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Brokers expect business upturn

Brokers expect business upturn

Category: Mortgages

Updated: 03/06/2009
First Published: 03/06/2009

This article was correct at the time of publication. It is now over 6 months old so the content may be out of date.
Brokers expect an upturn in the first time buyer and home mover business over the coming two months – the first time they have forecast positive growth for 18 months.

The Intermediary Mortgages Lenders Association's (IMLA) survey of mortgage intermediaries found that brokers anticipate handling slightly more business, which has likely been driven by recent figures that show a near 1% growth in first time buyer activity, as well as increasing signs of returning consumer confidence.

At their peak in the summer of 2006, brokers were recording 20 home loans a week. That figure has halved but has stabilised in line with the mortgage funding market.

Expectations for these activities have been consistently negative for almost two years when the first signs of a downturn became apparent.

In May last year, brokers projections reached a low point, with a fall of five per cent from first time buyers and over three per cent from home movers expected.

The rate of decline in remortgaging is also expected to fall, with activity forecast to fall by 0.4 per cent, while buy-to-let activity will contract by 0.7 per cent over the next two months, brokers believe.

Peter Williams, IMLA's executive director, commented: "We are not out of the woods yet but there are early tentative signs that the market is starting to return – at least from intermediaries' perspective.

"For the first time in 18 months, brokers expect first time buyer activity and home mover activity to rise slightly, on the back of renewed interest in the housing market. While the level of growth is small, at less than 1 per cent, this is an important signal that confidence is beginning to pick up."

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