Mortgage Success in Q1

As we come towards the end of Quarter 1 in 2024, I thought I would look at how things are going so far. It has been a very unusual and unexpected Quarter 1!

The back end of November, I was preparing for a quiet Q1. We have been working on a new back office system, which should mean we can start to give our customers access to documents online permanently among many other features. However we have had to put that on the back burner due to how busy it has been.

Mortgage Rates

As 2023 was ending, Interest rates were coming down. We could see rates slightly under the 4% mark in January-early feb. Since around mid February mortgage rates have been on an upward trend. For most mortgages now, we seem to be in and around 4.5% as a ball park.

These have been fairly steady for the last week or 2. I do not like to specualte on the future but I think this might now be the peak for a little while… The expectation is that the base rate will start to drop this year and next. Although some data I seen today suggests it may be slower than expected. That is probably why rates have been creeping up a little in recent weeks.

Mortgage Levels

The only way I can describe this is relentless! But that is definitely a good thing after how quiet 2023 was.

We have had the busiest February I think ever. January was also at the busier end but March has been in a world of its own! March has been our busiest month ever. It has been about 20% busier than any other month in the last 12 years! We normally talk about a “Spring bounce”, that is where we have a quiet end to Autumn and a quiet winter but then we rely on things picking up in March in our industry. That never happened in 2023, but it has certainly happened this year.

I do not want to say we are through the worst of it, but it has certainly felt like it. It seems that a lot of people who put off moving in 2023 because of the 6% interest rates has started to get the ball rolling in the last month or 2. I hope that is the tart of things to come as it is always nice to be busy.

Success Stories

We have had quite a few success stories where mortgage offers have been issued but not yet completed. I do not like to write the stories until they complete as I do not want to tempt fate. But we have had some very good Success stories, some unlike anything I have come across before – which seems to be quite rare after 12 years. Keep an eye out for them in the next month or so as a couple are very close to completing.

What to expect in Q2

The expectation for a while and still currently is that there will be a base rate cut at the next review in May. That appears to be something lenders have priced in. If it happens I am not sure there will be a drop in mortgage rates, but possibly some slight tweaks downwards.

There is plenty in the news about getting through this recession quite lightly which is nice. The jobs market is in a bit of a quirky place in that there are more people out of work but the ones in work seem to be getting good payrises… I am not smart enough to know how that plays out in the real world though.

From our perspective, it looks like we should have a new broker joining us (more on that down the line once it is official). We have also had quite a few new enquiries over the last 2-3 weeks. Apriil onwards is looking like it might carry on where March is leaving us.