IMLA: Confidence in market outlook remains strong

Jake Carter

February 3, 2021

A majority (92%) of advisers are positive about in the intermediary sector in 2021, with 85% also being optimistic about the wider mortgage market, according to the latest findings by the Intermediary Mortgage Lenders Association (IMLA).

A majority (96%) of advisers are positive about the outlook for their businesses in 2021 according to the research.

The average number of mortgage cases handled by advisers fell from 90 between July and September to 78 in Q4 2020.

The data outlined that the business mix remained broadly similar quarter-on-quarter, with 66% of cases handled by advisers being for residential mortgages, 26% related to buy-to-let customers, and a final 8% being specialist cases.

The average number of DIPs processed by advisers in Q4 was 25, which remained consistent with the findings in Q3 2020.

The conversion rate between DIPs and DIP-accepts in Q4 was noted at 81%, which is consistent with Q3 when the figure was noted at 80%.

In 2020, conversions from offers to completions peaked at 79% in Q1 2020 and fell to 65% in the final three months of the year.

Kate Davies, executive director at IMLA, said: “While there are signs that the unprecedented demand we saw in summer and autumn 2020 was already starting to cool towards the end of the year, intermediaries clearly remain positive about the outlook for the mortgage market.

“Whilst the impending stamp duty deadline means that activity will remain high in the weeks ahead, there are clear signs that demand will continue beyond 31 March.

“Advisers are also recognising that 2021 is set to be a major year for the remortgage market too, presenting plenty of opportunity.

“And although the rollout of the vaccine programme also gives us all more confidence that the end of the COVID-19 crisis may be in sight, many borrowers’ and prospective borrowers’ financial circumstances may have changed significantly over the past year, meaning that many of them will benefit from the expert advice which mortgage intermediaries can offer.

“However, as we approach the final months of the stamp duty holiday, there will be added pressure on lenders, conveyancers and all involved in the transaction process as consumers race to beat the deadline.

“IMLA and AMI have jointly warned that consumers need to be prepared to meet the additional costs if they cannot complete by 31 March.”

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