Leader: Brokers still in driving seat

The good news last week was that despite the continued fall in the number of mortgages taken out, brokers still have a dominant share of the market.

The Council of Mortgage Lenders’ figures show 63% of first-time buyer mortgages, 60% of remortgage deals and 53% of home mover loans were via brokers. In Q1 2011 some £30,126bn worth of loans were completed less than half of what was completed per quarter at the height of the market.

But with an average of 58% of all mortgages distributed via brokers this equates to some £17bn worth of loans. Despite all the negativity surrounding the market, there is no getting away from the fact that brokers continue to carve out a dominating share of the market we just need it to get bigger.

In that respect none of the recent figures have been particularly encouraging. The Bank of England’s lending to individuals figures for April show the number of loans for house purchase fell from 47,145 in March to 45,166 in April, which was even lower than the 45,878 recorded in January. Remortgages fell from 31,201 in March to 28,091 in April, which was considerably down on the 33,179 recorded in January.

But against this backdrop of downright depressing data, the Council of Mortgage Lenders came out with a prediction that gross lending will be up on 2010’s £136bn and will hit £140bn.

Let’s hope it is right. To achieve that we’ll have to see a considerable uplift over the next three quarters. Considering the country went on holiday for most of April, it doesn’t auger well for Q2. Hopefully, the CML has seen a surge in the second half of the year in its crystal ball as at the moment lending looks like it will struggle to even match last year.