The survey of major mortgage lenders found 30% of mortgages were sold through branches, compared to 22% in 2012.
When asked about the MMR, lenders were optimistic about sales but 60% said the mortgage broker population would decline. More than half also said the amount of mortgage business written by brokers would also decrease.
Avelo principal mortgage consultant Henry Woodcock said the largest lenders were taking advantage of their investment in high street branches: “The next year brings a host of challenges for lenders as the MMR comes into force.
“With branches proving key, and advised sales predicted to climb, the question remains whether lenders will have enough qualified staff at branch level, or whether they will need to break up the sales process to allow qualified advice at the right times.”
Buyers were more likely to find success by using an intermediary – 62% of applicants using intermediaries received an offer compared to 58% in branches.
The average time for an applicant to receive a mortgage offer slowed in 2013, the research found. More than a fifth of lenders took longer than 30 days to produce a mortgage offer, compared to just one in ten a year ago. Many of the lenders expected time to offer to lengthen further following the MMR.
Mutuals carried out 69% of sales through intermediaries, Avelo calculated, compared to only 39% of banks. While the majority of mortgage sales still took place through intermediaries, lenders with more than 5% of market share conducted almost half of lending through their branches.
Earlier this week, LSL’s director of mortgage services David Copland warned that brokers could be marginalised by lenders if a high street rate war occured before the implementation of the MMR.