IMLA members braced for difficult year

Intermediary Mortgage Lenders Association (IMLA) members are expecting 2012 to be a challenging year.

IMLA conducted a member survey in December 2011 which found that its members believe that the economy faces many challenges, which will in turn impact on the country’s housing and mortgage markets.

When asked about the growth of the economy views were varied, with some members expecting a sharp recession with GDP at -2% and others relatively positive at +1.5% but on average it is expected to continue to be sluggish with GDP at 0.91%.

By the end of 2012 IMLA members expect inflation to fall materially within a range of 2% to 4%, the average view being that inflation reduces to 2.79%. Expectations for gross mortgage lending are at no more than £130 billion in 2012 (down from the likely £138 billion outturn for 2011) and members also expect unemployment levels to remain high with some risk of further deterioration.

Peter Williams, IMLA’s executive director, said: “The survey results may look negative but represent a realistic outlook for the year ahead and remind us that we are still in very challenging times for the economy. The mortgage market remains very limited which is why intermediaries can play such an important role to help inform consumers about the best products available and what is right for them.