Four in five brokers confident for the year ahead, PRIMIS reveals

Over four in five (82%) mortgage brokers have stated that they are “upbeat” about the coming year, believing that customer confidence will increase as inflation and energy bills fall, PRIMIS has revealed.

The mortgage network surveyed appointed representatives from across the UK, finding that brokers in Scotland had the most positive outlook, with 88% stating their customers feel more positive.

Northern Ireland was the region where brokers had the least amount of optimism, with 78% of brokers seeing an increase in customer confidence.

Sales director at PRIMIS, Claire Madge, said: "It’s been a tough few years for British households but it looks like the pinch of higher food prices, energy costs, rents and mortgage payments is beginning to lessen.

"Our advisers are right at the coalface when it comes to how their customers are feeling about their finances. And, with the prospect of a general election before the year is out, it may be that customers are finally looking forward to the future."

The survey comes as the governor of the Bank of England (BoE), Andrew Bailey, hinted that a cut to the base rate could be "on the way", after keeping it at 5.25% in March.

He went on to tell journalists that he was "encouraged" that this would take place later in the year.

Madge added: "There are reasons to be optimistic about this year: the threat of inflation seems to be ebbing and this latest improvement in the BoE’s mood on interest rates bodes well for clients coming up to remortgage later this year."

The research by PRIMIS also highlighted that while confidence is improving, the pressure on household finances over the past three years continues to weigh on some customers.

Two in five advisers across the UK said they don’t expect the pressures on household finances to improve over the coming year, with three in five expressing some concern.

She added that the prospect of a rate cut later in the year could see customers reluctant to lock into remortgage rates early, but with affordability still squeezed, this may not be in their best interests.

Madge concluded: "Advisers know that each and every situation is unique and helping clients to understand the impact of different routes they might take is ever more critical. With the Consumer Duty rules on new products bedded in and extending to include existing products and services from the end of July, brokers are even more mindful of ensuring good outcomes for their customers."

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