A number of rate slashing, fee freeing, family including, LTV extending deals have emerged to boost competition and put some compelling offerings before first-time buyers and intermediaries.
Much of this impetus and appetite has come on the back of some positive statistics emerging from the latter stages of 2012.
Figures from both the CML and e.surv pointed to the Funding for Lending scheme’s sustained momentum for having a significant impact on both lending levels and lending rates.
This influence is expected to continue and there is also some speculation that the scheme could have an even greater influence over the lending arena as a result of the Basel Committee on Banking Standards confirming that banks will be permitted to count a wider variety of liquid assets towards the Liquidity Coverage Ratio and that the reforms will be introduced over a longer timeframe.
Of course any potential stimulus from this announcement remains to be seen but anything that could serve to encourage further activity in the lending arena and first-time buyer sector has to be a good thing.
Focusing on the first-time buyer market and it’s fair to say that many lenders now seem to be setting their sights on increasing their presence in this sector. Barclays is no different and this is certainly a space in which we are looking to become more active in.
Of course we have just launched our Family Springboard Mortgage and whilst this is not a FTB specific product it is one that will be of benefit to many first-time buyers who are struggling to raise a large enough deposit for an affordable mortgage deal.
The fact that it is a 95% LTV mortgage at a competitive rate we hope will help shake up this market and the fact that it is available through intermediaries opens up a raft of opportunities to tap into a number of different types of clients and not just first-time buyers.
Looking forward, I hope and believe that 2013 will be a positive year for the intermediary market and if we, as an industry, continue the vein of form showed in January then many more borrowers will be climbing the homebuying ladder and lending levels will steadily increase across the board.
David Finlay is intermediary managing director at Barclays