Just singing in the rain

Despite the inclement weather there was still every reason not to have face like a wet weekend over the past few days.   At last credit criteria loosened for first time buyers in November – as revealed by the Council of Mortgage Lenders on Friday (14 January).

I cannot tell you how much this lifted my spirits.  The banking industry was the root cause of the global recession and its continued reticence to lend to both businesses individuals is one of the main reasons we are still facing some tough times.

I know we can’t go back to the days of subprime lending (heaven forbid) but it would nice if it could be easier to get a mortgage than a saint hood which is how it feels sometimes.

We’ve been doing everything we can to help buyers into their new homes when getting a mortgage stands in their way. In fact through our own shared equity scheme MiWay and the Government backed scheme Homebuy Direct we have helped thousands of people to move when they had nearly given up hope.

We’re continuing to do this (in fact we have big campaign coming up very soon) but it’s great to hear that the banks are beginning to relax their incredibly strict lending criteria.  It really does signal some positive times ahead.

Before we all get too carried away life isn’t a bed of roses yet – but it’s got a bit less thorny at least.

According to the CML loan-to-value ratios for first time buyers have appeared to ease a little over recent months with first time buyers now borrowing 80% of their home’s value for the second month in a row. This is the highest level seen since November 2008.

Overall however November saw little change in the volume or value of mortgage activity. There were 44000 loans advanced for house purchase unchanged from October which represented a 15% drop in volume and a 13% decrease in value from November 2009.

So we’re not out of the woods yet but I think we’re closer to finding the path out – and that is why I was singing in the rain on Saturday.

Sue Warwick National Sales and Marketing Director for Miller Homes