Between quarter four and quarter one, the average annual number of cases handled by mortgage brokers rose 14 per cent from 78 to 89.
Over the same period the average number of Decision in Principles (DIPs) processed by advisers increased from 25 to 28. The conversion rate from DIP to completion also increased quarter-on-quarter from 34 per cent to 43 per cent.
The types of business being received by mortgage brokers remained constant against the previous quarter. Residential mortgages accounted for 66 per cent of all cases handled by intermediaries while 28 per cent related to buy-to-let borrowers and six per cent fell in to the specialist category.
The coronavirus crisis caused a significant drop in the quarterly offer to completion conversion rate but this recovered in Q1 from 65 per cent to 75 per cent quarter-on-quarter.
Advisers feel confident
Against a backdrop of rising workloads and an improvement in the success rate of cases reaching completion, mortgage broker optimism was high.
Some 99 per cent of intermediaries surveyed said they saw a positive outlook for their own firm while 97 per cent said they were confident about the prospects for the intermediary sector.
Kate Davies (pictured), executive director, IMLA, said: “Following a difficult period in the wake of the coronavirus crisis which led to the temporary closure of the housing market, it is pleasing to see such a positive start to 2021.
“Our findings show that after a steady period of recovery, adviser activity levels and sentiment towards the outlook for the sector are now nearing levels not seen since before the start of the pandemic. We also expect this high demand to continue into the year, with a combination of government support helping to underpin new purchases and a bumper year for product maturities also providing significant opportunity in the refinance market.”