What’s been happening in June?
The Days are long but the years are short
Our 1 year anniversary of the King’s Norton office came and went! How quickly has that time gone?
June remained unpredictable in the mortgage world, so for everyone here it was all about urgency and prioritising and this theme will run into July, although it has felt a little bit calmer towards the end of the month. No time yet for milestone parties as it doesn’t feel right to take the focus away from the job at hand, helping our clients through these volatile times.
This also happened at our Redditch office; the one-year anniversary was during covid. We are saving up all of these huge milestones for a more appropriate time and no doubt at a later date will celebrate in style!
We have had to keep training and professional development to a minimum this month and cancel a lot of scheduled guests that we had in our diary to ensure we could help our clients in turbulent times.
These will be rescheduled and normal training will resume again very soon. It’s very important that our advisors learn about the latest products and any changes, and build and maintain relationships with lenders and providers so we can always offer you the best support and solutions. We were fortunate to catch up with Paul Purewal who is a senior manager at Coventry Building Society and had a really insightful discussion about market trends.
We met with solicitors we work very closely with – Jamie and Marta from Sydney Mitchell. Marta is a fluent English & Polish speaking solicitor, who is going to be working very closely with our broker Asia who is also bilingual to provide our Polish clients and community with the best possible support, to make sure they fully understand the mortgage and legal process when buying and selling their homes.
Kate had a visit to London for The Association of Mortgage Intermediaries (AMI) annual dinner and had wonderful hospitality from Barclays.
She was in two minds about whether she should go with how busy the office has been, but she was pleased that she did. It’s important to keep in the loop with all of the changes in the market, and to gain valuable advice from other peers on how they are managing the current challenges.
A handful of the team attended the SimplyBiz Mortgage Showcase charity dinner on the 28th June at the National Conference Centre. Thank you so much to Hodge, Saffron, Principality and HSBC for your hospitality and hosting the tables we were invited on. It was a great evening.
What happened in June?
The Bank of England have increased the interest rate to 5%, which was a 0.5% increase, the 13th consecutive increase.
This was a bigger increase than expected. It doesn’t necessarily mean that the lenders will pass the increase on. A lot of the changes and increases from the lenders had already happened last month in anticipation of a rise.
As always, it’s really important to speak to us so we can look at all of the options available to you and give you bespoke advice about your individual circumstances.
Please do not put off the call to us because you are dreading a conversation about rates being high and your monthly mortgage payment increasing. The worst thing you can do is bury your head in the sand, ostrich-like.
Rates are high, the news headlines about this are unavoidable. Our job is to review your finances and find a solution that is best suited to you so that you can manage within your budget, and plan for the future as best as possible.
The trend that we are seeing, even though longer-term fixed rates are more competitively priced, is that people are reluctant to tie themselves in to deals whilst pricing is high. 2 and 3 year products have been more popular recently, and we have even seen a greater appetite for more flexible variable and tracker rates again with some clients reluctant to fix at all.
There is no wrong or right answer. We will provide you with all of the options and you will settle on a solution which feels right for you and your risk appetite.
We do have a celebration we would like to shout about. In June we reached 500 five star google reviews across the 2 offices.
Getting Google reviews is a team effort here at The Mortgage Advice Group, and we all take great pride in getting a mention when we have done a good job for our customers. Thank you to all of our customers who have taken time to leave a review and help us reach this milestone. Now to decide what our next milestone is!
Case of the Month
A lot of our cases have challenges at the moment, so it is really difficult to choose one.
On this case Louise simply did what we do as responsible advisors; gave the best advice to the client – irrelevant of the financial outcome to us. Louise is based in our King’s Norton office and started communicating with a client back in November about a straightforward re-mortgage.
At this time, her current provider wasn’t offering the best deal, so Louise looked at options with other lenders. The client only had £25,000 and a 4 year term left on her mortgage, and most new lenders would only lend with a minimum term of 5 years. So, Louise could get the product that the client wanted, but they would need to extend the term by 1 year. The client was happy with this advice, however decided not to act upon it at the time.
Fast forward and the client had two further appointments with Louise in March and June, but there was now less than £25,000 outstanding on the mortgage and the term had reduced to 3.5 years. To re-mortgage with a new lender, she would need to borrow more to meet the lender’s minimum loan of £25,000 and extend the term even further to 5 years. Louise again reviewed the client’s situation and decided that offering her a re-mortgage now would put the client at a financial disadvantage. So, Louise’s best advice was for the client to contact their current lender again and see what they could offer now.
The client discussed what the lender had offered with Louise, and on this occasion her advice was to stay with them.
This is the content of an email the client sent to me about her dealing with Louise –
“I just wanted to leave a review following my appointment with Louise Lewis. It was a pleasure speaking to Louise who provided clear information which helped me decide what to do. She was extremely professional and it was easy to gain a rapport with her. I would highly recommend her for mortgage advice.”
Our job is always to give the best advice, no matter what the outcome is to us. Well done Louise 😊
Kate’s final thoughts
A lot has changed for me over the last couple of months. I had started the year with the decision to take a step back from advising, to give me more time to work on the very long list of tasks that are involved with running a financial services business.
However, over the last couple of months, I have done a bit of a U-turn and I am back to advising practically full time.
When it comes to work and my career, nothing will ever beat advising, and it really is where my heart lies.
With so many of my clients needing help through these challenging times, which many of them have never faced, the very best place for me is being with them and finding solutions to help them through the next few years.
This has also enabled me to internally promote a couple of ladies within the business, to provide us with a better management structure. I would like to personally congratulate Lisa and Khloe, who are already excelling in their new management roles.
The events of the last couple of years have been the most challenging I have ever worked through. First, Covid, and now a cost of living crisis and a very volatile and unpredictable mortgage market. Professionally and fundamentally, it is a challenge, but emotionally and mentally it is even harder because when you care about your clients, there is nothing worse than giving bad news to people.
I can’t control the Bank of England base rate, or the current pricing situation, however I can ensure that all of our clients are dealt with sympathetically and respectfully. This won’t last forever, and I for one look forward to things improving and giving good news again.
Personally for me, the 30th June marked my little boy Joseph’s last day in reception. He has had the most amazing first year of school, and has overcome so many challenges himself. Watching his progress has filled me with so much pride, and I am so proud of the inquisitive and funny little boy he has grown into over the last year! Well done to my little Joseph 😊
I look forward to seeing more of you all, and as always thank you for the business you bring to us.
100 The Green, Kings Norton, Birmingham, B38 8RS
Birmingham Mortgage Advice is a trading name of McTernan Financial Ltd who are an Appointed Representative of PRIMIS Mortgage Network, a trading name of Advance Mortgage Funding Ltd. Advance Mortgage Funding Ltd is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.
Registered Office: 8 Church Green East, Redditch, B98 8BP. Registered in England and Wales. Company number: 09168296.
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