However, this is significantly lower than the 96 per cent of brokers who said they felt confident about the industry’s future in January and February.
IMLA’s Mortgage Market Tracker questioned 300 brokers in the first quarter of the year, taking into account the boom seen in early 2020 following the General Election result and market changes related to Covid-19.
Despite the drop in wider market confidence, when it comes to their own business 85 per cent of brokers feel positive. However, this is down from the 96 per cent who said the same in February.
For those who felt confident about the future of the industry and their business, they cited the quality of business, preparation and mitigation and a stable long-term outlook as reasons for their positivity.
A slowdown in business, the physical lockdown and staff shortages were reasons given from those who did not feel optimistic.
According to the survey, the amount of pipeline activity converting from offer to completion dropped to 73 per cent in March from 85 per cent in January, likely a result of the restrictions placed on the housing market during that month.
On average, intermediaries completed 22 decisions in principles (DIPs) in the month of March, slightly down from February’s average of 29 but higher than January’s 22.
DIPs that resulted in a full application only fell slightly to an average of 80 per cent in March from 82 per cent in the previous two months. This was only a slight fall from the 84 per cent of DIPs resulting in a full application in March last year.
Some 84 per cent of full applications converted to an offer in March, compared to 89 per cent last year. This was a dip from 90 per cent of applications resulting in offers in January and 86 per cent in February.
Kate Davies (pictured), executive director of IMLA, said: “It’s no real surprise that the coronavirus lockdown and effective closure of the purchase market led to a decline in intermediary confidence in March. And the market’s future remains highly uncertain in the short-term.
“However, 2020 started on an optimistic note and there is every reason to believe the mortgage market will return to strength in the long-term.”
“There are homeowners still looking to move and first-timers hoping to buy. The pent-up demand we saw earlier this year could return and lead to a surge in business when life begins to settle post-lockdown,” Davies added.