The percentage of brokers feeling upbeat about the wider mortgage market was 84 per cent in August but had fallen to 77 per cent a month later, research from the Intermediary Mortgage Lenders Association (IMLA) found.
However, intermediaries were increasingly positive about the future of their own businesses with 95 per cent saying they were either ‘fairly’ or ‘very’ confident.
The survey found the average number of cases intermediaries were handling each month rose again from 86 in Q2 to 90 in Q3.
Of the cases brokers were handling, 65 per cent were residential and 28 per cent were buy to let, while one in 10 residential applications were for product transfers.
Kate Davies, executive director of IMLA (pictured), said: “Demand is still high in the mortgage market as consumers try to take advantage of the stamp duty holiday, but brokers are clearly treading with caution. Intermediaries were already feeling less confident about the market in September, with a second wave of Covid-19 on the horizon and now England has moved back into a second lockdown.
“The good news is that the housing market remains open and buyers eager to move can still press ahead with their plans. This is keeping brokers and lenders incredibly busy and facing their own challenges to manage capacity, but it also means that the housing market remains a driving force in the economy.
“However, next year the market still faces a significant challenge with a triple deadline on 31 March 2021, as the current Help to Buy scheme, furlough and the Stamp Duty holiday all come to an end. The prospect of this cliff-edge moment means that working together as an industry – lenders, intermediaries, conveyancers and surveyors – is all the more important as we try to manage the surge in demand with buyers rushing to complete before it’s too late.”