Well, if any of us thought that we’d get away with an uneventful 2021, we were all sorts of WRONG. The year took on a life of its own with plenty of ups and downs, and the same can be said of TMP’s corner of the housing market.
That said, the stats from the year show that there were many more ups than downs and I’m particularly proud of the progress we’ve made (even if that comes with a huge caveat – see my conclusions, below).
So, what’s been happening with us, our market and our customers in 2021?
At the start of the year, nine of our lenders were offering 95% mortgages. Today, that number stands at 16. (Lenders tend to move in and out of favour over the year, but Leeds Building Society have remained constant at 95% throughout 2021.)
Many more (83% more!) lenders offer their full suite of mortgage products through us than they did at the start of the year.
Our most popular lender at the end of the year remains Leeds Building Society, which is currently providing 22% of our mortgage applications.
That said, three other lenders (TSB, Nationwide and Barclays) are rising up the rankings.
Interestingly, the highest completion rate at the moment goes to Leeds at 17.0%, but over the year Kent Reliance leads the way with a 18.37% rate.
May was our busiest month, with 57% more lending than we’re seeing today. We can put this down to the end of the Stamp Duty Holiday.
Since then, lending has been broadly consistent – consistently high – from June all the way through to today. This is quite unusual.
The Bank of England base rate rose to 0.25% at the end of 2021. Did we all see that coming? Yep.
Our lowest 2-year fixed rate mortgage (90% LTV) was 2.04% at the end of the year.
The lowest 2-year fixed rate mortgage (90% LTV) at the start of the year was 3.29%.
Ahem, here’s one that we’re particularly proud of… over 20,000 people came to TMP The Mortgage People for an assessment this year!
We employ more people than ever before in 17 different job roles.
The average time to send sign-offs at the start of year was 5.87 days (which is longer than where we want it to be). Today, that figure is 4.2 days, which is under the benchmark (and very welcome).
And when it comes to how long it takes from application to offer, we’ve reduced that length of time by 38% this year.
24% of Team TMP are under 30 years of age.
Over 57% of the team are women.
An incredible 100% of the team work from home now. A year ago, it was a 50/50 split between home and the office.
Obviously, I’m hugely proud of the team, what we’ve achieved, and the ways in which we improved our business in 2021. It’s also fantastic to see new lenders entering the market, an increase in mortgage products and the various indicators that show just how far Shared Ownership has come.
I’m reluctant, however, to draw conclusions on the wider health of the market. We’re still in the middle of post-lockdown buying patterns and factors such as ‘pent-up savings’ are muddying the waters when it comes to the size of deposits, etc.
So, let’s just take comfort in the fact that, right now, we’re in a good place. We’re feeling positive about 2022, but whatever will be will be.