Mortgages  

Broker satisfaction with speed of applications rises

Broker satisfaction with speed of applications rises
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Brokers’ satisfaction with application-to-offer times of mortgage lenders is up as many lenders have turned a corner from last year's pandemic mayhem, according to Smart Money People.

A survey of almost 600 brokers found satisfaction with how quickly lenders process applications through to offer increased by 6.5 percentage points to 73.7 per cent in April/May.

According to Smart Money People, approval ratings of the speed that lenders process applications from first-time buyers through to offer saw the greatest increase, up by 8.9 percentage points to 74.4 per cent.

Brokers’ satisfaction with speed for moving home cases saw a similar increase of 8.8 percentage points to 73.4 per cent, while for remortgage cases it rose by 5 percentage points to 75 per cent.

Jacqueline Dewey, chief executive officer of Smart Money People, said: “The end of last year was a perfect storm for mortgage lenders; combining the uncertainty around whether the stamp duty holiday would be extended, incredibly high levels of demand, and lenders still adapting to ways of working not even predicted in the worst-case disaster recovery scenarios.

“Fast forward to now and brokers seem to be satisfied with how lenders have resolved some of the issues faced last year, and the extension to the stamp duty holiday seems to have given lenders some breathing space to catch up on their pipeline.”

Last year saw lenders temporarily withdraw products at 90 per cent LTV to manage demand and protect service, while brokers told of stresses with products coming in and out of the market at short notice.

But things have changed since then.

Greg Cunnington, director of lender relationships and new homes at Alexander Hall, said: “In very busy market conditions, with application volumes at very high levels, it has been very impressive to see how lenders have been servicing applications.

“The operational challenges of the market conditions and still having staff working remotely have been very well dealt with, and we are seeing mortgage offers for well packaged applications regularly issued in less than a week.”

Miles Robinson, head of mortgages at Trussle, likewise said he had seen turnaround times from lenders on applications return to pre-pandemic levels, with many lenders now able to issue offers within days on fully packaged cases.

Robinson added: “It’s certainly positive that lenders have now adapted to a new way of working with staff working remotely and some offices beginning to reopen. We’re seeing less down valuations on properties and processing times have improved, boosting satisfaction levels during an extremely uncertain time.”

chloe.cheung@ft.com

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