Intermediaries anticipate experiencing strengthening mortgage business levels in the fourth quarter of the year, according to Paragon Mortgages’ latest Financial Adviser Confidence Tracker (FACT) Index.
FACT, a panel-based survey of mortgage brokers, found that, on average, advisers expect to do 6.7% more business in the fourth quarter than in the third. This is the third quarter in a row that brokers have predicted an increase in mortgage business and follows a negative 2008 when the intermediary market, on average, predicted contracting levels of business.
Overall, 55% of brokers expect to see an increase in business in the three months to the end of the year, with 37% expecting business levels to remain stagnant in the period. Just 8% of respondents expect falling business levels over the same period.
Of business conducted in the third quarter, owner-occupied accounted for over three quarters (78%) of brokers’ mortgage business. Buy-to-let accounted for 12% of business, with ‘other’ types of mortgage accounting for 10% of business. Of the owner-occupied mortgage business, 26% of mortgages were for next-time buyers, whilst remortgage levels continued to decline, falling from 45% in the second quarter to 44%. Next-time buyers have grown steadily over the past year, reflecting increased activity in the housing market. First-time buyer levels remained steady at 11%.
John Heron, Paragon Mortgages’ managing director, said: “This is the third quarter in a row that brokers have said they expect business levels to increase and the sense of pessimism that surrounded the market in 2008 finally appears to be dissipating. General housing market activity is picking up