Brokers report overall mortgage completions are up

Brokers report overall mortgage completions are up

The completion rate for first-time buyer mortgage offers via intermediaries reached a three-year high of 89 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2018.

This is according to the Intermediary Mortgage Lenders Association based on data produced by interviews between September and December with 300 intermediaries who are located in Great Britain.

Imla calculated the rate of completed mortgage offers for first-time buyers handled by mortgage intermediaries increased by 8 percentage points in the fourth quarter of 2018, compared with 81per cent in the third quarter of 2018.

These figures showed completions were 20 percentage points greater than in the first quarter of 2016, when mortgage brokers reported that only 69 per cent of first-time buyer offers reached completion.

As well as strong first-time buyer figures, mortgage intermediaries reported to research agency BVA BDRC stronger completion rates across the board in the last quarter of 2018.

The fourth quarter saw a five percentage point increase in overall mortgage completions, up to 87 per cent from the previous quarter.

Remortgage activity also ended strongly in 2018 with quarterly figures up by 4 percentage points in the fourth quarter to 87 per cent.

Buy-to-let lending was also more positive in the fourth quarter, even in the face of increased landlord regulatory obligations dampening the sector in 2018.

Offers to completion rose three percentage points to 85 per cent, according to intermediaries.

The data from research agency BVA BDRC examines consumers' success rate in securing a mortgage via the intermediary channel, by tracking their progress from initial expression of interest (seeking a 'decision in principle') through to completion. 

Kate Davies, executive director of Imla, said: "Imla predicts that mortgage intermediaries will account for a growing share of the mortgage market this year and into 2020.

"These figures underline our firm belief that, during times of uncertainty, people still seek out a seasoned expert to help guide them through complex financial decisions."