UK mortgage brokers have become more confident in what the overall outlook for the lending market of this year is concerned, The recently released Halifax intermediaries survey showed that 75% of brokers are more optimistic about the mortgage market in the beginning of 2013, up 6% from Q4 of 2012.
Brokers are more and more confident in the intermediary sector, an upward trend that has been consistent with the results of the past two quarters. 3% more brokers than in the previous month say they have greater confidence in the industry. The majority consider that the main reason for their increasing confidence the lower rates generated by the funding for lending scheme.
‘It is encouraging to see increasing confidence in the sector over the last quarter. Whilst 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,’ said Ian Wilson, head of Halifax Intermediaries.
While they are confident in the segment, brokers are less confident in the performance of their own business, the survey showing a 2% decrease from the previous quarter. The good news is that of those who still believe in the success of their firm in 2013, the percentage of those being very confident is higher.
The average number of cases written per broker went up in 2012, reaching 70.25, while the 2011 value for the same indicator was of 64.25. The competitive rates offered in 2012 were the cause of this increase. In Q4 of last year, cases from home movers and first time buyers were stagnant, remortgages and buy to let applications dropped. Brokers also stated there had been an increase in the volume of specialist buy to let lending and remortgage activity in 2012, reporting a year on year growth of 17% and 1% respectively. Overall, brokers reported an increase in the volume of specialist buy to let lending and remortgage activity last year, up 17% and 1% respectively, compared to 2011.