Number of broker deals falls in March for first time in six months

MARK LOFTHOUS:, FLUCTUATION IS NO BIG SURPRISE
MARK LOFTHOUS:, FLUCTUATION IS NO BIG SURPRISE

Mortgage Brain and TrigoldCrystal have seen the first drop in the number of mortgage products available to brokers for more than six months.

The number of live broker products listed on Mortgage Brain’s sourcing system dropped by 4% in March from 4,876 to 4,665, while intermediary-only deals fell 6% on TrigoldCrystal, from 3,510 in February to 3,298 in March.

But the number of broker deals available via Mortgage Brain has risen over the longer term, with product availability up 51% compared with March 2009 and 63% on six months ago.

Meanwhile, TrigoldCrystal’s index shows that sourcing activity is at its highest since July 2009.

The number of variable deals on Mortgage Brain has increased for the past four months and 384 products are now available. This is up slightly from 369 on March 1.

Fixed rate products fell for the first time in six months to 2,840 deals, while the number of trackers fell 11% in March to 1,441.

On an annual basis trackers are up 121%, fixed rate deals are up 33% and variable deals are up 28%.

Mark Lofthouse, chief executive officer of Mortgage Brain, says: “Like the economy, the mortgage market is still fluctuating so it’s no surprise that we’re seeing slight dips in product availability.

“But it’s important that attention is paid to six and 12-month comparisons to get a clearer picture of market movements and the progress that’s been made.”

David Aylmer, business development and marketing director at TrigoldCrystal, says that while it doesn’t expect to see product levels reach the 70,000 they hit at the peak of the market it would like to see a continuing rise in choice.

Aylmer says: “While a fall of 6% in broker-only products is not huge it is something we will be keeping an eye on. What is more concerning is that at the same time as inter-mediary products fell direct deals rose by 4%.”