The number of mortgage applications via intermediaries rose from 77.5 per cent to 90 per cent over the last year.
Driven by the restrictions placed on the industry throughout the pandemic, lenders have focused on system modernisation, process efficiency and digitisation.
The survey, now in its 10th year, also found significant variation in application to offer timescales, with averages ranging from 14 days to 32 days across the lenders surveyed.
Iress’ head of business development, Steve Carruthers (pictured) said: “Since the last survey, few of us would have imagined the industry would go on to experience record lending volumes in 2021. A continued low interest rate environment, changing preferences amongst UK house buyers, the extended stamp duty holiday and the government’s 95 per cent LTV guarantee scheme did much to restore confidence in mortgage lending and borrowing.
“It brought much change and new challenges for lenders – but the need to process business efficiently has not changed; whether because of the volatile volumes, the evolving requirements of borrowers, the risk appetites of lenders, or how applications need to be processed. Our report shows true evolution across all parts of the industry at a time when efficiency and agility is more critical than ever.”
The survey also revealed that open banking is dropping down the priority list for many lenders and retention rates are stronger among the high street lenders and building society sector than for challenger banks and specialist lenders.