May was also the network’s strongest ever for applications, as advisers submitted requests for £800m of loans for clients.
As a result, Stonebridge is also expecting completions to lift again in June and July.
The network’s year-to-date completions are up 25%, thanks to bumper activity in February and March.
Stonebridge’s year-to-date mortgage applications also 16% higher than the same period in 2017.
The increase in application business is likely down to an increase in productivity from its advisers and appointed representative (AR) firms, as well as a 4% increase in the average mortgage value applied for, according to the network.
Purchase vs remo
Mortgage application business was split between 55% purchases and 45% remortgages or product transfers.
Stonebridge now has nearly 550 active advisers, spread across 250 AR partner firms, with a further 16 advisers currently in the network’s pipeline.
Jo Carrasco, business partnerships director at Stonebridge Group, said: “We have had a very strong start to the year in terms of mortgage activity.
“Our applications continue to move upwards and to post a record month in May, following similar activity levels throughout 2018, is very pleasing.
“Productivity from advisers within the Stonebridge Group is predominantly the reason for this, coupled with an increase in the average loan size.
“It’s clear there is a growing demand for mortgage advice from the general public, particularly given the increased complexity and the fact that clients want access to the whole of market,” she added.
However, Carrasco noted worries about the some of the measures proposed in the FCA’s recent Mortgages Market Study Interim Report, such as encouraging more business to go direct.
She said: “Our advisers provide a quality service with the added protection that advice offers.
“For the regulator to be supportive of a process which pushes more consumers via direct channels and makes it easier to conduct execution-only business is a retrograde step, and should be resisted by all within our industry.”