"Whilst the Brexit negotiations remain so complex and uncertain, many people may be adopting a ‘wait and see’ approach before moving forward with a property purchase."
Mortgage brokers have reported the biggest fall in business volumes in two years, with average number of mortgage cases per year down 10%, according to the latest data from IMLA.
The average number of cases handled on an annual basis dropped from 90 to 81 cases and for the first time since 2016, the percentage of brokers who professed to be “very confident” about their own business’ fell, from 68% to 60%.
Separate IMLA research also suggests that fewer brokers are feeling positive about the mortgage market in 2018. In H1 2018, a third of brokers (33%) felt the current market would “improve a little” but by H2 2018 that had fallen to just 20%.
More positively, for those who do move forward with a property transaction, the market continues to work well with nearly 9 in 10 (88%) of all mortgage applications leading to offers.
Kate Davies, executive director of IMLA, commented: “These latest survey results show that sentiment among buyers and movers is currently at a low point. Whilst the Brexit negotiations remain so complex and uncertain, many people may be adopting a ‘wait and see’ approach before moving forward with a property purchase.
“While the national uncertainty doesn’t help the prospects of our mortgage brokers, it’s encouraging to see that when an intermediary does apply for a loan on their client’s behalf, they are being accepted. Mortgages going from application to offer remain at more than two-year highs as intermediary lenders continue to find solutions for clients.
“With signs that the Bank of England may also be adopting a ‘wait and see’ approach towards potential future rate rises as next March’s Brexit deadline gets closer, borrowers should continue to be able to lock into attractively-priced deals before the Bank reacts.”