Mortgage intermediaries wrote more business during the first quarter of 2019, according to Paragon’s latest Financial Adviser Confidence Tracking (FACT) Index.
On average, each mortgage office taking part in the survey introduced 24.5 mortgages in the first quarter, up by 6% from 23.0 mortgages in Q4 2018 and by 10% compared with Q1 2018.
Paragon explained that this puts current activity levels close to the 10-year high of 25.2 mortgages recorded in the last quarter of 2015 and compares with a low of 13.8 mortgages in Q3 2009 in the middle of the global financial crisis.
Individual advisers introduced an average of 8.8 mortgages in the quarter – up by 16% from 7.6 mortgages in Q4 2018 and by 11% compared with Q1 2018 – the highest level of productivity achieved since the beginning of 2014.
Productivity is likely to have been boosted by the growth in remortgaging which has increased from 30% of mortgage cases five years ago to over 40% of mortgage business in Q1 2019.
Despite the busy first quarter, advisers anticipate a 1.5% increase in mortgage business in Q2 2019 – a modest pick-up for the beginning of the traditionally strong, spring-summer period compared with previous years.
The Index surveys over 200 of the UK’s largest mortgage intermediaries.
John Heron (pictured), managing director of mortgages at Paragon, said: “While home mover activity is subdued, low interest rates and an uncertain economic outlook are encouraging more customers to remortgage, lifting intermediary business and boosting productivity.
“Despite the current economic uncertainty, it’s encouraging to see mortgage intermediaries maintaining high activity levels.”