Brokers can look ahead to the coming year with a true sense that the outlook for the industry is on the up.
Market fundamentals have improved dramatically over the course of 2009, with strong indications that despite the rate cycle upswing, lending volumes should continue to pick up across a number of sectors.
Investors are now firmly back in the frame. Sustained low vacancy rates and a shortage of supply will ensure activity continues well into 2010. It is also clear that there is still life in the first home buyer market and demand is also pushing through to other market segments.
According to RP Data’s most recent National Capital City Hedonic Index, Australian home values rose by 1.4 per cent in October following just 0.4 per cent growth in September.
Values have now risen 10 per cent since the start of 2009 however the impact of the most recent interest rate increases is likely to temper this growth moving forward – there are still legs in the market nonetheless.
As well as welcoming improved market conditions, a key focus for brokers will be on the new legislative regime that will change the profile of the industry forever next year.
Licensing will not only go a long way to ridding the industry of the buccaneer element it will more importantly elevate the profile of the professional majority.
With the backing of national licensing, brokers can at last be recognised as trusted advisers rather than transactional facilitators.
The MFAA is currently defining exactly what constitutes a professional broker.
There are several objectives for this strategy – to place pressure on lenders to drop minimum loan requirement and to elevate its members well above the basic entry requirements set out in the new legislation.
And Mortgage Business is also undergoing a phase of evolution that will further strengthen the publication’s relevance and value to our readers.
Jim Hall will step up to the role of publisher in January. He will be supported by editor Jessica Darnbrough and journalist Belinda Luc; I will take up the position of managing editor.
And as it moves into its fourth year of publishing Mortgage Business is also proud to unveil a new and fresh identity for both its print and online products.
From January 2010 The Adviser will be the new identity for the publication, reflecting the growing status of mortgage and finance brokers as regulation comes into play.
I wish you all the best for the holiday season and a fresh start to what we expect to be a very promising 2010.
Publisher, Mortgage Business
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