Record level of optimism in the mortgage market

Confidence in the mortgage market has rocketed among intermediaries as they become increasingly positive about the overall outlook for the mortgage market, according to the latest Halifax Intermediaries Confidence Tracker.

BDRC Continental questioned 300 brokers on the prospects for the overall mortgage industry, the intermediary sector and their own business over the second quarter of 2013. The findings revealed that 84% of brokers were confident about the mortgage market representing a 17% increase on the previous quarter and a significant 46% increase on the same quarter in 2012.

Continuing the upward trend of the previous two quarters, 82% of brokers were confident about the prospects for the intermediary sector, up 18% compared to the previous quarter. Many signaled lower rates as a result of the Funding for Lending scheme and repeat business as the main drivers of the increase in overall confidence in the intermediary sector. Those that were not confident in the sector cited that the restrictive or inconsistent underwriting policies of lenders created some challenges.

Ian Wilson, head of Halifax Intermediaries said: “It is encouraging to see increasing confidence in the sector over the last quarter. While the economic outlook remains challenging, we are seeing a slight easing of funding pressures, leading to an increasing number of lenders reducing rates and launching new products to the market, providing further optimism.”

The share of brokers confident in the performance of their own business dipped slightly with a two point decrease. However, this quarter saw a greater proportion of brokers respond as being “very confident” since the survey began.

The more competitive rates being offered throughout the first half of the year saw a marginal increase in the average number of cases being written per individual broker to 69. In terms of the type of business being conducted, brokers are reporting that in the second quarter cases business from both homemovers and first time buyers remained consistent, with volumes down this quarter for remortgage and buy-to-let applications.

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