Mortgage advisers are confident of stable market conditions over the coming year, according to Paragon Mortgages.
Paragon’s Financial Advisers Tracking Index (FACT), the quarterly test of professional advisers’ confidence, has just completed its seventh year. It shows confidence at the end of 2001 to be at its second highest since the last quarter of 1997.
The number of mortgages handled in the last quarter of last year was up 2% on the traditionally busy third quarter, with figures up 14% on last year and 17% higher than two years ago.
Buy-to-let mortgages now make up 10% of all mortgage business arranged by advisers and base rate trackers are performing strongly at 27% of the total, up from 23% last year.
John Heron, managing director of Paragon, said that apart from a lack of confidence around the millennium, confidence among mortgage advisers has been stable over the seven years of the survey, with a rise in the past 18 months. He said: ‘1995 and 1996 saw confidence return to the mortgage market following the recession of the early-90s. Confidence and stability was reinforced by the launch of buy-to-let in 1996. Since then, mortgage advisers have been servicing a stable market aided by highly competitive mortgage products.