Broker confidence bounces back
On behalf of Halifax Intermediaries, BDRC Continental questioned 300 brokers on the prospects for the mortgage industry, the intermediary sector and their own business during the third quarter of 2014. The findings revealed that 96 percent of brokers were confident in the outlook for their own firm, representing an 11% increase on Q2, and a 5% rise on the same quarter in 2013.
The positive outlook is partly due to increased business levels in the quarter with brokers reporting writing an average of 80 mortgage cases in the last 12 months, up 4% on Q2 and up 2% on Q3 2013.
This gradual increase in business volumes is now nearly up to the level it had reached in Q2 2008 when brokers were reporting writing an average of 89 business cases a year.
Prior to the MMR a number of brokers were anticipating an increase in business levels in the post-regulatory environment and were proved correct.
In terms of the type of business being conducted over the last year, brokers are reporting that in the third quarter business from homemovers represented the largest single part of their business (28.7%), ahead of remortgagers (20%), first-time buyers (23.8%) and buy-to-let (18.8%).
Ian Wilson, head of Halifax Intermediaries said: “Business levels have been increasing post-MMR, and by Q3 2014 we were seeing brokers writing a similar number of cases to the second half of 2008. However, the latest market reports indicate an easing of activity levels in the mortgage market in the fourth quarter so it will be interesting to see what the end of year figures reveal and what impact it has had on brokers outlook for their business and the mortgage market as a whole in 2015.”
Confidence in the mortgage industry remains high, but it is still lower than at the beginning of the year as 74% of intermediaries reported they were confident in the outlook of the market – down 21% decrease from Q1. However, confidence in the intermediary channel specifically is picking up faster, with a 10% increase to 86% from Q2 2014.