Intermediaries were more confident about the outlook of the mortgage market in Q4 2019 than at any other point during the year, the Intermediary Mortgage Lenders Association (IMLA) has found in its latest Mortgage Market Tracker. According to the research, 93% of mortgage intermediaries were confident about the outlook for the mortgage industry heading into 2020.
Kate Davies, Executive Director of the Intermediary Mortgage Lenders Association, said:
“The last few years have certainly tested the resilience of the mortgage market. 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.
“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 £268 billion this year, 1.4% ahead of last year.”
The research also found that most advisers (94%) were positive specifically about the outlook for the intermediary-led mortgage market, while 97% were also confident about future prospects for their own business.
Despite concerns over the threats of robo-advice and execution-only sales, intermediaries claimed case load volumes have increased to an average of 88 per year, close to the highest levels seen in Q2, 2018 (average of 90 per year).
Advisers also continued to help more borrowers successfully apply for mortgages, with 55% of DIPs now resulting in completion – an increase of 7% from the previous quarter. The conversation rate of DIP-accepts to full applications also grew to 85% and the proportion of full applications which resulted in offers reached close to nine in ten of all customers (89%).
Additionally, gross lending on all mortgages has increased each quarter since Q1 2019, reaching £70.9bn in Q4 2019, according to the Bank of England.