Broker business volumes lowest in over two years: Imla

The Intermediary Mortgage Lenders Association Mortgage Market Tracker for Q3 2018 shows the largest drop in broker business volumes for over two years.

The report says that the average number of cases handled on an annual basis has dropped from 90 to 81 – a fall of 10 per cent, which is the biggest drop since the first quarter of 2016, when the fall from 82 to 72 cases represented a cut back of 11 per cent.

Brokers are becoming increasingly gloomy too, with Imla reporting that 60 per cent are feeling “very confident” about their own firm’s future compared to 68 per cent in the previous quarter.

Further research from Imla shows that while the industry at large may be feeling a little down, the market is working well for those who are buying homes – 88 per cent of all mortgage applications led to offers during the third quarter.

It also details a strong remortgage market among falling purchase numbers, with 120,800 remortgage loans completed in Q3 2018 compared to 111,100 the year before – a jump of 8.7 per cent, and 40,800 buy-to-let remortgages completed versus 39,300 – an annual increase of 3.8 per cent.

Imla executive director Kate Davies says: “These latest survey results show that sentiment among buyers and movers is currently at a low point. While the Brexit negotiations remain so complex and uncertain, many people may be adopting a ‘wait and see’ approach before moving forward with a property purchase.

“While the national uncertainty doesn’t help the prospects of our mortgage brokers, it’s encouraging to see that when an intermediary does apply for a loan on their client’s behalf, they are being accepted.

“It’s also good to see that while fewer people are seeking finance to buy a property, the remortgage market remains strong and should ensure keen and competitive pricing for those property owners seeking a new deal.”

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