappointed at unintended impact on buy-to-let from European Directive" As will be BTL lenders.

"Will new technologies change mortgage lending in the UK?" Latest Finextra Blog  @Finextra  #MortgageEfficiencySurvey

"IRESS Mortgage Efficiency Benchmark Survey 2014" IRESS TV - 4 minute overview of the key findings

"Top 6 mortgage lenders' stranglehold slips again in 2013"

Mortgage Credit Directive - BSA's Paul Broadhead "a potential lose:lose situation"   @BSABuildingSocs

Pre-MMR "50,000 mortgages being sold without income being verified" That's a surprise

"Building Societies Helping to Ease UK Housing Crisis by Boosting Mortgage Lending" #Mutual satisfaction



Affordability, affordability, affordability is the growing issue for consumers and brokers alike.

"Lloyds Bank to offer mortgage applicants an iPad for when they move home" A clever digital play by Lloyds

"Don't wait for rates to rise before you take action, says CML"

"Majority of brokers say lenders too risk averse post-MMR" Says EDM Mortgage Support Service survey report

Start of whole life loans? "First time buyers tempted by 35 and 40-year mortgages despite having to pay back double"

"AMI and CML meet to discuss broker concerns on MMR - affordability requirements"

"Bank of England asks for mortgage powers" Too many regulators?

UK mortgage lending falls in six months as stricter rules bite - remortgages -17% from January

"First-time buyers v second steppers: who has it tougher?" 2nd steppers need 50% more

"AMI: Brokers will take 75% market share within 5 years" MMR has shown the value of brokers to lenders and consumers



FCA accuses lenders of misinterpreting their rules and worries about interest rate rises increase.

"7 must-see charts before you buy a house" At last, statistics that don't lie and might save you money  #housing

RT @bigmo8: Legal and General's 10 point manifesto for house building. #cml2014

"By the end of 2013, those who have grown up with digital started to outnumber those who have had to adapt to it."

Financial Conduct Authority is accusing lenders of misinterpreting its new rules and defying common sense  #mortgage

"Nationwide joins the wearable finance movement" Nationwide no Mr Mainwaring slouch on technology  @NationwidePress

"One-third of mortgage borrowers would struggle if interest rates rise" But 2% maybe 2 years away, time to prepare!

"Remortgage slump lending falls 6% in Sept."  "Remortgage up 34% year-on-year Oct."  go figure?

"Is it better to take out a mortgage via a broker, or go it alone?" The Guardian says it is worthwhile  #mortgage

"IMLA calls for MMR clarity on 'non-standard' lending" The retirement age conundrum  #mortgage

"Waiting times for mortgage appointments in banks have increased significantly since the MMR "  @landg_business



Tis the season to be glad the Stamp Duty has been reformed – but will it skew the market in another direction? Martin Lewis the consumer champion throws a left hook at lenders.

Nationwide call on Osborne's deaf ears to reform Stamp Duty  @NationwidePress #mortgage

"Is it true that .. MMR rules now make it difficult for borrowers in their 40s to obtain a standard 25yr mortgage"

"EU mortgage directive to erode equity release safeguards"

"I think I have solved the home loan crisis with MMR=M³ FCA must cut lenders some slack  @jeffprestridge #mortgage

The stamp duty reforms .. in #AS14 will bring new impetus to the housing market

"Perhaps banking doesn't need challengers to shake it up" or .. Will Atom split banking?

"Aggregate effect of regulation heading for a tipping point" Sheer volume of regulation top 3 issue  @BSABuildingSocs

"Accord launches online chat service for brokers" Mutual technology on the up  @AccordMortgages

Martin Lewis issues "an unusually stern rebuke to banks “profiteering” with current mortgage rates"  Is he right?

2015 will be an interesting year – the EU Directive final rules, the election and possible rate rises.



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Henry Woodcock

Henry Woodcock

Principal Consultant


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21 Feb



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