By Rachel Williams
Research commissioned on behalf of the ZIFA Mortgage Network has confirmed that IFAs are confident about levels of activity in the mortgage market.
Debi Isaac, public relations consultant at ZIFA, said that IFAs believed they were doing more mortgage business than a year ago. “It found that 60% had seen an increase in sales over the last two years and 60% also thought that this would continue to increase over the next two years. On the whole, IFAs are reporting renewed confidence and within the next two years they are expecting mortgages to become an even more important part of their business.”
This was thought to be due to a combination of consumer confidence, lower mortgage rates and changes in other financial service sectors.
Isaac said: “A number of IFAs are changing the focus of their business from other markets, such as pensions, as mortgages are supplying a much more stable source of income.”
The research also suggested that IFAs tend to use a smaller number of lenders on a regular basis and were less keen to use lenders with whom they were unfamiliar. “IFAs are basing their choice of lender on speed of service, exclusive deals and interest rates,” said Isaac.
The majority of IFAs also thought the greatest potential for business was in the buy-to-let and the self-certification markets.
These findings were supported by those from Independent Financial Advisers and the Mortgage Market Annual Report on Trends 2000, carried out by Syndicated Research. It found that most IFAs were seeing increases in sales, with just 15% reporting a fall in business. 60% of IFAs said that mortgages will be ‘quite important’ to their business in the next three to five years. This was up from 57% in 1997.
Andy Young, director of the ZIFA Mortgage Network, said that these results confirm a healthy future for the market. “I believe we are going to see a more stable mortgage environment over the short term leading to steady growth. We are not going to see a return of the boom and bust witnessed in them mid-80s. This will increase confidence and create excellent opportunities for IFAs,” he said.