Mortgage brokers predict business increase

Nia Williams

February 17, 2010

FACT, a panel-based survey of mortgage brokers, found that, on average, advisers expect to do 7.1% more business in the first three months of the year compared with the final quarter of 2009. This is the fourth quarter in a row that brokers have predicted an increase in mortgage business and follows a negative 2008, when the intermediary market, on average, predicted contracting levels of business.

Overall, 58% of brokers expect to see an increase in business in the first three months of the year, with 34% expecting business levels to remain stagnant. Just 8% of respondents expect falling business levels over the same period.

John Heron, Paragon Mortgages’ managing director, said: “Confidence slowly returned to the broker community throughout 2009 and this looks set to continue in 2010. As house prices seem to have turned the corner, buyer confidence has increased and we have seen a slight tick up in mortgage approvals in recent months. However, these remain low compared to the historical average and the market is nowhere near back to normal yet.

“This is particularly the case in the buy-to-let sector, where just two lenders dominate current levels of business and landlords suffer from a dearth of available mortgage products. We are encouraged by improvement in the broker community’s projections for future business and we hope that it continues throughout the rest of the year. But the market won’t be operating anywhere near normally until the wholesale funding markets reopen and we are not at that stage yet.’

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