Mortgages 

Brokers see surge in enquiries

Brokers see surge in enquiries

Mortgage intermediaries experienced a 26 per cent surge in enquiries during the fourth quarter of 2016 as business from buy-to-let landlords almost doubled.

The average number of enquiries rose to 58 per intermediary in Q4, up from 46 in the previous quarter, according to the Intermediary Mortgage Lender’s Association’s (IMLA) Mortgage Market Tracker.

Demand continues to be underpinned by record low interest rates, and the overall Q4 figures represent the largest average number of enquires logged by the tracker, surpassing the previous high of 49 recorded in Q1 2016.

Buy-to-let enquiries soared by 47 per cent, from an average of 43 to 63 per intermediary, as changes to underwriting standards and upcoming alterations to mortgage tax relief spurred landlords to seek advice.

Average number of enquiries per broker, Q1-Q4 2016

 Q1 2016Q2 2016Q3 2016Q4 2016
First-time buyers55464652
Homemovers55464053
Remortgagors48384853
BTL52454363
Other specialist48484546
All49444658

IMLA’s data also shows a larger proportion of borrowers progressed through the mortgage approval process in Q4 than in Q3, with the rate of completions rising from 74 per cent to 80 per cent.

Peter Williams, executive director of IMLA, commented: “It is very encouraging to see that the profile of the intermediary channel continues to grow among borrowers, and that many more are making it their first port of call. 

“Different borrowers have different needs, and consulting an independent expert can help ensure the best possible outcomes for a wide variety of cases.”

Danny Matthews, founder of Mortgy.co.uk, added: “I can't put my finger on what the reason is, but we've seen a solid number of applications and around half are BTL. 

“If the people applying are anything like me, they understand that instances like Brexit, Trump or the Budget will always happen and we cannot stop our lives and ambitions because of it. 

“The rates are still the best in 322 years of the Bank of England so we are still in good times. Maybe it took these 'instances' for us to realise the opportunity.

“It seems to be that I'm asking clients what they think is going to happen, rather than the other way around. That tells me the sentiment of politics is being drowned out maybe.”

simon.allin@ft.com