Brokers were also more upbeat around their own business prospects as the year closed, the data showed.
The positive sentiment coincided with an increase of case load volumes to 88 a year on average, just shy of the highs of 2018.
At the same time, more decisions in principle (DIPs) resulted in completion. More than half were converted to a full mortgage, up seven per cent from the previous quarter.
The conversation rate of DIP-accepts to full applications also grew to 85 per cent.
Overall, more than nine in 10 mortgage intermediaries were confident about the outlook for the mortgage industry heading into 2020.
It came as the general election in December helped dispel some of the political uncertainty that had shrouded the UK.
Kate Davies, executive director of the Intermediary Mortgage Lenders Association (pictured), said: “The last few years have certainly tested the resilience of the mortgage market.
“Amid significant political turbulence, intermediaries have faced the challenge of disintermediation, diminishing consumer confidence and uncertainty surrounding what may replace the Help to Buy scheme as it is gradually wound down.
“Despite that, they ended last year on a high with a significant proportion expressing their positivity towards the sector’s future and having helped many more onto and up the property ladder.”
Davies added: “It’s clear there will be challenges ahead in 2020.
“The FCA’s recent changes to execution-only sales and the punitive tax changes on buy-to-let landlords will continue to change the shape of the market.
“However, it would appear that the new government has helped to boost consumer confidence and IMLA has predicted gross mortgage lending will rise to £268bn this year, 1.4 per cent ahead of last year.”