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Broker confidence drops to lowest level since start of 2017 ‒ Paragon

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  • 20/11/2019
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Broker confidence drops to lowest level since start of 2017 ‒ Paragon
Intermediaries have less confidence about the mortgage market than at any point since the start of 2017.

 

That’s according to the latest Financial Adviser Confidence Tracking (FACT) index from Paragon, which quizzes brokers on various elements about the market each quarter and calculates an overall confidence score. 

For this quarter it was calculated as 97.8, down 11.2 from six months ago, and the lowest score seen since the first quarter of 2017.

The study noted a rise in the popularity of two-year fixed rates, with 39 per cent of business placed by brokers in the third quarter of the year on two-year terms. 

This is up from the 37 per cent registered in the second quarter.

While five-year fixes remain the dominant product type, the proportion of borrowers going for these longer fixed terms has dropped from 51 per cent to 46 per cent.

John Heron, director of mortgages at Paragon, noted that five-year deals started to overtake two-year fixes at the end of 2017, and the combination of historic low rates, additional tax for owning second homes and political uncertainty have helped boost their popularity.

He continued: “As the UK heads into a general election, it’s interesting to see an increase in the proportion of homeowners looking for shorter to mid-term products as a way to retain stability but allow themselves the opportunity to reassess in two-years’ time, when the Brexit situation and its impact on the economy and the housing market is clearer.”

Quizzed on their expectations for how their own business will perform in the future, the index found a fall in confidence among intermediaries. Brokers said they expect to do around 1.7 per cent more business in the coming quarter, down from two per cent last time around.

However, the prospects for buy-to-let appear to be on the rise, with brokers suggesting a one per cent increase in business with landlords in the next 12 months, the highest figure recorded since the third quarter of last year. 

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