Mortgage cases placed by intermediaries remain steady in Q3

The average number of mortgage cases placed by intermediaries on an annual basis remained broadly stable at 92 per year in Q3, compared to 93 in Q2, the Intermediary Mortgage Lenders Association (IMLA) has revealed.

Data from IMLA’s latest mortgage market tracker also found that mortgage brokers placed an average of 98 cases, whilst independent financial advisers reported an average of 63.

Data from the Bank of England has also suggested that there has been some recovery in lending in Q3, marginally making it the strongest lending quarter in 2023.

IMLA stated that around two thirds of intermediaries’ business was in residential lending, with buy-to-let (BTL) and specialist lending making up around a quarter and one in 12 cases respectively, with the proportion of BTL cases remaining consistent with the previous quarter.

However, there was a slight increase in the number of product transfer and a small fall in first-time buyers, as a result of higher interest rates and the cost of living crisis, IMLA said.

The association added that intermediary confidence in the outlook for their own businesses remained “bullish”, with 41% saying they were ‘very confident’, and 52% ‘fairly confident’, which is broadly in line with the two previous quarters.

The average number of decisions in principle (DIPs) that intermediaries processed increased in Q3, having stabilised in Q2 after four quarters of falls. August recorded the largest number of DIPs dealt with since June 2022, with an average of 30.

Executive director at IMLA, Kate Davies, said: "These results underline the continued robustness of the mortgage market and the intermediary sector despite the ongoing challenges to the UK economy.

"Intermediaries report high levels of confidence in the outlook for their own businesses, although they are not quite as upbeat about the wider market. This standpoint is understandable given the Bank of England’s recent narrative around interest rates, which it warns will remain high until Q3 2024 at the earliest. It will be interesting to see whether sentiment improves if inflation continues to fall.

"There is a healthy degree of competition in the market, and mortgage advisers will continue to play a key role in helping borrowers identify the most suitable products from the plethora of options available."

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