Mortgage debt falls for 10th quarter in a row
Those with mortgages have now been paying off more than they borrow for 30 months, mortgage holders are continuing to pay down their loans, according to the Bank of England's latest quarterly figures. Figures for the third quarter of the year show borrowers cut their collective debt by £6.1bn.
It is the 10th quarter in a row that homeowners have put more money into their home than they took out. Separately, the Halifax released a report showing first-time buyers would need an average deposit of £29,000 to buy a property. But the mortgage lender added that the proportion of disposable income needed for mortgage payments was now the lowest for 12 years, at 27%. Collectively, those with mortgages have been reducing the amount outstanding since the second quarter of 2008 and have paid in £49.7bn since then.
The £6.1bn figure was the net injection of equity that people have put into their homes since the first quarter of 2009.
'Serious concerns' 
Howard Archer, chief UK and European economist at IHS Global Insight, said: "There is an ongoing desire and perceived need of many people to improve their personal balance sheets, given high debt levels and serious concerns and uncertainties over the economic situation.
"Extremely low savings interest rates have made it much more attractive for many people to use any spare funds that they have to reduce their mortgages."
The recent trend among homeowners to pay down their mortgages contrasts with their behaviour during the housing boom, when they unlocked a record £17.1bn during the last quarter of 2003. Recent figures from the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) showed mortgage lending fell 5% in November compared with the previous month and was down 10% on a year ago, lenders say. The uncertain housing market means it is more difficult not only to get a mortgage, but to increase the size of an existing one. 
The CML said mortgage lending remained weak owing to a lack of interest from buyers and rationing of home loans from lenders.
So what is the real reason behind this unprecedented slow down, simple I think - Job security!
Without a shadow of a doubt people are feeling less secure at the start of 2011 than in previous years and this coupled with the endless discussions on how badly the economy (the real economy that is) is doing has had effect on most sensible human beings in the form of us all paying down our debts. I know for myself I have used this period to increase mortgage payments and steadily chip away at the capital sum rather than invest heavily in savings. At 44 years of age I only have mortgage debt which given a fair wind should be done by the time I am 47; this was reduced from 50 during these times of low interest rates. I would advise anyone to do the same thing where ever possible but in the event you have higher yielding debt you should always pay this down first, credit cards etc.
Over the last 2 years lots of people I know have taken pay cuts or reduced hours and this in itself is sought of massaging the unemployment figures and stripping cash from the economy, the only thing that will make us spend is confidence and I believe we are a long way from a confident society willing to take far greater risks with our money and the money that we borrow. To me this means about another two years of the cycle before we are really on the upswing and a wave of better job security has been sustained. Only then will we see house prices rising again and demand outstripping supply, not the boom bust cycle just healthy demand coupled with the willingness to lend and most importantly the security and confidence to borrow.
If you are in the mortgage business then I am sure you will find tough times ahead and securing funds for your clients will I think prove very challenging especially for those with less than 25% deposit. This I think means your industry will fight hard over those clients who have the means to borrow and so it now that you should sharpen up on your marketing and image. Betterprint can help; take a look at our site www.betterprint
Start off with your Business Cards as these play a vital role in communicating your message to your customers. I know people think they are just Business Cards but I think it is worth understanding the importance of this vital communication tool. When you first meet a contact always hand them a card which carries all your relevant contact details and is well designed, printed on sturdy thick card (400gsm should do it), which is of high quality.

Keep your text large enough so everyone can read it and don't clutter it with too much information, use the reverse for product listings or the services you offer or just place your website details across the centre of the back. The best card you can buy would be printed on 400gsm and laminated in either Matte or Gloss, these will have the best look and feel and will be the most hard wearing. Follow this advice and your customers and potential customers will comment on your cards and that means they will remember you.

Remember - if you buy the cheapest flimsiest card that you can find you will leave no lasting impression on your clients and that is the key to marketing and branding - leave an impression that sets you apart from the crowd!

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Betterprint offer everything you need to do the job just right and offer fantastic deals for a quality product backed up by a service that you will be delighted with, if you want to try us mail me and I will send you a Promo Code worth 25% discount. Ask for the "Marketing Blog Discount" by email. Remember you also get 20% further discount from any matching products you buy at the same time and they offer next day delivery if required (for a fee).

Good Luck with your Marketing.