By Ben Marquand
Mortgage 2000 has released the latest quarterly results from its consumer website, Moneysupermarket.com.
The Online Personal Finance Monitor has recorded the three months up to December 2000 to find out the number of borrowers who use the site to compare and apply for a mortgage.
The latest findings build on the preliminary results issued last year and show that for every 1000 online mortgage applications around 250 will now go through to full completion. Simon Nixon, chief executive officer of Mortgage 2000, said: “Mortgage applications have continued to increase over the last three months. Mortgage uptake on the web has sustained its upward spiral and it is still a major growth area. There is still a lot of scope for growth this year.”
The size of the average online mortgage application recorded by the site fell from £129,144.90 to £93,410.66. However, this is still well above the size of the average mortgage recorded by the Nationwide of £82,188. “We have separated out mortgage applications from our mortgage auction section which had a minimum of £150,000. We felt that this was artificially enhancing the size of the average loan application,” said Nixon.
There is still a regional bias towards the south, and especially the south east, among users of the site, which perhaps explains the high average price.
In addition, the results found that the smaller lenders continued to dominate the market in the virtual high street, with Northern Rock ranked first and Abbey National placed eleventh. “On the virtual high street people tend to go more by price than brand. This is great news for the smaller lenders. It creates a level playing field because they do not have to have a branch in every town,” said Nixon.
Over 200 brokers have now white-labelled the site, and Nixon predicts that over 1000 brokers will have signed up by the end of 2001. Nixon said: “Brokers are going to have to get their own interactive websites, but there is always going to be a large element of people who require face-to-face advice. The point is that they need to provide both.”