Advisers more realistic
Stephen Smith, Legal & General’s Director of Housing, said: “Confidence amongst mortgage brokers has been declining all year but we think that there is good news around the corner. Our survey of ARs shows that 42% of them believe that business over the next quarter will be flat – broadly consistent with the previous surveys in Q2 and Q3. 23% of advisers believe that next quarter will be worse, and this figure has in fact risen from 15% in Q3 and 6% in Q2.
“This isn’t really surprising, though, considering that this period covers the year-end when volumes are traditionally down, so I would call this realistic rather than pessimistic.
“However, we believe that there are plenty of things to be positive about, what with house prices showing a mini recovery, absent lenders potentially looking to come back into the market and more products at higher loan-to-values. In addition, there is a lot of interest in the commercial market, the buy-to-let market is showing signs of growth for the first time in a long time, and house builders such as Persimmon are generally quite bullish.
“Our message to brokers is ‘keep your chins up or you might not see the business that is out there’! We’re in discussions with lenders all the time and there is a feeling in general that the industry may have turned a corner.”