Intermediary business close to 10-year high: Paragon

Mortgage intermediaries enjoyed a bumper first quarter according to Paragon’s Financial Adviser Confidence Tracking Index, which surveys more than 200 of the UK’s largest mortgage intermediaries.

On average, each mortgage office taking part in the survey introduced 24.5 mortgages in the first quarter, up by 6 per cent from 23 mortgages in Q4 2018 and by 10 per cent compared with Q1 2018.

This puts current activity levels close to the 10-year high of 25.2 mortgages recorded in the last quarter of 2015 and compares with a low of 13.8 mortgages in Q3 2009 in the middle of the global financial crisis.

Individual advisers introduced an average of 8.8 mortgages in the quarter – up by 16 per cent from 7.6 mortgages in Q4 2018 and by 11 per cent compared with Q1 2018 – the highest level of productivity achieved since the beginning of 2014.

Productivity is likely to have been boosted by the growth in remortgaging which has increased from 30 per cent of mortgage cases five years ago to more than 40 per cent of mortgage business in Q1 2019.

Despite the busy first quarter, advisers anticipate a 1.5 per cent increase in mortgage business in Q2 2019 – a modest pick-up for the beginning of the traditionally strong, spring-summer period compared with previous years.

Paragon managing director of mortgages John Heron (pictured) says: “While home mover activity is subdued, low interest rates and an uncertain economic outlook are encouraging more customers to remortgage, lifting intermediary business and boosting productivity.

“Despite the current economic uncertainty, it’s encouraging to see mortgage intermediaries maintaining high activity levels.”

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