Gross lending in 2004 was £5.8 bn, compared with £5.9 bn in 2003. Acquisitions totalled £1.3 bn (£1.4bn in 2003), and the closing book stood at £18.1bn at the end of 2004 (£13.6 bn in 2003).
‘The fact that Mortgage Express’ figures remained stable in the face of major systems changes in preparation for M-Day shows that our strategy continues to serve us well,’ says Tim Dawson, Managing Director of Mortgage Express.
‘In terms of the future, we believe the buy-to-let market will continue to grow, although at a reduced but more sustainable level. We expect to see a boost early next year when pension legislation makes investing in property more attractive. While Mortgage Express has seen a small upturn in buy-to-let arrears, this is from a historically very low level and it is in line with our expectations. It does not change our view of the excellent credit quality of this asset class.
‘We are currently expecting the mortgage market to remain relatively subdued in the first half of 2005, with base rates remaining flat.’