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Buy To Let mortgage loans stay steady as wider market improves

Confidence has returned to the mortgage market, with sentiment improving steadily month by month in the last quarter of 2023, according to the Intermediary Mortgage Lenders Association.

In an IMLA survey 83 per cent of intermediaries said they were confident about the outlook for the market – well above figures earlier in the year. Confidence levels in intermediaries’ own businesses were even higher, with 92 per cent of intermediaries describing themselves as confident in the outlook for their own firms in Q4 2023.

The average number of mortgage cases placed by intermediaries on an annual basis hit 95 per year, compared to 92 per cent in the third quarter. Mortgage brokers placed an average of 103 cases, while IFAs reported an average of 62.

Residential lending continued to accounted for roughly two-thirds of intermediaries’ business, buy to let for a quarter and specialist loans some seven per cent. 

The proportion of buy to let cases placed remained roughly the same as the previous three quarters of 2023.

IMLA executive director Kate Davies says: “It’s great news that confidence is 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. 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.”

“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% of all mortgage business written this year.”

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