Figures from the CML suggest that gross mortgage lending will reach £156bn this year. Last year the buy-to-let market was the only growing area of the mortgage industry, responding to increased demand from private landlords.
CML figures show that in the first nine months of 2012 gross lending totalled £11.8bn, 19% higher than the same time period in 2011.
We are still some way off returning to more fast-paced growth, and with the government continuing to make headlines with more austerity measures, we are unlikely to see a ‘boom’ in any area of the mortgage market, in the coming year.
However, our latest survey of intermediates for Q4 reported an increase in the average number of mortgages introduced per office during the last quarter of 2012. On average intermediaries introduced 18.1 mortgages, up from 16.1 in Q3.
Intermediaries also reported that clients were most likely to approach them for advice on remortgaging in Q4, accounting for 38% of all cases. Next-time buyers were a quarter (25%) of all cases and buy-to-let remained 19% of intermediaries’ business.
Looking ahead, intermediaries are expecting to complete 2.1% more mortgage business in the first three months of 2013 than they did in the last quarter of 2012. These figures are hardly cause for huge jubilation but do represent a modest shift in the right direction.
Buy-to-let will continue to be a focus for intermediaries in the coming months, with 80% saying that they would describe demand from landlords as stable or strong.
I think we should approach 2013 much in the same way we did 2012, with a degree of caution and healthy dose of optimism. The markets are still in recovery mode, but there is certainly light at the end of the tunnel and opportunities to capitalise on.
Paul Clampin is director of underwriting at Paragon Mortgages