The One account's Mortgage Outlook Index shows that intermediary confidence is improving in three key areas: lenders' service levels, mortgage regulation and business prospects for the year ahead.
The research was carried out by NOP in December 2002 and covers the period September to November 2002. It found that 74% of mortgage intermediaries believe service from lenders has been good over the past quarter, an improvement of 11% on the previous quarter.
An encouraging 63% believe mortgage regulation will improve the prospects of the business they work for, up from 57%.
Two thirds (65%) agree that mortgage sales leads are higher than this time last year, showing the continued buoyancy of the UK mortgage market, while 79% either agreed or agreed strongly that they were positive about future mortgage sales opportunities over the next year.
The level of mortgage business actually written decreased by 9% on the previous quarter but had still increased for 59% of mortgage intermediaries.
Scott Mowbray, marketing manager at The One account, says: “The Mortgage Outlook Index shows that intermediaries believe lenders' service is improving all the time. This is probably because of an increased focus in service standards from lenders who are finding it difficult to compete on product features which can be copied very quickly. Service is clearly going to be the key selling point in the future.
“With all the talk of a hard landing in the housing market in 2003 and lower levels of mortgage business actually written by intermediaries in the last quarter it is interesting and encouraging to see a robust outlook and improving intermediary confidence when it comes to mortgage sales opportunities over the next year. Mortgage regulation continues to hold no fear for intermediaries who appear to be looking forward to the new regime when finally implemented.”
The next Mortgage Outlook Index from The One account will be available in May 2003.