here are some of the articles:

While the UK property bubble hasn’t burst it has “gently deflated” since the vote to leave the European Union, Savills’ director of residential research Susan Emmett has said

Ryan Bembridge (Mortgage Introducer 22 September 2016)

 

Speaking at the Association of Short Term Lenders annual conference 2016, Emmett told the crowd sterling has been devalued which should push up inflation, uncertainty should feed an economic slowdown, employment growth will be affected, wage growth will suffer, the base rate will be lower for longer and lenders may tighten lending criteria.

 

On the flipside some consumers are now behaving as normally after acting like a “bunny in the headlights” directly after the vote according to Emmett.   She said: “It’s a bit of a mixed picture. We don’t see the bubble bursting because actually the market is quite steady and stable and it’s not at huge heights. 

“It’s more like the bubble has gently deflated a bit rather than a dramatic burst.”

 

Emmett said house prices have been underpinned by a lower level of transactions since the summer.   However in the case of London, where much of the property bubble speculation was based, she said the market was slowing down before the Brexit vote anyway.    She was still cautious about the future.

 Emmett added: “Buyer sentiment will be important. A lot of people will be driven by headlines around how negotiations progress with Europe in the next few months and years, and I think that will affect people’s confidence and desire to make big decisions that will affect their lives such as moving and buying a house.

 “So for that reason we expect to see a slower property market than usual.

“Transaction levels may fall but we do not expect a huge decrease in property values.”

              

‘Property bubble won’t burst’: Savills

 Sam Barker (Mortgage Strategy 22 September 2016)

 

Fears that the property market will crash are unfounded, according to Savills Residential Research director Susan Emmett.   Speaking at the Association of Short Term Lenders conference today, Emmett said the market may slow down but that it will stay strong.

 She said: “We don’t see the bubble bursting – the market is steady and stable.   “The bubble has deflated a bit, but there is no dramatic burst.”

 Emmett added that factors such as scaremongering headlines might make a difference to the health of the market, but not a systemic one.   She said: “We expect to see a slower property market than usual. Transaction levels may fall, but we are not expecting a huge decrease in property values

                       

FCA closely monitoring riskier mortgage lending

Ryan Bembridge (Mortgage Solutions 22 September 2016) 

 

The Financial Conduct Authority is closely monitoring what it views as increased risk-taking across the mortgage industry, its mortgage sector manager Lynda Blackwell warned today.

 Speaking at the Association of Short Term Lenders Conference in London’s Painters’ Hall, Blackwell told the crowd to make sure borrowers are given a proper credit assessment.   She said: “We are starting to see, for example, LTVs on interest-only start to creep up. We are starting to see increasingly sub-prime lending and a growing tolerance of very poor payment histories; lending to the self-employed with accounts of one year or less.

 “The uncertainty for us is just how far this credit risk-taking is likely to go   “We don’t want to see a race to the bottom that we’ve seen in the past and this is something that we are continuing to monitor closely.”

She added: “The important thing is to remember to undertake proper affordability checks ensuring that loans are only granted for borrowers who can afford to repay.   “In your case [to the short-term lending sector] to ensure the borrower has a credible exit strategy to get out at the end of the term.”

Blackwell raised concerns about the number of loans used for credit impaired borrowers, which the FCA said makes up 2.7% of the market compared to 0.5% for the rest of the mortgage market.   She hinted that the regulator may take a closer look at the credit impaired section of the bridging sector.

 Blackwell added: “Proportionally lending to the credit impaired is much higher in the bridging sector and it’s difficult for us to comment on this without taking a closer look at the facts on individual cases.   “We have cautioned in the past about using bridging finance to help repair a borrower’s credit status to be able to refinance onto a mainstream mortgage product unless the lender has evidence of a guaranteed offer.”   

     

FCA: Unregulated bridging concerns mount

Sam Barker (Mortgage Strategy 22 September 2016)

 The Financial Conduct Authority is concerned about the unregulated bridging market, according to mortgage sector manager Lynda Blackwell.

 Speaking at the Association of Short Term Lenders conference today, Blackwell said the quality of regulated bridging was exceeding the regulator’s expectations, but that the unauthorised market was a problem.

 She said: “The regulated side of this market can play an important and responsible part in the mortgage market as a whole. A lot of effort has been put into raising standards and building a sustainable market by regulated bridging firms and the ASTL. They deserve credit for this.

 

“But we have no insight into the unregulated side of the market. It could make up 84 per cent of the sector today, and that goes largely under our radar.

 “Concerns continue to be raised with us about the quality of business practices on that side, and that strategies can sometimes appear deliberately designed to circumvent regulation.”

 Blackwell said the FCA was aware of examples of brokers pushing bridging business that should be regulated on to unregulated lenders.

 She added: “How much business is not being declared or treated as regulated, I don’t know. The sector needs to take care that business that should be regulated isn’t treated as unregulated.

 “Unfortunately the reputation of the good bridging firms in the sector, and the reputation of the sector as a whole, is easily brought down by the less scrupulous firms. So please tell us if there are practices that you think we should know about.”

               

Brexit uncertainty here to stay

Ryan Fowler (Mortgage Introducer 22 September 2016

The uncertainty created following the UK’s decision to exit the European Union is likely to continue until the country completely untangles itself from the continent, according to Susan Emmett, a director in Savills Residential Research team.

Whilst speaking at the ASTL annual conference earlier today Emmett was asked if “the uncertainty around the decision to leave the EU would wane as people became more accustomed to the situation?” by Jonathan Sealey, CEO of Hope Capital.

 Emmett warned that the “uncertainty is probably here to stay” following the move however the amount that it will be felt varies depending on location.

 She said: “The effects of Brexit are felt less acutely outside of London. People have either shrugged it off or are relatively happy with the situation as they voted to exit.

 “As people keep reminding me more people voted for Brexit than not. Regionally the effects will be felt a lot less than in London.”

 

Regulator surprised at bridging sector quality

Ryan Fowler (Mortgage Introducer 22 September 2016)

The Financial Conduct Authority has found the quality of the bridging lenders under their auspices much better than it had expected, according to a top regulator. 

Lynda Blackwell, mortgage sector manager at Financial Conduct Authority, said the quality of both regulated lenders and deals was “really good” and “not what was expected”.

Blackwell confirmed that the FCA has had 40 lenders report to it as having transacted in regulated bridging.   Using the data provided the regulator claims around 16% of all bridging deals completed are regulated – based on estimates of the market which place it at around £4bn – or 0.15% of the overall UK mortgage market.

The regulator was also able use that data to extrapolate further information about the market. Key findings included:

    • 56% of all bridging lending is carried out in London and the Sout
    • Median bridging loan size is £229,00
    • Median property value is £575,00
    • Median loan-to-value is 45
    • Median term is 12 month
    • Median rate is 7.8%
    • Median age of a borrower is 57

 Additionally it found that 83% of all bridging deals were carried out through intermediated channels.

 Blackwell said: “The quality we have seen has been really good and not what we expected.

 The data shows that the typical borrower is older and that the loan-to-values are conservative compared to the mainstream market.

 “It is clear that the regulated part of the market can play an important and responsible part in the mortgage market.

 “The regulated side of the market is built upon solid foundations and the regulated firms and industry trade bodies such as the ASTL, and Benson, deserve credit for this.”

 Blackwell was speaking at the ASTL conference at Painters’ Hall, London.

   

First-time buyers could be losers in buy-to-let regulations

 Ryan Fowler (Mortgage Introducer 22 September 2016)

 First-time buyers could be the big losers following the government’s efforts to stifle the buy-to-let market, Savills Susan Emmett has warned.

 Emmett, who is a director in Savills Residential Research team, said that tax changes around the sector could have unintended consequences for those looking to get on the housing ladder.   The changes had been intended to help improve stock liquidity and stop buy-to-let investors snapping up properties that would traditionally have been owner-occupied. But Emmett said the changes, rather than put of potential investors, could see them cast their nets further afield.

She said: “With the increase in stamp duty and the tax changes we could see investors push out [geographically] which could hurt first-time buyers,

“The problem is that if you are an investor there aren’t that many options out there and the property market is still the best option.

 “It has put some people off buying at higher value but they are still looking at property for investment. That hasn’t changed.

 “The government needs to be careful what it wishes for – we are likely to see rents go up and the changes won’t necessarily help first-time buyers.”

        

FCA cautions against ‘race to the bottom’

Ryan Fowler (Mortgage Introducer 22 September 2016)

A top regulator has warned lenders against a “race to the bottom” in the face of growing competition in the mortgage sector. 

Speaking at the Association of Short Term Lenders’ annual conference Lynda Blackwell, mortgage sector manager at Financial Conduct Authority, said lenders were now in a position where they would have to diversify to maintain their place in the market.

According to the FCA the market has seen a 10% increase in new lenders of late whilst 75% of business goes to the top six lenders.

She said: “We are likely to see lenders diversify into other areas and target the under-served. We are already seeing loan-to-values creep up and the return of interest only products.

“Increasingly we are also seeing an increased tolerance to borrowers with historic payment issues or those who are sub-prime.

“We do not want to see a race to the bottom.”

Blackwell was speaking at the ASTL conference at Painters’ Hall, London.                       

 

FCA concerned about unregulated bridging

Ryan Fowler (Mortgage Introducer 22 September 2016)

The regulator has fired a warning shot across the bows of the unregulated bridging sector after reports of bad practice and active efforts to circumvent regulation were raised with the FCA.

 

Speaking at the Association of Short Term Lenders conference today the regulators mortgage sector manager praised the regulated side of the market but was damning in her condemnation of some practices in the unregulated space.

She said: “No one knows the size of the unregulated market and the majority of business which is transacted in that space continues to go under our radar.

“Concerns keep being raised with us about practices and strategies that are in place to deliberately circumvent regulations. The same issues keep being reported time and again.”

She pointed to a recent example reported to one of her team. She said a lender had called up following pressure from a broker as to whether a case was regulated or not due to a borrower not living in the property at the time.

The regulator was told that the broker had said several firms were treating the case as unregulated despite the borrower’s plans to live in the property – making it a regulated deal – and was claiming the lender was wrong.

Blackwell said: “The lender was right and this was a regulated deal. This makes us worry how much regulated lending is not being declared as regulated – we don’t know.

“The industry needs to ensure that regulated deals are treated accordingly and not as unregulated deals.

“We have an unauthorised business team that deals with unauthorised lenders legally. We rely on the intelligence provided by the market to identify these firms. Please tell us if you come across bad practices and they will be investigated.”

Blackwell was speaking at the ASTL conference at Painters’ Hall, London.

           

Unregulated bridging market share sparks FCA concern

Hannah Uttley (Specialist Lending Solutions 22 September 2016)

   

Unregulated lending could make up as much as 84% of the bridging market, raising concerns by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) about the quality of business that goes unrecorded.

Speaking at a conference held by the Association of Short Term Lenders (ASTL), Lynda Blackwell, head of mortgages at the FCA (pictured), praised the industry’s cooperation with the regulator in providing transparent data, adding that they “deserved credit”, but noted that reputation in the sector was “easily brought down by the less scrupulous firms.”

“We have no data on the unregulated side of the market. No-one knows for sure what the size of that market is and based on the figures we have, it could make up 84% of the sector today and that goes largely under our radar,” Blackwell explained.

“Concerns continue to be raised with us about the quality of business on that side and strategies can appear to be deliberately designed to circumvent regulation.”

Blackwell referenced a query dealt with a member of her team from a lender requesting the definition of a regulated mortgage contract. It transpired that the lender was being pressured by a broker to accept a deal as unregulated, which would in fact be treated as a regulated contract under the FCA’s rules.

“The sector needs to take care to ensure that business that should be regulated, isn’t being written as unregulated,” she added.

Blackwell called on the bridging industry to inform the FCA if there were aware of any firms acting unscrupulously in the sector

 

 

 ASTL Conference 2016: FCA addresses Brexit misconceptions

 Alex Lynn (Bridging & Commercial 23 September 2016)

 

Brexit seems to have had little effect on the number of firms seeking authorisation, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has claimed.

 

At the Association of Short Term Lenders (ASTL) Conference 2016, speaker Lynda Blackwell, mortgage sector manager at the FCA, admitted that some firms were unsure whether EU regulations would remain in place following Brexit.

 

“Very often we have been asked whether firms can ignore all the changes introduced under the Mortgage Credit Directive [MCD], and the answer is: no, you can’t.

 

“All the changes introduced under the MCD remain unaffected and everything will remain unchanged unless or until the government changes legislation.”

 Bridging & Commercial asked Lynda whether the EU referendum had caused fewer firms to seek authorisation in anticipation of potential regulatory changes.

“We are seeing authorisation numbers come through,” Lynda stated.

 

“In fact, I think in the past year we’ve had more new authorisations than we have [had] in the past three years.

 

“So there is absolutely nothing to suggest that it is impacting on the market.”

 

Lynda also suggested that regulatory legislation may remain unchanged for the foreseeable future.   "…The legislation is the legislation.   “So we are expected, everyone’s expected, to work with it as it is … Because the regime is here to stay for quite some time yet.”

           

FCA keeps watchful eye on impaired credit lending

 Hannah Uttley (Mortgage Solutions 22 September 2016)

   

The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has warned mortgage lenders that it is continuing to monitor the level of lending to borrowers with poor credit history, highlighting the need to avoid “a race to the bottom”.

Lynda Blackwell, head of mortgages at the FCA, told an audience at a conference held by the Association of Short Term Lenders (ASTL), that the industry must be diligent in its assessment of borrower’s affordability history.

In July, Peter Williams, head of trade body the Intermediary Mortgage Lenders Association (IMLA), told Mortgage Solutions there was likely to be a resurgence of subprime lending in the UK with a subsequent securitisation of these mortgages.

Blackwell said: “We are seeing an increase in subprime lending in the market and a growing tolerance of very poor credit history and lending to the self-employed with accounts of one year or less. The uncertainty for us is around just how far is this credit risk taking likely to go; we don’t want to see a race to the bottom that we’ve seen in the past. This is something that we are continuing to monitor closely.”

She added: “The important thing, and it’s a pretty simple thing, is to remember and undertake proper affordability checks, ensuring that loans are only granted where the borrower can afford to repay out of income, or in the case of bridging that the borrower has a credible exit strategy.

 

FCA mortgage manager raises concern about market

Damian Fantato (FT Adviser 22 September 2016)

 

The Financial Conduct Authority’s mortgage sector manager has expressed concern about where growth will come from in the mortgage market.

Speaking at the Association of Short Term Lenders conference in London, Lynda Blackwell said smaller lenders could find themselves lowering their standards to look for business.

She said: “Where is growth going to come in future in this market, where you have got a saturated prime market which is highly competitive?

“Overall mortgage activity is below trend and remortgaging levels remain subdued.

“The number of active lenders in the market has increased by 10 per cent and the top six firms take 75 per cent of the lending which means all the smaller firms really need to diversify.”

One of the ways smaller lenders could be diversifying is by targeting underserved consumers, Ms. Blackwell said, particularly given the changes to taxation around buy-to-let.

But she sounded a note of caution: “We are starting to see LTVs on interest-only mortgage start to creep up. We are starting to see sub-prime and a tolerance of poor payment histories.

“We don’t want to see a race to the bottom and it is something we are monitoring closely.

Ms. Blackwell was also addressing bridging loans, where she said medium fees could be more than five times higher on average. She said: “This is a really expensive form of finance and that’s why it is important that intermediaries and lenders take care that a mainstream mortgage doesn’t meet the consumer’s needs better.

“But from what’s being reported to us the quality looks really good and that’s not what we had expected.”

But she also said that as much as 84 per cent of the sector could be providing unregulated loans. She said: “That goes largely under our radar. Concerns continue to be raised with us about the quality of business processes on that side.

“Unfortunately the reputation of the good bridging firms in this sector is easily pulled down by the less scrupulous firms.”