Stonebridge has reported that mortgage completions rose to £8.5bn in 2020-21, up 9% on the previous year.
March 2021 lending completions alone were over £1bn for Stonebridge, a 79% year-on-year increase, while mortgage application figures for the month were 20% up on the previous year.
Stonebridge reported that for the first three months of 2021, purchasers made up 57% of its overall mortgage applications, compared to remortgaging at 43%.
This compares to a 49% purchase, 51% remortgage breakdown for 2020 as a whole.
Stonebridge said its appointed representative (AR) firms were continuing to maximise the opportunities presented by buoyant mortgage market conditions with the stamp duty holiday extension providing a further catalyst to borrower demand.
At the end of March this year, the network had grown to 829 RIs across 412 firms – an annual increase of 18%, which it said compared favourably with its peer group.
Stonebridge said its ambition was to ensure its careful and consistent growth of the network continued and that it already had 124 advisers pending authorisation to join.
As a result of its continued adviser growth, Stonebridge has increased staffing levels and added additional resource across every department through the year.
This included increasing its headcount at head office by 24, introducing a variety of new field-based and home-based roles across the UK.
Rob Clifford, chief executive of Stonebridge, said: “Given how the financial year started for the housing and mortgage market back in April last year, to have posted these excellent results, particularly for mortgage lending and growth of the business.
“To say the last 12 months has been challenging would be an understatement, and while our head office is again open – and we have made a considerable investment in turning it from a traditional office to a more collaborative space – the majority of Stonebridge staff are still working remotely by choice.
“I am incredibly proud of the way they have handled their work responsibilities through this pandemic and their continued commitment to supporting our AR firms.
“Once the housing market reopened in mid-May last year, activity levels took off and it more than made up for the fallow period, with completion levels and applications being particularly strong.
“As a result of that ongoing demand, our existing AR firms have been able to grow, bringing on more advisers themselves, and we continue to focus heavily on recruitment to the network.
“This has meant the number of RIs is at record levels – 18% up on the previous year.”