That’s according to Paragon’s latest Financial Adviser Confidence Tracking (FACT) Index, which found that on average each mortgage office taking part in the survey introduced 24.5 mortgages in the first quarter of 2019, up by six per cent from 23.0 mortgages in the final quarter of last year and by 10 per cent on an annual basis.
It’s only slightly behind the peak in activity levels seen over the last ten years, which was recorded in the final quarter of 2015, at 25.2 mortgages.
Individual advisers introduced an average of 8.8 mortgages in the quarter, up by 16 per cent from 7.6 mortgages in quarter four of 2018 and by 11 per cent compared with quarter one in 2018.
It was the highest level of productivity achieved since the beginning of 2014.
Productivity boosted by remortgages
Productivity is likely to have been boosted by the growth in remortgaging, which has increased from 30 per cent of mortgage cases five years ago to over 40 cent of mortgage business in the first quarter.
Despite the busy first quarter, advisers anticipate a 1.5 per cent increase in mortgage business in the next three months, a modest pick-up for the beginning of the traditionally strong, spring-summer period compared with previous years.
John Heron, managing director of mortgages at Paragon (pictured), said that while home mover activity is subdued, low interest rates and an uncertain economic outlook are encouraging more customers to remortgage, lifting intermediary business and boosting productivity.
He added: “Despite the current economic uncertainty, it’s encouraging to see mortgage intermediaries maintaining high activity levels.”