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Mutuals report Q1 surge and predict further stamp duty deadline rushes

  • 07/04/2021
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Mutuals report Q1 surge and predict further stamp duty deadline rushes
Two of the nation’s biggest building societies revealed the scale of demand hitting the mortgage market to start the year and highlighted the demand broker phone calls for case updates can put on teams.


Skipton Building Society saw a 43 per cent increase in mortgage borrowers last month compared with March 2020 as the original stamp duty holiday deadline loomed.

The mutual completed 3,428 mortgages in March, up significantly from a year ago, and revealed that a quarter of these were for first-time buyers.

Skipton said it had expected March to be busy and urged brokers to use its online system with further surges predicted for later in the year after chancellor Rishi Sunak extended the stamp duty holiday in the Budget.

“We’re expecting to be extremely busy as we hit the new stamp duty holiday deadlines in June and September,” it said.

“So please use our Emortgage system for quick case updates, which will free-up our teams and allow them to help more of you.”


‘Busiest month for new business enquiries’

Coventry Building Society also reported a very busy first quarter of the year and said it had seen a significant uptick in broker contacts.

The lender said almost 10,000 new business enquiries were answered in January alone and this wave of subsequent applications fed into completions in March.

“January remains the busiest month to date for new business enquiries at Coventry for intermediaries, as pent-up demand and the stamp duty holiday has seen demand surge across the market in recent months,” it said.

However, the lender also highlighted that around half of all calls it answered were for updates on cases which were in process.

And of the calls relating to new business, residential criteria was a key factor with a slight emphasis on queries about higher loan to value borrowing.

Coventry Building Society intermediary operations manager Keith Williams noted its phones had not stopped ringing this year.

“The market as a whole is having a bumper start to the year but, while we’re very pleased to see record new business calls, we’re incredibly proud that our service levels have remained so high,” he said.

“Our intermediary partners have been working flat out to meet the demand from their clients and we know they’d rather be writing new business than listening to hold music.

“Being able to measure our call and web chat wait times in seconds rather than minutes is a good sign that we’re able to manage call volumes even during our busiest times.”



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