A survey of brokers through our online intermediary research panel revealed an overall positive note with 55 per cent optimistic about the future.
However, some observed that confidence could dip the longer the year goes on amid concerns market conditions will change with incentives like the stamp duty holiday ending.
Nearly half of brokers said they had seen a change in the kinds of property their clients were looking to buy, with two thirds of this group reporting an increase in demand for new-build family homes and over a third seeing less interest in individual flats.
Those surveyed expect remortgaging to be the key area of focus over the next 12 months, but said other areas of interest are buy to let, investing in suburban properties and affordable housing.
When we asked about the biggest changes they had faced in 2020, perhaps unsurprisingly many said not being able to meet people, with one noting they found it: “Much harder to do business when not seeing clients face-to-face.”
On the flip side, another noted using Zoom and other digital tools had cut back on travelling and allowed more efficient use of time.
Technology needs time
It has also been interesting to read about the experiences of the group of 26 brokers who took part in our latest online Intermediary TalkingPoint forum which gives brokers a chance to share their views and help us shape future product innovations and service improvements.
It’s clear to see how technology has had such an impact on all our lives and as we look ahead I think that will only increase.
Embracing innovation gives us the opportunity to simplify processes for all.
Undoubtedly it will take time for us all to get used to this new way of working and major schemes like our Mortgage Hub take time to evolve and bed in.
But reflecting on our approach, I do believe a simpler end-to-end process is already saving intermediaries time and effort and helping them to provide their clients with the very best service.
As we all wait to see what the months ahead have in store for us, it’s hard not to conclude that technology will play an ever more important role in the next phase of the evolution of the mortgage market and the onus will be on us all to continue to adapt.