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Mortgage lending predicted to recover within 9 months

Mortgage lending predicted to recover within 9 months

The majority (77 per cent) of brokers believe that mortgage lending will recover to pre-pandemic levels within nine months, according to a survey by Smart Money People.

The research, conducted among 467 brokers, found some were even more optimistic with half (51 per cent) believing a recovery would happen within six months.

Appointed representatives were more confident than directly authorised brokers. Six in 10 (59 per cent) of appointed representatives predicted lending levels would recover within half a year, compared to 37 per cent of directly authorised brokers.

Brokers focussed on equity release were less optimistic however, as a mere 19 per cent thought lending levels would recover within six months, while 28 per cent predicted it would take a year to get back to normal.

Anthony Rose, director at LDNfinance, said: “Mortgage lenders, on the whole, have responded really well to events and maintained their willingness to lend as much as could have been hoped for. 

“If we are able to get estate agents functioning properly again over the next few weeks, and surveyors are able to value properties, then I think we can all be very hopeful of a quick and pronounced bounce back." 

He added: “This feels very different to the credit crunch of 2008/9 because mortgage lenders themselves seem in a much better position to lead the recovery in the housing market.”

The property market was officially reopened this week, with estate agents being allowed to return to work and property viewings allowed to happen again.

Lenders have already started to come back to the higher LTV market, after pulling their products in the past months.

Last month Nationwide extended lending via brokers up to 85 per cent LTV, after temporarily withdrawing the products to focus on supporting existing customers and processing ongoing applications.

Despite this, Michael Fotis, managing director of Smart Money People, was less optimistic.

He said: “Tentative steps are being taken to get the economy moving, and many lenders are talking loudly about their appetite to lend.

“That said, with job security likely to be a concern for many consumers, and predictions that house prices may decline by up to 13 per cent, it’s really hard to see customer appetite for new mortgage lending returning until 2021 at the earliest.”

chloe.cheung@ft.com