Mortgages 

Mortgage broker confidence hits record highs

Mortgage broker confidence hits record highs

Mortgage intermediaries’ confidence about the prospects for their market has reached a record level, according to Natwest Intermediary Solutions’ latest poll.

The survey, conducted in December among 450 brokers, measured the degree of confidence they had for six key market components.

The index score rose 3.2 points from 66.1 in March to 69.3 in December last year; the highest recorded index score since it began in July 2013.

Graham Felstead, head of Natwest Intermediary Solutions, said: “It appears that mortgage brokers have high expectations for remortgaging and have great confidence that lenders will be able to offer funding to their customers.”

He suggested the fluidity of the market is, to a great degree, dependent on both the anticipation that house prices will rise and that homeowners have sufficient equity in their current properties.

“It’s telling that confidence in both of these measures has risen, indicating that brokers believe homeowners have the capability to move and, consequently, creating a demand for mortgages,” said Mr Felstead.

He added that the only real concern that brokers have was over the supply of suitable properties for people to buy, which could inhibit some market growth.

March2015December 2015Change since March 15
Demand for remortgaging72.377.3+5.0
Potential for house prices to rise66.170.7+4.6
Sufficient funding from lenders across all LTVs72.477.6+5.2
Adequate supply of properties in your local area58.755.1-3.6
First-time buyer affordability57.961.3+3.4
Homeowners having sufficient equity in their existing properties to move69.474.0+4.6
Overall66.169.3+3.2

Brokers were asked to rate each component out of 100, with a score of more than 50 indicating a positive view and a score of below 50 indicating a negative outlook.

Significant increases in confidence were recorded against five out of the six individual market components measured.

Sufficient funding from lenders across all loan-to-values saw the greatest increase in confidence levels rising 5.2 points to a score of 77.6 - another highest ever score, along with confidence in demand for remortgaging, which rose 5 points to a score of 77.3.

Homeowners having sufficient equity in their existing properties to move and potential for house prices to rise both rose 4.6 points to 74 and 70.7 respectively.

The only component which saw a dent in confidence was for an adequate supply of properties in the local area, falling by 3.6 points to 55.1, but still comfortably in positive territory.

peter.walker@ft.com