Brokers have revealed that the average number of cases they handle on an annual basis dropped by 10% in Q3 2018, from 90 to 81 cases, according to the latest Mortgage Market Tracker from the Intermediary Mortgage Lenders Association (IMLA).
This is the largest quarterly drop since Q1 2016, when annual average cases fell 11% from 82 to 72 cases in Q1 2016.
This comes as mortgage intermediaries recognise that Brexit will adversely affect their businesses.
For the first time since 2016, the percentage of brokers who professed to be very confident about their own business’ fell from 68% to 60%.
Less positivity about mortgage market
Separate IMLA research also suggests that fewer brokers are feeling positive about the mortgage market in 2018.
In H1 2018, a third of brokers (33%) felt the current market would improve a little but by H2 2018 that had fallen to just a fifth of brokers (20%).
The quarterly survey examines consumers’ success rates in securing a mortgage via the intermediary channel, by tracking their progress from initial expression of interest through to completion.
In doing so, it compares the fortunes of first-time buyers, home movers, remortgagors, buy-to-let (BTL) borrowers and applicants for specialist loans.
The tracker found that for those who move forward with a property transaction, the market continues to work well with nearly 9 out of 10 (88%) of all mortgage applications leading to offers.
People may be adopting a ‘wait to see’ approach
Kate Davies, executive director of IMLA (pictured), said that whilst the Brexit negotiations remain so complex and uncertain, many people may be adopting a ‘wait and see’ approach before moving forward with a property purchase.
She said: “While the national uncertainty doesn’t help the prospects of our mortgage brokers, it’s encouraging to see that when an intermediary does apply for a loan on their client’s behalf, they are being accepted. Mortgages going from application to offer remain at more than two-year highs as intermediary lenders continue to find solutions for clients.
“It’s also good to see that while fewer people are seeking finance to buy a property, the remortgage market remains strong and should ensure keen and competitive pricing for those property owners seeking a new deal.
“With signs that the Bank of England may also be adopting a ‘wait and see’ approach towards potential future rate rises as next March’s Brexit deadline gets closer, borrowers should continue to be able to lock into attractively-priced deals before the Bank reacts.”