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Majority of brokers say mortgage affordability is more complex

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  • 26/04/2023
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Majority of brokers say mortgage affordability is more complex
The majority of brokers have said they are working harder to secure mortgages for their clients as affordability has become more complex, research by a sourcing system provider has found.

The Mortgage Broker Tools (MBT) survey found that the 94 per cent of brokers who said mortgage affordability was more complicated in their recent poll was higher than the 86 per cent who felt the same last year. 

Additionally, 89 per cent said they had to do more to obtain desired loans for borrowers as this was being impacted by higher rates and the rising cost of living. 

Tanya Toumadj (pictured), CEO at Mortgage Broker Tools, said this probably seemed obvious due to the squeeze on household finances and the increase in mortgage pricing, but said the “almost unanimous consensus” among brokers was “surprising”. 

She added: “Affordability is quickly becoming the biggest issue in the mortgage market, and we have certainly seen an uplift in the number of brokers registering to use MBT. As complexity increases, accuracy becomes even more important.” 

 

Complex client circumstances 

Rita Kohli, managing director at The Mortgage Stop, said it was borrower circumstances that were more complicated. 

She added: “From second jobs to self-employed or separated families or people buying with friends or family – there are no simple cases these days.  And with this comes much more scrutiny over borrowers’ income and expenditure from lenders.  

“Compared to recent years we have found that we have had much more challenging conversations with borrowers on some of their numbers giving them a reality check as lenders tighten up their affordability and stress tests.” 

Benjamin Blyth, director at Houz Mortgages, agreed and said it was not the mortgage assessment that was more complex, adding that this was helped by the tools now available to brokers and lenders. 

He added: “It’s better than ever to be confident in the result of a calculator as many are ‘plugged in’ live to lenders. These tools mean brokers do not need to know the ins and outs of affordability calculations of all the different lenders – as they all have their quirks.  

“What is becoming more complex is consumer spending. Dozens of subscriptions just to watch TV is one example – it’s not just Sky and a TV license anymore. We’re all still getting used to what energy bills actually are – Office for National Statistics figures will become less fit for purpose here as people turn to off-grid solutions such as solar to heat homes, fueling their electric vehicles from the sun instead of buying petrol. I believe it’s important that lenders can and will intervene in their calculators where required for things like this.” 

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