Mortgages 

Broker confidence almost at pre-MMR peak: Halifax

Broker confidence almost at pre-MMR peak: Halifax

Mortgage broker confidence in the outlook for their own firms is now just below the all time high recorded in the first quarter of 2014, just before the Mortgage Market Review came into force.

Confidence rose in the outlook for their own firms continues to recover, as the proportion of intermediaries who feel ‘very confident’ about the outlook for the intermediary sector and the mortgage market as a whole increased during the first quarter, according to the latest Halifax research.

The tracker revealed 99 per cent of brokers were confident in the outlook for their own firm, representing a two percentage point increase on the fourth quarter last year.

Brokers also now have a more positive outlook towards the intermediary sector and the mortgage market in general, with 93 per cent expressing confidence in Q1, up five percentage points since the previous quarter.

The claimed average annual number of cases per intermediary was up to 77 during the first three months of this year, which is the third highest figure since records began and very close to the record number of 80 in Q1 2014.

This increase in confidence was largely due to more business flow, with brokers suggesting improved rates, products, and loan-to-values, together with the push of the MMR to increase the demand for advice are all helping.

Ian Wilson, head of sales at Halifax Intermediaries, commented that the supply side environment is very good for brokers at the moment, with more lender competition, prompting better rates, greater product choice, and higher loan-to-values.

“Confidence in the market is now almost back at pre-MMR levels and the outlook for the rest of the year is positive. But as activity increases lenders are going to have to improve service levels to match.”

peter.walker@ft.com