Intermediary confidence surprisingly high

Three quarters 75% of advisers are ‘confident’ about the mortgage market in the second quarter despite the current difficult market conditions, the Mortgage Market Tracker report from the Intermediary Mortgage Lenders Association (IMLA) has found.

Confidence has slightly fallen however, as the proportion of those who were ‘very confident’ fell from 26% in April to 20% in June, while the ‘fairly confidents’ fell from 56% to 40% over the period.

Kate Davies, executive director of IMLA, said: “The latest findings demonstrate the remarkable resilience of the UK mortgage market and intermediaries themselves in the face of continued market volatility.

“Confidence levels, while remaining generally robust, inevitably dipped in June as the expectation of interest rates remaining higher for longer became apparent. But with business levels maintaining healthy levels and conversion rates increasing, the outlook for the intermediary market appears positive.

“The results for this quarter are particularly encouraging in that they show positive activity across all market segments, including sustained levels of first-time buyer cases and growth in the home-moving sector, rather than a reliance on remortgaging.

“As the economic environment looks set to remain challenging, the demand for professional mortgage advice will continue to grow, and IMLA’s prediction that intermediaries could account for 90% of mortgage distribution by 2024, as reported in our ‘New Normal’ report earlier this year, continues to stand.”

The average adviser placed 93 cases over the previous 12 months, only slightly lower than Q2 2022 (97 cases) and Q2 2021 (95 cases), but significantly higher than any quarter in the four years preceding 2021.

Despite negative headlines about the buy-to-let sector, the data suggest this sector remains buoyant, accounting for 25% of mortgage cases placed in Q2 2023, a fairly small reduction from the 28% recorded in Q2 2022.