After lenders temporarily pulled products to reprice them due to the falling pound, soaring swap rates and base rate increases last week, Buckinghamshire Building Society head of mortgage sales Claire Askham says “it’s hard to see which way this is going to go, how it’s going to settle down and start to ease”.
Speaking on this week’s Lenders Live panel hosted by Knowledge Bank, Askham suggests that for the rest of this year “it’s going to be quite challenging”.
She explains that the building society has had to “halt plans” to give the market time to settle and “see where we can look to move forward”.
“And lenders, as we have seen, are pulling rates giving as much notice as possible, but sometimes that can be really tricky in the current climate. We want to work without brokers where it is possible to be able to do that,” she adds.
Moneyfacts revealed that on 27 September a record 935 home loans were withdrawn from the market, more than double the previous highest fall of 462 products on 1 April 2020 at the start of the pandemic lockdowns.
The figures showed that this was more than double the previous record fall of 462 on 1 April 2020, which was the start of UK lockdowns due to the pandemic. Moneyfacts also revealed that the largest falls were in two and five-year fixed rates, with both contracting by 344 and 357 respectively.
Askham says: “It’s very tricky at the moment to try and balance out where we want to lend and what we want to lend, but also we want to make sure that we can support the broker market as much as possible so it’s challenging at the moment.”
Meanwhile, Mansfield Building Society intermediary sales manager Tom Denman-Molloy suggests that the situation is made more difficult, “not only by the change but the pace at which things are changing”.
He says: “If we think about swap rates, for example, they have just rocketed up over the past couple of months and the market is so volatile that it makes it really difficult for lenders to keep on top of everything and then for brokers to be advising their clients.”
Options Mortgage Network partner Graham Wilson says last week felt similar to the Covid-19 pandemic again.
He comments: “Last week was definitely a challenge, not just from our perspective to keep staff informed but also that you’ve got customers asking is everything is going to be alright.”
“The customer doesn’t know what the difference is between a product being pulled to lenders pulling money from the market. They can’t differentiate and that’s a key aspect of it all and it’s our job to tell clients.”
UK MoneyMan managing director Malcolm Davidson adds: “This morning is still all over the place because we’re still waiting for lenders to come back and the sourcing systems but have a hell of a job on at the moment because the changes are coming in thick and fast.”
“From a broker’s point of view, you’re looking at your sourcing list and you feel like you’re looking at a mirage as sourcing systems are finding it hard to keep up with what is happening.”