93% of intermediaries confident about mortgage industry

Intermediaries were most confident about the outlook of the mortgage market in 2019 during the final quarter of the year, according to the Intermediary Mortgage Lenders Association (IMLA).

In its latest Mortgage Market Tracker, IMLA found that 93% of mortgage intermediaries were confident about the outlook for the mortgage industry heading into 2020.

The research also showed that 94% of advisers were positive about the outlook for the intermediary-led mortgage market, while 97% were also confident about the prospects for their own business.

The findings of IMLA’s latest Mortgage Market Tracker were based on 300 interviews with mortgage intermediaries, collected during the last quarter of 2019.

“The last few years have certainly tested the resilience of the mortgage market,” IMLA executive director, Kate Davies, said. “Amidst significant political turbulence, intermediaries have faced the challenge of disintermediation, diminishing consumer confidence and uncertainty surrounding what may replace the Help to Buy scheme as it is gradually wound down.

“Despite that, they ended last year on a high with a significant proportion expressing their positivity towards the sector’s future and having helped many more onto and up the property ladder.”

Amid concerns over the threats of robo-advice and execution-only sales, IMLA’s research found intermediaries suggesting case load volumes had increased to an average of 88 per year – close to the highest levels seen in the second quarter of 2018 when the average was 90 per year.

IMLA also indicated that advisers continued to help more borrowers successfully apply for mortgages, with 55% of DIPs now resulting in completion – a 7% increase from the previous quarter.

Gross lending on all mortgages has increased in every quarter since the beginning of 2019 and reached £70.9bn in the final quarter of the year, according to Bank of England figures.

Davies added: “It’s clear there will be challenges ahead in 2020. The FCA’s recent changes to execution-only sales and the punitive tax changes on buy-to-let landlords will continue to change the shape of the market.

“However, it would appear that the new government has helped to boost consumer confidence and IMLA has predicted gross mortgage lending will rise to £268bn this year, 1.4% ahead of last year.”

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