Figures from Accord, the intermediary lending subsidiary of Yorkshire Building Society, show that on average 80% of remortgage customers have plumped for a free legal option rather than cash back throughout 2017.
This is despite a series of problems which have beset the free legals sector over the past year and continue to cause delays and lengthened conveyancing times. Breezeplus and QCAS hit the headlines earlier this year for their poor service standards, failure to apologise and even blaming brokers for their problems.
Problems such as these prompted Nationwide to withdraw it’s free legal offer while others in the conveyancing sector admitted it had been over-commoditised and under-invested in. While there have been some improvements of late, in last week’s Marketwatch brokers said they were still warning clients to approach free legals with extreme caution.
Incentive of choice
However, according to David Robinson, national intermediary sales manager at Accord, customers were not being put off by this situation.
“Despite reports of free legal service issues across the market we’ve continued to see a good turnaround, which is perhaps why this additional mortgage feature remains the incentive of choice among our customers,” he said.
Robinson added that the lender appreciated the frustrations brokers had recently experienced and that it offered a choice of mortgage extras to suit different borrower’s needs.
As a result of the problems, many lenders have begun expanding their cashback mortgage offers and introduced more flexibility with how these can cover the cost of conveyancing.