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Positive outlook for intermediary mortgage lending in the UK

The vast majority of mortgage intermediaries are still confident in the home lending industry outlook despite political uncertainty with 91% optimistic, a new study shows.

An even greater number, some 93%, are confident about the outlook for the intermediary sector and 95% about their own businesses, according to the Intermediary Mortgage Lenders Association (IMLA).

Intermediaries’ case load volumes have increased steadily over the last three quarters, returning to an average of 87 per year, close to the highest levels seen in the second quarter of 2018 when there was an average of 90 per year.

IMLA, which is the representative trade body for mortgage lenders who lend wholly or predominantly through intermediaries, has found that sentiment among UK intermediaries has remained positive in the second quarter of 2019.

When asked about the outlook for the intermediary sector, 93% of intermediaries felt it was positive, and more than half, 55%, were ‘very confident’ about the outlook for their own businesses.

Despite structural changes in the market which may signal future moves towards more hi-tech selling processes and non-advised (execution-only) business, intermediaries have stated that case load volumes have continued to increase steadily.

Over the last three quarters, activity has risen to an average of 87 cases per year, closing in on the highest levels seen since the second quarter of 2019. In total, 66% of intermediary activity was made of up residential cases, including remortgaging, first time buyers and movers.

‘It is clear that most intermediaries feel very positive about the outlook for the UK mortgage sector and it’s no surprise to us that demand has continued to remain strong,’ said Kate Davies, IMLA executive director.

‘There is a huge range of products out there and intermediaries can give borrowers a great service, helping them to negotiate their options and find the right product. Consumers’ circumstances are also becoming increasingly complex and intermediaries are ideally placed to help identify products offered by specialist lenders to help access the finance they need,’ she added.