High street banks and building societies made more than 5,000 fewer approvals than for August (at 37,352 as opposed to 42,582) and overall figures demonstrated a 10% decrease from those a year earlier.
Remortgaging figures also fell to a six-month low.
Economists and financial experts identified the increase in interest base rates and the stuttering growth in house prices as the main culprits for the slow down.
This is bad news for the wider economy of course, but even worse news for the thousands of brokers who are already struggling to achieve their targets or to maintain financial viability.
And especially so given that experts have predicted mortgage lending will continue to stall as affordability issues, declining levels of housing stock and the possible impact of Brexit combine to create increasing uncertainty among consumers and providers.
Opportunities are there
It’s for this reason there is a pressing need for brokers to diversify their operational focus and embrace a wider range of products and services over the coming months, particularly those that reflect the undeniably shifting socio-economic landscape and other market-based needs.
For example, while the number of mortgage approvals has actively declined over the past few years, the demand for so-called niche or specialist products such as equity release, second-charge and bridging loans has positively soared.
Second, with increasing numbers of buy-to-let landlords looking to abandon the residential rental sector and invest their capital elsewhere, the possibilities for brokers to expand into commercial lettings seems unparalleled at the moment.
Indeed, according to property consultancy Allsop, the number of landlords choosing to invest in these properties has effectively trebled in the last three-to-four years.
Rental yields on office spaces, mixed-use lets and industrial sites are consistently outstripping those on residential lettings.
Time to evolve
This means brokers will need to overcome traditional and perhaps ongoing antipathies towards these products and custom bases and move with the times.
Because the opportunities are undoubtedly there and there is plenty of revenue to be had from tapping into these burgeoning markets.
But, a subtle shift in outlook and mentality is required if brokers want to reap the rewards and make-up for short-falls in conventional market business.
In short, it’s time to evolve.