Mortgage market feels the credit crunch

The credit crunch is taking its toll on the mortgage publishing business.

Charterhouse Communications, which publishes Mortgage Introducer, has relaunched the title and launched a brand new magazine to help cope with the ‘completely unprecedented’changes in the money markets, according to publisher Nia Williams.

Williams told Press Gazette: ‘Nothing like what has happened to Northern Rock has happened before. It is so hard to predict.”

Charterhouse’s share price has fallen from more than 2.63p to 0.5p in the past six months. In a trading statement issued last week the company blamed ‘the well-documented market conditions affecting the domestic mortgage market in the UK’for the ‘significant effect’on its revenues during the last quarter of 2007.

The company’s profits for the year ending 31 May 2008 will be ‘significantly affected’and are likely to be ‘below market expectations”.

As a result, Williams said the company had to look at new areas where there is advertising money available. It has launched new monthly Commercial Finance Introducer today [Friday 1 February] following the trend of residential mortgage brokers diversifying into the commercial areas.

Charterhouse’s launch comes in the week competitor Centaur closed two B2B monthlies, citing ‘market conditions”. The free controlled circulation titles Mortgage Distributor and Loan Distributor will go online only from this month.

Publisher Anna Ruddock said the titles will continue to run branded events under the two names. Mortgage Strategy, Centaur’s weekly title in the portfolio, which has a controlled free circulation of 13,450, is unaffected by the changes.

Ruddock said: ‘A monthly can’t provide breaking news in the same way as online.

‘There’s no denying that market conditions have made the commercial environment harder.”

The websites will focus on improving audience interaction and breaking daily news. The existing Mortgage Distributor website will be relaunched with a new Loan Distributor site due to appear in three weeks.

One online editor is due to be appointed to the websites, which will mean the loss of one editor from the monthly titles.

The third big player in the mortgage publishing market is Incisive. It publishes Mortgage Solutions (ABC: 12,280) and Mortgage Edge in the B2B market plus two consumer titles, Your Mortgage and Your Money.

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