Brokers have been facing difficulties finding suitable products for their clients due to a perceived lack of appetite from lenders.
Research by lender MT Finance found four in 10 brokers thought their ability to source a suitable product for their client had been hampered during lockdown while more than a third (36 per cent) cited lender appetite as the biggest challenge they were facing during the pandemic.
The research was conducted among 215 brokers between May 29 and June 5, shortly after the government announced a restart of the housing market in England, allowing physical valuations to resume.
Many lenders had pulled their higher loan to value range or suspended new lending altogether during the lockdown.
Gareth Lewis, commercial director at MT Finance, said: “During lockdown a significant number of mortgage products were pulled by lenders throughout the industry. These withdrawals were not just from high street banks, but the specialist markets as well.
“Since the easing of lockdown we have seen a number of products return to the market, but certainly not to the volumes that were seen pre-Covid-19.
“The criteria and LTV levels that have come back have been more restrictive, which has resulted in challenges when looking to place clients and service requirements.”
A third (34 per cent) of brokers surveyed by MT Finance also said support from third parties, such as surveyors and solicitors, was an issue for them.
Kevin Dunn, director at Furnley House, said: "Although sourcing is proving more difficult, particularly at the higher loan to value end, for us the part where we are encountering the most difficulties is getting the surveys and valuations booked in, the time frame from application to offer, and the lack of telephone contact with a number of the lenders, so we’re struggling to get quick answers on anything our advisers or admin team may be chasing."
Meanwhile, only six per cent of brokers said that consumer confidence was the biggest challenge they were facing.
A third (34 per cent) of brokers predicted that lending levels would return to levels seen before the coronavirus within six to nine months.