Half of mortgage brokers worried over impact of MMR

Some 47 per cent of mortgage intermediaries have concerns about the impact of the mortgage market review on the availability of mortgage products, research has found.

Ahead of the MMR deadline on 26 April, a study published in the latest Intermediary Mortgage Lenders Association’s intermediary mortgage industry bulletin found that, of more than 1,600 brokers surveyed, almost half expressed fears over the new regulatory regime, up from just over a third (34 per cent) six months ago.

The bulletin and staff from the IMLA’s membership of 20 lenders also revealed that 50 per cent of intermediaries believed the MMR would hinder some consumers in their ability to get a mortgage, with concerns that the new regulations would cause regulatory confusion and hinder access to loans.

The report also found that a growing number of brokers attributed application failures to borrowers debt, rising from 36 per cent last summer to 56 per cent.

Failures attributed to asking for too much money relative to income also rose during the same period, from 31 per cent to 40 per cent.

Despite trepidation from brokers about the effect of the MMR, the body’s executive director Peter Williams said the mortgage market was “finally making strides towards recovery”, driven by improving economic conditions and government stimulus.

Based on this confidence, he said: “The IMLA is forecasting gross mortgage lending to continue rising from £177bn in 2013, to £215bn this year, and £240bn in 2015. However, this growth would still remain some 47 per cent below the peak of 2007 in real terms.”

He claimed “the mortgage market of the future has great potential”, but added that challenges remain “in the potential unwinding of support measures, and woefully inadequate house building, which is unbalancing supply and demand”, in addition to ensuring that tougher capital requirements on lenders and the MMR did not excessively subdue lending.

Key figures:

• 47% number of intermediaries concerned over effect of MMR (up from 34% six months ago)

• 53% number of brokers “confused” due to over-regulation

• 57% number of lenders concerned over availability of qualified advisers

Adviser view

Tristan Bishop, director of Cornwall-based Peter A Bishop Mortgage Services, said: “We haven’t seen a slowdown in customer enquiries, as they have never heard of the MMR.

“However, I do have concerns about the lenders and their processing, with some slowing down to unacceptable levels. If they implemented the rules properly, there shouldn't be a problem.”