Nearly 9 out of 10 mortgage applications made via intermediaries resulted in offers during Q2 2017, according to IMLA data.
This is 13 percentage points higher than Q2 2016, when 75% of applications led to offers and is the highest proportion on record since IMLA started tracking the data at the beginning of 2016.
The research also reveals that, despite the political events of Q2 – the snap general election and the resulting hung parliament – the mortgage market remained buoyant, with gross mortgage lending for the quarter reaching £60.3bn: a 3% increase from Q1 and 6% increase from the same point in 2016.
Furthermore, of the intermediaries surveyed, 96% stated they felt confident about the future of the mortgage market.
First-time buyers in particular have taken advantage of an extended period of low interest rates and lender support, which despite affordability pressures meant that the number of mortgage applications by this group resulting in offers increased from 71% in Q2 2016 to 88% in Q2 2017: a rise of 17 percentage points.
This proportion of applications to offers is also the highest recorded, having continued to rise steadily over the last year. The percentage of offers resulting in completions has also grown year-on-year, from 75% in Q2 2016 to 81% in 2017, with 71 of every 100 mortgage applications now resulting in a completion, up from 58 at the start of 2016.
Peter Williams, Executive Director of IMLA, commented: “While the second quarter of 2017 was dominated by political speculation and campaigning, any resulting uncertainty was not enough to send the mortgage market and the determination of aspiring homeowners off their course. The percentage of successful applications continued to grow across the board, a testament to the ability of the intermediaries to match consumers with suitable products in what is an increasingly complex marketplace.
“With house price rises softening and easing affordability pressures, borrower demand and lender supply remains unwavering, heightened by increasingly competitive residential and buy-to-let LTV pricing. Greater choice means that, for intermediaries, it is perfectly possible to match a wide range of aspiring homeowners and movers to suitable finance without compromising on rigorous assessments of borrower capacity to service their mortgage underpinning the market.”