Industry figures reveal expectations for next year

Kevin Roberts, director of Legal & General Mortgage Club, said: "We will see more collaboration between lenders, advisers and borrowers to meet government objectives, particularly around improving the energy efficiency of existing housing stock."

Industry figures reveal expectations for next year

Kevin Roberts, director of Legal & General Mortgage Club expects to see the climate agenda be front of mind for the mortgage market next year.

He said: "We will see more collaboration between lenders, advisers and borrowers to meet government objectives, particularly around improving the energy efficiency of existing housing stock."

Roberts also explained that he believes technology will continue to rise in usage and popularity next year.

He added: "2020 opened the floodgates for a new era of mortgage tech and the sector is keener than ever to integrate new tools and systems into day-to-day operations."

Looking to rates, Roberts believes that 2022 could be the first year in some time that rates will rise rather than fall.

Meanwhile, Conor Murphy, chief executive of Smartr365 believes the most significant change next year will be the widespread adoption of RICS guidance on fire safety.

RICS currently have said there is no need for an EWS1 form if a building is under 18m, but the majority of lenders still request this document and that often creates difficulties for the owners of these properties.

Murphy added: "2022 will be the year that the industry finally starts to get to grips with this issue, and rightly so.”

Stuart Wilson, corporate marketing director of more2life expects next year to be strong for the later life lending sector. He said: "While interest rate rises may be on the cards for the equity release sector as well as the residential mortgage sector, rates are still likely to remain relatively low so we are likely to continue to see a focus on rebroking.

“Over the pandemic, we’ve seen people focus on meeting needs but if we see the restrictions easing, there are likely to be more homeowners who want to use equity release to boost their discretionary spending and meet some of those aspirations that have been put on the backburner for over two years."

Wilson went on to explain that there has been more innovation over the last few years than ever before in this market and, as lenders continue to adapt to meeting clients’ needs, he believes there should be even more innovative products and greater flexibility with their terms and conditions.

When asked what next year will bring, Rob Barnard, director of intermediaries at Masthaven bank, said he expects to see rising inflationary pressures combined with increased mortgage rates.

He added: "Many homeowners and prospective buyers have seen their financial circumstances change acutely following the outbreak of the pandemic, and this has to remain front of mind for lenders.

"The guidance, support and personalised products provided by specialist lenders will be even more important to the market in 2022.”

Jonathan Stinton, head of intermediary relationships at Coventry for intermediaries is expecting to see green initiatives on the top of the agenda for both the government and the mortgage market.

The UK has some of the least energy efficient housing stock in Europe, averaging at an EPC rating of D. Because of this, Stinton believes creating more sustainable homes has a central role to play in the path to net zero and change will need to be driven by the government.

He added: "That means extending existing initiatives like funding for low carbon alternatives to gas boilers and implementing new schemes like stamp duty incentives that really encourage buyers to consider more efficient homes."

And he anticipates to see lenders expanding their green propositions amid growing demand from consumers for more sustainable options.

When the contributors were asked what single key change they would like to see in the mortgage market next year, Murphy said he would like to see 2022 bring greater flexibility around lending policies for self-employed applicants.

He added: "The self-employed should be praised, not penalised, and I hope to see lenders respond to the needs of these borrowers sooner rather than later as the world continues to adopt new ways of working.”

Wilson believes that the market needs greater consumer awareness around the range of later life lending options.

And Barnard said that specialist lending has proven its worth during the pandemic and he would like to see it become more widely recognised as a truly mainstream product.

He said: "The needs of borrowers are more unique and individual than ever before, which has made it clear that specialist lenders occupy such an important space in the industry, for both brokers and borrowers.

"Specialist lending will be key to the new financial landscape in 2022 and the more recognition it receives, the more people will be able to benefit from these products.”

Robert added: “We need to keep diversity, equality and inclusion high on our agenda next year and beyond and ensure our sector is one that welcomes all."

Stinton concluded by saying that in 2022, there must be more attention given to diversity and inclusion (D&I).

He said: "For the industry to progress in this space, we need to work together to share and improve day-to-day practices. We need to raise awareness with each other of the practical steps we can take to make everyone feel at home in this sector and we must ensure these practices are truly embedded within our organisations.”

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