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Broker confidence rises to 83 per cent in Q4 2023 – IMLA

  • 05/02/2024
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Broker confidence rises to 83 per cent in Q4 2023 – IMLA
Around 83 per cent of brokers said they were confident in the outlook for mortgage market in Q4 2023, an improvement from 65 per cent in the same period last year, a report has found.

The Intermediary Mortgage Lenders Association’s (IMLA) latest mortgage market tracker for Q4, reported that within that overall figure 21 per cent of brokers were very confident and the overall confident figure for the quarter was 74 per cent.

It noted that in September 76 per cent of brokers were confident in the outlook for the mortgage market in September, going down to 69 per cent in October and then going up to 83 per cent in December.


Brokers confident in own business and caseload rises to 95

Looking at brokers’ own businesses, 92 per cent of brokers said they were confident in the outlook of their own firms in Q4 2023.

The average number of cases placed by brokers rose to 95 per year, slightly up from 92 in Q3.

Mortgage brokers placed an average of 103 cases, with IFAs reporting an average of 62.

Residential lending accounted for two thirds of brokers’ business, with buy-to-let coming to around a quarter. The latter is roughly in line with the previous three quarters.

Specialist cases represented about one in 14 cases.


DIPs fall but conversion stable

The average number of decisions in principle (DIP) processed by brokers fell to 20 in December and the Christmas period.

The biggest falls were reported in DIPs for first-time buyer-focused brokers and specialist placing advisers, IMLA said.

In Q4 2023, conversion from DIP to completion stayed stable at 38 per cent, which is near mid-2022 levels.

The overall conversion rate was similar across most market segments, barring first-time buyers, which experienced a six per cent fall.

Brokers in the Midlands saw a five per cent fall in DIP to conversion completions.

The conversion rate from full application decreased from 64 per cent in Q3 to 61 per cent in Q4. However, this is up three per cent year-on-year.



Broker confidence is ‘returning to the mortgage industry after a challenging year’

Kate Davies (pictured), executive director of IMLA, said that it was “great news” that confidence was “returning to the mortgage industry after a challenging year, and that intermediaries are feeling positive not just about the future of their own businesses, but the wider market in which they operate”.

She continued: “We will watch closely to see whether sentiment continues to improve if inflation carries on its downward trend.

“It is interesting to note that the level of buy-to-let business remained broadly consistent throughout 2023, despite negative headlines. The slight drop in first-time buyer numbers was perhaps to be expected given the ongoing cost of living crisis and the increased challenge of saving for a deposit, on top of wider affordability constraints.”

Davies added: “These latest results are a testament to the resilience of intermediaries who have been operating in difficult conditions to secure the right solutions for their customers.

“Competition in the market is now lively, and lenders are confident that mortgage advisers will continue to work hard to find the most suitable mortgages for their clients from a vast array of products on offer. As a result, IMLA predicts that intermediaries will account for 89 per cent of all mortgage business written this year.”

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