Brokers expect to write 6.7% more business in Q2

Mortgage brokers expect to conduct 6.7% more business in Q2 of 2010 than they did in the first, displaying further signs of returning confidence in the sector, says Paragon Mortgages.

According to Paragon Mortgages’ Financial Adviser Confidence Tracker, a panel-based survey of mortgage brokers, this is the fifth consecutive quarter that brokers have predicted increased business levels.

However, the rate of growth was slower than the previous quarter, when brokers predicted a 7.1% increase in business.

A quarter of brokers expect to conduct over 10% more business during the period compared to Q1, with 33% forecasting an increase of up to 10%. Just over a third of brokers (37%) believe that business levels will remain static, with 5% stating that business will fall.

The renewed confidence comes as mortgage lenders reduce rates and ease criteria for borrowers. Although still significantly below pre-credit crunch levels, there has been an increase in the number of higher loan-to-value products aimed at sectors of the market that have been excluded during the credit crunch, such as first-time buyers.

John Heron, managing director of Paragon Mortgages, says: ‘Mortgage brokers have endured a tough time since the start of the credit crunch, but confidence has returned in recent months, particularly since the latter half of 2009. This return of confidence has coincided with increased activity in the housing market, although the market is still very fragile.

“The levels of mortgage business will be influenced by the number of mortgage products available and we have seen a large increase since the start of 2010. This can only benefit consumers and the mortgage broker market.

“However, product levels are still a fifth of what they were during the market’s peak in summer 2007 and we are a long way from normality yet.”